Saturday, November 19, 2011

Cranberry Relish

Don't forget to make your Cranberry Sauce for Thanksgiving!  It's listed under "Holidays". 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Maple Bars

3 TBS. active dry yeast
1 cup very warm water
1/2 C. + 1 TBS. sugar, Divided
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
4 c. bread flour
1/4 c. shortening
3 egg yolks
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Peanut oil for frying

Maple Icing
1 lb. powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp light corn syrup
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp maple extract
1/3 c. hot water

Combine the yeast, 1 TBS sugar, and 1 c. warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer. Allow to proof for 5-10 min. or until frothy.
While the yeast is proofing, combine the sugar, salt and 4 c. of flour in a large bowl. When the yeast is ready, add the shortening, egg yolks, and vanilla and mix with the paddle attachment for 1 min. to break down the shortening. Add 1/3 of dry ingredients and mix on low until blended. Repeat with the next 1/3 of the dry ingredients. Switch to the hook attachment and add the remaining 1/3 of the dry ingredients. Mix until no white spots remian and then turn the mixer to medium and knead for 2 min. (The dough is really stiff)
While the dough is kneading, bring 2 quarts water to boil in a pot. Lightly flour a baking sheet.
When the dough is done tranfer it to the baking sheet. Form a 6"x6" square and cover it with a cloth. Place the pan in the oven and place a 9x13 pan on the rack beneath. Pour the boiling water into the pan and close the door. (instant proofer) Allow the dough to rise for 1 hour.
When the dough is done rising remove it from the oven and place it on a lightly floured surface. Bring another pot of water to a cboil. Roll the dought into a 11x12" rectangle. Cut off the edges of the dough so they are even. Cut the dough into 12 rectangles about 5x2" big. Transfer back to floured baking sheet and put back in "proofer" for 45 min. more.
When the dough is risen, heat oil in pan to 350 degrees. Fry donuts until golden brown. Let drain on paper towels.
While dough is cooling, whisk together the icing ingredients. Dip the puffiest side of each bar into the icing.
Makes 12 bars.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Strawberry Lemon Bars

Strawberry Lemon Bars--Adapted from a recipe on

makes about 12 lemon bars

for crust:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup of powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
12 tablespoons of softened salted butter, cut into 1/4″ cubes (1 1/2 sticks)

for filling:

1 cup halved then sliced strawberries
1/4 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs lightly beaten
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
2/3 cup lemon juice

powdered sugar for dusting

Line a 9″ x 13″ pan with enough parchment paper to go about 1″ up on all sides. In a bowl mix the flour, rolled oats, powdered sugar, and salt. Then add the vanilla.  Next, cut in butter with a fork until the dough looks like pea sized gravel. Sprinkle the dough evenly over the parchment lined sheet and use your fingers to press the dough into a uniform sheet of dough that goes about 1/2″ up all the sides. Put it in the freezer for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, place the oven rack in the middle position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl, combine the strawberries and 1/4 cup of sugar and toss to coat. This will release excess moisture and sweeten the strawberries. To prepare the filling, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and flour. Add the lemon juice and whisk to combine.

Remove the crust from the freezer and put in oven and bake for around 25 minutes, or until it is golden brown and fragrant. When the crust is done, take it out of the oven, then immediately scatter the strawberries around the crust, pour any juice from the strawberries into the lemon mixture and whisk to combine. Pour the lemon mixture over the strawberries.

Lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees F, then put the pan in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the center of the lemon bars doesn’t jiggle anymore. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool completely.

Refrigerate overnight (or for several hours).

Slice, then dust with powdered sugar and serve.

The powdered sugar will disappear into the bars after a few minutes (see picture above...I swear I dusted them). So only do it right before (or not at all--it really doesn't need it).

Monday, July 4, 2011

Fourth of July Cake

I made an Italian Cream Cake and decorated it for the Fourth of July cake decorating contest in Luna tonight. I just used M & Ms and pecan pieces. I had fun. Erin, if I don't win the contest you need to draw me a trophy for first place anyway!!

Sunday, July 3, 2011


1 8oz. pkg cream cheese
1 8oz. carton Cool Whip
1 small can crushed pineapple (I used 15 oz.)
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup chopped pecans

Mix softened cream cheese and powdered sugar. Fold in Cool Whip. Add pineapple and pecans. Pour into a graham cracker crust. Refrigerate to set.

I doubled the recipe and it made 3 large pies. I'm sure you are surprised that I am actually sending a recipe but this was so good and so easy. I got the recipe from my neighbor.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Apple French Toast

(My SIL shared this recipe with us at a family reunion - so good!)
(forgot to take a picture - this is all that was left!) 
This is so yummy and easy - plus you make it the night before so you just pop it in the oven the next morning!

1 c. brown sugar
1 cube butter/margarine
2 TBS. light corn syrup
4 c. peeled and sliced granny smith apples
2 TBS. Tapioca
4 eggs
1 c. milk
French Bread slices (slice thick)
Mix together sugar, butter and corn syrup.  Heat in microwave for 2 minutes.  Put in a 9x13 pan sprayed with Pam.  Cover with peeled, sliced apples.  Sprinkle with Tapioca.  Beat eggs and milk together.  Dip bread into mixture and put on top of apples.  Sprinkle with cinnamon.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 - 40 minutes.  Serve with syrup and whipped cream.  (It doesn't really need any syrup - it makes it's own!)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Wheat-Black Bean Chili

Here is a very healthy recipe that is also very tasty! I know it sounds crazy, but the wheat is actually very tasty in this recipe. You can change this recipe any way you want - I looked at several different recipes on the internet and used what sounded good from different ones.


2 c. wheat berries (wheat berry - meaning the whole wheat kernel)
1 onion, diced
4 or 5 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 bell pepper, diced
4 tsp. beef bouillon granules
3 c. water
3 cans black beans
2 tsp. garlic salt (or more)
28 oz. crushed tomatoes
2 tsp. cumin
handful of cilantro, chopped into small pieces
(and maybe more cilantro for garnish if you want)

Soak wheat berries in water overnight in fridge. The next morning, drain water off of wheat berries and put in crockpot. Saute onion, garlic, and bell pepper in a little bit of oil until tender, and add to crockpot. Stir beef bouillon granules into water and add to crockpot. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir. Cook on high 1 hour, and on low until dinnertime.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Strawberry Banana Streusel Muffins

My husband likes to wake up with just enough (and I mean barely enough) time to get ready for work before heading out the door.  Because of this, he loves it when I have muffins in the freezer for him to just pop in the microwave before leaving.  He also LOVES strawberries, and it seems we often have bananas that are too ripe for eating.  Thus, these muffins were born.  I have also added pecans to the streusel topping which is DELIGHTFUL! You could also use blueberries or raspberries or blackberries or whatever, and I'm sure they would be good! 

Banana Streusel Muffins

4 C. flour
2 C. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
4 eggs
12 oz. vanilla or strawberry yogurt (I used half and half for the muffins above)
1/2 C. butter (or coconut oil...YUM!)
4 ripe bananas, mashed (2 C.)
2 tsp. vanilla
2 C. chopped strawberries (can be fresh, but strawberries that have been frozen and then thawed also work great)


3/4 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 C. flour
2 Tbsp. butter

In a large bowl combine dry ingredients.  In a small bowl, beat eggs, yogurt, butter, bananas, and vanilla.  Mix wet ingredients in with dry ingredients until moistened.  Add strawberries last and gently stir to evenly distribute strawberry chunks.  Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups 3/4 full.

Combine streusel ingredients (cut in butter).  Sprinkle over muffins (pressing it gently into the muffins helps it stay on when baking).

Bake at 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.  (Makes about 30 muffins)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Coconut Chicken Salad w/ Warm Honey-Mustard Vinaigrette

I tried a recipe from Skinny Taste!  It was SO GOOD! The problem with DELICIOUS low-fat food is that you are sooo tempted to eat more than a serving (even though you're full). 

I didn't get a picture of mine, but here is a picture from the website:

And you can find the recipe HERE!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Chocolate Cupcakes

This post is to help Allison not feel so lonely on this blog! I've made these cupcakes from The Sisters Cafe twice now. Once with the truffles inside a few weeks back, and once with Hershey's Kisses inside for my little guy's birthday. Here's my review:

  • The cake: it's a doctored up cake-mix and it turns out really good and moist. I think I'll have to do this to cake mixes from now on.

  • The frosting: I prefer chocolate pudding and cool whip mixed together, but that's because I'm not a frosting person.

  • Truffles or Hershey's Kisses inside?: they were both delicious. However, the truffles were probably a little better since they were creamier and meltier in your mouth. The Hershey's Kisses were still fun and way cheaper. My kids thought it was so fun to have one inside. Plus you can buy a whole bag of them and eat them while you are baking! With the truffles, you have to save them all for the cupcakes. The truffles melted into a thin, horizontal layer toward the bottom of the cupcake. The Kisses stayed in a clump in the middle of the cupcake.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Hungry-Girl Nacho-rific Chicken!

Judging from the fact that I've posted most of the recent posts about food, I would almost say that I am the only one cooking, BUT I KNOW THAT'S NOT TRUE!

COUSINS, have you fallen of the face of the earth????  I want to see what you're making!

Here's what I made last night:

You can find a link to the recipe HERE!

Or, here's an image of the recipe directly from the site!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Thin Mints--Knock Off! the story is:

I wanted to buy Thin Mints and Samoas from the Girl Scouts, but when I happened to see some girl scouts selling cookies, I only had $4 cash with me...which will only buy 1 solitary, sad, lonely box. And, I love thin mints, but I had a recipe. So, Samoas won.

But, the good news is that the Thin Mints were delicious homemade!

Jereld suggested the parsley twig garnish...don't laugh.

Girl Scout Thin Mints

Chocolate Cookie Wafers

1 18.25-ounce package Betty Crocker chocolate fudge cake mix
3 Tbsp. shortening, melted
1/2 C. cake flour, measured then sifted
1 egg
3 Tbsp. water
nonstick cooking spray


3 12-ounce bags semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 tsp. peppermint extract
6 Tbsp. shortening

1) Combine the wafer ingredients (except the water) in a large bowl. Add the water a little bit at a time until a dough forms (the dough will seem very thick--this will give the wafers a crispy texture once baked). Cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge for 2 hours.

2) On a lightly floured surface, roll out a portion of the dough to 1/4 inch to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut out wafers with a spice jar lid (like McCormick spices or whatever you have).  Put wafers on a lightly greased cookie sheet (they can be pretty close together--they don't spread out). Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool completely before moving on to the next step.

3) Combine chocolate chips, peppermint extract, and shortening in a microwave safe bowl. Heat on 50% power for 2 minutes, stir.  Repeat heating and stirring until chocolate is melted and is a smooth consistency.

5) Dip each wafer in chocolate. Let the excess chocolate run off into the bowl (tapping your fork on the side of the bowl helps).  Place dipped wafers on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Refrigerate until ready to eat.


Friday, March 25, 2011

Nativity Craft

Marsha, Camilee and my Mom came last weekend and we whipped out a ton of nativities. It was so fun. Steve had the boards (8X2's) all cut for us in 12" lengths (55 of them to be exact-I can't do anything in small numbers). We had to sand, stain, cut paper, and mod podge. The paper was a scrapbook nativity scene that I found at Michaels. I ordered most of them online, though. These will be our Christmas gifts this year. I love how they turned out.
(Doesn't Cam look so cute in that apron?)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Curious George Birthday

My friend taught me how to decorate cakes using a coloring page and an overhead transparancy. I put the coloring page under the transparancy and decorated on top. Then I froze the frosting. Then I turned it onto the cake and peeled off the transparancy. I loved how it turned out.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Chicken Pesto Pizza

This is more of a dinner idea than a recipe I suppose...but yummy none-the-less!

Top your favorite pizza crust (or cheat by buying one like I did) with:

Pesto (Costco--or should I say Kirkland--makes really good Pesto sauce)
Parmesan Cheese
Chicken (cooked in a little olive oil with garlic salt and pepper)
and Black Beans

or add whatever else you want! I think black olives would also be a good addition! 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Mandarin Chicken--Panda Express Knock-Off!

I tried this recipe...and YUM! I should have taken pictures...didn't...oh well.

Mandarin Chicken (Panda Express Style) Sauce

2/3 C. sugar
1/4 C. soy sauce
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 tsp minced fresh garlic (I never use "fresh" garlic. I always use the pre-minced garlic in the jar from the store)
1/2 tsp minced fresh ginger
1/4 C water
4 tsp arrowroot

Combine sugar, soy sauce, lemon juice, oil, garlic, and ginger in a saucepan.  Combine water with arrowroot ina small bowl and stir until dissolved. The arrowroot will serve as a thickener (much like corn starch--in fact I'm sure you could thicken this recipe with some corn starch instead--just be aware that corn starch seems to thicken better than arrowroot and you would probably not need 4 tsp of corn starch).

Add the arrowroot/water combo to the saucepan and cook on high.  Bring mixture to a boil while stirring often. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes or until sauce thickens.


4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Garlic Salt

Sprinkle chicken breasts with salt, pepper, and garlic salt (not too much!). Grill in a frying pan with some non-stick cooking spray OR cook them like I did...on the GRILL! YUMMY! Chicken should be browned in spots.

When the chicken is cooked thoroughly, chop into bite size pieces.

Serve the chicken over white rice (I'm a cheater and used Minute Rice).  Drizzle with Mandarin Sauce.


Friday, February 18, 2011

Apple Struesel Muffins

These muffins are so YUMMY!!! I promise. You'll probably want to double (or even triple) this recipe because you'll want more!

2 C. flour
1 C. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1/2 C. butter, melted
1-1/4 tsp. vanilla
1-1/2 C. chopped peeled tart apples
1/3 C. packed brown sugar
1 TBSP. flour
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1 TBSP cold butter
In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, butter and vanilla; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened (batter will be really stiff). Fold in apples. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. In a small bowl, combine the topping ingredients and cut in the butter until crumbly (I cheat and melt the butter). Sprinkle over the batter. Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing form pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Play Dough

This is what our Webelos are playing with tomorrow! (for their Craftsmen badge)
3 c. flour
6 tsp. cream of tartar
3 TBS. Cooking Oil
1 1/2 c. salt
3 c. water
Food color (or a pack of Kool-aid)
Put water and food color together in pan.
Mix dry ingreds together. Add to water.
Cook over med. heat until it forms a ball (doesn't take very long!)
Knead to make it smooth. Cool.
Store in airtight container.

Sunday, January 30, 2011


Our Head Custodian's wife made these and he brought them into the kitchen to share with us cooks! I'm not a huge fudge fan but these just literally melt in your mouth! She shared the recipe with us so I'll share it with you! (I haven't attempted them yet myself).

1 1/2 lbs. Milk Chocolate - melted
1 cup whipping cream
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla or 5 drops peppermint oil

Line 8" square pan with plastic wrap. Scald cream and let cool for 5 minutes. Stir in vanilla or mint. Beat chocolate with electric mixer. Stop the mixer and add cream all at once. Continue beating, cleaning bottom and side several times until smooth. (1-2 min.) Pour into prepared pan. Cool . Cut into tiny squares.
They melt in your mouth!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Danish Delight

We are having the Temple Prep. class at our home tomorrow night so I asked Mark what to make for dessert and this is what he suggested - sounded good to me!
My friend gave me these cute block letters for Christmas - they're reversible! I think they're adorable!

1/2 c. margarine - Melt in oven (300 degrees)

Add to butter,- mix and bake for 30 minutes stirring occasionally:

2 1/2 c. Rice Krispies

3/4 c. brown sugar

1 1/4 c. coconut

1 c. chopped nuts

(Take out 1/2 of above mixture)

1/2 gal. vanilla ice cream - soften and spread on top of mixture - sprinkle remaining mixture on top of ice cream - freeze for 2 hours or overnight.

Make as directed:

1 box Strawberry Danish Dessert

Frozen or fresh strawberries added to Danish Dessert

Serve with Strawberry Sauce

Hot fudge or Raspberry Sauce is good too!