Saturday, December 19, 2009

Festive Oatmeal Cookies/Fruitcake Cookies

Here is a recipe for delicious oatmeal cookies which can also be used for festive fruitcake cookies! Perfect for Christmas!

1 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp each: nutmeg, ground cloves, allspice (if desired)
3 cups quick cooking oats
1 cup chopped walnuts
1-2 cups candied fruit (for fruit cake cookies)
*mix fruit with 1/4 cup flour to prevent lumping or sticking

Cream together sugars and butter. Add eggs and vanilla. In separate bowl, combine flour, spices, baking soda and salt. Stir into creamed mixture. Mix in oats and nuts. For fruit cake cookies, add fruit. Cover and chill dough for at least one hour.
Preheat oven to 350. Grease cookie sheets. Roll dough into balls and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. For fruit cake cookies, you can add a whole candied cherry for garnish. Bake 8-10 minutes Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Festive Filled Bars


2 cups oats..uncooked
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup chopped nuts
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter melted
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cups plain M&M's
1 can Eagle Brand Milk

Combine oats, flour, nuts, sugar, soda and salt-mix well, add butter,mix until dry ingredients are thoroughly moistened and mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Reserve 1 1/2 remaining crumb mixture onto bottom of greased 15 1/2x10 1/2in.pan...bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.

Melt shortening in saucepan until warm, add 1 cup candies; continue cooking over very low heat stirring constantly with metal spoon and pressing candies with back of spoon to break up. Chocolate mixture will almost be melted , remove from heat...stir in Eagle Brand Milk..mixing well.

Spread over partially baked crust to within 1/2in. of edge. Combine reserved crumb mixture and remaining candies..sprinkle evenly over choc mixture pressing on lightly..continue baking about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool thoroughly..cut into bars

Chocolate Toffee Almond Squares


2 cups flour
2 cups oats
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup butter
1 pkg chocolate chips
1 cup slivered almonds
1 SKOR toffee bits
1 1/3 cups caramel sundae sauce
½ cup flour

Crust: Combine first four ingredients in mixing bowl. Add melted butter. Mix well.Reserve 1 ¼ cups of the mixture for topping. Press remainder into greased 9” X 13” cake pan. Bake at 350 F for 12 min. or until light golden.

Second Layer: Combine baking chips, almonds and toffee bits. Sprinkle evenly over base.

Third Layer: Mix together sundae sauce and flour until smooth. Pour evenly over chip mixture.Topping: Sprinkle reserved oat mixture on top.

Bake 20 – 25 min. longer, or until golden. Cool completely. Cut into 48 squares with a sharp knife.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Herbed Pork Roast

3 pound pork loin roast
1 package Italian salad dressing mix
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
vegetables for roast (carrots, potatoes, onions, mushrooms, bell peppers) cut into chunks
Heat oven to 350. Place pork in roasting pan. Blend Italian dressing mix, cumin and oregano in small bowl. Sprinkle half of mixture over pork and bake uncovered for 1 1/2 hours or until internal thermometer registers 160. Remove from oven and let sit 10 minutes before serving.
Coat a baking dish with cooking spry and add vegetables. Sprinkle with remaining spice mixture, cover and bake 30 minutes. Remove cover, stir and roast for 15-20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
*You may also add vegetables to roast pan after roast has baked 1 hour.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Cherry Cobbler Muffins

1 Can Cherry Pie Filling
1 Tsp. Lemon Juice
1/2 Tsp. Almond Extract
1 1/2 Cups Flour
1/3 Cup Sugar
1 1/2 Tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp. Soda
1/4 Tsp. Salt
1/2 Tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 Cup Chopped Pecans
1 Egg
2 Tbsp. Butter, Melted
1 1/4 Cups Buttermilk
Cinnamon Sugar for topping

Separate one cup cherries from pie filling. Add lemon juice and almond extract. Set aside. Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, soda, salt and cinnamon. Blend in pecans. In another bowl, whisk egg with melted butter and buttermilk. Add to dry ingredients, mixing together lightly. Fill muffin cups one-half full. Drop two cherries into each muffin cup, then cover with batter. Sprinkle tops with cinnamon sugar and bake until lightly browned.Bake at 375 degrees 20-22 minutes

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Autumn Pork Chops

4 boneless pork chops
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1/4 cup apple juice or cider
1/2 cup whole berry cranberry sauce
2 T. honey
2 T. frozen orange juice concentrate
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg

In a non stick large frying pan, spray cooking spray or oil pan. Place pork chops in pan and sprinkle with pepper on both sides. Brown chops in pan and add apple juice or cider. Cover and cook over low heat 5 or 6 minutes or until chops are just done. Drain juices. In a small bowl, combine cranberry sauce, honey, orange juice and spices. Pour over chops and cook for about 2 minutes or until heated through.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Cranberry Salad

This recipe is a must have for the upcoming holidays. It adds color and sparkle to any menu!

6 ounces Package Raspberry Gelatin
2 cups Boiling Water
16 ounces Can Jellied Cranberry Sauce
8 ounces Can Crushed Pineapple
3/4 cup Orange Juice
1 tablespoon Lemon Or Lime Juice
1/2 cup Chopped Pecans Or Walnuts

Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Break up and stir in cranberry sauce, undrained pineapple, orange juice, lemon juice, and nuts. Pour into a pretty serving dish or a large mold sprayed lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Chill until firm. Tip mold over onto a plate to unmold.

Taco Soup

This is the time of year I spent a little more time in the kitchen. Soups are a favorite cool weather meal for my family. This recipe can be made in the slow cooker and simmer all day! Add a salad and bread and you have a quick and easy meal!

1 pound ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 (16 ounce) can chili beans, with liquid
1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans with liquid
1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, with liquid
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
2 cups water
2 (14.5 ounce) cans peeled and diced tomatoes
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chile peppers
1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
In a medium skillet, cook the ground beef until browned over medium heat. Drain, and set aside. Place the ground beef, onion, chili beans, kidney beans, corn, tomato sauce, water, diced tomatoes, green chile peppers and taco seasoning mix in a slow cooker. Mix to blend, and cook on low setting for 8 hours.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Acorn Squash Souffle

Acorn squash is a great source of beta carotene and is full of nutritional benefits. It is also a great side dish for autumn meals!

3/4 lb acorn squash (about 2 small ones)
4 T. brown sugar
4 tsp. ground cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
1 large egg, separated, plus one egg white
1/8 teaspoon salt
dash of ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400. Wash squash and cut in half. Using a spoon, scrape out seeds. Place squash halves skin side down in 1/2 inch water in baking dish and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully turn over. Place 1 tablespoon butter in each half. Bake again for 30 minutes or until tender. Cool for 30 minutes.
Remove from baking dish and pour butter out into mixing bowl. Carefully scoop out flesh from each squash and place in same bowl. Puree the squash with reserved butter, sugar, spices and egg yolk in blender or with mixer. Whip egg whites (2) with the salt until stiff peaks form. Fold into puree. Pour souffle mixture back into squash skin halves and bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Oatmeal Crispies

These cookies have turned out to be my husband's favorite. They are light, tasty and filling.

1 cup shortening (or butter)
1 cup brown sugar packed
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
3 cups quick cooking oats
1/2 cup nuts (walnuts or pecans)

In a large mixing bowl mix shortening with both sugars until creamy.

In a separate bowl, beat eggs together and add vanilla. Add to shortening and butter mixture.

In a separate bowl combine flour, salt and baking soda. Slowly mix into the shortening mixture until well combined. Stir in the quick oats until well blended and then add nuts and mix well.

Divide the dough in half and wrap each half in waxed paper in log shape. You can freeze one half or refrigerate for several days.

When you are ready to bake, slice the dough and place on cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Peppermint Cake

I saw this recipe today and wanted to share it before the busyness of the Christmas season got here!

Peppermint Cake
A festive dessert for the family or to share during holiday parties.

Peppermint Cake Recipe

2 1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup milk
4 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9″ round cake pan with nonstick vegetable spray. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. In a large bowl, combine the granulated sugar and softened butter with a mixer at medium speed. Whisk in the applesauce, milk, egg whites and vanilla extract. Add flour mixture to the applesauce mixture and stir until well combined. Pour batter into your prepared cake pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool cake on a wire rack. Once cool, split the cake in half horizontally to make 2 cakes.

Peppermint Frosting

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
2 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
3 tablespoons peppermint starlight candies, crushed

Tip: To crush candies, place 6 of them in a plastic zipper close bag and then wrap the bag in a clean dry kitchen towel. Use a maillot to smash candies.

In the top of a double boiler, whisk together granulated sugar, water, egg whites and cream of tartar. Cook over simmering water for 4 minutes or until mixture is hot and sugar is dissolved (do not boil). Remove from heat. Stir in peppermint extract. Beat with an electric mixer at high speed for 3 minutes or until mixture forms stiff peaks.

Place one cake layer on serving plate. Spread frosting on top of the layer. Top with the second layer and spread frosting on the top and sides of the cake. Sprinkle the crushed peppermint candies on the top and sides of cake.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Chicken Chili

For white bean chili, use all white northern beans - easy to make from dried beans. Soak overnight, pour off water and rinse, add fresh water and simmer until soft. Add salt only after the cooking, since adding salt beforehand will require longer cooking.

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts
2 large onions, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
3 cloves minced garlic
4 (15 oz.) cans kidney beans, drained,rinsed (or cooked dried kidney beans)
2 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes (do not drain)
1 (8 oz.) can diced green chiles
2 cups water
2 Tbsp. cilantro
1 Tbsp. sweet basil

1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin

Cut chicken into bite-size pieces and brown in a saucepan that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Add remaining ingredients, cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until chicken is tender. Serves 10. If this amount is more than needed for your family, freeze the rest for another quick and easy meal.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Banana Bread

Everyone needs a good banana bread recipe to hold on to. This one is simple and delicious!

3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed
1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup sugar (can easily reduce to 3/4 cup)
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

No need for a mixer for this recipe. Preheat the oven to 350°. With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. (Additional spices may be added - cinnamon, nutmeg or ground cloves for added flavor). Add the flour last, mix. Pour mixture into a buttered 4x8 inch loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour. Cool on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve.

This is a versatile recipe, can add walnuts, chocolate chips etc.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Ham and Rice

In the early days of homemaking, I was a very inexperienced cook. Recipes consisted of exact directions with no creativity at all! My sister in law was the exact opposite and could whip up a delicious meal with ingredients I would never thought would go together. She showed me this easy dish which is a great way to use leftover ham. This recipe works best with a bone in ham. Oh, and through the years, I've learned a few things to add to add creativity to my dishes!! This is one of my sons favorite meals:

Ham and Rice

Place ham bone with meat still on it in a pot 1/2 filled with water. Add chopped onions and a bay leaf if desired. Cook to boiling and cover pot. Boil about 20 minutes or until meat is fork tender. Pull ham off bone with a fork. Add 1 to 1/2 cups of rice, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove lid and fluff with fork. The ham juices and bone flavor the rice wonderfully!

Blueberry Crumb Pie

This down home blueberry pie is made with sour cream and fresh or frozen blueberries. The recipe comes from Southern Food. I made it this week and it is out of this world!

1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
2 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell
Pecan Topping:
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons soft butter or margarine
3 tablespoons chopped pecans (I used walnuts and it turned out fine!)

In a mixing bowl, beat together sour cream, 2 tablespoons of flour, sugar, vanilla, salt, and egg until smooth, about 4 to 5 minutes. Gently fold in blueberries. Pour into the pie crust and bake at 400° for 25 minutes.
Combine the 3 tablespoons of flour, margarine, and pecans, mixing well. Sprinkle pecan mixture over the top of the pie; return to oven and bake 10 minutes longer. Let cool. Chill before serving. Serves 8 to 10.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Berry Mandarin Tossed Salad

I am a salad lover! I can also make up a pretty mean salad. At a luncheon this salad was prepared and it beat any salad I have ever made! It is delicious. You will LOVE this recipe!

1/4 cup sugar
2 T cider vinegar
2 T honey
1 & 1/4 tsp lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon grated onion
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
dash salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil ( I use olive oil)

8 cups torn mixed salad greens
2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
1 can (11 oz.) mandarin oranges, drained
1 medium sweet onion, sliced into rings or chopped
1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted
4 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
1/3 cup chopped walnuts (if desired)

In 2 cup bowl, combine first nine ingredients. Microwave on high for 1 & 1/2 to 2 minutes, stir until sugar is dissolved. Whisk in oil. Cover and refrigerate until serving. In a large salad bowl, combine salad, fruit, onions, almonds, walnuts and bacon. Drizzle with dressing and gently toss to coat. Yield 12-14 servings.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Apple Crumb Pie

This recipe came from Taste of Home, does it get any better than that??!!!

Apple Crumb Pie


* Pastry for single-crust pie (9 inches)
* 6 cups chopped peeled tart apples (about 6 medium)
* 2 tablespoons butter, melted
* 2 tablespoons sour cream
* 4 teaspoons lemon juice
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 1/4 cup cold butter


Line a 9-in. pie plate with pastry; flute edges and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the apples, butter, sour cream, lemon juice, sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. Spoon into pastry shell.
For topping, in a large bowl, combine flour and sugar; cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over filling.
Bake at 375° for 45-50 minutes or until the filling is bubbly and the apples are tender. Cool on a wire rack. Yield: 8 servings.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Buffalo Grilled Chicken

My guys love buffalo chicken wings. But we can devour a 5 lb bag in one setting! Here is a delicious recipe using chicken breasts and it delivers that great buffalo flavor.

1 T cornstarch
1 tsp seasoned salt
large zip lock bag
2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup Frank's buffalo wing sauce

Place cornstarch and seasoned salt in zip lock bag and shake to mix. Add chicken, seal and shake to coat. Add wing sauce, seal tightly and knead bag to coat completely. For more intense flavor, let sit at least one hour.

Place chicken on grill and cook until edges are crisp and internal temperature is 165.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Chicken Alfredo Bake

Quick, easy and delicious! This is a thrown together creation that turned out great! The measurements are not specific, but judge amounts for your desired serving size.

1 pack boneless chicken breasts
onion and green bell pepper
frozen broccoli
jar of alfredo sauce

Slice chicken breasts into bite size chunks. Cook in pan seasoned with salt/pepper and any desired seasoning. Chop onion and green pepper and cook with the chicken.

Boil pasta in salted water. During last five minutes add frozen broccoli. Drain.

Mix chicken, pasta and broccoli together, add jar of alfredo sauce. Place in baking dish, top with parmasean cheese if desired. Bake until bubbly and cheese is melted.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Blueberry Muffins

Since there are some fresh blueberries in the freezer, I made up a batch of blueberry muffins!

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 T baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
4 T - 1/2 stick butter
1 egg
3/4 cup + 2 T milk
1 cup blueberries

Preheat oven to 375. Sift flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Stir in sugar. In a separate bowl whisk until just blended butter, egg and milk. (mixture should be slightly lumpy). Add blueberries to bowl and stir them in just enough to combine. Pour into muffin baking pan.

Don't leave this part out!
2T butter
2 T brown sugar
1 T flour
1 T nuts
You can adjust amount to desired amount. Mix together until crumbly. Sprinkle on top of muffin dough before baking.

Bake 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Super Summer Supper

When the weather is so hot, it's hard to think of a supper that is good. Here is a light, tasty dish and super easy!
Ranch & Bacon Pasta Salad with Ham
Take 1 box of ranch/bacon Suddenly Salad and make according to directions. You simply boil the pasta, mix mayonnaise with seasoning mix which is included.
I added chopped ham and mixed in and served over a bed of lettuce. You could add chicken or tuna also.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Peanut Butter Brownies

These are melt in your mouth delicious! Rich, fudgy with that glorious blend of peanut butter and brownie!

1 box brownie mix for a 13x9” pan
1/2 C. butter, softened
1/2 C. creamy peanut butter
2 C. powdered sugar
1 tabl. milk
1 C. semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 C. butter

Preheat oven to 350. Grease bottom and sides of a 13x9” pan with cooking spray. Mix brownies according to package directions. Bake for approx. 25 minutes at package temperature or until a toothpick comes out almost clean. Cool completely. In medium bowl, mix the next 4 ingredients with mixer on medium until smooth. Spread mixture evenly over brownies. In a small microwaveable bowl, microwave chocolate chips and butter on medium heat 30-60 seconds; stir until smooth, microwave longer if needed. Cool 10 minutes; spread over peanut butter filling. Refrigerate about 30 minutes or until set and serve.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Blonde Brownies

These are easy to make and so delicious, chewy and gooey!!

1 stick butter
1 box light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 3/4 cup self rising flour
1 cup pecans
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 325. Grease 9X13 pan. Melt butter, add brown sugar and mix with spoon. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Add flour and nuts. Spread into pan and bake 25-30 minutes.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Caramel Dream Bars

Here is a quick and easy, delicious dessert!

1 yellow cake mix
1/3 cup butter
1 egg
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup pecans
1/2 cup toffee chips

Grease a13X9 pan. Combine cake mix, butter and 1 egg. Mix until crumbly. Press down into pan. Beat can of milk, egg and vanilla. Stir in pecans and toffee chips. Pour over cake mixture in pan. Bake at 350 for 25-35 minutes.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Cheese Bread

If you want to add a special touch to any dinner - add some cheese bread. It is so easy, take any bread - I found some sub rolls we didn't finish, you can use french bread, buns, really anything:
Spread with butter
sprinkle with garlic powder or garlic salt
sprinkle with Italian seasoning or parsley
top with cheese - provolone or mozzarella work well, but cheddar or cheese slices will also work
Bake in 350 oven until brown and bubbly

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Marinated Beef Ribs

These ribs are so tender and packed full of flavor!

1 cup soy sauce
4 T brown sugar
2 T green onions
1 T chopped/minced garlic
1 tsp ginger
black pepper

Mix marinade together and in a gallon sized Ziploc bag, add ribs and make sure marinade covers them. Place in refrigerator and leave at least 2 hours, turning bag occasionally.

Prepare a baking dish by lining with foil. Pour ribs with marinade into pan. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes and then reduce oven heat to 325. Baste ribs with juices, cover pan and bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until fork tender.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Twice Baked Potatoes

Wrap desired number of potatoes in foil and bake until tender.

Unwrap and let cool about 30 minutes. Slice each potato in half and scoop out pulp, leaving the potato skin intact. Mash potato pulp with butter, salt and pepper, sour cream, milk, shredded cheese, bacon bits and green onions. Use as much of these ingredients as you like and omit the ones you don't like.

Spoon potato mixture into the potato skins and bake for 10 to 15 minutes at 350.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Biscuits and Sausage Gravy

If there is one thing I have learned by living with four boys, it is that they like to eat and to eat hearty. Here is one of their favorite breakfasts:

Sausage Gravy over Biscuits.
(and there is an easy way to do this!)

Brown 1 tube of pan sausage. Drain and place on paper towel lined plate.
You can either purchase a pack of instant gravy mix (country gravy or peppered gravy). You will want to put the mix in the frying pan used for the sausage and add 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup water and cook according to directions...
Or you can spoon some flour, butter and milk into the pan and stir until thick. Season with salt and pepper.
Once the gravy is made, add the sausage to the gravy and simmer for about 5 minutes. Spoon over biscuits. (Frozen biscuits are ok!)