Monday, October 29, 2012

Frankenstein Pudding Cups

Halloween is sneaking up on me!  We made these fun pudding cups this weekend.  Kyla and Nathan had fun decorating their own cups.  Everyone enjoyed eating them :)

Idea from Pinterest

Vanilla pudding, colored green
Crushed oreos

Monday, October 22, 2012

Baked Potato Soup

This is one of my favorite, easy soups to make.  I just throw some extra potatoes in the oven when I do baked potatoes for dinner so I can make this soup.  Normally I would have bacon on top, but I was out.  It still tastes great without, though.

Recipe from:  NP Ward Cookbook

6 Tbsp butter
6 Tbsp flour
3 cups milk
2 crushed chicken bouillon cubes
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp pepper
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
4 oz sour cream
1-2 green onions
3-4 large baked potatoes, cubed (I like to remove skins)

Melt butter in a pot and then stir in flour.  Add milk.  Nest add chicken bouillon cubes, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil.  Add chopped onions, cheddar cheese, and cubed potatoes.  When potatoes are heated through, turn off heat and stir in sour cream.

Garnish with shredded cheese, green onion, and cooked bacon pieces. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Raspberry Bars

At first glance, these raspberry bars seemed like a lot of work, but once I decided to make them, I was surprised at how easy and fast they were.  They were a great treat that lasted for days, stored in the fridge.  
John's Rating: 8

 Recipe adapted from:  The Way the Cookie Crumbles

2½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2/3 cup granulated sugar
 ½ teaspoon table salt
16 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 sticks) plus 2 tablespoons, cut into ½-inch pieces and softened to cool room temperature
¼ cup packed brown sugar
1 cup rolled oats, old-fashioned
¾ cup rasberry preserves
 2-3 cups fresh raspberries (I used 3)
 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray 9x13 pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In bowl of standing mixer fitted with flat beater, mix flour, granulated sugar, and salt at low speed until combined, about 5 seconds. With machine on low, add 16 tablespoons butter one piece at a time; then continue mixing on low until mixture resembles damp sand, 1 to 1½ minutes.

Measure 1 ¼ cups flour mixture into medium bowl and set aside; distribute remaining flour mixture evenly in bottom of prepared baking pan. Using hands or flat-bottomed measuring cup, firmly press mixture into even layer to form bottom crust. Bake until edges begin to brown, 14 to 18 minutes.

While crust is baking, add brown sugar and oats to reserved flour mixture. Work in remaining 2 tablespoons butter.

Combine preserves, raspberries, and lemon juice in small bowl; mash with fork until combined but some berry pieces remain.

Spread filling evenly over hot crust; sprinkle streusel topping evenly over filling (do not press streusel into filling). Return pan to oven and bake until topping is deep golden brown and filling is bubbling, 22 to 25 minutes. Cool to room temperature on wire rack, 1 to 2 hours; remove from baking pan by lifting foil extensions. Using chef’s knife, cut into squares and serve.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Beef and Zucchini Enchiladas

This recipe gets a "10" from John.  We ate it 2 weekend nights in a row and he still requested it to be on the menu the next week!  

Recipe (slightly adjusted) from: Recipe Girl

1 pound lean ground beef
1 1/2 cups diced onion
1 1/2 cups (about 2 medium) finely diced zucchini
12 corn tortillas, heated or fried in oil to soften
2 1/2 cups enchilada sauce, homemade
3 cups cheddar- jack shredded cheese
Serve as desired with: shredded lettuce, avocado, cilantro, sour cream


Brown ground beef with onion over medium heat.  When meat is close to being done, add diced zucchini. Saute until softened (and meat is done), about 3 to 4 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside.  
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9x13-inch pan with nonstick spray.

Add 1/2 cup of sauce to the prepared pan. Spread it around so it coats the entire bottom of the pan.

Assemble the enchiladas: Place tortilla on a work surface. Spoon 1/4 to 1/3 cup of the meat mixture down the middle. Sprinkle 2 Tablespoons of cheese on top of the meat. Drizzle 1 Tablespoon of sauce on top. Wrap the tortilla around the filling tightly and place it seam-side-down in the pan. Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling until you have finished filling 12 tortillas. Place the tortillas side-by-side in the pan- it's okay if they are all snuggled in there tightly.

Pour remaining enchilada sauce over the top of the stuffed enchiladas. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove pan from the oven and take off the foil. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top; return to the oven and let the cheese melt (about 5 minutes).

Serve immediately with desired condiments.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Homemade Enchilada Sauce

This is the BEST enchilada sauce!!  It's pretty simple to make, too!

Recipe from: Recipe Girl

1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons chili powder
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion salt
1/4 teaspoon salt

Heat oil in a large skillet to medium heat. Whisk in flour and chili powder. Reduce heat to medium and continue to whisk until lightly browned. Gradually whisk in tomato sauce, chicken broth, cumin, garlic powder, onion salt and salt. Stir until smooth, and continue simmering over medium heat about 10 minutes, or until slightly thickened.

**Serve immediately, or keep in a covered bowl in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Cream Cheese Frosting

I had lots of fresh raspberries this fall and created this delish frosting to put on some cupcakes.  John declared this is "favorite cupake".  His favorite part was the raspberry on top mixed with the frosting and cupcake, so if you have raspberries, throw some on top :) 
The first time I made it, I used seedless raspberry jam (homemade of course) and it was good, but very sweet....jam has sugar, so added to the powdered sugar=very sweet.  So I made these one more time and used raspberry puree (no sugar added) and it was very good. 

24 cooled chocolate cupcakes

3 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
4-5 cups powdered sugar
1/4 to 1/2 cup Seedless Rasp Jam or Seedless Raspberry Puree

Cream the cream cheese and butter together.  Add powdered sugar one cup at a time.  Alternate adding some raspberry jam or puree for flavor.  Add enough powdered sugar to make a frosting consistency.

Spread on your cupcakes and embellish with a fresh Raspberry if desired.   Refrigerate to set frosting. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Pumpkin Zucchini Bread

This bread was great, especially warm out of the oven!  It has a great moistness and texture that comes with zucchini bread with the wonderful flavor of pumpkin.  Mmmmm...perfect for fall!  I know it's a big hit with the kids when they ask me to make more after just a few bites, even though there is still plenty left :)  

 Recipe from: Six Sisters' Stuff

3 eggs, lightly beaten 
1 cup sugar 
1 cup brown sugar 
1 cup canned pumpkin*
1 cup butter, melted (or 1 cup oil or 1/2 cup oil and 1/2 cup applesauce) 
1 tablespoon vanilla extract 
3 cups all-purpose flour 
1 teaspoon baking soda 
1/2 teaspoon baking powder 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg 
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves 
2 cups shredded zucchini 

In a bowl, combine eggs and sugar. Add pumpkin, butter (or oil/applesauce) and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients; gradually add to pumpkin mixture and mix well. Stir in zucchini . Pour into two greased and floured 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pans. Bake at 350° for 45-55 minutes or until breads test done. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Remove to a wire rack. Yield: 2 loaves.

*Note to self: My pumpkin I freeze is a little thinner than the "canned pumpkin" so I added 1/4 to  1/2 cup more flour and it worked great