Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Popcorn With Almond Bark

Madelyn made us a wonderful New Year's Eve treat today (recipe from Amy). My mom was here and kept snitching some (supposably she doesn't eat sugar...), but she couldn't resist this one!

Here's what Madelyn did:
  • Pop 2 bags of microwave popcorn (she used the light butter kind)
  • Melt 4 squares of almond bark or white chocolate (you can always add more or less depending on how you like it)
  • Pour over popcorn, add sprinkles, and stir
I LOVE this popcorn. Thanks Madelyn!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Cookie Crust Cheesecake

Hi everybody! Today, I was at Marsha's and we decided to make a recipe she got from here.
It turned out pretty good and was soooooo easy. The only things we changed were cooking it a little bit longer (unfortunately, this made the cookie crust a little too overdone) and not putting the advised amount of cheesecake batter on the crust because there wasn't enough for 3 tablespoons in each cup.

Start by preheating the oven to 325 degrees F. Paper-line 12 muffin cups. Then, place a Heaping teaspoon of NESTLE TOLL HOUSE refrigerated Chocolate Chip cookie dough (this would probably be even better with home-made - we used generic brand)...

into each of the paper muffin cups

and bake in the oven for about10 to 12 minutes, or until
the dough has spread to the edges.

While it is baking, mix together 1 8oz. package of cream cheese,
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk, 1 large egg, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
in a medium bowl until smooth.

Take the cookies out of the oven when they are done and
spoon about TWO tablespoons of the mixture onto the little crusts.

Place the pan back into the oven and bake for another15 to 18 minutes or until set.
Next, (I think this is the hardest part) cool completely in the fridge for 1 hour.
Top with some cherry pie filling (or don't, if you prefer).

TA DA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
They look delicious and they tasted even better.

I personally thought they tasted better without the pie filling, as
I am not the world's largest fan of cherry with chocolate chip cookies.

Now, here's the full recipe:
  • 12 pieces Nestle Toll House Refrigerated Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
  • 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 can cherry pie filling
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Paper-line 12 muffin cups.
  2. Place one heaping teaspoon of cookie dough in each muffin cup.
  3. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until cookie has spread to the edge of the cup.
  4. Beat cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, egg, and vanilla extract in a medium bowl until smooth. Pour about 2 tablespoons of the mixture over each baked cookie.
  5. Bake for another 15 to 18 minutes (ours took 20-25 mins.) or until set. Cool completely in pan or on a wire rack. Top with pie filling and refrigerate for 1 hour.


Friday, December 26, 2008

Fresh-Peach Drop Cookies

These cookies are from Martha Stewart's Cookies book that Allison gave me for Christmas. She made these last night at my house. They turned out a little flat. I think it was because we used frozen peaches instead of fresh, which are much jucier. We should have added more flour. Anyway, they were yummy. They taste like peach cobbler. Alli left before they were done, so she didn't even get to try them.

2 C. plus 2 Tbsp. flour

3/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 C. (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 C. granulated sugar

1 large egg

1/2 tsp. vanilla

2 large ripe peaches (about 8 oz. each)

peeled, pitted, and chopped into 1/4 inch pieces (1 3/4 C.)

1/3 C. peach jam or preserves

2 Tbsp. fine sanding sugar

1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 375. Whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda.

2. Beat together sugar and butter until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add egg and vanilla. Mix until well blended, about 1 minute. Add flour mixture and mix until combined. Add diced peaches and peach jam, mix until just combined.

3. Using a 1 1/2 inch ice cream scoop or a tablespoon, drop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing 2 inches apart. (chill remaining dough between batches).

4. Combine sanding sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle each cookie with 1/8 tsp. mixture. Bake cookies until golden brown and just set, 11 to 13 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to rack to cool completely.

I left out all of the unnecessary directions, like "put your paddle on the mixer" and stuff like that. Sorry Martha.

Happy Birthday Brant!!!

Here's his 9th birthday cake. Don't look too close, it was a quicky. But he had fun helping design the battlefield. And please don't judge too harshly my messy kitchen on the day after Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Merry Christmas Everyone!!

We got so much snow today so of course the boys had to go out in the freezing cold to make their snowmen. Hope everyone has a happy Christmas.

Curly Dogs

This is a really simple thing to make for lunch.

Hot dogs

Rhodes frozen rolls (you need one rolls for each hot dog)

Unthaw the rolls until they are still a little cold. I put mine in a plastic bag in the microwave for about a minute. Then roll out into a "snake" and wrap around the hot dog. Place on a cookie sheet that is sprayed and bake for 20 min. and 350.

Au Gratin Sausage Skillet

This was really simple to make and it tastes pretty good to.

1 Pound fully cooked Polish sausage, sliced
2 TBS. vegetable oil
1 package au gratin potatoes
2 1/2 c. water (I had to add a little bit more)
1 package frozen California blend vegetables
1 to 2 c. shredded cheese

In a skillet, cook sausage in oil until lightly browned and drain. Add potatoes with contents of sauce mix and water (don't add the milk and butter that the package says). Cover and cook over medium heat for 18-20 min. stirring occasionally. Add vegetables, cover and cook for 8-10 min. or until potatoes and vegetables are tender. Sprinkle with cheese, let it melt and serve.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Salad and Dressing

I got this salad idea from Jennifer, a friend, and the poppy seed dressing recipe from Jen my sister. We loved it!
For the salad:
  • spinach
  • sliced almonds
  • craisins
  • mozarella

Poppy Seed Dressing:

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons dry mustard

2 teaspoons salt

2/3 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 medium purple onion

2 Tablespoons poppy seeds

2 cups oil

Put everything but poppy seeds and oil in blender. Add 2 cups oil slowly while blender is running. Stir in poppy seeds.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Blackberry Cobbler

This cobbler recipe is yummy! I actually like it better with blueberries (which is what the original recipe calls for), but blackberries were good as well. It comes from Byron's Dutch Oven Recipes (Jen gave it to me), but I baked it in the oven at 350 until it was golden brown and a toothpick came out clean. I should have timed it, but I know it was more than 30 minutes and less than an hour - good luck!
Blueberry Cobbler

1 stick butter
4 cups fresh blueberries or (24 oz.) frozen (thawed)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. fresh grated lemon zest
1 tsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup water
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups milk

Melt butter in a 12" Dutch oven using 10-12 briquettes bottom heat. (Melt it anyway you want, pour into bottom of 9x13)

Wash fresh blueberries (or blackberries) and drain. In a large bowl combine blueberries, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, 1 tsp. of the cinnamon and water; stir to coat blueberries. Let rest.

In a separate bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt; stir to mix. Add milk and beat until batter is smooth. Pour batter over melted butter -- do not stir. Carefully spoon blueberries over top of the batter -- do not stir. Sprinkle remaining cinnamon over top.

Cover and bake using 10-12 briquettes bottom and 18-20 briquettes top for 45 to 60 minutes rotating oven and lid 1/4 turn in opposite directions every 10 minutes until crust is golden brown. (Bake in oven at 350 until golden brown and toothpick comes out clean.)
Serve topped with whipped cream or serve with vanilla ice cream.
Serves: 10

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


This is my roll recipe that I use. I got it from a friend in MA. Everyone has their own roll recipe, but I love mine!

Rolls (I almost always double it)

1 c. milk (warmed in microwave)

2 T sugar

1/2 T yeast

2 T margarine or butter

2 to 3 cups flour

3/4 tsp. salt

Combine milk, sugar, margarine, and yeast in mixer and let stand until yeast starts to become activated. Add flour and sald and knead until just slightly sticky. Let rise until double in size. Roll out into circle. Spread butter on circle and cut into 12 triangles. Roll into crescent rolls and let rise again. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes.

Fresh Apple Cake

(no picture sorry)

I LOVE this cake. It's in Grandma's cookbook, but my mom's is a little different and that's what I used.

1 c. shortening (butter or margarine works too)
2 c. sugar
2 eggs

Cream together then mix rest of ingredients together in separte bowl with apples and add to creamed mixture:

2 c. flour
2 tsp. soda
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cloves 5 c. peeled and grated apples
1 c. chopped nuts (pecans)

Pour into 9x13 pan and bake @ 350 for 40-45 minutes

Top each peice with Nutmeg Sauce:

1 c. sugar
1 T cornstarch
1 c. water

Cook until water is boiling and clear. Remove from heat and add:

1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 T margarine
1 tsp. vanilla

So yummy!

PW Chicken Spaghetti

Here is a recipe that I've made a couple of times that we really like. It comes from the Pioneer Woman.

2 c. cooked chicken
2 can cream of mushroom soup
2 c grated sharp cheddar cheese (I don't think i used sharp)
1/4 c. finely diced green pepper
1/2 c. finely diced onion
1-4 oz jar diced pimento drained
3 cups dry spaghetti, broken into 2 inch peices
2 cups reserved chicken broth from pot that you cooked chicken in
1 teaspoon Lawry's season salt
1/8 - 1/4 tsp. ceyenne pepper
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 additional cup cheddar cheese for top

Cook 1 cut up fryer and pick out enough meat to make two cups (I just cooked chicken breast or thighs). Cook spaghetti in same chicken broth until al dente. Do not overcook. When spaghetti is cooked, combine with remaining ingredients except additional cup of cheese.

Place mixture in casserole dish and top with remaining cheese. She says you store this for up to 6 months in the freezer (I don't have room in mine!) or cover and store in refrigerator for 2 days or bake immediately and 350 for 45 minutes or until bubbly. If cheese starts to get too done you can cover with tinfoil.
Sorry, my pictures are never very good, I always forget to take them until it is half gone and this was actually the second day!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Southern Sweet Potatoes

Southern Sweet Potatoes
3 C. mashed sweet potatoes
1 tsp. vanilla
½ C. milk
¼ tsp. salt
¼ C. butter
½ tsp. cinnamon
1/3 C. sugar
2 beaten eggs

Mix together well

Top with:
¾ C. brown sugar
1 C. chopped pecans
1/3 C. butter

Bake at 350° for 30 minutes.

Friday, December 5, 2008


I know this isn't much of a recipe, but it's one of our favorite things during the holiday season!

Equal parts eggnog & seven up
Enough ice cream to make a thick shake.
Blend together and enjoy!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

potaTOES and other Thanksgiving treats!

I hope everyone's Thanksgiving was fantastic!

I'm sure you're wondering why the crazy title...keep reading. I assure you, it will be worth your time.

Thank you Amy for the Pilgrim Hats...see below picture (yes that is a tic tac)

My plate of food. Delicious. If you need any of the recipes...just post a comment and I'm sure any of my sisters would be more than happy to post the recipe as I am currently studying for a big test, and you're all so very lucky I took the time to post these. My favorites: Sweet Potato Casserole (the kids thought it was pie) and the stuffing/dressing (whatever you would like to call it).

Thanks Steve for the fun Hay Ride! Here he is driving the tractor. I was sitting right behind him on the trailer!

AND HERE THEY ARE! Thanks Cam for being such a good sport for this picture! I offered to lick them off...but she wiped them off before I had a chance! Darn!

For those that want to know, the fruit dip is made by mixing yogurt and cool whip in whatever proportions you so desire. I chose 1 cup of yoplait yogurt to half a regular size container of cool whip.

Pecan Pie

Before the pie recipe, just had to show the lovely veggie tray and fruity star that Alli spoiled us with while we made Thanksgiving dinner. It kept us energized to keep on cookin'! Her fruit dip (not in the picture) was cool whip + yogurt. I think you can use as much yogurt in the cool whip as you want to, but I'll let her type the exact amounts she used in this post when she gets a chance.

This Pecan Pie was a hit at Thanksgiving. Not because I made it, just because it is a very good recipe. Of course, I used my favorite pie crust: Jen's pie crust recipe.

Pecan Pie
1 unbaked pie crust
1 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup corn syrup
1/3 cup melted butter (regular, salted)
3 eggs, beaten
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 heaping cup chopped pecans
Mix sugar, brown sugar, salt, corn syrup, butter, eggs, and vanilla together in a bowl. Pour chopped pecans in the bottom of the pie shell. Pour syrup mixture over the top. Bake pie at 350 degrees for 50 minutes, being careful not to burn pecans and crust.
Allow to cool for several hours or overnight.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Hot spiced apple cider

6 cups apple cider
1/4 cup real maple syrup
2 cinnamon sticks
6 whole cloves
6 whole allspice berries
1 orange peel, cut into strips
1 lemon peel, cut into strips

If you don't have all the fancy ingredients to start out with it seems like a pricey little drink but think of it this way-- it'll be really inexpensive next time you make it!
1. Pour the apple cider and maple syrup into a large stainless steel saucepan.
2. Place the cinnamon sticks, cloves, allspice berries, orange peel and lemon peel in the center of a washed square of cheesecloth; fold up the sides of the cheesecloth to enclose the bundle, then tie it up with a length of kitchen string. (or if you don't have a cheesecloth I used some tea bags I found at the health food store. The bags I found are sold in packs of 100 empty tea bags. I had to use a few to fit all the ingredients.) Drop the spice bundle into the cider mixture.
3. Place the saucepan over moderate heat for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the cider is very hot but not boiling.
4. Remove the cider from the heat. Discard the spice bundle. Ladle the cider into mugs

This was so good and stronger than I thought it was going to be so be sure to not cook it too long. The way it made my house smell was almost better than drinking it!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Ham and Noodle Casserole

3 TBS. butter
2 TBS. flour
1 c. milk
1 c. Velveeta cut into cubes
1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. diced cooked ham
1 1/2 c. cooked macaroni noodles
1 c. frozen peas
1/4 c. bread crumbs
1/2 tsp. dried parsley flakes

In a pan, melt 2 TBS. butter, stir in flour until smooth. Add the milk and bring to a boil over medium heat, cook and stir for 2 min. Remove from heat and stir in the cheese and salt until cheese is melted.
Add the ham, noodles and peas. pour into a greased baking dish. Melt remaining butter, add bread crumbs and parsley. Sprinkle over casserole. Bake uncovered at 350 for 30 min.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving Pictures - Recipes to Follow As Soon As We Can Pull Ourselves Away From The Leftovers

Hey Cousins -- We want to see your Thanksgiving pictures and recipes, too!

Cranberry Apple Pie, Caramel Apple Pie, Pecan Pie, Pumpkin Pie, Vanilla Cream Pie, and Cheesecake (we have pie issues.)
Kaitlyn wins the photography award -- we all loved this picture she took of her mom's pie.

Jen's cute pie crust on her apple-cranberry pie.

My wonderful sisters "puttin' on the dog." I love being the photographer so I'm not in very many pictures. (Even though I use a simple, cheap camera.)

Amy surprised us all with homemade fall aprons. We loved them and it was fun to be matchy-matchy while cooking up a feast. We haven't matched like that since mom used to make us homemade Easter Dresses.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Candy Cane Brownies

I saw these candy cane kisses in the store and knew they would look cute on something. The sad thing is I didn't have time for the brownies to cool before I had to cut them, put them on a plate, and take them somewhere. The kisses melted and didn't look cute anymore. Next time, I'll make them earlier and refrigerate them before cutting.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Shredded Wheat - Fried in Butter!

Last weekend we were able to go visit my in-laws. My mother-in-law is a great cook and made us something new for breakfast that we really liked (something that her mom used to make when she was a kid) - and our kids ate it without hesitation (miracle!) It is not new to her - her mom made it for her when she was a kid.

You buy some shredded wheat - the big kind, not the bite size kind (which can be hard to find in some stores.) Warm some milk in a pan, and soak the shredded wheat in it just long enough to soak all the way to the middle. Then fry the shredded wheat in a pan with some melted butter until the outside of the shredded wheat is golden brown. The outside will be crispy, and the inside will still be wet with the milk.

To serve, put shredded wheat in your bowl, sprinkle with sugar, and top with warm milk and fresh fruit.

Carmels (Grandma Clouse)

2 cups sugar

3/4 cup white corn syrup

2 cups cream

1/2 cup butter

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup chopped pecans

Combine sugar, syrup, butter and 1/2 of the cream. Bring to boil stirring constantly. Add the other cup of cream a little at a time so you don't stop the boiling. Boil to hard ball stage (254 degrees F) still stirring constantly. Be patient and consistent. I learned the hard way that candy is easy to mess up! Try some in a little water to form a firm ball. Pour into buttered, glass, mid-sized cake pan. When completely cool take out by hand and cut into pieces with kitchen scissors. Wrap individual pieces in wax paper.

These have always been one of my favorites but this is the first time I attempted them on my own. I botched the first batch but I tried again and the second time they came out perfect! Totally worth the effort.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Cranberry Relish

(Sorry I don't have a picture - it's very pretty!)

This is the only kind of cranberry sauce that I like! (except my mom's of course). It's very similar and tastes the same (hers is in the Clouse Cookbook).
My lunch ladies and I make a big batch every year to share. One of the ladies I worked with a few years ago gave us the recipe.

1 sm. pkg. cherry or raspberry jello
2 cups boiling water
Mix and set in the fridge to jell (not totally set)

Grind together: (as fine or chunky as you like- I do it pretty fine)
1 1/2 cups whole cranberries
1 cup diced apples
1 small can crushed pineapple
1 orange (with some of the rind)
1 c. sugar over mix and let set until dissolved.
Stir in jello. Mix well.
Freeze in baggies.
(add more or less of whatever you want - you can't mess it up!)

(We 6x the recipe! It made about 32 cups)

(My sister in law thought it was jam one time - they ate it for breakfast on toast)

Mrs. Fields Eggnog Cookies

These were good - I found the recipe on Picky Palate. The dough was so gooey that I added more flour. I searched the internet for other eggnog cookie recipes and found one that was exactly the same, except it called for 1/4 Cup more of flour. They don't have a strong eggnog flavor. You have to know its in there to taste it.

Mrs. Fields Eggnog Cookies

2 ¼ C. flour I had to add more - the dough was gooey
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 ¼ C. sugar
¾ C. SALTED butter, room temp.
½ C. eggnog
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 egg yolks
1 Tablespoon nutmeg for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg; mix well with a wire whisk and set aside. In a large bowl, cream sugar and butter with an electric mixer. Add eggnog, vanilla, and egg yolks and beat at medium speed until smooth. Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed just until combined.

Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased baking sheets, 1” apart. Sprinkle lightly with nutmeg or skip this step and sprinkle on the nutmeg after you ice the cookies. Bake for 23-25 minutes or until bottoms turn light brown. Transfer to cool flat surface immediately with spatula.

Eggnog Icing

3 C. powdered sugar
¼ C. softened butter or margarine
1/3 C. commercial eggnog (or more depending on consistency)

In small mixer bowl, beat powdered sugar and butter or margarine until well-blended. Gradually beat in eggnog until icing is smooth. Makes about 1 ½ Cups.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Barbie Cake

Here is Callie's BEAUTIFUL barbie cake. It's her birthday today!!!

I'm no professional, but this was easy! I baked it in a round glass bowl for as long as it said to bake a bundt cake on the cake mix box plus about 10 more minutes. It takes about half of the batter. The rest I made into cupcakes.

I got this barbie a few years ago at Walmart. It has a pointy stick thing instead of legs. I used canned strawberry frosting, I just put half in a bowl and put blue and a little red food coloring in it to make purple, then used the rest of the pink for the flowers.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Pretzel Jello

This is a delicious dessert. I was just asked to make three pans of it for our ward's enrichment. I got this recipe from a cook-off at work about 12 years ago. It was the recipe that won.

2 2/3 C. (10 oz. bag) stick pretzels, crushed
(I always look for the pretzels with the least amount of salt, but some is necessary)
1 1/2 C. butter
12 oz cream cheese, softened
1 ¼ C. sugar
12 oz cool whip, thawed
2 C. pineapple juice
6 oz. box strawberry jello
16 oz bag frozen strawberries

Prepare 9X13 pan with non-stick cooking spray. Mix pretzels and butter. Spread in pan. Bake 10 minutes at 400°. Mix sugar and cream cheese, spread over warm pretzel crust. Chill in freezer till pan edges are cool. Spread cool whip over cream cheese, high along edges. Cook pineapple juice over med-high heat, bring to a boil. Remove from heat, stir in jello till dissolved. Add frozen berries. When berries have thawed, mash them. Let berry mixture chill in fridge till thickened. Pour berry mixture over cool whip. Set in fridge.