Friday, December 30, 2011

Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup

I love a good soup. And I love when it's easy, like this one. I've had a few different Chicken Tortilla Soups, but none made in a crockpot. This was such an easy, perfect dinner especially with the cold weather we've been having. We loved it.... especially eating it with tortilla chips. My kids thought that was the best.

Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup

2 chicken boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 cans Ro-Tel
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can corn
1 onion, chopped
2 cans low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups of water
1 Tbsp garlic powder*
1 Tbsp chile powder*
1 Tbsp ground cumin*
1 Tbsp dried cilantro*

tortilla chips
sour cream
shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese

*Instead of these spices, you could include a packet of Taco seasoning if you prefer.*

Put chopped onion, cans of beans, rotel, corn, chicken broth, water, and spices in CrockPot and stir to mix. Put chicken breasts on top of mixture and make sure they're at least partly submerged in liquid. Cook on high 6-7 hours or low 8-9 hours. Before serving remove the chicken breasts from soup and shred. Return chicken to CrockPot, stir to combine.

To serve put a few tortilla chips in the bottom of a bowl, ladle soup over tortilla chips, top with shredded cheddar cheese, and a dollop of sour cream. Serve with more chips.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Nutella Surprise Muffins

The most important thing you need to know about these muffins is, you better have a lot of people to serve them to... otherwise, I can guarantee you will eat all of them by yourself within 30 minutes. I'm not saying that this happened to me... but I can't plead innocence in the disappearing muffin case we are still trying to solve. These are outrageously delicious.

Nutella Surprise Muffins

  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup Nutella
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt with 1 tablespoon sparkling sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, beat together the egg, oil, sugar, flour, baking powder, soda, and vanilla until smooth. Beat in the buttermilk, then spoon a small amount of the batter into the bottom of a muffin tin lined with a cupcake wrapper. Spoon a tablespoon or so of Nutella into the center of the cup, then cover with a second spoonful of batter. Sprinkle a small amount of the salt & sparkling sugar mixture on top of each muffin.
Bake in preheated oven for 17-19 minutes, or just until the center of the muffins spring back when touched lightly with your finger. Remove and cool. Drizzle warm Nutella on top of each muffin before serving.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Old Fashioned Coconut Cream Pie

This was another one of my Thanksgiving pies. I'm not a huge fan of coconut or coconut cream pie, but my husband LOVES it. I wanted to make something special for him, and this certainly fit the bill. I did end up having a piece and I was so pleasantly surprised. It was quite tasty. It's so smooth and has the perfect texture. My hubby said it was to die for, so I'm guessing that means he loved it.

*From Mel's Kitchen

Old Fashioned Coconut Cream Pie

1 can coconut milk
Heavy Whipping Cream (enough to add to the coconut milk to make 3 cups)
3 egg yolks
3/4 cups white sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp coconut extract
1 graham cracker crust or traditional Pie crust
Fresh Whipping Cream, lightly sweetened
1 cup flaked coconut, toasted *

In a medium saucepan, combine half and half, coconut milk, egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium low heat, stirring constantly. Mixture will become very thick. Remove from heat, and stir in coconut extract and the vanilla extract. Pour the custard into the baked and cooled pie shell and chill 2-4 hours or until firm. Top with whipped cream and the toasted coconut.

*To toast coconut, spread coconut on rimmed baking sheet in an even layer and bake at 325 degrees, tossing often, until lightly toasted, about 12-15 minutes.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Perfect Pumpkin Pie

One of the things I love most about the holiday season is the food. It's a time where I can get fancy and make dishes I don't normally make. I just love it. For Thanksgiving we had 4 different pies for dessert and that was just for our family. I get a little carried away. Just call me Clark Griswald. ha, ha
Anyway, this is the most perfect pumpkin pie. I love pumpkin pie, and this recipe is the best I've had.

Perfect Pumpkin Pie
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
2 large eggs
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Whisk pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, spices, and salt in medium bowl until smooth. Pour into crust. Bake 15 minutes.
Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F and continue baking 35 - 40 minutes or until knife inserted 1 inch from crust comes out clean. Cool. Garnish with whipped cream.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Pretzel Treats

These have to be the simplest, but most delicious treats ever! I have been making them for years and years. The best part is they are so versatile. You could use any type of Hershey kiss that you could think of... or rolo... or candy to top them with. The possibilities are endless! They also are pretty enough to take as a treat to someone and fun for the kids to help. I make my kids unwrap all the candy. ;)

Pretzel Treats

Square Pretzel Snaps or Round Pretzel checkers
Hershey kisses, hugs, or rolos
Plain M&M's

Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Line up pretzels on a tin foil lined baking sheet. Place a kiss or rolo on top of each pretzel. Stick them in the oven for 4 - 6 minutes or until the chocolate is soft. Remove immediately and press an M&M down on top of each kiss.

Let cool in freezer or fridge until hardened. Enjoy!

I have noticed that the rolos take longer to get soft than the kisses, so if I'm doing both I do them in separate pans.

My favorite combos are

Rolos with pecans
Hugs with M&M
Candy Cane kisses with M&M

We recently tried Cookies and Cream kisses which turned out to be my daughter's favorite. These are just so much fun!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Cornmeal Crescent Dinner Rolls

I tried out a new dinner roll recipe for Thanksgiving. These rolls are really good, but not my absolute favorite. I still like my mom's dinner rolls better. However, this is a great roll recipe that I will mostly likely make again. My kids ate them like candy! I found the recipe at Mel's Kitchen.

Buttery Cornmeal Crescent Rolls

2 cups milk
2/3 cup yellow corn meal
1 ½ tablespoons instant yeast
½ cup (1 stick) butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
5 ½ – 6 cups flour

Heat the milk to just below a boil so bubbles are just appearing around the edges (this is called scalding milk). Add the cornmeal and cook and stir until thickened, lowering the temperature if needed so the mixture doesn’t boil (see picture below the recipe for an idea of what the consistency should be). Pour the cornmeal/milk mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl and let cool until lukewarm. Add the yeast, butter and sugar (if you dissolved active dry yeast with a bit of water and sugar until it foamed, add it now). Mix. Add the salt and eggs. Mix well. Add the flour gradually until a soft dough forms. Knead for 5-8 minutes.

Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl covered with lightly greased plastic wrap and let rise until doubled.

Divide the dough into three portions and roll each into about an 8-10 inch circle. Brush the top lightly with butter. Cut into 8 wedges and roll each wedge up starting from the wide end so it forms a crescent roll shape. Place each roll on a lightly greased or silpat- or parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing about 1-2 inches apart to allow for rising. Cover lightly with greased plastic wrap. Let the rolls rise until doubled.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes, until lightly browned. Brush with butter while still warm.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake

I made this cheesecake for Thanksgiving, and it was divine! The cream cheese filling was super smooth and decadent and the pumpkin layer gave it the perfect mix for a holiday dessert. This is definitely going in my archives of best ever recipes!

Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake

2 (8 oz) packages of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crust
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
Whipping Cream (whipped until stiff)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Blend in eggs one at a time. Remove 1 cup batter and spread into bottom of crust; set aside.
Add pumpkin, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg to remaining batter and stir gently until well blended. Carefully spread over the batter in the crust.
Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until center is almost set. Turn off oven and crack door, but leave pie in the oven until cooled. Refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight. Cover with whipping cream before serving.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Crockpot Costa Vida Chicken

This is one of my favorite crockpot meals. Simply because it is really easy and I can make many different dishes with it. We've had it as a salad, burritos, tacos, over rice... It's delicious no matter how you serve it.

Crockpot Costa Vida Chicken

  • (16 oz.) bottle Kraft Zesty Italian Dressing
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 skinless, boneless chicken breast
  • Toppings like cheese, olives, lettuce, salsa

Cook all together in a crock pot on high for 4 hours, shred meat and cook 1 additional hour. Serve in burritos, salads, or however you want.
This recipe makes quite a bit, so it is perfect for freezing and using as another meal.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pomegranate Salad

My mom made this salad every year for Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas dinner. It was one of the many things that I looked forward to all year. Now that I get to prepare Thanksgiving dinner, you can bet this will be on the table. The pomegranates really throw it into a whole new level of fruit salad. If you are looking for a good salad to serve with Thanksgiving dinner, give this one a try. It's my favorite!
I always double the recipe because I know it goes quick.

Mom's Pomegranate Salad

1 large pomegranate, peeled and seeded
1 can mandarin oranges
1 banana, sliced
1 large apple, chopped
2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream

Peel your pomegranate and get all the little white pieces out. A trick I learned years ago for doing this is to soak the pomegranate seeds (kernels?) in water, and the little white pieces float to the top. You can, then, scoop them right off the top of the water. Now, if your kids are helping or your husband is nearby, you are probably going to want to peel 2 pomegranates. The seeds mysteriously disappear very quickly.
Now add the other chopped fruit. You are welcome to add and subtract whatever fruit fits your fancy, but this is how my mom always made it, so I stick with what I know is good.
Then beat your whipping cream with an electric beater until stiff peaks form. Add 2 -3 TBSP sugar to get it the sweetness you want. Add to the fruit mixture. Mix gently and get ready for an explosion of heaven in your mouth!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Chicken Enchilada Pasta

If you haven't tasted this dish, you are missing out. The recipe has been floating around the internet for quite a long time, and I have made it several times for my family, but each time I forgot to take a picture so I could post the recipe. It's really THAT good!
So I finally remembered the day after we had this and snapped a quick picture of my leftovers that I ate for lunch. You can make this as spicy or mild as you want. I tend to leave it on the mild side for my kids' sake.

Chicken Enchilada Pasta

2-3 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed or shredded
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 medium onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
4-ounce can diced green chilies
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
2 (10-oz) cans green chili enchilada sauce
2/3 cup red enchilada sauce
1 can large black olives, cut in half
1 cup sour cream
2 cups shredded cheese
16 oz. penne pasta

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the pasta until tender. While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet and add the onion. Cook for 2-3 minutes until onion is translucent. Add the garlic and red pepper and cook for another 2 minutes, until pepper is barely tender. Add the cooked chicken, green chilies, spices, enchilada sauces and olives. Let the sauce simmer for about 8-10 minutes. Add the sour cream and cheese and heat through, until the cheese is melted. Don't let your mixture boil. Pour the sauce over the hot pasta. Garnish with extra sour cream, cheese, diced tomatoes, or crushed tortilla chips.

*Adapted from Mel's Kitchen

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Bars

I thought snickerdoodle and pumpkin might be an odd combination... just odd enough to be really yummy. And I was right. The spices combine to make a perfectly pumpkin fall taste right in your mouth. They made my house smell heavenly while baking also.

Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Bars

1 stick butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cups pumpkin puree
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1 cup white chocolate chips

Spice Mixture
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp All Spice

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
1. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream the butter until fluffy. Add sugar and pumpkin and beat well. Mix in egg and vanilla.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Beat flour mixture into liquid mixture a little at a time just until incorporated. Stir in white chocolate chips last.
3. Line a 9x9 inch pan with parchment paper. Mix spices and sugar ingredients in a small bowl for the spiced sugar mixture.
4. Press half of the dough into the pan. Sprinkle half of the spiced sugar mix on top. Add the remaining dough and top with the rest of the sugar and spice mix.
5. Bake at 375 for 25 - 30 minutes. (Mine took about 35 minutes to get done.)

*Adapted from Tasty Kitchen

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Scary Snake Calzone

My kids and I had a great time making this... and eating it too! It was surprisingly delicious! It's a perfect Halloween dinner because it's simple, quick, and a showstopper for the kids. I found it on the Kraft website.

Snake Calzone

1 can (13.8 oz) refrigerated pizza dough
½ cup shredded mozzarella
½ cup Ricotta cheese
31 slices Pepperoni, divided
1 egg white
1 drop yellow and green food coloring, divided
2 green olives
1 cup pizza sauce

Heat oven to 350. Unroll dough on slightly floured surface. Roll or flatten to 17x10 inch rectangle. Combine cheeses. Cut pepperoni slice to resemble a snake’s tongue; set aside. Arrange remaining pepperoni slices over dough rectangle, leaving a 1 inch border around all sides; top with spoonfuls of the cheese mixture. Roll up dough, jelly roll fashion, starting at one long side; pinch seams together to seal. Place, seam side down, in an “s” shape on a foil covered baking sheet.

Beat egg white and yellow food coloring lightly with a fork; brush about half over dough. Add green food coloring to remaining egg white; brush randomly over dough to resemble a snake’s splotched skin. Insert olives into one end of dough for the snake’s eyes. Add pepperoni tongue.
Bake for 30 – 35 minutes or until golden brown. Heat pizza sauce just until warmed.
Serve calzone with pizza sauce.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Who's Hungry for Worms?

This picture does not do these worms justice. For a truly creepy and haunting worm picture, head over to Mel's Kitchen where I found the recipe. She also has a nice step by step tutorial with pictures.
This was probably the biggest hit with my kids of all the fun treats I've done with them. I actually had them convinced that I was eating worms for a few minutes. It was priceless. Once they found out the worms were tasty and delicious, they devoured them. This was such a fun treat. And perfect for Halloween.
It needs time to set up, so plan ahead!

Jello Worms

1 pkg. (6 oz) purple gelatin/jello
3/4 ounce (3 envelopes) unflavored gelatin
3 cups boiling water
3/4 cup whipping cream
green food coloring, as needed
100+ plastic straws with bendable necks

Choose a container that can hold at least 4 cups of liquid. It should be completely straight all the way up or have a slightly wider top than the bottom. Try to get a container as tall as it is wide and preferably even taller, otherwise the jello won’t fill the straws high enough. Extend each of the straws and pack the straws in as tightly as you can, adding more straws as needed to get a tight fit. Make sure that each straw is flush with the bottom of the container and that the bendable neck part (even though it is completely extended) is facing down. If your container is slightly wider on top than it is on the bottom, it may help, once the straws are packed tightly in, to rubberband the top of the straws to help when pouring in the jello.

In a medium, heat safe mixing bowl, preferably with a pourable edge, stir together plain and flavored gelatin powders. Pour the boiling water over the gelatin, stirring until it is fully dissolved. Allow the gelatin to cool for about 15 minutes, until it is slightly warm but not beginning to set. Stir in the whipping cream. Stir in the green food coloring until you get the desired color. Play around with the coloring until you get it how you want it.

Place your container of straws in a larger dish to catch any possible spills. With your container of straws prepped, gently pour the jello mixture over the straws. Don’t worry as you see the jello seeping up the sides of the container. If your straws are tightly packed in and flush with the bottom, they will still fill with jello.

Chill the jello straws for at least 8 hours. When the jello is set, remove the container from the refrigerator and run the sides under warm water until you can pull the straws and jello blob out of the container. This is the messy part – gently extract each straw from the mess and holding the top of the straw tightly with one thumb and forefinger, use the other thumb and forefinger to tightly apply pressure down the entire length of the straw thereby propelling the jiggly little worm from the straw.

Place the jello worms on a baking tray lined with wax paper and refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve in a chilled bowl.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Bloody Slush Punch

This is one of my favorite party drinks. It's perfectly slushy and delicious. I made it for my kids and their cousins and we named it Bloody Slush Punch because, you know, it's that time of year. Spooky treats and scary eats. It involves some freezing time, but it's well worth the wait.

*Important - I made (tried to make) it blue for my sister's boy baby shower... and you'll never guess what happened. Blue plus yellow equals green. So instead of a cute blue slush punch for the baby shower, we got a creepy goblin green. Learn from my mistake!! Play around with the flavors of gelatin for color and flavor but remember the pineapple juice is yellow!

Slush Punch
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 (3 ounce) packages strawberry flavored gelatin mix
  • 1 (46 fluid ounce) can pineapple juice
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 4 cups orange juice
  • 2 (2 liter) bottles lemon-lime flavored carbonated beverages

  1. Bring the sugar, water, and strawberry flavored gelatin to a boil in a large saucepan; boil for 3 minutes. Stir in the pineapple juice, lemon juice, and orange juice. Allow to cool. Divide mixture into 2 separate ziplock freezer bags and freeze overnight or for at least 6 -8 hours.
  2. Combine the contents of 1 container with 1 bottle of the lemon-lime flavored carbonated beverage in a punch bowl; stir until slushy. Repeat with remaining portions as needed.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Raspberry Panna Cotta

I had a fun get together with friends and wanted a yummy special dessert. A couple of years ago on a cruise I tasted the most delicious dessert I have ever eaten and it turned out to be Raspberry Panna Cotta. When I looked it up online, it didn't seem too difficult so I decided to give it a try. It was really fun to make and pretty yummy. It definitely wasn't as good as the cruise version, but still pretty tasty. I made two batches. The first was way too strong on the honey taste so I modified it for the next batch. I used several recipes from online and combined them for my final product. I also had some cute chocolate molds for a little fancy decoration on top.

Raspberry Panna Cotta

2 tbsp cold water
1 1/2 tsp unflavored gelatin
12 oz light raspberry yogurt
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp honey
red food coloring

Pour cold water into microwave-safe cup and sprinkle with gelatin. Wait 5 minutes, then heat in microwave for 15 seconds. Gently whisk together yogurt, cream and honey - then stir in gelatin. Add food coloring to get it the color you want.

Divide mixture among 6 small glasses or molds. Chill for at least 3 hours. Run knife around edges of cups to unmold panna cottas onto plates.

Top with fresh raspberries, whipping cream, or fancy chocolate.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Autumn Minestrone

I've had this soup recipe in my recipe box for a long time. It's the perfect way to use up all that squash and zucchini that is still sitting in my fridge. The weather finally turned chilly here and I love having soup when it's cold outside.

Autumn Minestrone

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
6 ounces turkey or regular bacon or ham, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 (14.5 oz.) cans diced tomatoes
2 (15 oz.) cans Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
½ cup chopped carrots
2 celery stalks, chopped
¼ cup chopped flat-leaf fresh parsley
2 potatoes, peeled and diced (I leave the peels on with red potatoes)
1 zucchini, diced
1-2 yellow squash, diced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ cup to ¾ cup small pasta

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large pot until shimmering. Add the onion and bacon and sauté until the onion is translucent, stirring frequently. Add the garlic and stir, cooking for one minute. Add all the other ingredients except the pasta and simmer, stirring occasionally, partially covered for 20-30 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Add the pasta and simmer for 10 minutes longer. Serve.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Brickle Bars

This is a fun spin on the classic old fashioned brickle bar. My grandma used to make these without the chocolate layer, but I pretty much need chocolate in all my desserts so I added it in. It is quite a different bar than what I normally make, but I was pleasantly surprised by the textures and flavors that combined nicely with each other.

Chocolate Peanut Brickle Bars

2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 ½ cups unsifted flour
1 cup chopped dry-roasted peanuts
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, melted
1 (14-ounce) sweetened condensed milk
½ cup peanut butter
2 cups chocolate chips
1 package Heath toffee bits (found by the chocolate chips) or 3 to 4 Heath bars chopped

1. Preheat oven to 375⁰F.
2. In large bowl, combine oats, flour, peanuts, sugar, baking soda and salt; stir in butter until crumbly. Reserving 1 ½ cups crumb mixture, press remainder on bottom of greased 15 x 10-inch jelly roll pan. Bake 12 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, in small mixer bowl, beat sweetened condensed milk with peanut butter until smooth; spread evenly over prepared crust to within ¼” of the edge. Sprinkle on the chocolate chips. In medium bowl, combine reserved crumb mixture and brickle chips. Sprinkle evenly over peanut butter mixture; press down firmly.
4. Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool. Cut into bars.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Funeral Potatoes

Ah, funeral potatoes... it's such a comfort food. You can find this dish at most LDS funerals, dinners, celebrations, get together's, parties, and Sunday dinner tables. I grew up with them, and love the way my mom makes them. I've changed a few things with these so they aren't quite like moms, but addicting, comforting, and lovely all the same.

Funeral Potatoes

2 cups shredded cheese
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 cups sour cream
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper, to taste (I usually dump a whole bunch in there)
32 oz package frozen cubed hash browns

3 cups coarsely crushed corn flakes
2 tablespoons melted butter

Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish. Preheat the oven to 350F.

In a large bowl, combine the cheese, cream of chicken soup, sour cream, salt, pepper, garlic powder, melted butter and onions. Gently fold in the hash browns. Spread in the prepared pan.

Sprinkle the crushed corn flakes on top of the mixture. Drizzle the 2 tablespoons of butter over the corn flakes.

Bake in the preheated oven. Cook for 55-60 minutes.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Pizza Dip

  • This hot, layered dip tastes like it was sent from heaven. It is absolutely delicious. I had a very hard time sharing it. I really wanted to consume the entire dish myself. It is absolutely delicious and perfect for a party.

Pizza Dip
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella, grated
  • 1/4 cup parmesan, grated
  • 1 cup pizza sauce
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella, grated
  • 1/4 cup parmesan, grated
  • 15 - 20 pepperoni slices
  • 2 tablespoons green pepper, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons black olives, sliced
  1. Mix the cream cheese, sour cream mayonnaise, mozzarella and parmesan and spread it across the bottom of a pie plate.
  2. Spread the pizza sauce on top and sprinkle on the cheese, pepperoni, green pepper and olives.
  3. Bake in a preheated 350F oven until the cheese has melted, bubbling and golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Raspberry Cheesecake Stuffed Chocolate Cookies

I saw these on Tasty Kitchen and immediately bookmarked them for a later date. I finally got around to making them the other day for a neighbor that just had a baby girl. I thought the pink middle would be cute for a baby girl theme. They were so yummy, but the recipe only made about 14. I would highly recommend doubling the batch if you want any for yourself. I also just noticed that I rolled them in powdered sugar instead of the regular sugar that is called for. Oops! They were delicious anyway.

Raspberry Cheesecake Stuffed Chocolate Cookies
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • extra sugar for rolling

For the filling:

  • 4 ounces PHILADELPHIA brand Cream Cheese
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons seedless raspberry jam (I used more plus I added purple/red food color)

To make the cookies, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix to combine. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until well combined.

Chill the dough for at least 15 minutes to make it easier to work with. (The dough was still really sticky for me and hard to work with. I ended up putting powdered sugar on my hands between rolls to make it easier to work with)

For the filling, beat together all ingredients until well combined.

To assemble cookies, take a golf ball sized chunk of dough and roll it into a ball. Flatten the dough into a disc between your hands. Place a teaspoonful of the filling into the center of the chocolate disc. Close the disc around the filing and roll into a ball. Roll the ball of dough in sugar.

Repeat with the remaining dough, spacing the cookies 1 inch apart on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until the cookies seem set. Chill on the counter for 15 minutes and then chill in the fridge for another 30 minutes.

Your hands will get messy and covered in chocolate while rolling the balls, but the end result is worth it!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Waikiki Meatballs

I got this recipe from a great friend. I was so happy that it was simple, fast, and easy... Just what I need on a busy school night. It is similar to my sweet and sour meatballs recipe, but different enough to post on it's own. We loved it!

Waikiki Meatballs

1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
1/3 c minced onion
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c milk
2/3 c saltine cracker crumbs
1 egg
1/4 tsp. ginger

Mix everything thoroughly and make into meatballs. Fry until brown. Remove meatballs from pan and set aside in a serving dish. In the same frying pan make the sweet and sour sauce.

Sweet and Sour Sauce

2 tbsp cornstarch
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
13 1/2 oz can of Pineapple tidbits (reserve juice)
The juice from your pineapple tidbits
1/2 of a green bell pepper, diced
1/2 of a red bell pepper, diced

In a little bowl, blend 2 Tbsp cornstarch with 1/3 c brown sugar. In the frying pan mix 1/3 c vinegar and 1 Tbsp soy sauce and the juice from a 13 1/2 oz. can of pineapple tidbits. Add the cornstarch and brown sugar mixture. Heat until thickened. Then add pineapple tidbits, green or red bell peppers and the meatballs. Serve over rice.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins

With the abundance of zucchini coming from my garden, I decided it was about time to start putting it to good use. Of course, one of my favorite recipes to make with zucchini is chocolate chip muffins. This is the recipe I have been using every since I can remember. I'm not sure quite where it came from, but I've never been interested in finding a new one. These are delicious and make a perfect breakfast!

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini
  • 1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

In a bowl, combine flour, sugars, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Combine the egg, oil, applesauce, milk, lemon juice and vanilla; mix well. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in zucchini and mini chocolate chips. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until done.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Chicken Milano

This was one of the best Italian dishes I have ever made at home. The sauce was so creamy and delicious I could have drank it with a straw. I literally had to stop myself from eating more. I pushed the bowl back and said outloud, "You do not need anymore... you are full." And then I repeated it over and over as I continued to sneak bites... I just couldn't get enough. Oh, how I adore a good pasta dish.
Thank you to my sister in law, Amy, for a divine recipe!

Chicken Milano
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup chicken broth, divided
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 8 ounces dry fettuccini pasta


  1. In a large saucepan over low heat, melt butter; add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and 3/4 cup of the chicken broth; increase to medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes or until the tomatoes are tender. Add the cream and bring to a boil; stirring. Simmer over medium heat until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  2. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. In a large skillet over medium heat, warm oil and saute chicken. Press on chicken occasionally with a slotted spatula. Cook for about 4 minutes per side or until the meat feels springy and is no longer pink inside. Transfer to a board; cover and keep warm. Discard the fat from the skillet.
  3. In the same skillet, over medium heat, bring 1/4 cup chicken broth to a boil; stirring the pan juices. Reduce slightly and add to the cream sauce; stir in basil and adjust seasonings to taste.
  4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add fettuccine and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain, transfer to a bowl and toss with 3 to 4 tablespoons of the sauce.
  5. Cut each chicken breast into 2 to 3 diagonal slices. Reheat the sauce gently if needed. Transfer the pasta to serving plates; top with chicken and coat with the cream sauce; serve.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Artichoke Dip Bites

This is a super easy and fun appetizer. When I served these at a get together with friends they were gone in a flash. You could also try putting spinach in for a spinach and artichoke dip taste, but I like just plain artichoke dip the best.

Artichoke Dip Bites

1 pkg cream cheese (8 oz)
1 cup mayo
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzerella cheese
1 can artichoke hearts, chopped
1 tbsp Basil
1 tbsp parsley
2 cloves garlic, minced
Wonton Wrappers

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat mini-muffin tins with cooking spray.

Mix cream cheese, artichokes, cheeses, mayo, garlic, basil, and parsley in a medium sized bowl.

Line prepared mini-muffin pan with wonton wrappers, lightly pressing into place to form a cup. Using a small spoon, fill each cup with mixture almost to the top.
Bake for 8-10 minutes, until edges are browned and crisp and the filling is hot and melty. Let cool for about 5 minutes before serving.