Thursday, December 6, 2012

Smoky Honey Mustard Pork Chops

We were trying to decide what to do with some frozen pork we had, and I came across this recipe. It has a delicious, but light flavor. We demolished it!

4 4-6 oz pork loin or sirloin chops
salt and pepper
Liquid Smoke
3 Tbsp Dijon or whole grain mustard
1 1/2 Tbsp honey
2 cloves minced garlic

1. Sprinkle pork chops with salt and pepper. Give them a liberal dousing of liquid smoke (you can usually find this either near the seasonings or the BBQ sauce/condiments in the grocery store). Set aside.
2. Heat oven broiler to high or preheat grill. Combine honey, garlic, and mustard. Place pork chops on broiler pan/grill and cook for 4-5 minutes. Turn and cook another 4-5 minutes. You want the internal temperature to be at least 165 (that's a little pink inside), but you also don't want to overcook them because they will become tough. You may need to adjust your cooking times a little, bearing in mind that they have two minutes to cook after the initial 8-10 minutes.
3. Baste with honey mustard mixture and cook an additional minute. Turn and baste other side; cook for one additional minute. Remove from heat and allow to stand a few minutes to seal in the juices.

{Kudos to:!}

Easy Drop Biscuits

***Check out my new blog for pics of these great biscuits!

I've made these a handful of times when I need something quick to add to dinner. They always turn out fluffy and delicious!

2 cups flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
2 tsp white sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup milk

1. Preheat oven to 450.
2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, cream of tartar, and salt. Stir in butter and milk just until moistened. Drop batter on a lightly greased cookie sheet by the tablespoon.
3. Bake in preheated oven until golden on the edges, about 8 to 12 minutes.

Yield: About a dozen.

{Kudos to:! Recipe was originally called "E-Z Drop Biscuits."}

"Sis's Chocolate Cupcakes"

Eh, not my favorite pic, but the recipe is gooood!!

A Pinterest find, we made these one day when my 3 yr old wanted to make chocolate cupcakes to surprise Daddy (sounds vaguely familiar to how we found this recipe: "Best Ever Chocolate Cake"). They turned out so well, we didn't even frost them!

1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup buttermilk (or 1/4 cup milk and 1/4 Tbsp lemon juice or vinegar)
3 heaping Tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla

In a small bowl, dissolve baking soda in room-temperature buttermilk. In a saucepan, melt butter and cocoa together at a low temperature. When smooth, add water. In a separate bowl, sift together sugar, flour, and salt. Add cocoa mixture and egg and mix at a low speed. Add buttermilk mixture and vanilla and beat until smooth. Divide batter evenly into 12 cupcake papers. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

{Kudos to:!}

Guiltless Alfredo Sauce

I can't help but post another recipe- they're just too good! I used this sauce in their Bacon Artichoke with Penne Bake (SO good, although we omitted the artichoke). I will definitely be making this again!

2 cups low-fat milk
1/3 cup (3 oz) low-fat cream cheese
2 Tbsp flour
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp butter
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (The cookbook notes that using pregrated Parmesan will still make a great tasting sauce, but it will be lumpy. This is the recipe that introduced me to using fresh Parmesan, and I will NEVER go back- it makes such a huge difference in flavor!)

1. In a blender, blend the milk, cream cheese, flour, and salt until smooth, then set aside.
2. In a large, nonstick saucepan, melt butter on medium-high heat and add the garlic. Saute the garlic for about 30 seconds, stirring constantly to prevent the garlic from sticking and burning.
3. Add the milk mixture to the pan. Stir constantly for 3-4 minutes or until it just comes to a simmer. Keep stirring and let it cook for a few minutes more or until the sauce thickens, about 6-7 minutes.
4. Once the sauce has started to thicken, remove from heat. Whisk the cheese into the sauce and immediately cover the pan.
5. Allow the sauce to stand for at least 10 minutes before using. It will continue to thicken upon standing.
6. Serve immediately. Refrigerate leftovers for up to 5 days. The sauce will become very thick once refrigerated. To use it, reheat the sauce and add a little milk until the desired consistency is reached.

{Kudos to:! Definitely check out their website!}

Chicken Caesar Sandwiches

This is a Pinterest find. It is really easy to prepare, and tasted great! I ate the leftovers for lunch for a few days after, and it was just as good!

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 to 1 cup of your favorite Caesar dressing ( I used about 3/4 cup Ken's Steakhouse Lite Creamy Caesar- great choice)
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley or 2 teaspoons dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
12 slider buns or 4-6 regular sized hamburger buns

1. Place chicken in a 3-4 quart slow cooker with 1-2 cups of water, cover and cook on low heat for 4-6 hours.
2. Remove chicken from cooker and drain the water from the slow cooker. Place chicken on a cutting board and shred.
3. Place chicken back in the cooker and pour dressing, Parmesan cheese, parsley, and pepper over the top. Stir until evenly mixed. Cover and cook on high heat for 30 minutes or until mixture is hot.
4. Spoon onto hamburger buns and top with extra Parmesan cheese and lettuce.

{Kudos to:!}

Chocolate Swirled Banana Bread

This is a fantastic banana bread recipe! I LOVE the texture, and the chocolate swirl gives it just the right amount of added flavor! The second time I made this, I had two layers of banana and two layers of chocolate, with chocolate being the top layer, and I prefer it that way- it makes a delicious top crust!

2 cups flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3-4 medium bananas)
2 eggs
1/3 cup yogurt or sour cream
1/2 cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cups and level. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt, and set aside. Cream sugar and butter. Add bananas, eggs, and yogurt, beating until just blended. Add flour mixture. Beat on low until just moistened.
2. Microwave chocolate chips in a medium bowl for 1 minute. Stir until smooth. Cool slightly. Add 1 cup batter to chocolate, stirring until well-combined. Coat an 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pan with cooking spray, then flour the pan. Spoon chocolate batter alternately with plain batter (so you have stripes of plan and chocolate batter) into the pan. Swirl batter with a knife.
3. Bake at 350 for 60- 75 minutes or until the knife comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, and then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.

{Kudos to:!!}

Saturday, December 1, 2012

KFC Honey BBQ Wings

Ohhhh, these are fantastic!! We got the recipe from (great site, by the way!). They are in the oven as I write, and I can't wait to have them again! The first time we had these, we used the exact directions; the second time, we used a deep-fryer, and it simplified the process quite a bit! Totally worth it either way. Plus, we loved that the chicken we bought had so much more meat on them than the wings you can buy at KFC or most other places!

2 lbs chicken wings OR boneless, skinless chicken strips or
2 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk + 1 Tbsp lemon juice or vinegar- let it sit for 5 minutes before using)
vegetable oil (for deep frying

BBQ sauce:
1 cup Hickory Smoke BBQ sauce
1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp ketchup
1 tsp liquid smoke

1. Mix flour, salt, and pepper in a bowl, and set aside. Place buttermilk in separate bowl. Heat oil for frying (it should be 375 degrees) and dip chicken strips in flour, then in buttermilk, and then in flour again. Place in hot oil. Never overcrowd chicken. Fry until lightly golden brown. Remove chicken and drain.
2. Preheat oven to 350. Place BBQ sauce ingredients in a small sauce pan. Mix thoroughly  and simmer on low heat, stirring frequently for 20 minutes. Let sauce cool slightly, then dip one chicken piece in sauce at a time, and place on a baking sheet that has been sprayed lightly with non-stick spray. Place in preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes.

{Kudos to:!}

"Hobo Dinner" casserole

This is a specialty of the Kaye family. I believe this was created in honor of foil dinners, but this version is much more kitchen-friendly. Definitely high on the "comfort food" list!

2 lbs ground beef, thawed
1 large onion, diced
1 lb bag baby carrots, or whole carrots, peeled and chopped (more work, but better flavor, I think)
2-3 lbs red potatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
cabbage (at least enough to cover the top of the casserole, but more if you want)

Preheat oven to 350. Layer ingredients in a 9 x 13 casserole dish in the order listed, and bake for 60-90 minutes, or until hamburger is cooked and vegetables are soft.

 (Top view...sideways for some weird reason...)

[Kudos to: the Kaye family :)}

Thursday, September 20, 2012


***Check out my new blog for pics of these delicious scones!

I couldn't find a scone recipe I had used a few years ago, so I turned to, and found this one- they are fantastic! I substituted cake flour for all of the all-purpose flour, so they turned out very light inside, which we loved! I used some tips from a reviewer, which I think helped the texture to work out so well. Oh, and I didn't know why the sour cream and baking soda had to blended separately- it creates this crazy foamy mixture- it looks cool!

1 cup sour cream
1 tsp baking soda
4 cups cake flour
1 cup white sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp salt
1 cup butter
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup raisins or whatever (I used butterscotch chips, no raisins), optional

1. In a small bowl, blend sour cream and baking soda, and set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a large baking sheet.
3. Mix butter and sugar, then beat in egg and vanilla
4. Mix all dry ingredients together, then add to wet ingredients. Do not over-mix.
5. Add sour cream mixture, but do not over-mix. 
6. Add any topping (raisins or butterscotch chips etc). 
7. Make about 16 balls, and press them flatter in your hand, then place on baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown on the bottom.

{Kudos to: allrecipes "Grandma Johnson's Scones!"}

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Strawberry Pineapple Smoothie

***Check out my new blog for pics of this yummy smoothie!

Another fantastic find- it's my latest favorite smoothie! One of the best parts: I don't like (and therefore don't eat) strawberries, but I can love them in this!

1 cup frozen strawberries
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup pineapple and juice
1/2 cup yogurt (we like strawberry-banana; it gives it more flavor than vanilla)
2 Tbsp sugar
6 ice cubes

1. Blend all ingredients in blender until smooth.

Yield: 2 servings.

{Kudos to:!}

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

(Better Than) Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana

I got hooked on this soup when my sister-in-law made it a few years ago- lots of flavor, and I think she added extra potatoes, bacon, sausage, and kale- SO good!! Then, I went to Olive Garden and tried the soup this recipe is modeled after, and was disappointed! Theirs is very thin, with hardly any of the "good stuff" (the ingredients that my sister-in-law always added extra of). It was a very similar flavor, but OG's was nowhere close to the filling, satisfying soup I was used to. This recipe is awesome!

1 1/2 cups spicy sausage links (12 small) or 1 lb spicy sausage, browned
2 medium potatoes, cubed
3/4 c onions, diced
6 slices bacon
1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
2 cups kale leaves, cut in small pieces
2 Tablespoons chicken base
1 quart water
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream

Preheat oven to 300; place sausage links onto a baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes, or until done; cut in pieces (or skip this step if using browned sausage).
Placed onions and bacon in a large saucepan and cook over medium heat until the onions are almost clear. Remove bacon and crumble. Add garlic to onions and cook an additional minute. Add chicken base, water, and potatoes, and simmer 15 minutes. Add crumbled bacon, sausage, kale, and cream. Simmer 4 minutes and serve.

{Kudos to Lake Stevens 1st Ward cookbook- D.M./my sister-in-law, Melissa!!}

Tuscan Soup

We've made this recipe a handful of times, and it always hits the spot- especially if it's cold outside! Definitely a comfort food, and it's easy to add other elements depending on what you have on hand. Last time we made it, we added 2 chicken breasts, cubed. Next time we plan on adding long grain wild rice, substituting fresh carrot for canned (I have a tendency to get distracted and cook the carrots too long, plus this simplifies things a bit), and maybe adding an extra can of broth, as the noodles soak up quite a bit of it.

1 small carrot, sliced
1 small onion, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cans (14.5 oz each) chicken broth
1 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 can (15 to 16 oz) white kidney or great northern beans, rinsed and drained
1 2/3 cup uncooked small spiral pasta
3 cups thinly sliced escarole or spinach

1. In a 2-quart saucepan, saute carrots in oil. When the carrots are almost done, add onion and saute a bit longer. Add the broth, water, salt, and pepper; bring to a boil. Stir in beans and pasta; return to a boil.
2. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until pasta and vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Add escarole or spinach; heat through.

Yield: 4 servings

{Kudos to Taste of Home cookbook!}

Broccoli Salad with Bacon

My sister-in-law has made this numerous times for family get-togethers, and it is SO GOOD! There are never any leftovers, and you have to get to it quick!

2 lbs broccoli, chopped into small bites
1/2 lb bacon
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sugar
2 Tbsp vinegar

Fry bacon until crisp; drain and cool on paper towels, then crumble. Combine mayonnaise, sugar, and vinegar, and toss with remaining ingredients.

{Kudos to Lake Stevens 1st Ward cookbook- M.M.!}

Monday, August 13, 2012

"Best Ever Chocolate Cake"

***Check out my new blog for better pics of this delicious cake!

My 3 yr old wanted to make a chocolate cake for her daddy yesterday, but I didn't have any cake mix or chocolate chips, so I was trying to find one that used cocoa powder, and was hopefully pretty good. I found this recipe, and honestly can't stop eating it!

You would think this was a pic of the finished cake, but it's not- this is just the batter!
My husband gave it a 8.5/10. My 3 yr old only ate the frosting. My 1 yr old at her piece and part of the 3 yr old's (can't let it go to waste!) Unless I find a better recipe, I'm using this in the future for sure, and I don't think I'll buy a boxed chocolate cake mix again! I especially like how light it turned out- I'd easily eat it without frosting!

3/4 cup butter (room temperature or just microwave for a bit)
3 eggs (set out 30 minutes ahead, or put in warm water for 15 minutes)
2 cups cake flour (or all-purpose)
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups milk

1. Lightly grease bottoms of three 8x1 1/2-inch round cake pans or two 9x1 1/2-inch round cake pans or two 8x8x2-inch baking pans. Line bottoms of pans with waxed paper. Grease and lightly flour waxed paper and sides of pans. (I realized I didn't have any cake pans, so I (skipped the wax paper and) sprayed a 9x11 and made what my husband called "a man cake!") Set pans aside.
2. Preheat oven to 350. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and 1/2 tsp salt. Set aside.
3. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar, about 1/4 cup at a time, beating on medium speed for 3 to 4 minutes or until well mixed. Scrape the sides of the bowl; continue beating on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition (about 1 minute total). Beat in vanilla.
4. Alternately add flour mixture and milk to beaten mixture, beating on low speed just until combined after each addition. Beat on medium to high speed for 20 seconds more. Spread evenly into the prepared pans.
5. Bake for 30-35 minutes for round cake pans, 35 to 40 minutes for 8-inch square pans or 9x11, or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cook cake layers in pans 10 minutes. Remove from pans. Peel off waxed paper. Cool completely on wire racks.

Yield: 12-16 servings.

{Kudos to Better Homes and Gardens- Our Best Recipes cookbook!}

Bread Machine Pizza Dough

I'm glad I forgot the pizza dough at Winco last week. I happened to be web-camming with my sister when I realized I hadn't bought the dough. I was very excited to make Spinach Chicken Stromboli, and had decided not to make the dough myself, after a couple of disastrous attempts. Fortunately, my sister had this great, easy recipe, and it turned out great (as did the Stromboli!).

1 7/16 cup water (that's 1 cup +1/3 cup + 2 Tbsp)
1 Tbsp butter, cut in small pieces
1 3/4 Tbsp vinegar
3 3/8 cup bread flour (that's 3 cups + 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp)
1 Tbsp dry milk
1 tsp salt
1 tsp yeast

Place ingredients in bread machine, according to manufacturer's directions. Select dough option. When done, knead dough on a floured surface for a bit. Split into 2 rolls and let the dough rise for 15 mins. Bake at 340 for 15-20 mins. 

{Kudos to my sister, Jamie!} 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Luscious Lemon Squares

One of those classic after-Sunday-dinner desserts. This is my favorite version of lemon bars, because they have a great balance of sweet and tart (I don't like sour anything!).

2 cups flour
1 cup butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 tsp baking powder
5 Tbsp lemon juice
3 tsp finely grated lemon peel

Cut flour, butter, and powdered sugar together and pat into a 13x9 pan. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. While baking, mix the remaining ingredients together thoroughly. Pour mixture over hot crust and bake for another 20 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Cool, then cut into squares.

{Kudos to my mother-in-law, Jayleen, via Lake Stevens 1st Ward cookbook!!}

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Summer Dream

We just made up a drink, and thought we'd share, because it's yummy! Brad says  "it's a very festive brew!" We both agree it'd be an excellent drink for a punch bowl at a party.

Powdered strawberry lemonade mixed to double concentration
One can of Sprite or 7-Up
About 8 scoops of vanilla ice cream

Blend and enjoy! :)

Yield: About 4 cups.

Chicken and Dumplings

This is a great version of a traditional dinner!

1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, minced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
6 cups chicken broth
1 pound cooked chicken, cut into bite-size pieces
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon basil
1 cup sliced carrots
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 handful of chopped fresh parsley (or 1 tablespoon dried parsley)
1 (12-oz) can evaporated milk (fat-free is fine)
1 recipe Bisquick biscuit dough

1. Combine all ingredients except for evaporated milk and dumplings in crock pot, and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high 3-4 hours or until carrots are tender. Turn heat to high and add dumplings and continue cooking until the dumplings are cooked through.

{Kudos to Our Best Bites cookbook!}

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Sour Cream Pound Cake

We recently tried this recipe, and I made homemade whipped cream and coconut to go with it. Don't even bother- this is such a light dessert- I don't think it needs any help (plus, I couldn't really enjoy the cake with the whipped cream- it was too much.) Maybe some fruit on the side, but I will just eat it plain next time!

1 1/2 cups flour (HIGHLY recommend cake flour- my husband isn't big on a heavy pound cake, and this definitely wasn't heavy, because of the cake flour!)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3 eggs, room temperature (set out for a half hour or in warm water for 15 mins)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 sour cream

1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour 8-inch or 9-inch loaf pan.
2. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt, and set aside. Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about one minute. Continue beating and add eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla and sour cream. Slowly add the flour mixture while beating, and beat just until combined.
3. Pour the batter into loaf pan and bake for 50-60 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes and then remove from pan.

{Kudos to Our Best Bites cookbook!}

Blueberry Sour Cream Pound Cake

Really yummy, light dessert! (And I have to say I was quite proud that I got little enough yolk in the egg whites that they still whipped up to stiff peaks! :)) Also, try a trick I found to get the cake out of the pan cleanly (see #3 below).

6 eggs, separated
1 cup butter, softened
3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon butter flavoring
3 cups flour (I'm going to try cake flour next time, although it was great with all-purpose flour)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (8 oz) sour cream
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (if using frozen, don't thaw)

1. Let eggs stand at room temperature for 30 mins (or place in a bowl of warm water for 15 mins). In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the extracts and butter flavoring. Combine the flour and baking soda; add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream, beating well after each addition. In another mixing bowl and with clean beaters, beat egg whites on high speed until stiff peaks form. Fold into batter. Fold in blueberries.
2 Spoon into a greased and floured 10-in tube pan. Bake at 350 for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
3. Place a towel in the sink and soak with hot water. Remove cake pan from the oven, and place directly on to the hot and wet towel. Leave at least 10 seconds (I usually loosen the sides of the cake a bit with a small rubber spatula while I wait), and then immediately invert onto a cooling rack. So far, this trick has worked perfectly every time!

{Kudos to The Taste of Home Baking Book!}

Lasagna Roll-Ups

Lasagna Roll-Ups Recipe

Another great recipe from! I doubled it, but realized I only bought one can of crushed tomatoes (which I blend, because I don't like chunks of tomatoes), so I added spaghetti sauce to the mix, and it turned out great! 

1/4 pound ground beef
2 Tablespoons chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 (16 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
dash cayenne pepper
1 1/4 cups small-curd cottage cheese, drained
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 Tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
6 lasagna noodles, cooked and drained
1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese

1. In a skillet, cook beef, onion, and garlic until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add tomatoes, salt, oregano, and cayenne; simmer for 10 minutes. Spoon half of the meat sauce into a greased 9-in square baking dish. Combine cottage cheese, Parmesan cheese, egg, parsley, and onion powder; spread 1/4 cupful on each noodle. Carefully roll up and place seam side down over meat sauce. Top with remaining meat sauce. Sprinkle with Mozzarella cheese. Cover and bake at 375 for 30-35 minutes, or until heated through. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

{Kudos to!}

Caribbean Snow Whites

***Check out my new blog to see new pics of this delicious drink!

Sounds exotic, huh? SO easy and SO good! It's very similar to a root beer float.

Vanilla ice cream
Pineapple juice (I just emptied the juice from a can of pineapple)
Cream of Coconut (found in the isle with ingredients for Pina Coladas etc)

1. Fill cup about half way with vanilla ice cream. Mix pineapple juice and Cream of Coconut; drizzle mixture over ice cream. Fill cup with Sprite. Mix a bit, and enjoy!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Tilapia Pitas

***Check out my new blog for better pics of this delicious dinner!

A great way to get more fish in your diet-and it comes together really quickly! Our feta cheese got lost somewhere between the store and the fridge, so we just used shredded cheddar- not as fancy, but still good! I served this with cantelope and watermelon- so good!!

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup Italian salad dressing
1/2 cup feta cheese
2 anchovy fillets, drained (we did NOT add this ingredient, but you can do whatever floats your boat)
pinch cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp pepper
pinch salt
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb Tilapia fillets
1/4 tsp lemon pepper
salt and cayenne to taste
4 cups lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
1 small red onion, diced (optional- we thought it overpowered the other tastes)
6 pita breads, cut in half

1. In a small bowl, stir together the mayo, dressing, feta cheese, and anchovies (should you choose to use them...). Season with cayenne, pepper, and salt. Mix until well blended; set aside.
2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Place tilapia fillets in the skillet, and season with lemon pepper, salt and cayenne. Fry until browned on each side, and fish flakes easily with a fork, about 5-7 minutes.
3. Warm pita bread in the microwave to soften. Fill pita bread halves with lettuce, onion, and tilpia, then spoon some of the feta cheese sauce.


Monday, April 9, 2012

Nacho Cheese Sauce

This is a very important recipe for me. I have craved nachos with every pregnancy, so I can find comfort in knowing I can whip this up any time I can't run to Taco Bell. ;) I definitely recommend adding green chiles for more flavor!

2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
1 cup milk
7 slices processed American cheese
1/2 tsp salt

In a medium saucepan, melt butter and stir in flour over medium heat. Pour in milk and stir until the mixture thickens. Stirring constantly, mix in cheese and salt. Continue to cook and stir until cheese has melted and all ingredients are well blended; about 15 minutes.

{Kudos to!}

"Best Chocolate Chip Cookies"

Pretty bold title, huh? But I think they might be right! A little crispy on the outside, and chewy on the inside- SO good!

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp hot water
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Cream together butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs, then stir in the vanilla. Dissolve baking soda in hot water. Add to batter, along with salt. Stir in flour and chocolate chips. Drop by large spoonfuls onto greased pans.
3. Bake for about 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are nicely browned.

{Big Kudos to!}

Chicken Broccoli Shells

This is a simple twist on classic chicken Alfredo. Just make sure you cook it long enough to cook the broccoli properly. :)

1 (16 oz) jar Alfredo sauce
2 cups chopped broccoli
2 cups diced cooked chicken
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
20ish jumbo pasta shells, cooked and drained.

1. In a large bowl, combine the Alfredo sauce, broccoli, chicken, and cheeses. Spoon into pasta shells. Place in a greased 13 x 9 inch baking dish. Cover and bake at 350 for 30-35 degrees or until heated through.

{Kudos to}

Cheddar Baked Chicken

***Check out my new blog for pics of this great recipe!

This is a great switch from the Parmesan Chicken I usually make. It's just as easy, and just as good! I changed it just a bit from the original recipe, which called for quite a lot of butter.

1/2 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 egg
1 Tbsp milk
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut in half

1. Preheat oven to 350. Coat medium baking dish with cooking spray.
2. In a bowl, mix the flour, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. In a separate bowl, beat together the egg and milk. In a third bowl, mix the cheese and bread crumbs. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour mixture, dip in the egg mixture, then press in the bread crumb mixture to coat. Arrange in the prepared baking dish.
3. Bake 35 minutes in the preheated oven, or until coating is golden brown and chicken juices run clear.

{Kudos to "Cheddar Baked Chicken"}

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Pumpkin Pancakes

We had tried the seasonal pumpkin pancakes at IHOP a few months ago, and really enjoyed them, so I started searching for a recipe we could make at home. These turned out fantastic! I'd love to make them again, but top them with whipped cream and pralines...and maybe a little caramel drizzle! (Note: We didn't have the heavy whipping cream it calls for to make the Nutmeg Whipping Cream in the original recipe, so I tried to flavor Cool Whip. Don't even bother...nasty!)

2 1/3 cups pancake mix (such as Bisquick)
2 1/2 Tbsp white sugar
1/3 tsp cinnamon
1/3 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups milk
1/3 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup applesauce (or vegetable oil)

1. Whisk together the pancake mix, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger; set aside. Beat together the eggs, milk, pumpkin, and applesauce (or vegetable oil). Combine the two mixtures, stirring just until all ingredients are moistened.
2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium-high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Cook until the edges of the pancakes start to look dry. Flip pancakes over, and continue cooking until the other side is golden brown.

{Kudos to "Pumpkin Pancakes with Nutmeg Whipped Cream"}

Cream Cheese Pudding Dessert

***Check out my new blog to find better pics of this dessert!

I remember making this with my mom when I was young- it's a classic dessert, and definitely one kids can help with! Plus, the crust on this is so yummy- I'd eat it by itself! (And, pardon the slightly grainy/yellow pic- it's from a cookbook my mom has had for a while!)

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup sugar, divided
1/3 butter, melted
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
2 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons milk
3 1/2 cups (8 oz) Cool Whip, thawed
1 package (6- serving size) Jell-o instant pudding, any flavor

Combine crumbs, 1/4 cup of the sugar, and the butter; mix well. Press firmly into the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch pan. Chill 15 minutes
Combine cream cheese, remaining sugar, and 2 tablespoons milk in a medium bowl. With an electric mixer at medium speed, beat until smooth. Fold in 1 3/4 cups of the Cool Whip. Spread over the crust.
Pour remaining milk into bowl. Add pudding mix. With electric mixer at low speed, beat until well blended, 1-2 minutes. Pour over cream cheese layer in pan. Chill several hours. Just before serving, spread remaining Cool Whip over pudding. Garnish with chocolate curls, if desired.

{Kudos to Jell-o Fun and Fabulous Recipes (aka "the red Jell-o book")!}

Monday, February 27, 2012

Chunky Monkey Pie

I made this for Brad's birthday- so yummy! Cookie crust, bananas, chocolate/peanut butter filling, light topping, and copious honey roasted peanuts to top it all off! This makes TWO pies.

1 (3.4 oz) box instant chocolate pudding
1 cup cold water
1 (14-oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 pint heavy whipping cream, divided
2 (6 oz) cookie crusts (I used Oreo)
2 large or 4 small bananas
1/3 cup powdered sugar
Plenty of honey roasted peanuts!

In a medium bowl, combine pudding mix, cold water, sweetened condensed milk, and peanut butter. Mix well and place in the refrigerator to chill for a few minutes. In another bowl, whip 1 cup of cream until soft peaks form. Fold into the pudding mixture and then return the mixture to the refrigerator. Slice the bananas and layer them on the bottom of the crusts. Divide the pudding mixture between the two pie crusts. In a medium bowl, whip the remaining whipping cream with powdered sugar until soft peaks form and then spread it on top of the two pies. Refrigerate for several hours. Sprinkle with peanuts just before serving.

{Kudos to: Our Best Bites cookbook!}

Orange-Lemon Cake

I've made this twice so far, and both times everyone loved it! It's a great light dessert, and looks pretty fancy! The first time, I made the glaze as written; the second time, my husband made an alternate glaze (the second option)- both were great! I'd like to try mixing up the Jell-o flavor- maybe do a strawberry or raspberry lemonade-type flavor!

1 package (18 1/4 oz)  lemon cake mix
1 package (3 oz) orange Jell-o
2/3 cup water
2/3 cup canola oil
4 eggs

1 cup powdered sugar
3 to 4 teaspoons orange juice


1 cup powdered sugar
3 to 4 tablespoons milk
lemon juice to taste

In a large bowl, combine the cake ingredients; beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour into a greased and floured 10-in fluted tube pan.  Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Soak a bath towel in the sink with very hot water, and transfer pan directly from the oven to the towel for 10 seconds. Use a rubber spatula to loosen the cake from the sides of the pan, and then invert pan onto plate or wire rack. The cake should slide right out. 
Mix icing ingredients, and drizzle over cake. 

{Kudos to: Taste of Home Quick Cooking 2011!}

Cinnamony Carrot Cake

I've been meaning to post this for a while- a very simple and flavorful carrot cake with a subtle carrot flavor and just enough spice!

1 package yellow cake mix
1 1/4 cup water
1/2 cup butter, melted
3 eggs
2 cups shredded carrots
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Heat oven to 350. Combine cake mix, water, butter, and eggs in a large bowl. Beat as directed on cake package. Stir in carrots and cinnamon. Pour batter into greased 13 x 9 pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely.

4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/3 sour cream
3/4 teaspoon vanilla

Combine sugar, butter, sour cream, and vanilla in large bowl. Beat at medium speed until creamy. Spread on cake when cooled.

{Kudos to: The Best of Sandwich, New Hampshire Cookbook!}

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars

***Check out my new blog to find pics of this delicious dessert!

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup milk
2 cups quick oats
1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips, divided

1. Heat oven to 375. Coat a 8 x 8 x 2-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
2. In a small bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together. In a large bowl, beat sugar and butter on medium-high speed until fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low and beat in milk, then flour mixture. Stir in oats and 1 cup of the chocolate chips.
3. Spread batter into prepared baking pan. Bake for 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack. Microwave remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips for 30 seconds; stir until smooth and drizzle over bars. Cut into squares.

Makes: 16 bars.

{Kudos to: Family Circle magazine}

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Frozen Citrus Pie

This is so simple and is an especially nice dessert in the summer, although it has become a tradition at Thanksgiving or Christmas to have at least one alongside the other pies! My mom has used lots of different juices, so feel free to swap something in for the orange juice!

1 (6 oz) can orange juice concentrate
1 pint vanilla ice cream, softened
8 oz Cool Whip
1 (9-inch) graham cracker crust

Beat orange juice 30 seconds. Blend in ice cream. Fold in Cool Whip. Pour into crust. Freeze for 4 hours. Thaw 10 minutes before serving.

{Kudos to a Cub Scout cookbook via R.R.}