Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Warm Lemon Cake

If you are not signed up to get the free Kraft recipe book that gets mailed out each quarter, I highly recommend that you do. All you need to do is go to the kraft food website and sign up to get the free Food & Family recipe book. This recipe comes from that book, the winter 2007 edition.

What you will need:

1 pkg. yellow cake mix
2 cups cold milk
1 1/4 cups water
2 pkg. lemon flavor instant pudding
1/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp. powdered sugar
2 tbsp. lemon juice, optional (I used it and added to the pudding)

What you do:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare cake batter as directed on package. Pour into greased 9x13 baking dish; set aside.

Pour milk and water into large bowl. Add dry pudding mixes and granulated sugar. Beat with wire whisk 2 min. or until well blended. Pour over batter. (this can be tricky as the pudding wants to sink, try dropping spoonfuls randomly all over the batter if pouring doesn't work.) Place baking dish on baking sheet to catch any sauce that might bubble over side of dish as dessert bakes.

Bake 55 min. to 1 hour or until wooden toothpick inserted in center of cake commes out clean. The pudding magically goes to the bottom during cooking time! Cool 20 min. (Sauce will thicken slightly as it cools) Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Spoon into serving dishes to serve warm. Store leftovers in refrigerator.

*I made this for my daughter, Becca's birthday. It was a huge hit. If you love warm pudding and love lemon, this is a must have recipe!! The thing I love about it is, no frosting! (I am not a frosting fan :P )*

A Great Start

I love having a counter on this site. Every time I see that number go up, I am motivated to add more recipes. Thanks for all the support. I have always wanted to make my own cookbook and this is the next best thing. Feel free to comment if you try any of the recipes. Cooking is my passion and I would love to hear your thoughts.

I also hope to add little tips mingled through out the recipe posts. Keep checking back to see what tips I have added. I am just organizing them in logical categories before I start posting random thoughts.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Good Eats Guaquamole

My all time favorite cooking show is Good Eats on the food network. I got this recipe from that show and have not changed even one little thing, it is that good. I hope you enjoy.

What you will need:

3 avacados
2 roma tomatoes - seeded & chopped
1/2 seeded jalapino, chopped
1 lg. clove garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
Juice of One Lime

What you do:

Remove peel from 3 avacados. Cover with lime juice to prevent browning. Pour excess juice from avacados into separate containers. Add salt, cumin and cayenne pepper. Mash with a potato masher leaving chunks. Add tomato, jalapino, garlic and some of the reserved lime juice. Mix together. Cover with plastic wrap and let flavors meld in a cool but not refrigerated place for 2 hours, then taste and add more salt or lime juice as needed.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Chicken Lo Mein

There are actually very few recipes that I make up from nothing. I usually find a recipe and then adjust it until I like it. This one, I am proud to call my very own that I made up from scratch (well, just by imagining how the lo meins tasted at restruants I have been to). We love it, I hope you do too.

What you will need:

Teriyaki Sauce (I use Lawrys Teriyaki Marinade)
Pampered Chef Asian Seasoning Mix
Angel Hair Pasta
Bean Sprouts

Here's what you do:

Cook chicken until browned on outside. Cut into chunks. Continue to cook chicken adding seasoning mix to lightly coat chicken. Remove from pan and set aside. Boil water for pasta. Cut vegies into small pieces. Saute them until tender in pan used for chicken. Set aside. Cook pasta. Drain pasta and add to chicken pan. Coat in terryiki sauce, making it as saucy as you desire. Add more asian seasoning, according to your taste. Add chicken and vegies back and mix together. Heat through. You may need to add salt and pepper according to your own taste.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Peanut Butter Rice Krispy Treats

This is not your typical rice krispy treat recipe. Most people call this by a different name, but this is the rice krispy treat recipe that I grew up with.

What you do

Bring to a boil:
1 cup Karo syrup
1 cup sugar

Remove from heat and add:
1 cup peanut butter

Stir until well mixed and add:
6 cups Rice Krispys
Stir until coated. Press into a bar pan.

1 cup butterscotch chips
1 cup milk chocolate chips

Melt together and spread on rice krispys.

Fritoes and Rice

I have certain recipes that I call "poor man meals" because they are inexpensive to make. This is one of those. Don't let that name deceive you, this is pretty darn good and has impressed many people.

What you will need:

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
brown rice
1 bag fritoes
onion powder
garlic powder
cheddar cheese

Cook rice according to package directions. Brown ground beef. Add diced tomatoes and seasonings to taste. Let simmer until tomatoes have broken down and sauce has thickened.

To serve:

Place a handful of fritoes in bottom of a bowl, top with rice (this is a protective coating so fritoes don't get soggy too fast), add beef/tomato mixture and then top with grated cheese.

This is my attempt to show you the layers. I used a glass bowl so you could see, but I didn't take into account that the heat from the sauce would cause so much condensation on the side of the bowl. Just realize that you don't add water to the dish. :)

Pretty Pink Salad

This is one of my traditional thanksgiving side dishes. I love this salad. I need to remember to make it more often during the year.

Here is what you will need:

1 sm. pkg. cherry jello
1 cup hot water
1 cup evaporate milk
1 cup miracle whip salad dressing
2 cups cottage cheese
1 8 oz. can crushed pineapple, drained

Mix jello and water until jello is dissolved. Let cool slightly. Add miracle whip and evaporated milk. Stir well. Mix in cottage cheese and pineapple. Chill until set.

Applesauce Cookies

This is the cookie recipe that my mom made when I was growing up. So yummy!!

What you will need to do

Mix and set aside:

2 cups applesauce
2 tsp baking soda


1 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
3 eggs


4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
Applesauce and soda mixture
1 tsp each cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg

Mix and add:

1 cup rolled oats (I usually add a little more)
1 bag chocolate chips
Raisens or nuts

Drop by spoonful on cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I got this recipe from my sister-in-law, KayLynn. At the time she gave it to me, I had no clue that it was the best chocolate chip cookie recipe in the world!! Hope you enjoy.

What you will need:

2/3 cup shortening
2/3 cup margarine
2 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
3 1/2 cups flour
2 cups chocolate chips

Mix margarine, shortening and sugar in a mixer until creamy. Add eggs and mix well. Add salt, baking soda and vanilla until incorporated. Add flour, one cup at a time until well mixed. Add chocolate chips. Spoon onto cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven just before center is set. Let finish cooking on cookie sheet for 2-3 minutes before moving to a cooling rack.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Taco Soup

This recipe is super easy. Just open and dump in a pot.

Here is what you will need:

1 can corn w/ liquid
1 can chili
1/2 onion, chopped
1 pkg. taco seasoning
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
1 can sliced olives, drained

Dump all ingredients in a sauce pan. Heat until onions are tender. Serve with tortilla chips, sour cream, cheddar cheese, and french bread.

Orange Jello Salad

I got this recipe from a sweet lady who brought it to me after I had our last baby. I LOVE IT!! Enjoy!

Here is what you will need:

1 pkg. orange Jello
1 pkg. regular tapioca pudding (not instant)
1 pkg. regular vanilla pudding (not instant)
3 cups boiling water
2 cups cool whip
1 can mandarin oranges, drained

Cook together the Jello, pudding and water until thick. Let cool and fold in the cool whip. Add the oranges. Pour into a bowl and refrigerate until set.

Funeral Potatoes

I am posting this recipe because every year at christmas time either my sister or my mom calls and asks me for it.

All ingredients are aproximate... I go by looks.

1-2 bags frozen hash brown potatoes
2-4 cans cream of chicken soup (coat hashbrowns thoroughly)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (again, aproximate, enough to evenly go through hasbrown mixture)
1 med container sour cream (I don't use as much sour cream as most people. You may not need it all unless you are using 4 full cans of soup)
1 onion, chopped (saute before hand to make sure it cooks all the way through or just use onion powder to taste)

Salt and Pepper to taste.

Optional toppings: Cheddar cheese, corn flakes, rice chex, crackers or none at all. I think I have tried all at different times.

I know this has no butter. I find that it tastes just as good with out the butter and really cuts down on the fat.

Cook in a 9x13 baking dish at 375 degrees for 30-45 minutes or until hasbrown are cooked through.

Cottage Meat Loaf

I got this recipe when I was in high school. It is still my favorite. It is the only meatloaf my husband likes.

What you will need:

1 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef
1/2 cup ketchup
1/3 cup tomato juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp. red pepper
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 tsp. mustard


1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 tsp. mustard
2 tsp. brown sugar

In a large bowl mix all ingredients except ground beef. Add ground beef. Mix gently but thoroughly.

Now, you can add this to any pan you want. A loaf pan means a longer cooking time. I usually put the meat in a circular baking stone and make a wreath shape out of the meat. You can do it in any pan you would like. Spread topping on top.

Bake at 400 degrees until no longer pink in the middle.

Yogurt Salad

Here is what you will need:

1 large container of your favorite flavor yogurt (we use raspberry)
1 container of cool whip
1 bag frozen raspberries slightly thawed (or fruit to match yogurt flavor)

Mix full container of cool whip and enough yogurt to your liking (I usually use 3/4 to full container) Add raspberries and stir to let the dark red juice leave streaks in yogurt mix.

*Some people put this in a graham cracker crust and freeze it to make a pie.
**If you are on a budget, omit the frozen raspberries... we do all the time and it is still yummy

Pesto Pasta

I got this recipe from my friend Marcy a long time ago. I have changed it up quite a bit, including the name, but I still think of it as her recipe.

What you will need:

2 tlbs dried basil
1 cup mayo
4 tlbs grated parmesian cheese
2 tlbs lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp red pepper
1/4 tsp black pepper

Blend above ingredients in a blender. Start a large stockpot of water to bring to boiling.

2-4 carrots, cut in pieces
1 med onion, chopped
1 med yellow squash, cut in half moons
1 jar of artichoke hearts in water, drained and cut in small pieces

Saute veggies until tender. Remove from pan and set aside.

You will also need:

3-4 chicken breasts
1 box linguini

Add 3-4 chicken breasts to pan and cook until no longer pink. Remove from pan and cut into bite sized pieces. When water is boiling, add one box of linguini. When linguini is tender, drain and add pasta back to stockpot. Add veggies and chicken to pasta. Add sauce from blender to the pasta. Mix together well.

*I serve this with yogurt salad since my protien and veggies are already in this dish. It adds variety and fruit. I also serve with french bread.

Chicken Jambalaya

This isn't the greatest picture, it was my first time taking pictures of food and even now I am still trying to get food to look great on film. Next time I make this for dinner I will try to take a better picture, until then I hope you use your creative little brain to imagine how delicious this dish is.

This was a free recipe (slightly altered) from savingdinner.com

What you will need:

1 tlbs butter + 1 tsp olive oil
2 med onions, chopped
1 med stalk celery, chopped (yes that is the whole thing, not just one rib)
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1 lb chicken breast, cubbed
1 can chicken broth
3/4 tsp dried basil
3/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp pepper
few shakes of Tabasco sauce
2 bay leaves
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes

In a 3-quart saucepan, melt butter and oil over medium-high heat. Cook onion, celery, bell pepper and garlic, stirring frequently, till onion is tender. Remove from skillet and set aside. Add chicken to skillet and stir-fry till lightly browned. Remove from skillet and set aside. Add broth, seasonings and diced tomatoes to skillet. Heat to boiling, scraping up all the browned bits fromt he bottom of the pan. Return veggies and chicken to skillet. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Serve over brown rice.

Two Bean Enchilazagne

What you will need:

Two mixing bowls, one crockpot or casserole dish if you don't have a crockpot.

In one bowl mix the following ingredients:

1 sm. can red enchalada sauce
1 sm. can green enchalada sauce
1 cup salsa
1 tlbs cumin
2 cloves garlic, crushed

In second bowl mix the following ingredients:

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 can green chilis
One pkg. spanish rice cooked according to pkg. directions
1 small onion chopped

Additional ingredients:

Corn Tortillas, cut into wedges like a pizza (I use aprox. 12-14)
Cheddar Cheese, grated (I use aprox. 1-2 cups)
Sour Cream, for topping once served
What you do:

Set up an assembly line around the crock pot. On the bottom of the crock pot spoon a small amount of sauce mixture from bowl one. Place corn tortilla wedges on the bottom of the crock pot to cover the bottom. Add enough of the bean mixture from bowl two to cover the tortillas. Add more sauce then top with cheese. Layer more tortillas, beans, sauce and cheese until you have used up all the ingredients. Cook on low 4-6 hours or until hot and bubbly all the way through.

*This is great with corn bread. I also serve with a jello or fruit salad.