Monday, December 27, 2010

Tomato Bread Salad

This recipe is from the Taste of Home magazine. It's wonderful!

1/4 cup fresh or dry basil*
8 cups French or Italian bread, cubed
3 cups quartered tomatoes**
1 cup red onion rings
1 can small black olives

Fold all above ingredients together in a large bowl.

In another smaller bowl, mix together:

1/2 cup olive or vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 Tbs red wine vinegar

Pour above mixture over bread mixture in large bowl. Let set at least 30 minutes before serving.

*Note: If using dry basil, it can be added to the oil mixture to soften it.
**Note: I cut my tomatoes smaller than quarter sized, into bite-sized chunks. But, this is personal preference.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Seven Layer Cookies

An old recipe, but a good one.

1 cup butter
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 cup coconut
1 cup chopped nuts
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips
1 cup sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Melt butter in baking pan; sprinkle crumbs over butter. Springkle over remaining ingredients, one layer at a time.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until chips melt. Cool completely; cut into squares.

Chocolate Sachertorte Cookies

This was adapted from my Mom's recipe. They are very good!

Cookie Dough:
1 cup butter, softened
1 - 4-1/2 oz pkg. instant chocolate pudding mix
1 egg
2 cups flour
3 Tbs sugar

1/2 cup chocolate chips
5 Tbs butter

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

For cookies: Cream butter and pudding mix in large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in egg. Gradually add flour till well mixed and dough forms.

Shape dough into 1" balls, place 2" apart on ungreased cookie sheet. With your thumb, make an imprint in the center of each cookie. Bake 15-18 minutes until set; let cool.

For filling: Mix chocolate chips and butter in small microwaveable bowl, microwave until melted, stir until smooth. Fill centers of each cookie, let cool completely.

Cinnamon-Roasted Almonds

These are great during the Holidays, as a snack, or place them in a decorated jar or gift tin for a quick gift!

1 egg white
1 tsp. cold water
4 cups whole almonds
1/2 cut white sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Lightly grease a large baking sheet.

Lightly beat the egg white, add water, and beat until frothy but not stiff. Add almonts and stir until well coated. Mix the sugar, salt and cinnamon, sprinkle over the nuts. Toss to coat, and spread evenly on prepared pan.

Bake for 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until golden. Allow to cool completely; store in airtight container.

Chocomallowriffic Brownies

A tasty, fun alternative to plain traditional brownies.

1 Brownie mix, 13x9 (Family) size
Canned Chocolate Fudge frosting
1 - 7 oz. jar Marshmallow Creme

Prepare brownies per package directions. Let cool completely.

Spread marshmallow creme over top of brownies. Place 1/3 cup chocolate fudge frosting in microwave-safe bowl; microwave on high for 10-10 seconds or until melted. Stir until smooth. Drizzle over marshmallow creme and swirl with a knife. Store loosely covered in refrigerator.

Mandarin Orange Salad

This is nice as a side dish, but could almost be a light dessert as well.

2 pkgs. Light Tapioca Pudding
3 cups boiling water
2 pkgs. Sugar free Orange Jello
8 oz. fat-free Cool Whip
2 cans Mandarin Oranges, drained

Mix water and tapoica mix together. Add orange Jello and mix well. Let cool.

When cooled, add Cool Whip and Mandarin oranges.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Irresistible Peanut Butter Cookies

This recipe is from the Crisco Website. And when they say they are irresistible, they aren't lying!

3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 stick Crisco shortening stick or 1/2 cup Crisco shortening
1-1/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
3 Tbs milk
1 Tbs vanilla
1 large egg
1-3/4 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine peanut butter, shortening, brown sugar, milk and vanilla in large bowl. Beat a medium speed of electric mixer until well blended. Add egg, beat just until blended.

Combine flour, baking soda and salt. Add to creamed mixture at low speed. Mix just until blended.

Drop by rounded measuring tablespoonfuls of dough 2" apart onto greased baking sheet. Flatten slightly in a crisscross pattern with tines of fork.

Bake for 7-8 minutes or until set and just beginning to brown. Cool 2 minutes on baking sheet. Remove cookies to cooling rack to cool completely.

Makes 3 dozen cookies.

Creamy Peanut Butter Fudge

This fudge takes a bit of time, but it is well worth it.

4 cups sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1-12 oz can evaporated milk
1 - 7 oz jar marshmallow creme
1 - 16 oz jar creamy peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract

Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar, brown sugar, butter and evaporated milk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, and boil for 7 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in marshmallow creme until well incorporated and melted. Stir in peanut butter and vanilla until smooth; spread in prepared pan.

Let cool completely before cutting into squares.

"Popeye's" Biscuits

These biscuits really do taste like the ones you get at Popeye's!

2 cups Bisquick
2 Tbs sour cream
1/2 cup club soda
1 tsp sugar

Mix ingredients together well until smooth.

Dust hands with Bisquick, knead dough until elastic. Shape into 4 patties, each 1" think, placing close together in greased baking pan.

Bake at 450 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown and doubled in size. Cool in pan on rack 10 minutes.

Serve hot with butter and honey.

Crockpot Cake

This is an unusual way to make a cake, but it is pretty tasty.

4 eggs
1/4 cup oil
1 cup water
1 cake mix, any flavor
1 small instant pudding mix, any flavor
1 pint sour cream

Spray crockpot with cooking spray. Mix ingredients together, adding pudding mix last. NOTE: If you are making a chocolate cake, you can also add 6 oz. chocolate chips.

Pour mix into crockpot and cook on low for 4 hours. Serve warm with ice cream, if desired.

Cathy's Cornbread

This is from my friend Cathy Marx, and it's the best cornbread I've ever had.

1-1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 large egg
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Pour a little oil into a cast iron skillet to cover the bottom. Let skillet heat in oven while you are preparing cornbread mixture.

Mix dry ingredients. Measure buttermilk, add oil to buttermilk, then add the egg and stir slightly to mix. Pour into dry ingredients and mix until blended. Don't overmix! The mixture should be the consistency of grits or cake mix, not too soupy.

When the skillet is hot enough to make a sizzle, pour in the cornbread mixture. Cook until golden brown.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Key Lime Fudge

SO good!

3 cups white chocolate baking pieces
14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
2 Tbs bottled Key Lime juice or regular lime juice

Line an 8x8 pan with foil, extending foil over the edges of pan. Butter foil, set aside.

Stir baking pieces and condensed milk in a large heavy saucepan over low heat, just until pieces are melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in lime juice. Spread mixture evenly into the prepared pan.

Cover and chill for 2 hours or until firm. Lift fudge from pan using edges of foil. Peel off foil and cut into squares. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week, or in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Makes 2-1/2 pounds of fudge.

Honey Roasted Potatoes

A little salty, a little sweet, and very delicious!

6 medium sized potatoes, cut into chunks or wedges (your preference)
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter
3 TBS oil
1/2 cup honey

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Put cut-up potatoes in pan with cold water; bring to boil. As soon as they boil, take off heat and drain.

In a large roasting pan, place butter and oil, place in oven until butter is melted. Remove from oven, add potatoes, mix in butter/oil mixture until coated. Springkle with salt. Baste with honey.

Bake for approximately 45 minutes, basting frequently with mixture in pan, until potatoes are golden and crispy on the outside.

Red Beans and Rice

This dish is so meaty, it's almost like a meal instead of a side dish!

1 lb. ground sausage
2 medium onions
1 Tbs garlic salt
3 cans red beans
2 small cans tomatoes
1/3 cup red wine *
1 lb. rope sausage, cut into chunks

Cook ground sausage with onion; add garlic salt. Drain off grease. Add remaining ingredients, simmer. Serve over hot rice.

Note: This is best if made the night before to give the flavors time to blend.

* If you don't have any red wine, or if you just basically don't like cooking with wine, chicken broth can be substituted; that works just fine.

**UPDATE** I added 1/2 lb. of bacon, cut into squares and cooked. It was a wonderful addition!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Double-Chocolate Spiced Snack Mix

When placed in a glass canning jar with the lid decorated with Holiday material and/or yarn, it makes a wonderful gift!

1 - 12-oz package Crispix cereal (about 10 cups)
1-1/2 cups mixed nuts
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup light colored corn syrup
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 cup chocolate covered peanuts
1 cup chocolate covered raisins
2 cups chocolate chips (semi-sweet, milk or dark; your preference)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

In a large roasting pan, combine cereal and nuts; set aside.

In a small saucepan, combine brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, cinnamon, and ginger. Cook and stir over medium heat until butter is melted and mixture is smooth. Pour over cereal mixture; stir gently to coat.

Bake for 30 minutes, stirring twice. Remove from overn. Spread mixture onto a large piece of buttered foil and let cool. (NOTE: I use butter-flavored cooking spray and it works just as well.) When cooled, break into pieces and place in a large bowl. Stir in chocolate covered peanuts, chocolate covered raisins, and chocolate chips. Place in an airtight container (can be stored at room temperature for up to one week), or into canning jars or other pretty jars to give as gifts.

Makes 16 cups.

Ricotta Cookies

These are wonderful any time of year, but especially so during the Holidays.

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup Ricotta
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup sugar
1 egg
2 cups sifted flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Allow butter to soften. Blend with ricotta until creamy. Add vanilla, mix well. Add sugar gradually, beating until well blended. Add egg and mix well. Slowly stir in dry ingredients and blend well.

Drop from a teaspoon onto greased baking pan. Bake for 10 minutes.

Yield: 30-35 cookies, depending on size.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake

I found this recipe on the Kraft Foods Website ( I am SO making this for the Holidays!

UPDATE: This cake was made for Christmas, and is absolutely AWESOME!

1/2 cup chocolate syrup
1 pkg. (2-layer size) chocolate cake mix
1 cup water
1/3 cup oil
7 eggs, divided
1/2 cup Sour Cream
1 pkg. (8 oz.) Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk
4 squares Semi-Sweet Chocolate, melted
1 cup thawed Cool Whip

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Spray 12-cup fluted tube pan with cooking spray; pour in chocolate syrup.

Beat cake mix, water, oil and 3 eggs with mixer 2 min. or until well blended; blend in sour cream. Pour over syrup in pan.

Beat cream cheese and sugar with mixer until well blended. Add remaining eggs; mix well. Blend in evaporated milk and melted chocolate; gently spoon over cake batter in pan. Cover with foil sprayed with cooking spray, sprayed-side down.

Place tube pan in shallow pan. Add enough water to larger pan to come at least 2 inches up side of tube pan. Bake 1 hour 30 min. or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Refrigerate 2 hours. Invert cake onto plate; remove pan. Serve cake with Cool Whip.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Hot Cocoa Mix

This mix, in a jar or a pretty mug, makes a great Holiday gift!

6-1/2 cups powdered milk
1 - 5 oz. pkg. chocolate pudding mix (NOT instant)
1 cup powdered chocolate drink mix (such as Nesquick)
1/2 cup powdered non-dairy creamer
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup mini chocolate chips

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well.

If giving as gifts in jars: Divide the mixture between 2 quart jars, seal and decorate. Attach a tag with the following directions: Dissolve 1/3 cup cocoa mix in 1 cup boiling water. Stir well.

If giving as gifts in mugs: Place 1/3 cup mixture in a small ziploc baggie, place in mug. Decorate mug as desired. Attach a tag with the following directions: Dissolve entire contents in 1 cup boiling water. Stir well.

Crockpot Pizza

Simple, easy, and oh so good!

1-1/2 lb. hamburger
12 oz. pkg. Kluski Noodles
16 oz. jar pizza sauce
8 oz. jar spaghetti sauce
8 oz. pkg. cheddar cheese
8 oz. pkg. mozzarella cheese
Sliced pepperoni
1 medium onion
Mushrooms and green pepper, optional

Cook noodles until done. Brown hamburger, onions, and mushrooms and green pepper (if using), and drain excess grease. Add sauces and heat through.

Add a layer of noodles to the crockpot, then a layer of meat sauce, a layer of pepperoni slices, and then a layer of cheeses. Repeat layers. Cook on high setting for 30 minutes, or on low setting until cheese is melted.

Monkey Bread

The grandsons love this!

1-1/2 cups brown sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 - 10 oz pkgs biscuits
1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together 3/4 cup brown sugar and cinnamon. Cut biscuits into quarters, then dip each into sugar mixture and place in a greased Bundt pan. Do this until all biscuits are used and all sides of the pan are evenly filled with dough. Melt butter and mix with remainder of brown sugar. Pour mixture over biscuits.

Bake for 30-35 minutes. Flip pan over onto a serving dish, serve hot.

Crockpot Stuffing

This stuffing recipe was adapted from one I found on the Rival Crockpot Cookbook Website. It's a very good way to free up room in your oven, especially if you have a large turkey roasting in there!

1 cup butter or margarine
2 cups chopped onion
1 cups chopped celery
1/4 cup parsley
12-13 cups slightly dry bread cubes
1 tsp. poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper
1-1/2 tsp. sage
2-1/2 cups chicken broth
2 eggs, beaten

Melt butter in skillet; saute onions, celery, and parsley. Pour over bread cubes in a very large mixing bowl. Add all seasonings and toss well.

Mix in broth to moisten; add beaten eggs and mix well. Pack lightly into crockpot. Cover; cook on high 45 minutes, then reduce to low for 4-6 hours.

White Chili

This recipe is one of my favorites, and a nice alternative to traditional chili.

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 medium onion
1-1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 Tbs vegetable oil
2 - 15 oz can Northern Beans, RINSED WELL
1 - 14 oz can chicken broth
2 - 4 oz cans chopped green chilies
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
4 oz. cream cheese
1 - 8 oz. container sour cream
1/2 cup whipping cream

Saute chicken, onion, and garlic powder in oil until chicken is no longer pink. Add rinsed beans, broth, chilies, and seasonings. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes uncovered.

Remove from heat, stir in cream cheese, sour cream, and cream.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Oven Chicken Salad

This dish is true comfort food.

1 - 8 oz can sliced water chestnuts
2 cups diced cooked chicken
3/4 cup diced celery
1 TBS chopped pimento
1 - 3-1/2 oz can french fried onions
2 TBS mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
1 pkg. chicken gravy mix
1 cup milk

Drain water chestnuts. Combine chicken, celery, pimento, water chestnuts, half of the onions, and mayonnaise or Miracle Whip in large mixing bowl.

Prepare chicken gravy according to package directions, using milk instead of water. Pour gravy over chicken mixture and blend thoroughly. Pour into 1 quart baking dish, top with remaining onions.

Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes until heated through. Cover with foil if onions are browning too quickly to prevent burning.

NOTE: I am not a big fan of celery, especially chunks of it in any dish! I substitute celery flakes, to get the flavor without the "chunks".

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Very Best Corned Beef

I found this recipe on the Simply Recipes Website (

3 lb. corned beef in package
1/4 cup honey mustard
2 Tbs brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drain corned beef from the package and discard the spice packet. Lay corned beef, fat side up, on a large piece of heavy duty, wide foil (you may have to get a bit creative with the way you wrap the beef if your foil isn't wide enough). Spread the top with honey mustard; sprinkle brown sugar over the top.

Wrap the corned beef with foil in a way that allows for a little space on top between the corned beef and the foil, and creates a container to catch the juices. Place foil-wrapped packet in a shallow roasting pan and bake for 2 hours.

Open the foil wrapping, spread a little more honey mustard over the top of the meat, and broil it for 2-3 minutes until top is bubbly and lightly browned. Let rest for 5-10 minutes, then place on a cutting board and cut at a diagonal across the grain into 1/2 inch thick slices***.

***NOTE: Another option is to let the meat cool, then use a meat slicer to cut thin slices of corned beef for sandwiches.

BBQ Crockpot Pulled Pork

This recipe is SO easy and SO good!

1 pork shoulder (make sure it will all fit into your crockpot)
1/4 cup water
Salt and pepper
BBQ Sauce
A good amount of time and patience

Warm the crockpot for approximately 15 minutes before placing pork inside. While it is preheating, rub salt and pepper on the outside of the pork shoulder. Add pork and water to crockpot. Cover and turn up to high, cook on high for one hour. Then, turn to low and cook for 7-9 hours. Leave crockpot covered; no peeking!

Remove pork from the crockpot. Discard fat, reserve juices. Shred the pork using a fork and knife, or pull apart with your fingers (gloves will help protect your hands). Return meat to the crockpot.

At this point, you can either continue cooking the pork in a small amount of the reserved juices, or you can add BBQ sauce to the meat. Either way, cover the crockpot and continue cooking for one more hour.

Once cooking is complete, serve on warm buns or rolls. Coleslaw may be served on the side, or directly on the sandwiches.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Bacon-Corn Chowder

I found a basic recipe for this dish online and tweaked it to suit our tastes. It's wonderful, and cooking it in the crockpot makes the whole house smell SO good!

1 lb. bacon, diced small
1 medium onion, diced small
2-1/2 lb. potatoes, peeled and diced small
3 cans whole kernel corn (NOT drained)
1 can creamed corn
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 cans cream of potato soup
1 can evaporated milk
salt and pepper to taste

Cook potatoes in large pan in water until done. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup potato water. Place potatoes and water into crockpot.

While potatoes are cooking, in a medium skillet cook bacon and onion together until bacon is cooked but not crisp, and onion is golden. Drain off grease, place bacon and onion in crockpot.

Add cans of soup, kernel corn (liquid and all), creamed corn and evaporated milk to crockpot. Stir until well blended.

Cover crockpot, turn to low, and forget about it for a few hours!

NOTE: If chowder seems a little thin, use instant potato flakes (about 1/4 cup at a time) to thicken it up during the last hour of cooking.

NOTE: With bacon being in the recipe, I did not need to add any additional salt. However, I did add some pepper to give it a little extra flavor.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Easy Cherry Cake

I found this recipe online, but can't find the Website now, unfortunately.....

1 pkg Golden Yellow cake mix, pudding-type
(oil and eggs as called for on cake mix package)
1/2 cup water
1 can cherry pie filling (or fresh pie filling if available)
1 can Buttercream frosting

Prepare cake mix according to package directions, using oil or butter and eggs, and 1/2 cup water. Spread batter in greased and floured 13x9 pan. Spoon cherry pie filling evenly over the batter, then swirl into the batter just enough to give a marbled effect.

Bake at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes, until cake bounces back when lightly touched. Cool completely; frost with Buttercream frosting.

Peanut Butter Cup Pie

I found this recipe on the Kraft Foods Website - - it is amazing!

1 pkg. (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbs peanut butter
1 cup cold milk
1 pkg (3.4 oz_Jell-O Vanilla Instant Pudding
2-1/2 cups thawed Cool Whip
1 Oreo Pie Crust
2 Squares Bakers Semi-Sweet Chocolate

Beat cream cheese and 1/2 cup peanut butter until well blended. Add milk and dry pudding mix; beat 2 minutes. Whisk in 1 cup Cool Whip; spoon into crust. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Meanwhile, microwave remaining Cool Whip and chocolate in microwaveable bowl 1-1/2 to 2 minutes or until completely melted and mixture is well blended, stirring after each minute. Cool completely.

Spread chocolate mixture over pudding layer in crust. Microwave remaining peanut butter in small microwaveable measuring cup or bowl 30 seconds, stir. Drizzle over pie. Refrigerate 4 hours or until firm.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Hot Chocolate Cookies

I got this recipe from my friend Debbie. They are SO delicious!

2 sticks butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2/3 cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
3-1/4 cups flour
4 packages hot chocolate mix (1 oz. pkg, NOT sugar-free)
OR 1/2 cup cocoa mix
1 tsp. salt
1-1/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup each white, milk, and semi-sweet chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream butter and sugars until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. In a separate bowl, combine flour, hot chocolate mix, salt and bakin gsoda. Add to wet ingredients in 3 to 4 parts, making sure all is incorporated. Fold in cocolate chips.

Chill the dough for about an hour. Use a 1/4 cup as a scoot to scoop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Let cool 5 minutes before removing from pan.

Gooey Butter Cookies

These are SO good!

1 box Duncan Hines Butter Recipe cake mix
1 stick butter
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1 pkg. cream cheese (room temperature)
1 egg

Combine all ingredients with electric mixer until well blended. Chill dough for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough into balls about the size of walnuts. Roll balls in powdered sugar. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet 10-12 minutes. Cool completely.

Dust cookies with powdered sugar when completely cooled.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Fresh Cherry Pie Filling

These are a couple of recipes to make my homemade filling from all the cherries from our tree. Both are excellent!

Recipe 1
5-6 cups fresh pitted cherries (2-3 lbs)
1/2 cup water
1-1/4 cups sugar
4 Tbs cornstarch

In a saucepan, combine all ingredients, bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes.

Cool slightly before using.

Recipe 2
2 cups fresh pitted cherries
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
2 TBS cornstarch

In a saucepan, cook cherries in water for 10 minutes. Mix together sugar and cornstarch, add to cherries. Cook mixture until thickened.

Cool slightly before using.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Best Mac-n-Cheese EVER

I found this recipe on the Sprizee blog ( and decided to try it. I have made a few adaptations from her original recipe.

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk, warmed in the microwave for 1 minute
1 tsp. salt
2 cups shredded cheese
8 oz. pasta (Penne or Cavatappi works well)

Cook and drain pasta. Melt butter over low heat, gradually add flower, whisking until smooth. Keep whisking and cook 1 minute. Increase heat to medium and gradually add milk. Cook until it's bubbly. Keep whisking. Add salt and cheese. Whisk until cheese melts.

Put in 8x8 pan and cover with bread crumbs. (Panko works well for this)

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Note: This is also very good with crushed potato chips spread on top to give it a nice crunchy topping.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

No Fail Crockpot Pot Roast

I found this recipe on Crazy Aunt Purl's blog (, and it by far THE BEST Pot Roast recipe I have ever made (Thanks, Purl!):

No Fail Crockpot Pot Roast Recipe:

Pick any kind of beef roast -- rump roast, brisket, sirloin tip or anything. I usually pick one with not too much fat (if it's a brisket, I cut some of the fat off before working with it.)

Buy one of those little jars of pureed garlic. Make sure you have plenty of black pepper. You will also need some form of seasoning liquid like red wine and some beef broth -- or you can use beer (caution here -- I have made roasts with all sorts of beers and if you go that route, make sure you don't use a dark stout like Guinness. Too overpowering.)

When you're ready to cook, just unwrap the roast and put it on a big plate. In a bowl, mix the whole jar of crushed garlic with a LOT of black pepper. More than you think is necessary! With your hands, rub this mix really well all over the roast. I don't add salt but you can if you want.

Brown the roast in a big pan on the stove. I actually use a big stew pot so there is less splatter. You know how I am with messes. I add a small amount (maybe 1 tablespoon) of olive oil to the pan, heat it up on medium or medium high, then put the roast in. Brown all sides. This can take a while, maybe 10 minutes for all sides to brown depending on the size of the roast.

When browned, move the roast into the crock pot. Go back to your (now-empty) stew pot and add in some liquid. I prefer to add about 1/2 cup beef broth and 1/2 cup red wine and if I need more liquid I add more broth bit by bit. Or you can do this with about half a bottle of beer. When cooking with alcohol I like to let the liquid come to a boil which cooks off some of the alcohol taste but it's not necessary.

Scrape up all the pan drippings from the bottom and stir. After a few minutes you're done. Dump this whole mess into the crock pot. The liquid should cover just the bottom portion of the roast. Maybe not even that much (you don't want too much liquid, just an inch or so in the bottom of the crockpot.) It should not cover the roast entirely -- if it does, just take out a little of the liquid.

Cook on high for 1-2 hours, then turn to low and cook all night.

The next morning, open the crock pot lid and using some big tongs or two spoons, flip the roast over, it may fall apart, that's fine. It lets the other half soak in all the liquid, too. Put the lid back on and cook until you are ready to eat. You can cook this for up to 24 hours and it just gets better and better!!!

NOTE: I roast some veggies (onions, carrots, potatoes) by combining them with a bit of olive oil, spreading them on a baking sheet and sprinkling with salt and pepper, then roasting at 400 degrees for 1 hour. I then add the veggies to the crockpot for the last 2 hours of cooking. It's a great addition!

Apple Butter Pie

I got this recipe from the Baking Bites blog (

1 9-inch pie crust (vanilla crust recipe below)
1 16-oz jar apple butter
1 12-oz can evaporated milk
3 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350F.

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and whiz until very smooth. Pour into prepared pie crust.

Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until center is mostly set (jiggles slightly when nudged) and a sharp knife inserted near the center comes out mostly clean.

Cool to room temperature before slicing and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or overnight, before serving.

Serves 8-10

Vanilla Wafer Crumb Crust
1 1/4 cups vanilla wafer cookie crumbs
6 tbsp butter, melted and cooled

Preheat oven to 350F.

Combine ingredients and stir well until mixture resembles wet sand. Pour into 9-inch pie shell and press into a firm, even layer over the base and sides. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until browned. Cool completely before using.
Makes 1 crust.

Chicken Tetrazzini

My friend and supervisor Kona made this, and I loved it and just had to have the recipe!

4-5 chicken breasts
Zesty Italian Dressing

Cook the chicken in a crockpot in dressing. Remove, shred chicken, and add a little bit of the broth to the meat.

3/4 box Angel Hair Pasta

Cook per package directions.

1 can cream of mushrom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
16 oz. sour cream
1 stick butter
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix sauce ingredients together over medium heat; add shredded chicken and cook until mixture comes to a simmer. Add to cooked pasta.

Pour all into a greased 9x13 casserole dish, sprinkle 2 cups shredded parmesan (or mixture of shredded parmesan and shredded mozzarella). Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour until top is browned and bubbly.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Nola's Casserole Recipe

My friend Nola made this recipe at a party one evening. It's delicious!

1 small can chicken broth
1 bag bowtie pasta or egg noodles, cooked and drained
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
4 cups (more or less) chopped cooked chicken meat*
3 cups grated cheese, any kind**
1 can drained mushrooms
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl mix the broth, chicken, soups, 2 cups of the cheese, and mushrooms. Add salt and pepper to taste. Fold in the cooked pasta. Place in a greased 9x13 pan, sprinkle top with remaining 1 cup shredded cheese. Bake at 350 degrees until bubbling and hot (about 30-40 minutes).

* Can use a deli rotisserie chicken, cooled and meat pulled off the carcass, or cook fresh chicken breasts and thighs seared in a pan until cooked, then pulled off the bone; can also use leftover Thanksgiving turkey. May also substitute 4 cans tuna, drained.

**Can use any type or combination shredded cheese; Cheddar and Monterey Jack is good. Also good with grated Asiago sprinkled on top before serving.

Additional add-ins: Fresh asparagus cooked until just tender and cut into 1" pieces; 1 bag of frozen peas (they will cook and not fall apart if added frozen before baking).

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Salted Golden Caramel Bars

This recipe was found in the September 2010 Country Living Magazine:

8 cups puffed rice cereal
3/4 cup corn syrup
2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
4 TBS unsalted butter
1 tsp sea salt
1-1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips, melted
Vegetable oil, for greasing dishes

Liberally oil a large mixing bowl and a 9x13 baking dish. Place cereal in bowl and set it and dish aside.

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine corn syrup, condensed milk, sugars, butter, and sea salt. Allow mixture to come to a boil while stirring continuously, until a light golden brown, 5-6 minutes.

Remove mixture from heat, stir in vanilla, and immediately pour over cereal. Stir to completely mix, and then evenly spread in prepared baking pan.

Set aside to let cool, about 45 minutes. Invert and release from pan. Drizzle with melted chcolate and refrigerate until set, about 15 minutes. Cut into 15 bars.

Chocolate Icebox Cake

This recipe was found in the August 2010 Real Simple Magazine:

2 - 15 oz containers Ricotta Cheese
12 ox. semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
9 oz package chocolate wafer cookies

Line an 8-1/2 x 4-1/2 loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on 2 sides.

In food processor, puree Ricotta with melted chocolate until very smooth.

Layer the Ricotta mixture and half the cookies in the pan (3 layers of the Ricotta mixture and 2 layers of the cookies, beginning and ending with the Ricotta mixture). Refrigerate for at least 12 hours and up to 2 days.

To serve, remove from pan, slice, and sprinkle with shaved semisweet chocolate if desired.

Hash Brown Cakes

I found this recipe in the April 2010 edition of Cooking Light:

1-1/2 cups shredded ham
1/2 cup chopped green onions
2-1/2 TBS flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 - 20 oz. bag refrigerated shredded hash browns
2 large eggs

Mix all ingredients together until well combined.

Heat 1 TBS oil per batch in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Scoop mixture by 1/4 cupfuls into skillet. Flatted slightly, and cook 5 minutes on each side or until browned.

Just plain YUMMY.....

Monday, September 13, 2010

Goetze's Caramel Cream Brownies

I found this recipe on the back of a bag of Goetze's Caramel Cream candies many, many years ago, and it is scrumptious!

1 cup butter (2 sticks)
4 squares unsweetened chocolate
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 cup flour
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
36 unwrapped Goetze's Caramel Cream candies
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1 TBS butter or margarine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease or spray with cooking spray 13 x 9 pan.

Combine chocolate, butter and melt over very low heat. Cool slightly.

Whisk eggs until frothy, add sugar, vanilla, and salt; beat with mixer on high speed for 5 minutes. Stir in chocolate mixture add flour and beat just until blended.

Pour 1/3 of brownie mix into pan to cover the bottom; bake 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine Caramel Cream candies, evaporated milk, and 1 TBS butter or margarine saucepan. Stirring frequently, melt together over low heat until mixture is smooth.

Remove pan from oven spread Caramel Cream mixture over top of cooked brownies. Cover with remaining brownie mix. Bake an additional 25-30 minutes.

Cool for at least 2 hours in pan at room temperature to set caramel.

Makes 36 brownies squares.


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Bars

This recipe is so easy it almost feels like cheating! It's basically just "jazzing up" a pouch cookie mix, but it is SO good:

1 pouch Betty Crocker Peanut Butter Cookie Mix
1 TBS water
3 TBS oil
1 egg

2 cups chocolate chips*

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray bottom of 13 x 9 pan with cooking spray.

Make cookie dough as directed on pouch. Press in pan. Bake 12-15 minutes or until edges are golden. Cool 5 minutes.

In small bowl, melt chocolate 1 - 1-1/2 minutes or until chips can be stirred smooth. Spread over cookies. Refrigerate 30 minutes until chocolate is set; cut into bars.

*I prefer Dark Chocolate, so I use that. However, Milk Chocolate would work just as well if that is your personal preference.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Beef Taco Skillet

This is a very easy, very tasty recipe I found from Campbell's:

1 lb. ground beef
1 can Campbell's Tomato Soup (Regular or 25% Less Sodium)
1/2 cup salsa*
1/2 cup water
6 flour tortillas (6"), cut into 1" pieces
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

1. Cook beef in 10" skillet until well browned, stirring to break up the meat. Pour off fat.
2. Stir in soup, salsa, water and tortillas. Heat to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook for 5 minutes. Stir. Top with cheese.

Makes 4 servings.

*I have used diced tomatoes instead of salsa; it makes for a milder taste that my family prefers.

Monday, September 6, 2010


I have been looking for a way to get all of my favorite recipes in one spot....I've checked out recipe management software, recipe programs online, and other various ways - - trying to get away from my current recipe filing system of a large filebox with handwritten cards!

What to do, what to do, what to do.....

Then inspiration hit.

A friend of mine asked if I would help her set up a recipe blog. And the more we talked about it, the more it became clear - - THAT was also the answer to my dilemma!

So "Cookin' In the Kitchen With Dizzy" is born. I will have all recipes categorized with tags, so if a particular type of recipe is being looked for, such as "Casseroles", that tag can be searched.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I am going to!

Buon Appetito!