Monday, December 19, 2011

Holiday Cornflake Wreaths

1/3 cup butter or margarine
1 package (10 oz) regular marshmallows/or 4 cups miniature marshmallows
1 tsp green food coloring
6 cups corn flakes cereal
red cinnamon candies
Prepared vanilla frosting

1. Melt margarine in large saucepan over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted.  Remove from heat. Stir in food coloring.
2. Add corn flakes cereal.  Stir until well coated.
3.  Portion warm cereal mixture evenly by using a 1/4 cup dry measure coated with cooking spray.  Using sprayed fingers, quickly shape into individual wreaths.  
4. Dot with cinnamon candies, using prepared frosting to hold candies in place.  

(recipe and picture from

Sunday, December 18, 2011

North Pole Strawberry Smoothie

1 package (10 ounces) frozen strawberries in syrup, partially thawed and undrained
1/4 cup water
2 cups vanilla frozen yogurt
2 tablespoons vanilla yogurt
1 strawberry-flavored or peppermint candy cane, finely crushed
Green decorating gel
(I wasn't able to find frozen yogurt in the grocery store, so I just used 2 cups of vanilla yogurt and used lots of ice in blender to make it thick.)
1. Place strawberries and water in blender.  Cover and blend on medium-high speed until slushy.  Blend on medium speed until smooth.  Transfer to a 2-cup measure.
2.  Place yogurt in blender.  Cover and blend on medium speed until smooth.
3.  Place crushed candy cane on a small plate. Pipe decorating gel around rim of glasses.  Dip rims into crushed candy candy.
4.  Carefully pour yogurt mixture and strawberries at the same time into glasses, creating a half and half design.  Server with large drinking straws if desired.
(makes 3 small size glasses)
(not my picture)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Taco Ring Recipe

1 lb ground beef
1 pkg taco seasoning mix
1 cup (4 oz) cheddar cheese
2 Tbsp water
2 (8 oz) refrigerated crescent rolls

Green bell pepper
Chopped onion
Sour cream

1. Preheat oven to 375
2.  Brown beef and drain grease.
3.  Stir in taco seasoning, water and cheese.
4. Unroll crescent rolls and separate.  Arrange triangles in a circle on a round baking stone with wide ends overlapping in center and points toward the outside.  There should be about a 5" diameter in the center.
5.  Scoop meat mixture evenly onto widest end of dough at center of ring.  Bring points in and over and tuck underneath the wide end.
6.  Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
7.  Garnish with toppings

Cheesy Chicken Ranch Lasagna

2 (12 oz) cans evaporated milk
1 (1 oz) pkg dry Ranch dressing mix (not the dip blend)
3 cups chicken, cooked and cubed
1/8 tsp pepper
1 (16 oz) lasagna noodles, cooked (I used 9 noodles)
1 1/2 to 2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
1 1/2 to 2 cups mozzarella cheese, grated

1. Combine evaporated milk, ranch dressing and pepper in a 3 qt heavy saucepan.  Heat over low heat, stirring frequently until dry ingredients are dissolved.
2.  Simmer, uncovered, 25 minutes stirring frequently.
3.  Sauce will thicken slightly.
4.  Layer half of lasagna noodles, chicken, sauce and cheese in well-greased 9x13 pan.
5.  Repeat layers again.
6.  Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until hot and bubbly.  Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

DIY Sonic Cherry Limeade

1 can frozen limeade concentrate
1-2 liter bottle Sprite
Juice from one 10 oz jar maraschino cherries
Fresh limes (opt)

1. Put all together.
2. Add slices of limes and cherries to glass

Pizza Dip

4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup mozzarella, grated
1/4 cup parmesan, grated
1 cup pizza sauce
2 oz pepperoni, sliced
2 tbsp green pepper sliced
2 tbsp black olives, sliced

1. Mix the cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, mozzarella and parmesan and spread it across the bottom of a pie plate.
2.  Spread the pizza sauce on top and sprinkle on the cheese, pepperoni, green pepper and olives.
3. Bake in a preheated 350 F oven until the cheese has melted, bubbling and golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Heavy Cream Subsitute

3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted and cooled

1. Melt butter
2. Pour it into the milk and stir
3. Use in place of one cup of heavy cream

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sweet and Salty Treat

Mini pretzels
Hershey Kisses Hugs (any kind)
Candy Corn

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or foil.
2. Place pretzels on cookie sheet, not touching.
3. Unwrap kisses and place on top of pretzels then place filled cookie sheet in oven.
4. Bake for 3-5 minutes but no longer.  You will know they are ready when the kisses start to get shiny.
5.  Take out of oven and gently place candy corn on top of kisses, pushing down ever so gently.
6.  Cool and then transfer to serving platter or wrap up as gifts.

Dirt Cake

3 1/2 cups milk
2 small pkgs instant French vanilla pudding
1 stick butter, softened to room temperature
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 (16 oz) container whipped topping
2 pgks chocolate sandwich cookies (I used oreos)
Chocolate candy rocks (found at Winco)
Assorted gummy worms

1. Whisk the milk and pudding together in a large bowl until smooth.  Let stand for five minutes.
2. In another large bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese together with a hand mixer on medium speed until fluffy.
3.  Beat in the powdered sugar until smooth.  Add the pudding and beat until smooth.  Fold in the whipped topping.
4.  Crush 1 package of cookies so that there are some fine crumbs, but also large pieces.  There needs to be a variety.  Fold this into the pudding mixture until evenly mixed.
5.  Finely crush the other bag of cookies.  In a large clear glass trifle dish, pour about a third of the pudding mixture in the bottom and spread to smooth.
6.  Sprinkle with a later of about a third of the finely crushed cookies.  Stick several of the candy rocks in the cookie layer, especially around the perimeter of the dish where they will be visible.
7.  Top with another third of the pudding mixture on top of the cookie layer, then repeat with another cookie layer and some more candy rocks.  Spread the remaining third of the pudding on top, then with the remaining cookie crumbs.  Place more rocks and gummy worms on top to decorate.  Chill for several hours to overnight before serving.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

White Cheddar Chicken Pasta

1 lb boneless chicken breats, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tbsp fresh thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
1 lb rotini (or other short cut pasta)
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, finely diced
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
8 oz sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
2 cups milk (I also used 2 tbsp heavy cream)
1 tbsp fresh thyme
1 tbsp fresh oregano
Crushed red pepper flakes to taste
Parmesan cheese to taste

1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
2. Mix together mustard, thyme, salt and pepper and sprinkle over chicken pieces.
3.  When pan is hot, add chicken and brown for 3 minutes per side until cooked through.
4.  Remove to a place and cover with foil.
5.  Heat water to boil in a large stock pot for pasta, add salt and pasta and cook and drain according to directions.
6.  Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
7.  Add flour and whisk to combine.
8.  Add wine, garlic, onions, and mustard. Cook about 5 minutes, until onions are translucent.
9.  Reduce heat to low and slowly add milk, stirring to combine.  Cook about 5-7 minutes more until mixture begins to thicken.
10.  Add cheese and stir to melt.  Add chicken and pasta, toss to incorporate sauce.  Add thyme and oregano and serve topped with crushed red pepper flakes and Parmesan cheese.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Hot Fudge Sauce

1 can of Condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
1 stick of butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup of semi chocolate chips

1. Mix all ingredients together in saucepan over low heat, until melted and well blended.
2.  Store remaining fudge in a jar with lid, or well sealed container.
3.  You can keep this in your fridge for many days, simply warm when ready to use.

Cookies and Cream Mud Pie

1 (15 oz) pkg oreo cookies with the cream attached
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream (or any flavor)
1 medium container frozen whipped topping
toasted nuts (optional)
Hot fudge sauce

1. Crush oreos and combine with melted butter.  Reserve at least 1 cup of crumbs for later and press remaining crumbs firmly into a 9 x 13 pan (I used a pie pan.)
2.  Let ice cream become soft enough to spread onto crumbs, or slice ice cream in 1 inch layers and place on top of crumbs and press seams together.
3.  Top ice cream with a few more crumbs.
4.  Drizzle with hot fudge sauce and sprinkle nuts on top if desired.
5.  Spread whipped topping over all, and drizzle again with fudge sauce.  Cover and return to freezer.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Jello Popcorn Balls

1 cup corn syrup, light
1 cup sugar
1 pkg jello (any flavor)
1 cup un-popped corn
1. Pop popcorn in an air popper and set aside.
2.  Combine corn syrup, sugar and jello and boil for 3 minutes.
3.  Pour mixture over popcorn and shape into balls.
Change flavor for different holidays.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Italian Sausage and Spinach Lasagna

5 Italian sausage links, casings removed
1/2 sweet yellow onion, diced
1 pinch of red pepper flakes
5 cloves garlic, minced
20 oz ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 cup baby spinach, chopped
2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp fresh nutmeg, grated
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (divided)
2 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded (divided)
4 cups of marinara sauce
Lasagna noodles (no boil)
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2.  In a skillet over medium heat, cook the Italian sausage, making sure to break it up into crumbles.
3. Add the onions and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes.  Once the meat is brown and the onion is tender, add the garlic and cook for 60 seconds, stirring frequently.
4.  Remove from heat and drain any grease.
5.  In a large bowl, add ricotta, egg, spinach, basil, parsley, oregano, nutmeg, salt and pepper, 1/4 cup or Parmesan cheese, and 1/2 a cup of mozzarella cheese. Combine until mixed thoroughly.
6.  Layer a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with just enough sauce to cover the bottom of the pan.  Lay however many lasagna noodles you need to cover the bottom of the pan.
7.  Spread half of the ricotta mixture on the noodles; add another layer of noodles; spread a but more sauce on top of the noodles followed by the Italian sausage; add another layer of noodles then spread the last half of the ricotta on top.
8.  Finish with a layer of noodles and remaining sauce. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle a bit more dried oregano on top of the cheese.
9.  Baked covered for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until cheese is melted.  Let the lasagna cool for several minutes before slicing and serving.

Pepperoni Pizza Cups

1 tube of refrigerator biscuits
Pizza sauce
Mozzarella cheese, diced or shredded
Pepperoni slices
Parmesan cheese, shredded
Dried basil
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Coat a muffin tin with cooking spray.
2. Cut each biscuit in half then press the dough into the bottom and sides of the muffin tin.  Repeat with the remaining dough.
3.  Spoon sauce into each cup. Place diced (or shredded) mozzarella cheese into the cups followed by a few slices of pepperoni.
4. Finally add a bit more mozzarella if desired, then sprinkle the tops with Parmesan cheese and dried oregano.
5.  Place into the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted.  Serve immediately.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Mini Monkey Breads

12 Rhodes Dinner rolls, thawed, but still cold
1 stick of butter, melted
2 tbsp corn syrup
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

Icing: (I double this)
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp butter, melted
1-2 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla

1. Cut each diner rolls into 6 equal pieces, In a bowl, combine butter and corn syrup and stir until well mixed.
2.  In another bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon and mix well. Dip each roll piece in the butter mixture and then in the sugar mixture.
3.  Place 6 pieces in each well sprayed cup of a 12 cup muffin tin. Cover with sprayed plastic wrap and let double in size. (Watch them so they don't rise too much.)
4.  Remove wrap and bake at 250 15-20 minutes. Combine icing ingredients and mix well. Drizzle over monkey bread if desired.
5.  Cool at least 5-10 minutes before removing from pan, or they will fall apart.

Old Fashioned Beef Stew

2 lbs beef stew meat, cut into 1 inch cubes
1/2 cup flour
2 tbsp oil
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 onion, chopped
2 beef bouillon cubes
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
6 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 cup sliced celery
4 large potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
4 cups water
1. Coat mean with flour; set excess flour aside.  In large skilled heat oil. Brown meat on all sides.
2. In slow cooker, combine browned beef, bay leaf, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, chopped onion, bouillon cubes, pepper, salt, sugar and vegetables.
3.  Pour water over all (almost to the top of the slow cooker.)
4.  Cover and cook on low 8-10 hours.
5. Turn control on high. Thicken with flour left over from coating (about 1/4 cup) dissolved in a small amount of warm water.
6.  Cover and cook on high 10-15 minutes or until slightly thickened.

Banana, Strawberry and Chocolate Chip Muffins

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
3 overripe bananas
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
10-12 fresh strawberries, diced
1/2 cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, then coat a muffin pan with cooking spray.
2.  In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until creamy.  Add the eggs, bananas, and vanilla then continue beating until well combined.
3.  In a separate bowl, combine the flower, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt together. Mix well. Add the flour mixture to the banana mixture and stir until just combined.  Add most of the diced strawberries and most of the chocolate chips, then gently mix them into the batter.
4.  Spoon the batter evenly into each  muffin tin.  Place the remaining strawberries and chocolate chips on top of each muffin.
5.  Place into the oven and bake 18-20 minutes or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
6.  Let the muffins cool on a rack. Slather with butter and enjoy.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Mushroom and Turkey Italian Sausage Stuffed Shells

2 tsp olive oil
5 links of turkey italian sausage, removed from casings
8 oz white button mushrooms, sliced
1/2 sweet yellow onion, diced finely
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 15 oz low fat ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded (plus extra for garnish)
1/2 cup of fresh spinach, chopped
5-6 fresh basil leaves, chopped (plus extra for garnish)
Salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste
3 cups of mushroom marinara (or store bought sauce)
12 jumbo pasta shells, cooked per instructions (I had left over filling so I cooked for shells)

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large skilled over medium heat.
3. Once hot, add the turkey italian sausage, and cook until crumbled.  Add the mushrooms and onions then saute until golden brown, about 5-6 minutes.
4.  Add the minced garlic and continue to cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.  Remove from heat and let cool.
5.  In a large bowl combine the ricotta, the mozzarella, Parmesan, egg, spinach, fresh basil, nutmeg, salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste.
6.  Mix thoroughly then add the sausage, mushroom, and onion saute then combine.  Taste mixture and re-season if needed.
7.  Pour 1 1/2 cups of marinara in the bottom of a baking dish that has been coated with cooking spray.
8.  Place the 12 cooked shells in the pan.  Stuff each shell with the ricotta mixture.
9.  Pour the remaining sauce over the stuffed shells.
10.  Cover with tin foil and bake for 35 minutes. Top with fresh chopped basil and parmesan.

Barbecue Chicken Pizza Braid

Pizza dough
Barbecue sauce
Mozzarella cheese, shredded
Roasted chicken, chopped
Fresh cilantro, chopped
Red onion, sliced thinly

1. Place the pizza dough onto a floured surface and let it sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
3. Place a silpat mat (or large baking tray) on the counter and coat with cooking spray and sprinkle the top with a bit of cornmeal. Roll (or spread) the dough out on top of the silpat mat into a rectangle. Drizzle a bit of sauce on top of the chicken and mix until evenly coated. Spoon some of the barbecue sauce down the center of the pizza dough, add slices of chopped mozzarella to the sauce followed by the chicken, cilantro, and red onion. Note: Don't use too much sauce or your pizza braid will be a bit soggy.
4. Cut even slits on both sides of the filling with a pizza cutter. Starting at one end, fold alternating strips at an angle across filling.
5. Once you have completed the braid, carefully place the slip mat onto a baking sheet.
6. Place into the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Egg Salad Sandwiches

8 hard-cooked eggs, diced
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup onion, chopped finely
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp dill weed
1 tsp mustard powder
1/8 tsp paprika

1. In a bowl, gently mix the eggs, mayonnaise, onion, celery, garlic powder, pepper, dill weed, mustard powder, and paprika.
2. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
3. To serve, spread equal amounts on a slice of bread. Top with another slice of bread to make sandwiches.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Funeral Potatoes

32 oz bag of frozen shredded hash browns
2 (10 3/4 oz) cans cream of chicken soup
2 cups sour cream
1 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 c chopped onion
2 cups finely crushed corn flakes
2 Tbsp butter/margarine melted

1. Grease 9 x 13 baking dish and preheat oven to 350
2. In large bowl combine soups, sour cream, cheese, onions, and the 1/2 cup of melted butter.
3.  Gently fold hash browns into mixture.
4.  Pour mixture into pan
5. Combine crushed corn flakes and the 2 Tbs of melted butter and sprinkle on top of potato mixture.
6.  Bake for 30 minutes.
If wanting to, you can use cubed potatoes instead of hash browns but you will need to 
increase time to 55 minutes.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Cherry Bars

1 3/4 cups sugar
1 cup margarine, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2-4 TBS milk
4 eggs
1 tsp almond extract
3 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
Cherry pie filling

1. Preheat over to 350 and grease a sheet cake pan.
2. In a large bowl, cream together the sugar, margarine, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Combine the flower and baking powder and stir into the creamed mixture. Reserve 1/3 of the dough and spread the rest into the bottom of the prepared pan. Cover this layer evenly with cherry pie filling. Drop the rest of the dough by spoonfuls on top of the cherry layer and spread to cover the best you can.
3. Bake for 30-35 minutes in the preheated oven, until top is golden. Let cool slightly and drizzle with the glaze mixture. Let cool completely before cutting into bars.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Won Ton Wrapper Appetizers

1 (16 oz) pkg wonton wrappers
1 lb sausage (cooked)
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (we used about two cups)
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped black olives, drained
1 cup Ranch-style salad dressing
(we spiced it up with a little can of green chilies chopped finely)

1. Preheat over to 400 degrees.  Spray a miniature muffin pan with cooking spray.
2.  Insert wonton wrappers into the muffin pan so as to form small cups.  Bake 5 minutes in preheated oven. Allow the baked wrappers to cool.  Lightly grease the inside with vegetable oil.
3.  In a medium bowl, mix the sausage, Monterey Jack, Cheddar, black olives, and ranch dressing together.  Fill the baked wonton wrapper cups with mixture.
4.  Bake the filled wonton wrappers 10-15 minutes (start with 10, and watch each minute so they tips don't burn.)  The mixture will be bubbly and slightly brown.

Lime Sherbet Punch

2 quarts lime sherbet
2 liters ginger ale
1 (46 oz) can pineapple juice
Lemon Slices
Lime Slices
Maraschino cherries

1. In a punch bowl, add quarts of lime sherbet (wait till it's pretty well melted)
2.  Add ginger ale and pineapple juice.
3. Decorate with lemon and lime slices and some maraschino cherries.