Monday, December 28, 2009

Green Chili Crockpot Chicken

This recipe was super easy to make. I was looking for something I could do in a crockpot but didn't want to do burritos again. So I came up with this, served in over mashed potatoes and with a veggie. It was very yummy and oh, so crockpot easy.

2 pounds chicken breasts (I put them in totally frozen)
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 4oz can of green chilies
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder

Place the chicken breasts in the crockpot. Mix together the soup, chilies, and spices. Pour over the chicken. Cook on high for 3 - 4 hours or low 6 -7 hours (your crockpot may vary, so don't over cook).

The chicken will be very tender so just take two forks and shred the chicken. I don't even take it out of the crockpot. Stir to mix chicken in.

Serve over mashed potatoes or noodles. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Pretzels - Christmas Cookies Day 5

I got this idea from my sister, Amy, last year when we spent Christmas in Texas. They are so, unbelievably easy and fun. And I love the combo of salty and sweet.

1 bag pretzels
2 bags of Hershey kisses, unwrapped
1 bag of peanut M'nM's

Lay the pretzels out on a cookie sheet, filling the entire cookie sheet. Place a Hershey kiss in the middle of each pretzel. I make 2 cookie sheets full.

Put the cookie sheet into the oven, preheated to 350 degrees, for 2 minutes. Do not overheat or the kisses go hard. If the kisses aren't soft enough for the next part, you will need to put them into the oven for just a little while longer.

As soon as you remove the cookie sheet, press one peanut M'nM into the center of each Hershey kiss. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Hershey Kiss Cookies - Christmas Cookies Day 4

I LOVE these cookies! Sometimes I wonder why I only make them at Christmas but then I remember that if I made them more often, they would probably lose a little value in the yumminess department. This is a different peanut butter cookie recipe than when I was growing up. The peanut butter flavor is amazing in these cookies. So even if you are looking for a good peanut butter cookie, try this recipe.

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

Mix all ingredients together until well combined. Roll the dough into balls and place on greased cookie sheets. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 8 - 10 minutes. Do not overbake.

As soon as you take the cookies out of the oven, press one Hershey kiss into the center of each cookie. Then put on cooling racks to cool. If you let the kisses set up (harden) these cookies freeze wonderfully, even with the kisses on. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Blackberry-Raspberry White Chocolate Cookies - Christmas Cookies Day 3

I've posted these cookies before but I changed the date so I could have all the Christmas cookies together. These have become my hubbie's favorite cookie. They are melt in your mouth yumminess. And so totally different from any other cookie you've had. They sound difficult, but are so easy to make.

8 ounces white baking bar (don't use white chocolate chips or the cookies go too flat - I use the white chocolate rounds at Micheal's craft store)
1/2 cup butter (no substitutes)
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup blackberry-raspberry jam (you can use any kind - this is just my favorite)
3 ounces white baking bar
1/2 teaspoon shortening

Melt 4 ounces of the white baking bar over low heat while stirring constantly; set aside to cool.

Beat butter in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium for 30 seconds. Add the sugar, baking soda, and salt. Beat until combined. Beat in eggs and melted white chocolate bar until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour using a wooden spoon. Chop remaining 4 ounces of the white chocolate bar and stir into batter.

Drop batter by rounded teaspoons onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 7 to 9 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned around the edges. Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute, then cool completely on a wire rack.

Just before serving, heat and stir the jam in a small saucepan over low heat until melted. Spoon about 1/2 teaspoon of jam onto top of each cookie. Beat and stir the 3 ounces of white baking bar and shortening in a small saucepan over low heat until melted. Drizzle each cookie with some of the melted chocolate. Refrigerate cookies about 15 minutes to firm chocolate, if necessary. Makes about 48 cookies.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Sour Cream Sugar Cookies - Christmas Cookies Day 2

I LOVE sugar cookies!! Once I tasted sugar cookies made with sour cream, I have never gone back. This recipe is extremely easy and I use it for all kinds of holiday cookies. (Who doesn't love a good pumpkin shaped cookie topped with candy??) 

I use a basic vanilla icing recipe for these cookies which you can find HERE. For fun, I also add peppermint flavoring to the red icing for the candy cane shaped ones.

Did I mention you could eat this dough just like it was chocolate chip cookie dough...it's that good!

1 cup butter
1 cup shortening
1 cup sour cream with 1 teaspoon baking soda stirred in
1 cup sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
2 eggs
3 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
5 1/2 cups flour

Cream the butter, shortening, sugars and sour cream until fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Add the remaining ingredients, mix well. Chill the dough for 1 hour.

Roll the dough out, to about 1/4", onto a floured surface and use cookie cutters to make different shapes. Place the cut outs on greased cookie sheets.

Bake at 375 degrees for 8 minutes. Do not overbake. Cool completely before frosting.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Jubilee Jumbles - Christmas Cookies Day 1

Christmas is coming...and so are my cookie plates!! The next several blogs will be all the cookies and goodies that I give my neighbors. Most of these cookies are traditions started when I was a kid. These cookies are my Dad's favorite and oh, so wonderfully delicious.

1/2 cup shortening
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 3/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon soda

Mix the shortening, sugars and eggs. Stir in the sour cream and vanilla. Add the flour, salt and soda. The dough will be really sticky. Chill the dough for about one hour. It will still be sticky but much easier to work with.

Drop by Tablespoons onto a greased cookie sheet. The dough will not roll, you will just scoop it off a spoon. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 12 - 15 minutes. Cool completely before icing.

Browned Butter Icing
1 cup butter
4 cups powdered sugar
2 - 4 Tablespoons hot water

Melt the butter in a saucepan, over medium heat, and cook it until it browns. This usually takes about 5 minutes. Remove the butter from the heat and add the powdered sugar and enough hot water to form a thick icing. 

Spoon 1 teaspoon onto the cooled cookies while the icing is still hot. I usually just do it with my hands because it goes a lot faster.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Orange Chicken

I am totally ready to take on Panda Express now. This orange chicken is to die for!!! Even my husband agreed it was better than Panda Express (and hopefully he wasn't lying to me.) We tried this Thai place that had the most amazing orange chicken. You could really taste the natural orange flavor. So I worked really hard to get this sauce to be super "orangey" and I finally got it perfect. I've tried it with juice that's already made and fresh squeezed juice, and I didn't find a difference. Also I bake the chicken, rather than deep fry it. So it's healthier than deep fried chicken and still turns out crunchy.

2 pounds chicken, cubed
1 egg beaten
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 cup water
1/4 cup orange juice (I used already made, store bought juice)
1/4 cup lemon juice (again, I just used the stuff in the bottle)
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 1/2 Tablespoons teriyaki sauce
1 orange - finely grate the entire orange part of the peel
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
2 Tablespoons water
stir fry veggies, cooked
rice, cooked

Combine the flour, garlic powder and onion powder in a ziploc bag. Dip the chicken in the egg, then add to the ziploc. Shake to coat the chicken. Spread the coated chicken on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.

In a large sauce pan, combine the water, juices, vinegar, teriyaki sauce, grated orange peel, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, and crushed red pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer for a couple of minutes. Combine the cornstarch and water. Slowly stir into the sauce until the sauce thickens. Add the chicken and veggies. Serve with rice.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

English Muffin Bread

I got this recipe from my friend, Aubrey. It only makes one loaf so I love to make it to compliment a meal.

3 cups flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 Tablespoon instant yeast
1 cup milk
1/4 cup water
2 Tablespoons olive oil

Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and yeast in a large mixing bowl.

Combine the milk, water and olive oil in a microwave safe bowl. Heat, in the microwave, to between 120 and 130 degrees. Make sure you measure the temperature! Pour the liquid over the dry ingredients in the bowl.

Beat on high for 1 minute. The dough will be very soft.

Lightly grease a loaf pan. Scoop the dough into the pan, leveling it as much as possible. Cover the pan and let rise until it's barely over the top of the pan, about 1 hour.

Remove the cover and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before removing from the loaf pan. Cool completely before slicing or it crumbles.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sausage Chili

I LOVE soup, especially in the winter, and decided to try something a little different. Sausage was on a great sale so I bought some and then looked in the pantry for veggies that would go great with it. This is one of the most favorite things I have come up with. The flavor was amazing and the chili is perfect with some fresh hot bread (recipe coming soon!)

1 pound sausage (I used Jimmy Dean's regular)
1 green pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 - 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes
1 cup beef broth (I usually use the powder kind and just add water)
1 teaspoon parsley
1 teaspoon basil
1 - 2 cans garbanzo beans (depending on how much you like them)

Combine the sausage, green pepper and onion in a large skillet. Cook until the sausage is cooked completely through. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Let the chili simmer for 10 minutes and then enjoy.

I also suggest if you would like less beans or have left over beans, you can mash them up and add them to the chili that way.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Veggie Lasagna


Sometimes it's so hard to make something so yummy, look good in a picture. And this is the same lasagna, just different views. You might think I'm crazy, but this lasagna was amazing!! I'm trying to find ways to include more veggies in our diet and so I came up with this. You could easily add different veggies to make it different every tim.

2 cups mozzarella
2 eggs
15 oz container ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups butternut squash, peeled and diced
2 jars of spaghetti sauce
oven ready lasagna noodles
1 cup onion, diced
3-4 cups fresh spinach

Combine the mozzarella, except 1/2 cup, eggs and ricotta; mix well.

Put the squash in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 5 minutes, or until the squash is tender.

Spread a little spaghetti sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Arrange 1/3 of the noodles over the sauce. Spread 1/2 of the cheese mixture over the noodles, then half the onions, spinach and squash. Cover with 1/3 of the spaghetti sauce. Repeat the layering and end by covering with the last 1/3 of noodles. Pour the remaining 1/3 of spaghetti sauce over the top and sprinkle with the 1/2 cup of mozzarella and the Parmesan cheeses.

Bake, covered, at 375 degrees, for 30 minutes. Then remove the tin foil and bake for an additional 30 minutes.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Neeman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookies

I thought I had found the cookie dough I was going to stick with, but I was wrong. I had forgotten about THESE cookies. They are the most amazing cookies, EVER!

If I remember the story correctly, my sister's friend and her mom were shopping and decided to stop at Neeman Marcus for lunch. At the end of the meal they were served cookies. The mom absolutely loved them and asked if the recipe was for sale. The waitress went to inquire and came back to tell the mom, that yes, the recipe was for sale for "two fifty." The mom happily agreed to the price, and since they were in a hurry, signed her receipt and left. Later, when she got her credit card bill, she freaked out because the recipe had cost two hundred and fifty dollars. She called the store to complain but they were not willing to compensate her. So instead, she gave the recipe to anyone and everyone who was interested. I'm glad I got a copy because they are, seriously, the best cookies.

Last night, Crystal and I went into sugar coma eating so much of the dough! And the cookies turn out with crunchy edges and soft, gooey centers.

2 cups butter
2 cups brown sugar
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 cups flour
2 teaspoons soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
5 cups oatmeal, measure the oatmeal and then blend it in the blender until it is fine
24 oz. chocolate chips
8 oz Hershey chocolate bar, grated (personally, I don't think this adds a lot to the cookie)

Cream together the butter and sugars until fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, soda, baking powder, salt and fine oatmeal. Mix until well blended. Add the chocolate chips and grated chocolate (if you want it).

Roll into balls and place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 8 - 10 minutes.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Bran Muffins (the best in the entire WORLD!)

I grew up eating these muffins and love, love, LOVE them. They are great to make in advance, keep in the freezer and then microwave and eat on your way to work!

3 cups buttermilk (or make sour milk using milk and vinegar)
3 cups bran (not bran cereal, wheat bran. It's like tiny flakes. I found it at Harmons.)
1 cup oil (I have successfully and deliciously made these using 3/4 cup applesauce, 1/4 cup oil)
3 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 teaspoons soda
2 teaspoons salt
3 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 cups raisins or chocolate chips

Combine the buttermilk and bran in a bowl; set aside to soak.

Mix the oil (or applesauce and oil), eggs, sugars, vanilla, soda and salt. Add the bran mixture, flour, baking powder. Add the raisins or chocolate chips. Do not over mix.

Pour the batter into greased muffin tins, filling 2/3 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Makes 3 -4 dozen.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Taco Salad


Taco Salad is one of those go-to meals that always leaves everyone full and happy. I love that you can add as much of one ingredient as you like, skimp on others, or totally leave one out. Everyone can make their own personal salad that they will love. So I thought I'd share the ingredients we like with our taco salad. The top salad is mine, the bottom one is Brian's. I like to crumble my chips up and Brian likes to eat his salad almost like nachos.

1 pound of hamburger, cooked according to the directions on a package of taco seasoning
black olives, sliced
romaine lettuce, shredded or cut up
cheese, your favorite kind, shredded
salsa (we LOVE the mango salsa from Costco)
tomatoes, diced
beans (I switch between pinto, kidney and black cause I love them all)
taco chips
sour cream (which our dinner guests loved mixing with the salsa and then putting on the salad)

Now we just layer on what we love and want, and use the salsa as the salad dressing. Unless you are our friend, Kristen. She uses Catalina dressing on her taco salad. Another plus of this meal, just buy some tortillas and if your kids or guests don't like salad, you have all the ingredients for them to make tacos. Win-Win!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Candy Bar Cookies

I was trying to figure out what to do with our leftover Halloween candy and Brian wanted some cookies. This might be something you already do but I haven't before. In place of chocolate chips, I used Halloween candy. All we had left were Crunch bars and Milky Ways, so I chopped them up and added them to the Oatmeal cookie recipe I've posted on here before. I'm excited to try this another time with other type of candy.

1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/4 cups flour
2 1/2 cups oatmeal
2 cups (or more) chopped leftover Halloween candy

Cream together the butter and sugars. Add the vanilla and eggs, mix well. Add the dry ingredients, mix well. Stir in the Halloween candy. Drop by teaspoons on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Peachy Oatmeal Muffins

Don't those look yummy?? I got this recipe from my friend, Aubrey, (thanks Aubrey!) but I changed the recipe a little bit. I wanted them to be more peachy and less nutmeggy. Check out the picture below...loaded full of yummy peaches.
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup applesauce
2 Tablespoons oil
2 eggs
3/4 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/3 cup flour (white, wheat or combination - I used 1/2 and 1/2)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup oats
3 cups diced peaches (I used the peaches I canned, but you could also use fresh)

Combine the first seven ingredients and mix until well combined. Add the remaining ingredients, except the peaches, and stir just until combined. Fold in the peaches.

Pour the batter into greased muffin tins and bake at 400 degrees for 10 -12 minutes.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Curry Chicken Crepes

Oh deliciousness! I love curry and I love crepes so why not put them together. I can't wait to try some other fillings in these crepes. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. I adapted this recipe from one I found on Cooking During Stolen Moments.

Crepes
5 teaspoons melted butter
3 eggs
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

Whisk all ingredients together until well combined. Heat a skillet to medium high heat. Spray with non-stick spray. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, add batter to the skillet while away from the heat. Tilt the skillet so that the entire bottom of the skillet is covered in batter. Return to heat and cook until the top starts to look dry, about 20 seconds. Flip the crepe and cook another 20 seconds. Keep warm until ready to serve. Makes 10 - 12 crepes.

Curry Chicken
2 chicken breasts, uncooked and cubed
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 green pepper, diced
2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup flour
1/3 cup milk
1 Tablespoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen broccoli
2 -3 cups cooked rice

Stir fry the chicken with some of the chicken broth, until almost cooked. Add the onion, green pepper and remaining chicken broth. Cook for 3 - 5 minutes. Stir in the flour, cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the milk, curry, ginger and crushed red pepper. Add the peas and broccoli and cook until heated through. About five minutes.

Now just put as much curry chicken and rice as you want on a crepe, roll it up and enjoy!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Red Sauce Enchiladas

We LOVE enchiladas at our house! They are so easy and delicious. I also love that I can add whatever we feel like to the inside. This is how I make enchiladas with red sauce.

1 package whole wheat tortillas (there are usually 10 in a package)
chicken or beef, shredded (I will sometimes use canned, which makes prep even quicker)
2 cans of black olives, sliced
2 cups cheese
3 cans mushrooms
2 cans red enchilada sauce
2 cans tomato sauce or tomato soup

Mix together the enchilada sauce and the tomato sauce.

Lay out a tortilla shell. Layer some chicken or beef, olives, mushrooms and cheese. Cover with a spoonful of enchilada mixture. Fold in the sides and roll the tortilla closed. Put the enchilada in a 9x13 baking dish, seam side down. Repeat until all tortillas are filled.

If there is any meat, olives, or mushrooms left, mix them in with the remaining enchilada mixture. Pour the mixture over the enchiladas. Cover with the remaining cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling. Enjoy! We love ours with mango salso on the top!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Caramel Apple Peanut Butter Squares

Another apple recipe! This is a great time of year for apples... and caramel, since I seem to make most of my apple recipes with caramel. Then combine some peanut butter and white chocolate on the top and your mouth just starts to water.

2 cups flour
2 cups quick oats
1/2 Tablespoon salt
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 sticks butter
2/3 cup and 2 Tablespoons chunky peanut butter, divided
1 1/4 cups apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1 - 14oz package caramels, unwrapped
2 Tablespoons milk
1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts, chopped
2/3 cup white chocolate morsels
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 pan.
In a large bowl, mix together flour, oats and salt. Mix in brown sugar. Cut in butter and 2/3 cup peanut butter until crumbly. Reserve 3 cups of the mixture. Pat remaining mixture firmly into the prepared pan. Sprinkle chopped apples over the mixture.
Place caramels and milk in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 2 to 3 minutes until smooth, stirring occasionally. Stir in remaining 2 Tablespoons peanut butter. Spoon caramel mixture over the apples in the pan.
Sprinkle reserved oat mixture over the top, followed by chopped peanuts, patting down slightly.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 -35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for at least 30 minutes.
Place white chocolate morsels in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave until melted and smooth. Drizzle over the top of the cooled bars. When the drizzle is set, cut and serve.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Twice Baked Potato Casserole

I was trying to figure out a way to use my leftover potatoes when Brian suggested twice baked potatoes. Well, I had made the mashed potatoes with the skins, and wouldn't have saved the skins anyways, so I couldn't make the normal twice baked potatoes. After some thought, I made this recipe instead. This is not a stand alone dish, you should serve it with something else.

For every pound of mashed potatoes:
2 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
3 slices of bacon, cooked
1 cup cheese
1 teaspoon salt (unless you salted them before)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 Tablespoon chives
anything else you like in your twice baked potatoes

Mix all ingredients together and stir until well combined. Transfer to a small casserole dish. Cover with cheese, if desired. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until heated through and cheese is melted.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Cheesy Broccoli Chicken Casserole

Another recipe where the picture does not do justice. This recipe is made with homemade cheese sauce - how is that not yummy?? Next time though, I'm going to serve this over noodles. This is another recipe from Cooking During Stolen Moments.

2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons flour
1 1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, cubed or shredded
4 cups broccoli (I used frozen)
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1/2 teaspoon thyme
2 Tablespoons butter
1 cup breadcrumbs

In a small sauce pan, melt 2 Tablespoons butter over medium heat. Stir in flour and cook for 2 minutes. Whisk in milk, bring to a boil and cook until thickened to gravy consistency. Remove from heat. Stir in cheese until melted. Add the broccoli, chicken and thyme. Pour into a 9x9 casserole dish.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Melt 2 Tablespoons butter and combine with the breadcrumbs. Sprinkle over the chicken mixture and return to the oven. Bake for 5 - 10 minutes more, or until browned and chicken is fully cooked.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Caramel Apple Oatmeal Cookies

These cookies are sosososo good. They are different from regular cookies because of the apples and caramel and very easy to make. I have been adding apples to my recipes to use the apples I got from my cousin's tree and this is a recipe I will be using again and again.

1 cup butter
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
1 3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups quick cooking oats (make sure they are quick cooking)
3 cups peeled and diced apples
25 caramels
1 1/2 teaspoon water

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter, the sugars, and the vanilla until creamy. Add the eggs and beat one minute more. Add the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt until combined. By hand, fold in the oats and apples.

Scoop by Tablespoonfuls onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 - 12 minutes, until golden brown. Remove the cookies to a wire rack to cool.

While the cookies cool, place unwrapped caramels and water in a bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds and stir. Microwave in 30 second increments until the caramel is melted and smooth. Drizzle over the top of each cookie and let the caramel firm. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Crockpot Ranchy PorkChops with Cheesy Mashed Potatoes

This is a very yummy blend of flavors. I like that I can put the pork chops in the crockpot and they can cook all day. Then, all I have to make is the mashed potatoes when I get home. I made this for a large group of people and they were gobbled right up. I don't remember where I got this recipe, sorry!

6 pork chops, 1/2 inch thick
1 packet dry Ranch Dressing Seasoning
10 oz can Cream of Chicken soup
3 pounds potatoes, cubed
5 Tablespoons butter
1 cup grated cheese (I actually used monterey jack)
6 cloves garlic (or less, if you are not a garlic person)
1 - 1 1/2 cups milk
1 Tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Place pork chops, Ranch seasoning and soup into a crockpot. Heat for 4 hours on high or 6 hours on low.

Place potatoes into a large pot of water. Heat over high heat and bring to a boil. Once water is boiling, cook for 10 - 12 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender. Drain and transfer to a bowl. Using an electric mixer, mix on low until potatoes are mashed. Add butter, cheese, garlic, milk, salt and pepper. Season to taste if needed.

Serve the soup gravy, from the crockpot, over the mashed potatoes and pork chops.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Mint Chip Cookies

Cookies + Mint = equals a HaPPy me! I have had this recipe to try forever and don't know why I didn't try them sooner. It came from the inside of a bag of Andes Mints baking chips. Try them...you'll LoVe them!

1/2 cup butter - softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
1 package (10oz) Andes Creme de Menthe baking chips
2 2/3 cups flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Blend butter, sugars, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla and eggs until mixed. Stir in the mint chips and then the flour. Chill for one hour in the refrigerator.

Form dough into balls and slightly flatten. Raise one oven rack one level above the middle and bake on non-stick baking pans.

Bake for approximately 8 - 10 minutes. Cool on pans for two minutes before removing.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Crockpot Breakfast Casserole

This picture, in no way, captures this casserole. It's quite tasty but no matter how many pictures I took, I couldn't get a perfect one. So don't base this recipe on the picture. You will fill your entire crockpot with this recipe. This recipe came from my friend, Krista. Thanks, Krista!

1 bag (32 oz) frozen hash brown potatoes
1 pound bacon, diced OR ham, cooked and cubed
1 onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 1/2 cup cheddar or monterey jack cheese, shredded
1 dozen eggs
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper (more or less to taste)
Place a layer of frozen potatoes on the bottom of the crockpot, followed by a layer of bacon or ham, then the onions, green pepper and cheese. Repeat the layering process two or three times, ending with a layer of cheese.
Beat the eggs, milk, salt and pepper together. Pour over the crockpot mixture, cover and turn on low. Cook for 10 - 12 hours.
Serve it with salsa!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Sloppy Joe Mashed Potato Cups

I thought this was a great idea, then I started doubting the flavor combination. I mean, really? Sloppy joes and mashed potatoes? I just couldn't wrap my head around it. Then I ate one. Trust me, this is YUMMY! This would be best when you already have left over mashed potatoes or sloppy joe mix. But you could make this just to make it, too. I got this idea from Cooking During Stolen Moments.

First, make sloppy joe mix. I've included this recipe before, but here it is again.

For every pound of hamburger:
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1 Tablespoon vinegar
2 teaspoons mustard
tomato sauce (use as much to match your sloppiness liking)
salt and pepper to taste
hamburger buns

Brown hamburger with onion. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook until thickened.

Now for the mashed potatoes:
2 lb. potatoes
6 Tablespoons butter
1/3 cup sour cream
salt and pepper to taste
1 - 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese

Cube potatoes and boil until tender; drain. Return the potatoes to the pot. Mash with butter, sour cream and salt and pepper. The potatoes will be heavier than regular mashed potatoes.

Grease muffin tins - (12 to 18 of them). Press 1/4 cup of potatoes into each muffin cup. Using a spoon or your fingers, leave a hollow spot in the center of the mashed potatoes. Add about 1/4 cup sloppy joe mix into each potato cup. Cover each with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and everything is heated through.

Let cool for about 10 minutes before taking out. I ran a knife along the side of each cup and then used the knife to take them out. If you take them out right away, they will not keep their shape.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Sundae Cupcakes

Another AMAZING cupcake for this month's Cupcake Hero:November peanut butter challenge. This cupcake is modeled after my most favorite way in the entire world to eat peanut butter - vanilla bean ice cream smothered in hot fudge and peanut butter!! Yummy-licious-ness!! So this cupcake is a vanilla bean cupcake, filled with hot fudge sauce and peanut butter. Then I made a whip cream frosting and drizzled more chocolate and peanut butter over the top. OH MY!!

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 vanilla bean*

Beat the butter until it's soft. Add the sugar and eggs, beat until light and fluffy. Combine the dry ingredients together, and the milk, vanilla and vanilla bean specs together. Add the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients alternatively to the butter mixture. Mix until combined.

Pour the batter into greased cupcake pans, filling about 2/3 full. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until the cupcake springs back when touched. Cool completely before icing.

*If you have never gotten the vanilla bean specs, as I like to call them, out of a vanilla bean - it's very simple. Just cut the bean in half and, using the non-sharp edge of the knife, scrape the knife along the bean from the closed end to the open end. You will see all the specs come out. Get as many as you can. Every spec makes a difference, in my opinion.

Whip Cream Frosting
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 Tablespoons whip cream
4 -6 cups of powdered sugar

Beat together the butter, vanilla and whip cream. Add as much powdered sugar as needed to reach desired consistency.

Hot Fudge Sauce
1/2 cup and 2 Tablespoons butter
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1 can evaporated milk

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Mix in the sugar and cocoa. Gradually add the entire can of evaporated milk. Boil on medium heat for 5 minutes until thick. (In a side note - this is the most amazing hot fudge EVER!)

Peanut Butter Filling
1 1/2 cups peanut butter
1 can condensed milk

Mix together until completely blended. (I did this to help the peanut butter set up and so it wouldn't just be this big chunk of peanut butter in the middle of the cupcake.) For the peanut butter on top, just melt some peanut butter, without the condensed milk, in the microwave.

Assembly
Take the cooled cupcakes and hollow out part of the middle. The hollow does not need to be too deep because the hot fudge will soak into the cupcake.

Pour 1 Tablespoon of hot fudge into the center of each cupcake. Put 1 Tablespoon of peanut butter filling into each cupcake. Spread the whip cream frosting over each cupcake and drizzle hot fudge and peanut butter over each cupcake. Good luck only enjoying one!!

Caramel Apple Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Oh my - these are delicious!! I am so glad I had a work party that I could take these to, so I wouldn't keep eating them!! As I was dreaming of what cupcake to make for the Cupcake Hero: November - peanut butter challenge, the thought of caramel apple and peanut butter sounded interesting. I've never had this flavor combo before and decided it couldn't hurt to try. Oh yumminess. They were a HUGE hit at my work party.

1 1/2 sticks of butter
1 1/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup peanut butter
3 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups apples, chopped (I actually used apples I had canned)
14 oz bag of caramels
2 Tablespoons milk

Mix the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the peanut butter and mix well. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing between each addition. Add the sour cream and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined.

Unwrap the caramels and place in a microwave safe bowl. Add the milk. Microwave in 30 second intervals until the caramel is melted. I would save a handful of caramels to melt later on when icing the cupcakes.

Pour the peanut butter batter into well greased cupcake pans, filling just under half way full. Sprinkle apples evenly over the batter. Pour caramel over the apples. Cover with the remaining peanut butter batter.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until the cupcakes spring bake when touched. Cool completely before frosting.

White Chocolate Frosting
1 cup butter
4 - 6 cups powdered sugar
6 oz white chocolate, melted
3 - 5 Tablespoons milk

Beat together the butter and melted white chocolate. Add 4 cups of powdered sugar and as much milk to reach desired consistency. Add more powdered sugar, as needed.

Pipe icing in a circle over the top of the cooled cupcakes. Melt the remaining caramels and drizzle over the icing. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Pumpkin Waffles with Maple Butter Syrup

YUMMY! Such a wonderful way to enjoy some fall flavor with your breakfast. This came from Better Homes and Gardens.

2 cups whole wheat flour
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1 3/4 cups milk
1 cup canned pumpkin or mashed, cooked pumpkin
2 egg yolks
3 Tablespoons butter, melted
2 egg whites

In a large bowl, stir together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, nutmeg and ginger. Add the milk, pumpkin, egg yolks and butter. Stir until just combined, batter will be lumpy.

In a small bowl, beat egg whites with an electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Gently fold beaten egg whites into pumpkin mixture, leaving a few puffs of egg white.

Heat a lightly greased waffle baker. Bake waffles according to your waffle maker. Serve waffles immediately.

MAPLE BUTTER SYRUP
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup butter

Whip ingredients together until combined. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Sweet Potato Bundt Cake

This is a great way to enjoy some sweet potatoes. And perfect to enjoy this time of year. I got this recipe from Heart Healty Living, but changed it up a little.

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar, divided
1 egg
2 eggs white
1-15 ounce can sweet potatoes, drained and mashed
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided
1 cup plain nonfat yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat over to 350 degrees. Spray a 10 inch fluted tube pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, 1/3 cup brown sugar, egg, and egg whites until light and fluffy. Add sweet potatoes and mix well. In a medium bowl, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and 2 teaspoons cinnamon. Add the yogurt and vanilla.

Spread 1/3 of the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with half the remaining brown sugar, half the chocolate chips and half the remaining cinnamon. Repeat layes, ending with the final 1/3 of the batter. Bake for 40 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Invert onto a serving platter.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Roasted Butternut Squash

I love squash! I could eat it raw, cooked and cold. This dish is so easy and so yummy. I even take this to work and eat it cold for lunch.

1 butternut squash
1 - 2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons parsley

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the ends off the squash. Using a potato peeler, take the skin off the squash. Cut the squash in half the long way and scrap out the seeds from the middle. Continue to cut the squash into 1 1/2 inch cubes.

Put the squash in a baking dish. Add one Tablespoon 0live oil and mix well. Add more olive oil if needed. Sprinkle and mix the parsley onto the squash.

Bake the squash for 20 - 30 minutes, or until the squash is soft when inserted with a fork.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Spinach Salad with Poppyseed Dressing

This is one of my most favorite salads in the entire world!! I could eat it over and over again and never tire of it. Do not put the dressing on until you are ready to eat it. I will often have my guests add their own dressing, that way I can enjoy the leftovers for lunch without the spinach going soggy.

1 bag spinach
1 container mushrooms
red onions - chopped (to your liking)
swiss cheese - shredded (to your liking)
bacon - cooked and chopped (to your liking)

Mix ingredients together. Just before serving, add the dressing. I usually have people add their own dressing so that the leftovers don't go soggy.

DRESSING:
1/3 cup vinegar
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon mustard
1 teaspoon poppyseeds
3/4 cup oil

Mix everything but the oil in a blender. Turn on the blender and slowly add the oil.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Banana Doughnut Holes

I found this recipe on The Food Network. I've never made homemade doughnut holes before so it was a learning process for me. Who knew that oil was too hot, then too cold, then too hot...not me! These taste a lot like banana bread and are quite delicious.

3 large ripe bananas, cut into 1/2 inch slices
2 Tablespoons cold butter, cubed
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
vegetable oil for frying
1 3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sour cream
1 egg
1 cup cinnamon chips (I also used chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place sliced bananas into a small baking dish. Top evenly with cubed butter and brown sugar. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden and bubbly. Remove and coarsely mash with a fork, still leaving chunks of bananas. Set aside.

Heat 3 inches of oil into a large Dutch over or large deep-fryer over medium heat, to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside. Gently whisk the heavy cream, sour cream and egg until just combined. Slowly stir in banana mixture, cream mixture and cinnamon chips into dry ingredients until just combined.

In batches, using a medium cookie scoop, scoop dough and carefully drop into hot oil, about 8 at a time. Fry for 3 to 4 minutes, turning frequently, and until golden brown. Transfer donuts with a skimmer onto a paper towel lined plate to drain, until all have been fried.

GLAZE:
1/3 cup milk
1 Tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar

In the top of a double boiler set over simmering water, mix the milk, butter, and vanilla until the butter is melted. Slowly add the sugar, beating until the glaze is smooth. Dip doughnuts into the glaze, turning to coat, and carefully transfer them to a large sheet of waxed paper to dry.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Pumpkin Pistachio Monster Cupcakes

Isn't he so cute?? Really easy to make and oh so finger licking good to eat! Here is what the inside looks like.
I am entering this cupcake into a cooking contest called Cupcake Hero. Check it out HERE. I'll let you know when and how you can vote for me! In the meantime, try out these yummy monsters.

Pumpkin Dough

½ cup oil
1 ¼ cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup pumpkin

Stir the oil and sugar together. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla. Add the flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Mix well. Add the pumpkin.

Pistachio Dough

1 cup de-shelled pistachios
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sugar
¾ cup butter, softened
3 eggs
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ cup milk
Green food coloring, to your color liking

Place the pistachios in a blender, pulse until fine. (It does not need to be ultra fine, texture is good.) Add to the pumpkin pie spice, flour, baking powder, and baking soda; mix together.

In a large bowl, beat sugar and butter until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, making sure each is fully mixed before adding the next. Add the vanilla. Alternatively add the pistachio mixture and the milk, until all of the pistachio mixture and milk has been added. Add the green food coloring. Mix on low just until combined.

Making the Pumpkin Pistachio Cupcakes

Because of the way I decorated the cupcakes, I did not use paper liners. Instead, spray 24 muffin cups with non-stick spray.

Spoon a layer of pumpkin dough into each muffin cup. Spread out evenly. Follow with a layer of pistachio dough, pumpkin dough and finish with pistachio dough, spreading the dough out evenly each time.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans. Cool completely before decorating.

Cream Cheese Frosting

3 cups powdered sugar
8 oz cream cheese
4 Tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Green food coloring, to your color liking

Mix all ingredients together, until smooth.

Spoon the frosting into an icing decorating bag with a large open circle tip.

Turn the cupcake upside down and place on top of two Nutter Butter cookies. Make straight lines of icing from bottom to top of the cupcake, all around the entire cupcake. Attach red licorice strings for antennae and M’nM’s for eyes.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Creamy Couscous Breakfast Pudding


Umm-umm-umm! Yummy-licousness! This recipe comes from Weight Watchers. No matter how many times I try, I'm just not a fan of oatmeal. And eating cream of wheat regularily gets old quickly. So I started looking for more yummy breakfast ideas and found this one. Oh yummy. I love it because I make it on the weekend, and it makes enough to last all week. And I can change the "flavor" of it by what berries and nuts I add.

1 1/2 cups water
1 cup couscous
pinch of salt
3 cups fat-free milk
2 Tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel
1/4 cup fat-free egg substitute
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
sliced almonds (or other nuts), berries and milk

Bring the water to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat. Stir in the couscous and salt. Reduce the heat and simmer until the water is absorbed, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff the couscous with a fork. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes.

Whisk the milk, brown sugar, and orange zest into the couscous. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking frequently to break up any lumps. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat.

Whisk together 1/2 cup of the couscous mixture and the egg substitute in a small bowl. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring, until the pudding is thick and creamy, about 5 minutes longer.

Stir in the wheat germ and vanilla. Serve with milk, almonds and berries, if desired.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Monster Cookies

And I mean, Monster Cookies! This recipe comes from my childhood. These cookies turn out huge! I made them as a treat for all the Primary kids to eat after they did an amazing job at our Primary Program. They would be perfect for family reunions, Young Women's camp, etc. Wherever you need cookies for a lot of people.

Here they are on the cookie sheet. And yes, you can only fit six on each cookie sheet.

And look how HUGE they are after cooking! They take up the entire cookie sheet!2 cups margarine
3 pounds peanut butter
2 pounds brown sugar
4 cups white sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla
8 teaspoons baking soda
1 dozen eggs
18 cups oatmeal
12 oz. chocolate chips
16 oz. M'nM's

Mix together all ingredients except chocolate chips and M'nM's. When mixed well, add the chocolate chips and M'nM's.

Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup for each cookie. Flatten each 1/4 of dough on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Blackberry Salad with Pork

I'm trying to eat more salads, and I've had fun finding some new ones. This one is great, if you like blackberries. It's super simple and very delicious. It's a great way to enjoy some summer fruit!

10 - 12 ounces of pork (I used pork chops)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup blackberries
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 Tablespoons olive oil
3 Tablespoons honey
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
6 cups mixed baby greens (spring mix)
2 cups blackeberries
2 Tablespoons almonds, toasted

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place pork on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 25 to 35 minutes, or until fully cooked. Remove from the oven and cut into slices.

To make the blackberry vinaigrette, combine the 1/2 cup blackberries, lemon juice, oil, honey, salt and pepper in a blender. Cover and blend until smooth.

To serve, place the salad greens onto plates; top with the blackberries, almonds and sliced pork. Drizzle with the blackberry vinaigrette. Serve immediately!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Cheesy Potato Soup with Roasted Veggies

This soup is so delicious! It's much more like a stew and wonderful with some of the fresh veggies you can find right now. I got the idea from a recipe kind of like this but I changed it a lot so it's kind of my own.

1 large butternut squash (I cut the ends off, peeled the skin like it's a pototo and cubed it)
1 large red bell pepper - diced
1 medium onion - diced
1 handful of baby carrots - diced (these were the veggies I had on hand, but you could use any)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon parsley (you may have to add more pepper, garlic salt and parsley depending on the size of your squash)
2 pounds red potatoes, quartered
2 Tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup shredded Romano cheese (or Asiago)
3 -14oz cans chicken broth
1 1/2 - 2 1/2 cups milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place all the veggies (except potatoes) in a cake pan. Drizzle with the olive oil, and sprinkle with pepper, garlic salt and parsley. Stir well to make sure all ingredients are covered. Bake for about 30 minutes, until veggies are tender. Remove and set aside.

Place the pototoes in a large pot and boil until tender. Drain water. Add the butter, pepper, garlic salt, garlic and milk. Mix with an electric mixer until smashed. Stir in the cheese until melted. Add all the chicken broth, stir until well mixed. Stir in enough of the milk until the soup reaches your desired consistency. Stir in the roasted veggies. Enjoy.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Maple Oat Bread

I got this recipe from another cooking blog, Cooking During Stolen Moments. I LOVE her recipes. I have a huge stack to cook my way through and I'm so excited! This bread is delicous. It goes perfect with any meal!

1 cup quick cooking oats
1 cup boiling water
1/3 cup warm water
1 Tablespoon yeast
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 - 4 cups of flour (you can use all white, all whole wheat or a mixture)

In a small bowl, combine oats and boiling water, stir. Set aside to cool a bit.

In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Add the maple syrup, oil, salt and oatmeal mixture. Make sure the oatmeal mixture is NOT hot, or it will kill the yeast. Stir to combine. Work in as much flour as possible until dough is no longer sticky. Knead for 5 or 6 minutes. Place dough back in the bowl, cover and let it rise for one hour.

Punch the dough down, knead another 1 or 2 minutes and place in a greased round cake pan. Cover and let rise for 45 minutes.

Bake for 30 - 35 minutes.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Honey Mustard Pretzel Chicken

I was trying to figure out something to do with my extra Romano cheese, so I took a look around my kitchen and came up with this. And I've got to admit - amazingly delicious!

3 chicken breasts (I cut mine in half to shorten the cooking time)
2 beaten eggs
2 Tablespoons honey mustard
1 1/2 cup crushed pretzels (I wish I had crushed mine more)
1 cup grated Romano cheese (you could totally try it with other cheese)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the eggs and mustard in a bowl, mix well. In another bowl mix the pretzels and cheese. Dip the chicken into the egg mixture then into the pretzel mixture. Place chicken on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with any remaining pretzel mixture.

Bake until chicken is fully cooked, about 20 minutes.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Banana Bread

Yummy, yummy! This recipe comes from my childhood. Thanks Mom! :)

1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup mashed banana
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour milk (or buttermilk)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut together the shortening and sugar. Add the vanilla, eggs and banana. Mix well. Add dry ingredients and milk alternatively. Put in greased bread pan. Bake for 20 minutes. (may take longer because I have a crazy oven)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Light Whole Wheat Bread

I found this recipe on allrecipes. I made a few changes because I wanted it more "wheaty." It's super easy to make and turns out delicious! I called it light whole wheat because it's not wheaty enough for me, but it's still yummy.

3 cups warm water
2 Tablespoons active dry yeast
2/3 cup honey (seperated)
5 cups whole wheat flour
3 Tablespoons butter, melted
1 Tablespoon salt
3 1/2 cups white flour

In a large bowl, mix warm water, yeast and 1/3 cup honey. Add 5 cups of whole wheat flour and stir to combine. Let set for 30 minutes, or until big and bubbly. (I do this in my Bosch bowl.)

Mix in the melted butter, 1/3 cup honey, and salt. Stir in 2 cups white flour. Add additional flour until the dough is not real sticky and just pulling away from the edge of the bowl. (This is super easy in my Bosch - but if you have to knead by hand, flour a flat surface and knead with the flour until not real sticky and just pulling away from the counter.) Place the dough in a greased bowl. Cover with a greased piece of saran wrap. Let rise in a warm place until double in size.

Punch down and divide into three loaves. Place in greased 9 x 5 loaf pan, and allow to rise until the dough had topped the pans by one inch.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes; do not overbake. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Most Dangerous Cake Recipe In the World

And why is this the most dangerous cake recipe in the world ? Because now we are all only 5 minutes away from chocolate cake at any time of the day or night! I got this recipe in an email from a friend. Brian and I decided to try it out one night and were quite surprised - it's yummy! You could even do this at work!

4 Tablespoons flour
4 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons cocoa
1 egg
3 Tablespoons milk
3 Tablespoons oil
3 Tablespoons chocolate chips (we used white)
a small splash of vanilla extract
1 large coffee mug

Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly. Pour in the milk and oil and mix well. Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla extract, and mix again.

Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts. The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed! Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired. EAT! (this can serve 2 if you want to feel slightly more virtuous).

Here is our cake dough in our mug...
And the cake when we took it out of the microwave. The picture at the top is the cake out of the mug.