Sunday, November 15, 2009

Fudge Crinkles

1 box (1 lb 2.25 oz) devil's food cake mix with pudding
1/2 c vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 t vanilla
1/3 c powdered sugar

Heat oven to 350. In large bowl mix cake mix, oil, eggs, and vanilla with spoon until dough forms. Shape dough into 1" balls. Roll balls in powdered sugar. On ungreased cookie sheet, place balls about 2" apart. Bake 10-12 minutes or until set. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. Store tightly covered.

***I melted a handful of mint-flavored chocolate chips in the microwave then drizzled it on some cookies. My daughter is a mint fanatic and went nuts over these cookies!

Stuffing and Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

2 c stuffing
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 slices ham
1 can cream of chicken
1 T dijon mustard
1 c shredded swiss cheese

Preheat oven to 400. Prepare stuffing. Lay chicken in 9x13" pan. Cover with ham. Mix soup and dijon. Spoon over chicken. Top with stuffing. Bake for 25 minutes or till chicken is cooked through. Cover with cheese. Bake an additional 5 minutes.

Healthier Version: I don't use any butter when I make the stuffing and I only use 1/2 c grated swiss cheese.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Pumpkin Cream Puffs

1/2 c water
1/4 c butter, cubed
1 T sugar
1/2 c flour
1/2 t pumpkin pie spice
2 eggs

4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 c canned pumpkin
2 T sugar
1/2 t pumpkin pie spice
3/4 c whipped topping

FROSTING (for jack-o'-lanterns):
1/2 c powdered sugar
2 t butter, softened
1/4 t vanilla
1-2 t milk
green and orange food coloring
1 T baking cocoa

In a small saucepan, bring the water, butter and sugar to a boil. Combine flour and pie spice and add to water mixture all at once and stir until a smooth ball forms. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue beating until mixture is smooth and shiny. Drop 12 rounded tablespoons 2 " apart onto a greased baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 25-35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to a wire rack. Immediately split puffs open; remove tops and set aside. Discard soft dough from inside. Cool puffs.
For filling, in a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, pumpkin, sugar and pie spice until smooth. Pipe into cream puffs. Top each with 1 T whipped topping; replace tops.

***I usually double entire recipe.

Jack-o'-lanterns: For frosting, in a small bowl, combine powdered sugar, butter, vanilla, and enough milk to achieve desired consistency. Tint 1 T frosting green and 2 t orange, and set aside. Stir cocoa into remaining frosting. Pipe jack-o'-lantern faces with orange and chocolate frosting. Pipe stems with green frosting.

Pumpkin Cupcakes

These fluffy cupcakes are lightly sweetened with maple syrup and pineapple instead of sugar . The cream cheese frosting is the perfect addition to give it a creamy sweet kick.

2/3 c shortening
2 eggs
3/4 c maple syrup
1/2 c milk
2 c flour
1 1/4 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 t baking soda
1/2 t ground ginger
1/2 t ground allspice
1 c canned pumpkin
1 can (8 oz) crushed pineapple, drained
1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/4 c butter, softened
1 t vanilla
2 c powdered sugar

In a large bowl, beat shortening until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition (mixture will appear curdled). Beat in syrup and milk. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt baking soda, ginger, and allspice. Add to shortening mixture and beat just till moistened. Stir in pumpkin and pineapple.
Fill paper-lined muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to a wire rack to cool completely.
For frosting, in a small bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add vanilla and powdered sugar. Beat until smooth. Frost cupcakes.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Edible Eyeballs

doughnut holes
white dipping chocolate
red gel frosting tube
junior mints
plastic forks

Insert forks into doughnut holes. Slowly melt chocolate. Remove from heat and dip doughnut holes into chocolate. Use a wire rack (set on bowls) or styrofoam block to stand up forks. Put junior mints on dipped doughnuts for pupil. When chocolate is set, make squiggly lines with red gel frosting for veins.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is your basic pumpkin chocolate chip cookie recipe. (Except softer and yummier.)
1 c canned pumpkin
1 c white sugar
1/2 c vegetable oil
1 egg
2 c all-purpose flour
2 t baking powder
2 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t salt
1 t baking soda
1 t milk
1 T vanilla extract
2 c chocolate chips
1/2 c chopped walnuts (optional)

Combine pumpkin, sugar, vegetable oil, and egg. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon, and salt. Dissolve the baking soda with the milk and stir in. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and mix well. Add vanilla, chocolate chips, and nuts. Drop by spoonful on greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 10 minutes or until lightly brown.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Zucchini Bread

Combine in bowl:

3 c flour
1 t baking soda
1/4 t baking powder
3 t cinnamon
1 t salt

Beat 3 eggs until fluffy then add:
2 c sugar
3/4 c oil
2 t vanilla
2 1/2 c grated zucchini
1/2 c nuts (optional)
1 bag milk chocolate chips (optional)

Blend mixtures together and pour into greased loaf pans. (2 large or 3 small) Bake at 325 degrees for 50 minutes or until done.

***My favorite way to make this is to crush the nuts then put them on the dough just before baking. It makes the crust extra crunchy. YUMMMMMMM!

Broccoli, Chicken, and Cheese Casserole

2 pkgs frozen broccoli
2-3 cups cooked chicken, cut up
2 eggs
1/2 c shredded cheese
1 can crm of chicken
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 c mayonnaise

Cook broccoli according to package directions. Add all ingredients together. Mix well and pour into a baking dish. Bake 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees until hot and bubbly. Serve over rice.

Key Lime Coolers

1 c butter or margarine, softened
1/2 c powdered sugar
1 3/4 c flour
1/4 c cornstarch
1 T grated lime peel
1/2 t vanilla
granulated sugar

Key Lime Glaze:

1/2 c powdered sugar
2 t grated lime peel

In a small bowl, mix all ingredients with spoon until smooth.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, beat butter and powdered sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, or mix with spoon. Stir in flour, cornstarch, lime peel and vanilla until well blended. Shape dough into 1" balls. On ungreased cookie sheet, place balls about 2" apart. Press bottom of glass into dough to grease, then dip into granulated sugar; press on shaped dough until 1/4" thick. Bake 9-11 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely about 30 minutes. Brush with key lime glaze.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

I'm back!

I'm back after unintentionally taking the summer off from blogging. Happy cooking and ENJOY!

Chocolate Zucchini Cookies

1/2 c butter, softened
1/2 c white sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
1 egg
1 t vanilla
2 1/8 c flour
1/3 c cocoa
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
2 c shredded zucchini
chocolate chips, optional

Preheat oven to 350. Grease cookie sheets. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Gradually stir into the creamed mixture. Fold in the grated zucchini. Stir in chocolate chips if desired. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheets. Bake 8-10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Zucchini Brownies with Hot Fudge Frosting

2 c flour
1 1/2 c sugar
1/4 c cocoa
1/2 t baking soda
1 t salt
1/2 c oil
2 t vanilla
2 - 2 1/2 c shredded zucchini

Sift flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt together. Mix oil, vanilla, and zucchini together. Combine the 2 mixtures. Bake in greased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Hot Fudge Frosting (optional):
1/2 c margarine
2 T cocoa
14 c milk
3 1/2 c powdered sugar
1 t vanilla

In saucepan, combine margarine, cocoa, and milk to boiling, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and mix in the powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Pour warm frosting over the brownies as soon as they come out of the oven. Cool before cutting.

Chocolate and Caramel Marshmallows

1 bag regular marshmallows
1 lb melting chocolate
1 lb caramels
1/4 c whipping cream

Place chocolate in glass bowl. Put on top of a pan in boiling water. Stir until melted. Reduce heat. In a microwave safe bowl, combine caramels and cream. Microwave on high until caramels are melted and bubbling, stirring frequently. Let cool slightly. Dip marshmallows in caramel then chocolate. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.

Chewy Toffee Almond Bars

1 c butter, softened
1/2 c sugar
2 c flour
1 1/3 c (8 oz pkg) Heath Bits 'O Brickle Toffee Bits
3/4 c light corn syrup
1 c sliced almonds, divided
3/4 c sweetened coconut flakes, divided

Heat oven to 350. Grease sides of 13x9x2" baking pan. Beat butter and sugar with electric mixer until fluffy. Gradually add flour, beating until well blended. Press dough evenly into prepared pan. Bake 15-20 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Meanwhile, combine toffee bits and corn syrup in medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until toffee is melted (about 10-12 minutes). Stir in 1/2 c almonds and 1/2 c coconut. Spread toffee mixture to within 1/4" of edges of crust. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 c almonds and remaining 1/2 c coconut over top. Bake an additional 15 minutes or until bubbly. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars.

Grilled Pizza

My husband and I experimented with grilling pizza and absolutely loved it. I like mine covered in veggies, my husband likes meat, and my kids like cheese. We made little individual pizzas for each of our likings with the added benefit of having a smoky flavor in the crust. Here's how to do it:

Prepare all your toppings before your dough is on the grill.
Make your dough. I used a mix to make things easy. Don't use a rolling pin because it will make the dough too thin. It worked the best when I pressed it with my fingers.
Preheat your grill on medium low then put your dough directly on the grate. Pop the bubbles as they form.
When one side is done use tongs to turn.
Quickly put your sauce and toppings on. Don't let the dough burn! Shut the lid and let the cheese melt. If the dough is already cooked, place pizza in the oven on low heat until cheese is melted.


Ramen Chicken Salad

1 small bunch green onions
2 chicken breasts, cooked and diced
2 pkgs ramen noodles, broken not cooked
1 pkg cole slaw
2 T sesame seeds
2 T slivered almonds
2 T sunflower seeds

Mix ingredients together.

1/2 c vegetable oil
2 T soy sauce
3 T sugar
1/4 t pepper
2 T vinegar
2 pkgs of ramen noodle seasoning

Mix together with a whip and pour sauce over other ingredients. Stir until completely combined and chill in fridge. I like it best if chilled overnight.


For my daughter's Hannah Montana birthday party I decided to try my first fondant cake. She described what she wanted and I gave it a try. It ended up being do much fun and so cute! With the leftover fondant I make some flowers for cupcakes. For recipes and directions on using fondant go to

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Chicken Salad Sandwiches

I have no idea how I would survive the summer without this recipe. I've had several different recipes for chicken salad but this beats all. To make it even healthier I sometimes make it into a lettuce wrap. Yum!

2 c chicken
1 c grapes
1/2 c celery
1/4 c dried onions
1/2 t celery salt
1/2 c sliced almonds
3/4 c mayonnaise
1/2 c lemon yogurt
chow mien noodles

Mix all ingredients together. Serve in bagels or croissants.

Healthier and yummier version:
1 can (Costco's Kirkland brand) chicken
1 1/2 c grapes
1/2 c celery
1/4 c dried onions
1/2 t celery salt
1/3 c sliced almonds
1/8 c mayonnaise
1 1/2 containers or 9 oz lemon yogurt (I use Yoplait light lemon cream pie yogurt)
small handful of chow mien noodles

Makes 14 1/4 c servings at 69 calories each.

Creamy Cheesecake with Strawberry Topping

1 8oz pkg cream cheese, softened
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/3 c lemon juice
1 t vanilla
graham cracker crust

Mix first 4 ingredients and pour into crust. Chill. Cover with strawberry topping.

Strawberry Topping (otherwise used as a pie filling):
3/4-1 c smashed strawberries
3 Tb cornstarch
1 c sugar
1 Tb lemon juice
1/2 c water
red food coloring

Cook until mixture thickens.
For a strawberry pie, pour over fresh strawberries sliced into a baked pie shell. Cool. Serve with whipped cream.

Creamy Chicken Lasagna

1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
6 uncooked lasagna noodles
1 cube chicken bouillon
1/4 c hot water
1 8oz pkg cream cheese, softened
2 c shredded mozzarella cheese
1 26oz jar spaghetti sauce

Bring large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles for 8-10 minutes or until a-dent. Drain and rinse with cold water and set aside. Dissolve bouillon cube in hot water. In large bowl, mix chicken with bouillon, cream cheese, and 1 c mozzarella cheese. Spread 1/3 spaghetti sauce in 9" square baking dish. (I used 9x13.) Cover with the chicken mixture and top with lasagna noodles;repeat. Top with remaining sauce and sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake 45 minutes at 350 degrees.
I would recommend doubling layers for a larger family.

Healthier version:
Use light cream cheese, and only 3/4 c mozzarella cheese. With substitutions, it makes 12 servings at 189 calories each. With regular cream cheese it's 215 calories per serving.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hey All Viewers!

I've gotten behind in my posting and I apologize. Today I finally caught up, so I hope you enjoy the newest 8 posts. Bon appetite everyone!

Easter Story Cookies (or Savior Cookies)

Object lesson that teaches the Easter story while making a treat.

You Need:
1 c whole pecans
1 tsp vinegar
3 egg whites
pinch salt
1 c sugar
zipper baggies
wooden spoon
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. This is important! Don't wait until you're 1/2 done with the recipe.

Activity Description:
To make the evening before Easter.
Place pecans in zipper baggies and let children beat them with the wooden spoon to break into small pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested He was beaten by the Roman soldiers. Read John 19:1-3. Don't add nuts until the end.
Let each child smell the vinegar. Put 1 tsp vinegar into mixing bowl. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross, He was given vinegar to drink. Read John 19:28-30.
Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life. Read John 10:10-11.
Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl. Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus' followers, and the bitterness of our own sin. Read Luke 23:27.
So far, the ingredients are not very appetizing. Add 1 c sugar. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know Him and belong to Him. Read Psalm 34:8 and John 3:16.
Beat with a mixer on high speed for 15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed. Explain that the color white represents the purity of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus. Read Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3.
Fold in broken nuts. Drop by teaspoons onto a wax paper covered cookie sheet. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus' body was laid. Read Matthew 27:57-60.
Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF. Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. Explain that Jesus' tomb was sealed. Read Matthew 27:65-66.
Go to bed! Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight. Jesus' followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed. Read John 16:20 and 22.
On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow! (Even though it's hard to tell in the picture.) On the first Easter, Jesus' followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty. Read Matthew 28:1-9.

Orange Creamsicle Cheesecake

2 8 oz pkgs cream cheese, softened
1/2 c granulated sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 c sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp orange extract (for a stronger orange flavor, I added the gratings of 1 orange peel to the extract)
2 drops yellow food coloring
1 drop red food coloring

1 9" graham cracker crust
whipped cream
orange segments, peeled

Preheat oven to 350. In large bowl, using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat well. Add sour cream and vanilla and beat well. Place 1 c of creamed mixture in small bowl and stir in the orange extract and food coloring (I at least tripled the food coloring.) Pour remaining cream cheese mixture into crust. Spoon orange cream mixture on top by tablespoons, then swirl with a knife to create a marbled effect. Bake 30-35 minutes or until firm around the edges. Allow to cool 1 hour then cover and chill for at least 8 hours before serving. Serve with orange segments and whipped cream.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

deli sliced beef, turkey, or other deli meat
2 lbs chicken breasts
deli sliced ham

2 cans cream of chicken soup
8 oz sour cream
1/4 c milk
4 oz cream cheese (softened)

Layer bottom of 9x13 pan with beef, turkey, or other deli meat. Cut chicken into 8 tenders. Wrap chicken in ham. Spread sauce over top of chicken. Cover and bake at 350 for 1 hour.

Healthier version:
For sauce use 1/3 reduced fat cream cheese and skim milk. I only use 1/2 the sauce recipe and it is plenty. I use 10 slices of lean thin deli sliced turkey on the bottom (10 calories per slice). I use 2 thin slices of ham per tender (about 24 calories per slice). With all substitutions, it makes 8 servings at 332 each. Without wrapping the chicken in ham, each serving is 284 calories.

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Pie

Like a giant peanut butter cup!

1 9" oreo pie crust
1 egg white
1/2 c chocolate chips
1 pkg cream cheese, softened
1/2 c peanut butter
1 1/2 cans sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 c confectioners' sugar
1 8 oz container whipped topping

Brush crust with egg white and bake according to package directions for "crisp" crust. Place chocolate chips in a small microwaveproof bowl and heat on 50% power until melted, about 1 minute. Spread melted chocolate over bottom and up the sides of the pie crust. Refrigerate.

In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, peanut butter, condensed milk, and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until creamy. Beat in confectioners' sugar. Fold in whipped topping.

Spoon mixture into chilled pie shell. Smooth top. Return to refrigerator and chill completely before serving.

The crust was very difficult to cut. I would recommend using just an oreo or chocolate crumb crust without the melted chocolate chips. I topped the pie with reeses peanut butter cup crumbs and drizzled melted choc chips on top. That made it plenty chocolatey. The filling actually makes enough for 2 pies.

Mint Brownies

1 c butter plus 1 Tb
2 c sugar
2 tsp vanilla
4 eggs
1 1/2 c flour
1/2 c cocoa
1 c nuts, optional

Mint Frosting:
1/2 c margarine
4 Tb milk
2 tsp mint extract
1 lb powdered sugar
green food coloring

melt 1/2 c margarine and 2 c chocolate chips

Bake brownies on jelly roll size pan at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Cool brownies. Frost with mint frosting then chill for 20 minutes. Spread slightly cooled icing over frosting. Chill until icing hardens.

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

1 can cream of chicken soup
1 c sour cream
1 can green chiles (my kids only let me put in 1/2 can)
1/2-1 lb chicken breast, cooked and shredded or 1 lg can chicken (I use Kirkland brand canned chicken.)
grated cheese

Layer: tortillas, sauce, cheese in casserole dish (I layer three times) and bake at 425 for 30 minutes or until bubbly.

Healthier version:
Use 4 1/2 1oo calorie tortillas, 3/4 c sour cream and 1/4 c skim milk, and only 4 oz shredded cheese for the entire casserole. To get away with using less tortillas, I use a smaller casserole dish. Calories with substitutions is 207 per 1/8th of casserole.

Mexican Bean Casserole

1 lb ground beef
2 tsp minced onion
1/4 c chopped green pepper
1 taco seasoning mix
2 c cooked rice
2 cans tomato sauce
2 cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
8 oz sour cream
grated cheese
1 can olives, optional
tortilla chips

Brown ground beef, onion, and green pepper. Drain fat. Add taco mix and water. Cook rice. Add to meat mixture: tomato sauce, kidney beans, cooked rice, and olives (save enough to put on top). Put in 9x13 pan. Spread on sour cream and cheese and garnish with olives. Line pan with tortilla chips. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Serve with tortilla chips.

Healthier version:
Use only 1/2 lb ground beef and only 2 oz grated cheddar cheese. Calories with substitutions is 227 for 1/12th of casserole (not including tortilla chips).

Chicken Tacos

2-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 c chicken broth
1 c salsa
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 pkg taco seasoning

cooked rice

grated cheese, lettuce, sour cream, and other taco toppings

Put chicken and sauce in crock pot. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high 3-4 hours. Once chicken is cooked, shred chicken then put back in sauce. Stir in desired amount of cooked rice.

Healthier version: Without rice, there is 110 calories per 1/4 c serving. Makes 19 servings. Calories does not include tortillas and toppings.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Hearty Chicken Noodle Soup

3 c chicken soup stock or chicken broth (use 1/4-1/2 c more for a thinner soup)
2 t chicken soup base or 2 bouillon cubes
2 c chopped celery
2 c chopped carrots
3/4 c chopped onions
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1/2 c milk
2 c (1 lb) diced cooked chicken
1 8oz pkg egg noodles, precooked (4 c cooked)

Heat chicken soup stock and base. Add celery, carrots, and onions. Simmer until vegetables are tender. Add soup and milk. Add cooked chicken and noodles. Salt and pepper to taste.

Healthier version:
I use whole wheat noodles, low sodium chicken broth, and skim milk. Calories with substitutions is 128 per 1/2 c serving. Makes 9 cups.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Royal Icing

Royal icing is so much fun, so easy, and a blast to experiment with. It creates a flawless, smooth frosting that is perfect for holiday cookies. The icing doesn't taste as good as regular frosting so I would recommend using a sweeter sugar cookie recipe to compensate. Here's some of the cookies I made with my daughter and her friend.

5 c confectioner's sugar
3 egg whites (may be substituted with meringue powder if you can't have raw eggs)
In a large bowl, mix egg whites until foamy. Add confectioner's sugar till completely combined. Slowly add water and mix until a ribbon-like consistency is formed. For a thicker consistency just add more sugar. A thicker consistency is used for outlining or adding detail. Thinner consistency is needed for flooding the icing on the cookie. Place icing in a ziploc bag with the corner barely snipped.
To frost:
Outline cookie with icing. Partially fill in then spread with toothpick to flood icing. The icing will harden quickly, creating a smooth surface. To create a tie-dye effect, after flooding the icing (before it dries) make horizontal stripes with a different color. Starting at the top, drag a toothpick through the icing. Make plenty of cookies so you can experiment until you get the hang of it. To make hearts, make polka dots then drag a toothpick through it.