Thursday, December 2, 2010

Chocolate Marshmallow Cookies

Chocolate lovers, come on in!!!  These are so good!  I'm trying so hard not to eat them all!  I found this recipe in our family cookbook, and my cousin shared this recipe.  Don't know why I haven't tried these before!

* 1 bag of large marshmallows
* 1 3/4 cups flour
* 1/2 tsp salt
* 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa (Hershey's)
* 1/2 cup oleo (used unsalted butter)
* 1 cup sugar
* 1 large egg
* 1/4 cup milk
* 1 tsp vanilla extract

* 2 cups confectioner's surgar
* 5 T unsweetened cocoa
* 1/8 tsp salt
* 3 T soft oleo (butter)
* 4-5 T milk

1.  Sift together the following:  flour, salt, baking powder, and unsweetened cocoa. 
2.  Cream together:  butter, sugar, egg, milk, and vanilla.
3.  Add dry ingredients to creamed ingredients. 
4.  Drop by teaspoon on greased cookie sheets.  Bake at 350 for 8 minutes.  Remove from oven, and press 1/2 large marshmallow, cut side down, on top of each cookie.  Bake 2 more minutes.  Cool, cover with frosting.

1.  Stir ingredients together until smooth, beat.  Frost cookie to hide marshmallows.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Thanksgiving Dinner

This is going to be a LONG one...most of them came from the Pioneer Woman's website...lots of yummy food!  My brother joked with me that I went all out, making everything from scratch...but used Heinz Homestyle turkey gravy (runs to the corner in embarrassment)...hahaha.  I also bought the cranberry sauce/relish from The Fresh Market, and it is worth every penny...I could eat it right out of the container!

Pioneer Woman's Mashed Potatoes
  • 5 pounds Russet Or Yukon Gold Potatoes
  • ¾ cups Butter
  • 1 package (8 Oz.) Cream Cheese, Softened
  • ½ cups (to 3/4 Cups) Half-and-Half (we used 1/2 cup)
  • ½ teaspoons (to 1 Teaspoon) Lawry's Seasoned Salt (we used 1 tsp)
  • ½ teaspoons (to 1 Teaspoon) Black Pepper (we used 1 tsp)
1.  Peel and cut the potatoes into pieces that are generally the same size. Bring a large pot of water to a simmer and add the potatoes. Bring to a boil and cook for 30 to 35 minutes. When they’re cooked through, the fork should easily slide into the potatoes with no resistance, and the potatoes should almost, but not totally, fall apart.

2.  Drain the potatoes in a large colander. When the potatoes have finished draining, place them back into the dry pot and put the pot on the stove. Mash the potatoes over low heat, allowing all the steam to escape, before adding in all the other ingredients.

3.  Turn off the stove and add 1 ½ sticks of butter, an 8-ounce package of cream cheese and about ½ cup of half-and-half. Mash, mash, mash! Next, add about ½ teaspoon of Lawry’s Seasoning Salt and ½ a teaspoon of black pepper.

4.  Stir well and place in a medium-sized baking dish. Throw a few pats of butter over the top of the potatoes and place them in a 350-degree oven and heat until butter is melted and potatoes are warmed through.

Note: When making this dish a day or two in advance, take it out of the fridge about 2 to 3 hours before serving time. Bake in a 350-degree oven for about 20 to 30 minutes or until warmed through.

Pioneer Woman's Thanksgiving Stuffing

This stuff was AMAZING...after making this and eating it, I can't go back to boxed stuffing.  No way.  This is worth making from scratch!

  • 1 whole Pan Of Cornbread (PW's Cornbread Recipe)
  • 1 loaf French Bread, Somewhat Crusty
  • 1 stick Butter
  • 1 whole Medium Onion, Diced
  • 2 cups Celery, Chopped
  • 4 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • ½ teaspoons Dried Basil
  • ½ teaspoons Thyme
  • 2 teaspoons (to 3 Teaspoons) Fresh Rosemary, Chopped
  • ¼ cups Fresh Parsley, Chopped
  • Salt To Taste

1.  Chop the cornbread and loaf of French bread up into 1-inch cubes. Spread them out on two baking sheets and let them dry for approximately 24 hours.

2.  Warm up a large skillet over medium heat and add one stick of butter. When it’s melted add the onion and celery and cook for a few minutes until onions are almost translucent. While it’s cooking chop up any fresh herbs you will be using.

3.  Add 4 cups of chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add ½ a teaspoon of basil, ½ teaspoon of ground thyme, a few teaspoons of fresh chopped rosemary and ¼ cup of chopped fresh parsley. Stir until combined.

4.  Place all of your dried bread cubes into a large bowl and mix them up a bit. Gradually ladle the broth mixture into the bread, tossing lightly as you go. Keep gradually adding the broth mixture, tasting as you go and adding more seasoning and herbs if needed. Add salt carefully. You don’t want to over salt your stuffing. If the mixture is not quite moist enough add a bit more chicken broth and stir.

5.  Either stuff the bird and bake according to directions or place in a baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Pioneer Woman's Butternut Squash Puree

Next to the stuffing, this was probably my favorite dish!  Love, love, love!  My brother, who is pretty much anti-vegetables, loved this too!  I actually made this the Monday before Thanksgiving, froze it, then pulled it out to thaw in the fridge on Wednesday evening.


  • 1 whole Butternut Squash
  • 2 Tablespoons (to 4 Tablespoons) Maple Syrup
  • ½ sticks Butter
  • 1 dash Salt
1.  Start by slicing one butternut squash clean in half. Scrape out the seed and membranes with a spoon. Place both halves, face down, on a baking sheet and pour a little water into the pan, about a cup. Bake in a 350-degree oven for about 30 minutes or until the squash is fork tender. Remove from the oven.

2.  Cut ½ stick of butter into pieces and throw into a mixing bowl. With a spoon, begin scraping out the flesh of the squash from the skin and place in the bowl on top of the butter. Don’t miss a scrap of it!

3.  Add 2 to 4 tablespoons of pure maple syrup. With a potato masher, mash the squash until the large chunks are gone. Add a dash of salt. Place this mixture into your blender or food processor and give it a whir until it’s pureed.

Pioneer Woman's Dinner Rolls

This were so good!!!  I'm not going to lie, they were a lot of work and time-consuming, but they were oh-so-good! 

  • 4 cups Milk
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 9 cups Flour
  • 2 packages (4 1/2 Tsp.) Active Dry Yeast
  • 1 teaspoon (heaping) Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon (scant) Baking Soda
  • 2 Tablespoons Salt

1.  Pour 4 cups of milk into a stock pot or Dutch oven. Add one cup of sugar and 1 cup of vegetable oil. Stir to combine. Now, turn the burner on medium to medium-low and “scald” the mixture/lukewarm (between 90 and 110 degrees).

2.  Before the mixture boils, turn off the heat. NOW. Very important stuff here: walk away. Walk away and allow this mixture to cool to warm/lukewarm. The mixture will need to be warm enough to be a hospitable environment for the yeast, but not so hot that it kills the yeast and makes it inactive. I don’t usually use a thermometer, but if you’d like to, a good temperature is between 90 and 110 degrees. I usually feel the side of the pan with the palm of my hand. If it’s hot at all, I wait another 20 minutes or so. The pan should feel comfortably warm.

3.  When the mixture is the right temperature add in 4 cups of flour and 2 packages of (4-1/2 teaspoons) of active dry yeast. After the yeast and flour are nicely incorporated, add another 4 cups of flour. Stir together and allow to sit, covered with a tea towel or lid, for an hour. After about an hour it should have almost doubled in size. If it hasn’t changed much, put it in a warm (but turned off ) oven for 45 minutes or so. When it had risen sufficiently add 1 more cup of flour, 1 heaping teaspoon of baking powder, 1 scant teaspoon of baking soda and about 2 tablespoons of salt. Stir (or knead just a bit) until combined.

4.  Butter 1 or 2 muffin pans. Form the rolls by pinching off a walnut sized piece of dough and rolling it into a little ball. Repeat and tuck three balls of dough into each buttered muffin cup. Continue until pan is full. Cover and allow to rise for about 1 to 2 hours.

5.  Bake in a 400-degree oven until golden brown, about 17 to 20 minutes.

Pioneer Woman's Green Bean Casserole

This was good, but I think I may go back to the traditional one next year.
  • 2 pounds Fresh Green Beans, Ends Cut Off
  • 4 slices Bacon, Cut Into 1/4 Inch Pieces
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • ½ whole Large Onion, Chopped
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter
  • 4 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour
  • 2-½ cups Whole Milk
  • ½ cups Half-and-half
  • 1-½ teaspoon Salt, More To Taste
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
  • ⅛ teaspoons Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 cup Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 jar (4 Ounce) Sliced Pimentoes, Drained
  • Extra Milk For Thinning If Necessary
  • 1 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
1.  Cut green beans in half if you like pieces to be a little smaller.
Blanch the green beans: drop them into lightly salted boiling water and allow green beans to cook for about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove them from the boiling water with a slotted spoon and immediately plunge them into a bowl of ice cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain beans once they’re cool and set aside.

2.  Add bacon pieces to a skillet over medium heat. Cook bacon for two minutes, then add diced onion and garlic and continue cooking for 3 to 5 minutes, or until bacon is done (but not crisp) and onions are golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside.

3.  In a separate skillet or saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Sprinkle flour into the pan and whisk immediately to evenly mix it into the butter. Cook for a minute or two, then pour in milk and half and half. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, while sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Add salt, pepper, and cayenne then add the grated cheddar. Stir while cheese melts. Turn off heat.

4.  Add pimentos to pan, then add bacon/onion mixture. Stir to combine. Pour over green beans and stir gently to combine. Pour into a baking dish and top with panko crumbs.

5.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and panko crumbs are golden.

Hey Virginia! Mine is Better!! Meatloaf

I made this last week to trial it out for our monthly freezer cooking get-together, and it was a hit!  So good!  It makes great leftovers...especially, meat loaf sandwiches (I like to top it with provolone cheese).  I found it on

  • 1 1/2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons dried onion flakes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons ketchup

Savory Sauce

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

  1. Preheat oven to 325°.
  2. Mix all ingredients thoroughly in mixing bowl and pat into a 9" round pie plate and pat flat.
  3. Mix the "savory sauce" in a separate bowl and spoon over the meatloaf.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes (sauce should be bubbling).
  5. If frozen, thaw in fridge the day before, then bake as directed.

Chicken Taco Bake

One of my friends made this at our monthly freezer cooking session...and it was delish!  I topped it with some reduced-fat sour cream.

*2 c. cooked rice
*2 c. cooked shredded turkey or chicken
*1 can tomato sauce
*1 envelope taco seasoning
*1-2 cans refried beans
*1 c. grated cheese (freeze separately, and we added more)

TO FREEZE: In a 1-gallon freezer bag, place the cooked rice. In another bowl, mix taco seasoning and tomato sauce. Add shredded chicken and coat it well with tomato mixture. Add mix to the bag. Freeze. 

TO SERVE: After thawing, place rice and chicken mixture into a 9 x 13 pan. "Frost" with the refried beans. It may take up to 2 cans for that, especially if you want a good thick layer. Top off with grated cheese. Bake uncovered for 30-45 minutes or until hot all the way through and the cheese is nice and bubbly.

New recipes soon...

Have lots of new recipes I've tried out from Thanksgiving and a few freezer cooking sessions.  Now that school is pretty much finished for the semester, I plan to get them on here in the next few days  :)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Hot Dog Enchiladas

My friend Amy made this for our monthly freezer cooking session last month, and it was a hit in our house.  So quick and easy to make!  I'm actually make this for dinner tonight, serving it with tater tots (for Nate) and green beans.  Yum!

*8-12 hot dogs (we used 1 pack of  Oscar Mayer hardwood smoked turkey franks---no nitrates/nitrites added)
*1 block (7oz) of Colby/Monterey Jack cheese, reduced fat (or your favorite cheese)
*8-12 flour tortillas (soft taco size)
*1/2 cup tomato sauce
*1/2 cup salsa/picante sauce
*1-2 cans Hormel turkey chili with/without beans (we used 2 cans)

1.  Slit hot dog down center and stuff with cheese (cut up pieces from block).  Roll hot dog in flour tortillas 
2.  Mix 1-2 can Hormel turkey chili with beans; 1/2 cup tomato sauce or spaghetti sauce; and 1/2 salsa/picante sauce.  Pour sauce over hot dogs and add shredded cheese (I shredded from block of cheese used to stuff hot dogs.  Bake covered at 350 for about 30 minutes.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thanksgiving week!

So excited!  Thanksgiving week!!!  Did part of my shopping at Super Target today, and will finish the rest of it bright and early at Meijer tomorrow.  Have my shopping list and coupons ready to go!

Tomorrow's plan:
Grocery shopping
Make butternut squash puree and freeze

Make cornbread for stuffing

Buy last-minute stuff (dips, cranberry sauce) early in the morning
Brine turkey

Make the following and refrigerate:  mashed potatoes, yeast rolls, pumpkin pie, cinnamon baked french toast
Thaw butternut squash puree in fridge

Green bean casserole
Bake everything else that was prepped in advance
...and EAT!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Thanksgiving Dinner menu

This is mostly for my reference, but planning our menu for turkey day, which is almost two weeks away!  This time is just flying by!

Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Baked French Toast

Cheese ball and Wheat Thins
Artichoke/Spinach dip and pita chips
(I really wanted to make buffalo chicken dip, but I think I have a lot on my plate with cooking, especially since I work Tuesday)

Turkey (prepped with Williams Sonoma's Apple & Spices Turkey Brine)
Mashed potatoes w/gravy
Green bean casserole
Butternut squash puree
Fresh Market cranberry sauce
Yeast rolls

Pumpkin pie
Carrot cake (made by MIL)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Meat Loaf (Better Homes & Gardens)

I've made this recipe a bunch of times, and always have forgotten to post it on the blog.  It's my go-to meatloaf recipe.  I found it in one of our wedding gift cookbooks, Better Homes & Gardens New Cookbook:  Bridal Edition.  It pretty much has everything in our pantry (except for the meat), and it's simple to make.  Makes great leftover sandwiches! 


* 2 beaten eggs
* 3/4 cup milk
* 2/3 cup dry bread crumbs
*1/4 cup finely chopped onion
* 2 T snipped fresh parsley (we used dried)
* 1 tsp salt
* 1/8 tsp black pepper
* 1/2 tsp dried leaf sage, basil, or oregano (we used oregano)
* 1 1/2 lbs ground beef, lamb, or pork (usually use a combo of lean ground beef and pork)
* 1/4 cup ketchup
* 2 T brown sugar
* 1 tsp dry mustard


1.  In a bowl, combine eggs and milk; stir in bread crumbs, onion, parsley, salt, oregano, and black pepper.  Add meat; mix well.  Lightly pat mixture into a greased/Pam-sprayed meat loaf pan.

2.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 to 1 1/4 hours or until internal temperature registers 160 degrees.  Spoon off fat.

3.  In a bowl, combine ketchup, brown sugar, and dried mustard; spread over meat.  Bake for 10 minutes more.  Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

(You can substitute 1/3 cup BBQ sauce for the ketchup/brown sugar/mustard topping)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Slow Cooker Pepper Steak

Nate has been complaining of eating chicken all of the home and at the fire found a great slow cooker beef recipe.  It's actually very healthy, since the cut of meat (sirloin) is lean and low-fat.  And a great way to incorporate veggies for my picky guys!  I found this off of

  • 2 pounds beef sirloin, cut into 2 inch strips
  • garlic powder to taste
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cube beef bouillon
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 large green bell peppers, roughly chopped
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can stewed tomatoes, with liquid
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt

  1. Sprinkle strips of sirloin with garlic powder to taste. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the vegetable oil and brown the seasoned beef strips. Transfer to a slow cooker.
  2. Mix bouillon cube with hot water until dissolved, then mix in cornstarch until dissolved. Pour into the slow cooker with meat. Stir in onion, green peppers, stewed tomatoes, soy sauce, sugar, and salt.
  3. Cover, and cook on High for 3 to 4 hours, or on Low for 6 to 8 hours.

Firecracker Raspberry Chipotle Glazed Shrimp

I found this in a sales flyer at The Fresh Market.  It was different and very tasty  :)  Here is a link to the recipe.

Pasta with Roasted Garlic, White Cheddar, & Wine Sauce

This was amazing and such a hit at dinner time!  I didn't change anything about this recipe, and I give Annie's Eats all of the credit!  (the link goes to the recipe w/ingredients and directions).

Friday, October 8, 2010

So behind with blogging!

Have new recipes to post...hopefully, this weekend won't be too crazy and I can update this blog!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Spaghetti Casserole

A group of friends and I participated in a freezer cooking session, and it was a lot of fun!  Little did I know how great freezer cooking is!  What a time-saver!  I definitely plan to dedicate a day every couple of weeks to cooking about 5 or so meals.

The recipe I chose was a spaghetti casserole I had found on Taste of Home, a great recipe magazine.  This was so good!  Evan even approved...he finished his plate!

  • 1 package (16 ounces) angel hair pasta
  • 1-1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 jar (26 ounces) spaghetti sauce
  • 2 cans (8 ounces each) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese
  • Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in spaghetti sauce and tomato sauce. Remove from the heat.
  • Drain pasta. Combine soup and sour cream. In two 8-in. square baking dishes, layer half of the meat sauce, pasta, soup mixture and cheese. Repeat layers.
  • Cover and freeze one casserole for up to 3 months. Cover and bake the remaining casserole at 350° for 55-65 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  • To use frozen casserole: Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake as directed. Yield: 2 casseroles (6 servings each).

7-Layer Taco Dip

Wow!  This was a hit at our 4th of July pitch-in at work---there was nothing left!  I wanted something simple to make that didn't need to be heated up...something I could just pull out of the fridge and serve when it was time to eat.  I could've made a meal out of this taco dip---so yummy!  Served it with regular and Baked tortilla scoops.

  • 1 (1 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
  • 1 (16 ounce) can refried beans (used a lower fat version...1.5g fat/serving)
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened (used reduced-fat)
  • 1 (16 ounce) container sour cream (used reduced-fat)
  • 1 (16 ounce) jar salsa (used mild)
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 bunch chopped green onions
  • 1 small head iceberg lettuce, shredded
  • 1 (6 ounce) can sliced black olives, drained (only used a 2.5oz can)
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
  1. In a medium bowl, blend the taco seasoning mix and refried beans. Spread the mixture onto a large serving platter.
  2. Mix the sour cream and cream cheese in a medium bowl. Spread over the refried beans.
  3. Top the layers with salsa. Place a layer of tomato, green bell pepper, green onions and lettuce over the salsa, and top with Cheddar cheese. Garnish with black olives.

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

Found this at looked liked something that Evan would enjoy and seemed easy to make!

  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup or Campbell's® Condensed 98% Fat Free Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 1 (8 ounce) container sour cream (used reduced-fat)
  • 1 cup Pace® Picante Sauce
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 cups chopped cooked chicken
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 10 Mission® Fajita Size Flour Tortillas, warmed
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 1 green onion, sliced
  1. Mix soup, sour cream, picante sauce and chili powder.
  2. Mix 1 cup picante sauce mixture, chicken and cheese.
  3. Spread about 1/4 cup chicken mixture down center of each tortilla. Roll up and place seam-side down in 3-quart shallow baking dish. Pour remaining picante sauce mixture over enchiladas. Cover.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes or until hot. Top with tomato and onion.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Honey Lime Chicken

Sorry I've been slacking with the recipes lately. We've been busy, and then I've been trying to eat healthier.

I found this recipe in my Taste of Home Healthy Cooking magazine, which is an awesome recipe magazine! Lots of healthy, easy recipes! I did the marinating, then Nate took care of the chicken on the grill.  Served it with a 3-cheese rice side dish, and green beans.

  • 1 cup white wine or chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (4 ounces each)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
1.  In a large resealable bag, combine the wine, honey, lime juice and ginger; add chicken. Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate for 2 hours, turning once.
2.  Drain and discard marinade. Combine the garlic powder, salt and pepper; sprinkle over chicken. Using long-handled tongs, dip a paper towel in cooking oil and lightly coat the grill rack. Grill, uncovered, over medium heat or broil 4 in. from the heat for 6-7 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer reads 170°. Yield: 4 servings.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Pioneer Woman's Chicken Spaghetti

Trying to make things Evan would love, and this seems like a hit! I actually made it ahead for tomorrow night, but it sure did smell good when I took it out of the oven. Even Nate was eyeballing this as I was making it. Made it more diet-friendly by using reduced-fat versions of ingredients. Haven't tried a Pioneer Woman recipe I haven't is the recipe link.


* 2 cups Cooked Chicken
* 3 cups Dry Spaghetti, Broken Into Two Inch Pieces
* 2 cans Cream Of Mushroom Soup (reduced-fat)
* 2 cups Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese (reduced-fat)
* ¼ cups Finely Diced Green Pepper
* ¼ cups Finely Diced Onion
* 1 jar (4 Ounce) Diced Pimentos, Drained
* 2 cups Reserved Chicken Broth From Pot
* 1 teaspoon Lawry's Seasoned Salt
* ⅛ teaspoons (to 1/4 Teaspoon) Cayenne Pepper (omitted)
* Salt And Pepper, to taste
* 1 cup Additional Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese (reduced-fat)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cook 1 cut up fryer and pick out the meat to make two cups (we used skinless/boneless chicken breasts). Cook spaghetti in same chicken broth until al dente. Do not overcook. When spaghetti is cooked, combine with remaining ingredients except additional 1 cup sharp cheddar.
3. Place mixture in casserole pan and top with remaining sharp cheddar. Cover and freeze up to six months, cover and refrigerate up to two days, or bake immediately: 350 degrees for 45 minutes until bubbly. (If the cheese on top starts to get too cooked, cover with foil).

Creamy Taco Mac

This is the gourmet version of Hamburger Helper! So yummy! And a hit with Nate and Evan...who both had 2nd helpings! So easy to make! Found this on Annie's Eats---a great recipe blog you should check out!

We used lean ground beef instead of ground turkey, and reduced-fat cream cheese and sour cream.

Link to recipe...

Baked Ziti

I found this on what a tasty recipe!

* 1 pound dry ziti pasta
* 1 onion, chopped
* 1 pound lean ground beef
* 2 (26 ounce) jars spaghetti sauce
* 6 ounces provolone cheese, sliced
* 1 1/2 cups sour cream (used reduced-fat)
* 6 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded (used whole 8oz bag)
* 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add ziti pasta, and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes; drain.
2. In a large skillet, brown onion and ground beef over medium heat. Add spaghetti sauce, and simmer 15 minutes.
3. Spray 13x9 baking dish with Pam. Layer as follows: 1/2 of the ziti, Provolone cheese, sour cream, 1/2 sauce mixture, remaining ziti, mozzarella cheese and remaining sauce mixture. Top with grated Parmesan cheese.
4. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cheeses are melted.

Friday, April 23, 2010

On hiatus...

...but will be back soon!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day Chocolate Cupcakes

Happy Valentine's Day! I love making cupcakes! Made special ones for my two love bugs. Found the chocolate cupcake recipe from Joy of Baking's website. Topped them with yummy buttercream frosting, also from the Joy of Baking. Used a little food color to make them more festive :)

*1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder (used Ghirardelli Sweet Ground Chocolate & Cocoa)
*1 cup boiling water
*1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
*2 tsp baking powder
*1/2 tsp salt
*1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
*1 cup granulated white sugar
*2 large eggs
*2 tsp pure vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly butter, or line 16 muffin cups with paper liners.
2. In a small bowl stir until smooth the boiling hot water and the cocoa powder. Let cool to room temperature.
3. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
4. Then in the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth. Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and beat only until incorporated. Then add the cooled cocoa mixture and stir until smooth.
5. Fill each muffin cup two-thirds full with batter and bake for about 16-20 minutes or until risen, springy to the touch, and a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, frost with icing.

Buttercream Frosting:
*2 cups confectioner's sugar
*1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), room temp
*1 tsp pure vanilla extract
*2 T milk
*Assorted food colors, if desired

In an electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, cream the butter
until smooth and well blended. Add the vanilla extract. With the mixer on low speed, gradually beat in the sugar. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the milk and beat on high speed until frosting is light and fluffy (about 3-4 minutes). Add a little more milk or sugar, if needed. Tint the frosting with desired food color

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Cheesy Chicken Roll-ups

This is a great recipe...found it on this blog. It's a yummy variation from the Polish hamburger recipe I have.

*8 ounces cream cheese (used reduced-fat)
*4 T. melted butter (used about 2-3 T. instead)
*2-3 cups cooked chicken (shredded it)
*1/2 tsp salt
*1/4 tsp pepper
*2 cans crescent rolls (used reduced-fat)

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Mix first five ingredients together.
3. Unroll crescent rolls and separate into squares. Press seams together so they stay squares.
4. Put a spoonful of mix in the middle of each square. Bring corners together to center on top. Seal the edges/seams.
5. Bake for 20-25 minutes (we placed the rack toward the top so the bottoms of the roll-ups wouldn't burn).

Lindsay's Buffalo "Crack" Dip

This is absolutely amazing! It's so good, I had it the next day for lunch! Nate is not much of a dip guy, which worked out well for me :) This was one of our appetizers for Super Bowl Sunday. I found it on Linday's blog...she has great recipes! I halved the recipe...

*8 oz cream cheese, softened (used reduced-fat)
*6 oz Frank's buffalo sauce
*4 oz Ranch dressing (used reduced-fat)
*2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
*1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a medium bowl, stir together the cream cheese, dressing, and buffalo sauce until well blended. Add shredded chicken and mix well.
3. Spread into a glass baking dish. Top with cheese.
4. Bake for 25-30 minutes. (After baking, I transferred the dip into my Little Dipper to keep warm)

Tortilla Ham Pinwheels

We had a pitch-in for work since it was Super Bowl Sunday, and I was trying to find something simple and easy to make that didn't need to be heated. I found this recipe , and it was a hit!


*12 ounces cream cheese, softened
*1 envelope Italian salad dressing mix (I used about 3/4 packet of Hidden Valley ranch dressing mix)
*1 pkg 6" flour tortillas
*12 ounces thinly sliced (not shaved) deli ham


In a small mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese and salad dressing mix. Spread over one side of each tortilla. Top with ham; roll up. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Cut into 1-in. slices.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Cottage Cheese Beef Enchiladas

Saw this recipe on Lindsay's blog, and wanted to try this enchiladas recipe. It was absolutely delicious! We used ground beef instead of chicken. Nate is not a lover of cottage cheese at all, and when he saw me cooking it, I think he was ready to get a Hot 'n Ready from Little Caesar's. To his surprise, they were delicious! I served the enchiladas with rice and refried beans.

*1 lb ground beef (used 96% lean)
*1/2 C. chopped onion
*1 (4oz) can chopped green chilies
*1 pkg taco seasoning mix
*1/2 C. sour cream (used reduced-fat)
*2 C. cottage cheese (used small curd 2%)
*1 tsp salt
*dash of pepper
*12 (6-inch) corn tortillas (used flour)
*2 C. Mexican-blend (Sargento Mexican Bistro Blend) shredded cheese
*1 can (10oz) red enchilada sauce (used 1 1/2 cans)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1. Meat mixture: Brown beef, leave in pan. Add chopped onion and green chilies, saute until onions & green chilies browned. Add taco seasoning mix, and prepare according to package directions.
2. Cheese mixture: In large bowl, mix sour cream with cottage cheese. Add salt and pepper. Stir, until well-blended.
3. Add meat mixture to cheese mixture, stir well.
4. Assembling enchiladas: Heat tortillas until soft. In each tortilla, place meat/cheese mixture and a bit of shredded cheese. Roll tortillas and place in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking dish. Top with enchilada sauce and remaining shredded cheese. (We ended up with two baking dishes of the enchiladas)
5. Bake for 30 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Shrimp Scampi

We haven't had shrimp in awhile, and shrimp scampi sounded good to us. I found this recipe from I served it over angel hair pasta along with a salad.


*1.5 pounds shrimp (deveined, peeled, tails removed)
*Salt and pepper
*2 T. unsalted butter
*2 tsp minced garlic
*1/4 C. dry vermouth
*1 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice
*2 tsp finely chopped parsley leaves
*1/4 tsp grated lemon zest

1. Put the shrimp on a large pie pan or plate and pat them completely dry with a paper towel. Arrange the shrimp so they lay flat and are evenly spaced.

2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Add the butter to the skillet. When the foaming subsides, raise the heat to high, and invert the plate of shrimp over the pan so the shrimp fall into the pan all at once. Cook the shrimp, without moving them, for 1 minute. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Turn the shrimp over and cook for 2 minutes more. Transfer the shrimp to a bowl.

3. Return the skillet to the heat and pour in the vermouth and lemon juice. Boil the liquid until slightly thickened, about 30 seconds. Scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Stir the zest and parsley into the sauce. Pour the sauce over the shrimp, season with salt and pepper to taste and toss to combine.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Baked Potato Soup

I found this on Annie's blog , and it looked yummy! I just made a few modifications. Nate and I both love the potato soup at Charleston's restaurant...and this is very close to it! Great for a cold winter day!


*5 russet/baking potatoes
*4 tablespoons unsalted butter
*2/3 cup all-purpose flour
*6 cups 2% milk
*salt and pepper to taste (I was generous with the sea salt)
*1 cup reduced-fat sour cream
*1/2 cup green onions, chopped
*1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Sour cream
Green onions, chopped
Shredded cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Poke potatoes with fork, then cover with foil. Place potatoes on a baking sheet, and bake in the oven for one hour. Remove from the oven, let cool. Scoop out the insides of the potatoes, discarding the peels. Place in a food processor or mash into small chunks.

2. In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, melt the butter. Add ¼ cup of flour to the pot and whisk into the butter. Cook, whisking constantly, until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk and the rest of the flour. Cook until thick and bubbling, about 6-8 minutes. Mix in the potato chunks. Whisk in the salt, pepper, and cheddar cheese and stir until the cheese is melted. Remove from the heat, stir in the green onions and sour cream.

Serve immediately. Garnish with sour cream, cheddar cheese, green onions and bacon as desired.