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

Friday, August 31, 2012

Black Bean Taco Salad

This Black Bean Taco Salad is easy and the family will ADORE it! We ate it as a taco
salad the first night and the next night I 
put it into a burrito, for a completely different meal...its very versatile and taste FABULOUS!

Black Bean Taco Salad

2 lbs ground beef, cooked until done and drained
2 c. cooked rice
1 t. oregano
1 T sugar
2 t. chili powder
2 t. salt
1 t. cumin
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained

Combine all ingredient in a large pan and heat until warm.  THEN place on top of tortilla chips, a bed of lettuce, top with cheese, tomatoes, sliced olives, avocado's etc...anything that you would put in a taco salad. Serve with RANCH or eat plain. SCRUMPTIOUS!! You can use it for so many different meals, don't throw away the left overs!!

Julie~

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Kim's Cheesy Bread Sticks

Our family loves bread......actually we just really love food of any kind!
Kim sent me this recipe to try out and it was a winner right from the start!
These bread sticks are so easy and yummy 
and it doesn't take long for them to disappear from the pan. 
If your family loves food like ours does, you might want to make these for dinner.

Kim's Cheesy Bread Sticks

1 1/2 c. warm water
2 T sugar
1 T yeast
1/2 t. salt
3 1/2 - 4 c. flour
1/4 c. butter (real stuff)
3/4 c. grated Parmesan or Mozzarella cheese
1 T garlic powder
1/2 T basil

Mix the water, sugar and yeast together in mixing bowl (Bosch or Kitchen Aide work best). Let it sit for 5 minutes. Add the salt  ad flour, one cup at a time until its well incorporated. Mix on high for 5 minutes then let dough rest for 5 minutes. Melt butter and pour half of it onto a Texas sheet cake baking pan (VERY LARGE cookie sheet with higher sides). Place the dough in the center of the pan. Let it rest for 2-3 minutes. Letting the dough sit makes it easier to shape. Spread the dough out flat onto the pan until it reaches all of the edges. (Doing all the spreading and cutting on these bread sticks while they are in the pan makes cleaning up your counter a very small job!) Pour the other half of the butter over the dough. Spread it around with your hands. Mix seasonings together and sprinkle over the dough.. With a pizza cutter, cut the dough into "bread sticks". Place pan with dough on it in a 170 degree (yes, that's 170 degrees) oven for 7-10 minutes. The bread sticks should raise about 1 inch. Turn oven up to 350 degrees and bake for 7- 8 minutes, sprinkle with cheese, then return to oven for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Let bread sticks cool for 5 minutes, then redefine your cutting lines with a pizza cutter.    

Julie~

Monday, August 27, 2012

Black Bean and Corn Dip

This recipe came to me in a very round about way...all three ladies are AWESOME cooks and so I am going to give credit to them all. We went on a picnic with our dear neighbors, the Allred's, Lisa brought this scrumptious dip that I totally fell in love with, so I got the recipe from her. She got it from another dear friend, Kristen...who got it from her sister-in-law, Angie....SO THANKS TO THESE three fine ladies, I am passing the recipe on to you! YOU will LOVE this Black Bean and Corn Dip (don't know if thats the REAL name...but I dubbed it that)...I seriously just wanted to eat it with a spoon...and I sort of did (but we aren't talking about that). Its got just the right kick to spice it up and melts in your mouth! A MUST TRY for sure!!

Black Bean and Corn Dip
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
2 c. grated pepper jack cheese (I just used the "pre-grated" stuff in a bag...1 bag equals 2 cups)
1 bell pepper (yellow or red are best)...this gives it a crunch, you don't want to leave it out
1 small bag of frozen corn, partially thawed
1 c. REAL MAYONNAISE
season salt to taste

Mix all ingredient together. Serve with tortilla chips (my favorite are the ones that are "scoops"). 

Julie~

Friday, August 24, 2012

Summer Spinach Salad

This recipe is dedicated to our Seminary teacher here in town, Brother H. I promised him some great summer salad recipes for summer....AND I failed to keep this promise, BUT I DID make this one...with him in mind. Its packed full of flavor, yummy greens and fruit and topped with an awesome dressing. 
SO... Brother H....EAT up and enjoy!
Better late than never, right?!

Summer Spinach Salad

3/4 bag baby spinach
1 bag "Spring Mix" lettuce
1 lb sliced strawberries
1 can mandarin oranges (drained of course)
sliced or slivered almonds
feta cheese (as much or as little as you want)

Toss together. Serve with maple dressing (recipe below).

Dressing:
5 T. maple syrup
10 T. red wine vinegar
5 T. oil
1 1/4. t. salt
1 1/4 t. pepper

Mix together. Add to salad when serving or put on individual servings. 


Julie~



Thursday, August 23, 2012

Cornbread


The other night my Hubby asked me to make cornbread for dinner. I was feeling particularly lazy that day and put up a fight. I didn't have all the ingredients for the cornbread recipe I use so I was sure I could get out of it. In a quick show of love I searched pinterest and found this amazing looking recipe that looked so easy I could even in my lazy state I could make it. It was absolutely amazing. It was moist and dense and absolutely everything a good cornbread should be. It was so easy and quick that I have permanently made it my go-to cornbread recipe. Give it a try-- I promise it will become yours too! 

Cornbread
1 cup cornmeal
3 cups flour
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2/3 cup oil
6 Tbsp. melted butter
4 eggs
2 1/2 cups milk

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Mix cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together in a bowl. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the oil, butter, eggs and milk. Stir until it is just mixed. Bake in a 9x13 pan for 35 minutes. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Easy Peasy Chicken Taco Soup

Its getting that time again when we are starting to think "soup". 
This is a super easy soup that won't disappoint.

Easy Peasy Chicken Taco Soup

1 can corn, don't drain
1 can black beans
1 whole rotisserie chicken (meat taken off the bones)
1 package taco seasoning
1 46 oz tomato juice

DUMP all ingredient in a large sauce pan, cook until HOT. Serve topped with corn chips and grated cheese if desired. 

Julie~

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Crock Pot Chicken Cordon Bleu


Who doesn't love a good Crock Pot recipe? I found this weight watcher recipe here and knew I just had to make it. It was absolutely amazing! For only 7 points plus you can't get any better than that. (The original recipe called for blue cheese crumbles instead of mozzarella cheese-- my Hubby won't eat that so I replaced it with mozzarella, that may effect the points plus value. I canceled my online subscription or I would have totally checked that out for ya!) Weight Watchers or not this is a recipe for everyone! SO worth the 5 minutes it will take you to throw it together! 


Crock Pot Chicken Cordon Bleu

4 boneless/skinless chicken breasts
1 can 98% fat free cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup fat free milk
4 slices extra lean ham
1 cup dry bread stuffing mix
1/2 cup mozzarella 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 slices of ham and cheese. Pour remaining soup over everything  Sprinkle the stuffing on top. Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours or 2-3 hours on high. 


Monday, August 20, 2012

Bacon Onion Dip

Need a little tasty dip to eat as you watch all your favorite TV shows...this might just be the one
to do you in. Its full of that yummy smokey flavor that gets you hooked every time.

Bacon Onion Dip

1 8oz cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 c. sour cream
1 T. liquid smoke
1/2 lb. cooked, crumbled bacon
1 c. grated cheddar cheese
1 t. fresh chives, chopped

Mix all ingredient together with an electric mixer. Beat until well combined. Serve with your favorite potato chip or cracker. 

Julie~

Friday, August 17, 2012

Trix Krispies

I found this recipe on pinterest...its out there everywhere. I thought I would give it a try...it didn't fail when it came to satisfying my taste buds. I think I liked these Trix Krispies better than the marshmallow rice krispies that I am use to eating. These were fun, fruity and NOT just for KIDS!

Trix Krispies

10 c. marshmallows (mini)
1/4 c. butter
6 c. cereal

Place butter and marshmallows in a large sauce pan. Heat and stir until melted. Add cereal and stir until combined. Pour into a greased 9x13 pan. Press cereal down. Cool and cut into pieces. ENJOY!

Julie~

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Chocolate MAYONNAISE Cake

My mom used to make this cake when I was a kid. It was a favorite then and a favorite now. The mayonnaise adds a very moist texture to this dense and delicious masterpiece.


Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake
2 c. flour
2/3 c. cocoa
1 1/4 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
1 2/3 c. sugar
3 eggs
1 t. vanilla
1 c. REAL MAYONNAISE 
1 1/3 c. water

Grease and flour bottoms of 2 round cake pans. In a medium bowl mix first 4 ingredient together. IN a large mixing bowl beat next 3 ingredient for 3-5 minutes until light and fluffy. Beat in mayonnaise on low. Add flour mixture and water alternately. Pour in prepared pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Cool, then place pans with cake in the freezer until frozen. Remove from pans and frost as desired. 

Julie~ 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Mexican Pizza Pie

Mexican Pizza Pie
1 lb. ground beef
8 tortillas (flour)
1 pkg. taco seasoning
1 (16 oz) can refried beans
2 c. grated cheddar cheese
diced tomato
diced onion
diced olives
diced avocado
oil (for frying)

Cook ground beef with taco seasoning. Set aside. Heat oil in a medium frying pan and fry tortillas one by one  until browned on each side. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels, this will absorb any extra oil. 
Warm refried beans in a microwave safe dish for about 3 minutes or until warm. Stack pizza by placing 1 tortilla on the bottom, spread a layer of refried beans on it, then ground beef, then cheese. Top with another tortilla and top with cheese. Place in a 400 degree oven on a cookie sheet. Bake for 5-7 minutes. Remove from oven and top with tomato, onion, olives, avocado (or whatever your favorite toppings are). EAT. 

Julie~

Friday, August 10, 2012

Cinnamon Cupcake


Cinnamon Cupcakes
1 c. flour
3/4 t. baking powder
1 t. ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/2 c. milk
4 T. butter softened
3/4 c. + 2 T. sugar
2 eggs
1/2 t. vanilla

Line muffin tin (one) with liners. Place dry ingredient in a medium bowl and whisk together. Place milk and butter in a small sauce pan and heat on low until butter melts. Set aside.

In a large bowl beat eggs and sugar for about 5 minutes. Add vanilla. Add flour mixture and mix just until blended. Stir in milk mixture until combined well. Fill each cupcake liner about 2/3 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 14-18 minutes (oven's vary). Cool completely before frosting. 

Frosting:
1/2 c. butter, softened
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 c. powdered sugar (or more if needed)
1 t. vanilla
2 t. cinnamon

Cream butter and cream cheese in a mixing bowl. Add vanilla and cinnamon and mix well. Add powdered sugar, a little at a time until you reach desire consistency. Frost cupcakes. Dust with cinnamon.

Julie~

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Cheesy Spinach Dip

Spinach dip is a great way to sneak in veggies to your families diet. They won't 
even mind when it tastes as fabulous as this dip does!

Cheesy Spinach Dip

2 packages cream cheese (8 oz), SOFTENED
2 t. garlic powder
2/3 c. fresh grated parmesan cheese
1/4 c. pre-grated Six Cheese Italian Cheese (comes in a package in the the cheese section)
1-2 T. chives, finely chopped
3 c. fresh baby spinach (used my food processor to chop it)
1 c. grated cheddar cheese
1/2 c. Monterrey Jack
dash of cayenne pepper

Mix cream cheese, garlic powder, six cheese and cayenne pepper with an electric mixer. Add chives and spinach and stir just until combined. Place mixture in an oven safe dish and top with cheddar and Monterrey Jack cheese. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-17 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit for about 10 minutes before serving. Serve with tortilla chips or wheat thins.

Julie~

Monday, August 6, 2012

Sweet Lemonade Cake

"Let them EAT CAKE"!!! This Sweet Lemonade Cake is such a yummy
summer treat, its full of flavor but not in a bitter, sour way...its sweet and delicious!

....and it doesn't take long to disappear!

Sweet Lemonade Cake
1 1/3 c. sugar
6 T softened butter
3 T lemonade concentrate, thawed
2 t. vanilla
2 eggs
2 egg whites
2 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. baking soda
1 1/4 c. buttermilk

Add sugar, butter, lemonade concentrate, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer for 5 minutes. Add eggs and egg whites. In a separate bowl place all dry ingredient and whisk them together. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to wet ingredient. Beat until well mixed, but don't over mix. Spray pan (9x13 or 2 round cake pans) with pan coating and dust with flour. Pour cake batter into pans and bake at 350 for 20-23 minutes OR until top springs back when touched. Cool completely. IF you are using cake rounds, freeze them before taking them out of the pan and frosting. This makes the frosting process MUCH easier. 
  
Frosting:
2 lbs powdered sugar (1 bag)
1/2 c. -3/4 c. thawed lemonade concentrate (amount depends on how thick you want it)
1 t. vanilla
3/4 c. butter, softened

Mix all ingredient together with an electric mixer. Frost cake as desired. 

Julie~

Friday, August 3, 2012

Spicy Potato Salad

Want to add a little KICK to your potato salad? Give this recipe a try. I was a little worried at first...just that maybe it was a bit "too out there" that no one would like my "spicy potato salad",  BUT....it was a hit and got devoured before I got to even have my fair share of it. Pretty tasty if I do say so myself!


Spicy Potato Salad 

8-10 baked potatoes, chilled over night
grated cheese
crumbled bacon (cooked of course)
Mayonnaise
JUICE from a bottle of Nacho Jalapeno (purchase in the "mexican" area of your local grocery store)

Peel and cube potatoes and place them in a medium/large bowl. Add desired amounts of cheese and bacon.
Place 1-2 c. mayonnaise in a small bowl, pour in desired amount of Nacho Jalapeno juice (to make a thin sauce...add more or less mayonnaise if you choose). Pour over potatoes, stir until all ingredients are combined. Refrigerate for 30 min-1 hour before serving. 

Julie~

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Crispy Chicken with Italian Cream Sauce


Crispy Chicken with Italian Cream Sauce


Crispy Chicken:

1 1/2 c. flour
2 t. onion powder
2 t. garlic powder
2 t. season salt
1 t. salt
1 t. pepper
1/2 t. cayenne pepper

Mix together in a medium bowl and set aside.

3 c. buttermilk, put in a shallow bowl and set aside

3 c. CRUSHED cornflakes, put in a medium bowl and set aside

2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast cut into strips

Put chicken in flour mixture and coat completely. Dip into buttermilk and then into the crushed cornflakes and coat both sides. Place chicken on a lightly sprayed (cooking spray) baking sheet. Continue until all chicken is coated and placed on the pan. Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes...turn chicken over after 15 minutes and then continue to cook. Chicken will be done when it's no longer pink.

Italian Cream Sauce:

1 (8 oz) cream cheese
2 cans cream chicken soup
1 c. chicken broth
1/2 c. milk
1 t. Italian seasoning
1 t. garlic powder

Mix together in a medium sauce pan. Cook on medium until cream cheese is melted and sauce is thickened. Set aside.

Cook pasta or rice according to package directions. 
Place one piece of chicken on bed of pasta or rice. Pour desired amount of sauce on top. Serve with vegetables and a slice of warm bread for the perfect meal!

Julie~