Thursday, December 29, 2011

Pears with Bleu Cheese and Honey

Hope everyone had a Happy Hanukkah and a Merry Christmas!
Here is a simple appetizer that your guests will love.  My friend Angie made this when my husband and I went to their home for dinner.  It was so good!  Angie shared the recipe with me and now I'm sharing it with you!  Happy New Year!

Pears with Bleu Cheese and Honey

Golden pears
Bleu Cheese

Slice pears and put on a tray.  Sprinkle cheese on top and drizzle with honey.

That's it!  How simple and how delicious!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

No Bake Reindeer Cookies

Looking for something quick and easy to make for a Christmas treat?  I found this at and I thought they were so cute.  Come on, you gotta admit they are CUTE!  And they are QUICK and EASY.  My grandkids and their friends loved them.  They can even make them themselves.  Watch this VIDEO to see how to make them.

No Bake Reindeer Cookies

Nutter Butter Cookies
M & Ms
White Classic Icing (not whipped)

Watch this VIDEO to see how to make them.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Zucchinni Bread

I've had this post since this summer when zucchini was growing in our garden.  Sorry I didn't get it out sooner.  Maybe next summer when you have tons of zucchini in your garden and don't know what to do with it, you can make this bread.  You can also grate the zucchini and put 2-3 cups in a freezer bag and freeze until you want to make the zucchini bread.  It is so delicious!

Zucchini Bread

3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 1/4 cups sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla
2-3 cups grated zucchini
1 cup nuts (optional)

Grease and flour two 8x4 inch pans.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Put all ingredients except zucchini and nuts in a bowl and mix together.  (I used a hand mixer.)
Add zucchini and nuts.  (Batter was a little thick but once I added the zucchini it was much easier to mix.)
Bake at 325 for 50 - 60 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Cool 20 minutes.  Remove from pan and let cool completely.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Marinated Braised Beef Brisket

Okay!  Okay!  I know you're tired of looking at the picture of my wheat pancakes.  So here is a recipe you can sink your teeth in.  Of course I got it from one of my favorite recipe books, The Pioneer Women Cooks.  I usually make my mom's brisket, but I decided to try Ree Drummond's braised brisket recipe and it was delicious.  My family really enjoyed it.  And so will you.  But be sure to plan ahead--brisket has to marinate at least 24 hours before cooking.

**I only cooked a 4 pound brisket so I halved the recipe. 

Marinated Braised Beef Brisket

2 cans beef consomme (not beef broth), 10.5 oz. cans
1 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
Juice of 2 lemons
5 garlic cloves, chopped
1 Tablespoon liquid smoke (optional)  I didn't use this. 
1 brisket (7 - 10 pounds), untrimmed  I trimmed mine a little bit.  Can't stand all that fat.

In a roasting pan, combine the first 5 ingredients.  Place brisket in pan, fat side up.  Ladle some of the liquid on top.  Cover tightly with foil and place in the refrigerator to marinate for 24 - 48 hours.

When you're ready to make the brisket, put into a 300 degree oven and cook for about 40 - 50 minutes per pound.  When the meat is fork tender, place on a cutting board.  Cut away the slab of fat from the top of the meat.  Then slice against the grain.

Now, put the sliced meat back into the pan, juice and all.  Cover with foil and place in the oven to warm up.  Serve.

And as Lee Drummond says, "It's a major crowd pleaser!"

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Wheatberries and Blender Wheat Pancakes

I know you've been wondering where I have been.  Well, I was just called as Relief Society President in our ward so I've been BUSY!  The first activity we had (2 weeks after I was called) was a ward activity on cooking with wheat.  I didn't realize you could make such delicious foods using wheat--actually using wheat berries.  Cooking wheat berries provide an excellent way to extend meats, enhance soups and stews, add nutrition to desserts and introduce your family to the wonderful taste of wheat.

Pictured above are the Blender Wheat Pancakes, which were absolutely delicious--and so easy.  I've also included some of the other recipes we made that were unbelievable.  Yes, unbelievable because they tasted so good.  So hope you enjoy, but be careful if you're not use to eating wheat.  Don't eat too much at one time.  But these recipes are so good it will be hard to stay away!

Wheat Berries

1 cup wheat kernels
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups water

Combine ingredients.  Bring to a boil and let simmer about one hour.
Now you can eat them hot and cooked (great breakfast food).  You can add brown sugar and milk, or even a little honey.  You can use wheat berries like you would use rice and you can use them in the following recipes.

Blender Wheat Pancakes

1 cup uncooked wheat berries
1 cup milk
Blend about 3 minutes and then add:
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons baking powder
Blend until well mixed.

Cook on hot griddle and serve with toppings of your choice.

Boston Baked Wheat

4 cups wheat berries
1/2 - 1 cup ketchup or BBQ sauce
1 onion , sauteed
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup molasses
3 - 4 teaspoons mustard
3 slices bacon, cooked and diced
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all together and bake 30 minutes at 325 degrees. 

Wheat Chili

1/2 pound hamburger
4 ribs celery, chopped
l large onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
2 cups cooked chili beans
1 quart whole tomatoes, chopped (or use diced tomatoes)
2 cups wheat berries
3 - 4 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano

Brown hamburger with onion, celery and green pepper.  Add beans, wheat, tomatoes, and seasonings.  Bring to a simmer for the flavors to blend.  Taste test for personal spiciness.
**You can add wheat berries to your favorite chili recipe.

Tuna Wheat Salad

2 large cans tuna (drained)
2 1/2 cups wheat berries
1/2 cup celery, diced
2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 hard boiled eggs (chopped)
1 cup diced tomatoes
1/2 cup cucumber, diced
1/2 cup Italian dressing
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Mix all together and serve as salad, sandwiches, or on crackers.

Wheat Berry Waldorf Salad

5 cups wheat berries
2 medium apples, cored and chopped
1 cup finely chopped parsley
1/2 cup apple juice
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup seedless raisins
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup brown sugar

Mix together and serve.  You can also add craisins and mandarin oranges.

Well, better end this post now.  Gotta go to a meeting!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Uncle Alan's Mock Crab Vegetable Medley

I didn't know this, but my brother-in-law, Alan, is a great cook.  He makes this mock crab vegetable dish that is so good.  He made it up himself.  I'm impressed!

Uncle Alan's Mock Crab Vegetable Medley

1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
Olive Oil
fresh mushrooms
1 - 2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 - 2 packages imitation crab (pull apart)
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
fresh tomatoes
Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

In olive oil, saute the onions, bell pepper, mushrooms, garlic, salt and pepper until tender.  Add the imitation crab and juice.  Simmer until the crab is fork tender.  Add fresh tomatoes and remove from stove.  Garnish with Parmesan cheese and serve on top of pasta.
Here's Alan joking around, showing off his culinary skills!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

5 Cup Salad

I love when my friends share their recipes with me.  Here is one my friend Kathi shared with me.  It is so light and fruity.  Plus, I love anything with marshmallows.

5 Cup Salad

1 cup miniature marshmallows
1 cup pineapple chunks (drained)
1 cup coconut
1 cup mandarin oranges (drained)
1 cup sour cream

Combine all ingredients, mix well and chill before serving. 

For variations, you can add a cup of whipped topping.  Of course, then it becomes a 6 cup salad :) 

Kathi has also added small amounts of food coloring to "jazz it up" for special occasions--like pink for her daughter's baby shower.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Easy Cookie Recipe

My friend, Angelyn, shared this easy cookie recipe with me.  She made our family some using a spice cake mix.  She said you can use any kind of cake mix, so I used chocolate and I also made some with the confetti cake mix.  Each one was delicious.  So choose your favorite cake mix and make you a batch of these delicious, easy cookies.

Easy Cookie Recipe

1 cake mix (your choice)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup oil
2 eggs

Mix all ingredients together.  Drop by teaspoons onto greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 - 12 minutes.

**The ones pictured above are the cookies made with spice cake.  Just sprinkle some cinnamon and sugar on top.

Below are some chocolate ones I made and I added some sprinkles.  I've also made chocolate ones with sugar sprinkled on them.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Fruit Sushi

My little grandchildren (with the help of their dad) made this Fruit Sushi for Family Home Evening dessert.  I thought it was so cute, and surprisingly it tasted good!  They found the recipe in the June 2011 Friend.  All you need is 1 banana, 1 piece of fruit leather, and some sprinkles.  Wrap the fruit leather around the banana and cut into 1 inch slices.  Use toothpicks to hold it together.  Add a few sprinkles on top and there you have it--Fruit Sushi!
Notice that they served it on their Princess plate :)

Friday, July 29, 2011

Best Chocolate Bundt Cake Ever!

I love making and eating desserts--especially chocolate desserts.  When I saw the name of this recipe, it was almost like it was daring me to make it to see if it truly was the "Best Chocolate Bundt Cake Ever".  I must admit, it is a Chocolate Lover's dream.  Happy eating!

Best Chocolate Bundt Cake Ever!

1 cup fat free sour cream
1/2 cup apple sauce
1/3 cup water
4 eggs (or 1 egg and 3 egg whites)
1 package chocolate cake mix
1 (3 oz.) package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 (12 oz.) package chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix all ingredients.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Pour into bundt pan sprayed with Baker's Joy or grease and flour.  Bake 45 minutes or until toothpick comes our clean.  Let cool about 15 minutes and then remove from pan.

1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
3 Tablespoons milk
2 Tablespoons cocoa
2 cups powdered sugar (or more to consistency)

Combine first 3 ingredients in saucepan.  Heat, stirring until smooth.  Remove from heat and pour in powdered sugar.  Pour over top of cake.

**I serve at the Columbia South Carolina Temple once a week and took this cake for the workers to eat.   I over-heard one worker tell another, "This is the best chocolate cake ever!"   Enough said! 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Susan's Berry Peach Fruit Cobbler

Here is a delicious recipe from my friend Susan.  It is very similar to my Peach Cobbler recipe.  Susan mixed peaches with blackberries and served it with vanilla ice cream on top.  Mmmm!  It was sooooo good! 

Susan's Berry Peach Fruit Cobbler

1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup self-rising flour
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix above ingredients and crumble over sliced fruit (peaches, blueberries, blackberries, or mix them up!).

Melt 4 Tablespoons of butter and pour over batter.  Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. 

Friday, July 15, 2011

Another Mexican Casserole

So here is another Mexican casserole that I tried.  No, it's not Brandi's recipe, but it is similar. This one doesn't have the beans in it.  My family really liked it and I think you will too.

Another Mexican Casserole

4 -6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 large onion, chopped and divided
1 small piece of celery
2 cups grated cheddar cheese (I used the Mexican blend)
1 small can/jar taco sauce
1 cup broth, divided
1 package nacho cheese flavored Doritoes (I used the baked Doritoes)

In a pot, boil chicken in salted water with a small slice of the onion and a small piece of celery for about 30 - 45 minutes).  Remove from pot and cut chicken into pieces.  Save 1 cup broth and set aside.

Mix taco sauce, soup, 1/2 cup broth, and onions with the chicken.  Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with Pam and line bottom with Doritoes and alternate layers of Doritoes, chicken mixture and cheese.  Top with the grated cheese and pour the remaining 1/2 cup broth over dish.  Bake at 350 degrees until bubbly and cheese is melted, about 25 - 30 minutes.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Mississippi Mud Brownies

Talk about an easy dessert.  You can't get any easier than this recipe!  But it is ooey gooey like mud.  Maybe that's why they call it Mississippi Mud!

Mississippi Mud Brownies

1 brownie mix
1 jar of marshmallow cream
1 can of chocolate frosting

Make brownies according to package directions.  Remove from oven and while hot spread marshmallow cream on brownies.  Then spread on the chocolate frosting.  (Chocolate frosting was hard to spread so I just took a knife and swirled it.)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Swiss Chicken Parmesan

Here's a delicious, easy chicken main dish that you and your family will enjoy.  I added Parmesan cheese to the stuffing mix so I call it Swiss Chicken Parmesan. Really good.  Really good!  It does take 2 hours to bake, so plan ahead.

Swiss Chicken Parmesan 

6 - 8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt, pepper, garlic powder, to taste
6 - 8 slices Swiss cheese
1 can (10 3/4 oz.) cream of chicken soup
1 can (10 3/4 oz.) water
1 1/2 cups Pepperidge Farm herb stuffing mix
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tablespoons butter

Place chicken breasts in a greased baking dish.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste.  Top each piece of chicken with a slice of Swiss cheese. Mix soup and water together.  Be sure to mix well.  Pour over chicken.  Combine stuffing mix and Parmesan cheese and toss with the butter.  Sprinkle over the chicken.  Bake for 2 hours at 300 degrees.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Rocky Road Squares

When I came across this recipe I thought it not only sounded delicious, but it looked easy to make.  Right on both counts--delicious and easy!

Rocky Road Squares

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 cups miniature marshmallows
1 (6 oz.) package semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup nuts, chopped

Combine butter and sugar and beat until light and fluffy.  Mix flour and graham cracker crumbs together and add to creamed mixture.  Pat into greased 9 x 9 or 11 x 7 x 1.5 inch pan.  Sprinkle marshmallows, chocolate chips, and nuts on top of crust.  Bake at 375 degrees for 15 - 20 minutes.  Cool and cut into squares.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Lemon Lush

As I have mentioned in past "lemon" posts, my mother-in -law loves lemon.  When I saw this recipe I knew I had to make it for her.  If you're a lemon person too, you'll love this delicious dessert.

Lemon Lush

1 stick butter
1 cup flour
1/2 cup nuts
1 cup powdered sugar
1 small carton Cool Whip, divided
1 (8 oz.) cream cheese
2 packages instant lemon pudding mix
3 cups milk

Mix butter, flour and nuts and press in bottom of a greased 9 x 13 pan.  Bake for 15 - 20 minutes at 350 degrees then let cool.  Mix powdered sugar, 1 cup Cool Whip and cream cheese.  Spread on baked crust.

Mix lemon pudding and milk until set.  Spread on cream cheese mixture.  Put the remaining Cool Whip on top and keep refrigerated.

**Can be made with chocolate puddding.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Eggplant Parmesan Casserole

Eggplant?  Yuck!  No, you won't think that after you try this Eggplant Parmesan Casserole. Personally, I don't like eggplant, but I loved this dish and my family loved it too.  You'll become an eggplant lover with this casserole as well.

Eggplant Parmesan Casserole

1 large eggplant, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup flour
1 pound ground beef or ground turkey
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
Salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste
2 (15 oz.) cans of tomato sauce
2 cups Mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Vegetable oil

In a bowl mix together the flour, salt and pepper.  In another bowl mix the egg and milk.  Then dip the peeled and sliced eggplant in egg and milk and dredge in the flour mixture. In a large skillet, heat oil and brown eggplant slices on both sides.  Drain on a brown paper bag. (I'm sure you can use paper towels instead.)  Rinse skillet and saute ground beef or turkey and season with salt, pepper and garlic salt to taste.  Add onion and green pepper  and cook until meat is done and onion and peppers are tender.  Drain.  Add tomato sauce, salt and pepper to taste, and Italian seasoning.  (I also added a packet of Stevia.)  In a greased 9 x 11 baking dish place alternating layers of meat mixture, eggplant and Mozzarella cheese.  Top with Parmesan cheese and bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes until bubbly.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Hamburger Noodle Delight

Here's a hamburger noodle casserole that is different and delicious.  It will definitely delight your taste buds.

Hamburger Noodle Delight

1 (8 oz.) package medium egg noodles
1 1/2 pounds ground round
1 medium onion, chopped fine
2 small (8 oz.) cans tomato sauce
1 (8 oz. ) package cream cheese
1 (8 oz.) carton sour cream
2 cups grated Cheddar cheese

Cook noodles and set aside.  Combine tomato sauce, sour cream and softened cream cheese.  Mix until creamy and set aside.   Brown meat (I sprinkled salt, pepper and garlic powder on the meat) and onion together and drain the juices.

Spray a 2-quart baking dish with Pam.  Layer half the noodles in the bottom of the dish.  Then put the creamed mixture on top of the noodles (do not stir) and the rest of the noodles on top of the creamed mixture.  Finally place the meat mixture on top of the noodles and sprinkle with the grated cheese (remember, don't stir).  Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes until bubbly and cheese is melted and browned.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Pecan Pie Squares

Pecan Pie Squares, Pecan Pie, Pecan

Have a taste for pecan pie?  Try these Pecan Pie Squares.  They are more like a cookie than a pie.  Cookie?  Pie?  It doesn't matter because they are absolutely delicious!

Pecan Pie Squares

3 cups flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 teaspoon salt

Grease 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 x 1 inch jelly roll pan.  Beat on medium speed until crumbly.  Press firmly in pan and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

4 eggs, slightly beaten
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups Karo light or dark syrup (I used light)
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups pecans, chopped
3 tablespoons butter, melted

Mix all ingredients, except nuts, until well blended.  Add nuts and pour over baked layer.  Bake until set, about 25 to 30 minutes.  Cut into squares. 

HINT:  Cut into squares while still warm with a plastic knife.  After they cool, cut again.  I found that doing it this way the squares don't crumble and are easier to remove from pan.  I also took the knife around the edges while the squares were still warm.  The end pieces didn't seem to stick as bad to the pan since I did this.

Monday, May 16, 2011

South of the Border Dinner



I tried this recipe because I knew my husband would like it.  My husband kept saying, "This has a real nice taste to it!", as he went back for seconds and thirds and . . .  Yep, I knew he'd like it.

South of the Border Dinner

1 - 1/2 pounds ground beef or turkey (I made mine with turkey)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small bell pepper, chopped
1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
4 tablespoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 box cornbread mix (I used Jiffy)

In a skillet cook meat until browned, stirring so it will be broken up.(I seasoned meat with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.)  Add onion and bell pepper and cook until soft.  Add tomato sauce, chili powder and salt.  Cook until mixture is heated.  Pour mixture into a 9 x 9 baking dish ( I used a 11 x 7 dish).  Mix cornbread according to package directions.  Spread cornbread on top on mixture.  Bake at 400 degrees for 15 - 20 minutes until lightly browned.  Loosen side of pan with knife and invert onto platter.  Serve hot.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Parmesan Chicken Breasts

Now this is a delicious chicken breast recipe!  We eat a lot of chicken so I'm always looking for new recipes.  This is definitely one I will put at the top of my list.  My husband even said he was looking forward to me making this again.

Parmesan Chicken Breasts

6 - 8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 stick butter, melted
1 1/2 - 2 cups Pepperidge Farm herb seasoned stuffing mix
1/2 - 3/4  cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste

In a bowl crush dressing mix and add Parmesan cheese and mix together.  Season chicken with salt pepper and garlic powder.  Dip chicken breasts in melted butter, then coat with dressing mix.  Place in a shallow baking pan (I covered my pan with aluminum foil and sprayed with Pam).  Sprinkle a little more salt and pepper on top.  Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour.

Monday, May 2, 2011


As I was looking through my old cookbooks for recipes to try, I came across this recipe called "Yummies".  I guess the name intrigued me so I had to make them to see if they really were "yummy".  And yes, they smelled yummy while baking and tasted oh so yummy--plus they were so easy to make!  Man, these are some yummy "Yummies"!  You gotta try 'em!


1 yellow cake mix
1 stick butter, melted
1 egg
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese
2 eggs
1 pound box powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix first three ingredients together and put in the bottom if a 9 x 13 pan. (I sprayed my baking dish with Baker's Joy first.)  Next, beat together cream cheese, eggs, powdered sugar and vanilla.  (I used my mixer.)  Pour over above mixture.  Bake at 350 for 35 - 40 minutes.  Cool, cut into squares and refrigerate. 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Comfort Meatballs

I wanted to find a recipe where I had everything I needed and didn't have to make a run to the store to buy an ingredient.  So I was browsing some cookbooks and I found it--Comfort Meatballs.  You can find the recipe in The Pioneer Woman Cooks, page 172.  The author, Ree Drummond, says "These delicious meatballs are not in the same category of regular Italian meatballs that would go in spaghetti. . . These are more in the comfort food/meatloaf category."  Whatever category, these are absolutely delicious!

Comfort Meatballs                     

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
3/4 cup quick oats
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons very finely minced onion
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Plenty of ground black pepper

4 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup flour

1 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
4 to 6 tablespoons minced onion
Dash of Tabasco

1.  In a bowl, combine the ground beef and oats.
2.  Pour in the milk, then add the diced onion and salt.
3.  Add the black pepper, then stir to combine.
4.  Roll the mixture into tablespoon-size balls and refrigerate them for 30 to 45 minutes to firm.
5.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Heat the canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
6.  Dredge the meatballs in the flour.
7.  Brown the meatballs in batches until light brown.
8.  As they brown, place them into a rectangular baking dish.
9.  Stir together the sauce ingredients and drizzle the sauce evenly on the meatballs.
10.  Bake for about 45 minutes, or until bubbly and hot.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Spiced Honey Pretzels

Here's another easy recipe from the 2010 Taste of Home Annual Recipes book. Quick, easy, and tasty!

Spiced Honey Pretzels

4 cups thin pretzel sticks ( I used the square ones)
3 Tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon chili powder

Line a 15x10x1 inch baking pan with foil; coat the foil with cooking spray.  Place the pretzels in a large bowl.

In a small bowl, combine the honey, butter, onion powder and chili powder.  Pour over pretzels; toss to coat evenly.  Spread into prepared pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes, stirring once.  Cool on a wire rack, stirring gently several times to separate.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Gooey Chocolate Cookies

I was looking for an easy cookie recipe and found this one in my 2010 Taste of Home Annual Recipes book.  Not only was it easy, but the cookies were delicious. 

I always try to make my cookies and other sweets on the weekend so my daughter can take them to her Young Women.  That way I'm not tempted to eat all of them.  You know, I'm on a diet :-)  Well, the Young Women loved them.  Of course, they're just happy to have treats.  But I know they really liked these because they wanted the recipe.  So, here it is girls.

Gooey Chocolate Cookies

1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 package (18 1/4 oz.) chocolate cake mix

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy.  Beat in the egg and vanilla.  Add the cake mix and mix well (dough will be sticky).  Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Roll rounded tablespoonfuls of the dough into balls.  Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 9 - 11 minutes or until tops are cracked.  Cool for 2 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

**You can replace the chocolate cake mix with a different flavor.  I have a Lemon Supreme cake mix.  I bet that would be delicious.  I'm definitely going to try it.  My 98 year old mother-in-law loves lemon anything.  I think she will really enjoy these.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Moma Toby's Chopped Liver

I know what you're thinking--GROSS!  But have you ever tried Chopped Liver?  Whenever the whole family gets together, my mom always makes chopped liver.  It is so delicious.  Honest!  Even family members who hate liver, love my mom's chopped liver.  I decided to try to make it this past Thanksgiving.  Mom didn't really have a recipe, but she told me how to make it.  I must admit it turned out scrumptious.  Of course mom doctored it up a little when she arrived at my home for Thanksgiving dinner.  She added a little more salt, a little more onion, sugar, etc.  Whatever she did, it was the best chopped liver we have ever had.  (Hope I've inherited "Mom's touch".)

Moma Toby's Chopped Liver

2-3 pounds chicken livers, rinsed well
2- 3 large onions, chopped
vegetable oil
8-10 hard boiled eggs
3 teaspoons sugar
3 or more teaspoons mayonnaise
Salt and pepper to taste

Boil rinsed livers in water.  Add a little salt to the water and boil until livers get tender/soft and well done (about 45 minutes).  Drain livers and rinse again.  Clean grit from the middle (where it connects--Mom says you'll know when you see it).

Saute onions (Mom says lots of onions) in oil (about 1/4 cup) until onions are soft and clear.  Add livers and saute some more.  Mash livers with a fork when done. 
(Poor mom, she never had food processors.  But I mashed them with a fork, because I always do what "mom says"--usually.)

Add hard boiled eggs. (Mom says about 3 - 4 per pound of liver.)  Mash together and add to liver mixture.

Add sugar. (Mom says about 1 teaspoon per pound of liver)
Add Mayo.  (Mom says about 1 teaspoon or more per pound of liver.)
Add salt to taste.
Add more raw onion and mix well.

Mom says to go by taste and add more salt, onion, mayo, sugar, etc.

Serve with crackers--Mom says!

**Best if made a day or two before you serve--Mom says and she's right!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Well, I'm on a diet--AGAIN!  So now is the time to try those Mexican recipes that I usually don't eat because I won't be eating any.  I'm on a diet, REMEMBER!  

My family LOVED this chicken enchilada casserole!  So I had to have a little taste.  BIG MISTAKE!  You know how everything that you're not suppose to eat tastes so good when you're on a diet.  Did I say I was on a diet?  Oh well, I'll start my diet tomorrow--AGAIN!

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

6-8 chicken breasts, cooked and cut into cubes
2 cans (10 oz.) Mild Green Chili Enchilada Sauce
1 - 1 1/4 cups light sour cream
8 corn tortillas (6 inch), cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
4 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with Pam.  Layer half of the chicken, enchilada sauce, sour cream, tortillas and cheese.  Repeat layers.  Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes.  Uncover and bake 10 minutes longer, until bubbly.  Remove from oven and let sit for 15 minutes before serving.

**If you have a small family and don't want to make a big casserole, this is an easy recipe to half.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Susan's Charleston Chocolate Cake

Here is a recipe my friend, Susan, gave me after I raved about how delicious it was.  I told her I wanted to put it on my blog, so here it is. 

Susan's Charleston Chocolate Cake

2 cups all purpose flour

2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon soda
2 sticks butter
1 cup water
4 tablespoons cocoa
1/2 cup sour cream

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1 stick butter
6 Tablespoons milk
4 Tablespoons cocoa
1 box powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large mixing bowl, sift flour, sugar, salt and soda together and set aside.
  • Melt butter in a saucepan;then add cocoa and water
  • Remove from heat and pour over dry ingredients.  Mix thoroughly.
  • Add sour cream and eggs.
  • Transfer to lightly greased and floured pan (15 x 10 x 2).
  • Bake 25 minutes.  Frost while warm, still in pan.
  • For frosting, melt butter in saucepan and add milk and cocoa.
  • Cook over medium heat until it comes to a boil.  Remove.
  • Add powdered sugar, vanilla, and nuts. ( i left nuts out and sprinkled them on top.) Beat with mixer.
**Susan made the cake in a 9 x 13 pan and baked it a little longer.  This made it thicker and more fudgy (is that how you spell it?). 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Cornbread Casserole

Here's a great side your family will enjoy.  I first had this a year ago at Thanksgiving, but it is good anytime.  I actually served it with my turkey chili.  The family loved it smothered in the chili.

Cornbread Casserole

1 can cream style corn
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 cup sour cream
2 eggs
1 package Jiffy Corn Muffin mix

In a bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well.  Pour into a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish that has been buttered or sprayed with Pam.  Bake at 350 for 45 - 60 minutes.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Orzo with Pesto

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!  You're going to LOVE this easy side dish.  It was in the July 2010 issue of Southern Living with the recipe for the Balsamic Garlic Chicken Breasts.  It was really good, too.  And it was so easy!

Orzo with Pesto

1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
1/4 cup refrigerated pesto (I used the packaged pesto mix to make the sauce.  Or you can use Tricia's homemade pesto recipe.)
Grated Parmesan cheese

Cook orzo according to package directions, drain and put into a bowl.  Add the 1/4 cup pesto and stir together.  Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Balsamic Garlic Chicken Breasts

I found this recipe in my July 2010 Southern Living magazine.  It was sooooo good!  Can't wait to make it again.

Balsamic Garlic Chicken Breasts

4  (6 oz.) skinned and boned chicken breasts ( I made 5)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 Tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons honey

  1. Sprinkle chicken breasts with salt and pepper.  (I also put garlic powder on the chicken.)
  2. Melt butter with oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add chicken, and cook 6 - 7 minutes on each side or until done. (I cooked them longer, about 10 - 12 minutes on each side.)  Remove chicken, and keep warm.
  3. Add chicken broth and next 4 ingredients to skillet, and cook 5 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring to loosen particles from bottom of skillet.  Serve chicken with sauce.  (After the broth cooked for 5 minutes, I put the chicken back in the skillet for about one minute on each side and let it cook in the sauce before I served it.)
This was really delicious.  I enjoyed every bite!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Easy Conversions for Perfect Measures

I knew teaching 3rd grade Everyday Math would come in handy one day.  Here are some easy conversions for perfect measures.

1 tablespoon = 1/2 fluid ounce
1 cup = 1/2 pint = 8 fluid ounces
2 cups = 1 pint = 16 fluid ounces
2 pints = 1 quart = 32 fluid ounces
4 quarts (16 cups) = 1 gallon = 128 fluid ounces

3 teaspoons = 1 tablespoon
4 tablespoons = 1/4 cup
5 1/3 tablespoons = 1/3 cup
8 tablespoons = 1/2 cup
10 2/3 tablespoons = 2/3 cup
12 tablespoons = 3/4 cup
16 tablespoons = 1 cup

Monday, January 31, 2011

Ingredient Substitutions

Don't you just hate when you're going to make something for dinner and you're missing an ingredient?  Then it's a mad rush to the grocery store to pick up what you need and dinner is late.  Not anymore!  Here are some ingredient substitutions that may help:

If you don't have . . .
  • 1 cup self rising flour, use 1 cup all purpose flour plus 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion, use 2 tablespoons dried minced onion or 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder, use 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar plus 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, use 1 tablespoon cider vinegar or red wine vinegar plus 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk, use 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar plus enough milk to equal 1 cup (let stand 5 minutes before using) or 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 cups tomato sauce, use 3/4 cup tomato paste plus 1 cup water
  • 1 cup half-and-half or light cream, use 1 tablespoon melted butter or margarine plus enough whole milk to make 1 cup
I'm always missing spices and seasonings too.  So here are some substitutes, but be sure to use only half of what the recipe calls for.  That way you can add more to suit your taste.

If you don't have. . .

  • Ground allspice, use ground cinnamon, nutmeg, or cloves 
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard, use 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • Paprika, use just a "titch" (got this word from Brandi) of cayenne pepper
  • Ground cloves, use ground allspice, cinnamon or nutmeg
  • Chili powder, use a dash of bottled hot pepper sauce plus equal measures of ground oregano and cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper, use 2 to 3 drops of bottled hot pepper sauce
  • Ground cumin, use chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, use 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice, and 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning, use 3/4 teaspoon dried sage and 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning, use 1/2 teaspoon each of white pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, ground red pepper, paprika and ground black pepper
  • Fresh herbs, use 1/2 to 1 teaspoon dried herbs

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Brandi's Orzo Salad

Here's another one of our favorite "Brandi Recipes".

Brandi's Orzo Salad

8 oz. orzo , uncooked
1 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts
small garlic clove
1/2 cup basil chopped (optional)
1/4 pound feta cheese
1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Salt and Pepper
Cherry tomatoes and sliced black olives (however many you would like)

Cook orzo according to package.  Rinse in colander to help cool pasta.  Saute pine nuts in 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil.  Drain on paper towel.  Press garlic, mix with basil.  Whisk vinegar and oil, salt and pepper.  Stir all remaining ingredients in with cooked orzo.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Mexican Cassserole

Well, I'm in Charlotte, NC helping my son, Brian, take care of his four precious children.  His wife, Brandi, is in California visiting her mom.  Brandi's sister, Tiffany, is returning from her mission in Ithaca, NY.  She doesn't know Brandi is there.  What a great surprise!

Speaking of surprises, before Brandi left she made this Mexican Casserole for us to eat.   I'm not a real Mexican food lover, but I really enjoyed this casserole.  Brandi said she did use the mild ingredients just for me.  What a good daughter-in-law!  Thank you, Brandi.  I loved it.

Mexican Casserole
1 pound browned ground beef
2 cloves garlic, minced (or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)
1/4 cup chopped onions
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 (15 oz.) can red enchilada sauce
1 (12 oz.) jar mild taco sauce

1 can black beans, drained
1 can pinto beans, drained
1 can corn, drained
8 oz. shredded cheese
1/2 bag large tortilla chips, crushed

In a big pot mix the first six ingredients.  Bring to a boil, turn down, simmer for 20 minutes.  Stir occasionally.  Add beans and corn to mixture.

In a 9 x 13 pan, layer:
1/2 crushed chips
1/2 meat mixture
1/2 cheese

Bake at 375 for 30 - 35 minutes until bubbly and hot.

NOTE:  This makes a TON!  Feeds about 10 people.  (I don't know, Brandi.  Brian, the 4 kids and I almost finished it off--it was that good!)