Sunday, December 19, 2010

Pineapple Glazed Chicken Chow Mein

I made this one up as I went along and it is bowl licking good! It's easy to make too. It's a perfect blend of Chinese and Polynesian flavors. I think this would be great with green peppers too.

Pineapple Glazed Chicken Chow Mein

  • 4 thawed chicken breasts, cubed
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 5 carrots sliced
  • 3/4 cup diced onions
  • 1 can pineapple chunks (juice set aside)
  • 2 pkgs of chicken flavored Top Ramen
  • 2 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 Tbsp corn starch
  • 2 Tbs soy sauce
  • 2 1/2 cups water
In a hot skillet fry chicken cubes in butter until golden brown. Add carrots and onions, cook until tender. Add garlic, ginger and salt. Add pineapple. In a small bowl mix water,pineapple juice and corn starch until dissolved. Pour into skillet. Add vinegar, brown sugar and soy sauce. Add dry Ramen noodles and both packets of chicken flavor. bring to a boil then simmer on low until noodles are tender and sauce is thickened. Remove from heat and serve.

Brownies From Scratch

Homemade brownies are the best! They taste much better than the boxed stuff for sure. I am taking an interest lately to old fashion, from scratch recipes especially cakes. My mom said that when she was a little girl her mom always made cakes from scratch and she could never enjoy a boxed cake mix since. I'm going to test that and see if they really are better. So far, I am agreeing.

Try your brownies with a scoop of peppermint ice cream and chocolate sauce. My neighbor made this yummy ensemble a few weeks ago at her home. It is refreshing and hits the spot.

Brownies From Scratch
  • 5 oz (5 squares) unsweetened chocolate cut into squares (note: I did not have bakers chocolate when I made these so I took about 5 Tbsp of bitter unsweetened cocoa and just enough water to make a runny paste. It work perfectly in place of melted chocolate)
  • 3/4 cup of butter
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped nuts (optional)
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 13 X 9 inch pan. In small saucepan on low heat, melt chocolate and butter stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla, set aside.

In a large bowl, beat sugar and eggs until sugar is dissolved. Fold chocolate mixture, flour mixture and nuts into egg mixture until blended. Pour batter into pan and bake for 30 minutes. Cool.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Cinnamon Joes

I created this while trying to come up with a gourmet sloppy joe. Sloppy joes often have a bad reputation as cheap, easy, unhealthy food. By making a few changes, this classic recipe has been reborn!

I had an idea to try adding cinnamon to the meat and am glad I did. The fragrance in the sauce and in the kitchen was divine - not to mention the flavor was out of this world. My husband was a skeptic until he tried it and absolutely loved it. Who would have ever thought that cinnamon would compliment meat so well? We are going to make this more often.

Cinnamon Joes
  • 1 1lb ground turkey or beef
  • 3/4 cup Sweet Baby Rays BBQ Sauce (will not taste the same with any other BBQ sauce)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon divided
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp lemon pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
Add salt and 1/2 tsp cinnamon to raw meat and cook until brown. Reduce heat to low and add BBQ sauce and the other 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 5 minutes. Serve with artisan rolls and a mild flavored cheese such as Swiss. The cheese is optional, but avoid a strong cheese or it will overtake the flavor.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Cake Mix Cookies

I remember hearing about these cookies and making them years ago. Then I forgot. Then I was reminded at an activity last week and I am so happy!

These cookies are so easy to make and there are hundreds of combinations. If you are ever in a hurry and you need to make cookies, as long as you have a cake mix, butter and an egg you are set. So easy and so delicious. I made these for a party and my husband loved them. I used a milk chocolate cake mix, chocolate chips and oats. They were soft and yummy.

I'd like to try chocolate cake mix with Andes mints on top, and spice cake mix with white chocolate chips or raisins. Mmmm.

Cake Mix Cookies
  • 1 box of cake mix (your choice)
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 egg
  • (toppings or fillings of your choice - raisins, chocolate chips, oats, nuts, etc.)
Mix ingredients together. Shape into 1 inch balls and space 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Rainbow Jell-O

My Dad's wife makes this all the time and I love it. Six flavors of the rainbow all at once on your tongue is pure delight. This has a yummy, creamy, taste. It is a time consuming recipe but not difficult at all. You'll want to make this a day in advance from when you plan to serve it. Also, I used a round, deep dish to make it in - I found that when using the 3 oz Jell-O packages and a 9X13 pan the layers were super thin and not as drastic. You could also use cups.

Rainbow Jello
  • 6 (3 oz) pkgs of Jell-O (cherry, lemon, orange, lime, blue raspberry, grape)
  • 1 large container of fat free plain yogurt
  • 1 container Cool Whip
Dissolve 1 cup of boiling water into jello contents. Take 1 cup of that mixture and add 2 Tbsp of cold water and pour in your pan or dish. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Meanwhile add 1/3 cup of yogurt to remaining jello. When layer in fridge is solid, pour yogurt layer over. Continue this process with all 6 layers. Top with Cool Whip.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Pineapple Cream Cheese Dip

We had this yummy dip at our family Thanksgiving dinner. I recreated it at home for a fun holiday weekend dinner. It is so delicious. The perfect blend of creamy and salty sweetness!!

Pineapple Cream Cheese Dip

  • 3 (8 oz) blocks of cream cheese (I use reduced fat kind)
  • 1 can crushed pineapple
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions
  • Dash of salt
Soften cream cheese and whip with electric mixture in medium sized bowl. Once whipped, stir in pineapple, green onions and salt. Serve with wheat thins or celery sticks.

Chocolate Truffle Cookies

These are a delicious and easy alternative to chocolate chip cookies. Just like chocolate chip cookies, you can't just eat one. Perfect for the holidays, tea parties and showers. This recipe comes from the Pillsbury cookbook and makes 4 dozen cookies.

Chocolate Truffle Cookies
  • 1 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/2 cup powder sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 square of unsweetened chocolate melted (or an ounce of unsweetened cocoa mixed with water to take on the appearance and texture of melted chocolate)
  • 2 1/4 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 6 oz package (1 cup) chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease cookies sheets. In large bowl, cream butter and 1/2 cup of powder sugar. Blend in vanilla and melted chocolate. At low speed, blend in flour and salt. By hand, stir in chocolate chips. Shape into 1 inch balls, place on cookie sheets. Bake 10-12 minutes. Cool.

In a small bowl combine 1/4 cup powder sugar and cocoa. oll cooled cookies in mixture.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Five Star Cranberry Sauce

I created this cranberry sauce as a last minute idea for my mini pre-Thanksgiving dinner. It is the most delicious cranberry sauce I have ever had and could even make a perfect pie filling. For the cranberry sauce haters, this will change your mind. It's free of bitter, tart, traditional cranberry flavor. Instead sweet, juicy, berry bliss!

Be careful when removing seeds from the pomegranate. The red juice splatters everywhere and looks like a crime scene. It stains too. It was my first time ever purchasing a pomegranate so I was unaware.

Five Star Cranberry Sauce
  • 1 can Ocean Spray Cranberry Sauce
  • 1 bag frozen blueberries
  • 1 pomegranate
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 Tbsp corn starch
Place cranberry sauce and blueberries in saucepan. Heat on medium high. Remove pomegranate seeds from pomegranate and add to pan. Dissolve cornstarch into 2 Tbsp of water. Once dissolved add to pan. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and serve as soon as sauce thickens. Serve warm.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Blue Ribbon Chili

I created this chili eight years ago. I improve it a little bit every year. It is my absolute favorite chili - other chili just doesn't compare. It's sweet, meaty, tangy, savory and chunky. It makes a lot, we use the leftovers as an enchilada filling. So yummy!!!!

Blue Ribbon Chili
  • 5 cups dry pinto beans
  • 20 cups water
  • 3 lbs ground turkey
  • 1 lb bacon (I use turkey bacon)
  • 2 cups chopped red, green and yellow bell peppers
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 large tomatoes chopped
  • 4 cans tomato paste
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 3 1/2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp garlic
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • dash of ground red pepper

(Tip: If in a hurry it's okay to use canned pinto beans. I will use 4 cans of pinto and 4 cans of kidney beans. Also for a smokey flavor add 1 tbsp liquid smoke - found on the BBQ sauce isle)

Soak dried beans in 20 cups of water over night or for 24 hours. Drain. Bring 20 cups of water to a boil and boil beans for 1 1/2 hours. Meanwhile cook ground turkey with 1/2 tsp garlic, 1/2 tsp cumin and 3 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce. Cook bacon until crisp. Chop bacon. Add to crock pot with beans and ground turkey. Add tomato paste. Add a little water 1/2 can at a time if chili is too thick. Remember the chili will simmer and liquid will cook out. Add ketchup, brown sugar, tomatoes, onions, peppers, salt, chili powder, red pepper, 1 tsp cumin ans 1/2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce.

Simmer in crock pot on high for 2 hours. Top with crumbled bacon, shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream.

Winter Berry Cider

This is a delicious change from the traditional apple cider. It's a little more tart but nonetheless delicious!! My told me to make a cider from cranberry-apple juice. Here is what I came up with!!

Winter Berry Cider

  • 1 jug of apple juice
  • 1 can frozen cran-apple juice
  • 2 cans water
  • 2 cups fresh raspberries
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp allspice
Mix together juice, water and spice. Simmer in crock pot on high for 1 hour. Reduce heat to warm 30 minutes before serving. Add raspberries just before serving. Serve with gingerbread or ginger cookies.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Pumpkin Pancakes

I am all about easy recipes. This is a great way to make semi-homemade pancakes. You could use your own from scratch buttermilk recipe instead of the pancake mix, but I found that this way tastes just as good and saves more time. I created this after seeing an add for pumpkin pancakes at IHOP. I was tempted to treat out the family until my son said, “Mom, you could make that.” He was right.

The banana adds the perfect sweetness to the batter and these pancakes are very heavy and filling. I think they would also taste great with chocolate chips in them – for a fun twist.

Pumpkin Pancakes

  • · ¼ box buttermilk pancake mix
  • · 1 can pumpkin pie puree
  • · ½ banana mashed
  • · ½ cup brown sugar
  • · 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • · Milk
  • · Water

Blend pancake mix, banana and pumpkin together. Add brown sugar and spice. Add equal parts of milk and water 1 cup at a time until mixture is runny like pancake batter. In a hot skillet add batter ¼ cup at a time for medium sized pancakes. As soon as pancakes bubble they are ready to flip. Serve with a drizzle of carmel sauce and maple syrup. Whipped cream, banana slices and pecans are optional.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Orange Dreamsicle Cake

I created this cake for my husband's 30th birthday. I combined his three favorite flavors - vanilla, raspberry and orange in to one delicious desert. It's luscious, creamy and dreamy. My mom said it is the best cake she has ever tasted and demanded it become a regular treat at family parties. Enjoy!

Orange Dreamsicle Cake
  • 1 box Golden Vanilla cake mix
  • 1 16 oz container of cool whip
  • 1 8 oz pkg cream cheese
  • 1 cup powder sugar
  • 2 tsp orange extract
  • 10 drops red food coloring
  • 10 drops yellow food coloring
  • 1 envelop Knox gelatin
  • 1 cup apple juice divided
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup mandarin oranges
  • 1/2 cup raspberries
Make cake mix according to directions on box. Remove 1/4 of cake mix into separate bowl. Add food coloring and 1 tsp of orange extract.

Grease and flour an 8 inch cake pan. Pour 3/4 of the remaining white colored cake mix into pan (this will later be sliced into two halves) Spoon half of orange cake batter in large drops over top of batter. Take a butter knife and slice through horizontally and vertically to make pretty swirl design. Bake according to directions on box. Cool and remove. Take remaining batter and do the same. Cool and remove.

Once cakes are cooled take a string and use it to carefully slice through the larger cake into two even halves. Shave a little of the top as well so that is is flat. Take smaller cake and shave off the top as well. You should have three even sized cakes now.

Beat together cream cheese and powder sugar. Add 1 tsp orange extract and gently fold in cool whip with a spoon. Spread over each layer of cake and stack. Use remaining spread to frost cake. Smooth out rough edges with a wet butter knife.

Take a cookie cutter mold (circle or heart) and center on top of cake. Press down slightly. On stove bring 34 cup of apple juice to a boil. Take 1/4 cup of cold apple juice and dissolve envelope of gelatin over it. Once dissolved add boiling apple juice. Place in fridge for a few minutes to begin setting. Meanwhile decorate inside of cookie mold with berries. Then pour semi-solid gelatin over berries. Decorate top of cake with oranges. Place in the fridge 4 hours before removing cookie cutter. Serve chilled.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Ranch Chicken Strips

This is super easy and way delicious. My kids love this!!

Ranch Chicken Strips
  • 2 cups of crushed cornflakes
  • 1 tsp of dry basil
  • 3/4 cup of buttermilk ranch dressing
  • 1 pound of skinless, boneless chicken breast cut into thin strips
Lightly grease a cookie sheet or pan. In a shallow dish combine the cornflakes and basil. Place the salad dressing in a medium bowl. Dip chicken strips in dressing and coat both sides. Roll in cornflakes and set on baking sheet. Bake in a 425 degree oven for 12-15 minutes. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.

Chilled Orange Cider

I made this up for my daughter's baby blessing a couple years ago. It's the perfect Fall drink. It's sparkling, refreshing and is always a hit!

Chilled Orange Cider
  • 1 jug (56 oz) of Simply Apple Juice
  • 1/2 can frozen OJ concentrate
  • 2 liter bottle of Gingerale (or Sprite)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
Mix together and serve chilled.

Cream Filled Apple Cider Cupcakes

I created this recipe for a Halloween party. I love apple cider and I love cupcakes!

Cream Filled Apple Cider Cupcakes


  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 2 (1 serving) pkgs of instant apple cider (on hot chocolate isle)
  • 1 box of spice cake mix
  • 2 (1 serving) pkgs of instant apple cider (on hot chocolate isle)
  • 1 small tub of cool whip
  • 1 small pkg instant vanilla pudding
Make cake mix according to directions on box. Add apple cider to mix. Bake cup cakes according to directions. Meanwhile beat butter and softened cream cheese together. Add powder sugar and apple cider mix. Set aside. Mix filling ingredients together and set aside. Allow cupcakes to cool. With a spoon scoop out 1 - 1/2 inches of cupcake from the tops. Fill with cream filling. Frost with topping and refrigerate. (Tip - if you want to substitute the cream cheese frosting with the filling you can. Take your filling and add the apple cider mix to it and it will stiffen and make a nice topping as well.)

Tortellini Soup

I love this because it is light and filling - and so easy to make. If you don't have a lot of time, then this meal is for you. We make it all the time.

Tortellini Soup
  • 1 pkg stuffed tortellini (I use 4 cheese)
  • 2 boxes of beef broth
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Bring broth to a boil. Add tortellini and boil according to directions on package. You can add mushrooms or green onions if you like. It tastes great without them too. Top with shredded Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Virgin Pina Colada

The Pina Colada is my absolute most favorite drink. I have created my very own recipe for it that I am told is better than any restaurant version. I have to agree. Drink your heart out!!

Virgin Pina Colada

  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 1/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (sold on the Asian food isle - do not mistake for coconut juice)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp white sugar
  • Maraschino cherries
  • Fresh pineapple cored and sliced
Blend together all ingredients but cherries and pineapple. Serve topped with whipped cream, cherries and fresh pineapple on rim of glass. Fun to serve in hollowed out pineapple or coconut halves. (Tip: I have made a variation where I added fresh coconut and pineapple blended into the drink. My guests liked it better that way because it added even more flavor, but the coconut leaves a texture and I like mine to feel smooth. Your choice!)

Eclair Cake

This is so yummy!
I love eclairs but have never had the patience to make them (someday) this recipe is just as good. It tastes exactly like an eclair and you get more mouthfuls of filling than you would a typical eclair. I love it better than eclairs.

Eclair Cake

Cake Bottom
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 stick margarine
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 cups milk
  • 11 oz cream cheese
  • 2 pkgs (3 1/2 oz size)instant vanilla pudding
  • 1 carton (12 oz) whipped topping
  • chocolate syrup
Bring water and margarine to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and add flour. Stir until it forms a ball. Add eggs one at a time. Spread dough into a greased 9 X 13 inch pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Cool.

To make filling, blend milk with softened cream cheese. Mix in the dry pudding, stirring until thick. Spread over crust. (You will want to poke holes with a fork into the bubbles on your crust so that the crust is smooth).

Spread whipped topping over the pudding mixture and drizzle with chocolate syrup. Refrigerate for 4 hours before serving.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti

I really wish that I was into photography and had a nice camera so my pictures could do visual justice of these delicious recipes.

What I love about this recipe is that it's fun for the kids because it's served in squash bowls, and it's healthier and just as delicious as regular spaghetti. You don't have to be a fan of squash to love this, because it doesn't have that squashy taste and texture (which I love anyways).

We got ours from Day Farms in Layton (cheaper than the grocery stores and more fresh)

Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti

  • 1 large Spaghetti Squash
  • 4-6 medium tomatoes julienne cut
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 1 cup of sliced mushrooms
  • 1 lb ground turkey or hamburger
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp fresh basil
  • 1 Tbsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 bag Parmesan cheese
Set oven to 350 degrees. Slice spaghetti squash lengthwise in half. Scoop out the seeds and pulp. Place each side (cut side up) on a large baking pan with about an inch of water in the pan. Bake for 50 minutes.

Meanwhile in a skillet brown your meat. Add onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, oregano, basil and 1 tbsp butter. Cook until onions and mushrooms are tender. Stir in onion powder, garlic, salt and pepper.

When Squash is done. Take a large spoon and scoop out the inside. You should have nice long strands of spaghetti noodle looking squash. Place it all in the skillet and toss in with remaining butter and half bag of shredded Parmesan cheese. You should clean out the squash so just the shells are left behind. Cut the shells in half and place on serving platters. Scoop contents from skillet into the shells and top with more cheese.

Autumn Cupcakes

Okay, so there is really no secret to making cupcakes. I just had to share another one of the many ways you can use my frosting recipe I have posted before (Lemon Cream Cheese Whip). For the cupcakes above, I made the cream cheese whip then divided it in half. In one half I added vanilla and almond extract and left it white, in the other half I added the measurements below for orange extract and coloring. I spread the white topping on spice cake and the orange frosting on Halloween Confetti cake. They were fun and delicious!

Orange Cream Cheese Whip

  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon orange extract
  • 10 drops red food coloring
  • 10 drops yellow food coloring

Monday, September 27, 2010

Sticky Chicken

This is a classic recipe that I have in at least 4 cook books. Most everyone I know has tried this, but I have to include it because it is a favorite! I added my own touch to the recipe which was increasing and thickening the sauce and cooking it in a crock pot to get that juicy, tender, pull apart chicken. I then use the remaining sauce to serve over the rice and steamed vegetables.

Sticky Chicken

  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts
  • 1 jar of apricot jam
  • 1 pkg onion soup mix
  • 1 small bottle Russian salad dressing
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp corn starch
Mix together jam, soup and salad dressing. Dissolve corn starch into water and mix into sauce. Pour mixture over chicken in crock pot. Cook on high for an hour then simmer on low for 2-3 hours. (If you don't have time for a crock pot then bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until chicken is done).

Berry Pretzel Bliss

This is delicious, refreshing and addicting. A chilled, fruity, creamy, crunchy, concoction. A perfect marriage of sweet, juicy tartness and salty crunchy sweetness joined by a creamy, cool spread.

Berry Pretzel Bliss

  • 2 cups crushed pretzels
  • 6 tsp melted butter
  • 3 tsp sugar
  • 1 pkg cream cheese
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 8 oz Cool Whip
  • 2 large (packages of raspberry gelatin
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1/2 cup ice cubes
  • 1 pkg frozen berries (thawed)
Heat oven to 250 degrees. Mix together pretzels, melted butter and sugar. Grease a 9 X 13 inch pan. Pat pretzel mixture into bottom of pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Cool completely.

In a large bowl beat together cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Fold in cool whip gently with a spoon and spread over crust. In a large bowl dissolve gelatin and boiling water. Add cold water and ice. Stir in berries. Refrigerate until mixture begins to thicken. Spoon berry mixture over cream cheese mixture and refrigerate 4 hours.

Cancun Chicken Lime Soup

This is a 5 star soup for sure. No, it's not taco soup or anything like it. Not only is it savory and filling but every time we have it we lose weight. It has cheese and avocados and chips and is low calorie. This soup is addicting and you can't just have one bowl. Everyone who makes this says the same thing, "This is my favorite soup!" You have to try it to know what I am talking about.

Cancun Chicken Lime Soup

  • 1 1/2 qt chicken stock
  • 2 limes (just juice)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp Smokey Chipotle Tabasco Sauce
  • Salt & pepper
  • 2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 1/2 julienne cut onion
  • 1 Tbsp minced cilantro
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups julienne cut fresh tomatoes

Combine stock, lime juice, oregano, basil and sauce in a stock pot. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Simmer 15 minutes. Add chicken, tomatoes, onion and cilantro. Bring to a boil. Simmer 5 minutes. Adjust spice and seasoning to taste. Serve with shredded cheese, chips and sliced avocado. Serves 4.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Cocktail Dream Salad

This truly is a cocktail of everything. No, it is not low calorie either. I discovered this fruit salad recipe in an old ward cookbook and thought I would give it a try. It's really yummy. If you are not a fan of certain textures, I would leave out the coconut and the nuts to make it more smooth and creamy. If you like your fruit salads popping with flavor, I would use kiwi, mandarin oranges, chopped green apple and pineapple as the only fruit in the salad in addition to the Base ingredients. If you decide to follow the recipe the way it is below you will experience a sweet, creamy and rich flavored salad with a little bit to chew from the nuts and coconut. My husband thought it was perfect the way it is as below. He doesn't like tang, zip and flavor bursts like I do, which is why I would use kiwi, mandarin oranges, chopped green apple and pineapple instead of canned fruit cocktail if I had my way. Try it either way and let me know what you think!

Cocktail Dream Salad

  • 1 large container Cool Whip
  • 1 (8 oz) container of sour cream
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 can cherry pie filling
  • 1/2 bag colored mini marshmallows
  • 1 large can of pineapple tidbits or crushed, drained
  • 1/2 bag coconut (optional)
  • 1 can fruit cocktail, drained (optional)
  • Sliced bananas (optional)
  • 1 cup mixed nuts (optional)
  • Fruit of your choice
Mix cool whip, sour cream, and condensed milk until smooth. Add pie filling and pineapple, mix well. Add marshmallows and additional ingredients of your choice. Mix well. Chill for 1 hour. Makes 12 to 14 servings.

Crispy Fries & Savory Dip

This all American dish is really easy to make. My sister and I used to make this at college. I now use the Tater Twister machine to quickly slice my potatoes into curly fries. It's fun for the kids too. We serve our fries hot with a homemade burger and this time around with a fruit salad which I included the recipe for above.

To make the dinner fun and easy clean up, I use parchment paper and hamburger baskets to serve our burgers and paper hot dog holders for the fries. This is great for a homemade fast food, in-door, pic-nic!

Crispy Fries

  • 5-6 medium sized potatoes sliced into thin fries
  • 1 bottle of canola oil
  • lemon pepper
Quick tip: To cook faster and ensure more crispiness, boil your fries for 10 minutes before frying them. Then place in pot of boiling oil for 10-15 minutes. Otherwise place raw fries into boiling oil and fry for 30 minutes. The longer the better. It's not until the last 5-8 minutes that they become crispy. Remove with metal tongs or strainer into paper towel. Sprinkle lemon pepper and serve with dip.

Savory Fry Sauc

  • 2 Tbsp mayonaise
  • 1 Tbsp Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce
  • 1 Tbsp ketchup
Mix together and serve. Makes about 2 servings.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Potato Dumplings

Another great dish from my husband's homeland. You can serve these alone with a gravy or in a soup. They are super easy to make and very delicious.

Potato Dumplings

  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 8 large seasoned croutons
Bring large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and mash.

In a medium bowl combine 2 cups mashed potatoes with nutmeg, flour and egg. Using about 1/4 - 1/2 cup of mixture each, shape into dumplings. Press crouton into center of each dumpling and seal dough around it. Drop dumplings into boiling water or if making a soup drop into simmering broth, cover and cook 20 minutes. Do not remove lid while cooking. Top with sliced green onions (for soup) or serve with mushroom gravy.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

French Toast Souffle

This is so delicious and I have tasted different variations of it. I tweaked this recipe enough to make it the way I like it. The best part is the bubbly, golden, flaky and crumbly top!

This is perfect for a big family breakfast as it is so filling and feeds a lot and you can also serve it for desert like a bread pudding. Drizzle some caramel sauce over it and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

French Toast Souffle

  • 1 large loaf of cinnamon raisin bread, chopped
  • 12 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup butter divided
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup (divided)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 10 eggs
  • 3 cups Half & Half (I use fat free)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Cinnamon sugar
Place chopped bread in a well greased 13 X 9 inch glass pan. Sprinkle raisins over and toss in. Mix cream cheese, 1/2 cup butter and 1/4 cup of maple syrup until smooth. Spread over top of bread, leaving openings for egg mixture to pour through. Beat eggs, half & half, and 1/2 cup of maple syrup, 1/2 cup of brown sugar and teaspoon of cinnamon. Pour over bread and make sure all pieces are coated. Cover and refrigerate over night. Before putting in oven melt 1/2 cup of brown sugar and 1/2 cup of butter together and pour over top. Sprinkle a generous amount of cinnamon sugar over the top. Bake at 50 minutes at 350 degrees. Cut into squares and serve with maple syrup and a dob of whipped cream.