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

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Ranch Pork Chops


I almost feel guilty to call this a recipe because its SOOOO easy....I've always assumed that recipes have to have more than 5 ingredient to be classified as "a recipe"...BUT happy for me, they don't! This recipe has only 3 ingredients and cooks all day in the crock pot...making it a MUST DO  recipe AND the best part is...it tastes superb!

Ranch Pork Chops
6-8 pork chops (boneless)
2 can cream chicken soup
2 packets dry Ranch Dressing Mix

Place everything in the crock pot and cook on high for 4-6 hours...its that easy. Serve over mashed potatoes, rice or pasta.

Julie

Monday, May 28, 2012

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes


Pink lemonade is one of my favorite summer drinks so when I saw this recipe I knew it would be a WINNER for me...and it was! I love the tangy lemonade flavor, it reminded me of everything summer. I have to admit I had to eat more than one "just to see if I REALLY LOVED THEM" (at least that's the excuse I gave myself as I gobbled down a few of them). The family also helped DEVOUR them without thinking twice about it...Deron told me these were his NEW favorite cupcake and he wanted them to be on my "make often" list...I guess you could say they were a HUGE HIT!

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes
2 1/2 c. flour
1 1/4 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/8 t. salt
1 1/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. + 2 T. oil
5 egg whites
3/4 c. frozen pink lemonade concentrate, THAWED (just leave on the counter for a bit...it thaws quickly)
1 t. vanilla
1/2 c. + 2 T. buttermilk
red food coloring

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place all dry ingredient in a mixing bowl, stir and set aside. In a seperate mixing bowl combine sugar, oil, eggs whites, pink lemonade and vanilla. Stir until combined. Add half the buttermilk, stir. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately until everything is mixed together. Don't over mix or you cupcakes won't be light and fluffy. Add just enough food coloring to turn the batter pink (more if you want it MORE pink). Line muffin tins with liners. Fill each liner 2/3 full of batter. Bake for 15 minutes. Cool completely and frost with Pink Lemonade Frosting (recipe below). 

Pink Lemonade Frosting

4 c. powdered sugar
7-9 T pink lemonade concentrate, thawed (more or less depending on your tastes)
1/2 c. shortening

Combine all ingredient. Mix until light and fluffy. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes. Decorate with colored sugar or sprinkles OR leave plain. 

Julie~

Friday, May 25, 2012

Banana Peach Smoothy

Light and fresh and perfect for breakfast...
you're going to love this yummy peach banana combination!

Banana Peach Smoothie

1/2 large can peaches with juice
6 banana's
16 oz. vanilla yogurt
2 t. vanilla

Place in blender in this order: peaches WITH juice, yogurt, vanilla and banana's. Blend on high until all fruit is blended and smooth. Serve immediately.

Julie~

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Chicken Pillow


I had never heard of a "Chicken Pillow"....BUT they sounded tasty and "new" so I thought I would give them a try. Its a little twist on a "chicken turnover" and a fun way to shake up the dinner menu.

Chicken Pillows
3 cans of crescent rolls
8 oz. cream cheese
1/4 c. butter
1 can cream chicken soup
dash pepper
dash season salt
dash onion powder
dash garlic powder
4-5 c. shredded chicken, cooked
2 eggs
3 c. cornflakes, crushed
1 c. potato flakes

Sauce:
1 + 1/2 can cream of chicken soup
1/4 c. sour cream
3/4 c. milk
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven 400 degrees. Softened butter and cream cheese (DON'T MELT...just softened). Place 1 can cream chicken soup in a mixing bowl and add softened butter and softened cream cheese. Stir until completely mixed.. Add shredded chicken and stir until combined. Place crescent rolls (stretched out) on baking sheet. Place a spoon full of chicken mixture onto the center of crescent rolls. Fold over the roll around mixture and press down ends and sides to make a "pillow". Beat eggs and place in a pie tin with 2-3 tablespoons milk. Place crushed corn flakes and potato flakes in a separate pie tin.  Dip each "pillow" into the egg mixture and then into the corn flake mixture. Place on a baking sheet sprayed with pan coating. Repeat until all "pillows" are on the baking sheet. Bake the pillows for 13-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve topped with "pillow sauce".

For Sauce:
Place cream chicken, sour cream and milk in a sauce pan. Cook and stir. When it comes to a boil, add cheese and remove from heat. Continue to stir until cheese is melted. 

Julie~ 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Mint Truffles


Can't beat these palate pleasing Mint Truffles when your cravings get the best of you! These satisfy both the "mint chocolate" lover as well as the "sweet tooth" demon thats in all of us!

Mint Truffles 

1 (9 oz) package THIN MINT Girl Scout cookies OR Mint Oreo Sandwich Cookies
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 (12 oz) package Guittard's Green Mint Chocolate Chips

Crush cookies until they are just crumbs (I used my food processor). Mix the cream cheese and cookie crumbs in a large mixing bowl. Roll into small balls and place them on a baking sheet (sprayed with pan coating or lined with wax paper) and place them in the refrigerator for approximately 30 minutes. Melt the green chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Heat the chips for 30 minutes, then stir....repeat process until chips are melted. Roll each "cold chocolate ball" in the melted chocolate and return to baking sheet. Stick truffles back in refrigerator until chocolate hardens. 

*Note this recipe makes more than you think it would....I wouldn't recommend doubling it unless you are making them for a LARGE crowd...otherwise you will be eating ALOT of them.

Julie~

Friday, May 18, 2012

Copycat Chik-Fil-A Chicken Nuggets

I don't eat at Chik-Fil-A very often, BUT when I do...I always go for the chicken nuggets. When I found a recipe for them, I knew they were a "HAVE TO TRY". I found the recipe HERE and they totally and completely tasted just like the real thing...THEY are amazing!!! Now I have no reason to ever go to Chik-Fil-A for chicken nuggets again.

Copycat Chik-Fil-A Chicken Nuggets

3 eggs
1 c. milk
1 c. buttermilk
8 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
1 1/4 c. flour
2-3 T powdered sugar
2 t. salt
1 t. pepper
1/2 t. chili powder
1 t. garlic powder
oil for frying

In a large bowl, whisk milks and eggs together. Put the milk mixture and the chicken in a ziplock bag and soak in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Make sure all the chicken is covered. In another bowl combine the dry ingredient and whisk together. In a heavy pan, heat oil. Remove chicken from fridge and place about 8 -10 pieces in flour mixture. Coat completely then place into the hot oil. Cook each side for 3 minutes or until golden brown. Place chicken on a paper towel to soak up any oil. Repeat until all chicken is cooked. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.

Julie~

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Pumpkin Roll Bars


You all know that I am a huge fan of pumpkin...and it just so happens that pumpkin rolls are one of my favorite pumpkin treats. This moist pumpkin bar tastes just like a pumpkin roll...but only 1/2 the work (score!)...its a keeper!

Pumpkin Roll Bars
6 T. butter, melted
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
1/4 c. water
2 c. flour
2 t. cinnamon
1 1/2 t. ground cloves
1 1/2 t. ground ginger
1 1/2 t. ground nutmeg
2 t. vanilla
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt

Cream cheese filling:

8 oz. cream cheese
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 t. vanilla
1 eggs

FOR CAKE: Spray 9x13 baking pan with pan coating. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, vanilla, water and pumpkin, beat until smooth. In a separate bowl combine all dry ingredient and whisk. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix until well blended. Spread 2/3 of batter into the prepared pan.  

In a bowl, beat ingredient for filling. Drop by spoonful over the pumpkin batter and spread the best you can. Drop remaining pumpkin batter over the top of that and spread (its a little tricky, just do the best you can). Using a butter knife, swirl together the cream cheese and top layer of pumpkin. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until done. Cool completely before cutting into bars. Refrigerate leftovers. 

Julie~

Monday, May 14, 2012

Samoas Cupcakes


Hi, I'm Julie and I'm a cupcake-aholic....NO, I'm not proud...but I am happy and I wear a smile on my face every time I get to eat a cupcake...yes, pretty much any cupcake (that doesn't come from a box)! THERE are so many tasty little morsels out there that are in the cupcake world...there are chocolate cupcakes, pumpkin cupcakes, lemonade cupcakes, white cupcakes...the list goes on and on. THIS cupcakes is ONE of my favorites (but lets be honest here...they are all ONE of my FAVORITES)...Give it a try and I think you'll add it to your list of favorites too~

PS...I had to post 2 pictures because they were not only delicious, but they turned out
so perfectly adorable too (which doesn't always happen when I'm creating).




Samoas Cupcakes


2 c. flour
3/4 c. cocoa
1 1/2 cubes butter
1 3/4 c. sugar
1/2 t. salt
1 1/2 t. baking soda
2 t. vanilla
1 1/2 t. coconut extract
4 eggs
1 1/2 c. milk

In a medium bowl combine flour and cocoa, whisk. Set aside. In another bowl cream together butter, sugar, salt, baking soda, vanilla and coconut extract, beat until light and fluffy (about 4 minutes). Add eggs and beat. Slowly combine dry ingredient, altering with milk. Beat until combined. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pan with paper liners. SPRAY liners with cooking spray and fill each liner approximately 2/3 full. Bake 15-17 minutes or until done. Cool completely and frost with caramel frosting (recipe below).

Caramel Frosting:

2 cubes butter
1/2 t. salt
2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. milk
2 t. vanilla
4 c. powdered sugar
1 c. shredded coconut
1/4 c. chocolate chips

Melt butter over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar and salt. Heat until boiling, stir continually. Cook on low until sugar is dissolved. Stir in milk and return to a boil, continue to stir so frosting won't stick to bottom of pan. Remove pan from heat and add vanilla. Stir. Cool  for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the frosting has cooled, transfer to a mixing bowl. Add powdered sugar and beat until light and fluffy. If its too thick add a little bit more milk, too thin...add more powdered sugar until you get your desired consistency. Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes. 

To toast coconut: Spread coconut onto a small cookie sheet or round cake pan. Toast in a 350 degree oven, stir often, until coconut is even in brown color...it doesn't take long. Mine was done in about 7 minutes. Set aside and cool. 

Heat chocolate chips in the microwave for 30 seconds. Use for drizzling over the top of frosted cupcakes. 

Julie~ 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Bacon Cheddar Mac and Cheese

My Dad makes the best homemade Mac and Cheese. Growing up, it was one of my favorite comfort foods! I didn't ever learned to make it...therefore boxed mac and cheese was the only mac and cheese I've really eaten since being an adult...UNTIL THIS recipe fell into my lap! YUM, YUM, YUM is all I have to say! Its a little taste of heaven on your plate!

Bacon Cheddar Mac and Cheese
1 lb shell pasta noodles
1 lb bacon, cooked and drained
3 c. heavy cream
2 c. firmly packed cheddar cheese
1/4 t. pepper

Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain BUT DON'T RINSE. Rinsing will wash away the starches that will help thicken the sauce. Return noodles to empty pot. Cook bacon until good and crispy. Pour off fat from the pan but leave the drippings. Place cooked bacon on paper towel to absorb the grease. Pour heavy cream into the pan that you cooked the bacon in. Bring cream to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until the cream is slightly thickened (about 2-3 minutes). Add the cheese and bacon. Stir well and cook over medium heat , stirring until cheese is melted and the mixture has thickened. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Add sauce to noodles. Stir to combine the sauce with the noodles. Place over a low heat and simmer for 2 minutes to thicken the sauce and to give the noodles time to absorb some of the flavors. Stir to keep from sticking. Serve as a main dish or a side dish...either way your going to adore this tasty comfort food!

Julie~

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Chili's Copycat Salsa

Chips and salsa is a favorite snack of mine. I love going to restaurants that give you a big bowl of of them while you wait for your food to be served. Personally, I've never had Chili's Salsa but I love "copycat" recipes because I figure if someone goes to the bother to figure out how to make something that a restaurant serves, it must be delish!! AND this fabulous recipe is just that...DELISH! We ate almost the entire batch in one sitting.....NEXT TIME I will double the batch so there are plenty of leftovers!
Chili's Copycat Salsa
4 cans (14.5 oz each) whole tomatoes, drained
(I just used diced...but it won't matter- you have to blend them anyway)
2 small cans diced chili's
7 jalapeno's, chopped (make sure you take OUT the seeds)
1 medium yellow onion, diced
3 t. garlic powder
3 t. salt
3-4 t. cumin (more if you like the taste of cumin...I DO)
1 t. sugar
3 t. lime juice

Put all ingredient in a large bowl, stir to combine. In small batches, put some in the blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Pour processed salsa into quart jars and place in the refrigerator....OR EAT (thats what I did). Serve with tortilla chips.

Julie~

Monday, May 7, 2012

Pineapple Carrot Cake Muffins

Hot muffins with a slab of butter smothered on the inside....sounds like breakfast to me!

Pineapple Carrot Cake Muffins
2 eggs
3/4 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. flour
1 c. grated carrot
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon
2/3 c. oil
1-2 t. vanilla (I like more)
1/2 c. DRAINED crushed pineapple

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs and sugar until smooth. Add remaining ingredient. Mix until moistened. Line muffin tin with paper liners. Fill each liner 2/3 full. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until center of muffin bounces back when touched. Serve with a thick slab of butter.

Julie

Friday, May 4, 2012

Pineapple Blueberry Smoothy

Smoothie's scream "SPRING AND SUMMER" to me...but they can really be eaten any ole' time!
This light and fresh smoothie has a fun pineapple blueberry flavor to get your taste buds going in the morning!

Pineapple Blueberry Smoothie

1 c. pineapple, drained..but reserved (crushed or chunks)
2 banana's
1/4 c. pineapple juice (just use from what you drain from the canned pineapple)
1/2 c. frozen blueberries
1 c. vanilla yogurt

Place in blender in this order: juice, yogurt, blueberries, pineapple and banana's. Blend on high until all fruit is blended and smooth. Serve immediately.

Julie~

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Kim's Chicken Taco Soup

My daughter Kim is getting married soon and has been sharpening up her cooking skills. She is a wonderful cook with lots of tasty ideas...this just happens to be one of them. She sent me the recipe to try and the family LOVED IT! This Chicken Taco Soup is full of flavor and left my mouth watering for more...good thing I made a big batch so there was leftovers.

Kim's Chicken Taco Soup

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast, FROZEN
  • 1 (1 oz) envelope ranch dressing mix
  • 1 (1 oz) envelope taco seasoning mix
  • 1 medium onion , diced
  • 2 (14 ½ ounce) can Rotel Tomatoes w/chilies (I blended them ALONG WITH THE ONION in the blender...the family isn't a big fan of chunks)
  • 2 (14 ½ ounce) can black beans
  • 1 (14 ½ ounce) can Kidney Beans
  • 1 (14 ½ ounce) can Baked Beans
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • Frito Chips
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Chopped Avocado

  • Put everything in crock pot in order listed. Do NOT rinse or drain beans. DO NOT STIR. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.Take chicken out and shred with two forks (or you can shred it in the crock pot, that's what I did). Put chicken back in, stir, and serve. Top with Frito chips, chopped avocado and grated cheese.
  • Thanks Kim for this SUPER TASTY recipe!

  • Julie~


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