Monday, December 26, 2011

Spudnut Donuts

I am actually going to be giving out a secret family recipe. Well...maybe not secret but this is one of our Christmas Traditions. We have made donuts every Christmas since I can remember...and they are amazing. We would try to give them out as neighbor gifts...but usually we ate most of them. Just thinking about them makes me hungry....yum!

Spudnut Donuts
2 Tbsp Shortening (no Wesson Oil)
1 Egg, beaten
1 Cup Warm Milk
3 tsp Yeast or 1 1/2 pkg Yeast
1/4 Cup Mashed Potatoes
1/4 Cup Sugar
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Vanilla
3 cups Flour

Dissolve the yeast in 3/4 cup warm water. Put the potatoes through a sieve. Scald the milk, add sugar and salt and cool to luke warm. Add the remaining ingredients. This makes a very dry, sticky-like dough. Let rise double in bulk, then roll out o to lightly floured board. Cut with a donut cutter and fry in deep fat until golden brown.

*You can refrigerate the dough, just make sure it had already risen twice before you do so.

2-3 Cups Powdered Sugar
1-2 Oranges, squeezed for juice
1 tsp Vanilla
1/2 Cup Water
2 Tbsp Milk
1/2 Cup Margarine

Mix the ingredients. Should be thin. Dip the donuts in the glaze while hot and drain off the excess in a bowl.
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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Caramel and Chocolate Covered Pretzels (A great neighbor gift!)

My newest holiday treat addiction are these delectable little nuggets of sweet and salty deliciousness. The picture above is missing the chocolate and M&M...but still look yummy!

Caramel & Chocolate Covered Pretzels

1 bag Kraft caramels, individually wrapped, about 50 count
(45 after you have snitched a few)
-or if you are ambitious-
your own homemade caramel, probably around two cups?

Around 45-50 mini pretzel twists or Snyder's pretzel squares

About a cup of melting chocolate
about half a bag of chocolate chips, unmelted

45-50 M&M's

Down to business:
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, place pretzels about 1 inch apart on the pan. Top each pretzel with unwrapped caramel square. Bake 8-10 minutes at 300 degrees or until caramels are rounding and soft. OVERBAKING will cause caramel to harden! While still warm, using the flat of a butter knife, press down caramel to cover pretzel.
*If you are using homemade caramel, fill pretzel holes and coat surface.
To chocolate your caramel:
If using chocolate chips, drop 3-5 chips onto the warm caramel and pop back into the oven until they are soft. Using your trusty butter knife again, smush the melty chips and cover the top of the pretzel.
If using melted chocolate, drop a healthy dollop on top of the caramel.
Place one lovely little M&M on the top and allow the treats to cool.
Happy entertaining!

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Shorthand Sugar Cookies

Alright, who hasn't fallen victim to the demure yet enticing call of the sugar cookie this time of year?
That's right.
No one can resist.
I am no exception. The only issue I take with these sweet yet subtle cookies is the recipes I own. They are complicated and time consuming. (That possibly sounds like a seriously lame excuse for someone who writes on a cooking blog, I understand.)
Truth be told...baking and me; not such wonderful friends. I am a novice at best when it comes to baking. My sisters got that genome, not me.
My solution? This awesome recipe I ganked and modified from
Seriously. Easy. Sugar cookies.

The Players:
8 oz. cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup margarine
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda

The Directions:
beat softened cream cheese, margarine, powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add baking soda and flour slowly. Mix well.

If doing cookie-cutter cookies, chill dough until firm-ish. Take half the dough and roll on floured surface to desired thickness.
If doing rolled cookies, ball dough and flatten slightly before baking.

Bake 12-19 minutes depending on thickness or until slightly browned on edges. Cool 2-5 minutes before removing from pan.
Frost, decorate, sprinkle with powdered sugar, do what you want with these lovely, simple cookies!
Happy Holidays!
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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Tasty Cheese Ball

I made this as an appetizer for Thanksgiving this disappeared FAST!
This is such an awesome cheese ball and it tastes soooo good!

Cheese Ball

2 pkgs 8oz Cream Cheese
1-2 Cups Shredded Cheese
2 Tbsp Ranch Dressing Mix
1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
Chopped Nuts (optional)

In a large bowl, mix together the cream cheese, shredded cheese, dressing mix and Worcestershire sauce. Form into balls. Roll in the nuts and refrigerate for 2 hours.

I usually don't roll mine in the nuts and just leave it wrapped in the plastic wrap until ready to serve. That way it is fresh and tasty! :)

*Easy way to form ball. Line a bowl with plastic wrap and place cheese mixture inside and take the ends and make into ball.
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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Cucumber Limeade Drink

This is the most refreshing drink. It is perfect for parties, showers or just to have in your fridge.
It really is ideal for summer, but I thought I would post it here in case anyone needs any ideas for a party drink for the holiday season.

12 oz frozen Limeade
1 liter Lemon Lime soda
1/2 Cucumber, sliced

Mix the limeade and the lemon lime soda together in punch bowl, add cucumbers.
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Friday, October 21, 2011

A Non-Edible Addition

Alright, time for a break from the lemmings, ladies and gents. It is time for some penny-pinching, miserly, money-saving, home-made, DIY goodness!!!
This week's adventure; LAUNDRY DETERGENT!
Anybody else get sticker shock looking at laundry soap? I do! I hate shelling out large amounts of hard-earned dinero to wash the grunge out of my clothes. The solution?
Arm and Hammer Washing Soda.
Fels Naptha Soap Bar.
And that is it. I swear to you.
The clincher???
For less than twelve dollars, you can do 640 loads of laundry.
Yes. yes, I know. Please stop crying. There there...
Ten gallons of laundry detergent at about one cent a load. And it gets even cheaper the next time you need to make it because all you need is the Fels Naptha bar...there is enough Borax and Washing Soda to make roughly five or six batches of this ten-gallon wonder.
Alright. Really. Please stop sobbing. Its okay. I didn't know until recently, either.
I'll give you a moment to compose yourself.
Better? Alright. Hold on to your gets even better...
Twenty minutes of stirring and mixing is IT.
Are you ready to save money?
Are you REALLY ready???
Then lets get to it!

Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent;
First of all, I recommend you get yourself five gallon bucket from walmart if you don't have one already. Make sure it is clean and has a lid. If you do not have your leftover expensive-brand laundry detergent bottles or gallon milk jugs then I suggest you buy a second five gallon bucket with lid. I have been hoarding my laundry detergent bottles for a few years for water storage. My husband shook his head at me thinking they would never come in handy but HA HA! Now I have another use for them.
Silly husband.
Get yourself a sturdy one quart pot and put four cups of water in it.
Take your Fels Naptha soap bar and grate it into the water. (Yes, use your cheese grater.) On medium-high heat, melt the soap shavings in the water until there are NO clumps or flakes. It will be a little foamy but you want it lump-free.
It takes around ten to fifteen minutes.
While you are watching the soap-water, fill your 5-gallon bucket half full with HOT water.
When the soap mixture is done, pour it into the bucket with the hot water.
Now add 1 cup of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda and 1/2 cup Borax.
Stir well to distribute evenly.
Fill the rest of the bucket with water and stir again.
Snap on your lid and let it sit overnight.
It will gel and thicken. The next day, give it a good stir.
Using a funnel, fill your old detergent jugs or milk jugs HALF full of the detergent. Dilute with water to fill the rest.
If you are using another five gallon bucket, just use the 1:1 ratio and dilute with water.
Before using the detergent, give the jug a good shake. If taking directly from the bucket, stir before use. The contents will settle over time so this is necessary.
Good looking stuff, huh?

Still not convinced it is a worthy detergent? A test was done with white shirts and mustard. Against the most expensive Tide super-duper stain remover, this simple, CHEAP detergent cleaned the stain exactly the same!
Here's a little nugget about how soap works; it isn't the soap that does the cleaning. It is WATER that cleans your clothes. The detergents break the barrier on the fabric to allow water through so it can clean. Water is, after all, the world's best solvent. So next time you are at the laundry soap aisle, you have my permission to laugh at all those expensive brands. They all use the same ingredients, every brand, even cheap brands, and it is your water that does the cleaning anyhow.
Worried about an allergic reaction? Afraid these cheap ingredients will be harsh?
100% allergen, dye, fragrance free. You can add fragrance oil if you desire, but this recipe is extremely gentle on skin. My neighbor used it for her infants as well as for herself who has severe skin allergies.
If you aren't going to make this for yourself/family...then I have to say you are a SAP. You have money to throw away, obviously.
So anyway, happy laundry-soap making, my friends.
(Oh, and Borax and the washing soda have excellent household cleaning uses...lots of suggestions on the boxes. YAY!!!)
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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Best Salsa Ever!

I have been on a quest to make the best salsa ever! My favorite salsa is the kind when you are eating in a restaurant and it is just the perfect blend of flavors. It has taken a while and I have tried many different recipes and most have been good. Not great, but edible. So while on my internet search I found this recipe from Pioneer Woman. And I have found it....the BEST salsa ever! It tastes as good or better than the stuff served in restaurants. :)

Restaurant Style Salsa
1 can (28 Ounce) Whole Tomatoes With Juice
2 cans (10 Ounce) Rotel (diced Tomatoes And Green Chilies)
1/4 cup Chopped Onion
1 clove Garlic, Minced
1 whole Jalapeno, Quartered And Sliced Thin
1/4 teaspoon Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Ground Cumin
1/2 cup Cilantro (more To Taste!)
1/2 whole Lime Juice

Note: this is a very large batch. I recommend using a 12-cup food processor, or you can process the ingredients in batches and then mix everything together in a large mixing bowl.

Combine whole tomatoes, Rotel, onion, jalapeno, garlic, sugar, salt, cumin, lime juice, and cilantro in a blender or food processor. Pulse until you get the salsa to the consistency you'd like. Test seasonings with a tortilla chip and adjust as needed.
Refrigerate salsa for at least an hour. Serve with tortilla chips or cheese nachos.

So incredibly will be gone very quickly!!!

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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Winner, Winner...PORK dinner?

So I am in a four-family cooking group with some ladies around town and have been enjoying the extra time three days out of the week NOT cooking. Honestly, there is no better feeling than watching the busy day wind down to around four o'clock and not running into that horrid thought, "Oh no, what am I going to cook for dinner tonight?"
Knock. Knock. Knock. "Here's your supper! Enjoy!"
Dinner a'la doorbell.
It. Is. So. Lovely.
BUT I like to cook, don't get me wrong. I enjoy a few hours dawdling in the kitchen, messing up recipes and swearing to myself and my hungry husband that I'll follow the recipe more closely next time.
My point?
The recipe exchanging is one of the biggest perks of this food-group business. I have come across some real nuggets of gold. (And some real nuggets of...well...not everything everyone cooks is going to agree with my family.) It is a risk worth taking, having others cook for you three days of the week. Remember that delectible little frozen Texas treat a few posts back? That'd be a nugget a' gold there. And this one, this be a niiiice little addition to my collection.

Candied Piggy *
*not actual recipe name. (I don't know the actual name. What is it with these ladies not naming their recipes?)
1 pork roast (2-4 lbs)
2 cups salsa of choice
2 cups brown sugar
1 slow cooker

Combine salsa and brown sugar. Place over pork in slow cooker. (Maybe put a bit of water to thin it out a bit.) Cook on low 8-10 hours. Shred with fork and let it simmer for another two hours.
Pair with warmed tortillas, lettuce, tomatoes and cheese for succulent pork burritos, or grab some local naan (indian bread) or make it yourself (recipe a few posts back) and pinch it off in fingerfuls with the soft bread.
Seriously delicious sweet pork.
Happy Eating!


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Sunday, September 4, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

Yummy! So my step-daughter wanted a Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake for her birthday.
I knew where the perfect recipe was, it was at
I made my own adjustments, and the recipe I used will be posted at the bottom. But her blog was my inspiration. Since my step-daughter loves stars I decided to make her cake in a Wilton Star cake pan.

I made the chocolate cake, and I added Reese's Peanut Butter chips to it =)

Then I made the frosting...peanut butter buttercream frosting. Oh my goodness this was so sinful that I kept eating it. It tasted just like the Reese's peanut butter. =)

I then cut up some Reese's peanut butter Cups and put them on top. It was devilishly good!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

1 box chocolate cake mix
1 small pkg Jello instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups peanut butter chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a very large bowl, mix together everything except peanut butter chips. Batter will be thick. Stir in the peanut butter chips. Pour batter into cake pan of choice. For cooking time, I use the cooking times on the back of the cake box as a guide and usually add 10 mins to whatever it says. Then I do the toothpick check, and if it’s not done, I check on it every 5 mins after that. It usually takes around 45 mins for two, 9-inch pie pans.

Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosing
1 Butter
4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 Cup Peanut Butter

In a mixing bowl, cream butter until fluffy. Add sugar and continue creaming until well blended. Add salt, vanilla, and whipping cream and then peanut butter. Blend on low speed until moistened. Beat at high speed until frosting is fluffy.
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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Cocoa Toasted Almonds

I love fact I love them so much that now I can hardly eat them. Plain old, whole natural almonds. They are good...but they just don't have that pizazz. Then I was in the store and say Cocoa Roasted Almonds. And it is a healthy snack...then I saw the price tag and backtracked.
So I found this recipe for Cocoa Roasted Almonds to make at home. Here it is...they are pretty good. I am going to post another recipe underneath that isn't as healthy but they are so good.

Cocoa Roasted Almonds

Pour one pound of raw or pasteurized almonds in a large bowl. Spray lightly with cooking spray. Stir with a large spoon, spray again, and toss with a large spoon. Almonds should be lightly, but thoroughly, coated.

In a small bowl, mix:
2 teaspoons corn starch
1/4 cup good cocoa powder
8 little envelopes Stevia sweetenter
1/4 teaspoon plain popcorn salt

Pour onto a baking sheet, lined with parchment paper. Bake at 250 degrees for about 25 minutes, stirring every 7 or 8 minutes. Remove from oven and place roasted cocoa almonds on paper towels. Cool thoroughly, then place in little 100 calorie bags. Since each almond has about 7 calories, put 14 or 15 almonds in each bag.

Spicy Cocoa Roasted Almonds
by my kitchen addiction

3 cups whole almonds
1 egg white
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
Few drops of water
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 – 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (depending on your taste)
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 275°F. Line a baking sheet with a silicon baking mat or with parchment paper. Set aside.

Whisk together the egg white, vanilla bean paste, and a few drops of water in a mixing bowl. Beat mixture until it is light and frothy. Add the almonds and toss to evenly coat with the egg white mixture.
In a separate bowl, combine the sugars, cocoa powder, cinnamon, cayenne, and salt. Whisk together to remove any lumps. Add the almonds, and toss to coat. Spread the coated almonds out on the prepared baking sheet. Roast for 30 – 40 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes. Keep a close watch on the almonds because they will burn quickly.
Once the almonds are done, spread them out on a large piece of parchment or waxed paper until they have cooled completely (it’s OK to snack on a few while they cool… That’s what I did!). Store in an airtight container.

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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

REALLY REALLY Good Chocolate Cake

So today I decided to make a chocolate cake because I had a ton of leftover frosting from my son's birthday party. I was cruising my friend Google and found this recipe.
It is heavenly...
I mean really really good.
I didn't make the frosting because of all of my leftover buttercream frosting...but I know this is good frosting. Look at the picture! =)
Try will love it!

Chocolate Cake
2 Cups Sugar
1 3/4 Cups Flour
3/4 Cups Cocoa
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt
2 Eggs
1 Cup Milk
1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
2 tsp Vanilla
1 Cup Boiling Water

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. You can use 2 round pans, cake pans or cupcake pans
(I did cupcakes). Stir the dry ingredients together, then add the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. Stir together for 2 minutes and then stir in the boiling water. This will thin your batter, but it's okay.
Pour your batter into preferred pan and bake for 30-35 minutes.
Let cool.

Chocolate Frosting
1/2 Cup Butter
2/3 Cup Cocoa
3 Cups Powdered Sugar
1/3 Cup Milk
1 tsp Vanilla

In a saucepan melt the butter, then stir in the cocoa. Alternately add your powdered sugar and milk until they are mixed in well. stir in the vanilla and mix. Once your cake or cupcakes have cooled frost with this yummy frosting!

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Scrumptious Sorbet (Unless you like the term 'sherbet' better; then we shall call it Scrumptious Sherbet)

I was recently introduced to a dessert that originated in Texas with no given name, which seems really insensitive considering how shockingly delicious the treat is. So, being of many words and little brain, I have come to the conclusion that no-name Texas dessert will be donned, "Scrumptious Sorbet"*
*see post title for further information
Point of fact, I am snacking on said sorbet as we, as I write. And really, it is as simple as it is incredible.
Here we go, ladies (and possibly gentleman):

Scrumptious Sorbet

1 package macaroon cookies, crumbled (use a rolling pin and make sure to leave some good ol' chunks)
1 regular sized tub whipped topping
Any flavor sorbet/sherbet, slightly thawed (a combination works raspberry and pineapple or lime and orange, peach and pineapple ((what I am currently licking off the spoon))

Combine whipped topping and cookie crumbles in a large bowl. Press half into the bottom of an 8x8 glass pan or any similar sized dish you have. Take gooey, but not too gooey, sorbet by the heaping spatula-full and slop together your sorbet into a rainbow of deliciousness! The gal that made this for me the first time had spent eons making a spectacular checker-board of four flavors...I am far too lazy to do that but you can if you have the gumption. It gets a little runny around the edges by now so you might want to put it in the freezer for a few minutes and refrigerate the cookie bits and whipped topping while it stiffens back up. Once it is capable of holding the roof, slap on that last half of macaroon goodness and freeze until firm all the way through. (Or, if you are like me, when the edges are firm but the middle still semi-molten.)

No kidding you, this will please a crowd. Double the recipe and fill up a cake pan for a party because it goes fast!
Alas, my favorite part of this recipe...the Wal-mart sneak;
Great Value Brand macaroon cookies; ninety eight cents for an entire package.
Great Value Brand whipped topping; ninety eight cents for a regular size tub.
Great Value Brand Sherbet; two dollars forty four cents for a half gallon, any flavor.
For just over six dollars, you can make a two-flavor knock-out with this scrumptious dessert.

Happy cooking!
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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Boston Cream Pie

Erin here!! As many of you know, I am the cake baker of the family. This past Saturday night, my brother and sister-in-law had a get together at their house and I offered to bring a Boston Cream Pie.... Unfortunately, I do not have any pictures of it as it was smashed on the way to the get together....but I will share the recipe as it was AMAZING. And, if yours happens to ge smashed on the way, it still tastes good. :-)

Boston Cream Pie

1 12.5 oz bag Ghiradelli Milk Chocolate Chips
2 pints heavy whipping cream, halved
1 small box french vanilla pudding
1 cup crushed oreos
1 box butter recipe cake
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup butter
3 eggs
1 small box pudding (vanilla or white chocolate)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour 2 9" round pans.

Empty chocolate chips into a bowl. Heat 1 pint of heavy whipping cream almost to boiling point. Pour over chocolate chips and whip with whisk until smooth. I sometimes add about 1 tbsp butter to the mixture as well. Set aside and cool.

Crush oreos. Set aside. Pour dry pudding into bowl. Add 1 pint of heavy cream. Mix on low speed until almost set. Fold in oreos by hand and refrigerate.

Cream butter in mixer. Sift cake mix and pudding into bowl. Add water and mix on low speed, adding eggs one at a time until incorporated. Add sour cream and mix until well blended. Do not overmix.

Pour cake batter into pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Release from pan and cool completely.

Place one cake layer on serving plate. Top with oreo cookie/pudding mixture. Top with second cake layer. Poor cooled ganache over entire cake. Chill, if desired. Refridgerate any leftovers.

As a tip, I used about 3/4 of the ganache to cover the cake and then took the rest and drizzled it on the cake as we served it. Yummy!! Enjoy!!
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Sunday, June 26, 2011

SouthWest Salad

1 can black beans
1 can pinto beans
1 bag frozen corn
1 head cabbage, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup mayonaise
1/2 packet chili seasoning

Mix mayonaise and chili seasoning. Combine all other ingredients, mix in mayonaise. If desired, add salt and pepper to taste or more mayonaise/chili seasoning.
Serve over Fritos chips.

*The lovely thing about this...the next-day leftovers are SO DELICIOUS! The flavors intensify over time and the cabbage stays crisp. This is so great for HOT evenings when you dread the thought of turning on an oven.

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Thursday, June 16, 2011

White Chili

My sister-in-law introduced me to this recipe and has become almost a weekly meal at our house. I must say that it is sooooo good and even better the next day for leftovers. :)
We always serve it with french bread and though I don't think it is as good, my husband loves garlic bread with it.

White Chili

2 cans Chicken Breast, undrained
1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 tsp Garlic, chopped (2-3 cloves)
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 cans Great Northern Beans, untrained
1 can Chicken Broth
2 cans Green Chiles, untrained
Chopped Jalapenos to taste
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne Pepper
1 Cup Sour Cream
1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
1/4 Cup Water

In a large saucepan sauté the oil, onion and garlic until caramelized. Add beans, broth, chiles, chicken, seasonings and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream and whipping cream.
Note: Depending on the brand of sour cream (thickness) the simmer time may need to be extended to dissolve the sour cream.

*We are a garlic crazy I ALWAYS add more garlic. I think it makes the flavor I usually put in about 6-8 cloves of garlic.
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Saturday, June 4, 2011

Naan - Indian Bread

I have been obsessed with Indian food as of late. I posted that Channa Masala recipe and had made it twice since then. Morgan, my 7 year old, does not like indian food BUT, she loves naan, which is a type of bread that is served with indian food. She begged me to find a recipe for it and so I went on a search. I found this recipe and tweaked it a bit. So good and you really can serve it with just about anything.
1 package active dry yeast
1 c warm water
1/4 c white sugar
3 tbsp milk
1 egg, beaten
2 tsp salt
3 1/2 c flour
2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 c butter
In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in warm water with 1 tbsp sugar. Let stand 10 minutes, until frothy. Stir in sugar, milk, egg, salt and flour. This should make a soft dough. If you need to add more flour, do so but don't add so much that the dough is hard. Once it is a soft dough, take it out and knead it on a floured surface for 6-8 minutes or until smooth. Place dough in a well oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth and set aside to rise. Let it rise 1 hour or until dough has doubled in volume.
Punch down dough. Pinch of small handfuls of dough, about 1/2 the size of a golf ball, join the them together and roll into a ball. Place on tray and cover with a towel. Allow to rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
During the 2nd rising, preheat the grill to high heat.
Roll one ball of dough out into a thin circle. Lightly oil grill. Add garlic to melted butter. Brush one side of dough with butter/garlic mixture and place on grill and cook 2-3 minutes, until puffy and lightly browned. Brush uncooked side with butter and turn over. Cook another 2-3 minutes. Remove from grill and continue to cook until all has been prepared.
This recipe makes A LOT of dough. After the first rising and I had made all the dough balls, I froze half of them in the freezer for another day because it made so much.
As far as the grill goes, I used a George Foreman grill and just cooked these on it with the top open. I did read that another good thing to do is to use a baking stone instead of the grill and you can bake them at 600 degrees for 2 minutes. My baking stone is packed away in storage so I couldn't use that option but feel free to let me know if that option works well!!
One more thing, I made mine into cheese naan. When I was making the dough balls, I cut pieces of sharp cheddar cheese and put it in the middle of the balls. You can add anything you want in the middle: garlic, onion, cheese, pecans, raisins, whatever floats your boat. The cheese worked out well, but I think I will try shredded cheese next time rather than just pieces of cheese.
Enjoy your naan!!!
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Monday, May 23, 2011

Hush Puppie Madness

Not too long ago I was insanely crazy about hush puppies. We had gone out to eat and we had some with our dinner. And I wanted more! So when I got home I did an internet search and found two really good recipes. I tried them both and have to say they are equally good.
So if you get hungry for some good ol' hush puppies go ahead and fry some up.
Paula Deen Hush Puppies
1 1/2 Cups Self-Rising Cornmeal
1/2 Cup Self-Rising Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1 small Onion, chopped
1 Cup Buttermilk
1 Egg, lightly beaten

Using a mixing bowl, stir together the cornmeal, flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the onion. In a small bowl, stir together the buttermilk and egg. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until blended. Drop the batter, one teaspoon at a time, into the oil. Dip the spoon in a glass of water after each hushpuppy is dropped in the oil. Fry until golden brown, turning the hushpuppies during the cooking process.

Vicki’s Hush Puppies
2 Eggs, beaten
1/2 Cup White Sugar
1 large Onion, diced
1 Cup Self-Rising Flour
1 Cup Self-Rising Cornmeal

In a medium bowl, mix together eggs, sugar, and onion. Blend in flour and cornmeal.
Drop batter by rounded teaspoons in hot oil, and fry until golden brown. Cook in small batches to maintain oil temperature. Drain briefly on paper towels. Serve hot.

*If you don’t have self-rising flour add 1 tsp Baking powder and 2 tsp Salt
If too dry add about 1/4-1/2 Cup Milk or Buttermilk.
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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Cheesy Chicken Empanadas

I love Kraft Food & Family magazine! I get four a year and they ALWAYS have good recipes.
This is one of our family favorites. It is soooo easy and tastes really good.

Cheesy Chicken Empanadas
2 cups shredded cooked chicken breasts
1 cup KRAFT Mexican Style Finely Shredded Four Cheese
1/3 cup KRAFT SANDWICH SHOP Chipotle Flavored Reduced Fat Mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
1 egg
1 Tbsp. water
1 pkg. (14.1 oz.) ready-to-use refrigerated pie crusts (2 crusts)
1 tsp. chili powder

HEAT oven to 375ºF.
COMBINE first 4 ingredients. Whisk egg and water until well blended.
UNROLL pie crusts on lightly floured surface. Use rolling pin to roll each to 12-inch circle. Cut each crust into 8 (4-inch) circles with biscuit cutter, re-rolling dough as needed. Place on parchment-covered baking sheets. Spoon 2 Tbsp. chicken mixture onto center of each circle; brush edge with egg. Fold dough circles in half. Press tops lightly to remove excess air; seal edges with fork. Brush tops with remaining egg. Sprinkle with chili powder.
BAKE 15 min. or until golden brown.
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Friday, May 13, 2011

Kelli's Peanut Butter Bars

I put this recipe on my family blog not too long ago...but I thought I would share with all of you. These are AMAZING!!! If you have ever been to Terrel's Bakery in Mt. Pleasant, Utah they taste just like them (maybe better)!

Peanut Butter Bars
Cookie Recipe:
1/2 Cup Peanut Butter
3/4 Cup Shortening
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar, packed
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 Egg
1 tsp Vanilla
1 1/4 Cup Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Salt

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Measure peanut butter, shortening and brown sugar. Add sugar, egg and vanilla; beat until thoroughly combined. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl. Add to peanut butter mixture;, mix well. Press the dough onto baking sheet with your hands, it is very soft dough, until it covers the bottom of the pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

2 Cups Chocolate Chips
1/4 Cup Peanut Butter

In a saucepan place ingredients and melt on medium heat until blended. layer over cooled cookies.
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Monday, May 9, 2011

Kelli's Chocolate Chip Cookies

When I was about 12 years old I decided to make my very own chocolate chip cookies recipe.
I have become the master cookie maker, ask my siblings...they will vouch for me. :)
I wrote it down and history...Kelli's Chocolate chip Cookies. I have learned some things about cooking the last couple of years, so the recipe has improved some over the years.
Mmmm...they are might tasty!

The best part...cookie dough :)

Kelli Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 Cup Butter
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Baking Powder
4 Cups Flour, plus more
Chocolate Chips

Cream the sugars, butter and eggs. Mix in the vanilla, dry ingredients and chocolate chips. When adding flour, do it a little at a time. Mix it until the dough is workable with fingers. Roll into balls and place on a cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes at 375 degrees
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Sunday, May 8, 2011

Crumb-y Old Fish Tacos

My daughter hates it when I announce we're having fish tacos. She does a fair amount of whining and complaining but, being the evil mom that I am, I make them anyway. She has consistantly refused to even taste them...until now!
One thing my daughter does like are Ritz crackers. I am currently out of breadcrumbs so I thought, 'Hmm...wonder what a fish breading with Ritz would be like.'
Delicious and Savanna-approved is what it is.
"It tastes like a chicken nugget, mom!"

So here it is, Ritz Fish Breading
Take a sleeve of Ritz and dump it in the blender. Blend until smooth. Add some lemon and pepper seasoning, dried cilantro and whatever else you feel like adding. Blend again.
Get three bowls similar in size.
In one bowl, put about a cup of flour. The second, whip up a few eggs for a dip. Third bowl, put your Ritz mix in it.
Take about a pound of your favorite fish (I had cod that night because it was on sale. Tilapia is my favorite normally.) Thaw as directed (if frozen).
Drench fillets in the flour then the egg wash then coat in Ritz breading. Add a few tablespoons olive oil to a big pan. Fry the fillets until the flesh flakes with a fork, until the breading is golden brown.

here is a super fast pico de gallo recipe I whipped up.

Four roma tomatoes, chopped.
Two handfulls cilantro, chopped.
A few tablespoons white onion, finely chopped.
A nice big splash of lime juice.
A few shakes of black pepper.
Mix well.

We always use warmed white corn tortillas, a squeeze of La Victoria mild red sauce and a smear of sour cream (or Rubio's white sauce) along with our pico and fish. Kelli has the great Rubio's sauce recipe for fish tacos but I'll leave it up to her to give it you!
Love fish tacos!
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Friday, May 6, 2011

Ham n' Bean Soup

After Easter I had a TON of leftover ham. We ate it for a week and I wanted to make something with it. So I called Amy and she gave me a quick recipe for Ham n' Bean Soup. I added some things and know what I will do differently next time (more water/broth). But it was quite good.

Here is what you will need: potatoes, onion, garlic, ham, great northern beans, pepper, oregeno
and not pictured is water and chicken broth.

I decided to add the celery after looking in my made quite a difference. Add it!


Ham n’ Bean Soup

2 cans Great Northern Bean Soup
2-3 Cups Ham (with bone okay), cut into small pieces
2 Potatoes, cut into small pieces
Onion, finely chopped
Celery, finely chopped
1-2 Garlic cloves, minced
1 Cup Water
1 Cup Chicken Broth
Seasonings to taste; pepper, salt, oregano, basil leaves, etc…

Saute the onions and celery in a pan with olive oil or butter. In a crockpot add the beans, ham, potatoes, water and chicken broth. Add the vegetables, garlic and seasonings. Cook on high in crockpot for 4 hours or leave all day.
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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Channa Masala

Hey there, Erin again. About a month ago, my sisters and I went to the Holi Festival down in Spanish Fork and while there, we ate some Indian food and fell in love with the food. My favorite dish was Channa Masala which is chick peas (garbanzo beans) in a curry sauce. I went on a search for a fairly easy recipe to make this dish and this is what I found.

Channa Masala

1 tbsp butter
1/2 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove
1/2 tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
3 tbsp chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup water
1 15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp salt
juice of 1/4 lemon

Toss the butter in a skillet set over medium heat. When melted, add the onion and cook unti lsoft and beginning to brown, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.

Add the coriander, cumin, cayenne and turmeric. Stir until combined and cook for 30 seconds or so, or until it is very fragrant.

Stir in the tomatoes. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Dump in the chickpeas and pour in the water. Stir until combined and then bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Add the paprika, garam masala, salt and lemon juice. Cover and cook at a simmer for 10 minutes.

You might ask what garam masala is. I wondered too. Apparently it's a mixture of spices, kind of like curry. I couldn't find any, so I just used curry powder. I will warn you, it was very spicy and I even cut the spices in half. My kids aren't big on spicy so next time, I will probably cut the 1/2 in 1/2 again. But it still was very good.

I complemented the meal with Uncle Ben's Basmati Ready Rice and french bread. Yummy!!
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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Chocolate Chili Cake

Hey there! It's Erin. As many of you know, I love to bake!!! My sisters are so good at cooking but my specialty seems to be most of my contributions will be cakes or treats of some kind or another.

At work tomorrow for CINCO DE MAYO, we are having a potluck and I'm always asked to contribute a cake. I wanted to go for something different this time so here is a cake creation that is yummy but it definitely has a kick.

Chocolate Chili Cake

1 box chocolate cake mix
ingredients to make cake from the box (eggs, oil, water)
1 box chocolate pudding
1 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp chili powder
2 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Mix dry ingredients together til combined. Add wet ingredients and mix for at least 2 minutes. Bake as directed on box.

I frosted my cake with chocolate buttercream frosting. ENJOY!!
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Homemade Wingers

Hey there, this is Kelli. Do I have a tasty delight for you tonight. Have you been to Wingers?
It is one of my husband's favorite restaurant's and so while trolling the web I happened upon this recipe....and thought, hmmm...I will try this. I am telling you now that we LOVE these. They are so good!

First, make the sauce. It makes a lot, you can do probably two pans full with all the sauce you make with this recipe.

I found these chicken tenders at Smith's. I was looking in the frozen chicken section and was having a coronary over the prices. Then I walked over to the meat/butcher section and they had these lovely chicken tenders for the wonderful price of $4.

Put some foil down over your baking sheet, put on your chicken and you can just pour the sauce over the chicken. I did that and then I went back with my tongs and pulled the larger pieces and dipped them so they were coated.

They turned out wonderful. We just dipped them in ranch. Also, nice little tidbit...if you like the Winger's creamy sauce. All I did was mix some of the sauce with the ranch and mix. Yummy...good for dipping too. :)

Homemade Winger's Sticky Fingers
Breaded Chicken Tenders
2 Cups Brown Sugar, packed
1 Cup Water
3/4 Cup Vinegar
1/2 Cup Ketchup
3 Tbsp Soy Sauce
4 Tbsp Cornstarch
1/4 Cup Franks Hot Sauce (less if you want less spice)

Fill 9x13 pan with desired amount of breaded chicken tenders. In a bowl mix remaining ingredients together and pour over top of chicken. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes or until center of chicken is no longer pink. Sauce will thicken upon standing (turn pieces after they come out of the oven to evenly coat with sauce-but if not they are still good).
Serve with celery sticks and ranch dressing.
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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

You'll-Never-Miss-The-Meat Cassarole

Hello there, furry friends! This is Sister #3 (a.k.a Amy) and do I have a recipe for you!
If you are anything like me then the day or three before the 'big' grocery shopping trip can mean meager meals made of whatever hasn't been eaten. Mostly, my husband and kids put up with these nights and try to humor me. (Scratch that, my five year old daughter has no problem telling me how tasteless my cooking is)
The solution? Well, creativity and a willingness to experiment have kept my family from starving but until last night when I threw this little gem together, I hadn't quite gotten the standing ovation I deserved.
If you don't believe vegetarian can be full-flavor, I would kindly like to direct you to any Indian-food restaurant to prove to you otherwise. But seeing as curry isn't in my cupboard, I went with a more acceptable Americanized southwest dish and TA-DA! My daughter said loudly, "Mom, I love this!"
I consider that an ovation in itself.
On to the food!

You'llNeverMissTheMeat Cassarole A'La Amy

6-8 corn tortillas, torn into bite-size pieces

1 can low-sodium corn
(too much sodium = health problems later in life. Accept it now)

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
(unless you like the look of tar in your food?)

1 can mild Rotel or
1 small can green chilies (if you hate tomatoes.)
(But honestly, who hates tomatoes?)

1 can cream of chicken soup

6 oz. light sour cream

1 box rice-a-roni Spanish rice (or any flavor variety of your choosing)

*a few ounces of frozen spinach

*a few ounces of pictsweet's seasoning blend

1 cup shredded cheese of choice

Spray down a 13x9 glass pan with some cooking spray and spread the torn tortillas on the bottom.
Cook the rice according to directions, adding the frozen spinach and seasoning blend just before setting it to simmer.
Mix the cream of chicken soup, black beans, corn, rotel, 1/2 cup cheese and sour cream in a large bowl.
Spread rice over the tortillas in the pan then layer the mixture over top the rice. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup cheese over top.
Bake at 350 degrees for thirty minutes and voila!

*As you probably noticed, I say 'a few ounces' of frozen this or that. I like to hide additional vegetables in food to tie up that pesky pyramid and add some serious flavor. The seasoning blend adds alot of flavor so you don't need the whole package. Yay! Some for later! And the spinach in the will never know it's there! If I have snuck in an entire bag of frozen spinach throughout two weeks, I consider it a good deal.

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Monday, May 2, 2011


Welcome to our new blog!
My sisters and I love to cook and bake and I thought it would be fun to start blogging the recipes we find and the things that we cook and bake.

I just want to send out a quick nugget to all of you that Kroger now makes Nutella in their brand. The best thing about it is that is over a dollar less and tastes just as good. :)
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