Thursday, December 20, 2007

New recipes!

Thanks to everyone who has sent in recipes for the holidays. Our list is expanding! Here is the new updated list!

Pepperoni Dip
Josefinas
Rum Tum Tiddy
Herb-Coated Mini Cheese Balls
Apple Kielbasa Coins
Easy Peanut Butter Cookies
Five Minute Fudge
Peanut Butter Fudge
Seven Pound Fudge
Almond Biscotti
Gingerbread Biscotti
Tiger Butter
Pizza Popcorn
Tabbouleh
Gorgonzola Cherry Cheese Ball
Confetti Squares
Portugese Sweet Bread
Raspberry Ganache Cake

Raspberry Ganache Cake

Raspberry Ganache:

⅓ c. heavy cream

1 c. chocolate chips

¼ c. seedless raspberry preserves

2 tablespoon butter

In a small, heavy saucepan over medium heat, bring the heavy cream to a simmer; remove pan from heat. Add the chocolate chips, preserves, and butter, shaking the pan to immerse the chocolate and as much of the preserves and butter as possible. Let stand for 1 1/2 minutes, or until the chocolate has melted. Beat the mixture with a wire whisk until smooth. Cool until thick enough to use as a glaze; or, cool completely and whip to desired spreading consistency using an electric mixer on medium speed.

For cake batter:
½ cup boiling water
cup plus 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
¼ cup whole milk
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ cup seedless raspberry jam (about 3‚ ounces)
1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, softened
⅓ cup packed light brown sugar
⅓ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt

Make cake batter:
In a bowl whisk together boiling water and cocoa powder until smooth and whisk in milk, vanilla, and jam. In a large bowl with an electric mixer beat together butter and sugars until light and fluffy and add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Into another bowl sift together flour, baking soda, and salt and add to egg mixture in batches alternately with cocoa mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture and beating well after each addition.

Pour batter evenly over frosting mixture and bake in middle of oven 30 to 35 minutes, or until a tester inserted into cake comes out clean (frosting on bottom will still be liquid). Cool cake slightly in pan on a rack, 10 to 20 minutes. Once cake has cooled completely, frost with ganache, and top with toasted walnuts, if desired.

--Chrissie
St. Louis, MO

Portugese Sweet Bread

2 envelopes yeast
½ cup warm water
¾ cup milk
4 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon. salt
½ cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
7 c. well sifted flour

Mix yeast, water and a pinch of sugar in a small bowl and let stand until bubbly.
Put sugar, salt, milk and butter in a sauce pan. Heat until butter melts. Pour in large bowl and let cool until lukewarm. Beat eggs in small bowl until frothy. Add eggs, yeast mixture, butter mixture and three cups of the flour in an extra big bowl and beat until smooth. Add remaining four cups of flour, one at a time mixing well between each. Knead for 10 minutes. Place in buttered bowl, rolling dough so all is covered with the butter. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise for 2-3 hours until dough has doubled or tripled. Punch down and let stand 10 minutes. Divide in 2, put in greased pans.

Let rise two hours. Bake at 325 degrees for 55 minutes.

--Chrissie
St. Louis, MO

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Confetti Squares

This recipe can be halved – but why? – I guarantee they will all be eaten - a family favorite!

2 tubes of pillsbury crescent rolls
2 bricks of philadelphia brand cream cheese (softened to room temp)
1 c. mayo
1 envelope hidden valley ranch salad dressing mix (dry)
1 c. mild cheddar cheese (fancy shred)
celery (2-3 stalks)
scallion (about 5-7)
mushroom (about 3-5)
carrot (about 2)
red and/or yellow bell pepper (about 1 bell pepper total)
broccoli (about 1 small head – just shave the floret tops to get teeny tiny dark green “balls” )

CHOP VEGGIES VERY FINE-THIS IS SECRET #1 TO SUCCESSFUL CONFETTI SQUARES!

Unwind crescent rolls and lay out flat on a shallow 11X14 baking sheet. Pinch the perforations together and shape to fit/cover the bottom of the pan. Prick generously with a fork to prevent bubbles forming when baked per package directions (something like 375 for 11-13 minutes - just til golden brown) and let cool.

Thoroughly mix softened cream cheese, mayo, and dry ranch dressing mix. Spread mixture evenly on cooled crust. Now starting with celery and continuing in the same order that the veggies are listed- sprinkle finely chopped veggies evenly onto crust spread with cream cheese mixture.

USING THE PALM OF YOUR HAND, PRESS EACH VEGGIE LAYER GENTLY INTO THE CREAM CHEESE MIXTURE AS YOU GO - THIS IS SECRET #2 TO SUCCESSFUL CONFETTI SQUARES!

Finally, sprinkle entire dish with finely shredded mild cheddar (also gently press the cheese onto the top of veggies) and ENJOY!

--Jeannie
Kalamazoo, MI

Gorgonzola Cherry Cheese Ball

8oz. philadelphia brand cream cheese
4-8oz gorgonzola cheese

one big greedy handful of dried cherries (coarsely chopped)

4-5 green onions (finely chopped)

about a tablespoon of dried parsley

about 1/2 teaspoon lawrey's seasoned salt

1/2 to 3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts

Soften cheeses to room temp. Mix together with fork. Stir in cherries/onions/parsley/salt. Transfer onto a sheet of waxed paper or plastic wrap, using the wrap to keep your hands clean, shape to a ball and chill.
Once firm, turn the ball out onto chopped walnuts and roll to cover. Allow cheeseball to come to room temp again before eating.
Traditionally served w/ crackers - but this is also REALLY good to stuff celery ribs with!

--Jeannie
Kalamazoo, MI

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Tabbouleh

1 cup bulgur
2 cups boiling water
3 T lemon juice
2 T olive oil
2 T sliced green onions (tops only)
1 T minced fresh parsley
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. minced fresh mint
1 medium tomato, diced

Place bulgur in bowl. Stir in boiling water. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed. Drain and squeeze dry. Stir in lemon juice, oil, onions, parsley, salt, and mint. Cover, refrigerate for 1 hr. Just before serving, stir in tomato. Serve with bread or chips.

Pizza Popcorn

2 1/2 qts. popped popcorn
1/3 cup butter
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. salt

Place popcorn in an ungreased 13 x 9 x 2 in. baking pan. Melt butter in small saucepan. Add remaining ingredients. Pour over popcorn and mix well. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

Tiger Butter

1 lb. white almond bark
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup chocolate chips
4 tsp. half-and-half cream

In microwaveable bowl, heat almond bark and peanut butter on medium heat for 3-4 minutes until melted. Mix well. Pour onto a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Spread into a thin layer.
In another bowl, heat chips and cream on high for about 30 seconds or until chips are soft. Stir until smooth. Pour and swirl over peanut butter layer. Freeze for 5 minutes or until set. Break into pieces.

Gingerbread Biscotti

1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup white sugar
3 eggs
1/4 cup molasses
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 tablespoons ground ginger
3/4 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a cookie sheet.
In a large bowl, mix together oil, sugar, eggs, and molasses. In another bowl, combine flours, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg; mix into egg mixture to form a stiff dough.
Divide dough in half, and shape each half into a roll the length of the cookie. Place rolls on cookie sheet, and pat down to flatten the dough to 1/2 inch thickness.
Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove from oven, and set aside to cool.
When cool enough to touch, cut into 1/2 inch thick diagonal slices. Place sliced biscotti on cookie sheet, and bake an additional 5 to 7 minutes on each side, or until toasted and crispy.

Ice with a mixture of powdered sugar, vanilla, and a little milk.

Seven Pound Fudge

3 large bars (8 oz. each) milk chocolate, broken in small pieces
2 pkgs. (11 1/2 oz. each) milk chocolate chips
1 large jar (13 oz.) marshmallow creme
4 cups sugar
1 tall can (13 oz.) evaporated milk
1/2 lb. butter
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup chopped black walnuts, walnuts, or pecans

In large mixing bowl of heavy-duty electric mixer, combine broken chocolate bars, chocolate chips, and marshmallow creme. Set aside. In large, heavy saucepan combine sugar, evaporated milk and butter. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture boils. Boil 5 minutes. Pour hot mixture over chocolate mixture. Beat until ingredients are thoroughly blended. Beat in vanilla. Remove beater and stir in chopped nuts. Quickly pour mixture into buttered 9x13 inch pan. Cool. Cover tightly and refrigerate until firm enough to cut into small squares. Flavor will be best after 1 or 2 weeks of storage.
Yield: 7 lbs. fudge

Five Minute Fudge

1 package (12 oz.) chocolate chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp. vanilla
nuts, if desired

Melt chocolate chips, milk, and vanilla together in saucepan over low heat. Once completely melted together, turn off heat. Add nuts, if desired. Transfer to greased baking dish. Refrigerate until firm and cut into squares.

Easy Peanut Butter Cookies

This recipe doesn't call for any flour!

1 cup chunky-style peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla

In large bowl, mix peanut butter and sugar; stir in egg and vanilla. Shape into 1-in. balls and put on ungreased cookie sheet. Press with fork to flatten slightly and bake 12-15 minutes at 350 degrees.

Yield: 3 dozen

Apple Kielbasa Coins

1 1/2 lb. cooked kielbasa, cut into 1/4 in. slices
1/4 cup apple jelly
1/4 cup apple juice
2 T maple syrup

In large skillet, bring sausage and apple juice to a boil. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Uncover and cook 5 minutes longer. Drain. Add jelly and syrup. Cook and stir until jelly is melted and sausage is coated.

Yield: 6 servings

Herb-coated Mini Cheese Balls

Ever since a friend introduced me to feta cheese, I crave the stuff. Haven't tried these yet, but you can be sure I'm going to...simply for the feta.

4 oz. cream cheese (use 1/2 of 8 oz. package), softened
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (4 oz.)
1/2 tsp. coarse ground pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
3 T finely chopped fresh basil
1 T finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp. grated lemon peel

Mix cheeses and 1/4 tsp. black pepper, using back of spoon to mash feta, until well blended. Cover. Refrigerate 45-60 minutes or until firm enough to shape into balls. In small shallow bowl, mix herbs, lemon peel, and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Shape cheese mixture into 1 in. balls (about 1 tsp. cheese mixture per ball); roll in herb mixture to coat (some cheese will show through the herbs).
Serve with crackers or bagel chips.

Rum Tum Tiddy

1 can (10 1/2) oz. condensed tomato soup
1/2 lb. sharp cheddar cheese, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup salsa or taco sauce
salt and pepper
crackers and chips

In saucepan, mix tomato soup and small pieces of cheese. Cook and stir over low heat or in double boiler until cheese melts. Add salsa and heat approximately 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with crackers and chips.

Yield: 5 servings

Josefinas

2 sticks (4 oz. each) butter
1 cup mayonnaise
2 cans (4 oz. each) diced green chilies, undrained
1 clove garlic, peeled and mashed
thinly sliced French bread or crackers
1 lb. Monterey Jack cheese, grated
paprika

Soften butter and blend with mayo. Food process chilies until smooth. Add chilies and garlic to mayo mixture. Spread on thinly sliced French bread or crackers of your choice. Top each with cheese and sprinkle with paprika. Toast under broiler until melted and browned.
This spread can be refrigerated indefinitely.

Yield: 3 cups spread

Pepperoni Dip

3/4 can french fried onions
2 (8 oz. each) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
1 small minced green pepper, optional
1/4 lb. ground pepperoni
pinch garlic

Mix well. Place in small casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 can of onions over. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Serve with chips or bread.

Waiting on Christmas...

While the rest of the world may be getting sick of Christmas music, most Catholics are just getting started! We've refrained from listening to any Christmas music, decorating, or doing much else during this Advent season. We're waiting...just waiting to celebrate His birth. In the kitchen, though, I've started preparing. I've already made fudge and am getting ready to make a killer batch of Kolache, a Czech pastry that my husband's family has had in their family throughout the years. Tiger butter, cream puffs, and Cinnadoodles will round out our Christmas sweets this year.
Because Christmas is approaching, I'm posting dishes and sweets that would be great for such a celebration...but could be used at other times, too.
You will find:

Pepperoni Dip

Josefinas
Rum Tum Tiddy
Herb-Coated Mini Cheese Balls
Apple Kielbasa Coins
Easy Peanut Butter Cookies
Five Minute Fudge
Peanut Butter Fudge
Seven Pound Fudge
Almond Biscotti
Gingerbread Biscotti
Tiger Butter
Pizza Popcorn
Tabbouleh
Gorgonzola Cherry Cheese Ball
Confetti Squares
Portugese Sweet Bread
Raspberry Ganache Cake


Enjoy!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Make-it-Yourself Rice Mixes

Straight from the Hillbilly Housewife site, this woman has figured out how to make the most delicious (and inexpensive) rice mixes! Place ingredients in sealed baggie until needed. ( When I have spare time, I make quite a few and throw them in my pantry for when we need
them! ) These also make great gifts when put into small canning jars! White rice can be used instead of brown rice. Each rice packet yields 5-6 servings!


Chicken Rice

3/4 cup brown rice (white rice works, too)
1/4 cup broken uncooked spaghetti
1 T dried minced onion
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. poultry seasoning
1 T dry parsley
3 chicken bouillon cubes

Place 2 T margarine, the rice mix, and 2 1/2 cups water in sauce pot. Bring to boil. Cover. Reduce heat to low. Simmer until done and fluffy.

Onion Rice

1 cup brown rice
1/4 cup broken uncooked spaghetti
1 tsp. onion powder
2 T dried minced onion
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3 beef bouillon cubes

Place 2 T olive oil in sauce pot. Add 2 1/2 cups water. Add rice mix. Bring to boil. Reduce heat. Cover. Simmer until done and fluffy.

Taco Rice

1 cup brown rice
2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
2 T dry minced onion
cayenne pepper, to taste

Heat 1-2 T oil in sauce pot. Add packet. Cook rice a few minutes, stirring. Add 8 oz. can tomato sauce and 2 1/2 cups water. Bring to boil. Reduce to low. Cover. Simmer until done and fluffy.

--Delena
Kansas City, MO

Taco Meatballs

One of my husband's new favorites!

1-1 1/2 pounds hamburger
1 1/2 cups corn tortilla crumbs (I put mine in food processor until fine and crumbly)
1/3 cup minced onion
1/3 cup milk
1/2 chopped parsley
1/2 tsp. lemon pepper
1 tsp. Louisiana hot sauce
1 egg

Sauce:
1 can diced chiles (I've used a can of green enchilada sauce, too)
1 package taco seasoning
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 package cheddar cheese

Combine the first 8 ingredients in mixing bowl. Shape into small meatballs. Drop into boiling water, and cook until no longer pink. Remove and drain. In large skillet, add sauce ingredients. Add meatballs. Cook until melted and coated. Serve over taco rice!

--Delena
Kansas City, MO

Meat and Potatoes Casserole

On a budget? Here you go!

6 medium potatoes
1 cup grated cheese
1 lb. hamburger

Cook and mash potatoes, until creamy. Put in casserole dish and hollow out a hole in the center about the size of a saucer. Brown hamburger. Drain. Rinse. Fill hole with hamburger. Cover with cheese. Place in oven and bake at 450 degrees until cheese is completely melted.

--Delena
Kansas City, MO

All-day Apple Butter

5 1/2 pounds apples, peeled and finely chopped
4 cups sugar
2-3 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. salt

Place apples in crock pot. Combine sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Pour over apples and mix well. Cover and cook on high for 1 hour. Reduce heat to low; cover and cook for 9-11 hours or until thick and dark brown, stirring occasionally. Uncover and cook on low for 1 hour longer. Spoon into freezer containers, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. If not freezing, cover and refrigerate.
Yield: 4 pints

--Delena
Kansas City, MO

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Peanut Butter Fudge

Straight off of the Hillbilly Housewife site, here is an easy (and cheap!) recipe for peanut butter fudge for the holidays!

1 12 oz. jar peanut butter
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 bag chocolate (or peanut butter!) chips

Melt chips and peanut butter together over medium-high heat. After they are completely melted together, remove from heat and mix in milk. Pour into pan lined with wax paper and chill for an hour or two. Cut into squares and serve.

--Delena
Kansas City, MO

Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf

Seriously, I wouldn't recommend this recipe to anyone watching their weight or on strict orders from the doctor not to eat anything horrible for them. For those that DON'T fall into that category, may I present to you the best, I think, comfort food EVER? I'm not a big fan of regular meatloaf, but this meatloaf is amazing.

1 pound ground chuck
10 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 (8-ounce) package sharp Cheddar, grated
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup bread crumbs, toasted
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/3 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons prepared mustard
1 (3-ounce) can French fried onions


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine the ground chuck and next 8 ingredients, mixing well.
In a small bowl, combine the ketchup and mustard. Stir 1/4 cup ketchup mixture into meat mixture, reserving remaining ketchup mixture. Press meat mixture into a 9 by 5 by 3-inch loaf pan, or shape into a loaf and place on a rack in a broiler pan. Spread remaining ketchup mixture over loaf. Bake 40 minutes. Top with French fried onions; bake another 10 to 15 minutes, or until meat is no longer pink.

--Delena
Kansas City, MO

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Autumn Apples=Applesauce!

I have had the pleasure of joining a friend for the whole day and doing this. It's wonderful, and the applesauce tastes so much better than the stuff you get at the store. I have finally found a Food Mill for sale at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. It's on my Christmas list. It is useful for the applesauce making, but wouldn't it be great to make homemade baby food, too?

The Cheese Ball:101

If you're looking for an appetizer to take to a holiday get-together or you want to give the hostess a small "thank you" for having you over, look no further. Couple of things about this video:
1.) If you can count how many times she says the word "paprika", you should win a prize.
2.) When it looks like she's getting a little crazy, keep watching. The finished product is quite impressive...well, at least I think it is.

Christmas holiday recipes and more!


This site was forwarded to me by a friend. What a great place to find fun activities and great recipes! Check out the North Pole!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Cream Cheese Feta Garlic Dill Dip

16 oz cream cheese—(I used the light)
16 oz sour cream—(I used the light)
5 oz container crumbled feta cheese
3-5 cloves garlic, pressed and chopped
2 t dried dill

Mix all together.


Goes well with Melba rounds, bagel chips, and other crackers.

--Beth
St. Joseph, MO

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Perfect Gift...Anytime!

Whether it be a baby shower, a bridal shower, a birthday, or Christmas gift you're needing, I've started making cookbooks to give to people. The cookbook can range from ultra simple to extremely detailed, depending on how much money and time you want to spend on it.

My best friend of 18+ years is getting ready to get married at the end of this month. For her bridal shower gift, I gave her a cookbook that I entitled, "The Mrs. Manual." I bought a black leather photo album with a window on the front that was supposed to be used for a photo. I, instead, made a little sign that said, "The Mrs. Manual" and placed it in the front of the book. I then divided the cookbook into categories: "Casseroles", "Crock-Pot", "Great for Kids!", "Main Dishes", "Soups, Salads, and Sauces", etc. I also included a section entitled, "Helpful Hints" with recipes for homemade cleaning supplies and great websites to utilize. Photo albums work best, in my opinion, because the recipes are protected from splashing sauces by the protective plastic. They're also relatively inexpensive!

Another friend of mine got married a year ago. For her bridal shower gift, I scrapbooked a cookbook for her. This took a lot of time and more money, but the finished product was worth it. Once again, this cookbook was split into categories. Her husband is a huge OU football fan, so I included a section called, "Game Day!" with different recipes such as buffalo wings and different dips.

These personalized cookbooks make great gifts for anyone. Gather up your best recipes and go to town!

Top 5 Cookbooks Every Woman Should Own...


If you don't own any of these, I suggest you buy one. You won't be disappointed.

1.) Gooseberry Patch's Meals in Minutes
Visit their website here!

2.) Taste of Home's 5-Ingredient Cookbook
Visit their website here!

3.) Betty Crocker's Cookie Book
Visit their website here!

4.) Betty Crocker's Christmas Cookbook

5.) The Lady and Sons, Too! Cookbook by Paula Dean
Visit her website here!

I've started checking cookbooks out at the library because I was tired of paying for cookbooks that I never used. However, I am hooked on the first two cookbooks listed above, and I plan on buying them at some point and adding them to my collection because I know I will actually use them. The last 3 cookbooks listed above are part of my collection, and they are awesome!

If you have any cookbooks you think are worth checking out, drop us a line in the comment box and let us know!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I used garlic salt in place of actual garlic. I used a can of diced tomatoes and green chilies instead of the chili powder. I also replaced the dried oregano with cumin powder. I used two can's of chicken broth, two cans of beans, and there you have it. It is delicious.

1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed chicken broth
1 1/4 cups water
1 cup whole corn kernels, cooked
1 cup white hominy
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chile peppers
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 boneless chicken breast halves, cooked and cut into bite-sized pieces
crushed tortilla chips
sliced avocado
shredded Monterey Jack cheese
chopped green onions

1. In a medium stock pot, heat oil over medium heat. Salute onion and garlic in oil until soft. Stir in chili powder, oregano, tomatoes, broth, and water. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
2. Stir in corn, hominy, chilies, beans, cilantro, and chicken. Simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Ladle soup into individual serving bowls, and top with crushed tortilla chips, avocado slices, cheese, and chopped green onion.

--Aimee
Olathe, KS

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Tips for Trimming the Waistline!

Why is gaining weight so much easier that losing it? It takes months for me to lose 10 pounds, but it seems that all I have to do is glance at a slice of cheesecake and I hear my thighs getting bigger. The good news, though, is that this post has some great tips for losing a few extra pounds or for just keeping those extra pounds off.

1.) When in the kitchen cooking, it's always tempting to nibble here and there at the food you're preparing on. To keep from tacking extra calories onto your diet, chew gum. Chewing gum will help you resist the temptation to grab a "taste" here and there.

2.) Use a small dinner plate to eat off of. If you can't fit it on the plate, you don't need it. (Bonus tip: Going back for seconds defeats the purpose of keeping your calorie intake low.)

3.) When out to eat, it can be a challenge not to eat the entire plate of nachos you ordered on a whim. When your food comes, ask the waiter for a to-go box. Box up half of your meal. This makes sure you keep your portion size under control.

4.) EAT BREAKFAST. The only times I've ever lost weight in my life have been the times when I've eaten breakfast. Our mothers were right: we really do need to eat breakfast! If you only eat once or twice a day, you generally eat bigger portions than you normally would. This also messes with our blood sugar, which can make us a tad bit irritable. Eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a healthy snack inbetween maintains our blood sugar levels and keeps us from over-eating at meals.

5.) Take before/after photos. When starting on your goal of trimming your waistline, take a photo of yourself. After two weeks, take another photo. You'll be amazed at the motivation you get from seeing yourself a few pounds lighter!

6.) Accountability. Grab a friend who wants to keep the pounds off or needs to lose some as a buddy. When my husband and I lived in Michigan, I decided it was time to lose some weight. An old co-worker of mine was wanting to do the same thing. Via e-mail, we updated and supported each other in our quests for weight-loss. It really worked! Even if I didn't feel like working out that day, it helped me to know that I needed to because my friend was doing it, too!

7.) Thirty minutes of cardio a day. Thirty minutes. That's it. Get your heart rate up for at least thirty minutes a day. Throw a load of laundry in, do some cardio, take the load of laundry out. You will see immediate results! Who wants to wolf down those darn nachos when you just worked out really hard? Chances are you'll be reaching for the fruit!

8.) Drink a glass of water 30 minutes before eating dinner. Water makes you feel water-logged and full (plus it's good for you!) so you will resist eating a second helping because you're feeling so full!

9.) Set realistic goals. If you're 5'5", find your ideal body weight and use that as your goal. I recently lost 10 pounds, over a 3 month range, and I have 10 more to go before I get to my "ideal body weight". My goal: to be healthy.

10.) Exercise. Seriously, your entire world will change. I'm not a doctor, but I do know that there is a correlation between not exercising and depression. When you exercise, it's like it's "all systems go" for your brain. Your mood and attitude will drastically improve.

11.) If you have a day where you ate something not-so-good for you, such as pizza, fettucine alfredo, a whole container of sour cream by itself, don't fear. All you need to do is eat a "good food" to help your body out in the process of getting rid of the "bad food". My "good food": Black beans. Good for you, high in fiber, and a great way to get the "bad food" out of your body so you can replace it with more "good food."

12.) Food journals are excellent ways for you to look back and say, "I ate a whole medium thin crust pepperoni pizza, 2 King Size Snickers bars, some potato chips, and drank a liter of soda...all in one day?!" After reading that as a fact on paper, you might be inclined to eat some healthy stuff so you can write that down and feel better about yourself.

So, there you go. A few tips and suggestions for you if you're trying to trim the waistline or just keep it looking trim.

Pax!

Applesauce Sandwiches

Great for the fall! A slight twist on the ordinary grilled cheese!

1 cup applesauce
8 slices bread
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 T sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Spread applesauce on four slices of bread; top with remaining bread. Lightly butter the outsides of sandwiches. Toast on a hot griddle for 3-4 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Combine sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over hot sandwiches. Serve immediately.

--Delena
Kansas City, MO

Italian Grilled Cheese

2 T extra virgin olive oil
2 slices bread
1 slice provolone or mozzarella cheese
6 slices pepperoni
3 T pizza or spaghetti sauce (I've used tomato paste and added some pizza seasoning, too)

Heat oil in non-stick skillet over medium heat. Spread sauce over both pieces of bread. Add cheese to one piece of bread and then add pepperoni. Place the other bread, sauce-side down, on top. Place in skillet. Turn after a minute or two, and continue grilling on each side until golden brown.

--Delena
Kansas City, MO

Italian Pineapple Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup Italian salad dressing (I use a balsamic style dressing, too)
2 T olive oil
1 can (8 oz.) sliced pineapple, drained
1/3 cup shredded Swiss cheese or Parmesan cheese, optional

Flatten chicken to 1/2 in. thickness. Pour salad dressing into a shallow bowl; dip chicken in dressing. In a large skillet, heat oil. Add chicken. Cook over medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes on each side or until juices run clean when pierced. Remove and keep warm. Add pineapple slices to skillet. Cook for 30 seconds on each side or until lighty browned. Place a slice on each piece of chicken. Sprinkle with cheese if desired.

Yield: 4 servings

--Delena
Kansas City, MO

Sweet and Sour Chicken Casserole

2 cups chicken, cooked and cubed
1 can (20 oz.) unsweetened pineapple chunks, drained
1 jar (12 oz.) apricot preserves
1 can (10 3/4 oz.) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 can (8 oz.) water chestnuts, drained

In a bowl, combine the first five ingredients. Transfer to a greased casserole dish. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until heated through. Serve over hot white rice, if desired.

Yield: 6 servings

--Delena
Kansas City, MO

Graham Cracker Brownies

These are extremely rich, but they're so good! My husband is now a fan of them! I crushed up more graham crackers than needed and put the extra crumbs in the freezer for a future dessert!

2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 32 squares)
1 cup (6 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk

Combine ingredients in a bowl. Spread into a foiled and greased 8 in. square baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted. Cool on wire rack. Cut into squares.

Yield: 1 1/2 dozen

--Delena
Kansas City, MO

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Urban Legend Cookies

This recipe comes to me via e-mail from my dad. The website he got this from claims that the $250 Neiman-Marcus Cookie recipe story is just an urban legend. Whatever the case, a recipe is a recipe, and this one looks great! Makes quite a few cookies, too!

2 cups butter
4 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 cups sugar
5 cups blended oatmeal (measure oatmeal and blend in blender until a fine powder)
24 oz. chocolate chips
2 cups brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 8 oz. Hershey bar, grated
4 eggs
2 tsp. baking powder
3 cups chopped nuts (your choice)
2 tsp. vanilla

Cream the butter and both sugar. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix together with flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Add the chocolate chips, Hershey bar, and nuts. Roll into balls and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees.

Yield: 112 cookies

--Delena
Kansas City, MO

Apple Cinnamon Pancake Mix...In a Jar!

3 cups flour
4 tsp. cinnamon
2 1/4 T sugar
2 T baking powder
1 1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup dried apple pieces

Mix all ingredients together until blended well. Place in a 1 quart (wide-mouth) canning jar. Attach a gift tag with instructions.

To make, combine 3/4 cup milk, 1 egg, and 2 T vegetable oil in a medium bowl. Whisk in the pancake mix, and mix until moistened but still lumpy. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium-high heat. Pour batter, 1/4 cup at a time, onto the prepared griddle. Cook on both sides until golden brown.

--Delena
Kansas City, MO

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Mix...In a Jar!

3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup chocolate chips
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
dash baking soda

Mix salt, baking powder, baking soda, and flour. Layer ingredients in 1 quart canning jar in any given order. Attach gift card providing instructions.

To make, beat 1 cup butter in bowl until fluffy. Beat in 1 egg and 1 tsp. vanilla. With a wooden spoon, stir in cookie mix into creamed mixture until well blended. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet. Bake in pre-heated oven at 350 degrees for 8-12 minutes.

Yield: 3-4 dozen cookies

--Delena
Kansas City, MO

Crispy Potato Chicken

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 T Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. garlic, chopped
1 potato, grated
1/2 tsp. oil
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. pepper


Arrange chicken breasts in a 9x9" baking pan that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside. Combine mustard and garlic together, and spread over chicken breasts. Set aside. Mix potato, oil, and lemon juice together; spread over chicken breasts. Sprinkle with pepper. Bake at 425 degrees for 25-35 minutes of until juices run clear when pierced with a fork.

--Delena
Kansas City, MO

Energy Bars

My sister-in-law is the one who originally had this recipe, but I've tweaked it here and there. Her recipe called for 1 cup low-fat granola and 1 cup raisins. I can never find granola, and I don't like raisins, so I started adding whatever I could find in the cupboards.

3/4 cup corn syrup
1 1/2 cups chunky peanut butter
1 cup 5-7 grain cereal (or 1 cup quick-cooking oats)
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1 cup non-fat dry milk powder
1 cup All-Bran cereal
1/2 cup chocolate chips

In a large saucepot, bring corn syrup and brown sugar to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter. Add rest of the ingredients. Stir until well combined. Press into a 9x13" pan, and chill for 45 minutes or until firm. Cut into 36 bars, wrap individually in plastic and refrigerate.

--Delena
Kansas City, MO

Lasagna Dinner...In a Jar!

1/4 cup plus 2 T instant dry milk
2 T plus 2 tsp. cornstarch
2 tsp. chicken or beef bouillon granules
1/4 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. dried parsley flakes
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 cup dried minced onion
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
3 cups egg noodles

Layer ingredients in 1 quart (wide-mouth) canning jar. Layer ingredients in order, and pack down ingredient before adding next ingredient. Attach a gift tag with the instructions.

To cook, brown hamburger in large skillet. Drain and rinse. Add Lasagna Dinner mix, 2 cups water, and 1 (16 oz.) can of tomato sauce. Bring this to a boil. Reduce the heat, and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir until thickened. Top with 2 cups mozzarella cheese about 5 minutes before serving. Allow cheese to melt.

--Delena
Kansas City, MO

Pasta Soup...In a Jar!

1 3/4 cup small shell macaroni or other small pasta
3/4 cup dried lentils
3/4 cup dried chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
3 1/2 T dried minced onion
3 1/2 T chicken bouillon granules
1 T plus 1 tsp. dried parsley flakes
1 3/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/8 tsp. garlic powder

Layer the ingredients into a 1 quart (wide-mouth) canning jar. Layer in order, and pack ingredients down before adding the next ingredient. Attach a gift tag with the instructions.

To cook, Place 10 1/2 cups water in a large soup pot. Bring to a boil. Add the Pasta Soup mix. If desired, add a can of chicken or some cooked chicken. Reduce heat, and cover. Simmer for 40 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Stir occasionally.

--Delena
Kansas City, MO

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Citrus Tea Punch

I usually double this.  Prepare this punch up to one day ahead.

6 cups water, divided
1/2 cup sugar
3 whole cloves
2 family-sized tea bags
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
1 cup orange juice
1 (6-ounce) can thawed lemonade concentrate, undiluted
Ice
Lemon slices (optional)

Combine 4 cups water and sugar in a heavy saucepan; bring to a boil.
Cook until sugar dissolves; remove from heat. Add cloves, tea bags,
and cinnamon; steep 5 minutes. Strain mixture through a sieve into a
pitcher; discard solids. Add remaining 2 cups water,juice, and
lemonade concentrate; stir well. Chill. Serve over ice, and garnish
with lemon slices, if desired.

Yield: 12 servings (serving size: about 2/3 cup)

--Emily
Kansas City, MO

Paradise Chicken Salad

1 1/2 cans (15 oz.) pineapple chunks, drained
2 1/2 c. chicken, cooked and diced (this was around 2 large breasts on the bone)
3/4 c. celery, chopped (or less, if you don't like celery--like me!)
Combine the first 3 ingredients, cover and refrigerate. (overnight, if you like)
3/4 c. mayonnaise
2 T. Major Grey chutney
1 t. curry powder
Combine these 3 ingredients, cover, and refrigerate. (overnight, if you like)
1 med. banana, sliced
1/3 c. peanuts
1/2 c. coconut
1 can (11 oz.) mandarin oranges

Drain juices from the pineapple/chicken/celery combo. Mix in the mayo/chutney/curry combo. Sprinkle with the bananas, mandarin oranges, coconut, and peanuts. (The bananas and peanuts get disgusting if there are leftovers, so make sure you pick them out before putting the salad away afterwards--or leave them on the side for people to add to their own portions, if desired.)


--Angie
Kearney, MO

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Chicken Marinade

My husband thinks this is especially good on portobello mushrooms.

soy sauce
hot sauce
olive oil
crushed garlic
splash of lemon juice

Combine in gallon ziploc baggie. Add chicken. Marinate overnight. Cook chicken as desired.

--Rae
Leavenworth, KS

Greek Salad

2 cucumbers, peeled and diced
2 packages grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1/3 oz. mint
4-6 oz. feta cheese, crumbly
1-2 T olive oil

Mix together and serve.

--Rae
Leavenworth, KS

Almond Biscotti

My mother makes this recipe constantly, and will often
give a biscotti batch as a small hostess or holiday
gift.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup sliced or slivered almonds
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
2 large eggs
1 large egg white

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with
aluminum foil.

Combine flour, sugar, almonds, and baking soda in a
large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together extracts,
eggs, and egg white; add to flour mixture, first
stirring with a spatula and subsequently, kneading
with your hands, until it all forms a slightly sticky,
slightly crumbly dough.

On the baking sheet, first shape the dough into a roll
approximately 16 inches long, and then flatten it to a
one-inch thickness.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Remove from oven
and allow to cool (very important!!) for 15 minutes.
Removing the roll from the aluminum foil, thinly slice
it at a sharp angle. Place the slices, cut side down,
on the (unlined) baking sheet; return to the
350-degree oven for 10 minutes. Turn them over, and
then bake for 10 additional minutes.

Yield: 20-24 cookies

--Rae
Leavenworth, KS

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Texas Caviar

2 tomatoes (diced)
4 green onions (sliced thinly)
1 medium bell pepper (diced fine)
1 jar picante sauce
1 can black eyed peas (drained well)
1 can white hominy (drained well)
1/4 C. chopped fresh parsley

Mix all the ingredients together and serve with “scoops” tortilla chips.

--Jeanette
Kingman, KS

Monday, August 27, 2007

Baked Steak

Very easy!

2 tenderized minute steaks
1/4 envelope Lipton's Onion Soup Mix
1 can cream of mushroom soup
ground pepper to taste
flour
2-3 T. water
oil or shortening

Dredge steaks in flour and pepper and fry in a small amount of oil or shortening on medium/high heat for 1-2 minutes on each side. Fry just long enough to get the steaks browned, then drain on paper towels. Mix the dry onion soup mix, water and can of soup in a covered baking dish. Place the steaks in the baking dish and spoon the soup mixture over them. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees. Check the steaks after about 30 minutes and adjust water, if needed. If the steaks are small and thin, they are almost done by the time they are fried - it's hard to overcook them so long as you keep the steaks covered in the soup mixture and a tight lid or foil on the dish. I find this to be a very easy main dish to fix with baked potatoes. They will be done at the same time!

This can be prepared on the top of the stove also if you don't want to heat up the oven. Just drain the fat - save the crunchies if you like, cover the pan and simmer on low until you have the rest of the meal prepared. Again, check to see if you need to add any water or adjust the temperature and keep a tight lid on the pan.

This recipe is also easy to adjust the number of servings. Just double or quadruple the number of steaks and onion soup mix. You will probably only need 1 can of soup for up to 4 steaks. You do not need to add salt because there is plenty of salt in the onion soup mix.

--Jeanette
Kingman, KS

Friday, August 17, 2007

Mexican Cornbread

1 lb. hamburger
1 large onion
1 large can cream style corn
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1 cup cornmeal
1 T salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1-5 jalapeno peppers
1/2 pound longhorn cheese, grated

Brown hamburger and onion. Drain the grease. Mix corn, eggs, milk, cornmeal, oil, salt, baking soda, and peppers. Pour half of it into a greased 9x13" pan. Spread hamburger and grated cheese on top. Pour the rest of the batter on top of the hamburger and cheese. Bake 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

--Bert
El Dorado, KS

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Tomato and Potato Casserole

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 T semolina
2 tsp oregano
4 large tomatoes, sliced 1/4" thick
6-8 med. potatoes, sliced thin
onion powder
salt/pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter a deep 10" round casserole dish. In small bowl, mix parmesan cheese, semolina, and oregano. Set aside. Put layer of tomatoes in bottom of dish. Salt and pepper lightly. Then cover with 2 T parmesan mixture. Put a layer of potatoes on top of tomatoes. Salt, pepper, onion powder. Continue layering, ending with tomato/cheese mixture on top. Cover with foil and bake about 1 1/2 hours or until potatoes are tender. Uncover and let sit 5 minutes before serving.

--Delena
Kansas City, MO

Italian Burgers

1 lb. ground beef or turkey
1/3 cup spaghetti sauce
3 T minced onion
4 slices mozzarella or provolone cheese

Mix first 3 ingredients together. Shape into 4 patties. Grill about 14-16 minutes. Add cheese. Grill until melted.

--Delena
Kansas City, MO

Rosemary Mustard Chicken

4 chicken breasts
1 T chopped fresh rosemary
3 T sour cream
3 T Dijon mustard

Mix 1 T rosemary, 3 T sour cream, mustard, and 1/4 tsp pepper in shallow dish. Add chicken. Turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hrs. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease casserole dish. Place chicken in pan. Bake 20 minutes or until chicken is done. Serve over rice, with potatoes, or with a big green salad!

--Delena
Kansas City, MO

Slow Cooker Potatoes and Sausage

1 package cheesy scalloped potatoes
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 lb. fully cooked kielbasa sausage, cut into 2 in. pieces
1 cup frozen green peas

Spray crock pot with cooking spray. Place uncooked potatoes in pot. Mix soup, 1 soup can filled with water, and potato sauce packet. Pour over potatoes. Top with sausage. Cover and cook 4-5 hours or until potatoes are tender.

--Delena
Kansas City, MO

One Pan Potatoes and Chicken

2 T vegetable oil
4 medium potatoes, sliced thin
1 lb. chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 bell pepper, cut into strips

Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add potatoes, chicken, and bell pepper. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook 15-20 minutes until chicken and potatoes are done.

--Delena
Kansas City, MO

Enchilada Dip

2 lbs. chicken breasts, diced
10 oz. can enchilada sauce
2 packages cream cheese
4 cups shredded cheddar, mexican blend, etc. cheese

Combine chicken and sauce in crock pot. Cover and cook on low 8-10 hours or until chicken is thoroughly cooked. Cut cream cheese into cubes and stir in crock pot along with shredded cheese. Mix well. Cover and cook on low 30 minutes, stirring twice, until blended and melted. Serve with chips or serve over brown rice to make a meal!

--Delena
Kansas City, MO

Monday, August 13, 2007

Fiesta Taco Casserole

Easy and tasty!

1/2 package tortilla chips
1 lb. hamburger
2 cans black beans
2 tomatoes, diced
taco sauce
shredded cheese

Brown hamburger. Drain. Mix together with beans. Coarsely break tortilla chips. Place in bottom of greased casserole dish. Top with hamburger/bean mixture. Drizzle as much taco sauce over the hamburger/bean mixture as you like. Cover with cheese. Sprinkle tomatoes over. Bake at 400 degrees until cheese is bubbly. Top with sour cream.

--Delena
Kansas City, MO

Friday, August 10, 2007

Brookville Corn

1 lb. frozen corn
8 oz. cream cheese
2 T. water
1 T. sugar


Place in the crock pot on low setting for 2-3 hours. Watch it the first time you make it to make sure it doesn’t burn.


--Jeanette
Kingman, KS


Pineapple Whip

1 large pkg. miniature marshmallows
1 1/2 C. milk
1/2 pint whipping cream
1 – No. 2 can crushed pineapple (drained very well)
graham cracker crumbs


Melt marshmallows and milk over low heat. Cool completely. Whip cream and fold into marshmallow mixture. Fold drained pineapple into the mixture. Cover the bottom of a large serving bowl with graham cracker crumbs. Pour the mixture into the bowl gently and sprinkle with more crumbs. Keep refrigerated.


--Jeanette
Kingman, KS

Chocolate Striped Delight

This is one of my family’s all-time favorites!


Crust:

1 stick softened butter or margarine
1 C. chopped pecans
1 C. flour

Mix until crumbly and pat in a 9 X 13” pan. Bake 20 minutes at 350°. Cool completely.


Mix the following and spread on cooled crust:

2 - 8 oz. pkgs. cream cheese
1 1/2 C. powdered sugar
2 C. Cool Whip


Mix the following for the next layer:

3 small pkgs. instant chocolate pudding
3 C. cold milk
1 t. vanilla

Top with more Cool Whip. Sprinkle with your choice of miniature chocolate chips, nuts, chocolate sprinkles, etc. Chill well. Use a deep pan to hold it all! Keeps well for several days in the refrigerator.


--Jeanette
Kingman, KS



Blarney Stones

When we moved to St. Patrick’s Parish in Kingman, KS, a couple of years ago, I found out these are really big in our town. The bakeries and boutiques sell them and can’t make enough, so I got the recipe!


4 eggs
1 C. sugar
3 T. cold water
1 C. sifted flour
1 t. cream of tarter
1 t. vanilla


Separate eggs; beat yolks lightly. Add 1/2 C. sugar and beat until light and creamy. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix. Beat egg white until bubbly. Add 1/2 C. sugar. Beat until stiff. Mix with egg mixture. Bake in ungreased 13 X 9” pan at 325° for 1 hour or until brown. Let cool completely. Cut into 3 inch X 1 1/2 inch pieces to make bars.


Frosting:

2 lbs. powdered sugar
1/2 t. vanilla
1 C. – 1 1/4 C. milk to make it soupy
12 oz. ground Spanish peanuts.


Combine sifted powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk. Cover each bar with icing, covering all sides thoroughly. Then, roll the bar in the peanuts until all sides are covered. Place on waxed paper to set up. Refrigerate to help keep them longer. They taste best cold from the refrigerator with a cold glass of milk. They freeze well.


--Jeanette
Kingman, KS



Thursday, August 9, 2007

Pineapple Sheet Cake

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 can crushed pineapple
1/2 cup crushed pecans

Mix together and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Frosting:
1 8 oz. package cream cheese
1 stick oleo
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar

Soften cream cheese and oleo and then mix together with mixer. Add the vanilla. Stir in the powdered sugar. Mix until smooth. Spread on cake.

--Becky
Wichita, KS

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Pflaumen Kuchen

Well, if any of you happen to have a German priest, you might try making this dessert for him. According to my priest, this is pretty much what it's all about over in Germany!

1/4 lb. butter
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 c. milk (or more)
2 1/2 to 3 lb. sm. Italian plums, depending on size of pan
About 1 c. chopped nuts

Cream butter and sugar. Mix well the eggs, flour, salt, baking powder, vanilla, and milk. Grease a jelly roll pan and preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Spread dough on pan. Halve, pit and wash plums. Lay plums on dough with cut side up and touching one another. Sprinkle plums with sugar and cinnamon. Then dot each plum with a little piece of butter. Sprinkle nuts over the plums. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.

--Delena
Kansas City, MO

Monday, July 23, 2007

Chimichangas

So simple!

1 large beef roast

1 large can Rotel tomatoes

10-12 burrito sized tortillas

Place the roast and the Rotel tomatoes in a crock pot and cook all day on low, turning the meat occasionally to sit in the juices. Shred the meat. Drain the tomatoes from the liquid and mix together with the meat. (You do not have to completely drain the tomatoes.) Place the meat and tomato mixture in a tortillas and roll up tight. Deep fat fry and drain. You can serve this with lettuce, salsa, cheese and sour cream.
Yield: 10 - 12 servings

--Jeanette
Kingman, KS

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Pancakes

1 3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 T sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 beaten egg
1 cup milk
2 T melted shortening or bacon fat

Sift together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Mix the egg, milk, and oil in a separate bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring until the dry ingredients are dissolved to the right consistency. Bake on a hot griddle. Serve.

--Howard
Carrollton, TX

Baby Pizzas

1 package Holland Rusks
tomato paste or sauce
sliced tomato
cheese
pepperoni
oregano
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Put 1 tsp of tomato sauce on holland rusks and spread it around. Put one slice of tomato on each of the rusks, salt and pepper them, add one slice of cheese on tomato. Add as many pepperoni slices as you like. The oregano is then sprinkled on top of the pepperoni. Place on cookie sheet. Place on middle rack of oven and bake for 20 minutes. Serve.

--Rita
Carrollton, TX

Friday, July 6, 2007

Ultimate Cupcakes

Well, everyone's had a basic cupcake before. I've suddenly discovered a whole new world of cupcakes! Just start with your basic vanilla or chocolate cupcake recipe and build from there! You can also move onto carrot cake cupcakes, lemon cake cupcakes, marble cake cupcakes...

Vanilla cupcakes:
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1 1/3 cups sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add shortening, milk, and vanilla. Beat for 1 minute on medium speed. Scrape side of bowl with a spatula.
Add eggs to the mixture. Beat for 1 minute on medium speed. Scrape bowl again. Beat on high speed for 1 minute 30 seconds until well mixed.
Spoon cupcake batter into paper liners until 1/2 to 2/3 full.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool 5 minutes in pans then remove and place on wire racks to cool completely.
Once cupcakes are completely cooled, frost with your favorite frosting recipe or decorate as you desire.


Chocolate cupcakes:
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup water
2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 ounces melted unsweetened baking chocolate

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.
Combine all ingredients into large mixing bowl. Mix at low speed for 30 seconds, and scrape bowl. Mix at high speed for 3 minutes.
Fill liners 1/2 to 2/3 full of batter. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool 10 minutes in pans then remove from pan, and place on wire racks to cool completely.
Frost when chocolate cupcakes are completely cool.


Buttercream Frosting:

1 lb. confectioners' sugar
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 tbsp. milk

In large bowl, beat together sugar, butter, vanilla and milk until smooth. If necessary add more milk until frosting is spreading consistency. If desired, add a few drops of food coloring. Mix everything well. For chocolate buttercream, melt 2 squares unsweetened baking chocolate and mix with frosting.


Cream Cheese Frosting:

1/2 c. butter
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
1 lb. powdered sugar, sifted

To make frosting, combine butter, cream cheese and vanilla in large bowl and beat until well blended. Add powdered sugar gradually, beating vigorously. If too thick, thin with milk to spreading consistency.


Getting creative:

  • Thin Mints
    • Take a basic chocolate cupcake, make a simple buttercream frosting and add a little mint extract with green food coloring. Frost cupcakes and top with mini chocolate chips.
  • Chocolate Decadence
    • Take a basic chocolate cupcake, make a simple cream cheese frosting and top with drizzled chocolate
  • Coffee-holic
    • Take a basic chocolate cupcake, make a simple buttercream frosting and add a tablespoon or two of instant coffee granules. Top it off with a coffee bean
  • Peanut Butter Haven
    • Take a basic vanilla cupcake, make a simple buttercream frostin and add a tablespoon or two of creamy peanut butter. Top with mini chocolate chips.
  • Raspberry Cheesecake
    • Take a basic vanilla cupcake, make a simple cream cheese frosting and top with a raspberry or a dollop of raspberry preserves.
--Delena
Kansas City, MO

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Big and Sweet Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies are very sweet and very big.

4 1/4 cups white flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups brown sugar
3 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1.5 tablespoons vanilla
1 cup coconut
1 3/4 cups your favorite chocolate chips

Stir together flour, salt, and baking soda. In separate bowl, cream butter
and sugars. Add eggs, yolks, and vanilla, mixing well. Slowly add dry
ingredients. Stir in coconut and chocolate chips. Feel free to add nuts if
you'd like. Use a 1/4 cup measuring utensil and place fat balls of dough
onto cookie sheet, flattening slightly. Bake at 325 degrees until golden
brown.
Yield: Lots of big cookies

--Kristin
Wichita, KS

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Roast Beef in Rich Wine Gravy and Roasted Mushrooms

Beth from St. Joseph, MO, writes: "Here is another recipe from my very dear friend, Rose in Malta."

Big roast beef
Fresh thyme
large, assorted mushrooms
red wine
beef/meat/chicken stock (i make my own from all the bones etc, but an organic cube will be fine)
3 red onions
3 cloves garlic
water (to add to gravy, if needed)
salt/pepper
basil or any herbs that compliment meat dishes

Take the beef joint and rub the 2 garlic cloves and salt and pepper all over it. Stuff thyme inside the string (if it is around the beef) and rub in too. Leave beef for a few hours.

In a large frying pan, saute the onions, garlic and more thyme for 5-7 mins until lightly cooked. Add 2 large glasses of wine which will cook off, leaving a beautiful smell. Then add the stock, ladle by ladle. To make the gravy thicker you can add a little cornflour. Add salt and pepper and a bouquet garnish.

In a separate pan saute the mushroom (sliced but quite large) in some olive oil and butter. Add thyme, garlic and salt and pepper and leave.

Place beef in large dish and cover with the red wine gravy and the sauteed mushrooms. Cook in hot oven (170c) for one hour, but do check.

Before serving add lots of fresh herbs on the meat.

--Rose
Malta

Homemade Sangria

Beth from St. Joseph, MO, said: "This recipe is from a new and very dear friend, Rose, who lives in Malta! Her stories of food, and the traditional Mass, make me want to move there!"

1 bottle red wine
2 lemons
2 limes
2 oranges
chunks of pineapple
2 or 3 teaspoons of brown sugar
1 glass of orange juice
small shot of brandy
mint or other fresh herb of your choice!

Place wine into pitcher. Squeeze juice of the fruits and then cut into neat wedges and add to wine. Stir is sugar, orange juice and brandy. Mix carefully and refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving. just before serving add fresh herbs, this is an added ingredient!

--Rose
Malta

Chocolicious Rice Krispie Treats


4-5 tablespoons butter
4 1/2 - 5 cups mini-marshmallows
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
5 1/2 cups Kellogg's Rice Krispies


Melt butter in large, deep saucepan over low heat.
Add marshmallows, stirring constantly.
When marshmallows are 2/3 of the way melted, add chocolate chips.
Stir just until completely melted.
Remove from heat and add Rice Krispies.
Stirring until well coated with the chocolate marshmallow mixture.
With damp hands (get hands wet & shake off excess water), gently press mixture into 13x9 inch pan, lightly coated with butter. (The damp hands prevent the mixture from sticking to you, and allows better control than a spatula.)
Cut into 2 inch squares when cooled & set.
Yield: approximately 24 squares.

--Beth
St. Joseph, MO

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Cream Puffs

These cream puffs are so easy to make and can be dressed up so nicely. A great dessert to make if you're running low on time.

Puffs:
1 stick butter
1 cup flour
4 eggs

Filling:
1 small package instant vanilla (or chocolate) pudding
1 cup milk
1 large tub (9 oz.) Cool Whip

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In saucepan, boil 1 cup water and butter. Add flour. Mix until it forms a ball. Remove from heat. In large bowl, beat eggs. Add flour mixture to the eggs and beat until smooth. Drop mixture by little teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheet and bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown on the outside. For filling, mix pudding with milk. Add Cool Whip and beat until thick. Cut off the tops of the cream puffs and fill with filling. Replace tops. Sift powdered sugar over the tops. Keep refrigerated.
Yield: 3 dozen

--Marliene
El Dorado, KS

Hamburger Corn Pone Pie

If you want to use your favorite chili recipe with the cornbread on top, that works just as well. Serve with a big green salad.

1 lb. ground beef
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can kidney beans
cornbread batter (already prepared but not baked)
3/4 tsp. salt
1 T chili sauce
1 T shortening
1 to 1 1/2 T chili powder
chopped green peppers

Brown meat, onions, and peppers. Add seasonings and tomatoes. Cover and simmer on low for about 15 minutes. Add beans. Pour mixture into greased casserole dish and top with cornbread batter, spreading with a wet fork. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.
Yield: 5 servings

--Marliene
El Dorado, KS

Light and Lean Chicken

This is a great recipe, and it's good for you! One serving has only 287 calories, 3 grams of fat, and it has 30 grams of protein! No one would ever know that this is a "good for you" meal! My husband even liked it!

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, sliced in strips
extra virgin olive oil
ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, halved
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tsp cornstarch (or 2 T flour)
2/3 cup skim milk
1 tsp finely chopped fresh chives
2 cups hot cooked brown rice

Drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil in skillet; heat over medium heat until hot. Add chicken; sprinkle with pepper. Cook 20 minutes or until brown, turning occasionally. Reduce heat to low; add garlic. Cook 10 minutes more or until fork can be inserted into chicken with ease and juices run clear, not pink. Remove chicken; keep warm. Add broth and wine to garlic. Bring to a boil over high heat; boil 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Stir cornstarch into milk and slowly add mixture to skillet. Sprinkle with a little more pepper. Cook and stir 2 minutes or until thickened. Return chicken to skillet. Spoon sauce over chicken; sprinkle with chopped chives. Simmer 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Serve over hot rice. Serve with a big green salad.
Yield: 4 servings

--Delena
Kansas City, MO

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Asian Noodle Salad

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks.
1/4 cup plus 1 T A1 Steakhouse Marinade Teriyaki, divided
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz. multi-grain spaghetti, uncooked
1/2 cup Kraft balsamic vinaigrette dressing
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 large red pepper, cut into match-like sticks
1 cup baby carrots, cut into match-like sticks
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided

Place chicken in medium bowl. Add 1/4 cup of the marinade and the garlic; toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 20 min. to marinate. Meanwhile, cook spaghetti in large saucepan as directed on package.
Mix dressing, remaining 1 T marinade and the ginger; set aside. Remove chicken from marinade mixture; discard marinade mixture. Stir-fry chicken,peppers and carrots in large nonstick skillet on medium heat 5 min. or until chicken in cooked through. Stir in dressing mixture.
Drain spaghetti; return to pan. Add chicken mixture and 3 T of the cilantro; mix lightly. Sprinkle with remaining 1 T cilantro.
Yield: 4 servings.

--Carol
Sardinia, OH

Green Bean Casserole

4 cans French style green beans (drained) or 36 oz. frozen (cooked and drained)
1 ½ cups milk
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
¼ tsp. pepper
2 small or 1 large can French fried onions

Combine beans, milk, soup, pepper and ¾ of canned onions.
Pour into greased 9 x 13" glass casserole dish. Bake uncovered
at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Top with remaining onions & bake 5 minutes
more.

(Allow more cooking time if prepared ahead & put in fridge
before cooking)

--Earlene
Santa Ana, CA

Broccoli Rice Casserole

1 cup chopped celery
1 large chopped onion
1 stick of margarine
1 1/4 cups rice cooked to make 2 ½ cups
2 10oz. frozen chopped broccoli cooked & drained
1 16oz. jar of cheese wiz
1 can cream of chicken soup

Sautee onion & celery in margarine. Mix all other ingredients and
place in greased 9 x 13" glass casserole dish. Bake at 350 for 30
minutes uncovered.

(If you make ahead and put into fridge allow a little extra time [15 minutes more maybe] because it will be cold)

--Earlene
Santa Ana, CA

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The "AWS-ome" Special

My brother-in-law, Andy, came up with this recipe. He declares that, "It's delicious! It's so good, I couldn't not take a picture of it." Due to the graphic content of his egg photo, I will direct you here.

1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 tbsp. salsa, (I like Mrs. Renfro's Chipotle Corn Salsa)
3 eggs, fried over easy

Microwave beans and salsa until warm. Fry eggs over easy. Serve over the bean/salsa mixture.

--Andy
Kingman, KS

Monday, June 25, 2007

Baked Meatballs

This recipe is easy, and it goes great with rice and a big green salad!

1 egg
1/4 cup milk
onion powder
1 cup Italian bread crumbs
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 lb. ground beef
parmesan cheese, grated

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Beat egg and milk together. Stir in onion powder, bread crumbs, seasonings, and parmesan cheese. Add beef and mix well. Shape into balls, using 1/3 cup mixture for each ball. Place in shallow pan. Bake 30-40 minutes.
Yield: 7 meatballs

--Delena
Kansas City, MO

Ice Cream Cake Dessert

Beth sent us a great recipe for an Oreo ice cream cake. Here is another recipe! We've eaten this at our friends' house, and it's pretty good! Hmmm...I know a certain Polish professor who loves ice cream cakes...

2 cups chocolate chips
1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1 package (12 oz.) vanilla wafers, crushed
1/2 cup butter/margarine, melted
2 qts. vanilla ice cream, softened

Melt chips with milk and salt. Cook until thick (approximately 25 minutes). Remove from heat, set aside. Combine wafer crumbs and butter. Set aside 1 cup. Press remaining crumbs in a 9x13" pan that's been greased. Chill for 10-15 minutes. Pour chocolate over crumbs. Cover and freeze 20-25 minutes until firm. Spread ice cream over chocolate. Sprinkle with reserved crumbs. Freeze at least 2 hours before serving.

--Delena
Kansas City, MO

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Triple (or Fourple!) Chocolate Cake


This cake is fantastic! I made it for my husband and dad for Father's Day, and both of them loved it! If you choose to pour the Chocolate Ganache over the top of it (which I highly recommend!) then I would call it Four-ple Chocolate Cake (a little Bill Cosby humor for ya!). When pouring the Chocolate Ganache over the cake, there will be plenty that runs off the cake. Catch it below on a plate, and dip a few strawberries in it to add as garnish to the cake! By far, one of my favorite desserts I've made so far! Picture above was provided by Beth from Kansas City, MO, when she made the cake!

Cake:
1 pkg. devil's food cake mix
1 pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 8 oz. container sour cream
4 large eggs
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 pkg. (3.9 oz.) chocolate instant pudding mix

Chocolate Ganache:
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 12 cup fluted tube pan; set aside. Combine all cake ingredients into bowl and stir with wire whisk until ingredients are blended. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 1 hour or until cake begins to pull away from sides of pan. Cool in pan on wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove cake from pan; cool completely.
Meanwhile, in a double boiler set over hot simmering water (not boiling, and the bowl shouldn't be touching the water), heat chocolate chips and whipping cream. Stir until completely melted. Pour over cake, making sure to put a plate underneath to catch the drippings. Wait until ganache has "set" to serve.

--Delena
Kansas City, MO

Oreo Ice Cream Cake


I made this for King Peter's Birthday. It was a hit! For less than $4, I created something as good as one of those you can buy for $40 or more.


I carton of cookies & cream ice cream*
1 package of Oreos*


Set out ice cream to soften.
Put about half of package of Oreos in a food processor until they are crumbs. Spread the crumbs into the bottom of a 1o inch spring form pan.
Cut ice cream into sections & put them all in a bowl. Stir until soft (but not melted).
Drop ice cream onto crumbs. Do not try to spread it at this point - it will move the crumbs around.
Once all the ice cream is in the pan, and the bottom is pretty much covered with drops of ice cream, press the ice cream into the bottom of the pan.
Level the top out by carefully smoothing it out.
Decorate the top with Oreos.
Freeze.
Reward yourself by eating the leftover Oreos.

*This could easily be changed by using different ice cream, & cookies for the crust - vanilla wafers, graham crackers, chocolate graham crackers, shortbread cookies, sugar cookies, etc.

--Beth
Kansas City, MO

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Irish Beef Stew

By far the best stew I've ever eaten. Your house will smell wonderful, and your husbands will love it!

2 T oil
1 1/2 lb. trimmed boneless beef round steak, cut into 3/4 in. thick cubes (stew meat works great, too!)
2 T flour
1 can beef broth
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 envelope Good Seasons Garlic and Herb salad dressing mix
3 medium carrots, cut into 1/2" pieces
3 medium potatoes, cut into 3/4" chunks
3 cups hot cooked egg noodles

Heat oil in 5 qt. saucepot on medium-high heat. Coat meat in flour. Stir in oil until browned. Stir in broth, tomatoes, and salad dressing mix. Bring to boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Add potatoes and carrots; cover. Simmer additional 30 minutes. Remove lid; simmer 15 minutes or until meat is tender and sauce thickened. Serve over noodles.
Yield: 4 servings
--Delena
Kansas City, MO

Chicken Tortilla Soup

6 corn tortillas, divided
1 1/2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized chunks
2 can (14 oz. each) chicken broth
1 cup taco sauce
1 can black beans
1 cup cheddar cheese
sour cream
tortilla chips

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut 2 of the tortillas into strips; toss with 1/2 tsp. oil. Spread on baking sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes or until crisp, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, finely chop remaining 4 tortillas. Heat remaining 1 tsp. oil in large saucepan on medium high heat. Add chicken, cook, and stir 5 minutes. Add chopped tortillas, broth, taco sauce, and beans. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes. Top with cheese, sour cream, and serve with tortilla chips.
Yield: 4-6 servings
--Delena
Kansas City, MO

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Blueberry Pie

(Purchased pie crust can be substituted, but it sure doesn’t taste the same!)

For Pie Crust:

2 2/3 cup flour
2 sticks butter (16 Tbsp.)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
about 4 tbsp. ice cold water (can be adjusted a tbsp. more or less)

Cut butter into cubes (about ½ inch). Place into freezer for about 10 minutes, until chilled. In a bowl, combine salt, flour, and sugar and mix. Add butter cubes slowly, working into the mixture with a fork. Add water slowly to help with process. Work through until dough sticks together when you pinch it. Shape into two round portions, and avoid much kneading. Wrap in saran wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

For Pie Filling:

5.5 cups FRESH blueberries
some lemon juice
1 cup sugar, plus a little extra
1/3-½ cup flour
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
about 2 tbsp. butter or margarine
1 egg white from a large egg

Wash blueberries. Sprinkle lemon juice evenly over blueberries – just a touch, shouldn’t greatly influence flavor. Roll out one of the two portions of pie crust onto a flat, floured surface. When dough is rolled into a good-sized circle about 1/8 inch think, fit into a pie plate. Try to leave a small amount of excess around the pie plate’s edges. Combine 1 cup sugar, flour, and salt, and add this mixture to the berries. Stir well using a fork. Allow the tongs of the fork to puncture some of the berries slightly to allow juice to soak up dry ingredients. The degree to which you do this is at your disgression. Pour blueberry mixture into bottom half of pie crust. Roll out second half of pie crust on floured surface. Fit circle of pie crust dough onto the top of the pie, and pinch seams to create completed pie. Cut 4-8 one-inch slits in pie crust to allow venting. Brush top of crust with a LIGHT amount of egg white, not allowing it to gather. Sprinkle some extra sugar on the top of the pie. Bake at 400 degrees for about 35 minutes or until crust is lightly browned.

Yield: 8 servings

--Kristin
Wichita, KS

Chicken Nuggets

2 cups crushed sour cream and onion potato chips
1 egg
2 T milk
6 chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2 in. cubes
1/3 cup butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread the crushed chips in a shallow dish. Beat together the egg and milk in a shallow bowl. Dip the chicken cubes into the egg mixture and then dredge them in the chips. Place the chicken nuggets on a baking sheet and drizzle with melted butter. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until golden brown.

Note: can be frozen after baking
--Delena
Kansas City, MO

Vegetarian Black Bean Casserole

1 can black beans
1 can no-fat vegetarian refried beans
1 can enchilada sauce
20 corn tortillas
shredded cheese
brown rice, cooked

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all beans and 1/2 enchilada sauce in bowl, mixing well. Add rice. Cut tortillas into pieces. In a casserole dish, layer tortillas, 1/2 bean mixture, tortillas, and bean mixture. Pour sauce on top, and cover with cheese. Bake 40-50 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.
--Delena
Kansas City, MO

Berry Good Cookies

Cream together in a large bowl:
1 cup softened butter
2 eggs
2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup white sugar

In another bowl, combine:
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup quick-cooking oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

Slowly add dry ingredients to the
wet ingredients. Mix just until blended.

Fold in:
1 cup dried cranberries (or dried strawberries)
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls unto greased baking sheets (I used parchment paper). Bake in a 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes or until the edges start to turn golden. Cool on wire racks. Makes about 6 dozen.

Note – I think next time I will cut back slightly on the white chocolate chips & walnuts.
--Beth
Kansas City, MO

Mommia's Hashbrown Casserole

I took a basic recipe & put my twist on it. This could be a meatless main dish for Fridays, or side dish, or add Ham for an easy meal for other days of the week

1 can cream of mushroom soup (undiluted)
16 oz. sour cream or cottage cheese
3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
3 eggs
1 medium onion, chopped
pinch of black pepper
Ham, chopped (leave out for meatless of course)
2 lbs hash browns, thawed
1/4 cup melted butter (reserve for later)

Mix the first 6-7 ingredients in bowl, then add the hashbrowns. Put into a greased 9x13 casserole dish & bake (375 degrees) for about 30 minutes. Drizzle 1/4 cup of melted butter on top, and bake for about 10 more minutes.

I added the eggs and an extra cup of cheese for more protein. I liked the result & think I will leave it that way, even when adding ham.
--Beth
Kansas City, MO