Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Orange Cream Dream

Orange Cream Dream
(recipe found in Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream and Desserts Book)

Sweet Cream Base
1/3 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Prepare the sweet cream base. Add the juice concentrate and vanilla extract and blend. Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and freeze following the manufacturer's instructions.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sweet Cream Base

This is the base that I use whenever the recipes call for a sweet cream base... Usually the recipes will tell you exactly how to make the ice cream but at times you will need this additional base recipe...

Sweet Cream Base
(recipe found in Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream and Desserts Book)

2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy or whipping cream
1 cup milk

Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy, 1-2 minutes. Whisk in the sugar, a little at a time, then continue whisking until completely blended, about 1 minute more. Pour in the cream and milk and whisk to blend.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Chicken Bacon Bowtie Bake

This was a beefed (or chickened) up version of mac and cheese and it was definitely a good one! Rather then cooking the chicken under the broiler, I baked it earlier in the oven - the less time for me to have to watch over things the better!!

Chicken Bacon Bowtie Bake
(recipe found in Family Circle)

1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast (12 ounces)
4 slices turkey bacon
1 pound tomato and spinach farfalle
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 cups fat free milk
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) 98% fat free condensed cream of chicken soup
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 1/4 cups shredded reduced fat mexican cheese blend

Heat broiler. Coat a 2 quart broiler proof baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Place chicken breast on greased broiler pan and broil 4" from flame for 6-7 minutes per side until internal temperature registers 160. Remove to plate and cut into 1/2" pieces. Keep warm. In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, cook bacon about 5 minutes until crisp. Chop and reserve. Cook pasta following package directions, about 12 minutes. Drain.

Stir flour into milk and combine with soup and garlic salt in a medium size saucepan. Simmer for 2 minutes until thickened; stir in 3/4 cup of the cheese. Return pasta to pot and stir inthe chicken and soup mixture. Spoon into prepared baking dish and top with bacon and remaining 1/2 cup of cheese. Broil 4" from flame 2-3 minutes or until heated through and lightly browned on top. Serve immediately.

Serves: 6
Points: 10

Friday, February 24, 2012

Weekly Line Up - 2/24-3/1

They are forecasting a big snowstorm over this weekend and I couldn't be happier... Now if it would ever happen that would make me super happy! :) Winter means snow and sledding to me and I have been missing that this year... So, with weather hopefully on the way I am stocking my fridge full of yummy food for the week, including a few treats!!

Saturday - Supper out
Sunday - Grilled Cheese
Monday - *Cheddar Chowder
Tuesday - ECFE
Wednesday - Legion Night
Thursday - *Taco Casserole
Friday - Spaghetti

Extras - *Perfect Blueberry Scones, *Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting

* New Recipes

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Salty Sweet Cookie Bars

What do you do when your brother calls in a panic having just realized that it is his treat day at work and he forgot? Well, you jump in and get your hands dirty and help him out! I went straight to the no bake things that I had in my mind! of course I whipped up another quick batch of Tweedle-de-dees that I had just made the other day and I also found this recipe that I had been saving... Perfect opportunity to make something and snitch just one taste of it! They were fabulous and when my brother called at the end of the day it was with thanks and "they all want to know how to make these!" Good thing that I have all the ingredients on hand most of the time! Sorry for the horrid picture but I was in quite the hurry to get these out the door...

Salty Sweet Cookie Bars
(recipe found at

1 sleeve saltine crackers
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup milk
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter chips

In a 9x13 pan layer one layer of crackers. Melt butter in a large saucepan, then add sugars, graham cracker crumbs and milk. Stir until mixed and sugars are dissolved. Spread over cracker layer. Add second layer of crackers. In small saucepan melt peanut butter, chocolate chips and peanut butter chips until combined. Spread over cracker layer and smooth. Refrigerate until hardened.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Parm Breaded Pork Chops

Quick, easy and pork chops... Now you're talking!! I found this dish and threw it quickly together on a week night in the middle of the chaos that is 5:00 around my house! It was nice to be able to have it ready to go and be able to work on homework while it was in the oven baking...

Parm Breaded Pork Chops
(recipe found in Taste of Home)

1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 cup crushed butter flavored crackers
3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup butter, melted
6 boneless pork loin chops

Place flour in a shallow bowl. In a separate shallow bowl, whisk egg and milk. In a third shallow bowl, combine the crackers, cheese, salt and pepper. Dip pork in flour, in egg mixture, then in cracker mxiture. Place butter in a 13x9" baking dish; add pork chops. Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until a thermometer reads 145. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Oreo Mint Ice Cream

My daughter just turned 3 and we had a party with 2 of her cousins that had birthdays a few days before her... We decided to go with a sundae bar instead of a cake and ice cream. They each got to pick their own kind which included vanilla, chocolate and orange dream cream. This was an extra that I threw in just for the heck of it!

Oreo Mint Ice Cream
(recipe found in Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream and Dessert Book)

2/3 cups coarsely chopped oreo cookies
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy or whipping cream
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons peppermint extract

Place the cookies in a bowl, cover and refrigerate. Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy, 1-2 minutes. Whisk in the sugar, a little at a time, then continue whisking until completely blended, about 1 minute more. Pour in the cream and milk and whisk to blend. Add the peppermint extract and blend again. Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and freeze following the manufacturer's instructions. After the ice cream stiffens (about 2 minutes before it is done), add the chopped cookies, then continue freezing until the ice cream is ready.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Savory Corn Pops

You have to have your head stuck in a hole to not see all the cake pop recipes that are popping up everywhere. I have watned to try them for a while but haven't gotten around to it... Plus I know that I could make mine look as cute as the ones that I have seen! :) So, when I saw this recipe I couldn't help but try it. This was another of my Super Bowl picks - a hit with the adults and with have the kids that were there! :) I doubled the recipe to get the amount of cake pops that you see in the picture...

Savory Corn Pops
(recipe found in Taste of Home Simple and Delicious)

1 package (8 1/2 ounces) corn bread/muffin mix
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons lousianna style hot suace
1-3 tablespoons finely chopped pickled jalapeno peppers
1/4 cup melted butter
corn chips, crushed

Prepare and bake corn bread mix according to package directions for muffins. Crumble into large bowl and add cream cheese, hot sauce and jalapeno peppers. Shape into 1" balls. Insert lollipop sticks. Freeze until firm. Dip into melted butter and roll in crushed corn chips.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

My ice cream maker has been getting a heavy duty work out right now... In the middle of winter? I'm not sure why but the hubs asked me to make some vanilla since he likes the way it tastes better then anything we buy and it just went from there! :) This one was made for him - regular chocolate ice cream recipe with chocolate chips thrown in at the end... So, if you want to take out the chocolate chips it is easy enough to do it! :)

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
(recipe found in Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream and Dessert Book)

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups milk
2 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup heavy or whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Melt the unsweetened chocolate in the top of a double boiler over hot, not boiling, water. Gradually whisk in the cocoa and heat, stirring constantly, until smooth. (The chocolate may "seize" or clump together. Don't worry, the milk will dissolve it.) Whisk in the milk, a little at a time, and heat until completely blended. Remove from the heat and let cool. Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy, 1-2 minutes. Whisk in the sugar, a little at a time, then continue whisking until completely blended, about 1 minute more. Pour in the cream and vanilla and whisk to blend.

Pour the chocolate mixture into the cream mixture and blend. Cover and refrigerate until cold, about 1-3 hours, depending on your refrigerator. Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and freeze following the manufacturer's instructions. Add 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips after the ice cream stiffens (about 2 minutes before it is doen), then continue freezing until the ice cream is ready.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Brown Sugar and Banana Oatmeal

Definitely on a oatmeal kick these days and this was another one that I tried. I like that it is something healthy and "sticks to your ribs" which helps to last for a while. I prefer the baked oatmeals that I have tried, but this one was pretty good too!

Brown Sugar and Banana Oatmeal
(recipe found in Taste of Home)

2 cups fat free milk
1 cup quick cooking oats
1 large ripe banana, sliced
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

In a small saucepan, bring milk to a boil; stir in oats. Cook over medium heat for 1-2 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Stir in the banana, brown sugar, honey and cinnamon. Divide among 3 serving bowls. Serve with additional milk and cinnamon if desired.

Serves: 3
Points: 4

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Rocky Road Cookie Pizza

Happy Valentine's Day!! Here's a sweet treat that would be a definite hit for kids and adults to snack on! I made it for the Superbowl and there were only enough pieces left for the daycare kids to have for snack the next day... and they were a hit there too! Very quick and very easy - throw this together tonight!

Rocky Road Cookie Pizza
(recipe found in Taste of Home Simple and Delicious)

1 tube (16 1/2 ounces) refrigerated sugar cookie dough
1 cup mini marshmallows
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped salted peanuts
1/3 cup hot caramel ice cream topping, warmed

Let dough stand at room temperature for 5-10 minutes to soften. Press dough onto a greased 12" pizza pan. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until deep golden brown. (Watch this part carefully - I checked mine at 15 and it was more done then I wanted it to be.) Sprinkle with marshmallows, chips and peanuts. Bake 5-10 minutes longer or until marshmallows are puffed. Drizzle with the caramel topping and cool on a wire rack.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Zucchini Bread

I have a bunch of zucchini in my freezer that was begging to be thawed out and used in an incredible way and this is just one of the ways that it was used! :) Love the taste of zucchini bread - next stop - CHOCOLATE zucchini bread! :)

Zucchini Bread
(recipe found at

3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups grated zucchini
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

In a stand mixer, place eggs, oil, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla. Beat until well combined. In a separate bowl combine flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet mixture. Mix just until combined. Add zucchini and mix just until combined. Place parchment paper in the bottom of 2 loaf pans and spray with cooking spray. Pour batter evenly into the two loaf pans. Bake at 325 for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove the pans from the oven. Let the bread rest for about 15 minutes in the pan. Carefully invert the pan onto a cooking rack and let the bread continue to cool.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Weekly Line Up - 2/10-2/16

Wow, it has been a crazy couple of days... Once again fevers and sickness are swarming my house and I have had some clingy, sad kids. Between taking care of them and trying to find my house my blog has definitely been put on the back burner! So, now that they are all in bed (crossing my fingers that it is for the night), I am working on getting a few dozen posts up and ready! I've been doing a lot of cooking, baking and ice cream making so get ready for some yummy stuff!

Friday - Chicken Bacon Bowtie Bake
Saturday - Grilled Cheese and Spaghettios
Sunday - Birthday Party - Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, French Vanilla Ice Cream, *Orange Dream Cream Ice Cream, *Chocolate Ice Cream, *Oreo Mint Ice Cream and for supper - Roast
Monday - *Cheese and Chicken Shells
Tuesday - ECFE
Wednesday - Taco Night and *Pink Lemonade Cupcakes for Bella's birthday!
Thursday - Taco in a Bag (supporting our high school basketball team!)
Friday - *BBQ Chili with Corn

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Baked Oatmeal with Blueberries and Bananas

I have been on a bit of an oatmeal kick lately and trying new recipes. They have all been pretty good but I find that I like the taste of the baked oatmeals a lot more then the ones cooked on the stove. This one looked so good that the daycare kids wanted to have it for snack after I got done eating my part for breakfast! :) Beware - read the directions carefully... I got dump happy and didn't realize that a lot of the ingredients needed to be divided and added in different parts of the recipe... Usually my mistakes were fixable, but the 1/4 cup of honey instead of 1 tablespoon at the beginning of the recipe didn't turn out so well! I couldn't believe that it turned out as tasty as it was, even with all my mistakes!! :)

Baked Oatmeal with Blueberries and Bananas
(recipe found at

2 medium ripe bananas, sliced into 1/2" pieces
1 1/2 cup blueberries
1/4 cup honey
1 cup uncooked quick oats
1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 cup fat free milk
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 375. Lightly spray a square baking dish with cooking spray. Arrange the banana slices in a single layer on the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle half of the blueberries over the bananas, 1/4 teaspoon of the cinnamon, 1 tablespoon of the honey and cover with foil. Bake 15 minutes, until bananas get soft. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the oats, half of the nuts, baking powder, remaining cinnamon, and salt and stir together. In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining honey, milk, egg and vanilla. Remove bananas from the oven and pour the oat mixture over the bananas and blueberries. Pour the milk mixture over the oats, making sure to distribute the mixture as evenly as possible over the oats. Sprinkle the remaining blueberries and walnuts over the top. Bake the oatmeal for about 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the oatmeal has set. Serve warm from the oven.

Serves: 6
Points: 4 per serving

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Tweedle-de-dees (or no bake cookies)

These are a cookie that my grandma made all the time and while I got the recipe from her a while ago they aren't my go to quick cookie. Why you ask - they seem so simple and you have all the ingredients... Well, they are simple but I didn't usually have all the ingredients that hers called for. Her recipe called for heavy cream which does not usually grace my refrigerator... So, when I found this recipe during my hunt for my Secret Recipe Club recipe for this month I had to try it... I shook it up a bit and added the 1/2 cup of peanut butter that my grandma usually had in hers and they tasted fabulous! The daycare kids loved them and my hips hated them... Oh well, that's another reason that I don't make them too often! :)

Tweedle-de-dees (or no bake cookies)
(recipe found at

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup butter
3 cups uncooked oats
dash of salt
1 cup coconut (optional)
1 cup pecans (optional)

In a medium sized saucepan, melt butter over medium high heat. Add sugar, cocoa, milk and vanilla. Bring to a boil. Boil, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Pour oats (and coconut and pecans if using) into a bowl and stir chocolate mixture into it. Mix thoroughly. Drop by the teaspoon onto wax paper. Let cool completely before packaging or storing.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Frozen Banana Split Dessert

My mother in law had some friends come into town and we had them all over for supper one night. This was the dessert course, a recipe that I have had on the docket to try for a while... My middle son helped me to make it and he was so proud of himself!! It turned out awesome and was definitely a somewhat "lighter" dessert after the steaks we ate that the hubs pulled off the grill!!

Frozen Banana Split Dessert
(recipe found at

2/3 cup crushed chocolate graham crackers (I ended up using the cinnamon graham crackers since my store didn't have the chocolate.)
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
1 box (4 serving size) vanilla pudding and pie filling mix (not instant)
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups milk
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 3/4 cups frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 1/4 cups fresh whole strawberries, cut into 1/2" pieces
1 1/4 cups 1/2" pieces fresh pineapple

Spray 8" square pan with cooking spray. In a small bowl, mix crushed crackers and 2 tablespoons sugar. Stir in melted butter until crumbly and well blended. Press mixture into bottom of pan. Freeze about 10 minutes or until set. Feel free to double this part of the recipe - I did!! I mean, who doesn't love the graham cracker crust?? :)

Meanwhile, in 2 quart saucepan, mix pudding mix, 1/2 cup sugar and the milk with wire whisk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a full boil. Cool 10 minutes at room temperature. Refrigerate 30 minutes. Stir bananas into pudding. Fold in 1 cup of the whipped topping. Spread over crust. Freeze at least 3 hours or overnight. Cut into serving pieces; place on dessert plates. Top each piece with hot fudge topping, whipped topping, strawberries and pineapple. Serve immediately.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Chicken Asparagus Lasagna and the SRC

OMGosh!! That is all that I have to say about this lasagna recipe... Savory and delicious - melting in my mouth and begging me to eat more and more and more. It was so good!!

For this month's SRC I had the opportunity to try a lot of recipes from Jaida at It was hard to choose which one I was going to blog about for today but the second that I tasted this lasagna I knew this was the one!! Just a few of the other recipes that I have tried include balsamic herb chicken, cheesy dill bread and Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Bread. I have a few more that I haven't gotten to yet that I still want to try. These include white pizza dip, apple butter pound cake, pumpkin scones with maple glaze, cinnamon rolls and tweedle-de-dees. I promise you - stop by her blog, you will not be disappointed!!

Now, back to the lasagna. Jaida talks about how she would be a horrible Italian because she isn't a big fan of marinara sauce... I feel the same way. I'll eat it but if I have a choice of a different type of sauce I would go that direction! This is another reason that I was drawn to this recipe... Seriously, did I mention how good it was?? Now, one word of warning - this is a bit time consuming to make... not hard time consuming, just not slap it in the pan and call it supper quick like I am a fan of. In other words, I should have done some prep work during naps instead of trying to get it in the oven in 10 minutes! :) Whoops!! We weren't TOO late for ECFE that night so it all worked out! Plus, like I said - totally worth the effort!! So, grab a few pans and the ingredients and try this dish!! Have I mentioned how much I liked it??

Chicken Asparagus Lasagna
(recipe found at

9 uncooked lasagna noodles
2 pounds asparagus, cut into 2" pieces
1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning salt
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup flour
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves
2 cups diced cooked chicken
3/4 cups shredded parmesan cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Heat oven to 350. Grease 13x9" baking dish. Cook and drain noodles as directed on package. Heat 5 cups water to boiling in 3 quart saucepan. Add asparagus; heat to boiling. Boil 3-4 minutes or until crisp tender; drain. Place asparagus in bowl. Toss with oil and lemon pepper seasoning salt. Melt butter in 2 quart saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in broth, milk and marjoram. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Stir in chicken and 1/2 cup of the parmesan cheese. Cook about 2 minutes or until hot.

Spread about 1/2 cup of the chicken mixture in baking dish. Top with 3 noodles, 1 1/2 cups chicken mixture, half of the asparagus and 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers, starting with noodles. Top with remaining noodles. Beat whipping cream in chilled small bowl with electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Spread over top of lasagna. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup parmesan cheese. Bake uncovered 40-45 minutes or until hot in center and top is golden brown. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Weekly Line Up - 2/3-2/9

Lots of fun coming up this weekend... Making supper for my mother in law and some friends of hers that are in town, super bowl on Sunday - it's a baking/cooking delight!! Got a lot of planning going on right now and I can't wait to get started!

Friday - wrestling
Saturday - steaks, glazed sweet potatoes, *Red Lobster cheese and garlic biscuits, *frozen banana split dessert
Sunday - *rocky road cookie pizza, *savory corn pops
Monday - *parm breaded pork chops
Tuesday - ECFE
Wednesday - taco night
Thursday - santa fe soup with melted cheese
Friday - roast

* new recipes

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Cheddar and Bacon Burgers

This is definitely my new favorite burger!! It was simple to throw together and OMGosh it was so good... The kids and I scarfed them down and they were super tasty for lunch the next day!

Cheddar and Bacon Burgers
(recipe found in Taste of Home Simple and Delicious)

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup crumbled cooked bacon
1 envelope onion soup mix
2 pounds ground beef
8 hamburger buns, split

Combine cheese, bacon and soup mix in a large bowl. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into eight patties. Grill burgers, covered, over medium heat for 5-7 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer reads 160 and juices run clear.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Stuffed Pepper Soup

This was a delicious and satisfying, HEALTHY soup that was a hit at my house... The addition of the brown rice made it much heartier and filled all of us up, without going back for more!!

Stuffed Pepper Soup
(recipe found at

3 cups cooked brown rice
1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 cup finely diced onion
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cans (14.5 ounces each) cans diced tomatoes
1 3/4 cups tomato sauce
2 cups reduced sodium, fat free chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot or dutch oven, brown ground meat on high and season with salt. Drain fat, if any, reduce heat to medium low, then add peppers, onions and garlic. Cook about 5 minutes on low heat. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, chicken broth, marjoram and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes. Serve about 1 1/3 cups of soup in each bowl and top with 1/2 cup of cooked brown rice.

Serves: 6
Points: 5 per 1 1/3 cups soup and 1/2 cup rice