Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tootsie Rolls

3 C. powdered sugar
3/4 C. regular powdered milk (not instant)
1/2 C. cocoa powder
2 T. butter or margarine, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 - 2/3 C. corn syrup

1.Mix dry ingredients until blended.  Add softened butter, vanilla and corn syrup. (start with the 1/2 C. & see if you need more as it mixes)   Mix well.  Knead well until it holds together well enough to make a ball.  If it is too dry, add a tablespoon of corn syrup at a time and mix until it does hold together well enough.  
2.Using about 1/6th of the dough, roll a long rope about as big around as your finger. (you choose which finger)  Cut into 1 inch pieces and set on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or waxed paper.  Let dry a little before putting in a container.  Put waxed paper between layers. 

(If your dough is too sticky, put a little powdered sugar on your counter to roll the rope on) The powdered sugar will disappear as the tootsie rolls set up.
* I thought that these were ok nothing great I think that I will just go and buy some tootsie rolls next time I want some. The kids thought that it was fun to make. Gives them something to do I guess lol I give them a 3 1/2 I got this recipe from joy-inthekitchen

Monday, July 30, 2012

Teriyaki Chicken Noodle Bowl

4 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
2 Tbl. olive oil
salt and pepper
3 large carrots
1 red bell pepper
1/2 med. onion
any other veggies: mushrooms, broccoli, peas, zucchini
1 (16 oz.) pkg. angel hair pasta or thin spaghetti noodles
sesame seeds (optional)

Teriyaki Sauce
1 1/2 c. cold water
3/4 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. soy sauce
1 tsp. garlic powder
3 Tbl. cornstarch
1 tsp. sesame oil

1.Cut chicken into cubes. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the chicken; season with salt and pepper.  Let cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.  You want it to get nice and golden brown on each side.  

2.While your chicken is cooking, chop up the veggies.  You want to be sure they are chopped pretty small (about 3/4 of an inch).  Now is the time to heat up a pot of water and cook the noodles according to package directions. When the chicken is cooked through, remove it from the pan and set aside.  

3.Add the other tablespoon of oil to the hot pan.  Add the veggies and cook until they are crisp tender.  

4.While the veggies are cooking, mix all the teriyaki sauce ingredients together in a medium sized bowl, making sure there are no lumps.  Once the veggies are cooked, remove them from the pan and set aside with the chicken.  Pour the teriyaki sauce into the hot pan.  Whisk it around until it thickens up.  This should only take about 3 minutes.

5.Place hot noodles in a bowl or plate, top with chicken, veggies and top with the sauce.    

Here is another recipe from one of my favorites eatcakefordinner when I saw it on her blog last week I knew that it was one we were going to try soon. It was so yummy and super quick to make. I used onion,pepper,carrots and broccoli. It was great and everyone loved it. I give it a 4 1/2

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Strawberry Coconut Cake

1 (18.25 oz.) pkg. strawberry cake mix
1 (3.5 oz) pkg. instant coconut pudding mix
1 (3 oz.) pkg. strawberry gelatin mix
4 eggs
1 c. water
1/3 c. oil

1.In a large bowl, combine all ingredients; beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes.  

2.Pour batter into a greased and floured bundt pan. 
3.Bake at 325 degrees for 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake's center comes out clean.  Cool in pan for 20 minutes; invert onto cake plate.
* I have seen this recipe all over the place lately and figured it must be a good one. And who does not love shortcut recipes right. This cake had great flavor and texture to it. And it smelled amazing totally smelled like summer it was a great cake. You can serve it with ice cream,whip cream with fresh berries or a simple vanilla glaze. I give it a 4 1/2

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Cheeseburger Macaroni

1 lb lean ground beef
1/2 onion, diced
2 Tbsp taco seasoning
1 (10 oz) can mild Rotel
2 cups beef broth
1 1/2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
3/4 cup milk
4 oz. of sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 tsp salt
pepper to taste

1.In a skillet over medium heat, brown ground beef and onion; drain off any grease.
2.Add taco seasoning, Rotel, beef broth, and macaroni; stir until well blended. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to simmer and cover pan.
3.Simmer 12-14 mins until macaroni is tender.

4.While the hamburger mixture simmers, melt the 2 Tbsp butter in a saucepan. Whisk in the flour and cook 2 minutes until fragrant and light brown in color.
4.Slowly whisk in the milk and bring to a boil. Cook while whisking until smooth and thickened to the consistency of gravy.

5.Remove from heat and blend in the shredded cheddar cheese until melted. Add the salt and pepper to the cheese sauce. Pour the cheese sauce over the cooked hamburger mixture. Stir gently to combine.

* This was a super quick and easy dinner everyone loved it. There is some spicy kick to it so be warned. We just added some sour cream to some of it and that helped with the spice and tasted great. I give this recipe a 4 1/2

Friday, July 27, 2012

Pasta Salad

1 pkg. (1 lb) pkg. macaroni (or shells)
1 1/2 c. mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. mustard
1/4 c. sour cream
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. kosher salt (or to taste)
ground black pepper (to taste)
1 c. ham steak, cut into small cubes
1 c. cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes
2/3 c. frozen peas, thawed
2-3 carrots, shredded
1 stalk celery chopped

1.Prepare macaroni to al dente according to package directions. After macaroni is cooked, drain and rinse in cold water. Once macaroni has cooled down, drain well.
2.In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine mayonnaise, mustard, sour cream, apple cider vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper.
3.In a large bowl toss macaroni with ham, cheese, peas, carrots, and other mix-ins.
4.Fold in mayonnaise mixture until pasta is well coated.
place in fridge a few hours overnight is best.
5.If the salad seems a little dry after setting up overnight, add some milk a little bit at a time until creamy again.( I added about 3-4T)

* I thought that this was ok. Not a favorite pasta salad it seemed really bland to me for some reason. My kids really liked it but I dont think I will make it again. I also am not a big fan of ham in my pasta so that could be the reason. I give it a 4

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Patriotic Drinks

1 bottle sobe pina colada
1 bottle fruit punch gatorade
1 bottle blueberry pomegranate gatorade

1. The key to these drinks is to fill the cup full of ice this allows the layers to stay separate as you slowly pour them in the cup.
2.You start with the highest sugar content and work up to the lowest sugar. This will be white on bottom red in middle and blue on top.

* This was a fun drink to have for the holidays I think that the the flavors mixed ok I might try another set of juice if I do it again but they were pretty to look at lol I give this juice combination a 4 I am sure that you can use any red white and blue just just always make sure that the you start with highest sugar content and work up to the least sugar.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

1 (6 oz) pkg. chicken flavored stuffing mix
1 (10 3/4 oz) can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 tablespoon prepared, Dijon mustard
3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cut into bite-size pieces (I boiled mine)
3 cups fresh broccoli florets
2 cups cooked, chopped ham
6 slices of extra thin Swiss cheese

1.Preheat oven to 375ºF.  Prepare stuffing as directed on package.  Mix soup and mustard in medium bowl; stir in chicken, broccoli and ham. Spoon into 2-qt. casserole dish sprayed with cooking spray; top with cheese slices and stuffing. 

2.Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until heated through.

* I think that this casserole could be great with a few simple changes. First I think that the cheese should be shredded swiss. And second I think the cheese should go under the stuffing not on top of it. My cheese ended up hard and I think what ruined this casserole for me. The taste was good but I think with those changes it would make a big difference as is I give it a 3 1/2

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Zucchini whoopie Pies

1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
1/2 c. butter-flavored shortening
1/2 c. light brown sugar, packed
1/4 c. + 2 Tbl. granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract   
1 c. oats
1 c. grated zucchini
cream cheese frosting

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  
2.Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg; set aside.  Cream together the shortening and both sugars until very light and fluffy.  Add the egg and vanilla and mix until combined.  
3.Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.  Add the oats and grated zucchini and mix very well.  Dough will be pretty sticky.  
4.Drop dough onto lightly greased baking sheet, using a scant one tablespoon (at the most), leaving 2-inches between cookies.  It will look like a small amount of batter, but they spread during baking.  These cookies work better the smaller they are, because they are so soft.  

5.Bake for 12 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cool completely. 

6.Spread cream cheese frosting on the flat side of one cookie and top with the flat side of another cookie.  Store in the refrigerator.

Cream cheese frosting
1 cube (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 stick (4 oz.) cream cheese, softened
2 1/2 - 3 c. powdered sugar (I used 2 1/2 cups)
pinch of salt
1-2 tsp. vanilla extract (I used 1 1/2 tsp)
milk, only if needed ( I used about 3/4 tsp)

1.Beat softened butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy.  Gradually add the powdered sugar, one cup at at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the salt and vanilla and mix well.  If frosting is too stiff, add a little milk until reaches desired consistency.

Here is another one from eatcakefordinner.blogspot.com I think that everyone has a huge supply of zucchini this time of year and so its great to find so many ways to eat it up. These were so yummy the whole family loved them and they smelled so good cooking. My son kept coming into the kitchen saying "I smell cinnamon" lol This is a great recipe to use up some of the zucchini you have laying around. I give them a 5

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Cafe Rio Chicken Tortilla Soup Copycat

1 small/med onion, diced
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp cumin
a dash (or two) cayenne
1/2 tsp. chili powder
5 c. chicken broth
3 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, finely chopped
juice of 1/2 lime
pepper, to taste
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 Tbsp. taco seasoning
1 Tbsp. paprika
vegetable oil
pico de gallo
2-3 avocados, diced
2 c. pepper jack cheese
tortilla strips
cilantro (for garnish)
lime wedges (for garnish)

1.In a small skillet, saute onion in 1 Tbsp. oil until onions become slightly soft. Stir in cumin, cayenne, and chili powder and saute an additional minute or two.

2.Transfer seasoned onions to a small crock pot Add chicken broth, cliantro, lime juice, pepper and pinto beans to onions and simmer on low-heat for at least 2-3 hours.

3.In the meantime (when you are close to serving), combine taco seasoning and paprika. Brush chicken with oil and rub with taco seasoning/paprika mixture. Grill chicken over medium-heat until cooked through (try to turn only once during the grilling process). Remove from grill and shred.

4.In individual bowls layer chicken, about 1/3 c. pico de gallo, 1/3 c. diced avocado, and 1/3 c. pepper jack cheese. Ladle about 1 cup of chicken broth directly over the layers. Top with tortilla strips and garnish with cilantro and lime wedges.

* When I saw this recipe over at favfamilyrecipes.com I was so excited I have lookd for a copycat recipe to Cafe rio soup for so long my family loves it and get it everytime we go to rio so I was so excited. I have to say its a pretty good clone. Its not dead on but its still got some good flavor to it. The chicken was awesome and had great flavor I think I will just make the chicken from time to time with the season so overall sadly its not just like rio but its still a good chicken tortilla soup. I give it a 4 1/2

Monday, July 23, 2012

Lemon Blueberry Bars

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 cups oats (quick cooking)
2 large egg yolks
1 can 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tsp lemon zest
2 cups room-temp blueberries, washed, drained, patted dry
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

1.Preheat oven 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 inch metal baking pan.
2.Combine the flour, both sugars, salt and baking soda in bowl of a food processor and pulse to mix. Add butter and pulse until mixture is coarse and crumbly. Add oats and pulse to mix.
3.Press about 2/3 of the crumb mixture into the pan and set remainder aside. Bake crust for 12 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare filling.

(I made a half batch so I did mine in a 8x8 pan)
4.Whisk the condensed milk, lemon juice, lemon zest and egg yolks together in a medium bowl and let stand for 5 minutes.

5.Arrange blueberries evenly over the crust; pour lemon mixture over the blueberries. Spread gently with a spatula to distribute as evenly as possible. Bake until the lemon mixture just begins to form a shiny skin; 7 to 8 minutes.

6.Sprinkle reserved topping over the lemon layer, then sprinkle pecans over topping. Bake for 25 minutes.

7.Let the bars cool in the pan on a rack until just warm, about an hour. When cool, transfer to refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours.

* These were good but didnt seem to have much flavor to them I think I would add a little more lemon to them if I made them again but im not sure what was missing. Maybe it was that I only did half a recipe it didnt work out right not sure but they were still ok I give them a 4

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Kielbasa Pasta

16 oz dry penne pasta
1 lb kielbasa, sliced in 1 inch pieces
1 Tbsp oil
2-3 (14.5 oz) cans diced or stewed tomatoes
1 large jar spaghetti sauce
1/2 red and green pepper diced
1/2 med onion diced
1-2tsp garlic
1 tsp oregano, dried
1T parsley dried
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1/4 cup italian bread crumbs
8 - 12 oz. shredded cheese (I used a mixture of mozzerella and parm)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Boil large pot of salted water and cook pasta for 8-10 minutes until al dente.  Drain pasta.
2. Cook sliced kielbasa over medium heat in oil until lightly browned - about 5 minutes.
3. In a large bowl combine pasta, cooked sausage, tomatoes, sauce,peppers,onion,garlic and spices.  Mix well all together.  Pour into a 9x13 baking dish. 
4. Sprinkle bread crumbs over pasta mixture and then top with cheese. 
5.Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove foil and bake for 10-15 minutes longer until cheese has melted and golden.

* I thought that this was good but if I was to make it again I would just boil the noodles and make all the rest as a sauce instead of baking it at the end. I dont think that it tasted any diffrent and it would speed up dinner just to serve the sauce on the noodles as spaghetti. but the taste was good I give it a 4

Saturday, July 21, 2012

German Pancakes

1/2 cup sifted flour
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1.Preheat oven to 450
2.Sift flour into mixing bowl. Lightly beat eggs in measuring cup and add to the flour. Beat with a hand mixer on medium speed. Stir in milk, butter, salt and vanilla. Mix well.
3.Pour batter into an 8" x 8" oven-safe glass baking dish which has been greased to prevent sticking.

4.Bake at 450 degrees F for 20 minutes. Remove and cut into serving pieces and serve immediately while hot.

* These were so yummy they remind me of when I was young we would have these all the time growing up so I like to make them for my kids from time to time.They love to see how puffy its going to get each time. We love them with syrup,jam,whipped cream,fresh berries or even with just powdered sugar they are yummy. I couldnt believe that I didnt already have these on my blog:)  I give them a 5

Friday, July 20, 2012

Ranch Crock Pot Pork Chops

4 pork chops, about 1/2" thick
a little oil for browning
1  Tbsp ranch dressing seasoning
1 10 oz can cream of chicken soup
Mashed Potatoes homemade or instant. (I made instant but added some garlic and Parmesan cheese to them)

1.Quickly brown the pork chops on both sides over medium high heat in a little bit of oil. Don't completely cook them, just give them a quick sear.

2.Place them in your crock pot and sprinkle with the ranch dressing mix. Pour the soup over the top.

3.Cook on LOW heat for 5-6 hours, or on HIGH heat for 3-4 hours. Serve with hot mashed potatoes.

* I have said before that my family is not big pork eaters but I had some in the freezer that I needed to use so decided on this recipe to try it out I thought it was pretty good. My chops were alot bigger then 1/2 inch thick and so the season was not very strong so try and stick with 1/2 chops for this. But all in all it was super fast and easy being a slow cooker meal but just cuz we are not big pork eaters I give it a 3 1/2 but im sure you would like it more if you enjoy pork