Sunday, December 12, 2010

Cookie Success

I went to my first ever cookie exchange this week. (It was fabulous and terrible.  I got 6 dozen cookies and the taunt me every time I pass by and I have hardly any will power against cookies).   I made Sugar Coated Chocolate Cookies (I'll post the recipe soon).  Cookies and I have a bit of a turbulent relationship.  We don't always get along.  However I came across a couple of helpful hints this week and thought I'd share.

- Use parchment paper.  You don't have to spray it with any non-stick spray and you can reuse it.  My cookies came off perfectly every time.  And it helps cookies not spread so much and keep their shape so they look prettier.

- If you're using metal pans run cool water on the back side of them between batches to cool them down.  It will keep your cookies from cooking right as you put the dough on the pan.  This works very quickly, I think it took maybe 30 seconds.  If you are concerned about wasting water for this I think you could put some cool water in your sink and set the pans on top and it might work just as well.

Any body else have any good cookie tips?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pumpkin Layer Cheesecake

This is one from Allrecipes that I have made for a few Thanksgivings now. I make this exactly as written, and it's delicious!!


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

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C.)

2. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. With an electric mixer, beat on medium speed until smooth. Blend in eggs. Reserve 1 cup of cream cheese mixture and set aside. Pour remaining mixture into pie crust.

3. Into the reserved cream cheese mixture, stir pumpkin puree, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Pour over the top of the plain filling in the crust.

4. Bake in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until center of pie is almost set. Allow to cool, then refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.


I have officially changed this recipe SO MUCH, that this is now My Pie. :) It's a pecan pie with Kahlua and dark chocolate in it. I could die, I love this pie so much!

1/2c white sugar
1/2c brown sugar
1c light corn syrup
1/2c butter(1 stick)

4 eggs
1/4c Kahlua
1t vanilla
1/4t salt
1c chopped pecans

2 frozen pie shells(I buy them in the freezer aisle, or you could go with one deep dish)
6oz dark chocolate chips

1. Preheat your oven to 325

2. In a saucepan, combine sugars, corn syrup, and butter. Heat over medium heat, until butter is melted and sugars are dissolved. Set aside to cool a bit.

3. In a large bowl, beat four eggs. Whisk in the Kahlua, vanilla, and salt. Slowly pour in the sugar mixture, whisking constantly. Fold in pecans.

4. Spread the dark chocolate chips in the bottom of the pie shell(s). Pour mixture evenly into the pie shell(s).

5. Place pie(s) on a baking sheet(in case of spillover), and place in oven. Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until set and crust is golden.

6. The hardest part. Let it cool and set. I make this the night before and hae a really hard time not eating that night! :)

I hope you all love it! I am making two right now.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Repost: Award Winning Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

The church I attend had a Women's Gourmet Event last Friday night.  They had 5 different catagories you could enter and I entered my Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas into the Main Dish category.  Not only did I win for best dish in that category my 9 x 13 pan was empty within 5 minutes.  

So I decided to repost the recipe and update it with a few changes and variations I've made over the years.

3 cups chicken cooked and shredded
2 cans cream of chicken soup
8 oz sour cream
2 small cans green chilies
1 soup can water
3 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 cup chopped onion
12 tortillas

Boil chicken in seasoned water, save stock. Make sauce out of the next 4 ingredients. Add shredded chicken.  Dip tortillas in chicken stock and stuff with sauce and 1 tablespoon cheese and onion. Roll in casserole dish and cover with remaining sauce and cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

These make 2 9x13 pans and reheat very well.  They also freeze well after baking.

Other variations: 
If you have already cooked chicken you can use canned stock to dip the tortillas in. 
Use whole wheat flour tortillas in place of the regular flour tortillas.
Use one can each of cream of chicken and cream of mushroom soup. 
Use Monterrey Jack cheese or a blend of Mexican cheeses.  
I've started using both light and dark meat (a combo of breasts and thighs or legs).  
I've substituted a can of Rotel for the 2 cans of green chilies.  It looks festive at Christmastime.
I've also used some Salsa Verde in place of the green chilies.  This makes the sauce taste almost like Chuy's tomatillo sauce, which I love with all my heart.  

Friday, November 12, 2010

Cheeseburger Soup

This recipe is so gooood! All my kids asked for seconds, and even thirds!

Adaptations from the original recipe are italicized.


* 1/2lb ground beef
* 3/4c chopped onion
* 3/4c chopped carrots
* 3/4c chopped celery
* 8oz pkg mushrooms, chopped
* 1t dried basil
* 1t dried parsley
* 1t ground mustard
* 1t garlic powder
* Dash cayenne
* 8T butter

* 4c chicken broth
* 16oz pkg shredded hashbrown potatoes

* 1/4c all-purpose flour(I have used corn** flour successfully)
* 1lb sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
* 1 1/2c milk(I have used almond milk successfully)
* 1/4c sour cream


1. In a large pot, melt 4T butter or margarine over medium heat: cook and stir vegetables until softened.

2. Add beef, break up and cook until beef is brown.

3. Stir in seasonings.

4. Melt the remainder of the butter and stir in flour and milk, whisking until smooth. Add to beef/veg mixture and let simmer a few minutes to thicken.

5. Add broth and potatoes. Bring to a boil, then simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10-12 minutes.

6. Stir in cheese. When cheese is melted, add sour cream and heat through.

**Makes this dish Gluten Free**

Friday, July 23, 2010

Honey Pecan Chicken

1 1/2 c. finely chopped pecans
6 tblsp. crushed corn flakes
2 tblsp. honey
1 tblsp. soy sauce
10 chicken tenderloins (I actually use 4 reg. sized chicken breasts and it works great!)

Preheat ovent o 425. Mix pecans with corn flakes in a shallow dish. Combine honey and soy
sauce in another shallow dish. Dip both sides of chicken in the honey mixture, then coat
with pecan mixture. Arrange in baking dish in a single layer. Bake for 15 minutes and then turn
over and bake another 10 roughly....or until golden brown.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Cashew Chicken

1- 1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken
1 bell pepper (any color is fine)
1 small onion
2 tblsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. fresh ginger, grated
3 tblsp. oyster flavored sauce (you can buy it at Walmart in the oriental section)
1 tblsp. cornstarch
1 tblsp. oil
1/2 -1 cup cashew nuts (unsalted)

Slice chicken into bite-sized pieces. Put chicken in a bowl. Add soy sauce and ginger. Set aside. Slice bell pepper and onion into bite-sized pieces. Heat skillet and add oil. Stir fry chicken. Add bell pepper and onion. Pour oyster flavored sauce in. Add cashew nuts. Thicken with 1 tblsp. cornstarch. Serve over rice!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Cappuccino Muffins

2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup milk
1 stick butter, melted
6 oz. chocolate chips
1/2 tsp. instant coffee
1 egg

Mix all together and bake at 400 degrees for 12 minutes. Voila.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Ring Tum Ditty

This is from the "And from my peers" section of Paula Deen's "The Lady and Sons, Too!" cookbook.  This is from Herb Traub and the Pirates' House.

According to the recipe it serves 4 "Hogolettos" or 6 normal people.  It freezes well for another time if you're not feeding a lot of people.

12 ounces bacon, chopped
2 cups onion, chopped
Two 16 ounce cans whole tomatoes, juice reserved
One 16 ounce can whole kernel corn
Dried basil
Salt and Pepper
3 cups (3/4 pound) grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese
4-6 baking potatoes, baked

Saute' the bacon and onions in a heavy pot until the bacon is crisp and the onion is translucent.  Drain off the fat.  Drain the tomato juice into the pot, squish the tomatoes through your fingers into the pot.  Add the corn, and basil, salt and pepper to taste, and simmer the mixture for 10-15 minutes or until desired thickness.  Add the cheese and stir until melted.  Spoon the Ring Tum Ditty over the halved potatoes and wait for the compliments.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Balsalmic Glazed Salmon Fillets

From  Click on the title for the link

6 5oz salmon fillets
4 cloves garlic minced
1 Tbsp white wine
1 Tbsp honey
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
4 tsp Dijon mustard
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Line cookie sheet with aluminum foil.
Spray small sauce pan with cooking spray.  Over medium heat cook garlic until soft about 3 minutes.  Mix in the white wine, honey, balsamic vinegar, and mustard.  Simmer 3 minutes.  Lay fish on pan, brush with glaze, top with oregano.  Bake 10-14 minutes, until fish flakes with fork.  After removing from oven, brush with glaze again.  Season with salt and pepper.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


1 (16 oz.) jar of creamy peanut butter
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 pkgs. (16 oz.) powdered sugar
1 (12 oz.) pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chip morsels
2 tblsp. shortening

Beat peanut butter and butter at medium speed with a mixer until blended. Gradually add powdered sugar until blended. Shape into 1-inch balls
and chill 10 minutes minimum or until firm. Microwave chocolate chip morsels on high for 1 1/2 minutes or until melted. Dip each peanut butter
ball in melted chocolate mixture until partially coated, and place on wax paper to harden. Store candy in an airtight container. Makes 7 dozen
peanut butter balls!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Chicken-Zucchini Alfredo (with yummy low-fat sauce)

I got a lot of good recipes from magazines that were donated to me while I was in the hospital. I'll only post the ones that a good. This recipe came from food network. It was a good low-fat alfredo recipe. It was also quick and easy to make. It took about 30 minutes.
 Kosher Salt                                                 12 oz fettuccine (whole wheat)
3 Tbsp olive oil                                             1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cloves garlic, minced                                  1 c cold low-fat milk
2 zucchini, thinly sliced and halved                1/2 c evaporated non-fat milk
4-4oz skineless boneless checken breasts      3/4 c grated parmesan cheese
ground pepper                                              1/4 c chopped fresh parsley

1. Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 1 clove garlic and cook 30 seconds. Add zucchini, cover and cook until tender, stirring, about 6 minutes. Transfer to bowl.
2. Heat another Tbsp of olive oil over med-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper and cook through. Transfer to plate.
3. Cook pasta according to directions on box. Drain but reserve 1/2 c cooking water.
4. Meanwhile, whisk flour and low-fat milk in bowl. Place remaining clove of garlic and 1 tbsp oil in skillet and cook over medium-high heat, 30 seconds. Add the flour milk mixture and bring to boil, stirring. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add evaporate milk, 1/2 tsp salt, and cheese; sit to melt.
5. Cut the chicken into strips. Toss with pasta, sauce, zucchini, and parsley, adding reserved water to loosen.

Per serving: Calories 680; Fat 18g (Sat. 5g); Cholesterol 85 mg; Sodium 820 mg; Carbs 79g; Fiber 3g; Protein 49 g

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Black Bean and Chicken Soup(or Why Cumin Is So Important)

So, I made this a week or so ago, and it was bland, tasteless, yuck, just plain not good. I made it again tonight and it was awesome! I can't wait to eat the leftovers tomorrow. :)

Why was last week's batch so bad? I followed another person's recipe exactly, and didn't realize that this person was into bland tasting food. =P (After trying a few of her recipes, I found them to be lacking any real flavor, so when I see one I would like to try, I add things!)

So here's my version of a black bean and chicken soup recipe for the crockpot. The original recipe has mushrooms and sour cream, and much less cumin and salsa.

16oz dry black beans
1 large frozen chicken breast(or a couple small ones)
1cup frozen corn
16oz jarred salsa(I used pace)
2tsp cumin
4cups chicken broth

The night before making this, put the beans in a bowl, cover with water plus two inches, and let soak. In the morning, drain the beans and throw them in a large crockpot(4-6quarts).

Lay your frozen chicken breast on top of the beans, add the corn, salsa, and cumin. Pour the chicken broth over the whole thing, and let cook on high for 6-8 hours.

SOOOOOOOOOO good! Enjoy!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Poppyseed Dressing

1 tblsp. poppyseeds
3 tblsp. sugar
1/3 cup oil
2 tblsp. red wine vinegar
4 tblsp. white vinegar
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. salt

Mix all together and pour over your salad and mix well!

Curried Chicken Soup

2 oz. butter (which equals 2 tblsp.)
2 chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 chopped carrots
2 stalks celery
3 tblsp. flour
1 tblsp. curry powder
6 cups. chicken broth
1 lb. cooked chicken, chopped
8 oz. sour cream
3 tblsp. parsley
1 tblsp. dill

Saute onions, garlic, carrots and celery in butter. Stir in flour and curry powder. Then blend in stock and cook for 8 minutes. Stir in chicken and cook for 10 more minutes. Whisk in sour cream and add parsley and dill. Serve with bread and peas.

Tip: For those of you who are veggie lovers, feel free to add up to 6 carrots into the soup. I tried it and it tasted very good.

Also, this soup hardly has a curry taste, but it's very yummy!