Sunday, December 27, 2009

Mini Mousse Cakes

These are SOOO simple and look ADORABLE and taste YUMMO!!!

I have a mini muffin pan, so I thought what better than to make a bunch of these mini mousse cakes for the neighbors for Christmas?

1 chocolate cake mix
Eggs, oil, water - according to mix
1 box instant chocolate pudding mix
1 1/2 C cold milk
sprinkles, optional

Mix cake batter according to package directions. Fill lined mini muffin tins about 3/4 full. Bake 7-10 minutes at 350 or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely. Mix pudding mix with 1 1/2 C milk. (This is less milk than the pudding normally calls for, which is what you want, as you want more of a thick mousse.) Let stand 5 minutes in the refrigerator. Place a dollop of the chocolate mousse on each mini cupcake and top with holiday sprinkles if desired. Chill until ready to eat!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Cheesy Tuna Bake

I know you don't usually think of tuna as "comfort food", but this casserole is awesome, and the tuna isn't overpowering. Way simple too! My kids love this... but I don't tell my boys there is any tuna in it, tee hee!

1/2 lb uncooked pasta
1 can tuna, drained
1 C chopped broccoli, fresh or thawed & drained
minced onion, optional
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/2 C sour cream*
1/4 C milk
2 C shredded cheese, divided

Preheat oven 350 degrees. Cook pasta in pot over stove; drain and pour into 2 qt casserole dish. Add tuna, broccoli and onion (if desired). Toss well. Fold in soup, sour cream and milk, one at a time. Add in HALF the cheese. Stir well and spread evenly in pan. Bake about 25 minutes. Top with remaining cheese and bake another 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted. Serve warm.

*you may also omit sour cream and increase milk to 1/2 C.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Pineapple Trifle

This is sooo easy, for real! I like this because it is light-tasting and refreshing!

1 20 oz can crushed pinapple
1 box instant vanilla pudding mix
1 angel food cake, baked and cut into bite sized chunks
1 tub Cool Whip, thawed
1/2 Graham Cracker Crumbs, optional

In small mixing bowl drain pineapple juices from can. Add pudding mix whisk till lumps are gone (or most of them, anyway). Refrigerate 5 minutes and then fold in crushed pineapple. In clear bowl of trifle dish start with layer of cake pieces, followed by layer of pineapple pudding, and then Cool Whip. Repeat until cake is gone. Top with additional whip cream, and sprinkle on some graham cracker crumbs, if desired. Chill until ready to serve.

I almost forgot to get a picture until it was on my plate at the work potluck party! Enjoy!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Beef Stew

2 tbsp oil (I prefer olive or canola)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 lbs beef chunks
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
3 medium carrots, chopped
4-5 medium red potatoes
4 tsp soup base
4 C hot water
2 C Cold Water
2 packets brown gravy mix
salt and pepper to taste

In large stock pot saute onions in oil over Med-Hi heat. Add meat chunks and Worcestershire. Stir-fry meat with the onions until the meat is browned and onion is tender. Add remaining veggies and continue to stir-fry. In separate small bowl mix soup base (or bullion cubes) with hot water. Slowly add to pot. In small bowl whisk together 2 C cold water with both gravy packets. Slowly pour into pot; stir. Bring to boil and then turn heat to low. Let simmer till meat is tender 2-3 hours (depending on thickness of meat).

*I used left over sirloin from dinner the night before. Since it was already cooked, I simply cut it up and added it to the stir-fry AFTER adding all of my veggies.

TIPS: I usually make this the night before and only let it simmer about an hour and stick it in the fridge. Then, the next morning, before going to work, I toss it in the crock pot, adding a little more water or broth is necessary, and cook on LOW all day. It also goes from freezer to crock pot well, but you will definitely want to add a little more water or broth for that. My kids LOVE eating this with Ritz Crackers or Hot out-of-the-oven corn bread.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Taco Chili

A bunch of the ladies in the hood assembled some chili gift jars a few weeks ago. I decided to make one for myself, and altered the recipe just slightly. It was soooo good! This is a fairly mild chili and my kids enjoyed it, even the one that "doesn't like chili" loved this.

2 - 2 1/2 C chili beans*
1 lb ground beef
1 medium onion, if desired
1 packet taco seasonings
1 small can tomato sauce
1 - 14 oz can diced tomatoes, with juices
1 - 10 oz can diced tomatoes with green chilies, with juices
4 - 4 1/2 C Water
1 1/2 C crushed tortilla chips
shredded taco cheese (optional)
Sour cream (optional)
tortilla chips or crackers

Place beans in large stock pot and cover with water. Bring water to boil and let boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat and cover with lid. Let stand one hour. Drain water. Rinse beans and return to pot. In separate skillet, brown ground beef with onion, then drain fat. Add meat to beans in pot. Sprinkle entire packet of taco seasonings over meat and beans. Then add tomato sauce and both cans of diced tomatoes in juices. Stir to mix well. Add 4 1/2 C water and place pot on stove over HIGH heat. Bring to boil and let boil for two minutes. Turn heat down to low, cover pot and simmer for 2 hours or until beans are tender. Add crushed tortilla chips and cook over med-high heat to thicken. Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream and more tortillas or crackers if desired.

*I like to use 1/2 C kidney beans, 1/2 C white chili beans, 1/2 C pinto beans and 1/2 C black beans.

For hotter chili, add 1 or 2 hot peppers to mixture before simmering.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Yam Crisp

Ever since a colleague of mine told me about the yam crisp his wife makes every Thanksgiving I have been craving it. I begged for her recipe only to be told, "a little of this and a little of that" type of thing. I knew in my mind how it should taste, and here is what I came up with. Thanks Ruthykins for giving me the tips on the crumb topping. When I made it, I had to make some in a little pan so we could "taste test" it at home first. It was a HIT!

*double the recipe for a 9x13 pan as shown

1 - 29 oz cut yams, drained
1/4 C butter, melted
1/2 C brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

3/4 C Oats
1/4 C Flour
1/4 C gran sugar
1/4 C brown sugar
1/4 C butter, melted

In mixing bowl, combine yams, 1/4 C melted butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Beat together until well mixed and creamy, as you would for mashed potatoes. Spread in lightly greased 9 inch square pan or casserole dish. In separate, small mixing bowl combine dry ingredients for topping. Add melted butter a little at a time and continue to mix. You should end up with a moist, but still crumbly mixture. Spread crumb topping evenly over yams. Bake @ 350 for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve warm with ice cream or whipped topping if desired.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Easy-Peasy Cocktail Meatballs

The Blonde Duck over at "A Duck In Her Pond" was talking all things meatballs, which of course put me in the mood for some, so I made these the other night. My kids LOVE these!

Now, you COULD make your own meatballs if you have a great recipe and lots of time to roll out a bunch of little meaty balls... however, because I am a Cheat, and have very little or no time at all to cook, I buy the 2 lb bag of frozen meatballs. I wait until they go on sale for about $2.50 a bag... or get them from Costco. Anyway... without further adieu...

Easy-Peasey Cocktail Meatballs

2 lbs meatballs, cooked (can use the frozen kind)
1 - 16 oz jellied cranberry sauce (or whole cranberry sauce if desired)
1 - 12 oz bottled chili sauce (i love the "Homemade" brand)
2 tsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp brown sugar

Place meatballs in crock pot. Add remaining ingredients and turn on low 3-6 hours.

*when eating as a main dish for dinner, we like to serve them as "mini sandwiches" in Hawaiian style rolls... yummm!!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Fish Fry!

I start with the following "fry mix" and improvise as I go. Sometimes I add seasonall or other spices. I have used this mix with Tilapia, Orange Roughy and Catfish and it was good with all of them. Oh - and by the way - 2 of my kids "don't like fish"... but they like this. I think it's the crispness that helps.

Fish Fry Mix:

cooking oil
milk or lightly beaten egg
1 C cornmeal
2 tbsp seasoned salt
1/2 tsp chili powder, more or less
2 tsp paprika
salt and pepper to taste
Depending on the size, this should be enough for 6-8 fish fillets.

Heat oil in pan. (or can use deep fryer) Mix dry ingredients together and place in ziploc bag. Take each fish fillet and quickly brush with milk or beaten egg and then turn in bag to coat. Fry in hot oil in pan a few minutes each side. Continue turning every few minutes until golden brown and desired crispness. Drain on paper towel or parchment paper.

Tips: I like to buy the individually flash-frozen fillets. I take them out of the package and rinse slightly before using. I don't even thaw them out and they are perfect. This seems to help the fish from falling apart in the pan as well. Also, covering the pan with a lid helps to cook evenly and reduces hot oil spatters.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Yummy-Mummy Halloween Calzones

We made our own Yummy Mummy calzones and they were fun! Kids enjoyed them too! Not as pretty as the ones on the recipe video, but I thought they still turned out great! Try these next year and get the kids involved. For recipe click here....Rhodes Rolls Yummy Mummies

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Monday, October 26, 2009

Easy Alfredo Sauce

So easy... I PROMISE!!!!!

1/2 cup butter (1 stick)

2 cloves chopped garlic, more or less to taste.

1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, cut into 4 pieces

1 cup half and half

1/2 cup fresh Parmesan cheese

Salt & Pepper, to taste

Begin to melt butter and add garlic. When butter is almost melted, add cream cheese. Cook over med-low heat, stirring frequently. When cream cheese and butter start to blend and get a little bubbly, add in half & half and parmesan. Continue stirring frequently over low-med heat. Cook till smooth and creamy. Add salt & pepper to taste.

*I cut up the leftover chicken from my
Ranch Chicken Almandine (click here) and mixed everything together with my leftover Amish Noodles (drained).

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Ranch Chicken Almandine

This is a slight variation on my Ranch Chicken (click here) . We had this for Sunday Dinner, and it was a hit!

Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, or Thighs
1 packet dry Ranch Dressing mix
1 stick butter, melted
handful slivered Almonds (optional)
Lightly spray 9x13 pan with cooking spray. Arrange chicken pieces to fit (can use the frozen ready chicken). Pour dry dressing mix evenly over chicken. Drizzle with butter. Sprinkle lightly with slivered almonds. Bake uncovered @ 350 for about an hour, or until chicken tests done.
hint: I use leftover chicken pieces and butter-ranch sauce in Alfredo the next day.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Shoyu Chicken

Ok, I am reposting this one since I have a pic finally. We had this for dinner tonight, and as usual my kids absolutely love it. Served with rice and steamed veggies (and grilled pineapple if you've got it)... yum...

(Hawaiian Soy Chicken)

ALOHA!!! Ok - I have my old college roomie from BYU-Hawaii to thank for this recipe!!! It's simple & easy on the budget and oh-soooooo-good!!! I found a pack of fryer legs & thighs for $1.09/lb on sale!!!!! Double YAY for me!

4-5 lbs fryer chicken pieces (skin on)
cooking spray
1 C water
1 C soy sauce
1 C sugar

Spray inside of Large stock pot. Leave skin on chicken, and brown chicken in pot. Add remaining ingredients to pot, stirring every few minutes. Bring to boil. Turn heat down to LOW and simmer about an hour. Oh - and you can remove skin before eating if you're feeling "guilty" about it, hehehe.

Serve with steamed rice.

YUMMY!!!!!!!!! My Kids LOVE this dish. Mahalo Ardis!!!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Simple Shortcake Supreme

This is what I made for dessert tonight. And seriously... it is soooo simple!!!

Servings: 6

12 shortcakes
1 box instant vanilla pudding mix
1 1/2 C milk
1 mixed berry yogurt
Cool Whip
Fresh berries

Mix pudding mix and milk and chill in refrigerator about 5 minutes or until set. Mix 1/2 yogurt with equal part cool whip. Take a shortcake and spread pudding on top. Add berries and drizzle with yogurt mix. Top with second shortcake, followed by pudding, berries and yogurt mix. Add dollop of Cool Whip and top with berry.

Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Roasted Pork Tenderloin

4-5 lb pork tenderloin
olive oil
grill seasonings/rub

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Rinse pork and pat dry with paper towel. Rub olive oil over whole tenderloin. Pat all sides with grill rub. Place on roasting rack in shallow roasting pan. (If you do not have a rack, add a splash of water to the bottom of the roasting pan.) Place pork in oven and roast for 10 minutes, leaving temperature on 500. Do NOT open the oven during this 10 minute period to ensure a crispy coating. Then turn the oven down to 350 degrees and continue cooking pork 40 minutes more, or until done. Cover the pork with Foil and let "rest" for 15 minutes before cutting, to ensure pork stays juicy. Slice and serve.

*shown here with Parmesan-Herbed Potatoes
Note: I have to be careful when selecting my grill seasonings as I have 1 kid who doesn't like "spicy"... but he practically baptizes his pork in ketchup when I make this, so it's all good. :)

Friday, June 5, 2009

Hot Fudge Molten Cake

Ok, I have had this recipe for probably 12 years and have always wanted to try it. Now that I have, I don't know why I haven't made it sooner. Mmmm-it is sooooooooo good.
1 C flour
3/4 C gran sugar
6 Tbsp cocoa, divided
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 C milk
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 C packed brown sugar
1 1/2 - 1 3/4 C hot water
In large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, 2 Tbsp cocoa, baking powder and salt. Add milk, oil and vanilla and mix until smooth. Spread into ungreased 9" square pan. In separate small bowl, mix remaining 4 Tbsp cocoa with brown sugar. Sprinkle over the top of prepared cake batter. Slowly pour hot water to cover all of the brown sugar-cocoa powder. Do NOT stir. Bake @350 about 35-40 minutes. Serve warm. Best if you also have ice cream or whipped topping to top it off with. Yum! my kids couldn't get enough of this.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Creamy Baked Chicken

I got this recipe from one of my Amish cousins, though I cannot for the life of me remember which one.

6 chicken breasts or thighs, boneless, skinless
6 slices of American Cheese
1 Can cream of chicken soup
1/4 C milk
1 C bread crumbs
1/4 C butter, melted
salt and pepper to taste

Place chicken in lightly greased 9x13 pan. Place 1 cheese slice on top of each piece of chicken. In small mixing bowl, mix soup and milk. Spoon over each chicken breast. Mix together bread crumbs and melted butter. Spoon over each chicken breast as well. Bake uncovered @ 350 for 1 hour. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Navajo Tacos (EASY)

I really didn't want to go to the grocery store this past week. I scoured my cabinets, refrigerator, and freezer to see what I had on hand and how many meals I could get out of what was there. I made a list, and then racked my brain, and lo and behold, I came up with 6 dinners (which didn't even include the "rice-a-roni" packages). Whoo-Hoot!

One of those nights we had Navajo Tacos and Sopapillas (click here) for dessert. Now you COULD start by making your own dough for fry bread (click here for a recipe) OR you can do what I do... I use the frozen bread roll dough and put it in the fridge over night to thaw.

Dough for bread
cooking oil
ground beef*
taco seasonings
canned chili*
tomatoes, diced
onions, chopped
shredded cheese
sour cream (optional)

If you are using the bread roll dough, like me, put two rolls together for each Navajo taco. Work the bread into a flattened state, about the size of a tortilla. Fry in hot oil about 5-10 seconds each side. Drain on paper towel. In skillet, brown ground beef, adding taco seasonings as you would for regular tacos. Pour chili into large microwave-safe dish and heat up, OR some people like to add it right with the ground beef in the pan. Once meat and chili are cooked build your open-faced Navajo Taco using any other type of ingredients you would use for tacos. Enjoy!

*I did not have chili on hand, so I used refried beans. Also, because I wanted to use what little ground beef I had left for spaghetti, I decided to use some canned chicken I had. I simply drained the chicken, added it to the skillet along with a packet of taco seasonings and a little water, and it was heaven. You can really do it any way you want... my kids LOVED them!

Easy Cheater's Sopapillas

So - what do you make when you have frozen bread roll dough, but want something sweet? You make Sopapillas. Seriously... You can make your own dough from scratch or they even have Sopapilla mix, but these are soooooo good, and I always buy the frozen bread rolls on sale just to make stuff like this. Also - Sopapillas are basically the same thing that Utahns call "Scones". (but in the east, Scones are more like a muffin/biscuit thing.) Anyway... Here is all you do.

Take one thawed roll-dough, and sort of knead it and stretch it out into a rectangle-type shape. Fry in hot oil 5-10 seconds, until desired doneness. (If you don't have a deep fryer, then just fry a few seconds each side).

Then you can brush with honey butter and add anything else you'd like. We have done powdered sugar (as seen here), cinnamon-sugar, and raspberry jam.
I hope you try this. And if you have kids, get them involved in "forming" their own before frying. So simple and Soooooooooooo good!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Swiss Chocolate Torte

This is super simple, I promise any of you can do it.

2 boxes Swiss Chocolate Cake mix (eggs, oil, & water, according to mix)
2 boxes instant chocolate pudding mix
4 C half & half
1 tub cool whip, thawed
Hershey's syrup
1 chocolate Hershey bar

Mix cake mix and pour into 4 round cake pans (or 2-9x13). Bake according to pkg directions. Let cool completely. Slide serrated knife across the tops of each cake to make even layers. In separate mixing bowl whisk pudding and half & half; let chill at least 5 minutes. Fill chocolate cream in between cake layer, adding chocolate cream to the top too. Top with cool whip, drizzle with syrup and pull knife through for design. Garnish with chocolate shavings. EASY!!!

*For smaller cake, just use 1 mix, 1 box cake mix, 2 C half & half. You will end up with 2 layers of cake and two layers of chocolate cream. Can also substitute German Chocolate for the Swiss Chocolate.

Friday, May 8, 2009

My Favorite Breadtwists

Today we are making My Favorite Bread Twists. It all starts with these: a bag of frozen bread roll dough - unbaked - from my local grocer. I like to buy these bags when they are on sale 2/$5. I keep them on hand usually for Sundays. I can place the dough on the pans before church to let them rise, and by the time I get home, they are ready for baking. But - today, we are going to do something else with them. We are making Bread Twists. Now, you need to have THAWED dough for this. I set my bag in the fridge the night before to let thaw, but you should read the manufacturer's instructions first.

18 frozen dinner rolls, thawed, but still cold
¼ C butter, softened
¼ C miracle whip
1/3 C grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tbsp parsley flakes

Roll each dough ball into 12”-14” rope, fold in half and twist together. Place onto 2 lightly greased cookie sheets. Mix remaining ingredients in small bowl. Brush mixture on top and sides of each twist. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise 45 min-1 hour, or until doubled. Bake @ 375° 12-15 minutes. Be careful not to over-bake.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

German Nutella Almond Torte (EASY)

I totally needed something easy for my coworker's b-day. I knew I would be making a chocolate torte, but also wanted something a little different. I figured since he is from Germany (raised here, though) I would give him something reminiscent of his heritage. German tortes are desserts layered with nuts, fruit and cream. Ergo, I came up with this. It was so easy and tastes good too (unless you don't like nuts).

1 angel food cake

1 jar Nutella

1 C sliced almonds

1 C Whipped Topping

1 C fresh berries

Slice Angel food cake horizontally into three sections. Open Nutella, remove freshness seal, and microwave for about 20 seconds; stir with knife. Pour layer of nutella over first layer of cake; smooth with back of spoon. (work it gently to avoid picking up too many crumbs.) Add second layer of cake and repeat. Add top layer of cake, followed again by Nutella. Top with whipped topping. Cover with Almonds and garnish with fresh berries.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Cupcake Cones

18 flat-bottomed ice cream cones
1 cake mix
eggs, according to mix
oil, according to mix
water, according to mix
Marshmallow Creme
Candies, Confections

Set cones in cupcake pans. Mix cake batter according to package directions. Fill each neck of the cone with batter. Bake according to package directions. Let cool completely. For the topping, I usually mix a half-tub of vanilla frosting with the entire jar of marshmallow creme. I have also done half-chocolate frosting mixed with marshmallow creme. The texture looks a bit more like ice cream than frosting alone. Of, if you really love marshmallow, just use that and omit the frosting all together. Decorate to resemble cones. Serve. Yummy!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Cheesy Chicken Wraps

I was thinking I still had some taco seasonings the other day for tacos. Nope. Wrong! I diced the chicken and reached for whatever grill spice and seasoned salt I had on hand and created these Cheesy Chicken Wraps for dinner. The kids gobbled them right up.

(recipe for 4)

Cooking oil or non-stick cooking spray
3-4 chicken breasts, diced
2 C Shredded Cheese
8 Tortilla wraps
Shredded Lettuce
Diced tomatoes
Ranch dressing, if desired

Add a little olive oil or cooking oil to large skillet or grill pan. Dice chicken and brown. Add spices and seasonings to taste and continue cooking. When chicken is cooked through, add shredded cheese and stir until cheese is melted. Serve cheesy chicken in tortillas. Add lettuce, tomatoes and a little ranch if desired.

My boys opted for no veggies, thank you very much! I, however thought the veggies were yummy on them! Oh - and my middle one said these top McDonald's snack wraps any old day!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Company Chicken

8-10 boneless, skinless chicken tenders
4-5 slices provolone cheese, cut in half
1 can cream of chicken soup (can substitute Cr. of mushroom)
1/4 C water
1 box Stovetop Stuffing
1/3 C butter, melted

Lightly spray 9x13 pan with cooking spray. Place chicken in pan. Place cheese on top of chicken. In small mixing bowl, mix soup and water. Spread soup mixture over each chicken piece. In microwave-safe 2 Qt dish, melt butter. Add stovetop and mix until evenly coated with butter. Spread stovetop over chicken. Cover pan with foil. Bake @ 350 for 60 minutes. So Yummy!!!

*You can use 4-5 chicken breasts instead of the tenders. But I think the tenders fit easier into the pan and they don't dry out as much. I just watch for the frozen bag of tenders to go on sale so I have them on hand for this particular recipe. Oh - and I have used the store-brand stuffing mix. They taste just as good and easier on the budget.

I love how I can get the protein, dairy and grain in one dish. For a simple meal, I add a side of veggies and some applesauce. So the tenders may seem small, but their tummies are full. Hope you give this one a try!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Po' Man's Steak

My kids love this meal and it is so simple and easy and fast to make.

Serves 4

1 lb ground beef
2 packets Brown Gravy Mix
2 C Water
4 servings mashed potatoes
salt and pepper, to taste

Form ground beef into 4 patties. Cook patties in large skillet. Drain fat. In a small bowl whisk together gravy mix and water. Pour gravy over patties in the skillet. Turn heat to low and let simmer until gravy starts to bubble. Serve each patty with gravy over mashed potatoes. Salt and pepper to taste.

If the frozen or pre-made patties are on sale, I buy those specifically for this recipe. Also, you can simply just crumble the ground beef while cooking.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Glazed Tortillas

Flour Tortillas
Cooking oil
Glazed Icing (click here)

Cut flour tortillas into wedges. Heat oil in frying pan on MED heat. Oil ready when drop of water sizzles. Place tortilla wedges into hot oil, just a few seconds each side; till golden brown. Drain on paper towel. While still warm drizzle glazed icing over tops. Let cool.

IF you have any leftovers, store in airtight container.

Glazed Icing

1 C powdered sugar
2 Tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla

stir together well until smooth.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Muffin Cake

Something my kids love is when I take a basic muffin mix and bake it in a cake pan and then top it with glaze. It's a twist on "cake" and even simpler. My daughter's favorite is the Raspberry, while my oldest loves the Blueberry. He says with the glaze on top, it tastes just like a blueberry cake donut. After tasting it, I'd have to say I agree. I did a raspberry muffin mix in a heart-shaped pan for valentine's breakfast for the kids. They loved it and it was cute.

1 muffin mix
eggs, oil, water according to package directions

1 C powdered sugar
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla

Mix muffin mix according to package directions. Pour into floured and greased round or square pan. Bake @ 350, adding about 7-10 minutes baking time verses when baking in muffin tins. Done when inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool slightly. Mix glaze; drizzle over cake. Let glaze set slightly before cutting. Best when still warm!

Double muffin mix to fill 9x13 pan.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Crock Pot Potato Dinner

The theme for our recipe group this month was "Potato Dishes". I scoured over recipes. I felt overwhelemd. It all just seemed too hard. So... I made this one up. My kids LOVED it!

2 lb bag frozen "country style" or "O'Brien" potatoes
16 oz Velveeta Cheese, cubed
1 polska kielbasa sausage, cut up*
8 oz sour cream
1/2 stick (1/4 C) butter
salt & pepper, to taste

Add all ingredients to the crock pot. Stir to mix. Cook on LOW 4-6 hours. Stir well before serving. Add salt & pepper as needed.

*You can also substitute Polish Sausage or Bratwurst. Also try adding 1 can drained corn kernels.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Valentine Torte Cake

I was in the mood for some loves - but of course just being me & the kids we decided food was the way to go! We had Chicken & Noodles for dinner with cornbread, baked in a heart-shaped pan. And then we made this for Dessert. It was a great treat to end our weekly family night with.

1 chocolate cake mix
eggs, oil, and water according to package directions
2 - 8oz pkgs cream cheese, softened and divided
2 C milk , divided
1 small box instant chocolate pudding mix
1 small box instant vanilla pudding mix
1 tub Cool Whip, thawed
Chocolate shavings or Hershey syrup for garnishing, optional

Mix cake batter according to package directions. Grease and flour pans. Pour cake batter into 2 same-shape pans. Bake according to box. Let cool completely

In small mixing bowl beat 1 pkg cream cheese till fluffy. Add 1 C milk a little at a time and continue beating. Add in chocolate pudding mix, and beat till smooth. Add a little more milk if too thick. Refrigerate at least 5 minutes. Repeat same process for vanilla pudding mix. Start by spreading chocolate cream on first layer of cake. Since it is cold, you'll need to work it gently with the back of a spoon. This will help it spread more evenly. Add second cake layer and fill in gaps with pudding.
Top second layer of cake with vanilla cream.

Finally, spread layer of cool whip. Garnish with chocolate shavings or drizzle with Hershey's Syrup, if desired. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
We decided to create a "broken heart" and share with our neighbors! It was fun to take it over to them. (Plus - I snagged the cool whip from her freezer, so it was only fair!)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Italian Meatloaf

serves 4-6

1 lb ground beef
1 sleeve saltine crackers, crushed
1 packet dry Lipton Onion Soup Mix
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1 egg
1 C spaghetti sauce
1 C shredded cheese

Mix everything *except* sauce and cheese in mixing bowl. Pat into lightly greased 8x8 pan. Bake in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. Pour sauce over meat and top with cheese. Return to oven another 10-15 minutes, till cheese is melted.

My kids love this with crusty garlic bread too!

*Can use Italian Bread Crumbs in place of saltines. Can also use Italian style diced tomatoes for extra flavor.