This blog is a compilation of all me and my husband's favorite recipes. Most are simple and easy to make. Please leave feedback if clarification is needed, if you like adding something else to the recipe, how you do it differently, etc. I would LOVE feedback! And mostly, I just hope you can enjoy eating some yummy food!!

To get regular updates, like me on Facebook or
Follow Me on Pinterest

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Yoplait Triple Berry Smoothie

You know the yummy Yoplait Triple Berry Smoothie packs you can buy in the freezer section that are so good??  Well, I didn't want to pay the money for it when the concept was so simple.  So, I stole their idea and created my own recipe for it!  I go and buy a big huge bag of frozen triple berries from Sam's club and a bunch of little Yoplait yogurts.  I fill my ice trays with the yogurt and once I have lots of frozen yogurt cubes, I transfer them to a Ziploc bag.  And wallah!!  I can have a smoothie whenever I want!  The best thing is that it's VERY healthy!  I buy the light yogurt because in a smoothie I can't taste the difference and use vanilla soy milk because is really good for you and the added vanilla flavor is delicious.  Over all, one smoothie has about 240 calories and is nutrient filled.

1 regular Yoplait light very vanilla yogurt
1 hand full frozen triple berries
1 cup vanilla soy milk

Notes / Directions
1. Spoon yogurt into and ice tray and freeze for about an hour.

2. Put all of frozen yogurt, a hand full of berries, and soy milk into blender and blend till smooth. Makes one big smoothie, I usually split it with my husband.

-Can use any kind of milk, I just like the added flavor of the vanilla soy.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Easy Pull-Apart Orange Rolls

My grandma always makes these when I go to visit her.  Mostly because they are my FAVORITE and I devour the whole plate but also because she's getting old and tries to keep things as simple as possible.  And these rolls are SO simple!

2 pkgs regular sized biscuits
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
orange rind, grated

Notes / Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place biscuits standing up in a bundt pan. Boil sugar and butter together. Place orange rind in the mixture. Pour over biscuits. Bake 15-20 minutes. turn over onto plate and serve warm.

Benihana Japanese Onion Soup

4 cups canned chicken broth
2 cups water
1 white onion, chopped
1/2 carrot, coarsely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
1/2 celery, coarsely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
6 medium mushrooms, thinly sliced
4 green onions, diced (green part only)

Notes / Directions
1. Combine chicken broth and water in a large saucepan over high heat.

2. Slice the white onion in half, then coarsely chop one half (save the other half for later).

3. Add coarsely chopped onion, carrot, celery and salt to the saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the onions start to become translucent. As the broth simmers, heat up 1 cup of vegetable oil in a small saucepan over medium heat.

4. Slice the remaining white onion into very thin slices. Separate the slices, dip the slices into the milk, then into the flour. Fry the breaded onions, a handful at a time in the oil until golden brown. Drain on a paper towel.

5. When the soup has simmered for 10 minutes, strain the vegetables out of the broth and toss them out. Pour the broth back into the pan and keep it hot over low heat.

6. To serve soup, ladle about 1 cup of broth into a bowl.

7. Drop a few pieces of fried onion into the soup, followed by 6 to 8 mushroom slices (about 1 mushroom each) and a couple pinches of diced green onion. When the fried onions sink to the bottom of the bowl (a couple of minutes), serve the soup.

Taco Soup

I love this soup.  I always have the ingredients on hand so if I'm in need of a dinner, this is what I make :)

1 lb ground beef, sauteed
1 onion, sauteed
1 can black beans, undrained
1 can kidney beans, undrained
1 can corn, undrained
1 can tomato sauce
2 cups water
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 can green chile peppers, drained
1 package taco seasoning
Cheddar cheese
sour cream

Notes / Directions
Put everything in a slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours.

Serve with Fritos, cheese, and sour cream.

Potato Bacon Chowder

Adapted from Taste of Home

2 cups potatoes, cubed
1 cup water
8 bacon strips 

1 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 3/4 cups milk
1 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced

Notes / Directions
In a covered saucepan, bring water to a boil and cook potatoes until tender (5-8 minutes).  In a separate skillet, cook bacon until it's nice and crispy.  Place on a paper towel to drip off grease.  Add celery and onions to the bacon grease and saute until tender.  Add to the pot of potatoes and stir in soup, milk, sour cream, salt and pepper.  Cook over low heat until heated through.  Crumble bacon and add to soup along with parsley.

* I reheat pre-cooked bacon strips and over cook them a little so they will crumble.  This makes the process WAAAY easier.

Ham and Potato Soup

I love this soup.  I love it so much.  Every Christmas Eve growing up we had clam chowder and it was pretty good but I don't really like clams.  This is the soup I make instead.  It is a perfect Christmas Eve soup.  I also always make my French baguettes to go with it which is WAY better than any kind of bread you'd buy at the store.  For a fraction of the price as well.  You can even make the dough into a bread bowl.

3 1/2 cups potatoes, diced
1/3 cup celery, diced
1/3 cup onion, finely chopped
3/4 cup cooked ham, diced
3 1/4 cups water
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
5 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk

Notes / Directions
1. Combine the potatoes, celery, onion, ham and water in a stockpot. Bring to a boil, then cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the chicken bouillon, salt and pepper.

2. In a separate saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour with a fork, and cook, stirring constantly until thick, about 1 minute. Slowly stir in milk as not to allow lumps to form until all of the milk has been added. Continue stirring over medium-low heat until thick, 4 to 5 minutes.

3. Stir the milk mixture into the stockpot, and cook soup until heated through. Serve immediately.

-It can also be cooked in a crock pot for 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Herbed Chicken and Cheese Panini

1 tablespoon butter, softened
1 tablespoon fresh herbs, chopped
2 chicken breasts, pounded thin (about 1/2 lb)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup red onion, sliced
2 (7-inch) pocketless pita breads or flatbreads, each cut in half
4 slices cheddar cheese
1 medium tomato, thinly sliced

Notes / Directions
1. In small bowl, mix butter and herbs until blended; set aside.

2. Season chicken with salt and pepper. In 10-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat until hot. Cook chicken in oil about 5 minutes, turning occasionally, until no longer pink in center. Remove chicken from skillet; set aside and keep warm. To same skillet, add onion; cook about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender. Remove onion from skillet, set aside. Reduce heat to medium.

3. Spread generous half teaspoon herbed butter on outside of all of 4 bread halves. Place 2 halves in heated skillet, buttered side down. Top each with 1 slice cheese, 1 chicken breast, half of the onion and sliced tomato, and another slice cheese. Top with remaining pita bread halves.

4. Cook about 2 minutes, pressing down with spatula, until bottom is golden brown. Turn; cook about 2 minutes longer, pressing again with spatula, until cheese is melted. To serve, cut each sandwich in half.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

No-Bake Cookies

1/2 cup margarine
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup peanut butter
3 cups oatmeal

Notes / Directions
Bring first 4 ingredients to a boil in a sauce pan. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add vanilla and peanut butter and stir till well blended. Add oatmeal and stir. Spoon onto wax paper while hot. Let cool.

Famous Family Caramels

Ever since I can remember we've made Christmas caramels for our neighbors and friends.  Up until I moved out, my job was wrapping hundreds of caramels.  They were always a lot of effort but we made them anyways because they were the talk of the neighborhood and we'd probably get toilet papered if we didn't hand them out.  They are THAT good.  We even made our caramels a science fair project one year!  We tried using different brands of sweetened condensed milk and had people taste test the different brands to see which was the best.  Eagle brand won!  Using Imperial butter also makes a big difference in how the finished product tastes so don't leave that one out.  And lastly, make sure that you have a flat wooden spatula so that you can scrape the bottom of the pan as you stir.  It's easy to burn the caramel.  You also need a candy thermometer.

Prepare a 9x13 pan by taking the cube of Imperial butter and
spreading a thin layer around the bottom and sides of the pan.

 Melt the butter and stir in brown sugar and corn sugar.

Gradually add sweetened condensed milk while stirring constantly.

Bring it to a boil, stirring constantly.  Make sure that you scrape the bottom and the sides of the pan.  It is easy to burn it so keep stirring and scraping.  Don't ever let it sit.  It can take around 20 minutes before it gets to the right temperature so plan accordingly.

Candy thermometers can vary a little.  My mom has an old thermometer and the perfect temperature for her caramels is 230 degrees.  The perfect temperature on mine is 245 degrees.  To help you decide where is perfect for you, have a small bowl of cold water next to you and drizzle a small amount of caramel into it periodically and see how well it balls up and holds shape.  You want probably don't want to get to the hard ball marking on the thermometer.  I did that once and it cracked when I tried to get it out of the pan.  Also be SURE you know how to read your thermometer before you start.  I ruined a batch a few days ago because I misread it.

When it's hit the right temperature, remove from heat and add in the vanilla.  Stir it in well and pour into greased pan.  Once it has cooled completely, cut a thin strip off then end so that you can get the spatula under the caramel to pry it out onto waxed paper.  If it's really stuck, try running the bottom of the pan under hot water to help loosen it.  Prying it out can often ruin the top of the caramel so take a spatula and press down to help smooth it out.

Using a pizza cutter or a long knife, cut off a row about an inch wide and
cut into smaller pieces.  I usually end up with 12-13 pieces per row.

Pull off about 10 strips of waxed paper about 3-4 inches wide.  Cut them in half and then cut
the halves in half so you end up with 40 wrappers.  You'll probably need to do this twice.

To wrap the caramels, place on the wrapper and roll up.  Pinch one end and
give it two full twists being careful not to rip it.  Do the same to the other side.

1 cup salted real butter
1 lb. (2 1/4 cups) C&H brown sugar
dash salt
1 cup light corn syrup
1 (15 oz.) can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cube Imperial margarine

Notes / Directions
Use Imperial margarine to butter a 9x9x2 in. pan. Melt real butter in a heavy 3 qt. saucepan. Add sugar and salt; stir thoroughly. Stir in corn syrup; mix well. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly. Cook and stir over medium heat to form ball stage (about 230-250 degrees depending on your thermometer) 12 to 15 minutes. Have a small dish of cold water by you so that you can periodically drizzle a little caramel into it. Ball up the drizzle and try it, making sure that it is not to soft nor to firm. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Pour into buttered pan and let it cool completely. To remove the caramel, run the bottom of the pan under hot water to loosen the caramel. Using a spatula, carefully pry out caramel onto a wooden cutting board (it sticks to plastic). Use a big knife to cut into squares. Wrap in small squares of waxed paper.

Devil's Cake Mix Cookies

1 box Betty Crocker's Devil's Food Cake Mix
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 cup chocolate chips

Notes / Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix cake mix with oil and eggs. After well mixed, add chocolate chips. Ball the dough and place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes.

Try different cake mixes like fun-fetti mix.

Fudge in a Bag

1 lb. (3 1/4 cups) powdered sugar
3 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Notes / Directions
Put ingredients in a large Ziploc bag and knead until smooth. Add nuts if desired. Faster option: put everything in a Kitchen aid and whip it up.

Gooey Chex Mix

1/2 box (7 cups) Rice Chex
1/2 box (7 cups) Golden Grahams
2 cups coconut
1 cup slivered almonds
3/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup karo syrup

Notes / Directions
Stir Rice Chex, Golden Grahams, coconut, and almonds together in a large bowl. In a separate pat, melt butter, sugar, karo syrup on stove till it comes to a full boil. Boil for 1 minute. Remove and pour on cereal mixture and stir. Eat out of the bowl, pour onto wax paper, put in little cups or bags...

Monday, April 2, 2012

OREO Truffles

1 package Oreos, divided
1 package cream cheese, softened
2 (8 ounce) packages baker's semi-sweet baking chocolate or white chocolate almond bark, melted

Notes / Directions
1. Crush 9 of the cookies to fine crumbs in food processor; reserve for later use. (Cookies can also be finely crushed in a resealable plastic bag using a rolling pin.) Crush remaining 36 cookies to fine crumbs; place in medium bowl. Add cream cheese; mix until well blended. Roll cookie mixture into 42 balls, about 1-inch in diameter.

2. Dip balls in chocolate; place on wax paper-covered baking sheet. (Any leftover chocolate can be stored at room temperature for another use.) Sprinkle with reserved cookie crumbs.

3. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Store leftover truffles, covered, in refrigerator.

Tip: Be creative in decorating! Use white chocolate almond bark and color it with different colors for different occasions!  However, you CANNOT use any kind of liquid food coloring.  The almond bark reacts by turning into an unworkable paste.  Even one drop of food dye will ruin it.  The food coloring needs to be oil based, powdered, or paste.

Raw Cookie Dough

1 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 small box instant vanilla pudding
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tablespoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/2 cups flour
2 cups chocolate chips

Notes / Directions
Cream softened butter and sugar. Add pudding and stir well. Add milk, vanilla and baking soda. Slowly mix in flour. Stir in chocolate chips and chill. DO NOT BAKE.

You can freeze in a long snake wrapped with saran wrap and cut off discs to eat or you can make little balls and dip them in melted chocolate to make truffles.

Raspberry Trifle

1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup white sugar
2 packages cream cheese, softened
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup white sugar
1 package pound cake
2 packages frozen raspberries, thawed
2  tablespoons cocoa powder or powdered sugar, for dusting

Notes / Directions
1. In a medium bowl, beat cream with 1/4 cup sugar until stiff peaks form. In another bowl, cream together cream cheese, lemon juice, vanilla and 1/2 cup sugar. Fold 2 cups of whipped cream into cream cheese mixture. Reserve remaining whipped cream.

2. Slice pound cake into 18 - 1/2 inch slices. Drain raspberries, reserving juice. Line the bottom of a 3 quart glass bowl or trifle bowl with one-third of the cake slices. Drizzle with some raspberry juice. Spread one-fourth of the cream cheese mixture over cake. Sift one-fourth of the cocoa over that. Sprinkle with one-third of the raspberries. Repeat layers twice. Top with remaining cream cheese mixture, whipped cream and sifted cocoa. Cover and refrigerate 4 hours before serving.

Italian Beef Roast

4-6 lbs. beef eye round roast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Notes / Directions
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Combine spices and rub on the outside of the roast. Place roast on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Do not cover or add water. Insert meat thermometer. Remove roast from oven when temperature registers 135 degrees. Transfer to cutting board. Tent with foil and let stand 15-20 minutes (temp will rise 10 degrees).

Tex-Mex Pasta

8 ounces penne pasta
1 pound italian turkey sausage
1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
1 can corn, drained
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/2 cups cheese
1 cup salsa
1/2 cup cilantro leaves

Notes / Directions
1 Cook penne as directed on package. Drain; cover to keep warm.

2 Meanwhile, spray nonstick wok or 12-inch skillet with nonstick cooking spray; heat over medium-high heat. Add sausage; cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until no longer pink and thoroughly cooked. Drain.

3 Add onion, bell pepper, zucchini, corn, salsa, tomatoes and oregano; mix well. Heat to boiling. Cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4 Reserve 1/2 cup cheese and 2 tablespoons cilantro. Add remaining 1 cup cheese and cilantro to mixture in wok; mix well. Add cooked penne; toss to mix. Spoon mixture onto serving platter. Garnish with reserved cheese and cilantro.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...