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.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Spicy Crackers

If you like spicy snacks you are going to love this .  My daughters love them.  Very easy to make and they are a great for an appetizer.  These crackers get even better after sitting for a day or two, if you can resist the urge to eat them.



SPICY CRACKERS

Ingredients:
*1 (11 ounce) box mini club crackers
*1 (11 ounce) box mini saltine crackers
*1 (13.7 ounce) box cheese-it crackers
*2 (0.4 ounce) packs original ranch  seasoning mix
*1 1/2 teaspoons garlic salt
*2 1/2 -3 1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes
*1 1/2 - 2 cups vegetable oil

Directions:
~Preheat oven to 225 degrees.
~In a small bowl, mix oil, ranch seasoning mix, garlic salt  & red pepper flakes together.
~Dump crackers into a large bowl.
~Pour oil mixture over crackers and mix well.
~Pour the crackers into a large roasting pan.
~Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
~Let cool and enjoy.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Cheesy-Garlic Biscuits

Yummy!  Great with soup or just about anything else.   The trick to making a good fluffy biscuit is not over handling it and have chilled ingredients.  For this reason I will put my flour mixture in the freezer for about a half hour before I mix everything.




CHEESY-GARLIC BISCUITS
(makes 12)

Ingredients:
*1 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
*1 teaspoon salt
*1 teaspoon baking powder
*1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
*5 tablespoons butter, frozen
*1 cup buttermilk
*1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
*1/8-1/4 cup butter, melted
*2 whole garlic cloves

Directions:
~Place 1/8-1/4 cup butter & garlic clove into small saucepan.
~Melt butter over low heat
~Set aside.
~Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
~In a large bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking powder & garlic powder.
~Cover and freeze for at least 1/2 hour.
~Cut butter into cubes.
~Cut butter into flour mixture with a fork or pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal.
~Make a well in the center of the flour mixture.
~Add milk & cheddar cheese.
~Stir until just combined (do not over mix).
~Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, or spray pan with cooking spray.
~Drop by spoonfuls onto prepared pan.
~Bake for 17-20 minutes, or until lightly browned.
~Remove garlic from butter.
~Remove biscuits from oven and brush garlic butter over biscuits.

Variation:
`mince garlic so you have small bits of garlic on biscuits.



Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Taco Pie

Another recipe that is very easy to make.   It's quick too.   The only thing that would make it longer is if you cooked your own crescent rolls.   Most things I make from scratch, but I normally buy the crescents for this recipe.  I cut the recipe in half for my family and put it in a 8x8 pan.




TACO PIE
(serves 8)

Ingredients:
*1 pound lean ground beef
*1 small onion, chopped
*1/2 green pepper, chopped
*2 garlic cloves, minced
*1 (8 ounce) pacage refrigerated crescent rolls
*1 (1 ounce) package taco seasoning
*1 (16 ounce) container sour cream
*1 (8 ounce) shredded cheddar cheese
*1/2 head iceberg lettuce, shredded
*1 tomato, chopped
*8 black olives, chopped (optional)
*1 cup salsa (optional)

Directions:
~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~Lay crescent dough on the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan.
~Bake according to directions on package.
~While the crust is cooking, in a large skillet or medium heat, cook hamburg, onions, green pepper & garlic.  Cook until hamburg is done.
~Add taco seasoning & stir together.
~Place meat mixture over the top of the crust.
~Spread sour cream over hamburger.
~Sprinkle cheese over sour cream.
~Bake for another 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.
~Remove from oven and top with lettuce tomatoes & olives.
~Spoon salsa over everything.
~Cut & serve.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Pita Bread

Homemade pita bread is just plain awesome.   Far better than store bought.   Very easy to make, but it does take some time.   You have to let it rise for 2 1/2  hours before you can cook them.   I also prefer to use a cast iron pan to cook them.





PITA BREAD
(makes 8)

Ingredients:
*2 1/2 teaspoons quick rising yeast
*1 cup warm water
*2 3/4 - 3 cups all purpose four
*2 tablespoons olive oil
*2 teaspoons salt
*1-2 tablespoons olive oil (for cooking pitas)

Directions:
~In a mixing bowl, place warm water, yeast and 1 cup of flour.
~Whisk until mixture is smooth.
~Let stand for 20 minutes (mixture should foam up)
~Pour in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and 1 3/4 cups flour.
~Mix until mixture comes together.
~Using a dough hook (or knead my hand), until the dough is soft, and slightly stick (about 5 minutes if using a dough hook).
~Lightly oil the inside of a large bowl.
~Form dough into a ball.
~Turn dough around in oiled bowl, so that all sides are slightly oiled.
~Place dough into bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
~All dough to rise and double in size, for 2 hours (this needs to be done in a draft free area.  I like to put it in the oven).
~Remove dough form bowl and place onto a floured surface.
~Pat dough into a flat shape about 1-inch thick.
~Cut into 8 equal pieces.
~Form each section of dough into a ball, pulling dough from sides and tucking under the ends underneath.
~Spray a piece of plastic wrap with cooking spray, and place oiled side down, gently over dough balls.
~Allow to rise for 30 minutes.
~Sprinkle a small amount of flour over a clean surface and top of each dough ball.
~Gently pat each dough ball down to make them flat.
~Let dough sit for 5 minutes.
~Brush a heavy skillet (I use cast iron) with olive oil.
~Heat pat over medium-high heat.
~Lay pita into hot skillet, can cook until bread begins to puff up and bottom has brown spots (around 2-3 minutes).
~Flip, and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
~Flip once more and cook for another 30 seconds.
~Place cooked pita on a plate and cover with clean towel.

*If pitas start to brown, turn down the heat a little bit.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Creamy Macaroni & Cheese

A very simple easy to make recipe.  This has become my daughters favorite mac & cheese recipe.  The hot sauce does not make it spicy, so kids will still love it.  I normally use small shell noodles, but you can use macaroni or rigatoni noodles if preferred.



CREAMY MACARONI & CHEESE
(serves 6)

Ingredients:
*1 (16 ounce) package of small shell noodles
*1/4 cup butter
*1/2 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
*2 1/2 cups milk (whole or 2%)
*1 cup (about 8-10 slices) white american cheese, chopped
*1 cup Vermont white extra-sharp cheese, shredded
*1 1/2 tablespoons dijon mustard
*1 teaspoon kosher salt
*1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
*1/2 - 1  teaspoon hot sauce

Directions:
~Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
~Pour pasta into boiling water and cook according to package directions.
~Drain pasta and set aside.
~Melt butter in a medium pot over low heat.
~Whisk in flour and cook for 1 minute, whisking constantly.
~Slowly whisk in milk.
~Cook over medium heat, constantly whisking until mixture thickens and bubbles (be careful not to scorch milk).
~Remove from heat.
~Add American & Cheddar cheeses, mustard, salt, pepper & hot sauce.
~Stir until cheese melts and sauce is smooth.
~Stir in pasta and cook over medium heat for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Roasted Veggie Soup

I put this recipe together one day, because I had an over abundance of veggies.   I figured that if my family loves roasted veggies they probably would like them in soup.  I was right.  Very easy to make and very healthy.  I dice or slice all my veggies large.  This soup is only about 105 calories per bowl with out the cheese or sour cream.  Around 165 if you add the cheese & sour cream.  This would be a great soup for a baby too.


ROASTED VEGGIE SOUP
(serves 8)

Ingredients:
*3 carrots, peeled and sliced 
*3 russet potatoes, peeled and diced
*3 stalks of celery, sliced
*1 pint roma tomatoes
*1 medium-large onion, cut into wedges
*2 yellow squash, sliced
*4 garlic cloves
*1 green bell pepper, sliced
*1 red bell pepper, sliced
*1 cup fresh cut green beans, ends cut off
*1-2 tablespoons olive oil
*2 teaspoon kosher salt
*1 teaspoon ground black pepper
*2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
*1/2 teaspoon dried basil
*1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
*1/4 teaspoon dried mint leaves (optional)
*1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
*1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
*1 cup reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
*8 tablespoons reduced sour cream (optional)

Directions:
~Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
~Place all the vegetables on a large cookie sheet.
~Drizzle olive oil over vegetables.
~Sprinkle salt & pepper over vegetables.
~Toss vegetables to mix olive oil & seasonings over all them.
~Bake in oven for 1 hour, turning every 15 minutes.
~Remove vegetables from oven.
~In a large pot, mix roasted vegetables, chicken/vegetable stock, basil, oregano, mint leaves, thyme & rosemary.
~Puree with immersion blender or carefully blend small amounts at at time in a blender or food processor. My family likes me to leave small bits of veggies in it.
~Heat over low heat for 30 minutes, occasionally stirring.
~Serve soup into a bowl topped with cheese & sour cream if desired.


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Pumpkin Crunch

If you are looking for a simple but delicious dessert, this it it.   It takes all of 5 minutes to throw together.   It does take a little over an hour to bake and you want to let cool before serving.   It's a great fall or Thanksgiving dessert.





PUMPKIN CRUNCH
(serves 16)

Ingredients:
*1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
*1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
*3 large eggs
*1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
*2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
*1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
*1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
*1 box yellow cake mix
*1 cup butter, melted
*1 cup chopped pecans

Directions:
~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.
~In medium bowl, mix pumpkin puree, evaporated milk, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, ginger & nutmeg.
~Mix until well incorporated.
~Pour into prepared pan.
~Sprinkle dry cake mix over pumpkin mixture.
~Sprinkle pecans evenly over dry cake.
~Drizzle melted butter over dry cake & pecans.
~Bake for 70-75 minutes.
~Remove from oven and let cool, before serving.