April 28, 2010

Cheesy Vegetable Soup

There aren't many more soup days left with spring here, but today was one! I followed a recipe from a ward cookbook and we loved it. Even with Cheez Whiz, which I normally discriminate against. It's one of the few recipes where it is ok to lower your standards. Here you go:

8-10 small potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 1/2 c. carrots, diced
1 small onion, chopped
2 c. chopped broccoli
1 can cream of celery
16 oz. cheez whiz (or velveeta, but velveeta grosses me out more than Cheez Whiz)
salt and pepper to taste

Put potatoes, carrots, and onion in large pot and fill with enough water to just barely cover veggies. Boil until tender. Drain off a little of the water in case you'll need it later. Add broccoli, cream of celery, cheez whiz, and salt and pepper. Cook on low to medium heat for another 10 minutes or so, until broccoli is cooked. Add reserved water if needed.

Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Sugar Chips

I made this for book club last week. It is sooo good!

You can make your own cinnamon sugar chips by following the recipe here, or you can go to Taco Time and order a bunch of their cinnamon crustos like I did. Yum!

2 apples, peeled, cored, and diced
2 kiwis, peeled and diced
1 lb strawberries, diced
8 oz. raspberries
1 tbsp. white sugar
1 tbsp. brown sugar
3 tbsp. preserves (I used strawberry jam)

Combine all ingredients and chill in fridge for at least 15 minutes before serving. (It is best cold.)

April 19, 2010

Black Bottom Banana Cream Pie MADE EASY

I combined a couple of different recipes for this pie, and it was way easier than the other way I used to make it. So here is the adapted recipe!
Black Bottom Banana Cream Pie

2 ready-made crusts, Oreo or Chocolate Graham
1 small instant vanilla pudding mix
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 c. cold water
3 c. whipping cream, divided
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tbsp. butter
2 tsp. vanilla, divided
1/3 c. powdered sugar
Chocolate curls

Ganache: In a saucepan, heat 1 c. whipping cream with 1 tbsp. butter. Heat until it's hot but not boiling. Add 1 c. semi-sweet chips and 1 tsp. vanilla. Stir till smooth. Divide into two crusts and chill for 30 minutes.

Pudding mixture: Mix together pudding mix, water, and sweetened condensed milk until smooth. Put into fridge to set up (5-10 min). Whip 1 c. whipping cream until soft peaks form. Gently stir into pudding mixture.

Arrange thin slices of banana on the ganache and top with pudding mixture.

Beat remaining 1 c. whipped cream, 1/3 c. powdered sugar, and 1 tsp. vanilla until stiff. Spread on top and save some to spoon mounds around the edge. Top with chocolate curls and enjoy!

Not sure how to make chocolate curls? I followed this tutorial and loved how they turned out. I used about 1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips because I didn't have any Baker's on hand.

April 15, 2010

Candy Chicken

I found this recipe on Eat Your Veggies, Peas, and we LOVED it! It's sweet and fast, and my kids liked it too. For the chicken, I just used a package of trimmed chicken breasts that had been cut into strips by the butcher, and it made it so easy and nice. Also, I halved all the other ingredients because I was using an 8x8 pan. Enjoy!

Chicken breasts, cut into strips, enough to fill a 9x13 pan
1 1/2 c brown sugar
1/4 c mustard
1/2 c ketchup
1 tbsp worchestire sauce (I didn't halve this)
1 tbsp soy sauce (I didn't halve this either)
1/4 c minced onion (I didn't have this, so didn't use)
1 tsp salt
bread crumbs (I used panko)
2 beaten eggs

Bread the chicken by dipping it first in eggs, then in bread crumbs. Lay the breaded chickens in a 9x13 dish. In a saucepan over medium heat mix the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Pour the sauce over the breaded chickens. Stick in a 350 oven for about 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Serve over rice!

April 4, 2010

Conference Cake

A Conference Sunday tradition!

2 C flour
1 t salt
2 eggs, beaten
4 t baking powder
1 C milk
1 C sugar
3/4 C butter {or less}
1 C brown sugar

Mix flour, salt, and baking powder together and set aside. Mix eggs, sugar, and milk. Add flour mixture and mix well. Add 1/4 C melted butter, mix. Pour into 9x13 greased pan. Sprinkle cinnamon and 1/2 brown sugar over top. Pour 1/2 melted butter on top. Using a knife, poke holes into the batter over the whole pan. mix remaining butter and sugar together and pour over the top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes.

April 3, 2010

April Fool's Chicken Pot Pies

By request, here are the pot pies for April Fool's Day!

I made these hilariously believable Chicken Pot Pies for my family for dinner tonight. It was a tiny bit more time consuming than I thought it would be with the "vegetable assembly" :-)
But how believable is this?!?! Next year, if anyone wants to try this out - I'll put the instructions here for your use. And, yes, everyone that was served this (my family, and my sister in law's family) fell for it. It's awesome.
**Special notes: #1, it is served cold. Be aware of this and try to come up with ways to convince anyone who knows better to take a bite. #2, it is best to serve right away after putting in the "vegetables". Otherwise the green from the "peas" will bleed :-)

Items necessary:
1 package of refrigerator pie crust (will make 6 individual pies)
6 small foil pie tins
Few packages of starbursts (need orange and yellow)
Bag of colored tootsie rolls (need blue and green)
3 packages of vanilla instant pudding (the small box)
1 egg mixed with 2 T of water

Cut pie crust just barely larger than the pie tin.

Roll up a ball of foil and place inside pie pan

Cover with foil to form a round dome

Place pie crust on top of foil. Crinkle edges and poke holes. Brush tops with egg mixture.

Bake them at 425 for 10 minutes on a cookie sheet. Allow them to cool completely.
While they are baking and cooling, begin forming the "vegetables". Warm the yellow Starbursts and green Tootsie Roll candies in the microwave (10 seconds) and roll them into long worm-like shapes. For the corn, cut tiny pieces and pinch one end while holding the other end flat (to look like a kernel). For the peas, cut tiny pieces and roll into balls. For the carrots, cut a Starburst into fours (perfect square carrots!) and for the chicken, cut a blue (wrapper is blue, inside is white) Tootsie Roll in half to look like chunks of chicken.

Mix up the pudding and let set in fridge. Remove the pie crusts from the pie tins and set aside. Put pudding into each pie pan and place "vegetables" on top. Tap them down a bit with the back of a spoon and place pie crust back on top.

It looks like the real thing. Even if you know it's not, it still trips you out!

Too fun!!

April 2, 2010

Better Than Sex Cake

I didn't come up with the name!
There are many versions of this out there,
but this is the one I did for my mother-in-law's birthday:

1 devils food cake mix
1/2 can sweetened condensed milk
3/4 c. caramel ice cream topping
4 Skor or Heath bars, chopped (chocolate covered toffee bars)
8 oz cool whip

Make cake according to package directions for a 9x13. When done, wait 5 minutes and then make slits all over the cake, being careful not to poke all the way to the bottom. You can also take the handle of a wooden spoon and pokes holes all over. Combine the sweetened condensed milk and caramel in a saucepan over low heat until warm and smooth. Slowly pour over the cake, letting it sink into the slits/holes. Chop 3 candy bars and sprinkle across the cake. Let cool completely, then spread cool whip on top. Top with additional chopped candy bar and drizzle with caramel topping. Refrigerate before serving!
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