Friday, December 31, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

1 c. butter, softened
3/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. packed brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
2 1/4 c. self rising flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 c. (12 oz) chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 x 1 in. (jelly roll) pan. In large bowl cream butter, sugars, and vanilla. Add eggs, beat well. Combine flour and baking soda, and stir into mixture until completely blended. Stir in chocolate chips. Pat batter evenly into greased pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until edges are golden brown. Cut into 48 bars when cool.

These are SO good and SO easy to make! I got the recipe from some sweet friends, the Greenes! Enjoy!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Creamy Chicken Soup

1 cup onion, chopped

2 Tablespoons butter

1 cup celery, chopped

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon basil

1 can diced potatoes, drained

1 can carrots, drained and chopped

6 cups chicken broth

2 cups powder coffee creamer (yep, coffee creamer-original flavor)

2 cups chicken, chopped (I use a rotisserie chicken)

Saute onion & celery in butter until onions are translucent and celery is softened. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer uncovered for 20-30 minutes.

**I halfed this recipe since it was just our family eating.**

This soup is SO good and SO easy!!! I served it with Corn Bread Muffins. Recipe is from my friend Amanda Harris (she's and AMAZING cook!!)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Garlic-and-Rosemary Tenderloin

1/2 cup soy sauce (I used the lite version)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup balsamic vinaigrette dressing ( I used a lite version)
1 tablespoon minced garlic (or you could use garlic powder)
2 teaspoons dried rosemary
2 teaspoons rubbed sage
2 teaspoons pepper
1 tablespoon minced onion

**Pork or Beef tenderloin (up to 5 pounds) I used a 1.5 pound Hormel pork tenderloin.

Preheat oven to *425. Combine above ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Pour into a large Ziplock freezer bag and add meat. Chill overnight or at least 8 hours, turning occasionally. Remove tenderloin from marinade, discarding marinade. Put tenderloin in a foil lined roasting pan and cover. Place in oven at *425 (ON TOP RACK) and roast for 45 minutes. Remove and allow tenderloin to stand for 5 min before slicing.

**I made this along with dirty rice and sweet green beans and it was such a GREAT meal!! I put the tenderloin and the green beans on the top rack and the dirty rice on the middle rack and baked/roasted them ALL on 425* for 45 minutes and they are were done AT THE SAME TIME!!!

Dirty Rice

1 cup long grain rice
1 can Campbell's Beef Consomme
1 can Campbell's French Onion Soup
1 stick of butter (melted).

Combine above ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Pour into an 8X8 class baking dish. Cover with foil and bake @425* for 45 minutes.

**This recipe can be doubled and baked in a 9X13 glass baking dish as well.

**This rice is AWESOME and so incredibly easy!!!
Recipe from a sweet friend Amanda Harris

Monday, August 2, 2010

Toffee-Chip Chocolate-Chip Cookies

3 1/2 cups All Purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 sticks butter (room temp)
1 c. packed light brown sugar
1 c. granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/4 c. Heath toffee chips
1 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Whisk together dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder & salt). Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. Add vanilla. On low speed stir in the flour mix with the butter mix. Once combined stir in the toffee chips and chocolate chips with a spatula. Bake on parchment lined baking sheet for 8 minutes. Let cool on sheet for 2 min and then transfer to a cooling rack.

**THESE ARE AWESOME and SO EASY to make!!! MUCH better than your average chocolate chip cookie!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Twix Blondies

2 1/2 cups All Purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
3/4 cup melted butter
2 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
30 MINI Twix bars coarsely chopped (one bag of MINI Twix contains right at 30)
1 cup milk chocolate chips

10 mini Twix chopped more finely for garnish (optional)
1/2 cup melted chocolate chips for drizzle garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 350*. Grease 9x13 baking pan/dish. In medium sized bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt, whisking together, set aside. In mixing bowl combine butter and brown sugar beating on low speed until smooth. Add eggs one at a time continuing on low speed. Add vanilla. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture until just combined. Add the coarsely chopped Twix and chocolate chips stirring with a spatula. Spread batter into prepared pan and bake approx 25-30 minutes until they are set. Toothpick will come out slightly gooey. Be careful not to overcook **When removed from oven, sprinkled reserved Twix on top and drizzle with melted chocolate** (optional). Cool in pan for 2-3 hours or overnight.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Golden Oreo Cheesecake Bars

28 Golden Oreo Cookies, divided 18 and 10
3 Tbsp. melted butter
20-24 wrapped caramels
1 Tbsp. water
2 pkg. (8 oz. each) Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup Marshmallow Fluff
1 egg


  • Preheat to 350.
  • Crush 18 Golden Oreos (cream and all) in a ziplock bag (or food processor) until they are a fine crumb.
  • Pour crumbs into a 8" square pan. Add 3 Tbsp. melted butter and combine using your fingers. Press firmly into the bottom of the pan to create a crust.
  • Bake crust for 10 minutes or until golden and let cool for 10-15 minutes.
  • While crust is cooling unwrap your caramels and put into a microwave safe bowl with 1 Tbsp. of water. Set aside
  • Now coarsely chop the remaining 10 Oreos. Set these aside as well.
  • With mixer beat the softened cream cheese and Marshmallow Fluff on medium speed until combined and smooth, scraping down the sides half way through.
  • Add your egg and beat for approx 30 seconds on medium until incorporated.
  • Stir in your chopped Oreos.
  • Pour this batter into the prepared crust.
  • Now, microwave your caramels and water for 1 minute on high heat, stirring once after 30 seconds.
  • When melted drop by spoonfuls onto the batter.
  • Using a knife, swirl the caramel into the cream cheese batter.
  • Bake 20-25 minutes until center is set.
  • Cool for 20 minutes on wire rack and then transfer to refrigerator for 4 -24 hours.
  • Cut into squares when completely cooled.
**Wow!! is all I can say about these! They were SO GOOD!!! There are several steps to the recipe, but worth EVERY SECOND!! I promise these won't disappoint:-)

Recipe from: Cookies and Cups

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Oven Roasted Red Potatoes


* 1 (1 ounce) envelope dry onion soup mix
* 2 pounds red potatoes, cut into quarters
* 1/3 cup olive oil


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (230 degrees C).
2. In a large plastic ziplock bag, combine the soup mix, red potatoes and olive oil. Close bag, and shake until potatoes are fully covered.
3. Pour potatoes into a medium ceramic baking dish; bake 50 minutes in the preheated oven, stirring occasionally. (DON'T forget to stir about every 15 min!!)

**These were SO good and SO easy!!! I HIGHLY recommend these!
Recipe from : All Recipes

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

1 unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell*
2 large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup (6 ounces) MINI semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1 cup chopped pecans
Serve with ice cream (optional)

* Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
* Beat eggs in large mixer bowl on high until foamy.
* Beat in flour, granulated sugar and brown sugar. Beat in butter.
* Stir in morsels and nuts and spoon into pie shell.
* Bake for 55-60 minutes. Cool on wire rack. Serve warm.

Recipe from Nestle Classic Recipes, 2003
Courtesy of: Bakerella

* If using frozen pie shell, use deep dish style and thaw completely. Bake on baking sheet and increase baking time slightly.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Poppy Seed Bread Mini Loafs

3 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/4 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups oil
1 1/2 Tbsp. poppy seeds
2 tsp. butter flavoring
2 tsp. vanilla

~ Mix together the above ingredients.

~Beat for two minutes.

~Fill 5 or 6 mini-loaf pans 2/3 to 3/4 full.

~ Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees.

3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. butter flavoring

~ Mix all ingredients in a glass measuring cup.

~Pour over hot bread when removed from the oven.

~ Let stand for 30 minutes.

**These little loafs were FANTASTIC!!!! We made them for Macie's teachers this week for Teacher Appreciation Week and they turned out so cute! The great thing is that the recipe makes enough for you to sample and some to share with others:-)

**I didn't have my own mini loaf pans, so I purchased the aluminum disposable ones from Wal-Mart. They came in a 5 pack and were only $1.50. If you don't have the butter flavoring that can be purchased at your local grocery store, or any craft store that sells Wilton products....

Recipe from: Reluctant Entertainer

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Brownie Candy Cups

1 package Duncan Hines Chocolate Lovers Double Fudge Brownie Mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
30 mini Reeses cups unwrapped
1 Box Reynolds 2-inch aluminum foil mini cups for muffins

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Place 30 foil liners on baking sheet
3. Combine brownie mix, contents from fudge packet in mix, eggs, water and oil.
4. Stir with spoon until well blended. (about 50 strokes)
5. Fill each liner with 2 tablespoons of batter
6. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes and remove from oven
7. Push 1 Reeses in center of each “brownie cupcake” until even with surface of the batter.
8. Bake 5-7 minutes longer.
9. Cool 5-10 minutes in pan and then move to cooling rack to cool completely.

Recipe from: Bakearella

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Cheesy Chicken Crescent Supper

1 3/4 cup cooked/shredded chicken
1 cup + shredded Cheddar cheese (plus more for sprinkling on top)
1 can (8 oz.) Pillsbury refrigerated quick crescent dinner rolls
1 (10 1/2 oz.) can cream of chicken soup
1 c. milk
1/3 c. dry white wine (I used cooking wine)

1. Combine the chicken and Cheddar cheese.

2. Separate crescent dough into 8 triangles. Place 2 tablespoons + of chicken mixture at wide end. Roll up starting at short side.

3. In saucepan, combine soup, milk and wine. Heat until smooth. Pour 1/2 in ungreased 8 inch baking dish. Arrange crescents over hot soup, pour rest of soup over crescents. Sprinkle with paprika and extra shredded cheese. Bake at 375 degrees, 20-25 minutes until golden.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Cookie Dough Brownies with Chocolate Ganache


1 box Ghiradellie Double Chocolate Brownies

One pouch of Betty Crocker Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix

Chocolate Ganache for frosting


Follow the directions on the box for making the brownies and pour into a greased 9 X13 pan.

Next, mix the cookie dough as directed on the pouch and drop by rounded tablespoons into the brownie batter. I pressed the dough down lightly into the brownie batter.

Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted 2 inches from side of pan comes out almost clean. When they’re done, take them out and let them cool completely.

Top with Chocolate Ganache (recipe below)

Chocolate Ganache

12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate morsels
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
6 Tbsp butter

* In a small saucepan, heat cream and butter until just before the boiling stage.
* Pour over the chocolate morsels.
* Stir until smooth.

Pour ganache on top and spread it out evenly. You will want to let the ganache set up before cutting.

Once the ganache has set, then cut the brownies and ENJOY!
PS: If you don't have time to make the ganache, you can frost with Betty Crocker Milk Chocolate Creamy Frosting.

Recipe from: Tidy Mom

Monday, March 15, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes With Cookie Dough Frosting

Brown Sugar Cupcakes:

* 3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature (DO NOT melt)
* 3/4 cup light brown sugar
* 2 large eggs, room temperature
* 1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/8 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup milk
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* 1 24 pack of pre-made cookie dough (the kind you break apart)
*1 cup milk chocolate chips (for sprinkling)
*1 package of Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Beat butter on high until soft, about 30 seconds.
3. Add sugar. Beat on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
4. Add eggs one at a time, beat for 30 seconds after each.
5. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.
6. Measure out milk and vanilla together.
7. Add about a fourth of the flour to the butter/sugar mixture and beat to combine.
8. Add about one third the milk/vanilla mixture and beat until combined.
9. Repeat above, alternating flour and milk and ending with the flour mixture.
10. Fill liners about 1/2 to 3/4 full depending on how big or small your want your cupcakes.
11. After filling cupcake liners, drop in FROZEN pre-made cookie dough (the kind you break apart).
9. Bake 15-18 minutes until gold brown. (DO NOT overbake!!) I baked mine right at 15 minutes.
10. Let cool before frosting cupcakes

**This recipe for me made about 20 medium sized cupcakes...if you want to stretch your batter, you could only fill them 1/2 full and get 24 small cupcakes and if you wanted a larger cupcake you could fill them 3/4 of the way full and get about 15 large cupcakes.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Frosting:

3 sticks room temp butter
1/2 cup vegetable shortening (Crisco)
8 cups powdered sugar
1/4 - 1/2 cup milk

Cream butter/shortening until smooth, approx 3 minutes on medium speed.
Slowly add sugar, once all added, crank up speed on mixer to med- high and whip it up for approx 1 min. Add milk, depending on your liking: stiffer~ less milk, creamier ~ more. If you add too much, no worries, just sift in a little more sugar.

Then Mix In:
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 t. vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • splash of milk
*Top cupcakes with milk chocolate chips and half of a Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie!

**This recipe stated that it would frost 24 cupcakes (piped on) but it was A LOT of icing! You could half it, or do what I did and freeze the remainder for next time!:-)

****Another suggestion for this frosting recipe would be to put it between 2 Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies and Serve! Kid Friendly!

***** I recommend eating them pretty soon after baking and frosting to get the "ooey gooey" chocolate chip cookie sensation:-)

Recipe from: Cookies and Cups

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Meal Plan Monday

Here is MY meal plan for the following week. I usually meal plan on Saturday or Sunday evenings when I have time to really sit down and get my stuff together. I DO NOT plan for 7 meals each week. Typically, I plan for 5 or less meals depending on our schedule. The weekends are usually pretty lax around our house, so we just have sandwiches, hot dogs, chicken tenders, or we GO OUT!:-) If something comes up on a weeknight or I just have "one of those days" that I just don't feel like cooking, I will just shift my meals around and I'll come up with a Plan B (I recommend always having a Plan B for at least one weeknight!!).....

Monday: Mesquite BBQ Pork Tenderloin, Perfect Potatoes Au Gratin, Fresh Green Beans

Muffin Monday: Applesauce Muffins

Tuesday: Simple. Perfect.Enchiladas, Cheesy Spanish Rice

Wednesday: Hearty Ground Turkey Chili, Green Chili Cheddar Muffins

Thursday: Sweet Mustard Slow Cooker Roast, Brown Rice, Broccoli

Friday: BBQ Ranch, Chicken, and Cheddar Pizza Roll Ups, Salad

Saturday Breakfast: Perfect Pancakes

Meal Categories That Make Your Planning Easier

There are a few categories that I always use when planning my meals each week. These categories have not only guided me in a direction towards planning a meal and finding recipes, but they have also made my meal planning really easy because it has taken a lot of the "guess" work out of planning. When there is a "list" to choose from, it makes weekly planning a lot simpler and gives you variety in your meals. The categories I choose from are:

  • Crockpot Meals
  • Mexican/Asian Meals
  • Casserole Meals
  • Italian/Pasta Meals
  • Single Meat and a Side Meal (Roast, Pork, Chicken, Fish, ect)
  • Soup/Salad/Sandwich Meal
I also "personally" have a few categories that I incorporate into my weekly meal planning. These are ones that I have adapted based on my families favorite foods preferences.

  • Pizza Friday-We recently have begun with a weekly ritual of having pizza on Fridays. The hubby LOVES his pizza, so we have made it a habit:-) But because pizza delivery can be quite expensive on a weekly basis, we make our own! Occasionally we will switch it up and order a pizza if I have a good coupon, but we enjoy the homemade pizza just as much!
  • Muffin Monday-Making muffins on Monday have become a habit for us as well because they are an easy "go to" breakfast meal in the mornings. The hubby has recently lost a lot of weight and muffins are a good low-fast breakfast he enjoys! He is usually "on the go" in the mornings, so I try to have something ready for him to grab and go! I just make up a batch on Mondays and they last through the week!
  • Friday/Saturday Morning Breakfast-Since the hubby is off most Fridays and Saturdays it's always a nice treat to plan a breakfast for one of those days. Its a fun time for us to hang out in the kitchen as a family and cook and then enjoy breakfast together since the weekdays are so busy in the mornings.
  • Weekly Dessert-If you know me, you know I LOVE to bake! I am ALWAYS looking for new and exciting dessert recipes and of course when I find them, I HAVE to make them:-) I seriously can hear the recipes calling my name:-) But since I have to keep the "figure" in mind, I usually only try to make one new dessert each week. Now, don't get me wrong, I eat other "treats' during the week, I just try and stick to baking only one new dessert each week.
I hope these categories help you in your journey with meal planning and I hope they make the planning as simple as they have made it for me!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Meal Planning Essentials

When meal planning, I have found there are several ESSENTIALS that you must have to make the process easier:

1. A Goal:
When beginning to meal plan you have to be realistic. Sitting down and trying to plan meals for the entire MONTH can be challenging and overwhelming. I would recommend starting with ONE WEEK. Once you are comfortable with that move on to planning out TWO WEEKS in a row, and then if your feeling ambitious plan the WHOLE MONTH! Honestly, I still don't plan out the entire month. I plan out for TWO WEEKS and if I find other recipes I want to try later on in the month, I bookmark (save) them for later planning.

2. A calendar:

One of the most helpful things for me is having my monthly AGENDA CALENDAR in front of me AND a monthly MEAL CALENDAR when planning my meals. That way you can know what days you need to plan meals, what days you don't, what days you need a "quick" meal, and then the days that you have time to cook a more "detailed" dinner based on what events you have going on that week. I personally use ONE Google calendar which has all my agenda calendar dates in it, and I just add my meals in there so I can keep it all together in ONE place. But there are MANY options. You can even go as simple as printing off a blank monthly calendar from the Internet and filling in the dates/meals. Do what works for YOU!

3. A Grocery List:

This is a MUST! If you have ever tried to go grocery shopping blind (without a list), you know how frustrating that can be. Roaming the isles trying to make up meals in your head as you go, and hoping you make it out with all the ingredients that you need so you don't have to run back to the store last minute....BEEN THERE....HATED IT......WON'T GO BACK.....I recommend having your list on hand as you are meal planning. When you find recipes you want to use, right down the items that need to be purchased for that particular meal. I always keep a running grocery list on my refrigerator so it's handy when I need to add to it. There is nothing more stressful than come "grocery shopping day" rummaging through your refrigerator, your pantry, OR your recipes trying to decide what you need or simply trying to use your "memory" while at the store. Without my list I would be LOST...

4. Recipes:
This is the most important part of your meal planning: What's for dinner?!?!? Finding the perfect recipe is not always easy and trying to decide what to cook can be stressful. I LOVE to cook so I enjoy searching for new recipes to try. I recommend keeping a running list of meals that you cook (and like) so you can use them again. If you are new to meal planning, I recommend that you only attempt 1-2 "new" recipes during the week and stick to "familiar" recipes the rest of the week. Having "staple" meals during the week is also a good idea. Meals such as: tacos, spaghetti, hamburgers, ect for fillers is what I consider a staple meal. Once you get the hang of meal planning and recipe hunting you will feel more comfortable with adding new and different items to the menu more often during the week. **My most used recipes sources to come in a future post**

5. Recipe filing system:
Having a place to store you recipes is a great idea! I am ALWAYS looking up new recipes outside of meal planning days, so I prefer to bookmark mine on my computer so it's handy when I am ready to meal plan. Then when I sit down to meal plan, I also copy and paste the link onto my meal plan Google calendar so I can pull it up easy when I'm ready to make that meal. Another simple idea is just to print out your recipe and store in a convenient location. And if you decide the recipe you have chosen is a "keeper" then either save it in a file on your computer or print and store it in recipe file. I have a folder on my desktop labeled "recipes" and that is where I store all my favorites I know I will want to make again! I also reccomend keeping your previous months meal calendars so when your in a crunch and need some meal ideas fast, you have a good source to pull from. I always **star** the recipes on my calendar that were a "family favorite".

6. A Day To Plan/A Day To Shop:
Having a set day to plan your meals and shop for your food is a good way to stay consistent. When you sit down to plan, you will need TIME. Time to search for recipes, time to make your grocery list, time to fill in your calendar ect. You will also need TIME to shop. Running in the store with your kids at 2:00 in the afternoon (AKA: nap time) with your weekly grocery list is probably not a good idea:-) Plan a time to shop that works best with EVERYBODY'S schedule. I prefer shopping at night, WITH NO KIDS:-) And I NEVER EVER shop on a SATURDAY (can't handle the crowds). Coordinating your meal planning day with your shopping day is what I have found to work best. Plan your meals one day, and then shop the next. That way you are saving yourself from the last minute trips to the grocery store.

***Even though I plan my meals out 2 weeks at a time, I usually only shop for what I need for that SPECIFIC week. When making my grocery list I have a running list for that weeks shopping trip and then I have a column labeled "next week". My reasoning for this is that there are usually items that I need to purchase weekly such as fresh fruits and veggies, I also shop with coupons (which come new every Sunday if you get the newspaper), and each week the local stores have different specials, so I want to make sure I get the most for my money. I also have found when I have tried to shop only every other week, I tend to OVER BUY and we don't have much "food storage" space and I end up spending more money, which for us in NOT budget friendly:-). So going to the grocery store every other week does not work for me. But if it does for you ROCK ON!!!

With these tools in hand, you are sure to be meal planning in no time!! Next post: Meal Categories That Help Make Your Planning Easier.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Meal Planning

It's 4:30 in the afternoon........

About an hour before dinner........

The hubby (aka "daddy") will be calling soon to let you know he is on his way home......while finishing the conversation, he asks "what's for dinner??"

The kids are starting to chant "Mommy, I'm hungry"......

Do you know what's for dinner?? Do you have a plan??
Are you stressed because you have to figure out something to throw together at the last minute??

I have had quite a few people over the last couple of months ask me about meal planning. How I do it? What I serve? Where do I get my meal ideas? Any tips or ideas I have in relation to meal planning, I thought I would share MY strategies. Obviously, you have to create a meal planning strategy that works best for YOU and YOUR family's weekly schedule,so these are just the ways I have found it easiest for me. These are the strategies I have found *help* save what little bit of sanity I have left come the end of the day:-)

If you don't currently meal plan and your one of those that finds yourself at 5:00 rambling through the pantry looking for something to throw together, I would encourage you to start meal planning! TODAY!!! In the end it will save you TONS of MONEY and TIME! And who doesn't need more of both of those!:-)

TO BE CONTINUED.................

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Apple Dumplings

Recipe from: The Pioneer Woman

(Full Recipe)

• 2 whole Granny Smith Apples
• 2 cans (8 Oz. Cans) Crescent Rolls
• 2 sticks Butter
• 1 1/2 cup Sugar
• 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
• Cinnamon, To Taste
• 1 can (12 Oz.) Mountain Dew Soda

Preparation Instructions:
Cut each apple into 8 slices each. (I use the apple slicer to slice apples and then take the peel off with a knife). Roll each apple slice in a crescent roll. Place in a 9 x 13 buttered glass dish.
Melt butter, then add sugar and stir until combined. Add vanilla, stir, and pour entire mixture over apples. Pour Mountain Dew around the edges of the dish. Sprinkle dumplings with cinnamon and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Allow them to cool about 10-15 min. Serve with vanilla ice cream!

(Half Recipe)

• 1 whole Granny Smith Apple
• 1 cans(8 Oz. Cans) Crescent Rolls
• 1 sticks Butter
• 3/4 cup Sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
• Cinnamon, To Taste
• 1/2 can (6 Oz.) Mountain Dew Soda

Preparation Instructions:
Cut each apple into 8 slices each. (I use the apple slicer to slice the apple and then take the peel off with a knife). Roll each apple slice in a crescent roll. Place in a 8X8 buttered glass dish.
Melt butter, then add sugar and stir until combined. Add vanilla, stir, and pour entire mixture over apples. Pour Mountain Dew around the edges of the dish. Sprinkle dumplings with cinnamon and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Allow them to cool about 10-15 min. Serve with vanilla ice cream!

Turtle Tart

Recipe from: Betty Crocker
Cookie Base
1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® oatmeal chocolate chip cookie mix
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 tablespoon water
1 egg
1 cup chopped pecans

40 caramels, unwrapped
1/3 cup whipping cream
3/4 cup chopped pecans

1 bag (11.5 oz) milk chocolate chips (2 cups)
1/3 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup chopped pecans

1.Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, stir cookie mix, butter, water and egg until soft dough forms. Stir in 1 cup pecans. Press dough in bottom and up sides of ungreased 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom.
2.Bake 19 to 21 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 10 minutes.
3.Meanwhile, in medium microwavable bowl, microwave caramels and 1/3 cup cream on High 2 to 4 minutes, stirring twice, until caramels are melted. Stir in 3/4 cup pecans. Spread over cooled crust. Refrigerate 15 minutes.
4.In another medium microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips and 1/3 cup cream on High 1 to 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until chocolate is smooth. Pour over filling. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup pecans. Refrigerate 2 hours or until set. To serve, let stand at room temperature 10 minutes before cutting.

This tart was delicious, BUT it was only REALLY GOOD when not refrigerated. The original recipe stated to store in refrigerator, but that made it VERY hard. Once it " initially sets up", remove from fridge and allow it to come to room temp before serving, and KEEP at room temp!

**If you don't have a tart pan, you can use a springform pan OR just a 9X13 dish and make them into bars.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

"Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Cake and Frosting


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water


1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour baking pan(s) of your choice.

2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.

3. Bake according to "variation" you choose or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost with "PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE" CHOCOLATE FROSTING.

ONE-PAN CAKE: Grease and flour 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Heat oven to 350° F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely. Frost.
THREE LAYER CAKE: Grease and flour three 8-inch round baking pans. Heat oven to 350°F. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost.
BUNDT CAKE: Grease and flour 12-cup Bundt pan. Heat oven to 350°F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 50 to 55 minutes. Cool 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely. Frost.
CUPCAKES: Line muffin cups (2-1/2 inches in diameter) with paper bake cups. Heat oven to 350°F. Fill cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake 22 to 25 minutes. Cool completely. Frost. About 30 cupcakes.

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
2/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.

There are not enough words to describe how YUMMY this recipe was!!! I admit, I have ALWAYS fallen victim of using cake mixes, but NEVER AGAIN! This homeade goodness was AWESOME! Without the "box cake" taste! And the all I can say!!!! I made cupcakes using the recipe and they turned out PERFECT!!! This is another Hershey's recipe.

Peanut Butter Kisses


  • 48 HERSHEY'S KISSES Brand Milk Chocolates
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup REESE'S Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Granulated sugar


1. Heat oven to 350-375°F (depending on how hot your oven cooks). Remove wrappers from chocolates.

2. Beat shortening and peanut butter in large bowl until well blended. Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar; beat until fluffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture.

3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar; place on ungreased cookie sheet.

4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately press a chocolate into center of each cookie; cookie will crack around edges. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely.

**These little guys are AMAZING and SO EASY to make!! Recipe from: Hershey's

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Chicken Caesar Tetrazzini

8 ounces uncooked spaghetti
2 cups shredded or cubed chicken (cooked)
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup Caesar Dressing
1 jar (4.5 ounces) sliced mushrooms (drained)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs

Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain and combine with chicken, broth, dressing and mushrooms in a large mixing bowl. Place mixture in a 2-quart casserole dish. Mix together cheese and bread crumbs; sprinkle over spaghetti mixture. Bake at 350* for 25 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Enjoy!!!

** Rotisserie chicken is really easy to use with this recipe and is very tasty too!! One rotisserie chicken yields approximately 3 cups of chicken.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Herb Monkey Bread


1 stick butter melted, plus 1/4 cup melted butter, plus more for pan
1 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for sprinkling
2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
2 packages biscuits


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter a 12-cup Bundt pan; set aside.
In a small bowl, combine cheese and Italian seasoning. Roll each individual biscuit into a ball. Dip each piece in the 1 stick of melted butter, then coat with the cheese mixture. Place dough into prepared pan; overlapping will occur. Bake bread, 30 to 35 minutes. Cover with aluminum foil during the last 10 minutes of baking to prevent excess browning, if needed. Let cool in pan, 10 minutes; invert bread onto a serving plate. Drizzle remaining 1/4 cup melted butter on top and sprinkle with grated Parmesan.

**This was SUPER!!! Who would have thought monkey bread for dinner!! What a fun twist to the traditional breakfast monkey bread!! YUM!

****UPDATE***** I made this again for breakfast, but substituted ingredients (cheese and seasonings) with 1 cup sugar and 1 and 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon. I omitted the extra butter and sprinklings after cooking. It turned out AWESOME!!!! A little easier and a LOT less time consuming than my original breakfast Monkey Bread recipe, and I think it might have even tasted a little better:-) The hubby was VERY impressed:-)

Sausage-Cheese Muffins

Recipe from:


  • 1 (1-lb.) package ground pork sausage
  • 3 cups all-purpose baking mix (Bisquick)
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 oz.) shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 (10 3/4-oz.) can condensed cheese soup
  • 3/4 cup water


1. Cook sausage in a large skillet, stirring until it crumbles and is no longer pink. Drain and cool.

2. Combine sausage, baking mix, and shredded cheese in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture.

3. Stir together soup and 3/4 cup water; add to sausage mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Spoon into lightly greased muffin pans, filling to top of cups.

4. Bake at 375° for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned.

**YUM, YUM, YUM!! I made these for a Christmas brunch this year and they were "oh so good"!! VERY similar to a sausage ball, but more like a muffin. These would be perfect for a lazy Saturday morning breakfast!! I used mini-muffin tins, but they can also be made in large muffin tins as well, filling them 3/4 full. Yield about 12. Enjoy!

Crockpot Chicken Stroganoff

Recipe from:


  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1/8 cup margarine
  • 1 (.7 ounce) package dry Italian-style salad dressing mix
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese (cubed)
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1/4 cup white cooking wine

  1. Put chicken, margarine, dressing mix, soup, and white wine in slow cooker; mix together and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours.
  2. Add cream cheese and cook on high for another 1/2 hour or until heated through (melted) and warm.

**This recipe was outstanding! I LOVE crockpot recipes! I served mine over wide egg noodles. After the chicken mixture was finished cooking, I shredded my chicken using two forks, poured over noodles, and mixed. I served it up with a Cesar Salad and bread! YUM!!!!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Melt-Away Butter Cookies

Recipe by: Southern Living

1 1/4 cups Butter; softened
3/4 cup Powdered sugar
2 1/2 cups All-purpose flour
1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
1/2 tsp Almond extract
food colorings (if desired)

Cream butter; gradually add sugar, beating at medium speed with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add flour, and mix well. Stir in flavorings and food coloring (if you choose to use it). Use a cookie gun to shape dough. Place cookies on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes. Cool on wire racks.

Optional Toppings:
chocolate morsels and shortening. Dip half of each prepared
butter cookie in chocolate mixture. Roll chocolate-dipped
portion in finely chopped pecans. Place cookies on wire
racks until chocolate is firm.

**These little guys are AMAZING!!! They will seriously melt in your mouth and are quite addicting! Very cute when decorated with sprinkles! But also can be jazzed up by dipping them in chocolate and even rolling them in chopped pecans! The recipe does call for them to be made with a cookie gun to shape them, and I highly recommend that. I did not have a gun the first time I made them and just dropped them on the cookie sheet, and they were not very good as the ones I had originally tasted (very floury tasting). Sooooo, my SWEET husband surprised me with this cookie gun from Williams Sanoma! He's a keeper:-)