Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Apple Crisp (over 100 yrs old)

If a recipe is that old and is still around, it should be a good one right?! I grew up surrounded by apple orchards so I've had my fair share of apple pie, apple crisp, apple cobbler, dried apples, apple dip, apple juice...and the list goes on. This is my all time favorite apple crisp and nothing beats dishing up a nice warm bowl of this and topping it with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream!

6 medium apples, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup sugar

1 cup white sugar
1 cup flour
1 tsp salt (I use 1/4 tsp)
1 tsp. baking powder
1 egg
(I ALWAYS double the topping)

1/2 cup butter, melted

Mix apple slices, 1/4 cup sugar, and cinnamon. Put into a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. In a medium bowl, mix sugar, flour, salt, and baking powder. Add egg and mix until it looks like crumbs, the size of peas. Sprinkle over apples. Drizzle 1/2 cup butter over top of crumb mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until light brown. Let cool 5 minutes. Serve with ice cream or cool whip.

Divine Breadsticks

Sunday we had family coming over for dinner and my husband informed me we were fixing Spaghetti for dinner (his favorite, not mine). I've made these breadsticks several times and I love them 1st for the taste, and 2nd for the quickness in whipping up a batch. I found the recipe at one of my favorite recipe internet stops My Kitchen Cafe. Enjoy!

*Makes about 20-25 breadsticks, depending on how thick or thin you cut them.

1 ½ cups warm water
1 T. instant yeast
2 T. sugar
3 ½ cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
3 T butter, melted (for the baking sheet)

Mix all ingredients (except melted butter) in a large bowl or electric mixer and knead for three minutes. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spread melted butter onto an 11X17-inch baking sheet. Roll out the breadstick dough about 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick and cut into strips with a pizza cutter. Twist slightly if desired and place about 1/2-inch apart on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with garlic salt, herbs of choice and parmesan cheese. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise 30 minutes. Bake 15-20 minutes at 375 degrees until golden brown.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

My gma recently took an old family favorite peanut butter cookie recipe and spiced it up by adding some oatmeal to the mix. From now on I don't think i'll ever make peanut butter cookies again w/o adding oatmeal. It makes the cookies so chewy and adds more flavor and texture to what was already a great cookie.

1 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
Beat thoroughly.
Add: 2 beaten eggs.
1 cup peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 cups quick oats
2 tsp. soda
Drop onto a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

Mormon Champagne

My mom came up with this yummy drink for my sister's bridal shower this summer. I also recently served it at another bridal shower this fall and both times it got rave reviews. It's so simple and it's even better to make extra so you can sip on leftovers for the next couple of days!

1 (2 liter) bottle grapefruit flavored soda (Fresca), chilled
1 (64 fluid ounce) bottle Welch's white grape juice, chilled
8 oz. jar maraschino cherries plus 1/2 the juice

Combine above ingredients and serve.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Halloween puffed treat

My mom shared this recipe with me TWICE while we were visiting in WA for apple harvest. Although I was blatantly ignoring my health while consuming this tasty treat, we polished off the first bowl so fast I was secretly hoping she would make a second batch, and i wasn't dissapointed. During the next 3 weeks I whipped up 4 more batches but did force myself to share most of it because the guilt was slowly rising...but it really is that good!

2 cubes butter
1/2 cup light karo syrup
1 1/3 cup sugar

Cook over medium heat to soft ball stage (constantly stirring). Pour over 1 1/2 bags of Chester's puffs (buttered flavor).

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Apple Dip

I made the mistake this week of trying 2 similar dip recipes at the same time, side by side. Of course I got into a hurry and dumped the wrong ingredients into the wrong bowl. The result was pretty tasty. Below are the 2 separate recipes. Our family has always enjoyed the first with the peanuts but when you combine both recipes with the peanuts and the toffee bits, it's even sweeter and a great treat to share!

Apple Dip #1
1 8 oz. pkg cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup. brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup chopped peanuts

Blend ingredients and serve with apple slices.

Apple Dip #2

1 8 oz. pkg cream cheese softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2/3 pkg heath toffee bits

Blend ingredients and serve with apple slices.

Chili in a Pumpkin

When Brandon and I were on his field trip earlier this week the cashier lady told me about a recipe I should try with the pumpkin. She said that the particular pumpkin we were buying was really good for baking. (I am completely oblivious to the differences in pumpkins). Anyway, it looked like a smaller "sugar" pumpkin.

She said to cut the top off the pumpkin and scrape out the seeds and guts. Then dump 2 cans of chili inside. Spray the outside of the pumpkin with cooking spray and place it on a cookie sheet lined with foil. Bake at 375 degrees for approx 1 1/2hrs or until the inside of the pumpkin can be forked easily. About 3/4 way through the cooking time I placed another peace of foil over the top of the pumpkin because I was worried about it getting too dark.

Once the pumpkin is cooked, scoop out the inside of the pumpkin along with the chili and place into bowls. Top with shredded cheese and sour cream.

I was so excited to try this recipe that I just used canned chili that I had on hand. It was really good. Next time though i'm definitely going to make homemade chili to try in the pumpkin.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Cauliflower Soup

1 head cauliflower, rinsed and cut into large chunks
1 can chicken broth

Combine above 2 items into a pot and bring to a slow boil. Cover with lid and cook on medium high for 10 minutes or until cauliflower is tender.

In a small bowl combine:
2 T. butter, melted
2 T. flour

Once cauliflower is tender, mash with a potato masher to desired chunk consistency. Stir roux into chicken broth/cauliflower mixture.

Slowly add 4 c. 1/2 and 1/2 milk.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Best Ever Lemon Squares

I made these lemon squares yesterday for a party and they turned out really good. The part of this recipe that caught my eye was that you line the pan with tin foil and after the dessert cools you lift it out of the pan and it makes it so easy to cut into squares. I found this recipe on a website called yourhomebasedmom where she recently put together a lovely lemon recipe collection. I would love to try every single recipe there; I love lemon!

1 1/2 cup plus 4 T. flour
2/3 cup powdered sugar- plus extra for garnishing
4 T. cornstarch
12 T. butter, cut into pieces
4 eggs
1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 T. flour
2 tsp. lemon zest
2/3 c. fresh lemon juice
6 T. cream
1/4 tsp. salt

Don't preheat oven quite yet. Line a 9 x 13 pan with foil. Spray the foil with cooking spray. Pulse flour, powdered sugar, and cornstarch in food processor. Add butter and process to blend, 9 to 10 seconds, then pulse until coarse. Pour the dry mixture into lined pan and press over pan bottom. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. While it chills, you can make the filling.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. When oven is preheated, bake the pre-chilled crust for 18-20 minutes or until edges are very lightly browned.

Filling: Lightly beat the eggs, sugar, and flour together in a bowl. Add lemon juice, lemon zest, cream, and salt and mix well.

Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Stir filling again, then pour filling over warm crust. Bake for 20 minutes or until filling no longer appears wet and shaky.

Set on a wire rack and cool to room temperature. Lift from pan, place on a cutting board, dust with extra powdered sugar and cut into bars.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Taco Soup

Brown: 2 lbs. ground beef and 1 onion, chopped

1 qt. spicy v8 juice (tomato juice for really mild flavor)
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 c. frozen corn
2 cans red kidney beans, drained
1 can garbanzo beans, drained
1 can pinto beans, drained
1 pkg. taco seasoning mix
2 tsp. salt
1 T. sugar

Simmer on low for 25 minutes.

Serve with tortilla chips, grated cheese and sour cream.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Buttermilk Banana Bread

I've never had a favorite banana bread recipe....until this one. Thank you to My Kitchen Cafe for introducing me to this recipe. Love it!

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs, well beaten
1 cup mashed bananas (I use about 3 average sized bananas)
4 tablespoons buttermilk
1 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
dash baking soda

Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs, bananas, buttermilk and vanilla. In a separate bowl mix dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients to banana mixture. Mix until combined. Divide batter into greased and floured bread pans and bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. This recipe makes about one large loaf of banana bread (I usually have a bit leftover for a mini loaf pan or I like to use the batter in all my mini's which will fill 5 loaf pans. *The timing will be completely different for mini loaves...around 30 minutes, so watch carefully).

Monday, July 13, 2009

Potato Salad

4 medium red potatoes, boiled, cooled, peeled and diced
4 hard cooked eggs, chopped
1/2 c. sliced green onions
1 c. diced baby dill pickles

3/4 c. mayonnaise
1 tsp. white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. yellow mustard
1 tsp. dried dill (or 3 T. chopped fresh dill)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

In a large bowl, combine potatoes, eggs, green onions and pickles. Set aside. In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, dill, salt and pepper. Pour dressing over salad; mix gently. Referigerate at least 1 hour to blend flavors.

Baked Beans

1 c. onion
5 (15 oz.) cans pork and beans
1 (15 oz.) can chili
3/4 c. brown sugar
2 T. molasses
1/2 c. ketchup
1 lb. bacon, fried and crumbled, optional

Saute onion in 2 T. oil. Combine in large bowl, pork and beans, chili, brown sugar, molasses, ketchup, and bacon. Pour into large casserole dish and bake at 325 degrees for 2 hours. (I usually combine all ingredients into the crockpot and cook on low for 3 hours)

Friday, June 19, 2009

No Bake Cookies

What good would a recipe blog be if I didn't include my all time favorite cookie? Sorry nothing fancy here, just a good old fashioned No Bake Cookie! This is the easiest, fastest, tastiest chocolate cookie out there and I have been known to often double and triple the batch. Make sure you have a gallon of milk on hand :)

1 c. sugar
1/4 c. milk
1 1/2 T. cocoa
1/4 c. butter

Heat to a boil (while stirring) and boil for 1 minute.

Remove from heat and add:

1/4 c. peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. oats

Using a spoon, drop spoonfuls of cookie onto a cookie sheet covered with tin foil or wax paper. Let cool, if you can wait that long!

Fruit Tarts

I have been testing out these tarts trying to get them just right and last night I made them for a church activity. They were gone in no time with also several requests for the recipe so they must have been a hit. Good thing I had already tasted my share at home because by the time it was my turn to head up to the food table they had disappeared.

Tart: 1 c. butter
3 c. flour
1/2 c. powdered sugar

"Pulse" in food processor until crumbly.

2 eggs

Pulse again until it forms a dough that holds together.

Take a small ball of dough and mold into a tart pan or small muffin tins. Try to make dough even and fairly thin on bottom and up the sides. Bake at 375 degrees until lightly browned. Remove tarts from pan while they are still hot.

Filling: 1 (10 ounce) package vanilla or white chips, melted and cooled
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened

For filling, in a small mixing bowl, beat melted chips and cream. Add cream cheese and beat until smooth. Fill cooled tart shells. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Top with mandarin orange slices, kiwi and raspberries. Serve immediately. (You may need to double the filling recipe depending on the quantity and size of your tarts).

Monday, June 8, 2009

Fiesta Wraps

My mom shared this recipe with me which I made for a church function dinner. I used parchment paper and raffia to hold the wraps together. They turned out great and my plate came home empty so I think that was a good sign!

2 1/2 lbs cooked turkey breast, cubed or shredded
2 15 oz. cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 c. frozen corn
1 red bell pepper, chopped
6 green onions, sliced
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

1/3 c. lime juice (approx. 2 limes)
1 tsp. salt
1/3 c. olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed

Combine turkey breast, black beans, corn, bell pepper, onions, jalapeno pepper, and cilantro. Set aside. In a small bowl combine lime juice, salt, oil, and garlic. Pour dressing over black bean mixture. Stir until dressing is thoroughly mixed through.

To make wraps, use jalapeno wraps (or other flavor) and shredded cheddar cheese. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Merlie's Apple Salad

Nana shared this recipe with me about a year ago and we make it quite often, especially in the summer. The first time I tried this salad it sort of threw me for a loop because it looks like the usual fruit salad with whipped topping. The dressing is actually sour cream. Also, I'm not hugely crazy about a lot coconut but the salad doesn't taste right w/o it so don't attempt making it unless you have sweetened coconut on hand. And lately, when I throw this salad together I've been winging it on the quantities, so looking at the actual recipe I probably 1/2 everything for my little family.

Cut and core apples in 1/2 inch pieces: 6 cups of apples

2-3 cans mandarin oranges, drained

2 cups mini marshmallows, 2 cups coconut, and 3/4 chopped pecans

2 cups sour cream

Thursday, May 21, 2009


This is a German dish that Jason's family makes. It's really different, but I like different! They actually don't follow a recipe so this is one that I found on Allrecipes so that I would have something to follow.

12 pieces top round beef, pounded thin (1/4 inch thick)
1 ½ c. chopped onion
1 ½ cups chopped dill pickles (or thin pickle slices)
Nonstick cooking spray
¼ cup butter
5 T. flour
2 cans beef broth
16 ounces baby carrots
4 stalks celery, cut into 1-inch pieces

Season beef with salt and pepper. Spread each piece with 1 tsp. mustard; top with 2 T. each onion and pickles. Starting at one short side of each beef piece fold long edges over, then roll beef tightly. Secure with a toothpick.

Spray large nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Brown beef rolls in batches over medium-high heat. Remove from skillet.

In same skillet, melt butter. Add flour. Cook and stir 1 minute. Add beef broth, stirring constantly. Cook and stir until mixture thickens.

Pour half of broth mixture into slow cooker. Add carrots and celery; top with beef rolls; pour remaining broth mixture into slow cooker.

Cover; cook on LOW 8-10 hours or on HIGH 4 to 5 hours. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Red Cabbage (Rot Kohl)

Here is another German dish that my in laws make that I quickly acquired a liking for. It's a great side dish to the Rouladen recipe. I hope you like it as much as I do.

1 shredded red cabbage
1 lb. bacon, chopped
2-3 onion, chopped
Olive oil (for shine)
4-5 apples, cut up in ½ -1 inch pieces
Vinegar or lemon juice
6 bay leaves, broken in half for more flavor

Fry onion and bacon in large pot until bacon is a bit crispy. Add red cabbage, apples, and bay leaves. Add aprox. 3 T. sugar. Simmer for approx. 2-3 hours on low heat stirring often. When cabbage is fully cooked, add the vinegar or lemon juice when pot is off the burner. This dish will double in flavor if served the next day.

Cucumber Salad

My sister in law Jenny makes this salad often for us and we love it. It's fresh and the dressing is very versatile. For example, last night I made this salad and used cider vinegar but I've used regular vinegar and balsamic as well. Same goes for the oil; just use what you have on hand.

1/4 cup onion finely chopped
2-3 thinly sliced cucumbers
1/4 bunch parsley chopped

2 T. vinegar
2 T. soy sauce
Salt and Pepper to taste

Citric Acid Punch

The first time I had this drink was at a friend's wedding reception a few years back. I couldn't figure out if the reason I loved it so much was because it was 95 degrees outside or if it was because of the refreshing fruity flavor in the water. Whatever the case, my sister had to finally pull me away from the refreshment table. What I later found out was that they had added citric acid to the mix and that's what really made the water taste...good!

5 quarts water
Almost 3 c. sugar
2 tsp. Citric Acid
2 tsp. lemon extract

Depending on the occasion you can add food coloring, floating flowers, or citrus slices.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Orange Brownies

My friend shared this recipe which she had once seen on an episode of Paula Deen,(Food Network). They are a little deceiving because I tend to associate brownies with chocolate and this recipe doesn't call for anything chocolate whatsoever. So once you get your brain turned around, these brownies are so so good! I love the fresh orange flavors and of course the 2 sticks of butter probably help :)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
4 eggs
2 teaspoons pure orange extract
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon grated orange zest

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease a 13 by 9 by 2-inch pan and set aside. In a mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, and salt. Add butter, eggs, orange extract, and orange zest and beat with a handheld electric mixer until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until light golden brown and set. Remove from oven and pierce top of entire cake with a fork.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, stirring until smooth. Pour glaze over cake. Cool cake and cut into squares.

Linda’s Lasagna

I was never really a fan of red sauces until I married my husband. His all time favorite meal is spaghetti so I decided I better change my ways fast. Now I love lasagna, especially this recipe. I found it on Allrecipes and I really like it because it's fairly simple to make and doesn't include a lot of crazy ingredients that my picky eaters won't touch. Thank you Linda!

1 pound lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped
2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 cups water
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon white sugar

12 ounces ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg
9 lasagna noodles
1 pound shredded mozzarella cheese

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook beef until brown. Drain. In another skillet over medium heat, cook onion until translucent. Combine beef and onion in a large saucepan with tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, water, oregano, garlic powder, salt, pepper and sugar. Cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 1 hour.

While sauce is simmering, blend cottage cheese, Parmesan and egg until smooth. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Spread 1 cup of sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Cover sauce with 3 noodles. Cover noodles with one-third of remaining sauce. Top with half the mozzarella. Place another layer of noodles and one of sauce over the mozzarella; top that with the cottage cheese mixture. Top with remaining 3 noodles and remaining sauce.

Bake in preheated oven 30 minutes. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella on top and bake 15 minutes more, until golden and bubbly.

Artichoke Bruschetta

A Taste of Home magazine last summer 2008 was featuring different types of bruschetta's. We have made this recipe several times and it's always a hit! I prefer extra tomato so depending on the size of your tomatoes you may consider adding a second to the recipe.

1 jar (6 ½ ounces) marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
½ cup grated romano cheese
1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped
1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
1/3 cup fresh baby spinach, finely chopped
5 T. mayonnaise
1 garlic clove, minced
1 loaf French bread baguette

In a large bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. Cut baguette into 30 slices; top with artichoke mixture.

Place on ungreased baking sheets. Broil 3-4 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Ground Turkey Tacos

The Biggest Loser has inspired me through their crafty advertising tactics to try substituting lean ground turkey into our meals at home. Honestly just the coloring of ground turkey was enough to keep me away for so long but spice it up with some taco seasoning and it really tastes quite good. We've eaten these tacos several times and from now on this is how I will serve them.

1 lb. lean ground turkey
1 packet taco seasoning
1/4 c. water

whole wheat flour tortillas
fat free sour cream
shredded cheese
fresh Salsa

Brown ground turkey in a fry pan until cooked through. Add 1/4 c. water and taco seasoning. Warm tortillas in the microwave (15-30 seconds depending on how many). Fill tortillas with ground turkey and your favorite taco toppings.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Best Big, Fat, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie

Yesterday Brandon asked if we could make some chocolate chip cookies. I should have known that all he really wanted was the dough. I found this recipe on Allrecipes and it definitely lives up to its name. It is so soft and chewy and doesn't go flat like other recipes. I bet you can't stop with just one!

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (I always use milk chocolate)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.

Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.

In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy.

Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheets.

Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

2 c. 2% milk
2 c. heavy cream
1 c. sugar
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. peppermint extract
3-5 drops green food coloring (optional)
1 c. miniature chocolate chips (chopped in food processor)

In a large bowl, stir together the milk, cream, sugar, salt, vanilla extract and peppermint extract until the sugar has dissolved. Color to your liking with the green food coloring.

Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker, and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. After about 10 minutes into the freezing, add the chocolate chips. After the ice cream has thickened; about 30 minutes later, spoon into a container, and freeze for 2 hours.

Strawberry Shortcut Cake

I found this recipe on the foodnetwork and have been wanting to try it for awhile. Last night we had a bbq and I finally had a reason to make it. It turned out great! Even the little kids loved it. One little girl said she loved it so much she wished she could just eat it forever :) I doubled the whipped topping because I didn't think the original recipe covered a 9x13 well enough.

1 (18.25-ounce) box strawberry cake mix
3 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (3-ounce) package strawberry flavored gelatin (recommended: Jell-O)
Fresh strawberries, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Follow cake directions as written on cake mix box.

Remove from oven and cool cake completely. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine strawberries and sugar. Let macerate 20 minutes. Invert and release cake onto a decorative platter.

Whip cream with confectioners' sugar and vanilla at medium-high speed until it reaches stiff peaks. Do not over whip.

Mix gelatin as directed on box. Refrigerate gelatin mix but do not let it harden, it should cool to a liquid consistency.

Using a straw, poke holes all over the cake. Pour gelatin into holes and spread over the top of the cake.

Spread layer of macerated strawberries on top of cake. Spread layer of whipped cream on top of the strawberries, making pretty swirls and ripples. Garnish with fresh strawberries. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Chicken and Bacon Shish Kabobs

We made these for Brandon's birthday dinner. We actually doubled the recipe and also included stew meat chunks and bell peppers, but my favorite ended up being the chicken. We didn't have one skewer left so I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup cider vinegar
4 tablespoons honey
4 tablespoons canola oil
4 green onions, minced
10 whole mushrooms, washed and stems removed
1 purple onion cut into chunks
3 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into chunks
1/2 pound sliced thick cut bacon, cut in half
1 fresh pineapple cut into chunks
Skewers (soaked in water for at least 2 hrs)

In a large bowl, mix the soy sauce, cider vinegar, honey, canola oil, and green onions. Place vegetables and chicken in separate zip lock bags and pour half of the sauce into each bag. Zip bag shut and shake to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator at least 1 hour.

Preheat grill for medium high heat.

Cover 4 pieces of bacon at a time with paper towels and cook in microwave for 2 minutes. Cut each slice of bacon in half. (This helps precook the bacon part way so that it will be a little crispier once it’s cooked on the grill).

Wrap the chicken chunks with bacon, and thread onto skewers so that the bacon is secured. Alternate with vegetables and pineapple chunks.

Lightly oil the grill grate. Arrange skewers on the prepared grill. Cook 15 to 20 minutes until bacon is crisp and chicken juices run clear.

Southern Butternut Squash

We have made this recipe several times and LOVE it! I thought the ingredients sounded a little too sweet so I cut the butter down to about 6 T. and the white sugar down to almost a 1/2 c. I also used 2% milk instead of the heavy cream. Ok, and we don't add the topping either so I guess I've changed the recipe up quite a bit but it is so yummy that it really doesn't matter how you make it. Jason isn't a fan of squash and he even ate leftovers the next day...he never eats leftovers!

3 cups mashed, cooked butternut squash
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup white sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter one 2 quart casserole dish.
Blend together the butternut squash, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, butter, vanilla, cream and sugar.

Pour into prepared casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 to 45 minutes or until set and edges begin to bubble.

Prepare a topping if desired by combining 1 cup brown sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1/3 cup butter and 1/2 cup chopped nuts. Mix together and sprinkle over squash before baking.

Whole Wheat Blender Pancakes

I recently came across this recipe on The Sisters' Cafe blog. We have eaten them 4 times in the last week; yes they are that good! I consider my kids fairly picky eaters, so when I can find something that they will gobble up, we will eat them often.

One thing I especially like about this recipe, aside from the fact that they are healthy and yummy, is that it takes very little mess to make and you can use your blender to pour the batter directly onto the griddle.

1 cup whole wheat kernels
1 cup milk

Blend wheat and milk for 3 minutes in blender.
½ cup milk
Blend for 2 more minutes.

2 eggs
½ tsp salt
½ cup oil
1 Tbsp baking powder
2 Tbsp sugar
Blend only long enough to combine. Cook on hot griddle. The batter is very thin.

Blueberry Zucchini Bread

I'm always on the lookout for recipes that call for Zucchini especially in the fall when my garden is overflowing and I practically have zucchini coming out my ears :) My kids love sweet breads so of course I'm all about trying to hide anything nutritious into their food.

3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup vegetable oil
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups white sugar
2 cups shredded zucchini
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 pint fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 6 mini-loaf pans.
In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar. Fold in the zucchini. Beat in the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Gently fold in the blueberries. Transfer to the prepared mini-loaf pans.

Bake 50 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a knife inserted in the center of a loaf comes out clean. Cool 20 minutes in pans, then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.

Homemade Bagels

I watched a show on The Food Network and they were featuring a restaurant that made bagels. I thought it might be fun to try making some so after searching around for a good recipe I found this one that didn't look too difficult. I was suprised at how easy making bagels ended up being. Brandon said I was only allowed to eat the cheese ones and the cinnamon and sugar bagels were for him. (Unfortunately I found this recipe in 2008 and didn't write down where it was acquired from. I will keep searching so I can give credit where credit is due. But I just had to add this one to the blog because they were that good!)

1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons white sugar
3 cups bread flour
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
3 quarts boiling water
3 tablespoons white sugar
1 tablespoon cornmeal or parchment paper
1 egg white

Place water, salt, sugar, flour and yeast in the bread machine pan in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select Dough setting.

When cycle is complete, let dough rest for a few minutes on a lightly floured surface. Cut dough into 6 equal pieces, and roll each piece into a small ball. Poke a hole in the middle of each with your thumb. Twirl the dough on your finger or thumb to enlarge the hole, and to even out the dough around the hole. Cover bagels with a clean cloth, and let rest for 1 hour. Sprinkle an ungreased baking sheet with cornmeal.(I used parchment paper instead of cornmeal)

In a large pot bring 3 quarts of water to a boil. Stir in 3 tablespoons of sugar. Carefully transfer bagels to boiling water. Boil for 1 minute, turning half way through. Drain briefly on clean towel. Arrange boiled bagels on baking sheet. Glaze tops with egg white, and sprinkle with your choice of toppings.

Bake in a preheated 375 degree F (190 degrees C) oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until well browned.


Last week my sister Holly had a friend stay with her and DJ who made this salsa recipe for them. She shared some of it with me. I loved it! The ingredients are so simple and you can adjust the level of hotness to your liking. I'm a fan of chunky salsa but if you are more of a dipper than a scooper, just pull on out your blender and give it a little whirl.

2 (14.5 cans) diced tomatoes
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1/2 bunch fresh chopped cilantro
2 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 lime, juiced

I have tried this recipe three times in the last week trying to figure out the level of hotness. If you are a "mild" person, cut the jalapeno's and clean the seeds and membrane out completely before chopping and adding to the bowl. For a "medium" flavor, clean one jalapeno pepper out completely and leave the second one whole before chopping. For a "pretty darn hot", leave the seeds and membrane in both jalapeno's when cutting and add everything to the bowl.

I've enjoyed this recipe best if you make it ahead of time and let it rest in the refrigerator for a few hours. Yum!

*revision* Since it's tomato season we've been using our fresh tomatoes to make salsa. I'm also trying to copy my favorite restaurant salsa from Joe Bandidos and I think they add green onions and cumin to the mix. Jason says my salsa isn't hot enough so I guess I better start throwing in another jalapeno! HOT!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Japanese Chicken

My neighbor shared this recipe with me a few years back and we now make it often. I LOVE the sauce and usually double it when served with rice.

1 cup flour
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. garlic powder

Mix together in a large ziplock bag.

6 boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into small pieces.

Coat chicken pieces in flour mix and fry in a small amount of oil until golden brown on both sides. Place chicken in 9 x 13 dish.

3 T. soy sauce
3 T. water
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt

Mix together in a saucepan and heat to boiling. Pour over chicken pieces. Bake @ 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes turning chicken every 15 minutes to baste.