Saturday, November 8, 2008

Turtle Pumpkin Pie

Just the other day I was thinking I have too many dessert recipes on that really possible?? Well, aparently not. Here's one more! :)


1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. caramel ice cream topping, divided
1 Graham Pie Crust
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. Pecan Pieces, divided
1 cup cold milk
2 pkg. (3.4 oz. each) Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tub (8 oz.) Whipped Topping, thawed, divided

POUR 1/4 cup caramel topping into crust; sprinkle with 1/2 cup pecans.
BEAT milk, pudding mixes, pumpkin and spices with whisk until blended. Stir in 1-1/2 cups COOL WHIP. Spread into crust.

REFRIGERATE at least 1 hour. Top with remaining COOL WHIP, caramel topping and pecans just before serving.

*** OH MY GOSH! THIS IS AMAZING! I just got my Kraft foods magazine this week and saw this recipe. I was anxious to try it because we were having company and I needed a dessert. This was SO quick--but it ended up the PERFECT combo. I actually don't care for straight pumpkin pie...But this recipe won me over! We will make this again and again!

see original recipe here

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Turkey Sandwiches - just an idea...

I use this blog to give me ideas when I can't quite figure out what I want for dinner. So, I figured it fitting to put my picture of my tasty turkey sandwich, baked lays, and fresh fruit. Yes, we ate this for dinner. And it was DELICIOUS!

Nothing groundbreaking about my sandwich...just the basics--turkey, lettuce, cheese, bacon. But I definitely crave this kind of fresh food many times!

So, consider this just an idea...maybe browsing through the recipes and seeing their pics will help you decide what to make for dinner too! :)

Swiss Steak

Warm and tasty...a great comfort food. And sorry about the picture. Some things taste great and look terrible! :)

Swiss Steak:
1 lb. round steak, cut into 4 pieces.
1/2 C flour
1/4 tsp. salt
dash of pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic herb seasoning
2 T vegetable oil (or olive oil)
1 medium onion, sliced
2 C water
2 beef boullion cubes

Combine flour and seasonings in a flat dish. Dredge steak pieces in seasoned flour mixture and pound with meat mallet until steaks are about 3/8 inch thick and flour is pounded into the meat.

Heat 2 T oil in large frying pan over medium heat. Add meat. Brown well on both sides.

Once browned, add onions, add water and boullion cubes. Cover with tight lid and turn to medium low heat, cooking for an additional 1-2 hours, adding water as needed.
****Keep an eye and check every 20 minutes or so to make sure it doesn't dry up. You can also do this in the oven instead, placing it in a casserole dish and adding an additional 2-3 cups in advance, covering with foil while cooking.

Use drippings for gravy! Yum...

Apple Cinnamon Rolls

This recipe is SO easy and SO impressive. Who ever would have thought that marrying canned cinnamon rolls and apple pie filling would be SO GOOD???

-2 cans of refrigerator cinnamon rolls (whatever brand you like) The ones that come in a tube

- 1 can of apple pie filling

Spray muffin tins and put one slice of cinnamon roll dough in each muffin spot. Press gently up the sides of the tin, forming a little cup. Fill with apple pie filling. Continue until your tin is full. Bake as per directions on roll dough. Remove from tin to cool and drizzle the frosting from the cinnamon rolls package on your apple cinnamon rolls.

EASY Chicken Rice Soup

Got this recipe from a gal over at Apron Girl's. I am going to post her original recipe and then the variations I made. :)

Chicken Rice Soup

1 boneless skinless chicken breast,cut into cubes
1 large can of chicken broth
1/2 a box of Uncle Ben's Long grain wild rice (Use half the rice mixture and half the seasonings mixture and save the rest for another time)
cut up some carrots

Put it all in a pot and cook on medium heat for 1 hour.

OKAY, My variation:
-2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (already cooked--I cook them ahead and freeze them) Cut into cubes.
-1 large can of Chicken broth (plus a little more water added at the end of cooking--you can decide how much to add as per how much rice you decide to use.
-1 whole box of uncooked Uncle Ben's long grain wild rice, using all seasonings as well.
-half a bag of frozen cut carrots.

This was seriously 20 minutes. Hardly any prep. Done. :) And it was SO delicious. Because I used the whole box of rice, I did add a little bit of water with a bullion cube at the end and let it dissolve before serving, just so my soup wasn't too thick with the rice. But I thought it was PERFECT.

Friday, September 5, 2008


I was totally unhappy with how the picture of this meal turned out, so I will add it later. I am sure we will eat it again VERY soon!

Perhaps someone out there has heard of this, read the recipe somewhere, or even made it. But I sure hadn' was my little stroke of genius *that probably wasn't genius after all) in the middle of dinner one night when my 3 small children were trying to eat pizza.

I realized it would be SO much easier to eat if the sauce were Off the pizza instead of ON the pizza. And so, pizzadillas were created. A perfect blend between pizza and quesadillas.

SO SIMPLE...perfect lunch in a hurry. All you need are:

-pizza toppings
-pizza sauce for dipping (I like to buy this in the squirt bottle so I am not wasting anything)

Preheat pan to low-medium heat. Take one tortilla and put cheese and toppings on on half. Fold over and place in pan. Because cooking heat varies so much, just keep an eye until your tortilla is golden brown, then flip it over and cook the other side.

Remove from pan and let cool, for a minute. Cut into wedges with pizza cutter. Serve your tasty pizzadillas with a little mound of pizza sauce for dipping.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Stuffed Pancakes (cream cheese filling)

What I REALLY wanted to eat was stuffed french toast...but with no bread on hand, my dream was not realistic. And so stuffed pancakes was born...
I know IHOP and other breakfast places do the same type of thing but I couldn't find the recipe online for how to make the DIVINE cream that goes in between the layers.
So I made my own--and I was quite impressed. :)
If you alter this, I would love to know what you do so I can try it out. This was a one time try but I loved the difference it made for my pancakes! :) PLEASE leave a comment if you have something to add or change.
4 oz cream cheese
1 small box of french vanilla pudding (though, I imagine regular vanilla would be fine too--I just had the french vanilla on hand)
1 1/2 C Milk
1/4 C powdered sugar
cinnamon to taste
Mix the pudding and milk together until smooth, add cream cheese and mix thoroughly. Add powdered sugar and cinnamon. Mix through.
Add on your pancakes or french toast while warm and serve with fresh fruit and whipped topping. Store covered in fridge.
***One thing I might change for next time I make this, is to add some whipped topping to make it a tad bit lighter while mixing. So, if you try that let me know!! :)

No Bake Peanut Butter Pie

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup milk
1 (12 ounce) package frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 (8 oz) package whipped topping
2 (9 inch) prepared oreo crusts
Chopped Reeces Peanut butter cups--as many as desired

Beat together cream cheese and confectioners' sugar. Mix in peanut butter and milk. Beat until smooth. Fold in 12 oz. whipped topping.
Spoon into two 9 inch crusts; cover, top with additional whipped topping and chopped peanut butter cups and freeze until firm.
***side note: This is DELICIOUS. Sigh....I could eat this daily, no joke. And the best part is that you can substitute ALL the ingredients for a lower fat/calorie/sugar substitute and it STILL turns out so good. I LOVE that this dessert makes two in one shot. We always eat one the same night and save another for a different night or when we need a last minute dessert. And as untraditional as this may sound, one of these ALWAYS makes it's way to our Thanksgiving feast. :)

Berry Muffins


Original recipe yield 8 large muffins

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1 cup fresh blueberries (or other berries) I used fresh raspberries for this pic.
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.
Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.

To Make Crumb Topping: Mix together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Mix with fork, and sprinkle over muffins before baking.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.

***I TRIPLED this recipe and ended up with about 16 BIG muffins and a large pan on mini muffins--I wish I could say we froze them all, but they were so good we gobbled several up right there on the spot, fresh out of the oven. However, the remainder of them went in ziplock baggies and were stored for future breakfasts. These are super easy to heat and eat--15-30 seconds in the micro and they are ready to go!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

PB Candy cake

PB Candy cake...
chocolate + peanut butter = pure bliss

I got this from the Kraft foods magazine...gosh, I love that magazine! :) It was originally called Chocolate Peanut Butter Candy Dessert...but really, that sounds totally lame. So, I made up my own name for it. :) This is SO easy--whipped it up in a few minutes and all I had to do was let it sit in the fridge while we went about out day...

12 OREO Cookies, crushed
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 cups cold milk
2 pkg. (4-serving size each) JELL-O Chocolate Instant Pudding
2 cups thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, divided
2 Tbsp. hot fudge ice cream topping
1/4 cup candy-coated peanut butter pieces

MIX crushed cookies and butter; press firmly onto bottom of 8-inch square pan.

PLACE peanut butter in large bowl. Gradually add milk, stirring with wire whisk until well blended. Add dry pudding mixes. Beat 2 min. or until well blended. (Mixture will be thick.) Stir in 1 cup of the whipped topping. Spread onto prepared crust; top evenly with remaining 1 cup whipped topping.

REFRIGERATE 3 hours or until set. When ready to serve, microwave fudge topping as directed on package; drizzle over dessert. Sprinkle with candies. Store leftovers in refrigerator.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Snickers Salad

I know, I know...risen from the dead. I am sorry to have gone M.I.A. for most of the summer...we haven't done a whole lotta cookin'. That's a real confession right there. :) A true confession.

But I am back on track--my meals are planned for the month and I have some exciting things to post here in the next few weeks.

I thought I would start with a barbecue favorite...snickers salad. The perfect blend of the good stuff (fruit) and the good stuff (chocolate). I don't know if this is classified as a fruit salad (side dish) or a tasty, we eat it as a side salad (gives us a reason to eat something different for dessert...are we horrible or what?!)

EASY, EASY, EASY...Kind of reminds us of carmel apples because as the snickers sit and soften in the creamy mixture, the carmel starts to "melt" and mix with the apples...yummm...

1 small box of vanilla pudding
1 1/2 cup milk
12 oz. whipped cream
1 bag of snickers miniatures (unwrapped and chopped)
2 granny smith apples and 2 red delicious apples (I know some people only use the granny smith, but I love red that's my variation)

In a bowl, mix the pudding mix and milk together beating until smooth. Fold in the whipped cream. Add the chopped snickers and chopped apples pieces and mix together. Let sit in fridge for about 2 hours.

Serve...if you are really okay to share. :)

oh, and side note...make sure to clarify with people that this is not potato salad. It kind of looks like it if you are just glancing at the dishes. :) That's why I add shaved chocolate on top!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Flank Steak with Corn and Red Pepper Quesadillas

I originally got this recipe from the Good Housekeeping magazine. You can check it out here. We've made a few changes here and there...and we love this on a Spring/Summer night. It makes a great alternative to the normal barbecue!

1 lime
4 teaspoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoonbrown sugar
1 (about 1 1/4 pounds) beef flank steak
3 ears corn, husks and silks removed (or we use a few small frozen ones sometimes)
1 large red pepper, seeded and cut into quarters
4 (8-inch) flour tortillas
3/4 cup(s)(3 ounces) shredded reduced-fat (2%) Mexican-style cheese (and yes, the Mexican style DOES make a difference)
2 green onions, thinly sliced (we omit these)
Plain fat-free Greek yogurt or low-fat sour cream (optional)

Prepare outdoor grill for covered direct grilling over medium heat.

From lime, grate 1 teaspoon peel and squeeze 1 teaspoon juice. In small bowl, combine lime peel and juice, chili powder, cumin, sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Rub steak with chili powder mixture to season both sides.

Place steak, corn, and pepper on hot grill rack. Cover grill and cook steak and vegetables 12 to 15 minutes or until corn is browned in spots, pepper is lightly charred and tender (turning vegetables occasionally), and steak is medium-rare or desired doneness (turning steak over once).

As vegetables are done, transfer to cutting board. Transfer steak to another cutting board; let stand 10 minutes to allow juices to set for easier slicing.

When vegetables are cool enough to handle, cut kernels from cobs and coarsely chop pepper. Place tortillas on work surface. Evenly divide cheese, green onions, corn, and peppers on half of each tortilla. Fold each tortilla over filling to make 4 quesadillas. Grill quesadillas about 2 minutes or until browned on both sides, carefully turning over once. Return quesadillas to same cutting board; cut each in half.

Thinly slice steak and serve with quesadillas and yogurt if using.

Serves 4

***My kids love these quesadillas. They are full of good stuff and are easy to handle!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Chewy Popcorn Balls

3/4 C brown sugar
1 stick of butter or margarine
10 Large marshmallows
1-2 bags unbuttered popcorn (though, I just used 9 cups of regular popper-popped corn)
Melt brown sugar, butter, and marshmallows in a saucepan until all blended and melted. Pour of popped corn. Still well. Then shape into ball and let sit on wax paper. I would say we got about 12 medium sized popcorn balls--though your amount could vary depending on how big or small you make them.
ENJOY! These are soft and chewy but no super sticky. YUM!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Creamy Tortellini Alfredo

Makes:6 servings, 1 cup each

1 can (14-1/2 oz.) fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
2 pkg. (9 oz. each) refrigerated cheese tortellini
4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, cubed
1 cup frozen peas
3/4 cup Finely Shredded Italian* Five Cheese Blend
6 slices Bacon, cooked, drained and crumbled

POUR broth and water into large saucepan; stir. Bring to boil on medium-high heat. Add tortellini. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover. Simmer 8 to 9 min. or until tortellini is tender. (Do not drain.)
ADD cream cheese and peas; stir. Heat 2 to 3 min. or until cream cheese is completely melted, stirring occasionally.
STIR in shredded cheese and bacon.
See the original recipe HERE at Kraft foods.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Potato Rolls

These are soft and delicious!

1 C hot water

1 C instant potatoes

Combine above and let sit

1 T yeast in 1 ½ C warm water, let sit until yeast activates

In a mixer cream on low:
1/2 C sugar
1 ½ tsp salt
2/3 C butter
2 eggs

Then add:
3 C flour
Yeast mixture
Add: another 2-3 C flour, mix 6 minutes on low with dough hook. Rise (covered) 1 hour
Punch down.
Roll out and shape as you would like (I found a GREAT article for how to make many different roll shapes, You can see that here. I did mine in the crescent shape)

Bake at 375° 10-12 minutes

SERVING: 36 soft and delicious dinner rolls - 3 pt+ each

For an extra yummy treat:

Orange roll filling
¼ C butter
½ C sugar
1 T orange juice concentrate
1 tsp. McCormick orange peel

Orange glaze
1 C powdered sugar
3 T orange juice
1 tsp. vanilla

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Molten Chocolate Surprise

This came from the Kraft foods magazine--you can check it out online as well at

Makes:1 doz. or 12 servings, one cake each

4 squares BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
2 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
1 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup flour
12 CHIPS AHOY! Chocolate Chip Cookies (or you can use oreos) ***
1/2 cup thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping

PREHEAT oven to 425°F. Microwave chocolate and butter in large microwaveable bowl on HIGH 2 min. or until butter is melted. Stir with wire whisk until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is well blended. Beat whole eggs, egg yolks, sugar and flour with wire whisk until well blended. Gradually add to chocolate mixture, beating constantly until well blended.
LINE 12 medium muffin cups with paper liners; spray with cooking spray. Place 1 cookie, upside-down, on bottom of each cup; cover evenly with batter.
BAKE 8 min. or until cakes are firm around edges but still soft in centers. Let stand 1 min. Carefully remove cakes from muffin pan. Invert onto dessert dishes; remove paper liners. Serve with whipped topping.

***A lot of the reviews said that Chewy Chips ahoy fit the bottom of the muffin tin better. Or you can use oreos--either way, the cookie part is GOOD!!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Warm Winter Lemon Cake

1 package yellow cake mix
2 C cold milk
1 1/4 C water
2 pkg. (4 serving size) LEMON instant pudding
1/3 C granulated sugar
2 TBSP. Powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare Cake Batter as directed on package. Pour into greased 9x13 pan, set aside.
Pour milk and water into a large bowl. Add dry pudding mixes and sugar. Beat with a wire wisk 2 minutes or until blended. Pour over batter. Place baking dish on baking sheet to catch any sauce that may bubble over as dessert bakes.
Bake 55 minutes to 1 hour or until wooden toothpick comes out clean. Cool 20 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Spoon into serving dishes to serve warm.
Makes 16 servings.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Delights

First off, I MUST credit my wonderful friend Stephanie for this amazing recipe. You can check out the original post here. These are her pictures--isn't she amazing??

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Delights (because they are delightful)
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional but totally recommended)
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves (optional but also totally recommended)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups rolled oats

1. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar, granulated sugar, baking powdered, baking soda, and, if desired, cinnamon and cloves (but totally recommended- by the way). Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour. Stir in rolled oats. (As you continue to stir in flour you may begin to think that "Okay, this is too much flour! I still have to add OATS!" I think that every time! Just keep stirring :) At the last minute it comes together for me and is like the perfect cookie dough from heaven ... angels start to sing, harps begin to play, your kitchen fills with light... it's great). Once cookie dough from heaven is combined I make it even more heavenly by adding my choc-o-late chips (or whatever I'm in the mood for).

2. Drop dough by rounded spoon 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are golden. Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool. (Then I would add: ENJOY! Recipes never include that step!) - One thing I really love about this recipe is how beautifully consistent it is. The dough always looks and feels the same - and the finished product is the same every time. I really appreciate the dependability :)

***I will add my personal note that I have tried these and they are DELICIOUS!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Parker House Rolls

1/2 C shortening, melted in 1 C boiling water
1 C cold milk
1 C warm water (in addition to the other water)
2 eggs
2 rounded TBSP yeast
3/4 C sugar
1 Tbsp. salt
8 C flour (more or less)

Mix all ingredients in order given in large mixer. Let rise once (dough is rather sticky). Roll out on flat floured surface and cut into circles. (if it is too sticky, I add a little more flour and knead it for a few minutes by hand) Brush with melted butter and fold in half. Place on greased cookie sheet and let rise again. Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

***I use the instant yeast and so I don't proof mine, I just put it in with the flour. If you are using a different type of yeast, proof in the additional 1 C warm water***

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Biscuits & Gravy

1 pound sausage (crumbled)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups milk
Salt and black pepper to taste
8 prepared biscuits

Crumble and cook sausage in large skillet over medium heat until browned. Stir in flour until dissolved. Gradually stir in milk. Cook gravy until thick and bubbly. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot over biscuits. Refrigerate leftovers.

Easy Baked Ravioli

2 tsp. Italian dressing
1 medium red pepper
1 small onion (finely chopped)
15 oz. spaghetti sauce
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
1 pkg. (9 oz) Ravioli cooked and drained
1/2 C Shredded mozzerella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat dressing in a large skillet on medium heat. Add peppers and onions. Cook and stir 2 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Stir in sauce and crushed red pepper.

Spread 1/2 C of the sauce in the bottom of a shallow 11x7 baking dish.

Cover with layers of half each of the ravioli, remaining sauce mixture and cheese. Repeat layers. Cover with foil. Bake 25 minutes or until heated through.

Makes 3-4 servings.

--SIDE NOTE: This is from the Kraft magazine and is typed as their instructions. When I made it, I made more Ravioli than called for (almost a full 16 oz. bag) and added a little extra sauce and cooked it in a smaller but DEEPER dish. I liked it this way better--and it gave us leftovers.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

No-Bake cookies

1/2 cup butter
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 cups quick cooking oats
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix butter or margarine, cocoa, sugar, milk, and salt together in saucepan. Once sauce comes to a rolling boil, let boil for 1 1/2 minute.

Stir in oatmeal, peanut butter and vanilla. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto waxed paper. Allow to cook and harden.

Makes 42 cookies  2 pt+

Monday, January 28, 2008

Fruit Dip

Fruit Dip

1 - 8 oz Cream cheese (softened)
1/3 C powdered sugar
1 (8 oz) flavored yogurt
1 1/2 C whipped cream (or more, depending on how thin you prefer it)

Beat softened cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth. Fold in yogurt and whipped cream. Serve with fresh fruit!

***I made these little fruit cups with fresh lettuce leaves in my old fashioned ice cream dishes (I bought them at a dollar store a few years ago) and then fill the glasses with fresh fruit--

Breakfast casserole

8 bacon strips, diced
1/4 cup crushed cornflakes
5 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup small curd cottage cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4-1/2 C parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 1/2 cups frozen hash brown potatoes

In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove to paper towels. Drain, reserving 2 teaspoons drippings. Stir reserved drippings into cornflakes; set aside.

In a bowl, combine the eggs, milk, cottage cheese, cheddar cheese, parm cheese, salt and pepper until blended. Stir in hash browns. Pour into a greased 9-in. pie plate. Sprinkle with bacon and the cornflake mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake, uncovered, at 325 degrees F for 45-50 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand for 5-10 minutes before cutting.

***I like to use the precooked bacon too and just mix a small amount of melted butter with the cornflakes--just for ease of making.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Chili Cheese Bean dip

This is a dip I made up on the spot because we were having company and I wanted it for our Mexican food feast! We loved it and decided it would be a permanent recipe in our family.
1 (small) can of chili con carne
1 can of refried beans
1/2 C sour cream
a few dashes of red pepper flakes
4 oz velveeta cheese

Mix beans and chili together in a blender or with a handblender (milkshake kind--I can't think of the exact name right this second)--even a small food chopped would work. You want the beans and chili to be well blended and smooth. (Though, I suppose you don't have to--this was just the look I was going for) Add your sour cream, red pepper flakes and cheese. Heat in the microwave until heated through and the cheese is melted. Serve with tortilla chips.

Breakfast Pizza

1 pound sausage or bacon
1 C frozen hash browns
1 C cheese
2 TBSP parm cheese

5 eggs
1/4 C milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Cook bacon and drain grease. Spoon onto crust. Sprinkle with hash browns and cheese. Beat egg mixture together and pour carefully over all other ingredients on the crust. Top with parm cheese and bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes.

***this is also wonderful with other veggies that you might put in an omlet***

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Sunday, January 20, 2008

German Pancakes

A favorite warm breakfast in our house!

Original recipe:

6 eggs
1 C Flour
1 C fat free Milk
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt

2 Tbsp. butter (I used brummel and brown)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Melt 4 TBSP butter in 1 1/2 qt casserole dish in oven(***side note: the original recipe calls for a 9x13 pan, but I love mine thick and choose to do it in a smaller pan so it is more substantial.) Meanwhile, in a BLENDER or with a hand mixer, mix all ingredients VERY WELL. Pour into preheated pan and bake at 450 for 25 minutes. Serve with 1 tsp powdered sugar (0 pt+) and lite or sugar free syrup.

Each recipe makes 6  (1 piece) servings - 5 pt+

Steak Soup

If you try no other recipe from my blog, you MUST try this one! We love this soup in our house. It is hearty and delicious--a real crowd pleaser!
1 pound ROUND STEAK trimmed of fat
1/2 pound extra lean ground beef (or ground turkey)
1 C chopped celery
1 C onion (finely chopped)
1 C tomato (diced)
3 tsp. season salt
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
6 C water
4 beef boullion cubes
1-2 tsp kitchen bouquet
flour/water mix (make a rue)

***if you are wondering about the carrots in my picture, it is because I always add them. They are not part of the original recipe, but we love them--just add with everything else and simmer.

In a large pot, brown your meat and the saute onion and celery in the drippings (I just leave all the meat in as well) Add seasonings, boullion, tomatoes and water. Simmer for 1 1/2 hours (you can also do this as a crockpot soup if desired). Make a rue to thicken the soup and cook for a few more minutes. Then remove from heat and add 1-2 tsp kitchen bouquet. Enjoy!!!

Serving size: 1 CUP
Servings: approx. 7

4 points+

In case you don't know what kitchen bouquet is, you can find it in the marinade aisle. If you haven't used it before, you will love it! This is a staple in our house--we love it for gravies and marinades, and beef-based soups/stews. Here is a pic in case you need some guidance.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Grasshopper Cookie Parfait

Okay, after we made our yummy parfaits the other day, I got thinking of all the other ways we could make it. I had planned on making grasshopper pie for dessert, but shortly before our company arrived, I realized that I hadn't made it yet...

And thus we have Grasshopper Cookie Parfait. This recipe is still in the works because I used leftover cream cheese topping from our fruit pizzas with extra whipped cream. So, I need to figure out the right measurements for that part. But for the rest, here goes:

1 package of chocolate pudding (4 servings) prepared
15 grasshopper cookies (finely crushed)

Cream cheese mixture:
check back in a day or two!

Mix crushed up cookies in pudding and layer chocolate mint/cream cheese/chocolate mint.
Top with whipped cream.

Refrig. for 30 minutes

If you have leftovers, I found these great little take-along containers that would be perfect for a sack lunch. PERFECT size and you still get the whole parfait effect! :)

Homemade french bread

This is a delicious recipe--makes 2 LARGE loaves. Yes, you CAN make french bread from scratch!

2 tbsp dry active yeast
4 C hot water
6 cups flour
1 1/4 tablespoon salt
1 /2 C white sugar
1/2 C vegetable oil
2 tablespoons cornmeal
1 egg white, beaten
1 tablespoon sesame seeds


Put water, sugar, oil, and salt in a bowl. Add 6 C flour (your yeast should be included with the flour if you are using dry active yeast) and mix together until it makes a thick batter. Cover with a dish towel and let sit for 10 minutes. Stir down, and repeat this 4 more times. (every ten minutes)


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Mini Fruit Pizzas

The following recipe is to make one large round pizza. You can make mini ones by using a large cookie cutter to make individual sized ones.

1 package refrigerated sugar cookie dough
2 squares (1 ounce each) white chocolate baking squares
2 Tbsp. milk
1 package cream cheese (8 oz)
1/4 C powdered sugar
1 C thawed, whipped topping
1/3 C semi-sweet chocolate
1 tsp. vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Shape cookie dough into a ball and place in the center of a large pizza stone or baking sheet. Use lightly floured rolling pin and roll dough to a 12-inch circle (about 1/4 inch). Bake 12-15 minutes or until edges are set. (cookie will be soft--don't overbake) Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes. Carefully loosen cookie from baking stone using serrated knife. Cool completely on pan.

Place white chocolate and milk in small bowl. Microwave on high 1 minute; stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Microwave an additional 10-20 seconds if necessary. Combine with cream cheese and powdered sugar; mix well. Fold in whipped topping. Spread mixture evenly over cookie.

Arrange fruits over cream cheese mixture. We love to put mandarine oranges, strawberries, kiwi, and bananas. Place chocolate morsels and vegetable oil in small bowl in microwave, uncovered, on high for 30 seconds or until chocolate is smooth. Drizzle over chocolate and fruit. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

***originally from Pampered Chef cookbook--altered to our liking.

Easy Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

I made this recipe up after trying a million recipes. I love it because it is so incredible easy and it isn't too spicy for my kids, but has just the right kick! :)

1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can Southwestern Style Pepperjack soup (or Nacho Cheese soup--both are from Campbells)
1 1/2 C milk
1/2 C soup cream
1/4 C salsa
2 C cheddar cheese (divided)
1 can chicken - drained
8 tortillas

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix soup, milk, sour cream, salsa, and 1 C cheese together. Put about 1 C of this mixture in the bottom of a 9x13 pan. (a little more if necessary to lightly cover the bottom) Add chicken to the mixture in the bowl. Put about 1/4-1/2 C filling in the center of each torilla and roll up. Place tightly together in pan. Pour remaining soupy mixture over the enchiladas and top with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Chicken & Bows

I was trying to think of a more exciting name than Chicken and Bows...but I just couldn't. So, straight from the Simple & Delicious magazine, I present to you Chicken and bows...

I love this recipe for a variety of reasons. While my kids love peppers, most kids don't. This recipe presents a great way to put a veggie they might not normally eat in without it being overpowering. The second reason I love it it because it makes a TON of food and is VERY FREEZER FRIENDLY! So, without planning to or making special arrangements, you have another night's meal ready to freeze and reheat for a quick dinner another night. The meal on a whole was not very expensive at all--and divided by 12 would make it a very budget friendly meal. VERY tasty, very easy--the kids gobbled it right up!

1 package (16 ounces) bow tie pasta
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips (I used pre-cubed chicken that I got as a manager special at the store, so mine is cubed)

1 cup chopped sweet red pepper
1/4 cup butter, cubed
2 cans (10-3/4 ounces each) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
2 cups frozen peas
1-1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a seperate pan, cook chicken and red pepper in butter over medium heat for 5-6 minutes or until chicken juices run clear. Stir in the soup, peas, milk, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 1-2 minutes or until heated through. Stir in Parmesan cheese.

Drain pasta; add to chicken mixture and toss to coat. Serve half of the mixture immediately.

Cool remaining mixture; transfer to a freezer container. Cover and freeze for up to 3 months. To use frozen casserole: Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Transfer to an ungreased shallow 3-qt. microwave-safe dish. Cover and microwave on high for 8-10 minutes or until heated through, stirring once. Yield: 2 casseroles (6 servings each).

Monday, January 14, 2008

Chocolate Peanut Butter Parfait

Here is the recipe, in all it's glory. Sorry it took me a few days to get this done! I have been running!! :) This is a super easy recipe, especially to make with the kids! We had so much fun making it for a family night treat!

3 Tbsp. milk
3 Tbsp. peanut butter
1 cup thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping
1 pkg. (4-serving size) JELL-O Chocolate Flavor Instant Pudding & Pie Filling

ADD milk gradually to peanut butter in medium bowl, stirring with wire whisk until well blended. Add whipped topping; stir until well blended. Set aside.

PREPARE pudding as directed on package. Spoon half of the pudding evenly into six parfait glasses; top with peanut butter mixture. Cover with remaining pudding.

REFRIGERATE at least 30 min. or until ready to serve. Store any leftover desserts in refrigerator.

We topped ours with whipped cream and toffee bits, because that was what we had on hand. It was delicious! Next time I am going to have some crumbled peanut butter cup to put on top though!! :)

Fiesta Chicken Corn Chowder

Apple Crisp (topping)

This is always a great backup dessert recipe if we have last minute company come or just want a delicious, warm treat. Made from staple food items (at least in my house), we always have the ingredients on hand!

Apple crisp topping:

2/3 C brown sugar
1/2 C flour
1/2 C oats
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/3 C Butter (slightly softened)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix all ingredients EXCEPT butter all together. Mix butter in with a pastry cutter until crumbly texture. Sprinkle over apple pie filling. I say this because I only ever use home-canned apple pie filling--and my mom has the recipe for that one. It is SUPER delicious...nothing like it! :)

Bake at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until browned.
Serve warm with ice cream (drizzled with caramel for extra yum!)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Wrapped Meatballs

16 precooked meatballs
1 package of refrig. crescents
Marinara sauce
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Thaw meatballs in microwave--set aside. Cut each crescent in half and place one meatball on each half. Roll the crescent around each meatball and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese and dip in marinara sauce.
This makes a great appetizer or party food, but we also eat it for a kid-friendly dinner. They are the perfect size for little hands! :)

Chicken Green Bean Casserole

No, this isn't a side dish--a delicious combo of wild rice, chicken, and the good ol' Thanksgiving favorite sidedish, this is a true family favorite in our house!

Chicken Green Bean Casserole

1/2 C Miracle Whip (or Mayo)
1 can chicken
1 can Cream of Celery soup
1 pkg Uncle Ben's Long grain & Wild rice
1 Can of Durkee french fried onions
1 Can french cut green beans

Cook Rice according to package directions. In a large bowl mix green beans with half of the juice, soup, miracle whip, and chicken. Blend well. Once the rice is finished, add it to the bowl mix. Put in an 8x8 pan and sprinkle fried onions all over the top (we LOVE these!) Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.(this is great for turkey leftovers and also freezes well--just don't freeze with onions!)
If you are questioning my math skills because this technically has 6 ingredients but I put it in the less than 5 category, it is SOOOO easy that it might as well have 5-- :) And WORTH IT! Yum! The kids gobble this up every time!

Taco Soup

1/2 pound ground beef
28 ounce can of diced tomatoes
1 can whole kernal corn with liquid
2 C water
1 small onion
1 can Kidney beans undrained
2-3 TBSP Taco seasoning (I like a little more, personally. But this is a good place to start)

Brown the mean & onion in a pot and drain well. Put back and add remaining ingredients. Simmer for 15 minutes. Top with sour cream, cheese, and corn chips.

LEFTOVER IDEAS:I love to use leftover taco soup for my taco salad as well. I just drain almost all the brother and add another tablespoon or so of taco seasing. Grab your lettuce and fresh cheese, sour cream or dressing, and you are all set! This mixture freezes really well too, so we usually have taco soup one day, a few days later have taco salad, and then freeze the rest for another taco salad later.Another thing we do with our leftover mixture (once made ready for taco salad) is make some quick boxed Spanish rice and put the rice, beans, meat mixture and cheese on tortillas for ultimate burritos. Yummy!

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole
1-2 pounds chicken nuggets
8 oz. swiss cheese, cubed
8 oz. ham, diced
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 C milk

Place nuggets as the bottom layer of a baking dish. Add cubes of swiss cheese and small pieces of ham. Mix cream of chicken soup with 1 C milk. Mix well and pour over the rest of ingredients in the dish. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Brown Sugar Meatloaf

Brown Sugar Meatloaf
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup ketchup
1 pound of ground beef (you can omit sausage and use only ground beef too)
1/2 pound maple sausage
3/4 cup milk
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 small onion, chopped
3/4 cup finely crushed saltine cracker crumbs (or bread crumbs)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a bread pan. Press half the brown sugar in the bottom of the prepared loaf pan and spread the half the ketchup over the sugar. Save the other half of both these ingredients to put on the top.In a mixing bowl, mix thoroughly all remaining ingredients and shape into a loaf. Place on top of the ketchup.Top with ketchup/brown sugar and bake in preheated oven for about 70 minutes or until juices are clear.

***After that time, I usually turn off the oven and let it sit in there while we are setting the table and the oven is cooling down--lets the juices really mix with the meat.

Cream Puffs

Once again, thank you Kraft magazine for this quick and easy recipe. If you have never cooked with puff pastry, you should definitely try it! This was SO fast and easy--hardly an clean-up! And certainly perfect for any 3 year old princess' tea party! :)

1 sheet frozen puff pastry (1/2 of 17.3-oz. pkg.), thawed
1 cup cold milk
1 pkg. (4-serving size) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding & Pie Filling
1/2 cup thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping
1 square BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate, melted

PREHEAT oven to 400°F. Unfold pastry on lightly floured surface; roll pastry out to 10-inch square. Cut into nine circles with 3-inch cookie cutter or rim of glass. (we used shapes for ours. Hearts for Valentines day--) Place on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 10 min. Remove to wire racks; cool completely.
MEANWHILE, pour milk into large bowl. Add dry pudding mix. Beat with wire whisk 2 min. or until well blended. Gently stir in whipped topping. Cover. Refrigerate 15 min.
CUT pastry circles horizontally in half. Spoon pudding mixture evenly into bottom halves of pastry; cover with tops. Drizzle with chocolate. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Pumpkin Pie cake

Even if you don't like pumpkin, TRY THIS DESSERT! You will be hooked!! :)
pumpkin pie cake
1 Lg can pumpkin
4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
3/4 C sugar
1 can fat free evap. milk
3 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1 box of yellow cake mix
1 1/2 cups of light butter (melted)
whipped topping

Now, there are technically two ways to way would be the 9x13 pan--in which you would pour it into your greased pan and sprinkle yellow cake mix (unprepared--just pour the mix right from the box) over the batter. Pour melted butter over the top. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes or until lightly browned on top. Top with whipped topping or icecream.

Going this route you can decide on your serving size--
cut into 15 pieces will be 10 pt+
cut into 12 pieces will be 12 pt+
cut into 18 pieces will be 8 pt+

OR, you can do what I like to do:
Taking (3) 8x8 pans (I like to buy disposable tins for this! It freezes GREAT and is easy to reheat and eat!) , evenly distribute pumpkin mixture (seems like mine was approx 2 C each). Pour it into your greased pans and sprinkle yellow cake mix (unprepared--just pour the mix right from the box) over the batter in each pan. (again, I think this was approx 1 1/2 C-2 C each.). Pour melted butter evenly over the top of each pan. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes or until lightly browned on top. Top with whipped topping or icecream.

If you do it this way, you will have THREE desserts, or you can serve them all at once. :) I slice each pan into 9 slices. This dessert really does freeze nicely, and reheats quickly! Just slide your disposable tin into a gallon size ziplock bag and toss in the freezer! :)

27 servings (9 slices per 8x8 pan)  5 pt+    (which I find to be PLENTY!!)