Sunday, November 29, 2009

Chocolate Silk Pie

Can I just say WOW! My friend, Emily, made this amazing pie for our cooking night and I'm still dreaming about it! It was so yummy! Way to go Emily!!!

Chocolate Silk Pie

This is a definite winner in my book and so easy too. This recipe is from my Kitchen Aid manual, so it has specific instructions for the mixer.

1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 eggs
2/3 cut evaporated milk
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 unbaked 9-inch pie crust
whipped topping (optional, but we all love it!)

Place sugar and cocoa powder in mixer bowl. Attach bowl and wire whip to mixer. Turn to Stir Speed and mix to combine, about 15 seconds. Continuing on Stir Speed, gradually add eggs, evaporated milk, and vanilla, mixing until well blended, about 1 minute. Stop and scrape bowl. Turn to Speed 6 and whip until smooth and slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.

Pour into prepared crust. Place pie plate on preheated baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 55 to 60 minutes or until center puffs and pie has set. Cool completely on wire rack. Garnish with whipped topping. Yield: 8 servings.

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Chocolate Pecan Pie

Here is another pie from Bekah- She brought two winners!!! I didn't realize how much I like Pecan Pie! This was so good and the beauty alone was enough to win the blue ribbon in my book! It looked so pretty- the kind you just hate to cut into. :) ...And yet...

Chocolate Pecan Pie

  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 recipe Basic Pie Crust, rolled and fit into a 9-inch pie plate
  • 1 cup pecans
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with rack in lowest position. In a heatproof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of simmering water, melt chocolate, stirring occasionally, until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes (or melt chocolate in microwave). Set aside.
  1. In a medium bowl, stir together (do not whisk) eggs, corn syrup, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Stirring constantly, gradually add melted chocolate. Pour filling into prepared crust; place pie plate on a rimmed baking sheet. Arrange pecans in one even layer over filling.
  2. Bake just until set (filling should jiggle slightly when pie plate is tapped), 50 to 60 minutes, rotating halfway through. Let cool completely on a wire rack, at least 4 hours (or up to overnight) before serving.
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Best Ever Banana Cream Pie

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I kind of checked out for the Holiday, but I have a bunch of yummy recipes on the way! This delicious Banana Cream Pie really is the "best ever"! My friend Bekah made this for our "Pie" themed cooking group this last month. It was fabulous!

Best Ever Banana Cream Pie

1 cup flour
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup finely chopped pecans
Combine and press into 9 inch pie plate. Cook at 350 degrees for 25 minutes till golden. Cool.

1st layer:
1 eight ounce package of cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup cool whip
Beat cream cheese and powdered sugar together. Fold in cool whip. Spread over cooled crust.

2nd layer:
3 bananas
Slice the bananas and place over the cream cheese layer. This will be a thick layer of bananas.

3rd layer:
1 3.4 ounce package of instant vanilla pudding
1 1/3 cup cold milk
Wisk pudding and milk together and place over bananas.
Top with cool whip and chill. You can drizzle a bit of hot fudge over the top to decorate.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

One-Pot Easy Chicken

Love a good crock-pot dish. You'll like this one!

One-Pot Easy Chicken
6-8 medium-sized potatoes, quartered (I used Yukon gold)
1-2 large onions, sliced
3-5 carrots, cubed
1 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
5 lbs. chicken breast
1 small onion, chopped
3/4 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. whole cloves
2 T chopped fresh oregano
1 tsp. dried rosemary
1/2 cup lemon juice
(I sprinkled it with fresh parsley.)

1. Mix together potatoes, sliced onions, carrots, 1 tsp. garlic salt, and 1/4 tsp. black epper in bottom of slow cooker.
2. Rinse and pat chicken dry. In bowl mix together chopped onions, 3/4 tsp. black pepper, cloves, and 2 tsp. garlic salt. Dredge chicken in seasonings and place in slow cooker over vegetables.
3. In small bowl mix together oregano, rosemary, and lemon juice. Pour over chicken.
4. Cover. Cook on low 6-8 hours, or until vegetables are soft and chicken juices run together.

Oatmeal Cherry White Chocolate Cookies

I found this recipe for Oatmeal Cherry White Chocolate Cookies on Joy the Baker's site. I thought it turned out to be a good recipe. I used raisins instead of the cherries, but I bet cherries would be so good.

Oatmeal Cherry White Chocolate Cookies
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup dried cherries
1 cup white chocolate chips or chunks

Heat oven to 350°F.
In large bowl, beat margarine and sugars until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well. Add oats and raisins; mix well.
Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered.

Betty Crocker's Buttermilk Pancakes

I made these yummy pancakes for breakfast the other day. Doug said they were the best I've made, and I'm sure it is because I didn't try to add whole wheat flour or anything healthy. :) I do like the taste of buttermilk.

Betty Crocker's Buttermilk Pancakes


1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
2 tbsp. oil
1 cup flour
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt


Beat egg: add remaining ingredients in order listed and beat with rotary beater until smooth. Grease preheated griddle. Test griddle with a few drops of water. If bubbles skitter around it is just right.

Pour batter onto hot griddle. Turn pancakes as as they are puffed and full of bubbles but before bubbles break. Bake other side until golden brown.

makes 10 - 4" pancakes
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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Doug's Heavenly Orange Julius

One thing that makes me REALLY HAPPY is when Doug blends up this little beauty. I love his version of Orange Julius, and I finally talked him into writing it down. I decided it is kind of an art as he was explaining the "thickness" and such, but I hope you get the general idea, and just know that you'll never quite make it quite as good as he does, but you can certainly try. :)

Doug's Heavenly Orange Julius
1/2 container orange juice concentrate
1 tray of ice cubes
1 banana (optional)
1/4 cup sugar
about 1 T vanilla extract (to taste)
Milk (add last and fill blender almost to the top.)
Add milk to preference:
-More milk- runnier but serves more.
-Less milk- thick (and chunkier if you blend less and add banana), but serves less.

Blend to desired thickness.

(Frankly, we're all big fans!)

Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

Here is another option for you. I have to admit, I didn't like the flavor as much. Doug thought it was pretty good, but the buttermilk and hotsauce were too strong for me. I did like what the dill added. It seemed appropriate for something "ranchy" so I think next time I'll use the Betty Crocker recipe, but add some dill. (Picture from Taste of Home.)

Rachel Ray's Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
1 cup buttermilk
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 garlic clove, grated or finely chopped
A few dashes of hot sauce
2 T fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 T fresh dill, chopped
2 T fresh chives, chopped

Mix together the buttermilk, lemon juice, garlic, hot sauce, parsley, dill, and chives in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Buttermilk Dressing

Had to make some good dressing to go with that yummy salad bar. I really liked this recipe. I thought it had a good flavor- tasted a lot like ranch.

Betty Crocker's Buttermilk Dressing
3/4 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp parsley flakes
1/2 tsp instant minced onion
1/2 tsp salt
Dash of freshly ground pepper
1 clove garlic, minced

Mix all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to blend flavors. Store covered in refrigerator.
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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Salad Bar...

Here is a fresh idea! When was the last time you had just a good salad with all the works on it? I mean really good... not like you were eating rabbit food kind of good. We used to have a Salad Bar line everyday in high school for lunch. It was SO GOOD! I sometimes forget it as a dinner option, because I usually think of salad as a side dish. It also takes a minute if you are chopping everything up, but it ended up being so fun, special, and colorful in the end, that it is worth the trouble. The girls helped me put everything into bowls and put them on the table. They were so excited, and they actually ate it really well. This was so tasty and I want to share two yummy recipes I found for home-made ranch/buttermilk salad dressing. (They are comming up!) So freshen things up and put together a yummy salad bar tonight!

Ideas for toppings:
green onions
Mandrine oranges
sunflower seeds
bacon bits
beans/kidney beans
cottage cheese

Post a comment it you think of something else that is good!!! :)
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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Zesty Chicken Tortilla Bake

Absolutely delicious! I hope you try this one! I thought it was so good! I really liked the idea of using mayo and flour to make a white sauce, instead of butter. It came together really well. I was in hurry too, and I sped things up by making it into a layered casserole rather than wrapping each one individually. All in all, I thought this was a great recipe... one I will definitely make again! (Also found it on the Kraft site.)

Zesty Chicken Tortilla Bake
1/2 cup Mayo
1/2 cup flour
3 cups milk
1 pkg. (8 oz.) Shredded Cheddar Cheese, divided
1-1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked, cut into bite-size pieces (I just used canned chicken drained to save time.)
1/2 cup Thick 'N Chunky Salsa
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
16 flour tortillas (6 inch) (I used corn tortillas and they gave it a really good flavor.)

HEAT oven to 375°F.

MIX dressing and flour in medium saucepan with whisk until well blended. Gradually stir in milk. Bring to boil on medium heat, stirring constantly; cook and stir until thickened. Add 1 cup cheese; cook until melted, stirring constantly. Reserve 1 cup sauce.

STIR chicken, salsa and parsley into remaining sauce; spoon 1/3 cup down center of each tortilla. Roll up. Place 8 roll-ups, seam-sides down, in each of 2 (13x9-inch) baking dishes sprayed with cooking spray; top with reserved sauce and remaining cheese.

BAKE 25 min. or until heated through.

Pumpkin Cream Cupcakes

I found this one in the Kraft magazine and really liked how simple it was, but how the pumpkin helped it not to taste like a cake mix. It was a fun idea with the cream cheese.

Pumpkin Cream Cupcakes
1 pkg. (2-layer size) spice cake mix
1 pkg. (3.4 oz.) Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 pkg. (8 oz.) Cream Cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg

HEAT oven to 350ºF.

PREPARE cake batter as directed on package. Add dry pudding mix and pumpkin; mix well. Spoon into 24 paper-lined muffin cups.

BEAT cream cheese with mixer until creamy. Blend in sugar and egg; spoon over batter. Swirl gently with small spoon.

BAKE 18 to 21 min. or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool 5 min.; remove to wire racks. Cool completely.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Betty Crocker's Buttermilk Biscuits

Whenever I hear "buttermilk", I am reminded of Charlotte's Web and I think, "I'm gonna give that pig a buttermilk bath." After making these delicious biscuits, I thought I wouldn't mind a bath in buttermilk! (You might just see buttermilk "dripping" into some of my other recipes. :) I made these biscuits for breakfast this last week and I had to hide them from myself because I just about wiped out the batch! We cut them out in heart shapes, they were really cute. :) I've got to find my camera charger! It is driving me nuts not to be able to take pictures of food. :)

Betty Crocker's Buttermilk Biscuits

1/2 Cup Butter

2 Cups Flour,All-Purpose
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 Teaspoon Salt

1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda
3/4 Cup Buttermilk

1) Mix the flour with the baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium-sized bowl.

2) Cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles fine crumbs.

3) Stir in the milk until the dough leaves the side of the bowl (dough will be soft and sticky).

4) Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly 10 times.

5) Roll or pat the dough into a thickness of about 1/2 inch. Cut with a floured 2-1/2 inch round cookie cutter and place on an ungreased cookie sheet, touching for soft sides and about 1 inch apart for crusty sides.

6) Bake at 230° C (450° F) until golden brown (about 10 to 12 minutes).

Canberry Pumpkin Bread

I'm so excited to have this fun new recipe from Simple and Delicious! It made a delicous loaf! I'm loving cranberries in things- and I really love pumpkin already!

Cranberry Pumpkin Bread
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp each ground ginger, nutmeg, and cloves
3 eggs
2 cups canned pumpkin 1 cup canola oil
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
3 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted (I used walnuts)

In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and spices. In another bowl, combine the eggs, pumpkin, oil, sugar and vanilla; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened, Fold in cranberries and nuts.

Pour into two greaded 8x4 loaf pans. (I made 4 mini loaves and 1 large one.) Bake at 350 for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire rack.
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Sausage Skillet Dinner

Oh- I hope you will try this one! It was so good! I found it in the most recent Simple and Delicious (picture too- I've lost my camera battery). I have never used caraway seeds, and they are pretty strong, but the savory mix of flavor added so much to this meal- it just seemed like a fabulous harvest dish! (I made a few changes that I think improved it a bit.)

Sausage Skillet Dinner
3/4 lb. smoked sausage, but into 1-in. pieces (I used ground sausage, and it was really good!)
2 T butter
2 cups refrigerated red potato wedges (I just cut up about 5-6 red potatoes into small pieces. It took a little longer to cook through, but cheaper and a bit more crispy.)
1 medium onion, cut into wedges
1 medium apple, cut into wedges (I loved the flavor this added as it mixed with the cider vinegar!)
1/4 cup cider vinegar (maybe even less- be careful! :)
3 T. sugar
1/2 tsp caraway seeds
2 T minced fresh parsley

In a large skillet, saute sausages in butter for 3 minutes. Add the potatoes, onions and apple; saute 4-5 minutes longer or until apple is tender and potatoes are golder brown. Stir in the vinegar, sugar and caraway seeds.

Bring to a boil. Reduce hear; simmer, uncovered, for 2-3 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with parsley.

Herbed Chicken with Wild Rice

I tried out this delicious dish from Simple and Delicious, and I was quite pleased! I loved the wild rice! And bacon is good in anything! (Picture from magazine.)

Herbed Chicken with Wild Rice
1 pkg. (6 oz.) long grain and wild rice (I didn't have this, so I just put about 1/2 cup regular rice and 1/4 cup wild rice and about 2 cream of chicken cans of water.)
6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (5 oz. each)
1 Tbsp. canola oil
1 tsp. butter
1/2 lb. sliced fresh mushrooms
1 can (10-3/4 oz.) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 cup water
3 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
1 tsp. dried parsley flakes
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. dried tarragon

Place rice in a 5 quart slow cooker; set aside seasoning packet. In a large skillet, brown chicken in oil and butter. Add to slow cooker. In the same skillet, saute mushrooms until tender; place over chicken. (I skipped that step and just threw them in, and I just used canned mushrooms to speed things up.)

In a small bowl, combine the soup, water, bacon, herbs and contents of seasoning packet (I just added a few extra seasonings and some salt and pepper because I didn't have a "packet"). Pour over top. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours or until chicken juices run clear.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Curried Pork and Noodles

I was looking for something yummy to do with cooked pork- I bottled some with my mom a month or two ago. This was SO delicious! It tasted like something you might order at a restaurant! I doubled/tripled it and shared some with our neighbors that were moving. It ended up making a delicious meal! I am getting excited about curry- mostly because I thought I didn't like it, but it is growing on me! (Hope this is a good thing for you. :) I love the bright cheery yellow color! (As long as it is not on my clothes!)

Curried Pork and Noodles

4 slices Bacon, chopped
1/2 cup milk
4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) Cream Cheese, cubed
3/4 cup Coconut
1 tsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. ground red pepper (cayenne) (Warning- a little goes a long way! Don't add too much- it get spicy fast- I think this is too much!)
1/2 lb. spaghetti, uncooked
1-1/2 lb. pork tenderloin, cut into bite-size pieces
1 green or red pepper, cut into strips (I added quite a few peppers yellow, green, and red- it made it really pretty and tasty!)
2 green onions, sliced
I didn't worry about the bacon and I also added slivered almonds and chinese noodles. This would also be really good over rice!)

COOK bacon in large skillet on medium-high heat 5 min. or until crisp; remove to paper towels to drain. Discard drippings. Blend milk, cream cheese, coconut and seasonings in blender until smooth. Cook spaghetti as directed on package.

MEANWHILE, cook half the tenderloin pieces in same skillet on medium-low heat 4 min. or until evenly browned, stirring frequently. Transfer to bowl; cover to keep warm. Repeat with remaining tenderloin pieces. Add peppers to skillet; cook and stir 3 min. Return tenderloin meat to skillet along with cream cheese mixture; cook on low heat 8 to 10 min. or until meat is done, stirring occasionally.

DRAIN spaghetti; place on platter. Top with meat mixture, bacon and onions.


This was a very simple recipe with great results- tastes like Sunday dinner and you can throw it together so fast! (This one might be a good one for those busy nights, Michelle. :) I added some all spice and salt and pepper to the pork chops and just browned them up for a couple minutes on each side to seal in some good flavor, but you SO don't have to! Just gave it a little boost. (Found it on Kraft Foods.)

1 pkg. (6 oz.) STOVE TOP Stuffing Mix for Chicken
1 can (21 oz.) apple pie filling
6 boneless pork loin chops (1-1/2 lb.), 3/4 inch thick

HEAT oven to 375ºF.

PREPARE stuffing as directed on package.

SPREAD pie filling onto bottom of 13x9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray; top with chops and stuffing. Cover with foil.

BAKE 40 min. or until chops are done (160ºF), removing foil after 30 min.