Monday, April 30, 2012


Remember I said in a few posts back that I signed up for a recipe of the week from Rhodes Rolls, but didn't usually think the recipes sounded good?  I have to take back what I said.  I came home from teaching today and this was in my inbox.  It looked and sounded good and easy and I was hungry. I pulled out some frozen rolls and made these. Wow-they are so good. And easy.  So thanks, Rhodes and my apologies.

12 Rhodes™ Dinner Rolls
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar

Roll each roll into a 9-inch rope. Place butter in a shallow bowl and sugar in a separate shallow bowl.  Mix the melted butter and sugar together. Dip the rolls in butter/sugar mixture and tie into a knot and place on cookie sheet 2-3 inches apart. Repeat with the rest of the rolls. Cover with sprayed plastic wrap and let rise until double in size. Remove wrap and bake at 350°F 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Do not overbake.Remove from pan immediately and place on cooling rack.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Spinach Fiesta Salad

I just sat here for 5 minutes staring at this picture, trying to come up with a name for this salad.  I try not to list all of the ingredients of a recipe in the name of the recipe, so "fiesta" is the best I could come up with.  Anyway...
I found this recipe on Pinterest but really it was just a picture with all the ingredients listed under it.  No measurements or detailed directions, but you can't really go wrong when you're dealing with delicious things like avocado and cilantro.  It's going to taste good no matter how you throw it together.
black beans, drained and rinsed
tomatoes, diced
cucumber, diced
avocado, diced
cilantro, cut into pieces
lime juice
olive oil

*Fill a bowl with spinach and add as much of the rest of the ingredients as you would like.  Drizzle on some lime juice and a little olive oil and toss the salad.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Friday, April 27, 2012


I know this photo looks really strange... but you will thank me, I  promise.
Those of you who live in a nicer, cooler climate than I live in and can grow stuff without it literally frying in the sun will appreciate this post.  The last time I went to the grocery to buy fresh basil (not really a fan of dried) I had to buy a HUUUUUGE package of it. I used what I needed in my recipe--which was all of 2 tablespoons full and couldn't bear to throw the rest away. I Googled (is that a word--if not it should be) how to freeze fresh herbs. What did we ever do without Google?  Anyway--here are the directions and I'm sure you can use it for any fresh herbs.  I now have 2 Ziplock bags in my freezer of frozen basil cubes.

Wash and thoroughly dry whatever herbs you will be using i.e., basil, mint, thyme, rosemary, dill, etc.  Chop them to whatever desired size you want. Fill ice cube trays with approximately 2 t. full of chopped herbs and fill trays with water.  Freeze until frozen solid. Remove from ice cube trays and place in Zip lock bags. Store in the freezer. Don't forget to label the bags.  These will keep for 4-5 months.  When ready to use, remove one or two cubes from freezer.  If using in a cooked dish, just place the frozen cube in the dish and the water will quickly evaporate.  You will have the flavor and convenience of whatever fresh herb you use!!  I used a enough basil that was frozen to make pesto and it was delicious.  I just put the cubes in a strainer and let them thaw.  The water drained out and the basil was ready to use.  I don't think these would work as a garnish, as the herbs turn dark and don't look that pleasant, but the flavor is GREAT!!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Orange Cakes

Why has nobody ever told me that you can bake a cake inside of an orange?!  Seriously, I've lived 35 years without this knowledge.
This idea is brilliant.  Not to mention perfect for camping.  Which is why I came across this idea...because I am going to Girls' Camp with our church in a few weeks and we had to certify the girls in outdoor cooking last night.
We made Dutch oven pizzas (thanks to our amazingly-talented-camp-cook, Tylene) and then we made these little cakes.  You bake them in the campfire!  How much easier could this be?  I love everything about this.
Here's what you need:

medium-large navel oranges
yellow cake mix
1 cup water
3 eggs
1/3 cup oil
heavy duty foil

*Mix cake mix with water, eggs and oil and stir well until the lumps are gone.  Set aside.  Wash your oranges.  Cut the top off (about 1/2 inch).  Scoop out all the middle like a pumpkin.  Now you have a hollow orange-bowl.  Spoon cake mix into the orange until it's 3/4 full.  Put the top back on and wrap tightly in the heavy duty foil.  Make sure you know where the top is.  Place in the hot coals of a campfire (not the flames).  Let cook for 15-20 minutes.  Remove from fire with tongs and let cool for a minute before unwrapping and enjoying with a spoon.  The cake is really moist and yummy with a hint of orange flavor.

*I'm dying to try this with different flavored cake mixes and different citrus.  Endless possibilities. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Brownie Stoplights

I am a Wolf den leader in cub scouts and tonight is the Pinewood Derby.
If you are involved in scouts, or you have a cub scout, then you know that this is a big deal.
This year, two of our sons are participating, so it is pretty exciting around here with two cars being made and two brothers each hoping to beat the other.
I leave the car-making up to BC and I just worry about the fun stuff...the treats!  The other den leader is my good friend and last night we put together these cute brownie stoplights that I saw on Pinterest.  So easy.  A big jelly roll pan of brownies, cut into rectangles, with red, yellow and green m&m's pushed into them to look like stoplights.  Super cute and super tasty.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Honey Mustard Chicken

pic from internet

 Yesterday i needed something for dinner with ingredients I already had and something easy. I searched on and found this very easy and yummy chicken recipe. It turned out tender and moist and had a delicious flavor. Next time you don't know what to make or don't want to go to the store... check this out. 

 4-6 breasts
1/2 C melted butter
1/2 C honey
1/4 C dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon curry powder 

Brush sauce over chicken before baking. Continue to baste chicken with sauce from pan every 15 minutes as it bakes.

*I left out the curry powder. I also used chicken breasts and sliced them vertically to get thinner pieces. I only used a couple of breasts and cooked it at 350 for 45 minutes. I paired the chicken with this rice and a simple salad.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Mini Chip Chippers

I made these for a baby shower today.  The theme was "tiny" and all the food was little and bite-size.  Don't you love when things are miniature?  Everything looks cute when it's tiny.  And when you're eating little food, you can eat more, right?  Exactly.
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup butter, softened to room temp
2 eggs
1 Tbs. vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
2 cups oats
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 bag mini chocolate chips

*Mix sugars.  Add butter and mix well until light and fluffy.  Add eggs and vanilla and mix together.  Add dry ingredients and mix until it's all blended.  Scoop with a small cookie scoop or make little dough balls about the size of a nickel.  Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 8-9 minutes.  Mine were a little doughy at 8 minutes so I took them out and let them cool on the cookie sheet for another 5 minutes.  Perfection.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


I used to subscribe to Taste of Home recipe magazine, but haven't for a long time. Every recipe had a little personal note about the submitter (is that a word)? They always seemed like such nice people--the kind that would bring you a warm loaf of home made bread and a jar of jam "just because".

I was looking for an old recipe on the internet and this one turned up from--you guessed it--Taste of Home. I made a few changes--I always seem to and my family really loved it. Pasta is not my husband's favorite (I could eat it every day) and he even said it was a "do again". And credit for the photo also goes to Taste of Home. Forgot to take a photo--AGAIN!!

6-8 boneless skinless chicken breast (I pounded to flatten them evenly)
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1 T. canola or olive oil (I used olive)
3 T. lemon juice

7 T. cornstarch
3 c. milk (I used 1 cup half and half, 2 c. milk)
1 can (14 oz.) water packed artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained and quartered
6-8 T. grated Parmesan cheese
4 T. minced fresh basil
2 c. chicken broth
3 t. lemon juice
salt to taste
pepper to taste

Pound chicken breasts so they are even thickness. Pat dry and season with salt and pepper. In a skillet on medium high heat, brown the chicken on both sides. Place in a greased 9x13 baking pan. Drizzle with the lemon juice. Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until chicken is done.

In a heavy saucepan, whisk the cornstarch and milk until smooth. Bring to a boil (it will be thick) and cook for about 1-2 minutes. Thin the sauce with the 2 c. of chicken broth. Stir in the remaining ingredients and heat through.

I sliced the chicken in slices, served it over pasta noodles with the sauce and a little fresh basil and Parmesan sprinkled on top. It would be good over rice also. Tell me what you think!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

SQUAW BREAD-- like Cheesecake Factory

My cute niece found this recipe and asked if she could come over and have me help her make it. She loves the Squaw Bread at the The Cheesecake Factory and she found this recipe somewhere. The instructions were confusing and complicated. I made some minor changes to make it easier to understand (and to make). It turned out really good. If you love the Squaw Bread at the "Factory" you might want to try it. If you do; let me know what you think.

2 c. warm water
1 1/2 T. dry active yeast

1/3 c. vegetable oil
1/4 c. honey
2 T. molasses

3 1/2 c. bread flour
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1 1/2 c. medium or dark rye flour
1/2 cup dry powdered milk
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
2 1/2 t. salt

2 T. melted butter for brushing
2 T. rolled oats (optional for top)
1 T. milk (to soak oats in - optional)

Mix warm water and yeast in bowl to dissolve. Set aside.

Put 3 cups of the bread flour, whole wheat flour, rye flour, powdered milk brown sugar and salt in bowl of your bread mixer (not bread machine). Use regular mixing paddle and mix until well combined

In another bowl mix honey, molasses and oil. At this point you will have 3 bowls of mixtures: water and yeast, dry ingredients and oil, molasses and honey.

Turn on your bread mixer and slowly add both liquid mixtures (yeast and honey and molasses. Mix thoroughly, then cover bowl and let rest for 20 minutes. It will be very sticky.

After 20 minutes, add dough hook to your mixer. Add the 1/2 cup of remaining bread flour and knead for 2-3 minutes, until dough pulls away from the sides. Remove from mixer bowl and place in a well oiled bowl. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes. Dough will be sticky.

After 30 minutes, remove dough from bowl, place on a lightly floured surface and stretch, knead and fold it well for 2-3 minutes. Place back into greased bowl and cover and let rest for another 30 minutes. The resting and kneading helps with taste and gluten development in breads using whole grains.

Heat oven to 425.

Remove from bowl and shape into 4 baguettes of even size about 10 inches long. Place on a large oiled cookie sheet. Make several diagonal slashes in the dough. Brush loaves with melted butter. At this point, if you want oatmeal on top, mix the oatmeal with milk and spread on loaves. The milk helps the oatmeal stick. Let rise in a warm place until doubled (about 45 min to 1 1/2 hours depending on warmth of your kitchen).

Place a cake pan with approximately 1 cup of water on bottom rack of your oven. Place the loaves of dough in middle rack and turn oven down to 375. Bake for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove the pan of water and bake for another 15 minutes. If dough seems to be getting too brown on top, cover with foil. Remove and let cool. Slice and eat.

Monday, April 9, 2012


I signed up to get recipes by email from Rhodes Dough. Most of the recipes I have deleted--I would NEVER make them. This one however, caught my eye and it is a keeper!! My apologies to Rhodes though. The grocery was out of Rhodes so I bought the generic rolls and I must say they were absolutely fine!! If you have Kroger in your area; that's the kind I used. Quite a bit cheaper too. We had some company this weekend and EVERYONE loved these. They were gone quickly. Next time I will add pecans. We love nuts around here. We are nuts around here!!

20 Rhodes (or other brand) frozen dough rolls-thawed but not raised
2 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter (1 cup)
4 T. cinnamon sugar (1 T. cinnamon, 3 T. sugar, mixed)
8 oz. cream cheese at room temperature

Combine cream cheese with 1/2 c. of the brown sugar. Mix well and set aside.
Melt butter and then add remaining 2 c. brown sugar and stir well. Bring to a light boil to caramelize. Pour 1/3 of the mixture into bottom of a bundt pan. Take one roll at a time into your hands and stretch it into a small circle. Place approx. 1 T. of the cream cheese/sugar mixture into the middle and pinch closed into a ball. Evenly place 8 of the filled rolls in the bottom of the pan, on top of the caramelized mixture. Sprinkle half of the cinnamon sugar on top of the 8 rolls Pour an additional 1/3 of the sugar mixture on top. ** Repeat the process with the remaining 12 rolls for the second layer. First the dough balls, then the remaining cinnamon sugar and finally the remaining sugar mixture..

Let rise for 30-45 minutes. Bake at 350 for 45-60 minutes. You may need to lay a piece of foil over top of pan after 30 minutes if buns start looking too brown. I did this step.

Remove from oven and immediately invert onto a LARGE plate. The caramel mixture will run all over so make sure the plate is large. I did it onto a cookie sheet. Serve warm or at room temperature.

These raise REALLY high and the rolls are large. Most monkey bread is cut smaller.

**Next time I will add 1/2 cup chopped pecans to each layer.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Happy Easter to all our Betty friends!!

Holly and Nat are both in town for Easter so we are going to be doing lots of fun family activities.  In other words...lots of eating!

Today we made lemon bars and sugar cookies.
Tomorrow we will color eggs and do some shopping.
Sunday we will go to church and then pig out on candy and Easter dinner.  Here are my assignments this year:

(Speaking of Easter...we have been participating in the Easter Pageant this year and Saturday is our last performance.  Kind of sad and kind of relieved!)
Have a fabulous Easter weekend!!

Monday, April 2, 2012


Is there ANYONE--who doesn't love Banana Cream Pie? Not sure if I know of anyone--except the Pioneer Woman (Ree Drummond) and she hates bananas. I made these for a family party last night for my husbands "??" birthday. This is the best recipe I have ever used. I have tried lots of them and always come back to this one. It's an old one I got from the Lion House cookbook a looooong time ago and I made some adjustments that made the steps easier. Go ahead--make this for your Easter dinner.

One 8-9 inch baked pie shell

5 T. cornstarch
1 c. sugar
1/4 t. salt
2 1/4 c. half and half
1 c. milk
2 eggs

2 T. butter
1 t. vanilla
1 large banana

Beat eggs well in a large bowl. Set aside.

Mix cornstarch, sugar and salt in a heavy 3-quart saucepan. Add milk and cream and mix well. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a whisk until smooth and thick. Quickly pour about half of the hot mixture into the bowl of eggs. whisking thoroughly and constantly so the eggs don't cook. Pour all back into the sauce pan and continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add butter and vanilla.

Slice banana into bottom of pie shell. Arrange slices evenly across the bottom. Pour the pudding mixture over the banana and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours until completely cool.

Garnish with whipped cream and more bananas on top if you like!!
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