Sunday, November 22, 2009

Red Skinned Mashed Potatoes

Looking for a twist on tradition? Want to add something a little different to your Thanksgiving dinner menu? Give this a try, it's a YUMMY family favorite!

6 large red skin potatoes
1 stick butter or margarine
1/4 c. milk
1/4 c. sour cream
6 green onions, chopped (optional)
Shredded cheese (pick your favorite and add to taste.)
Salt and pepper to taste

Wash potatoes thoroughly.
Chop potatoes into medium sized slices, LEAVE the peels on!
Boil for about a half-hour (or until soft.)
Drain off all the water.
Add butter, milk, sour cream, green onions, and cheese.
Whip together well.
Season to taste.
Serve with some shredded cheese sprinkled on top and enjoy!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Pumpkin Pie Dessert

The family I grew up in is slightly obsessed with pumpkin pie. We often requested round pieces of pumpkin pie...meaning the whole pie. And it wouldn't be unheard of someone eating their own pumpkin pie by them self or having leftover pie for breakfast, after all it is healthy with pumpkin!! Unfortunately my husband and girls don't like pumpkin crazy. They do however enjoy this pumpkin pie dessert, so I will probably make this for Thanksgiving and save the pumpkin pie for Christmas time when my sister is here to help me eat it! Hope you give it a try sometime and enjoy it too!

Pumpkin Pie Dessert

1 Package yellow cake mix, keep one cup out and set to the side
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 egg
Grease the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Combine cake mix, butter and egg. Press evenly into pan.

3 cups (1 lb. 14 oz. can) Pumpkin Pie Mix (I'm a Libby's fan)
2 eggs
2/3 cup Evaporated Milk (or you could use regular milk)
Combine ingredients with beater until smooth. Pour over crust

1 cup reserved cake mix
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup cold butter
Cut all ingredients together with a pastry cutter until crumbly. Sprinkle over filling evenly.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes, until sharp knife inserted near center comes out nearly clean. Cool. Serve warm or cook with whipped cream, ice cream, or plain! Enjoy!

This also makes a great morning after Thanksgiving (or any day) breakfast!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Okay...last night we tried the black bean salsa chicken that Guinevere posted awhile ago. It is under the crock pot section on the right. It was REALLY good and soooo easy! We used pinto beans instead of black beans and I added extra cheese to the top as we served it. One of my girls used chips to scoop up the dinner instead of eating it with rice!! I say try it...I think it was totally worth it!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sweet Potato Casserole

1 ½ cups mashed sweet potatoes

½ cup sugar

4 Tablespoons melted butter

1 egg

½ cup flaked coconut

1/3 cup milk

½ teaspoon vanilla

Topping: ½ cup brown sugar

½ cup nuts

¼ cup flour

4 Tablespoons butter, melted

Dash salt

Combine ingredients and pour into a 1-1/2 quart buttered casserole. Mix topping and pour sprinkle over the top. Bake at 350 for 20 to 30 minutes.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls... Delicous!

I dont know anyone who doesnt LOVE cinnamon rolls... so warm and gooey!!! But I must admit some are much better than others... this recipe is one of my faves and it really not all that difficult!

Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls

1 4oz pkg active dry yeast
1 c warm milk
1/2c sugar
1/3 c margarine, melted
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
4 c. flour

1 c packed brown sugar
2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 c margarine, softend(leave on counter till no longer cold to touch, do not heat in microwave)

For Rolls:
1. Dissolve yeast in warm milk, in lg bowl. Add sugar, margarine, salt, egg & flour (one cup at a time) and mix well.

2. Knead dough into a large ball, dust dough and bowl with flour. return dough to bowl, cover with towel and place in a warm place and let rise for 1 hr.

3. After 1hr roll out dough on a floured surface. Roll flat to aprox 21" long and 16" wide and abt 1/4" thick.

4. preheat oven to 400

For Filling:
5. Spread softened butter on dough, mix brown sugar and cinnamon and spread mixture on dough.

6. Roll dough long ways (21" side)

7. Once dough is all rolled slide non flavored dental floss under the roll (about 1 3/4" pieces) cross ends of floss and pull tight to cut dough. Repeat until entire roll is cut (makes about 12).

8. Place 6 rolls on a greased baking pan and cook for 10 min.

9. Let cool till rolls are cool to the touch but not cold and coat generously with frosting.

Cinnabon Cream Cheese Frosting

8Tbs ( 1 stick) margarine, softened
1 1/2 c powdered sugar
1/4 c (2 oz) cream cheese
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Combine ALL ingredients in a large bowl. Beat on med and increase speed till fluffy.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Chicken, Broccoli & Cheddar Soup

It is getting colder and colder everyday which makes it the perfect time to make soup! I love making soup and wanted to tackle making my husbands favorite. I had never made Broccoli Cheddar before and decided that last night would be a good night to try!

I could not find an easy Broccoli Cheddar soup recipe to save my life! So I had to combine two different recipes and came up with this!

Chicken Broccoli & Cheddar Soup

3 boiled & shredded chicken breast
1 32oz bag of Broccoli Florettes
1 1/2c cheddar shredded
1 1/2c velveta cheese cubed
1 1/2c mozzarella shredded
1/2 c Parmesan cheese
2 1/2c chicken broth
2 1/2c milk
4Tbs instant potatoes
4Tbs flour
2 Tbs chopped dried onion
2 tsp granulated garlic

Spray with cooking spray large pot. Add in Dried onion, garlic, broccoli, chicken broth & shredded chicken. Bring to a boil till broccoli is tender and remove from heat. Remove 2/3 of mixture and puree in blender and add back to pot.

On the side warm milk in microwave in a med size bowl for abt 1 min. Whisk in one Tbs at a time dried mashed potatoes & flour into warm milk.

Add milk mixture to soup and bring to boil for 1 min. Add in cheeses & Stir frequently.

Once cheese has melted add in pepper to taste and serve!


Sunday, October 18, 2009

nonna fiorentino's meat sauce

4 lbs. ground veal or beef
8 carrots
4 stalks of celery
1 green bell pepper
1 medium onion
1 can san marzano italian whole plum tomatoes, peeled (the big size can, not the 14 oz.)
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 c. white wine
1/2 c. milk
salt to taste

chop all of the vegetables finely in a food processor. combine in a large pan and sautee in olive oil until soft.  in another large stock pot brown the meat until cooked through.  once veggies are soft, add them to the meat.  puree the tomatoes and add to veggies and meat.  add wine and nutmeg.  let simmer on low heat for one hour.

after an hour, add the milk and let simmer for at least another half an hour.  salt to taste before serving.  it's best served over wide noodles of some sort.

this sauce is delicious and super easy to make.  it freezes really well, so making such a large quantity is a good thing.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Zucchini Bread... or Muffins ~

We have had a lot of success this year gardening our zucchini.
It's become a family favorite (as a vegetable and a treat)!
3 Eggs
2 C Sugar
1 C Vegetable Oil
2 tsp Vanilla
2 C Zucchini, grated
3 C Flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs until flight and fluffy. Add sugar and continue to beat until well blended. Stir in oil (1/2 cup oil and 1/2 cup applesauce if you want to lower the calories and make it a bit healthier), vanilla and zucchini. Sift together the dry ingredients and stir into zucchini mixture. Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes for muffins (longer for loaves - until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean).
* My kids loved adding 1 cup chocolate chips.
* Samson and I prefer adding 1 cup chopped walnuts!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Greek Yogurt!

Okay, What is it and how is it different than regular yogurt. Lets start with the Nutritional info: Now if you notice its 24 grams of protein per 8oz!

The texture is VERY creamy and to be honest the flavor and texture reminds me if you were to add half plain reg yogurt and cream cheese. I love to add splenda ( sugar makes me sick and slenda is no calories) and fresh cut up fruit.. its so tasty. Kinda like unbaked cheese cake. I've even thought Oreo's crumbled up would be great but it would defeat the eating healthy part :)

Here in the Northwest I've found the yogurt at Safeway and Fred Meyer, in the Organic isle. ( its cheaper at Safeway) I've also found it at Trader Joe's but its pricey there. You can goggle Greek yogurt and see what stores sell it.

I like the brands: Oikos and Voskos.

Just try it :) Just make sure you add a bit of Sugar or Spenda.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The most AMAZING salsa!

We've made this recipe probably 5 times in the past week! I'm not a huge salsa fan but I just can't get enough of this. Try it out and let me know what you think.

-1/2 cucumber - seeded & chopped
-1/2 bunch cilantro - chopped
-4 roma tomatoes - seeded & chopped
-1 1/2 - 2 jalapenos - chopped
1- avocado - chopped
-1/2 medium sized onion - chopped
-1 1/2 limes - juiced
-sugar to taste
-salt to taste

Saturday, July 18, 2009


I love, love, LOVE Hawaiian Haystacks but I haven't found a recipe for the soupy/chicken topping that I love. Does anyone have any recipe that they like? If so, PLEASE share!

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Infamous Enciladas...

This recipe is very well received and can be made more intense or more subdue very easily depending on types of salsa and amount of seasonings added. Warning... can be messing and is best when done with a few people... oh and these can be addicting!


5 Chicken breasts (boiled)
lg block of cheese or bag of shredded cheese equiv. in amt
pkg of tortillas
fam. size can of cream of chicken
1 1/2 cup milk
chunky salsa
puree salsa (red) "El Pato" brand tastes best
puree salsa (green) "El Pato"
diced green chilies (you will need abt 2 small cans)
chili pwdr
crushed red pepper
green enchilada sauce

shred boiled chicken & cheese. Mix milk in with cream of chicken. Spray lg casserole dish with non stick spray. Heat oven to 400.

In tortilla add in a med. handful of shredded chicken. Add in seasonings. Add a lg handful of cheese. Add in all three salsas & green chilies (spoonful of each). Roll but do not close ends. Add to lg casserole dish (9x13) with end of tortilla at bottom of dish pointing & pointing away from handle so it doesn't unroll. This just makes it so you can fit all 8 into dish.

Continue process with remaining tortillas.

Once last enchilada is rolled and placed in dish (you might need to squeeze them all in. Make sure you roll pretty tightly without ripping tortilla) add in cream of chicken mixture. Pour on enchilada sauce. Add remaining cheese. Sprinkle with chili pwdr. (make sure if dish is VERY full of liquid you place a cookie sheet under to catch drippings... better to be a little more full than to not have enough liquid).

Cook for 15 to 20 min or until cheese starts to bubble a little or turns golden. Ends of tortilla will dry out a little as well... means it is good and done. If you want to turn the boiler on for a quick min you can brown the top a little but don't take your eyes off of it or it will burn very fast!

Eat and enjoy!

~*~Dani w

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Caprese Pasta

From Giada De Laurentiis

1 (16 oz) box Pasta
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 1/2 pints Cherry Tomatoes, quartered
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
1/2 cup Basil leaves, torn
8 oz fresh Mozzarella, diced

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender, about 8-10 minutes. Drain pasta into large bowl (reserve 1/2 cup of cooking liquid). In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil, add garlic and saute until fragrant, about two minutes. Add the tomatoes, salt and pepper. As the tomatoes cook and soften, smash them with a fork. Continue to cook until the tomatoes make a chunky style sauce, about four minutes. Transfer tomato sauce to the bowl of pasta. Toss to combine. Add the remaining cooking liquid, basil, and mozzarella. Stir to combine.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Super Yummy Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Cookies


1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup peanut butter
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
a pinch of salt
1 cup chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 375ºF (175ºC).(or I do 325 in a convection oven)

Line a cookie sheet or two with parchment.
Cream butter and sugars until creamy, then add egg and vanilla and beat until smooth.
Add Peanut butter and continue to beat until combined.
Add flour, baking powder and salt and stir to combine.
Add chips and stir again.
Drop small spoonfuls of dough onto parchment (you should get a dozen per sheet).

Monday, June 29, 2009

Ranch House Crock Pot Pork Chops with Parmesan Mashed Potatoes

I don't remember where I found this recipe but it is super yummy! The mashed potatoes are some of the best we ever had and the pork chops fall apart and are delicious. It is super easy. Enjoy!

6 pork chops, 1/2 inch thick
1 packet dry Ranch Dressing Seasoning
10 oz can Cream of Chicken Soup

4 lbs peeled, cubed potatoes
5 Tablespoons real butter
1 Cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
6 cloves roasted garlic (click for directions how to roast garlic)
1- 1 1/2 Cups warm skim milk (any milk will do, I just happened to use skim)
1 Tablespoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper, or to taste

1. Place pork chops, Ranch seasoning and soup into a medium sized crock pot over high heat for 4 hours or low heat for 6 hours.

2. Place potatoes into a large pot of cold water. Place onto stovetop over high heat and bring to a boil. Once water is boiling, cook for 10-12 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender. Drain and transfer to the work bowl of a stand or electric mixer. Mix on low until potatoes are mashed then add butter, parmesan, garlic, milk, salt and pepper. Season to taste if needed. For thinner mashed potatoes add more milk, slowly until your desired consitency.

3. Scoop mashed potatoes onto serving plates and top with pork chops and soup gravy from crock pot. Enjoy!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Easy Tomato Soup

2 cans stewed tomatoes (any variety--Italian, Mexican, Plain)
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 T minced fresh basil OR 1-2 tsp. dry
(you can add other spices like garlic or oregano or dried onion depending on what kind of tomatoes you used)
1/2 C light sour cream OPTIONAL

1. Place first three ingredients in blender, and process until smooth. our into saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Ladle soup into bowls; spoon 2 T sour cream into soup in each bowl, and stir gently to swirl. Sprinkle evenly with basil.

Source: Weight Watchers Five Ingredient 15 minute Recipes

Spinach Calazones with Blue Cheese

1 (13.8 ounce) can refrigerated pizza dough OR your favorite pizza crust recipe
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup (3 oz) crumbled blue cheese
1 1/3 cups sliced mushrooms
4 cups loosely packed baby spinach leaves
Cooking Spray

1. Preheat oven to 425
2. Unroll dough (or roll out homemade dough) onto a smooth surface. Pat out dough to a 12 X 10-inch rectangle. Cut into 4 (6 X 5-inch) rectangles. Sprinkle garlic evenly over dough. Top each rectangle with 3 T cheese, 1/3 C mushrooms, and 1 C spinach. Bring 2 opposite corners to center, tucking in spinach (pockets will be very full) and pinching all points together to seal. Place on a large baking sheet coated with cooking spray.
3. Bake at 425 for 11 minutes or until golden brown.

(Note: I liked this best with a whole wheat crust. You could substitute a milder cheese like Gorgonzola. I have also substituted frozen spinach--cook it in the microwave for a bit to defrost and then squeeze out liquid. Otherwise there will be took much water inside the calazones).

Source: Weight Watchers Five Ingredient 15 minute Recipes

Cranberry-Glazed Salmon

1 orange
1/2 cup cranberry chutney
2 tsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets
Cooking spray
1/4 salt
1/4 pepper

1. Preheat broiler (I like the low setting)
2. Grate rind and squeeze orange, reserving 1 teaspoon grated rind and 2 Tablespoons juice; reserve remaining juice for another use.
3. Combine 1 tsp. rind, 2 T. juice, chutney, soy sauce, and mustard in a small bowl.
4. Place salmon fillets, (if they have skin, skin side down) on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper. Spread about 2 tablespoons chutney mixture evenly over each fillet. Broil 9 to 10 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with fork. Yields: 4 servings. WW Points value: 7

(Note: You can buy cranberry chutney in many grocery stores. I like to make a big batch of cranberry chutney--found at any good recipe website--and freeze portions of it for future use. You can use canned whole berry sauce or you in the late Fall you can use fresh berries.)

Source: Weight Watchers Five Ingredient 15 minute Recipes

Saturday, June 13, 2009

More cooks...

If you know of somebody who you think would like to contribute to our recipe blog, let me know and I will send them an email invitation to join us. We can always use more cooks in the kitchen, right?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

World Famous Chocolate Chip Cookies

I am not a great baker but when I make these cookies, the compliments I get make me feel like I'm pretty good! Try them out and let me know what you think!
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 1/3 cup butter (not margarine)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1 cup chocolate chip chips

In a large bowl, mix together the shortening, butter, sugar and brown sugar, using an electric mixer. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until creamy. In a small bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and mix thoroughly. Add the chocolate chips and nuts and mix well. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease to baking sheets. Drop dough with a large tablespoon (should be the size of a golf ball). Allow plenty of space for the cookies to spread out as they bake. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes at 375 degrees.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Italian Baked Chicken and Pasta

from Giada De Laurentiis - (with a few changes I made for my family)

1/2 box Pasta
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Chicken Breast, cut into bite size pieces
1/2 c Onion, diced
1 tsp Garlic, minced
1 (14.5 oz.) can Tomatoes, diced with juice
1 c Mozzarella
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper
1/4 c Bread crumbs, Italian for best flavor
1/4 c Parmesan cheese, grated
1 Tbsp butter

Cook pasta according to directions on box and drain. While pasta is boiling, cook chicken in olive oil - add onion and garlic, saute until tender. Put chicken, onions, and garlic mixture into a large bowl with the cooked pasta. Add the canned tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. Place the mixture in a prepared 8x8 baking dish. Sprinkle bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese over the top of the pasta mixture. Dot the top with small bits of butter. Bake until the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.

We loved this new pasta recipe and will definitely be making it again!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thanks Paula Deen!

This recipe if from Paula Deen off of the Food Network. I will be adding this to one of my favorite recipes; so easy and very tasty! I loved the water chestnuts and pimentos!

  • 2 (14 1/2-ounce) can green beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 cups diced cooked chicken
  • 1 medium onion, diced and sauteed
  • 1 (8-ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and chopped
  • 1 (4-ounce) can pimentos, drained
  • 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed cream of celery soup1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 (6-ounce) box long-grain and wild rice, cooked according to package directions
  • 1 cup grated sharp Cheddar
  • Pinch salt


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Mix all ingredients together and pour into a greased 3-quart casserole dish. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Yummy Cinnamon Rolls

Basic Dough
1 1/2 Cups warm water
2-3 Tablespoons Sugar
1 Tablespoon yeast
Let yeast dissolve.

Stir and add:
2 Cups flour
1 Teaspoon salt

Stir and add:
1/4 Cup oil

Stir and add:
2 Cups flour

Mix all together well until dough ball forms. Let raise if desired.

Bake at 425 for 10-15 min.

This is my favorite dough recipe! You can turn it into just about any type of bread you can imagine. I use it for pizza crust, cinnamon rolls (with a little extra sugar in the mix), and bread for my M since it has no milk in it. The gal I got it from would make hamburger and hot dog buns as well as dinner rolls out of it too. So play with it a bit and make it your own. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

White Chicken Chili

1 Tbsp Olive oil
1 large Onion
2 stalks Celery
1 small Yellow pepper
2 cloves Garlic
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp pepper
32 oz. box chicken broth
2 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
2 cans white cannellini beans
1 cup frozen corn
Chop onion, celery and yellow pepper into small pieces. Heat oil in a large (4 qt) saucepan and saute vegetables until tender - about five minutes. Add spices, broth, chicken, and ONE can of the beans. Simmer, covered for 20 minutes. Mash the beans from the 2nd can - this helps to thicken the chili. Add mashed beans and corn. Simmer, uncovered for another 20 minutes.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Chicken Rolls

I have made these twice in the past week... I guess I must like them!
  • 1 can crescent rolls
  • 1 1/2 C. cooked chicken, cubed
  • 6 oz. cream cheese
  • small diced celery (as much as you want)
  • crushed corn flakes

Combine and stir until moistened. Place spoonful of chicken in the center of each roll and pinch shut. Roll each roll in melted buter and then roll in crushed corn flakes. Bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes until browned.