Monday, December 12, 2011

Creamy Chicken Italiano

I got this recipe from Ms. Lisa!  It was so easy to throw everything in the crockpot and come back to dinner ready!  We ate with rice the first time, but I think I'm going to serve it with noodles this time!  Enjoy!

1/4 Cup water
1 pkg dry Italian Seasoning (It will be by the dry packets of ranch)
1-8 oz pkg cream cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup
boneless chicken breasts

Put the chicken in Crock pot. Mix together dressing and water and pour it over the chicken. Cook on low for 2-3 hours. Add soup and cream cheese and let warm and then stir. Cook another 1-2 hours or until its all nice and creamy. We eat it over noodles.

Sunday, November 20, 2011



 One of my favorite things to compliment my meals are Homemade Breadsticks!  I actually got the recipe from Lisa, which she got it from her SIL, Karey!  These breadsticks are EASY!  Yes, you're using yeast, so there are a couple of rise times.  But, because they are so easy, it's not a big deal to just have them rising while you prepare other parts of your meal! I ALWAYS get complemented when I make these and take them somewhere.  They are especially a hit in the fall, when I make them with soups!  I often make them on the nights we do Homemade Pizza too! To start mix together 1 1/2 cups warm water, 1 tablespoon yeast and 2 tablespoons sugar.  You will need to let that sit for 5 minutes while the yeast activates and
becomes frothy.

This is what it will look like when you first put the yeast in the water and it is beginning to froth!

I left to change the laundry and came back to this!  The yeast will all be wet and the yeast left on top of the water will be frothy!

You'll then add 1 teaspoon salt and 4 cups of flour!  I add 2 cups, mix, add another cup, mix and then add the last couple and mix it!  The dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl and not be sticky.


 Then I spray the inside of plastic bowl with cooking spray and put the dough ball in it and cover.  Let it rise for 15-20 minutes!  While it is rising I get the oven heating up at 375 F.  I also cut up 1 cube of butter and arrange it on my sheet pan and put it in the oven to melt.

Once it has risen, I spray the counter top with cooking spray and kneed it down a bit.  You could also flour your countertop if you prefer, but I generally don't prefer that method.  I don't want to chance my dough getting dry.  Then I roll the dough out to just barely smaller then the pan I'm going to use.


As you can see, Nathan was my little helper this particular day.  He loves to help me run the mixer and cut up the breadsticks!


 Once it is rolled out to the approx size of my pan, I take a pizza cutter and cut it in breadsticks.  The pan should be all ready with the butter melted - then I take the breadsticks and place them onto the pan.


 I then take my basting brush (which I LOVE) and brush the butter all over the breadsticks!  I also top them with Garlic Powder and Parmesan Cheese.


Then walk away and let them rise another 15-20 minutes!

Then bake at 375 for 15-18 minutes, or until golden brown on their tops and edges. Here's what mine looked liked going in the oven!  BIG and fluffy!!

And, here's what they look like fresh out of the oven!


Here is the recipe:

Mix together: 1 1/2 c warm water 1 tbsp yeast 2 tbsp sugar Let sit for about 5 minutes (or until it becomes frothy).

Add and mix together: 1 tsp salt 4 c flour, enough so that the dough pulls away from the sides of the mixer and is not super sticky Let the dough rise for 15-20 minutes.

Melt 1 cube of butter in a 11x13 jelly roll pan in the oven. Shape the dough into bread sticks and place on pan. I rolled mine out on the counter to just a little bit smaller than my jellyroll pan and then cut them into nice bread stick shapes with my pizza cutter. Just be sure before you cut them that you have either putting cooking spray on the counter or you have enough flour on the bottom side, so they don't stick to your counters. Sprinkle with garlic powder and with grated Parmesan cheese.

I left just a little bit of room between my bread sticks and the butter came up over them as I was placing them in pan. Let rise for about 20 minutes. Bake at 375 for 15-18 minutes, or until golden brown on top and edges.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Wisconsin Cauliflower Soup

I got this recipe from the girls at You Heard It Last!  It was seriously YUMMY!  I made a double batch and froze future meals!  For sure try this one!

Yields: 9 cups 

2 tablespoons butter (1/4 stick)
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
1 can (13 3/4 to 14 1/2 ounces) chicken broth
1 head (2 1/2 pounds) cauliflower, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup pepper jack cheese

In 4-quart saucepan, butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook until golden, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in flour and salt; cook 2minutes, stirring frequently. Gradually stir in milk, chicken broth, and 1 1/2 cups water; add cauliflower and heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer until cauliflower is tender, about 10 minutes. In blender (with center part of blender cover removed to allow steam to escape), blend cauliflower mixture at low speed in small batches until very smooth. Return cauliflower mixture to saucepan; heat over medium heat until hot, stirring occasionally. Remove saucepan from heat; stir in mustard and 1 1/2 cups cheese until melted and smooth. Garnish soup with remaining cheese to serve.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

French Chicken

There are two ways to make this - in the oven or via crockpot. I generally do it in the crockpot on days that I have busier afternoon/evenings!

6 regular sized Chicken Breasts
Can of Cranberry Sauce (I like mixed berry)
1 packet of Lipton Onion Soup Mix
8 oz of French Dressing


1 Can of Cranberry Sauce, the Lipton Onion Soup Mix and 8 oz of French Dressing.  Grease a baking pan, lay out the chicken breasts and pour over the mixure over the chicken.

Bake at 350 for 1 1/2 hours!


I generally start it around lunch time - noonish or so.  I put the chicken in frozen, add all the other ingredients and start it on high for the first hour or two.  That is mainly to help the chicken thaw!  Then I turn it to low until it's time to eat!  We eat around 6:00 usually.  The chicken has always been good - never dry!

I serve it with rice and a veggie or a green salad!  We call it Candy Chicken to the kids and they totally believe us!  It's that good!  Seriously delish!


Sunday, September 4, 2011

Beef Enchiladas

Thanks to my friend, Lisa, for actually taking the time to Google and learn how to cook a Chuck Roast properly.  We have freezers full of meat thanks to my dad.  We always have a lot of Chuck Roasts and it is always the roast that we kinda don't know what to do with it.  Thanks to Lisa, I will no longer have a problem coming up with things do cook with them. Because Chuck Roasts have lots of fat in them you have to cook it on LOW in a Crockpot for 10-12 hours.  It DOES NOT dry out.  It takes that long for the fat layers to all melt down and it helps the roast have a great flavor.

So, here's what I did:  I put a Chuck Roast into my crock pot and dumped 2 cans of Beef Broth, 1 can of water, a Fajita packet and a Au Jus packet in with it and cooked the Chuck Roast on LOW overnight.  It ended up cooking about 11 hours.  At the end of the 11 hours it literally was FALLING APART!  All I had to do was take the fork and smash it and it was shredding itself.  BEAUTY I tell you!

I used half the meat to make these Beef Enchiladas and saved the other part of the meet and the juice and we had Au Jus sandwiches the next night.!

I don't love super traditional red sauce, so I came up with this little version:

1 packet McCormick Enchilada Sauce
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream

Sauce before adding Sour Cream and Whipping Cream

Sauce after adding Sour Cream and Whipping cream

Then you can make up the enchiladas however you want... here are some things you can add into your meat:
Sautéed Onions
Green Chiles

My husband doesn't like very much in his enchiladas, so I generally make them quite plain and do everything as toppings.

All I do for the inside is lay out a tortilla, put the meat, in the middle, sprinkle some cheese and approx 1 tablespoon of the sauce.  Then I roll them up.  If it was just up to me I would add sauteed onions and some green chili's to the meat too.  You could also layer the olives, beans, and rice here too. I always coat the pan with some cooking spray and like 1/2 cup of sauce and then lay them in the pan.  After the pan is full I cover all the Enchiladas with plenty of sauce and sprinkle the cheese on!

Cook on 350 for 20 or so minutes.  Make sure the cheese has melted.  Serve with whatever toppings you and your family like (lettuce, sour cream, rice, beans, etc)!  ENJOY!

Here is the extra half of the meet all read for Au Jus sandwiches the following night!  Yummy!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

15 minute Creamy Avocado Pasta

I got this recipe from Oh She Glows!  There are awesome step-by-step pictures on her blog post! 

Yield: Serves 2

1 medium sized ripe Avocado, pitted
1/2 lemon, juiced + lemon zest to garnish
2-3 garlic cloves, to taste (I used 3 and it was quite garlicky, but if you are not a big fan of garlic use 1 clove)
1/2 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
~1/4 cup Fresh Basil, (probably optional)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 servings/6 oz of your choice of pasta (I used 3oz of spelt and 3 oz of Kamut spaghetti)
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

    1. Bring several cups of water to a boil in a medium sized pot. Add in your pasta, reduce heat to medium, and cook until Al Dente, about 8-10 minutes.
    2. Meanwhile, make the sauce by placing the garlic cloves, lemon juice, and olive oil into a food processor. Process until smooth. Now add in the pitted avocado, basil, and salt. Process until smooth and creamy.
    3. When pasta is done cooking, drain and rinse in a strainer and place pasta into a large bowl. Pour on sauce and toss until fully combined. Garnish with lemon zest and black pepper. Serve immediately. 
    Serve noodles plain or I think it would be great with a Grilled Chicken or Shrimp
    Makes 2 servings.
    Please note: This dish does not reheat well due to the avocado in the sauce. Please serve immediately.  However, I did have some extra sauce and put it in a container and it did store well for over a day in my fridge without browning (I'm assuming cause of the lemon in it).  So, I do believe if you cooked new noodles and then added the cold sauce to the noodles it would be fine.  
    Let me know if anyone tries it!.

    Sunday, July 31, 2011

    Fiesta Chicken Enchiladas

    I got this recipe from my friend, Brenda's, cooking blog.  I changed a few minor things.  This was seriously good!  I loved the little kick that it brought with each bite!  Thanks Brenda and enjoy everybody!  

    I totally forgot to snap pictures, but you can click over to Brenda's site to see her pictures!  I'll take some next time I make them and add pictures!

    *Note:  I like a lot of sauce, so I generally 1 1/2 times the topping recipe.

    Fiesta Chicken Enchiladas

    2-4 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
    1 packet Fiesta Ranch dip (by the Hidden Valley Ranch packets), divided
    2-3 tbs butter, melted
    1 small can green chilies ( I didn't use the whole thing)
    1/2 - 1 onion, finely chopped (to preference)
    1 garlic clove, minced
    1 cup Monterrey Jack Cheese, divided
    1/2 cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese
    1 can green enchilada sauce
    1/3 cup half and half or heavy whipping cream
    8-10 tortillas
    sour cream (optional)

    Mix melted butter with 1/2-3/4 fiesta ranch dip packet.  Pour over chicken in crock-pot.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.  Shred chicken.  Save the extra butter/fiesta ranch mixture.  


    In a small pan, saute onion and garlic for 1 minute, until fragrant.  Add green chilies and warm.  Add reserved butter/fiesta ranch mixture you used to cook the chicken in..  It will look a little runny, but turn the stove to medium-high heat and add the shredded chicken.   

    Mix green enchilada sauce and half and half in same pan used to saute onion to grab the remaining bits of flavor.  

    Poor about 1/4 cup of the topping onto the bottom of the greased pan.

    Pour a tablespoon of topping into the center of the tortilla.  Add chicken filling, then sprinkle on some cheese and roll up.  Put open side down in the pan to hold the roll.  Repeat.

    Pour remaining topping over enchiladas.  Sprinkle with Cheddar and rest of the Monterrey Jack Cheese.

    Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbling.  To get a slightly crisp and browned top, broil for 3-4 more minutes; watch carefully so it doesn't burn.  

    Sour cream topping:
    1/4-1/2 cup sour cream
    1/4 cup fiesta ranch packet

    Sprinkle sour cream with fiesta ranch packet.  Keep tasting and adding to get it as strong of a flavor as you like. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve on top of enchiladas.

    Thursday, July 28, 2011

    Brazilian Lemonade

    My friend, Lisa, made this for us when we had a BBQ a couple weeks ago.  It seems like it would be too sweet but its actually really refreshing. You will not regret trying this!

    5 limes
    6 cups water
    1 c sugar
    6 Tbsp sweet and condensed milk

    Juice limes and lightly zest skins into juice. (Most recipes have you grind the entire lime but Lisa was told that it made the batch bitter as time went on. With juicing and only using the zest it does not get bitter).

    Mix with water and sugar. Right before serving stir in sweet condensed milk. Serve over ice.

    Wednesday, July 27, 2011

    Chicken Lasagna

    I referenced a couple different recipes and combined the parts I liked to come up with this little version.  I loved it.  I think next time I'm going to try to add a vegetable, probably asparagus.  This wasn't as much work as I thought it would be.  I prepared it in the afternoon and then just popped it in the oven 30 minutes before we wanted to eat!  Enjoy!


    8 Lasagna Noodles
    1 cup chicken broth
    1 can of cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup
    1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
    1 cup Colby Jack Cheese (or whatever you have on hand)
    8 oz package of cream cheese
    1 cup cottage cheese
    1/2 cup sour cream
    1/2 cup mayo
    1/3 cup chopped onion
    1/3 cup chopped green bell pepper
    1/4 cup chopped parsley
    3 cups diced, cooked chicken meat (I used rotissiere this time and it worked great)
    1 1/2 cups seasoned dry bread crumbs


    1.  Cook noodles in a large pot of boiling water until done.  Drain.
    2.  Mix soup, broth, and poultry season in a saucepan.  Heat through.
    3.  Beat together the cheeses, sour cream, and mayo.  Stir in olives, onions, green pepper and parsley.
    4.  Place half the noodles in a 9x13 inch pan.  Layer with 1/2 cream cheese/cottage cheese mixture, 1/2 cheese, 1/2 chicken, and 1/2 soup mixture.  Repeat.  Top with bread crumbs.
    5.  Bake at 375 dgrees F for 30 minutes, or until heated through.

    Thursday, July 21, 2011

    Creamy Pesto Crockpot Chicken

    Thank you to my friend, Jaesi, for this little beauty!  

    1 pound chicken tenders or breast
    1 can cream of chicken or mushroom
    1 cup prepared pesto (Im sure you could use a dry mix, but prepared is what I had on hand)
    1 can of artichoke hearts drained and quartered (I used Hearts of Palm, cause it's what I had on hand)
    1/2 cup sundried tomatoes cut into small bits
    1/2 cup milk or cream (more or less to desired sauce thickness)
    garlic powder
    a handful of pine nuts

    Add to crock pot and cook on high for 3 hours. Serve over pasta and along side a vegetable. 


    Friday, June 17, 2011

    Pretzel Jello

    This is my MIL's recipe!  It is a great side to any dinner and the adults will be fighting the kids for it!!

    2 cups crushed pretzels
    2/3 cup nuts
    3 Tablespoons sugar
    3/4 cup butter

    Crush the pretzels to whatever texture you want.  Mix together with nuts (I like walnuts) sugar and butter.

    Press onto the bottom of a 9x13 pan and bake for 10 minutes at 350.

    Cream Cheese Layer 
    8z cream cheese
    1 cup sugar
    Small Cool whip or make some fresh from whipping cream

    Mix the cream cheese and sugar and fold in the cool whip.  Layer on top of crust.

    Jello Layer
    1 Large or 2 Small jello packs in your choice of flavor
    2 cups boiling water

    Combine boiling water and jello and mix.  At this time you can add any fruit as well. I like to add Strawberries, Bananas or Raspberries!

    Let it cool in the fridge, but don't let it set too much or it won't poor onto the cream cheese layer good.  But, if you poor it too soon then it will sort of melt the cream cheese layer!

    Pour onto cream cheese layer and put back in the fridge to allow the Jello layer to finish setting!


    Pizza Dough #2

    I got this recipe from my friend, Tawnya.  This is a more traditional pizza dough recipe. So, if you're looking for a more "Italian" pizza dough go with this one!  It was delish!

    Makes 4 large pizzas

    8 1/2 cups flour
    3 1/2 cups water
    1/8 c oil
    2 Tablespoons yeast
    2 Tablespoons salt
    1/4 cup sugar

    Mix all ingredients together and add whatever seasonings you would like.  The recommended seasonings are Oregano, Basil and Garlic.

    Divide dough into 4 balls and put in the fridge.  Pull it out 1 hour before you want to shape it and bake it.

    Roll out into a pizza, add sauce and toppings.

    Bake at 450 for 10-12 minutes

    Wednesday, May 25, 2011

    Chicken Salad Sandwich

    4 c chicken, cubed
    3/4 c mayo
    1/2-3/4 c sour cream depending on how saucy you want it)
    1 tsp paprika
    1 tsp seasoning salt
    1 c diced celery
    3 green onions, diced
    1 c chopped pecans
    1 1/2 c craisins
    1 c diced apple

    Mix sour cream, mayonnaise, paprika, and seasoning salt. Add remaining ingredients and allow to sit in the fridge for a few hours so the flavors have time to combine. You can also wait and add the pecans right before serving so they have more crunch.

    Cream Cheese Frosting


    1/2 cup butter, room temperature
    8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
    2-3 cups of powdered sugar (to taste)
    1 teaspoon vanilla

    With an electric mixer, mix the butter and cream cheese together for about 3 minutes on a medium speed until very smooth.  Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl and the bottom of the bowl.

    Add the vanilla and mix a few seconds.  Slowly add the powdered sugar.  Keep adding until you get the desired sweetness and thickness.

    I find if you are going to piping with this recipe it is best to refrigerate it for a few hours first.  I generally make it first thing in the morning and stick in the fridge until I'm ready to use it!  I always get complemented on this frosting.  I like it with a strong cream cheese taste, so I generally only add about 2 cups of powdered sugar.


    If I'm using this recipe for a Carrot cake I will add some freshly ground ginger to it.

    Add some scrapings from a vanilla bean is great for a Red Velvet cake!

    Add some grated for dried coconut to it for a Coconut cake!

    P.F. Chang’s Chicken Lettuce Wrap


    3 Tablespoons Oil
    2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
    1 Cup Water Chestnuts
    2/3 Cup Mushrooms
    3 tbsp. chopped onions
    1 Tablespoon minced garlic
    4-5 leaves iceberg lettuce

    Special Sauce:

    1/4 Cup Sugar
    1/2 Cup Water
    2 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
    2 Tablespoons Rice Wine Vinegar
    2 Tablespoons Ketchup
    1/2 Teaspoon Sesame Oil

    Stir Fry Sauce: 

    2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
    2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
    1/2 Teaspoon Rice Wine Vinegar


    Make the special sauce by dissolving the sugar in the water in a small bowl.  Add soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ketchup, lemon juice and sesame oil.  Mix well and refrigerate this sauce until you’re ready.  Depending on how much sauce you like this may be WAY too much.  So, if you are not a "saucy" person, then you may want to 1/2 the Special Sauce recipe.

    Bring oil to high heat in a wok or large frying pan.  Saute chicken breasts for 4 to 5 minutes per side or until done. Remove chicken from the pan and cool.  Keep oil in the pan and keep hot.  As chicken cools, mince waterchestnuts and mustrooms to about the size of small peas.  Prepare the stir fry sauce by mixing the soy sauce, brown sugar and rice vinegar together in a small bowl.  When chicken is cool, mince it as the mushrooms and water chestnuts are.  With the pan still on high heat, add another tbsp. of vegetable oil.  Add chicken, garlic, onions, waterchestnuts and mushrooms to the pan.  Add the stir fry sauce to the pan and saute the mixture for a couple of minutes then serve it in the lettuce leaves.  Next time I may just chop up Romaine lettuce in a bowl and serve over the top of it.

    Top with the special sauce.

    Sunday, May 15, 2011

    Kool Aid Playdough

    1 1/2 cups flour
    1/4 cup salt
    2 packages unsweetened Kool-Aid Mix (you can use one package, but by using two you get a darker color and sweeter smell)
    1 cup boiling water
    1 1/2 Tablespoons oil

    1. Mix flour, salt and Kool-Aid well in a large bowl.
    2. Add boiling water and oil and then mix with a wooden spoon until it sticks together.
    3. When cooled and you can handle the dough mix the rest by hand blending all the color in so it is a nice even color

    Thursday, April 28, 2011

    "Italian" French Toast

    I saw Buddy Valestro make this on his show Kitchen Boss and wanted to try it. I loved the taste of the orange zest on it!


    1 2 pound loaf panettone or whatever bread you have on hand
    4 large eggs plus 2 yolks
    1‑1/2 cup half n' half
    1/4 cup amaretto liqueur (optional)
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
    zest grated from one orange
    5‑6 tablespoons butter, as needed


    1. Remove paper from panettone. Divide loaf into quarters, wrap and put away one quarter. Slice each quarter into two 1" thick slices – you will be slicing off a rounded side on each quarter – eat, save or discard. You will have six, tall, 1" thick slices.
    2. In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients except for the butter. Heat a large saut̩ pan Рone large enough to comfortable hold three slices without crowding. Add butter and heat until fragrant and foaming.
    3. Dip each piece of panettone into the egg mixture, about a "five count" for each side. Let excess drip from the bread back into the bowl. Fry three pieces at a time, maintaining a low, steady heat, cooking until each side is browned – approx 3 - 4 minutes per side. This yields a tender, custardy interior with a crispier exterior. Add butter as needed and repeat with remaining three slices of panettone.
    4. The bread is quite sweet as is. Suggested serving: topped with butter-toasted sliced almonds and a dusting of 10x sugar.

    Friday, April 22, 2011

    Caramel French Toast

    I'm up in Grantsville, at my in-laws, and my MIL shared this recipe with me. We are making it for in the morning and I can't wait to try it! I'll leave a comment with my review tomorrow morning!

    10 (1 3/4 inch thick) slices French bread - cut off ends
    1 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
    3/4 cup butter
    1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
    4 large eggs, lightly beaten
    2 1/2 cups of milk or half and half
    1 Tablespoon vanilla
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    Cinnamon and Sugar
    1/4 cup butter or margarine - melted

    Combine brown sugar, 3/4 cup butter and corn syrup in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture is bubbly. Pour syrup into 13x9x2 inch greased baking dish. Arrange bread slices over syrup squishing them to fit in the pan. Combine eggs, milk, vanilla and salt. Stir well. Pour over bread. Cover and chill for 8 hours or overnight. Before baking, sprinkle cinnamon and sugar over top. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes uncovered. Pour melted butter over the top when done baking!

    Monday, April 11, 2011

    Sour Cream Noodle Bake

    Thank you Pioneer Women for this new recipe! It was a great new Ground Beef recipe to add to my rotation! It was super yummy and will make great warmups! This made a TON! So, for a smaller family, you could probably 1/2 this and do it in a 9x9.

    Also, next time I may add a LITTLE milk or cream to the sour cream and cottage cheese before I mix in the noodles. It's not that I thought it was dry, but I think it would be nice to have a little more sauce to it.

    • 1-¼ pound Ground Chuck or Ground Beef
    • 1 can 15-ounces Tomato Sauce
    • ½ teaspoons Salt
    • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
    • 8 ounces, weight Egg Noodles
    • ½ cups Sour Cream
    • 1-¼ cup Small Curd Cottage Cheese
    • ½ cups Sliced Green Onions (less To Taste)
    • 1 cup Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese

    Preparation Instructions

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    Get water ready on the stove for boiling noodles.

    Brown ground chuck or beef in a large skillet. Drain fat, then add tomato sauce. 1/2 teaspoon salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Stir, then simmer while you prepare the other ingredients.
    Cook egg noodles until al dente. Drain and set aside.
    In a medium bowl, combine sour cream and cottage cheese. Add plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Add to noodles and stir. Add green onions and stir.
    To assemble, add half of the noodles to a baking dish. Top with half the meat mixture, then sprinkle on half the grated cheddar. Repeat with noodles, meat, then a final layer of cheese.

    Bake for 20 minutes, or until all cheese is melted.
    Serve with crusty French bread.

    Wednesday, April 6, 2011

    Glorified Tacos

    I got this recipe from my friend Nicole. She mentioned she was making it for dinner several times and it always sounded a little funny to me. Then we were invited over and got to try it and it is seriously yummy! It is a super easy and quick dinner, plus super easy to make a lot of! So, this is a great option to make when you need to feed a lot of people!

    Hamburger Mixture:
    1 lb hamburger
    1/2 a yellow onion (amount to your preference)
    peppers (whatever kind you like)
    1/4 c brown sugar
    8 oz can of tomato sauce
    8 oz can of water
    1 T Vinegar
    Garlic Salt

    Brown hamburger and then add onions and peppers. Saute together for a few minutes and then add the rest of the ingredients. Let simmer for 15 minutes.

    Layer bottom to top in this order: Chili Cheese Fritos, Hamburger mixture, shredded cheese, lettuce, tomato, Avacado.



    Sunday, March 27, 2011

    Peanut Butter Snickeroos


    1 bag of Snickers Peanut Butter “Fun Size”, Frozen
    1 c. all purpose flour
    1 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp salt
    2 sticks of butter, softened
    1 cup granulated sugar
    1/4 c. packed brown sugar
    1 large egg
    1 tbsp. vanilla extract
    2 1/2 c. old fashioned rolled oats

    Freeze Snickers Peanut Butter Fun Size for at least 2 hours before preparations begin.  Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray baking tray with cooking spray for baking, or butter and flour.

    In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and soda, and salt.In a large mixing bowl, beat together the softened butter and both sugars until light and fluffy, scraping the sides often. Add the egg and vanilla and beat again until fully incorporated, again scraping the sides.  Add the flour mixture a little at a time, mixing on slow speed after each addition. When fully combined, begin to add the oats, mixing again. Stir the dough by hand once more, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure there aren’t any pockets of flour or oats that aren’t mixed in.

    Remove Snickers from freezer and unwrap 12 pieces. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop out a ball of dough and place it into the palm of your clean and dry hand. Flatten the dough a bit between your two palms, and then place the a frozen Snickers in the middle of the dough.  Using your hands, force the dough to mold around the candy piece until it is completely covered in the dough, with no holes or cracks. You should not be able to see the chocolate of the Snickers at all. Place the now square-shaped dough ball into one of the cups in your pan. Repeat until you have used all the dough.

    I made 12 with a little left over dough that I turned into about 3 plain oatmeal cookies, but if you have more Snickers, feel free to make more than 12.

    Bake until the cookies are a deep golden brown, between 14 and 17 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet halfway through the cooking time to get optimal browning. Allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes, then move to a wire cooling rack. When entirely cool, decorate with chocolate icing.

    Chocolate Decorating Icing
    1/2 c semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips, melted
    2 tbsp powdered sugar

    Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave, 30 seconds at a time. Stop and stir after each 30 seconds until completely melted. Add the powdered sugar and stir until completely dissolved. This should thicken the chocolate considerably.

    Spoon melted chocolate into a medium sized ziploc bag. Press out the air and seal tightly, twisting the bag so that all the chocolate moves into the corner of the bag. Alternatively, use a disposable piping bag. Cut a very tiny corner off the ziploc or piping bag, and then decorate the Snickerdoos to your desire, with stripes, cross hatching, zigzags, or dots.

    Friday, March 11, 2011

    Strawberry Shortcake

    I got this great recipe from Bridget over at!

    ina's strawberry shortcake

    2 cups all-purpose flour
    2T sugar, plus some turbinado sugar to sprinkle on top
    1 T baking powder
    1 t kosher salt
    12 T unsalted butter, cold and diced
    2 extra large eggs, lightly beaten
    1/2 cup cold heavy cream
    1 egg beaten with 2 T water or milk for egg wash

    For the strawberries, I just cut them up, added a little lemon juice, orange juice, and about 3 T sugar. I also made heavy cream into whipped cream and added some sugar and vanilla extract to that.

    1. preheat the oven to 400.

    2. Sift the flour, 2 T sugar, baking powder and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Blend in the butter on low speed until it is the size of peas. Combine eggs and heavy cream and with the mixer on low, add it to flour and butter mixture. Mix until just blended.

    3. Dump dough on well-floured surface. Flour a rolling pin and roll dough until it's 1/2 inch thick. You should see lumps of butter in the dough. Cut 16 biscuits with a 2-inch plain round cutter. place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
    4. Brush tops with egg wash and sprinkle turbinado sugar (like the raw sugar) on top. Cook 15-20 minutes.

    To serve, give everyone a shortcake, some strawberries, a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a dollop of whipped cream. Yum.

    Saturday, March 5, 2011

    Homemade Pizza Dough

    I decided to have all the little Haslem-cousins over to make personal pizza's and to play! I got this recipe from my friend, Lisa! They make pizza's every Friday night and she said this is the ultimate Pizza dough and SHE WASN'T LIEING! It was freaking delish. Perfect amount of sweetness! It makes 8 small personal pizzas or 2 big crusts. If I were doing pizza's for just my family (2 adults and 2 kids), then I would take half the dough and wrap it in saran wrap and place in a freezer bag and freeze it for a short time. Or if you want bread sticks you can quickly make bread sticks out of the second half.

    Place in KitchenAid:
    1 1/2 c warm water
    1 Tbsp yeast
    pinch sugar

    Let proof until its foamy and then add:
    1/3 c sugar
    1 tsp salt
    4 cups flour or until dough pulls away from the bowl and looks smooth.

    Roll into a nice ball (DO NOT flour counter-top before rolling. It can make the dough to dry. To prevent sticking spray your counter-top with cooking spray). Place ball into a bowl and cover and let it rise for about 30 mins and then I roll it out. Be sure to bake for about 8-10 minutes at about 425 BEFORE you add your sauce and toppings. Pull it out of the oven and add sauce, cheese, and toppings. After adding toppings, brush the top of everything with a little melted butter and season with Garlic Salt if you would like. Put back in the oven for another 8-10 minutes. You will know when it is done.


    Pizza Sauce

    This was seriously the easiest and yummiest sauce ever. I got the recipe from my friend, Lisa, who got it from All Recipes!

    1 (6oz) can tomato paste
    6 oz of warm water
    3 Tbsp Parmesan cheese
    2 med garlic cloves, minced
    1Tbsp honey
    ! Tbsp Marsala cooking wine
    3/4 tsp chopped onion flakes
    1/4 tsp dried oregano
    1/4 tsp dried basil
    1/4 tsp pepper

    In a small bowl combine all ingredients and make sure to break up any clumps of cheese. Allow to sit for 30 minutes to let flavors blend. This was enough to do 2 full pizzas. Feel free to make extra and freeze for your next Pizza night!


    Soy Glazed Salmon (or whatever fish really)!

    (Sorry, I'm not a fabulous food photographer!)

    I got this recipe of CuisineNie who got it from Martha Stewart. I had some Alaskan Trout on hand and used it instead of Salmon. But, really any non-fishy tasting fish would work! It was super good and not too strong! Enjoy!


    1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
    1/4 cup olive oil
    3 tablespoons soy sauce
    2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    2 tablespoons dry white wine, or water
    2 pounds salmon fillet
    Lemon wedges, for serving


    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. with a rack in the center. Make the glaze: In a small bowl, stir brown sugar, olive oil, soy sauce, lemon juice, and white wine until the sugar has dissolved.
    2. Cut salmon fillet into 4 equal-size pieces; arrange, skin side down, in a single layer in a baking dish. Pour glaze over the fish, and turn to coat evenly.
    3. Bake until fish is opaque but still bright pink inside, basting every few minutes with glaze from baking dish, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges.
    Now, because I had individually frozen Alaskan Trout, I just popped them in the oven frozen and they had to cook about 25-30 minutes. I would open and re-baste about every 7-10 minutes!

    I served it with THIS rice, but instead of rice I used Quinoa!

    Pineapple and Cilantro Rice (or Quinoa)

    Pineapple and Cilantro Rice (or Quinoa)

    2 cups uncooked brown basmati rice or Quinoa
    1 pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
    1/2 cup fresh cilantro, leaves, coarsely chopped
    1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice (I used an orange bell pepper I had on hand)
    1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
    1 lime, cut into wedges, for garnish


    1. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Stir in the rice or Quinoa, reduce to a simmer. Cook until rice is tender but still firm, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain; rinse with cool water.
    2. Transfer to a bowl, and stir in the pineapple, cilantro, bell pepper, and olive oil. Season with salt and black pepper. Cover, and chill. Serve cooled with lime wedges.
    After the fact I also thought that pine nuts might add a nice little crunch to it. I may or may not try it next time! haha :)

    Thursday, March 3, 2011

    Chocolate Hearts

    I sadly didn't get a chance to make these this Valentines Day, but I for sure will try these out next year! So cute! Thanks to Bailey Ence for blogging about them!

    Chocolate Hearts:
    Melt some semi sweet chocolate chips on the top of a double broiler or in a bowl in the microwave at 50% power. I usually do it in the microwave. Start out with 30 seconds and then stir, and then 15 second increments until they are melted.

    Put the melted chocolate into a pastry bag with a very small tip (#2,3,4 would work) or you can use sandwich bag. Simple scoop the melted chocolate into the bag and cut a tiny bit of the corner off (really small).

    Have a silpat (or waxed paper) lined cookie sheet ready. With your pastry or sandwich bag of melted chocolate, write XOXO or draw hearts onto the silpat lined sheet. When you have the amount desired put the whole tray into the freezer to set for 10 minutes or so. Once the chocolate is set, carefully lift them off and place on the top of the frosted brownie bite. ENJOY!

    Friday, February 18, 2011

    Dyed Pasta

    I dyed some pasta pink, red, and purple for a Valentines Day art project and decided I would share. It is such a fun and inexpensive craft project. We glued the pasta to a plate to make heart shapes, etc for V-Day, but you could do so many things with it. As a kid I did this and would make necklaces.

    I decided I am going to dye a bunch of different pastas in a bunch of colors and just have them in bags in my craft closet, so we can just pull them out whenever and not have it be a production each time.

    To dye the pasta all you need is:

    - Pasta in different shapes and sizes
    - Food coloring
    - Rubbing alcohol
    - Several bowls

    You don't really have to measure the rubbing alcohol, but I would say for 1/2 box of pasta I used about 1/2 cup. Use as much food coloring as you need to get the color you want. Also, to make it easier for some of the colors look at the different food coloring sets. The pink I got from my Neon Food Coloring was way prettier then I got from the red food coloring as I was on my way to making red. Just mix in a bowl for about 10 minutes. I would just stir it once every minute for a few seconds. I then strained the pasta to get rid of the the excess liquid to make for faster drying. I then spread all the pasta out on wax paper to dry.

    It was seriously dry in probably 10-15 minutes. The rubbing alcohol helps it dry fast.

    Have fun and happy crafting!

    Sunday, February 13, 2011

    Mini Cheesecakes

    Got this recipe from Bakerella! It was seriously BEYOND easy! I didn't have the smaller cupcake liners though, so I just used the regular size. Then for the crust I just crumbed the Nilla Wafers and added some butter and smashed it down into the bottom. Worked out fine!

    2 pkg. (8oz.) cream cheese, softened to room temperature
    3/4 cup sugar
    3 eggs
    1 Tbsp vanilla
    1 Tbsp lemon juice
    Vanilla wafers
    2″ aluminum mini baking cups
    Cherry Pie Filling
    Place a vanilla wafer in each mini baking cup.  Spoon approx 3 TS of cream cheese mixure over each wafer.  Makes about 4 dozen!

    Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. Let cool and top with cherry pie filling. Refrigerate.

    For more details and pictures go HERE to Bakerella's original post!

    Sunday, January 30, 2011

    Eggs Benedict

    Our friends, the Carter's, made this for us a while back and it has become one of our favorite things to make for breakfast! It is seriously delish! And, one of those breakfasts that makes a great dinner too!

    Eggs Benedict

    English muffins, split, toasted and buttered
    Thick slices ham or Canadian bacon, warmed
    Poached eggs
    Hollandaise Sauce
    Shredded Cheese (Optional) Paprika (Optional) Toast and butter a 1/2 of an English Muffin, place a slice of warmed Canadian bacon on top of the butter English Muffin, then place a poached egg. Top with about a 1/2 cup of Hollandaise Sauce. Our friends then just Paprika the top, but we like to put a little shredded cheese. So, which ever you like! My husband and I each eat 2 of the above servings (so we each use 1 full English Muffin, 2 pieces of Canadian Bacon and 2 poached eggs). So, that can help you figure out how much you will need to make for your little family.

    Also, I just buy the packet of McCormick Hollandaise Sauce, but you can make it by hand too. Here is a recipe I found:

    Hollandaise Sauce:
    3 large egg yolks
    1 1/2 tablespoons cold water
    1/2 cup warm clarified butter
    1 to 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
    Dash hot red pepper sauce (optional)
    Salt and ground white pepper to taste

    Place in the top of a double boiler or in a large stainless-steel bowl set up as a double boiler. Off the heat, whisk the egg mixture until it becomes light and frothy. Place the top of the double boiler or the bowl over, not in, barely simmering water and continue to whisk until the eggs are thickened, 2 to 4 minutes, being careful not to let the eggs get too hot. Remove the pan or bowl from over the water and whisk to slightly cool the mixture. Whisking constantly, very slowly add butter, then whisk in lemon juice, pepper sauce and salt and pepper. If the sauce is too thick, whisk in a few drops of warm water. Serve immediately or keep the sauce warm for up to 30 minutes by placing the bowl in water (not hot) water.

    Tuesday, January 25, 2011

    Snickerdoodle Cupcakes

    I saw this on my friend, Amy's, family blog! And, as she stated, "totally trying these on for size!" I haven't had a chance to try them, but I didn't want to loose the recipe! ENJOY!

    Snickerdoodle Cupcakes

    1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

    1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

    1/4 teaspoon salt

    2 teaspoons cinnamon

    1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

    1 cup sugar

    2 eggs, room temperature

    1 teaspoon vanilla

    3/4 cup milk, room temperature

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line regular and miniature cupcake trays with paper liners.

    In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and cinnamon. Set aside.

    In a mixer, cream butter and sugar on medium for about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time and mix until combined. Add vanilla and mix until combined. Add flour mixture to creamed butter and sugar in three additions. Alternate with milk in two additions.

    Fill baking cups about 3/4 full. Bake for about 15-20 minutes.

    Remove cupcakes from trays and let cool. To decorate, pipe on frosting (your favorite buttercream recipe), and adorn with snickerdoodle cookies (again, your favorite recipe) - place one cookie on top and then pipe another dollop of frosting on top. Sprinkle with leftover cinnamon and sugar.

    Sunday, January 16, 2011

    Green Bean Bake

    I really haven't been able to eat enough Green Beans since the holidays. I love a classic Green Bean Bake. So, here is the one that I make. We'll be enjoying them tonight with a yummy a Pork Roast!

    Oh, P.S. I prefer using fresh green beans, but you can use canned too.

    1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
    1/2 cup milk
    1 ts soy sauce
    Dash of pepper
    4 cups cooked cut green beans
    1 can (2.8 oz) french-fried onions, divided

    In a 1 1/2 qt casserole dish, combine the soup, milk, soy sauce, pepper, green beans and 2/3 cup onions. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until hot. Stir. Sprinkle with the remaining onions. Bake 5 minutes longer or until the onions are golden brown.