Friday, October 31, 2008

Carmel Rolls, Monkey Bread, or whatever you want to call it

My friend, Sheri, asked me for this recipe. She made it this week and here is her picture. This is a breakfast my family has every Christmas morning. It is so yummy! Glad you liked it, Sheri.

18 frozen dinner rolls (Rhodes)

½ C. brown sugar
1 small pkg. regular butterscotch pudding mix(not instant, it has to be cook and serve kind)
½ C. melted margarine
(optional) sprinkle cinnamon on top

½ C. chopped nuts

Place frozen rolls in greased Bundt pan. Sprinkle on dry ingredients. Pour melted margarine over all. Cover with foil, then a dishcloth. Let stand on counter overnight. In the morning, bake at 325º for 20 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes then invert onto plate. Best when served warm.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

French Dip Sandwiches

Here is a delicious recipe Amy got from my sister-in-law a couple of years ago (and by the way, there is a similar one on My Kitchen Cafe.) I have been relying on my crock pot a lot lately because I have jury duty and was chosen to be on a jury for a 2 week trial -- almost done! By the way...THANKS to all my friends who have so generously offered to help watch the kids. Jen watched them one day last week, and they were so bad that she decided to have surgery just to have an excuse not to watch them anymore. (ha ha)

Back to food now - So I used a roast that wasn't London Broil and it worked just fine, although I had to cook it forever on low (Sunday night at 9 pm until Monday evening) and finally it was tender enough.

The recipe doesn't say how big of a roast, so you can experiment with how big, how much flavor (stick to one 1 oz. packet if you're scared or have a smaller roast!), etc. Here's the recipe, and what I did in purple.

French Dip Meat

London Broil (my roast was about 4 lbs)
1 can beef broth (I used two)
1 pkg. dry Au Jus seasoning (normal packets are 1 oz, I dumped a little over 2 oz. in out of a big packet. It was very flavorful, but luckily not too strong.)
1 pkg. dry Zesty Italian dressing
a little water (I didn't do any water)

Cook in crockpot until tender. Serve on rolls with mozzarella cheese and sauteed bell peppers and onions.

Sour Cream Cutouts

Yesterday we decorated sugar cookies with our friends, the Laytons. It was so much fun, and we got some yummy and cute cookies, too. These are my favorite sugar cookies because they are soft and I always make cream cheese frosting for them. Marsha originally got this recipe from someone a few years ago.

1 C. butter
2 C. sugar
3-4 eggs

Mix and add:
1 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. sour cream

Blend and add
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
5-6 C. flour

Refrigerate dough for a couple of hours or overnight. Roll out and cut into shapes. Bake 8-10 minutes at 375°.

1 ½ C. butter
12 oz. cream cheese
1 ½ tsp. vanilla
1 ½ bags powdered sugar

Ding Dongs

This recipe is from the Clouse House cookbook. You start with the Texas sheet cake recipe:

2 cups flour 2 cubes margarine 1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups sugar 1 cup water 2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt 3 Tbsp cocoa 1 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 375. Combine flour, sugar and salt into a bowl.
Bring margarine, water and cocoa to boil in a sauce pan. Add to flour and sugar mixture. Beat well. Add the sour cream, eggs, and baking soda. Mixture will be thin. Pour into paper lined muffin tins. (They are easier to frost if you only fill about 2/3 of the way)
Bake for 20-25 minutes. (mine were done in 20)

Cream filling: Boil 1 cup milk and 3 Tbsp flour until about as thick as white gravy (stirring constantly with wire whisk). Set aside and completely cool. In the mean time add 1 cup sugar and 2 cubes softened margarine to a bowl and beat until fluffy and doubled in volume (about 10 min). When cool add milk and flour mixture to sugar and margarine mixture. Add 1 tsp vanilla. Beat well. Put filling in decorating bag with cake decorating tip. When cup cakes are completely cool poke decorating tip in each cup cake top and squeeze until top of cake starts to poof. (I always end up having left over filling so don't freak out if you do too!) Frost with

chocolate frosting for TX Sheet cake:

1 cube margarine, 6 Tbsp milk, 4 Tbsp cocoa. Boil ingredients until bubbling. Mix 1 box powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. (TX sheet cake recipe calls for 1 cup chopped pecans but for this ding dong recipe I just leave the frosting plain. Also the frosting is pretty runny because it is a warm frosting that you use right away. I just spooned the bulk of it on then drizzled it over the top to make it look prettier! These end up being fork cupcakes because they're just not very user friendly when you try to pick them up, but they are totally worth it!)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Chocolate Cake in Crockpot

I saw this recipe awhile ago on and I'm just getting around to making it. It won't be done until 4, but it's making my house smell deliciously chocolatey! If it turns out, I might post a picture later! I substituted vanilla pudding since I didn't have chocolate, but everything else I already had! Love it when I have everything for a recipe!

1 package chocolate cake mix
1 container of sour cream (8 oz)
1 cup chocolate morsels
1 cup water
4 eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 package instant chocolate pudding mix
Spray crock pot with nonstick cooking spray. Mix cake mix, sour cream, chocolate morsels, water, egss, oil and pudding mix in a bowl by hand. Pour into crock pot. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours or high 3-4 hours. Makes about 12 servings.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


My friend Crystal had told me about these easy-to-makes scones a while ago, but I just barely got around to making them tonight. You don't even have to make any dough! You buy Rhode's Rolls, let them thaw, roll them out, fry 'em up. We liked them very much. I ate an extra one in honor of Jen, who wished she could come over and have one.
Another friend gave me a recipe for scones that looks REALLY good as well. I'm hoping to try them as soon as I have time. I'm too burnt out this weekend to do much cooking, but hopefully in a week or two here I'll give it a go and post it!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Creamy Ranch Chicken

I got this recipe from I printed it a few months ago thinking it looked good and finally got around to trying it tonight. It was yummy! I found that it was too dry, so I quickly whipped up another batch of sauce (just the creamy part, not with more bacon and chicken, that would have taken too long) and it was way better. I may have used too many noodles? Anyway, Steve and the kids all loved it. And the best part was that it was so easy to make!

6 slices bacon
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into bite size pieces (I used a jar of the chicken I canned)
2 Tablespoons flour
2 Tablespoons ranch dry salad dressing mix
1 1/4 cups milk
3 cups dried medium noodles (I just used one package of egg noodles)
1 Tablespoon finely shredded Parmesan cheese (I forgot this part, it was still good)

1. Start your water for your pasta. Cook noodles according to package directions.
2. Cut bacon into narrow strips. In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Drain bacon on paper towels; discard all but 2 Tablespoons drippings. (I always cook my bacon in the oven, I hate frying bacon)
3. In the same skillet, cook chicken in reserved drippings until no longer pink, turning to brown evenly. I just basically warmed my chicken in the bacon grease since it was already cooked. Sprinkle flour and salad dressing mix over chicken; stir well to coat the chicken. Stir in milk. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 1 minute more. Stir in bacon.
4. Servce the chicken over the noodles. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Enjoy.

The part I ended up making more of is the milk, flour, and ranch mix. I just whisked the flour and ranch into the milk and cooked until thick and poured it on.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Peanut Butter Fudge Cake

I'm posting this for Jen. She got the recipe from Sister's Cafe: http://
This picture is from Sister's Cafe, but I'm sure Maddie's was just as lovely. This is the email Jen sent me:

Madelyn made this cake today and it is pretty yummy. Very similar to
peanut butter brownies. In fact, she spread the peanut butter and
then drizzled the frosting just like when making peanut butter brownies instead
of letting the cake cool and then frosting it. Madelyn added less powdered
sugar, maybe only 2 or 3 cups, because we don't like really thick
frosting. I don't know for sure how much she added because I wasn't home
and Braden was helping her. And she cooked it in a 10x15 glass pan for
about 20 minutes. We like the cake part thinner. But I'm sure it
would still be yummy in a 9x13 pan, too.

2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups sugar
1 cup butter
1/4 cup cocoa (I use dutch )
1 cup water
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
chocolate frosting

Combine first 3 ingredients in large bowl and set aside. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat, stir in cocoa. Add water, buttermilk, add eggs, stirring well. Cook stirring well until mixture boils. Remove from heat, add to flour mixture and stir until smooth. Stir in vanilla. Pour batter into a greased and floured 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully spread peanut butter ( I heated it in the microwave for a minute to soften it) over warm cake. Cool completely. Spread with chocolate frosting. Cut into squares. 20-25 servings.

Chocolate Frosting
1 (16oz) package powdered sugar
1/4 cup cocoa (I use dutch)
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
Bring cocoa, butter and buttermilk to a boil in a small saucapn over medium heat, stirring constantly. Pour hot mixture into a bowl with the sugar, stirring until smooth. stir in vanilla.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Pizza Bolognese

Pronunciation: \ˌbō-lə-ˈn(y)ēz, -ˈn(y)āz, -ˈn(y)ēs, -ˈn(y)ās; -ˈn(y)ā-zē, -sē\
Function: adjective
Date: 1754
1 : of, relating to, or characteristic of Bologna, Italy
2 : being or prepared with tomato sauce flavored with meat

I was over at Marsha's house and tasted some spaghetti sauce she had made and it was fantastic! The recipe she used was Spaghetti Bolognese from the Picky Palate blog, who got it from a William Sonoma's catalog. I told her this sauce would be great on a pizza, and since she needed me to stay the night at her house since Jon was out of town it was the perfect opportunity to make it together. I figured it would be good, but it was actually MOUTH-WATERING!!!


12 strips uncooked bacon, cut into ½ inch pieces
(we cooked the bacon and then crumbled it)
1 medium onion, diced
1 lb ground beef
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 26 oz jar Classico Pasta Sauce (or other favorite brand, or homemade)
1 ¼ Cups half and half (can also use regular milk)
(we used milk and it tastes just fine)
¼ Cup parmesan cheese

Cook bacon in a large dutch oven or large pot over medium heat until browned and crisped. With a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Set aside. Discard all but 2 Tbsp’s of bacon grease. Saute onion in remaining bacon grease for 5minutes, or until softened. Add beef, salt and pepper; crumble beef and cook until browned, about 5-8 more minutes. Stir in cooked bacon pieces. Reduce heat to low and stir in pasta sauce, half and half, and parmesan cheese. Stir to combine; cover with lid and let simmer for at least 20 minutes, or up to an hour.

Here is the recipe for the Pizza Dough we grew up on:---Thanks Mom!

2 C. flour
2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
1 C. water
1 Tbsp. yeast

Mix yeast and sugar with water. Add other ingredients. Knead 5 minutes. Rise for 15-30 minutes. Roll out, press into greased pan stretching to fit the pan. (Optional: sprinkle greased pan with corn meal---I don't ever do this but it's an option). Add toppings, and then bake at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Halloween Fun

There are so many fun ideas on the internet for Halloween. I wish I could do all of them for my kids, but I'm sure that won't happen. I think I can at least handle shaping a Rhode's roll into a bone before cooking! I just thought I would compile a list of places to look for Halloween food ideas - the picture I chose for each one is just one of many each of these sites has.

Martha Stewart (just don't be sad if yours isn't as pretty)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Grandma Clouse's Chicken Chowder

Now that the cold weather is coming, don't forget about Grandma's yummy Chicken Chowder. I'm sure all the cousins have this recipe, but for everyone else here it is.

Grandma Clouse's Chicken Chowder
4 to 6 slices bacon, fried until crisp
1 cup chopped onion
4 cups cubed potatoes
2 cups chicken broth
2 pkg frozen corn
1/4 cup margarine
2 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 cups cooked chicken, cubed
2 cups milk
1 cup cream

In frying pan, saute bacon until crisp. Saute onion in bacon grease; add potatoes and chicken broth. Bring to boil; simmer until potatoes are cooked.

In medium saucepan, combine corn, butter, salt, pepper, cooked chicken, and milk. Simmer and stir occasionally for 5 minutes. Add to potato mixture along with cream. Cook, stirring occasionally but don't boil. Crumble bacon on top.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Witch Cupcakes

It was my turn for preschool this week, so I made witch cupcakes with the kids. I got the idea from Martha Stewart.

Chocolate Cupcakes

Frosting died green

Hat: Upside down sugar cone, marTha used chocolate sugar cones (marSha couldn't find chocolate and didn't want to drag kids to anymore stores)

Hair: Black licorice, marTha used licorice laces--she has people that can probably shop for her (marSha didn't find them, of course, so had to cut black licorice with a knife.)

Eyes: 24 brown mini M&Ms (I used Reese's baking bits)

Nose: Candy Corn

Martha's had angry eyebrows made from the licorice, I forgot that part. Go see her picture.

Pumpkin Pie - not from a can

Okay, first of all where are all the Spam eaters? Spam lovers unite! I can't believe Spam is losing. It has a long shelf life, I think.

Here I go again - posting about something I didn't make, but I did eat it and can testify it was good! On my birthday, my dear OLDER sister, Jen (who happens to be my same age for a couple more weeks), made me a pumpkin pie. For a while now she has been making her pumpkin pies starting with a pumpkin. As stated by my friend, "She's making us look bad." That's alright as long as she shares her pies - it was so delicious. She also happens to make my favorite pie crust, so I'll put that recipe on here, too.

Cooking a Pumpkin

Cut whole pumpkin in half, scoop out seeds. Don't worry if you don't get every last bit of string. Put pumpkin halves face down on a cookie sheet, bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until fork-tender. Let them cool, scrape it all out and puree it with your food processor or blender. You may have to add a little bit of water when puree-ing (?) it. She happened to cook 3 small pumpkins and had to add about 3 Tbsp of water to get it to where it would puree. Use in place of regular canned pumpkin.

Pumpkin Pie

Duncan Ward Cookbook, Bert Rapier
Mix together:

3 3/4 C pumpkin (real or canned!)

2 1/4 C. sugar

1 1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. ginger
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 Tbsp. flour

Add and mix well:
6 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 C. evaporated milk

For best results, use fresh pumpkin, and before pouring into pie shells, mix in blender.

Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 35 minutes, or until center of pies are set. Yield: 3 (9 inch) pies.

Jen's Pie Crust

2 C. flour
¼ C. sugar
¼ tsp. salt
2 sticks cold unsalted butter
¼ C. cold water

Combine flour, sugar, and salt. Cut in butter in a food processor or by hand. Add the cold water and refrigerate pie crust dough for about 10 minutes. Roll out, making sure to keep the dough cold at all times. Refrigerate the uncooked pie for 15-20 minutes before baking. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes, then reduce to 350° for 50-60 minutes more, until the crust is golden and the filling juices that are bubbling through the vents and edges are thick, glossy, and slow. Put a baking sheet underneath pie to catch any drips. Cover the edges with foil during most of baking to prevent burning.

Grammy's Buttermilk Pie

1 cup buttermilk
1 3/4 cubes margarine
1/4 cup flour
pinch salt
6 eggs well beaten
3 1/4 cups sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 cup coconut -or-
1 cup chopped pecans

Melt margarine and add remaining ingredients. Mix well, add either coconut, pecans or half of each. Pour into 2 pie shells. Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour.

This is one of my favorite pies!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Upside-Down Apple Cake

I found this recipe at Stephanie's Kitchen (her picture is better), and it turned out really well. I only got to eat a tiny little corner of it because it was for someone else. Don't worry, it was for a friend who doesn't mind getting cakes with a tiny corner missing! It was a great fall/apple/the-holidays-are-coming type cake, and it was best eaten warm. My friend's husband heated up a piece in the microwave and said it was great that way. I used a different sized pan - 9 x 13, and still couldn't fit 3 sliced apples on it. I'm thinking maybe I was supposed to layer the apples instead of spreading them out. Oh well, it wouldn't be me if I made it right the first time!

Upside Down Apple Cake
recipe by Stephanie

For the apples:
4 tablespoons butter
3 medium Gala apples, sliced
(I used 1 1/2 apples - next time I might overlap them more to fit more on)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon apple pie spice
dash of ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

For the cake:
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter, cold
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place 4 tablespoons butter in a 9 inch (I used a 9x13) baking pan and place in oven until butter is melted. Add brown sugar, cinnamon, apple pie spices and nutmeg and mix into the butter. Add the sliced apples in rows on top of the brown sugar mixture. Sprinkle with the lemon juice and set aside.

2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Add the butter and mix with pastry blender or fingers until the butter is mixed well into the flour, and is now about the size of peas. Using an electric mixer, add the milk and vanilla and mix until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time and mix until well incorporated. Beat on high for about 2 minutes. Pour batter over the apples and bake for about 35 minutes, or until center of the cake is set.

3. Cool in pan for about 5 minutes. Loosen the sides of the cake and invert onto a serving plate.

Monday, October 13, 2008


Here's the birthday dinner Jon made for me and it was great! Jon served a mission in Brazil, and this is the national dish of Brazil. Do we have a national dish in the U.S.A.? I wonder what it would be if we dogs? Maybe that should be the next vote on this blog. If you have any ideas what a good national dish should be for us and think its worthy of a vote, leave it in the comments here (if anybody else cares besides me.)

I searched the internet for Feijoada recipes and there are quite a few different ones out there, but they all have black beans, rice, and meat. Most of them use 2, 3, or even more kinds of meat (mostly different kinds of pork it seemed like.) So you could always use Jon's recipe and add more meat! Anyways, here is the recipe from Jon (he didn't really measure, and I like to know the precise measurements most of the time!) It's really pretty simple. We had it as leftovers, and I think it had even more flavor after sitting a day and being simmered again.


(You really can change the amounts of anything in here.)


Soak 2 or 3 cups of black beans overnight, cook in crockpot all day (1 hr. on high, the rest on low) along with:

salt - 1 Tbsp, or less if that scares you (we used sea salt)
2 bay leaves (remove them when beans are done!)
garlic salt (I'm sure you could use minced garlic if you think its salty enough)

*We have used canned beans before and added garlic to them


Jon used 1 1/2 packages of smokehouse sausage
Slice the sausage into a bunch of circles (that's my wording!)
Fry sausage in pan with 1 onion (cut into whatever size pieces you like) and 1 or 2 cloves of minced garlic. The flavor is really good when you let the sausage get browned a little.

A couple of hours before the beans are done, add the the sausage, onions, and garlic mixture into the crockpot and let the flavors cook together for a while.

Serve over rice. There was a lot of juice on the beans that tasted really good over the rice. If you use canned beans, the juice is thicker.

Cauliflower Salad

Cauliflower Salad

1 head chopped cauliflower
1 head chopped iceberg lettuce
1 lb. bacon fried crisp and cut up
1 medium purple onion, sliced in rings (I cut my rings in quarters, I like smaller onion chunks)
2 Cups Mayonaisse
1/3 C. grated parmesan cheese
¼ C. sugar
salt and pepper to taste

I also added chopped cashews. I love it with cashews. I've added slivered almonds before, too.

Mix cauliflower, lettuce, bacon, and onion in a large bowl. Stir together mayonaisse, cheese, sugar, salt, and pepper. Pour over salad and do not mix. Let stand overnight and mix before serving.

People always ask for this recipe when I take it to things.

Baked Macaroni & Cheese

I've alway been a huge fan of Baked Mac & Cheese with bread crumbs on top, but I've never made it before. I used America's Test Kitchen recipe and it was delicious! It's so easy too, and I was meaning to take a picture, but totally forgot, sorry!

Baked Macaroni & Cheese

8 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups fresh breadcrumbs ( I didn't use fresh, I used Panko and they were delicious)
1 pound elbow macaroni
1 garlic glove, minced
1 teaspoon dry mustard, dissolved in 1 teaspoon water (I didn't have any dry mustard, so didn't use)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
6 Tablespoons all purpose flour
3 1/2 cups whole milk
1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 pound Colby cheese, shredded (4 cups)
8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (2 cups)

Heat oven to 40o. Melt 2 Tablespoons butter and toss with breadcumbs. Bring 4 quard water to a boil. Stir in 1 Tablespoon salt and cook macaroni until almost tender, but firm to the bite. Drain and leave in colander. Wipe pot dry, and add remaining 6 Tablespoons butter and melt over medium heat. Stir in garlic, mutard mixture, and cayenne. Cook until fragant, 30 seconds. Stir in the flour and cook until golden, about 1 minute Slowly whisk in the milk and broth. Bring to a simmer. Cook, whisking often, until the mixture is slightly thickened (6 minutes). Take off the heat and stir in cheeses until melted. Season with salt & pepper. Stir in macaroni. Pour into 9 x 13. Sprinkle with breacrumbs and bake until golden brown and bubbling.

This was delicious. When I make it again, I'll put a picture up, or Tawn can take a picture wen she makes it and put it on!

Apple Stuffed Pork Loin Roast

He was thrilled about the picture

I do most of the cooking in my house, but sometimes Aaron will get this urge to make something. Most of the time he saw someone cookin something on TV or he had something at a restaurant and wants to imitate it. The other day when I was at work, he saw something on TV and got an idea! Now, my husband is very funny, he doesn't stick with the easy stuff. Most everything he cooks is like gourmet/fancy stuff, food I probably wouldn't even try. This time it was Apple Stuffed Pork Loin Roast, and it turned out great. He looked up a recipe on-line, but sort-of did his own thing. I'm going to post the recipe he looked up.

Apple Stuffed Pork Loin Roast

2 garlic cloves minced
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (didn't have any of this)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 boneless center cut pork loin roast (4-5 pounds) (We just got a pork loin roast, don't know if it was center cut)
1 Tablespoon butter
2 large tart apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
1 medium onion, cut into thin strips
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 cup apple cider or apple juice
Stuffing (we used Williams and Sanoma Foccacia stuffing - not cooked) (the stuffing wasn't part of the original recipe.)

1. Prehead oven to 325. Combine garlic, salt, rosemary, thyme, and pepper in a small bowel. Cut roast lengthwise almost, but not through the bottom. Open like a book. Rub half of glaric mixture onto cut sides of pork.

2. Melt butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add apples and onions, cook and stir 5-10 minutes or until soft. Stir in brown sugar and mustard. Aaron mixed this with the stuffing and then moistened it all with some apple juice/chicken broth mixture. Spread the mixture on the middle of the roast. Close roast with kitchen string. Rub outside of roast with garlic mixture. Pour apple cider over roast.

3. Roast, uncovered, basting frequently with pan dippings for 2-2 1/2 hours or until thermometer reads 155. Remove roast from oven and let stand 15 minutes before sliced. (internal temerature will continue to rise during standing time.)

Cut and enjoy! It was a yummy dinner for General Conference weekend!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Black Forest Mini Cheesecakes

Happy Birthday to You, Marsha!

Sorry the line spacing is off on this. I can't seem to get it right.

Black Forest Mini Cheesecakes
Amy Lunt

24 pecan sandies or vanilla wafers

2 (8 oz). cream cheese packs
1 ¼ C. white sugar

1/3 C. cocoa powder
2 Tbsp. flour

3 eggs
1 (8 oz) sour cream

½ tsp. almond extract
1 (8 oz) sour cream

2 Tbsp. white sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

1 (21 oz) cherry pie filling

Set oven for 325° . Line muffin tin with papers. Place 1 cookie in bottom of each. Beat cream cheese in large bowl until smooth. Add sugar, cocoa and flour. Blend well. Add eggs beat well. Stir in 8 oz. sour cream and almond extract. Fill each muffin cup almost full with batter. Bake 20-25 minutes or til set. Remove from oven. Cool 5-10 minutes. Spread heaping teaspoon of sour cream topping (recipe below) on each cup. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Chill. Just before serving, garnish with cherry pie filling. Cover, refrigerate leftovers.

Sour Cream topping: Stir sour cream, 2 Tbsp. sugar and vanilla in small bowl til sugar is dissolved.

Wish I could be there to celebrate with you, but I'll enjoy treats anyway! Ha, ha!

Friday, October 10, 2008

First Award!!!

Hurray! We received our first award. Thanks so much to Laura from Real Mom Kitchen, one of our favorite food blogs to stalk! She always has fun and practical recipes and ideas. Plus her music is great! I have gone to her blog just to listen to the music before!

Here are the rules for the award. Please find at least 10 more blogs, of any kind that you love to read. Write a post about the blogs you picked, linking back to me and to them. Once you’ve posted, return here to let me know your post is done and be sure to let them know, too!! (If you don't come up with 10, that's fine too! We did less) So here are the Clouse Cousins' picks for the award:

  1. The gals over at What's Cookin. Love the recipes, love the quote at the top by Julie B. Beck. Check out their different pumpkin recipes for the fall.
  2. Satisfying My Sweet Tooth. If you haven't seen her blog, she's having Brownie Week -- yum!
  3. What 2 Have 4 Dinner. Their recipes look like great, practical recipes every mom would like to have.
  4. Not a food blog, but Babes in Hairland is wonderful. If you have daughters, you need to go look at her blog to get some new ideas for their hair.
  5. My Favorite Recipes has a lot of yummy looking food on it. Her chicken noodle soup looks great for the cold weather.
  6. Last but not least, here's our favorite photography blog: Katie V Photography and Design. She's one talented photographer.

That's not ten, but it makes the 6 more special, right?

Thanks everyone for sharing your knowledge with us on your great blogs!

Easy Sugar Cookies

My neighbor/friend/carpool lady, Crystal, brought me some delicious sugar cookies that were different than the traditional ones. As soon as you take a bite it crumbles and sort of melts in your mouth. Also, you don't roll this dough out and cut out shapes. You roll the dough into balls and flatten them! How easy is that? Sometimes you want a sugar cookie that you can make fun shapes with, but sometimes you just want a sugar cookie without that hard work! And this one is definitely worth making.

Easy Sugar Cookies

2 sticks butter
1 C cooking oil
1 C powdered sugar
1 C granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
5 C flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp salt

Mix butter, oil and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla. Sift flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt and add to the creamed mixture. Chill for at least 30 minutes. Roll into balls and place them on cookie sheet. Press down on the ball with the bottom of a jar or glass to make it flat. Bake at 325 degrees for about 10 minutes. (These cookies can also be rolled in cinnamon-sugar before you flatten them, it makes them more like snickerdoodles.)

Thursday, October 9, 2008


My friend Diana has brought over some homemade pesto a couple of times now and we have loved it! She brought me some basil leaves from her plant the other day, and I told her, "Sorry, bring them back when you have turned them into pesto." Not really, I was happy to get free basil leaves and try making pesto on my own. I used Martha Stewart's recipe, and it turned out just fine. Next time I want to add parmesan cheese -- I wanted to this time but totally forgot.
Makes 1 3/4 cups

1 cup walnuts or pine nuts
Coarse salt and ground pepper
8 cups (4 ounces) lightly packed fresh basil leaves
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread nuts evenly on a rimmed baking sheet; toast in oven until golden and fragrant, tossing once, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool completely.

Meanwhile, bring 4 cups salted water to a boil; add basil, and submerge with a spoon. Immediately drain in a colander. Rinse with cold water until cool, then pat basil completely dry in paper towels.

In a food processor, combine nuts, basil, and garlic; season generously with salt and pepper. Process until nuts are finely chopped. With machine running, pour oil in a steady stream through the feed tube; process until smooth. Use immediately, or freeze. To freeze, spoon pesto into an ice-cube tray (2 tablespoons per cube); cover with plastic wrap. Freeze overnight, then transfer cubes to a resealable plastic bag; keep up to 6 months. Defrost pesto at room temperature, about 20 minutes (or at 30-second intervals in the microwave). Mash with a fork before using in recipes.

Reese's Chewy Chocolate Cookies

These cookies have been one of my favorites for a long time. I got the recipe off the back of Reese's Peanut butter chips. But I also like to use Reese's Mini Pieces (you find them on the baking aisle by the chocolate chips). These are yummy, and perfect colors for Halloween.

This recipe is in the Payne Sisters' Cookbook, by the way.

Reese’s Chewy Chocolate Cookies
Amy Lunt

2 C. flour (I always add more)
2 C. sugar
¾ C. Cocoa
2 eggs
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. vanilla
½ tsp. salt
1 2/3 C. Peanut Butter chips
1 ¼ C. (2 ½ sticks) butter or margarine, softened

Heat oven to 350° Stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with mixer until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Gradually add flour mixture beating well. You will now need to add flour until it looks like a good consistency for cookies (or they will turn out flat). Stir in peanut butter chips. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8 to 9 minutes. Do not overbake, cookies will be soft. (They will puff while baking and flatten while cooling if you don’t add extra flour). Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. About 4 ½ dozen cookies.
Pan recipe: spread batter in greased 15 ½ X10 ½ X1 inch jelly roll pan. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until set. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars. About 4 dozen bars.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Just an Idea

This really isn't a recipe, but an idea for something different. I was at the grocery store this morning looking for some normal, boring ingredients (I have to make potatoes for a funeral tomorrow) when a packet of Thai Peanut Sauce Mix caught my eye. So I read the directions on back and it sounded easy enough. I just had to buy a can of coconut milk, rice noodles, and some vegetables (I bought frozen stir-fry veggies.) It calls for chicken, so I used canned chicken to keep it simple! Here's a picture of the packet, noodles (rice sticks), and coconut milk:
Here are the rice sticks/noodles after soaking in warm water for 30 - 45 minutes:
Here are the steps in case you're curious (for the specifics, buy a packet):
  1. Simmer the packet mix with the coconut milk for about 3 minutes.
  2. Stir-fry the vegetables and cooked chicken for about 3 minutes.
  3. Pour the sauce over the vegetables and chicken, add the noodles, and cook for just a few more minutes.

Jon REALLY liked it, and I liked it. It was a little bit sweet and a little bit spicy (I ate it and I'm really a wimp.) It was just fun to try something new--and it was easy to make.

Soft molasses cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
3/4 cup molasses
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger

1. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar and egg until well blended. Stir in the molasses. Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and ginger; stir into the molasses mixture. Cover the dough and chill for at least 1 hour.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll the dough into walnut sized balls then roll balls in white sugar. Place the cookies 2 inches apart onto cookie sheet.
3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

I love these cookies because they are easy, soft and they remind me of the holidays!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Cinnamon Rolls

Wasn't Conference great? Well here are some cinnamon rolls I made Saturday evening during the Priesthood session. I got the recipe from My Kitchen Cafe and had been wanting to try it. It was everything I had hoped! They were so delicious. I just ate another one warmed up in the microwave a minute ago. Here's a picture of them before rising the 2nd time -- Just thought they were pretty, and maybe I was kind of surprised that I didn't goof these up.

Vanilla Pudding Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

½ cup warm water
2 Tbsp active dry yeast
2 Tbsp sugar
3 ½ ounce package instant vanilla pudding
½ C. butter, melted
2 eggs
1 tsp salt
6+ C. flour

1 C. butter, softened to room temperature
2 C. brown sugar
4 tsp cinnamon

8 ounces cream cheese
½ C. butter, softened to room temp
1 tsp vanilla
3 C. confectioner’s sugar
2-3 tablespoons milk
In a small bowl combine water, yeast and sugar. Stir until dissolved. Set aside. In large bowl, take pudding mix and prepare according to package directions. Add butter, eggs and salt. Mix well. Then add yeast mixture. Blend. Gradually add flour; knead until smooth. Do not overflour the dough! It should be very soft but not sticky. Place in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled. Then roll out on floured board to 34 X 21 inches in size. Take 1 cup soft butter and spread over surface. In bowl, mix 2 cups brown sugar and 4 teaspoons cinnamon. Sprinkle over the top. Roll up very tightly. With knife put a notch every 1 1/2 inches. Cut with thread or serrated knife. Place on lightly greased cookie sheet 1 inch apart. Cover and let rise until double again. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Remove when they start to turn golden (don’t overbake). Frost warm rolls with cream cheese frosting (combine butter and cream cheese and mix well, then add vanilla and sugar and mix again, then add milk for desired consistency). Makes about 24 very large rolls.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Birthday Cake

Here's Erin's birthday cake. Nothing fancy, I just had to arrange candy pieces on top.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Light and Fruity Peach Pie

Light and Fruity Peach Pie:

1 Lg. Peach Jello

1 1/3 c. boiling water (add to jello and stir 3 minutes until dissolved)

2-3 cups ice cubes (add to jello and stir until thickened - remove remaining ice)

1 - 16 oz. cool whip (Blend in until smooth)

2 -3 c. peaches (Fold in) I used frozen

3 pie crusts (I used shortbread and graham cracker crusts)

Chill at least 2 hours.

(I took the itty bitty ones to some older folks and widows in our ward)

Halloween Shirts

Okay I know this is a food blog but...these shirts turned out cute and my kids had a great time making them so I am putting them on for everyone to see. We got the idea out of the Family Fun magazine and it was pretty simple. I bought white T-shirts and we tie-dyed them orange then added the features with magic marker. If anyone wants further directions let me know.
by Camilee

Potato Leek Soup

Here is another recipe from my friend Sara. I made this and it turned out great. My family loved it. Jen also has made this and her family really liked it too. She made hers with red potatoes and left the skins on. This is a picture of Jen's soup. Here is the recipe. I made 1 1/2 times the recipe for my family.
5 c. chicken broth (or water and bouillon cubes to equal 5 c.)
5-7 potatoes cubed
2 leeks
1 clove garlic
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 c. cream
Place all ingredients except cream in a pot and cook until potatoes are tender. Take out about half of the soup and blend it up in your blender (I used a hand mixer and bowl and it worked fine). Return blended soup to pot and add cream. Heat through and serve.
This soup would probably be good with some cooked bacon or cheese added but I haven't tried that yet. I also didn't have cream so I just stirred in some sour cream. You could leave it out altogether and it would be fine.
*****Leeks--if you have never bought or used leeks, here are some directions. They look like giant green onions. A lot of stores only carry them in the organic section. You prepare them almost like green onions. Cut the bottom off and the green tops mostly off. Split them lengthwise and rinse out any dirt. Then dice up into 1/2 inch pieces. Pretty easy and they taste oniony.

by Camilee

Sesame Chicken Nuggets

This was a new recipe I tried from a book on healthy eating. They are easy to make and were really good. Here is a picture of one of my kid's plate.

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast cut up
3/4 c. bread crumbs
1 Tbsp. sesame seeds

1 egg white
1/4 c. soy sauce
2 tsp garlic, chopped
2 tsp. ginger, chopped (I used ginger powder)
1 Tbsp. sugar

Marinate chicken for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix bread crumbs and sesame seeds. Remove chicken from marinade and dip chicken pieces into bread crumb mixture. Spray a cookie sheet with Pam and place chicken nuggets on it. Bake for 20 minutes or until nuggets are brown and cooked through.

By Camilee