Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Chewy Chocolate Chip Bars

Michael S.

1/2 C Melted Butter
1 1/2 C Granulated Sugar
3 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla
2 C Flour
3/4 tsp Baking Powder
3/4 tsp Salt
1 C. Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (please see the note below)

1. Mix all ingredients.
2. Pour batter into a greased 13x9 pan.
3. Bake in a 350 degree oven for approx. 20 minutes.

The original recipe (as I received it) actually called for dried
cherries or maraschino cherries. Logically, it follows that the cookies
were originally called Chewy Cherry Bars. I don't like cherries so I
replaced them in the recipe with chocolate chips. I usually make them
using only semi-sweet chocolate chips. However, on the day that I made
them for you I didn't have enough semi-sweet chocolate chips. So I used
equal amounts of semi-sweet and white chocolate chips. Whatever you
decide to use I hope you enjoy these great cookies.

Mock Thin Mints

Jennifer S.

2 sleeves of round crackers (like Ritz)
1 package mint flavored chocolate almond bark or melted minty chocolate chips (12 ounces) Melted in microwave until smooth.
If you can't find mint chocolate then you can add a few drops of peppermint extract to the melted chocolate. Be careful!! The chocolate could "seize" or get hard and lumpy. If that is the case, DON'T panic, just add a pat or two of butter and reheat to melt back to its smooth self again.

Dip crackers in melted chocolate and let set on wax or parchment paper. Tastes so close to a Thin Mint you may be looking for the girl scouts ;)

Hockey Pucks

Jennifer S.

The name comes from how the cookie looks – just like a real puck!

2 sleeves of round crackers (like Ritz)
8 ounce peanut butter (creamy spreads more easily)
1 package chocolate almond bark or melted chocolate chips (12 ounces)

Spread peanut butter between two crackers to create sandwiches. Melt almond bark over low heat until melted. Drop sandwiches gently into chocolate and swirl until covered. Place hockey pucks onto wax paper. Let cool before removing from wax paper. Store in an airtight container and enjoy.

Chocolate Gingerbread Men

Jennifer S.

These make great gift for your neighbors (hint, hint)

4 ounces Ghirardelli 60% Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Bar
1/2 cup Ghirardelli Unsweetened Cocoa
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
2 tablespoons ground ginger
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup molasses
1 large egg

Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler or in a heatproof bowl over simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth. Set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, brown sugar, white sugar, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the molasses, egg, and melted chocolate and continue beating on medium speed for an additional 2 minutes. On low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients and mix just until combined.
Transfer the dough to a flat surface and flatten into a disk. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, or up to 5 days.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Divide the chilled dough into four equal quarters, leaving three quarters in the refrigerator. Lightly flour a flat work surface and roll out one piece of dough to a thickness of about 1/8 inch. Using a small (2 to 2 1/2 -inch) gingerbread man or woman cookie cutter, cut out as many cookies as possible. Place the cookies on the prepared cookie sheets, about 1 inch apart. Gather all the dough scraps into a ball and place in the refrigerator. Take out another quarter of the dough, and continue rolling out the dough and cutting cookies until all the dough has been used.
Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes until slightly raised. Using a spatula, remove the cookies from the cookie sheets, transferring to a wire rack to cool.

These also make fun sandwich cookies. For a nice contrast, use white chocolate frosting to create a filling between two gingerbread men. Use frosting and small candies or sprinkles to decorate as desired.

Outrageous Chocolate Chip Cookies

Jennifer S.

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, cream together the butter, white sugar and brown sugar until smooth. Stir in the peanut butter, vanilla and egg until well blended. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; stir into the batter just until moistened. Mix in the oats and chocolate chips until evenly distributed. Drop by tablespoonfuls on to lightly greased cookie sheets.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven, until the edges start to brown. Cool on cookie sheets for about 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

The Basics to Hosting a Holiday Cookie Exchange Party

Do you love setting the table with a huge assortment of cookies but can't stand the thought of spending several days baking? Then a cookie exchange party is the perfect party for you!

It's simple to organize and throw your own party--we'll walk you through it. Check out our tips to make the party extra-special, and browse our Christmas cookie recipes from around the world.

The Basics

Ask each guest to bring a big batch of cookies: estimate 1 dozen multiplied by the total number of guests. Provide guidelines to each baker so that you get a good cookie assortment: rolled cookies, bar cookies, drop cookies, decorated cookies. Your friends may have family recipes they wish to share.

Each guest should also bring copies of their cookie recipe and containers to take cookies home. Heavy duty plastic freezer bags will work for sturdy cookies, but decorated cookies and more delicate shapes should be packaged in tins or sealable plastic containers. Provide waxed paper or parchment for separating layers of cookies.

Party Nibbles

You may want to sample the cookies you're swapping, or you can stay away from sweet treats and set out an array of savory snacks (popcorn, pretzel, party mix, chips with hot dips). Cocoa, hot cider or eggnog are always good choices for a cookie exchange party.

Variety is the Spice of Life

To make your Cookie Exchange Party extra-special.

1. Extend Your Circle of Sharing

Have guests to bring an unopened package of store-bought cookies or canned food. You can then collect the packaged food and bring them to a homeless shelter or food pantry.

2. Share Cookie Stories

During the actual cookie-swap segment of the party, tell stories. It could be a story about the cookie's origin, where the cook learned the recipe, or just holiday baking memories.

3. Create Cookie Recipe Booklets

Ask your guests to mail (or e-mail) their cookie recipes to you, or collect the recipes on the day of the party. Assemble a booklet of recipes for everyone to take home with them.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Santa Claus Nutter Butter Cookies

Jennifer S.

These are NO bake, and so cute!!

2 ounces white baking chocolate, chopped
1 package (1 pound) Nutter Butter sandwich cookies
Red colored sugar
32 vanilla or white chips
1 pkg mini M&M's

In a microwave, melt white chocolate at 70% power for 1 minute; stir. Microwave at additional 10- to 20-second intervals, stirring until smooth.
Dip one end of each cookie into melted chocolate, allowing excess to drip off. Place on wire racks. For Santa's hat, sprinkle or dip the red sugar on top part of chocolate. Press one vanilla chip off-center on hat for pom-pom; let stand until set.
Dip other end of each cookie into melted chocolate for beard, leaving center of cookie uncovered. Place on wire racks. With a dab of melted chocolate, attach mini M&M's for eyes and a red one for nose. Place on waxed paper until set. Yield: 32 cookies.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Devil's Food Cookies

Crystal S.

2 boxes Devils Food Cake mix
4 eggs
2/3 cup oil, (I only did one box so it was half of each)

mix and it gets thick and sticky...hands on kinda mess!
Bake them for about 10 min.
I left them cool then used Pillsburt Fluffy white frosting and some Christmas Sprinkles.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Soft Sugar Cookies for Dummies

Jennifer S.

2/3 cup shortening
2/3 cup butter
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup granulated sugar for decoration (used colored if you feel festive).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a medium bowl, cream together the butter, shortening and sugar. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt, stir into the creamed mixture until dough comes together. Roll dough into walnut sized balls and roll the balls in sugar. Place them on an unprepared cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.
Bake cookies 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven, until bottom is light brown. Remove from baking sheets to cool on wire racks.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Giant Chocolate Chip Cookies

Jennifer S.

Like almost any chocolate chip cookie, these are best eaten the day they are made, but will keep in an airtight container for up to 2 days. IF they last that long ;)

1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats (do not use instant or quick oats)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 12-ounce package semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter 3 large (16 by 14-inch) nonstick baking sheets.

Place oats and 1/2 cup flour in processor; blend until oats are almost ground, about 10 seconds. Transfer oat mixture to medium bowl. Mix in remaining 1 cup flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

Using electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter in large bowl until light, about 1 minute. Add both sugars and beat until well blended, about 1 minute. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until well blended, about 1 minute. On low speed, beat in dry ingredients just until blended (do not over beat). Stir in chocolate chips.

Drop batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto prepared sheets,(or use a trigger ice cream scoop) spacing evenly apart and forming 6 mounds per sheet. Bake cookies 8 minutes. Reverse cookie sheets and continue baking until golden brown, about 8 minutes longer. Cool cookies on sheets for 5 minutes. Using metal spatula, transfer cookies to racks and cool completely. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Store in airtight container at room temperature.)

Mix 1 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans, walnuts or macadamia nuts into dough.
Replace semisweet chocolate chips with milk chocolate or white baking chips, or use a mix of all three.

Beary Cute Cookies

Jennifer S.

3/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Additional sugar
30 miniature milk chocolate kisses or LARGE chocolate chips
60 miniature M&M baking bits

In a mixing bowl, cream shortening and sugars. Beat in egg and vanilla; mix well.

Combine the flour, salt and baking soda; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well (dough will be crumbly).

Set aside about 1/2 cup of dough for ears. Shape remaining dough into 1-in. balls; roll in additional sugar. Place 3 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Flatten to about 1/2-in. thickness.

Roll reserved dough into 1/2-in. balls; roll in sugar. Place two smaller balls about 1 in. apart touching each flattened ball (do not flatten smaller balls).

Bake at 375 degrees F for 10-12 minutes or until set and edges are lightly browned. Remove from oven; immediately press one kiss and two baking bits into each cookie for nose and eyes. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

Chewy Chocolate Cookies

Jennifer S.

These freeze exceptionally well-layer them in a freezer-safe container between sheets of wax paper; thaw 15 minutes at room temperature before serving.

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 large egg whites
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped and melted (see Tip)

Two foolproof ways to melt chocolate: Bring 1 inch of water to a simmer in a double boiler set over medium-high heat, then place chocolate in the top pan. (Alternatively, to improvise a double boiler, place chocolate in a heat-safe mixing bowl that fits snugly over a pan with 1 inch of simmering water). Stir until half the chocolate has melted. Remove the bowl and continue stirring until the chocolate has
fully melted. Cool for 5 minutes at room temperature.

Place the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on High for 1 minute. Stir well, then continue microwaving in 30-second increments on High until two-thirds of the chocolate has melted, stirring well after each heating. Remove the bowl and continue stirring until all the chocolate has melted. Cool for 5 minutes at room temperature.

Enhancements: Stir 2/3 cup raisins, dried cherries or dried blueberries into the Chewy Chocolate Cookies batter along with the flour mixture. Or use 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts.
Position rack in the center of the oven; preheat to 350° F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

Whisk all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Beat egg whites in a large bowl with an electric mixer until foamy, about 1 minute. Beat in granulated sugar in a slow, steady stream. Scrape down the sides, then beat in brown sugar 1 tablespoon at a time. Beat until smooth, about 3 minutes. Beat in vanilla and melted chocolate. Stir in the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon until just incorporated.

Drop the batter by tablespoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheet, 1 1/2 inches apart.

Bake the cookies until flat yet springy, with slightly cracked tops, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Let the pan cool for a few minutes before baking another batch; replace parchment paper if torn or scorched.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Grandpa's Cookies

Kami S.

1 lb. Butter
1 C sugar
5 C flour

Mix butter and sugar until fluffy. Begin adding flour a scoop at a time. Roll out and cut into desired shape. 14 minutes at 350.

Grandpa only cooked them 11 minutes, but I guess if you cook longer then some people like them better as they are crispy. And I have found they come out better if you have cold butter...don't let it get at room temperature. And make sure you whip the butter and sugar at least 5 minutes before you start adding the flour. These are tips from Grandpa and Aunt Wendy and I found if we keep the butter cold, they seem to come out better too. Happy baking!!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Chocolate Crinkles

Roberta B.

1 1/2 c sugar
1/2 c cooking oil
3 1-oz squares unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
2 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
1/4 c milk
2 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
confectioner's sugar

Combine first 4 ingredients. Beat in eggs, one at a time; beat well after each. Stir in milk. Stir flour and backing powder together. Stir into egg mixture. Chill. Using 1 tablespoon dough for each, shape into balls; roll in powdered sugar. Place on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 10 to 12 minutes. While warm, roll again in powdered sugar. Makes 4 dozen.

Growing up I always made a double batch of these. One year my sister put salt in the container that normally held sugar and didn't change the label. I didn't know about the switch and ended up putting in 3 cups of salt instead of sugar. My mom couldn't figure out why the batch didn't stick together even after keeping it in the refrigerator longer than usual. When we tasted it we finally figured out why it wouldn't stay together. We had to throw out the entire double batch of mix and start all over again.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Swiss Steak

Melissa L.

1-2 lbs Sirloin (trimmed and cut into big chunks)
1 onion
1 bell pepper
2 – 3 cans stewed tomatoes (We like a lot of tomatoes)
Flour for dredging

1. Dredge the sirloin chunks in flour and fry just until lightly browned. (Does not need to be cooked through). Put Sirloin in crock pot.
2. Dice onion and bell pepper then place in crock pot over and around sirloin.
3. Pour stewed tomatoes over sirloin, onions, and bell pepper.
4. Cook on low for 8 hours.
5. Serve with mashed potatoes (my family uses the sauce like gravy…we LOVE tomatoes!)

Mushroom Chicken

Melissa L.

4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 pkg. dry chicken gravy mix
1 - 10 ¾ oz. can cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup
1 4-oz can of sliced mushrooms, drained OR 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1 cup white wine (I use the cheapest stuff I can find). Could use apple juice instead.
Please don't be turned off by the wine...the alcohol cooks out but leaves a yummy, mellow flavor.
1 - 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
egg noodles boiled and drained

1. Put the chicken in a crock pot. Sprinkle gravy mix on top. In a separate bowl, combine the soup and wine and then pour over chicken/gravy mix. Sprinkle with mushroom pieces.
2. Cover. Cook on low 8 hours.
3. During last 30 minutes of cooking time, stir in cream cheese (I cut it into small chunks). Before serving, remove chicken (keeping it warm) and whisk the sauce until smooth.
4. Break up chicken and return to sauce.
5. Serve over egg noodles.

Easy Chicken Cacciatore

Jennifer S.

2 tsp. oil
1 chicken (3-1/2 lb.), cut up (Or use one bag of boneless, skinless breasts, thawed
1 envelope Italian Dressing Mix
1 jar (28 oz.) chunky-style spaghetti sauce
1 small green pepper, diced
6 cups hot cooked ziti pasta

HEAT oil in large skillet on medium heat. Add chicken; cook until browned on all sides, turning occasionally.

SPRINKLE dressing mix over chicken. Add spaghetti sauce and green pepper. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover.

SIMMER 25 to 30 min. or until chicken is cooked through, stirring occasionally.
BOIL and drain pasta while waiting for chicken to simmer.

Serve over pasta.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Turkey Mole (or Chicken)

Jessica S.

1 jar mole paste (find in hispanic section of grocery store-dona maria is a good brand)
1-2 pounds meat cooked

make mole sauce according to directions on jar (you can drain off the excess oil from the mole before you start mixing). heat and stir until paste is melted/blended into the sauce. Add sugar to taste. (you may not need any sugar- just a little goes a long way)

Add cooked meat. mix well. simmer on low heat until heated through.

Serve over mexican/ spanish rice, or with tortillas, sour cream, shredded cheese, salsa guacamole, lettuce etc.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Fluffy & Flaky Biscuits

Michael S.

•2 c. flour
•1 T. baking powder
•1/2 t. baking soda
•1/2 t. salt
•1/2 c. butter, frozen
•1/2 – 1 c. milk

1. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
2. Quickly grate the frozen butter on a cheese grater.
3. Cut the frozen butter into the flour mixture. You can use two knives to cut in the flour, but I always find my hands are the best tools for this job. It gets done quickly and effectively with little effort.
4. Pour in the milk, starting with just a half cup and adding more as needed until the dough comes together. You want the dough to be soft, but not too soft to handle.
5. Pour the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead for just a minute.
6. Roll the dough into a rectangle. Fold it on top of itself to make 3 or 4 layers. Roll out again and fold into thirds or fourths. Repeat at least one or two more times.
7. For the final rolling of the dough, leave it about an inch thick. Cut out biscuits with a biscuit cutter or glass.
8. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 425 degrees for 8-10 minutes, until lightly golden brown on top. Fold remaining dough back together and roll out again. Repeat process until done.
You should get about 8 – 10 biscuits out of this recipe, depending on how big you make them. They rise nice and high and be full of fluffy, flaky layers. It just doesn’t get any better!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Pork Sausage Dressing

Jennifer S.

8 pork sausage links, boiled in 2 C. chicken stock, until no longer pink. Reserve stock, and remove casing from sausage and cut into 1/2" - 1/4' pieces
1 lg white onion THINLY sliced and sweated in one stick of butter
1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp poultry seasoning.
Add to the saute pan the seasonings just before the butter is absorbed into the onion. Stir to release aromatic oils. Remove from heat.
1 loaf of bread, broken up into quarter sized pieces (I save ALL my bread ends in the freezer, then thaw and break up). Place in bowl.
Add onion, sausage pieces, and chicken stock. Stir well.
Add 2-3 lightly beaten eggs. Add eggs one at a time so you can gauge the moisture of the dressing.
Place in a buttered 9x9 or in a buttered crock pot. If doing in the oven..Cover with foil. Bake in oven at 350 for 40 minutes then remove foil for 10-15 minutes. Toothpick should come out clean.

If in the crock pot...cover with foil cook 1 hrs on high then 2 hrs on low. Make sure to butter crock or use a baking bag.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Easy Enchiladas

Mileka T.

1 bag defrosted (about 3 min in microwave) Easy Shredded Chicken (recipe on blog)
sour cream
flour tortilla (or corn)
enchilada sauce

1. mix chicken, sour cream, some cheese (this is not an exact science put as much sour cream and cheese as you like)
2. coat tortilla with enchilada sauce (one side)
3. flip over and put 2 spoons of chicken mix (on non-coated side)
4. roll like a burrito
5. put in greased/foil lined pan (seam side down), repeat
6. pour leftover chicken sauce on top of enchiladas
7. sprinkle cheese

bake @350 20-30 min.

Easy Chicken Bake

Mileka T.

1 bag defrosted (about 3 min in microwave) Easy Shredded Chicken (see recipe posted on blog...I wish I was smart enough to put the link in)
1 large/2-3 regular size cans cream of mushroom
1 bag frozen broccoli florets
1 box stuffing

1. mix chicken, cream of mush (you can add milk to make it creamier/thinner-1/2 c.)
2. put in greased pan
3. sprinkle frozen broccoli
4. prepare box stuffing
5. sprinkle stuffing
6. sprinkle cheese

bake @350 for 30 min.
Easy Chicken Bake
1 bag defrosted (about 3 min in microwave) easy shredded chicken
1 large/2-3 regular size cans cream of mushroom
1 bag frozen broccoli flourettes
1 box stuffing

1. mix chicken, cream of mush (you can add milk to make it creamier/thinner-1/2 c.)
2. put in greased pan
3. sprinkle frozen broccoli
4. prepare box stuffing
5. sprinkle stuffing
6. sprinkle cheese

bake @350 for 30 min.

Easy Shredded Chicken

Mileka T.

Frozen chicken in crock pot on low for 8 hours

chicken broth

Freeze in sandwich size zip bags.

Use for Easy Shredded Chicken Recipes...posts to follow.

*other easy...easy shredded chicken uses
pizza topping
salad topping
in a cheese quesadilla
covered in gravy on mash potatoes
in a baked potato
etc...get creative!!!

1-2-3 Easy Bread (we hand knead...even my kids can do fail):

Mileka T.

makes 2 loaves

6-8 c. flour

3 c. warm water
2 tb. yeast
1 c. sugar

3 tb. powdered milk
2 tb. oil
1 tb. salt

1. mix all ingredients (except for flour)
2. add 4 c. flour, mix
3. add 1 cup of flour , knead
4. add 1/2 c. flour at a time while kneading until not sticky
5. oil pans, half bread, put in pans, cover with dish cloth
6. rise 20 min (I turn my oven on while I'm putting the bread in the pan and shut it off and put my covered bread pans to rise in the oven...nice and toasty)
7. bake @400 20 min

this recipe is awesome. you can add almost anything with the flour...I add it in before the flour (after step #1-mixing it in with the wet ingredients...wheat germ, flax, dried/powdered mash potato mix, vegetable puree, dry powdered vegetables, get creative!)

Box Cake Cookies

Mileka T.

1 box cake mix
2 eggs
1/2 c. oil/butter

1. mix
2. drop on cookie sheet
3. bake at 350 for 8-10

Monday, November 14, 2011

Spinach Lasagne

Jennifer S.

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 1-lb packets frozen spinach (or use fresh)
7 1/2 instant lasagne sheets
16-oz low fat ricotta cheese
Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in a frying pan and gently cook the onion and garlic for 3-4 minutes, without browning. Add the spinach and cook until the spinach has thawed and is hot.
Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease a shallow 13x9 oven proof dish.
Dip two and a half lasagne sheets in hot water for 1 minute, then place on the bottom of the dish. Cover with half the spinach mixture and dot one-third of the ricotta on top, sprinkle with nutmeg. Repeat, then top with the remaining two and a half lasagne sheets, finishing with a layer of ricotta.
Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake for 30 minutes.

Mexican Pork

Jennifer S.

This recipe makes a delicious filling for tacos or tortillas. Serve with sides of shredded lettuce, onion, peppers, and chopped tomatoes.

3 pound boneless pork roast
1 pack taco seasoning mix
1 teaspoon garlic powder
4 ounce can chopped green chilies, drained
1 cup water

Place pork roast in bottom of slow cooker.
Mix remaining ingredients together and pour over roast.
Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours.
Break pork apart with a fork while still in slow cooker.

Quick & Easy BBQ Meatloaf

Jennifer S.

1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
1/2 cup quick oats, uncooked
1/2 cup onion, chopped finely
1 egg, beaten

1 Mix all ingredients except 1/4 cup of the barbecue sauce.
2 Shape into loaf in 12x8-inch baking dish.
3 Bake at 375°F for 45 to 50 minutes or until cooked through. Let stand 5 minutes. Top with remaining barbecue sauce.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Homemade Rice-A-Roni

Jennifer S.

1 cup of brown rice
1 cup of broken pieces of spaghetti
2 tablespoons of butter
2 cups of broth (chicken or beef of your choice)

Melt butter in large skillet over medium high heat. Add spaghetti and sauté until browned. Add rice to skillet. Add broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cover. Simmer until all liquid is absorbed, about 30 minutes.

Million Dollar Roast Beef

Jennifer S.

1/2 cup of soy sauce
1/2 cup of apple cider/juice
1 clove garlic, sliced
5 slices of fresh ginger root
4 - 5 pound roast beef

Mix the first 4 ingredients well. Place roast in a Ziploc bag and pour marinade over it. Zip shut bag and place in refrigerator for 24 hours. Turn roast 3 times in the bag during 24 hour period. Remove from marinade and place roast in any size pan that will accommodate the roast and bake, uncovered, for 1 1/2 hours in 300ºF. oven. Remove and cool. Slice at 45º angle and cutting slices rather thin. Serves 8

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Easy Baked Italian Chicken

Jennifer S.

1 broiler/fryer chicken (3 1/2 - 4 pounds), cut up
1 cup of Italian salad dressing
1 cup of crushed cornflakes
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Place the chicken in a large resealable plastic bag or shallow glass container, add salad dressing. Seal or cover and turn to coat. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. drain and discard marinade. Coat chicken with cornflakes mixed with cheese and place in a greased 13x9x2 inch baking dish. Bake, uncovered, at 350ºF. for 1 hour or until the juices run clear. Makes 4 servings

Crispy Chicken Strips/Nuggets

Jennifer S.

3/4 pound of boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup of mashed potato flakes
1/2 cup of seasoned bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons of olive or vegetable oil

Flatten the chicken to 1/2 inch thickness, cut into 1 inch strips or nuggets. In a shallow bowl, combine the potato flakes and bread crumbs. Dip the chicken in egg, then in potato mixture. In a skillet, cook the chicken in oil for 4- 5 minutes or until golden. 3 servings

Baked Chicken Breasts

Jennifer S.

8 - 10 boned chicken breasts
1 clove garlic
2 cans of cream of celery soup (or cream of mushroom)
1 pound of fresh mushrooms, sliced

Place the chicken breasts in pan, cut side down. Squeeze juice from garlic into soup and pour over chicken. Add the sliced mushrooms and bake at 350ºF. for 45 minutes. Serve over rice or whole wheat pasta.

Ravioli Casserole

Jennifer S.

One 28 ounce jar of spaghetti sauce
One 25 ounce package of frozen cheese ravioli, cooked & drained
2 cups (16 ounces) of small curd cottage cheese
4 cups (16 ounces) of shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese

Spread 1/2 cup of spaghetti sauce in an ungreased 13x9x2 inch baking dish. Layer with half of the ravioli, 1 1/4 cups of sauce, 1 cup of cottage cheese and 2 cups of mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese. Bake uncovered at 350ºF. for 30- 40 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand for 5 - 10 minutes before serving. 6 - 8 servings.

Enchilada Casserole

Jennifer S.

1 package of Fritos
3/4 pound of ground beef, crumbled and fried
8 ounces of cheddar cheese, cut up
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 cans of enchilada sauce

Put layer of crumbled fritos in bottom of dish, put layer of cheddar cheese, layer of onion, layer of beef. Repeat. Cover with enchilada sauce. Bake in 350ºF. oven for about 30 minutes.

Cheeseburger 'n Fries Casserole

Jennifer S.

2 pounds of lean ground beef
one 10 3/4 ounce can of condensed golden mushroom soup, undiluted
one 10 3/4 ounce can of condensed cheddar cheese soup, undiluted
one 20 ounce package of frozen crinkle cut French fries

In a skillet, brown the beef, drain. Stir in soups. Pour into a greased 13x9x 2 inch baking dish. Arrange the French fries on top. Bake, uncovered at 350ºF. for 50 - 55 minutes or until the fries are golden brown. 6 - 8 servings

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Terrific Pork Tenderloin

Jessica S.

2-3 1-lb pork tenderloins
1 tsp season salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 (4oz) can diced green chiles
2 (10oz) cans cream of celery soup
rice cooked

Place tenderloins in sprayed oval slow cooker. Season with season salt and garlic powder.

Combine green chiles and celery soup in bowl and spoon over tenderloins, covering completely. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. Serve over rice.
Serves 6-8

Diana's Summer Salad

Diana P.

1 container fresh strawberries, quartered
1 can pineapple chunks, drained well
1 bag broccoli slaw (they will never know its broccoli)
1/2 bottle Poppyseed dressing
Cooked shrimp (optional if you want it as a dinner salad)

Mix all together and refrigerate for at least 2 hrs.....then toss well and serve.

Herb Chicken

Elizabeth F.

¼ cup chopped parsley
1 Tbsp. chopped oregano
1 Tbsp. finely shredded lemon peel*
1 Tbsp. finely chopped garlic (about 3 cloves)
3 Tbsp. butter
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
¼ cup chicken broth*

1. In small bowl stir together parsley, oregano, lemon peel, and garlic. Set aside. Rub chicken with a pinch of salt and pepper.

2. In 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat cook chicken in butter for 6 minutes or until browned, turning once. Transfer to plate. Remove skillet from heat; stir in half herb mixture. Return to heat. Add broth; bring to boiling, stirring to scrape up browned bits. Return chicken to skillet; reduce heat. Simmer covered, 8 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink and cooked all the way through.

3. Serve with pan sauce if desired; sprinkle with remaining herb mixture. Serve with rice and steamed veggies of choice. Makes 4 servings

Marinated chicken with lemon, parsley, garlic and salt and pepper first. Also add another quarter cup of chicken broth to thicken and create more sauce. If needed substitute lemon juice for lemon peel, just double number of tbsp.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Crockpot Chicken Chili

Jennifer S.

2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
3 (14 oz.) cans diced tomatoes with chilies and garlic, undrained
1 oz. pkg. taco seasoning mix
3 cups water
2 (15 oz.) cans white beans, drained and rinsed

Combine all ingredients in a 4-5 quart crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 7-9 hours or until chicken is tender and no longer pink. Stir well so the chicken breaks into small pieces.

Italian Meatball Soup Dinner

Jennifer S.

1 lb. frozen fully cooked meatballs
16 oz. jar marinara sauce
2-1/2 cups water
20 oz. pkg. frozen cheese tortellini
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
tossed salad and Italian bread

In large pot, combine meatballs, marinara sauce, and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, stir in tortellini, and simmer for 10 minutes, until tortellini and meatballs are hot and tender. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Toss salad ingredients together and serve the soup with some Italian bread.

Chicken Manicotti (takes about 2 hrs, so plan ahead)

Jennifer S.

This simple five ingredient pasta casserole recipe for Chicken Manicotti tastes like you spent all day cooking.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
28-ounce jar spaghetti sauce
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1-1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
14 uncooked manicotti shells
1/2 cup water
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In saucepan, saute onion in olive oil until tender, about 5 minutes. Add sauce and remove from heat. I usually skip this step, it will save you time and you don't have to use the oil. I just chop up onion and add it to chicken mixture.

In a 13x9" glass baking pan, pour 3/4 cup sauce mixture. Sprinkle chicken thighs with garlic salt and Italian seasoning. Cut into 1" cubes. In bowl, combine chicken with 1/2 cup sauce and 3/4 cup cheese; mix gently.

Fill each manicotti noodle with some of the chicken mixture.

Place the stuffed manicotti in baking dish. Pour water into remaining spaghetti sauce in jar, close jar and shake well. Pour this mixture over filled manicotti shells in baking dish, making sure to coat pasta completely. Cover with remaining 1-1/4 cups mozzarella cheese.

Cover tightly with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 80-90 minutes until pasta is tender when pierced with a fork. 6 servings You can also just cover with foil and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight. Then just bake as usual.

Mini Pizza

Jennifer S.

1× 16.3 oz can Extra Large Size Refrigerated Biscuits
1 cup Pizza Sauce
8 oz Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
3.5 oz pkg Sliced Pepperoni
Additional toppings if desired and on hand

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Press each biscuit into a 6 inch round. Place on 2 large or 3 small greased cookie sheets. Top each biscuit with pizza sauce, cheese and pepperoni. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until bottoms are a deep golden brown and cheese is bubbly.

Potato and Cheddar-Cheese Soup

Jennifer S.

For a chunkier soup, skip the pureeing and just break up some of the potato with a spoon.*

1/4 pound sliced bacon, cut crosswise into thin strips
1 large onion, chopped
3 pounds baking potatoes (about 6), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
4-1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
6 ounces cheddar, grated (about 1-1/2 cups)
1/4 cup chopped chives or scallion tops

In a large saucepan, cook the bacon over moderate heat until crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat or, if you don't have 2 tablespoons, add enough cooking oil to make up the amount. Reduce the heat to moderately low.
Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the potatoes, water, and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

*Remove half the soup from the pan and puree in a food processor. Alternatively, mash some of the potatoes with a potato masher. Return the puree to the pan. Over low heat, add the cheese and stir until melted. Remove the pan from the heat. Taste the soup and add more salt if needed and pepper to taste. Serve the soup topped with the bacon and chives.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Creamy Ham Fettuccine Recipe

Jennifer S.

This is good with leftover roasted chicken. Or with a shredded "deli roasted" chicken in place of the ham.

1 package (12 ounces) fettuccine
3 cups cubed fully cooked ham
2 cups frozen peas, thawed
2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup heavy whipping cream

In a large saucepan, cook fettuccine according to package directions; drain. In the same pan, add the ham, peas,cheese, cream and fettuccine.
Cook and stir until heated through. Yield: 6-8 servings.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Crock Pot Sloppy Joes

Jennifer S.

2 lbs. lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
12-oz. bottle chili sauce or ketchup
1/4 brown sugar, packed

Cook ground beef in a skillet until brown and crumbly. Drain thoroughly and place in slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Cover crock pot and cook on low for 3-5 hours until onions are tender. Serve in sandwich buns or on tortilla chips.
Do not do this recipe on HIGH setting, the sugar in the recipe will burn.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Pumpkin Bundt Cake

Foodie Friends FridayFoodie Friends Friday

Halloween Blog Party 

1 pkg. (2-layer size) yellow cake mix
1 pkg. (8 oz.) Cream Cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
Few drops each green, red and yellow food coloring
1 cake ice cream cone

PREPARE cake batter and bake in 12-cup fluted tube pan as directed on package. Cool in pan 10 min. Invert cake onto wire rack; remove pan. Cool cake completely.

MEANWHILE, beat cream cheese and butter in medium bowl with mixer until well blended. Gradually beat in sugar until well blended. Spoon 1/2 cup frosting into small bowl; stir in green food coloring until well blended. Spread half the green frosting onto outside of ice cream cone; set aside. Reserve remaining frosting for later use.

ADD red and yellow food colorings to remaining white frosting to tint it orange. Spread onto cake to resemble pumpkin. Invert ice cream cone in hole in top of cake for the pumpkin's stem. Pipe the reserved green frosting in vertical lines down side of cake.

Fun Idea
Place black gumdrops on sheet of waxed paper sprinkled with additional granulated sugar. Use a rolling pin to flatten each gumdrop, turning frequently to coat both sides with sugar. Cut into desired shapes with a sharp knife. Use to decorate frosted cake to resemble a jack-o'-lantern.

How to Pipe Frosting
Turn a resealable plastic bag into a handy piping bag for professional-looking decorated cakes. Simply spoon the frosting into the bag and seal the bag. Cut off a tiny piece from one of the bottom corners of the bag. Twist the bag at the top and holding the bag with one hand, guide the tip with the other. When you're done, the whole bag goes right into the garbage for easy cleanup!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Jennifer S.

I don't know which is more fun, carving the Jack-o-lantern or roasting the seeds. One 4-pound pumpkin will yield about 2 cups seeds. Save the seeds whenever you carve a pumpkin, plant some of them,then roast the rest . Next year, you'll have your own pumpkin patch--and lots of roasted pumpkin seeds! Kids can stir and toss the seeds with salt or spices and help spread them on the baking sheet.

2 cups pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt, or more to taste

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F.
Rinse the seeds well in cold water, being sure you have rinsed away any fibrous strings, and pat thoroughly dry. Transfer to a large bowl and add the vegetable oil and salt, stirring well to coat the seeds with the oil. Spread the seeds on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake until crisp and golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if desired.

Herbed Seeds: Use olive oil in place of the vegetable oil and add 1 tablespoon each dried rosemary and dried basil along with the salt.
Spicy Seeds: Add 2 teaspoons chili powder along with the salt.
Indian Seeds: Add 1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder and a pinch of cayenne pepper along with the salt.
Pumpkin Pie Seeds: Substitute 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) melted butter for the vegetable oil and add 3 tablespoons light brown sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice, and a pinch each of ground nutmeg, ground cloves, and salt.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Kitty Litter Cake

This just really needed to be posted .....EWWWW!

1 spice or German chocolate cake mix
1 white cake mix
2 large packages vanilla instant pudding mix, prepared
1 large package vanilla sandwich cookies
green food coloring
12 small Tootsie Roll candies
You'll also need: Do I really need to stress NEW here?
1 new kitty litter pan
1 new kitty litter pan liner
1 new pooper scooper
Prepare cake mixes and bake according to directions (any size pans).
Prepare pudding mix and chill until ready to assemble.
Crumble white sandwich cookies in small batches in food processor, scraping often. Set aside all but about 1/4 cup. To the 1/4 cup cookie crumbs, add a few drops green food coloring and mix until completely colored.
When cakes are cooled to room temperature, crumble into a large bowl. Toss with half the remaining white cookie crumbs and the chilled pudding. Important: mix in just enough of the pudding to moisten it. You don't want it too soggy. Combine gently.
Line a new, clean kitty litter box. Put the cake/pudding/cookie mixture into the litter box.
Put 3 unwrapped Tootsie rolls in a microwave safe dish and heat until soft and pliable. Shape ends so they are no longer blunt, curving slightly. Repeat with 3 more Tootsie rolls bury them in the mixture. Sprinkle the other half of cookie crumbs over top. Scatter the green cookie crumbs lightly on top of everything -- this is supposed to look like the chlorophyll in kitty litter.
Heat 3 Tootsie Rolls in the microwave until almost melted. Scrape them on top of the cake; sprinkle with cookie crumbs. Spread remaining Tootsie Rolls over the top. For the coup de gras take one Tootsie Roll and heat until pliable, hang it over the side of the kitty litter box, sprinkling it lightly with cookie crumbs. Place the box on a newspaper and sprinkle a few of the cookie crumbs around for a truly disgusting effect!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

We scream ice cream sandwiches !

MaryAnn C.

I saw this idea several years back and thought it was very cute!

12 round ice cream sandwiches that have a chocolate cookie (or however many your party needs). I use the mint ones.
12 chocolate cones
Flat frosting tip
Store bought vanilla frosting or make your decorator frosting if you wish
Orange food coloring
12 single pieces of candy corn
Dipping chocolate (enough to melt and dip the rims only of the 12 chocolate cones)

*Melt the dipping chocolate and dip the chocolate ice cream cone in the melting chocolate –just enough to cover the rim and place the cones in the center of each sandwich. Freeze. (the chocolate will help the cone adhere to the cookie)

* Take frozen sandwiches out of freezer. Load a decorator bag with the frosting that you have colored with a drop or two of the orange food coloring to make a hat band around the rim of the cone.

* Add a candy corn on one side of the brim to give the witches hat a festive look.


Hot Apple Cider

Jennifer S.

6 whole cloves
6 whole allspice berries
1 tsp dried orange rind
1 cinnamon stick, crushed

Using a clean coffee filter (or several layers of cheese cloth cut into squares and stacked on each other. Place cloves, allspice berries, orange rind and cinnamon on top, pull up corners and tie into bundle with string. Makes 1 bundle, enough for 1 gallon of cider or apple juice.

To make: Pour 1 gallon cider or apple juice in crock pot. Place Cider Spice Bundle in cider. Heat on high, until just until boiling, remove spice bundle. Serve hot.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Pan de Muerto (Bread of the Dead)

Jennifer S.
I love the sweet orange flavor of these.

1/4 cup margarine
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons anise seed (OPTIONAL)
1/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons orange zest
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon orange zest
2 tablespoons white sugar
Heat the milk and the butter together in a medium saucepan, until the butter melts. Remove from the heat and add them warm water. The mixture should be around 110 degrees F (43 degrees C).
In a large bowl combine 1 cup of the flour, yeast, salt, anise seed and 1/4 cup of the sugar. Beat in the warm milk mixture then add the eggs and orange zest and beat until well combined. Stir in 1/2 cup of flour and continue adding more flour until the dough is soft.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic.
Place the dough into a lightly greased bowl cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size. This will take about 1 to 2 hours. Punch the dough down and shape it into a large round loaf with a round knob on top. Place dough onto a baking sheet, loosely cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour or until just about doubled in size.
Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven for about 35 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven let cool slightly then brush with glaze.
To make glaze: In a small saucepan combine the 1/4 cup sugar, orange juice and orange zest. Bring to a boil over medium heat and boil for 2 minutes. Brush over top of bread while still warm. Sprinkle glazed bread with white sugar.

Mummy Pizza Bites

Jennifer S.
If you don't like olives, like I don't, you can use small pepperoni, green or red pepper circles, or even small meatballs for eyes.

English muffins
Pizza sauce
Black olives
Red or green pepper
Cheese sticks

Heat the oven to 350º F.
For each mummy, spread a tablespoon of pizza sauce onto half of an English muffin.
Set olive slices in place for eyes and add round slices of green onion or bits of red or green pepper for pupils.
Lay strips of cheese (we used a pulled-apart cheese stick) across the muffin for the mummy’s wrappings.
Bake for about 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the muffins are toasty.

Oreo Spiders

Jennifer S.
This is a great project for small children at a party!

Black string licorice
20 orange creme-filled chocolate sandwich cookies
1 teaspoon chocolate ready-to-spread frosting (from 16-oz container)
40 miniature M&M's

1. For each cookie, cut eight 1 1/2-inch pieces of licorice for legs. Insert 4 pieces into filling on each side of each cookie.

2. With frosting, attach 2 miniature M&M's to top of each cookie for eyes.

Mummy Dogs

Jennifer S.

These are SO stinking cute!

1 can crescent roll dough
1 pkg hotdogs
Mustard and ketchup garnish

Mummy Hot Dogs! This has to be one of my favorites. Made with crescent roll dough cut into thin strips and wrapped around hot dogs. Genius!
Bake on cookie sheets according to canned rolls directions.

Witch Hat Cookies

Jennifer S.

Keebler Fudge stripe cookies (turned upside down),
Hershey Kisses, foil removed,
attached with orange tube icing.
Soooo easy!

Butterbeer (Harry Potter Style)

Jennifer S.

1 2-lt bottle of Cream Soda
1 cup butterscotch or caramel flavored ice cream topping

Only do this right before serving, or you will lose your fizz.

Remove 1 cup of soda from chilled bottle of soda.
Add cup of ice cream topping. Recap and GENTLY agitate to combine.
Serve and enjoy!!

Creepy Spider Web Dip (7 Layer)

Jennifer S.

1 (16 oz) can refried beans
1 (1 1/4 ounce) envelope taco seasoning or 1 TBS Homemade Taco Seasoning
1 (4 oz.) can diced green chilies, drained (or jalapeños if you like it hot)
1 C. salsa
1 C. sour cream
1 C. guacamole
1 1/2 C. shredded cheese
2 green onions, sliced
1 C. chopped fresh tomato

A couple large bags of tortilla chips (you can find orange and black ones this time of year)
1 can whole pitted olives

Instructions: 1. In a small mixing bowl, stir together the refried beans and taco seasoning.

2. On a large festive Halloween tray , spread the beans in an even circular shape. Leave room around the edges for the garnish.

3. Sprinkle green chilies over. Smooth salsa over. Smooth guacamole over.

4. Sprinkle tomatoes and green onions over. Sprinkle cheese over.

5.Place your sour cream in a ziploc bag. Cut the corner off. Squeeze sour cream on top of dip in several concentric circles (or octagon shapes for a more authentic look). Using a knife or the handle of a fork, run lines lightly through the sour cream to make the web shape.

6. Garnish with a creepy spiders made from olives (see picture) and serve with lots of tortilla chips!

Halloween Dinner Menu

This is a long time tradition for my family....

Menu for Halloween

Spook-ghetti with Beastballs (Spaghetti with Meatballs)

Ghoulic Bread (Garlic Bread)

Scream Beans (Green Beans) I don't add the sausage to the recipe for the Halloween menu


 Field of Screams (Green Salad)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Applesauce Quick Bread

Jennifer S.

Made these to take VT since it's Apple Month.

1 cup sugar
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup oil
2 eggs
3 tbls milk
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with pam. In a large bowl, combine sugar, applesauce, oil, eggs and milk with electric beaters until well combined. In a second bowl, combine all dry ingredients and then add to wet mixture; mix well. Spread batter into prepared pan and bake for approx 60 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes on wire rack, loosen sides with knife and remove from pan. Cool and slice.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Apple Dumplings

Josie M.

Use a 9" x 13" baking dish
Preheat oven to 350

2 cans Crescent rolls - 8 to a can
2 large Granny Smith Apples cut into 8 pieces each (Can use any kind of apple)
*1 cup Butter
*2 cups Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla
10 oz. Mountain Dew

Peel and slice apples into 16 slices
Roll 1 apple slice into each crescent roll starting at the wide end; and place into baking dish.
In a saucepan - melt the sugar, vanilla and butter. (DO NOT CARAMELIZE) Just enough heat to melt the sugar.
Pour sugar mixture over rolls, sprinkle with cinnamon; then pour Mountain Dew over the top of the rolls
Bake for 30 minutes in preheated oven then cover with foil and bake another 10 minutes.
Serve warm and enjoy!

*Suggest sugar be cut to 1 1/2 or less cups and butter to 1 stick. (I don't do this but know someone who has and they say it tastes fine)

1/2 Recipe
Use a 8" x 8" Baking Pan

1 can Crescent rolls
1 large Granny Smith Apple cut into 8 pieces
3/4 stick Butter
1/2 cup Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla
5 oz. Mountain Dew

Grandma's Easy Apple Crisp

Jolene P.

1/2 C. flour
3/4 C. packed brown sugar
1/2 C. butter or margarine, softened
3/4 C. quick oatmeal
2 cans apple pie filling

Place apple pie filling in bottom of 9x13 greased pan. In a bowl, mix flour brown sugar and oatmeal. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle over apple filling and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Serve hot with vanilla ice cream.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Overnight Apple Oatmeal

Jennifer S.

2 apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1/3 cup brown sugar
4 cups water
2 cups old-fashioned or steel cut oats or Irish oats
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
Optional: chopped pecans or walnuts, and additional fruit such as raisins, dried cranberries, or chopped dates

Mix brown sugar and cinnamon with apple slices, coating apples.
Mix oatmeal with water and salt.
Put apples in bottom of crock pot and pour oatmeal mixture on top. Do not stir.
Cover and cook overnight on LOW (8 to 9 hours).
In the morning, stir thoroughly. Serve with milk and additional brown sugar.

Oatmeal-Applesauce Cookies

Jennifer S.

1 cup flour
1-teaspoon baking powder
1-teaspoon allspice or cinnamon
1/4-teaspoon salt
1/2 cup margarine (or shortening)
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups oatmeal
1 cup applesauce
1 cup raisins (chocolate covered)
1. Heat oven to 375º F.
2. Combine flour, baking powder, spices and salt; set aside.
3. Beat margarine and sugar until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla, beat well.
4. Stir in dry ingredients.
5. Stir in oatmeal, applesauce, and raisins; mix well.
6. Drop dough onto greased baking sheets. (Makes about 2 dozen.)
7. Bake 11 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.
8. Remove from sheets and cool on rack.

Crock Pot Apple Butter (for those who don’t have the Squeezo thingys)

From Elaine V.’s grandma

8 cups apples diced
3 cups sugar

Place apples and sugar in a crock-pot and cook on high for 3 hours. Then on low for about 8 hours or overnight. Use hand mixer and blend to desired consistency. Add cloves and cinnamon and stir. Cook another 2-3 hours uncovered to thicken.

Pour into jars and seal. Hot water bath for 15 min.

Apple Crisp Topping


2/3 cup brown sugar
½ cup flour
½ cup oatmeal
¾ tsp cinnamon
¾ tsp nutmeg
1/3 cup margarine

Mix to a crumble stage. Sprinkle over pie filling. Bake 30 min at 375.

Canned Apple Butter

Alison A.

13 cups apple pulp
3 ½ cups sugar
3 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp cloves
¼ tsp salt

Add all ingredients to crock pot, and set on low. Simmer until desired thickness (anywhere from 2-8 hours).
Stir occasionally
Simmer without lid on
Put in jars and process 10 minutes in water bath

Bottled Apple Pie Filling

Courtesy Alison's grandma

4 ½ cups sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
1 cup cornstarch
3 Tbsp. lemon juice
4 drops yellow food coloring
1 tsp salt

Mix dry ingredients in saucepan. Add 10 cups water. Heat until thick and bubbly. Add lemon juice and food coloring. Pour over peeled and sliced apples, packed in quart-size jars. Process 25 minutes in water bath. Makes 7 quarts.


Jennifer S.

•1 1/2 cups sugar
•1/2 cup butter, softened
•2 eggs
•2 cups flour
•1 teaspoon baking powder
•1 teaspoon cinnamon
•1/2 teaspoon baking soda
•1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
•1/4 teaspoon salt
•1 cup applesauce

1.In mixing bowl, cream sugar and butter.
2.Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
3.Combine dry ingredients and add to creamed mixture alternately with applesauce.
4.Mix just until combined.
5.Fill greased or paper lined muffin cups 2/3 full.
6.Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

Apple Berry Salsa with Cinnamon Chips

Jennifer S.
This fruit salsa makes a great appetizer or can be served as a fun side dish with a Mexican meal.

4 (7-inch) flour tortillas
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 med Granny Smith apples
1 cup strawberries -- sliced
1 kiwi fruit -- peeled and chopped
1 small orange
2 tbsp packed brown sugar
2 tbsp apple jelly

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. For cinnamon chips, lightly spray tortillas with water. Combine sugar and cinnamon in flour/sugar shaker; sprinkle over tortillas. Cut each tortilla into 8 wedges; place in single layer on round baking stone. Bake 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp. Remove to cooling rack; cool completely.

For salsa, peel, core, and slice apples. Cut apples into quarters; chop with food chopper. Slice strawberries and chop kiwi. Place fruit in 1 quart bowl. Zest orange and juice. Add orange zest, orange juice, brown sugar and apple jelly to fruit mixture, mix gently. Serve with cinnamon chips.

Fruit Crisp

This is a link to the crisp I made for the last RS meeting.
I added 2 cans of peaches, drained and rinsed to the can of blueberry pie filling before adding the topping.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Oven Fries with Herbs and Pecorino

Jennifer S.

2 large baking potatoes cut into 4-by-1/2-inch sticks
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large garlic clove minced
1 teaspoon minced sage
1 teaspoon minced rosemary
1/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino romano cheese
salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 425°. In a large bowl, toss the potato sticks with the olive oil until evenly coated. Spread the potato sticks on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer and bake in the upper third of the oven, turning once or twice with a spatula, until they are golden and crispy, about 30 minutes.

Sprinkle the minced garlic and herbs over the fries and toss well. Roast for about 5 minutes longer, until the herbs are fragrant and the garlic is lightly browned. Transfer the fries to a large bowl and toss with the grated Pecorino Romano. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Pizza Hut Pan Pizza Dough

1 1/3 cup warm water (105 degrees F)
1/4 cup non-fat dry milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 package dry yeast
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (for dough)
9 ounces vegetable oil (3 ounce per pan)
butter flavored cooking spray

Put yeast, sugar, salt, and dry milk in a large (2 qt.) bowl. Add water and stir to mix well. Allow to sit for two minutes. Add oil and stir again. Add flour and stir until dough forms and flour is absorbed.

Turn out on to a flat surface and knead for about 10 minutes. Divide dough into three balls. In three 9" cake pans, put 3 Oz. of oil in each making sure it is spread evenly. Using a rolling pin, roll out each dough ball to about a 9" circle. Place in cake pans.

Spray the outer edge of dough with cooking spray. Cover with a plate. Place in warm area and allow to rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours

For Each Nine Inch Pizza: Preheat oven to 475 degrees F Spoon 1/3 cup sauce on dough and spread to within 1" of edge. Distribute 1 1/2 Oz. shredded mozzarella cheese on sauce. Place toppings of your choice in this order: Pepperoni or Ham Vegetables Meats (cooked ground sausage or beef) Top with 3 Oz. mozzarella cheese Cook until cheese is bubbling and outer crust is brown.

Pizza Hut Sauce

Jennifer S.

1 (8 Ounce) can tomato paste
3/4 cup water (add more if needed)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Blend all ingredients.
2. Heat in a saucepan until heated through.
3. Use in recipe (pizza or whatever you choose).

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Rigatoni with Sausage and Tomato Cream Sauce

Jennifer S.

Use water, or chicken broth or apple juice in the place of the white wine.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 pounds mild or hot Italian sausages, casings removed
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups canned crushed tomatoes in thick puree (from a 15-ounce can)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 cup light cream
1 pound rigatoni
Grated parmesan cheese, for serving

In a large frying pan, heat the oil over moderate heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking up the meat with a fork, until it is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the sausage from the pan. Discard all but 1 tablespoon fat.
Reduce the heat to moderately low. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and cook until it almost evaporates, about 5 minutes. Stir in the sausage, tomatoes, and salt. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Add the pepper, parsley, and cream.
In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the rigatoni until just done, about 14 minutes. Drain the pasta and toss with the sauce. Serve with grated Parmesan.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Chicken and Gnocchi Soup

Jennifer S.

This is very close to the one that Olive Garden serves.

1 cup chicken breasts, cooked and diced (you can use a rotisserie chicken)
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
1 quart half and half
1 14 ounces can of chicken broth
1/2 cup celery, finely diced
2 minced garlic cloves
1 cup carrots, finely shredded
1 cup onion, finely diced
1 cup fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoons extra virgin oil
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon parsley
Freshly grated Parmesan cheeses optional
1 pound potato gnocchi you can buy this in the gourmet section of many supermarkets, or in the frozen food section.

Saute the onion, celery, and garlic in the butter and olive oil over medium heat until the onion becomes translucent. Add the flour and make a roux. Let the butter and flour mixture cook for about a minute before adding 1 quart of half and half.
Cook gnocchi according to package directions.
Into the roux, add in the carrots and chicken. Once the mixture becomes thick, add the chicken broth. Once the mixture thickens again, add the cooked gnocchi, spinach, and seasoning;, simmer until soup is heated through.

You can add more chicken if you like. While you could use leftover cooked chicken breasts, I really think using the rotisserie chicken that are found in many grocery stores is the best way to get the optimal flavor of this soup. If you want to make the soup lower in calories, you can use milk instead of half and half. Half and Half does taste better though, and it also reheats better than milk does.

One-Pan Spaghetti

Jennifer S.

1(14-ounce) can vegetable broth or chicken broth
1-3/4 cups water
1(6-ounce) can tomato paste
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon instant minced onion
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
6 ounces dried spaghetti, broken up, or medium shell macaroni
2 cups Morningstar Farms® Meal Starters® Sausage Style Recipe Crumbles OR precooked, drained hamburger meat.
Shredded Cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese or Parmesan cheese (optional)
Red, yellow or green bell pepper cut-outs (optional)

In medium saucepan combine chicken broth, water, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, onion and garlic powder. Bring to boiling over medium-high heat.
Add spaghetti, a little at a time, stirring constantly. Return to boiling. Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes.
Add Morningstar Farms® Meal Starters® Sausage Style Recipe Crumbles OR hamburger, a little at a time, stirring constantly.
Return to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, about 8 minutes or until spaghetti is tender and sauce reaches the desired consistency, stirring very frequently. Let stand for 5 minutes.
Serve topped with cheese or bell pepper cut-outs, if desired.

"Pizza" Pasta Toss

Jennifer S.

3 cups (8 oz.) penne pasta, cooked and drained
1/4 cup Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
2 oz. Pepperoni, quartered
10 mushrooms, sliced (about 2 cups)
1 green pepper, chopped (about 1 cup)
2 cups spaghetti sauce
1 cup Shredded Italian* Five Cheese Blend
Parmesan cheese shreds

Heat dressing in large nonstick skillet on medium heat. Add pepperoni, mushrooms and peppers; cook and stir 8 min. or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Add sauce; mix well. Cover. Reduce heat to low; simmer 3 min.
Add drained pasta to sauce mixture with Italian cheese; toss to coat. Serve topped with Parmesan cheese.

Pizza Pasta Salad

Jennifer S.

3 cups penne pasta, cooked, cooled
4 tomatoes, chopped OR 1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
12 slices Hard Salami, chopped OR pepperoni slices, cut in half
1 cup Shredded Italian Five Cheese Blend
1/2 cup sliced fresh basil
1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2 cup Italian Dressing and Marinade

COMBINE ingredients. REFRIGERATE 1 hour. Add more dressing (IF needed) before serving

Saturday, August 6, 2011

No Boil Lasagne

Jennifer S.
Foodie Friends Friday
No need to boil the noodles for this lasagne, just assemble the night before and put in fridge until baking time. You can use boxed lasagne noodles or use the no-boil lasagne noodles.

1 lb ground beef (Browned with onion and garlic), drained
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic
2 lg cans of tomatoes
2 cans tomato paste
1 TBS dry parsley
1 tsp dry basil
1 tsp dry oregano
1 tsp salt
1 TBS sugar

Mix all ingredients & simmer for 20-30 mins. Use two of your favorite jars of pasta sauce in place of the tomatoes and tomato paste.

2 - 16oz containers of cottage cheese or ricotta cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tbsp fresh parley or 1 tbsp dry parsley
1/2 c grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
1 lb grated Mozzarella cheese
extra cheese for top of lasagne

Mix all ingredients together well.

To Assemble:
Layer (in this order): Sauce on bottom of pan then, Noodles, Cheese mixture, Noodles, Sauce.
Top with extra mozzarella cheese.
Spray with cooking spray and cover with foil. Place in fridge over night.
Bake for 45 minutes at 400 F. Can uncover last 15 mins of cooking time.
May need 15-20 extra cook time from being in fridge.
Let rest 15 minutes before serving.

Quick and Easy Italian Chicken

Jennifer S.

8 pieces of chicken (any kind, bone in or out, skinless or on)
Your favorite bottle of Italian dressing
Zipper bag

Place chicken in zipper bag and pour 1 to 1 1/2 C salad dressing in to coat chicken. Place bag in fridge for a few hrs to over night.
Remove chicken from marinade and discard bag.
Grill on med heat until chicken is cooked through or bake in 375 degree oven for 30-45 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.

Parmesan Chicken Bake

Jennifer S.

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste
Italian seasoning
Parmesan cheese
cooking spray

Spray cooking pan with cooking spray, arrange chicken in pan and spray chicken with cooking spray.
Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder and Italian seasoning. Place 1-2 TBS of Parmesan cheese over the seasonings.
 Bake in a 400 degree oven for 30-40 minutes, or until chicken is cooked and cheese is browned.
Serve with pasta, rice or potatoes and a fresh green salad!

Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

Jolene P.
1 1/2 lb. med. to lg. cap mushrooms, about 30
1/2 lb. pork sausage
1/2 c. shredded Mozzarella OR Pepper Jack cheese
1/4 c. seasoned bread crumbs
Parsley for garnish; optional
1. Remove stems from mushrooms, chop stems, set mushrooms and stems aside.
2. In a 10 inch skillet over medium heat, cook sausage until well browned. With slotted spoon, remove sausage to paper towels to drain. Spoon off all but 2 tablespoons of drippings from skillet.
3. In hot drippings over medium heat, cook mushroom stems until tender, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove skillet form heat; stir in sausage, cheese, and bread crumbs.
4. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Fill mushroom caps with sausage mixture. Place stuffed mushrooms in a 15 x 10 1/2 jelly roll pan or 10 x 12 cookie sheet. Bake 15 minutes.
5. Can serve with a marinara dipping type sauce, or eat plain.  Both ways are delicious!


Kim F.
1 cup chopped onion
1 pound ground beef
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1-pound 14-ounce can tomatoes, cut up
1 1-pound can tomatoes, cut up
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1/4 cup snipped parsley
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano, crushed
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
1 bay leaf
Hot cooked spaghetti
Shredded Parmesan cheese
In Dutch oven, combine onion, meat, and garlic; cook till meat is browned and onion is tender.  Skim off excess fat; add next 9 ingredients and 2 cups water.  Simmer, uncovered, 3 hours, or till sauce is thick; stir occasionally.  Remove bay leaf.  Serve over hot spaghetti.  Pass bowl of shredded Parmesan cheese.  Makes 6 servings.

Chicken Cacciatore

Julie A.

6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (4 ounces each)
1 tsp salt, divided
1 Tblsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp pepper
1- 1/2 tsp of dried basil
2 Tblsp olive oil, divided
1- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 medium green pepper chopped,
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, optional 
2 tsp sugar
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 can (15 ounces) tomato puree
1 can (14 ounces) stewed tomatoes, cut up
1 package spaghetti or noodles of your choice, cooked

Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 tsp salt and pepper.  In a large nonstick skillet, brown chicken in 1 Tblsp oil.  Remove and set aside.  In the same skillet, saute the green pepper and garlic in remaining oil until vegetables are tender.  Add the tomato puree, stewed tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, basil, oregano, red pepper flakes, remaining salt and reserved chicken.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 min.  Stir in parsley.  Simmer, uncovered 15 minutes longer or until sauce has thickened.  Serve over  spaghetti.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Baked Penne

Foodie Friends Friday

1 lb. Penne Pasta
1 onion (optional)
1 lb. Ground beef
2 jars Spaghetti Sauce
8 slices Sliced Provolone
1 1/2 c. Sour cream
1 16-oz Cottage Cheese
8 oz. Shredded Mozzarella
2 T. Grated Parmesan
Boil Pasta according to package. Fry hamburger with onion, drain. Add Spaghetti sauce and pasta to meat and onion, stir well. Put 1/3 of mixture in 9X13 pan. Layer provolone cheese then sour cream blended with the cottage cheese on top. Add another 1/3 layer pasta then add mozzarella, then pasta sprinkle Parmesan on top. Bake 350 degrees for 30 min.

Kevin's Pizza Dough

Carmen H.

1 1/2 cups quick pizza dough
4 cups shredded 100% whole-milk mozzarella cheese (1 lb.)
4 ounces meat such as thinly sliced salami or pepperoni
3 to 4 cups thinly sliced vegetables such as red onions, mushrooms, bell peppers, or pitted ripe olives
2 to 4 tablespoons seasonings such as chopped fresh jalapeño chilies or minced garlic (optional)

1. Let pizza dough stand at room temperature until almost doubled and no longer cold, 30 minutes to 1 hour. Coat two 14-inch pizza screens (see notes) or pizza pans with cooking oil spray.
2. Remove dough from bags; coat with flour. On a lightly floured board, roll each ball into a 10-inch round.
3. Shake excess flour from dough. Following "Tossing Tips,", included in Kevin's Pizza Dough recipe, toss each round until it is stretched to 14 inches. Or lay each on a floured board and gently stretch to 14 inches. Lay crusts on prepared pizza screens or pans; don't press dough down.
4. Spread 3/4 cup quick pizza sauce over each crust to within 1 inch of edge. Let stand, uncovered, at room temperature up to 3 hours. Shortly before baking, distribute half the cheese, meat, vegetables, and seasonings over each crust.
5. Set screens or pans on the bottom rack or on a heated baking stone (see notes) on bottom rack in a 500° oven (one at a time if you have only one oven). Bake until crust is browned on the bottom (lift one edge to check), 10 to 15 minutes. Slide each pizza onto a board and cut into wedges.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Creamy Lemon Alfredo (with Shrimp)

Jennifer S.

2 cups Penne pasta, uncooked

1-1/2 lb. uncooked de-veined peeled medium shrimp
1/2 cup Chicken broth
6 oz. (3/4 of 8-oz. pkg.)Cream Cheese, cubed
2 tsp. zest and 1 Tbsp. juice from 1 lemon
1/4 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2 cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
salt, pepper and garlic salt to taste.
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

COOK pasta in large saucepan as directed on package, adding shrimp to the boiling water for the last 3 min. Meanwhile, heat broth in large skillet on medium heat. Add cream cheese, zest and juice; cook and stir 3 to 4 min. or until cream cheese is melted. Add seasonings to taste.
DRAIN pasta mixture. Add to cream cheese sauce in skillet with Parmesan; mix well.
TOP with mozzarella; cover. Cook 3 to 4 min. or until mozzarella is melted. Sprinkle with parsley.

Pizza Hut Original Pan Pizza Crust

As a kid, my favorite part about Sunday afternoon was going to the Pizza Hut lunch buffet with my mom and brother. We all loved the buttery, rich and thick pan pizza crust. Now you can make it at home!

• 1 1/3 cup warm water (105 degrees F)
• 1/4 cup non-fat dry milk
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 4 cup flour
• 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
• 1 package dry yeast
• 2 tablespoon vegetable oil (for dough)
• 9 ounce vegetable oil (3 ounces per pan)
• Butter flavored Pam

1. Put yeast, sugar, salt, and dry milk in a large (2 quart.) bowl. Add water and stir to mix well.
Allow to sit for two minutes. Add oil and stir again. Add flour and stir until dough forms and flour
is absorbed. Turn out on to a flat surface and knead for about 10 minutes.
2. Divide dough into three balls. In three 9-inch cake pans, put 3 ounces of oil in each making sure
it is spread evenly. Using a rolling pin, roll out each dough ball to about a 9-inch circle. Place in
cake pans.
3. Spray the outer edge of dough with Pam. Cover with a plate. Place in warm area and allow to
rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Pizza Hut Thin Crust Pizza Dough

The crust for this Pizza Hut classic has to be made ahead of time, and is easily enough for at least two 16-inch pizzas, or more depending on how thin you roll the dough.

• 2 cup water
• 1/2 teaspoon yeast (proofed in water)
• 4 cup flour
• 3 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
• 1 1/2 cup cake flour
• 2 teaspoon salt

1. Combine all ingredients in a mixer and knead for 10 minutes. Place in large bowl and cover with
plastic wrap. Allow to ferment as long as possible (12-24 hours). Punch down dough now and
then when you get the chance.
2. Preheat oven to 550 degrees F.
3. Roll the dough as thin as desired. (roll, flour and flip, until you end up with a shape equal to 90%
the size of your pan, as it will stretch when you transfer the dough. (make sure you oil your pan)
4. For regular pizza, add your toppings and bake for 10 minutes. However, since this particular
recipe was meant for light toppings, you'll need to oil the crust, then prick it with a fork and pre-bake
for 3 minutes. Now remove from oven, add your favorite toppings and return to oven for
10-15 minutes or till cheese is bubbly and outer edge of crust is a light golden brown.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Berry-Banana Freezer Pops

Jennifer S.

2 packages (10 ounces each) frozen strawberries in syrup, slightly thawed and undrained
1 container (6 ounces) Yoplait® Original strawberry yogurt
1 small banana, mashed
10 wooden sticks with rounded ends (Can be found in most craft supply stores)

1 Place strawberries, yogurt and banana in blender. Cover and blend until smooth 2 Pour slightly less than 1/2 cup fruit mixture into each of ten 6- to 8-ounce freezer pop molds or paper cups. Insert stick into each pop. If using paper cups, place on cookie sheet. Freeze at least 8 hours.


For a different flavor, try frozen berries with a matching berry yogurt and the banana.

Watermelon Granita

Jennifer S.

A granita is an ice dessert made of a combination of water, sugar and liquid flavoring. The texture will be grainier than a sorbet--very similar to a slush.

3 tablespoons lime juice (juice of 2 to 3 limes)
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
6 cups 1-inch cubes seeded watermelon

1 In 1-quart saucepan, mix lime juice, water and sugar. Cook over low heat about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved. Cool slightly, about 5 minutes.
2 In blender or food processor, place watermelon. Cover; blend on high speed about 2 minutes or until smooth. Add lime juice mixture; blend until well mixed. Pour into ungreased 13x9-inch glass baking dish. Cover; freeze 1 hour.
3 Scrape with fork to distribute ice crystals evenly. Every 30 minutes, repeat scraping procedure for at least 3 hours until mixture is consistency of fine ice crystals. Scoop into chilled dessert cups to serve.

Grasshopper Dessert Squares

Jennifer S.

1 1/2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs (from 15-oz package)
1/4 cup sugar
6 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, cubed, softened
2/3 cup crème de menthe syrup. You'll find the syrup in the ice-cream toppings section of your supermarket.
1 1/2 jars (7 oz each) marshmallow creme (2 1/4 cups. See Tip below.
1 1/2 cups whipping cream

1 Line 13x9-inch pan with foil so edges of foil extend over sides of pan; spray with cooking spray. In pan, mix cookie crumbs, sugar and butter. Press evenly in bottom of pan.
2 In large bowl, beat cream cheese, crème de menthe and crème de cacao with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add marshmallow creme; beat until smooth. Refrigerate about 45 minutes or until mixture mounds when dropped from a spoon.
3 In chilled large bowl, beat whipping cream on high speed until stiff peaks form. Fold whipped cream into marshmallow mixture until blended. Pour over crust. Freeze about 4 hours or until firm.
4 Remove from pan, using foil to lift. Let dessert stand at room temperature 10 minutes before cutting. Freeze any remaining dessert tightly covered.


Shave off 65 calories and 8 grams of fat per serving by replacing the beaten whipping cream with 3 cups of reduced-fat whipped topping.

To easily scoop the marshmallow creme out of the jars, lightly spray a rubber scraper with cooking spray.

Top each serving with a dollop of whipped cream and chopped chocolate mint candies.

Frozen Key Lime Torte

Jennifer S.

1 pint (2 cups) lime sherbet
1 pint (2 cups) lemon sorbet
1 pint (2 cups) vanilla frozen yogurt
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 tablespoon Key lime juice
1/4 cup coconut, toasted*

1 Place sherbet, sorbet and frozen yogurt in refrigerator to soften while preparing crust.
2 In small bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter. Press mixture in bottom of 9-inch springform pan. Freeze 15 minutes.
3 Spoon or scoop softened sherbet, sorbet and frozen yogurt into large bowl. Add lime juice; stir gently to mix. Spoon mixture over crust in pan, spreading evenly. Sprinkle with coconut; lightly press into sherbet mixture. Freeze until firm before serving, at least 4 hours.
4 To serve, let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Cut into wedges.


Frozen desserts like this one are easier to cut if left out at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Frozen Strawberry-Pistachio Dessert

Jennifer S.

1 1/2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs (from 15-oz. pkg.)
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup chopped pistachios or almonds
6 tablespoons butter, melted

Strawberry Layer
1 (1/2-gallon) container strawberry or cherry ice cream
Pistachio Layer
1 (1/2-gallon) container vanilla ice cream
1 (3.4-oz.) pkg. instant pistachio pudding and pie filling mix
1 cup half-and-half

Fudge Sauce
2 cups powdered sugar
1 (6-oz.) pkg. (1 cup) semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup butter
1 (12-oz.) can (1 1/2 cups) evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Frozen whipped topping, thawed, if desired
Fresh strawberries, if desired

1 Line 13x9-inch pan with foil, extending foil over all sides of pan. In medium bowl, combine all crust ingredients; mix well. Press evenly in bottom of foil-lined pan. Freeze 30 minutes. Place strawberry ice cream in refrigerator to soften.
2 Spoon softened strawberry ice cream onto crust; smooth with back of spoon. Freeze 30 minutes. Place vanilla ice cream in refrigerator to soften.
3 Place softened vanilla ice cream in large bowl; stir with spoon until smooth. In small bowl, combine pudding mix and half-and-half; stir until blended. Add to ice cream; mix with electric mixer at low speed until well blended. Spoon over strawberry ice cream. Freeze 4 hours or until firm.
4 Meanwhile, in large saucepan, combine powdered sugar, chocolate chips, butter and evaporated milk; stir to mix. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Boil 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Cool at least 1 hour before serving.
5 To serve, let dessert stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Cut into squares. Serve each with fudge sauce, whipped topping and strawberries.

To save prep time, use purchased fudge ice cream topping.
The fudge sauce for this dessert is delicious; try it over sundaes.
Instead of spooning the fudge sauce over the dessert, drizzle it on the plate before adding the dessert square.