Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Peppermint Pie

I made up my own recipe on this one as my husband and I have been craving a peppermint pie for some time.

I took the idea from the key lime pie I currently have in my blog, and I adapted it.

Peppermint Pie

1 oreo or chocolate pie crust
1 8 oz. cool whip
7 oz. sweetened condensed milk (half of a small 14 oz. can)
1 tsp. pure peppermint extract
red food coloring (optional)
whip cream
peppermint sprinkles/crushed candy canes

Mix coolwhip, sweetened condensed milk, and peppermint extract in a large bowl. Add red food coloring if desired. Pour mixture into pie crust and refrigerate at least 2-3 hours. Top with whip cream and crushed candy canes.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Simple Ranch Breaded Fish Fillets

My husband and I recently purchased some tilapia fillets that we were planning on having for dinner tonight. I quick ran upstairs to find a breading recipe and stumbled across this one on

Conveniently I had the Italian bread crumbs AND the dried ranch dressing this was perfect for us. So good!

My only suggestion would be to watch them carefully in the skillet. It went much faster than the 5 minutes the recipe calls for.

Simple Ranch Breaded Fish Fillets

3/4 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1 (1 ounce) package dry Ranch-style dressing mix
2 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound tilapia fillets
2 teaspoons butter

Place the bread crumbs in a bowl. In a shallow dish, mix the dressing mix and oil to form a paste. Coat the tilapia fillets with the paste, then dredge in the bread crumbs to lightly coat.

Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Place the fillets in the skillet, and cook 5 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and easily flaked with a fork.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tortilla Pizza Primavera

I found this recipe stashed away in some files on my computer. We've never tried it until now, and I'm so glad we did! Obviously you can pick your own toppings, we strayed a bit from the recipe, but I'll share exactly what the recipe says and then you can go from there!

Tortilla Pizza Primavera

2 Cruz 10 inch flour tortillas Burrito style (OR) already made pizza crust
olive oil
5 oz. monterey jack cheese
5 oz. cheddar cheese
2 cups cherry tomatoes quartered
1/2 cup fresh chopped basil
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1/4 cup ripe chopped olives
cracked black pepper

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly brush tortilla with olive oil.
2. Place on baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes on each side or until crisp and golden brown.
3. Remove from oven and reduce heat to 350 degrees. Top each tortilla with half the tomato, basil, onion, olives, and shredded cheese.
4. Sprinkle with pepper to taste. Bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes or until cheese melts.

Here's a picture below that uses different toppings...we used more traditional toppings you see below...

Swiss Chicken & Stuffing

I got this recipe idea from "Spiller" over on the boards, but have changed it up a bit to make it a little bit more my own...

So incredibly good! I'm tellin ya...

P.S. I cut this recipe in half for just the 2 of us, but am putting the full recipe on here.

Swiss Chicken & Stuffing

6 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
6 slices Swiss cheese
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/4 cup milk
2 cups stuffing mix
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted

Lightly spray crock-pot with cooking spray. Place chicken breasts in bottom of crock-pot. Top with cheese. Combine soup and milk, stirring well. Spoon soup mixture over cheese; sprinkle with stuffing mix. Drizzle melted butter over stuffing mix. Cook on low in crock pot for 4 to 6 hours or until juices run clear.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Cheesy Vegetable Soup

I got this recipe off of and thought we'd give it a try this weekend since it's been so cold and we're in for a small winter storm. Nothing helps make a cold winter day more tolerable than a nice bowl of soup!

You can really use any type of vegetable in this (broccoli, cauliflower, etc)

Cheesy Vegetable Soup

1 (16 ounce) package frozen mixed vegetables
2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of chicken soup
2 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon minced onion
1/4 tablespoon garlic powder
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
32 ounces processed cheese food, cubed

In a large microwave bowl, cook vegetables in microwave for 10 minutes on high. Stir and rotate midway.

In a large slow cooker, mix soup and water. Add onions, vegetables, and garlic, salt, and pepper to taste, and mix. Add cheese and mix. Simmer approximately 2 hours or until soup is creamy and cheese is melted.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Paula Deen's Slow Cooker Macaroni & Cheese

On the menu this week...

Gotta love PAULA! :) She's one of my favorite Food Network stars as she's all about the comfort food, such as myself! My mom recommended I try this one out as she knows how much we love our Mac & Cheese. Can't wait!

Paula Deen's Slow Cooker Macaroni & Cheese

2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni (an 8-ounce box isn't quite 2 cups)
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, cut into pieces
2 1/2 cups (about 10 ounces) grated sharp Cheddar cheese
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sour cream
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed Cheddar cheese soup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Boil the macaroni in a 2 quart saucepan in plenty of water until tender, about 7 minutes. Drain. In a medium saucepan, mix butter and cheese. Stir until the cheese melts. In a slow cooker, combine cheese/butter mixture and add the eggs, sour cream, soup, salt, milk, mustard and pepper and stir well. Then add drained macaroni and stir again. Set the slow cooker on low setting and cook for 3 hours, stirring occasionally.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Stuffing Frittata

I saw something similar to this on the Quick Fix with Robin Miller show today on the Food Network and I'm gonna give it a try tomorrow. Yet another great way to use up your leftovers! I'm going to adapt the recipe a bit, as her recipe calls for a broiler, and I'd rather just use my oven.

Stuffing Frittata

Cooking spray

2 cups leftover stuffing
1 cup of Jimmy Dean pork breakfast sausage (because our stuffing doesn't have any meat)
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
8 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon ground fresh nutmeg
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan or Italian blend cheese
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

Preheat oven to 400
Coat an ovenproof nonstick skillet with cooking spray.
Place over medium heat (on stovetop).
Brown pork sausage, drain, and return to skillet.
Add in stuffing to pork sausage and mix.
Warm through mixture in skillet.
Sprinkle grated cheddar cheese over top.

In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, 1 tablespoon of parsley (save the rest for later), and nutmeg. Add salt and pepper to taste. It really depends on how much seasoning you have in your stuffing.

Pour egg mixture over stuffing and cheese to cover stuffing. Sprinkle Parmesan over top.

Carefully transfer to preheated oven.

Bake until the eggs are set and the sides have puffed up a little bit and cheese is golden, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Cool before cutting.

Sprinkle with remaining fresh parsley.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Turkey Tetrazzini

This is a fabulous way to eat up some of your left over turkey that you'll have after Thanksgiving tomorrow. This is on the menu for Friday night's dinner, right before we trim our tree and usher in the Christmas season.

While I wouldn't call it a "Christmasy" dinner, I will say that I'm looking forward to using up the turkey on this one. And it contains a lot of ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen! I got this from Taste of Home.


Turkey Tetrazzini

1 package (7 ounces) spaghetti, broken into 2-inch pieces
2 cups cubed cooked turkey
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cans (4 ounces each) sliced mushrooms, drained
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1 jar (2 ounces) chopped pimientos, drained
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Additional shredded cheddar cheese, optional

Cook spaghetti according to package directions; drain. Transfer to a large bowl; add the next 10 ingredients and mix well. Spoon into a greased 2-1/2-qt. casserole; sprinkle with cheese if desired. Bake, uncovered, at 375° for 40-45 minutes or until heated through. Yield: 6-8 servings.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Mom brought this over today while we were watching the football game. SO good! She got it from Taste of Home magazine.

My husband and I will definitely be making this for our annual Scrabble tourney on New Year's Eve at our house. Soooo perfect for a small get together or party.

Not sure what the "L" is, unless they consider the green onions as a substitute for lettuce.


1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup chopped seeded tomatoes
6 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
1 tablespoon chopped green onion, optional
Assorted crackers


In a large bowl, combine the sour cream, mayonnaise, cheese, tomatoes and bacon. Refrigerate until serving. Garnish with green onion if desired. Serve with crackers. Yield: 3 cups.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Crockpot Salsa Chicken

On the menu for this coming week...

I got this recipe from this blog: Rumbly Tumbly Treats and I can't wait to try it! How easy is this? Not to mention super YUM!

Crockpot Salsa Chicken

4 Frozen Chicken Breasts
1/2 a packet of Taco Seasoning
1 can of Cream of Chicken soup
1/2 a jar of salsa

Spray crock pot with some non-stick spray and then put all ingredients in the crock pot. Cook on low for 7-8 hours.

Top with sour cream and cheddar cheese. We'll be puttin some guac on our's too. See my Chipotle guac recipe "HERE." Eat with flour tortilla or tortilla chips. You could also put it on top of some spanish rice.

Tater Tot Hotdish

A good old Minnesota tradition...Tater Tot Hotdish!

Everyone's got their own version of this, but here's mine. :) So yummy. The epitome of "comfort food."

Tater Tot Hotdish

1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 pinch ground black pepper
1 (32 ounce) package tater tots, thawed
2 cans of mixed vegetables (drained)
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of celery soup
shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

In a large skillet cook ground beef with onion, salt and pepper; drain and spread into the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Add vegetables & then tater tots; mix cream of mushroom and cream of celery soup together and pour mixture over dish. Top with cheese.

Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour.

If you don't top it with cheese...

And here it is WITH cheese...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Chicken Noodle Soup

It's freezing outside. Officially. Or at least it is where I'm at. :) We're going to be enjoying this deliciously comforting chicken noodle soup this weekend. I got this from "MrsWindyCity," a nestie on the "What's for Dinner?" board, over on

You should check it out sometime.

Chicken Noodle Soup

2 Tbsp. butter
1 large onion, diced
1.5 cups carrots, sliced
1.5 cups celery, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
12 cups homemade or good quality chicken broth or stock
1 bay leaf
1/2 (heaping) tsp. ground marjoram
1 tsp. thyme
1 Tbsp. dried parsley
4 cups cooked chicken, chopped or shredded (always prefer it roasted, myself)
5 oz. (about 1.5 cups) uncooked egg noodles
fresh ground pepper, to taste

In a large stockpot or dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions and cook for about 3 minutes before adding the celery and carrots. Continue cooking a few more minutes before adding the garlic. Stir until fragrant.

Add the chicken, broth, bay leaf, marjoram, thyme, parsley and ground pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and then reduce. Simmer lightly for 30 minutes.

Add the noodles* and simmer until cooked, about 8 minutes.

*Note: The noodles will continue to absorb the liquid as leftover sit in the pot/fridge. If you want to prevent your soup from thickening and becoming too chunky, you can reduce the amount of broth slightly and cook the noodles in a separate pot, combining with the soup in your bowl as you are about to eat.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Slow-Cooked Pepper Steak

This is an oldie, but definitely a goodie in our family. Mom's been making this recipe for year's out of the Taste of Home magazine. We just had it tonight, actually, and I had to share it with you all. So delicious. We serve our's on white rice, though instead of noodles.

Slow-Cooked Pepper Steak

1-1/2 to 2 pounds beef round steak
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
4 tomatoes, cut into eighths or 1 can (16 ounces) tomatoes with liquid, cut up
1 large green peppers, cut into strips
1/2 cup cold water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Cooked noodles or rice

Cut beef into 3-in. x 1-in. strips brown in oil in a skillet. Transfer to a 3-qt. slow cooker. Combine the next seven ingredients; pour over beef. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours. or until meat is tender. Add tomatoes and green peppers; cook on low for 1 hour longer.

Combine the cold water and cornstarch to make a paste; stir into liquid in slow cooker and cook on high until thickened. Serve over noodles or rice. Yield: 6-8 servings.

Smucker's Toppings and Pillsbury Brownie Pizza

Holy goodness, Batman!

Mom made this for dessert tonight and it was heaven on a plate.

If you love chocolate, try this. And it's so stinkin easy!

Smucker's Toppings & Pillsbury Brownie Pizza

Prepare Pillsbury traditional fudge brownie mix as directed on package.
Spread onto greased 12-inch pizza pan.
Bake at 350 for 18-22 minutes: cool completely.
Spread with 1 can Pillsbury Creamy Supreme Chocolate Fudge Frosting.
Arrange 3/4 cup chopped bite-size chocolate candies over frosting (we added crushed Heath bar).
Heat a jar of Smucker's Hot Fudge and Caramel Toppings according to the label directions and drizzle over tip of candy.
Cut into wedges and serve.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


I've been having major problems changing my layout and background on here. Has anyone else had problems doing this as of late? I'm now stuck with a dumb template that I don't like and now all my pictures of my recipes disappeared!

I apologize. I'm going to have to try and upload all of them again soon. Most likely this weekend. So for now, you'll just have recipes. I'm annoyed. Big time.

Bruschetta Chicken Bake

Another one from the Kraft Food & Family magazine. This one's on the menu for the weekend. :)

Can't wait!

Bruschetta Chicken Bake

1 can (14-1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 pkg. (6 oz.) STOVE TOP Stuffing Mix for Chicken
1/2 cup water
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1 tsp. dried basil leaves
1 cup KRAFT 2% Milk Shredded Reduced Fat Mozzarella Cheese

Heat oven to 400°F. Mix tomatoes, stuffing mix, water and garlic just until stuffing mix is moistened.

Layer chicken, basil, cheese and stuffing in 3-qt. or 13x9-inch baking dish.

Bake 30 min. or until chicken is cooked through. Enjoy now or cover and refrigerate. To reheat, microwave each serving on HIGH 2 to 3 min.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Balsamic Chicken & Potato Salad

First off, I apologize profusely for not having posted anything in a month! Both my husband and I are currently in school for health care degrees as of the end of August and we barely have time to breathe anymore between school, homework, and work. But I've been wanting to share with you all a fabulous salad recipe that my good friend, Pam, gave me. Pam & her husband, Dave, had us over for dinner one night this summer and we enjoyed this tremendously yummy, and very simple, salad. :) So I asked her if I could share the recipe with you all. Here it is!

Balsamic Chicken & Potato Salad

10-12 small red potatoes
6 pack of boneless skinless chicken breasts
1-2 pints cherry tomatoes
1 package of sugar snap peas, chopped into thirds
1 cucumber sliced in half and chopped into slices
2 peppers (assorted colors)
1 red onion chopped
1 package of cubed colby cheese
1 package of pine nuts
baslamic vinegrette dressing (see recipe below)

* You can add any veggies you like, this is just how she made it

Bake chicken breasts in oven or crock pot. Cube chicken and refrigerate until needed.
Boil red potatoes and cut into bite sized pieces. Chill.
Cut up all the veggies into relatively small pieces.
Mix 1 cup balsamic vinegrette dressing with veggies.
Add potatoes, chicken, pine nuts, and cheese cubes to veggies in a big bowl. Add any extra dressing, if desired.
Serve alone or on top of a bed of lettuce with additional dressing if desired.
Can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Balsamic Vinegrette Dressing Recipe (double batch)

2 packets of Good Season's "Zesty" Dry Italian Mix
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
6 tablespoons of water
1 cup oil (1/2 olive oil, 1/2 canola oil)
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Combine all ingredients and shake vigorously.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Homemade Bran Muffins

I got this recipe from my aunt. Not only do the muffins taste just incredibly awesome, you can just bake up what you need and save the rest of the batter in your refrigerator for up to 5 weeks! :) It makes a lot, and if you're obsessed with bran muffins like I am, you'll be in heaven for about a month!

Of course you can always cut the recipe in half, or just make your muffins a bit bigger if you'd like. I'm in love.

Homemade Bran Muffins

2 cups 100% bran (I used All Bran Original cereal)
2 cups boiling water

mix above ingredients and set aside

1 cup Crisco
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp. salt

creme the last 4 ingredients together

add 1 qt. buttermilk, 5 cups of flour, 5 tsp. baking soda, 4 more cups of bran to the 4 ingredients above that have been creamed together. Mix well.

Add the bran/water mixture that had been set aside to the batter. Mix well.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Batter can be stored for up to 5 weeks!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Decadent Peanut Butter Pie

My mom made this tonight for my birthday! :)

Decadent Peanut Butter Pie

1 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter
8 oz. pkg. Cream Cheese (at room temp.)
1/2 cup of Sugar
12 oz. container of Cool Whip, divided
1 prepared Oreo Pie Crust
1 11.75 oz. jar of Smuckers Hot Fudge Topping, divided

2 tbs. Hot Fudge
2 tbs. Peanut Butter

In a medium bowl, beat together peanut butter, cream cheese and sugar. Fold in about half of the whipped topping. Spoon mixture into pie shell, spreading evenly. Reserve 2 tbsp. of hot fudge topping. Place the remaining hot fudge in a microwave-safe bowl or large glass measuring cup. Microwave for 40 to 60 seconds till slightly warmed. Stir. Spread fudge topping over pie to cover the peanut butter layer. Refrigerate until serving time. Just before serving, drop dollops of the remaining whipped topping over the hot fudge layer; spread out, being careful not to mix the two layers. Place the reserved fudge topping in a small plastic bag and knead for a few seconds to warm it. Cut a tiny hole in the corner of the bag; drizzle over the pie. Do the same thing with the remaining peanut butter to garnish.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Cheesy Noodle Casserole

An oldie, but a goodie. All about the comfort food around here. Nothing better than a ton of noodles smothered in melted Velveeta cheese. Ya know?

We cut this recipe in half because there's only the 2 of us. We still had left-overs.

Cheesy Noodle Casserole

2 packages (1 pound each) wide egg noodles
1/2 cup butter, cubed
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon onion salt
5 to 6 cups milk
2 pounds process cheese (Velveeta), cubed

1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Cook noodles according to package directions; drain. Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven, melt butter. Stir in the flour, garlic salt and onion salt until smooth; gradually stir in milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Add the cheese; stir until melted. Stir in the noodles.

Transfer to two greased shallow 2-qt. baking dishes. Combine bread crumbs and butter until crumbly; sprinkle over casseroles. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Yield: 2 casseroles (12 servings each).

Friday, August 1, 2008

Better Than Potato Salad

This takes 1/4th the time it takes to make potato salad; maybe even less than that. And it's SOOOO good. When you don't want to fuss with making a huge salad, try this. It's quick. It's fast. It's delish.

Better Than Potato Salad

4 cups cooked long grain rice
8 radishes, sliced
4 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
1 medium cucumber, seeded and chopped
2 cups thinly sliced celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
1-1/2 cups mayonnaise
3 tablespoons prepared mustard
3/4 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, combine rice, radishes, eggs, cucumber, celery and onion. Combine mayonnaise, mustard and salt; mix well.
Pour over rice mixture and toss. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour. Yield: 12-14 servings.

UPDATE: I used instant brown rice instead of long grain rice and it turned out just fine!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Zesty Gazpacho Salad

This salad, along with the next two recipes (vanilla cheese pie & the dilly turkey melt) are on the menu for this week in our household.

This is a nice, light, healthy salad that could either be had as a single meal or used as a side to accompany something else. Either's yummy. And it's good for ya too!

Zesty Gazpacho Salad

2 medium zucchini
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 small ripe avocado, chopped
1 cup fresh or frozen corn, thawed
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/2 cup picante sauce
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

In a large bowl, combine the first five ingredients. In a small bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Pour over zucchini mixture; toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Yield: 8-10 servings.

Vanilla Cheese Pie

Keepin it light around here in the summer...a nice twist on a good old fashioned cheesecake.

Vanilla Cheese Pie

12 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 prepared graham cracker crust (6 ounces)

1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 package (10 ounces) frozen raspberries in light syrup, thawed

Preheat oven to 300°F. Beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Pour into graham cracker crust.

Bake 1 hour or until center is almost set. Refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight.

For the Topping, add vanilla to raspberries. Spoon over each slice of pie before serving.

Dilly Turkey Melt

A fun little melt that is easy to make and really yummy.

Dilly Turkey Melt

2 medium onions, sliced
4 tablespoons butter, divided
4 tablespoons barbecue sauce
8 slices sourdough bread
8 slices Monterey Jack cheese
8 slices Canadian bacon
8 slices cooked turkey
Dill pickle slices

In a large skillet, saute onions in 1 tablespoon of butter until tender; remove and set aside. Spread barbecue sauce on four slices of bread. Layer each with one slice of cheese, bacon, turkey, pickles, onions and another slice of cheese. Cover with remaining slices of bread.

In the same skillet over medium-low heat, melt remaining butter. Cook sandwiches on both sides until golden brown and cheese is melted (skillet may be covered the last few minutes to help melt cheese if necessary). Yield: 4 servings.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Company Mac & Cheese

Oh, people. It doesn't get any better than this. Best all-around comfort food ever. EVER.

Try it. You'll love it. We do.

Company Mac & Cheese

1 package (7 ounces) elbow macaroni
6 tablespoons butter, divided
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, cubed
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
2 teaspoons spicy brown mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3/4 cup dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

Cook macaroni according to package directions. Meanwhile, melt 4 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan. Stir in flour until smooth. Gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes.

Reduce heat; add cheeses, mustard, salt and pepper. Stir until cheese is melted and sauce is smooth. Drain macaroni; add to the cheese sauce and stir to coat.

Transfer to a greased shallow 3-qt. baking dish. Melt the remaining butter; toss with bread crumbs and parsley. Sprinkle over macaroni. Bake, uncovered, at 400° for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Yield: 6-8 servings.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Easy Parmesan Garlic Chicken

This was the main course tonight and it was delish! This recipe came from

Easy Parmesan Garlic Chicken

1/2 cup 100% grated parmesan cheese
1 envelope Italian salad dressing mix
6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Mix cheese, garlic powder and salad dressing mix. Moisten chicken with water, coat with cheese mixture. Place in shallow baking dish. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Makes 6 servings.

Green Bean Corn Casserole

My mom got this recipe from my cousin, Shannon, and she made it as a side dish to accompany our dinner tonight.

AWESOME. And that's why I'm sharing it all with you.

Green Bean Corn Casserole

14 oz. can of french style green beans
15 oz. can corn
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup sour cream
1 can cream of celery soup
1/2 cup butter melted
1 sleeve of Ritz crackers crushed

Spread beans on bottom of 9 x 13 pan, then layer corn on top. Separately mix cheese, onion, sour cream, and soup. Spread over vegetables. Combine butter and crackers and sprinkle on top. Bake at 400 degrees until brown (we did 30 minutes).

Friday, June 27, 2008

Peanut Butter Snowballs

Another take on the typical "Buckeye" or "Peanut Butter Truffle."

Sooooooooo good.

And here I told ya'll I wasn't big on desserts. I seem to be full of em lately. I'm gonna explode if I don't be careful.

Peanut Butter Snowballs

1 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
3 tbsp. butter or margarine softened
1 lb. white baker's chocolate or almond bark

In a mixing bowl, combine sugar, peanut butter and butter; mix well. Shape into 1-inch balls and place on a waxed paper-lined cooking sheet. Chill for 30 minutes or until firm. Meanwhile, melt the white baker's chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Dip balls and place on waxed paper to harden. Yield: 2 dozen.

Sugar-Free Chocolate Fudge

I'm addicted to chocolate, but not to sugar. In fact, I do my very best to avoid sugar at all costs with my low carb lifestyle, so this recipe really comes in handy when I need a fix. :)

Sugar-Free Chocolate Fudge

2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
2 squares (1 ounce each) unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
24 packets aspartame sweetener (equivalent to 1 cup sugar)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

In a small mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, chocolate, sweetener and vanilla until smooth. Stir in pecans. Pour into an 8-in. square dish lined with foil. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Cut into 16 squares. Serve chilled. Yield: 16 servings.

Ranch Ham Roll-ups

This is a really tasty pinwheel appetizer that's easy to make and fun to eat with a yummy cream cheese filling layered with ham!

Ranch Ham Roll-Ups

2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1 envelope ranch salad dressing mix
3 green onions, chopped
11 flour tortillas (8 inches)
22 thin slices deli ham

In a small mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and salad dressing mix until smooth. Add onions; mix well. Spread about 3 tablespoons over each tortilla; top each with two ham slices.

Roll up tightly and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm. Unwrap and cut into 3/4-in. slices. Yield: about 7-1/2 dozen.

Chicken Salad

Here's a nice salad to serve during those hot summer months that we enjoy here in MN. Or elsewhere too!

Chicken Salad

4 cups cubed cooked chicken
1-1/2 cups seedless green grapes, halved
1 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup sliced green onions
3 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
1/8 teaspoon ground mustard
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted (optional)
1 kiwifruit, peeled and sliced, optional

In a large bowl, combine chicken, grapes, celery, onions and eggs. In another bowl, combine the next nine ingredients; stir until smooth.

Pour over the chicken mixture and toss gently. Stir in almonds and serve immediatelyif desired, or refrigerate and add the almonds just before serving. Garnish with kiwi if desired. Yield: 6-8 servings.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Frosty Peanut Butter Cups

I'm not a huge fan of dessert. Well...that's not entirely true. I'm not a huge fan of MAKING desserts. I'll eat them, but we don't typically around here. However, this is on the agenda this weekend to follow up the fab soup below.

You can't beat peanut butter. I mean really.

Frosty Peanut Butter Cups

1 cup reduced-fat graham cracker crumbs (about 5 whole crackers)
2 tablespoons reduced-fat spreadable margarine
1 cup cold 1% milk
1/2 cup reduced-fat creamy peanut butter
1 package (3.4 ounces) instant vanilla pudding mix
2 cups fat-free Cool Whip® whipped topping

In a small bowl, combine cracker crumbs and margarine. Press about 1 tablespoon each into 12 paper-lined muffin cups.

In a large bowl, whisk milk and peanut butter until blended. Whisk in pudding mix until smooth. Fold in whipped topping. Spoon into cups. Freeze until firm. Remove liners and let stand at room temperature for 5 minutes before serving. Yield: 1 dozen.

Spicy Cheeseburger Soup

Makin this one for my parents this coming weekend as they're coming over to say goodbye to us before we leave on our big trip. I'm pretty pumped about this soup. Yes, I'm making soup in 85 degree weather. So sue me. ;)

Spicy Cheeseburger Soup

1-1/2 cups water
2 cups cubed peeled potatoes
2 small carrots, grated
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon beef bouillon granules
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound ground beef, cooked and drained
2-1/2 cups milk, divided
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
8 ounces process American cheese, cubed
1/4 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
1/2 pound sliced bacon, cooked and crumbled

In a large saucepan, combine the first nine ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Stir in beef and 2 cups of milk; heat through. Combine flour and remaining milk until smooth; gradually stir into soup. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat; stir in cheese until melted. Add cayenne if desired. Top with bacon just before serving. Yield: 6-8 servings (about 2 quarts).

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Easy Taco Casserole

On the menu this week...

Lookin forward to this one. I saw it in Taste of Home Magazine and am excited to try it. It'll be done in no time and is a nice quick and easy meal when you don't have a ton of time to be standing around in the kitchen making a huge feast.

Easy Taco Casserole

1 pound ground beef
1 cup salsa
1/2 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 cups crushed tortilla chips
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Colby cheese
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 medium tomato, chopped
2 cups shredded lettuce

In a saucepan, brown ground beef; drain. Add salsa, mayonnaise and chili powder; mix well. In an ungreased 2-qt. baking dish, layer half of the meat mixture, chips and cheeses. Repeat layers. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until heated through. Just before serving, top with tomato and lettuce. Yield: 6 servings.

Tuna Burgers

Also on the menu this week...Tuna Burgers! Although in all honesty, they are more like sandwiches than burgers.

A nice twist on tuna...and burgers. :) Easy to put together and doesn't require a ton of ingredients that you may have to run right out and buy. And if you do, it's cheap! I promise.

Cooking on budget, people.
Tuna Burgers

6 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
2 cans (6 ounces each) tuna, drained and flaked
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
3/4 teaspoon garlic salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup mayonnaise
8 kaiser rolls, split

In a bowl, combine eggs and tuna. Add the cheese, green pepper, onion, garlic, salt and pepper; mix well. Stir in the mayonnaise. Spoon about 1/2 cup onto each roll; wrap individually in heavy-duty foil. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until heated through. Yield: 8 servings.