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

Monday, July 30, 2012

Ranch Chicken



Dinner in a crock pot doesn't get better than this...easy, scrumptious and cooks while you go about your day! Make it for dinner tonight.

Ranch Chicken
6-8 chicken breast, (boneless)
2 can cream chicken soup
1/2-3/4 c. milk (just depends on how thick you want your gravy)
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

Friday, July 27, 2012

SWEET Strawberry Salad

I love this time of year when the strawberries are in the stores...there are so many
tasty things you can do with them. This fruit salad is one of my favorites...!

SWEET Strawberry Salad
2 lbs strawberries, cut into bite sized pieces
2 c. cottage cheese
2 1/2 c. whipped topping
1 large box strawberry jello

Mix all ingredient together. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving. This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled for large groups!

Julie~

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Grasshopper Cupcakes

Cupcakes are a fun way to liven up any day...especially GRASSHOPPER CUPCAKES!
I love the brownie bottom paired with the minty middle...so good!

Grasshopper Cupcakes

Brownie Bottom:
1 box brownie mix (9x13 size)
2 eggs
1/2 c. oil
1/4 c. water

Combine all ingredient, stir well and set aside.

Middle Layer:



2 1/4 c. flour
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 t. salt
3 1/2 t. baking powder

In a large mixing bowl, combine ingredient and stir.

1 1/4 c. milk
Oil
1 cube BUTTER, softened but NOT melted
1 T vanilla
3 eggs
Green food coloring
1 t. mint extract 

Pour the milk in a 2 c. measuring cup...then add enough oil to bring the liquid up to 1 1/3 c. Add the milk/oil mixture, butter and vanilla to flour mixture. Beat on medium for 2 minutes. Add eggs, continue beating for 2 more minutes. Add mint extract and desired amount of food coloring, mix well. Set aside.


Frosting Layer:

2 lb. powdered sugar
3/4 c. shortening
1 T. vanilla
1/2 c. milk
green food coloring
1/2-1 t. mint extract

Mix all ingredient together, except food coloring. When frosting is smooth, add food coloring and mix until desired color is achieved. Set aside. 


Place liners in muffin tin, spray liners with cooking spray. Spoon the brownie mixture into greased cupcake liners, filling each one about 1/3 full. Pour or spoon cake batter (middle layer) over brownie layer until liners are 2/3 full. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until middle of cupcake bounces back when touched. Cool completely. Frost and decorate as desired.


Julie~



Monday, July 23, 2012

Orange Creamsicle Fruit Dip

Fruit dip is always a fun addition to any party, picnic or family dinner.
This one just happens to be one of my families favorite.

Orange Creamsicle Fruit Dip
1 (8 oz) whipped topping
1 small package vanilla pudding
1 (6 oz) container of frozen (concentrated) orange juice, slightly thawed

Banana's 
strawberries
grapes
mango's
orange slices
pineapple

Using an electric mixer, mix whipped topping, pudding and orange juice together until smooth and fluffy. Serve immediately with your favorite fruit. 

Julie~

Friday, July 20, 2012

Coconut Lemon Waffles

Waffles aren't just "waffles" anymore...there are so many ways to 
make them. This recipe for Coconut Lemon Waffles is a little different, but SOOO good!
If you love coconut, you will love this!

Coconut Lemon Waffles

1 1/2 c. flour
1/3 c. sugar
1 1/2 t. baking powder
3/4 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/3 c. shredded coconut
1 1/2 T. melted butter
2 eggs
1/2 t. vanilla
1 1/4 c. buttermilk
1 T lemon juice

Mix all ingredient in a bowl until well combined. Cook waffles according to your waffle iron instructions, making sure to spray waffle iron griddle with cooking spray before cooking waffles. 

Coconut Icing:
1 container vanilla frosting
1/2 c. shredded coconut

Scrape frosting from container and place in a microwave safe dish. Melt frosting in microwave until its a thick syrup consistency. Stir in coconut. Serve over HOT buttered waffles...mmmmmmmmm good!

Julie~

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Macho Nacho

This recipe is a great way to use up that left over roast beef from Sunday dinner.
Its different, its delicious and its EASY!
Your family will LOVE IT, mine did!

Macho Nacho

Corn tortilla shells
oil
roast beef, or shredded meat of any kind
diced tomatoes
shredded cheese
diced onion
diced avocado
sour cream

Cut corn tortillas into triangles (like a pizza), deep fry in HOT oil until crisp...like a chip. Place hot chips on a paper towel (I put my paper towel on a cookie sheet) to soak up any oil. Apply salt if desired, but do it while chips are hot or it won't stick very well. Continue frying until you have the amount of chips that you want/need. Make cream sauce.

Cream Sauce:

1 large can green enchilada sauce
1 c. chicken broth
1 1/2 c. heavy cream
1 c. shredded Cheddar Cheese
2-3 T flour
Combine the enchilada sauce, cream and broth in a sauce pan and heat. Stir constantly or it will burn (experience tells me this). When cream sauce starts to boil-add cheese and flour, stir in with a whisk. Continue to stir constantly until sauce thickens. Remove from heat, pour over cooked chips, add meat and other toppings as desired.


Julie~

Monday, July 16, 2012

Homemade Chocolate Frosting

Don't mock my decorating job...I don't claim to be a fancy pansy decorator...and this is about as good as it gets. BUT the frosting IS what I want to talk about, not because its cute, but because its so stinkin' good!!! My 15 year old daughter is a CHOCOLATE on CHOCOLATE lover (me on the other hand likes WHITE frosting on my CHOCOLATE), for her birthday she requested chocolate cake with chocolate frosting...so I hunted and hunted until I found one that I liked...and WALAA...you get this! It a keeper!!

Homemade Chocolate Frosting

1 c. butter, softened BUT not melted
3 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/2 c. cocoa
1/2 t. salt
2 t. vanilla
4 T heavy cream

Cream butter for 3 minutes with an electric hand mixer (or Kitchen Aide). Add powdered sugar and cocoa, mix on low (or your dry ingredients will cover the kitchen). As the dry ingredients is incorporated into the butter, increase the speed. Add vanilla, salt and cream. Beat for 3 minutes or until fluffy. if your frosting needs to be more stiff add a little more powdered sugar, a tablespoon at a time. If its too stiff, add more cream, a tablespoon at a time. I didn't have to do either. Frost your favorite cake or put between 2 cookies to make a tasty cookie sandwich. 

Julie~

Friday, July 13, 2012

Cookie and Cream Cupcake


This little cupcake is just as tasty as it is cute! I love that this cupcake has a sweet surprise on the bottom...do you see it??? ITS AN OREO...who would have thought to turn an EXTREMELY great cookie into a cupcake.........YUM!! You have to try these out, they are a huge winner!!


Cookies and Cream Cupcake

24 Oreo halves, with cream still attached
2 1/4 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 cube butter, softened (NOT melted)
1 2/3 c. sugar
3 egg whites
2 t. vanilla
1 c. buttermilk
20 Oreo's, chopped (NOT crushed, just chopped)

Fill 2 (12 each) cupcake pans with liners. SPRAY each one first with pan coating. Place half an Oreo (frosting side UP) in each liner. 

In mixing bowl combine butter and sugar and beat for 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Blend in egg whites and vanilla. Place all dry ingredient in a separate mixing bowl and beat to combine.  Beat in 1/2 dry ingredients, add 1/2 the milk, add the rest of the dry ingredients and then the rest of the milk. GENTLY fold in chopped oreos with a spoon or rubber spatula. Don't over mix or you will have chocolate looking cookies. Fill each cupcake liner 2/3 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes. Cool completely before frosting.

Frosting: 

2 lb. powdered sugar
3/4 c. shortening
1 T. vanilla
1/2 c. milk

Mix all ingredient together until smooth. Pipe onto cupcakes and garnish with crushed Oreo's (I used the other halves from the ones I put in the bottom of the liners).

Julie~

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Raspberry Muffins


Try these delicious warm raspberry muffins for breakfast, a great way to start your day!

Raspberry Muffins

2 c. flour
3/4 c. sugar
1 T baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. nutmeg
1 t. raspberry extract
2 c. fresh or frozen raspberries (without the syrup) DO NOT thaw if frozen
3/4 c. milk
1/3 c. oil
1 t. vanilla
1 egg

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners, spray with pan coating (helps prevent the muffin from sticking to the paper). 

Put all dry ingredient in mixing bowl, mix well. Add raspberries, stir gently with a fork. In another bowl add milk, oil, vanilla, raspberry extract and egg, stir until ingredient is well mixed. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredient and gently stir, just until moistened. Fill liners 2/3 full. Bake for 13-17 minutes or until top springs back when touched. Serve warm.

Julie~

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Kitchen Tip-- Clean Microwave


The Microwave is one of those appliances I forget to clean until I go to use it and realize it could use a good scrub. By that time it's usually caked with splatters from all sorts of food. To remove all that grime simply fill a microwave safe dish with 1-2 cups water and 1 Tbsp. lemon juice. Heat in microwave for 5 minutes or until water is boiling. Let sit with the door closed for 3-5 minutes. The steam will loosen all the grime and the lemon juice will leave a clean scent. After 3-5 minutes remove the water and the turn table. Wipe microwave with a wet rag. Wash turn table and return to microwave. If you still have a food stuck, repeat process. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Chicken Noodle Soup

Even though its not "really" soup season yet, its sometimes nice to have something like this on a cool rainy day.

Chicken Noodle Soup

3-4 lb chicken (I used boneless, skinless chicken) cut into small pieces
5 c. chicken broth
1 lb baby carrots, cut into bite sized pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 stalk celery, sliced or diced
2 chicken bullion cubes
1 medium onion, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
onion powder to taste
garlic powder to taste
season salt to taste

1 lb. noodles

Put all ingredient (EXCEPT noodles) in the crock pot and cook for 6-8 hours on low. About 20 minutes before soup is done, cook noodles (whatever kind you want), according to package instructions. Drain noodles and add to soup just before serving. Serve with grilled cheese sandwiches.

Julie~

Friday, July 6, 2012

Lemon Pancakes

Enjoy the refreshing citrus flavor of these fun flavored pancakes!

Lemon Pancakes

3 T melted butter
1 egg
1 1/4 c. buttermilk
1 c. flour
1 t. vanilla
1/2 t. baking soda
1 1/2 t. baking powder
zest from 1 lemon

Combine all ingredient except for zest. Blend well. Stir in zest, just until combined. Let sit for 5 minutes. 

Cook on a hot griddle just like other pancakes. Serve with butter and warm lemon glaze. 

Lemon Glaze:
1 c. powdered sugar
enough lemon juice to make it runny

Stir ingredient together. Warm in the microwave for 1 minute or until warm. 

Enjoy!

Julie~

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Crispy Cheesy Chicken


I come from a cheese loving family. It is not merely a topping, we consider it the biggest part of the meal. We need at least as much cheese as the rest of the ingredients, if not more. So of course this recipe caught my eye. Anything rolled in cheese is a winner in my eyes. This chicken absolutely did not disappoint. Its cheesy crusted goodness will be making its way back to my dinner table many times. I could not get enough-- and I'm sure you'll feel the same! 

Crispy Cheesy Chicken 

4 large chicken breasts
2 sleeves Ritz crackers
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/2 cup milk
3 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 tsp. parsley

Sauce: 
1 can (10 oz) cream of chicken soup
2 Tbsp. sour cream
2 Tbsp. butter

Cut chicken into thick strips. Crush crackers into fine crumbs-- add salt and pepper. Dip each piece of chicken into milk, then cheese, then crackers. Cheese and crackers may try to crumble off. Use your hands and pack them onto the chicken. No worries if it falls off in the pan. It will melt and stick together. Place in a greased 9x13 pan. Sprinkle with parsley. Cover pan with tinfoil. Bake at 400 for 35 minutes. Remove tinfoil and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until edges of chicken are browned. While chicken is cooking, combine cream of chicken soup, sour cream and butter into a saucepan. Cook until hot, serve over warm chicken. 


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Butter Dinner Rolls


HAPPY 4th of July to YOU!!!
I hope your day is full of fun food, great company and many wonderful holiday memories!!

Even though today is a holiday, you MIGHT still be doing a bit of baking in preparation for some evening festivities that you might be having! If you are wanting some tasty rolls to go with dinner tonight (or any night) these rolls are TO DIE for...so scrumptious and full of yumminess! I think I ate a 1/2 dozen all by myself. They are perfect served hot or cold and will taste fabulous with anything you pair them up with. ENJOY!

Crescent Dinner Rolls

1 1/2 c. milk
3/4 c. sugar
1 egg
1 T. salt
2 T. yeast +1 T. sugar
2 C warm water
8-10 c. flour
1 c. butter

Place milk, sugar and 1/2 cup butter (cubed) in a microwave safe bowl. Cook on high in the microwave for 2 minutes. Pour hot mixture into your bread mixer (Kitchen Aid or Bosch), add 2 cups flour, 1 egg and 1 T salt. Mix to combine. Let rest. WHILE mixture is resting....place yeast in a bowl with 2 c. warm water and 1 T. sugar. Let it sit for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, add to the flour mixture. Add remaining flour,1 cup at a time, and stirring in-between. DON'T add too much flour, just add until mixture pulls away from the bowl (mine took 8 1/2 cups). Let mix for 6 minutes after it starts to pull away from the bowl. Place dough in a larger bowl that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Spray the top of the dough with cooking spray and place plastic wrap over the top (making sure its on tightly). Let dough raise until double (about 45 minutes
to 1 hour...all depends on the temperature of your room). Spray your counter with cooking spray (just your working space). Place dough on counter and divide into 4 balls. Rolling 1 ball at a time (complete entire process for each ball before starting another one), out flat into a circle. Once its rolled out, spread top with butter from end to end (used about 2 T butter per circle). Cut the dough into quarters using a pizza cutter. Then cut each quarter into 3 pieces (like you would a Pizza). You should have 12 tirangles from each circle of dough.  Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray. Starting at the larger end of the dough triangle, start to roll (making it look like a crescent roll). Place each roll on the baking sheet. You should be able to fit 24 rolls per pan, 3 rolls across, 8 deep (if its a large pan). Continue process with other balls of dough until all of your rolls are made. Let rolls raise for another 30-45 minutes (or until rolls are touching). Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Watch them closely so they don't burn. While they are still hot, run a stick of butter over the tops of them for a rich buttery glaze. MMmmmmm!!

Julie~  

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Easy Parmesan Knots


I'm a sucker for carbs. Even more so if they are quick and easy. Which is exactly why I absolutely adore this recipe. These are the perfect knots to add to any dish. They were absolutely amazing and we had zero left over. Which gives me even more reason to make them again tomorrow. 

Easy Parmesan Knots

1 tube refrigerated biscuits
1/4 cup canola oil
3 Tbsp. Parmesan Cheese
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. parsley flakes

Roll each biscuit into a 12 inch rope and tie into a knot-- tuck the ends under. Place 2 inches apart on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 400 for 8 minutes. While cooking combine remaining ingredients. Brush onto hot knots. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Chocolate Cheesecake Dessert

I love this dessert, especially in the summer when its hot and I just want something light and fluffy to eat while I sit in the yard swing and watch the sun go down. It hits the spot!

Chocolate Cheesecake Dessert

Crust:
1 c. chopped walnuts
3 T sugar
1/2 c. butter
1 c. flour

Spray 9x13 baking pan with cooking spray. Place butter and flour in a medium dish. Using a pastry blender cut in the butter and flour, add sugar and mix well. Add the walnuts and mix. Press mixture into the bottom of prepared pan. Bake for 13 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool completely. 

Cream Cheese layer:
1 pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 c. powdered sugar
1 8oz. whipped topping

Add all ingredient into a mixing bowl and beat until light and fluffy. Spread onto cooled crust. Set aside.

Cheesecake layer:
1 package instant cheesecake pudding mix (5.1 oz)
2 c. milk

Add pudding and milk to mixing bowl. Beat with electric mixer until pudding is set. Spread onto cream cheese layer. Set aside.

Chocolate layer:
1 package instant chocolate pudding mix (5.1)
2 c. milk

Add pudding and milk to mixing bowl. Beat with electric mixer until pudding is set. Spread onto cheesecake layer. Top with whipped topping and chocolate shavings. Refrigerate for an hour before serving. 

Julie~