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!