Thursday, June 30, 2011

Acini De Pepe Fruit Salad

Sometimes referred to as "Frog Eye Salad," this fruit and cream combination is one of my favorite childhood dishes...Who knew pasta could be so sweet?
Acini De Pepe Fruit Salad

1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp flour
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup pineapple juice (use juice drained from cans that will be added later)
2 eggs, beaten
3 Tbsp lemon juice

Combine sugar, flour and salt. Gradually stir in pineapple juice. Add eggs. Cook over medium heat and stir until thick. Add lemon juice and cool.

Next: Boil 3 quarts water to which salt and 3 Tbsp oil has been added. Add one package Acini De Pepe (found in the pasta aisle...) and boil until tender (10 minutes.) Drain and rinse in cold water. Combine acini and dressing and refrigerate overnight.

Two hours before serving, add to acini mixture:
1 tub Cool Whip (12 oz)
2 cans pineapple tidbits or chunks (20 oz, drained)
2 cans crushed pineapple (20 oz, drained)
2 cups miniature marshmallows
3 cans mandarin oranges (11 oz, added last)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


One of the most sinful desserts ever, these cookie-type bars come compliments of my cute friend Heidi...and just a word of advice, don't look at the calories...just enjoy!
Heidi Allen

2 cups butter, softened
2 1/4 cups brown sugar
3 cups flour
3 cups quick oatmeal
1 tsp salt
2 tsp soda
1/2 jar butterscotch caramel (or plain caramel) ice cream topping
1 bag semi sweet chocolate chips

Directions: Beat together brown sugar and butter. Add flour, oats, salt, and soda. Mix. Press 3/4 of mixture into the bottom of a baking dish. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Take out of oven and let cool slightly. Pour on caramel and spread evenly. Sprinkle on chocolate chips and the remaining cookie mixture. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes (or till chocolate chips melt/cookie is golden
brownish.) Let cool.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Hawaiian Haystacks

I've seen variations of this dish, but guaranteed this signature sauce will trump any others. Haystacks can be made in large quantities for many guests or smaller for your individual family. Everyone loves this dish because they can build their own to their liking...A family favorite!
Hawaiian Haystacks
1 cube margarine
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 cups milk
1 3/4 cup chicken broth (can be made with chicken water and 2 cubes bullion or quantity is equal to one can chicken broth)
2 cups cooked and cubed chicken (about 2 breasts)

Over low heat, melt butter. Blend in flour, salt and pepper. Cook until bubbly. Remove from heat. Stir in milk and broth. Return to heat. Heat until boiling. Stir one minute. Add chicken. Serve over rice and then add toppings. Yields 6 servings.

Toppings: (Quantities for 10 people)
1/2 lb. grated cheese
1 package coconut
1 package chinese noodles
1 large can crushed pineapple (my personal fave!!)
3 whole tomatoes
1 head lettuce (will serve 25)
sunflower seeds
5 lbs. sour cream (will serve 100)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Cinnamon Muffins

These muffins are the hit of every dinner party. Delicious, easy and fail proof make these the perfect bread to serve with any meal...And bonus! The kids LOVE them!
Cinnamon Muffins
Dora Larsen
(Yields about 4 doz.)

4 1/2 tsp yeast (dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water)
3 beaten eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup warm water
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup melted butter
5 1/2 cups flour

melted butter
cinnamon and sugar

Put flour in bowl. Add other ingredients in order. Let rise one hour. Roll in butter then cinnamon and sugar mixture and place golf ball sized hunks in greased muffin tins. Let rise 1 more hour and bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Mushroom Alfredo

This is a family favorite...My six-year-old requests it on a regular basis. I make this often when I am taking a meal into a family. Add a green salad and some garlic breadsticks and it makes a delicious (and easy!) meal...
Mushroom Alfredo
Susan Eyre

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup chopped green onions
3 cloves garlic
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp flour
8 oz. can of mushrooms ( I use fresh...)
2 cups whipping cream (warmed)
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 lb fettucini

Melt butter on medium heat. Add onions, garlic, salt and pepper until tender. Stir in flour and cook one minute. Add mushrooms and cook until liquid has evaporated. Gradually stir in warmed cream and cheese. Stir constantly until it boils. Cook until thickened.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Quick and Easy Fruit Dip

Fruit Dip

1 (7oz) bottle marshmallow creme
1 (8oz) package cream cheese, softened
3 1/2 Tbsp orange juice (other flavors of juice may be substituted)

Mix well and you are ready to dip your favorite fruit. Keep refrigerated.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Orange Party Slush

I've mentioned before how much a fun drink can add to a party...Here's a great one for any summer get-together!
Orange Party Slush

3 cups warm water
2 cups sugar
3 ripe bananas, sliced
1 large can (46oz) pineapple juice
1 1/2 cups orange juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 liters gingerale
orange and cherries, optional

1. In a food processor or blender, blend water sugar and bananas until smooth. Pour into large container.
2. Add pineapple juice, orange juice and lemon juice. Mix well.
3. Freeze, stirring occasionally until slushy.
4. Add ginger ale when ready to serve. Add to the presentation by floating oranges and/or cherries on top.

Monday, June 13, 2011


This reminds me of late nights, sorority friends (especially Miss Lace!) and laughter...It's the perfect late night snack! Easy to throw together, always have the ingredients on hand...and DELISH! Girl's Night here we come!
Lacey O'Donnell

Heat in sauce pan:
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup corn syrup (Karo)
1 1/4 cup peanut butter

Pour over:
1 box chex (corn or rice)

Spread the mixture on a cookie sheet and drizzle 1 pkg melted milk chocolate chips and 1/2 pkg melted butterscotch chips over the top.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Cinnamon Apple Crumble

This delicious spin on cinnamon rolls is the perfect breakfast for overnight guests, holidays or a weekend morning with the fam...
Cinnamon Apple Crumble
Jani Winder

1 package Rhodes Anytime Cinnamon Rolls
10 oz apple pie filling

1/2 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter, softened

2 Tbsp butter, melted
1 cup powdered sugar
package of frosting that comes in the rolls
small amounts of milk until desired consistency

Remove thawed cinnamon rolls from pan and cut into small pieces. Combine rolls and pie filling in a bowl and place in a greased 9X13 pan.

For topping:
Combine sugar and flour. MIx in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over rolls.

Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes. Drizzle with glaze while warm.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Not a recipe...but I had to share!

I threw a baby shower for my sister-in-law a few weeks ago. I just had to share this fun idea. I am justifying putting it here, because it is somewhat food related...after all, you do fill them with mints, right? :-)

How cute are these?

Get the pattern HERE and print out. (There is a pattern for these girl shoes and for boy shoes.) The website I got this from showed some that were totally elaborate. I ended up just getting cute paper (cardstock weight) and buttons and they turned out adorable.

Also, instead of the glue dots, I used a hot glue gun and I think it worked way better (and cut time off the process!)

They were a little time consuming, but well worth it!

More (of the same) Popcorn Fun!

Just have to give a shout out to this recipe already mentioned in the blog. Too yummy! I am posting another way to package it up to share with teachers, friends, etc. Mauri's looked totally professional. Mine is way more casual. Really, I am just posting it again, because if you haven't tried this recipe yet, you are totally missing out! Go make it...right now.

Just to give you another idea...

7 Layer Bars

When I first looked at this recipe, I thought there were only 6 layers, but then I realized that both ingredients in the crust were counted. Maybe you are a little quicker than I am...for your sake, let's hope so! If you aren't, I bet you are glad I explained it, right? :-)

7 Layer Bars
(Connie Winder)

1 1/2 cups graham crackers
1/3 cup margarine

Combine and press into bottom of greased 9x13 pan.**

Put the following on one layer at a time:
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup chopped walnuts*

Once all ingredients are in the pan, push them down firmly. Bake 30 min at 350.

What I have learned:
**You can line the bottom of the pan with tin foil (and have the tin foil coming up above the sides of the dish). Spray Pam on the tin foil. Once they have completely cooled, simply lift the whole batch of bars out of the pan, place them on a cutting board, and cut into perfect more killing the first few pieces with a spatula trying to get them out of the pan.

*Due to allergies, we are a no-nut family. If you leave out the nuts, simply add another 1/2 cup of butterscotch or chocolate chips. You need the same amount of "chunky" ingredients for this to set up right.

*Don't under cook! If you are not sure, I would err on the side of a little too done over not done enough.

Pumpkin Pie Cake with Homemade Caramel Syrup

Normally, I pull out all things pumpkin in the fall, but I was kind of in the mood for something different and with friends coming for dessert, I whipped this up. The ice cream and caramel syrup on top gave it just the right zing...It was divine!
Pumpkin Pie Cake

1 can (29 oz ) canned pumpkin (I am partial to Libby's)
4 eggs
1 large can evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 cube butter
1 package yellow cake mix

Mix pumpkin, eggs, evaporated milk, sugar, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg together until thoroughly mixed. Pour mixture into ungreased baking dish. Sprinkle dry cake mix evenly over top of wet mixture. Melt butter and pour over top. Bake at 350 for exactly 1 hour. Do not overbake. Serve with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce.

Buttermilk Caramel Sauce:
Kate Jones and Sara Wells

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.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Pull-Apart Orange Rolls

This is a recipe from our mom's childhood and one we are happy to pass down through the generations...Our kids love them as much as we do!
Orange Rolls

2 cans buttermilk biscuits
1 cube margarine
3/4 cup sugar
grated rind of one orange (can also use 1 Tbsp orange peel)

1. Stand up biscuits in a greased angel food cake pan or bundt pan.
2. Melt margarine, sugar and orange rind. Bring to boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
3. Pour over biscuits. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes.
4. Let sit 5 minutes before turning out of pan.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Peanut Butter Torte

I fell in love with this at first bite...So much so that I requested my cute friend Julie make it for me for my birthday...and she did! It's one of those desserts that looks super fancy, tastes incredible and has enough calories to take up your whole week's allotment...So, it only gets whipped up when there are plenty of bodies to ensure I won't be taking home left-overs...Cause we all know by now I don't have self restraint when it comes to delicious desserts!
Peanut Butter Torte
Dorie Greenspan (posted on
(My comments are in purple...)

1 ¼ c. finely chopped salted peanuts (for the filling, crunch and topping)
2 teaspoons sugar
½ teaspoon instant espresso powder (or finely ground instant coffee) (I omitted this)
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
½ c. mini chocolate chips (or finely chopped semi sweet chocolate)
24 Oreo cookies, finely crumbed or ground in a food processor or blender
½ stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled (I used salted butter)
Small pinch of salt (I omitted this)
2 ½ c. heavy cream
1 ¼ c confectioners’ sugar, sifted
12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 ½ c salted peanut butter – crunchy or smooth (not natural; I use Skippy)
2 tablespoons whole milk
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate finely chopped

Getting ready: center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat.

Toss ½ cup of the chopped peanuts, the sugar, espresso powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and chocolate chops together in a small bowl. Set aside.

Put the Oreo crumbs, melted butter and salt in another small bowl and stir with a fork just until crumbs are moistened. Press the crumbs evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the spring form pan (they should go up about 2 inches on the sides). Freeze the crust for 10 minutes.

Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then transfer it to a rack and let it cool completely before filling.

Working with a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, whip 2 cups of the cream until it holds medium peaks. Beat in ¼ cup of the confectioners’ sugar and whip until the cream holds medium-firm peaks. Scrape the cream into a bowl and refrigerate until needed.

Wipe out (do not wash) the bowl, fit the stand mixer with the paddle attachment if you have one, or continue with the hand mixer, and beat the cream cheese with the remaining 1 cup confectioners’ sugar on medium speed until the cream cheese is satiny smooth. Beat in the peanut butter, ¼ cup of the chopped peanuts and the milk.

Using a large rubber spatula, gently stir in about one quarter of the whipped cream, just to lighten the mousse. Still working with the spatula, stir in the crunchy peanut mixture, then gingerly fold in the remaining whipped cream.

Scrape the mouse into the crust, mounding and smoothing the top.

Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight; cover with plastic wrap as soon as the mousse firms.

(I did not add the ganache...instead, I put chopped peanuts and chopped bittersweet chocolate chips on top...)
To Finish The Torte: Put the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Leave the bowl over the water just until the chocolate softens and starts to melt, about 3 minutes; remove the bowl from the saucepan.

Bring the remaining ½ cup cream to a full boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate and , working with a a rubber spatula, very gently stir together until the ganache is completely blended and glossy.

Pour the ganache over the torte, smoothing it with a metal icing spatula. Scatter the remaining ½ cup peanuts over the top and chill to set the topping, about 20 minutes.

When the ganache is firm, remove the sides of the Springform pan; it’s easiest to warm the pan with a hairdryer, and then remove the sides, but you can also wrap a kitchen towel damped with hot water around the pan and leave it there for 10 seconds. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Broccoli Craisin Salad

A little something different...Fun to take to gatherings...Super easy and Yum, Yum, Yummy!
Broccoli Craisin Salad
Bridget Morley

6 cups broccoli (fresh)
1 cup dried cranberries (Craisins)
1 cup sunflower seeds (kernals)
1 lb. bacon

2 cups mayonnaise
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup sugar

Cut broccoli. Cook bacon and crumble. Mix dressing. Toss salad and dressing just before serving. Note: Makes a ton! I usually half it.

Roasted Rosemary Potatoes

Originally, we were introduced to rosemary potatoes by my good friend Erin. Since that time, we have also ventured into roasting other vegetables the same way (squash, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, onions, mushrooms, etc...) and we love them all! This combination is simple, looks elegant and is the perfect mix of savory with a little hint of sweet...

Roasted Rosemary Potatoes
Adapted from Erin Shaha

8 yukon potatoes
2 sweet potatoes
olive oil
salt and pepper

Peel sweet potatoes and cube. Cube yukon potatoes. Spread them onto a greased cookie sheet. Drizzle olive oil on them and rub with hands until lightly coated. Season with salt, pepper and rosemary. Bake at 425 for 40 minutes.

Chicken Cordon Bleu

This apparently topped the hubby's chart of all-time favorites this week. He told me I could make this for his birthday...(It's not until January!) Add in a couple of sides (broccoli salad and roasted rosemary potatoes...posts to follow) that he thought were delish and this was "maybe the best meal you've ever made..." Glad the hubs was happy! Now hurry and go make this for your special someone and make them happy too!

Chicken Cordon Bleu
Adapted from a recipe found on

4 boneless, skinless breasts of chicken
4 slices Swiss Cheese (or you can even sprinkle on grated...)
4 thin slices of ham
1 cup flour
3 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups Italian Bread crumbs
4 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 cup whipping cream
1 pre-packaged chicken gravy mix

Pound out chicken. Season with salt and pepper. Place one slice of cheese and one slice of ham on each breast. Roll up chicken and secure using toothpicks. (Hint: I always try to use the same number of toothpicks in each serving so that everyone knows how many to be looking for...) Dip each in flour, then in egg and finally in bread crumbs. Place in a greased baking dish (seam-down.) Place one Tbsp of butter on each piece of chicken. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes or until juices run clear.

Meanwhile in a saucepan, combine whipping cream, broth and gravy mix. Season with pepper, salt, oregano and garlic to taste. Simmer on low stirring until thickened. Pour over chicken when serving.