Friday, April 20, 2012

Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies   
3/4 stick Crisco® Baking Sticks Butter Flavor Shortening
11/4 cup brown sugar ~ packed  
2 tablespoons milk  
1 tablespoon vanilla extract  
1 egg  
1 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt  
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans ~ optional

Combine shortening, brown sugar, milk and vanilla in large bowl. Beat at medium speed of electric mixer until well blended. Beat in egg. Combine flour, salt and baking soda. Mix into shortening mixture until just blended. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.Drop by rounded measuring tablespoonfuls 3 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes for chewy cookies, or 11 to 13 minutes for crisp cookies. Cool 2 minutes on baking sheet on a cooling rack. Remove cookies to rack to cool completely

Berry Delight

Berry Delight 

35 Nilla Wafers ~ finely crushed
1/4 cup sugar
6 tablespoons butter or margarine ~ melted
1 package {8 ounce} cream cheese ~ softened
2 tablespoons cold milk
1{ 8 ounce} col whip ~ thawed and divided
4 cups fresh strawberries, halved
2 packages {3.4 ounce}Jell-O Vanilla Instant Pudding
3-1/2 cups cold milk
Mix wafer crumbs, sugar and butter; press onto bottom of 13x9-inch pan. Refrigerate until ready to use. Beat cream cheese and 2 tablespoons milk in large bowl with whisk until well blended. Stir in half the cool whip; spread over wafer crust. Top with slices berries. Beat pudding mixes and 3-1/2 cups milk with whisk 2 minutes and refrigerate for a couple minutes. Then pour pudding over berries once thickened.Refrigerate for about 4 hours. Spread with remaining cool whipjust before serving. 

French Toast Souffle

French Toast Souffle 
1 bakery loaf of butter crusty bread ~ broken into bite sized pieces
8 ounces cream cheese ~ softened
8 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
2/3 cup half and half cream
1 1/4 cups maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
Place bread cubes in a lightly greased 9x13 baking pan.In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth.  Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Stir in milk, half and half, 1/2 cup of the maple syrup, and vanilla until mixture is smooth.  Pour cream cheese mixture over the bread; cover, and refrigerate overnight. {Or you can refrigerate uncovered for about 5-6 hours}. Remove souffle from refrigerator, and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.  Bake uncovered, at 350 degrees for 50 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  Pour remaining 3/4 cup maple syrup over souffle, and sprinkle with powdered sugar. 

Stuffed Pepper Stew

Stuffed Pepper Stew 
3 cups cooked rice
1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 cup finely diced onion
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 cans {14.5 oz each} petite diced tomatoes
1 3/4 cups tomato sauce
2 cups chicken broth
salt and fresh pepper to taste

In a large pot or skillet brown ground meat on high heat and season with salt. Drain fat , and reduce heat to medium-low, then add in peppers, onions and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes on low heat till peppers are tender.  Then, add tomatoes, tomato sauce, chicken broth, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes. Add cooked rice into stew mixture and serve immediately.

Parmesan & Garlic Noodles

Parmesan & Garlic Noodles 
1/2 pound linguine pasta
2 tablespoons salted butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
 pepper, to taste
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan 

Bring large pot of water up to boil. Sprinkle in a generous amount of salt and stir in pasta. Place linguine back into hot pot and stir in butter, cream, garlic, salt, pepper and cheese until butter and cheese start to melt and create a sauce. Pour in some pasta water to get the sauce to the consistency you want. Taste and adjust seasonings accordingly. Top with cheese if desired.

Chicken Alfredo & Rice Casserole

Chicken Alfredo & Rice Casserole 
1 {10 ounce}Alfredo pasta sauce
1/2 cup milk
2 1/2 cups cooked rice
2 cups cooked chicken ~ cubed or shredded 
1 cup frozen peas
1/3 cup chopped red sweet peppers
1/4 cup slivered almonds ~ optional 
1 tablespoon basil
1 cup bread crumbs
1 tablespoon butter ~ melted

In large bowl combine pasta sauce and milk. Stir in rice, chicken, peas, sweet peppers, nuts, and basil. Transfer to lightly greased baking dish.  Bake at 350 degrees covered, 30 minutes. Uncover and stir. Combine bread crumbs and melted butter; sprinkle atop. Bake uncovered for an additional 20 to 25 minutes more or until heated through and crumbs are golden brown. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Mini Frozen Limeade Pies

We had these for our St. Patrick's Day treat. These are a good summer treat. I love lime, so these are my kind of  dessert. You can make these as is, or make one big pie in a normal pie pan. Either way, your friends, neighbors, family will love it. This is also the graham cracker crust I use anytime I need one. So yummy.

Mini Frozen Limeade Pies
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
4 tablespoons melted butter

Mix cracker crumbs and sugar together till well blended. Add in melted butter and mix till crumbs have "absorbed" the butter moisture. Line cupcake pan with liners and scoop about 1 1/2 tablespoons crumbs into each liner. Press crumbs down to form solid crust. Or press crumbs into a slightly greased pie pan and press down till solid crust is formed. 

1 {8 oz cream} cheese ~ softened
1 {14 oz} can sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup frozen limeade concentrate
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Mix cream cheese in mixer to "fluff" it. Very slowly add in sweetened condensed milk. Continue mixing till smooth. Add in limeade and lemon juice. Continue beating and you can also add in green food coloring to desired shade. Scoop about 1/8-1/4 cup of filling into cupcake liners over crumb crust. Smooth out limeade mixture and freeze for about 1 hour, or until firm. 

1 cup heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

In mixer bowl, whip cream till peaks/stiffens. Add in sugar slowly and then vanilla. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of whip cream over top of each cup, {or whole pie} just before serving. 

Twice Baked Potato Casserole

Be prepared to make this when others are around. It make a ton and is super filling. You can put this with just about any type of main dish. Chicken, Steak, Beef, Pork, or even Fish. You can't go wrong with it. I like twice backed potatoes, but sometimes the process can take a little longer then the time I have. So this is a nice spin on it.

Twice Baked Potato Casserole
5 pounds red potatoes
1/3 - 1/2 cup crumbled bacon 
8 ounces cream cheese ~ softened
1 cup sour cream 
1/4 cup chives ~ minced
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 teaspoon salt
pepper to taste

Peel potatoes {I never peel mine fully, there are always little pieces of skin here and there} and cut into pieces. Boil potatoes till they are tender. Drain and return to previous pot. mash potatoes with either a masher, mixer or fork. Don't mash too much. You want it to be chunky and not as creamy as normal mashed potatoes. 

Add in cream cheese and blend well. Then add in sour cream. Once mixed, add in bacon, chives and 2 cups cheese.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. Dump potatoes into a greased 9x13 baking dish and sprinkle top with remaining cheese. You can also add more chives and bacon to top if you would like {mainly just for looks}

Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes till cheese is melted and potatoes are fully heated through.

Banana Orange Pineapple Slush

Oh.My. This is by far one of my favorite summer treats. It is so refreshing on a warm day. Has the tropical taste to it. Can be eaten completely by it self or even with a little vanilla ice cream mixed into it. Either way, it is amazing. Always pleases the taste buds.

Banana Orange Pineapple Slush 
3 cups water
4 cups mashed ripe bananas
1 cup sugar 
1 {20 oz} can crushed pineapple with juice
1/2 of a 12 oz can of frozen orange juice concentrate ~ thawed 

Mix all ingredients together and freeze in a covered container for about 5 hours of over nights. Remove from freezer 15-20 minutes before serving.

If wanting to make this on a shorter notice/time frame. Put all ingredients into ice cream maker and let it spin! It will be done in about 30 minutes depending on ice cream maker.

Chicken Alfredo Biscuit Casserole

This is a good recipe to have that you can pretty much change it up each time. You can either have as is, serve it with noodles, serve it with rice or even use a refrigerated pie crust instead of many options with it!

Chicken Alfredo Biscuit Casserole
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 jar {16 oz}Alfredo pasta sauce 
1/4 cup milk
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
2 cups frozen broccoli florets ~ thawed
1/4 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1 can refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
1 tablespoon butter ~ melted 
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

In skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Cook mushrooms and onion in butter, stirring occasionally,  until tender. Stir in Alfredo sauce, milk, chicken, broccoli and basil. Cook until mixture is thoroughly heated and bubbly and till chicken if fully cooked, stirring constantly. Spoon into sprayed 8x11 or 9x13 baking dish.

Separate dough and Cut each biscuit in half crosswise. Arrange around edge of baking dish, overlapping slightly. Drizzle biscuits with melted butter; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. 

                                Bake at 375 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown 

Breakfast Pizza

This can go for breakfast or even dinner. You can really add whatever "toppings" you like to it or just keep it simple as the recipe. It is also yummy dipped in a little syrup.

Breakfast Pizza
2 can crescent rolls 
{or frozen rolls ~ thawed and place rolls close together on pan and flatten out with hand}
1 pound sausage of choice
1 cup shredded hash browns
1 cup shredded cheese of choice
4 eggs
1/4 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste

Brown sausage and drain drippings, set aside. On a greased cookie sheet, Unroll crescent rolls from can, but keep them attached together. {Or lay rolls out}. Sprinkle hash browns over top of desired dough. Then in a small mixing bowl,  whisk eggs milk, salt and pepper together. Sprinkle cooked sausage evenly over hash browns. Then pour egg mixture evenly over top of meat. Sprinkle top of pizza with desired shredded cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes, until dough is cooked and browning. 

Other topping ideas:
chopped green pepper
diced onion
chopped red pepper
crumbled bacon 
chopped ham 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Peach Crunch

This is so delightful. It is one dessert that can be enjoyed warm, cold and with or with out ice cream and still be delicious. It is easy to throw together, but tastes like it took so long to put together. You will definitely please the crowd with this one.

Peach Crunch 
29 ounce can sliced peaches in syrup
1 yellow cake mix 
1 stick butter ~ cut into pieces
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts ~ optional 

Layer all ingredients in a sprayed 9x13 baking dish. Starting with peaches. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes. Let stand for about 5 minutes before serving.

Crock Pot Scalloped Potatoes

I like scalloped potatoes, but I don't make them too often. These are a nice way to have them and not have to worry about getting them in the oven on time. These only take about 15 minutes {If that} to prepare and then you can set the crock pot and go on with your day.

Crock Pot Scalloped Potatoes
1 cup sour cream
1 can condensed cream of potato soup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
3 pounds red potatoes
1 1/5 cups shredded cheddar cheese
chives to taste

Thinly slice potatoes and set aside in large bowl. In separate bowl, Mix sour cream, can of soup and worcestershire sauce together.Pour cream mixture over potatoes and mix well till all potatoes are evenly coated.  

Spoon half of potatoes into sprayed crock pot and sprinkle cheese and chives over top. Repeat till potatoes are all used, having top of layers ending with cheese and chives. With 1 batch I get about 2-3 layers. 

Cook on high for 4 1/5 hours or on low for 7 hours. Cook till potatoes are tender.

Two Ingredient Strawberry Cake

This is one of the best ways to make a cake. I have only used this method on Strawberry and Lemon. But give it a try on any other flavor. The cake ends up being so light, fluffy and super moist.  For my daughters 6th birthday, she wanted a Strawberry Cake. But she wanted it to have a Strawberry Cream Filling. So, that is just what I did for the sweet birthday girl. It was a hit and everyone loved it.

Two Ingredient Strawberry Cake 
1 strawberry cake box mix
12 oz diet 7-up

Combine both ingredients together in a bowl. Mix till well blended. Pour batter in desired cake pans that are sprayed with cooking spray. Bake as directed on cake box. Let cake cool completely and frost with desired frosting. 

Strawberry Cream Filling
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
1 jar strawberry jam ~ I used one of my homemade ones, but store bought is just fine. 
make a batch of the Vanilla Buttercream Frosting (below). Divide the frosting in half. In one bowl add in strawberry jam to half of frosting. Mix well. Refrigerate both bowls of frosting for about 30 minutes. Then frost cakes to liking.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
8 tablespoons {1 stick} ~ room temperature
3 3/4 cup powdered sugar ~ sifted
2 tablespoons milk or cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Place butter in large mixing bowl. Beat until light and fluffy, about 30 seconds. Stop mixer and add powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons milk/cream and vanilla extract. Beat frosting on low and slowly increasing speed until frosting is nice and creamy. Add more milk/cream slowly if frosting is too thick.

Spaghetti Sauce

All though homemade spaghetti sauce is by far better than store bought, sometimes store bought is the only option at the time or all that is in food storage. But, don't worry. There are a few little things you can do to "spice" up a simple store bought spaghetti sauce. Here are things that I have done in the past.  Sometimes it even tastes a little like homemade after adding everything.

 A can of diced tomatoes.
Sprinkle in some seasonings that sound good at the time. 
 -Italian Seasoning, Etc.
Some freshly chopped red, yellow, or green peppers.
Thinly sliced zucchini or any other squashes.
Some freshly chopped mushrooms.
Chopped or sliced black olives.

Hopefully that gives you some ideas on things you can add in.  Once you have your extras added to your sauce, be sure to heat it through at a slow and steady temperature. You don't want it to boil and you don't want it to heat so fast it pops everywhere.

Ranch Chicken & Broccoli Foil Dinner

I love Tin Foil Dinners in the summer. We have a fire pit in our back yard and are always roasting marshmallows, tin foil dinners, cooking hot dogs, enjoying woof-ums, etc. But since winter doesn't allow that as much, ya have to do what with ya can. These are so filling and full of flavor.

Ranch Chicken & Broccoli Foil Dinners
1 package chicken-flavored stuffing mix
1 1/4 cup water
4 6-ounce boneless skinless chicken breasts ~ cut into bite size or halved.
4 cups fresh broccoli florets
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
real bacon bits
4 tablespoons ranch dressing
salt & pepper to taste

Spray 4-6 sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil with cooking spray.  Combine stuffing and water. Spoon about 1/4 of the stuffing mixture onto the center of each foil sheet.  Top stuffing in each packet with chicken, season with salt and pepper, then add 1 cup of broccoli. Sprinkle with about 1/4 cup of the cheese and bacon, then drizzle with 1 tablespoon of ranch dressing. Repeat with all packets.

Bring up foil sides and fold to seal, leaving room for heat circulation inside.  Place packets on a cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes, till chicken is fully cooked. Remove packets and let stand 5 minutes.  

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Oven Baked Frito Pie

If ya are in a need of a quick meal that ya can throw together, this is one of those. Left overs are also good in a tortilla wrapped up. {sorry picture got deleted off of camera before uploading to computer}

Oven Baked Frito Pie 
1 pound ground beef
1 can {16 oz.} chili beans 
1 can {8 oz.} tomato sauce
1 can {15 oz.} diced tomatoes
taco seasoning
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3 1/2 cups Frito corn chips
1 1/4 cup sour cream

Cook ground beef until meat is browned, drain drippings. Add chili beans, tomato sauce, taco seasoning and 1/4 cup cheese to cooked ground beef. Mix well. In a greased 9x13 dish, sprinkle about 1 cup of Frito chips on bottom of dish. Cover with meat mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove dish from over and spread sour cream over top of dish. Add remaining chips and cheese to top. Bake for another 5-10 minutes longer. 

Taco Cups

These are a good meal to try. These can be made by recipe or you can modify them to personal liking. They are a different spin on tacos. Plus people think you spent tons of time doing them {Which is not the case}

Taco Cups
1 pound ground beef
1 packet taco seasoning
3/4 cup black beans ~ drained
3/4 cup pinto beans ~ drained
corn tortillas ~ small 
medium queso dip 
chunky salsa
shredded cheese
sour cream for garnish 

Cook ground beef till fully done. Drain drippings and add taco seasoning to meat. Mix till well blended. Add in black and pinto beans. Heat through and set aside. Warm up corn tortillas for about 10 seconds, just so they are more bendable and don't rip. Push 1 tortilla at a time into a lightly greased muffin cup. Put one school full of queso dip in bottom of tortilla. Then top with spoonful of meat mixture. Then add spoonful of salsa and top with a little shredded cheese. Repeat steps to all cups.

Bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes, till tortillas are a little crispy. Once removed from over and getting ready to serve, top with a little sour cream. You can even sprinkle a few chives on top to give a little pop of green.

Fruit Kabobs

Simple, Quick, Yummy and Variety.

My kids love to make these, especially in the summer. We just use a variety of fruits that we like {or have at the time}, give everyone a couple skewers and we all have fun making our own little treat. It is always fun to have them helping and they love that they got to create apart of the meal. You can also use vegetable slices and have a tray with dip on it. Also fun for during the summer. I am pretty sure we all know how to do these.

Fruit Kabobs
Wood Skewers
Variety of fruit

Slide fruit pieces onto skewer in any order and Enjoy!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Mexican Chop Salad

This is so refreshing and light. I love it. It kind of reminds me of a Taco salad, but yet totally different. It is easy and you can just have a bar of salad items lined up and everyone can make their own.

Mexican Chop Salad
lettuce& romaine ~ chopped
2 cups rice ~ cooked in chicken broth
3-4 chicken breasts ~ cooked and cubed. 
1 tomato ~ diced
1 cup corn 
1 cup olives ~ chopped
1 can black beans
1 can pinto beans
2 cups shredded cheese
salad dressing of choice

Season chicken when you cook it. {I cook mine in a little butter with lemon pepper on it} If you are wanting to make one big salad, toss all ingredients together and add chicken to top. If you choose to have it as a salad bar, set our all ingredients and create salad to liking. Top with desired dressing. {Ranch, Salsa, Honey Mustard, etc.}

Bacon, Egg and Biscuit Muffins

What a fun change to breakfast or having breakfast for dinner! My kids enjoy these because they are different and easy. You can also eat these plain or dip them in a little syrup.

Bacon, Egg and Biscuit Muffins
2 refrigerated biscuit rolls
5 eggs
4 tablespoons milk
1/3 cup shredded cheese
6-8 slices of bacon ~ cooked
salt and pepper to taste

Cook bacon, crumble and set aside. Whisk eggs, milk, salt and pepper together. Roll out 1 biscuit at a time until it is slightly bigger than the size of individual muffin tin. Grease muffin tins with cooking spray. Push one biscuit into each cup being sure to it all the way down and against sides. Leave the ridge hanging over edge. sprinkle a little cheese in bottom and then pour a LITTLE egg mixture into biscuit. They will/SHOULD look empty. *Don't pour too much egg in, or it will spill over edges while cooking.* Sprinkle bacon crumbs on top of egg. Repeat steps to all biscuits. 

Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes

Sweet & Salty Caramel Snack Mix

This is such a fun little treat for kids. You can make it to go with really any holiday that have holiday M&M's. Or you can make them with normal M&M's and enjoy all the colors. We made these for a Valentine treat.It does make a ton, so be prepared to share some with family, friends, or neighbors. My girls took a little bag to their church leaders and friends for Valentines.

Sweet & Salty Caramel Snack Mix
6 cups Golden Graham cereal 
1 cup honey roasted peanuts
1 cup salted cashews or macadamia nuts
1/2 cup butter
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup karo syrup 
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups cheerios 
3 cups M&M's of choice

line baking sheet with foil or wax paper and lightly spray with cooking spray. Set pan aside. 

In large bowl, Toss cereals and nuts together and set aside. 

In medium saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar, and karo syrup. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until it begins to boil. Allow sauce to boil for 2-3 minutes and remove from heat. Add in vanilla and stir until well combines. Drizzle sauce evenly over cereal and nuts. Stir quickly and make sure all is even coated. Let sit for a couple seconds. When sauce has a cooled a little, pour in M&M's and toss gently to combine. Spread out on baking sheet and let cool completely.

Ham & Cheese Crescent Rolls

This is one recipe that you will definitely get your hands a little dirty. Totally worth it though. They also take a little longer to prepare then most recipes on here, but don't let that scare you away. Give them a try and you will enjoy them!

Ham & Cheese Crescent Rolls
3 cans Crescent Rolls
Deli Honey Ham
Swiss Cheese slices

Unroll crescent rolls, 1 tube at a time as you use them. Divide the rolls in half leaving two triangles together, making a rectangle. Lightly flour them or counter top and a rolling pin. Flatten rectangles out some. Place on a greased cookie sheet and top each with slice of cheese, then couple pieces of ham and then another slice of cheese. Once filled, roll or fold rectangles up. Bake according to package. Continue till all crescent rolls are filled.

Mexican Pizza

These are so yummy. Very filling, but delicious. The nice thing with this these is, you can really customize them to your own liking. Makes for a fun meal prepping as a family.

Mexican Pizza
1 pound ground beef
taco seasoning
1 package small tortillas
2 tablespoons water
1 {16 oz} refried beans
2/3 cup salsa
2 cups shredded cheese
1/4 cup tomato ~ diced
1/4 cup green onion ~ chopped

Mix together ground beef, taco seasoning and water. In large skillet brown ground beef till fully cooked. Drain drippings. Set ground beef aside. 

Add oil to medium frying pan. Heat and fry tortillas (both sides) for about 30 seconds or until lightly browned. Pop any bubbles that form while frying. Keep tortillas as flat as possible. Remove from pan and set on plate lined with paper towels. 

Warm refried beans. Stack each pizza first by spreading a layer of refried beans, then layer of meat followed by layer of salsa. Now stack another tortilla on top. Layer with cheese and top with tomatoes and green onions. Repeat for all pizzas. 

Place on a baking sheet lined with foil and lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Baked French Toast

This is one thing that all kids will love. My kids think it super yummy. They think it is pretty fun to eat it for dinner but also have it for breakfast as well. You can either eat it plain, with a little syrup or with a powdered sugar glaze drizzled on top. All options taste great!

Baked French Toast
1 loaf sourdough bread
8 eggs
2 cups milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla

Cinnamon Strusel Topping
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar ~ packed
1 teaspoon cinnamon {I always add just a little more}
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter ~ cold and cut into pieces

Grease a 9x13 baking dish and tare bread into bite sized chunks. place bread chunks evenly in greased pan. Mix together eggs, milk, cream, sugar and vanilla. Pour evenly over bread chunks. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight. 

In medium mixing bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt together. Mix till well blended. Cut in butter with fork or pastry blender and blend till well crumbly. Cover and refrigerate as well. When ready to bake, sprinkle strusel topping evenly over top of bread chunks. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 1 hour to1 hour 15 minutes.

Chocolate Marshmallow Cookies

These are such a fun cookie. Totally different from other cookies out there. My girls wanted to make these for a  friend who was having his birthday. So, we whipped them up and took some over and sang Happy Birthday to him. He thought they were the best cookies. They are very rich, but they sure are yummy.

Chocolate Marshmallow Cookies
1 chocolate cake mix
1/2 cup shortening butter-flavored
2 eggs
12-18 large marshmallows ~ cut in half

In a large mixing bowl combine cake mix, eggs and shortening.  Mix till well combines. Drop batter by the tablespoon onto a non-greased baking sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until cookies appear done, but centers are still soft. 

While cookies are baking, cut marshmallows in half. When cookies have baked for the 8-10 minutes, remove pan from oven and place a marshmallow half on top of each cookies. Press down gently.. Return pan to over and back for 2-3- more minutes. Till marshmallows are puffy. Remove pan and let cookies sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes. Right after pulling from over, press marshmallows down a little to flatten them. Repeat precess to all cookies and marshmallows. 

When cookies are fully cooled, frost with Chocolate Cream Frosting.

Chocolate Cream Frosting
1/2 cup butter ~ melted
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup evaporated milk
1 1/2 pounds powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Mix till well blended. Slowly add in melted butter, vanilla, and evaporated milk. Beat on medium high till smooth, light and fluffy. Add more powdered sugar if necessary. Add frosting to piping back or frost with knife.

Marshmallow Fruit Dip

This is one fruit dip that people love. It is so yummy with fruit and secretly, it is yummy plain. It can be a little addicting at times too. So quick.

Marshmallow Fruit Dip
1 small jar marshmallow cream
1 block cream cheese ~ softened
1/2 cup - 1 cup powdered sugar

In a small to medium mixing bowl, mash up softened cream cheese. Then add in marshmallow cream and blend that together. Once it is lump free, slowly add in powdered sugar small amount at a time. blend together till smooth. Put in serving dish and refrigerate till ready to use.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Chicken Tortellini Soup

Over the weekend, we had my sister and her family visiting. It was great to see them. Friday night dinner had to feed us all. So, with is being a little chilly at night and I wanted to do something simple. I had come up with this recipe in the past, and decided to make this soup again. It was perfect! Everyone enjoyed and it was a fun evening at home with family.

Chicken Tortellini Soup 
2-4 chicken breasts ~ cut in bite sized pieces
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups water
1 small package cheese tortellini
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon oregano
black pepper to taste
paremsan cheese
1/2 cup onion ~ chopped
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup frozen corn 
1 cup carrots ~ chopped

Chowder Blend:
1/4 cup butter ~ melted
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk

Cook chicken chunks in 1 tablespoon butter.  Cook till fully done. Set chicken aside. In saucepan or soup pot, Boil 2 cups water and add in carrots and onion, Cook till tender. Also add in salt, basil, oregano, and pepper. Then add in tortellini, peas and corn. Cook till tortellini is done. Remove from heat. In separate saucepan, combine melted butter, flour and milk. Slowly bring to a boil and boil till it thickens a little. Constantly Stirring. 
Once chowder blend has thickened, add into soup pot with veggies. Add in chicken, and mix well. You can either add cheese to whole pot or to individual bowls. Add cheese to desired amount.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Cheese & Herb Drop Biscuits

These biscuits seriously taste a little like Red Lobster Biscuits.  But they are better! My family makes these disappear when I make these. They are even good reheated the next day. {of course if there are any left.}Sorry for the picture. It is from my phone.

Cheese & Herb Drop Biscuits
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons shortening
3 tablespoons butter, cold
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/4-2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese {depends on how much cheese you want}

Buttery Topping:
3 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
pinch of salt
In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, garlic powder and salt. Cut in shortening and butter until coarse crumbs are formed. Lightly mix grated cheese in. Mix in buttermilk just until moist. DO NOT OVER MIX {dry spots here and there are ok}. Drop the biscuits onto a greased or lined baking sheet.  Bake at 425 degrees for 12-14 minutes, until browned and golden. While biscuits are baking, in a small bowl combine butter, parsley, garlic powder and salt. Right when the biscuits come out of the oven, brush the butter/herb mixture over the biscuits evenly

Banana-Sour Cream Cake

Thinking about this cake, kind of makes me want a piece. It is super moist. It is like banana bread turned into cake. So delicious. The chopped walnuts are totally for looks. You can either forgo all of them or just sprinkle them on the top or on each individual piece.

Banana-Sour Cream Cake
1 package {2-layer size} yellow cake mix
1 cup mashed ripe bananas {about 3}
1 cup sour cream
3 eggs
1/4 cup oil
1 pkg. {8 oz.} cream cheese ~ softened
1/2 cup butter ~softened
1 pkg. {16 oz.} powdered sugar
1 cup finely chopped walnuts ~ optional

Beat cake mix, mashed bananas, sour cream, eggs, and oil with mixer on low speed just until moistened, stopping frequently to scrape bottom and side of bowl. Beat on medium speed 2 min. Pour into greased and floured 13x9-inch pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 min. or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely. 

Beat cream cheese and butter with mixer until well blended. Gradually beat in sugar.

Remove cake from pan. Carefully cut cake crosswise in half using serrated knife. Place 1 cake half, top-side down, on plate; spread with some of the frosting. Top with remaining cake half, top-side up. Spread top and sides with remaining frosting. Press nuts into sides. Keep refrigerated.

Cookies & Cream Dream Cupcakes

If ya are a chocolate fan, This is the cupcake for you. I usually love chocolate, but with this pregnancy ... I am not a fan of it. But family & friends sure enjoyed these. For garnish on cupcakes I did 2 things - Sprinkle crushed cookies on top or place a mini Oreo cookie in frosting. Both look great!

Cookies and Cream Dream Cupcakes
1 box chocolate cake mix
1 cup sour cream
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
18-24 whole oreo cookies
12 oreo cookies ~ crumbled and set aside {For frosting}

Mix together cake mix, sour cream, eggs, and vanilla.  Place a spoonful of batter in bottom of cupcake liners. Add cookie to each liner.  Make sure it is lying flat and pressed down just a little. Cover all cookies with remaining cupcake batter. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes. Allow cupcakes to cool slightly and remove to cooling rack to cool completely.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
8 tablespoons {1 stick} ~ room temperature
3 3/4 cup powdered sugar ~ sifted
3-4 tablepsoons milk or cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
12 crushed oreo cookies

Place butter in large mixing bowl. Beat until light and fluffy, about 30 seconds. Stop mixer and add powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons milk/cream and vanilla extract. Beat frosting on low and slowly increasing speed until frosting is nice and creamy. Add remaining milk/cream if frosting is too thick. Add crushed cookies to frosting. Fold in with mixing spoon and then frost cupcakes.

I'm Back!

So sorry for the HUGE lack of posts lately. Not going to get into too many details, but wanted to let all of you know that the posts will be coming again! 

During that holidays it got extremely crazy and busy. Lots of time was spent (and still is, which I am glad) devoted to helping family with somethings that happened. I am so glad that both sides of the family are close and strong. Very grateful for our families family! We also, have a little cute little bundle of joy that is joining my family this spring. So, that has played a part as well. 

Enjoy the recipes and posts that are coming!

Chicken Dijon in Pastry Shells

This in one recipe that my husband loves. It is very simple, some what quick and different from a lot of recipes out there. We always double it for our family. The recipe posted is for a normal serving. We usually eat these with some type of fresh fruit.

Chicken Dijon in Pastry Shells
1 package {10 oz} frozen Puff Pastry Shells
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 pound {about 3 large} skinless, boneless chicken breasts ~ but into bite sized pieces
1 1/2 cups broccoli flowerets
1 1/2 cups sliced muchrooms
1 can cream of chicken & broccoli soup
1/4 cup milk 
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Prepare pastry shells according to package directions. Meanwhile, in skillet over medium-high heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter/margarine and cook chicken until fully done.  Remove and set aside. In same skillet, melt remaining butter/margarine and cook broccoli and mushrooms till tender and liquid is evaporated.  Stir often. Then add in soup, milk and mustard.  Mix well and heat to a light boil.  Add chicken back into skillet and heat through. Pull centers of pastry shells out. Spoon chicken mixture into center of shells. Add as much mixture as desired.