Monday, December 26, 2011

New Year's Eve Cake

Light and fluffy, this cake is perfect for the holidays...It's a delicious mix of fruity and sweet and looks festive, plus it's a little different, so your guests are still interested in it even after all the "heavy" holiday goodies...

New Year's Eve Cake
Susan Eyre

1 boxed white cake, made following the directions on the back but separated into a 9X13 pan and an 8X8 pan. Cut cooking directions by 10 minutes and check. Cool.

8oz cream cheese (softened)
1 cup whipping cream
1 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla

When smooth, spread on top of cake. Top with Danish Dessert (pie glaze recipe) plus 2 cups raspberries added. Chill.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Unintentional Hiatus

Sorry for the lack of posting! The past month was filled with out of town guests, a girls' trip, a European get-away with my sweetheart, sickness, the holiday madness and we are preparing to turn around right after Christmas and head south for a 3-month rotation out of state...Exciting and fun, but neglectful in the blogging world...Merry Christmas to all of you and we'll get back in the swing of things soon!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Big Batch Freezer Pie Crust

SOOOO much better than store bought pie crust. Super easy. Flaky and delicious every time. Try it when you try this awesome pumpkin pie recipe!)

Big-Batch Freezer Pie Crust

6 cups flour
2 tsp salt
2 1/3 cups vegetable shortening
1 1/3 cups cold water

In a large bowl, stir together flour and salt. With a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in shortening until mixture resembles cornmeal. Add cold water all at once. Mix lightly with a fork until water is absorbed and mixture forms a ball. Divide dough into 6 equal portions; then shape each portion into a ball. Flatten each ball slightly, place in freezer Ziploc bags, making them airtight.

Each ball is enough to make one 9" pie crust.
To make crust for a pie WITHOUT top crust:

Partially thaw 1 ball of pie crust. Roll out dough to thin 11" circle. Place dough, without stretching, in a 9" pie dish. Flute edge.

If recipe calls for a baked pie crust, preheat oven to 425. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until very lightly browned. Cool; fill and bake as recipe directs. (HINT: if you place tin foil over shell and fill it with uncooked beans (for weight) and cook it for 8 minutes and then take beans and foil out and cook for 3-4 minutes until brown, you get a perfectly flat shell on the bottom, with no bubbles.)

To make crust for a pie WITH a top crust:

Use 2 balls of dough. Roll out 1 ball (as outlined above.) Fill pie. Roll out second ball; place top crust over filling. Seal and flute edge. Cut several slits or designs in top of crust to allow steam to escape.

**Can last well in freezer for 6 months.**

Grandpa's Pumpkin Pie

I won't be making pies until next week, so I don't have a picture to add with this post (yet!) However, if any of you are looking for an AWESOME pumpkin pie recipe for Thanksgiving...look no further!

Grandpa's Pumpkin Pie

8 eggs slightly beaten
1 large can (29 oz.) Libby's** solid pack pumpkin (equals about 3 1/2 cups)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
2 cans evaporated milk
4-5 dashes nutmeg
4-5 dashes allspice

Mix filling ingredients in order given. Stir by hand...DO NOT USE A MIXER! Pour into unbaked pie crusts (for an easy, fantastic pie crust recipe, click here.) Bake at 425 for 20 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 and continue baking for 45 minutes or until knife inserted in center of pie comes out clean.

**I am not usually a name brand snob when it comes to most foods, but don't go generic on the pumpkin...Libby's is the best! Also, make sure to not get the Libby's Pumpkin Pie filling...just get the straight pumpkin.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta

Having guests for dinner? Whip up this delicious pasta, pair it with a yummy salad and some garlic bread or rolls and you've got a meal that tastes like you've slaved all day in the kitchen...A big hit with kids and adults alike!

Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta

16 oz Mostaccioli Pasta, cooked as directed.
1 jar White Ragu Classic Alfredo pasta sauce (mixed with 1/2 cup water)
8-12 oz Swiss Cheese, shredded
1/2 cup diced ham or candian bacon
2 cups cooked chicken, diced (about 1 1/2 lbs frozen chicken)
3/4 cup cooked and crumbled bacon (1/2 lb)
3 bunches green onions, chopped
8 oz package fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 small can sliced olives

Mix together and put in greased 9X13 pan. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Cover with tin foil. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Taffy Apple Pizza

This is a new recipe that my mom and I just tried while she was visiting a couple of weekends ago. It was fun for fall and deliciously unique. {Note: Be careful not to overcook the cookie dough crust or it will be crunchy rather than soft.}

Taffy Apple Pizza

1 1/2 packages pre-packaged sugar cookie dough
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 med Granny Smith apples
caramel sauce
1/2 cup chopped peanuts

Roll out cookie dough into a large cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 16-18 minutes. ( Do not overcook.) Let cool completely.

Mix together cream cheese, brown sugar, peanut butter, and vanilla. Spread over cooled crust. Peel, slice and dice apples and spread over cream cheese mixture. Drizzle caramel sauce, sprinkle cinnamon and spread chopped peanuts on top.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Chocolate Drop Cookies

Chocolate Drop Cookies

Cream: 1/2 cup shortening
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg

Add and mix well:
2 squares melted baking chocolate
1/2 tsp vanilla

Blend in:
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp soda
1/2 cup buttermilk

Drop on greased cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes at 350. Frost when cool.

1/4 cup softened butter
1 1/3 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp cocoa
1/4 cup canned milk
1/2 tsp vanilla

Beat at high speed until thick.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Dinner in a Pumpkin

This has been a tradition in our home since we were little girls...A favorite for Halloween! I have posted pictures of our last two years...You can be creative with how you'd like to serve your festive dinner...In a carved Jack-O-Lantern, with the front cut out of a pumpkin or just with the lid cut off, the pumpkin cleaned out and used like a bowl...

This is so fun for Halloween.

Dinner In a Pumpkin
(clean out a pumpkin to cook the dinner in...)

1 Tbsp minced onion
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
1 can Cream of Chicken soup
1-8 oz can sliced water chestnuts (optional)
2 Tbsp. Soy Sauce
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1-4 oz can sliced mushrooms
1 1/2 cups cooked rice

In a large frying pan, saute onion until tender. Add meat and brown. Drain. Add soy sauce, brown sugar, mushrooms and soup. Simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cooked rice and water chestnuts. Pour mixture into pumpkin and bake at 350 for one hour. (Place pumpkin on a cookie sheet when cooking....)

(The pumpkin is yummy squash! Fun to serve with "mummy fingers" (pigs in a blanket) or other spooky side dishes...)
(Note: If you don't have time to bake it in the pumpkin, you can bake at 350 for 15 minutes in a casserole dish and then scoop it into the pumpkin to serve.)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Kandi's Stew

This healthy and hearty meal has few ingredients, is quick to put together and because it cooks all day in the crockpot...Your house smells fabulous and dinner is ready when you are with little effort!

In high school, my brother's friends would head straight to our house every Friday afternoon after school for "Stew Crew," their energy meal prior to that night's football game. So, it's a favorite among teenage athletes and the whole family! {The LHS football team barely lost in the state championship game that year...They were full of talent and if I'm being honest...played as well as they did all because of the stew!}

Brown stew meat in 1/3 cup margarine. Layer:

Potatoes (I use 4-6 potatoes for my family of 5)
Carrots (I bag baby carrots)
Onion (1, sliced)

Use a slotted spoon to transfer meat to top of crockpot. Leave juice in pan. Add 1 cup water and 1 Tbsp. flour. Cook until thick like gravy. Add 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp parsley, and 1 tsp thyme (optional.) Pour gravy on top. Cook on low 8-9 hours or on low for 4 hours.

Serve with some yummy rolls for a delicious meal!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Winning Banana Bread

I am sorry that I have been isn't just this blog, but my personal one as well. Life got a little crazy and some things got neglected. Baking was not one of those things. As it gets colder, yummy breads are always at the top of my list of favorite things.

I know there are a MILLION banana bread recipes out there, but this is so moist and yummy. Even if you have a recipe you like, give this one a try and see if you don't love it! This recipe is awesome!

Banana Bread
1 cup shortening or butter
2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
6 ripe bananas, mashed (the riper, the better)
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional, but you would be crazy to not add them!)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional...we are nut free at our house, so i haven't tried the bread with the nuts))

1. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease (with shortening or butter) two 9x5 loaf pans and then coat pan with light sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar.
2. In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar until fluffy and light. Stir in the eggs in one at a time, beating well with each addition. Stir in mayonnaise and bananas. In a seperate bowl, stir together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix dry ingredients into banana mixture...stir just enough to evenly combine. Fold in chocolate chips and walnuts.
3. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean (depending on the over, between 50 and 75 minutes.) Cool for 20 minutes in the pan before removing to wire rack to cool completely.

**This recipe works just as good cut in half if you only have 3 ripe bananas.**

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Tastes like fall...And brings back memories. This recipe was submitted by one of my cute 4th grade students for a Mother's Day Cookbook that we published in 2005. I've made these cookies every fall since then and absolutely love them!
BoldPumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
(Submitted by Alexis Teasdale)

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup shortening
2 eggs
1/2 large can Libby's Canned Pumpkin (NOT Pumpkin Pie...about 1 1/2 cups)*
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp cinnamon
2 cups flour
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
12 oz chocolate chips

Cream sugar and shortening. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix in pumpkin. Add dry ingredients. Mix well. Stir in chocolate chips. Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes.

*I personally think Libby's is the BEST brand of pumpkin out there and I do think it makes a different in your baking. Also, you can buy just PUMPKIN or PUMPKIN PIE, make sure it is the PUMPKIN. They are different!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tomato Macaroni Soup

A combination between pasta and soup, this healthy meal is something the whole family will love! It's a sweet tomato flavor that will leave you coming back for seconds. Perfect comfort food for a fall night.

Tomato Mac

Cook 1 1/3 cup elbow macaroni until slightly undercooked (al dente) and set aside.

In a large soup pan mix the following ingredients:

1 large (32 oz.) can tomato juice and then a half can of water

1 ½ t. dried parsley flakes

1 t. chili powder

½ c. sugar

2 T butter

½ c. Catalina light dressing

1 pound browned ground beef (salt and pepper to taste)

Heat the above and add cooked macaroni last. Simmer until macaroni is warmed.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Mom's Chili

Delicious...SUPER EASY! This Chili recipe is amazing and requires little effort. Perfect for a chilly fall night! Serve with corn bread or breadsticks to round out the perfect middle-of the week meal.

Mom's Chili
2 large cans chili beans
1 Tbsp minced onion
1 tsp salt
dash of pepper
1 Tbsp sugar
1 quart tomato juice
1/2 cup ketchup
1/8 tsp chili powder
2 cups water

Bring to a boil. Add 2 lbs. UNCOOKED hamburger beef. Boil 30-40 minutes. (Watch it so the beans don't burn...I like to stir every few minutes...) Serve with sour cream and grated cheese.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Baked Apple Dessert

Fall is in the air and nothing says 'crisp air' like apples! This is one of my favorite childhood desserts. It is like unto apple crisp, but less crunchy, which is why I like this so much better! I won't admit publicly that I have made the topping and eaten it plain...It's that good!

Baked Apple Dessert

6 cups apples (about 5 apples...I like Granny Smith)
Evenly layer them in the bottom of a 9X13 pan. Sprinkle with sugar.

Mix together: (Note: I always double this because I love the topping!)
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 heaping tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
Add mixture to the top of the apples.

Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes. Optional: Serve with ice cream or sweetened whipped cream.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

No-Fail Rolls

These rolls are super yummy...but the BEST part about them is that YOU CANNOT MESS THEM UP! If you don't think you can successfully make homemade rolls...then these are the ones for you! Seriously! The recipe calls for a total of 2 hours of rising time...but, if you don't get around to them for 5 hours...they STILL WORK!

Crescent Rolls
Nikie Elwood

1 cup (2 cubes) softened butter or margarine
2 cups hot water
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp salt
Mix until frothy.

2 cups flour and mix well
2 Tbsp yeast and another 2 cups flour and mix well
3 eggs and another 3-4 cups flour and mix well

Let raise 1 hour. Cut into 3 sections. Roll into a circle and with a pizza cutter divide the dough into 16 slices. (I often divide my dough into 4 sections and then do 12 slices...) Roll each slice into a crescent starting at the fatter end and rolling towards the thinner end. Let rolls raise 1 additional hour. Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes. Yields 4 dozen.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Cereal Mix

Most commonly called "Jazz Mix" in Kandi's Kitchen as its made to munch on while watching the Utah Jazz play basketball, this cereal mix is easy to put together and easy to disappear...Super yummy!

Cereal Mix (Jazz Mix)

Mix together in large bowl:
4 1/2 cups Golden Grahams Cereal
6 cups Rice Chex Cereal
1 1/2 cup cashews

In a medium pan, bring to boil:
1 1/2 cubes margarine
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup white corn syrup (Karo)

Cook mixture to just under 230 (soft ball stage). Pour over cereal and stir until cool and separated. When TOTALLY cooled, add 1/4 lb. M&Ms. (You can use red/green M&Ms at Christmas or red/black ones at Halloween for a festive treat!)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

You Don't Know Unless You Try It

This is not a recipe - well, there is a recipe to the above picture, but I am not sharing it...believe me, you don't want it! :-) I was just adding a few posts and thinking how the awesome thing about recipe blogs is that they give you a chance to see things you may want to try. I have tried many recipes off of blogs that we have loved and some that we have hated...however, they all get me thinking and they have given variety to my family meals and treats.

I took a picture of this before we ate it in case it was wonderful and I could post it for all of you. I don't think this tasted awful, but the fact that curry filled my entire house and seeped through all of our clothes for the next 3 days, made this a definite NO on our votes as whether to keep this recipe or not.

Here's hoping that this blog gives you a few recipes that you love and ones that you can add to your recipe book!

Blueberry Crumb Cake

I am laughing that Mauri's post on "Breakfast Cake" has a picture that very much looks like the picture I am posting for this recipe. Not the same recipe, but just as awesome!

Blueberry Crumb Cake
(Barefoot Contessa)

1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 1/3 cups flour

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2/3 cup sour cream
1 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup fresh blueberries

Preheat the oven to 350. Butter and flour a 9-inch round baking pan.

For the streusel:
Combine the sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl. Stir in the melted butter and then the flour. Mix well and set aside.

For the cake:
Cream the butter and sugar on high for 4-5 minutes, until light. Reduce speed to low and add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla, lemon zest, and sour cream. IN a separate bowl, sift the dry ingredients. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the batter until just combined. Fold in the blueberries and stir with a spatula to be sur the batter is completely mixed.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and spread it out with a knife. With your fingers, cruble the topping evenly over the batter. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool completely and serve sprinkled with confectioners' sugar.


Aussie, Aussie, Aussie...Oi, Oi, Oi!!

For those of you that don't know, my husband's work took our family to Australia for two years. Moving back to the states, we left behind many great friends and places, but we did take away a love for that country...and for their desserts! This one here happens to be my favorite.

Pavlova is a meringue base that is crunchy on the outside and marshmallow like on the inside. Top that with whipping cream and your choice of fruit and you have found heaven on earth. People at Brian's old job believed there was heroin in this because they couldn't stop eating it.


5 egg whites
scant teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pinch salt

Combine and beat 5 minutes with mixer.

Add 1 1/8 cups sugar

Beat 5 more minutes

Preheat oven to 400. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Spread mixture on parchment in circle, making the center slightly thinner than the outside.

Put pan on BOTTOM shelf of oven and immediately reduce oven temperature to 275. Cook for 1 hour. Let cool completely.

Spread with whipping cream that has been slightly sweetened...base is sweet enough that cream doesn't need to be overly sweet. Top with fruit. My favorite combo is strawberries and kiwi...and even better if drizzled with passion fruit.

Oatmeal Brownies

I have never claimed to be a photographer, and I don't think the picture does this yummy treat justice. (It actually looks really cool in the pan before it is cut, but I didn't get a picture of it this time.) However, I will claim to know when a dessert is yummy, and this one is!

Oatmeal Brownies

1 cup (2 cubes) margarine - softened
2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups quick oats
2 1/2 cups flour

Cream butter and sugar. Mix in eggs and vanilla. Sift together dry ingredients and add them to butter and sugar mixture.

Spread 2/3 oatmeal mixture on bottom of greased 10x15x1 inch pan (pan size is important!) Spread filling over top. Dab the rest of the oatmeal mixture on top. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

1- 12 oz. package chocolate chips---melt and then add:
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter (or margarine)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Easy Caramel Fruit Dip

Super easy and deliciously yummy....this fruit dip is perfect for fall. Our favorite is dipping apples, but any fruit will do! Note: For variation, leave out the chocolate chips, toffee chips or both.

Easy Caramel Fruit Dip

1 package cream cheese (8oz), softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
handful of toffee chips or chocolate covered toffee chips
handful of mini chocolate chips, optional

Mix together with electric mixer and enjoy!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Poppy Seed Chicken

This is a great meal to take into another family or serve when you have guests. It is especially yummy with some sort of chicken rice (We like Rice-A-Roni Mushroom Chicken) side, corn on the cob and a fruit salad...

Poppy Seed Chicken

4-6 cups cooked chicken (about 4 breasts)
Put in 9X13 pan.

2 cans Cream of Chicken soup
1/2 cup ( 1 cube) butter
12 oz sour cream (1 1/2 cups)
Pour over chicken.

Crush 2 rolls Ritz or Town House crackers and mix with 1/4 cup melted butter and 1 Tbsp poppy seeds. Spread on top of chicken mixture. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Breakfast Cake

This has been a family favorite for as long as I can remember. In fact, it was the recipe I submitted to my Kindergarten class cookbook. And now it is a favorite among my children. Quick and easy, we always have the ingredients on hand...It makes a mundane morning something a little special...

Breakfast Cake

1/2 cup margarine
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup milk
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp flour
1 Tbsp melted butter
1 heaping tsp cinnamon

Mix batter in given order and pour half into a greased 9X13 pan. Mix filling and sprinkle half over batter in pan. Pour in remaining batter and top with last of filling. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Terrific with eggs and bacon.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Chicken and Broccoli Casserole

This is one of the kids' favorite meals. It is always requested when grandma is in charge of the cooking or on special occasions...and the adults like it too...Plus it's loaded with broccoli...healthy, hearty and yummy!

Chicken and Broccoli Casserole

9X13 pan (halfed 8X8)
5 chicken breasts
2 packages (10 oz) frozen broccoli or fresh bunches, cooked 2-3 minutes (follow package directions)

2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup bread crumbs mixed with 1 Tbsp melted butter or margarine

Put broccoli in pan. Add chicken. Spread sauce. Sprinkle with bread crumbs. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Chicken Pasta Salad

Light, refreshing...perfect as a side dish or as your whole meal on one of these last (sniff, sniff) hot summer nights...Especially good with yummy rolls. Note: This makes A LOT of salad...I usually half the recipe for my family and it is still oodles...

Chicken Pasta Salad
Bunni Miller

-2 packages (12 oz) corkscrew colored pasta or rainbow twirls, cooked according to package directions.
-1 envelope Ranch dressing mix, made according to package directions. (Include the 30 minute stand time to allow to thicken.)
-4 cooked chicken breasts, cut up
-1 small can (2 1/4 oz) sliced black olives
-10 oz green peas, left frozen
-2 medium tomatoes, diced

Mix together all above ingredients. Add salt and pepper and lots of garlic salt to taste.

*Best if made the day before or at least several hours before eating.* (I am almost never that on top of it...It is fine served immediately too...)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Bacon-Wrapped Teriyaki Chicken Skewers

I never really knew meat could melt in your mouth...until now. This recipe tops the "pleasing the tastebuds" chart with flying colors. It really may be one of the best flavors we have ever tasted. Ever. They are fairly simple to put together, but must be made ahead as they need to marinate for 4-8 hours. Just a heads up you'll need to be making these around breakfast time to serve them for dinner...And you're going to want to have them for dinner SOON. I'm just sayin'.

Bacon-Wrapped Teriyaki Chicken Skewers
Kate Jones and Sara Wells

Note: When using bamboo skewers, soak them in water for 30 minutes prior to threading meat & fruit on so they won't burn when cooked on the grill.

8 oz bacon (not thick sliced)
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 can (16 oz) pineapple chunks
1 recipe Teriyaki Sauce (see below)

1. Cut the bacon into thirds. Count how many pieces you have and then keep that in mind when cutting your chicken. (I just eye-ball it. I end up using three good-sized breasts of chicken.)
2. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
3. Drain the pineapple and place in a bowl or on a plate to avoid cutting your hand by reaching into the can repeatedly. Set up a work station with toothpicks (if making appetizers) or kabob skewers, chicken, bacon, and pineapple, plus a shallow dish for marinating the skewers.
4. Wrap a piece of bacon around a piece of chicken and thread onto skewer, all the way to the bottom. Top with a chunk of pineapple. Repeat process. (I end up with 5 pieces of chicken per kabob.)
5. Reserve 1/2 cup of Teriyaki Sauce and pour the remaining sauce over the chicken. Marinate for 4-8 hours.
6. Preheat grill to medium-high heat (about 400 degrees). Place skewers on grill and baste with remaining sauce. Cook for 7 minutes, turn, baste and cook for another 7 minutes.
7. If you would prefer to cook these in the oven, preheat oven to 400 degrees and place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Cook for 20 minutes, turning and basting once.

Teriyaki Sauce:
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp corn starch
1 Tbsp cold water

1. Combine sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger and black pepper in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
2. While the soy sauce mixture is heating, whisk together corn starch and cold water. When the soy sauce mixture comes to a full boil, whisk in cornstarch mixture and stir sauce until thickened and clear. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Strawberry Crepes

Have I mentioned how much I love breakfast foods, especially sweet, pastry, dessert-like dishes? If I could guiltlessly get away with whipping together something like these delicious crepes each morning and not suffer the consequences of a 30-somethings metabolism, I totally would...but since I can't , I try to reserve these for a weekend or special occasion...They are pretty much amazing. Serve these for brunch to visiting guests or for a fun dessert.

(photo courtesy
1 cup flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp butter or margarine, melted

Add all ingredients and either mix with a wire whisk or blend in blender. Beat until smooth. If using a crepe maker, pour mixture into a shallow pie pan and dip crepe maker into batter. Heat and remove. If using a greased frying pan, pour a small amount into pan and heat on medium until edges begin to look dry. Remove. Yields 16 crepes.

1 pint whipping cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
4 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup sour cream

Beat with electric mixer until cream is whipped. Fill crepes with cream mixture. Roll and drizzle with strawberry sauce.

Strawberry Sauce:
1 pint strawberries, washed and diced
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp almond extract

Bring ingredients to boil. Simmer 5 minutes. Let cool. Blend in blender to puree.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars with Streusel Topping

To die for delicious! We served this for friends and let's just say my neighbor was knocking on my door the next day hoping there were left-overs...Yeah, there weren't...
Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars with Streusel Topping
Adapted from Paula Deen
2 cups flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cubes butter, softened
2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar, plus 2 Tbsp, divided
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Streusel topping (recipe follows)
1/2 cup caramel topping (we used homemade...recipe follows)
Preheat oven to 350. In a medium bowl, combine flour and brown sugar. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly. Press evenly into a 9X13 pan lined with aluminum foil. Bake 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with 1/2 cup sugar on medium speed (electric mixer.) Add eggs, one at a time and vanilla. Stir to combine. Pour over warm crust.
In a small bowl, stir together chopped apples, remaining 2 Tbsp sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Spoon evenly over cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle evenly with streusel topping. Bake 30 minutes or until filling is set. Drizzle with caramel topping.
Streusel Topping:
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup (1 cube) butter, softened
Combine all ingredients.
Buttermilk Caramel Topping:

3/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup real butter (no substitutions)
2 Tbsp corn syrup
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
Combine buttermilk, sugar, butter, corn syrup and baking soda in a 4 quart pan. Bring mixture to a boil. and reduce heat to low. (Make sure it is still bubbling...) Cook, stirring very frequently for 7-9 minutes or until the syrup reaches a rich golden brown. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Chili-Lime Steak with Black Bean/Mango Salsa

Spice up your grilling with this delicious summertime salsa...Southwestern-style eating at its finest...right in your own backyard!
Chili Lime-Steak
Kate Jones and Sara Wells

1-2 lbs boneless steak (we used flank steak)

1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp granulated garlic (I used 1/2 tsp garlic powder)
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp oregano
1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1 lime, juiced (about 2 Tbsp lime juice)
1 Tbsp olive oil

1. Combine spices in a small bowl. Add lime juice and olive oil. Stir to combine.
2. Place steak in a shallow 9X13 baking dish. Pour the mixture over the steak and then rub in in with your hands. Allow the steak to stand for 15 minutes. While the meat is standing, preheat the grill.
3. Place the steak on the grill over medium-high heat and cook for 5-7 minutes per side or until the desired doneness is reached. Serve with Black Bean Mango Salsa.

Black Bean/Mango Salsa:
1 can black beans (15.5 oz), rinsed and drained
1 medium mango, peeled and diced (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup diced red onion (about 1/2 medium onion)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 medium avocado, diced

1. In a large bowl, combine black beans, mango red onion and cilantro.
2. In a small bowl, combine lime juice, vinegar, sugar, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Stir to dissolve the sugar and then pour over black bean mixture. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
3. When ready to serve, gently fold in the diced avocado. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Red Velvet Cupcakes

I'm a big fan of cupcakes...Surely I've mentioned that before? But they must be moist and the frosting must be something I would be willing to eat right off the spoon...(aka homemade!) That combination makes for a melt-in-your mouth experience and this red-velvet recipe does not disappoint. Oh-and anything that can be made in "mini" is even better because then the calories don't count...;) These were made for a baby shower.
Red Velvet Cupcakes
(adapted from McCormick)

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 (1 oz) bottle red food coloring
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350. Mix flour, cocoa, soda, and salt in medium bowl. Set aside.

2. Cream butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Mix in sour cream, milk, food coloring, and vanilla. Gradually stir in dry ingredients just until blended. (Do not overbeat!) Spoon batter into muffin cups about 2/3 full. (Recipe yields about 30 regular size cupcakes. So, I usually make several batches of mini ones and then about 12-24 regular ones.)

  • 3. Bake 20-25 minutes (10 minutes for minis) or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely. Frost with cream cheese frosting.

      • Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 cups powdered sugar

Beat cream cheese, butter, sour cream and vanilla until light and fluffy. Gradually stir in powdered sugar until smooth.