Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Sugared Bacon

Is it good for you? No. Is it tastey... absolutely!

I heard from a wife a church that this was one of her husband's favorites. So of course we had to give it a go. It is really delicious.

Sugared Bacon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a cookie sheet with sides, place a sheet of foil. Trust me, this will make clean up a snap. Lay each piece of bacon out on the cookie sheet, then sprinkle brown sugar over the top. Once you have done it a time or two, you will get a feel for how much brown sugar to put on the bacon. Here are a few pictures below of mine.

Place cookie sheet in the oven for approximately 30-45 minutes. Check a couple of times at the end until bacon is to your desired doneness. We like ours a little crispy.

This is cooked perfectly. It might look burnt, but that is just the brown sugar goodness carmelized on your bacon.

Remove bacon and put on a plate with a paper towel or on a brown paper bag so that the grease can drain off. Then try it... mmmmmm. You will thank me forever (even though no one ever comments, I know you are out there enjoying all the wonderful recipes on this blog and deep in your hearts is appreciation of the sincerest kind).

Monday, December 7, 2009

Pickles, Cream Cheese & Ham Appetizer

Even though these are very simple sounding, they are yummy! In fact my daughter decided to take some to school today because she liked them so much. Plus it is something you can get your kids to help with.

Pickles, Cream Cheese & Ham Appetizer

Small whole dill pickles
1 package of cream cheese
Ham slices

Measure the pickle on the ham slice and fold in edge of ham until the same length of pickle.Take a ham slice and spread a thin layer of cream cheese over it. Place pickle at one end of the ham and roll up. Cut pickle into 1/2 inch slices and put a toothpick in the top.

Okay, I stole this image from another website because I think it helps to understand how to assemble the whole thing. You can also do this with pickled asparagus instead of a regular pickle.

Dip in a Bread Bowl (very rich)

This was another appetizer that I made. It also got a thumbs up from my nephew, so it must be good. My mother found this recipe and was so kind to share and make us all plump.

Dip in a Bread Bowl

1 1/2 cup sour cream
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese
1 tsp. worcestershire sauce
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded (I used the prepackage mexian cheese)
1 small can green chilies, diced
1/2 cup green onion, chopped
1 cup ham, choppped
1 round loaf of bread

Cream sour cream, cream cheese with worcestershire sauce. Mix in cheese, green chilies, green onions and ham. Cut top off of bread, scoop out and spoon ingredients into the bread bowl. Replace top and wrap with two layers of foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour 15 minutes. Serve with crackers and left over bread taken out of middle of bread round.

Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

We had the "Thomas" family progressive dinner and I was in charge of appetizers. So I will share a few of the ones I did that seemed pretty popular. I didnt' get pictures because I had just spilled some juice off the cookie sheet with the mushrooms and was trying to wipe it up as people started arriving. I know we will make most of these again and will get pictures then :)

These pretty easy to make and everyone kept saying how good they were. I usually like a crap stuffing in my mushrooms, but my husband is allergic. It was kind of embarassing when they were asking for the ingredients and there were only 4.

Sausage Stuff Mushrooms (Jana Norton)

25-30 medium sized mushrooms
1 (12 oz) package of Jimmy Dean Sausage (she uses light I used natural)
1 (8 oz) package of cream cheese
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (I used grated)

Brown sausage, drain and cool. Add cream cheese and mix well. Add shredded parmesan cheese. Mix well again. Clean mushrooms and remove steps. Place mushroosm cap side down and fill with filling. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes (I think mine took a little longer to cook).

Also put these on a cookie sheet lined with foil and one that had sides as the mushrooms give off a little juice. Then when you take them out the juice runs on the floor and you are cleaning it up as the guests arrive.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Rainbow Jello

So I discovered that this is something that I usually make for Thanksgiving. It was a good thing I was reminded, because I didn't know that. And actually, 80% of the people had made it though the line before I remembered to take it out of the fridge. I will say, kids really think it is cool when they see it. I even did this in individual clear plastic cups for one of my sons birthday treats at school.

This recipe is really pretty easy. Just a little time consuming. But if you are hanging around the house anyway, it is no biggie to just keep adding the next layer. They set up pretty quick. Give it a try... your kids/grandkids will think you are wonderful.

Rainbow Jello

6 small packages of Jello (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple)
16 oz. container of sour cream

I do this in a 9 X 13 pan which has a very light coating of cooking spray in it.
Add one packet of Jello to 1 cup of boiling water. Stir 2 to 3 minutes to dissolve completely. Pour 2/3 cup of the Jello into the prepared pan, and chill for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, add enough Sour Cream to the remaining Jello to make 2/3 cup. Stir until combined. When first layer has set for 15 minutes, carefully pour Jello/sour cream mixture over it, and chill for 15 minutes. Repeat with remaining colors. Once all layers have been poured, allow to chill for at least 2 hours. Unmold onto a serving platter, if desired, or cut into squares and serve.

Note: as soon as I pour (do it gently so as not to break up the previous layer)the sour cream/jello layer on, I mix the next color of jello up so it is cooled enough to pour when the sour cream/jello layer is set.

You can also use cool whip or evaporated milk instead of sour cream. Just follow the same measurements as above. I thought the cool whip was a pain to incorporate into the jello though.

You can also do this with whatever colors of jello you want for whatever special occasion. You can also do this in a bundt pan and unmold for a special affect.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

A neighbor brought this soup to me a while ago and it has quickly become a family favorite. In fact I made it last night so I could post a picture - unfortunately it was eaten before I got my camera out. I guess that isn't really a bad thing - family loving your dinner so much they eat it all. That doesn't happen around our house very often - very picky kids!!

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
2 boxes Uncle Bens original Long Grain and Wild Rice
cook this following directions on box except use only 3 cups water total and shorten time to about 20 minutes.
In pot saute -
2 T butter
4 carrots sliced
4 celery stalks chopped
1 onion diced
(cook until onions are translucent)
now add:
6 cups chicken stock ( this is more rich than chicken broth)
2-3 chicken breast cooked and cubed
(I bottled chicken and just use one bottle shredding the chicken as I add it - this is the easiest way to make this soup)
cooked Rice with any remaining liquid
1 pint whipping cream - you didn't think it was all going to be good for you did you?
I sometimes end up adding more chicken stock because the rice takes alot of the liquid - just do what you like.
Simmer and serve. YUM!!!
Hope you enjoy this as much as we do.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Peanut Butter Pie

This was a recipe that came from a class taken from the "Pie Goddess". This lady started making pies in our small town and sold them. She would get up to 30 dollars for one pie. She now makes them exclusively for a restaurant that opened a few years ago. She has a few others that I will share later on. I just thought for those of you who were looking for something different to serve this Thanksgiving, you might find this fun.

Peanutbutter Pie

8 oz. cream cheese
8 oz. whipped topping + 4 more oz. for topping (Cool Whip)
1 cup peanut butter
2 Butterfinger candy bars crushed (saveout 2 Tablespoons for garnish).

Combined all ingredients (except 4 oz of whipped topping) and spread into a prepared pie crust. Sed aside.

Melt 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips in microwave for 1 minute. Now add 1/2 cup whipping cream and microwave for another 30 seconds. Stir until well blended and spread on top of peanut butter pie filling. Garnish with whipped topping and crushed butterfinger candy bar.
Keep refrigerated. Serves up to 12.

Another picture I will need to take :) Also Uncle Matt loves peanut butter so if someone could make this for him... thanks!

Sausage Dip

Another favorite in the family. In fact I shared this with a friend who had a son that went on his mission to Ireland. She figured out some way to get the ingredients to him and that is what she sent him last Christma because it was one thing he loved. They use to make it almost every other day in their house (with 2 teenage boys). This is sure to be a big hit if you take it to a party. You just need to figure out how to keep it warm. Maybe a small crockpot? I have taken it in a bowl and then microwaved it when it cooled down. Serve it with tortilla chips.

Sausage Dip

1 package sausage (like Jimmy Dean)
3 1/2 (8 oz.) packages of cream cheese
2 cans Ro-Tel tomatoes (you can find these by the stewed tomatoes

Brown sausage in pan.

Add cream cheese and heat until smooth.

Add tomatoes and mix until well blended. Serve warm with tortilla chips.

This is what the Rotel Tomato can looks like

Popcorn Crispix Mix

I seriously can't believe I haven't posted this yet. No picture, but trust me, this will be a family favorite. It is also great to make, put in a cute bowl or bag and deliver to neighbors. I got this recipe from one of my sisters (I think Wendi). I usually go a little lighter on the popcorn and a little heavier on the Crispix. But you can make it however you want. Just trust me and make it!

Popcorn Crispix Mix

4 cups popcorn, popped
3 cups Crispix cereal
1/2 cup slivered almonds
2 cubes butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 bag miniature Marshmallows

In a large bowl combine popcorn and cereal. Melt butter in microwave. Add marshmallows and put back in the microwave for 30 second increments, stirring in between. When melted enough to make stirring consistency smooth, add brown sugar. Stir well and pour over popcorn and Crispix. Stir in almonds and enjoy!

I will get a picture next time I make it.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Pizza on the grill

I attended a class on herbs presented by a woman from our church. One of the recipes she demonstrated was this pizza on the grill. It was quick, easy and delicious. I have been wanting to share it for a bit, but life has kept up a steady pace. Give this recipe and try and let me know how it turned out and what toppings you decided to use.


Pizza dough - if you live close to a Winco, they sell premade pizza dough by the deli section. It is approximately 1.98 for a slightly larger than gratefruit size. Another one I like is the "Jiffy" pizza dough you can make from the box, or you can use whatever your favorite pizza dough is (google pizza dough for lots of recipes).

Sauces - Olive oil with garlic, traditional pizza sauce, pesto, barbeque sauce, alfredo sauce.

Toppings - grilled chicken sliced, shrimp, fresh mozarella, basil, tomato slices, artichoke hearts, olives, sausage, pepperoni, onion slices and anything else your mind can imagine.

Roll pizza dough out until desired thickness. Try your first one about 1/8" thick and then adjust to your liking. Brush a with a small amount of olive oil. Take it out and grill it on one side. Your grill should be med to med-low.

You know it is ready when it gets grill marks on the side that is down and it looks partially cooked (this is why you don't want your dough to thick or it won't cook through before it needs to be removed so it won't burn).

Remove from grill and add whatever toppings you want. The toppings above are just some suggestions, but you are only limited by your imagination.
I put pesto, shrimp in half and chicke on the other, some fresh basil leaves and fresh mozarella finally topped with fresh sliced tomato. YUM!

These are some of my kids creations. We make individual pizzas so each person can taylor make it to their own tastes, plus how fun to do as a family.

After putting toppings on, put on cookie sheet to transfer back to grill. Place pizzas on grill and close lid so the toppings melt and cook together while dough finishes cooking through. Keep checking until toppings are done and the bottom has grill marks. Remove, let cool for a few minutes and serve.

This would be fun for a dinner party with everyone making their own pizza. Just put out a lot of toppings and pizza dough that has already been cooked on one side. These cook pretty quick (depending on thickness of dough) so it goes pretty fast.

Hope you enjoy this yummy summer dinner.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Cedar Plank Salmon with Honey Butter

Seriously, salmon has to be one of my favorite foods. I usually order it when we go out to eat. So when we had a "salmon off" (a cook off with my family) I thought I had the recipe to beat. Unfortunately, my sister Steff, won hands down with this recipe. Once you try it, you will never eat salmon any other way.

I am not sure who Steff got it from, but thank you from the bottom of my heart.


Montreal Steak Seasoning
Cedar Plank

Soak your cedar plank in water, preferably at least an hour before cooking. I have fudged it and have done it for 30 minutes with decent success. Place the salmon on the soaked cedar plank and begin heating your Barbeque while you mix your honey butter. When mixing the honey butter I usually do a ration of half and half, but you can play with it and see what you like best. Next slather (yes that is the technical term for it) the honey butter all over the salmon. I know it looks a little gross, but TRUST ME! You will love me forever.

Now sprinkle with the Montreal Steak Seasoning. I got a large container of it from Costco.

Place the plank with salmon on it onto the barbeque. I cook mine on medium heat, checking periodically to adjust temperature. Obviously when you have thicker you want to lower your temperature so they cook through. One big mistake most people make in cooking salmon is overcooking it. So watch it carefully. The plank will begin to smoke (and even burn away a little depending on how soaked you get it). Don't worry, where the salmon is should stay intact. I slightly undercook mine in the middle and then let it sit for a few minutes to finish it off. Remove from barbeque and enjoy. Heavenly! This could seriosly be the answer to world peace.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Fish Tacos

I was browsing a few cooking blogs and came across this recipe for fish tacos. It just seemed like something I was in the mood for and decided to try it. They turned out pretty good, I would definitely make them again.


Talipia Fish Fillets
Cajun Seasoning
Salt Pepper

Pineapple Salsa (recipe below)
Grated Cheese
Flour Tortillas

Prepare salsa and set aside for flavors to combined.

Grill talipia fillets on grill (or cook in a pan) seasoning with cajun seasoning, salt, pepper and a squeeze of lime juice. When cooked assemble tacos as follows...

Lay flour tortilla on place. Put shredded lettuce on flour tortilla, then top with pieces of fish. Put a couple of spoons of salsa on fish, then finish topping with whatever you like, cheese, avocado etc. Roll up and eat.


1 8 oz can of pineapple chunks in juice, cut up smaller
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup onion, finely diced
1 jalapeno, seeds and membrane removed and finely chopped
1/4 cup red pepper, finely chopped
juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper

Mix all ingredients together and allow to chill in the fridge for about 1 hr before serving.

NOTES: I like to buy my Talipia from Costco. They sell it in the freezer section and the fillets are individually wrapped. It is a little pricey, but the fillets are very clean and white. Tilipia is a firm white fish. The cost at Costco is around 15.00 for 2.5 pounds.

I also like to eat it when I am trying to eat healthy. I will put a fillet in a pan that has been brushed with olive oil, cook it for a few minutes (before it starts to brown). Pour a little water in the pan, sprinkle the fillet with cajun seasoning, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Flip the fillet, put a lid on it, let it cook for a few minutes, then turn off heat. Let it finish cooking as it steams. I will then chop up part of a tomato and green onion and place on top of the fish. Replace lid and let it heat through. Sprinkle with garlic, more salt and lemon juice to taste. Very healthy and tastes very good.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Wayne Winter's BBQ Ribs

Have you ever watched the Food Network when they are talking about preparing ribs "just right". I feel intimidated just watching the show. Although this isn't your traditional cook on the grill ribs, it is full proof, and very yummy. If you like BBQ without the hassle, you should give this a try. Basically 4 ingredients (if you are counting salt and pepper separately) and you are done.

When you buy these ribs and are browning them, they will appear to have to much fat. Don't worry, as they cook the fat cooks off leaving mostly meat. They will be fall apart tender. You won't even need a knife to cut them up.

Wayne Winter's BBQ Ribs

country style spareribs (I get mine at Costco, they should be the boneless ones)
Salt and pepper
Bullseye BBQ Sauce (or whatever your favorite is)

Season spareribs with salt and pepper. Brown in a pan/dutch oven. Pour Bullseye Barbeque (or whatever you have chosen) over the top to coat spareribs (you will need to stir it a bit). Don't be stingy on the sauce. You might need more than one bottle depending on how many ribs you are doing and how big your BBQ sauce bottles are.

Bake at 280 - 300 degrees for 2 hours. Stirring half way through.

NOTES: I cut the spareribs into 3" or so pieces so they are easier to brown and when you are serving they are in more manageable size. I brown them in the same pan I do my Sunday roast, it just needs a good fitting lid and big enough to hold all your ribs. When you brown put some oil in the bottom first and add more if needed. I brown my ribs in batches. I do a batch, put them on a plate then do the next batch. When I am done I put them all back in and coat with the BBQ sauce, stir and put in the oven. How easy is that?

Yummy Cornbread Casserole

I tried this at a wedding shower a few weeks ago. We had grilled steak, a lovely salad and this cornbread casserole. I personally never would have thought to serve a cornbread casserole with steak, but it went together very well. It also got rave reviews from both men and women. I got this recipe from my mother who got it from the couple who hosted the shower, the Iunkers.

If you want to try something new, see if it goes over as well as it did when I took it to our family dinner last Sunday. Even the kids liked it.

Cornbread Casserole

2 eggs
1 cube butter
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
1 can green chilies (small can)
1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix
1 can cream corn
1 can regular corn (strained)

sour cream
1 1/2 cups cheese

Cream butter and add eggs. Mix until smooth, then add everything else and mix again until combined. Pour into a greased 9 X 13 pan. Put dollops of sour cream on top using a teaspoon. Then sprinkle the top with 1 1/2 cups of cheese (I used the grated Mexican cheese).

Cook at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Serve warm. It is much tastier warm.

This is what the box of Jiffy corn muffin mix looks like. I found mine by the cake and muffin mixes at the grocery store.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Bran Muffins

We are attempting to eat a little healthier around our house. When going through my stack of favorite recipes, I found this little gem. This came from my Mom (again, not sure who she got if from) and I remember her making batches of these while us kids would eat them warm out of the oven.

The great thing about this recipe is that you can make a batch and cook them as you need them. Keep the dough in your fridge up to 6 weeks. Warm bran muffins each morning. Yum!


2 cups. All Bran Muffins Cereal
2 cups boiling water
3 cups sugar
1 heaping cup shortening
4 eggs
1 quart buttermilk
5 cups flour
5 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoons salt
4 cups Nabisco Bran Cereal

Mix boiling water and 2 cups all bran cereal together and set aside. Cream shortening and sugar. Then add to the creamed mixture the buttermilk and eggs. In another bowl combined flour, soda and salt. Mix that into wet mixture. Add the 4 cups of Nabisco Bran and combine well. Fold in the All Bran and boiling water in last.

Pour into muffin tins and bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Can leave in fridge up to 6 weeks. I made 1/2 a batch and so far have gotten 24 muffins with about another batch of 12 to go.

I subbed 1/2 a cup of applesauce for half of the shortening to lighten it up a little.
I also used 4 cups of All Bran instead of the 4 cups of Nabisco Bran because that was all I had on hand.
Last sub was milk with lemon juice instead of buttermilk. You need to add either lemon juice or white vinegar 1 tablespoon to each cup of milk.

Next time I will try doing all applesauce and no shortening. I also am considering trying half fresh ground wheat flour and half white flour. Just some ideas to try. Hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Smoke Alarm Chicken

This one is from my sister Steff (and I have no idea who she got it from). The bacon keeps your chicken breasts nice and tender. They call it smoke alarm chicken because you cook it on such a high temperature, there is a chance of smoke coming out of your oven. I did not have this problem, but if you do, it is a small price to pay for this tender deliciousness :)


boneless chken breasts
salt & pepper
string cheese
bacon slices

Pound chicken breasts until evenly flat (I put my chicken breasts in a gallon size bag and then pound them so I don't get raw chicken goo all over everything). sprinkle with sage, salt and pepper on both sides. Cut a piece of string cheese, pull apart and spread on chicken. Roll up, tucking in ends. Wrap a slice of bacon around the chken securing with toohtpicks (not colored). Put on rack in a shallow baking dish. ake at 500 degrees (yes that is the correc tempeature) fo 8 minutes, turn over and bake another 8 minute. Serve.

Note: Mine takes a little longer to cook, so you may want to check them before considering done.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Chicken Lettuce Cups

I've recently become a fan of the show "Guy's Big Bite" on the Food Network. Okay, I became a fan after I watched it once and he happened to make this recipe and I really liked it. I got on the website and it had great reviews and I tried it and we thought it was pretty tasty. ya go. (Here's the link to the recipe on the actual Food Network website just in case you don't trust me...

Chicken Lettuce Cups

Recipe courtesy Guy Fieri

Prep Time: 40 min
Cook Time: 2 min
Serves: 6 servings

1 tablespoon oil
1 small carrots, diced
1/2 celery rib, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
5 snap peas, diced
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup mung beans, cut in 1/2 (I just used bean sprouts chopped up)
2 chicken breast, diced
6 ounces Apricot Sesame Sambal Szechwan Sauce, recipe follows
5 fried wonton skins
6 iceberg lettuce leaves
2 tablespoons diced green onions
2 tablespoons crushed, unsalted peanuts
Black sesame seeds, for garnish

In a medium saute pan over high heat, add oil.
Add vegetables, and chicken, saute for 45 seconds. Deglaze with sambal sauce for 30 seconds.

Add wonton to lettuce cup, pour chicken and veg mix into cup, top with green onions and peanuts. Garnish lettuce cups with black sesame seeds.

Apricot Sesame Sambal Sauce:
1/2 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons minced ginger
3 tablespoons sambal hot sauce (I couldn't find this so I left it out as suggested by some of the reviews)
3 tablespoons apricot preserves
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon minced cilantro
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Mix all ingredients thoroughly. Shake before serving.

Ranch House Crockpot Pork Chops with Parmesan Mashed Potatoes

I saw this recipe on and decided to give it a go. I must say it got two thumbs up from all who reside in my house. I guess that would actually be 8 thumbs up but whatever. Just try it. It may not be the healthiest recipe but it is worth it! ;)

I stole this picture off the Picky Palate website because my picture didn't look quite as tasty as hers. I hope that is okay and I don't get arrested or something. Ranch House Crockpot Pork Chops with Parmesan Mashed Potatoes

6 pork chops, 1/2 inch thick

1 packet dry Ranch Dressing Seasoning

10 oz can Cream of Chicken Soup

4 lbs peeled, cubed potatoes

5 Tablespoons real butter

1 Cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese

6 cloves roasted garlic (directions how to roast garlic below)

1- 1 1/2 Cups warm skim milk (any milk will do, I just happened to use skim)

1 Tablespoon salt, or to taste

1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper, or to taste

1. Place pork chops, Ranch seasoning and soup into a medium sized crock pot over high heat for 4 hours or low heat for 6 hours.

2. Place potatoes into a large pot of cold water. Place onto stovetop 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 the work bowl of a stand or electric mixer. Mix on low until potatoes are mashed then add butter, parmesan, garlic, milk, salt and pepper. Season to taste if needed. For thinner mashed potatoes add more milk, slowly until your desired consitency.

3. Scoop mashed potatoes onto serving plates and top with pork chops and soup gravy from crock pot. Eat!

Roasted Garlic

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place bulb of garlic with skins on, wrap lightly in tin foil and bake for 1 hour. Remove from foil and let cool for 15 minutes. Remove garlic from skins, place in a bowl and mash with a fork until completely mashed.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Banana Split Salad

Light, fluffy and full of yumminess. Healthy? Maybe a 3 on a scale of 1 to 10. But if you want to try something different, this would fit the bill. It makes quite a bit, so be prepared.

Banana Split Salad

1 (14 oz.) can sweented condensed milk
1 tub of Cool Whip (12 oz. but 8 oz. will work too), thawed
1 (21 oz.) can cherry pie filling
3 medium bananas, sliced
1 (8 oz.) can crushed pineapple
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced

Garnish: peancs, coconut, strawberries and chocolate fudge (all optional)

In a large bowl combine milk and cool whip until well blended. Fold in the cherry pie filling, bananas, pineapple, pecans, coconut and strawberries. Garnish as you wish. Serve chilled.

Note: we didn't add the pineapple because I didn't have any. I also omited the coconut because I had to many eyes watching me to add it. Sorry my picture isn't all garnished and pretty, but I am in a time crunch and sometimes... You get what you get and you don't throw a fit!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Cinnamon Rolls

Here is a new twist on an old favorite. I was really intrigued by these since they have vanilla pudding in them. They went together fast and my family loved the flavor. The dough is pretty soft, but after rising, is a little easier to work with. I added an additional 1/2 cup of flour because my dough was a little on the sticky side. This ended up being the perfect amount.

Vanilla Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

1/2 cup warm water
2 Tablespoons actvie dry yeast
1 Tablespoons sugar
3 1/2 ounce package instant vanilla pudding
2 cups milk
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 eggs 1 tespoon salt
6+ cups flour (I added an additional 1/2 cup)

1 cup butter, softened to room temperature
2 cups brown sugar
4 teaspoons cinnamon

8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup butter, softened to room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups confectioner's sugar
2-3 Tablespoons milk (I didn't use any because my consistency was already good)

In a small bowl combine water, yeast and sugar. Stir until dissolved. Set aside. In large bowl, take pudding mix and mix with 2 cups of milk (per directions on package). Add butter, eggs and salt. Mix well. Then add yeast mixture. Blend. Gradually add flour; knead until smooth. Do not over flour the dough! It shold be very soft but not sticky. Place in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled. Then roll out on floured board to 34 X 21 inches in size. Take 1 cup soft butter and spread over surface. In bowl mix 2 cups brown sugar and 4 teaspoons of cinnamon. Sprinkle over the top. Roll up very tightly. With knife put a notch in every 1 1/2 inches. Cut with thread or serrated knife. Place on lightly greased cookie sheet 1 inch apart. Cover and let rise until double again. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 - 20 minutes. Remove when they start to turn golden (don't overbake).

Frost warm rolls with cream cheese frosting.

Combined butter and cream cheese, mix well, then add vanilla and sugar and mix again. Then add milk for desired consistency.

Makes 24 very large size rolls.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Southwest Chicken Salad

1 (16 oz) bag frozen corn
2 large chicken breasts or 4 regular sized (I used 4 frozen ones from Costco)
1 can black bans, rinsed and drained
1 jar of MEDIUM salsa (or hot, but not mild, mild will lose all flavor while cooking)
1 bag corn chips

Garnish with any of the following:
sour cream
shredded cheese

Place corn on bottom of a crock pot. Follow with chicken breasts. Top with black beans and salsa. Cook in crock pot on high for 5 hours. Remove chicken and shred with forks. Place shredded chicken back in crock pot and mix with corn and beans. Place a handful of chips on plate and slightly crush with the palm of your hand. Place a good sized portion of chicken mixture on top of chips and garnish as you'd like. This really needs the chips to bring all the flavors together. The saltiness of the chips makes it so yummy! Reheats well. You can also you torilla chips instead of corn chips.

This was a once shot picture. Just as I was ready to try another angle my battery went dead. So hopefully the first one was good enough for you to get an idea of what this looks like. My family really enjoyed it, not to mention it was nice to throw together this morning and have something warm and substantial to feed them for dinner.

Brownie Pizza

This recipe is from Wendi. If you like bananas, peanut butter and brownies, this is the recipe for you. I posted this on my blog, but wanted to post it here to0.

Brownie Pizza

1 package brownie mix

1 package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
3 large bananas, peeled and cut into chunks
1/4 cup coarsely chopped peanuts2 packages (or 4 single) peanut butter cups
Dove ice cream topping
Prepare brownie mix as directed on package. Spread batter evenly on a greased 12 inch pizza pan (I put down parchment paper on a cookie sheet and marked a 12" circle then spread the brownie batter just inside the circle). Bake for 20 minutes (don't overbake). Cook completely on wire rack.
Mix cream cheese, sugar and peanut butter with an electric mixer until well blended. Spreak over cooled brownie.Arrange banan slices over cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle with peanuts, peanut butter cups (or whatever other toppings your family likes). Heat ice cream topping until stirring consistency (you can heat in microwave with lid off at 20 second intervals, stirring in between). Drizzle chocolate sauce over the top of bananas, peanuts and pb cups. Cut into wedges and serve.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Strawberry Cream Trifle

My mom made this for Easter dinner. I told her she needed to put it on the blog, so I am now helping her do it. Okay I am doing this while they do the dishes. I just wanted you to think what a great daughter I am when in reality I am just getting out of work. This is very good and would be a perfect light dessert for summer. So we wanted to share it so you could add it to your list of things to try as the weather warms up.


Strawberry Cream Trifle

This pretty pink trifle showcases the summery combination of strawberries and cream.

1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1 pkg (10.75 ox) frozen pound cake, thawed
1 qt. fresh strawberries
1 container (16 oz.) frozen sliced strawberries in syrup, thawed
1 lemon
3 conatiners (8 oz. each) blended strawberry yogurt
1 pkg (3.4 oz) cheese cake instant pudding and pie filling
1 container (8 oz.) frozen whipped topping
Powdered sugar

1. Coarsely chop almonds. Cut pound cake into 1 inch cubes; set aside. Set aside one strawberry for garnish. Hull remaining strawberries and cut into quarters. Combine fresh and frozen strawberries; mix well.

2. Juice lemon to measure 2 tbsp. of juice. In a bowl, whisk lemon juice, yogurt and pudding mix until smooth. Immediately fold in 1 cup of the whipped topping.

3. To assemble trifle, place one third of the pound cake cubes into bottom of trifle bowl. Top pound cake with one third of the strawberry mixtures. Top with half of the yogurt mixture, spreading evenly. Sprinkle with one third of the almonds. Repeat layers one time. Top with remaining pound cake cubes and remaining strawberry mixture.

4. To garnish, spread remaining whipped topping over top of trifle, forming a flat surface. Sprinkle remaining almonds over whipped topping. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Create strawberry fan with reserved strawberry; place into center of trifle.

Makes 12 servings.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Award Winning Chocolate Chip Cookies

If you like your chocolate chip cookies soft, this is a great recipe. I do find that the dough needs to be at room temperature for them to turn out. So if you freeze the dough, let it sit out at room temperature until it is soft. Or if you have had it in the fridge, again, let it sit out. It is not a great freezer to oven recipe. I think Steff has a good one for that?

NOTE: I think is what makes this so good is the use of the pudding mix. I usually just use one large package as apposed to the two small. But it is nice to know you can half it and use only one small package as this does make a lot of cookies. Also make suer you only cook it for 10 minutes (depending on your oven). They should just be turning light brown around the edges and soft in the middle. Take them out and let them sit for a few minutes on the warm pan. That way they don't over cook and stay soft.



  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 cups butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 (3.4 ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 cups chopped walnuts (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Sift together the flour and baking soda, set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar. Beat in the instant pudding mix until blended. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Blend in the flour mixture. Finally, stir in the chocolate chips and nuts. Drop cookies by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
  3. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Edges should be golden brown.

Oreo Dessert

This is very rich, but yummy. If anyone lives in Utah, my brother-in-law LOVES peanut butter and would love this. So someome make it for Matt :)

Note: I heard of people using chocolate pudding instead of vanilla. I only used half of the powdered sugar called for in the cream cheese mixture and none in the pudding mixture. It was to sweet the first time I made it following directions.


* 22 Oreo cookies, divided
* 3 tablespoons butter, melted
* 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
* 1/2 cup peanut butter
* 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, divided
* 1 (16 ounce) carton frozen whipped topping, divided
* 18 miniature peanut butter cups, chopped
* 1 cup milk
* 1 small package instant chocolate pudding mix


1. Crush 18 cookies; mix with butter; press into bottom of an ungreased
2. 9x9 dish. Beat cream cheese, peanut butter and 1 cup powdered sugar
3. until creamy. Stir in half the whipped topping; spread over crust.
4. Sprinkle with the chopped peanut butter cups.
5. In second bowl, beat milk, pudding mix and the rest of the powdered
6. sugar on low for 2 minutes. Fold in remaining whipped topping.
7. Spread over the peanut butter cups. Crush the 4 remaining Oreos;
8. sprinkle on top.
9. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours.

Pioneer Woman's Chicken Scallopine

I wanted to fix a yummy substantial meal for my family and was open to new ideas. Then I wondered over to the Pioneer Woman's website and found this lovely bit of deliciousness. I highly recommend it. Even if your kids don't like mushrooms or even know what a caper is. They can pick them out. My husbands comment "This is way better than you could even get in a restaurant". I left my chicken and sauce separate so each person could put it together how they wanted. Those you went for boring noodles and chicken were happy. Those of us who wanted the whole Shebang, could have it. Just make sure you try it. You might even find yourself licking the pan clean before washing it in the sink :)

Here is the link to Pioneer Woman's website for directions - LINK
Here is the link to a printable recipe - LINK

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Oreo Truffles

1 (3-row) package of oreo's
8 oz. cream cheese
dipping chocolate (milk & white for drizzling)

Blend oreo's until fine, add softened cream cheese and blend until it's almost like a oreo paste. I have to blend my oreo's in my blender about a half of a row at a time, then mix the cream cheese in my mix master. But if you have a good blender, you can just do it all in there! Using a tablespoon, or small cookie scoop, scoop balls and dip in melted chocolate. Let dry, and drizzle with white chocolate. Makes approx. 50 truffles.