Friday, August 29, 2008

Sunken Pizza

Friday night is pizza night at our house. It's usually followed up by a movie and a sleepover in the living room. So tonight while trying to figure out what type of pizza I wanted to do I decided that I didn't want to do my all day pizza crust. So I went searching for an easier one. I found one that is so easy!! And of course because it's me, I tweaked it a bit.

2 C All purpose flour
1 1/3 C milk
1 tbsp pizza seasoning (you can find this in the spice aisle. Otherwise use basil and oregano)
4 eggs, slightly beaten

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix all ingredients and pour into a well greased cookie sheet.
Top with your favorite pizza toppings (tonight it was hamburger and onions)
Bake for 20-22 minutes until crust begins to brown on edges.
Pull out and top with pizza sauce and cheeses of choice.
Bake another 10 minutes until cheese is nice and ooey gooey.

This was a really fun way to enjoy pizza night. Even the picky eaters wolfed it down.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Cook with your kids! Please!!

Safety Tips for Cooking with Kids
Combined from the California Department of Health & Penn State Cooperative Extension

One of the best ways to teach food safety is to practice it—and to be vocal about why it is being practiced. This needs to begin as soon as the child is aware of and is taking an interest in food (beyond throwing it!).

1. Prevent food poisoning by:
• always washing hands before cooking.
• not eating raw eggs or raw meats.
• waiting until the food is cooked before sampling it. Do not sample uncooked foods.

2. Have children stand at the level of the activity. Use a stool if necessary.

3. Use cooking supplies that will not break (such as plastic measuring cups and stainless-steel bowls).

4. Use plastic knives or butter knives for cutting.

5. Provide constant supervision.
• Always watch children when they use knives, mixers, or the stove.
• Supervise the use of ovens, stoves, and other kitchen appliances.
• Remind children that stoves, ovens, pans, and dishes can be very hot.

Why you should LOVE cooking with your kids-it's learning in disguise!
From the Penn State Cooperative Extension

Most children learn quickly that eating is fun. They also enjoy helping adults cook. Put the two together and you have the perfect recipe for learning. Children learn best when they’re busy and interested in what they are doing.
When children are busy scrubbing, mixing, stirring, kneading, spreading, tossing, squeezing, and pouring, they don’t realize there’s a special ingredient that you’re adding: It’s called learning!

• Cooking involves reading and talking. There is much to talk about as a recipe is read, followed, and prepared.

• Children learn math skills through counting, measuring, and following step-by-step directions.

• Science is learned as children see how food changes during cooking. They learn about hot and cold, floating and sinking, dissolving, melting, and freezing.

• Good nutrition is encouraged through cooking. Seeing exactly what goes into a recipe helps children learn to make better decisions about the food they eat.

• Children can learn about and connect with other cultures as they prepare foods from various cultural groups.

• Thinking skills are developed as children learn to compare and make relationships in food preparation. If we use too much flour in our cookie recipe, the result is a dry, hard cookie. Proportions are easily mastered when children learn that if you double the ingredients in the cookie recipe, you get double the cookies.

• Social skills are practiced in cooking when children work together, take turns, and solve problems. Most importantly, self-esteem abounds when children prepare foods for themselves and others.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Amish Friendship Bread

I have become addicted to this since I received one a few months ago. I have several starters in my freezer right now. There are so many variations on it and you just can't go wrong with any of them. Tonight I made the chocolate version because we have a ward activity at the local watering hole! Dinner and swimming, and since we were asked to bring a dessert I thought this might be yummy and not the same ole cookies and brownies. I also made a glaze of powdered sugar and milk to go on top. Enjoy!!


  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 3 cups white sugar, divided
  • 3 cups milk
  • In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Let stand 10 minutes. In a 2 quart container glass, plastic or ceramic container, combine 1 cup flour and 1 cup sugar. Mix thoroughly or flour will lump when milk is added. Slowly stir in 1 cup milk and dissolved yeast mixture. Cover loosely and let stand until bubbly. Consider this day 1 of the 10 day cycle. Leave loosely covered at room temperature.
  • On days 2 thru 4; stir starter with a spoon. Day 5; stir in 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk. Days 6 thru 9; stir only.
  • Day 10; stir in 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk. Remove 1 cup to make your first bread, give 2 cups to friends along with this recipe, and your favorite Amish Bread recipe. Store the remaining 1 cup starter in a container in the refrigerator, or begin the 10 day process over again (beginning with step 2).
Once you have made the starter, you will consider it Day One, and thus ignore step 1 in this recipe and proceed with step 2. You can also freeze this starter in 1 cup measures for later use. Frozen starter will take at least 3 hours at room temperature to thaw before using. If you plan on freezing it take one out and just let it sit for the 10 days, not adding the extra 3 cups on the 5th or 10th day, just stir it each day. Then on the 10th day follow the rest of the recipe and the bread will be fine, you just won't have the extra starters to pass out.

So there you go. The starter recipe. If you want variations when making the bread go to this website. (If you plan on passing it out you'll need to copy the recipe from the site to hand out with the starter.)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Chicken Casserole

Yummy! I found this in my 101 Ways to Use Mac N Cheese cook book. I tweaked it a bit to make it my own. Here's what I did:

1 box white cheddar mac n cheese (use regular if your store doesn't carry the white)
2 C cooked chicken cut up
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 small can mushrooms
1 C cheddar cheese
10 oz frozen mixed veggies of your choice
1/2 C milk ( I used powdered milk-hooray for food storage items!)

Cook mac n cheese noodles until slightly al dente. Cook the frozen veggies at the same time. 6-7 minutes. Drain completely.
Mix chicken, soup, milk, mushrooms, cheese packet from box and veggies. Pour into casserole dish over macaroni. Mix together.
Top with cheese. Place in a 4oo degree oven for 20 minutes or until bubbly.

Taco Night Casserole

I saw this orginally on my pal Valerie's blog. I couldn't resist making one too. Thanks for the idea!!!
I tweaked it a bit but the basic idea is there. We had this for dinner last night.

Taco Night Casserole
16 oz elbow macaroni
1 pound hamburger (or you could use soyburger if you want to go veggie with it)
2 tomatoes, diced
6 oz cheddar cheese (or Monterey jack-whatever you like)
1 can black beans, drained
1 medium onion, diced
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 can tomato soup

Cook beef and onion, and drain. Add the taco seasoing to ground beef mixture, mix well.
Meanwhile cook the macaroni for about 7 minutes, until almost done. It will continue to cook in the oven. Drain well.
Add, tomatoes, beans, soup and hamburger to the macaroni. Mix to combine. Put in a 9X13 pan and top with the cheese. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.
Additional toppings could be:
more cheese
green onions
sour cream

We served ours with chips on the side. It was really yummy and this recipe makes ALOT! Be prepared for tons of leftovers!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Baking Mix

I don't know about you guys, but we are constantly looking for biscuits to add with dinner or are in the mood for pancakes or waffles. On nights that we just don't feel like doing anything crazy for dinner we always revert back to pancakes. So I thought i'd share my baking mix with you. Perfect for the above mentioned foods.
Baking Mix
  • 4 1/4 C all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 3/4 C dry nonfat dry milk (or you could use buttermilk powder)
  • 1 C plus 2 tbsp shortening
Combine everything but the shortening and mix well with a whisk. Use a pastry blender or a heavy duty mixing bowl to cut in the shortening until it is mixed in thoroughly.
Store in an airtight container. Use like any store bought baking mix to make pancakes, waffles, and biscuits.

  • 2 C baking mix
  • 1 2/3 C milk (or more if you like thin pancakes)
  • 1 egg
mix and make pancakes to your liking

  • 2 C baking mix
  • 1 egg
  • 1 2/3 C milk
  • 2 tbsp oil
mix and make waffles to your liking

  • 2 C baking mix
  • 2/3 C milk
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. COmbine mix and milk until the dough is stiff and sticky. Knead it on a floured surface 8-10 times. Roll out until it is 1/12 inch thick and cut into circles. If you don't have biscuit cutters, use a glass or a can. Bake 10-15 minutes. Makes about 12 2in. biscuits.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Mac N Cheese Tip

If you add just a tbsp or 2 of sour cream to your boxed mac n cheese it will give it a homemade taste. I try to do it everytime I have sour cream on hand. It also helps to make it creamy!!

Tricked out Mac N Cheese

Our family loves all things mac n cheese. So I like to play with it every now and then so it's not the same thing over and over. Tonight was no different.
Here's what I did. (you can always half this recipe for a lunch instead as a side for dinner)

2 boxes mac n cheese
2 tbsp butter
milk for mixing in the cheese packet
1/4 C favorite BBQ sauce
6-8 slices of bacon crumbled
white onions finely chopped for topping (opt)

Cook mac n cheese like it says on the box. In the mixing stage add the bbq sauce and the bacon. Serve topped with the onions and enjoy!!

The bbq sauce gives it as extra little edge and makes it super yummy! Hope you enjoy!

chocolate crinkles

This past Saturday I had a primary teachers meeting. We were asked to bring a dessert. So I made these cookies. Super yummy!! These are a favorite with my kids!

Chocolate Crinkles

3 eggs
1 1/2 C sugar
4 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted
1/2 C veg oil
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla
2C all purpose flour sifted powdered sugar

Using a stand mixer mix eggs, sugar, chocolate, oil, baking powder and vanilla until combined. Add flour and combine completely. Chill in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours or until easy to handle.

Shape dough into 1 inch balls. Roll balls in powdered sugar to coat generously. Place balls 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes or until edges are set and tops are crackled. Let cook on a wire rack.

Makes approx. 5 doz.

no changes at high altitude

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Ramen Nachos

For Saturday night dinners I try to do something fun. Not the same old same old dinner. I also have a really neat little cookbook that's called 101 things to do with Ramen Noodles. I like to use it every now and then for something different. Plus it's fairly cheap. So I found a fun recipe for last night. It's called Ramen Nachos and was a complete hit!!! I have a VERY picky eater and he downed this. I think I'll keep this in the old filing cabinet for a while. I tweaked the recipe a bit to fit our family. Here's what I did:

4 pkgs beef flavored ramen noodles, broken up with seasoning packets
1 1/2 C cubed cheddar cheese (I used sharp cheddar)
1 -14oz can chili (with or without beans-which ever you prefer)
1 C finely chopped white or vidalia onions
corn chips
sour cream
green onions, chopped

Cook noodles in water according to pkg directions and drain. Add 1/2 of the seasoning packets.

Once noodles are back in the pot add cheese and chili. Mix until cheese is melted.
Spoon mixture over corn chips, top with onions and sour cream.

It was so yummy and with the crunch of the chips tasted like you were eating nachos.

Feel free to tweak this to your liking. Sorry there isn't a picture. By the time I remembered I wanted to take a picture of it we were done eating. I'll have to be faster on the draw next time!


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Salsa Mac n Cheese with breadsticks

Salsa mac n cheese, sounds simple right? Well it's exactly that!! I love easy and super yummy food. So this fits the bill. I came up with this recipe one night (many moons ago) when there was nothing ready for dinner and I didn't have time to thaw out anything. I noticed an abundance of mac n cheese (what household with small kids doesn't have this in abumdance) and salsa (we always have this on hand). So I figured why not combine the two. Lately I've been getting more and more creative with it. Here's what I did tonight

2 boxes mac n cheese
(all the stuff needed to make the mac n cheese)
2 C salsa
1/2C sour cream (more or less depending on how you like it)
1/2 C cubed sharp cheddar cheese
1 tsp cinnamon (yeah weird I know, but it's common in a lot of Mexican dishes)

Make the mac n cheese like it says on the box. Cook it until is almost done. Drain. (it will continue cooking a little bit while adding the other ingredients.)
Once you have the milk and butter in, add the sour cream. Mix completely. Add the powdered cheese from the box and mix. Then add salsa. Once that is all mixed together add the sharp cheddar. Once the cheese is all melted and ooey gooey, add the cinnamon.
Serve and enjoy!!!

Really great to have these breadsticks with it!

No Yeast Breadsticks
1 1/4 C all purpose flour
2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp dried basil
2/3 C milk

Combine dry ingredients. Gradually add the milk until a soft dough forms. Dump out onto a floured surface and knead 3-4 times until no longer sticky. Roll out to desired length and cut out bread sticks with pizza cutter. Place on greased baking sheet. Bake at 450 for 14-18 minutes.

I topped mine with more basil before cooking or you can top with finely shredded cheese for added zing!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Fry Sauce

We're having fish and chips for dinner tonight. Nothing terribly exciting. But I am making a fry sauce to go along with it. Having lived in Utah (Salt Lake City to be precise) for the last 4 years I have fallen in total admiration for it. Since I can't buy it where I live in AZ I decided I'd come up with my own version. Hope you enjoy!!!

1/2 C mayo or salad dressing
1/2 C ketchup
1/4 C thousand island dressing
seasoning salt (to taste)
garlic powder (to taste)
dash of black pepper
dash of paprika

mix and enjoy.

I usually like to have some made up whenever we have fish sticks, fries, hamburgers, you name it! It's really good to put on anything that you'd put ketchup on!!

100 Visitors

I'd like to say thanks to all ya'll that stopped by my blog. I really appreciate it and I hope that some of these recipes will make into your recipe box!!


And please don't hesitate to leave me a note or share one of your favorite recipes!!

Toffe Bar Cheesecake

Have I mentioned that we LOVE cheesecake.'s another one I've tried. It's so good!!! I didn't come up with this one myself though, Bisquick sent me this one. But I don't see why you couldn't play around with it and make it your own!!

Toffee Bar Cheesecake
1/4cup milk
2teaspoons vanilla
3/4cup packed brown sugar
1/4cup Original Bisquick® mix
2packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, cut into 16 pieces, softened
3bars (1.4 oz each) chocolate-covered English toffee candy, coarsely chopped
1/2cup caramel topping
1.Heat oven to 325°F. Spray bottom only of 9-inch glass pie plate with cooking spray.
2.In blender, place milk, vanilla, eggs, brown sugar and Bisquick mix. Cover; blend on high speed 15 seconds. Add cream cheese. Cover; blend 2 minutes. Pour into pie plate.
3.Sprinkle candy over top; swirl gently with table knife to evenly distribute candy.
4.Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until about 2 inches of edge of pie is set and center is still soft and wiggles slightly. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
5.Refrigerate at least 4 hours. Serve with caramel topping. Store in refrigerator.
High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): No change.

I used chocolate syrup drizzled instead of the caramel since it's what I had on hand.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

"Dawnini" (Berry Bellini)

I don't drink alcoholic beverages and I don't think those that do should have all the fun. So in good fun I made a "drink" to celebrate the release of Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer. I was going to make it Saturday night, but I did it tonight instead. Oh well...what's a few days!!!

6oz mixed frozen berries (raspberries, blueberries, strawberries)
zest of 1 medium orange
juice from 1/2 of zested orange
1/2 bottle (give or take) of your favorite sparkling apple juice.

Put frozen berries in blender. Add orange zest and juice. Blend for about 30 seconds. Add the juice and blend until frothy and the berries are well blended. Pour into glasses and then top off with more of the juice. Garnish with orange slices from the left over 1/2 of orange.

It's a bit sweet with just enough pucker to make it really good. You can also strain it if you don't like the seeds from the raspberries. Personal preference.

Apple Pie Cheesecake

Yep I did two of them. Like I said, we can't get enough of cheesecake around here!

2 cups cookie crumbs, LORNA DOONE Shortbread Cookies
4 Tbsp butter or margarine
1/4 cup sugar
Cheesecake Batter:
2 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese and 2 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Neufchatel Cheese, 1/3 Less Fat than Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
4 eggs
1 cup BREAKSTONE'S or KNUDSEN Sour Cream
Batter Flavorings:
1 Tbsp vanilla
Mix-In's and Toppings:
1 cup mixed into batter and 1 cup spread on top apple (pie filling)
3/4 cup mixed into batter and 1/4 cup sprinkled on top walnuts (nuts)
CRUST: Preheat oven to 325°F. Mix Crust ingredients; press onto bottom of 9-inch springform pan. Bake 10 min.
BATTER: Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition just until blended. Stir in Mix-Ins. Pour over crust.
TOPPINGS: Add Toppings.
BAKING: Bake 60 min or until center is almost set. Run knife or metal spatula around rim of pan to loosen cake. Cool completely. Refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving. Store leftovers in refrigerator.

My mini peanutty cheesecakes

We LOVE all things cheesecake in this house. So I made my own recipe (with the help of It's so good and luscious in all it's cheese-cakey goodness.

1 cup cookie crumbs or 12 whole cookies, OREO Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
3 Tbsp butter or margarine
2 Tbsp sugar
Cheesecake Batter:
1 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese and 1 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Neufchatel Cheese, 1/3 Less Fat than Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed
Batter Flavorings:
1/3 cup peanut butter
Mix-In's and Toppings:
1/4 cup mixed into batter and 1/3 cup sprinkled on top peanut butter cups (candy), coarsely chopped
1/2 square, coarsely chopped, mixed into batter and 1/2 square, melted and drizzled on top BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate
CRUST: If using whole cookies, place 1 cookie on bottom of each of 12 (2-1/2-inch) paper-lined muffin cups. Otherwise, mix Crust ingredients; press evenly onto bottoms of 12 (2-1/2-inch) paper-lined muffin cups. Refrigerate until ready to use.
BATTER: Beat cream cheese, sugar and Batter Flavorings in large bowl with electric mixer until well blended. Gently stir in whipped topping and Mix-Ins. Spoon batter into prepared cups, filing each two-thirds full.
TOPPINGS: Add Toppings.
REFRIGERATING: Refrigerate at least 3 hours before serving. Store leftovers in refrigerator.

Monday, August 4, 2008


I just wanted to share my sis-in-law's fudge recipe. It's so easy and looks so good! Happy Eating!

FUDGE (it's not just for Christmas anymore!)

3/4 cup butter

5 oz can evaporated milk

3 cups sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 bag milk chocolate chips

1 small jar of marshmallow cream

Add butter, milk and sugar in a medium sauce pan. Heat on medium, until234 degrees. or until softball form in cold water. Remove from heat. Add vanilla, stir. Add the chocolate chips and stir until melted. Add marshmallow cream and stir until it is all mixed together. Line a 9x9 or 9x13 pan with butter or Pam spray. Place in pan. chill until firm.

Egg Tip

When making hard boiled eggs, have you ever found yourself struggling to get the shell off the egg?
Well here's a tip for you!

After the water has come to a boil and the eggs have cooked for about a minute add a heaping handful of salt to the boiling water. It won't flavor the eggs at all, and it will make it MUCH easier to remove the shell after they have cooked and cooled.

Very easy Pasta Salad

We got invited to some friends for dinner last night and were asked to bring a side dish. So this is what we decided on. It was super yummy!!

Very Easy Pasta Salad

1 pound box thin spaghetti
2-3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp garlic powder
2 tbsp dried basil
1/2 red onion, chopped
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 bag salad shrimp (optional)
1/2 C shredded parmesan cheese

Cook spaghetti as directed on package. Drain.
In the meantime, mix olive oil, garlic and basil in a large serving bowl. Add tomatoes and onions. Once pasta is ready add it and stir. Finally add the salad shrimp and toss lightly. Top with Parmesan cheese. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.

*the longer this one sits the better it gets. all the flavors meld together and it just gets so yummy! this dish is perfect for an outside gathering because you don't have to worry about it spoiling. *

Friday, August 1, 2008

Zucchini Couscous

I love, love, love, zucchini. All things zucchini. So I thought that i'd make couscous and add zucchini to it. So easy really!! I used a whole wheat couscous that included a Parmesan cheese packet. Of course it's really up to you what you'd like to do. I thought the cheese would add some extra flavor but you could certainly leave it out or buy couscous that was plain. (This particular one was on sale-that's why I chose it.)

In a large stock pot bring 1 1/4 C of water or broth to a boil (I used homemade chicken stock but if you don't have homemade, store bought it fine, just make sure it's low sodium)

Once at a boil, turn off heat and add couscous, stirring to incorporate all couscous. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes.

In the meantime, in a small skillet put 2 med. zucchini's cut up in 1 tbsp of butter and 1 tbsp of olive oil. Stir and cook for about 5-7 minutes until the zucchini are tender.

Once zucchini are cooked, check on the couscous and fluff with a fork. Add the zucchini and viola! You have a scrumptious side dish that the whole family will enjoy. (I could eat this whole pot by myself).

* The cheese packet in my couscous made it slightly saltier than I like. I am not a big salt eater. So if you don't mind it you can use the whole packet. I think next time I will only use 1/2 of the packet.
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