Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Our NYE Menu

We are having a quiet night in this New Years. We decided to do an appetizer night as my hubby didn't get enough of the Buffalo Chicken Dip over Christmas! So I made a menu that we will hopefully love!

Buffalo Chicken Dip
Goat Cheese Stuffed Dates wrapped in Bacon
Feta Triangles
Easy Italian Pinwheels

Bread and crackers to serve alongside (oh and spray cheese, yes we love the stuff and we love to pig out on it over New Years! I will admit I am beginning to be a foodie but I won't give the stuff up!)

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip served with Nilla Wafers for dessert
Chocolate Pockets (forgot to blog about this when I made it last, they are soooo good!)

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Peanut Butter Pie for my hubby

So my hubby loves peanut butter pie, really he loves anything peanut butter! His mom makes him a pie but I'm not a big fan of it (sorry Nancy) I'm just not a merrague person (see I can't even spell it, ya know that white foamy stuff you get from beating eggs) I just can't handle the texture of it. So I went on-line to find a recipe and came across this one from Emeril (click here for the original recipe) and the Food Network!

I did make quite a few changes to make this alot faster! Love that it is a no-bake yummy dessert!

2 cups graham cracker crumbs---I used a premade chocolate graham cracker crust
6 tablespoons melted butter
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts
6 cups sweetened heavy cream, whipped until thick, in all---I used whip cream straight out of the tub

Mix the peanut butter, cream cheese, sugar and milk together, stir in the peanuts, fold in the whip cream. Pour into premade crust.

Yep that's it! You could definitely add a chocolate ganache, which I thought about but my hubby said it was fine as is! This was very good and I will make again!

Lime and Chili-Rubbed Chicken Breasts

I got Betty Crocker 30 minute meals for diabetes for Christmas from my hubby. Okay well I ordered it and he said he'd include it in part of my Christmas presents because you see I have an obsession with cookbooks and could never have too many! I thought I'd finally look at it last night and found some recipes I just can't wait to make. This first one got rave reviews from the hubby and I thought it was pretty darn good myself.

2 tsps chili powder
2 tsps packed brown sugar
2 tsps grated lime peel (I didn't have a lime so I soaked my chicken breasts in botteled lime juice instead of rubbing it with the oil and it was perfect)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder (since I don't think you can EVER have too much garlic I used 1/2 tsp)
1/8 tsp ground red pepper (cayenne) (I didn't have this so I used 1/8 of red chili flakes)
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/4 lb)
2 tsps olive or canola oil

Heat gas or charcoal grill. In small bowl mix chili powder, brown sugar, lime peel, salt, garlic powder and ground red pepper. Rub both sides of chicken with oil, then with spice mixture.

Place chicken on grill over medium heat. Cover grill; cook 10 to 15 minutes, turning once or twice, until juice runs clear when cut at the thickest part (170 degrees).

Betty's Tips:
Refrigerating the "rubbed" chicken 20 to 30 minutes before grilling really enhances the flavor (I did mine about 20 minutes and it was really juicy).

You can also bake the chicken. Place the rubbed chicken in a foil lined shallow baking dish and bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes. (I also did this and with my handy dandy, insert while in oven, thermometer it took about 20 minutes to reach 165.

I served this with the lovely Crash potatoes and some corn! YUM!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

For my mom

Maybe it's the holiday season, maybe it's because she gave me life or moreso because we have become the best of friends. My mom who frequents my blog and has gotten into a few different blogs of her own has been on me to frequent Mrs.Blandings blog more often. She is, no less, another great Kansas Citian. So I finally mosied over today and even put her in my non-food blogs I frequent section. She really does have a wonderful blog and I can see why after reading hers why my mom really started to get into this wonderful world of blogging. Even if it took more than just her daughter's blog. Ha I love ya mom!

This picture was taken at an event that we found out because of Mrs.Blandings it was a quaint day of shopping in a historic barn, looking through new and antique items. Yep it's one of the great pictures you take yourself, it's a good thing I have long arms! Oh and we don't look alike at all do we?

I'll also include a picture of an item my mom was wonderful enough to buy me that day! She bought me the house that you put candles in and it lights the windows and doors, I bought the small green tree that day as well!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Ina's Buttermilk Cheddar Biscuits

Ina is my new hero. Such simple ingredients and easy instructions. My mom gave me her Back To Basics cookbook for Christmas and I had seen the episode where she makes these for breakfast and looked so good. I tried one straight out of the oven and they are soooooo good!


2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced
1/2 cup cold buttermilk, shaken
1 cold extra-large egg
1 cup grated extra-sharp Cheddar
1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water or milk
Maldon sea salt, optional

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Place 2 cups of flour, the baking powder, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. With the mixer on low, add the butter and mix until the butter is the size of peas.

Combine the buttermilk and egg in a small measuring cup and beat lightly with a fork. With the mixer still on low, quickly add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and mix only until moistened. In a small bowl, mix the Cheddar with small handful of flour and, with the mixer still on low, add the cheese to the dough. Mix only until roughly combined.

Dump out onto a well-floured board and knead lightly about 6 times. Roll the dough out to a rectangle 10 by 5 inches. With a sharp, floured knife, cut the dough lengthwise in half and then across in quarters, making 8 rough rectangles. Transfer to a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Brush the tops with the egg wash, sprinkle with salt, if using, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are browned and the biscuits are cooked through. Serve hot or warm.

Pierside Salmon Patties with Dill Sauce

This recipe is from my new Taste of Home cookbook my awesome hubby got me for Christmas. These were the best Salmon Patties I have ever made, and the sauce made them even better!

Salmon Patties
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
2 tbl lemon juice
3 cups coarsely crushed saltines (I didn't have any so I used whole wheat Ritz)
2 tsp finely chopped onion (I used dried onions)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 cans (14 3/4 oz each) salmon, drained, bones and skin removed

In a large bowl beat the eggs, milk, lemon juice, crackers, onion, salt and pepper. Add salmon and mix well. Shape into twelve 3-in patties. Place in a greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until lightly browned.

I halved this recipe so we would only have 6 patties for our dinner and hubby lunch the next day. It worked out wonderfully and it took exactly 30 mins to get done!

Dill Sauce

2 Tbl butter
2 Tbl flour
1 tsp snipped fresh dill or 1/2 tsp dill weed (I used dill weed and it was fine)
1/4 tsp salt
dash pepper
dash nutmeg
1 1/2 cup milk

Melt butter in saucepan. Stir in the flour, dill, salt, pepper and nutmeg until smooth. Gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Serve with the salmon patties.

Ina's Butternut Squash Risotto

I was so excited to start using all of the awesome presents my wonderful family got me for Christmas. Here I am using my new Paula Deen saute pan my mom got me, and the new saucepan and spoonulas my hubby got me (he even braved Crate & Barrel the Sat. before Christmas for them!)
My BFF Ashley made this one night for just the 2 of us and we had one of the best nights I've had in a long time, just sitting on her couch with her window open on a cool fall night. I had been wanting to make it for me and hubby and finally did so! It was wonderful and I will make it again!

From Ina Garten

1 butternut squash (2 pounds)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, I also added a dash of nutmeg
6 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade--I used boxed
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
2 ounces pancetta, diced--did not use as I didn't have any
1/2 cup minced shallots (2 large)--also did not use
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice (10 ounces)
1/2 cup dry white wine--again didn't use
1 teaspoon saffron threads--one more time, didn't use
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Peel the butternut squash, remove the seeds, and cut it into 3/4-inch cubes. You should have about 6 cups. Place the squash on a sheet pan and toss it with the olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, tossing once, until very tender. Set aside. (Since it is so hard to peel a raw butternut squash, I just cut it in half and roasted it whole, then peeled and cut it in cubes)

Meanwhile, heat the chicken stock in a small covered saucepan. Leave it on low heat to simmer.

In a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter. Add the rice and stir to coat the grains with butter. Add 2 full ladles of stock to the rice plus the 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and nutmeg. Stir, and simmer until the stock is absorbed, 5 to 10 minutes. Continue to add the stock, 2 ladles at a time, stirring every few minutes. Each time, cook until the mixture seems a little dry, then add more stock. Continue until the rice is cooked through, but still al dente, about 30 minutes total. Off the heat, add the roasted squash cubes and Parmesan. Mix well and serve.

Fruit Dip

I knew with all the cheesy rich food I was serving for our Christmas party I needed to serve some fruit and I decided to make a fruit dip to go along with it. So I once again turned to to help me out.

1 package cream cheese--softened
1 jar of marshmallow cream

Mix ingredients together. Store in the fridge in a covered container. Serve with fruit.

Garlic and Honey Meatballs

These are from this recipe from
They were so good and a great addition to our Christmas party. They got rave reviews and my sister kept asking me "how I made them again!" This is how I made them!

About 40 frozen meatballs
3 Tbl Soy Sauce
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup ketchup (I actually used what I had left in the bottle)
4 tsps minced garlic (I just used the jar stuff)

Place meatballs in a slow cooker, cover with remaining ingredients. Stir to coat. Place on low for 4 hours.

These were perfectly saucy, sweet and garlicky!

Blue Cheese and Walnut Spread

I wanted to make a cheeseball for our Christmas Celebration but ended up making this as a spread instead. I had all of the ingredients on hand so it was perfect! This was very tasty and everyone loved it!

Adapted from recipes I found on

1 package cream cheese--softened
about 4 oz blue cheese--more or less depending on your taste
1/4-1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Mix all ingredients together. Serve with french bread or crackers.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

This dip is also known as Crack Dip because it is so darn addicting. I finally made it after seeing all of the girls on the What's Cooking board making it. I knew my dad would love it so I made it for our Christmas with my family. I was right my dad loved it along with my sisters and hubby!

Buffalo Chicken Dip
adapted from the What's Cooking board
I got it off cookingthisandthats blog

2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts cooked and shredded
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup blue cheese or ranch dressing
3/4 cup hot pepper sauce (I like the Frank's Buffalo sauce)
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat chicken and hot sauce in a skillet over medium heat, until heated through. Stir in cream cheese and blue cheese dressing. Cook, stirring until blended and warm. Mix in the cheddar cheese and transfer to a 2 quart baking dish.
Cook for 20 minutes or until bubbly.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Microwave Chocolate Fudge

I was on Beantown Baker's blog looking at her wonderful 12 Days of Christmas Cookies and came across her recipe for fudge. Since I had just made the wonderful peanut butter fudge in the microwave I thought I'd give it another try. It's another great recipe that I'm so glad I came across!

From Beantown Baker Adventures in a Boston Kitchen
Fudge - from - makes about 36 pieces
3 cups semisweet chocolate chips - I used 2 cups milk chocolate and 1 cup semisweet
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup butter
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Place chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, and butter or margarine in large microwaveable bowl. Zap in microwave on medium until chips are melted, about 3-5 minute, stirring once or twice during cooking. Stir in nuts, if desired.

Pour into well-greased 8x8-inch glass baking dish. Refrigerate until set.

Quick, easy and yummy dinner

The girls on my board, What's Cooking through the nest, have been talking about this recipe for a month. Seeing that I absolutely LOVE Laughing Cow Cheese I decided to make it finally. I am so glad I did because it will stay in the rotation!

Laughing Cow Cheese
found on lovedeliciousness
Unknown original source


* 2 chicken breasts, my chicken was pretty thin so I pounded down first
* 2 wedges Laughing Cow light cheese (one per breast)
* Italian seasoning to taste
* 1/4 cup dried bread crumbs (we used seasoned)
* Handful grated parmesan cheese
* Cooking spray


1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Spread one wedge of Laughing Cow cheese on top of each piece of chicken. Sprinkle italian seasoning on top to taste. Roll chicken starting at large end.
3. Mix together bread crumbs and parmesan cheese in a shallow dish. Spray each chicken breast with cooking spray and then dip in bread crumb mixture to coat. Place on baking sheet. If needed you can use toothpicks to hold chicken in shape.
4. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

Roasted Garlic Fries
While I was looking for the Laughing Cow Cheese Chicken and I was on lovedeliciousness's blog I found her recipe for Garlic Fries. Since I had a bag of potatoes that needed to be used up I thought I would make them. I am so glad I did they were a perfect match for the chicken!


* 2-3 potatoes for two people
* Garlic powder
* Salt and pepper


1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.--I did it in a 400 degree oven with the chicken
2. Cut potatoes into french fry strips. Toss with EVOO, salt, pepper, garlic (and any other seasonings you like!)
3. Bake in oven for 30-45 minutes or until crispy.

Doggie Treats

I found this recipe on And man am me and Nellie happy I did! They are so fast and easy to make, and a ton cheaper than buying them especially when your dog has a corn allergy! It also made a bunch! I had a dog bone cookie cutter that my BFF had given us when we got Nellie and finally got to use it.

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup unsalted natural peanut butter
1 cup skim milk

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets. Stir together the flour and baking powder; set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix together the peanut butter and milk. Stir in the flour mixture until well blended. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Roll out to 1/4 inch thickness and cut into shapes using cookie cutters. Or you can just cut into the right size for your dog! Place 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets.
Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly brown. Remove from cookie sheets to cool on wire racks.

The happy doggie!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Alton Brown's Peanut Butter Fudge

I was trying to find a recipe for peanut butter fudge and my search took me to I came across this recipe by Alton Brown, that you used the microwave for and it had REALLY good reviews. So I thought why not try it. Man am I glad I did!

1 cup butter, plus more for greasing pan (I used foil to line my 8X8 pan and left handles on it to lift out of pan)
1 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pound powdered sugar

Microwave butter and peanut butter for 2 minutes on high. Stir and microwave on high for 2 more minutes. Add vanilla and powdered sugar to peanut butter mixture and stir to combine with a wooden spoon. Pour into a buttered 8 by 8-inch pan lined with waxed paper. Place a second piece of waxed paper on the surface of the fudge and refrigerate until cool. Cut into 1-inch pieces and store in an airtight container for up to a week.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Crystal's Double Chocolate Ginger Cookies

This is a combination of a couple of different ginger cookies I found off of Allrecipes. I also up'd the amount of spices because I like my ginger cookies spicy!

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 cup baking cocoa

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup margarine, softened

1 cup white sugar

1 egg

1 tablespoon water

1/4 cup molasses

2 tablespoons white sugar

About 1/2 a bag of mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Sift together the flour, ginger, baking soda, flour, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, then stir in the water and molasses. Gradually stir the sifted ingredients into the molasses mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips. Shape dough into walnut sized balls, and roll them in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. I used a tablespoon worth of dough and rolled in Organic Sugar. Place the cookies 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet, and flatten slightly.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

This also gave me an excuse to try out my new Wilton Christmas shapes cookie pan!

Thanksgiving 2008

Me and the hubby on the wonderful day!

We had the best Thanksgiving this year! It was just me, hubby and my parents, but it was lovely. Here are some pics and the menu!

Ham (provided by my parents) This is my momma with their ham!

Turkey (I just did cutlets since there weren't many of us)
Parmesan Mashed Potatoes with Breadcrumbs (found this recipe on food network from Giada) They were the BEST and got rave reviews!
Stuffing (from the bag-Pepperidge Farms Cornbread)
Rolls (no-not homemade, someday I will get to this point though)
Green Bean stuffing (off the Fried Onion cannister)

I made a pumpkin roll for dessert, the good ole Libby one. I felt good because my dad took a bite and asked if I got it at "one of those fancy places down town!" I think he really loved it!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Weekly Menu 11/24-11/30

Monday: Venison chili
Tuesday: Leftover chili with hot dogs, yummy I love chili dogs!
Wednesday: Soup and Grilled Cheese (easy for our busy day Thurs)
THANKSGIVING: Turkey, ham, stuffing, corn casserole, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, rolls, olives, pumpkin roll, pumpkin dip
Friday: Off to the in-laws-Sunday!

Pizza Bake

One of my and my hubby's favorite dishes is the Hoagie Bake. We make it alot of Friday nights. It's either that or pizza. Well I thought I could combine the two. This is what I came up with and man are we glad I did because it was EXCELLENT!

2 cans Recipe Creations
30-40 slices pepperoni
3 slices provolone cheese
1/3 cup mozzerella
1/3 cup shredded Pizza combo cheese
6 Tbl spaghetti or pizza sauce

Preheat oven to 375. Spray bottom and sides of a 9X13 pan.

Place one can of dough in bottom of pan. Spread 3 Tbl of sauce over top. Sprinkle with mozzerella then place 15 pepperoni over the cheese. Place the 3 slices of Provolone over the pepperoni cutting to fit. Place the rest of the pepperoni over the cheese. Spread rest of the sauce over the pepperoni followed by the shredded cheese. Place the second roll of dough over the cheese.

**I used the glass pan that is smaller than the 9X13 and just rolled the dough to cover all the sides and top and make a little bit more of a crust.

Bake 18-20 mins until browned.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Chocolate Carmel Bars

My mother-in-law has 2 issues of the Taste of Home Cookbook and I made this with her for dessert one night. Well I started craving them and wanted to bake so I made them for me and hubby.


2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
2 cups quick-cooking oats
1-1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups cold butter, cubed
2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans
1 jar (12 ounces) caramel ice cream topping

In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda and salt. Cut in butter until crumbly. Set half aside for topping.
Press the remaining crumb mixture into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with the chocolate chips and pecans.
Whisk caramel topping and remaining flour until smooth; drizzle over top. Sprinkle with the reserved crumb mixture. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack for 2 hours before cutting. Yield: about 4-1/2 dozen.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Weekly Menu 11/16-11/23

Tonight: leftover pumpkin bisque and grilled cheese/turkey panini's (ENDED UP: Breakfast for dinner, pancakes, sausage rolls, eggs YUM)

Tomorrow: Chicken with Crash potatoes and roasted asparagus (ENDED UP: I ate lunch late with my BFF and DH had a sandwich)

Tuesday: Spaghetti and meatballs (ENDED UP: Chicken with Crash potatoes and roasted asparagus)

Wednesday: Meatloaf with steamed green beans and new potatoes (ENDED UP: Meatballs, Parmesan Orzo with corn)

Thursday: Out (ENDED UP: Sloppy Joe muffins, mac-n-cheese blue box, green beans)

Friday: Pizza Friday of DH's choice (it's his birthday weekend)--I'm going to make our hoagie bake but with pizza items only!!! I am excited!

Saturday: Out for DH's birthday

Sunday: I'm making dinner for DH and having my parents over--we are having Pretzel Dogs, Crash potatos (to introduce my parents to them), Fruit salad, Apps-goat cheese and cheese triangles and then Better than sex cake!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Hamburger Stew

This was a quick and easy was to use up some hamburger I had on hand. It's a mixture of recipes I found on . It was comfort food on a plate. It will stay in our rotation of meals and will be nice to have on cold days!

1 pound hamburger browned and drained
2 jars beef gravy
1 can corn (Hubby's veggie of choice you could sub whatever you want)

2 1/4 cup bisquick
2/3 cup milk

mashed potatoes of your choice (we just made boxed)

Place hamburger back in skillet after drained, place gravy and veggies in skillet as well. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil.

Spray a 4 qt casserole dish with Pam. Pour stew into casserole dish. Mix Bisquick and milk together. Drop by tablespoons on top of stew. Bake at 425 for 20-25 minutes until biscuits are browned and stew is bubbly.

Meanwhile make mashed potatoes.

Serve stew over mashed potatoes with the biscuits along side.

Crystal's Turkey Casserole

This originated off a Rachel Ray recipe I had cut out her magazine, who knows how long ago. However there were a lot of ingredients I just didn't want to use so I made it to our tastes. This was a GREAT meal and we will make it again and again!

1 pound turkey breast fillets
2 cups mexican cheese
2 cups crushed tortilla chips (basically enough to balance the turkey)
1 cup taco sauce (we use this instead of salsa you could sub that)
1/2 cup chicken broth

Bake and then cut turkey into bite size pieces. (I had the oven on already baking something so I threw the turkey in a pan and baked it alongside).

I used the same pan (a 9x13 glass pan) that I cooked the turkey in and placed the cut up turkey, tortilla chips and taco sauce all together and mixed all together. Pour chicken stock over the top. (It's basically to keep the tortilla chips soft).

I then placed the cheese over the top. (I wish I had mixed it in, I will next time).

Bake at 350 for 40 minutes until the cheese is golden.

Oatmeal Scotchie Bars

So I was heading to my sister-in-laws to help out with her newborn baby. I knew I wanted to make some things to take with me for dinner and snacks. I had a bag of butterscotch morsels by Nestle I wanted to use. So I made some Oatmeal Scotchies but made them in bar form and they were wonderful and the in-laws loved them as well!

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract or grated peel of 1 orange (I used the vanilla)
3 cups quick or old fashioned oats
11 oz package of Nestle Toll House Butterscotch Flavored Morsels

Preheat oven to 375.

Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla in large mixer bowl. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in oats and morsels. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets. (I used a jelly roll pan lined with parchmant paper).

Bake cookies for 7 to 8 minutes for chewy and 9 to 10 minutes for crip cookies. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Makes about dozen cookies.

For bars; prepare dough as above, spread dough into prepared pan. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until light brown. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars. Makes 4 dozen bars.
Me and my new nephew!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My mom's lasagna

My mom has been making this lasagna for as long as I can remember. It's the best lasagna I have ever tried (it even beat out my grandmas). I made 2 of these one to leave at home for my hubby to have a hot dinner while I am at the In-Laws for the weekend where I am taking the other one. Sorry for not taking a picture I promise to next time I make it! Okay I remembered to get pictures while I made it this time, however I still don't have one of the complete product, but with as much as I make it I'm sure I'll be able to get it!

1 clove garlic
1 1/2 lbs ground beef
Brown together and drain.

Stir in 1 32oz jar Prego, 6 oz tomato paste
Simmer for 20 minutes

Cook lasagna noodles (this is the first time I am trying the no-boil noodles, I'll update how it goes)

Cheese mixture: 2 tbl parsley flakes
1/2 to 3/4 cup cottage cheese
8 oz mozzerella cheese
1/2 cup parmesan cheese

Layer noodles, meat sauce and cheese mixture ending with cheese mixture in 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until cheese is brown and bubbly. Let sit 10 mins. before serving.

Monday, November 3, 2008

"Red Lobster" biscuits

2 cups Bisquick
2/3 cup milk
1 cup shredded cheedar cheese
1/4 cup melted butter or margarine
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Mix Bisquick, milk and cheese together. Drop by rounded tablespoon on baking sheet. Bake at 450 for 8-10 minutes. Mix butter and garlic powder. Once taken out of the oven spread biscuits with butter mixture.

Pumpkin Pie Bars

Here is another recipe. I had some leftover pumpkin from the pancakes so I was needing to use it up. These are really good. I will probably be making these for Thanksgiving this year.

1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
1/2 cup melted butter

3 eggs
3 cups pumpkin pie filling or canned pumpkin with 2 tbl pumpkin pie spice and 1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup milk (I used 1 12oz can of evaporated milk)
1/2 bag of chocolate chips (I added this)
1/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup butter
I also used 1/2 cup of pecans in my topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Grease the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan.
Pour one cup of yellow cake mix into a medium size mixing bowl; set aside.
Combine remaining cake mix, 1/2 cup melted butter and 1 egg; mix well.
Press into the baking pan.
Combine pumpkin pie filling, 2 eggs and milk in a medium size mixing bowl; mix until smooth. Pour evenly over the crust in the 9x13 inch pan.
I put enough of the chocolate chips over the pumpkin mixture to cover.
Pour the sugar and cinnamon and pecans into the mixing bowl containing the 1 cup of yellow cake mix. Cut in the butter until the mixture looks crumbly. Sprinkle this mixture over the pumpkin filling.
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until a knife inserted into the bars come out clean. Let cool before cutting.
Store in fridge.

Crystal's saucy crockpot chicken

I knew I had some frozen chicken breasts I wanted to throw in the crockpot for dinner but I had no idea what I wanted to go in with it, so I opened my cupboards and this is what I came up with. It was very moist and so very good, even though it was just a throw-together, I will make it again.

3-4 frozen chicken breasts
1 can cream of chicken with herbs soup
1 can cheddar cheese soup
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Place items in the crockpot in the order listed.

Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Yummy Pumpkin Pancakes with apple cider syrup

I got this recipe off We knew we wanted to have breakfast for dinner and Kevin wanted pancakes so I said "pumpkin pancakes" since I have been on such a pumpkin kick lately. He said sure, so I had to search for a recipe, man am I happy I came across this one!

3/4 cup apple cider or apple juice
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup (I used Karo dark as it's all I had)
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice (I used lime as I didn't have lemon)
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 eggs, separated
1 cup milk
1/2 cup cooked or canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

In a saucepan, combine the syrup ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes or until slightly thickened. Let stand for 30 minutes before serving.
For pancakes, combine the dry ingredients in a bowl. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, pumpkin and oil. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
Pour batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto a hot greased griddle. Turn when bubbles form on top of pancakes. Cook until second side is golden brown. Serve with the syrup.

Spider web pumpkin cheesecake

My mom had a little get together for Halloween and to wish my grandpa luck as he is moving to South Padre Texas. I made this cheesecake for dessert.

The cheesecake is from Philadelphia Cream Cheese on

18 OREO Cookies, finely crushed (about 1-1/2 cups)
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
3 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin
1 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
3 eggs

PREHEAT oven to 350°F if using a silver 9-inch springform pan (or 325°F if using a dark 9-inch nonstick springform pan). Mix cookie crumbs and 2 Tbsp. butter; press firmly onto bottom of pan. Set aside.

BEAT cream cheese and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice; mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition just until blended. Pour over crust.

BAKE 50 to 55 min. or until center is almost set; cool slightly. Run knife or metal spatula around rim of pan to loosen cake; cool before removing rim of pan.

I then melted 6 squares Bakers semi-sweet chocolate and then stired in about a 1/4 cup of whipping cream. Spread the chocolate over the cheesecake. Melt white chocolate and then place in a baggie and cut off the corner. Starting at the center of the cheesecake spiral the chocolate around the top of the cheesecake, then using a toothpick or knife pull the chocolate from the center to make spiderweb.

I then put a plastic spider on the top!

Pumpkin Corn Bread Muffins

My mom made these Saturday night, she pulled the recipe off all I then made them Sunday. They are wonderful! The original recipe did warn only make these as muffins as it is so dense you can't get it done in a pan. The recipe makes 12. I doubled it and used a whole can of pumpkin and got 24.

1 cup flour
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs, well beaten
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners.

In a large bowl stir dry ingredients together. In a small bowl stir together the eggs, pumpkin, brown sugar and oil.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet mixture. Stir just until blended; do not overmix. Fold in pecans. Divide evenly among prepared muffin tins.

Bake in preheated oven for 15-18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Honey Whole Wheat Bread

I love my "hand me down" bread maker that I got from my parents. The picture is on the mac n cheese plate! This is a really good bread. Once again the recipe came from Allrecipes!

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup bread flour
1/4 cup honey
1 1/2 tsp yeast
1 1/8 cup warm water
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbl butter

Put all ingredients in Bread Maker and put on light setting.

Homemade Mac N Cheese

This is a mixture of recipes I found on Allrecipes. I tweaked it to what I had on hand.

16 oz bag of small shells
1 box of Velvetta Cheese
1 can cheddar cheese soup
1 cup 1/2 and 1/2
1 package of ham
1 can of peas
1/2cup italian bread crumbs

1. Bring pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and boil about 8 mins. till al dente.

2. Place 1/2 and 1/2 with the soup in a pot and heat through, then add Velvetta cut into cubes, heat through, add ham and peas.

3. Pour cheese mixture into the pasta and then transfer all of it to a buttered dish, I used a glass 9X13 pan. Sprinkle bread crumbs all over the top of the mixture.

4. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 20 mins.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Carmel Apple Pork Chops

This is another Allrecipes, recipe. I followed alot of the other reviewers and marinated my pork chops overnight and didn't bother to pan fry them, just baked them. My instructions are at the bottom, but I also inclosed the original as well. This is an excellent recipe and I would tell everyone to try it!!!

4 (3/4 inch) thick pork chops
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tart apples - peeled, cored and sliced
3 tablespoons pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 175 degrees F (80 degrees C). Place a medium dish in the oven to warm.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brush chops lightly with oil and place in hot pan. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, turning occasionally, or until done. Transfer to the warm dish, and keep warm in the preheated oven.
In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, salt and pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add butter to skillet, and stir in brown sugar mixture and apples. Cover and cook until apples are just tender. Remove apples with a slotted spoon and arrange on top of chops. Keep warm in the preheated oven.
Continue cooking sauce uncovered in skillet, until thickened slightly. Spoon sauce over apples and chops. Sprinkle with pecans.

This is the original post, but here is how I made it:
Marinated pork chops over night in a mixture of apple cider, cinamon and nutmeg.
Cooked carmel sauce in saucepan. Placed apples over pork chops in casserole dish, poured carmel sauce over the apples. Covered and baked for 35 minutes. When it came out I served with stuffing and biscuits. I sprinkled pecans over mine.

This is the best dish EVER. It was incredible and so easy. I will make this again and again, it will soon become a fall favorite, I am sure!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

3 months and I already caught the oven on fire

While I was taking the incredible carmel cookies out of the oven the back row slid off my parchment paper lined cookie sheet. I tried to clean it up as much as I could while trying to keep the dog out of the chocolate. I went in to pull out the next batch, and yep the oven was on fire. We got this new oven in August, that's a record for me!

Chocolate covered Carmel Cookies

Okay this was my redeming dish this week. I had made some brownies that kinda failed and well I had to make something yummy to take the place of the bad brownies. I searched Allrecipes and came up with this dish. They are so freakin good!!!

1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup chopped pecans, divided
1 tablespoon white sugar
5 rolls chocolate-covered caramel candies

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, 1 cup white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine the flour, cocoa, and baking soda; stir into the sugar mixture until well blended. Stir in 1/2 cup of the pecans. Cover, and refrigerate dough for 1 hour, or until firm.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). In a shallow bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 cup pecans and 1 tablespoon of sugar; set aside.
Press 1 tablespoon of cookie dough around each chocolate coated caramel, forming a ball. Dip one side of each ball into the pecan mixture; and place pecan side up, 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
Bake for 8 minutes in the preheated oven (the cookies will look soft). Cool on the pans for one minute before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

I made half of mine with the pecans just on the outside and half with no pecans at all because hubby doesn't like them. I made all but 10 of them with Rolos the other ones I just used plain carmels because I ran out of the Rolos. The ones with the plain carmels are good...almost better because you get more carmel in them!

These are the best cookies I have made in a long time and they are going on my list for possibilites for our Christmas cookie exchange.

Garlic Knots

Update: I made these again 11/14/08 and since I didn't have any biscuits but I always have the new crescent recipe dough on hand I made them with those. I cut them in strips both ways and then kinda knotted them and then did the same butter and garlic powder...they were so good! I love the crescent dough!

This is my homemade take on those lovely little bites called Garlic Knots. We had the best ones at Sonny's Pizza in Eureka Springs on our Honeymoon. That's where the picture came from!

They were easy to make.

1 can refrigerated biscuits (I used a store brand can)
1 cup butter or margarine
probably about 2 Tbl Garlic Powder

Heat oven at 350, put the 1 cup of butter or margarine on pan with sides and melt in oven. In the meantime, cut biscuits in fourths. Sprinkle Garlic Powder over the melted butter. Roll cut biscuits in melted butter. Bake about 10 mins til golden brown.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

My new pumpkin chocolate bread

I had used 1/2 a cup of pumpkin for some pumpkin brownies and needed something to do with the rest of the can. I thought I could change my mom's banana bread recipe into pumpkin, this was my take on it!

1 cup pumpkin
3/4 cup milk
2 1/2 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp cinamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
3 tbl baking soda
1 egg
1 tsp salt
3 Tbl oil (they are a little dry the next day, may use like 1/4 cup next time)
1 cup chocolate chips

Mix all ingredients. Pour into a loaf pan or muffins. I used a couple of pans I hadn't used in awhile. One was a silicone pan that was rosettes (picture) and a cast iron pan my mother-in-law gave me of mini bundt pans.

Bake at 350 for 16-18 mins until toothpick comes out clean.

Hot Crash Potatoes

This recipe originated on Pioneer Woman's Blog and has been flying around the board I frequent. Here is my take on it!

Preheat oven to 425:

1 stock pot of boiling salted water
As many potatoes as you'd like (I've done new and regular potatoes cut in 1/2)
As soon as water boils, throw the potaotes in and boil until they are fork tender, it took about 25 mins.
In the meantime spray Olive Oil all over a pan. Once potatoes are done place them on pan. Smash potatoes with a potatoe masher if you have one, I do not so I use the bottom of a glass. Coat potatoes in plenty of Olive Oil. Cover in Salt. I have done both Kosher and Regular Salt and preferred the regular, but that is just me. Place in pan and bake for 20-25 minutes until they are browned.

These are delicious in fact I had to have Kevin take the pan away from me last night! They will be a staple in our kitchen!!!