Friday, December 26, 2008

I hope everyone is having a very Merry Christmas holiday or a Happy Hanukkah. Sorry for the lack of posting. We have family here and have been spending all my time with them. But worry not! I have some yummy recipes in the works!!!

Until then I wish you all:


Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Smore's Kit

I have been pacing for a month now on what to share with my son's class for Christmas. Tomorrow is their last day of school and I finally figured out what to do. I found a Smore's Kit that I could make for each individual child. Really easy and terribly inexpensive to make. My primary kids will be getting the same kit. It was really fun to make too. My 4 year old got into the spirit and helped me put them together!

Smore's Kit
plastic baggie, sandwich size
marshmallows (I found the Christmas ones shaped like stars and trees)
snack size chocolate bars
graham crackers (I decided to use the chocolate graham crackers)

Put everything in plastic baggie and attach label. Hand out.

These are so cute, I just know the kids are going to love them. I just hope the graham crackers make it to school without breaking too much!!!

HAPPY EATING!!!!!!!!!!

Honey Mustard Pasta Salad

The husband has a work party tomorrow and signed up for a pasta salad. Instead of just grabbing something pre-made (which is what he was going to do), I decided to make him one. I went up and down the aisle's at the store looking for inspiration. I ended up with pasta and Ken's Honey Mustard salad dressing.
at this point if you make this put whatever you like in it.

Honey Mustard Pasta Salad

16oz Bowtie pasta, cooked and drained
1 pint grape tomatoes, rinsed
1 C grated cheddar cheese
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1/2 bottle of Honey Mustard salad dressing.

Mix all ingredients and refrigerate. The longer the better. Top with chopped parsley or dried parsley (that's what I had on hand).

This is one of those salads that really is made to your taste. Whatever you like, throw it in. I usually make a salad like this with some sort of Italian dressing but wanted to think outside of the box this time. I'm so glad I did. When I did the taste test, it was hard to put it in the container for the husband to take to work tomorrow. I wanted to sit there and eat the whole thing!!

HAPPY EATING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Sweet and Sour Pineapple Meatballs

Have I mentioned how much I do love Asian food? If you didn't know, let me remind you. Oh boy, I do love me some good Asian food. I love trying my hand at making it too. Most of the time it's soy sauce on pasta with a little broccoli thrown in for good measure. Not real creative. But lately i've been purposely searching for recipes. I recently stumbled upon this one. I was super excited about making it too. It uses most things you'll find in your pantry with the exception of pineapple, which I don't normally keep in my pantry. Otherwise it's fairly inexpensive to make and so full of flavor that I just can't stand it!!! I hope you enjoy it!

Sweet and Sour Pineapple Meatballs

salt and pepper to taste
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 pound ground beef (or if you prefer-turkey)
2 tbsp minced onion
1/4 C bread crumbs (store bought is fine-but I keep bread scrapes in my freezer for just such reasons)
1 egg
1/4 C buttermilk (if you have it-otherwise milk is fine)

1 tbsp oil
1 med. onion
1 med bell pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 C ketchup
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
2 tbsp vinegar
1 can chopped pineapple- reserve juice

Make meatballs. Mix ingredients.

Cook in preheated 425 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through.
Set aside while making sauce.

For the sauce, heat oil in med. pan and add chopped onion and bell peppers. Cook until tender, drain oil. Mix ketchup and vinegar in bowl and add to veggies. Open the can of pineapple and pour the juice into a bowl. Add the cornstarch and make a paste. Add to veggie mixture.
Cook, stirring for 3-5 minutes. Stir in pineapple chunks and simmer for another 3 -5 minutes.

Add cooked meatballs and heat through.

Serve over brown rice (or white rice if you'd rather have that-I just like brown rice).

This really was tasty and very filling. Let me know how you like it if you try it!

HAPPY EATING!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Kung Pao Chicken

I love Asian food. All things Asian food. But I'm not a fan of spicey. Can't handle it. So I try to find things that I can make that my spicey loving hubbie will eat that everyone else will enjoy. I've always wanted to try Kung Pao Chicken, but it is traditionaly very spicey. I know the hubbie likes it so I found this recipe. It did have chili paste in the ingredient list, but I left it out and I thought it was really good. You'll have to let me know what you think!

Kung Pao Chicken

1 pound chicken (I used thighs), cut into chunks
2 tbso chicken stock
2tbsp soy sauce
2tbsp sesame oil, divided
2 tbsp corn starch dissolved in 2 tbsp water
1 tsp white vinegar
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 green onions, chopped
1 tbsp garlic, minced

Marinade: 1 tbsp each, chicken stock, soy sauce, sesame oil and cornstarch. Mix together and place over chicken in a bowl. Cover and let marinade for about 30 minutes.

Sauce: Combine the other tbsp stock, soy sauce, sesame oil, and cornstarch. Add vinegar and sugar. Mix together and put into a medium pan. Add green onion and garlic. Heat sauce slowly.

Meanwhile after it has marinated, remove chicken and place in pan with heated sauce. Cook until chicken is no longer pink and sauce has thickened.

You can place this over cooked rice or angel hair pasta. It was really good and stick to your ribs filling!


Buttermilk Cheddar Biscuits

I love having biscuits with dinner. It's usually not a complete dinner without some sort of bread product with. I'm a product of a southern culture. My grandmother would make biscuits 3 times a day and I have yet to be able to duplicate her recipe. They were fabulous!! Of course I also can't recreate her fried chicken, but that's another story for another day. My grandmother was an awesome cook. My mom is too. I am trying to be. I did find this really yum recipe while watching BAREFOOT CONTESSA one day on Food Network. It's one of my favorite shows. She was doing brunch recipes and did this particular biscuit. I had buttermilk leftover in the fridge from the red velvet cake I made earlier. So this was perfect!

Buttermilk Cheddar Biscuits
2 C all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
12 tbsp cold butter (I used margarine and I couldn't tell a difference), diced
1/2 C cold buttermilk
1 cold extra large egg
1 C grated cheddar cheese
1 egg, beaten with 1 tsp water or milk

Preheat oven to 425.
Place 2 C flour, baking powder and salt in stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. With mixer on low, add butter and mix until the butter becomes the size of peas. Combine buttermilk & egg and add to flour mixture. Mix only until moistened. Mix cheddar cheese with a little bit of flour and add to dough (the flour will keep the cheese from settling on the bottom while baking). Mix until roughly combined.
Dump out onto a floured surface and knead about 6 times. Roll dough into a rectangle shape. Using a floured knife cut into 8 (or more-I made mine a little smaller) biscuits. Transfer to a baking sheet sprayed with Pam or lined with parchment paper. Brush tops with egg wash (I just used some buttermilk).
Bake 20-25 minutes.


HAPPY EATING!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Red Velvet Cake

Nothing says Christmas like a good red velvet cake (for me anyway...). For our Christmas pack meeting last night I made a red velvet cake. It was so good. It's one of my favorites!!! It's red, yet chocolatey, and just so delish!!! I hope you make it and enjoy it!!!!

Red Velvet Cake
2 1/2 C all purpose flour
1 1/2 C sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cocoa powder
1 1/2 C veg oil
1 C buttermilk, at room temperature
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tbsp red food coloring (1 ounce)
1 tsp white distilled vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil and flour 3 9in round pans.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder. In a stand mixer bowl, whisk together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar and vanilla.

Mix the dry ingredients with the wet until just combined and a smooth batter is formed.

Divide the cake into the 3 pans. Place in oven evenly spaced apart. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

remove cakes from pan and let cool. Then finish cooling on cooling racks. Frost and enjoy.
at this point in the frosting of the cake you can cover it with pecans. I chose to decorate the cake with buttercream frosting as I'm not a fan of cream cheese frosting.

I chose to decorate with plastic poinsettias. It is Christmas after all!

I guess it was pretty good. I love that it's almost a blood red color.

For this particular cake I doubled the recipe. I was using a 12 in round pan. It made 3 layers and was A LOT of cake.

If interested here are the frosting recipes:

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 pound cream cheese, softened
4 C sifted powdered sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter (1 Cup), softened
1 tsp vanilla extract

In a stand mixer fittedw ith paddle attatchment, mix the cream cheese, sugar, and butter on low speed until mixed. Increase speed to high and mix until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Occasionally scrap down sides of bowl.

Reduce the speed to low and add vanilla and mix until fluffy again. Scrap down sides of bowl. Enough to frost a 3 layer cake.

Wilton Buttercream Frosting (this is what I used-I tripled the recipe)
1C shortening
1lb powdered sugar
3 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp milk (may need more depending on how thick or thin you want your frosting)

Mix until desired consistency is achieved. Yields 3 C of frosting.


Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Pudding, there's just something about really good pudding. And if you add cool whip on top of it-oh's a hit.
I found this recipe in the newest Kraft food and family Magazine. I had tiramisu a long time ago, but stopped eating it when I found out there was coffee in it (it was a pure shame too because it's so yum!). I don't drink coffee so when I found this recipe that substituted chocolate milk-oh yeah I was in heaven! I needed something to take to our church Christmas Party tonight, so I figured why not give this a shot. I can't wait to dive right into it tonight!!!!

TIRAMISU (with a twist)
1 pkg (8oz) cream cheese
3 C cold milk
2 pkg (3.5 oz) french vanilla instant pudding
1 tub (8oz) extra creamy whipped topping, thawed, divided
48 nilla wafer cookies
1/2 C chocolate milk
1 large bar Hershey's Dark Chocolate, chopped

Beat cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Beat in milk and pudding until creamy. Add half the cool whip. Fold in.

Line a 2 1/2 qt serving bowl with 24 cookies. Drizzle with 1/4 C chocolate milk. Top with half of pudding mixture and half of chocolate bar (reserve about 2 tbsp of chocolate). Repeat layers. (You should get 2 layers.)

Top with remaining cool whip and chopped chocolate for garnish. Refrigerate for 2 hours.

And I'm guessing by this picture that people liked it....I thought it was super DELISH!!!!



Wow! I just realized that I haven't posted in forever!!!! Sorry about that. It's been super busy with life that I let a few things slip through the cracks...I'll do better I promise!!!!
Here's a really great gingerbread recipe that is perfect for cookies or for making gingerbread houses, sleighs, trains, whatever you want! I am not a big gingerbread eater but I do love making the houses every year and my kids enjoy eating it so it doesn't completely go to waste.
This recipe makes a lot, enough for a large house and cookies. This was my first time making one from scratch (I usually buy the kits). It was really fun. I hope you enjoy it too!!

Gingerbread (thanks to Christi for letting me share)
7C flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp each ginger, cloves, allspice
1 C brown sugar
1 1/2 C molasses
2/3 C water
1 tsp salt
1/3 C shortening

Stir together flour, baking soda, spices and salt. Set aside. In a stand mixer combine shortening, brown sugar and molasses. Beat until well blended. Add water. Blend again. Beat in flour mixture gradually. When it becomes a stiff mixture, you might have to continue with a wooden spoon. Mix well. Turn dough out onto plastic wrap. Flatten slightly, wrap and chill over night.
When ready for baking roll out to about a 1/8th inch thickness, cut out desired shapes and place on cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 min.
Let cool completely before assembling a house. Use various candies and frostings for your decorations.


Sunday, November 30, 2008

Refrigerator Butter Crescent Rolls & cinnamon rolls

Happy post Thanksgiving. I hope each of you had a great time!! For the first time it was just us this year. No other family around. It was really quiet!!
We had a yummy dinner and some super yummy rolls. My mom made these every year as I was growing up. They always came out perfect and so yummy that if she ever didn't make them, there was mutiny within the ranks. So I decided to make them this year and they didn't disappoint! To make them even better, you can also make cinnamon rolls out of part of the dough. Super Yum!!

Refrigerator Butter Crescent Rolls
2 tbsp yeast
2 C lukewarm water
1 C butter or margarine, melted
1 C + 2 tbsp sugar
6 beaten eggs
1 1/2 tsp salt
9 C flour

Mix yeast with 2 tbsp sugar and warm water. Let proof for about 5 minutes.
Add melted butter, sugar and eggs. Mix well. Sift flour and salt. Mix well and let rise for 2 hours.
Stir down and put in fridge overnight. Keep a damp cloth over dough. Keep it damp. If dough rises too much, punch it down. Dough will be sticky.

The next morning, divide dough into 4ths (this is where I keep one of the quarters out for cinnamon rolls) . DOUGH DOES NOT NEED TO BE KNEADED. Roll into circle size of pie and spread butter on it. Cut into 12 pieces. Roll up starting with wide edge. Place on buttered cookie sheet. Let rolls rise 1 1/2 hours. Bake 10 min. at 400 degrees.
These come out so super yummy!! You can place the cooked rolls in the freezer if you have too many leftovers. Otherwise you'll be eating these for days! But I don't think you'll mind! If you don't make cinnamon rolls this recipe will make 4 dozen rolls.

As I mentioned earlier, this also makes superb homemade cinnamon rolls. At the point where you have rolled out the dough, spread butter on it. Then top with sugar and cinnamon. Use whatever you like. I didn't measure when I made these. Then roll up. Cut and place in a baking pan sprayed with cooking spray. Then let sit for 1 1/2 hours to rise. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes, checking them after 15 minutes. Once cooked top with a glaze made with powdered sugar and milk.


Pudding Cake

When the hubbie and I were dating I asked him if there was something that his mom made that he really liked. I was feeling crafty and wanted to impress him. He said it was his mom's pudding cake. So I called her and I got the recipe. That was 8 years ago and it's still just as good now as it was then.
It's really good and I have to warn you, it's RICH!!!

Pudding Cake

The cake:
1 C flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 C sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 C milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp shortening (melted)

3/4 C sugar
1/4 C baking cocoa

Mix ingredients for cake together and put in a greased 8X8 pan.

Then mix pudding ingredients and sprinkle on top.

Pour 1 3/4 C boiling water over mixture DO NOT STIR

Put into preheated 350 degree oven for 40 minutes.

This is best served warm right out of the oven topped with whipped cream. It is just as good the next day, but it's really good all steamy and warm with all of it's chocolaty goodness!!
Like I said, a little goes a long way! Enjoy!


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!! I hope each of you have a great day!!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Glazed Carrots & A Chowda Mac

Happy Sunday. It's been a busy weekend for sure. Friday night we had pack meeting for scouts and it was a pot luck dinner for Thanksgiving (can you believe it's already here?!?!?!?!). So I grabbed Stephanie's glazed carrots recipe and did it. They were so yummy and got eaten all up! Thanks for the great idea!

Maple-Glazed Carrots
2 bags mini peeled carrots
2 tbsp. cornstarch
2/3 cup orange juice
5 tbsp. maple syrup
5 tbsp. melted butter or margarine
3/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt

In a large saucepan, bring 1 inch or water and carrots to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 3-5 minutes or until tender crisp.

Meanwhile, in another saucepan, combine the cornstarch and orange juice until smooth. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. This got VERY thick for me.

Drain carrots; transfer to a serving bowl. Pour glaze over carrots; gently stir to coat, eat and enjoy!

Then tonight I decided to try another recipe from a Rachael Ray cookbook. I've made this before but it's been a while. It was a lot better this time that last time. If my stomach was bigger I probably could have eaten the whole thing! I hope you enjoy it too!!

Crab and Corn Chowda Mac
10 oz small shell pasta
1 tbsp olive oil (I used veg. oil since that's what I had)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 bell peppers, seeded and chopped
2 tbsp all purpose flour
1 C chicken stock
1 C milk (or you could use heavy cream to make it really rich!)
3/4 package imitation crab (or 6 oz tub of the real thing)
1 1/2 C frozen corn
2 C shredded cheddar cheese (I used Velveeta and ohhhhh boy!)
2 tbsp fresh thyme (I used dried oregano)
2 pinches cayenne pepper (I used chili powder)
chives or parsley for garnish

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook the pasta until al dente.

In another pan, add veg oil and heat. Add onions and peppers and cook until tender-crisp, about 3-5 minutes. Add the flour and cook for 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock and heat through. Add the milk. When milk bubbles add crab, corn, cheese and seasonings.
Drain pasta and add to crab mixture. Adjust seasonings to taste. Put in bowls and top with garnish.

This was filling and really creamy, cheesy and ooohhh sooooo good.

Hope you have a great week up ahead with Thanksgiving. Have a great one! and of course....

HAPPY EATING!!!!!!!!!1


Congrats to Stephanie, MaryBeth and Colleen. The winners of the contest.
Send me your mailing address (they will NOT be kept, used or stored in any way, shape or fashion!) to REBEKAHSKITCHEN@LIVE.COM and the prizes will be sent out soon!

Thanks again!!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Cheesy Kielbasa Pasta & a Giveaway!

Happy Wednesday! It's been busy at our house today. We have little friends over and it's been a riot here all afternoon. I love watching kids using their imaginations and just playing all over the place!
Now on to tonight's dinner. Unfortunately it was not a hit in my house. The husband is gone so I have yet to receive his input. He's doing field exercises with his military training class. So I'll get his input tomorrow. Anyway I hope you guys like it, I thought it was good, but the kids had different opinions. Bummer. Oh well. At least we tried!!

Cheesy Kielbasa & Pasta
16 oz ditalini pasta (or whatever short pasta you like)
1 bag frozen broccoli
1 can cheddar cheese soup
3/4 C milk (I just filled the soup can with the milk)
2 pkg pre-cooked kielbasa, sliced
8oz shredded cheddar cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain. In large saucepan add soup, milk and broccoli. Cook until heated through and add the pasta and kielbasa. Cook for about 10 minutes until broccoli and kielbasa are heated through.

We also served these with breadsticks topped with cheese.


And now for the best part! A fun give away from Progresso. I'm really excited about this. They have started to make broth now instead of just the soup. Their soup is already so yummy! The gift baskets (see attached image) include a free coupon for Progresso Broth, a recipe card holder, recipe box and wicker basket, as well as a set of serving spoons and a spoon rest.I'm excited to hear about how you use broth. Let me know your favorite holiday recipe that includes broth of some kind for your chance to win and GOOD LUCK there will be 3 winners!!!!

Also until the winners are announced here is a link that will give you a coupon for the new broth! It's good until December 17.


HAPPY EATING!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tagged! and an award!

No recipe was just a simple fried chicken tenders and peas night. Nothing to write home about. Unless you consider using homemade wheat bread crumbs for the coating on the chicken fascinating (not really.....). But I was tagged and didn't want to wait another minute to do it and pass it along. Stephanie at Fun Foods on A Budget tagged me so here goes:

It's the Seven Random Things tag.

So here are The Rules:

  • Link the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
  • Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself.
  • Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links.
  • Let each person know that they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
1. I've been playing the violin for over 20 years and was part of a symphony orchestra. I really wanted to play with Orchestra at Temple Square but since I don't live in Utah anymore it's unlikely that will happen.

2. I want to learn to play the banjo and be in a blue grass band.

3. I love watching the same movie over and over again. Especially sappy movies or Jane Austin movies. This usually happens when my hubbie isn't around or is playing video games.

4. I know all there is to know about Scooby Doo.

5. my favorite movies of all time are star wars and can quote them.

6. I love playing board games with friends and family and when both computers work, my hubbie and I link up and play computer games together after the kiddos go to bed.

7. My favorite holidays are Halloween and Christmas because of all the great food and fun stuff to bake. I'm sssoooo looking forward to Christmas this year and the secret santas that we get to do!! Plus I just love to decorate and there are so many ideas floating around for those holidays!

I would like to tag:
Picky Palate
Bake Shop
Not So Perfect Housewife
Deciously Delicious
This Week For Dinner
Bake or Break
A Year of Crockpotting

And I also got an award from Stephanie so I am passing it on to all those I tagged. Thanks for making the world taste that much better!!!!


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Chicken Florentine

Good Sunday evening. Hope your day was restful (it is supposed to be a day of rest right?) and wonderful. My day has been anything but restful. The hubbie is out in the field this week (army lingo for camping...pppfffftttt) so it was just me most of the day. This means trying to get myself and 3 kiddos fed, bathed and ready for church. Good times! Plus my cute little sunbeams were off the wall with the wiggles, so it made for a long day (in fact I think all the kids were off the wall with the wiggles, it sure was noisy today!

So here's what's for dinner. It was really comforting -as in comfort food. It was creamy and gooey and just down right good. I saw this recipe originally on Paula's Home Cooking. I love that show. One of my favorites. So here it is, in all it's glory:

Chicken Florentine
2 10oz pkg frozen spinach (I used fresh spinach and it tasted just fine)
6 boneless chicken breasts (I used thighs) cooked, and shredded
2 103/4 oz cans cream of mushroom soup
1 C mayo (I omitted this)
1C sour cream
2 C shredded cheddar
2 tbsp lemon (or 1 lemon juiced)
1 tsp curry powder
1/2C chicken stock
1/2C bread crumbs
2 tbsp butter (I omitted this as well)
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Put spinach and chicken in large bowl. Add soup, mayo sour cream, cheddar, lemon, curry, salt and pepper. Mix well, making sure all ingredients are well combined.

Pour into a greased 9X13 pan. Sprinkle top with bread crumbs and dot with butter. I also added a little extra cheese to the top.

Bake uncovered for 30 min.

This is also great for make ahead. Just get ingredients into pan and wrap in plastic wrap. Then cover with foil. Place in freezer. Allow to thaw for 24 hours in the refrigerator before baking.

Vanilla Stuffed Cinnamon Pancakes

Good Sunday morning everyone. Hope you are rested and relaxed and enjoying the day. We have a while until it's time for us to go to church (afternoon church, not my favorite time). So this morning we decided we wanted pancakes for breakfast. I had found a yummy stuffed version and decided to try it out. I hope you enjoy it! It was really good!!

Vanilla Stuffed Cinnamon Pancakes
Pancake Mix - enough to feed your family
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla

3 oz cream cheese
1 small box of french vanilla pudding mix
1 1/2 C milk
1/4 C powdered sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp sugar

Mix pancake mix and add cinnamon and vanilla to the mix until creamy. Make pancakes in preheated pan.

Mix together cream cheese, pudding and milk until creamy in consistency. Add sugar and cinnamon. Mix to combine. Add nutmeg.

Add to pancakes as they come off pan while still warm. This will allow the mixture to melt slightly. Top with more powdered sugar, fresh fruit, pie filling or plain ole' maple syrup.

These were really good and filling. Very sweet too. I hope you enjoy these and have a yummy breakfast!!


Saturday, November 15, 2008


Have I mentioned that I love Mexican food. Actually I just love food. But I do enjoy some good Mexican on occasion. Lately I've been craving it. So tonight for dinner we decided on flautas. I first saw a recipe for them in the Pillsbury 2008 cookbook. I decided to change it up a bit (cause that just what I do). So enjoy! These are quick and super easy. It took about 30 minutes from start to finish. Not too bad for a late Saturday night supper.

Bean and Cheese Flautas
1 can refried beans
1 C shredded cheddar cheese
1 C salsa
10-6in whole wheat flour tortillas
veg oil for cooking

Make sure tortillas are pliable. Don't want our tortillas breaking in the middle of trying to assemble them. That would be bad! :O)

Heat pan on med. low heat.

Mix the cheese, beans and salsa. Place a spoonful of the mixture in the center of tortilla. Roll up and put a toothpick in to keep it closed (make sure they are wooden as the plastic ones will melt once they hit the pan). Brush tortilla with oil.

Place flautas in pan and cook until brown on both sides. About 3 - 5 minutes on each side. Once browned and warmed through, remove from pan to a plate and remove toothpick. At this point they will stay closed.

Serve with more salsa, sour cream, gaucamole, ranch dressing, whatever your family likes.

We had this with chips and a queso dip. It was filling and really yummy.


Halloween Candy Cookies

I love Halloween candy but there comes a time when you've had enough. So to help get rid of some of it I decided to put the candy into cookies. So the rest of the candy that we had purchased went into the cookies. Chocolate peanut butter and rice krispie treats candy. Yummy!!

Candy Cookies
2 sticks butter
3/4 C sugar
3/4 C light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 3/4 C flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 C of your favorite chocolate Halloween candy, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream together butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla until well combined, scraping sides of bowl often. Add flour, baking soda and salt. Mix well.
Add candy. Fold into mixture.

Scoop onto baking sheets and bake for 9-11 minutes. I baked mine at 10 minutes and they were good. This will make approximately 4 dozen depending on how big of a scoop you use.

My husband even thought they were some of the best cookies I'd ever made. So I guess I did ok. Chocolate Chip cookies are not my forte' so I was grateful for the compliment. Since making them, there are only a few left!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Canadian Benny's

Happy Monday! Hope you are having a good start to the week. The hubbie had the day off as part of Veteran's day (and tomorrow too! Yippee!). Working for the military has it's perks!
Anyway for dinner I wanted something simple and fun. I have EXPRESS LANE MEALS by Rachael Ray and found this masterpiece. Uber yummy!! Of course in my usual fashion I did tweak it with what we had and what the family prefers.

Canadian Benny's
4 tbsp butter
2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2 scallions, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp parsley
3/4 C heavy cream
bread (1-2 slices per person, adults got 2 slices, kiddies got 1 each)
canadian bacon
10 med eggs
8 ounces cheese of choice, shredded (we used asiago-because I had some leftover from last
nights dinner)

Melt 2 tbsp butter over medium heat. Add tomatoes and scallions. Season with salt, pepper, garlic and parsley. Saute for 2 minutes. Add heavy cream and reduce for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally so it doesn't stick to the pan.

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place bread on cookie sheet and toast in oven for about 8 minutes.

In large pan, melt 2 tbsp butter. Beat eggs together with a pinch of salt and pepper. Pour eggs into pan and scramble them.

To assemble sandwiches: place toast on plate. Top with eggs, then canadian bacon, then cheese and top with sauce. The heat from the sauce will melt the cheese.

This sauce would also be sssssooooo good over some pasta. Really versatile. I hope you enjoy it. This is perfect for breakfast, lunch, brunch, or dinner, or really whenever you are hungry!

We also got a brief Polish lesson from the hubbie so I will end my post with

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Crock Pot Gyros

I really enjoy Greek food. Some more than others. So when I stumbled across this recipe I knew I had to try it. Here is my tweaked version.

Crock Pot Gyros
1 pound ground beef (hey i'm cheap and lamb is expensive)
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp paprika
1 small onion sliced
3 cloves of garlic chopped
juice from 1 lemon

Tzatziki Sauce
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 C plain yogurt
3 tbsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp fresh mint, chopped (my store did not have mint so I omitted this)
juice and zest from 1 lemon

shredded cabbage (odd but it was really good-this was our choice you could leave it out)
red onion, chopped
feta cheese (I used asiago since I'm not a feta fan....)
cucumber slices
tomato slices

Place chopped onion and garlic in the bottom of a crock pot. Mix the meat and spices together and form a loaf. Place loaf on top of onions and garlic. Juice a lemon over the meat.

Cook on low for 3-4 hours or high for 2 hours. (I cooked in on low for the 4 hours and it turned out perfect).

Meanwhile make the tzatziki sauce and leave in the fridge.
Serve on whole wheat tortillas (if you don't want to use pitas). top with sauce and fixin's.

The result was yummy. The hubby said this was good enough to sell in a Greek place. I thought it was yummy and it's super filing. If you do happen to have big eaters, I might suggest using 2 pounds of meat since it shrinks once it's cooked. But we had enough for our family with no leftovers.


Friday, November 7, 2008

Fish Tacos

Yeah I know.....Fish tacos??? The first time I heard of these they didn't sound too appetizing to me either, but I decided to give them a try and I tell ya if I could have eaten every single one of them I would have. They were really good!! So I hope you try them and enjoy them as much as we did!!

Fish Tacos
8 frozen battered fish portions (more or less depending on how many you'll eat)
1/2 C mayo
1/2 C plain yogurt
1 lime, zested and juiced
1/2 tsp oregano
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
2 C finely shredded cabbage
1 bell pepper chopped
8 flour tortillas
salt and pepper to taste

Heat and cook fish according to package directions.
* you can always buy fresh fish and batter and fry them yourself, but this tasted just fine with frozen already prepared fish, and that means less dishes to do!*

For sauce: mix together mayo and yogurt. Add lime zest and juice until slightly runny. Add spices, salt and pepper.

Place cooked fish in tortilla with diced peppers and cabbage. Top with white sauce. Roll, eat and enjoy!!!


Monday, November 3, 2008

Beef Chimichitos with Brown Rice

Hello! I hope everyone is having a good start to their week.
Tonight's dinner is something that's easy, hearty and yummy!! It's a cross between a chimichanga and a burrito. Anyone who has seen JUST COOK THIS on Discovery Health Channel will have seen Sam the cooking guy make this. The original idea is his. I tweaked it a bit with stuff I happened to have on hand. It was really yummy. I also paired it with some brown rice I cooked in beef stock. I am currently stuffed so I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!!

Beef Chimichito's

1 pound hamburger, browned and drained
1 onion, diced
1 can refried beans (I found
1 -4 oz can green chiles, drained
1/2 C enchilada sauce
flour tortillas
shredded cheddar cheese
sour cream

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine hamburger, onion, enchilada sauce, green chiles, and refried beans and cook until heated through.

Heat tortillas in microwave for about 30 seconds until pliable.

Spoon some of the mixture onto the tortilla and fold like a burrito. Place on a greased baking sheet and lightly rub with veg. oil. This will give it a crispy texture in the oven.

Bake until golden brown about 15-20 minutes.

Top with extra sauce, sour cream, and cilantro.

Since I'm not a huge fan of sour cream I used Ranch dressing on mine. I also just happened to have a zucchini in the fridge so I sauteed that up as well. Also if you have any limes, squeeze lime over the chimichitos right as they come out of the oven. Gives them that little something extra.

This really was as good as it looks!!

HAPPY EATING!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Krab Rolls and Broccoli Pasta Salad

Wow-November is upon us! I can't believe that this year is already mostly gone. Oh my!!!!! Hope everyone's year has been good. Ours has been interesting for sure! There's never a dull moment in this house for sure!!!

Tonight I made a meal that would hopefully counteract all the sugar we've had the past few days. I didn't want anything to time consuming or something that required turning the oven on. I have to say that Barefoot Contessa (Ina Garten) was the inspiration for this meal. I just love her show.

Bon Appetite!

Krab Rolls
1 bag imitation krab meat -hey if it's cheap where you are use the real thing, otherwise this was a great substitute
1/2 C red onion, finely chopped
1/2 C mayo
1/4C light House Italian dressing
1/2 small lemon, zested and juiced
1/2 C shredded cabbage (optional)

Mix mayo and dressing in small bowl. Add onions, lemon juice and zest to krab in medium bowl. Add mayo mixture and combine trying not to break up the krab too much. Top with parsley.
Refrigerate, the longer the better on this one. Serve on hot dog buns with cabbage. The cabbage gives it a nice crunch and is a great alternative to lettuce.


Broccoli Pasta Salad
2 C frozen broccoli, steamed
1 C cheddar cheese, cut into chunks
1/2 C red onion, chopped finely
8 oz short pasta, cooked and drained (I used ditalini that I had leftover from another meal)
1/2C fat free house Caesar dressing

Place all ingredients into medium bowl, stir to combine. Chill and serve.

This is a good one to make early in the day and let it sit until ready to eat it. Even my really picky eater ate this-I was amazed! I hope you enjoy it!


Friday, October 31, 2008

Cheesy Mummy Dogs and Spooky Brownies

Happy Halloween!!

Hope everyone is having fun gearing up for little ghouls and goblins and way too much candy!

Last night for dinner I wanted to have a halloween dinner. We'll be at our church's trunk or treat tonight so no time for "fancy" dinner. We had these really fun mummy dogs and I made some really yummy spooky brownies. Hope you enjoy if you get a chance to do them this year!

Cheesy Mummy Dogs
1 pkg 8-count hot dogs
sharp cheddar cheese, sliced in thin strips
1 tube crescent roll dough

Slice hot dogs lengthwise but not all the way through. Place a cheese slice into the hole. After wards, slice up dough into thin strips. Wrap each hot dog leaving room for eyes at one end. Place on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed lightly with cooking spray. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or follow the directions on your crescent roll package. Since the hot dogs are already cooked, you are basically just cooking the bread. Then use a dot of mustard or ketchup for the eyes on your dogs.
The cheese melts inside the hot dog and they become really gooey. They were a HUGE hit here. Kind of a twist on pigs in a blanket. Super Fun!!

Spooky Creature Brownies
the original recipe for these can be found here
1 box favorite brownie mix
ingredients to make the brownies listed on the box
24 large marshmellows
1 container white frosting (I make cakes and had buttercream icing in my fridge so I just used that)
food coloring to match the ghouls and goblins you want to make
accessories used to make them even spookier (fruit roll ups, mini coated baking bits, mini chips, candy corn, etc)

Bake brownies according to the box directions. Cool completely and cut into squares. 6 rows by 4 rows.

Remove lid and foil from frosting can and microwave for 20 seconds until it can be stirred smooth. Divide frosting and tint accordingly.

Franken-Brownies Add 5 drops green food color to frosting in 1 bowl; mix well. Top each of 8 brownies with 1 large marshmallow. Spoon 1 tablespoon green frosting over each marshmallow to coat. Decorate with green baking bits for eyes and ears. Use black gel for mouths and centers of eyes. Cut fruit snack to use for hair.

Boo-BrowniesTop each of 8 brownies with 1 large marshmallow. Spoon 1 tablespoon white frosting over each marshmallow to coat. Use black gel for eyes and mouths.

Spider BrowniesAdd 5 drops pink food color and 3 drops blue food color to frosting in 1 bowl; mix well. Top each of 8 brownies with 1 large marshmallow. Tuck gummy worms candies under each marshmallow for legs. Spoon 1 tablespoon purple frosting over each marshmallow to coat. Use orange baking bits for eyes. Use black gel for mouths, centers of eyes and eyebrows.

Since I didn't have white frosting, my ghosts are yellow and I attempted bats using candy corn for wings....they are king of funky looking, but the kids loved them and thought they were great so I guess that's all that really matters!


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Cilantro Cheese Corn Muffins

I'll apologize in advance for the lack of pictures on this one. I wasn't feel to hot last night when I made these and taking pictures of them wasn't really on the forefront of my mind. I hope you'll try these anyway and let your imagination take flight! They were yummy and went perfectly with our dinner. And did I mention that they are super easy!!!

Cilantro Cheese Corn Muffins
1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix
1 C shredded cheddar cheese
1 egg
1/2 C milk
2 tsp garlic powder
1 C frozen corn, thawed
1 small handful cilantro, chopped finely

In a mixing bowl mix all ingredients until you get a runny consistency. Put in lined muffin pan. Bake in 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes. Makes approximately 8 muffins.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

"Ghoulish" Sloppy Joe Pasta with Batty Toasts

Happy Tuesday!! It's almost Halloween and this week I'm trying to celebrate the season! Tonight we had fun with dinner. A quick twist on something fun and the kids loved it! It's a hearty meal that's full of flavor and the toasts are just plain fun!! I hope you enjoy it!!!

"Ghoulish" Sloppy Joe Pasta with Batty Toasts
10 oz. ditalini pasta
1 pound ground beef
1/2 pkg frozen corn
1 C water
1 zucchini, sliced
1 can sloppy joe sauce
1 handful cilantro, chopped finely
3 green onions, sliced

Cook and drain pasta according to package directions.

While pasta is cooking, brown beef (drain off any excess fat) and add the rest of the ingredients, except for the green onions. Once pasta is done, drain and add to mixture.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. Stir occasionally until zucchini is tender.
Top with onions.

Serve with Batty toasts (cut bat shapes into bread with cookie cutter and toast in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes. Top with butter and garlic).


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