Thursday, December 24, 2009

Turkey Brine

I had never heard of a turkey brine until I had one at Brooke's house a while ago. It's basically a marinade for your turkey and boy was so good. I decided to try one for Thanksgiving and holy cow, I never want to eat a normal turkey again. My kids couldn't stop eating it and neither could I.

- One gallon of chicken or vegetable broth (homemade is best, but it’s a pain to make).
- One cup of organic salt (using iodized salt isn’t necessary).
- Four tablespoons of spices: (I like rosemary, thyme, sage, and a little pepper and cinnamon).
- One cup of sugar.
- One gallon of water.

Pour all the ingredients into your biggest stockpot and bring it to a boil. Turn off the heat and cool to room temp. Wash and clean your turkey thoroughly. Put that bird into your newly made brine recipe and make sure he’s completely covered. Place your brined turkey into the refrigerator overnight or at as long as possible.

This was way yummy. I didn't have organic salt so I used regular, though I don't know what the difference would be. I also think this recipe was used for a regular big bird, somewhere between 12-20 lbs so I cut it in half for the turkey breast we bought.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Raspberry Streusel Coffee Cake

Jen and I were talking about Christmas morning recipes this afternoon. She posted her delicious recipe and this is our family favorite.

I like to make one savory dish (last year I made a crab and Swiss strata) and this sweet coffee cake. I then accompany these dishes with bacon and mulled cider.

I always make this coffee cake the night before and just pop it in the oven in the morning. I'd love to know what the rest of you make on Christmas.

Merry Christmas and Enjoy!

Raspberry Streusel Coffee Cake


3-1/2 cups unsweetened raspberries
1 cup water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1-1/4 cups sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup cold butter, cubed
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large saucepan, cook raspberries and water over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add lemon juice. combine sugar and cornstarch; stir into fruit mixture. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Cool.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in eggs, sour cream and vanilla (batter will be stiff).
Spread half into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Spread raspberry filling over batter; spoon remaining batter over filling. Combine topping ingredients; sprinkle over top.

Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown. Combine the glaze ingredients; drizzle over warm cake. Yield: 12-16 servings.

creme brulee french toast

i make this every christmas for breakfast, and we love it. the kids love it because it is so yummy, and i love it because you make it the night before so it's easy to just pop in the oven while we are opening presents. try it, you will love it!

Creme Brulee French Toast

1/2 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tbs corn syrup
1 loaf Texas toast bread (extra thick slices)
5 eggs
1 1/2 cups half and half cream
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla

in small saucepan melt butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup over medium heat until smooth, stirring occasionally. pour mixture onto large, greased jelly roll pan (18x13x1 inch). spread to cover surface. place 12 slices texas toast bread in a single layer to cover pan. mix together eggs, cream, salt, and vanilla. spoon mixture over each piece if bread. cover and refrigerate overnight. bake uncovered at 350 for about 30 minutes. remove from pan and serve. if not serving immediately, turn each slice of bread over (this will prevent bread from sticking to the bottom of the pan). makes 12 servings.....ENJOY!

i make bacon to eat with this and it's a delicious start to a sweet day!

*from the essential mormon cookbook

Monday, December 21, 2009

Corn Chowder

This is a must for snowy days. I hope you enjoy it as much as our family does.

Corn Chowder

1/2 cup butter
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, finely diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups white corn kernels, fresh or frozen
3 cups chicken stock
2 cups half-and-half
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic, and saute for 2 minutes. Add the flour and stir to make a roux. Cook until the roux is lightly browned; set aside to cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, combine the corn and chicken stock in another saucepan, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Pour the boiling stock with the corn (a little at a time) into the saucepan with the roux, whisking briskly so it doesn't lump. Return the skillet to the heat and bring to a boil. The mixture should become very thick.

In a small saucepan, gently heat the half-and-half; stir it into the thick corn mixture. Add the nutmeg and salt and pepper, to taste.

You can also add chicken, shrimp, clams, or bacon to kick it up another notch.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Hot Caramel Apple Cider

1 gallon Apple Cider
1 Package Mulling Spices
1-12 oz bottle Caramel Sauce
1 cup Whipping Cream
3 tsp Sugar (I prefer powdered sugar)
1/2 tsp Vanilla

In large saucepan over med heat combine the cider and spices. Let mull until cider is infused with spices.
Whip cream in a bowl. Add sugar and vanilla when cream starts to thicken. Whip until stiff.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sweet Potatoes

This is a family favorite for thanksgiving!

6 lg sweet potatoes (poke holes and bake at 350 for abt 1 1/2 hrs on baking sheet. Let them cool and then peel-makes abt 6 Cups cooked)

Then combine all this with the pulp from the potatoes:
3/4 C sugar
1 1/2 t salt
1/4 C butter
3 eggs
1/3 C evap milk
1 t vanilla
Mix till light and fluffy. Pour into 9x13.

1 C brown sugar
1/3 C flour
1 C chopped pecans
½ C melted butter
1/3 C coconut
Mix and sprinkle.

Bake 350 for 25 minutes.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Shrimp Linguine Alfredo

Shrimp Linguine Alfredo

1 (12 ounce) package linguine pasta
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 large diced onion
4-8 teaspoons minced garlic (to taste)
2 lbs. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
4 sprigs fresh parsley
4 slices lemon, for garnish

1.Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water until al dente; drain.
2.Meanwhile, melt butter in a large saucepan. Saute onion and garlic over medium heat until tender. Add shrimp; saute over high heat for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in half-and-half. Cook, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens.
3.Place pasta in a serving dish, and cover with shrimp sauce. Sprinkle with black pepper and Parmesan cheese. Garnish with parsley and lemon slices.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Pumpkin Pie Treat

I don't know what the real name of this is, but it is really quick and oh-so-tasty! You will want to eat it hot with vanilla ice cream on the top!

1 can solid pack pumpkin
1 can evap milk
3 eggs
1 C sugar
4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 pkg yellow cake mix
3/4 C butter melted
1 1/2 C chopped walnuts (optional)
vanilla ice cream

Combine first 5 ingredients, Transfer to greased cake pan. Sprinkle with dry cake mix and drizzle with butter. Top with nuts. Bake at 350 for 1hr. Serve with ice cream.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Creamy Tomato Soup

Ok, seriously, if you haven't looked at this website you need to go there NOW. Every recipe I have tried on there has turned out delicious, so be prepared to see a lot of those recipes posted on here. I really love tomato soup and so does everyone in my family, so instead of breaking out good ol' Campbells, I tried to make my own. It was surprisingly easy and it tasted like heaven. It doesn't taste a bit like Campbells, more like a grown up version.

1 T real butter
1 C chopped onion
¾ C shredded carrot
1 T minced garlic
1 tea sugar
¼ tea pepper
¼ tea salt
4 Fresh Basil leaves plus some for garnish (or substitute 1-2 t dried basil, see note below)
1/2 C sliced sun-dried tomatos, packed in oil with herbs
2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (14oz) can chicken broth
3 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese

1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped onion, shredded carrot, and garlic, and cook for 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring frequently.

2. Add sugar, pepper, and salt and cook 2 more minutes. Then add sun-dried tomatoes, diced tomatoes, and 4 basil leaves.

If you're substituting dried basil, the rule of thumb is 1/3 part dried herb = 1 part fresh so for this recipe you can eyeball it, but I'm guessing you'd want to add about 1-2 t dried basil

3. Stir to combine and finally add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Cover, and reduce heat, and simmer 30-40 minutes.

4. Remove from heat. Place soup in blender (do this in 2 batches if necessary). Add cream cheese. Remove center piece of blender lid to allow steam to escape, but place a paper towel over opening in blender lid to avoid splatters. Process for a couple of minutes until very smooth.

5. Divide soup among bowls and garnish each serving with a sprinkle of shredded Parmesan cheese and a basil leaf.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Pumpkin Sheet Cake

I got this recipe from a gal I went to college with. I hadn't made it in forever and now I am asking myself why I went so long without it! It is SO moist and delish and perfect with the cream cheese frosting. Are you feeling fallish yet?

4 eggs
1 c. oil
2 c. pumpkin
1 2/3 c. sugar

Mix together in large bowl. In separate bowl combine:

2 c. flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt

Add dry ingredients at once to wet mixture and stir until well combined. Add 1/2 bag mini chocolate chips (mine were the regular ones) and stir. Spread in greased jelly roll pan (aka cookie sheet with edges). Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. Frost when cool.

Cream cheese frosting

2 1/2 T butter, softened
1/2 pkg cream cheese, softened
2-3 c powdered sugar
1-2 T milk
1 tsp vanilla

Beat all together until whipped. Spread on cooled cake.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Ham and Cheese Omelet Roll

This is also from Brooke. She made this for me after we had Ryan and it was an instant hit! I've made it many times since and everyone loves it (but it always tastes better when someone else makes it for you)!


4 ozs. cream cheese, softened
¾ cup milk
2 Tbsp. flour
¼ tsp. salt
12 eggs
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 ¼ cups shredded cheddar or Swiss cheese, divided
2 cups finely chopped fully cooked ham
½ cup thinly sliced green onions


1. Preheat the oven to 375°. Line the bottom and sides of a greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan with parchment paper; grease the paper and set aside.

2. In a small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and milk until smooth. Add flour and salt; mix until combined.

3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs until blended. Add cram cheese mixture; mix well. Pour into prepared pan.

4. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until eggs are puffed and set. Remove from the oven. Immediately spread with mustard and sprinkle with 1 cup cheese. Sprinkle with ham, onions, and 1 more cup of cheese.

5. Roll us from short side, peeling parchment paper away while rolling. Sprinkle top of roll with remaining cheese; bake 3-4 minutes longer or until, cheese is melted.

Hot Artichoke and Spinach Dip

This recipe is from Brooke. It was on her blog a while back and I made it for Paige's blessing and I think the bowl was licked clean! Delish!


1 (10 oz.) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 (14 oz.) can artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped
1 cup shredded
parmesan-romano cheese
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
ozs. prepared alfredo sauce
1 tsp. minced garlic
ozs. cream cheese, softened


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Combine ingredients thoroughly in a bowl and spread mixture into an 8 x 8 baking dish.

3. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until cheeses are bubbling and melted.

Chocolate Trifle

1 (19.8 ounce) package brownie mix
1 (3.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
1/2 cup water
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 (12 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 (1.5 ounce) bar chocolate candy

Prepare brownie mix according to package directions and cool completely. Cut into 1 inch squares.
In a large bowl, combine pudding mix, water and sweetened condensed milk. Mix until smooth, then fold in 8 ounces whipped topping until no streaks remain.
In a trifle bowl or glass serving dish, place half of the brownies, half of the pudding mixture and half of the 12 ounce container of whipped topping. Repeat layers. Shave chocolate onto top layer for garnish. Refrigerate 8 hours before serving.

(I used about 1/2 of a pan of Outrageous Brownies--recipe listed a few months ago, instead of a brownie mix. Next time I make this I will add about an additional 1/4 cup milk to the chocolate pudding to make it a little softer. I used real whipped cream in the layers just because that's what I had and it was heavenly. I also topped it with a few Reeces Peanut Butter Cups. Next time I think I'll put a few in the layers too.)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Cinnamon Caramel Corn with Pecans & White Chocolate

This popcorn tastes just like a cinnamon roll and it is sinfully addictive. Beware!
Recipe by Our Best Bites

12 C popped popcorn (about 1/2 C kernels)
1 C pecan halves, roughly chopped
1 C brown sugar
3/4 t cinnamon
1/4 C karo syrup (or honey makes a good substitution)
1 stick real butter (1/2 C)
1t vanilla
1/2 t baking soda

3 squares almond bark (about 4 oz)

Preheat oven to 250 degrees

Place popcorn and chopped pecans in a large bowl and set aside.

Combine brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a 4 C capacity microwave safe bowl. Mix well. Chop butter into chunks and place on top of sugar mixture. Pour corn syrup over the top of everything. Microwave on high for 30 seconds and then stir to combine. Return to microwave and heat for 2 minutes. Remove and stir and then microwave for 2 minutes more.

Remove from microwave and add in vanilla and baking soda. Stir to combine. Mixture will foam and rise. Pour caramel mixture over popcorn and pecans and stir very well so everything is well coated.

Spread popcorn mixture onto a foil-lined jelly roll pan. Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and spread out on a large piece of parchment, waxed paper, or foil.

Melt almond bark according to package instructions. Drizzle over popcorn mixture. When almond bark is hardened and popcorn is cool, break into chunks and enjoy!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Homemade Applesauce using slow cooker

OK - I know that most of you probably have already made applesauce but this was a first for me so I thought I'd share my recipe found on the internet.

Using your Crockpot add about 10 peeling and cored apples.
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar or to taste (some people use brown sugar)
1 tsp of cinnamon if desired
1/2 tsp nutmet if desired

Let it cook about 4 hours - mix and serve!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Salmon with Lemon, Capers, and Rosemary

This is one of my favorite salmon recipes. It's quick, easy, and impressive--who could ask for anything more?
Salmon with Lemon, Capers, and Rosemary
by Giada De Laurentiis


4 (6 oz.) salmon fillets
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
8 lemon slices (about 2 lemons)
1/2 cup lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
1/2 cup Marsala wine or white wine (I used white zinfandel)
4 teaspoons capers
4 pieces of aluminum foil


Brush top and bottom of salmon fillets with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and rosemary. place each piece of seasoned salmon on a piece of aluminum foil large enough to fold over and seal. Top each piece of salmon with 2 lemon slices, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of wine, and 1 teaspoon of capers. Wrap up salmon tightly in the foil packets.

Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill (I used our gas grill). Place the foil packets on the hot grill and cook for 10 minutes for a 1-inch thick piece of salmon. Serve in the foil packets.

Click here for the original recipe or to read reviews on this scrumptious dish.

Serve with rice and roasted asparagus.


Roasted Asparagus

I love roasting veggies and this recipe makes to die for asparagus. Give it a try.
Roasted Asparagus
by Ina Garten
2 lbs. asparagus
olive oil
Kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Break off the tough ends of the asparagus and, if they're thick, peel them. Place the asparagus on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, then toss to coat the asparagus completely.
Spread the asparagus in a single layer and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.
Roast the asparagus for 25 mintues, or until tender but still crisp.
makes 8 servings
click here for the original recipe and to read reviews.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Orange Rolls

1 pkg yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
2 C warm water
2 eggs
1/2 C sour cream
5 1/2 C flour (this is approximate- just till the dough is a little sticky.)
6 T melted butter
1 t salt
1/2 C sugar

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Beat in sugar, eggs, salt, butter and sour cream. Beat in 2 cups flour then knead in the rest. Let rise till double. Knead dough and roll into 2 - 12 inch circles and cover with filling. Cut into wedges and roll into crescent rolls. Put rolls in lightly greased 9 x 13 pan and let rise till double. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes till golden.

4 T melted butter
1 C sugar
4 T grated orange rind


1/2 C butter
3/4 C sugar
1/2 C sour cream
2 T orange rind

Place all ingredients in a sauce pan. Boil over medium heat for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour over rolls right after you take them out of the oven.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Grasshopper Pie

30 Oreos
1 cube butter, melted
1/2 gallon mint chocolate chip ice cream (or whatever is your favorite.)
1 can hot fudge
1 container cool whip

Crush the oreos in a large ziplock. Add the butter then press lightly into a greased cake pan. Freeze for 30 minutes. Thencover with ice cream then the hot fudge. Freeze at least 4 hours and then put cool whip on top before serving.

Jiggly Jell-O

3 pkgs gelatin
9 oz Jell-O
2 1/2 C boiling water
8 oz whipping cream

Mix the first 3 together till dissolved. (make sure it is mixed well so you don't have clumps.) Pour the mix into a 9 x 13. Then pour the whip cream into the mix. Let it set in the fridge about 4 hours or so. The whip cream will settle on the top as it cools.

These are super easy to make! We cut them in different shapes and have made all sorts of flavors.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Thai Peanut Noodle Salad

I came across this website the other day and I just love it! All the recipes look tried and true and so yummy! This one turned out delish in my opinion, the dressing is to die for! We are having it again tonight. Oh, and I made it without chicken to have as a side. I will be perusing that site again for more recipes and will be sure to post the good ones!


8 oz Linguine Fini (or regular linguine) cooked
4 C shredded greens: any combo of napa cabbage, romaine lettuce or even spinach
2 C thinly sliced purple cabbage
1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 yellow pepper, thinly sliced
1 medium carrot, julienned
1/2 medium cucumber, halved and sliced
1/4 of a red onion, thinly sliced
3 C diced grilled chicken
honey roasted peanuts (about 1/2 cup)

Cook pasta and run under cold water. Toss with a bit of oil to keep it from sticking. Mix up all veggies. Place pasta down in bowl first, then cover with the vegetables. Pour on the salad dressing and then add the peanuts.

Thai Peanut Salad Dressing (save some time and make this part ahead!)

1/2 C peanut butter
1 lime, juiced and zested
2 1/2 t sesame oil
1 T seasoned rice wine vinegar
2 T soy sauce
3 T honey
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 T minced ginger
1/2 C roughly chopped cilantro (stems and all)
1/2 C vegetable oil
1/4 t kosher salt
2-3 t sriracha chili sauce (I didn't use this)
2-4 T water

Blend all in blender and then refrigerate.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Fun with the kids: Ice Cream in a bag

This is another fun treat we made when my sister and her kids were staying with us. The ice cream was definitely soft serve consistency, but it was super yummy, especially when we crushed some Oreos on top. Just be careful when you open the inner bag that you don't get any salt on your ice cream.


1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup milk or half & half
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
6 tablespoons rock salt (I just used Kosher salt)
1 pint-size plastic food storage bag (e.g., Ziploc)
1 gallon-size plastic food storage bag
Ice cubes

How to make it:

Fill the large bag half full of ice, and add the rock salt. Seal the bag.
Put milk, vanilla, and sugar into the small bag, and seal it.
Place the small bag inside the large one, and seal it again carefully.
Shake until the mixture is ice cream, which takes about 5 minutes.
Wipe off the top of the small bag, then open it carefully. Enjoy!

Soft Pretzels!

We made these when my sister and her family were here. The kids had a blast making their pretzels all different shapes , although the classic pretzel shape and some simple twists turned out the best. Eat them with some Frenches classic yellow mustard for best results!
• 1 1/2 cups warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 2 teaspoons kosher salt
• 1 package active dry yeast
• 4 1/2 cups flour
• 2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
• Vegetable oil, for pan
• 10 cups water
• 2/3 cup baking soda
• 1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
• Pretzel salt (I just used Kosher Salt)
Combine the water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam. Add the flour and butter and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl and then oil it well with vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with the vegetable oil. Set aside.
Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan or roasting pan.
In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope. Make a U-shape with the rope, holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel. Place onto the parchment-lined half sheet pan.
Place the pretzels into the boiling water, 1 by 1, for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula. Return to the half sheet pan, brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture and sprinkle with the pretzel salt. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Cream of Coconut Cake

I have been craving a coconut cake but I don't think I've ever made one. I found this recipe on and I modified it a little and it is sooo good! I made it three days ago and it is still really moist and wonderful! (You can find cans of cream of coconut in the alcohol aisle at the grocery store. It's with the mixed drink ingredients.)


  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package white cake mix
  • 3 eggs (add yolks with everything else and then add the whites at the end when everything is well combined)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup cream of coconut
  • 1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 oz. softened cream cheese
1/4 cup softened butter/marg
3-4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanillla
remaining cream of coconut
1 tsp. coconut extract
milk for desired consistency (maybe 2-3T.)
  • about 1/2 container of Cool Whip


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour one 9x13 inch pan.
  2. Combine the cake mix, eggs, vegetable oil, cream of coconut and the sour cream and mix well for 4 minutes. Pour batter into the prepared pan. (I lined the bottom of 9" rounds with parchment paper and sprayed them with Pam. It was the first time the cakes came out perfect.)
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for about 30-35 minutes. Let cake cool for about 5 minutes and then turn out onto cooling racks. Poke holes in the top and spread remaining Cream of Coconut on warm cakes (reserve some for frosting). Allow to completely cool and then frost with cream cheese frosting and top with flaked coconut.
  4. To Make Frosting: Combine all ingredients except Cool Whip and whip until nice and smooth and a little thick. Then add Cool Whip to make it fluffy. Spread over cooled cake. Top with flaked coconut.
This is the link to the original recipe.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Favorite Chicken Marinade

1 c soy sauce
2 cans 7-up
2 Tbsp horseradish
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Combine in bowl or bag. Throw in chicken or turkey breasts and let soak up to 24 hours, the longer the better.


Here's Chili's salsa. Way yummy!

1 14.5 oz can tomatoes w/ chilies
1 14.5 oz whole tomatoes with juice
4 tsp jalapenos, canned and diced
1/4 c yellow onion, diced
1/2-3/4 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp sugar

Put jalapenos and onions into food processor and blend for a few seconds. Add the rest and blend, but do not puree. Chill and eat.

*I tried it with the 4 tsp jalapenos and my mouth was on fire. If you like runny nose salsa, follow exact directions, otherwise I would try it with half as many jalapenos.

Friday, May 29, 2009

M&M's Miracle Cookies

It's a miracle.
Only 5 ingredients... no butter or flour.

Find the recipe HERE.

Caesar Club Sandwich

Peter and I watched Barefoot Contessa make this last week, and we couldn't stop thinking about it! I made it last night and it was so yummy! I used bacon instead of pancetta and I really bought anchovy paste ($2 at Bloom). Peter wants to make sure this stays in the regular dinner rotation!

Caesar Club Sandwich


  • 2 split (1 whole) chicken breasts, bone in, skin on
  • Good olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces thinly sliced pancetta
  • 1 large garlic clove, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons anchovy paste
  • 1 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup good mayonnaise
  • 1 large ciabatta bread
  • 2 ounces baby arugula, washed and spun dry
  • 12 sun-dried tomatoes, in oil
  • 2 to 3 ounces Parmesan, shaved


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the chicken breasts on a sheet pan skin side up. Rub the chicken with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until cooked through. Cool slightly, discard the skin and bones, and slice the meat thickly. Set aside.

Meanwhile, place the pancetta on another sheet pan in a single layer. Roast for 10 to 15 minutes, until crisp. Set aside to drain on paper towels.

Place the garlic and parsley in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until minced. Add the anchovy paste, mustard, lemon juice, and mayonnaise and process again to make a smooth dressing. (Refrigerate the Caesar dressing if not using it immediately.)

Slice the ciabatta in half horizontally and separate the top from the bottom. Toast the bread in the oven, cut side up, for 5 to 7 minutes; cool slightly. Spread the cut sides of each piece with the Caesar dressing. Place half the arugula on the bottom piece of bread and then layer in order: the sun-dried tomatoes, shaved Parmesan, crispy pancetta, and sliced chicken. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and finish with another layer of arugula. Place the top slice of ciabatta on top and cut in thirds crosswise. Serve at room temperature.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Get Off Your Butt and Bake

This is the the name of a cooking blog I just found.

Hope you like it!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Easy Pleasing Meatloaf

I got this recipe from Kraft Foods. If you are looking for an easy meatloaf recipe then this is it. My mom says it's nothing like she's had before so I guess it isn't the traditional meatloaf but my family liked it and it was easy!

2 lbs lean ground beef
1 pkg. (6oz) Stove Top Stuffing Mix for Chicken
1 cup water
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup Kraft Original Barbecue Sauce, divided

Oven 375. Mix all ingredients except 1/4 cup barbecue sauce. Shape meat mixture into oval loaf in 13x9 inch baking dish; top with remaining bbq sauce.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Boursin Creamed Spinach

I must admit that this is more creamy than anything, but I'm not complaining. I doubled the recipe to feed 8. Enjoy!

Boursin Creamed Spinach

2 T unsalted butter
1/2 cup yellow onions, diced
2 T all purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 pkg (5.2 oz) boursin cheese
1 pkg 10 oz frozen, chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed dry of excess moisture
2 T parmesan cheese, grated
1 tsp lemon zest
salt, pepper, cayenne and nutmeg to taste
2/3 cup coarse fresh bread crumbs (I used panko)
1 T olive oil


Preheat oven to 425F

Saute onions in 1 T butter until soft about 5 min. Add the flour and stir to coat onion. Gradually whisk in the milk and heavy cream stirring constantly to prevent lumps. Simmer for 1 minute. Stir in Boursin cheese a little at a time until melted and smooth. Remove saucepan from heat. Add spinach, parmesan, lemon zest, and seasonings. Transfer spinach to prepared baking dish.

Combine crumbs, 1 T butter, oil and salt and pepper. Top spinach with crumbs, packing down to adhere.

cook 20 to 25 minutes until crumbs are golden and sauce is bubbly

Macaroni Grill Bread

I don't know if this is, in fact, the macaroni grill bread but it is sure good. The best part about it is that it is a FAST yeast bread that you can get together really quick! Total time from start to finish is a little over an hour. Anyone can do this super simple and tasty bread!

Macaroni Grill Bread

1 tbls. yeast
1 tbls. sugar
1 c warm water
let sit for a few minutes.

add slowly:
2 cups of flour
2 tbls rosemary (fresh is the best)
1 tsp. salt

Let rise in bowl until double in size. (45 min. to an hour) Roll dough into one large round loaf, or two small. Bake at 400 for about 12 minutes, or until top is golden brown. When out of the oven, rub butter over the top and sprinkle with salt. Mmmm.

**I have also left out the rosemary, added a tad more sugar, and eliminated sprinkling the salt at the end to just have a white bread. Still really good!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The best pizza recipe

I have been searching and searching for the best homemade pizza recipe that I could find. I used to use Rhodes frozen bread dough but I haven't been able to find it for the last couple of years. I came across this recipe on the internet and have made it about 4 or 5 times in the last 2 weeks and can't keep my fingers out of it. I am going to share it with you, you lucky ones! I have tweaked it a little since this is for a bread machine, but it still works. Let me know what you think.

1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 tsp oregano
1/2 basil
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp sugar

1 1/3 c water
2 tsp sugar
1 1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbs olive oil
3 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp Accent
1 1/2 tsp bread machine yeast ( I just use regular yeast)
2 Tsp cornmeal

Put into bread machine, except cornmeal, as directed and set to dough cycle. I just put it into a bowl and mix it. Let it rise for 1 1/2 - 2 hours.

Turn onto floured surface and add flour until it's not sticky. Put in greased 9 x13 pan with cornmeal or pizza pan. Let rest for 10-15 mins. Add sauce and toppings. Bake 400 15-20minutes or until done. Yummy!

Friday, February 27, 2009

A-Maze-Ing Brownies!

If you crave a dense fudgey brownie, this will cure what ales you! This is Barefoot Contessa's recipe, but when I make them again, I will only use about 1-2 tsp of instant coffee because the coffee flavor was a little too evident. I think you could totally leave it out if you wanted, but a little coffee flavor definately makes the chocolate flavor more full-bodied. And when I made these, I didn't have any unsweetened chocolate, so I used 2 milk chocolate Hershey bars.
And one warning--this makes a lot of brownies and they are rich so you don't have to have a huge piece to get your fix. A whole jelly roll pan of brownies is enough for the neighborhood--at least the moms anyway!
Enjoy thouroughly!

1 pound unsalted butter
1 pound plus 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips, divided
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
6 extra-large eggs
3 tablespoons instant coffee powder
2 tablespoons real vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 ¼ cups flour, divided
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups diced walnut pieces
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 13 by 18 by 1 1/2-inch sheet pan (jelly roll pan).

Melt together the butter, 1 lb chocolate chips, and unsweetened chocolate on top of a double boiler. Cool slightly. Stir together the eggs, instant coffee, vanilla and sugar. Stir in the warm chocolate mixture and cool to room temperature.

Stir together the 1 cup flour, baking powder and salt. Add to cooled chocolate mixture. Toss the walnuts and 2 cups chocolate chips with 1/4 c. flour to coat. Then add to the chocolate batter. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake for about 30 minutes, or until tester just comes out clean. Halfway through the baking, rap the pan against the oven shelf to allow air to escape from between the pan and the brownie dough. Do not overbake! Cool thoroughly, refrigerate well and cut into squares. (You could also use a larger cookie cutter and cut the brownies into shapes.)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Valley Forge Clam Chowder

I am not a big fan of clam chowder but this stuff was way yummy!

Valley Forge Clam Chowder
2 6 1/2 oz cans minced clams drained,
save juice
1 C onions, chopped fine
1 C celery, diced
2 C diced potatoes

Pour clam juice over vegetables,
add enough water to cover & simmer until
potatoes are done.

3/4 C flour
3/4 C butter
1 quart milk

melt butter, add flour, stir until smooth and bubbly,
remove from heat, add milk gradually, then cook mixture
until smooth and creamy.

1 tsp salt and pepper

Mix all of the above together and heat through. Season
with salt and pepper.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Chicken Sandwich w/ Peppered Bacon and Cheese


I found this recipe on and made it tonight for dinner.
It was easy and tasty if anyone is in the mood for
a sandwich like we were!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Pumpkin Bars - yummy and light!

Pumpkin Bars

Beat until fluffy:
4 eggs
2 c. sugar
1 c. butter, softened
1 16 oz. can pumpkin

2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp baking soda

Pour batter into large cookie sheet and spread evenlyBake at 350 for 18-23 minutes

Frosting3 oz. cream cheese, softened1/2 c. butter, softened1 tsp. vanilla3 c. powdered sugar

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Tomato with Orzo Soup

I got this recipe from the Wegman's Menu magazine. I changed it a little to suit our tastes and our pantry! I've been wanting to make a homemade tomato soup and this looked really good, especially served with grilled cheese sandwiches! Me, Peter, and Lauren loved it and Natalie was able to eat most of hers with limited gagging---we call that a win!

About 1 1/2 cups chopped onion, celery and carrots
2 T. veg oil
1 T. chopped garlic
1-14 oz can stewed tomatoes
1 -14 oz can tomato sauce
1 1/2 tsp Italian Seasonings
32 oz. hot chicken stock (I used broth)
1 cup orzo pasta
1 cup cream
salt and pepper to taste

Saute veggies in oil in large stock pot 6-7 minutes. Add garlic and cook 2 more minutes. Add all tomatoes and seasonings, simmer 10 minutes. Add stock; return to simmer. Add orzo. Simmer 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat. Temper cream: pour cream into medium bowl. Add a few ladles of hot soup to cream to slowly raise cream temp. Add cream mixture to soup.
(The directions say it freezes very well too.)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Honey Nut Chicken Sticks

This is a Rachel Ray Recipe that we tried last week and it was loved by all! Jeremy and I had the chicken strips on top of a salad with this dressing and the kids ate them plain with dipping sauce and veggies on the side. The perfect compromise!


2 pounds chicken tenders
Salt and pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 eggs
A splash milk
2 cups honey nut flavored cereal, (I used Honey Bunches of Oats)
1 cup bread crumbs
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
2 tablespoons grill seasoning, such as McCormick brand Montreal Poultry Seasoning
1/4 cup vegetable oil (eyeball it)
Pre-heat oven to 400°F.
Season chicken tenders with salt and pepper. Place flour in a large, shallow dish. Coat chicken in flour.
Beat eggs and milk in a shallow dish. Combine cereal, bread crumbs, paprika, poultry seasoning, grill seasoning and vegetable oil in food processor. Transfer breading to a shallow dish.
Place a nonstick baking sheet near chicken breading station. In batches, take flour-coated chicken and coat in eggs, followed by breading and place on nonstick cookie sheet. When all the chicken has been coated, transfer to oven and bake 15 minutes, until evenly brown and cooked through.
Cool and serve, or pack up for a picnic! This chicken may be served hot or cold.

Twice Baked Potatoes

This recipe came from Paula Deen's magazine from March/April 2008. I made them for Easter, Christmas, and many times in between. You can't loose with ingredients like cream cheese, bacon, and cheese! (The recipe says it serves two, but I always double or triple everything because people will chow down on these!)
2 large baking potatoes
1/4 c. butter
1/4 c. shredded cheddar (When is 1/4 cup of cheese ever enough for anything?)
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 T. sour cream
1 T. dry ranch salad dressing seasoning mix
2 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

Preheat oven to 425.
Wash potatoes and wrap in foil. Place on a baking sheet and bake for about 1 hour or until tenter. Allow to cool until easy to handle.
Cut in half and scrape out pulp of potatoes and place in med bowl, leaving a 1/4" thick shell. Set aside
Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease baking sheet.
In a medium bowl, combine potato pulp, butter, and remaining ingredients. Mash with a fork to combine. Spoon potato mixture into potato shells; place on prepared baking sheet. Bake 30 minutes or until heated through.

Sheet Cake (from Barefoot Contessa---my hero!)

This sheet cake will totally surprise you! It is tasty and totally from scratch! And if you love a cake with frosting, you'll be in heaven. If you're not totally in love with frosting, I would cut the frosting recipe in half.

2 1/4 sticks butter, at room temp
3 cups sugar
6 eggs, at room temp
1 cup sour cream, at room temp
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda

Cream butter and sugar together for about 5 minutes (this is the secret to from scratch cakes!). On med speed, add eggs, 2 at a time, then add sour cream and vanilla. Scrape down the sides and stir until smooth.
Sift together the dry ingredients in a bowl. With mixer on low, add the flour mixture until just combined. Pour into prepared 18x12 pan (I use a jelly roll pan). Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes. Do not over cook! At 20 minutes start checking with a toothpick for doneness. Cool to room temp.

4 sticks butter, at room temp
1 1/2 lbs. cream cheese, at room temp
1 lb. powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
Combine all ingredients in mixer until smooth. Slather over cake!

(In the cookbook, this cake is decorated like a flag with the white frosting, raspberries, and blueberries. I made it for the Super Bowl and tried to make it look like a football field. The possibilities are endless.)

Slush Punch

This is the punch my mom would make for any of her parties when we were growing up and then it was served at all of the weddings in my family. Now I make it for my parties.

4 cups sugar
4 cups water
6 oz. frozen OJ concentrate
1/2 cup lemon juice
46 oz. pineapple juice (from a can)
2 2-liters ginger ale

In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients and warm until sugar is all dissolved. Don't boil. Pour into any freezeable container. Freeze for at least 24 hours.
When ready to serve, pour ginger ale over and scrape the frozen block to make slush.

Marinated Green Bean Salad

This dish is served at Michie Tavern, right near Monticello. I bought their cookbook because their food is sooo good and Peter and I really love this easy green bean salad. (great for Adkins diet too!)

1 lb can green beans
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup salad oil
2 T. sugar
2 tsp. garlic salt
1 1/2 tsp ground oregano
1 tsp. pepper

Drain beans and set aside. In a large bowl combine all other ingredients and whisk well. Add the beans, gently stir and chill for one hour. Before serving stir to distribute marinade.
(Note: I have actually used the big can of green beans from Costco, that costs less than $3, with this amount of marinade.)

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Winter Breakfast---Baked Oatmeal

If you don't have bran just skip it and if you don't have steel-cut oats, (they are tasty) just add 1/4 reg oats.

2 1/2 c. regular rolled oats
1/4 c. oat bran
1/4 c. steel-cut oats
2 t. baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 cups milk
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup applesauce
1/4 c. cooking oil
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar
2 cups fresh or dried fruit, chopped (strawberries, blueberries, apples, peaches, bananas, raisins, craisins, whatever)

In large bowl stir together rolled oats through cinnamon; set aside. In a medium bowl, stir together milk through sugars. Add to oat mixture, stirring until combined. Turn into lightly greased casserole pan or souffle dish.
Bake uncovered, for 20 at 400. Stir mixture. Gently fold in fruit (or don't do fruit at all). Bake for 15 more minutes or until top is lightly browned.
Serve warm with yogurt, milk, or cream. (l love it with cream!)

Macaroni and Cheese

9 T. butter
1/2 c. muenster cheese, shredded (or just chopped small)
1/2 c. jack, shredded
1 c. cheddar, shredded
8 oz. Velveeta, cubed
1 1/2 c. half & half
2 eggs
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
elbow macaroni

Boil macaroni for 10 minutes. Drain. Add butter to hot mac. Stir in cheeses. Whisk eggs, half & half, salt, and pepper together. Pour over macaroni. Pour into baking dish. Top with more cheese. Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Easiet Roast You Will Ever Make

This is tasty and way too easy:

Get a Roast
Get a Bottle of Laury's Steak and Chop (found in the marinades section)
Put roast in ziploc with Laury's over night in fridge(put a bit of water in bottle and shake to get remaining seasonings at bottom of bottle).
Pour Roast and seasoning in crock-pot and add a bit more water to cover half of roast.
Cook on low for 7-8 hours.


This recipe compliments of Michelle.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Mandarin Orange Spinach Salad

1 (8oz) bunch of spinach
1 head red leaf lettuce, torn
1 head iceberg lettuce, torn
1 red onion sliced
3/4 lb fresh mushrooms
3/4 lb swiss cheese, grated
1/2 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 8oz can mandarin oranges

3/4 Tbsp poppy seeds
1/4 cup grated onion
1/3 cup white vinegar3/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp prepared mustard
1/3 cup sugar(put in a jar and shake)

8 oz slivered almonds
1/3 cup sugar

1. Cook almonds w/ sugar in a pan untill carmelized (over med heat)
2. Spread out over wax paper and cool.
3.Toss salad ingredients.
4. Add Dressing and almonds just before serving. Toss.

This makes a BIG salad.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Taco Soup, Weight Watchers Recipe

I make this once a week and then eat the left-overs all week long. It's more like chili than soup. It's full of fiber and nutrients and low on points. Delicious!

3/4 to 1 pound ground turkey
1 onion chopped
1 packet taco seasoning
1 packet ranch flavor seasoning
1 can chilli beans
1 can pinto beans
2 cans diced tomatoes (one Mexican flavored)
1 can corn
Fresh cilantro

Cook the ground turkey and onion together until the turkey is browned and the onions are tender. Add the seasoning packets. Add the remaining ingredients except for cilantro, DO NOT DRAIN THE CANS. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or put it in the crock pot and heat until you are ready to eat it. Serve with fresh cilantro.
2 points per cup.