Smothered Chicken (aka Alice Springs Chicken)

I got this from Shandra here. It's H.E.A.V.E.N.

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Garlic powder and seasoned salt to taste
1 T. vegetable oil
8 oz. button mushrooms, cut in half or quarters
1 c. shredded Cheddar cheese blend
½ c. chopped green onions
½ c. real bacon bits (real bacon works best and tastes the best)
½ c. tomatoes
1 bottle BBQ sauce
Flatten chicken breasts to ¼ in. thick (or just cut chicken breasts in half horizontally). Sprinkle with seasonings. In a skillet, brown chicken in oil for 4 min., or until mostly cooked through (you could also grill them if that is easier) In a separate pan saute cut up bacon until crispy. Drain the excess grease. Add mushrooms to the bacon and cook until mushrooms are soft. Place chicken breasts on a cookie sheet or in a 9x13 pan. Squeeze a generous amount of bbq sauce on top of each chicken breast. Top the chicken with the mushroom and bacon mixture. Sprinkle the cheese all over the tops of the chicken breasts. Cover and cook until chicken is done and cheese is melted, about 10 minutes. When chicken is finished, top the chicken breasts with the fresh tomatoes and green onions. Serve with garlic mashed potatoes and honey mustard sauce.

Honey Mustard Sauce
1 c. mayo (can use fat free or low fat)
3/4 c. Dijon mustard
¼-1/2 c. honey
1/8 tsp. Cayenne pepper
2 T. Lime juice
1 tsp. Ginger powder
Mix. Add extra honey or lime for desired flavor.
Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes
5 lb. russet potatoes (or red potatoes)
½-1 whole 16oz. tub sour cream (depending on how much moisture you need in your potatoes)
1 cube butter
8 oz. half & half or milk
Fresh or dried Parsley
1 clove garlic
Salt & Pepper
½ c. Parmesan cheese (optional)
Peel potatoes and cut into large chunks. Boil water and add potato chunks. Boil until potatoes are fork tender. Drain majority of water from potatoes. Mash potatoes with either an electric mixer or potato masher. Add whipping cream, butter, sour cream, garlic, salt, pepper & Parmesan cheese.


Sesame Chicken

My hubby adores ordering this any time we eat out for Chinese. I thought I'd give this recipe a try and it was a hit!

Sesame Chicken
3-4 sliced chicken breasts
cooked with salt and pepper in 1 T. oil
1/2 cup water
1 cup chicken broth
1/8-1/4 cup white vinegar or rice wine vinegar (depending on how sweet you want the sauce)
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon chili paste (or more)
1 garlic clove (minced)

Mix sauce ingredients well and add to chicken. Cook and stir until bubbly. Serve over hot rice.


Pumpkin Gingerbread

Ok, so I am not a baker or cook. But even I could make this bread and it is DELICIOUS!!!

3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs 2/3 cup water
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

DIRECTIONS" Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease two 9x5 inch loaf pans. In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, oil and eggs; beat until smooth. Add water and beat until well blended. Stir in pumpkin, ginger, allspice, cloves and cinnamon. In medium bowl, combine flour, soda, salt, and baking powder. Add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture and blend just until all ingredients are mixed. Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake in preheated oven until toothpick comes out clean, about 1 hour.

NOTE: I have not been able to find a 15 oz can of pumpkin puree, so you may need to either double the recipe OR only use half of a 29 oz can.


Monte Cristo Sandwiches

I got this from a friend who said she got it from a resturant at Disneyland. I love it!

2/3 cup water
1 egg
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
2/3 cup flour
1 3/4 tsp. baking powder

8 slices white bread
4 slices each:
   swiss cheese

Vegetable oil for frying

Heat 1/2 inch of oil in a skillet over med-hi while assembling sandwiches.Cut sandwiches in 1/2. Coat in batter and fry on all sides.
Serving suggestion: Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Dip in warm raspbery jam. I have heard that current jam is also good, but have never tried it.

Taco Soup

One of my favorite Fall meals!

1 lb ground beef browned & drained
1 can (or a little less than 1/2 lb dry beans soaked & cooked) Kidney beans
1 can  (or see above) Black beans
1 can corn with liquid
1 can diced tomatoes (I use crushed so my kids don't notice them) with liquid
1 can (small) tomato sauce
1 can (small) diced green chiles
1 package taco seasoning

Combine and simmer 15-20 minutes. Or put it in the crock pot till it is warmed through (a couple hours on low).
Serve with shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips.


Homemade Marinara - Simplified

I have adapted my marinara recipe to be a TON easier - and guess what? It tastes just as good! Thought I'd share it with you!

3. 4.
1. Start with 10-15 tomatoes that have been rinsed, cored, and cut into fourths
2. Put in a large pot with 3 cups shredded zucchini, 4 roughly cut carrots, 1 roughly cut onion, and 2 T. minced garlic.
3. Cook and stir over medium heat until carrots are soft (About 20 min)
4. Remove from heat and add 2T. salt, 2T. sugar, and 1T. dried basil. Puree with an immersion blender (Or process in blender) until consistency you desire. (I like mine well pureed - it cuts back on the skin-bits being noticeable)
5. Return to heat over low, and cook for 2-4 hours, stirring occasionally.
6. Use, bottle, or freeze! Yields about 8 cups
* The length cooked decides how watery it is - if you like your sauce thick, cook it longer.
* I like to do several batches all at once and then portion into quart sized freezer bags.


black beans & chicken

So here is to quick and easy.
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can chicken, drained
1 packet taco seasonings mix according to directions.

Super yummy for tacos or on a salad.
This is a good one for food storage.


Homemade Ice Cream

I have had several requests for our Ice Cream recipe from friends, so I thought I would share it here as well.
We mix it in the Kitchen Aid, then pour it into the ice cream maker. We use a machine that will hold about 5 Cups of liquid.

Cream together:
4 eggs (Yes RAW eggs!!)
2 1/2 cups sugar

1 pint cream
1 quart 1/2 & 1/2
4 1/4 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt

Pour into Ice Cream Machine cylinder and add milk up to fill line.
Add your ice around the cylinder, layered with rock salt, and turn on. Make sure to keep adding salt as it goes, very important!!!

This recipe makes a nice thick ice cream that does not melt super fast. And when put in the freezer it does not freeze SOLID like others we have tried. It only has to sit for a minute before you can scoop it.

Add in ideas:
  • chocolate syrup
  • crushed pineapple
  • strawberry jam (Or any other kind. We like peach)
  • any kind of fruit puree
  • marshmallows
  • chocolate covered peanuts
Or just eat it plain...which is my favorite way!! :D


Chocolate Waffle Cookies

During the summer I am all about recipes that don't heat up my whole kitchen. These chocolate cookies are cooked in the waffle iron, I usually always have the ingredients on hand, and they are delicious!

Chocolate Waffle Cookies

1/2 c. butter
6 T. cocoa
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 c. sugar
1 c. flour

Melt butter and cocoa in a small pan. Combine eggs, vanilla, and sugar. Mix well. Add cocoa mixture. Add flour, stir well. Drop by spoonfuls (I use the Pampered Chef small scoop) on a hot waffle iron. Close cover and bake on medium heat for 2 minutes. Frost with chocolate frosting (homemade or store bought). Makes about 2 dozen cookies. YUM!


Marshmallow Caramel Popcorn

Anyone who has been to my parents house on a Friday night movie night knows about Gail Thueson's famous popcorn. This stuff is so good. I must warn you though - don't sit down to watch a movie with a bowl full in your lap...you might just find that you topped it off by yourself by the end of the movie!!! (I'm not speaking from experience of course...)

1 cube butter
1 C. gran. sugar
1 C. brown sugar

Cook and stir above ingredients constantly on med heat until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, and stir in half a package of mini marshmallows. Stir until it's creamy, then pour over 2 bowls of popped popcorn(1 C. unpopped). Use two forks to stir in the hot caramel, wait until it cools, and enjoy!


Tamale Roundabout

This was originally a Pampered Chef recipe, but over the years I have modified it to suit my family.

To be baked in a bundt (or similar) pan.

1 box Krusteaz honey cornbread mix (8x8 pan size) and the ingredients listed on the box.
OR your favorite cornbread recipe.

1 lb. Ground beef

Diced red and green pepper (I don't do this 'cause I don't like them!!)

All to taste:
Chili powder
Onion Powder (or if your fam likes onion you could finely chop 1/2 an onion)
salt & pepper

3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese + 1/4 cup reserved

1 pint homemade salsa (the recipe calls for 16 oz jar of thick & chunky salsa)

Heat oven to 385...I know its a strange temp, but it is 1/2 way between the recipe and the cornbread...and it works!
Brown ground beef (and onion if using), drain, sprinkle with spices. Add salsa and let simmer on med-low for 5-7 minutes. While simmering prepare cornbread, and fold in shredded cheese. Sprinkle peppers in bundt pan. When meat/salsa mixture is done simmering, fold it into the cornbread/cheese mixture. Spread evenly over peppers in pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes. remove from oven and let cool for a minute or two. Invert pan onto serving dish. Sprinkle reserved 1/4 cup cheese over the top. Serve with sour cream if desired.


Quick & Delicious Bread

I love ward cookbooks. I'm just as guilty as the next sister, but who doesn't want to share only their BEST recipes? This is one from the ward I grew up in, and originally came from my YW's leader. I mixed up a batch this morning while the kids were eating breakfast, and by lunch we had homemade bread to devour!

3/4 C. granulated sugar
4 t. yeast
3 C. warm water
1/3 C. oil
1 egg
3 t. salt
8 C. flour

Combine sugar, warm water, and yeast in large mixing bowl; let stand 10 mins. Combine oil and egg and add to yeast mixture. Stir in salt and 3 C. flour; mix well. Stir in additional 3 C. flour; mix well. Add enough of remaining flour to make a soft, sticky dough. Cover bowl and allow to rise until double in bulk; punch down, turn dough over in bowl, and allow to rise covered, until double in bulk again - about 45 minutes. Your dough will still be pretty sticky; use flour on the counter and your fingers to shape dough into 3 loaves and put in greased loaf pans; cover and allow to rise until doubled, about 30 mins. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes, or until loaves are lightly browned. Brush crusts with melted butter to soften.



So I decided that I should let you know that some of the recipes posted on here have become staples at my house!!
Like this one, and this one is my personal favorite!! And despite my husbands protests...I have made these and LOVE them!! :D

Thanks for the inspiration ladies!!


Italian Pasta Salad

I posted THIS Italian Pasta Salad recipe on my other blog and thought I would share it here.

It is super yummy and easy!



Mustard-less Potato Salad

Recently, I received a food assignment for a luncheon. I was asked to bring potato salad for 25 people. PANIC!!! I don't make potato salad... never have. For one simple reason... I hate mustard and thought that ALL potato salads had mustard.

When I received my assignment, I started looking through cookbooks, online and on blogs to find a recipe that did not use mustard! And I found a variation of this recipe in an old church cookbook.

I love it! And my husband loves it! Hopefully the guests at the luncheon tomorrow will love it!

Red Skinned Potato Salad
Serves 12 (I doubled it!!)


2 pounds new red potatoes
6 eggs
1 pound bacon ( I used Hickory Smoked... yummy!)
1 onion, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
2 cups mayonnaise
salt and pepper to taste


Boil potatoes in a large put until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain and cool.

Hard boil eggs. Remove from hot water, let cool. Peel and chop.

Cook bacon in a skillet over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside. (I actually baked my bacon on a cookie sheet on 375 for about 13 minutes... until evenly cooked and a bit crunchy!)

Chop the cooled potatoes, leaving skin on. Add to a large bowl, along with the eggs, bacon, onion and celery. Add mayonnaise, salt and pepper to taste. Chill for an hour before serving.


Homemade Mac & Cheese

I am a sucker for pasta. Especially if it's smothered in rich sauce and not very healthy for you. :) Here's the recipe for the ONLY macaroni & cheese I will eat - no offense Kraft! When I do make it, my kids always come running saying "Mom made homemade mac & cheese!". The rewards don't get much better than that!

From "The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook":

Creamy Stovetop Mac'n'cheese
8 oz. macaroni (2 cups)
2 large eggs
1 (12oz) can evaporated milk
1 t. dry mustard, dissolved in 1 t. water
1/4 t. Tabasco
4 T. unsalted butter
12 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded (3 cups)

1. Bring 2 quarts water to a boil in a large pot for the macaroni. Stir in 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and the macaroni and cook until almost tender but still a little firm to the bite.
2. Meanwhile, mix together the eggs, half of the evaporated milk, the mustard mixture, Tabasco, 1/2 t. salt, and 1/4 t. pepper.
3. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Set the pot over low heat and stir in the butter until melted.
4. Stir in the egg mixture and half of the cheddar. Continue to cook over low heat, gradually stirring in the remaining milk and cheddar, until the mixture is hot and creamy, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


Applebee's Chicken Wings

Here is another knock off from the same web site.
35 wings pieces ( I cut up my chicken breast, I am a chicken snob and I won't eat chicken of the bone, yuck!)
12 ounces Louisiana Hot Sauce
6 Tbsp marg or butter
3 Tbsp white vinegar
1 Tbsp Worchestershire sauce
1 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 tbsp flour
Cook the chicken until done, either bake or deep fry. Mix all sauce ingredients except flour in a saucepan on the stove. Cook over low-medium heat. When warm, add flour to thicken sauce. Stir frequently. Mix all together and place in a 9x13 pan and bake at 300 for about 20 minutes. Serve with celery sticks and ranch dressing. These are pretty zippy, not for the week taste buds!

Applebee's Fiesta Lime Chicken

We went to Applebee's the other day and my husband had this for dinner, he really enjoyed it! I have used this website before for Panda Express orange chicken, so I hopped on and snagged some more knockoff recipes. www.cdkitchen.com. It is a copycat website full of good stuff.
1 cup water
1/3 cup teriyaki sauce, or soy sauce.
1/2 lime, juiced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp liquid smoke
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground ginger
mix together and Marinade your chicken (4-6 breats) for atleast 2 hours.
1/4 C mayo
1/4 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp salsa
1 Tbsp milk
1 tsp cajun blackening spice
1/4 tsp dried parsley
1/4 tsp hot sauce, I used tabasco
1/8 tsp dried dill weed
1/8 tsp cumin
mix this together and place in covered bowl in your fridge
1 Cup shredded colby jack cheese
2 Cups corn chips, crumbled

Grill your chicken and discard marinade. When cook thru cover with remaining sauce and cheese and broil until cheese is melted. Serve over chips, YUM!
April 26, We just made this again tonight and my husband helped me make it. He reads better than I do so he actually used teriyaki sauce, which is what it calls for. I laughed because I used soy sauce the first time. Yes I can read but for some reason that is what I did. Anyway we liked it better with the soy sauce, FYI.


April Fool's Day Cupcakes

Take this recipe, and place in/fill cupcake liners in cupcake pan. Bake as per recipe. Whip up a batch of instant mashed potatoes, adding 2 T. dried parsley to the water, and using slighty less water than usual. Place potatoes in a pastry bag fitted with fluted tip, and pipe on top of 'meat-cake' (lol) like frosting. Voila. You have one confused family when they get to eat dessert first...or the entree last.


German Pancakes

1/4 cup butter
1 1/4 tsp. vanilla
1 cup milk
6 eggs, beaten
1/8 tsp. salt
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Melt butter in a 9x13 baking dish. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and pour the mixture into the baking dish with the butter. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the pancake is puffy and golden brown. Cut it into squares and serve with buttermilk syrup or maple syrup and/or powdered sugar.

Buttermilk Pancake Syrup

Claire's mother-in-law gave me this recipe. It is so good with german pancakes (posted above) and french toast.

1 cup sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1 cube butter
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla

Bring sugar, buttermilk and butter to a rolling boil. Then add baking soda and vanilla. It will get frothy. Serve. Refrigerate leftovers.

Delicious Rolls

1/2 cup warm water
2 T yeast
pinch of sugar

Dissolve yeast and sugar in lukewarm water; set aside.

2 cups water
1 can evaporated milk
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup applesauce (can substitute 1/2 cup butter)
2 eggs
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup hot mashed potatoes
8 cups flour

Heat water and evaporated milk in microwave until super hot. Add sugar, applesauce, eggs, salt, baking powder, potatoes and 4 cups of flour to hot milk and mix together. Continue adding flour until you have a soft dough (but still a little sticky). Let dough knead 3 to 4 minutes. Allow dough raise for 15 minutes or until it doubles in size.

Either shape dough into small rolls (so they can grow) and place in pan or seperate the dough into four even sections. Roll the sections out one at a time into a perfect circle; brush with butter. With a pizza cutter cut the dough into 12 to 16 even "pizza slices". Starting at the thick end, roll each piece toward the small end and place on pan. Fill two pans with rolls, brush each roll with butter and let raise for 15 minutes, or until about double in size. Bake at 350-degrees for 15-20 minutes in center of oven.

Potato Soup

6 baking potatoes
2/3 cup butter
2/3 cup flour
6 cups skim milk
1/2 T salt
1/2 tsp. ground pepper
1/2 cup bacon bits, divided
4 green onions, chopped and divided
10 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
1 (8 oz.) cont. sour cream

Cube potatoes and boil for 15 -18 minutes, or until soft. Drain and set aside. In a large saucepan, over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in flour and cook about a minute. Whisk in milk, a little at a time, stirring constantly until thickened. Stir in potatoes, salt, pepper, 1/3 cup bacon bits, 2 T green onions and most of the cheese. Cook until thoroughly heated. Stir in sour cream and heat through. Serve topped with remaining bacon, onions and cheese.

Note: I use rehydrated powdered milk instead of my "good" milk. You can't tell a taste difference either way!

Blueberry Angel Dessert

Plan ahead . . . this needs chilling time.

1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 (8 oz.) carton frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 prepared angel food cake (14 oz.) cut into 1-inch cubes
2 cans (21 oz. ea.) blueberry pie filling

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar; fold in whipped topping and cake cubes. Spread evenly in ungreased 9x13 pan. Top with pie filling. Cover and regfrigerate for at least 2 hour before cutting into squares. Yield 12-15 servings.


Nieman-Marcus Cookies

I got this in an email and thought it was funny, and sounded delicious too! So I thought I would share. It is totally an urban legend, but the recipe sounds too good not to pass on. My mother-in-law said she has this recipe (also attributed to Neiman-Marcus) in a cookbook from the early 80's...Very yummy!

When decent people get screwed over, this is the result!
A little background: Neiman-Marcus, if you don't know already, is
a very expensive store; I.e., they sell your typical $8.00 T-shirt for

My daughter and I had just finished a salad at a Neiman-Marcus
Cafe In Dallas, and we decided to have a small dessert. Because
both of us are such cookie lovers, we decided to try the 'Neiman-
Marcus cookie.' It was So excellent that I asked if they would give
me the recipe, and the waitress said with a small frown, 'I'm afraid
not, but you can buy The Recipe.' Well, I asked how much, jnd
she responded, ' Only two fifty - it's a Great deal!' I agreed to that,
and told her to just add it to my Tab.
Thirty days later, I received my VISA statement, and the Neiman-
Marcus Charge was $285.00! I looked again, and I remembered I
had only spent $9.95 for two salads and about $20.00 for a scarf.
As I glanced at the bottom of the statement, it said,
'Cookie Recipe-$250. 00.' That was Outrageous! I called Neiman's
Accounting Department and told them the waitress said it was
'two-fifty', which clearly does not mean 'two hundred and fifty
dollars' by any reasonable interpretation of the phrase.
Neiman-Marcus refused to budge. They would not refund my money
because, according to them, 'What the waitress told you is not our
problem. You have already seen the Recipe. We absolutely will not
refund your money at this point.' I explained to the Accounting
Department lady the criminal statutes which govern fraud in the State
of Texas . I threatened to report them to the Better Business Bureau
and the Texas Attorney General's office for engaging in fraud. I was
basicall y told, 'Do what you want. Don't bother thinking of how you
can get even, and don't bother trying to get any of your money Back.'
I just said, Okay, you folks got my $250, and now I'm going to have
$250 worth of fun. I told her that I was going to see to it that every
Cookie Lover in the United States with an e-mail account has a $250
cookie recipe From Neiman-Marcus. ..for free. She replied, 'I wish you
wouldn't do this.' I said, 'Well, perhaps you should have thought of
that before you ripped me off!' and slammed down the phone.
So here it is!
Please, please, please pass it on to everyone you can possibly think of.
I paid $250 for this, and I don't want Neiman-Marcus to EVER make
another penny off of this recipe!

NEIMAN-MARCUS COOKIES (Recipe may be halved)
2 cups butter
24 oz. Chocolate chips
4 cups flour
2 cups brown sugar
2 tsp. Soda
1 tsp. Salt
2 cups sugar
1 8 oz. Hershey Bar (grated)
5 cups blended oatmeal
4 eggs
2 tsp. Baking powder
2 tsp. Vanilla
3 cups chopped nuts (your choice)
Measure oatmeal, and blend in a blender to a fine powder. Cream
the butter and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla, mix together with
flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder, and soda . Add chocolate chips,
Hershey bar, and nuts. Roll into balls, and place two inches apart
on a cookie Sheet. Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees.
Makes 112 cookies.


Healthier (?) REAL burgers

I did something that I NEVER do... I bought real ground beef as the super lean was on sale at Fry's for 1.99/pound.

My husband was so excited to get real hamburgers... he was nearly drooling when he came to the table.

I told him after he LOVED the first one that I added Kashi "7 whole Grain Pilaf (flavor: Fiery Fiesta)" to the meat. He didn't even notice!

I found this right next to the rice and sides at the grocery store. It is not in a box, but a vacuum sealed pouch. It is a mixture of oats, long grain brown rice, rye, red wheat, buckwheat, barley and sesame seeds, corn, black beans, tomato paste, red pepper, cilantro, and green chiles.

I just opened the pouch, poured it in the bowl with two pounds of ground burger (I am sure that the NEXT time I do it - it will be with my usual Turkey, and it will taste just as good!)... mixed that up and formed the burgers. Then grilled them. It made eight HUGE burgers.


Hawaiian Chicken

Note: I found this recipe on the Freezer Co-op Blog. It is very, very yummy!! A huge hit!

6 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
2-16 oz. cans pineapple slices, drained
2-15 oz cans mandarin oranges, drained
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground red pepper

Place chicken in freezer bag. mix together fruit, cornstarch, sugar, soy sauce, lemon juice, salt, ginger and ground red pepper. Pour over the chicken in bag. Freeze.

Serving Day Instructions

Thaw chicken mixture. Place in Crock-Pot, cover, and cook on low for 4-5 hours or on high for 2-3 hours. Add green pepper to Crock-Pot one hour before serving , if desired. To serve, spoon over steamed rice and top with toasted Almonds.

Notes: I did not add green pepper or the almonds. Didn't have them, and it was just fine without them.

I did nine pounds of chicken. I increased everything else by 50% too, but if I do that again, I will still only use two cans of pineapple and two cans of mandarin oranges. (Three cans of each was too much.)

I did not freeze it. Assembled it the same day I baked it.

I served it with rice and green beans.


Oh Henry Bars

My grandma used to make these all the time when I was a kid. They are super yummy!

Oh Henry Bars

1/2 c. corn syrup
2/3 c. melted margarine
4 c. oatmeal
1 c. brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. chocolate chips
2/3 c. smooth peanut butter

Melt margarine in a large saucepan. Add oatmeal, sugar, vanilla, and corn syrup. Mix well. Spread in greased 9x13 in pan. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes.

Remove from oven and cool completely.

In a small bowl, melt chocolate chips in the microwave. Add peanut butter mixing well. Spread evenly on the oatmeal mixture. Let set until the chocolate mixture is firm.



The easiest cookies ever

1 cake mix (flavor of your choice)
1/3 C oil
2 eggs

Mix, spoon (or use Pampered Chef scoop -even easier) onto cookie sheet, and bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Done!

This is how I make my sugar cookies (white or yellow cake mix) for the kids' class parties. The kids love them!

Try experimenting with different add ins... like oatmeal in a spice cake mix (would need more oil)...chocolate chips...whatever your fancy!


Stir Fried Chicken Lettuce Wraps

These are super delicious and super easy to make. The only really odd ingredient is hoisin, which can be found in most grocery stores right by the soy sauce. It's a must for Asian recipes! This is my version of this recipe - which looks yummy too, I just didn't have all of the ingredients!

1 Cup rice
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into small cubes
salt and pepper
2 T. olive oil
1/2 large onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic
1 t. hoisin (careful - a little goes a long way)
1 t. chili powder
3 t. soy sauce
3 t. rice vinegar
1 T. sugar
1 1/2 t. corn starch dissolved in 1 T. water
1 peeled and grated carrot
12- 16 lettuce leaves, rinsed

Start the rice to cook (1 cup rice, 2 cups water) while you prepare the rest of the stir fry. In a large frying pan, season with salt and pepper and cook the chicken in 1T of the oil. Once the juices run clear, remove the chicken to a separate bowl. Put the last 1T. oil in the pan, and cook the onion and garlic until softened and browned. Add the hoisin, chili powder, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, and dissolved corn starch. Stir well, and remove from heat. Add the cooked rice, grated carrot, and chicken along with any accumulated juices. If it seems dry, add a T. of water. Toss to coat. Serve in lettuce cups (or steamed cabbage) rolled up like burritos.


BBQ Pork Ribs

When I was growing up, we always got to choose our Birthday dinner. Without fail, I chose these. They're still a favorite!

Pork Ribs - Bone in OR out, as much as your fam will eat (I'm doing 5#'s today)

Cover ribs with water in a large pot. Boil on medium heat for 2 hours. Drain and place in 9x13 pan(s). Smother with a bottle of prepared BBQ sauce. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Remove foil, and bake 5 more minutes.


Chicken Pillows

3-4 boneless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
6 oz. cream cheese (can use fat free)
1 (4 oz.) can mushrooms
1 sm. can olives
dry chives (or fresh green onion tops)
¼ tsp. poultry seasoning
¼ -½ cup shredded cheese
2 can crescent rolls

1 c. chicken broth (off boiled chicken)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cube beef bouillon
1 cube chicken bouillon

Soften cream cheese. Mix in chives, mushrooms, olives, poultry seasoning, cheese and chicken. Separate rolls and put 1 to 2 tablespoons cheese/chicken mixture on wide end of roll. Roll up, tucking in sides to seal. Bake in ungreased pan 375 degrees for 11-13 minutes. Serve with gravy over top.

*If you use canned chicken broth you won't need to use the bouillon cubes. The gravy will be too salty.

Hawaiian Haystacks

3 c. cooked, diced chicken
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of celery soup
1 can milk (soup can)
2 pkg. chicken gravy mix

Mix soups, milk and gravy (in powder form) together stir until smooth. Add diced chicken and warm through. Serve over cooked rice. Garnish with mandarin oranges, pineapple tidbits, onions, celery, green pepper, cooked green peas, grated cheese, tomatoes, slivered almonds, chow mein noodles, and soy sauce.

Chicken, Rice and Broccoli Skillet

1 T. oil
4 boneless chicken breast halves
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 2/3 c. water
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 c. uncooked Minute rice
2 c. broccoli

Heat oil in skillet. Add chicken and cook until browned. Remove chicken and set aside. Mix soup, water, paprika and pepper; pour into skillet and heat to boiling. Stir in rice and broccoli. Top with chicken. Cover and cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Season chicken with additional sprinkle of paprika.

Rice-A-Roni Meatballs

If you ask my 6-year old what his favorite food is he will say, "meatballs" and this is the type he is talking about!

1 lb. hamburger
1 pkg. Rice-A-Roni (beef flavor)
2 2/3 cups water
1 can cream of mushroom soup
Egg noodles

Mix uncooked rice with hamburger. Make into 1-inch balls. Brown in pan. Mix flavor packet from from Rice-A-Roni and water; pour over meatballs. Cover and cook for 22-25 minutes. Add soup; simmer until warmed through and has a nice gravy. Serve over egg noodles.

Honey Baked Pork Chops

6 boneless pork chops
½ c. honey
¼ c. cider vinegar
¼ tsp. ground ginger
1 clove minced garlic
2 T. soy sauce

Place honey, vinegar, ginger, garlic and soy sauce in blender and mix well. Place pork chops and honey mixture in a baking dish. Bake uncovered at 350-degrees for 1 hour. Turn pork chops occasionally while baking.

*You can also mix all ingredients together and freeze until ready to bake.


Pan Toasted Veg

A no brainer, but a staple in my house.

I put a very little bit of olive oil in a big frying pan - enough to coat the bottom of the pan.

Slice zucchini or yellow squash or mexican green squash, mushrooms, eggplant OR The BEST is Frozen green beans from Costco.

toss in pan with a few dashes of seasoned salt, pepper and garlic powder.

Cook on Med. Hi until slightly toasted.


Beef and Broccoli

This is not my recipe - it is from Essential Mormon Celebrations by Julie Badger Jensen page 14. It is so yummy and easy!

1 lb top round beef steak
1/4 c. soy sauce
2 T. sugar
1/4 c. white grape juice or apple juice
2 T. cornstarch
1 c. water
2 c. fresh broccoli florets, stems removed (I double or triple this - can't have too much broccoli!)
4 T. vegetable or olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. sesame oil

Cut beef steak into 2 inch strips, set aside.

Combine soy sauce, sugar, juice, cornstarch, and water in a small bowl, set aside.

In a large skillet (I use a wok), stir fry broccoli in 2T oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Do not overcook. Place broccoli in another dish.

Add remaining oil in the same skillet and heat on medium high heat. Add beef steak and cook until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Pour soy sauce mixture over meat and cook until slightly thickened. Stir in sesame oil.

Remove from heat, stir in broccoli. Serve over hot steamed rice. Makes 8 servings.

I like to continue heating to soften the broccoli just a bit more. This is super yummy!



Lemon Bars from scratch!

Not to toot my own horn but........... TOOT TOOT! These are the best!

1 cup butter
dash of salt
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 cups flour

4 beaten eggs
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup flour
6 tbsp. lemon juice

Combine butter, salt, powdered sugar, and 2 cups flour. Mix well. Press into a 9*13 pan. Bake at 350' until golden brown around the edges. About 15 minutes. LET COOL.

Combine eggs, sugar, flour and lemon juice. Pour onto cooled crust and bake for 25 minutes at 350'.

Let cool again and dust with more powdered sugar!!!!!

Ham n' Hashbrown Bake....

Good ol' stand by!

1 30 oz. bag frozen hash brown shreds
1 10.5 can cream of mushroom soup
1 pint sour cream
1/2 small onion
1 package ham lunch meat
shredded cheddar cheese

Saute onion in a small dab of butter
Dice lunch meat (I buy the the meat that is kind of stacked, it's easy to dice)

Combine sour cream, soup, onion, diced ham, and 1/4 of the cheddar cheese
Then add the hash browns still frozen

Bake at 350' covered for 45 minutes

Uncover and add the remaining cheese. Continue to bake uncovered for another 15 minutes.

This is when I add salt and pepper per individual serving!



Bisquick Pie

Bisquick Pie is a favorite around our house. It is very versatile - when I make it I am usually just cleaning out the fridge! This is basically a crustless quiche. The basic recipe for the "egg part" of the quiche is:

1 1/2 c. milk

3 eggs

3/4 c. bisquick

Mix all ingredients and pour over fillings in pie plate. Bake at 400 for 30 minutes.

Now for the fillings - you just arrange them in a pie plate and pour the "egg part" over the top. I use about a cup each of 2 or 3 main fillings then I always add sauteed onions, about 1/2 cup or so.

Some of the different fillings I have used are:

-ham, broccoli, cheddar cheese, onions

-ground beef (browned and drained), cheddar cheese, onions

-bacon, swiss cheese, onions

-sausage (browned and drained), cheese, onions

Other things I have thought about, but haven't done:

-pepperoni, mozzarella, olives

-chicken, broccoli, cheddar

-chicken, bacon, and tomatoes (club style)

Enjoy! Please leave a comment if you have any other great filling ideas! I'd love to try something new!



Ok Michelle. This one's a recipe from memory - it's been passed all around my family from my uncle who served his mission in South America somewhere :}. I change it a little pretty much every time I make it, so adjust accordingly for your family's liking.

The original recipe goes like this:

1# ground beef, browned with minced onions,drained
1 small carton cottage cheese
1 small can sliced or diced olives
1 large can tomato sauce
Grated cheddar cheese
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 package flour tortillas

Hold a tortilla in your hand, and stack a scoop of each ingredient along the width of tortilla. Roll up tightly, and place in greased 9x13 baking dish. Continue until meat, olives, and cottage cheese are used up. *Depending on how you measured your ingredients, you may need to use another smaller pan for extra enchiladas. I do pack them in pretty tightly though. Spread extra tomato sauce over top of enchiladas, and top with cheddar cheese. Bake at 350, uncovered, for 35-40 minutes, or until edges are golden and you can see the sauces bubbling.

* I have adapted this a ton of ways, but my favorite way is to make up a box of Rice-A-Roni Mexican rice (or from scratch if you're feeling ambitious), and add it to the mix. I've also used jarred enchilada sauce in place of the tomato sauce. It's much more flavorful that way, but I don't usually keep it on hand, so tomato sauce is easier to use. Add a teaspoon of ground cumin and 1 T. chili powder to the tomato sauce, and it tastes pretty close to enchilada sauce. I hope this didn't confuse. :)

For Your Information

I just wanted to point you ladies to a website that I LOVE. This is the chef, Joyce Doughty, that I worked for all those many years ago. Her daily blog has a TON of little tidbits of info that help anyone who likes to cook. Check it out!

Sugar Cookies

For years I hunted for a sugar cookies recipe that would suit me. I tasted this recipe that I got from my friend, Erica, and it has replaced all the other recipes I was holding on too. These are best topped with Cherry Frosting.

1-1/2 cups shortening
1 cup butter
2-1/2 cups sugar
6 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 cup sour cream
1 T. vanilla
1 T. almond extract
1 tsp. salt
8 tsp. baking powder
1/3 cup oil
1 French Vanilla cake mix
8 cups flour

Mix butter, shortening and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, milk, sour cream, vanilla and almond extract. Stir together salt, baking powder, oil and cake mix; stir in with butter/sugar mix. Slowly add flour until mixture is only slightly sticky (it will take all 8 cups of flour).

Bake at 350-degrees for 10-minutes. Let cookies rest on cookie sheet for 5 minutes before removing them to a cooling rack. They might not look done after baking 10 minutes but they will continue cooking while resting. This is the key to keeping them soft.

This recipe makes a TON of cookies. It is easier to mix if you have a Bosch or a Professional size Kitchen-Aid mixer.

*I put a small amount of powdered sugar on the counter to roll the cookies out. It doesn't toughen the cookies like flour does. Because of all the 'oils' in the recipe it doesn't really stick to the counter anyway.

Cherry Frosting

This is the best frosting I've ever had. It's the only recipe I use for sugar cookies.

1 cube butter
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/2 bag powdered sugar
1 container cherry or cream cheese flavored frosting (Betty Crocker or other brand)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp almond extract

Microwave butter and milk until it pops and is super hot. Stir in powdered sugar until it thickens and cools. Add frosting, vanilla and almond extract.

Homemade Marinara

I found this recipe on this website (which I LOVE by the way)and just had to try it. This is my adapted version. I realize that this looks like a lot more work than most are willing to go to, but trust me. The end result is well worth the cooking time in this recipe! Not to mention, if you happen to plant waaayyy too much zuchinni and squash in your garden (ahem, who me?), it is a great way to sneak them to your kids without them even knowing they're getting veggies!

1 medium zucchini
1 medium crookneck squash, peeled
1 large white onion
1 C. celery
1 T. minced fresh garlic (or more to taste)
1 T. olive oil
2 T. sugar
2 T. salt
3/4 t. pepper
8-10 tomatoes OR 3 cans stewed tomatoes
2 T. basil

Chop finely (or food process) all veggies, except tomatoes. I grate my veggies in my KitchenAid slicer attachment. Saute in large braising pot with the oil. When vegies are limp and shimmering, add tomatoes with juice, and the sugar, salt, and pepper. Puree all together with immersion blender (or in blender - you may need to do small batches). Allow to simmer for 3-5 hours without lid. It should reduce about 1/3. I like to let it cook the full 5 hours so that the flavor is really strong, and the watery liquid has mostly evaporated. At this point, chop basil finely(or use dried), and stir in. Remove from heat, and serve immediately, or let cool completely. From this point, I portion out what my family will eat in one meal, and put it into a freezer ziploc. Then freeze. To reheat, I just turn the frozen block out into a large pot, and slowly reheat. *This is where I add 1 pound of browned, drained Italian sausage or add these to the sauce. Serve with pasta!

Penne Pasta Casserole

This is one of those recipes you can make when you don't have much preparation time or when you are in one of those "I just don't know what to make" moods.

1 lb. ground beef or ground turkey
1 lrg. onion or 1 T. dried minced onion
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes with basil, garlic & oregano
1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
12 oz. (3 1/2 - 4 cups) uncooked penne pasta (cook according to pkg. directions)
3 cups (12 oz.) shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

Cook ground beef and onion in a large skillet until beef is crumbled and no longer pink; drain. Stir in diced tomatoes and tomato paste and 1/2 cup water. Season to taste; heat through.

Coat a 9x13 baking dish with non-stick spray. Combine cooked pasta with meat-tomato mixture and 2 cups mozzarella cheese. Pour into baking dish; top evenly with remaining cheese.

Bake uncovered in a preheated 350-degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted.

*My husband and kids are not fans of tomato chunks so I puree the diced tomatoes in the blender with the tomato paste and water.


Meatballs ala Family Fun Magazine

These are really very tasty. They freeze really well, so you can make a double (triple, quad, etc.) and just pull out what you need from a freezer ziploc. I've used an entire "chub" of ground beef to make a large batch - and they stayed tasty even after a month or so in the freezer. They're also pretty versatile. We use them with marinara, pesto, or barbecue-sauce soaked on a toasted bun.

1/4 C. onion
1/2 C. parsley (3 T. dried)
1/2 C. parmesan cheese
1/2 C. bread crumbs
1 1/2 T. worchestershire sauce
2 eggs
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 t. dried oregano
1 t. dried basil
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper

Put all ingredients in large bowl and mix well with your hands. (I used to think this part was gross - but once you can get past the raw meat thing, it really is just like playing with playdough!) Portion out walnut-sized balls, and place on a baking-rack lined cookie sheet that has a lip. *The baking rack holds them out of the grease - You can put them straight on the pan, but be prepared for a little puddle of grease around each one. Don't worry about spacing either. I line them up with just a little space between each, and they cook just fine. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. If you decide to freeze them, cool completely, and pile into a ziploc in a single layer. Simply reheat them when you need them.

Mushroom chicken in the crockpot

I am making this tonight for my own family and as a meal to bring to somebody else (I hope they like it!)


In the crockpot:
one can of cream of mushroom soup
one packet of Lipton "Recipe Secrets" onion soup mix (near the soup at Grocer) - any flavor
(DO NOT add water or milk... avoid the temptation - chicken makes a lot of "water" in the crockpot!)

stir those up

add 2 to 3 pounds of chicken. I have used legs, and boneless, skinless breasts... whatever

I put my crockpot on low for four hours, but you know your crockpot best.

The last time I made this, I added a can of black beans, a can of corn and a can of green chiles to the pot in the last hour, and my family loved it. We ate this with mashed potatoes and green salad.

Tonight for the meal I am taking... I think I will make baked potatoes and a green salad.

p.s. Thanks for adding me to your little group, I am excited to find some new recipes!


Chicken 'cordon blu'

OK so this isn't the real thing. But its yummy! And my kids think its a fancy meal when we call it that.

I'm leaving amounts out because it is pretty adaptable...just use as much chicken as your family will eat. And slice the ham and cheese to match the amount of chicken you use. For just my family I only use 1 can of soup 'cause the kids don't like the sauce. But when I make it for company I use 2 cans.

Chicken breasts pounded THIN and cut in half or thirds depending on how big the breasts are. (I like the pieces to be about as big as my hand- not palm- when flattened.)
Sliced ham (I use lunch meat)
Mozzarella (or swiss) sliced fairly thin
Italian seasoned bread crumbs
Can(s) cream o' soup (mushroom or chicken)
Milk (1 can of soup = 1/2 soup can of milk)
Seasoning to taste (pepper, garlic etc.)
Parmesan cheese grated

Lay out flattened chicken piece, top with ham and sliced cheese. Fold in 1/2 and secure with toothpick. Place in greased 9X13 dish. Repeat with all chicken, ham & cheese.
Sprinkle generous amount of bread crumbs over chicken.
Mix soup, milk and seasonings in bowl. Pour around chicken pieces in dish. Top with grated parmesan. Bake at 375 for about 30 minutes. Check for done-ness, remember the ham may turn the chicken pink....

I serve this with rice or buttered pasta, and a green salad.

*Note- I like to make this Saturday afternoon and refrigerate it till after church on Sunday. (We have 8:30 church) When we get home I throw it in the oven (still covered in foil) at about 350 for as long as it takes the rice to cook. It is always nice and bubbly when the rice is ready to serve.


Porcupine Meatballs

This recipe is a family favorite.

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 c. uncooked rice
1/2 c. water
1/3 c. chopped onion
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. celery salt
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 15oz can tomato sauce
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

Mix meat, rice, water, and spices. Roll into balls and place in ungreased 9x13 pan. Mix tomato sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Pour over meatballs. Cover with foil. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake 15 minutes longer or until done.



Delicious Pancakes

Yet another Doughty's Restaurant staple that we love around here. This is the only way I like to eat my pancakes!!! I posted it here over the holidays, which is when we have them the most!


Chocolate Oatmeal Cake

I got this recipe from The Essential Mormon Cookbook by Julie Badger Jensen on page 24. I made it for our "young married" activity this weekend and it was to die for.

Yes - we are still attending the young married activities - our kids are still young, so we can pretend, right?

This is very moist and delicious. I warmed up some leftovers in the microwave today for about 10 seconds and it freshened it up! Yummy!

1 c. quick oats
1 ¾ c. boiling water
½ c. butter
1 c. packed brown sugar
1 c. white sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 1oz squares of unsweetened baking chocolate (I never buy this, so I mix 3 T. cocoa powder w/ 1 T. oil – this is equivalent to 1 oz of unsweetened baking chocolate J)
1 ¾ c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
2 c. chocolate chips (I used ½ dark chocolate and ½ milk chocolate – because that’s what I had)

Place oats in a bowl, pour boiling water over oats and let stand for 10 minutes. In a large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Remove pan from heat. Add brown and white sugar to butter and stir until well blended. Add eggs and oatmeal mixture. In a separate bowl heat baking chocolate squares in microwave just until melted (or not if you made your own). Add to mixture. Blend dry ingredients together and add to mixture. Stir in ½ of the chocolate chips. Pour mixture into greased 9x13 pan. Sprinkle top with remaining chocolate chips. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.



Cilantro Lime Rice

Substitute chicken broth for the water. Add a small can of diced green chiles to the broth cook rice according to directions. When rice is done add juice from a lime or the bottle, couple drops will do. Add some fresh cilantro and stir it up. I leave the cilantro out all the time. Enjoy

Beef Enchiladas

1 lb Ground beef, cooked
enchilada packet (McCormick is the best)
1 can fire roasted dice tomatoes, regular diced works also
sour cream
cheese, chedder is bedder!
tortillas, I like flour

In a blender add the packet according to directions and can of tomatoes. Blend so your kids can't see the tomato junks. Mix with your beef and simmer. Use a slotted spoon and scoop out the beef mixture trying to drain the sauce. Place a spoon full of sour cream and a little cheese. Roll it up and place in the pan. Continue until meet is gone, pour remaining sauce over top add some cheese. Cover and bake for 40-45 min at 350. I always remove the cover and cook without it for the last 10 minutes.


Broccoli Rice Casserole

My mom used to make this all the time growing up. You can add ham or chicken, but I like it just like this!

1 lb Velveeta cheese
2 c. cooked rice
12 oz pkg frozen broccoli, thawed
1 can cream of whatever soup (we use cream of mushroom)
1/4 c. milk

Melt cheese together with soup and milk. Add broccoli and rice. Mix well. Pour into a 9x13 pan. Top with grated cheese. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until bubbly.


Dinner in a Pumpkin (Or not)

This one is controversial in our house. I LOVE it, the others, not so much. They do love it when I leave it out of the pumpkin - so take that for what it is. My SIL just asked for the recipe - so I know I'm not crazy to like it. It does make a really cheap, hearty meal however it is presented!

1 medium size pumpkin
1 small onion, chopped
2 T. veg. oil
1-2# ground beef
2 T. soy sauce
2 T. brown sugar
1 4oz can mushrooms (I leave these out)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 1/2 C. cooked white rice
1 can water chestnuts(blech) OR 1 C. carrots and celery, finely chopped

Brown onions, meat, and veggies in the oil. Drain, add all ingreds except rice. Saute for 10 mins. Stir in rice. (Serve at this point) OR Cut off top of pumpkin. Scoop out insides. Put rice mixture in pumpkin. Bake on cookie sheet 1 hour at 350 degrees. Serves 6-8


Buttered Pasta

This is probably a no brainer, but it's a family favorite. We serve it alongside grilled chicken and steamed broccoli. YUM!

Boil your pasta. Drain and return to pot. Add 1 T. minced garlic and anywhere from 1/2 to a whole cube of butter, depending on your tastes. Then add parmesan cheese, as much or as little as you like. Mix well and serve immediately.

Potato Chowder

Here is the original recipe I got from my visiting teacher when she brought this yummy dish after I had my second baby. It is a winter time favorite at our house.

8 cups peeled/diced potatoes
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
3 cans (14 oz each) Chicken broth
1 can Cream O Chicken (or mushroom) soup
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese
Crumbled bacon- optional
Snipped Chives- optional
1 cup frozen veggies- optional

Combine first 5 ingredients in large crock pot. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours (high 3), or until potatoes are tender. Add cubed cream cheese and stir. Cook for one more hour (high 1/2), stir occasionally. garnish with bacon and chives if desired.

Now here is how I modify it:
When I go to add the cream cheese, I spoon off about 1/2 cup of the broth and add it to the cream cheese. I use my immersion blender to mix it together till smooth. Then I stir it back into the crock pot. I then use the immersion blender to puree SOME of the potatoes, but not too many.
My family also really likes it when we add shredded turkey (or chicken) or small chunks of ham. I add it at the same time as the cream cheese.
I don't add the veggies, and I use a little less than 1/4 tsp pepper.

Great with bread bowls!!


Basil Vinaigrette - from Doughty's Bistro

This is my all time favorite recipe that I took away from my restaurant days. I had to make this bi-weekly for the house salad. This recipe is quartered from the original - and it still makes a ton. (That should tell you how much of the stuff we went through!)

1/4 C. dried basil
1 C. olive oil
1 C. vegetable oil
1 C. red wine vinegar
3 T. minced garlic
2 t. salt
2 t. pepper
1/8 C. sugar

Put all ingredients in a deep bowl, and mix using an immersion blender, OR blend in a blender. Mix until it looks creamy. Refrigerate when not using. Keeps for months.
** We served the house salad with this dressing, spiced pecans, sliced red onions, and feta cheese. I'm drooling just thinking about it!**

Honey Glazed Baby Carrots

For my first post, I thought I would go with a vegetable. My kids eat this up and ask for seconds every time I serve it.

1 pound bag of baby carrots or (18 med. carrots, sliced)
6 T. butter
6 T. brown sugar
3 T. honey

In saucepan, cook carrots until tender. Drain and add remaining ingredients; stir well. Heat on low heat for five minutes to glaze well.

Note: I use a microwave steamer. After I cook the carrots and drain them (about six minutes in my micro), I add the remaining ingredients, cover and put it in the microwave for three minutes on power level three. Then I mix well and serve!


Yummy Popcorn!

This is one of my favorites...unfortunately, it's not mine! I totally stole it from our ward cookbook!

Make 2 Air poppers full of popcorn.
1 c. Karo syrup
2 c. brown sugar
Bring to an even boil (med/hi) and keep stirring
1 cube butter
1 can sweet cond. milk
Bring back to a boil and boil 1 min.
1 tsp. vanilla
Dash of salt

Pour over popcorn in large bowl and mix evenly.
So Good!!


Cream Cheese Chicken

My husband begs for this recipe. It's one of the few entrees my kids will devour, no force feeding needed. (I'm not claiming that it's healthy though....)

4-6 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (frozen is ok)
2 packages of GoodSeasons Italian dressing mix
1 cube butter

Plop all of these ingredients in a crock pot - cook on low 8 hours, high 4 hours. Half hour before serving, mix 1 brick of cream cheese with 1 can cream of chicken soup. Pour over chicken, stir, and cook the rest of the time. Serve over rice.

Meatloaf w/sauce

Here is a super yummy and EASY meatloaf recipe. I think it would be yummy served with these mashed potatoes!


1 lb ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1 egg
1/2 c bread crumbs (or oatmeal, or stale crackers)
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 T. horseradish (optional, but it is really good!)
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients (you will need to mix it with your hands - so take your wedding ring off!). Shape into a loaf and put in a bread pan.


1 tsp. mustard
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 c. ketchup

Combine all ingredients. Spread 1/2 of it onto the meatloaf.

Cook meatloaf for 45 minutes at 350. Remove from oven, spread remaining sauce. Cook for an additional 15 minutes.



I'm taking this (along with cookies) to a coupon party in our neighborhood tonight. I'm not a big soda fan, so when we get tired of the same 'ole things, out comes this favorite. It is so easy, and absolutely delicious. It's even better in the summer when it's hot outside!

2 C. granulated sugar
1 C. lemon juice (I get mine at Costco in the 2-packs)
Enough water to fill a gallon pitcher

Put sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool. Transfer to gallon pitcher, adding water to fill. Stir and add ice.


Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes

4-5 Medium potatoes {cooked & mashed}
1 T. butter
1/2 C. sour cream
3 oz. cream cheese
1 t. onion salt
dash pepper

Mix altogether. Bake at 350 for 3-40 minutes. Serves 6.

Poppyseed Chicken

So, this recipe my family got from some friends about 10 years ago, however, there is no poppyseed in it....Their family never used it, so we don't either, I'm sure you could just sprinkle it on top or something....

6 chicken breasts (boiled & shredded)
16 oz. sour cream
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 cube butter
2 stacks Ritz crackers (mashed & crumbled)

Place shredded chicken at bottom of 13x9 pan. In separate bowl mix sour cream and cream of chicken, the spread over top of the chicken. Melt butter and mix with crumbled Ritz crackers. Layer on top of soup mixture. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes.

Hot Dip

I wanted to start with a family FAVORITE so here you go....

1 lb. ground Italian Sausage {hot or mild} browned
8 oz. cream cheese
8 oz. sour cream
1/4 onion chopped fine
2 #10 cans stewed tomatoes - drained
2 sm cans chopped green chiles
1 t. garlic salt

Layer in crock pot in above order. Cook until heated all the way through. Stir & serve with tortilla chips.


My Grandma's Snickerdoodles

A few years ago for Christmas, my mom gave all of us a small photo album that she filled with all of her favorite recipes. I have loved having all of the "old" family recipes together in one place. My mom and my grandma used to make these all the time. They are super easy and super yummy!

Grandma's Snickerdoodles
1 c. shortening
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs
2 3/4 c. flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 T. sugar

Mix together thoroughly the shortening, sugar, and eggs. Sift together and stir in flour, cream of tartar, soda, and salt. Chill dough (I never do this and they turn out fine). Roll into balls about the size of walnuts. (I use the Pampered Chef small scoop.)

Mix together the 2 tsp. cinnamon and 2 T. sugar roll balls in mixture.

Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 400 for 8-10 minutes. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Chicken Tetrazzini

So my biggest dilemma is what will my kids eat besides nuggets, hot dogs and pizza? Needless to say, I am always on the look out. My Sis-in -law sent this one to me and it was a success! My children named it white chicken.
1 8oz pkg. Spaghetti noodles
2 to 4 cups cooked chicken
1 T minced onion
2 C grated cheese
2 C cream of chicken soup
1 C prated Parmesan cheese
3 T butter to saute onions
1 C sour cream
salt and pepper to taste

Cook Spaghetti, saute onions, mix all together. Cover and bake for 40 min at 350, then uncover and bake for 20 more.


Chocolate Chip Cookies

I thought I'd start out with my favorite food subject - dessert...and I just made them tonight so the recipe was out! My friend Kelly (Holla!) got it online somewhere, and it has replaced all others I've ever tried.

3/4 C. sugar
1 C. brown sugar
1 C. butter, room temp.
1 t. vanilla
2 eggs, room temp.
3 C. flour
3/4 t. baking soda
3/4 t. salt
1/2 - 1 pkg. semi-sw. choc. chips

*Use room temp. eggs and butter or it will definitely alter the taste and texture!*
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and line cookie sheets with aluminum foil. (I love that part - throw the foil away when you're done and voila - clean pan!) Combine the sugars and butter. Mix until creamed. Add vanilla and eggs, mix well. Finally, add the dry ingredients, mix well. Drop walnut sized balls onto foil and bake 10-12 minutes. (Sometimes mine take longer - just watch your first batch) Y.U.M.