Thursday, September 23, 2010

Pepperoni Salad

My friend Jaimie showed me how to make this salad and I can't get enough! So so yummy!

1 head of iceberg lettuce, chopped
1 jar of calamata olives, pitted and halved
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1 package of pepperoni, sliced in half
4 TBSP Basil, chopped
italian dressing

Combine all ingredients and toss until combined.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Dutch Oven Pot Pie

My 15-year-old son, Josh is a Boy Scout! He loves to camp, hike, bike, kayak, etc. Anything outdoors is right up his ally! This is a recipe from his Scout leader, Joseph Benson whom he has spent many days with camping. This summer they hiked Havasu Pie... yes - all the way down the Grand Canyon and back up again!
This Troop 601's favorite dutch oven meal:

Dutch Oven Pot Pie

1 onion
2-3 chicken breast
1 big can cream of mushroom
1 big can cream of chicken
1 can chicken broth
1 bag frozen mixed vegetables
1 bag frozen peas
1 bag frozen potatoes/fries/hashbrowns
salt and pepper
Worcestershire sauce to taste
2 cans of biscuits or Bisquick

Fry onion and chicken until cooked. Add everything else except biscuits. Cook until boiling. Once boiling add biscuits to top. Put lid on. Put coals on top to bake biscuits.

Trick: Pre-bake the potatoes. Otherwise need to boil mixture until potatoes are cooked before adding biscuits.
I recently tasted this long talked about meal at an Enrichment Meeting. I have to say that I was very impressed! This is one good meal that can be cooked over the camp fire!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Easy No Boil Lasagna

1 box of Barilla Lasagne No Boil Required Noodles (9oz)
2 Eggs
15oz Ricotta Cheese
3 Cups Mozzarella Cheese (Divided)
1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
2 TBSP Dried Parsley
1/2 LB Ground Beef
1/2 LB sausage
2 15oz Cans Crushed Tomatoes
2 15 oz Cans Tomato Sauce
2 envelopes Spaghetti Seasoning (I like McCormick)

1. Brown meats and drain off fat.
2. Warm tomato sauce, stewed tomatoes, and spaghetti seasoning.
3. Combine eggs, ricotta cheese, 1 cup of mozzarella, parmesan cheese, and parsley in a medium bowl. Stir until combined.
4. Assemble by coating a 9x13 baking dish with non-stick spray. Spread 1 cup of sauce on bottom of pan. Layer 4 sheets of pasta, 1/3 cup ricotta mixture, 1/2 of the meat, 1/2 cup mozzarella, and 1 cup sauce. For second layer, layer pasta, ricotta mixture and sauce. For 2nd layer, layer pasta, ricotta, meat, and sauce, for last layer, layer pasta, remaining sauce, and remaining mozzarella.
5. Bake in a 375 degree over for 50 minutes covered with foil. Uncover and bake for 5 minutes until cheese is melted. Let stand 15 minutes before cutting.

Makes 12 servings.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Cookies and Cream Oreo Fudge Brownies

owey gooey goodness!

1 box Ghiradelli double chocolate Brownie Mix

1 egg

1/3 Cup canola or vegetable oil

1/4 Cup water

Heaping 1/2 Cup of cookies and cream ice cream

1/4 Cup hot fudge topping (chilled)

Oreo Cookies

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl mix the brownie mix, egg, water and oil until combined…and thick. Scoop in ice cream, and hot fudge; mix until combined. Line greased pan with whole oreo cookies, pour mixture over top. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until toothpick comes clean from center.

2. Let cool completely. Cut into squares and serve.

12 brownies

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

This is the soup my mom always made growing up and I love it! It is such a comfort food, and it is so yummy!

3 chicken tenderloins
8 cups water
3 TBSP chicken bouillon powder (more of less to taste)
1/2 cup baby carrots
1/2 cup diced celery
1 package of Mother's brand frozen egg noodles - prepared per package instructions

1. Combine water, chicken, bouillon, carrots and celery. Bring to a boil and cook until chicken is cooked through.
2. Remove chicken and shred into bite sized pieces. Return to pot.
3. Cook noodles according to package (Thaw and boil, drain). Add noodles to chicken mixture and heat through. Serve warm.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Going Bananas Birthday Cake

My youngest is obsessed with Monkeys so when I saw this cake I knew
I HAD to make it for his birthday.

1-3 cake mixes depending on how many cakes/cupcakes you want to make.  I mixed it up using 1 Vanilla Bean, 1 chocolate and 1 white cake mix.  I just made each cake separately
Chocolate frosting - you can make your own or just buy the chocolate frosting at the store (2 jars)
Keebler Fudge Stripe Cookies (you only need a few but I am SURE your family will enjoy the extras)
Junior Mints
Vanilla Frosting
Yellow Food Coloring
Mini Oreos 
Chocolate Mini M&M's

Make the mixes according to instructions.  For the cupcakes fill 3/4 full.  For the cakes I just used my stainless steel bowls.  I greased them liberally with Crisco and flour then filled them a little over half full and put them on a cookie sheet to bake.  You have to watch the cakes depending on how full you fill the bowls.  Start with 20 minutes and check then go from there.  I used a long skewer to see if it was fully cooked.  When the cakes are done, let them cool then cut the top so it is flat and will lay on a plate.  Once on the plate frost with the chocolate frosting.  It is MUCH easier if the cake is very cold or frozen.  Then add the piping for the hair (I used a Ziploc bag with chocolate frosting but you could be more fancy about it), cut the cookies in half and add the ears, put on the eyes and with your vanilla frosting with barely any yellow food coloring make the mouth.  Use the same piping for the nose and mouth.

For the cupcakes frost when cool or cold then break apart the Oreo's and add the ears.  Add the M&M's then frost the mouth with the yellow frosting and pipe on the hair and the nose and mouth.  Get plenty of wipes ready because these puppies are messy.  Enjoy!

Chili Lime Steak Salad


1 large head romaine lettuce
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1 red onion, sliced thin
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed in cold water
1-2 avocados, sliced
cilantro for garnish

Lime-Chili Rubbed Steak
1-2 lbs flank steak, or other good grilling cut (tenderloin, NY strip, and tri-tip all work well)

Lime-Chili Steak Rub
1 t chili powder
1 t granulated garlic
1/2 t cumin
1/2 t coriander
1/2 t oregano
1/8- 1/4 t cayenne pepper*
3/4 t salt
1/4 t black pepper
*If you have chipotle chili powder, you can substitute it for the cayenne or just add a little in addition

1 lime (about 2 T lime juice)

Juice the lime into a small bowl. Add spices and stir to combine. Some limes have more juice than others, so sometimes the mixture will be more liquid-y and sometimes it will be more pasty. If you find you're a little short on lime juice, just add a teaspoon or two of extra virgin olive oil to stretch it out.

Place the steak in a shallow dish and pour the spice mixture on top. Now is the time to make friends with that hunk of beef. Use your hands to massage it in there. Trust me- your hands work a lot better than smooshing it around in a ziplock bag. Don't be afraid!

Place meat on hot grill (bbq is best, but an indoor grill pan or broiler will work just fine too). If you're using flank steak it should take about 5-7 minutes on each side.

When steak is finished, remove from grill and let sit for 5 minutes before cutting into it. Otherwise all of the juices will run out and you'll be stuck with dry steak. And who wants to eat dry steak? Slice in strips against the grain.

Creamy Lime-Cilantro Dressing

1 pack (1oz) Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix (regular or buttermilk)
ignore directions on the packet
1C  fat free mayo
1/2 C milk (or buttermilk depending on which packet you buy)
1 lime
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1/2 C roughly chopped cilantro
1/4 C green salsa* La Costena (you can also use a few fresh tomatillos sliced if you want)
hot sauce

Place milk, mayo, and ranch mix in a blender. Juice the lime in there too, you should get about 2T juice. Toss in the garlic, cilantro and green salsa. Blend 'er up. Sample it and add hot sauce to taste. Make it several hours ahead of time to allow it to thicken.  I always make extra so I have some sitting around in my fridge.  It makes any salad delish!  Recipe courtesy of Our Best Bites

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

White Chocolate Raspberry Cookies

This is a Better Homes and Gardens recipe - and it is a keeper! I have been making these cookies for years and they are always a hit!


  • 8 ounces white baking bar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam
  • 3 ounces white baking bar
  • 1/2 teaspoon shortening


1. Chop 4 ounces of the white baking bar; set aside. In a heavy small saucepan, melt the remaining 4 ounces white baking bar over low heat while stirring constantly; cool.

2. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed about 30 seconds or until softened. Add the sugar, baking soda, and salt. Beat until combined. Beat in eggs and melted white baking bar until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour. Stir in the 4 ounces of chopped white baking bar.

3. Drop dough from a rounded teaspoon 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet. Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 7 to 9 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned around edges. Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute. Remove cookies from cookie sheet and cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container or plastic bag at room temperature for up to 3 days.

4. About 1 hour before serving, melt the raspberry jam in a small saucepan over low heat. Spoon about 1/2 teaspoon of jam onto the top of each cookie. In a heavy small saucepan combine the 3 ounces white baking bar and shortening. Melt over low heat, stirring constantly. Drizzle each cookie with some of the melted mixture. If necessary, refrigerate cookies about 15 minutes to firm chocolate. Makes about 48 cookies.

Make-Ahead Tip:Bake the cookies as directed; cool completely. Do not add jam and melted mixture. Place cookies in a freezer container or bag and freeze for up to 1 month. Before serving, thaw for 15 minutes. Decorate as directed.