Monday, December 29, 2008

Puff Pastry Twists

We love these, they are so yummy with a scoop of ice cream.
Apricot preserves are my favorite but you can use orange marmalade, raspberry, strawberry preserves, apple butter or something like that. -Kristin

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed according to directions
1/2 c. perserves

cinnamon for sprinkling with

  • Preheat oven to 400.
  • Place puff pastry on lightly greased cookie sheet.
  • Using a rolling pin, roll out the puff pastry out just a bit to make a more even rectangle.
  • Spread the preserves on half of the pastry within a 1/4 inch of the edge.
  • Fold dough over like a book and pop in freezer for a couple minutes for easy cutting.
  • Using scissors, cut dough crosswise into 1/2 inch thick ribbons.
  • Take each ribbon and twist.
  • Place on baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.

Penne with Ham

This is the perfect meal to use up some leftover ham in. The sauce that soaks into the penne and ham is altogether wonderful! I got this recipe from the Food Network's chef Robin Miller- I love her recipes, they are quick and for the most part health conscious. This dish comes together so fast and it is so yum! -Kristin

16 ounces penne pasta
1 c. frozen peas
1 T. olive oil
2 cloves garlic
small can of mushrooms (optional)
2 c. diced leftover ham
1 t. dried oregano
1 1/2 c. chicken broth
1 T. Dijon mustard
salt and pepper

  • Cook the pasta according to the directions, adding the peas the last 30 seconds of cooking. Drain and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, heat the oil and add the ham, stirring until golden brown, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and mushrooms and cook, stirring for 1 minute.
  • Add the oregano and cook, stirring for 1 minute until fragrant.
  • Add broth and mustard and bring to a simmer.
  • Add the cooked pasta and simmer 1 minute to heat through.
  • Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sweet and Sour Pork Chops

This is probably my favorite way to serve pork chops. I love these made with a rice pilaf (like Near East Wheat Rice Pilaf), and a veggie. The sauce that the pork chops cook in is awesome to drizzle over the meat and rice. I love the flavor of this dish. -Kristin

1 T. toasted sesame oil
16 oz. boneless pork loin chops
salt and pepper
1 c. apricot preserves or orange marmalade
2 T. soy sauce
1 t. minced fresh ginger
1/4 c. chopped green onions

  • Heat oil in skillet over medium-high.
  • Season pork chops with salt and pepper on both sides and place into hot skillet.
  • Cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side.
  • Then stir in the preserves, soy sauce, and ginger and bring to a simmer.
  • Reduce the heat to low and partially cover the pan and simmer until the pork is just cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, stir in the green onions and serve.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Broccoli with Toasted Garlic

I love broccoli...we eat a lot of it! This is my favorite way to make broccoli. -Kristin

1 large bunch of broccoli
1/4 c. water
2 T. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
salt and pepper

  • Cut broccoli into spears and put into a large microwave safe bowl with the water.
  • Cover tightly and microwave for 4 minutes on high.
  • While broccoli cooks, heat oil in large skillet over medium heat and add the garlic. Cook, stirring frequently for about 3 minutes. Do not cook it too long or it will become bitter. Remove from heat with a slotted spoon.
  • Add broccoli to pan with the oil and cook over medium heat for about 3 minutes, stirring a bit.
  • Mix in the garlic, salt and pepper. Serve.

Mixed Greens With Strawberry-Pecan Dressing

This is a salad recipe from Robin Miller. We love this salad dressing and the pecans make it over the top! -Kristin

My family loves this! I use seedless raspberry jam sometimes and think it's a perfect dressing with strawberries, Delicious! -Sarah

1/3 c. strawberry preserves
3 T. olive oil
1 T. red wine vinegar
1 t. Dijon mustard
salt and pepper
6 c. mixed lettuce greens
1/2 c. chopped pecans, (toasted is optional, but I recommend it)

  • In a small bowl, whisk together preserves, oil, vinegar, Dijon, salt and pepper.
  • Arrange the lettuce on plates, then top with the dressing and pecans just before serving.

Chicken and Black Bean Empanadas

We love these. It is such an easy and quick meal. You can make these with either chicken or turkey. I always split the empanadas for the kids. They are very filling! This feeds 6 very comfortably! -Kristin

2 cups diced, leftover chicken or turkey
1, 15 oz can black beans, drained
1/2 c. shredded pepper Jack or Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 c. salsa
1 t. ground cumin
2 T. fresh cilantro leaves, chopped (optional)
2 (9 inch) refrigerated pie crusts (or homemade)

  • Preheat oven to 425.
  • Combine chicken, beans, cheeses, salsa, cumin and cilantro. Mix well to combine; set mixture aside.
  • Unroll pie crust on flat surface.
  • Divide chicken mixture into equal portions in the 4 corners. Mound it up.
  • Place the top crust on the counter and roll out a little bit and then place on top of mounds. Then cut dough around the mounds.
  • Pinch the edges together to seal.
  • Using a fork, make marks on the edges of the empanadas to ensure they are sealed.
  • Transfer empanadas to a baking sheet.
  • Make a slit in the top of each empanada to allow steam to escape during cooking.
  • Bake for 15 minutes.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Zucchini Bread

This is my favorite zucchini bread recipe I love the lemon flavor in it, but it's great with out also. I believe Kristin came up with this, and it's so yummy! -Sarah

3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup white flour
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg
1 cup sugar
1 cup shredded zucchini
1 egg
2 T. oil
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/4 t. lemon zest
1/2 cup chopped pecans

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bread loaf pan.
  • Combine dry ingredients. Combine remaining (except nuts) in another bowl.
  • Stir dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Stir in nuts.
  • Bake 55-60 minutes.

Mom's Oven Caramel Corn

This is my Mom's recipe. I loved when she made this stuff and would eat it, while it cooled on the counter. This stuff is awesome and not difficult at all. This is such a yummy treat to bring to any party or give away as a gift. -Kristin

2 c. brown sugar
1 c. butter
1/2 c. light corn syrup
1 t. salt
1 t. baking soda
5 quarts (20 cups) popped popcorn
  • Combine brown sugar, butter, corn syrup and salt in saucepan. Heat until boiling and continue cooking for 5 minutes; stirring constantly.
  • Remove from heat and stir in baking soda. Drizzle caramel over popcorn that has been divided into two large bowls. Mix well.
  • Bake caramel corn on 2 large, greased, jelly roll pans at 200 degrees for 1 hour. Stirring half way through.
  • Remove from oven, let cool and break into chunks.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Seven Layer Salad

This is an old family recipe, when I looked for this recipe on the Internet I found that everyone has their own version of this salad, well this is ours. -Sarah

1/2 # spinach, torn in pieces
1# bacon, cooked and crumbled
5 hard boiled eggs, sliced
small head of lettuce, chopped and sprinkled with salt
10 oz. frozen petite peas, thawed
chopped green onions
1/2# shredded Swiss cheese

Layer all in order, in glass 9x13 pan. Refrigerate several hours before serving.

1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1 cup Miracle Whip
1/2 cup sugar
1 T. vinegar
Mix all in a bowl, and spread on salad before topping with Swiss cheese.

Monkey Bread

This is something that Kristin and I both make once a year...Christmas morning! Our kids would be so upset if they didn't get their monkey bread for Christmas brunch. -Sarah

3, 12 oz. packages refrigerated biscuits OR 4, 7.5 oz. packages refrigerated biscuits
1 cup sugar
2 t. cinnamon
1/2 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a bundt pan.
  • Mix sugar and cinnamon. Cut biscuits into quarters and roll in cinnamon sugar. Place in bundt pan.
  • In a small saucepan, melt butter with brown sugar over med. heat. Boil for 1 minute and pour over biscuits.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes and let cool for 10 minutes, turn out onto a plate.

My Favorite Smoothie

I love smoothies. They are a great way to start the day, or to have for a snack or dessert. We make them a lot. Smoothies are an easy and delicious way to get a lot of servings of fruit for your day. This is my favorite combination. I always have bananas in my freezer. I buy a bunch of them whenever they are reduced in price. For smoothies bananas can be overripe. You can freeze them whole, or peel and slice them and and place in a freezer bag. They make smoothies so creamy. -Kristin

1/2 c. plain non-fat yogurt
1 c. blueberries, fresh or frozen
1/4 c. orange juice
1/2 large frozen banana
1 T. wheat germ or flax seed meal (opt.)

Place all in blender and blend till smooth. If using frozen berries you might need to stir quite a bit. I usually try to defrost my blueberries a little before putting them in.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Natalie's Biscuits

My cousin, Natalie made these once and I could hardly stop from eating them all! They are quick to make and yummy to eat. Another great thing about these is that they are miniature...I love using my mini muffin pan! -Sarah

1 cup Bisquick
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup margarine, melted

Mix all and spoon into a greased mini muffin tin. Bake at 425 degrees for about 6-8 minutes. Makes about 9 mini muffins.

*I have made these with real butter and they are ok, but I think they are much better when they are made with margarine.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Broccoli Pasta Salad

I got the idea for this recipe from Pampered Chef and we love it! It's another version of the classic broccoli salad, we like this one. -Sarah

2 cups uncooked medium shell pasta
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sugar
2 t. vinegar
3 cups broccoli florets, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup chopped red onion
3/4 cup raisins
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/3 cup sunflower seeds

  • Cook pasta, drain and rinse under cold water.
  • Combine mayo, vinegar and sugar and mix well.
  • Combine all and mix gently. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours to allow flavors to blend.(I usually add more broccoli, and watch the onion if it's a strong one)

Fruitcake Cookies

This is my version of an old family favorite. We always had these cookies at Christmas time. I love them and one bite tastes like Christmas to me! -Sarah

1 cup raisins
1/4 cup burbon or whiskey
1/2 cup chopped candied cherries
1/2 cup chopped candied pineapple
1 cup chopped pecans
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 t. baking soda
1 1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/2 t. cloves
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
  • Measure raisins into a bowl and pour bourbon or whiskey over, mix well. Let sit while preparing cookies.
  • Roughly chop fruit and nuts and set aside.
  • Mix together flour, baking soda and spices.
  • In a mixer cream butter, add sugar and eggs and beat until light and fluffy.
  • Add flour mixture and beat until smooth.
  • Stir in fruit (drain raisins) and nuts and mix well. Cover and chill dough.
  • Shape into small balls, and bake on greased cookie sheets at 325 degrees about 11 minutes.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Bonbon Cookies

These are another great cookie my Mom made when I was a kid, they are so awesome! Just made the dough and shape it around your choice of Hershey Kiss or maraschino cherry. -Sarah

1 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
2 t. vanilla
3 1/2 cups flour
1 cup finely minced walnuts or pecans
Hershey Kisses or maraschino cherries

frosting, sprinkles, chopped nuts

  • Cream butter, sugar, and vanilla. Add flour and nuts.
  • Mold about 1 T. of dough around filling choice.
  • Bake at 350 degrees about 15 minutes. Cool and finish as desired.

Walnut Crescents

This is a cookie my Mom made when I was growing up, they are unique, not too sweet, and they have a shortbread texture, yum! -Sarah

1 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 t. water
2 t. vanilla
2 cups flour
1 cup chopped walnuts
  • Cream butter and sugar, add remaining ingredients and mix well. Form dough into crescent shapes.
  • Bake at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes, don't let brown.
  • while still warm roll in powdered sugar, then again when they are cooled.

Chocolate Pretzel Rings

These are so yummy and fun! My kids always help me when I make these, they can do everything, except pull them out of the oven. And everywhere I bring these, they disappear! -Sarah

Pretzel rings
Hershey Kisses or Rolo's

  • On a greased cookie sheet, lay out pretzel rings, in a single layer.
  • Place a Kiss or Rolo in each circle.
  • Bake at 275 degrees for 2-4 minutes, until chocolate pushes down easily with an M&M.
  • Remove from oven, push chocolate down with M&M, sealing edges with chocolate inside the pretzel ring.
  • Refrigerate for 5-10 minutes until chocolate is firm, store at room temperature.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Grandma's Gumdrop Cookies

Grandma's house and cookie jar...they went together for us. My Grandma always had a surprise in her cookie jar and one of our favorites were her gumdrop cookies. You can use either spiced gum drops or fruity ones. She always did the spiced ones. These are so yummy and pretty with red and green for Christmas. -Kristin

1/2 c. shortning
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar
1 t. vanilla
1 egg
1 c. flour
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
1/8 t. salt
1 c. oatmeal
1/2 c. coconut
1 c. halved gumdrops

  • Cream together the shortning, sugars and vanilla.
  • Add egg and beat; set aside.
  • Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt then gradually beat into sugar mixture.
  • Stir in oatmeal and gumdrops.
  • Drop by rounded Tablespoons full shaped into ball with hands. Lightly press down on greased cookie sheet.
  • Bake 350 for 10-15 minutes.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Custard Style Yogurt

I found this recipe on the Internet and we changed it a little bit, it's very good, whatever flavor Jell-O you use. Mandarin oranges are one of my favorite fruits to add. -Sarah

1 small pkg. Jell-O, any flavor
1 cup water (or use juice from canned fruit)
1/3 cup sugar
32 oz. plain yogurt
chopped fruit

  • Boil water (or juice), add Jell-O and stir until dissolved. Stir in sugar, stirring to dissolve.
  • Whisk in yogurt and stir in fruit. Refrigerate until set.

Bread Maker Garlic Bread

This makes a 2# loaf of garlic bread. I love this. I do not make bread in the bread maker except for this bread, this recipe is worth it. -Kristin

12 oz. 80 degree water
2 T. butter
4 c. bread flour
2 T. powdered milk
1 1/2 T. parsley
2 T. sugar
1 1/2 t. salt
1 t. garlic powder
2 t. yeast

  • Layer all in bread maker as directed for your bread machine.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Baked Tilapia

This is one of my favorite ways to make tilapia for my family, we all love it. -Sarah

20 Ritz crackers
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
3 T. olive oil
3/4 t. basil
1# tilapia
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
salt and pepper

  • Heat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Crush crackers, add Parmesan, oil, and basil.
  • Cut fish fillets into smaller pieces, (or use larger pieces) coat with Dijon mustard, then roll in cracker mixture.
  • Place on greased cookie sheet, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Bake about 20 minutes.

Pulled Pork

This is so good, I've made it more times than I can count and it always turns out good! It makes a bunch and freezes well. -Sarah

5-6# pork shoulder
2 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup vinegar
1 T. sugar
3 t. pepper
2 T. butter
3 t. salt
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 t. red pepper
2 t. chili powder
1 t. Red Hot
1 t. dry mustard powder
3 T. Worcestershire sauce

  • Combine all in a saucepan (except meat). Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Cool overnight and warm before using.
  • Start basting meat with sauce at the beginning of cooking,
  • Bake at 350 degrees until meat registers 170 degrees.
  • Remove meat and shred, adding sauce from pan, for more flavor.

Creamed Hamburger

I have always loved this, and I have to have it with peas. It's simple, quick and yummy! -Sarah

1# ground chuck
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 t. chicken bullion
1/2 t. Lawrys
1 cup sour cream
4 oz. cream cheese
mashed potatoes
  • Brown chuck and drain. Add soup, bullion and Lawrys. Heat through and stir in sour cream and cream cheese, heat being careful not to boil.
  • Serve over mashed potatoes.

Your Baked Beans

My Mom made this when I was growing up and I still love this bean dish. It's such a warm, satisfying main dish. -Sarah

48 oz. Great Northern Beans
1 1/2#'s pork (chop suey meat or steak)
1/2 t. salt
14 oz. ketchup
3 T. mustard
1/2-3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped onion

  • Mix all in a 3 quart casserole dish.
  • Bake at 325 degrees, uncovered for 3-4 hours.

Ultimate Chicken Fingers

Another great Bisquick recipe! This recipe was on the box and the first time I made it my kids just loved them! I serve these with a couple of dipping sauces. (I double this for our family) -Sarah

3 chicken breasts, sliced into strips
2/3 cup Bisquick
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 t. garlic salt
1/2 paprika
1 egg, slightly beaten
3 T. butter, melted

  • Heat oven to 450 degrees.
  • Mix Bisquick, Parmesan and garlic salt in a shallow container, place egg in another shallow dish.
  • Dip pieces of chicken in egg and roll in Bisquick mixture. Place on greased cookie sheet. Drizzle with melted butter.
  • Bake 12-14 minutes, turning halfway through.
(****I make this by just mixing everything in a large bowl and it works perfectly.  I also don't think the butter is necessary in this recipe. -Kristin)

Peanut Butter Blossom's

These are a classic, and always so good! My family always makes these at Christmas time. -Sarah

1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
2 T. milk
1 t. vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
Hershey's Kisses
  • Beat shortening and peanut butter, add sugars, beat until fluffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla.
  • Gradually add dry ingredients, mix well.
  • Roll balls into sugar and bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Press Kiss into each cookie and cool.

Monday, December 15, 2008

String Cheese Sticks

Thes are so fun to serve to the kids! They love the cheesy centers and they are quick and easy to make!-Sarah
2 1/4 cup Bisquick
2/3 cup milk
8, 1 oz. pieces of string cheese
1 T. butter, melted
1/4 t. garlic powder

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Stir Bisquick and milk together to form a soft dough. Sprinkle counter lightly with Bisquick, place ball of dough on counter. Knead 10 times.
  • Roll dough out and cut into 8 pieces. Rectangle shaped.
  • Wrap a piece of dough around each piece of cheese, sealing seams well. Place on greased cookie sheet, seam side down.
  • Bake 8-10 minutes. Mix butter and garlic, brush over sticks.

Friday, December 12, 2008

French Bread

This recipe comes from a friend at church, who is a wonderful cook, I think this bread has a great flavor, and it's not much work for 2 beautiful loaves of bread. -Sarah

In the bowl of a stand mixer:
Dissolve 2 pkg's yeast in 1/2 cup warm water, add
1/2 t. sugar

Bring 2 cups water to a boil and add:
2 T. shortening
2 T. sugar
2 t. salt
Cool to 130 degrees
Add to yeast mixture.

Slowly add 7 cups of bread flour by starting with 3 cups and adding 1 cup at a time until dough is formed.
Knead dough for 10 minutes.

Place dough in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
Punch down and let rest for 15 minutes.
Split dough in half and shape into 2 loaves, place on 1 greased cookie sheet, put 5 slits in each loaf. Cover and let rise 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Beat together 1 egg and 2 T. milk, brush over loaves, bake about 30 minutes.

Desirae's Taco Pizza

This is a creation from my sister-in-law that we all love. She likes to make this for our family and we never complain! -Kristin

1 Pizza dough recipe (on blog)
Ortega Taco Sauce
Shredded Sharp cheese
1 # ground beef
1 package taco seasoning
1 can sliced olives
1 small onion
chopped lettuce
chopped tomato
sour cream, optional

  • Prepare pizza dough as directed and spread on pizza pan.
  • Spread ortega taco sauce over; set aside.
  • Fry ground beef and drain. Then add the taco seasoning and prepare as directed on package.
  • Sprinkle beef over sauce.
  • Then sprinkle the olives and onions over beef.
  • Spread cheese over.
  • Bake 425 for 15-20 minutes.
  • Serve with chopped lettuce and tomato over top with optional sour cream.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Peanut Butter Rice Krispy Treats

These are a famiy favorite! -Kristin

6 c. Rice Crispy cereal
3/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. corn syrup
3/4 c. peanut butter
1 c. butterscotch chips
1 c. chocolate chips
2 T. butter

  • Combine the sugar and corn syrup and bring to hard boil stirring constantly.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the peanut butter.
  • Pour over the cereal and mix well.
  • Pat into a greased 9x13 pan; set aside.
  • Melt the chips and butter together and spread evenly over.
  • Let them cool and the serve.

Cocktail Wienies

I love these. They are always a hit wherever I bring them. The sauce is perfect. -Kristin

2 packages cocktail wienies
1 bottle barbecue sauce
1/2 c. ketchup
2 t. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 T. mustard

  • Mix all in crock pot and cook on low for several hours.

Grandma's Orange Cookies

This recipe is from my Grandma they are so good. They are a cake like cookie.-Kristin

1 c. sugar
1 c. butter
2 t. orange juice
1 T. grated orange peel, packed
1 egg
2 1/4 c. flour
1/4 t. salt
1/2 t. soda

1/8 c. orange juice
1/4 c. sugar

  • Cream sugar and butter together.
  • Beat in the orange juice, peel, and egg.
  • Add the dry ingredients and mix well.
  • Place spoonful on a lightly greased cookie sheet and flatten with fork; set aside.
  • Mix together 1/8 c. orange juice and 1/4 c. sugar and brush on cookies before baking. Just do a light brush over the cookies and dispose of any extra glaze. If you do too much it will drip off and burn.

  • Bake 350 for 10-12 minutes.

Play Dough

My kids love play dough. They love to make it too...this stuff turns out great.  The picture reflects a double batch of play dough..each one equals 10 oz.  -Kristin

1 c. flour
1 c. cold water
1 T. oil
1/2 c. salt
2 t. cream of tarter
food coloring, optional

  • Cook all except food coloring in saucepan stirring constantly till thick like mashed potatoes.
  • Dump onto floured surface and knead several times.
  • Mix in food coloring if you want.  If you have plastic gloves it is a good idea to wear them!  Or place it in a large ziploc bag when you mix to keep your hands from being stained.

Carmel Apple Pie Bar

This is my Mom's is ohhh so good! -Kristin

1/2 # carmels (approximately 29)
1/2 c. evaporated milk
3 c. flour
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. butter
1/4 c. canola oil
1 egg
1/4 c. cold water

6 c. apples (mom uses Ida Reds)
1 c. sugar
1/3 c. flour
1-2 T. lemon juice

8 oz. cream cheese
1 egg
1/3 c. sugar
slivered almonds
  • In a double broiler melt carmels with the evaporated milk. Watch close that it doesn't burn. Set aside.
  • Sift flour, sugar and salt. Cut in the butter till fine. Set aside.
  • Blend in small bowl the canola, egg and water. Then add to dry.
  • Press dough out onto ungreased jelly roll pan; set aside.
  • Mix together the apples, sugar, flour and juice and spread on crust.
  • Drizzle the carmel over the apples.
  • Beat together the cream cheese, egg and sugar and put over the carmel apples. Spread lightly.
  • Sprinkle the slivered almonds over top.
  • Bake 375 for 30-35 minutes.

Biscuit Pizza Bake

This is a yummy, quick meal the whole family will love. -Kristin
We LOVED this, next time I want to put black olives on it! A really quick way to have a pizza night! -Sarah

1 # ground beef
2 tubes (7.5 oz) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
1 (15 oz.) can pizza sauce
1 c. chopped green pepper
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 (4 oz.) can sliced mushrooms
1 package pepperoni
1 c. mozzarella, shredded
1 c. cheddar, shredded
  • Cook beef; drain and set aside.
  • Quarter cut each biscuit and place in a greased 3 quart casserole dish. (9x13 pan)
  • Top with pizza sauce.
  • Sprinkle beef over sauce layer.
  • Sprinkle on the veggies and pepperoni.
  • Sprinkle on the cheeses.
  • Bake uncovered at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Buck Eyes

These are another treat that we make at Christmas time. They have become my sisters speciality. We all look forward to them every year and it wouldn't be Christmas without them! -Sarah

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/4 cups peanut butter
4 T. butter, softened
1 cup chocolate chips
1 t. shortening

  • Mix powdered sugar, peanut butter, and butter until well combined. Roll into balls and freeze until firm.
  • Melt chocolate and shortening until smooth. Dip peanut butter balls into chocolate, leaving some of the peanut butter ball exposed.
  • Place on waxed paper and chill until chocolate is set.

Chocolate Mocha Balls

These are so yummy, I changed a recipe that I found in a magazine, and this is what I came up with. They have a wonderful chocolate center with a hint of coffee flavor. -Sarah

1 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 t. vanilla
1 3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 T. instant coffee granules
6 oz. mini chocolate chips
powdered sugar
  • Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla.
  • Combine dry ingredients, gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.
  • Stir in chocolate chips.
  • Roll into balls and bake at 325 degrees for about 15 minutes.
  • Roll in powdered sugar, once while warm and again when cooled.

Chocolate Chip Snowball's

I'm not sure why, but to me these are a Christmas cookie. I bake them every year and they are a favorite of the family. They freeze well too. -Sarah

3/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 t. vanilla
1 egg
2 cups flour
1/2 t. salt
6 oz. mini chocolate chips
powdered sugar
  • Cream butter and sugar, add vanilla and egg.
  • Mix dry ingredients and add to creamed mixture.
  • Stir in chocolate chips.
  • Roll into balls and bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.
  • Roll cookies in powdered sugar once when warm and again when cooled.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Creamy Mushroom Quesadillas

I made these for a Christmas party at our house and they were a big hit. We all love mushrooms in our family! I make these with tomatillo guacamole (recipe on blog), these are so yummy, you will love them! -Sarah

2 large leeks, white and tender green part chopped
2 T. oil
12 oz. sliced mushrooms
8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

  • Saute leeks until tender, add mushrooms, cook until liquid is evaporated. Add salt to taste. Stir in cheeses and heat through.
  • Spread mushroom mixture on tortilla, spread with green salsa or tomatillo guacamole, top with another tortilla.
  • Cook in lightly oiled pan on both sides until tortillas are browned and filling is heated through. Cut into wedges and serve with additional tomatillo guacamole (or green salsa), salsa, and sour cream.

Tomatillo Guacamole

I serve this with Creamy Mushroom Quesadillas (recipe on blog) or with any Mexican dish. This is a unique sauce with great flavor! It's impressive like it took a lot of work, but it's easy, try it! -Sarah (confession...I got this recipe from Kristin)

3 avocados
1 pound tomatillo's husked, rinsed, and halved
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup sliced green onion
2 T. fresh lemon juice
1 large tomato, chopped
1 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

  • Blend all until smooth, adjust salt if needed. If you have ever had green salsa, this is the best you will ever taste!

Cameron's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Kristin and I looked for years for the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe. After many, many recipes, this is the result. Lots of our friends have made this their favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe too. -Sarah

3 cups flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 t. vanilla
chocolate chips
  • I will give the directions the way that Kristin makes them (hers always turn out awesome!)
  • Take the cold sticks of butter and microwave just to take the chill off them, do not melt them!
  • Beat butter till fluffy, add sugar and brown sugar (not packed), beat until well blended. Add eggs and vanilla, continue beating until well combined.
  • Add the flour, baking soda and salt (this step is important, I was having problems with my cookies being too thin). The way that Kristin measures her flour is by scooping the measuring cup into the flour canister and leveling it off. I was lightly spooning flour into cups.
  • Stir in chocolate chips. Scoop balls onto cookie sheet and slightly flatten balls before baking. Bake at 325 degrees for 12-15 minutes.
  • We have experimented with different add ins, our favorite's are chopped pecans, 1/2 cup peanut butter, or M&M's. Also for some reason the bigger the cookies are the better turn out.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Cappuccino Cream

My son Adam, and Kristin's daughter Hannah, love the flavor of coffee. I knew they would love this pudding like dessert as soon as they tasted it. It's very creamy and delicious! -Sarah

1 cup strong coffee
1/2 cup milk
8 oz. cream cheese
1 small box, instant vanilla pudding mix
1/4 t. cinnamon
8 oz. Cool Whip

  • Beat cream cheese until smooth, slowly add the coffee and milk.
  • Beat in dry pudding mix and cinnamon. Beat on low for 1 minute.
  • Gently stir in 2 cups Cool Whip.
  • Garnish with Cool Whip and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Great Northern Bean Stew

This soup has an awesome sweet and sour flavor, it doesn't have much broth to it, so it's kind of like a stew too. My whole family loves it, and I love that it's a quick meal! -Sarah

I like this soup with more sweetness and I add at least 1/4 cup brown sugar to the soup.  I also add more cabbage when I make it, usually at least 5 cups.  -Kristin

1 pound smoked sausage, chopped
1 cup diced onion
1 cup sliced carrots
3 cups chopped cabbage
1 T. brown sugar
1/2 t. paprika
1/2 t. thyme leaves
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1 T. vinegar
1/4 t. Red Hot
1 T. dried parsley
2, 14 1/2 oz. cans diced tomatoes, not drained
2, 15 oz. can Great Northern Beans, not drained
  • Brown sausage and onion, add carrots and cabbage, cook until cabbage is wilted. Add brown sugar and seasonings, cook a few more minutes. Add tomatoes and beans, cover and simmer at least 15 minutes. Check spices, sometimes I add more brown sugar or more vinegar, and more Red Hot is great too!

Corn Casserole

I LOVE this casserole! I hope other people love it as much as I do! -Sarah

1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 egg
1 can corn, drained
1 can creamed corn
1 small (those tiny Jiffy ones) box of corn muffin mix
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

  • Mix together the sour cream, melted butter and egg. Stir in the remaining ingredients.
  • Pour into greased casserole dish or 8x8 pan.
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes-1 hour, till it's firm and golden brown.

Tracy's Snack Mix

Tracy is my cousin Brent's wife and I love her snack mix! This tastes like a deluxe version of the good old Chex Mix! Perfect for the holidays, which is when I first tried it. -Sarah

1 stick butter
4 1/2 t. Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 t. garlic salt
1 1/2 t. Lawry's
3 cups Corn Chex
3 cups Rice Chex
2 cups Cheerios
2 cups broken pretzel sticks
2 cups mixed nuts
1 cup cashews

  • Melt butter and mix in seasonings.
  • Stir all other ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Pour seasoning mixture over and stir well.
  • Bake at 250 degrees for 1 hour, stirring at least twice.

Microwave Vanilla Pudding

This is a recipe that my Mom gave me. I like to make this and layer it with homemade chocolate pudding, yum!-Sarah

1/4 cup sugar
2 T. cornstarch
1/8 t. salt
2 cups milk
2 egg yolks, beaten
2 t. vanilla
3 T. butter
  • Mix first 5 ingredients with a whisk in a microwave safe bowl.
  • Microwave until it boils, about 8 minutes.
  • Stir in vanilla and butter. Will thicken as it cools.

Blueberry Sauce

This is so yummy! I serve it on any pancakes, waffles or french toast. I love it on pieces of German Pancake (recipe on blog) too. -Sarah

10 oz. blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 T. cornstarch
1 T. lemon juice

  • Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Stir well.
  • Heat and stir over medium heat until boiling. Simmer about 5 minutes, until thick and syrupy.

Tex Mex Layer Dip

I know there are many versions of this recipe out there, this is how I make it, sometimes I leave out the guacamole layer. I have made this many times over the years and everyone loves this filling dip! I'm usually asked to bring it to my Mom's around the holidays. -Sarah

2 cans refried beans, warmed with a little taco seasoning mixed in for flavor
2 cups sour cream (thinned with some Ranch dressing for flavor and a more spreadable consistency)
2 medium avocados, diced
shredded cheddar cheese

Layer in order in a 9x13 pan. I then add desired toppings:
sliced green onions
diced tomato
sliced black olives (I put the olives on 1/2 of the dip)

Serve with plenty of tortilla chips.

It's Italian Sausage Soup

This is one of my husband's favorite soups. It's wonderful with hot bread on a cold night! -Sarah

1 # Italian sausage
1 large onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
8 cups chicken broth
14 1/2 oz. can diced tomatoes
8 oz. tomato sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1 t. oregano
1/2 t. crushed rosemary
1/2 t. basil
1/4 t. thyme leaves
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup orzo
Parmesan cheese

  • In a large pot, cook sausage, onion, carrot and celery until the sausage is no longer pink. Drain well.
  • Add all but orzo. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer 1 hour.
  • Add orzo and return to boil. Reduce heat and cook, uncovered for 30 minutes. Remove bay leaf and serve with Parmesan cheese.