December 19, 2010


 It's high time we wrote this recipe down.  This is the most delicious lasagna ever! Pay careful attention to the layering portion - I think it's key :)

1 lb lean ground beef
3/4 lb Italian sausage
1 onion, chopped
10 small cloves of garlic,(pressed through garlic press)
3 T butter
3 T white sugar
2 (6oz) cans tomato paste
2 (14.5oz) cans stewed tomatoes
2 cups water
1 T dried oregano
1 t garlic powder
3-4 t salt
2 t pepper
1 t Italian seasoning
1 3/4 C cottage cheese
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan-reggiano cheese
3 eggs
18 lasagna noodles
1 to 1 1/2 pounds of shredded mozzarella cheese

In a large skillet over medium heat cook the beef and sausage until brown. In another skillet over medium heat cook the onion, garlic, and sugar, and butter until onion is translucent.  Combine beef and onion mixture in a large saucepan with tomato paste, stewed tomatoes, water, oregano, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.  Cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour.
While sauce is simmering, blend cottage cheese, Parmesan and egg until smooth.  Set aside.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.  Add the pasta and cook until al dente.  Drain.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Layer in a 9x13 pan (deeper the better) as follows:
Meat mixture, 6 noodles, meat mixture, cottage cheese mixture, layer of mozzarella cheese, 6 noodles, meat mixture, cottage cheese mixture, layer of mozzarella cheese, 6 noodles, meat mixture, Parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese.
Spray tin foil with Pam (so it doesn't stick to the cheese) and cover.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove foil and bake an additional 15 minutes until golden and bubbly.

December 3, 2010

Green Bean Casserole

OK so the picture was taken when there was only a bit left in the pan......sorry! Next time I make this (or anyone!) post a different picture. I liked this recipe because it isn't your typical cream of mushroom and canned bean casserole! Much better this way!

2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1/4 cup onion, diced small
1 cup sour cream
2-3 lbs fresh green beans (can use fresh-frozen if needed-no canned beans!)
1/2 can French's fried onions
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 package Ritz crackers, crushed
4 Tbsp butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Wash and prepare green beans. Steam for about 5 min. until soft but crunchy still.

In a large skillet/sauce pan over medium heat, melt 2 Tbsp butter. Stir in flour until smooth. Stir in the salt, sugar, and onions, cooking for a couple mins. Add sour cream and cook til mixed and smooth.

Add green beans to sour cream mixture and stir to coat.

Transfer green bean mixture to 9x13 baking dish. Spread cheese over top.

Mix the crushed crackers with the butter and sprinkle over the top of the cheese. Finish by topping French's fried onions over casserole.

Bake for 30 min, until it is bubbly and golden! Enjoy!

Yummy Chocolate Cake

This cake is so moist and chocolaty and just all around delicious! My kids love it on their birthdays. Excuse the picture- it will have to do for now. :) If anyone out there makes this and takes a better pic send it our way. I don't have another birthday for a few more months :)

1 (18.25oz) package devils chocolate cake mix
1 (3.9oz) package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1/2 Cup hot water
1 Cup sour cream
1 t vanilla extract
1 C mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (up to 1 1/2 C)

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour a Bundt pan. Combine cake mix, pudding mix, oil, eggs, hot water, sour cream, and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour and allow to cool. Frost with a buttercream frosting and enjoy!

Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Pistachios

I know - Brussels Sprouts, ewe, right? WRONG! These are SO yummy and surprising well liked (or loved!!)

4 pounds Brussels sprouts
1/2 cup butter
2 red onions cut into strips
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 T white sugar (feel free to be a little more "generous" if needed :)
salt and pepper to taste
1/2+ cup coarsely chopped pistachios

Place Brussels sprouts in a steamer over boiling water. Cover and steam 8-10 minutes until tender, yet crisp. Melt the butter in a deep skillet and add the onions and 3 tablespoons of the vinegar. Cook until the onions brown. Cut the Brussels sprouts in half and add them to the onions. Add the sugar and remaining vinegar. Saute over medium heat until the Brussels sprouts are lightly caramelized. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with pistachios. YUMMY!!

Rachael Ray's Super Sloppy Joes

School lunch from our childhood has really tarnished this poor sandwiches' image :). These sloppy joes are SO yummy and major comfort food for us here. Got this one from Rachel Ray years ago. Enjoy!

1 lb ground beef
1/4 C brown sugar
1 T steak seasoning blend, such as McCormick brand Montreal Seasoning
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small red bell pepper chopped
1 T red wine vinegar
1 T worcestershire sauce
2 C tomato sauce
2 T tomato paste
4 crusty rolls, split, toasted, and lightly buttered
Sharp cheddar cheese
Garnish: sliced ripe tomatoes, pickles

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Put meat into pan. Spread the meat around pan and begin to break it up. Combine brown sugar and steak seasoning. Add sugar and spice mixture to the skillet and combine. When meat has browned, add onion to the skillet. Reduce heat to medium and cook onions, red wine vinegar and Worcestershire sauce with meat for 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce and paste to pan. Stir to combine. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 5 minutes longer. Pile sloppy joe mix onto bun with a slice of cheese and sliced pickles. MmmmMmm good!!

Carrot Cake

A little time consuming - but according to any carrot-cake lovers (and some who are not!) it's super delicious!! :) Recipe is from Mortons Steakhouse

Cake Ingredients:
2 T butter
2 Cups flour plus more for dusting the pan
2 t baking soda
2 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t salt
4 large eggs
2 C sugar
2/3 C vegetable oil
3/4 C buttermilk
2 t vanilla extract
1/3 C fresh pineapple, crushed (canned works too)
2 C carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
1 1/3 C loosely packed shredded, sweetened coconut
2 C finely chopped walnuts

Glaze Ingredients:
1 C sugar
1/2 C buttermilk
1/2 C butter
1 T light corn syrup
1/2 t baking soda
1 T pure vanilla extract

Frosting Ingredients:
1 1/2 C butter softened
12 oz cream cheese softened
3 C powdered sugar
1 1/2 t fresh orange juice
1 1/2 t grated orange zest
1 1/2 t pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350. Generously butter two 9-inch round pans. Dust each cake pan with flour and tap out excess. In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs until blended. Add the sugar, oil, buttermilk, and vanilla and thoroughly incorporate. Add the pineapple, carrots, coconut and 1 cup of the walnuts and mix well. then add the flour mixture and fold into the batter with a rubber spatula. Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans. Bake on center rack for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes clean.
GLAZE- While the cake is baking, in a small saucepan mix together the sugar, buttermilk, butter, corn syrup, and baking soda until well blended. Set the anover medium heat and bring to a simmer and cook for about 3 minutes stirring until heated through and sugar has dissolved. Remove pan from heat and whisk in the vanilla. Cover to keep warm and set aside.
Remove the cakes from the oven and put them, still in the pans, on wire racks sitting on baking sheets. Using a toothpick, poke holes in the top crust of each cake layer. Do not poke holes deeper than halfway through the cakes. Whisk the glaze and pour it evenly over the cake layers. Let the cakes cool completely and then cover them, still in the pans, with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 8 hours.
FROSTING- In the bowl, using an electric mixer or a hand held mixer on medium speed beat the butter and cream cheese for about 2 minutes or until fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, orange juice, orange zest, and vanilla. Mix slowly to avoid sugar flying out of the bowl. Gradually increase the speed and beat for about 1 minute or until smooth.
Remove cakes from refrigerator and layer as so. Put layer 1 on a platter, glazed side down. Put about a third of the frosting on the center of the cake layer and spread evenly. Put the other layer on top of the cake, glazed side down and frost the top with about a third of the frosting. With remaining frosting frost the sides of the cake. with the tip of the spatula press lightly on the top layer of cake and pull it up to form spikes. Lightly sprinkle cake with chopped walnuts and press them onto the sides.

November 25, 2010

Pumpkin Sheet Cake

1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
2 C white sugar
1 C vegetable oil (I have done 1/2 c. applesauce and 1/2 c. oil and it tasted fine!)
4 eggs
2 C flour
2 t baking soda
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t salt

Mix together pumpkin, sugar, and oil. Add the eggs and mix, then add remaining dry ingredients and mix well. Pour into jelly roll pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 - 30 minutes. Cool, then frost.

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 t vanilla
2 C powdered sugar

Beat together cream cheese, butter, and vanilla. Add powdered sugar and mix well. Spread on cooled bars.

November 16, 2010

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

Holy moly.

This is hands-down one of the best desserts I've ever had. And of course, it's from Mel's Kitchen Cafe. I brought it to Sunday dinner, and as the entire family can attest, it's amazing. It takes a little work, but it's worth it. It would be lovely at Thanksgiving, too- in addition to pumpkin pie of course.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

Cream Cheese Layer:
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Streusel Topping:
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

1 cup caramel sauce (homemade recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a small bowl, stir together chopped apples, two tablespoons sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine all the streusel topping ingredients and mix until crumbly. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine flour and brown sugar. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or two forks until mixture is crumbly but combined. Press evenly into a 9X13-inch baking pan lined with aluminum foil. Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

While the crust is baking, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese with 1/2 cup sugar until smooth. Then add eggs, one at a time and then the vanilla. Mix well. Pour over the warm crust.

Spoon the apple mixture evenly over the cheesecake layer. Sprinkle the streusel topping over the apples. Bake for 30 minutes until the filling is set.

Cool the bars to room temperature. Drizzle with the caramel topping (or plate individual slices and drizzle with topping one by one).

Caramel Sauce:
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
½ cups half-and-half or cream
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon vanilla

Mix butter, brown sugar, half-and-half or cream, and salt in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook while whisking gently for 5 to 7 minutes, until thickened slightly. Add the vanilla and cook another minute to thicken further. Turn off the heat and pour the sauce into a jar. Refrigerate until cold. If the caramel sauce has cooled in the fridge long enough to harden, warm slightly before drizzling on bars.

November 8, 2010

Cream Cheese Chicken and Vegetable Soup

Another one from Mel's Kitchen Cafe! I swear all of the recipes I post come from her site. I love her stuff! This soup was so good. I actually didn't have chicken and decided to make it anyway, and it was still divine. Creamy and rich and yummy! Make sure you read my notes in bold:

*Serves 4

2 tablespoons butter
1 yellow onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 stalks celery, diced
1/2 cup diced carrots
3 cups chicken broth (I always use hot water and chicken granules)
2-3 potatoes, peeled and finely diced (I used about 4 since I wasn't using chicken)
1 cup milk
4 tablespoons flour
1 (8 oz. package) cream cheese (I only added 6 oz. and thought it was fine)
2-3 (about 1 pound) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and diced

In a large pot, melt the butter and add the onion, garlic, celery and carrots. Saute, stirring often, for 3-4 minutes, until the veggies are slightly tender and the onions are translucent. Add the chicken broth and potatoes. Bring the soup to a simmer and cook, partially covered, until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. In a liquid measuring cup, vigorously whisk the flour and milk together until smooth. Whisk the mixture into the soup, stirring quickly, and cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, until the soup begins to thicken slightly. Stir often to ensure the soup doesn’t burn. Soften the cream cheese in the microwave until it is very soft/melty. I usually place the unwrapped cream cheese on a plate and microwave it for one minute at 30% power. I like it really, really soft so it doesn’t leave lumps in the soup. Add the cream cheese to the soup in small tablespoon-size pieces. Let the pieces sit in the soup and warm through then whisk or stir the soup until the cream cheese melts and mixes in well. Add the cooked chicken and heat through. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.

November 5, 2010

Twisty Breadsticks

I guess we are on a bread kick lately! What can I say? We love our carbs! I tried a new breadstick recipe the other night. They were a huge hit! And pretty quick, for bread! This makes about 15-20 breadstick twists.

3 ½ cups flour
1 T. instant yeast
3 T. sugar
½ t. salt
1 ½ cups warm water
1/2 to 3/4 a cube butter, melted

Mix first four ingredients in large bowl. Add warm water, mix to form a soft dough and let it raise in bowl for 20 min. Preheat oven to 375, melt butter in preheated oven on cookie sheet. Take sheet out when butter is melted, let it cool a little. (Don't forget about the butter and burn it!) Roll out dough flat, cut into strips about 3/4 inch wide. Fold strips in half and twist the two halves together. Lay them out on cookie sheet, roll them in melted butter till covered. Sprinkle with seasonings as desired (possible toppings: garlic salt, parmesan cheese, italian seasonings, garlic & herb seasoning, etc). Let rise 20 minutes in pan. Bake for 15-20 min, until golden brown.

November 3, 2010

Cheesy Garlic Pinwheel Rolls

These were so yummy!! We had it with Potato Soup. Yummy!!

Recipe from Our Best Bites

Roll Dough:
1 Tbsp. yeast
1 1/2 c. warm water
1 1/2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
4-5 1/2 c. flour
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 egg yolk

Garlic Butter:
1/2 c. (1 stick) of real butter, softened to room temp.
1 1/2 Tbsp. garlic bread seasoning (I use Johnny’s Garlic Spread or Mrs Dash Garlic and Herb)

Shredded mozzarella cheese (enough to cover the dough)

Combine yeast, water, and sugar in large mixing bowl and allow to stand 10 minutes or until bubbly. Add salt, vegetable oil, and egg yolk (discard egg white, or save for later) and combine. Add 3 c. flour and mix well until combined. Add enough remaining flour to make a soft dough that barely sticks to your finger. Knead, either by hand or in mixer, for another 2-3 minutes. Cover and allow to rise 1 hour.

While dough is rising, combine butter and garlic bread seasoning. Set aside.

Roll your dough into a rectangle that's about 18-20 inches by 6 inches. Smear garlic butter over the entire surface of the dough and then sprinkle with cheese. Roll up jelly-roll style and then use dental floss to cut into 12 equal slices. Place each slice in a muffin tin (spray with cooking spray first). Cover with a clean cloth. Preheat oven to 350 and allow rolls to rise while the oven is heating. When the oven is ready, bake for 18-22 minutes.

You're going to need to keep a CLOSE eye on these puppies during the last 10 minutes or so--once you notice the cheese getting brown, place a sheet of aluminum foil over the rolls (you don't need to press it down or anything, just lay it on top).

Note from Stacie: I made this too (that's my picture above since Jenna's camera is broken!). They are to die for! I only needed 4 cups of flour, and I went easy on the Johnny's- about 1 tbsp was plenty for us (it is pretty strong).

BBQ Chicken Pasta Bake

This was REALLY yummy.  I used bow-tie pasta and mozzarella cheese.  I also used more BBQ sauce than she called for.  There were no left-overs!!
The Panko and cheese on the top are a MUST!! Don't forget them!!
 {I used her picture because my camera broke and my phone pictures just wouldn't cut it.}

 Recipe from How Sweet

4-5 ounces boneless chicken breast, shredded
3 cups cooked whole wheat pasta
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons BBQ sauce
1 small onion, sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon butter
1/2 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup skim milk
2 ounces shredded smoked cheese (I used cheddar, gouda and gruyere blend)
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 350.
Prepare pasta and shredded chicken and set aside. In a small sauce pan, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and sliced onions with a sprinkle of sea salt and let caramelized – about 10 minutes.  During this time, combine shredded chicken with 2 tablespoons bbq sauce. Once onions are caramelized, set aside.
In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and whisk in flour to create a roux. Immediately add skim milk and turn down to low heat. Add 1 ounce cheese and stir until cheese is melted and mixture thickens – about 2-3 minutes.
In the casserole dish, alternate layering pasta, bbq chicken, and onions. Add cheese mixture about 1-2 tablespoons at a time, throughly mixing to act like glue and hold the pasta together. Top with additional cheese sauce, remaining shredded cheese, BBQ sauce drizzles and panko bread crumbs.
Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

November 2, 2010

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are a family favorite around here. So good!

1 C butter, softened
1/2 C sugar
3/4 C brown sugar
1 t vanilla
1 egg
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 tsp cinnamon
Dash nutmeg
1 C flour
3 C oats
3 C chocolate chips

Cream butter and sugars together until light and creamy {about 4 minutes}. Add vanilla and egg and mix well. Add all dry ingredients except oats and mix, then add oats and chocolate chips. Bake 8 -9 minutes at 375 degrees.

October 18, 2010

Dinner Rolls

These rolls are fast, and they make a small(ish) amount- 16 for me. Perfect!
And did I mention they are delicious?

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups all-purpose flour

In a large bowl, stir together warm water, yeast, and sugar. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes. To the yeast mixture, add the oil, salt, and 2 cups flour. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough has pulled away from the sides of the bowl. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Cover and let rise until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

Deflate the dough, and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 14-16 equal pieces, and form into round balls. Place on lightly greased baking sheet. Let rise until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake for 12-13 minutes, or until golden brown.

Sweet and Sour Chicken

This recipe is my sister-in-law's (Melissa's). It is soooo good!

8-10 chicken tenders
1 egg
vegetable oil

3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. vinegar
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1/4 c. ketchup
1 tsp. garlic powder

Whip egg. Dip uncooked chicken in, then dip in cornstarch. Fry in pan with vegetable oil until golden on both sides. Make sauce and pour in 9x13 pan. Place chicken in dish and cook at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Flip chicken every 15 minutes. Serve over rice.

Note: I think you could definitely do more than 8-10 tenders. You would probably just need a little more egg/cornstarch to dip in.

October 13, 2010

Apple Pie on a Stick

This recipe is from my camping-chef extraordinaire sister in law Michelle.
They are to DIE for yummy!!


Slowly (and I mean slowly- take your time) roast your apples over hot coals. The apple will begin to split and juices come out, this means you're close. When ready, peel the apple

and roll it in cinnamon and sugar.


Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu

This is so easy and really yummy! While the recipe calls for 4 chicken breasts, I used 2 and pounded them thin. I then cut each in half to make 4. However, I had lots of extra toppings. So if you do 4 chicken breasts and halve them like I did, you wouldn't need to double the rest of the recipe (in my opinion).

4 chicken breasts
sliced ham
sliced cheese (swiss or provolone)
1 can cream of chicken
1 tbsp. dijon mustard
1 box chicken-flavored stuffing

Prepare stuffing according to directions on box. Put chicken breasts down in pan first; salt and pepper. Follow with a slice of ham, then slice of cheese. Mix together cream of chicken and dijon mustard; spoon some over each chicken breast. Top with stuffing. Bake at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes, or until done.

October 9, 2010

Pancake Cupcakes

Pancake Cupcakes
I made these for JJ's birthday.
They were SO yummy!!  
{Pardon the picture, I only had my phone's camera on me}

2 Cups Flour
2 Tablespoons Sugar
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Large Egg
3 Tablespoons Butter, melted
2 Cups Buttermilk {or cheat and add 2 Tablespoons lemon juice or white vinegar and enough milk to make 2 cups and let it stand for 5 minutes}

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray a muffin pan with non-stick spray.
In a medium sized bowl whisk the dry ingredients together.  In a small bowl whisk the wet ingredients together.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir gently until just combined.  Do not over mix.  Pour the batter, about 1/3 cup, into the prepared muffin pan.  Bake for 10 minutes or until it springs back when gently pressed.  Allow to cool for a few minutes.
Makes approx 12 regular sized cupcakes.

We served ours with syrup, whipped cream and sprinkles. 

September 29, 2010

Apple Pie Bars

Found this recipe here at Our Best Bites. Made it today to run around to all the people I was supposed to visit teach this month! Loved it! My notes are in bold:


2 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. real butter, softened (no substitutions!)
1 egg, beaten


1/2 c. white sugar
1/4 c. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
4 c. (about 3 medium) sliced, peeled baking apples (I used 4 small Gala apples)

2 c. powdered sugar
About 3 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp. almond extract (I used vanilla)

To prepare crust, mix flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or two knives until you have pea-sized crumbles. Gently mix in beaten egg.

Spray a 9x13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Gently pat about 2/3 of the crumb mixture onto the bottom of the dish. Preheat oven to 350 and set aside.To prepare apple filling, combine flour, sugar, and cinnamon and toss with apples. Spread apples out on prepared crust. Sprinkle reserved crust mixture over apples evenly and bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes.When finished, allow to cool completely.

To prepare glaze, whisk together powdered sugar, almond extract, and enough milk to achieve desired consistency. Drizzle glaze over cooled pastry and allow to harden (you can place it in the freezer to hurry things along). Cut into bars and serve.

These really are so good!

September 28, 2010

Halloween Candy Corn Rice Krispies Treats

1/2 C butter
10 C Rice Krispies cereal
9 C miniature marshmallows {1 bag is about 6 cups}
2 C mixture of candy corn and indian corn
Candy pumpkins
3/4 C chocolate chips or mini chocolate chips
Yellow and red food coloring

In a large bowl, combine cereal, candy corns, and chocolate chips. Set aside. In a large sauce pan melt the butter and marshmallows together. Blend in 3 drops red food coloring and 5 drops yellow, adding more if you feel necessary to desired shade. Add marshmallow mixture to the cereal mixture. Stir quickly to combine. Spread on a large {cookie sheet} buttered pan. Press with buttered hands or spatula. While warm press on candy pumpkins spread around each square. Refrigerate and cut. Enjoy!

*There is a bag of Halloween candy called Autumn Mix that has the candy corn, indian corn, and pumpkins in the same bag. You will need two of those.

September 19, 2010

Fun Pizza Cups (Great for kids!)

Stacie here- I made these the other night. It's been a while since I've made them, and I had forgotten how much I love them. They are so yummy and SO easy!

1 tube refrigerated biscuits (10 biscuits)
1 jar pizza sauce
Grated mozzarella cheese
Assorted pizza toppings (pepperoni, ham, cooked sausage, olives, mushrooms, pineapple, green peppers, zucchini, etc)

Roll out each biscuit and place in a muffin tin covering bottom and sides. Place 1 T of sauce in each biscuit, add toppings and top with grated cheese. Bake at 400° for 12 minutes. Makes 10 pizza cups.

August 25, 2010

Manti Temple Whole Wheat Bread

Stacie here: I have a recipe I love for whole wheat bread, but I have always wanted to try this recipe of Mom's. I finally did! I used freshly ground wheat flour, and I LOVE it. In fact, I might keep using this recipe now. I love that it makes 3 loaves. I always have a hard time fitting 4 in my oven. This is good stuff!

This quick delicious wheat bread is made and served fresh daily at the Manti Utah Temple.

6 C whole wheat flour
2 C white flour
1 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp yeast
1 C powdered milk
¼ C shortening, melted
¼ C honey
1 quart warm water

Mix yeast with water. Add honey and melted shortening. Mix 2 C white flour, powdered milk, and salt. Add yeast mixture. Mix well. Add whole wheat flour one cup at a time until dough is stiff and smooth. Knead for 8 minutes. Mold into three loaves and let rise in pans for 30 minutes and then bake in 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes. (You only have to let whole wheat bread rise once.)

August 20, 2010

Ham, Broccoli, and Cheese Rolls

I saw this recipe on Mel's Kitchen Cafe last week and knew I was going to like it. On the day I decided to try it out, Carrie and I were talking while I made dinner. Pretty soon we figured out we were both making this recipe! I never did find out what she thought, but we LOVED it at our house! (This is Carrie, and we loved it. I used shredded Costco rotisserie chicken instead of ham and I think will always make it that way instead. It was very good!)

You can follow the link above for more detailed instructions and pictures. For just the recipe, read below:

*Makes 12-16 rolls

1 recipe roll dough (that yields about 12 rolls), I used this recipe
12 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
2 cups chopped ham (leftover ham or deli ham works great here) (Or shredded chicken instead of ham)
1 1/2 cups finely chopped broccoli
2 cups shredded cheese (I used mozzarella and cheddar)
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup finely chopped green onions

Follow the recipe for your roll dough until the dough has risen. Punch down the dough and roll the dough out into a large rectangle about 1/2-inch thick (about 13 inches by 17 inches). In a small bowl, cream together the butter and cream cheese. Spread the rolled out dough with the butter/cream cheese mixture. Top with the ham, broccoli, cheese, Parmesan cheese, and green onions. Roll the dough up, pinching the seam to seal. Slice the roll into about 1-inch segments. Place the rolls on a lightly greased baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Let the rolls rise until nearly doubled and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, until lightly browned and bubbly.

My note: I used frozen chopped broccoli, thinking it would thaw while the rolls were rising. Result: the broccoli didn't cook through. The rolls were still delicious, but if you use frozen broccoli, thaw it completely or even cook it a little.

August 7, 2010

Potato Pancakes

Remember when we were kids and mom would make us potato pancakes for breakfast, or dinner? I haven't had them for so long! This morning, trying to find something for us to eat, I decided to make them for my kids. At first, they heard the name "potato pancakes" and instantly said, EWE!!!! But I made them up, and they loved them! I don't know the recipe mom used, but here is one I threw together this morning. It was great!

2-3 cups peeled, raw grated potatoes (I used 3 medium fresh potatoes)
1 egg white
2 heaping tablespoons flour
1 t salt
1 tsp onion salt (could grate fresh onion, too!)

Mix all ingredients together. Heat a skillet pan on the stove with about 1/4-1/2 cup oil. Scoop 1/4 cup potato mixture into hot pan, and use a fork to flatten out mixture. Cook over medium-high heat until both sides are golden brown. Add more oil if needed after cooking several so the pan doesn't dry out. The potatoes burn before cooking if there isn't oil in the pan! Place on paper towels to absorb the oil and then serve with sour cream, or ketchup, or whatever you like topped on your potato pancake!

This made about 9-10 pancakes, so if you need more just double!

July 28, 2010

Cowboy Salsa

3 T red wine vinegar
1 1/2 to 2 t hot sauce
1 1/2 t salad oil or EVOO
1 clove garlic minced {more if you prefer}
Freshly ground pepper {to your tasting}
2 firm, ripe avocados
1 can {15 oz} black-eyed peas
1 can {11 oz} corn
1 can black beans
2/3 C thinly sliced cilantro {to taste}
1/2 lb roma tomatoes, coursely chopped
1-2 bags tortilla chips

In a large bowl mix vinegar, hot sauce, oil, garlic, and pepper. Peel, pit, and cut avocadoes into 1/2 inch cubes. Add to vinegar mixture and mix gently to coat. Drain and rinse the peas and corn. Add peas, corn, cilantro, and tomatoes to the avocado and mix to coat. Add salt to taste. Serve with chips.
Note: diced jalepeno and diced bell peppers are also good in this.

July 22, 2010

Happy Trails Mix

With all this summer camping going on - I needed a go-to trail mix I could keep handy and pack easily. Obviously you can omit any ingredients based on your family tastes (or allergies) - but this is a great base. Enjoy!

Dry roasted peanuts
Dried fruit (assorted)
Yogurt covered craisins

I like to put all the ingredients in a gallon size zip lock. Mix all together and enjoy!!

July 18, 2010

Cinnabun Cake

I found this recipe at The Sisters Cafe, and they mentioned that they found it at Picky Palate. I made it for a neighborhood brunch, and wow. I am going to go ahead and say I prefer this to an actual cinnamon roll! The picture just doesn't do it justice. It was moist and flavorful and so, so, good.

3 cups flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ cups milk
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 T. butter, melted

2 sticks butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
2 T. flour
1 T. cinnamon
2/3 cups nuts, optional

2 cups powdered sugar
5 T. milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

In an electric or stand mixer mix the flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, milk, eggs and vanilla. Once combined well, slowly stir in melted butter. Pour batter into a greased 9 x 13 inch baking pan. In a large bowl, mix the 2 sticks of softened butter, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and nuts until well combined. Drop evenly over cake batter by the tablespoonfuls and use a knife to marble/swirl through the cake. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out nearly clean from center. Place powdered sugar, milk and vanilla in a large bowl. Whisk until smooth. Drizzle over warm cake. Serve warm or at room temperature.

July 13, 2010

Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore

I found this recipe at The Crafting Chicks, and I had to try it. It looked so simple and easy. Perfect, since I hate dealing with dinner. This was a hit! Everyone in my family loved it.

2 chicken breasts
1 can (8oz) tomato sauce
1 packet spaghetti seasoning
2 tbsp. olive oil

In crockpot, combine tomato sauce, 1 1/2 cans of water, spaghetti seasoning, and olive oil and mix. Put chicken in and cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-7 hours. Use a couple forks to pull chicken into pieces. Serve over noodles.

Coffeecake Muffins

From Barefoot and Baking, my friend Kadie's awesome food blog!

1/2 cup pecans
1/4 cup dark brown sugar (I only had light and used that)
1 t ground cinnamon
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 t salt
1 stick butter, softened and cut into pieces
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
3/4 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
1 egg
1 t vanilla

For the Glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 T water

Preheat oven to 350. Grease muffin pan. Chop nuts until they are the size of sesame seeds, add brown sugar and cinnamon and mix. Set aside. Mix together the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the butter and cut into flour mixture until the butter is the size of oats. Remove 1/2 cup of this mixture and stir it into brown sugar mixture to make the streusel. Set aside 3/4 cup of the streusel mixture for the batter. (The rest of the streusel mixture will be your topping.)
Add the baking powder and baking soda to the remaining FLOUR mixture and stir. Next add the sour cream, egg and vanilla. Stir until just moistened. Add the 3/4 cup of reserved streusel mixture and stir until evenly distributed. Divide the batter evenly between the muffin cups. Sprinkle each muffin with about 1 tablespoon of topping; lightly press the topping into the muffin. Bake at 350 for about 18 minutes or until a toothpick, inserted, comes out clean. Let them cool for about 5 minutes and then remove from pan. Mix powdered sugar with water until smooth for the glaze and drizzle over the top of warm muffins. Serve immediately! This will make about 12-15 muffins.
*I omitted the pecans because of Carson's allergies. I didn't have as much streusel as a result, so I added a little less than 3/4 c to the batter so that I'd have enough left for the top.

Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Ball

1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 C butter, softened
3/4 C powdered sugar
2 T brown sugar
1/2 t vanilla
3/4 C mini chocolate chips
Finely chopped pecans (you can buy them, they're called "gems")

Beat together cream cheese and butter. Beat in sugars and vanilla, and stir in chocolate chips. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator until workable (overnight works well). Shape into ball and roll in pecans (which I always omit because of Carson's allergies). It still will be sticky, so sometimes I just plop it on the platter or in a bowl and sprinkle the pecans on top. Serve with graham cracker sticks (plain, chocolate), teddy grahams, nilla wafers, etc.. This is a different kind of appetizer/dessert but is fun and yummy. It's more of a mingling dish, not a sit-down dessert.

July 6, 2010

Watermelon Strawberry Slush (and Popsicles)

I found this recipe at Our Best Bites and finally had a ton of watermelon to try it with! They mention that the Slush is good and the Popsicles are better, and they are right. Sip a little slush and then pour the rest into popsicle molds. This is yummy!

2 cups cubed seedless watermelon
1 pint fresh strawberries, halved
1/3 C sugar
1/3 C fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon squeezed)
2-4 C ice cubes

In a blender, combine the watermelon, strawberries, sugar and lemon juice; cover and process on high until smooth. With blender running, gradually add ice cubes until desired consistency is reached. Pour into chilled glasses and serve immediately.
(Note: I think if you had a fine strainer it would be awesome to get all the seeds out.)

July 4, 2010

M&M Sugar Cookies

These cookies are so amazing! I found the recipe at Jamie Cooks It Up. While the name says "sugar cookie," it's really more of a normal cookie in looks and taste. But there is something so sugary and soft and moist about these, and the M&Ms are to die for in them. Right after I took them out of the oven, I added even more M&Ms to the top.

1 C butter, softened
1 1/2 C sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 t vanilla
3 C flour
2 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 t cream of tartar
dash of salt
1 medium bag (12 oz) M&M's (I suggest buying two bags just to put even more in and have extra for the top)

Cream the butter and sugar for about 3 minutes, or until fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix for 2 more minutes. In a separate small mixing bowl combine all dry ingredients. Add to the butter mixture and mix until well combined. Pour in your M&M's and mix just until combined. Form into round balls (about 2 inches in size) and lay onto a cookie sheet. Press the tops down slightly. Bake at 350 for 8 minutes or until you see the cookies start to crack.

June 22, 2010

Sweet & Sour Meatballs

I made these the other night, and they are soooo soooo good! So much better than frozen meatballs! Enjoy.

1 lb beef
1/2 cup oats
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Form into balls and place in large 9x13 baking dish (large cookie sheet -jelly roll type with an edge- will work too).

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup cider vinegar
2 tsp mustard
1/2 cup BBQ sauce
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
In a saucepan, mix all ingredients together and heat until dissolved and smooth. Pour over meatballs on your baking dish.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 min. Serve over rice.

June 20, 2010

German Pancake w/ Mixed Berry Syrup

Our cousin Alicia told me I had to try this recipe, and we loved it. It's a little different than what you might think of when you think of a German Pancake. It has more of an actual cake texture and yet still has all the flavor of a german pancake. It was delicious and perfect for a special breakfast!

3 eggs
1 c. milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
2 tbsp. butter
1 lb. bag frozen mixed berries
1/3 c. maple syrup
powdered syrup for dusting

Preheat oven to 400 degress. Whisk together eggs, milk, salt, sugar, and vanilla. Whisk in baking powder until smooth, then whisk in flour. Let sit at least 10 minutes. Heat an 8 or 10 inch cast iron skillet* in the oven with the butter.

Pour the batter into the pan and bake until the pancake is golden brown, puffed up and set in the center, about 15 minutes.

To make the syrup, heat the berries in a small saucepan with the maple syrup until mixture thickens, but you can still see the berries. Serve warm over a wedge of pancake, dusted with powdered sugar.

*I don't have a cast iron skillet, so I just used an 8x8 glass pan.

June 18, 2010

Cantaloupe Cooler

Just a warning- this is quite possibly the most refreshing, yummy drink you can have on a hot summer day. It's amazing. :)

1 very ripe cantaloupe cut into chunks
Ice (about 1 1/2 cups+ but eyeball it while blending. It all depends on the size of your cantaloupe)
1 ripe banana, cut into chunks
3 T sugar

In blender, blend up cantaloupe and ice until desired consistency. Add banana and blend. Finally add the sugar and blend again. Serve immediately and enjoy!!

June 12, 2010

Everyday Cinnamon Rolls

I have been searching for a quick cinnamon roll recipe and finally found it at Our Best Bites. I love that it only needs to raise once, for 30 minutes. I love that the whole thing is done in less than 2 hours. And I love that it just makes 12. It's so perfect!

1 cup milk
4 Tbs butter, cut into chunks
3 1/4 - 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1 (.25 ounce) package instant yeast (about 2 1/4 tsp)
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg

1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 C powdered sugar
2 T melted butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
1-2 Tbs milk

Dough: Place 3/4 c. milk and 4 Tbs butter in a microwave safe bowl. Heat on high for 1 minute 30 seconds. Butter should be at least partially melted. Stir and set aside. In a large mixing bowl whisk together 2 C flour, yeast, white sugar, and salt. Add remaining 1/4 c. milk to the milk/butter mixture to cool it down. Add it to the flour mixture along with the egg while the beater is running. Beat until well combined, about 1 minute. (Switch to the dough hook now) Add remaining flour only until dough barely leaves the sides of the bowl. It should be very soft and slightly sticky. Continue to let the dough knead for 5 minutes. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and let rest for about 10 minutes while you make the filling.

Filling: make sure butter is softened well. Mix with brown sugar and cinnamon.

Assembly: Roll dough into a rectangle about 12 x 14 inches. Spread brown sugar mixture (it will be slightly thick, you might have to "crumble" it) over the surface and use your fingers or the back of a spoon to gently spread around. Roll up from the longer side of the rectangle and pinch edges closed. Score the roll into 12 equal pieces and then cut into rolls using dental floss. Place in a 9 x 13 pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Cover pan with a clean towel and let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes. In the mean time, preheat oven to 350 degrees.

When rolls have finished rising bake for 15-20 minutes or until light golden brown. If desired spread with icing while still warm. Makes 12 rolls.

June 10, 2010

Pioneer Woman's Pizza Crust

I have made LOTS of pizza, and this dough just became my favorite. It was light and yummy. Not too heavy or bready or thick. Soooo perfect!

1 tsp. yeast
1 1/2 c. warm water
4 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil

Pour 1 1/2 c. warm water into bowl; sprinkle yeast over and let sit. In your bosch, combine flour and salt. With mixer on low speed, drizzle in the olive oil until just incorporated. Gently stir the yeast into the water and then drizzle it into the flour mixture. Mix until the dough forms a ball. Cover and let sit for 1 to 2 hours. You can also wrap in plastic wrap and store it in the fridge for 2-3 days.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Divide dough in half. Lightly drizzle olive oil on pizza pan. Using your hands, stretch dough into desired shape (do not roll). Add sauce and toppings. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until crust is golden brown.

*When I made this, I made one pizza and put the other half of the dough in the fridge. 3 days later, I took the other 1/2 out around 3:00 p.m. By 6:00, it was ready to bake! So easy!

June 6, 2010

Peanut Butter Brownie Trifle

I made this last night for a party. It is super good, super rich, and easy! Enjoy!
1 fudge brownie mix (13 x 9 size)
2 packages (10 oz) miniature peanut butter cups
4 cups cold milk
2 large boxes (5.1 oz) instant vanilla pudding
1 cup creamy peanut butter
4 teaspoons vanilla
1 large carton (20 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed

Prepare brownie mix according to package directions. Cool and cut into 3/4" pieces.

Cut peanut butter cups in half, set aside 1/3 cup for garnish.

In a large bowl, whisk milk and pudding mixes for 2 min. Let stand for 2 min. until soft-set. Add peanut butter and vanilla and mix well. Fold in 3/4 of the carton of whipped topping.

Place a third of the brownies in trifle bowl. Top with a third of the peanut butter cups. Spoon a third of the pudding mixture over the top. Repeat layers twice more. Cover top with remaining cool whip and garnish with reserved peanut butter cups. Refrigerate until chilled and ready to serve.

June 4, 2010

Yummy Lasagna

I combined a few recipes for Lasagna and came up with this last night:

It was really, really good. The enchilada sauce gives it a little kick, but the cream cheese balances it out and makes it quite possibly the best lasagna I've ever made.

9 lasagna noodles, cooked
1 lb hamburger, browned (I used 1/2 lb)
1 can tomato soup
1 can mild enchilada sauce (I used Old El Paso)
1 carton cottage cheese (16 oz.)
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 1/2 - 3 cups mozzarella cheese
parmesan cheese for top
herbs for topping (I used Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together tomato soup and enchilada sauce. In a separate bowl, mix together cottage cheese and cream cheese.

To assemble: Spread a small amount of sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Put 3 noodles down and top with 1/2 the beef, 1/2 the cottage cheese/cream cheese mixture, and 1 c. of mozzarella cheese. Pour some sauce over it. Put 3 more noodles down and repeat (using all the beef, cottage cheese mixture). Pour almost all the sauce over, then top with 3 last noodles. Pour the rest of the sauce over, the remaining mozzarella cheese, and sprinkle with parmesan cheese and herbs. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes, until cheese is golden. Let it sit for at least 15-20 minutes.

May 19, 2010

Lemon Poppy Seed Sugar Cookies

Another recipe from My Kitchen Cafe! And it is soooo good!
The recipe from the site is just for the cookie,

but I decided to try cream cheese frosting on top and thought it was delightful!

1/2 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
zest of one lemon
2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tbsp. poppy seeds
1/4 c. buttermilk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg, vanilla, and lemon zest and mix well. Add dry ingredients and pulse together in mixer to combine. Add buttermilk and mix well. Drop onto cookie sheet (I rolled mine into balls- it's a sticky dough). Bake for 10-12 minutes, until edges are set and cookie is puffy and still light colored.

Frost with cream cheese frosting if desired!

1/4 c. butter, softened
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 c. powdered sugar
milk (to desired consistency)

May 18, 2010

Tatertot Casserole

This is your basic tatertot casserole with a little twist. Your husband will love it 'cause it's just meat and potatoes. Meat and potatoes! It is hearty and yummy!

1 lb. ground beef (I used 1/2 lb. cause I'm borderline vegetarian...)
minced onion
all-purpose seasoning (Lawry's)
1 can green beans
1 can cream of mushroom
tatertots, as many as you want
red potatoes, cut into chunks (I used two large)
1 c. shredded cheese blend

In large skillet, brown beef with onion (I used the dried flakes) and Lawry's. Add green beans, tatertots, red potatoes, and cream of mushroom. Mix well. Pour into greased 9x13 and top with shredded cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes (cheese will be toasty and bubbly). Serve to your adoring husband. Watch kids eat only the tatertots and sigh loudly.
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