Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Chicken a La King

Chicken a La King or "Chicken For a King" is the perfect Christmas eve dinner. It's easy to make and very delicious. I got this recipe from "The Sisters Cafe" blog last year. We loved it.

Chicken A La King
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 c. green bell pepper, chopped
8 oz. box mushrooms, sliced (opt.)
1/2 c. flour
1 c. cream
5 c. cooked chicken, shredded
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup milk, more or less

Saute the peppers and mushrooms in the butter until soft, then add the flour to make a roux. Whisk together and cook over medium heat until the roux bubbles and cooks. Add the cream and chicken and heat through, but do not boil. Season. If it's too thick, add milk to the desired consistency. Serve over bread crowns:
Bread Crowns (I thought this was such a cute idea)
Using store-bought bread, squish the four corners of pieces of bread together. Push the piece of bread into a muffin tin, with the four corners sticking up. Bake in a 250 oven until the crowns are like toast. Lift the crowns out of the muffin tins.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Morning Rolls- a Crown for a King

A Christmas morning tradition at our house for many years is our Christmas Morning Rolls. They form a "crown for a King." You make them the night before- then just pop them in a pre-heated oven 30 minutes before you want to eat breakfast on Christmas morning. Everyone loves them.
24 Rhodes rolls
1 small package cook and serve butterscotch pudding
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans (opt.)
1 tsp. cinnamon
After your Christmas eve festivities and Santa-ing(in other words, just before you go to bed), spray a bundt pan or tube pan. Put the frozen rolls in the pan. Mix together the rest of the ingredients and pour over the rolls. Cover with a towel or sprayed plastic wrap. Let stand overnight. In the morning, preheat the oven to 350. Bake for about 30 minutes.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Cream Caramels

What would Christmas be without homemade caramels. I learned how to make caramels when I was a teenager from an expert candy maker/ my teacher at church. I was pretty sure they were the best thing I'd ever tasted. I made those caramels many times, but then somehow/somewhere lost the recipe. So I began my search. I had made these little treasures enough to remember basically how they were made and with what ingredients- I just couldn't remember the amounts. I did some experimenting and think I've come up with that original recipe- or maybe even better! The trick- there's always a trick- is to make them so they will be soft, but not so soft they stick to your waxed paper wrappers. It's almost impossible to teach that in a blog, but just keep trying. It is so worth the effort!

2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups light corn syrup
1/2 cup SALTED butter
2 cups cream

In a heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, butter and 1 cup cream. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, to soft ball stage. To test, put some cold water in a bowl. Spoon some of the candy mixture into the bowl. Let it cool, then try to form a ball in the water. When the candy forms a ball that holds together under the water, that is soft ball stage. If you lift it out of the water, it just kind of melts and spreads in your hand, but under the water it forms a ball. At that point, keep stirring while you very, very slowly pour in the other cup of cream. Just stream it in so that the mixture keeps boiling all the while. Then cook until the candy is hard ball stage. Again, get a bowl of cold water and use your spoon to put some candy in. When it forms a ball in the water and that ball holds together out of the water, it is hard ball stage. The candy changes very quickly at this point, so work fast. Pour immediately into a buttered 9-inch pan. If you want you can have chopped pecans waiting in that pan. That is optional. I prefer it without nuts. Let cool without disturbing for several hours. Then, cut and wrap in saran wrap or waxed paper. I use clean kitchen sheers to cut the caramels. It is so much easier than a knife. If your caramels are too soft- no problem. Just put the candy back in the pan and add another cup of cream and try again.

I know most candy makers use a candy thermometer. I've never had good luck with them. The old-fashioned cold water test works best for me. Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Three Layer Mint Brownies

This, my friends, is one my very best recipes. I got the recipe a LONG time ago from a friend in college and it's been part of our Christmas tradition ever since. They are delicious any time, though. In fact, I made them for Michelle's reception (in pink, of course!) BYU is famous for their mint brownies, but I promise these are better. Now, like most recipes I've had for a long time, I've made changes. The bottom layer especially has undergone revisions over the years. I think the end result is, like I said, one of my very best recipes:

Three Layer Mint Brownies
1st Layer
Line a 13 x 9 pan with parchment paper. Spray with cooking spray. (I like to spray the pan, too to hold the parchment in place.) Leave ends out so you can pull the brownies right out of the pan when they are done.
Preheat oven to 350.
4 bars (4 ounces) unsweetened baking chocolate, broken into pieces
3/4 cup (or 1 1/2 sticks) butter, cut into pieces
Put chocolate and butter into a glass bowl and melt in the microwave until mixture is smooth when stirred. Check often and be careful not to burn it! Depending on your microwave, it should probably take about 1 1/2 - 2 minutes.

2 cups sugar
Stir with a spoon until well blended, then add:
3 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
Blend well, then add:
1 cup flour
Mix and spread into the prepared pan. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. Cool completely.

2nd Layer:
1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
6 T. milk
4 T. instant pudding, vanilla (if you're making the frosting green. If you're making pink frosting, butterscotch pudding is delicious- it makes it taste kind of like those butter mints)
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. (or less) mint flavoring
Few drops green or red food coloring
Mix well with a hand mixer or in a stand mixer. Spread on completely cooled 1st layer. Put in fridge until well set.
3rd Layer:
Melt in microwave:
3 squares(3 ounces)  unsweetened or semi-sweet chocolate 
4 T. butter or shortening  
Again, melt until you can stir it until smooth, but it needs to be liquid. Pour over 2nd layer tip pan and gently spread until covered and even. Put in fridge until set. Pull the whole block of well chilled brownies out with the parchment paper. Cut into squares. Store in airtight container. You can layer them between waxed paper. They also freeze very well. Merry Christmas!!!

* When I'm in a hurry, I use two really good brownie mixes made according to directions in place of the brownie layer.  It's almost as good.  

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Perfect Pie Crust

Every year, just before Thanksgiving, I make pie crusts. I got this recipe years ago from Make a Mix Cookery Cookbook, though I have made changes to that original recipe. I love that I can make all my crusts at once, freeze what I don't use for Thanksgiving, and can have delicious pie in minutes all through the year. ( I can make an apple pie in 30-40 minutes, as I start it in the microwave. I'll have to share that recipe sometime. ) This crust turns out perfect every time. It's a bit of a project to make, but then SO nice to have those balls of dough just waiting for me in the freezer. Here's what you'll need:
5 lb. bag of white flour (About 20 cups) Even though I have flour in my storage, I always buy the 5 lb. bag. It turns out better than trying to measure it.
2 1/2 T. salt (this is one change I made. The original had less salt, but I think it's better with this amount)
1 (3lb.) can shortening- Crisco
3 cups ice water(I just put some ice in my measuring cup and add the water and let it get really cold)
More flour, as needed
Plastic wrap
Aluminum foil

In a very large bowl, combine flour and salt. Mix well. Put the full can of shortening on top and cut it into the flour with a pastry blender (I always end up using my hands at the end.) Be careful not to handle it more than necessary to get it mixed. You don't want to release gluten. When of a uniform consistency, add the very cold water all at once. Mix lightly until the water is absorbed. It should resemble putty. If the dough is really sticky, sprinkle a little flour in and mix in. It is a very moist dough. Divide the dough into nine equal portions (the recipe said ten, but I find it makes the portions a little too skimpy.) Form the portions into oblong rolls. Each roll makes two crusts, so oblong is perfect for dividing in two. Wrap each roll in plastic wrap, then in foil. You can write "Pie Crust" and the date right on the foil. Freeze any you aren't using now. Each roll will make one double-crust pie, or two single-crust pies.

Baked Pie Crust
Divide the dough into two balls. Roll out dough with a rolling pin into a large circle on a lightly floured board or waxed paper. Place the dough in a pie pan. Flute the edges. Prick well with the tines of a fork. Bake in a 425 oven for 10-15 minutes. Watch it closely and remove when just lightly browned. There's nothing worse than burned pie crust.
For a two-crust pie, follow the recipe instructions.

Note for the kids: You can use your trimmings, too. Roll out and cut into strips. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and bake until lightly browned.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Candied Yams

This is my personal favorite part of Thanksgiving and an essential in the Hinton household for this holiday. The original recipe came from Grandpa and Grandma Gabe and Aunt Pam. I got it from my Mom's super helpful cookbook, "Kitchen Fun with Kay." My mouth is watering right now just thinking about these yams. A dessert disguised as a veggie . . . awesome.

1 1/2 cups brown sugar
(1/3 cup) -- 3/4 stick butter
2 T water
Boil about 3 minutes in a saucepan, until the sugars are fully dissolved. Be sure not to boil it too long or it will harden and create a crust over the yams. The ideal is to keep it saucy.

6 medium yams, steamed until soft. Slice in pan. Pour sauce over. Bake 350 for about 1/2 hour. So yummy!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Peppermint Chocolate Christmas Cake

1 (18.25 oz) package devils food cake mix
1 (5.9 oz) package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1/2 cup warm water
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup crushed peppermint candies, divided
Whipped cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, mix together the cake and pudding mixes, a spoon full of peppermint, sour cream, oil, eggs, and water. Pour batter into 2 well-greased round pans.
Bake for 40 minutes and sprinkle chocolate chips to cover the top of one of the cake rounds. Return to oven until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cake thoroughly in pans, invert and remove from pans. Place the cake without chocolate chips on top of the cake with chocolate chips so that the chocolate layer is in the middle. Frost with whipped cream and sprinkle remaining peppermint candy.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Most Delicious Caramel Apple Crisp

This is a delicious/ perfect for the season dessert . . .and it's easy! It has three parts: Caramel Sauce, Apple filling, and oatmeal topping.
Caramel Sauce You have three choices:
1. Buy a jar of caramel sauce at the store
2. Melt 1 (14 oz.) pkg. of caramels with 1 (5 oz.) can of evap. milk
3. Last the best of all the game. Make my buttery caramel sauce. It is easy and you'll have leftover to put on ice cream or dip fruit or dip finger or whatever you'd like. It's our most popular recipe.

Apple Filling
5-6 large apples (Granny Smith's are wonderful. I like to mix 4-5 granny smiths with 1-2 other kind) Peel, core, and thinly slice or even dice
1/2 cup sugar
1-2 Tablespoons flour (depending on how juicy your apples are)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1-2 T. lemon juice (depending on how tart the apples are.)
1/4 cup water
Mix the filling ingredients well in a bowl and then transfer to a sprayed 9x13 pan. Pour 1/2-1 cup caramel sauce (or the melted caramels) over the apples. You can use more or less sauce to your taste.
Mix together in a bowl:
1 cup flour
1 small pkg. butterscotch pudding ( you can use instant or cook and serve kind- doesn't matter)
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup quick cook oats (or you can use 2-3 pkgs. instant oatmeal)
2/3 cup butter, softened (you can soften it in the microwave)
Use your hands to mix this all together. Crumble the mixture over the apple/caramel mixture.
Bake in 350 oven for about 45 minutes until topping is golden and apples are bubbly and caramely and yummy. Serve warm with ice cream and more caramel sauce on top, if desired. That may be overkill . . . or it may not. You decide. Happy Fall!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Honey Roasted Butternut Squash

I LOVE butternut squash- always have. For years, I've simply cut it in half, seeded it, and filled the seed space with butter and brown sugar, wrapped it in foil, put it in a baking dish,, and baked it. It's very good that way and very easy. I recently bought some butternut squash all peeled and cut up from Costco. On the box was this delicious recipe. We loved it. As usual, I've made a few changes.

Honey Roasted Butternut Squash
1 lb. Butternut squash, cubed
1 medium apple, peeled, cored and cubed (opt.)
Olive Oil (the recipe called for 3T. Butter. I substituted olive oil to make it healthier)
3 T. honey (more or less)
1/4 cup pecans, finely chopped (I used almonds-unchopped)
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cinnamon (I used more)

Preheat oven to 400. The original recipe said to roast the squash and apple for 20minutes by themselves. Then mix the other ingredients in a bowl and pour over the almost roasted squash. I just mixed it all together on my baking tray (with my hands) at first and roasted it for about 20-25 minutes. I'm all about easy. It was SO good.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Grilled Chicken Parmesan Sandwiches

This is a delicious Italian Chicken Sandwich made on the grill, but I'm sure you could do it in a fry pan as well. It's easy and very tasty.
Adapted from Lauren's Latest
Pound out:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (Pictured is actually a boneless, skinless thigh because that's what I had. It was good, too)
Sprinkle with garlic salt, salt and pepper.
Heat the grill and brush some olive oil on the grill. Put the breasts on the hot grill and reduce the heat to medium. Close the lid and cook about 5 minutes. Turn the chicken over. Put on each breast:
A couple of Tablespoons of marinara sauce
1 thick slice of mozzarella cheese
Sprinkle fresh parmesan cheese on each one.
Close the lid and cook another 5-7 minutes until done.
Hard, Kaiser roll
Grill. Remove rolls when browned and spread with butter and rub with fresh garlic clove. It leaves the garlic flavor. You could just sprinkle it with garlic salt if you would rather.

Put chicken breasts in the rolls and top with more fresh parmesan cheese and more sauce, if desired. Delicious!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Banh Mi Sandwiches

I got this recipe from my sister's/ nieces blog several months ago. It sounded wonderful, but because it had some unknown ingredients, I didn't get around to making them until Sara (the niece in the blog) moved and donated all of her perishable food to me. Amongst the delicious items were these two sauces that this recipe requires. I made them a few days later and have been making them ever since. We love these Vietnamese sandwiches. They are easy to make, healthy and delicious. I like to plan to have them on the day I go to Costco because I can get the rolls and the rotisserie chicken there. We've tried several different rolls/ buns (all have been fine) but we especially like the Torta sandwich rolls from Costco. It calls for baguettes. Okay, so here's the recipe.
Make a pickling sauce with:
1/2 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
pinch salt
Mix well. Add:
1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 or 2 carrots, grated
( We always have leftover of everything but the cucumber and carrots to make more sandwiches later, so if you want to have them again soon, do more cucumber and carrots)
Cover and put in fridge to marinate. The longer the better, but just a few minutes is fine.
When ready to make your sandwiches:
Spread the two sides of the roll/ baguette with light mayo
Fill with sliced chicken ( rotisserie is great, but any cooked chicken will do)
Chopped lettuce, cilantro, and chopped mint leaves
Then add the cucumber/ carrot mixture
Then drizzle with (here comes the weird sauces! But they are SO good and so worth the investment)
Siracha Sauce (Thai hot sauce) Go easy with this one. It's HOT!
Thai Sweet Chili Sauce -this stuff is delicious! Both of these sauces can be found in regular supermarkets. To see a picture of them, and much better pictures of this sandwich, go to Sarah, another niece does recipe posts for and did this one. All of her recipes are easy and delicious- well, at least the ones I've tried. And as Sarah says, Bahn appetit!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Lemon Bars

I've been making lemon bars for years, but recently tried a new recipe I found and adapted on Jamie Cooks It Up blog. I really liked the buttery lemony- ness of this recipe and decided it beats the Martha Stewart version I've made in the past. A word to the wise: Don't inhale while taking a bite!

1 cup cold butter
2 cups flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar

4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup flour
1 few grates of lemon zest
For the crust: Chop the butter into small cubes. In a bowl, mix together the powdered sugar and flour. Add the butter to the dry ingredients and with a pastry blender or your hands (I've always used my hands- just work fast and don't heat up the butter), combine the ingredients. When they are mixed, press into the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Remove from oven.
Meanwhile: In a mixer bowl, beat the eggs until frothy- at least two minutes. Add sugar, baking powder, salt and flour and mix well. Add the lemon juice and zest. Beat for at least three more minutes. Pour the filling over the hot crust and return it to the oven for another 25 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Let cool completely, then cut into bars.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Baked Oven Fries with Utah Fry Sauce

I know, I've already put the recipe for Roasted Veggies on here, but then I found this recipe for Oven Fries and really liked it. You know how sometimes roasted potatoes can be kind of limp . . .they're still good; just limp. Well, this recipe makes them more crisp. They are more like real fried fries, but healthier. I found it on another food blog (I didn't print which one, so I'm not sure where.) Amounts can vary according to your needs, but this is the basic recipe:
3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut in even sized wedges
Oil (the recipe called for vegetable oil. I used that, and then another time substituted olive oil. I could detect no difference. So I use the healthier olive oil.)
Salt and pepper or Montreal Steak Seasoning or Seasoned Salt, to taste

Preheat the oven to 475. Place the potatoes in a large mixing bowl and cover with hot water. (This is the trick for making them crisper) Soak for 10-30 minutes. While the potatoes are soaking, drizzle oil on a large, sided cookie sheet (about 4 Tablespoons.) Tip the sheet from side to side to evenly coat, or use a pastry brush. Sprinkle the oiled pan with seasonings of choice.
Drain the potatoes. Spread them on layers of paper towel or kitchen towels. Pat completely dry with another towel. Wipe out the soaking bowl, removing all water. Put the potatoes back in the bowl and toss with more oil ( 1-2 T.) Arrange the wedges on the oiled pan in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt. Cover tightly with foil (another important key!) and roast in the very hot oven for about 5 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to roast until the potatoes are golden brown. If you don't have a convection oven, rotate the pan half way through the 15-20 minute cooking time. Also, using tongs, flip the fries (honestly, I don't always do this because I'm lazy) After you flip them, you are supposed to continue to roast for another 5- 15 minutes. Just watch them and take them out when they are golden and look like fries. Transfer the fries to a paper towel- lined plate to drain some of the grease. Taste and add seasoning as desired. Serve very warm with Utah Fry Sauce.

Utah Fry Sauce
Did you know Fry Sauce is a Utah thing? At least it started in Utah and has spread to some other Western states. In the East, they don't even know what you're talking about. It's easy to make. Just put about 1 part ketchup to 2 parts mayonaise in a bowl. Mix well. Put in a small amount of dill pickle juice (this is very important if you want it to taste like Utah Fry Sauce) Put a little in and taste it. If you feel like you just were transported to Artic Circle in your hometown, then you got it right. Add more if needed. You can also put in some finely chopped dill pickles if desired, but really, why? It's so good just creamy and smooth.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Cheesy Enchilada Casserole

This recipe comes from Taste of Home Magazine. It was voted to be their #1 best casserole recipe. It is easy and really yummy.
1 lb. ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
2 1/2 cups salsa
1 can black or kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup Italian Dressing
2 T. taco seasoning
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
6 flour tortillas
1 small can corn, or about 1 1/4cups frozen corn, optional
3/4 cup sour cream
2 cups shredded Mexican-blend cheese or cheddar cheese
1 cup (or so) shredded lettuce
1 tomato, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (more or less to taste)
Avocado, diced (opt.)
In a large skillet, brown the beef and onion together. Drain. Add the salsa, beans, dressing, sour cream, taco seasoning and cumin. Mix well.
In a 2 quart baking dish that you have sprayed with Pam, put about 1/3 of the meat mixture, then a generous layer of grated cheese, then two of the tortillas. Repeat two more times, then top all with more cheese. Cover with foil (spray the underside of the foil with PAM) and bake at 400 for 25 minutes, or until hot and bubbly and yummy. Let stand for 5 minutes. Serve topped with lettuce, tomato, cilantro, avocado, and a dab of sour cream. You can also top with crushed corn chips, opt.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Lemon Blossoms

This is a Paula Deen recipe, so you know it has to be good. I love these little cupcakes. They are great to serve at a party. I've made this same recipe, substituting the yellow cake mix with chocolate, the pudding with chocolate pudding, and then made the glaze without the lemon, adding vanilla instead. They were as good as the lemon ones.


  • 18 1/2-ounce package yellow cake mix
  • 3 1/2-ounce package instant lemon pudding mix
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil


  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons water


You need a miniature muffin tin for these. Spray your tins with Pam. Preheat the oven to 350. Blend together the cake mix, pudding mix, eggs and oil. Blend well- at least two minutes. Fill each muffin cup about half way. Bake in a 350 oven for 12 minutes.
Mix together the glaze ingredients until there are no lumps. Put a large piece of waxed paper or a sil pat on your counter. Put a wire rack on top of the waxed paper. While the cakes are still warm, using your hands, dip each cake into the glaze and completely coat the little cakes. Let them drip a bit over the bowl, then put them on the wire rack. They will set up. Leave them for at least an hour, then you can store them in an airtight container.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Recipes For Red Cross

My niece, Missy, at saw the devastation of the Japan earthquake and tsunami. Like all of us, she felt sad. But unlike most of us, she decided to do something about it- to help. She contacted her top 50 favorite bloggers and asked them to each donate a recipe to go in a cookbook. She got a wonderful company to donate the printing and materials, and then each of the bloggers encouraged people to buy these books. They raised a lot of money for the American Red Cross. It is 100% profit. I ordered one. It's full of delicious-sounding recipes. I intend to make a lot of them- and if they're good, I'll post them here. I was surprised (and pleased) to find that the recipe HowDoesShe submitted was my Buttery Caramel Sauce!
Nice work, Missy and friends! You inspire all of us to do something!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Raspberry Cheesecake

I. Love. Cheesecake. And this one is SO good. Every time I make this I am surprised again at how delicious it is. I have made it with raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries...and I'm sure it would taste great with blueberries too. While berries are so cheap you have got to try this out!

Crust: (Though I just use 2 pre-made graham cracker crusts and it works great)
1 Cup Graham Cracker Crumbs
2 Tbsp. Sugar
2 Tbsp. butter, melted

Combine crust ingredients and press down into springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove and allow to cool. Turn oven down to 325 degrees.

16 oz (2 pkg) Cream Cheese, softened or room temperature
1 1/2 Cups Sugar
1 Tsp. Vanilla
1 Pinch Salt
4 Eggs

Cream cream cheese until smooth in either a kitchen aid or using a hand mixer. Add sugar and cream until smooth and homogonous, scrapping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber scraper if needed. Add vanilla and salt and cream until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, creaming mixture each time. Pour batter over crust and tap lightly to bring any bubbles in the mixture to the top.

Berry Puree:
6-8 oz. berries
2 Tbsp. Sugar

Puree berries in blender or food processor until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve to remove seeds. Stir in sugar. Dollop berry puree on top of cheesecake filling and swirl in with a toothpick. Bake 60-65 min. at 325 degrees in a waterbath. Allow to cool and serve chilled.

(In order to give credit where credit is due, this is a Martha Stewart recipe)

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Fresh Peach Pie

It's peach season! This is a delicious way to use those peaches. I make it every year- at least once. It's easy and yummy.
You'll need:
1 single crust pie crust, baked
6-8 peaches
1 1/2 cups sugar + more for sprinkling over peaches
5-6 T. cornstarch
1/2 cup water
2 T. butter
1/2 tsp. almond extract
Whipped Cream, Cool whip, or ice cream for topping

Slice 3 or 4 peaches into a bowl. Sprinkle with sugar. Stir gently. Set aside.
Mash 2-3 large peaches. Put in a saucepan. Add the sugar, corn starch, and water. Cook on med. high heat for about 5 minutes. It should be a full boil. Remove from heat and add the almond extract and butter. Put the peaches in the pie crust and pour the cooked mixture over the top. Chill for several hours. Serve with the whipped or ice cream.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Asian Burgers

A fun, fresh twist to your usual hamburger. We got this recipe from Parenting Magazine.

1 lb lean ground beef
2 scallions, finely chopped
1 Tbs minced fresh ginger (I keep fresh ginger in a ziplock in my freezer, then grate it)
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbs soy sauce
1 tsp toasted sesame oil (we used veggie oil and sprinkled in a few sesame seeds)
6 English muffins, split and toasted
1/2 medium cucumber, thinly sliced into rounds (optional, but we loved this addition)

In a large bowl mix together the beef, scallions, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and oil. Shape mixture into 6 1/2 inch thick patties. Heat a grill pan or large skillet over medium-high heat (we used our Foreman). Cook the patties about 5 minutes per side or until done.
Serve burgers on English muffins topped with sliced cucumber. Makes 6 servings. Yum.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Buttermilk Waffles

1 3/4 c flour
2 T sugar
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
2 eggs
2 c buttermilk
1/2 c butter, melted
1 t vanilla

1. Combine dry ingredients in bowl and make a well in the center

2. Mix wet ingredients in another bowl, then add all at once to dry mix

3. Add mixture to preheated waffle iron

4. Serve with favorite syrup (they're great with Buttermilk Syrup)

5. Don't forget to share with those you love (c'mon, don't hog it all) ;)

Garden in a Bowl Salsa

Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes. I've bottled lots of salsa (a different recipe):
and made Summer Tomatoes (my husband's absolute favorite!) and every other tomato recipe I can think of. I decided to make some fresh salsa, that stores in the fridge for a really long time. You don't really need a recipe for fresh salsa- you really can't go wrong- but I do have a secret ingredient that I add as we eat it. We'll get to that. So here's what I did for our salsa, but again, if you're missing something or want to change the quantities- just do it. It will be delicious.

Garden in a Bowl Salsa
About 1 quart tomatoes (give or take a quart!), peeled and coarsely chopped
1 coarsely chopped onion (you can dice some of it to put in after it's processed if you like some onion chunks)
1 or 2 coarsely chopped green peppers (same as onions- I like to dice some of it to put in after it's processed)
1-3 or more jalapeno peppers, to taste (Put in the seeds for more eat, don't for less)
1-3 tsps. salt (more or less to taste)
Lots of fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup chopped cilantro (again, to taste)
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. sugar
Put all in a food processor. If yours is small, you may need to process parts at a time and then mix it in a bowl. Mix it and taste it on a chip. Add more sugar if it's really acidy and adjust the seasonings to your taste.
Now, here's the secret: When Ken and I went to Lake Tahoe last year on vacation, we found a Mexican restaurant that we LOVED! The salsa was SO good. It was owned and operated by a Mexican- descent family. I talked to the son who made the salsa to ask what is in this stuff that makes it so good. He said his grandmother taught him to add cucumber. Yes, cucumber. And why not? I have cucumbers in my garden, too. I was a little afraid that they might not last in the salsa as long as the other ingredients (stored in the fridge), so I just chop one up as I serve it. I'm thinking next time I might just throw one in the food processor to help thicken the salsa. Anyway, it makes it really yummy and fresh tasting. I also sometimes add green onion as I serve it. This stuff is good on anything: with chips, breakfast burritos, tacos- anything Mexican. Adios!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Easy Double-Layer Chocolate Pie

For some reason, this super simple, quick recipe really hit the spot for me this week. Okay, it wasn't just me . . . it got rave reviews from the whole family and all the guests. Even my two-year-old, who rarely finishes ANY food that is set before her, polished her slice off in a jiffy. It literally took less than five minutes to make, and it was oohhh, so yummy. The perfect cool and easy treat for a hot summer's day!

1 1/4 cups cold milk
2 packages (4 serving size) chocolate flavor instant pudding and pie filling
1 tub (8 oz.) whipped topping, thawed, divided
1 pre-made Graham Pie Crust

  • In a large bowl beat milk and pudding mix with wire whisk for 1 minute. Mixture will be very thick. Whisk in half of whipped topping. Carefully spread in crust.

  • Spread remaining whipped topping over top.

  • Garnish as desired. I used a peeler to shave curls from a Symphony bar. Enjoy immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Toasted Marshmallow Milk Shakes

My sister, Joan, just came for a short visit. Her daughter-in-law, Sarah, is a regular recipe contributor to Sarah recently posted this recipe for Toasted Marshmallow Milkshakes. We decided to try them out. They were really yummy and oh, so easy. That pretty much describes all of Sarah's recipes on You can go there for step by step instructions, but here's the short version (for my sized blender- big):
Toast a bunch of marshmallows by putting them on a cookie sheet and watching them closely under the broiler
Put 18 cooled marshmallows in a blender
Add 3 cups vanilla ice cream and 1 1/2 cups milk
Blend well. Pour into glasses and garnish with a toasted marshmallow. A yummy summer treat!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Summer Squash Medley

Our garden is going gangbusters, so every night I'm trying to figure out ways to use the delicious produce. This recipe isn't- a recipe, I mean. It's just a combination of ingredients my dad taught Ken how to put together years ago. When we make it, we always think of my Dad and his delicious food.

Yellow squash, pick them tiny
Zucchini, pick them tiny
onion, chopped
tomatoes, chopped
garlic, crushed or finely minced (I'm lazy and use the crushed from a jar), maybe 1 tsp.
olive oil
Salt, pepper, and basil

Put olive oil in a saute pan and add the squash, zucchini, and onion. Saute until the veggies are tender. Add the garlic and tomatoes and saute a minute or two longer. Add salt, pepper, and basil to taste.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Oh, Baby!

Oh, Baby!, The World's Greatest Sandwich or we affectionately call it the BELTCH (Bacon, Egg, Lettuce, Tomato, Cheese) Whatever you call it, it's really good. Really good. Oh, baby good! Adam Sandler plays a chef in the movie, "Spanglish" and just before he takes a bite of his late-night snack creation, he exclaims, "Oh, baby!" Ya, it really is that good. That, my friends, is one of the greatest moments in all of motion picture history! You just have to try the sandwich:
3-4 thick slices of bacon
2 slices monterey jack cheese
2 slices rustic country bread (really good bread- I'll have to post my buttermilk bread recipe. It's perfect for theses- but any good bread will do), toasted
4 slices tomato
2 butter lettuce leaves
1 tsp. butter
1 egg

1. Cook the bacon til crisp. You can fry it on the stove or on nuke it on paper towels in the microwave. Drain on paper towels.
2.Place the cheese slices on one of the toasted breads and put under broiler until cheese is melted. Watch it closely.
3.Spread the other slice of bread with mayo and top with tomato slices, bacon and lettuce.
4. Melt the butter in a skillet and fry the egg on medium heat. When the bottom is set, turn over, but don't cook too long. Leave yolk runny. (over easy)
5. Slide the egg onto the lettuce and top with the melted cheesy bread. Put the sandwich on a plate, cut in half, letting the yolk run down the sandwich. The egg yolk makes kind of a sauce that permeates and Oh, baby!

Oh, and if you wish you can make a BELTCH-O by adding a slice of onion. Honestly, what can it hurt?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Mormon Pina Coladas

Beat the heat with a delicious, easy virgin Pina Colada. These are so easy to make, and like any "smoothie" recipe, you can throw in whatever additions you'd like: banana is good, and a squirt of fresh lime will let you sing the song as you blend. "You put the lime in the coconut and drink it all up." Did I just date myself? Blend this up, and stretch out with a good book this afternoon! I think I will.

Mormon Pina Coladas
Fill you blender half full with pineapple juice
Add 3 T. Coconut milk
1/3 cup sugar
Fill the blender with ice. Blend and serve.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Chocolate Eclairs

Why is it that the idea of making cream puffs or chocolate eclairs seems so hard and scary. They really aren't that hard, and I think they are really fun to make. This recipe is really for cream puffs and you can fill them however you wish: savory or sweet. A chicken salad tastes yummy. But by far my favorite is to make them into chocolate eclairs. Yummmmmmy!
Cream Puffs
1 cup boiling water (in a medium saucepan on the stove)
1/2 cup butter
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
4 eggs
Cut the butter into several pieces and put in the boiling water. When melted, add the flour and salt all at once. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon. Stir and cook and cook and stir until the mixture forms a big lump or ball that doesn't separate. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Add eggs, one at a time, beating with your wooden spoon until well combined after each egg. Put in an egg. Beat and beat and beat until the egg is all consumed. Add the next and do the same. Do it for all four eggs.
Drop dough by heaping Tablespoons, as round as possible, onto a greased cookie sheet (or you can use a sil-pat) They should be at least three inches apart. Bake in a preheated 450 (yes, that hot) oven for 15 minutes. Leave them in, and reduce the heat to 300 and bake for another 25 minutes or so until browned and pretty. Remove from oven and let cool completely on a wire rack. When completely cool, gently remove the top of each cream puff. It should be hollow in the middle. While you're waiting for them to cool, mix the filling:
1/2 pint whipping cream, whipped OR 1 8 oz. tub cool whip
1 box instant vanilla pudding, made with 1/2 the milk called for in the recipe
Fold the cream and the pudding together and fill the puffs. Replace the tops. Top with chocolate glaze.
Chocolate Glaze
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup butter
3 T. cocoa powder
3 T. hot milk (just put some milk in the microwave and heat. Then add it to the frosting a spoon at a time to get the right consistency- so use about 3T.)

OR An easy way to make a glaze is to heat canned chocolate frosting.

Another delicious idea:
Instead of the pudding, fill the puffs with sliced strawberries (sprinkled with sugar), and whipped cream. Replace the tops and dust with powdered sugar.

Cream Wafers

I received the Betty Crocker cookbook for a shower gift before I was married 34 years ago. I loved looking through the book, and was especially intrigued by this picture of these beautiful cookies. But I never made them, just drooled over the picture. Then many years later, I attended a family gathering to which my cousin brought these little beauties. I was hooked. They are even more delicious than they look. I've since made them for several parties, showers, luncheons, and teas. They are a bit labor intensive, but so worth the effort. These will definitely be in my Top Ten Favorite Cookies book when I get that made. I love these little melt in your mouth cookies. Enjoy!

1 cup butter
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
2 cups flour
Blend together. You may have to use your hands to get it all mixed together, but so do lightly. Chill dough at least 1 hour.
Roll dough 1/2 inch thick (I like them this thick- you can do them thinner). Cut into 1 1/2 inch rounds. Put some sugar on a plate and dip the rounds on both sides in the sugar, then place on a cookie sheet. When you have your cookie sheet filled, prick each round with a fork four times- in a row looks nice. Bake just 6 minutes at 350. Remove from sheet and let cool on rack. If you wish, pack in an airtight container to frost the next day.

Cream filling:
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
Blend well with beaters. Divide filling into as many small dishes as you wish and use food color to color the filling. You can match wedding or shower colors, baby shower colors (blue or pink), pastels look so pretty for a spring party or tea party. Carefully put filling between two wafers. The wafers are very fragile. If one breaks, I guess you just have to eat it!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Hummus and Veggie Wrap

from Taste of Home Magazine (Michael Steffens)
Healthy, easy, and oh, so delightfully refreshing.

mixed salad greens
sweet onion, chopped
sliced cucumber
alfalfa sprouts
shredded carrot
balsamic vinaigrette

Spread 2 Tbsp hummus on a tortilla. Top with mixed salad greens, chopped sweet onion, sliced cucumber, alfalfa sprouts, and shredded carrot. Drizzle with 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinaigrette. Roll Tightly. Makes 1 wrap.

Roasted Butternut Linguine

from Taste of Home Magazine.
Healthy, easy, yummy, and perfect for the upcoming Fall season when butternut squash is inexpensive.

Prep: 10 min
Bake: 45 min
Yield: 4 servings

4 cups cubed peeled butternut squash
1 medium red onion, chopped
3 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 cups shredded swiss chard (I just used romaine)
1 Tbsp minced fresh sage (I substituted dried marjoram)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

1. Place the squash and onion on a tin-foil lined cookie sheet. Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle pepper flakes over veggies and toss to coat.
2. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.
3. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions; drain and place in a large bowl. Add the squash mixture, Swiss chard, sage, salt and pepper; toss to combine.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Buttermilk Syrup

I've been gone for over six weeks, helping Shonna and her family through a difficult pregnancy. One morning, while there, I made this buttermilk syrup. It is so delicious. My son-in-law made buttermilk waffles to go with it. I'll tell you what- this was GOOOOOOD! Those waffles were light and crispy and man, I wish I had some right now. He promised to post the waffle recipe if I posted the syrup recipe, so here you have it:

1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup butter
2 T. corn syrup (dark or light is fine)
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. vanilla

In a large (it boils up, so use a big pan) saucepan, stir together all the ingredients EXCEPT the vanilla. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and add the vanilla.
Obviously, this is delicious on waffles or pancakes, but you could pour it over ice cream or whatever you want. It's really good.
Okay, Blake, now your turn!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


This granola is DE-LI-CIOUS and more healthy than most too as there is no added sugar, just a drizzle of real maple syrup. As Nathan would say, "Yum-o". The only danger is that it is hard to stop eating once you have started. It is just too good.

Spray a sided cookie sheet (jelly roll pan) with olive oil. I just used cooking spray.

Put as much as you like of each of these things on the pan:

Sweetened coconut
Slivered almonds
Walnuts and/or pecans (we don't do either due to allergies)
Dried Cranberries
Raisins (my addition)
Chia or flax seeds (optional)

Sprinkle with cinnamon
Lightly spray top of concoction with olive oil
Drizzle a little maple syrup on top.

Bake on 350 for 4-6 minutes until golden.
A bigger batch will take longer...mine takes more like 15-20 minutes.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Baked Beans

I've made my sister, Patty's baked bean recipe for many years with booming success. But my husband found this other recipe in the newspaper a few weeks ago, so I made it for a neighborhood barbecue the other night, and they were amazing! It's from Dear Abby's cookbook (I also make her pecan pie- yum!). I usually make a new recipe just as it says the first time, but I found the original made a pretty small pot, and I needed a BIG pot, so I'll give you my altered recipe. The orginal also called for you to bake the beans in the oven, but I wanted to do them in the crock pot- so much easier and it doesn't heat the house.
The writer requesting the recipe in the article said she gets invited to parties just so that she'll bring these beans. I believe it; they were good. Everyone at our party loved them and they were gone in a flash!

Baked Beans
6-8 slices bacon, diced
1 cup chopped onion
2 cans (16 oz. pork and beans)
1 can butter beans, drained and rinsed
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 lb. sharp cheddar cheese, cubed
1 1/2 cup ketchup
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 T. Worcestershire sauce

Cook the bacon and onion together in a skillet until bacon is crisp and onion is browned. Put in crock pot with the other ingredients and cook on low several hours- probably 6-8 hours, depending on your crock pot.

Enjoy with your next barbecue!!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Pasta Taco Salad

I tried this recipe from another food blog and tried it while Kristen was here visiting. It was really good, and the leftovers were yummy for several days after. I love dinners like this in the summer when it's just too hot to heat the oven.
Pasta Taco Salad
1 pound pasta ( farfalle, wagonwheel, spiral, whatever you like)
1 (10 oz pkg.) frozen corn (I used two cans of drained canned corn)
1 1/2 cup salsa
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
3 roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
3 T. fresh lime juice
1 large avocado, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. salt
Freshly ground pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
Dash of Tabasco

Cook Pasta in salted water until Al dante. Drain pasta and stir in frozen corn to cool the pasta and stop the cooking. Toss the pasta with the salsa, beans, tomatoes, cilantro, and cheese. Make a dressing with the lime juice, spices, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix well, then whisk in the olive oil and Tabasco. Add the dressing to the pasta. In a small bowl, toss the avocado with some more lime juice. Serve the salad with the avocado on the side to be added. If you don't add the avocado, the salad will keep for several days and makes great leftovers.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Peach syrup

Blake made pancakes w/ this yummy syrup on his birthday--so yummy! We have a BlendTec blender (where we got the recipe) which heats it up as it blends. So just use your blender and blend til totally smooth then heat it up either on the stove or microwave.

Peach Syrup
-3 cups peaches, peeled and pitted
-3/4 cup sugar
-1 tsp. lemon juice


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Traditional Mother's Day Dinner

Years ago, I taught what was then called the "Merrie Miss" girls. Every year, just before Mother's day, our activity would be to teach them how to make the whole dinner so they could make it for their moms(most done on Saturday before) on Mother's Day. We would make Lasagna, Italian Salad, and garlic bread and Sherbet Dessert. Since then, it's become our traditional Mother's Day dinner. I remember getting lots of phone calls every Saturday before Mother's Day from little girls cooking for their families, most for the first time.
This is a very easy and tasty lasagna recipe. The noodles "soak" all night in the fridge because you prepare the day before, so they don't have to be cooked.
1 32 oz bottle spaghetti sauce ( I like Prego- but use your favorite jar sauce)
1 8 oz/ pkg. lasagna noodles
1 lb. grated mozarella cheese
1 pint cottage cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 egg
Parsley flakes
1 lb. hamburger OR 1/2 lb. hamburger and 1/2 lb. crumbled sausage, browned with
1 chopped onion
In a large frypan, brown the hamburger and onion, drain and add the spaghetti sauce. In a bowl, mix cheeses with parsley and egg. Layer in a 9 x 13 pan: dry noodles, filling, sauce, noodles, filling sauce. Sprinkle with more Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil and store in fridge until Sunday. Put in timebake while you're at church at 350 for 1 hour 15 minutes. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.

Italian Salad
1 bunch broccoli, chopped fine
1 head cauliflower, chopped fine
8 oz. mushrooms, chopped fine
1 bottle Italian dressing
Sunflower seeds, opt.
Grated cheese, opt.
Pour dressing over vegetables and marinade overnight.

Garlic Bread
Slice a large loaf of French bread and spread both sides generously with a mixture of barely melted butter, Parmesan, garlic salt and parsley flakes. Put back together, wrap in foil and heat in oven just before serving. Serve warm.

Sherbet Dessert
1/2 gallon sherbet (lime, orange, or raspberry)
Frozen Whipped Topping (12 oz.)
1 box vanilla wafers

Crush the vanilla wafers. Line a 13x9 pan with 1/2 of the crushed wafers. Soften the sherbet and whipped topping. When soft, mix together in a very large bowl. When well combined, spoon over the crushed vanilla wafers. Top with the remaining wafers. Freeze.

Happy Mother's Day!!!!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Enchilada Soup

We found this recipe and tried it last night...YUMMMMO! It was super easy too.

2 cups chicken broth
1 19 oz can enchilada sauce
1 4.5 oz can green chilies
1 20 oz package bone in chicken breasts, skin removed (I just used boneless skinless)
1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 12 oz bag frozen corn, thawed and drained (I just used a can)
Shredded Mexican cheese blend (if desired)
Chopped fresh cilantro (if desired)
Crushed tortilla chips (if desired)

1. Spray 4 or 5 quart slow cooker with cooking spray. In cooker, mix broth, enchilada sauce and chilies. Place chicken into enchilada sauce mixture; spoon sauce over chicken.
2. Cover; cook on Low heat setting 7 to 8 hours. (I did it on high for 2 1/5 hours, added beans and corn and cooked on low for another 2 or so hours because that is what fit our schedule.)
3. Remove chicken from cooker with slotted spoon. Stir beans and corn into mixture in cooker. Increase heat setting to High. Cover; cook 5-10 minutes longer. Meanwhile, shred chicken by pulling apart with 2 forks; return to cooker. Cook until thoroughly heated.
4. Top each serving with cheese, cilantro and tortilla chips.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Lemon Drop Cookies

Ready for another of my Top Ten Favorite Cookie recipes? These are so yummy . . lemony, but not too lemony. You use crushed lemon drops (those sugary lemon candies- pictured above) I hope you enjoy!

Lemon Drop Cookies
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups butter flavored shortening
3 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. lemon extract
4 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
Zest of one lemon (save the lemon for the frosting)
1 (6 oz.) pkg. lemon drops, crushed in the blender or food processor

2 cups (more or less) powdered sugar
Juice of two lemons

Preheat oven to 350. In mixing bowl, cream sugar, shortening, and eggs; Add flavorings. Turn off beater and add dry ingredients. Turn on and stir in. Add lemon zest and crushed lemon drops. Mix well. Roll into balls. Flatten slightly and put on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or a silpat (very important as these cookies will stick) I'm thinking waxed paper may work, too. Bake for about 10 minutes. Don't overbake. Let cool slightly, then glaze while still warm. You can use a brush and brush on the glaze. Let cool. Makes 4-5 dozen.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Ham with Pineapple

Want ham for Easter, but don't want or need to do a whole big ham? Try this simple recipe. I got it from my sister, Joan years ago. Recently she published a cookbook and I found the recipe in there. But it was a little different than the one I've been using for years. So I tried this "new" version, and it's even better. Joan's obviously been tweaking and improving. You can get a bag of five nice ham steaks at Costco (and freeze what you don't need) or they sell them at the grocery store, too.
Mix together:
1/2-3/4 cups brown sugar (always error on the side of sweet, is my motto)
2 T. prepared mustard
Make it into a paste. Open a can of pineapple. (Joan says sliced pineapple, which would be much prettier, but chunks is what I had) Add 1 T. pineapple juice to the paste and mix. Spread paste onto the ham steak. Drain the pineapple and arrange over the top. Cover with foil and warm in 350 oven for 30- 45 minutes.

Saturday, April 9, 2011


Every Easter/ Spring Break, we have to have Scotcharoos. I got this recipe years ago from my sister-in-law, Ada and we've been making it every Easter since.
2cups sugar
2 cups light corn syrup
2 cups peanut butter
1 13oz box rice krispies
1 pkg. chocolate chips (semi sweet)
1 pkg. butterscotch chips
Butter two large sided cookie sheets ( you know the kind all Mormons have) (or you can use two 9 x 13. The scotcharoos will be thicker.)
Combine sugar and syrup in a large pan (needs to be at least 3 qt) Cook until mixture begins to bubble, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; Stir in peanut butter. Mix well. Add cereal and stir until your arm falls off. Press into the prepared pans. Melt the chips in the microwave (don't burn it) Stir and spread over the cereal bars. Cool in fridge until topping is set. Cut and eat with family and friends on your Easter picnic!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Red Bean Salad

I found this recipe in a magazine a couple of years ago. It was good, but it seemed to lack substance and moisture, so I changed several things in it and Blake and I just love it now.
3 1/2 TBSP Red Wine Vinegar
2 1/2 TBSP olive oil
2 cups Dark red kidney beans, drained (or 1 can)
3 TBSP candied pecans (original called for toasted walnuts, use what you like, I candied ours and it was yummy)
3 TBSP chopped cilantro
1 cup chopped apple
8 oz. cooked pasta (I did a mix of rotini and penne, use whatever you have)

Combine ingredients and serve. Add vinegar and/or olive oil as needed to satisfy your moisture texture needs.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Praline Cookies

Sorry. I begin this post with a huge apology for giving you a recipe for absolutely irresistible cookies. These are SO SO good. I got the recipe off a food blog a couple of months ago, and now don't remember whose. They are definitely on my list of Ten Best Cookie Recipes that I have.
Note: Be sure when you're browning the butter to put it in a BIG saucepan or it will boil over.

2 cups browned butter
2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3 cups flour
2/3 cups chopped pecans
1/2 cup pecan halves (or you can use 1/3 cup chopped pecans- pictured)

Preheat oven to 350. Place four sticks butter in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Melt, cook and stir frequently for about 5-8 minutes until butter is a deep brown with small flecks. Butter will melt, then bubble and foam, then starts to turn dark. Watch carefully at this point. Remove when brown. Take out 1/2 cup and set aside for the frosting.

Slightly cool the butter and mix it with the brown sugar. Beat until it is no longer hot, then add eggs, vanilla, soda, baking powder, and salt. Beat thoroughly. Add the flour and pecans.

Roll into balls and place on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes. Don't over bake. Frost with Brown Butter Frosting when cool and put a pecan half or chopped pecans on top of each cookie. Makes 4-5 dozen.

Brown Butter Frosting
1/2 cup reserved brown butter
2 tsp. vanilla (I always add a little more vanilla than it calls for)
3 cups powdered sugar (more or less)
1/4 cup hot water

Mix all ingredients until smooth. Add a little hot water if it's too thick.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Hungarian Beef over Baked Noodles

I've been making Hungarian Beef for years. It's one of my favorite Crock pot recipes. It's easy and delicious. I've always served it over plain noodles. But the last few times I've made it, I've served it over these baked noodles- a recipe I found in my sister Patty's cookbook. They go so well together. The cheesy creaminess of the noodles balances with the tangy sweetness of the beef. It's yummy. I also like that the noodles hold forever, so if you have people coming to eat and are not sure when they're coming, it will be delicious even hours later.

Hungarian Beef
Oil for browning the meat and onion
2# beef round, cubed
2 onions, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 c. ketchup
2 T. worchestersire sauce
3. T. brown sugar
2 tsp. salt (this, of course, is to taste)
2 tsp. sweet paprika (I use Hungarian paprika)
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
Few dashes Tabasco sauce or any hot sauce
1 1/2 cup water
Coat beef with flour (I add some Montreal steak seasoning, too, but it wasn't in the original recipe) and let sit while you saute the onions in oil. When onions are soft and golden add the beef and brown on all sides. Put in crockpot and add all the other ingredients. Cook on low for about 6 hours (or longer or shorter- don't you love crock pots?) Serve over regular noodles or rice or Baked Noodles.

Baked Noodles
1 8 oz. pkg. noodles
1 small carton cottage cheese
1 onion, finely chopped
1 c. sour cream
1-2 tsp. minced garlic
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 tsp. chopped parsley
Parmesan cheese

Cook noodles el dente (do not overcook). Drain and Rinse. Mix in all other ingredients. Put in a greased casserole dish or 9 x9 square pan. Sprinkle with Parmesan chees.e Bake for 30 minutes at 375.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Chicken Wonton Salad

This is yummy. It has lots of little steps that can take a while, but it is worth it!
3-4 chicken breasts
2 heads of lettuce
½ pkg. wonton wraps (found in the produce section)
¼ c sesame seeds
Also the ingredients for flavoring the chicken if you choose to and for the dressing (found below).
Prepare each section and combine right before serving.
ChickenThe original recipe said to boil and then brown in a fry pan. I like the chicken to have a little flavor so I used this recipe from for teriyaki chicken:
· 1 tablespoon cornstarch
· 1 tablespoon cold water
· 1/2 cup white sugar
· 1/2 cup soy sauce
· 1/4 cup cider vinegar
· 1 clove garlic, minced
· 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
· 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
· 12 skinless chicken thighs (I, of course, used the chicken breasts)
1. In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the cornstarch, cold water, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger and ground black pepper. Let simmer, stirring frequently, until sauce thickens and bubbles.2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).3. Place chicken pieces in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking dish. Brush chicken with the sauce. Turn pieces over, and brush again.4. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Turn pieces over, and bake for another 30 minutes, until no longer pink and juices run clear. Brush with sauce every 10 minutes during cooking.
Once the chicken is cooked and cooled shred or chunk it.
LettuceWash and tear into small pieces.
WontonsFry in hot oil. I use my electric fry pan and do 4 at a time. I use my tongs to flip them and put them on a plate covered with paper towels and dab them with paper towels to remove excess oil. Once cooled, crush into small pieces.
Sesame SeedsSpread on a pan and broil until lightly browned. Watch them carefully as they burn quickly and easily.
Dressing½ c sugar
½ c white vinegar
5 t salt
1 t Accents (found in the spice section)...This is MSG and SO not necessary. I have made the dressing without this the last 2 times and it is just as good. I'm never adding it again.
Combine and boil until sugar is dissolved. Let cool.
Add ½ c salad oil or vegetable oil and ½ t. pepper.
Keep in fridge until it is time to serve.