Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Taco Soup

I was just typing this up for a friend and thought I would throw it on here in case someone doesn't have a good taco soup recipe...everyone needs that.

Taco Soup

Brown 1/2 -1 lb hamburger ( i usually throw i about 1/4 an onion and 1/2 a green pepper)

then in a pot put:
4 cups water
1 can tomato sauce
1 can stewed tomatoes (we don't like tomatoes so I do 2 cans sauce rather than this)
1 can corn
1 can black beans
1/2 package taco seasoning
browned hamburger
1 large can kidney beans

let it all come to a boil, then simmer for 10-15 minutes. I also do this in the crock pot on low for a couple of hours. Top with cheese and chips...yummyliscious

Monday, December 15, 2008

Santa Sugar Cookies

Cute idea for Christmas time!

sugar cookies
white frosting
red sprinkles (hat)
chocolate chips (eyes)
red hots (mouth or nose???)
marshmallows (pom pom oh hat)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Oreo Cookie Bark

1 (20 ounce) package chocolate sandwich cookies with mint creme filling
2 (18.5 ounce) packages white chocolate
4-6 candy canes crushed

1. Line a 10x15 inch jellyroll pan with waxed paper. Coat paper with non-stick vegetable spray and set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, break half of the cookies into coarse pieces with fingers or the back of a wooden spoon.
3. In a microwave safe glass or ceramic mixing bowl, melt one package of the white chocolate according to package directions. Remove from microwave and quickly fold in broken cookie pieces. Pour mixture into prepared pan and spread to cover half the pan.
4. Repeat process with remaining chocolate and cookies, spreading mixture into the other half of pan. Refrigerate until solid, about 1 hour.
5. Remove bark from the pan and carefully peel off waxed paper. Place bark on a large cutting board and cut with a large chef's knife. Store in airtight container
6. Sprinkle top with crushed candy canes (or can add with the oreos in step 3)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Million $Dollar Carmel cookies

Everything I post is a dessert...I promise we eat "real food" too.

(Makes 4 dozen)

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar, plus 1 Tbs
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1⁄2 cups flour, plus 1⁄4 cup
  • 3⁄4 cup cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 Heath candy bars
  • 1 bag Rolo chewy caramels

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. In a medium bowl, beat butter and sugars until fluffy, then add eggs and vanilla and beat well.

2. In a separate bowl, mix 2 1⁄2 cups flour, cocoa, and baking soda. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture a little bit at a time and blend well. If the dough feels too sticky, sprinkle in a little extra flour. Cover and chill dough in fridge for about 30 minutes.

3. Chop Heath bars into small pieces. Place in a small bowl and toss with 1 Tbs sugar.

4. Once dough has chilled, wrap a piece around each caramel, forming a 1-inch ball and covering the candy completely. Dip top of the dough ball into the candy topping and place on parchment-lined baking sheet.

5. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes. Cookies will look quite soft, but do not overbake. Cool in pan slightly, then move to a rack or the counter to finish cooling. Store in a covered container

Friday, November 14, 2008

Peanut Butter Bars

Peanut Butter Bars

1c. butter
1 c peanut butter

2 c graham cracker crumbs
2 c powdered sugar

1 1/2 c semi-sweet choco chips
4 Tbsp peanut butter

Directions: Melt butter & 1 c peanut butter. Add graham cracker crumbs and powdered sugar. Mix until well blended. Press into ungreased 9"x 13" pan. Melt choco chips with 4 Tbsp peanut butter (either on stovetop or microwave) and spread on top of graham cracker mixture. Refridgerate for at least 1 hour.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


This is a sweet spaghetti recipe...

1 pkg spaghetti noodles
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
3 cans Hunts Tomato sauce
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp oregano
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp curry
Grated Parmesan Cheese
Cheddar Cheese

Break spaghetti noodles and cook as directed. Brown ground beef.
Sauce: Combine cans of tomato sauce, brown sugar, oregano, garlic powder, and curry in pan until warm.
Put everything in 9X13 casserole dish and top with grated cheddar and parmesan cheese.
Bake at 350 for approx. 8 min, or until cheese melts.

Variation: use can of hunt's spaghetti sauce and add 1 cup brown sugar

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Pink Lemonade Pie

My Mom used to make this every summer. It is perfect after a hot summer day!!

1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream (do NOT use vanilla bean)
1 1/2 - 2 pkgs pink lemonade Kool-Aid (NOT sugarfree)
2 graham cracker pie crusts

Soften the vanilla ice cream, stir in pink lemonade until completely mixed in and dissolved. Pour half into each pie crust. Cover and freeze. Tastes great with sliced strawberries. Garnish with lemon slices.

*a lot of times I buy the frozen concentrate pink lemonade or regular lemonade instead of using the Kool-aid. I think it tastes better.

Ice Cream Cake

I got this recipe from my cousin. It is definitely a crowd pleaser!!

4 boxes (6 ct) ice cream sandwiches (roughly 24 sandwiches)
1 container Cool-Whip
1 jar Dove hot fudge
1 jar caramel (optional)
a few handfuls unsalted peanuts

Unwrap ice cream sandwiches and place one layer of sandwiches on the bottom of a 9x13 glass pan. You may have to cut some of the sandwiches a little bit to get the perfect fit. Drizzle some of the chocolate and caramel over the sandwiches. Next, spread 1/2 of the whipped cream over the top, then finally sprinkle with nuts. Repeat for the second layer. Chill and serve with extra chocolate, caramel, or nuts! That's it!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Peaches n' Cream Pie

3 oz. box orange Jell-O
2/3 c. boiling water
1 c. vanilla ice cream, softenend
8 oz. cool whip, thawed
2-3 c. peaches, sliced and cut into bite sized pieces
2 graham cracker crusts

Dissolve Jell-O completely in boiling water. Add vanilla ice cream and stir until melted. Fold in cool whip and peaches until thoroughly combined. Pour mixture into graham cracker crusts. Refrigerate until set (can also freeze). Makes 2 pies.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Tomato Spice Cake

This is one of those recipes that sneaks in the vegetables. This vegetable is in the form of tomato soup. You would never know it.

2 c. all purpose flour
1 ½ c. sugar
4 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1 ½ t. allspice
1 t. cinnamon
½ t. ground cloves

1 can tomato soup
½ c. shortening
2 eggs
¼ c. water

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour a 13x9x2 pan. Measure dry ingredients into a bowl and mix. Add soup and shortening. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping constantly. Add eggs and water. Beat two minutes more, scraping frequently. Pour into pan and bake 35-40 minutes. Frost with cream cheese frosting.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Make Ahead French Toast

This is the yummiest french toast I have ever had.  So easy to do the night before and just cook in the morning.  Great for a brunch.

READY IN  14 Hrs 10 Min

5 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup half-and-half cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 (1 pound) loaf French bread, cut diagonally in 1 inch slices
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup

1. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, cream and vanilla. Dip bread slices into egg mixture and place in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking pan. Refrigerate overnight.
2. The next morning: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
3. In a small bowl, combine butter, sugar, and maple syrup. Spoon mixture over bread.
4. Bake in preheated oven until golden, about 40 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Yummy Chocolate Trifle

1 chocolate cake mix
12 oz. Cool Whip
1 large box chocolate pudding
3 SNICKERS bars cut in small pieces

Bake cake. Make pudding according to directions. Layer bite-size pieces of cake, 1/3 pudding, 1/3 Cool Whip, 1 Snicker bar in a trifle dish or a deep glass bowl. Repeat 2 more times. (You will not use all the cake.) Refrigerate.

***I like to sprinkle the crumbs of the snickers on top when finished.

Better than Almost Anything Cake

You may already have a version of this recipe, but I made it last night and it's so yummy!

1 package Betty Crocker SuperMoist German chocolate cake mix
1 1/3 cups water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1 jar (16 to 17 ounces) caramel, butterscotch or fudge topping
1 (8-ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 cup toffee chips, or bits or 5 bars chocolate-covered toffee candy bars coarsely chopped

Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Generously grease bottom only of 13x9-inch pan. Make cake mix as directed on box, using water, oil and eggs. Pour into pan. Bake as directed on box for 13x9-inch pan. Cool 15 minutes.

Poke top of warm cake every 1/2 inch with handle of wooden spoon. Drizzle milk evenly over top of cake; let stand until milk has been absorbed into cake. Drizzle with caramel topping. Run knife around side of pan to loosen cake. Cover and refrigerate about 2 hours or until chilled.

Spread whipped topping over top of cake. Sprinkle with toffee chips. Store covered in refrigerator.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

5-Minute Southwest Layered Salad

Prep Time: 5 min
Total Time: 5 min
Makes: 4 servings, 1-1/2 cups each

6 cups torn romaine lettuce
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained, rinsed
1 can (11 oz.) whole kernel corn, drained
1/2 cup Thick 'N Chunky Salsa
1/2 cup Three Cheese Crumbles or shredded cheese
1/2 cup Ranch Dressing
1 cup broken tortilla chips

PLACE lettuce on serving platter or in bottom of glass serving bowl.
COVER with layers of beans, corn, salsa and cheese.
DRIZZLE with dressing; sprinkle with chips.

Farmers' Market Squash Sauté

Prep Time: 20 min
Total Time: 20 min
Makes: 4 servings, 3/4 cup each

2 zucchini, sliced
2 yellow squash, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup Mozzarella Cheese
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
2 Tbsp. Grated Parmesan Cheese

COOK zucchini and squash in hot oil in large skillet on medium heat 3 min., stirring occasionally. Add garlic; cook an additional 3 min. or until vegetables are crisp-tender.

REMOVE from heat; stir in mozzarella cheese and basil.

SPRINKLE with Parmesan cheese.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Oreo Balls

These are soooo good, and really easy to make. I made these for a baby shower so I drizzled them with pink chocolate, but you can buy almost any color chocolate you want at Joann's.

1 package Oreo cookies
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 package almond bark (I buy the "candiquick" from Target)

Use an electric chopper or blender to grind Oreos until they are a powder. Mix in the cream cheese. Form small balls with the mixture. Melt the almond bark in the microwave. Dip the balls into the almond bark until they are covered, and place on wax paper to dry.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Broccoli Salad

2 heads broccoli chopped in small pieces
1/2 cup bacon pieces
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup Craisins

1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. vinegar

Mix dressing and add to all other ingredients in a large bowl. Stir well and chill in fridge for at least an hour before serving.

Strawberry and Cream Cheese French Toast

This is a great recipe that you can prepare ahead of time and then throw in the oven in the morning.

1 loaf french bread, cut into 1 inch slices.
Whipped cream cheese

Spread cream cheese between two slices of bread, place sandwiched slices in a glass pan sprayed with cooking spray.

Mix together:
4 eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Pour over bread and let sit for five minutes, turn bread over and cover pan with saran wrap. Refrigerate overnight. Drizzle melted butter over the top and bake at 400 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.

Whipped Topping:
1 pt whipping cream
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. almond or amaretto flavoring

Top with strawberries mixed with sugar and the whipped topping.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Italian Chicken

I'm making this for dinner tonight, so I'll post a picture later. I like to call this "comfort food".

1/2 - 3/4 cube melted butter
1 pkg Italian Salad Dressing (This is the dry mix that comes in a box of 4 or so)
3-4 chicken breasts
1 can Cream of Chicken soup
1 pkg. Cream Cheese

Melt butter and stir in Italian salad dressing. Put in crock pot with chicken. Cook in a crock pot on low for 4-6 hours. 1/2 hour before serving, pull chicken out and shred it with 2 forks. Put back in crock pot and add soup and cream cheese (be sure it is softened). Simmer until ready to serve. Serve over hot noodles or rice.


This may not sound very appetizing, but it is my favorite dish. Since I was a little girl, I would ask for this every birthday dinner. My husband likes it as well, and my four year old son requests this every night for dinner.

1-1 1/2 lbs. round steak
1 Tbsp salad oil
1 envelope brown gravy mix
2 cups water
1 Tbsp instant minced onion
2 Tbsp white vinegar
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp ginger
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Noodles - Hot and buttered (I usually use the curly noodles)

I usually try to find a thin cut round steak. Just makes a little more tender. Any will work though. Slice the round steak thinly. Brown the meat in a large skillet in salad oil. Once browned, remove and set aside. Mix the brown gravy mix with 2 cups cool water. I usually add about 1 Tbsp cornstarch to thicken. Bring to boil, stirring constantly. Stir in remaining ingredients except noodles. Return the meat to the mixture, cover and simmer for 2 to 3 hours. Serve over hot buttered noodles.

*I sometimes double the sauce...just depends on how much sauce you like on your food.

Quick N Easy Veggies

I am not a veggie person, never have been. So, I don't cook them. It's actually kind of intimidating to thing about cooking veggies because I don't' really know where to begin. A few years ago I discovered these and LOVE THEM!!! They are quick, easy, inexpensive, and healthy. I buy them at Wal-mart for about $1 per bag, and there is a whole variety that you can find. I especially like the broccoli because it is easy to steam in the bag. They all just go in the microwave, they steam right in the bag, then you open and serve. Just thought I'd share.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Pasta Carbonara

I made this for Book club and it was really good! I wasn't too sure about pasta without red sauce but it was really good! Also I would try pancetta over the bacon. It's really salty and yummy!

1 pound dry pasta
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 ounces pancetta or slab bacon, cubed or sliced into small strips
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 large eggs
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving
Freshly ground black pepper
1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Prepare the sauce while the pasta is cooking to ensure that the pasta will be hot and ready when the sauce is finished; it is very important that the pasta is hot when adding the egg mixture, so that the heat of the pasta cooks the raw eggs in the sauce.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until tender yet firm (as they say in Italian "al dente.") Drain the pasta well, reserving 1/2 cup of the starchy cooking water to use in the sauce if you wish.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a deep skillet over medium flame. Add the pancetta and saute for about 3 minutes, until the bacon is crisp and the fat is rendered. Toss the garlic into the fat and saute for less than 1 minute to soften.
Add the hot, drained pasta to the pan and toss for 2 minutes to coat the strands in the bacon fat. Beat the eggs and Parmesan together in a mixing bowl, stirring well to prevent lumps. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the egg/cheese mixture into the pasta, whisking quickly until the eggs thicken, but do not scramble (this is done off the heat to ensure this does not happen.) Thin out the sauce with a bit of the reserved pasta water, until it reaches desired consistency. Season the carbonara with several turns of freshly ground black pepper and taste for salt. Mound the pasta carbonara into warm serving bowls and garnish with chopped parsley. Pass more cheese around the table.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Bacon-Potato Soup

6 cups potatoes, peeled and diced
5 cups water
2 cups chopped onions (or minced onions)
4 chicken bouillon cubes
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
2 cups grated cheddar cheese

Combine potatoes, water, onions, and bouillon cubes in greased 5 to 7-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat 6-8 hours or until potatoes are tender. Stir in crumbled bacon, milk, and grated cheese. Cover and cook an additional 20 minutes or until cheese is melted. Makes 10-12 servings

Serve with hot biscuits and garnish soup with fresh chopped parsley.

VARIATION: Add 1/2 cup diced celery and 1/2 cup chopped carrots with potatoes at the beginning of cook time.

I made this on the stove instead of in a crock pot.  I added some flour to make the soup a bit thicker.  You may have to do this with the crock pot also, I'm not sure.

Chicken Pot Pie

1 pkg. (10–oz.) frozen peas and carrots
1/3 c. butter
1/3 c. flour
1/3 c. chopped onion
½ t. salt
¼ t. pepper
1 ¾ c. chicken broth
2/3 c. milk
3 c. cooked chicken, shredded

Rinse frozen veggies under running cold water to separate; drain and set aside. Sauté onions in butter in a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat until tender. Whisk in flour, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is bubbly. Stir in broth and milk. Heat to boiling, over medium heat, stirring often, and let boil and stir for one minute. Remove from heat and stir in chicken and vegetables. Let cool. Enough for 1 pie, or 6-7 mini pies.

Pastry (Enough for 2 large pies, or 8-9 mini pies)

4 c. flour
1 ¾ c. shortening
2 T. sugar
2 t. salt
½ c. cold water
1 egg
1 T. vinegar

Preheat oven to 425°. Blend flour, shortening, sugar, and salt with a pastry blender until crumbly. In a separate bowl, beat the water, egg, and vinegar with a fork. Pour liquid mixture slowly into the flour mixture while blending with a fork. Be sure to use flour when rolling out the dough. Line your pie plate with pastry then fill with chicken filling. Top the pie with pastry and flute edges. Make slits in top crust and wrap edges of pie with foil. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. (Remove foil 10 minutes before done.) Let stand a few minutes before serving.

Recipe from Shanna Stakkeland

These pot pies are so good with the pastry crust recipe listed above and they also freeze really well (wrap whole or individual pies in saran wrap and then place in freezer bag). However, because making the pastry is pretty time-consuming, I usually use a shortcut (an idea I got from Sunset magazine). Instead of making the pastry, I buy the canned refrigerated biscuits (the large or grand ones). Then after I fill each pie tin with the chicken mixture, I place one or two biscuits on top and it's done. Then I cover the entire pie with foil and bake it at 425 for 30-40 minutes, usually removing the foil for the last few minutes. It's a good time saver. Here's a picture of a mini pie.

Baked Spaghetti

Baked Spaghetti

2 C canned diced tomatoes

2 C tomato sauce

1 C water

1/2 C diced onion

1/2 C diced green bell pepper

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1/4 C chopped fresh parsley leaves

1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning

1 1/2 tsp House seasoning (1 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1/4 tsp garlic powder)

1 1/2 tsp seasoning salt

1 1/2 tsp sugar

2 small bay leaves

1 1/2 lbs. ground beef

8 oz uncooked angel hair pasta

1 cup grated cheddar

1 cup grated monterey jack

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a stock pot, combine the tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, onion, peppers, garlic, parsley, seasoning mixtures, sugar, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil over high heat, and then reduce the heat and let simmer, covered, for 1 hour. Crumble the ground beed in a large skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until fully cooked. Drain fat and add the beef to the stockpot. Simmer for 20 more minutes. Cook the pasta according to the package directions, drain. Cover the bottom of a 9x13 pan with sauce. Add a layer of pasta and then a little less than 1/2 of each cheese; repeat the layers, ending with the sauce. Bake in a the oven for 30 minutes. Top the casserole with the remaining cheese, return it to the oven and continue to cook until the cheese is melted and bubbly, about 4 more minutes.

This recipe is from Paula Deen on the Food Network. When I make this I totally throw in whatever vegetables I have into the sauce when I simmer it - broccoli, carrots, etc. After it has simmered for an hour and before you add the cooked beef I put the sauce in my food processor (or you can use a blender) and puree it so it makes this very smooth, tasty, and healthy spaghetti sauce. My kids have no idea the amount of vegetables they are eating. I also add more cheese than the recipe calls for since more cheese is always a good idea.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Mexican Spinach Dip

This recipe is from the Cooks Country magazine, one of my favorites. I wanted to try it because I love spinach dip and 7-layer dip. This is sort of a combination of the two. And also very yummy!

1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese
1/3 c. sour cream
1 jalapeno chili, seeded and chopped fine
2 (10-oz.) cans Ro-Tel tomatoes, drained*
½ small onion
1 (10-oz.) box frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
3 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 t. salt
½ t. chili powder
½ t. ground cumin

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350°. Grease 8-in. square baking dish. With wooden spoon or rubber spatula, combine cream cheese, sour cream, and jalapeno in large bowl. Fold in tomatoes, onion, spinach, cheddar, salt, chili powder, and cumin until well combined. Scrape into baking dish and bake until bubbling at edges and top is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips. (Dip can be assembled and refrigerated for 24 hours prior to baking.)

*If you can’t find Ro-Tel tomatoes, substitute one 14.5-oz. can of diced tomatoes (drained) and one 4-oz. can of chopped green chilies.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Beef Stew

Again...No picture. Sorry.

This is a great beef stew recipe that I found on I have never found a stew recipe that we could actually enjoy. Easy, and my three year old loved it! I know it should be spring...but with the cold days we have had lately this recipe is perfect!

1 lb beef stew chunks
1/2 onion, or 1/2 packet dry onion soup
4 cups water
4 beef bouillon cubes
2-4 stalks celery
2-4 carrots
3-5 potatoes

put the beef (I cut mine in even smaller pieces than it came in) and onion in the crock pot for 3-4 hours. This will give it a head start on getting super tender. Add water and boullion. Let it do its thing for a couple more hours. Add carrots and celery. An hour or so later add potatoes. About an hour before serving add some flour and butter to help thicken...the potatoes will help too. Salt and pepper to taste. Yummy!!!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Chicken Caesar Salad Wraps

2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup red onion
¼ cup black olives, chopped
¼ cup red bell pepper (or tomato), chopped
¼ cup fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
4 cups romaine lettuce, thinly sliced
¾ cup seasoned croutons
½ cup Caesar salad dressing
6 (8-inch) flour tortillas

1. Spray chicken with cooking oil. Press garlic into chicken. Heat frying pan over medium heat until hot. Cook chicken 15-20 minutes or until no longer pink in center, turning once. Remove chicken from pan; cool. Slice into ¼-inch thick strips. Place chicken in mixing bowl.
2. Add onion, olives, bell pepper, cheese, lettuce, croutons, and dressing to chicken; toss mixture to coat evenly with dressing.
3. For each wrap, place about ¾ cup of the chicken mixture on tortilla. Roll up tortilla tightly. Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling. To serve, cut each roll in half diagonally.

Yield: 6 sandwiches

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Barbeque Chicken Salad

I have not made this yet, but had it at a neighbor's tonight. It was so yummy. It's similar to CPK's salad. I will add my own picture when I make it, but this is a picture of CPK's salad.

3 or 4 boneless/skinless chicken breasts*
1 head of lettuce (I use the package of "Just the leaves" from TJ's), chopped
3 roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 jicama, diced
3 or 4 scallions, chopped
1/4 c. cilantro, minced
2/3 can corn, drained
2/3 can black beans, rinsed and drained
2/3 c. jack cheese, shredded (cheddar works too)
tortilla chips, crumbled over top when you're ready to serve
lime juice, from 1-2 limes
barbeque sauce (1/3 c. opprox.)
ranch dressing (1/2 c. approx. and the Organic Ranch from TJ's is the best in my opinion. Its in the refrigerated veggie section)
(the CPK salad has chopped basil, you can try adding that also!)

Mix it all together and viola! (ps, its really good chilled!)

Ideas for cooked chicken:
1) Cook the chicken on high in the slow-cooker for 3 hours, with some barbeque sauce and garlic, then after let it cool in the fridge, cut it into half-inch cubes and mix it with more barbeque sauce.
2) Get the cooked chicken from the store and use that instead. Shred it and mix with BBQ sauce. I prefer this.

I leave out the jicama and scallions, but I am sure it would be good with them in too.

Crisp Bean Burritos (like Taco Time)

1/2 c. oil
5 flour tortillas
1 c. refried beans ( I just buy a can)
1/4 c. cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat oil in a medium-sized skillet. Spread about 2-3 Tbsp. of refried beans on each tortilla, sprinkle with cheese, then roll up. Fry in oil for about 15 seconds on each side. Then place on baking sheet and put in the preheated oven for about 5-7 minutes. Remove from oven and serve. Dip in enchilada sauce, guacamole, sour cream, or salsa.

Belly Buttons

Pretzel Snaps or small pretzels
Hershey's Kisses (any kind)

Place pretzels on cookie sheet. Unwrap kisses and place on pretzels. Put in 200 degree oven and warm until slightly soft to the touch. Take out of oven and press M&M on top of kiss.

Fresh Tomato and Basil Pasta

In a large bowl mix together:

6 large tomatoes, diced (best when fresh from the garden)
7 sprigs of basil, finely chopped
8 sticks of mozzerella string cheese, cut into rounds
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp. minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste

Let this mixture marinade in the fridge for at least 3 hours then serve cold over your favorite hot pasta. It is really flavorful and fresh.For the bread we just sliced up a bagette, topped it with pesto sauce (from Costco), feta cheese, and some tomatoes from the sauce. Then warm it in the oven for a few minutes.

BBQ Chicken Baked Potatoes

Baked Potatoes
Lloyd's shredded BBQ Chicken

Bake potatoes in oven at 375 for 1 1/2 hours or 400 for 1 hour. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise. Arrange on baking sheet. Cover with Lloyd's BBQ Chicken and smother with cheese (I use white and yellow). Put back in oven and cook until cheese melts. Serve alone or top with favorite toppings.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Guacamole Dip

1 large avocado
Onion Salt
2-3 tsp. lemon juice

Smash avocado. Add onion salt and lemon juice. I just guess on the onion salt. Usually a few shakes...might be around 1/4 tsp. Mix it all up and taste. May need to add more onion salt. Tonight I didn't have onion salt, so I used onion powder and added about 1/2 tsp. to 3/4 tsp. salt Tasted great. Serve with tortilla chips.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Chicken Salad Dip

1 large can chicken
1 cup sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
1 box Knorr Vegetable Soup mix
1 can water chestnuts-drained & chopped

Mix ingredients together. Serve with King Hawaiian bread.

All-Day Salsa Chicken

3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 jar (16 ounces) chunky salsa
1 can (10.5 ounces) cream of chicken soup
flour tortillas
sour cream
cheddar cheese

Place chicken breasts in greased 3-4 1/2 quart slow cooker. In a bowl, combine salsa and soup. Pour mixture over chicken. Cover and cook on low heat 6-8 hours.
When ready to serve, shred chicken. Put desired amount of chicken in tortilla. Add sour cream & cheese. Roll up tortilla. Enjoy!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Garlic Parmesan Pasta

1/4-1/2 cup butter
2 tsp. dried basil
2 tsp lemon juice
1 1/4 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp salt
8 ounces fettuccine or angel hair pasta, cooked and drained
1 1/2 cups cooked broccoli (optional)
cooked chicken breast (optional)
grated Parmesan cheese

Melt butter in large skillet. Add basil, lemon juice, garlic powder and salt; blend well. Add pasta, broccoli and chicken. Blend well. Toss to coat pasta. After tossing, add Parmesan cheese to top off dish.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

White Chili

I love this dish. My friend Brooke introduced us to it, and it is now a favorite!

1 T. vegetable oil
2 medium onions
2 cloves garlic

Simmer for 20 minutes:
3 c. chicken broth
2 T. chopped fresh cilantro or ½ t. coriander
2 T. lime juice
1 t. cumin
½ t. dried oregano leaves
¼ t. Tabasco
¼ t. salt
1 (11-oz.) can white shoe peg corn, drained
1 (16-oz.) can great northern beans, drained
1 (16-oz.) can butter beans, drained

2 c. chopped cooked chicken breast

Top with:
Lime juice
Sour Cream
Tortilla chips

Monday, March 10, 2008

Prairie Land Pot Roast

Prep: 20 min   Total: 2 hours 40 min

1 boneless beef chuck roast (2 lb)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 bottle (8 oz) Catalina Dressing, divided
2 large onions sliced
2 lb potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 lb carrots, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 Tbsp chopped parsley

Season both sides of roast with salt and pepper.  Brown meat in large heavy pot or Dutch oven on high heat in 1/4 cup of the dressing, turning to brown both sides.  Add onions; stir to brown.

Add remaining dressing, potatoes, cacrrots and enough water to come 3/4 way up meat (about 1 1/2 - 2 cups).  Bring to boil; cover.  Reduce heat to low.  Simmer 2 hours or until meat and vegetables are tender.

Remove meat from pan; slice meat thinly against the grain.  Serve meat and vegetables topped with pan gravy.  Sprinkle with chopped parsley just before serving.

Makes 8 servings.  
**Can also be done in crock pot on low.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Breakfast Casserole

1 24 oz package frozen hashbrowns

salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup melted butter

2 cups grated cheese

1 lb sausage, cooked and drained

2/3 cup milk blended with 6 eggs

Layer ingredients in the order listed above in a 9x13 pan. Cover and place in fridge overnight. In the morning heat oven to 350 and bake for 45-60 minutes.

Cinnamon Chip Pancakes

2 cups flour
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 Tbsp oil
2 eggs
2 cups buttermilk or sour milk *
1/2 cup cinnamon chips

Mix all ingredients together and cook.

*To make sour milk, add 1 Tbsp lemon juice or vinegar for each cup of milk.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Pulled Pork

I don't have a picture yet, but I'll add one when I make it. I got this recipe from my sister-in-law and it looks delicious - and easy! She served it on a toasted Hoagie with melted mozarella cheese. Yummy!!!

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
1 (2 lb.) pork tenderloin
1 can or bottle of rootbeer
18 oz. bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce
Hoagie Buns

Place the pork tenderloin in a slow cooker; pour the rootbeer over them meat. Cover and cook on low until well cooked and the pork shreds easily (6-7 hours), time may vary depending on your slow cooker. Drain well. Stir in BBQ sauce. Serve over Hoagie buns and melt mozarella on top.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Teriyaki Chicken Marinade

Equal combinations of soy sauce and sugar
1 T. grated ginger root (or 1 t. ground ginger)
2 - 3 cloves garlic, minced
Capful of white vinegar
1/4 c. 7-Up
3-4 green onions, chopped (optional)
2 T. sesame seeds (optional)

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Banana Bars

1 ½ c. sugar
½ c. butter
1 c. sour cream
2 eggs
1 ½ c. bananas mashed (approx. 4 bananas)
2 t. vanilla
2 c. flour
1 t. salt
1 t. baking soda

Cream butter and sugar. Add and beat sour cream, eggs, bananas, and vanilla. Sift flour, salt, and baking soda and add to mixture. Grease and flour large cookie sheet (15x8x1). Spread mixture in pan. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes. Frost with cream cheese frosting.

Recipe from Debbie Gilbert

Chicken Bowtie Pasta

This is a good salad to bring to a pot luck or party, because it serves a large amount of people. I usually omit the chicken. :)

1 – 16 oz. package Bowtie (Farfalle) Pasta
Cook pasta and marinate in dressing for 2 hours

Dressing: mix in blender
1 cup Vegetable oil
2/3 cup White vinegar
½ tsp. Salt
2/3 cup Teriyaki sauce
6 TBL. Sugar

After the pasta marinates, add the following:
6 – 8 chicken breasts diced
3 small cans mandarin oranges
1 – 18 oz. pkg. spinach (add spinach right before serving)
1 bunch green onions
½ cup honey roasted peanuts
½ cup cashews
1 small bag craisins
2 cups seedless grapes (cut in half)

Friday, February 29, 2008

Chicken Bakes

This is my version of a popular recipe. I am going to write the amounts that I use for my small family. This is really easy to double for more.

1 pkg pillsbury croissants (8)
4 oz cream cheese
1 cup dried stuffing mix
1 can cream of chicken soup
1-2 large chicken breast (cooked and shred)
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4-1/2 cup frozen peas (optional...I like the added color and taste)

combine chicken, cream cheese, 1/2 can of cream of chicken soup, milk, peas and sour cream. Stir. roll out croissants. Put a heaping spoonful of filling in each croissant, roll as directed. Melt butter. brush each side of croissant with butter, roll in finely crushed dried stuffing mix. Bake at 350 for 15- 20 minutes (until golden). Warm up remaining soup, pour over chicken bakes. We also like to have rice or salad on the side.

Super Easy, Super good. I have loved all the pictures, because it really helps me have a "game plan". I will try to be better about taking pics when I cook meals I am going to post!! :0

Coffee Cake

***This is for an 8X8 pan recipe but you can double it and put in in a 9X13.

1 1/2 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup shortening
3/4 cup milk
1 egg

Topping: (don’t’ forget to double this too if you double the batter)
1/3 cup brown sugar (packed)
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 Tbsp firm butter (do not melt this or it won’t work)

Heat oven to 375. Grease pan (8X8 for single batch, 9X13 for double). Blend all batter ingredients. Beat vigorously for 1/2 minute and spread in pan. Mix topping together separately and sprinkle on top of the batter. Be careful not to overload it in the center or it will sink. Bake 25-30 minutes or until wooden pick inserted comes out clean.

Orange Julius

So yummy and easy!!!

6 oz orange juice (1/2 normal can)
1 cup milk
1 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg (optional)
12-14 ice cubes

Put all ingredients in blender and mix.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Chicken Salad Panini

1 can (13.8 oz) Pillsbury refrigerated pizza crust
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
6 oz cooked chicken finely chopped
2 Tbsp finely chopped green onions (optional)
3 Tbsp mayo or salad dressing (I like the poppy seed dressing)
1 large tomato thinly sliced
4 slices provolone cheese (or whatever you like)

1) Heat oven to 400. Grease large cookie sheet with shortening or cooking spray. Unroll dough onto cookie sheet. Starting at center, press out dough into 15x10-inch rectangle. Brush oil over dough. Sprinkle evenly with Italian seasoning.

2) Bake 10-13 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Meanwhile, in medium bowl, mix chicken, onions and mayo.

3) Cut baked crust in half crosswise. Spread chicken mixture on 1 half. Top with tomato and cheese, cutting to fit if necessary. Cover with remaining half of baked crust, seasoning side down. Cut into 4 sandwiches.

4) Heat 12 inch skillet over medium-low heat. Place 2 sandwiches in skillet; cook about 2 minutes, pressing down with pancake turner, until bottom crust is deep golden brown. Turn sandwiches; cook about 2 minutes, pressing again with turner, until cheese is melted. Repeat with remaining 2 sandwiches.

TIP: Because the crust will also be grilled, bake it just until it starts to brown so it won't get too dark when you grill it.

Though a skillet works fine for finishing these sandwiches, an electric contact grill--one that has two surfaces and closes--is ideal for the job. The times may differ so watch the panini closely.

Navajo Tacos

3/4 c. oil
1 can "Grands" biscuits (the biggest ones you can find)
1 can Chili (we used the "Nalley" brand)
shredded cheddar cheese
sour cream

Heat oil in a medium-sized skillet. In the meantime, heat up chili in a small pot. Flatten each biscuit with your hands to desired thickness. Fry each flattened biscuit for about 20 seconds on each side or until golden brown. (To keep the biscuits warm until you are ready to serve, place them on a cookie sheet in the oven at about 200 degrees) Top each biscuit with chili, lettuce, cheese, sour cream, olives, salsa, or any other topping you would like to add!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Alfredo Chicken Pasta Toss

4 cups uncooked rotini, penne or bow-tie pasta (8 oz)
1 1/2 cups frozen sweet peas
1 cup shredded carrots
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 lb chicken cut into thin bit-size strips
1 jar (16 oz) Alfredo sauce
2 tsp dried basil leaves

1) Cook and drain pasta as directed on package, adding peas and carrots during last 5 minutes. Drain. Return to pan.

2) Meanwhile, in 10-inch skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add chicken, cook 9-11 minutes, stirring frequently, until chicken is no longer pink in center.

3) Stir chicken, Alfredo sauce and basil into pasta mixture. Cook and stir over medium heat until thoroughly heated.

Chiken Broccoli Divan

So, I'm not a broccoli fan at all, but I'll eat it in this. Real easy and quick recipe.

1 lb. chopped, cooked drained broccoli
1 1/2 cups cooked, cube chicken
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup breadcumbs - fine and dry
4 Tbsp melted margarine

Arrange broccoli in bottom of 11X7 baking dish. Top with chicken. In a small bowl, combine soup and milk, pour over chicken. Sprinkle with cheese. In a cup, combine bread crumbs and butter. Sprinkle over cheese. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.

*I usually buy the Birdseye broccoli from Walmart. It steams right in the bag.
**I also buy dried bread crumbs in the can...I like the Italian style, but plain works too.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Cafe Rio Lisa's Style

This is my sister's recipe.

4 chicken breasts
olive oil

1 can tomato sauce (8 oz)
1 can Pato tomato sauce (in a yellow can)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 large garlic clove, minced

corn tortillas
cilantro, chopped
Cafe Rio Creamy Tomatillo Dressing (recipe below)

1. Brush chicken breasts with olive oil & grill on BBQ (or on the stove) - don't overcook.
2. Let chicken sit for 5 minutes; cut into very small pieces.
3. Add chicken to a skillet. Add tomato sauce, Pato sauce, garlic and brown sugar.
4. Stir to mix and cover to simmer for 20-30 minutes.
5. Wrap a stack of corn tortillas in paper towel. Heat in microwave until hot. I also like to use the tortillas mentioned in the "Perfect Tortillas" post.
6. Serve chicken on tortilla and garnish with chopped cilantro & tomatillo dressing.


1/2 C mayonnaise
1/2 C sour cream
1/2 C buttermilk
1/2 C cilantro
2 tsp. Buttermilk Ranch Dressing Mix (dry)
1 large garlic clove; minced
1/2 tomatillo
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

1. Mix all ingredients in a blender.
2. Scrape down sides & mix again.
3. Store in air-tight container in refrigerator. Makes 2 cups.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Easy Pork Fried Rice

This is kind of a no-brainer "recipe" but my family loves it with the Sweet and Sour Chicken recipe that Martha already posted.

2 cups white rice
2 eggs (fried)
1 cup chopped ham
5 strips bacon
3 green onions
1/2 cup frozen green peas
1/2 cup diced carrots

In large frying pan cook sliced bacon. Add ham, onions, and carrots. When carrots are softening add eggs (already cooked works better). Add rice and about 1-3 TBS soy sauce (i just shake it on until it looks lightly coated), stir together. A few minutes before serving, add the peas...just to warm them (nobody likes mushy peas). Add and subtract whatever you like. One of those things that just can't go wrong!!!!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Lemon Blossoms

18 1/2-oz pkg. yellow cake mix
3/12-oz pkg. instant lemon pudding mix
4 large eggs
3/4 cup oil

4 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 lemon, zested
3 TBS oil
3 TBS water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Spray mini muffin pan with cooking spray. Combine cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, and oil. Blend well for 2 minutes. Pour a small amount of batter, filling each cup half way. Bake for 12 minutes. Turn out onto a tea towel.
To make glaze, add lemon juice, zest, oil, and 3 TBS water to powdered sugar. Mix with spoon until smooth.

With fingers, dip cupcakes into glaze while cakes are still warm. Place on wire rack with waxed paper underneath to catch dripping glaze. Let glaze set (took about 45 minutes) then store in a container with a tight-fitting lid

Poppy Seed Chicken

This is my husband's family's favorite dish. I think you might be disowned if you don't like it. :)

6-8 pieces chicken
2 bags ritz crackers
1/2 stick butter
1 Tbsp poppy seeds
1 cup sour cream
1 can cream of chicken (or mushroom) soup

Preheat oven to 350. Boil chicken and cut into pieces. Crush Ritz crackers. Melt butter and add to crackers, mix in poppy seeds. In a seperate bowl mix sour cream, cream of chicken soup, chicken, and half of the cracker mixture together. Put in a 9x13 pan and top with remaining crackers. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

Chicken Parmigiana

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 ounces dried bread crumbs

1 egg, beaten

1 (16 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce

shredded mozzerella cheese

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Dip chicken into egg beat, then bread crumbs. Place coated chicken on a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake for 40 minutes. Pour 1/2 of the spaghetti sauce into a 9x13 baking dish. Add chicken and pour on remaining sauce. Sprinkle cheeses on top and bake for 20 minutes more.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Curried Chicken and Vegetables

This is one of our favorites, because we love curry. And it's simple. We have a family of 4 so I usually only use 3-4 chicken breasts and less rice. I keep all of the other ingredient amounts the same. For a healthier option, I will omit the first couple of steps (coating the chicken with flour and cooking it in butter) and I just cook the chicken, without the flour, in olive oil or cooking spray. It is still really good.

Makes 8 servings.

6-8 chicken breast halves, cut in 1” pieces
¼ cup flour (for chicken)
½ teaspoon salt (for chicken)
1/8 teaspoon pepper (for chicken)
¼ cup (½ stick) butter or margarine
1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
1 green pepper, halved, seeded and diced
¼ cup flour (for sauce)
1 teaspoon salt (for sauce)
1/8 teaspoon pepper (for sauce)
1 ½ teaspoons curry powder
1 14 ounce can tomatoes + 1 can water
2 teaspoons instant chicken broth
6 cups hot cooked rice

1. Combine ¼ cup flour, ½ teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a plastic bag. Add chicken pieces; shake well to coat.

2. Melt butter or margarine in a large skillet; sauté chicken fillets until brown on both sides. Remove from skillet.

3. Sauté onion and green pepper until almost tender in same skillet. Stir in the ¼ cup flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper and curry powder. Add tomatoes, instant chicken broth and water; bring to boiling.

4. Lower heat; simmer, covered, 20 minutes. Remove the cover and simmer 5 minutes longer, or until sauce thickens.

5. Return chicken fillets to sauce and cover. Simmer 15 minutes longer, or until chicken is tender. Serve with hot rice.

From: Great Chicken Recipes from Family Circle (and modified by Linda Johnson)

Monday, February 18, 2008


I got this recipe from my cousin. It is really good!!

1 loaf of frozen bread dough, thawed
mozarella cheese, shredded
"Barilla" brand spaghetti sauce

You can use any toppings you want. Here are some suggestions:

You can also add:
bell peppers
italian sausage
fresh tomatoes

Make about 2 equally-sized dough balls (they should each be a little smaller than a softball). Spread each dough ball out on a lightly floured surface as if you were making a pizza (spread it out as much as you can without tearing it). Put as many toppings as you would like in the middle then mix it all together with cheese. Carefully fold the dough over the toppings and pinch the edges together. Make a couple little slits in the top of the dough, spray the top lightly with cooking spray, then bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes (or until golden brown). Heat the spaghetti sauce in a small pot and simmer until calzones are done. You can serve the calzones with the sauce on the side then dip the calzone into it OR you can pour the sauce over the calzones and top with cheese (thats the way we like it!). For all you meat lovers out there, you can brown some hamburger and add it to the spaghetti sauce to make it extra rich and meaty.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Chicken & Pasta

This is quick, easy, & yummy!

1 lb. chicken tenders
2 cans cream of chicken soup
8 oz. cream cheese
1 pkg. dry italian salad dressing mix
1 pkg. bow tie pasta

In a greased crock pot layer chicken, soup, & cream cheese. Sprinkle salad dressing mix on top. Cook on low 6-8 hrs. Stir occasionally. Serve over cooked bowtie pasta.


Makes approx. 16-18 long breadsticks. Allow about 2 – 2 ½ hours to prepare.

3 c. warm water
2 T. yeast
4 T. sugar
2 t. salt

Mix above ingredients and add 7 – 8 c. flour.

Mix until it makes a soft dough. Let rise until doubled. Melt 1 cube butter on jelly roll pan as oven heats. Roll out 1 ½ times the size of the jelly roll pan, 3/8” thick. Use a pizza cutter to cut dough in strips. Grab a strip by each end and twist, fold in half, and then twist again. Swish in the melted butter, place close together on pan. Sprinkle with garlic salt and parmesan cheese. Raise 15 minutes. Bake 15-20 minutes at 400°.

Cutting the dough into strips

After the twisting, before the baking

Finished product

Recipe from Patti Klefbeck

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Outback Steakhouse Ranch Dressing

(we absolutely love this)

1 tsp. Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix - buttermilk
1 C. Mayonnaise
1/2 C. Buttermilk
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. garlic powder

Combine all ingredients, mix well, put in covered container & chill for at least 30 mins.

Tex-Mex Chili

Tex-Mex Chili

1-2 pounds ground turkey or beef or even cubed steak

1 jar amrinara sauce

1 package tex-mex chili seaoning

1 can each(15-16oz.) of black beans, white beans, red beans drained and rinsed

Cook meat and drain

add marinara sauce and 1 cup water and seasoning

heat to boil for 2 minutes

stir in all three beans

bring to a boil cover reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.

This is so easy and fast to make and really good! The picture is my daughter Bella cooking it with me!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Peach Cobbler

So EASY! My husband "doesn't like cobbler", but I got him on this one. He LOVES it.


2 (16 ounce) can peaches (if your ambitious you will opt to do fresh peaches, I'm not.)

1 yellow cake mix

1 1/2 sticks butter

1-2 tsp cinnamon

sprinkle of brown sugar and nutmeg

1. Preheat oven to 375.

2. Pour peaches and juice (drain one can) into 9x13 pan.

3. Pour cake mix over the top. Pat cake mix down until it mixes with the juice.

4. Take butter and use a grater to shave butter evenly over the top. If you want you can just slice it and layer it on the cake. (if you use the grate make sure it is frozen or very firm.)

5. Sprinkle your cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar on top.

6. Put in oven and bake for 45 minutes or until brown.

Serve with whipping cream or vanilla ice cream.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Spanish Rice

This can be used as a main dish or a side. It is also good served in tortillas, with sour cream and guacamole. We love it with the ground turkey. It tastes the same, and it’s a little healthier too.

1 lb. ground turkey or ground beef
1 t. salt
1 medium onion, chopped (1 cup)
1 large green pepper sliced
1 T. chili powder
1 cup uncooked rice
1 14 ½ oz. can tomatoes
1 ½ c. water
Grated cheddar cheese

Brown turkey or beef in large frying pan; drain off excess fat. Stir onion, green pepper, and chili powder into frying pan; sauté just until vegetables are soft. Stir in rice, tomatoes, water, and salt; heat to boiling, stirring lightly to mix; cover. Simmer, adding more water if mixture seems dry, 45 minutes, or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Serve with grated cheddar cheese.

Chicken Tortellini Soup

Chicken Tortellini Soup
Mmm...So good! Really, sometimes I get thrown off by the number of ingredents but this one is so easy!

2 Tbsp. olive oil
4 chicken breasts
1 large onion, chopped
2 or 3 stalks celery, diced
2 or 3 carrots, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. thyme
1/4 tsp. sage
1 (28 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes
1 (14 1/2 oz.) can chicken broth
1 c. cooking wine or beef broth
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 small pkg. fresh tortellini (Buitonni or similar)
Grated Parmesan for garnish

Saute chicken in olive oil. Saute celery, onions, and carrots in olive oil (in soup pan) until soft. Add shredded chicken, garlic, and spices. Mix in tomatoes, tomato sauce, broth, etc. Simmer 1 hour. Cook tortellini. Rinse, drain, and add to soup. Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Cheese Enchiladas

Cheese Enchiladas
3 cans cream of chicken soup
3 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1 chopped onion (I usually use 1-2 T. minced)
flour tortillas
Chicken (optional) - We prefer it now with chicken. I usually use the canned chicken - it's already cooked and shreds much easier

Mix together in large sauce pan the soup, 1 1/2 cups cheese, sour cream and chicken. Heat through. Butter 9X13 dish. Lay flour tortillas open. Spread mixture on tortillas, add a little more cheese. Roll up. Place in dish. Pour rest of mixture over enchiladas and top with more cheese. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

***I never make the whole recipe. I usually cut everything in thirds. That makes about 4-5 enchildads. If your cooking for more you may want to do two-thirds. It also freezes well, so you could do the whole thing and put half of it in a separate dish and freeze before cooking.

Ruth's Chris Sweet Potato

This is a copy cat recip of course, but pretty close to the real thing. This is the only way I'll eat sweet potatoes.

Ruth's Chris Sweet Potato
1 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. flour
1/2 cube butter (melted)
Mix above ingredients and set aside.

3 c. baked, peeled and mashed sweet potatoes
1 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1/3 c. butter (melted)
1/2 c. evaporated milk
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Mix the rest the ingredients above. Pour into dish. Sprinkle top with brown sugar mixture. Bake for 30 min. at 350F.

*It makes a lot, so I usually put it in two 8x8 and freeze one.

Yummy Salad

Yummy Salad
I don't really know a title for the salad - it's just yummy!!!

Lettuce of choice - red, green, spinach...whichever you prefer
Toppings of choice:
(almonds, craisins, shredded parmesan, macintosh apples (diced), red onions, carrots, green onions, diced chicken...basically whatever sounds good)

1 c. olive oil
1/2 c. Four Monks red rasberry/white wine vinegar
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. salt 3/4 c. sugar
1 T. poppyseed (I don't usually add this because I don't have it)

Toss lettuce with whatever toppings you prefer. Mix dressing together thoroughly. I usually mix the dressing in something I can just put a lid on and shake. When ready, pour dressing on top and serve!!!

Sugar Cookies

These are my all time favorite sugar cookie recipe. They are so soft. Enjoy!

Easy Sugar Cookies
2 c. sugar

1 c. shortening
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. sour cream or vanilla yogurt
1/2 tsp baking soda
4 tsp. baking powder
5 c. flour

Cream together sugar and shortening. Then add eggs, sour cream (or yogurt) and vanilla. Mix in baking soda, baking powder and flour. I sometimes put in fridge for jut a bit to set, but it is not necessary. Roll out and cut. Bake at 350F for 8-11 min.

*The key to these is roll them out thick enough. If they're too think, they'll be crispy. Also, don't let them brown in the oven. If they just start turning brown, they're plenty done :)

BBQ Chicken Pizza

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Ready in 30 minutes
Servings: 4

1/4 cup refrigerated ranch-style dip
1 prebaked Italian pizza crust (12 inch)
1 1/2 cups diced cooked chicken
1 cup chopped plum (Roma) tomatoes (about 3 medium)
1/4 cup BBQ sauce ( I use Bulls Eye, but use whatever you love)
2 cups shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese blend (8 oz)
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper (optional)

Set oven control to broil. Spread dip evenly over pizza crust. Sprinkle with chicken and tomatoes. Drizzle with BBQ sauce; sprinkle with cheese and bell pepper. Place pizza on rack in broiler pan.

*Broil 4-6 inches from heat 6-8 minutes or until pizza is golden brown and cheese is melted.


*I used a Pillsbury dough crust. I baked for 8 minutes at 400 degrees. Then I topped with all ingredients and baked another 8 minutes. For the last 3 minutes I turned the oven to broil.

I didn’t follow the directions for amounts…I just used what seemed to look good on the crust.

For the chicken I used chicken tenders and cooked them about 6-10 minutes in a skillet on medium and flipped about half way.

Ravioli Lasagna

This is super easy.  I got from a friend, so I can't take credit.  I'll take a picture next time I make it and add to this post.

1 jar spaghetti sauce (recommends Classico Tomato & Basil)
16 oz small curd cottage cheese
25 oz pkg cheese ravioli (can do spinach or meat also)
4 c shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 c parmesan cheese

Grease 9x13 pan.
Cook and drain ravioli according to package directions.
Spread 1/4 cup spaghetti sauce to cover bottom of pan.
Layer Ravioli, cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese, spaghetti sauce--2 layers
End with mozzarella cheese on top.
Sprinkle parmesan cheese.
Cook at 350 for 35-40 minutes.

**If you want the top to be a little crispy, cook for 35 min (or until bubbly) and then broil for 5 min.

Sweet N Sour Chicken

Sweet & Sour Chicken

4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 or 2 eggs, beaten
sauce (recipe follows)

1. Cube chicken
2. Dip the chicken breasts into the egg, then roll them in the cornstarch. It may be easier to put cornstarch in a bag then put chicken in it after it's been in the egg. Just shake the bag.
3. In a small amount of oil, fry the chicken until just browned.
4. Place the chicken in a shallow baking pan, pour the sauce over it, then bake it uncovered at 325° F (160° C) for one hour, turning the chicken every 15 minutes.

3/4 cup sugar
4 tablespoons catsup
1/2 cup vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Mix all ingredients together.

Serve with rice or pasta

*Sometimes I double the sauce recipe and keep some aside to put on rice after it is done.
*Also, you can add green peppers, red peppers, pineapples, or onions

Perfect Tortillas

Has anyone ever tried these? These are, hands down, the best tortillas out there. I was just introduced to them at Christmas and Mexan cooking has never been the same. Ryan, me and the kids just love them. They are perfect for making cheese quesadillas (which is our favorite), or add lettuce, cheese, tomatoes and a yummy dressing (creamy tomatillo from Cafe Rio)for a salad. You can buy them at Costco, maybe Sam's Club. They are uncooked so you heat your skillet to warm, put them in, flip them, and they're done. Remember good old Cafe Rio - these are just as good! Try them and tell me what you think.

Apricot Chicken

Have a try at this. It's probably not new for some, but if you haven't tried it it's so good and oh so easy!!!

Apricot Chicken
1 8 oz bottle Russian salad dressing
1 18 oz jar apricot jam
1 package dry onion soup mix
4-5 chicken breasts

Mix dressing, jam and onion soup mix together. Place chicken breasts in a 9X13 glass baking dish. Pour sauce over. Backe at 350 for 1 hour uncovered. Then cover with foil for 1/2 hour. Serve with rice or pasta.