Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Caribbean Spiced Ribs

These tasted so good! My only mistake was that I bought beef ribs instead of pork so they were really fatty. That kind of grossed me out but it definitely won't keep me from making this again. (Next time with pork of course)

3 lb. pork loin back ribs
2 tablespoons instant minced onion (I substituted onion powder)
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 medium onion, sliced (I omitted)
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cups BBQ sauce

1. Spray inside of a 5- 6-quart slow cooker with cooking spray

2. In small bowl, mix instant minced onion, mustard, red pepper, allspice, cinnamon and garlic powder, Rub mixture into ribs. Cut ribs into 4-inch pieces. Layer ribs and sliced onions in slow cooker. Pour water over ribs.

3. Cover and cook on Low heat setting 8 to 9 hours.

4. Remove ribs from cooker; drain and discard liquid from cooker. Pour barbecue sauce into shallow bowl; dip ribs into sauce. Place ribs in cooker. Por any remaining sauce over ribs. Cover and cook on Low heat setting 1 hour.

- from Betty Crocker Cookbook pg. 158

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Pork Roast with Italian Dressing

This was incredible! It was so tender and juicy. Although Nick won't take full credit, he actually made it.

Pork Shoulder (Mine was 5.5 lbs.)
Italian Dressing (16 oz. bottle)

Put pork in crock-pot and smother with entire bottle of Italian dressing. We cooked it on high for 8 hours. I served it with Mary B's Buttertaste biscuits (these are found in the frozen food section of Wal-Mart and they are fabulous!), mashed potatoes and green beans. It was the perfect home-cooked, conuntry meal.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Poppyseed Chicken

How about the easiest meal ever? This is it! My mom made this and said that it was better the second day. She said that the first night they ate it, it was a little soupy but the next night it was more like a casserole. So, I made it and refridgerated it until the next night. It was delicious.

2 cups cooked, chopped chicken
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
1- 8 oz. container Sour Cream
1 sleeve Ritz Crackers
1 stick melted butter
1 1/2 tsp. poppy seeds (I didn't measure. I just sprinkled until it looked good.)

Mix Chicken, Soup and Sour Cream. Spread in casserole dish. Crumble up crackers and mix with melted butter. Sprinkle crackers on chicken mixture. Sprinkle poppy seeds on top. Bake at 350 until bubbly.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Fudgy Brownies

This was my first attempt at making brownies from scratch and they were fabulous! Okay, I lie...the first time I made them was when I was responsible for dessert on pizza night at Nick's parent's house. Since I am so into cooking now, I can't do anything simple anymore. If I am asked to bring brownies, I can't make them from the box, I have to go all out and make them from scratch. So, the first time I made them I didn't have enough time to let them finish baking in my oven and had to take them out half-way through and finished baking them in my mother-in-law's oven. They came out as pure brown goo. Don't get me wrong, they tasted amazing but they had to be eaten with a fork. The second time I made them however, they were perfect. Perfectly fudgy and moist. Nick even said that they were the best brownies he has ever had. He's such a tease. :) I was so amazed at how easy they were to make! I'll never make brownies from the box again. (No offense Betty Crocker)

Fudgy Brownies from Martha Stewart

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter and more for pan
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Line pan with parchment paper, leaving a 1-inch overhang on two sides. Set aside.
Melt butter and chocolate together using double boiler method. Remove from heat, and let cool for about 10-15 minutes.
Stir sugar into chocolate mixture until combined. Whisk in eggs one at a time, whisking until smooth after each. Whisk in vanilla. Gently fold in flour and salt.
Pour batter into pan, and smooth top. Bake until a tester comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached, 40-45 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack to cool completely.
Run a knife or offset spatula around the edges of the pan. Using parchment, remove brownies from pan and onto the rack. Cut into squares. Brownies can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Lilcrablegs from my cooking board shared this wonderful recipe with me. Thank you Bethany! http://bethanyjg.blogspot.com/search/label/Dessert

Caramel Apple Cheesecake

Yum! This is the easiest cheesecake recipe ever and we all know that I love easy.

1 (21-ounce) can apple pie filling
1 (9-inch) graham cracker crust
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese , softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/4 cup caramel topping
12 pecan halves (I omitted)
2 tablespoons chopped pecans (I omitted)

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
Remove 3/4 cup of apple pie filling and set aside. Spoon remaining filling into pie crust. In a medium bowl, beat together cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add eggs and beat well. Pour over apple filling.
Bake for 35 minutes, or until center is set. Cool on a wire rack.
Combine reserved apple pie filling and caramel topping in a small saucepan. Heat over moderate heat until spreadable, but not hot. Spoon over cooled cheesecake and spread evenly. Decorate the edge with pecan halves and sprinkle the top with chopped pecans. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Submitted by Mary Gordon to cooksrecipes.com

Thursday, November 13, 2008

BBQ Pork

This was so incredibly easy. My very sweet husband said that this was the best BBQ he has ever had.

1 Hormel Mesquite BBQ pre-seasoned pork tenderloin
1 bottle Kraft Thick and Spicy BBQ sauce

Put the tenderloin in a crock pot on high. Pour a little water over the tenderloin to keep it moist. Let it cook for several hours. (I'm sorry I don't know the exact amount of time) When it is no longer pink, pour the bottle of BBQ sauce in with the pork. Fill the empty bottle half-way with water and pour in the crock-pot. Serve as a sandwich on garlic bread.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Vegetable Soup

According to my sweet husband, this is the best vegetable soup he has ever had. Awww...
And talk about easy!!

1 lb. lean ground beef or turkey (browned and drained)
1 jar Ragu Traditional spaghetti sauce (Any brand of spaghetti sauce would probably work but Ragu has a sweet flavor which is perfect for vegetable soup)
1 bag frozen vegetables for soup
1 cup chicken broth (1 can)
1 can Rotel tomatoes (Original flavor added the perfect amount of spice for us)
A couple of dashes of onion powder (we don't eat onions so I use this as a substitute)
Lots of dashes of salt
Ritz crackers (vegetable soup isn't vegetable soup without Ritz crackers)

Throw ingredients in crock pot for several hours or on stove for a shorter amount of time. It's ready when the veggies are tender.

- Compliments of my wonderful mother

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Banana Coconut Muffins

YUM! I got this recipe from my friend Jenn after she raved about them. (www.madewithlovebyjenn.blogspot.com) This was my first attempt at making muffins from scratch and I was amazed at how easy it was!

Servings: Makes 8 (For some reason I ended up with 15. Who knows?)

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 very ripe bananas, mashed (3/4 cup)
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, melted
2/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line muffin cups with liners. (I used my silicone muffin pan and just sprayed on a little Pam) Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in bowl. Whisk together bananas, butter, sugar, egg, vanilla, and 1/2 cup coconut in large bowl until combined well, then fold in flour mixture until flour is just moistened.
Divide batter into 8 muffin cups and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup coconut. Bake until muffins are puffed and golden, about 25 minutes. Transfer muffind to a rack and cool slightly.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Pumpkin Cheesecake

This was wonderful! I was too impatient to let it cool before taking a bite because it smelled so good. I even ate a piece for breakfast. Oops!
For the gingersnap crust:
1/4 lb. gingersnaps (about 20 small cookies)
1/3 cup pecan halves (I omitted)
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 lb. cream cheese, at room temperature (2 8 oz. blocks in case you are as bad with conversions as I am!)
3 eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree

For the topping: (I omitted the topping)
1/2 cup pecan halves
1 Tbs. unsalted butter
2 Tbs. granulated sugar

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Lightly butter a 9-inch springform pan. To make the crust, in a food processor, combine the gingersnaps and pecans and process until crumbly. Add the brown sugar and melted butter and pulse for a few seconds to blend. Transfer the crumb mixture to the prepared pan. Use your fingers to pat the mixture into the bottom and evenly all the way up the sides of the pan. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
To make the filling, in a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, ginger and cloves. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Using a rubber spatula, occasionally scrape down the sides of the bowl. Gradually add the brown sugar mixture, beating until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the pumpkin puree, beating until smooth. Using the rubber spatula, scrape the batter into the chilled crust and smooth the top. Bake the cheesecake until set or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes.
Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
To make the topping, set aside 10 pecan halves and coarsely chop the rest. In a small fry pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add all of the pecans, sprinkle with the granulated sugar and cook, stirring, until the sugar melts and the nuts are toasted and caramel coated. Transfer the nut mixture to a plate and let cool completely, then store in an airtight container. Just before serving, sprinkle the chopped pecans over the cheesecake and arrange the halves evenly around the perimeter. Serves 10 to 12.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma, Thanksgiving Entertaining, by Lou Seibert Pappas (Simon & Schuster, 2005 ). Given to me by Addie and Kelsey from my Cooking Board

Friday, September 12, 2008

Easy Kool-Aid Pie

This is perhaps the easiest dessert I have ever made. It is delicious! I have tried using the Kool-Aid Lemonade and I love it! a slice of this pie is only 2 pts. on the Weight Watcher's diet.

1 pack of Kool-Aid
1 can light sweetened condensed milk
1 small container of light Cool Whip
1 graham cracker pie crust
Mix Kool-Aid, condensed milk and Cool Whip. Pour in pie crust. Chill or freeze.
-compliments of Nick's grandmother

Use orange Kool-Aid and mix in a can of drained mandarin oranges.
-idea given by Veniceforever on my cooking board

Use Strawberry Kool-Aid and mix in frozen strawberries

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Fried Pork Chops

A southern tradition and one of my very favorite dishes!

To be completely honest...I am not sure if the measurements are right in this recipe. It was one of my experimental meals and I didn't measure anything. The recipe is more or less a guideline. It's hard to mess up so just have fun with it!

3-4 boneless pork chops
1 egg
2 cups flour
1 tsp. white pepper (or to taste)
1 tsp. red pepper (or to taste)
salt (again...or to taste)
black pepper (you guessed it! Add more or less according to your taste)
vegetable oil

Soak the pork chops in a container of salt water for at least 30 minutes. They can be soaked overnight if desired. Pour vegetable in a shallow skillet and allow to get hot. Mix flour, salt and peppers. Whisk a single egg. Roll the pork chops in the egg and then coat with the flour mixture. Spread a couple of paper towels on a plate. Place the pork chops in the skillet. When the breading starts turning brown and center of the pork chops are white they are ready! Remove from oil and place on the paper towel lined plate.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is what happens when you let a man in the kitchen...he will roll a cookie dough ball into the size of his fist. I was surprised that it turned out so well! He said that it was the best cookie he had ever had!

These are truly the best homemade cookies I have ever had! While eating them I was in shock and kept saying, "I can't believe that I made these!" Thank you Chelley for sharing this wonderful recipe!

2 cups plus 2 tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
12 Tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled until warm
1 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1- 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1. Adjust the oven racks to the upper- and lower-middle positions and heat the oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or spray them with nonstick cooking spray. ( I used my Pampered Chef Pizza Stone and it worked great!)

2. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in medium bowl, set aside.

3. Either by hand or with an electric mixer, mix the butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Beat in the egg, yolk, and vanilla until combined. Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed just until combined.

4. Roll a scant 1/4 cup of the dough into a ball. Hold the dough with the fingertips of both hands and pull into 2 equal halves. Rotate the halves 90 degrees and, with jagged surfaces facing up, join the halves together at their base, again forming a single ball, being careful not to smooth the dough's uneven surface. Place the formed dough balls on the prepared baking sheets, jagged surface up, spacing them 2 1/2 inches apart.
(Or roll the dough into small balls and spread a part on cookie sheet. This is what I did because I'm lazy.)

5. Bake until the cookies are light golden brown and the outer edges start to harden yet the centers are still soft and puffy, 15-18 minutes, rotating the baking sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through the baking time. Cool the cookies on the sheets. Remove the cooled cookies from the baking sheets with a side metal spatula.
- taken from the Brown-eyed Baker and Baking Illustrated, pg. 434

Taco Chili

This is my favorite chili. I could literally eat it for lunch and dinner every day!

1 lb. ground beef
1 small can tomato sauce
2 cans pinto beans
1 pkg. Taco seasoning
2 cans Ro-Tel tomatoes (mild to spicy, according to taste)
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook beef, salt and pepper together. Drain. Put in crock pot. Add remaining ingredients and stir well. Simmer for 1 hour or all day in crock pot on low. Serve over Fritos and top with shredded cheese.
Note: For traditional chili substitute red kidney beans for pintos and chili seasoning for taco seaso ning.
-compliments of my mom

Blueberry Crunch

This is delicious! A neat thing about it is that it can be served as a side dish or as dessert topped with ice cream.

1 16 oz. can crushed pineapple
3 C. blueberries- fresh or frozen
1/2 c. sugar- sprinkle over blueberries
1 pkg. yellow cake mix- sprinkle over everything in pan
1 stick butter or margarine- pour over cake mix
1 C. chopped pecans- sprinkle over cake mix
Butter 9 by 13" baking dish. layer ingredients as listed and DON'T STIR. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.
-compliments of my mom and grandmother

Heath Bar Cake

There are no words to describe just how good this cake is. It is so rich. The longer it sits in the refridgerator, the more time the cake has to absorb the caramel mixture and the better it is! It is great made ahead.

1 box German Chocolate cake mix
1 jar caramel topping
1 can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed milk
7 Heath Bars
1 tub Cool Whip

Bake cake according to directions on box. While baking, mix Eagle's Brand and caramel topping. While still hot, poke holes in cake and pour caramel mixture over. Cool. Spread Cool Whip evenly over cake. Crush Heath Bars and sprinkle over Cool Whip. Best when served cold.
-compliments of my mom

Easy Butterfinger Pie

7 Butterfinger candy bars (regular size)
1 large tub Cool Whip
2 graham cracker pie crusts

Crunch Butterfingers into Cool Whip tub. Stir together. Pour mixture into pie crusts and freeze until hardened. Drizzle with chocolate syrup if desired.
-compliments of my mom

Lemon Velvet Chicken

1 Tbsp. flour
1 t. seasoned salt
2 or 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 Tbsp. butter
1 jar Alfredo sauce (I used Bertolli)
juice of 1 lemon

Mix flour and salt. Cover chicken with the mixture. Melt butter in hot pan, add chicken and cook for 5-10 minutes. Squeeze lemon over, add sauce, put on low and simmer for 10-20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Serve over fettucini.
- compliments of Whitney Akin

French Dip Sandwich

2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 cans beef consomme or beef broth
1 1/2 pounds deli sliced roast beef
Grill seasoning blend for steak
4 sub buns

In a large, shallow skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add flour to butter and cook a minute longer. Whisk in consomme in a slow stream. Bring sauce to a bubble and allow to simmer over low heat until ready to serve sandwiches.
Pile meat loosely across a cutting board. Season meat with grill seasoning With a pair of kitchen tongs, dip meat into loose au jus sauce and pile into rolls. Put remaining sauce into cups for dipping.
- adapted from Rachael Ray

Upside Down Pizza

1 lb. ground beef
1 8oz. container Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 8oz. carton sour cream
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Brown and drain meat. Return to skillet and add spaghetti sauce. Stir and heat through. Pour meat mixture into lightly greased 9 by 13 casserole dish. Spread sour cream evenly over meat mixture and sprinkle cheese evenly over sour cream. Unroll crezcent rolls and lay over cheese. Bake, uncovered at 350 for 20 minutes.
-compliments of my mom

Fun Foods For Kids

S'Mores on a Stick
1 can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk- divided
1 1/2 cups milk chocolate mini chips- divided
1 cup mini marshmallows
11 whole graham crackers, halved crosswise
Toppings: chopped peanuts, mini M&M's , sprinkles
11 popscicle sticks

Microwave half of Eagle Brand in microwave-safe bowl at HIGH for 1 1 /2 minutes. Stir in 1 cip chocolate chips until smooth; stir in marshmallows.

Spread evenly by heaping tablespoonfuls onto 11 graham cracker halves. Top with remaining graham cracker halves; place on waxed paper.

Microwave remaing Eagle Brand for 1 1/2 minutes; stir in remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chips, stirring until smooth. Drizzle mixture over cookies and sprinkle with desired toppings.

Let stand for 2 hours; insert a popscicle stick in center of each cookie.
- adapted from Eagle Brand Holiday Cookbook

Cookie Pizza
1 roll refriderated sugar cookie dough
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 cups M&M's
2 cups mini marshmallows
1/2 cup peanuts

Preheat oven to 375. Press cookie dough into 2 ungreased 12-inch pizza pans. Bake 10 miutes or until golden.

In Medium sauce-pan, melt chips with Eagle brand. Spread over crusts. Sprinkle with milk chocolate candies, marshmallows and peanuts.

Bake 4 minutes or until marshmallows are lightly toasted. Cool. Cut into wedges.
- adapted from Eagle Brand Holiday Cookbook

Monday, July 28, 2008


1/2 cup ketchup
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 cup Bisquick mix
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 egg

Pre-heat oven to 450°. In small bowl, stir ketchup and brown sugar until mixed; reserve 1/4 cup for topping. In large bowl, stir remaining ingredients and remaining ketchup mixture until well mixed.

Spray 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray. Place meat mixture in pan; pat into 12x4-inch rectangle. Brush loaves with remaining ketchup mixture.

Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until loaves are no longer pink in center.
- adapted from Betty Crocker
http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/recipe.aspx?recipeID=33723&Source=SearchResultPage&terms=mini meatloaves

Monday, July 14, 2008

Italian Oven Baked Chicken

Italian Oven Baked Chicken
This is my own version of Chicken Parmesean. It has become a favorite at our house!
1 tbsp. butter
2/3 cup Bisquick
1 1/2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp. pepper
boneless skinless chicken breasts

- melt butter
- mix Bisquick and spices
- roll chicken in mixture- Bake for appx. 35 min.

Serve over spaghetti and marinara sauce. Top chicken with mozeralla cheese.
- recipe for chicken is comliments of Bisquick.

Mini Cheesecakes

1 1/2 cups graham cracker or chocolate wafer crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine, melted
3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1 can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 300. Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter; press equal portions onto bottoms of 24 lightly greased or paper-lined muffin cups.

In Large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in Eagle Brand until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla; mix well. Spoon equal amounts of mixture (about 3 Tbsp) into prepared cups. Bake dor 20 min. or until cakes spring back when lightly touched. Cool. Chill. Garnish as desired. Refridgerate leftovers.

Chocolate Mini Cheesecakes- Melt 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips; mix into batter. Proceed as above.
- adapted from Eagle Brand Holiday Cookbook

Southwest Rub

Southwest Rub
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. red pepper

This rub is great on grilled Pork or Chicken!