Saturday, December 26, 2009

Nacho Pie

I found this recipe on Mommy's Kitchen. I loved how easy it was and it had a great taco flavor. I served it with a nice green salad.
John's Rating: strong 8

1 lb Ground Beef, browned
1/2 Cup Chopped Onion
1 - 8oz Can Tomato Sauce
¾ Cup Water
2 Tbsp. Taco Seasoning
1 Tube Pillsbury Crescent Roll Dough
1 1/2 Cup Fritos
1/2 cup Sour Cream
1 1/2 - Cup Cheddar Cheese

Preheat oven to 350 in large skillet brown beef and onion over medium heat till done. Drain off any grease. Stir in tomato sauce, water and taco seasoning. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 - 10 minutes.
Separate Crescent rolls into 8 triangles. Place in greased 9 inch pie plate points facing towards the middle. You might have to maneuver the triangles a bit at the end and turn some of them side ways, that's OK as long as the pie plate is covered completely. Press onto bottom and up sides of plate to form crust. Seal perforations.
Sprinkle 1 cup crushed Fritos over crust. Top with 1/2 meat mixture, sprinkle some cheese, top that with remaining meat mixture. Using a spatula spread sour cream over meat. Sprinkle the remaining Cheese and then remaining 1/2 cup crushed Fritos.
Bake 30 - 40 minutes or until cheese melts, pie is bubbly and crust is golden brown. Cool 10 minutes before cutting. Add a dollop of sour cream, diced tomatoes and black olives for garnish. If the crust starts to brown to quickly cover the pie plate with foil from the bottom and up around the sides to cover crust.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Dipped Oreo Cookie Suckers

I loved this idea on HowDoesShe: I topped mine with some crushed candycanes for the Christmas season.

So cute and So easy!! I made these for my VT sisters.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Philly Cheese Pizza Dip

I got this recipe out of my Kraft Foods Magazine (last years issue). I like to serve it with Ritz Crackers....

Sorry...I missed gettting a picture.

1 pkg. cream cheese
1/2 cup pizza sauce
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
2 Tbsp. Fresh grated parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. each chopped red and green pepper
1 tsp. Italian seasoning

Slightly warm cream cheese (to make it easy to spread) and spread in the bottom of a 9 inch dish. Cover with pizza sauce, top with remaining ingredients.

Microwave on high 2-3 minutes or until it's heated through.

Serve with Ritz Crackers.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Italian Bread

This was a recipe out of my latest Taste of Home magazine. It was a great crusty bread I served warm with soup. I used the leftover bread to make Hoagies.
1 Tbsp. yeast
2 cups warm water
1 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. salt
5 1/2 cups flour
Dissolve yeast in water. Mix together 3 cups flour, sugar, and salt. Add yeast mixture. Mix on med. speed 3 minutes. Add remaining flour to form a soft dough. Knead. Cover and let rise 1hour.
Punch dough down. Turn onto a floured surface, divide in half. Shape each portion into a loaf. Place seam side down on a greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. With a sharp knife, make four shallow slashes across the top of each loaf.
Bake 400 for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Egg Nog French Toast

As soon as I saw this recipe on RealMomKitchen, I added egg nog and texas toast to my shopping list.....oh! This was SO good! A perfect holiday treat. I served it complete with the syrup, which John really liked! Even my 2 picky little eaters ate it (with the eggnog syrup!)
John's Rating: 9 4 large eggs
1 cup store-bought egg nog
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
12 slices bread (I used 14 slices)

1. Whisk together eggs, eggnog, vanilla and spices.
2. Preheat griddle. Dip bread in egg mixture, allowing it to soak in slightly. Butter the hot griddle and place soaked bread on griddle. Cook on each side until golden brown. Serve with eggnog syrup.

Eggnog Syrup (I halved the amounts for the syrup)
½ Cup Butter
1 Cup Sugar
¾ Cup store-bought eggnog

Melt butter in a medium sized sauce pan over medium-low heat.
Mix in sugar until well combined, then mix in the eggnog and bring heat up to medium-high heat.
Wisk continually until mixture comes to a full boil, remove from heat.
Serve warm over french toast and ENJOY!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Chicken with Apples

This sounded like an interesting way to use up some apples...John thought it was chunks of sweet onions smothered on his chicken and was surprised when I told them it was mostly apples.
John's Rating: 9

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 apples, peeled,cored and thickly sliced (I chunked mine)
1/2 onion, sliced
1/2 cup apple juice

1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon cornstarch

Sprinkle chicken with thyme, salt and pepper. In large frypan, heat half of the oil over medium high heat; brown chicken all over. Transfer to plate. Add remaining oil to frypan. Cook apples and onion, stirring occasionsally, until golden, about 5 minutes. Add apple juice, bring to boil, stirring and scraping up brown bits from pan. Return chicken to frypan. Cover and cook over medium low heat, turning once, until no longer pink inside, about 7 minutes. Transfer chicken to serving platter.

Whisk vinegar with cornstarch; whisk into frypan and cook, stirring, until glossy and thickened, about 1 minute. Pour over chicken.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Crock Pot Chicken Cordon Bleu

This was an easy recipe and a nice one to just let cook in the crock pot. I served it over egg noodles.

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, flattened
4 slices ham
4 slices swiss cheese
1 (10 3/4 ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
1/4 cup milk

Put ham and cheese on chicken. I cut my chicken in half lengthwise, then stuffed in the cheese and ham. Place chicken in the crock pot in a single layer. Mix soup with the milk; pour over top of chicken. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours or until chicken is no longer pink.

Serve over noodles with the sauce it makes.

Reindeer Cookies

A Christmas Time Tradition: Make Peanut Butter Cookie Dough: (I got this years ago on

1 1/4 cups brown sugar
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup shortening
3 Tbsp. milk
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1 egg
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt

Combine all ingredients.

Heat oven to 375.

Scoop to small scoops of dough next to each other:

Gently press the bottom of a cup (I used a large measuring cup) to make them mold together and smooth out a little:

Now press your candies and pretzels in the dough to make reindeer heads :)

We use M&Ms!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Cashew Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry

So this recipe interested me since I love stir fry. It had a little different flavor with the peanut butter and whole cashews that made for a nice treat.
John's Rating: 8

Sauce: (make in VitaMix)
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. honey

Vegetables and Chicken:
4 cups broccoli florets
3 stalks celery, cut diagonally
3 green onions with tops, finely chopped (I just used a small white onion)
2 tsps. finely chopped, peeled fresh ginger root, divided
4 tsps. vegetable oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, chopped and divided

2 chicken Breasts (I used 5 chicken tenders)

2 pkgs. ramen noodles (any flavor)
1/3 cup cashews or peanuts

Cut all vegetables, place in separate bowls, and set aside. Cut chicken into 1" pieces. Heat 2 tsps. oil over high heat until hot. Add chicken, 1 tsp. of the ginger root, and 1 clove pressed garlic. Cook and stir 6-7 minutes or until no longer pink. Remove from skillet; keep warm.Reduce heat to medium-high and heat remaining 2 tsps. oil in same skillet. Add broccoli and celery and remaining ginger root and garlic . Cook and stir 2 minutes. Add green onions and continue cooking 2 more minutes or until veggies are crisp-tender. Return chicken to skillet. Stir in sauce ; bring to boil, cover and simmer until vegetables are fully cooked.

Meanwhile, bring 4 cups of water to boil. Break ramen noodles and add to boiling water (discard seasoning packets or reserve for another use). Cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally and drain. Sprinkle cashews in chicken mixture. Serve chicken mixture over noodles. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Hoagie buns

I love having homemade bread for when I found this recipe, we had to try it out and it was very good!

1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup liquid honey
1/3 cup butter
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided (I used 1 1/2 cups wheat flour, the rest white)
1/2 cup quick-cooking oat
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon cold water
1 large egg white
1/2 cup quick-cooking oat

In a medium saucepan, combine water, honey and butter. Heat over low heat until liquids are warm (120 F to 130 F.) DO NOT BOIL. (ok...I cheated and used the microwave!)

In a large bowl or a bread mixing machine, add 5 cups of flour, cooking oats, salt and yeast; mix to blend. Gradually mix in warm liquids and mix until liquids are absorbed. Add eggs and mix for about 3 minutes until all ingredients are well mixed together. Remove dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead in the remaining 1/2 cup of flour. Knead for about 5 minutes until dough is nice and smooth.

Roll dough into a ball and place in a lightly greased bowl, turning to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm area until dough is doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
Punch dough down and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll dough out into the shape of a log, about 12 inches long and about 1 1/4 inches round. (I made mine shorter and fatter, I wanted them all to fit on one pan)
Place dough log buns on 2 large cookie sheets lined with parchment paper, (4 on each sheet)and spaced. Cover and let rise in a warm area until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 375°F.

*Optional: In a small bowl, combine cold water and egg white and whisk until frothy. Brush tops of loaves with egg mixture. Sprinkle quick cooking oats over the top surface of the loaves.

Bake in preheated 375 F oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until top is lightly browned and the bread sounds hollow when tapped. Cool buns on a wire rack.

*You may also make 2 - 4 1/2 x 8 1/2 inch loaves. Bake at 375 F for 35 to 40 minutes or until done.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Tex-Mex Chicken Bake

Yum! I liked how these were nice and creamy.
John's Rating: 7

1 1/2 cups bottled salsa
1/3 cup cream cheese, softened
1 white onion, finely diced
2 Tbsp. butter
1 1/2 cups grated cheese
8 corn tortillas
1 1/2 cups diced cooked chicken breasts

Preheat oven to 350.

Place the onions and butter in a frypan and using a medium heat cook until softened. Add half of the salsa, the cream cheese and 1/2 cup of the grated cheese. Stir until the cheese has melted. Warm the tortillas, either wrapped in foil and in the oven or using the microwave. Spread an even amount of the cheese mixture down the centre of each tortilla. Divide the chicken into 8 even portions and place on each tortilla on top of the cheese mixture. Roll each tortilla and place side-by-side on a greased baking tray (seam-side down). Spoon the remaining salsa over the top of the tortillas and then cover with the remaining 1 cup of grated cheese.

Bake 20-30 minutes or until heated through.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Caramel Frosting

As soon as I saw this recipe, I knew I had to make it....oh so good. I made them the night before and let them rise in the fridge overnight so we had them for breakfast :)

2 T. yeast
1/2c. warm milk
1/2 c. canned pumpkin
2/3 c. sugar
½ t. salt
1 egg, beaten
¼ c. melted, butter
1 t. cinnamon
4-5 c. flour
½ c. brown sugar, packed (On top of rolled out dough)
2 T. cinnamon (On top of rolled out dough)
2 T. melted butter(On top of rolled out dough)

Dissolve yeast in warm milk. Wait 5 minutes. Add pumpkin, egg, sugar, butter, salt, cinnamon and cloves and mix well. Slowly add flour one cup at a time. Scrape down sides of bowl after each addition of flour. Turn into lightly greased bowl, cover and set in warm place until double in bulk. Punch down dough and let rest for 5 more minutes.

Roll dough out into a rectangle.Brush dough with melted butter. Sprinkle the dough with sugar and cinnamon mixture. Starting with long side of dough, roll up jellyroll style. Pinch seams to seal. With sharp serrated knife cut roll into 12 1 in. pieces. Place rolls, cut side up in greased 9*13 pan. Cover and let rise until double, 30 to 45 minutes.

Bake rolls at 350 degrees about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Drizzle with caramel frosting as soon as they come out of the oven. Let cool until warm, add the rest of the frosting. Enjoy!

Caramel Frosting
¼ c. butter
½ c. brown sugar, packed
2 T. milk
¼ t. vanilla
Pinch of salt
½ c. to ¾ c. sifted powder sugar

In a small saucepan, heat butter until melted. Stir in brown sugar and milk. Cook over med. Low heat 1 minute. Transfer to small bowl and cool mixture. Stir in vanilla, salt, and powder sugar. Beat with Electric mixer until well blended. If necessary, add more sugar for desired consistency.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

I love having cinnamon rolls fresh out of the oven with hot chocolate. This was so nice to have warm cinnamon rolls to pull out for breakfast without having a lot of work in the morning or a long wait. They tasted divine, too.
John's Rating: 8-9

1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 Tbsp. yeast
2 cups warm milk
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
6-7 cups flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1-2 tablespoon cinnamon
butter (extra, softened butter)

Mix the first 3 ingredients at 6 PM, and let stand 10 minutes.

Mix next 5 ingredients together while the first mixture is resting. Combine the two mixtures and mix well. Let stand until 10 PM.

Divide dough in half and let rest 10 minutes.

Roll out each piece and add filling (I use white sugar, brown sugar and butter and cinnamon).

Cut; place in 8 1/2 x 13" pan. Cover and let rise overnite. (in refrigerator).

Bake in the morning at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Top with Frosting, I used a vanilla glaze.

**Next time I want to try bringing them to room temp. first or baking at 325 possibly. The tops were dark brown, while the centers could have cooked a tad bit longer, but they were still really good!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Turkey Cranberry Quesadillas

This sounded like a great treat to use leftovers from Thanksgiving...I was surprised by how much John liked them! And I loved that they were easy and didn't taste like we were trying to eat the Thanksgiving leftovers :)
John's Rating: 9

**This is a bad picture, sorry!

2 Tablespoons melted butter
6 flour tortillas
shredded swiss cheese
diced green onion
leftover turkey (I cut mine into small cubes)
leftover cranberry sauce

Brush one side of a tortilla with melted butter. Place butter side down in frying pan. Sprinkle the tortilla with a layer of swiss cheese and leftover turkey then sprinkle on some green onion. Spread cranberry sauce on another tortilla and plop the cranberry side down on the turkey topped side. Spread a little butter over this tortilla. Cook over medium heat until under side is browned and crisp and carefully flip the tortillas over to crisp the other side. Cut into four triangles and eat!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Hot Hogies

I was looking for new ways to use leftover turkey, and tried this one. It would be very good with chicken, too (but with the fattening sauce, this may just be used for an after Thanksgiving treat)
John's Rating: 9

1 loaf french bread, cut lengthwise (I used some leftover Italian Bread I had)
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken or turkey
1/2 cup light mayo
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream
2 green onions, thinly sliced (white and green parts)
Garlic powder
Onion Salt
2 cups shredded cheese (We tried cheddar and mozz., we liked cheddar best)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place french bread on large baking sheet. Mix sour cream and mayo, spread sauce on bread. Top with chicken/turkey, sprinkle with green onions, garlic pwd. and onion salt. Top with cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes until bubbly and edges are lightly browned. Slice into pieces and serve immediately.

Apple Bars

These tasted a lot like apple crisp, buy you can tell that by looking at the ingredients. It was just different because you could eat it like a bar instead of in a bowl. We liked this served warm with vanilla ice cream.

1 3/4 cups rolled oats (old-fashioned oats)
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup margarine
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 1/2 cups sliced apples (or more)
2 tablespoons margarine
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

In a large bowl, mix together oats, flour, margarine, baking soda and brown sugar. Blend well. Spread half of the oats mixture in a greased 9 x 9-inch baking pan. Press down firmly.

In a separate bowl, combine apples, 2 T. margarine, sugar and cinnamon. Spread over the oats mixture in the pan. Cover with remaining oats mixture.

Bake at 375° F for 40-45 minutes. Cut into bars.