Thursday, June 30, 2016

Banana Split Coffee Cake

I made this for a breakfast when my aunt Shirley and uncle Roger were here a week or so ago. We all liked this.

Banana Split Coffee Cake

For the cake
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 - 8 ounce package cream cheese
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup smashed banana ( 2 regular sized)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 cup Lucky Leaf® strawberry pie filling Beth used the whole can

For the crumb topping
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
2 Tablespoons melted butter Beth forgot this
For the glaze
1/2 cup powdered sugar
 2 teaspoons water

Beat the cream cheese, butter, and sugars until creamy. Add the eggs, banana, and vanilla and beat again.

Stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Slowly beat the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts by hand.

Spread the batter in a greased 9x13 pan. Drop the pie filling by spoonfuls on the top of the batter. Gently swirl the pie filling into the batter using a knife.
Stir together the crumble topping until it resembles sand. Sprinkle over the top of the batter.

Bake at 350 degrees for 42-44 minutes. Do not over bake. Remove and let cool completely.

Stir together the glaze ingredients and drizzle over the top. Let set. Cut into 24 squares of cake. Store in a sealed container on the counter.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Mexican Corn Dip

While at the Elote Café in Sedona, AZ, we had an appetizer similar to this. This was very good, but next time I may add some sour cream to get it more like the restaurant.

Mexican Corn Dip

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 ears corn, shucked and rinsed
1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons crumbled cotija cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 teaspoon chili powder, or more, to taste
1 clove garlic, pressed
Juice of 1 lime

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add corn kernels and jalapeño, and cook, stirring occasionally, until cooked through and slightly charred, about 8-10 minutes.
Stir in mayonnaise, cotija, cilantro, chili powder, garlic and lime juice.
Serve immediately.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Best Homemade Fresh Tomato Salsa

This was a great salsa that has cucumbers in it!
The Best Homemade Fresh Tomato Salsa

Serves: 4 cups

⅓ cup finely chopped green bell pepper
⅓ cup finely chopped red bell pepper
⅓ cup finely chopped hothouse cucumber
2½ cups chopped tomatoes on the vine
⅓ cup finely chopped sweet onion
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1½ fresh jalapenos*, seeded and finely chopped
½ bunch of cilantro, chopped
1 lime, juiced
salt and fresh ground black pepper

1. Combine all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

2. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes up to overnight before serving.

*1½ jalapenos = mild salsa. Add more jalapeno if you want it HOT or go less for milder tasting salsa. The flavor intensifies the longer the salsa sits.


Monday, June 27, 2016

Pork Carnitas with Spicy Tomatillo Sauce

Don had the Pork Carnitas at Elote Café in Sedona, AZ while we were there a few weeks ago.  We fell in love with them.  I found this recipe and it was very good, but not exact.  I did make this in the crockpot and didn't broil it at the end, which I think would have made it more authentic.

Pork Carnitas with Spicy Tomatillo Sauce
inspired by Jeff Smedstad, an amazing chef we discovered in Sedona, Arizona at his restaurant, The Elote Cafe

For the Carnitas:
4-5 pounds of pork butt, cut into 4" x 4" chucks
1 jalapeño pepper sliced thin
1 serano pepper sliced thin
12 oz Coca-Cola
12 oz orange juice
1 cup milk
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons black pepper
2 tablespoons hot paprika
2 tablespoons garlic powder

For the Spicy Tomatillo Sauce:
6 poblano peppers diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
6-8 tomatillos, husks removed, diced
1/2 cup of sauce reserved from the Carnitas
1 tablespoon of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Hand rub the pork on all sides with the salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika.

In a preheated pan or dutch oven on high heat, add the olive oil and thoroughly brown the pork on all sides. Remove and set aside.

Reduce heat to medium and add the peppers and cook until softened, then add the orange juice, cola, and milk.

Place the pork in the sauce and add chicken broth until the pork is almost completely covered.***Beth put this all in the crockpot and cooked for 8 hours on low.

Cover and place in over for 4-5 hours.

Check for doneness by removing one piece of pork and pulling it apart with a fork. It should shred easily. Remove pork and set aside to rest.

Skim off the excess great from the pan sauce.

Prepare Spicy Tomatillo Pepper Sauce as follows:

In a preheated pan on medium to high heat, add the the olive oil and cook the poblano peppers, tomatillos and garlic until softened.

Place Tomatillo mixture in the pan with the Carnita sauce.

Using a stick blender, thoroughly puree the Tomatilla mixture into the sauce. Add chicken broth as necessary. Note: Be very careful when using a stick blender over a stove or with hot liquids!

Cook until slightly reduced (about 4-5 minutes). Salt and Pepper to taste.

Set the oven to broil.

Place the pork chunks under the broiler to crisp on each side.

Serve with the Spicy Tomatilla Pepper Sauce.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Buttermilk Roasted Chicken

Father in law requested roasted chicken for Father's day. This is the recipe we tried. It was good. I put the bone in thighs in the oven for 10 minutes before adding the boneless breasts. Very tender chicken

Buttermilk Roasted Chicken              

6 Chicken Breast Halves, Bone In Beth used boneless breasts and bone in thighs
3 Cups Buttermilk, Well Shaken
3/4 c Vegetable Oil, divided
4 Garlic Cloves, Crushed
1 1/2 Tablespoons Salt
1 Teaspoon Black Pepper 
2 Tablespoons Fresh Rosemary, Chopped
2 Tablespoons Honey
3 Tablespoons Fresh Parsley, Chopped (Optional)

1. In a bowl, mix together buttermilk, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, garlic, salt, pepper, rosemary and honey until salt is dissolved.

2. Divide the chicken pieces into 2- 1 gallon ziplock bags. Pour half of the buttermilk mixture in each bag. Press out as much air as possible and seal bags. Place on a rimmed dish or plate in case bag leaks. Refrigerate overnight or preferably for 2 days. Flip bag halfway through marinating time.

3. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Take the chicken out of the ziplock bags and place on a wire rack so any extra marinade will drip off. Line a baking pan with aluminum foil and place the chicken in a single layer on the pan. Drizzle chicken with remaining oil. Roast chicken at 400 degrees for 45 minutes, then turn off the oven, and allow chicken to continue to cook (just in the remaining heat-don't open the door) for 7-10 minutes more or until chicken is done.
4. Allow chicken to rest for about 7-10 minutes then serve.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits

I made these for our Father's Day meal. They WERE light and fluffy and were great as biscuits and gravy the next morning!

Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits

2 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces
3/4 cup buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 450. Line a baking sheet with parchment or spray with cooking spray. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter and cut in using a pastry cutter or two knives, until the butter is about pea-sized and smaller. Add the buttermilk and mix until just combined.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat into a rectangle that is about 6 x 9 inches. Fold each side of the dough over the middle (like you're folding a letter) and pat out again to about 6 x 9 inches. Cut biscuits out of the dough using desired size of biscuit cutter (I usually use a 2 inch cutter). Place on prepared baking sheet and bake 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm and enjoy

Friday, June 24, 2016

Spring Confetti Bars

This was another yummy dessert we made for Father's Day.  Very good!
Spring Confetti Bars
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup + 1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 and 1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
1 and 1/4 cup white chocolate chips, separated
3 cups miniature marshmallows
3/4 cup Spring M&M's
3 tablespoons sprinkles

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Combine the room temperature butter with the white and brown sugar in a medium sized bowl.

3. Mix the butter and sugars together with hand beaters or in a stand mixer until creamy and fluffy. Mix in the egg and vanilla and beat until just incorporated.

4. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cornstarch, and salt. Stir together and slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.

5. Mix until combined.

6. With a wooden spoon, stir in one cup of the white chocolate chips. Press the cookie dough into a 9 x 13 pan that has been sprayed with nonstick spray.

7. Bake the cookie dough for 10-13 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned.

8. Remove and immediately top with the miniature marshmallows and M&M's. Return to the oven for 1-2 minutes or until the marshmallows become puffy.

9. Remove and sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup white chocolate chips and sprinkles over the bars.

10. Let cool completely and then cut with a wet knife.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Chocolate Truffle Rice Krispie Treats

This was one of the desserts we made for Father's Day lunch.  Don thought they were rich, but we ALL loved them!  See what we did in bold.
Chocolate Truffle Rice Krispie Treats

¼ cup butter
8 cups mini marshmallows
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
6 cups Krispie rice cereal (regular or chocolate)
½ teaspoon salt

Truffle layer:

1½ cups 10% cream (you can go heavier if you wish)
3½ cups good semisweet chocolate chips or chunks (or dark or milk if you wish)

Optional toppings: chopped nuts, sprinkles, cocoa powder, chopped pretzels, toffee bits, etc. , We used Heath bites, crushed

1. Line a 9x13" pan with tin foil and spray with non stick spray. Set aside.

2. In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine butter and marshmallows. Microwave on high for 1 minute, stir. Microwave on high for another minute if necessary to melt the marshmallows. Stir until smooth.

3. Add in cocoa powder and ½ cup chocolate chips and stir until smooth and chocolate is melted (work quickly). Stir in Krispie rice cereal and salt until totally combined. Pour into prepared pan and smooth with wet hands and set aside.

Truffle layer:

1. In a small pot, heat cream until bubbles appear around the edges. Remove from heat and stir in 3½ cups chocolate until smooth. Let sit for 5-10 minutes to thicken and cool slightly before pouring over the Krispie treat layer. Sprinkle with desired toppings and refrigerate until set.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Butterfinger Cookies

Jenna made these while she was home for Father's day weekend.  They were quick and easy and tasted great.
Butterfinger Cookies

1 box Betty Crocker Butter Recipe Yellow Cake Mix {15.25 oz.}
2 cups Butterfinger Baking Bits – approx. one 10 oz. bag {or use chopped fun sized Butterfinger bars}
½ cup Canola or Vegetable Oil
2 Eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine cake mix, eggs, and oil in large mixing bowl, and beat well.  Stir in Reese’s Mini Pieces baking chips with spoon.

Chill dough in refrigerator for 1 hour.

After dough has chilled, drop onto ungreased Nonstick Cookie Sheet in rounded balls.We used a cookie scoop.

Bake for approx. 7 – 9 minutes {or until done}. ENJOY!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Ground Philly Cheesesteak Grilled Cheese

 Kathleen made these for lunch a few weekends ago.  They were excellent.
Ground Philly Cheesesteak Grilled Cheese

1 pound ground beef
½ tsp salt (we used steak seasoning instead of salt and pepper)
½ tsp pepper 
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce 
2 tbsp butter 
1 onion, chopped 
½ green bell pepper, chopped (we didn't have any, but added 6 slices of chopped, pickled jalapenos)
salt and pepper to taste 
8 slices American or Provolone Cheese (we used pepper jack)
8 slices white bread 
4 tablespoons butter

Start by browning the beef in the skillet. Try to brown without breaking up the meat too much. Get a nice brown sear on the beef, then break apart as little as possible. You want the meat to resemble a pea in size [you want to avoid taco meat consistency]. Add the salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce. 
Stir gently, then remove from pan. 

Add 2 tbsp. of butter in the pan and add the chopped onions and green bell pepper, cooking until browned and caramelized. Add salt and pepper to taste. Once browned, add the meat back in and combine together. 

Spread the butter on one side of each of the 8 slices of bread. Butter side down on the cutting board. Add a slice of provolone to each of the slices. Top four slices with the meat mixture and close the sandwiches pressing down lightly. In a cast iron pan or griddle on medium high add the sandwiches and cook for 3-5 minutes on each side.

Monday, June 20, 2016

No Bake Peanut Butter Chex Bars

These were easy to make and tasted great!  I had all the ingredients in the house, so that was a bonus!
No Bake Peanut Butter Chex Bars

6 cups Rice Chex cereal
1½ cups peanuts, roughly chopped
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup peanut butter, creamy
1 tablespoon vanilla
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup milk chocolate chips

Grease a 9 x 13 inch pan. Mix the cereal and peanuts in a large bowl.

In a medium saucepan stir together the brown sugar and corn syrup over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil for about 1 minute. Then remove from heat and stir in the peanut butter, vanilla, and salt. Stir until the mixture is smooth.

Pour the peanut butter mixture over the cereal mixture. Toss carefully with a wooden spoon until all of the cereal is covered.

Transfer the mixture into the prepared 9 x 13 inch pan and press down gently. Cool for about 20 minutes.

Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave stirring every 20 seconds until completely melted and smooth. Drizzle over the cooled bars. Let the chocolate cool.

Cut into bars and enjoy!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

No Tortilla Chicken Enchilada Bake

I halved this recipe and used canned enchilada sauce. This was very good.

No Tortilla Chicken Enchilada Bake

4 large chicken breasts (boneless, skinless), cooked and shredded or cut unto pieces
4 large bell peppers (your choice of color), diced
1 large white onion, diced
4 cups Enchilada sauce (see recipe below) or you can used canned
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped green onions

Enchilada Sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
6 TBSP chili powder
4 tsp coriander
4 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
30 oz. tomato sauce
1/2 cup water

 Saute onion in oil until slightly browned. Add the garlic, spices and Splenda. Cook and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomato sauce and water; bring to a simmer. Simmer, uncovered, 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Directions for the Enchilada Bake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Saute pepper and onions in some olive oil for 5-7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Layer the bottom of caserole dish with shredded chicken. Top with the peppers and onions.

Pour enchilada sauce over top. Top with cheese and green onion.

Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and cook for another 10 minutes until cheese is melted.

Friday, June 17, 2016

How to use baking soda to reduce dark circles and bags under your eyes

Jenna hasn't been sleeping well and has trouble with dark circles under her eyes anyway.  I found this 'recipe' and she put it together over the  holiday weekend.  We will see if it really works.
How to use baking soda to reduce dark circles and bags under your eyes

Chamomile tea
baking soda
cotton balls

Make tea and let cool.

Add a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of mineral water or chamomile tea and blend.

Soak two cotton pads in this mixture and position them under your eyes

Leave them on for about 10 to 15 minutes, then rinse your face and apply a moisturizer (preferably a natural one).

If you repeat daily, the results should appear after the first week and the process is usually complete after two weeks. Once the black circles/bags under eyes have disappeared, repeat this procedure only when you start noticing a comeback.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Curry Roasted Cashews

 Jenna made these over Memorial Day weekend while she was home.  We actually liked them better the 2nd day.
Curry Roasted Cashews

2 cups roasted, salted cashews
3 TB salted butter
5 tsp mild yellow curry powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp kosher salt
⅛ tsp cayenne powder

Heat oven to 350F with rack on middle position.

In a skillet, melt butter on medium heat. Add all remaining ingredients (except cashews) and stir to combine well, 20 seconds.

Place cashews on large baking sheet and evenly toss them with the curry mixture until thoroughly coated. Spread cashews into a single layer. Bake 7-10 minutes or just until nuts are golden brown; take care not to let them over-bake or they'll burn.

Let nuts cool fully. They keep well in an airtight container for up to a week.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Teriyaki Mango Chicken

Kathleen made this one Sunday for lunch.  This was very good.
Teriyaki Mango Chicken 
adapted from:

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces (we used 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts)
¾ cup soy sauce
¼ cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup honey
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 cups cooked quinoa
1/2 cup chopped fresh mango

Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat. Slice the chicken breasts in half so they are thinner, then slice them as thin as possible. Add the chicken to the oil and cook, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes. Add soy sauce, brown sugar, and honey, and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn the heat down to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick and the chicken is cooked through, 8 to 12 minutes. (It didn't thicken for me at this point, so I added a cornstarch slurry of 1 tsp corn starch to 1 tbsp water) Add the sesame seeds and stir to combine, then remove the pan from the heat.

Scoop quinoa onto a plate then pour the chicken over and garnish with mango.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Chocolate Banana Toffee Layer Bars

I made these for church and a neighborhood get together. They were rich and very yummy!

Chocolate Banana Toffee Layer Bars

2 cups chocolate toffee bits, divided
12 whole graham crackers
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened, cut into pieces
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup rice krispies cereal
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 cup banana chips, coarsely chopped
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk Beth used chocolate sweetened condensed milk

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13x9-inch pan with aluminum foil and coat the foil generously with cooking spray.

2. Pulse 1 cup of the toffee bits with the graham crackers in a food processor to fine crumbs. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles wet sand. Transfer to the prepared pan and press evenly into the bottom. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the crust has lightly browned.

3. Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the hot crust. Layer the rice krispies, walnuts, remaining toffee bits, and banana chips over the melty chocolate chips. Press each layer in to adhere. Drizzle the sweetened condensed milk over the top.

4. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 2 hours. Lift the bars out by the foil and cut into 24 squares.

5. Store the bars in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Snickerdoodle Caramel Bars

Snickerdoodle CarameI made these to take to our Adult Bible Study and then to a party in our subdivision.  They were very good.
Snickerdoodle Caramel Bars

1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 cup butter flavored shortening
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups all purpose flour {minus 2 tablespoons}
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
cinnamon sugar topping:
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
caramel filling:
13 oz. package caramels, unwrapped
1/4 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl, cream butter, shortening and sugar. Stir in eggs and vanilla. Add in all dry ingredients and stir until just incorporated. Scrape edges and mix again briefly.

In a small bowl, stir sugar and cinnamon together.

Lightly spray 9x13 glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Pour half the cinnamon sugar mixture into the baking dish and spread around to coat the bottom.

Take 2/3 of the cookie dough and press into the bottom of the pan and up the sides about 1 inch. Sprinkle the top of the cookie dough with 1 tablespoon of the remaining cinnamon sugar.

In a medium size bowl, add caramels and cream. Microwave for 20 second intervals, stirring in between each until completely melted and smooth.

Pour caramel over cookie dough and spread to smooth. Take small pieces of remaining cookie dough, flatten slightly in between your hands and place overtop the caramel until no more cookie dough remains. Sprinkle the cookie dough on top of the caramel with the last of the cinnamon and sugar.

Bake for 25 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden.

Cool completely before cutting into bars.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Copycat Torchy's Queso

We love Torchy's Tacos and knew we would love this copycat recipe.  We halved it and made it in the crockpot.  So very, very good.  We decided it was THE best Queso we have had.
Copycat Torchy's Queso

16 oz fire roasted salsa
4 oz chopped green chili
32 oz velveeta
⅓ cup cream

1. Mix together over medium flame until melted and hot.  We put in small crockpot on low until melted.

2. Stir continuously.

3. Top with guacamole, cilantro, crumbled or shredded queso fresco and Torchy's Diablo sauce.

4. If you don't have access to Torchy's sauce, add your favorite hot sauce.

5. Normally you put the guacamole in the middle and then pour the cheese sauce over it.

6. Then top with the queso fresco and cilantro

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Italian Baked Chicken Thighs Crockpot

As you know by now, I LOVE my crockpot(s) and use them often. I saw this recipe and knew it would be a great one for the crockpot. I loved this.

Italian Baked Chicken Thighs Crockpot
inspired from

1/2 cup shredded Italian cheese Beth didn't use this
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves (finely chopped) Beth used dried
1 teaspoon onion powder
black pepper
2 tablespoons butter (melted)  Beth used cold butter, cut into 4 pieces
4 chicken thighs (bone-in, skin on)
red pepper flakes (to taste)

Place thighs in the crockpot.  Mix together herbs, onion powder, chili flakes and black pepper.  Sprinkle over the thighs.

Place a butter pat on each thigh. 

Cook on low for 6-8 hours.  Last 1/2 hour, can top with cheese.

Less than 1g net carb per serving!!


Friday, June 10, 2016

Hamburger, Sausage, Broccoli Alfredo--Low Carb

I had all the ingredients for this and quickly put it together for dinner one night when Don was gone.  Kathleen and I really liked it.
Hamburger, Sausage, Broccoli Alfredo - Low Carb
1 lb ground beef
1 lb bulk sausage
1 tsp oregano, dried
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
10 to 12 oz fresh broccoli  Beth used frozen, thawed and par cooked.
1 (8-oz) block cream cheese
1/2 c heavy cream
1/2 c Parmesan cheese, grated
8 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded
salt and pepper to taste
In a large skillet, brown hamburger, sausage, onion and garlic over a medium heat. Season to taste with oregano, salt and pepper; drain excess fat.
Meanwhile, steam the broccoli until tender yet still a little crisp; season with salt and pepper. Add to meat mixture
Place cream cheese in a microwaveable bowl and microwave on HIGH for about 45 seconds, until soft; whisk until creamy and smooth. Gradually whisk in the cream until smooth; stir in the Parmesan cheese. Add this to the meat mixture
Combine hamburger, broccoli and cream sauce in a large greased casserole dish (2 ½ quart or larger). Taste test and add additional salt and pepper if desired. Top with shredded cheese.
Bake at 350º for about 35-45 minutes, until bubbly around edges.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Cream Cheese Scrambled Eggs

I have seen recipes for cream cheese eggs for years and finally adjusted a recipe to my tastes and made them. Very good and full flavor!

Cream Cheese Scrambled Eggs

2 T butter
2 oz or 1/4 c cream cheese
2-3 eggs, scrambled
1 T milk

Melt 2 tbsp. butter and 1/4 cup cream cheese in a skillet before adding the beaten egg mixture. Cook over medium-low heat until the eggs are just firm

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Fruity Jalapeno Popper Bombs

I had some jalapenos that needed to be used and Kathleen made this recipe up.  They were quite tasty.
Fruity Jalapeño Popper Bombs

1 can Pillsbury Grands biscuits
2 jalapeños, thinly sliced
4-6 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup strawberry or raspberry jelly (optional)

1 tbsp butter, melted
garlic powder

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Stretch a biscuit until it is thin and even. Spread 1 heaping teaspoon of cream cheese over the top of the biscuit. Layer 3-4 slices of jalapeños over the cream cheese. Top with a scant teaspoon of jelly, if desired, and pinch the sides into the middle, forming the biscuit into a circle.

Mix the butter and garlic powder, spread over the rolled biscuits. Top with a slice of jalapeno and bake for 12-15 minutes.

Serve with Spicy Ranch Dip

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Baked Parmesan Garlic Chicken Wings

I had a hunger for wings and had saved this recipe.  These were easy to make and I LOVED them!
Baked Parmesan Garlic Chicken Wings

2 lbs frozen party chicken wings
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 fresh sweet basil leaves, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
1 cup bottled blue cheese dressing Beth used Ranch dressing
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard Beth did not use
Rinse and clean the chicken wings. Pat dry with paper towels. Set aside in a big bowl.

Preheat oven to 425 F. Add the oregano, rosemary, cumin and salt to the chicken wings. Toss to combine well so each chicken wing is nicely coated with the spices.

Transfer the chicken wings on a baking sheet and bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until the chicken wings turn to a nice brown color.

In the meantime, mix the olive oil, basil, garlic, parmesan cheese and seasoning salt together in a small bowl.

In a dip bowl, mix the blue cheese dressing and the mustard together, stir to combine well.
Transfer the chicken wings out of the oven and toss them with the garlic parmesan mixture. Serve the chicken wings immediately with the dressing.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Crock Pot French Dip Sandwiches

I made this for a get together after church.  I didn't use the cheese, but let everyone make their own mini sandwiches.  This had great flavor.

Crock Pot French Dip Sandwiches

1 tablespoon Vegetable oil
1 (2½ to 3-pound) boneless chuck roast, trimmed of excess fat
1 teaspoon salt, divided
½ teaspoon pepper
2 large onions, sliced
2 cups beef broth (1 can is fine)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 bay leaf
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
6 hoagie rolls
12 slices Provolone cheese

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle roast with salt and pepper and cook until seared on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a slow cooker.

Add onions to the skillet and cook until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add onions to crock pot along with remaining ½ teaspoon salt, beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaf, garlic and thyme. Cover and cook on LOW for 9-10 hours.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Cut rolls in half and line insides with cheese slices, using 2 slices per hoagie roll. Place on a baking sheet and bake for about 5 minutes, until cheese is nicely melted.
Remove the meat from the crock pot and place in a bowl. Use a fork to shred it.

To serve, stuff each hoagie with beef and onions and serve with cooking liquid.



Sunday, June 5, 2016

Italian Sandwich Rolls

I made these to go with French dip sandwiches.  LOVED these.  I used the bread maker to do all the work.
Italian Sandwich Rolls
Makes 16 rolls

1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cups flour (you can use unbleached, all-purpose or white whole wheat)
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon yeast
2 tsp sugar --Beth's addition after reading reviews

Combine the water, oil, flours, salt, and yeast in the pan of your bread machine according to the manufacturer’s directions. Set on the dough cycle and start the machine. Beth did this.

(If making the dough by hand: Place the water and oil in a medium saucepan and warm slightly. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and add the yeast. Stir and allow the yeast to proof for 5 minutes. Add the flour and the salt. Stir to combine well. Turn the mixture onto a lightly floured surface and knead. Continue kneading for 5 minutes to create a smooth, elastic dough, adding more of the all-purpose flour as necessary. Transfer to a greased bowl and turn the dough ball to coat. Allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.)

When the machine beeps or the dough has doubled in bulk, Refrigerate overnight to develop the flavors or proceed to the next step.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Remove the dough from the pan and divide it into sixteen equal parts. Form each part into a short, thin oval and place equal-distance apart on the prepared baking sheet.

Preheat the oven to 400ºF.

Allow the rolls to rise for 20 minutes or longer, until doubled in bulk.
Bake the rolls for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown. Cool on a rack before serving.

Baked and cooled rolls can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer for longest storage. Thaw at room temperature before serving.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Red Lobster Cheese Loaf

We used to go to Red Lobster JUST for their cheese biscuits.  We have a copycat recipe for them, but when I saw this, I thought we should try it.    We really liked it and it makes GREAT toast.

Red Lobster Cheese Loaf

3 c flour
1 T baking powder
1 t salt
1/4 t garlic powder
¼ t cayenne pepper
1/8 t black pepper
4 oz cheddar cheese (in chunks)
1 ¼ c milk
¾ c sour cream
3 T butter, melted
1 egg, lightly beaten

Heat oven to 350. Grease a 9 x 5 loaf pan. In a bowl, whisk together the first 6 ingredients. Carefully stir in cheese cubes.

In another bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients. Fold the wet mixture into the flour and cheese mixture. Stir until just combined—do not over stir. Spread the mixture into the loaf pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Allow to cool for 1 hour before slicing and serving

Friday, June 3, 2016

Chocolate Brownie Cookies

These are very tasty cookies.  We left out the nuts so Kathleen could eat these.  We all liked them.
Chocolate Brownie Cookies
Cathy on Taste of Home bb

2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
4 squares unsweetened baking chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)  We didn't use

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease cookie sheets. In a large mixing bowl combine sugar, oil, eggs, chocolate, and vanilla. Beat at medium speed of electric mixer until well blended. Add flour, soda and salt. Beat at low speed until a soft dough forms. Stir in walnuts.
Drop dough by heaping teaspoons 2 inches apart onto prepared cookie sheets. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until set. Cool completely before storing.

Makes 5 dozen cookies. The recipe halves beautifully.  Beth got 4 dozen

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Creamy Cilantro Tomatillo Dressing

Jenna here again! Ya'll, this recipe is one of my all time favorites. I came across this when I was looking for easy, low fat dressing recipes for a cobb salad. As you can see from the picture below, it makes quite a bit. Let me just tell you, that I ate the majority of this in a week! I asked my mom if she wanted me to bring some home for her to try this past weekend, but unfortunately that didn't happen! Instead, I stopped by to get more ingredients to make it at home! This recipe is really easy, super delicious, and won't last long! I bet it would be delicious as a salsa or even a sauce for chicken, too!

Creamy Cilantro Tomatillo Dressing

1/2 cup low fat buttermilk
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
1/4 cup fat free Greek yogurt (Jenna also added 1/4 cup of sour cream)
1 small jalapeno, seeds removed, leave them in if you want it spicy
1/4 cup of fresh cilantro
1 tomatillo, husks removed, chopped
1 clove garlic
1 scallion (I added just some chopped onion)
juice of 1/2 lime (or one whole lime!)
1/2 tsp dried parsley flakes
1/8 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/4 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients in a blender. (Jenna made this first at her apartment and doesn't have a blender. It worked okay with a hand held immersion blender, but I should have chopped the tomatillo a little smaller because it didn't want to break up. It was definitely quicker with my mom's Ninja!). Place in an airtight container and put in the fridge. Makes 2 cups.....and it won't last long!

Weight Watcher Recipes Servings: 7 • Serving Size: 1/4 cup • Points +: 1 pt • Smart Points: 1
Calories: 43.3 • Fat: 2.4 g • Protein: 2.1 g • Carb: 3.7 g • Fiber: 0.3 g  

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Balsamic Honey Roasted Cabbage "Steaks"

Hi everyone! I stumbled across this cabbage side dish on Pinterest when I was trying to figure out what to do with my extra cabbage. I LOVED this and thought it made a great side dish. It was really easy and came out of the oven with a caramelized texture; the vinegar/honey combination was delicious! It warms up really well too, the next day!  - Jenna

Balsamic Honey Roasted Cabbage "Steaks"

(before baking)

(after baking)

1/2 head of green cabbage cut into 1/2 inch thick rounds. (Jenna got 6 rounds)
3 tablespoons olive oil
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
1 sprig fresh thyme (Jenna used dried)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Brush a baking sheet with 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (Jenna used a Silpat liner and didn't spray the pan). In a bowl, combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar and honey. Arrange the cabbage slices in a single layer and brush with the honey balsamic vinaigrette. Season with coarse salt and ground pepper and sprinkle with thyme. Roast until cabbage slices are tender and edges are golden, 25 to 30 minutes.