Friday, November 14, 2008

Allison's Chili

Finally, my search for a good chili recipe is over. My friend, Allison, made this for our last camping trip, and it was perfect! It's just your basic chili recipe...very easy and very delicious!

Allison's Chili

2 lbs lean ground beef, cooked and drained
28 oz can tomato sauce
2-16 oz cans diced tomatoes
1 can kidney beans, drained
1 can pinto beans, drained
1 can black beans, drained
1-2 Tbsp chili powder
1/2 to 1 Tbsp cumin
1.5 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste

Brown beef in skillet. Drain fat. In large stockpot, combine meat, tomato sauce, tomatoes and beans. Add seasoning. Start with smaller amount and adjust as needed. Simmer for an hour or so to let flavors combine. Serve with fritos and grated cheddar cheese.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Cornbread Dressing

This is a holiday favorite. I always thought it was complicated, but it's really not.

Cornbread Dressing

6 cups cornbread, crumbled
2 cups breadcrumbs (use biscuits or toasted bread)
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onion
1 stick butter
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp sage
pepper to taste
salt to taste
4 cups chicken broth
2 eggs

Bake cornbread and let cool. (My mother-in-law uses those corn kit pkgs, but I make my Nana's cornbread). Toast bread and let cool completely. I like to use my food processor to grind up the cornbread and toast into crumbs, but you can crumble it with your hands. Combine in large bowl and set aside.

Saute onion and celery in butter for 2-3 minutes.

Add sauteed mixture to crumb mixture and stir in poultry seasoning and sage, salt and pepper. At this point, taste and adjust seasoning. Add eggs and broth and mix well. If it seems dry, add more broth, or even some water. You want it to be moist, but not soupy.

Pour into lightly greased casserole dish and bake at 375 for 30-45 minutes.

**I usually double or triple this. One batch isn't enough for leftovers!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Breast of Chicken Eden Isle

We love to have this during the holidays! I like it with LeSeur peas and Sister Scuberts rolls. Delicious.

Breast of Chicken Eden Isle

6-8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
I small jar dried beef (found on the grocery aisle with tuna and other canned meat)
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 cups (16 oz) sour cream
8 oz cream cheese, softened
pepper to taste
hot, cooked rice

Line bottom of a 9x13 baking dish with the dried beef. Lay chicken breasts on top and sprinkle with pepper. Mix (I use my mixer) the softened cream cheese, sour cream and cream of chicken soup. Pour over chicken breasts and bake at 325 for 1.5 hours. Serve over hot cooked rice.

This is very, very rich. And worth every calorie!

*I've also tried making this in the crock-pot with success. I used my kitchen shears to cut the dried beef into bite-sized pieces and mixed it together with the soup, cheese mixture. Cook on low for 4-5 hours or until chicken is done.

Pinto Beans with Bacon, Tomatoes, and Cilantro

This recipe is from the Siesta Fiesta Cookbook and was submitted by Big Mama. I made it a couple of weeks ago on a cold, fall evening, and it was great! My kids aren't big on beans, but I convinced Will to try it and he loved it. John and I loved it too (we love most anything with cilantro in it). I made a pan of cornbread to go with it...I definitely suggest that you pair this dish with cornbread. Mmmmmmm....

Pinto Beans With Bacon, Tomatoes, and Cilantro

1 1/2 cups dried pinto beans, picked over and rinsed
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
4 oz thick sliced bacon, about 3 slices (I used more!)
1 small onion, diced
3 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 fresh jalapenos, stemmed, seeded and minced (I only used one)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro (more or less depending on preference--I used at least 1 cup)
black pepper and salt to taste

Soak beans overnight according to package directions. Bring beans and 11 cups of water to boil in Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add garlic and salt; reduce heat and simmer partially covered until beans are tender, about 70 minutes. Drain beans, reserve liquid.

Cook bacon in Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring occasionally until browned. Remove pan from heat. Drain all but 3 Tbsp fat from pan, leaving bacon in pan. Return pan to medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened and golden. Add tomatoes and jalapenos. Cook until tomatoes have lost their shape. Add drained beans and 4 cups reserved liquid to pan and bring to a simmer. Cook 5-10 minutes to blend flavors. Beans should have a soupy consistency. Stir in cilantro and season with salt and pepper.

Stuffed Green Pepper Soup

This recipe is from my friend, Leah. She had this soup at The Mason Jar restaurant while in Colorado Springs, and liked it so much she asked for the recipe. Surprisingly, they gave it to her! I made it a couple of weeks ago and it was very, very good. I love soup in the fall and winter, and this recipe is a keeper!

Stuffed Green Pepper Soup

2 lbs ground beef
2 quarts water
1 can (28 oz) tomato sauce
1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes (undrained)
2 c. white rice
2 c. chopped green peppers
1/4 c. packed brown sugar
2 t. salt
1 t. pepper
2 t. beef bouillon

In a large pan, season beef with salt and pepper and cook until no longer pink. Drain beef and add remaining ingredients and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until peppers are tender. Enjoy!

**I thought the sugar sounded weird, but I didn't notice it and it definitely didn't make this soup taste sweet. I don't like sweet soups!!!

**Next time, I'll add the rice just before serving to keep it firm. Mine was a bit overcooked.

Best Ever Apple Pie

I guess I can't say that this is the "Best Ever" apple pie because it's the only one I've ever made, but it's still very, very good!

Best Ever Apple Pie

Crust (Makes 2 10-inch crusts)
1 cup shortening
2 2/3 cup flour
1 tsp salt
7-8 Tbsp ice water

1 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
Dash of salt
8 cups thinly sliced tart apples
3 Tbsp butter

Crust directions:
Cut shortening into flour and salt until it resembles small peas. Sprinkle water 1 Tbsp at a time, tossing with fork until all flour is moistened and pastry pulls away from the side of the bowl. Shape into a ball and divide in half. Roll each half into a round about 2 inches larger than your pie plate. Line pie plate with one crust, add filling, then top with the second crust.

Heat oven to 425. Mix sugar, flour, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt. Stir in apples and mix well. Pour into crust-lined pie plate. Dot with butter. Cover with top crust, cut slits for steam to escape, seal edges. Bake about 40-50 minutes until crust is nicely browned and juices begin to bubble through slits in crust. Cover top with foil if it browns too quickly.

Serve warm with vanilla ice cream!!!

Crock-Pot Applesauce

This recipe is from Holly and is delicious. It makes your house smell yummy too!

Crock Pot Applesauce

5 granny smith apples
5 gala (or another) red apples
1 cup of water
1 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of cinnamon

Peel, core and slice apples into about 8 pieces. Add all to the crock pot. Cook on low for 8-10 hours. Use a hand blender (or potato masher) to mash them. Leave a few chunks in it, if you'd like. Enjoy!

**I use whatever kind of apples I have on hand, and it still tastes great.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Chipotle Chicken Pasta in Fire Roasted Tomato Cream Sauce

This recipe is from The Picky Palate. Another friend had linked to it on her blog, and I happened to be reading blogs while working on my menu plan. SO glad I found was delicious!

Chipotle Chicken Pasta in Fire Roasted Tomato Cream Sauce

1 lb Barilla Mini Farfalle (bow tie) pasta
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ Cup white finely diced onion
2-3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped, from can (3 if you like spicy)
1 fresh corn on the cob, kernels removed
1 Cup drained black beans
2 Cups diced cooked chicken
1/4 Cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
2 14 oz cans Muir Glen Fire Roasted diced Tomatoes
½ Cup heavy cream
Pinch salt, pepper, garlic salt

1. Prepare pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside.

2. Heat 2 Tablespoons olive oil into large 5 qt skillet or dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, chipotle, corn, and beans. Cook for 5 minutes, until softened. Stir in cooked chicken and cilantro leaves until heated through, reduce heat to low and set aside.

3. Place both cans of tomatoes into food processor and pulse until nearly smooth. Pour into chicken mixture. Stir in cooked pasta; stir to combine. Stir in heavy cream, salt, pepper and garlic salt to taste. Cook until heated through and serve. Garnish with additional cilantro if desired.

**I used one chipotle chili and it was plenty spicy for my family!
**I also used frozen white corn instead of cutting it off the cob.
**I used more cilantro than it calls for because I *love, love, love* cilantro!

Chicken Broccoli Fettuccine

Chicken Broccoli Fettuccine

2-3 cups cooked chicken, chopped
1 can broccoli cheese soup
2 Tbsp butter
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1 cup milk
3/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
8 oz fettuccine, cooked

Cook noodles according to package directions. Melt butter in skillet. Add garlic and saute 1-2 minutes. Add soup and milk and heat until bubbly. Add chicken, cheese and cooked noodles. Toss well to combine.

I like to serve with a salad and garlic bread.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread

A healthier version of the original. I like that it uses honey and whole wheat.

Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread

6 eggs, beaten
1 cup honey
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups whole wheat flour
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons salt
4 cups grated zucchini
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease three 8x4 inch loaf pans and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, honey, brown sugar, oil and vanilla. Combine the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt; stir into the wet ingredients until moistened. Gently stir in the zucchini and walnuts until evenly distributed. Divide batter evenly between the prepared pans.

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool in the pan until cool enough to touch, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Wrap in plastic wrap or store in a plastic bag when cool.

Banana Oat Breakfast Cookies

I'm always on the lookout for healthy breakfast foods, and I found this recipe for these high-protein breakfast cookies. I made them yesterday and they're actually pretty good. The kids thought they were so-so, but John loved 'em!

Banana Oat Breakfast Cookies

1 large banana, mashed
1/2 cup chunky natural peanut butter (unsweetened/unsalted) OR regular chunky peanut butter
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup regular oats
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup non-fat dry milk powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup dried cranberries or raisins
non-stick cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly coat two cookie sheets with nonstick spray. Set aside.

In large bowl, stir together banana, peanut butter, honey, and vanilla. In small bowl, combine oats, flour, milk powder, cinnamon, and baking soda. Stir the oat mixture into the banana mixture until combined (will be quite thick). Stir in dried cranberries.

Using a 1/4 cup scoop, drop mounds of dough 3 inches apart on cookie sheet. Flatten with a spatula sprayed with cooking spray.

Bake one sheet at a time for 14-16 minutes, or until browned. Cool on wire racks, and store in air-tight container for up to three days. Freeze for up to 2 months.

*My peanut butter wasn't sweetened or salted, and I think next time I'll add about 1/2 tsp salt. I also thought some dried, flaked coconut would be good in these.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream

Oh my good and creamy. I think it tastes exactly like Coldstone!

Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream

1 quart fresh strawberries, hulled
1 1/2 cups heavy cream, divided
3/4 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
rock salt

Puree berries until smooth (in blender or food processor). Pour into a large bowl, and set aside.

Heat 1 1/4 cups of the cream in a saucepan over medium heat until it begins to bubble at the edges of saucepan.

In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, egg yolks, remaining 1/4 cup cream, and corn syrup.

Gradually pour the hot cream into the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly.

Return the mixture to the saucepan, and heat until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon, about 5 minutes. Do not allow the mixture to boil.

Pour the cream mixture into bowl with berries, stir well, and refrigerate until chilled.

Fill an ice cream maker with the mixture, and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Laura's Little Maple Cakes

from My Little House Cookbook

Laura's Little Maple Cakes

1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch salt
1/2 tsp ginger
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 egg
1/2 cup sour cream
butter to grease tins

Preheat oven to 375. Melt 2 Tbsp butter in small saucepan over medium heat. Put dry ingredients in one bowl and mix. Combine wet ingredients in another bowl and whisk together. Add the wet to the dry ingredients. Mix quickly, just until thoroughly blended. Grease mini muffin tins (makes 24 minis) and fill using two to scoop the batter, and the other to push it off into the tin. Bake for 12 minutes or until the cakes are a light golden color. When they are cool enough to handle, remove from pan.

Maple Icing

1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 Tbsp butter, softened
pinch salt
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup maple syrup

Blend sugar, butter, salt and vanilla. Add maple syrup and beat until completely smooth. Decorate each cake by dipping the top of each into the icing and giving it a twist. Turn it right side up, and garnish while the icing is still moist.


sliced strawberry
raspberries or blueberries
dried currants
1/2 seedless grape dipped in sugar
1/8 tsp strawberry jam

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Crockpot Lasagna

My friend, Allison, made this for us last was delicious!!

Crockpot Lasagna

1 pound ground beef, browned
4-5 cups spaghetti sauce
24 oz. cottage cheese
1 egg
12-13 lasagna noodles, uncooked overlapping
3+ cups mozzarella cheese

1. Combine ground beef and spaghetti sauce. I add a some Italian seasonings to the sauce.

2. Combine egg and cottage cheese.

3. Layer half of the ground beef mixture, the dry noodles, the cottage cheese mixture and the mozzarella cheese in the slow cooker. Repeat layers.

4. Cover. Cook on high 4-5 hours or on low 6 hours.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Broccoli Ramen Salad

My sweet friend, Shannan, shared this recipe with me several years ago. It is so delicious.

Broccoli Ramen Salad

4 Tbsp butter
1 cup walnuts
2 cups broccoli florets, cut to bite-size
1 head curly leaf lettuce, torn
1 bunch green onions, sliced
1 pkg Ramen noodles, crunched (any flavor)

1/4 cup olive oil
3 Tbsp soy sauce
1/4 red wine vinegar
1/4-1/2 cup sugar

Mix lettuce, broccoli, and onions in salad bowl. Saute ramen noodles and walnuts in butter. Drain well on paper towels. Mix dressing ingredients. Add dressing and walnuts/ramen just before serving. Toss well.

Pizza Dough

I make this in my bread machine.

Pizza Dough

12 oz water
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cups white flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 pkg yeast (or 2.5 tsp)
1 tsp gluten

Combine all ingredients in bread machine pan. Choose Dough setting on bread machine. When cycle is finished, divide dough in half and roll into 2 pizza crusts. I bake it for about 10-15 minutes at 400 degrees before adding toppings.

*Sometimes I add 3 cups whole wheat flour and 1 cup white. I try to end up with 4 total cups of flour.

Neiman Marcus Bars

Oh my goodness...these are delicious!

Neiman Marcus Bars

1 box Betty Crocker butter pecan cake mix
1 stick butter, melted
1 egg
1 box powdered sugar (1 lb)
1 stick butter, melted
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
chopped pecans, optional

Mix first three ingredients and press into bottom of 9x13 pan. Mix next 4 ingredients and pour over cake mix mixture. Cover with chopped pecans if desired.

Bake at 325 for 55-60 minutes or until done. Cool and cut into squares.

Chicken Parmesan

Chicken Parmesan

1 lb chicken boneless, skinless chicken breasts. I like to cut each breast into 2-3 smaller pieces
1.5 cups plain breadcrumbs
canola oil
1 package mozzerella slices
1 jar spaghetti sauce (I like Muir Glen tomato basil)
fresh basil, optional
1 lb uncooked spaghetti

Place breadcrumbs in pie plate and coat each chicken breast in crumb mixture. Heat canola oil in heavy skillet and when hot, brown the breaded breasts. Drain well on paper towels. Place chicken breasts in 9x13 baking dish, and cover with mozzerella slices and fresh chopped basil. Pour jar of spaghetti sauce over chicken and cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 45-50 minutes at 350 degrees. Cook spaghetti while chicken is baking, and serve chicken over hot, cooked noodles.

*Suggested sides--green salad and french bread.

Ranger Cookies

These are the my all-time favorite cookies. This was my Nana's recipe, and I have many happy memories of baking these alongside her in the kitchen.

Ranger Cookies

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 cup shortening (I use butter)
2 beaten eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups flour
2 cups oats
2 cups bran flakes
1 cup coconut
1 cup chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts)

Cream butter and sugar well. Add other ingredients in order listed. Drop cookies by teaspoon onto baking sheet. Bake at 350 until golden brown.


I've tried a lot of different lasagna recipes, but this is my favorite. I usually double this recipe.


1 envelope spaghetti sauce mix (I like McCormick)
8 oz tomato sauce
16 oz can V-8 juice
1 can whole tomatoes (15 oz), puree in blender
1 lb ground beef (or turkey)
1 box lasagna noodles, uncooked
1 container ricotta cheese
8 oz shredded mozzerella cheese

Brown ground beef, drain. Add spaghetti sauce mix, tomato sauce, V-8 juice, and whole tomato puree. Mix well. In 9x13 dish, layer meat sauce, noodles (uncooked), ricotta cheese, meat sauce, noodles, and rest of meat sauce. Top with mozzerella cheese. Bake at 350 for 1-1.5 hours. Let set for 15 minutes before cutting.

*Bake on a cookie sheet as juices might overflow.
*Cover at first, then remove foil and let cheese brown for 15-20 minutes.

Chicken Imperial

This recipe was given to me by a friend in our Sunday School group...a long, long time ago. My children re-named it Mr. Bryan's Chicken because our friend, Mr. Bryan loved it! It's easy to make and even my picky eaters love it.

Chicken Imperial

8 chicken breasts
2 cups plain breadcrumbs
1/4 cup parsley flakes
2 tsp salt
3/4 cup Kraft parmesan cheese, grated (in jar with green lid)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/8 tsp pepper
1 stick butter, melted

Combine breadcrumbs, seasonings, and parmesan cheese. Dip chicken into melted butter, then the breadcrumb mixture, turning to completely coat. Place chicken in 9 x 13 dish sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Pour remaining butter and breadcrumbs on top. Bake uncovered at 350 for 1 hour.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Sausage Balls

Hands down, this is our favorite appetizer. And a Christmas morning tradition.

Sausage Balls

1 lb sausage (I like Owens sage-flavor)
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated (Tillamook is our fav!)
2.5 cups Bisquik

Mix all together. I like to put on disposable latex gloves and mix it with my hands. Roll into 1-inch balls. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until done.

*Eat right away, because they're best when they're warm.

Chicken Chow Mein

Chicken Chow Mein

3/4 to 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
5-6 ribs celery, sliced
1 med onion, diced
6-8 cups water
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 cans LaChoy bean sprouts
1 bag (or can) LaChoy chow mein noodles
hot, cooked rice

Add water, celery, onion, soy sauce and chicken breasts (whole) to crock pot. Cook on low for 8 hours. Remove chicken and shred. Return chicken to crock pot. Drain bean sprouts and add to crock pot. Cook on low for 30-60 more minutes (or while you cook your rice). Toast chow mein noodles for a few minutes to get warm and crispy. Serve chow mein over rice and top with noodles. Add soy sauce to taste.

I sometimes like to add another can of bean sprouts to our leftovers to "stretch" it futher.

I like to do this in the crock pot, but if I'm pressed for time, I just let the chicken and veggies simmer on the stove for an hour or two.

The Butler's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Amazing! This recipe is from my bloggy friend, Barb.


1 stick butter, softened but not melted
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
2 tablespoons (yes, tablespoons) vanilla
3 1/4 cups flour (a full cup more than the recipe on the package calls for)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 12-ounce package semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375*

Mix thoroughly butter, shortening, sugars, eggs and vanilla with a wooden spoon. Stir in remaining ingredients.

The batter will be stiff, and it should be. Just to make sure it is flavorful, you should try some of the dough. But not too much!

Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet (preferably a shiny sheet which gives better results).

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light brown. Cool slightly before removing to a wire rack.

Yield: about 5 dozen normal sized cookies or 3 1/2 dozen ginormous cookies.

White Chicken Chili

This is our most favorite soup EVER! We have it once every couple of weeks and we never ever get tired of it. It is delicious!!!

White Chicken Chili

1 tablespoon of oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 Tablespoon cumin
3 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
2 cans navy beans, drained
1 cup frozen white corn, or 1 can white corn
1/2 can of cream corn (freeze the other half for next time)
4oz can of chopped green chiles
2 cups of chicken broth
1/2-1 Tablespoon chili powder
1 can petite diced tomatoes
3 or 4 tablespoons salsa verde

Sour cream
chopped cilantro (A MUST)
shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
tortilla chips.

Saute onion, and garlic in hot oil in a large stock pot until tender. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Simmer over low heat for 30-60 minutes.