Saturday, July 30, 2011

Layered Jello

This fun, kid-friendly side dish is perfect for a summer get-together. (We also like to make it for St. Patty's Day...) Choose your flavors and coordinate it with any holiday.
Layered Jello
Pioneer Woman

2 packages Green Jello (small 4-serving Package, Either 0.3 Oz. Sugar-free Or 3.4 Oz. Regular Box)
2 packages Red Jello (small 4-serving Package, Either 0.3 Oz. Sugar-free Or 3.4 Oz. Regular Box)
2 packages Orange Jello (small 4-serving Package, Either 0.3 Oz. Sugar-free Or 3.4 Oz. Regular Box)
1 envelope (1 Oz. Envelope) Knox Unflavored Gelatin
1 package Yellow Jello (small 4-serving Package, Either 0.3 Oz. Sugar-free Or 3.4 Oz. Regular Box) Or 1 Additional 1 0z. Envelope Of Knox Unflavored Gelatin
1 cup Sour Cream
7 cups Water

1. Grease a 9×13 pan with nonstick spray. Wipe off the excess with a paper towel.
2. Mix green jello with 2 cups boiling water. Place in the 9×13 pan and let set for 30-45 minutes in the refrigerator.
3. While the green jello is setting, make the white layer by mixing 1 cup of boiling water with both Knox gelatin envelopes or 1 Knox and 1 lemon gelatin package. Mix well and add in 1 cup sour cream.
4. Carefully pour 1/2 of white layer on top of the green jello and place back in the refrigerator.
5. Begin mixing 2 cups boiling water with the orange jello. As soon as the white mixture sets up, pour the orange jello on top, refrigerate and let set for another 30-45 minutes.
6. Most likely you will need to reheat your white mixture before you can pour the last layer of white over the orange. If it’s at all lumpy and not pourable, pop it in the microwave for 20 seconds and stir. You do not want this to be too hot before you pour it on the orange layer.
7. Start mixing your last layer of red jello with 2 cups of boiling water and once the white layer sets, pour the red jello on top of it.
8. Refrigerate and let set up completely.
It’s important to let each layer set up before adding the next layer. As long as you can touch it and it seems to just be a little sticky, you should be able to place the next layer on top.
You can use any flavor combinations of jello.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Chocolate Eclair Cake

If you are looking for a dessert to take to a get-together that is a little out of the ordinary...look no further! This AMAZING layered pastry dessert is always a crowd pleaser.
Chocolate Eclair Cake

1 cube margarine
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup water
1 cup flour
4 eggs

Boil the margarine, salt and water. Remove from heat. Add flour and beat well (by hand.) Add the eggs one at a time. Mix well after each egg is added. Spread mixture on slightly greased cookie sheet or baking pan (12X15.) Prick mixture with a fork before baking for 25-30 minutes at 400. Cool.

Pudding Layer:
2 small packages instant vanilla pudding
3 cups milk
1 (8oz) package softened cream cheese

Stir together pudding and milk and mix for 2 minutes at lowest speed with electric mixer or by hand with a wire whip. Add cream cheese that has been whipped, to the pudding; mix very well. Spread mixture onto the cooled pastry layer.

On top of the pudding mixture, spread a (12 oz) container of Cool Whip. Drizzle chocolate syrup across the top. Chill for 2-3 hours.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Applesauce Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is not your typical chocolate chip cookie...In fact, it's kind of like comparing apples and oranges in my opinion. These have a totally different texture ( a little more cake-like...) and are delish! This is one of our favorite "take-on-a-roadtrip" treats. And since you can make them ahead, you won't have to be worrying about getting them made right as you are trying to pack up the car. Just layer them in a tupperware (with wax paper in between layers), put them in the freezer and then grab them on your way out the door. (That is if they last in the freezer long enough...I tend to snitch every time I walk through the kitchen...)

Applesauce Chocolate Chip Cookies
Dora Larsen

1 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
3 eggs

1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup rolled oats
2 cups applesauce that has 2 tsp soda added to it
5 cups flour

Drop onto greased cookie sheet and bake for 12 minutes at 350.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Fruit Pizza

This is the all-time perfect summer dessert. Fresh fruit mixed with cream cheese deliciousness...How can you go wrong? This is by far my favorite fruit pizza recipe. The crust is only slightly sweet, so it compliments the toppings. Serve this at brunch or as a dessert and you will have your guests raving! It makes a beautiful presentation and let's face it...nobody can stop at just one slice! Be creative...this is a work of art! My preference (albeit the slower option) is to cut my fruit into tiny pieces and layer them closely together. This makes it so that there is great variety in each bite. You can make this in a large cookie sheet or a circular pie pan. Refreshing and amazingly yummy!

Fruit Pizza
Andrea Beck

2 cubes butter
2 cups flour
2 Tbsp powdered sugar
Mix like crust and press into cookie sheet/pie pan.
Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Cool.

12 oz. cream cheese (1 1/2 packages)
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups Cool Whip
Mix and spread on cooled crust.

pineapple, mandarin oranges, berries, kiwi, mangos, peaches, etc...(Use a variety of color)

1/2 cup sugar and 2 Tbsp corn starch; stir.
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup water
Bring to a boil. Cool. Drizzle over fruit. Refrigerate pizza.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Spicy Honey Chicken Salad

The hubs doesn't know how this can be counted as a salad because it's so amazing (and apparently men can't think salads are yummy??) It tastes light and refreshing and has already made its way into our kitchen multiple times this summer. This sweet and mildly spicy dish is perfect for a hot day!

Spicy Honey Chicken Salad
Kate Jones and Sara Wells

8 boneless skinless chicken thighs (thighs work better in this recipe than breasts); about 2 lbs.
2 tsp vegetable oil

1/2 cup honey
1 Tbsp cider vinegar

2 tsp granulated garlic (I had a hard time finding this...the best substitute I have found is 1 tsp garlic powder)
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp coriander
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder

Salad (yields 4 large salads or 6 small ones)
1-2 heads romaine or red leaf lettuce
2 ripe mangoes, chilled
2-3 ripe avocados
1 small red onion, sliced (or diced)
1 recipe Honey-Citrus Vinaigrette (recipe to follow)

1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat or about 400 degrees.
2. Combine rub ingredients in a small bowl
3. Trim any visible fat from the thighs, rinse and pat dry with a paper towel. Drizzle oil over chicken and rub it in with your hands. Rub the spice rub into the chicken. Grill for 3-5 minutes each side.
4. For the glaze: While chicken is cooking, warm honey in the microwave for about 15 seconds. Whisk in vinegar. Reserve 2 Tbsp glaze and brush the rest on the chicken in the final moments of cooking. Remove chicken from the grill and allow to stand 3-5 minutes. Drizzle reserved 2 Tbsp of glaze over chicken while it's standing.
5. For salad: While chicken is grilling, wash lettuce and divide among plates. Slice mangoes, avocados and onions and arrange on top of lettuce. When chicken has rested for 5 minutes after cooking, slice and divide among the salad plates. Serve immediately with Honey-Citrus Vinaigrette.

Honey Citrus Vinaigrette:
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 tsp grated onion
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp honey
3/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Combine ingredients together in a jar and shake until well combined. Shake well before serving.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Fresh Lime Freeze

Our dad used to make these for us as kids...okay, and still makes them for us as adults. This is one of my favorite summertime indulgences...Super easy and very refreshing...Whip this up for your next impromptu get together!
Fresh Lime Freeze
vanilla ice cream

Scoop ice cream into a 6-cup blender. Fill it 3/4 way. Add the juice from 1 1/2-2 limes and 1/2 cup 7-up. Pulse. Stop and stir with a spatula to make sure it is blending well. Add more 7-up as needed for desired consistency (should be like a milk shake...) and pulse until well blended. Yields 2 medium freezes.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Puffed French Toast

The hubby has informed me this was "the best breakfast he has ever eaten..." And so, we recently pulled it back out for Father's Day. Pretty much, it's dessert and oh so yummy!
Puffed French Toast
Kate Jones and Sara Wells

2 eggs
2 1/2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups milk
1 cup flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
12 slices Texas-style toast, cut in half diagonally
cinnamon and sugar mixture (3/4 cup sugar mixed with 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp cinnamon)

1. In a large skillet or frying pan, heat about 1/4 inch canola oil over medium heat. If you have a candy thermometer, you want the oil heated to about 375 degrees.

2. If you are not using a candy thermometer, test the oil by flicking some water into the frying pan. If it pops, reduce the heat. If hardly anything happens, turn up the heat. If it sizzles, it is just right.

3. While the oil is heating, whisk the eggs, sugar, salt, vanilla, milk, flour and baking powder together in a shallow dish or pie plate.

4. Working quickly, take each half slice of bread and dip both sides in the mixture. Don't allow the bread to become too soaked in the batter. Gently shake the bread to remove excess batter and place in hot oil. Cook until puffed, golden brown and a nice, crispy crust has formed on each side (3-5 minutes per side; you really need to babysit them and make sure they're cooking correctly) and then remove from oil and drain on a paper towel. While cooking remaining french toast, keep cooked pieces warm in an oven set to the lowest temperature it will go.

5. When ready to serve, roll each piece in cinnamon sugar mixture. Drizzle with Buttermilk Caramel Syrup.

Buttermilk Caramel Syrup
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.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Buttermilk Caramel Syrup

Buttermilk Caramel Syrup
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.

Cheesecake for a Crowd

Unfortunately, the only picture I got of this delicious dessert was AFTER children and teenagers at the church picnic had begun to dig in...and not with many manners...But it was devoured in about 10 seconds flat...So, it must be good, right? This is an easy way to make a "cheesecake" type dessert for a large crowd.

Cheesecake for a Crowd
1 chocolate cake mix
2 pkgs. cream cheese (8 oz)
2 cups whipping cream
4 cups powdered sugar
2 cans pie filling of your choice (I like raspberry and strawberry)

1. Mix together cake mix. Bake on large cookie sheet for 1/2 the time recommended on box. Cool.

2. Whip cream cheese, cream and powdered sugar together until thick. Spread over cooled cake and chill overnight or for several hours.

3. Just before serving, add pie filling to top.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


This is my family's version of a sloppy joe. It isn't tomato based however, so its taste is completely unique. It is a big hit whenever it is served and can be made to feed the masses. It also freezes well in tupperware and can easily be zapped in the microwave for a quick meal. Yummy served with homemade french fries or tater tots and oven-roasted broccoli.

Brown 1 lb. hamburger and 2/3 cups chopped onion. (I usually use 1 Tbsp minced onion.) While hamburger is cooking, add 1/2 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper.

Add 1 can Campbell's Chicken Gumbo soup, 1 Tbsp ketchup and 1 Tbsp mustard. Simmer. Serve on a bun.

Yields 8 servings.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Cinnamon Cookies (Snickerdoodles)

For whatever reason, I became the cinnamon cookie (or snickerdoodle) baker in my family at a fairly young age...Still to this day, my brothers ask me to make these for them when we are together. They are soft...which I think sets them apart from other cinnamon cookie recipes...
Cinnamon Cookies
1/2 cup shortening
1 cube butter
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs

2 3/4 cup flour
2 tsp cream of tarter
1 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt

Roll dough into balls the size of a golf ball. Roll in cinnamon and sugar mixture. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 400 for 8 minutes.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Oven-Roasted Broccoli

Do you dislike broccoli because of the texture? This is by far the best I've ever more mush!
Oven-Roasted Broccoli
Kate Jones and Sara Wells

4-5 cups broccoli (about 2 regular-sized heads), cleaned and stems trimmed
3 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1-2 Tbsp shredded parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 425
2. Place broccoli on a foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle the broccoli with olive oil and then toss to combine and coat each piece. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until stems are golden brown and slightly crisp looking. Remove broccoli from oven and immediately sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Toss and serve.