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.