Where Cooking is Fun
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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Oreo Dessert

It seems that during the holidays we eat more desserts than we do any other time of the year...its just part of the fun. This is one of my favorites (yes, I have many favorites), its light and fluffy and full of YUM!!! Give it a try, I know you'll like it too.

*One of the nice things about this recipe is you COULD (I didn't) use sugar free pudding as well as sugar free whipped topping to cut calories.

Oreo Dessert
3 c. cold milk
4 (3.9 oz) INSTANT chocolate pudding mix
20 oz carton frozen whipped topping

1 package Double Stuff Oreo's

In a mixing bowl, beat the milk and pudding mix for 2 minutes. Beat in whip topping until well blended. Break Oreo's into pieces...you want chunks not crumbs. Layer pudding mixture and Oreo's in dessert cups until cup is full. Top with Oreo's and a dollop of whipped topping if desired.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Apple Pecan Chicken Salad

There's nothing that says "chick food" to me more than chicken salad. So this recipe was a no brainer to bring to a "chick" gathering. These were gobbled up so fast I hardly had any leftovers.

Apple Pecan Chicken Salad

2 cups canned chicken
1/2 cup pecans
1 apple (diced)
1/2 cup craisins
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. rosemarry

In a bowl combine chicken, pecans, apple and craisins. In a small bowl mix mayo, vinegar and rosemarry. Combine with dry ingredients and mix. Season with salt and pepper. Chill until ready to serve.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Crock Pot Italian Beef Sandwiches

I have to say that this is one of the EASIEST meals that I have ever made. It's the kind you throw in the crock pot first thing in the morning and forget about until dinner time. I love those kinds of meals. It's not only easy, but DELICIOUS TOO! The Italian flavoring is just right...not too strong...not to mild. These Italian Beef Sandwiches are definitely a crowd pleaser, men, women and children will leave the table full and happy because dinner was amazing! Can't beat that!

Crock Pot Italian Beef Sandwiches
3 lbs boneless beef (roast or steaks...I used Flank Steak)
3/4 c. water
1 packet DRY Italian salad dressing
2 t. dried Italian seasoning
1/2 t. ground red pepper
1 t. garlic powder
Hoagie buns or any sandwich bun
sliced provolone cheese

In a bowl or cup, combine water and all seasonings. Stir well. Place beef in crock pot and pour mixture over the beef. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or until beef is falling apart. When beef falls apart, shred with two forks (leaving the meat in the crock pot) and let it soak up the juices.

Butter the inside of the buns and place them face down in a frying pan. Lightly brown. Remove buns from pan. Place desired amount of meat on your bun along with 2 slices of provolone cheese. Add any other toppings that you desire (sliced onions, peppers, saute'd mushroom etc...)
Serve with potato salad or chips....or anything that sounds good to you.


Friday, November 25, 2011

Cheesy Cauliflower Soup

After a BIG Thanksgiving meal yesterday, a yummy warm soup will hit the spot today. I love soup....especially creamy or cheesy soups...for some reason, they have "comfort food" written all over them. This soup is perfect for a cold day, wrapped up in a blanket with a good book or movie on the television.....which makes it perfect for today since you need a break from all the holiday cooking. This Cheesy Cauliflower Soup is full of rich, smooth, cheesy goodness!! Its definitely on my list of FAVORITE soups! I'm sure after you give it a try, it will be on yours too.

Cheesy Cauliflower Soup
1-2 heads cauliflower, chopped (not into small pieces..you want it chunky)
9 c. water
2-3 T bouillon granules
1 cube butter
1 t. onion powder
1 c. flour
2 c. heavy cream
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese (don't use the PRE-shredded cheese, it will make your soup go grainy... shred it fresh)
16 oz. Velveeta (not generic, it doesn't melt creamy like Velveeta does)

In a large sauce pan, bring water to a boil. Add bouillon granules and cauliflower. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes. In a frying pan, melt butter. Add onion powder and flour, stir to form a thick paste. Add cream and whisk until thick and smooth. Add cream mixture to the cauliflower mixture. Leave heat on low-medium and add shredded cheese and Velveeta, stirring constantly until melted. DO NOT bring soup to a boil after adding the cheese, as this will curdle your cheese's and make your soup grainy and nasty. Keep soup on a low heat until cheese is completely melted. Serve immediately. Serve in bread bowls, if desired (I prefer mine that way), OR in a bowl, topped with shredded cheese. Mmmmmm!!!!


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

BetterThanBurgers.org wants to wish each of you a very Happy Thanksgiving. We hope your day is full of delicious food, but most of all we hope you are surrounded by those you love. On this celebratory day we are truly grateful for each of you. Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

Daynalee Ady and Julie Wilkerson

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Lemon Cheesecake Bars

Cheesecake and me go WAAAAAYYYY BACK....I think I was born LOVING IT! SO if I see a recipe that has the word "Cheesecake" in the title, I am bound to give it a try (unless it has "Cherry" involved in it...then its pretty much a NO GO). When I found this recipe I went right to the store to purchase everything I needed to whip a batch right up. I was THRILLED with the end result. These Lemon Cheesecake Bars were to die for...really and truly I might give my left arm for one...well, maybe just a toe, but still...they were so delicious and tasty that I had to hide them from myself to keep from eating more than I should. They would make a great dessert any day but especially for the holidays.........guess you better run to the store and grab everything you need so you can whip up a batch for the big Thanksgiving holiday tomorrow.

Lemon Cheesecake Bars
1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 powdered sugar
3/4 c. butter, cut into cubes

Mix together flour and powdered sugar. Cut in cold butter with a knife of pastry blender until mixture resembles crumbs. Press into the bottom of a greased 9x13" pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-17 minutes. Remove from oven, set aside.

Lemon filling:
4 eggs
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 T. flour
1 T lemon zest (I didn't use this because I didn't have any...use if you have)
1/2 c. lemon juice

Whisk together all ingredient. Pour onto prepared cooked crust. Skim off any bubbles that form on the surface of the lemon filling.

Cheesecake filling:
2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
1 c. sugar
2 eggs, beaten

Mix the cream cheese and sugar into a bowl until well blended. Beat in eggs, then spread over the lemon mixture. The lemon and cheesecake mixture will separate during the baking process.

1 1/2 c. graham crackers crumbs
1/3 c. sugar
6 T. butter, melted

Combine all ingredient together with a fork. Sprinkle on top of cheesecake mixture.

Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until the filling is set. Cool completely. Cut and serve. Refrigerate leftovers (if there are any).


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Ultimate Chili Cheese Dip

We're a huge fan of Chili and Cream cheese dip around here so when I saw a recipe that expanded on this family favorite I immediately bought the ingredients. You can't go wrong with this cheesy goodness. Definitely one of my new favorites!

Ultimate Chili Cheese Dip

8 oz cream cheese
8 oz velveeta cheese
1 can chili
2 Tbsp. milk

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and cook on medium until hot and bubbly. Serve with chips. (Doritos are my favorite!)

*Could also be prepared in the microwave-- combine all ingredients and cook for 5-6 minutes. Stirring occasionally.


Monday, November 21, 2011

Pumpkin Pie Bars

I LOVE pumpkin pie and these bars are even BETTER! The spices, the texture, the taste...everything about these Pumpkin Pie Bars will make your mouth water for more! They are FANTABULOUS!!!

Pumpkin Pie Bars
1 1/3 c. flour
1/2 c. brown sugar
3/4 c. white sugar, divided
3/4 c. cold butter
1 c. oatmeal
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
1 8 oz cream cheese, softened
3 eggs
1-15 oz canned pumpkin
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. ground ginger
1/4 t. nutmeg
1/4 t. ground cloves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 glass baking pan with cooking spray.

Combine flour, brown sugar, 1/4 c. white sugar and mix well. Add butter; using a pastry blender (or 2 knives) cut in mixture until it looks like coarse crumbs. Stir in oatmeal and walnuts. Reserve 1 cup mixture. Press remaining mixture in the bottom of the prepared pan.

In a bowl, beat together softened cream cheese, 1/2 c. sugar, eggs, pumpkin and spices until well blended. Pour and spread over entire crust. Sprinkle with reserved oatmeal mixture. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Cool completely. I put mine in the refrigerator so they would set up quicker and completely. Cut into bars. Store in the refrigerator.


Friday, November 18, 2011

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Spread

I made this DIVINE spread for crepes, but you could put it on just about anything...its very versatile. I think its a must for every holiday table...maybe even spread over a Cinnamon Raisin Bagel for breakfast...mmmmmmm!! This delicious spread is so easy, but tastes like a delicacy and it won't take you long to become addicted!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Spread
8 oz. cream cheese, softened (makes it much easier to mix)
6 T brown sugar
4 T maple syrup
1/2 c. canned pumpkin
1 t. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. vanilla

In a small bowl combine cream cheese, brown and syrup. Mix until creamy. Add pumpkin, vanilla and spices. Beat until smooth. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour (I didn't do this...we just ate it and it was wonderful!).


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Little Smoky Kabobs

Jack and I joke all the time about the delicious food that we served at our wedding reception that we never got to eat. These Kabobs were on the menu and they sure did go fast. They are the perfect combination of sweet, salty and delicious. Every simple ingredients blends perfectly to make one of my very favorite appetizers.

Little Smoky Kabobs

1 package Little Smokies
1 can pineapple chunks
Cheese Chunks

Assemble one of each ingredient on to a toothpick. Refrigerate until served. How easy is that?!?!


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Ribbon Pumpkin Bread

Tis the season of pumpkin at our house. I love EVERYTHING pumpkin, it doesn't really matter what it is, if its pumpkin it becomes a favorite of mine. This Ribbon Pumpkin Bread is delicious~ BUT don't take my word for it...try it yourself!

Ribbon Pumpkin Bread
8 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese
1/4 c. sugar
1 T flour
2 egg whites

1 c. pumpkin
1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
1 egg
2 egg whites
1 T oil
1 2/3 c. flour
1 1/4 c. sugar
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. ground cloves
1/3 c. chopped walnuts

1. For filling, combine the cream cheese, sugar, flour and egg whites in a bowl; mix well and set aside. In a separate mixing bowl, beat the pumpkin, applesauce, egg, egg whites and oil. Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and cloves, add to the pumpkin mixture. Stir in walnuts.

2. Divide half of the batter between two loaf pans coated with cooking spray. Spread each with cream cheese filling; top with remaining batter.

3. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes (start checking at 40 minutes...mine was done at about 47 minutes) or when toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely. Refrigerate leftovers.

*Makes 2 loaves (14 slices per loaf).
Two slices equals: 107 calories
3g fat
1g saturated fat
11mg cholesterol
116mg sodium
19g carbohydrate
1g fiber
3g protein


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Lasagna Soup

Lasagna doesn't sound like it could possibly be eaten as a soup...but trust me IT CAN! I made it for dinner last night and couldn't have been happier with the way that it turned out. It has quickly became a family favorite and will be eaten frequently at our house. Its sweet zesty Italian flavor just makes your mouth water. ENJOY!

Lasagna Soup
1 lb ground beef
1 clove garlic, minced
1 t. thyme
1-2 T brown sugar (to taste...I think I used 1 1/2 T)
1 (32 oz) box chicken broth
2 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes with chilies, pureed in your blender
(if you want a little zip...use regular without chilies if your family doesn't like a little spice)
2 t. Italian seasoning
1/2 t. salt
3 T grated Parmesan cheese
2 c. broken lasagna noodles (you want bigger pieces, not crumbs), cooked and drained
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese ( I used cheddar because I didn't have mozzarella)
cottage cheese or sour cream

In a large skillet, brown ground beef and garlic. When meat is done, stir in thyme, brown sugar, canned tomatoes (that have been pureed), broth, Italian seasoning and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Add COOKED noodles and simmer for 7 more minutes. Stir in Parmesan cheese. Top with a dollop of cottage cheese (sounds weird but its DELISH...if you like cottage cheese in your lasagna, you will love this too) OR sour cream...and some shredded cheese. Serve with garlic toast for a complete yummy meal!!


Monday, November 14, 2011

Crock pot Smokey Italian Chicken

I love crock pot meals, especially during the fall and winter months...the smells of dinner just permeates the house and I can't wait for dinner time to come around. I whipped up this little dinner dish the other night and it was a huge HIT. My hubby adored it and said it was right there at the top of his favorite things that I have ever made. Its got just a hint of the smokey flavor that comes from the bacon and just enough of the creamy taste to satisfy everyone's taste buds! This recipe is not only DELISH, but its easy to make as well. Put this in your crock pot just before church and you'll come home to dinner pretty much done. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Crock Pot Smokey Italian Chicken
4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breast (frozen or thawed...frozen just takes longer to cook)
1 can cream chicken soup
1 8oz cream cheese
1 package dry Italian dressing
1 lb bacon, cut into small pieces

Cooked noodles or rice or baked potatoes (to serve chicken over when its done cooking)

Combine first 5 ingredient together in a crock pot. Cook on low for 4-5 hours, if your meat is thawed, cook for 6-7 hours if its frozen. Shred chicken in the crock pot with two forks before serving. Serve over cooked noodles, rice or a baked potato. Enjoy!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Julie's Red Burrito's

When my children were growing up I used to make homemade burrito's...after all... we LOVE Mexican food at my house. These are quick and easy and taste delish! Serve them with a plate of rice or a side of tortilla chips. Can't beat that for easy and scrumptious!

Julie's Red Burrito's
1 bag home style tortilla shells
1 lb. ground beef, cooked and drained
1 can refried beans
1/2 package taco seasoning
1 large can red enchilada sauce (any brand you like)
2-3 c. grated cheese

Warm tortilla shells in the microwave for 30 seconds...this makes it easier to roll them when the time comes. Place refried beans in a microwave safe dish and warm for 2-3 minutes. Stir taco seasoning in with warm beans. Place a spoonful of refried beans down the center of tortilla shell. Repeat with a spoonful of ground beef and some cheese. Roll shell, folding both ends and then rolling like a burrito. Continue until you have the desired amount of burritos that you want. Heat enough oil to cover the bottom of a frying pan (I use my large electric frying pan and turn the temperature to 375). Place rolled burrito's in pan with HOT oil. Cook on medium high (if your using your stove top) 1-2 minutes on each side or until each side is browned and crispy. Pour enchilada sauce over the top and cover for 1 minute. Turn heat down, top with cheese and cover for 1 more minute. Serve.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Taco Bravos

I love the switch of Daylights savings time in the fall. I love everything except the quality of pictures I get. My dining room chandelier just doesn't compare. BUT, no matter how bad the picture is this quick recipe speaks for itself. It is by far my favorite way to eat a taco. Yum! I honestly don't know what you would call these, but growing up someone coined the name Taco Bravo's and the title stuck. Regardless of the name these tacos are absolutely delicious. I'm sure you'll think so too.

Taco Bravos

6 soft taco shells
6 hard taco shells
1 lb hamburger
taco seasoning packet
1 can refried beans
sour cream

Brown hamburger in a pan. Sprinkle with taco seasoning and let simmer. Set aside. Warm refried beans. To assemble, cover your soft taco shell with refried beans. Set hard taco shell in the center and fold soft taco up the sides. Fill hard taco with meat, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and top with ketchup and sour cream.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Breakfast Cups

These Breakfast Cups are a fun way to make ham and eggs. My kids love them and ask me to make them quite often. You can use scrambled eggs or just one cracked open right into the ham like you see in the picture, either way works great. Give them a try...its a great way to start the morning.

Breakfast Cups

6 eggs
6 pieces of thin sliced deli ham
shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray. Place one slice of ham into muffin tin, forming a "bowl". Sprinkle small amount of cheese on the bottom of each "bowl". Crack one egg into each cup (or pour in one beat egg for a "scrambled egg"). Add salt and pepper and more cheese if desired. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until egg is fully cooked.
Serve with toast and juice for a hearty breakfast.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Orange Walnut Bread

Doesn't this bread just scream FALL? One of my dear Aunt's sent the recipe to me after she tasted some that a friend had made and loved it, so she wanted to share with me. I whipped a batch up and couldn't believe I had never tasted anything like it before. I am a quick bread fanatic anyway...so this bread was right up my alley! This Orange Walnut Bread has the perfect hint of orange to make your taste buds sing! It's full of nuts (which I love) and everything that makes a quick bread perfect! I thoroughly enjoyed every last bite! Thanks Aunt Jo for sharing!

Orange Walnut Bread

3 c. flour
1 c. sugar
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
2 c. walnuts, chopped
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 c. melted butter
1 c. orange juice
4 T. orange zest
4 T. water

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl; set aside. Blend eggs, butter, orange juice, orange zest and water in a small bowl. Stir into flour mixture just until blended. Fold in walnuts. Spoon batter into TWO greased and floured loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until done *MINE only took about 40-45 minutes. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan; cover and cool completely on a wire rack. Slice and serve ( I like to eat mine with a bit of butter spread over it...........mmmmmmmmmmmmm!).

Monday, November 7, 2011

Cherry Cheesecake Pancakes

I will have to say that I am NOT a Cherry fan, BUT my hubby is.........so I made these especially for my sweetheart...just because (guess that means I'm nice??)~ HE absolutely adored them. He had a big smile spread across his face as he ate down every last bite. You can make these pancakes from scratch OR from the pre-packaged pancake mix...on this particular day, I was in a hurry so they were from a mix, BUT...don't you go feeling sorry for my hubby...he prefers the boxed stuff anyway...........so you see, it was a win, win situation. I needed to make something quick, and he wanted something delish and WALAA...I created this jim dandy of a pancake! ENJOY!

Cherry Cheesecake Pancakes
8-10 pancakes (you decide how you want to make them, from scratch, a box or a mix)
whipped topping (for the top)
1-2 cans pie cherries (if I was making them for me, it would be blueberry or raspberry or strawberry pie filling.......I am sure any of them would taste scrumptious..so you choose what flavor of topping you top yours with)

Cheesecake filling:
1 c. powdered sugar
1 8oz. cream cheese, softened
1 8oz whipped topping

Combine powdered sugar, cream cheese and whipped topping. Whip until smooth. Spread frosting between COOLED (not cold...just not HOT) pancakes. Top with cheesecake filling and fruit pie filling and a dollop of whipped topping. There you go....breakfast in a jiffy!


Friday, November 4, 2011

Chicken Alfredo

If you are fan of Alfredo Sauce, you will love this! Whenever I go to the Olive Garden I usually snarf down a small serving of Fettichini Alfredo........I don't go there very often (maybe 1x a year, if that), so its okay that I indulge a bit when I DO go. I love Alfredo Sauce, I love the creamy taste as it rolls around on my tongue and I was thrilled when I found this recipe so I can have it whenever I want. Its a perfect dinner for anytime, but especially during the cold winter

Chicken Alfredo
2 T. butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 c. heavy cream
7 T. freshly grated parmesan cheese
3-4 c. cooked chicken, shredded or diced (I grilled mine)
diced tomatoes
grated Monterrey Jack Cheese

In a skillet combine butter and minced garlic. Saute for 2-3 minutes. Add cream and parmesan cheese, stirring constantly with a wire whip until sauce is thick (that will only take a few minutes). Serve individually, on separate plates. Top spaghetti noodles with desired amount of sauce and chicken. Top with Monterrey Jack cheese and diced tomato.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Pizza Puffs

These yummy Pizza Puffs are the NEW favorite quick meal at my house. The kids loved them, the hubby loved them and I loved that dinner was ready in a jiffy!!! They are simple, yet taste delish. Serve them with a side salad and you've got dinner...can't beat that!

Pizza Puffs
1 can refrigerator biscuits
shredded cheese (any kind works)

Spray muffin tins with cooking spray. Cut pepperoni into small pieces with kitchen shears. Cut each biscuit into 4 pieces (also using kitchen shears). Place 3 pieces of biscuit in hands, sprinkle with cheese and pepperoni and squeeze them together to make a ball. Place in greased muffin tin. Repeat until all biscuits have been used. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

The family gobbled these right up...I had NO leftovers, next time I think I will double the batch because everyone wanted more than just a "few".......guess we live and learn. ENJOY and easy night of cooking!


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Chewy Coconut Bars

I was scouting out for a new YUMMY treat to make when I came across this FANTABULOUS little find on my friend, Holly's recipe blog...you can find the original recipe HERE. Holly said that these Chewy Coconut Bars were EVIL...its true, they are!! I buckled to temptation each and every time I walked past the pan~ luckily everyone else in the house did too, so they didn't last too long around these parts. These Chewy Coconut Bars are to DIE for, rich and chewy and the perfect balance of salty and sweet......I LOVE THEM! They are perfect for anytime, but especially for the holidays....bake away!

Chewy Coconut Bars
2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. butter, softened
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 t. vanilla
1 1/2 c. flour
2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1 1/2 c. shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, combine brown sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla, flour, baking powder and salt. Stir in coconut. Mix well. Spread evenly into a greased 9x13 baking pan
and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until crust begins to brown. cool and cut into squares.


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Butter Finger Cookies

Butter Fingers are one of my favorite candy bars...so why not make a Butter Finger cookie?! These cookies are perfectly sweet and will satisfy that sweet tooth that you get right about the time the kids get home from school. They are chewy and yummy and are one of my favorite comfort foods.

Butter Finger Cookies
1 c. butter flavored Crisco shortening
2 1/4 c. sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 t. vanilla
3 c. flour
1 1/2 t baking soda
3/4 t. salt
3-4 full sized candy bars, chopped
1 1/2 c. butterscotch chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Add dry ingredients, mix slowly until combined. Chop butterfingers with a knife. You want chunks not crumbs. Add along with butterscotch chips and stir just until mixed.
Form into balls or drop by teaspoon (I used a cookie scoop) onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 7-9 minutes or until done.
*Mine made about 4 1/2 dozen cookies...also, some of mine were a little on the flat side...next time I will add just a little more flour (approx. 1/2 c. or less) to make a thicker cookie. Flat or fluffy...they were YUMMY!!!!