Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Sourdough Apple Cinnamon Rolls

I made these for Christmas morning.  I made half of them with apples and half without.  They tasted great, but didn't rise much--think it got too cold in my kitchen overnight.
Sourdough Apple Cinnamon Rolls

2 c sourdough starter
1 1/2 c white bread flour
1/4 c milk
1 T vanilla
1/2 t salt
2 T sugar
2 c white bread flour
2 T melted butter Beth used 1 stick, softened
4 apples
3 T lemon juice
cinnamon-sugar mixture
1 c powdered sugar
4 t non-fat yogurt Beth used milk
1/2 t vanilla

Put sourdough starter and flour into breadmaker. Knead for 5 minutes, and allow to sit for 8 hours.

Then add milk, vanilla, salt, sugar, and remainder of flour and run the dough cycle.

Peel, core, and dice apples into small cubes. Toss with lemon juice and set aside.

Remove dough from breadmaker and divide in half. Roll half into a large rectangle about 1/8 inch thick (should be about 11" x 16").

Lightly brush dough with melted butter, then sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture. Sprinkle half the diced apples over the dough, and roll up lengthwise. Cut into 1" slices, and place flat side down in a greased 9" x 13" baking pan. Repeat with the other half of dough and apples.

Let rise in warm place for 2 hours, then bake at 400 for 25-30 minutes. Beth let rise overnight.

Prepare glaze by beating yogurt, vanilla, and powdered sugar till smooth. Drizzle over hot rolls. Cinnamon-sugar can be made by mixing 2 tb sugar with 2 ts cinnamon. I like to add a dash or two of nutmeg, too.


Monday, December 30, 2013

Cheese Curd Batter

We have a tradition of making fondue on Christmas Eve. I have searched high and low here in Texas but can't find breaded(frozen) cheese curds. We can find mozzarella sticks, but not cheese curds. My parents brought cheese curds from Wisconsin and we used this batter. We did discover we should freeze the cheese curds and then dip them in the batter for best results.

Cheese Curd Batter

2/3 c milk
½ c. flour
¾ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt

Coat the curds and deep fry

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Candy Cane Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

My sister Karen and I made this for a Christmas dessert.  We changed up the recipe a bit.  It is a softer cheesecake and I don't know if that is because we used liquid creamer or not.  We debated on using that or the powdered since we had both.  Next time I will try the powder to see if it makes the bars more firm.  It was very tasty.

Candy Cane Chocolate Cheesecake Bars
3/4 cup graham crackers crumbs Beth used Oreo cookies crushed
1/4 cup butter, melted
Cheesecake filling
2 x 8oz packages Philadelphia cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup Coffee matte peppermint mocha coffee creamer Beth used liquid
3 X 1.55 oz Hershey's candy cane chocolate bars, broken into pieces Beth used Hershey's Candy cane Kisses
3 X 1.55 oz Hershey's candy cane chocolate bars

Heat the oven to 325F. Line a 8X8 square baking pan with parchment paper or pan liner leaving about 2 inch hanging on the sides. Beth just sprayed the pan.Set aside.

In a small bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. With your fingers press it evenly on the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Refrigerate for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile make the cheesecake filling.  In a mixing bowl, add the cream cheese and sugar. With the paddle attachment beat on low speed until light and fluffy.  Mix in the eggs, one at a time, scrapping the sides of the bowl with a spatula after each addition. Gently pour in the coffee creamer and stir to combine. With a spatula fold in the chopped candy cane chocolate.

Pour the filling onto the cheesecake crust.

Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes. Turn off the oven, slightly open the oven's door and let the cheesecake cool in the oven for 1 hour.

Remove from the oven and chill in the fridge for a couple of hours.

To decorate, remove the cheesecake from the pan using the hanging paper.  Cut the cheesecake into 16 bars.

In a microwave safe, place the rest of the chopped chocolate and heat for about 30-45 seconds until just softened. With a teaspoon stir to combine.  Drizzle over the cheesecake bars.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Black Bean, Pomegranate and Avocado Salsa

I picked up a pomegranate while we were doing last minute shopping. Jenna made this and it was great!

Black Bean, Pomegranate and Avocado Salsa


1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups pomegranate arils
1 small jalapeño, minced, seeds removed
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 large avocado, diced
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Tortilla chips, for serving
1. In a medium bowl, combine black beans, pomegranate arils, jalapeño, onion, cilantro, avocado, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Gently stir. Serve with tortilla chips.
Note-This salsa is best the day is made.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Easy Breakfast Casserole

This is a super easy breakfast to make.  I made it for Christmas Eve.  We all liked it.  I used 10 eggs.  You could use spicy cheese to give it more of a kick.
Easy Breakfast Casserole

By AngelicFantasia on  http://www.food.com

10 -12 eggs
12 ounces cheddar cheese, grated
2 (4 ounce) cans chopped green chilies
salt and pepper

Spread grated cheese in a 9 x 13 inch pan that has been buttered.  Spread green chilies evenly over the cheese.
Beat eggs and add salt and pepper to taste.  Pour the eggs over the cheese and green chilies.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until set.  Cut into squares and serve.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Apple Cranberry Cheesecake Bars

I made this for dessert this week.  It was very good.  It is rich, so you only need a small piece.

Apple Cranberry Cheesecake Bars

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups oats
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
2 cups (12 ounces) white chocolate chips
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (21-ounce) can Lucky Leaf Apple Cranberry Pie Filling

Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease 13 x 9-inch baking pan.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, oats and brown sugar. Cut butter into chunks and add to flour mixture, cutting in with a pastry blender or forks until the mixture is crumbly. Stir in the white chocolate chips. Measure out 2 1/2 cups of the mixture and set aside.

Press the remaining mixture into the bottom of your baking pan, pressing firmly with floured fingers
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese until creamy. Add the sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice, and vanilla extract and mix until smooth. Pour over the crust.

Spoon pie filling over the cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle the reserved flour mixture on top.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until center is set. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cover; and keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Spicy Stewed Beef with Creamy Cheddar Grits

I made this for dinner the night my parents and Karen came in. I used a crockpot--see my notes as to what I changed. We all LOVED this! Don had 3 helpings!

Spicy Stewed Beef with Creamy Cheddar Grits
Added by Ree on http://tastykitchen.com

2 Tablespoons Canola Oil
2 Tablespoons Butter
3 pounds Stew Meat Or Diced Chuck Roast
1 can (11 Ounces) Chipotle Peppers In Adobo Sauce ***only use 1-2 tsp as per comments
4 cups Low-sodium Beef Broth, More If Needed Use ½ if using crockpot as per comments
5 cloves Minced Garlic
1 Tablespoon Cumin
2 teaspoons Chili Powder
1 whole Onion, Diced
1 whole Red Bell Pepper
3 whole Chilies (any Variety, Hot Or Mild)Beth cut up 1 jalapeno and used 2 whole jalapenos
4 cups Stone Ground Grits
6 cups Low Sodium Chicken (or Beef) Broth
3 cups Water
2 cups Half-and-half
2 cups Grated Cheddar Cheese

To make the meat, heat 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a large pot over high heat. Throw in stew meat and brown for 1 minute, then add chipotle peppers, beef broth, garlic, cumin, and chili powder. Stir, then bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, then cover and simmer for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, or until the meat is fall-apart tender and the liquid is thick. (Watch the meat occasionally and add more beef broth as needed.)Beth put all this in the crockpot--did not brown the meat first.  It was falling apart tender after 8 hours.

In the last hour of cooking time, make the grits: Heat remaining 1 tablespoon of both oil and butter. Add diced onion, bell pepper, and chilies and cook for five minutes or so. Pour in grits, then add chicken (or beef) broth and water. Stir, then bring to a boil . Reduce the heat to low, then cover and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. After 30 minutes, add half-and-half. Cook for another 20 to 30 minutes, or until grits are tender. Remove from heat and stir in grated cheese.

Serve pile of grits with stewed meat (liquid and all) over the top. Sprinkle on sliced green onion for color.


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

White Chocolate Lemon Bark

Saw this recipe and knew I would make it for my dad, who is a lover of anything lemon.  We all really liked it.

White Chocolate Lemon Bark

11.5 ounce bag of white chocolate Beth used almond bark

1/2 cup lemon drop candies

Line a cookie sheet with parchment, set aside.

Put lemon drops in a plastic Ziploc bag. Remove excess air, seal bag, and gently crush them with a rolling-pin into small-ish pieces. Set aside.

In 30 seconds intervals, microwave white chocolate in a bowl. Stirring between intervals, until melted and smooth. About 1 minute or so. Mix the lemon drops into white chocolate, pour evenly into prepared pan. Sprinkle larger lemon drop pieces on top for decoration if desired. Allow the bark to cool and firm up. Break into small pieces and ENJOY!!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Starbucks Hot Chocolate

Kathleen has made this many times now. It is a great recipe since we always have the ingredients in the house.

Starbucks Hot Chocolate

1/4 c water
2 T cocoa powder
2 T sugar
1 1/2 c milk
1/4 t vanilla

1. Combine the water, cocoa, and sugar in a 16-ounce microwave-safe pitcher, such as a 2-cup glass measuring cup. Zap the mixture on high for 30 seconds, or until hot. Stir well to create chocolate syrup.

2.  Add the milk to the chocolate syrup and microwave the mixture for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, or until hot. Add the vanilla and pour the drink into a 16-ounce coffee mug. Serve with whipped cream on top.

Make one 16-ounce (grande size) serving.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Microwave Caramels

Kathleen and I tried a new(to us) recipe for caramels.  This is a great recipe, but it took longer to set up than the recipe stated.

Microwave Caramels
Gifts from the Kitchen | December 2006/January 2007/Country Home

Nonstick foil
1 C butter
2 1/2 C brown sugar
1 C karo syrup
1 14-OZ  can sweetened condensed milk
1 t. vanilla

Line a 9x9-inch baking pan with nonstick foil or buttered foil, allowing edges to hang over sides of pan; set aside.

In a large microwave-safe bowl combine butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and condensed milk; cover loosely with parchment paper.

Microwave on 100% power (high) for 4 or 5 minutes* or until butter starts to melt. Whisk to combine mixture. Microwave on high for 4 or 5 minutes* more. Whisk well. Microwave an additional 4 or 5 minutes*.  Whisk gently. Add vanilla. (Note: Bowl may get hot as mixture cooks; use hot pads to handle.)

Pour caramel mixture into the prepared pan. Chill for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until just firm. Using foil, lift block of caramel from the pan. Use a buttered knife to cut into 1-inch squares. Try the topping variations below, if desired, making several of the variations with 1 batch of caramels. Wrap individually with plastic wrap or waxed paper or place in candy cups in a covered gift tin or container. Store in an airtight container either chilled or at room temperature (we prefer chilled) for
up to 2 weeks. Makes 2 3/4 pounds (81 pieces).

*NOTE: Use the 4-minute timings for higher wattage microwave ovens(1,100 to 1,200 watts) and 5-minute timings for lower wattage ovens.

CONFETTI CARAMELS: Place 1/4 cup assorted colored sprinkles in a custard cup; set aside. In a small microwave-safe bowl place 1/2 cup white baking pieces. Microwave on 100% power (high) for 1 to 2 minutes or until melted, stopping every 30 seconds to stir. Dip bottom of each caramel in melted white chocolate. Dip into sprinkles and place on parchment or waxed paper until set. Enough to dip 20 caramels.

ORANGE-CRANBERRY DRIZZLES: In a custard cup combine 1 teaspoon finely shredded orange peel and 2 tablespoons snipped dried cranberries; set aside. When caramel is just set, sprinkle orange mixture atop one quarter of the pan (or desired portion); press lightly. Cut caramels as directed. Melt 1/4 cup white baking pieces as directed above. Place melted pieces in a small plastic bag; snip a small hole in the corner of the bag.  Place caramels on cooling rack over parchment paper. Drizzle with melted pieces by squeezing from bag over caramels. Enough for 20 caramels.

TOFFEE, ALMOND, OR CHOCOLATE TREATS: Place 1/2 cup chocolate-covered toffee pieces, sliced toasted almonds, and/or miniature semisweet chocolate pieces in a small, shallow bowl. After cutting caramels (they should still be slightly warm and a little soft), dip each into the desired topping gently pressing the bits into each caramel. Enough for 20 caramels.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Hearty Zuppa Toscana

 Kathleen and Jenna made this and it was WONDERFUL.  Beware, this makes a LOT of soup! 
Hearty Zuppa Toscana

4 qts water/meat broth
5 Yukon Gold Potatoes, medium size, peeled and sliced 1/8 inches thick
1 medium onion, peeled, diced
3/4 cup bell pepper, diced
8 strips bacon, chopped, rendered
2 lbs Italian Sausage
2 cups heavy cream
4-5 cups kale, rinsed, stems removed, chopped
1 1/2 - 2 Tbsp Salt
1/2 tsp black peppercorns, freshly ground (to taste)
3 cloves garlic, pressed/chopped
Olive Oil - for sauteeing

In a skillet, render chopped bacon until crispy. With a slotted spoon, remove bacon and discard the fat.

Add Italian Sausage to the skillet and cook until slightly browned and cooked through, continuously breaking it with a wooden spoon.

Meanwhile fill a large pot with 4 quarts water or meat broth. Add potatoes and bring to boil. Allow to boil for 10 minutes before adding bacon and cooked sausage.

Wipe the skillet with a paper towel, add 2-3 tablespoons olive oil and sauté diced onion, until just slightly golden. Add diced pepper, and garlic, and continue to sauté for another 5 minutes.

Check on your potatoes and make sure they’re cooked through.

Add sautéed onion & peppers, along with 2 cups heavy cream and bring the soup to a boil.
Season soup with salt & pepper.

Add chopped kale, bring to boil. Add enough hot boiled water to make a full pot of soup (if you your soup thinner). Taste the soup. Season with salt if needed.

For best result, allow the flavors to mend for 20-30 minutes before serving

Friday, December 20, 2013

Popcorn Cake

I made this recipe this past week for the kids at school. I thought it was a nice change from the regular rice krispies, just watch out for the old maids!

Popcorn Cake
Homegrown Heaven Bound Cookbook

4 qts. popped corn(2 microwave bags)
1 pound gum drops
8 oz. M &M's
1/2 c butter
8 oz. salted peanuts
1/2 c oil

Mix corn, gumdrops, M&M's and nuts in a large bowl.  Melt butter, marshmallows and oil.   Pour over the corn mixture and stir well.  Press into a greased 9 x 13 pan and cool.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Blushing Apple Cake

I made this to take to a Sunday School Christmas party. I had gotten two huge boxes of apples from my folks when we met for Jenna's graduation. LOVE fresh apples. This was a winner!

Blushing Apple Cake
Homegrown Heavenbound Cookbook

1 1/4 c flour
2 T sugar, divided
1 t baking powder
1 egg, beaten
3 oz pkg strawberry jello
1 T milk
1/2 t salt
1/2 c butter or shortening
4-5 c sliced apples

1 c flour
1 c sugar
1/2 c butter

Mix flour and 1 T sugar with baking powder and salt.  Cream butter and mix in dry ingredients.  Combine egg, milk, and add to butter.  Press into a greased 9 x 13 pan.  Add sliced apples.

Mix remaining T of sugar with the jello.  Sprinkle over apples in the pan. 

Topping:  Mix topping ingredients until crumbly.  Sprinkle over cake. 

Bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Peanut Butter Buckeye Pretzels

These were a nice crunchy little treat. They were easy to put together.

Peanut Butter Buckeye Pretzels

1 cup peanut butter
2 Tablespoons butter, softened
dash of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
waffle pretzels
12 ounces chocolate CandiQuik or Almond Bark

Beat the peanut butter, butter, salt, and vanilla until creamy. Slowly add the powdered sugar. Rollinto small balls and let set.

Place a peanut butter ball between 2 pretzels and press together.

Heat the CandiQuik up for one minute in the microwave. Stir until melted and creamy. Dip each peanut butter filled pretzel in the melted chocolate. Use a fork to remove from the chocolate. Tap the excess chocolate off and place the pretzels on waxed paper to set. Store in a sealed container

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Spaghetti with Meatballs

Kathleen made this this week to have for lunches. She used a can of diced and a big can of crushed tomatoes. She doubled the hamburger and didn't use the pork. This was very good.

Spaghetti with Meatballs
by Ree Drummond on http://tastykitchen.com

¾ pounds Ground Beef
¾ pounds Ground Pork
3 cloves Garlic, Minced
¾ cups Fine Bread Crumbs
2 whole Eggs
¾ cups Freshly Grated Parmesan
¼ cups Flat-leaf Parsley, Minced
¼ teaspoons Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Splash Of Milk
½ cups Olive Oil
1 whole Yellow Onion, Diced
3 cloves Garlic, Minced
1 whole (28-ounce) Can Whole Tomatoes
1 whole 28 Ounce Can Crushed Tomatoes
½ cups White Or Red Wine (optional)
¼ teaspoons Salt
1 teaspoon Sugar
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
¼ cups Flat-leaf Parsley, Minced
8 whole Fresh Basil Leaves, Chiffonade (optional)
2 pounds Spaghetti, Cooked To Al Dente
Preparation Instructions

To make the meatballs, combine meat, garlic, breadcrumbs, Parmesan, eggs, salt, pepper, parsley, and a splash of milk in a mixing bowl. Mix together well with hands. Roll into 25 1 1/2-inch balls and place on a cookie sheet. Place cookie sheet into the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes to firm up.

To brown the meatballs, heat olive oil in a heavy pot or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add meatballs 8 at a time, turning to brown. Remove and drain on a paper towel after each batch. Set meatballs aside.

In the same pot, add the onions and garlic and cook for a few minutes, or until translucent. Pour in whole tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, and wine, if using. Add salt, pepper, sugar, and parsley. Stir to combine and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes.

Add meatballs to pot and stir in gently. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, stirring very gently a couple of times during the simmer.

Just before serving, stir in basil if using.

Serve over cooked spaghetti. Sprinkle with extra Parmesan.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Sourdough Lemon Cake

I had fed my started and needed to use it since the 1/ gallon jar was FULL.  I made pretzels and then made this recipe.  Very moist and tasty.  I baked it in a bundt pan for 1 hour.
Sourdough Lemon Cake
Adapted from http://rockfarmer.me

1 cup of sourdough starter ready for a feeding
1 1/4 cup milk, any kind or the same amount of citrus juice
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sweetener of your choice
1 cup oil or melted butter
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons natural lemon extract
1 1/2 teaspoons natural orange extract
1 teaspoon sea salt, finely ground
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 cup eggs : 2 large grocery store eggs
fresh zest from 1 lemon

1. Combine the sourdough starter, milk or juice, and flour in a large bowl, stirring everything gently but firmly to mix it all into a relatively smooth mass. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and set it aside to rest. If you’re in a rush, set it in a warm place for at least two hours; if you’re planning ahead, do this just before you go to bed, set it aside in a cool spot, and make time to finish the cake the next morning.

2. Once your starter-milk-flour mixture is bubbling and looking lively, it’s time for the next step: Preheat your oven to 350 F and grease or line with parchment at 9″x13″ pan. Beth used a Bundt cake pan

3. In a clean bowl, blend sugar, oil/butter, extracts, salt, and baking soda together. You can do this by hand with a whisk or spoon, or use an electric hand mixer.

4. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition to create a smooth batter.

5. Stir in the fresh zest – Do this part by hand with a spoon, as the zest will just wrap itself around the beaters on an electric hand mixer.

6. Now it’s time to gently stir the sugar and oil mixture into the starter mixture. At first, this will look like a culinary train wreck. Keep at it and eventually the two will become one. Gentle strokes of a spoon and persistence will make for a lovely smooth batter.

7. Pour the finished batter into the prepared pan and bake at 350 F for about 45 minutes,(Bundt pan = 1hour) or until the center springs back under a light touch from your finger and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

8. Set the hot cake on a wire rack and spoon the Lemon Glaze over it while it’s still hot. It will stay fresh for a few days in the pan, covered and kept at room temperature.

 Lemon Glaze

1-2 c powdered sugar
1-2 T lemon juice

Mix together to the consistency you like and drizzle over cake.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Fresh Apple Cake

This is a very moist and delicious cake.  All the teachers loved it--even if I forgot to sprinkle the butterscotch chips (that I stopped at the store to get for THIS recipe) on top!
Fresh Apple Cake
DoboFL  Taste of Home bb
2 c sugar
2 1/2 c flour
3 eggs
1 c oil
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
3 c diced apples (can leave peel on)
1 c chopped walnuts
1 (6 oz) bag butterscotch morsels

Mix all ingredients except apples, nuts & morsels; fold in apples and nuts. Pour into greased 9x13 pan.

Sprinkle morsels over top of cake. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

The cake is better if covered with saran wrap and served the next day. If you can't wait, it's good served warm with a dip of vanilla ice cream.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Candy Bar Peanut Butter Cookie Cups

These were easy to put together.  I would up the first backing time to 15-18 minutes.  I had a hard time getting them out of the pans because they were still soft.  They tasted great!  I used mini rolos and full sized Reese's Bells(for Christmas)
Candy Bar Peanut Butter Cookie CupsRating: 51

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Candy minis or bites: Milky Way, Rolo, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Hershey's Drops

Grease a mini-muffin pan and preheat the oven to 325 F.

In a large mixing bowl beat together butter, peanut butter, white sugar and brown sugar. Beat in egg and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to the sugar mixture.

Use a cookie scoop to measure out 1-inch dough balls. Roll gently in your hands and add 1 ball to each muffin cup.

Bake in preheated oven for 11 minutes. Remove from oven and gently push a piece of candy into each cookie cup. Bake for another 4 minutes, or until light golden brown and surface of candies are beginning to melt.

Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes to allow them to set up. Remove from cups using a spoon and cool on wire racks.


Friday, December 13, 2013

Baked Paprika-Parmesan Chicken

I made this for dinner this past week. Very easy to put together. I only baked it for 1 hour and it was done perfectly. I used 2 HUGE chicken breasts.

Baked Paprika-Parmesan Chicken


1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons milk
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 cup butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Coat a shallow baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Combine flour, Parmesan, paprika, salt, and pepper in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg and milk. Dip the chicken in the egg, then dredge in the flour mixture. Place in the baking dish, and pour the melted butter evenly over the chicken.
3. Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until the cheese has browned, and the chicken has cooked.


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Triple White Chocolate Peppermint Blossoms

I bought the peppermint kisses and then found this recipe.  It is a keeper for sure!
Triple White Chocolate Peppermint Blossoms

Yield: 3-4 dozen cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3 ounces white chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
1 box white chocolate instant pudding (3.5 ounces)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/2 cups flour
1 package Candy Cane Hershey’s Kisses, unwrapped
Additional sugar for rolling, if desired
  1. Cream butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add pudding mix and blend until combined. Add white chocolate and mix until mixture is smooth. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until combined. Mix in baking soda and flour. Chill dough for at least 30 minutes.
  2. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Place about 1/2 cup sugar in a small bowl for rolling, if desired. (Cookies will be a little crunchy on the outside with the sugar, if you use it.)
  3. Scoop one tablespoon balls of dough and roll in sugar, or just place on cookie sheet. Bake 7-9 minutes until bottoms just begin to get golden. Remove from oven and immediately press an unwrapped Peppermint Hershey’s Kiss on top. Do not move pan until Kiss is cooled, or it will collapse.
  4. Cookies can be frozen for later consumption, if desired. Place in a ziploc bag between layers of paper towel for best results when freezing.


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Easy Crockpot Pork Chops

I put this in a 2 quart crock pot at 7 am on low. They were perfect at 5 pm! I used 2 frozen pork chops and cut the ingredients in half. Don and I loved these. They were moist and very tender.

Easy Crockpot Pork Chops

4 well-trimmed pork chops
1 package dry onion soup mix
10 oz can ready to serve chicken broth

Place pork chops in Crockpot. Combine the soup mix and chicken broth in a bowl, then pour over pork chops. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Mexican Spiced Turkey Tortilla Soup

I saw this recipe a few weeks before Thanksgiving and saved it.  I am so glad I did!  This is a great way to use the leftover turkey.  Don and I loved this.  If you don't like spicy, omit the cayenne. 
Mexican Spiced Turkey Tortilla Soup

John-Wolverine Taste of Home BB

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
6 cups water
6 Chicken Flavored Bouillon Cubes
1 (10 ounce) can tomatoes with green chilies
2 cups cooked turkey breast, cut in bite-size pieces
1 cup frozen corn, thawed Beth used 1 can of corn--next time will use 1/2 can
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 1/3 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Tortilla chips

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion and cook 4 minutes. Add green chilies, chili powder, cumin, garlic, oregano, and cayenne pepper. Cook and stir 1 minute. Stir in water, bouillon and tomatoes with green chilies. Bring to a boil. Add turkey and simmer 3 minutes. Add corn and simmer 1 minute. Stir in cilantro. Ladle soup into bowls. Sprinkle each serving with generous amount of cheese and chips.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Meat Crust Quiche

I am always looking for breakfast recipes that I can make ahead and reheat in the morning.  This was a great recipe and I really liked it!
Meat Crust Quiche

1 pound of your favorite sausage (I used breakfast pork sausage.)
4 eggs, whisked
1 small container of sliced mushrooms
1.5 cups of broccoli, chopped
1/2 cup feta cheese
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon paprika

1.      Preheat the oven to 375 degree.

2.     To make the meat crust: Put the breakfast sausage into a pie plate and start pressing it all over the bottom and sides of the dish. Try to make the meat as even as possible all around. TIP: Make sure you go far up the sides. The meat will shrink as it cooks.

3.     Put the dish on a baking sheet in case some of the oil spills out. Bake the crust for 18-20 minutes until the meat presses back when you poke it. It won’t be completely cooked.

4.     If you want, you can warm up your veggies in skillet with seasoning and fat. If you want to add sauteed onions and garlic, this would be a good time to cook those down. Make sure to let anything you cook first to cool down completely.

5.     Whisk your eggs and seasoning. Add your veggie mix to the egg.

6.     When your meat crust is done cooking, there will be a lot of oil. Get rid of that oil. (Beth used paper towels to blot up the oil)Pour the egg mixture on top of the meat crust.  Put the feta cheese on top of that.

7.     This goes back in the oven for 23-25 minutes. It may take longer depending the dish you use to bake it in. To see if it has cooked completely, just poke at the middle and it should push back.


Sunday, December 8, 2013

Chocolate Billionaires

If you only make one type of candy this year, make THIS!  They were easy to make and taste great.  We love the crunch.  Caramels now come in 11 oz. packages, so we measured out 3 more ounces from another package.
Chocolate Billionaires
Taste of Home

1 package (14 ounces) caramels
3 tablespoons water
1-1/2 cups chopped Diamond of California® Pecans
1 cup crisp rice cereal  Beth added another 1/2 c
3 cups milk chocolate chips
1-1/2 teaspoons shortening

Line two baking sheets with waxed paper; grease the paper and set aside. In a large heavy saucepan, combine the caramels and water; cook and stir over low heat until smooth. Stir in pecans and cereal
until coated. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto prepared pans. Refrigerate for 10 minutes or until firm.

Meanwhile, in a microwave, melt chocolate chips and shortening; stir until smooth. Dip candy into chocolate, coating all sides; allow excess to drip off. Place on prepared pans. Refrigerate until set.

 Store in an airtight container. Yield: about 2 pounds.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Pumpkin Pudding Rolls

I was looking for a recipe to use the Pumpkin Spice pudding I got this fall.  This recipe uses 2 boxes.  They help make a soft and moist cinnamon roll.   These were very good.

Pumpkin Pudding Rolls

2 packages JELL-O Instant Pumpkin Spice Pudding

1 1/2 cups milk

1 stick of butter, softened

4 teaspoons yeast

1/2 cup warm water

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

5 1/2 cups all purpose flour


6 tablespoons butter

1 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons cinnamon

2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice

Cream Cheese Frosting:

11 ounces cream cheese, softened

2/3 cup butter, softened

4 cups powdered sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in the water for 5 minutes, or until the yeast is activated and bubbly. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix the pudding and the milk together. Mix in the softened butter. Add the yeast/water mixture along with the salt, pumpkin pie spice and the flour to the pudding and butter. Mix until it is all combined. Use your hands to knead the dough together for 1-2 minutes.

Cover the dough and let it rise in a warm place for 25-30 minutes or until it doubles in size. Punch it down and let it rise again for another 25 minutes.

Roll out the dough into a 20x12" rectangle. Spread the butter to cover the dough. Sprinkle brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon over the top, then roll it up like a jelly roll. Cut it into 15 slices and place them into a 11x15" baking pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

Set the pan of cinnamon rolls in a warm place to rise for 20 minutes. After they are done rising, bake them at 350 degrees for 20 minutes until lightly browned.

While they are cooling, make the frosting. Beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Add in the powdered sugar and cinnamon. Beat until well blended.

Spread the frosting over the warm cinnamon rolls.


Friday, December 6, 2013

Watergate Salad

Kathleen and her friend made this one night over Thanksgiving break. I was shocked when I realized I didn't have this on my blog. I used to make this when I cooked for 100-150 at church in Wisconsin. I would make 20 times the amount of this recipe then!

Watergate Salad

1 can (20 oz.) crushed pineapple in juice, undrained
1 pkg. (3.4 oz.) JELL-O Pistachio Flavor Instant Pudding
1 cup JET-PUFFED Miniature Marshmallows
1/2 cup chopped PLANTERS Pecans
1-1/2 cups thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping

Combine first 4 ingredients in large bowl.     
Stir in COOL WHIP.
Refrigerate 1 hour.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Bestest Sweet Potatoe Casserole Ever

This was another 'new' recipe for us this Thanksgiving.  We liked the crunch of the topping.
The Bestest Sweet Potato Casserole Ever
Star-taste of home bb

3 cups mashed, cooked sweet potatoes
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
2 eggs, well beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup milk
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Combine all ingredients and spoon into casserole. Cover with topping:

2 cups Rice Krispies
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup brown sugar
1 stick butter, melted

Mix all ingredients and spoon over casserole.

Bake casserole 30 min at 400 degrees. Topping will be browned.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Cranberry Grape Salad

I tried a new cranberry recipe for Thanksgiving.  We really liked it.  We also had our favorite cranberry relish.

Taste of home bb

1 bag cranberries, ground up
1 cup sugar
1 can crushed pineapple, drained
1 1/2 cups grapes (preferably red seedless), cut in half
Cool Whip

Mix cranberries, sugar, pineapple, and grapes together. Let sit for one day in the refrigerator. Drain off any excess liquid. Add cool whip when ready to serve.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Beef Enchilada Dip Recipe

We made this for Thanksgiving Day for an appetizer. Ours didn't turn out like the picture because we put it in the crockpot. :-)  It was a little bland, too, so may try a spicier enchilada sauce next time.
Beef Enchilada Dip Recipe

1 1/2 - 2 pounds ground beef
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups enchilada sauce
2 cups grated Monterrey Jack or cheddar cheese
Sour Cream (optional)
Tortilla Chips (optional)

Brown ground beef in a large skillet. Drain. Add in onion and garlic and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in enchilada sauce and top with grated cheese. Cover and allow cheese to melt, about 3 more minutes.
Top with sour cream and serve with tortilla chips.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Southern Living's Hot Smoky Pecans

We made these for an appetizer for Thanksgiving Day.  Once we tasted them, we were really glad we doubled these.  They are very good!
Southern Living's Hot Smoky Pecans
Yields 2 cups.
Double this as it goes fast!

1/4 c. butter, melted
2 T. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. hot sauce
1 T. Worcestershire Sauce
2 c. pecan halves

Stir together first 4 ingredients. Add pecans and stir well. Spread pecans in a single layer in a 10"x15" jellyroll pan. Bake @ 300 F degrees, stirring often, for 25 minutes or till toasted.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Chocolate Coconut Meringues

I made these after searching for a recipe that used 4 egg whites. These were easy to make and really taste good! A nice light treat!

Chocolate Coconut Meringues

Chocolate Coconut MeriDecember 2009 issue of Eating Well magazine.

4 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon coconut extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips or finely chopped chocolate, melted, for drizzling (see NOTE)
2 tablespoons white chocolate chips or finely chopped white chocolate, melted, for drizzling (see NOTE)

Position oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 250 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.

Combine the egg whites, cream of tartar, the coconut, almond and vanilla extracts and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until frothy.

Add the sugar 2 tablespoons at a time, beating to form a shiny, fairly stiff meringue. This can take 4 to 6 minutes. Remove the bowl from the mixer.

Sift the cocoa powder over the meringue, and use a flexible spatula to fold it in until the mixture is almost uniformly light brown. (It's okay if some streaks of white remain.) Transfer to a large resealable plastic food storage bag. Cut off 1/2 inch from one of the bottom corners. Use the opening to pipe 1 1/2-inch rounds of the batter onto the baking sheets, spacing the rounds 1 inch apart (15 to a sheet). Bake on the upper and lower oven racks for 50 minutes (no need to rotate the baking sheets), then turn off the oven and let the cookies cool in the oven for about 1 1/2 hours or until dry. The meringues will be slightly mounded.

Transfer to a wire rack with a sheet of parchment paper or baking sheet underneath. Drizzle the melted semisweet and white chocolate over the cooled cookies; let set before serving or storing.

NOTE: Melt the semisweet and white chocolates in separate small bowls in the microwave on MEDIUM for 20-second intervals, stopping to stir in between until evenly melted.

Make Ahead: The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week. After 3 days, it's best to re-crisp them for 10 minutes in a 250-degree oven.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Candy Can Milky Bars

This recipe sounded different, but good.  I was in the middle of making this and noticed(in the original recipe) that there was no mention on what to do with the egg whites.  I e mailed the blogger, but made the recipe without the egg whites.  The bars were very custard like.  They were good.  I have since changed the recipe as the original poster fixed it.
Candy Cane Milky Bars

4 Eggs, separated
1 cup Sugar
3 TB Butter, melted
1 1/4 cup Self-Rising Flour
4 cups Milk
1/2 cup Candy Cane, finely crushed
¾ c White Chocolate, good quality
2 TB Cream Extra Candy Cane, roughly chopped

Pre-heat the oven to 325 deg F - spray a 9 x 13 oven dish with cooking oil.

Beat Egg Yolks and Sugar until creamy - add the melted Butter - beat until combined.

Add the Flour and beat 30 seconds - add the Milk {cup by cup} while beating continuously until smooth. *** "beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form - fold it into the milk mixture"

Stir in the finely crushed Candy Cane - pour into the prepared oven dish - bake 1 - 1 1/4 hours until set.

Remove from the oven and cool in the oven dish.

Melt together the White Chocolate and the Cream until smooth - pour over the baked dessert - sprinkle with the Extra Candy Cane.

Refrigerate until set - slice and serve.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Crock Pot Trail Mix

I saw this recipe and knew I had all the ingredients to make this.  It was very easy to put together and tasted great!
Crock Pot Trail Mix

2 cups mixed nuts
1 cup coconut chips or flakes
1/3 cup sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
½ cup raisins
½ cup chocolate chips or M & M’s

1. Combine nuts, coconut, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla in a small crock (I use my 2 quart for nuts).
2. Lay butter pieces on top.
3. Cover and cook on HIGH 1 hour. Stir. Cover and cook 30 more minutes on HIGH.**Check this every 10 minutes--stirring.  Mine started to burn and I should have turned it down to low.
4. Stir and pour out onto wax paper to cool.
5. Break into pieces.
6. Stir in raisins and chocolate.
7. Store in airtight container.
 Yield: about 4 cups

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Chocolate Cream Cheese Bars

These were my other dessert for the FPU party.  I don't know where I found this recipe--but had been hunting for recipes to make in a jelly roll pan.  I made frosting for the top of these and everyone loved this.(see my note at the end)
Chocolate Cream Cheese Bars

1 Box Devil's food cake mix
1/2 cup butter softened
2 TBS milk
1 egg
Cream Cheese filling:
 2 pkgs. (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
 2 eggs
1 TBS all purpose flour

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

In large bowl, mix cake mix, butter, milk and egg with a spoon until moistened (it will look nothing like cake batter!) Spread or push with your fingers in the bottom of a jelly roll pan (15 x10 x1-inch).

 In another large bowl, beat cream cheese, sour cream, sugar and vanilla on medium until smooth and creamy. Add 2 eggs, one at a time, beating after each until mixed. On low speed, beat in flour. Pour over crust in pan.

Bake 35-40 minutes, until cheesecake filling is set. Let cool completely and then cut into bars.

You can garnish with some drizzled chocolate if you wish (1/4 cup choc. chips and 2 tsp. shortening - microwave together in food storage bag (about 20 seconds), squeeze to mix, snip of tiny corner and drizzle over the top of the bars before cutting into bars.)

**Beth tried to drizzle chocolate and it turned out clumpy, so I spread it thinly.  I didn't like how that looked so made this frosting.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Pumpkin Pie Sheet Cake

I made this for our FPU 'graduation party'.  I used a white cake mix, since that was what I had on hand.  LOVED this.  Much easier than making a pie and feeds many!
Pumpkin Pie Sheet Cake


1 yellow cake mix
1/2 C butter, melted
1 egg
1  29 ounce can pumpkin 
1 1/2 C sugar
1 t salt
2 t cinnamon
1 t ginger
1/2 t cloves
4 eggs
2  12 ounce cans evaporated milk
***Beth added Pumpkin Spice seasoning packet --by General Mills a Chex Party Mix packet
1. To make the crust, pour the cake mix into your stand mixer, or medium sized mixing bowl. Pour the melted butter over the cake mix and stir it in for about 30 seconds. Add your egg and mix until all ingredients are well combined. 

2. Spray a large jelly roll pan with cooking spray. Press the crust into the pan.
3. Into a small mixing bowl combine the sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. 

4. Crack the eggs into your stand mixer and beat them for about 1 minute, or until frothy. 

5. Add the sugar mixture and the pumpkin and mix until combined.

6. Pour in the canned milk and mix until combined. 

7. CAREFULLY pour the filling over the crust. Now. Just a word to the wise here. Your pan will be full. Really full. The kind of full that just might spill over the top while you carry it to the oven, if you aren't careful. I would advise setting the crust as close to the oven as possible, then pour the filling in so you don't have very far to walk. **Beth put the pan on the oven rack and poured the mix in.

8. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour, or until a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean. 

9. Cool completely, then cut into squares and serve with whip cream.