Monday, December 23, 2013

Rainbow Poke Cake

From: Something Swanky

  • 1 white cake box mix + ingredients listed on box (or make your own batter from scratch
  • Food Color Gel
  • 1 - 8 oz tub Cool Whip
  • 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 15 golden Oreos, crumbled
  1. Mix the cake batter according to the directions on the box. Divide the batter into six bowls (it comes out to a heaping 1/2 cup per bowl).
  2. Dye each bowl of batter a different color (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple).
  3. Pour each bowl of batter into a well greased 9x9 cake dish. Don't try to marble or swirl the batter. Just pour each one right into the center of the dish, one on top of the other.
  4. Bake according to the directions on the box, approximately 45 minutes. Toothpick inserted should come out clean. Let cool completely.
  5. Poke holes evenly throughout the cake (roughly 20 holes). Pour the sweetened condensed milk over top of the cake, trying to fill the holes as much as possible.
  6. Spread the cool whip over top of the cake. Sprinkle the Oreo crumbs on top.Cover and chill for at least 4 hours, overnight is really best.

Thumbs up! Made this as a fun cake for my Dad's 60th birthday this year. It was delicious!!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Ugly Pie

This recipe is from the book "Ugly Pie" by Lisa Wheeler. We got this book from the library and the kids loved it... but they REALLY loved the idea that we could make our own real ugly pie!


Ugly Crust:
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup lard (or shortening)
1/2 tsp salt
6-8 Tbsp icy cold water

Ugly Filling:
6 cups peeled, sliced Granny Smith apples
1/4 cup molasses
1 tsp lemon juice
5 Tbsp flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup red raisins (or Craisins)
1/4 walnuts - chopped fine

For the crust...
First, mix together the flour and salt. Then, using a fork, cut little chunks of that ugly lard into your flour until you get what looks like itty-bitty pea-sized balls. Set aside half this mixture in another bowl for later. Next, sprinkle 1 tablespoon of icy cold water over those pea-sized balls. Gently toss it with a fork. Repeat until your flour mixture forms an ugly ball of dough.

Spread a little bit of flour out on a flat surface (like your kitchen counter). Pat that ball of ugly dough down like you mean business. Then roll it with a rolling pin until it becomes a flat, ugly crust. It doesn't matter if it looks nice and round and pretty. This is Ugly Pie! Place in 9" deep-dish pie plate.

In a large bowl, toss apple slices with lemon juice. Then mix in molasses until apples are completely coated with ugly brown good. Set aside.

In a medium-sized bowl, mix the dry ingredients (flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, white sugar and brown sugar). Add to the ugly apple mixture until everything is nice and moist.

Toss raisins and walnuts into apple mixture. Make sure all ingredients are well coated. Place into pie crust. Your pie should look fairly ugly by now.

Take the crumbly flour mixture you set aside earlier. Sprinkle over the top of the pie. Cover pie with an aluminum foil tent to prevent overbrowning. Bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 20 minutes.

When your pie is done, you will have the most delicious, most beautiful ugly pie you ever saw.

Thumbs up! I loved the idea of making something with the kids that we had just read about. And it really is a delicious pie!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Crock Pot Broccoli Cheese Soup

From: Budget Savvy Diva

1 (32 ounce) bag frozen chopped broccoli
2 (10 ¾ ounce) cans cheddar cheese soup
2 (12 ounce) cans evaporated milk
1/2 Teaspoon of Garlic Powder
1 Clove of Minced Garlic
Cheddar Cheese
1 Tablespoon of Butter or Margarine
1/2 Teaspoon of Onion Powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 Cup of Chopped Onions

Heat up a skillet on medium heat and melt butter – Sautee onions for about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook for one minute.

Place all ingredients (except Cheddar Cheese) in the Crock Pot. Cover and cook on low 4-5 hours.

Garnish with cheddar cheese. Enjoy!
Thumbs up!! I love broccoli cheese soup and this is SO simple. I'll definitely be making this version again!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

From: Little House Living

  • 3/4 c. brown sugar
  • 3/4 c. white or turbinado sugar
  • 1 c. light olive oil
  • 1 can or jar of pumpkin (or fresh pumpkin)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 3 c. flour
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • 1 t. pumpkin spice
  • 1/2 t. salt
Mix together the sugars, oil, vanilla, and pumpkin. Mix in the rest of the wet ingredients. Then add all the dry ingredients and mix together until just blended.

Put the pumpkin mixture in a plastic bag or a pastry bag. Snip a hole in the corner. Use the mixture and the bag to make circles from the dough. Make these circles on the greased cookie sheet.

Bake for 11 - 12 minutes at 350F. Let them cool completely.

While the cookies are cooling mix together 6 T melted butter, 1 pk(8oz) cream cheese, 1 t. vanilla, and 1 1/2 c. powdered sugar. Put the frosting mixture in a plastic bag or a pastry bag. Snip a hole in the corner.

Drop blobs of frosting on the middles of half of the cooled cookies. Put another cookie on top the cookie and frosting. That's it!

Thumbs up! Oh my goodness, these are so good. It's basically the same recipe I used for my pumpkin roll so it's a very familiar, cozy flavor. As you can see, mine aren't that pretty. I didn't do the pastry bag thing for the cookies because that never works out well for me. You're welcome to do it. Also, I found that the next day (and the next) these cookies were awesome when put in the microwave for about 15 seconds. They will need to be refrigerated, so nuking them will make them taste much better. Of course, your best option is eating them as soon as they're out of the oven! To die for!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Veggie-Beef Chowder with Mozzarella

From: Progresso website

1 lb lean ground beef
1 bag (12 oz) frozen mixed vegetables
1 can (18 oz) Progresso Recipe Starters creamy portabella mushroom cooking sauce
3/4 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

In a saucepan, cook beef over medium-high heat 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until beef is thoroughly cooked; drain.

Stir in 1/4 tsp salt and all remaining ingredients except cheese and croutons. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender.

Sprinkle 2 tablespoons cheese in each soup bowl; fill bowls with chowder. Sprinkle with croutons.

Thumbs up! I know the pictures don't do it justice. Trust me, this is one of the easiest soups you'll throw together, but the flavor is amazing! I will absolutely make this one again and I definitely recommend it to you!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Crash Hot Potatoes

From: The Pioneer Woman

New potatoes
Olive oil
Kosher salt
Black pepper

Begin by bringing a pot of salted water to a boil. Add in as many potatoes as you wish to make, and cook them until they’re fork-tender.

Next, generously drizzle olive oil on a sheet pan.

When the potatoes are tender, place them on the cookie sheet, giving them plenty of room to spread out.

Next, grab your potato masher and gently press down on the potato until it slightly mashes. Rotate the masher 90 degrees and continue flattening it.

Brush the tops generously with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Grab your herbs - chives... thyme... rosemary... whatever is available. Chop finely and sprinkle on top.

Cook in a 450-degree oven for 20-25 minutes.

Thumbs up! Of course I added cheese to ours because in our house it is a sin not to add cheese onto a potato. Or anything else, for that matter. These are an awesome quick fix except for the boiling of the potatoes, and of course they're delicious. What could go wrong with a recipe like this??

Pepperoni Pizza Puffs

From: Lick the Bowl Good

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of red pepper flakes 
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup cubed pepperoni
  • 1/2 cup store-bought pizza sauce
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 24-cup mini-muffin pan. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, Italian seasoning, salt and red pepper flakes (if using) ; whisk in the milk and egg. Stir in the mozzarella, Parmesan and pepperoni; let stand for 10 minutes.

Stir the batter and divide among the mini-muffin cups. Bake until puffed and golden, 20 to 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, microwave the pizza sauce until warmed through. Serve the puffs with the pizza sauce for dipping.

Thumbs up! Look, you really can't go wrong with these ingredients, right? This is a simple recipe that is great for parties, appetizers, or church dinners. I will definitely make it again and highly recommend it!

Elephant Ear Cookies

From: Martha Stewart

1 cup pecan halves
1/3 cup sugar, plus more for surface
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
AP flour, for rolling
2 sheets frozen puff pastry (17.3 oz package), thawed
1 large egg, beaten well

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toast pecans on a baking sheet until fragrant and lightly toasted, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool completely.

Grind pecans, sugars, cinnamon and salt in a food processor until very finely chopped (mixture should resemble very coarse sand).

Raise oven temperature to 400 degrees. Place puff pastry sheets side by side on floured parchment; press together at seam to form a 9 1/2-by-18-inch rectangle. Roll out to an 11-by-20-inch rectangle using a rolling pin. Transfer pastry on parchment to a baking sheet. Cover loosely with plastic wrap; refrigerate until firm, about 45 minutes. Brush generously with beaten egg, and evenly sprinkle with pecan mixture, patting it into dough. Starting with a short side, use one hand to roll up as tightly as possible, holding unrolled portion firmly with other palm. Brush off excess flour with a dry pastry brush as you are rolling, and press sides back into shape (they tend to splay). Roll tightly in parchment.

Freeze dough until firm, about 20 minutes. Cut crosswise into 1-inch slices. Generously sprinkle a work surface with granulated sugar, and coat both cut sides of dough slices in sugar. Press dough slices to flatten slightly. Roll out into 6- to 7-inch rounds on sugared surface, sprinkling more sugar on top as needed. Place on parchment-lined baking sheets, 3 per sheet; refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes. Bake in batches until golden brown, 17 to 18 minutes, rotating halfway through. Let cool on baking sheets.

Thumbs up! I almost didn't get to taste-test these because they were gone so quickly after I made them! I made these for Hunter's 3rd birthday party a few weeks ago. They were actually really easy, especially if you've ever made a "roll" before, so don't let the instructions scare you with all the wording. I will definitely make these again in the future (although puff pastry sheets are ridiculously expensive!) and I would highly recommend this recipe to you!

Mini Nutella Cups

From: Daisy Chubb

1 cup butter (softened)
1 cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease your mini muffin tin). Cream butter and both sugar in bowl until light, smooth and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla until fully incorporated. Gradually add dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda) until all the flour is mixed in.  Roll dough into balls 1.5 inches thick. Pop them in the mini muffin tin and bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown but not too dark around the edges.

When done, remove from oven and let sit for about 2 minutes. Then make wells for the nutella with a shot glass, a similar object or a spoon. Add 1 tbsp Nutella to each cup – it will start to melt quickly so you can swirl it around and make it nice and smooth.

Let cool 15-20 minutes in tin. Remove from tin and place in your mouth. Repeat. Nutella will solidify in about an hour.

I don't have a mini muffin tin, so I made mine in a regular muffin tin. I'm not ashamed to admit I basically ate the middle out of these cookies. With a regular muffin tin, there was just more cookie than Nutella, and the Nutella is soooo good... we just can't have that! I would love to make these with a mini muffin tin. I would definitely recommend this recipe if you have a mini tin!

Egg in a Red Pepper

From: Not Martha

1 red bell pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil
4 large eggs
Salt and pepper
1 Tbsp grated parmesan
4 slices crusty bread, toasted

Remove seeds from pepper and 1/2-inch thick rings. It’s not totally important that all the rings be the same thickness.

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a frying pan or skillet.

Place peppers in olive oil.

Then one-by-one, crack an egg into a small dish and pour it into the pepper.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper and let fry for about 3 minutes.

Some of the egg may leak out from under the pepper, but for the most part, you should be OK.

Once eggs are mostly set, flip the entire pepper over. This has to be a quick movement, or else you risk the egg/pepper falling apart.

After you flip all of the peppers, sprinkle parmesan cheese on top. Cook for one minute.

And place pepper egg on a piece of toast.

Thumbs up! What a yummy, light(ish) breakfast! I meant to blog about this back when red peppers were really in season but I got way behind on blogging. This is such a yummy breakfast. The crunchiness of the red pepper is perfect with the egg. The instructions I posted are from the Not Martha blog, so I tweaked a little. I didn't put them on toast at all, although I do think that would be delicious. And instead of using parmesan cheese, I used cheddar. It was divine. The key to making it pretty (not like it really matters) is to gently pour the egg into the pepper. If you dump the whole egg, it will spread out a lot. And trust me, that does not affect the flavor, just the attractiveness! I definitely recommend this easy recipe.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Starbucks Lemon Loaf

From: Jenn's Random Scraps

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp lemon extract
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup oil
zest of one lemon

1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp whole milk
1/2 tsp lemon extract

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour a 9 x 5 loaf pan.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

In a medium bowl, combine eggs, sugar, butter, vanilla extract, lemon extract and lemon juice with a mixer until blended.

Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and blend until smooth. Add oil and lemon zest and mix well.

Pour into loaf pan and bake for 45-60 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and pour glaze over it, then cool in pan on a rack.

Whisk the glaze ingredients to combine before you pour over the loaf.

Thumbs up! I love lemon bread and this was a great recipe! Not sure if it is really the copycat recipe or not, but it's definitely yummy! I actually do have a lemon bread recipe that is a lot different from this one that I have never posted on this blog! It is even more lemonicious than this recipe! I will make it soon and post it - in involves lemon pudding which adds some more zing. I think this is an awesome, simple recipe that you can easily whip up for dessert or brunch or a potluck. I highly recommend it and I'll be making it again!

Pineapple Chicken Tenders

From: Here

1 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 lbs chicken breast tenderloins

In a small saucepan over medium heat, mix pineapple juice, brown sugar, and soy sauce. Remove from heat just before the mixture comes to a boil.

Place chicken tenders in a medium bowl. Cover with the pineapple marinade, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat grill for medium heat. Thread chicken lengthwise onto wooden skewers.

Lightly oil the grill grate. Grill chicken tenders 5 minutes per side, or until juices run clear.

Thumbs up! I actually just cooked it in the oven at 325 degrees for about 15 minutes. I do think this would be a great grilling recipe. I think this was a great flavor. I actually halved the ingredients because my husband doesn't love sweet chicken marinades. So if you want to tone the flavor down some you could definitely do that. If you do like sweet marinades I wouldn't change it a bit.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars

From: Food Fanatic

4 cups crushed pretzels
1 cup peanut butter
14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8x8 baking dish with parchment paper.

In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the peanut butter and condensed milk together and stir to combine.

Add the pretzel crumbs to a large bowl and mix in the peanut butter mixture, stirring to coat.

Press the crumb mixture into the prepared dish and bake for 15-20 minutes or until set.

Remove from the oven and sprinkle the chocolate chips on. Return to the oven for 1-2 minutes. Remove and use a spatula to spread the chocolate chips evenly across the top.

Cool before cutting.

I think I would have liked these better in a 9x13 pan. I think the flavor combination is amazing and you can't go wrong with it. I just think the crumb layer was overpowering. It was very thick and hard to bite into because of the thickness. I would like to make these again in a longer pan, because I think it would make a big difference. If you try these I would love to hear what you thought!
  • 4 cups crushed pretzels
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 14 fluid ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
  • - See more at:

    Monday, September 30, 2013

    Pepperoni Pizza Dip

    From: The back of a Nabisco cracker box

    1 8-oz tub of cream cheese
    1/2 cup pizza sauce
    1/2 cup shredded pizza or mozzarella cheese blend
    1/2 cup chopped pepperoni
    1/3 cup chopped red peppers
    1/3 cup chopped green peppers

    Crackers for dipping (I used Nabisco round saltines and Ritz crackers)

    Heat oven to 350 degrees.

    Mix cream cheese and pizza sauce until well blended; spread onto bottom of 9-inch pie plate.

    Top with next four ingredients.

    Bake 18-20 minutes or until heated through and shredded cheese is melted. Serve with crackers.

    Thumbs up! Well, I say thumbs up, but I literally got to fill up about half a cracker with this dip. It was GONE and all I got was a scoop of what was left on the bottom of the plate! That tasted good, at least, and everyone was raving about it. I didn't put the peppers on this because I forgot I was going to make it until about 20 minutes before people were going to start arriving for Hunter's birthday party. So I just threw it all together really quickly which did NOT include chopping peppers! I think the peppers would be delicious though - I'll throw them on next time! Highly recommend this easy and yummy dip!

    Thursday, September 19, 2013

    Chili's Skillet Queso

    From: Everything in Moderation

    16-oz box Velveeta cheese
    1 cup milk
    2 tsp paprika
    1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
    15-oz can Hormel chili (no beans)
    4 tsp chili powder
    1 Tbsp lime juice
    1/2 tsp ground cumin

    Cut the Velveeta into cubes. Combine the cheese with the remaining ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir frequently until cheese melts.

    Thumbs up!! I haven't eaten at Chili's in at least a year or more I think, so I can't remember what the dip tastes like. I do know I loved it. I loved this recipe too, but I can't promise you it's the real Chili's recipe. It's definitely delicious. Not too spicy, and just the right mixture of flavors. I highly recommend it and I'll be making this in the future for sure - probably for an upcoming birthday party!

    Tuesday, September 17, 2013

    O'Henry Bars OR Scotcharoos

    From: Joyful Momma's Kitchen

    1 cup granulated sugar
    1 cup karo syrup
    1 cup peanut butter
    6 cups Rice Krispies
    1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
    1 cup butterscotch chips

    In a small sauce pan, bring sugar and karo syrup to a boil over medium high heat.  Stir constantly.

    Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter.  Whisk in until smooth.

    In a large mixing bowl, pour the sugar sauce over 6 cups of Rice Krispies and gently stir until well combined.

    Press into a greased 9x13 pan.

    In microwave, heat the chips 30 seconds at a time and stir well in between heatings.  Heat just until melted, taking care to not burn them.

    Pour chocolate mixture over cereal in dish.  Spread evenly and let cool.  Slice into bars.

    Thumbs up!! I can definitely see how these don't last long once they're made. What a great combination of flavors! I've never heard of these before but I am so glad I found this recipe. Perfect for family or church gatherings, or just when you have a craving for something sweet! I definitely recommend these and I'll be making these again!

    Tuesday, September 10, 2013

    Sweet Potato, Corn and Jalapeno Bisque

    From: Here

    • 1 tbsp olive oil
    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
    • 4 cups vegetable broth
    • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
    • 4 ears corn
    • 1/2 tbsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp black pepper
    • pinch of ground cinnamon
    Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and saute until tender, about 3 minutes. Add in the sweet potatoes and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil.

    Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, or until potatoes are soft. Remove from the heat and puree using an immersion blender. 

    Stir the jalapeno, corn kernels, salt, cayenne, black pepper, and cinnamon into the soup. Simmer until heated through.

    Thumbs up! Sweet and spicy? Yes, please! Bring it on! I had sweet potatoes sprouting in the pantry and jalapenos coming up in the garden, so I decided to make this for lunch. I absolutely love this combination of flavors. If you want it to be really spicy you don't have to seed the jalapenos. I did,and there is a zing of surprise every couple of bites, which I like. This is also a really simple recipe. So it definitely is highly recommended by me for you to try! 

    Thursday, September 5, 2013

    Chocolate Mousse Pie

    From: An old index card

    7 ounces of milk chocolate candy bars with almonds
    16 large marshmallows or 1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
    1/2 cup milk
    2 cups whipping cream, whipped
    1 pastry shell or graham cracker crust

    Place the candy, marshmallows and milk in a heavy saucepan; cook over low heat, stirring constantly until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Cool. Fold in whipped cream; pour into crust. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.


    Thumbs up! Not too sweet and not too chocolately, which is what I was worried about. Very smooth tasting and the best thing of all - super easy to put together! You could whip one of these up in less than 20 minutes (not including refrigeration time). I highly recommend this and I know I'll be throwing one of these together again in the future!

    Thursday, August 1, 2013

    Bean-and-Ham Soup

    From: Southern Living

    3 cans northern beans, divided
    1 can chicken broth, divided
    2 Tbsp butter
    1 small onion, diced
    8 oz cooked ham, cubed
    1/4 tsp pepper

    Rinse and drain beans. Process one-third can of beans and half of chicken broth in a food processor until smooth. Set aside.

    Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, and saute 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Add ham, and saute 10 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring constantly.

    Add bean puree, remaining beans, and remaining chicken broth. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in pepper. Serve immediately.

    Thumbs up! Very simple, filling soup. Great flavors - I love ham and bean together. Great consistency with the blended beans. Hunter (my 2-year old) was gobbling this up! I would definitely recommend this soup for the ease with which you can make it and the yummy flavor!

    Monday, July 22, 2013

    Ham 'N' Swiss Soup

    From: Taste of Home

    4 1/2 tsp butter
    4 1/2 tsp AP flour
    1 can chicken broth
    1 cup chopped broccoli
    2 Tbsp chopped onion
    1 cup cubed fully cooked ham
    1/2 cup whipping cream
    1/8 tsp dried thyme
    3/4 cup shredded Swiss cheese

    In a saucepan, melt butter; whisk in flour until smooth. Gradually add broth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Add the broccoli and onion; cook and stir until tender-crisp. Add the ham, cream and thyme; heat through. Stir in the cheese until melted. 

    Please note: This picture is from the Taste of Home website, not my personal picture. The soup was gone before I ever got my camera out!!

    Thumbs up! Oh my goodness, this soup was so delicious and melted in our mouths! I will definitely be making this one again. My only note - I recommend doubling this recipe. It only gave us three servings in the end and I would have liked more of it!

    Monday, July 1, 2013

    Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Chunk Cookies

    From: Ocean Spray Craisins advertisement

    2/3 cup butter, softened
    2/3 cup brown sugar
    2 large eggs
    1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
    1 1/2 cups flour
    1 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 6-oz package Craisins
    2/3 cup white chocolate chunks or chips

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Using an electric mixer, beat butter or margarine and sugar together in a medium mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs, mixing well. Combine oats, flour, baking soda and salt in a separate mixing bowl. Add to butter mixture in several additions, mixing well after each addition. Stir in dried cranberries and white chocolate chunks. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack.

    It helps to have really cute cooks in the kitchen:

    Thumbs up! I tasted a cookie from all three pans I cooked, just to make sure they weren't too bad. Seriously, these cookies are delicious! And addictive! And my kids love them, so I don't feel too bad about them eating them. Oats are good for you... cranberries HAVE to be good for you, right?? Anyway, I highly recommend this simple cookie recipe! I'll definitely be making it again!

    Thursday, June 27, 2013

    Pepperoni Pizza Pie

    From: Lynn's Kitchen Adventures

    • 1 unbaked (9 in) pie shell
    • 8 ounces of shredded cheese
    • 2 ounces of sliced pepperoni
    • 1 (12 ounce can) Carnation evaporated milk
    • 3 eggs, beaten
    • 2 tablespoons flour
    • 1 teaspoon dried basil
    • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
      Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle 1 cup of cheese and half of the pepperoni onto the bottom of the pie shell.  Whisk together the milk, eggs, flour, basil, and garlic powder.  Pour into pie shell. Sprinkle remaining cheese over top and carefully lay pepperoni on top of cheese.  Bake for 40-45 minutes or until done. 

    Thumbs up! What a delicious dinner. This did not stick around long at our table. I made this several months ago and I cannot remember if we even had any left over after dinner or not. If you like a quiche-type recipe and are looking for a little variety from regular pizza, this is perfect for you. I will definitely be making this again in the future!

    Monday, June 24, 2013

    Chocolate Cheese Pie

    From: An old index card

    1 8-oz pkg cream cheese, softened
    1 3-oz pkg cream cheese, softened
    3/4 cup sugar
    1/4 cup cocoa
    2 eggs
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    1/2 cup chilled whipping cream
    8-inch packaged crumb crust
    Cherry pie or peach pie filling

    Heat oven to 350 degrees. In large mixer bowl combine cream cheese and sugar; beat well. Blend in cocoa, scraping sides of bowl and beaters frequently. Add eggs and vanilla; blend well. Blend in whipping cream. Pour into crust. Bake 35-40 minutes. Center will be soft but will set upon cooling. Cool to room temperature. Cover and chill several hours or overnight. Garnish with pie filling.

    Just the way I like it - simple and delicious! Thumbs up! Classic recipe for a potluck or having friends over for dinner. I'll definitely be making this again in a pinch!

    P.S. The recipe name "Chocolate Cheese Pie" is NOT my creation. A chocolate cheese pie sounds pretty disgusting in my opinion. But trust me, that's what it's called.

    Friday, June 21, 2013

    Homemade Granola

    From: An old index card

    3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats 
    1/2 cup wheat germ
    1/4 cup flour
    1/4 cup oat bran
    4 Tbsp brown sugar
    2 tsp cinnamon
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp nutmeg
    1/4 tsp ginger
    1/2 cup apple juice or cider
    4 Tbsp warm honey
    1 Tbsp vanilla
    2 Tbsp unsalted butter

    Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Butter a baking sheet. Stir together oats, flour, wheat germ, oat bran, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and ginger. In a separate bowl whisk together the apple juice, honey, vanilla and butter. Pour over dry ingredients. Toss. Spread on baking sheet. Cook for 45 minutes, stirring about every 15 minutes. Cook until it is all dry to the touch. If you want to add fruit, add in the dried fruit of your choice after it's done baking.

    Thumbs up! Yummy to sit out on the counter and munch on as I'm walking around! :-)

    Homemade Cream of Chicken Condensed Soup

    From: Tammy's Recipes

    1 1/2 cups chicken broth
    1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
    1/4 teaspoon onion powder
    1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
    1/8 teaspoon black pepper
    1/4 teaspoon salt (or less; taste to test)
    1/4 teaspoon parsley
    dash of paprika
    1 1/2 cups milk
    3/4 cup flour 

    In medium-sized saucepan, boil chicken broth, 1/2 cup of the milk, and the seasonings for a minute or two (longer if using fresh onions or garlic). In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup of milk and flour. Add to boiling mixture and continue whisking briskly until mixture boils and thickens.

    Thumbs up!! Ever been in the middle of a recipe and realize you don't have any cream of chicken soup in your pantry? Okay, if you're a prepared cook that's never happened to you. But it happens to me all the time!! This is an easy way to whip up your own condensed cream of chicken soup. Yummy and no extra ingredients like you will find in the canned stuff!

    Monday, June 3, 2013

    Garlic Chicken

    From: An old index card

    Lemon juice
    1/4 cup vegetable oil
    8 garlic
    1 Tbsp thyme, parsley, oregano, chives
    salt and pepper

    Combine all ingredients. Add chicken and cover. Refrigerate overnight. Grill chicken.

    I know, the chicken doesn't look that appetizing and the recipe is pretty vague. I'm trying to go through some of my old recipe cards and weed out some of them! I honestly think this recipe would have been better if I hadn't used so many herbs. It wasn't bad, it was just very herb-y, as you can tell by the picture! BUT... I will say that my 4-year old ate a ton of it and she's the one I consider my picky eater. It wasn't a really strong flavor so that's probably why she liked it. Also, I didn't grill it, I just cooked it in the oven. This is the type of recipe I'd probably make for lunch during the week for the kids but not for a family dinner.

    Tuesday, May 21, 2013

    Key Lime Pie

    From: An old index card

    2 eggs
    1 egg yolk
    1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
    1/2 cup lime juice
    2 Tbsp water
    1-2 drops green food coloring (optional)
    1 tsp grated lime peel
    1 graham cracker pie crust

    Whipped topping:
    1 cup whipping cream
    2 Tbsp sugar
    1/2 tsp vanilla

    Key lime slices (optional)

    In a large mixing bowl beat eggs and yolk with wire whisk until combined. Gradually add milk to yolks, beating until combined. Add lime juice, water, food coloring, and lime peel. Whisk until well mixed. Pour into crust. Place on baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees or until almost set in center. Cool on wire rack for 1 hour. Refrigerate at least 4 hours.

    Chill small mixing bowl and beaters of electric mixer. In chilled bowl beat cream, sugar, and vanilla on medium speed until stiff peaks form. Pipe or spoon whipped cream around edges of pie. Garnish with lime slices if desired.

    Thumbs up! Not too tart (which is what I was afraid of) and the whipped topping just adds something special to it! A perfect little pie for dessert, whether with your own family or a group setting. Highly recommend this - I will be making it again!

    Thursday, May 16, 2013

    Italian Vegetable Soup

    From: Back-to-School Lunches cookbook

    1 Tbsp olive oil
    1 cup chopped red onion
    1 cup chopped red bell pepper
    1 bag frozen Italian vegetables or mixed vegetables
    1 can diced tomatoes with liquid
    1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
    3 cans chicken broth
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp pepper
    1 tsp crushed dried oregano
    1 cup uncooked wagon wheel pasta
    1 cup cooked diced chicken, optional

    Heat oil in Dutch oven. Add onion and bell pepper. Cook and stir over medium-high heat 3 minutes or until onion is tender. Stir in frozen vegetables, tomatoes, chickpeas, chicken broth, salt, pepper and oregano. Bring to a boil over high heat.

    Stir in pasta. Reduce heat to medium and cook at a low boil 15 minutes or until pasta and vegetables are tender. If desired, stir in chicken with pasta.

    Easily frozen: Just put it in a freezer container. Thaw overnight and you can pack it for lunch or eat it at home.

    Thumbs up! Such a classic, feel-good, comfort meal! This was definitely a recipe meant for kids but it was delicious. I like this because it's easy to adapt. I'll definitely be making this again and I highly recommend it.

    Tuesday, May 14, 2013

    Country Ham Bone Soup

    From: Here

    1 baked country ham bone
    3 quarts water
    1 c. sliced carrots
    1 c. sliced celery
    1/2 c. chopped onion
    1 (10 oz.) pkg. frozen whole kernel corn
    1 (10 oz.) pkg. frozen lima beans
    1 (16 oz.) can black eyed peas, undrained
    1 (16 oz.) can tomatoes, undrained
    2 c. cooked elbow macaroni
    Salt & pepper to taste
    Place ham bone in large soup kettle. Add water; simmer 30 minutes. Remove bone and remove meat from bone. Chop meat and return to broth. Add carrot, celery and onion; simmer 30 minutes. Add remaining vegetables; simmer 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Add macaroni; season with salt and pepper. Heat to serving temperature.


    Thumbs up! I needed a way to use my ham bone after I made a ham, and we're not huge bean eaters, so I found this soup recipe and thought it sounded like a winner. Filling, delicious, and easy to make! Next time I make a ham I'll definitely be making this soup the next day again! I highly recommend this soup!