Friday, September 30, 2011

Corn Dog Muffins

Fast easy finger food!  And yes, the corn dog muffin does taste like a normal corn dog, less the fried calories.

2 (8.5 oz) packages corn bread mix
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 c milk
9 whole hot dogs, diced
1 c grated cheddar cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.  Lightly grease mini muffin tins.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together cornbread mix and brown sugar.  In a small bowl, whisk together eggs and milk, and then stir into dry mixture until moistened.  Mix in hot dogs and cheese.
  3. Spoon a good tablespoonful into muffin tins, making sure you get some hot dog in each spoonful.
  4. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown.  Let cool for about 10-15 minutes in the pan before removing.  For easy removal, cut around outsides of the muffins, then tip upside down onto a large cutting board and urge the muffins out using a knife to tap the bottoms of the muffin tins.  The should slide right out.
  5. Serve warm with desired condiments.
  • Alternately, you can use your favorite cornbread mix, follow the instructions on the box, add in 1 cup of cheddar cheese and mix in chopped hot dogs too.  If your favorite cornbread mix doesn't have a sweet element to it, add in 2 tbsp brown sugar.  (This is good if your cornbread mix only calls for water = less calories!)
  • You can use paper liners if you'd like.
  • I used turkey dogs.  Yum!
  • I also added a can of diced green chiles to one of the 2 batches!
  • Can also freeze muffins for later use.  Takes only a minute or 2 to thaw in microwave.
Recipe from

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Zucchini Bread

It's that time of the year when zucchini is everywhere and it's super inexpensive.  And well, I love zucchini.  So why not try to make a few different zucchini bread recipes?

I made 2 recipes.  This one and this healthier one.  They were both very yummy!  And I've got more zucchini to use up.

What's YOUR favorite zucchini recipe?

Monday, August 8, 2011

Zippy's Chili

Saturday was a day of spontaneity for me.  Spontaneously in the morning it was decided that the next day, Sunday, I would have a yard sale at my house with a friend (my house because no permits required).  Then in the evening as we were taking about going to Hawaii in October it was spontaneously decided that we were going to make chili, Zippy's Chili.  Zippy's is a Hawaiian fast food place (or something like that) and they have some famous chili or something.  Kevin has had it before when someone he knew had it flown in and delivered to him.  So he found a recipe, we went to the store, and away we went.  Oh, and it was insisted that we make a double batch.  Cra-zy!  But we had fun! :)

4 teaspoons vegetable oil 
1 pound lean ground beef (71 percent beef or more) 
1 onion, very finely chopped 
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce 
1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, pureed, with liquid 
1 (15-ounce) can red kidney beans, with liquid 
2 teaspoons chili powder 
1 tablespoon beef base (Minor's, Better Than Bouillon) or 2 bouillon cubes 
1 tablespoon brown sugar 
1 teaspoon garlic salt 
1/2 cup mayonnaise

  • In a Dutch oven or large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat 2 teaspoons vegetable oil and brown beef; break up beef into its smallest components. Pour into bowl and reserve. Heat remaining vegetable oil and fry onion over medium heat, until limp and golden. Transfer beef to pot along with pureed tomato sauce, pinto beans, red kidney beans, chili powder, beef base, brown sugar and garlic salt. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down to medium or medium-low and simmer 15 minutes. Stir in mayonnaise and heat through. Taste and correct seasonings.
    Serves 4-6.
    Per serving: 480 calories, 28 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 70 mg cholesterol, greater than 1300 mg sodium, 28 g carbohydrate, 8 g fiber, 7 g sugar, 28 g protein

    recipe from Honolulu Advertiser

    So here's my verdict...
    • It's not bad.
    • The fact that it has mayo in it throws me off big time. (unless it's in egg salad sandwiches)
    • It's not thick like chili that I'm used to.
    Here's what I would do differently (aka healthify it)...
    • Less oil, 4 tsps was not needed.
    • Ground turkey.  Why not?
    • Maybe a little tomato paste would help thicken it...?
    • 2 cans of kidney beans for more fiber and to bulk it up.
    • Substitute for mayo...?  Ummm... maybe a little bit of reduced fat cream cheese...?
    So what's your favorite chili recipe?
  • Friday, July 1, 2011

    Layered Mud Pie

    4 oz, baker's semi-sweet chocolate
    1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
    1 pkg pie crust (store bought or make your own)
    1/2 cup pecans (or nut of choice)
    2 cups milk
    2 pkg chocolate pudding mix, 3 oz boxes
    1 tub cool whip (8 oz tub)

    1. Melt the chocolate in microwave.  Make sure to stir it every 30 seconds or so, so that it doesn't scorch.  When melted, mix the chocolate and condensed milk in a bowl.
    2. Put your pie crust into a pie plate.  Then, pour chocolate mixture into your prepared crust and sprinkle with nuts.
    3. Beat milk and pudding mix, spoon 1 1/2 cups of the mixture over the nut layer; mix half of the tub of cool whip with remaining pudding and spread onto pie.
    4. Top with remaining cool whip and refrigerate 3 hours.
    • I love sweetened condensed milk.  I could eat it with a spoon.  Oh wait, I do.
    • Instructions don't say to, but your pie crust should be baked, not raw.
    • 1% milk was used.  Slightly healthy.
    • I had a bunch of hodge podge pudding mixes in the little 1.5 oz packages, so I used 4 of them. Oh, and they were all the fat free (or is it sugar free) kinds.
    • I got lots of raves about this pie.

    Holiday Breakfast Casserole

    A while back for our Tuesday Night Dinner group we decided to do "Breakfast for Dinner".  My favorite!  So I made a breakfast casserole.  You know, one of those that you make the night before and let set in the fridge?  The recipe was found on a Sunday morning paper insert, that I then altered a little.

    12 oz. breakfast sausage (bulk or links)*
    6 English muffins, cut into 1" cubes**
    1/4 cup butter, melted
    1 cup (4 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
    1 cup (4 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
    1/2 cup onion, chopped
    1/2 cup red pepper, chopped
    12 eggs
    2 cups milk
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp pepper
    1/4 cup bacon bits

    1. Cook sausage according to package directions.  Cool slightly.  If links, cut into 1/4" slices.
    2. In a greased 9x13" baking dish, layer half the English muffin cubes and half the cooked sausage.  Repeat layers.  Drizzle with butter and top with cheese, onion, and red pepper.
    3. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, milk, salt and pepper.  Pour over casserole.  Sprinkle with bacon.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.
    4. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking.  Uncover and bake at 350F for 45-50 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.  Let stand 5 minutes.  Makes 12 servings.
    • *I'm cheap frugal and bought bulk sausage instead of links.
    • **I'm cheap frugal and bought white bread instead of English muffins.
    • For one of the casseroles (I made 2), after the sausage was cooked I added some sliced mushrooms and sauteed them a little.

    Brownies (homemade from scratch!)

    When I make brownies, I pull out the box.  Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, etc. I don't discriminate.  But then in February I was tasked with making brownies for an event.  Brownies from an old church cookbook.  They didn't have box mixes back then.  So I had to make it from scratch.  And I did.  They were good too.  Not that I doubted myself.

    1/4 lb butter
    1 cup sugar
    1/2 cup flour
    2 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted
    2 eggs, beaten
    1 tsp vanilla
    1 cup nuts

    Instructions: (exactly as they were written out...)
    (Very good to double recipe).  Mix together and pour into a greased pan.  Bake at 350F for 20 minutes.  FROSTING:  Melt chocolate chips (as many as desired) and coat on top for frosting.

    • I didn't do the frosting.  Frosting brownies never works for me.  You know the paper thin flaky top that forms when the brownies are cooled?  Yea, frosting pulls that stuff up.
    • I probably doubled the recipe.  Honestly I can't remember.
    • Nuts - they don't belong in brownies.  But since the recipe called for them I put them in.  Pecans I think.  I don't know.  Whatever my mom had in her freezer since I didn't have any.

    Friday, March 4, 2011

    Lemon Crunch Bars

    I was asked by my bible study leader if I could make 2 desserts for an event that happened at church a couple weekends ago.  Being that 1) I love to bake, and 2) had a reason to bake that didn't cause me to keep the desserts at home, I said yes, of course.

    Here's a recipe for Lemon Crunch Bars.  I was a bit skeptical at first, but I forged ahead.  Let's just say...this dessert didn't last long in the sea of other desserts.  It.was.gone!  And that's a good thing.

    Lemon Crunch Bars
    2 1/2 c flaked coconut
    1 1/2 c soda crackers, rolled finely
    2/3 c sugar
    1 c flour
    1 c soft margarine*
    Mix well and place 1/2 of this mixture in a 9x13" pan and pat down firmly.
    1 c sugar
    1/2 tsp salt
    5 tbs cornstarch
    Stir in 2 2/3 cup milk.  Cook until thick, stirring constantly.
    2 eggs, beaten
    1/2 c lemon juice**
    Stir a little of the hot mixture into egg mixture (to temper it).  Then add all to hot mixture.  Cook and stir a few minutes longer.
    2 tbs margarine*
    1/2 tsp vanilla
    Pour this mixture over crust in pan.  Top with remaining half of crumbs and pat down lightly.  Bake at 375F for 20 minutes or until light brown.  Chill and cut into bars.  Store in the refrigerator.

    *I'm anti margarine.  I used butter.  Hello!  I live in a HUGE dairy community!  Butter is my friend and I always have a back-up box in the freezer.
    **My parent's have a lemon tree full of lemons, so I used freshly squeezed juice instead of the stuff you buy at the store in the green container.

    Tuesday, February 22, 2011

    Butter Beer

    Have you ever watched Harry Potter, and while the gang is off at the ... place where they go during breaks ... wondered, "Hummm, I wonder what that butter beer stuff tastes like?"

    Well, I'm here to let you know it's yummy.  I'll tell you the ingredients that I used, but the proportions are up to you depending how strong or weak you'd like it.

    Cream Soda
    Butterscotch Schnapps
    Butterscotch (ice cream) topping

    For sweeter, use more topping.  For more of an adult kick, use more schnapps.

    Some recipes online called for melted butter.  I'll admit, I scaled it back and tried it.  And, well, I didn't like it, but it did foam better with butter.  I'd stick to the sugar and not the fat stuff though. 

    Thursday, January 6, 2011

    Brownie Covered Oreos

    These little creations... I had high expectations for them!  I had complete confidence that I could make brownie mix, dip an oreo in it, then bake it.  And I'm pretty sure I flubbed something up along the way because out of 36 (every oreo in package) or so "brownies", only 11 turned out.  I don't know what went wrong.  Maybe not enough non-stick spray.  Either way, the 11 were good.  And the crumbs of the other 25+ were good too.

    Brownie Covered Oreos
    Makes entire package of Oreos

    1 brownie mix (or use your own brownie recipe)
    1 package Oreos
    White chocolate, melted for drizzle

    1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Prepare brownie batter according to package directions.  Leave in mixing bowl.  Dip Oreos in brownie batter then place in the bottom of cupcake tins that have been generously sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake for 12-15 minutes, until brownies are cooked through (doesn't take long).  As soon as you remove, take a plastic knife and run along edges, (this is very important so you get the cookie out with brownie not stuck to pan).
    2. Let cool for 5 minutes, remove, drizzle with melted white chocolate, sprinkle, and enjoy!
    • I sprayed generously.
    • I did not use plastic knife, I used metal one. 
    • Maybe that's where I went wrong...
    • I used the holiday peppermint oreos...yum!
     And in case you wondered what the scraps looked like...

    Simple Stuffed Mushrooms

    Simple Stuffed Mushrooms
    Yield: 16 servings

    2 lbs button mushrooms (approximately 50 mushrooms)
    8 oz package cream cheese
    8 oz package shredded parmesan cheese
    3 green onions, chopped
    1 lb sausage

    1. Preheat oven to 375F.
    2. Wash mushrooms and remove stems.  Chop stems.
    3. Cream together cream cheese, parmesan cheese, and onions.
    4. Cook sausage.  Once fully cooked, add in mushroom stems and cook until tender.  Pour sausage and mushrooms into cheese and onion mixture.  Mix well.  Spoon into mushroom tops and bake for 15 minutes until bubbly.  Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes prior to serving.
    • I used 1/3 less fat cream cheese.
    • I would have used turkey sausage, but the regular stuff was cheaper less expensive.
    • Assembled ahead of time, stored in fridge, baked when ready.

    Wednesday, January 5, 2011

    Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge

    Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge

    3 c sugar
    3/4 c butter
    2/3 c evaporated milk
    1 tsp vanilla
    6 oz semi-sweet chocolate pieces
    7 oz jar Marshmallow Creme
    1/2 c peanut butter

    1. Combine 1 1/2 cups sugar, 6 tablespoons margarine and 1/3 cup evaporated milk in a medium pot.
    2. Bring to full rolling boil, stirring constantly.
    3. Reduce heat to medium and continue boiling for 4 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent scorching.
    4. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate pieces until melted.
    5. Add 1 cup (1/2 jar) marshmallow creme and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Beat until well blended.
    6. Pour into greased 13 X 9 pan.
    7. Repeat with remaining ingredients substituting peanut butter and spread over chocolate.
    8. Cool at room temperature and cut into squares.
    Bakerella  is the best!

      Seven Layer Cookie

      Who doesn't love a nice toasty alcoholic beverage on Christmas?  And that's exactly what I made to take to our family Christmas gathering, 24 servings to be exact.  For 10 people.  And it disappeared.  Quickly.  Burp.  Excuse me.  (Sorry, no picture.  How can one balance a camera and a beverage at the same time?)

      3/4oz Godiva Liqueur
      3/4oz Coconut Rum
      1/2oz Butterscotch Schnapps
      1/2oz Partida Anejo Tequila
      1/4oz Frangelico
      1/2oz Baileys
      1/2oz Amaretto

      Garnish rim of a martini glass with crushed cookie crumbs.  Shake all ingredients in a shaker with ice and strain into a martini glass.
      • I couldn't find Godiva Liqueur (BevMo was sold out!), so I used Cask & Clevers Chocolate Temptations.  I have no idea how it effected the intended flavor, but it was still good!
      •  Um, I totally didn't mess with crushing cookies and rimming glasses.
      • Or shaking with ice.
      • Or straining into a martini glass.

      Thanks CakeSpy!