Friday, October 30, 2009

Pumpkin Bliss Cupcakes

Marsha posted a picture of my Halloween cupcakes, I'll re-post the picture. These cupcakes are delish! I love pumpkin anything though. The frosting is good too, but not if you are my mom, Marsha, or Tawnya! Katie and Abby did the decorating of them. (Sorry I've been MIA on this blog, I have a list of 10 things to post, we'll see how long that will take me)
Pumpkin Bliss Cupcakes
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 T plus 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 cups sugar
1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
4 large eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup orange juice

Preheat oven to 350. Line muffin pans or spray them with baking spray. Sift together the flour, spice, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl combine the sugar, pumpkin, and eggs, whisk until smooth. Whisk in oil and orange juice until the batter is smooth. Add the flour-spice mix to the mixture and fold together until well incorporated, but do not overmix. Bake 20-25 minutes. Frost with cream cheese frosting.

The frosting I use is Anne Strawberry's (Aaron's cousin)

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 package of cream cheese, softened (I like to use Neufchatel, less fat and I don't notice much difference)
1/2 C. butter, softened (one stick)
2 T. milk
2 t. pure vanilla extract
dash of salt
6 cups of powdered sugar (more or less to achieve desired consistency, this is a baseline)
1 T. meringue powder

In a mixer with the whisk attachment, combine the cream cheese and butter until they are light and fluffy. Then add in the milk, vanilla, and salt, and blend.

Next, add the powdered sugar and meringue powder, cover the bowl of the mixer with a dish towel, and turn it on low until everything is combined. Then increase the speed for a minute or so until the frosting is light, fluffy, and delicious. The meringue powder will help set the frosting after it dries so it holds its shape.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

New Orleans Bread Pudding

*** pictures now included***

I was watching GTU the other day and Barbara Smith (4 News anchor) made this bread pudding. It looked so good so I tried it and it is yummo!

Katie took picures of it so she'll have to post them for me.


1 - 10 oz. loaf of stale french bread, crumbled (6-8 cups any type of bread) (My loaf was 16 oz. and I used about 3/4 of it)
(I used french bread that I had bought a few days ago.)
4 cups milk
2 cups sugar
8 TBS. melted butter
3 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
t tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 c. chopped nuts (I used pecans)
1 c. coconut (didn't add)
1 c. raisins (don't like!)
Combine all ingredients in blender. (except bread and optional items). Place crumbled bread in 9x13 buttered (sprayed) pan. Pour mixture over bread. Should be very moist but not soupy. (I used almost all of the mixture) Place in NON-PREHEATED oven. Bake at 350 degrees for approx. 1 hour and 15 minutes until the top is golden brown. Serve warm with sauce.

Cream Caramel Sauce:
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 TBS. flour
1 cup whipping cream
Bring to a boil for 3 minutes then remove from heat and add:
1/4 c. butter
2 TBS. vanilla
Spoon over bread pudding.

Chicken Enchilada Soup

I was talking to Shara and we were both making soup for supper. She was making Chicken Noodle and I was making this. She told me to post it so here it is!
2 cans chicken broth
1 -8 oz. cream cheese
2 c. cooked diced chicken
2 - Lg. cans (28 oz.) Las Palmas Green Enchilada Sauce (mild or medium)-(I would use mild if I could find it.)
3 c. 1/2 & 1/2
1 can corn - drained
1 1/2 c. uncooked rice (can use minute rice also)
Simmer altogether until rice is tender

Sunday, October 25, 2009


I made this ham for dinner last Sunday, and everybody was a little worried because I was experimenting again, but it was so good!

Bake a ham as the instructions say. (It would be best to buy a spiral sliced ham, so then you don't have to cut it yourself)

Then mix the following in a bowl:

1 c. sugar

1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp. ground clove

1/8 tsp. paprika

dash of ground ginger

dash of ground allspice

Sprinkle the mixture onto the cooked ham all over it. Then use a blow torch with medium flame and caramelize the sugar. Wave the torch back and forth so the sugar browns and bubbles but doesn't burn. Continue all over the ham until it is well glazed. Then serve it right then or you can put it in the oven to reheat it some more.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pumpkin Pie Dessert

Here's another crockpot recipe from me (from the same cookbook as the last one):

Also really yummy!

Pumpkin Pie Dessert

Prep Time: 15-20 minutes
Cooking Time: 3-4 hours
Ideal slow cooker size: 5 to 6 quart

19 oz. can pumpkin pie filling
12 oz. can evaporated milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Boiling water
1 cup gingersnap cookie crumbs

1. In a large mixing bowl, stir together pie filling, milk, and eggs until thoroughly mixed.

2. Pour into an ungreased baking insert designedto fit into your slow cooker (I don't have this, so I got creative. I used my cups that came with my Corelle dishes. Three of them instead of one baking insert.)

3. Place filled baking insert designed to fit into your slow cooker. Cover the insert with its lid, or with 8 paper towels (I used the paper towels).

4. Carefully pour boiling water into cooker around the baking insert, to a depth of one inch.

5. Cover cooker. Cook on High for 3-4 hours, or until a tester (aka: least in my kitchen) inserted in the center of the custard comes out clean.

6. Remove baking insert from slow cooker. Remove its lid. Sprinkle dessert with cookie crumbs. Serve warm from baking insert.

(We added whipped cream...YUMMY!) Very good fall treat!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Chicken Tikka Masala

The other day I was looking at a flyer from Trader Joe's that had come in the mail and saw a frozen dish called Chicken Tikka Masala that sounded really good. I decided to do a search on All Recipes, once again, and found a recipe for it that had 800 reviews and received 4 1/2 stars, so I figured it should be good. It was! Pioneer Woman has a recipe for it as well -- when I told Jen I had made this, she knew she had seen it somewhere on the food blogs, and sure enough she had.

What I learned from Wikipedia: The origin of this dish is disputed, but is mostly thought to have been created in England as an attempt to create a South Asian dish that would appeal to the British palate. It is served in many restaurants in England and has been voted the favorite dish in these restaurants.

Here's the recipe (one more thing, I didn't grill my chicken. I fried it in a pan)

Chicken Tikka Masala
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 4 teaspoons salt, or to taste
  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 4 long skewers

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 3 teaspoons salt, or to taste
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

  1. In a large bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, black pepper, ginger, and 4 teaspoons salt. Stir in chicken, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat a grill for high heat.
  3. Lightly oil the grill grate. Thread chicken onto skewers, and discard marinade. Grill until juices run clear, about 5 minutes on each side.
  4. Melt butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic and jalapeno for 1 minute. Season with 2 teaspoons cumin, paprika, and 3 teaspoons salt. Stir in tomato sauce and cream. Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. Add grilled chicken, and simmer for 10 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter, and garnish with fresh cilantro.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Italian Sloppy Joes

These are EASY! yummy! Jereld and I bought a book called "Fix-It and Forget-It: 5-Ingredient Favorites--Comforting Slow-Cooker Recipes." It's my new favorite book.

I'm so busy with work and paperwork for our house and stuff that I need easy recipes or it's frozen food for us. This recipe was extremely simple and so GOOD! It's a keeper!

Italian Sloppy Joes (the book calls it Italian Barbecue Sandwiches...I like my title better)

Prep time: 10 Minutes
Cooking time: 2-6 hours
Ideal slow cooker size: 3-qt.

(I doubled this and used my 5 qt. crock pot which could have held a lot more!)

1 lb. ground beef (browned in a non-stick skillet first...which by-the-way is the hardest part)
1 cup tomato sace
half an envelope dry spaghetti sauce mix
salt and pepper to taste
8 oz. Velveeta or American Cheese cubed (I used Velveeta)

1. As it says above, brown ground beef in a skillet first.

2. Place meat in slow cooker. Stir in sauce and seasonings.

3. Cover and cook on Low for 2-6 hours.

4. One hour before serving (I didn't give it an hour...I gave it 20 minutes and it was delicious!), stir in cheese. I cubed the Velveeta so it would melt quickly.

5. Stir before serving.

Obviously we ate this on hamburger buns...but you can use whatever bun or bread you choose.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Grandma's Birthday Lunch

A few of the Clouse Cousins - Jen, Marsha, Katie, and Shara - were able to get together at Shara's house to have a lunch with Grandma for her (late) birthday.

Here's Grandma with Katie's little guy.

Grandma brings food even when you tell her she shouldn't because the party is for her!
Here is her yummy cookie salad - (recipe coming).

Marsha brought Spaghetti Bolognese (no picture)

Shara made a great salad (sorry no picture) hopefully she can hack into this
post and put the recipe on soon!

Jen brought some delicious homemade French Bread
with yummy stuff broiled on top. I'll try to remember to
get the recipe and add it to this post soon.

And Shara and Katie's cute pumpkin cupcakes for dessert. They were good!


When I was young, my dad used to make chilequilas for us when my mom wasn't home or was too busy to cook. I know at least 3 of my sisters have good memories of these as well - I'm not sure if he ever made them when I got older, so my youngest sister and my brother might not remember them.

I decided to try and make them for dinner tonight. They turned out great - I wasn't sure if my dad could tell me exactly how to make them, and I like specific recipes, so I found one that looked like what I remember at All Recipes. The picture of them when they are done is NOT pretty! But they were very good.


I am thinking you could just buy tortilla chips and use them instead of frying corn tortilla strips. That would save a lot of time and oil!

Also, the recipes calls for 30 corn tortillas and 6 eggs - I didn't quite use 30 tortillas and I used 10 eggs. It would have been not so good with less eggs. So, I say either half the tortillas, or double the eggs!

Another thing I did was use Salsa in place of the El Pato sauce and water because the store I went to was out of El Pato. I think either would be fine.

Here are the corn tortillas frying away - I had
to fry them in 3 batches.

And here is the not so pretty picture of when it was almost done.
Don't let the picture scare you - they were good!


  • 2 cups oil for frying
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 30 (6 inch) corn tortillas, torn into strips (I used less tortillas and 10 eggs)
  • 6 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 (7.75 ounce) can Mexican style hot tomato sauce (El Pato sauce)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

  1. In a large, heavy skillet, heat the oil to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Carefully stir in the onion and tortilla strips. Fry until tortilla strips are crisp and golden brown. Remove from heat, and drain on paper towels. Drain the skillet, leaving only a thin residue of oil.
  2. Over medium heat, return tortillas to the skillet, and stir in the eggs. Season with salt. Cook and stir until eggs are firm.
  3. Mix Mexican style hot tomato sauce and water into the skillet. Reduce heat, and simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes. Top with cheese. Continue cooking until cheese has melted.


I meant to post this a couple of weeks ago, but oh well! I made two different kinds of cupcakes for Erin's birthday and they were both delicious. Strawberry Cupcakes - Jen had made them and gave me a sample, and Coconut Cupcakes - my friend Mary Jo had made and I LOVED them. I'm not a huge frosting fan, so I didn't put much on these and had a ton of leftover frosting.

Instead of putting the recipes on here, I'm just going to put the links. But I highly recommend these cupcakes!

Friday, October 16, 2009


This is my cousin Doreen (my dad's niece). She taught me how to make tamales today so I thought I'd share it! It was so fun to visit and catch up on our family! Thanks Doreen!


Meat Mixture:
Cooked/shredded beef and pork roasts
Old El Paso Mild Enchilada Sauce (Las Palmas works too!)
Jar of Salsa (or can)
Spices - chili powder, garlic, cumin, salt, pepper , etc.
(She didn't really measure - just to taste)

Masa Dough: (we tripled this today!)
1 1/3 c. lard (don't use shortening)
4 c. Masa Harina (it all says instant)
2 t. salt
sprinkle a little chile powder in
3-4 c. warm broth (use chicken bullion to make broth)
Mix lard, and dry ingreds. with hands until mixed well (like pie crust) - add liquid until right consistency to spread (like sugar cookie dough)
Soak corn husks in warm water (about 30 minutes) then spread dough on husks, add meat, wrap and steam.
Freeze any leftovers and then reheat in microwave or on your woodburning stove! (That's what she did as a kid!)
Mixing the meat mixture (she used beef, pork, turkey and venison. I don't like venison but I couldn't tell it was in it.

Showing us how to spread the masa dough on the husks. Make about a 4" long. Spread a thin layer clear to one edge and about 1/4" from other edge. Put a spoonful of meat in the center of the dough then fold like a tamale! (one edge over to 1/4" of other edge - seal and fold up ends)

"Many hands make light work!" It's a great friend/family project!

Ready to steam (I'm sure we made over 100!)

In the pan to steam (she put a layer of jar rings on the bottom to hold the rack off the bottom - then layered the tamales on top criss-crossing each layer -Put the lid on but not tight. Cook for about 30 minutes. You can tell when they're done by unwrapping one and they should fall off the husk easily.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Minestrone Soup

We had this soup in between conference sessions today. Soup is one of our favorite meals and we absolutely love this one!

Here is the recipe....

1 pound bulk Italian sausage
1 large onion, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 medium leek (white portion only) chooped (I bought these and for 1 leek it was $2.64 and you can't even taste I would just for-go it)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 pound fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (I just bought a can of them)
6 cups beef broth
2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes
3 cups shredded cabbage
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained (I don't like beans and Landon doesn't like garbanzo so we didn't put these in)
1/2 cup uncooked small pasta shells
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

In a soup kettle, cook sausage and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the carrots, celery, leek and garlic; cook for 3 minutes. Add zucchini and green beans, cook 2 minutes longer.

Stir in broth, tomatoes, cabbage, basil, oregano, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Cover; simmer for 45 minutes.

Return to a boil. Stir in garbanzo beans, pasta and parsley. Cook for 6-9 minutes or until the pasta is tender. Serve with Parmesan cheese.