Friday, December 30, 2011

Michelle's Cheese Ball

So I've never actually had this as a "cheese ball", but as a cracker spread. It is so good!! It's best to chill it, but you can also eat it right away.1 pkg cream cheese (8 oz)
2 green onions (I have used onion pwd. instead)
1/8 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. bon appetit (or a little more)

Mix all together and roll in crushed nuts or eat as a cracker spread.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Orange Rolls

I love orange rolls this time of year. These have the perfect flavor for me. This recipe makes 24 delish rolls. You could cut them smaller and have little mini rolls if you are heading to a holiday party. Dough:
1 cup very warm milk
5 Tbsp. butter, softened
1/4 cup very warm water
1 Tbsp. yeast
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
4 cups flour

1 grated orange rind
1/2 cup soft butter
1/2 cup sugar

Glaze: Blend in VitaMix: (or use pwd sugar mixed with orange juice)
1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. corn starch
juice of one orange

Make dough. Let rise 1 hour. Divide dough in half and roll each half into a large circle. Spread half the filling on the first circle. Cut dough into 12 triangles. Roll up each triangle and place an a greased baking sheet. Repeat making the other 12 rolls. Let rolls rise until doubled in size. Bake 350 for 15 minutes. Let cool a few minutes and top with glaze.

Enjoy warm :)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Eggnog Muffins

We made these for our Christmas weekend. The eggnog flavor was perfect!! Don't skip the is the best part :) My one son that LOVES eggnog was super thrilled with these!

Recipe from: Two Peas and Their Pod

1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 2/3 cups all-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup eggnog

For the Glaze:
1 tablespoons butter, melted
3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/4 cup eggnog
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease mini muffin pans (for 36 muffins). Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, using a mixer, cream together the butter, canola oil, and sugars till smooth. Add the eggs, beating to combine.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, salt, and vanilla.

4. Add the dry ingredients into the butter mixture alternately with the eggnog, beginning and ending with the flour and making sure everything is thoroughly combined.

5. Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared pans, filling the cups nearly full. (I used my purple scoop and put one full scoop in each muffin cup) Bake the muffins for 10-12 minutes, or until they're a pale golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the middle of one of the center muffins comes out clean. Remove muffins from the oven, and let them cool for a couple of minutes.

6. To make the glaze, combine butter, sugar, eggnog, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl VitaMix. Mix until smooth. Dip the tops of each muffin into the glaze and let cool on a wire cooling rack until glaze sets up.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Nutter Butter Santas

Nutter Butters have a fun shape to make things with. Kyla enjoyed helping me make these little Santas:

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Mint Oreo Truffles

I've made Oreo Truffles for a few years now and love them, but this year I went with a mint flavor and liked them a lot.
1 pkg mint oreo cookies
1 pkg. cream cheese (8 oz), softened
Dipping Chocolate
Peppermint Extract

Crush oreos and mix with cream cheese. Using a cookie scoop, make your truffles.
Melt your dipping chocolate and add some peppermint extract. You can go for a mild flavor or stronger....Start with a small amount, stir it in and see how strong you want the peppermint flavor. Then dip your truffles.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Reindeer Donuts

This idea is from pinterest, too. We will also be making these for the 1st Grade classroom party, so we tried them out early. The kids had fun making them!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Snowman Face Doughnuts

These are all over pinterest and my son was so excited to try making them. We will be making these for Kyla's First Grade Classroom Christmas Party in a few weeks :)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Mom's Caramel Breakfast Rolls

This takes a little planning ahead, but is super easy to make and tastes great! (Thanks for sharing the your recipe, mom!)
1 bag frozen Rhode's Rolls (36 count)
1 cup brown sugar
1 small pkg. butterscotch pudding, cooking kind, NOT instant
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup half and half (I used milk and it worked too)

Combine and mix the brown sugar, pudding mix, melted butter and half and half. Layer half of the frozen rolls in a bunt pan and drizzle with half the sauce. Add the rest of the dough and drizzle the remaining sauce over the top. Cover and let rise in fridge overnight.

Bake uncovered at 325 for 50 minutes. While still warm, turn over bunt pan onto a platter or cookie sheet.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Ranchy Turkey Pasta

It's nice to have some super easy recipes to use up that leftover turkey. You've spent hours cooking and prepping for Thanksgiving, so there should be some easy recipes for the next few days as you eat leftover turkey, right? I was a little hesitant about the carrots in this dish, but it was really good!
John's Rating: 86 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. ranch
2 cups cooked turkey, cubed
6 oz pasta
2 cups sliced carrots

Cook pasta. Cook carrots. Melt butter in saucepan. Stir in turkey and ranch pwd. Add cooked pasta and drained carrots. Serve warm.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Weekend Menu

Thursday: Stew and warm bread
Friday:Stuffed Taco Shells
Saturday: Burgers and Potatoes
Sunday: Crock Pot Teriyaki Chicken and rice

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Puffed French Toast

So this is called French Toast, but is more of a dessert. I mean, fried and rolled in sugar. Mmmm. Very good, but a treat. My kids LOVED these. They taste like churros, but are easier to make.
LinkRecipe from Our Best Bites

1 egg
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup milk
1/2 cup flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
6 slices Texas style toast, cut into 3rds (sticks)

In a large skillet or frying pan, heat about 1/4″ of vegetable oil (not olive oil) over medium heat.

In blender, mix together eggs, sugar, salt, vanilla, milk, flour, and baking powder. Pour into 8x8 pan. Test oil heat by flicking some water into the frying pan.

If it pops, reduce the heat. If hardly anything happens, turn up the heat. If it sizzles, it’s just right.

Take each cut slice of bread and soak it both sides in the milk/egg/flour mixture. If you leave it in too long, it will get soggy, but you want to make sure enough of the egg mixture has soaked into the bread. Gently shake to remove excess batter and place in hot oil. Cook until puffed, golden brown, and a nice, crispy crust has formed on each side (probably 3-5 minutes per side; you really need to babysit them and make sure they’re cooking correctly) and then remove from oil and drain on a paper towel. While cooking remaining French toast, keep cooked pieces warm in an oven set to the lowest temperature it will go.

While warm, roll each piece in cinnamon sugar:

3/4 cup sugar
4 tsp. cinnamon

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes

I found this recipe on pinterest and thought it'd be fun to try. It had really good flavor and was perfect on some homemade buns. I topped ours with some provolone-mozzarella cheese slices.

John's Rating: 8
Recipe from: A Taste of Home Cooking

1 pound ground beef
1 softball-sized onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
2 tablespoons steak sauce
1 cup beef stock
Salt and ground black pepper
Hamburger buns....or homemade rolls

In large skillet over medium-high heat brown the ground beef with the onion and green pepper. When that is cooked, stir in the steak sauce and beef stock. Simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed.

Serve on buns (you could even toast them first).

Top the meat mixture with a slice of provolone-mozzarella blend cheese (made by Sergento).

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Lemon Truffle Pie

A nice, refreshing lemon pie. This reminded John of a pie he had on his mission, but they ate it frozen. I liked the creamy texture and it had great flavor, but I think next time I'd add a little more lemon juice to intensify the lemon flavor.

John's Rating: 8
Recipe from: Double Batch

1 graham cracker crust (I used a premade one and I had enough filling to make 2 if you want one large pie, use a larger pan)

3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/3 cup sugar plus 1/4 cup sugar, divided
1 1/2 cups water
5 tablespoons lemon juice
zest from 2 lemons
4 egg yolks, beaten
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 cup white chocolate chips
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature

Cool Whip

Mix cornstarch and 1/3 cup sugar in a medium saucepan; add water and stir. Stir in lemon juice and lemon zest. In a separate bowl beat egg yolks with a fork; add 1/4 cup sugar and mix well. Add this mixture to the first and whisk together. Cook on medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture boils for one minute.

Remove from heat; add butter and stir until melted. Remove 1 1/2 cups of liquid and reserve for top layer. Add while chocolate chips to remaining liquid and stir until they are melted and mixed in well. Cut the cream cheese in small cubes and add to the white chocolate mixture. Stir until well mixed and smooth. (I used my kitchen aid to mix it all together.)

Pour mixture into graham cracker crust. Pour the reserved lemon sauce on top and chill at least 2 hours. (I chilled 24 hours) Spread whipped topping on top of the pie and serve.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Crispy Chicken Wraps

I ran across this recipe on pinterest and thought it'd be great to try. It was really easy. It had a mild hot sauce flavor with a great celery balance.

John's Rating: 9

Recipe from: Mels Kitchen Cafe

1/3 cup mayonnaise, light or regular
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 green onions, sliced very thin
1 celery stalk, chopped fine
2 tablespoons sour cream, light or regular
2 teaspoons hot sauce
About 3 cups of shredded or chopped cooked chicken
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
4 flour tortillas

Whisk the mayonnaise, cilantro, onioins, celery, sour cream and hot sauce in a large bowl. Add chicken and toss to combine. Divide filling into tortillas and top with cheese. Roll up tortillas. Lightly coat tortillas all over with a thin layer of oil. Heat a large non-stick skillet (or griddle) over medium heat for 1 minute. Arrange 2 wraps, seam-side down, in pan and cook until golden brown and crisp, about 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and repeat with remaining wraps. Serve.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Thursday: Pizza
Friday: Potato Cheese Chowder
Saturday: Baked Potato and Chili
Sunday: Beef Enchiladas

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Drinks

One more fun thing we did for the kids this weekend....Put a little cornstarch in a bowl and add some red food coloring. Dip the glasses in and coat the rim. The cornstarch will run down the glasses when you set them up....looking like blood:Fill your cups with your favorite drink.

This green drink is lime sherbet blended with lemonade and sprite.

Mummy Pizza

Another fun Halloween Dinner :)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Skull Cookies (Jam Filled Shortbread Cookies)

I found some cute cookie cutters at Target this year and have been using them to make fun sandwiches....but this weekend we made some fun cookies. My 3 year old was too scared to eat them, but the others thought they were fun. John thought they tasted good, too.

Recipe for cookies: (recipe from What's Cookin' Italian Style Cuisine)

1 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 egg yolks
3 tablespoon milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 2/3 cups flour
2 teaspoons cream of tarter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 cup seedless raspberry preserves


Mix all ingredients in a bowl to form a dough, except for preserves.
Chill dough 1 hour
Roll into an 1/8 inch thickness and cut into circles with a shot glass or cookie cutter of your choice. You will need two pieces of dough to make a sandwich, for each cookies.

Fill with 1/2 teaspoon of jam and top with another circle, take a knife and put a little hole in the center, place on greased sprayed cookie sheet and bake in preheated oven at 350* until lightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes.

Cool and dust with confectionery sugar.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Dinner: Halloween Style

I made some spaghetti, which we called "guts" served with some breadsticks shaped as bones. We topped it off with some sparkling cider. It was red, so the kids quickly declared they were drinking "blood". Gory, but my kids loved it and it was a simple meal to make. :) We added candles for fun and some goblet glasses.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Pumpkin Cookies

My kids LOVE pumpkin. My mom made some pumpkin cookies and sent them home with the kids. They disappeared quickly and a few days later the kids were begging for me to make some I got the recipe from my mom and whipped up a batch with some fresh pumpkin we baked.

With Cream Cheese Frosting:
With Chocolate Chips:

1/2 Cup butter
1 1/2 Cups Sugar
1 egg
Mix in:
1 3/4 cup pumpkin
Now add:
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
And then add:
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
(Chocolate Chips if you want)

Now, bake @ 350 for about 10-12 minutes. (I used my biggest scoop and cooked for 9 1/2 minutes) Let cool.

**If using Cream Cheese icing:
1 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
Gradually mix in: 1 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Blend until smooth. ( Store the cookies in the refrigerator if you used the frosting.)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Jack O' Lantern Cheese Tortilla

A little Halloween Fun with Dinner:

Friday, October 14, 2011

Mini {Crustless} Pumkin Pies

My kids LOVE pumpkin pie, but don't like the crust. So I was excited to see this idea..I'm not sure why I didn't think to do it this way! I unwrapped one so you could see that it is more solid than pumpkin pie, so it is not messy to hold and eat. My kids really liked them...this will be my new way of making pumpkin pie for them!

Recipe from: Baking Bites

2/3 cup flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup half and half (or evaporated milk) I used half and half this time.

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper or silicone liners.
In blender, blend all of the ingredients.

Fill each muffin cup...they will be almost to the top.

Bake for 45 minutes. Cool cupcakes in pan. They will sink as they cool.
Chill cupcakes before serving. Top with lightly sweetened whipped cream.

Makes 12

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Nutella Hot Chocolate

I think I found my favorite hot chocolate...ever, I LOVE nutella! It is simple to make and perfect for a cold day. We splurged and had hot mugs of Nutella hot chocolate with fresh, warm cinnamon rolls and sat by the warm fire while it poured cold rain outside. Mmmmm.

Stir Nutella into some milk in a saucepan. (About 1 cup of milk to 2 spoonfuls of nutella... Depends on how strong you want the nutella flavor)Heat milk on the stove top until it is hot, but not boiling. Stir until all of the Nutella is dissolved.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Super Sloppy Joes

John suggested sloppy joes this past weekend. It's not something that I make very often, but for an occasional food (once, maybe twice a year...) I wanted to try a recipe using a red pepper that I had. I was glad to find one by Rachael Ray. I liked that they were on the sweet side. John liked that they were moist, but not super saucy, messy.
John's Rating: 8Recipe adapted from Rachael Ray

1 pound ground beef
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 teaspoons steak seasoning blend,(I used McCormick brand Montreal Seasoning)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
2 tsp. red wine vinegar
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 cups tomato sauce (I blended fresh tomatoes from the garden to make 2 cups)

Rolls or Hamburger Buns

Cook Hamburger Add brown sugar and steak seasoning. When the meat has browned, add onion and red peppers to the skillet. Reduce heat to medium and cook onions, peppers, red wine vinegar and Worcestershire sauce with meat for 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce to pan. Stir to combine. Reduce heat to simmer and cook Sloppy Joe mixture until the sauce is thick.

Serve on hamburger buns or rolls.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Italian Chicken Soup

The weather turned frigid this week and John was wanting some warm soup after a cold day working outside, so I looked for a recipe that sounded good and used ingredients I had on hand. This one worked great and used a bunch of veggies from our garden.
John's Rating: 8Recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman

Ingredient List:

4 cups chicken broth
1/2 pkg dried noodles
1/2 red pepper
1/2 onion
1 jalapeno
1 Tbsp. oregano
2 cups tomatoes, chopped
1-2 cups Cooked chicken, cubed or shredded
1/2 cup whipping cream
Fresh grated Parmesan Cheese

Bring to boil 4 cups of chicken broth.
Stir in 1/2 pkg. dried noodles
Cook until noodles are tender.

Meanwhile, Saute in 2 Tbsp olive oil:
1/2 red pepper
1/2 onion
1 jalapeno
Saute until tender.

Then add
1 Tbsp. dried oregano
2 cups diced tomatoes (I used fresh, but you can use canned)

Stir all ingredients together and add chicken. Simmer a few minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add 1/2 cup whipping cream, stir and remove from heat. Allow to cool a few minutes and flavors to blend. Pour into bowls and top with some fresh shredded Parmesan cheese. Serve warm.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Nutty Ghosts

So, it's not a new idea, but we made some ghosts tonight using Nutter Butters. My kids thought the ghosts were fun to make and they were quick and easy. I don't know if I like them better with or without the mouths. My kids thought they needed mouths. We used some little Reeses Pieces for those. I thought they went well with the peanut butter flavor of the cookie and my kids liked that they could eat the orange and yellow ones :)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Grilled Pesto Chicken Sandwich

So I was trying to figure out what to eat on this chilly day we are having and was thinking...easy grilled cheese. Then I came up with this yummy version. It may be my new favorite sandwich!
I defrosted some grilled chicken I had in my freezer and a cube of pesto, and making this was a breeze. I was even lucky enough to have a fresh tomato from the garden :)
2 slices of bread, I used wheat
1 Tbsp. pesto
Grilled chicken
1 slice provolone mozzarella blend cheese (love this!)
1/2 tomato, sliced

Spread your butter on one side of each slice of bread. Put one slice, butter side down in warm pan. Spread your pesto on the bread then top with fresh sliced tomatoes, cheese and grilled chicken. Top with other slice of bread. Toast both sides and serve warm. YUM...

Monday, October 3, 2011

Glazed Donut Muffins

My kids are always asking for donuts for breakfast. They LOVE them, but it's not something we make (or buy) very often. Something about fried, sugary bread for breakfast makes it an occasional treat. I saw this recipe for donut muffns and figured we'd better give them a try. I found this recipe made enough batter to do 12 regular size muffins and 12 mini muffins. My family loved them! We liked them better in the mini muffin form, so next time I'll probably do them all as mini muffins.

Recipe from: Brandy's Baking

For the muffins:
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoons ground nutmeg, to taste
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk

For the Glaze:
3 tablespoons butter; melted
1 cup confectioners’ sugar; sifted
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons hot water

Directions1) Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a standard size muffin tin with (12) paper liners. Or make them into mini muffins.
2) In a medium-sized mixing bowl, cream together the butter, vegetable oil, and sugars till smooth.
3) Add the eggs, beating to combine.
4) Stir in the baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla.
5) Stir the flour into the butter mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour and making sure everything is thoroughly combined.
6) Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared pan, filling the cups 2/3 full.
7) Bake the muffins for 15 to 17 minutes (less for the mini size), or until they’re a pale golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle of one of the center muffins comes out clean.
8.) In a medium bowl, prepare the glaze by mixing together the melted butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and water. Whisk until smooth.
9.) When muffins have cooled slightly, dip the muffin crown into the glaze and allow the glaze to harden.
10.) Serve warm. Muffins will keep at room temperature for about a day.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

If your craving cinnamon rolls, esp. as the cold weather starts to settle in...this is a quick fix. I was surprised how much these tasted like a cinnamon roll! This makes for a really sweet breakfast, so best to serve with lots of fresh fruit and some breakfast meat.

Recipe adapted from: Chef in Training

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 Tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 6 Tbsp. brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 Tablespoon ground cinnamon

  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 ounces cream cheese
  • 6 Tbsp. powdered sugar (I eyeballed it to get the consistency I wanted)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Prepare pancake batter: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk in milk, oil and egg, just until batter is moistened (a few small lumps are fine).
2. In a medium bowl, mix butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Scoop the filling into a small zip baggie (or a frosting tube...that's what I used) and set aside. You don't want this to remain super-liquidy. It's best if it becomes a consistency similar to toothpaste.
3. In a medium, microwave-safe bowl- heat butter and cream cheese until melted. Whisk together until smooth; whisk in powdered sugar and vanilla extract; set aside.
4. Heat large skillet over medium-low heat. Spray with nonstick spray. Scoop about 3/4 cup batter onto the skillet. Snip the corner of your baggie of filling and squeeze a spiral of the filling onto the top of the pancake. When bubbles begin to appear on the surface, flip carefully with a thin spatula, and cook until browned on the underside, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer to a baking sheet or platter and keep in a warm oven until ready to serve.
5. When ready to serve, spoon a little warmed glaze onto the top of each pancake.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Loaded Mashed Potatoes

This side dish was a request from my husband, so after doing a little looking at recipes on how to make them, this is what I came up with. They were really good. I served them up as a side to steak.
John's Rating: 8

The amounts would depend on how big of a batch you want:

Red Potatoes, scrubbed and sliced
Garlic, finely minced
Sour Cream
Cooked bacon (I used turkey bacon)
Cheddar Cheese
Green onions, sliced

Boil potatoes with garlic until tender. Drain. Mix in butter with mashed potatoes. Stir in sour cream with the potatoes until they are as creamy as you like them. Mix in crumbled bacon and some cheese. Serve on a plate and top with some shredded cheese and sliced green onions. Serve immediately.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Pesto Cream Sauce

This is the way I like to eat a cream sauce over pasta. It would be great served over some steamed vegetables. In fact the 2nd picture I sauteed some zucchini and threw it in with the pasta and it was great. I served these pasta dishes with some grilled chicken.
John's Rating: strong 8

Recipe from Our Family Treat

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
Pesto (I use about 1/4 cup or 2 ice cube sized chunks, thawed)

Melt the butter, and then add flour. Once the roux is created, add the cream. Stir until warm. Add cheese. Once the Parmesan cheese is all melted, add the pesto. Stir and keep warm until ready to add to pasta.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


I finally found the recipe I want for pesto. It is delish! I grew my own basil and so I froze some of the pesto in ice cube trays. I have used that as well, and it works next year I will be growing more basil :)

Sorry...I forgot to take a picture of the pesto...but I have pictures of what I made with it :) Stay tuned for tomorrow's post :) And next year I will have to take a picture of the pesto.
Recipe adapted Our Family Treat

2 cups basil
1/2 triangle brick Parmesan cheese (or to your taste)
1 medium garlic clove
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts (I toasted mine in a frying pan with a little olive oil until they were light brown)
3/4 to 1 cup of olive oil

Mix all the dry ingredients in a food processor until finely chopped. Mix in the olive oil while blending on high speed until completely Incorporated and the consistency you like.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Gluten Free Brownies

So I used my new brownie recipe and made it gluten free. They were not quite as good to us gluten eaters and a little more crumbly, but really not much of a difference. My kids gobbled them up and didn't seem to notice a difference.
1/2 cup butter
1 cups sugar
2 eggs
3/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. rice flour
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. tapioca flour
1/4 tsp salt

Cream butter and sugar together.
Add eggs and blend well
Add vanilla, salt, flour, cocoa and flour. Don't overbeat.
Pour into a greased 8x8 pan.
Bake 20-25 minutes until done.

Bake at 350 F for 25-30 minutes

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Brownies from Scratch

So I was discussing brownies with my the YW president and how to make brownies for an upcoming recognition night. I sadly did not have a recipe from scratch that I liked for making brownies, so I was planning on going with the boxed kind. Well....wouldn't you know the very next day after our conversation I stumble upon this brownie recipe. Yep...It's my recipe now for brownies. Mind you, they do not taste just like the boxed brownies....this recipe uses butter instead of oil, so they are going to taste a little different. They are fabulous. Perfect for me, now I don't need to keep a mix in the house, I'll can just opt for this recipe!

Recipe from: Chef in Training

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1-1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup cocoa
1-1/3 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt

Cream butter and sugar together.
Add eggs and blend well
Add vanilla, salt, flour, cocoa and flour. Don't overbeat.
Pour into a greased 9X13 pan.

Bake at 350 F for 25-30 minutes

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Kitchen Tools Tuesday

My sifter:

John bought me this awesome sifter for Christmas last year. I love that it has a bowl attatched to catch all of my sifted ingredients.

It has a turning handle (I hate the sqeeze handled ones).

It also has a metal mesh ring to sprinkle your sifted ingredients, like powdered sugar.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Creamy New Potatoes with Peas

Growing up my mom would make this wonderful side dish when the peas were ready in the garden. My dad would go and find the new potatoes from the garden and we were in heaven. It's one of my favorite dishes fresh from the garden...maybe because it is the start of all the fresh goodness. Yes, it's basic, but mine never tasted like my mom's. She finally told me her secret ingredient this year....a chicken bouillon cube. Yep, that simple thing makes it fabulous. So here's the recipe...a little late for peas from the garden, but you can use frozen ones (from the garden of course) until next year!Measurements are approximate since I just grab and dump when I make this.


3 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. flour
1 chicken bouillon cube
2 cups milk
salt and pepper to taste

Start by cubing your new potatoes and boiling them in water. When they are about done (tender, but not mushy) throw in your peas and let them cook for a few minutes. Then drain them well and set aside.
Then make your sauce: Melt butter in med frying pan over med heat. Stir flour into melted butter and immediately mix in your milk. Toss in your bouillon cube and bring to a boil, stirring often. When it boils about 2 minutes, mix with your drained veggies. Serve warm.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Chili's Santa Fe Wrap

One of my favorite things to order at Chili's is the Santa Fe Wrap, so I went looking for the recipe to make it at home. So this didn't taste quite as good as Chili's, but they were very good!! I will be repeating it :) Yum!
Recipe from: Breaking the Recipe Rut

Grilled Corn
Diced Tomatoes
Diced Red Onion
Diced Grilled chicken
Tortilla Strips
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Ancho-Chili Ranch Dressing*

Fill tortilla with chicken and toppings. Drizzle with ancho-chili ranch dressing. Wrap the tortilla like you would a burrito (envelope style so that everything is packed nice and tight inside).

Make the dressing: Blend together:
1 dried ancho pepper
1 cup mayo
1 cup milk
3 Tbsp. dried ranch mixPicture of the dressing:

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Dessert Pizza

Someone John works with shared some cinnamon pizza from Papa John's and he was so excited to share it with me that we went and got one....It was good, but I thought this has got to be so simple to make myself, and before I put much thought into it, I saw it on a blog. This was a huge hit with John. I think it has more oats and flour than Papa John's or maybe less butter, but it was really good and I don't think I'll change it.
Pizza crust (I used my favorite recipe)

Crumb topping
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup quick oats
1/2 cup firm butter or margarine
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Vanilla glaze
2 cups confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon melted margarine or butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Roll out pizza dough. Top with crumb topping and bake 10 to 15 minutes until crust is golden brown. Allow to cool a few minutes and drizzle with glaze. Serve warm.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Kitchen Tools Tuesday

One day in June I went to the local restaurant store to buy some new tumblers for the kids for summertime. I walked past this fantastic cupcake pan and decided I really wanted it. It was around 9 dollars.
It made cupcakes a breeze...Love it.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Reese's Pieces Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

I made these for girls camp....12 went to girls camp, leaving 8. My kids were super excited about eating the rest. I was a bit nervous about making a cookie recipe without flour, but they turned out great. They tasted similar to my peanut butter cookie recipe and the added reeses pieces made them look great.
Recipe from: Make and Takes

1 cup creamy peanut butterLink
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup Reese’s Pieces candy

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
2. Mix the peanut butter and sugars together until creamy and smooth.
3. Add in the egg and vanilla extract. Mix until well combined.
4. Stir in the salt, baking soda, and Reese’s Pieces candy.
5. Spoon dough into balls, about 1 Tablespoon of dough for each cookie. Place them on the baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Lightly flatten dough balls with the palm of your hand.
6. Bake cookies for 9 minutes, or until cookies are slightly golden brown around the edges. The cookies will still be soft. They will set up while cooling. Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack.

*I used my large purple scoop and got 20 cookies.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Kitchen Tools Tuesday

Metal Kabob Sticks.

For years I soaked the wooden sticks in water to keep them from burning on the grill. Then when I tried to turn them, I'd have to be careful not to burn my fingers. Then my brother introduced me to these metal sticks:
Now I love making kabobs and they are really easy to turn...since the handle hangs out of the grill and does not heat up. I have 10 of these sticks. I got them from Walmart some 4 or 5 years ago.

*Wonder what's on these kabobs? That is some chicken and pineapple marinated in teriyaki. Yum.