Monday, August 30, 2010

Gooey Butter Cake

Leave it to Paula Deen to come up with something so easy, yet so amazing.
The name says it all.
It's gooey, it's buttery, it's rich, it's practically life-changing.
This dessert is guaranteed to satisfy the sweetest sweet tooth out there.
It's well worth the extra 30 minutes on the treadmill. Ok, maybe an hour.

Bottom layer:
1 yellow cake mix
1 egg
1 cube butter, melted

1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cube butter, melted
1 (16 oz.) box powdered sugar

*Combine cake mix, egg, and butter and mix well. Pat into the bottom of a greased 9 x 13. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add eggs, vanilla, and butter. Beat well. Add powdered sugar and mix well. Spread over cake batter and bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Top with whipped cream if you're feeling crazy.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Chicken Tostadas

This is another recipe I found while browsing through all the gorgeous recipes on Tasty Kitchen. Easy, quick and yummy. One of those dinners that you probably already have all the ingredients for. Love those dinners.
1 can (4 oz.) diced green chilies
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbs. chili powder
1 1/2 Tbs. lime juice
1 whole onion, diced
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken
1 can refried beans
tostada shells
lettuce, tomato, cheese

*Put chicken breasts (or tenders) in crock-pot with onion. In a bowl, combine green chilies, garlic, chili powder, and lime juice. Spoon over chicken. Cook on low for 5-6 hours. Shred up when it is done. Spread warm beans on tostada shell, top with chicken and then put on desired toppings.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


I have always been a box brownie girl. I think they taste the best. Until....I made these babies! Wow, these brownies are good! And I mean good. Chocolatey goodness topped with chocolatey goodness frosting that you can't stop eating. I made them on Sunday and they were a definite crowd pleaser. I got the recipe from this blog. Please make them.

4 eggs
1 tsp. salt
1 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup Hershey's cocoa
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour

Beat eggs with mixer in large bowl. Then, add sugar, salt and vanilla and beat for 1 minute.

Add melted butter and mix. In a separate bowl, combine flour and cocoa and mix well. Then, add to egg mixture until well combined. Spread batter into a greased 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes and spread with frosting.

2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup cocoa

Blend powdered sugar, butter cocoa and enough milk to make a spreadable consistency. You want the frosting to be thick, so don't add more than a 1/4 cup of milk. Spread on brownies after they have cooled for about 15 minutes.

*Double recipe and bake in a jelly roll pan for a large crowd.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Martha's Taco Meat

Martha Stewart. Bless her crafty little heart. She has an app for ipods/iphones that shows a new dinner recipe everyday. It's like Christmas. It's one of the first things I look at in the morning. A lot of her recipes involve fish, which you might have noticed, we don't do. But one day this beef taco recipe popped up and it is a gem. We ate it two days in a row and then I thought about it on the third day and wished I was having it again. Thank you, Martha.
1 tsp. oil
1 onion, chopped
2 bell peppers, chopped (I used red and yellow)
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbs. tomato paste
2 tsp. chili powder
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
salt and pepper
1 lb. lean ground beef

*In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and peppers. Cook for 3-5 minutes. Add 1 cup of water and cook for 3-5 more minutes, until water has evaporated and veggies are softened. Add garlic, paste, chili powder, and cumin. Season with salt and pepper. Add beef and cook well until crumbly and brown. Season again with salt and pepper. Serve on flour tortillas with toppings that you like. (If you haven't tried the corn tortillas from Trader Joe's, I highly recommend).

Friday, August 20, 2010

Easy Chicken Marinade

I found this recipe on Tasty Kitchen. Talk about a recipe blog that can suck you in for hours. We tried this out last Sunday on the grill and we loved it. The flavor was really good. The next day I cut up some of it into a salad and it was delish. I know it's not exactly barbecue weather right now, but it was worth firing up the grill for these.
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup dried parsley
chicken tenders or chicken breasts
(I used about 12 tenders)

*Mix marinade in a big ziploc bag and add chicken. Let marinate for at least one hour, or as long as 24 hours. (I did it the night before). Grill and enjoy!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I present to you a chocolate chip cookie with no white flour and no white sugar. And it still tastes really good. Not that it's low-fat or healthy by any stretch of the imagination, but we do what we can, right? I got this recipe years ago from my sister-in-law's sister, Amy. The kids eat them up and have no idea they are a little bit healthy.

1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups oats
2 tsp. baking soda
1 bag chocolate chips (we like Ghirardelli milk choc.)

*Mix butter and brown sugar. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix well. Add dry ingredients. Mix well. Add chocolate chips. Drop onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 11 minutes at 250.

*My thoughts on whole wheat flour:
I don't like the kind they sell at the store. I like to buy hard white wheat and grind it right before I use it. Much lighter and tastier than red wheat or store-bought wheat flour.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Pesto Bowtie Pasta

I've been on a pesto kick lately. I can't get enough of it. I recently decided that I need to start making my own pesto, so I scoured the internet for the perfect pesto recipe. I found one that is easy and delicious. Then I started searching for recipes that had pesto in them and this is one of the ones I found. Super easy, super flavorful and super filling. Even the kiddos liked it. Both recipes are below.
1 box bowtie pasta (16 oz.)
1 cup pesto (see recipe below)
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
4 oz. crumbled feta cheese
salt and pepper to taste

*Cook bowtie pasta according to package directions. Rinse under water to cool slightly and drain really well. Stir in pesto and stir until pasta is coated. Season with salt and pepper. Add tomatoes and feta cheese. Toss to combine. Cover pasta and refrigerate before serving. Add a little olive oil before serving if it seems dry.

2 cups fresh basil, packed
1/2 cup shredded parmesan
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts
3 garlic cloves

*Mix well in a food processor. You can store it in the refrigerator for a few weeks or freeze it for later use.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Cafe Rio Dressing

You can find this recipe on a lot of different recipe blogs. Chances are you already have it in your files. But just in case you don't have it and you want it is. This dressing goes great with sweet pork, shredded beef, bajio chicken, or just plain salad. Great flavor and fun green color!
1 pkg. Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 bunch of cilantro
1 small jalapeno (remove seeds)
1 cup mayo
1 tsp. lime juice
2 tomatillos (remove papery skin)
1 clove garlic

*Blend in blender until mixed really well. Chill in fridge.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Chocolate Chip Muffins

Emery had a friend over the other day and they asked me if they could "experiment" in the kitchen. Well, I was eleven a few years back and I know what happens when kids "experiment" in the kitchen. They throw lots of ingredients together to see what will happen and then it looks gross so they throw it away. So I suggested that they find a recipe and bake something. They pulled out our muffin cookbook and found a recipe for chocolate chip muffins and went to work. They were so cute mixing it all up and the end result was really yummy. Looks like we could have a little Betty on our hands.
1 1/2 cups flour
1 Tbs. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
6 Tbs. butter, melted
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips

*Mix well and bake for 20 minutes at 375 degrees.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Double Tomato Bruschetta

So one day Brett comes home from work and hands me this huge insurance brochure that looks like a large pizza. It is literally the size of a large pizza. Filled with insurance information and pictures of guys I've never heard of and graphs and charts...blah, blah, blah. I asked him why he was giving it to me and he said because it has recipes in it. I love that guy.
You could pretty much put fresh basil on anything edible and I would love it. That's how I knew I would love this recipe. Fresh basil and fresh garlic...that's a win-win for everyone.

6 medium roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 French baguette, cut into 1/2 inch slices
2 cups shredded mozzarella

*Combine all ingredients (except bread and cheese) and let sit for 10 minutes. Arrange bread slices on a baking sheet. Broil for 1 minute until lightly toasted. Spoon tomato mixture onto bread and sprinkle with mozzarella. Broil for 3 more minutes.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Caramel Sauce (or Heaven)

If you have been looking for the best-caramel-sauce-known-to-man, you can stop looking. Here it is. Pioneer Woman never lets me down. BC requested caramel sauce as part of his birthday dessert ("brownies with ice cream, hot fudge, caramel, whipped cream and nuts"). I did a little searching and decided this recipe sounded like the winner. I will never try another one...this stuff was TDF.

1 cube butter
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup half and half
dash of salt
1 Tbs. vanilla

*Heat first four ingredients over stove on medium/low heat, stirring constantly with a whisk. Cook for about 7-10 minutes until it starts to thicken. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Cook for one more minute. Put in fridge for a few minutes to set and then serve over ice cream. Or just grab and spoon and go to town.
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