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

Friday, November 30, 2012

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

This is a fun new way to serve breakfast. They taste a lot like cinnamon rolls and the family adored them. They are rich and yummy and make my mouth water. They are great for the holidays or just for any ol' morning that you're feeling like "pancakes".

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

Cinnamon Filling:
1/2 cube butter, melted
1/3 c. brown sugar
1 1/2 t. cinnamon

In a bowl, combine ingredient, stir well. Pour into a zip lock bag....snip the tip of on corner, set aside. 

1 c. flour
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 c. milk
1 egg, beaten
1 T. oil

Whisk egg, milk and oil in a medium bowl. Combine dry ingredient and stir (I used an electric mixer) until all lumps are gone. 

Heat a griddle on the MEDIUM SETTING, spray griddle with cooking spray. Use a 1/4 c. measuring cup to scoop batter onto hot griddle. When pancake starts to bubble at the top, add filling.... Using your filled ziplock baggie squeeze the filling on top of the pancake in a "swirl" form...making it look like a cinnamon roll. Cook until bubbles start to pop, flip and cook for 2-3 minutes on other side. Repeat process until all pancakes are cooked. Top with butter and cinnamon roll glaze (below).

Cinnamon Roll Glaze:
1 c. powdered sugar
1/4 c. milk

Combine sugar and milk, whisk until there are no lumps. Pour over HOT Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

*After each batch of pancakes, I "re-sprayed" griddle with cooking spray, after wiping the sugary residue from the pan. 


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Baked Coconut Chicken

I love coconut...coconut anything, and this coconut chicken is AMAZING!!! It easy and makes great leftovers! If you like coconut, you'll love this tasty little dish!

Baked Coconut Chicken

6 boneless, skinless chicken breast...cut into 1" pieces
3 T. cornstarch
1 1/2 t. salt
1 c. flour
5 egg whites, beaten until fluffy
6 T. honey
4 c. shredded coconut

Rinse chicken pieces under cold water and dry with paper towels. In a ziplock bag place cornstarch, salt and flour. Set aside. Beat egg whites until fluffy, add honey and beat. Set aside. Place coconut in a pie plate. Set aside.

Spray baking sheet with pan coating. Place chicken in ziplock bag, a few pieces at a time, until covered with flour mixture. NEXT, place coated chicken in egg whites and then coconut. Place covered pieces on prepared baking sheet. continue until all pieces of chicken are covered. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until chicken is done. Removed from the oven and serve with Orange Sauce for dipping (recipe below).

Mock Panda Express Orange Sauce:

2 c. water
8 t oil
4 dash garlic powder

Bring to a boil.

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

Orange Zest (optional)

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

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

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


Monday, November 26, 2012

Cheesy Twice Baked Potatoes

I used to make these YEARS ago, but I quit! They are a bit time consuming....and my small family didn't appreciate my efforts. SO I crossed them off the menu list and never thought about them again, until my youngest child went to a friends house and they had them for dinner. She came home and raved about how wonderful they were and wondered why I never made them.....GUILT struck me and I thought maybe I better at least make them again for the sake of trying to win the "Mother of the Year" award...and so Halle could at least say I made them ONCE in her life time!

Its not that they are hard, they just aren't one of those things that you throw in a pan, stir and call dinner (which is what I seem to be looking for these days) BUT they are WORTH the effort, THEY TASTE fabulous and I get a lot of compliments when I make them....SO yes, YOU SHOULD MAKE THEM!

Cheesy Twice Baked Potatoes

6 large baking potatoes
1 c. milk
4 T butter (real butter)
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 c. cheese, divided 
1 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled, divided
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper

Scrub potatoes. Pierce the skin with a fork. Bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour. Allow potatoes to sit OVER NIGHT in the fridge.

NEXT DAY....scoop cut potatoes in half, lengthwise. Scoop out the "guts", leaving only the skin ( with a small amount of potato around the edges). Place skins on a cookie sheet. Put potato "guts" in a large bowl (I used my kitchen aide) add milk, cream cheese, 1 c. cheese, 1/2 the crumbled bacon, seasonings. Whip with mixer until combined and stirred completely together. Put mixture BACK into potatoes. Divide evenly between potato skins. Top with remaining cheese and bacon crumbles. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until insides are warm/ hot and bubbly. Serve HOT!

*We ate these for the MAIN COURSE at dinner, but they make a great side dish as well.


Friday, November 23, 2012

Cake Batter Doughnut Pancakes

Holy Smoly, these are not only FUN, but they really do taste like doughnuts! Shake up your pancake breakfast this weekend and make something new~

Cake Batter Doughnut Pancakes

1 c. pancake mix (the kind you just add water to)
1 c. Betty Crocker White Cake Mix (yes, it makes a difference)
1 1/2 c. milk

Mix pancake mix and cake mix with milk. Stir with a whip until lumps are gone and batter is completely mixed. Fill a piping bag OR a large ziplock bag with batter. If using a ziplock bag snip a small whole off of one of the corners. Spray pancake griddle with non-stick cooking spray. When griddle is hot, pipe batter in a DOUGHNUT shape onto the hot pan (this took me a few tries to get it to work so there was a hole in the middle...but eventually I got it). Cook until bubbles form, flip and cook until golden brown. Serve hot with butter and doughnut glaze.

1 c. powdered sugar
milk (enough to make it thin)

Combine enough milk with powder sugar to make a thin glaze...you may need more sugar if you want more glaze.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Breakfast Pie

This would be a fabulous breakfast tomorrow morning, as you are preparing that YUMMY THANKSGIVING meal!! Its easy, you make it TONIGHT BEFORE BED and just pop it in the oven in the morning....and to top it off, it TASTES DIVINE!

Breakfast Pie

4-5 slices of dense bread (I used my homemade bread)
2 baked potatoes, SHREDDED
1 c. Monterrey Jack Cheese, shredded
1 c. cheddar cheese, shredded
4 eggs, beaten
1 1/4 c. heavy cream
1/2 lb. cooked bacon crumbles

Spray a square 9x9 baking pan with cooking spray. Tear the bread into chunks and place on the bottom of the greased pan. Spread potatoes and one of the cheeses over the top (other cheese will be used ON TOP of pie). Combine eggs and cream and mix well, pour over potatoes and cheese. Sprinkle remaining and cheese and bacon on top. Refrigerate over night. IN THE MORNING, bake at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes or until cooked in the middle and fluffy. Serve with toast and fruit and you've got BREAKFAST DONE!  

Monday, November 19, 2012

Cheesy Bacon Meatloaf

 Meatloaf was on the menu frequently while I was growing up (probably because we always had ground beef around)...we ate it so much that I didn't look forward to eating it, EVER. It always tasted "the same" (no offence mom), nothing new, nothing different...just the same ol, same ol each and every time. Needless to say, meatloaf rarely makes its way to my menu BUT... I had a bunch of ground beef that needed to get used up and the first thing that came to mind to cook was...you guessed it...MEAT LOAF! I debated with myself as to whether I should make it or not, finally I decided that it would be "okay" if I shook it up a bit and made it "different" than the "traditional" meatloaf recipe.....I'M SO GLAD I DID! It will now be something I make more often...BUT NOT "TOO" OFTEN. The family raved about it and ate almost the entire pan full (pretty good for only having 3 people here), so I think I'm safe to say, "They ENJOYED IT".

Cheesy Bacon Meatloaf

2 lbs ground beef
1 "sleeve" club crackers, crushed to crumbs
5 eggs
1 1/2 t. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 t. pepper
1/4 t. salt
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. onion powder
3 T. barbecue sauce

1/2 lb bacon, cooked (still in strips)
1-2 c. grated cheese

Spray 1 large loaf pan with cooking spray. Set aside. Combine ground beef, cracker crumbs, seasonings, Worcestershire sauce, and eggs in a medium mixing bowl. Using your HANDS (yes, your hands...BUT CLEAN HANDS) squish everything together until well combined. Place mixture into prepared loaf pan. Top with bacon strips (6-8). Cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes (watch carefully so as to not burn or dry meatloaf out). Sprinkle cheese on top the last 10 minutes of baking, leaving meatloaf uncovered. Serve immediately. 


Friday, November 16, 2012

Crock Pot Creamy Cheesy Chicken

 Yes, ANOTHER crock pot recipe...I tell ya, mine is getting put to use! This recipe screams "comfort food" for sure, chicken, ham, cheese....mmmmmmmmmm!!! Serve over noodles, rice or without either. It will be a hit at your house for sure.

Crock Pot Creamy Cheesy Chicken

6 frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 can  cream of chicken soup
1 cup milk
1 c. cubed ham
2 cup crushed "Cheez it" crackers (2 c. AFTER crushed)
6 slices swiss cheese (pre-sliced packaged cheese)

Mix the cream of chicken soup and milk together in a bowl. Pour 1/3 of soup mixture into the bottom of the crock pot. Layer chicken over sauce. Cover with ham and cheese. Pour remaining soup over everything  . Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours or 2-3 hours on high.  Place cheese slices and sprinkle cracker crumbs on during the last hour. Cover and continue to cook. Serve while hot. 


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Julie's Italian Macaroni Salad

I understand that summer is gone for most of us...BUT you have all those wonderful holiday parties coming up and who doesn't like a GREAT pasta salad for a large pot luck dish?!! I LOVE pot luck ANYTHING...but if I'm bringing something, I like for it to be easy, BUT TASTY. This Italian Macaroni Salad fits both the "easy" and "tasty" categories! Its very versatile and can be served with both burgers or turkey (at least at my house). It pleases both the old and the young alike....everyone loves this Italian Macaroni Salad!

Julie's Italian Macaroni Salad

2 lbs (each box is a pound) salad noodles, cooked according to package directions

1 7oz package pepperoni, each piece cut into fourths
3 large tomatoes, diced
1-2 cucumbers, diced
1 1/2 bottles (16 oz each) Italian vinaigrette dressing (can use fat-free)
2-3 c. grated cheese

Combine COOKED salad noodles, pepperoni, tomatoes, cucumbers and 1 bottle of dressing. Stir until completely mixed. Add cheese and another 1/2 bottle of dressing. Stir and mix completely. Serve immediately. Refrigerate any leftovers. 

*The noodles will absorb the dressing, so when serving leftovers, add more dressing. Leftovers taste great!!


Monday, November 12, 2012

Creamy Green Chili Taco's

Its time to pull out those crock pots....sadly enough, winter seems to have crept up on us and it "Tis The Season" for slow cooker meals. This recipe was a huge hit at my house. Deron said it was "his FAVORITE thing I've ever made"....I don't know if it was because he was starving or if he really thought it was "THE BEST EVER"...either way, there was alot of "mmm...mmm...good's" going on at the dinner table, which is always nice to hear.

Creamy Green Chili Taco's 

5-6 FROZEN boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 1/2 c. green chili enchilada sauce (green sauce)
2 can cream chicken soup
1 pkg. taco seasoning
2 T. maple syrup
1 t. lime juice
2 T. butter
1/2 c. sour cream

flour tortillas
grated cheese

Place FROZEN chicken in the bottom of crock pot. In a mixing bowl combine enchilada sauce, soup, taco seasoning, syrup, lime juice and sour cream. Stir until well combined. Pour over chicken. Add 2 T. butter. Cook for 4 hours on high or until chicken falls apart. Remove chicken from crock pot and place on a plate. Shred with 2 forks. Spray 9x13 baking pan with cooking spray. Place small amount of chicken down the center of each tortilla shell with a small amount of grated cheese. Roll tortilla up. Place in prepared pan. Continue until all tortilla's are filled and rolled. Pour sauce from crock pot over the rolled taco's placed in baking pan. Top with desired amount of grated cheese (we like ALOT of cheese). Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Serve with your favorite taco toppings and a side salad.


Friday, November 9, 2012

Cheesy Biscuits

Just a warning...you CAN'T eat just one of these, try as you might...it just won't happen. THEY are so addictive, so delicious and make any ol' plain meal taste SCRUMPTIOUS. I served them with soup, but they could be served with ANYTHING. They are best when they are HOT right out of the oven, but they warm up in the microwave VERY WELL and taste just as good as they did right from the oven.

Cheddar Biscuits
2 1/2 c. bisquick
4 T. cold butter
1 1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 c. milk
1/4 t. garlic powder

6 T. butter melted (to brush on top of HOT biscuits)

Coat baking sheet with pan coating. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine bisquick and butter in a medium bowl. Using a pastry cutter, combine the two ingredient until crumbly. Add cheese, milk and garlic powder. Mix with a fork until combined. Using a 1/4 c. measuring cup, drop balls onto prepared pan. Press down each ball SLIGHTLY. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned around edges. Melt butter in microwave and brush onto HOT biscuits. Serve with butter for a YUMMY tasting biscuit!


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Coconut French Toast

CAN I JUST SAY, this Coconut French Toast is FABULOUS!!!!! It is crazy good!
If you are a coconut lover, like me...this has to go on your menu for the week.
Its punched full of coconut flavor with a hint of strawberry shortcake ...mmmmm!  
Coconut French Toast

3 eggs
3/4 c. heavy cream
2 t. coconut extract
1/4 t. vanilla
1/4 t. salt
2 c. shredded coconut
6 slices THICK HEAVY BREAD (homemade, bakery or french bread)

1 pkg. danish dessert
2 c. strawberries
whipped topping

Combine eggs, cream, coconut extract, vanilla and salt in a dish. Beat until combined. Place coconut in a pie dish. Dip both sides of bread in cream mixture, then dip both sides into coconut....press so that it will stick to the bread. Cook on a hot griddle sprayed coated with pan coating. Cook 3-4 minutes on each side or until middle of bread is no longer soft and soggy. Serve immediately or keep warm in a 200 degree oven until ready to serve.  Serve topped with strawberry sauce and whipped topping.

Strawberry Sauce:
Prepare Danish Dessert according to direction on box for "fruit sauce". When done, add sliced strawberries. Let sauce cool slightly if desired. (As you can see from my picture, I didn't wait long enough, my whipped topping melted). Pour desired amount on french toast, top with whipped topping.


Monday, November 5, 2012

Crock Pot Asian Chicken

Okay...this picture isn't very appealing, BUT don't let it fool you...this Asian Chicken was very tasty! It fell from the bone, tender with a lot Asian flare! Serve with your favorite Asian side or with mashed potatoes and a green salad, it can even stand on its own. ITS that GOOD!!

Crock Pot Asian Chicken

16-18 chicken drumsticks/wings
1 c. soy sauce
1 T ground ginger
4 cloves minced garlic
6 green onions, minced
3 T. honey
6 T. oil

Combine all ingredients into crock pot. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours...WATCH it because every slow cooker is different. Wings will take less time than drumsticks....serve with your favorite side dish.


Friday, November 2, 2012

Caramel Apple Breakfast Cake

I love the smell of ANYTHING apple and cinnamon baking in the oven, it has such a HEAVENLY scent and reminds me of everything FALLISH! This was a huge hit at my house...Deron said he thought it was one of the best breakfast cakes he has ever eaten. It was great warmed up too....just place a piece in the microwave for 20-30 seconds for ANOTHER wonderful piece of HEAVEN!
I mean really, who doesn't want a piece of this gooey ooey yumminess?!!!

Caramel Apple Breakfast Cake 
Cake Batter:
1/2 c. butter
1 1/2 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
2 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
1 1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. salt
1 c. sour cream
1 t. vanilla
2 c. peeled, cored, chopped apples

Streusel Topping:
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. flour
1/2 t. cinnamon
4 T butter, melted

Caramel Drizzle:
1 jar caramel sauce (the kind you get for ice cream sundaes)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9x13 cake pan with cooking spray. Set aside.

In a bowl combine all dry ingredient, set aside. In another bowl beat butter until smooth. Add brown sugar and beat until fluffy. Add eggs, beat into sugar mixture. Add dry ingredients and sour cream. Add vanilla, mix well. Fold in chopped apples. Spread batter into prepared pan. Top with prepared Streusel. Bake for 35-40 minutes.

Combine all ingredient into a small mixing bowl, stir with a fork until mixture is "crumby". Sprinkle topping over cake batter.

Caramel Drizzle:
Melt caramel sauce in original container (without metal lid or any other metal on it) until its warm and runny. Pour over warm cake before cutting and serving.  Eat UP!