Sunday, November 29, 2009

Chocolate Mint to be Cookies.

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/4 cups (2-1/2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups Andy's Mint baking chips
  • 1 bag Candy Cane Hershey's kisses
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; set aside.

2. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with mixer until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Gradually add flour mixture, beating well. Stir in mint chips. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheet.

3. Bake 8 to 9 minutes. (Do not overbake; cookies will be soft. They will puff while baking and flatten while cooling.) Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack and plop a kiss on top.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Coconut Cream Cake

My parents belong to an "Empty Nesters" group and every month they get together to eat, talk, brag about know. Last month the get together was at my parents' house and someone in the group brought this cake. It was, according to my dad, "the best cake I've ever had. So moist." You know when you hear that, you have to have the recipe right away.

1 box yellow cake mix
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 can cream of coconut (found in drink aisle)
whipped cream

*Prepare cake according to box and bake as directed. Let cool for 10-15 minutes. Poke holes all over top with a fork. In a bowl, mix condensed milk and cream of coconut. Pour mixture over cake and let soak into holes. Make real whipped cream (adding a little sugar and vanilla) and frost over cake. Sprinkle coconut on top.

*Helpful hints: I couldn't find cream of coconut, so I used canned coconut milk. Still delicious. Also, I didn't pour all of the milk mixture over the seemed like too much. I had about 3/4 cup left over.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Pineapple Chicken Tenders

I don't know about you, but we've been eating the majority of our meals outside, at our picnic table, enjoying this fabulous weather.
Might as well cook on the grill since we're out there, right?

1 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup soy sauce
Chicken tenderloins

*In a saucepan over medium heat, mix juice, brown sugar and soy sauce. Cook until it's almost to a boil and then remove from heat. Let cool for a few minutes. Put 8-10 chicken tenders in a big zip-loc bag and pour the sauce over them. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Longer is fine. Cook on grill when ready to eat. At least 5 minutes per side.

*You could also eat this over rice with extra sauce made to put on top.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Cheese broccoli soup

picture from

4 Cups cubed potatoes
1 onion, chopped
2 Cups sliced carrots
2 Cups chopped celery
3 Cups cut up broccoli

Boil all veggies but broccoli in 2 cups of water for 10 minutes. Add the broccoli and boil for 10 more minutes. DO NOT DRAIN.

1/2 Cup margarine
3 Tablespoons flour
2 Cups milk
1 pound Velveeta cheese
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 chicken flavored bouillon cubes (or 3 teaspoons bouillon granules)

In saucepan, melt margarine. Stir in flour. Add milk and cook, stirring occasionally, until thick. Add cheese and other ingredients. Mix until smooth. Add to undrained veggies and heat together but do not boil.

*Notes: this is from the Favorites cookbook. It was really yummy but a tad thick. I ended up adding more water once it was all done because it was too thick for me. Also, I know the Velveeta is a bit of a turn-off and not the healthiest, but it sure made it yummy. We also thought it would be good without the potatoes because there is plenty flavor without them (plus less starchy stuff)

Pumpkin Bars

I made these pumpkin bars for Recognition Night and they were a hit! So moist and delicious.

photo from Real Mom Kitchen

1 16oz can pumpkin
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups flour

Mix all ingredients. Pour into greased 15x10 jelly roll pan. Bake 350 for 25-30 min. Cool.

3oz. cream cheese, softened
5 Tbs. butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
3 to 4 tsp. milk

Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar. Add milk until desired spreading consistency. Frost cake.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Southwestern Vegetable Soup

I loved this soup! It was super easy to make and full of flavor. I loved the corn tortillas in the soup! Yum. Plus, I had all the ingredients on hand which never happens.

6 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 cup water
1 cup frozen green beans
1 cup frozen corn
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 onion, diced
1 tsp. chili powder
dash of garlic powder
6 corn tortillas, cut or torn into small pieces (serves as thickener)

grated cheese
sour cream
crumbled tortilla chips

Put all ingredients in a crockpot and cook on low all day. Serve with cheese, sour cream and chips.


Put all ingredients in a large pot. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour. Serve.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Diced Potatoes

Not exactly a recipe, but just an idea. I wanted to make potatoes the other night with our chicken, but didn't have time to bake them, so I diced them up instead.
*Wash potatoes (at least 1 per person) and dice up into small pieces.
*Chop up a white onion.
*Melt some butter in a saucepan on stove (2-3 Tbs.).
*Saute potatoes and onion until nice and soft (10-12 minutes).
*Sprinkle with garlic salt, pepper and parsley flakes while cooking.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Southwest Chicken Roll-ups

I am always looking for new ways to use chicken. This recipe and the last one (BBQ) both came from a cookbook that Nat gave me called, "Favorites." In the book, this recipe actually says "pockets" instead of "roll-ups" but Holly and I have issues with food that comes in pockets. So we re-named it to sound more edible. Regardless of the name, though, these were really yummy and fun to make.

2 cups diced cooked chicken
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 (4 oz.) can diced green chilies
1 Tbs. chopped green onion
1/8 tsp. chili powder
1/8 tsp. cumin
2 cans refrigerated crescent rolls
melted butter
1 cup dry seasoned stuffing mix, crushed
1/2 cup roasted sunflower seeds

*In a bowl, cream together cream cheese, butter, green chilies, green onions, and spices. Add chicken and combine well. Set aside. Separate crescent tolls to form 8 rectangles, pressing seams together. Place 1/2 cup chicken mixture in center of each rectangle and then roll up ends to cover filling. Seal edges. Brush each roll-up with melted butter and sprinkle with stuffing and seeds. Bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Oven BBQ Chicken

2 Tbs. butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1 cup ketchup
1 cup water
2 Tbs. Worcestershire Sauce
2 Tbs. brown sugar
1/8 tsp. pepper
8 chicken breasts, cut in half
*Saute onion, celery and green pepper in butter. Add remaining ingredients, except chicken, and mix well. Bring mixture to a boil and remove from heat. Arrange chicken in a baking pan and cover with sauce. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Meeting Pioneer Woman

Holly and I were so excited when we found out that PW herself would be coming to Tempe to do a book signing for her new cookbook. We cleared our schedules, cleared our hubbies' schedules so they could stay with the kiddos, picked out our outfits, and straightened our hair (usually only happens on Sunday).
We got there at 5pm thinking we were going to be so early but there were already lines of women, just as excited as we were. Luckily, though, we got there early enough to get a seat for the question/answer part of the evening. At 7pm, in walked PW, along with her beautiful mother-in-law and adorable sister-in-law, Missy. She answered questions for about 30 minutes and was as cute as could be. Just as funny in person as she is on her blog. And she has really good hair.
After the question/answer session, we got back in line to get our cookbooks signed. Actually, only Holly was getting her cookbook signed because mine had not arrived yet from Amazon and I was too cheap to buy another one (it was twice the price at the bookstore). We ran into one of our favorite cousins, Vicki and her super nice friend, so we got to chit-chat with them while we waited. When we finally got up to the signing table, we were all prepared with things we wanted to say to make conversation. I was going to tell her that I love the mascara that she recommended, and that the tres leeches cake changed my life, and what was with that random guy who came out of the audience on the Bonnie Hunt Show? Instead, we walked up to the table and froze, only smiling, not talking. We got our picture, Holly got her book signed and then it was over. We were too starstruck to form any sentences. Maybe next time.
This is Marlboro Man's mother. Isn't she classy? Are you thinking sweet Aunt Mae from Spiderman? That's what I was thinking, only she was more graceful and she dressed better.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Creamy Potatoes

Wow - these babies were GOOD! Perfect for a Sunday dinner. Everyone loved them and went back for seconds. I got this recipe out of my Pioneer Woman Cookbook. Love, love, love my new cookbook and can't wait to meet Miss Pioneer Woman this Thursday!!

6 or 7 medium russet potatoes, thinly sliced with sharp knife
1 cup half and half
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 stick of butter
8oz cream cheese
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced or chopped
2 Tbs. minced rosemary leaves (I left this out because I didn't have any)
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp. salt

Combine half and half and cream in a measuring cup. Put thinly sliced potatoes in a large bowl. Pour half of the cream/half and half mixture over potatoes and set aside. In skillet, melt butter then add onions and garlic. Cook over medium heat until translucent - about 4 minutes. Cut bar of cream cheese in half and add both halves to the skillet, stirring constantly. Stir until smooth - about 3 minutes. Pour in remaining half and half/cream mixture and stir. Add salt, pepper and green onions. Finally add 1/2 cup parmesan cheese and stir to combine. Place soaked potatoes in greased 9x13 pan. Pour cream cheese mixture over the top. Sprinkle with remaining parmesan cheese and bake at 350 for 1 hour or until potatoes are done.
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