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

Friday, September 28, 2012

Spice Muffins


Muffins are a warm comfort food for those cooler, crisp Autumn mornings. The smells that permeate from these tasty little creatures makes the entire house smell DIVINE! The smell alone will wake any of your sleepy headed family members, but the taste of these will get them going and ready for their day! Eat UP!

Spice Muffins

2 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
1 T. baking powder
1/2 t. all-spice
1/2 t. salt
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 c. melted butter (cooled slightly)
2 eggs
3/4 c. milk
1/4 t. vanilla

Topping:
1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 t. cinnamon
5 T butter, cut into small squares

Spray muffin tins or line with muffin cups (spray muffin liners with cooking spray as well). Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Topping instructions:
Combine all dry ingredient. Whisk together. Add butter and stir with a pastry cutter until combined and small pea sized crumbs form. Set aside. 

Muffin instructions:
Mix dry ingredient in a mixing bowl. Stir to insure that all lumps are gone. In a separate bowl mix melted butter, eggs, milk and vanilla. Stir until combined. Pour liquid over the dry ingredient and stir just until moistened. Batter will be lumpy. Using a cookie scoop or spoon, divide batter into muffin cups. Top with crumb topping. Bake for 17 minutes or until muffins are done. Cool slightly before serving. Serve with butter and a dollop of strawberry jam if desired. 

Julie~

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Homemade Guacamole

Guacamole is something that I like best HOMEMADE...the store bought stuff taste fake and processed to me. This is one of my favorite recipes for Guac...its tasty, has a little bit of a kick to it and makes for the best dip or topping around!! We eat ours with corn chips or nacho's or as a topping on any Mexican feast...its the BEST!

Homemade Guacamole

6 RIPE (but NOT rotten) avocado's
     *** BEST way to check and see if an avocado is ripe, pick off the button on top, if its green your 
      avocado is good, if its not...your avocado is not good! WORKS EVERY TIME!!
2 limes, juiced OR 4 T. lime juice
1 t. salt
1 t. cumin
1/2 t. cayenne
1/2 medium red onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
4 Roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 c. sour cream

In a large bowl place the avocado and lime juice, mash and stir. Add salt, cumin and cayenne. Mash and mix. Stir in onions, tomatoes, garlic and sour cream. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes to an hour before serving...this helps the flavorings to "marry". Serve with your favorite chips or Mexican dish!

Julie~

Monday, September 24, 2012

April's Taco Salad


I love, love, love TACO SALAD!! We had a pot luck dinner at our church a while back and one of my dear friends brought this YUMMY, FANTASTIC, SCRUMPTIOUS Taco Salad! I seriously couldn't get enough of it...so I came home and made some a few days after, just to remind myself how yummy it was! Thanks April for waking up my taste buds and giving them a reason to smile...........mmmmmmmmmmmmm!

April's Taco Salad

Kidney Beans (not pinto, not black...NOT white, has to be KIDNEY), drained and rinsed
frozen corn (thawed)
lettuce (chopped)
tomatoes (diced)
green pepper (diced)
red onion (diced)
ground beef (cooked) 
     *if you put in the ground beef, do it just before serving...BUT also know that the leftovers aren't tasty
       with any meat in it. OPTION: make salad without the ground beef added, but have each person add
       it if they desire~
Dorito's Corn Chips (crumbled) *add just before serving
grated cheddar cheese
Catalina Dressing

There are no amounts...just put in what you want. Mix and toss as desired. Serve. 
Its easily made for a few people or large crowds!! ITS EXTREMELY TASTY!!

Julie~

Friday, September 21, 2012

Pepperoni Roll Ups

"EASY" is once again on my menu!!! These Pepporoni Roll Ups are such a fun little "pizza bite" and make for a great dinner, lunch or snack idea. I actually served them with a green salad and called it dinner.

Pepperoni Roll Ups

1 (8 oz) refrigerated crescent roll dough
4 cheese sticks, halved
1 package pepperoni 
pizza sauce

Unroll crescent roll dough. Place small amount of pizza sauce on the bottom of each triangle. Place several pieces of pepperoni on. Top with a 1/2 cheese stick and roll up. Place seam side down on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until done. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce. 

*I tripled this recipe because each roll of crescent rolls only makes 8...which I knew wouldn't go far in my family.

Julie~

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Karen's Peanut Butter Bars

My daughter-in-law makes the the best Peanut Butter Bars. Its her mother's recipe and their family has been making them for years. They remind me of Reese's Candy Bar Cups....AHHHHHHHHH YUM!!! These aren't only perfect for the holidays, but anytime is the right time to mix these babies up and gobble them down!! They are rich in taste and melt right in your mouth! mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!!!

Karen's Peanut Butter Bars

2 c. peanut butter
1/4 c. margarine or butter
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 t. vanilla
2 1/2 c. powdered sugar

Mix all ingredients together. Press down into a 9x13 cake pan. 

Topping:
1 c. chocolate chips 
2 T. shortening. 

Melt together in microwave at 30 second intervals until melted, stir. Pour and spread over over peanut butter mixture. Refrigerate. 

Julie~  

Monday, September 17, 2012

Never Fail Pie Crust

Pie Crust had always been a trial for me until I found this recipe years ago. Its a quick, easy...no fail recipe that taste yummy too! Use it for your cream pies or your fruit pies and even your pie crust cookies...you won't be disappointed!

Never Fail Pie Crust

4 c. flour
1 T sugar
2 t. salt
1 3/4 c. shortening
1 T. vinegar
1 egg
1/2 c. water

Mix flour, sugar and salt. Add shortening, cut in with a pastry cutter or two knives. Mix until ingredient is blended well. Beat together egg, vinegar and water. Combine to flour mixture, stirring with a fork, making sure ingredient is completely moistened and mixed. Shape into 4 balls, roll out flat onto wax paper (with another piece of wax paper over the top when rolling). Place rolled piece of dough into pie plate, shape. If using for a cream pie, poke holes all over sides and bottom to insure bubbles from forming. IF using for a fruit pie, pour fruit directly into shell (without poking holes) and complete pie by following the directions for your fruit pie. Bake pie crust (without fruit) at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. Cool completly before adding your cream etc...to make your pie. FOR fruit pie....follow the directions on your recipe for baking.
Its time to start thinking of pie baking...the season is creeping up on us!!

Julie~

Friday, September 14, 2012

Halle's Cheese Sticks

My 15 year old daughter loves to cook. She is always testing out things in the kitchen...which I just love. She never complains when I ask her to help make dinner (woo hoo). A few weeks ago she asked if she could try out her hand at "Cheese Sticks"....this what she came up with and they were FABULOUS! Our family loves cheese sticks and its always fun to try them made different ways...these are tasty and make for a fun snack or served with chicken strips or some great quick dinner!

Halle's Cheese Sticks

12 sticks string cheese, cut in half (so you have 24 short stubby sticks)
3 eggs
8 T. flour
1 t. Italian seasoning
7-8 T. Panko bread crumbs
4 T. parmesan cheese

Freeze cheese sticks (after cutting in half) in the freezer until completely frozen. Cover a large baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spray with pan coating. Set aside. Beat eggs in a pie plate. Place bread crumbs, parmesan cheese and seasoning in another pie plate. Stir until combined. Place flour in a dish. Remove cheese sticks from the freezer. Dip cheese sticks into flour, then egg, then bread crumb mixture. Place them each on the prepared baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 4-5 minutes. Watch so that the cheese doesn't melt and come oozing out. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce or eat just like they are!! DELISH!!

Julie~  



Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Easy Bacon Pull Apart Bread

"Easy" has become one of my favorite words lately...because time seems to be a shortage in my life right now! This EASY Bacon Pull Apart Bread is just that, its EASY...but it taste scrumptious too!! It goes perfect paired with any main dish...OR it can be served AS THE MAIN DISH (thats my favorite part of the "EASY"). Its best when its served hot, right from the oven....no reason to wait for it to cool, just EAT UP AND ENJOY!

Easy Bacon Pull Apart Bread
3 T. melted butter (REAL butter)
2 rolls refrigerated biscuits (regular size not the GRAND)
1 c. grated Monterrey Jack Cheese
1 c. grated Cheddar cheese
1 lb. cooked, crumbled bacon

Place melted butter in 9x13 cake pan. Make sure that the entire bottom of pan is covered. Rub a small amount on sides of pan as well.  Remove biscuits from can and cut in half (use kitchen shears), place them in the pan....covering the bottom. Top with Monterrey Jack cheese, then bacon, then cheddar cheese (layering it). Bake for 15-17 minutes at 350 degrees or until biscuits are cooked entirely. Eat as is or dip in your favorite dipping sauce: Ranch, Marinara Sauce, Cheese Sauce etc.....

Julie~ 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Daniel Roach's Chicken Crispitos

OH MY GOSH!! If these Crispitos don't make your mouth water, I don't know what will!! I got this awesome recipe from one of our faithful blog followers who loves to cook. I was excited to try out these Crispitos as soon as I could...AND WHEN I did, I fell completely head over heels with the them! They are so stinkin good...my kids loved them (we already know that I DID too). We dipped them in everything from taco sauce to ranch dressing (surprise, surprise)...doesn't matter what or even IF you dip them, they are addicting and DELICIOUS! They scored HIGH on my favorite list for sure! Thanks Daniel for sharing your secret recipe with me (and allowing me to share it with the world)!!! THIS SHOULD be on your menu tonight!!

Daniel Roach's Chicken Crispitos

1 8oz cream cheese, softened
1 can roasted green chili's

Mix together until completely incorporated.

3 large chicken breast, cooked and shredded 
Mix chicken with cream cheese mixture

1 package thin tortilla shells (preferably not the "home-style")
oil (for frying)

Heat oil in frying pan (I used 1" of oil in my frying pan) until HOT. Cut tortilla shells in half. Spoon a small amount of cream cheese/chicken mixture down the center of tortilla half, roll up. Fry in oil, turning so each side gets brown and crisp. Continue until all mixture is used and each Crispito is cooked. Serve with your favorite taco dipping sauce or EAT plain. Either way, its going to make your taste buds do a little HAPPY DANCE!! mmmmmmm     mmmmmmm   GOOD!!!!

Julie~

Friday, September 7, 2012

Bacon Waffle with Cinnamon Maple Cream

OKAY, this picture does NOT do this food justice and I'm really embarrassed to even post a picture BUT these waffles were to DIE for, even though they themselves look as though they've died...but be assured that they tasted better than this picture portrays them to have tasted. I was in a hurry and the cream didn't happen to set up as good in the picture as it did in "real life"...ANYWAY, take my word for it, THESE YUMMY, FANTABULOUS, TASTY WAFFLES are worth serving for breakfast!!

Bacon Waffle with Cinnamon Maple Cream

Make your favorite waffle mix...(mine on this particular morning WAS NOT from scratch, but a boxed mix because I was in an hurry). 

Add 1 lb cooked and crumbled bacon to the BATTER, reserving a small amount to use as garnish. Cook according to recipe directions for YOUR waffle. Top with maple syrup, Cinnamon Maple Cream and a garnish of bacon crumbled.

Cinnamon Maple Cream:
1 c. heavy whipping cream
whip until cream forms a stiff peak, then add:
2 t. maple extract
1/2 t. cinnamon
2 T. sugar
Whip until combined. Serve on top of Bacon Waffles.

Julie~

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

SO EASY Creamy Artichoke Dip

I know we have several artichoke dips on the blog BUT its only because we love them! IT'S also because there are so many out there and each one tastes so different....so none of them are the same. I tried this dip because of the "simpleness" of the recipe and thought it would be easy for holiday's or just a day when you need to whip up a quick dip for guests or parties. I love it and would definitely make it again!

SO EASY Creamy Artichoke Dip

1 can chopped Artichoke
3/4 c. mayonnaise
3/4 c. parmasan cheese 
salt and pepper to taste

Mix together in a mixing bowl. 

Top with 3/4- 1 c. Mozzarella cheese (grated of course).

Place in an oven safe dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Serve with your favorite cracker or tortilla chips.

Julie~

Monday, September 3, 2012

Spicy Creamy Crab Dip

I know its a little early to be thinking of holiday food...but since the days of barbecuing and back yard parties are just about gone, this scrumptious dip would be 
AWESOME served at one of your holiday parties.
 OR you can be like me and just make any ol' day a party 
 which means that you can EAT IT ANYTIME!
I fell in love with this dip the very first time I made it. Its creamy and has just the right
amount of kick to spice things up a bit! Its one of my FAV's!!!

Spicy Creamy Crab Dip

8 oz. imitation crab, chopped
1 8oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. mayonnaise
1 small can chopped green chili's
1 1/2 c. grated Mexi- blend cheese (from a bag)

Combine all ingredient in a mixing bowl. Stir with an electric mixer just until everything is mixed will. Refrigerate until served, store leftovers in the refrigerator also. Serve with wheat thin crackers or a wheat club cracker (wheat makes it taste better for some reason)

Julie~