Thursday, December 30, 2010

Delightful Lemon Bars

I love chocolate so I don't usually go for bars that don't have chocolate. However, this recipe was given to me by one of my first friends in Omaha. I was in a playgroup with several moms and Lanae made these yummy lemon bars. I don't see Lanae as often as I used to but know she is a great cook. These lemon bars aren't too lemony or too sweet - almost like a lemon shortbread. I just love them!

Lemon Bars

1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 Tbsp grated lemon peel (just do lemon zest from one lemon)
1/4 cup lemon juice

Mix in small bowl until thick and well blended.


2 cups flour
1 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter
1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup coconut

Chop butter into small pieces and mix with flour, sugar and salt - Just continue to use a fork until mixture is nice and crumbly; Reserve 1 1/2 cups for the top and pat the rest into a greased 9 x 13 pan. Spoon lemon mixture over crust. Add 1/2 cup coconut to reserved crumb mixture and sprinkle this on top of lemon mixture. Bake at 375 for about 25 minutes. Do not overbake! Cool, cut and enjoy!

Printable Version

Monday, December 27, 2010

Cheese Blintzes

This is the last ingredient for Merry Mondays - cinnamon. I love this recipe and I know you will too!

This is a favorite recipe-anyone that tries these LOVES them. Amy made these for me for a bridal shower she had for Chris and me when we were getting married - about 20 years ago. Amy is from Nebraska and I met her when living in Dallas. She still lives in the Dallas area and I live in Nebraska - hard to believe.

These blintzes are a little time consuming to make but not hard to make. The BEST thing about them is that I make them ahead of time and freeze them and then take them out when I need them - Christmas morning or just breakfast for my girls! I know you will love them!
Cheese Blintzes

2 lbs. of white bread - 2 loaves or more
1 lb cream cheese, softened
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar

Cream cream cheese, yolks and sugar and set aside.

Mix: (will probably need more of this mixture)

1/2 cup sugar
2/3 tsp cinnamon

Melt a stick of butter in another bowl.

I do this recipe in an assembly line - say 4 at a time. Cut crusts off bread - I stack up 4-5 at a time and cut the crust off; using a rolling pin, roll out each slice of bread as flat as possible; spread cream cheese mixture on each slice; roll up jelly roll style with mixture inside bread and then dip in melted butter and then the cinnamon sugar mixture; place on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper and freeze. When frozen, I place all of the blintzes in an air tight container and keep in the freezer until needed. When ready to eat, thaw 15 mintues and then bake at 400 for 15 minutes.

*when i take mine out of the freezer before storing them - while frozen, I cut them in half so I have small bite size blintzes.

Printable Version

Sunday, December 26, 2010

TEXAS Christmas

We love being with family for Christmas! We went to church on Christmas Eve and then Santa still found our teenage girls in TEXAS. We spent the day with family at my brother and sister in laws home. We had our traditional meal of turkey, ham, dressing, sweet potatoes, fruit salad, green beans, mashed potatoes, corn casserole, rolls and lots of desserts. Rob fried two turkeys - they were amazing. I always heard that once you have eaten a fried turkey - there is no going back! Mom made a pretzel salad for our fruit salad and it was a nice change. My cousin has small children and it was so nice to have the excitement of children on Christmas day. We are so blessed to have such a great family as we celebrate the birth of our Savior!


TEXAS Cousins

TEXAS family....

Rob's Fried Turkey!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Feta Cheese and Sundried Tomato Nachos

I was looking for a different new recipe to take to a party. I found these in my once again favorite cookbook - Dining by Fireflies by the Charlotte, North Carolina Junior League. I loved them but then again I love feta cheese and sundried tomatoes. The recipe called for goat cheese but I prefer feta. Also, I apologize for the poor quality of this picture - I took it with my phone when we got to the party.

Feta Cheese and Sundried Tomato Nachos (adapted from Dining by Fireflies - Junior League of Charlotte, North Carolina)

4 oz goat cheese ( I used feta)
4 oz sun dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped
1 cloved minced garlic
1/2 tsp fresh black pepper
2 Tbssp fresh cilantro ( I used basil)
Blue corn chips

Crumble cheese and toss with sun dried tomatoes, garlic, pepper and cilantro. Sprinkle on blue corn chips and bake for about 20 min or until cheese is warmed through (cheese will not melt). Garnish with cilantro and serve immediately.

Printable Version

Monday, December 20, 2010

Fudge Macaroons

I wasn't sure what to post this week for Merry Mondays. Fudge is the ingredient for the week and Fudge has just never been my thing. I found a recipe for Fudge Macaroons in one of my very favorite cookbooks - Dining by Fireflies by the Charlotte, North Carolina Junior League. I always thought a MACAROON had to have coconut but these do not. They are brownie-like - they remind me of chocolate crinkle cookies.

You should celebrate Merry Mondays with Claire or Taylor and see all of the recipes posted today with fudge. Last Monday, the ingredient was MINT and the week before that, the ingredient was cranberries. This has been so fun - check it out.

Fudge Macaroons (Dining by Fireflies - Jr. League - Charlotte, North Carolina)

4 oz unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
powdered sugar

Melt chocolate in double boiler or in microwave. Stir in oil and melt together. Stir in sugar; Beat in eggs one at a time - add vanilla, flour and baking powder. Chill mixture. Roll mixture in into small balls and roll in powdered sugar. Place on greased cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.

Printable Version

Saturday, December 18, 2010

English Toffee with Cashews

I teach 3 year old preschool and one of my mom's shared this yummy recipe with me. I tried English Toffee in the past and never got that perfect texture. Gina was encouraging and told me I could do this. I gave it another try and it was AMAZING! I don't think I have had toffee with the nuts in the toffee. Typically, it is plain toffee with chocolate on the top and the some type of nuts sprinkled on the chocolate. I made this toffee both ways…but I really like the cashews in the toffee the best. The key for perfect toffee is a candy thermometer and not giving up until you reach that hard crack stage of about 302 degrees. This is easy - YOU can do it too. Give it a try - your family will love you!

I made this toffee without any nuts-also yummy. Another favorite is chopped, salted almonds on bottom with dark chocolate on top… then finely chopped almonds sprinkled on top with sea salt flakes. 
English Toffee 

2 sticks butter 
1 cup sugar 
pinch salt 
Salted  cashew pieces 
Milk chocolate chips 

Butter a glass dish and sprinkle with cashews. In a heavy pan, melt butter, sugar and salt on medium high stirring constantly. Mixture will start to boil and turn amber-colored.   Mixture will be foamy. Boil for about 12 minutes or until your candy thermometer reaches hard crack stage - don't give up.  When it reaches about 302 degree F, pour evenly over cashews. This hardens immediately so pour it where you want it to go. Top with Hershey bars or I just sprinkle milk chocolate chips evenly over the top. Allow a minute or so to melt and spread with a knife. After chocolate has hardened, score with a knife and cut into squares or break apart. Enjoy this TO DIE FOR treat! Printable Version

Friday, December 17, 2010

Easy Peanut Clusters

This is one of the first candies I learned to make. I think I started making these back when I taught high school. There are only 3 ingredients - so easy and so addicting. They are one of my dad's favorites. I take them home with me every Christmas!

Easy Peanut Clusters

6 or 12 oz white almond bark
6 or 12 oz semi sweet chocolate chips
6 or 12 oz cocktail peanuts

Use equal parts of each ingredient. Melt almond bark for about a minute in the microwave. Add chocolate chips and melt about another minute. Stir until all melted - may have to microwave just a bit more. Add cocktail peanuts. Stir to coat. Drop by small spoonfuls on to a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Refrigerate. I like these best when stored in the refrigerator.

Printable Version

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Molasses Cookies

My hubby loves molasses cookies. The are very soft and yummy - you will love them!

Molasses Cookies

3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1 egg
2 cups flour
2 tsp soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt

Cream butter and sugar; add egg and molasses; add dry ingredients and mix together. Roll into small balls and roll in sugar. Bake at 350 for 8 minutes. Enjoy with cold glass of milk!

Printable Version

Cranberry Spritzer

My friend Barb had some friends over the other night and served this yummy, easy holiday drink. She has made it once before and I forgot how refreshing it is. She pretty much made it to taste but here are a few suggestions! This can be made with or without alcohol and it can be made in a pitcher or by the glass. Float cranberries in the pitcher to be extra festive!

Cranberry Spritzer

Cranberry juice
top off with Diet Squirt
vodka to taste

Mix and serve over ice!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Caramel Puffed Corn

This is an amazing recipe. My friend Barb introduced this to me several years ago - it is like nothing I had ever had before. She found this recipe on the back of Old Dutch Puffed Corn. I haven't been able to find Old Dutch Puffed Corn so this Christmas, I bought Chester's Puffed corn. You have to make this - your friends will be amazed. The recipe doesn't call for nuts but I have added pecan halves on occasion and a friend mentioned she wanted to try it with cashews. Your family will totally devour this .. but I recommend sharing with friends... they will love you!

Caramel Puffed Corn (adapted for the Old Dutch Puffed Corn)

1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2/3 cup light corn syrup
1 tsp baking soda
nuts (optional)
9 oz of puffed corn ( I used Chester's Butter Puffed Corn)

Preheat oven to 250. Combine butter, brown sugar and corn syrup in a medium saucepan. Cook until comes to a boil. Add baking soda. Put puffed corn/nuts in a large roasting pan - pour sauce over corn/nuts til thoroughly coated. Bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from oven and pour onto wax paper, breaking apart and allow to cool.

Printable Version

Monday, December 13, 2010

Blogging Giveaway at Fashion Meets Food

I am just loving meeting all of these new blogging friends. It is quite addicting but a new addiction I am thankful for. I just found a new blog -Fashion Meets Food - and she is having a GIVEAWAY where you can win a free year of Panera bread. We all love Panera bread - what a great contest! I highly recommend you check out her blog.

Merry Mondays - MINT

Two of my blogging friends are helping us to enjoy the holidays even more with Merry Mondays. The ingredient for this Monday is MINT! Stay tuned for our next two Mondays!

I posted this recipe a couple of weeks ago but it I love it so much, thought I would share it again.

I have another great mint recipe. I got this cookie recipe from a dear friend that moved from Omaha - I just don't like it when friends move away. Jill is a great cook - and so creative. Jill is a great wife, mom and friend!

Jill's Mint Cookies

3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp. water
12 oz bag semi sweet chocolate chips
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
Andes mints

Microwave butter, sugar and water until melted; add chocolate chips; cook 5-10 minutes. Mix at high speed adding eggs; Mix well and add dry ingredients; Chill for one hour and form into balls; Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes. After taking cookies from oven, top with an Andes mint, allow to melt and swirl with a knife.

Printable Version

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Cheeseburger Soup

My family loves this soup. It reminds the girls of Broccoli-Cheddar with ground beef. I have several versions of Cheeseburger Soup but my friend Shelley gave me this one. I did change it just a little - I thought I would try it with 8 oz of Velveeta instead of 16... it was great. I was going to use the 2% but I had the other on hand. This was one of those busy nights when we didn't all eat together and the soup sat on the stove on "warm". It got a little thick so I just added some chicken broth or more milk to thin it out. It is VERY cold in Omaha right now - this soup was perfect!

Cheeseburger Soup

1 1/2 cups of water
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 10 oz box frozen chopped broccoli
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
2 cups milk
16 oz. cubed velveeta
1 lb browned hamburger meat, browned

3 burners on stove top going at one time - brown hamburger meat on one; boil water on another, add bouillon then add broccoli and cook according to directions - do not drain and set aside; on 3rd burner - in a larger pan to make the soup in... melt butter and cook onion til tender. Add flour, salt and pepper... slowly add milk to avoid any lumps.. stirring as you add; bring to a boil and boil about one minute; add cubed cheese, beef and undrained broccoli. Heat thoroughly - serve with favorite bread.

*I only used half of velveeta and it still tasted yummy - I think 2% Velveeta would work nicely too. I used 93% lean beef too.

Printable Version

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Lemon Cream Cheese Cookies

Oh my!  I think these babies are just delightful.  I am a chocolate girl and I loved these cookies.  They remind me of the wedding cookies with a hint of lemon.  I truly could not stop eating them!  They look like snowball cookies so they would be a perfect Christmas treat!  I apologize that the pictures have not been the best lately - not enough time or light.  We will just have to work on it!

Lemon Cream Cheese Cookies

3/4 cup butter, room temperature
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla flavoring
1 Tbsp lemon zest
2 tsp lemon juice
2 cups cake flour
1 cup chopped pecans

Cream butter and cream cheese until fluffy;  Gradually beat in sugar and beat hard.  Stir in vanilla, lemon juice and lemon zest.  Add flour, mixing well.  Add nuts.  Using a medium cookie scoop, scoop dough and line cookies on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 300 for 20 to 25 minutes.  Roll in powdered sugar while hot!

Printable Version

Friday, December 10, 2010

Salted Chocolate Pecan Candy - AMAZING!

My friend Donna made this for me a couple of years ago. The recipe is from Southern Living Home for the Holidays. I have made it numerous times but I tend to want to eat it all - just me. I goofed this year and totally forgot it calls for pecans. I made it with just the two chocolates and the sea salt and it was still amazing! I also couldn't find the white Ghiradelli bars in the local stores I checked. I used the dark bars but used a 12 oz bag of white chocolate chips instead of the bars. It didn't swirl as nicely but still tasted amazing!

Without pecans ( I forgot)

With Pecans :) Yummy both ways!

Salty Chocolate-Pecan Candy - adapted from Southern Living Home for the Holidays

1 cup pecans - coarsely chopped
3 4 oz bars Ghiradelli 60% bittersweet baking bars
3 4 oz bars Ghiradelli white chocolate baking bars
coarse sea salt

Place pecans on a baking sheet and toast at 250 for 8-10 minutes. Line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper. Break each chocolate bar into 8 pieces and arrange them checkerboard style alternating white/dark chocolate - pieces will touch. Bake at 225 for 5 minutes and remove from oven. Swirl chocolate using a toothpick. Sprinkle evenly with toasted pecans and sea salt. Chill one hour or until firm. This is best if stored in the refrigerator.

*remember.... I couldn't find the white baking bars so I used a nice sprinkling of white Ghiradelli chocolate chips in the white checkerboard spots. The chips didn't melt as nicely as the bars but it still turned out great. I also left off the pecans this time but still amazing. I do plan to make it with pecans next time because pecans are my very favorite!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Roasted New Potatoes

This is a favorite quick/easy side dish. My Baylor friend Lya told my about it. I just buy the smallest red new potatoes I can find. I put them in a ziploc bag, added olive oil, sea salt and a favorite herb. I have done rosemary in the past but my girls don't love it so this time I sprinkled in some Herbs de Provence and they were so yummy. I cooked them at 350 for about 30 - 40 minutes or until done and slide right off a knife. My youngest said, "I just want to the outside of the potato -so good!" They are so good. You will have to give it a try!

Roasted New Potatoes

10-15 small new potatoes
olive oil
sea salt
favorite herbs

Toss in a ziploc bag and empty contents in a 9 x 13. Roast for 30-40 minutes or until tender.

Printable Version

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Easy Crockpot Turkey Breast

When my in laws were here over Thanksgiving, my mother in law mentioned a crockpot turkey recipe she had seen at All Recipes. We made it and loved it. I read many of the reviews (there are like 660 of them) and comments where everyone added veggies or water, etc but I made it with just the turkey breast and the Lipton Onion Soup Mix and it was so moist and tender. The top was yummy and brown with the soup mix. Allrecipes uses a 6 lb bone in turkey breast-I used a boneless turkey breast. I think this would be nice turkey just to keep around the house for sandwiches. Very yummy!

Easy Crockpot Turkey Breast (adapted from All Recipes)

1 6 lb or so turkey breast
1 pkg dry Lipton onion soup mix

Spray slow cooker with a cooking spray. Place turkey breast in cooker and top with soup mix. Cook first hour on high and approximately 7 more hours on low. Slice and serve.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Merry Monday - Cranberry Chutney

Two of my blogging friends decided to do something fun for the holidays..... Merry Mondays! The ingredient for today is CRANBERRIES.

I decided to share a recipe for Cranberry Chutney. This recipe came from a sweet dear TEXAS friend - Miss Kathy. She is a wonderful Christian lady and I was lucky to teach preschool with her for several years. Two of my girls were lucky to have her as a teacher!

I think this would be a great gift. Put some of this yummy chutney in a little jar with a cute spreader. You could even give the cream cheese and crackers with it for a complete appetizer!

Cranberry Chutney

1 pkg fresh cranberries
2 apples, peeled and chopped
1 1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves

Combine ingredients in medium saucepan. Bring to boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer 15-20 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Serve over cream cheese with wheat thins or your favorite cracker.

Printable Recipe

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Hot Cocoa Mix - Great Christmas Gift

We LOVE this hot cocoa mix at our house. It is a staple - especially in our Nebraska long winter months. I have given this as a gift numerous times. Just find a cute container - fill it with mix and attach the recipe.

I got this recipe from my good friend at church - Lori. Sizes of products have changed over the years so I did adjust the recipe slightly. You can also vary the variety of non dairy creamer for a different taste - I use original. I know you will love it!

Hot Cocoa Mix

21.8 oz Nesquik
11 oz non dairy creamer, original
25.6 oz Carnation nonfat dry milk
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Mix together in a large bowl and store in an airtight container. Use 1/2 cup or 8 Tbsp. per 8 oz of hot water ... or to taste.

Printable version

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cookie "Surprise"

I am always looking for fun and easy treats. These cookies are so basic but so fun. I used premade dough this time but any dough could be used. I took the cookie dough and formed it around a mini Snicker's bar. I then baked them according to the dough directions. I have hidden Milky Way's inside and even Rolo's. You should be creative and give these a try - with your favorite dough and candy!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Sausage Pinwheels

This is a staple at our house or where ever we are on most holiday mornings. My family loves them - especially Jenna. I have been enjoying these for years. A tradition from when I was younger - we would gather at Libby and Ronnie's on Christmas morning as we were headed out of town to Texarkana, TX to my grandmothers. We did this for years - so great seeing friends on Christmas morning. Libby would always have sausage pinwheels for breakfast. Libby made the dough from scratch but I have found over the years that canned biscuit dough works great too. I love it that I can make these ahead and keep them in the freezer. My girls would love it if I made these on a monthly basis. I don't have an exact recipe as cans of biscuits tend to change sizes but I will share with you the best I can.

Sausage Pinwheels

2 cans Grands biscuits
1 lb roll breakfast sausage

Take one can of biscuits and flatten them, pinching all seams together forming a flat 14inch or so rectangle. Spread half a roll of uncooked sausage on top of uncooked biscuit rectangle; Roll up lengthwise - jelly roll style; Wrap in wax paper and freeze. Repeat this with the other can of biscuits and the other half of sausage; When ready to bake, soften slightly for about 15 minutes and slice about 1/4 inch thick and bake at 375 degrees for about 15 min or until lightly brown. Serve with your favorite jam or jelly.

* I know of friends that add cream cheese to the sausage mixture.. or parmesan cheese

Printable Version

Family Thanksgving

Chris' mom and dad came from Florida for the weekend. We had a great visit! It was very relaxing - lots of sleeping, eating, jigsaw puzzles, more eating, movie, more eating - very nice visit!

Meg, Shelia (MeMaw), Annie, Jenna and Nick (BaBaw)
Routh Grandparents from Florida

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pumpkin Gooey Butter Bars

I have been making Gooey Butter Bars for years - my recipe is called Neiman Marcus Bars ... cause they are so "rich". However, I have found that most people call this recipe Gooey Butter Cake/Bars. I was in St. Louis for volleyball this past March and found out that this Gooey Butter Cake originated in St. Louis, Missouri. There is a coffee shop in downtown that has tons of different varieties - chocolate, strawberry, peanut butter and so on. I was searching online for a new variety and found this Paula Deen' variety on the Food Network. I think it turned out great - I sprinkled some powdered sugar on top for a nice finished look. This will be a fall staple in our house!

Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake

Cake Ingredients

1 18 1/4 oz pkg yellow cake mix
1 egg
1 stick butter, melted

Filling Ingredients

1 8 oz pkg cream cheese, softened
1 15 oz can pumpkin
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 stick butter, melted
1 16 oz box powdered sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350. combine cake mix, egg and butter with an electric mixer. Pat mixture into a greased 9 x 13. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and pumpkin til smooth; add eggs, vanilla and butter.. beating together; Add powdered sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg and mix well. Spread filling mixture over cake batter and bake for 40-50 minutes. Make sure not to over bake. Serve with whipping cream! I did sprinkle it with a little powdered sugar! Enjoy!

Printable Version

Luau Bread

I am always looking for a new treat to make. I found this great bread over that Val made at ValSoCal. She has this fun tradition of making bread with her daughter once a week. Val lives in Southern California - you should visit her blog and see the pictures of her lovely home. I do enjoy Omaha but her pictures made me a tad jealous.

I made this bread - just cause - well just cause I love coconut. I shared some with preschool teacher friends and I did have pineapple cream cheese. I love it! The top was a little extra crunchy and the coconut smell and taste is perfect! If you enjoy coconut - you will love this Luau Bread! It is easy and the recipe makes 2 loaf pans -one to share and one to devour! Visit Val at ValSoCal for the recipe!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Iron Skillet Cornbread Recipe and Dressing Recipe

My grandmother always made the best cornbread. I make her recipe often - for soups, chili and of course - for dressing. I know every family has a favorite stuffing or dressing recipe but being from the south, ours is just a basic, yummy cornbread dressing. I highly recommend it - you can vary the amount of sage or other spices according to taste. I don't have a picture of the cornbread or the dressing just yet but due to a few friend requests, I couldn't wait to post the recipe.

Iron Skillet Cornbread

1 cup white corn meal
1/2 cup flour
1 egg
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
1 cup buttermilk or enough to make mixture reasonably thin ( I usually need a little more)
* to make buttermilk if don't have any, use 1 tsp vinegar added to a cup of milk

bacon drippings or oil

Preheat oven to 400. Put 2 Tbsp bacon drippings in iron skillet and heat oil in skillet in oven until oil is hot. You can use any oil if you don't have bacon drippings. Mix other ingredients in bowl and when mixed, pour into hot skillet- will sizzle around the side. Bake in your 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until lightly brown on top and around edges. The cornbread should just flip or slide right out of iron skillet. Serve with warm with butter.

My Grandmother's Cornbread Dressing (a tradition for us at Thanksgiving and Christmas)

Recipe for one 9 x 13

1 pan cornbread, crumbled
2 slices white bread, dried and crumbled
small onion, finely chopped\
2 boiled eggs, chopped
2 raw eggs
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/8 tsp sage (if choose to add more, add very slowly and taste - sage is strong!)
 12 oz bag Pepperidge Farm Herbal Stuffing (start off with adding 1/2 a bag and add more if needed)
3-4  14.5 oz  cans chicken broth
1 1/2 cups milk
salt/pepper to taste (check first)

Mix all together in a very large bowl. The consistency should be nice and moist. Use enough chicken broth to make it fairly liquidy. I taste mine to check the seasoning - I grew up tasting my grandmothers. Pour into a greased pan and bake at 350 for about one hour or until golden brown. Enjoy with your turkey, gravy and all the yummy side dishes!

Two 9 x 13 pans

2 pans cornbread, crumbled
3 slices white bread, dried and crumbled
medium onion, finely chopped
3 boiled eggs, chopped
2 raw eggs
3/4-1 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 tsp sage (if choose to add more, add very slowly and taste - sage is strong!)
12 oz bag Pepperidge Farm Herbal Stuffing (start off with adding 1/2 a bag and add more if needed)
5-6   14.5 oz cans chicken broth
1 1/2 cups  milk
salt annd pepper

Printable Version

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Chocolate Toffee Trifle

I love chocolate and I love this dessert. I have been making this recipe for several years with different variations. I think this is my favorite. Feel free to change it up to your liking - use butterfinger pieces or pecans or any crunchy candy. You can use Cheesecake pudding as a layer or chocolate pudding. Also, I have used Kahlua on top of the brownies...... just be creative. Whatever you use will look awesome layered in trifle dish or a large glass bowl. Enjoy making your favorite combination.

**Please see notes below recipe as I made it again and changed a few things

Chocolate Toffee Trifle

1 lg.brownie mix for a 9 x 13 pan
chopped Heath Bar pieces
caramel ice cream topping

1 pkg instant chocolate pudding-3.9 oz
1/2 cup water
1/2 pint whipping cream
3 Tbsp sugar

1 12 oz container of Cool Whip

Prepare brownie mix according to directions in a 9 x 13 pan. Cool. Use hand mixer and mix the whipping cream with sugar until cream forms a peak. Mix pudding with water and fold in cream. Break the brownie into bite size pieces and place 1/2 of the pieces in the bottom of your trifle dish,drizzle with caramel ice cream topping and generously sprinkle with Heath pieces. Top with 1/2 chocolate pudding mixture then 1/2 Cool Whip and Repeat. Top final Cool Whip layer with Heath bar crumbles. Enjoy - I promise your guests will!

* I used the larger box of Instant pudding/3/4 cup water and mixed it with a full pint of whipped whipping cream. I didn't feel like this layer was chocolatey enough either time so I added Hershey's chocolate syrup til I felt it was perfect. (It was amazing!) I also used the larger container of Cool Whip. I did brownie, caramel syrup, heath pieces, chocolate mousse layer, Cool whip then repeat - topped the final Cool Whip layer with a sprinkling of Heath pieces. I liked the thicker layers - so YUM!

Printable Version

Friday, November 19, 2010

Slow Cooker Chipotle Beef Brisket

I am always looking for quick and easy meals that are flavorful and also healthy. I found this recipe several years ago. I think it is from Southern Living - but not totally for sure. I made it the other day with a brisket... as the recipe calls for but felt the brisket was pretty pricey. Everyone loved it so the meat didn't go as far as I would have liked. I may try it next time with a roast. We enjoyed this in flour tortillas with sour cream, salsa, cheese, sour cream,avocado and cilantro.

Slow Cooker Chipotle Beef Brisket

1 – 2 medium onions

2 celery ribs

2 garlic cloves

1 (2 – 3 lb.) trimmed brisket

2 tsp. salt

1¼ tsp. Chipotle chili powder

Chopped cilantro

Flour tortilla

Favorite toppings – shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, salsa,chopped fresh cilantro

Place first 3 ingredients in your crockpot. If you don’t have a trimmed brisket, trim the fat off now. Cut the brisket into about 3 individual pieces, rub each piece with salt and chipotle powder and place on top of the vegetables. Top with about a cup of chopped cilantro.

Cover and cook on high 6 – 8 hours or all day on low. Use 2 forks to shred the meat discarding any fat pieces

Serve with warm flour tortillas and your favorite toppings!

Printable Version

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Asiago Cheese Dip

This is an awesome appetizer that I have been making for years. The asiago flavor with the sun-dried tomatoes is just one of my favorites. I recommend doubling this recipe if taking it to a party.

Asiago Cheese Dip

1 cup light mayonnaise
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese
1/4 cup sliced mushrooms (I didn't use)
1/2 cup sundried tomato pieces( I used the ones in oil, drained)
8 oz. sour cream
grated Asiago for top
baguette slices

Preheat oven to 350 and spray a round or square pan with non-stick cooking spray. Mix ingredients and pour into pan. Top with a thin layer of Asiago cheese then bake for 30 minutes or til bubbly and browning around the edges. Serve warm with a baguette or favorite cracker.

Printable Version

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Pepperoni Pizza Puffs

I saw this recipe on a great blog.... LICK THE BOWL GOOD. Monica is a Texas girl too and has lots of great recipes and pictures. I highly recommend checking out her fun site.

I made her Pepperoni Pizza Puffs and they turned out awesome. I doubled the recipe as I was taking it to our Pitch Card Club. I was very pleased with how easy the recipe was and even better... how tasty these little puffs really are. My hubby suggested using ham and a few different spices and making these for a breakfast treat.

Please visit Lick the Bowl Good - Monica's has the recipe and great pictures of these little puffs!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Mint Chocolate Bars

If you love mint, you will love this recipe. It kind of reminds me of an Andes mint. I love that it is served cold - so yum! I truly cannot stop eating it!

Mint Chocolate Bars

Cake Layer

1/2 cup butter,softened
1 cup white sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups Hershey's syrup
1 cup all purpose flour

Heat oven to 350. Combine butter and sugar, add eggs then syrup; Add flour slowly to avoid lumps. Pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan and bake for about 25 minutes or until center of cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool completely in pan.

Mint Cream Center

2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 Tbsp water
1/2 tsp mint extract (not peppermint)
3 drops green food coloring

Combine and beat til smooth. Spread over cooled cake. Chill.


2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
1 stick butter

Melt the two together in microwave. Allow to cool slightly and thicken, gently spread over mint layer. Cover and chill at least an hour before serving. Best if kept stored in the refrigerator! Enjoy!

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Friday, November 12, 2010

Cream Cheese Danish

This is a great new recipe. I just made it for fun and took it share with my preschool teacher friends. My family and friends really enjoyed it. It is very easy and looks as good as it tastes.

Cream Cheese Danish

2 can crescent rolls (I used the new Crescent sheets)
2 8 oz can cream cheese
3/4 cup sugar
2 beaten eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 -2 tsp lemon juice - ( I used one)


4 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp milk
2 cups sifted powdered sugar

Spray a 9 x 13 pan with Pam. If using regular crescent rolls, piece seams together and cover the bottom of the pan. Mix rest of ingredients and pour over dough. Pour mixture over the dough and top with the other sheet of crescent rolls.. sealing the edges. Bake at 350 until golden brown - think mine took about 15 minutes. Make frosting and frost while hot. I put my frosting in a quart ziploc bag, snipped the corner and drizzled the top of the danish. Cool completely.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Swiss Vegetable Medley

I got this recipe years ago from my mother in law. Shelia is a great cook -anything she has ever made for us has been very tasty. I decided to finally try this recipe. With Thanksgiving approaching, I think this would make a great side dish - a little twist to the traditional green bean casserole.

Swiss Vegetable Medley

1 large bag of frozen veggies-carrots, cauliflower and broccoli medley, thawed and drained
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/3 cup sour cream
1 cup ( 4 oz) shredded Swiss cheese (I used half gruyere - that was what I had :)
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 (4 oz) jar diced pimento (optional - I didn't use)
1 (2.8) can Durkee Fried onions

Combine veggies, soup, sour cream, half of the cheese, pepper and half of the Durkee onions; Pour into a greased 1 quart casserole dish. Bake covered at 350 for 30 minutes. Top with remaining cheese and Durkee onions and bake for 5 more minutes. Enjoy!

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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Holiday Sweet Potatoes

My family had been enjoying these as long as I can remember and probably before I was even around. I have tasted many different types -some with marshmallows, some with a pecan crumble topping, some sliced with brown sugar/butter, etc. Our variety is whipped and then baked with the large marshmallows on top. It is sweet but not too terribly rich. I have not always loved sweet potatoes but can't imagine Thanksgiving or Christmas without them. Even if you have a spoonful, it is the perfect taste to go with your turkey, dressing, cranberries, rolls, etc. ENJOY!

Sweet Potatoes

6 sweet potatoes - all about the same size for even cooking
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk (can use half/half)
3-4 eggs depending on size of potatoes
little cinnamon - to taste
dash nutmeg-to taste
1 tsp vanilla
large marshmallows

Bake sweet potatoes at 350 until you can stick a knife through the potato and it slides right off; If some of your potatoes are larger - make sure all of them are done/soft so not to have lumps in your sweet potatoes; using a mixer - start with potatoes and then add the rest of the ingredients. Pour into a greased baking dish and top with large marshmallows; Bake at 325 until marshmallows are golden on top.

* I have made these ahead of time and frozen - without the marshmallows. Just bring to room temperature before baking. I often just make the day before and refrigerate.

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Monday, November 8, 2010

8 cup Fruit Salad - love this and perfect for holidays

As I start thinking about Thanksgiving, I reminded of some of my very favorite holiday recipes. I will share a few over the next few weeks. Being from Texas, we love to eat but we really like to eat on holidays. I especially love my mom's pecan pie and my grandmother's cornbread dressing.

This salad is one of those dessert like salads that is always a hit. We all love it and we love it leftover the next day. We have it every Thanksgiving -and usually Christmas too.

8 cup Fruit Salad

1 large can mandarin oranges, well drained
1 large can pineapple tidbits, well drained
1 cup coconut
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1 cup mini marshmallows
1 cup coconut
1 cup sour cream
8 oz container Cool Whip
maraschino cherries
a little powdered sugar - to taste

Drain oranges and pineapple as much as possible - this will keep the salad from becoming runny-I actually have a silicone strainer that I can twist and get tons of the juice out; toast pecans; Rinse cherries, pat dry and slice in half; Mix this all together and add a little powdered sugar to reach the desired sweetness.

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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

I got this recipe from my Baylor friend - Belinda. She made it for us on a girl's weekend and we all loved it. I have since made it numerous times - for family, teacher conferences, etc. We like it with any yummy bread - beer bread, foccacia bread or just oyster crackers. I have to say I don't really enjoy tomato soup and I LOVE this soup!  We often eat this soup with the Mini Hot Ham and Cheese Sandwiches or a yummy baguette from Panera!

Tomato Basil Soup

32 oz can chicken broth
46 oz. tomato juice
2 medium cans of petite diced tomatoes
1 small container of basil leaves - 20 leaves or so
1 quart heavy cream
1 stick butter

Puree one of the diced tomatoes with the basil. Sometimes I puree it all - just depends on what texture you like.  Combine tomatoes, broth, juice in large pan over medium high heat. Bring to a gentle boil and reduce heat simmering 30 minutes. Add cream, butter, salt and pepper. Continue stirring over low heat until ready to serve.

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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Happy Birthday Chris!

Chris and his 3 girls - we are fortunate at our house to have the BEST DAD ever!

I usually make the German Chocolate 3 layer cake recipe from the box of Baker's Chocolate. Jenna really wanted that one but Chris and I decided to make him a different one. My grandmother used to make a 3 layer pineapple cake for my brother every year. I decided to try my grandmother's recipe. I did use a different frosting but the cake was very yummy.

My grandmother uses this same cake recipe for her 3 layer coconut cake at Christmas. I was looking at her recipe and it is similar to the German chocolate cake recipe. Enjoy!

Pineapple Cake

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs, separated
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder

Sift flour, salt and baking powder in one bowl; separate eggs; Cream butter and sugar then add egg yolks one at a time; Add vanilla; add milk alternating with flour mixture. Beat egg whites to form a peak and gently fold into cake mixture. Line bottom of 3 eight inch round cake pans with wax paper and spray with PAM. Add cake mixture to pans and bake at 350 for about 25 minutes or until slightly brown and toothpick comes out clean. Use a knife to loosen cake from edge of pan - allow to cool 15 minutes and then turn over onto a cooling rack to continue to cool. Frost when cool.


1 large can of crushed pineapple in heavy syrup

1 lb of powdered sugar
1/2 stick softened butter
8 oz softened cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla
Little milk to reach desired consistency

Place first cake layer on a plate. Spoon 1/3 juice and crushed pineapple all over first layer - slightly press down so juice will soak into cake; top with a layer of frosting; add next cake layer - spoon another 1/3 of pineapple and juice over this cake layer and frost this layer with 1/3 frosting; top with last cake layer, then rest of pineapple and juice and then rest of frosting.

* I couldn't find crushed pineapple in heavy syrup - only chunks so I crushed my own
* I like this cake COLD - so we kept in the refrigerator. My hubby doesn't love his cold - likes the cake a little more at room temperature.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Dilly Bread

I got this recipe from a great neighbor that moved away several years ago. Missy was one of those treasured neighbors that you are just so comfortable with - we watched each other's children, we borrowed cooking ingredients on a regular basis and enjoyed just hanging out. I was so sad when she and her family moved away. Missy was a great cook. I remember when she made this and she had me guess what strange ingredient might be in this bread and I happened to guess "cottage cheese"- I was right. There are not many foods I don't like - but cottage cheese is one of them... along with hominy, black licorice, root beer etc. :)

Enjoy this bread. The cottage cheese melts and you don't even know it is there. Enjoy with soups, dips or just with some softened butter.

Dilly Bread

1 pkg yeast
1 cup cottage cheese
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp softened butter
1 egg
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp. minced onion
2 tsp dill seeds
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups flour

Soften yeast in 1/4 cup warm water ( 100 degrees or so). Combine cottage cheese, sugar, butter and egg in a separate bowl. Gently stir yeast and water and add to cottage cheese mixture; Add soda, onion, dill seeds and salt; add flour - mix and knead. Form into a ball and place in a buttered bowl and let rise or double in size for about 2-3 hours. Punch down and form into an 8 inch round cake pan. Let rise again 1-2 hours. Bake 35-40 minutes at 350. Brush with butter. Enjoy!

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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Three Cheese and Beer Quick Bread

We were invited to a good friend's house to watch the Husker Game today. One friend was making chili and another was making chicken noodle soup. I wasn't sure but after searching on a a few blogs -decided to go with this bread I found at Sporadic Cook who found this yummy recipe on Brown Eyed Baker. We all loved it. Some enjoyed it with chili or soup and some enjoyed it with softened butter or a dip and I just kept enjoying it all day long. I ate WAY too much bread! The texture was perfect and the cheesy flavor was amazing!

Three Cheese and Beer Quick Bread

6½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 tablespoon dried Italian herbs
1½ cups sour cream
2 cups beer, at room temperature
½ cup tomato juice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups (6 oz) Gruyere cheese
1 cup (3 oz) Parmesan cheese
2 cups (6 oz) white cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 9×5-inch loaf pans.

2. Grate all of the cheese.

3. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, dried mustard and Italian herbs.

4. Remove a 1/ 2 cup of the white cheddar and 1/2 cup of the Gruyere cheese and a 1/4 cup of the Parmesan and set aside for the topping of the bread. Add the rest of the cheeses to the flour mixture. Using your fingers mix in the cheese so all the cheese is coated in flour.

5. In a separate bowl whisk together the beer, sour cream, tomato juice, eggs and worcestershire sauce until thoroughly combined.

6. Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients and mix with a spatula just till mixed. Do not over mix.

7. Divide the batter between the two greased loaf pans and press down with a spatula. Sprinkle the top with the cheese that was set aside earlier.

8. Bake for 50 -55 minutes or until done. Allow to cool in the pans for 15 minutes before removing them from the pans. Place on a wire rack to cool.

(Adapted from The Knead for Bread)

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