Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Magic Cookie Bars

Coconut, chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk and grahm crackers... yummy!
Magic Cookie Bars
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, melted
1 (14-ounce) can Sweetened Condensed Milk (NOT evaporated milk)
2 cups (12 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/3 cups flaked coconut
1 cup chopped nuts
Preheat oven to 350°F (325°F for glass dish). In small bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and butter; mix well. Press crumb mixture firmly on bottom of 13X9-inch baking pan.
Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over crumb mixture. Layer evenly with remaining ingredients; press down firmly with fork.
Bake 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool. Cut into bars or diamonds. Store leftovers covered at room temperature.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Apple Dip

This is just the right combination of pure delight!  Your apples will never taste as good as with this......

1 8oz Package of Cream Cheese
1 cup Brown Sugar
1 crushed SCORE bar
                                    Mix softened cream cheese and brown 
sugar until creamy.
      Add the crushed  SCORE bar and mix well. 
Serve with apple slices.

*Thanks to Trisha Combe for this recipe**

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Strawberry Glaze Crepes

Pay attention! This is a favorite! You must make this for your family!

Byron's Basic Crepe Batter

1 cup milk
1/4 cup cold water
2 eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
Pinch salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for cooking the crepes

Combine the milk, water, eggs, flour, salt and sugar in a blender. Blend on medium speed for 15 seconds, until the batter is smooth and lump-free. Scrape down the sides of the blender and pour in 3 tablespoons of melted butter. Blend it again for a second just to incorporate. Refrigerate the batter for 1 hour to let it rest. If the crepes are made immediately, they have a tendency to be rubbery; when you let the batter rest, the crepes have a better texture and a softer bite.
Put an 8-inch crepe pan or nonstick skillet over medium heat and brush with a little melted butter for added assurance. Pour 1/4 cup of batter into the pan and swirl it around so it covers the bottom evenly; pour back any excess. Cook for 30 to 45 seconds, until the crepe batter sets. Flip the crepe and cook the other side for an additional 30-45 seconds. The crepes should be pliable, not crisp, and lightly brown. Slide them onto a platter and continue making the crepes until all the batter is used. Cover the stack of crepes with a towel to keep them from drying out. This makes 10 crepes.

Danish Cream Cheese

2 8 oz packages of cream cheese
¾ cup of sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
Cream all ingredients together in a mixer and place in a pastry bag.

Strawberry Glaze

2 cups cut strawberries
3 tablespoons sugar
¼ cup cold water
Puree all ingredients in a blender. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and pour into a squeeze bottle. Refrigerate until ready to use.

To complete:

Pipe cream cheese filling on the bottom 1/3 of a flat crepe. Top with fresh berries. Fold each side of crepe towards the center and roll like a burrito. Place several cut strawberries in the center of a large plate. Top with two crepes. Top the crepes with freshly whipped cream and a mint leaf and then decorate the plate with dots of the straw berry glaze.

This is one of Byron's many amazing recipes...

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

A Christmas Party...

This is what Christmas is all about....

The Quinn's are friends from way back when... this scrumptious food is from a party at their beautiful home.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Chocolate Creme Mouse

This is for all the kids who don't eat pumpkin pie...


1 (8 oz.) softened cream cheese
1 c. sugar
6 tbsp. cocoa
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. whipping cream
1/4 c. grated semi-sweet chocolate

Place cream cheese in large mixing bowl. Beat cream cheese; gradually add sugar. Beat until sugar is thoroughly, beating into cream cheese.
Add cocoa and vanilla; beat until well mixed in separate bowl. Beat whipping cream until stiff. Chill bowl and beater first gently fold whipped cream into chocolate mixture. Spoon mousse into dessert dishes. Sprinkle grated chocolate on each dish. Chill and serve

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Friday, December 19, 2008

Cranberries and Brie

A Christmas Eve favorite...

Cranberries and Brie
Prepare 12 Oz. of fresh cranberries according to package for cranberry sauce...
1/3 C. water
3/4 C. brown sugar
1/8 t. dry mustard
1/2 t. cloves
1/8 t. ginger
1/8 t. allspice
Stir into the fresh cranberries and warm the sauce on the stove for five minutes. Place a brie wheel in a glass pie plate. Pour the cranberry sauce over the brie wheel. Next, bake in the oven on 350 for about 20-25 minutes. The brie should be melted slightly. Serve with crackers or bread.
Contributed by Chrissy Clyde who says this is one of her families Christmas Eve favorites!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Holiday Orange Rolls

Delightful during the holidays...

Holiday Orange Rolls
2 pkg yeast
1/4 c warm water
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c shortening
2 tsp. salt
1 c hot water
3 eggs, well beaten
1 c flour
3 1/2 c flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water and set aside. Dissolve the sugar, shortening, salt and hot water together and let cool. Mix the eggs and 1 cup flour together and add to sugar mixture. Add the yeast mixture and the flour. Cover and refrigerate overnight. About four hours before serving, roll out the dough in a rectangle (like cinnamon rolls). You may need to add more flour if the dough is too sticky. Mix together and spread on rolled out dough1/3 c sugar1/3 c butter, softened, rind of one orange.

Roll up dough like cinnamon rolls and slice about 1 inch thick. Put in greased muffin tins and let rise for 3-4 hours. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes. While the rolls are baking prepare glaze made of juice of the orange and powdered sugar. I usually just put powdered sugar in a bowl and add juice until it is the consistency I like. It need to be pourable, but not too thin. While the rolls are warm, spread with glaze.

Thank you to Ashley Schmidt for this recipe!
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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Winter Salad

The walnuts make this salad packed with vitamins and minerals!

Winter Salad

One head chopped Romaine lettuce
Seeds of one Pomegranate (1/2 Pomegranate would be enough too)
2 Grapefruits, sectioned, membrane removed
1 cubed avocado
1/2 cup lightly sweetened pecans

3 Tablespoons light vinegar (I used Grapefruit vinegar from TraderJoe's--but a white balsamic or plain white would be fine.)
3 Tablespoons very light oil (I used fresh grapeseed oil--if it's not veryfresh, the taste is too strong for salad. Vegetable oil would be fine.)
3 Tablespoons honey
Salt to taste

Toss lettuce, seeds, grapefruit, avocado with dressing and top with nuts.
I made the salad again this weekend with the avocado, and it was a very nice(I think needed) addition.
Contributed by Renee Johnson
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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Traditional Sweet Potato Casserole {Cooking Light}

A most delightful way to prepare yams...

Traditional Sweet Potato Casserole

To prepare this a day ahead, cook the sweet potatoes; combine with brown sugar, butter, and vanilla. Before baking, stir in half the pecans, place in a baking dish, and top with the remaining pecans and marshmallows. If you're toting this dish to a Thanksgiving celebration, assemble the casserole and bake at your host's home while the turkey stands.


2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup finely chopped pecans, divided.

Cooking spray

2 cups miniature marshmallows

PreparationPreheat oven to 375°. Place the sweet potatoes in a Dutch oven, and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes or until very tender. Drain; cool slightly. Place potatoes in a large bowl. Add sugar and next 3 ingredients (through vanilla). Mash sweet potato mixture with a potato masher. Fold in 1/4 cup pecans. Scrape potato mixture into an even layer in an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup pecans; top with marshmallows. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until golden.

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Monday, December 15, 2008

The Ultimate Candy Bar!!!

Eye candy in every photo!

These are pictures from Cydney's amazing candy bar...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Green Bean Casserole

This is one of the most delicious ways to eat green beans! My children look forward to this dish during the holidays!

Our favorite Green Bean Casserole


1 can (10 3/4 oz.) Cream of Mushroom Soup
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. soy sauce
Dash ground black pepper
4 cups cooked cut green beans
1 1/3 cups French Fried Onions


MIX soup, milk, soy, black pepper, beans and 2/3 cup onions in 1 1/2-qt. casserole.
BAKE at 350°F. for 25 min. or until hot.
STIR . Sprinkle with remaining onions. Bake 5 min.
TIP: Use 1 bag (16 to 20 oz.) frozen green beans, 2 pkg. (9 oz. each) frozen green beans, 2 cans (about 16 oz. each) green beans or about 1 1/2 lb. fresh green beans for this recipe.
For a change of pace, substitute 4 cups cooked broccoli flowerets for the green beans.
For a creative twist, stir in 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese with soup. Omit soy sauce. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup additional Cheddar cheese when adding the remaining onions.
For a festive touch, stir in 1/4 cup chopped red pepper with soup.

For a heartier mushroom flavor, substitute Condensed Golden Mushroom Soup for Cream of Mushroom Soup. Omit soy sauce. Stir in 1/4 cup chopped red pepper with green beans.
My Mom made this for us growing up... it has always been a dish I expect to see during the holidays!
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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Shrimp Ceviche

We make this often. It is so good and easy. I know that ceviche is traditionally made using raw fish, but I don't want anyone to get sick. I think it is just as good using cooked shrimp.

8-10 tomatoes (finely diced)

2 white onions (finely diced)

1 anaheim chili (VERY finely diced)

1 bunch cilantro (leaves chopped)

1 lb. cooked shrimp (peeled, deveined and chopped up)

4-6 limes (juice only)

1-2 lemon (juice only)

salt as needed

garlic salt as needed

chips to serve with ceviche

Wash tomatoes and cilantro. Core the tomatoes and finely dice them (pico de gallo style). Finely dice the onion (removing skin). Take all the cilantro leaves and chop them up. Add the Anaheim chili after it is very finely diced. Chop up all the shrimp (minus the tails), and mix together. Add the citrus juice. I like to add a lot because the shrimp will soak it in. Put in a little bit of salt and garlic salt. Let sit in the refrigerator for 3 or more hours. Before serving you will need to add salt to taste. This is always a hit for any shrimp lover!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Cranberry POP Cake

Not too sour, not too sweet! Just perfect!

Cranberry Pop Cake

6T butter, room temp
2c sugar
4c flour
1t salt
4t baking powder
2c Evaporated milk
1 ½ bags fresh cranberries
Preheat oven to 350

Cream butter and sugar together until mixed well. Stir in salt and baking powder. Gradually add flour and milk, alternating, ending with flour. Fold in cranberries (You do not have to use them all, just until you think there is a fair amount in batter).

Pour into a greased Bundt pan and bake for 40 – 60 minutes. Check center to see if it is set about five minutes before time is up. Depending on the thickness of your bundt pan, cake may cook faster.

Cool cake and then flip onto a flat plate. Serve with warm butter sauce if desired.

Hot Butter Sauce

2 cubes butter
2 cups sugar
1c heavy cream
2t Real vanilla

Melt butter over medium heat. Stir in sugar to dissolve, add heavy cream and stir well. Simmer 10 minutes, stirring often and making sure not to scorch butter or cream. Add vanilla and mix. Serve warm over pop cake.
If there would have been more room on my cake stand, I would have decorated the bottom edge of the cake with cranberries as well.
Thanks to Elizabeth Parmley for this fabulous recipe!

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Fabrina Hot Cereal

This is a $$$ money saver!!!

Farina Hot Cereal

I buy Farina Cereal from the bulk bins at Henry's. My kids love it! I can feed my family of 6 breakfast for all of .75 (cents!!!).

Recipe for 4 servings (feeds my family... we add fruit as well):

3 cups water
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt (optional)
3/4 cup Farina Cereal


1. Add Farina Hot Cereal and salt slowly to boiling water (& milk) while stirring.
2. Bring to a boil, reduce heat.
3. Allow to simmer 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Remove from heat and cover. Let stand until desired consistency is reached.

My kids top with honey, granola, stevia, fruit... just whatever we have around.

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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Char Sui Pork {Crockpot}

Crockpot recipe's are perfect for busy mom's!

Char Siu Pork

Slow Cooker Char Siu Pork Roast is a Chinese version of barbecue. Serve with sticky or long-grain white rice and a steamed or stir-fried medley of bell peppers, carrots, snow peas, & sliced baby corn.


1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce

1/4 cup hoisin sauce

3 tablespoons ketchup

3 tablespoons honey

2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic

2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger

1 teaspoon dark sesame oil

1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder

2 pounds boneless Boston butt pork roast, trimmed (pork loin will work)

1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth


Combine first 8 ingredients in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Place in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add pork to bag; seal. Marinate in refrigerator at least 2 hours, turning occasionally.

Place pork and marinade in an electric slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 5 hours. Remove pork from slow cooker using a slotted spoon; place on a cutting board or work surface. Cover with aluminum foil; keep warm. Add broth to sauce in slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 30 minutes or until sauce thickens. Shred pork with 2 forks; serve with sauce.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Minty Ice Cream Pie

We called this a grasshopper dessert when I was growing up! That name always seems to fascinate the kiddos.

Minty Ice Cream Pie

1 lb Oreo cookies, crushed
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 gallon mint chocolate chip ice cream, slightly softened
1 (12 ounce) jar hershey's hot fudge
8 ounces Cool Whip
25 Andes mints candies, broken

1. Mix crushed oreos with melted butter.
2. Press into bottom of 9 x 13" baking dish.
3. Slice ice cream into 3-4 sections, place over oreo crust and spread as best as possible with spatula.
4. Spread hot fudge over ice cream- may need to warm slightly in microwave to be spreadable. 5. Spread cool whip over top.
6. Sprinkle with broken Andes Mints.
7. Place in freezer to set.
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Friday, December 5, 2008

Bavarian Mints

This is a traditional holiday favorite....
Chocolate Mint and more Chocolate!

Bavarian Mints

1 (14-oz) can sweetened condensed milk
2 (8-ounce) milk chocolate bars
1 (1-ounce) square unsweetened chocolate
2 Tablespoons butter
3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

In the top of a double boiler combine all ingredients except peppermint extract and vanilla. Stir over low heat until melted. Add peppermint and vanilla. Pour into greased 8x8 inch pan. Let cool until firm. Cut into 1-inch squares. *If you do not have access to a double boiler, the mints still can be made -- just stir constantly on low heat and do not leave unattended.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Sweet Jalapeno Ribs

I have had friends beg for this recipe! You will LOVE this! Men go crazy for these ribs!

Sweet Jalapeno Ribs
2-16 oz cans Pinto beans, drained
3 lbs country-style pork ribs, trimmed
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp pepper
1 onion, chopped
1-10.5 oz. red jalapeno jelly
1-5 oz bottle steak sauce
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded & finely chopped

Place beans in crock pot. Cut ribs apart; sprinkle with garlic powder, salt, & ½ tsp. pepper. Place ribs on a rack in a broiler pan. Broil 5 ½ in. from upper heating element ( with electric oven door partially opened) 18-20 minutes or until well browned, turning once. Add ribs to crock pot sprinkling with onions. Combine jelly, steak sauce, and jalapeno peppers in a saucepan; cook over low heat until jelly melts. Pour over ribs; stir gently. Cover & cook at HIGH 3-4 hours or at low 8-10 hrs. Remove ribs. Drain bean mixture, reserving sauce. Skim fat from sauce. Arrange ribs over bean mixture; serve with sauce.
Thank you to Michelle Olsen for this fabulous recipe! This is one of our favorites!!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Homemade Marshmallows

Yes, you can make your own marshmallows!

Homemade Marshallows

2 1/2 tablespoons unflavored gelatin
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
Confectioners' sugar (for dusting)

Combine gelatin and 1/2 cup cold water in the bowl of an electric mixer with whisk attachment. Let it stand 30 minutes. Combine granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt and 1/2 cup of water in a small heavy saucepan; place over low heat and stir until sugar has dissolved. Wash down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to dissolve sugar crystals. Clip on a candy thermometer; raise heat to high. Cook syrup without stirring until it reaches 244 degrees (firm-ball stage). Immediately remove pan from heat. With mixer on low speed, slowly and carefully pour syrup into the softened gelatin. Increase speed to high; beat until mixture is very thick and white and has almost tripled in volume, about 15 minutes. Add vanilla; beat to incorporate.Generously dust an 8 x 12-inch glass baking pan with confectioners' sugar. Pour marshmallow mixture into pan. Dust with confectioners' sugar; let stand overnight, uncovered, to dry out.
Recipe by Martha Stewart
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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

White Hot Chocolate

You have not tasted a gourmet mug of hot chocolate until you have sipped a steaming sip of this divine drink! My guests stop and say... WHAT is this????? Yummy!

White Hot Chocolate

What better way to warm your heart than a steaming cup of hot chocolate!

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 6 cups whole milk
  • 12 ounces white chocolate , finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 block dark chocolate
Using a vegetable peeler, shave chocolate into curls; set aside.

Place white chocolate in a medium heat-proof bowl; set aside. Place milk and cream in a medium saucepan set over medium heat until bubbles begin to form around edges of pan (about 4 minutes). Do not boil.

Remove mixture from the flame. Immediately pour over white chocolate. When chocolate begins to melt, gently stir to combine.

Whisk in vanilla. Continue whisking until light foam forms.

Serve immediately. Garnish with chocolate shavings or homemade marshmallows.

I first tried this recipe right after Martha was on
Oprah in November of 2001. This has since been one of my most cherished recipe's! My kids love to make the homemade marshmallows as well!

I make a big double batch in my crockpot, line up the mugs... and everyone raves! This is the perfect treat for stories by the fireplace!

Recipe created by by Martha Stewart

Monday, December 1, 2008

Red Raspberry Orzo Salad

Red Raspberry Orzo Salad

Cook 1 pkg. Orzo pasta according to directions. Use as much as you need for the size salad you are making.

Chop about 1/2 package of baby spinach into small pieces.
Toast about 1-1 1/2 cup pine nuts (just under 2 minutes in the toaster oven or microvawe will do it)
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
3/4 cup craisins
artichoke hearts to taste

Add chopped chicken if you are serving this as a main dish, otherwise omit the chicken.

Dressing: Be sure to make this in a blender or food processor (do not shake in a jar).

1/4 c raspberry vinegar
1/2 c olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
1 t. pure maple syrup
1 1/2 t Italian seasoning
salt & pepper to taste

Double this recipe if you are making a large salad with the Orzo. Cut the spinach up as well.

This is one of Brittany Gharring's
recipes. This salad is amazing! The flavors blend together perfectly, and the colors are beautiful! I know this is a family favorite for many of us!