Friday, July 8, 2011

Raspberry Lemonade Cupcakes

I made these cupcakes last week and they turned out really good.  The frosting makes these.  YUM.

Makes 12 cupcakes
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 egg
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 tsp grated lemon zest
3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tsp lemon oil or lemon extract
1/4 cup raspberry puree (I didn't have any, so I used my raspberry freezer jam)

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners. Set aside.
2. In a small bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, and salt.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, butter, and egg until smooth. Add yogurt, lemon zest and juice, and lemon extract, beating until smooth. Add flour mixture, beating just until smooth.
4. Scoop 1 tablespoon or so of batter into each prepared cupcake liner. Drop about a teaspoon of raspberry puree onto batter in each liner. Add another tablespoon or so of batter on top of raspberry puree, filling cupcake liners about 2/3 full. Top with additional teaspoon of raspberry puree, and swirl batter with a toothpick to make a decorative pattern in batter. Bake in preheated oven for 22 to 25 minutes or until tops of cupcakes spring back when lightly touched. Let cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on rack. Top cooled cupcakes with frosting.

Raspberry Lemonade Buttercream
Makes about 2 cups (16-20 cupcakes)

2 cups confectioners’ sugar
¾ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tbsp raspberry puree (again with the freezer jam)
1 tbsp lemonade concentrate, thawed
½ tsp raspberry extract
Pinch of salt
1. In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together confectioners’ sugar, butter, raspberry puree, lemonade concentrate, raspberry extract, and salt until smooth.
2. Spread frosting over cooled cupcakes and set aside at room temperature until ready to serve or for up to 8 hours.

The frosting reminds me of the sweet tooth fairy cupcake... the cupcake is a little different though.  Still good, just not as dense of a cake.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Brownie Caramel Fudge Cheesecake

This is Steve's absolute favorite.  He swears you could order it at The Cheesecake Factory and be happy to pay for it.  So, I'll just take his word!  :)


1 brownie box mix + the ingredients that it calls to make it (eggs, oil, water, etc)
1 (14 ounce) package individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped
1 (5 ounce) can evaporated milk
6 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cup white sugar
3 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 eggs
1 cup chocolate fudge topping
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease the bottom of a 10 inch springform pan.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together brownie mix as directed on the back of the box. Spread into the greased pan. Bake for 25 minutes.
  3. Melt the caramels with the evaporated milk over low heat in a heavy saucepan. Stir often, and heat until mixture has a smooth consistency. Reserve 1/3 cup of this caramel mixture, and pour the remainder over the warm, baked brownie crust.
  4. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Pour cream cheese mixture over caramel mixture.
  5. Place tin foil around the pan and put on a large cookie sheet.  Pour approx 1-2 cups water on the cookie sheet so it surrounds the cheesecake pan.  This will help prevent cracking and keep your cheesecake looking pretty across the top.  Bake cheesecake for 40-50 minutes until center jiggles but is still set when you touch it and the cheesecake is visibly browning on top. Chill in pan. When cake is thoroughly chilled (wait until chilled or you can cause a crack on the side of the cake!), loosen by running a knife around the edge, and then remove the rim of the pan. Heat reserved caramel mixture, and spoon over cheesecake. Drizzle with the chocolate fudge topping.

This cheesecake is really rich and can feed a lot of people!  Or, speaking from experience, it can feed you sitting in your fridge for DAYS.  ;)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

THE BEST oatmeal/chocolate chip cookie

My sister-in-law Nancy (baker extraordinare) , passed this recipe onto me a couple years ago and every time I make it, I end up eating about 10 cookies in cookie dough then help myself to a few more when they come out of the oven! (and occasionally scoop some vanilla ice cream on top)

There isn't anything better than a good 'ol oatmeal chocolate chip cookie and this is the perfect combination of flavors!! Plus the cornflakes are such a sweet surprise and add a little crunch!

:I've never added the coconut or nuts only because of my little birdies, but Nancy has and it's delish!:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup cornflakes cereal, crumbled

3 cups rolled oats

1/2 cup flaked coconut (optional)

2 cups milk chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease cookie sheets. Mix together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, mace, nutmeg, and cloves; set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in milk and vanilla.

Gradually mix in the flour mix until well blended. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the cornflakes, oats, coconut (optional), chocolate chips, and walnuts (optional).

Roll the dough into walnut sized balls, and place 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets; flatten slightly. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. I found that slightly under baking these yields wonderfully chewy cookies!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Lemon Basil Chicken

This recipe was sent in the mail. It was actually an advertisement from a mortgage company, but it had a recipe on the back. (great idea!) I guess if you're going to send advertisements and don't want it thrown in the trash on the way from the mailbox, throw a little recipe on the back and it gets a free pass.

It had some ingredients in it that I don't usually (have probably never) used and others that I thought were surprising in an Italian dish. I had to give it a shot. Well, turns out, it was great!

Something about sautéing garlic and mushrooms, and using fresh basil; it brought out the Italian Chef in me! It just had a fresh, light flavor which is always a nice change from marinara and alfredo sauce.

So go outside the box just a little and give this recipe a try. I hope you liked it like our family did!

1 T virgin olive oil
1 T minced garlic (fresh)
8 oz mushrooms (sliced)
1 lb chicken breasts (boneless, skinless, chunked)
1 t salt & pepper (each)
1/2 C white grape juice
3/4 C fresh lemon juice (4 lemons)
8 Roma tomatoes (chunked)
1/2 C fresh basil leaves (chopped)
1/4 C Asiago cheese (grated)
1 lb penne pasta (cooked)

In a large skillet, brown garlic and mushrooms in oil until golden brown. Add chicken chunks, salt, and pepper and cook until done, about 10 minutes. Add grape juice and simmer 5 minutes. Add lemon juice and tomatoes. Simmer 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in chopped fresh basil. Serve over pasta and top with Asiago cheese.

Now for my variations: I was worried it would be too lemon-y and didn't want Devin to immediately taste lemon. (Have I mentioned my husband who isn't a big fan of anything too out of the ordinary?) So I only used 2 lemons. I also didn't use all 8 tomatoes, but that's just me. I like tomatoes, just not tons of them. Also looking back I would have dished out my kids plates before adding the tomatoes. (they aren't tomato fans) One more thing: I couldn't find Asiago cheese at the store, so I just used Parmesan cheese and that tasted great too!

Bon Appetite!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Crock Pot Lasagna


This makes lasagna that much easier!
I sampled this recipe at Macey's grocery store. The kids loved it and figured using a crockpot sounded great!
{and I loved that you didn't have to boil the noodles}

1 lb ground beef
1 yellow onion chopped (I only did 1/2 onion and that seemed to be plenty)
2 cloves garlic smashed
1 29 oz can tomato sauce
1 6 oz can tomato paste
1 16 oz cottage cheese
5 oz grated parmesan cheese
8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
16 oz lasagna noodles (uncooked)
1 t dried oregano

Brown ground beef, onion and garlic in fry pan. Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, salt & oregano. Cook until meat sauce if warm.
Spoon a layer of meat sauce onto the bottom of the crock pot. Add a double layer of uncooked lasagna noodles (break to fit) and top with a layer of the cheeses. Repeat with sauce, noodles and cheeses until all are used up.
Add 1/2 C water around outside edge of lasagna. Cover & cook on low for 4-5 hours.
Serves 6

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Black Bean and Couscous Salad

My dear friend Kristen brought this salad over to me about 6 months ago and it was love at first taste.

It's so light, fresh, healthy, and delicious! (and very colorful)

It's always fun making something different and a nice change from heavy cooking!

1 C uncooked couscous

1 1/4 C chicken broth

3 T extra virgin olive oil

2 T fresh lime juice

1 t red wine vinegar

1/2 t ground cumin

8 green onions, chopped

1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1/4 C chopped fresh cilantro

1 C frozen corn kernels, thawed

2 (15 oz) cans black beans, drained

salt & pepper to taste

Bring chicken broth to a boil in a 2 quart or larger sauce pan and stir in the couscous. Cover the pot and remove from heat. Let stand for 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, vinegar and cumin. Add green onions, red pepper, cilantro, corn and beans and toss to coat.

Fluff the couscous well, breaking up any chunks. Add to the bowl with the vegetables and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve at once or refrigerate until ready to serve.

It's tastes best if it's served cold, I think. Also, it stays fresh for a few days and still tastes just as good.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ooey Gooey Butter Bars

My friend Cecilie brought these to a bbq a month ago!
I'm pretty sure my stomach and butt thank her for sharing this recipe!

The recipe is so easy and is delicious!
You use a box of yellow cake mix...need I say more?
We just made them today for the first day of school.

Proceed with caution: very addicting!

Mix together and press into a 9x13 pan:
1 yellow cake mix
1 egg
1/2 C butter

Next mix and then put over crust:
1 8 oz cream cheese
2 eggs
2-3 C powdered sugar

Bake at 325 for 45 minutes.

When cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar.

{They almost look like lemon bars}

Thanks for sharing Cecilie!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Coveted "Brenda's Rolls" Recipe

A yummy roll recipe that has yet to be topped (in my personal tasting experiences... and a few others, or so they say) and it comes from my fabulous Mother-in-Law, Brenda. It takes about 3 hours of time, but 2 of those hours are rising periods. Not as much work as it sounds. :) And this comes from someone who is NOT a baker!

4 cups warm water (110-115 degrees)

1 cup powdered milk (dry milk works too)

1 cup of sugar
10-12 cups flour

2 tablespoons of instant yeast

1/2 cup of oil

5 teaspoons of salt

4 eggs, well beaten
1 stick of butter (for greasing counter and spreading on dough)

Directions: (I use my kitchen aid and it works great!)
Beat water, milk, sugar, and eggs. Mix yeast in 5 cups of flour in a separate bowl. Add both mixtures together and mix for 5-10 minutes. Turn off mixer and let rise for 15 minutes (in the mixing bowl, beater still attached is fine). Add oil and salt and slowly add more flour and beat for 5-10 minutes. Turn dough out on a floured counter and knead until the right consistency (for me, this is when the dough is still really soft, but not sticking to the counter or my hands anymore). Put into a big buttered bowl with a cloth over it. Let rise to double the size, about 1 hour.

Punch dough down and take a stick of melted butter and butter the counter. Divide dough into quarters so there are 4 equal sections. Roll each section into a circle, put melted butter on the dough just to cover the surface and then cut into 12 triangluar pieces like a pizza. (I use a pizza cutter and it works great!) Roll each section from the fat part to the skinny part. Put on pan so that the rolls are almost touching (shouldn't need more than 2 large cookie sheet type pans - about 24 rolls on each). Let rise for 1 hour.

Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes. (For some reason, my oven takes more like 16 minutes, but just watch for golden brown on the tops.) Take out and butter the tops.

Voila! The best rolls ever.
These freeze great... just set out to thaw at room temp. They stay super soft and never get dry even days after making them.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Berry and Roasted Almond Salad

I was pretty much trying to duplicate the Nuts about Berries salad at Zupas... one of my favorite places to eat lunch with Steve and the kids. It's a pretty close replica!

1/4 c apple cider vinegar
1/4 sugar
1/4 vegetable oil
1/4 tsp paprika
1 dash Worcestershire sauce
Slivered roasted almonds (I roast my own in oven with a cinnamon, sugar, salt, egg, and almond extract mixture for about an hour or so, stirring often)
2 hearts of romaine
mix of berries - strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, etc (approx. a quart total)

In a bowl mix the sugar, vinegar, paprika, oil, and worchestershire sauce. Cover and refrigerate at least 6 hours. In a bowl, toss berries, romaine, and almonds. Mix with the dressing just before serving.

I'll add my exact cinnamon roasted almond recipe later. This salad is so yummy and those almonds really make it, in my opinion. Enjoy! :)

Monday, June 9, 2008

Schoolhouse Peanut Butter Fingers: makes 2 pans

This recipe is from a girl named Teresa Jordan. It's the recipe that the lunch ladies used to make for us when we went to elementary. Those were the good 'ol days. Anyway, if you grew up in Utah, you know what ones I am talking about. The only thing is, it makes 2 PANS! But they're really good and are perfect to take to any family party!

Schoolhouse Peanut Butter Fingers

2 ¼ c. margarine
1 ½ tsp. vanilla
2 ¼ c. sugar
2 ¼ cup peanut butter
2 ¼ c. brown sugar
4 ½ cups flour
¾ tsp. salt
4 ½ cups oatmeal (not instant)
2 ¼ tsp. baking soda
5 eggs
Cream together the margarine, sugars, eggs, vanilla & peanut butter. Add the dry ingredients and mix well. Batter will be thick. Divide the batter between two large silver cookie sheets. Spread and pat down. Bake at 325 degrees until the top gets slightly browned (usually takes between 15-25 min. depending on your oven). Only bake one pan at a time. Cool and Frost. Cut in bars. Make sure and frost with the Fudge Frosting below! YUMMY!

THE best chocolate frosting for Peanut Butter Fingers

Well, I was just going to post a recipe for Peanut Butter Fingers, but saw that Mical did in December and it's almost the EXACT recipe that I was going to post! How funny! The only difference is instead of 1 C brown sugar, mine says 2 C. But I don't know, it may not matter! :o) But for some reason this time of year, I am loving peanut butter fingers! But here is a really yummy recipe for the frosting!

Chocolate Fudge Frosting For Peanut Butter Fingers: By Teresa Jordan
(makes enough for 2 pans)
(Cut the recipe in half if you want it for one)
1 12 oz can evaporated milk
3 C brown sugar
1/2 C cocoa
2 T vanilla
1 stick butter
7 C powdered sugar
In a saucepan on the stove, whisk the evaporated milk, brown sugar, cocoa, and butter. Let it boil for 2 minutes.
Then take off the stove and add the powdered sugar and vanilla.
After it's all mixed together, pour over the peanut butter fingers and let cool.
Just make sure to LICK YOUR FINGERS!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Butterscotch Oatmeal Cookies

I got this recipe from a friend of mine, but she got it off the Food Network. They're just a different kind of YUMMY cookie! Just something to mix it up from the regular chocolate cookies!

2 sticks butter
2 C brown sugar
1 t vanilla
2 eggs

Then add:
1 1/2 C flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t nutmeg

Fold in:
1/4 C buttermilk

Then add:
1 C coconut (preferably toasted in the oven)
2 C quick cooking oats (idk what that means so I just used whatever oats I had)
3/4 C chopped pecans if wanted
3/4 C butterscotch chips

Bake at 350 on greased cookie sheets for 10-12 minutes. Yummy!!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Peanut Butter Fingers

1 c. butter
1 c. sugar
1 c. brown sugar
2/3 c. peanut butter
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 c. flour
2 c. oats
1 (12 oz) bag of milk chocolate chips

Cream butter, sugars, peanut butter, eggs and vanilla. Add dry ingredients. Pat onto a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes. Immediatley put chocolate chips on and let melt. Once melted, sread all over. Let stand and make icing.

2 c. powdered sugar
1 c. peanut butter
10-12 T. milk

Add all ingredients adding milk until consistency is right, spread on top of chocolate.

Black Bean Corn Salsa

New recipe from my mom! Yummy!

1 can black beans
1 can shopeg (white) corn, drained
2-3 diced roma tomatoes
chopped cilantro (to taste)
1-2 cubed avacados
2-3 cloves of garlic minced
juice from 1 lime
1/2 cup italian dressing (add more or less to taste)
salt and pepper to taste

Mix. Serve with tortilla chips. Enjoy!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Chicken, Pepper, Onion Pasta Fake-Bake

Another one of Rachel Ray's... really good! This is the original recipe... I included my modifications to it at the bottom. :)

1 pound rigatoni
1 pound cooked chicken sausages
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 green or red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1 cubanelle pepper, seeded and sliced
1 large onion, thinly sliced
3 to 4 cloves garlic, chopped
Ground black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine or chicken stock, a couple of glugs
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes, (recommended: San Marzano)
Handful chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup fresh basil, 10 leaves, torn or shredded
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus some to pass at table

Place a pot of water on the stove to boil for pasta. When the water boils, salt it and cook pasta to al dente, with a bite to it. Prick sausages with a fork. Place chicken sausages in a large skillet and add 1 inch of water. Add 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil to the skillet, 1 turn of the pan. Bring water to a boil then reduce heat a little. Allow all the liquid to cook away then brown and crisp the casings, 5 to 6 minutes. Preheat broiler.

While pasta and sausage cook, heat a deep skillet over medium heat with 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan. Add the peppers, onions and garlic and season with salt and pepper. When the sausages are cooked through, slice them on an angle and add them to the peppers and onions. Cook together until peppers and onions are tender and sliced sausages are crisp at edges then deglaze the pan with white wine or chicken stock. Stir in crushed tomatoes and bring to a bubble, reduce heat to low.

Drain rigatoni and return to warm pot. Add ricotta cheese, salt and pepper, parsley and basil and half of the Parmigiano, a couple of handfuls, stir to combine. To assemble the "fake bake," place half the sausage, peppers, onions and sauce in the bottom of a baking dish. Top with all of the pasta and then the remaining sausage and sauce. Cover the top of the dish with the grated Parmigiano and place until broiler 2 minutes to brown cheese and set pasta.

*I used boneless skinless chicken breats instead... so just cook those in a pan with olive oil and forget about doing the steps for the chicken sausage (water and all). Add dried Oregano to the sauce for better flavor… also use more Ricotta Cheese than it calls for. Also cut the pasta down by 25%.... so about ¾ of a lb. Or you can amp up the sauce by 50%.
I have also baked mine longer before... about 30 minutes at 350* to have it set a little better. But her quick 2 min. under the broiler is fine too.

Everything Lo Mein

I got this from a Rachel Ray 30 minute meal show... I made it a while ago and just made it again the other night. I need to make it more often!

3 rounded tablespoons hoisin sauce
3 tablespoons dark soy, eyeball it
3 tablespoons water, eyeball it
2 teaspoons hot sauce, eyeball it

Everything Lo Mein:
1 pound spaghetti
1/4 cup vegetable oil, divided
2 large eggs, beaten
3 chicken breast cutlets, thinly sliced into strips
3 thin cut pork chops, thinly sliced into strips
Black pepper
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 inches fresh ginger, chopped or grated
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
6 scallions, cut into 3-inch lengths then sliced lengthwise
1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, chopped
1 red bell pepper, cut into quarters, seeded, then sliced
1 small can sliced water chestnuts
2 cups fresh bean sprouts, 4 generous handfuls or 1/2 pound shredded cabbage, your choice

Mix together sauce ingredients and reserve.

Bring pasta water to a boil, salt water and cook spaghetti to al dente. While pasta cooks, heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large, nonstick skillet over high heat. When oil ripples, add beaten eggs and scramble them to light golden brown, remove and reserve. Season the meat with salt, pepper and coriander. Heat the remaining vegetable oil to a ripple, then add meat and stir-fry 4 minutes, push meat to the side and add ginger, garlic and veggies. Stir-fry veggies 2 minutes, then drain and add pasta and eggs back to skillet. Pour sauce over the spaghetti and toss to combine. Turn off pan. Toss 30 seconds and let the liquids absorb.

*I modified the recipe because we don't like mushrooms all that much and I only had chicken when I made it... so I added a green bell pepper in place of the mushrooms and did 6 chicken cutlets in place of the 3 chicken/3 pork combo. I do the bean sprouts in mine too. It's really good and even Kanyon really enjoyed it!

Potato Soup

I got this recipe from another friend of mine... I made it on Halloween night and it was so good! :)

6 slices of bacon
6 med. potatoes, peeled and cubed (about 6 cups)
2 cups chopped onions
2/3 cup chopped celery
2 lg carrots, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped (optional)
1 cup water
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp suger
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 cup flour
1/2 pint of whipping cream
snipped chives
4 cups milk

In a large pan fry bacon until crisp. Remove bacon, drain, crumble and set aside. Stir potatoes, onions, celery, carrots, water, salt, sugar, pepper, and garlic into bacon drippings. Cook covered until veggies are tender (20-25 min). Combine flour and 2 cups milk until thoroughly blended in a pot. Add potato mixture along with remaining milk. Cover over med. heat stirring occasionally until mixture is thickened (10-15 min). Stir in cream and crumbled bacon, heat through. Garnish with chives.

Makes about 10 cups.

*I added some velveeta cheese to this because I like a cheesier potato soup... but it would have be great without it too. I added it just before I crumbled in the bacon. This recipe is not as quick to make as the other "Baked Potato Soup" that I posted a while ago, but it's definitely homemade!

Beef and Cheese Manicotti

I saw this on an episode of Everyday Italian and tried it out a while ago... I ran onto it again and really want to make it! It really wasn't hard considering all the instructions I have to post on here. ;) Don't be intimidated. It was really good too!

4 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 pound ground beef
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
14 (8-ounce package) manicotti
1 (15-ounce) container whole-milk ricotta
3 cups shredded mozzarella
1 cup grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups marinara sauce
2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces

Heat a heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon of the olive oil, onion and ground beef. Season with salt and pepper. Saute until the meat browns and the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, and cool.
Brush 1 teaspoon of oil over a large baking sheet. Cook the manicotti in a large pot of boiling salted water until slightly softened, but still very firm to the bite, about 4 to 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the manicotti from the pot to the oiled baking sheet and cool.
Meanwhile, combine the ricotta, 1 1/2 to 2 cups mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup Parmesan, and parsley. Add the garlic, salt, and pepper to taste, and mix. Stir the cooled meat mixture into the cheese mixture.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Brush the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil over a 13 by 9 by 2-inch glass baking dish. Spoon 1 1/2 cups of the marinara sauce over the bottom of the prepared dish. Fill the manicotti with the cheese-meat mixture. Arrange the stuffed pasta in a single layer in the prepared dish and spoon the remaining sauce over.
Sprinkle the remaining 1 1/2 cups of mozzarella cheese, then the remaining 1/2 cup of Parmesan over the stuffed pasta. Dot entire dish with the butter pieces. Bake the manicotti uncovered until heated through and the sauce bubbles on the sides of the dish, about 30 to 35 minutes. Let the manicotti stand 5 minutes and serve.

SO good, promise. :)

Hawaiian Pork

I got this recipe from my friend, Jill. It is SO easy and SO good.

2-3 lb boneless pork butt
3 tbsp. liquid smoke (this can be found at wal-mart near the bbq sauce in a bottle)
1-2 tbsp of hawaiian salt (I use sea salt, I'm sure whatever is fine)

Put pork butt into crockpot. Fill crockpot to halfway up the pork
Add liquid smoke and salt
Cook 4-6 hours on high or 8-10 on low
Remove pork and shred with a fork.

I serve this with rice, grilled pineapple, rolls, whatever. It's really yummy!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Homemade Granola


1/2 c. butter
2 c. oats
1 c. sliced almonds
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. honey

Melt butter and add to dry ingredients, then add honey and stir until combined. Put on a cookie sheet and broil. Stir occasionally until browned. So Yummy!! I put it on yogurt, or you could just eat it like cereal with milk. Or if you are like me, eating it by the handfull is good too! :) Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Chicken Tomato Ceasar Skillet

I got this great recipe from my friend, Jill. It was a hit with Steve, too. The best part? It's SO easy.


1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts or tenders
1+ Tbp. oil
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup caesar dressing (the creamier the better)
2 Tbsp of bacon, crumbled or bacon bits
2 garlic cloves, minced or 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp dried basil leaves
2 Tbsp parsley
3-4 roma tomatoes chopped or 1 can italian diced tomatoes, drained

Cook chicken in hot oil in large covered skillet on med-high until brown on each side.
Mix dressing, broth, garlic, and seasonings in a small bowl.
Add caesar mixture to the chicken, simmer 3 minutes.
Add tomatoes and bacon, stir.
Cook 1-2 minutes.
Use extra "sauce" to pour over potatoes.

YUM! So good! :)

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Sesame Chicken Pasta Salad

I found this recipe on All Recipes. I sounded really good, so I made it tonight for dinner tomorrow. The reviews on the website said it was better if it sat overnight or for a few hours for the flavors to really get into the pasta. If you include the chicken it can be a main dish, if you leave that out, it's a great side dish.

1/4 cup sesame seeds (or less if you prefer)
1 (16 ounce) package bow tie pasta
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup light soy sauce
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons white sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 cups shredded, cooked chicken breast meat (optional)
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley (which ever you prefer)
1/3 cup chopped green onion
Chopped snow peas
Matchstick carrots

Cherry tomatoes halved

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add sesame seeds, and cook stirring frequently until lightly toasted. Remove from heat, and set aside. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente. Drain pasta, and rinse under cold water until cool. Transfer to a large bowl. In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine vegetable oil, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, sesame seeds, ginger, and pepper. Shake well.
Pour sesame dressing over pasta, and toss to coat evenly. Gently mix in chicken and other veggies.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Banana Cream Fruit Salad

I got this from a coworker a few years ago and never made it until today when I ran across the recipe. It's a fun twist on a regular fruit salad.

1 tub frozen whipped topping (thawed)
1 cup buttermilk (8 oz.)
1 pkg. Banana Cream Jell-O pudding
1 can mandarin oranges
1 can pineapple tidbits
chopped fresh strawberries (whatever looks like enough) :)
Keebler Fudge Striped cookies

Mix the banan pudding with the buttermilk. Fold in the whipped topping. Add all the fruit and mix. Break the cookies in 1/4ths (about 1/2 of a package - whatever looks like the right amount) and mix those in too.

I would imagine you could change the fruit to whatever you like, but this is what he used in his. Not the healthiest fruit salad ever, but really good!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Lemonade Pie

This is a recipe that is so simple and good for a nice and light summer dessert.

1 6oz. can frozen lemonade concentrate (thawed)
1 14oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1-2 drops yellow food coloring
1 8 oz. carton frozen whipped topping (thawed)
1 (9") graham cracker crust

Combine lemonade, sweetened condensed milk, and food coloring. Stir well. Fold in whipped topping. Pour into crust and freeze until firm, 4 hours or overnight. Garnish with lemon slices and whipped topping as desired. Serves 8.

Chocolate Salty Bars

Okay, so this is the easiest recipe yet and so yummy. I was watching Food Network one afternoon and Paula Deen was on. She made these and I tried them. They are so easy and so good.

1 package white chocolate bark
3 cups broken up pretzel sticks
2 cups salted peanuts

Now, melt the chocolate over a double boiler. Add in pretzels and peanuts. Stir and spread on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. It will take a couple hours to set up. Then you just break apart into bars and enjoy! My kids loved these!

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Crockpot BBQ Ribs

I'm finally posting this recipe. It is an all-time favorite by my husband, and whenever we have people over (if it's the first time) we serve these. The recipe isn't really written down because it's just so easy. The hardest thing about it is just making sure you let it cook in your crockpot for about 6-8 hours. If you're like me, mornings can be a little crazy. :-)

On the stove, I first brown the Boneless Pork Ribs in oil. I season them really good. My favorite seasoning for meat is McCormick Grill Mates: Montreal Steak seasoning. It has everything in it like salt, black and red pepper, garlic salt,etc.

Then I put some BBQ Sauce (Our favorite is Famous Daves: Rich & Sassy) in the bottom of the crock pot, then put the ribs in. I keep adding bbq sauce in between the ribs. Pour the rest of the bbq sauce on top and let them cook for 6-8 hours on low. Keep an eye on them around hour 5-6 depending on how many you do so you don't overcook them for some reason.

There's not much too them, but they just pull apart and are so good!! Enjoy!

Thursday, March 22, 2007


2 C flour
6 eggs
2 C milk
3 T sugar
1 t vanilla
1 cube butter melted
Dash salt

Mix all ingredients together. Cook on a hot pan on stove.

I honestly make crepes at least once a week. We love them!! This is just the recipe I use, nothing fancy, but yummy!

Cafe Rio Pork

For the Pork:
3 lbs pork (butt or shoulder)
20 oz coca cola
1-1 ½ C ketchup
1 clove garlic, minced

Place the pork in a crock pot.
Stir together the cola and ketchup. Add minced garlic. Pour mixture over meat.
Cover and cook on high for several hours (4-6 hours depending on size of roast, also more time if you choose to cook it on low).
When pork is tender, shred the meat and place back in the crock pot.
Then prepare the sauce and pour over the pork.

2 C tomatillo sauce
1 ½ C brown sugar (more or less to taste)
Juice of 2 limes
Salt and pepper (to taste)
Chili powder
More ketchup (if consistency needs thickening. (don’t put too much, just
take the lid off of the crock pot for an hour or so to thicken.)

Cook and simmer on low for an hour or so.

*****NOTE*****If you can't find tomatillo sauce, which I haven't been able to, just buy 4 tomatillos in the produce section and put them in a blender. I personally think you only need to add 1 - 1 1/2 C tomatillo sauce. I had never seen them before, but trust me, they're there, just ask the produce man. Freeze your extras and use it for later. Deli-sh!

Vanilla Syrup

For those of you who like Magleby's Fresh, this honestly tastes identically like their syrup. Yum! It tastes even better when served on crepes or french toast. You'll lick the pan after.

1 cube butter
1 C sugar
1 C buttermilk
1 T vanilla
1 T corn syrup
½ t baking soda

Bring first five ingredients to a boil.
Add baking soda.
Boil 10 seconds and remove from heat immediately to avoid boil over.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Chicken Fettuchini

This is an easy and very delicious recipe from my friend Kyrsten.

1 package Cream Cheese
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
1 package italian seasoning
3-4 chicken breasts
- cook in crock pot on low for 5-6 hours or until chicken is done and tender.

Serve over fettuchini noodles or noodles of choice.