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

Friday, March 29, 2013

Baked Hard Shell Taco's

WHO would have ever thought to BAKE a hard shell taco? Mmmmmm!!!!!
A VERY cool idea...A VERY tasty DINNER!

Baked Hard Shell Taco's
1 1/2 lb ground beef, cooked with 1 package taco seasoning
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can corn, drained
3 c. grated cheddar cheese
1 large can green enchilada sauce
16 hard shell taco's


diced avocado, diced tomato, diced onion, sour cream, ranch, chipotle sauce etc....(whatever is your fav)

Place shells in a 9x13 baking pan. Spoon ground beef into shells. Add bean and corn (divide among shells). Drizzle a small amount of enchilada sauce into filled taco shells. Top each filled taco with cheese. Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until cheese is melted and taco is heated through. Serve with your favorite taco toppings...the possibilities are endless. 

Julie~

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Baked Eggs

 This ISN'T a recipe, rather a TEST that I tried out from Pinterest...
I wanted to share with all our viewers that it REALLY works!!
Some of the things I read and tryout from Pinterest DON'T work and aren't all 
they are bragged up to be....happy to say that THIS is NOT one of those things. 

BAKED EGGS:
Place RAW, WHOLE eggs in muffin cups. Bake for 30 minutes at 325 degrees. The baking makes them easier to peel and they tastes GREAT! As you can see...I had one crack and BURN...
A friend from facebook said 
that she put a little water in the bottom of her muffin cups and that prevented this from happening. 

"Happy Egg Dying" my dear friends!!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Snicker Oreo Ice Cream Cake

Easter is coming up this weekend...which might mean an "OUTDOOR Barbecue" or a 
"Family Get together" for many of you...
assuming its going to be beautiful weather, either way, this is a fabulous, fun
and festive recipe for SPRING and SUMMER!! IT will feed a many, because its THICK and very rich (which means no one will want a GIANT piece)...great for a large crowd of HUNGRY people!!


Snicker Oreo Ice Cream Cake
16 ice cream sandwiches
16 oz whipped topping 
2 c. crushed Oreos
1 bag "mini" snickers bars
1 jar caramel sauce
1 jar chocolate "Magic Shell"

In a 9x13 cake pan place 1 layer of ice cream sandwiches. Top with 1/2 the container of whipped topping, Oreo crumbs and 1/2 the snickers, drizzle with caramel sauce. Add another layer of ice cream sandwiches, the remainder of the whipped topping and snickers. Drizzle with caramel and chocolate Magic Shell. COVER if possible, freeze until ready to serve. 

Julie~



*NOTE: Snicker bars: remove from wrappers, freeze in a zip lock bag AND THEN CRUSH with a rolling pin after they are frozen. This makes it much easier to get smaller pieces instead of CHUNKS.

*NOTE: Oreo's: you want to put these in a zip lock bag OR a food processor and crush until they are very small pieces...NOT crumbs, just no big chunks. IF you have big chunks and then freeze them on your cake, it makes it very hard to chew.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Banana Bread French Toast

I make banana bread frequently around my house...for two reasons, 
1. We LOVE IT and 2. BECAUSE I always over estimate how
many banana's everyone will eat before they all turn brown, resulting in 5 or more OVER ripe banana's that have to be used. I usually make 4 loaves of banana bread and sometimes
 we get tired of eating it before its gone (unless I'm on top of things and get some in the freezer). 
You know me, I'm always up for NEW ideas and recipes...this particular recipe was a huge hit at breakfast!
Its a fantastic and scrumptious way to use your "banana bread" in a creative and different way. 
"Don't knock it till you try it...you might just find that you love it too"

Banana Bread French Toast
1 loaf of prepared banana bread, sliced into pieces (thickness is up to you)
1 1/2 c. heavy cream
3 eggs
3 T. sugar
2 t. vanilla

Combine cream, eggs, sugar and vanilla. Whip until well combined. Dip sliced banana bread into egg mixture, making sure to cover both sides. Place on a HOT, well greased pancake griddle or skillet. Cook the first side for 3-4 minutes, turn over and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until french toast isn't soggy in the middle. Serve with maple syrup and sliced banana's. 

Julie~

Friday, March 22, 2013

Leftover Cheesy Bacon Chicken Casserole

Do you ever wonder what to do with your leftovers to make them NOT leftovers anymore?...I do!
After making the "Crock Pot Cheesy Bacon Chicken" (recipe that was posted Wednesday), 
I had about 3 pieces of chicken left over...not enough to serve the entire family but 
enough I could do something with! So I mixed up this casserole and it was a huge hit...AND the best
part was, no one knew it was "left overs", so it was gobbled right down without one complaint!

Leftover Cheesy Bacon Chicken Casserole
Left over chicken and sauce from "Crock Pot Cheesy Bacon Chicken" (March 20, 2013 recipe post)
2-3 c. cooked rice
1-2 c. grated cheddar cheese
cooked bacon crumbles 

Shred leftover chicken with a fork. Mix cooked rice with chicken and sauce. Place in a casserole dish sprayed with cooking spray. Top with grated cheese and bacon. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until the inside of the middle of the casserole is hot. Serve with dollop of sour cream if desired. 

*NOTE: if you don't have much sauce left over...add another can of cheddar cheese soup and 1/2 can milk (my left overs still had plenty) 

Julie~

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Crock Pot Cheesy Bacon Chicken

I'm all over any recipe that I can make in a crock pot or slow cook in the oven. It makes 
me feel like I'm multi-tasking...you know, cooking dinner AND being able to do something else 
while it cooks. This Crock Pot Cheesy Bacon Chicken was EASY and VERY tasty as well!
Give it a try, I bet you'll be a fan of it too!!

Crock Pot Cheesy Bacon Chicken
6 boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 cans cheddar soup (I used Campbell's)
3/4 c. milk
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled

If the chicken breasts are large, cut in half. Spray inside of crock pot with a small amount of cooking spray. Place chicken in the bottom of the pan. In a separate dish, combine soup, milk and Worcestershire sauce. Whisk until mixed well. Pour over chicken. Cook on low for 4-5 hours or on high for 3 hours. Serve on mashed potatoes, topped with grated cheese and bacon crumbles. 

Julie~

Monday, March 18, 2013

Breakfast Nacho's

SEE, I don't eat ice cream for breakfast every day (refer to previous post)!
This Breakfast Nacho was a huge hit at our house. The idea is a little different,  but the nachos were SOOO tasty. I will be making them again for sure!! 
The kids devoured these Breakfast Nacho's, every last bite. It was the perfect way to shake up the
 standard "eggs and meat" for breakfast idea, plus it was SO easy!! 
Your family will think you are pretty cool if you let them eat NACHO's for breakfast!
I think this dish pleases both the young, as well as the adult  pallet for sure!

Breakfast Nacho's
*There are NO definite measurements, it all depends on HOW MANY plates of nacho's you'll be making, 
having said that, here are the ingredients that I used.

Scrambled eggs, cooked
1 lb ground sausage, cooked and crumbled
Tortilla chips
Grated Colby Jack Cheese
Diced tomatoes
Diced Avocado

Place tortilla chips on microwave plate, top with scrambled eggs, cooked sausage, grated cheese. Microwave for 30 seconds OR until cheese is melted to your liking. Top with diced tomatoes and avocados. Serve!! 
Other toppings: Salsa, sour cream, diced onions, bacon crumbles...anything your heart desires~

*NOTE: All ingredient that NEEDS cooking SHOULD ALREADY be cooked before assembling your nacho's. The microwave time is just for melting the cheese. DO NOT place UNCOOKED EGGS or RAW SAUSAGE on your NACHO'S!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Chocolate Chip Mint Ice Cream Pancakes


Okay...when you first look at these Chocolate Chip Mint Ice Cream Pancakes,  you think
 "DESSERT", BUT because its a "pancake" 
I served it for BREAKFAST....I'm just a COOL mom like that!
Breakfast doesn't always have to consist of BORING FOOD, 
I like to liven it up once in awhile. BESIDES, there
is probably less sugar in this breakfast than some people eat in their sugar sweetened breakfast cereal every morning~ (THERE, I've justified it...so the guilt of serving this for breakfast is GONE!)
EAT UP and ENJOY!!
*** WITH St. Patrick's Day in a few days, this would make the PERFECT FUN BREAKFAST to serve to your little leprechauns!! 

 Chocolate Chip Mint Ice Cream Pancakes

*Note: recipe makes 7 pancakes...if serving for a large number of people or if your family eats alot of pancakes, double the recipe.

1 1/3 c. flour
2 T. sugar
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1-2 c. buttermilk (I added 1 c. and mixed everything up and thought the batter needed to be thinner so I 
          added another)
1 egg
2 T. melted butter
1/2 t. vanilla
1 t. mint extract
3 drops food coloring
1 c. chocolate chips
Whipped topping
Chocolate Chip Mint Ice Cream
Chocolate Ice Cream Topping

Place all dry ingredient in a mixing bowl, set aside. Beat together buttermilk, egg, melted butter, food coloring, mint extract and vanilla. Add dry ingredient and stir until well combined. Gently fold in chocolate chips. Heat a skillet or pancake griddle. Spray with cooking spray. Using a ladle or a 1/2 c. measuring cup, pour pancakes onto griddle when its finally HOT. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until pancakes form bubbles on the top and start to pop. Flip and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Place cooked pancakes on plates to cool, YOU DON"T want them completely cooled, but YOU DON'T WANT them TOO HOT or your ice cream will turn into a puddle! Continue until all pancakes are cooked. When cooled, top with a scoop of ice cream, a dollop of whipped topping and garnish with Chocolate Ice Cream Topping if desired. AND if you really wanted to take it to the top, add a few mini chocolate chips to the top of your whipped cream.

THE PERFECT BREAKFAST FOR YOUR "LITTLE GREEN HOLIDAY!"

Julie~

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Classic Meatloaf

You don't get more of a "comfort food" than good ol' meatloaf. My family loves meatloaf,
they even ask for it. Its a great way to use ground meat whether its ground beef, ground turkey, ground venison, elk, lamb etc....... add a little of this, a little of that and wallah, you've got dinner.

Classic Meatloaf
2 lbs ground beef
1 t. garlic powder
1 t. onion powder
1 t. season salt
1 t. liquid smoke
1/2 t. ground sage
1/2 t. ground pepper
1 1/2 sleeves of Ritz Crackers, crushed 
4 eggs

Combine all ingredient in a medium bowl. Using your hands (because that works best) OR a wooden spoon, mix ingredient until WELL COMBINED. Place in a large loaf pan. Cover with foil. Bake at 250 degrees for 3 hours OR 350 degrees for 1 hour. 

Julie~

Monday, March 11, 2013

Roast Carrots and Turnips

So....I've never cooked a turnip before, I've always sliced them, salted them and eaten them raw. I had read somewhere how good they were when "cooked", so I thought I would give them a try. I was pleasantly surprised. They lose all the "bitterness" that they have when raw and taste similar to a potato. I cook them all the time now and love them!! They are one of my favorite veggies now!

Roast Carrots and Turnips
1 small bag baby carrots
2 large turnips, peeled and cut into "chunks"
Mrs. Dash OR your favorite seasoning (I used Mrs. Dash grilling blend, for chicken)

Spray 8x8 baking pan with cooking spray. Place carrots and turnips in prepared baking dish. Add 1 c. water. Sprinkle with seasoning. Cover with foil. Bake at 250 degrees for 3 hours (I cooked this while I was gone) OR you can bake it at 350 for approximately 1-1 1/2 hours.

*I don't like my veggies to be super soft, I still like them a tad bit firm...

Julie~

Friday, March 8, 2013

Salisbury Steak

Salisbury Steak reminds me of winter/fall and is a "comfort food" at our house. This recipe is so easy and tastes like you spent hours and hours preparing it. My family loves it and we make it frequently. 

Salisbury Steak
2 lb. ground beef
1 package onion soup mix
1/2 c. bread crumbs (the kind you buy from the store)
1/4 c. milk

1/2 c. flour, placed on a plate (used for dipping)

Sauce:
2 cans cream chicken (or mushroom) soup
1 packet dry AU JUS 
3/4 c. water

IN a mixing bowl combine meat, onion soup, bread crumbs and milk. Mix together using a wooden spoon OR your hands (I prefer hands). Divide and shape into patties (amount depends on the size you want them to be). Heat skillet with enough oil  to cover the bottom of the pan. Dip each burger patty into flour, covering both sides. Place burgers into pan with hot oil. Brown patties on both sides, place in crock pot. Continue until all burgers are placed in crock pot. In a mixing bowl combine sauce ingredient. Pour over meat. Cook on LOW for 4-5 hours or until meat is done. Serve over rice or with baked potato. 

Julie~

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Sour Cream Chocolate Cake


THIS cake is AMAZING...but I think the "Fluffy Whipped Cream Frosting" (yesterday's post) MAKES the CAKE! This cake tends to be a bit rich (which ISN'T a bad thing)...just too rich for me, but paired with this divine whipping cream on top, its PERFECT...SOOOO PERFECT!! I think I shall EAT CAKE for Breakfast...and lunch...and possibly dinner,  on a regular basis :)

Sour Cream Chocolate Cake with
FLUFFY Whipped Cream Frosting
2 eggs
1 1/2 c. flour
1/3 c. cocoa powder
1 1/4 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 1/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. shortening
1 1/2 t. vanilla
3 oz. semi-sweet chocolate squares, melted and cooled (you can use UNsweetened if you like more of a
        "dark chocolate" taste)
1 c. sour cream
1 c. milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray (with pan coating)and flour two 9" round cake pans. In a bowl, combine all dry ingredient, set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine shortening and sugar and beat on medium speed until combined. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until fluffy. Beat in melted chocolate and sour cream until combined. Add dry ingredient alternately with milk until both are mixed thoroughly. Pour batter into prepared pans, dividing evenly. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until top bounces back when touched. Cool slightly...when cool enough, place tinfoil top on cake (still in pan) and freeze for 2-3 hours. Remove from freezer, thaw for 10 minutes, remove from pans and place on a cake plate and frost with YUMMY "FLUFFY WHIPPED CREAM" posted previously (I also posted it below BUT MAKE SURE YOU double the recipe or you won't have enough for frosting the entire cake). Top with crumbled Heath bites (chocolate covered toffee bites). CAKE has to be refrigerated because of the whipped cream frosting.


FLUFFY Whipping Cream

2 c. HEAVY whipping cream
2 heaping Tablespoons instant vanilla pudding
2 heaping Tablespoons powder sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

Whip cream (ONLY CREAM) until its stiff and holds a peak...but don't whip it too long or you will end up with BUTTER. Add pudding, powder sugar and vanilla. Whip until completely combined. Frost Cake.

Julie~


Monday, March 4, 2013

FLUFFY Whipping Cream

THIS Whipping Cream is my NEW VERY favorite stuff in the world...I've used it for SO MANY things and I LOVE IT!! I have frosted cakes with it (yes, as a frosting and it's to DIE FOR), topped Belgian Waffles, used it as a fruit dip...lets just say, its got endless possibilities and I intend on trying them ALL OUT! (PS...it tastes good right from a spoon too). I will post a few cake recipes that I have made and tried it on. YOU have to give them a try, you won't believe how SCRUMPTIOUS the cakes end up being- topped with this "little bit of heaven"!!

FLUFFY Whipping Cream

2 c. HEAVY whipping cream
2 heaping Tablespoons instant vanilla pudding
2 heaping Tablespoons powder sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

Whip cream (ONLY CREAM) until its stiff and holds a peak...but don't whip it too long or you will end up with BUTTER. Add pudding, powder sugar and vanilla. Whip until completely combined. Use as desired...or eat with a spoon (ITS THAT GOOD!!)

*NOTE: if using to frost a double layer round/square cake...double the recipe for good coverage

Julie~

Friday, March 1, 2013

Creamy Cauliflower Soup

Have you ever eaten Cream of Cauliflower Soup from a resturant?...ITS "usually" amazing (I have never had any that I didn't love)!! This Creamy Cauliflower Soup "resembles" that yummy flavorful soup that you get when you go out to dinner. Its packed full of warm, comfy, cheesy flavor and just melts
right in your mouth...If (or when) I am sick, I think this will be my soup of choice
 (instead of chicken noodle soup). It just screams "comfort food" to me and warms your entire body
as it slides down your throat...your mouth does a little happy dance and so does your family! 
Its a "win, win" kind of night when you serve this for dinner!

 Creamy Cauliflower Soup
3 T. butter
1/2 onion, chopped
1/4 c. flour
1/2 t. salt
1 c. half and half
1 c. milk
1 1/2 c. water
2 c. chicken broth
1 head cauliflower, chopped in small pieces
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/2 c. shredded pepper jack cheese
1/4 t. cayenne pepper

Melt butter in a sauce pan and add chopped onion. Saute' until onion is golden brown. Add flour and stir to make a roux. Slowly add all liquid, stirring continually with a whisk. Add chopped cauliflower. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until cauliflower is tender (this will depend on the size of pieces). Place soup into blender, blend until smooth. Pour back into saucepan, continue to heat. Stir in cheese's and cayenne pepper. Stir completely. Top with grated cheese and serve hot.

Julie~