Thursday, December 3, 2009

Tomato Basil Soup

I got this recipe from an Enrichment night dinner. It's super easy and it tastes like it was made from scratch!

2- 15 oz. cans tomato soup
15 oz. Half & Half or Cream (one soup can full & a splash is about right)
4-6 Tbsp. Pesto sauce

Blend all of the above ingredients and bring to a simmer.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Spaghetti with Artichoke Hearts and Tomatoes

Pioneer Woman does it again! I don't think I've tried one of her recipes and not liked it. Every time I make something from her Web site, it's always a hit. And a good thing too, because I've been striking out on meals lately. Jason was so delighted when I made something that was actually eatable.

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 medium onion, finely diced
1 14.5 ounce can artichoke hearts (quartered or whole), drained
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes with juice
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup chicken broth, more as needed
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
salt & pepper to taste
1 pound thin spaghetti
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped chives or other herbs

Cook spaghetti till al dente. Drain and set aside.Melt olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Add artichoke hearts and tomatoes. Stir and cook for 8 to 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Stir in cream and chicken broth. Add salt and pepper to taste (do not under salt!) Cook over low heat until heated through, then turn off heat.Place drained pasta in a large bowl. Sprinkle with 1 cup Parmesan. Pour sauce over the top. Add chopped chives. Toss lightly to combine and coat; add a tiny bit of reserved pasta water if sauce seems too thick.

**I also added asparagus to the dish and it was perfect. I chopped up 1/2 pound (and I only used the top couple inches of each stalk) and added them in when sauteing the garlic and onions.

Friday, October 23, 2009


Last night I made a soup that was supposed to be close to Cafe Zupa's Wisconsin Cauliflower soup (my all-time favorite!). The blogger that posted it said it wasn't spot-on, but that it was close and she enjoyed it. Me, I hated it. So much that I threw away the rest. I never do that! But I did last night. And this is why I am not sharing the recipe. You're welcome.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Roasted-Vegetable Tacos

*So, I'm not sure what it is...but I really love this meal!

Roasted-Vegetable Tacos

Olive oil flavored cooking spray
1 Medium onion, cut into wedges
1 Medium bell-pepper, cut lengthwise into eighths
1 Medium zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 Cup sliced mushrooms (3 oz)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 Cup shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese (4 oz)
8 taco shells (I use soft corn tortillas or flour tortillas)
3/4 Cup salsa
Chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

1 Heat oven to 425. Spray cookie sheet pan with cooking spray.

2. Place onion, bell pepper, zucchini and mushrooms in single layer in pan. Spray with cooking spray. Sprinkle with salt and red pepper. Bake uncovered 20-25 minutes, turning vegetables once, until vegetables are tender.

3. Sprinkle cheese into taco shells or tortillas. Top with vegetables and salsa. Sprinkle with cilantro.

Honey Strawberry Shortcake Yogurt Parfait

*I found this on the blog

Honeyed Strawberry Shortcake Yogurt Parfait

4.5 oz package shortcakes, 4 count, cut into cubes
16 oz reduced fat vanilla yogurt
1 Cup chopped fresh stawberries
8 teaspoons honey
1 package Nature Valley Oats n’ Honey Crunchy Granola Bars (2 in package), crushed

Place an even layer of shortcake into 4 little parfait glasses. Top evenly with a couple spoonfuls of yogurt, then about ¼ Cup strawberries. Drizzle each cup with 1 teaspoon honey then top with a Tablespoon of crushed granola bar. Repeat this layering one more time and serve.
4 servings

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Honey Pecan Chicken

1 c. Butter
¾ c. Lemon juice
1 ¼ c. Honey
1 c. Pecan halves
Chicken breasts, cooked through

Melt butter in a frying pan. Cook until lightly brown. Add lemon juice and honey. Bring to a boil. Boil until lightly brown. Add pecan halves. Boil for 3 more minutes. Serve over chicken breasts and rice (optional).

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Cincinnati Chili

This is my very, very favorite meal. It seems a little intimidating because of all the ingredients but it's actually pretty easy. My dad makes this and it's super yummy. I seriously could eat it every day!

1 ½ lbs. ground beef
2 vegetable oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press
2 Tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. oregano
2 tsp. cocoa
1 ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
½ tsp. ground allspice
¼ tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. salt
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
2 Tbsp. cider vinegar
2 tsp. brown sugar
2 c. tomato sauce
1 lb. spaghetti, cooked and drained with a small amount of oil or butter mixed in


Shredded cheddar or Colby jack cheese
Red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
Onion, chopped
Fresh tomato, chopped
Cilantro, chopped
Green onion, chopped
Sour cream

Brown ground beef (you can also boil it) and drain. Set a large pan over medium heat and add the oil. When the oil is warm, add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft and browned around the edges (about 8 min.). Add the garlic and cook until fragrant (about 1 min.). Stir in the chili powder, oregano, cocoa, cinnamon, cayenne, allspice, black pepper and salt. Cook, stirring constantly until the spices are fragrant (about 30 seconds). Stir in the broth, water, vinegar, sugar and tomato sauce. Allow to cook until thickened (will not get very thick), scraping the bottom of the pan to remove any browned bits. Add the ground beef and increase the heat to high. As soon as the liquid boils, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the chili is deep red and has thickened slightly (about 1 hour).
Serve sauce over spaghetti and add toppings.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Easy Peasy Mac & Cheesy

This is a throw together, usually have everything on hand kind of meal. You'll love this.

2 cups penne pasta, boiled and drained
1/2 tsp kosher salt
3-4 tbsp butter
2 cups shredded colby jack cheese
3/4 - 1 cup milk

Spray a small baking dish with Pam & preheat oven to 375. In the baking dish, make a layer of half the noodles, sprinkle on half the salt and top with pats of butter and 1 cup cheese. Repeat to make another layer of noodles, butter, salt and cheese. Pour in milk until the dish is about 1/3 full of milk. Bake at 375 for 30 mins, uncovered.

Recipe found here

Monday, June 8, 2009

Honey-Dijon Roasted Fingerlings

I was at Harmons (my favorite grocery store) searching for food to serve for Sunday dinner. In the produce section, I noticed the fingerling potatoes, which I've always wanted to try, and right above them was a recipe. I figured it was worth a shot, but I didn't expect it to be nearly the hit it was. They were so easy and amazingly delish.

2 lbs assorted fingerling potatoes
4 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp honey
2 tbsp chives, freshly chopped

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Wash fingerling potatoes in cool water, pat dry and set aside. In a large mixing bowl toss together olive oil, salt, pepper, mustard and honey. Add fingerlings to mixture and coat each potato well. Transfer fingerlings to a 9x13 pan. Place in the center of oven and bake fingerling potatoes uncovered for 25 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork. Rotate frequently to cook evenly. Garnish with chopped chives and serve while hot.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Black Bean + Grilled Corn Salad

I'm taking over this week with the summery food posts, sorry!


2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp cumin
zest and juice of 2 limes
salt + pepper
1/3 cup olive oil

Whisk it all together and set aside

2 ears grilled corn, cut off the cob
2 cans rinsed and drained black beans
1 red pepper, diced
1 mango, diced

Toss everything in the dressing. Delicious served alongside a quesadilla or grilled chicken breast. If you half it like I did, it's perfect for two.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Peach Mango Salsa

This is so, so good on grilled chicken (prepared with a little lime juice, salt and pepper) or tilapia and just screams summer

1 ripe mango, diced
2 ripe peaches, diced
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
3 green onions, sliced
1 jalepeno pepper, seeded and diced
2 tbsps chopped cilantro
Juice of 1 lime
pinch salt

Combine everything in a bowl and let it sit in the fridge while you grill the meat. Spoon over meat, or chips, or whatever.

Josh's Mint Lemonade

This is the most delicious lemonade concoction ever

Freshly squeezed juice of 6-8 lemons
1 liter club soda
1/2 cup sugar (more or less if needed)

Mix these all together and pour into glasses with ice and 2-3 crushed mint leaves (crushing the mint releases the flavor)

Finish with 1 Dole Whole Fruit Juice Bar (raspberry, strawberry, blackberry, whatever you want) and stir to melt popsicle and swirl in flavor.

My favorite has 4 mint leaves and a strawberry-kiwi popsicle. Yum.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Magelby's Syrup (buttermilk syrup)

Have you guys eaten breakfast at Magelby's Fresh? If not, you are so missing out, mostly because they have the most amazing syrup ever. But now, I too have the recipe and I'm sharing it with you!

In a saucepan, mix:
1/2 C Buttermilk
1 cube butter
1 C sugar
1 tbsp Karo Syrup

Dissolve and boil

1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda

And done! Amazing over french toast, pancakes, waffles, or just eaten straight with a spoon. Don't tell my husband that I do that!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Tres Leche

My mom found this recipe online. I made it for KJ's birthday and it has become our new favorite!

1 pkg. yellow cake mix
1 pkg. vanilla instant pudding
1 c. milk
1 c. vegetable oil
4 eggs

Milk syrup:

1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk
1 c. half & half
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Top with Cool Whip and strawberries (optional). We don't usually do the cool whip.

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray. Put the cake ingredients into a bowl. Mix with a hand mixer on low speed until well mixed (for about 1 min.). Scrape the batter off the sides with a spatula and then beat an additional 2 min. on medium speed. The batter should be well blended. Pour into the greased pan. Bake at 350 for 30-35 min. When done, allow to cool.
While the cake is cooling, make the milk syrup. Whisk together the ingredients. Poke the cake all over with a fork. Using a large spoon, pour the milk mixture over the cake. Let the syrup soak into the cake. Continue doing this until all of the syrup is used up. When you have finished, not all of the syrup will be completely absorbed.
Cover the cake loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 2 hours (KJ says the longer the better it is).
Before serving, spread with Cool Whip and top with sliced strawberries.

German Chocolate Cake

This cake is a Stratton family classic. Here it is Bethany!

1 pkg. white cake mix
1 pkg. instant chocolate pudding
2 c. milk
1/4 c. flour
3 egg whites

Separate the egg whites and yolks. Save the yolks for later. Beat the egg whites until fluffy (have stiff peaks). Mix the other ingredients together then gently fold the egg whites into the mixture. Pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan and bake at 350 for 30-35 min.


3 egg yolks
1 c. canned milk
1/2 c. butter
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. coconut
nuts (optional)

Beat ingredients well. Cook for 12 min. or until thick. Add coconuts and nuts (we like pecans or walnuts). Spread frosting on the cake after it has cooled.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Honey Curry Rolls

I'm eating one of these right now and it is so amazing I had to share.

1 1/2 c. milk
1 1/3 c. vegetable oil
2 tbs. honey
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. curry powder
2 c. whole wheat flour
2 c. bread flour
2 tsp. yeast

We mix the ingredients in our breadmaker, but you can do it by hand as well. Once the dough is mixed, let it rise for one hour, then punch it down. Divide the dough in half and let rest for 15 minutes. Divide the dough into rolls and bake in ungreased cupcake tins for 10 minutes at 400 degrees. Enjoy!

The curry gives it a little kick and a great yellow color, but the honey saves it from being too hot.
It goes great with soup as well.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Turkey

I cooked my first turkey yesterday - yahoo! Here's what I did:

Reynold's turkey bag
2 tsp. flour
Half cube butter
Lemon, cut in half
Bunch fresh parsley

Put the flour in the bag and shake it around. Dab butter all over the turkey and put lemon and parsley in cavity. Put it in the oven til it's done (so technical, huh?)

And to go with it (aside from the obvious mashed yukon gold potatoes):

2 bags Mrs. Cubbison's seasoned stuffing mix
3 links sweet Italian sausage, cooked and drained
3/4 cup each diced yellow onion, celery, waterchestnuts and corn
1 cup butter
1 cup broth

Mix it all together and bake in a covered cassarole dish at 350 for 25 minutes.

2 lbs asparagus, washed & trimmed
2 tbsp butter
zest of 1 lemon
salt & pepper

Blanch asparagus and add butter and seasoning. Toss and serve.

Roasted Carrots
3 lbs carrots, peeled and cut on a diagonal into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup olive oil
salt & pepper
fresh dill

Toss carrots in olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast on cookie sheet at 350 for 45 minutes. Add fresh dill just before serving.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Chocolate Pudding Pie

Simple. Fast. Good.

Pie Filling
I got this recipe here
  • 1-1/4 cups cold milk
  • 2 pkg. (4-serving size each) JELL-O Chocolate Instant Pudding
  • 1 tub (8 oz.) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed, divided
  • 1 HONEY MAID Graham Pie Crust (6 oz.)
  • 2 Tbsp. multi-colored sprinkles
POUR milk into medium bowl. Add dry pudding mixes and half of the whipped topping. Beat with wire whisk 2 minutes. (Mixture will be thick.)
SPREAD into crust; cover with remaining whipped topping.
REFRIGERATE at least 1 hour or until ready to serve. Add sprinkles just before serving. Store leftover pie in refrigerator.

Amendment al a Annie:
* Skip the sprinkles and use crushed Symphony bar chunks
* I used the whole tub of Cool Whip (small size)--it lightened it up, then used another tub (I said GOOD, not HEALTHY, ok?) to frost the top.

Graham Cracker Crust
I got this recipe here
  • 1 1/2 cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)

Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, melted butter or margarine, and cinnamon until well blended . Press mixture into an 8 or 9 inch pie plate.
Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 7 minutes. Cool. If recipe calls for unbaked pie shell, just chill for about 1 hour.

Annie says: Keep the cinnamon. Yum.

I made this complete recipe in half an hour and everyone loved. It was awesome.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Crustless Spinach Quiche

Crustless Spinach Quiche

*I used real spinach leaves and cooked them down over the stove in a bit of water and drained them.

2 Cups shredded mozzarella cheese (8 oz)
1/2 Cup whipping (heavy) cream
1/3 Cup pesto
1 Package (10 ouches) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed to drain
5 Eggs
1 Cup chunky spaghetti sauce

Heat oven to 375. Spray quiche dish (9x1 1/2) with cooking spray. Mix 1 1/2 cups of the cheese, the whipping cream, pesto, spinach and eggs until well blended; pour into quiche dish. bake uncovered 25-30 minutes or until cheese is melted. Meanwhile, heat spaghetti sauce in small saucepan until hot; keep warm. Cut quiche into wedges. Serve with spaghetti sauce.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

4 Side Dishes = 1 Meal

On my quest to eat healthier (eat less meat, more veggies) I found that there are a lot more side dishes than main dishes to choose from. So, I made these four side dishes into a complete meal. It was delicious. (I found these recipes in Betty Crocker's November 1999 Holiday magazine...and I don't think St. Patrick's Day was the holiday they were thinking of...but I made it anyway.) Perhaps to make it looks like like 4 side dishes I would add more squash and put it over the rice.

Included in my meal:
Butternut Squash Saute
Hazelnut Parmesan Asparagus
Brown Rice
Beets (I didn't put recipe on...since I just got it from a can)

Butternut Squash Saute
Prep: 20 mins. Cook: 20 mins.

4 Slices of bacon (for vegetarian, take out bacon and add a little butter instead)
1 Medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
6 Cups 1/2 inch pieces peeled butternut squash (2 small)
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh or 1/8 dried thyme leaves
1/8 teaspoon pepper
3 Cups firmly packed baby spinach leaves

Cook bacon in 12-inch skillet over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp (or just melt butter for vegetarian style). Stire in onion. Cook about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onion is crisp-tender. Stir in squash, thyme and pepper. Cover and cook 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until squash is tender. Stir in spinach just until wilted.

Hazelnut Parmesan Asparagus
Prep: 15 mins. Cook: 10 mins.

2 Cups water
2 lbs asparagus spears (or 3 pkgs, 10 oz, frozen)
2 Tablespoons margarine or butter
1 Package (8 oz) sliced mushrooms (3 cups)
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh or 1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
1/4 Cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 Cup chopped hazelnuts (filberts)

Heat water to boiling in 12-inch skillet. Add asparagus. Heat to boiling; reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook 4-6 minutes or until crisp tender. Drain; set aside. (If using frozen, cook according to package directions.)

Melt margarine in skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in mushrooms. Cook 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, until mushrooms are light brown. Stir asparagus, basil, salt and pepper into mushrooms until vegetables are coated with seasonings and asparagus is heated through. Sprinkle with cheese and hazelnuts.

*We had the cheese and nuts on the side as optional...I actually forgot about them and ate without them...which was still really tasty but kind of defeated the purpose of it being called "Hazelnut Parmesan Asparagus".

Brown Rice

1 cup brown rice
2 cups water
(Just make sure you have the 1 to 2 ratio of rice to water.)

Put rice and water in a pan on the stove. Heat uncovered until water boils, reduce heat to low/simmer. Cover and let simmer for 40 minutes.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Baked Sandwiches

We had these for lunch today and they were delightful! (Note: we halfed the sauce)

1/2 c. butter
3 T. worchestershire sauce
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 - 4 tsp. poppy seeds
Melt in microwave.

Line up 12 rolls, sliced in half with meat and swiss cheese between 2 layers. Pour mixture evenly over the rolls in 9x13 pan.Bake 350 for 20 minutes.

Friday, February 20, 2009


So much better than a box mix.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 1/4 cups milk
1 egg
3 tablespoons butter, melted

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Make a well in the 
center and pour in the milk, egg and melted butter; mix until smooth.

Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter
onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Some girlfriends and I made this the other night and it was so delicious! I can't wait to make it again. Warning: it makes A TON of granola...

10 c. Oats
1 c. Wheat Germ
1/2 lb. shredded coconut
2 c. raw sunflower seeds
1 c. sesame seeds
3 c. almonds, pecans, walnuts (chopped)
1 1/2 c. brown sugar
1 1/2 c. water
1 1/2 c. vetetable oil
1 1/2 c. honey
1/2 c. molasses
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
3 tsp. vanilla
Any dried fruit (we had craisins, raisins, dried mango and dried pineapple)
-In a large bowl, combine oats, wheat germ, coconut, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and nuts.
-In a large saucepan, combine brown sugar, water, oil, honey, molasses, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla. Heat until sugar dissolves, but don't boil.
-Pour syrup over dry ingredients and stir until well-coated. Spread into five 13x9 cookie sheets with sides. Cook at 300 degrees, 20-30 minutes.
-Add fruit after taking it out of the oven and enjoy!
-If you want it crunchier, let it sit out for a few hours.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Pasta with Tomatoes, Arugula and Goat Cheese

Like most of my favorite recipes, this is super fast, easy and delish. This comes from my favorite cook book, like many of my favorite recipes. 

Kosher salt
3/4 lb cavatappi, fusilli or ziti (or any pasta shape that traps and holds sauces)
2 cups loosely packed arugula leaves (I substitute spinach sometimes)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, sans stems
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup crumbled fresh goat cheese
Freshly ground pepper

Bring a large pot three-fourths full of water to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons salt and the pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain the pasta, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking water, and place the pasta in a warmed serving bowl. Mix in arugula and keep warm.

Just before the pasta is ready, in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the tomatoes and, holding the pan handle, roll the tomatoes around by jerking the pan toward you, then pushing it away. While the tomatoes cook, sprinkle on the garlic. Keep the tomatoes moving until their skins crack, 1-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Spoon the tomatoes over the pasta. 

Dollop the goat cheese, 1 tablespoon at a time, on top of the tomatoes. Using a large fork and spoon, toss to combine, adding 1 or 2 tablespoons or more of the cooking water if the pasta seems dry. Season with pepper and serve.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Thai Peanut Noodles

Jason and I have a deep love for Thai food. So much so, that I don't dare re-create Thai food (specifically curries) at home because I know whatever I make won't come close to what's on the menu at Thai Ruby. But, I also have a love for quick easy meals and when I saw this recipe on Our Best Bites, I knew I had to try it. The verdict? Delish and easy, definitely something I'll be making again. And again. And, well, you get the idea.

Thai Peanut Noodles
1/2 c. chicken broth
3 Tbsp. creamy peanut butter
1-2 tsp. Sriracha chili sauce (1 is mild with a bite, 1.5 is medium, 2 is hot)
1 1/2 Tbsp. honey
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp. fresh minced ginger
2-3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
8 oz. linguine noodles
Chopped green onions
Chopped cilantro
2 limes, cut into quarters
Chopped peanuts

Cook noodles in salted water. In the meantime, combine chicken broth, peanut butter, chili sauce, honey, soy sauce, ginger, and garlic in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk until smooth and remove from heat. Toss cooked noodles with sauce and divide among 4 bowls. Sprinkle with green onions, cilantro, chopped peanuts, and garnish each serving with 2 lime quarters. Before eating, squeeze lime juice over noodles and stir to combine.

*If desired, you can add meat to this dish by stir-frying shrimp or very thinly-sliced chicken (partially freeze it first) in some olive oil with a couple cloves of garlic, some fresh ginger, some green onions, soy sauce, and a small squirt or two of Sriracha chili sauce.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Super Easy Peanut Butter Cookies

OK, here's my first post on this blog. This is the recipe I always share because I really like it...but most of all, it's easier than any other recipe I've ever heard of.

Peanut Butter Cookies

1 Cup Peanut Butter (I like a good brand over a generic brand)
1 Cup Sugar
1 Egg

Mix ingredients together. Cook for 8-10 minutes at 350. Let cool before eating or else they will crumble a lot. ENJOY!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Awesome Easy Cheese Ball

My friend made this for Bunco and I loved it, so I got the recipe. I have made it twice in two weeks for parties at our house and people gobble it up. And it takes like five minutes to make. Suh-weeet!

2-8 oz packages of cream cheese (16 oz total)
2 tablespoons fresh parsley
2 tablespoons red onion
2 tablespoons celery
3 tablespoons dry ranch dressing mix
1 bag of chopped walnuts
Crackers of your choice (wheat thins go well, or any party cracker)

Chop the onion and celery into a small dice and cut up the parsley. Let the cream cheese get to about room temperature (just easier to mix that way). Throw the cheese, parsley, onion, celery and ranch dressing in a bowl and mix 'er up.
Now it's time to form the cheeseball. This is how I do it, but I'm sure there are other ways that work just as well:
Get a piece of tinfoil and spread probably half the bag of nuts on it. Then spoon the cheese mixture (in some sort of roundish shape) on top of the nuts. Place your hands underneath the foil and lift it-with the nuts-around the cheese and start forming a ball. Use leftover nuts to fill in any holes or extra spaces so that the entire cheeseball is covered in walnuts.
Stick the cheeseball in the fridge to firm up a bit and then set it out about 10 minutes before you are ready to serve.
GUYS especially loved this, so it would be great for Superbowl parties or game nights.

Homemade Marshmallows

.75-oz unflavored gelatin (3 envelopes of Knox gelatin)
1/2 cup cold water
2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cups light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Line 9 x 9-inch pan with plastic wrap and lightly oil it. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water. Soak for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine sugar, corn syrup and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a rapid boil and boil hard for 1 minute.
Pour the boiling syrup into soaked gelatin and turn on the mixer, using the whisk attachment, to high speed. Add the salt and beat for 12 minutes. After 12 minutes, add in the vanilla extract beat to incorporate.
Scrape marshmallow into the prepared pan and spread evenly (Lightly greasing your hands and the spatula helps a lot here). Take another piece of lightly oiled plastic wrap and press lightly on top of the marshmallow, creating a seal. Let mixture sit for a few hours, or overnight, until cooled and firmly set.
In a shallow dish, combine equal parts cornstarch and confectioners’ sugar. Remove marshmallow from pan and cut into equal pieces with scissors (the best tool for the job) or a chef’s knife. Dredge each piece of marshmallow in confectioners’ sugar mixture.
Store in an airtight container.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Twice baked potatoes

One of my goals for the new year is to cook a lot more often and try new recipes. As a result, I'm hoping you'll see an increase amount of content on this blog from me. 

Tonight for dinner I made twice baked potatoes and steamed broccoli. I had also planned on making a steak for Jason, but I forgot to get it out of the freezer yesterday to start the thawing-out process. Oops! Anyway, Jason loves twice baked potatoes, and they're not hard, but for some reason I've only made them once since we've been married so today I decided to change that. Here is the recipe I used, it's a real winner!

4 Yukon Gold potatoes (higher nutritional value than your traditional russet)
1 cube butter
1/2 cup sour cream
bacon bits (fake ones for us)
1 cup shredded cheese
black pepper
seasoning salt

Bake the potatoes naked (sans foil) on a cookie sheet at 400 degrees for an hour. When the potatoes are done cooking, cut them in half.

In a mixing bowl combine butter (easier if you've pre-sliced it), sour cream, bacon bits and the insides of the potatoes. Smoosh around with a potato masher, mix up in a mixer. Then add the cheese, a pinch (or more) of pepper and a dash (or more) of seasoning salt and mix. 

Spoon the mixture into the potato shells then put a little pile of cheese on top of each stuffed potato. Put them back into the oven at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.