Showing posts from 2010

Icebox Cinnamon Cookies

Note:  We mainly call these Icebox cookies or Cinnamon Sticks.  They are excellent for breakfast, lunch or dinner (especially if egg nog is present!).

3 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup butter or shortening
1 cup brown sugar (packed)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup finely chopped walnuts

Sift or whisk flour, baking soda, cinnamon & salt together.  

Work butter until soft & work in both sugars, add eggs which have been well beaten.  

Mix in dry ingredients & nuts until well combined.  

Divide dough in thirds.  Make a long oval loaf of each third and wrap tightly in plastic wrap.  Chill overnight or up to 3 days.  

Cut loaf in half long way to make small cookies, leave loaf in one big piece for "plank sized" cookies.

Slice loaf in 1/4" pieces.  Bake on a cookie sheet and bake  @ 350. About 7 minutes for small cookies and 10 minutes for large cookies.  Watch them, they should not be too brown. 

Cool on a wire rack after …

Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal

Note:  I made this for a church gathering and it was a big hit.  It also reheated well as I made it the night before.

3 cups quick cooking oats
½ cup brown sugar
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
2 eggs
2 teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ginger
¼ teaspoon cloves
¾ cup canned pumpkin
¼ cup brown sugar (for the top)

In a large bowl mix together all ingredients except the ¼ cup brown
sugar for the top.
Spread into a greased 9×13 pan.
Sprinkle remaining ¼ cup brown sugar on top.
Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.
Serve with milk and enjoy!


Amazing Apple Muffins

Note: Amazing.  That is the only way to describe these cakey muffins.  Okay, "muffins".  They are much more like cupcakes that just happen to have apples in them, so that makes them healthy, right?  The batter turned out more like dough for me, but that might have been because I totally just mixed all the ingredients into one bowl and ignored the stepped process.  I'll try to stick closer to the recipe next time to see if it ends up more batter-y.  Sorry, no picture for now, but check out the picture on the source site if you like.

2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 ¼ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 ½ cups chopped apples

Cinnamon topping-
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter

1) Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.
2) Prep a 12 cup muffin pan by greasing the cups or lining them with papers.
3) In …

Kraft Mac and Cheese Pie

Note:  This "pie" was easy to throw together and gave me some downtime while it was in the oven.  It has the veggies and the protein all mixed right in, so no need for side dishes or lots of extras.  It's great leftover, too.

1 pkg. (14 oz.) macaroni & cheese dinner (with sauce packet) 2 cups small broccoli florets (frozen or fresh) 4 eggs 1 cup of cubed or chopped ham (could be ham steak or deli meat, whatever you have!) 1/2 cup shredded cheese (cheddar or Monterey jack works)
1) Preheat oven to 350.  Spray a 9in pie plate with cooking spray.
2) Cook macaroni noodles as directed.  Steam broccoli in your preferred method
3) In a small bowl, beat eggs and stir in the cheese sauce.
4) When macaroni is cooked and drained, add cheese sauce mixture, ham, and broccoli.  Mix well.
5) Spoon mixture into pie plate and top with shredded cheese
6) Bake for 30 minutes or until macaroni is set and the top is golden brown.


Kraft's Taco Bake

Note:  I had some mac and cheese on hand that just seemed too boring to make by itself.  This was a super cheesy dinner and it was loved!  Of course, I made some modifications....

1 pkg. (14 oz.) macaroni & cheese dinner (with cheese sauce packet) 1 lb.  ground beef (or 1 cup cooked ground beef and 1 can of black beans) 1 pkg. taco seasoning 3/4 cup sour cream (or 6oz Plain Greek Yogurt) 1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided 1 cup salsa

1) Spray 8in square baking dish (or equivalent) with non-stick spray. Preheat oven to 400.
2) Prepare macaroni as directed.  While macaroni is cooking, cook meat (and beans) with Taco seasoning as directed.
3) When the macaroni and cheese is finished, stir in the sour cream until well blended.
4) Spoon half the macaroni and cheese into the baking dish.  Top with the meat mixture and a layer of 1cup of shredded cheese. Add a final layer of the rest of …

Baked Egg Puffs

Note: This is less of a recipe and more like instructions!  They are simple to put together and I had dinner on the table after about 5 minutes of prep work and 15 minutes in the oven.  Serve with normal breakfast fare.

1 egg per egg puff
1 slice of ham or other deli meat per egg puff, thinly sliced
1 handful of shredded cheese (cheddar is my favorite, but any kind will work!)
Optional - your favorite omelet fillings

1) Preheat the oven to 375.  It will probably take longer for the oven to heat than for you to put these together!
2) Take out your muffin tin and line one cup with ham per egg puff you are making.  Spread them out if you are not using the whole pan.

3) Crack an egg into each lined cup.  If you prefer scrambled, scramble up the egg before you pour it in.
*Optional Step* Put a few pieces of omelet fillings in each cup - a few pieces of pepper, mushroom or even more ham!
4) Top each cup with a handful of shredded cheese.
5) Bake for 15 to 17 minutes.

Mexican Lentils

Note:  This was so delicious, quick to throw in the crockpot, and vegetarian to boot!  Great for a quick, inexpensive meal.

1/2 cup rice
3/4 cup lentils*
1 can Rotel (or 1 15oz can of petite diced tomatoes + 1 4oz can of green chilies)
3 cups of water
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder

1) Rinse and drain lentils
2) Put all ingredients in your crockpot
3) Cook on high for 3 hours
4) Serve hot in a bowl or over tortilla chips "nacho style".  Top with cheese and/or sour cream.
5) Dig in!

*When cooking lentils in the crockpot, they should be cooked on high for a short period of time. If you want to modify this recipe to cook on low for 8 hours, then pre-cook the lentils. 


Banana Pancakes

Note: These were delicious!  I have never had banana pancakes before and it was like having banana bread in the form of a pancake.  Delish!  This recipe made about 10 large pancakes (I used my ice cream scoop to portion out the batter), so double it if you need to.

2 bananas, mashed
1/2 cup milk
1 cups flour*
¼ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1 eggs
¼ tsp salt

*If your bananas were frozen, add another 1/2 cup of flour to account for the extra liquid that usually results from defrosting.


1) Beat together wet ingredients (mashed bananas, milk, and eggs) and add the dry ingredients.  Mix until combined.

2) Heat your pan or skillet to medium heat (about 350 if you have an electric griddle) and cook as usual.  I portion the batter with an ice cream scoop.  After the batter has been on the skillet for about 15-30 seconds, this is the time to add in some chocolate chips, blueberries or whatever you like!
3)These do take a little longer than regular pancake batter becaus…

Sausage & Cheddar Pinwheels

Note: The dough was hard to roll out, so definitely err on the side of 1/2 cup of milk!  You could always add more flour if it ends up too sticky.


3 c. flour
1 T. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. butter or margarine, cut into pieces
1/3 – 1/2 c. milk
1 lb. bulk pork sausage, cooked, drained and crumbled small
2 c. cheddar cheese, shredded


1) In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. 

2) Cut in butter or margarine until crumbly. 

3) Add milk as need until a soft but not sticky dough forms. Knead dough one minute.

4) Divide dough in half and roll out. Top with half of the sausage and half of the cheddar. 

5) Roll up jelly roll style and slice into pieces, about an inch thick. 

6) Place onto a cookie sheet lined with foil and greased.


Repeat steps 4-6 with the second half of dough and fillings.

8) Bake at 375 degrees for 15 – 18 minutes, until golden brown.


Whole Wheat Cornbread Muffins

Note:  I didn't do much but adjust the baking time.  These were delicious and I keep saying I don't like cornbread.  They weren't too sweet which is what turns me off to it sometimes.

1 cup cornmeal
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
2 eggs
2 T. honey
¼ cup melted butter
1 cup buttermilk (or substitute)


1) Stir together dry ingredients with a whisk.

2) Add eggs, honey, butter, and buttermilk and mix until combined.

3) Portion into a muffin tin with an ice cream scooper (seriously, this works great!)

4) Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes.


Breakfast Sandwiches

Note: These are a great quick breakfast when you need something you can hold in your hand. They take a whole 3-5 minutes to put together depending on your meat.

1 English Muffin or biscuit
1 Egg
Cheese (whatever kind you like. Cheddar or American work well)
Sausage, bacon, or ham (optional)
butter, for spreading

1) Crack an egg into a glass, microwave-safe custard dish*, and beat well.
2) Prepare the meat for the sandwich and toast your English muffin & butter it. Have the cheese at the ready!
3) Microwave the egg (cover it!) for 2 minutes on high. You will hear popping and sizzling - it's Okay!
4) Carefully remove the egg from the microwave with a pot holder - the glass is HOT!
5) Add cheese on top of the egg quickly so that it can melt.
6) Remove the egg from the custard cup carefully with a butter knife or a fork.
7) Assemble your sandwich and enjoy!

*If you don't have a custard dish, any microwave-safe glass dish will work as long as it is approximately the…

Banana Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake

Note: The batter will be thick depending on how ripe and mushy your bananas are. Don't worry about it! It will bake up fine.

3 cups flour2-1/2 tsp. baking powder1/2 tsp. baking soda1/4 tsp. salt3 ripe bananas, mashed1 cup butter, softened1/4 cup heavy cream1-1/2 cups sugar4 eggs1 tsp. vanilla12-oz. pkg. chocolate chips (You can use about 3/4 of the package)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Generously grease and flour a 12 cup bundt pan; set aside. In large bowl combine all ingredients except chocolate chips. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. By hand, stir in chocolate chips. Pour into prepared pan. Bake at 325 degrees F for 65-75 minutes or until cake is firm and set and begins to pull away from sides of pan. Immediately set pan onto a dishtowel that has been soaked in water and gently wrung out. Let pan sit for 5 minutes, then turn out onto serving plate (this will make the cake come out of the pan without sticking). Cool completely before serving.source: htt…

Whole Wheat Crepes

Note: I didn't get a picture because they were gone SO FAST. Mike never had crepes before and I was going to make them this weekend whether I was out of all purpose flour or not! This recipe convinced me that whole wheat flour can do no wrong. They were light, smooth, rich, and everything a crepe should be. Other than the slightly-dark color, you would never know these were whole wheat. Seriously. I did modify this a bit, of course, but only because I knew I wanted them on the sweet side.

3 eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 cup water
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
2 T. melted butter
(butter for the pan)

1) Whisk all ingredients together VERY WELL.
2) (optional step) Refrigerate the batter for 30 minutes or more for a more tender crepe.
3) Heat pan over medium heat. When the pan is hot, butter it and add between 1/4c and 1/3c of batter to the pan, tilting to cover the pan.
4) Cook until the bottom of the crepe is lightly brown and speckled. …

Re-fried Beans

Note: These are really good. Mike didn't realize they weren't from a can. And I could eat more than just a little (the canned stuff is too smooth for me). No picture. Think about what re-fried beans look like. You probably don't want a picture.

1 pound of pinto beans (or black beans if you prefer)
Chicken bouillon
chili powder


1) Soak and cook the beans as directed on packaging (if you use canned, skip this step)

Optional: When cooking the beans, add half a jalapeno and one onion to the water for more flavor.

2) Save the liquid used to cook the beans. You will need approximately 1/2 cup, maybe more.

3) Let the beans cool.

4) Put the beans in a food processor, 1 cup at a time. Add 1 tsp of bouillon, 1/2 tsp of cumin, 1/2 tsp of chili powder, and a splash or two of the bean liquid. Process until at the desired consistency. Add more liquid if necessary.

5) Repeat step 4 until all the beans are mushed up really good.

6) Serve warm or cold. Use in yo…

Creamy Pumpkin Dip

Note: I just had to make this after making the molasses spice cookies. It is an excellent pairing. It's not the most appetizing looking dip, (what dip is?) but it is delicious! Unless you are having a party, you might want to half this recipe. 4 cups is a lot of dip. Even if it is good enough to eat with a spoon....

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 cups confectioner's sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice*
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

* Or replace with:
*1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves

1) In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and confectioner's sugar until smooth.

2) Gradually add the pumpkin, sour cream, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and ginger.

3) Beat until smooth.

4) Refrigerate for an hour or so before serving.

Serve with gingersnap cookies, apples or pears, graham crackers, sweet breads... or anything!

Yield: 4 cups.

source: http://stretchma…

Molasses Spice Cookies

Note: These are reminiscent of ginger snaps, except they are thinner and have a much darker flavor and color. Delicious! When you are rolling these, keep the dough (and your hands) as cold as possible. Keep the dough that you are not using in the freezer or it will be VERY STICKY.

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses (not blackstrap)
1 large egg
Granulated sugar, for rolling

1) Whisk together flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon , and salt.

2) In another bowl, beat the butter, sugar, and molasses. Add the egg and beat for one minute.

3) Blend in the flour mixture. A VERY soft dough will form.

4) Divide the dough in half and wrap in plastic. Freeze for 45 minutes or longer.

5) Shape teaspoonfuls into balls and roll in graulated sugar.

6) Place 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

7) Bake at 350F for 9 to 11 minutes, until flattened…

Crazy Crust Pizza

Note: This is a really fun pizza recipe! Definitely different than all the ones I've seen out there. It also calls for a LOT less flour than my normal pizza recipe, so this is a great one for when you are low.

1 c flour
1 t salt
2 eggs
2/3 c milk
1 t oregano
1/8 t pepper

Your favorite toppings
1 c pizza sauce
1 c mozzarella cheese

You will need a pizza pan with sides (12" - 14") or a cookie sheet with sides.

1) Preheat the oven to 450F.

2) Prepare your toppings if necessary

3) Lightly grease/dust pan with flour (I use Baker's Joy spray).

4) Mix eggs and milk. Add flour, salt, oregano, and pepper. Mix until smooth - it will be BATTER not DOUGH!

5) Pour the batter into the pan, tilting batter to cover bottom.

6) Arrange topping over batter. Gently push into batter if possible.

7) Bake on low rack for 13-20 minute until golden brown.

8) Remove pizza from oven, drizzle pizza sauce and sprinkle with cheese.

9) Return to oven 5-10 min.

source: This is a recipe from …

Cajun Tomato Stew with Sausage

Note: You control the spiciness when you make this soup! The Tabasco sauce is what really gives it that extra kick, so use a VERY light hand when adding it (I had no idea what I was doing. it was SPICY).

28oz Crushed Tomatoes
28oz Water
15oz Diced Tomatoes
Kidney Beans (3 15oz cans, or 3/4 lb, cooked)
6 ribs celery, chopped
1 onion, diced
garlic 6 cloves
1lb sausage, in bite-sized pieces

1/2 cup uncooked rice

2 tsp parsley
2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp oregano
2 whole bay leaves
Tabasco sauce - a few drops to a few shakes.

1) Put the tomatoes and a can of water in a large stock pot and put it on to boil.

2) Before it boils, add the kidney beans, celery, onion, garlic, and sausage.

3) Add in all the spices except for the Tabasco sauce.

4) After it boils, turn it down to a low simmer for 1/2 an hour. Add a few drops of Tabasco, and taste after 5 minutes. Continue to slowly add more and taste after 5 minutes until it is at the desired heat level.

5) When 1/2 …


Note: This bread is delightfully dense, has a hint of sweetness and is way easier than it looks. It looks impressively difficult! This would be a great hostess present that you can WOW people with! For this recipe, I used my bread maker to do the hard work - mixing and the first rising cycle.

3 eggs
1/3 cup water
1.5 tbsp butter
3 tbsp sugar
1.5 tsp salt
3 cups flour
1 tbsp yeast


1) Add the ingredients in the order they are listed into your bread machine. Set it to the dough/white dough setting. Mine takes about 90 minutes to finish.

2) When your bread maker is done, remove the dough and punch it down. 3) Cut the dough into 3 equal parts. Roll each part into 18 inch long ropes. Braid them together. Pinch ends together then fold under.4) Cover and let rise until doubled. (It was about an hour to an hour and a half for me)
5) Glaze with one egg yolk mixed with 1 tbsp water. Sprinkle top with coarse salt, poppy seeds or sesame seeds.
6) Bake at 3…

Irish Soda Bread

Note: I know there are TONS of different Irish Soda Breads out there, and they are all so different! This one probably isn't very authentic, but I figured if it was published in a calendar, it probably wasn't going to be a flop. And we liked it!

4 c all-purpose flour
1/4 c sugar
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp caraway seeds
1/4 c butter
2 c raisins
1 1/3 c buttermilk (I keep powdered buttermilk on hand)
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp baking soda
1 egg yolk, beaten


1) Mix flour, sugar and baking powder in a large bowl; stir in caraway seeds.

2) Cut in butter until mixture looks like coarse meal. Stir in raisins and set aside.

3) Combine buttermilk*, egg and baking soda; stir into flour mixture just enough to moisten.

4) Turn onto floured board and knead lightly until dough is smooth; shape into a ball.

5) Place in a greased 2-quart casserole dish; brush with egg yolk.

6) Bake at 375 degrees for one hour. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from casserole dish. Let cool completel…

Tuna Noodle Casserole

Note: This was a suggestion from my friend Amy and I put my own twist on it. In particular, I didn't have an cream soup on hand, so I made my own. I also added veggies (not that you can tell by the picture).


For cream sauce: (Can replace with 1 can condensed cream soup + 1/4 cup milk)
1 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup low-fat or fat free milk
salt and pepper to taste

1 bag of Egg Noodles
1 can of Tuna Fish
1/2 cup to 1 cup of cooked veggies
Italian Bread Crumbs


1) Prepare Egg Noodles cooking a minute or two less than the package directions, drain, set aside.

2) Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in flour; keep stirring until smooth and bubbly.

3) Remove from heat and add the chicken broth and milk, a little at a time, stirring to keep smooth.

4) Return to heat. Bring sauce to a gentle boil; cook, stirring constantly, until it thickens. Add salt, pepper, and any other desired spices to tast…

Mexican Pasta Casserole

Note: Modified from The Packet Queen. We really liked this, so hopefully it will become a new addition to the menu (Sorry, no picture! Will try to get one next time I make this.) The major change that I made was to replace the salsa with crushed tomatoes. I thought it was still very flavorful and much cheaper this way!

1 pound of ground beef
1 can of black beans
1 can of corn
1 large can of crushed tomatoes
1 pound of pasta, cooked (any kind you like, but medium sized shells work nice)
1 packet of taco seasoning (or equivalent)
2 cups shredded cheese

Sour Cream (for serving)

Brown beef in a large skillet(drain grease if necessary). Add in the beans and then the taco seasoning and water (according to packet directions).

When the beef is done, add in the corn and half a can of crushed tomatoes.

Mix the beef mixture and the pasta together (you may have to transfer to a large bowl if your skillet is not large enough). Add a cup of shredded cheese and stir some more.

In a 9…

Chicken Pot Pie

Note: This was so super easy, and we loved it! Next time I make it, I will adjust the ratio of veggies/potatoes/meat and follow this new recipe.

2 unbaked pie crusts
2 cans of condensed cream-of-whatever soup
1 cup of cubed potatoes
1 1/2 cups frozen veggies
1/2 cup chopped onions
2 cups of cooked chicken cut into small cubes

Preheat oven to 425 degrees and bring a medium pot of water to boil.

Roll out 1 pie crust and place into pie plate. Bake for 10 minutes in the pre-heating oven. Set aside.

Meanwhile, peel and cube potatoes (1/2 inch size) and boil until soft.

In a bowl, combine chicken, frozen vegetables, onions, potatoes and soup. Mix well.

Pour mixture into pie plate, top with remaining pie crust, making several small slits in the top to allow steam to escape. Bake in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.

Cool for 10 minutes before serving.