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.

Monday, January 27, 2014

S'more Krispie Treats

Rice Krispie Treats meet S'mores.  I don't image it's low in calories, but oh how delicious.

(serves 24)

Crust Ingredients:
*1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (I make my own)
*1/2 cup granulated sugar
*1/2 cup butter, melted

Rice Krispie Ingredients:
*1 cup light corn syrup
*1 cup granulated sugar
*1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
*1 cup peanut butter
*6 cups rice krispies
*1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
*2 cups milk chocolate chips

Marshmallow Ingredients:
*5 large egg whites
*1 1/2 cups sugar

Crust Directions:
~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~Spay a 9x13 inch pan with a cooking spray.
~In a medium bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs & sugar.
~Mix in melted butter until combined.
~Press mixture into the bottom of prepared pan.
~Bake in preheated oven for 8-10 minutes.
~Remove from heat and set aside.

Rice Krispie Directions:
~In a large saucepan combine corn syrup, sugar & unsweetened cocoa.
~Cook over medium heat, stirring often until sugar & cocoa is dissolved and just short of a boil.
~Remove from heat.
~Stir in vanilla & peanut butter. Stir until peanut butter is melted.
~Add rice krispies and stir until well coated.
~Melt chocolate chips over a double boiler. 
~Spread melted chocolate chips over crust.
~Press mixture into pan over the chocolate
~Let cool completely.

Marshmallow directions:
~In a double boiler, combine egg whites & sugar.  
~Bring mixture to 160 degrees, whisking constantly.
~Place mixture into a large mixing bowl.
~Whisk on high speed until mixture doubles in size and form's stiff peaks (about 10-14 minutes).
~Spread marshmallow over the rice krispies.
~Place under a broler for 1-2 minutes, or until top starts to turn a golden brown (be very careful not to burn, check often).
~Cut into squares and enjoy.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Homemade frosting is so easy and quick to make.  It makes any cake taste better.  Once you try this, you may never buy store bought again.

(makes 4 cups)

*1/3 cup butter
*2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
*2 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted
*1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
*1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
*2 1/4 - 2 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream

~Mix all ingredients until smooth and to your desired consistency.
~Spread on cake, cookies or brownies.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Moist Yellow Cake

I have tried many, many homemade yellow cakes.  They are normally to heavy and they dry out way to quick.   This one is wonderful.  It stays moist for days.  We normally like chocolate frosting on it, but put whatever flavor you like.

(serves 12)

*2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
*1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
*1 teaspoon salt
*3 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
*1 1/4 cups buttermilk
*3 teaspoons vegetable oil
*1/2 cup butter, softened
*1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
*3 large eggs

~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~Spray a 9x13 inch pan (or 2-10 inch) with a cooking spray.
~Dust pan(s) lightly with flour.
~In a large mixing bowl, mix flour, sugar, salt & baking powder.
~Add butter, milk, oil & vanilla to flour ingredients.
~Mix on medium speed for 1 1/2 - 2 minutes, scrapping the sides of the bowl, to incorporate it well.
~Add eggs and mix for another 2 minutes.
~Pour into prepared pan(s).
~Bake for 20-30 minutes or until take springs back when touched lightly the center.
~Let cake cool completely before frosting.  If using the round pans, allow cakes to cool for 10 minutes and flip gently onto a wire rack and allow to cool.

 Helpful Hints:
`If you plan on making a layer cake, line the prepared cake pan with waxed paper.  Remove paper when you remove cake from pans.
`I always wrap 10 take with plastic wrap until it cools completely.  This helps keep the cake extra moist.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Chicken Cordon Bleu Pita

I am a chicken cordon blue fan as long as it's homemade.   The mixture of the ingredients just go together wonderfully.   One day I decided to make it into a pita and boy was it good.    Simple to make and it doesn't take much time.

(serves 4)

*2 chicken boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into 2-inch thickness
*1 cup buttermilk
*1/4 cup all-purpose flour
*1/4 cup italian bread crumbs
*1 teaspoon paprika
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/4 teaspoon black pepper
*1 tablespoon butter or oil
*4 slices baked deli ham, cut thin
*4 slices swiss cheese
*1/4 cup chicken stock
*1/2 teaspoon chicken granules
*1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
*1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
*4 pita breads

~In a medium bowl, place chicken & buttermilk.
~Allow to marinate for at least 1 hour.
~In a shallow pan, mix flour, bread crumbs, paprika, salt & pepper.
~Place a slice of ham & cheese on each pita.
~Let butter melt in a large skillet over medium heat.
~Remove chicken from buttermilk and let any excess drip off.
~Coat chicken in breadcrumb mixture.
~Place chicken into skillet and cook for about 5-6 minutes and then flip and allow to cook on other side for another 5-6 minutes, or until chicken is done.
~Remove from skillet and put over cheese.
~Pour chicken stock in the same skillet that the chicken was cooking in.
~Use a whisk to stir chicken stock and chicken drippings.  Cook until it starts to boil.
~In a small bowl, blend cornstarch with the heavy cream.
~Whisk slowly into the skillet.
~Cook, stirring until thickened and pour evenly over the chicken.
~Top with shredded lettuce.
~Fold pita in half and enjoy.

`Add chopped tomatoes, when adding lettuce.
`Substitute a tortillas for the pita.
`Leave off sauce to make it more figure friendly.
`In a small skillet, sprayed with a cooking spray, heat up pita bread.  Once heated add cheese, ham, chicken & sauce.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Bacon Cheeseburger Quesadillas

Yummy, yummy, yummy.   A quick, easy and good meal.  Great with soups or all by itself.  If you like bacon cheeseburgers you will like this.

(serves 4)

*1/2 lean ground beef
*4 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled
*1/4 small onion, chopped
*1/4 - 1/2 cup fresh mushrooms, chopped (optional)
*1/4 cup dill or sweet relish (optional)
*1/2-1  cup sharp shredded cheese.
*4 slices provolone cheese
*ketchup, mustard & mayo (use whatever you like on your burger)
*8  (6 inch) tortillas

~In a large skillet, cook ground beef, onion, mushroom & relish.  Cooking until ground beef is browned.
~Drain any grease.
~Add shredded cheese and mix until melted.
~Lay 4 tortillas out flat.
~Place a slice of provolone cheese on each tortilla.
~Divide beef mixture evenly over cheese.
~Add ketchup, mustard or mayonnaise or all three for a slop burger over beef mixture.
~Place the rest of the tortillas over the top.
~Spred butter over top of tortilla.
~Place tortilla butter side down onto a hot griddle or skillet (over medium heat).
~Spread butter over other side of tortilla.
~Once tortilla is a golden brown, flip and grill on other side until tortilla is brown.

`add chopped jalapeño peppers right before grilling.
`add red or green bell peppers to burger mixture at the start of the cooking.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Bacon-Chicken-Potato Soup

I had extra bacon & it was a cold winter Michigan day so I put this recipe together.   It was a hit.   I like quick soups.

(serves 8)

*6 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled
*1 boneless skinless chicken breast, cooked & shredded
*2 tablespoon butter
*1 large onion, chopped
*3 stalks celery, chopped
*2 garlic cloves, chopped
*3 medium carrots, sliced
*4-6 russet potatoes (6 cups), peeled & cubed
*6-8 cups chicken stock
*1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
*1 teaspoon dried oregano
*1 teaspoon dried basil
*2 bay leafs
*1 teaspoon salt
*1 teaspoon ground black pepper
*2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

~In a large stock pot, melt butter.
~Add carrots & potatoes and sauté for 3-4 minutes.
~Add remaining veggies and sauté for another 2-3 minutes.
~Add chicken stock, poultry seasoning, oregano, basil, bay leafs, salt & pepper.
~Bring to a boil.
~Reduce heat to simmer and allow to simmer for 45 minutes or until potatoes & carrots are tender.
~Using a potato masher, blender or immersible blender to blend all the veggies to semi-smooth.
~Add chicken, bacon & cheese and simmer for another 10 minutes, stirring often.

Slow Cooker Directions:
`Once you sauté  dump everything in the slow cooker (minus chicken, bacon & cheese).  Cook on low for 4-6 hours or until veggies are tender.  Add chicken, bacon & cheese and allow to cook for another 20-30 minutes.  Stir & serve.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Pretzel Bites with Mustard Sauce

This is a great party food.  It is great hot or room temperature.  If you don't like the mustard sauce, make a cheese sauce or just serve plain.  Bring these to a party and they will be gone in a flash.   Kids & Adults enjoy them.

(makes approximately 150)

Pretzel Ingredients:
*1 1/2 cups warm water
*1 tablespoon sugar
*2 teaspoons kosher salt
*2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
*4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
*4 tablespoons butter, melted
*2 1/2 quarts water
*2/3 cups baking soda
*1 large egg yolk beaten
*1 tablespoon water
*1/8 cup kosher salt or pretzel salt for topping.

Mustard Sauce Ingredients:
*1/2 cup dijon mustard
*1/4 cup mustard
*4 tablespoon mayonnaise
*1 teaspoon honey
*1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Pretzel Directions:
~In a small bowl, combine water, sugar & salt.
~Sprinkle yeast over water.
~Let sit for 10 minutes to allow yeast to proof.
~Put flour into a large bowl.
~Make a well in the center.
~Add melted butter & yeast mixture into the flour well.
~Mix to form dough.
~Knead dough on a clean lightly floured surface until smooth, or use the dough hook on your mixer.
~Lightly oil a large bowl.
~Place pretzel dough in bowl & turn to coat.
~Cover with a clean damp cloth or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm draft free area until doubled in size (about 1 hour).
~Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
~Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and spray with a cooking spray.
~In a large pot, bring 2 1/2 quarts water & baking soda to a boil.
~While you are waiting for the water to boil, turn the dough out onto a lightly oiled surface.
~Mix beaten egg & 1 tablespoon water into a small bowl.
~Divide the pretzel into 8 pieces.
~Roll each piece into a long rope (about 22-24 inches long).
~Cut each rope into about 1-inch pieces.
~Drop dough into boiling water for about 30 seconds.
~Remove pretzel from water.
~Place on cookie sheet.
~Brush top of each pretzel with egg wash.
~Sprinkle with desired amount of kosher salt.
~Bake for 13-15 minutes.
~Remove from oven, and allow to cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes.

Mustard Sauce Directions:
~Mix all the ingredients and whisk.
~I like to let mine set in the refrigerator for an hour before using (I make it before I start the pretzels).