Saturday, December 13, 2008

Sweet Treats

I have a recipe for one of the easiest Christmas treats ever. I got this recipe from a friend a few years ago and we have enjoyed it ever since. These treats are good, easy and can be changed in several ways.

Sweet Treats
Round pretzels (may also use square basket weave type)
Hershey Hugs (may also use chocolate Kisses)
Christmas M & M's

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or foil. Lay pretzels out onto lined cookie sheet. Unwrap Hugs and place in center of pretzel ring or in using square pretzel, on top of it. Place in oven for about 5 minutes.When Hugs are still maintaining their shape, but are soft press one M & M into Hug. Cool in refrigerator , then eat!
*These are a nice easy 10!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Pasta E Fagioli

I had lunch at the Olive Garden a few weeks ago, and had this wonderful soup. It was so good I thought it would work well for a group I had coming over. I searched the web and found a copy cat recipe. I made just a few changes to it and it really did taste like the real thing. This soup is really very easy to make and is delicious.

Pasta E Fagioli

3 teaspoons oil
2 lbs ground beef
14 ounces carrots, slivered
12 ounces onions, chopped
14 ounces celery, diced
48 ounces diced canned tomatoes
2 cups red kidney beans
2 cups white kidney beans
88 ounces beef stock
3 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon rosemary
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 1/2 teaspoons pepper
5 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
48 ounces spaghetti sauce
8 ounces dry pasta shell macaroni, cooked as directed

Sauté beef in oil in large 10 quart pot until beef starts to brown.
Add onions, carrots, celery and tomatoes and simmer for about 10 minutes.
Drain and rinse beans and add to pot. Also add beef stock, oregano, rosemary, garlic, pepper, Tabasco and spaghetti sauce.
Simmer until celery and carrots are tender, about 45 minutes.
Add pasta about 10 minutes before serving.
Grate fresh Romano or Parmesan cheese onto soup before serving.

This recipe makes 9 quarts! I served it to 12 people and still had plenty for another meal. A friend of mine made it and said it freezes well. If I was making it for just my family I would half it and there would still be a generous amount.

* It's a 10!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Apple pie

Here's how I spent my day today - peeling lots of apples. I made pies to give away today, but of course kept one for Bob! This is a good recipe and I thought I would share it.

Mom's Apple Pie
Combine: 1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Press out any lumps. Ad 6 large tart apples, peeled and sliced. Toss well.
Place unbaked pie crust in 9 inch pie plate. Fill pastry shell with apple mix.
Topping: 1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup butter
Stir together sugar and flour, then cut in better until mixture is crumbly. Spread over filling.
Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until browned.
*This is our families favorite apple pie and we rate it a 9.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Marshmallow Crescent Puffs

I just found this recipe. It was easy and a hit at our house, so I thought I would share it!

Marshmallow Crescent Puffs
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
16 large marshmallows
1/4 cup margarine, melted
2 pkgs Pillsbury Crescent Rolls

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine sugar and cinnamon. Dip each marshmallow in melted margarine and roll in cinnamon sugar. Wrap a crescent roll around each marshmallow. Seal completely!!! (this is important) Dip in melted margarine and again in cinnamon sugar. Place in greased muffin tin. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 - 15 minutes until brown.
* You may skip the cinnamon sugar on the crescent roll and drizzle with powdered sugar glaze when done instead. I'm going to try that next time because I think it will taste like a cinnamon roll and be less messy!
**If you don't seal the crescents well, the marshmallow will melt and bubble all over your pan, making quite a mess! I learned the hard way!
*** We thought these were great and Bob rates them a 10!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Chocolate Toffee Pecan Cookies

I got the recipe for these cookies from Perri of My life in Bits and Pieces. She found it on another blog, Lynn's Kitchen Adventures. I thought that since 2 people liked them enough to post them, they must be good. Guess what? They really are good! I didn't follow the recipe exactly, though. My family doesn't care for nuts in things, so I doubled the Heath bits and left out the pecans. I also made them normal size because I know we would eat just as many regardless of size. Hope you like these too!

Chocolate Toffee (Pecan?) Cookies
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons melted butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg, plus 1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips
4 ounces toffee bits (Heath)
3/4 cup very finely chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In mixing bowl, combine butter and sugars until well blended. Add egg, yolk and vanilla. Batter will appear slightly greasy. Add dry ingredients until blended. Add chocolate chips, toffee bits and pecans. Scoop into 1/4 cup balls onto cookie sheet - may use ice cream scoop. Place 6 onto cookie sheet. When made this large, make sure you only do 6 at a time as they will spread out. Bake 15 minutes. When you set them out to cool, be sure to use a rack because as the toffee pieces harden, it will stick to paper towel or any other paper.
* these rate a 9

Monday, July 28, 2008

Key Lime Pie

I have to apologize for my lack of posting lately. Hopefully the great recipe I am posting will make up for it!
This is the easiest recipe for Key Lime Pie ever, and it tastes wonderful and refreshing. Hope you enjoy!

Key Lime Pie
5 egg yolks, beaten
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup lime juice
1 drop green food coloring
1 prepared graham cracker pie crust

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix together egg yolks and condensed milk. Stir in lime juice and food coloring. Poor into prepared pie crust. Bake for 15 minutes at 375 degrees. Garnish with whipped cream if desired.
*Bob and Heather rate this a 10

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Apple Dumplings

I got the recipe for these apple dumplings from The Pioneer Women. (If you've never been to her site, you really must stop in.) After hearing a few of my blogging friends rave about them, I thought I would try them out. They were right. These dumplings are so easy to make and they are sinfully delicious! I can guarantee that your family will thank you for making these.

Apple Dumplings

2 Granny Smith apples
2 cans crescent rolls
2 sticks butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoons vanilla
1 small can Mountain Dew

Peel and core apples. Cut apples into 8 slices each. Roll each apple slice in a crescent roll. Place in a 9 x 13 buttered pan. Melt butter, then add sugar and barely stir. Add vanilla, stir, and pour over apples. Pour Mountain Dew around the edges of the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Serve with ice cream, and spoon some of the sweet sauces from the pan over the top.
These are fabulous! My family rates them an 11!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Mexican Chocolate Crinkles

This is an old cookie recipe that my Mom got from a friend about 30 years ago. Although I don't make cookies very often, my family always likes these ones. These crispy cookies have a unique flavor because of the cinnamon in them.

Mexican Chocolate Crinkles
3/4 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted
1 3/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
sugar to roll cookies in, about 1/4 cup

Cream shortening, sugar and egg. Add syrup and chocolate . Stir in flour, soda, salt and cinnamon to make a stiff dough. Shape dough into walnut sized balls. Roll in sugar. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
Our family rates these a 9, they really like them!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Dutch Green Pea Soup

Our family has a tradition that we have been following for about 20 years. Every Christmas my Dad provides the ham for the dinner. We then freeze the ham bone and some of the leftover meat. A month or two later I make pea soup and use the bone and ham to make it. My parents always came to that supper and we used to invite an older lady from our church who my parents knew. My mom and this lady have passed away, but the tradition continues. It's something we always look forward to, when Christmas is done. When Andy was about 3, we started calling this soup "Turtle Soup" because he thought he didn't like it. He did like the the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" though. When we told him it was what they ate, he liked it too! So here it is - Turtle soup or Pea soup. I don't care what you call it!

Dutch Green Pea Soup
1 pound split green peas, rinsed
2 1/2 quarts water
3 medium onions. chopped
2 large stalks celery, sliced
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 ham bone with meat
4 large carrots, sliced
4 large potatoes, cubed

Combine peas, water, onions, celery, salt, pepper and ham bone. Heat to boiling; reduce heat and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Add carrots and potatoes and simmer another hour until peas have cooked down to a thick broth and potatoes and carrots are tender. Stir occasionally during cooking. More water may be added if soup is too thick. Makes 10 generous servings.
I got this recipe from a contest held by our local paper about 25 years ago and have been making it ever since. It is rated a 10 by our family!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Snow Salad

A friend asked me to post this recipe, so here it is! I don't know anyone who doesn't like this one.
Snow Salad
1 pkg (1/4 oz) unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
1 cup boiling water
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups (16 oz) sour cream
8 ounces Cool Whip
Dissolve gelatin in cold water, then add boiling water and stir to dissolve. Add sugar and vanilla and stir well to dissolve. Wisk in sour cream until mixture is smooth. Blend in Cool Whip. Pour into 6 cup mold and refrigerate overnight.
1 pkg Salada Danish Dessert mix
2 - 10 oz cartons frozen strawberries or raspberries
Drain berries and save liquid. Follow directions on Danish Dessert box, using liquid from berries with water to equal amount called for, to make sauce.
Serve slices of snow, with sauce poured over top.
This makes a very pretty salad when made in a mold, but can also be poured into a 9x13 pan and cut into squares.
*This salad rates a 10 at our house.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Chocolate Streusel Bars

Here are some dessert bars I made for our homegroup gathering. They are easy to make and the cream cheese filling is delicious!
Chocolate Streusel Bars

1 3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1 cup cold margerine
1- 8 oz pkg cream cheese
1 -14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, sugar and cocoa. Cut in margerine until crumbly (mixture will be very dry). Reserve 2 cups crumb mixture and press remainder on bottom of 9x13 pan. Bake 15 minutes. Beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in condensed milk until smooth. Add egg and vanilla. Mix well. Pour over prepared crust. Sprinkle reserved crumb mixture over cheese mixture. Bake 25 minutes or until bubbly. Cool and chill. Cut into small squares and store in refrigerator.

* This gets another 10 rating!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Bean soup with ham

Bean Soup with Ham
1/2 cup dry black beans
1/2 cup dry great Northern beans
1/2 cup dry red kidney beans
1/2 cup dry pinto beans
1/2 cup dry split green peas
1 ham bone or ham hocks with meat attached
1 small onion, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 bay leaf
6 cups ham broth (I made mine using ham soup base)
16 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
3 hours before serving, rinse beans with cold running water. Remove stones or shriveled beans. In a dutch oven or stock pot, mix beans and 9 cups water. Bring to boil and allow to boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 1 hour. Drain and rinse beans. Place beans, broth, onion, celery, ham bone and spices into pot. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low and simmer gently for 1 1/2 hours until beans are tender, stirring occasionally. Remove ham bone and add tomatoes to soup. Heat to boiling, reduce to low and simmer for 15 more minutes. While this is simmering, remove any ham from bone and add to soup. Discard bay leaf and serve.
*This is delicious soup - it rates a 10

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Fudgy Mint Brownies

Someone at work brought in some brownies with mint patties in them last week and everyone liked them. I decided to try my own version, which turned out really good. You only need a small piece of these, because they are really rich and unfortunately they are not calorie free! Fudgy Mint Brownies
2 boxes fudgy brownies (I used Duncan Hines)
eggs, oil and water as directed on brownie pkg.
1 pkg York peppermint patties
1/4 teaspoon mint extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare one box of brownies as directed on pkg. Pour into greased 9x13 pan. Unwrap mint patties and lay on top of prepared brownies. (24 in all; 6 rows of 4) Prepare second brownie mix as directed, then stir in mint extract. Pour over mint layer. Bake for 40 minutes. Take out of oven and frost immediately.
4 tablespoons margarine
3 tablespoons milk
2 scat tablespoons cocoa
1/2 box powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Heat margarine, milk and cocoa, but do not boil. Remove from heat and pour into mixing bowl containing powdered sugar. Mix, then stir in vanilla. Pour over hot brownies. Enjoy!
* These received a 9 rating from my family - very good

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Crescent Chicken Squares

I have a friend at work who has been asking me for this recipe for a while and I keep forgetting to take it in to work. Now she says that since I have a recipe blog I should put it here - so here it is!

Crescent Chicken Squares
8-ounce pkg cream cheese, softened
5 tablespoons margarine, melted - reserve 1 tablespoon
4 cups cooked chicken, cubed
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons minced onion
2 8-ounce pkgs crescent rolls
3/4 cup seasoned croutons, crushed
1 can cream of chicken soup plus 1/4 cup milk for sauce
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Blend cream cheese and 4 tablespoons of margarine until smooth. Add milk, salt, pepper and onion. Stir in chicken and mix well. Separate rolls into 8 rectangles and press perforations to seal. Spoon 1/2 cup chicken mix into center of each. Pull 4 corners of dough to top center of filling, twist together and pinch to seal. Place squares onto ungreased cookie sheet. Brush tops of squares with remaining melted margarine. Sprinkle with crouton crumbs. Bake for 20-30 minutes until golden brown. Warm cream of chicken soup mixed with milk and spread this sauce over top. These reheat well.
I have been making these for several years and my whole family likes them. I have served them to friends and they are always a hit. Bob and Heather rate these a 9.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

More Freezer recipes

Here are a few more recipes for things that freeze well. I will add my families rating of these recipes later, but can tell you that I have made the spaghetti casserole before and it is very good. It's a good one to bring when someone is sick as kids really like it. Spaghetti Casserole
1 pkg (16 ounces) angel hair pasta
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 jar (26 ounces) spaghetti sauce ( I use Hunts 4 cheese)
2 cans (8 ounces each) tomato sauce
1 can cream of mushroom soup
16 ounces sour cream
4 cups shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese
Cook pasta for a slightly shorter time than directed on pkg, until just done. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, brown beef and drain. Stir in spaghetti sauce and tomato sauce. Remove from heat. Stir together cream of mushroom soup and sour cream. In two 8x11 freezer pans, layer half the meat sauce, pasta, sour cream mix and cheese. Repeat layers. Cover tightly with foil and freeze up to 3 months.
To use frozen casserole: Thaw in refrigerator. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
Orange Teriyaki Chicken
8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoon minced onion
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon red pepper sauce
1 - 6 ounce can frozen orange juice concentrate
Mix all ingredients except chicken. Divide into 2 freezer bags. Add 4 chicken breast to each bag. Seal bag, allowing very little air inside. Freeze.
To cook: thaw chicken breast. They can be cooked on the grill, George Foreman type grill or baked at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes.
*Spaghetti Casserole from Taste of Home, Chicken recipe from the Freezer Chicks
*Rating for the Orange Teriyaki Chicken: 8. Good, but we thought it had a little too much orange in it for us.
Rating for the Spaghetti Casserole: 9 - always a hit.

Freezer Recipes

Here are a few dinners that can be made ahead and frozen. Crowd Pleaser Casserole
1 1/2 pound ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
12 oz frozen corn
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of celery soup
2 cups macaroni noodles
2 cups cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Cook noodles shortly under time directed on package, so they don't get mushy when frozen. Brown beef with onions, then stir in the corn, soups and seasoning. Place into 9x13 freezer pan. (I used two 8x8 pans). Sprinkle cheese on top. Cover tightly with foil and freeze. To cook: Thaw. Cook covered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
Cheesy Chicken Soup
4 chicken breasts
6 1/2 cups water
3/4 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped or slivered carrots
4 cubes chicken bouillon
2 cans cream of chicken soup
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Add chicken breast to water and simmer until tender. Remove chicken breast from water and allow to cool. Add celery, onion, carrots and bouillon to water. Simmer until vegetables are tender. Shred cooled chicken and add to soup. Add cream of chicken soup and bring to simmer. You will probably need to add more water at this time if soup is too thick.
Place soup into freezer containers and freeze.
To serve: Thaw soup and heat. Before serving add cheese.
*Recipes adapted from the Freezer Chicks.
Rating for the Crowd Pleaser casserole: 9. It was easy and good!
Rating for the Cheesy Chicken soup: 10! We loved it and will definitely have it again.