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

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Sweet-n-Nutty Cheese Spread

 I am sure most of you are
busy planning fun events for the evening...parties, get togethers with friends and family...and then there is the FOOD...the glorious, wonderful FOOD that will be eaten as you bring in the New Year...WELL, this Sweet-n-Nutty Cheese Spread is something you can throw together in 2 minutes (no...really, 2 minutes) and it's a crowd pleaser!
I served it with Wheat Thin crackers and it disappeared so quick that I barely got to taste it. The sweet caramel flavor is perfect with the rich cream cheese, then paired up with the salt of a Wheat Thin cracker...a complete and satisfying treat with every bite! 

Have a safe, and SCRUMPTIOUS, New Years Eve!

Sweet-n-Nutty Cheese Spread
1 (8oz) cream cheese
3/4 c. caramel ice cream topping
1/2 c. chopped pecans

Wheat Thins (to serve with the spread)

Place opened cream cheese on a plate. Cover with caramel. Top with chopped pecans. Serve with your favorite cracker. 

*I told you it would only take you 2 minutes :)


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Crock Pot Artichoke Dip

I'm a huge fan of artichoke dip...but I had never tried it in the crock pot before. I tried it and decided that it is the perfect recipe for me...throw it all in the crock pot and let it cook! Its packed full of cheese and yummy artichoke flavor. We dipped pieces of ripped up french bread in the Artichoke Dip as well as Wheat Thin crackers and we loved them both. This would be a great appetizer for your New Years Eve party or just any ol' time that you are craving a little something yummy for dinner!

Crock Pot Artichoke Dip
3 cans (14oz) artichoke hearts (NOT the marinated artichokes), drained and chopped
1 (10oz) package frozen spinach, thawed and drained completely (squeezed dry)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 c. mozzarella cheese, shredded
3/4 c. fresh parmesan cheese, shredded
3/4 c. milk
3/4 asiago cheese, shredded
1/3 c. mayonnaise 
1/4 t. pepper
1/4 t. salt
1 (8oz) package cream cheese, cubed

Place artichokes, spinach, mayonnaise, milk, all cheeses (except cream cheese) and salt and pepper in crock pot. Stir well. Top with cubed cream cheese. Place lid on crock pot and cook on low for 3-4 hours, stirring periodically. Serve with your favorite artisan bread, crackers or tortilla chips.  


Friday, December 26, 2014

Julie's Berry Cheesecake Crisp

If your "after Christmas" day is like mine, its a very slow moving morning. I like
to keep things easy for breakfast, and although there are many "easy" recipes you could make, 
this is one of my favorites. Its a light and fresh tasting breakfast crisp that will please everyone. 

Julie's Berry Cheesecake Crisp

1 pkg. HOMEMADE style tortilla shells

Lightly "fry" in a frying pan sprayed with cooking spray. Set aside. 

In a mixing bowl, combine:
1 8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 8oz. whipped topping
1/3 c. powdered sugar

Mix until smooth. Spread onto cooked tortilla. 

Top with Danish Dessert (comes in a box over by the Jello), prepared to package instructions....and your favorite fruit. Mine was topped with strawberries and blackberries. Easy and YUMMY!


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Halle's Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate

Its CHRISTMAS EVE...a busy day at my house. As the day draws to an end,
we sit around the Christmas Tree and read the Christmas story from the Bible. We think of the true meaning of Christmas and we reminisce about Christmases gone by...and there is no better time to sip
a warm cup of this delicious Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate than TONIGHT. Its rich and creamy, and packed full of all those yummy spices that remind you of pumpkin pie!

Merry Christmas to you MY FRIENDS. May your special holiday be filled 
with family, friends and the joy that comes from knowing the Jesus Christ is our Savior!

Halle's Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate
1/4 c. canned pumpkin puree
1 t. pumpkin pie spice
1/4 c. powdered sugar
1 T. cocoa powder
2 1/2 c. milk
2 fun sized hershey's milk chocolate bars
Reddi Whipped cream (in the spray can)
ground cinnamon 

In a sauce pan combine milk and cocoa powder. Heat, whisking constantly. Add sugar, pumpkin spice, pumpkin and candy bars. Continue to heat until sugar is dissolved and the milk is warm. Remove from heat. Pour into cup. Top with Reddi Whip. Sprinkle a dash of cinnamon. 

Have a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS from our house to yours!

Monday, December 22, 2014

THE BEST Pumpkin Pie

Its pumpkin pie time...AGAIN. YOU will never get a complaint from me about pumpkin pie. 
In the past I've made pumpkin pie and it tends to be a little watery. THIS is NOT at all watery. It sets up perfectly and is the PERFECT pumpkin pie! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!!! It doesn't get better
than this!!! ITS making its way to my Christmas table, and maybe even for breakfast! 
Its my favorite Pumpkin Pie for sure!!

THE BEST Pumpkin Pie
1-15 oz pumpkin puree
1-14 oz sweetened condensed milk
2 eggs
1 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. ground ginger
1/2 t. ground nutmeg
1/2 t. salt
1- 9" unbaked pie crust
Whipped topping

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients EXCEPT pie crust and whipped topping. Mix well. Pour into prepared pie shell. Bake for 15 minutes, THEN REDUCE oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for another 35-40 minutes, or until knife inserted comes out clean. Cool. Top with whipped topping OR homemade whipped topping (my preference). 

Homemade Whipped Topping:
2 c. heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 T. vanilla
4 T. sugar

Whip whipping cream until it forms peaks (don't whip too long or it will turn into butter). AFTER peaks form, add vanilla and sugar and whip until combined. Top each serving piece of pie with this whipped topping. 


Friday, December 19, 2014

Double Decker NO BAKE Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin ANYTHING is my go to dessert! THIS AMAZING Double Decker NO BAKE PUMPKIN PIE is completely out of this world delicious! I adore it!! Its a light fluffy plate of yumminess! I will be making this from now until FOREVER! Its seriously the BOMB of pumpkin pies! Its half cheese cake, half pumpkin pie and 100% delicious!!

Double Decker NO BAKE Pumpkin Pie
1 graham cracker pie crust (the 9oz size...it is NEW)
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 T. heavy cream
2 T. sugar
3 c. thawed whipped topping

Mix the cream cheese, cream, sugar and whipped topping together until smooth. Spread in the bottom of graham cracker crust. Set aside. 

1 c. cream 
2 pkg. vanilla pudding mix (small box 3.4 oz)
15 oz pumpkin puree
2 1/2 t. pumpkin pie spice

Mix cream and pudding mixes together until combined. Add pumpkin and spice. Whip until blended. Spread over cream cheese layer. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours. 

2 c. heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 T. vanilla
4 T. sugar

Whip whipping cream until it forms peaks. Add vanilla and sugar and whip until combined. Top each serving piece of pie with this YUMMY REAL whipped topping. 


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Stacked Banana Waffles

Banana's are one of my "comfort foods". These Banana Waffles just melt in your
mouth. I've always liked banana's on my waffles/pancakes and french toast...so I knew I would love these! They have a rich buttery vanilla syrup that tops off the waffle and makes them a definite winner in my book!

Stacked Banana Waffles
2 c. flour
3 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
2 eggs
2 c. milk
1/3 c. oil
1/2 package (3.4oz box) banana cream pudding

In a mixing bowl add all the dry ingredient. Whisk together. Add the eggs, milk and oil. Beat until combined...don't over mix. Cook in a waffle iron, according to waffle iron directions, (*make syrup while waffles are cooking). Set cooked waffles aside. Serve with Vanilla Syrup, sliced bananas and whipped topping. 

Vanilla Syrup:
1 c. sugar
2 T. cornstarch
1/4 c. butter
1/4 t. salt
1 T. vanilla
2 c. water

IN a sauce pan, bring water to boil. Add sugar and cornstarch. Stir for 3-5 minutes. Add butter, salt and vanilla. Stir until butter is melted. Remove from heat. Allow to cool slightly before using. 


Monday, December 15, 2014

Berry Delicious French Toast

I can't say enough good about these Berry Delicious French Toast. Its amazing what a little 
variety can do to a plain old piece of "french toast". This french toast would make the perfect
breakfast for Christmas morning or just on any ol' day of the week. Its MOUTH WATERING good!

Berry Delicious French Toast
4 eggs
2 c. heavy cream
1 t. vanilla
2 T. sugar
1 t. vanilla
1 loaf dense bread (french or homemade works best)

8 oz cream cheese, softened
8 oz whipped topping
1 c. powdered sugar
1 c. frozen (but thawed) mixed berries, drained well

Slice bread into 1/2" thick slices. Set aside. Mix top 5 ingredient together in a mixing bowl. Set aside. For filling: Mix everything EXCEPT the berries. Whip until completely combined. Add berries. Stir until combined. Spread desired amount of filling on one slice of bread. Place a top piece of bread onto bread with filling...making a sandwich.Preheat griddle or frying pan to a medium heat. Spray pan with cooking spray. Dip "sandwiches" into egg mixture, making sure to coat both sides. Place "sandwich" into hot pan. Cook for 2-4 minutes (depending on how fast it cooks and how done you like your french toast). Flip over and cook for another 2-4 minutes. Repeat until all french toast is done. Serve with berry syrup (Berry Syrup recipe below) and a dollop of "filling" mixture. 

Berry Syrup:
2 1/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. water
3 c. frozen berries

Combine sugar and water into sauce pan. Stir to combine. Add berries and bring to a boil. Boil for 5-7 minutes or until syrup thickens, stir constantly (it won't be SUPER thick, but thick none-the-less). Serve on top of Berry Delicious French Toast.


Friday, December 12, 2014

Julie's BEST Crusted Apple Crisp

Apple crisp has never been a favorite. Its always soggy and taste more like oatmeal with
limp apples...so needless to say, I very seldom make it. BUT...I bought a case of apples this year and my son begged me to make it. I came up with some changes to one of my recipes and thought it was worth a try....I must say, that it WAS MOST DEFINITELY worth the try. Of course, the apples go a little limp...thats what apples do when they get cooked, BUT the combination of the crust and topping crisped everything right up! I was pleasantly surprised and will make this again and again, I am sure. It was more than I hoped for and made me a believer in "Apple Crisp" once again! GO ME!!

Julie's BEST Crusted Apple Crisp
1 1/2 c. oatmeal (old fashioned)
1/2 c. granola (any flavor, any kind)
1 1/2 t. nutmeg
2. c. brown sugar
1 c. flour
1 T. cinnamon
1 t. salt
1 c. softened butter (not melted...just room temperature)
1/2 c. chopped pecans
10 c. sliced apples (peel them if you want...I left the peelings on hoping that they wouldn't go quite as soggy)
1/3 c. sugar + 1/2 t. cinnamon

Combine oatmeal, granola, nutmeg, cinnamon, flour, sugar, salt and butter until crumbly. Mix in pecans. Press 1/3 mixture on the bottom of a 9x13" pan that has been coated with cooking spray. Spread apples over crust. Combine 1/2 t. cinnamon and  1/3 c. sugar together. Stir to combine. Sprinkle over the top of apples. Top with remaining streusel crumb mixture. Spread evenly over the top. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes. Serve hot or let cool (I let it cool, then added a dollop of whipped topping). 


*Use golden delicious or granny smiths for this recipe. Red delicious has more juice and will increase the risk of the crispy crust and topping, to go soggy. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Cinnamon Roll Cheesecake Crepes

Cinnamon rolls + Crepes= HEAVEN for breakfast.These are perfect crepes for 
breakfast, or even brunch! They have a rich cheesecake filling in the middle that is TO DIE FOR! 
It just doesn't get much better than Cinnamon Roll Cheesecake Crepes...it just doesn't!

Cinnamon Roll  Cheesecake Crepes
3 c. flour
1/2 sugar
5 eggs
4 T. melted butter
1 T. oil
3 t. vanilla

Cheesecake filling:
8 oz. whipped topping
8 oz. cream cheese
1 c. powdered sugar

Cinnamon Glaze:
8 T. butter
1 1/3 c. brown sugar
1 t. vanilla
2 t. cinnamon

For crepes:
Mix all ingredient together until smooth. Heat a frying pan (on medium heat). Spray pan with pan coating. Pour approximately 1/3 c. batter into the pan. Tilt and turn the pan immediately so the batter coats the bottom of frying pan. Cook until batter bubbles, flip and cook for about 30 seconds more.
Remove from pan, repeat process until all batter is cooked.   

For filling: 
Soften cream cheese for 30 seconds (unwrapped) in the microwave. Place whipped topping, cream cheese and powdered sugar in a mixing bowl. Mix with electric hand mixer until fluffy and free from lumps. Set aside. 

For glaze:
Place butter and brown sugar in a sauce pan. Melt together while stirring. Stir in vanilla and cinnamon. Remove from stove. 

Making the crepe:
Place desired amount of cheesecake filling down the center of cooked creped. Roll crepe up (refer to picture at the top of post), drizzle (or pour) cinnamon glaze over the top of crepe. Repeat and serve immediately. IF you wanted, add a dollop of whipped topping to the top of crepes when serving. 


Monday, December 8, 2014

Grilled Pork Chops

Okay, okay....grilling season MIGHT be over, but if many of you are like me....your grill is just
out the back door and can be used ALMOST year round (as long as its not covered with snow). 
These pork chops are moist and packed with rich, juicy flavor. I always make extra pork chops so I can slice them into pieces and put them on salad the next day. 

Grilled Pork Chops
6 boneless pork chops (bone in works too...I just prefer the boneless)
1/4. c. oil
1/3 c. lemon juice
1 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. pepper

Mix oil, lemon juice, garlic powder and pepper in a small dish. Heat grill to 375 degrees. Place meat on the grill. Using a pastry brush, brush oil mixture onto meat. Cook until browned, turn meat over, baste with oil mixture again. Continue process until meat is done. Pork cooks fast, so be careful not to burn it. Enjoy!


Friday, December 5, 2014

Julie's Strawberry Cheesecake French Toast Sandwich

FABULOUS is the word that comes to mind when I tasted this delectable dish! Its a little 
bit of heaven with every bite, in fact this is most likely what they serve at the pearly gates when you 
enter...I'm sure of it! BUT honestly....who doesn't love a little strawberry and cheesecake for breakfast??!!....I DO!

Julie's Strawberry Cheesecake French Toast Sandwich
4 eggs
2 c. heavy cream
1 t. vanilla
2 T. sugar

Combine all ingredient in a mixing bowl. Set aside. 

8-10 slices heavy bread (homemade or french bread)

Heat griddle or frying pan, spray with cooking spray. Dip each slice of bread into cream mixture, making sure both sides are dipped. Place on HOT griddle. Cook french toast 2-4 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Set aside. 

1-8oz cream cheese, softened
1- 8oz tub whipped topping
1/3 c. powdered sugar

Soften cream cheese. Whip cream cheese and whipped topping together until lumps are gone. Add powdered sugar. Mix until combined. Set aside. 

1 pkg. Danish Dessert (make according to instructions for "fruit sauce" on back of box)
1 lb. strawberries, sliced
whipped topping

Make Danish Dessert. When done, add sliced strawberries...NOW you will build your sandwich!

Place one piece of french toast on serving plate. Spread desired amount of cheesecake filling on it. Top with another piece of french toast. Top with Danish Dessert (with strawberries already in it). Top with a dollop of whipped topping. Wahla....you have your sandwich!!


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Julie's Cheesy Chicken Pasta

A little comfort food never hurt anyone. This Cheesy Chicken Pasta is perfect
for a cold night, sitting in front of the fireplace, listening to Christmas music. The cheese
sauce has a rich cheesy flavor that just warms the soul. Its a mouthful of goodness!

Julie's Cheesy Chicken Pasta
8 c. cooked and prepared pasta (I used Bow Tie pasta, but you can use whatever you want)
Frozen breaded chicken strips (raw, but frozen), cooked according to package instructions

Cook pasta according to package instructions. Cook chicken according to package instructions.

Cheese Sauce:
4 c. heavy cream
1 c. butter
2 c. grated white cheddar cheese
1 c. grated mozzarella cheese
1 c. grated fresh Parmesan cheese

In a medium sauce pan combine cream and butter. Bring to a slow simmer, stirring constantly until the butter is melted. Gradually stir in cheese (all). Reduce heat to low and stir until all cheeses are melted. Serve immediately. Sauce will thicken as it cools.

Place desired amount of pasta on plate. Top with cheese sauce and chopped chicken strips. Garnish with shredded cheddar cheese if desired. Serve immediately. 


Monday, December 1, 2014

Honey Salmon

There are times that I wished I lived on the coast...the beach, the constant sunshine, AND the SEAFOOD!! Salmon is one of my favorite seafoods, EVER. This Honey Salmon is a yummy way to 
eat this delightful fish!! Give it a try...its a great way to serve up dinner tonight!

Honey Salmon
4 salmon fillets
salt and pepper
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. season salt
5 T. flour
4 T. honey
2 T. oil

Lime Sauce
6 T. butter
1 garlic clove, minced
4 T. honey
juice of 2 limes
salt and pepper

In a saucepan, melt butter. Stir constantly until butter starts to turn brown. Stir in garlic, honey, lime juice and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

In a pie tin (or a plate with sides) place four, season salt, garlic powder and salt and pepper. Whisk together. Dredge each piece of salmon into flour mixture. Making sure to get both sides. Heat oil in frying pan. Place salmon in pan,  drizzle 1 T honey over each salmon piece. Sear both sides of salmon until golden brown (about 1-2 minutes per side) Remove from pan, place salmon in a 8x8 baking pan. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven. Place salmon on a serving plate. Pour Lime Sauce over salmon and serve immediately.