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

Monday, August 15, 2011

Chicken Caesar Salad with Pasta

This is a good combination, especially for summer.  It gives the lightness of a salad, but the filling of eating pasta. This recipe is great, because you can make as much or as little as you want.  Whatever is filling to the family. Sorry that there are no exact measurements on the seasonings in the recipe.  I tend to just add whatever I want as much as I want when I make this each time. The recipe below is what I use for my family of 5.  It makes plenty with a some left over.

Chicken Caesar Salad with Pasta 
Romaine Lettuce ~ Chopped {enough for family or guests}
2-3 chicken breasts ~ chopped and cooked
pasta of choice ~ cooked {I usually use penne pasta or bow tie}
about 1/4-1/2 teaspoon basil 
about 1/4 teaspoon italian seasoning
about 1/8 teaspoon sage
some fresh ground pepper
Caesar Salad Dressing
Parmesan Cheese

Cook noodles as directed on package, drain and cool.  Chop lettuce to desired amount. Cook chicken and add basil, italian seasoning, sage and pepper while cooking. Let chicken cool.  Add lettuce, noodles, and chicken together.  Toss till well blended. Add in enough dressing to taste or you can add on the side, so left overs stay crisper. Then top with croutons and cheese.

Brown Sugar Cookies

These are so yummy and super super soft. Plus, the brown butter frosting that goes on top makes them even better! Just a heads up on these ... When they are cooked, they will "uncooked" and that is normal. I made these for a friend the other day, but instead of using the browned butter frosting, I used a store bought vanilla {They weren't as yummy.  Still good, but not the same}

Brown Sugar Cookies
2/3 cup butter ~ softened
1 1/2 cups brown sugar ~ packed
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream 

Blend butter and brown sugar together.  Slowly add in eggs one at a time, blend well.  Add in vanilla.  in separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Add some of flour mixture to butter mixture, alternating with sour cream and mix well.  Once all flour and sour cream is added to sugar mixture, drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto a non-stick or lightly greased baking sheet.  

Bake at 350 degrees for 9-10 minutes.  Remove from sheet to wire rack and cool completely and then frost. 

Brown Butter Frosting
1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk {more if needed}

Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat until it turns golden.  Watch carefully because it happens pretty quick.  Remove from heat and stir in powdered sugar.  Add enough milk, SLOWLY, to make frosting a spreading consistency.

Navajo Tacos

 With all the fairs that are going on and everything.  They have been on my mind.  They smell amazing and look fantastic.  Wanting to make these, I could find my original recipe, so I searched on line and talked to a couple friends.  Here are the ideas of what friends suggested .... Chunks of Frozen Bread Loaves or Flatted Refrigerated Biscuits.  Then one gave an actual recipe for fry bread, but I didn't have time {nor Patience} to wait {dough needs to be chilled for 24 hours ....}  So, I took to the frozen bread loaves and about 3 different recipes and combined them all.  BUT I didn't have loaves, I had frozen rolls .... less dough to thaw! 

Navajo Tacos
1 pound ground beef
1/2 of a small onion ~ chopped
1 can chili beans
1/4 teaspoon oregano
fresh ground pepper ~ to taste
a pinch of red pepper flakes
1-3 Frozen rolls per person {depends on how big you want fry bed}

In large skillet cook beef and onions till no meat longer pink and onions are tender, drain drippings.  Add in oregano and can of chili beans, heat through.  Remove from heat and cover to keep warm. 

In a sepatate pan, add enough oil to cover bottom of pan {enough to fry}.  Smoosh rolls together or flatten rolls out to desired size and fry in oil till cooked, golden brown.  Top cooked fry bread with beef mixture and other desired toppings. 

Topping ideas: 
Green Onions
Chopped Tomato
Sour Cream 
Jalapenos Slices

Sloppy Jo Calzones

These are a fun twist on the normal Sloppy Jo.  Plus, what isn't good wrapped in a warm flaky crust? These are yummy with fresh vegetables, steams vegetables or even a little side of chips.  I have always cooked them in the over, but I got the idea of trying them on the grill next time.  How yummy!

Sloppy Jo Calzones 
1 pound ground beef
1 cup chopped onion 
1 chopped green pepper
1 can black beans ~ rinsed and drained
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 can diced petite tomatoes
2-3 tubes refrigerated crescent rolls
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 can tomato paste
1 envelope sloppy jo mix

In large skillet, cook beef, onion, and pepper over medium heat until meat is no longer pink.  Drain drippings.  Stir in sloppy jo powder mix, tomato paste and black beans, oregano and dice petite tomatoes. Heat through and then remove from heat. 

Separate crescent dough into rectangles {keeping 2 together}.  Be sure to seal perforations. Spoon about a fourth of the meat mixture onto half of every rectangle.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Fold the dough over filling and pinch edges to seal.  Cut little slits in tops of dough. 

Place on an ungreased baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 13-15 minutes, until golden brown.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Quick & Easy Homemade Donuts

I got this idea from a friend.  Seriously best idea ever!  I knew that once I read the "recipe" my kids would love it. And they did!  My nephew and my niece also had a blast doing it. It is so great to have kids in the kitchen.  Makes the more amazing memories. Thanks Camille for the awesome idea!  Now, Pick your favorite toppings and get to work.

{Sorry this picture isn't good.  it is from my phone}

Quick & Easy Homemade Donuts
1 roll refrigerated biscuits
{If wanting more than 8, use more rolls}
oil ~ enough to cover pan bottom and fry biscuits
small circle cookie cutter
desired toppings

Flatten biscuits a little and cut centers out with cutter.  Put in a frying pan with some oil and cook till dough is golden.  Remove from oil and add sugar or cinnamon sugar toppings. Let donuts cool completely if doing frosted sprinkles.  Throw the donut holes in and make some little donut bites.

{If you want to get daring ... Don't cut the center out and fry the whole biscuit.  Then when cooled insert a bismark piping tip in center and fill with pudding or pie filling!}

Toppings we use
Frosting with sprinkles
Powdered Sugar
Cinnamon & Sugar
Frosting with Caramelized Nuts

Chicken Bacon Penne Pasta

This is such a yummy meal.  I didn't add the red pepper flakes during cooking.  Because my kids aren't big on too hot.  So I added is after to mine and my husbands.  You can also add some creole onto it if you prefer that. This dish does great with fresh corn on the cob and some yummy warm biscuits.

Chicken Bacon Penne Pasta
1/2 pound bacon ~ cooked and crumbled
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 pound pasta
1/2 cup heavy cream 
1/4 cup cream cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3-4 grilled and seasoned chicken breasts

Cook pasta as directed on package, Reserving 1/2 cup water when draining. 

Place cream and cream cheese in small sauce pan.  Heat over low heat until cheese is melted and whisk till smooth.  Remove from heat.  Add in parmesan cheese, eggs, garlic powder, red pepper flakes and pepper. Whisk till well blended together. 

Immediately add white sauce to drained pasta.  Toss till noodles are well coated.  {Hot pasta will cook the eggs} stire in bacon and add the reserved water from boiling noodles.  {Adding the water will losen the sauce up a little} Mix till well blended.  Serve topped with chicken. 

{For the chicken, I grill it. If I don't have time or don't want to deal with it, then I put the breasts in a pan with a little olive oil.  Then add in seasonings like dried Basil, a little season salt, some Oregano, etc.}

Best Ever Snicker-Doodles

I got this recipe from my sister in law.  These are seriously the best snickerdoodles!  I am not a fan of them, when they are crunchy.  I love them when they are soft and chewy {but not undercooked}.  Well these are my kind of cookie.  They make a ton.

Best Ever Snicker-Doodles
1 cup butter ~ softened
1 1/2 cup sugar 
2 eggs
2 teaspoon vanilla
2 3/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Cream butter, 1 1/2 cup sugar, eggs and vanilla together.  In seperate bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt together.  Then blend into wet ingredients and add in vinegar.  DO NOT OVER MIX

Shape dough into round balls, about 1 inch diameter.  Mix remaining sugar and cinnamon together in bowl.  Roll balls in cinnamon sugar mixture.  Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.  

Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes. 

{Cookies should be slightly puffy when getting them out and set around edges.}

Monday, August 1, 2011

Mini Apple Pies

These were our Sunday treat last night.  We go to my in laws for Sunday dinner sometimes and I always love taking something to help out with the meal.  For last night, my mother in law asked me to bring dessert and my husband requested these. After church, we gathered up all the ingredients into a bag and headed down.  {These are so amazing ... even more amazing hot from the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!} After dinner, I started to get these made.  These only take about 10 minutes to put together. 

Mini Apple Pies 
1 tube refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
2 large granny smith apples ~ peeled and chopped
3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons sugar

Peel and chop apples.  Add cinnamon and sugar over apples and mix till apples are well coated.  Flatten each biscuit into a 4 inch circle.  Place a couple spoon fulls of apple mixture in the center of each biscuit.  Add a small chunk of butter to the top of apple mixture in each biscuit.  Bring up sides of biscuit to enclose filling and pinch to seal. 

Place in a slightly greased muffin tin.  Bake at 375 degrees for 11-13 minutes or until golden brown.

Bacon Cheeseburger Roll Ups

These are such a yummy roll up.  If ya are every craving a burger, but don't want to go out to get one, these will satisfy the craving.  My family enjoys these.  In fact, I was talking to a couple friends about these, one had had them, the other had never had nor heard of them, but she immediately asked for the recipe because she knew her boys would love them.  These go great with a fresh tossed salad or even some raw veggies.

Bacon Cheeseburger Roll Ups
1 pound ground beef
6 bacon strips ~ cooked and diced
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 package {8 ounce} velveeta cheese ~ cubed
1 tube large refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup yellow mustard

In a large skillet brown ground beef, bacon and onion over medium heat, until meat is no longer pink.  Drain drippings from skillet.  Add in cheese and stir until fully melted.  remove from heat.  

Flatten each biscuit into a 5 inch circle.  Spoon 1/3 cup of beef mixture into each biscuit.  Fold sides and ends over filling and roll up.  Place seam side down on greased baking sheet.

Bake at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown.  In a small bowl, mix ketchup and mustard together and serve as dipping sauce for roll ups.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars

If you like Chocolate and Peanut Butter, this recipe is for you.  It is rich, so make sure to have a glass of milk poured when you enjoy this lovely treat.  This also goes very yummy with vanilla ice cream. With recipe I have everything on hand in my food storage. 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars
1 yellow cake mix
1 cube butter ~ melted
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 eggs
1 {12 ounce} package chocolate chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 tables[oons butter
2 teaspoons vanilla

Combine cake mix, melted butter, peanut butter, and eggs together.  Reserve about 1 1/2 cups of mixture and set aside.  In a greased 9x13 baking dish, press the remaining cake mixture into pan.  Set aside.  In small saucepan, combine chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk and butter.  melt all together on a low heat till creamy.  Remove from heat and add in vanilla.  Stir till mixed.  Pour over cake mixture in 9x13 dish.  Add reserved mixtures to top of chocolate mixture. 
{Will not crumble, just add little chunks all over top, close together}

Bake at 325 degrees for 30-35 minutes.  Let cool completely before cutting into bars.