Saturday, March 28, 2009

Lemon Delight Pound Cake

2 ½ cups flour
1 ½ cups sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoons salt
¾ cups oil
¾ cups orange juice or apricot nectar
2 teaspoons lemon extract
4 eggs

1 ½ cups powdered sugar
½ cup lemon juice

Heat oven to 325. Generously grease and flour 12 cup fluted tube (bundt) pan. In large bowl combine cake ingredients. Blend on low speed until blended; beat 3 minutes at medium speed. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake at 325 for 40-50 min. (I usually have to bake for 60 min) or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove cake from the oven. Prick deeply every inch with fork or skewer. In a small bowl, mix glaze ingredients until smooth. Spoon half the glaze over hot cake in pan. Let stand 10 min; invert onto serving plate. Spoon remaining glaze over cake. Serve cool. 16 servings.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

S'mores In a Pan

8 c Golden Grahams
6 c Marshmallows
1/4 c Corn Syrup
5 T Butter
1 1/2 c chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla

Microwave corn syrup, butter, marshmallows, and chocolate chips for 2 minutes. Add vanilla, Golden Grahams, and a few more marshmallows and a few more chocolate chips. Press in buttered 9 x 13 pan. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Vanilla Wafers

1/2 cup butter (no substitutes), softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups flour, all-purpose
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar.
Beat in egg and vanilla.
Combine dry ingredients; add to creamed mixture and mix well.
Drop by teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets.
Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes or until edges are golden brown.
Remove to a wire rack to cool.

This is a new recipe I just tried. It is not THE BEST but its good for a change.

Spanish Rice

I learned how to make Spanish Rice for a church dinner. This recipe is so delicious.

1/4 cup of oil2 cloves of garlic crushed.
Brown garlic in oil and then remove.
Add 2 cups of white rice and brown on med. heat.
When rice is brown, add in 1 cup of tomatoes and 1 cup of onions diced.
Then stir in 1/3 cup of tomato sauce.
Add 5 cups of boiling water.
Add 3 tbs of chicken bullion.
Cover and cook on med heat for 20 minutes.

This recipe is so good. I really love it and so do my kids.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Cheesy Beef Bake

My family is odd, in that we like meatloaf. It's easy for my son to eat with his braces, so I try to make it for him at least once a month. This month, I only had 1 lb. of hamburger in my freezer and didn't make it to the store. So, this is what I came up with and it was surprisingly good! They licked the pan clean, so to speak.

1 lb. Hamburger, extra lean
1 box stove top stuffing, prepared with slightly less water
1 egg
1/2 c bread crumbs
2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1/4c minced onions
3/4 c shredded cheddar cheese
garlic salt to taste
pepper to taste

Mix in a large bowl all ingredients but the cheese. Press into a square glass baking dish. Top with cheese. Bake at 375, 30-35 minutes, or until cooked through. (160 on a themometer)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Chicken Pot Pie

3-chicken breasts, diced and cooked.
1-package frozen peas and carrots thawed
3-medium potatoes, diced
2-cans cream of chicken soup
1-8 oz container sour cream
1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder

2-9 pie crusts (tops and bottoms)

Mix first ten ingredients together in a large bowl. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Place two bottom crusts in 2- 9 inch pie pans. Divide the chicken mixture and fill the pie pans. Place the top crusts on each pie. Bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes.

Yields: 2 pies - Bake one and store the other pie in the freezer for up to three (3) months.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Mock Lasagna

This is a family favorite that is also a 2 pot wonder. I love not having to do extra dishes.

1 box Barilla pasta (penne, butterfly or rigatoni are all acceptable)

1/2 box to 1 box frozen spinach

1 lb hamburger

chopped onion, salt and pepper

1 large bottle spaghetti sauce

2 cups grated mozzarella or 1 med. container cottage cheese

Start some water to boil. While that's happening, decide how much spinach you would like to use and thaw it out in the microwave. Drain off the nasty spinach water as you go. Brown hamburger with onion, salt and pepper in a large pan. Drain off grease. Put pasta in the water when it starts bubbling nicely, and add sauce to hamburger when thoroughly cooked. Drain pasta and add sauce and meat.
Now you can decide to be fancy or not. For fancy, turn oven on to 350. Grease a cake pan and pour in half the pasta mixture. Layer on mozz or cottage cheese and spinach, followed by the rest of the pasta. Top with grated mozz and let bake for 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly. For quick but dang good, add cheese and spinach to pasta mix. Blend well and serve with a little extra mozz or Parmesan to go on top of each serving.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Best Sugar Cookies Ever!

I have tried for years to find that fool proof sugar cookie recipe and have failed time and time again. Each one is either too sticky, too chewy, to crunchy, too sweet, has too many ingredients, or just doesn't bake up well. I was at my daughter's preschool class, and the student teacher brought in these wonderful sugar cookies for them to decorate. At first, I thought it was "cheater dough" from the store, but it was from scratch! So, of course I had to have it. These are the best sugar cookies I have ever had, or made! They are smooth, tender, flaky, and have just the right amount of sweet to go with your favorite frosting. Okay, enough about them, here's the recipe!

(Thank you Mr. Noles!)

1 C. Sugar
2 eggs
1/2 Tsp. Salt
1/2 Tsp. Baking Soda
1 C Butter, softened (don't melt!)
4 Tbsp. Milk
1 Tsp. Vanilla
4 C. Flour

Mix sugar, eggs, salt, soda, butter, milk, and vanilla with a mixer on low speed. Stir in the flour one cup at a time. Knead the dough to make a smooth consistency. Roll out on a floured surface about 1/4 inch. Cut to desired shapes. Bake at 375 for 9 minutes. Thinner cookies will cook more quickly.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Puerco y Papa (Pig & Potato) Cheese Chowder

3 medium russet potatoes, diced
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon each garlic and onion powder
salt and pepper
3 cups water
2 cups whole milk, 1/2 and 1/2 or cream
3 cups shredded mexican cheese blend
6 slices cooked bacon cut into 1/2 inch strips
3 slices cooked dinner ham, chopped
1 small can diced green chilis

In a large pot (nonstick) melt butter and add potatoes. If you want to use raw bacon, cook it in the pot, leave about 2 tablespoons of the grease in the pot and omit the butter. Add salt and pepper, onion and garlic powder and cook potatoes in butter or bacon grease for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add water and boil until potatoes are almost done. Lower heat to medium and stir in milk and add cheese. Stir until cheese is melted and then add cooked bacon and ham (I used spiral sliced ham I had frozen after Christmas). Add green chilis and cook until meat is heated through.
I just made this recipe up last night so if something doesn't make sense feel free to leave a comment about it and I'll try to help. I'm not a professional :)

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Best Feeling...

Have you ever tried an entirely new meal for dinner and had it turn out crappy? Well, that seems like every other day for me...But have you ever tried something new and had it become an instant favorite! That was my night last night, and I'm still loving it!

There are two recipes for this meal, both were relatively easy. Here they are:

Chicken Tortellini Soup

4 cans Swanson's chicken broth
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup + 1 can water
2 cups cubed cooked chicken
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup sliced carrots
1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 package frozen cheese tortellini
2 crowns fresh broccoli
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, if desired

Place broth, soup, and water in large soup pot. Add herbs, onions, and garlic, and bring to a boil. Add chicken and carrots, and cook for 5 minutes. Cut broccoli from the stems; add tortellini, broccoli, and cheese to soup. Let cook until broccoli is tender and tortellini begins to float. Serve and enjoy!

HINT: I don't like to take the time to pre-cook my chicken, so before adding the carrots I throw in several raw frozen chicken breasts and let them cook. Once they are cooked through, I take them out and chop them up, then put back in the soup and resume with adding the carrots. The original recipe suggested using the roasted chickens you can get at the grocery store deli, for a quicker prep.

Overnight Soft Herb Rolls

1 pkg active dry yeast (about 1 TB)
1/4 cup cool water
3 TB sugar
1 tsp table salt
1 TB each minced flat-leaf parsley, fresh dill, chives, and rosemary
2 TB melted butter
1 large egg plus 1 TB lightly beaten egg, divided
1 cup milk or half-and-half
3½-3 3/4 cups flour
About 1 TB coarse salt

In a large bowl, sprinkle yeast over cool water (about 70°). Let stand until dissolved, 5 minutes. Stir in sugar, table salt, herbs, butter, whole egg, and milk; add 3¼ cups flour and stir to moisten.
Knead dough on a lightly floured board until elastic and not sticky, 15 minutes; add flour as needed to prevent sticking. Shape into 12 equal balls; place in a well-buttered 9" square baking dish.
Let dough rise in a warm place until doubled, 45-60 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°. Brush rolls with beaten egg and sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake until deep golden, 25-30 minutes.
Make ahead: Prepare through step 21; immediately wrap airtight (do not let rise) and chill up to 1 day. Proceed with step 3. Rising may take longer after refrigeration.

HINT: I didn't start these early enough to just let them rise, so I covered them with a papertowel and put them in the oven at 170° for 15 minutes. They still weren't double, but my soup was almost done, so I turned the oven up and let them bake. They doubled just find during baking, and they were pretty good. If you can let them rise, they would probably be a little fluffier.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Top Secret Recipes

My mother in-law sent me an email with TONS of recipes from well known restaurants, like Outback Steakhouse, PF Changs, Pizza Hut, Olive Garden, etc. It also has cool, fun to try recipes like the Gatorade recipe already posted. If anyone would like a copy, please leave a comment with your email address, and I will be sure to pass it along!


1 pack unsweetened Kool Aid (any flavor)
2 quarts cold water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teas. salt
1/2 cup orange juice
Mix together. This equals the electrolyte replacement found
in many popular drinks on the market. Great for a hot summer!

Oven Vegetables

This recipe is a little different, because it all depends on what YOU want to put into it. Or mix and match for the season (spring veg, winter veg, etc) and family favorites.

The important parts are to have a big mixing bowl, about 2 to 4 Tbs olive oil (enough to coat veg mix), Emeril's Essence seasoning or whatever kind of seasoning you like, and your oven set to 350.

Add veggies that have been cut into bite sized pieces to the bowl, mix in your olive oil and seasoning, then pour them out onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes until all veggies are done.

Good veggie choices:

Sweet potatoes
Butternut or Acorn Squash
Tomatoes (I usually wait to put these in, about 10 minutes before it's all done)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Yogurt Chicken

2 cups plain yogurt
2 cups Ritz crackers, crushed
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. garlic salt
2 T. Parmesan cheese
6 chicken breasts
1 cube butter, melted

Place plain yogurt in small bowl and set aside. In another bowl, mix cracker crumbs, Italian seasoning, garlic salt, and Parmesan cheese. Coat chicken breast in yogurt, then coat in cracker mix. Place on cookie sheet with sides (I place tin foil in cookie sheet to make clean up easier). After all chicken breasts are coated and on cookie sheet, pour melted butter onto the chicken. Bake at 375 for 40-45 min. or until chicken is done.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Asian Pork & Noodle Skillet

This is a remarkably easy meal. The first time is a little time consuming, just because you don't know what to do or when to do it. If you dice up all the veggies and meat from the first, it goes really quickly, and it's delicious! This recipe is from The Pampered Chef.

Asian Pork & Noodle Skillet

2 medium carrots, peeled
1 medium red bell pepper
5-6 green onions with tops (about 1¼ cups sliced), divided
2 pork tenderloins (about 1 lb each)
2 TB toasted sesame oil
1 1-inch piece of fresh gingerroot, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, pressed or diced
4 pkg (3 oz each) oriental-flavor ramen noodles
1 TB vegetable oil
4 cups water

Cut carrots into julienne strips. Cut bell pepper lengthwise into ¼-inch strips. Slice green onions; set aside tops for garnish.

Trim fat and silver skin from pork tenderloins. Slice pork lengthwise into four strips. Thinly slice strips crosswise. Combine pork, sesame oil, gingerroot, garlic, and two of the ramen seasoning packets; mix well.

Add vegetable oil to large skillet; heat over medium-high heat 1-3 minutes or until shimmering. Add half of the pork. Cook and stir 2-3 minutes or until browned; remove pork from skillet and keep warm. Repeat with remaining pork.

Add carrots and bell pepper to skillet. Cook 1-2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add water and remaining ramen seasoning packets; stir to loosen browned bits from bottom of skillet. Add ramen noodles and green onions to skillet. Cover; bring to a boil and cook 4-5 minutes or until noodles are softened. Add pork; stir to break apart noodles. Remove skillet from heat; let stand, covered, 3-4 minutes or until pork is heated through. Garnish with reserved green onion tops.

Tips: chicken breast can be substituted for the pork, if desired. Also, I used broccoli instead of the bell pepper, and it was great!

Neiman-Marcus Cookies

I received this recipe recently in an email. It was an interesting story about a woman who asked to purchase the recipe, and did so believing she was paying $2.50 for it. When she found out it was actually $250.00, she tried to get her money back, and the company refused. She then emailed the recipe to as many people as she could to "get back at them" for charging her so much. As with most emails, I have no idea if this is a true story, or if this recipe actually comes from Neiman-Marcus. Either way, they sounded delicious, so I decided to try them. I cut the recipe in half and ended up with about 6 dozen small cookies, using my small cookie scoop. They really are as good as they sound!

Neiman-Marcus Cookies

2 cups butter
2 cups brown sugar
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
5 cups oatmeal
4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
24 oz chocolate chips
1 8-oz Hershey bar (grated)
3 cups chopped nuts

Cream together butter and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla, mixing well. Meanwhile, place oatmeal in a blender and blend into a fine powder. Add blended oatmeal, flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda to sugar mixture. Mix well. Add chocolate chips, grated Hershey bar (Symphony is best), and nuts.

Roll into balls, place 2-inches apart on a cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes at 375°. Recipe makes 112 cookies.