Thursday, December 21, 2017

Caramel Brownie Cheesecake

A friend of mine always made this for her holiday party.  This Caramel -Brownie Cheesecake is so yummy - a great Southern Living recipe from one of their Christmas cookbooks.  I made it for my teachers this past week and I love it.  One of my daughters was home... and she thought it was amazing!  I highly recommend this - if you like cheesecake!

Caramel-Brownie Cheesecake (adapted from Southern Living)

1 3/4 cups vanilla wafer crumbs
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 (14 oz ) pkg of caramels ( I used an 11 oz bag)
1   5 oz can evaporated milk ( since less caramels, only used 4 oz of can)
2 cups coarsely crumbled cake-like brownies (purchased or homemade)
3   8 oz pkgs cream cheese, softened
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs
1   8 oz container of sour cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
garnishes - optional - caramel topping, whipped cream

Combine vanilla wafer crumbs and butter - stirring well.  Press mixture firmly in bottom and 2 inches up sides of a 9 inch springform pan.  Bake at 350 for 5 minutes.  Cool completely on wire rack.  Combine caramels and evaporated milk in a small heavy saucepan - cook over low heat, stirring often, until caramels melt.  Pour caramel mixture over crust.  Sprinkle with crumbled brownies.  Beat cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer for 2 minutes or until light and fluffy.  Gradually add brown sugar - mixing well.  Add eggs, 1 at a time beating just until blended.  Stir in sour cream and vanilla.  Pour batter into prepared crust  Bake at 350 for 50 - 60 minutes or until cheesecake is almost set.  Remove from oven and cool to room temperature on a wire rack.  Cover and chill for at least 4 hours.  Remove sides and garnish if desired.

Printable Version

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Buckeye Bundt Cake

As you know, I am a preschool director.  We had our Christmas dinner at a local Italian restaurant and then went back to my house for our Secret Sister gift exchange and dessert.  I loved it!  Food is my love language - especially desserts!

I don't normally try new desserts when I have guests .... but I went for it.  I had lots of little desserts... Oreo balls, Peanut Butter Balls, English Toffee, Caramel Puffed Corn, Molasses cookies, etc.

I made a Buckeye Bundt Cake.  I am not sure where the recipe came from.  I think I saw it later on Tip Hero on Pinterest.  I love peanut butter and chocolate! This is a pretty, yummy cake!

       A teacher captured a quick pic for me - cutting the cake!

Buckeye Bundt Cake

Peanut Butter Filling:

3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 egg beaten
3 Tbsp whole milk


1 cup water
 6 oz butter + 1 Tbsp for greasing the pan
1/3 cup cocoa powder + 2 Tbsp for dusting the pan
1 heaping tablespoon instant espresso powder (I used instant coffee)
1 tsp kosher salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream

Shiny Peanut Butter Chocolate Glaze

1/2 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
2 Tbsp light corn syrup
1/4 cup cream peanut butter
4 oz dark chocolate, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 10-12 cup bundt pan generously with 1 Tbsp softened butter. Sprinkle with the 2 Tbsp of cocoa powder - swirl to coat the entire pan evenly in a layer of cocoa powder.  Pay attention especially to the middle tube and the bottom.  Please - do not skip this step.

Make the filling by adding all of the filling ingredients to a large mixing bowl.  Mix with a hand mixer until smooth and no streaks of cream cheese of peanut butter.  Set aside.

Heat the water, 6 oz butter, 1/3 cup cocoa powder, espresso (or instant coffee) and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Whisk to remove any lumps.  When butter is melted and the pot just comes to a boil, take off the heat and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, granulated sugar and baking soda.  Whisk in the chocolate and butter mixture, followed by the 2 eggs, vanilla and sour cream.  Whisk until there are no streaks of sour cream, but try not to overmix - a few lumps are okay.

Pour 3/4 of he batter into the prepared bundt pan.  Spoon the peanut butter/cream cheese filling evenly on the top of the batter  - trying to keep it from touching the sides or middle tube.

Cover the peanut butter filling with the rest of the cake batter.  Bake in the preheated oven for 50 - 60 minutes.  Cool the cake for 10 minutes.  Loosen the sides with a thin knife.  Invert the pan so it's resting cake-side down on a plate  - gently lifting the bundt pan away.  Allow the cake to cool.

Make the glaze by heating the cream, sugar, peanut butter and corn syrup to almost a boil.  Pour the heated mixture over the chocolate and let it sit a minute to start melting.  Whisk until smooth and shiny and our over the top of the cake.

Printable Version 

Friday, December 8, 2017

Ranch Dressing/Dip for a BLT salad or any salad

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have been trying to eat "cleaner" and low carb.  I wanted to try a "homemade" ranch dip/dressing without using a purchased packet of the dry spices. I found this amazing version at Barefeet in the Kitchen.

I made this for a Sunday school Christmas party - for a BLT salad.  I just tossed chopped lettuce, chopped cherry tomatoes and crumbled bacon with this yummy ranch dressing!  I loved it! 

Best Ever Ranch Dressing (adapted from Barefeet in the Kitchen)

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup buttermilk (or regular milk)
3/4  - 1 tsp dried dill
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp dried chives
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1/8 tsp finely cracked pepper
freshly squeezed lemon juice to taste - approximately 1 - 3 teaspoons, adjust to taste

Whisk together the mayo, sour cream and milk... until smooth.  Add the spices and whisk until combined.  Add the lemon, whisking again.  Pour into a jar and chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.  This dressing will keep nicely in the refrigerator for up to a week.  Enjoy!

**Barefeet in the Kitchen frequently swaps plain white vinegar for the fresh lemon juice.  She says both acids work beautifully to add just the right about of "tang" to the dressing.  I used fresh lemon juice.

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Monday, December 4, 2017

Lemon-Dill Green Beans

These are yummo!  We often roast green beans in the oven with olive oil and sea salt.  I needed a new idea.  I bought fresh dill at the store and was just going to roast them with fresh dill.  I decided to search and found this amazing recipe at Eating Well.  These were so easy and such a nice, side dish ... with our grilled chicken and BLT salad.

Lemon-Dill Green Beans - adapted from Eating Well

1 lb of fresh green beans - trimmed
4 tsp chopped fresh dill
1 Tbsp minced shallots ( I didn't have so I used green onions)
1 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp whole grain mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Bring an inch of water to a boil in a large pan, fitted with a steamer basket.  Add green beans, cover and cook until tender-crisp, about 5 - 7 minutes.  Remove from heat.

Meanwhile..... in a bowl, whisk dill, shallots, lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper together.  Toss with the warm green beans.  Let stand about ten minutes before serving, to blend the flavors.

Nutritional information from Eating Well

Serving size - 1 cup

Calories 73, 4 grams fat, 4 grams fiber, 10 grams carbs, 2 grams protein, 0 mg cholesterol, 2 grams sugar, 0 grams added sugar, 163 grams sodium

Printable Version

Friday, November 3, 2017

I love slow cooker meals.... and I am learning to use my Instapot more too!  Mine isn't actually an Instapot... mine is a pressure cooker from QVC.  I love it - same as an Instapot.

I have found this great blogger that prepares 10 - 12 freezer/crockpot meals at one time.  What a great idea!  I would love to have done this when my girls were younger.  You have to visit Kelly at New Leaf Wellness.  She has such great, easy recipes.  She is even trying to convert each recipe to an Instapot recipe.  Please visit New Leaf Wellness!

I made her Steak Italiano not long ago and we loved it. I love her Cool Ranch Chicken Tacos.  I made the taco seasoning and ranch seasoning from scratch... like she lists below.  This chicken had so much flavor.  I loved it!  My hubby loved it.  As I mentioned, I am trying to eat low-carb...and this chicken was perfect.  Chris put his in corn tortillas and loaded it up with sour cream, cheese, avocado and cilantro.  I did the same... but in a bowl without the tortilla.  I was sad when it was all gone.  This chicken will be a new staple in my house. 

Cool Ranch Chicken Tacos (from New Leaf Wellness)

Cook fresh or freeze and cook later.  Serve on soft tortillas, rice or lettuce with your favorite toppings.

2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 taco seasoning packet (or this homemade version: 1 Tbsp chili powder, 1 tsp pepper and 1/2 tsp of           each of the following - salt, ground cumin, red pepper flakes, paprika, oregano, garlic powder             and onion powder)
1 dry ranch seasoning packet (or this homemade version: 1 Tbsp dried parsley, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp dried onion flakes, 3/4 tsp dill, 1/2 tsp pepper and 1/2 tsp salt)

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker and cook for 6 - 8 hours on low.  Use two forks to shred meat and mix with any spices/sauce left in the slow cooker.

If choosing to freeze and cook later: Combine all ingredients in a gallon-size plastic freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months.  When ready to cook, thaw overnight in the refrigerator or in the morning in water.  Follow directions above.

Printable Version

Monday, October 30, 2017

Broccoli Cheese Soup

I love all Pioneer Woman recipes.  She is so fun!  Chris and I even stopped by The Mercantile in the months after it opened on one of our many drives to Texas.  We didn't get to eat in the restaurant due to the really long line but we enjoyed shopping.  I even got to meet Ree and get a photo.

When in doubt, always go to The Pioneer Woman for any recipe!  Anything and everything I have ever made that Ree makes... is always scrumptious.

I did make a few adjustments... but only because I wanted it a little more low carb!

Our middle daughter was in town for the weekend.  There was a chill in the Omaha air and she was craving Broccoli Cheese Soup.  I had never made it before.... so I went to The Pioneer Woman first.  Jenna ate for three days - she loved it! 

Broccoli Cheese Soup (adapted from The Pioneer Woman)

1 whole onion, diced
1 1/2 sticks butter  (I only used 1 stick)
1/3 cup flour (I only used 1 Tbsp - trying to make more low-carb)
4 cups whole milk (I used 4 cups of cream instead)
2 cups half and half (I used 2 cups chicken broth instead)
4 heads of broccoli, cut into bite-size florets
1 pinch nutmeg
3 cups grated cheese, variety ( I used mild cheddar and sharp cheddar)
small dash of salt
freshly ground pepper
Chicken broth for thinning

Melt butter in a pot over medium heat, then add the onions.  Cook the onions for 3 - 4 minutes, then sprinkle the flour over the top.  Stir to combine and cook for 1 minute or so, then pour in the milk and half and half.  Add nutmeg, then add broccoli, a small dash of salt and plenty of black pepper. 

Cover and reduce heat to low.  Simmer for 20 - 30 minutes or until the broccoli is tender.  Stir in cheese and allow to melt.  Taste and adjust seasonings.  Then serve as is... or mash it with a potato masher or transfer in small batches to a blender and puree.  Return to pot to reheat. 

Serve warm! I did sprinkle cooked bacon on the top!

*I definitely needed to add chicken broth the next day when reheating - for thinning

Printable Version

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Slow Cooker Santa Fe Chicken

I mentioned that I was at my friend Lya's house a few weeks ago.  Lya is a great cook.  I asked her if she had a new favorite recipe.  She mentioned a Santa Fe Chicken recipe.  She said it isn't new ... but one of the family's favorites.  She said her son, who lives in Houston, makes it often too.  He is single, late twenties young man - so we know it is easy... and must be good.

Chris and I loved it.  Chris always wants dishes like this... served over rice.  Well, I made riced cauliflower.  I didn't make it from scratch.  I just found some in the freezer section of our grocery store.  It was one of those... "heat in the bag" side dishes.  It was perfect!  It had a great texture and flavor.  We served the Santa Fe Chicken over the riced cauliflower.  I think you could also serve it over rice, tortilla chips, etc.

Slow Cooker Santa Fe Chicken  - adapted from Skinny Taste

24 oz or 1  1/2 lbs chicken breast
14.4 oz can diced tomatoes with green chiles ( I used a can of Rotel diced)
15 oz can black beans, drained
8 oz frozen corn
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
14.4 oz can chicken broth
3 scallions, chopped
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper (to taste) I didn't add
salt to taste

Combine chicken broth, beans, corn, tomatoes, cilantro, scallions, garlic powder, onion powder and cumin in a prepared slow cooker.  Season chicken breast with salt and pepper and lay on top.

Cook on low for 8 - 10 hours or on high for six.  About a half hour before serving, remove the chicken breasts and shred.  Return to slow cooker.  Add any seasonings needed.  Serve over rice or tortilla chips.  Serve with your favorite toppings - sour cream, shredded cheese, cilantro, jalepenos, avocados, etc. *I served it over riced cauliflower

From Skinny Taste:  8 servings
size - 1 cup, Calories 190, Fat 1.5 g, Fiber 5.6, Carbs 23.1 and Protein 21 g.

Printable Version

Monday, October 2, 2017

Chicken Sate with Peanut Butter Sauce

I love peanut butter so I thought I would give this recipe a try.  I don't usually love Asian recipes with peanut butter sauce, ginger, etc.  My husband loves these types of recipes so I made this one for him.  It was actually really good.  Thank you Stacie ... for this recipe!  I think it is a Smucker's recipe.... but I couldn't find it on their site.

Also, I was trying to make it a little healthier so I used coconut sugar instead of brown sugar and Bragg's Liquid Aminos instead of soy sauce.  It was still very good!

                    Once again, not a great picture.  I drizzled the sauce on... we loved the sauce. 

Chicken Sate with Peanut Butter Sauce


1lb skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 8 strips
1 Tbsp light brown sugar
2 1/2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
2 tsp. bottled ground fresh ginger ( I grated fresh and used 1 tsp)
1 tsp grated lime rind
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
8 skewers - wooden or metal


1 Tbsp light brown sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp natural-style, creamy peanut butter (I used a little more)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper

Prepare grill.  If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for a few minutes.

Combine chicken and all of the sate' ingredients in medium bowl and let stand ten minutes.  Combine all of the sauce ingredients in another medium bowl, stirring until the sugar dissolves.

Thread chicken strips on to prepared skewers.  Place chicken on grill rack coated with cooking spray.  Grill 5 minutes on each side or until chicken is done. 

Serve chicken with sauce.  Serve with your favorite rice dish and a green vegetable. 

Printable Version

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Lasagna Stuffed Portobellos

As I mentioned in the previous post, we are trying to eat a little better.... eat differently.  I am trying to eat less carbohydrates.  I am always scrolling through Instagram looking for new ideas.

I found this yummy recipe on a great website... and on Instagram...and I love the name.... I Breathe, I'm Hungry!  Isn't that the truth!!

I love lasagna.... but I never eat pasta.  I thought I would try these Lasagna Stuffed Portobellos.  They were so yummy!  Chris and I both loved them - easy, hearty, flavorful, etc.

                           Not a great picture - but you get the idea :)

Lasagna Stuffed Portobellos (adapted from I Breathe, I'm Hungry)

4 large Portobello mushrooms
12 oz Italian sausage
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup marinara sauce
1 cup Mozzarella cheese, shredded
sprinkle of Italian seasoning

Brush the mushrooms with a dry paper towel to clean off any dirt.  Remove the stems... and use a spoon to scrape out the brown ribs.  Gently pat 3 oz. of sausage into each mushroom cap, going all the way to the edges and up the sides.  Spoon 1/4 cup of ricotta cheese onto the sausage, spreading to the edge... leaving a dent in the center for sauce.  Spoon 1/4 cup marinara sauce into each mushroom cap, on top of the ricotta later.  Sprinkle each with 1/4 cup of shredded Mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 40 minutes.  Serve hot.

Printable Version

Friday, September 22, 2017

Slow Cooker - Steak Italiano

I have been trying to cook healthier.  Again, I apologize for not posting more.  With the girls all in Texas, Chris and I just don't eat a lot.  I still make some favorites but I just haven't been as adventurous.

I am following lots of great new sights on Instagram.  I love Whole 30 Recipes and from there I have found so many great cooks. I love Instagram!  I follow Kesley from Little Bits of... She is hoot.  You have to watch her Instastories.  She has fabulous recipes too.  Kelly McNelis also has a great website... New Leaf Wellness.   She makes freezer/crockpot bag meals.  She has this great gadget that helps the bags to stand up... and she will line the bags up and make like 10 meals at a time.  She will give the meals away, freeze them or make them herself.  You have to check it out. I made Kelly's freezer bag meal.... Steak Italiano.  I didn't put it in a bag to freeze - I just put the items right in my slow cooker. We loved it.  Chris enjoyed it over rice several nights in a row.  I enjoyed it over riced cauliflower.  If you haven't tried riced cauliflower, you should.  You can find it in many produce sections and freezer sections of your local store.  Kelly also recommends it over egg noodles or zoodles (zucchini noodles).

Slow Cooker Steak Italiano  - from Kelly McNelis and New Leaf Wellness

2 lbs boneless top sirloin steak, cubed
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
6 oz fresh baby spinach
1 small onion, diced (or 1 tsp onion powder)
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp basil
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 - 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

Add all ingredients to a gallon-sized freezer bag and freeze up to three months.  Thaw enough to break apart and cook in slow cooker for 6- 8 hours on low or until steak is tender.

Kelly says she also has cooked this in her Insta-Pot or pressure cooker by cooking on high for 25 minutes and then doing a natural release.

I cooked mine in a slow cooker or crock-pot all day.  I was at work so I know it cooked at least 8 hours.  You could barely tell the dish had spinach in it.  It had a great flavor!  Serve over egg noodles, zoodles, rice or cauliflower rice.

Printable Version 

Monday, September 18, 2017

Easy Salad- Chickpea, Feta and Avocado

Chris and I were in Dallas a few weeks ago helping our oldest daughter get settled into her new place before starting a new job. We used to live in Dallas and we miss some of our fun friends.  Our good friends, Lya and Bart had us over for dinner   They both have the gift of hospitality.   Bart grilled some fabulous burgers, their daughter Meredith whipped up a batch of "Summer Beer".  (We used to call these "Skip and go Naked's "in my years after I graduated from Baylor.  I hate beer and these are really yummy! ).  Lya is an amazing cook and served this yummy, easy salad....with chickpeas, feta cheese, avocados, etc. I think this is a great addition to any meal... and a nice change from the green salad or pasta salad.

Chickpea, Avocado and Feta Salad

2 cans chickpeas (or garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
1/4 cup green onions, chopped
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
2 avocados, peeled and diced
fresh squeezed lime juice
olive oil drizzle
sea salt to taste

Rinse and drain the chickpeas and place in a large bowl.  Add chopped onion and crumbled feta.  Just before serving, add chopped avocado.  Add the juice of at least one fresh lime and drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle with sea salt.  Toss gently and serve.

*this can be easily doubled or tripled - great for a large group.

Printable version

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Yummy Cheese Bread

I am so sorry - I haven't posted all summer!  I have been enjoying family  I have been cooking.  I have been cooking some of our family favorites - The World's Best Snack Mix, Scotch-a-Roos, Everything Cookies, Monster Bars, Pasta Salad, Homemade Pimento Cheese, Some Great Pasta, Cucumber Salsa...etc.  You also have to try the easy overnight Cinnamon Roll recipe I posted around Easter.  I love them (especially with pecans)! I just haven't taken the time to be as creative.  I have also been trying to eat more low carb - not as much fun.  I will try to share a few new low carb recipes when I have a a few to share.

However, this Cheese Bread isn't low carb.  I guess it would be if I scraped the top off with a fork. And - I have been known to do such a thing!

My girls loved it.  We even heated the leftover slices in the toaster oven the next day!  Yummo!


Cheese Bread

1 loaf of French Bread - sliced in half lengthwise
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup mayonnaise
2 - 3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1 1/2 cups of another flavorful cheese - I used sharp cheddar but Monterrey Jack looks prettier
Italian Seasoning

Cut the bread in half length-wise and place on a cooking sheet.  Mix the softened butter, mayonnaise, minced garlic, and cheeses.  Add a little Italian seasoning for color and flavor.  Spread the mixture evenly over the bread.  Sprinkle with more Italian seasoning.  Bake at 350 for 8 - 10 minutes.  I like to broil 2 or so extra minutes to get the bread nice and brown on top.

*You could add olives, green onions, pepperoni or even a different cheese to make a few different varieties

Printable Version

Monday, June 5, 2017

Easiest Lemon Cookies

Hi all - I am so sorry I haven't been posting as much!  Family, preschool, etc.

I did make these easy yummy lemon cookies.  My friend and "nail lady" told me of these fluffy, light lemon cookies.... with a cake mix.  I love that I can keep the mix on hand and whip them out at any time.  I think we might try another flavor soon.  We might strawberry, or chocolate with chocolate chips, etc.  They are a different texture than traditional cookies.... but still yummy.  They were brown on the bottom and fluffy on top.  My husband thought I should add lemon zest to make them more "lemony" but my daughter liked them as is!

Easy Lemon Cookies

1 lemon cake mix
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
2 eggs

Preheat the oven to 350  Mix together just until mixed.  Use a cookie scoop and make the size cookie desired and place on a prepared cookie sheet - that has been lightly sprayed with a cooking spray. Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes or a little less.  Bottom and edges will get slightly brown.  After cooled, sprinkle with powdered sugar.  Store in an airtight containter.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

White Chocolate Cheesecake

If you know me well, you know I don't love white chocolate.  I love all other chocolate!  My friend Michelle makes this White Chocolate Cheesecake on a regular basis.  I decided to make it for our Easter lunch.  I thought it was fabulous.  Chris said he couldn't really detect the white chocolate in the cheesecake. However, the 12 oz of white chocolate makes for a very yummy, very creamy cheesecake.  You will love it!  I served it with raspberry sauce.  It is yummy plain or with the sauce.  I couldn't stay out of it!  The crust tastes like a sugar cookie too!

White Chocolate Cheesecake


1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour

Mix first three ingredients with a mixer until fluffy, Gradually add flour and mix on low.  Press into the bottom of a 9 " spring form pan.  Prick with fork.  Bake at 325 for 25 minutes or until golden brown.


4 pkg ( 8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
4 eggs
12 oz white chocolate baking bars (Bakers or Ghiradelli or Lindt), melted and slightly cooled

Mix cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until blended.  Add eggs, one at a time on low speed until blended.  Blend in melted chocolate.  Pour over baked crust.

Bake at 325 for 55 - 60 minutes or until center is almost set and cheesecake is golden.  Remove from oven and run spatula around rim to loosen cake.  Cool before removing from rim.  Refrigerate at least four hours or over night.  Serve plain or with sauce.

Raspberry Sauce:

2 tsp cornstarch
3 Tbsp sugar (or more to taste)
1/4 cup water
12 oz bag frozen raspberries, thawed
fresh raspberries for garnish

In a small saucepan, combine cornstarch, water and sugar.  Add raspberries and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.  Bring to a boil and boil one minute, stirring constantly.  Serve warm or cold.

*Strain through a cheesecloth or a strainer if you prefer no seeds.  Great either way but I prefer no seeds!

Printable Version

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Cinnamon Rolls

I know, I know... I haven't posted in awhile!  No good reason - just busy and trying to eat healthier!

My girls and two boyfriends were home this last weekend for Easter!  We had so much fun!  I try to have yummy snacks and food for them.... and not spend a ton of time in the kitchen.  I had Texas Trash and Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Caramel Bars.  Jenna turned 22 Friday and she requested Banana Pudding.

A coworker likes to cook and eat like I do.  Susan and I are always sharing recipes.  She got this yummy Cinnamon Roll recipe from Shirley, her sister's mother-in-law!  I love this recipe - homemade... but not too homemade or time consuming.  I made these Friday night when we got home and put them in the oven for Saturday morning!  I have eaten a lot of cinnamon rolls but something about these was extra yummy!  You have to try them!  We had a peanut allergy in the house or I would have totally added pecan halves to the mixture!

Cinnamon Rolls

12 Rhodes frozen cinnamon rolls

Place rolls in a greased 9 x 13 pan.

Mix together:

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup vanilla ice cream

Bring mixture to a boil and boil for one minute.  Pour over rolls.  No need to cover.  Put rolls in a cold oven overnight.  In the morning, bake at 350 for approximately 30 minutes.

Invert and frost with the the icing that was included with the cinnamon rolls.

*May add chopped pecans or soft raisins in the bottom of the the pan.

Printable Version

Monday, February 27, 2017

Chicken Parmesan Sliders - YUM!

I love little slider sandwiches!  I make the warm ham and cheese sandwiches - all of the time.  We enjoy them all year long but I especially love them with Tomato Basil Soup.

I am always seeing yummy recipes on Facebook - all of the crazy videos.  I love the TASTY videos.  This particular video is "Sliders Four Ways".  We were having another teacher birthday lunch.  One of the teachers we were celebrating likes Italian Food... so I decided to try to the "Chicken Parmesan Sliders"!  I could tell before I even baked them... that they were going to be heavenly.

I made mine the night before and refrigerated them.  I baked them at preschool the next day.  I was careful to keep the marinara sauce on the chicken... and not the buns... so they wouldn't get soggy. They were perfect!  In fact, while they were cooking, I had several parents that smelled them and wondered... what was cooking.  One parent if tried one to go.... and made them for dinner the next night!

I plan to try to other varieties too!

        The top pic is before cooking... and the bottom pic is after cooking!  YUMMO!!

Chicken Parmesan Sliders (I doubled this recipe) adapted from Tasty Buzzfeed

12 pkg of Hawaiian rolls
8 oz or so of rotisserie chicken ( I got mine from Costco - already cut up and packaged)
1/2 cup marinara sauce
8 oz fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
1/4 cup basil, chopped (I found a lightly dried at our store in refrigerator section)
3/4 cup melted butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp basil, finely chopped
1 Tbsp dried parsley
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan

Spray a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray.  Slice the rolls in half lengthwise.  Place the bottom half in the 9 x 13.  Spread the chopped rotisserie chicken evenly over the rolls, followed by the marinara, thin fresh mozzarella slices and basil.   Place the top half of the rolls on top.  ( I like to gently cut the sandwiches apart so the butter mixture seeps down between) Mix the melted butter  with the garlic, Parmesan cheese, basil and dried parsley.  Gently spoon butter mixture over each roll, allowing some of the goodies to gather on top of each roll.  Bake for 20 minutes and serve.

*I made mine the night before.  Cover and refrigerated.  I left them out the next morning for an hour or so.  I baked mine covered for 10 minutes and uncovered for 10 minutes or so.


Printable Version

Friday, February 10, 2017

Taco Soup

I think everyone has a Taco Soup in their recipe file.  I have been making Taco Soup on and off for years.  I am not a huge fan of beans.... but my husband and others love Taco Soup.  I think it is a cross between a soup and a chili.  I love serving it over Fritos and topping the soup with sour cream, shredded cheese, avocado, cilantro, jalepenos....etc.

This Taco Soup is from Paula Deen.  She puts corn in her soup - I have seen others that add hominy. I am also not a big hominy fan.  You can be creative and add what you like.  I made this for my teachers and they loved it.  I love that it makes a large amount - about 12 - 16 servings!  Enjoy!

Taco Soup (adapted from Paula Deen)

2 lbs ground beef
2 cups diced onion
2   15 1/2 oz can pinto beans
1   15 1/2 oz can kidney beans
1   15 1/2 oz can whole kernel corn, drained
2   14 1/2 cans of Rotel tomatoes
2   4 1/2 cans diced green chiles
1   4.6 oz can black olives, sliced and drained (optional - I did use)
1/2 cup sliced green olives (optional - I didn't use but I should have)
1   1 1/4 oz pkg of taco seasoning
1   1 1/4 oz pkg ranch salad dressing mix
2-3 cups of water to achieved desired texture
corn chips for serving
optional toppings - sour cream, shredded cheese, cilantro, avocado, jalepenos, etc.

Brown the ground beef and onions in a large skillet, drain off the excess fat.  Transfer to a slow cooker or continue to cook in large pot on the stove top.  (I just did the stove top) Add beans, corn, tomatoes, green chiles, olives, taco seasoning and ranch dressing. Mix and cook in a slow cooker on low for 6 - 8 hours or simmer over low heat for about an hour on the stove top.  Add water if necessary.

To serve, place a few corn chips in each bowl and then add soup.  Top with any extra desired toppings.

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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Brownie Cookies

In December, my "secret sister" at preschool listed BROWNIES as her favorite dessert.  I thought Brownie Cookies sounded perfect for her surprise treat.  I didn't have time to create so I found this great recipe on Food & Wine.   My secret sister loved the Brownie Cookies and so did my family!!!

Chocolate Brownie Cookies (adapted from Food & Wine)

1 lb semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
4 Tbsp butter
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1  12 oz bag semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl set over a saucepan... or a double boiler, melt the chopped chocolate with the butter, stirring a few until until smooth - about 7 minutes.  In another large bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the eggs with the sugar at medium speed until thick and pale, about 5 minutes.  Beat in the vanilla and salt.  Using a rubber spatula, fold in the melted chocolate, then fold in the flour and baking powder,  Stir in the chocolate chips.  Scrape the batter into a shallow baking dish, cover and freeze until firm - about one hour.  

Preheat oven to 350.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Scoop 2 Tbsp size mounds of dough onto prepared cookie sheet.  Bake for about 8 - 10 minutes or until the edges are dry and the cookies are cracked on top.  Let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for 10 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely before serving.  

*these cookies can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 4 days

**I froze half of the cookies in December and we have been enjoying them two month later. 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Chicken Parmesan Dip

I wanted to make a hearty appetizer for our preschool birthday lunch this month.  Buffalo Chicken Dip is very popular.  I had that in mind but wanted something different.  I had some diced chicken breast... so I decided to try a Chicken Parmesan Dip!  YAY  - it was a huge hit.  I assembled the night before and baked it at preschool.  You have to try it - yummy, cheesy and hearty!

                Once again, not a great pic.  I took it quickly before the                      teachers enjoyed lunch!

Chicken Parmesan Dip

12 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 - 2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups diced chicken breast
3/4 cup shredded Mozzarella
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan Cheese
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cracked pepper
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 cup marinara sauce
1 cup or a little more Italian cheese, shredded
1/2 cup or so shredded Parmesan
sprinkling of Italian seasoning for garnish

Spray the bottom of baking dish. Mix first 8 ingredients and spread in the bottom of a prepared pan. Top with a cup of marinara sauce.  Sprinkle with a cup or so of shredded Italian cheese, Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  Sprinkle with Italian seasoning.  Cover with foil and refrigerated until ready to bake.  Take out of fridge about an hour before baking.  Bake  at 350 covered for 30 minutes and  then bake uncovered for 10 - 15 or until the cheese is melted and the top is getting brown and bubbly.

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Monday, January 16, 2017

Smokey Sausage and Grits Casserole

My husband loves grits.  I am from Texas but grits have not always been my favorite.  I think it is a texture thing!  When I was in Charleston, South Carolina a few years back with my Baylor girls, I had the pleasure of enjoying Shrimp and Grits at several different restaurants.  I have decided I love yummy, cheesy, "doctored-up" grits.

I, of course, keep my old Southern Living magazines and like to look through them before I get rid of them.  I found this Smoky Sausage and Grits Casserole.  Several things attracted me to this recipe - make ahead, cheesy, smoked sausage.....We enjoyed these for dinner one night and then the family enjoyed them for breakfast over the holidays.

I am sorry to say I don't have a picture.  I had one but I must have deleted it.  Southern Living's picture is way better any way.  Check it out at... Southern Living.

Smoky Sausage and Grits Casserole (adapted from Southern Living)

1 1/2 lbs smoked sausage, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups uncooked quick-cooking grits
2   8 oz blocks sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup milk
1 1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
Vegetable cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350.  Brown sausage in large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, for 7- 9 minutes or until browned and cooked, drain on paper towels.  

Bring Salt and 4 1/2 cups water to boil in a large Dutch Oven over high heat.  Whisk in grits and return to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat to medium and simmer 5 minutes or until thickened, whisking occasionally.  Remove from heat and add cheese, stirring until completely melted.  Stir in milk and next 4 ingredients.  Stir in sausage.  Spoon mixture into a lightly greased 9 x 13 pan.  Bake at 350 for 50 minutes to one hour - or until golden and cooked through.  Let stand 5 minutes before serving.  

*This dish can be assembled and stored in the fridge for up to four days; let is stand at room temp for 30 minutes before baking

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Monday, January 9, 2017

CreamyRoasted Cauliflower Chowder

I love different, yummy soups!  It is cold here in Nebraska - like 5 degrees today.  Creamy Tomato Basil Soup is one of my "go-to" recipes.  There are lots of good soup recipes on the blog, Hard Rock Baked Potato Soup, Sausage Minestra Soup, North Woods Wild Rice & Chicken Soup, etc.  You will have to check them out.

Okay, let's talk Cauliflower - don't love it raw and cut up for dips, etc.  BUT, I do love Roasted Cauliflower.  Cut it up in small pieces, toss with olive and sea salt and cook at like 425 for 20 - 25 minutes. It is absolutely delicious!

Two Peas and Their Pod is one of my favorite blogs to follow.  I follow them on Instagram so I get good recipes often.  This Creamy Roasted Cauliflower Soup was one of her top recipes for 2016. You will love this chowder on your next chilly day!  Please visit Two Peas and Their Pod!

Creamy Roasted Cauliflower Chowder (adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod)

1 large head of cauliflower, roughly chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup unsalted butter ( I used salted)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (can use gluten-free flour)
1 (15 oz) cans vegetable broth (I used chicken broth - that is what I had in the house)
1  1/4 cups Almond Breeze Almond milk, unsweetened original ( I used half and half)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese ( I used Kraft Cracker Barrel Aged White Cheddar)

Preheat oven to 400.  Place chopped cauliflower and garlic on a baking sheet, toss with olive oil and toss until well coated.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.  Place in oven and bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until cauliflower is tender, stirring once.  Remove from oven and set aside.

In a large pot, melt butter over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Add carrots and celery and good for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Finely chop the roasted garlic cloves.  Add the garlic, roasted cauliflower, bay leaf and dried thyme to the pot.  Sprinkle flour over vegetables and stir until flour disappears.

Pour in the broth and stir.  Simmer for 10 minutes.  Stir in the milk and shredded cheese.  Stir until cheese is melted and chowder is creamy.  Season with salt and pepper if needed.  Serve with a warm, crusty bread!

*When I reheated the chowder the next day, it was a little thick so I added a little more broth to reach the desired consistency

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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Swiss Cheese Dip-easy and yummy!

Happy New Year!!

I love this new, easy dip!  Our local grocery stores sell a pre-made Swiss Cheese Dip!  I love this homemade version.  I served it with Triscuits and a variety of vegetables.

I was recently at a Noonday jewelry party!  Elizabeth served this yummy Swiss Cheese Dip- they call it..."Nana's Dip".  Also, I absolutely love the Noonday Collection.  Check out Elizabeth's Noonday Collection  Noonday partners with talented artisan entrepreneurs to make a difference in some of the world’s most vulnerable communities.

Enjoy this yummy dip - I think it will be one of your new favorite recipes - one of your "go to" recipes!   

Swiss Cheese Dip - AKA as "Nana's Dip"

1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup shredded Parmesan Cheese
1 cup Shredded Swiss Cheese
few green onions, chopped (include some of the green too)
parsley for garnish

Mix well and refrigerate.  Serve with your favorite cracker or vegetable.  Enjoy!