Saturday, December 31, 2011

Peppermint Marshmallows

Oh my gosh!!! Aunt Heidi's marshmallows are wonderful.

This recipe is adapted from Smitten Kitchen.

1 c. powdered sugar
3 1/2 envelopes (2T + 2 1/2t) unflavored gelatin
1 c. cold water, divided
2 c. sugar
1/2 c. light corn syrup
1/4 t. salt
2 large egg whites
1/2 t. vanilla
1/2 t. peppermint
red food coloring

Oil bottom and sides of 13 x 9 metal baking pan and sit with powdered sugar. In mixing bowl, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 c. cold water and let soften. In 3 quart saucepan, cook sugar, corn syrup, 1/2 c. water, salt over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Increase heat and boil without stirring until 240F, about 12 minutes. Pour over gelatin, stirring until dissolved. Beat on high speed until white, thick, tripled in volume about 6 minutes. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites to stiff peaks. Beat whites, peppermint and vanilla into sugar mixture. Stir in food coloring but only to make lines through not to make pink. Pour into baking pan. Sift 1/4 c. powdered sugar over top. Chill uncovered until firm, at least 3 hours, up to one day.

Invert pan over cutting board. Cut into 1 inch cubes (oiled pizza cutter) sift remaining powdered sugar into baking pan and toass with marshmallows. Store airtight at room temp 1 week.

Caramels (a few days to make)

From Aunt Heidi's kitchen:

2 c. white sugar
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. butter
1/8 t. salt
1 c. corn syrup
1 c. heavy cream
1 T. vanilla

70% dark chocolate (Heidi says from Trader Joes)
The chocolate is important! Otherwise, they spread out.

Sea salt to top.

8 by 11 1/2 baking dish or something similar. Line smoothly with foil then butter the foil for easy removal later.

Melt butter over medium heat. Add chocolate, sugar, salt, syrup and cream. Cover and boil 5 minutes. Uncover and boil slowly, stirring until firm ball stage (248F). (If you have a cup of cool water to dump some caramel in it will tell you if it is the right consistency. You should still use a candy thermometer. Make sure your children are asleep during this part and don't cook them when you are sleepy!) Remove from heat. Add vanilla and stir. Pour into a foil-lined and buttered dish.

Let cool to room temperature. It can sit out for the next day.

Flip pan onto cutting board and peel off foil.

Cut with a sharp knife. (If you cooked them too long, they will be a pain to cut! The ice water test will help you with this part.)

Then freeze on wax paper so they hold their shape. (Also, makes them easier to dip later.)

Melt the chocolate slowly in the microwave, stirring frequently. You want a deep pool of chocolate in a small counter.

Use a fork to turn in the chocolate then put it on wax paper. Then sprinkle with a little sea salt.

You can cool the chocolate in the fridge if you want the chocolate to set more quickly but do not store in the fridge because the condensation on the chocolate will ruin the finish, the caramels will be too hard and the chocolate texture will change.

Peanut Butter Cups

HALF of the Buckeye filling to use for the Peanut Butter Cup filling.
1/4 c (2oz) cream cheese
1 1/2 c peanut butter
1 c graham cracker crumbed (~14)
3 cups powdered sugar
10 T unsalted butter, melted and cooled

The Buckeyes called for 12oz of dark chocolate, coarsely chopped. You need more for Peanut Butter Cups.

Beat cream cheese and peanut butter. Add crumbs and beat 10 seconds. Add sugar and butter, slow to combine, then faster, scraping sides. Then shape into little disks in the size for the papers put on wax paper and freeze.

Melt chocolate, let cool to tepid (less than 100F). Using a ketchup bottle put the melted chocolate in the bottom of each cupcake paper, put in a peanut butter disk then cover in chocolate. Chill in fridge 3o minutes, at least.

Aunt Heidi adapted this recipe from Buckeyes on Smitten Kitchen.

Overnight Pizza Dough adapted by Aunt Heidi

This recipe was adapted by Aunt Heidi from Peter Reinhart's New York Style Pizza Dough recipe in American Pie: My Search for the Perfect Pizza.

There are a lot of notes.

This recipe is for a 16 inch pizza pan.

11.25 oz of flour (preferably bread flour) (measured on a cooking scale)
(original recipe calls for 1t sugar- Heidi omits this)
1 t salt
1 t instant yeast (You can use active dry but you have to proof it in the warm water. This can also be labeled as 'bread machine yeast.')
dump oil in (about 2T)
1 cup warm water

Mix all the ingredients are just together. Let rest 5 minutes. Then kneed with mixer because stick for a few minutes. Look for the dough being stringy. Put over the dough and store in the fridge overnight.

Try to set dough out 2 hours before using to get to room temperature but you can use it straight out of the fridge.

Flour counter and top of dough because it will be really sticky if at room temp. Pat and stretch out multiple times it will eventually hold it shape. Heidi does not use a rolling pin for this. Then move to a greased pan.

Put on sauce (her sauce, Trader Joe's pizza sauce thickened with tomato paste), toppings (Bryan likes green bell pepper, well-drained pineapple tidbits, Canadian bacon from Costco), 8 oz mozzarella cheese from Costco.

Bake 500 or 550F for 10 to 12 minutes on the bottom rack of the oven. Look for the cheese and crust to brown then take it out.

Heidi and Bryan make pizza every Friday night. They have it down to a science. (They are both engineers!)

Friday, December 30, 2011

Roasted Green Chilies in Cumin-Garlic Cream Soup

Made Chili Chicken Tacos for dinner. Was having company and didn't think I had enough taco fixings to fill everyone. So, I fixed this soup. Got a lot of complements and the recipe was copied and sent home with the company.

4 large fresh mild green chilies, such as anaheim or poblano, or a combination of 4 green bell peppers and 2 jalapenos
Equal amount of corn as the chilies once the chilies have been diced
2 Tbs butter
1 onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 cup light cream
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
salt and pepper
1 lime, halved, to serve

Roast the mild chilies, or the combination of bell peppers and jalapenos until the skins are charred. Follow instructions on website for removing skins, seeds, and stem.
Melt the butter in a large frying pan, saute the onion and garlic for 3 minutes. Sprinkle with cumin and season with salt and pepper.
Stir in the sliced chilies and corn. Pour in the cream and stock. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until the liquid reduces in volume and forms a richly flavored sauce.
Transfer to a serving dish and serve warm, squeezing over lime juice at the last minute.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Italian Breaded Pork Chops

3 eggs, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons dried parsley (Didn't use)
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
4 pork chops (We had 6 pork chops and lots of leftover breading and egg mixtures.)

1.Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
2.In a small bowl, beat together the eggs and milk. In a separate small bowl, mix the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and parsley.
3.Heat the olive oil in a large, oven-proof skillet over medium heat. Stir in the garlic, and cook until lightly browned. Remove garlic, reserving for other uses.
4.Dip each pork chop into the egg mixture, then into the bread crumb mixture, coating evenly. Place coated pork chops in the skillet, and brown abut 5 minutes on each side.
5.Place the skillet and pork chops in the preheated oven, and cook 25 minutes, or to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F (70 degrees C).

I served this meal with mashed potatoes that I didn't peel and mashed with Half & Half and Parmesan.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Chicken Broth

Bones & 1/2 the skin
1 unpeeled onion cut into 1/8th
5-6 cloves garlic halved
1 carrot cut in 1/4
handful celery leaves
black peppercorns
2 bay leaves

Put in crockpot overnight
Strain and pour into containers to freeze.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Soy and COla- Braised Pork Shoulder

This is from Cooking Light October 2011

My husband's aunt wanted to try this recipe so I made it for dinner using what I could find in a kitchen that was not mine. :) See my notes to the side of the recipe.

1 T. dark sesame oil (I didn't have, so I used olive oil.)
1 (3 1/2 lbs) bone-in pork shoulder (boston butt), trimmed
1/2 t kosher salt
1 T minced peeled fresh ginger (dumped in a lot of dry. I would like to use fresh next time.)
4 garlic cloves, minced (NECESSARY and more)
2 cups cola (such as Coca-cola. I had one can of some diet off brand cola. I would like the real thing next time and the required amount.)
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup lower-sodium soy sauce
1 cup diagonally sliced green onions (didn't have)


1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
2. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan. Sprinkle pork evenly with salt. Add pork to pan; sauté for 8 minutes, turning to brown all sides. Remove pork. Add ginger and garlic; sauté for one minute, stirring constantly. Stir in cola and the next 3 ingredients (through soy sauce_; bring to a boil.

Return pork to pan; cover. Bake at 300 for 1 hour and 50 minutes or until tender, turning occasionally. Remove pork from pan, and let stand for 10 minutes. Shred pork with 2 forks. Skim fat from cooking liquid.

HERE is where things were more difficult with kids in the kitchen. Next time, I want to just throw it in the crockpot after browning the pork and cooking the sauce. I totally forgot to turn the pork while it was in the oven for 2 hours! It turned out alright but didn't really shred. I think, it would be a lot more tender if put in the crockpot on low for 8 hours.

3. Place pan over medium-high heat; bring cooking liquid to a boil. Cook 15 minutes or until reduced to about 2 cups, stirring occasionally. Combine pork and 3/4 cup sauce in a bowl; toss to coat. Top with green onions. Serve pork with remaining 1 1/4 cups sauce.

I used less pop so mine didn't really condense much.

We put ours on Kaiser rolls with shaved cucumber and carrot ribbons tossed with rice vinegar. So good! It also suggests stuffing a tortilla with the meet and matchstick-cut cucumber and carrot. The taste was not heavy or saucy like what I think of with pulled-pork. I am excited to try this recipe again.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Sour Cream, Cheddar, and Green Onion Drop Biscuits

I thought I had lost this recipe. Thank goodness I found it while cleaning the kitchen because we are moving.

This recipe is from Cooking Light.

Roll our these biscuits, or drop into 12 muffin tins and bake the same amount of time. These are best the same day they're baked, but you can store them in an airtight container for up to two days. To warm them, wrap loosely in aluminum foil, and place in a 300 degree oven for five to ten minutes.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 T. sugar
2 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
1/4 t. baking soda
3 T. chilled butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 c. (3oz)shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 c. finely chopped green onions
1 c. buttermilk
1/2 c. sour cream

Preheat oven to 450.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add cheese and onions; toss well. Add buttermilk and sour cream; stir just until moist.

Drop dough by 1/4 cupfuls onto a baking sheet coated with cooking spry. Bake at 450 for 15 minutes or until edges are brown. Remove biscuits from pan; cool on wire racks.

Oatmeal Pancakes

1/2 c. flour (can be whole wheat)
1/2 c. quick oats
1 T. sugar
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
3/4 c. buttermilk
1 t. vanilla
2 T. vegetable oil
1 egg

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Another New Label- Gluten Free

I am adding a 'gluten free' label to the blog to help you find new recipes to try! Please, read notes I have added in the bottom for some recipes for special changes and feel free to comment changes of your own.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Blueberry Spice Muffins

Penzeys Spice Catalog 2011

1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 cup t baking powder
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. nutmeg
1 egg slightly beaten
3/4 cup milk (MSPI coconut milk)
1/3 cup melted butter (MSPI coconut oil)
1 1/4 cups fresh blueberries

1 T sugar
1/2 t. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. For the muffins: Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine the egg and milk and then add to the dry ingredients along with the melted butter. Stir just until moistened and then fold in the blueberries. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups 2/3 full. Combine the topping ingredients and sprinkle over the batter. Bake at 400 degrees for 16-20 minutes or until browned and springy or the toothpick that doesn't hit a blueberry comes out clean. Col a few minutes in the pan and then remove to a wire rack.

Opera-in-the-Park Raspberry Bars

These are so good they should only be made once a year!

Crumb Layers:
1 1/2 cups oatmeal (old-fashioned or quick cooking)
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter (2 sticks) (MSPI coconut oil)
1 1/2 cups flour
1 t baking soda

3 1/2 cups raspberries
2 T raspberry enlightenment (I used raspberry jam.)
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 T cornstarch
1/3 cup oatmeal (old-fashioned or quick cooking)
1 t. pure vanilla extract
1/2 t. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degree. In a mixing bowl, combine the ingredients for the crumb layers. Mix until crumbly. Press about 2/3 of the mixture into the bottom of a greased 9 by 13 pan and set aside. From the filing, combine the ingredients in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and let cool until only slightly warm. Spread over the bottom layer in the pan. Top with the remaining crumb mixture. Bake at 350 degrees until the topping is golden and the raspberry filling is bubbling near the center, about 40 minutes.

Curried Pork Tenderloin

Penzeys Spices 2011 catalog

2 1/2 lb pork tenderloin
2 t. oil
1/2 large onion, chopped
15 oz. can regular or light coconut milk
1/2 cup dried papaya, diced
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup dried pineapple, diced
2 t. sweet curry powder
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. powdered ginger
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 T fresh chopped cilantro, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the tenderloin on all sides. Place the pork in a 9 x 13 baking dish. Add the onions to the skillet and cook over medium heat until translucent. Add the coconut milk, papaya, raisins, pineapple and spices and simmer for five minutes. Add the chicken stock and simmer for an additional minute. Pour over the tenderloin and place in the oven. Roast at 350 for 45 minutes. Let rest before carving. Slice and serve with the coconut-fruit sauce on the side. Garnish with fresh cilantro.

CROCKPOT: I didn't want to heat up the kitchen with the oven, so I simply followed the instructions then placed the meat and sauce in the crockpot on low for 8 hours. It turned out great!

I love the sweet fruit with the pork. And it looked beautiful served over rice.


Jessica is a doula and has met a lot of moms dealing with MSPI. One of her students, also named Jessica, kindly went through to label some recipes which are MSPI friendly. I hope this helps you find multiple things to enjoy while dealing with MSPI!

Milk soy protein intolerance (MSPI) is a temporary inability to digest the proteins found in cow’s milk and soy products. MSPI is different from a traditional food allergy.

Looking for more MSPI recipes? Look HERE at MSPI Mama.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Texas Caviar (Stick with me here)

15 oz red kidney beans (1 can or 2 cups cooked)
15 oz garbanzo beans
15 oz white northern beans
15 oz black beans
1 onion, finely chopped
1 lb. corn, cooked and chilled, 4-6 ears or roughly 3 cups
1 small bunch cilantro, chopped


¼ cup olive oil
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. chili powder, cajun seasoning, or cayenne pepper
½ tsp. salt to taste
½ lime (juice of, 1-2 Tbsp.)

Cook all the beans and rinse well. If you are using canned beans, drain them well and rinse them. Combine them in a mixing bowl. Add the onion and cilantro and mix well. In a separate bowl, combine the dressing ingredients and mix well. Add dressing to taste. The salad will absorb a lot of the dressing, so you may not want to add it all at once. Mix well, cover and chill overnight. Taste and add extra dressing if desired.

Serve as a side salad or as a salsa with chips. Enjoy

A serving is 1 cup and has 9 grams of protein.


This recipe started out as a Rachel Ray recipe. However, we started making adding things we enjoy and taking away things that weren't huge favorites. So...

Start with a loaf of Italian Bread sliced.
Get out sandwich meat (ham and turkey are favorites here), pepperoni and salami are good also.
Italian dressing or olive oil
Cheese (We like Provolone, Havarti, Mozzarella.)
Pizza Sauce
Pesto Sauce
Sliced Tomato
Spinach (frozen that is thawed and squeezed dry) mixed in Ricotta

Plug in your waffle iron.
Start assembling sandwiches. Use two pieces of bread and put meat, cheese, sauce, and veggies between the two slices.
Use a paintbrush or spoon to smear a little olive oil or Italian dressing on the outside of both slices of bread.
Place one sandwich at a time in the waffle iron. Press (rest the top on the sandwich, I don't actually press down) for a few minutes (I think I do about 5ish).
Remove from waffle iron, CAREFULLY!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Kid Friendly Summer Sanck

1 Box Nilla Wafers
1 Container Cool Whip
1 Small Container Yogurt (any flavor)

Line cupcake tin with cupcake wrappers, small wrappers work well. In each cup put one Nilla Wafer. Mix the Cool Whip and Yogurt together. (You don't need a full container of Cool Whip. I make these when I have a leftover container of Cool Whip in the refrigerator.)
Divide the Cool Whip mixture into the cupcake lined cups. Top with another Nilla Wafer. Freeze. (If you make a lot of these, they get mushy if left in the cupcake tin to long. Move to a sealed storage container within 24 hours.)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Cheesy Broiled Tomatoes and Pasta

THIS is a Real Simple recipe. It looks beautiful and tastes pretty good. It is just a nice change up from always having red sauce.


* 12 ounces spaghetti
* 3 large beefsteak tomatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), each cut into 4 thick slices
* 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for the baking sheet
* kosher salt and black pepper
* 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, grated
* 1/4 cup grated Parmesan (1 ounce), plus more, shaved, for serving
* 2 cloves garlic, chopped
* 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
* 3/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves, plus more for serving


1. Heat broiler. Cook the pasta according to the package directions; drain and return it to the pot.
2. Meanwhile, arrange the tomato slices in a single layer on a lightly oiled rimmed baking sheet. Season with ¼ teaspoon each salt and black pepper. Dividing evenly, sprinkle the slices with the mozzarella and Parmesan. Broil until the cheese is bubbly and golden, 3 to 5 minutes.
3. In a small saucepan, warm the oil with the garlic and red pepper over medium heat until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.
4. Add the garlic oil, basil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper to the pasta and toss to combine. Serve topped with the tomatoes, additional basil, and shaved Parmesan.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Jiffy Pancake and Fruit Shortcakes

From Rachael Ray's Cooking Rocks!

For all three recipes
Butter or vegetable oil, for skillet or griddle
Whipped cream

Blueberry Shortcakes

1 box blueberry muffin mix
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1 pint fresh blueberries

Raspberry-Strawberry Shortcakes

1 box raspberry muffin mix
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
12 strawberries, hulled and sliced

Banana Nut and Fruit Shortcakes

1 box banana nut muffin mix
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1 small banana, sliced
6 strawberries, hulled and sliced

Make the pancakes: Heat a large nonstick skillet or griddle pan over medium heat (we used our electric griddle). Mix each muffin mix in a seperate bowl with egg and milk. Lightly grease skillet or griddle and pour four 3-inch blueberry pancakes onto the griddle. When bubbles appear around the edges, lift up the pancake to peek at the underside. If it looks golden brown, flip it and cook the other side. Repeat with raspberry-strawberry pancakes and then the banana nut and fruit pancakes, so you havve 4 of each kind, for a total of twelve 3-inch pancakes.

Make the shortcakes: Layer a pancake with a swirl of whipped cream, a pile of fruit, then another pancake, more whipped cream and fruit, and then top with another cake. Each shortcake stack should be made with 3 small pancakes.

Use the cheapest mixes you can find. The more expensive ones puff and are harder to get done in the middle. Also, the bigger you make them the easier they seem to be to flip.

Crazy Chocolate Cake

This is what a delicious cake looks like when decorated by a one-year-old and a four-year-old!!!

From Penzeys Spices catalog Spring 2011.

3 cups Flour
1/4 cup Cocoa Powder
1 tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Vinegar
2 cups Water
2 cups Sugar
2 tsp. Baking Soda
3/4 cup Vegetable Oil (Canola works.)
1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together until smooth and bake in a greased 9x13 pan or two grease and floured round cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes for 9x13, 22-25 minutes for layers. Cool on a wire rack. If using round pans, remove from the pans after about 30 minutes. Frost when completely cool.

Cream Cheese Frosting
6 oz Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup Butter, softened (1 stick)
2 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
4 1/2 cups Sifted Powdered Sugar, divided
2-4 tsp Milk (if needed)

Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla until light and fluffy. Gradually add 2 cups of powdered sugar and beat well. Gradually beat in the remaining sugar. Beat in 1 tsp. of milk at a time if it is too thick to spread. Refrigerate after the cake is frosted.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Rosemary Peasant Bread

From Food Network Magazine
Found HERE.


The Restaurant: Romano's Macaroni Grill
The Dish: Rosemary peasant bread

Almost Famous Rosemary Bread
Active: 30 minutes
Total: 5 hr (plus cooling)
Makes: 4 small loaves

1 1/4oz packet active dry yeast
2 t sugar
2 T extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing and serving
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 T dried rosemary
1 t fine salt
1/2 t kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper

1. Stir the yeast, sugar and 1/4 cup warm water in a large bowl (or in the bowl of a stand mixer). Let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.
2. Add 1 T olive oil, the flour, 1 1/2 T rosemary, the fine salt and 3/4 cup warm water; stir with a wooden spoon (or with the dough hook if using a mixer)until a dough forms.
3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, dusting lightly with flour if necessary, until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. (or knead with the dough hook on medium-high speed, adding a little flour if the dough sticks to the bowl, about 8 minutes.)
4. Brush a large bowl with olive oil. Add the dough, cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature until more than doubled, about 2 hours.
5. Brush 2 baking sheets with olive oil. Generously flour a work surface; turn the dough out onto the flour and divide into four pieces. Working with one piece at a time, sprinkle some flour on the dough, then fold the top and bottom portions into the middle. Fold in the sides to make a free-form square. Use a spatula to turn the dough over, then tuck the corners under to form a ball. Place seam-side down on a prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough, putting two balls on each baking sheet. Let stand, uncovered, unto more than doubled, about 2 hours.
6. Preheat the oven to 400. Bake the loaves 10 minutes; brush with the remaining 1 T olive oil and sprinkle with the kosher salt and the remaining 1/2 T rosemary. Continue baking until golden brown, about 10 more minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool. Serve with olive oil seasoned with pepper.

Chocolate Raspberry Layer Cake with Hot Chocolate Whipped Cream

Penzeys Spices Catalog

2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups unbleached flour
3/4 cup natural cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup oil
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

Raspberry Filling:
12 oz. frozen raspberries
1/4 cup sugar
1 T. cornstarch
1/4 cup raspberry enlightenment (I used raspberry jam.)

Hot Chocolate Whipped Cream
3 cups heavy whipping cream (I only had 2 cups but it was enough.)
3 T. water
1 1/2 tsp. unflavored gelatin
3/4 cup Hot Chocolate Mix (I found this was about six packages.)
1 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Cake: Preheat the oven to 350. Place parchment liners in the bottom of two 8 in round ungreased cake pans. In a large bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Add the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. Beat for two minutes on medium speed. Stir in the boiling water (batter will be very thin). Pour into the prepared pans and bake for 22-30 minutes of until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes on a wire rack. Remove from pans and cool completely on a wire rack. Don't worry if the centers fall a bit when they come out of the oven, the cake will still look and taste great!

Filling: In a medium saucepan add the raspberries, sugar, cornstarch and raspberry enlightenment. Stir to incorporate all the ingredients. Cook over medium heat until boiling; boil for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat; pour into a blender, and puree. Strain into a bowl and let cool.

Frosting: Place your mixing bowl and beaters in the freezer to chill while the cake is baking. In a metal measuring cup or very small saucepan, combine the water and the gelatin. Let this sit for five minutes, and then heat over low heat for two minutes (or so) to melt the gelatin. Don't let it get too hot! Pour the cream and hot chocolate mix into your chilled bowl. With the mixer on low, drizzle the melted gelatin into the cream/chocolate mix. Add the vanilla and turn mixer to high. Continue to whip until stiff peaks form. This may take up to 5 minutes.

Assembley: Carefully cut each 8 inch cake in half (you will have four slices of cake). Place a slice of cake on your cake carrier or plate. Spread on 1/3 of the raspberry filling. Spread on some hot chocolate whipped cream.. Top with another slice of cake, spread another 1/3 of raspberry filing and cover with hot chocolate whipped cream. Top with another slice of cake. Using the last 1/3 of raspberry filling, spread evenly over the cake. Top with hot chocolate whipped cream. .Place the last slice of cake on top and frost the entire cake with the remaining hot chocolate whipped cream.

Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight before serving for easiest slicing.

Prep time: 30 minutes
Baking time: 22-30 minutes
Serves: 16

Nutritional Information: Servings 16; Serving Size: 1 slice (137 g); Calories 360; Calories from fat 180; Total fat 21 g; Cholesterol 70mg; Sodium 260 mg; Carbohydrate 43g; Dietary Fiber 2g; Protein 4 g.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Vegan Spinach Pesto

This is from the Penzey's catalog. I think, it needs a few additions; these will be indicated in para theses next to the recipe.

10 oz baby spinach (also basil)
2 T pine nuts or walnuts (both, and 4T each)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast (1/4 to 1/2 cup Parmesan and/or Romano cheese)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 t. granulated garlic
water or olive oil as needed

Place the spinach, pine nuts, yeast and olive oil in a food processor or blender and pulse until well-blended, scraping the sides as needed. Add the water or more olive oil and pulse to reach your desired consistency.

Serve on freshly cooked pasta or spread on pizza dough and top with tomato slices.

This is a beautiful shade of green and a nice change up from a tomato based sauce. I don't think it is a pesto without the basil. I do like the nuts and they would be a nice garnish as well.

Grilled Steak Pitas

Soooo good. Always love to see the Penzey's Catalog in the mail.

Yogurt Sauce:
2 cups plain Greek yogurt
1-2 T Dill Weed (to taste)
1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded and minced
1/2 t salt (optional, to taste)

1 1/2 lbs. skirt steak (or sandwich steak or round steak pieces pounded a bit flatter)
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (juice of 2-3 lemons)
1 t Turkish oregano
1/2 t pepper
1/2 t granulated garlic powder
4 pitas, halved
2 cups arugula or soft lettuce, washed and dried
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 2 oz)
1 tomato sliced

Make the yogurt sauce first. Put the yogurt in a bowl. Rub the dill weed between your hands over the bowl, so that the dill is broken up and releases its flavor. Add the cucumber and mix well. Add salt and mix. Taste and add more Dill and salt as desired. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Combine the steak, lemon juice, oregano, pepper and garlic in a zip-top bag or other closed container. Marinate for 10-30 minutes. Pre-heat grill while steak is marinating. Remove the steak from the bag and discard the marinade. Grill the steak to desired degree of done-ness; 3-4 minutes per side over high heat is a round estimate for medium-rare. Remove from the grill and let stand for 5-10 minutes before slicing. (I broiled mine in the oven 5 minutes on each side.)

While the stead is standing, fill each pita half with a few heaping spoonfuls of yogurt sauce, feta cheese, a bunch of arugula and tomato slices. Slice the steak diagonally across the grain into thin slices. Add steak to the pita and serve.

Nutritional Information: Servings 4; Serving Size 1 pita; Calories 590; Calories from fat 350; Total fat 38g; Cholesterol 110mg; Sodium 770mg; carbohydrate 48g; Dietary Fiber 3g; Protein 52

Roasted Eggplant, Tomato, Garlic and White Bean Spread

You have to love Penzey's!

This is a great dip or sandwich spread instead of hummus.

1 medium eggplant, cute into thick chunks, peeled (I didn't peel mine. I also had a small eggplant so I also put in a zucchini.)
1 head fresh garlic, each clove individually peeled
5-6 tomatoes on the vine, quartered and seeds removed
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3T. balsamic vinegar
1/2 t Kosher salt (optional)
1/3 freshly ground pepper
2 T Tuscan Sunset (I added basil and oregano instead)
1 16oz can white beans
1 t. ground Chipotle pepper
1/2 t Mexican oregano (I put regular oregano in)
2 lemon juice (juice of 1/2 lemon)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place the vegetables in a shallow baking dish. Add the oil, vinegar, salt, if using, and pepper to taste and the Tuscan Sunset. Toss well to coat. Carefully spread into a single layer and place the pan in the oven. Roast for 45 minutes. (You can let the mixture rest overnight in the fridge to cool or try to let it cool before putting the the food processor.)

Rinse and drain the white beans in a colander and place in a blender with two cups of the roasted vegetable mixture. The vegetables should have exuded quite a bit of liquid so make sure to include SOME of the liquid in he two cups. Blend the beans and vegetables. Add the Chipotle pepper and oregano and the juice from the lemon. Blend well and pour into a bowl. Serve with any firm cracker.

Nutritional Information:
Servings 12; Serving Size 1/2 cup; Calories 80; Calories from fat 45; total fat 5g; Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 0 mg; Carbohydrate 8g; Dietary Fiber 2g; Protein 2g

Saturday, April 16, 2011

New England Clam & Corn Chowder

Recipe from Family Circle January 2011.

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups reduced-fat milk
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
3 cans (6 oz each) minced clams
1 pound small red-skinned potatoes, cut into 1/2 in pieces
2 cups frozen corn, thawed
1 tsp. low-sodium Old Bay seasoning
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 Tbsp chopped parsley

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat; add onion and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in wine and cook 1 minute; sprinkle in flour and cook 1 minute. Gradually stir in milk and chicken broth. Drain liquid from clams into measuring cup. Add 1 cup of the clam juice to the pot and reserve the clams. Add potatoes, cover and simmer 10 minutes. Add reserved clams, corn, Old Bay, salt, and peper. Bring to a simmer to heat through. Turn off heat and stir in parsley. Serve with tossed salad and crusty bread, if desired.

Makes 4 servings. 381 calories,;7 g fat (2 g sat); 21 g protein; 56 g carbs, 4 g fiber; 807 mg sodium, 38 mg cholesterol.

Pork & Black Bean Soup

Recipe from Woman's Day January 2011
Thanks to my husband's birth mom and the snow outside we tried this recipe.
The only thing missing was corn chips.

6 cups chicken broth
1 large red onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 Tbsp chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, plus 2 Tbsp sauce
2 tsp ground cumin
1 lb dried black beans, rinsed
1 1/2 lb boneless pork shoulder, trimmed of excess fat
Kosher salt
Sour cream
Fresh salsa (I removed seeds and chopped up two tomatoes and one jalapeno pepper)

In a 6-qt slow cooker, combine the chicken broth, onion, garlic, chiles, adobo sauce, and cumin. Add the beans and pork; cook, covered, until beans are tender and pork easily pulls apart, 8 hours on low or 6 hours on high.
Transfer pork to a bowl and, using a fork, break into large pieces. Using a handheld immersion blender, puree half the soup. (Alternateviley, puree half the soup in a standard blender and stir it back in.) Stir the pork back into the soup and season with 1 tsp salt. Serve with the sour cream and salsa.

Serves 6. Per serving: 526 cal, 42 g protein, 49 g carbs, 17 g fiber, 18 g fat (7 g sat fat), 91 mg chol, 629 mg sod.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Chickpeas With Chard and Pan-Roasted Tomatoes

Found HERE at Real Simple.

1 cup brown rice
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 small plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1 small bunch Swiss chard, thick stems and ribs removed and leaves torn (about 8 c.)
1/3 cup golden raisins
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
kosher salt and black pepper
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


1. Cook the rice according to the package directions.
2. Twenty minutes before the rice is done, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tomatoes, cut-side down, and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until browned and starting to soften, 3 to 5 minutes; turn and cook for 1 minute more. Transfer to a plate.
3. Reduce heat to medium and add the chard, raisins, garlic, 2 tablespoons water, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper to the skillet. Cook, tossing, until the chard wilts, 2 to 3 minutes.
4. Return the tomatoes to the skillet, add the chickpeas and lemon juice, and toss until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve over the rice.

Pea, Feta, and Crispy Prosciutto Salad

Found HERE from Real Simple.
Great summer side salad.

2 thin slices prosciutto (2 ounces)
kosher salt and black pepper
1 1/2 pounds fresh peas in the pod, shelled (about 2 cups), or 2 cups frozen peas
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 ounces Feta, crumbled (1⁄2 cup) (MSPI goat cheese)
2 scallions, thinly sliced


1. Heat oven to 450° F. Place the prosciutto in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until beginning to darken, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool (the prosciutto will crisp as it cools), then crumble.
2. Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the peas and cook until tender, 5 to 7 minutes (1 to 2 minutes if frozen). Drain and rinse under cold water to cool.
3. In a large bowl, toss the peas with the oil, Feta, scallions, prosciutto, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper.

Chicken Dumpling Soup

The kids LOVED this recipe! This is their third bowl each in two days.

Found HERE at allrecipes.

3 cups chopped cooked chicken breast
2 eggs
4 3/4 cups chicken broth, divided
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/4 cup butter
2 cups chopped onion
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 quarts chicken broth
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups chopped carrots
3 cups chopped cooked chicken breast

1. In a blender or food processor, combine 3 cups cooked chicken, eggs, 3/4 cup chicken broth, 1 cup flour, parsley, 2 teaspoons salt, pepper and tarragon. Process until smooth.
2. In a large pot, bring 4 cups chicken broth to a boil. Drop dumpling mixture by rounded spoonfuls into boiling broth. Simmer, uncovered, 5 to 8 minutes, until well formed and slightly browned. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Reserve dumpling cooking liquid.
3. In a large pot melt butter over medium heat. Cook onion, celery and garlic in butter until onion is translucent. Stir in 1/2 cup flour until fully incorporated. Pour in 2 quarts chicken broth, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil. Introduce 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and carrots. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes.
4. Stir in dumplings, reserved liquid and 3 cups cooked chicken. Simmer 15 minutes more before serving.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Grilled Chicken & Fresh Salsa Wraps

Grilled Chicken & Fresh Salsa Wraps
From Favorite Brand Name 100 Best Chicken Recipes

1 bottle (12 oz) Lawry's Herb & Garlic Marinade with Lemon Juice, divided
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 pound)
1 tomato, chopped
1 can (4 oz) diced mild green chilies
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp garlic salt
flour tortillas

Marinade the chicken breasts in 1 cup Herb and Garlic Marinade in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
In bowl combine tomato, green chilies, green onion, red wine vinegar, cilantro, and garlic salt; mix well. Cover and refrigerate till ready to serve.
Pull chicken out of marinade and place on baking sheet to broil or hot grill for 10-15 minutes. If grilling flip once 1/2 way through. Cut chicken into strips. Place chicken on tortillas; spoon salsa on top and wrap to enclose. Serve immediately.
Or, take the chicken, salsa, and tortillas to your favorite outdoor spot, assemble and enjoy.

The book suggests serving with black bean and corn salad, but, since we were eating it as a picnic meal with our Little Men, we just did the wraps and served with corn chips and fruit.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Chicken Curry

HERE is the recipe on the Real Simple site.

We altered this recipe to put some veggies in it.

2 6oz cans of tomato paste
16 cloves of garlic, chopped
8 T curry powder (we like sweet curry powder from Penzey's)
1 T cumin
2 medium onions, chopped
2 lbs bonless, skinless chicken thighs (about 10)
Kosher salt, black pepper
6 carrots, grated
2 sweet potatoes
bag of frozen peas
1 1/2 c. long-grain white rice (we make basmati rice, 1/2c per person)
2c. plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
Scallions, as garnish

1. In a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, whisk together the tomato paste, garlic, curry powder, ginger, cumin, and 3 cups water. Add the onion, carrots, sweet potatoes and stir to combine. Place the chicken on top and season with 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.

2. Cover and cook until the chicken is tender, on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours (this will shorten total cooking time).

3. Twenty minutes before serving add peas then cook the rice according to the package directions.

4. Just before serving, add the yogurt and ½ teaspoon salt to the chicken and stir to combine. Serve with the rice and sprinkle with the scallions.

Like your curry spicy? Turn up the heat by adding 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper along with the curry powder.

Asian Pork With Snow Peas, Red Peppers, and Soba Noodles

HERE is the recipe on the Real Simple site.

Oh my, this is GOOD! We had a lot of pork leftover, so I made more sauce and soba noodles then cooked up just a bag of frozen veggies. It was still really good.

Serves 6
Hands-on Time: 10m
Total Time: 8hr 15m


* 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
* 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
* 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
* 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
* 1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
* 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (1/2 t is SPICY, it was good but strong for most kids!)
* 2 1/2 pounds pork shoulder, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
* 12 ounces soba noodles
* 2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced
* 1/2 pound snow peas, trimmed
* chopped roasted peanuts, for serving


1. In a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, stir together the soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, oil, ginger, and crushed red pepper. Add the pork and toss to combine. Cover and cook until the pork is tender, on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours (this will shorten total cooking time).

2. Fifteen minutes before serving, cook the soba noodles according to the package directions, adding the bell peppers and snow peas to the water during the last minute of cooking.

3. Meanwhile, transfer the pork to a medium bowl; set aside. Pour the cooking liquid into a large skillet and boil until slightly thickened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the pork and toss to combine. Serve the pork over the noodles and vegetables; sprinkle with the peanuts.


For extra flavor, sprinkle the pork with toasted sesame seeds.

White Bean Soup With Andouille and Collards

HERE is the recipe on the Real Simple site.

My husband really liked this soup.

Serves 6
Hands-on Time: 10m
Total Time: 8hr 00m


* 1 pound dried white beans (such as cannellini or great Northern)
* 1/2 pound andouille sausage links, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise
* 1 large onion, chopped
* 2 stalks celery, chopped
* 4 sprigs fresh thyme
* 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
* 1 bunch collard greens, stems discarded and leaves cut into bite-size pieces (about 8 cups) (We put in some kale too)
* 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
* kosher salt and black pepper
* olive oil and bread sticks, for serving


1. In a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, combine the beans, sausage, onion, celery, and thyme. Add the broth and stir to combine.

2. Cover and cook until the beans are tender, on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours (this will shorten total cooking time). (I would say cook it the full 8 hours so the beans are really done. Ours were a done but a little tough after 4 hours.)

3. Twenty minutes before serving, discard the thyme stems, add the collard greens, cover, and cook until the greens are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Add the vinegar and ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper.

4. Drizzle with the olive oil and serve with the bread sticks.

Spinach and Ricotta Lasagna

HERE is the recipe on the Real Simple site.

This was really good but the recipe is really simple. I think, what made it so good was THIS spicy red pepper jarred sauce.

Serves 6
Hands-on Time: 15m
Total Time: 4hr 15m

* 2 10-ounce packages chopped frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed to remove excess moisture
* 1 cup ricotta
* 3/4 cup grated Parmesan (3 ounces)
* 3 cups marinara sauce
* 6 regular lasagna noodles (not no-boil)
* 1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella (6 ounces)
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
* kosher salt and black pepper
* 1 small head romaine lettuce, cut into strips (about 8 cups)
* 1 cucumber, thinly sliced
* 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced


1. In a bowl, mix together the spinach, ricotta, and ½ cup of the Parmesan. In a second bowl, mix together the marinara sauce and ½ cup water.

2. Spread ¾ cup of the marinara mixture in the bottom of a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker. Top with 2 noodles (breaking to fit), ¾ cup of the remaining marinara mixture, half the spinach mixture, and ½ cup of the mozzarella; repeat. Top with the remaining noodles, marinara mixture, mozzarella, and Parmesan.

3. Cover and cook on low until the noodles are tender, 3 ½ to 4 hours.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake

Found HERE, this Better Homes & Garden cheesecake was brought to a playdate recently. It is great!

Prep: 40 minutes
Chill: 4 hours
Bake: 45 minutes
Cool: 45 minutes
18 chocolate graham cracker squares, finely crushed (1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1-1/2 cups semisweet chocolate pieces
2 Tbsp. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Peanuts (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 300 degreesF. Combine crackers, melted butter, and 2 tablespoons sugar. Press into bottom and 1 inch up sides of a 9-inch springform pan; set aside. In bowl beat 1 package cream cheese with electric mixer until smooth. Beat in peanut butter and 1/4 cup sugar until combined. Fold in 1 lightly beaten egg; set aside.
2. In saucepan stir chocolate over low heat until melted and smooth. Remove from heat. Cube remaining cream cheese; add to chocolate. Stir to combine. Stir in milk and vanilla until smooth. Fold in 2 lightly beaten eggs. Spread half the chocolate mixture into pan. Carefully spread all the peanut butter mixture over layer. Evenly spread remaining chocolate mixture.
3. Bake 45 minutes or until top is set when lightly shaken. Outer 2 inches of the top will be slightly puffed and dry-looking; center will look darker and wet. Cool in pan on rack 15 minutes. Use a small sharp knife to loosen crust from sides; cool completely on rack. Cover; chill 4 hours. Let stand at room temperature 15 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with peanuts. Makes 16 servings.

Nutritional facts
Calories 404, Total Fat (g) 31, Saturated Fat (g) 15, Monounsaturated Fat (g) 5, Polyunsaturated Fat (g) 1, Cholesterol (mg) 85, Sodium (mg) 233, Carbohydrate (g) 26, Total Sugar (g) 21, Fiber (g) 2, Protein (g) 8, Calcium (DV%) 2, Iron (DV%) 4

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Hoisin-Glazed Salmon

1 lb salmon fillet
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
Dash cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon sesame seed
1/4 cup sliced green onions, optional

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.

Broil salmon skin-side-down on prepared baking sheet for 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine hoisin sauce, cayenne pepper and sesame seeds.

Brush salmon with hoisin sauce mixture. Broil for an additional 3 minutes or until salmon is firm and begins to flake.

Before serving, sprinkle salmon with the green onions if desired.

Source: Hy-Vee weekly ad from the week of February 16, 2011.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Rich Chocolate Cake (Great Grandma Kubes)

1 cup Margarine
2 cups Sugar
2 Eggs
1 cup Sour Milk (Put a little vinegar or lemon juice in a cup of milk.)
2 ½ cups Flour
½ cup Cocoa (Thomas always adds an extra Tbsp.)
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Salt
1 cup Boiling Water
1 tsp. Vanilla
Cream margarine, eggs, and sugar. Add boiling water, sour milk, and flour alternately. Add vanilla.
Bake in cake pan at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Or in cupcake pan at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Easy Brownies (Grandma Dixie)

2 sticks of Margarine-melted (MSPI coconut oil)
Mix together:
½ cup Cocoa
2 cups Sugar
4 Eggs
1 ½ Flour
½ tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Baking Powder
4 tsp. Vanilla
Mix all together. Grease and dust pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Jell-O Cake (Grandma Dixie)

¾ cup Shortening (MSPI substitute coconut oil but DO NOT melt)
1 ½ cups Sugar
1 ½ tsp. Vanilla
2 ¼ cups Flour
3 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Salt
1 cup Milk (MSPI coconut milk or goat milk)
3 Eggs

Cream shortening and sugar till fluffy.
Add vanilla and eggs, mix well.
Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.
Add dry ingredients alternately with milk.
Grease 9x13 pan.
Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes.
Cool cake completely.
Mix each package of jell-o with 1 cup boiling water.
Poke holes in top of cake. Pour jell-o over cake and chill 3-4 hours.
Top with cool-whip.

Peanut Butter Rice Krispies (Grandma Dixie)

1 cup Sugar
1 cup White Syrup
Bring to boil. Remove from heat.
Mix in:
1 cup Peanut Butter
Pour over 8-9 cups rice krispies. Press into buttered pan and frost
with Jiffy chocolate frosting. (MSPI check the frosting)

Davy Crockett Bars

2 Eggs, beaten
1 cup Oil
1 tsp. Vanilla

Beat together until eggs are mixed in.

2 cups Flour
1 cup White Sugar
1 cup Brown Sugar
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Baking Soda
2 cups Oatmeal (3 min. quick kind)
1 cup Chocolate Chips (MSPI check for MSPI friendly-- Ghiradeli & Bakers are)

Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup Butter
1 cup Sugar
1 cup Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
1 tsp. Vanilla
3 ¼ cup Flour
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Salt
12 oz. Chocolate Chips

MIX. Bake at 350 degrees for 9 ½ minutes.

Cheesecake Supreme

1 3/4 cups finely crushed graham crackers
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, melted
3 8oz packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel (optional)
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup milk
1. For crust, combine crushed Graham crackers, walnuts, and cinnamon. Stir in melted butter. If desired, reserve 1/4 cup of the crumb mixture for the topping. Press the remaining crumb mixture onto the bottom and about 2 inches up sides of an 8 or 9 inch spring form pan. (Use the bottom of a measuring cup to do this.)
2. For filling, in a large mixing bowl beat cream cheese, sugar, flour, vanilla, and if desired, lemon peel with an electric mixer till combined. Add eggs and egg yolk all at once, beating on low speed just till combined. Stir in milk.
3. Pour filing into crust-lined pan. If desired, sprinkle with reserved crumbs. Place on a shallow baking pan in oven. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 45 to 50 minutes for the 8 inch pan, 35 to 40 minutes for the 9 inch pan, or til center appears nearly set when shaken.
4. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Loosen the crust form sides of pan and cool 30 more minutes. Remove the sides of the pan; cool cheesecake completely. Cover and chill at least 4 hours before serving. Makes 12 to 16 servings.

For a chocolate cheese cake: prepare as above except omit lemon peel. Melt 4 oz semisweet chocolate. Beat the melted chocolate into the filling mixture just before adding the eggs.

Slice 'N' Bake Lemon Cookies

2 1/4 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter or margarine -- softened
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg
3 tablespoons lemon juice, bottled
egg white -- beaten
slice almonds
Stir together flour and baking soda; set aside. In large mixer bowl, beat butter, shortening and sugars until fluffy. Add egg; mix well.
Gradually add dry ingredients and lemon juice; mix well.
Chill 2 hours; form into two 10" rolls. Wrap well; freeze until firm.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut rolls into 1/4" slices; place 1" apart onto greased cookie sheets. Brush with egg white; top with almonds.
Bake 10-12 min. or until lightly browned.

Butterscotch Freeze 'n Slice Cookies

1 cup sugar
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cups butter or margarine -- softened
3 eggs
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
Line two 8x4-inch loaf pans with foil, allowing foil to extend above sides of pans. In large bowl, combine sugar, brown sugar and butter. Beat until light and fluffy. add eggs. Blend well. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Mix well. Press half of dough into each foil-lined pan. Fold foil over dough to seal. Freeze 2-3 hours or until well chilled.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease cookie sheets. Unfold foil. Lift dough out of pans. Remove foil. Cut dough into 1/4-inch slices. Place slices 2-inch apart on greased cookie sheets. Bake for 8-12 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute. Remove from cookie sheets. NOTES: Pans can be omitted. Shape dough into two 8x4x2-inch rectangles. Wrap tightly in foil. freeze. Bake as directed.


4 oz unsalted butter
12 oz semisweet chocolate chips
4 egg yolks
1 t vanilla
2 t sweet condensed milk
cocoa for rolling the finished truffles in

In a saucepan and over low heat, melt the butter. Stir in the chocolate chips until they're melted and smooth. Take some of this mixture and spoon it into the egg yolks, then add the yolks to the saucepan, stirring constantly. Cook over low heat for two minutes, stirring throughout. A rubber spatula that clears the mixture from the sides of the pan works well for this. Take the pan off the heat, stir in the liquids. Chill the mixture for at least four hours. Later, use a scoop, like a melon ball scoop, to scoop out the chilled and hardened mixture. Roll it into a ball between your palms and then roll in cocoa (do this on wax paper). The finished truffles will keep on week in the refrigerator. They can be frozen and kept for two months. Best served at room temperature.

Patty Cake Cookies

2 T milk
2 eggs
1 t vanilla
1 CHEEP yellow cake mix
½ c oil

MIX into THICK batter
Sprinkle on top and pat down
½ pkg chocolate chips
9x 13 ungreased
Bake 20 min at 350
(This is a recipe my mom learned in junior high. This is also the first recipe I ever memorized because the ingredients are 2, 2, 1, 1, ½, and ½. )

Top Hat Pie

These amounts obviously are approximate.

with a mixer:
one 8 oz. package of cream cheese, softened
a good chunk of Kool Whip
a good chunk of powdered sugar

(I often add vanilla or strawberry-banana yogurt as well.)

Pour into a pre-made graham cracker pie crust

Top with anything you want -- blueberries, strawberries, kiwi. Cool in the fridge.

Chocolate, Cranberry & Oat Bars

1 cup dried cranberries
¼ cup orange juice
1 ½ cups flour
1 ½ cups quick-cooking oats
1 tsp. Baking powder
¼ tsp salt
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) margarine, softened
1/1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs
4 squares semi-sweet baking chocolate, coarsely chopped
½ cup pecan pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine cranberries and orange juice in microwaveable bowl. Microwave on HIGH 30 seconds. Let stand 10 min. Meanwhile, combine flour, oats, baking powder and salt; set aside. Beat margarine and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until well blended after each addition. Gradually add flour mixture, mixing well after each addition. Stir in cranberry mixture, chocolate and pecans.

Spread dough into 13 x 9 inch baking pan sprayed with cooking spray. Bake 20 to 22 minutes or until center is set. Cool completely on wire rack before cutting to serve.

Spicy Chocolate Cookies

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
? teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
? to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
1 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine the first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix thoroughly with a whisk and set aside. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and brown sugar until creamy. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat on high until fluffy, about 1 minute. Gradually stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture until the butter is just incorporated.

Turn the dough out onto wax paper. Use the paper to shape and roll the dough into a cylinder about 10 inches long and 1 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter. Wrap tightly in more wax paper, folding or twisting the ends to seal. Chill for at least 45 minutes or freeze (for up to 3 months) until needed.

Before baking, preheat oven to 375° F. Unwrap the dough (if frozen, let thaw for 5 minutes). On a cutting board, cut it into slices about 1/4 inch thick. Place the slices about 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool until the cookies are firm enough to be moved. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Tomato, Basil, and Cheese Baked Pasta

This is from Cooking Rocks! Rachael Ray 30-Minute Meals for Kids

1 pound medium shell pasta
3 large cloves garlic
2 Tbsp. evoo
1/2 small yellow onion
1 can (28 oz) crushed Italian tomatoes
1/2 cup fresh basil (I used dried)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup store-bought basil pesto sauce (found in refridgerator section)
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1/2 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, shredded
Chopped chicken was the one thing we agreed needs to be added to this dish.

Cook pasta one minute short of time recommended on package.

Preheat a big, deep skillet or a medium saucepan over medium heat.

Remove skins from garlic and chop.

Add evoo and garlic to pan. Chop the onion. (She recommends using 1/2 the onion. So, I did. Next time I don't know if I won't just use the whole thing.) Add the onion to the oil and garlic. Cook, stirring a lot, until the onions are mushy and look cooked, about 5 minutes.

Add the tomatoes to the onions and stir. When the tomatoes come to a bubble, reduce the heat under the sauce to low. Stir in basil pieces to wilt them. Season the sauce with salt and pepper.

Preheat the broiler to high and place a rack in the center of the oven.

Drain pasta shells. Add them to a casserole dish. Add pesto sauce, ricotta cheese, and a handful of grated parmesan. Stir carefully and coat the hot pasta with the pesto and cheeses. Pour the hot tomato and basil sauce over the pasta. Scatter the mozzarella cheese over the pasta. Add a final sprinkle of parmesan as well. Place the casserole under the broiler in the middle of oven, 10 to 12 inches from the heat. Let the cheese melt and bubble on top, 3 to 5 minutes.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Spicy Sweet Potato Burritos

This recipe is from the Penzey's Spice catalog.

2 sweet potatoes (1 1/2 lb. or so total)
3/4 t. ground cumin
1/2 t. ground coriander
1/2 t. granulated garlic powder
1/4 t. black pepper (optional)
2 T. lime juice (juice of 1 lime)
1 15-oz. can black beans
1 cup corn kernels
1/4-1/2 t. salt (optional)
6 whole wheat tortillas

Optional fillings:
1/2 c. chopped olives
1 c. chopped tomatoes
1/4 c. chopped cilantro
1 c. shredded sharp cheddar or Chihuahua cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pierce the sweet potatoes with a fork, place on a baking sheet and bake for 40 to 60 minutes, depending on the size of the sweet potatoes. Or if you're in a hurry, microwave the sweet potatoes for about 15 minutes. (I would suggest putting the sweet potatoes in the crockpot!)

Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven and let cool. Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees. Scoop the insides out of the potatoes into a bowl and mash with the spices and lime juice. Stir in the beans and corn. (We used frozen corn, so we sautéd ours in a pan for a few minutes before hand.) Add salt to taste if using. Spoon the mixture in the tortillas along with any optional fillings you desire. Roll up and bake for 10 minutes until heated through.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Peanut Butter Pound Cake

This is from the most recent edition of Penzey's Spice catalog. You can download the catalog at their website.

1 c. butter, softened
1 c. creamy peanut butter
3 c. sugar
5 eggs
2 t. vanilla
3 c. cake flour
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 c. milk

12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 c. heavy cream

Do NOT preheat the oven. It is easy to frost the cake if you put it in a cool oven.

Lightly grease and flour a 10-in tube pan and set aside. (I used 2 9-in cake pans then adjusted my bake time by approximately 30 minutes.)

In a large bowl, cream together the putter and peanut butter. Add the sugar and beat until light in color. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. The mixture should be light and fluffy. Add the vanilla.

In a smaller bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add to the butter mixture, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix the batter until smooth and creamy. Pour into the cake pan.

Place in the COLD oven. Set the oven temperature to 325 degrees and bake until a tester inserted in the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour and 35 minutes. (Start testing to see if a toothpick comes out clean around 1hr 10 minutes.)

Let the cake cool in the pan for 30 minutes before turning it out on the rack to cool completely.

For the frosting: Place the chocolate chips in a small mixing bowl. Heat the cream in a heavy-bottomed saucepan until boiling. Pour over the chocolate chips and stir until creamy and smooth. Let cool for 2-3 minutes. Brush any loose crumbs from the cake. Pour the icing evenly over the cake, allowing it to cascade and cover the cake. Move the cake rack to another clean baking sheet. Scrape the drips from the first baking sheet, reheat and pour over the cake.

Serves 16.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Saving at the Goodwill

If you are making several freezer meals, purchase your 9x13 or 9x9 pans at your local Goodwill. They will cost about twice as much as purchasing one foil pan of the same size but you can use them again and again. Also, if you take freezer meals to a family at church you don't have to worry about getting your pan returned quickly.

Monster Cookies

These are monster cookies because they have so many ingredients.
This a recipe from my best friend from high school. It is actually a fourth of the real recipe. She grew up on a dairy farm with several siblings. These are so good!

3 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1/2 c. butter
1 1/2 c chunky peanut butter
1 t. vanilla
1 t. corn syrup
2 t. baking soda
4 c. oatmeal
3/4 c. M&Ms
6 oz chocolate chips
6 oz butterscotch chips

10 minutes at 350 degrees
7-8 dozen cookies

I normally freeze my scoops then put 2 dozen in a freezer bag.
These are great to bake from frozen in about 12 minutes, same temperature.
These are also great to take with a freezer meal to someone who is ill or has just had a baby.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Frozen Lemon Squares

1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
3 egg yolks
1 (14 ounce) can EAGLE BRAND® Sweetened Condensed Milk (NOT evaporated milk)
1/2 cup lemon juice
Yellow food coloring
Whipping Cream, whipped or whipped topping

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter; press firmly on bottom of 8- or 9-inch square pan.
2. In small bowl, beat egg yolks, EAGLE BRAND®, lemon juice and food coloring (optional). Pour into prepared pan.
3. Bake 30 minutes. Cool. Top with whipped cream.
4. Freeze 4 hours or until firm. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish as desired. Store leftovers covered in freezer.