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).


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Edible Face Paint

Since Halloween is almost upon us, I thought I'd share this. I found this on I was checking out some other good eats and ran across this.
Have fun!!!

Edible Makeup (Face paint)

Basic Foundation

* 10 teaspoons (3 Tablespoons + 1 tsp.) cornstarch
* 2 teaspoons white flour
* 5 teaspoons vegetable shortening
* 1/8 teaspoon food coloring or fresh juices
* 1/4 teaspoon glycerin (available at cake decorating and craft stores)

1. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and flour. Stir in vegetable shortening. Add any food coloring you would like. Stir in the glycerin; mixing until well combined.

2. Use your fingers or a makeup sponge to apply face paint. Use small brushes or your fingertips for detailed designs.

Warts, Scabs and Road Rash

Basic Goop Recipe:

* 1 ounce gelatin (plain or flavored, depending on desired color)
* 2 tablespoons boiling water
* Mix-ins as needed: couscous, paprika, colored sugar
* 4 tablespoons corn syrup

In a small bowl or cup combine gelatin and water. Mix and let set 3 minutes. It's now time to begin experimenting with the gelatin. There are a variety of techniques that can be used to create special makeup effects:

* Warts, blisters, and general skin growths:
Before the gelatin sets completely, make moles or blisters by dripping the liquid gelatin onto a ceramic plate and letting it set completely. When set, carefully peel the formations off of the plate. Stick them onto your child's body and face by using a drop of corn syrup as adhesive.
* Apply color to growths, make additional growths and make convincing-looking blood: Use a spoon, popsicle stick, or other makeup applicators (including your hands) to apply the partially-set gelatin to your child's body and face. The gelatin will drip or clot depending on the degree of set it has reached. If the gelatin sets before you're ready, reheat it briefly in the top of a double-boiler or in a microwave for approximately 10 seconds on high until it thins out and the process begins again. Use a spoon to drip semi-liquid red gelatin over scars, scabs or out of wounds. After 3 to 5 minutes, the gelatin will set in very realistic-looking drips. If the gelatin doesn't set, let it sit another minute and try again.
* Other gooey, slimy, stretchy effects: Let the gelatin set about 5 minutes. Stretch or grab gobs of the almost-set gelatin and string it or glop it as you desire. Attach to skin with corn syrup.
* Add texture to the makeup. Stirring in mix-ins adds texture to the effects. Sprinkling colored sugar into the unset gelatin will make grainy textured effects, while sprinkling couscous or paprika on top of the globs once they've begun to set will make some wounds look scabbed over.

Stew Beef

Happy Sunday. Hope everyone has had an enjoyable weekend. We still have a sick child so ours has been mostly taking care of him.

This dinner is once again done in the crockpot. I love crockpotting on Sunday. Get it ready, go to church, come home, and dinner is done. It's great!!!!
Today was our primary program (where the children of our church do the entire main program) so as a teacher I had less time than I normally do on Sunday. Very stressful, so this meal was perfect for a day like today.

It's not your mother's stew beef. At least not my mom's. With a tomato base it's very takes the ordinary out of the normal stew beef.

Stew Beef
2 pounds of stewing beef
1 onion, chopped
1 (4.5 oz) can mushrooms (I did not use mushrooms because there is an anti fungus policy at my house-even though I love them-I've been outnumbered)
3 large carrots, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 (8oz) can tomato sauce
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp distilled white vinegar
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

In a crockpot place all ingredients and stir until the brown sugar and seasonings combine. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4 hours.

We served this over mashed potatoes but thought it would be really good in a bread bowl. We also served this with some crusty whole wheat french bread.


Saturday, October 25, 2008

Corned Beef with Broccoli and Rice

Good Saturday night everyone! Hope you are having a good weekend. We have a sick little boy at our house so today for us has been centered around tending to him. Very sad when your kids are sick. So for tonight's dinner I brought out the crock pot and made this yummy dish. It was more like a "stoup" (as Rachael Ray puts it, a cross between a soup and a stew). It was really yummy! This is really easy to make and it's hearty. You will definitely leave the table full with this meal. We paired it with some crusty whole wheat french bread.

Corned Beef with Broccoli & Rice Crock Pot Style
1 16oz bag frozen broccoli
1 can corned beef
1 (10.5 oz) can cream of mushroom soup
1 (8oz.) jar processed cheese sauce (I used velveeta cheese because I had it in my fridge)
1 C milk
1 C uncooked instant brown rice
2 carrots, chopped
1 small onion, chopped

In a crockpot combine broccoli and beef. Add soup, milk, cheese sauce, rice, carrots and onion. Mix well. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours or until the rice is tender.

This will serve at least 4 people, maybe more depending on how big your servings are.


Friday, October 24, 2008

Chocolate/Pnut Butter Chip cookies

There's nothing better than a warm gooey cookie on a Friday. Or any day for that matter! :O)
Tonight Seth has scouts and it's a potluck pack meeting. I decided to make cookies instead of a salad or something normal for a potluck. I much prefer the deserts anyway!!!!! So I came up with these yummy mouthfuls of chocolaty peanut buttery goodness.

Chocolate Chocolate/Peanut Butter Chip Cookies
2 sticks of butter or margarine (yep-2 whole sticks)
1 C brown sugar
1/2 C sugar
1/4 C unsweetened cocoa
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3 C flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon (it gives them a little hint of extra goodness and makes people wonder what's in them)
3/4 tsp salt
1 C chocolate chips
1 C peanut butter chips

Preheat oven to 350.

In a mixer cream together butter and sugars. Beat in eggs, cocoa, and vanilla until combined. Add baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and flour slowly and mix until completely incorporated. Add chips and fold in to mixture.

Place on baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray (hey if you have one of those silpat thingys this would be ideal-I don't so I just use cooking spray). Bake for 9-11 minutes. It only took 9 minutes in my oven. These don't spread like most chocolate chip cookies recipes I've tried. So feel free to put 12 per pan on there (of course depending on how big you make them). This makes approximately 36 cookies.

Cool on racks and then proceed to enjoy with a large glass of milk!!

Happy Eating!!!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Italian Chicken Stroganoff

Happy Sunday everyone! I do hope that you have had a great weekend. We are getting over sunburns and the "yuckies" as my 4 year old calls them.

Tonight for dinner I donned the crockpot again. I think I'm becoming addicted to using it. It's wonderful and I really wish I had started using it more, earlier. Better late than never I guess. Tonight's recipe is super yummy and the fact that my dear sweet husband said that he could eat it all the time was the icing on the cake. My boys weren't too fond of it (maybe it's because they had a case of the yuckies......) but my daughter did enjoy it. So there are currently mixed reviews at my house. Maybe you will have better luck!!

Italian Chicken Stroganoff

5 -6 skinless, boneless chicken thighs - cubed
3 tbsp butter or margarine
1 (.7 ounce) package dry Italian-style salad dressing mix
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 can sliced mushrooms (optional)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp basil

Put chicken, margarine and dressing mix in slow cooker; mix together and cook on low for 4-5 hours. I put the chicken in still slightly frozen. No need to add extra water that way.

Add cream cheese and soup, mix together and cook on high for another 1/2 hour or until heated through and warm.

We served this over egg noodles but also thought this would be yummy over mashed potatoes. Which ever you would prefer. We also served this with breadsticks and buttered peas.
I can't wait to hear if your family enjoyed it! Have a great week!

Happy Eating!

White Bean and Apple "White" Chilli

We love chili. Fall is the perfect time for yummy chili. Especially when it's cold outside. Of course living in southern AZ it's not that cold, so you just have to love it.

My mom has a great recipe for it, but I wanted to venture out and find something different. Yesterday we had a church chili cookoff and pie contest associated with a fall fun fair and I wanted something a little different for it instead of the usual meaty chili. So I found this recipe and tweaked it to our family's liking. This one was a hit and not only with my family. Apparently the judges and the crowd thought it was pretty good too!
I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!!

2 cans of white northern beans, drained and rinsed
2 onions, chopped
3 apples, cut in tiny chunks, you don't need to peel them
3 yellow bell peppers, chopped
1 mild red chili pepper, chopped and seeded (for extra spice you could always use the hot variety or even a jalapeno)
3 cloves smashed and chopped garlic
3 T butter
2 tsp chili powder (again, more if you like it hot)
1/2 tsp ground thyme
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3 cups chicken broth (I used homemade but feel free to use canned stock)
1/2 cup plain non fat yogurt
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (optional)-I didn't use the cheese this time.

Put the butter into the bottom of your crockpot. Dump in the drained and rinsed beans. Chop up the onion , peppers, garlic, and the apples. Add the spices, and pour in the broth. Stir in the yogurt.

Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or on high for 4-5. This is done when the onion has reached desired tenderness and the flavors have come together. Stir in the cheddar cheese before serving.

after cook-off. You can see how much was eaten.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Crock Pot Mac N Cheese

Happy Friday!! I hope everyone had a great week!! I'm SO glad it's Friday. It's been a really long week.

For dinner tonight I decided to break out the crock pot. I don't use it very often and I felt that now that the weather is starting to cool off a little (at least in other parts of the world but not so much here in AZ) I should start to use it. Makes it really feel like the holidays and that cooler weather is upon us when I see crockpots being used. So here's a family friendly, yummy, ooey-gooey mac n cheese that even your pickiest eaters are bound to love!!!

Crock Pot Mac N Cheese
10 oz elbow macaroni noodles
16 oz velveeta cheese
1 (12oz) can evaporated milk
1 1/2 C heavy cream (can use regular milk if you don't have heavy cream)
2 eggs
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp nutmeg (yeah, weird I know, but it brings out the flavor in the cheese)
1/2 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled (optional)
1/2 C shredded cheddar cheese for topping

Cook macaroni 10 min or until al dente. Drain.

In a large bowl mix cooked macaroni, cheese, evaporated milk, heavy cream, eggs and seasonings. Transfer to a crock pot sprayed with cooking spray. Top with extra cheese (optional).

Cover and cook on low 4-5 hours or until mixture is firm and golden around the edges. DO NOT REMOVE cover or stir the mixture until it has finished cooking. Just before serving top it off with the bacon.

Serve warm, 6 servings.

I really hope you enjoy this! Have a great weekend ya'll!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Italian Chicken Tin Foil Dinner

This serves up memories of girls camp and fathers and sons camping. We would always have this meal our first night of girls camp (although it was usually made with a ground beef patty instead of the chicken) and it was a staple on our hike and our over-nighter as 5th years. I'm sure if you've gone camping at all you've had this at one point in your life.

It's an easy and yummy meal.

Italian Chicken Tin Foil Dinner
5 chicken thighs, marinated all day in italian dressing
1 carrot per person, chopped roughly
4 potatoes, diced
8 slices of bacon, halfed

For the potatoes, put in plastic baggie and coat with 1tbsp oil, 1 tbsp garlic powder, 1 tbsp basil, and some dried parsley. Coat potatoes evenly.

Divide up the potatoes on pieces of foil, top with carrots and chicken. Top the chicken with bacon.

Bake at 425 degrees for 45 minutes.

Eat and enjoy and let it take you down memory lane.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Kielbasa Hash

Happy Sunday! Today I wanted to try something a little different. All in keeping with the hubby's birthday I cooked up some kielbasa and added it to a hash. We placed the eggs on the top and enjoyed it. Hope you are having a great weekend and if you have tomorrow off, I wish you a fun day!

Kielbasa Hash
3 tablespoons canola oil, divided
4 large red potatoes, diced
1 pound kielbasa sausage, diced (I used the beef)
1 (16 ounce) package frozen pepper and onion stir-fry blend
1 (16 ounce) package frozen whole kernel corn
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and black pepper to taste
6 eggs (optional)

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the potatoes and kielbasa, and cook until the kielbasa is browned, and the potatoes are nearly tender, about 10 minutes. Add the frozen pepper mix and corn; season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is hot and the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes more.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, crack in the eggs, and cook to your desired degree of doneness, about 1 1/2 minutes per side for over-medium.


We LOVE LOVE LOVE all things cheesecake!! So for the hubby's birthday we went with cheesecake instead of the more traditional birthday cake. I was so excited to make this and then especially to eat it. It lived up to every expectation we had!!!! I

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1 C graham cracker crumbs
1/4 C sugar7 tbsp butter, melted.

Combine butter, sugar and crackers. Mix well. Place in the bottom and up the sides of a 9in springform pan. Bake 8 min. Let cool.

12 oz cream cheese
1C sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 eggs

Beat cream cheese until smooth. Mix in sugar and vanilla. Add eggs. Pour mixture into crust. Bake for 45 min. Remove from oven and let it cool to room temperature. Eat as is or top with the following chocolate ganache.

1/4 pound semi-sweet chocolate (I used half a bag of chocolate chips)
1/2 C heavy cream

melt in double broiler on med-high heat. Once creamy, cover cheesecake and let cool.

Refrigerate leftovers.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Zucchini Lasagne

I first saw this recipe on Stephanie's Blog. I can't even tell you how good it looked. So I wanted to try it. My family isn't that fond of zucchini so I added some leftover pasta to mine, not a lot, just a small layer. Oh my!!!
Here you go!

6 small-med zucchini's sliced
8 oz pasta (use any kind-whatever you have)
1 large can fave spaghetti sauce (or use homemade-whatever you have on hand)
1 pound ground beef, cooked and drained
10 oz mozz and cheddar cheese (or use whatever combination of cheeses you like-this is what I had)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray the bottom of 9X13' pan with cooking spray. Put a small amount of sauce on bottom of pan. Layer pasta, half of the zucchini, then half of the hamburger. Top with sauce and cheese.

Repeat for second layer using the rest of the ingredients. Top with the rest of the cheese.
Bake in 350 oven for 45 minutes.

This will turn out so good that I can't even describe it. I could have sat there and eaten the whole pan by myself. Thanks Stephanie, This was fantastic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And did I mention that this is super healthy? It's mostly veggies. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

I love Cookies!!

Last night we decided to start celebrating my husbands birthday early! (It's Friday) So I decided to make this recipe featured on Jenny's Blog Picky Palate. The only thing I didn't happen to have on hand was the oreo's. This was a HUGE hit I cannot even tell you. These cookies were so moist and delish that we just can't keep our hands off of them. If you haven't already tried them, you need to!!!!!!! BIG thanks to Jenny for coming up with and posting this recipe! Did I mention they were super delish?? :O)

Friday, October 3, 2008

Upside-down Pizza Pulls

Happy Friday!!
It's football night at our house. BYU vs. UTAH St. It's a big night. So we decided instead of our regular pizza we'd try something new. I found this recipe on the website. It looked really easy and super yummy. Here's what I did:

Upside-downPizza Pulls
1 refrigerated pizza dough
1/2 pound sausage, cooked and crumbled
1/2 large onion, chopped
2 large tomatoes, chopped
shredded cheddar cheese
shredded mozzarella cheese
1C (give or take) italian dressing

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Spray a 9X13 pan with cooking spray.
Place veggies and cheese in bowl and coat evenly with dressing. Add more or less depending on how you like it. Place mixture on bottom of baking dish. Cover with the cheese, again as little or as much as you like (we like a lot so ours is extra cheesy).
At this point I added a little more dressing to the top of the cheese.
Open dough and spread out on counter. Cut into squares. Place squares on top of cheese until covered. Place in oven for 30 minutes. Once cooked, cool 10 minutes and invert onto platter or pan of choice.

I had leftover dough so I took the squares and added some sausage to each one and scrunched them into balls. I cooked them at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes. I like to call them little sausage poppers. These are great anytime.

Hope you enjoy!!!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Saucy Chicken and Pasta

Last night for dinner I found this yummy recipe on the email that I get occasionally. I don't have a picture of ours so I'm posting the picture from the website. Of course I changed ours up a bit due to what I had on hand and what I knew my kids would eat. It was really good!

4-6 small boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 onion, thinly sliced, separated into rings
1 cup fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth (I used homemade stock but feel free to use the store bought kind)
1/2 cup KRAFT Classic Caesar Dressing(I used fat free dressing)
1 cup mozz. cheese, shredded.
8oz egg noodles, cook to package directions

HEAT large nonstick skillet sprayed with cooking spray on medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 5 min. on each side or until cooked through (165ºF).

ADD vegetables, broth and dressing; cover. Cook on medium heat 6 to 8 min. or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Cook until sauce reduces and is thick.

SPOON vegetables and egg noodles onto platter; top with chicken, sauce and cheese.

The sauce was so good that you could make it on it's own and top just about anything. I hope you enjoy it!!

Tip: make you own homemade stock, boil up chicken , beef or veggies with spices your family likes, when cool put the liquid into ice cube trays and freeze. You have perfectly portioned stock for whatever you need.

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