Thursday, August 22, 2013

Bread Maker Breadsticks

Soft, chewy, buttery breadsticks are a hit at this house, and something easy, cheap and filling to make for the evenings we have friends over and a snack is necessary.

Put these ingredients in a breadmaker (I have a Zojirushi Breadmaker):

1 cup warm water
1/4 cup oil
3 cups of bread flour
1 tsp. salt
3 TBS brown sugar
2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast

Once the dough cycle is finished, I roll the dough onto a 10 x 12 lightly buttered cookie sheet.
Using a pizza cutter, I cut the bread sticks into 24 pieces.
Let rise for about an hour.

Bake at 375 for 10-15 minutes.

When breadsticks come out of oven, drizzle this mixture on top:
4 TBS melted butter
1/2 tsp garlic salt

Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve with pizza sauce for dipping.

Broccoli Cheese Soup

1 box of vegetable broth
1 cup of water
1 small container of half and half (about 1 cup)
4 oz. cheddar cheese
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
4 cups broccoli florets

In a large pot over medium high heat combine broth, water, half and half, cheese, flour, onion powder and ground black pepper. WHISK all together to break up lumps.
Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low.
Stir in the broccoli and simmer for 15-20 minutes until broccoli is tender.

Best Banana Bread

3 soft ripe bananas, mushed up
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 salt
2 cups flour

Mix together.
Divide into 2 buttered loaf pans.
Bake at 375 for 40 minutes.

Cool and remove from pans.

Slow Cooker Mexican Torte

1# boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
15 oz. seasoned black beans, drained
15 oz. diced tomatoes with green chiles
4 8" tortillas
shredded cheddar cheese
lettuce, tomato, salsa, guacamole and/or sour cream for fixings

Cut chicken into bite size chunks, throw in skillet with onion and brown on all sides.
Season this mixture with salt and pepper.
Stir in beans and tomatoes.
Place wide strips of foil in slow-cooker, so you can easily lift out torte when done. Spray well with cooking spray.
Place 1 tortilla on bottom of cooker, layer on chicken mixture then cheese. Repeat.
Finish with a sprinkle of cheese.
Cook on low 4 to 5 hours.
Cool 10 minutes in cooker and gently lift out.
Add toppings and serve.

The Most Comforting Comfort Food That Has Ever Made You Comfortable

I will admit, when I first read this recipe, my first thought was..."ugh"...not very healthy.
But then, one morning, in desperation, I pulled it up (from Allrecipes by Janiece Mason) and threw it in my slow cooker.  That night my kids and husband couldn't get enough...EVERYONE sung it's praises.  I think maybe you could throw a bag of frozen peas in there and maybe that would be enough to offset the butter/soup/biscuit part?  I don't know...I'm just a happy I have another '7/7 loved it' recipe.

Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (I cut mine in half or quarters)
2 TBS butter
2 cans of cream of chicken soup
1 onion finely chopped
2 packages of refrigerated biscuit dough, torn into pieces

Place the chicken, butter, soup and onion in a slow cooker, and fill with just enough water to cover.
Cover and cook for 5-6 hours on High.  About 30 minutes before serving, place the torn biscuit dough in the slow cooker.  Cook until the dough is no longer raw in the center.
(I've served this as is, and with egg noodles too...both are great!)

Slow Cooker Chicken Fettucine

This is SOOOO good:
(Do I say this about everything? I think I might.)

boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 packet of dry Italian dressing
1 can of cream of chicken dressing
1 bar or container of cream cheese
1 box of pasta (I prefer thin spaghetti)

In crock pot:
About 2 or 3 split boneless skinless chicken breasts.
1 cup water
1 packet of dry Italian dressing mix
Mix together.
Cook till done.
(High two hours, Low four)
In saucepan, mix a bar of cream cheese with a can of cream of chicken soup, till all melted together.
When chicken is done in slow cooker, pour the cheese/soup mixture on top and cook another couple hours.
Make a box of thin spaghetti pasta, and spoon chicken mixture over top on individual plates.

Minestrone Soup

4 TBS butter
1 medium chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1 (19 oz) can of cannellini beans
1/2 shredded cabbage
1 (14 oz.) can stewed tomatoes
1 TBS tomato paste
11/2 cup cubed potatoes
2 quarts vegetable broth
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 TBS dried parsley
1/2 cup elbow macaroni
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Melt butter in a heavy stock pot over medium heat.  Add onion and carrots; saute for a few minutes.
2. Add beans, cabbage, tomatoes, tomato paste, potato, stock, garlic, parsley to the pot.  Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat.
3. Simmer for abou 1 hour until vegetables are barely tender.
4. Add pasta and simmer for 30 minutes more.
5. Serve hot with grated cheese.

Pamelas Most Addicting Caramel Corn

I love caramel corn.  I became addicted to it when my BF’s mom made us up a batch years ago, and I haven’t stopped eating it since.  Thanks Pam, I owe those extra pounds all to you! Smile

Here’s what you need:

6 quarts of popped corn  (I fill my air popper twice…about two large bowls worth)
1 cup butter
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. soda
2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla


In heavy saucepan, melt butter.  Stir in sugar, corn syrup and salt; bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  Boil for about five minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in soda and vanilla.  (Keep stirring after this till you see it foam up and “grow”.)  Then gradually pour over popped corn.  (I pour it over the popcorn while the popcorn is IN the bowls.)  Mix it up to coat the popcorn.  Put the popcorn in two turkey roaster, or shallow baking pans that have been buttered.  Bake 1 hour in a 250 oven, stirring every 15 minutes.  Cool completely.  Break apart.


You can order cute labels like this from Good Gravy Designs.

Greek Dressing So Good You Could Drink It Straight

1 cup olive oil
1 cup red wine vinegar
2 1/2 tsps. garlic powder
2 1/2 tsps. dried oregano
2 1/2 tsps. dried basil
2 tsps. pepper
2 tsps. salt
2 tsps. onion powder
2 tsps. Dijon-style mustard
Mix together and shake well. Store at room temperature tightly covered.

Really Good Chicken Fingers

I love this recipe. I have a "thing" against frozen chicken nuggets and chicken fingers. I know they are popular but they just seem so processed and chemical-ridden to me and I don't want my kids eating all that crap they put in them. Here's an excellent, easy recipe that ALL my family loves. (I double the recipe when I make it.)
1 roll of Ritz crackers, crushed
1 cup of mayo
1 tsp. dried mustard
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast (or one know what I'm talking about...usually about 1# and 1/2.)
Smoosh the crackers and set in one bowl.
Mix the next 3 ingredients together and set in another.
Cut up chicken in strips or nuggets.
Coat chicken in mayo mixture. (I usually get lazy and just dump all the chicken in the mayo bowl and mix up good.)
Then coat chicken piece by piece in Ritz generous...this is the best part.
Set on a WELL OILED cookie sheet. (About 2 TBS.)
Bake for 20 minutes at 350 or till done.

Hush Puppies

Ever since we've had Hush Puppies down south on vacation, my kids have asked me to give them a try.  This recipe was a keeper.  Good 'ol fried food.  There's nothing like it. You need a deep fryer for this one.

2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup white sugar
1 large onion, diced
1 cup self-rising flour
1 cup self-rising cornmeal
1 quart oil for frying

In a medium bowl, mix together eggs, sugar and onion.
Blend in flour and cornmeal.
Heat oil in deep fryer.
Drop batter by rounded teaspoon (if you make them too large they won't cook through), in hot oil, and fry until golden brown.  This doesn't take very long, so watch them carefully.
Cook in small batches to maintain oil temperature.
Drain briefly on paper towels.
Serve hot.

Basic Bread in Bread Maker

This is a great basic bread recipe:

1 cup warm water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 TBS white sugar
1 tsp salt
3 cups bread flour
1 package of bread machine yeast or 2 1/2 tsp regular yeast

Place the warm water, sugar and yeast in the pan of the bread machine.
Let the yeast dissolve and foam for about 10 minutes.
Add the oil, flour, and salt to the yeast.
Select Basic (or Bread) setting, and press start.

White Cheese Dip

1 pound white American cheese
1/2 cup milk
1 TBS butter
1 4 oz. can chopped green chiles
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
cayenne pepper to taste

Place cheese, milk and butter in a sauce pan over low heat.
Cook and stir until cheese has melted.  (Don't walk away,  or it will burn!)
Stir in the rest of the ingredients.
Add a little more milk if too thick.
Heat through and serve with tortilla chips.

Garlic Bread

I double this batch for my family because this bread goes so fast.  You can refrigerate the spread, and save it for later also.

1 baguette sliced lengthwise

Mix together:
1/2 cup softened butter
2 TBS mayo
1/4 tsp dried sage
3 cloves of garlic, chopped (I use chopped jarred garlic)
2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 TBS grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to broil.
Spread mixture evenly on generous!
Put bread, open, on cookie sheet and lightly toast it under broiler.

Gone before you know it!

French Baguettes Using Bread Maker

I love these for the feta dip, or for meatball subs, or just because.

1 cup very warm water
2 1/2 cups bread flour
1 TBS white sugar
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp bread machine yeast
1 egg yolk
1 TBS water

Place first five ingredients in bread machine, in the order listed. Set on dough cycle.  When cycle is done, place dought in warm place for 30 minutes (or more if necessary), and let rise until doubled.

Once risen, punch dough down.  On a lightly floured surface roll (I use a rolling pin) into a 16x12 rectangle.  Cut dough in half to form two 8x12 rectangles.   Roll up each half tightly, long wise.  Taper end.

Place loaves on a greased cookie sheet.  Make deep diagonal slashes every 2 inches.  
Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled.

Mix water and egg yolk and brush on tops of loaves.

Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.


My kids love these little breaded cheese raviolis.  We don't have them often, but when I do make them, they are gone in seconds.

2 TBS whole milk
1 egg
1 1/2 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs
25 oz. package frozen cheese ravioli, thawed
3 cups of vegetable oil for frying
2 TBS parmesan cheese
1 jar of spaghetti sauce, for dipping

Thaw raviolis.  

Combine milk and egg in a small bowl.  Place breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese in another bowl.  Dip ravioli in milk mixture, and coat with breadcrumbs.

Heat sauce in a small pan for later.

In a large heavy frying pan, pour oil to depth of 2 inches.  Heat oil over medium heat until a small amount of breading sizzles and turns brown. Fry ravioli, a few at a time, until each side is golden.  Drain on paper towels.  Serve with heated sauce for dipping.

(These are very hot and take awhile to cool after frying.  Beware!)

Best Banana Bread

3 soft ripe bananas, mushed up
1 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups flour

Mix together.
Divide into 2 buttered loaf pans.
Bake at 375 for 40 minutes.

Cool and remove from pans.

Tomato Parmesan Chicken

An easy favorite.  Great served with a side of pasta and garlic bread.
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup bread crumbs
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, pounded thin and cut into 8 small cutlets
2 TBS olive oil
24 oz. red pasta sauce
8 slices of Montery Jack cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Pour beaten eggs in a bowl.
In another bowl mix together Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs.
Dip chicken into eggs and then press into bread crumb mixture to coat well.
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat.
Saute chicken for about 8-10 minutes on each side, until done.
Pour tomato sauce into a lightly greased 9x13 baking dish.
Add chicken then top each piece with slice of cheese.
Bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Cocktail Wieners

My mom has made these every Thanksgiving and Christmas, and my family loves them.

1 bottle chili sauce
1 jar red currant jelly
4 TBS brown sugar
1 package Lil Smoke Sausages

Mix first three ingredients on stove over low heat.  
Add sausages.
Heat through till hot.

Apple Bars

This a nice easy recipe-no mixer!  The bars were gone in seconds at my house.
1 cup sifted flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup chopped apple (any kind)

For topping:
1 TBS white sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350.
Grease 9x9 inch pan.
Sift together dry flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
In a large bowl mix together melted butter, brown sugar, and 1/2 cup white sugar with a wooden spoon till smooth.
Stir in egg and vanilla.
Blend in flour mixture until just combined, then add apples.
Spread the mixture evenly in pan.
In a small cup stir together sugar and cinnamon for topping and sprinkle evenly over top.
Bake for 25 minutes in oven.  Cool in pan and cut into squares.

Great with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.


I love hummus.  Since I don't eat meat, I crave this for the great protein it provides.  This is an easy recipe-no fancy food processor needed, I make it right in my blender.

2 garlic cloves, minced and mashed
1 15 oz can of garbanzo beans, drained
1/3 cup of tahini (roasted not raw)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 tsp salt

I put all of that in my blender and blend till smooth-I add a little water if it needs to get "unstuck" and thinner.

Meatball Subs

A favorite at our house.

I sometimes use frozen meatballs when I don't have time but I use this meatball recipe when I do.
I sometimes buy baguettes when I don't have time but I try to make my own in the break maker.  I'll post that recipe soon.

2 slices white sandwich bread, cut into little pieces
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
2 pounds ground sirloin
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tsp parsley
2 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 medium onion, diced
1/2 cup milk
2 large beaten eggs
olive oil
1 jar of pasta sauce
baguettes or sub buns
mozzarella cheese

Place first 8 ingredients in a bowl and mix well.  (Yes, you'll have to use your hands to really mix it all together well.)
Form into 1" balls, refrigerate for about 15 minutes to ensure firmness and so they won't break apart while browning.
Pour olive oil into a frying pan, heat till medium, and brown meatballs on all sides.
Turn as needed till all sides are brown.
Place meatballs in sauce and cook until done inside, at simmer, for about 2-4 hours.
Remove each meatball and place cooked meatballs on baguettes, topping with extra sauce as you go.
Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top of each meatball sub, and warm in oven until cheese is bubbly and bread is warmed.
I cut the baguettes into preferred serving size.

Kid Wont Eat? This Works for Me!

Here's what I have always done for my 1/2 dayers over the years. When they get home it's lunch time, but they claim they "aren't hungry"...although the mood tells a different story.

Get a cute divided plate. Target always has them. Call it a "snack plate". No pressure to eat a whole meal.

Put anything and everything you can on toothpicks. Kids will eat anything with a toothpick stuck in it. Amazing.

No big sandwiches...just little healthy snacks.

Works every time.

Bread Machine Bagels

I have been making batches of these like a crazy woman.  They are easy and so so so good.  And the best thing is that they don't cost $14 a dozen.  I bet they come in under $1.

This recipe is from AllRecipes and I use my Zojirushi Breadmaker...I love that thing.  The recipe makes about 8 bagels.  Last week I doubled it, and the bread maker handled it fine.

1 cup warm water
3 cups of bread flour
2 TBS white sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
3 TBS sugar
1 TSP cornmeal
1 egg white

Toppings if wish:  shredded asiago cheese, poppy seeds, dried onion flakes, rock salt, cinnamon sugar...

1.  I add the first 5 ingredients in the order listed.  Set on Dough Cycle.  When complete, place dough on a lightly floured surface. Shape into 8-10 balls, flatten them, and then poke hole in the middle.  (Make it big, because dough will rise.)

2. Cover bagels with a clean dish towel, and let rise.  Mine take about 30-60 minutes to get rise.  Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil.  Dissolve 3 TBS of sugar in boiling water.

3. Sprinkle an ungreased cookie sheet with cornmeal.  Heat oven to 375.  Transfer bagels to boiling water.  (My pot holds about 4 at a time.)  Boil for 1 minute, turning halfway through.  Remove bagels and place on dish towel to drain.

4. Arrange boiled bagels on baking sheet. Glaze top with egg white.

My kids love asiago cheese bagels, so I will grate some of that and sprinkle on top.  They also love "everything" bagels:  I mix up some poppy seeds, dried onion flakes, and a teeny bit of coarse salt. I will dip the top of the bagel in the egg white, and then dip it in the "everything mixture".  We haven't tried cinnamon sugar yet, but I bet that would be good.

5. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes.

PS.  There is a little Print Friendly button down below.

Garlic Roll Ups

1 loaf of frozen bread dough, thawed
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 TBS fresh chopped garlic 
2 tsp Italian seasoning
Parmesan cheese

Butter 2 pie plates.
Roll out thawed bread dough until about 9x13 size.
Spread butter and garlic on top of dough.
Sprinkle Italian seasoning on top of butter and garlic.

Starting with the long side, roll up dough tightly.
Once rolled up, cut in half.
Cut each half into 8 pieces.
Transfer to buttered pie dish, 8 on each plate.
Cover with clean dish towel and let rise till doubled in size.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese after removing from oven.

Another Great Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

I found this recipe on Shawni's blog, tried it and loved it.  It makes LOTS of cookies, which for our family is essential.

3 sticks of butter
1 1/4 c. sugar
1 1/4 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
1 TBS vanilla
4 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
As many chocolate chips as you'd like.

Throw it all together and mix it up.
Bake at 375 for about 8 minutes.
I like flat cookies so I rolled mine into balls and then smooshed them down with my hand.

Blueberry Zucchini Bread

This recipe makes 4 mini-loaves.  Perfect for sharing.
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups white sugar
2 cups shredded zucchini
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 pint fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease 4 mini-loaf pans.
In a bowl, beat together eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar.  Fold in the zucchini.  Beat in the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon.  Fold in blueberries and transfer to mini-loaf pans.  (They will each be pretty full.)
Bake for 40 minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean.   Cool in pans.

Bread Maker Doughnuts

You can easily double this recipe but this makes the perfect amount for us...about 8 doughnuts.
1/2 cup warm milk
1/2 beaten egg
1/4 cup butter
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp active dry yeast
8 cups vegetable oil (I used my deep fryer)

Place the milk and egg into the pan of bread maker and then add butter and dry ingredients in order listed, with yeast on top.
Select dough setting.
When cycle is finished, cut the dough into 8 pieces and form each into a disc.
Use a bottle top to punch out middle for doughnut holes.
Let the doughnuts rise on floured surface until at least doubled in size...this took hours for me, but all depends on air temperature.  And I wanted my doughnuts to be as light and airy as possible.
Heat oil in deep fryer to 350 degrees.
Gently place a few doughnuts in fryer until they float and turn golden brown, 1-2 minutes.
Remove from oil and drain on paper towels.

I placed powdered sugar in a paper bag and shook each doughnut to coat immediately.

Mexican Pizza

1 16 ounce can refried beans
1 pound lean ground beef
1 (1.25oz) package of taco seasoning mix
1 TBS vegetable oil
8 6" CORN tortillas (I have used flour tortillas but corn does taste better with this recipe)
8 oz shredded Cheddar cheese

sour cream
chopped tomatoes 
shredded lettuce
chopped fresh cilantro
green onion, diced

Heat the beans in a small saucepan over low heat.  
Brown the ground beef.  When cooked through, add the seasoning packet and stir.  Turn on low to simmer.
Place oil a large skillet.
Let the oil heat, then place one corn tortilla in the skillet.
After 15 seconds, flip the tortilla over and let it fry another 15 seconds.
Repeat this process with remaining tortillas, adding oil if needed.
Let tortillas drain on paper towels.
Once all tortillas have been toasted, arrange then on cookie sheets.
Spread a thin layer of beans on the tortillas, followed by seasoned beef, and then cheese.
Bake the tortillas at 350 for 20 minutes.
Top with desired toppings, and slice into pizza wedges.

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe Ever and I Would Know Because Ive Tried Them All

Thanks, Stephanie, from Barefoot In The Kitchen ,for this recipe.
2 1/2 sticks of butter
1 1/4 DARK brown sugar
1 c granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
Cream together.
Then add:
3 2/3 flour
2 T. corn starch
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
a bag of semi sweet chips
Mix together.
Put in freezer for an hour.
But don't forget to eat the dough before it freezes. That's the best part.
Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes. Give or take.

Red Potatoes With Garlic and Butter

A super easy, super fast side dish everyone loves.

Red potatoes, diced, to cover the bottom of a 9x13 pan.
2/3 stick of butter, cut into pieces
3 TBS diced minced garlic (use the kind from the jar and save yourself time!)

Preheat oven to 400.
Dice potatoes.
Spray a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray, and throw in all 3 ingredients.
Bake at 400 for about 25 minutes, or until potatoes are tender inside and a little crispy on top.
(About half way through, take the dish out and stir so potatoes are evenly coated.)
Serve plain or with ketchup.

Cheesy Bow Ties

2 cans (14 oz. each) diced tomatoes
1 box bow ties (16 oz.)
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1 1/3 cup grated Romano
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
1/4 cup Blue Cheese OR Feta (OR you could omit this all together if you don't like either)
1/2 cup minced fresh parsely

1. Drain tomatoes, reserving as much juice as you can squeeze out. (I squeezed out about 1 cup)
2. Cook pasta.
3. In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.  Stir in flour, salt and pepper until smooth; gradually add milk and reserved tomato juice.  Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.  Remove from heat.
3. In a large bowl, combine the pasta, sauce and reserved tomatoes. (I used only one can of the tomatoes.)  Stir in cheese and parsely; toss gently.
4. Place in greased baking dish.  Cook uncovered at 375 for 30-35 minutes or until bubbly.

Easy Pasta Primavera

3/4 of a 16 oz. box of pasta (I use rotini or ziti)
1/4 cup butter
1 envelope Knorr's vegetable soup mix
1 1/2 teaspoon all purpose flour
2 cups milk
2 TBS grated Parmesan cheese

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add pasta.  Cook till al dente, and drain.

2. In a saucepan melt butter.  Blend Knorr soup mix with flour and milk, and then add to saucepan.  Stir.  Bring to a soft boil, and then reduce heat to low and simmer for 7-10 minutes.  Stir in grated cheese.

3. Toss with cooked pasta and serve.

(This makes enough for all seven of us....I usually serve with a salad and garlic bread.)

Stuffed Chicken Roll-ups

This is the kid's favorite dinner recipe.

1 package stuffing mix (like Stove Top)

2 eggs-beaten

6 small chicken breasts, pounded (or just sliced thin) to 1/4 thickness

2 cans cream of chicken

3/4 cup milk

1 tsp. paprika

1.Combine stuffing and 1 cup of water. Let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in eggs.

2. Spread stuffing mixture evenly over each piece of chicken.

3. Roll up chicken from one short end to enclose stuffing.  If the piece is to large for a small serving, I will slice it in half once it is rolled.

4. Place seam sides down in 13x9.

Mix soup and milk; pour over chicken .

Sprinkle with paprika.

Bake uncovered @ 400 degrees for 30 minutes.

I usually make a side of mashed potatoes...they all taste perfect need for gravy, just use the soup mixture the chicken is baked in.

Wilton Cupcakes

A cupcake tip from my friend Melissa at 320 Sycamore:

This Wilton cupcake set is perfect for making boring cupcakes look cute.  Use the 1M tip and fill the disposable bag (that come with the kit) with your own frosting or store bought and just swirl that frosting on. It does take more frosting to decorate this way-buy two cans of store bought, or make a big batch of homemade.

Here's a great frosting recipe:
1/2 cup margarine
1/2 cup shortening
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
5 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup milk
In a large bowl cream margarine and shortening until light and fluffy.  Add salt, vanilla  and sugar and milk and beat well.

Soft Bread Maker Sandwich Buns

I make these often and use them for hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, and sloppy joes.  They make it all taste so much better.

1 1/4 cups milk, warm
1 egg, beaten
2 TBS butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 tsp salt
3 3/4 cups bread flour
1 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 TBS butter, melted

In bread machine, place the first 7 ingredients in order listed.
Select dough setting.
When cycle is completed, turn dough onto a floured surface and punch down.
Divide dough in half.
Roll each portion to 3/4" thickness; cut with biscuit cutter.  (I use an upside down drinking glass.)
Place each bun on lightly greased baking sheets, leaving space for rising.
Brush tops with melted butter.
Cover with clean dish towel and let rise till doubled.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

Raspberry or Blueberry Lemon Muffins

Abbey served these for her birthday snack at school, which they have right when they get there in the morning.  I doubled the recipe. 

In our house the boys prefer blueberries, the girls raspberries.

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 TBS baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 cup half-and-half cream
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. lemon extract
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries or raspberries, whatever you'd prefer

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
Combine the eggs, cream, oil and lemon extract: stir into dry ingedients just until moistened.
Fold in berries, carefully!
Spoon into paper lined muffin cups.
Bake at 400 for 18-20 minutes.
Yields 18 muffins.

Pumpkin Cookies

1 cup butter, room temp
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt

3 TBS butter
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2-2 cups confectioners sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and the sugar together still fluffy.
Blend in pumpkin, egg and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking soda and powder, cinnamon and salt.
Mix flour mixture into the butter/sugar mixture.
Drop tablespoonfulls 3 inches apart on lightly greased cookie sheets.
Bake the cookie for 10-12 minutes until golden around the edges.
Remove warm cookies and transfer to racks.
Let cool completely for at least one half hour, then frost with glaze.

For glaze:
In a medium sauce pan, heat butter and brown sugar over medium heat until bubbly.
Cook, stirring constantly, for one minute or until slightly thickened.
Beat in the milk.
Blend in confectioner's sugar until the glaze is smooth and spreadable.
Keep the sauce pan over the stove on the lowest possible heat to keep from hardening.

Our New Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

1 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 pkg semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl cream together butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla.  Add dry ingredients.  Mix well.  Add chocolate chips.  I put the dough in the fridge for about 2 hours.

I wanted to make large cookies, so I used my ice cream scooper to measure and scooped dough onto parchment covered cookie sheets.  I flattened each cookie a little before baking.

Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes (keep in mind my oven is fast).  Cool before removing from sheets.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Baby Cake

Orange & Poppy Seed Cake

Last time my friend Heidi & her mother came for afternoon tea they had this cake & enjoyed it so much that they asked for the recipe, so when it was time to bake for her baby sprinkle it wasn’t even a question! I also knew that the neutral colours of the cake would be perfect for my theme.

¼ cup black poppy seeds
¾ cup full cream milk
200 grams unsalted butter, softened
1 orange rind, zested with a microplane
½ tsp vanilla bean paste
½ cup orange juice
¾ cup caster sugar
3 eggs
2 cups of plain flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
250 grams cream cheese, softened
¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
½ tsp vanilla bean paste
1½ - 2 cups of soft icing sugar, sifted
  (taste for sweetness)
1 tbs orange rind

Preheat oven to 160°C. Pre-prepare a 20cm round, lined cake tin. Put the poppy seeds & milk into a jug, stir, then set aside on your workbench to start on the other ingredients. Place the butter, orange rind, vanilla paste & sugar into a bowl, then beat with an electric mixer/beaters until light, creamy & pale in colour. Add eggs, one by one, mixing between each one. Add sifted flour & baking powder, milk poppy seed mixture, orange juice, & mix until ingredients are just combined. Pour into prepared cake tin & bake for 60mins, or until cake tested with a skewer.
Whilst the cake is cooling, prepare your cream cheese icing. Beat the cream cheese, butter & vanilla paste until smooth with electric mixer/beaters. Add icing sugar ½ cup at a time so you don’t end up with one big ‘poof’ of sugar in your kitchen. Finally, add orange rind. Combine.

Style: Use a palette icing knife to spread out the icing from the centre. You can either add a sprinkling of extra poppy seeds or orange rind on top, but this time I went for baby booties made of icing instead. Choose a ribbon the colour of your theme to go around the cake, it is such an easy touch but speaks volumes.
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