Thursday, April 30, 2015

Homemade Nestle Crunch Bars

I have had these in my 'to try files' for a long time.  They sure are easy to make and tasted great.  I used a mix of semi sweet, dark and white chocolate chips---just used up my open bags! 
Homemade Nestle Crunch Bars

24 ounces of chocolate chips (You can use milk chocolate, dark chocolate, or white chocolate)
1 ½ cups rice krispies

In a large bowl melt chocolate in the microwave at 50% power, stirring every 30 seconds until melted.

Once the chocolate is melted, stir in the rice krispies. Stir until mixed together well.

Line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper. (This helps the bars come out of the pan.)Spread chocolate mixture into the pan.

Refrigerate until firm.

Remove from fridge and let stand at room temperature for a few minutes, this will make them easier to cut. Remove from pan and cut into squares.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Slow Cooker Beef Tips and Gravy

I put this together using the homemade gravy mix I tried.  See my notes on that recipe.  We all liked this and will make it again.
Slow Cooker Beef Tips and Gravy

1 Cup Flour
1 tsp Onion Powder
1 tsp Garlic Powder
Salt and Pepper to Taste
2½ lbs Beef Tips or Stew Meat- Cut into Bite Sized Pieces
2-3 Tblsp Oil
1 Cup Water
1 Pkt Brown Gravy Mix  I used this
¼ Cup Worcestershire Sauce
¼ Cup Soy Sauce
Mashed Potatoes

Combine flour, garlic and onion powders and salt and pepper in a ziplock bag and toss meat to coat.

Heat oil to medium in a skillet or stove top safe slow cooker and brown meat.

Combine remaining ingredients and pour over top of meat in slow cooker.

Cook on low for 8-10 hours

Serve over mashed potatoes.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Brown Gravy Packet

I made this recipe since I needed a packet for a recipe I was making.  I am SURE that this equals at least 2 packets, so use 1/2 of this if a recipe calls for 1 packet......I learned the hard way and had to add more water to my recipe.
Brown Gravy Packet

1/4 cup flour
1T beef bouillon granules
1T onion powder
1T garlic powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
Dash of dried parsley

This makes 2 cups of brown gravy mix. Put the dry mix into a plastic baggie for future use.

To Prepare:
Mix the dry gravy mix with 1 cup of cold water in a saucepan. Whisk until smooth. Heat at medium until the sauce thickens, then add another cup of water and whisk once more until smooth.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Skinny Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Oatmeal

I am glad I tried this recipe.  I made it 3 times last week!  Very easy to make and tasted great!
Skinny Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Oatmeal
Skinny Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Oatmeal
1/3 c old-fashioned oats
2/3 c skim milk
0.25 oz (1 serving) sugar-free, fat-free cheesecake instant pudding mix**
1 tsp miniature chocolate chips

**Beth used regular(not sugar free) and used 2 T
Add the oats, milk, and pudding mix to a large microwave-safe bowl. Stir to dissolve the pudding mix. Microwave on HIGH for 1 minute 45 seconds. Stir, and microwave again for 1 minute, stirring every 15 seconds to prevent the oatmeal from bubbling over. Let the oatmeal rest for 2 minutes before topping with the chocolate chips.
Notes: Just use the dry pudding mix! Do not prepare it according to the package directions.

Alternative cooking method: Add oats, milk, and pudding mix to a small pot and cook for 4-5 minutes over low heat, stirring frequently, on the stove.

For overnight oats: Combine the oats, milk, and pudding mix in a bowl or Tupperware. Cover and refrigerated for 8 hours or overnight until thickened. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Grandma’s Oatmeal Fudge Bars

These were the other dessert bars I took to our Sunday School class last week.  Everyone LOVED these.
Grandma’s Oatmeal Fudge Bars

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons Vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups Quaker quick cooking oatmeal.
2 cups Semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk (15 oz.)
2 Tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons Vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts (optional, walnuts or pecans) optional

Preheat oven to 325.

Grease and flour a 10×15 jelly roll pan.
In a large bowl sift together flour, soda and salt. Set aside.

In large mixing bowl. , beat together softened butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time and beat until combined. Add vanilla and mix well.  Slowly add the sifted flour mixture and mix until combined. Stir in oatmeal.

Gently spread 2/3 crust into bottom of prepared pan. Reserve the rest for topping.

Make the filling:
Over Medium-Low heat, melt together chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, 2 tablespoons butter, and salt. Stir until smooth. Remove mixture from heat and stir in vanilla and nuts if using.

Evenly pour filling mixture of crust but keeping filling about a 1/4 inch away from side of pan so it does not stick to side while baking. Evenly dollop top of filling with remaining oat mixture.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until topping is light brown and fudge layer set but not solid. Don’t overbake these bars or they can become dry.

Cool in pay on rack until set. Can chill to set faster. Keep stored in airtight container either room temp or in fridge.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Caramel-Pecan Sheet Cake

I made these to take to our Adult Sunday School class this past week.  They were oh, so very good!
Caramel-Pecan Sheet Cake
Taste of the South, May/June 2013

1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1 cup water
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Caramel Frosting (recipe follows)
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Preheat oven to 325° F. Spray a 15x10-inch jelly-roll pan with nonstick baking spray with flour or butter pan well. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, bring butter and 1 cup water to a boil. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger. Add hot butter mixture to flour mixture, beat at low speed with an electric mixer just until moistened. Add sour cream, beating well. Add eggs, one at a time, and vanilla. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Baked until cake is lightly browned and a wooden pick inserted at the center of cake comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes.

Pour hot Caramel Frosting over warm cake, spreading to edges. Sprinkle with pecans. Let cool completely on wire rack.

Caramel Frosting

1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream
2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large, heavy saucepan, bring butter, brown sugar, and salt to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; slowly stir in sour cream.

Bring mixture just to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

Sift confectioners' sugar. Gradually add confectioners' sugar and vanilla, beating at medium speed with a mixer until smooth. Use immediately.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Peach Cake

I had printed this recipe a while ago and made it this past weekend. When I went searching for it on my computer, 2 of the same recipes came up--one from my mom, and one I had saved from Taste of Home bulletin board. It is a great cake--so where ever I got the recipe, THANK YOU!

Peach Cake

1 box white, yellow or lemon cake mix (I use yellow)
1 can peaches (1 lb.) use juice and all
3 eggs, slightly beaten.

Combine all these ingredients, and beat well.
Pour into a greased and floured bundt pan

Bake 350º for about 40 minutes until done.
(Depends on your oven)

Note: I use sliced peaches
I just dust with confectioners sugar.
Also wonderful sliced with more peaches on top with whipped cream.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Grilled Chicken with Spicy Honey Bacon Sauce

This was quite the tasty chicken recipe.  I reduced the sauce down and drizzled/poured it over the chicken after grilling. 
Grilled Chicken with Spicy Honey Bacon Sauce

4 chicken breasts, can cut into thick strips diagonally
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup olive oil
3 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. steak seasoning
3/4 cup honey
5 slices bacon, diced
3 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp. hot sauce

In a zip lock bag combine all the ingredients for the marinade. Add the chicken and marinade for at least 3hrs.

Once marinated, grill chicken until cooked through, discarding extra marinade.

In a saucepan fry bacon until crispy. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate.

Drain bacon fat and the Worcestershire, hot sauce and honey to the hot skillet. Stir to combine and let thicken slightly. Add bacon back to the sauce.

In a bowl combine the grilled chicken and the sauce and serve!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Pomegranate Green Tea

Kathleen made this for her friend's bridal shower. Note: I've made it without the pomegranate juice, and it tastes fine....though it is definitely better with it.

Pomegranate Green Tea

5 bags of Bigelow Pomegranate Green Tea
24 oz. water (I did 32 and it was definitely still strong enough)
1 cup Pomegranate Juice (I was too cheap to buy the refrigerated POM juice, so I found some in the bottled juice aisle)
1/4 cup sugar
Sliced Pomegranate for pitcher
frozen pomegranate juice in an ice tray

Heat water to boiling and pour over the tea bags in heat safe container. Let seep for 5 minutes then take tea bags out. Stir in sugar. Let sit for a few minutes to cool down then pour in Pomegranate juice. Refrigerate for at least 1-2 hours or until cool. Serve over ice or iced pomegranate juice.

Monday, April 20, 2015

BLT Tea Sandwiches

Kathleen made these for a bridal shower she and her friends gave this past weekend. Aren't the cute? A great appy for any party.

BLT Tea Sandwiches

Bacon strips
Very thin white bread (We just used sandwich bread)
Cocktail tomatoes (We used roma)
Boston lettuce (We used iceberg)

Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut bacon into thirds. Cook at 400°F for 15-18 minutes. Place bacon from oven onto paper towels to drain excess fat.

Use cookie cutter to cut circles out of the lettuce (we just tore the lettuce) & bread. Slice tomatoes. Spread mayo on bread.

Assemble as  bread, bacon, tomato, lettuce. Repeat. Skewer with cocktail forks. (We just trimmed bamboo skewers).

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Slow Cooker Sweet Potatoes

I have had this in my 'to try' folder for many years.  I made these to go with pork chops the other night.  Excellent.  I used a 3 qt crock pot and it was filled to the brim.  Next time I will mix the ingredients together and then put it in the crockpot.
Slow Cooker Sweet Potatoes

4 large sweet potatoes (about 5 inches long)
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp molasses
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp ground allspice
dried or fresh parsley for garnish

Clean (scrub) the potatoes with water. Cut into large chunks leaving skin on. Add them to the crockpot.

In a small bowl whisk the honey, molasses, vinegar and all spice to make the marinade.

Pour the marinade over the potatoes, stir to coat.

Cover and cook on high for about 4 hours until potatoes are nice and soft.

Serve in a casserole dish with a sprinkle of parsley.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Pork Chops with Carolina Rub

I made this recipe for dinner for Don and me.  It was super easy to put together and tasted great!
Pork Chops with Carolina Rub
Cooking Light, MAY 2006

1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 (4-ounce) center-cut pork loin chops
Cooking spray
1/4 cup barbecue sauce

Prepare grill.

Combine first 7 ingredients in a small bowl. Rub pork with spice mixture; let stand 10 minutes.

Place pork on grill rack coated with cooking spray. Grill 4 minutes. Turn pork; grill 2 minutes. Brush each chop with 1 tablespoon sauce, and grill 2 minutes or until desired degree of doneness.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 pork chop) - CALORIES 185 FAT 6.9g FIBER 0.8g -

Friday, April 17, 2015

Roasted Caulifower with Red Chile, Cilantro and Lime

This was very good--even if I forgot to put the lime and cilantro in at the end!

Roasted Cauliflower with Red Chile, Cilantro and Lime

large head Cauliflower
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp Red New Mexico Chile Powder (substitute Ancho Chile Powder)
1/2 tsp crushed dried Red Chile
1 tsp Cumin seeds toasted and ground
4 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/4 cup Cilantro leaves, chopped
1/2 Lime, juiced
Salt to taste

Preheat oven to 325 F. Separate the florets from the Cauliflower. Put them in a bowl with the garlic, chile powder, crushed chile, cumin, salt & olive oil and toss gently to mix together and coat well.

Spread the seasoned Cauliflower in a shallow roasting pan.

Roast 1 to 1-1/2 hours or until tender, stirring occasionally.

When done, remove from oven.

Dress with lime juice.

Finish with chopped cilantro leaves.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Papa Murphy’s S’mores Pizza

I made homemade pizza for dinner one night and tried this recipe.  We liked it@
Papa Murphy’s S’mores Pizza

your favorite pizza dough Beth used this
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup rolled oats
2 tablespoons softened butter
1/4 cup flour
mini marshmallows
semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Prepare crust as you normally would. Beth parbaked the crust for 5 minutes at 425.

2. In a medium sized bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, and butter with a fork until you have corn meal consistency. Mix in the rolled oats.

3. Sprinkle this mixture across your pizza crust

4. Liberally sprinkle marshmallows and chocolate chips onto crust

5. Bake pizza crust as directed. *Note, if you’re crust cooking time is longer than 10 minutes, you’ll want to wait and add the marshmallows when there is just about 10 minutes left for the pizza to cook. That prevents them from getting to toasty*


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Take Five Brownies

I made these for dessert while my folks were here.  They are rich and DELICIOUS!

1 box (family-sized for 9x13 pan) milk chocolate brownie mix
1 C. crunchy peanut butter
2/3 C. powdered sugar
1 1/2 C. ‘snaps’ or waffle pretzels Beth used twists
1 C. milk chocolate chips
1/2 C. butter (1 stick)
1/2 C. light brown sugar
6 T. light corn syrup
2 T. heavy cream
1/2 t. pure vanilla extract

Bake milk chocolate brownies as directed on box in a 9x13 pan. Allow to cool completely, then combine crunchy peanut butter with powdered sugar in a large bowl. Beat until combined, then spread evenly over cooled brownies.

Arrange pretzels over top of peanut butter in a single layer. Sprinkle milk chocolate chips over top of pretzels and set aside.

Prepare caramel topping: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and heavy cream. Bring to a boil and stir, making sure all sugar is dissolved. Stir 5-10 minutes more, until caramel is thick & bubbly (about 230 degrees on a candy thermometer). Remove from heat, stir in vanilla, and pour caramel evenly over brownies. Run the tip of a knife or the back of a spoon over the top in swirl patterns to create a design. Refrigerate pan for about 1 hour to set.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Jalapeño Quiche

I made this for breakfast while my parents and sister were here for Easter break.  I served it hot and it wasn't too spicy.  My mom, who doesn't 'do' spicy ate this and liked it!
Jalapeño Quiche

9" pie crust, homemade or store bought
4 oz cream cheese
2 jalapeños, diced, and 1 sliced into 6 rounds Beth used 1.5 TEXAS sized
½ cup cream
½ cup half-and-half
4 large eggs (or 5 small)
⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
⅛ teaspoon paprika
⅛ teaspoon salt
½ cup grated cheddar-jack
additional cheese for top

Turn your oven to 400 degrees F.

Thaw the pie crust for 10 minutes. Prick the crust all over the bottom and sides with a fork to make tiny holes.  Bake it for 10 minutes.

Remove the crust and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.

While the crust is hot, spread the cream cheese all over the bottom as evenly as possible.

Sprinkle that with the diced jalapeños (the rounds are for garnish later on)
Put the cream and half-and-half into a small pot and put it over medium heat about 5 minutes, or until tiny bubbles appear around the edges. This is called "scalding" - where you bring it to just under the boiling point.

Beat the eggs together in a bowl.  Add the hot cream mixture to the eggs and combine well.  Add all the spices, cheese and salt.  Pour into the crust and bake for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, arrange the jalapeño slices over the top in a circle, top with cheese and return to oven for 10 minutes.

Cool 5 minutes before serving or cool completely and serve it cold.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Stuffed Corn Bake

I printed this out a few years back and was going through a lot of my recipes the other day.  I made this for Easter this year and we all LOVED it!
Stuffed Corn Bake

1 can corn, drained
1 can creamed corn
1 pkg (6oz) Stove Top Stuffing, chicken flavored Beth used turkey flavored
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Stir until ingredients are well incorporated and stuffing has become moistened. Pour into a 2 quart baking dish and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. Allow dish to cool for about 5 minutes before serving.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Beef Brisket

This is the new brisket recipe I tried for Easter this year.  I cooked it the day before for 7 hours.  I let it cool and then sliced it and put it back in the broth/marinade in the fridge overnight.  I then put it back in the crockpot on low for 4 hours on Easter.  Turned out great!
Beef Brisket
Marinate a 4-6 lb beef brisket, trimmed if you like for 12-24 hours in the fridge. (I just put mine in the marinade the night before.)


1 can beef broth  Beth used 14 oz water and 1.5 t beef bouillon 
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 cup soy sauce
3 cloves garlic
2 TBSP liquid smoke

The next morning, place the beef brisket into the crock pot with about half of the marinade liquid. (Discard the rest of the marinade.)
Cook on LOW at least 8 hours, ALL DAY. Cooking on LOW is the key.
Shred with forks, it should just fall apart.Beth used an electric knife to cut against the grain. 
Drain the liquid if you like, I left mine in to keep the meat from drying out and just used a fork to serve it without the liquid.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Pina Colada Fluff

I made this for Easter lunch.  It was very good!
Pina Colada Fluff

1 3.4 oz vanilla instant pudding mix
1 20 oz can crushed pineapple (do not drain!)
1 8 oz container Cool Whip thawed Beth used dream whip, whipped
1 tsp rum extract
2 cups miniature marshmallows
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
½ cup chopped nuts (your favorite)

Combine pudding mix and the entire can of crushed pineapple in a large bowl.

Stir until completely combined.
Fold in Cool Whip, rum extract, marshmallows, coconut, and nuts.

Chill until ready to served

Friday, April 10, 2015

Orange Pineapple Bundt Cake

This was a moist cake and turned out great--even though I mixed it up a bit differently. I copied the recipe but left out the part that said "Only 2 ingredients"   I made this using the eggs and oil that the box said, but left out the water.  Tasted great that way, too!  The REAL recipe is just to mix the cake mix and pineapple together and bake.


1 - 20 ozs. can crushed pineapple
1 - 18 ozs box orange (or yellow) cake mix***

***Beth used a yellow cake mix and added 1 t orange flavoring

Preheat oven according to box instructions. Spray a bundt pan (or a 9" X 13" pan). Stir the TWO ingredients together - by hand - in a large bowl until blended.

Bake according to package instructions. Allow to cool 15 minutes before removing from bundt pan.

I mixed a little orange juice and powdered sugar for a glaze, but it very good without it. Or you could just sprinkle some powdered sugar on top, or just eat it plain.

OPTION: You could add 1/2 c. coconut flakes to the batter and sprinkle coconut on top of the glaze.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Pioneer Woman's Hot Cross Buns

I made half of this full batch into Cinnamon rolls and then the other half in to Hot Cross Buns.  The recipe is easily halved.  The Hot Cross Buns turned out much lighter/fluffier than the ones I usually make using the bread machine.  The craisins are my addition.

Pioneer Woman's Hot Cross Buns

1 quart Whole Milk
1 cup Vegetable Oil
1 cup Sugar
2 packages Active Dry Yeast, 0.25 Ounce Packets
8 cups (Plus 1 Cup Extra, Reserved) All-purpose Flour
1 teaspoon (heaping) Baking Powder
1 teaspoon (scant) Baking Soda
1 Tablespoon (heaping) Salt
cinnamon/sugar mix
1/2 c raisins and craisins

1 egg white
Splash of milk
1 egg white
Powdered sugar
Splash of milk

For the dough, heat the milk, vegetable oil, and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat to just below a boil. Set aside and cool to warm. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let it sit on the milk for 1 minute.

 Add 8 cups of the flour. Stir until just combined, then cover with a clean kitchen towel, and set aside in a relatively warm place for 1 hour. After 1 hour, remove the towel and add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and the remaining 1 cup flour. Stir thoroughly to combine. Use the dough right away, or place in a mixing bowl and refrigerate for up to 3 days, punching down the dough if it rises to the top of the bowl. (Note: dough is easier to work with if it’s been chilled for at least an hour or so beforehand.)

Lightly flour work surface. Press dough to slightly flatten. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sugar-cinnamon mixture. Sprinkle with about one third of raisins. Fold dough over on itself; flatten again to incorporate additions.

Repeat the sugar-raisin process, and fold over dough again. Repeat a third time until all raisins are used. (Some sugar-cinnamon mixture will be left over.)

Pinch off golf ball–size piece of dough. With floured hands, quickly roll it into a ball, then turn edges under slightly. Place on lightly greased cookie sheet. Repeat with remainder of dough. Cover buns and allow to rise in a warm place for at least 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400˚F.

Mix egg white with splash of milk. Brush some glaze onto each bun. Bake buns for 20 minutes or until tops are golden brown. Remove buns from pan and allow to cool on cooling rack.
Mix egg white with enough powdered sugar to make very thick icing. Add milk as needed for desired consistency. Transfer icing to small self-sealing plastic bag and snip off one corner. When buns are completely cool, make icing cross on each.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Lemon Buttermilk Sheet Cake

My dad loves anything lemon, so I made these for when they were here for Easter.  This is yummy!
Lemon Buttermilk Sheet Cake
Cook's Country, August/September 2008

For the Cake:

2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup buttermilk, room temperature
3 tablespoons grated lemon zest from 3 lemons Beth had huge lemons, and used 2
1/4 cup lemon juice from 3 lemons
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 egg yolk, room temperature

For the Glaze:

3 cups confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons buttermilk

1. Preheat the oven to 325°. Grease a 9x13 inch square baking pan and set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

3. Combine buttermilk, lemon juice, and vanilla in liquid measuring cup.

4. In the bowl of a stand mixer beat granulated sugar and lemon zest until moist and fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer 1/4 cup of the sugar mixture to small bowl, cover, and set aside. Add butter to the remaining sugar mixture and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs and yolk, one at a time, until combined. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with 2 additions of buttermilk mixture, and mix until smooth, about 30 seconds.

5. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top with an offset spatula. Bake until cake is golden brown and toothpick inserted into center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 25 to 35 minutes. Transfer cake to wire rack and let cool 10 minutes.

6. To Make the glaze: In a medium bowl whisk confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice, and buttermilk until smooth. Using an offset spatula, spread glaze over warm cake and sprinkle evenly with the reserved sugar mixture. Cool completely, at least 2 hours. Serve.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Breakfast Tacos

We love breakfast tacos and have been making them at home for the past 8 years, since we moved to Texas.   My parents and sister are here for a week, and this was breakfast for the first day!

Breakfast Tacos

Cheese, shredded
Pappas (Mexican mashed potatoes)
Onions, chopped
Hash browns, fried crisp
Chorizo, cooked
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Cover a jelly roll pan with aluminum foil for easy cleanup.
  • Lay bacon flat over the foil (as many pieces as will fit).
  • Cover with coarse black pepper
  • Start checking it for desired crispiness after 15 minutes.
  • Take out and lay on paper towels to reduce some of the grease.
  •  Sprinkle with brown sugar and crumble.
Warm your tortillas and put ingredients in to your liking!  Enjoy!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Pappas (Mexican Mashed Potatoes)

These are the potatoes that are found on breakfast tacos here at a place called Taco Deli. We tried to recreate them and have been making them for at least7 years.


-Make 6 servings of instant mashed potatoes:
2 cups of instant mashed potato flakes
1 cup milk
1 3/4 cup water
3 tbsp butter
1/2 TBSP (more to taste) pureed chipotle in adobo
1/2 TBSP cumin
salt and pepper
1/3 cup sour cream (optional)

Place the water, butter, chipotle in adobe and cumin in a pan and bring to a boil. Take off the heat and add the potato flakes and milk. Stir in the sour cream right before serving.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Peach BBQ Chicken

I don't know where I found this recipe, but I adapted it to fit what I had in the pantry.  Original recipe called for whiskey, but since we don't drink, I found some alternatives.  I used diet coke and my frozen peach jam.  I only used 1/2 bottle of bbq sauce and it was plenty.  We liked this a lot!
Peach BBQ Chicken

1 jar peach preserves
1 can diet coke, coke, sprite or beef or chicken broth
1 bottle BBQ sauce
2 cloves chopped garlic
1 onion chopped
1 T Worcestershire sauce
3-4 chicken breasts

Put all ingredients in a crockpot and cook on low for 8 hours.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Chicken and Wild Rice Hot Dish

I put this together after lunch one day and we had a great tasting dinner. Make sure to stir well to mix up the dry mix packets from the wild rice.

Chicken and Wild Rice Hot Dish
Southern Living Slow Cooker Cookbook

4 skinned and boned chicken breasts (about 2 lbs.)
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
5 garlic cloves, pressed
2 (6-ounce) packages uncooked long-grain and wild rice mix (Uncle Ben’s used in test recipe)
2 (14 oz.) cans chicken broth with roasted garlic
2 (10 ¾ oz.) cans cream of mushroom soup
1 (8 oz.) package sliced fresh mushrooms (I used 8 oz. canned mushrooms)
1 (8 oz.) can sliced water chestnuts, drained
1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
2 Tbsp. butter

1. Brown chicken in a lightly greased large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Remove from pan and cut into ½ inch pieces. Add onion, celery and garlic to pan; sauté 3-4 minutes or until tender.

2. Combine rice mix, and remaining 6 ingredients in a 5-quart slow cooker. Stir in chicken and vegetables.

3. Cover and cook on LOW 4 hours, or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Makes 6 servings.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Nutella Cookie Cups

These were quite tasty little cookies.  I made them in mini muffin pans and got 48 cookie cups.  See bolded to see what I did differently.
Nutella Cookie Cups

cookie dough
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
¾ to 1 jar of Nutella
cookie butter Beth's addition since she ran out of Nutella!

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.

Lightly spray muffin pans with baking spray or use silicone muffin pan. Beth used mini muffin pans.

Cream butter in a mixing bowl, gradually add both sugars and continue creaming until light and fluffy.

Beat in eggs and vanilla and mix thoroughly.

In a separate bowl, sift the flour, salt, and baking soda with a wire whisk until combined.
Slowly add to wet ingredients until just combined.

Roll dough into balls 1.5 inches thick.Beth made them smaller to fit mini muffin pans.

Place them in the muffin pan (do not squish down yet!) and bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown but not too dark around the edges. Beth had to bake for 15-20 minutes.

Remove from oven and use a shot glass or similar object to press your baked cookies down as soon as they come out of the oven.Beth used the handle of a wooden spoon to 'hollow' out the cookies.

It creates a perfect hole for your Nutella to melt in!

Add 1 tbsp.(Beth used 1 tsp or so) Nutella to each cup – it will start to melt quickly so you can swirl it around and make it nice and smooth.

Let cool 15-20 minutes in pan (At first the Nutella is nice and melty – be sure to eat at least one cup this way!), and serve.

Store leftovers in an airtight container for 3-4 days, or freeze for a convenient treat.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Chicken Enchilada Casserole (a.k.a. "Stacked" Chicken Enchiladas)


This was a different type of enchilada stack with corn and black beans.  It is very good and even better on day 2!
Chicken Enchilada Casserole (a.k.a. "Stacked" Chicken Enchiladas)

3 cups red enchilada sauce
16 corn tortillas, halved
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
6 scallions (green onions), thinly sliced
4 cups (about 1.5 pounds) shredded cooked chicken
3 cups shredded Monterrey Jack or Mexican blend cheese
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
1/2 cup loosely-packed chopped fresh cilantro

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

Pour about 3/4 cup enchilada sauce in the baking dish, and spread until the bottom of the dish is coated. Top with a layer of about 8 tortilla halves so that the entire dish is covered. Sprinkle evenly with about 1 cup black beans, 1/2 cup corn and a fourth of the green onions. Then sprinkle with a heaping cup of the chicken, and about 3/4 cup shredded cheese. Repeat with a second layer of tortillas, then sauce, then beans, corn, green onions, chicken, and cheese. Then a final layer of tortillas, sauce, beans, corn, green onions, chicken and cheese. Then conclude with a final layer of tortillas and sauce (reserving about 3/4 cup of cheese to add partway through baking). Cover the pan with aluminum foil, then bake for 20 minutes.

Remove pan and remove aluminum foil. Sprinkle the top of the enchiladas evenly with the remaining 3/4 cup of cheese, then return to the oven (uncovered) and bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Remove pan, and sprinkle with avocado, cilantro, and remaining green onions. Serve warm.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

One-Pot Veggie & Chicken Risotto

 Kathleen made this while she was home last week.  Very tasty!

One-Pot Veggie & Chicken Risotto

2 chicken breasts, cut to1-inch cubes
2 (14 oz.) cans low-sodium chicken or beef stock (more or less depending on preferred texture)
2 1/2 cups Arborio rice
3/4 cup dry white wine We used chicken stock
1 cup water, optional
1 bunch asparagus, chopped
1-2 zucchinis, chopped We did not use
6 oz. Portobello mushrooms, sliced
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
Parmesan, garnish
salt and pepper, to taste

Heat a large sauté pan or Dutch oven over high heat and add olive oil.
When oil is hot, add chicken (seasoned with salt and pepper) and brown on all sides, 4-5 minutes. Set aside.

Add chopped asparagus, zucchinis and mushrooms and cook until just softened. 8 minutes. Set aside.

Melt butter in Dutch oven and add Arborio rice. Stir until rice is toasted and lightly browned, then return veggies and chicken to pan.

Lower heat to medium and add white wine. Cook until wine is almost evaporated, stirring frequently.
1/2-2/3 cup at a time, add chicken stock, stirring frequently and replenishing liquids once mixture is dry enough that spoon leaves a track through the rice.

When chicken stock is completely absorbed, taste rice and see if it’s tender enough. Risotto should be thick, but still able to spread out a little.

 [You want it to be al dente, but if it’s too crunchy, add 1 cup water (a bit at a time). Adding too much will make your risotto gummy.]

Serve hot and garnish with Parmesan cheese.