Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Man Dip

Man Dip
1 lb breakfast sausage or ground beef
1 block [light] cream cheese
1- 10 oz can Rotel

1. Brown the meat in a large pan; drain.
2. Melt cream cheese in to meat and stir in Rotel.
Serve warm with tortilla chips.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread

Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread
2 3/4 c plus 2 T flour, separated
1/4 c sugar
2 1/4 t (1 pkg) yeast
1/2 t salt
2 eggs at room temperature
1/3 c milk
1/2 c butter, separated
1/4 c water
1 t vanilla
1 c sugar
2 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg

1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together 2 cups flour, sugar, yeast, and salt; set aside. Whisk together eggs and set aside. 
2. In a small saucepan, heat milk and 1/4 cup butter until butter has just melted; remove from the heat and add water and vanilla.
3. Let milk mixture stand for a minute or two and then mix it in to the dry ingredients; add the eggs and stir the mixture until the eggs are well incorporated into the batter; add 3/4 cup of flour and stir for about 2 minutes.
4. Place the dough in a large greased bowl and cover with a towel; place in a warm place and allow to rest until doubled in size, about 1 hour. 
5. While the dough rises, whisk together the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg for the filling; set aside. Grease a bread pan; set aside. Melt remaining 1/4 cup butter until browned; go ahead and set that aside too.
6. Punch down the dough and knead in remaining 2 tablespoons of flour; cover with a towel and let rest for a few minutes.
7. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface until it's about 12x20 or larger; brush butter all over dough and cover with cinnamon-sugar mixture.
8. Slice the dough into 6 strips and slice those strips into 6 pieces each (6x6=36 squares); stack the squares and turn in to bread pan. Place a kitchen towel over the pan and place in a warm place for 30-45 minutes, or until almost doubled in size.
9. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350*. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the top is very golden brown.
10. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 20-30 minutes; serve warm.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Mock Tapioca

Mock Tapioca
4 c milk
1/2 c + 1 T sugar
dash salt
6 T Cream of Wheat
2 eggs, separated
1 t vanilla

1. In a large saucepan, combine milk, sugar, and salt; bring to a boil.
2. Slowly stir in Cream of Wheat; return to boil and then reduce heat to medium.
3. Cook until thickened, stirring frequently.
4. Remove from heat, beat in egg yolks and vanilla. Cool to room temperature.
5. In a separate bowl, whip egg whites until stiff peaks form; fold in to cereal. Serve cold.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

English Toffee

English Toffee
2 c sugar
2 c butter, softened
6 T water
2 c chocolate chips
1 c chopped pecans, toasted (opt)
1. Place sugar, butter, and water in a medium pan; stir frequently, if not constantly, with a wooden spoon, over high heat. Toffee will come to a rolling boil.
2. When toffee becomes golden brown, turn it out on to a 9x13 pan.
3. About 3-5 minutes later, sprinkle with chocolate chips; spread melting chips over the entire surface of the toffee and then sprinkle with pecans.
4. Let chocolate cool completely (a few hours) and then break into pieces before serving.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

English Apple Pie

English Apple Pie
4 large [Granny Smith] apple, peeled and sliced
1/2 c sugar
2 t cinnamon, separated
1/2 c butter
1/2 c brown sugar
1 c [wheat] flour
3 T water
1/2 c chopped pecans (opt)

1. Preheat oven to 375*.
2. In a large bowl, toss apples in sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon; dump in to pie plate.
3. Using the same bowl (no need to dirty more dishes), beat butter and brown sugar together; mix in flour, water, remaining teaspoon of cinnamon, and pecans.
4. Spoon dumpling mixture over apples, place on the lowest rack in oven, and bake for 45 minutes.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Strawberry Crumb Pie

Strawberry Crumb Pie
1 stick cold butter
3 oz cold cream cheese
1 1/4 c flour, plus more for dusting
pinch of salt
Crumb Topping:
3/4 c oats
1/2 c flour
1/3 c sugar
1/4 c butter, melted and cooled slightly
6 c (2 lb) strawberries, hulled and chopped
1/2 c sugar
2 t lemon juice
2 1/2 T cornstarch
1/4 t orange zest

1. Whip butter and cream cheese in a food processor until smooth; add flour and salt and process until it forms a ball. Scrape out the dough, shape it into a round disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour.

2. Meanwhile, combine the oats, flour, and sugar in a small bowl; add the butter and stir until incorporated. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
3. Preheat oven to 350*. Working on a floured surface, roll out the crust dough and place in a springform pan; return to the fridge for 20 minutes.
4. Bake crust until lightly brown, about 18-20 minutes; let cool on a wire rack.
5. Increase the oven temperature to 375*.
6. Toss the strawberries, sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch, and orange zest in a medium bowl. Spoon the mixture in to the crust and spread the topping evenly over the berries.
7. Bake for 60 minutes, or until the filling is bubbly and the crust and toppings are golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool to room temperature before serving.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

[Cheesecake Factory] Pumpkin Cheesecake

[Cheesecake Factory] Pumpkin Cheesecake
1 1/2 c graham cracker crumbs (1 sleeve crackers)
5 T butter, melted
1 T + 1 c sugar
3- 8 oz pkgs [light] cream cheese, softened
1 t vanilla
1 c canned pumpkin
3 eggs
1 t pumpkin pie spice
whipped cream

1. Preheat oven to 350*.
2. Combine crumbs, butter, and 1 tablespoon of sugar; press in to the bottom and halfway up the sides of a springform pan.
3. Bake for 5 minutes and then set aside.
4. Beat the cream cheese, vanilla, and remaining cup of sugar with an electric mixer; add pumpkin, eggs, and pumpkin pie spice and mix until just combined. Do not over mix it, or it will crack on top like the picture below.
5. Pour in to crust and bake for 60-70 minutes, until light brown; cool cheesecake to room temperature and then place in the fridge until chilled. Top with whipped cream.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Witches' Hats

Witches' Hats
2 pkg Keebler Fudge Stripe cookies
1 pkg Hershey's Kisses
orange frosting

1. Place cookies upside down; pipe frosting around the hole in the middle of each cookie.
2. Center kisses in the middle of the cookie; let sit to firm up frosting before serving.

I used Hershey's Hugs for these hats.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Pumpkin Rolls

Pumpkin Rolls
2 cans crescent rolls
4 oz cream cheese, softened
6 T brown sugar
1/4 c canned pumpkin
1 t pumpkin pie spice

1. Preheat oven to 350* and grease a 9x9 pan OR a loaf pan (see #4).
2. Unroll the crescent rolls and place them side by side to make a long rectangle; use a rolling pin to bring the seams together so that it's one continuous piece.
3. In a small bowl, beat together remaining ingredients; spread over crescent dough, leaving about 1/2" border on the long sides.
4. Starting on one long side, roll up the dough. Now you can either slice like cinnamon rolls (9x9 pan), or bake as a log and slice after baking (loaf pan).
5. Bake for 30 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool for 5-10 minutes before frosting.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting

4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 c powdered sugar
1 t vanilla
2 t canned pumpkin

1.  In the same bowl you used before (no need to dirty another dish, just rinse it out), cream all ingredients.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Mini Pumpkin Candy Cookies

Mini Pumpkin Candy Cookies
1 c butter, softened
2 c brown sugar
2 T milk
2 t vanilla
2 eggs
3 1/2 c flour
1 t baking soda
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1- 12 oz bag white chocolate chips
1 lb bag candy pumpkins

1. Preheat oven to 350*; grease a cookie sheet.
2. In stand mixer, cream together butter, sugar, milk, vanilla, and eggs; sift in flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Combine and then mix in chocolate chips.
3. Roll dough into about 2" balls and then push a pumpkin into the middle of the ball and wrap the dough around it. Make sure you can't see any part of the pumpkin.
4. Place the dough balls on the cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.
5. Immediately place another pumpkin in the center of each cookie and press it down slowly; let sit on the cookie sheet for about 5-10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Pumpkin Pie Crescents

Pumpkin Pie Crescents
2 cans crescents
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 c canned pumpkin
2 t + 1 T pumpkin pie spice, separated
1/2 c sugar, separated

1. Preheat oven to 375*; line a cookie sheet with foil and grease.
2. Roll out crescents and cut each in half, lengthwise.
3. Beat cream cheese and pumpkin; stir in 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice and 1/4 c sugar.
4. Spoon mixture on to each crescent and roll up.
5. Combine remaining tablespoon pumpkin pie spice and 1/4 c sugar; roll each of the crescents in the sugar mixture.
6. Place crescents on baking sheet and bake for 15-18 minutes.


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Meat & Potatoes Casserole

Meat & Potatoes Casserole
1 lb lean ground beef
1 onion, finely chopped
1- 10.75 oz can cream of mushroom soup
1/4 c milk
3 c frozen mixed vegetables
1-1 1/2 c Cheddar cheese
16 oz bag frozen potatoes (hash browns, tater tots, new potatoes, etc)

1. Preheat oven to 400*; lightly grease a 9x13 pan.
2. In a large pan, sweat onions over medium-high heat; add beef and cook thoroughly.
3. In a small bowl, mix soup and milk; combine with onions and beef, and spread evenly on the bottom of the 9x13 pan.
4. Layer veggies, half of the cheese, the potatoes, and the rest of the cheese.
5. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until cooked through and cheese melted.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Oatmeal Carmelita Bars

Oatmeal Carmelita Bars
2 c flour
2 c oats
1 1/2 c firmly packed brown sugar
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 1/4 c butter, softened
12.25 oz jar caramel ice cream topping
3 T flour
1 c chocolate chips
1/2 c chopped nuts (opt)

1. Preheat oven to 350* and grease a 9x13 pan.
2. In a large bowl, combine all of the crust ingredients; press half of the mixture into the pan and reserve the other half.
3. Bake for 10 minutes. While it bakes, in a small bowl, combine caramel and 3 T flour.
4. Sprinkle chocolate chips (and nuts) over hot crust and then cover with caramel sauce; sprinkle remaining crust mixture over caramel.
5. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
Let cool completely before cutting and serving.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Slow Cooker Curried Coconut Chicken

Slow Cooker Curried Coconut Chicken
1- 13.5 oz can coconut milk
2 1/2 t curry powder, separated
salt and pepper, to taste
3 chicken breasts
2- 16 oz bags frozen stir-fry vegetables
1 c white rice, uncooked
1/2 t ginger
coconut flakes (opt)

1. Lightly grease slow cooker; shake coconut milk well before you pour it in to slow cooker.
2. Whisk in 2 tsp. curry powder, salt, and pepper; add chicken and spoon some of the coconut milk mixture over the chicken; top with frozen veggies.
3. Cook on low for 8-10 hours (high for 6 hours).
4. About 20 minutes before serving, cook rice as directed, adding ginger and remaining curry powder to water before cooking.
Serve chicken over rice, sprinkled with coconut flakes.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Easy Peach Cobbler

Easy Peach Cobbler
2- 14 oz cans sliced peaches*
1 1/2 c sugar
1 c flour
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 t cinnamon
1 c milk

1. Preheat oven to 350* and slightly grease a 9x13 pan.
2. Drain and rinse peaches in a colander; let sit to drain some more.
3. Combine sugar, flour baking powder, salt, and cinnamon; stir in milk and mix until just combined (if there are some small lumps, no problem).
4. Pour batter into pan; spread peaches out evenly over batter.
5. Bake for 40 minutes, until crust is golden brown.
*You can really use any canned fruit, or fresh or frozen for that matter. You'll want to end up with about 3 1/2 - 4 cups of moist fruit.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Spanish Rice

My mom's Spanish Rice recipe. So yummy!

Spanish Rice
1 c long grain rice 
2 T olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 - 1 tsp. salt
1- 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1- 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 c chicken broth
1/2 t curry powder

1. Place rice in a bowl and cover with really hot water; let sit for 15 minutes.
2. Swish, rub, and squeeze the rice and then drain.
3. Cover with cool water; swish, rub, and squeeze and then drain; repeat until water is pretty clear (about 2-3 more times).
4. Drain rice well, pat dry with paper towels, and spread evenly on a cookie sheet; let dry overnight.

5. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat; add rice and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned.
6. Add onion, garlic, and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion has softened.
7. Stir in tomatoes and tomato sauce until blended; stir in chicken broth and curry powder.
8. Cover and simmer until broth is mostly absorbed; stir, re-cover, and simmer over low heat until all liquid is absorbed, about 30 minutes.
Makes 4 servings.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Buttermilk Biscuits

Buttermilk Biscuits
1 stick butter
2 c flour
1/2 t baking soda
1 1/2 t baking powder
1 t salt
3/4 c buttermilk

1. Slice butter and place in freezer for about 5 minutes; sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl.
2. Cut the butter in with a fork until the mixture is the consistency of coarse sand; add the buttermilk and continue to cut the dough.
3. Turn the mixture out onto a floured surface, flour your hands, and work the dough until it comes together; roll the dough out until it is 1/2-3/4" thick; use a biscuit or round cookie cutter to cut biscuits and then place them in the freezer for at least 20 minutes.
4. Preheat oven to 475*.
5. Remove biscuits from freezer and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. They should be touching.
6. Bake for 20 minutes.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Slow Cooker Lemonade Chicken

Slow Cooker Lemonade Chicken
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced
1 can frozen lemonade, thawed
1/4 c ketchup
1 T apple cider vinegar
3 T brown sugar
brown rice

1. Place chicken in slow cooker.
2. Mix remaining ingredients in separate bowl; pour over chicken.
3. Cook on high for 3-4 hours, or on low for 6-8 hours.
Serve over rice.
*Each serving (sans rice) is only 309 calories.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Berry Cream Pie

Berry Cream Pie
2-3 6 oz pkgs blackberries
6 T raspberry preserves
2 graham cracker pie crusts
1- 8 oz tub whipped topping

1. Put blackberries in a bowl and give them a rough mash with a fork; mix in preserves.
2. Spoon half of the blackberry mixture into each pie crust and top with whipped topping.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Graham Cracker Crusts

Graham Cracker Crusts
2 sleeves graham crackers, crushed
1/3 c sugar
1/2 c butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 350*.
2. In a medium bowl, combine crumbs and sugar; stir in butter until well combined.
3. Press mixture into two pie plates (or one 9x13 pan) and bake for 8-10 minutes, until slightly browned.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Slow Cooker Chicken & Rice

Slow Cooker Chicken & Rice
1 block [light] cream cheese, at room temperature
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 pkg Italian dressing mix
4 chicken breasts (mine were still frozen)
1/4 c water
4-5 c cooked rice

1. Combine cream cheese, soup, and dressing mix in slow cooker; add chicken and cover with mixture.
2. Drizzle water over chicken and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
3. Shred chicken and mix back in to slow cooker; stir in rice and serve.

For leftovers:
Wrap in crescent rolls with some Cheddar cheese and follow baking directions.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Quinoa Salad Wraps

Quinoa Salad Wraps
1 c cooked quinoa
1 yellow bell pepper, finely diced
1 small red onion, finely diced
1 tomato, diced
shavings of 1-2 carrots
1/2 c broccoli, finely chopped
1 avocado, diced
2 T olive oil
2 T plain greek yogurt (or light sour cream)
2 T rice vinegar
3 T lime juice
2 T honey
salt and pepper, to taste
romaine lettuce
4-5 whole grain tortillas or pitas

1. In a medium bowl, combine quinoa, pepper, onion, tomato, carrots, broccoli, and avocado.
2. In another medium bowl, whisk together olive oil, yogurt, vinegar, lime juice, honey, salt, and pepper; toss quinoa mixture in dressing.
3. Line tortillas with lettuce and spoon quinoa mixture on top; wrap up and enjoy.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Mexicorn Dip

Mexicorn Dip
1 c [light] sour cream
1/2 c [light] mayonnaise
3 green onions, finely chopped
3 jalapenos, seeded and finely diced
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
3- 11 oz cans Mexicorn, drained
2 c shredded Cheddar cheese

1. In a medium bowl, blend sour cream and mayonnaise; add remaining ingredients and mix until well-incorporated.
Keep refrigerated and serve with vegetables, tortilla chips, Fritos, etc.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Pesto-Stuffed Chicken

Pesto-Stuffed Chicken
2 large chicken breasts
3 T [light] sour cream
3 T pesto
3 T mozzarella cheese
1 egg
3 T panko breadcrumbs (I use Italian style)
3 T Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 375*; line with foil and grease a cookie sheet or 9x13 pan.
2. You can either butterfly the chicken breasts or pound them (in a baggie or between two sheets of plastic wrap) until they are about 1/4-1/3" thick. [I butterflied them and then took a mallet to them.]
3. Combine sour cream, pesto, and mozzarella; halve pesto mixture and spread on either breast; roll up chicken and secure with toothpicks.
4. In a shallow dish, whisk egg; in another shallow dish, combine breadcrumbs and Parmesan.
5. Dip chicken in egg wash and then in breadcrumbs.
6. Bake for 30 minutes, remove toothpicks, and enjoy.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


1/2 c water
1 c sugar
1 c fresh lemon juice
8 c cold water

1. In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil; stir in sugar until completely dissolved.
2. Pour in to pitcher and add lemon juice and water; stir until well mixed.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Edamame Dip

Edamame Dip
1 lb frozen shelled edamame, thawed
1 t garlic salt
1/2 t onion powder
1/4 t hot sauce
1/4 c olive oil
1/4 c water

1. Place edamame, onion salt, garlic powder, and hot sauce in a food processor; process until smooth.
2. With food processor running, pour in olive oil and water.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Lemon Cheesecake Bars

Lemon Cheesecake Bars
1 box lemon cake mix
1/3 c butter, softened
3 eggs, separated
1 t canola oil
2- 8 oz pkg [fat free] cream cheese
2 c powdered sugar
2 lemons, separated
2 t vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350*
2. In a medium bowl, blend cake mix, butter, 1 egg, and oil; press into an ungreased 9x13 pan.
3. Use the same medium bowl to beat the cream cheese and gradually blend in powdered sugar.
4. Zest both lemons; set aside one lemon's zest in the fridge and add the other lemon's zest to the cream cheese mixture. Juice both lemons and blend that into the cream cheese mixture.
5. Reserve 1 cup of the cream cheese mixture and refrigerate for later use.
6. Beat remaining 2 eggs, add vanilla, and fold in to cream cheese mixture; spread over cake mixture.
7. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, until set up. Cool completely.
8. Spread the reserved cream cheese mixture on to bars, top with remaining lemon zest, and refrigerate until firm.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Hootenannies (German Pancakes)

Hootenannies (German Pancakes)
6 eggs
1 c milk
1 c flour

1. Preheat oven to 425*; grease a 9x13 pan.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs and milk together; stir in flour.
3. Pour into pan and bake for 20-25 minutes. Corners/sides will be puffy and raised.
Serve topped with traditional pancake toppings (syrup, powdered sugar, fruit, etc).

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Southern-Style Collard Greens

Southern-Style Collard Greens
4 slices [turkey] bacon, diced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 lb frozen collard greens, thawed
1 c chicken broth
about 2 c water
1-2 T butter
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Fry bacon in a large pot, over medium heat; move bacon to paper towel to drain.
2. Place onion in pot and cook for a few minutes, until slightly softened.
3. Add collard greens, chicken broth, and enough water to cover the greens; turn up heat to medium-high and simmer for about 20 minutes.
4. Turn collard greens in to a colander and drain; gently press with paper towel.
5. Place collard greens back in pot and add butter, salt, and pepper. Stir in bacon and serve warm.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

*UPDATED* Cafe Rio Creamy Tomatillo Dressing

Cafe Rio Creamy Tomatillo Dressing
1 pkt Hidden Valley Ranch mix
1 c [light] mayonnaise
1 c buttermilk*
2 tomatillos, husk removed
1/2 bunch cilantro
1 clove garlic
1 lime, juiced
1 jalapeno (seeds and ribs optional)

1. Blend all ingredients in blender and let sit in the fridge for at least an hour.
*If you don't have buttermilk, combine 1 c milk with 1 T vinegar (or lime juice), stir well and let sit for a minute.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Cafe Rio Black Beans

Cafe Rio Black Beans
2 T olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 t ground cumin
1- 15.25 oz can black beans
1 1/2 t salt
2 T fresh chopped cilantro

1. In a nonstick skillet, cook garlic and cumin in olive oil over medium heat for 2-3 minutes; add beans and salt.
2. Cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through; stir in cilantro just before serving.

[I didn't get a picture of the beans, but...they look a lot like black beans with cilantro in them. If yours looks like that, you have a winner!]

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

*UPDATED* Cafe Rio Cilantro-Lime Rice

Cafe Rio Cilantro-Lime Rice
1 c white rice
1 t butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lime, zested and juiced
1- 15 oz can chicken broth
3/4 cup water
2 t sugar
3 T fresh chopped cilantro

1. In a medium saucepan, combine rice, butter, garlic, 1 teaspoon lime juice, chicken broth, and water.
2. Bring to a boil; turn down to low, cover, and cook for 15-20 minutes, until rice is tender; remove from heat.
3. In a small bowl, combine remaining tablespoon lime juice, zest, sugar, and cilantro; stir in to rice and serve warm.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Cafe Rio Pork

Like any good pork dish, the name of the game is low and slow.

Cafe Rio Pork
5-6 lb pork roast
20 oz Dr Pepper or Coca-Cola (do not use diet soda)
1 c brown sugar
3/4 c sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
7 oz can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
6-8 oz jar red taco sauce
1 t dry mustard
1 t cumin
1/4 t cayenne pepper

1. Place roast in slow cooker, cover about halfway with water, and cook on low for 12 hours, or overnight; drain pork.
2. Mix remaining ingredients until the sugar is dissolved; pour over roast and cook on low for 4 hours.
3. Shred pork, add back into sauce, and cook for another 2 hours.
*You can just use the sauce, or you can use the sauce and up to all of the chiles if you would like some more heat (I throw the whole can in).

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Cafe Rio Chicken

I found some better recipes for the Cafe Rio components that I love, so this month is Cafe Rio month here on the blog. Enjoy!

Cafe Rio Chicken (feel free to halve recipe - I do, unless I'm feeding an army that night)

1- 8 oz bottle Kraft Zesty Italian dressing
1 T cumin
1 T chili powder
3 cloves garlic, minced
5 lb chicken breast (about 10-12 breasts)

1. Put all ingredients into slow cooker and cook on low for 4-5 hours; shred chicken* 1 hour before serving.
*Tip: to shred, place all chicken in Kitchenaid and use paddle on low.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Baked Chicken Taquitos

Baked Chicken Taquitos
3 oz [light] cream cheese, softened
5 T green enchilada sauce
juice of 1 lime
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 t cumin
1/2 t onion powder
1 garlic clove, minced
4 T chopped cilantro
2 T chopped green onions
2 c cooked chicken, shredded
1 c pepper jack cheese, shredded
corn tortillas (about 24)

1. Preheat oven to 425*; line a cookie sheet with foil and lightly grease.
2. Using a mixer, blend cream cheese, enchilada sauce, lime juice, paprika, cumin, onion powder, and garlic; stir in cilantro and green onions; add chicken and cheese.
3. Place a damp paper towel on a plate and spread four tortillas evenly on paper towel; microwave for 30 seconds.
4. Drop 1-2 tablespoons of filling on each tortilla, spread out lengthwise, and roll up tightly.
-Repeat steps 3 & 4 until all of the filling is gone.
5. Place taquitos on cookie sheet, seam down, and space evenly so they are not touching.
6. Using cooking spray or olive oil, lightly grease tops of taquitos; sprinkle lightly with salt.
7. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until lightly browned and crispy.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Balsamic Parmesan Cauliflower

Balsamic Parmesan Cauliflower
1 head cauliflower, chopped
2 T olive oil
1 t marjoram
1/4 t salt
1/4 t pepper
2 T balsamic vinegar
1/2 c Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 425*; foil and lightly grease a cookie sheet.
2. In a medium bowl, toss cauliflower, olive oil, marjoram, salt, and pepper to coat evenly.
3. Spread on cookie sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, until starting to brown on the bottom.
4. Return to bowl and toss with vinegar and cheese.
5. Place back on cookie sheet and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes until the cheese is melted and the cauliflower is lightly browned.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Hawaiian Chicken

Hawaiian Chicken
4 frozen chicken breasts, boneless/skinless
1- 20 oz can crushed pineapple
1- 16.5 oz bottle Hawaiian-Style BBQ Sauce (Archer Farms brand from Target)

1. Layer everything in your slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours. If desired, shred chicken an hour before serving.
Serve over rice.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Bacon Jalapeno Cream Cheese Crescents

Bacon Jalapeno Cream Cheese Crescents
1 block [fat-free] cream cheese, softened
1-2 jalapenos, seeded and diced
1- 16 oz pkg bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 c shredded Cheddar cheese
2 t garlic salt
2 cans crescent roll dough (8 crescents each)

1. Preheat oven to 350*.
2. In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, jalapeno(s), bacon, Cheddar, and garlic salt until well-incorporated.
3. Roll out each can of dough into four equal sections (2 crescents per section); spoon equal amounts (1/8th) of filling on to each section of dough.
4. Cut dough on perforated line (to separate crescents) and then cut each crescent in half lengthwise. You should end up with 32 mini crescents.
5. Roll crescents as usual (from large end to small end) and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
6. Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Nutella Baklava

Nutella Baklava
1/4 c honey
1/4 c water
2-4 cinnamon sticks
1 c Nutella
1/2 c almonds, roughly chopped
1/2 c walnuts, roughly chopped
1/2 c shredded coconut
1 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t salt
2 puff pastry sheets
a scant 1/4 c softened butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 400*; foil and butter a cookie sheet.
2. In a small pot, combine honey, water, and cinnamon sticks; warm over low heat until honey dissolves, stirring occasionally.
3. Bring heat up to medium and allow to boil for about 5 minutes; take off heat and set aside.
4. Unfold puff pastry and cut along folds so that each sheet is in three sections; cut each section into fourths (24 total squares).
5. Place squares on cookie sheet and brush each one with a little bit of butter.
5. Microwave Nutella for 45 seconds; spread a dollop (about a tablespoon) on 16 of the squares.
6. Combine nuts, coconut, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl and sprinkle evenly over Nutella squares. Lay one Nutella square on top of another and top with a plain square. You should end up with 8 stacks.
7. Bake for 20-25 minutes; drizzle with honey syrup before serving.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Roasted Broccoli

Roasted Broccoli
2 crowns broccoli, chopped*
olive oil, to drizzle
4 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper, to taste (about 1-2 teaspoons each)
juice of 1 lemon
1/3 c Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 425*; line a cookie sheet with foil.
2. Place broccoli in a medium bowl and drizzle with olive oil; toss with garlic, salt, and pepper.
3. Move to cookie sheet (retain bowl for later) and roast for 20 minutes.
4. Place broccoli back in the bowl and drizzle with lemon juice and a little more olive oil; toss with cheese.
*No need to wash and dry broccoli because the heat in the oven will kill all bacteria.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins

Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins
1 egg
1 t salt
1- 14.75 oz can creamed corn
1- 4 oz can diced green chiles
1 jalapeno, diced (seeding optional)
1 c Mexican blend cheese (or pepper jack)
1 box cornbread mix

1. Preheat oven to 400* and grease a muffin tin.
2. In a small bowl, mix egg, salt, corn, and chiles; stir in jalapeno and cheese.
3. In a medium bowl, fold wet ingredients in to corn muffin mix until just mixed.
4. Bake for 15-20 minutes, depending on how full tins are, until golden brown. Cool in tins.
Makes 12-24 muffins.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Baked Zucchini with Sweet Onion Dip

Baked Zucchini with Sweet Onion Dip
3 medium zucchinis
1 T salt
1/2 T butter
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 T apple cider vinegar
1 T honey
1/2 T mustard
1 c [light] mayonnaise
2 eggs
1 T water
1 c Italian breadcrumbs
1/2 c Parmesan cheese

1. Cut each zucchini into 9 equal pieces lengthwise (3x3); cut each stick down to about 3" long.
2. Place zucchini in a colander over a bowl and toss with salt; let sit for at least an hour, allowing the zucchinis to sweat out their juices.
3. Preheat oven to 425*; line a cookie sheet with foil and lightly grease.
4. In a medium frying pan, melt butter over medium heat and add onion; saute onions for 20-30 minutes until they have caramelized, stirring occasionally. They should be browned.
5. Take pan off heat and let it rest while you put vinegar, honey, and mustard in food processor.
6. Add onions and puree (with the feed hole open to allow steam to escape) until smooth; add mayo and pulse until incorporated.
7. Remove zucchini from colander and dry them well.
8. In a shallow dish, whisk eggs and water; in another shallow dish, combine breadcrumbs and cheese.
9. Dip zucchini in egg wash and then in breadcrumbs; space evenly on cookie sheet.
10. Bake for about 13 minutes, until starting to turn brown, flip sticks and bake for an additional 13-15 minutes until golden brown and crisp. Serve with dip.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Pretzel Turtles

Pretzel Turtles
1 bag mini pretzels
1 bag Rolos

1.Preheat oven to 400*.
2. Line a cookie sheet with foil; sandwich Rolos between two pretzels and space evenly on foil.
3.Bake for 3 minutes; gently press down on top pretzel to smash melted Rolo.
Let cool before serving.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mug Coffee Cake

Mug Coffee Cake
2 T butter, softened, separated
2 T + 2 t sugar, separated
1 egg white
2 T sour cream
1/2 t vanilla
1/8 t baking powder
6 T flour, separated
2 t cinnamon, separated
1 T brown sugar

1. Cream 1 tablespoon butter and 2 tablespoons sugar in a mug; add egg white, sour cream, and vanilla.
2. Stir in baking powder and 4 tablespoons flour; swirl in 2 teaspoons sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon.
3. In a small bowl, mix remaining tablespoon butter, 2 tablespoons flour, brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon; sprinkle over cake mix in mug.
4. Microwave, on high, for about 1 minute and 20 seconds.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Spiced Molten Chocolate Cakes

I got this yummy recipe from my friend Casey. Happy Valentine's Day!

Spiced Molten Chocolate Cakes
1/2 c chocolate chips
1/2 c butter
1 t vanilla
1 c powdered sugar
3 eggs, separated
6 T flour
1/4 t cinnamon
1/4 t ginger
1/8 t cloves (opt)

1. Preheat oven to 400* and butter four custard cups or ramekins.
2. In a medium pan, melt chocolate and butter until smooth; take off heat and stir in vanilla and sugar until well incorporated.
3. Stir in 2 eggs and 1 yolk until well combined; stir in flour and spices.
4. Pour into prepared cups. Place cups on a baking sheet and bake for 13-15 minutes, or until edges are pulled away but center is still soft.
5. Let stand 1 minute; loosen and invert cakes onto serving plates and garnish with powdered sugar or cocoa powder.

Photo by Laurel Lakey