Thursday, December 31, 2009

Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

Our family borrowed this recipe from katesblog to try for the holidays. When first mixing all of the ingredients together we were sort of leery about how it would turn out. But ummmm were they good!! Even a friend of mine, who is usually not so crazy about peanut butter, absolutely loved them. In fact, the reason I'm putting this recipe on my blog is so she can have access to it, because she asked me for it over the holiday but we were away, so I couldn't get it to her. Enjoy!!

1 18oz jar peanut bar
2lb powdered sugar
1 cup butter, softened
chocolate almond bark (or melt 12oz bag of chocolate chips with 2 T shortening)

1. Mix peanut butter, butter, and optional 1tsp vanilla with electric mixer until well blended.
2. Add the powdered sugar, a little at a time, blending with the mixer until all the sugar is mixed in. The dough will be slightly crumbly.
3. Form the dough into 1-1 1/2 inch sized balls by rolling the dough between your hands. Set formed balls on a plate or cookie tray.
4. Mix all ingredients together except for chocolate. Shape into 1-inch balls. Cool in frig. Melt chocolate in microwave, or double broiler and dip balls in, being sure to cover completely. Put on wax paper to harden.
5. Once they are cool you can put them in plastic containers in the refrigerator or freezer. They will keep for several weeks.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Hamburger Soup

Hamburger-Vegetable Soup

Another famous recipe in our household. Quick and easy family favorite!

1-1 1/2 pounds hamburger
3-4 cups of water
3 medium carrots, chopped (about 1 cup or more if you like carrots)
2 medium stalks celery, chopped (about 1 cup or more if you like)
1 large potato, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (about 1 cup or more if you like)
2 medium onions, chopped (about 1 cup or more if you like)
1-2 teaspoon salt
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1 can (14.5 ounce) Diced tomatoes with the liquid! ( or 2 cans if you like)(or a 28 oz. can will do)

Cook and stir hamburger in Dutch oven until light brown; drain. Stir in remaining ingredients; Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer just until vegetables are tender, about 20 to 30 minutes. (Depending on how small you chopped your vegies!)
Serves about 6, but in my household any leftover soup keeps for lunch the next day!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Orange Pumpkin Halloween Cupcakes

One of my friends loves to bake, so she decided that we were going to make Halloween cupcakes this weekend!! So last night we invited everyone over to the kitchen and made it a group project. They turned out so good! Everyone really enjoyed them. ;)

Lauren is wondering what exactly she's supposed to do with that She couldn't figure out how much 1/4 of a cup Becca just handed her a 1/4 measuring cup to put the batter into the backing cups..haha...guess she doesn't do this very often does she?

Becca, our head chef, creating the mix. :)

1 package yellow or white cake mix
1 cup solid pack pumpkin
3/4 cup water
3 eggs
2 tbs veggie oil
1 tsp ground cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice
orange food coloring
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
optional- black gumdrops to put on top

recipe: preheat oven to 350F line 24 standard muffin cups w/ paper baking cups
beat cake mix, pumpkin, water, eggs, oil, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice in large bowl w/electric mixer at medium speed 3 minutes or until well blended. spoon 1/4 cup batter into each muffin cup

bake about 20 min. or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. cool cupcakes in pans 10min. remove to wire racks; cool completely

icing: cream butter and cream cheese till creamy,mix vanilla, gradually stir in powdered sugar. store in fridge

and then if you want to use the chocolate then you place 4 squares of semi sweet chocolate in a plastic resealable sandwich bag and microwave on medium 40 seconds

knead bag; microwave 30 seconds to 1 minute or until chocolate is melted. knead bag till chocolate is smooth. cut off tiny corner of bag. Drizzle chocolate in four or five concentric circles over top of cupcakes. Immediately draw 6 or 8 lines at regular intervals from center to edges of cupcakes w/ toothpick or knife to create web

for spiders, place one gumdrop in center of web design on top of cupcake. Roll out another gumdrop w/ rolling pin on generously sugared surface. Slice thinly and roll into "legs." Arrange legs around gumdrop to complete spiders

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Allen's Chicken Enchilada's

One of my friend's father's sent her this recipe to try making here on campus. Sooo..guess what we spent last night doing. Haha, yup, cooking. All four of us helped make it and wow were they good!! I'm so glad Nora asked for the recipe. Definitely much better than having to eat campus food!

1-2 lbs chicken, pre-cooked or self prepared (thinly cut into strips)
1 can enchilada sauce (mild or medium)
1 package of flour tortillas (dinner plate size)
1 package shredded cheese (either cheddar or Mexican mix)
Vegetable cooking oil
Optional: onions, black olives, peppers
Pam or other cooking spray
Salsa and/or sour cream

1. Cook chicken in a frying pan on medium heat using small amount of vegetable oil (about 1/2 capful).Or simply reheat if using pre-cooked, packaged chicken.

2. Mix in about half a can of enchilada sauce with the chicken in a bowl and set aside.

3. Set stove to medium heat. Add small amount of vegetable oil to the frying pan and cook both sides of the tortillas, one at a time. Cook about 30 seconds per side, or until bubbles form and is slightly brown. Stack the cooked tortillas on a paper plate w/ paper towel between each to soak up any leftover oil.

4. Prepare a casserole dish. Spray the bottom and sides with Pam. Pour in just enough enchilada sauce to just cover the bottom of the casserole dish.

5. Brush enchilada sauce on one side of the tortilla. Add chicken, shredded cheese, and if preferred, also the optional onions, olives and peppers. Tightly roll the tortilla by folding over each side and then tucking in the corners. Place each rolled tortilla in the casserole dish.

6. With remaining enchilada sauce, brush the tops of the tortillas and cover with a layer of shredded cheese. Optionally add onions/olives and peppers.

7. Cook in oven at 425 for about 20 minutes or at least until cheese has melted and bubbles.

8. Serve with sour cream or salsa

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Hi all!!

I apologize for not adding any new recipes lately, but living in a college dorm, I don't have much time or resources to do much cooking or baking. I will make an attempt on doing so over break!! I feel so behind!! Ahh!! College life is great though, especially when you are surrounded by such a good group of friends. I am very fortunate to have them!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Chocolate Velvet Pound Cake

Woah! What a Birthday cake!!! Uncle Bob's face was priceless when he saw this! His mouth just dropped open! I'm not sure if it was more out of surprise or OMG that looks soooo good!!

1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate morsels
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 (16 oz) package light brown sugar
3 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 (8 oz) container sour cream
1 cup hot water
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup powdered sugar

1. Melt semisweet chocolate morsels in a microwave safe bowl at HIGH for 30 second intervals until melted (about 1 1/2 minutes total time). Stir until smooth.

2. Beat butter and brown sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer 5 minutes or until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Add melted chocolate, beating just until blended.

3. Sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Gradually add to chocolate mixture alternately with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Gradually add 1 cup hot water in a slow, steady stream, beating at low speed just until blended. Stir in vanilla.

4. Pour batter into a greased and floured 10 inch tube pan. Bake at 350 F or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. cool in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes. Remove from pan, and let cool completely on wire rack.

5. Sift powdered sugar over top of cake. Serve with chocolate garnish and ice cream. Garnish if desired.

Serves 12

Dill-and-Almond Green Beans

Quick and easy! This one is for Becca. After chatting online with her about the whole green bean recipe I decided to add it. ;)

1 Red bell pepper
1 lb. fresh green beans, trimmed
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

1. Cook green beans in boiling water to cover in dutch oven over med-high heat for 10 minutes. Plunge beans into ice water to stop the cooking process; drain.

2. Saute almonds in hot il on large skillet over medium heat for 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Add garlic; saute 30 seconds. Stir in green beans, dill, salt, and pepper; cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

3. Serve!!

Overnight Brunch Egg Bake

Another one of those recipes that I just discovered while we were having our guests. Mom made this one for breakfast and from the time it came out of the oven to when it made it to my mouth everything about it was YUM! And I'm usually not thrilled about eggs either...the only way I'd ever eat it before now.. is if it was scrambled, with cheese and ketchup on top. I know a lot of you out there must think I'm absolutely nuts to put ketchup on my eggs, but if you are skeptical you have to try it, its really not as bad as it sounds! I promise!

24 oz (6 cups) shredded Colby-Montery Jack cheese blend
2 tbsp margarine or butter
1/3 cup sliced green onions
1/2 medium red bell pepper, chopped
1 (4.5 oz) jar Green Giant Sliced Mushrooms, drained
8 oz. cooked ham, cut into thin bite-sized strips
8 eggs
1/2 cup Pillsbury BEST all purpose or unbleached flour
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 3/4 cups milk

1. Spray 13x 9 inch (3 quart) glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle half of cheese evenly into sprayed baking dish.

2. Melt margarine in medium skillet over medium heat. Add onions, 1/2 chopped bell pepper and mushrooms; cook until onions and bell pepper are tender. Arrange veggies over cheese in baking dish. top with ham strips. Sprinkle remaining cheese over ham.

3. Beat eggs in large bowl. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. Add flour, parsley and milk to eggs; blend well. Pour over mixture in baking dish. cover; refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.

4. To serve, heat oven to 350 F. Uncover baking dish; bake at 350 F for 55-65 mintues or until mixture is set and top is lightly browned. Let stand for 10 mintues before serving. To serve, cut into squares. If dsired, garnish with red bell pepper and fresh parsley.

Packet Potatoes

This is one of my personal favorites! I'm not sure where my mom found the recipe initially, but my family begs her to make this one for dinner!

These potatoes are definitely not bland, but zesty and flavor filled. Once you try it, you'll find it hard not to fall in love with them to!

1 sheet (18x24") Aluminum foil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
4 medium red potatoes, cut in bite size pieces
2 Tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil
1 tsp. seasoned salt
1/2 tsp dried dill weed (optional)
1/4 tsp pepper

1. Preheat oven to 450 F (or grill to med-high)
2. Spray foil with nonstick cooking spray (or use glass dish and spray)
3. Center onion on foil. Layer potatoes evenly on top of onion. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with seasonings.
4. Bring up sides of foil and double fold (or cover glass pan with foil.) Double fold ends to form one large foil packet, leaving room for heat circulation inside packet.
5. Back 30 - 35 mintues on a cookie sheet in oven or Grill 15 - 20 minutes in covered grill.

Serves: 4

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Mom's Famous Pasta Salad

We had family visiting this weekend, and we were looking for an easy dish to add to our lunch menu...but something that would also feed a lot of people and taste just as good. Our solution was the "famous" pasta salad recipe that my mom had collected from one of her quilting bee members. Its a really easy salad to make, and there is not much to it and everyone, I mean everyone, who has ever tried it has absolutely loved it. The relatives staying with us this weekend even asked for the recipe. So, I decided to share it with all of you! I hope you guys find it to be just as good !! Enjoy!

Package of Wacky Mac pasta
Feta Cheese
Peppers (green or red works)
Black or green olives
Italian salad dressing

1. Boil and drain the pasta according to package
2. Cut desired ingredients (you can add or subtract what you want according to your own tastes - feel free to experiment with it!!)
3. Mix
4. Top with dressing and chill or eat right away.

*note: you may need to add more dressing if you let it sit in the fridge overnight, the pasta tends to soak in the dressing

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Cucumber and Tomato Salad

Family Favorite!! This is dish is usually gone the same day we make it! Great as an appetizer, side or if you just want to have it for lunch. Perfect for those hot summer days.

2 cucumbers
1 large tomato
1 small green pepper
1 small purple onion
1/3 cup veggie oil
3 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
3/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Chop cucumber, tomato, bell pepper and onion. Whisk together oil and next 4 ingredients in large bowl until sugar dissolves. Add cucumber mixture. Toss together. Cover and chill 3 hours.

Yields: 2 cups

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

I'd personally never heard of this recipe before, until some of my friends at college introduced me to it. Apparently, it had been a personal favorite for a lot of them. Don't let the name of it fool you!! It may seem like a strange combination, but if you are a fan of salty-sweet combo's this recipe is one for you!!

2 cups crushed hard pretzels
3/4 cup melted butter or margarine
3 tablespoons sugar
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese
2 cups whipped cream or whipped topping
1 package (6 oz) strawberry gelatin
1 package (10 oz) frozen strawberries, thawed
2 cups boiling water
1 cup sugar

Preparation: Mix together the crushed pretzels, butter or margarine, and 3 tablespoons of sugar. Put into a 9 x 13-inch baking dish; bake at 400° for 8 to 10 minutes. Mix together the cream cheese, 1 cup sugar, and whipped topping. Mix gelatin into boiling water, then add frozen strawberries. Spoon over cream cheese mixture. Garnish with fresh strawberries.
Serves 10 to 12.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

They Won't Know Raspberry Coffee Cake

Absolutely delicious!! My mom made this one morning for breakfast and I couldn't help but go back for seconds. Low calorie, low fat and yummy....I don't think it can get any better than that!!

45 min/10 min prep
8 slices

1 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1/2 low-fat plain yogurt
2 tbsp butter or margarine, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 cup unsweetened raspberries (fresh or frozen...but fresh are definately better!!)
1 tbsp sliced almonds

1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tsp nonfat milk
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  1. In a bowl, combine the flour sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  2. Combine the egg, yogurt, butter, and vanilla: add to dry ingredients just until moistened.
  3. Spoon two-thirds of the batter into an 8-in round baking pan (a pie or cake pan work great for this) coated with non-stick cooking spray.
  4. Combine the brown sugar and raspberries; sprinkle over batter.
  5. Spoon the remaining batter over the top.
  6. Sprinkle with almonds.
  7. Bake at 350°F for 35-40 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched and is golden brown.
  8. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.
  9. In a small bowl, combine the glaze ingredients.
  10. Drizzle over coffee cake.
  11. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Note: Recipe found at

Friday, June 26, 2009

Spiced Mocha Mix

Something that I tried off on a whim. Turns out it is really good, and not to mention, really easy to make! Even my sister liked it and she doesn't even drink coffee!! Tasty warm drink that works great as an alternative to hot chocolate for coffee drinkers and non coffee drinkers alike!! Would also work as a simple, great holiday gift for those on a tight budget.

Spiced Mocha Mix
1 cup sugar
3/4 instant nonfat dry milk powder
2/3 cup cocoa
1/2 cup powdered nondairy coffee creamer
1/3 cup instant coffee granules
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
Marshmallows (optional)

Combine first 8 ingredients. Store in airtight container. To serve, spoon 3 heaping tbsp into a mug. Add 1 cup hot milk, stirring until dissolved.Top with marshmallows, if desired.