Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas Cookies

Here are the highlights of Christmas baking with the kids - such a fun tradition!

Rolling out sugar cookies with Grandma!

Nutter Butter "Snowmen" (most look like aliens - on purpose!)

Mom made me Date Nut Balls - delicious!

The kids made cream cheese mints. How these came to be a Christmas tradition, I'll never know.

Drizzling the Coated Cookie Drops! What a fun mess!

These are always the first to go!

Sugar Cookies (cut-out)


2/3 C shortening
¾ C sugar
½ t. grated orange peel
½ t. vanilla
1 ½ t. baking powder
1 egg
4 t. milk
2 C flour
¼ t. salt

Preheat oven to 350-375 degrees. Thoroughly cream shortening, sugar, orange peel & vanilla. Add egg; beat until fluffy. Stir in milk. Sift together dry ingredients; blend in creamed ingredients. Divide dough in half, flatten somewhat into circle, cover in plastic wrap and chill 1 hour. On lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/8” Cut in desired shapes with cookie cutters. Baked on greased cookie sheet about 6-8 min. Cool slightly. Remove from pan. Cool and then decorate.

These are good without frosting!

Serving: 2 dozen
Recipe Given By: Mom Underhill

Date Nut Balls
Mix and bring to a boil, then cool:

1 stick butter
¾ C sugar
1 lb. dates, cut

Mix together:

1 beaten egg
1 t. vanilla
1 T. milk
½ t. salt

Then add to the above mixture, boil 2 min.


½ C nuts
2 C rice krispies

Form balls and roll in flaked coconut.

Recipe Given By: Mom Underhill/Amy Richardson

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Crumbly Apple Pie

Crumbly Apple Pie

1 C flour
½ t. salt
1/3 C chilled vegetable shortening
¼ C ice water

7 medium Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, or Gravenstein apples, peeled, cored, and very thinly sliced
½ C sugar
1 t. cinnamon
¼ t. ground nutmeg
¼ t. salt
(I add a little flour – 1 or 2 T.)

¾ C firmly packed dark brown sugar (I used light)
¾ C flour
½ t. ground nutmeg
1/3 C chilled butter, cut into small pieces

Place oven rack in lowest position. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

To prepare the crust, in a med bowl, mix together flour and salt. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut shortening into flour mixture until coarse crumbs form.

Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with fork, until a dough forms. Shape into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for 30 min.

On a floured surface, using a floured rolling pin, roll dough into a 12” circle. Fit into a 9” pie pan. Trim excess dough, leaving a 1” overhang; make a decorative edge.

To prepare filling, mix together all ingredients. Spoon into crust.

To prepare topping, in a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, flour and nutmeg. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut butter into brown sugar mixture until coarse crumbs form. Sprinkle apples evenly with topping.

Bake pie until topping is lightly browned and filling is bubbly, 35 min. If pie is overbrowning, cover loosely with aluminum foil. Transfer to a wire rack.

Recipe Given By: Great American Home Baking

Hint: Most of the time I use a prepackaged crust, but I included this crust recipe because it's tasty, as well.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Comfort Food

Although this is my cooking blog and I usually never post anything but recipes or fun food finds, I thought today I'd just talk about what food has meant to me this past week.

Two Sundays ago my grandmother passed away. It was unexpected, but not a surprise. She had been in ill-health, but the day before she died she spent 2 1/2 hours Christmas shopping at Walmart. She had been planning and living for the future and passed quietly; our family found great comfort in this.

As we were waiting for funeral arrangements and planning our travel back to the Midwest, I had two neighbors purchase snacks for our car trip. They knew we wouldn't be home so they used their creativity to bless us; it was one less thing to do. They purchased yummy treats that reminded us of their love each time we dipped into the stash of snacks. What a blessing!

Of course, when someone dies, food generally begins flowing into the deceased one's home to alleviate the family of that task and to bring comfort. There is comfort in eating when you are grieving. You certainly don't FEEL like eating, but being with family, sharing the outpouring love of neighbors and friends brings you comfort so you eat. Extended family and friends brought delicious food to my grandmother's home and we were grateful for the loving bounty.

There was a reception for everyone after the burial and again, the food was abundant. So many people cared in a very tangible way by providing and serving the food for our family. Our thanks could never be enough for their kindness. Much of that food returned to Grandma's house and we didn't even have to think about meal preparations for our large family.

On the last night there we used some of those leftovers, but we also pulled out some of Grandma's canned and fresh vegetables. My mom made a family-staple gravy from Grandma's bacon drippings to go with the fresh mashed potatoes and it was if we were sitting down to one of Grandma's feasts. When I sat down at the table and saw a meal that Grandma herself would have made, served in her own dishes it was overwhelmingly sad. I just wished she could have been there with us.

The very last notecard I received from my Grandma, which is still sitting in my mail slot, included two family recipes written in her own handwriting on 3x5 cards. She will never know how much I will cherish those index cards and recipes.

So, when you think about your food preparations this coming holiday season, please, just take the time to enjoy the traditions, the people and the gifts of food. So often we share love by feeding someone; I pray that you'll be blessed by both the bounty you receive and the bounty you share.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sausage Gravy

This is one of those recipes that my Great-Grandmother, Grand-Mother and Mother have perfected, but the "milk gravy" gene has stopped with me. I don't think I have enough patience. I also know that a cast iron skillet might have a little something to do with it; I always forget to use that thing! I don't make a "mean gravy," but I do make a passable one. Good luck!

Sausage Gravy & Biscuits


Canned biscuits
1/2-3/4 pound of sausage (I use bulk pork sausage)
Black pepper - loads of it!

4 cups of milk
4-6 tablespoons of flour

Prepare biscuits as instructed on package. Brown sausage in skillet. As soon as sausage is completely browned, remove from pan. Add flour by the tablespoon, stirring constantly. Let the flour turn DEEP GOLDEN BROWN. If you don't, your gravy will taste like flour. After you have added enough flour to make the gravy as thick as you like, add milk and stir with whisk. Add black pepper to taste. Return sausage to the skillet to rewarm as the milk thickens. *Patience is the key! :)

Serve over biscuits.

Recipe Given By: Angie Martens

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Peach-Banana Cream

This was one of the first recipes I made for my husband when we were first married. When we wed, I couldn't cook anything...not even a grilled cheese sandwich! He taught me how to cook and I used my Betty Crocker Cookbook like a Bible for the first year. This brings back lots of memories!

Peach-Banana Cream


1 can (16 oz.) sliced peaches, drained
1 pkg (3 3/4 oz) banana instant pudding and pie filling
1 C whipping cream
Place peaches in blender container. Cover and blend on high speed until smooth, about 20 seconds. Add pudding and pie filling (dry) and whipping cream. Cover and blend on high speed, stopping blender frequently to scrape sides, until smooth and thickened, about 30 seconds. Sprinkle with ground nutmeg if desired.

Servings: 4
Recipe Given By: Betty Crocker's Cookbook under Apricot-Banana Cream
Hint: We garnish with added fruit on the top. Beware: this is a very sweet dessert so a little goes a long way. (You can substitute a 17 oz. can of apricot halves, drained for the peaches.)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Easy Bake

Anyone, remember this contraption? The Easy Bake oven - the stuff dreams are made of for little girls; the nemesis of Mom's everywhere.

Katie LOVES to cook; actually, Katie LOVES anything to do with food. She faithfully watches the Food Network with her Dad and me and just a few nights ago told me that she would "try" the caramel apple with meal worms on it - a feature on a Halloween Food Network special. I believe she would try anything once; she's brave like her Daddy. I digress...

Anyway, Katie got the idea in her mind to break out the Easy Bake oven. We haven't done it for years. I balk at the idea of cooking a nasty tasting mix by a 100 watt bulb, especially one that costs $5.74. However, for the love of my children, I went back in my memory to recall the thrill of cooking in my own Easy Bake Oven. Being interpreted: I caved! I tried to talk her into "real baking" (Betty Crocker mix), but she would have none of it. So this past weekend, we gave it a go.

Here's the girl's sweet delights:

Yellow Cake with white frosting, ribboned in pink

Chocolate Cake with Pink Frosting, decorated with sprinkles

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Ground Beef Stew

Years ago my husband asked me to stop making beef stew because I overcooked the meat every time. (Such talent I had!) Because of that, I looked for a beef stew that I didn't have to precook the meat. I'm sure I'll post that recipe sometime this winter, but until then here's a stew that you can throw into the crockpot. It's low-cost, family-friendly and hearty! I serve it with biscuits just like my Momma used to do.

Ground Beef Stew


1 lb. ground beef
6 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 pkg. (16 oz) baby carrots
3 C water
2 T. dry onion soup mix
1 garlic clove, minced
1 t. Italian seasoning
1 to 1 ½ t. salt
¼ t. garlic powder
¼ t. pepper
1 can (10 ¾ oz) condensed tomato soup, undiluted
1 can (6 oz) Italian tomato paste

In a skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. In a slow cooker, combine the next nine ingredients. Stir in the beef. Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours. Stir in soup and tomato paste; cover and cook for 1 hour or until heated through.

Servings: 28
Recipe Given By:
Quick Cooking
Hint: I'm sure this would freeze well, although it never lasts around my house long enough to find out.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Spiders and Webs, Oh My!

In honor of Halloween check out Bakerella. She has the cutest spiders and web cookies here. Wish I had seen these sooner; I might have tried those cookies. A good excuse to buy Trix!

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Cinnamon Pancake Cubes

Here's a yummy treat for breakfast or anytime of the day! My kids & hubby gobble these tasty bites up! When you make pancakes, save some aside to give this recipe a try. You're kids will love it!

Cinnamon Pancake Cubes


1 T. butter or margarine
2-3 pancakes (about 6 inches), cut into 1-in pieces
1 T. sugar
1/8 t. ground cinnamon

In a skillet, melt butter. Add the pancakes, sugar and cinnamon. Cook over low heat until heated through, about 3 minutes.

Servings: 2
Recipe Given By:
Quick Cooking, J/F ’02

melt-in-your-mouth good!

Is someone trying to sneak a bite?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Burritos de Huevo con Chorizo

Mark and I used to attend an adult Sunday School class where each family was on a rotation to bring in a breakfast treat to share. You can imagine that we got the typical pastries, doughnuts and fruit breads so it was a big hit when one day these Mexican Breakfast Burritos were brought in and shared. I knew right away my husband would want the recipe! We don't eat this very often, but once fall campouts begin in Boy Scouts, Mark breaks out this recipe to share with the other Dad's. He's always kind enough to leave a few behind for me when he heads to the hills.

Burritos de Huevo con Chorizo


2 T. oil
1 lb. sausage (Logan’s Mexican style chorizo)
1 T chopped onion
6 eggs
salt to taste
6 flour tortillas (or up to 10-12, see hint below)
1/2 bag of frozen hash browns (*our addition, you can leave it out)

Heat the oil in a skillet, add the chorizo and onions and sauté for about 5 min.

In a bowl, beat the eggs lightly and add the salt. Pour into skillet and mix with chorizo. Cook for about 3 min or until eggs are set, stirring occasionally.

At the same time, cook the frozen hash browns according to the package directions.

Heat a dry skillet (large enough for 1 tortilla) over moderately high heat until hot. In skillet heat tortillas, 1 at a time, turning frequently, 30 seconds, or until softened, and transfer to a work surface. Divide filling AND potatoes between tortillas and roll up burritos.

You may spread refried beans on the tortillas before adding the chorizo and egg filling.

Recipe Given By: Judith Rivera
Hint: We make a double batch and use 1lb. spicy chorizo and 1 lbs. mild chorizo and combine for an extra tang. Just freeze and enjoy for a quick on-the-go breakfast. **We get 20-24 out of a double batch that includes the added potatoes so be prepared to make more than 6 burritos.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Creamy Chicken & Rice, Acorn Squash

Last night I tried my first Pioneer Woman recipe. We had picked out a couple of Acorn squash at the pumpkin patch with the intent of baking them and Pioneer Woman posted a recipe recently that looked yummy so we gave it a try. Love You, Pioneer Woman, but not your squash!
You can see her recipe here.

Here they are after 20 minutes of roasting with the sugar/butter paste added.
Lookin' good so far.

They weren't quite done when the recipe said they would be. I had a Chicken casserole in the oven set at 425 degrees. I popped the squash back into the oven at that temperature for another 15 minutes. At the end of that time, they were fork tender.

At first my husband LOVED them, then he LIKED them, then He said, "We should try it differently next time." ??? He ate almost half the dish.

The olive oil, brown sugar and rosemary was an interesting combination. They smelled delectable, but the flavors just did not gel for me. I ate two wedges to be polite. Each of the kids took one bite and looked like they were going to die - not pretty.

We'd like to try Acorn squash again, but this time we'll leave off the olive oil and substitute some other non-healthy fat, I'm sure. The rosemary? Maybe a little less or something else. The sugar/butter mixture...that can stay!

Here's what we had for dinner last night - Creamy Chicken and Rice, Acorn Squash and Steamed Broccoli. It definitely felt like a Autumn Comfort Meal.

Creamy Chicken and Rice


4 C cooked rice (2 dry)
½ C butter or margarine, divided
¼ C flour
2 C milk
2 t chicken bouillon granules
½ - 1 t seasoned salt
½ t garlic powder
¼ t pepper
4 – 5 C cubed cooked chicken
12 oz. process American cheese, cubed
2 C (16 oz) sour cream
1 ¼ C crushed butter-flavored crackers (@ 32)

Spread rice into a greased shallow 3-qt. or 13x9x2” baking dish; set aside. In a saucepan, melt ¼ C butter; stir in flour until smooth. Gradually add milk, bouillon, seasoned salt, garlic powder and pepper. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 min or until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat; add chicken, cheese and sour cream; stir until the cheese is melted. Pour over rice. Melt the remaining butter; toss with cracker crumbs. Sprinkle over casserole. Bake, uncovered, at 425 degrees for 10- 15 min or until heated through.

Serving: 6-8
Recipe Given By:
Quick Cooking M/A 1999 p. 28

Monday, October 26, 2009

Homemade Chicken Soup

We've had some sniffles at our house lately and when we're feeling run-down, I like to break out the Chicken Soup recipe. I start feeling better as soon as I pull out the stock pot.

Homemade Chicken Soup


Whole fryer chicken (or any amount you desire)
1 med onion, cut very fine
3-4 carrots, cut very fine
pkg of egg noodles
2 chicken bouillons(to enhance flavor)
salt and pepper

Clean out chicken, cut up and boil in water in a stock pot. Skim fat off the top. (Cook until looks done – about 30-40 min) Remove chicken, debone, remove skin, and cut into bite-size pieces. Return chicken to stock pot, add onions, carrots, bouillons, salt and pepper. Simmer until carrot are tender, about 10 min. Then add egg noodles and boil until done, about 8-9 min.

Serving: 16 C liquid, 10 people
Recipe By: Angie Martens

Good Health to You!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Cajun Chicken Strips

This is a quick main dish that we serve with macaroni and cheese and corn bread muffins. Although we eat dinner most nights at the table, this meal lends itself to sitting around the tv at our's just has that comfy laid-back feeling to us.

Cajun Chicken Strips


1 T flour
1t poultry seasoning
¾ t garlic salt
½ t paprika
¼ t pepper
1/8 – ¼ t cayenne pepper
1 ½ lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts,
cut into ½” strips
2 T butter or margarine
Italian parsley and chili peppers, optional

In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the first six ingredients. Add chicken, half at a time, and shake to coat. In a large skillet, cook chicken in butter for 8-10 min or until the juices run clear. Garnish with parsley and peppers if desired.

Serving: 4-6
Recipe Given By: Quick Cooking Premiere p. 23, * see recipe
at Taste of Home

(mine look more like nuggets comparatively, but bite-sized works for us.)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Mini-Focaccia Rounds

Fast, easy and delicious dinner bread! Give it a try!

Mini-Foccacia Rounds


1 pkg (11 oz) refrigerated soft breadsticks dough
2 T olive oil
1 T Parmesan cheese, grated (use real!)
1 t. dried rosemary leaves, crushed
1 t. dried basil leaves
1 t. instant minced onion

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly spray 15” baking stone with vegetable oil spray. Remove dough from pkg. Separate into 8 coils; DO NOT UNROLL BREADSTICKS. Place coils on stone. Press each coil into a 4” circle. Drizzle with oil. In small bowl, combine Parmesan cheese, rosemary, basil and onion; sprinkle over dough. Bake 10-15 min or until golden brown.

Serving: 8
Recipe Given By: Pillsbury/Pampered Chef p. 3

(I've served it with Meatloaf Miniatures, mashed potatoes and steamed baby carrots.)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Do-It-Yourself Teppanyaki

On May 9th I shared a Fried Rice Recipe with you that included an amazing sauce. Many years ago, our dear friends, the Valenzuela's, had us for dinner and served us a Japanese meal that centered around food cooked on a griddle in the middle of the table. It was accompanied by The Sauce. Here's the recipe and pictures of us sharing the meal with my in-laws.

The Sauce


½ C soy sauce
½” of ginger, sliced
¼ C water
1 t. sesame seeds
½ C brown sugar
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 drops Tabasco

Boil these ingredients for 1 min., then strain and serve as a dipping sauce. (Can be doubled.) Serve with white rice.

Heat a griddle and spread with margarine. Cook cook raw beef, skinless chicken breast, scallops, shrimp, Napa cabbage, bean sprouts, onions, mushrooms, zucchini, Chinese eggplant and peppers.

Recipe Given By: Sofia Valenzuela/Jon Sugimoto

We try to keep the shrimp and scallops to the outside so they don't get overdone and the chicken right down the middle where the griddle is hottest. Napa cabbage lays across the cooked meat or vegetables and wilts as it steams.

Here's what our table layout looks like. We keep the raw meat separate from the vegetables. You can see Katie in the background taking photos for the blog.

This photo shows our place settings. We each have a small bowl of rice and a small bowl of the dipping sauce. The margarine is on hand in case the food begins to stick. Most of the vegetables taste better with a little margarine coating the cooking surface anyway. We try to have forks to turn the food and chopsticks to eat with, but when it's family we don't follow that rule strictly.

This is a do-it-yourself teppanyaki meal.
Japanese: teppan (griddle) + yaki (broiling).

douzo omeshiagari kudasai (Japanese: Enjoy your meal!)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Green Chili Enchiladas

This is one of my quick-and-easy recipes for a night when I've got to get food on the table quickly. Mark and I were introduced to this recipe by a family in California who invited us over for dinner when we were newly married. We're now coming up on our 21st anniversary so it's been with us for a good, long while.

Green Chili Enchiladas


2 cans (@ 10 oz. each) of green enchilada sauce
2 C shredded cheddar cheese
2 C shredded Monterey Jack cheese
@ 10 flour tortillas (soft taco size - @ 7" across)

Put a little sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 pyrex or glass dish. Use just enough sauce to cover the bottom so the tortillas don't stick. Put about 4-5 T of the cheeses in a tortilla, drizzle 1 T of the sauce over the cheese. Roll up the tortilla and put in the dish. Continue with the rest of the tortillas. When the dish is full of tortillas, spoon the remainder of the enchilada sauce over the top. Sprinkle the remaining cheeses on top, as well. Bake at 350 for 30 min.

Serving: 10
Recipe Given By: Angie Martens
Hint: some extended family members add chicken; our family doesn't care for the addition. We cook up a big batch of white rice and add a quick vegetable for a full Mexican meal.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Chicken in a Pot leftovers

What to do with those leftovers?

If we don't cut up the chicken to use in fried rice...

Then we add them with cheese and make a toasty quesadilla!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Chicken in a Pot

Chicken in a Pot


3-4 lbs. whole frying chicken
1 t. poultry seasoning
½ t. salt
¼ t. basil
¼ t. pepper

Wash chicken and pat dry. Sprinkle cavity with salt pepper, and poultry seasoning. Put in Dutch oven and sprinkle with basil. Cover and bake for 4-6 hours or until tender.

Our family’s version:
Use a family size pkg. of drumsticks, put one layer in crock pot, sprinkle with half the seasonings, put another layer of drumsticks on top of the first, sprinkle with remaining seasonings. Lay 4 pieces of bacon across the top and cook on low for 4-6 hours.

Serving: 16
Recipe Given By:Boy Scout Cookbook
Hint:Do not add liquid! The chicken will fall off the bones. It takes like a roasted chicken. Yum!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Fruit Dip

Fruit Dip


8 oz. cream cheese, softened
7 oz. marshmallow crème
2 C. whipped topping
T. sugar

Combine all ingredients and beat until smooth.

Serve this with grapes, oranges, apples, bananas, peaches, and strawberries.

Recipe Given By:
Aunt Ellie Couch
Hint: I leave out the 2 T. sugar; it doesn't change the flavor. I do not serve with grapes, oranges or peaches - too messy, but I do serve with cantaloupe, and pineapple.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Chicken Curry

Chicken Curry

Start cooking white rice (amount you prefer)

Boil 1-1 ½ lbs. boneless chicken breasts (2-3 C), skin, debone, cut into bite-size pieces when cooked.

Sauté vegetables in butter or oil until barely tender about 10 min.
¼ C melted butter or olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
4 med stalks celery, chopped (@ 1 C)

Mix flour into sautéed ingredients well and stir constantly for @ 1 min; remove from heat and blend in chicken broth:
6 T unbleached white flour
3 C chicken broth (from cooking chicken)

Add and continue to cook and stir until thickened:
1 t. – 3 T. curry powder to taste (@ 2 t.)
1 t. salt
1 t. Spike seasoning
½ t. paprika
½ t. soy sauce
¼ t. garlic powder/1 t. chopped fresh garlic

Gently stir in the chicken chunks. Pour sauce into separate container or over rice. Cool. Freezes well.
Recipe Given By: Emilie Barnes

Monday, August 3, 2009

Deviled Eggs

Some may not think much of the humble Deviled Egg, but once you've had a taste of my family recipe...well, you may never shun another "bad egg" again.

Deviled Eggs


8 eggs
mayonnaise, about 1 C
salt, paprika to taste
1/8 t pickle relish
tip of spoon in mustard

Boil, and shell eggs. Cut in half length-wise. Scoop out yolks. Add to yolks the ingredients above and beat until smooth and creamy looking. Fill eggs.

Serving: 16 deviled eggs
Recipe Given By: Mom Underhill

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Pizza Spread

We usually eat one large meal on Sunday afternoon and then get the munchies during the early evening hours. This is a quick and easy snack to whip up and then put into the fondue pot. At our house it gets rave reviews and we're always thinking of other people we can share this recipe with as we chat and eat around the table.

Pizza Spread


1 lb. ground beef
1 jar (26 oz) marinara or spaghetti sauce
1 t. dried oregano
4 C (16 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
1 loaf Italian or French bread, cubed or sliced

In a saucepan, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in marinara sauce and oregano. Gradually stir in cheese until melted. Pour into a fondue pot or small slow cooker to keep warm. Serve with bread.

Serving: 8-10
Recipe Given By: Quick Cooking

Monday, July 27, 2009

Slow-Cooker BBQ Pork Sandwiches

Slow-Cooker BBQ Pork Sandwiches


1 boneless pork shoulder (2 lb.)
3 onions, sliced, separated into rings
½ C Kraft Original Barbecue Sauce (or other)
8 Kaiser rolls, split
8 Kraft Singles

Place meat in slow cooker; top with onions and barbecue sauce. Cover with lid. Cook on LOW for 8-10 hours (or high for 4-5 hours).

Remove meat from slow cooker; cut off and discard excess fat. Chop meat into small pieces or shred with fork. Return to slow cooker; stir until evenly coated with sauce.

Fill rolls with meat mixture and singles just before serving.

Serving: 8
Recipe Given By:

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Meat Loaf Miniatures

Meat Loaf Miniatures

1 C ketchup
3 - 4 T. packed brown sugar
1 t. ground mustard
2 eggs, beaten
4 t. Worcestershire sauce
3 C Crispix cereal, crushed
3 t. onion powder
½ - 1 t. seasoned salt
½ t. garlic powder
½ t. pepper
3 lbs. lean ground beef

In a large bowl, combine ketchup, brown sugar and mustard. Remove ½ cup for topping; set aside. (**I make extra!!) Add eggs, Worcestershire sauce, cereal and seasonings to remaining ketchup mixture; mix well. Let stand for 5 minutes. Crumble beef over cereal mixture and mix well.

Press meat mixture into 18 muffin cups (about 1/3 C each). Bake at 375 degrees for 18-20 min. Drizzle with reserved ketchup mixture; bake 10 minutes longer or until meat is no longer pink and a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees. Serve desired number of meat loaves. Cool remaining loaves; freeze. Transfer to freezer bags; freeze for up to 3 months.

To use frozen meat loaves: Completely thaw in the refrigerator. Place loaves in a greased baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until heated through, or cover and microwave on high for 1 minute or until heated through.

Serving: 1 ½ dozen
Recipe Given By: Quick Cooking J/F ’01, p. 29

Hint: A good amount of the fat from the meat remains behind in the bottom of the muffin pan. These go well with mashed potatoes. Perfect size for kids and leftovers.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Breakfast Breads Week Grand Final - Cake Doughnuts

If you listen closely, I'm sure you'll be able to hear our family's groans of delight! I'm telling ya, this was a GRAND FINALE to Breakfast Breads Week. Rhett said, "The people who said, "You can have too much of a good thing" LIED!" :) These cake doughnuts were easy to make, had amazing flavor (thank you, nutmeg!) and made our Saturday morning quite special. You really should give these a try; I hope you will. YUM!

Cake Doughnuts


4 C all-purpose flour
1 C sugar
3 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
1/2 t. nutmeg
1 C buttermilk
1/4 C margarine or butter, melted, or 1/4 C oil (I used margarine)
1 t. vanilla
2 eggs, slightly beaten
Oil for deep frying

In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg; mix well. Add all remaining ingredients except oil for frying; stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. If desired, refrigerate dough for easier handling. Fill large saucepan or electric skillet 2/3 full with oil. Heat to 375 degrees. Meanwhile, on well-floured surface, knead dough 1 to 2 minutes or until no longer sticky. Roll half of dough at a time to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut with floured doughnut cutter. With pancake turner, slip doughnuts and holes into hot oil. Fry doughnuts and holes 1 - 1 1/2 minutes on each side or until deep golden brown. Drain on paper towels. If desired, roll doughnuts and holes in powdered sugar, granulated sugar or a cinnamon-sugar mixture, or drizzle with glaze.

Serving: 30 doughnuts (I think, we got about 20)
Recipe Given By: Pillsbury Best Muffins and Quick Breads

Hints: 1) I refrigerated the second half of dough and it was easier to handle, 2) we used an electric fryer, but a heavy duty skillet would work just fine, I think, 3) I dropped dough in by hand (dumb!) and took out with tongs; dropping doughnut holes causes burns!, 4) we tried all 4 sweet treatments - didn't care for powdered sugar or the drizzle of glaze, loved the sugar and cinnamon sugar coatings, 5) make sure oil is completely cool before returning to plastic container to throw away; our "hot plastic" is now sitting in a sink submerged in a tub of ice water.

Here we go...

Flipped and almost ready...

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Banana Mini-Muffins

We tried another batch of muffins for the kids. These had an autumn cinnamon/nutmeg taste - so yummy. We made them extra delicious by drizzling with a powdered sugar/milk glaze. Yes, you'll see below that I used a Christmas-themed paper baking cup; you use what ya have, that's all I've got to say!

Banana Mini-Muffins


1 C all-purpose flour
1 C whole wheat flour
1/2 C sugar
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/8 t. salt
1/8 t. allspice
1 egg
1/2 C buttermilk
1/2 C (1 medium) mashed ripe banana
1/3 C oil

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 36 miniature muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray or line with paper baking cups. In large bowl, combine all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, salt and allspice; mix well. In small bowl, beat egg. Add buttermilk, banana and oil; mix well. Add to flour mixture; stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. Divide batter evenly into sprayed muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until muffins are light golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Immediately remove from pan. Serve warm.

Serving: 36 min-muffins
Recipe Given by: Pillsbury Best Muffins and Quick Breads
Note: If necessary to bake muffins in batches, remaining batter can be refrigerated and baked as soon as possible.
Hint: I didn't have whole wheat flour, just used 2 C white flour. I didn't have allspice and substituted with cinnamon.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Chocolate Chip Mini-Muffins

These were a hit at our house! Tasty, little morsels...

Chocolate Chip Mini-Muffins


2 C all-purpose flour
1/2 C sugar
3 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1/2 C miniature chocolate chips
1 egg
3/4 C skim milk
1/4 C oil

3 T. sugar
2 T. brown sugar

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 36 miniature muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray. In large bowl, combine flour, 1/2 C sugar, baking powder, salt and chocolate chips; mix well. In small bowl, beat egg. Stir in milk and oil. Add to flour mixture; stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. (Batter will be lumpy.) Divide batter evenly into sprayed muffin cups, filling each 3/4 full. In small bowl, combine topping ingredients; mix well. Sprinkle evenly over batter in cups. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately run knife around sides of muffin cups to loosen muffins; remove muffins from pan. Serve warm.

Serving: 36 mini-muffins
Recipe Given By:
Pillsbury Best Muffins and Quick Breads
Hint: If necessary to bake muffins in batches, remaining batter can be held at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Sugar-Crusted Orange Scones

Again, Pillsbury Best Muffins & Quick Breads has provided another yummy recipe! This morning we tried:

Sugar-Crusted Orange Scones


1 C all-purpose flour
1/4 C sugar
1/4 C quick-cooking rolled oats
1 t. baking powder
2 t. grated orange peel
1/8 t. salt
3 T. butter
1 egg
1/4 C orange juice

1 t. butter, melted
2 t. sugar

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease cookie sheet. In medium bowl, combine flour, 1/4 C sugar, oats, baking powder, orange peel and salt; mix well. With pastry blender or fork, cut in 3 T. butter until mixture is crumbly. In small bowl, beat egg slightly; beat in orange juice. Add to flour mixture all at once; stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. With floured hands, form mixture into 6-inch round on greased cookie sheet. Score top into 4 wedges; do not cut through. Brush with 1 t. melted butter; sprinkle with 2 t. sugar. Bake at 375 degrees for 12-22 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cut into wedges along score lines. Serve warm.

Serving: 4 Scones
Recipe Given By: Pillsbury Best Muffins & Quick Breads

lightly flavored scone just right for four people

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Baking Powder Biscuits

I'm not joking, that's truly the name of the recipe! I've got lots of baking powder experience. Ha! Would you believe me if I told you that I didn't recognize the name of this recipe until I came down to the computer this morning AFTER BAKING THEM.

They turned out delicious.

Baking Powder Biscuits


2 C all-purpose flour
3 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1/2 C shortening
1/4-1 C milk (I used 3/4 C)

Heat oven to 450 degrees. In large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt; mix well. With pastry blender or fork, cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stirring with fork, add enough milk so mixture leaves sides of bowl and forms a soft, moist dough. On floured surface, toss dough lightly until no longer sticky. Roll or press dough to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut with floured 2-inch round cutter. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 450 degrees for 8-12 minutes or until light golden brown. Serve warm.

Serves: 14 (I got 12)
Recipe Given From: Pillsbury Best Muffins & Quick Breads
Hint: In Pillsbury Best Muffins & Quick Breads there is also food processor directions and six variations on these biscuits from buttermilk to Southern-style.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Breakfast Breads Week

I checked out a yummy looking book at the library entitled, Pillsbury Best Muffins & Quick Breads. Usually when I get a cookbook out of the library I generally just dream about making some of the included recipes or pick up the book to try just one recipe specifically. This book has a plethora of delicious looking treats and I thought I'd try my first-ever "week-long series" on a specific food topic...hence, the title.

This morning we launched into muffin baking with enthusiasm. I decided to bake:

Basic Muffins with Streusel Topping

2 C all-purpose flour
1/2 C sugar
3 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
3/4 C milk
1/3 C oil
1 egg, beaten

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease bottoms only of 12 muffin cups or line with paper baking cups. In medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt; mix well. In a small bowl, combine milk, oil and egg; beat well. Add to flour mixture all at once; stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. (Batter will be lumpy.) Divide batter evenly into greased muffin cups. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 1 minute; remove from pan. Serve warm.


In small bowl, combine 1/4 C firmly packed brown sugar, 1 T softened margarine or butter, 1/2 t. cinnamon and 1/4 C nuts or flaked coconut (I left out); stir with fork until crumbly. Sprinkle evenly over batter in cups before baking.

Serving: 12 muffins
Recipe Given By: Pillsbury Best Muffins & Quick Breads

**I went back and highlighted the words "with enthusiasm" because it had to be something that made me read the recipe as "3 Tablespoons of baking powder" TWICE. As I was putting the batter together I thought, "Man, that's a lot of baking powder. " Look at the book again..."yep, that's what it says." NOPE! Didn't even realize it until I came down to share the recipe with you! So...I'm off to a good start! Now I need to go buy more baking powder before I can try my hand at this recipe again or any other, for that matter. Ha!

Well, despite my big flub-up, my family ate up the whole batch, except for the two muffins we shared with a neighbor. Poor lady...hope she's not allergic to baking powder.

Here's some pictures of our first try at "Baking Powder Muffins." (They were still tasty; think what they'll be like when made correctly! Wow, can't wait!) Tune in tomorrow for more great breakfast treats...I'll try to wake up before I begin the next batch.

Before going into the oven...muffins pretty, pan well-loved

On rack to cool...baked up too high (wonder why!)

Didn't stop her from enjoying three

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Mandarin-Cashew Tossed Salad with Honey Lime Dressing

Mandarin-Cashew Tossed Salad

5 C torn red leaf lettuce
5 C torn iceberg lettuce
3 C torn Boston lettuce
2 cans (11 oz. each) mandarin oranges, well drained
¾ C chopped green pepper
1 celery rib, thinly sliced
¼ C chopped red onion

Honey Lime Dressing:


¼ C vegetable oil
¼ C honey
½ t. ground mustard
½ t. grated lime peel
¼ t. paprika
1/8 t. salt
Dash white pepper
1 C honey roasted cashews

In a large salad bowl, combine the lettuces, oranges, green pepper, celery and onion. In a small bowl, combine the dressing; mix well. Drizzle over salad. Add cashews; toss to coat. Serve immediately.

Serving: 10-12
Recipe Given By: Quick Cooking N/D ’01, p. 28
Hint: We double dressing to use on the side and use raw or toasted cashews. **We use one beater on our hand mixer to mix the dressing together. When we do it by hand it sometimes doesn't blend well.