I have been married to a wonderful Christian man since 1976. The Lord has blessed us with two daughters and two sons. I consider each day the Lord gives me on the earth yet another chance to serve Him.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Bleu Cheese Dressing

I love bleu cheese dressing, but can not find one I like in the stores. I started playing with a few recipes a couple years ago and decided that this one works the best.


BLEU CHEESE DRESSING
(makes 1 pint)

Ingredients:
*1 cup sour cream
*1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
*1/4 cup milk
*1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
*1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
*1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
*4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled

Directions:
~In a large bowl, whisk together sour cream, milk, mayonnaise, and worcestershire sauce.
~Add dry mustard, garlic powder, salt & pepper.
~Stir in blue cheese.
~Store in a pint jar, covered
~Refrigerate for 24 hours before serving. (If you try it before that, it will just taste a little like mayo)

Helpful Hint:
To make it a dip rather than a dressing, omit the milk.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Slow Cooker Meat Balls

These are so easy and so tender. I make these up when I'm not busy and pop them in the freezer (before they are cooked). Then when I have a busy day I can just pop them in the slow cooker along with my spaghetti sauce (I can my own). I also use this recipe when I need to bring an appetizer for a party.


SLOW COOKER MEATBALLS
(makes 36 meatballs)

Ingredients:
*1 pound ground beef (I use ground chuck or sirloin)
*1/4 pound ground pork
*1 egg, slightly beaten
*1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
*1 tablespoon minced garlic
*1/3 cup italian bread crumbs
*1/2 teaspoon italian seasoning
*1 tablespoon dried parsley
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/4 teaspoon black pepper
*1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce (I make my own)

Ingredients:
~In a large bowl, gently but throughly mix beef, pork, egg, parmesan cheese, garlic, bread crumbs, italian seasoning, & parsley.
~Shape into small meatballs. I use a cookie scoop to measure out my meatballs.
~Place meatballs into slow cooker.
~Pour spaghetti sauce over meatballs.
~Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours, or low for 6-7 hours.
~Serve as an appetizer, or over rice or spaghetti noodles.

Variations:
-add 1/4 cup onions, chopped fine
-add 1/4 cup green bell peppers, chopped fine
-add hot sauce to make it spicy
-substitute spaghetti sauce for 1 can cream of mushroom soup and 1/2 cup milk mixed and poured over meatballs (swedish meatballs)
-substitute spaghetti sauce for barbecue sauce
-substitute spaghetti sauce for 12 ounce chili sauce & 1 1/2 cups grape jelly mixed and poured over meatballs.
-substitute the spaghetti sauce for a sweet & sour sauce: In a medium saucepan mix, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 3 tablespoon flour, 1 1/4 cups water, 1/4 cup pineapple juice, 3 tablespoons ketchup, 1/4 cup white vinegar, & 3 tablespoons soy sauce. Heat until sauce it hot and mixed well. Pour over meatballs in slow cooker.

Helpful Hint:
-avoid stirring meatballs for at least one hour or meatballs may break apart.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Potato Skins

This is one delicious recipe. I think it's better than anything you would get in a restaurant. Add or delete whatever you like. My friend Chris, loves potato skins, but only with cheese on it. I on the other hand, love it loaded.


POTATO SKINS
(makes 8)

Ingredients:
*4 large Idaho or russet potatoes, baked
*3 tablespoons olive oil
*1 1/2 tablespoons fresh grated parmesan cheese
*1/2 teaspoon sea salt
*1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
*1/4 teaspoon paprika
*1/8 teaspoon onion powder
*1/8 teaspoon black pepper
*8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
*2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
*1/2 cup sour cream
*3-4 green onions, sliced thin

Directions:
~Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
~Cut baked potatoes in half lengthwise.
~Scoop out pulp, leaving 1/4 of potato in shell. (save potato pulp for another time)
~Spray cooking spray on a baking sheet.
~Place the potato skins on the baking sheet.
~Whisk olive oil, parmesan cheese, salt, garlic powder, paprika, onion powder & pepper. Mix well.
~Brush olive oil mixture all over potato skins, making sure they are completely coated.
~Bake for 8 minutes.
~Turn over skins, and bake another 8 minutes.
~Turn back to right side up.
~Sprinkle bacon & cheese evenly over the skins.
~Bake for 2 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.
~Top with sour cream & onions (optional)

Helpful Hint:
-Use can use the leftover potato (that you scoop out) for a few recipes; Shepherds Pie, Mashed Potato Soup, Mashed Potato Rolls, or Mashed Potato Pancakes.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Ham Spread

A great little dish you make with your leftover ham. It's very easy to make. It makes for a great snack, lunch or appetizer.


HAM SREAD
(serves 12-14)

Ingredients:
*1 1/2 cups ground ham, fully cooked
*1/2 - 1 hard-boilded egg, chopped (optional)
*1 tablespoon celery, chopped fine
*1/2 tablespoon onion, chopped fine
*1 teaspoon sweet pickle relish
*1 teaspoon prepared mustard
*1/8 - 1/4 cup mayonnaise 

Directions:
~In a food processor blend all of the ingredients together.
~Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.

Variations:
-add chopped green olives.
-substitute prepared mustard with spicy brown mustard.
-I can't believe I'm even going to put this down, and I'll deny it if anyone says anything, but, you could substitute the ham for that four letter word Spam! Yuck~~

Monday, December 27, 2010

Two-Cheese Spread

Quick to mix up, but tastes much better if you let it sit overnight. Good with crackers of pumpernickel bread.


TWO-CHEESE SPREAD
(serves 12-16)

Ingredients:
*1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
*1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
*1 teaspoon minced garlic
*1/2 teaspoon ground dill weed

Directions:
~Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl, until smooth.
~Cover and refrigerate over night.

Variations:
-add 1/2 teaspoon onion powder.
-add 1/4 cup roasted red pepper, chopped fine.

Friday, December 24, 2010

BBQ Ribs

This is so good and tender. I make ribs many different ways, but this is the families and mine favorite way. The BBQ sauce is sooooo good!!


BBQ RIBS
(serves 4)

Ingredients:
*2 1/2 pounds baby back pork ribs
*1 small onion, cut in half
*2 garlic cloves, chopped
*1/2 medium onion, chopped fine
*2 teaspoons minced garlic
*1 1/2 cups water
*1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
*1/2 cup white vinegar
*1/2 cup brown sugar
*2 tablespoon honey
*1 tablespoon dark molasses
*2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
*1 1/4 teaspoons liquid smoke flavoring
*1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
*2 teaspoons salt
*1/2 teaspoon black pepper
*1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
*1/4 teaspoon onion powder

Directions:
~In a medium saucepan, 1/2 chopped onion, 2 teaspoons minced garlic, water, tomato paste, vinegar, brown sugar, honey, molasses, worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, cayenne pepper, salt, black pepper, paprika, & onion powder, over medium heat.
~Bring to a boil.
~Reduce heat, and simmer for 1-2 hours, or until sauce thickens.
~Put ribs, halved onions, & chopped garlic in a large saucepan.
~Cover with water (a couple inches over the ribs).
~Bring to a boil.
~Reduce heat to medium and cook ribs, covered, 1 1/2 hours.
~Remove ribs from stock pot.
~Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
~Place ribs on a baking sheet.
~Brush BBQ sauce over ribs.
~Bake for 15-20 minutes, rubbing more sauce on as needed.

Variations:
-substitute the homemade BBQ sauce for your favorite store bought BBQ sauce.
-you could also grill in rather than put in oven.
-you can also do a slow cook after the boil. Set oven to 200 degrees for 1-2 hours.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Mini Pot Pies

These are very easy to make and very good. They make a great dinner or yummy appetizer. You can add chicken, turkey, or just leave it with the veggies.






MINI POT PIES
(Makes 20-24 mini pies)

Ingredients:

*2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1 cup lard, chilled (or shortening)
*3 tablespoons ice water
*1/4 teaspoon white vinegar
*2 cups, cooked chicken/turkey, cubed
*1 cup sliced carrots
*1 cup frozen peas
*1 cup celery, sliced
*1 cup potato, chopped
*1/2 cup onion, chopped
*1/3 cup butter
*1/3 cup all-purpose flour
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/2 teaspoon black pepper
*1/2 teaspoon celery seed
*1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
*1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
*1 3/4 cups chicken stock
*2/3 cup milk
*2 cups swiss cheese, shredded

Directions:
~Whisk the flour and salt together in a medium bowl.
~With a pastry blender, cut in the cold lard until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
~Mix the vinegar into the ice water.
~Drizzle ice water/vinegar mixture over flour.
~ Mix mixture with clean hands to moisten, adding more water a few drops at a time until the dough comes together.
~Gently mold the dough into a bowl.
~Wrap in a plastic wrap, and chill for at least 30 minutes.
~Remove dough from refrigerator and take plastic wrap off.
~Roll dough and take a large biscuit cutter and cut as many circles as possible.
~Press cut out dough into muffin pans.
~Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
~In a medium saucepan, combine chicken/turkey stock, water, carrots, peas, onion, celery, and potatoes.
~Cover and boil for 15 minutes.
~Stir in flour, salt, pepper, celery seed, poultry, and garlic powder.
~Slowly stir in milk.
~Simmer over medium-low heat until thick.
~Add chicken/turkey.
~Remove from heat.
~Scoop into muffin pans to about 1/4 from top.
~Sprinkle with cheese.
~Bake 35 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly.
~Remove from oven.
~Let cool 10 minutes, before serving.

Variations:
-Instead of making the pie crust buy refrigerated pie, crusts.
-Substitute the pie crust of refrigerator biscuits. Flatten each biscuit out, and form into muffin pans.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Carrot Burgers

I love when I'm cooking something that reminds me of people that I love. It a reminder to pray for them. All my vegetarian friends and family come in to mind when I make these. My daughter Autumn really likes these.




CARROT BURGERS
(Serves 5)

Ingredients:
*1 1/2 cups finely shredded carrots
*1/4 cup celery, chopped very fine
*1/8 cup onions, chopped very fine
*1 teaspoon minced garlic
*2 cups ritz crackers, crushed fine
*2 eggs, beaten
*1 1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/4 teaspoon sugar
*1/2 teaspoon seasoned pepper
*2 tablespoon olive oil

Directions:
~Sauté carrots, celery, onions, and garlic in 1 tablespoon olive oil, until carrots are tender.
~Remove from heat and put veggies in a medium size bowl.
~Let cool for about 5 minutes.
~Add crushed crackers, seasonings and lightly mix.
~Mix in beaten eggs.
~Divide into 5 patties.
~Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in skillet over medium heat.
~Cook patties for 3 minutes on each side or until browned.

Vegan Substitute:
-Substitute egg for 1/4 cup mashed potatoes.
-Substitute egg for half a cube of silken tofu.
-Substitute Ritz crackers for vegan crackers, I would use a nutty flavor or butter flavor style.

Helpful Hint:
`Mix a batch or two up (don't cook them), and freeze them.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Cocoanut Clusters

Yet another wonderful candy. Super, super easy to make. The cocoanut lovers in your family will really appreciate this candy.


COCOANUT CLUSTERS
(4 dozen)

Ingredients:
*1 teaspoon shortening
*2 cups milk chocolate chips (or merckens chocolate)
*4 cups flaked cocoanut

Directions:
~Heat shortening and milk chocolate chips in a medium saucepan over low heat, until chocolate is melted.
~Remove from heat and let chocolate sit for 5 minutes.
~Add cocoanut.
~Drop by teaspoons on waxed paper.
~Chill until firm. (about 30 minutes)
~Store candy in refrigerator.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Peanut Clusters

This will be a big hit with your friends and neighbors. I do believe that this may be the easiest to make and oh so good.


PEANUT CLUSTERS
(3 dozen)

Ingredients:
*2 cups of milk chocolate chips (or merckens chocolate)
*2 cups butterscotch butter chips
*12 ounces salted spanish peanuts

Directions:
~Combine chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, over low heat in a medium saucepan, stirring often. (I use a double boiler for this)
~Heat until melted, and smooth.
~Add peanuts and stir.
~Drop by teaspoons on wax paper.
~Allow to cool.
~Store in an airtight container.

Variations:
-substitute butterscotch chips with just chocolate chips.
-substitute spanish peanuts for cashews.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Peanut Brittle

This is not a recipe that you want to do with kids at your feet. The candy gets much to hot, and they could easily get a bad burn. Once it's cooled they could help break it into pieces.



PEANUT BRITTLE

Ingredients:
*1 1/2 cups peanuts, cashews or peans (or mix them)
*1 cup white sugar
*1/2 cup light corn syrup
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*1 tablespoon butter
*1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
*1 teaspoon baking soda

Directions:
~Grease a cookie sheet.
~In a large glass bowl, mix peanuts, sugar, corn syrup & salt.
~Microwave on high for 6-8 minutes, until mixture is bubbly.
~Stir in butter & vanilla.
~Cook another 2-3 minutes.
~Quickly stir in the baking soda. Mixture will become foamy.
~Pour immediately onto the greased baking sheet.
~Place a piece of parchment paper of peanut mixture and roll out mixture thin.
~Remove parchment paper right away.
~Let cool for 1/2 hour.
~Break into pieces, and store in an airtight container.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Cornflake Wreaths Cookies

Yet another no bake cookie. Kids and adults love these. They are fun to make and look so festive.


CORNFLAKE WREATH COOKIES
(1 1/2 dozen)

Ingredients:
*1/2 cup butter
*30 large regular marshmallows (4 cups miniature)
*1 1/2 teaspoons green food coloring
*1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*1/2 teaspoon almond extract
*4 cups corn flakes
*4 tablespoons cinnamon red hot candies.

Directions:
~Melt butter over how heat in a large saucepan.
~Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted.
~Stir in flavorings.
~Remove from heat.
~Stir in food coloring.
~Quickly stir in corn flakes, until well coated.
~Spray a 1/4 cup measuring cup with cooking spray.
~Butter hands.
~Quickly scoop out 1/4 cup of cornflake mixture.
~Shape into wreaths and place on waxed paper.
~Place desired amount of cinnamon candy of wreaths.

variation:
-if you don't like the almond taste, substitute the 1/2 teaspoon almond extract for 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. (that would make 2 teaspoons total for vanilla extract)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Peanut Butter Cups

This is my daughter Autumn and my son Brandon's favorite candy. These are super easy to make, even the little ones can help with these.


PEANUT BUTTER CUPS
(35)

Ingredients:
*2 cups milk chocolate chips (or merckens chocolate)
*1 cup peanut butter
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*1/2 cup powdered sugar

Directions:
~Melt chocolate over low heat (or double boiler).
~Stir often until chocolate is melted and smooth.
~Spoon a small amount of chocolate into the bottom of each peanut butter cup mold.
~Tilt the tray to coat the sides and create a hollow chocolate shell, making sure there are no holes in the bottom or sides of the shell.
~Slide the molds into the freezer until the chocolate shells have set, about 15 minutes.
~In a small bowl, mix together peanut butter, powered sugar, and salt.
~Divide into the chocolate coated molds (about 1 teaspoon each)
~Pour chocolate over peanut butter filling to top of mold, making sure the edges are sealed and that there are no gaps in the chocolate.
~Place the peanut butter cups back in the freezer for about 10 minutes, or until they are set.
~Flip the molds over on a flat surface, tapping them lightly, until all the candies have been released from the molds.
~Store in a cool, air-tight container.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Russian Tea Cakes

My daughter Tonia loves these. So easy to make. I think these cookies are great with a cup of Mexican Hot Chocolate.


RUSSIAN TEA CAKES
(3 dozen)

Ingredients:
*1 cup butter, softened
*1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
*6 tablespoons powdered sugar
*2 cups all-purpose flour
*2 tablespoons milk
*1 cup chopped walnuts
*1/3 cup powdered sugar

Directions:
~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~In a medium mixing bowl, cream butter & vanilla until smooth.
~Combine powdered sugar & flour together.
~Mix into butter mixture and mix until just blended.
~Mix in the chopped nuts.
~Roll the dough into 1-inch balls (1 tablespoon).
~Place them onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
~Bake for 11-12 minutes.
~When cookie has cooled, roll into powdered sugar.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Sugar Cookies

Bill's all time favorite cookie. According to him, "it's not Christmas until the sugar cookies are make". I love watching the joy the babies get from decorating these cookies.


SUGAR COOKIES
(5 dozen)

Ingredients:
*1 1/2 cups butter, softened
*2 cups white sugar
*4 eggs
*1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*5 cups all-purpose flour
*2 teaspoons baking powder
*1 teaspoon salt

Directions:
~In a large bowl, combine butter & sugar until smooth.
~Beat in eggs, on at a time.
~Add vanilla.
~Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt.
~Cover, and chill dough for a least 1 hour or overnight.
~Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
~Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 - 1/2 inch thick.
~Cut into shapes with floured cookie cutters.
~Place cookies 1 inch apart on a ungreased cookie sheet.
~Bake 6-8 minutes.
~Cool completely, before decorating.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Eggnog

I drink one glass of eggnog a year. I love it! Now I make mine without alcohol. You can always add some rum or bourbon to it if you like it better that way. This recipe tastes much better if you make it a day ahead of time.



EGGNOG
(serves 12)

Ingredients:
*4 cups whole milk
*6 whole cloves
*1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
*1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
*12 egg yolks
*1 cups white sugar
*4 cups light cream
*2 teaspoons vanilla extract
*1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Directions:
~In a large saucepan, combine milk, cloves, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, & cinnamon.
~Heat over very low heat and slowly bring to a light boil.
~In a large mixing bowl, combine egg yolks and sugar.
~Whisk until fluffy.
~Slowly pour hot milk mixture into egg mixture whisking quickly.
~Pour the mixture back into the saucepan.
~Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thick. Do not allow mixture to boil.
~Remove from heat and strain to remove cloves.
~Let cool for 1 hour.
~Stir in cream, 2 teaspoons vanilla & nutmeg.
~Refrigerate for at least 12 hours before serving.

Variation:
-add 1 1/2 cups rum or bourbon.
-fill glass half way with eggnog and half with Vernors.

Helpful Hint:
`If you notice that the eggnog curdles or has any lumps, put it in the blender and bend on high until smooth
`I use the some of egg whites to make a peppermint meringue. (posted on my blog under, candy & holiday)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Candy Cane Cookies

Bill & Tonia really like this recipe. I've made this every year since I've been married. You should give it a try, they are so festive.


CANDY CANE COOKIES
(3 1/2 dozen)

Ingredients:
*1 cup butter
*1 cup confectioners sugar
*1 egg
*1 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
*2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
*1 teaspoon salt
*1/2 cup crushed peppermint hard candies (or candy canes)
*1/2 cup sugar
*2-4 drops of red food coloring.

Directions:
~Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
~In a large bowl, combine butter, confectioners sugar, egg, almond extract, & vanilla extract.
~Beat until smooth.
~Mix in flour & salt.
~Divide dough half.
~Mix in food coloring into one half of the dough.
~Roll each color into 4-inch strips (heaping teaspoon for each 4-inch strip)
~Twist the red & white strips together to resemble a candy cane.
~Curve top down to form the candy cane handle.
~Bake for 9-10 minutes.
~Mix crushed peppermint candy and sugar together in a medium bowl.
~While still warm, roll into peppermint sugar mixture.

Variation:
-substitute almond extract for 3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract.
-if your kids aren't crazy about peppermint candy canes, use a flavored candy cane that they like.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

No Bake Cookies

These are incredibly easy to make. I like making these when it's really hot out and I just don't want to heat up the oven for cookies. I also make these at Christmas time.


NO BAKE COOKIES
(3 dozen)

Ingredients:
*2 cups white sugar
*3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
*1/2 cup butter
*1/2 cup milk
*1/8 teaspoon salt
*3 cups old fashion cooking oats
*1/2 peanut butter
*1/2 cocoanut (optional)
*1 teaspoon pure vanilla

Directions:
~In a large saucepan combine sugar, cocoa, butter, milk, & salt.
~Bring to a rapid boil, stirring often
~Once it comes to a full rolling boil, boil for 1 minute.
~Add peanut butter, mix until melted.
~Remove from heat.
~Quickly add in oats, cocoanut & vanilla.
~Very quickly, drop by teaspoons onto waxed paper.
~Let cool, store in refrigerator.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies`

This is my daughter Autumn's all time favorite cookie. I even made a large one for her 21st birthday.

(make a cookie-cake for someone you love)

PB KISSES
(makes 4 dozen)

Ingredients:
*1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
*1 teaspoon baking soda
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/2 cup vegetable shortening
*1/2 white granulated sugar
*1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
*1/2 cup peanut butter
*1 large egg
*1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla
*white granulated sugar for rolling
*Chocolate kisses, with foil off

Directions:
~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~Combine the flour, baking soda and salt.
~In a large bowl, cream the vegetable shortening, white sugar and brown sugar.
~Beat in the peanut butter.
~Mix in egg and vanilla.
~Gradually blend in the dry ingredients.
~Pinch off walnut-sized pieces of the dough and roll into balls.
~Roll the balls in the granulated sugar and place 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheet.
~Bake for 8-10 minutes, until just starting to color.
~Remove from oven.
~Press a chocolate kiss into the center of each ball.
~Return to oven for 3 minutes.
~Transfer to a wire rack to cool

Variation:
-Substitute creamy peanut butter for crunchy peanut butter.
-Substitute shortening for lard.
-Substitute chocolate kisses for mini peanut butter cups.
-Substitute chocolate kisses for rolos.

**If you decide to make a cookie-cake, bake the cookie for 12-14 minutes before putting candy on it. I baked mine in a 8" tart pan. I had enough left over dough to make a few cookies.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Mashed Potatoes

Everyone but me in my family loves mashed potatoes. They go along with just about any meal. Super easy to make.


MASHED POTATOES
(serves 6)

Ingredients:
*8 medium russet potatoes, peeled & cubed.
*1 cup warm milk
*1/4 cup butter
*3/4 teaspoon salt
*1/4 teaspoon pepper

Directions:
~Put potatoes in a medium-large saucepan and cover with water.
~Cover and bring to a boil.
~Cook for 25-30 minutes, until the potatoes are very tender.
~Drain very well.
~Add butter, milk, salt & pepper.
~Mash (or use a mixer) until potatoes are light & fluffy.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Hot Cocoa

This is a great drink to make up after being out in the snow. Who doesn't like a nice mug of hot cocoa on a chilly day?






HOT COCOA
(serves 4)

Ingredients:
*1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
*1/2 cup white sugar
*dash of salt
*1/3 cup boiling water
*3 1/2 cups whole milk
*1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
*1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Directions:
~Combine the cocoa, sugar & salt in a saucepan.
~Blend in boiling water.
~Bring to an easy boil, stirring constantly.
~Bring heat down and simmer for 2 minutes.
(stirring every once in a while to prevent scorching)
~Stir in milk and heat until very hot (do not let it boil).
~Remove from heat and pour into mugs.
~Add the cream to the mugs of cocoa.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Deviled Eggs

Such an easy side dish to bring for any potluck, picnic, or party. Use a pastry bag and star tip, and pipe the filling into the egg makes for a fancy looking deviled egg.



DEVILED EGGS
(serves 6)

Ingredients:
*6 hard-boiled eggs
*4 tablespoons mayonnaise
*dash of teaspoon dill weed (optional)
*1/4 teaspoon prepared mustard (optional)
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*1/4 teaspoon pepper
*1/4 teaspoon paprika

Directions:
~Slice eggs in half lengthwise.
~Remove yolks and set white aside.
~In a small bowl, mash yolks with fork.
~Add mayonnaise, dill, salt, pepper, & paprika.
~Mix well.
~Stuff or pipe into egg whites.
~Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Variations:
-Substitute mustard for spicy brown mustard.
-Add 2 strips of bacon, cooked & crumbled.
-Add 1/4 cup frozen spinach, thawed, squeezed dry, & chopped.
-Add 1 teaspoon vinegar + 1 teaspoon white sugar to mayonnaise.
-Add 1/8 teaspoon dried curry.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

BBQ Chicken

I love the BBQ Sauce that goes on this chicken. I also use this for sauce for ribs.


BBQ CHICKEN
(serves 6)

Ingredients:
*6 chicken breasts (I use boneless, skinless)
*1/2 medium onion, chopped fine
*2 teaspoons minced garlic
*1 1/2 cups water
*1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
*1/2 cup white vinegar
*1/2 cup brown sugar
*2 tablespoon honey
*1 tablespoon dark molasses
*2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
*1 1/4 teaspoons liquid smoke flavoring
*1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
*2 teaspoons salt
*1/2 teaspoon black pepper
*1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
*1/4 teaspoon onion powder

Directions:
~In a medium saucepan, 1/2 chopped onion, 2 teaspoons minced garlic, water, tomato paste, vinegar, brown sugar, honey, molasses, worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, cayenne pepper, salt, black pepper, paprika, & onion powder, over medium heat.
~Bring to a boil.
~Reduce heat, and simmer for 1-2 hours, or until sauce thickens.
~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~Place chicken breasts in a 9x13 inch baking pan.
~Cover with aluminum foil, and bake for 15 minutes.
~Remove from oven and drain and grease.
~Pour 1 cup of BBQ Sauce over chicken.
~Cover and bake for 30 minutes.
~Uncover and continue baking another 30 minutes, or until chicken in done. Basting every every 15 minutes with reserved BBQ Sauce.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Veggie Enchilada

Easy, quick, tasty dinner even if you aren't a veg-head. This recipe also freezes well. Make it up to the baking part and then freeze. When you are ready to eat, defrost and bake as directed.



VEGGIE ENCHILADA'S
(serves 4)

Ingredients:
*1 tablespoon olive oil
*1/2 zucchini, sliced thin
*1/2 yellow squash, sliced thin
*1/2 cup fresh green beans, roughly chopped
*1/4 cup carrots, sliced very thin
*1/2 cup onion, chopped
*1/2 cup sour cream
*1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
*1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley
*1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
*1/4 teaspoon black pepper
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
*4 tablespoons water
*1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
*2 tablespoons green pepper, chopped very small
*1/2 garlic clove, minced
*4 (10 inch) flour tortillas
*1 cup salsa
*1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Directions:
~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~In a medium, non-stick skillet over medium heat, sauté carrots & green beans in olive oil until semi-tender.
~Add the rest of the vegetables (except green peppers) and cook for about 5 minutes.
~Remove from heat, and put in a small bowl.
~Add onion, sour cream, 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, parsley, oregano, & black pepper.
~Heat until cheese melts.
~Stir in salt, tomato sauce, water, chili powder, green pepper & garlic.
~Spray cooking spray in a 8x8 inch baking pan.
~Spoon even amounts of the mixture into the tortillas, reserving 1/2 cup for later.
~Roll up tortilla's and place seam side down in prepared pan.
~Pour remaining veggie-cheese mixture over top of tortillas.
~Pour salsa over top of tortillas.
~Sprinkle 1/2 cup cheddar cheese over salsa.
~Bake uncovered for 20 minutes.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Easy Gravy

I hear so many people say they can't make gravy. Here is a really easy way to make it. I make this when I don't have enough drippings from chicken, turkey or roast beef.


EASY GRAVY
(makes 2 cups)

Ingredients:
*2 cups of chicken, turkey or beef stock
*3 tablespoons fat drippings (optional)
*1 teaspoon poultry season (chicken or turkey gravy)
*1/2 teaspoon thyme (beef gravy)
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*1/8 teaspoon pepper
*1/4 cup cold water
*3 tablespoons corn starch

Directions:
~Cook fat drippings and broth in a medium saucepan.
~Bring it to a light boil.
~Stir in seasonings.
~In a small bowl or glass mix cold water & corn starch until smooth.
~Add corn starch-water mixture into boiling chicken stock.
~Whisk constantly until gravy is desired thickness.

Vegetarian Version:
-Substitute stock for vegetable broth.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Cheddar Cheese Crackers

Autumn loves cheese crackers. I think these are a cross between 'Cheese Nips' & 'Goldfish'. These are fun to make with your kids.



CHEDDAR CRACKERS

Ingredients:
*1 cup all-purpose flour
*3/4 teaspoon salt
*1/2 teaspoon white ground pepper
*4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
*8 ounces grated cheddar cheese
*3-4 tablespoons water

Directions:
~In a mixing bowl or food processor, mix flour, salt, & pepper.
~Add butter and pulse or cut until flour mixture resembles course meal.
~Add grated cheese a little at a time until mixture again resembles coarse meal.
~Mix in 3-4 tablespoons water, one tablespoon at a time. Only enough so that the dough forms a ball and sticks to the blade.
~Remove, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 1/2 hour or up to 24 hours.
~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~Roll the dough out to 1/8 inch thickness, directly onto a baking sheet.
~Using a knife, cut 1 inch squares.
~Bake for 20-25 minutes, until crackers are a light golden brown.
~Crackers on edge of pan may get done before the center ones. If this happens just remove the outer crackers and then continue cooking the center ones.
~Store in a plastic bag for up to 1 week or freeze for longer shelf life.

Variation:
`Substitute salt with garlic salt.
`Lightly sprinkle onion powder over crackers just before baking.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Coney Dog

I love a good coney dog. This coney sauce is very good.


CONEY DOG
(serves 6)

Ingredients:
*6 hot dogs (skinless, in casings, or dearborn)
*1/2 cup onions, chopped (optional)
*mustard (optional)
*1/2 to 1 pound ground beef (depending on how meaty you like your sauce)
*1/4 cup onion, chopped fine
*3/4 cup ketchup
*1/2 tablespoon white sugar
*2 tablespoons white vinegar
*1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
*1/4 teaspoon celery seed
*1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
*1 teaspoon chili powder
*1/4 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
*1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
*1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:
~Place the ground beef and 1/4 cup minced onion in a large skillet, over medium heat.
~Cook, breaking up in crumbles, until beef is browned.
~Drain.
~Transfer the beef and onion to a slow cook and mix in ketchup, sugar, vinegar, mustard, celery seed, cumin, celery seed, pepper, salt & worcestershire sauce.
~Cover and let simmer for 3-5 hours or simmer over low heat for 1 -2 hours.
~Grill, steam or boil your hotdogs.
~Steam buns (optional)
~Put hot dog on bun.
~Scoop coney sauce over dog
~Add mustard.
~Add chopped onions.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Pumpkin Pie

This is a must for Thanksgiving. I love things that I can make a day or two ahead of time, and this is one of them.


PUMPKIN PIE
(serves 8)

Ingredients:
*1 single pie crust (make your own or buy refrigerated pie crust)
*1/2 cup white sugar
*1/2 cup brown sugar
*1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
*1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
*1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
*2 eggs
*1 (15 ounce) can solid pumpkin puree
*1 (5 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
* 3/4 cup half & half

Directions:
~Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
~In a small bowl, combine sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, ginger & cloves.
~In a large mixing bowl, gently beat eggs.
~Stir in pumpkin.
~Mix in the sugar mixture.
~Slowly stir in evaporated milk and half & half.
~Place pie plate on a baking sheet.
~Pour into pie shell.
~Cover edges of crust with aluminum foil (this helps prevent burning)
~Bake for 15.
~Reduce temperature to 350 degrees.
~Bake 50 minutes.
~Remove foil from crust.
~Bake for another 10 minutes, or until knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
~Do not cut until pie is cool.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Flakey Pie Crust

I got this recipe from my mom, years ago. It makes for a very flakey pie crust every time. Very easy to work with.



FLAKEY PIE CRUST
(makes 2 pie crusts)

Ingredients:
*1 1/2 cups flour
*1/2 teaspoon baking powder
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/2 cup lard (or crisco)
*1/4 cup water
*2 teaspoons white vinegar

Directions:
~Whisk the flour & salt together in a medium size bowl.
~With a pastry blender or fork, cut the lard into the flour, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
~Mix water & vinegar together.
~Slowly add to flour mixture a few tablespoons at a time, until the dough comes together into a ball.
~Divide dough into two.
~Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface.
~Put into pie pan, and fill with desired filling.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Butternut Squash Soup

A healthy good soup to eat. Very easy to make and quick too. Both of my girls love this soup.  About 210 calories per serving.




BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP
(serves 5)

Ingredients:
*1 medium size butternut squash, peeled, seeded, & chopped
*2 medium carrots, chopped
*1 stalk celery, chopped
*3 medium russet potatoes, peeled & chopped
*1 medium onion, chopped
*1 garlic clove, minced
*3 tablespoons butter
*4 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/4 teaspoon black pepper
*1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
*1/4 teaspoon ground cumin (optional) (use gluten free if needed)

Directions:
~Melt the butter in a stock pot.
~Add all the vegetables.
~Cook for 8-10 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
~Pour chicken stock over vegetables.
~Add seasonings.
~Bring to a boil.
~Reduce heat to low, cover stock pot, and simmer for 45 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
~Carefully pour soup into blender (or use a immersible blender).
~Blend until smooth.
~Serve.

Variations:
-substitute chicken stock with vegetable stock.
-add 6 ounces cream cheese the last 5 minutes of simmering, to make a wonderful cream soup.
-add 1/2 cup heavy cream the last 2 minutes of simmering (another way to make cream soup).
-add 1 large apple, peeled & chopped while you are sautéing vegetables.
-if you like like little chunks in you soup (rather than pureed) just take a potato masher and mash the veggies a little bit.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Pan-Seared Fish with Tarter Sauce

I do love fish. I have a couple different ways to make it. This being more healthy than the deep fried coated fish that I make. I'm also posting along with this a 'tartar sauce' recipe. To be honest this is very good, but I love the 'white-sauce' that I use for 'Fish Tacos' better. Look under Fish Recipes and you'll see it.


PAN-SEARED FISH

Ingredients:
*4 (4 ounce) fish fillets (tilapia, cod, bass etc)
*1 teaspoon salt
*1/2 teaspoon pepper
*1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
*1/4 teaspoon onion powder
*1/8 teaspoon dill weed
*1 cup all-purpose flour (use rice flour to make it gluten free)
*1/2 teaspoon corn starch
*1 tablespoon olive oil
*2 tablespoons butter, melted

Directions:
~Rinse fish in cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
~In a small bowl mix seasonings.
~Season both sides of fish with seasoning mix.
~In a pie plate or plate mix flour & corn starch.
~Gently press each fish fillet into the flour mixture, coating both sides.
~Shake off any excess flour.
~Heat olive oil, in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.
~Cook the fish in the hot oil about 4 minutes on each side, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.
~Brush with melted butter right before removing from the skillet.
~Serve immediately.

Variation:
~Add a 1/4 teaspoon of lemon juice to butter before putting on fish.
~Add 1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper to seasonings.

TARTAR SAUCE
(serves 6-8)

Ingredients:
*1 cup mayonnaise
*1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
*1 1/2 tablespoons onions, minced
*1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice.
*1/8 teaspoon dill weed
*1 teaspoon salt
*1/2 teaspoon pepper

Directions:
~In a small bowl, mix the mayonnaise, sweet pickle relish, and minced onions.
~Stir in lemon juice.
~Add salt, pepper, & dill weed.
~Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. (If you don't let it sit, it tastes to much like mayonnaise)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Chicken Fried Steak

No need to go to the Cracker Barrel for a good chicken fried steak dinner. This is so easy to make and very good.


CHICKEN FRIED STEAK
(serves 4)

Ingredients:
*4 (1/2 pound) beef cube steaks
*1/2 teaspoon onion powder
*1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
*1/4 teaspoon black pepper
*2 cups all-purpose flour
*2 teaspoons baking powder
*1 teaspoon baking soda
*1 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)
*1 teaspoon black pepper
*3/4 teaspoon salt
*1 1/2 cup whole milk
*1 egg
*1/2 tablespoon tabasco sauce
*2 cloves garlic, minced
*2 cups vegetable shortening for frying
*4 tablespoons of the dredging flour
*4 tablespoons of cooking fat
*1/2 teaspoon black pepper
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*3 cups whole milk

Directions:
~Pound steaks to about 1/4 inch thick.
~Mix onion powder, garlic powder, & 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl.
~Rub seasonings into steak.
~Place 2 cups of flour in a shallow bowl.
~Stir together the baking powder, baking soda,
smoked paprika, pepper & salt.
~In a separate shallow bowl, stir in the 1 1/2 cups milk, egg, tabasco sauce & garlic.
~Dredge each steak first in the flour.
(keep flour for gravy)
~Then dredge the steaks in batter, then in the flour again.
~Pat the flour onto the surface of each steak so they are completely coated with dry flour.
~Heat shortening into a sturdy skillet to 325 degrees.
(I use my cast-iron pan)
~Fry the steaks until a golden brown, turn and brown other side. 4-5 minutes on each side.
~Remove steaks on a paper towel lined plate to drain.
~Remove all but 4 tablespoons oil from skillet.
~Stir in 4 tablespoons of the dredging flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
~Whisk, scraping up browned bits, for about 1 minute.
~Gradually whisk in 3 cups milk.
~Whisk until thick & bubbly.
~Stir in 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.
~Serve gravy over steaks.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Breaded Pork Chops

Such a simple recipe and yet moist and delicious. Make some good old fashion fried potatoes with onions, a few sautéed green beans & some homemade applesauce to go great with it.


BREADED PORK CHOPS
(serves 4)

Ingredients:
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/2 teaspoon black pepper
*1 teaspoon garlic powder
*1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
*1/4 teaspoons dried marjoram
*1 cup italian bread crumbs
*2 tablespoons shortening
*4 pork chops

Directions:
~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~In a zip-loc bag mix salt, pepper, garlic powder, thyme, marjoram, & bread crumbs.
~Beat egg lightly.
~Turn both sides of pork chops in egg.
~Then drop pork chop into zip-loc bag, close and shake.
~Heat shortening in oven proof skillet over medium-high heat.
~Brown pork chops lightly on each side.
~Remove pork chops from pan, set aside.
~Cool off skillet with a very little bit of water.
~Scrape drippings off bottom of pan.
~Return pork chops, and spoon drippings over pork chops.
~Cover (aluminum foil if you don't have a lid).
~Bake for 35-45 minutes.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Cheese Sticks

Cheese sticks, may not be that good for you, but they sure are good. I do not like store bought ones at all, but these are another story. My daughter Autumn says they are even better than restaurant cheese sticks.


CHEESE STICKS
(makes )

Directions:
*3 eggs, beaten
*1/3 cup water
*1 1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
*1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
*1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
*1/2 teaspoon black pepper
*2/3 up all-purpose flour
*1/3 cup cornstarch
*4 cups vegetable oil for deep frying
*1 (16 ounce) package mozzarella cheese sticks

Directions:
~Freeze mozzarella cheese sticks for 25-30 minutes.
~In a small bowl, mix the eggs and water.
~In a medium bowl, mix the bread crumbs, seasoned salt, garlic salt, & pepper in medium bowl.
~In medium bowl, blend the flour and cornstarch.
~In a heavy skillet, heat the oil to 365 degrees. (or use a deep fryer)
~Dip each mozzarella stick in the flour mixture, then egg mixture, then back into the flour mixture, and back into the egg mixture. Last dip into the bread crumbs. Important to make sure the cheese is completely coated.
~Gently place into the hot oil.
~Fry until golden brown, about 30-40 seconds. (just fry a few at a time to prevent sticking and oil temperature from dropping)
~Remove from heat and drain on paper towels.

-Eat plain, or dip in ranch, marinara sauce, or spicy dipping sauce (posted with my onion ring posting).

Helpful Hint:
-Make a batch or two and freeze. You then only have the mess once.
-I'm sure you can spray a cookie sheet with a cooking spray and bake the cheese sticks instead of frying. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and bake for 5-10 minutes, or until golden brown.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

French Toast Sandwich

This recipe is so decadent. It is a wonderful mixture of sweetness, cinnamon & apples. You might even consider this a dessert.


FRENCH TOAST SANDWICH
(serves 4)

Ingredients:
*4 ounces mascarpone cheese, softened
*1 teaspoon cinnamon
*1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
*2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
*2 tablespoons walnuts, chopped
*1 teaspoon butter
*1 large apple, cored & chopped
*1 egg
*1/3 cup whole milk
*8 slices cinnamon bread (or cinnamon raisin)

Directions:
~Combine mascarpone cheese, cinnamon, nutmeg, maple syrup & walnuts. Mix well.
~Melt butter in a small skillet.
~Add apples, cook until tender.
~Remove apples from skillet.
~Whisk together egg & milk.
~Dip bread in egg mixture.
~Cook bread on both sides until golden brown.
~Spread 1 tablespoon mascarpone mixture on one side of bread.
~Top with cooked apple.
~Add another slice of bread.
~Cook until apple filling is throughly heated.
~Serve with maple syrup over sandwich.