Sunday, December 28, 2008

Glazed Walnuts

These are some of the best glazed walnuts you can ever make. But it might take some perfecting to get them just right.

Warm walnuts (how much, I don't know) in oven for about 10 minutes.

Grease jelly roll pan.

In a skillet type pan combine
3/4 cup honey
1/2 cup sugar

Bring to medium caramel color. (will get bubbly)

Add small handful of black pepper (freshly ground is best) and 1/2 tsp. salt.

Combine with walnuts and let cool.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Mint Julep

Who has been to Disneyland? Of those of you that have been to the Land of Mouse, who has had the Mint Julep in the French Quarters? Oh, if you haven't you need to! And if you can't easily get to Disneyland, I'm here to help! I'm here to help increase your sugar intake, by a lot!

This is the original recipe that is given to guests upon request.

1 cup granulated sugar
3 cups soda water
3 tsp lime juice concentrate
6 oz. thawed lemonade concentrate
6 tbsp creme de menthe (syrup available at liquor stores, or check stores like Smart & Final or Cash & Carry. Do not confuse it with creme de menthe liqueur.)

mint leaf
lime slice
maraschino cherry

  1. Dissolve sugar into the soda water in a 3 quart saucepan.
  2. Add lime juice and lemonade and bring to a boil.
  3. Remove from heat and add creme de menthe.
  4. To serve, combine 3 parts syrup mix to 5 parts chilled water.
  5. Transfer beverage to pitcher and enjoy!
  6. Garnish each serving with mint leaves, lime slice and a maraschino cherry.
Makes 2/3 gallon.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Jose Cuervo Christmas Cookie

Being as the QA Christmas party was at a Mexican, Latin, restaurant; someone was so kind to bring these cookies for dessert. Man were they good! I begged for the recipe. Tada!

Jose Cuervo Christmas Cookies

1 cup water
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup nuts
2 cups dried fruit
1 (750 ml) bottle tequila (Jose Cuervo or your other favorite brand)

  1. Sample the tequila to check quality.
  2. Take a large bowl; check the tequila again to be sure it is of the highest quality.
  3. Pour one level cup tequila and drink.
  4. Turn on the electric mixer.
  5. Beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl.
  6. Add one peastoon of sugar.
  7. Beat again.
  8. At this point it's best to make sure the tequila is still ok, so try another cup just in case.
  9. Turn off the mixerer thingy
  10. Break 2 leggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit.
  11. Pick the frigging fruit off the floor.
  12. Mix on the turner
  13. If the fried druit gets stuck in the beaters just pry it loose with a drewscriver.
  14. Sample the tequila to check for tonsisticity.
  15. Next, sift two cups of salt, or something.
  16. Who geeves a sheet.
  17. Check the tequila.
  18. Add one table.
  19. Add a spoon of sugar, or somefink.
  20. Whatever you can find
  21. Greash the oven.
  22. Turn the cake tin 360 degrees and try not to fall over.
  23. Don't forget to beat off the turner.
  24. Finally, throw the bowl through the window, finish the quetila and make sure to put the stove in the wishdasher.
  25. Cherry Mistmas !

Ok, who really thought those sounded good and was ready to make them?!? Fooled ya!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Corn & Wild Rice Soup

My Aunt Megan is a wonderful cook. And she used to cater. Occasionally I would help her with catering jobs. For one of her events, which was a Christmas open house, they customer wanted an assortment of soups. I fell in love with this soup. After much begging, she gave me the recipe, which I immediately gave to my mom in case I lost my copy. Which I did! So now I'm sharing the recipe with you.

So... Now not only can I refer back here for it, but I can also get it from you!

12 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 1/4 cups wild rice (7 1/2 oz.)
6 1/4 cups frozen corn kernels (2 1/2 pounds)
2 tbsp oil
10 oz. cooked smoked sausage
3 carrots, peeled, diced
2 medium onions, chopped
1 1/2 cups half and half

  1. Bring 5 cups broth to a simmer in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Add wild rice and simmer until all liquid evaporates and rice is almost tender, about 50-60 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, blend 3 3/4 cups corn and 1 1/2 cups chicken broth in processor until thick, almost puree forms.
  3. Heat oil in heavy large pan over medium-high heat. Add sausage (already cut into 1/2" cubes) and saute' until beginning to brown, about 8 minutes. Add carrots and onions and stir 3 minutes. Add remaining 6 cups of chicken broth and bring soup to simmer.
  4. Reduce heat to low and simmer soup 15 minutes. Add cooked wild rice, corn puree and remaining 2 1/2 cups corn kernels to soup. Cook until wild rice is very tender and flavors blends. About 30 minutes. Mix in half and half.
  5. Thin soup with more chicken broth, if desired.
  6. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper.
(Soup can be prepared 2 days ahead. Refrigerate until cold, cover and keep refrigerated. Add half and half at the last minute.)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Asian Lettuce Wraps

1 Package Ground Turkey
1 tsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 red bell pepper, diced
½ C. green onions, sliced
1 ½ T ginger root, finely grated
½ tsp. Red pepper flakes
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 T Soy Sauce
1/3 C Hoisin Sauce
8 Iceberg Lettuce Leaves
¼ C Sliced almonds, toasted

In a skillet over Med-High heat, sauté bell pepper in oil for 2 min. Add turkey, green onions, ginger, red pepper flakes and garlic. Stir while cooking until turkey is no longer pink, about 5 min. Add soy sauce and hoisin sauce. Heat thoroughly for 1 minute. Place 1/8 of turkey mixture into each lettuce leaf and top with almonds. Roll up tightly and serve immediately.

While making the base, make a pot of white rice. On piece of lettuce, put a scoop of rice and a scoop of the turkey mix. Sprinkle with almonds. Yum!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I Can't Believe it's a Cookie

Ready for simplicity...?

1 cup sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1 egg

Heat oven to 350F. Mix all ingredients. Place on cookie sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes.

Makes about 2 dozen.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Grilled Jumbo Shrimp

2 1/2 pounds jumbo shrimp, uncooked with tail
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup diced green onion
3 tbs. lemon juice
1 tsp. dried basil
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 tsp. salt
Bacon slices, cut in half one per shrimp

Precook bacon slices, but not to a crispy doneness. They will finish when grilled.

Peel (unless already peeled) shrimp and put into zip lock bag. Mix remaining ingredients together and pour mixture over shrimp. Seal bag and allow to marinate 2-4 hours. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.

Wrap bacon around shrimp and put on skewer. Place on grill and allow to cook for 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Remove from heat and skewer, and serve.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Pumpkin Muffins

I'm all about simple recipes. Quick and easy. For that reason, I love Semi-Homemade by Sandra Lee on the Food Network. This is not one of her recipes, but it's simple enough to be!

Are you ready for this simplicity...?
1 box spice cake mix
15 oz. canned pumpkin
1 cup water (optional)

Mix ingredients and pour into prepared muffin tins. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.

The water makes them more doughy, softer. I personally like them better without the water.

For those of you on Weight Watchers, they are only 1 to 2 points each!!!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Hot Buttered Rum

OMG this recipe is so good! My aunt and uncle make it every year when we go down there for Christmas.

Make the whole recipe or cut in half. Store in the freeze and it will last you awhile.

Rum Mix
1 lb. butter
1 lb. brown sugar
1 lb. powdered sugar
1 qt. french vanilla ice cream
3 tsp. vanilla

Freeze mix for later use.

Add 1 tsp. rum mix to jigger rum and 1 cup boiling water. Top with more nutmeg and cinnamon.

Me, personally, I like it with about 2 tbsp. mix and no rum.

Prepare to wear it on your hips.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Latin Lover

I know it's a bit too chili outside for a recipe like this. But it's too good to wait for warm weather to share. I had this first while attending a bachelorette party about...oh, 7 years ago...

4 tbsp. frozen pineapple juice concentrate*
2 tbsp. frozen orange juice concentrate
2 tbsp. frozen cranberry juice concentrate
1 tbsp. lime juice
2 oz. Malibu rum
1 1/2 cup small ice cubes.

Combine ingredients in a blender. Process until smooth.

Serves 2.

*I've had a hard time finding frozen pineapple juice. So I'll get frozen orange/pineapple and put 6 tbsp. of that in place of the pineapple and orange juices.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Taco Bake

Mom makes this probably about once a month. Or at least she did while I was growing up. So good, and so easy!

1 pound hamburger
1 small onion, chopped
3/4 cup water
1 pkg (1.25 oz. or 1/4 cup) taco seasoning
1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce
1 pkg (8 oz.) macaroni, cooked and drained
1 can (4 oz.) chopped green chiles
1 can (or 1 cup thawed) corn (optional)
1 can kidney beans (optional)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

  1. Brown beef and onion over medium heat.
  2. Mix in the water, taco seasoning, and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce heat. Simmer 5-to minutes.
  3. Stir in macaroni, chiles, 1 1/2 cup cheese, and optional ingredients.
  4. Pour into greased 1 1/2 quart baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  5. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes, or until heated through.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Maple Glazed Sweet Potato and Sausage

Thomas and Katie served this at a Tuesday Night Dinner some time ago, I think maybe last fall. It was a small turn out that night. But boy do I remember this recipe. Honestly, I think I was the only one that liked it. I don't know why others didn't, it was great!

Prep Time: 17 minutes; Cook Time: 12 minutes; Serves 14
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 to 3/4 inch cubes
3 tbsp. butter
1 lb. smoked sausage, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 medium onion, halved crosswise and cut into thin wedges
1 large apple, peeled, cored, and diced
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tbsp. packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg (optional)
1/8 to 1/4 tsp. ground red pepper or cayenne

  1. Bring 1 inch water and 1/2 teaspoon salt to boiling in Dutch oven or large saucepan. Add potatoes; return to boiling. Cover and cook over medium heat 3 to 5 minutes, or until potatoes are fork-tender. Drain well.
  2. Meanwhile, melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add sausage, onion, and apple. Cook and stir 5 minutes. Stir in maple syrup, brown sugar, salt, nutmeg, and red pepper, mixing well.
  3. Stir in sweet potatoes, stirring to coat. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until lightly glazed.
Per serving: 163 calories, 3g fat, 7mg cholesterol, 146mg sodium, 32g carbohydrates, 2g protein, 4g fiber.

Recipe compliments of Wal-Mart where Thomas found it. He then passed it down to me since I liked it so much.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tortellini Salad

Around the house, this is known as Aunt Megan's Tortellini Salad. She's the one that used it most often. And she's the one that guarded the recipe like it was her first born child. So...with that, here it is!

1 pkg (12 oz.) tortellini (cheese is best)
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
1 sweet red bell pepper, cut in strips
3 oz. dry salami, cut in strips
2 tablespoons pine nuts
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

  1. Cook tortellini, drain, rinse with cold water and drain again. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl mix vinegar, basil, mustard, salt, pepper, and garlic. Using a whisk or fork, gradually beat in oil until well combined.
  3. Lightly mix in tortellini, parsley, salami, bell pepper, pine nuts and cheese. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or longer.
FYI... I always end up having a couple "tester" bites before it goes in the fridge.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Peanut Butter Brownie Cookies

Oh man! These cookies are the bomb! I made them once and they disappeared quickly! In my opinion, chocolate and peanut butter are the world's greatest food combination, so my eyes perk up anytime I see a recipe containing both.

1 (19.5 oz.) box of classic traditional fudge brownie mix
1/4 cup butter, melted
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 egg
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 (16 oz.) can chocolate fudge frosting

  1. Heat oven to 350F. In a medium bowl, beat brownie mix, melted butter, cream cheese and egg 50 strokes with spoon until well blened (dough will be sticky).
  2. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet to make 24 cookies; smooth edge of each to form round cookie.
  3. In small bowl, mix powdered sugar and peanut butter with spoon until mixture forms a ball. With hands, roll rounded teaspoonfuls of peanut butter mixture into 24 calls. Lightly press 1 ball into center of each ball of dough.
  4. Bake at 350F for 10 to 14 minutes or until edges are set. Cool on cookie sheets at least 30 minutes.
  5. Remove from cookie sheets. Spread thin layer of frosting over peanut butter portion of each cooled cookie.
Makes 24 cookies.

1 cookie = serving: Calories 260, Total Fat 13g, Fiber 0g

Recipe from Pillsbury

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies

The recipe is pretty simple... Follow whatever current chocolate chip cookie recipe you have. Me? I tend to always make the recipe that's on the chocolate chip bag.

But here's the difference...
  • Instead of all-purpose flour, use whole wheat flour.
  • Instead of butter, use half butter and half unsweetened applesauce.
Bake as normal.

Now, when I made these, I substituted the WHOLE amount of flour with whole wheat. But as I put the first sheet into the oven I read on the bag that when substituting, use half all-purpose and half whole wheat. Maybe it would have made a difference. Maybe not. The cookies were still really good. There was a slight flavor difference, but only if you really knew that there should be.

These cookies also froze and shipped well. I sent a majority of the batch to Alaska where Dennis and his kids gobbled them up.

Here you have, as my dad called them, Poop Pounder Chocolate Chip Cookies. Very high in fiber! 3 grams per 1/4 cup of flour...

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Amy's Pumpkin Dip

While in college I worked for the Alumni Office. We had a little gathering and one of my co-workers, Amy, brought this dip. Oh my. I think I feel in love! I haven't made it in awhile, but I think I just might have to this fall season.
1 large can pumpkin
4 cups powdered sugar
2-8 oz. cream cheese (soften in microwave)
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tst. ginger
2 bags Ginger Snaps

Mix and serve. Ginger snaps are for dipping.

Excellent chilled.
Good to cut recipe in half!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Chocolate Marshmallow Bars

3/4 c. butter
1 1/2 c. sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/3 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3 tbs. baking cocoa
1/2 c. chopped nuts (optional)
4 c. mini marshmallows
1 1/3 c. chocolate chips
3 tbs. butter
1/3 c. peanut putter
2 c. rice cereal

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat until fluffy. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt, and cocoa. Add to cream mixture. Stir in nuts. Spread in a greased jelly roll pan. Bake at 350F for 15-18 minutes. Sprinkle marshmallows evenly over cake. Return to oven for 2-3 minutes. Using a knife dipped in water, spread the melted marshmallows evenly over the cake. Cool.

For topping, combine chocolate chips, butter, and peanut butter in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until melted and well blended. Remove from heat. Stir in cereal. Spread over cake and marshmallows. Chill.

Makes about 3 dozen.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Ooey Gooey Brownies

This is always a crowd pleaser! My mom got the recipe from someone a few years ago. Now we make it all the time. Caution, very rich. Tip, best if brownies are under cooked by just a little.

Bake a box of brownies as directed. (Any kind. Whatever kind you want.)

Melt together:
2 c. chocolate chips
1 tablespoon butter
1 can sweetened condensed milk (I love this stuff!)

Spread melted stuff on warm brownies. Sprinkle with topping (nuts, assorted chips, candy pieces, whatever your heart desires) and marshmallows.

Bake at 350F until marshmallows are golden.

(The note at the bottom of my recipes says, "Tell your mom how much you love her." Then my Kaitlin added, "& your sister!"

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Candy Corn Snack

The best fall, Halloween treat ever! Super simple. Super easy.
This is what you do. You take a bag of candy corn and a jar of roasted, salted peanuts. Dump them in a container and mix.

Grab handfuls at a time and munch away.

Salty sweet. Where can you go wrong there?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Easy Enchiladas

For as long as I can remember my mom has always made the same enchilada recipe. Simple and yummy. Nothing difficult about them. And the beauty of making them is that you can double or triple your batch and throw a pan in the freezer for later.

So I made them. I actually made them awhile ago but am just getting around to sharing them with you. Enjoy!

The players...The finished (unbaked) product. Sorry, company was over when I pulled them out of the oven. I didn't want to be the nerd that pulled our her camera to take a picture of her food. Come on now... Just imagine this picture, but hot.Are you ready for how simple these are? Seriously, you'll be making them soon they are so easy.

  • Ground beef - at least 1#, but more for more batches
  • Yellow Onion, diced
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Olives
  • Enchilada Sauce
  • Tortillas

  1. Brown ground beef. While browning, dice up the onion.
  2. Drain the meat of excess fat or liquid. Add onions to meat to soften a little.
  3. Spray your baking dish, a 9x13 works well. Put a thin layer of enchilada sauce in the bottom of the dish.
  4. In a dish slightly larger than your tortillas, like a pie tin or a pan, put a generous amount of enchilada sauce.
  5. Take a tortilla, coat both sides with sauce then put a dollop of beef/onion mix in the middle of the tortilla (adding cheese here is optional, go for it if you like extra cheesey). Roll the tortilla into an ... enchilada ... then lay it in the dish. Repeat this step until you've run out of sauce, beef/onion, tortillas, or room in the dish, or all of the above.
  6. Sprinkle, aka dump, lots of cheese on top of the enchiladas in the pan and put olives (whole, halves, or chopped up bits) on top.
  7. Cook in oven at 350 for 30-45 minutes, until cheese is melted, bubbly, and a little goldenish.
You can garnish them with whatever you'd like ... sour cream, cilantro, green onions...

Serve and enjoy!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Cowboy Margarita

The easiest, quickest no blender needed margaritas eva'!

This recipe is world famous, at least you'd think it was in my family. I don't know who invented it, but I will always give my cousin Claude props and kudos. At every family event that happens at the ranch, about 12 handles of tequila is consumed in this bad ass drink.

The players:

The recipe:Take straight from our little flip recipe holder that Aunt Kate gave as a Christmas gift many years back. This recipe and recipe book has seen a lot of love and wear.

Diet Lemon-Lime soda can be used for a "diet" version. And I always add an extra can of soda. It's a super strong recipe without that extra soda. Still good, but it'll knock you off your feet.

So go, mix, partake of the Cowboy Margarita over this festive Labor Day weekend!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Congo Bars

Congo Bars were a regular occurrence growing up. Mom would make them because they're easier than cookies, but taste more or less just like them. Delicious! Easy! Yummy! Simple!

Straight from the recipe card...

These are the ingredients you'll need. Not the granulated sugar though, ignore that tub. I got a little, ah, excited and just pulled everything out of the cabinet.
And when they're done... Can you smell that? ...No? Well, you're missing out. So you better just get in kitchen and whip up a batch.
Congo Bars
2/3 cup melted butter
1 lb. brown sugar
3 eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
dash to 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 package chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Melt butter, add brown sugar. Mix well. Add eggs, one at a time. Add the following: flour, baking powder, vanilla, salt, chocolate chips, and nuts (optional). Pour into jelly roll pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Peach Sorbet

After having a surplus of diced peaches, like 2 gallons, left over from a catering job, I just couldn't bear to waste or dump them. And I knew that they're time would soon be expiring. So what do you make with diced peaches? Cobbler, sure. Pie, sounds good. Shortcake, tired of it. Sorbet, now that sounds good... Then I had to find a recipe. I didn't want just pureed peaches and simple syrup, I wanted more. Something unique. Something different. And let me tell you. I found it!

May I present to you...

Peach Sorbet
Serves 8. 3 1/4 hours, 15 minutes prep.

4 cups peeled* and diced fresh peaches, and their juices
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice*
1 cup sugar
5 tablespoons amaretto liqueur or orange juice concentrate

  1. In a blender, whip peaches and their juices until smooth.
  2. Heat remaining ingredients in a saucepan over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in peach puree.
  3. Pour into an 8-inch square pan and set in freezer. Using a rubber spatula, stir every 15 minutes until creamy, about 2 hours.* Cover and allow to freeze.
  4. To serve, scoop into small dishes and garnish with fresh fruit.
Nutrition Facts: calories 135, total fat 0.2g, dietary fiber 1.4g.

*Yea, the dices peaches I already had weren't peeled, so I didn't bother. I like to look of them not peeled, little specks of red throughout. And weren't you taught, a lot of the nutrients are in the skin! And I think I ended up putting more like 5 cups in the blender...
*Ran out of lemon juice, so I used lime too. And it wasn't fresh, the juices came out of the little plastic lemon and lime squeezey things.
*I didn't waste my time with a pan, spatula, and 2 hours. Into the Cuisinart ice cream maker it went. 30 minutes later I transferred it to a Tupperware container and into the freezer it went. Much easier!


Friday, August 8, 2008

Black Bean Corn Salsa

Who likes salsa? Who likes chips? Who likes salsa with chips?

Yea, me too!
I made the salsa this past Monday for Bible Study. I had a hankering for it, so I made it to share.

I learned this recipe while I was in college. One of my roommates would make it whenever she was asked to bring something to a party. After the first bite before she walked out the door, I made her swear that she would bring home the leftovers. There generally wasn't any left over though. Bummer.

But I managed to memorize the recipe. HA! Sometimes that memory thing doesn't fail me!

The Ingredients:
There is one (optional) ingredient missing, a lemon. It's ok though, the world will not come to an end if you don't have lemon.
The Instructions:
Open and drain a can of black beans and a can of corn.
Dice a couple of tomatoes, I used 2 but use as much as you'd like.
Dice about a 1/2 to 2/3 of a yellow onion.
Mince up some garlic, I used 3 cloves maybe that was a little much though.
Dump it all in a bowl and mix.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Option: Add juice of a lemon, as much as you feel needed.
It takes no time at all to whip this up. Chopping and dicing takes the longest. Darn chopping and dicing!

Make sure you sample. How do you know it's good if you don't sample?
I would like to point out that no oil or fat was added to the making of this recipe. Therefore, it's gotta be healthy. Right...?


And when that was all done, I had dinner. Dinner of champions I must say. I did spruce this box of macaroni up though. I added some diced onion, sliced up 98% fat free turkey dogs, and real shredded cheese. It was delicious!

Then Bible Study happened and I had more chips and salsa. I'm counting it as a serving of vegetables!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Strawberry Angel Food Cake

I have found a way to turn a slightly low calorie and low fat treat like angel food cake, into not so low cal and low fat. Oh, but the outcome is delicious!

The Ingredients:

The Instructions:
Bake the angel food cake according to packaging directions.
Slice strawberries.
Whip whipping cream and powdered sugar to taste until fluffy and whipped cream like. Note: do not walk away from whipper, you could end up with butter.

I didn't get a picture of the final results, but I'm sure you can figure out what I did.
1. Take a slice of cake.
2. Top with strawberries.
3. Top with whipped cream.

Super easy. Super good.


Monday, July 28, 2008

Mini Muffin Cookies

The Ingredients:

When it comes to the ingredients, the sky is the limit. Use whatever kind of cookie dough and mini candies you think would work together. In this case, an assortment of reese's, rolos and kisses with chocolate chip and peanut butter cookie doughs.

The Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Remove the wrapper from the cookie dough and slice into 1" to 1 1/2" slices. Take those slices, flip them on their side and cut them into quarters.
Put the quartered pieces into greased mini muffin tins. Put the tins into the oven for 6 to 8 minutes.

While the dough is in the oven, unwrap your candies. See that lovely assortment. I've even made these cookies with mini snickers. That was good!
Look at those beauties! Don't worry, magic does not happen and they do not come out of the oven with the candy in place. Remove the tins from the oven when the dough is slightly golden brown. Once out of the oven, immediately put the candy into the dough. Just a little push into the dough is good. You want it in, but not forced. Let the cookies cool a little bit. Use a spoon to remove from the tins.
Pile high just to watch it all disappear. You'll notice there are lighter, not as golden brown, cookies. Make sure they're golden brown. The more "raw" they are the harder they are to get out of the tin. Trust me with this one!
I tube of cookie dough makes about 3 to 3 1/2 dozen cookies.

Go forth, make these cookies and use your imagination mixing and matching dough to candy.

Let me know what you find to be a good combination!

I made these cookies when Kaitlin was home last weekend. She took just about all of them back to camp with her. She was afraid that she'd eat most of them on her drive back, so she put them in the trunk.

Recipe from The Pioneer Woman Cooks.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Unchef

As you know, I live alone. So with that, I haven't been cooking much lately. Making anything really. I do have recipes to share, I just need to find them in my box o' recipes. And as I get in the habit of making things I'll share pictures.

But for now. I'm sure you ALL know how to make a sandwich or pour a bowl of cereal.

I can still post that if you'd like though...

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Bacon Brown Suga' Lil' Smokies

These are a great easy appetizer to make for any party. Get ready to feel your arteries harden, your cholesterol go up, and diabetes kick in. Enjoy!

Lil' Smokies
Brown Sugar (a 2# bag should be plenty.)
  1. Preheat oven around 350 to 375 degrees, maybe higher to cook faster.
  2. Sprinkle brown sugar in bottom of pan (8x8, 9x13, etc. depending on number of smokies. One package is enough for an 9x13). Do not pack the brown sugar. You want it about 1/2" to 1" thick.

  3. Cut Bacon in thirds. Or enough so a piece just barely wraps around a lil smokie.
  4. Wrap bacon around lil' smokies. You can use a toothpick to hold in place if you'd like. I find it to be a waste of time. Line lil' smokies in pan with bacon seam side down. If you're feeling adventurous, sprinkle some more brown sugar on top of your baconized lil' smokies.
    You may even get a little crazy and add the left over package of lil' smokies if you run out of bacon...

  5. Put pan in preheated oven. Now...I don't know how long they take. Maybe check them after 20 minutes. If it looks like they have awhile to go, increase the temperature and cover the pan. If it looks like they're getting crispy, but the brown sugar isn't dissolved, cover the pan. When the brown sugar is dissolved and saucy, they're done! (Note: The reason you don't pack the brown sugar is because it then takes about 12 hours for it to dissolve with the bacon juices. 12 hours is just too long to wait for them.)

*Sorry no pictures. Once I make them again I'll update the post to tantilize you with pictures. Then you'll for sure want to make them.
*10/4/09 - Pictures added.  

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Panzanella Salad

Over the past weekend I was invited to a BBQ. But I was also asked to bring a side dish. Not wanting to make my regular, I decided to branch out and try something new, something different, something I've never made before. And while flipping through some recipes on my computer and online I came across this recipe. I though, hum, well, I don't have a majority of the ingredients, and I don't have time to go to the store (cause I've very last minute like that), I wonder if mom has stuff I could use. And of course, cause mom's always save the day, she did. So to work I went. I chopped and diced and minced and toasted and whisked. And voila, Panzanella Salad (aka Bruschetta in a Bowl)!


6 cups of day old Italian Bread, ripped or cut into bite size pieces
1/3 cup Olive Oil
Salt and pepper to taste
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup Olive Oil
2 tbs. balsamic vinegar
4 medium ripe tomatoes, cut into wedges
3/4 cup red sliced onion
10 basil leaves, shredded
1 cup fresh mozzarella, cut into bite size pieces

Preheat oven to 400 degree F.

(toasted bread chunks, basically croutons!)

In a large bowl, toss bread with 1/3 cup olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic. Lay bread on a baking sheet, and toast in preheated oven until golden, about 5 minutes. Allow to cool slightly.

While bread is in the oven, whisk together 1/4 cup olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Gently toss together the bread, tomato, onion, basil and cheese. Toss with the vinegarette and let stand 20 minutes before serving.

Panzanella Salad
Serves 8

6 cups of day old Italian Bread, ripped or cut into bite size pieces
1/3 cup Olive Oil
salt and pepper to taste
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup Olive Oil
2 tbs. balsamic vinegar
4 medium ripe tomatoes, cut into wedges
3/4 cup red sliced onion
10 basil leaves, shredded
1 cup fresh mozzarella, cut into bite size pieces
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degree F.
  2. In a large bowl, toss bread with 1/3 cup olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic. Lay bread on a baking sheet, and toast in preheated oven until golden, about 5 minutes. Allow to cool slightly.
  3. While bread is in the oven, whisk together 1/4 cup olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Gently toss together the bread, tomato, onion, basil and cheese. Toss with the vinegarette and let stand 20 minutes before serving.
*Good way to use leftover garlic bread.
*Didn't have mozzarella cheese on had, monterey jack worked just fine as a substitute.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Fiesta Corn Casserole

Let's start this out right. This recipe is requested time and time again. So, I always make it, but I always seem to forget how much of what goes into it. So I always have to call my mom and ask, "Is it one or 2 blocks of cream cheese? How much butter again?" That's what I get for never making a regular batch. In fact, I get asked to make this recipe so often that it's no longer "Fiesta Corn Casserole". Everyone refers to it as "Courtney's Corn Casserole".

2 pkg. frozen petite white corn (about 2 pounds total)
1 cube butter, softened
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 can diced green chilies (the small can)
1/2 white onion, diced
salsa (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Dump everything in a greased 9x13 pan.

Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes. Stir and serve. Serves 6-8.

Fiesta Corn Casserole

2 pkg. frozen petite white corn (about 2 pounds total)

1 cube butter, softened
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 can diced green chilies (the small can)
1/2 white onion, diced
salsa (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Bake in a 9x13 pan at 350 for 30-40 minutes. Stir and serve. Serves 6-8.

*For a spicier version, used diced jalapeños in place of the diced green chilies. When I make big batches, I'll use diced jalapeños
and diced green chilies.
*And I don't use salsa. I'm just not a fan of the flavor it gives the dish. And it makes it more wet, or runny.