Monday, December 29, 2008

Midnight Bliss Cake

We make this delicious, rich, chocolate cake for Christmas Eve
 to celebrate the birth of Jesus every year.
 We put on a candle for each of us,
 to symbolize the light of Christ inside of us.
 I thought this an appropriate cake since It is believed that Jesus was born at midnight.

Midnight Bliss Cake
1 pkg chocolate cake mix, any variety (we picked chocolate fudge)
1 pkg (4 serving size) chocolate instant pudding
4 eggs
1 container 8 oz sour cream
1/2 cup flavored coffee, prepared (I use International Foods French Vanilla)
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup water
1 pkg 8 squares semi-sweet baking chocolate, chopped.

Heat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease and flour a tube pan (bundt cake)
Beat all ingredients except chopped chocolate in large bowl with mixer, until well blended and smooth. Stir in chopped chocolate and pour into prepared pan.
Bake 50-60 minutes until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

 No need for frosting with this cake, it's rich and that good!

Candy Bar Pie!

This is our Christmas Pie!
 We make it every Christmas day to have for dessert!
The kids are great helpers as they love to help cut up the candy bars and nibble a little bit!

Candy Bar Pie
1 pkg Cream cheese
1 Tbsp milk
2 tubs cool whip
2 pkgs chocolate instant pudding
1 3/4 cup milk
1 pkg mini candy bars
(we usually use Snickers, but could use Milky Way or 3 Musketeers), chopped
Chocolate pie crust (we use the Oreo one)

Mix the cream cheese with 1 Tbsp milk until smooth. 
 Gently stir in 2 cups cool whip and the chopped candy bars. Set aside.
Pour 1 3/4 cups milk into another bowl and add pudding,
 beat wit wire whisk and then gently stir in 1/2 cup cool whip.
spread 1/2 the pudding mixture on the bottom of crust,
 spread cream cheese mixture over pudding mixture
 and top with remaining pudding mixture and then on the very top,
 cover the pie with cool whip.
 (place shaved chocolate on top for decoration)

Needs to refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
It's not good to forget this last part, as it's hard to wait for it to be set!

(Hey, the cool whip has hardly any calories!)


Dairy Bake Potatoes

OK, these are the most fattening potatoes in the world! (but also the best!) Which is why we only make these on Christmas day! I do always double this recipe and put into a little larger baking dish. My husband loves the leftovers of this! (me too!)
Dairy Bake Potatoes
1 bag hash brown potatoes, thawed
1/2 cup butter, melted
1tsp salt and dash of pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 8 oz carton sour cream
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups crushed corn flakes
1/4 cup melted butter
Stir together potatoes, 1/2 cup melted butter, salt, pepper, onion, soup, sour cream and cheese. Pour into a 9x13 buttered baking dish. Top with corn flake crumbs and 1/4 cup melted butter. Sprinkle with paprika for added color.
Bake 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Scalloped Corn

This corn dish, I make every year on Christmas day. It is a favorite in our home.
Scalloped Corn
4 cans of corn, drained
4 eggs
2 cups milk
6 Tbsp butter
2Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp finely chopped onion
Salt and pepper
Put in blender (I do half and then the other half, otherwise it's too much) Put in 13x9 greased baking dish. Add 40 crushed saltine crackers and 2 cups cheddar cheese. Crush 20 more saltine crackers for the top.
Bake 1 hour 350-375 degrees until knife comes out clean.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Cinnamon Christmas Ornaments!

Cinnamon Christmas Ornaments

1 cup applesauce

1 cup cinnamon
No baking and simple for kids! mix together to form a stiff dough. play around with it, if it's too wet and sticky, add more cinnamon, and if it's too dry, just add more applesauce. Roll out to 1/4 inch between plastic wrap. (because it's very, very messy otherwise, kind of a dry-sticky) cut with cookie cutters. Make a hole at the top with a straw for ribbon. Let air dry several days turning occasionally.
Makes about 12 great smelling ornaments!
**The first year we made these we painted them after they were dry with puffy paint and added eyes and glitter and beads, they turned out great!! But they are pretty enough to leave plain also.
***They make great Christmas gifts!
****These are NOT edible****

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

What Spice Are You?

Your result for What Spice Are You Test...

You are Garlic!

0% Habanero, 20% Sage, 10% Thyme, 20% Ginger, 30% Garlic, 0% Curry, 10% Cinnamon and 10% Oregano!

You can be both mellow and sweet.

You are very loved and tend to get along well with people. People remember you! You love to help people and want to feel useful.

You may sometimes have a tendancy to talk a bit too much, but you also don't mind listening to other people either. You hate it when you become engrossed in your own problems, and you can often feel guilty.

You don't have a desire to lead, normally, and you don't mind taking directions and lending a hand. You have a generous spirit and a kind heart.

You are more than likely very attractive, but you would never stop to admit it. You do notice the positive qualities in other people, though.

Take What Spice Are You Test<

Monday, December 8, 2008

Homemade Peanut Butter!

My daughter got to make this recipe today for her math. She is learning fractions and multiplying and counting by 2's (peanuts in shells). It was a fun lesson and the kids really liked this all natural peanut butter.
1 cup shelled peanuts
1 tsp canola oil
Mix in food processor or blender until smooth. It doesn't get smooth really, but you'll know when it is done. It's a little chunky, but not big chunks. We doubled the recipe and had some leftover for tomorrow's snack.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Cinnamon Sticks!

I have never used Cinnamon sticks until our last social co-op. I put them in the crock pot with apple cider and they smelled so good, I can smell them as I type this!! (and that was a couple weeks ago!) It was fun to see the sticks uncurl and look like this by the end of the day. We didn't know this would happen. It was kind of a kitchen experiment for us. I am a new lover of cinnamon sticks!! I can't wait until Tom's Christmas party this weekend (at our house!) I am making apple cider for sure!! Tom's party is at our house, it's all his employees and is on the feast of St Nicholas, which makes it exciting! I will post a real picture of our pumpkin cheesecake and cream cheese bars afterward!
Update: I was so busy with our 20 some guests that I forgot to take pictures of the cheesecake or bars!!! So sorry!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Cornucopia Treat!

These mini cornucopias are lots of fun for children to make for Thanksgiving. I've been making them for 14 years! These are the 3 ingredients you need and then just top the bugle off with a little frosting and dip in Fruity Pebbles! Cornucopia: A symbol of food and abundance dating back to the 5th century. In North America it has become associated with Thanksgiving and harvest.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake

I make this every Thanksgiving. It is the Kraftfoods recipe tweaked in a "Jamie" way.

Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake

2 cups finely crushed Keebler Sandies cookies (or more, I'm not good at measuring) The original recipe called for Ginger snap cookies mixed with pecans, but it was too rich, so the Sandies make it a little less rich.
6 Tbsp butter, melted
3 pkgs (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar, divided
1 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
dash of cloves
Mix crushed cookies with melted butter and press onto bottom and 2 inches up side of 9-inch springform pan.
Beat cream cheese, 3/4 cup sugar and vanilla with mixer, until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the plain batter. Stir remaining 1/4 cup sugar, pumpkin and spices onto remaining batter. Spoon 1/2 of the pumpkin batter over crust, top with spoonfuls of the 1/2 of the reserved plain batter. Repeat layers. Cut through batters with knife several times for marble effect.
Bake at 325 degrees for 55 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool before removing rim of pan. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Store leftover cheesecake in refrigerator. Makes 12 servings.

Company Salad

Sorry no picture for this one, I hope to update this with a picture after the holidays! This recipe is actually all about the dressing, the salad can be anything you like, although I will tell you what I almost always use. My sister in law gave me this recipe and she said her mother always made this dressing when they had company so it was called "Company Salad". Now, every year at my husband's Christmas party, his employees request this salad, so it has become our own "Company Salad"!
Company Salad Dressing
3 to one oil/lemon juice
(I usually make 3/4 cup oil/1/4 cup lemon juice)
1 tsp mint
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp parsley
pepper to taste
Mix together.
I toss this with red leaf/green leaf lettuce or Romaine mix with lettuce added.
Top with large black olives and croutons. (I use homemade bread crumbs/croutons)
Homemade Croutons
12-15 slices bread (whole wheat is best but it doesn't matter)
1/2 cup butter (or more)
garlic salt
Remove crusts, brush both sides with butter, sprinkle with garlic salt and cut into chunks.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Lazy Cheesecake Salad

This salad is one of my favorite "fruit" salads. It is really more of a dessert but does pass as a fruit salad! It's bright colors of red and white are festive for just about any special day!
It's always a hit with kids and adults alike!
Lazy Cheesecake Salad
1 pkg cream cheese, softened
8 oz Cool Whip
8 oz sour cream
1 can pie filling (strawberry or cherry)
1 pkg instant vanilla pudding (dry)
1/4-1/2 cup milk
Mix all together and top with pie filling. *My mom adds graham crackers, I don't. Do what you want. She's also tried lemon filling on top and put strawberry pie filling layered with it. (I only like the recipe I posted, which is why I posted it!)
**I also double this recipe to get a big bowl of it, like is pictured.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Frozen Mud Pie

2 cups Oreo cookie crumbs
2 tsp sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 gallon chocolate chip ice cream, softened
(or coffee flavor, well, or any flavor you'd like!)
Chocolate syrup
Additional Oreos for garnish (optional)
Combine cookie crumbs and sugar and stir in butter. Press into a ungreased pie plate. (go up the sides) Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Spoon 1/2 the ice cream into crust. Drizzle with chocolate syrup, in stripes across the pie. Carefully top with remaining ice cream. There is enough here for everyone to have one bite if you have little helpers, as I did. Drizzle with chocolate syrup again on top, in stripes, then take a knife and swirl with a knife. place extra cookies on top for garnish. Freeze until firm.
Remove from freezer 10-15 minutes before serving.

Spaghetti with Zucchini and Yellow Squash

Whole grain spaghetti
1 medium onion, diced
1/3 cup olive oil
1 minced garlic clove
2 cups yellow squash, diced
2 cups zucchini, diced
10 medium leaves fresh basil, chopped
Black pepper and salt to taste
1 cup fresh Parmesan cheese (at least)
cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, saute onion in olive oil in a skillet over medium heat for 6 minutes, Add garlic and saute for 2 minutes. Add yellow squash and zucchini and cook for an additional 6 minutes. Stir in basil and pepper and salt. Toss sauce over pasta and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
I really, really liked this dish. I did need to add quite a bit of pepper and salt for more flavor and lots of Parmesan cheese.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Chicken Quesadillas with Corn Salsa

Chicken Quesadillas
4 cups boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced
2 tsp chili powder
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans green chilies, drained
4 cups co-jack cheese
12 tortillas of your choice (I used whole grain with flax seed)
light sour cream for garnish
corn salsa (recipe below)
Saute onion and garlic in oil in large skillet. Cook until onion is tender then remove onion and garlic from pan. Add chicken and chili powder and stir-fry until chicken is done. Remove chicken from skillet and add to the onion and garlic. Add cheese and green chilies and mix well.
Clean skillet and spray with non-stick spray and heat over medium heat. Place equal amounts of chicken mixture onto tortilla halves and fold over and brown. Spray pan again as you are turning and flipping. Heat until nice and brown and cheese is melted. Garnish with sour cream and corn salsa.
Corn Salsa
I never really quite follow the recipe, not measuring perfectly, but here it is, you can adjust it any way you like. I pretty much double this. My hubby likes leftovers of this whole meal and often shares it at work! If you have leftovers of this meal, re-heat quesadillas in oven. (otherwise the microwave will make them soggy)
1 1/4 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed (I just run cold water over them in a strainer)
1/4 chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 1/2 Tbsp lime juice
2 tsp chopped, seeded jalapeno chili
Salt and pepper to taste
Don't forget to use rubber gloves to chop that jalapeno!! It does not feel good to get it in your eyes hours after washing hands, trust me, it does not feel good!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Monster Cookies!

This makes a monster batch! These are the cookies we make when going "up north" to a cabin. They are great frozen and everyone loves them!
2 cups brown sugar
2 cups white sugar
1 cup butter
9 cups of oats
1 lb M&M's (nibble as much as you want on these)
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
6 eggs
4 tsp vanilla
4 tsp baking soda
1 pkg chocolate chips (you can do more if you'd like)
Beat together the sugars, peanut butter and butter until well mixed. Beat in the eggs until well blended. Stir in oats, vanilla and soda. Stir in chocolate chips, then M&M's. Drop by tablespoons full onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-16 minutes. (I bake them for 16 minutes) Do not overbake. (duh!)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cup oatmeal
2 cups milk chocolate chips
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees
2. combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a bowl. In a larger bowl, beat butter until creamy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs and vanilla. On low speed, beat in flour mixture, then stir in oats and chocolate chips.
3. drop by tablespoons full onto cookie sheets and bake for 15 minutes. Let cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
These are for sure going to be a new favorite around here!! We doctored the recipe by not adding raisins and adding milk chocolate chips and more of them!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Fun, Easy Kid Lunch

Porcupine pretzels, fishing for goldfish, (with the pretzels from the porcupine), pigs in a blanket, and ants on a log.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Parmesan Pork Patties

Parmesan Pork Patties

1 pound fresh ground pork

1/2 cup fresh parmesan cheese

1/4 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp garlic salt

1/4 tsp dried oregano

Fresh chopped basil

(optional: tomato slices)

Mix everything except the fresh basil and 1/2 cup fresh parmesan. Fry or broil for 15 minutes, turning 1/2 way through, making juices run clear. Top each patty with fresh parmesan cheese and broil until cheese melted, top with fresh chopped basil.

My husband is on a low/no carb diet and he loves this new found recipe. He loves it and I make it every week for him!

Wild Rice Soup

Wild Rice Soup
1/2 cup butter
2 Tbsp dried minced onion
1/2 cup flour
4 cans chicken broth (I use one big can)
1 pint half and half
6-8 cups cooked wild rice
3 cooked chicken breasts cut in chunks
or I love to use turkey breast
2-4 Tbsp chicken stock (that thick yellow stuff in the soup isle)
Pepper to taste
(optional slivered almonds)
In large pot, melt butter with minced onion, add flour, stir until mixed well and a thick paste, add chicken broth, stirring until dissolved. Cook until thickened, then add everything else!! Simmer until thickened. Great with fresh bread and this recipe freezes perfectly!!

Lenten Pretzels

My little helpers!
3 Tablespoons honey
3 cups lukewarm water
2 pkgs active dry yeast (4 1/2 tsps)
2 tsp salt
8 cups flour
Course sea salt
2 eggs beaten
Add the honey to the water; Sprinkle in the yeast and stir until dissolved. Add the 2 tsp salt. Blend in the flour, and knead the dough until smooth.
Cut dough into pieces. Roll them into ropes and make pretzel shapes. (arms crossed in prayer like people used to do many, many years ago) Place pretzels on lightly greased cookie sheets and brush them with beaten egg and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake at 425 degrees for 12 minutes or until golden brown.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Ravioli with Balsamic Brown Butter

You will need: 25 oz bag frozen Cheese ravioli 4 Tbsp butter 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar 1/2 tsp salt 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper 1/3 cup toasted chopped walnuts (I like to add a little more) 1/4 cup grated Parmesan Bring pot of water to boil, add ravioli and cook 4-5 minutes until floating on the top like this. Drain.
Meanwhile, cook the butter over medium heat, stirring occasionally. When the foam subsides, and the butter begins to turn a golden brown, like this, turn off the heat. Let cool for about 1 minute. Stir in the balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper.
Transfer the ravioli to the pan with the balsamic brown butter, fold into the sauce. Sprinkle walnuts and Parmesan over the top. Serve immediately.
*I found this recipe from the Food Network, Giada De Laurentiis, but tweaked it a little by adding less butter and a little more ravioli and walnuts.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

St Patrick's Day

Here's our green lunch, wearing green clothes and eating in our kitchen green plates! I am a little Irish, like 1/4 I think...My mom wishes we were more, my dad is glad we are 1/2 German! (the rest is a bunch of little things) Green bread (sweet pistachio bread) (we had this for breakfast too) broccoli and dip cheese sticks green pParmesan noodles kiwi key-lime yogurt We read about St Patrick and later for supper we had Irish Brown Bread!

Balsamic Pork Chops

We found this recipe in a low-carb cookbook and it has become our winter favorite. (since it's hard to charcoal grill in the winter, in MN!) 4 thick boneless pork chops Salt and black pepper 1 Tbsp olive oil 1 medium size onion chopped/minced (I use my chopper to get it really good) 1/2 cup chicken broth 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar 1/4 tsp dried thyme, crushed 1 Tbsp butter Sprinkle meat with salt and pepper. Cook in large skillet in hot oil over medium heat for 12 minutes, until done and juices run clear. Turn occasionally. Transfer to a plate and keep warm. Add onion to skillet; cook and stir for 1 minute. Add broth, vinegar and thyme. Bring to boiling; reduce heat, simmer, uncovered for 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in butter. Pour over meat. This juice is so good for dipping the meat into!

Irish Brown Bread

We made this for St Patrick's day and the kids loved it! They loved picking the crusty crust off and eating it! This makes a crusty dense loaf. I found the recipe somewhere else, but tweaked it a little to make it my own! (I like to do that!) 2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour 1 1/2 cups oats 2 Tbsp wheat germ 1 tsp baking soda 1 tsp salt 2 Tbsp sugar 2 1/4 cups buttermilk (I always put a little vinegar in measuring cup and then add milk and let it sit while mixing everything else, easy and I don't have to run to the store for buttermilk) Heat oven to 400 degrees Mix dry ingredients with hands and add buttermilk. The dough will be wet and sticky. Dust hands with flour and shape dough into a ball. Score a deep x at the top of the ball, widening it with knife. Place on floured cookie sheet. Bake for 50 minutes to golden brown. Cool on wire rack 10 minutes.

Green Bread (Pistachio Sweet Bread)

This is the bread I give to all the neighbors at Christmas. The kids love it! We also make it for breakfast on St Patrick's day! *makes 2 loaves

 1 yellow cake mix
 1 pkg instant pistachio pudding
 4 eggs
1/4 cup oil
 1 cup sour cream
5-10 drops of food coloring (or more)

 Mix above well. Generously grease 2 loaf pans.
 Dust with a mixture of
 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon.
 Reserve remaining sugar mix.
 Pour batter into loaf pans.
Sprinkle remaining sugar mix on top.
 Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes. (or til done)
 Remove immediately from pans and place in plastic baggies and refrigerate!

Friday, February 29, 2008


Our Favorite Smoothie
1 cup frozen mixed berries (I use the ones from Sam's Club) 1/2 cup orange juice
 1/2 6oz container of Yoplait Harvest Peach yogurt
 1 banana
 Mix and enjoy!

A Summer Favorite
Frozen Strawberries
 Diet 7-up
 Sweet-n-low to taste
 Mix and cool off!