Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Cheese & Hot Dog Crescents

These are by far one of my kids favorite lunches. Have you ever made them? Pillsbury is genius mixing crescents with hot dogs and cheese - it's a hit at my house! To see a wonderful picture of the final product click on the Pillsbury link below.

Cheese & Hot Dog Crescents


8 hot dogs
4 slices American cheese, cut into 6 strips each
1 (8 oz) can Pillsbury Crescents

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Slit hot dogs to within ½” of ends; insert 3 strips cheese in each slit. Separate dough into 8 triangles; wrap dough over hot dog, keeping cheese facing up. Place on ungreased cookie sheet, cheese side up. Bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 min. or until golden brown.

Serving: 8
Recipe Given By:

Monday, June 28, 2010

Salsa (Mark's)

I don't have a picture to share with you since I am actually on a computer-free vacation. (Love those scheduled posts.) Anyway, I've shared Lisa's Salsa with you which is more like a salsa you'd find in a restaurant. Mark's Salsa is really Pico De Gallo. I can taste the saltiness of the chips and the tang of the tomatoes just thinking about it.

Salsa (Mark’s)


2 -3 tomatoes
¼ C water
1 garlic clove
Salt to taste
1 small sliced onion
1-2 yellow chilies
Cilantro – 1 small sprig

Chop and mix all ingredients to taste.

Recipe Given By:
Martha Martens

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Fruit Smoothies

A month ago I managed a beverage station for our Volunteer Celebration event at church. While there I made more smoothies in one night than I had ever made in my life. By chance my blender broke and the following day my husband and I picked out a new Kitchen Aid blender to replace our old one. Thank you Kitchen Aid; your appliances rock!!

We have made smoothies every day since then. really. EVERY DAY! We're fanatics.

Here is the "recipe" I follow:

For each smoothie, I fill the blender about 2 inches full of fruit. (maybe 1 1/2 - 2 C worth.)

 Strawberry
 Banana
 Mango
 Peach
 Orange
 Blueberry
 Blackberry
 Pineapple

My girls make up little smoothie order forms with the above choices. I use mostly frozen fruit bought in large packages, but we use fresh bananas and any other fresh fruit that would be cheaper than the frozen.

After putting the fruit in the blender, cover the fruit with a liquid. Our favorites around here are orange juice or lemon lime soda (yes, soda - give it a try. It's refreshing.)

If you like your drink a little sweeter, then add 1 T of sugar. Blend on high.

If the liquid seems too thin for you, add ice and pulse until you get a thicker beverage. Usually the fruit is enough to make it thick, but sometimes it needs a little extra help.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Peanut Butter-Candy bar Brownie

Nutter butters, Reeses PB cups, Butterfingers - can you have too much of a good thing? Not in this candy bar brownie. It's very rich, but delicious!

Peanut butter-candy bar Brownie


1 (16-oz.) package peanut-shaped peanut butter sandwich cookies, crushed
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
5 (1.5-oz.) packages chocolate-covered peanut butter cup candies, coarsely chopped
2 (2.1-oz.) chocolate-covered crispy peanut buttery candy bars, coarsely chopped (we tested with Butterfinger)
1 cup semisweet chocolate morsels
1/2 cup honey-roasted peanuts
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut (I omitted)

Combine crushed cookies and butter in a medium bowl. Press crumb mixture into bottom of a greased aluminum foil-lined 13" x 9" pan, allowing foil to extend over ends of pan. Bake at 350° for 6 to 8 minutes.

Combine condensed milk, peanut butter, and vanilla in a medium bowl, stirring until smooth.

Sprinkle chopped candy bars, chocolate morsels, peanuts, and coconut over crust. Drizzle condensed milk mixture over coconut.

Bake at 350° for 27 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to a wire rack, and let cool in pan. Use foil to lift uncut brownies out of pan. Peel foil away from sides of uncut brownies, and cut into bars.

Serving: 28 small bars or 18 large bars
Recipe Given by:
Southern Living Best Loved Cookies

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Sweet-Sour Pasta Salad

My husband and I enjoy this refreshing salad in the summertime. It has fresh flavors and a sweet-sour liquid that makes it a little addictive. My neighbor tried the recipe and loved it, but thought it could use less sugar. I thought I'd try a less sweet version myself sometime so if you give it a try and reduce the sugar let us know what you think of the dish!

Sweet-Sour Pasta Salad


1 pkg (16 oz) tricolor spiral pasta
1 med red onion, chopped
1 med tomato, chopped
1 med cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 med green pepper, chopped
2 T minced fresh parsley (Never dried!!)

1 ½ C sugar
½ C vinegar
1 T ground mustard
1 t salt, optional
1 t garlic powder

Cook pasta according to pkg directions; drain and rinse with cold water. Place in a large serving bowl. Add the onion, tomato, cucumber, green pepper and parsley; set aside. In a saucepan, combine the dressing ingredients. Cook over med-low heat for 10 min or until sugar is dissolved. Pour over salad and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. Serve with a slotted spoon.

Serving: 16
Recipe Given By:
Taste of Home A/M 2000 p. 32

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

I love the memories that food can evoke, don't you?

When I had just delivered my fourth child a friend from choir brought our family a meal that included chocolate covered strawberries. I can't tell you how yummy those strawberries were - oh, my! Since that experience whenever I have the opportunity to bless a family who's just had a new baby I always include chocolate covered strawberries. I do this for several reasons: it makes me remember how blessed I was by a friend, it's a great sweet treat that's not too fattening for the new mom, it's fruit and dessert in one, and it communicates I took a little extra time to make sure the recipient knows how much I care about her.

This past week when I made a meal for a co-worker I included these strawberries. I had some milk chocolate chips in my pantry and just followed the bag on the back of the package. You can do that with dark chocolate or semi-sweet too. You might even have a package on hand.

Of course, my family is now campaigning for their own strawberries. I just might have to dip a batch for us soon. Do you have a food memory to share?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Chicken in a Pot

My son is an avid Boy Scout and one of the things that my husband and son share is the love of dutch oven cooking. My husband even put together a dutch oven cookbook for our scout troop and they have enjoyed many delicious meals. In 2008 my husband came along with the American Heritage Girls for a camping trip and he cooked this recipe for our unit. It was so tasty! I figured it could be cooked in a crockpot so we gave it a try and have been eating this "roasted" chicken ever since. This past week I cooked it up and gave it to a new mom and her family. The ease of the dish and the basic taste is a winner with everyone!

Chicken in a Pot


3-4 lbs. whole frying chicken (we use legs for budget and taste)
1 t. poultry seasoning
½ t. salt
¼ t. basil
¼ t. pepper
(We add a few slices of bacon on top to give it a smokey taste.)

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.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Gingered Honey Salmon

I wrote this last year about our favorite fish recipe:

You have not had good salmon until you've tried this recipe. It's AMAZING! Both my 6 year-old and my 7 year-old requested this recipe for their birthday dinners, and, no, they are not that strange! It's that good! We often eat it with Parmesan Cous Cous, but it's good with rice pilaf too.

Gingered Honey Salmon


1/3 C orange juice
1/3 C soy sauce
¼ C honey
1 green onion, chopped
1 t ground ginger
1 t garlic powder
1 salmon fillet (1 ½ lbs and ¾” thick)

Coat grill rack with nonstick cooking spray before starting the grill. In a bowl, combine the first six ingredients; mix well. Set aside 1/3 C for basting; cover and refrigerate. Pour remaining marinade into a large resealable plastic bag or shallow glass container; add salmon and turn to coat. Seal or cover and refrigerate for 30 min, turning once or twice. Drain and discard marinade. Place salmon skin side down on grill. Grill, covered, over med-hot heat for 5 min. Baste with reserved marinade. Grill 10-15 min longer or until fish flakes easily with a fork, basting frequently.

Serving: 4-6
Recipe Given By:
Quick Cooking J/A 1999 p. 28

Monday, June 14, 2010

Sauteed Asparagus

My young girls have requested this vegetable for their birthday dinner. It's the best asparagus recipe I've ever tried. Yum!

Sautéed Asparagus


1 ½ lb asparagus
pinch of salt and sugar
2 T. olive oil
2 T minced fresh garlic
salt, freshly ground black pepper
2 T. butter
3 oz. of freshly grated or shaved parmigiano cheese
lemon slices

Cut off and discard about 1 ½ -2” from the bottom of the asparagus stalks. Place asparagus in boiling water with a pinch of salt and sugar for about 3 min. Remove and rinse immediately with cold water. Place on paper towels to dry. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil until hot; add garlic and asparagus. Sauté until the garlic is golden and the asparagus is hot. Add salt, pepper and butter. Turn spears until butter is melted and serve immediately. Garnish with parmigiano cheese and lemon slices.

Serving: 4
Recipe Given By: Fresno Bee Newspaper

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Creamy Fettuccine Alfredo

Here I blogged about one of Rhett's favorite dishes, Chicken Alfredo. He LOVES Macaroni Grill, but I wanted to have a Fettuccine Alfredo that I could call my own. I received a recipe club advertisement in the mail that included the pasta dish so I gave it a try. The results were very good. We decided to add it to our repertoire, although Rhett still claims Macaroni Grill is the best. The night before we had made grilled BBQ Chicken. I just took the skin off, broke it up into pieces and added it to the Alfredo. It was creamy and satisfying! A Keeper!

Creamy Fettuccine Alfredo


1 C (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 C whipping cream
2 C grated Parmesan Cheese
1 box (1 lb.) fettuccine
1/8 t. salt
1/8 t. black pepper
Fresh basil leaves (we left off this time)

Place the butter in a large heatproof bowl. (I used my kitchen aid mixer bowl.) Using a wooden spoon or an electric mixer set on low speed, beat until smooth. Add the cream and Parmesan cheese. Stir until well blended; set aside.

Bring a large sauce pan of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain well and immediately add the hot pasta to the butter mixture in the large bowl. Using two forks, toss the fettuccine in the butter mixture to coat well. Add the salt and pepper.

Divide the pasta between 4 serving plates. Quickly slice the basil into shreds to equal 1/4 C. Sprinkle shredded basil over each serving. Serve immediately.

Serving: 4
Recipe Given By:
Hint: I softened the butter in the microwave. It probably would have been creamier had I softened it on the counter for awhile.

Great Ideas: Stir in crisp bacon or pancetta and sliced mushrooms in when adding the pasta, creating a more hearty, robust dish. (or add leftover chicken like I did!)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Pizza Mac

Ok, this recipe makes me laugh. It came to my home in a Kraft magazine. They entitled the recipe: Pronto Pasta Italiano. Fancy...ooh, la, la. It's pizza mac, folks. Plain old pizza mac. I'm not complaining. I like a good name as much as the next girl, but it made me giggle. Not gonna lie.

Pizza Mac


1 pkg. (14 oz) Kraft Deluxe Macaroni & Cheese Dinner
1 lb. extra lean ground beef
1 C. pizza sauce
1/2 C. Kraft 2 % Milk Shredded Italian Three Cheese Blend

Prepare dinner as directed on package. Meanwhile, brown meat in large skillet. Add dinner and pizza sauce; mix lightly. Sprinkle with shredded cheese; cover. Cook on low heat 2 min. or until shredded cheese begins to melt.

Serving Suggestion: Serve with a mixed green salad tossed with Kraft Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing.

Serving: 4 (1 1/2 C. each)
Recipe Given By:

Our family like this recipe "ok" - maybe a 3 out of 5. We thought it tasted a lot like our pizza spread which is a lot more fun to eat. It was fun giving this a try, but it won't be sticking around.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Chocolate Chip Pancakes

This is my favorite pancake recipe - not too sweet, not too flat, not too fluffy...just right. Last June I shared this recipe with you, but we have come to love adding mini chocolate chips to our breakfast dish (a special treat every once in awhile. ) I thought I'd share it one more time.

Chocolate Chip Pancakes


Mix together:
1 ½ C flour
1 t. salt
3 T. sugar
1 ¾ t. baking powder

Combine together:
1 or 2 slightly beaten eggs
3 T. melted butter
1 ¼ C milk

Mix the liquid ingredients quickly into the dry ingredients. Cook on griddle or nonstick pan. Add mini chocolate chips before flipping it over. Serve with syrup.

Serving: 14 4” pancakes
Recipe Given By: Joy of Cooking

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Broccoli Casserole

This is a recipe from my childhood. It's quintessential comfort food. It makes a great side dish to almost any meat and you get a two-for-one deal with starch and vegetable combined. Kids love it because it's loaded with cheese. It's easy to make and I usually double it in a 9 x 13 pan.

Broccoli Casserole


3 t. chopped onion
¼ C butter
(10 oz) box of frozen broccoli
1 can cream of celery soup
small jar cheese whiz
1 C minute rice, uncooked

Sauté the onion in the butter until tender. Add the frozen broccoli until thawed and then add the soup and cheese whiz and let melt down some. Add the uncooked rice and place in an 8x8 pan. Cook 30 min at 350 degrees.

Recipe Given By: Mom Underhill

Friday, June 4, 2010

Red Cake with Ermine Frosting

I come from a southern family and Red Cake has often been our holiday cake of choice. There are two camps on the frosting - cream cheese and ermine. I like both, but Red Cake is very dense so adding a heavy cream cheese frosting can be a little over-the-top. Our family's traditional frosting is ermine, which is very light and delicate in flavor. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Red Cake (Waldorf Astoria)


1 C shortening
2 eggs
1 ½ C sugar
1 t. vanilla
1 t. salt
1 t. vinegar
2 oz. red food coloring (two 1 oz. bottles)
2 t. cocoa
1 C buttermilk
1 t. baking soda
2 ½ C flour

Mix vinegar & baking soda, set aside. Mix cocoa & food coloring, set aside. Cream shortening and sugar, then add eggs, beat. Add buttermilk, beat. Add flour and salt, mix well. Then add food coloring mixture, beat. Then add vinegar mixture, beat well. Bake in 2 or 3 - 9” cake pans for 30 min at 350 degrees. When cake is completely cool, frost with:

Ermine Frosting:


1 C milk
3 T. flour – cook until thickened in a double boiler. Scrape into a bowl, cover and refrigerate until very cold, at least 2 hours.

Cream well 1 C sugar and 2 sticks of margarine and 1 T vanilla. (It should be VERY fluffy and the sugar should be totally dissolved, about 6 minutes.) Add the cold paste, a few tablespoons at a time to the butter mixture and whip until light and fluffy.

Frost cake and chill.

Recipe Given By: Mom Underhill

For a great Ermine Frosting tutorial, click here.

I tried to cheat on the frosting and mix it while it was still warm. You can see it doesn't mix properly. I can't tell you how many times this has happened to the women in my family and I vow not to rush ever again. :) The taste is NOT effected, but it's not as pretty. When I make it again (fluffy frosting, fingers crossed), I will repost with the picture. Until then, maybe you might want to give it a try...4th of July?

UPDATE: I remade the cake for Mark's birthday this month and made a double batch of the frosting (the slow and patient way) and it turned out fluffy and beautiful. I vow not to rush again. :)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Green Chili Enchiladas

I'm repeating again. You can see my original post here where I add suggestions for the meal. This is such an easy dish to make; the whole family will love it! You can add chicken if you'd like, but we prefer it without meat.

Green Chili Enchiladas


1 large can Las Palmas Green Chili Sauce
Monterey jack cheese
Cheddar cheese
Flour tortillas (fajita size)

Spread a little sauce on bottom of a pyrex dish. Put cheeses and small amount of sauce in tortilla, roll and place in baking dish. Spread sauce and remainder of cheese on top. Bake 30 min. at 350 degrees.

Serve with rice and vegetable.

Didn't snap the picture until it was leftover time; they're very tasty reheated!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Even in June

I'm gonna beat my post total of last June by a mile this year!

Last summer I posted ONCE about pancakes in June. How pathetic! Really.

This month I will be posting a recipe every other day - on the EVEN NUMBERED DAYS!

If I do this for the entire month it will be the highest post total for any month yet. (In April I came close with 12!) I'm ready to beat my record!

Come back tomorrow for the first of my "EVEN IN JUNE" marathon and enjoy the food!

I'd love to know if you try something! Let me know if you do!