Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Butternut Squash Fries

From: Here

Ingredients:
1 2-lb butternut squash, halved, peeled and seeded
salt

Preheat oven to 425. Peel the squash. Cut the squash into sticks like French fries, making sure it's seeded. Arrange on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 20 minutes, turning halfway through baking. They are done with they are browning on the edges and crispy.


What I did differently from the recipe:
I drizzled them with a bit of olive oil, and then used Kosher salt and pepper on them. I also baked them in a 375 degree oven for about 30 minutes (I was cooking something else at the same time) and then broiled them about 2 minutes to get them crispy.

What I'll do differently next time:
Nothing.

Verdict:

Thumbs UP! Mmmm, so good!! I only made one squash because I wasn't sure if we'd like them. When the whole plate was gone, Brianna was saying, "More fries??", Hunter was grunting, "Mmm! Mmm!" (i.e. "Feed me more!") and I was wishing I had another butternut squash sitting around. Yummy side dish that I'll be making more of in the future!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Butternut Squash Soup

From: Here

Ingredients:
1 2-3 lb butternut squash, peeled and seeded
2 Tbsp butter
1 medium onion, chopped
6 cups chicken stock
Nutmeg
Salt and pepper

Cut squash into 1-inch chunks. In large pot melt butter. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add squash and stock. Bring to a simmer and cook until squash is tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove squash chunks with slotted spoon and place in a blender and puree. Return blended squash to pot. Stir and season with nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Serve.

What I did differently from the recipe:
Nothing.

What I'll do differently next time:
Nothing.

Verdict:
Thumbs up! Butternut squash is very sweet so this is a great sweet soup. Great when served just with crackers. Sorry no pictures but trust me, this is a great fall soup to try! And so easy!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Pumpkin Roll

From: Southern Living

Ingredients:
Vegetable cooking spray
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2/3 cup canned unsweetened pumpkin
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, divided
2 3-oz packages cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Garnishes: powdered sugar, chocolate coated pecan halves

Coat bottom and sides of a 15x10-inch jelly-roll pan with cooking spray, and line with wax paper. Coat wax paper with cooking spray; set aside. Beat eggs at medium speed with an electric mixer 5 minutes or until thick and lemon-colored; gradually add granulated sugar, beating until well combined. Combine flour and next 6 ingredients. Gradually add to egg mixture, beating well. Combine pumpkin, pecans, and 1 teaspoon lemon juice, and gradually add to mixture, beating well. Spread batter evenly into prepared pan.

Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Sift 1/2 cup powdered sugar in a 15x10-inch rectangle on a clean, dry dish towel. Run a knife around edges of pan to loosen cake, and turn cake out onto prepared towel. Peel wax paper off cake. Starting at narrow end, roll up cake and towel together; place, seam side down, on a wire rack to cool completely.

Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add remaining 1 cup powdered sugar, beating until smooth. Stir in vanilla and 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Unroll cake; remove towel. Spread cream cheese mixture on cake, leaving a 1-inch border around edges.


Re-roll cake without towel, and place, seam side down, on a serving platter. Cover and chill at least 3 hours. Garnish, if desired.


What I did differently from the recipe:
I used my own pumpkin puree and left out the nuts. I ran out of wax paper so I used nonstick aluminum foil and it worked perfectly.

What I'll do differently next time:
Nothing.

Verdict:
Thumbs up! I always wondered why I saved this recipe to try many years ago. Now I'm so glad I did. What a yummy recipe, and perfect for fall get-togethers! Although there are many ingredients it's probably mostly stuff you already have in your pantry. The only thing I needed to buy was the cream cheese and that was less than $2.00. Lots of steps to this recipe but nothing difficult. I highly recommend this yummy dessert/breakfast to anyone!!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

French Toast - Overnight Baked

From: My friend Portia

Ingredients:
1 1/2 c. firmly packed brown sugar
¾ c. melted butter
¼ c. + 2 TBS. light corn syrup
French bread loaf, appx. 17” long (cut into 15 – 1.5” slices)
4 large eggs
2 1/2 c. milk
1 TBS. vanilla extract
½ tsp. salt
5 TBS. sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 c. butter melted (for topping)

Stir together 1st three ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly approximately 5 minutes or until very bubbly. Pour mixture into a greased 9 x 13 baking dish. Immediately arrange 10 bread slices over mixture. Whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla & salt, gradually pour over bread slices. Cover & refrigerate at least 8 hours. Stir together sugar & cinnamon, sprinkle evenly over bread. Drizzle ¼ c. melted butter on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until golden & bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes & serve.


What I did differently from the recipe:
I just used regular bread instead of french loaf bread.

What I'll do differently next time:
Not sure...

Verdict:
Neutral. I have to say, the tops were delicious. We love french toast. But there was like an inch of liquid on the bottom that never evaporated, so by the time the bread had soaked for 8 hours and then cooked for almost another hour, the bread was just mushy on the bottom layer. We like our french toast crispy, so this wasn't very appetizing to us. Not sure how I can fix this issue, or if I can. It might just be that some people like mushy french toast! Feel free to test this recipe and figure out the liquid part - like I said, the top part was very tasty!!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Nacho Potato Soup

From: Taste of Home

Ingredients:
1 package au gratin potatoes
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 can diced tomatoes and green chilies, undrained
2 cups water
2 cups milk
2 cups cubed process American cheese
Dash hot pepper sauce, optional
Minced fresh parsley, optional

In a 3-quart saucepan, combine the contents of the potato package, corn, tomatoes and water; mix well. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15-18 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Add milk, cheese, and hot pepper sauce if desired; cook and stir until the cheese is melted. Garnish with parsley if desired.

What I did differently from the recipe:
I couldn't find cubed process American cheese to save my life (only to find out later it is Velveeta) so I used a block of cheddar cheese and sliced it into the soup.

What I'll do differently next time:
Nothing.

Verdict:

Thumbs up! A little spicy but a great taste! I knew I'd like it because my mom made it before and I got the recipe from her. I would definitely make this again in the future! Sorry, no pictures.

Chicken Pot Pie

From: My Mom

Ingredients:
2-3 chicken breasts
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can chicken broth
1 can mixed vegetables, drained
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 stick melted margarine
1 cup milk

Boil the chicken breasts until done. Shred or cut into small pieces and place in a 13x9 dish. In a bowl, mix the soups, broth and vegetables. Stir and pour over chicken. Mix together the flour, baking powder, margarine and milk. Pour over the chicken and soup mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until golden brown on top.


What I did differently from the recipe:
Nothing.

What I'll do differently next time:
Nothing.

Verdict:
Thumbs up! (I assume.) I had actually never made this recipe and made it for a church member who is sick. I assume it turned out great because I have never had Mom's chicken pot pie that wasn't incredible. It is one of those comfort foods for me and I highly recommend it!!

Slow-Cooked Mac and Cheese

From: Taste of Home

Ingredients:
1 package (16 oz) elbow macaroni
1/2 cup stick margarine, melted
2 eggs, beaten
1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
1 can condensed cheddar cheese soup, undiluted
1 cup milk
4 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1/8 teaspoon paprika

Cook macaroni according to package directions; drain. Place in a slow cooker; add margarine. In a bowl, combine the eggs, evaporated milk, soup, milk and 3 cups cheese. Pour over macaroni mixture; stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Cook 15 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with paprika.


What I did differently from the recipe:
I just realized I only used 8 oz of elbow macaroni and didn't change anything else about the recipe. Look at that cheesy goodness!!

What I'll do differently next time:
Nothing.

Verdict:
Thumbs up! This was such a good recipe. ALMOST as good as my Granny's homemade macaroni and cheese! Stephen didn't like it as much as this macaroni and cheese but he said it was because baking it makes it a little crisper on top and he likes that. I do too, but this is just so convenient to make ahead of time and so delicious! I wonder if I could put bread crumbs on top in the last few minutes to make it a little crispy? Highly recommend this recipe!

Zucchini Fritters

From: An old email recipe newsletter

Ingredients:
5 Tbsp. Bisquick
1/4 tsp. salt
2 eggs, beaten
2 c. zucchini, grated
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
1/8 tsp. pepper
2 Tbsp. butter (or more if needed)

Blend Bisquick, Parmesan, salt and pepper. Add eggs. Mix zucchini into batter. Grease hot pan or griddle with butter. Pour batter into pan and fry 3 minutes on each side. Serve warm.


What I did differently from the recipe:
I accidentally shredded my zucchini instead of grating it. I think if I had grated it, Brianna would have eaten it, but the big shreds of zucchini really didn't look appetizing. Didn't bother me though!

What I'll do differently next time:
Grate it!

Verdict:
Thumbs up. Only Hunter and I really ate these and I thought they were good (although they did have a very strong salty flavor for some reason) but I probably won't make them again if half my family doesn't like them. I do strongly recommend them for people who like zucchini and things like potato pancakes, as they are a lot like those.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Chicken and Biscuits

From: Kraft Foods magazine

Ingredients:
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
3/4 cup sour cream, divided
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 16-oz package frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
1 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese
1 cup baking mix
3 Tbsp milk

Heat oven to 375. Mix soup and 1/2 cup sour cream in 8-inch square baking dish. Add chicken, vegetables and cheese; mix. Place baking mix in medium bowl. Add remaining 1/4 cup sour cream and milk; stir until stiff dough forms. Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls into 6 mounds over chicken mixture. Bake 35 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown and chicken mixture is hot and bubbly.



What I did differently from the recipe:
I didn't use the whole bag of vegetables - maybe half the bag or a little more. My baking dish filled up really quickly after I put the chicken in! I only needed to cook mine about 30 minutes until it was done.

What I'll do differently next time:
Nothing.

Verdict:
Thumbs up! Such an easy recipe and I love chicken pie like this. I'm not even sure Stephen has ever eaten chicken pot pie in his life and he enjoyed this recipe. In my opinion this is a kid pleaser too, if your kids love vegetables as much as mine do. They don't really care for the chicken but I'm okay with that!! Will definitely make this again in future and highly recommend it to other people.

My apologies for the picture of leftovers - that's how quickly it went!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Honey Garlic Chicken

From: Here

Ingredients:
1 1/2 - 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
3 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1/3 cup honey

Use a 4-quart slow cooker (if using a 6-quart, this will cook faster. Check after 3 hours on high, 5 hours on low). Put the chicken into your cooker. In a small bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients, then pour evenly over the top. Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3-4. Serve with basmati rice and steamed or roasted vegetables.


What I did differently from the recipe:
Nothing.

What I'll do differently next time:
Nothing.

Verdict:
Thumbs up! This was a delicious flavor, and personally, I loved it poured over the rice. Three chicken breasts cooked perfectly in about three hours. This is an awesome crockpot recipe that I would highly recommend you trying!

Monday, October 31, 2011

K.C. Baked Beans

From: Southern Living

Ingredients:
2 15-oz cans pork and beans, drained
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3/4 cup barbecue sauce
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup golden raisins
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground red pepper
3 bacon slices, halved

Stir together first 8 ingredients in a lightly greased 2-quart baking dish; top evenly with bacon. Bake at 350 for one hour.


What I did differently from the recipe:
Nothing.

What I'll do differently next time:
Use less barbecue sauce - maybe 1/2 cup instead.

Verdict:
Big thumbs up! Seriously, have you ever seen a baked bean recipe that had apples and raisins in it? I haven't. I loved these beans and my kids did as well (hubby didn't even attempt to eat them!) The only thing was I felt like there was too much barbecue sauce, but it didn't make it taste bad, I just used a slotted spoon to serve these beans. A recipe that I will definitely make again in the future!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Crockpot Barbecue

From: Here

Ingredients:
6 lb. pork butt
1 18-oz bottle barbecue sauce
1 Tbsp. onion flakes
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
2 drops hickory liquid smoke
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1 c. Coke
2-3 tsp. brown sugar

Cook the pork butt on low in the crock pot from noon until the next morning. Shred the meat and remove fat. Mix the remaining ingredients and add it to the shredded pork. Return all of this to the crock pot and cook 3 to 4 hours on low.



What I did differently from the recipe:
I didn't do anything that differently, but here's what I did. My pork butt (that keeps making me laugh) was just about 3.5 pounds. I didn't measure anything, just dumped all the ingredients in. I cooked the roast for six hours and didn't have time to shred it before adding all the ingredients. It didn't matter in the end.

What I'll do differently next time:
Nothing.

Verdict:
Major thumbs up! Stephen said he'd eat this once a week if I'd make it. I eat it on sandwiches, he doesn't, and it's great either way. I used KC Masterpiece BBQ sauce, flavor of Smoky Bourbon. Stephen dipped his in Budweiser honey BBQ sauce some and he said that was delicious too. He commanded me to not lose this recipe. I think we can call this one a winner. Highly recommend!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Smoked Sausage Soup

From: Here

Ingredients:
1 lb cooked smoked sausage, sliced and halved
1 lb medium pasta shells
4 cups beef broth
2 cups water
2 8-oz cans tomato sauce
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
2 cups frozen corn
2 large baking potatoes, sliced and halved
1 clove of garlic
1/2 tsp parsley
salt and pepper

In a large stock pot, pour in the broth and water and bring to a boil. Once it begins to boil stir in all remaining ingredients. This should simmer for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.

What I did different from the recipe:
I used rotini pasta. I used red potatoes instead of baking potatoes. I left out the corn because all the corn I had on hand had butter added and I thought it would taste gross.

What I'll do differently next time:
Nothing.

Verdict:
Up in the air? I said I wasn't a big fan of this. But the four other people who tasted it said they loved it, and ate multiple bowls of it. Obviously it is a very easy recipe, which I love. I would recommend that you at least try it - looks like I'm the loner on not loving this recipe!

Corn Bread

Ingredients:
2 cups corn meal
1 cup flour
1 Tbsp sugar
milk
4 tsp baking powder
1 egg
1 tsp salt

Combine dry ingredients; add egg and enough milk to make a thin batter. Pour in hot, well greased bread pans. Bake until brown in oven.

Verdict:
The only thing I did differently was halve this recipe. I used to make this recipe all the time when we first got married and I haven't made it in years. It's a great, simple, quick cornbread recipe. It's not dry, which is my main issue with cornbread. I think I probably use around 3/4 cup of milk, but I honestly just pour it until the batter is thin. I cook it on 400 degrees for 20 minutes and it's perfect. And I cook it in 8" cake pans. Try it, I think you'll like this recipe!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Italian Chicken and Veggies

From: Not sure... I even made up that recipe title.

Ingredients:
4 oz whole wheat spaghetti, uncooked
1/4 cup Italian dressing
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into strips
2 cups broccoli florets
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, divided
4 tsp grated parmesan cheese

Cook spaghetti as directed on package. Meanwhile, heat dressing and garlic in large nonstick skillet on medium heat. Add chicken and broccoli; cook and stir 5-7 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Stir in tomatoes and half of the mozzarella cheese; cook 1-2 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally. Drain spaghetti, place on serving plate. Top with chicken mixture, remaining mozzarella cheese and the parmesan cheese.

What I did differently from the recipe:
I did use Italian dressing but I also used Catalina because I had some that needed to be use. Instead of regular chicken breasts, I used Perdue Italian Chicken Shortcuts that were in the freezer that needed to be used.

What I'll do differently next time:
Not sure.

Verdict:
Very good. This was not my favorite recipe of this kind, but it was probably my fault. At first my taste buds were really overwhelmed with the Italian chicken, Italian dressing and Catalina dressing. After a little bit I got used to it and it was very good. I still think I have so many other recipes like this that I like better that I probably won't make this again. But it's not because it wasn't tasty!

Ingredients:
4 oz whole wheat spaghetti, uncooked
1/4 cup Italian dressing
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into strips
2 cups broccoli florets
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, divided
4 tsp grated parmesan cheese

Cook spaghetti as directed on package. Meanwhile, heat dressing and garlic in large nonstick skillet on medium heat. Add chicken and broccoli; cook and stir 5-7 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Stir in tomatoes and half of the mozzarella cheese; cook 1-2 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally. Drain spaghetti, place on serving plate. Top with chicken mixture, remaining mozzarella cheese and the parmesan cheese.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Homemade Caramel Dip

From: Here

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

In a 2-qt saucepan, melt butter on low heat. Add brown sugar, corn syrup, and milk, stirring to combine. Increase heat to medium. Stir constantly until mixture comes to a boil. (I used a metal spoon due to the heat). Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla and cinnamon. Serve warm or cold as a dip, or drizzle over ice cream.




---------------------------------------------------
Just a few hours before Hunter's 1st birthday party on Saturday, I decided to buy some apples from "my" produce guy and then look for a yummy caramel dip online. I found this recipe and it was a HUGE hit. I am still chowing down on it - it saves as leftovers really well. This dip was just as good as any store-bought I've ever had... and SO EASY to make! Highly recommend!

Easy Cheesy Chili Dip

From: Philadelphia Cream Cheese Box

Ingredients:
1 8-oz package cream cheese
1 10.5-oz can chili
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro

Place unwrapped block of cream cheese on microwaveable plate; top with chili and cheese. Microwave on high 45 seconds to 1 minute, until cheese melts. Sprinkle with cilantro.

----------------------------------------------------
When we lived in Charleston, a girlfriend of mine gave me this recipe and I use it all. the. time. Usually I make the recipe as directed and then put it in a small crockpot to keep it warm. Trust me, this recipe will be the talk of the party. It's so simple and it's usually the first thing totally gone when I serve it. I love it with tortilla chips but it'll go with pretty much any kind of cracker. Or just by itself. Whatever.

P.S. I leave off the cilantro - not sure if it would really alter the flavor or not.

Cheesy Garlic Rolls

Ingredients:
2 cups buttermilk baking mix (like Bisquick)
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup shredded cheese (I use cheddar)
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Combine Bisquick, milk and cheese until soft dough forms. Beat vigorously for 30 seconds. Drop by spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 450 for 8-10 minutes. Combine butter and garlic. Brush on biscuits before removing from sheet.

What I did differently from recipe:
Nothing.

What I'll do differently next time:
Nothing.

Verdict:
Neutral. I used to make these all the time when we were first married and we loved them, but now they just taste kind of flat after using a bread machine. Don't get me wrong, the flavor is GREAT! But obviously, it's a quick bread - they don't rise or anything, so they're not fluffy. But if you cook them just right, they will still be soft. So if you need bread in an emergency for dinner, I would recommend these.

Cheesy Garlic Rolls

Ingredients:
2 cups buttermilk baking mix (like Bisquick)
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup shredded cheese (I use cheddar)
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Combine Bisquick, milk and cheese until soft dough forms. Beat vigorously for 30 seconds. Drop by spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 450 for 8-10 minutes. Combine butter and garlic. Brush on biscuits before removing from sheet.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Cinnamon Rolls

From: My bread machine's cookbook

Ingredients: (my bread machine is a 3-cup flour bread machine; if yours is too, this recipe should work for you)

3/4 cup milk
1 egg
3 cups bread flour
3 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
4 Tbsp butter, cut into 8 pieces
2 tsp active dry yeast OR 1 1/2 tsp fast rise yeast

Filling:
1/3 cup melted butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Add milk and egg to bread pan. Add bread flour, 3 tablespoons sugar and salt to pan. Tap pan to settle dry ingredients, then level dry ingredients, pushing some of the flour mixture into the corners. Place pieces of butter around edges of pan on top of dry ingredients. Make a slight well in the center of dry ingredients and add the yeast. Place bread pan into oven chamber. Lock pan in place and close cover. Program your bread to the Dough setting. Start the bread machine. When dough is done (usually about 1 hour), remove dough, place on a floured surface. Knead dough about 1 minute, then let rest about 15 minutes.

Roll dough out into a rectangle, about 15x10 inches. Spread 1/3 cup melted butter over dough to within 1 inch of edges. Then sprinkle 1/2 cup sugar, the cinnamon, nutmeg and chopped nuts evenly over dough. Roll dough up tightly on long side. Press edges to seal and form into a 12-inch long, evenly shaped roll. With a knife, cut roll into 1-inch pieces. Place rolls into a greased 13x9 inch baking pan. Cover and let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled, about 30-45 minutes.

Bake in preheated oven at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan for 10-15 minutes, then drizzle with icing made by combining 1 cup powdered sugar with 1-2 tbsp milk and 1/2 tsp vanilla. Blend until smooth. If too thin or thick, add more powdered sugar or milk until it's the consistency you want. Cut apart and remove from pan.

If you want to make them at night and have them in the morning, just let them rise and then refrigerate them. Take them out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking and follow the rest of the recipe.

My rolls in the fridge last night:


My rolls this morning after being baked and iced:


Verdict:
Thumbs UP!! I didn't put any nuts in these because we don't like nuts, but I didn't change anything else. These took a while to make just waiting for the rising and stuff, but the actual "work" of the recipe was nothing. Stephen even said he would be happy if we never buy cinnamon rolls from the store again (which I'm too cheap to buy anyway, so that works!) Absolutely delicious and a must-make for us in the future!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Corn Chowder

From: "From Soup to Nuts" cookbook

Ingredients:
1 can (1 lb) cream-style corn
2 cups milk
1 can (10 oz) condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp hot pepper sauce
paprika

Empty can of corn into saucepan; add milk. Add soup; blend thoroughly. Bring to boiling point over low heat, stirring frequently. Just before serving, stir in salt and hot pepper sauce. Sprinkle with paprika.

What I did differently from the recipe:
I left out the sale and hot pepper sauce.

What I'll do differently next time:
Nothing.

Verdict:
Thumbs up! You honestly can't get any easier than this. I opened the cans and my 2-year old poured them in, as well as the milk. Then the only work I had to do was stir! The soup was delicious - I love the blend of corn and mushrooms, and it definitely didn't taste like it was a 3-ingredient soup. I'll be making this again when I'm in a hurry!!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Peach Butter

Mmmmmm.... soooooo glad I found this recipe on Smitten Kitchen! This is what my stovetop was up to all night long.

Ingredients:
4 pounds peaches
1 cup water
2 cups granulated sugar
Juice of one lemon (or about 3 Tbsp lemon juice from the squeeze bottle)



Peel your peaches. You can just peel them with a knife, or you can cut a small "X" in the bottom of each peach, dip them into boiling water for about 30 seconds and then cold water for a minute and the peelings will come right off.

Halve your peaches and remove the pits, then cut each half into quarters. You should have 8 chunks from each peach. Place peach chunks and water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Simmer until peaches are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure they cook evenly. You can then puree the peaches in a food processor, blender or with an immersion blender.


Return the peaches to the large pot, add the sugar and lemon juice and bring the mixture to a good strong simmer/gentle boil, cooking them at this level for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally in the beginning and more often near the end, as it thickens up and the fruit masses risk scorching on the bottom of the pot. (It actually took mine almost 50 minutes and even then it really didn't thicken until after I had turned off the heat.)

Let peach butter cool.

If you’re not canning it, keep it in an airtight container in the fridge. It should be good for at least two weeks. For example, I had just enough left over for my mom to snag some!

If you are going to can your peach butter:

First, sterilize your jars, either by boiling them in a large, deep pot of water (which should cover the jars completely) for 10 minutes or washing them in lots of hot soapy water, rinsing and drying the parts well and then place the jars only in a 200 degree oven for 20 minutes. Then, divide your hot piping hot peach butter between your jars, leaving a little room at the top. Wipe the rims clean with a dry towel and cover the jars with their lids. Submerge the jars in a large, deep pot of boiling water for 10 minutes, either in a removable basket or using tongs to dip and remove them. Let cool completely on towels, a process that can take overnight. If canned properly, the peach butter should last indefinitely at room temperature.



I was so fortunate. I cannot afford the "real" canning supplies. I had the jars and lids from my grandmother who did not have a use for them, a stockpot from my mom, and borrowed the canning basket from my friend Cindy. It turned out to be perfect and saved me a bunch of money. :)

This recipe is for my secret sister at church... but I still wanted to post it. Not sure if I can keep it a secret since I'm blogging about it though!!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

One Dish Cinnamon Swirl

From: Family Circle

Ingredients:
cooking spray
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 envelopes RapidRise Yeast
2/3 cup milk (120-130 degrees)
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 egg

Cinnamon mixture
3 Tbsp butter, softened
3/4 cup light or dark brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Icing
1 cup powdered sugar
1 to 2 Tbsp milk
1 Tbsp butter, melted
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Mix batter ingredients in a pre-sprayed 8x8 baking dish; let rest for 10 minutes. Combine cinnamon mixture in a small bowl by mixing with fork. Top batter evenly with cinnamon mixture; using fingers, poke topping thoroughly into batter. Bake by placing in a cold oven; set temperature to 350 degrees. Bake 25-30 minutes until lightly browned and firm in center. Cool 10 minutes. Combine icing ingredients and drizzle over warm cake.



What I did differently from the recipe:
I halved the icing recipe.

What I'll do differently next time:
Same thing. I don't like a lot of sweetness on desserts like this!

Verdict:
Thumbs up! This was a fast, easy recipe. I admit, though, I didn't like mixing all the batter in my 8x8 pan. I guess they do that to save you dishes but it was irritating to me. Also, my cinnamon mixture wasn't crumbly, but I think that's my fault. My mixtures with butter and brown sugar never crumble correctly. But the fact is, it's a yummy recipe, especially right out of the oven!

One Dish Cinnamon Swirl

Ingredients:
cooking spray
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 envelopes RapidRise Yeast
2/3 cup milk (120-130 degrees)
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 egg

Cinnamon mixture
3 Tbsp butter, softened
3/4 cup light or dark brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Icing
1 cup powdered sugar
1 to 2 Tbsp milk
1 Tbsp butter, melted
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Mix batter ingredients in a pre-sprayed 8x8 baking dish; let rest for 10 minutes. Combine cinnamon mixture in a small bowl by mixing with fork. Top batter evenly with cinnamon mixture; using fingers, poke topping thoroughly into batter. Bake by placing in a cold oven; set temperature to 350 degrees. Bake 25-30 minutes until lightly browned and firm in center. Cool 10 minutes. Combine icing ingredients and drizzle over warm cake.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Crescent Rolls

From: Bread Maker's Cookbook

Ingredients:
3/4 cup + 3 Tbsp water, 80 degrees
3 cups bread flour
2 Tbsp dry milk
3 1/2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
3 Tbsp butter, cut into 6 pieces
2 tsp active dry yeast or 1 1/2 tsp fast rise yeast


Place ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer (usually liquid first, then dry ingredients, then butter around the sides, and yeast in a well in the middle). Cook on your bread machine's dough cycle. When it's done, pull it out and let it rest on a floured surface for 15 minutes.

Divide dough into four equal pieces. Roll each piece into a circle 1/4-inch thick. Cut each circle into 6 pie shaped wedges. Roll each wedge from wide end to narrow tip. Curve ends to form crescent. Place on greased cookie sheets about 1 inch apart. Cover and let rise until double in size, about 45 minutes to one hour. Brush with butter and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

What I did differently from this recipe:
Well, first of all I am not gifted enough to know how to "curve ends to form crescent", but I am gifted enough to realize that does not affect the taste! So I didn't do that!

What I'll do differently next time:
I used yeast that expired about a month ago. I've been using it and it was fine, but for the dough, I think I should have used new yeast. The rolls didn't quite rise as high as I'd like them too, but they were still delicious.

Verdict:
Thumbs up! See ya later, Pillsbury! I thought these were great, and between myself and Brianna (2 years old) we ate probably 7 or 8, plus a couple of dinner rolls that I made just for funsies. What can I say, we like bread! I'll definitely be making these again! Oh yes, and I do realize they don't exactly look like Pillsbury, but you know what... that's okay!

Garlic Bread

From: My breadmaker cookbook

Ingredients: (1 lb loaf)
3/4 cup water, 80 degrees
2 cups bread flour
2 tsp dry milk
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp dried parsley flakes
1-2 1/2 tsp (to taste) garlic powder
2 tsp, cut into 4 pieces of butter
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast or 1 tsp fast rise yeast

Place ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer (usually liquid first, then dry ingredients, then put the butter pats in the four corners, then put the yeast in a well in the middle. Cook according to your bread machine's manual.

Ingredients (1 1/2 lb loaf)
1 cup + 2 Tbsp water, 80 degrees
3 cups bread flour
1 Tbsp dry milk
1 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp dried parsley flakes
1 1/2 - 3 tsp (to taste) garlic powder
1 Tbsp, cut into 4 pieces, of butter
2 tsp active dry yeast or 1 1/2 tsp fast rise yeast

What I did differently from the recipe:
Nothing.

What I'll do differently next time:
Nothing.

Verdict:

Thumbs up!! Another hit with the bread machine! I made this one night when my sister and family came over for pizza, so no pictures were taken. I put in 2 tsp of garlic powder and it was perfect for me, but I do love my garlic. This is such a tasty bread for Italian night!!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Baked Penne

From: Here

Ingredients:
1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 cup each, chopped onions and green peppers
1 jar (24 oz) spaghetti sauce
1 tub Philadelpha cooking creme, Italian cheese and herb
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
3 cups cooked penne pasta

Heat oven to 350. Brown meat with vegetables in a large skillet. Stir in spaghetti sauce, 3/4 cup cooking creme and 1/2 cup mozzarella; cook and stir 2-3 minutes or until cheese is melted. Add pasta; mix lightly. Spoon into 2-qt casserole dish, top with remaining cooking creme and mozzarella. Cover. Bake 20 minutes or until heated through, uncovering after 15 minutes.



What I did differently from the recipe:
I honestly never read which cooking creme to used, and just realized it said to use Italian cheese and herb. I used Sante Fe because I thought I was supposed to. Alas!!

What I'll do differently next time:
Nothing.

Verdict:
Thumbs UP!!! This was incredible! I know I wasn't supposed to use the Santa Fe blend but it was such an awesome mixture of tastes! It was a little spicy, and the second plate I had, I ate all the pasta first, and then broke out the tortilla chips and used it as a dip! It was seriously so good. I will definitely be making this again!!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Quick Mushroom-Barley Soup

From: All You

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, sliced
10 oz white or cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 cup pearl barley
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
3 cups chicken broth
salt and pepper


Warm oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes. Add mushrooms and saute until they release their liquid, about 5 minutes. Add barley, oregano and thyme and stir 1 minute. Add chicken broth and 3 cups of water and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer until barley is tender, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve.


What I did differently from the recipe:
Nothing.

What I'll do differently next time:
Nothing.

Verdict:
Thumbs up! This was such a simple recipe, and the best kind - one I didn't have to buy anything for! It was great and we didn't even add salt or pepper to it. Definitely will make this again in the future.

Quick Mushroom-Barley Soup

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, sliced
10 oz white or cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 cup pearl barley
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
3 cups chicken broth
salt and pepper

Warm oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes. Add mushrooms and saute until they release their liquid, about 5 minutes. Add barley, oregano and thyme and stir 1 minute. Add chicken broth and 3 cups of water and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer until barley is tender, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Cherry-Fudge Cake

From: Southern Living

Ingredients:
1 package devil's food cake mix
1 (21 oz) can cherry pie filling
2 eggs
1 tsp almond extract
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup milk
5 Tbsp butter
1 cup semisweet chocolate morsels


Preheat oven to 350. Beat first 4 ingredients at low speed with mix 20 seconds; increase speed to medium, and beat 1 minute. Pour batter into a greased and floured 13x9 pan. Bake at 350 for 27-30 minutes or until done. Bring sugar, milk, and butter to a boil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally; boil 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in chocolate morsels until melted and smooth. Quickly spread frosting over warm cake. Cool completely.


What I did differently from the recipe:
Nothing.

What I'll do differently next time:
Nothing.

Verdict:
Thumbs up! Very delicious, easy to make, and got better over the three days it took for us to eat it!

Monday, August 22, 2011

It's Back!

My blog formatting is back!! I was hating how it was laying out my recipes but I couldn't figure out why my blog started doing it suddenly when I didn't make any changes to it. I guess Blogger did some update and some of my settings changed. It is back to normal now and should be easier for you to read! Thank God, I was so tired of the way it was formatting!

Cinnamon Oatmeal Raisin Bread

From: Bread Maker's cookbook

Ingredients: (1 lb loaf)
7 1/2 ounces (7/8 cup + 1 Tbsp) milk
2 cups bread flour
1/2 cups oats, quick or old-fashioned
1 Tbsp brown sugar, packed
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp butter, cut into 4 pieces
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast or 1 tsp fast rise yeast
1/3 cup raisins



Place ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer (usually liquid first, then dry ingredients, then put the butter pats in the four corners, then put the yeast in a well in the middle. Raisins will be added after the first kneading cycle.) Cook according to your bread machine's manual, usually a "sweet bread" setting.

Ingredients: (1 1/2 lb loaf)
10 ounces (1 1/4) milk
3 cups bread flour
3/4 cups oats, quick or old-fashioned
2 Tbsp brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp butter, cut into 4 pieces
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast or 1 1/2 tsp fast rise yeast
1/2 cup raisins



What I did differently from the recipe:
Nothing.

What I'll do differently next time:
Nothing.

Verdict:
Thumbs up! Once again, I wish you could take pictures of smells. This smelled heavenly!! It is so delicious and again I say, I hope to never buy bread like this again! This is a definite yes for dessert options and breakfast options! YUM!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Old-Fashioned White Bread


From: My bread maker's cookbook

Ingredients: (1 lb loaf)
6 oz (3/4 cup) milk
2 cups bread flour
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp butter, cut into 4 pieces
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast or 1 tsp fast rise yeast

Place ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Cook according to your bread machine's manual.

Ingredients (1 1/2 lb loaf)
9 oz (1 cup + 2 Tbsp) milk
3 cups bread flour
1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp butter, cut into 4 pieces
2 tsp active dry yeast or 1 1/2 tsp fast rise yeast

What I did differently from the recipe:
Nothing.

What I'll do differently next time:
Make the larger loaf so I don't run out of bread so quickly!!

Verdict:
Thumbs UP! So easy and so scrumptious! I will definitely be making this again! I don't even want to make bread by hand again or even buy it from the store again...

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Ravioli and Cheese Bake

From: Kraft website

Ingredients:
16 oz spaghetti sauce
14 1/2 oz can of diced tomatoes, undrained
10 oz can beef broth
1/4 cup Italian dressing
2 9-oz packages refrigerated cheese-filled ravioli
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil

Heat oven to 375. Combine first 4 ingredients in a 13x9 baking dish. Add ravioli, toss to coat. Cover. Bake 50 minutes or until ravioli is tender. Top with cheese; let stand 5 minutes or until melted. Sprinkle with basil.

What I did differently from the recipe:
I used 1 package of 13-ounce frozen ravioli instead of the refrigerated ravioli. Much cheaper.

What I'll do differently next time:
I'd like to try it with small ravioli (I used really large ravioli) or tortellini, just because I like the really small pasta like that but not to change the taste.

Verdict:
Thumbs up! What an easy recipe to throw together! It was really delicious and my house smelled incredible while it was cooking too. Not many leftovers for this recipe!

Pizza Dip

From: Here

Ingredients:
8 oz softened cream cheese
pizza sauce
mozzarella cheese
chopped up pepperoni
any other pizza toppings you want

In an 8x11 casserole dish, spread 8 ounces of softened cream cheese over the bottom of the dish. Spread a layer of pizza sauce over the cream cheese. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese to cover the sauce. Top with chopped up pepperoni and any other toppings you want. Bake at 350 until cheese is bubbly.

What I did differently from the recipe:
I used an 8x8 dish because I didn't need a lot of this. I used Philadelphia Cooking Creme (original) instead of cream cheese. I used turkey pepperoni but it didn't matter.

What I'll do differently next time:
Cook at a higher temperature. It took 20-25 minutes for this to cook through. Brooke was with me and had cooked this before and said she always cooks hers at 425 degrees which would make it finish much faster. It was still delicious even though it was slow cooking. :)

Crispy Pasta For Two

From: Ronzoni website

Ingredients:
8 oz Ronzoni Garden Delight angel hair pasta, uncooked
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves finely chopped garlic
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves
2 oz each crumbled feta cheese, shredded Cheddar and grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp salt

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. In large skillet over medium heat, heat oil; add garlic. Cook 1 minute. Add pasta, tossing to coat with oil and garlic. Cook at high heat for 2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients; mix well in skillet. Cook 2 minutes; reduce heat to medium-high. Cover; cook 5 minutes or until golden brown. Flip and cover; cook 5 minutes or until golden brown.

What I did differently from the recipe:
I left out the feta cheese because I didn't have any in the house.

What I'll do differently next time:
Nothing.

Verdict:
Thumbs up! This was perfect for me and Bri to eat on for lunch. I love crispy pasta so to me this was very tasty! The best thing was that I have all these ingredients all the time so I can easily throw this recipe together anytime. Definitely recommend!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Waffles

Check out my post here about making and freezing waffles!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Popovers

From: "Relish" magazine

Ingredients:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Grease a 6-cup muffin or popover pan. Mix flour and salt together in a medium mixing bowl. Combine eggs and milk in a bowl, stirring with a whisk until blended. Add to flour mixture, stirring well with a whisk. Divide batter among prepared popover cups. Bake 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake 20 minutes. Do not open oven door during baking process. Serve immediately.

What I did differently from the recipe:
Nothing.

Verdict:
These popovers tasted like scrambled eggs...

Corn, Potato and Cheese Soup

From: The Best Ever One Pot Cookbook

Ingredients:
2 shallots, finely chopped
8 oz potatoes, diced
4 Tbsp flour
2 Tbsp dry white wine
1 1/4 cups milk
11 oz canned corn kernels, drained
3/4 cup grated Swiss or Cheddar cheese
8-10 fresh sage leaves, chopped
1 3/4 cups heavy cream
fresh sage sprigs, to garnish

Croutons:
2-3 slices of day-old white bread
2 Tbsp olive oil



To make the croutons, cut the crusts off the bread slices, then cut the remaining bread into 1/4-inch squares. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet and add the bread cubes. Cook, tossing and stirring constantly, until evenly colored. Drain the croutons thoroughly on paper towels and reserve.

Melt the butter in a large pan. Add the shallots and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until softened.

Add the potatoes and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the white wine, then gradually stir in the milk.

Return the pan to the heat and bring to a boil stirring constantly, then reduce the heat and simmer. Stir in the corn kernels, cheese, chopped sage, and cream and heat through gently until the cheese has just melted.

Ladle the soup into warmed bowls, scatter over the croutons, garnish with fresh sage sprigs and serve.

What I did differently from the recipe:
I used onions instead of shallots, and substituted water for the wine.

What I'll do differently next time:
Nothing.

Verdict:
Thumbs up! I love potato soups and corn soups, and cheese, so this was a tasty combination!! The croutons are definitely optional. I made just a few and they were good, but plain old crackers were delicious too. I would definitely make this again!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Baked Potato and Broccoli Soup

I need some feedback - it takes me a long time to type up recipes, so I was thinking if I can just scan them it would save me a lot of time. How well can you see this recipe when you click to enlarge the picture? I'd like to know if this is something I can do or if I need to just continue posting the recipe. Thank you!

From: Southern Living



What I did differently from the recipe:
Nothing.

What I'll do differently next time:
Nothing.

Verdict:
Thumbs up! I love potato soups and to have the added broccoli was just something else yummy! This was such an easy, straight-forward recipe so I definitely recommend it.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Italian Spinach and Chicken Skillet

From: Taste of Home

Ingredients:
2 cups uncooked yolk-free whole wheat noodles
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
2 tsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
3/4 cup spaghetti sauce
2 cups cubed cooked chicken breast
10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Cook noodles according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute mushrooms in oil until tender. Add garlic; saute 30 seconds longer. Stir in the tomatoes, soup, spaghetti sauce, chicken, spinach, Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning. Cook for 5-8 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally. Drain noodles; toss with chicken mixture. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.



What I did differently from the recipe:
I used canned spinach instead of frozen. Otherwise, I didn't change anything.

What I'll do differently next time:

Nothing.

Verdict:
Thumbs UP!! Whoa, this was so good. I just happened to pluck this recipe out of my "to try" pile. I had everything I needed (mushrooms frozen that I bought on discount a couple of weeks ago, spaghetti sauce leftover from lasagna that I had frozen, leftover teriyaki chicken breast I baked two nights ago) except the spinach. Then I got the spinach free today (after coupon and on sale) so it was just in the cards to make this! It was so. good. I know I used less chicken than the recipe called for and a bit more spinach but it really didn't matter. In fact, I almost wonder how this would taste as a dip... There is nothing I like more than a recipe that is so easy, quick, and straight-forward. A definite "do-again" for our household!!

Italian Spinach and Chicken Skillet

Ingredients:
2 cups uncooked yolk-free whole wheat noodles
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
2 tsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
3/4 cup spaghetti sauce
2 cups cubed cooked chicken breast
10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Cook noodles according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute mushrooms in oil until tender. Add garlic; saute 30 seconds longer. Stir in the tomatoes, soup, spaghetti sauce, chicken, spinach, Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning. Cook for 5-8 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally. Drain noodles; toss with chicken mixture. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Fudgy Brownies

From: Better Homes & Gardens cookbook

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1 recipe Chocolate-Cream Cheese Frosting (optional) (will follow recipe)

In a medium saucepan melt butter and unsweetened chocolate over low heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; cool. Meanwhile, grease an 8x8 or 9x9 baking pan; set aside. Stir sugar into cooled chocolate mixture in saucepan. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition just until combined. Stir in the vanilla. In a small bowl stir together the flour and baking soda. Add flour mixture to chocolate mixture; stir just until combined. If desired, stir in nuts. Spread the batter in the prepared pan. Bake in a 350 oven for 30 minutes for 8-inch pan or 25 minutes for 9-inch pan. Cool on a wire rack. If desired, frost with Chocolate-Cream Cheese Frosting. Cut into bars.

Chocolate-Cream Cheese Frosting

In a saucepan melt 1 cup semisweet chocolate pieces over low heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; cool. In a small bowl stir together two 3-oz packages softened cream cheese and 1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar. Stir in melted chocolate until smooth.


What I did differently from the recipe:
Nothing.

What I'll do differently next time:
Nothing.

Verdict:
Thumbs up! It was 9:15 at night when I suddenly began craving something sweet, so I popped open my cookbook to find a new brownie recipe. I had everything the recipe called for and it didn't look like it would take very long, so - score!! These were VERY yummy. I know Stephen prefers brownies from a box but I just love to make everything homemade. The frosting was fine but nothing spectacular - I'd be okay with no frosting or frosting from a can too. All in all, very good and I will be making these again!

Fudgy Brownies

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1 recipe Chocolate-Cream Cheese Frosting (optional) (will follow recipe)

In a medium saucepan melt butter and unsweetened chocolate over low heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; cool. Meanwhile, grease an 8x8 or 9x9 baking pan; set aside. Stir sugar into cooled chocolate mixture in saucepan. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition just until combined. Stir in the vanilla. In a small bowl stir together the flour and baking soda. Add flour mixture to chocolate mixture; stir just until combined. If desired, stir in nuts. Spread the batter in the prepared pan. Bake in a 350 oven for 30 minutes for 8-inch pan or 25 minutes for 9-inch pan. Cool on a wire rack. If desired, frost with Chocolate-Cream Cheese Frosting. Cut into bars.

Chocolate-Cream Cheese Frosting

In a saucepan melt 1 cup semisweet chocolate pieces over low heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; cool. In a small bowl stir together two 3-oz packages softened cream cheese and 1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar. Stir in melted chocolate until smooth.

"Never Fail" Yeast Rolls

From: ?

Ingredients:
2 packages dry yeast
1 1/2 cup very warm water
4 cups flour, divided
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup oil
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp salt

Dissolve yeast and sugar in the warm water and let stand 5-10 minutes before stirring. Add oil; blend with mixer. Add egg; blend with mixer. Add 2 cups flour and salt; blend with mixer, then beat on high speed for two minutes. Add remaining two cups of flour and beat by hand. Cover the roll mixture. Let stand until doubled in bulk. This usually takes one hour. On floured surface, flour dough enough to handle it; roll mixture about a half inch thick and cut rolls. Put rolls, sides touching, on greased cookie sheet. Redo this until all dough is cut into rolls. Spray the cookie sheet with Pam. When you have all the rolls on the sheet, spray the tops of the rolls with Pam. Let rise for about one hour. Preheat oven to 400. Bake rolls for 12-15 minutes.



What I did differently from the recipe:
Nothing with the ingredients. But I have found the best way to get my dough to rise perfectly - I boil some water on the stove, and preheat the oven to 200. When it reaches 200 degrees, I turn the oven off, put the water on the bottom rack of the oven, and my bread on the top rack. It doubles very quickly this way and always works. Also, I put my rolls in muffin tins instead of a cookie sheet.

What I'll do differently next time:
Probably put them on a cookie sheet! Haha! They looked very funky coming out of the muffin tin. Of course it didn't change the flavor but definitely did not look pretty!

Verdict:
Thumbs up! What a yummy and great bread recipe! I think this would do great in a loaf pan. I am so glad I can finally make good bread!

Never Fail Yeast Rolls

Ingredients:
2 packages dry yeast
1 1/2 cup very warm water
4 cups flour, divided
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup oil
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp salt

Dissolve yeast and sugar in the warm water and let stand 5-10 minutes before stirring. Add oil; blend with mixer. Add egg; blend with mixer. Add 2 cups flour and salt; blend with mixer, then beat on high speed for two minutes. Add remaining two cups of flour and beat by hand. Cover the roll mixture. Let stand until doubled in bulk. This usually takes one hour. On floured surface, flour dough enough to handle it; roll mixture about a half inch thick and cut rolls. Put rolls, sides touching, on greased cookie sheet. Redo this until all dough is cut into rolls. Spray the cookie sheet with Pam. When you have all the rolls on the sheet, spray the tops of the rolls with Pam. Let rise for about one hour. Preheat oven to 400. Bake rolls for 12-15 minutes.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Crock of Potatoes

From: Here

Ingredients:
3 sweet potatoes, peeled
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/8 cup butter, melted
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup applesauce
1 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup pecan pieces

Cut potatoes into one-inch chunks and place in crockpot. Combine brown sugar, first measure of butter, cinnamon and applesauce in small bowl; blend and pour over potatoes. Cover crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours until potatoes are tender. When ready to serve, melt remaining butter in small skillet; add pecan pieces. Cook over low heat for 5-6 minutes. Sprinkle over sweet potatoes and serve.



What I did differently from the recipe:
The website actually allows you to change serving sizes, so it started off for 6 potatoes and I made it just 3. You can change it to whatever you like.

What I'll do differently next time:
Not sure.

Verdict:

Thumbs up! Well, these were very tasty. I love sweet potatoes and usually have an abundance of them around the house, but I'm always up for trying new recipes. I was intrigued by the applesauce in this recipe but honestly I could taste it, even just the small amount that is actually in the recipe, and I didn't care too much for it. The thing that made it better was the butter/pecan mixture added at the last minute. I normally would not put pecans on my sweet potatoes because I don't really like nuts, but I decided to do it just to step out of the box. Verdict? Delicious!! Oh my goodness, it melted in my mouth after that! I definitely recommend doing that part of the recipe! (P.S. Don't judge the ugly picture!!)

Crock of Potatoes

Ingredients:
3 sweet potatoes, peeled
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/8 cup butter, melted
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup applesauce
1 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup pecan pieces

Cut potatoes into one-inch chunks and place in crockpot. Combine brown sugar, first measure of butter, cinnamon and applesauce in small bowl; blend and pour over potatoes. Cover crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours until potatoes are tender. When ready to serve, melt remaining butter in small skillet; add pecan pieces. Cook over low heat for 5-6 minutes. Sprinkle over sweet potatoes and serve.

Zucchini Cookies

From: Tracey Garner

Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed tight
1 cup softened butter
1 tsp baking soda
2 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cup peeled and shredded zucchini (about 3 8" zucchinis)
1 cup chopped walnuts
6 oz chocolate chips
4 cups all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put white and brown sugar in bowl. Add the softened butter and beat with a wooden spoon until the mixture is fluffy. Mix in baking soda and make sure it's evenly distributed. Beat the 2 eggs in a glass with a fork and then add them to your bowl. Add vanilla and mix thoroughly. Stir in zucchini and mix until zucchini is thoroughly incorporated. Add chopped nuts and chocolate chips. Mix well. Add the flour in one-cup increments, stirring after each addition. When all the flour has been added and stirred in, the resulting dough will be quite stiff. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto a cookie sheet that has been greased. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly brown.


What I did differently from the recipe:
I left out the walnuts because I don't like nuts so much.

What I'll do differently next time:
Nothing.

Verdict:
Thumbs UP!! These have been SO popular since I made them! They've been passed around church, restaurants, work, family, friends, children, adults... every single person who has tried them has simply raved about them. I made about 10 a day for almost a week until I ran out of batter, so I was able to share them with everyone. We get lots of zucchini so this is a fabulous way for us to use our zucchini! Best of all is the look on someone's face when they realize you are passing out... zucchini cookies!?!? :)

Zucchini Cookies

Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed tight
1 cup softened butter
1 tsp baking soda
2 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cup peeled and shredded zucchini (about 3 8" zucchinis)
1 cup chopped walnuts
6 oz chocolate chips
4 cups all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put white and brown sugar in bowl. Add the softened butter and beat with a wooden spoon until the mixture is fluffy. Mix in baking soda and make sure it's evenly distributed. Beat the 2 eggs in a glass with a fork and then add them to your bowl. Add vanilla and mix thoroughly. Stir in zucchini and mix until zucchini is thoroughly incorporated. Add chopped nuts and chocolate chips. Mix well. Add the flour in one-cup increments, stirring after each addition. When all the flour has been added and stirred in, the resulting dough will be quite stiff. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto a cookie sheet that has been greased. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly brown.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Pasta With Fresh Tomato and Corn

From: Sandhills Farm 2 Table newsletter

Ingredients:
8 oz pasta
4 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 cup corn kernels, cooked
4 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 tsp dried basil
salt and pepper
Parmesan cheese


Cook pasta until al dente. Drain. Meanwhile, in a large bowl whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, and dried basil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the tomatoes, corn kernels, and scallions. Let sit for 5-10 minutes. Toss pasta with tomato mixture. Sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese. Garnish with fresh basil if desired.



What I did differently from the recipe:
Just tweaked it according to my tastes. I put more corn than it said, less tomatoes (I used about half a tomato) and more onions.

What I'll do differently next time:
Less onions! Yowza!

Verdict:
Neutral. It is totally my fault for adding so many onions. I love onions so much that I went way overboard adding them, and that combined
with the vinegar just made it too bitter for me. I honestly think if I had put the recommended amount or less of the onions it would have been incredible. I mean, even with the flavor it had I still ate half of it, so it really didn't taste that bad! This would be an awesome side dish for summer parties.

P.S. I used my fresh tomatoes, corn, and onions all from the food co-op! Yummy!

Pasta w/ Fresh Tomato and Corn


Ingredients:
8 oz pasta
4 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 cup corn kernels, cooked
4 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 tsp dried basil
salt and pepper
Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta until al dente. Drain. Meanwhile, in a large bowl whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, and dried basil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the tomatoes, corn kernels, and scallions. Let sit for 5-10 minutes. Toss pasta with tomato mixture. Sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese. Garnish with fresh basil if desired.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Baked Peaches

From: Southern Living 1992 cookbook

Ingredients:
5-6 fresh peaches, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
Dash of ground nutmeg
1/3 cup butter



Place peaches in a lightly greased 8-inch square baking dish; set aside. Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; cut in butter with a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle flour mixture over peaches. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.



What I did differently from the recipe:
I halved the recipe.

What I'll do differently next time:
Nothing.

Verdict:
Thumbs up. Here's the deal - I don't like peaches. But in my opinion, you add enough brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg to anything - it'll taste good! We get a lot of peaches in our food co-op boxes, and while I do give a lot of the peaches away to people who will eat them, I want to eat more fruits and veggies in my daily diet, which means finding recipes for foods I don't necessarily like to eat alone. I made mine in a loaf pan which was perfect for the amount of peaches I had leftover (3) and I ate the whole thing for breakfast even though I'm pretty sure it's supposed to be a dessert. If you like peach crisps or peach cobblers you'll definitely like this easy recipe!

Baked Peaches

Ingredients:
5-6 fresh peaches, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
Dash of ground nutmeg
1/3 cup butter

Place peaches in a lightly greased 8-inch square baking dish; set aside. Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; cut in butter with a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle flour mixture over peaches. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.