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!