Saturday, December 29, 2007

Marsha's Zucchini Bread

3 eggs
1 cup canola oil
2 1/4 cup sugar
3 tsp vanilla
2 cups shredded zucchini

Mix seperately:
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
3 tsp cinnamon

Combine mixtures.
Spray 2 bread pans with cooking spray.
Cook at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Holiday Potpourri (for the stove-top)

1 Orange
1 lemon
1 Bay leaf
1 Cinnamon Stick
1/4 cup Whole Cloves
Cut orange and lemon into pieces. Put all ingredients in a sauce pan and cover with water. Simmer on stove, and add additional water during the day, when needed.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Vegetarian Penne

This pasta has the best flavor! I devoured it. It's pretty filling even w/out meat, but would also be good with sauted diced chicken mixed in. You could also experiment w/different veggies. Yum!

half of a 16 oz. bag of pasta (penne, spirals, etc.)
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1 small yellow summer squash, sliced
1 small zucchini, sliced
1/2 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 t minced garlic
3 T butter
2 t flour
1 t salt
1/2 t dried parsley
1/2 t dried thyme
1/4 t pepper
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (this is what makes it taste so good!)

Cook pasta according to package. Meanwhile in a large skillet, saute the onion, squash, zucchini, mushrooms and garlic in butter until tender.

In a bowl, whisk the flour, seasonings, and cream until smooth; add to the skillet. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until thickened. Drain pasta and add to the vegetable mixture. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until heated through. I usually end up adding in a little more cream so that it's not too dry.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Homemade Marshmallows

I got a couple requests for this recipe last night, so here ya go!

Vegetable oil (for brushing)
4 packets unflavored gelatin (equals 3 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons)
3 cups granulated sugar
1 1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar

Brush a 9x13 inch glass baking pan with oil and line with parchment. Leave a 2 inch overhang on the long sides. Brush parchment with oil. Set aside.

Put granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 3/4 cup water into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Cook, without stirruing, until mixture registers 238 degrees on a candy thermometer (about 9 minutes or so).

While mixture is cooking, put 3/4 cup cold water into the bowl of an electric mixer. Sprinkle with gelatin. Let soften for 5 minutes.

Attach bowl with gelatin to mixer fitted with a whisk attachment*. With mixer on low speed, beat hot syrup into gelatin. Gradually raise speed to high, beat until mixture is very stiff, about 12 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Pour into prepared dish and smooth with an offset spatula. Set aside, uncovered, until firm (about 3 hours).

Sift 1 cup confectioners sugar onto a work surface. Unmold marshmallow onto sugar and remove parchment. Lightly brush a sharp knife (or cookie cutter!) with oil then cut marshmallow into 2 inch squares. Roll each marshmallow in the remaining confectioners sugar to coat. Can be stored in an airtight container for 3 days.

Kayla's notes:

-I don't have a stand mixer, but my hand mixer does have a whisk attachment. This got very tiring (12 minutes is a long time to stand there with a mixer) and I'm not sure the syrup and gelatin got beaten enough. Maybe if you do it by hand, mix it longer? It was marshmallowy when I finished but probably needed to be a bit thicker.

-If you're planning on using cookie cutters, maybe try refrigerating it for a couple minutes for you get started to firm it up a bit more. I had a heck of a time wrestling with the marshmallow and my cutter and my gingerbread men weren't very pretty (they tasted good though!).

Friday, December 7, 2007

Microwave Caramel Corn

This is my friend Bobbi's recipe:

1 stick margarine (or butter)
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
16 cups unsalted popped corn

Combine in an 8 cup microwaveable bowl: margarine, sugar, salt, and corn syrup. Stir together and microwave on high for 3 minutes, stirring after each minute. Add vanilla and stir. Place popcorn into a brown paper bag (like a big grocery store bag) - non recycled bags hold up best, or use 2 paper bags, one inside the other. Pour mixture onto popcorn in the bag. Fold top of bag down and microwave on high 1 minute, then shake the bag, then micro for 1 minute, and shake, then 30 seconds, and shake, and another 30 seconds, and shake. Pour the popcorn out into a bowl or large cookie sheet to cool. Break apart when cool and serve.

Holiday Cheese Ball

2 8 ounce packages cream cheese
1 (41/2 ounce) can deviled ham
1/2 of a .4 oz package dry ranch style dressing mix (or to taste)
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
1 can diced green chilies
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
chopped olives
1/2 cup sunflower seeds (without shells)

Mix all ingredients except the sunflower seeds. Refrigerate until firm, then form into two balls and roll in sunflower seeds. Serve with crackers. This is a Thomson holiday favorite!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Betty's Cowboy Cookies

1 C melted butter
2 t. vanilla
1 C sugar
1 C brown sugar
2 eggs
1 C oats
2 3/4 C flour
2 t baking powder
2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
3/4-1 C chocolate chips (depending on how many you like)
*1/2 C coconut
*1/3 C toffee bits
*1/2 C pecans

Cream together butter, sugars, vanilla, and eggs. Add remaining ingredients. Drop large tablespoon sized cookies on greased cookie sheet. Bake 350 degrees for 9-11 minutes or until tops of cookies (and edges) are lightly browned.

*These items are optional...I add everything, but usually not nuts.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Bran Muffins

* 1 cup shortening
* 2 1/2 cups sugar
* 4 eggs
(beat well first)

*5 cups flour
*1 qt. buttermilk

* 4 cups All-bran
* 2 cups bran flakes
* 5 tsp. soda
* 1 1/2 tsp. salt
* 2 cups boiling water
(let this cool before adding it to the above mixture)

......BEAT WELL IN MIXER......

Preheat oven at 400 degrees and bake for 20 minutes! I have greased the muffin pan and done it that way, but they don't turn out quite as good. Use miffin cups in the muffin pan for best results! This recipe is AWESOME and so yummy! The best part of it is that it will keep in your fridge for 6 weeks! ENJOY!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Karma’s Spinach Salad

Karma’s Spinach Salad

1 pkg. spinach
1 pkg. spring mix greens
Sugared almonds Craisins
Sliced strawberries
Red onion (how much you use depends on strength of onion, usually about ½)

½ c. lemon juice
½ c. sugar
2 T. olive oil
1 T. Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste

Do not mix before you are ready to serve and only as much as you will need because strawberries and dressing will wilt spinach. All ingredients will keep if not mixed. Makes 12 servings.

Sugared Almonds:
slivered almonds (or walnuts etc)
1-2 cups sugar
About 1/8-1/4 c. water
Dash of cinnamon

Mix water and sugar in skillet. Add almonds and continue to stir mixture until sugar makes a syrup and water evaporates. When water evaporates turn almonds onto wax paper on cookie sheet to dry and crisp up. Sugared almonds will keep in a Ziploc bag so you can make a big batch and use some later on.

(This recipe is SO good, like Bridal/Baby Shower good!)

~Bethany S.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Cinnamon Rolls

The recipe I tweaked says these should take about 90 minutes. They usually take me a bit longer, but not much. Which is why they're awesome. Makes 14 pretty cinnamon rolls and 2 funky looking ones (don't you hate the ends of the roll?).

Cinnamon Rolls:

3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup margarine (softened)
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 (.25 ounce) package instant yeast
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water
1 egg
1 1/2 cups brown sugar (packed)
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
3/4 cup margarine (softened)

4 oz cream cheese (softened)
1/4 c butter (softened)
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt

Cinnamon Rolls:

Heat milk in small saucepan until it bubbles, then remove from heat. Mix in margarine. Stir until melted then let cool until luke warm.

In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 1/4 cup flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. Mix well. Add water, egg, and the milk mixture; beat well. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. When the dough has just pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth (about 3-5 minutes).

Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, beat together brown sugar, cinnamon, and softened butter.

Roll out the dough into a large rectangle (my best batch came from a 24x14 rectangle). Spread dough with the brown sugar and butter mixture*. Working from a long edge, roll up dough to form a log and pinch seam to seal.

Cut into 16 equal size rolls* and place in a greased casserole dish. Turn your oven on to about 150 and let rise in warm oven for 30 minutes. Then crank up heat to 375 and let bake for 15-20 minutes.


If you don't have leftover Cinnabon icing kicking around, blend all ingredients. Serve on warm cinnamon rolls.

Kayla's Notes:

-If you're not careful, the brown sugar mixture can make it hard to roll the dough nicely. So I finally figured out that you want to spread it pretty close (within about 1/2 inch) of all edges except one of the long edges (leave like 1-2 inches). Let that edge be the outside of your roll. That way, you're not trying to seal the edge with butter and sugar squishing out (gets messy real quick). Start rolling from the long edge with a 1/2 inch margin and by the time you get to the 1-2 inch edge, it should be easy to pinch it all closed without squishing filling everywhere. This probably seems really obvious to everyone else, but I'm a little slow and was really excited when I discovered how much easier this made things.

-I've heard using dental floss is a really great way to cut this stuff. My serrated bread knife did the trick just fine, but I thought I'd pass that along since a lot of people swear by it.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Tawna's Pumpkin Cookies

I have to give my friend, Tawna the credit for this one. It is her recipe that she made for us every fall without fail. They are to DIE FOR!!
  • 1 cup shortening (Crisco)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Cream together shortening, sugar and pumpkin. Add egg, mix in flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Add chocolate chips. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes.


  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 4 tsp. milk
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

In a small sauce pan melt butter, add milk and brown sugar-- bring to a slight boil. Add sugar and vanilla. Top cool cookies with frosting. Enjoy!!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Pumpkin Dessert

Mix together:
1/2 yellow cake mix
2 T flour
1/2 cup melted butter
1 egg
Press into greased 9X13 pan.

Mix together:
3 cups pumpkin puree
2 eggs
2/3 cup milk
1 t cinnamon
1 t cloves
1 t ginger
1/2 cup brown sugar
Spoon onto first layer.

Mix until crumbly:
remaining yellow cake mix
2 T flour
1/4 cup softened butter
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 t cinnamon
Sprinkle over previous layer.

Bake at 350, 40-50 minutes. Serve warm or cold with whipped cream.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

2 cups pumpkin puree
3 cups flour (I use half white, half wheat)
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1 t cloves
2 t cinnamon
2 t ground nutmeg
1 t allspice (I never put this in because I don't have any--and I don't miss it)
1 t salt
2/3 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 12 muffin cups.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugars, baking soda, baking powder, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and salt.

In a separate bowl, beat pumpkin puree, vegetable oil, and eggs. Stir pumpkin mixture into flour mixture until smooth. Stir in chocolate chips. Scoop batter into prepared muffin cups.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until toothpick inserted into center of muffin comes out clean.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Butternut Squash Bisque

This is a great fall soup. We tried it the other night and loved it! Amelia even ate a bowlful.

1 T canola oil
1 T margarine or butter
1/4-1/2 cup diced onion
3/4 cup diced carrots
4 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash (about 1 large squash)
3 cups vegetable broth (chicken would also work)
salt and pepper to taste
ground nutmeg to taste
1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)

Heat the oil and melt butter in large pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook until tender.

Mix carrots and squash into the pot. Pour in vegetable broth and season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until vegetables are tender.

In a blender, puree soup mixture until smooth. Return to pot, and stir in the heavy cream. Heat through, but do not boil. Serve warm with a dash of nutmeg.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Cucumber Bread

Very light and refreshing. I didn't think I like cucumbers very well, but this is a great appetizer and always gets great reviews.

French Baguette (long skinny loaf, sliced thin-you can ask the bakery to slice it thin for you)
One english cucumber, peeled and sliced into 30-36 circles (English cucumbers are seedless and usually in shrink wrap)
1-8 oz. cream cheese
1 1/2 C Mayo or Miracle Whip
1 Italian seas. packet
Dill weed - to sprinkle on top

Directions:Blend cream cheese, mayo and italian seasoning. Spread mixture on top on bread and top with cucumber slice and sprinkle dill on top. Refrigerate. Number Of Servings:30-36 slices

Note: The cream cheese mixture will actually make enough for 2 baguettes and 2 cucumbers, so you can either 1/2 it or make up the mixture and keep it in the lasts a while.

Chicken Potpie

Really good and easy.

2-3 chicken breasts
2 cans cream of potato soup
1/3 C chicken broth (or water)
1 pkg. mixed veggies, cooked
1 C shredded cheese
1 C french-fried onions
1/2 t. seasoned salt
Pepper to taste
1 tube refrigerated crescent rolls

Cook chicken in crockpot on low for 3 hours (if frozen or 2 hours if thawed) with 1/3 C chicken broth (or water) and 1 can of potato soup. Take cooked chicken out and cube. While chicken's out, add other can of potato soup and mix until creamy. Add chicken, veggies, fried onions, cheese, and seasoned salt and pepper. Mix well. Place in bottom of 9 x 13. Lay crescent dough on top of chicken mixture until everywhere is covered (you can double up if needed). Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes until it is deep golden brown. (*I test the dough to make sure it's not too doughy on the inside)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Shepherd's Pie

I prepare this with leftovers from a roast and mashed potato dinner and it is fabulous. Same meal and ingredients, but it seems different.

Here's what you need:
Roast: I cook in crockpot for 6-8 hours on low with a 1/2 C water and a packet of Onion Soup sprinkled on top, cut into small pieces. You really only need like 2 cups to make this dinner and you could use more or less if you're using leftovers.

Gravy: Using leftover juice in crockpot, pour into pan and bring to boil. While it's coming to a boil, in a glass liquid measuring cup (or just a cup) put a cup of cold water. Put a heaping spoonful of flour and then whisk until somewhat smooth. Add 4-5 heaping spoonfuls total, one at a time, whisking each, until the consistency is kind of like really runny pancake batter. Then pour that mixutre into gravy a little at a time, stirring constantly (otherwise you'll get lumps). Add flour/water until the gravy gets to a good consistency. Turn heat down to low. Add Garlic salt, pepper, and more salt. It takes quite a bit of salt to make it taste just add a little a taste and then add accordingly.

Mashed Potatoes: 6 cubed and boiled in enough water to cover. I always use red potatoes and then I don't have to peel. Cook for 20-30 minutes until a fork can go through potato very easily and they fall apart. Drain water. Add 2-3 T of butter, 3-4 T of sour cream or milk, 1/2-1 t. salt (or add to taste), pepper to taste, and 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder if wanted. Blend until creamy.

Mixed Veggies: Cook in microwave a full bag, drain water, add 1-2 T butter, salt, pepper, seasoned salt

Directions: Mix roast, and veggies and some gravy (probably like a cup or so). Place on the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan so mixture is about 1/2-2/3 high. Spread mashed potatoes evenlyover meat mixture. Top with cheese and cover with foil (or you can put cheese on for last 5 minutes of baking). If you're using hot ingredients, Bake for 20-30 minutes at 375. If it's from the fridge (like I said, I use leftovers and prepare this the night before, then just through it in the oven whenever I need a meal), bake for an hour or until heated through at 375.

KFC Chicken Bowl

This might seem like just a boring chicken dinner, but something about layering it makes it so good. My kids love it. It tastes like a different meal...a very good one.

Layer the following in a bowl:
*Mashed Potatoes (5-6 cubed and boiled in enough water to cover. I always use red potatoes and then I don't have to peel. Cook for 20-30 minutes until a fork can go through potato very easily and they fall apart. Drain water. Add 2-3 T of butter, 3-4 T of sour cream or milk, 1/2-1 t. salt (or add to taste), pepper to taste, and 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder if wanted. Blend until creamy.)
*Corn and/or Green Beans, or Mixed Veggies (canned, frozen, whatever, cook and season with a little butter, salt, pepper, and I always sprinkle a little seasoned salt on my veggies)
*Popcorn or Chicken Strips (Cooked accordingly and cut up...we love the Perdue brand of Popcorn Chicken)
*Gravy (1 pkt McCormmick's brown gravy or turkey gravy - whatever - cooked accordingly)
*Cheese (Sprinkle on top)

Enjoy! We sure did! It kind of reminds me of a chicken version of Shepherd's Pie.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Gourmet Chicken Pizza

This is our favorite pizza--we make it often, probably at least once every other week. Admittedly, it takes some prep work, but I've made it so much I've gotten pretty fast. Cooking the meats ahead helps a lot.

Pizza dough for 1 pizza*
1 boneless skinless chicken breast
BBQ sauce
Ranch dressing
mozzarella cheese, shredded
cheddar cheeses, shredded
1 large chopped tomato
chopped mushrooms (optional)
1/2 pound bacon (optional)
chopped green onions (optional)

Cut chicken into small pieces. Saute in BBQ sauce over medium heat until cooked through. Set aside. Fry and crumble bacon. Set aside.

Preheat oven to temperature specified on your pizza dough mix or recipe. Lightly grease a pizza pan. Press pizza dough into pan.

Spread ranch dressing over dough. Sprinkle on mozzarella cheese. Place tomatoes, chicken, onion, bacon, and mushrooms on top. Top with cheddar cheese. Bake for amount of time specified on your pizza dough recipe, or until crust is golden and cheese is melted.

For the pizza crust, I love this recipe from I just throw all the ingredients in the bread maker in the afternoon, and let it rise for a while. It makes about 2 pizzas worth of crust, so I usually make an extra one with half pepperoni or something, and half cheese (for Amelia).

Also, the toppings can be totally modified--use whatever you like that you think goes well with chicken. I usually omit the onions. I love it with bacon but sometimes I don't have time or bacon, and it's still fabulous without.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Mexican potatoes and corn

An easy, meatless but filling weeknight supper (I'll post a crock pot recipe soon too!):

1 10oz. package forzen corn kernels, thawed
1 16oz. can black beans, drained
1/4 cup chopped onion or 3 scallions, chopped white part
1 1/2 lb. potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled and cut into half-inch cubes
1 green pepper, chopped (I skip this)
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/3 c. taco sauce or salsa.
2-3 cups grated cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese or a blend.

Mix onions with corn and beans and mound in center of a large microwavable platter or casserole. Mix potatoes, green pepper, and chili powder in a bowl, then arrange around edges of corn mixture. Spoon taco sauce or salsa over all.

Cover tightly with plastic wrap, turning back on corner slightly to vent steam. Microwave on high for 12-16 minutes, rotating platter halfway through cooking time. Let stand one minute.

Carefully uncover plastic wrap. Stir gently to mix vegetables and sauce. Sprinkle dish with grated cheese. Microwave uncovered for another 30 seconds or until cheese is melted. Serve with freshly chopped tomatoes, extra salsa, sour cream and a salad.

Peanut Butter Popcorn

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey
mix in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.
Once boiling, remove pan and add:
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla
Pour over 1-2 bags of popped popcorn (I prefer Kettle corn)
Make sure the popcorn is in a large bowl, it makes a ton!!
And it is so good served hot!!

Sweetcake's Gooey Bars

1 yellow cake mix
3/4 C. nuts (optional)
1 stick butter
1 box of powdered sugar
8 oz. cream cheese
1 Egg

Mix together cake mix, nuts (optional) and butter---press into a greased 9x13 pan
Mix powdered sugar, egg and cream cheese
Blend throughly and spread over bottom layer
Bake 35-45 minutes at 350 or until goldne brown
Cool and cut into squares!
This is in honor of our ward Bunco night at Sweetcakes next month, I am SOOOO excited!!

Apple Toffee Dip

8 oz cream cheese
1 C. powdered sugar
1/2 C. brown sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla
3/4 C. toffee bits
Mix well, chill, then serve with APPLES!
Totally seasonal, we were talking about apple dips at playgroup last week, I came across my recipe today!

HEAVENLY Angel Chicken

6 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 C. melted butter
1 Pkg. Good Seasons Italian salad dressing mix
1 can golden mushroom soup (I use cream of chicken, Kent doesn't do mushrooms)
1/2 C. chicken broth
4 oz. cream cheese
pinch of dried onion
1/4 tsp. ground garlic (optional)

Cut chicken breast into fourths, so the flavor can be absorbed into all the pieces. (boneless center-cut pork chops are also good). Place chicken in the crock pot. Mix together butter, dressing mix, soup, broth, cream cheese, onion and garlic. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. Serve over angel hair pasta.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Pain au Chocolat

A rather non-authentic French pastry that's great for breakfast or dessert. Also, proof that we eat more than just Japanese food at our house. I lost the recipe for this long ago, so I'm kind of approximating. It's pretty hard to screw up though.

1 sheet puff pastry, thawed*
3 Hersheys chocolate bars broken along the lines
1 egg white, beaten
butter for greasing the cookie sheet
powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease cookie sheet with butter. Unfold puff pastry on lightly floured cutting board. Dust with flour. Roll out slightly with a rolling pin.

Cut puff pastry as follows (more or got really complicated as I tried to write it out so I decided a diagram was probably preferable to my confusing instructions):

Each pastry piece should be about as wide as a piece of the broken chocolate bar is long.

Brush each piece with the beaten egg white and place a square of chocolate about 1/2 inch from the end of the pastry piece. Roll it up into a log, using your fingers to squish the end into kind of a seal. Leave the sides open. Place the log seal side down on the cookie sheet. Repeat with each pastry rectangle.

Brush tops of each log with egg white then pop them in the oven until the tops start browning. Make a note of the time because I have no idea how long these are supposed to bake (15 minutes, maybe?).

Dust with powdered sugar and enjoy!

Kayla's Notes*

-Find puff pastry in the freezer section of the grocery store. Each box usually comes with 2 sheets. It dries out kinda fast, so make sure you wrap up the other sheet in plastic wrap and put it back in the freezer pretty quick so it doesn't get ruined. Make sure it's puff pastry and not phyllo dough (easy to confuse).

-There should be a few squares of chocolate left. Since they didn't make it into the recipe the calories don't count. Enjoy some guilt free chocolate while the the pain au chocolat bakes!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Pumpkin Fluff Dip

This one is so yummy and here just in time for Fall!

* One 16 oz. container of Cool Whip, thawed

* One 5 oz. Package of instant Vanilla pudding

* One 15 oz. can of solid packed pumpkin

* One tsp. pumpkin pie spice

In a large bowl, mix together instant pudding mix, pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice. Fold in the thawed whipped topping. Chill in the fridge until serving!

Serve with apples, gingersnap cookies (recipe also on the blog),
or cinnamon graham cracker sticks

Saturday, October 6, 2007


One of my all time favorite foods. It's usually served as an appetizer but makes a good entree too. There are a lot of different ways to prepare gyoza (aka potstickers), so you can adjust the recipe to suit your tastes.

1 package won ton wrappers*
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 cups chopped cabbage
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup chopped carrot
1/2 pound ground pork
1 egg
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup water

Heat sesame oil and soy sauce in a large skillet over medium high heat. Mix in cabbage, onion, garlic and carrot. Cook and stir until cabbage is limp. Mix in ground pork and egg. Cook until pork is evenly brown and egg is no longer runny. The filling can be a little bland, so salt, pepper, garlic powder, ginger, etc. to taste.

Place approximately 1 tablespoon of the cabbage and pork mixture in the center of each wrapper. Fold wrappers in half over filling, and seal edges with moistened fingers.*

Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Cook gyoza approximately 1 minute per side, until lightly browned.* Pour water into skillet and reduce heat. Cover and allow gyoza to steam until the water is gone.

Mix 1/4 cup soy sauce and 2 tablespoons rice vinegar for dipping sauce*. Serve with hot rice.

*Kayla's Notes

-You can find won ton wrappers in just about any grocery store in the refrigerated section. It always takes me like 20 minutes to find them, so just keep looking. They're there, I promise!

-I like my filling pretty minced, so I usually throw everything in the blender for a few pulses after cooking. It makes filling the wrappers easier since you don't have large chunks of pork or vegetables getting in the way.

-The filling does well in the fridge for a few days (probably in the freezer as well). Filling and sealing the wrappers is a little time consuming when you do the whole shebang, so we like to fill just as many as we need for that meal and throw the rest in the fridge. It's pretty quick to fill 5 or 6 at lunchtime the next day and it makes for easy leftovers.

-If you're one of those weirdos who likes their gyoza deep fried instead of steamed (I won't judge), just add a little more oil to the pan and fry. Use a slotted spoon to remove and forget about the water step.

-You can buy gyoza dipping sauce in the international foods sections of all our local grocery stores. We usually like it better than the homemade stuff and it tends to be pretty strong, so a little goes a long way.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Old-Fashioned Coconut Cream Pie

1 1/2 cups half-and-half
1 1/2 cups coconut milk (in a can in the Asian section)
2 eggs
3/4 cup white sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 t salt
1 cup flaked coconut, toasted
1 t vanilla extract
1 (9 inch) pie shell, baked
1 cup whipped topping

In a large bowl, combine half-and-half, coconut milk, eggs, sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Microwave on high, stopping to whisk it every minute or so, until thickened. Stir in 3/4 cup of the coconut and the vanilla extract.

Pour into pie shell and chill 2 to 4 hours, or until firm. Top with whipped topping, and with remaining 1/4 cup of coconut.

Note: To toast coconut, spread it in an ungreased pan and bake in a 350 degree oven 5-7 minutes, or until golden brown, stirring occasionally.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


Flat Bread (I buy the Trader Joe's brand, it's very well made & doesn't fall apart), Cream cheese and Mrs. Dash

optional ingredients: Tomatoes, Sprouts, cucumber, cheese (provolone), ham and turkey.

Lay the flat bread out and spread entirely with cream cheese, sprinkle with Mrs. Dash. On one side of the flat bread layer your toppings: cheese, ham and turkey...then, cucumber, tomato and sprouts. Roll it up, starting from the sides your toppings are on. When I make this for showers I slice it. But it's also great as a meal too!!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Texas Caviar Salsa

I got this recipe from Catherine T. She brought some for me once and I had to have the recipe. I don't know why it's so good, but it is. When I want something salty, nothing beats a bowl of this with tortilla chips. Plus, it’s healthy (depending on what you’re dipping in it).

2 cans shoepeg corn (usually comes in a short, fat can—small white kernels)
2 cans black-eyed peas
1 can diced green chilies
4-6 tomatoes, diced
1 bell pepper diced (I like orange or yellow)
diced: cilantro, green onions, garlic (to taste)
¼-1/2 cup zesty italian dressing (bottled, not powder)
Salt, pepper, jalapenos and Tabasco to taste

Mix together in a big bowl and chill overnight for best flavor (we usually can’t wait that long).

Notes: My taste buds can’t handle spicy, so I omit the jalapenos, Tabasco, and a little less than half of the diced chilies. To me the chilies I do put in and the cilantro give it enough bite. Also, I often just include one can each of the corn and black-eyed peas.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Tortilla Lasagna

1 T. vegetable oil
1 lb. ground beef
1 c. chopped onion
1 1/2 c green or red bell pepper, chopped
1 4 oz can diced chilies
1 pkg taco seasoning
2 c taco sauce
10 soft taco size tortillas
2 c grated cheese

Preheat oven to 375. Grease a 9X13 baking dish. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat and ground beef and cook until no longer pink. Add onion, bell peppers, chilies, and seasoning mix. Reduce heat to low, cook for 3-4 minutes or until veggies are tender. Spread 1/2 the taco sauce in dish. Cover with 5 tortillas. Spread half the meat mixture and 1/2 c sauce, sprinkle 1 c. cheese. Repeat this with the rest of the ingredients. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted.

I usually put sour cream on top and serve with corn or salad.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Awesome Chicken Enchiladas

*2 dozen corn tortillas
*2 cans of cream of chicken soup
*1 can of diced green chilies
*1 med. onion chopped
*2 cups cooked shredded chicken
*grated cheese

Combine cream of chicken soup (add enough water to get consistency of a thick gravy), onions, green chilies, and shredded/cooked chicken.

Brush oil onto corn tortillas and place about 5 at time in a sandwich bag, in the microwave, for about 15 seconds (to soften them). Tear each tortilla into 4 pieces and layer the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan.

Next add some of the soup mixture, then more tortillas, then more soup mix, then top with a lot of shredded cheese. BAKE at 325 degrees for 1 hour.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

BBQ Chicken Marinade

*1/4 C Olive oil
*2 Tbsp Lemon juice
*2 Tbsp Vinegar (balsamic)
*1 Tbsp Worchestershire sauce
*1 tsp Salt
*1 tsp Sugar
*1/2 tsp Garlic salt
*1/2 tsp Pepper
*1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce

Mix all together and marinate up to 6 small or 4 large chicken breasts. Marinate 6 hours to over night!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Cashew Chicken

One of our favorite easy meals! If you've eaten at our house, we've probably served this to you. It barely serves four though, so if you have a bigger family, want leftovers, or are entertaining more people, you might want to double the recipe.

1 1/3 lbs chicken breasts
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 rice wine (sake, mirin)*
5 green onions
1 piece ginger (3/4 inch)*
2/3 cup cashews (or walnuts, if you prefer [I don't])
1/4 cup olive oil
3-4 tablespoons soy sauce

Cut chicken into 3/4 inch cubes. Stir cornstarch into 2 tablespoons of the rice wine and mix well with chicken cubes (we throw it all in a freezer ziplock and let it sit while we chop everything else).

Remove root ends and any dark green or wilted parts from the green onions and rinse. Cut into 3/4 inch lengths. Peel ginger, slice thinly, and then slice into matchsticks. Break cashews into small pieces or chop coarsely.

Heat oil in a wok or pan, add cashews, and stir fry for a minute or 2 until they start to turn brown. Remove and set aside. Add chicken to the pan and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add onions and ginger and stir-fry for another minute. Combine remaining rice wine, soy sauce, and about 1/3 cup water and add to chicken along with cashews. Stir-fry for another minute, make sure chicken is cooked through and serve. Great with sticky rice.

*Kayla's Notes:

-You can find rice wine and good sticky rice (Aaron is a total rice snob, so only the real good stuff will do at our house) at Lee Lee's. If you don't feel like making the effort, regular white wine or cooking wine works just fine and I can't really tell the difference in taste.

-When I gave my sister this recipe the concept of ginger in plant form as opposed to powdered form was totally alien. So, just in case you read that and went "...3/4 inch?" You can find ginger root everywhere (including Fry's and WalMart) in the vegetable section. It's quite cheap and you really don't need much at all for this recipe.

-I use my onion chopper to quickly chop the cashews. Also, they burn real quick, so keep an eye on them while stir-frying! A slotted spoon works well for putting them aside while stir-frying everything else.

-I like to let the whole thing simmer for a bit at the end. I usually mix a little more cornstarch in some water and add it right at the end to thicken it up, otherwise it tends to be a bit watery.

Thanks to Bethany S for the invite! This is such a great idea and I'm really excited about trying some of these recipes and sharing my good ones!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


This is our second favorite...we eat A LOT of chicken!!

1 (6.2 oz.) pkg. Rice-a-roni fried rice flavor (I use the chicken flavor). COOKED!
4 cups of shredded cooked chicken
1 cup of reduced fat sour cream
1 can reduced-fat cream of chicken
36 (1 roll) crushed RITZ crackers
6 Tbsp unsalted butter or margarine
1 T poppy seeds

Prep: preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spoon the (cooked) rice in an even layer over the bottom of an 11x17 (2 QT.) baking pan. Combine cooked, shreaded chicken, sour cream and chicken soup in a medium sized bowl. Spoon evenly over the rice. In the same bowl, combine the crackers and butter. Scatter this over the mixture. Sprinkle the poppy seeds evenly on top. Bake the casserole until it is bubbling and the crackers have lightly browned, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve at once!

--the rice and chicken can both be cooked ahead of time to make dinner prep tons easier, it also freezes well this way (w/o the crackers on top).

Cathy's Creamy Chicken

This is our all-time family favorite and similar to one that Meredith posted early on!
***I usually half this entire recipe, this will feed a VERY large family of like 6 or more??***

5 chicken breasts
2 cans of cream of chicken
1 can of chicken broth
3 TBSP. of Italian Seasoning
I also add Trader Joe's 21 Seasoning salute or another something.... (I like seasony sauce).

Cut the breasts into strips...or just buy the strips!! Cook 6 hours on high or 8-9 hrs on low.
1 hour prior to eating I'll add a 3/4 cup of cream cheese OR sour cream.

Serve over rice or noodles.
We prefer the rice and I'll steam vegetables with that--- it's a perfect meal!

Chicken Cordon Bleu (crock-pot)

I made this last night and it turned out GREAT!

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 slices of swiss cheese
4-8 slices of ham (depending on size and how ham-my you want it).
2 Tbsp. of butter
1 can of cream of chicken
3 Tbsp. of milk
3 Tbsp. white wine (optional)
1/4 tsp. of pepper
(I also add a little seasoning to mine-- 21 seasoning salute from Trader Joe's- the best!)
Sliced bacon is also an option & keeps your chicken MOIST!

I flatten my chicken with a mallet/meat tenderizer it makes it so much easier to roll. Place ham and cheese on top of chicken, roll up (also, this in the time to add the bacon around the outside of the roll, if you choose) and secure with toothpicks (I use 2 in each--just dont forget about them ;)).

Melt the butter in a pan on the stove. LIGHTLY brown each roll, DO NOT overcook! I do about 1 min. or so on each side.

Place in slow cooker, combine the remaining ingredients and pour over the top. Try to make sure the the chicken almost fully covered, it won't dry out that way. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours. I will usually add sliced potatoes and carrots to have a complete meal!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Easiest Chicken Burritos

I stole this recipe from Pimp my Dinner - we had it for dinner tonight and it was SO EASY and SO GOOD!

4 frozen chicken breasts (you don’t even have to thaw them beforehand)
1 15 oz. can of corn (drained)
1 15 oz. can of black beans
1 16. oz. jar of salsa
sour cream (optional)

Place all four ingredients in the crock pot for 3-5 hours (until chicken is cooked enough to shred easily). Shred chicken and stir all ingredients together. Place in soft flour tortillas and add cheese, lettuce, sour cream, salsa, and any other taco toppings you prefer.

Chicken Parmigiana

2 eggs, beaten
dry bread crumbs
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup parmesan cheese

Beat eggs in a bowl. Place bread crumbs in a separate bowl. Dip chicken in egg, then bread crumbs. Place chicken in greased 9X13 glass pan. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until done.

Pour 1/2 of spaghetti sauce on the bottom of the 9X13 pan. Pour the rest over the chicken. Sprinkle cheeses on top and return to oven for 15 minutes. Serve over pasta.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Twice Baked Potatoes

*Bake potatoes @ 400 degrees for 2 hours*
*Take them out and let them cool*
*Cut the in half and scoop out the centers*
*Put that into the mixer*
*Add a cup of milk, 1/2 cube of butter, & salt to taste*
--------Potatoes should be fluffy and thin---------
*Scoop back into potato skins (fill them full)*
*Sprinkle shredded cheese over the top*
*Bake again until cheese melts*

Sorry, kind of strange way to write the instructions but
I didn't know how else to explain it!

Ginger Snap Cookies

3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup shortening
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup molasses
2 eggs
4 and 1/4 cups flour
4 tsp. soda
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ginger
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cloves

Cream shortening/butter, sugars, molasses, and eggs. Add the rest of the ingredients. Roll into small balls of dough in sugar, place on cookie sheet (24 to a cookie sheet). Bake 375 degrees for 7 minutes Makes about 80-100 cookies!
*This is really easy and so very yummy! You've all probably tried Bethany P.'s! They are moving up the list of my fav. cookies of all time!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Brazillian Pancakes

-These are way yummy & easy. They're not quite as thin as crepes, but not as thick as regular pancakes either.

2 cup milk
3/4 cup flour
3 tbsp sugar
1 egg
pinch of salt

Whisk all ingredients together. Pour circles onto buttered frying pan on medium-med. high heat (just like regular pancakes). Swirl the pan a little so the batter goes into a big flat circle. Serve warm with butter & cinnamon sugar, or whipped cream and fresh chopped fruit. Awe and inspire your houseguests with hardly any effort at all!

**easiest way to make "crepes"- no special pan needed! (by: Bethany S.)

Brazillian Black Beans

-This is what Andre pretty much grew up on, his mom makes it all the time! (She is native Brazillian!) Its cheap, easy, flexible, and uses food storage (yay!)

black beans (dry or canned)
1 onion, chopped
1 sausage, sliced & cut into quarters (just to clarify: like deli sausage, not breakfast sausage)

Cook the above together. Depending on how much time we have we'll either cook dry beans in the pressure cooker (1-2 hours) or the crock pot (for Sunday Dinner). Or if I'm using canned beans I just do it on the stovetop or in the microwave (quick weeknight dinner). In that case I dont put sausage in it, and will just cook whatever kind of meat we have on hand separately & put the strips on top. (or sometimes we dont even have meat with it). Sometimes I add cumin, garlic salt, and/or lime juice to it, but you don't have to.

Cucumber and Tomato Salad

1 cucumber, sliced & quartered
1-2 tomatoes, chopped
olive oil
salt & pepper
balsamic vinegar

Mix cucumbers & tomatoes in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with balsamic vinegar, and salt & pepper it liberally. Serve with black beans and rice- we layer it all and eat it together. Mmmmmm! (by: Bethany S.)

*Andre's family also eats it with a fried, sunny-side-up egg on top. But I think thats kind of weird, and I usually don't have the time to do it or I forget. So I usually leave it out unless I'm trying to really impress him, haha. :) I do admit though, it does taste okay/pretty good. And its a good source of protein.

Broiled Tex Mex w/ black beans & rice

steak strips
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp ground cumin
2tsp chili powder
1 tsp sugar
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper

Toss and coat steak in olive oil, sprinkle on seasoned mixture. Broil under top rack in oven, on foil covered baking sheet. Turn once. Broil until fully cooked and browned. (sometimes I just cook it in a frying pan on the stove)

Serve over rice and black beans. I thought the spices might be too spicy/hot for my kids, but they love it!

Avocado and Tomato Salad

3/4 cup quartered grape or cherry tomatoes
1 med. avocado, diced
1/4 cup finely diced red onion
2 tbsp minced fresh cilantro
1 tsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp salt

Gently mix ingredients in a bowl. Serve with Broiled Tex Mex recipe above. This is also yummy with tortilla chips! (by: Bethany S.)

Basil Chicken in Coconut-Curry Sauce

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
1/4 tsp chili powder
1 cup red onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced (I only do 1 clove, but I am scared of using too much garlic!)
2 fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 (14oz) can unsweetened coconut milk
1 tbsp cornstarch
3 tbsp fresh basil, snipped
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated

3 cups hot cooked rice (I use Jasmine rice)

Cut chicken into 1" pieces & put in large Ziploc bag. Dump spices & olive oil in bag & moosh till all the chicken is coated. Chill for 1 hour. While that marinates throw the onion, jalapenos, & garlic in the food processor, set aside. Snip the basil, grate the ginger & set aside. Start cooking your rice.

In a large nonstick wok or skillet, cook and stir onion, garlic and jalapeno peppers in hot olive oil over med high heat for 2 minutes. Add chicken to skillet; cook and stir for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown. (add more oil if necessary.) Pour coconut milk in and add cornstarch. Cook and stir until slightly thickened and bubbly. Stir in basil and ginger. Cook and stir about 2 minutes more or until heated thru. Serve over hot jasmine rice with naan on the side. Die and go to heaven b/c its so amazingly good!!! (even my kids eat it!!!) (by Bethany S.)

-This recipe freezes really well, too, so I usually make 2-3 batches at one time.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Grape Jelly Meatballs

2 lbs ground beef
1/2 c dried onion
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 c half and half
1 c italian bread crumbs
2 tsp corn starch
2 dashes all spice
2 eggs

2 bottles Del Monte chili sauce
1 cup grape jelly

Mix together and chill. Form into walnut size balls. Place in 9x13 pan, cover with sauce. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes at 325. Serve over rice.

1 big bag of frozen meatballs (72 small meatballs)

Place meatballs in a 9X13 pan. Combine the chili sauce and grape jelly, pour over meatballs. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

-Give this a chance. I didn't think I would like it when I first tried it, but was so surprised that is was great! It is so easy and so yummy! (By: Jennifer)

Crockpot Roast

1 beef roast
1 envelope Itailan dressing
1 envelope brown gravy dressing
1 envelope ranch dressing
1 envelope onion soup mix dressing
1/2 cup water

Place roast in crockpot, sprinkle seasonings on top of roast. Place the water around the roast. Cook on low for 8-10 hours. It is yummy over rice or mashed potatoes. Enjoy! I hope I did this right, I have never done a blog before! (By Jennifer)

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Never-Fail Chicken Enchiladas

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 C sour cream
2 C cheese (I use more)
1 T salsa (I use more)
2 cans cream of chicken
Chopped green onions to taste
10-15 tortillas

Boil and cube chicken breasts, setting aside 1/2 cup broth for later. (This dinner is pretty fast if you do the boiling step earlier in the day, or used canned chicken.) In a large bowl combine soup, salsa, onions, sour cream, chicken, and half of the cheese. Set aside 1 cup for later. Spoon mixture into tortillas, roll, and set (flaps down) in a 9X13 casserole dish. Mix remaining cup of mixture with 1/2 cup broth. Pour over rolled tortillas. Cover with remaining cheese and bake at 350 until warmed through--usually about 20 minutes. (by Janell)

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Italian Meatballs

-These are an easy dish done in the crock pot and very delicious! I have to give my sweet cousin, Alyssa, credit for this wonderful recipe.

2 28oz cans Seasoned Diced Tomatoes (seasoned w/garlic, basil, oregano--or buy plain and season them yourself)
1 6 oz can Tomato Paste
1 Red Bell Pepper, sliced
1 Green Bell Pepper, sliced
Frozen, store-bought meatballs (about 7/adult)

Put all ingredients in crock pot. Cook on low 8-10hrs, or high 4-6 hrs. Serve over egg noodles. Enjoy! (by Meredith)

Friday, August 31, 2007

Oriental Chicken Tenders

-This recipe comes from my mother-in-law. I always feel like I'm cheating using frozen chicken tenders, but it makes the recipe SO much faster!

Ingredients: 2 pounds frozen, precooked, breaded chicken tenders
Pineapple chunks (optional)
1 Bell pepper, diced (optional)
Sweet and Sour sauce (below)

Turn oven to 350 degrees. Spread frozen tenders in 9X13 casserole pan and heat in oven till thawed and hot. Meanwhile combine sauce ingredients (below) in saucepan on medium heat until smooth and thickened. Pull thawed chicken tenders out of the oven, top with pineapple chunks and peppers, then pour sauce over everything. Bake 10 minutes, then stir and bake 10 more minutes. Serve over rice.

3/4 c. sugar
3 Tblsp. Catsup
1Tblsp. Soy Sauce
1/4 c. pineapple juice
1/2 c. red wine vinegar
1/2 t. salt
1 Tblsp. cornstarch dissolved in a little water

(by Janell)

Baked Ziti

1 pkg. of ziti noodles
1lb. of ricotta cheese
1lb. of mozzarella cheese
1 egg
pepper to taste
1 jar of spaghetti sauce

1. Cook noodles
2. In a separate container, mix the ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, egg, and pepper.
3. Line a cassarole baking pan with 1/4 of spaghetti sauce.
4. Mix noodles in with the cheese mixture.
5. Put all in baking pan.
6. Pour remaining sauce on top with some extra mozzarella cheese.
7. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 mins.

(by Becky)

Kahlua Pork

Buy the roast, rock salt,(like a sea salt) and liquid smoke.
The pork cut has to Pork Shoulder Butt Roast.
(Buy as big as you want, its great the next day on bread too.)

Slice 1" thick 3/4 way through the roast with a carving knife.
Sprinkle with rock salt between each slice.
Use a few Tablespoons of Liquid Smoke over all of it.

In a roasting pan, lay down Heavy Duty Alum. foil both ways, leaving the sides hanging over the pan. Put the roast in and seal up the foil around the roast.

Cook at 450 for 1 hour and then at 250 for 4-5 hours longer. Serve over rice or in sandwiches. I usually just have rice cooking and then right before I serve the roast I add a bunch of the juice to the rice. But last time the roast was done early enough that I actually used the juice to cook the rice. (by Becky)

Company Potatoes

2 pounds frozen hash brown potatoes or o’brien potatoes, thawed
¼ cup chopped onions
2 cans cream of potato soup
1 pint sour cream
10 ozs. Medium-sharp cheddar cheese, grated
½ cup fresh Parmesan cheese

Mix potatoes, onions, soup, sour cream and grated cheese. Place in a greased 9 x 13 casserole dish and sprinkle Parmesan cheese over top. Bake uncovered at 350 for 50-55 minutes.(by Becky)

Orange Julius

1/2 can of frozen orange juice concentrate
1/2 cup of sugar1 egg (optional)
1 tsp. of vanilla
2 1/2 cups milk
Ice cubes

Mix together in a blender and enjoy on a hot day! (by Becky)

Pumpkin Soup

5 to 6 lb pumpkin (8 cups)
1/4 cup butter
1 lg. onion chopped
6 chicken boullion cubes
6 cups water
1 1/2 cups whipping cream or half & half
2 TBsp orange juice
2 TBsp lemon juice
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp ginger
3/4 lb swiss cheese

1. Saute onion in butter.2. Add broth (bouillon and water) and pumpkin boil until tender 15-30 minutes.3. Blenderize pumpkin and water and bouillion in 2cup amounts (because it will blow the top off of theblender if too much is done at a time) pouring theliquid into a different bowl.4 Return to pan, add all other ingeredients. Addsalt to taste. This makes between 8-10 servings. Very good...can subpumpkin for squash in off seasons. (by Becky)

Pistachio Dessert

1c Flour
1T Sugar
1 Stick butter/margarine
1/2 c chopped nuts (I usually use walnuts or pecans but you can use other kinds of nuts too)

Mix and spread above ingredients in a 9X13" pan. Bake at 350 for 10-15 min (very lightly browned - hardly chanages color). Cool

Layer one:
1 8oz pkg cream cheese (may use low fat if you like but do not recommend non-fat)
1c powdered sugar
1 (9oz) pkg cool whip. (9 oz pkg are difficult to find in some areas. I buy a 12 oz pkg, weigh out 4 1/2 oz for this layer and use balance on the top). Lite Cool Whip works fine))

Cream sugar and cheese. Add 1/2 of Cool Whip, Spread on Crust

Layer two:
2 Pkg instant pistachio pudding....(also vg with 1pkg dark chocolate and 1 pkg vanilla pudding)
3 c milk

Prepare pudding with milk. Pour over top of cheese mixture. top with remaining cool whip. Chill several hours or overnight (by Becky)

Reese’s Bars

1 cup white granulated sugar
1 cup white corn syrup (Karo)
1 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
6 cups Special K cereal
6 ounces chocolate chips
6 ounces butterscotch chips

On stove or using microwave, boil sugar and syrup on high for 3 minutes; stirring constantly. Cool 1 1/2 minutes and add peanut butter, blend well. Cook or microwave 2 minutes; stir well. Add cereal, stir until well coated. Press into 9x13 pan. Melt chips together. Spread over cereal mixture. Cool. Cut into squares. (by Becky)

Creme Brulee French Toast

Although the recipe calls for large slices from a round loaf of bread and remove the crust, you can use a regular uncut loaf of French bread, leaving the crust on or off, and it will be just as delicious… Cut slices about 1 inch thick.


1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup
An 8 to 9 inch round loaf country-style bread
5 large eggs
1 ½ cups half and half
2 teaspoons vanilla
¼ teaspoon salt


In a small heavy saucepan melt butter with brown sugar and corn syrup over moderate heat, stirring until smooth and pour into a 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking dish. Cut six 1 inch thick slices from center portion of bread, reserving ends for another use, and trim crusts. Arrange bread slices in one layer in baking dish, squeezing them slightly to fit.
In a bowl whisk together eggs, half and half, vanilla and salt until combined well and pour evenly over bread. Chill bread mixture, covered, at least 8 hours and up to 1 day.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bring bread to room temperature.
Bake bread mixture, uncovered, in middle of oven until puffed and edges are pale golden, 35 to 40 minutes.
Serve hot French toast immediately

(This is better than “Mimi’s” famous French toast!) (by Becky)

Potato Chicken

2/3 Cup Instant Flake Potatoes
1/3 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
3/4 tsp. Garlic Salt, (I also add a little Lawry's Seasoning Salt)
3-3 1/2 lbs. Chicken (I use boneless frozen breasts or tenderloins-cheaper)
1/3 Cup Butter, Melted

Mix dry ingredients in bowl, melt butter in separate dish. Dip chicken in butter to coat, then coat with dry mixture. Place on greased or foil lined pan. Bake 375 45-60 min (depending on size of chicken) or until chicken in cooked thoroughly and coating is crispy and golden brown. (by Becky)

Mini Bagelizzas

8 miniature bagels, split
1 cup spaghetti sauce with miniature meatballs
23 slices pepperoni (or other desired toppings)
3/4 tsp. garlic powder
2 cups (8oz.) shredded mozzarella cheese

Spread the cut sides of bagels with spaghetti sauce.
Top each with two slices of pepperoni; sprinklewith garlic powder and cheese.
Place on ungreased baking sheets.
Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.
Yield 8 servings. (By Becky)

Melody's Chili

*1 lb. ground beef (chopped onion, garlic, salt and pepper)
*Carol Shelby's chili mix
*4 cans Bush's chili beans

Brown the meat, be sure to use all ingredients in parenthesis when browning your meat or it won't turn out the same. Drain oil off and dump meat into pot of beans. Get all of that to a boil and then add 1/2 of the Carol Shelby chili mix to the pot and stir. Once well stirred, in a little cup put 1/2 the packet of masa and add a little water to get to a consistency of batter, then pour into the pot (to thicken the chili). Stir and you are done!

***I always serve with Jiffy corn bread***
***It's also super yummy to add shredded cheese to the top of the chili in your bowl*** (by Melody)

Chicken Burros/Chimi’s

3-4 Chicken Breasts (I use frozen)
1/3 C chicken broth (or you could use water)
1 Taco Seasoning Packet (divided)

Place chicken in crock pot with broth and sprinkle ¼-1/3 of taco seasoning on top. Cook on low for 4-5 hours…till chicken’s cooked through. Take out chicken and shred or cut up. Drain juices from crockpot. Place chicken back in pot and add:

Remaining Taco Seasoning packet
1 Herdez Salsa “Salsa Casera” – mild (small jar)
1 4 oz. can diced green chiles

Mix together. Using tortillas and cheese, place cheese in tortilla and meat on top (to make a burro). Roll up. If you just want chicken burros, heat up tortillas first. To make chimis, roll up burros and place on cookie sheet. Spread butter on top of each burro and bake at 400 for 20 minutes or until golden brown. I serve with sour cream, cheese & homemade green sauce (recipe below), but you can serve with whatever. Then with left over meat I make enchiladas…I can add that recipe next week. *These burros work great with beef (roast) or pork roast.

Green Salsa

28 oz. can tomatillos, drained but reserve 1 C juice
½ bunch cilantro (1/2 C)
2 -4 oz. green chiles
½ C onion, chopped
½-1 C chicken broth
2 T. sugar
½ t. cumin
½ t. garlic salt
dash salt & pepper

Blend tomatillos, cilantro, chiles, onion and the tomatillo juice until smooth in blender. Place in pan and add other ingredients. Bring to boil. Then turn down heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
*Serve on chimi’s, as salsa, or I use this in my enchiladas also. I also mix some (2-3 T) into refried beans along with a scoop or two of sour cream and get great compliments on the beans…just to eat as a side item or as bean burros. (by Bethany P.)

Crock Pot Chicken

4-6 Chicken breasts (can be put in frozen)
1 pkg. Italian dressing mix
1/4 C. Butter

Place chicken in crock pot, cut up butter on top, and sprinkle italian mix on top (just the powder, don't make up the dressing). Cook on high 3-4 hrs, or on low 8-10 hrs

About 1/2 hour before serving....
1 pkg (8 oz) Cream Cheese, softened
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup

Pour over chicken and cut up chicken. Delicious served over rice or noodles. (by Meredith)

Taco Salad

.5-1 pound ground beef
1 can tomato soup
1 envelope taco seasoning
corn chips
1 can pinto beans

Cook taco meat according to instructions on packet. Add tomato soup and pinto beans, stir and heat until warmed through. Serve over taco chips with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, sour cream or ranch dressing, and other toppings as desired. (by Janell)