Thursday, December 20, 2007

Chocolate-Vanilla Swirl Cheesecake

On my favorite board on The Nest, Katie was nice enough to put together a recipe exchange. We all decided on desserts for the exchange due to some peoples dietary restrictions. I am not sure who submitted the recipe I made (yet)...but I am pretty sure they got it from the Kraft website.


20 Oreo Chocolate Sandwich Cookies, crushed (about 2 cups)
3 Tbsp. butter, melted
4 pkg. (8 oz. each) Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup Sour Cream
4 eggs
6 squares Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate, melted, cooled


PREHEAT oven to 325°F. Line 13x9-inch baking pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides of pan. Mix cookie crumbs and butter; press firmly onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake 10 min.

BEAT cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add sour cream; mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating on low speed after each addition just until blended. Remove 1 cup of the batter; set aside. Stir melted chocolate into remaining batter in large bowl; pour over crust. Top with spoonfuls of the remaining 1 cup plain batter; cut through batters with knife several times for swirled effect.

BAKE 40 min. or until center is almost set. Cool. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight. Use foil handles to lift cheesecake from pan before cutting to serve. Store in refrigerator.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Buffalo Chicken Burgers

I wanted to make a burger that had a buffalo chicken wing taste. Jason thought it was too salty...but I love salt and thought it was perfect. Since I did not added any salt I guess it was the cheese or wing sauce that had a high sodium content. Nonetheless - I LOVED it!


Ground Chicken
Wing Sauce (I used Budweiser brand - SO good)
Blue Cheese Crumbles
Bread Crumbs (you may not need this depending on how "loose" your meat mixture is)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil


Combine the ground chicken, wing sauce, blue cheese and bread crumbs (feel free to add an egg if you need the meat to bind more). Shape into patties and cook on your stove top, flip as needed. I added some more wing sauce and extra virgin olive oil to the pan to keep the burger from sticking.

Classic Pecan Pie

This was my first Pecan Pie! When trying to find just the right recipe I thought the best place to look would be the Karo Syrup website. Everyone loved it so much I have been told that I HAVE to make it for Christmas dinner!

Prep Time: 15 minutes - Cook Time: 55 to 60 minutes - Yield: 1 pie


3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup Karo® Light OR Dark Corn Syrup
2 tablespoons butter OR margarine, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) pecans
1 (9-inch) unbaked or frozen** deep-dish pie crust


Preheat oven to 350°F.

Beat eggs slightly with fork in medium bowl. Add sugar, Karo® Corn Syrup, butter and vanilla; stir until blended. Stir in pecans. Place pie dough in pie pan. Pour pecan filling into pie crust.

Bake 55 to 60 minutes or until knife inserted halfway between center and edge comes out clean.

Cool on wire rack.

**To use prepared frozen pie crust: Place cookie sheet in oven and preheat oven as directed. Pour filling into frozen crust and bake on preheated cookie sheet.
TIPS: Pie is done when center reaches 200°F. Tap center surface of pie lightly - it should spring back when done. For easy clean up, spray pie pan with cooking spray before placing pie crust in pan. If pie crust is over-browning, cover edges with foil.

My Notes: Once I poured the filing in the crust I added in a little more pecans so it looked nice and full!

Lemon Bundt Cake with Glaze

I was looking for a easy and moist recipe for Lemon Bundt Cake. I found this one on Allrecipes and it was moist and lemony!


1 (18.25 ounce) package lemon cake mix
1 (3.4 ounce) package instant lemon pudding mix
3/4 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 cup lemon-lime flavored carbonated beverage (I used Sprite)


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan.

In a large bowl, combine cake mix and pudding mix, then stir in the oil. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the lemon-lime soda.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool.

My Notes: Mine took about 20 minutes longer to cook. I also made a glaze using powdered sugar and some left over Sprite. Next time I want to use some lemon juice and lemon zest with the powdered sugar instead of Sprite.

Hershey's Deep Dish Brownies

While working on an all sweets menu for a family gathering I thought brownies would be a good way to bring in some chocolate. I found this Hershey's recipe and thought I would give it a try.


3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter or margarine, melted
1-1/2 cups sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 eggs
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt


1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 8-inch square baking pan.
2. Combine butter, sugar and vanilla in bowl. Add eggs; beat well with spoon. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; gradually add to egg mixture, beating until well blended. Spread batter evenly into prepared pan.
3. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until brownies begin to pull away from sides of pan. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars. About 16 brownies.

VARIATION: Stir 1 cup REESE'S Peanut Butter Chips, HERSHEY'S SPECIAL DARK Chocolate Chips or HERSHEY'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips into batter before spreading batter in pan. (I Added in some chocolate chips!)

My Notes: Aside from adding in chocolate chips, I had to cook mine a little longer...and probably could of cooked them another 5-10 minues, but I like my brownies a little undercooked.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Dorito Chicken

Not sure why the pic came out blurry...but you get the idea.

Jason is a BIG fan of Doritos. When I told I saw this recipe he kept asking when I was going to make it. I finally was ok. We think it needed some more flavor (even though I added some spice). It was missing something.


Egg Wash
Chicken Breast
Crushed Doritos
Ranch Dressing (I added this)
Hot Sauce (I added this)
Red Pepper Flakes, Cumin, Garlic, Smoked Paprika and Chili Powder (I added these)


Crush Doritos and mix in spices. Mix ranch and hot sauce together. Dip chicken breast in egg wash, then ranch mixture and lastly dip into Dorito mixture.

Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes (or until done).

I believe the orginal source of this recipe is: Southern Living's Easy Weeknight Favorites

Peanut Butter Delights

Jason was asking for something that was salty and sweet. I saw how simple these treats were in Carrie's blog and thought I'd give them a try.


Ritz Crackers
Peanut Butter
Bakers Chocolate (I used semisweet...use can also use "Almond Bark")


Spread the peanut between two Ritz crackers.
Melt chocolate
Dip peanut butter filled crackers in chocolate.
Place them on wax paper and allow them to set (I put mine in the frig).

*I meant to add some almond extract to the chocolate....but got excited and forgot. Next time I will add it in...I think it will be a nice touch.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Deep Dish Chicken Pot Pie

My co-worker, Sonja, told me about this recipe she found from Kraft. I love chicken pot pie, but Jason did not always feel the same way...until now! This will be made again very soon.


1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup KRAFT Light Zesty Italian Reduced Fat Dressing
4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) PHILADELPHIA Neufchatel Cheese, 1/3 Less Fat than Cream Cheese, cubed
2 Tbsp. flour
1/2 cup fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
1 refrigerated pie crust (1/2 of 15-oz. pkg.)


PREHEAT oven to 375°F. Cook chicken in dressing in large skillet on medium heat 2 min. Add Neufchatel cheese; cook and stir until melted. Add flour; mix well. Add broth and vegetables; simmer 5 min.

POUR mixture into deep dish 10-inch pie plate. Arrange pie crust over filling; flute edges. Cut four slits in crust to allow steam to escape.
BAKE 30 min. or until crust is golden brown.

MY NOTES: I used regular dressing and cream cheese. I also added a little more broth and some spices (garlic powder, salt, pepper, thyme and poultry seasoning). Before I place the crust on top I sprinkled on a little cheese. After cooking for 40 minutes the crust wasn't as "golden" as I had wanted so I turned the broiler on...a quick fix! I did not have a deep pie dish so 1 1/2 quart casserole dish.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Cauliflower Gratin

When I saw this recipe on Barefoot Contessa I knew I had to try it for Jason's family Thanksgiving dinner. There are always so many things to chose from so it can hard to think of something new. I had never seen a cauliflower dish at their dinners so I decided to try it. It was so good and everyone said they liked it! I will certainly make this again.


1 (3-pound) head cauliflower, cut into large florets
Kosher salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, divided
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups hot milk
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
3/4 cup freshly grated Gruyere, divided
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Cook the cauliflower florets in a large pot of boiling salted water for 5 to 6 minutes, until tender but still firm. Drain.

Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add the flour, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes. Pour the hot milk into the butter-flour mixture and stir until it comes to a boil. Boil, whisking constantly, for 1 minute, or until thickened. Off the heat, add 1 teaspoon of salt, the pepper, nutmeg, 1/2 cup of the Gruyere, and the Parmesan.

Pour 1/3 of the sauce on the bottom of an 8 by 11 by 2-inch baking dish. Place the drained cauliflower on top and then spread the rest of the sauce evenly on top. Combine the bread crumbs with the remaining 1/4 cup of Gruyere and sprinkle on top. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and drizzle over the gratin. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the top is browned. Serve hot or at room temperature.

My Notes: I doubled the recipe so I ended up using 3 heads of cauliflower. I also added some extra cheese and used half and half in place of the milk. I was started to get worried when the sauce did not thicken up after adding the half and half....but I turned up the heat and everything worked out perfectly...just keep whisking. If you can not find Gruyere then you can use Swiss....but you should really try to find the was very good.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Pimento Cheese Stuffed Pitas

My Mom and I found some cute mini pitas at Trader Joes and thought it would be good to stuff them with some pimento cheese. I used a pimento cheese recipe I saw Paula Deen make on the Food Network.


8 ozs shredded sharp cheddar cheese
8 ozs shredded white cheddar cheese
4 oz jar pimentos, chopped with juice
1/2 cup mayonnaise
salt & pepper (I omit the salt)
1 package mini pitas


Mix the shredded cheese together with the pimentos. Stir in the mayonnaise.
With a metal spoon (pimientos will stain plastic or wood), stir until the mixture is well blended.
Add salt and pepper to taste and stir again. Keep covered in the fridge until ready to use.

To stuff the pita cut a small portion of one side, and use a knife to open the pita the rest of the way if necessary. Fill the pitas will the mixture...I put the mixture in a baggie and cut a corner of the bag and used that to pipe the pimento cheese mixture in.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Soup

This was very tasty...and as Jason would say "This is good s@#!". I had been wanting to make this recipe that I found on, and I finally had the perfect chance because we currently have no stove. We moved a week ago and have yet to take the time and buy a new one...actually we need to get a dishwasher too.

1 onion, chopped
1 (16 ounce) can chili beans
1 (15 ounce) can black beans
1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle beer
2 (10 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning
3 whole skinless, boneless chicken breasts

other spices - see My Notes below
shredded Cheddar cheese (optional)
sour cream (optional)
crushed tortilla chips (optional)

Place the onion, chili beans, black beans, corn, tomato sauce, beer, and diced tomatoes in a slow cooker. Add taco seasoning, and stir to blend. Lay chicken breasts on top of the mixture, pressing down slightly until just covered by the other ingredients. Set slow cooker for low heat, cover, and cook for 5 hours.
Remove chicken breasts from the soup, and allow to cool long enough to be handled. Stir the shredded chicken back into the soup, and continue cooking for 2 hours. Serve topped with shredded Cheddar cheese, a dollop of sour cream, and crushed tortilla chips, if desired.

My Notes: I did not have an onion around so I added onion flakes. I also added some fresh garlic, smoked paprika, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, cumin, salt and pepper. I served it with a healthy dose of sour cream, shredded cheese and Utz White Corn Tortilla Chips.
Here is a photo of it without all the fatty goodness:

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Apple Coffee Cake with Crumb Topping and Brown Sugar Glaze

That is one long name! This recipe was very good and easy to make. We had some apples that Jason's Grandparents got for us while they were in the Mountains and I wanted to make something special with them. I came across this Emeril recipe on the Food Network website and thought it would be the perfect thing to try because I had all the ingredients on hand. Jason helped me out my peeling and coring the apples =)!


1 stick plus 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups peeled, cored and chopped apples

Crumble Topping:
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

Brown Sugar Glaze:
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons water
a dash of nutmeg (I added this to the recipe)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 13 by 9-inch glass baking dish with 2 teaspoons of the butter.

In a large bowl, cream together the remaining stick of butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating after the addition of each. In a separate bowl or on a piece of parchment, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add to the wet ingredients, alternating with the sour cream and vanilla. Fold in the apples. Pour into the prepared baking dish, spreading out to the edges.

To make the topping, in a bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and butter, and mix until it resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle the topping over the cake and bake until golden brown and set, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes.

To make the glaze, in a bowl, combine the sugar, nutmeg, vanilla, and water and mix until smooth. Drizzle the cake with the glaze and let harden slightly. Serve warm.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Sour Cream Muffins with Bacon and Cheese

When I saw Paula Deen makes these on the Food Network this past weekend I knew I had to try them out. Since they seemed more savory than sweet to me I added the bacon and cheese. These are so good that even Paula Deen doesn't add butter to them when she eats them!


2 cups self-rising flour
2 sticks butter, melted
1/2 pint sour cream
chopped cooked bacon (I added this)
shredded cheese (I added this)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine all ingredients and spoon into small, un-greased muffin tins. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes. (You do not need to the grease the muffin tins because of all the butter in the mix). Yield: 24 small muffins or 12 large muffins.

I halved the recipe and they came out great! I can't wait to make a full batch for the holidays.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Cheesy Dill Hashbrown Patty

I was home and had no clue what I wanted to eat and I did not feel like cooking a meal for myself. So...this is what I came up with...

potato (mostly peeled and grated)
oil (I used extra virgin olive oil)
shredded cheese (I used cheddar)
salt and pepper to taste
dill to taste and for garnish
sour cream

In a skillet I heated up some oil and then added my grated potato (medium heat). Add salt, pepper and dill to taste. As you cook the potato try to keep one flat layer; stir and flip it as you go. Once it is just about done sprinkle your shredded cheese over potato. Starting from the edges start to form your patty (the cheese really helps it stick together). Once patty is formed cook for about 30 seconds, flip and cook another 30 seconds. Transfer to your plate (you may want to drain off some of the oil first), then garnish with some sour cream and dill.

This was really good and I plan to make it more variations soon.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake w/ Caramel Sauce

It is that time of the year when pumpkin becomes popular and craved by many. Once again I turned to and I found this recipe. I added the caramel sauce to it and that made it even better! I can not wait to make this again for Thanksgiving!!!

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crust
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pinch ground cloves
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1/2 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Blend in eggs one at a time. Remove 1 cup of batter and spread into bottom of crust; set aside.

Add pumpkin, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg to the remaining batter and stir gently until well blended. Carefully spread over the batter in the crust.

Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until center is almost set. Allow to cool, then refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight. Cover with whipped topping before serving

Changes: After reading over some reviews I decided to use pumpkin pie mix instead of pumpkin puree since it already had the spices in it. I also added a little extra vanilla, cinnamon and sugar to the mix.


1 bag of caramels (14oz)
1 can of evaporated mix (12oz)

In a pan on the stove top heat up the caramels and evaporated milk together. Allow it to cool a little so it can thicken. Drizzle the caramel sauce over the cheesecake before serving and top with some whip cream. YUM!
PLEASE NOTE: If you do not want extra caramel sauce leftover when the cheesecake is gone you may want to halve this recipe.

Cabbage Jambalaya

When I saw cabbage on sale at the grocery store I went searching for a new way to use it. This recipe did not call for much seasoning so I added a lot to it and it was great!!


1 pound ground beef
1 pound smoked sausage, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 onion, chopped
3 stalks celery
1 clove chopped garlic
1 medium head cabbage, chopped
1 (14.5 ounce) can stewed tomatoes
14 1/2 fluid ounces water
1 cup uncooked rice
garlic salt to taste

I added the following to season it up: salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, chili powder, cayenne pepper, thyme, cumin, and lots of Creole Seasoning.


In a large stock pot over medium high heat, combine ground beef, smoked sausage, onion, celery and garlic. Cook until beef is evenly brown. Stir in cabbage, tomatoes, water and rice. Season with garlic salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 35 to 40 minutes, or until rice is done.

Here are some of my changes: I used a can of petite diced tomatoes because that is what I had on hand. In place of water I used chicken broth. Since I do not like big pieces of onion I grated part of a red onion and used that. I also added more cabbage and liquid than the recipe called for, and I cooked it longer to soften the cabbage to our liking. For the meat I used turkey kielbasa and ground sirloin.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip

As soon I as saw this on Chelley's blog I knew I had to try it. It was very good....and sweet! This is on our list for our housewarming party.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip (adapted from Recipezaar)

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 (8-oz) pkg cream cheese
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
3/4 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips

1. In a small saucepan, melt the butter with the brown sugar over medium heat. Stir continuously, until the brown sugar dissolves. (You can also do this in the microwave but watch it closely. The butter/sugar mixture will boil over fast. Stir every 30 seconds or so.)
2. Remove from heat, whisk in vanilla extract and set aside to cool.
3. Beat the cream cheese and confectioner's sugar for 1 minute.
4. Slowly beat in the cooled butter mixture and beat again for another minute.
5. Stir in the chocolate chips.
6. Pour into a serving bowl and refrigerate.
7. Garnish with additional chips, if you choose.

I served this will Nilla Wafers. You could also use graham crackers, chocolate graham sticks or something else sweet!

I was happy it came out SO good because all the ingredients I used were Wal-Mart brand (except the chocolate chips and Nilla Wafers).

Friday, September 14, 2007

Marinated Baked Pork Chops

I found this recipe on Allrecipes while looking for something to do with pork chops I had gotten on sale. They came out very good, and I always like to find a recipe where I have all the ingredients on hand.


1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons ketchup
6 pork chops, trimmed
*a few dashes of hot sauce (I added this to the recipe)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a small bowl, thoroughly blend soy sauce, vegetable oil, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, brown sugar, and ketchup. *I found it easier to use a whisk to combine the items.
Place pork chops in a medium baking dish, and spread with 1/2 the sauce. *Before spreading 1/2 the sauce I sprinkled the pork chops with some salt and pepper.
Bake pork chops 30 minutes in the preheated oven. Turn, and spread with remaining sauce. Continue baking 30 minutes, or until internal temperature of the chops has reached 160 degrees F (70 degrees C).

I made this recipe with 4 pork chops and still used all the sauce. * = my changes and notes.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Salad Bites

While browsing some blogs I came across this idea in Cherrapeno's blog and thought it was the cutest thing.


sundried tomatoes
cream cheese
balsamic vinegar
extra virgin olive oil



1. Clean the outside of your cucumber and cut in half lengthwise.
2. Cut along the bottom of each half so the cucumber will be stable.
3. Scoop out the seeds and make a little well for the cream cheese.
4. Dry the inside of the cucumber with a paper towel.
5. Fill the cucumber with cream cheese (neatly).
6. Slice the cucumber in bite size pieces.
7. With your toothpick place on a piece of sundried tomato and stick the toothpick into the cream cheese through the cucumber.
8. Sprinkle some salt, pepper and oregano on top, and drizzle the balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil over the tops.

These were good and fun to eat. I think next time I will spice up the cream cheese and add an olive to the toothpick for some saltiness!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Quaker's Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Bars

I am not a big fan of oatmeal and raisins...but I made these for Jason and he thought they were good....but could of been a little sweeter for his taste. I want to try it next time w/ some chocolate chips. You really can not go wrong with Quaker Oatmeal's recipe. You can find this on their website or on the Quaker Oatmeal container.


1/2 pound (2 sticks) margarine or butter, softened (I used unsalted butter)
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
3 cups Quaker® Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
1 cup raisins

Preparation Steps

Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, beat margarine and sugars until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well. Add oats and raisins; mix well.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered.

Bar Cookies: Press dough onto bottom of ungreased 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars. Store tightly covered,24 BARS

VARIATIONS: Stir in 1 cup chopped nuts. Substitute 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips or candy-coated chocolate pieces for raisins; omit cinnamon.Substitute 1 cup diced dried mixed fruit.

HIGH ALTITUDE ADJUSTMENT: Increase flour to 1-3/4 cups and bake as directed.

Slow Cooker Pot Roast

Since I work 10 hour days I am try to use my slow cooker more so I can get other things done in the evening. I made this up just by using what I had on hand.

Bottom Round Roast
1 can tomato sauce
2 cups of water
2 beef bullion cubes
1 whole garlic clove
onion flakes

I cooked mine on low for about 12 hours (it does not have to cook that long). It was very good!!

Need a side dish??? We used the broth in the slow cooker to make some rice...very tastey!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Olive, Basil and Garlic Bread

I used Joelen's "Sun-dried Tomato, Rosemary and Garlic Bread" recipe to inspire me for this one. Since I am not ready to try out yeast bread I was happy to see this recipe because there is not yeast involved...just beer!


3 cups all purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
2 -3 tablespoons basil garlic seasoning blend
1/4 cup finely chopped green olives with pimentos
1(12oz) can or bottle of beer (I used Budweiser)
cooking spray to grease loaf pan


Lightly grease loaf pan with cooking spray.Preheat oven to 350 degrees.Combine all remaining ingredients except beer in a large bowl.Pour beer into the mixture and stir thoroughly - don't over mix!Pour bread batter into greased loaf pan.Bake 50-55 minutes in preheated oven.Remove from oven and allow to cool before slicing.

My thoughts:

It was good, but not as much flavor as I was hoping for. It seemed more sweet than savory. But I am sure it didn't help that I forgot the salt and for some unknown reason I added baking soda. It was early that morning and I guess I could not read! I am going to play with it some more and I always want to try a sweet version.

Fried Green Tomatoes

Jason made these with some garden fresh tomatoes he got from his Dad. They were so good!


Baking Powder


Bacon Grease

I do not have exact measurements, but the batter should be mostly cornmeal and fairly thick. Heat up your oil in a skillet, dip your sliced green tomatoes in the batter, place in oil and flip them so both sides are golden brown. Sprinkle with a good amount of salt as soon as you pull them out of the oil. Serve warm.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Super Simple Cake Cookies

I am not sure where I found this recipe...but they are really easy and I will be making them again soon in some other great variation. Everyone enjoyed them!


1 box cake mix (I use Funfetti)
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil (I used canola oil - you can probably use less than 1/2 cup)
2 tablespoons of instant french vanilla pudding
Canned frosting and sprinkles (you do not have to frost them)


Mix together the first four ingredients, drop batter on a lined cookie sheet (tablespoon size) and bake on 350 for 8-10 minutes. Let cookies cool then frost them and add sprinkles.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Caramel-Apple Pudding Cake

I found this recipe in my Better Homes and Garden Cookbook. It was WONDERFUL...and I usually do not like foods with cooked apples. This would be great in the fall time.


2 medium tart cooking apples, such as Granny Smith or Jonathan, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced (2 cups) - I used Granny Smith
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup raisins (I used half raisins and half craisins)
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter (no substitutes), melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
3/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon butter (no substitutes)
Vanilla Ice Cream - optional


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Grease a 2-quart square baking dish; arrange apple slices in bottom of dish. Sprinkle with lemon juice, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Top evenly with raisins; set aside.
3. Combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and baking soda in a large bowl. Add milk, the 2 tablespoons melted butter, and vanilla; mix well. Stir in nuts. Spread batter evenly over apple mixture.
4. Combine caramel topping, water, and the 1 tablespoon butter in a small saucepan; bring to boiling. Pour caramel mixture over the batter in the baking dish.
5. Bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes or until set in center. Spoon warm individual servings into dessert dishes, inverting each portion. Spoon caramel-apple mixture from the pan over each portion. Makes 12 servings.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

This recipe was fantastic!!!! I do not think I will make pulled pork any other way. The recipe was found on


1 (2 pound) pork tenderloin
1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle root beer
1 (18 ounce) bottle your favorite barbecue sauce
8 hamburger buns, split and lightly toasted


Place the pork tenderloin in a slow cooker; pour the root beer over the meat. Cover and cook on low until well cooked and the pork shreds easily, 6 to 7 hours. Note: the actual length of time may vary according to individual slow cooker. Drain well. Stir in barbecue sauce. Serve over hamburger buns.

My notes: I used Target brand root beer (Shhhh, don't tell) and Sweet Baby Ray's Hot and Spicy BBQ Sauce. Also, I added in some salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. Because of my work schedule the pork cooked for 11 hours...and it still came out great! When I got home I added in the BBQ sauce and let is cook for another 30 minutes.

Jason and I liked it so much we are hoping to serve it at a housewarming party IF we get the house!

Rice and Tomato Gravy

This side dish was something Jason's Great Grandma would make all the time. I changed it a little by adding in some other flavors. She would make plain white rice and not added any seasonings to the gravy....Jason's Great Grandfather loved it that way! This is something you can really make your own.

Gravy Part

1 can diced tomatoes
creole seasoning (a good amount)
smoked paprika
red pepper flakes
1/4 of water
flour and water mix

In a pan combine the first six ingredients. Heat on medium until every is hot and well combined. remove from heat and add in flour and water mixture to thicken gravy to your liking. Place back on heat and let it cook a little more so you do no taste the flour. Adjust the spices to your liking.

Rice Part (you can really do anything you'd like for the rice)

2 cups of water
2 chicken bullion cubes
1 cup of rice

Combine all the above ingredients in a pan, bring to a boil, cover and cook on low. Should be done in about 20-25 minutes.

Serve the gravy over the rice and you are done!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Crab Cakes

We wanted something new for dinner and since we did not want to pay the money for crab legs...we had crab cakes! I also made a "seafood" dip for the crab cakes. This recipe is from my Better Homes and Garden Cook Book.

Crab Cakes


1 beaten egg
1 cup soft bread crumbs
3 tablespoons mayonnaise or salad dressing
2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion (1) (omitted this because I do not like onions)
1 tablespoon snipped fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried dill (omitted because I did not have any)
1 teaspoon seafood seasoning (I used Phillip's Blackened Seafood Seasoning-you could also use Old Bay)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 16-ounce can pasteurized crab meat or two 6-1/2-ounce cans crab meat, drained, flaked, and cartilage removed
3 tablespoons fine dry bread crumbs
2 teaspoons cooking oil
I added - cayenne pepper and dry ground mustard to the recipe


1. In a medium mixing bowl combine egg, soft bread crumbs, mayonnaise, green onion, dill, seafood seasoning, pepper, cayenne pepper and ground dry mustard. Stir in flaked crab meat. Divide mixture into 8 portions. Moisten hands and form each portion into a 2-1/2-inch patty.
2. Place crab cakes in a greased shallow baking pan. Combine the dry bread crumbs and cooking oil. Sprinkle over crab cakes pressing to adhere. Bake, uncovered, in a 450 degree F oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until light brown. (Or, do not place in baking pan; coat with crumbs as above. In an extra large skillet cook patties in 2 tablespoons hot oil over medium-high heat for 5 to 6 minutes or until brown, turning halfway through cooking. Add additional oil, if necessary. Drain on paper towels.) Makes 4 servings (2 crab cakes per serving).

Make-Ahead Directions: Prepare as above through step 1. Cover and chill for up to 24 hours. Bake or fry as directed.

We fried ours and they were wonderful!!

Seafood Dip Recipe

Old Bay Seasoning

Pretty tasty and really simple!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

It was late at night and I was in the mood to bake. I remembered seeing a simple three ingredient recipe for peanut butter cookies on I tried it out. I added chocolate chips to mine!


1 cup peanut butter
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
chocolate chips (I added this)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
Combine ingredients and drop by teaspoonfuls on cookie sheet. Bake for 8 minutes. Let cool. Recipe doesn't make very many, so you could double recipe as you desire.

My tip: Be sure you press the cookie batter down with a fork on your baking sheet before you put them in the oven.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Creamy Stuffed Shells


Half a box large shells
1/2 pound ground hamburger (I used 93% lean)
1/2 bulk ground sausage (I used half of a Jimmy Dean roll)
4 ounces cream cheese
6 ounces sour cream
shredded mozzarella cheese
chopped garlic
dried oregano
dried thyme
red pepper flakes
salt and pepper


Boil shells.

Brown hamburger and sausage, add in spices to your taste. Once meat is cooked drain fat and add in cream cheese, sour cream and mozzarella cheese. Mix until everything is incorporated. Fill cooked shells with mixture and place open side up in a baking dish. Sprinkle more mozzarella on top and bake until cheese is melted.

Other Successful Options: You could add mushrooms to the meat mixture, and you could also serve marinara sauce over the shells.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Garden Growth-My First Tomato!!!

I was very excited to pick my first homegrown tomato. Considering I grew it in a pot on my balcony with very little sun, I was very happy with the results.

Me looking like a dork with my tomato:

Me picking the tomato:

The beginning:

Mexican Style Pasta Salad

Not the best picture....but it was not very "pretty" to begin with =).

I wanted a mexican style pasta salad and here is what I came up with.

4 color spiral pasta
Canned black beans, drained and rinsed
Shredded mexican style cheese
Chorizo (deli sliced then cut up)
Green olives
Peppercorn ranch dressing
Picante sauce

Overall it was pretty good. I feel like it is missing something....but I am not sure what....possibly something with more salt.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Peanut Butter Frosting

I had two good sized bananas that I needed to use up and thought some type of banana baked good would be the perfect way to use them up. I found the recipe on another food blog.

Banana Bars a la Ashleigh

1/2c. Butter, softened
1 1/2 c. white sugar
2 eggs
1 c. sour cream
1 t. vanilla extract
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1 c. ripe mashed bananas
1 container cream cheese frosting
peanut butter (I added this to the original recipe)

Preheat oven to 350.

Grease a 10x15 jelly roll pan (I used a 9X13 glass baking dish). In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then stir in the sour cream and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; stir into the batter. Finally, mix in mashed bananas. Spread evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Note: I used a different size pan so they took a little longer to cook. Allow bars to cool completely before frosting. Mix together the cream cheese frosting and peanut butter and frost.

These were great and I will probably make them again if I have left-over bananas sitting around.

Friday, July 6, 2007

No Pudge Brownies

No Pudge Brownies are a boxed mix that offers you FAT FREE brownies. I recently made the Fudge version and they were great!! All you do is add yogurt (I used fat free french vanilla) to the mix and bake. I also added some caramel chocolate swirl chips to the mix. Even without the chips these brownies still would of been wonderful! Try them today!! Here is their website:

"Jason Eggs"

This post will feature some of Jason's cooking! When Jason was growing up his Mom would make him and his sister thier own special eggs and name the eggs after each child. Jason has continued to make these eggs, and he now makes them for me too =).

Sage Infused Rice with Mozzarella

I had a ton of fresh sage in my herb garden I wanted to use so I decided to make a rice dish. This is dish was really tasty and I can not wait to make it again. Here is what I used:

1 cup uncooked long grain white rice
2 cups water
chicken bullion
garlic powder
fresh sage leaves (about 4 large leaves hand torn)
freshly shredded mozzarella cheese

I cooked the rice in the water, chicken bullion, garlic powder, pepper and fresh sage. When it was done cooking I added in the mozzarella. And, that's it!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Michelle's Baby Shower to Welcome Jaden

Here are some photos of the Baby Shower Karla and I threw for Michelle. The food consisted of a taco bar, Mexican rice, chips and salsa, various cheeses, veggie tray and dip, fresh fruit displayed in margarita glasses for more of a Mexican theme, blue and yellow rice krispie treats, cake and punch. We went with a duck theme with blue and yellow.

Diaper cake:

Michelle (Mom-to-be), Me and Karla