Thursday, January 30, 2014

Lemon Bars

From: A General Mills calendar

1 roll (16.5 oz) Pillsbury refrigerated sugar cookies
4 eggs, slightly beaten
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 Tbsp AP flour
2 Tbsp butter, softened
2 Tbsp grated lemon peel (2 medium)
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (2 medium)
1-2 Tbsp powdered sugar

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In ungreased 13x9 pan, break up cookie dough. With floured fingers, press dough evenly in bottom of pan to form crust. Bake 15-20 minutes or until light golden brown.

In large bowl, beat eggs with wire whisk or fork until well blended. Beat in granulated sugar, flour and butter until well blended. Stir in lemon peel and lemon juice. Pour mixture over warm crust.

Bake 20-30 minutes longer or until edges are light golden brown. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. With knife dipped in hot water, cut into 6 rows by 6 rows.

Thumbs up! I wondered if these would be way too sweet due to the sugar cookie crust. But they were just perfect. I have made several other lemon bar recipes in the past and I'd say this one was one of my favorites, and a lot easier than making your own crust if you like shortcuts. Highly recommend this recipe!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Cheesy Garlic Sticks

From: Jam Hands

  • 1 premade pizza dough from a pizzeria
  • olive oil for brushing dough
  • 1 ball of mozzarella (not the kind in water, the kind that is vacuum sealed), you will use about half of a ball, depending on the size of it
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic, with flavored oil
  • Italian spices
  1. Prepare the crust: Transfer to a baking pizza pan. Brush dough lightly all over with olive oil.
  2. Cut or pull apart the cheese with your fingers and spread all over the dough.
  3. Drizzle the pizza with a little of the garlic flavored oil from the minced garlic, and sprinkle with minced garlic over the entire pizza. Add just a bit of Italian spices to the top, and bake. Bake according to what dough you have.

Thumbs up! The website I got this from actually got dough from Papa Murphy's, which sells their dough premade. I don't know of a place in town that does that around here. I used Pillsbury pizza crust dough. I would also recommend using Trader Joe's dough or making your own. Also, I didn't use a ball of mozzarella. I was making these on a whim. I sliced a chunk of mozzarella and it was perfect. I did slice it instead of shredding it, based on her directions. I am definitely going to make these again. They went fast! Much easier than I thought it was going to be, also.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Family-Size Strawberry Shortcake

From: An old index card

1 package white cake mix
1 1/2 quarts fresh strawberries
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare cake according to package directions. Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans; pour batter into pans. Bake cakes until done. Cool completely on wire racks.

Reserve 8-10 large strawberries for garnish. Slice remaining strawberries, place in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with granulated sugar. Mash slightly with potato masher. Chill until ready to assemble cake, at least 30 minutes.

Beat whipping cream in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Add confectioners' sugar and vanilla; continue beating until just mixed.

Place one cake layer on serving plate. Cover with mashed strawberries. Top with about 1 1/2 cups whipped cream. Place second cake layer on top. Spread with remaining whipped cream. Garnish with reserved strawberries.





 Taste test and approve:

Thumbs up! I've had this recipe for probably almost a decade. It was spotted by my four-year old two days ago and she begged me to make it, so we did! It is SO easy and it is delicious. Seriously going to be making this again. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Tortellini Vegetable Soup

From: An old index card

3/4 cup chopped onion
4 cups water
14 1/2 oz can diced tomatoes with Italian seasonings
1 cup diced carrots
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
9 oz (about 2 1/2 cups) cheese tortellini
1 cup thinly sliced mushrooms
1 cup zucchini, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 cup chopped fresh spinach
2 tsp dried parsley, finely crumbled

Coat a 3-quart pot with a tablespoon of olive oil and add the onion. Cover and cook over medium heat for several minutes, until the onions start to soften.

Add the water, undrained tomatoes, carrots, salt and pepper to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, until the carrots are tender.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer half of the vegetables to a blender and pour in about 1 cup of the liquid. Carefully blend at low speed to puree the vegetables. Return the blended mixture back to the post.

Add the tortellini and mushrooms to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 5 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook covered for an additional 4 minutes. Add the spinach and cook for another minute, until the spinach wilts and the tortellini is cooked through. Serve hot, topping each serving with a sprinkling of parsley.

Thumbs up! What an awesome mixture of flavors. This was a very simple, inexpensive soup to make and it was delicious. I'll be making this again and I recommend it! 

Cherry Cheesecake

From: An old index card

2 packages (one 8 oz, one 3 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 carton (8 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 shortbread or graham cracker crust
1 can cherry pie filling

In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Fold in whipped topping; spoon into crust. Top with pie filling. Refrigerate until serving.

Thumbs up! I love cherry pies. This is so simple and you can throw it together at the last minute if you need it for a party or luncheon. I definitely recommend this one! 

Barbecued Chicken Wings Bahama

From: Cooking With Heinz Ketchup

2 lbs chicken wings
2/3 cup ketchup
2 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp red pepper
1/8 tsp garlic powder

Cut off wing tips and discard; cut each wing in half at joint. Place wings on broiler rack. Bake in 400 degree oven 40 minutes, turning once. Meanwhile, combine ketchup, lime juice, brown sugar, allspice, red pepper and garlic powder; brush on wings. Broil 2-3 minutes. Turn wings and brush with sauce. Broil an additional 2-3 minutes.

Not too bad. I used chicken breasts, cut them into tenders, and marinated them in the sauce in a ziploc bag for a couple of hours before dinner. Then I cooked them in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes. They were perfectly done. I felt like these were a little too "spice-y" for me. Not spicy, spice-y. I could really taste the allspice. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't my favorite chicken recipe ever. With that being said, the kids totally devoured it, so maybe I should do this for a weekday lunch every so often. P.S. Sorry the pictures look kind of gross.

Halloween Candy Corn Pudding

From: Flour on My Face

1 small box of instant vanilla pudding
Cool Whip for topping
4-8 Udi’s Brownie Bites
Candy Corn for Garnish
1 -2 drops of red liquid food coloring
3-4 drops of yellow liquid food coloring

Make the pudding per box instructions and set aside. Break up the brownie bites into a dessert dish and line the bottom with it. If you are making two desserts you will need 8 brownie bites. You can press the brownie bites down with the bottom of a small glass jar so your bottom layer of pudding doesn’t ooze down through the spaces or just crumble the brownies and let the pudding ooze. It all depends on the look you are going for.
Divide the pudding equally into two separate bowls. Spoon some of the vanilla pudding over the Udi’s Brownie Bites.
The amount of pudding you use will depend on how big your dessert dish is and if you are making one serving or two.
Keep that in mind as you layer the pudding.
Add the food coloring to the remaining bowl of vanilla pudding. Stir well so there are no streaks of color.
Add 1-2 drops of red food coloring and 3-4 drops of yellow food coloring to the remaining pudding.
Start out with the smaller amount and then add more if you think the orange is not bright enough.
Once the pudding is colored add a layer to the dessert dish.
Top with the Cool Whip using a bag and a tip. Or use a can of whipped topping if you don’t happen to have frosting bags and tips on hand.
Chill. Before serving top with some sprinkles and a candy corn for garnish.

Thumbs up! How could you go wrong with this recipe?? I actually just used a $1.00 box of brownies from the dollar store and broke them up and smushed them at the bottom. This was such a yummy dessert! It would be so easy to make this for several different holidays, with the differing food colorings and toppings. I'll definitely be making this again!!

Honey Chipotle Meatballs

From: Fast Paleo


  • 1/2 pound of ground beef
  • 1/2 pound of ground pork
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 T of coconut aminos
  • 3 T of raw honey
  • 1 T of finely mince chipotle in adobo peppers

  • Mix together beef and pork. Add salt and pepper. Make into Tablespoon-size meatballs. In large skillet over medium heat cook the meatballs until browned and cooked through. Remove meatballs and add in aminos, honey and chipotle. Bring to a bubble. Add back in the meatballs and toss till sauce is thickened and meatballs are well coated.

    Thumbs up, although this isn't my favorite meatball recipe ever. I love sweet and spicy things, so I did like these. I couldn't find coconut aminos anywhere so I had to leave those out. I think a coconut flavor would be a great addition to this, though. I also didn't make my own meatballs, I used regular frozen meatballs. Very simple!

    Cheesy Bean Dip

    From: My Life As a Mrs

    1 (8 oz) block of Cream Cheese, softened
    1 (15.5 oz) Can of Bushes Chili Starter Beans
    1 Jar of Salsa (8-12 oz)
    1- 1 1/2 Cups Grated Cheese of Choice (Cheddar, Colby Jack, etc...)


    Preheat oven to 350ยบ. Spray a 9 inch pie plate (or any equal sized oven safe dish) with Non-Stick Cooking Spray. Spread the cream cheese evenly in the bottom of the dish. Next, using the lid of the can, gently drain of the liquid from the beans (do not rinse), and then evenly spread on top of the cream cheese. Pour salsa on top of the beans, using just enough to cover them (about 8-10 oz).
    Place into preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes until the edges begin to bubble. Remove from oven, add the shredded cheese (enough to cover the salsa). Place back into oven just long enough to melt the cheese (about 5-8 more minutes). Remove from oven and serve with Tortilla Chips.

    Thumbs up! This was such an easy and delicious bean dip recipe! I spread the whole 8 ounces of cream cheese on the bottom of the dish. I couldn't find this type of bean that was in the recipe, so I used refried beans and spread them on top. Then I put just a thin layer of salsa on top. Mine bubbled after 30 minutes and then I loaded it down with cheddar cheese. It took almost 10 minutes for my cheese to melt the way I wanted it to. It was definitely so good and I'll make this again!

    Friday, January 10, 2014

    Cowboy Baked Beans

    From: Work It Mom

    1 lb ground beef
    Chopped onion
    1/4 cup ketchup
    1/4 cup barbecue sauce
    1/4 cup brown sugar
    Squirt of yellow mustard
    Can of baked beans
    Chopped bell pepper (optional)
    Miscellaneous things from the cabinet - Worcestershire sauce, rib seasoning, seasoned salt
    Bacon crumbles

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook ground beef until brown, add onion and cook, drain excess grease. Mix the remaining ingredients in a casserole dish. Add the ground beef and onions and mix well. Top with bacon crumbles. Cook for 40-50 minutes.

    Thumbs up! This was super simple and really delicious. It was great for a large group. I'll definitely be making this again in the future. (I did leave out the bell pepper)

    Thursday, January 9, 2014

    Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate (My Favorite Single-Serve)

    From: Just a Pinch

    1 cup milk
    3 Tbsp cocoa powder
    2 tsp caramel topping
    1/4 tsp coarse sea salt
    1/2 tsp sugar
    whipped cream

    Pour caramel topping into a mug. Pour 1 cup milk and 3 tbsp cocoa powder into a sauce pan, stir then heat until hot and frothy. Pour cocoa mixture into mug, add sugar then stir (can use more or less sugar. the amount provided will make a slightly bitter hot chocolate). Add whip cream then top with about 1/8th tsp of sea salt, and drizzle with more caramel sauce!

    Thumbs up! My new favorite recipe. This one is a more bitter flavor of chocolate than other homemade cocoas I've tried. I added about a teaspoon more sugar than what is in the recipe and it was perfect to me. This is awesome for when you're just craving cocoa and you don't want to make a huge batch or you've run out of the store-bought stuff.  

    Creamy Crockpot Hot Cocoa (My Favorite Bulk Recipe)

    From: Mrs Happy Homemaker

    • 1.5 cups whipping cream
    • 1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
    • 6 cups milk
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 2 cups of chocolate chips (milk chocolate OR semi-sweet depending on how sweet you like it.)

    Stir together the whipping cream, milk, vanilla, and chocolate chips in a crockpot.
    Cover and cook on low for 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until mixture is hot and chocolate chips are melted. Stir again before serving. Garnish as desired.

    Thumbs up! Picture is stolen from the Mrs Happy Homemaker blog because I never remember to snap a picture when I make this stuff! Now, this hot chocolate is a major chocolate overload, so make sure you have lots of chocolate lovers on hand when you make a batch! 

    Monday, January 6, 2014

    Wendy's Chili

    From: Mama Loves Food

    4.5 pounds ground beef, browned and drained
    2 large yellow (sweet) onions, chopped
    7 large green bell peppers, chopped
    4 celery stalks, chopped
    2 heaping tablespoons minced garlic (I use jarred)
    2 cans Ranch Style Beans, NOT drained (15 ounce cans)
    2 cans dark red kidney beans, drained (15 ounce cans)
    2 cans Original Rotel Diced Tomatoes & Green Chili (10 ounce cans)
    2 cans stewed tomatoes (15 ounce cans)
    4 cans plain tomato sauce (15 ounce cans)
    2 packages McCormick Mild Chili Seasoning (1.25 ounce packages)

    Combine all ingredients in a large stock pot. Simmer for at least three hours (the longer the better!)

    Thumbs up! I love chili and this recipe didn't disappoint. It's a bit spicy. I halved it and it made plenty. This would be a great recipe to make and freeze. Also, I couldn't find the Ranch beans so I doubled the kidney beans. I'll definitely be making this one again in the future!