Thursday, June 30, 2011

Ham n' Cheese Calzones

My kinds like to help with making these.  The night things about these, is you can really use any type of deli sliced meat that you prefer.  We just did ham because well, we all like ham! They go together pretty quick and easy.  Just be sure you don't over stuff or get it too close to edge. Don't want it to cook out on ya.

Ham n' Cheese Calzones
2 cans refrigerated pizza crust
20 slices shaved deli meat ~ meat of choice
2 cups shredded colby & monterey jack cheese
1/2 cup ranch dressing
1-2 tomatoes ~ cut into thin slices

Unroll pizza dough on a lightly floured surface.  Pat out dough to form a 16x12 rectangle.  Cut into quarters.  Top dough with ham, with in 1/2 inch of sides.  In a small mixing bowl, mix cheese and ranch dressing together, spread on top of ham.  Top with tomatoes. Fold each rectangle in half.  Seal edges with fork, pinching together.  Put on baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.  

Bake at 400 degrees for 16-18 minutes, or until dough is golden brown.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Island Pancakes

I got this from my sister in law and oh my ..... they are divine!  These are by far my favorite pancake.  A little unhealthy, yeah I know.  But oh so good.

Island Pancakes
Pancake batter
Chocolate Chips
Shredded Coconut
Chopped nuts ~ of choice

Make pancake mix as directed on box or to your liking.  Add in chocolate chips, coconut and chopped nuts. Cook pancakes as directed and serve with warm syrup. 

{I make mine a little thicker then normal.  They are way yummy that way.}

Potato Bites

As we all know, Yesterday was Father's Day.  So what does that mean .... Recognize all the amazing fathers in our lives and spoil the father's in our home. That is just what we did.  We called my dad, father in law, and all grandpas to wish them an Amazing Father's Day.  We had a full day. My hubby woke up to Pancakes, we got ready for church, came home and had a delicious dinner, opened gifts, went for a walk and ended the day with dessert!  What is better than that? Because it was a day all about dad, he got to pick the meal.  So for dinner we enjoy Steak, Watermelon, fresh Broccoli and Cauliflower steamed, Rolls, and Potato bites.

Potato Bites
4-5 medium potatoes ~ cut into bite sized pieces
Seasonings to liking
{Italian, Oregano, Basil, Onion, Garlic, Season Salt, etc.}
Vegetable Oil

Pour oil into frying pan.  Enough to cover bottom of pan.  Heat oil up and then in cut potatoes.  Then add in seasonings and mix.  Cook till potatoes are tender.  About 7-10 minutes.

Caesar Chicken Wraps

{Same as previous picture} These are so simple.  A perfect dish for summer.  The only cooking that is needed it for the chicken.  I never measure or record what seasonings I put on cut chicken when I am doing stuff like this.  I just grab seasonings that sound good to me at the moment and go for it! Plus, this is another great dish for those nights of "I'm too tired to even think of cooking."

Caesar Chicken Wraps 
3 chicken breasts ~ cut into strips
caesar salad dressing
parmesan cheese

Season chicken to liking and cook/grill.  If you are cooking inside, cut into strips, if you are grilled obviously cut after cooked. Cut lettuce and romaine {enough to feed everyone}.  Add in dressing and parmesan cheese and mix well.  Put a little salad into tortilla and add in a couple chicken strips.  Roll up and cut in half.

{Variation: if you don't want to be left with left over mixed salad, just make everything the same, but do not add dressing.  Dip wrap in dressing instead.}

Snicker Salad

Such a fun and yummy summer salad.  It has so many different textures and flavors that all compliment each other.  It is great! There are so many different fruits you can put into this to give it your own spin.  I even throw some mandarin oranges in mine at times.  I have a cousin that got the recipe from me and she adds bananas and strawberries. If you like fruit and snickers candy bars ... you will love this.

Snicker Salad
5 granny smith apples ~ cut into bite sized pieces
12 oz. cool whip
1 large can crushed pineapple ~ drained
6-7 regular sized snicker bars ~ chopped into bite sized pieces
1/2-1/4 cup peanuts

Mix all ingredients together.  Add peanuts just before serving. {If salad isn't going to get finished, serve peanuts on the side.  The go soggy sitting in left overs}

Orange Julius

This is a Saturday favorite.  We always have a big breakfast on the weekends.  During the week it is just either cereal, toast, oatmeal/malto-meal, etc. My kids love this.  It is interesting that so many people love this, and don't know how to make it.  So for all of you that are in search, here ya go! {I have also make this with cranberry and grape when I have been pregnant and craving it}

Orange Julius
1/2 can of frozen orange juice
1 cup water
1 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
ice cubes ~ depends on how thick/creamy you want it

Blend ice cubes up till they are "chopped" to desired size.  Add in all rest of ingredients an blend together till well mixed.  Pour into glasses and enjoy!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Waffle Cake

I got this idea from a friend, so we decided to give it a try ourselves.  It was a huge hit.  We shared some with neighbors on the street along with my sister and her family who were in town. Everyone thought it was the neatest thing. It was a great, quick, light dessert.  For our topping options we had ice cream, hot fudge, variety of fruits, whip cream and nuts to put on top.  It was very yummy.  Thanks Kait!

Waffle Cake
1 box cake mix ~ flavor of choice
{or feel free to make from scratch}
Toppings of choice
Waffle Iron

Make batter according to box directions or recipe of choice.  Heat up your waffle iron & fill, like you would with making waffles.  Bake cake batter for about 3 minutes.  Take waffle cakes out and top with desired toppings.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Oriental Chicken Bow Tie Pasta

Last night I had a Relief Society activity for my church.  It was a fun gathering and always good to visit with friends. We all brought a fun summer salad to share.  All the salads were really good.  Such a variety of them.  It was great.  I took this salad to share and a few of the sisters kept saying how great it was.  I am glad it was enjoyed by everyone. I love the flavors that there are, but also the variety of colors that just pop in it. This makes a ton, so be sure to have friends, family or neighbors around to share it with!

Oriental Chicken Bow Tie Pasta
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 bottle teriyaki sauce {approx. 6 - 7oz.}
2/3 cup white wine vinegar
6 Tbsp sugar
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper

16 oz. bow tie pasta ~ cooked
1 {10 oz.} bag spinach
16 oz. Craisins
3 {11 oz.} cans of Mandarin oranges ~ drained
2 {8 oz.} cans of water chestnuts ~ drained
½ c. cilantro {optional}
1 bunch green onions
¼ cup sesame seeds ~ toasted
6 oz. honey roasted peanuts or almonds
2 cups cooked chicken ~ cut into small pieces or shredded

Mix together and chill for two hours.

If making the night before mix the dressing with the cooked noodles and chicken and chill covered overnight.  The noodles will soak up a bit of the dressing so if you add more noodles to stretch the recipe you might want to double the dressing recipe.  Mix remaining ingredients just before serving.

Double Chocolate Twix Cookies

My friend Nat makes the most yummy double chocolate cookies.  I was totally wanting them the other night, so I snagged the recipe from her.  But, I also wanted caramel as well. Needless to say, I went down to my trusty food storage, Pulled out a cake mix and a bag of bite sized candy bars. The perfect combination of chocolate and caramel. You can really add in any type of "goodies" that you want. 

Double Chocolate Twix Cookies
1 devils food chocolate cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1/2 cup goodies of choice 
{chocolate chips, nuts, chopped cookies, chopped candy, etc.}

Mix together cake mix, eggs and oil.  Add in desired goodies and mix.  Roll batter into rounded tablepsoon balls and bake on ungreased cookies sheet. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.  Let cook for 3-5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes

Oh.My.Delicious! These taste just like the cookie.  We had a faculty BBQ for my husbands work last night.  We were asked and assigned to bring a dessert.  After a few days of narrowing down the options list, we took these cupcakes and they were seriously gone with in seconds.  Good thing we left a few at home!  People were shocked that they were home made and that I didn't go to culinary school.  {I will admit it did cross my mind multiple times before I had kids.} I had a few of the administrators say to me "There is no hiring out desserts, We are just having Mrs. Berry make them from now on."  The new faculty is amazing!  We are so lucky to have such great people around. We will miss everyone from the old school, but are excited about the new one!

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes 
Cinnamon Sugar Cream Filling & Cream Cheese Frosting

1 1/2 cups butter ~ room temperature
2 1/2 cups sugar
5 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon no-color almond extract
3 cups flour
3 /4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk

In large mixer bowl, cream butter and sugar together till light and fluffy. Add in eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in vanilla and almond extract.  In separate bowl mix flour, baking powder and salt together. Add half of flour mixture into batter and mix well.  Add 1/2 cup milk to batter and mix well.  Add rest of flour mixture into batter and mix well.  Add rest of milk into mixture and mix well.  Pour batter into prepared cupcake pans/cupcake liners. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool for 10 minutes in pan on cooling racks.  Then remove and cool completely before filling and decorating. 

Cinnamon and Sugar Cream Filling:
1 package {8 oz.} cream cheese ~ softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup milk

In large mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar, cinnamon and milk together. Beat until well blended and not lumpy.  Refrigerate until ready to use. Fill cupcakes and refrigerate cupcakes till served. 

{If you don't have a Bismarck Tip for filling pastries, cut out small portion of center, about size of quarter, set "tops" next to cupcake.  Spoon filling into centers and add tops back onto cupcakes}.

Cream Cheese Frosting: 
8 oz block cream cheese ~ softened
1/2 cup butter ~ softened
3 3/4 - 4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Beat cream cheese and butter together until smooth and light.  Add in powdered sugar and vanilla.  Blend all together. Frost cupcakes, sprinkle tops with cinnamon sugar blend and refrigerate. 

Homemade Chicken Nuggets

My kids love when we get to have these for dinner.  They will eat restaraunt nuggets, but these ... these they eat a ton of. Plus with these, you can add whatever seasonings you want to them.  Make them your own!

Homemade Chicken Nuggets
4 skinless bonelss chicken breats ~ cut into chunks or strips 
1 - 1 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon italian seasoning
1 tablespoon oregano 
1 teaspoon season salt {or us 1/2 teaspoon creole seasoning}
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 vegetable oil ~ more if needed

Dip options:
Honey Mustard
Fry sauce

Mix flour and all seasonings together.  Cut thawed chicken breats into chunks or strips, which ever you desire.  Add chicken to flour mixutre and mix till chicken is well coated with flour. Once oil is well heated, add chicken pieces.{check readiness of oil by getting fingertips a little wet, and sprinkle over oil.  If oil starts to pop, it is ready to fry!}  Fry chicken for about 2-3 minutes and rotate till chicken is cooked through. If over cooked, batter will be a deep golden color and chicken will be really dry. Remove chicken from oil and place on a plate lined with paper towels or napkins {this way it soaks up any "extra" oil from chicken}

Pizza Pasta

This "recipe" was an experiment.  It actually turned out really good.  We all loved it!  Lots of flavor in it. After I made this, we thought of some add ins that would have been great.  I guess that is what ya get, when ya fly by the seat of your pants with a recipe. One thing with cooking, don't be afraid of throwing in a little spice or herb that you like sometimes. Even if the recipe doesn't call for it.  I do that so much and it always seems to make the recipe even better.

Pizza Pasta
1 package {16 oz} shell macaroni ~ uncooked
4 eggs
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 can {26.5 oz} spaghetti sauce ~ flavor of choice
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
sliced pepperonis

Spray a 9x13 baking dish and set aside.  Cook noodles according to directions on package. Drain and set aside. In large mixing bowl, beat eggs lightly.  Add in parmesan cheese and pepper.  Mix well.  Stir in noodles to egg mixture.  Once noodles are well covered with egg mixture, pour into 9x13 dish.  Pour pasta sauce over top of noodles ~ Do Not Mix.  Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over top and add pepperoni slices.  

Bake at 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes, or until cheese is melted and lightly golden.

{Extras that we thought of later}
Saute Onions
Fresh diced tomatoes
Chopped Green Peppers
Ground Sausage

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Picking a Watermelon

Now that Watermelon is in season, I am sure we are all out trying to pick the best one.  Here are a few tips on how to pick a juicy ripe one.

-Look for a melon that is nice looking, meaning free of dents, bruises, cuts, etc.
-Check under the melon - if it has a yellow or light bottom, it should be ripe. If it's stripes are found all around the melon, pass on it. It's just not ready yet.
-Some of you may see people at the grocery stores tapping on  the watermelons. Some may be thinking "What exactly are they listening for?" The are checking for signs of hollowness. If it sounds hollow, its ripe. Not hollow, unripe.
-Look for a heavy melon. Watermelons are made up of mostly water, so an ideal melon should be heavy for its size.
-Seeded watermelon usually has more flavor then seedless. {But both are still yummy}

M&M Cookie Dough Brownies

Who doesn't enjoy a little cookie dough while baking some cookies?  And who doesn't enjoy some yummy fudge brownies?  Well combine those two together and create a fun dessert!  These are very very rich, but oh they are so good. There are 2 ways you can make this .... Make from scratch or cheat a little and make boxed brownies.  Either one is very yummy.

M&M Cookie Dough Brownies
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup butter, at room temperature
2 cups light brown sugar, packed
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour

Egg Free Cookie Dough:
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
3 Tablespoons milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups mini M&M's

If making with a boxed brownie mix, Make brownies as directed on package.  

If make brownies from scratch, In a medium glass bowl, melt chocolate in the microwave in short bursts of 30 seconds; stir after each burst and remove from microwave when melted and smooth. Set aside to cool slightly. In a large mixing bowl, mix butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer. Beat in eggs and vanilla extract. Mix in melted chocolate. Blend in flour and mix just until combined.  Spread batter into a sprayed 9x13 pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 25 to 35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let brownies cool completely. 

Preparing egg free cookie dough: In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to combine butter, brown sugar and white sugar. Mix in milk and vanilla. Mix in flour just until combined. Stir in mini M&M's. 
Spread cookie dough over the cooled brownies. Refrigerate until the dough is quite firm. {The firmer the dough, the easier it will be to cut into neat squares.}

Double Fudge Cupcakes

I am a big birthday person.  When it is your birthday you get the whole week to celebrate.  So for my hubby's birthday week, we made home these cupcakes.  They are truly for those chocolate lovers out there.  People from his work couldn't believe that they were home made.  They all thought they were ordered and bought from a bakery.  Very flattering.

Double Chocolate Cupcakes
1 chocolate cake mix
3 eggs
1 cup heavy whipping cream {or half and half}
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips ~ melted
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Mix together cake, eggs and cream.  When well blended, fold him melted chocolate chips and regular chocolate chips.  

Pour batter into cupcake liners.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes, or until cake springs back when lightly touched.  Let cupcake cool completely. 

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz block cream cheese ~ softened
1/2 cup butter ~ softened
3 3/4 - 4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
about 2 tablespoons cocoa powder

Beat cream cheese and butter together until smooth and light.  Add in powdered sugar and vanilla.  Blend all together.  Add in cocoa powder and mix till frosting it fluffy.  Frost cupcakes and refrigerate. 

Chicken Quesadillas

We had such a crazy and busy day this past week.  So crazy that it didn't seem like there was enough time to stop and fix dinner, but I found it.  I threw these together and luckily they are always a hit at our house.  One tip with these is, the crispier the better.

Chicken Quesadillas
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 1/2 cups shredded chicken
8 flour tortillas (small 8 inch ones)

Mix the soup, chili powder, cheese and chicken all together.  Top half of each tortilla with about 1/4 cup of soup mixture.  Spread within 1/2 inch of edge.  Moisten edges of tortillas with a little water.  Fold over and press edges together.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes or till a little crispy.