Monday, September 17, 2007

Triple Chocolate Cookies

3 squares unsweetened baking chocolate
8 squares semisweet baking chocolate
6 Tbsp butter
1/3 cup flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease cookie sheets.

Melt squares of baking chocolate with butter in microwave, stir until smooth. Set aside.

Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In mixing bowl, beat eggs, sugar, and vanilla until slightly thickened. Add the melted chocolate mixture, mixing well. Add flour, again mixing well. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.

If batter is thin, allow to stand for 10 minutes.

Drop by heaping tablespoon onto cookie sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Makes approximately 3 dozen.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Snickers Pie

1 stick butter, cut up
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 Tbsp. cocoa powder
13 fun-size Snickers
garnish: additional cut up Snickers and chopped peanuts

Spray a 9 inch glass pie plate with nonstick spray.

Melt butter and brown sugar in large saucepan over medium heat until it starts to bubble. Remove from heat. Cool 10 minutes.

Into mixture, stir in 1 egg and the vanilla until blended. Stir in flour and baking powder until smooth.

Put 3/4 cup of mixture into prepared pie plate. Don't try to spread it now. Freeze for 10 minutes or until firm.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Stir melted chips, the remaining egg, and the cocoa powder into the remaining batter.

Take pie plate from freezer and press chilled batter evenly over bottom and halfway up sides of pie plate. Top with the 13 whole Snickers. Pour chocolate batter evenly over the top.

Bake for 24 to 27 minutes. Sprinkle remaining chocolate chips in middle. Let stand 5 minutes until chips become soft, then spread to near the blond crust. Top with garnishes.

Let cool before cutting.

Berry Freeze

14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 cups mini marshmallows
16 oz. can whole berry cranberry sauce
20 oz. can crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
few drops of red food coloring, if desired
8 oz. tub Cool Whip, thawed

In large bowl, whisk together sweetened condensed milk and lemon juice. Stir in marshmallows, cranberry sauce, pineapple, nuts, and food coloring. Fold in Cool Whip.

Spoon into a 9 x 13 inch glass baking dish. Freeze until firm (4 hours or overnight). Cut into squares and serve.

Sweet Potato Bread

1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup cold mashed sweet potatoes
2 Tbsp. milk
1/4 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a small mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add egg; mix well.

In separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. Add to creamed mixture just until blended. (Batter will be thick.)

Combine sweet potatoes and milk. Stir into batter until blended. Fold in raisins.

Spoon into 2 greased 5 3/4 in. x 3 in. x 2 in. loaf pans. Bake for 35-40 minutes.

Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

Tropical Fruit Salad

15 oz. can mandarin oranges, drained
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup mini marshmallows
20 oz. can pineapple chunks, drained
1 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp. chopped walnuts
1 Tbsp. brown sugar

In bowl, combine the oranges, coconut, marshmallows, pineapple, and sour cream. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Just before serving, sprinkle with walnuts and brown sugar.

Oatmeal Banana Muffins

1 1/2 cups oatmeal
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat over to 400 degrees.

Combine oatmeal, brown sugar, buttermilk, egg, and oil.

In separate bowl, mix together dry ingredients. Add to wet mixture and mix lightly.

Mash banana. Stir into mixture.

Fill greased muffin tins. Bake 25 minutes.

Makes 12.

Blueberry Sour Cream Muffins (a.k.a. Blueberry Hat Muffins)

Muffin batter:
1/3 cup soft butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup fresh blueberries

1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cream butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla.

In separate bowl, combine four and baking powder. Add to creamed mixture alternately with milk and sour cream. Fold in blueberries. Spoon into greased muffin tins.

Make topping: Mix brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Cut in butter until topping resembles course crumbs. Sprinkle on muffins.

Bake 20-25 minutes.

Makes approximately 12-14.

Italian Skillet Dinner

16 oz. box rotini
1 lb. bulk Italian sausage
2 14.5 oz. cans diced tomatoes
6 oz. can tomato paste
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Cook pasta.

Meanwhile, in large skillet or Dutch oven, cook sausage over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in tomatoes, including juice, and tomato paste. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove all but approximately 1/2 cup of sauce to a bowl.

Drain pasta. Place half over the sauce in the pan. Layer with half of the reserved sauce and 1 cup of the cheese. Repeat with remaining pasta, sauce, and cheese. Cover and cook over low heat for 10 minutes.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Orange Freezies

6 oz. can frozen orange juice concentrate
1 cup of milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/2 tsp. vanilla
20 ice cubes

Blend all ingredients in blender.

(Original recipe called for twice as much sugar, but I think they're delicious this way. In fact, I may try skipping the sugar entirely next time. Worth a try.)

Friday, July 20, 2007

Monday, June 4, 2007


6 large tomatoes
2 cups tomato juice
1 medium cucumber, seeded and finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 small green pepper, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp. vinegar
1-2 tsps Tabasco
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
croutons, optional

Plunge tomatoes in boiling water to loosen skins, about 30 seconds. Immediately immerse in cold water. Slip skins off. Core and coarsely chop.

In large bowl combine tomatoes, tomato juice, cucumber, onion, green pepper, garlic, oil, vinegar, Tabasco, salt, and pepper.

Cover and chill.

Top each serving with croutons, if desired.

*This is the perfect food for hot weather! We generally don't even bother with's so refreshingly good all by itself.

Crack Cookies

2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
10 Tbsp. butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup toffee pieces
3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Cream butter and sugars, about 4 minutes. Add egg and mix well. Add flour mixture and beat thoroughly. Stir in vanilla. Fold in chips, toffee bits, and nuts.

Drop 2 Tbsp size clumps onto ungreased baking sheets several inches apart.

Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

*I wish I knew who to give credit to for this recipe...these cookies are soooo good! I got the recipe from a scrapbook magazine--someone had featured it in their layout.

Veggie Squares

2 tubes crescent rolls
8 ozs. cream cheese, softened
1 cup cottage cheese
3/4 cup mayo
1 packet ranch dressing mix
fresh veggies, chopped

On large cookie sheet, roll out crescent rolls as one flat crust. Press together any gaps. Bake according to directions. Cool.

Mix cottage cheese, cream cheese, mayo, and dressing mix. Spread mixture on crust. Sprinkle with veggies, press lightly into cream cheese mixture. Refrigerate.

Cut into squares and serve.

*I like to use a mixture of colors in the veggies to make it look "pretty"...carrots, cucumbers, radishes, various colors peppers, etc.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Brownie Delight

plain brownie mix and ingredients to make brownies--13x9 size
1 cup chopped walnuts
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
16 oz. container Cool Whip, divided
2 boxes instant chocolate pudding
3 cups milk

Make brownies according to box, adding in the walnuts. Cool completely.

Beat cream cheese until smooth. Beat in powdered sugar. Fold in one cup thawed Cool Whip. Spread on top of cooled brownies. Put in fridge and chill at least one hour.

Whisk 3 cups of milk into the instant pudding. Let set 5 minutes. Spread on top of cream cheese layer.

Spread remaining Cool Whip (thawed) carefully on top of pudding layer. Refrigerate.

Hide the scale.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Mud Pie Cake

1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup cooking oil
1 Tbsp vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup water

Place flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a large resealable plastic bag. Seal bag. Shake to mix well. Put flour mixture into an ungreased 8x8 baking pan.

Use a table fork to make a well in the middle of the flour mixture. Measure the oil in a liquid measuring cup. Add the vinegar and vanilla to the cup. Stir. Pour into well in flour mixture. Add water.

Stir together all ingredients. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.

Cool. If desired, serve with vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup, and a maraschino cherry.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Crockpot Salsa Beef

2 to 2 1/2 lb. boneless chuck roast
16 oz. jar salsa
8 oz. can tomato sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
cooked rice

Mix salsa, tomato sauce, garlic, brown sugar, and soy sauce in crockpot. Cut roast into large pieces. Add to crockpot. Cook on high 2 hours. Switch to low and cook for 4-5 additional hours.

Serve over rice.

Easy Cavatini

16 oz. rotini, cooked and drained
1 lb. ground beef, browned
8 oz. sliced pepperoni
3 lb. jar spaghetti sauce
8 oz. shredded mozzarella

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together the ground beef, pepperoni, 3/4 of the cheese, and the spaghetti sauce. Mix in the rotini. Pour in large glass baking pan. Sprinkle on remaining cheese.
Bake for 30 minutes.

Everyday Corn Muffins

1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup canola oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Combine dry ingredients. Stir in milk, egg, and oil. Fill greased muffin tins 2/3 full. Bake 20 minutes.
Makes approximately 1 dozen.

Taco Soup

2 lbs. ground beef
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes
1 15-oz. can tomato sauce
1 15-oz. can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 15-oz. can whole kernel corn, drained
1 envelope taco seasoning
shredded cheddar, optional

In large Dutch oven, brown beef and onion. Drain.
Puree the tomatoes in blender. Add to pan with tomato sauce, beans, corn, and taco seasoning. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
If desired, top each serving with shredded cheese.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Homemade Rolls

1 package active yeast
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup warm milk
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tsp salt
4 cups flour

Mix together first 3 ingredients and let stand for 30 minutes. Add next 3 ingredients. Mix in flour 2 cups at a time. Cover and chill until ready to bake.

Divide the dough in half. Roll each half into a 9-inch circle. Cut each circle into 12 equal wedges (a pizza cutter works great for this). Roll up each wedge, starting at the wide end. Place on cookie sheets and let rise until double in size.

Bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Almost Stuffed Peppers

1 lb. ground beef
2 cups water
14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 large green pepper, diced into large pieces
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp pepper
2 cups uncooked instant rice

Brown ground beef. Drain. Set aside, keeping warm.

Meanwhile, combine water, tomatoes, green pepper, and seasonings in large pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until peppers are tender. Stir in rice; cover and remove from heat. Let stand for 5 minutes.

Stir in beef. Return to stove and heat through, if necessary.

Pizza Salad

16 oz. rotini, cooked, rinsed with cold water
2 large or 3 small tomatoes, diced
small bunch green onions, chopped (optional)
8 oz. cheddar cheese, cubed
2 oz. sliced pepperoni
2 Tbsp. canola oil
1/4 - 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. garlic salt

Mix all ingredients together.

*Note: I never measure anything for this recipe, and it always seems to come out great.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Red Grape Salad

20 oz can pineapple chunks
6 oz cream cheese,softened
2 Tbsp mayo
3 cups mini marshmallows
2 cups seedless red grapes, halved
1 cup Cool Whip, thawed

Drain pineapple, reserving 2 Tbsp juice. Set pineapple aside.
Beat juice, cream cheese, and mayo until fluffy.
Stir in pineapple, grapes, and marshmallows.
Fold in Cool Whip.
Serve immediately or refrigerate.

Arizona Slop

1-2 Tbsp oil
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
28 oz can diced tomatoes
16 oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
16 oz can corn
8 oz macaroni, cooked and drained
shredded cheddar (optional)

In large skillet, heat oil. Add onion, pepper, garlic, chili powder, and salt. Saute 4 minutes.
Stir in tomatoes, kidney beans, and corn. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.
Stir in macaroni.
Top each serving with shredded cheddar, if desired.

*Note: We love this with the cheese, but it is fine without it, too. Generally have tortilla chips with this, and sometimes corn bread.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Peanut Butter Date Muffins

1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 sugar
1 egg
1 3/4 cup flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
3/4 cup chopped dates
sugar to sprinkle on top of muffins

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cream peanut butter, butter, sugar, and egg.

In separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to creamed mixture alternately with milk. Stir in dates.

Spoon into greased muffin tins. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake 20 minutes.

(Makes 12.)

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Cheesy Potatoes and Ham

1 package (32 oz.) frozen cubed hash brown potatoes
2 cups cubed fully cooked ham
1 can condensed cheddar cheese soup, undiluted
3/4 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste

Combine potatoes and ham in crock pot. In bowl, whisk together soup, milk, salt, and pepper. Pour over potatoes. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Blueberry Spice Coffeecake

1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 stick butter, cut up
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups frozen blueberries, unthawed

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 8x8" pan.

Topping: Mix flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in bowl. Add butter and cut in with pastry blender. Stir in nuts.

Cake: Mix flour, baking powder, and baking soda. In separate bowl, beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg, sour cream, and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture until blended.

Spread batter in prepared pan. Scatter blueberries over top. Sprinkle on topping.

Bake for 50-55 minutes until lightly browned.

Cool in pan on wire rack before cutting.

Poppy Seed Muffins

3 cups flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
2 Tbsp poppy seeds
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup canola oil
1 1/2 vanilla extract
1 1/2 almond extract

In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, poppy seeds, baking powder, and salt.

In another bowl, beat eggs, milk, oil, and extracts. Stir into dry mixture just until moistened.

Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Cool in pan for 10 minutes, before removing to wire rack.

(Makes approximately 24)

Zucchini Oatmeal Muffins

2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup quick-cooking oatmeal
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
4 eggs
1 medium zucchini, peeled and shredded
3/4 cup canola oil

In large bowl, combine first 7 ingredients.

In separate bowl, beat eggs. Add zucchini and oil; combine. Pour over dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened.

Fill greased muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

(Makes approximately 20)

Chili Cheese Puff

5 eggs
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup cottage cheese
2 cups shredded Mont. Jack cheese
1/4 cup butter, melted
4 oz. can chopped green chilis, drained

In large bowl, beat eggs well. Stir in next 5 ingredients. Add chilis. Pour into a greased 8" square pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes. Serve immediately.