Saturday, November 5, 2011

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

This is one recipe that I really don't have a recipe for.  I just always make it as I go.  It is one of my favorites to have during the fall/winter time. Perfect meal for needing to get over a cold. This is another soup that makes a ton, so either cut the recipe down or share with others!

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts ~ cooked and shredded
3 celery stocks ~ chopped
1 small onion ~ chopped
1 cup carrots ~ chopped
6-8 cups water from boil chicken earlier
enough chicken bullion granules or cubes to make broth
2 packages wide egg noodles ~ frozen 
pepper to taste
little basil

Add all ingredients together, expect noodles.  Cook till vegetables are tender. Add in noodles and let sit on a low simmer for about 15-20 minutes, until noodles are loose and fluffy.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is my moms recipe and These are by far the best pumpkin cookies ever.  They are fluffy, moist and just oh so yummy.  Any time these get baked and taken, there are always lots of compliments and asking for the recipe. I personally always double it.  Then I freeze some.  Have some now and pull some out later.  These also have a yummy frosting that can go on them.  I love the cookies both ways. If freezing some cookies, frost later.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 cup pumpkin
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 package of chocolate chips
1 egg
chopped pecans ~ optional 

Cream shortening and sugar together.  Add in pumpkin and egg.  Mix and add dry ingredients.  Then add in chocolate chips and pecans. Drop by teaspoon full on a non greased cookies sheet.  Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes. 

3 tablespoons butter or margarine
4 teaspoons milk
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla

Cook in a saucepan butter, milk and brown sugar until well dissolved.  Remove from heat. Add in vanilla and powdered sugar.  Beat together until powdered sugar is dissolved.  Spread on warm cookies. {Add more powdered sugar is needed.}

Dinner in a Pumpkin

This is what we eat every year on Halloween.  I grew up with this tradition and I love it. It makes the night so fun and the dinner is super good.

Dinner in a Pumpkin

1 medium pumpkin {about size of basketball or a little bigger}
1 chopped onion {any size - depending on how much onion you like}
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 - 2 pounds hamburger
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 {4oz.} can sliced mushrooms ~ drained
1 can cream of chicken soup
1-2 cups cooked rice
1 {8oz.} can sliced water chestnuts ~ drained
Cut off top of pumpkin and clean out.  Draw a face on the pumpkin with permanent marker.  In a large skillet saute onions in oil until tender.  Add meat and cook till brown.  Drain drippings from meat - add soy sauce, brown sugar, mushrooms and soup.  Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add cooked rice and water chestnuts.  Place pumpkin onto a cookie sheet that is covered with foil.  Spoon mixture into the pumpkin and put pumpkin lid back on.  Cook at 350 degrees for about 1 hour or until inside of pumpkin is tender.  You can also cook with lid off.
When serving scrap inside of pumpkin. 

Outback Potato Soup

This is another soup that you can totally add whatever you want to it.  Keep it simple or throw in as much extras as ya want.  I tend to just do whatever my mood is for that day. I have a friend that always makes this into a Loaded Potato Soup and it is really good.  She puts just about everything you can think of .... Green onion, bacon chunks, cheese, broccoli chunks, etc.

Outback Potato Soup (Crock Pot style)
1 30oz. bag of frozen shredded hash browns 
3 14oz. cans of chicken broth
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup green onion ~chopped
1/4 tsp. ground pepper
1 pkg. cream cheese
Then add whatever extra's you want

Combine everything expect for the cream cheese into crock pot.  Cook for 6-8 hours on low heat.  About 1 hour before serving, add cream cheese and keep heated until cream cheese is thoroughly melted.  Serve with whatever you like it topped with.

Crescent Pizza's

This is a great recipe for getting those kids in the kitchen.  My kids are always asking what they can help with when I am cooking or baking.  I love having them in there with me.

Crescent Pizza's
2 rolls refrigerated Crescent rolls
1 large package pepperoni
1 package string cheese ~ sticks cut in half
marinara sauce for dipping

Separate the crescent rolls into triangles. Place 4-5 pepperonis at large end of each triangle and top with half a string cheese. Roll up and if desired, bring up sides to seal, so cheese doesn't melt all the way out. If kids are helping, sometimes sides don't make it sealed.  Really no biggie, still tastes yummy. Bake Crescent Pizza's according to crescent roll package. A little longer for a crispier crescent roll. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pumpkin Cupcakes

These are the most perfect treat for this time of the year.  It also makes a ton {45-50+ cupcakes} so it is perfect for sharing with neighbors, friends, family, whoever you want.  You will great feedback on these.  Anyone that likes pumpkin, will like these cupcakes. The frosting to these cupcakes, is rich, so it doesn't take much.  Also, it has been be followed exact or it won't turn out.

Pumpkin Cupcakes
3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 cups pumpkin
2/3 cup water

Mix together well.  Then sift together and blend into pumpkin mixture ... 

3 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
Bake at 325 degrees for 17-20 minutes. 

Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 stick salted butter
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups powdered sugar
In a saucepan, stir together granulated sugar and water.  Bring to a boil over medium high heat.  Cook without stirring until mixture turns a deep amber color {Deep Brown}.  Remove from heat and slowly add in cream and vanilla, stirring until very smooth.  Let caramel cool for about 20 minutes, until it is just barely warm and still pourable.

In a mixer, beat butter and salt together until lightened and fluffy.  Add in  powdered sugar.  Mix until thoroughly combined.
Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the caramel sauce.  Beat on medium high, until light and airy, and completely mixed (about 2 minutes).  Mixture should be ready to use without refrigeration.  But if by chance, caramel was too hot when added, icing will be runny.  
Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.

Crock Pot Chicken Alfredo

With this recipe, I prefer it with Egg Noodles.  You can use the Fettuccine Noodles when you make it.  Or use whatever noodles you prefer. It is very filling and super easy.  The smell of the dish cooking fills the house, it is great. I make it without the mushrooms, because myself and 1 child doesn't like them.  But, my friend makes it with and they love it.

Crock Pot Chicken Alfredo 
3 large chicken breasts or 6-8 chicken breast tenders
2 {8 ounce) packages mushrooms ~ cut into thirds {optional}
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper
1⁄4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 tablespoons chives
2 {8 ounce} packages cream cheese ~cut into chunks
1 cup {2 sticks} butter ~cut into pieces
1 1⁄2 cups grated parmesan cheese ~plus additional for garnish
1 1⁄2 cups whole milk
1 package {1 pound} fettuccini noodles {or whatever noodles}

Spray inside of 5-quart crock pot with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange chicken in single layer in bottom of crock pot. Top with mushrooms. Sprinkle salt, black pepper and garlic powder over mushrooms.

In a medium saucepan, combine cream cheese, butter, parmesan cheese and milk, over medium heat. Whisk constantly until smooth and heated through. Add in chives and then pour over mushrooms, pushing down any that float to surface. Cover and cook on Low for 4 to 5 hours or on high for 2 to 2 1⁄2 hours. 

About 10 minutes before eating, remove chicken from crock pot and set on a plate {cover with foil to keep warm}.  Then add noodles into sauce in the crock pot and cover.  Let cook for about 7 minutes, until noodles are done.  
Then you can either leave chicken breasts whole or cut up and mix into noodles and sauce.

Monday, October 17, 2011

King Ranch Chicken

{I know this is for sure the worst picture ever, but it will do}

Who knew this recipe was so loved by many.  I had heard of this a few times and then have come across it in some cook books.  So after all the talk about it, I decided it was time to try it and see what it was all about.  Now personally, the name doesn't sounds too intriguing.  But, don't let it fool ya.  It is worth adding to the cooking list.

King Ranch Chicken
4 chicken breasts ~ cook and shredded
1 can cream of mushroom
1 can cream of chicken
1 can {10 oz} petite diced tomatoes with green chilis
1 can {15.25 oz} whole kernel corn ~ drained
1- 1 1/2 cup crushed Cheese Doritos
2 cups shredded cheese

In a large bowl, mix together the chicken, soups, tomatoes and corn.  Pour mixture into a well greased 9x13 baking dish and top with cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees uncovered, for 20 minutes.

At the 20 minute ding, take the casserole out of the oven and top with crushed Doritos.  Bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes, until the chips are toasted.  Let sit 5 minutes before serving.

Cinnamon Roll Cake

Although the name of this recipe has "cake" in it, you can totally enjoy a piece for breakfast. It is gooey, full of flavor and heavenly just like cinnamon rolls.  I had the pleasure of making this for a luncheon for a friends baby blessing.  It was gone in seconds.  Luckily, I had reserved 3 pieces before setting the plate out.  But those pieces reserved didn't last long, once my hubby and kids got to them. So, word of advice when making this ..... Be the first to get your slice!

Cinnamon Roll Cake
3 c. flour
1/4 tsp.salt
1 c. sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 c. milk
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. butter ~ melted

1 c. butter ~softened
1 c. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
1 Tbsp. cinnamon

Mix everything together except for the butter. Slowly stir in the melted butter and pour into a greased 9x13 pan. For the topping, mix all the ingredients together until well combined. Drop evenly over the batter and swirl with a knife. Bake at 350 degrees for 28-32 minutes.

2 c. powdered sugar
5 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

While cake is still warm, drizzle glaze over the top. Getting every inch of the cake covered. 
{Even the sides!}

Chicken Pot Pie Soup

I feel that my kids are really good eaters, but I can always count on them having seconds with this soup.  Sometimes even 3rds. {Although they don't have huge scoops to begin with}.  This soup is very delightful.  I love it just as is, but it is also really good in a bread bowl. It really does taste just like the filling of a chicken pot pie.

Chicken Pot Pie Soup
3-4 chicken breasts ~ cooked and cut small
1/4 cup flour
2 cups water 
4 cups fat free milk
1 large celery stalk, chopped
1/2 medium chopped onion 
2 chicken bouillons
fresh ground pepper
2 potatoes ~ peeled and cut small
1 can corn ~ drained
1 can green beans ~ drained
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup carrots ~ chopped

Create your base by combining 1/2 cup of the cold water with flour in a medium bowl and whisk until well blended. Set aside.

Pour remaining water and milk into a large pot and slowly bring to a boil. Add celery, onion, chicken bullion, fresh pepper, all vegetables and return to a boil. Cover and simmer on low until vegetables are soft, about 20 minutes. Remove lid, and slowly whisk in your base, stirring well as you add. Cook another 2-3 minutes, until soup thickens, adjust salt and pepper to taste, if needed.

Moms Banana Bread

This recipe is one that I grew up with.  I always loved my moms Banana Bread.  So good that it never lasted long with all of us kids. Trust me, It never disappoints. This batch I made plain.  We rotate plain and goodies.  So then everyone gets their "favorite" of the recipe. 

Moms Banana Bread
1/3 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 3/4 cup flour ~ sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed bananas
1/2 cup walnuts ~ optional
1/2 cup chocolate chips ~ optional

Cream shortening and sugar together.  Add in eggs and beat till well mixed.  Sift dry ingredients into cream mixture, Alternating dry ingredients and mashed bananas.  Put into well greased bread pans.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes. Let cool in pans for 2 minutes and then flips pan over on cooling rack and let bread fall on its own.

French Bread Pizza

This is such a fast way to make pizza.  It always works out great with a crowd.  We made these when my sister and her family were in town.  It was quick, simple and yummy!  If making it for just your family, one French Bread Loaf works out great {at least for us, a family of 5}.  You can even make some yummy BBQ Chicken pizzas. Just switch it up and use BBQ sauce, and any seasonings that you want.

French Bread Pizza
1 French Bread Loaf
1 Jar Pizza Sauce
Any desired toppings

Cut French Bread in half, length ways.  Spread as much sauce as you want on each half of loaf.  Then top with desired toppings and cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.  
{Of course if you want to french bread more crispy, cook it a little longer.}

Topping Ideas:
Saute' Onions/Peppers

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Zucchini Bread

This is one of the best zucchini bread recipes that I have had.  It is moist and just has some great flavors to it.  My kids love this bread. We tend to just make them plain, but you can also put nuts and/or chocolate chips in.

Zucchini Bread 
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 1/4 cups white sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup chopped walnuts {Optional}
 Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl. 
In separate bowl, beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini {and nuts} until well combined. Pour batter into 2 greased and floured bread pans. Bake 325 degrees for 40 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. 

Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool.

Pita Pizzas

This are always a hit with kids.  They have so much fun "creating" their own.  My kids can eat a whole one them selves.  It is just like having your own little personal pan pizza. I have a few friends who this is one of the top meals in their house.  Everyone just loves it!

Pita Pizza
6 Pita Breads
6 Tbsp Marinara or Pizza Sauce
2 Tbsp chopped Parsley or 3/4 tsp Dried Parsley
1/3 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
2 Bell Peppers
1 cup sliced Mushrooms
1/2 cup sliced Black Olives
3/4 cup sliced Pepperoni
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella Cheese
{Use any pizza toppings that you like}
Heat over to 450 degrees. Place pitas on a backing sheet. Spread each Pita with 1 tbsp sauce. In a small bowl, combine parsley & parmesan cheese. Divide Parmesan mixture evenly between pitas. Place the sliced bell peppers, mushrooms, olives & pepperoni evenly on top of each pita. Sprinkle with Cheddar & Mozzarella. Bake until cheese is melted, about 10 minutes.

Fiesta Shells & Cheese

I came across this recipe from a fun blog.  It always has cute craft ideas, recipes, etc. When I saw this recipe I immediately thought, "Yum! I have everything."  So we gave it a try and it is better then what I thought.

Fiesta Shells & Cheese
1 pound hamburger 
1 package taco seasoning
1 can Rotel tomatoes with green chilies 
2 cups beef broth 
1 cup shell pasta

Cheese Sauce:
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoon flour
3/4 cup milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Brown and drain hamburger meat. Stir in taco seasoning, tomatoes, beef broth, and macaroni. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat and cover pan. Simmer 12-14 minutes until macaroni is tender.

While this is simmering, start making your from-scratch-cheese-sauce.

Melt butter in a saucepan on medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking for 5 minutes until light brown in color. Whisk in the milk and bring to a boil. Whisk until smooth and thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the shredded cheddar cheese until melted. Add the salt and pepper to the cheese sauce. 

Pour the cheese sauce over the hamburger mixture. Stir gently to combine.

Ham & Cheese Sliders

These are so simple. You can make as many {or little} as you want and the sauce on them is so good.  Not only is it yummy on these sliders, but it is delish on other meat sandwiches.

Ham & Cheese Sliders
24 good white dinner rolls
24 pieces good honey ham
24 small slices Swiss cheese
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup miracle whip

Poppy seed sauce:
1 T poppyseeds
1 1/2 T yellow mustard
1 stick butter, melted
1 T minced onion
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise and miracle whip. Spread onto both sides of the center of each roll. Place a slice of ham and a slice of Swiss inside of each roll. Close rolls and place them into a large baking dish or heavy cookie sheet. Place very close together.

In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the poppy seed sauce ingredients. Pour evenly over all of the sandwiches. Let sit 10 minutes or until butter sets slightly. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Uncover and cook for 2 additional minutes. Serve warm.

Vanilla Rich Chocolate Chip Cookies

I got this recipe out of a magazine years ago.  They are so yummy.  I love how you can totally taste the vanilla and it is good stuff, Real Vanilla.  Makes the cookies "pop" a little.

Vanilla Rich Chocolate Chip Cookies
3 1/4 - 4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cup butter ~ softened
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar ~ packed
2 eggs
4 teaspoon real vanilla
1 package semi-sweet chips

Mix flour, baking soda and salt in medium bowl.  In separate bowl, beat butter and sugars together on medium speed, until light and fluffy.  Add in eggs and vanilla.  Mix well.  Gradually add in flour mixture, on low speed, and mix till well blended. {add in extra flour 1/4 cup at a time, if needed}  Stir in chocolate chips. 

Drop by rounded tablespoons about 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheet. 

Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10  minutes, or until cookies are lightly golden.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Tortellini Primavera

My goodness.  This is by far one of my favorite dishes.  I love the flavors of it all.  Plus it also has really nice colors to it.  Make me always think of fall when it is cooked.  Oh, I enjoy this one.  Hope you all like it!

Tortellini Primavera
1 {14-ounce} can chicken broth
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon dried chives ~ chopped
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 cups {16-ounce} bag frozen mixed vegetables ~ California blend
1 16-ounce package frozen cheese tortellini

Put a large pot of water on to boil.
Meanwhile, whisk broth and flour in a small bowl. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the broth mixture to the pan, bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 3 minutes.
 Remove from the heat and stir in cheese, chives and salt.
Add vegetables and tortellini to the boiling water; return the water to a simmer and cook until the vegetables and tortellini are tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain; add to the pan with the sauce and stir to coat.

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

There are tons of enchilada recipes out there.  This one has been in my family and it is one my husbands favorite dishes that I make.  It also makes a ton, which is great because he loves them as left overs as well.

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas
3-4 chicken breasts ~ boiled and shredded
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 pint sour cream
1 small onion ~ chopped
1 small can diced green chilis ~ mild
1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 packages flour tortillas {burrito size}

Boil chicken till cooked through, let cool and then shredded. Mix cream of chicken soup, sour cream, onion, green chilis and 1/2 cup cheese together. reserve 1/2 cup of cream mixture and set aside.  Add in shredded chicken into remaining cream mixture.  Spoon mixture into flour tortillas.  Fold ends of tortilla in and then roll.  Place into a lightly greased 9x13 baking dish.  Spoon reserved mixture over tops of rolled enchiladas.  Sprinkle rest of cheese over top. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

Yields: 15-20 Enchiladas

Delicious White Bread

I love making bread.  I got this recipe from a friend and thought I would give it a try.  It is great having 2 yummy bread recipes!

Delicious White Bread
1 1/2 cup milk ~ scalded
1/3 cup shortening
2 tablespoons salt
1 1/2 cup cold water
1 1/2 cup warm water
2 tablespoons active dry yeast
5 tablespoons sugar
12 cups flour

Scald milk {in saucepan, on low heat, till milk leaves a film around edges of pan} and add salt and shortening.  Stirring until shortening is melted and salt is fully dissolved. Add cold water.Dissolve yeast in a small bowl with warm water and sugar.  Let rise 5-10 minutes.  Measure flour in a large bowl.  Make a hole in center of flour.  Add yeast mixture and milk mixture.  Mix well.  Knead for 10 minutes, adding a little more flour if necessary. 

Cover and let rise in warm place until dough is doubled in size, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.  Divide into loaf parts and knead each about 2 minutes on a floured surface.  Form into loaves, place in greased bread pans and pork each loaf with a 3 3 times to avoid air bubbles.  Let rise until doubled in size.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. 

Yields: 4-5 large loaves.

Cheesy Corn Chowder

This is one of my favorite soups.  I love it!  We are slowly starting to get some fall weather now and again here.  I love having a bowl of warm soup and a roll.  Nothing better on a cool evening.  Well soup in a bread bowl is, but don't want to over do it too much.

Cheesy Corn Chowder
2 cups water
2 cups potatoes ~ chopped
1/2 cup carrots ~ chopped
1/2 cup celery ~ chopped
1/4 cup onion ~ chopped
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Add all ingredients together and cook till vegetables are tender.

In separate saucepan, combine:
 1/4 cup butter ~ melted
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk

Stir till sauce thickens and then add in:
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 {16 ounce} can of corn

Add sauce into pan with vegetables.  Stir till well mixed.

Fried Tacos

My husband had these growing up, so I have taken the recipe into our home.  They are so yummy.  Plus is makes a nice twist on just the average taco.   These are always a big hit.  Plus it is fun to have a Taco Bar and enjoy some good company.  People love these.

Fried Tacos
1 pound hamburger
1 can refried beans
1 envelope taco seasoning
flour tortiallas {small}
olive oil

sour cream 
verde sauce
Any other toppings desired

Cook hamburger and drain drippings.  Add in taco seasoning.  In separate saucepan, heat up refried beans.  In another skillet, add oil and heat up.  {Enough oil to cover bottom of pan} Spread a little refried beans in tortilla and put a little hamburger. Put tortilla in oil and fry on both sides till toasted. Once all toasted, then add all topping choices and Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Cool Mint Chocolate Cupcakes

I love mint desserts.  Really I enjoy all types of dessert.  The other night, I decided was going to make these to take around to a few new families/couples that moved into our neighborhood and a couple friends.  Once they were all frosted, I took them around.  All were surprised that they were homemade and not from a bakery.  I love when people {in general} think dishes/desserts look beautiful.  There is so much to it all.

Cool Mint Chocolate Cupcakes 
1 box devils food chocolate cake mix
ingredients on box
1/2 package of cool mint oreos ~ crushed

Make cupcakes according to directions on box, add in crushed mint oreos.  Bake as directed and let cool.

Mint Cream Frosting
1/4 cup shortening ~ butter flavored
1/4 cup butter ~ softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablepsoon milk
dash of salt
6-7 drops green food coloring
1/4 teaspoon mint extract

In mixing bowl, combine shortening and butter.  Cream together till well blended.  Add in powdered sugar cup at a time.  Beating well after each addition to make light and fluffy.  Add vanilla, food coloring and milk into cream mixture.  Mix till well blended. Then add mint extract and mix well. Then pipe or spread frosting onto cupcakes.

Chicken Poppy Seed Rice Casserole

I don't know what it is but, I really enjoy the crackers crushed on top of this recipe.  it just adds a great texture and taste to it. I got this recipe from a friend.  You can serve it over noodles, eat it plain or have it on rice.  We personally love it over rice.

Chicken Poppy Seed Rice Casserole 
3-4 chicken breasts ~ cubed and browned in a little butter
2 can cream of chicken soup 
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup butter ~ melted
1 1/2 teaspoons poppy seeds
1 roll ritz crackers ~ crushed

After chicken is cooked through, combine with milk and soup.  Mix well till chicken is covered in sauce. Lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish and pour chicken mixture into dish.  Sprinkle crushed crackers on top of chicken.  Then sprinkle poppy seeds over crackers and top with melted butter.  

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes, till bubbly in center.  
Serve hot over noodles, rice or serve plain.

Pull Apart Bread

This is Heaven. Seriously. We have this every Christmas morning to "snack" on while Egg Cake is baking.  It is just tradition and it is wonderful.  We make it through out the year as well.  It is such a treat to have for breakfast, or a piece during the day or as a after dinner treat. Whatever you want it to be.

Pull Apart Bread
30-32 frozen rolls
1 package butterscotch pudding ~ not instant
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup chopped nuts

In a well greased bundt pan, make 2 layers of the ingredients. {Going in order listed}.  Cover pan with wax paper, sprayed with cooking pray to keep from sticking, and let sit over night. About 4-6 hours.  

Bake at 325 degrees for 40 minutes. Turn bundt pan out on cookie sheet.

Chocolate Cinnamon Bears

A friend and I got together to dip some of these.  I am not a fan of just plain cinnamon bears, but I do enjoy then covered in chocolate.  We split the batch and I took some of mine to a friend to let her know I was thinking of her.  With summer being busy and then school starting up, we hadn't seen or talked in about 2 weeks.  That is SO long for us.

Chocolate Cinnamon Bears
Dipping/Molding chocolate {about 3 squares per bag of bears}
1 bag of Cinnamon Bears 
Wax Paper

Melt chocolate in a double broiler {Small pot of water with larger pot on top}. Once chocolate is melted, let cool for just a couple seconds.  Then add cinnamon bears, stir around and remove covered bears to wax paper.  Let sit till chocolate is hard.

Taco Stuffed Shells

We really like this recipe at our house.  Everyone that this recipe has been pasted to, always says how great it is.  It is very filling.

Taco Stuffed Shells 
1 box pasta shells {Jumbo Shells or Manicotti Shells} ~ cooked 
1 pound hamburger
1 can refried beans
taco seasoning
chives or green onions ~ chopped
shredded cheese

Cooke noodles as directed on box. Drain and let cool. Brown hamburger till done, drain drippings, then add refired beans and taco seasoning. Mix well.  In a 9x13 baking dish, cover bottom with salsa. Then stuff shells with hamburger mix. Lay stuffed noodles in dish.  Top with a little salsa, cheese, chives or green onions. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until heated through.  

More Topping Options:
Sour Cream
Crushed Tortilla Chips

Oreo and Fudge Ice Cream Cake

A good friend of mine made this for my birthday.  Our families got together for a BBQ and she did this.  It is so so so yummy.  Talk about a crowd pleaser.  We all loved it!  She did a great job on it.

Oreo and Fudge Ice Cream Cake
1/2 cup hot fudge ice cream topping ~ warmed
1 tub  {8 oz.} Cool Whip ~ thawed and divided
1 pkg. {3.9 oz.} Jell-O Chocolate Instant Pudding
8   OREO Cookies ~ chopped {about 1 cup}
12 vanilla ice cream sandwiches {she used cookies & cream}
Pour fudge topping into medium bowl. Whisk in 1 cup COOL WHIP. Add dry pudding mix; stir 2 min. Stir in chopped cookies. 
Arrange 4 ice cream sandwiches, side-by-side, on 24-inch-long sheet of foil; top with half the cool whip mixture. Repeat layers. Top with remaining sandwiches. Frost top and sides with remaining cool whip. Bring up foil sides; double fold top and ends to loosely seal packet. 
Freeze 4 hours or until firm.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Breakfast Crescent Roll Ups

This is one recipe that  I am always asked for. it may seem a little weird, but it is very delish! Kids enjoy it and us grown ups do as well.  I have never met a person that doesn't like breakfast for dinner sometimes.  Plus, with the recipe, you can make it for dinner or even for a weekend breakfast one morning. Versatile.

Breakfast Crescent Roll Ups
2 can crescent rolls
8 large eggs ~ scrambled
salt and pepper ~ to taste
8-10 slices bacon ~ cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Line a cookie sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray {this way easier clean up!}
In a skillet, add eggs, salt and pepper. Scramble until just done. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes. Open cans of crescent rolls and roll out dough into a large rectangle {with the long side facing you} and press all of the seams together. Once eggs are cooled, layer evenly over the cresent roll dough. Then sprinkle crumbled bacon and cheese evenly over the scrambled eggs. Carefully roll dough up {like you would cinnamon rolls}.  Place seam side down on the baking sheet.

Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes, or until crescent rolls are golden brown.  Let cool for a couple mins and then cut into desired sized portions. 

Other stuffing options:
Red or Green Saute' Peppers
Saute' Onion
Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

White Cheddar Chicken Pasta

This dish is bursting with tons of flavor.  Every time I make this, my family always says how much they love it.  It is also a dish that takes a little more prep time.  But in the end, very worth every minute! The recipe is cut into 2 parts.  One with the how to prepare the chicken and then one with how to prepare the sauce.

White Cheddar Chicken Pasta
3-4 chicken breasts ~ cut into 1 inch strips or chunks
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tablespoon basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Mix together dry mustard, basil, salt and pepper and sprinkle over chicken pieces. When pan is hot, add chicken and cook until cooked through. Remove to a plate and cover with foil.

Pasta and Sauce:
1 pound rotini or other short cut pasta
2 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoonflour
dash of garlic salt
1 small onion ~ diced
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
2 cups milk 
1 tablespoon oregano
crushed red pepper flakes to taste
parmesan cheese to taste

Heat water to strong boil in a large stock pot for pasta, add salt and pasta and cook to al dente and drain according to directions. Return noodles to pot.

Meanwhile, in large skillet {same skillet used for preparing chicken} combine milk, garlic salt, onions, and mustard over medium heat. Add flour and whisk to combine. Cook about 5 minutes, until onions are translucent. Reduce heat to low. Cook about 5-7 minutes more until mixture begins to thicken. Add chicken to noodles and then add sauce into pot, {pouring over chicken and pasta}  toss to incorporate sauce. Add oregano and serve topped with crushed red pepper flakes and Parmesan cheese.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Fruit & Vegetable Chart

I love this chart! {I snagged a copy of this from a friend awhile back}  It has been very helpful and I can always check to see when certain things are in season and tips on how to pick a good item.  I have used this hundreds of times.  Was it mentioned, that I love it!  This chart doesn't have everything on it, but it has a good amount that is worth copying.  Hope it helps you guys as much as it has me.

Country Crock Pot Chicken and Vegetables

This is a "recipe" that I totally threw together.  I hadn't used my crock pot in awhile, so I decided it was time.  I also wasn't sure what to make for dinner, because I didn't have the energy to do much.  So, while I played a game with my kids, I came up with this!  It was so good.

Country Crock Pot Chicken and Vegetables
3-4 chicken breasts
6 medium potatoes ~ quartered
4 celery ribs ~ cut in small slices 
1 medium onion ~ sliced
1 cup frozen peas
3 tablespoons corn starch 
3 teaspoons dijon mustard
pinch of dry dill
pinch of season salt

Put all fresh cut vegetables in bottom of crock pot.  Place chicken breasts on top of vegetables.  In medium sized mixing bowl, blend together chicken broth, corn starch, mustard and all seasonings.  Once well whisked together, pour over chicken and vegetables. 

Cover crock pot and cook on low for 6 hours.  When done, chicken will just fall apart.

Hawaiian Haystacks

We don't have these very often, but when we do, they are so yummy.  The first time I had these, was when my hubby and I were dating.  His mom made them one night dinner.  They are very delicious. This recipe is what we like to put on them, but you can add or take out whatever you like. This will serve about 8 people.

Hawaiian Haystacks
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 cup chicken broth
2 cups cooked chicken ~ cubed
4 cups cooked rice
1 {9 oz} can chow mein noodles
1-2 tomatoes ~ chopped
1 cup celery ~ chopped
1 cup green peppers ~ chopped
1 cup green onions ~ chopped
1 cup grated cheese
1/2 cup slivered almonds

Blend together soup and chicken broth.  Add cooked chicken and simmer till hot.  On a bed of warm rice and/or chow mein noodles, add chicken gravy and other topping ingredients to taste.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Pudding Chocolate Chip Cookies

My friend said these are her favorite cookies.  So, I decided to add them to the list and give them a try.  They sounded super yummy, just by reading all the ingredients.  These make a ton and my friend totally has a reason for these being her favorite.  They are super yummy!  I think these are now my favorite chocolate chip cookies.

Pudding Chocolate Chip Cookies
4 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/2 cup butter ~ softened
1-1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 (3.4 oz.) packages instant vanilla pudding
4 eggs ~ room temp
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cup of chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir together flour and baking soda in separate bowl and set aside; in a large bowl, cream butter, brown and white sugar. Beat in pudding mix until well blended. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. When smooth, slowly add in the flour mixture. This can take a little while, but make sure it's well incorporated into mix. Finally, add in chocolate chips. 
Line your cookie sheets with parchment paper and bake at 350 degrees for 9-12 minutes. 

Cinnamon Sugar French Toast Bites

These are especially fun for the kids.  They can either eat with them with their fingers and dip them or eat them with a fork.  My hubby and I like them, but they are made more the entertainment of the kids.  Worth trying and keeping in the recipe box.

Cinnamon Sugar French Toast Bites
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
small pinch of salt
1 loaf french bread ~ cut into 1-inch cubes
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

In a large bowl, stir together the sugar and cinnamon {or shake around in large zip lock bag} In a large shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, milk, vanilla, and salt until blended.  Place the bread cubes in the egg mixture and using a large spoon, toss until the cubes are evenly coated. In a large frying pan over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter.  Add half the coated bread cubes and cook, turning often, until golden brown on all sides, about 5-7 minutes.  Transfer the cubes to the bowl {or zip lock bag} holding the cinnamon sugar and toss to coat.  Repeat with the remaining bread cubes and 1 tablespoon butter.

You can serve these with syrup, powdered sugar or leave plain. 

Cinnamon Sugar Cream Cheese Crescents

If ya are not in the mood for chocolate, but are still wanting something sweet.  These are the ticket! I got this in a recipe exchange, never made them, then came across them on pinterest.  So I decided to give them a try.  The recipes were different, so I just picked the one I got through the exchange. They are very rich {to me}, but will satisfy that sweet tooth. {also known as Sopapilla Cheesecake}

Cinnamon Sugar Cream Cheese Crescents
2 cans crescent rolls
2 {8oz} packages cream cheese ~ softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup butter ~ melted
Cinnamon and Sugar ~ to taste

Unroll and spread 1 can crescent roll on bottom of ungreased pan. Cream together softened cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla. Spread mixture over crescent rolls. Unroll and spread the last can crescent rolls over mixture. Spread melted butter over the top and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Amazing Homemade Potato Salad

This is the best Homemade Potato Salad I have ever had.  It is even better if ya make it the day before actually eating it.  Once ya make it, you will never want store bought again.  You will be hooked. This is also one of the recipes that you add things as you want.  There are really no exact measurements for the vegetables in it.

Homemade Potato Salad
11-12 potatoes
1 bushel green onions ~ chopped
red radishes ~ chopped
celery ~ chopped
4-5 hard boiled eggs ~ chopped with yokes added in 
1 1/2 cups mayo 
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
pepper ~ to taste
salt ~ to taste

Boil potatoes whole for about 20-30 minutes.  When done they should be soft enough to poke with fork, but not too soft. Remove from pot and cool completely. {I put mine in the refrigerator} Once fully cooled, peel and cut into bite size pieces.  {When peelings the skin should just peel right off when rubbing or gently scratching}

Add potatoes, eggs and chopped vegetables together in large bowl.  In smaller mixing bowl, mix together mayo, mustard, salt, pepper till well blended.  Pour over potato mixture and use rubber mixing spoon to mix all together.  {Don't want potatoes to get mushed by mixing spoon.}

Chicken Broccoli Rice Supreme

This is different then your usual Chicken & Broccoli Rice Casserole recipe.  I like all the other ones out there that I have had, but I love this one.  It is a little different and just had the perfect textures and flavors in it.

Chicken Broccoli Rice Supreme 
1 bag frozen broccoli
3-4 chicken breast ~ cooked and chunked
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese ~ divided
2 tubes Ritz Crackers ~ crushed
1 stick butter ~ melted
1 tablespoon poppy seeds

1/3 cup butter ~ melted
1/4 cup corn starch ~ dissolved in 1/2 cup cold water
1/3 cup chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (taken from measurement above)

In a greased 9x13 pan, layer broccoli and chicken.  Set pan aside.  in a soucepan, over medium heat, combine butter {melted}, dissolved cornstarch, chicken broth, seasonings, and milk.  Stir well and continue stirring until sauce comes to a light boil and has thickened.  Turn down heat to low and add 1 1/2 cups grated cheese.  Stir until melted.  Pour over broccoli and chicken.  Top with 1 1/2 cups cheese. 

Melt remaining butter and add poppy seeds and stir well.  In a small mixing bowl, dump crushed crackers {Not crushed too small} in and mix with butter and poppy seed mixture.  Mix well and sprinkle crumbs over chicken mixture.  Top with remaining cheese. 

Bake for 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until bubbly.  Bake uncovered. 

Serve over cooked rice {or noodles.} Just make enough to feed family or guests. 
{I usually double the sauce}

Monday, August 22, 2011

Pumpkin Bread

Anyone that grew up with my husband or knows his family ... knows this pumpkin bread.  It is the best one around.  I love love love this recipe.  We have made mini loaves and given them out as neighbor gifts during holidays and everyone raves about how great it is.  I keep all these ingredients on hand, because at any given minute, there will be a want for this bread.  This recipe make 2 large loaves or 6 small loaves. It is also very delightful frozen.

Pumpkin Bread
3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 cups pumpkin
2/3 cup water

Mix together well.  Then sift together and blend into pumpkin mixture ... 

3 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice

Then stir in:

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips. 

Grease loaf pans.  Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center come out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes and then turn pans upside down on cooling rack to release bread.  Let sit till bread drops by itself. 

Unstuffed Pepper Skillet

There are so many different recipes to Stuffed Peppers.  If you like any of those then this will be on the "like list" as well.  It is full of flavor and really good.  I have one child that is not big into peppers, but for some reason she loved them in this recipe.  It throws a little spin on the stuffed peppers.  Totally worth trying!

Unstuffed Pepper Skillet
1 pund ground beef
1/2 onion ~ diced
2 large carrots ~ diced {6 baby carrots}
3 large green peppers ~ cut into chunks
salt and pepper to taste
1 {15 oz} can tomato sauce
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon cumin
2 1/2 cups fully cooked rice
shredded mozzarella cheese

Brown ground beef and onions in large skillet.  Drain drippings and add carrots and green peppers to beef mixture.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 2-3 minutes.  {You want peppers to stay a little crunchy.}

Stir in tomato sauce, water, italian seasoning and cumin.  Bring to a slow boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes. 

Stir in cooked rice, until heated through.  Top with shredded mozzarella cheese. 

{Leftovers are very tasty in a tortilla!}

Chocolate Chip n' Oreo Fudge Brownies

Ok, brace yourself with these.  These are for sure one of the best desserts out there.  My husband LOVES these. When eating these, be sure you have a large glass of milk to go with it.  You can also add a small scoop of ice cream to it to tone down the chocolaty goodness. These brownies are basically 3 amazing treats in one.

Chocolate Chip n' Oreo Fudge Brownies 
1 1/2 rolls of refrigerated cookie dough ~ softened
1 package double stuffed oreo cookies - crushed into big chunks
1 box brownie mix ~ family size
1/4 cup hot fudge

Grease a 9x13 baking dish and spread cookie dough in the bottom of the whole pan.  Add oreo chunk to top of cookie dough.  Make brownie mix according to box directions.  Add hot fudge into brownie mix.  Add brownie batter to top of oreo chunks. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes.  Or until middle of bars are done & toothipick inserted into middle comes out clean. 

Homemade Pizza Roll Ups

These are seriously killer.  They always make a big hit with everyone.  Fun for just the family or make a double batch and have plenty for a little party. {Football game, Birthday, Girls night, Gathering with friends, etc}  These only take about 10 minutes to put together.  Plus, the kids always like helping with them. We always make them the same, but I have friends who have added things to them.  "Experiment" and have fun with them!

Homemade Pizza Roll Ups
2 cans refrigerated pizza crust
garlic salt
italian seasoning
1 cup sliced and chopped pepperoni
1 cup shredded cheese ~ of choice
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
sauce of choice for dipping

Dust a large cutting board or section of counter with flour.  Roll out pizza crust.  Season with garlic salt and italian seasoning to liking.  Top with cheese and meat.  Starting with a short end, roll crust into a tight log.  Slice into about 1" sections.  Place on a a lightly greases baking sheet.  

Bake at 425 degrees for 10-12 minutes.  Dip in sauce of choice. 

Additional Stuffing ideas:
Chopped Peppers
Ground Sausage ~ Cooked
Chopped Jalapenos