Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Hot Fudge

 I got this perfectly delicious recipe from my Ghirardelli cookbook.  I am a milk chocolate girl through and through.  Don't waste my time with the dark stuff.  Give me the milk.  So when I saw a recipe for milk chocolate hot fudge, I was sold.  It took me about 5 minutes to make and about 5 seconds to dig in.  It just might be my favorite hot fudge recipe yet!  You better believe I made myself a hot fudge sundae every night for a week till I ran out.  And you better believe I'm making another batch ASAP.  'Cause heaven forbid I go a night without a treat!

Milk Chocolate Hot Fudge
1 bag Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Chips
1 can evaporated milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Melt chocolate chips, evaporated milk and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to a boil then lower heat and stir for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and add vanilla.  Serve warm over ice cream.  Store in refrigerator for up to a week.

Sunday, May 29, 2011


I've been a slacker lately and haven't contributed to the blog in a VERY LONG time. Let's just say I had a few good excuses but you all don't want to hear them (so boring to listen to others' excuses) so I will spare you. Anyway...I have had this recipe for a really long time and I think I got it from another food blog but I can't remember when or where. A formal apology to that blog and I'm not taking credit for the recipe. (Oh, and I borrowed the photo from Google too!) We just REALLY like this drink, especially in the summer even though it's made with citrus which is a winter fruit. It's so refreshing and good for you too.

5 lemons
5 limes
5 oranges
6-7 cups of water
1 1/2 cups to 3 cups sugar or sugar substitute (I sometimes use Splenda)

Juice all the fruit and add the water. If you don't like pulp, strain the juice. Add the water and sweeten to your taste. It really depends on how sweet/tart the fruit is and how much juice you get out of them. It also depends on how sweet you like your drink. Serve over ice! So delicious.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Mexican Rice Casserole

Every now and then, I like to make a casserole for dinner to get us through the week.  You know, so we can eat the leftovers for 3 days in a row and so I don't have to cook every night.  I used to be anti leftovers but now I love them!  Most meals actually taste better the next day.  I found this recipe on For The Love Of Cooking.  It was full of mexican flavor and fed us for the entire week.  Perfect.

Mexican Rice Casserole
  • 1 1/2 cups of cooked white rice
  • 1 tsp of olive oil
  • 1 lb lean ground beef (I used 96/4)
  • 1/2 sweet yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp dried cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2-1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste
  • 1 15 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15 oz can of tomato sauce
  • 3-4 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped (divided)
  • 1-2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3-4 tomatoes, sliced thickly
  • Sour cream (topping)
Pour olive oil in skillet.  Brown beef until mostly done then add onion and cook until tender.  Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.  Add seasonings and mix well.  Next, add rice, drained black beans, tomato sauce and a little bit of cilantro.  Pour into a greased 9x13 pan.  Spread evenly then top with tomato slices and cheese.  Cover with foil that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.  Remove foil and bake an additional 5 minutes until cheese is bubbly and golden brown.  Serve with a spoonful of sour cream and a sprinkle of cilantro.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Apricot Chicken

8 oz. Russian dressing
1 Cup Apricot jam
1 package dry onion soup mix

Mix together. Pour over 6-8 chicken breasts. Cook uncovered at 350 for 1 hour.

**This is a very easy meal. I made rice-aroni and oven roasted green beans to go with it. It would also be good with plain white or brown rice because the sauce is so flavorful and pretty strong. Definitely will make it again!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

 I got this recipe from Nat who got it from her mother-in-law, Janet.  I have had it for a few years and finally decided to try it out.  I changed it slightly after comparing it to other recipes I found on the internet.  I always thought homemade spaghetti sauce would be so time consuming to make, but I was wrong!  It was easy and I actually had most of the ingredients already.  We loved this sauce and it was even better the next day!

Spaghetti Sauce

2 Tbs. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced
1 lb. ground beef
2 6oz. cans tomato paste
1 large can pureed tomatoes (I used 28oz. can crushed tomatoes)
1/2 Tbs. oregano
1/2 Tbs. basil
1/2 Tbs. parsley
2 Tbs. brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 1/2 cups water 
3 Tbs. Parmesan cheese

Put oil in large pot, then add onion.  Saute until translucent then add garlic.  Stir for 1 minute.  Add beef and brown.  Pour in pureed tomatoes and tomato paste then add water.  Next, add spices and sugar.  Simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.  Serve over spaghetti noodles and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

*This makes a lot of sauce.  I used half one night and made lasagna with it the next night.  You can freeze the sauce to use later.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

School Lunch Peanut Butter Bars

My friend Caroline has a great blog filled with so many treasures including this recipe. We made these this weekend and holy cow they are good.

Peanut Butter Bars


1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 cups oatmeal, not quick
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

cream together first three ingredients using a mixer. then, add vanilla, eggs and peanut butter and combine. add the remaining ingredients and mix together.
spread the dough out on a greased cookie sheet cake pan.
bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.
while hot spread 1 1/2 cups of creamy peanut butter on top.

cool completely. spread frosting on top of cooled peanut butter.

chocolate frosting
1/2 cup butter, softened
4 tbsps cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla
6 tbsps milk
4-5 cups powdered sugar

cream together butter and cocoa poweder. add vanilla and milk, then add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time until well blended.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Cute Little Tarts

My mom found these cute little tart shells at Fry's and used them for a church activity.  I copied her and used them for one of my treats at book club.  
I used vanilla pudding as the filling but you could use just about anything that you think would be yummy.  The possibilities are endless.  A perfect little treat for Summer.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Peanut butter and Marshmallow Brownies

I am a foodie.  I love recipes.  I love to read cookbooks and recipe blogs.  I love to eat out at restaurants.  I think about food and recipes a lot.  I also love peanut butter.  Like I go through a jar of peanut butter every 2 weeks by myself kind of love.  So, as I was thinking about food and recipes and peanut butter, I came up with this brownie concoction.   I couldn't wait to try it!  I was so excited when the timer "dinged" and the brownies were done.  I kept telling my husband, "These are gonna be good!"  And you know what, they were!  The end.

Peanut butter and Marshmallow Brownies

1 box brownie mix (Ghirrardelli Double Chocolate is my favorite)
peanut butter
1 cup marshmallows

Make brownies according to directions on box.  Add marshmallows to batter and mix well.  Pour into greased pan.  Spoon dollups of peanut butter on top of brownie batter.  Bake according to box directions.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Candied Pecans

Our sweet and very talented aunt, Nanette, sent out an e-mail a few weeks ago with a recipe for candied nuts.  I was so excited to see such an easy recipe because I had a big bag of pecans in my freezer that I wanted to use for something.  This turned out to be way easier than I thought it was going to be and so delicious I can't stop eating them.  Perfect for salads or just for snacking!

2 cups whole nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds)
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbs. butter
1 tsp. vanilla

*Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray and set aside.  Heat a skillet on stove over medium-high heat.  Melt the butter and add the sugar and nuts.  Cook while stirring constantly until the sugar melts and turns a golden brown.  Remove from heat and add vanilla.  Stir vigorously.  Pour nuts onto the cookie sheet and spread out evenly.  Cool completely before eating or using.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Ritz Chicken with Cream Sauce

I love the Ritz Chicken recipe on here.  I make it at least once every 2 weeks.  It's good and so easy.  A few days ago, I got a Kraft email with a recipe for Ritz Chicken with a cream sauce.  So, yesterday, we gave the sauce a try and loved it.  It was the perfect addition to this simple chicken dish.  

Ritz Chicken

3 or 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 sleeve Ritz Crackers
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 egg
1/4 cup milk

Crush crackers in a ziploc bag.  Add cheese and shake to mix it up.  In a bowl, beat egg then add milk.  Dip chicken in egg mixture then in crackers.  Put in greased baking dish.  Repeat for each breast.  Place a dollup of butter on top of each chicken breast.  Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until done.

Cream Sauce

1/2 cup Onion and Chive Cream Cheese (1/3 less fat)
1/2 cup chicken broth

Put broth and cream cheese in saucepan.  Bring to a boil and stir constantly for 3 minutes.  Serve over chicken.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

TJ's Raspberry and Vanilla Cream Bars

If you live by a Trader Joe's and have not tried the raspberry bars- add them to your shopping list now. My friend introduced them to me a few weeks ago and lets just say I buy at least 3 boxes at a time because we go through them so fast. They are soooo yummy! They don't always have them so if you can't find them, just keep looking every time you go. I promise you will be so glad you bought them!!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Parmesan Pork Tenderloin

I mentioned on here once before about a Martha Stewart app that I have on my ipod.  It's one of the highlights of my day to check it and see the recipe that is posted.  This is one of her recipes and man was it easy and so good.  Thanks Martha...I owe you one.
Let's talk about our cafeteria-style-Target-after-Christmas-clearance plates that we use for dinner.  A step up from our usual paper plates, don't you think?
1 pork tenderloin (about 24 oz.)
6-7 Tbs. flour
4 egg whites
1/2 cup plain dried breadcrumbs (I used Panko)
1/2 cup shredded parmesan
2 Tbs. olive oil

*Slice the tenderloin into slices that are 1/4 inch thick.  Season with salt and pepper.  Put flour in one bowl, whisk egg whites with a tablespoon of water in another bowl, and combine crumbs and parmesan in a third bowl.  Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.  Take each slice of pork and dip first in flour until coated, then in egg whites until coated and then in parmesan mixture until well coated.  You sort of need to press the mixture into the pork during the last step.  Place in skillet and cook for a few minutes on each side until golden brown and cooked through.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Samoa Bars

It is safe to say that my husband is obsessed with the Samoa Girl Scout cookies.  He will buy numerous boxes and eat them row by row.  If I'm lucky, I get 1 or 2 cookies for myself.  I have to be quick though!  So, after he polished off his last box, he begged me to make a homemade version of the beloved Samoa.  I obliged and was excited to try a new recipe.  I opted to make bars instead of cookies because rolling and cutting out cookies is a bit time consuming.  My husband hovered and salivated while I whipped these up.  We dove into them as soon as I finished pouring the caramel mixture on.  Yum and yum.  So sweet and gooey.  We actually liked them better the second day after they set up.  I found the recipe on Baking Bites.  My husband and I thank you!  

Samoa Bars

Cookie Base:
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan, or line with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, cream together sugar and butter, until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla extract. Working at a low speed, gradually beat in flour and salt until mixture is crumbly, like wet sand.  Pour crumbly dough into prepapred pan and press into an even layer.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, until base is set and edges are lightly browned. Cool completely on a wire rack before topping.

3 cups shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
12-oz good-quality chewy caramels
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp milk
10 oz. dark or semisweet chocolate (chocolate chips are ok)

Preheat oven to 300. Spread coconut evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet (preferably one with sides) and toast 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until coconut is golden. Cool on baking sheet, stirring occasionally. Set aside.  Be sure to check every few minutes so the coconut doesn't burn.

Unwrap the caramels and place in a large microwave-safe bowl with milk and salt. Cook on high for 3-4 minutes, stopping to stir a few times to help the caramel melt. When smooth, fold in toasted coconut with a spatula.  Put dollops of the topping all over the shortbread base. Using the spatula, spread topping into an even layer. Let topping set until cooled.  When cooled, cut into 30 bars with a large knife or a pizza cutter (it’s easy to get it through the topping).

Once bars are cut, melt chocolate in a small bowl. Heat on high in the microwave in 45 second intervals, stirring thoroughly to prevent scorching. Dip the base of each bar into the chocolate and place on a clean piece of parchment or wax paper. Transfer all remaining chocolate (or melt a bit of additional chocolate, if necessary) into a piping bag or a ziploc bag with the corner snipped off and drizzle bars with chocolate to finish.
Let chocolate set completely before storing in an airtight container.

*Next time I make these, I will double the caramel topping.  It's the best part and you can never have too much gooey goodness!!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mexican Lasagna

I love lasagna.  I love Mexican food.  Put them together and you have Mexican lasagna!  I was both intrigued and skeptical of such a combination.  But I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome.  A delicious blend of spicy, creamy and cheesy with tender lasagna noodles in the middle.   We ate this for 4 days straight for dinner.  It makes a lot!  I liked scooping it up with tortilla chips.  Thanks to Mel from Mel's Kitchen Cafe for the recipe! 

Mexican Lasagna

1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
dash of ground cayenne pepper (I left this out)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 ½ cup frozen corn kernels, white or yellow (I used a can of corn)

10 no-boil lasagna noodles
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup sour cream, light or regular
8 ounces cream cheese, light or regular

Brown beef in skillet.  Add onions and garlic.  Saute until done.  Add tomato paste, spices, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, beans and corn.  Mix well let simmer on medium heat for about 5 minutes.  In a 9x13 pan, pour 1/2 cup sauce on bottom.  Layer 4 noodles over the sauce.  Pour a 1/2 of the sauce over the noodles then dollop half of the sour cream and cream cheese on top.  Then sprinkle with half of the cheese.  Repeat.  Cover the lasagna with foil and bake at 350 for 40 minutes.  Uncover and bake 10 minutes more until cheese is bubbly.  Let stand for about 10 minutes before serving.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Sprinkles Strawberry Cake

Two questions for you:
Have you been to Sprinkles?
If so, have you tried the strawberry cupcake?
I know they are most famous for their red velvet cupcakes but my two favorites are strawberry and coconut.  I'm fruity like that.  Get it?  Fruity?
A couple of years ago, the founder of Sprinkles shared her recipe for strawberry cupcakes on Oprah.  I doubled the recipe and made a cake for Wyatt's 5th birthday.  We all know he would have been perfectly happy with a cake mix cake, but if I'm going to be eating leftover cake all week, I want it to be good.
Well folks, that cupcake lady knows her stuff because it was really good and it tasted even better the second and third days.  This recipe is a keeper.
1 1/3 cups fresh strawberries
3 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. coarse salt
1/2 cup whole milk, room temp
2 tsp. pure vanilla
1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
2 cups sugar
2 eggs, room temp
4 egg whites, room temp

*Place strawberries in a food processor and process until pureed.  You need about 2/3 cup pureed.  Save any extra for the frosting.  In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.  In another bowl, mix together milk, vanilla and strawberry puree.  In your mixer, cream butter on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Gradually add sugar and beat until fluffy.  Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add eggs and egg whites until blended.  With the mixer still on, add half the flour mixture and mix until blended.  Add the milk mixture and mix until blended.  Add the rest of the flour mixture and mix until blended, scraping down sides if you need to.  Pour batter into a greased 9x13 and bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool completely in pan before frosting.

3 Tbs. strawberry puree
1 cup unsalted butter, slightly cold
pinch of coarse salt
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla

*Mix butter and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Reduce mixer to low and slowly add powdered sugar and mix until combined.  Add vanilla and strawberry puree.  Mix until blended.  Do not overmix or frosting will get too much air in it.  Frosting should be creamy like ice cream.  Spread over cooled cake before serving.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Pepperoncini Shredded Beef Tacos

Cinco-de-Mayo is tomorrow and you should make this. You won't be sorry. (I am however sorry about the picture taken with my phone, I couldn't find my camera. Don't be deceived by the picture these tacos are dang good!)

3 lbs roast (I love the 7 bone roasts, I'm never let me down with tenderness)
1 onion chopped
1 package Good Seasons All Natural Salad Dressing
32 oz beef broth (I get anything organic to stay away from the MSG)
1 8 oz jar pepperoncini pepers (slightly drained).

Saute the onion in some olive oil. Then throw into the crock pot. Next, salt and pepper the roast and then sear it in the same pan. When finished throw the meat and the remaining ingredients into the crock pot and cook on low for 8 hours or until the meat falls apart with fork. Shred the meat and keep it in the juices (you can discard the pepperoncinis if you want).

Serve on flour or corn tortillas (I fried mine in coconut oil) with salsa, tomatoes, spinach or shredded cabbage, pepper jack cheese and this sauce:

4 oz cream cheese (softened)
2 T coarsely chopped cilantro
1/4 to 1/2 t cumin
1 T lime juice

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Sugar Cookie Bars

Our youngest turned 5 a few days ago and wanted to take sugar cookies to preschool as his birthday treat.
Making sugar cookies is not my favorite thing to do and I usually only find the motivation to do it about twice a year.  As much as I love eating a good sugar cookie, I'd rather let someone else do all the work.
But I didn't want him to be disappointed, so I was really excited when I found this recipe for sugar cookie bars on The Girl Who Ate Everything.  Such a great idea and so much less time and mess!

1 cup butter, room temp
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
5 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. lemon zest (optional)

*Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, mixing after each egg.  Add vanilla and mix well.  Add dry ingredients and mix well.  Spread in a greased cookie sheet and bake at 375 for 10-15 minutes until light brown or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool completely before frosting.

1/2 cup butter, room temp
4 ounces cream cheese
1 tsp. vanilla
dash of salt
4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
food coloring of your choice

*Cream butter and cream cheese until smooth.  Add vanilla and salt.  Add powdered sugar slowly while mixing until combined.  Add milk a little at a time until you like the consistency.  You might not need all the milk.  Spread over cooled bars.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Envy My Cooking Guest Post

Hello Becoming Betty readers
We are Karla & Jenny from Envymycooking!
We are so excited to be blog swapping today!

We are going to share with you one of our favorite things to make in the morning and even for a little after school snack

Monkey Bread


4 cans Biscuits( i just got the ones from walmart- the walmart brand)





Make cinnamon sugar in a medium bowl

In another bowl take a half of cube of butter and melt it


Open biscuits can and grab one biscuit and tear in half!

Roll into a ball and drop in butter.

pick ball up with fork and place in Cinnamon/Sugar (make sure its well coated with cinnamon/sugar all the way around)

Than place in a pan!

Line them up in a row but leave a 1/2 inch between each one!

Throw them in oven at 350 degrees and bake for 10-12 min..


We just love this recipe so much and so do our kids!

Thanks so much to Becoming Betty for so many of their delicious recipes already given..keep them coming!

If you would like to see more of us come check us out HERE .

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