Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Easy Mexican Casserole

Easy Mexican Casserole
1 lb lean ground beef
2 c salsa
1- 16 oz can chili beans, drained
2 c sour cream
1- 2 oz can sliced black olives, drained
.5 c chopped green onion
.5 c chopped fresh tomato
3 c crushed tortilla chips
2 c shredded Cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350*.
2. In a large skillet, brown meat over medium-high heat.
3. Stir in salsa, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed; stir in beans, and heat through.
4. Spread beef mixture in greased 9x13 pan; spread sour cream over beef, and sprinkle with olives, green onion, and tomato.
5. Top with tortilla chips and cheddar cheese. Bake for 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Easiest Fudge Ever

This is seriously the easiest fudge ever. Hence the name.

Easiest Fudge Ever
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1 bag (2 cups) chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla
2 handfuls of chopped walnuts (opt)

1. Grease an 8x8 pan with butter.
2. Combine milk and chocolate chips in a medium-sized saucepan, over medium heat.
3. Stir constantly until chocolate chips are melted and smooth; stir in vanilla and nuts.
4. Pour into greased pan and chill in fridge for at least 1.5 hours.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Cowboy Grub

Hubby calls it chili; I call it cowboy grub because I don't like chili. :)

Cowboy Grub
1 lb. ground beef (can be frozen)
1 can tomato sauce
1 can diced tomatoes in juice
1 can tomato soup
1 can kidney beans, drained
1 can corn, drained
1.5 cups water
2-3 cups BBQ sauce (we use Rudy's)
1 onion, diced
*Make it your own - add jalapenos, bell peppers, whatever you want!

1. Mix everything in slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours if beef is frozen. If beef is not frozen, cook on low for 8 hours or high for 2.5 hours.

Can be served over rice or mashed potatoes, or eaten straight out of a bowl.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Easiest Snickerdoodles

I got this recipe from Cassie Hurst and it's so yummy, and SO easy!

Easiest Snickerdoodles

1 box white (or chocolate) cake mix
2 eggs
.25 c vegetable oil
cinnamon/sugar mix

1. Preheat oven to 400*.
2. Mix all ingredients. Roll into balls and cover in cinnamon/sugar.
3. Bake for 10 minutes on greased cookie sheet.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Texas Sheet Cake

It's been called Texas Brownies, Mississippi Mud Cake, Texas Sheet Cake, etc. Whatever you call it, it's delicious!
Texas Sheet Cake

Chocolate Mix-
1 stick of butter
1 c water
1/2 c shortening
4 T cocoa
Cake Mix-
2 eggs
2 c sugar
1 t cinnamon
1 t baking soda
1 t vanilla
1/2 c buttermilk*
2 c flour
1 stick of butter
4 T cocoa
6 T milk
1 t vanilla
3-4 c powdered sugar, sifted
1 c nuts, in small pieces (opt)

1. Preheat oven to 400*.
2. Place ingredients for Chocolate Mix in a small sauce pan, on low, until melted and well mixed. Take off heat and set aside.
3. Mix Cake Mix in a large bowl. Add Chocolate Mix.
4. Grease and flour a jellyroll pan (with 1/2" sides). Pour batter on pan, spread evenly, and bake for 22-25 minutes until it passes toothpick test.
5. Once cake is out of the oven: melt butter, cocoa, and milk in a small sauce pan, on low. Take off heat, add vanilla and powdered sugar until desired consistency. Mix well.
6. Let cake cool for at least 10-15 minutes before you spread frosting on it. Sprinkle nuts quickly after spreading frosting, if desired.
*To make "buttermilk", combine 1/2 c milk with 1 tablespoon vinegar. Mix well and let sit for 5 minutes before adding to recipe.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Turtle Pumpkin Pie

Turtle Pumpkin Pie(s)
*makes 2 pies
2 graham cracker crusts
1 c caramel topping, divided
2c pecan pieces, divided
1 c cold milk
2- 3.5 oz pkgs vanilla instant pudding
1 c canned pumpkin
1 t cinnamon
1 t nutmeg
1- .5 pt whipping cream
2 c whipped cream, divided

1. Pour ¼ cup caramel topping into each crust; sprinkle with ½ cup pecans.
2. Whisk together milk, pudding mixes, pumpkin, and spices until well blended; stir in whipping cream. Spread over pecans in crust.
3. Refrigerate at least one hour. Top each pie with half of the remaining caramel topping and pecans (and half of the whipped cream) just before serving.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Ali's Apple Pie

Ali's Apple Pie
2.5 lb apples, cored, peeled, and sliced
.5 c sugar
.25 c brown sugar
.25 c butter
.5 t cinnamon
.5 t nutmeg
1 t lemon juice
1 egg
.25 t salt
2 t flour
4 shallow pie shells (two top and two bottom)

1. Combine apples and white sugar in colander, over a bowl. Let sit for about an hour.
2. Preheat oven to 400*.
3. Mix together brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice, egg, salt, and flour in a large bowl. Add the apples to the mixture and coat evenly.
4. Put the apple "drippings" aside.
5. Place half of the apple mixture in each pie shell. Cover with top shell and press edges together.
6. Use a pastry brush to apply the "apple drippings" generously to the top shell. No need to poke holes in the top.
7. Place in center rack of oven and bake for about 50 min.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Pumpkin Bars

Pumpkin Bars
5 eggs
2 1/2 c sugar
1 1/4 c oil
1 t vanilla
1- 15oz can pumpkin
2 1/2 c flour
1 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1 t salt
1 T cinnamon
1-1 1/2 c chocolate chips (opt)

1. Preheat oven to 350*.
2. Mix together eggs, sugar, oil, vanilla, and pumpkin.
3. Fold in dry ingredients and pour into jelly roll pan, or 9x13 if you want them thicker.
Opt- you can sprinkle those chocolate chips on top, or you can frost with cream cheese frosting after it comes out of the oven.
4. Bake for 30 minutes in jelly roll or 45 minutes in 9x13, check with toothpick test. Do not over bake.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Cream Cheese Frosting

Cream Cheese Frosting

16 oz cream cheese
3/4 c butter
1 3/4 c powdered sugar
2 t vanilla

1. Blend all ingredients. Done.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Macaroni & Cheese With A Kick

This stems from the recipe found here. I wasn't a huge fan of her recipe, so I changed it a bit.

Macaroni & Cheese With A Kick
1 lb macaroni
1 T olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 red onion, finely diced
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
1 jalapeno, finely diced
1 c frozen corn
1- 4 oz can chopped green chilies
2 c half & half
2 c grated Pepper Jack cheese (or Mexican blend)
Salt & pepper to taste
2 c corn flakes cereal (opt for added crunch)

1. In a large pot, boil pasta until al dente.
2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute garlic, onion, pepper, jalapeno, and corn in olive oil, over medium to medium-high heat for about 7 minutes.
3. Stir in chilies.
4. Drain pasta and add to skillet.
5. Pour on half & half; add cheese, salt, and pepper and stir gently.
6. Cover and let sit for about 7 minutes over medium heat.
7. Check seasonings and serve topped with crushed corn flakes.

Click for a closer look!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
1- 15oz can of pumpkin puree
1 box spice cake mix
2c chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350*.
2. Mix ingredients.
3. Bake for 15 minutes.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

1/2 c butter
3/4 c brown sugar, packed tightly
1 can pineapple, sliced or crushed
cherries, pitted and halved (opt)

pecan halves (opt)
1-1/3 cups flour
2/3 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup melted butter
2/3 cup milk
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350*.
2. Place butter in 9x9 pan and put it in the oven as it's preheating, to melt the butter.
3. Once the butter is melted, add brown sugar and mix well. Spread the butter-sugar mix evenly on bottom of pan.
4. Arrange pineapple, cherries, and pecans, in a single layer, however you want on top of butter-sugar mixture. Put aside.
5. Combine flour, sugar, and baking powder in a large mixing bowl. Add wet ingredients and mix well.
6. Spoon cake mixture into the pan and spread evenly.
7. Put in the oven and check after 30 minutes. If it passes the toothpick test, it's done.
8. Immediately invert cake onto serving dish, but leave the pan over the cake so that the brown sugar glaze can drip down on it. Serve warm or room temperature.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd's Pie
4 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 T butter
1 onion chopped, plus 1 T finely chopped
.5 c shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
salt and pepper to taste
5 carrots, chopped
1 T vegetable oil
1 lb lean ground beef
2 T flour
1 T ketchup
1 T Worcestershire sauce
3/4 c beef broth

1. Preheat oven to 375*; bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
2. Add potatoes and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes; drain and mash.
3. Mix in butter, finely chopped onion and 1/4 cup shredded cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste; set aside.
4. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add carrots and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain, mash and set aside.
5. Heat oil in a large frying pan or skillet; add onion and cook until clear. Add ground beef and cook until browned; pour off excess fat, then stir in flour and cook 1 minute. Add ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and beef broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
6. Spread the ground beef in an even layer on the bottom of a 2 quart casserole dish. Next, spread on mashed carrots. Top with the mashed potato mixture and sprinkle with ¼ cup shredded cheese.
7. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Serves: 6.
Hint: Save time by cooking the potatoes and carrots at the same time.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Cheesy Potato and Carrot Casserole

Cheesy Potato and Carrot Casserole
5 c potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
2 medium onions, diced
4 carrots (or 10-15 baby carrots), in thin strips (I just buy the pre-cut ones)
6 T butter
4 T flour
2 t salt
.5 t black pepper
2 dashes ground red pepper
2.5 c milk
2.5 c shredded Cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 375*.
2. Place vegetables in a large saucepan and add enough cold water to cover them.
3. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; cook 8-10 minutes, or until tender.
4. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan on medium heat. Add flour, salt, and peppers; mix well. Cook and stir for 1 minute.
5. Gradually add milk while stirring. Bring to boil over medium heat; cook for 5 minutes, or until thickened, stirring constantly.
6. Stir in cheese; reduce heat to low. Cook 1 minute, or until cheese is melted, stirring constantly.
7. Drain vegetable mixture and spoon half of it into a lightly greased 9x13 pan.
8. Cover with half of the cheese sauce and repeat layers.
9. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes; remove foil. Bake for another 15 minutes, or until heated through.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


4 eggs
.25 t salt
2 c flour, divided
2.25 c milk, divided
.25 c butter, melted
.5 t almond extract (opt)

1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs and salt. Add .5 cup flour and .5 cup milk until well mixed. Keep adding flour and milk alternately until all is added.
2. Whisk batter until it's smooth (mixer on low); add butter and whisk again until smooth.
3. Heat a small (8”) non-stick skillet over medium heat.
4. Pour a little less than ¼ cup for each crepe; twirl the pan so that the batter coats the surface evenly. As the crepe cooks, it changes in appearance.
5. Cook until edge of crepe is lightly browned and surface feels dry when touched, about 2 minutes.
6. To turn, run a very wide spatula around edge to loosen; flip and cook until lightly browned. Turn out of pan on to plate.
7. Batter keeps in fridge for several days if tightly covered. Yields 20-24 crepes.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Crunchy Chicken Fingers

This recipe is from my friend Aubrey. She's an awesome cook and has some great recipes!

Crunchy Chicken Fingers
1 c. corn flakes
1 c. breadcrumbs
2 T. brown sugar
1 t. salt
.5 t pepper
.5 t. allspice
3 T. olive oil
1.5 lb. chicken breast, cut into 2" strips
1/3 c. flour
2 eggs, beaten

1. Preheat oven to 375*.
2. Crunch corn flakes in pie pan or other shallow dish. Mix in crumbs, sugar, salt, pepper, and allspice; drizzle oil over dry mix and blend well.
3. Dip chicken in flour, eggs, and then crunchy breading mix.
4. Arrange chicken on non-stick cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes, or until crisp and brown.

We usually have Dr. Pepper BBQ sauce, buffalo sauce, and ranch dressing to dip in. Sometimes we use honey mustard sauce and sweet & sour sauce as well.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Dr. Pepper BBQ Sauce

Dr. Pepper BBQ Sauce

1 1/4 c ketchup
dash of crushed red pepper
1/2 c honey mustard
1 T (apple) cider vinegar
1 c sugar
1/4 t hot sauce
1 t minced garlic
3 T Worcestershire sauce
2 t garlic salt
1/2 c lemon juice
1 t garlic powder
dash of liquid smoke
1 t basil
1 c Dr. Pepper
1 t black pepper
1 c flour (opt)

1. Mix all ingredients in a blender or with a mixer. 2. If you want it to be thinner (more like a marinade), omit flour. If you want it to be thicker (like a BBQ sauce), add the flour.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Rolls

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Rolls

3.5 c flour
.5 c cornstarch
1 T baking powder
1.25 t salt
2 T sugar
2 c (1 pt) heavy cream or whipping cream
1.5 c sugar
butter, melted
cinnamon/sugar mixture for rolling

1. Lightly grease a 9" x 13" pan, line with parchment, and grease the parchment. Parchment isn't absolutely necessary, but it makes it easier.
2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Add cream, then toss and stir the mixture till the dough comes together. Gather the dough in your hands and knead it a few times to make sure there are no dry spots.
3. Place the cinnamon sugar in a small, shallow bowl or pan; or in a ziploc bag. Break off pieces of dough about the size of a ping pong ball, or about 1 1/8 ounces. Dip each piece in butter, then roll or shake in the cinnamon-sugar to coat. Place the cinnamon-coated dough balls into the pan in a single layer; they'll be touching one another, which is just fine.
4a. Cover the pan with plastic, and place in the freezer overnight, or for up to a week. If freezing longer than overnight wrap the entire pan in plastic wrap, then in foil. Next day, remove the pan from the freezer, and let the buns rest at room temperature while you preheat your oven to 350*. The buns don't need to thaw. Bake for 65-70 minutes; tent them with aluminum foil after 45 minutes.
4b. If you're baking the buns immediately (not frozen), bake them for 45 to 50 minutes at 350*, till the buns in the center are cooked through (use toothpick test).
5. Remove from the oven, and serve immediately. Dust with confectioners' sugar, if desired, right before serving.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff
1 lb. cubed beef steak
1 (10.75 oz.) can cream of golden mushroom soup
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup water
1 bag egg noodles
4 oz. cream cheese

1. Combine meat, soup, onion, Worcestershire sauce, and water in slow cooker.
2. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 5 hours.
3. Cook noodles just before stroganoff is done.
4. Stir cream cheese into stroganoff just before serving over noodles.

Finished product, with cream cheese.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Crunchy Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Crunchy Chicken Enchilada Casserole
3-4 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 sm. can green chilies
1/4 c chopped onion
garlic salt to taste
crushed red pepper to taste
salt and pepper to taste
2 c shredded Cheddar cheese
1 bag tortilla chips, crushed

1. Preheat oven to 350*
2. Line the bottom of a 9x13 pan with chicken.
3. Combine soups, chilies, onion, and seasonings; spread evenly over chicken.
4. Sprinkle cheese over sauce mixture; sprinkle chips over cheese.
5. Bake for 1 hour.

**In this picture, I had put the chips on the bottom,
but it wasn't as crunchy as it would have been
if they were on the top.**

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Classic Stir Fry

Classic Stir Fry

1-2 Tbsp. canola or vegetable oil
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
.5 red pepper, cut in strips
.5 orange pepper, cut in strips
.5 yellow pepper, cut in strips
.5-1 cup carrots, chopped
1.5-2 cups broccoli, chopped
1 sm. can sliced water chestnuts
.25 cup soy sauce
.25 cup roasted, salted sunflower seeds

1. Coat a skillet with oil and cook chicken over medium heat.
2. Add vegetables and soy sauce when chicken is just about cooked all the way through.
3. Toss in seeds just before serving.
4. Serve over rice.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Corn in the Oven

Corn on the Cob (in the oven)

4 ears of fresh corn

1. Preheat oven to 350*.
2. Place corn, still in husks, directly on oven rack.
3. Bake for 30 minutes.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Fresh Glazed Strawberry Pie

Fresh Glazed Strawberry Pie

1 c lightly toasted walnuts (or pecans)
1 c graham cracker crumbs (about 8 crackers)
2 T brown sugar
.25 t salt
3 T butter
5 t sugar
1 t water
Pie Filling:
3 lb strawberries, hulled and separated
2/3 c sugar
1/2 c water
3 T cornstarch
1 T lemon juice
2 T butter

1. Preheat oven to 375*.
2. Process walnuts, graham crackers, brown sugar, and salt in food processor until walnuts are finely ground. Heat butter, sugar, and water in a small pan (or microwave); pour over crumbs and process until evenly coated.
3. Press crumb mixture evenly into a 9” pie dish; bake until just set and golden brown (about 10 minutes). Cool completely.
4. Cut 2 lb strawberries into small pieces; of those, measure 1.5 cups into blender and place the others in a large bowl.
5. Add sugar, water, and cornstarch to blender and puree until smooth; transfer to medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until thick and boiling (about 8 minutes); remove from heat.
6. Stir in lemon juice, then butter. Mix well. Pour glaze over strawberries in bowl; fold gently to coat. Transfer mixture to crust, mounding evenly in the center. Cut remaining pound of strawberries and arrange on top of pie. Refrigerate until set, about 3 hours.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Cafe Rio Chicken Salads

If you've ever been to Cafe Rio, you know how yummy it is. And you crave it. Especially when you don't live near it. Here's a recipe for their chicken salads that I adapted from my friend Aubrey's recipe.

Cafe Rio Chicken Salads

1 sm bottle Kraft Zesty Italian dressing
1 T cumin
1 T chili powder
3 cloves garlic, minced
5 lb chicken breast (about 12 breasts)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, diced
1 T butter
5 3/4 c water
3 cubes chicken bouillon
3 c rice
1 jalapeno, diced
3/4 t salt
2 t sugar
1/2 c cilantro
2 T lime juice
2 envelopes Ranch dressing
1 c buttermilk*
1/2 jalapeno, seeded
1 lime, juiced
1 1/2 c mayo
1/2 bunch cilantro
2 tomatillos
2 cloves garlic
tortillas (preferably large, corn)
Cheddar cheese
beans, black or pinto
shredded lettuce, romaine
crushed tortilla chips
tomatoes, diced
Parmesan cheese
pico de gallo
*If you don't have buttermilk, combine 1 c milk with 1 T vinegar, stir well and let sit for a minute.

1. Put all ingredients into slow cooker on low for 4-5 hours; shred chicken 1 hour before serving and keep cooking.
1. Saute garlic and onion in butter.
2. In a separate pot, boil water and stir in bouillon cubes until fully dissolved. Add butter mixture, rice, jalapeno, salt, and sugar. Cook, covered, for 15-20 minutes, or until rice is cooked.
3. Add lime juice and cilantro just before serving.
1. Combine all ingredients in blender; let sit to thicken.
*Dressing continues to get hotter over time when stored in the fridge.
1. Place some Cheddar cheese on a large frying pan; lay tortilla on top just until cheese is melted onto the tortilla.
2. Lay tortilla, cheese side up, on a plate. Pile chicken, beans, rice, lettuce, tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, cilantro, pico de gallo, and guacamole on tortilla; pour dressing on top.
3. Eat open-faced with a fork.


Whole finished salad:

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Broccoli Salad

I got this yummy recipe from a coworker and it is fabulous!

Broccoli Salad

Broccoli Mixture-
3 crowns broccoli, cut short
1 lb. bacon, fried crispy and crumbled
.5 cup toasted sunflower seeds
1- 11 oz. can of mandarin oranges
.5 cup craisins
.5 cup Miracle Whip
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup sugar

1. Gently combine ingredients of broccoli mixture.
2. In a separate bowl, mix dressing ingredients; pour over broccoli mixture and toss together.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Not-So-Hard Boiled Eggs

Most people boil their eggs (hence the name) to get them "hard boiled", but that is the reason they get that gray layer between the yolk and the white. I recently learned a technique to cook eggs that will eliminate that gray layer.

Not-So-Hard Boiled Eggs
1-2 t salt
4 qt cold water, divided

1. Put 2 quarts of water in a sauce pan. Add eggs and salt.
2. Place pan on stove and turn stove on medium heat.
3. Once the water starts to simmer, cover for 10 minutes.
4. Drain pan and place eggs in 2 quarts of ice water. This will shock the eggs and stop the internal cooking process.
5. Leave them in the ice water for about 5 minutes.

See? No gray ring!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Cake Technique

My husband was out of town on Father's Day, so I spent it at a potluck with a friend and her extended family. One of the desserts served was a spice cake. I commented on how good it was and asked the girl who made it (I don't even know her name) if she made it from scratch and she said "No, it's a box mix with Diet Coke." Diet Coke? What do you mean? She replaced the oil, eggs, and water with Diet Coke and it turned out great!

So here's the deal:
Substitute a can (or cup and a half) of diet soda for the wet ingredients for a cake mix (I'm not sure it works too well with butter recipes) and it turns out just as good as normal, without the added fat and cholesterol of oil and eggs. Use darker sodas (Coke, Dr. Pepper, etc.) for darker cakes like chocolate and lighter sodas (Sprite, Fresca, etc.) for lighter cakes like yellow.

I made this lemon cake with Sprite Zero.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Dreamy Fudge

Dreamy Fudge
4 cups sugar
1 sm. can evaporated milk
1- 16 oz. bag small marshmallows
1- 12 oz. bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (in addition to the bag)
2- 7 oz. chocolate bar with almonds, broken into pieces
1 cup butter, cut up (about 5 pieces per stick)
2 tsp. vanilla
1 lb. walnuts, whole (opt)

1. Combine sugar, milk and marshmallows in a heavy pan and bring to a boil over medium heat. 2. Boil for 7 full minutes, stirring constantly. Temperature should reach about 220*.
3. Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients. Mix well.
4. Generously spray a cookie sheet (with 1" sides) and pour in fudge. Let set up for at least 2 hours.
**Can be refrigerated or frozen.**

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Cilantro Pesto

Cilantro Pesto
1 small-medium bunch of cilantro
3-4 cloves garlic
.25-.5c extra virgin olive oil
.5c Parmesan cheese
.25c chopped nuts (I use pecans, but pine nuts and/or walnuts are good too)

1. Wash and dry the cilantro.
2. Then mix all of the ingredients in the food processor (or a blender might work).

**If you mix it with a block of cream cheese, it makes an excellent spread/dip.**

Check out the post below...make a pesto pizza.
(The only mozzarella we had was string cheese. Go figure...)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Pizza Dough

Quick and easy.

Pizza Dough
1 pkg. (or 2.25 teaspoons) yeast
1 c lukewarm water
2 T veg. (or canola) oil
1 T honey
2.5 c flour
.5 t garlic powder (opt.)
.5 t onion powder (opt.)

1. Preheat oven to 450*.
2. Mix yeast and water (in glass bowl preferably).
3. Add all other ingredients and mix by hand (grease hands for easier mixing).
4. Let sit, covered, in a greased bowl for about 5-10 minutes.
5. Flatten out and add toppings. Bake for about 12 minutes.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Classic Roux

Classic Roux
1 stick (.5 c) butter
4-5 T flour
Milk to desired thickness (I usually use at least a cup)
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Turn stove to medium-medium/high depending on how fast you want to make sauce.
2. Melt butter in pan.
3. Stir in flour to form paste.
3. Slowly stir in milk until desired thickness.

Now that's just the base. Here are some meals you can use it for:
Fettuccine Alfredo sauce: Add garlic and basil to taste. Serve over noodles.
Tuna Casserole: Add 2 cans of tuna and 1 cup of cooked peas. Serve over cooked egg noodles.
Chicken and Rice Casserole: Double sauce recipe. Add basil and parsley to taste, and 8oz cream cheese. Line the bottom of a 9x13 pan with cooked, shredded chicken. Sprinkle an ample amount of cooked rice over the chicken. Pour sauce over chicken and rice, toss together. Bake, uncovered, at 350* for about 20-25 minutes, or until sides are bubbling. Optional: After about 15-20 minutes in the oven, sprinkle crushed croutons or corn flakes over casserole for an added crunch.

(I used whole wheat flour for this sauce.)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Broccoli Cheese Soup

Broccoli Cheese Soup

1 can chicken broth
1 sm onion, diced
1/3 c flour
.25 c butter
Pepper to taste
2 c milk
1.5 c Cheddar cheese, shredded* (the sharper the better for flavor)
.5 c Parmesan cheese, shredded
about 3 crowns broccoli, steamed and chopped (about 2.5-3 cups)

1. In a small saucepan, simmer chicken broth and onions, covered, for 15-20 minutes, until onions are soft.
2. Heat milk in microwave for 1-2 minutes.
3. In a separate medium-sized stockpot, melt butter then stir in flour and pepper. Cook together for a couple of minutes, then whisk in warmed milk. Stir and heat together on medium-high heat until soup starts to thicken.
4. Add chicken broth and onions, and continue to stir until well blended. Add cheeses and steamed broccoli. Serve immediately.
Makes 4-6 servings.
*Grate your own cheese for better, creamier soup.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Cream Cheese Chicken Enchiladas

Cream Cheese Chicken Enchiladas
1- 10.75 oz can cream of chicken soup
1- 4 oz can diced green chiles
1 block (8oz) cream cheese, softened
3 large chicken breasts, cooked and either diced or shredded
8 large flour tortillas (or 16-20 small tortillas)
1- 28 oz can green enchilada sauce
2 cups Cheddar cheese (or Mexican blend), grated

1. Preheat oven to 350*.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine soup, chiles, cream cheese, and chicken.
3. Generously fill tortillas with mixture and tightly roll up.
4. Place tortillas closely together on a greased 9x13 pan.
5. Spread enchilada sauce evenly over enchiladas and sprinkle cheese on top of the sauce.
6. Bake for 20-25 minutes. You know it's done when the sides are slightly brown and the sauce is bubbling.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Apple Annie's Dip

If you've ever been to Apple Annie's Tea Room in San Antonio, TX, you know how yummy this dip is.

Apple Annie's Dip
2 blocks cream cheese, softened
1- 8.5 oz. can crushed pineapple, drained well
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 tsp seasoned salt
1 c chopped pecans, ground (opt)
-extra pecans (opt)
-pretzels, crackers, pita chips, cucumbers, carrots, celery, etc for dipping

1. Mix all ingredients.
2. Form logs or balls and roll in more pecans.
**Freezes well**

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Nauvoo Potatoes

I never understood why people call them "funeral potatoes". Did people really serve this dish so much at funerals that it adopted that bleak name? We call them Nauvoo Potatoes, and this is my mom's recipe.

Nauvoo Potatoes
6-7 baked potatoes, chilled
1/4 c chopped onion
1 c chopped celery (opt)
2 T butter
1- 10.75 oz can cream of mushroom soup
1 c [light] sour cream
1 c Cheddar cheese, grated
1 c crushed corn flakes mixed with 1/4 c melted butter

1. Preheat oven to 350*.
2. Grate potatoes and spread on bottom of greased 9x13 pan.
3. Saute onions (and celery if you want a little crunch in the casserole) in butter until soft; add soup, sour cream, and cheese.
4. Take off heat and stir well; pour over potatoes and mix lightly.
5. Top with crushed corn flakes and bake for 30 minutes.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Rosemary Red Potatoes

Easy and quick!

Rosemary Red Potatoes
3 medium red potatoes, cut into wedges
2T. extra virgin olive oil
1T. rosemary (I use dried)
1.5t. garlic salt
1t. fresh ground pepper

1. Preheat oven to 425*.
2. Mix everything but the potatoes in a gallon-sized bag. Add potatoes and toss until potatoes are coated in mixture.
3. Spread potatoes evenly on a slightly greased baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


I don't like paying for food I can make myself, especially when it's a pricey appetizer that I love!

1 loaf french bread, cut width-wise into about 36 slices
2 T olive oil, separated
2 1/2 c chopped tomatoes
1 (4 oz.) pkg. feta cheese (Athenos brand, with basil & tomato, is what I use), finely crumbled
1/2 c red onion, finely chopped
3 T fresh parsley, chopped
1 T olives (black or green, or both), finely chopped
1/4 t ground black pepper

1. Preheat broiler.
2. Place bread slices on foil-lined cookie sheet and broil each side for about 2-3 minutes, or until lightly toasted.
3. Brush each side of toast slices with 1 Tablespoon of the olive oil.
4. Mix remaining 1 Tablespoon olive oil with the rest of the ingredients; spoon on to toast just before serving.
Refrigerate leftovers.