Friday, November 28, 2008

Oreo Truffles

Oreo Truffles.... the possibilities are endless...


2 sleeves Oreos
8 oz. softened cream cheese
3/4 cup -1 cup of white chocolate chips or your favorite chocolate

Crush the Oreos in a food processor (should be like crumbs). Pour into a mixing bowl/mixer. Add in the cream cheese and mix until well blended OR you can mix with your hands (great activity for kids). Roll into balls. In a separate bowl, melt chocolate chips and drizzle over balls. Be creative, for this batch of truffles, we added two crushed candy canes to the truffles and then sprinkled the drizzle with crushed candy canes. Another option to to completely dip the truffles in your favorite chocolate....the possibilities are endless!

Hint: Melt the chips in the microwave, along with a teaspoon of Crisco. Once melted, place baggie & cut a very small hole in the corner of the bag and drizzle over the balls. Store truffles in the fridge.

Yield: About 30 truffles

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Pasta Milano {Macaroni Grill}

I save the divine ingredients (like heavy cream) for special occasions. I need to keep my girlie figure!

Pasta Milano (Macaroni Grill)

Alfredo Sauce
1/4 cup butter
1 cup heavy cream
1 clove garlic
1 1/2 cups grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped parsely

1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp roasted garlic
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 TB sundried tomatoes
1 tsp parsely
2 oz chicken stock

Add saute mixture to alfredo sauce. Add cooked chicken (3 - 5 oz (I use grilled BBQ chicken)) to sauce. Serve with bowtie pasta and garnish with parsely, tomato, parmesan cheese. I actually used DaVinci spinach nests, which are one of the few spinach pasta products my family enjoys.

My sister in law Cheryl passed this recipe on to me - it is one of her families top 3. It is delicious!
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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Roasted Garlic Spread

This is one of our favorite dips! Roasting the garlic makes the house smell amazing!

Roasted Garlic Spread

1 large head garlic, unpeeled
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 t salt
2T minced fresh chives or cilantro

Peel outer skin from garlic, leaving the head intact. Place garlic in a small baking pan; drizzle with oil. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Remove cover, and bake 8-10 additional minutes or until garlic is soft. Remove from oven, and let cool completely. Remove and discard papery skin from garlic. Scoop out garlic pulp with a small spoon.

Beat cream cheese and butter at high speed of an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add garlic and salt; beat until blended. Stir in chives or cilantro. Store spread in refrigerator. Serve over warm slices of French bread, or with crackers.

We love to spread it on Ritz crackers after it has been refrigerated!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Apple Butter Recipe

"Can I please have some more 'apple jam'" said Michael, age 6.

Apple Butter

The Ingredients:

--apples. 14 large apples fit in my 6.5 quart crockpot, peeled and cored
--2 tsp cinnamon
--2 cups white sugar (see note below)
--1 cup brown sugar (see note below)
--1/2 tsp cloves
--1 T vanilla

The Directions:

This is a 2-day process. Quarter the apples and take out the core. Put all of the quartered apples into your crockpot. Add 1 tablespoon of vanilla. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. When the cooking is done, mash the apples with a fork. Stir in the sugar, cinnamon, and cloves.

Cover again and cook on low for 6 hours. If you prefer your apple butter to be velvety-smooth, blend with an immersion blender, or blend in small batches in a traditional blender. This made enough for 3 jars of apple butter.

Looks like cinnamon, tastes like fall. My across the street neighbor made this 'apple butter' (Michael calls it 'apple jam') for us, and we all LOVE it! Thank you, Tyla!

Since I had never had this before, and now I am 'in love' I looked up more info:

Wikipedia's Definition:

Apple butter is a highly concentrated form of apple sauce, produced by long, slow cooking of apples with cider or water to a point where the sugar in the apples caramelizes, turning the apple butter a deep brown. The concentration of sugar gives apple butter a much longer shelf life as a preserve than applesauce. Apple butter was a popular way of using apples in colonial America, and well into the 19th century. The term "butter" refers to the thick, soft consistency, and apple butter's use as a spread for breads. Typically seasoned with cinnamon, cloves, and other spices, apple butter may be spread on buttered toast, used as a side dish, an ingredient in baked goods, or as a condiment. Apple Butter has also been known to be mixed with vinegar while cooking to provide a small amount of tartness to the usually sweet apple butter. The Pennsylvania Dutch often include apple butter as part of their traditional seven sweets and seven sours dinner table array.In areas of the American South, the production of apple butter is a family event, due to the large amount of labor necessary to produce apple butter in large quantities. Apple butter is also used on a sandwich to add an interesting flavor, but is not as commonly used as in historical times. Traditionally apple butter was and is prepared in large copper kettles outside. Large paddles are used to stir the apples and family members would take turns stirring.In Appalachia, apple butter was the only type of fruit preserve normally rendered into fruit leather.Black butter on a buttered slice of cabbage loaf. Apple butter can also refer to a new butter variety that has apple butter swirled in a tub with the margarine to provide a creamy texture and a sweet taste.Apple Butter Makin' Days has been held on the courthouse square in **Mount Vernon, Missouri each October since 1967. Apple butter is cooked using century-old methods in huge copper kettles over open fires all day long. Apple Butter Makin' Days.

It's about Thyme

Rancho Santa Fe is like a secret garden...

'Thyme in the Ranch' is my favorite bakery! I love it! I love it! I love it!
Matt & I rode tandem to the bakery last weekend (it is only a 14 mile round trip ride), and it was so worth it, because I love their breakfast frittata with salsa and sour cream. Not to mention their muffins... oh, their muffins... they have such a fabulous variety! They even have Apple Butter for sale! If you are ever in Rancho Santa Fe you must stop and have a bite to eat!

This quant little shop has a lot of history! Half of the bakery used to be my Dad's best friend's office! About 3 years ago the bakery needed to expand, and they remodled. The bakery had always been next door to Grant's office, but having become wildly popular they needed to find a place for all the customers to sit!
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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Food Diversity...6th grade Thanksgiving Feast

My daughter's sixth grade class had a Thanksgiving Feast last week. The students were asked to bring in a food that their family traditionally makes during the holidays. Leilani chose to bring in homemade rolls. We must have the most diverse population in the country, because we sampled foods from all over the world!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Winter Cheese Soup

Feeling the Chill in the air? -- Well actually, we are still very hot in CA but I like to pretend it's turning cold and get out our favorite Soup recipes. Enjoy this one,
we have been loving it for years.

Cheese Soup
In a Heavy Soup pot:
Melt 2 Sticks Butter
1 Cup Flour
stir to make a paste

Add in:
4 Cups Water
4 Cups Broth
begin stirring until thickened

Add in:
1 lb. Velveeta Cheese (cut into squares)
1 - 2 Cups diced carrots
1 - 2 Cups fresh broccoli
optional: 1 Cup diced potato's
note: vegetables need to be steamed before adding to soup
and vegetables can be any desired amount

Simmer on stove for 20 minutes

Serving tips, works well to cut recipe in half if serving for a smaller group. And, for something fun, try serving it in bread bowls or serve with french bread and a fresh bowl of grapes for a complete dinner.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Aunt Ann's Peanut Blossoms

This is a simple recipe my kids enjoy participating in!

1 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick butter
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
Hershey kisses

Roll in to balls, roll into sugar. Bake at 35 for 10 minutes.
Put kisses on when the cookies are hot.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Laurie's Irish Soda Bread

This is an old family favorite!

4 1/2 cups flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups buttermilk

Stir dry ingredients then stir in buttermilk. Sprinkle flour on the counter and knead the dough a few times. Break the dough in half into 2 round loaves. Slice an x over the top of each loaf with a serrated knife. Bake at 375 for 40 minutes. Slice and serve.


1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup honey

Mix together - you decide the consistency. The more you mix, the fluffier it gets. Or you could barely mix and it will be a smoother consistency. Yummy on Irish soda bread.

Chinese Chicken Salad

This salad offers a new twist on the traditional Chinese Chicken Salad...

Salad: 1 head of cabbage--chopped 1 small bunch of green onions 4 chicken breasts (cooked and diced) 2 packages of Top Ramen noodles (dry) 2 TBSP sesame seeds 2 TBSP sliced almonds 2 TBSP sunflower seeds Mandarin oranges Dressing: 1/4 cup vegetable oil 2 TBSP soy sauce 1 tsp pepper 3 TBSP sugar 2 TBSP vinegar 2 packets of seasoning from top ramen. Mix and pour over cabbage. Salad is best when it has sat for about an hour in the fridge after adding dressing.

Starbucks Streusel-Crumb Coffee Cake

I found this recipe while I was browsing through cookbooks at the library. This is by far my favorite 'coffee cake' recipe! It really is like Starbucks, especially if it is baked in a 8 inch square pan.

Oops! This is what happens if you don't butter and dust with flour!

Streusel-Crumb Coffee Cake

For the Streusel:

1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
3/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

For the Cake:
2 cups cake flour
1 cup granulated sugar
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temp
2 eggs
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a10-inch tube pan, a 9-inch springform pan or an8-inch square pan.

To make the streusel, in a medium bowl, combinethe graham cracker crumbs, walnuts, brown sugar,cinnamon, cardamom, and melted butter. Blend welland set aside.

To make the cake, sift the flour, sugar, bakingpowder, and salt into a large bowl. Add the butter, eggs, vanilla, and milk. Beat vigorouslyuntil smooth and quite thick, about 1 minute.Spread half of the batter into prepared pan andsprinkle with half the streusel mixture. Spoonremaining batter over the streusel and top withremaining streusel.

Bake until cake tests done, about 50 minutes. Cool about 20 minutes, then remove cake from pan.
Serves 10-12

This is from the Starbucks Cookbook! I added the cream cheese frosting because Michael requested it (we made this for his Thanksgiving Feast at school).

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


AKA - Witch's Brew on Halloween, Shamrock Shake on St. Patrick's Day etc.

Blend in a blender:
2-3 bananas sliced (so everything can fit)
one regular sized container O.J. concentrate
2 cans water (use ice if bananas aren't frozen)
2-3 cups packed fresh spinach (or 1c. frozen)
1 cup pineapple (fresh, frozen or canned) optional
(Pear or mango also work well in green smoothies)

This was a huge hit at our house. It is healthy and delicous!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Peanut Crusted Chicken with Pineapple Salsa

Five of us give this recipe 5 stars!

Peanut Crusted Chicken with Pineapple Salsa
1 cup chopped fresh pineapple
2T chopped fresh cilantro
1T finely chopped red onion
1/3 cup unsalted dry roasted peanuts
1 ( 1 ounce) slice white bread
1/2 t salt
1/8 t black pepper
4 (4 oz chicken breasts)
1 1/2 t canola oil
cooking spray
cilantro sprigs

Combine first 3 ingredients in a small bowl, tossing well. Combine peanuts and bread slice in a food processor, process until finely chopped. Sprinkle salt and pepper evenly over chicken. Dredge chicken in the breadcrumb mixture. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Coat pan with cooking sprayAdd chicken to pan cook 2 minutes on each side until done. Serve chicken with pineapple mixture Garnish with cilantro sprigs if desired. You can substitute the stovetop cooking time for 20 minutes in the oven at 350 degrees.
From Cooking Light

Contributed by Rachel Tollestrup

Monday, November 17, 2008

Caramel Fruit Dip

If I could just eat this like a bowl of cold cereal my sweet tooth would be satisfied!

Caramel Fruit Dip
1 - 8oz cube cream cheese
1/2 C. powered sugar
16 oz bottle of Carmel sauce*
Warm all above ingredients in a saucepan* You can serve it warm, which is YUMMY - or cold*You also can double the able ingredients and pour into a 9X13 pan topped with chopped walnuts and chill in refrigerator.... it is even better than the normal dip - EASY and super YUMMY.
Can I just say delicious! Amy Kirby made this for Rachel's baby shower, and it is amazing! Trisha and I were both swooning over it! This is the best fruit dip I have ever had!
Thank you Amy!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Magical Stew!

Everyone needs a little 'magic' once in a while!

Magically Easy Stew

1 ½ pounds beef stew meat, cubed

1 onion, chopped

2 stalks celery, diced

½ green pepper, coarsely chopped

6 carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces

3 large potatoes, peeled & cut into large pieces

1 tsp. salt

¼ tsp. ground pepper

1 tsp. sugar

1 bay leaf or oregano to taste

2 Tbls. parsley

3 Tbls. Minute Tapioca

2 cups tomato juice or V-8

Place beef in large heavy casserole cooker with a tight fitting lid (DON'T BROWN THE MEAT FIRST). Add onions, celery, green pepper, carrots and potatoes. Combine the salt, pepper, sugar, seasoning, parsley and tapioca with the two cups of tomato juice. Pour this mixture over the vegetables and meat. DO NOT STIR. Cover tightly and cook 3 hours at 325 degrees or 4 hours at 275 degrees.


*you can do this in a crockpot, four hours on high and again, do not peak! If your crockpot tends to cook HOT (like mine does, you may want to stop at 3 1/2 hours)

Taco Salad

This is a must add to your recipe collection! My husband and I have loved this recipe for more than 15 years!

Taco Salad
1 lb ground beef or ground turkey
1 medium onion, chopped
1 packet Lowry's taco seasoning mix (2T from Costco's big pack), or make your own (recipe below)
1 can kidney beans
1 meduium head romaine lettuce, chopped
3 medium tomatoes
1 cup cheese, grated
1 bag (15oz) tortilla chips
1 bunch of fresh cilantro
Your choice of salad dressing (homemade recipe is listed below)
Brown ground beef and onion in skillet: drain off fat. Add taco seasoning and mix kidney beans into meat. Crush 2/3 bag of tortilla chips. Mix lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, and crushed chips in a large bowl. Add beef mixture, taco salad dressing and toss well. Garnish with uncrushed toritilla chips, cilantro and tomato.
Taco Seasoning Mix
2t minced onion
1t salt
1t chili powder
1/2 t cornstarch
1/2 t crushed dried red pepper
1/2 t minced garlic
1/4 t dried oregano leaves
1/2 t ground cumin
Combine all ingredients. Place on a 6' square of aluminum foil and seal in a ziplock bag. Repeat recipe to make as many packages as desired.
Taco Salad Dressing
1/3 cup vingar
1 c catsup
1/2 c sugar
3/4 c oil
1t salt
1/8 t garlic powder
1/4 t onion powder
Blend well. Store in the refrigerator.
We have had hot (85 degrees) weather here latley, and we have the same forcast the rest of the weekend. As nice as it is, and as much as I LOVE salads... I am so ready for fall! Do you think we will have one this year?

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Chicken Salsa Dip

I got this recipe from a friend in Illinois, and I make it for almost every gathering I have at my house. It is super easy, but so good.

In a PAM sprayed casserole dish combine:
1 12 oz can of chopped chicken breast
1 16 oz package of grated cheese
1 14 oz can of salsa (I use medium)
1 small can of chopped olives (optional)

Bake on 350 for about 30 minutes or until cheese is melted. Put into a small crockpot on warm and serve with tortilla chips.

Friday, November 14, 2008


Fruit Pizza has such a wonderful presentation!!! It is fun just to look at!


1 ¼ cups flour

1/3 cup brown sugar

3 Tablespoons powdered sugar

2/3 cup softened butter


12 ounces cream cheese, softened

½ cup granulated sugar

1 Teaspoon vanilla

Fruit to layer over topping:





Mandarin oranges


Kiwi fruit, etc…

Crust: Mix all four ingredients together in a bowl until it forms a ball (do not overmix!). Press onto pizza pan until flat and even (leaving about 2-3 inches around perimeter) and use rolling pin if needed. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely.

Topping: Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla together until well combined. Spread over cooled baked crust. Arrange fruit on top starting with outer perimeter and working to the center. Sprinkle sugar over bananas and peaches if using to prevent browning.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Pancakes from the Pantry

This makes a fabulous gift...

Pancakes from the Pantry
This recipe makes up a large amount of dry mix that you keep in your fridge to make up pancakes as needed.
4 cups quick cooking oats
2 cups flour
2 cups wheat flour
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup powdered milk
1/2 t cream of tartar
3T baking powder
2T cinnamon
5t salt
To make up mix - combine all ingredients, mixing well and breaking up brown sugar lumps. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator.
To make mix into the pancakes:
2 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup oil (or 1/3c applesauce +2 T oil)
2 cups mix
1 cup water
Blend well. Cook on a lightly greased griddle.
This makes a great gift! Believe me, I love to recieve it!
Contributed by Christy Sutherland

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Morroccan Chicken Stew

This carries a very "grown-up" taste.

Moroccan Chicken Stew
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 large onions, halved and thinly sliced
3 lb. meaty chicken pieces (breast halves, thighs, and drumsticks), skinned
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried apricots, coarsely chopped
14-oz. can chicken broth
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Hot cooked couscous
Pine nuts, toasted
Fresh cilantro (optional)


In a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker place carrots and onions. Sprinkle chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add to cooker; top with chicken. In bowl whisk broth, tomato paste, flour, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, ginger, cinnamon, and 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper. Add to cooker. Cover; cook on low-heat setting for 6 1/2 to 7 hours or on high-heat setting for 3 1/2 to 4 hours. The last half hour of cooking add the raisins and peaches. Serve in bowls with couscous. Sprinkle with nuts. Garnish with cilantro.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

How to Deep Fry a Turkey

Here are the secret tips you need to have a moist, delicious deep fried turkey!

Every November we have a 'Thanksgiving Feast" at church. It is an amazing event!

Woody, the main man heads up a team of muscle to bring us the best turkey dinner on the planet! These guys set up propane tanks attached to huge frying pots. They have lights and rope off an area so nobody gets hurt.

As the turkey is slowly dipped into the pot grease flies eveywhere, making it a most dangerous job!

The final product is a rack of sealed, scrumptions, seasoned supper!

Woody's recipe for a delicious Thanksgiving Turkey


1 turkey, 13-16 pounds, defrosted

1 cup butter

1 2 oz bottle of Louisina Hot Sauce

2T of Tony Chachere's Seasoning blends

2 oz bottle of onion juice
2 oz bottle of garlic juice
35 lbs of peanut oil (large container)

He starts the process by defrosting a 13-16 pound bird. This is the perfect size, because it will comfortably fit in the pot. The turkey must be defrosted. If the bird is frozen, he thaws it in a cooler for 24 hours. He fills a cooler full of room temperature water, inserts the turkey, then closes the lid. The lid pushes the turkey down, so no part is exposed to warm air and this eliminates the possiblity of the turkey going rancid. Having the turkey fully submerged ensures the health and saftey of all the who will be eating it. Never deep fry a frozen turkey! It won't cook all the way through, and someone may end up getting sick! You can always leave your turkey on a big cookie sheet for about a week in the refrigerator to thaw as well.

Heat the peanut oil (you can use any oil, but peanut oil adds the best flavor) to between 375-390 degrees. In the meantime wash and clean out the turkey, and get ready to inject it with spices.

In a 2 quart pan melt the 2 cubes of butter, Tony's seasoning, hot sauce, garlic, and the onion salt. Bring the mixture to a boil. Draw the hot liquid into the needle of the injector.

Be sure to inject the legs, breast, thighs, and spread the seasonings around everywhere! Brush on butter, and sprinkle Tony's Chachere's seasonings all over the turkey. If you want your turkey spicey marinate it overnight before you deep fry it.

Deep fry the turkey 3 1/2 minutes for every pound of turkey. A 16 pound bird would need to be deep fried for 1 hour. Be sure to eat it while it is hot, because if you wait until it gets cold the butter will solidify.
Thank you to Woody Zacchilli for sharing!