Friday, January 30, 2009

Apple Sandwiches

My Little Kitchen Helpers!
We found this recipe in "The Friend" magazine. It was a pretty healthy, yummy lunch so we though we would share! This was a fun one to make with the kids- Amberlee grated the apple and Autumn stirred... and they both did a lot of snitching! :)

Apple Sandwiches
1 apple
2 T peanut butter
1 T honey
2 T raisins
6 slices bread

1. Grate the apple.
2. In a bowl, stir the peanut butter, honey, raisins, and grated apple together.
3. Toast the bread.
4. Spread the apple mixture between two pieces of toast and enjoy. Makes three sandwiches.
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Turkey and Rice Bake

If you made too much of the Creamy Broccoli and Cashews (like I did :) this is a great way to use your leftovers. It actually tasted pretty good.

Turkey and Rice Bake

6 slices bacon
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup sliced onion
2 cups cooked rice
1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach or broccoli, cooked and drained
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup sour cream
turkey slices, 6 to 8 large slices or enough sliced turkey for 6 people
1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs
1 tablespoon melted butter

PREPARATION:Cook bacon until crisp. Drain on paper towels then crumble. In 2 tablespoons of the drippings in the same skillet, cook onion and celery until just tender. Combine the rice, bacon, onion, celery, spinach, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Combine the soup and sour cream then stir half of it into the rice and vegetable mixture. Spoon mixture into a lightly greased 11x7-inch baking dish. Arrange turkey slices over rice and vegetable mixture. Spoon remaining soup and sour cream mixture over turkey. Toss bread crumbs with butter and sprinkle around edge of casserole. Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until hot and browned around the edge.Serves 6.
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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Creamy Broccoli with Cashews

Can you beleive I forgot the cashews... that is definitly the best part and I spaced it! Well- anyway, I'm always looking for a good way to mix up my veggies and I had a big old bag of broccoli, so this was a good fit. :) I can't beleieve I am even still buying broccoli! It makes me so sick every time, but I still just love it!

My broccoli scoop:
When I was young, my mom cut up a whole head of raw broccoli and set it on the table for dinner (I know what you are thinking, and no, it wasn't the only thing on the table :). Needless to say, there were not many takers, and my mom started feeling bad. So my little sister and I took it upon ourselves to eat the entire bowl. We sort of made a game out of it, and our dining room table had a huge mirror in front, so we laughed and ate broccoli long after everyone had left the table. Then... we both got SOOOO sick. I won't go into details seeing as how this is a cooking blog, but niether of us can eat raw broccoli to this day! :) What were we thinking?

Creamy Broccoli with Cashews (I think I would half this recipe unless you want to eat broccoli all week. :)
9 cups fresh broccoli florets
1/4 chopped onion
2 T butter
1 cup sour cream
2 tsp honey
1 tsp cider vinegar (I think if I make it again, I will leave this out. It was just too strong.)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 cup coarsely chopped cashews (DON'T FORGET THEM... it could make all the difference.)

Steam cook the broccoli until crisp and tender.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute onion in butter until tender. Remove from heat; stir in the sour cream, honey, vinegar, salt, and paprika.
Transfer broccoli to a serving bowl. Add sour cream mixture and toss to coat. Sprinkle with cashews. Serve immediately.
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Doug's FAMOUS Banana Bread

I decided that Doug really loves me! (or a clean house :) I spent my whole day cleaning from top to bottom, and when he got home he was thrilled. My friend Emily called that day, asking for his Banana Bread recipe (this is a famous one folks! :) He was quite flattered. Anyway, I just mentioned how good it sounded, and before I even realized it, a batch was baking in the oven. Talk about happiness and "Lovin' from the Oven!" I was quite tickled, and already I have almost single-handedly devoured an entire loaf. :) Thanks for "loving me" Doug, and you're welcome for a clean house. :) May this recipe live on and on for generations to come!!! :)

Note: the bread is usually a lot darker than this. Our bananas weren't very ripe so it was a very light batch. (Still delish though!)

Doug's FAMOUS Banana Bread
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
5 large ripe bananas
3 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda (he usually subs powder for me because I like it better)
1 tsp salt
1 cup (at least) milk chocolate chops
1 cup walnuts (optional)

In large bowl cream together butter and sugar until fluffy; add eggs and beat well. Blend in mashed bananas. Stir all dry ingredients into creamed mixture. Bake in two-three (depending on size) well greased loaf pans at 300 for 75 minutes. Cool 10 minutes, turn out on racks to cool.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Savory Slow-Cooked Salmon

I love crock-pots and I love fish... so you can't go wrong combing the two, right? We came home from church today, and even my daughter commented on the yummy smell in the air! :) My parents-in-law spent some time this summer fishing in Alaska (My father-in-law actually caught a 235 pound halibut- can you believe that!!!), and PRAISE THE DAY... they so generously shared some of their Alaskan goodness with us. This was an amazingly fresh chunk of Salmon, and a fun new way to try it out.

Savory Slow-Cooked Salmon
3 lbs. salmon fillets (you can also use red snapper)
1 Tbsp. garlic, minced
1 large onion, sliced
1 green bell pepper, cut in 1 inch pieces
2 unpeeled zucchini, sliced
14-oz. can diced tomatoes
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 cup white grape juice (or water)

1. Rinse fish and pat dry. Place in slow cooker sprayed with cooking pray.
2. Mix remaining ingredients together and pour over fish.
3. Cover. Cook on high for 2-3 hours, being careful not to overcook the fish.
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Cookie Salad

My friend Keri made this at a cooking group and I just had to make it again. It was so tasty! I just ate a ton of it tonight and almost made myself sick because I had so much. It was delicious! I think the cookies were my favorite part!

Cookie Salad
1 c. buttermilk (I use milk with 1 tbsp. lemon juice because I never have buttermilk)
2 (3.4 oz.) pkgs. instant vanilla pudding
1 (16 oz) Cool Whip
1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple, not drained
1 can mandarin oranges, drained
1 pkg. fudge striped cookies, crumbled (I used fudge covered gramcracker cookies and the fudge covering kept them crunchy for a little longer.)

Mix buttermilk and pudding together until well blended (it will be really think.) Add cool whip and blend well. Stir in pineapple and mandarin oranges gently. Place in fridge until ready to serve. Just before serving fold in crumbled cookies.
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Oatmeal Raisin Cookies in a Jar

I got this jar over the Holidays and I thought it was such a nice gift! They made such good cookies and it was sure handy to throw it all together when I was in a rush and needed cookies! :) Thought you might like the idea...

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies in a Jar

Creating the Jar:
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups quick-cooking oatmeal
3/4 cup dark raisins
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup all purpose flour

1. Wash and thoroughly dry a 1 quart wide-mouth canning jar.
2. Layer the ingredients in the jar as listed, pressing firmly with a flat bottom object, such as a tart tamper or the bottom of a narrow glass, after each addition. Make the layers as lever as possible.
3. Secure the lid, and decorate as desired. Attach the instructions for making the cookies.

Instructions: (Makes about 30 cookies)
In addition to the contents of the jar, you will need to add the following ingredients:
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

*Preheat the oven to 350. In a large bowl, cream the butter, eggs, and vanilla. Add the contents of the jar, and stir until well mixed. Drop the bough by heaping teaspoons onto an ungreased baking sheet, spacing the cookies 2 inches apart. Bake 11 to 13 minutes, or until the edges are light brown in color. Allow to cook for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to wire racks and cool completely. Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Mashed Potatoes Supreme

Our cooking group had such a fun potato theme this month! I was amazed with all the yummy potato dishes people come up with! It was a night to remember! :) I got this recipe out of a Simple and Delicious magazine, and I made a few changes. It was SO tasty! Doug said, "This is the ultimate potato dish!" You start looking at the cream, the cheese, the butter, and well, need I say more? :) It was delicious though. Hope you get a chance to try this one out!

Mashed Potatoes Supreme
3 lbs medium red potatoes, quartered
1 package (8 oz each) cream cheese, cubed
½ cup butter, cubed
½ cup half-and-half cream or milk
1 medium green pepper, chopped
4 green onions, thinly sliced
½ cup cooked ham, sliced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided

· Place potatoes in a large saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Drain.
· In a large mixing bowl, mash the potatoes. Add the cream cheese, butter and cream; beat until blended. Stir in the green peppers, onions, ham, salt, and pepper. Stir in 1/3 cup cheddar cheese and 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese.
· Transfer to a greased 9x13 baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheeses. Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until heated through.
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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Pork Chops and Mushrooms

You know how I love the crock pot! This is an easy one that tasted really good. Doug loves mushrooms and onions, so it was a big hit for him, too!

Pork Chops and Mushrooms
4 boneless pork chops, about 1/2 in thick
2 medium onions, sliced
4 oz can sliced mushrooms, drained
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
1/4 cup water
10 3/4 oz can cream of mushroom soup

1. Place pork chops in greased slow cooker. Top with onions and mushrooms.
2. Combine soup mix, water, and mushroom soup. Pour over mushrooms and onions.
3. Cover. Cook on low 6-8 hours or high 4-5. Serve over rice or cooked noodles.
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Monday, January 19, 2009

Hardy Homemade Bread

My friend, Brooke, gave me this recipe several months back and I forgot what a good recipe it was for bread. It is great if you are a "yeast killer" like me. :) It is just one of those that you can't ruin and it keeps it simple. I like to add a lot of good hardy stuff (whatever I have on hand). With this last batch, I added oats and some cracked wheat (thats a tick of my moms) to give it a little crunch. I have also thrown in about 2 cups of 7 grain cereal and it is really good! Anyway- if you do make this bread, PROMISE ME you will butter up a nice warm slice fresh out of the oven. There is nothing like a slice of warm homemade bread. I kind of think that is one of the ways to any mans (or womans) heart. :) Good luck!

Hardy Homemade Bread
4 cups warm water
4 cups flour (white)
2 T yeast
Mix and let sponge for 15 minutes
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup sugar
2 T salt

Mix and add approximately 6 more cups of flour, until it cleans the bowl and forms a ball.
This is how I divide my 6 cup:
about 1 cup oats
about 1/2 cup dough pep or gluten - this really helps hold the bread together so it isn't crumbly
1/2 cup cracked wheat (I put it in the blender for a minute just to get rid of the big chunks)
4 cups whole wheat flour

Knead for about 5 minutes. Divide into 4 pieces and put in greased pans to raise until doubled. Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees. (I always like to butter the top a bit while it is hot.)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Snowman Cupcakes

My little sister, Bethany, got this idea from a Taste of Home magzine. I had to take a picture because I thought they were so cute! I think the ones in the magazine had little hats, but I thought this would be a cute idea for neighbor treats! She used gum drops for the nose, and she wanted those mini chocolate chips for the mouth but couldn't find them. I thought they turned out great though.
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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Lighted-Up Lemony Chinese Chicken

My husband got me a Rachel Ray cookbook for Christmas. (Who knows his woman!?) It has been fun to find some new recipes. I tried this one out and it was pretty tasty. I actually converted it to a crockpot recipe. (You know me and my crockpot!) I cooked the chicken in the crockpot for about 4-5 hours on low with a little bit of oil on the bottom. (I think if you are using chicken breasts rather then tenders, I would half the recipe for the crumb part- it seemed like there was a lot of it.

Lighted-Up Lemony Chinese Chicken
3 cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs) (I bet that is good, but I just had the regular bread crumbs)
Grated zest of 2 lemons
1 T ground ginger
2 T sesame seeds, a couple of palmfuls
Salt and pepper
2 pounds chicken tenders (I used four chicken breasts)
1/4 cup soy sauce
Juice of 1 lemon
2 T honey
3 T chopped fresh chives
(I also threw some sesame seeds in the sauce)

Preheat oven to 400. Mix the panko, lemon zest, ground ginger, and sesame seeds in a 1 gallon plastic bag and mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Add the chicken a couple pieces at a time and give them a good shake to coat. Arrange the coated pieces on a baking sheet. Repeat until all the chicken has been coated, then bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

In a small bowl whisk together the soy sauce, lemon juice, and honey with a little splash of water. Arrange the chicken on a plate, garnish with the chopped chives, and serve with the honey-soy-lemon dipping sauce on the side.
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Vanilla Glaze for Angel Food Cake

I made my first Angel Food Cake... I don't know what got into me. (I think it had something to do with the 6 dozen eggs sitting in my fridge... and just knowing this knocked out at least a dozen. :) Anyway- I have to say it was delicious, but A TON OF WORK! I have come to the conclusion that those ones you pay a few dollars for in the store are worth their weight in gold! I had to just beat those egg whites for about 30-40 minutes straight! I was going to post the recipe, but it was really long and detailed. (Sheer laziness I suppose.) I just used the one in my standby Betty Crocker Cookbook. I was proud of myself following it so closely, and that it turned out so nice. Anyway- I found this yummy glaze to go over the top. It tasted so good with the strawberries. Maybe it is because I am pregnant, but I just about wiped out the whole cake myself... I have got to restrain myself a little bit. Anyway, enjoy the glaze. :)

Vanilla Glaze
1/3 cup butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsps vanilla
2 to 4 T hot water

1. Melt butter in saucepan over low heat; remove from heat. Stir in powdered sugar and vanilla.
2. Stir in how water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until smooth and consistency of thick syrup. Glazes bundt cake, angel food cake, chiffon cake, or top of 8-9 inch layer cake.
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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Taco Bean Dip

My sister-in-law, Catherine, always makes such a delicious bean dip. I wanted to get her exact recipe, but I did my best to duplicate it. It is a really fresh, yummy change!

Taco Bean Dip
2 cans refried beans
1 package taco mix
1/2 cup sour cream
1 can of olives, sliced
1 tomato, chopped
1 green onion stalk
1 cup grated cheese
Fresh Squeezed Lime

Mix refried beans in with taco mix. Spread over the bottom of 9x13 casserole dish. Spread sour cream over the top. Layer cheese, olives, tomatoes, and onions. I also chopped some cilantro over the top and squeezed a lime over it.
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Papasan's Christmas Spinach & Apple Omelets


My Dad is an amazing cook! Sometimes he gets a bit eccentric, but along the way he usually runs into a masterpiece. This was one of them! For one thing- they were the most beautiful omelets I've ever "beheld!" (That is somewhat expected seeing as how my Dad is a Professor of Horticulture and Floral Design.) And for another... they were such a fun mix of flavor that I never would have thought to put together. Go DAD!

Note: I was taking dictations on this one, so it might not be the easiest to follow, but well worth the trouble! :) Also, he was just explaining how to make one at a time, so you'll have to figure out how many you want and double or triple the recipe.

Papasan's Christmas Spinach & Apple Omelets
(*And in case you were wondering, you don't have to wait until Christmas to try this one out. :)
6-8 inch skillet
1/2 tsp of grape seed oil (or EVOO)
Julienne diced apples (1/4 of the apple for one omelet)
spinach leaves, sliced
Cooked Bacon, crumbled
Grated Cheese (mozzarella, provolone, Parmesan, and cheddar)

*Place apples and spinach on skillet with warm oil, medium heat. Gently fold over once one side is browned. Sprinkle with bacon. Lightly Brown. Sprinkle with pepper, pinch of Cheyenne, mozzarella, provolone, cheddar, and Parmesan cheese.

*Whip 1-2 egg in a small bowl and pour over and around the mixture in the skillet. After setting slightly, fold. Turn once. Sprinkle with a dash of Kosher salt. Serve warm and garnish with fresh blackberries (that may sound weird but it tasted delicious!).
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"Good Morning" Peachy Vanilla Smoothy

This is a yummy concoction I whipped up! It is one of my favorite ways to start the day.

"Good Morning" Peachy Vanilla Smoothy

1-2 cups frozen sliced peaches
1-2 cups vanilla yogurt
1/2 scoop vanilla slim fast
1 banana
2 cups pineapple juice (I have tried it with just milk and decided this is a key ingredient!)

Toss it all in a blender and "let 'er rip"! Enjoy... Mmmm... so good!
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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Merry Christmas to me!!!

My in-laws stocked me up with all this amazing cooking gear! I am so excited. All these fun things that you wish for but never get! I can wait to pull some of them out and use them! Any good recipe ideas that I could break them in with?
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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Knorr Leek Spinach Dip

This is one of my favorite dips. I really have to use some self control and not eat the whole thing myself! (I am pretty sure you can find the recipe on the back of any Knorr Leek Soup mix package.)

Knorr Leek Spinach Dip
1 box frozen chopped spinach, cooked & drained
1 pkg. Knorr leek soup
1 sm. can water chestnuts, drained & chopped
1 c. mayonnaise
1 c. sour cream
3 green onion tops, chopped

Mix all ingredients together. Serve with crackers or french bread.
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A Few Holiday Appetizers...

I thought I would just post a few of the fun appetizers I enjoyed over the Holiday. (Mmmmm... good times!)
These are so tasty! I am sorry not the have the exact recipt, but they are just waterchesnuts, wrapped in bacon, covered in BBQ sauce and baked.
My father in law always throws in some "Weenie-Beanies" (just Little Smokies in BBQ sauce.) They are always fun to snack on. They were sure a hit with my girls!
I thought this was a fun idea for a cheese log. My sister-in-law, Chelsea came up with the cute face. I think she used a dried apricot and raisins.
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