Monday, November 22, 2010

Pretzel-Topped Sweet Potatoes

So I really loathe this picture, but I just always feel the need to have a picture with the recipe regardless of how bad it looks...Anyway, don't let the picture fool you, this is such a delicious recipe! I love sweet and salty, which is why I love the combo of these sweet potatoes and pretzels. I didn't mash the potatoes I just put them in whole(after I drained them)and added the topping. Amazing!

* 2 cups chopped pretzel rods (about 13)
* 1 cup chopped pecans
* 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
* 1 cup packed brown sugar
* 1 cup butter, melted, divided
* 1 can (2-1/2 pounds) sweet potatoes, drained
* 1 can (5 ounces) evaporated milk
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


* In a large bowl, combine the pretzels, pecans, cranberries, brown sugar and 1/2 cup butter; set aside.
* In a large bowl, beat the sweet potatoes until smooth. Add the milk, sugar, vanilla and remaining butter; beat until well blended.
* Spoon into a greased shallow 2-qt. baking dish; sprinkle with pretzel mixture. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until the edges are bubbly.

Recipe courtesy of Taste of Home
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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings

I've always loved Chicken and Dumplings. My daughter, however, does not love the big kind of dumplings that I usually make. She loves the little ones, like the kind you find in the canned chicken and dumplings. Tonight I decided to try a new recipe that would be similar to that. I found a recipe at that was exactly what I was looking for. It was really easy and we all liked it. Next time I'll use bone in chicken. I just think it has a much better flavor, especially for Chicken and Dumplings. I'll also throw in some celery and 2 or 3 chicken bouillon cubes.


  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 2 tablespoons butter(I did not add butter)
  • 2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1 onion, finely diced(I did not add onion, but I did add baby carrots)
  • 2 (10 ounce) packages refrigerated biscuit dough, torn into pieces(I used 1 can of biscuits)


  1. Place the chicken, butter, soup, and onion in a slow cooker, and fill with enough water to cover.
  2. Cover, and cook for 5 to 6 hours on High. About 30 minutes before serving, place the torn biscuit dough in the slow cooker. Cook until the dough is no longer raw in the center. 
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Cranberry Macadamia Pretzel Bars

I put this recipe off for a year because I wasn't sure that I was crazy about the combination but the idea of each ingredient sounded so good. Wow! I shouldn't have waited. These are amazing. They are buttery, slightly tart with the perfect mix of rich chocolate and salty and sweetness. You will love them. The only change I made was to pipe frosting on top instead of white chocolate because we are not white chocolate fans. Please let me know if you love them as much as my family did.

Recipe courtesy of

Servings: 36 bars

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 26 minutes

Total time: 56 minutes


Crust Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups finely crushed pretzels
3 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup LAND O LAKES® Butter, melted
1 egg white, beaten

Filling Ingredients:
1 cup orange-flavored sweetened dried cranberries
1 cup coarsely chopped roasted macadamia nuts
2/3 cup LAND O LAKES® Butter
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

Topping Ingredients: (I piped vanilla frosting from the jar)
1/2 cup real semi-sweet chocolate chips or white baking chips
1 teaspoon shortening


Heat oven to 325°F. Line 13x9-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, extending foil over edges.

Combine pretzels and brown sugar in medium bowl; stir in 1/2 cup melted butter until well mixed. Stir in beaten egg white. Press onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake 8 minutes; sprinkle cranberries and nuts over hot, partially baked crust.

Combine 2/3 cup butter and 1/2 cup brown sugar in 2-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Pour evenly over cranberries and nuts in pan. Continue baking for 18 to 20 minutes or until caramel layer is bubbly and golden.

Place chocolate chips and shortening in small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH (100% power), stirring occasionally, until chips are melted and smooth (45 to 60 seconds). Drizzle over bars. Cool completely. Lift bars out of pan using foil ends; cut into bars.

Store at room temperature in container with tight-fitting lid.

VARIATION: Cranberry Pretzel Cashew Bars:
Substitute coarsely chopped cashews for macadamia nuts.

Recipe Tip
To cool bars quickly; refrigerate bars 30 minutes.

Recipe Tip
To crush pretzels; use a food processor or place pretzels in heavy-duty resealable food bag. Use a rolling pin to crush pretzels.

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Skillet Rotini with Ricotta Balls

I saw a  recipe a couple days ago that had pasta and sauce in a skillet with ricotta balls dropped on top of it. It sounded so good, but when I went to make my weekly menu I couldn't remember where I saw it. After doing some searching online(and not finding the exact recipe), I found out that the ricotta mixture is basically the same as what you would use to stuff shells, minus the egg. I just winged it from there. It was really good and the whole family loved it.

1 lb ground beef
Rotini pasta(or any other similarly sized pasta) about  10 oz
1 jar of pasta sauce
1 cup of ricotta cheese
1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese

Directions: Brown ground beef in a skillet. Sprinkle with salt and garlic powder. While beef is browning bring water to a boil and cook pasta according to directions on box. Once beef is browned, drain fat. Add sauce and 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese. Simmer. Mix together ricotta cheese, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, set aside. Once pasta is done, drain and add to sauce. Mix together. Add ricotta mixture to top of sauce and pasta(heaping tablespoons). Cover and simmer till ricotta mixture is heated through. Pin It

Caramel Apple Cupcakes

Caramel apples are one of my favorite treats so I loved the idea of trying these caramel apple cupcakes. These were really simple to make and the kids loved helping me. The result was so delicious! Perfect for fall!
1 package (18-1/4 ounces) spice cake mix or 1 package (18 ounces) carrot cake mix
2 cups chopped peeled tart apples
20 caramels
3 tablespoons milk(I used water, about 1 T. I melted the caramel in the microwave)
1 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted
12 Popsicle sticks(I didn't use these)
Prepare cake batter according to package directions; fold in apples.
Fill 12 greased or paper-lined jumbo muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
In a saucepan, cook the caramels and milk over low heat until smooth. Spread over cupcakes. Sprinkle with pecans. Insert a wooden stick into the center of each cupcake.
(I made 24 regular size muffins)

Recipe courtesy of Taste of Home  Pin It

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Just like a Cinnabon...

By far, this is my husband's favorite recipe out of everything I make. I found this recipe out of the book "More Top Secret Recipes" (you can also find it here). These really do taste just like a Cinnabon cinnamon roll to me. And, you can make 12 rolls for almost the cost of one at the mall!

I use butter in place of the margarine. 


    • 1 (1/4 ounce) package dry yeast
    • 1 cup warm milk
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/3 cup margarine
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 2 eggs
    • 4 cups flour


    • 1 cup packed brown sugar
    • 2 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
    • 1/3 cup margarine, softened


    • 8 tablespoons margarine
    • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
    • 1/4 cup cream cheese
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1/8 teaspoon salt


  1. For the rolls, dissolve the yeast in the warm milk in a large bowl.
  2. Add sugar, margarine salt, eggs, and flour, mix well.
  3. Knead the dough into a large ball, using your hands dusted lightly with flour.
  4. Put in a bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place about 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
  5. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface, until it is approx 21 inches long by 16 inches wide.
  6. It should be approx 1/4 thick.
  7. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  8. To make filling, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.
  9. Spread the softened margarine over the surface of the dough, then sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon evenly over the surface.
  10. Working carefully, from the long edge, roll the dough down to the bottom edge.
  11. Cut the dough into 1 3/4 inch slices, and place in a lightly greased baking pan.
  12. Bake for 10 minutes or until light golden brown.
  13. While the rolls are baking combine the icing ingredients.
  14. Beat well with an electric mixer until fluffy.
  15. When the rolls are done, spread generously with icing.
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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

With the Extra Batter I Also Made Some Onion Rings, Yum!

Follow the same directions given for the fried green tomatoes here.
Add salt to taste after they are fried. Pin It

Fried Green Tomatoes

Tomatoes are probably one of my LEAST favorite foods! Unless...they are cooked,... then they are yummy. Needless to say that when my husband suggested making fried green tomatoes using some of our many still not ripe tomatoes from our garden, I was not in any way excited. But, I went ahead and found a recipe by the Neely's and I must say that they were good. They reminded me a lot of fried zucchini(one of my favorite foods of all time!), We dipped them in ranch which made them extra yummy. I will say though, that since they are so much like fried zucchini, that I would just use zucchini next time. They are way easier to work with and don't get as soggy. Oh, I did think they needed a little bit of salt too.


  • Oil
  • 4 green tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch rings
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • Pinch paprika
  • Buttermilk Dipping Sauce, recipe follows


In a deep-fryer, preheat oil to 350 degrees F.

Season tomatoes, on both sides, with salt and pepper. Place flour and garlic powder in a shallow dish. In another shallow dish, beat eggs with the milk. In another dish, mix bread crumbs with cayenne and paprika. Dredge tomatoes through the flour, then the eggs, and then through the bread crumbs. Add only a few pieces to the fryer at a time, so they can cook evenly, about 2 to 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels and serve with Buttermilk Dipping Sauce:

Buttermilk Dipping Sauce:
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons Neelys BBQ sauce
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 4 scallions, sliced thin
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the apple cider and brown sugar. Allow to reduce until thick and syrupy. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

In a medium bowl, add buttermilk, mayonnaise, BBQ sauce and lime juice and whisk well. Add in the scallions and the apple cider mixture. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve with Fried Green Tomatoes.

Recipe courtesy of the Neely's
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Monday, September 13, 2010

Zucchini Bread

Fall is in the air and that means more baking!! I love to bake, but just don't get around to it that much in the summer(besides baking cookies for my husband's lunches).Zucchini bread is a great fall bread and it's also a great way to use up all of that zucchini from your garden. I found this incredibly yummy and moist recipe posted on All Recipes. I did make a few minor changes.  I  substituted half of the oil for the same amount of applesauce. I used half whole wheat flour and half white flour. I also used 2 cups of sugar instead of 2 & 1/4. It was still plenty sweet and very delicious!


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour(I used half white, half whole wheat)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil(I used 1/2 cup oil, half cup natural applesauce)
  • 2 1/4 cups white sugar(I used 2 cups)
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts(I used pecans)


  1. Grease and flour two 8 x 4 inch pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  2. Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.
  3. Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini and nuts until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.
  4. Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool. 
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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Albondigas Soup

My husband's family makes the best Mexican food on earth, Imo, so I never try to make it for him. Yes, he complains but I just tell him, call your aunt, cousin, uncle, or Nino, have them make you something that I will only, in my attempt to replicate, destroy for both of us. Well today I decided to jump in with both feet and make the traditional meatball soup-Albondigas. I will say it turned out great, although not completely traditional in taste, it was a winner for the whole family (even the three kids). It tastes a little like meatball soup and tortilla soup together. Give it a shot, it makes enough to feed for a couple days.

2 lbs ground turkey or extra-lean ground beef
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup uncooked rice (I used jasmine but use whatever you want)
2 tbls chopped fresh cilantro
1 tbl chopped fresh basil
1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp kosher salt

In a large bowl combine ground turkey/beef, eggs and rice with your hands (always fun). Add rest of ingredients and combine until thoroughly mixed (use your hands again). Form meat mixture into 1" balls, arrange on a rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate while preparing the soup.


3Tbl Olive Oil
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
1 large white onion, chopped
1 large red onion, chopped
1 bunch of green onions, include green tops, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 large cans/boxes of chicken stock (35 oz each)
4 cups water
1 chicken bouillon cube
3 TBL fresh lemon juice
1 TBL fresh lime juice
1 tsp paprika
1 TBL cayenne pepper
2 TBL Kosher salt
1 can garbanzo beans, drained
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 can black beans, drained
2 (14.5 oz) cans stewed tomatoes, not drained
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
freshly ground black pepper

sour cream
grated cheese

I a large stockpot over medium heat warm the oil and add the minced garlic. Stir about 1 min, dont let garlic burn. Add all three onions and the celery and saute, stirring frequently, until the onions are soften and sweet, about 10 minutes.

Add chicken broth, bouillon, water and just bring to a boil. Remove meatballs from the refrigerator. Turn soup down to a simmer and slowly add meatballs to soup, add carefully and only a few at a time. Return soup to a gentle simmer and cook for 10 more minutes. While meatballs are cooking, skim off any foam that floats on the surface with a spoon, discard.

Gently stir in lemon and lime juice, paprika, cayenne pepper and salt. Add beans, corn and tomatoes. Again, bring soup to a boil on high heat, reduce to simmer and simmer uncovered for about 5 more minutes.

Just before serving add fresh cilantro and season with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and add sour cream and cheese. Great served with warm corn tortillas and lime wedges.
Original recipe courtesy of Bob Gelb (Nordstrom's friends and family cookbook)
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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Lemon Snowball Cookies

One of my favorite things about the holidays are the snowball cookies my mom makes, they are a tradition that I have reserved only for that time of the year until today. Today I worked out in the yard all day with my three children- weeding, planting, cleaning, swimming and picking a few big lemons that just had to be used. I added the zest of one of those perfect tart lemons to a traditional snowball recipe, added a little lemon extract and come up with a fresh, sweet version of our family's holiday tradition that can be used in the summer for a light, sweetly tart, cookie. You can see there are pink and white cookies, the pink ones were made especially for my kids using crystal light pink lemonade cup and powdered sugar. They were a little tart for me but the kids loved them.

Lemon Snowball Cookies

2 sticks of butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 TBL lemon zest or zest from one lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp lemon extract
2 cups of flour

Sugar Coating

1/2 cup powdered sugar
(add 1 tsp crystal light lemonade or pink lemonade drink powder mix if you choose)*
Mix together in a medium bowl

Cream together soften butter, sugar, lemon zest and extracts. Add flour and mix just until dough forms. Scrap sides of bowl and work in any extra flour in bowl by hand.

Roll in 1" balls and bake on ungreased cookie sheet for 16 - 18 min. remove from oven, cool for 5 minutes or until you are able to handle but the cookies are still warm. Toss the cookies in the powdered sugar mixture. Cool completely on wire rack or bottoms will get gooey.
Lemon Juice on FoodistaLemon Juice Pin It

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Chicken Enchiladas

My husband usually comments that there's "too much cheese" when I make enchiladas. I never think there can be "too much cheese", but I did my best to make these enchiladas more husband friendly. The result was a very yummy enchilada recipe that still had enough cheese for my taste. However, if you love a lot of cheese, just double the cheese ingredients. You can make these enchiladas in a 9X13 pan or put it in 2 or 3 smaller pans like I did. I froze 2 extra in 8X8 pans to freeze for future dinners.
10-15 small flour tortillas
1 large can green enchilada sauce
4 chicken breasts, baked and cut up or shredded(about 4 cups of chicken)
1 small can diced green chilies
1 onion, finely chopped
4 oz softened cream cheese(I used light this time)
1 & 1/2 cups shredded cheddar/Jack cheese

Mix cream cheese, onion, chilies and 1/2 cup shredded cheese in a large bowl. Add chicken and mix again. Spread a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of a greased 9X13 pan. Heat flour tortillas 5 at a time in the microwave for about 35 seconds, till soft. Put some of the chicken mixture in a tortilla, roll up and place seam down into the pan. After the pan is filled up, cover the enchiladas with remaining sauce. Bake at 375, covered for 30 minutes. Take out and add remaining shredded cheese to top. Bake uncovered for about 10 more minutes.  (times will vary if using a freezer meal)
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Monday, June 21, 2010


Last week was my first time making a Stromboli. I thought it was going to be much more difficult than it actually was. I made my dough in the bread machine, which helped make this recipe quite simple. We all really liked it and I will definitely be making it again! Next time I'm going to make it with pizza sauce as one of the layers.


  •  Basic Pizza Dough, recipe follows
  • 1/2 pound hot Italian sausage, removed from casings and crumbled
  • 1 cup sliced yellow onions
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red bell peppers
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green bell peppers
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced seeded and stemmed jalapenos(I left these out)
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 pound sliced ham
  • 1/4 pound thinly sliced pepperoni or salami(I used both!)
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives
  • 2 cups grated provolone
  • 2 cups grated mozzarella(I only used mozzarella, no provolone)
  • 1 large egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water to make an egg wash
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a large baking sheet and set aside.
In a large skillet, cook the sausage over medium-high heat until browned and the fat is rendered, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain well on paper towels. Discard all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pan. Add the onions, bell peppers, and jalapenos and cook, stirring, until very soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and Italian seasoning and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and cool.
Punch down the dough and divide half. On a lightly floured surface, roll out half of the dough to a large rectangle, about 10 by 14 inches. Spread half of the cooled sausage mixture across the dough leaving a 1-inch border. Overlapping slightly, layer half of the ham, pepperoni, olives, provolone and mozzarella cheeses over the top. Using a pastry brush, paint the border of 1 long edge with egg wash. Starting at the opposite long end without egg wash, roll up the dough into a cylinder, pinching the edges to seal. Place on the prepared baking sheet and repeat with the remaining ingredients. Let the dough rise, 20 to 30 minutes.
Brush the top of each stromboli with egg wash. Bake until nearly completely golden brown and starting to crisp, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle each stromboli with Parmesan cheese and return to the oven until the cheese is melted and the dough is golden brown, about 5 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let stand 10 minutes. Slice thickly and serve.

Basic Pizza Dough:
1 cup warm (110 degrees F) water
1 (1/4-ounce) envelope active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 cups bleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
In a large bowl, combine the water, yeast, sugar, and 1 tablespoon oil and stir to combine. Let sit until the mixture is foamy, about 5 minutes.
Add 1 1/2 cups of the flour and the salt, mixing by hand until it is all incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Continue adding the flour, 1/4 cup at a time, working the dough after each addition, until all the flour is incorporated but the dough is still slightly sticky. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth but still slightly tacky, 3 to 5 minutes.
Oil a large mixing bowl with the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil. Place the dough in the bowl and turn to oil all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set in a warm, draft-free place until nearly doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Recipe courtesy of Emeril Lagasse Pin It

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches

This week for dinner I made Philly cheese steak sandwiches. They were really good and really simple to make. The whole family loved them, even my 3 year old! I didn't add the bell pepper or the garlic.


* 1 loaf Italian bread or French bread or 2 large hoagie rolls or sub rolls
* 1/2 lb deli roast beef (very rare, sliced wafer thin, or you can use a frozen Rib-Eye roast shaved on an electric slicer, )
* 1 white onion (thinly sliced)
* 1 green bell pepper (thinly sliced) (optional)
* 2 teaspoons garlic (minced)
* 1/2 lb provolone cheese (thinly sliced)
* extra virgin olive oil (for grilling)
* salt and pepper
* marinara sauce or ketchup (optional topping)

Directions: Heat oil on a griddle or saute pan. Grill the onion and pepper till soft. Add the garlic, salt and pepper. Push to the side and grill the meat. Break up the meat with a spatula. Once heated all the way through, mix together with peppers and onions then add meat to a toasted roll and top with provolone cheese.

Recipe courtesy of Pin It

Friday, June 4, 2010

Brownie Cheesecake

Mmm...I think the name says it all! This was such a great recipe! I took this cheesecake to a party the other night and came home with an empty pan. Everyone loved it! It was so easy to make too. I did not drizzle the chocolate on the top, however I did add a layer of 6oz chopped, semi-sweet chocolate chips between the brownie layer and the cheesecake. I sprinkled them on after I removed the brownies from the oven, poured the cheesecake mixture over the top, and put it back in the oven to finish baking.


1 pkg. (19 to 21 oz.) brownie mix (13x9-inch pan size)
4 pkg.  (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp.  vanilla
1/2 cup BREAKSTONE'S or KNUDSEN Sour Cream
3   eggs
2 squares BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate 
HEAT oven to 325°F.
PREPARE brownie batter as directed on package; pour into 13x9-inch pan sprayed with cooking spray. Bake 25 min. or until top is shiny and center is almost set.
MEANWHILE, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in large bowl with mixer until well blended. Add sour cream; mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended. Gently pour over brownie layer in pan. (Filling will come almost to top of pan.)
BAKE 40 min. or until center is almost set. Run knife around rim of pan to loosen sides; cool. Refrigerate 4 hours.
MELT chocolate squares as directed on package; drizzle over cheesecake. Refrigerate 15 min. or until chocolate is firm.
Recipe courtesy of

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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Breakfast Cookies

I love finding new recipes for healthy baked items to make for my kids for breakfast. I found a really yummy recipe for Breakfast cookies. They were easy to make and loaded with things that are good for you. I made the cookies without wheat flour since I didn't have any on hand, but next time I'll remember to buy some. I also didn't use any walnuts. I was going to add pecans....but forgot. They were still great without them. I did not make them as big as recommended. I just used my tablespoon cookies scoop.


  • 3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup (1 small jar) strained carrot baby food
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup bran cereal flakes
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup walnut pieces, lightly toasted in a dry skillet for 2 minutes, until fragrant and chopped


Place rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Whisk together flours, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Combine butter, oil and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on high speed, scraping down sides if necessary, until sugars have dissolved and mixture is light in color, about 1 minute. Add egg, carrot puree and vanilla and beat an additional 30 seconds. Add flour mixture and beat an additional 30 seconds. Add oats, flakes, raisins and walnuts and mix over low speed just until incorporated. Dough will be slightly sticky and less cohesive than traditional cookie dough. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. Using between 3 to 4 tablespoons of batter, form a ball and place on cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining batter, leaving about 3 inches between cookies. Wet hands and use palm of hand to flatten cookies until about 1/4-inch thick. Bake for 12 minutes, until cookies are fragrant but still soft. Let cookies cool slightly, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe courtesy of Ellie Krieger at Food Network Pin It

Thursday, May 27, 2010

"Re Fried" Beans in the Slow Cooker

I've been wanting to try and make my own re fried beans for some time now. I found a recipe that I thought would be simple and since it received great reviews, I decided to give it a try. They were so good! Everyone loved them! This recipe makes enough to freeze some for later use.
Recipe courtesy of

1 onion, peeled and halved
3 cups dry pinto beans, rinsed
1/2 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and
2 tablespoons minced garlic
5 teaspoons salt
1 3/4 teaspoons fresh ground black
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin, optional
9 cups water
1. Place the onion, rinsed beans, jalapeno, garlic, salt, pepper, and cumin into a slow cooker. Pour in the water and stir to combine. Cook on High for 8 hours, adding more water as needed. Note: if more than 1 cup of water has evaporated during cooking, then the temperature is too high.
2. Once the beans have cooked, strain them, and reserve the liquid. Mash the beans with a potato masher, adding the reserved water as needed to attain desired consistency.
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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Freezing Meals

Since some of the meals I post are meals that can be made and frozen for later use, I thought I'd explain how to do just that. One of the recipes I made to freeze ahead was the Tex-Mex Lasagna. I made one for that night, to eat, and 2 to freeze. To freeze a meal, I line an 8X8 pan(cheap aluminum one from the dollar store) with a long piece of foil. I spray the foil with cooking spray. Then I assemble the meal( in this case the lasagna) as directed(this recipe does not get cooked before freezing it). Next I lay a piece of cling wrap on the top of the lasagna, then fold over the long ends of the foil and pinch the open ends closed. I then put the pans in the freezer and let them firm up for at least a few hours. Once frozen you can remove the lasagna while in the foil, from the pan, and put it into a ziploc bag. I remove them from the pans so that I can use the pans again to make additional meals. Once you're ready to cook the meal. Put it back in the pan(while still in the foil), remove the cling wrap and bake. You will need to add more time to the baking time if you do not thaw the meal first.
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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tex-Mex Lasagna

This week was my pick for our facebook group's ROTW. I decided to go with a recipe I found for Tex-Mex Lasagna. It was really good and my whole  family liked it! I did make a few changes which are shown in bold. I made one lasagna for our dinner tonight and 2 additional lasagna's in an 8X8 pan for later use. I'm trying to make more meals that can be put in the freezer. I'll explain how you can make freezer meals later this week! It cost me about $7.00 to make 3 small lasagnas, which feeds our family of 4. Add a side of beans and that's only about $3.00 a meal!


  • 1  pound  lean ground beef
  • 1  cup  frozen diced onion, red and green bell pepper, and celery(I chopped 1/2 cup fresh onion, and omitted the peppers and celery)
  • 3  garlic cloves, minced
  • 1  tablespoon  chili powder
  • 1  teaspoon  salt-free chipotle seasoning blend(I didn't have this on  hand. I sprinkled some garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, salt and pepper)
  • 1  (24-oz.) jar mild salsa( I used hot salsa. It was HOT, but yummy)
  • 1  (15-oz.) can dark red kidney beans, drained(I used a can of seasoned black beans)
  • 1  (10-oz.) can enchilada sauce
  • 1  (10-oz.) package frozen whole kernel corn, thawed(I used 1 can of ranch beans, since I knew my family would rather not have corn in it)
  • 16  (6-inch) fajita-size corn tortillas(I cut these into 1 inch pieces to make it easier to layer)
  • 4  cups  (16 oz.) shredded Mexican four-cheese blend
  • Toppings: sour cream, chopped tomatoes


1. Cook first 5 ingredients in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, 10 to 12 minutes or until vegetables are tender and beef crumbles and is no longer pink.
2. Stir in salsa and next 3 ingredients. Cook 5 to 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
3. Layer 1 cup beef mixture, 2 tortillas (overlapping edges), and 1/2 cup cheese in a lightly greased 7- x 5- x 1 1/2-inch baking dish. Repeat layers once. Repeat procedure with 3 additional 7- x 5- x 1 1/2-inch baking dishes. Cover dishes with nonstick aluminum foil.
4. Bake, covered, at 350° for 30 minutes; uncover and bake 5 more minutes or until bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Serve with desired toppings.
Note: To use a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish, prepare recipe through Step 2. Omit 4 corn tortillas. Layer one-third beef mixture, 6 tortillas (overlapping edges), and 2 cups cheese. Repeat layers with one-third beef mixture, remaining 6 tortillas, remaining beef mixture, and ending with remaining 2 cups cheese. Bake, covered, at 350° for 40 minutes; uncover and bake 10 more minutes or until bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Recipe courtesy of

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Monday, May 17, 2010

Freezing Cookies

 I love homemade cookies, but they start to lose their appeal quickly as they sit in a cookie jar, dry out, and crumble. The solution...freeze your cookies. Whenever I make cookies, I let them cool, put them into quart size freezer bags, and stack them in the freezer . When we're ready for another bag of cookies, I just take a bag out of the freezer and let the cookies thaw out on the counter. Pin It

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Meal Plan Monday

Here's my meal plan for this week AND next week! I know it's late...I've been way too LAZY lately! I decided to make a plan for 2 weeks to help save some time and money. Time, because some of the things I make this week can be frozen for next week. Money, because I think making double of one dinner is sometimes cheaper than making 2 completely different dinners. Less waste.Personally I don't think making a meal plan for 2 weeks is that much more work than making a plan for one week. Most of the second week is duplicates.

Tuesday: Chili in the crockpot and corn bread(I'm making a double batch of Chili and freezing half)
Wednesday: Cinco De Mayo party-I'm bringing a layered bean dip and chips
Thursday: Chicken and tortellini salad(new recipe) and garlic bread
Friday: Meatball sandwiches, green salad and mozzarella sticks(I'll freeze half of the meatballs for next week)
Saturday: Chicken cacciatore(new recipe) and garlic bread(I'll freeze half of cacciatore for next week)
Sunday: Out to dinner for Mother's Day
Monday: Chicken fajitas
Tuesday: Chili that was frozen from previous week and cornbread
Wednesday: Beef and broccoli stir fry and rice
Thursday: Chicken tortellini salad and garlic bread
Friday: Meatball sandwiches, green salad and mozzarella sticks
Saturday: Chicken cacciatore and garlic bread
Sunday: Chicken fajitas

Check out other great meal plan ideas at I'm an Organizing Junkie! Pin It

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Creme Brulee Cheesecake Bars

I found this recipe a few weeks ago and it was fantastic!! These bars are a super easy version of a cheesecake made using a 9X13 pan. I absolutely LOVE anything cheesecake! If you do too, then you have to try this recipe!
1pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz)  sugar cookie mix
1box (4-serving size) French vanilla instant pudding and pie filling mix
2tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/2cup butter or margarine, melted
2&1/2  teaspoons vanilla
2eggs plus 3 egg yolks
2packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
1/2cup sour cream
1/2cup sugar
2/3cup toffee bits, finely crushed

Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly spray bottom and sides of 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray. In large bowl, stir cookie mix, pudding mix, brown sugar, melted butter, 1 teaspoon of the vanilla and 1 whole egg until soft dough forms. Press dough in bottom and 1/2 inch up sides of pan.

In small bowl, beat cream cheese, sour cream and sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add remaining whole egg, 3 egg yolks and remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla; beat until smooth. Spread over crust in pan.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until set in center. Immediately sprinkle top with crushed toffee bits. Cool 30 minutes. Refrigerate about 3 hours or until chilled. For bars, cut into 9 rows by 4 rows. Store covered in refrigerator.

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Recipe Courtesy of Betty Crocker

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