Thursday, December 17, 2009

Pumpkin and cream cheese bread

I've mentioned before that I LOVE all things pumpkin, except pumpkin pie. This Bread is SO yummy. It is a combination of a Layered Pumpkin Loaf at and Emmy's Pumpkin Bread recipe from I used the cream cheese mixture from the kraft foods recipe and the bread from King Arthurs. I did add 2 t. of cinnamon to the King Arthur recipe as suggested by the girls at Little Birdie Secrets.

Pumpkin and Cream Cheese Bread
  • 1 8 oz. package or cream cheese
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 T sugar
  • 2/3 cup shortening or 1 cup vegetable oil (I used shortening)
  • 2 2/3 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups (or 1 15 oz can) pumpkin
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 3 1/3 cups flour
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 2 t baking soda
  • 1 1/2 t salt
  • 1 t nutmeg
  • 2 t cinnamon
  • 1 t vanilla
Directions: Cream together cream cheese, egg white and 2 T sugar and set aside. In a large bowl, cream together the shortening or oil and the sugar. Beat in the eggs, pumpkin and water. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla, stirring to blend.
Spoon batter into the bottom portion of a greased bread pan, add a layer of cream cheese filling(this is hard to smooth evenly, I just dropped a couple of spoonfuls per pan), add more batter on top of the cream cheese. Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for ~1 hour or until you can insert a toothpick and it comes out clean.
This will make 2 9x5-inch loaves or I made 7 little mini-loaves and 10 muffins. Make sure you only fill your bread pan to ~2/3 full. The first time I made this I used some little Christmas tree molds and they overflowed!! It only took about 50 minutes for the mini loaves.
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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Sweet Cereal Mix - yummy stuff!!

My sister sent me these pictures and this recipe. I can't wait to try this stuff!! She couldn't remember where she got the recipe or what it is called. This is what she said in her email...."I really don't know what this stuff is called but it is delicious. I just call it Yummy." Sounds good to me:) If any of you have made this before and know the 'official' name, please leave me a comment and let me know.

Sweet Cereal Mix


  • 1box Golden Graham cereal
  • 1 box Rice Chex cereal
  • 2 c. slivered almonds and/or pecans (chopped and toasted)
  • 2 c. coconut
  • 2 c. corn syrup
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 1 1/2 cubes butter
Directions: Place cereals, toasted nuts and coconut in a large bowl and toss to mix. In a saucepan, bring corn syrup, sugar and butter to a boil. Boil 2 minutes. Pour over cereal mix and stir until everything is well coated. Pour mixture out onto a buttered cookie sheet to cool and set.
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Rolo Cookies

If you are looking for a yummy cookie to share with friends and family this holiday season, try this one! These cookies are YUMMY! Just be sure to let them cool a bit before you bite into one. I had a friend in college that grabbed on right out of the oven and was burnt by the hot caramel inside.

Rolo Cookies
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter or margarine (I use butter)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 t. vanilla
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa
  • 13 oz. bag of Rolos
  • sugar (for rolling the pre-baked cookies in)
Directions: Blend sugar, brown sugar and butter together in a bowl. Add eggs and vanilla to sugar mixture and blend well. Sift together in a small bowl, flour, cocoa, and baking soda. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture and blend well. Take a spoonful of cookie dough and wrap around rolo. Roll into ball so that the rolo is completely covered with dough and roll in sugar. Bake at 375 degrees for 7-10 minutes. I rolled half of mine in regular sugar and half in Turbinado(sugar in the raw) sugar(leftover from the honey crystal almonds)....I really like the turbinado sugar. It makes them so pretty and gives them a little crunch on the outside.

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Canned Stew

Remember awhile ago, I told you about this great deal on a pressure cooker from Amazon? Well, it is still only $239.00. I ordered mine and received free shipping and received it within only a couple of days. I have used it once and I LOVE it.

I canned 14 quarts of canned stew. I got the recipe here. It is SO yummy! We have already eaten 4 quarts. I open 2 quarts and add 1 pint of chicken that I canned awhile ago. I also add about 1/2-1 pint of water. It is SO nice to have a quick, simple and delicious meal on hand when I am in a hurry. The two quarts of stew will feed my family of 2 adults and 4 kids for dinner with enough for lunch(for my husband) the next day. You can add cooked chicken, canned chicken or beef...or just eat as is. Rachel's bottles of stew look so much better than mine. I peeled and sliced my potatoes with my food processor, but next time I think I will do what she did....scrub and dice the potatoes.

Canned Stew
  • carrots
  • potatoes
  • onions
  • celery
  • 1 T Pearl Barley (per quart)
  • 1 T Parsley (per quart) (I used dried parsley)
  • 1 T Bouillon (beef or chicken) (per quart)
  • 1/4 salt (optional - I used garlic salt) (per quart)
Directions: In large bowls --- cut, chop or slice the following: Potatoes, carrots, celery, onion (A food processor works great for the carrots and celery & don't forget to keep the potatoes covered with water so they don't brown). In a clean quart size canning jar add: pearl barley, parsley, bouillon, salt (optional). Then using a LARGE handful of each, add the following: onion, celery, carrots, and potatoes.Cover all ingredients with boiling water leaving 1 inch head space. Wipe rim with clean dish cloth, top with lid & ring then process in a Pressure Canner for 30 Minutes at 12 pounds of pressure.
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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Spice Cookies

I LOVE these cookies! Really I LOVE anything that is baked with pumpkin(except pumpkin pie). These cookies are super simple(3 ingredients) and really...they are super yummy!!

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Spice Cookies
  • 1 Box Spice Cake Mix
  • 1 15 oz. can pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
Directions: Preheat oven to 375. Mix all ingredients together. Drop dough, by spoonfuls, onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 12 minutes.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls

These Cinnamon Rolls are the BEST!! I didn't use Pioneer Woman's maple frosting, but I'm sure it is wonderful... just like everything else that she makes. I used the butter cream frosting that I use for sugar cookies. I will definitely be making these again!

Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls
  • 1 quart Whole Milk
  • 1 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 2 packages Active Dry Yeast
  • 8 cups (Plus 1 Cup Extra, Separated) All-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon (heaping) Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon (scant) Baking Soda
  • 1 Tablespoon (heaping) Salt
  • 3 cups (to 4 Cups) Melted Butter
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • Generous Sprinkling Of Cinnamon
    1 bag Powdered Sugar
    2 teaspoons Maple Flavoring
    ½ cups Milk
    ¼ cups Melted Butter
    ¼ cups Brewed Coffee
    ⅛ teaspoons Salt

Directions: Mix the milk, vegetable oil and sugar in a pan. “Scald” the mixture (heat until just before the boiling point). Turn off heat and leave to cool 45 minutes to 1 hour. When the mixture is lukewarm to warm, but NOT hot, sprinkle in both packages of Active Dry Yeast. Let this sit for a minute. Then add 8 cups of all-purpose flour. Stir mixture together. Cover and let rise for at least an hour.

After rising for at least an hour, add 1 more cup of flour, the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir mixture together. (At this point, you could cover the dough and put it in the fridge until you need it – overnight or even a day or two, if necessary. Just keep your eye on it and if it starts to overflow out of the pan, just punch it down).

When ready to prepare rolls: Sprinkle rolling surface generously with flour. Take half the dough and form a rough rectangle. Then roll the dough thin, maintaining a general rectangular shape. Drizzle 1 ½ to 2 cups melted butter over the dough. Now sprinkle 1 cup of sugar over the butter followed by a generous sprinkling of cinnamon.

Now, starting at the opposite end, begin rolling the dough in a neat line toward you. Keep the roll relatively tight as you go. Next, pinch the seam of the roll to seal it.

Spread 1 tablespoon of melted butter in a seven inch round foil cake or pie pan. Then begin cutting the rolls approximately ¾ to 1 inch thick and laying them in the buttered pans.
Repeat this process with the other half of the dough. Let the rolls rise for 20 to 30 minutes, then bake at 375 degrees (edited to say 375 instead of 400, as The Pioneer Woman now suggests) until light golden brown, about 15 to 18 minutes.
For the frosting, mix together all ingredients listed and stir well until smooth. It should be thick but pourable. Taste and adjust as needed. Generously drizzle over the warm rolls.

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Fettuccine Alfredo and Garlic Butter Shrimp

I can't remember where I got this recipe for Alfredo, maybe Martha Stewart.? I don't usually make it with fettuccine noodles. We like short pasta at our house, penne or farfalle. Also, when I made the Alfredo sauce, I didn't have the heavy cream....SO I used whole milk instead and used two egg yolks instead of one.
The shrimp was SO yummy with the pasta. I had my nine year old helping me fix this meal. I asked him to 'toss' the shrimp together with the steamed pasta. He proceeded to mutilate the broccoli into itty bitty pieces as he was 'tossing' them together. He had a little TOO much fun. I guess he needs a lesson on 'tossing'. It was still SUPER yummy, just not quite as pretty:) or maybe more pretty...whichever you think.

Fettuccine Alfredo


  • 4 T. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
  • 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten
  • 1 pound fresh fettuccine or best-quality dry fettuccine (I used whole grain penne)

Directions: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. While you are waiting for your water to boil, melt butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add heavy cream and cheese. When cheese is melted, add egg yolk(I add a little of the sauce to my egg yolk to temper it and then add it back to the warm sauce). Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat. Add fettuccine to boiling water, and cook until al dente, following package directions. Drain pasta, and transfer to a large serving platter. Pour sauce over fettuccine. Serve immediately.

Garlic butter shrimp


  • 2 pounds large shrimp
  • 3 T softened butter
  • 1 t. garlic powder or garlic salt. I used salted butter, so I went with the garlic powder
  • 3/4 t. red pepper flakes
  • 1 t. finely grated Parmesan cheese

Directions: Mix butter, garlic powder, red pepper flakes and parm cheese together well. Add mixed butter to a hot frying pan or cast-iron skillet(med heat). Add shrimp and cook ~2-3 minutes per side until cooked through.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

pressure cooker

Just thought I'd pass along a GREAT deal!!

Do any of you out there can or bottle food? I recently bottled chicken. I had to borrow a pressure cooker from my mother-in-law and also my husbands aunt(had A LOT to can). Anyway, it was SO easy and now we are enjoying the chicken. It is so nice to pull a jar from the pantry and add it to soups, salads, sandwiches....etc.

Anyway, I just thought I'd tell you all about the great deal that I got recently on an All-American 30-quart pressure cooker/canner. I bought it from for $239.00 including tax and shipping. From what I have read and been told, this is one of the best brands of pressure cookers. I WISH I had the means ($$) to purchase one of these for a give-away(wouldn't that be fun?!), but I don't. If you do a lot of canning and are interested in buying a great pressure cooker, check it out. You can can 19 pints or 14 quarts at a time.

I can't wait to try out this recipe for canned stew. I'll be trying it in the next week or two and let you know how it goes.
I will be sharing a recipe for alfredo sauce and some YUMMY garlic butter shrimp soon(possibly stay tuned.
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Monday, October 26, 2009

Salsa / Pico

I made this salsa/pico to go with the shredded beef taquitos that I made the other night. I wanted to make some pico, but didn't want to hand chop the I made a salsa pico combo.



  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • 3 green onions, including green part
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 3-4 tomatoes (I can't remember how many I used, start with 3 and add 4 depending on how you like it)
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 t garlic salt
  • 1/2 t Lawry's seasoning salt
  • 1/4 t ground cumin
  • 1/4 t cayenne pepper

Directions: Add cilantro to a food processor and pulse until it is chopped fine. Add green onions, lime juice, and jalapeno, pulse until chopped. Add tomatoes, avocado and spices and pulse until tomatoes and avocado are desired consistency.

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Monday, October 19, 2009

Cream Cheese Chicken

I LOVE to cook in my crock pot, even though it only works on low now:( I love to make this on Sunday. I can get it started, go to church and when I get home it can finish cooking while I prepare the side dishes. Give this recipe a try, it is SO yummy!!

Cream Cheese Chicken
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cube butter or margarine
  • 1 packet, Italian dressing mix (I use Good Seasons Brand)
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 8 oz. package cream cheese

Directions: Cut the chicken into cubes. Put chicken, butter, and dressing mix in the crock pot on low. Once the butter is melted, stir it together so the chicken is well coated in butter and seasoning. cook on low for 3 hours. Turn to high and heat for 30 more minutes. *Add soup and cream cheese. Heat on high for 30 more minutes.* Stir until it is smooth and creamy. The sauce is really thick, so you can also add a little water if you want to thin it out. Serve over cooked rice, potatoes, or pasta.

edited to add: *when to add cream cheese and soup.*

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Monday, October 5, 2009

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Mallow Bars

I got this recipe from Kraft foods magazine. It is also on My family really enjoyed these. The boys picked the peanuts off of their pieces, so next time I'd make half with and half with-out the peanuts. grocery store was out of BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate, so I substituted and approx. equivalent of semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Mallow Bars
  • 1 pkg. (2-layer size) devil's food cake mix
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup milk, divided
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 jar (7 oz.) JET-PUFFED Marshmallow Creme
  • 1/2 cup PLANTERS Salted Peanuts
  • 6 squares BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate, coarsely chopped

HEAT oven to 350°F. Mix dry cake mix, butter and 1/3 cup milk until blended; press 2/3 onto bottom of 13x9-inch pan. Bake 12 to 14 min. or until center is almost set; cool 3 min. Meanwhile, mix peanut butter and remaining milk.
SPREAD peanut butter mixture onto crust; top with small spoonfuls of the marshmallow creme and remaining cake mixture. Sprinkle with nuts and chocolate; press gently into cake mixture.
BAKE 18 min. or just until center is set. Cool completely before cutting into bars.

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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Bayou Chicken or Shrimp Pasta.

I got this recipe from Emeril at Food Network. I substituted shrimp for chicken when I made it this time, but I have also made it with chicken and it is fabulous either way!!

The recipe calls for 1 T finely chopped habanero pepper. I only used one habanero(~1 t chopped) since I was making it for the kiddos. If you like it hot, add the full tablespoon. Ours was not hot at all. The first time I made this I used 2 habaneros with seeds and ribs and it was HOT. Anyway you make of mild, chicken or shrimp...this pasta dish is YUMMY!!
Bayou Chicken or Shrimp Pasta
  • 1 pound linguine (I used Farfalle(bow tie) pasta)
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 2 T unsalted butter
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces or equal amount shrimp
  • 2 T Essence, recipe below
  • 1 1/2 t salt
  • 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1 T finely chopped habanero pepper
  • 1 T minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup reserved pasta cooking water
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onion tops (I didn't use)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 T chopped fresh parsley leaves (I didn't use)

Directions: Set a large 1-gallon stock pot of water to a boil and add the kosher salt. Place the pasta in the pot and stir until the water returns to a boil. Cook the pasta until al dente.

While the pasta cooks, prepare the sauce. set a 12-inch saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the butter and olive oil to the pan. Once the butter has melted, season the chicken or shrimp with 1 T of the Essence and 1/2 t of the salt and add to the saute pan. Sear the chicken/shrimp until well browned/pink(shrimp) on both sides, about 2 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the onions and habaneros to the pan and saute until the onions are softened and lightly caramelized, about 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic to the pan and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the cream, remaining 1 T of the Essence, remaining 1 t of salt, and the chicken/shrimp to the pan and bring to a boil. Cook the sauce until the cream is reduced by half, about 2 minutes. add the tomatoes, pasta and the reserved cooking water to the pan and cook tossing to incorporate for 3-5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and add the green onions, Parmesan and parsley and toss to blend(I added extra tomatoes here). Serve immediately.


2 1/2 T paprika

2 T salt

2 T garlic powder

1 T black pepper

1 T cayenne

1 T dried oregano

1 T dried Thyme

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Broccoli Salad

My sister made this for us while she was visiting a couple of weeks ago. It is SO yummy!!

Broccoli Salad


  • 3 crowns of broccoli
  • 12-14 slices of cooked, chopped bacon
  • ~1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 T Red Wine Vinegar

Directions: Wash and chop broccoli into bite size pieces and put in a bowl. In a separate bowl mix together 'dressing' ingredients: mayo, sugar and vinegar. Pour 'dressing' over broccoli and toss to coat. Stir in bacon and Parmesan cheese. Adjust the amount of bacon and Parmesan cheese to your taste.

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Quick and Simple Brownies

Sorry about the lack of posts!! Things have been busy here! I have about a million projects around here that I am working on or are at least floating around in my brain!! My sister and her family were here visiting from Utah last week and we enjoyed every minute of it!! I have a recipe that she made for us that I will be posting soon!!
Anyways...I LOVE brownies!! I found this recipe here while I was blog hopping one day. The other day, I was out of eggs, and CRAVING something chocolate!! I remembered this recipe and decided to try it! Me and the kids LOVED it! My hubby has been out-of-town and these definitely did not last until he got home, but I'm sure he would have loved them too!! These are quick, simple and delicious!



  • 1 3.4 oz package instant chocolate pudding mix
  • milk, amount indicated in pudding directions
  • 1 18 oz box of chocolate cake mix (I used Devils Food Cake)
  • 1-2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips or other mix-in (optional)

Directions: Prepare pudding according to package directions. Stir in cake mix, careful not to overbeat or incorporate too much air. Stir in chocolate chips or other mix-in. Pour into a greased 9x13 baking pan. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until the top springs back when lightly touched.

Now I'm off to take care of my case of Utah peaches that I have been ignoring for a week. I think I will freeze some for morning fruit shakes and make some into freezer jam....YUM!!

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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Honey Crystal Almonds

These are SO good!! You HAVE to try them! I only had enough almonds to make 1/2 of a batch. It is probably a good thing, I could have eaten an entire batch myself. My boys LOVE almonds so I thought I'd whip this up for a nice after school snack. I had to get theirs bagged up right away so I wouldn't eat them all.

I found this recipe on an ad for California almonds.

Honey Crystal Almonds
  • 2 cups whole natural almonds
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 T butter
  • 1 cup turbinado sugar

Directions: Spread almonds in a shallow pan. Place in a cold oven; turn oven to 350 F and roast 12-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until well roasted. Over medium heat in medium saucepan, heat honey and butter to boiling. Reduce heat to medium low, simmer 2 minutes stirring occasionally. Add almonds; simmer and stir for another 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the almonds to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper(I used wax paper) or sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Spread the almonds in a single layer and cool slightly. To coat, toss almonds with sugar in a medium plastic food storage bag.

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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Cilantro Lime Shrimp

I LOVE shrimp and so do my boys. When my six year old requested shrimp for dinner I was happy to cook this up.
Our BBQ grill has died and gone to BBQ heaven:( Since it has been gone we have been using our 'camp grill'. We have not been in too big of a hurry to replace the BBQ grill because our camp grill is WONDERFUL!! It cooks so nice and evenly, but it is a little on the small side, SO someday we will be replacing the big grill. Since I was cooking this on our 'camp grill' I didn't skewer the shrimp. Just threw them on the grill, knowing that the holes were small enough, I didn't have to worry about losing any. If I was using our 'regular' grill I would either skewer these for shish kabobs or put foil down on the grill to cook them on.

Cilantro Lime Shrimp


  • 1 pound large raw shrimp
  • juice of 1-2 limes, depending on size (~1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup oil (I used canola oil, but have used olive oil in the past)
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 t crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt to taste (1/2 -1 t)

Directions: Remove shells from shrimp and rinse. Pat shrimp dry. Combine remaining ingredients in a quart size zip-loc bag, add shrimp and marinate for 2-3 hours. Cook shrimp on a hot grill for 2-3 minutes per side, until pink on both sides. When serving squeeze a little more fresh lime juice over the shrimp.

We served our with some fresh corn on the cob, a nice big salad and some pasta with browned butter and cheese.

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Pasta with browned butter and Mizithra cheese

When my husband and I lived in Beaverton, OR, we used to LOVE to eat this dish at The Old Spaghetti Factory. It is SO yummy!

First of all, I have made this a couple of times lately (it is SO good and SO simple), but haven't been able to get a decent picture! Second, I didn't use Mizithra cheese. I used to buy the Mizithra cheese at AJ's Fine Foods (I think that is the name), but now I live FAR from the city and am not sure where to buy it(to be honest, I haven't looked too hard). I substituted Sargento grated Parmesan cheese and it is still WONDERFUL!! Let me know if any of you that live here in the White Mountains of AZ know where to find Mizithra cheese.

This pasta is a wonderful and simple side dish! Mmmm and cook up some fresh green beans in some chicken stock and garlic salt. Cook the green beans uncovered and let the stock reduce.

Pasta with browned butter and Mizithra cheese (or Parmesan)
  • 1/2 pound of your favorite pasta
  • ~3 T butter
  • 2 generous handfuls or grated Mizithra or Parmesan cheese (give or take according to your taste)

Directions: Cook pasta as specified on the box. Brown butter large frying pan over medium heat, this will only take a couple of minutes, keep an eye on the butter so that it doesn't burn. Add the drained pasta to the frying pan with the butter and toss to coat the pasta. Add the cheese and toss again to coat the pasta. Serves 4.

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Monday, July 27, 2009

Buttermilk Waffles

All I have to say about this recipe is YUM!!! This recipe came from my husband's Aunt.

Buttermilk Waffles

  • 3 c. flour
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 T oil
  • 3 c. buttermilk
  • 6 egg whites (I only use 5, I've made it with 5 and 6 and I like it best with 5)
Directions: Combine dry ingredients. Beat egg shites until light and fluffy. Ad oil and buttermilk to dry ingredients. Fold in egg whites. Cook. Serves 6-8 people.
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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Chocolate Mint 3 Musketeers Cookies

I was checking out at the grocery store the other day and noticed some new(at least I've never seen them before) 3 Musketeers Mint with Dark Chocolate bars. I decided to try them. They are YUMMY!! They remind me a lot of the York Mint Patties, but stiffer, make sense? Anyway, my son needed to bake some cookies for a scouting requirement, so we threw some of these candy bars into the mix. The end result is YUMMY!! My little guy couldn't wait for me to snap the picture to grab another one of these cookies:)

Chocolate Mint 3 Musketeers Cookies


  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup Crisco shortening
  • 2 t vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 t salt
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1/3 cup baking cocoa
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 3 3 Musketeers Mint with Dark Chocolate bars(6 pieces, 2 per package)

Directions: Preheat oven to 375. Beat first 5 ingredients together. Mix the dry ingredients together, unless you are lazy like me. If you are lazy like me and don't want to dirty another bowl to mix the dry ingredients, turn your mixer on low and add dry ingredients one at a time. I only mix for a second with each dry ingredient so that I don't over mix it. I add the flour last and mix until everything is mixed in well. Add you candy bars. You can chop your candy bars first, but I just through them in and turn the mixer on high for a few seconds and that gets them all chopped up and mixed in. Take ~1 T of dough, roll it into a ball and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Now...ENJOY!

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Onion Rings

I LOVE onion rings!! I really love battered onion rings. This is a super simple batter to mix up for your onions. If you want to make onion rings and homemade corn dogs, I would just use the corn dog batter for the onion rings. I was making burgers, so I used this quick batter.
Onion Rings
  • 1 cup complete pancake batter
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2-5 T Tapatio (adjust for your taste)
  • ~3/4 cup milk (enough to make batter consistency of cake batter)
  • 1 large sweet Vadalia onion, slice into rings
  • Deep Fryer or pan with at least 3 or 4 inches of oil to fry in

Directions: Mix first 4 ingredients together and let sit for ~30 minutes. Dip onion rings into batter and drop into hot oil. Fry until golden brown. Remove from oil, place on a paper towel to drain. I like to sprinkle a little salt on them as they drain on the paper towel.

Tapatio Sauce, in case any of you haven't used it before. My sis-in-law told us about it and now my husband puts it on EVERYTHING! He especially likes it on his scrambled eggs.

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Monday, July 6, 2009

Caramelized Onion, Walnut and Cilantro Chicken Salad Sandwich

I found this recipe at It is SO yummy!! You could use any left-over chicken, just shred or chop it . I used some canned chicken that I bottled a couple of months ago. The entire family loved this sandwich!! I can't wait to make it again.

Caramelized Onion, Walnut and Cilantro Chicken Salad Sandwich


  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 cup chopped sweet onion (1 large)
  • 2 cups Shredded Chicken
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onion (2)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp. snipped fresh cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp. lime juice
  • Salt and ground black pepper (optional)
  • 10 slices sourdough bread, toasted (I used leftover oatmeal bread)
  • 10 slices tomato
  • 3/4 cup baby spinach leaves
  • Pimiento-stuffed green olives (optional for garnish, I didn't use)

1. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add onion. Cook, covered, for 13 to 15 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Uncover; cook and stir over medium-high heat for 3 to 5 minutes more or until golden.

2. In a large bowl, combine onion, chicken, walnuts, and green onion. Add mayonnaise, cilantro, and lime juice; toss to coat. If desired, season to taste with salt and pepper.

3. Place about 1/2 cup chicken salad on each of five bread slices. Top each with two slices tomato and some of the spinach. Top sandwiches with the remaining bread slices. If desired, secure each sandwich with a skewer and garnish with an olive. Makes 5 servings.

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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Blueberry Peach Crisp

I made this for dessert last night and it was a huge hit....and SO simple!! My 8 year old stuffed himself with dinner, so much that he had to go lay down for awhile. When this came out of the oven he came back for more. He actually ate two helpings of this. We all LOVED this! The peaches and blueberries were so good together.

Blueberry Peach Crisp
  • 2 cups fresh, rinsed blueberries
  • 4 peaches peeled and chopped (~2 1/2 cups)
  • 1 1/2 T cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • zest and juice of one lemon

For Topping

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 sugar
  • 1/4 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 t ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 stick room temp butter
Directions: Mix the blueberries, peaches, cornstarch, sugar, lemon zest and juice together in a 1 1/2 qt. baking dish. Mix topping ingredients together until crumbly and pour it onto the blueberry and peach mixture, make sure you cover all of the fruit. Bake at 375 for 40 minutes. Serve ice cream or cool whip.
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Monday, June 22, 2009

Ranch-Style Steak Kabobs

Wow!! It has been a fun and busy summer so far. We just got home from a fun 2 week trip to Utah. My boys and I LOVE to go 'home' to visit family and friends:)

Now that we are home and vacation is over at least for a couple of weeks, I'm getting back to cooking and blogging. This is another recipe that I got from Kraft Foods. My family REALLY enjoyed this one.

Ranch-Style Steak Kabobs
  • 4 new potatoes, cut in half **
  • 1/4 cup KRAFT Ranch Dressing, divided
  • 1 lb. boneless beef sirloin steak, cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 8 cherry tomatoes

Directions: HEAT grill to medium-high heat. Cook potatoes in saucepan of boiling water 12 to 14 min. or until tender; drain. Cool slightly. RESERVE half of dressing. Thread meat, accordion style onto 4 skewers, alternating potatoes and tomatoes between folds of meat; brush with remaining dressing. GRILL 10 to 12 min. or until meat is done, brushing with reserved dressing the last 2 min.

**I used red potatoes that were a little large, so my son cut them into smaller pieces. Then, we had more potatoes than would fit our we just tossed the extra potatoes on the grill, brushed them with some extra ranch dressing and they were DELICIOUS!!
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Monday, June 8, 2009

Frosty Orange Creme Layered Dessert

I love it when I receive my Kraft foods magazine. It is full of wonderful recipes and meal ideas. When I saw this recipe, I knew I'd be making it soon! My family and I LOVED this treat!! When I made mine I used a silicone bread pan instead of the regular bread pan. It worked great!! After the dessert froze I just 'peeled' the silicone pan away.

I am currently away from home and my pictures of this yummy dessert are on my computer at home, so I'm going to post the picture from Kraft Foods.

Frosty Orange Creme Layered Dessert
  • 2 cups orange sherbet or sorbet, softened
  • 1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 tub (8 oz.) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed

LINE 9x5-inch loaf pan with foil. Spread sherbet onto bottom of prepared pan to form even layer. Freeze 10 min.

MEANWHILE, beat cream cheese in large bowl with mixer until creamy. Gradually add condensed milk and juice, beating until blended. Gently stir in COOL WHIP. Spread over sherbet in pan.

FREEZE 3 hours. To unmold, invert pan onto plate; remove foil.

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Friday, May 29, 2009

Swiss Mushroom Burger

This burger is SO yummy and perfect for summer grilling! I was in a hurry when I made these and didn't get a very good picture. It was a paper plate night, my favorite kind of nights:)

Swiss Mushroom Burger

Ingredients for the burgers:

  • 1 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1 T McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning
  • 2 T Worcestershire Sauce
  • slice Swiss cheese (I used Tillamook Cheese)

Ingredients for the mushrooms:

  • 12-16 oz. mushrooms
  • 2 T butter
  • 2 t Worcestershire Sauce
  • ~1 t McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning

Directions: Mix all ingredients for burgers together, except for the cheese. Form into six 1/4 lb. patties. Grill until cooked through. Top with Swiss cheese during the last minute or two of grilling(I just added the cheese after they were finished grilling).

Saute mushrooms in butter and Worcestershire Sauce. When the mushrooms start to turn brown add your steak seasoning.

Place burger on bun and top with sauteed mushrooms. Enjoy!

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Super quick and easy lunch or dinner

My sister told me about this wonderful and simple meal!

Bagels with cream cheese and ham
  • bagels
  • cream cheese
  • ham
Directions: Spread bagel with cream cheese and cover with ham. Usually we put these under the broiler until warm, BUT my oven is still broken(got the part today), so I put them on the grill and they were wonderful! I cooked them for a couple minutes per side. If you grill them or broil them, watch them carefully so they don't burn.
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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Cafe Rio Creamy Tomatillo Dressing

Here is the tomatillo dressing recipe that I said I was going to share with you on Monday. I am SLOW, but this is SO yummy!! Thanks to my neighbor for sharing it with me!!

I just finished eating this as a mid-morning snack. I LOVE to dip fresh warm tortillas into the dressing!! It is, of course, WONDERFUL with the Cafe Rio Sweet Pork Salad too:)

Cafe Rio Creamy Tomatillo Dressing


  • 3 tomatillos, peeled and cut into 1/4's
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 c. buttermilk
  • 1/2 c. mayo
  • 1/2 c. sour cream
  • 1 pkg. dry ranch buttermilk dressing
  • 1 c. fresh chopped cilantro
  • 6 green onions, with ends
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 3 t. sugar
  • 1 jalapeno, sliced thin

Directions: Mix well in blender(I used my food processor). Refrigerate for at least one hour.

*Note: When buying tomatillos, peel the skin back to the top of the tomatillo to make sure it is good. I have found some that look good until I peel the skin all the way back.

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Monday, May 18, 2009

Sweet Pork -- Cafe Rio Style

It has been SO long since I have posted. I ordered a new part for my oven and it is still NOT here!!

This will be a quick post!! I thought I'd mention for anyone that lives near or shops at Basha's grocery store, they have Pork Tenderloin on sale for $1.77 until Tuesday. My neighbor told me it was on sale, so I rushed over to get some to make Cafe Rio Sweet Pork.

My neighbor also gave me a new recipe for the Cafe Rio Tomatillo dressing! It is SO good. I will try to get a picture of that soon and post the recipe here today.
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Monday, May 4, 2009

French Bread Pizza and some sad news

Okay...sad news first. My oven is having a problem!! The range is LESS than 3 years old and I 'think' the baking element has gone out. I am going to be taking the thing apart in a minute to see. I am hoping it is the baking element! I have found a place to order the part, if that is the problem. The oven will still broil, just not bake:( Unfortunately, I had 5 loaves(4 mini and one regular size) of ooey, gooey cinnamon bread half-baked when I realized that the oven had quit baking. I was SO sad!! When I get the oven fixed, I will be baking that bread again so that I can share it here! Another sad thing, I got to smell that wonderful half-baked cinnamon bread all night:(

Anyway, since the oven was not baking, I had to broil my BBQ Chicken French Bread Pizza. I got a coupon from my local Basha's grocery store for a free loaf of French Bread if I spent $10. Honestly, I don't know if I EVER go to the grocery store and spend less than $10. My family LOVES BBQ Chicken Pizza, so I decided to make it on French Bread. Quick and easy!!

Notice all of the silk on the corn...oops! I thought my little helpers and I did a better job than that:)

Really, this is just like the BBQ Chicken Pizza that I make...only on French Bread instead of regular pizza crust. First, took a zip-Lock bag out of my freezer with two chicken breasts in it. I let it thaw and then poured some Italian Dressing into the bag and let it marinate overnight(MMM...I LOVE to marinade chicken in Italian Dressing and eat it right off the grill). The next day, I grilled it, shred it and mixed it with BBQ sauce. Then it was ready for the pizza. Of course you don't need to marinade it or grill it, just cook up some chicken any way you like, shred it and mix it with BBQ sauce.

I cut the bottom 1/2-1 inch off of the French Bread and then the top 1/2-1 inch off the top to make two pizzas. I let the kids fight over the middle yummy, soft bread to snack on while they were waiting.

Place the French Bread on a baking sheet. We like to smear ours with Alfredo sauce(if you haven't tried BBQ chicken pizza with Alfredo should), then add the BBQ and top with lots of mozzarella cheese or Italian blend cheese. Normally I would bake mine at 400 degrees until hot and bubbly, but this time....I had to broil it. When it is hot and bubbly, slice and ENJOY.
For the Corn: My little helpers shucked(is that a word) the corn husks into the compost bin and scrubbed the corn. We brushed softened butter on the corn. Sprinkled on some salt and fresh ground pepper. Wrapped the corn in foil and grilled over medium heat for 25-30 minutes...rotating approx. every 5 minutes. It was FABULOUS!!
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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Sopapilla Cheesecake

I saw this recipe over at Real Mom Kitchen. It looked fantastic and I knew that I had to try it. Laura has a WONDERFUL food blog. Check it out!!

I REALLY enjoyed these!! Maybe a little too much! I gave about half away to keep myself from eating them all. I would suggest sharing these with family and friends:)
Unfortunately, the picture I took of this 'plated up' was very blurry, so this is what I have.

Sopapilla Cheesecake


  • 2 cans Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
  • 2 8 oz. packages of cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1 stick butter (1/2 cup real butter, not margarine)

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9x13" baking dish. Unroll 1 can of crescent rolls and place in the baking dish. Press the seams together, or buy the crescent roll sheets(that's what I did:)). In a separate bowl beat together the cream cheese, 1 cup sugar and vanilla until smooth. Spread the cream cheese mixture on the crescent rolls sheet in the baking dish. Top the cream cheese mixture with the other can of crescent rolls, press seams together. Melt butter and pour over the top layer of crescents. Mix 1/2 cup sugar with 1 t cinnamon and sprinkle on top of butter. You can add more or less of the cinnamon sugar depending on your taste. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly and the bottom crust is slightly brown. Allow to cool then slice and serve.

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Turkey Marinade ...or chicken

Have I mentioned that my husband is a hunter? He is in fact a darn good hunter. My freezer is full of yummy, lean, wild, red meat and until this past week...a wild turkey. This turkey has been in my freezer for quite awhile and since he is hoping to bring another one home soon, I decided it was time to cook the one we had.

I got this recipe from my Mom and it is SO good! When I cooked this up for my husband he couldn't believe that it was his wild turkey we were eating! Of course, it is equally wonderful on chicken or turkey you buy at the grocery store:)

Turkey or Chicken Marinade


  • 1 can lemon lime soda (like sprite, or generic brand works too)
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil (I used canola oil)
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 t garlic powder

Directions: Combine all ingredients, add chicken or turkey pieces, cover and refrigerate 1-2 hours or overnight. Discard marinade, grill chicken over hot coals or on your BBQ grill.

*I like to reserve a little of the marinade before I add the meat to brush the meat with as it cooks. The meat is SO moist and SO flavorful!!

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Monday, April 20, 2009

Fish Tacos

My husband went fishing and brought home some wonderful crappie. I LOVE crappie!! I can't wait to send him fishing again:) He put all of it in one bag before putting it in the freezer, so when we got it out to cook it...we had A LOT of fish to cook.

First we battered up some fish and fried it. We ate that with homemade french fries and homemade tartar sauce. Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of that. I will be making that again soon...SO...when I do, I'll share photos and recipes here! It was SO good.

The second day we used up the rest for fish tacos. I had never eaten fish tacos before, but I will be eating them again!! These recipes are adapted from PBS Foods and Cooks.

Fish Tacos


  • 12 corn or flour soft taco shells
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 t paprika
  • 1/2 t cumin
  • 1/4 t pepper
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 lb. fish fillets

Directions: Combine flour, salt, cayenne pepper, paprika, cumin and pepper in a shallow dish. Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Dip fish fillets in flour mixture, then place in hot oil and cook 10-12 minutes until browned and fish flakes easily when tested with a fork, turning once. Cut fish into 1" strips and serve in heated taco shells with salsa, cheese, and the red cabbage slaw(recipe below). Serves 6.

Red Cabbage Slaw


  • 1/4 head of red cabbage, finely shredded
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 T fresh lime juice
  • 4 scallions thinly slices
  • 1 jalapeno, finely chopped, seeds and ribs removed
  • coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions: Combine sour cream, lime juice, scallions, jalapeno, salt and pepper. Mix well. Reserve 1/2 of the mixture to top the tacos. Mix the other half with the cabbage.

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Homemade Hamburger Buns

I have been looking for a GREAT hamburger bun recipe for awhile. I have tried a couple of different ones and found one that is REALLY great!! I have made these twice and both times they turned out perfect! I got this recipe from Rosa's Yummy Yums. If you want to see some really great hamburger buns, check hers out here.

Homemade Hamburger Buns
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 T unsalted butter, room temperature, creamed
  • 1 egg
  • 3 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup Castor sugar (very fine sugar, I put regular sugar in my food processor)
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 T instant yeast
  • 1 egg yolk (+1 T water)
  • sesame seeds (optional)

Directions: Sprinkle the yeast into the water and leave for 5-10 minutes, until frothy. Stir to dissolve. Add remaining ingredients and mix well(I do this in my kitchen-aid). I let this knead in my Kitchen-Aid for ~10 minutes, until it is a soft, smooth dough. You could knead by hand on a lightly floured surface. I leave it in my mixer bowl, cover and let rise for 1 - 1 1/2 hour, until doubled in size. Divide dough into 8 pieces and shape into a flattened ball. Place the buns on a greased baking sheet, cover and let rise again for 30-40 minutes until puffy and doubled in size. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Glaze the buns with egg yolk and water mixture(my helper likes to do this:)), then sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired. Bake the buns for 12 - 15 minutes, until golden brown. Remove them from the oven and cool them on a wire rack.

*I didn't make 'flattened balls' this last time, so they are a little tall, but still SO yummy!!
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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Boston Market Cornbread

This cornbread is SO yummy!! A friend of mine gave me this recipe years ago. I haven't ever tried Boston Market's cornbread, so I'm not sure how it compares, but I do know that this cornbread is YUMMY!! and EASY!!

Just when I am convinced the weather is warming up, it gets COLD and WINDY again. So, last night I made some Hearty Fiesta Bean Soup to use up the rest of my beans I made the other day. This cornbread is nice and sweet and is wonderful with the spicy beans. I made part of the batter in my mini-loaf pan and part in a glass baking dish. My 3 year old has a MAJOR fit when he is trying to eat his piece of cornbread with a fork and it is falling apart, so the mini loaves are good for him to pick up with his fingers and take a BIG bite:)

Boston Market Cornbread
  • 1 box Jiffy Mix Cornbread Mix
  • 1 box Jiffy Mix Yellow Cake Mix
  • 2 boxes Jiffy Mix Cornbread Mix
  • 1 box regular yellow cake mix
Directions: Mix both boxes according to directions, and combine the batter. You can use a large mixing bowl and combine both boxes of mix together and add the other ingredients all at once. If you have only boxes of Jiffy Mix, use a brownie sized baking pan, 8x8", if you are using a box of regular cake mix, use a 9x13" pan. Spray pan with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees until done, approx. 30 minutes. Test for doneness: insert a toothpick, it should come out clean.

Edited to add:  Please note from the comments:  "If you can't find the Jiffy yellow cake mix, only use Duncan Hines, Butter Golden cake mix...It's the only one WITHOUT pudding in the mix."  I have made it with regular yellow cake mix and I liked it, but it may be too 'cakey' for some...if so...try the Duncan Hines, Butter Golden cake mix.

When I am taking this to a potluck, I love to make little individual muffins or loaves.  Actually I do this at home a lot too.  So easy to grab and go!

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