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.

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