Friday, December 31, 2010

Hot Chocolate Cupcakes

I found this recipe when I was paging through a magazine and was so excited! For Christmas for Brody's specials teachers and Brody and Beau's Sunday School teachers, we made up a little treat bag of a to go mug and a few bags of hot chocolate... These would fit perfect with that plan!! So, I made them up and added them to the treat bags. They looked adorable!


Hot Chocolate Cupcakes
(recipe found in Family Circle magazine)

Cupcakes
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk

Topping
2 cups confectioner's sugar
1/4 cup solid vegetable shortening
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons milk or water
1 1/4 cups mini marshmallows
3 candy canes

Heat oven to 350. Line indents of a standard size 12 cup muffin pan with cupcake liners. In a medium size bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, with mixer on medium high speed, beat butter and sugar until smooth and creamy, 2 minutes. Beat in eggs and vanilla until fluffy, 1 minute. On low speed, beat in flour mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Fill each cupcake liner 2/3 full. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove cupcakes from pan to wire racks; let cool.

In medium size bowl, with mixer on low speed, beat confectioners' sugar, shortening and milk or water until smooth. Spread over cupcakes, about 2 tablespoons for each. Top each cupcake with 8-9 mini marshmallows. With a serrated knife, cut wrapped candy canes into 2 inch pieces. Unwrap and tuck a piece into each cupcake.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Pepperoni Bread

Found this recipe in our local paper. They were having a recipe section during the holidays and I thought that it sounded pretty good. I was right. It was easy to throw together and Josh raved about it the entire meal!! I think that it would be good with all kinds of different toppings, but this time we stuck with the original recipe!


Pepperoni Bread
(recipe found in Sebeka Review Messenger via Verne Milbradt)

1 loaf frozen white bread, thawed
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 egg, beaten
pepperoni
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Spread thawed bread dough out on a cookie sheet. Brush egg on the dough and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Add pepperoni and mozzarella cheese. Roll up dough the long way, pinching ends together tightly. Brush with cold water. There is no need to let the dough rise. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Chocolate Gooey Butter Cookies

I have never made a cookie using cake mix before, so I thought, what the heck - let's go for it! They were surprisingly good... They had a soft chewy taste that I love in cookies... Plus they didn't require a lot of ingredients and were pretty easy to make.


Chocolate Gooey Butter Cookies
(recipe found at www.foodnetwork.com)

1 (8 ounces) brick cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick butter, at room temperature
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (18 ounces) box moist chocolate cake mix
confectioner's sugar, for dusting

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Beat in the egg. Then beat in the vanilla extract. Beat in the cake mix. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours to firm up so that you can roll the batter into balls. Roll the chilled batter into tablespoon sized balls and then roll them in confectioner's sugar. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake 12 minutes. The cookies will remain soft and "gooey." Cool completely and sprinkle with more confectioner's sugar if desired.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Monkey Bread

What do you do when your freezer goes out and all your frozen bread dough starts to thaw? Well, I make monkey bread, quickly, before it all goes to waste! :) Luckily I was able to salvage most of what was in my freezer and fridge, with only a few things having to be thrown... So, while we are refrigerator shopping, you can enjoy this recipe for monkey bread! No pictures for this one... With the refrigerator not quite as cold as it needed to be, the bread dough REALLY rose this time and it didn't turn out the prettiest when I uncovered it to bake it. It tasted good, just didn't look all that wonderful!


Monkey Bread

2 loaves frozen bread dough, thawed
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1 large instant vanilla pudding
2 tablespoons milk (add more if you need to thin it out in order to pour it)

Cut one loaf of bread dough in chunks into the bottom of a greased 9x13 pan. Mix together the rest of the ingredients. Pour over bottom layer of bread dough. Cut second loaf of bread dough over the top. Cover and refrigerate to rise over night. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Chocolate Toffee Fudgies

Wow, and I do mean WOW!! These are so chocolatey and delicious that I am going to make them over and over again!! Plus, I love the crunch of the toffee inside of each one... I can't say enough. Made them for Christmas but will definitely make them throughout the year!


Chocolate Toffee Fudgies

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 teaspoon salt
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup butter or margarine, cut up
2 packages (12 ounces each) semisweet chocolate chips
4 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup toffee bits

In a small bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a microwave safe large bowl, heat unsweetened chocolate, butter and half of the chocolate chips in microwave oven on high 1 1/2 minutes or until chocolate melts, stirring twice. Cool chocolate mixture until lukewarm.

With wire whisk, mix in eggs, 1 at a time and vanilla until smooth. With spoon, stir flour mixture into chocolate mixture just until blended. Stir in toffee bits and remaining chocolate chips. Preheat oven to 350. Drop dough by rounded tablespoons, 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake cookies 10-11 minutes or until tops are just set. Cool cookies slightly on cookie sheet and transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Chocolate Peppermint Bars

Found these goodies in our church cookbook... Isn't that just a wonderful place to find hidden goodness? These were super chocolatey and I love the mint hidden in the middle! My only complaint for this recipe was that I didn't have enough peppermint extract to double the batch!!


Chocolate Peppermint Bars
(recipe found in Our Saviour's Lutheran Cookbook, Janelle Brockpahler)

Layer #1
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
1 dup sugar
1/2 cup flour

Layer #2
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
2-3 tablespoons cream
1 teaspoon peppermint extract

Layer #3
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
3 tablespoons butter

Melt chocolate and butter. Cream eggs and sugar. Add flour and chocolate mixture. Mix well. Bake in an 8x8 inch pan at 350 for 20 minutes. Cream sugar and butter. Blend in cream and peppermint. Spread on COOLED first layer. Refrigerate until chilled. Melt chocolate and butter together and pour over peppermint layer. Chill. Cut into small squares.

You can double this recipe for a 9x13 inch pan and bake longer. Mint cream layer can be tinted red or green for Christmas!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Weekly Line Up - 12/25-12/31

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you have a wonderful day filled with family, friends and FOOD!!

Saturday - Christmas! I don't have to bring anything but all my goodies!
Sunday - *Sausage Scrambles and Cheese
Monday - *Pineapple Chicken Kabob Packets
Tuesday - *Almond and Peach Crusted Pork Chops
Wednesday - Tacos
Thursday - *Cheesy Italian Beef Bake
Friday - Pizza

*New Recipes

Friday, December 24, 2010

Strawberry Fudge Balls

Here is another new "cookie" recipe that I tried out this year. They were super yummy, but VERY messy to make!! I even chilled the dough overnight (since I didn't get to it right away) and my hands were so covered that I couldn't even roll the balls. I also ran out of almonds, so I tried rolling them in powdered sugar, which I think turned out pretty tasty too! :)


Strawberry Fudge Balls
(recipe found at www.smuckers.com)

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (6 ounce) package semisweet chocolate morsels, melted
3/4 cup vanilla wafer crumbs
1/4 cup strawberry preserves
1/2 cup almonds, toasted and finely chopped

Beat cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add melted chocolate, beating until smooth. Stir in vanilla wafer crumbs and preserves; cover and chill one hour. Shape into 1 inch balls; roll in chopped almonds and chill.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Sausage Cheese Balls

These are technically supposed to be an appetizer, but I thought that they would be a fun finger food for the kids for supper one night! So, I paired it off with some stuffing and beans and wah-lah - it was a quick meal that, the boys especially, polished off in no time flat! They are a bit time consuming to roll out, but it makes a ton... In fact, I made some for us for supper and froze the rest to have as a treat for Christmas with my family!


Sausage Cheese Balls
(recipe found at www.bettycrocker.com)

3 cups bisquick mix
1 pound bulk pork sausage
4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves, crushed
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley or 1/2 teaspoon parsley flakes
barbecue sauce or chili sauce, if desired (we used ranch)

Heat oven to 350. Lightly grease bottom and sides of jelly roll pan. Stir together all ingredients, using hands or spoon. Shape mixture into 1 inch balls. Place in pan. Bake 20-25 minutes or until brown. Immediately remove from pan. Serve warm with sauce for dipping.

They have lots of tips for this recipe for doing them up ahead of time, baked and unbaked. If you want the full list, go to their website. Since I was freezing some of mine unbaked, I'll tell you the plan for those. Take them out of the freezer, place frozen balls on a cookie sheet and bake 25-30 minutes or until browned.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Alfredo Sauce

I'm not a huge spaghetti sauce or pizza sauce person... I don't like how overpowering the taste can be, so a lot of the time I will use just butter and parmesan on my spaghetti or maybe alfredo sauce. It is so rich and delicious and when I saw this recipe on one of the blogs I love checking out I wanted to try it. It was VERY rich and pretty good. I might keep searching for one that I like better, but this one was pretty tasty!


Alfredo Sauce
(reciep found at becomingbetty.blogspot.com)

1 cube butter
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese
1 cup half and half
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon garlic powder
ground pepper to taste

In a medium saucepan, melt butter on stove. Add cream cheese and stir together until cream cheese is melted and they are mixed well. When they are mixed together, add half and half, parmesan, garlic powder and pepper. Stir together until it's all combined. Take off heat and let sit for a few minutes to thicken up. Serve over your favorite pasta with some garlic bread! :) Yum!!

* Now I wasn't sure what a cube of butter was and I wasn't thinking too clearly, so I just threw in a whole stick of butter! :) I am thinking a chunk of it would have been more what she was talking about!! It still tasted delish, but it might not have been as rich tasting...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Triple Chocolate Cookies

Hello, with the name of this cookie, who wouldn't want to make it? :) This is another newbie cookie that I tried this year! With three different kinds of chocolate it is sure to satisy that chocolate craving and definitely your sweet tooth! YUMMY!!

Triple Chocolate Cookies
(recipe found at www.foodnetwork.com)
Yields: 2 dozen

1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch processed)
1/4 teaspoon salt, optional
1/3 cup dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
2/3 cup chopped pecans, optional

Preheat the oven to 350. In a large bowl, mash together the butter and sugars with a fork until well combined. (I don't see why you couldn't just use your mixer for this part, but I am a rule follower, so I used the fork :) Add the oil and egg and beat until creamy. Mix in the vanilla.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, cocoa powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well. Stir in the dark chocolate, milk chocolate and the pecans and mix well. Using a tablespoon, scoop the batter onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 12 minutes. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack to cool.

Instead of dark chocolate and milk chocolate, coarsely chopped, I used dark chocolate and semi sweet chocolate chips. Save yourself some chopping! :) Also, if I am going to go to the work to make cookies, I am definitely not going to just make 2 dozen cookies, so go for it all - make it a double batch like I did! :)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Robin McGraw's Almond Cookies

Last year, when I was obsessed with watching Rachel Ray EVERY DAY, Robin McGraw was on right before Christmas. She was showing how to make these fabulous almond cookies that looked so yummy and so simple... This year I actually tried them and they are both so yummy and so simple. They remind me a lot of a cookie that my mom used to make at Christmas all the time. The cooking time is very long, so make sure that you have a lot of time to be waiting around while you are making these! :)


Robin McGraw's Almond Cookies
(recipe found at www.rachaelrayshow.com)

1 pound (4 sticks margarine, softened)
1 cup granulated sugar
3-4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup blanched slice almonds, finely chopped
3 1/2-4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 250. In a mixing bowl, thoroughly combine margarine, sugar, vanilla extract and chopped almonds using a rubber spatula. Fold in the flour - you want the dough to be dense enough to handle with your hands. Sometimes it will take more flour to make this happen, so start with 3 1/2 cups and add flour as necessary. (It took me the whole 4 cups.)

Roll spoonfuls of dough into balls about the size of a small walnut and arrange them on a cookie sheet. Transfer to the oven and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until the cookies are no longer doughy and are cooked through. (You can put them pretty close together - I fit about 30 on each of my cookie sheets.)

Remove the cookies from the oven and, while still hot, roll and toss around in a bowl with the powdered sugar. Once coated, allow to cool.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Cheesy Ham and Potato Soup

What do you do when your hubby doesn't feel so hot and hasn't eaten for over 24 hours? Make him a yummy soup to help him feel better! This was super yummy, very cheesy and meaty enough to satisfy the hubby!

Cheesy Ham and Potato Soup
(recipe found at www.cucinfamiglia.com)

1/2 cup butter
1 onion, diced
3/4 cup flour
1 can chicken broth
4 cups milk
10 potatoes
2-3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups ham, diced
salt and pepper to taste
green onions for garnish

Peel, cube and boil potatoes until soft. Then in a large sauce pan, saute onion in butter. Then add flour and make a roux. Whisk in chicken broth and milk. Bring to a boil. Continue stirring until sauce thickens. Turn heat to low and add cheese, potatoes and ham. Simmer for 10 minutes and serve.

Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Cookies

Here's the next batch of cookies that I baked up for Christmas. Another new recipe to try that is a little healthier... These had a nice chewy texture, but I am not sure how I feel about the cherries baked in, so it might not be a repeater! :) It was nice for something a little different though!


Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Cookies
Yields: 3 dozen
Points: 2 per cookie

3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2cup sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 1/2 cups uncooked oatmeal
1/2 cup dried cherries

Preheat oven to 350. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a small bowl; set aside. Mix butter until smooth. Slowly pour sugar in an even stream into butter and mix on high until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Pour in brown sugar, mix until incorporated and then scrape mixture down from sides of the bowl. Slowly beat in each egg one at a time until incorporated. Slowly beat in flour mixture. Scrape misture down from sides of bowl and stir in oatmeal and then dried cherries. Scoop rounded teaspoonfuls of dought about 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until edges arae set. Cool completely.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Weekly Line Up - 12/18-12/24

Lots of Christmas fun in store this week! Can't wait to continue baking like crazy, head to holiday parties and watch all the programs my kids are in! Hope you enjoy a fantastic week also!

Saturday - *Crispy Italian Baked Chicken
Sunday - Grilled Cheese/Spaghettios
Monday - *Pepperoni Bread
Tuesday - *Corn Chowder
Wednesday - Taco Night
Thursday - *Crockpot Chili Cheese Dip (Christmas with my family)
Friday - *Cheesy Beer Fondue with Beer Bread (Christmas lunch with our little family)
- *Ribs/Beans (Christmas Eve supper)

Extras:
*Chocolate Peppermint Creams
*Chocolate Covered Pretzels
*Chocolate Peppermint Pinwheel Cookies
*Chocolate Gooey Butter Cookies
*Carmels

*New Recipes

Friday, December 17, 2010

Buckeyes

This was a new Christmas cookie that I tried and boy are they oh so sweet! I made them a little bigger then I think that they were supposed to be and I can tell why they only needed to be about a 1/2 inch - too much and they are just a little too sweet! So, hopefully you are a better ball roller then me when you make these! :) I ended up getting almost 4 dozen and you are supposed to get 5 dozen...


Buckeyes
(recipe found at www.smuckers.com)

1 1/2 cups peanut butter
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 package semi sweet chocolate chips or chocolate coating

Melt chocolate. Mix peanut butter, sugar, margarine and vanilla until semi dry and crumbly. Shape into 1/2 inch balls. Dip balls into melted choclate, leaving the top of the ball uncovered to resemble a buckeye. Place balls on wax paper lined baking pan. Refrigerate until set.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Garlic Bread

I got this idea from a colleague when I worked in Bagdad for a year... Not Baghdad, Baghdad, but Bagdad Arizona! For those of you that didn't know about that I know you were a little nervous for me! :) It is a quick and easy side for anything with pasta and I do love my garlic bread!! Plus it is a nice way to use up all those extra buns that we have laying around after hamburgers, sloppy joes, hot dogs, etc... This also went great with the Three Cheese Sausage Lasagna from yesterday's post! :)



Garlic Bread

Any kind of bread/bun
garlic salt
italian seasoning
oregano

Butter bread/bun and place on cookie sheet. Sprinkle with any and all seasonings. Broil until lightly browned! Devour!!

My mom used to make us these using just garlic salt and slices of bread. I like to use up the extra buns that we have laying around and the added seasonings just give it a little more pizzazz... Sometimes I even add cheese - I know, I'm crazy like that! :)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Three Cheese Sausage Lasagna

I think that this was the fastest version of lasagna that I have ever made in my life and it was pretty tasty too! Not too hard to throw together, especially when I was running a little late from going and seeing the adorable lab puppies that my sister's dog just had couple of nights ago!! We were still eating by our normal 6:00 and that was with no prepping beforehand like I usually do!



Three Cheese Sausage Lasagna
(recipe found at www.bettycrocker.com)

1 pound italian turkey sausage
1 box Hamburger Helper lasagna
2 cups water
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1 small zucchini, diced
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 375. In 10" skillet, crumble sausage. Cook over medium high heat about 8 minutes, stirring frequently, until sausage is no longer pink; drain well. In ungreased 2 quart casserole dish, stir sauce mix (from Hamburger Helper box) and water until blended. Microwave uncovered on high 1-2 minutes or until sauce is thickened. Stir in uncooked pasta, sausage, bell pepper, mushrooms and zucchini.

In small bowl, mix ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. Spoon cheese mixture evenly over sausage mixture. Bake uncovered 40-50 minutes or until top is golden brown and sauce is bubbly.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Cheddar Melt Chili

I usually don't hand out food that I haven't ever made before, but I had this one up my sleeve for supper for us this week and it turned out I had a friend that needed it more then me. You know those days - when you come home and have had the worst possible day and you just don't want to deal with cooking? It was one of those days - so I whipped up this little dish and it was hopefully a hit for her and her family!! You can bet that it will be back on the menu plan for our family soon, because it sounds really good! :)

(Side Note: It did go back on the menu and it was wonderful! Very hearty!!)



Cheddar Melt Chili
(recipe found at www.bettycrocker.com)

1 pound ground beef
1 1/3 cups hot water
1 box Hamburger Helper cheddar cheese melt
1 cup salsa
1 2/3 cups milk
1/4-1/2 teaspoon chili powder
2 cans (15 ounces each) spicy chili beans in sauce, undrained
3/4 cup shreddded cheddar cheese
1 large tomato, chopped

In a 4 quart Dutch oven, cook beef over medium high heat 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly cooked; drain. Stir in hot water, sauce mix and uncooked pasta, salsa, milk, chili powder and beans. Heat to boiling, stirring frequently. Reduce heat; cover and simmer about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until pasta is tender. Remove from heat; stir. Sprinkle each serving with cheese and tomato.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Asian Peanut Chicken

This was a recipe that I am definitely making again. It didn't take too long in the crockpot and worked perfectly as a lunch meal that I could throw in before church and it was ready when we walked back in the door. Josh was still in Canada for this one, so my friend Luke came over for lunch with us and he said it was a definite "2 thumbs up" from him!



Asian Peanut Chicken
(recipe found at www.cucinafamiglia.com)

1 box fettuccine, cooked as directed
2 cloves garlic, minced
2/3 cup peanut butter
1 cup chicken broth
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1 zucchini, shredded
1 red pepper, cut into thin strips
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon lime juice
chopped cilantro, for garnish
chopped peanuts, for garnish

Add garlic, peanut butter, chicken, broth, zucchini, soy sauce, sugar, lime juice and red pepper to slow cooker. Stir to combine. Cook on low for 4-5 hours or on high for 2-3 hours. Serve over noodles and garnish with cilantro and peanuts.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Pumpkin Pancakes with Cinnamon Brown Butter

I love making breakfast for supper, especially on the weekends... It just seems like a quick meal and one that is "comfort food" to me! But, to spice it up a little, I love to find new twists on our old favorites. This recipe turned out to be a fun new twist, although I don't know if I would waste my time on the cinnamon brown butter again... Make sure that you cook these a little bit longer, the insides weren't quite as done as I would have liked them to be! :)


Pumpkin Pancakes with Cinnnamon Brown Butter
(recipe found in Taste of Home)

1/2 cup butter, cubed
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 1/3 cups milk
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup ricotta cheese

In a small heavy saucepan, cook butter over medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Add the maple syrup, cinnamon and nutmeg. Remove from the heat; stir in pecans.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, pumpkin and cheese. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Drop batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto a greased hot griddle. Turn when bubbles form on top. Cook until the second side is golden brown. Serve with brown butter.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Weekly Line Up - 12/11-12/17

Here's the line-up for this next week. Josh is going to be gone again - so I get a little tired of cooking big meals for just the kids and I! :( So, this is the plan, we'll see if we stick with it! :)

Saturday - Roast with potatoes, carrots and onions
Sunday - Eggs and Toast
Monday - *Sausage and Cheese Balls
Tuesday - Pizza
Wednesday - Taco Night
Thursday - *Cheesy Ham and Potato Soup
Friday - *Meatloaf with *Sweet Potato Casserole with a Gingersnap Crust

Extras:
*Cinnamon Bear Popcorn - part of my gift to my daycare kids for Christmas!
*Hot Chocolate Cupcakes - part of the gift my oldest son is giving to his "specials" teachers!

* new recipes

Friday, December 10, 2010

Party Shrimp

Once again, I just got that new Healthy Cooking magazine and I had a few recipes that I wanted to try. I love shrimp, I don't always cook it as well as I could, but it still tastes delish to me! So, the kids and I tried a new shrimp recipe this week (Josh is still in Canada...). It was really good, but definitely would need to be doubled if more then just one adult is eating it for a meal! I served it as a meal, over rice, but it would make a great appetizer also...


Party Shrimp
(recipe found in Taste of Home Healthy Cooking)

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 pound uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined

In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the first eight ingredients. Add the shrimp; seal bag and turn to coat. Refrigerate for 2 hours. Drain and discard marinade. Place shrimp on an ungreased baking sheet. Broil 4 inches from the heat for 6-8 minutes or until shrimp turn pink, turning once.

And don't overcook your shrimp! :) I cooked mine for the 6 minutes that it says and it was a little too done, so really watch it! I never really get the "until the shrimp turn pink" part of the direction... Does anyone else out there think that shrimp already look pink to start with or is it just me? :)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Treats

So, most of my Christmas shopping is done (thank you deer hunting opener!) and my house in mainly decorated. We are heading to get the tree this weekend and I have been wrapping presents like mad, including the ones from (picture this in a hushed whisper now) S-A-N-T-A! That means I am free to bake up a storm!! I pulled out a few of my books and have a few cookie recipes planned for this festive month of December! A few are old favorites and a few are ones that have been pulled out of magazines and haven't gotten tried yet... So, follow along on this journey of sweetness!! Here's the first one for you! It was very yummy - they were soft and chewy, just make sure that you don't overcook them, so keep an eye on the first couple of batches!


Peanut Butter Oatmeal Treats
(recipe found at www.smuckers.com)

1 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups uncooked oats
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Mix together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In large bowl, cream butter, peanut butter and sugars. Beat in eggs, milk and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture, oats and chocolate chips. Drop mixture by rounded teaspoons about 3 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Slow cooker BBQ Beans and Polish Sausage

My best friend for forever is married to one of the pickiest eaters ever... (Love ya Bill!) Every once in a while she wants to strike out and be adventurous in her cooking, but between her husband and kids she has to hold back! So, when I got this email from her, I just started laughing... She was so excited - she tried a new recipe and EVERYONE in her family loved it! Yippee for her and for us too! She had to share the recipe that went over so well and you know that I had to try it and share it with you! I made this the other night and it was super yummy - I might have to just make the beans on their own sometime, that is how good they were!!

Slow Cooker BBQ Beans and Polish Sausage
(recipe courtesy of Deb Faysak)

2 cans (15.5 ounces each) great northern beans, drained and rinsed
2 can (15 ounces each) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup barbecue sauce
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground mustard
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 ring (1 - 1 1/4 pounds) fully cooked smoked polish sausage - she used 2 packages of lil' smokies...

Spray slow cooker with cooking spray. Mix all ingredients except sausage in cooker. Place sausage ring on bean mixture. Cover; cook on low heat 5-6 hours.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tortellini Primavera

Got my newest healthy cooking magazine from Taste of Home and I found quite a few recipes that I am itching to try out! :) This was the first one that I came to, so it is the first one that I tried. It was delish!! I was a little nervous with the chopped spinach in it - my boys were not too excited about spinach the last time that we tried it... But, it went over surprisingly well! They chowed it down and Josh even got to do a whole lot of talking about Popeye during our meal!

Tortellini Primavera
(recipe found in Taste of Home Healthy Cooking)

1 package (19 ounces) frozen cheese tortellini
1/2 pound sliced fresh mushrooms
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons butter
2/3 cup fat free milk
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, cubed
1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 teaspoon italian seasoning
1 large tomato, chopped
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Cook tortellinin according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, saute the mushrooms, onion and garlic in butter until tender. Stir in milk; heat through. Stir in cream cheese until blended. Add spinach and italian seasoning; heat through. Drain the tortellini; toss with the sauce and tomato. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Crock Pot BBQ Beef

I have to admit, I have never in my life made bbq sandwiches... Not beef, not pork, none at all! I like them - my family has made them for parties before, but I have never busted out my cooking skills on a pot of bbq sandwiches. Well, that has all changed! :) This was a recipe that was so quick and easy, I will definitely try it again... It even left quite a bit of leftovers, so Josh and I got to enjoy it again the next day - he was in heaven with this recipe!! As he was making the sandwiches up for our plates, he dipped the buns in the leftoever juice that was in the crock pot. He was very excited about that idea and thought that it made the sandwiches even more juicy - so, just saying, you can try it if you want to! :)


Crock Pot BBQ Beef
(recipe found at www.becomingbetty.blogspot.com)

1 1/2 cups ketchup
2 tabelspoons dijon mustard
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Mix sauce ingredients well and pour over a roast already placed in the crock pot. Cook on low all day and serve on a bun!

I used chuck roast because she recommended it as her favorite, but I will leave that up to you!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Easy Enchilada Casserole

My friend Amy shared this recipe with me a few weeks ago and I finally got a chance to try it tonight... It was wonderful!! Also, once again, super easy to throw together - that is unless when you have it all made and are cleaning up, you find the can of opened tomato sauce that you forgot to add... Then adding it to the layers is a little tricky! :) So, don't forget one of the ingredients and you will be able to whip up this baby in a flash!

Easy Enchilada Casserole
(recipe shared by Amy Lorenz via cooks.com)

2 pounds ground beef or turkey
1 can tomato sauce
1 cup salsa
1 packet taco seasoning
1 cup corn - thawed
1/2 teaspoon red pepper
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 can refried beans
4 medium soft flour tortillas

In skillet, brown and drain ground beef or turkey. In same skillet with meat, add; tomato sauce, salsa, taco seasoning, corn and pepper. Mix and let simmer. In round 2 quart covered casserole dish, begin to layer the following:

flour tortilla
heaping tablespoon refried beans (spread)
meat mixture (as above)
grated cheese

Continue layering until out of above mixture. (does approximately 3-4 layers) Make sure to top with cheese. Cover and bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until cheese bubbles. Serve with sour cream and tortilla chips.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Weekly Line Up - 12/4-12/10

Here's the line up for this week! :) With most of my Christmas shopping done and all the presents I do have wrapped, I am ready to bake, bake, bake! Thank God for naptimes! :) I will be posting the recipes as I get my goodies baked, so hopefully I have a lot of time this week!

Saturday - *Pumpkin Pancakes
Sunday - *Peanut Chicken
Monday - *Cheddar Melt Chili
Tuesday - Pizza
Wednesday - Taco Night
Thursday - *Spaghetti with homemade Alfredo Sauce
Friday - *Three Cheese Sausage Lasagna

Extras (as I get to them)
*Robin McGraw's Almond Cookies
*Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Cookies
*Triple Chocolate Cookies
*Strawberry Fudge Balls
*Buckeyes
Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cookies
*Chocolate Toffee Fudgies
*Chocolate Peppermint Bars
Becky's Cut out Cookies

* new recipes

Friday, December 3, 2010

Sweet Potato Supreme

This is a dish that I have made for the past few Thanksgivings... I made it one time and have been asked to bring it every year since - it must be pretty good then! :) It is so yummy and delicious that I even make it a few other times during the year... Sorry no pictures again - I was too busy digging in! :)

Sweet Potato Supreme

3 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and mashed (about 6 potatoes)
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt

Topping
1 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup flour

Beat together until smooth. Put in a greased casserole and spread the topping over top. Bake uncovered at 350 for 30 minutes.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins

I found this recipe on the back of my bag of flour and thought it would be a fun one to try for the daycare kids at breakfast... I made up a batch and thought that they were pretty good, a little dry but that is fixable, I think that I mixed it together too much! The kids on the other hand were not big fans... This might be a recipe I am not quick to try again due to the tooth pulling that it took to get everyone to eat, but thought that I would toss it out to you in case you are a PB and J freak!!


PB & J Muffins
(recipe found on back of Pillsbury flour bag)
Makes: 12 muffins

2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup milk
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup jam or preserves of your choice

Topping: Sugar

Heat oven to 375. Spray muffin pan with no stick spray. Stir together flour, salt and baking powder in a large bowl. Add milk, eggs, sugar, peanut butter and oil to bowl; combine ingredients on the low speed of an electric mixer; just until moistened. Do not over beat. Fill prepared muffin cups evenly with half of the batter. Place 2 level teaspoons jam or preserves in the center of each muffin. evenly divide remaining batter between muffin cups. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Remove from the oven; cool in pan 5 minutes.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Chicken and Rice Soup

Found another yummy soup recipe that was quick and easy and perfect for our first true winter day! The day I made this soup it was -3 in MN when I woke up and it didn't get above 15 degrees for the day... That is a day that truly screams for soup!! Josh is not the biggest fan of soup, but even he liked this one and said that it was a keeper!

Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup
(recipe found at www.becomingbetty.blogspot.com)

1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
4 large carrots, diced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
5 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
1 or 2 cans of chicken
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 can corn or 1 cup frozen corn
1 (12 ounces) can fat free evaporated milk
salt and pepper to taste
bay leaf (optional)

Put olive oil in large pot. Add onions, carrots and celery. Cook on medium heat until tender. Add garlic and stir for 1 minute. Add broth, chicken, rice, corn and seasonings. Cover and cook on medium heat for 20 minutes. Then add evaporated milk. Stir and cook on low until ready to serve.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Zesty Pork Chops

One of the best things that I have found from having this blog, is that people love to share their yummy recipes with you!! I have had a few friends email me with recipes that they have tried and think that I would like and I love it!! I find recipes everywhere from magazines to online to friends handing them over and it is great...

A good friend from AZ hooked a couple of her friends up with my blog site and now they have started checking out the recipes that I post. The other day I got a message from one of them with this delicious pork chop recipe! She said that it was super easy and a big hit with her family! I can second that opinion... My family thought it was great and every bit of it was gone!!


Zesty Pork Chops
(recipe from Jamie Phantz via Campbell's Kitchen)

4 bone in pork chops
all purpose flour
1 cup pace picante sauce
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 apple, peeled, cored and cut into slices, 1/4" thick
2 tablespoons olive oil

Coat the pork with flour. Mix the picante sauce, brown sugar and apple together in a medium bowl. Heat the oil in a 12" skillet over medium high heat. Add the pork and cook until well browned on both sides. Pour off any fat. Pour the picante sauce mixture over the pork. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 20 minutes or until the pork is cooked through.

As you can tell from the picture, I cheated and just chopped up my apples. When you have little kids that you have to cut everything up for, it just makes it easier to do it from the start, rather then "slicing" things to put in your recipes... So, while a lot of my recipes call for "sliced" ingredients, I usually just chop away! :)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Cheesy Chicken and Rice Hotdish

I found another great hotdish recipe to add to my collection! This one was so yummy and cheesy and a hit with everyone that ate it that night... The list included my brother and his kids! :) This would be a great dish to make up early so that you would be able to throw it right in the oven at supper time - I didn't realize the amount of prep work that went into it, so I was running a little behind this night!


Cheesy Chicken and Rice Hotdish
(recipe found at www.becomingbetty.blogspot.com)

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons fresh minced garlic
2 cups shredded, cooked chicken
3 cups white rice, cooked
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

Cheese sauce:
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Heat oil in a skillet on stove. Saute onion, celery and carrots for about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Stir in chicken, rice, salt, pepper and garlic salt. Reduce heat to low. Prepare cheese sauce by melting butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour, salt, pepper and chicken broth. Whisk continuously until thick and nearly bubbling. Stir in cheese until melted. Put rice mixture in a casserole dish and pour cheese sauce over it. Stir to combine. You can sprinkle some more cheese on top. Bake for 30 minutes on 350.

I used a 9x13 pan for this recipe and it fit perfectly! And you KNOW that I used the extra cheese on top like was suggested! :)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Cheesy Manicotti

I made this recipe the other night when my oldest son had his first playdate. I was a litle nervous about having something "weird" when other kids were at our house, but it got a big thumbs up from all of them! One even went home and told her mom how good supper was... Wahoo!! Very easy to throw together, other then the fact that I need to work on my manicotti stuffing technique! :)

Cheesy Manicotti
(recipe found at www.cucinafamiglia.com)

1 8 oz box manicotti shells
2 cups spaghetti sauce
1 cup parmesan cheese

stuffing ingredients:
1 cup cottage cheese
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1 tablespoon basil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 egg

Boil manicotti as directed on package. Make sure that they are al dente. Let cool. Mix together stuffing ingredients, then fill manicotti with mixture. Line 9x13 pan with spaghetti sauce, place noodles in pan, pour over more spaghetti sauce. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 15 minutes, remove foil, top with parmesan cheese and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Weekly Line Up - 11/27-12/3

Here's the line-up for this week... Trying a new dish every night, so be ready for some recipes to be flying your way! Hope they turn out great! :) Josh has to head to Canada for week, so it will be me and the kids each night - we might have to invite some company for supper! I definitely need some adult interaction after a full day with kids!! :)

Saturday - *Tortellini Primavera
Sunday - Grilled Cheese/Spaghettios
Monday - *Easy Enchilada Casserole
Tuesday - Party Shrimp
Wednesday - Taco Night
Thursday - *Slow Cooker BBQ Beans and Polish Sausage
Friday - *Pastitsio

* New Recipes!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookies

So, one summer while I was in college I spent the summer living with my aunt and uncle and cousin. I did some random jobs the entire summer - rock picking, strawberry picking, working as a cook and waitress at Pizza Hut, but the best thing that I remember is spending time with my cousin and all the baking that we did that summer! I think that my aunt probably wondered what she was thinking letting me stay there - her grocery bill had to have skyrocketed with as much time as we spent in the kitchen! One of the things that we baked the most were chocolate chip cookies... We must have made a batch a week and they were always gone right away! They were so good, I thought that there had to be some secret to it... So, I made sure that I got the recipe and what do you know? It happens to be on the back of the chocolate chip package... It is still my go to recipe for chocolate chips and it always takes me back to that summer...

Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup shortening
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
3 eggs
3 teaspoons vanilla
4 1/2-5 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
12 ounces chocolate chips

Mix shortening, butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla. When well mixed, combine the rest of ingredients. Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes on ungreased baking sheets.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Here is another yummy slow cooker soup recipe that we tried the other day. I thought that it was yummy and anything that you can put chips in is a hit with my kids! Josh didn't even whine about the black beans, so it must have been pretty good to him too! :)

Chicken Tortilla Soup
(recipe found in Fix It and Forget It)

4 chicken breast halves
2 (15 ounces each) cans black beans, undrained
2 (15 ounces each) can Mexican stewed tomatoes, or Rotel tomatoes
1 cup salsa
4 ounce can chopped green chilies
14 1/2 ounce can tomato sauce
tortilla chips
2 cups grated cheese

Combine all ingredients except chips and cheese in a large slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 8 hours. Just before serving, remove chicken breasts and slice into bite sized pieces. Stir into soup. To serve, put a handful of chips in each individual soup bowl. Ladle soup over chips. Top with cheese.

I chopped my chicken breasts up before I put them in the slow cooker. I would rather get that prep out of the way before it is all cooked and ready to go! I think that this may have caused them to cook a little faster then the recipe says though, so if you do this make sure that you shorten the time a bit... Our chicken was a little dry!

I would also recommend just crushing the chips up on top. I like them crunchy and they obviously got a little soggy when I put them on the bottom of the bowl!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Banana Split Breakfast

I am always looking for something fun and inexpensive to feed the kids for breakfast in the mornings... I do feed them cereal a few days of the week, but to mix it up I like to throw in muffins, pancakes, waffles and this tasty dish that my mom clipped for me when I first started doing daycare! The kids love this for breakfast, not to mention my sisters, who also get a little taste of it as they are dropping their kids off! I love serving these in my banana split dishes that I got from my friend Tracy - the picture would have been of those, but the kids gobble this breakfast up WAY too fast!


Banana Split Breakfast

1/2 banana, sliced
2 scoops frozen yogurt
scoop of strawberries
sprinkle of cereal

Slice bananas into your serving dish. Follow with 2 scoops of frozen yogurt. (I just buy the regular yogurt that comes in the big container and freeze it in my freezer. It is a little hard when you first take it out, but works great after you let it thaw a little!) Scoop strawberries on top, followed by a sprinkle of whatever cereal you have on hand...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Chicken Parmesan

Here is the second recipe that I loved from my Nourishing Hearts class. Again, I had a crazy night where I was running out the door, but not so many daycare kids so it was a great night to have to cook up the noodles and get the plates ready! Plus, Josh was actually home with the kids and I didn't have to drag them out the door with me, which saves me LOADS of time!! Which means that I actually got a picture of this one...


Chicken Parmesan

1 package shake-n-bake
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 teasoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup melted butter
1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
12 ounces whole grain pasta, cooked acccoring to directions
marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese, for serving

Combine the dry ingredients in a shallow bowl. Dip the chicken in the melted butter, then roll in crumbs. Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes. Serve with pasta topped with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese.

Again, the chicken is easy to freeze up for a later meal... Let it thaw completely and reheat in oven as directed, turning midway through.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Meatballs

The church that we are attending has begun a new class called Nourishing Hearts... It is a class for women where you make 4 freezer ready meals while talking about the women of the bible. Everyone pitches in and makes part of the four meals for 20 people. Not only do you walk away with your hearts full, but you get to walk away with a handful of meals that are easy to throw in the oven... It came in very handy this past month when I was running out the door every Monday night for a class that my sister-in-law was teaching where I did the childcare. I had meals that could be thrown in the oven and ready at 5:00 when all the daycare kids were gone and I didn't have to try juggling daycare kids while trying to make a good meal!

Here is one of the two recipes that I am going to share with you... My favorites of the four that we made and recipes that I will probably use again! I have not ever made meatballs from scratch before and these were delicious - I only hope they turn out as good the next time that I make them! Sorry for no picture, but like I said, these are crazy nights that I am trying to run out the door!!

Meatballs
1 1/2 pounds hamburger
1 cup quick oats
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 chopped onion
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 tablespoon chili powder

Sauce:
1 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon liquid smoke
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

Mix meatball ingrdients together and form into balls. Put in single layer in a baking dish. Mix and pour sauce over meatballs. Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees.

We were sent home with a ziploc baggie filled with meatballs to freeze. If you freeze yours, thaw completely and bake as directed.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Turkey White Bean Soup

I love to find new recipes, especially soups for my crock pot! When the weather is turning cooler and I know that we have someplace to be at night, I love throwing a great soup in the crockpot and letting it cook all day long! This one was pretty good - I substituted ham for the turkey and it turned out great...

Turkey White Bean Soup
(recipe found in Taste of Home)
Serves: 8

1 pound bulk pork sausage
4 cups cubed cooked turkey
2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) beef broth
1 can (15 ounces) white kidney or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
4 medium carrots, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
2 teaspoons italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Crumble sausage into a large skillet; cook and stir until no longer pink. Drain. Transfer to a 5 or 6 quart slow cooker. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or until vegetables are tender.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Weekly Line Up

I have had a lot of people question me about how I plan my meals... My family is very fly by the seat of their pants for meals and make whatever they have on hand for that night. I am in the total opposite direction of that! I am a planner - I like to know what we are having for the week and I take into account what we have going on for the week... Plus, I only make it to the grocery store once a week so I need to make sure that I have everything that I need or I am in trouble!! So, I sit down, usually on Thursday or Friday and plan out what my meals are for the week and plan my grocery list from this... Not that this stops unwanted purchases, but it does help a little! So, I thought that I would try posting my meals for the week to give you a little preview of what will be coming up on my blog... I try a lot of new recipes and not all of them make it to the blog, especially if they are big flops!! :) So, here is our menu plan for this week...

Saturday - Lasagna Roll-Ups (check the blog for this yummy dish!)
Sunday - Eggs and Toast (we have a huge Sunday dinner at my mom's, so I try to do something light on Sunday night...)
Monday - *Zesty Pork Chops
Tuesday - *Crock Pot BBQ Beef (ECFE night, so I love the crock pot for Tuesdays!)
Wednesday - Taco Night at the Legion (family tradition)
Thursday - Thanksgiving!! I am in charge of bringing the Sweet Potato Supreme (a request every year since I started bringing it!)
Friday - *Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup
Extras - *Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

* a new recipe attempt!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Sloppy Buffalo Joes

I love wings and when I found this recipe I couldn't resist trying it... I was a little nervous dishing it up for Beau, since he isn't super excited about spicy food. Beau ate it up pretty quick without a word about it being too hot! Josh on the other hand, who loves spicy food, but also likes his sloppy joes sweeter then I make them, was not a big fan of these!

Sloppy Buffalo Joes
(recipe found at www.foodnetwork.com)

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 pounds ground chicken or turkey breast
1 carrot, peeled and chopped or grated
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
salt and pepper
2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
1/4 - 1/3 cup hot sauce
1 cup tomato sauce
1 cup chicken stock
8 burger rolls
1 cup blue cheese crumbles
2 large pickles, chopped

Heat a large skillet with olive oil over mediumhigh heat. Add meat and break it up with wooden spoon, cook 5-6 minutes. Add in carrots, celery, onions and garlic, season with salt and pepper, cook 7-8 minutes more. In a bowl combine the vinegar, sugar, worcestershire, hot sauce, tomato sauce and stock. Pour into the pan and stir to combine. Simmer a few minutes more. Pile sloppy buffalo filling onto buns and top with blue cheese and chopped pickles.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Peanut Butter Popcorn Balls

I love to give my daycare kids little treats for the holidays... I also like to make sure that I don't spend all the money that I make buying them stuff! :) So, for Halloween this year I found this recipe and made these treats for the kids! They were very tasty... It says that it makes 10 popcorn balls, but I doubled the batch and only got about 15 - I wanted bigger popcorn balls then they made I guess!


Peanut Butter Popcorn Balls
(recipe found in Taste of Home)

5 cups popped popcorn
1 cup dry roasted peanuts
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place popcorn and peanuts in a large bowl; set aside. In a large heavy saucepan over medium heat, bring sugar and corn syrup to a rolling boil; stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat; stir in peanut butter and vanilla. Quickly pour over popcorn mixture and mix well. When cool enough to handle, quickly shape into 10 2 1/2 inch balls. Let stand at room temperature until firm; wrap in plastic wrap.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Garlic Cheese Beer Biscuits

I love beer bread and when I saw this recipe I just had to try it... They were yummy, but by the time that we ate them they weren't warm anymore and I think that they would have tasted better straight out of the oven! The kids knocked back quite a few of them, so they were definitely a hit with them!!


Garlic Cheese Beer Biscuits
(recipe found at www.madebystephie.blogspot.com)

3 cups of bisquick
1 can of cold beer
3 tablespoons sugar
1 cup cheese
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt

Just mix all of it together and spoon into a muffin pan. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. It makes 24 biscuits!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Slow Cooker Cheesy Potato Soup

This was definitely the perfect pick me up supper on a cold windy day! It was easy to throw into the crockpot, continued cooking even when the power went out for a little bit and was pretty much a no fuss supper! You know that I added a little more bacon then was called for, but other then that I followed the recipe and it was delicious!

Slow Cooker Cheesy Potato Soup
(recipe found at www.pillsbury.com)

1 bag (32 ounces) frozen southern style diced hasbrown potatoes, thawed
1/2 cup frozen chopped onion, thawed - (I used a regular onion, chopped)
1 medium stalk celery, diced (1/2 cup)
1 carton (32 ounces) chicken broth
1 cup water
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 cup milk
1 bag (8 ounces) shredded american-cheddar cheese blend (2 cups)
1/4 cup real bacon pieces
4 medium green onions, sliced (1/4 cup)

In 3-4 quart slow cooker, mix potatoes, onion, celery, broth and water. Cover; cook on low heat 6-8 hours. In small bowl, mix flour into milk; stir into potato mixture. Increase heat to high. Cover and cook 20-30 minutes more or until mixture thickens. Stir in cheese until melted. Garnish individual servings with bacon and green onions. Sprinkle with pepper if desired.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Beef Bake

This is a quick and easy supper idea that is filling at the same time! And so easy your husband can make it! :) I was down and out with a stomach bug this night and the hubby was in charge of supper. He whipped this up with pretty much no problems! So, sorry no pictures, but he was already working so hard I didn't want to start being demanding about details! :)

Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Beef Bake

1 pound ground beef
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) condensed cream of mushroom with roasted garlic soup (if you can't find this, I just use regular cream of mushroom and add some garlic salt to the recipe...)
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
1 bag (16 ounces) frozen vegetable combo, thawed
3 cups hot mashed potatoes

In a medium skillet over medium high heat, cook beef until browned. In a 2 quart baking dish, mix beef, 1/2 can soup, worcestershire sauce and vegetables. Stir reamining soup into potatoes. Spoon potato mixture over beef mixture. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Banana Bread

This is my go to recipe for banana bread. I have tried a lot of other banana breads, but this is the one that I use the majority of the time! It is yummy and great for breakfast, snack or any time! I usually end up doubling this recipe...

Banana Bread

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon soda
1 cup mashed bananas (I usually use at least 3 bananas for each batch)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup sour cream

Cream together sugar and butter. Then beat eggs into the mixture. Mix in flour, salt and soda. Add rest of ingredients. Put in well greased and floured loaf pans. Let stand 10 minutes. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

This is a great way to use up those leftover bananas... A tip - when my bananas start to brown, I just throw them in the freezer if I don't have time to bake banana bread right away. Then when you need them you can just take them out, thaw for a few hours (you will want to have them in a bowl or on a plate). They will look disgusting, but they work perfectly for banana bread!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Pork Chop Surprise

Pork Chop Surprise
(recipe found in Fix It and Forget It)

4 pork chops
6 potatoes, sliced
10 34/ ounce can cream of mushroom soup
water

Brown pork shops on both sides in skillet. Transfer to slow cooker. Add potatoes, pour soup over the top. Add enough water to cover all ingredients. Cover and cook on high 6-8 hours.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Ham and Asparagus Casserole

Asparagus is a vegetable that my kids all like and we don't eat a lot of. So, when I saw this recipe I knew that we had to try it... The kids loved it for supper that night and leftovers a couple days later! Beau kept asking what the asparagus pieces were, but he at them right up! :) Warning... This recipe used most of the pans in my kitchen!!

Ham and Asparagus Casserole
(recipe found in Taste of Home Healthy Cooking)
Serves: 4 (the 5 of us ate this twice, so I would beg to differ with the serving size)

3 3/4 cups uncooked yolk free whole wheat noodles
2 1/2 cups cut fresh asparagus (1 inch pieces)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon reduced fat butter
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 cup fat free milk
1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 1/2 cups cubed fully cooked lean ham
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1/3 cup french fried onions
2 tablespoon shredded parmesan cheese

Cook noodles according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add asparagus. Cover and cook for 2-5 minutes or until crisp tender; drain and set aside.

In a large skillet, saute the chopped onion in butter until tender. Combine the flour, thyme and pepper; gradually whisk in milk and broth until smooth. Add milk mixture to the skillet. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in lemon juice. Drain noodles; add the ham, parsley, sauce and asparagus. Transfer to a 13x9 inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with fried onions and cheese. Cover and bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until bubbly. Uncover and bake 5-10 minutes longer or until golden brown.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Mom's Stroganoff

Sunday dinners at my mom's house are a weekly event, to state the obvious! After church, whoever can make it from the family gathers there for a few hours over lunch to visit, eat and hang out for a little bit! Every once in a while mom will let us pick what we want for lunch and the "normal" two picks are my mom's stroganoff and her taco salad. I swear, we could eat those every other week and be happy as clams! Mom was gone today, so no Sunday dinner with the family but I made stroganoff for my family just the same!


Mom's Stroganoff

1 pound ground beef
onion
1/4 cup butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon salt
pepper
1 (8 ounces) can mushroom stems and pieces
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) condensed cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup
1 cup sour cream

Cook hamburger and onion together. Drain fat and add butter to melt. Stir in flour, salt, garlic salt and mushroom pieces. Cook 5 minutes. Stir in soup. Simmer 10 minutes. Stir in sour cream and heat through.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Cheeseburger and Fries Pies

I have been meaning to try this recipe for a while now... I pulled it out of a Parents magazine back in 2007 and I finally found it again and thought that I would try it with the family! They were delicious.


Cheeseburger and Fries Pies
(recipe found in Parents Magazine)

2 packages (4.25 ounces each) extra crispy microwave ready fries
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 small onion, diced
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup beef or chicken broth
1 package refrigerated pie crusts (2 crusts)
2 tablespoon chopped pickles
8 slices cheddar or american cheese

Heat oven to 400. Prepare fries according to package directions, then cut into bite size pieces. In a skillet, heat oil over medium high heat and add onion. Cook until soft, about 6 minutes. Add ground beef and salt and cook, beaking up beef with a spoon, until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Stir in ketchup and broth and cook 3 minutes more. Stir in fries and cool 5 minutes. Roll out piecrusts and cut each into quarters. Spoon filling into crusts. Top with pickles and a slice of cheese. Fold edges of crust up to form packets; seal edges. Place on a baking sheet and bake 20 minutes.

A few tips to learn from me and my mistakes! :)

When I brown my hamburger, I just throw the onion with it and fry it all up together. This will eliminate the need for the extra oil as well as the extra 6 minutes in cooking time!

I had a little problem with my pie crust falling apart as I was moving the pies, but other then that they turned out great! I think that my impatientness was a factor with the falling apart. It says to cool the meat for 5 minutes before placing on the pie crust and I definitely rushed it. Next time I will wait until it is really cool, maybe even longer then 5 minutes so that it doesn't heat through the pie crust...

Next time that I make this, I will use shredded cheese. I think that this will make it easier to roll up the pie crust around the filling.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

SKillet Beef and Noodles

This was a recipe that I tried with the daycare kids... It was quick and cheap to throw together and I didn't hear any complaints from the kids - which is rare when I serve something "different"! :) I thought it tasted a little too sloppy joe with noodles for my taste, but for those days when I am feeding the kids and not myself, I will probably bust this recipe out again!


Skillet Beef and Noodles
Serves: 4 (I served it to 7 kids, with a couple of sides...)

2 packages (3 ounces each) beef ramen
1 pound beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 can (11 1/8 ounces) condensed tomato soup
1/2 soup can of water
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon prepared mustard

Cook noodles according to directions. Add seasoning. Drain off most of the liquid. Set aside. In 10 inch skillet over medium high heat, cook beef and onion until browned. Drain fat. Stir in soup, water worcestershire, mustard and pepper. Stir in noodles. Heat though, stirring occasionally.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies

Found this recipe in one of my cookbooks last year and I have been making them like crazy ever since! It makes a ton of cookies, which are nice to freeze or keep in the cookie jar! They are soft and yummy... The daycare kids and I whipped up a batch this morning and it smells delicious throughout my house!

Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies

2 1/2 cups shortening
5 cups sugar
4 eggs
1/3 cup molasses
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 3/4 quick cooking oats
4 1/3 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
4 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

In a large mixing bowl, cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in molasses and vanilla. Combine the remaining ingredients; gradually add to creamed mixture.

Drop by tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes or until eges are firm. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Slow Cooker Ham and Wild Rice Soup

Like I have said before, I love a good crockpot recipe when we are running out the door around the time that we normally have supper. Tonight we had to be somewhere by 6:00, which is when we normally eat and I have daycare kids until 5:00. While I can usually throw something together while the kids are here, it is way easier to just have something in the crockpot that I can dish up as soon as they last kids walk out the door... So, here's another recipe that can help you do just that!

Slow Cooker Ham and Wild Rice Soup
(recipe found at www.pillsbury.com)

2 cups diced cooked ham
3/4 cup uncooked wild rice
1 medium onion, chopped
1 bag (16 ounces) frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
1 can cream of celery soup
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 cups water
1/2 cup half-and-half

Mix all ingredients except half and half in 3 1/2-4 quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 8-9 hours. Stir in half and half. Increase heat to high. Cover and cook 10-15 minutes or until hot.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Quick Crescent Taco Pie

This is another quick, filling meal that hits the spot with my family... We paired it with a side of fruit and each of us were full after only 1 slice!!

Quick Crescent Taco Pie
(recipe found in Taste of Home)
serves: 6-8

1 1/4 pounds lean ground beef
1 package taco seasoning mix
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup chunky salsa
1 can (8 ounces) refrigerated crescent rolls
1 1/2 cups crushed corn chips, divided
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
6 slices american cheese
shredded lettuce
sliced ripe olives
diced tomatoes

Brown meat in a large skillet; drain. I just use 1 pound, I mean really - I am not going to thaw a whole extra pound just to get 1/4 pound more... :) Add seasoning mix, water and salsa; simmer for 5 minutes. Spread the crescent roll dough in a 10 inch pie plate to form crust; press edges together at seams. Sprinkle 1 cup corn chips over crust. Spoon meat mixture over chips. Spread sour cream on top. Cover with cheese slices; sprinkle with remaining corn chips. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Serve with lettuce, olives and tomatoes.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Sesame Grilled Chicken

Here is a recipe that Josh and I have tried quite a few times... It is quick and tasty and doesn't require a lot of prep time! This time seemed a little bit saltier then the rest, so I might cut back a little on the soy sauce the next time that I make it...

Sesame Grilled Chicken
(recipe found in If I Gotta Cook, Make it Quick!)
serves: 4-6

4-6 boneless, skinless, chicken thighs
1 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Place chicken in large recloseable plastic bag. Pour soy sauce and pineapple juice into bag. Chill 4-8 hours. Place chicken on grill. Cook 5-6 minutes on both sides. Sprinkle sesame seeds on both sides of chicken.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Butternut Squash Casserole

I love a good mac and cheese recipe... This is a fun one for the fall when squash is abundant!! It kicks it up a notch and adds to the fun of mac and cheese.

Butternut Squash Casserole
(recipe found in Parents magazine)
Serves: 6

1/2 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes (2 cups)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound whole wheat elbows
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups reduced fat milk
1 3/4 cups low fat white cheddar cheese, shredded and divided

Preheat oven to 375. Toss squash with oil and salt on a foil lined tray. Bake for 20 minutes or until tender, set aside. Cook pasta for 2 minutes less than package directions call for; drain and place in a bowl with squash. Meanwhile, melt butter over low heat. Whisk in flour; cook for 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in milk. Bring mixture to a boil, then simmer. Cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1 1/2 cups cheese; stir until melted. Stir cheese sauce into pasta and squash. Spoon into 6 greased, individual ramekins. Sprinkle on remaining cheese. Bake 10 minutes.

I didn't have another use for the other half of the squash, so I doubled this recipe and then threw it into a 9x13 inch pan. I baked it for 15 minutes instead of the 10 that it called for! Ramekins might be fancier, but nothing says easier clean-up then 1 pan instead of 6!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Cheesy Chicken Chowder

Usually any soup that I make goes into the crockpot to cook all day and have for a quick supper that night. I found this recipe in the back of my binder and had to try it. Very quick, simple and still delicious!

Cheesy Chicken Chowder
(recipe found at campbells.com)

2 cans cheddar cheese soup
2 soup cans milk
1 1/2 cups picante sauce
1 medium red or green pepper, finely chopped
4 green onions, sliced
3 cups cubed cooked chicken
sour cream, if desired

Mix soup, milk, picante sauce, pepper and onions in saucepan. Heat to a boil. Cook over low heat 5 minutes. Add chicken and heat through. Garnish with sour cream.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Mashed Snakes

Here is the second recipe that I had for Halloween! The kids loved the look of this one and were all sitting around the table as I put them on the plates! They looked really cool I will have to say!! The only problem that I found was that the potatoes got cold really fast...


Mashed Snakes
(recipe found in Pillsbury magazine)

3 medium potatoes, about 1 pound, peeled and quartered
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2-3 tablespoons milk
salt to taste
10 drops green food color
6 drops yellow food color
4 small pimiento stuffed olives, sliced
8 pimiento slices (from olives)

In 2 quart saucepan, place potatoes; add enough water to just cover potatoes. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 18-20 minutes or until tender; drain. Mash potatoes with potato masher or electic mixer on medium speed. Add butter and milk. Stir until light and fluffy. Add salt. Stir in food colors.

Place mashed potatoes in gallon size resealable food storage plastic bag. Cut about 1 inch hole in one corner of bag. Pipe "snakes" onto serving plates. Place 2 olive slices on one end of the snake for eyes. Cut pimiento in half for snake tongue. Serve immediately.

Tips that I found while making this recipe...

~ you can used boxed potatoes instead of making them from scratch to save time. I am not as big of a fan of boxed potatoes, but they definitely make things go quicker!

~ feeding a 19 month old mashed potatoes is much cleaner when you do it this way...

Monday, November 1, 2010

Meatball Creepy Crawlers

I found a few recipes that I had to try on Halloween night for my family! I wanted something that we could eat quick and that everyone would like FOR SURE so that we could get out of the house at a decent time and be home and in bed at a good time! These were a hit and were gobbled up right away!


Meatball Creepy Crawlers
(recipe found in Pillsbury magazine)

1 can (12 ounces) refrigerated flaky original biscuits
20 frozen cooked beef meatballs, thawed
1/4 cup shoestring potatoes or chow mein noodles
sliced olives, pickles and carrots, if desired
DIPS, IF DESIRED
1/4 cup kethcup
1/4 cup mustard
1/2 cup cheese dip

Heat oven to 375. Spray large cookie sheet with cooking spray, or cover with cooking parchment paper. Separate dough into 10 biscuits. Separate each biscuit into 2 layers. Wrap 1 biscuit piece around each meatball; seal. To make 1 crawler, line up 10 biscuit wrapped meatballs on cookie sheet, making sure each is touching, to make a curved line. Poke shoestring potatoes in both sides of each ball for legs, at head for antennae and tongue, and end for tail. Repeat with remaining 10 wrapped meatballs to make second crawler.

Bake 13-16 minutes of until golden brown. Garnish with olives for eyes and mouth. Top every other section with layer of sliced pickle, carrot and olive. In small bowl, mix ketchup and mustard. Serve crawlers with ketchup mixture and cheese dip.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Mulled Cider

Happy Halloween!! Every year in October, my husband and I host a Scavenger Hunt for a group of our friends. It is so much fun and the evening is filled with good friends, good food and drink and great fun! This is the time of year when I love sipping on something warm and cozy! I found this recipe and it has become a standard at our party... I always double the recipe and have some leftover to heat up for the next week or so in the mornings... Don't forget to mix this up and take a cup with you while you are trick or treating with the kids tonight!

Mulled Cider
(recipe found in Taste of Home)

4 cups water
2 teaspoons ground allspice
1 cinnamon stick (3 inches)
dash ground cloves
1 gallon apple cider or juice
1 can (12 ounces) frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
3/4 cup orange juice
1/3 cup honey
1 individual tea bag

In a large kettle, combine the water, allspice, cinnamon stick and cloves. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

Add the remaining ingredients. return just to a boil. Discard cinnamon stick and tea bag. Stir and serve warm.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Bacon-Cheese Stuffed Shells

Okay, usually I am all about quick and easy, with 3 kids and a business run from home that is what I have time for! But, every once in a while I see a recipe that I just have to try, even if it is a little more time consuming then I like... This was it - I mean look at the name of it... cheese?? bacon?? Who could resist? Especially since, for some reason, I have been craving cheese with this pregnancy. So, once again, I busted out all my pots and pans, spent a little more money on groceries this week and tried out this recipe. So, if you are looking for cheap, quick and/or healthy - do not even bother checking out this recipe... But, if you are looking for mouthwatering and utterly delicious - please continue!

Bacon-Cheese Stuffed Shells
(recipe found in Taste of Home)
Serves: 12

24 uncooked jumbo pasta shells
1 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon plus 1/4 cup butter, divided
1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened, divided
1 1/2 cups shredded asiago cheese, divided
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 cup crumbled cooked bacon
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley, divided
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup milk
2 cups shredded romano cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded part skim mozzarella cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute mushrooms and onion in 1 tablespoon butter until tender. In a large bowl, beat ricotta and 4 ounces cream cheese until blended. Stir in 1/2 cup asiago cheese, parmesan cheese, bacon, 1 tablespoon parsley, garlic salt, nutmeg, pepper and mushroom mixture. Spoon into shells; place in a greased 13x9 inch baking dish.

In a large saucepan, melt remaining butter. Stir in flour until smooth; gradually add the cream, broth and milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in romano cheese and the remaining cream cheese, asiago, and parsley. Pour over shells. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Cover and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Uncover; bake 10-15 minutes longer or until bubbly.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Sugar Cookies

As you know, obviously I love to bake! I love sweets and I love me a good sugar cookie. Making them though has alluded me for years! I think that every year I find a sugar cookie recipe that I want to try, I follow the directions to a T and they still don't turn out... They are too sticky, they are too dry, they won't roll out EVER for me!! So, last year after Christmas, I begged, begged, begged my sister's mother in law for her recipe! Her sugar cookies are the yummiest and whenever they are at my sister's house my radar goes on and I am over there snacking on them!! So, this past weekend, the kids and I busted out the recipe, mixed it up on Friday, baked them on Saturday and frosted them on Sunday! Yes, believe it or not, I made it through every single step!! WAHOO!!! Finally a sugar cookie recipe that is a success for me... I will definitely be making these again for Christmas!


Sugar Cookies
(recipe stolen from Becky Johnson)

1 cup sugar
1 cup butter
2 eggs
3 tablespoons cream (WHAT?? As I was typing this up, I realized that I totally missed that ingredient when I made them... What a dork I am! :)
1 teaspoon soda
2 teaspoon cream of tartar
3 cups flour

Cream butter. Add sugar, eggs and cream. Sift together dry ingredients and add slowly to the sugar mixture. Dough will be stiff. Chill at least 1 hour. Bake at 375 8-10 minutes. Keep extra dough in refrigerator while rolling out cookies.