Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Fresh Cranberry Salsa!

Curtis called from work the other day and asked if we had anything in the house I could make for his work party that night. Being the wonderful person that I am, :) I told him that I would take care of it.

I knew I didn't want to make one of my old tried and trues and also I knew just where I wanted to go to find something new....to Sophia's cooking blog. I've tried several of her recipes before and have never been disappointed. I was entirely comfortable trying something new for that evening if it was from her.

I came across this recipe for Fresh Cranberry Salsa on her blog last year and printed it out. I never got the chance to make it so when I saw it again, I knew this was it. After I dropped Allison off at school, I ran to the store and picked up the couple items that I didn't have. One of the things that really appealed to me was she said it only took 5 minutes to put together. Now that's my kind of recipe! Oh, and did I mention it's so yummy too! Thanks Sophia!

Just one note before you read the recipe. Sophia's recipe calls for a whole bunch of green onions. When I bought the bunch, it was unusually large. I think there were about 12 onions in the bunch. I figured I would start with 3 and then add more if needed. Three ended up being perfect for me but if you want more, have at it!

Fresh Cranberry Salsa


1 bag fresh cranberries
3 green onions, chopped down to an inch from the end
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded then chopped
2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro (about 1/4 of a bunch is what I used)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. cumin (can add more up to 1 tsp.)
16 ounces of cream cheese (2 blocks)


1. Put the cranberries, greens onions, jalapeno pepper and cilantro into a food processor and chop finely.
2. Next add the sugar and cumin and mix well.
3. Spread 16 ounces of cream cheese, softened, into platter or serving dish.
4. Spread salsa on top of cream cheese.
5. Garnish with chopped cilantro.
6. Serve with crackers or chips.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Green Beans with Bacon!

I wanted to make another vegetable on Thanksgiving for those who didn't like the Scalloped Corn . This recipe ended up being perfect. Seriously, who doesn't love bacon? It's a really easy recipe but just adds a little something extra to regular old green beans.

This recipe is the one I used on Thanksgiving so the quantities are for a crowd. It can easily be cut to down to accommodate your family size. Actually, you really only need to use the method. The quantities really don't matter all that much. Just make it fit you.

One more thing before you read this recipe. If you are a regular reader of this cooking blog, you know I like recipes that are yummy and tasty but do not require a lot of time in the kitchen. Okay. Having said that....I used canned green beans! GASP! Did she say canned? Yes! I did! Fresh would have been nice but I decided that the green beans were not going to be what was taking center stage on Thanksgiving so I used canned! I saved myself the time of trimming and snapping them into smaller pieces. No one had any complaints!

Green Beans with Bacon

1/2 lb. bacon
2-3 Tablespoons butter
4 cans of cut green beans, drained
black pepper, to taste

1. Cut the 1/2 pound of bacon into thin strips.
2. In a large skillet over medium to medium high heat, fry bacon strips. Remove strips from skillet and set aside.
3. Discard all but 1-2 Tablespoons of the bacon grease from the skillet leaving the reserved bacon grease in the skillet.
4. Add butter to skillet and melt over medium high heat.
5. Add drained green beans to skillet and stir well making sure all green beans are heated.
6. Stir back in cooked bacon strips.
7. Season to taste with black pepper.

Note: I made this the day ahead but did not heat the green beans all the way through in step 5. I stirred them enough to cover them all with the grease/butter mixture. I put them all in a covered casserole dish and reheated them on Thanksgiving in the microwave.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Cranberry Salad!

I like cranberry sauce. I do not like raw celery. It's something about the strings. I know. I'm odd.

Last year, one of my co-workers, Dawn, brought in this cranberry salad to work and forced (yes, forced) me to try it. Oh. My. Word! It was so yummy and I learned that I DO like raw celery! It just has to be cut up really small so the strings are not noticeable! Wow...the things you learn about me by reading my blogs!

Anyway. The recipe below is the recipe she gave me cut in half. It makes a little over 3 cups. If your family loves cranberry sauce, then double the recipe below. My Curtis and Allison love the cranberry jelly right out of the can so I serve both.

Cranberry Salad

1 can (14 oz.) whole cranberry sauce, mashed
1 small can (approx. 8 oz.) crushed pineapple, drained
1 small box (3 oz.) raspberry Jello
1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
1/2 cup water, hot
1/2 cup chopped pecans, (optional...I don't add this)

1. Dissolve jello in a sauce pan of hot water.
2. Add whole cranberry sauce, crushed pineapple, celery and nuts to jello mixture. Stir well.
3. Pour into a pretty serving dish and refrigerate until firm.

Note: This recipe is great for doing the day before!

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Scalloped Corn a.k.a Corn Crap!

This recipe comes from a good friend of mine. Actually, it's not Nancy's recipe but her Mom's recipe.

Before I post this recipe, let me explain what "Corn Crap" in the title means. Somewhere along the way, this dish was labeled "Corn Crap" by, I think, Nancy's husband because he couldn't remember the name. It wasn't meant to be a bad thing because we all LOVE it so much! In fact, it should probably be named "Corn Crack" because you can't just have one helping of it.

Anyway. Fast forward to a visit to Nancy's home town of Bellefontaine, Ohio. Nancy took me and another friend of ours, Carolyn, to visit where she grew up. Well. Nancy's Mom, Sis, cooked for us and she made this scalloped corn. When Carolyn saw it she called it "Corn Crap" and Nancy's Mother's eyes just about popped out of her head and she said "Nothing I make is CRAP!" Sis didn't realize that it was a term of endearment for the casserole and we thought Carolyn was about to cry! Too funny! I'm sure it's a story we'll remember forever!

Scalloped Corn

2 cans creamed corn
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, melted

1. Mix all ingredients together in a big bowl.
2. Put into greased casserole or baking dish.
3. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees until brown. Approximately 40-50 minutes.

1. You can prep this dish the day before and cook it the day of your dinner. If you do this, be sure to take it out of the refrigerator 1-2 hours prior to baking to bring it to room temperature.
2. You can also prep and bake this the day before too and reheat it in the oven the day of your dinner.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Aunt Jan's Sweet Potatoes!

I like sweet potatoes...especially on Thanksgiving. I, however, do not like sweet potatoes with marshmallows on them. Sorry. I know a lot of you do but it's just not my thing!

This recipe is for a mashed sweet potato casserole. It's delish! Actually, it's Curtis's favorite thing on the Thanksgiving table. I found the recipe on Heather D. White's blog. It's her Aunt Jan's recipe...obviously!

If you click on this link, you will find the original recipe. I make mine a little different...of course. Aunt Jan's recipe calls for walnuts. I can't do walnuts. My body tells me I can't do them by giving me horrible heartburn. So I substitute pecans. I also do my topping a little different. I used softened butter and make a sort of a crumb topping to add on top. It seems to cover the top more evenly. The recipe below includes my adjustments. Give them a try! If you like sweet potatoes, you'll love these.

Sweet Potato Casserole

3 cups cooked sweet potatoes, mashed (approx. 2 large potatoes)
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar, divided (1/4 c. for potatoes & 3/4 cup for topping)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup butter, divided (1/2 c. melted for potatoes & 1/2 c. softened for topping)
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup flour

1.Combine cooked, mashed sweet potatoes, sugar, 1/4 c. of the brown sugar, salt, eggs, 1/2 c. of melted butter, milk and vanilla.
2. Place in buttered 2 quart casserole or baking dish.
3. Combine 1/2 cup softened butter, remaining 3/4 c. of brown sugar, pecans and flour together to make a crumb topping. Sprinkle over sweet potatoes.
4. Bake covered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

1. Heather usually does this recipe 1 1/2 times and fills a 9" x 13" baking dish.
2. You can prep this recipe the day before but not bake it. If you choose to do this, take the prepped dish out of the refrigerator for 1-2 hours to bring to room temperature prior to baking.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

P.W.'s Creamy Mashed Potatoes!

Today's recipe is for mashed potatoes. I know mashed potatoes are very basic and most people know how to make them. I thought that too...until I made these! They are creamy, smooth and velvety. I could just curl up with them on sofa and be perfectly happy!

Seriously. I found this recipe on The Pioneer Woman's site. WHAT? You don't know who The Pioneer Woman is??? Well then. You better get on over there and see what she's all about! She my girl crush! Yes. I admit it! I have a girl crush! Ree Drummond is my girl crush! There. I've said it and I'm not embarrassed. Really...go check her out! While you are there, check out her cookbook that just came out last month. Yes. Of course I bought it! In fact, I just sent it out to her on Monday so she could sign it. What? She said she would do it for anyone and gave us all an address where to send them!

This is the recipe I used for our Thanksgiving mashed potatoes and I will never make them any other way ever again!!!! The recipe below is her recipe exactly and here is a link to her post on it so you can see all the wonderful steps in pictures. The picture above is mine but make sure you go and see hers. She has a much nicer camera and better photography skills than I do. She says you can make these ahead of time which is PERFECT for preparing the Thanksgiving meal! Mashed potatoes take so much time on the actual day so why not make it easier on yourself. I did and they were perfect! The only thing I did differently than she did was I did not bake them in the oven. I pulled them out of the refrigerator in the early morning for about 2 hours. I then put them into a buttered slow cooker (my BFF suggested that...Thanks Susan!) with a few more pats of butter on top. I turned the slow cooker on high to get it started and then turned it on low once it got going. I stirred them up every once in a while to make sure they were heating evenly. Do it quickly though because you don't want all the heat to escape. You can also flip the switch back to high if you need. I hope you try these because they are TO DIE FOR! If you are uneasy about the cream cheese, don't be...you don't taste it at all! It just adds that velvety creaminess to the potatoes!

Pioneer Woman's Creamy Mashed Potatoes


5 pounds Russet Or Yukon Gold Potatoes
¾ cups Butter
1 package (8 Oz.) Cream Cheese, Softened
½ cups (to 3/4 Cups) Half-and-Half
½ teaspoons (to 1 Teaspoon) Lawry's Seasoned Salt
½ teaspoons (to 1 Teaspoon) Black Pepper

Preparation Instructions:

Peel and cut the potatoes into pieces that are generally the same size. Bring a large pot of water to a simmer and add the potatoes. Bring to a boil and cook for 30 to 35 minutes. When they’re cooked through, the fork should easily slide into the potatoes with no resistance, and the potatoes should almost, but not totally, fall apart.

Drain the potatoes in a large colander. When the potatoes have finished draining, place them back into the dry pot and put the pot on the stove. Mash the potatoes over low heat, allowing all the steam to escape, before adding in all the other ingredients.

Turn off the stove and add 1 ½ sticks of butter, an 8-ounce package of cream cheese and about ½ cup of half-and-half. Mash, mash, mash! Next, add about ½ teaspoon of Lawry’s Seasoning Salt and ½ a teaspoon of black pepper.

Stir well and place in a medium-sized baking dish. Throw a few pats of butter over the top of the potatoes and place them in a 350-degree oven and heat until butter is melted and potatoes are warmed through.

Note: When making this dish a day or two in advance, take it out of the fridge about 2 to 3 hours before serving time. Bake in a 350-degree oven for about 20 to 30 minutes or until warmed through.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Bread Stuffing!

I have never made homemade stuffing before but since I was making the Thanksgiving meal, I thought I better find a recipe. I started searching the Internet. When I search there, I always look at the ratings or reviews and comments. You can really learn a lot from them and this one had almost perfect reviews.

So. The starting point for my bread stuffing came from Betty Crocker. You can find their original recipe by clicking here. I like a moist but not wet stuffing so of course I made some changes. My adjusted recipe is below and this will be the one I'll use for years to come. It received great reviews and even I liked it ... and I'm not a stuffing person!

Bread Stuffing
(makes 12 servings)

3/4 cup butter
2 large celery stalks, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
11 cups semi-soft bread cubes (20 slices)
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground sage
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 to 1 cup chicken broth

To Prepare Bread Cubes:
Preheat oven to 170 degrees or your oven's lowest setting. Lay out slices of bread on a cookie sheets or jelly roll pans. Place trays in oven and keep checking back on them until they are semi-dried out or semi-soft. Remove them from the oven and after they have cooled, cut them into small 1/2" cubes.

1. Melt butter in a pan on the stove over medium-high heat. Cook celery and onion in butter 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender. Remove pan from the heat.
2. In a large bowl, using a spoon gently toss celery mixture and remaining ingredients except chicken broth, until bread cubes are evenly coated.
3. Starting with 1/2 cup of chicken broth, add to stuffing mixture and toss well. Keep adding more broth, if necessary, a little at a time until the mixture is moist but not wet.
4. Grease a casserole or baking dish with butter or cooking spray. Place stuffing in casserole or baking dish. Cover with lid or aluminum foil and bake at 325°F for 30 minutes. If it's too moist for your liking, you can uncover it and bake it a little longer.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Thanksgiving Turkey!

This year I cooked my family's Thanksgiving meal. Last year I saw it had gotten too much for my Mom. So. This year I told her that I'm taking the turkey baster off of her and Thanksgiving dinner was now mine! It wasn't the first time I cooked a turkey but it was the first time I did the whole meal.

Even though Thanksgiving is now over, I am going to take the next few days to post all of the recipes I used. Any of the items would be great for your Christmas or Holiday meals or you could tuck them away for use next year.

Before I post the first recipe, let me say that I prepped everything the day before. Yes, everything...even the mashed potatoes! Doing this enabled me to have a stress free, relaxing Thanksgiving. I'll share more about how I prepped ahead with each recipe that I post. It really worked out beautifully. Even though I cooked for 12 people, I had time to sit in the kitchen with my Mom while the turkey was cooking and visit.

The first recipe I am going to share is for the turkey. As I have said, I have cooked turkeys before but this year I wanted to try something new. Yes, trying something new on the day of Thanksgiving is taking somewhat of a chance but I threw caution to the wind and went for it. If it didn't work, we had a lot of side dishes we could fill up on!

So. A couple of weeks before Thanksgiving I saw in the Parade Magazine (that comes in the Sunday's paper) the article "The Best Chefs Create Your Perfect Thanksgiving Dinner." Bobby Flay did the turkey and after reading over it, I decided this was the recipe I was going to use. Even though his cooking usually is more elaborate and has a wonderful flair to it, his recipe for turkey seemed more traditional and perfect for me. The main thing I liked about it, was that he said you could cook a 17 pound turkey in 2 hours plus 20-40 minutes resting time after you take it out of the oven. Seriously friends, it worked and was the most tastiest, juiciest turkey I have EVER put in my mouth! Since I live about an hour away from my parents' and I was cooking there, I didn't want to drag Allison out of bed at 5 in the morning to get there to put the turkey in the oven so we could eat around 12:30. I will never cook a turkey the long way ever again!

Here is his recipe with my adjustments in red. (I know, I know...I couldn't help myself...I had to do things a little different but you'll see they weren't in the cooking. I followed his instructions exactly.

Turkey by Bobby Flay


1 whole fresh turkey (17 lbs.), rinsed and patted dry (I used 16 lbs.)

1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, slightly softened (I used salted)

2 Tbsp each finely chopped fresh sage, fresh rosemary, fresh thyme leaves, and fresh flat-leaf parsley

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 large carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces

3 large celery stalks, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 large onions, quartered

8 cups warm homemade chicken stock


1. Remove turkey from the refrigerator 1 hour before roasting.

2. Mix butter, sage, rosemary, thyme, and parsley in a food processor until smooth; season with salt and pepper. (I didn't use the food processor. I let the butter come to room temperature and finely chopped the sage, rosemary, thyme and parsley by hand. Then I mixed them together in a small bowl with the back of a spoon.)

3. Preheat oven to 450ºF. Season the cavity of the turkey with salt and pepper and fill with half the carrots, celery, and onions. Rub entire turkey with herb butter and season liberally with salt and pepper. (I also lifted the skin and rubbed the mixture directly on the meat under the skin.)

4. Put 4 cups of the chicken stock in a medium-size saucepan and keep warm over low heat.

5. Place remaining vegetables and stock on the bottom of a large roasting pan. Place turkey on top of the vegetables, put in the oven, and roast for 45 minutes or until lightly golden brown. (I covered the turkey for this part of the cooking) Reduce heat to 350ºF and continue to roast (I did this part uncovered), basting with warm chicken stock every 15 minutes, about 1 1/4 hours longer. (An instant-read thermometer inserted in the thigh should register 160ºF.) Remove turkey from the oven, transfer to a baking sheet, and tent loosely with foil (I left the turkey in the pan and tightly covered it with foil and then put a double folded bath towel on top of the foil). Let rest 20 minutes before slicing (I let it rest for 40 minutes and it was still hot).

Per 4-oz. serving: 240 calories, no carbs, 32g protein, 95mg cholesterol, and 11g fat.

Bobby Flay's Turkey Tips

Fresh vs. Frozen
Both are good, but frozen turkeys have to be defrosted, which can take several days and occupy valuable room in your refrigerator.

Fresh Herbs vs. Dried
Dried herbs can be substituted for fresh herbs at a ratio of 1 to 3. But fresh herbs have purer flavors that stand out on Thanksgiving Day.

It’s imperative to let the turkey rest before slicing so the juices recirculate. Wait at least 20 minutes for a small bird, 40 minutes for a larger one.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Here's a super fun dessert for kids! They serve it where I used to work and the kids love it!

I know there are several recipes out there for dirt that uses whipped cream folded in and such, but this is so easy and pleases the little ones! In fact, it's so easy you can make it minutes. You can't go wrong!

Kid Dirt

Chocolate pudding, instant or prepared
Oreo Cookies
Gummy Worms

~Prepare pudding to package directions and either spoon into individual serving cups or a larger serving bowl.
~Place two worms into pudding cups or several in larger serving bowl.
~Crush several Oreos in a zipper bag until they resemble "dirt" and spoon on top of pudding and around the worms to cover all visible pudding.
~Put dirt in refrigerator until pudding sets up.

*Note - I just made these for Allison's Homework Party at school and I bought a big 7+ pound can of chocolate pudding at Sam's Club for $3.98. It worked out to be less expensive than having to buy 6 boxes of pudding mix and a gallon of milk...not to mention having to make the pudding.

(I knew I would find a use for these Princess cups that Allison has had since she was a toddler and will NOT let me to get rid of!)

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Better Than S** Cake!

If you are a reader of my other personal blog, you've seen this recipe a couple of years ago. I'm trying to move all of my recipes over to here so they are in one convenient place.

This cake is so yummy and so not good for your hips. It is one of those cakes that when you take it somewhere, you will be asked for the recipe so make sure you have it with you.

Yes. This is the name of the cake but I call it "Better Than Love Cake" because I really don't want to teach my 8 year old about the birds and the bees just yet!


"Better Than S** Cake"

1 chocolate cake mix (I use Devil's Food)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 jar of caramel ice cream topping
1 small container of Cool Whip
Heath candy bars (I use one pack of 6) or Butterfinger candy bars

~Bake cake as package directions in a 9 x 13 pan.
~As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, use the handle from a wooden spoon and poke holes all over the cake.
~Pour the can of condensed milk and the caramel ice cream topping over the cake. The cake will absorb both.
~Cover with foil and put in the refrigerator overnight. It must sit at least for 4 hours.
~When ready to serve, frost the cake with cool whip and chop the candy bars into small pieces and sprinkle over the top of the cake.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Lemon-Butter Red Potatoes!

I found this recipe on scrapbooker, Heather D. White's blog a couple of years ago. She was kind enough to let me repost it here. I'm glad she did because this recipe is just too good not to share!

I make this recipe Christmas Eve to go with the rack of pork that I make every year. The potatoes are a light, fresh flavor and works well with the heaviness of the roast.

Lemon-Butter Red Potatoes

10-15 red potatoes, quartered
1/3 cup butter (no substitutes)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/3 cup lemon juice
3 Tbsp. fresh chives, minced (or 1 1/2 Tbsp. dried)
2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, minced (or 1 Tbsp. dried)
1 Tbsp. grated lemon peel
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. nutmeg

~Place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Cover the saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until tender.
~In a small saucepan, heat butter over medium heat for 2-3 minutes or until lightly browned (the browning give it the flavor). Remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients.
~Drain potatoes and toss with lemon butter.
~Serve and enjoy!

Thank you for stopping by my kitchen!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Amish Peanut Butter!

I'm back as promised with the recipe to smear on your cornbread.

We know it as Dutch Butter (see previous post) but the real name for it is Amish Peanut Butter. There are dozens of recipes out there but this one is like the one they serve at the Das Dutch Haus.

This recipe makes quite a bit. It doesn't quite fill up 2 pint canning jars. Don't worry though. You will find more uses for this than just cornbread. It would be awesome over ice cream. I'm not a fan of chocolate ice cream but I think I could do it with this ladled over the top. Heck. I even smeared it on graham crackers with a piece of a Hershey bar in between...like a s'more without the marshmallow. I posted an ice cream cake recipe a while back. This would be good in place of the caramel with chopped up peanut butter cups instead of the toffee bits. Yum. You could even put it on your morning toast. Oooh! I just thought of one more thing. Apples. It would be good on apples. The possibilities are endless!

Amish Peanut Butter

1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup marshmallow creme

~In a bowl, mix corn syrup, peanut butter and marshmallow creme together with a wire whisk until smooth.
~Store in an airtight container.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Moistest Cornbread!

The one thing I don't like about cornbread is that it crumbles! I don't know about you but I don't want it falling apart in my hand when I'm trying to butter it.

After several tries trying different cornbread recipes, I think I found one that's a keeper. I made it to go with our meal for Allison's birthday this year. My Dad even liked it and he doesn't throw compliments out very often. I told him that I have a secret ingredient but wouldn't tell him what it was. Well...it's cottage cheese! Yes. It melts and makes it very moist. I didn't tell him because although I love cottage cheese, my parents, sister and brother don't care for it. Some things are better left unsaid. ;)

I have to laugh though. One day Allison and I were watching Paula Deen and she was making cornbread. Guess what she put in hers? Yup! Cottage cheese! Well. Allison flipped out and screamed "Mom, Paula Deen stole your secret ingredient!" Too funny!

The Moistest Cornbread

2 boxes of Jiffy corn muffin mix
4 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup butter, melted
1 (12 ounce) package of frozen corn, thawed (I use the baby corn)
1 medium, onion, diced fine (I use a very small onion)
1 cup small curd cottage cheese
1 pinch of sugar

~Preheat oven to 375 degrees
~Combine all ingredients and mix well. The batter will be very thick.
~Pour into a buttered 9" X 13" casserole dish.
~Bake in oven for 35-40 minutes until golden brown.
~Let it cool for 10 minutes to let the flavor develop. It's also good at room temperature.

Variation: You could add one or more of the following. A can of chopped green chiles, drained or 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese or 1 cup of shredded pepper jack cheese.

One a side note...I also took this cornbread to my best friend's campsite this Summer. She said that all it needed was Dutch Butter. You see there is a restaurant not far from where we grew up that's called the Das Dutch Haus. Well. They make the most delectable homemade food and people stand in line forever just to eat there. They also serve this gooey, peanut buttery spread for their cornbread. Well after Susan mentioned it, I went on a search and finally found it. Come back tomorrow and I'll share with you what to smear on your cornbread so your tummy thanks you over and over again.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Slow Cooker Baked Potato Soup!

Since today is the first day of Fall, it's time for some warm comfort food.

There was a request on Facebook for a potato soup recipe and it got me to thinking that it's the perfect recipe to share on the cool first day of Fall.

First let me say that I'm very picky about my potato soup. I like it creamy and rich and cheesy. I developed this recipe after trying many versions. I hope you like it.

Cindi's Slow Cooker Baked Potato Soup


6 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped (6 cups)
2 1/2 cups of water
1/2 cup chopped onion
10 chicken bouillon cubes
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 stick butter
1 12-ounce can (1 1/2 cups) evaporated milk
6-8 slices of American cheese


1. In a 3 1/2 or 4 qt crockery cooker, combine potatoes, water, onion, bouillon and pepper. Slice butter into tabs and layer it on top of previous mixture. Cover, cook on low-heat setting for 7 ½ - 8 hours or on high heat setting for 4 to 4 1/2 hours.

2. Stir milk into soup and add 6-8 slices of American cheese. Stir until cheese melts. Cover, cook on low-heat setting for 1 hour more or high-heat setting for 30 minutes more. Mash potatoes slightly with a potato masher. Makes 6-8 side dish servings.

Top with shredded cheddar cheese and bacon bits.

**If it’s too thick for you, you can thin it out with any milk you have in your refrigerator.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen!

***Edited to link up to Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday at Blessed with Grace and Tuesdays At The Table at All the Small Stuff.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Ice Cream Sandwich Cake!

I found this recipe as I was surfing through blogs one day. I do not remember where I found it and now I can't find it again. If this is your recipe, please let me know and I'll give you proper credit.

This is another one of those recipes that is perfect for me. It's easy but packs a big "WOW" amongst your family and friends.

Allison loved it so much, she requested it as her birthday cake this year. And with Labor Day just around the corner, it would be the perfect end of summer dessert. But then, isn't ice cream good all year round?

Ice Cream Cake

19 Ice Cream Sandwiches (I use the store brand)
1 Bag of Heath Bits 'O Brickle Toffee Bits or Milk Chocolate Toffee Bits
1 Jar of Caramel Ice Cream Topping (I use Smuckers)
1 16 oz. (Big Tub) of Cool Whip, thawed

~In a 9 x 13 glass baking dish, place 9 1/2 ice cream sandwiches on the bottom. 2 rows of 4 and 1.5 to finish the end.
~Sprinkle about 1/3 bag of the toffee bits over the sandwiches.
~Next drizzle almost 1/2 the jar of caramel over the sandwiches and bits.
~Next spread 1/2 the tub of Cool Whip over the the first layer.
~Repeat the previous steps to create another layer saving some of the bits and caramel to garnish the top layer.
~Drizzle the remaining caramel in a decorative pattern and then sprinkle with the remaining bits.
~Place uncovered in freezer for at least two hours to set up.

Other variations: Chocolate sauce with peanut butter chips, or mint chocolate chips or Butterfingers candy bars crushed up on top. With all the toppings and chips out there, your possibilities are endless!

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen!

Monday, July 27, 2009

My Antipasto Pasta Salad!

Pasta salad is popular dish this time of year. It's cool, refreshing and a perfect addition to any get together with family and friends.

There are many recipes out there for pasta salad. I happen to like a little heartier pasta salad with meat and cheeses. It's probably the Italian in me. As you have probably picked up from reading this blog, I cook for my family's taste buds. So having said that, you will not find the usual sliced olives, onions or green peppers in this recipe. Feel free to make this recipe your own and add what you and your family like.

A note before I post the recipe...I do not have exact measurements for the ingredients. I kind of throw things together. I'll do my best to give amounts but if you feel it needs more or less of anything, go for it. The recipe below is the amount I make for a party as a side dish so it makes a lot.

Cindi's Antipasto Pasta Salad

  • 1 box (12 oz. or 16 oz.)of bite sized pasta. I usually use tri-color rotini but this time I used farfalle (bow-ties). Both work well.

  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups of broccoli florets, raw

  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups of cauliflower florets, raw

  • 1 medium cucumber, seeded and diced into large pieces

  • 15 (approx.) grape tomatoes, cut in half

  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup pepperoni, sliced thick and then cut into squares. Although this time I found "Hormel Pepperoni Minis" that was perfect for this dish. (You could also do 1/2 pepperoni and 1/2 hard salami if you like)

  • 8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, cut into bite sized cubes

  • 8 oz. mozzarella cheese, cut into bite sized cubes

  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1-2 bottles (16 oz.) of Wishbone Robusto Italian Dressing


  • Cook pasta in salted boiling water until al dente. Drain and rinse immediately under cold water to stop the cooking process.

  • In a large bowl, add the pasta, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, pepperoni and cubed cheese and one bottle of dressing and mix well.

  • Sprinkle in the grated Parmesan cheese a little at a time to prevent clumping and mix in. The cheese will absorb some of the dressing so if you feel you need to add more dressing at this time, go ahead and a little more. It should be wetter than you think because the pasta will absorb quite a bit of the dressing as it marinates.

  • Lastly add the tomatoes and gently mix them so they can keep their form.

  • Refrigerate the salad for several hours or overnight to blend the flavors.

  • Before serving, stir well and if it seems too dry, add more dressing.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Beef & Bean Skillet Casserole!

Okay friends! I came up with this because I had a pound of thawed ground beef that I needed to use. It was also right before my grocery shopping trip so I had a limited amount of supplies in my pantry which forced me to get creative. Curtis loved it and had a big second helping. Allison picked the beans out of it and ate the whole thing. It was voted a "repeat" in my home so I thought I would share it with all of you.

I only used one skillet and one pot (to boil the noodles) so clean-up was easy. The skillet I used is a Cooks Essentials from QVC. It is one of their hard coat enamel skillets and is oven safe up to 350 degrees so I put it right in the oven to melt the cheese on top and finish off the casserole.

Beef & Bean Skillet Casserole

1 lb. of ground beef
1 can of Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 cup milk
1 t. soy sauce (I use low salt)
1/2 t. black pepper
1 can of green beans, rinsed and drained
3 cups of dry egg noodles, cooked and drained
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~Brown ground beef in skillet and drain grease.
~Next add Cream of Mushroom Soup, milk, soy sauce and black pepper. Mix until well blended over medium heat.
~Turn heat off and stir in cooked egg noodles and green beans.
~Fold in Parmesan cheese.
~Top with shredded cheddar cheese and a sprinkle of more Parmesan cheese.
~Place in preheated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.
~After taking it out of the oven, let it set for 10 minutes before serving.

Thank you for visiting my kitchen!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Pistachio Pudding Cake!

I make this every Easter to take to Curtis' Mom and Dad's for dinner.

I usually like to try new recipes every year but this is a big hit with his Mom and brother so it's become a tradition for Easter dinner.

Pistachio Pudding Cake

1 package yellow cake mix
1 package Jello pistachio pudding
1 1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon almond flavoring
4 eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
7 drops of green food color

~Grease and flour bundt pan. I use Pam for Baking spray.
~Mix ingredients in order listed.
~Pour into bundt pan.
~Bake for 50-55 minutes in 350 degree oven.
~Drizzle with confectioner's sugar glaze (powdered sugar & a little milk)
~Decorate. I sprinkled green sugar crystals on this one but an Easter sprinkle mix or Spring sprinkle mix would be great too.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Broccoli Salad!

This is a common salad that someone usually brings to summer cook outs. I always double this recipe when I take it somewhere because when I bring this, I am sure to bring home an empty bowl.

There are many variations of this recipe but this is the one that I prefer. I've also changed this up a bit too and used half broccoli and half cauliflower. It's just as tasty!

Broccoli Salad

1 large head of fresh broccoli, cut into small bits or flowers
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 lb. bacon, fried crisp and crumbled
1 small red onion, finely diced (I don't even use the whole onion)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons cider vinegar

~In a large bowl mix the broccoli, cheese, bacon and onion together well.
~In a separate bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar until well blended.
~Add the dressing to the broccoli mixture and mix well.
~Let stand overnight or for at least 5 hours.

Thank you for stopping by my kitchen!

Orange Fluff!

This recipe comes from my friend, Marsha. It is a super easy yummy recipe and works great for a get together because it makes a lot...an no one even knows there is cottage cheese in it!

I've changed the recipe up and used lime jello for Christmas and substituted a can of fruit cocktail for the oranges. It turned out a pretty festive green color. You could even do cherry jello for the Fourth of July!

Orange Fluff

1 (16 oz.) Cool Whip, thawed
1 (24 oz.) cottage cheese, small curd
1 Large box of orange Jello
1 (20 oz.) can of crushed pineapple, drained
2 (11 oz.) cans of mandarin oranges, drained

~In a large bowl mix Cool Whip and cottage cheese together.
~Then add the box of orange jello and mix well.
~Then add the drained fruit and mix well.
~Transfer to a serving bowl and chill for at least 2 hours.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Smoked Sausage, Potatoes, Peppers & Onions!

Here in this area, it's good luck to have pork and sauerkraut on New Year's Day.

Curtis and Allison don't like sauerkraut. I love it but as I get older it's not my friend if you know what I mean.

So instead of making something that my family won't eat and I can't eat, I decided we could still have the "pork" of the good luck tradition.

I don't really have a name for this dish. It's something my friend, Nancy, used to make when I lived across the street from her. I'm not sure if it's really the recipe she used but it's what I kind of remembered. I loved it when she invited me to dinner. She's a good cook!

Smoked Sausage, Potatoes, Peppers & Onions

1 lb. smoked sausage (you can use kielbasa but we like the sausage better)
6-8 medium to large potatoes (we like potatoes so I always do more)
1 large red pepper (or green if you like)
1 large onion
3/4 stick of butter
Frank's Hot Sauce

~ Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
~ In a large roaster sprayed with non-stick spray, layer the following in order:
~Potatoes, cut into large cubes. We like the skins on but you can peel them if you like.
~Smoked sausage, sliced on the diagonal into 1/2 inch "coins".
~Onions, peeled and sliced into thin slices then cut the slices in half.
~Peppers, cleaned and cut it into large cubes.
~ Shake hot sauce all over the top of the layers. Start with a little as you can add more half way through cooking.
~ Layer the top with sliced pats of butter.
~ Bake covered for 30 minutes.
~After 30 minutes, remove lid and stir well to mix everything together. You can taste a potato at this time to see if you would like more hot sauce. If needed, add more and stir well again.
~Put back into the oven uncovered for 15-20 minutes more.

A couple of notes:
~I wouldn't make this in a Crock Pot. It wouldn't give it the crispness that cooking it with the lid off gives you.
~You can make this ahead of time and then keep it warm in a Crock Pot for a party. This does work well and it's a big hit for the men at a party.
~Great idea for a Superbowl Party!

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Chicken Spread Ball!

Long time no post! If you read my other blog, you know I've been busy and to keep my sanity I had to easy up on a few things. Blogging was one of them. I hope you are still out there because I am back with more recipes.

This one is from my best friend's Mother, Sandy or as Allison calls her...Grandma Sandy. On New Year's Eve I make several dinner plate size platters of appetizers for the three of us. It's nothing fancy. We just spread them out on the coffee table and treat ourselves to our little New Year's Eve celebration.

This particular recipe is one of my very favorite appetizers. I've taken it with me to several places and some one is always sure to ask for the recipe. It is so simple. I hope you love it as much as I do! My favorite cracker to have it on is Wheat Thins. Triscuits is a close second and I think Sandy serves it with Chicken in a Biscuit crackers. To tell the truth, I don't think you could go wrong with any cracker so pick your favorite!

Chicken Spread Ball

1 can Underwood chicken spread
1 (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. chopped onion (I may be bad but I use the minced dried onions)
1 tsp. mayo

~Mix all together and roll in chopped parsley. (I use dried parsley and I don't even roll it. I just put it in a bowl and generously sprinkle it on top.)
~Serve with crackers.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen!


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