Thursday, April 28, 2011

Easy Focaccia Bread

Some Great Pasta is one of our very favorite meals. If you haven't, tried it, I highly recommend it. I made it this week with steamed asparagus and this Easy Focaccia Bread. You can be creative with your bread and adjust your seasonings and/or toppings.

* I didn't have any purple onion but I think that would be better

Easy Focaccia Bread

1 can Pillsbury Pizza crust
olive oil
garlic powder
little garlic salt
dried oregano
dried basil
Purple onion - very thinly sliced
shredded Parmesan Cheese

Spray a cookie sheet with a cookie spray. Unroll pizza crust and to fit pan. Using fingers, put dimples in the dough. Brush lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle with seasonings, top with purple onion strings and shredded Parmesan Cheese. Bake at 375 for about 20-25 minutes or until lightly golden. Serve warm!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Parmesan Potatoes

My sister in law often makes these potatoes so I thought I would give it a try. This recipe is another one of those that any amount works but I will try to give you an idea of exactly what to use. I also like to do these same potatoes in foil on the grill - just dice or slice, season and seal tightly. They usually take about 40 minutes or so for the potatoes to be tender. The recipe listed below could be diced and seasoned just about any way your little heart desires! These are heavenly! We love to have these potatoes in the summer with grilled steaks and a yummy salad.



Parmesan Potatoes

2 - 2 1/2 lbs of thinly sliced potatoes
1/2 stick butter
1 cup Parmesan cheese
onion, cut into rings
1 Tbsp flour
salt and pepper

Spray a 9 x 13 with a cooking spray. Place a thin layer of potatoes, layer of 8 onion rings, sprinkling of flour, salt/pepper, 1/3 Parmesan cheese and about 1/3 of the butter - chopped into little pieces - repeat 2 times. Seal tightly with foil and bake at 400 for about 40 minutes.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Chocolate Cheerios Marshmallow Bars

I do want to apologize for not posting much this week. We went to Texas to see mom and dad. I had great plans of doing a post or two from their house... but I just didn't do it. It was great being in Texas with friends and family. Dad is at the end of his radiation - very tired but hanging in there. He will start chemo in about four weeks. Thank you for the continued prayers.

Just before we left, I made a new fun bar recipe that my friend Anne over at Annie Bakes suggested. She got this recipe for Chocolate Cheerios Marshmallow Bars from Pillsbury and they had cut there bars into hearts. We loved this new recipe. Our oldest daughter had some friends over and between the teens and the family - we ate every bite.

Chocolate Cheerios Marshmallow Bars


1 cup flour
1 cup Chocolate Cheerios cereal, crushed
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups mini-marshmallows
2/3 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 bag (11.5 ounces) milk chocolate chips
4 cups Chocolate Cheerios


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line bottom and sides of a 9 x 13 pan with foil. In a large bowl, mix all crust ingredients except marshmallows with electric mixer on low speed until crumbly. Press firmly into bottom of pan.

Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven. Immediately sprinkle with marshmallows. Return to oven; bake and additional 1 to 2 minutes or until marshmallows just begin to puff. Cool while preparing topping.

In a large saucepan, place all topping ingredients except cereal. Heat over medium-high heat just until chips are melted (7 to 8 minutes), stirring constantly. Remove from the heat; stir in 4 cups cereal. Immediately spoon warm topping over marshmallows; spread to cover. Cool completely, at least 1 hour.

Using foil to lift, remove mixture from pan; remove foil. Cut into pieces and store loosely covered.

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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Zucchini Fries - so crispy and yummy!

I have been wanting to try zucchini fries and just knew my family wouldn't eat them. I studied several recipes trying to find that perfect combination. I ended up going with the Weight Watchers recipe and.......we loved them. I highly recommend trying these for your family. My girls are SO against squash of any type and all 3 girl enjoyed these. Chris and I couldn't stop eating them - I should have made more! I do think the key is getting them brown, extra crispy and seasoned well. You could even add other seasonings!

I just know I took a picture of My zucchini but I can't find it. Oh the joys of cooking, trying to take a picture and feeding my family all at the same time!

Please visit Weight Watchers ,see their picture and get the yummy details. I think the only thing I did differently is I put some of the salt/Italian seasoning in the Panko breadcrumbs. AND... my flour mixture and my Panko mixture both got a tad "goopy" so I had to add more to both.

I hope you will try these - perfect new side dish for your summer grilling!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sweet Sixteen!

Today is our middle daughter's birthday! We love our Jenna! It was a normal school day for her but all five us went to dinner together. It seems like a rare occasion lately that all 5 of us are at the same place at the same time.

One of Jenna's favorite birthday cakes is the 3 layer cake on the box of Baker's German Chocolate. I decided to opt for an easier version this year - still moist and yummo! We love coconut at our house - I couldn't keep my girls out of the frosting! Thank you to my good friend Barb for this new favorite recipe!

Easy German Chocolate Cake Recipe

1 small box instant chocolate pudding
1 white cake mix
2 cups milk
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 eggs

Whisk pudding and cake mix removing all lumps. Add milk, oil and eggs mixing until well blended. Pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 350 according to directions on box or until toothpick comes out clean.


1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup sugar
1 stick butter
3 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup coconut
1/2 cup chopped pecans ( I used twice this)

In medium saucepan, add butter, milk, sugar and slightly beaten egg yolks. Slowly bring to a boil. Boil one minute as frosting thickens. Add vanilla and remove from heat. Add coconut and pecans. Allow to cool and frost.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Classic Parmesan Scalloped Potatoes

I love Southern Living! I have always gotten the Southern Living magazine and this is usually my "go to" when I need a recipe. Very rarely to a cook something out of the magazine right when I get it. I usually collect the magazines and go back and look on occasion.

I found this recipe for Classic Parmesan Scalloped Potatoes in the April magazine. I am always making Cheesy Potatoes so I wanted to try another potato side dish. These were heavenly. I wanted to cut calories a little so I used one cup of cream and 2 cups of half and half. They were amazing but next time - I may try using some skim milk too. I highly recommend trying these yummy potatoes!

I apologize for the poor picture! I need to work on this! I am always in such a hurry !

Classic Parmesan Scalloped Potatoes ( adapted from Southern Living)

2 lbs. Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced ( I forgot to peel :)
3 cups whipping cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsely ( i used 1-2 Tbsp dried)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400. Layer potatoes in a 9 x 13 baking dish. Stir together cream and next 4 ingredients and pour over potatoes. Bake at 400 for 30 minutes, gently stirring every 10 minutes Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake for 15 more minutes or until bubbly and golden brown. Let stand on wire rack 10 minutes before serving. 8- 10 servings

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Saturday, April 9, 2011

Crock Pot Italian Beef

I appreciate all of the prayers and questions regarding my dad. He started radiation this past Thursday to both the brain and the lungs. He is getting around okay,eating well - a little feisty for my mom but I think that is to be expected. We will go see him the week before Easter. My girls need to see their POTTER! :)

Well, this week I remembered a recipe a friend Lisa told me she makes regularly. I tried it years ago but made it too spicy so I was more cautious this time. This Italian Beef was easy and really good. I love the pepperoncinis. We enjoyed it the first night on a toasted French roll with melted cheese. We enjoyed it a 2nd night as a Rice Bowl. Our middle daughter's favorite restaurant here in Omaha is Pepperjax. She is loves the Rice Bowl with rice, meat, green pepper, mild salsa and ranch. AND - I did just that! (pepperoncinis instead of green pepper though)

My friend Lisa that makes this often uses a much bigger roast, at least 2 pkgs of dressing, a jar and a half of pepperoncinis, etc. - just know you can work this to fit your family.

Crock pot Italian Beef

1 3-4 lb roast
1 2 envelopes dry Zesty Italian dressing
1 bottle beer
16 oz jar pepperoncinis

Spray crock pot with cooking spray and add roast. Add dressing and beer. Snip stems off pepperonicins - add to crock pot along with half of the juice. Cook on low 7-8 hours or until tender and can pull apart with a fork. Serve on a toasted bun, top with melted cheese and pop in the oven to melt cheese. Serve au jus! ( My hubby put his melted cheese on bottom - to each his own:)

Rice bowl - cook 1 cup rice rice according to directions. (We prefer Texamati rice) Mix rice with 1/4 cup or so of juice, diced pepperonicinis and shredded beef. Toss. Top with salsa and a drizzle of sour cream. ( can always add beans, black olives, etc.)

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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Roasted Green Beans

My friend Emily suggested I try these roasted green beans. I did a little research and gave them a try. The green beans weren't great this time of year - a little limp and not overly "snappy" but I gave them a try. We loved them. What a great new vegetable to add to our regular dinner routine. I feel like we eat steamed broccoli WAY too much. These will be staple from now on. They are quick, easy and healthy! Everyone with little children should try them - you could possibly pass them off as green french fries! :) I promise you will love them as a snack, an appetizer or as a side dish. I couldn't stop eating them - even ate them room temperature as they cool off pretty fast!

Beware - these are not overly attractive. They are shriveled with brown spots...... but looks can be deceiving! Enjoy!

Roasted Green Beans

1 -2 lbs. fresh green beans
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4-1/2 pepper

Wash the green beans and pat dry. Snap off the ends. Toss in olive oil - just enough to lightly coat. Add salt and pepper and toss. Spread out on a cookie sheet - bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes - turning once halfway through cooking. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.

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Monday, April 4, 2011

White Chocolate Brownies

Our oldest loves white chocolate and with the recent extraction of her wisdom teeth, I thought I would try something she would enjoy. We ALL enjoyed them......Annie only had a bite or two. She pretty much stayed with smoothies and more smoothies. I did make one end with pecans and one end without - knew she better not have nuts! These remind me of a yummy blondie with yummy frosting!

White Chocolate Brownies ( adapted from Dining By Fireflies - Charlotte Jr. League)


1 cup butter
1/2 cup white chocolate
4 eggs, beaten
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups flour, sifted
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups pecans or walnuts, chopped


1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup white chocolate
3 cups sifted powdered sugar
2 -4Tbsp half and half
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. For Brownies, melt butter and white chocolate in double boiler ( I used the microwave melting at 1 min intervals) Pour into a large bowl and whisk in eggs then slowly adding sugar; Add flour and vanilla. Fold in nuts; Pour into greased and floured 9 x 13 pan. Bake 28 - 30 minutes. Allow to cool and spread with white chocolate icing.

For Icing - melt butter and white chocolate in top of double boiler ( I used the microwave again). Remove from ehat and beat in powdered sugar, half and half and vanilla. Spread over cooled brownies. Cut into small squares. Yields - 28 small squares

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Saturday, April 2, 2011

Easy Cheddar Biscuits

Making biscuits from scratch really isn't hard AND....I usually have everything on hand. We were having soup the other night and I wanted to try something new. I found this recipe in my Southern Living Homestyle Cooking. I liked the sharp cheddar cheese - gave these biscuits extra flavor. They were perfect with our soup. Truly, these took 5 minutes to mix and about 10 minutes to bake. You should try it!

Easy Cheddar Biscuits (adapted from Southern Living Homestyle Cooking)

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
4 oz shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1/3 cup shortening (use the Crisco sticks)
1/2 cup milk

Mix the first 4 ingredients using a fork, pastry blender or even a food processor. Add cheese and shortening continuing to mix until mixture is crumbly. Add milk and mix until forms a dough. ( I used my hands some too) Pat dough onto a lightly floured surface, pat to 1/2 inch thickness and cut with a 2 inch round biscuit cutter, cookie cutter or glass. Place biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet and bake at 425 for 8 - 10 minutes or until golden.

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