Saturday, January 19, 2013

Churro Chex Mix

I saw this recipe on several blogs months ago and when I saw cinnamon chips at the grocery store, it was my first thought.  That was yesterday and I already made this.  It is addicting, delicious and really does taste like a churro.  I omitted the butter when I made it and it turned out just fine.  

Churro Chex Mix

  • Ingredients
  • 1 cup CINNAMON CHIPS (made my Hershey's , by the chocolate chips)
  • 1/4 cup BUTTER (I omitted this and it was great) 
  • 1/2 cup POWDERED SUGAR
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons CINNAMON
  1. Pour cereal in a large bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, combine sugars and cinnamon.
  3. In a separate bowl, microwave cinnamon chips and butter for a minute. Stir and heat 30 seconds more until smooth. Drizzle over cereal and stir well to coat evenly. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture over coated cereal and stir again to evenly distribute cinnamon and sugar.
  4. Spread out to cool on a cookie sheet or wax paper.  
  5. If you need to, add a little more powdered sugar just enough to coat.  

Friday, January 6, 2012

30 minute rolls

Let me start by saying that I am not good at making bread, I dream of making the most delicious dinner rolls.  These were easy and absolutely delicious, even for me, a bread making rookie.  I couldn't believe they only took 30 minutes and tasted as good as they did.  I was pretty proud of my self for making yummy dinner rolls, it rarely, if ever happens. 

30-Minute Roll (1 dozen) 
1 1/8 cups plus 2 tsp. warm water
1/3 cup oil
2 T yeast
1/4 cup sugar or honey
½ tsp. Salt
1 egg 3 ½ cups flour Combine water, oil, yeast, and sugar, let rest for 15 minutes. Add salt and eggs then gradually add flour. Shape into rolls and let sit for 10 minutes. Bake 10 minutes @400 degrees ‘till golden brown.

Source:  Real Mom Kitchen, via Pinterest

Peanut Butter Cookie Bars

We had the most delicious peanut butter cookie bar at my nieces wedding luncheon, I was determined to get the recipe.  This recipe was shared on a great blog just a few months after the wedding, it looked similar and I knew it would be good because the recipes on T.D.F are always good.  It starts out as a good peanut butter cookie oatmeal bar then you add chocolate and peanut butter frosting.  The combination of all three layers is heaven!  It makes a ton, a whole cookie sheet so make them for a crowd or you will be tempted to eat way too many.  Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Cookie Bars

1 c sugar
1 c brown sugar
1 c butter, softened
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 c creamy peanut butter
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 c flour
2 c quick oats
1 1/2 c semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/3 c butter, softened
1/3 c peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 c powdered sugar
dash of salt
milk for desired consistency

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine butter and sugars until fluffy. Add peanut butter, vanilla and eggs, mix well. Add dry ingredients to wet until combined. Spread into a greased cookie sheet. Cook for 15 minutes. When the cookie layer comes out of the oven, sprinkle chocolate chips evenly all over the cookie layer. Let chocolate chips sit until they turn shinny. Spread them evenly over the cookie layer until covered. Let cool completely. Mix frosting ingredients until desired consistency reached. Spread a thin layer of the buttercream over the chocolate layer.

Source:  T.D.F Recipes  ( a great blog!!)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Fruity Dessert Salad

This is such a great fruit salad, it takes minutes to prepare and is so delicious.  We ate it today with our dinner and everyone loved it.  It makes a ton and I thought for sure I would be left with half of it but all but one or two servings were left.  I found it on Gourmified. 

Fruity Dessert Salad

2 small packages of cheesecake pudding
1 large container of low fat strawberry yogurt
1 large container of light cool whip
16 oz. frozen mixed berries, partially thawed
3 large fresh bananas, sliced
1 lb. fresh strawberries, sliced

Pour yogurt into a large bowl and mix in pudding, it will be lumpy.   Fold in the Cool Whip, the lumps will go away then  add all of the fruit and stir to combine. Refrigerate.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Introducing Bake My Day Girls!

My mom, friend and neighbor Lisa and I have started a neighborhood bakery! Please come visit us for a pre-opening sale tomorrow afternoon in our neighborhood. Here are the details from our website

Neighborhood Bakery!
We are so excited to invite you to our pre-opening bake sale.  
This Saturday, September 10
2:00- 4:00 PM

We will be featuring many of our favorites and the most popular among our many friends and family members.  Unique cookies, muffins and other treats.  

Don't turn on your oven, don't make a mess of your kitchen, don't be stuck with four dozen of the same cookie.  Let us provide you with delicious treats made from high quality ingredients.

Can't make it? Reserve yours today!
 Email us at

We do special orders. 

  Some of this weeks treats include our famous Lemon Drop Cookies (sure to sell out!), Peanut Butter and Chocolate cookies, banana muffins, chocolate chip cookies, snickerdoodles, pumpkin cookies, oatmeal cream pies, soft frosted sugar cookies, cookies 'n cream cookies, smores cookies and more!   Free samples!!! Let us make your day!

visit us at

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Red, White, and Blue Cookies

I made these for a pot luck at my husband's work in November and he is asked by several people to bring them whenever they have a pot luck. I worked at a hotel in college and we served cookies, one of them was a cranberry, blueberry and white chocolate cookie and they were my absolute favorite. This is my attempt to re-create those cookies. I must admit, these are pretty darn yummy! Perfect for 4th of July or for a pot luck in November.

Red, White and Blue Cookies
(printable version here)

1 stick butter, soft
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup dried blueberries

Combine butter and sugars and mix for about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until just combined. Stir in white chocolate, cranberries and blueberries.

If time permits, allow cookie dough to sit covered in the fridge for a few hours. Scoop onto parchment lined or greased cookie sheet and sprinkle very, very lightly with kosher salt.

Bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes, until edges are lightly browned.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Crunchy Broccoli Salad

I made this salad for Father's day and everyone absolutely loved it! I can't wait to make it again.

Crunchy Broccoli Salad

1 head romaine, chopped
1 bunch green onions, sliced
1 large head broccoli, cut into small pieces
1 pound bacon, cooked and cut into small pieces
2 (3 ounce) packages Ramen noodles, crushed. Discard seasoning packet
4 Tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup pecans chopped or sliced almonds

Mix butter, nuts and crushed noodles. Spread on a cookie sheet and back at 350 degrees until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. About 10 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.

Add broccoli, onions, lettuce, bacon and noodle/nut mixture in a large bowl. Toss with dressing right before serving.


1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup red vine vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoons soy sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mexican Rice Bowls

I made these for dinner last night and they were a big hit with everyone. We are eating healthier at our house and this was not only healthy, but so delicious that I plan on making it regularly. It will be great for the summer because it requires no oven and you can make it in about 20 minutes AND it is meatless and inexpensive, yea! I hope to share many healthy and delicious recipes in the coming months with the calories calculated for you. O course, I will mix it up with the occasional splurge, we can't completely deprive ourselves, right?

Mexican Rice Bowls

Cilantro lime rice (click here for recipe)
2 cans black beans
1 small bag frozen corn or 4 cobs of corn cooked and kernals removed
4 roma tomatoes, diced
1 avacado, diced
salsa (I make this recipe once a week, it is THE best!)

Layer all ingredients, starting with rice then corn and beans, tomatoes, salsa then avacado. Top with cilantro.

Calories: 260
Fat: 5 grams
Protein: 8 grams

Cilantro Lime Rice

I have made this rice several times and I see the recipe for it all over the place and I am sure many of you already have it. It is so good and perfect for the next recipe I am posting.

1 cup long grain rice
1 can chicken broth
zest of 1/2 lime
2 garlic cloves
2 tsp. sugar
2 Tbs. lime juice
3 Tbs. chopped cilantro

Combine rice, chicken broth, lime zest and garlic in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover for 20 minutes. Fluff with fork and in a small bowl combine sugar, lime juice and cilantro then toss with the rice. Serve.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Hot Fudge Sauce

I had never made homemade hot fudge when I tried this. It is so rich and delicious, it was dificult for me to stay out of it. No matter how hard I tried, it seemed to be staring at me everytime I opened the fridge. It is worth the effort to make this over store bought hot fudge.

Hot Fudge

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
4 ounces (about 2/3 cup) semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped and divided
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 Tablespoon. vanilla extract

Mix sugar, cocoa and salt in a heavy saucepan. Whisk in the water and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cream, corn syrup, vinegar and about 1/3 cup of the chocolate.

Return to medium-high heat and boil for 5-7 minutes, whisking until it is thick and sticky and the bubbles are small. . Remove from the heat and add the rest of the chopped chocolate, butter, and vanilla. Whisk until smooth. Serve at once, or let cool. Cover and refrigerate up to 2 weeks.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Pie Filling Fruit Salad

This is the easiest fruit salad to put together yet it is so rich and sweet and yummy! To be honest, it is more of a dessert than a salad but I say serve it up as a fruit salad and have something even sweeter and richer for dessert, but that is just my humble, dessert loving opinion. If you need a last minute side dish for your Easter meal, this would be a good one.

Pie Filling Fruit Salad

1 can cherry pie filling
1 can crushed pineapple
1 large container Cool Whip Light
1 can fat free sweetened condensed milk
4 large bananas
2 to 3 cups mini marshmallows

Combine Cool Whip and sweetened condensed milk, add pie filling, crushed pineapple and marshmallows. Stir until combined. Chill until serving. Slice bananas and combine just before serving.

You can also add fruit cocktail and/or mandarin oranges if you like them. Adapt it to your taste.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Sour Cream Noodle Bake

The Pioneer Woman posted this recipe recently. I wanted to try it because it looked really fast and easy. It was also quite delicious, comfort food at its best. I changed the original recipe just a bit for our taste. I think I had this all assembled in about 15 minutes, it is great for those busy weeknights when you want something fast to throw together yet everyone loves. Even tastier for leftovers. This recipe fed my family of 6 with leftovers for a couple of us the next day.
Sour Cream Noodle Bake

1 package egg noodles

1 pound ground beef

1/2 teaspoon salt

fresh ground pepper

2 garlic cloves

2 small cans tomato sauce (not spaghetti sauce, just plain ol' tomato sauce)

1/2 cup sour cream

1 1/4 cup cottage cheese

1/2 cup green onions, sliced

1 small bag frozen corn

1 cup shredded cheese ( I used cheddar)

Brown ground beef in skillet with garlic cloves. Drain fat and add tomato sauce, salt and pepper and allow to simmer while you prepare the rest. Cook egg noodles al dente. Drain pasta and toss with the cottage cheese, sour cream, fresh ground pepper and green onions.

Add half the noodle mixture to a baking dish, top with half the ground beef, top with cheese then frozen corn. Finish with the remainder of the noodles, ground beef and top with more cheese.

Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes until cheese is melted.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Cookies 'n Creme Cookies

I was eyeing a box of cookies 'n creme pudding in my pantry and these cookies came to me. If you like the ice cream flavor I am certain you will love these. They are soft, sweet and chalk full of white chocolate and Oreo cookies! I thought it would be silly to make cookies with cookies in them. Silly or not, they are so good! I had a ton of neighborhood friends at our house yesterday and thought if I made a batch they could eat them all for me but then when I tasted them I was disappointed that I gave them all away. What did I do? Made them again today! Unfortunately, there were no friends over today and I ate way more than my fair share of them. Totally worth the calories, my friends.

Cookies 'n Creme cookies

2 1/4 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

1 (4.2 ounce) package Cookies 'n Creme pudding mix

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups white chocolate chips

15 Oreo cookies, very coarsly chopped

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugars, add pudding mix until blended. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and baking soda with a whisk then add it to the butter mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips and Oreo cookies. Drop cookies by rounded spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes in preheated oven until cookies tops barely have a touch of brown. Makes 3 dozen cookies.

Tell me you don't want to eat a big spoonful of this cookie dough:

Friday, March 25, 2011

My sister in law, Dawn is starting up cake classes! She is a culinary school graduate and pastry chef extrordinaire. I am SO excited, I am taking them all. I can't wait to learn how to make a cake that not only looks good, but tastes divine. I wonder if she is offering them so I will stop asking her to make my kids cakes, just kidding - she is way too nice and generous. I have been so lucky to have her near by, she has spoiled us on many occasions with cakes for my kids birthday parites. I am taking the Tuesday class so if you like the Utah, come join me! Here are just a few of her cakes and all the details, in her words:

I am starting to teach cake classes out of my home in West Jordan. I am starting with a "beginner" class, and will add more advanced classes shortly, such as a rolled fondant class. The advanced classes will require that you take the beginner courses first. These are hands on classes!

The beginner class will be a 2 part class. The first class will teach you about professional cake pans and basics of baking a cake. You will then learn how to make chocolate mousse and learn how to layer and fill a cake. Then we will talk about cupcakes and you will learn how to fill cupcakes with chocolate mousse, and learn how to make American buttercream. You will get to fill with mousse and decorate 6 cupcakes to take home that night.

In the second class I will bring out the cake that you layered in the first class, and I will teach you how to make Italian buttercream. You will then learn how to frost a cake using a decorating turntable. You will learn some easy, fun, basic decorating ideas. You will get to take home your finished cake that night.

The beginner class (both parts) cost: $50

My first session will be Tuesday April 5th (part 1), and Tuesday April 12th (part 2). Both of these start at 7 p.m.
I also have a Saturday session on April 23rd (part 1), and April 30th (part 2). Both of these start at 9 a.m.

Class is available for ages 16 and up, and no children or babies please.

I only have 5 spots available for each session. You would need to be able to attend both consecutive classes. I will have all the supplies you need for the class - just bring an apron!

Feel free to call or email me with any questions, and please forward information on to anyone you know that would be interested. If you would like a special session and have a group of 5 people that can do that specific session, I am more than happy to accomodate your requested date, and make it a private session.

Please leave me a comment with your email address if you're interested and I will contact you.

If I have enough interest for classes in Phoenix, I would consider going down there :)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Spinach Lasagna Rolls, healthy version

I made this for dinner last week and it was wonderful! A friend recommended it and I am so glad she did. It is a healthy, low fat, meatless meal and was so easy to put together. I will make this regularly. All of my kids loved it. It comes from They have 6 Weight Watchers points ( on the new point scale) for those of you point counters.

Spinach Lasagna Rolls

10 lasagna noodles, cooked
10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and completely drained
15 oz fat free ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg
salt and fresh pepper
1 jar spaghetti sauce

9 tbsp part skim mozzarella cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine spinach, ricotta, Parmesan, egg, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Ladle about 1 cup sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish.

Place a piece of wax paper on the counter and lay out lasagna noodles. Make sure noodles are dry. Take 1/3 cup of ricotta mixture and spread evenly over noodle. Roll carefully and place seam side down onto the baking dish. Repeat with remaining noodles.

Ladle sauce over the noodles in the baking dish and top each one with 1 tbsp mozzarella cheese. Put foil over baking dish and bake for 40 minutes, or until cheese melts. Makes 9 rolls.

To serve, ladle a little sauce on the plate and top with lasagna roll.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Chicken Fried Rice

My mom made this for us a couple of weeks ago and it was so wonderful! I am craving it right now and everytime I am reminded of it. It is the most requested recipe on local morning program, GOOD THINGS UTAH. Thanks mom for sharing this awesome dinner with us!

Nicea's Favorite Fried Rice

1-2 Chicken breasts or 10 Chicken Tenders
3 Scrambled eggs
2 Carrots (finely grated)
½ White onion (finely chopped)
¾ cup Frozen peas
½ cup Butter
1-2 Garlic cloves (crushed)
or 1 tsp. garlic Powder
2 cups White rice (not instant)

Marinate chicken in soy sauce, if you do not have much time, mix it with chicken before cooking
In a large frying pan Cook chicken in small amount of olive oil, add carrots and onions and sauté until clear
Add frozen peas and cook until soft.
In a separate pan cook rice then add to the mixture
In another pan, scramble three eggs, chop finely and add to mixture
Melt 1/2 cup butter, add crushed garlic cloves to butter, stir and add to mixture
Mix all together well, add soy sauce to taste and Enjoy.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Mongolian Beef

This recipe comes from my friend Petra, she got it from She posted it on her blog as a copycat recipe of P.F. Chang's Mongolian Beef. I knew it would be yummy since it came from Petra. The sauce is a dream come true. I ate some of the beef then loaded my plate with stir fry veggies and rice and poured the extra sauce over it. (I made extra sauce just for that reason)

Mongolian Beef

2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon ginger, minced
1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
vegetable oil, for frying (about 1 cup)
1 lb flank steak
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 large green onions

Make the sauce by heating 2 tsp of vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over med/low heat. Don't get the oil too hot. Add ginger and garlic to the pan and quickly add the soy sauce and water before the garlic scorches. Dissolve the brown sugar in the sauce, then raise the heat to about medium and boil the sauce for 2-3 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Remove it from the heat.

Slice the flank steak against the grain into 1/4" thick bite-size slices. Dip the steak pieces into the cornstarch to apply a very thin dusting to both sides of each piece of beef. Let the beef sit for about 10 minutes so that the cornstarch sticks. As the beef sits, heat up one cup of oil in a wok (you may also use a skillet for this step as long as the beef will be mostly covered with oil). Heat the oil over medium heat until it's nice and hot, but not smoking. Add the beef to the oil and sauté for just two minutes, or until the beef just begins to darken on the edges. You don't need a thorough cooking here since the beef is going to go back on the heat later. Stir the meat around a little so that it cooks evenly. After a couple minutes, use a large slotted spoon to take the meat out and onto paper towels, then pour the oil out of the wok or skillet.

Put the pan back over the heat, dump the meat back into it and simmer for one minute. Add the sauce, cook for one minute while stirring, then add all the green onions. Cook for one more minute, then remove the beef and onions with tongs or a slotted spoon to a serving plate.
Enjoy! :)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Cinnamon Syrup

I am a day late in posting this since yesterday was national pancake day. I made this syrup after eating at a bakery, Kneaders. They serve french toast with a cinnamon syrup and it is the best breakfast I have ever had in my life. We go there on special occasions now and I look forward to each and every one. They sell the syrup at the bakery so I looked at the ingredient list. These are the same ingredients and I think the results are very similar to Keanders syrup. This syrup will turn your pancakes or waffles into something extra yummy and cinnamon roll-ish.

Cinnamon Syrup

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 (5 ounce) can evaporated milk

In a saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, water and cinnamon. Bring to a boil over medium heat stir for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes. Stir in evaporated milk.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Chicken Chow Mein

We had this a couple of weeks ago for dinner and it was great. The whole family loved it and it was also good as leftovers the next day. I got it from T.D.F. Recipes to die for and everything I have tried from her has been great.

Chicken Vegetable Chow Mein

1 pkg spaghetti (or udon noodles if you want to get fancy)
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into really thin strips
2 tbs cornstarch
2 tbs oil
1 small onion, cut in half, then sliced (half moon shaped)
3 garlic cloves, sliced
3/4 head napa cabbage, thinly shredded
1 1/2 c frozen Chinese snow peas (or any vegetable you want)
1 carrot, peeled, and sliced into matchstick size
2 1/2 tbs soy sauce
2 1/2 tbs rice wine vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
salt and pepper

Cook spaghetti according to package directions, making sure to add plenty of salt to the boiling water to flavor the noodles. While noodles are cooking season chicken with salt and pepper, and toss with cornstarch. Heat 2 tbs oil in wok or large skillet on high. Cook chicken until brown and crispy, (this takes about 10 minutes). Remove chicken onto a plate with slotted spoon. Add onion, carrot and garlic and stir fry for 3-4 minutes, then add cabbage, stir fry for 3 minutes or until tender. Add chicken, frozen vegetables, cooked, drained noodles, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, and soy sauce. Toss until noodles and vegetables are warmed through, about 3 minutes. Serve!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Sugar Cookie Truffles and more

Here are some ideas for Valentine truffles, they may seem totally unnecessary and even ridiculous. Well, they are AND they taste that way - unnecessarily and ridiculously delicious! Every single combination is as good as the next so mix, match and enjoy!

Sugar Cookie/ Chocolate chip Cookie/Brownie/Rice Krispie treat Truffles

For these, it is really up to you what combination you want to do. For the center you can use sugar cookies, chocolate chip cookies, brownies and/or rice krispie treats and any combination of the four.

Here are a list of suggestions:

These are chocolate chip cookies wrapped in brownies and dipped in chocolate. I told you it was totally ridiculous! Make a batch of small cookies (I used Betty Crocker cookie pouch to make it easy and they are so delicious) Allow them to cool enough to handle but still warm enough to form in a ball. To make a ball, I just pressed them into a round teaspoon. Freeze cookie balls. When frozen, take a scoop of prepared brownies (again, warm enough to mold, cool enough to handle) Form brownie around cookie dough. Freeze again until firm. Dip in chocolate! This version was my favorite. Or maybe the sugar cookie ones are. Wait, I think it may be the chocolate chip cookie kind, I can't decide.

Here are sugar cookie truffles, which are wonderful. Make a batch of drop sugar cookies (again, I just used a Betty Crocker pouch, so yummy!) When cool enough to handle, form into a ball. Freeze cookie balls then dip in chocolate.

Brownie stuffed rice krispie treat truffles:

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Pasta Taco Salad

This is the first time I have had a mexican pasta and it certainly won't be the last. This is definitely part of my regular rotation now. I loved it for dinner and I loved it the next day for lunch. It will be great in the summer because you don't need the oven and I like having meatless meals on the menu.

Pasta Taco Salad

1 pound pasta (bowtie, wagonwheel or spiral)
1 (10-ounce) package frozen corn
1½ cups salsa (I reccomend making this and using it, I make up a batch every Saturday and never buy jarred salsa anymore after finding it)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
3 roma tomatoes, diced
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 large avocado, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup olive oil

1. Cook pasta according to package directions with 1 Tablespoon of salt. Drain pasta and stir the corn in frozen to cool pasta and defrost corn. Toss the pasta with salsa then the beans, tomatoes, cilantro, and cheese.

2. Toss the avacado with the lime juice, remove avacado and add to pasta. With remaining lime juice, add spices, garlic, and ½ teaspoon salt, then slowly whisk in the oil. Add dressing to pasta. Serve immediately. Stays well for up to 1 day in fridge, longer if you keep the avacado separate.

adapted from: The Way the Cookie Crumbles

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Raise your hand if you love peanut butter M&M's! These chocolate cookies are my new favorite chocolate cookie. These are delicious with white chocolate peanut butter cups, white chocolate chips, mint chips, you name it. These cookies always turn out soft and chewy and we love them.
This version has peanut butter chips in the dough and I topped them with peanut butter M&M's.

Soft and Chewy Chocolate Cookies
3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 cups chocolate chips
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

1.In a large saucepan over low heat, combine butter, sugar and water until butter is melted. Add chocolate chips and stir until partially melted. Remove from heat and continue to stir until chocolate is completely melted. Transfer into a large bowl and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.

2.Add eggs to cooled chocolate mixture and beat on high, one at a time. Reduce speed to low and add dry ingredients, beating until blended. Add your choice of mix in (peanut butter chips, chopped white chocolate peanut butter cups, or other type of chip or candy) Place cookie doug in refrigerator for 1 hour.

3.Preheat oven to 350 degrees

4.Roll dough into balls and place about 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes.

Chicken Pasta Salad

It is safe to say that this is my new absolute favorite chicken pasta salad. It is SO wonderful and the whole family agrees. It came from a wonderful cooking blog, The Recipe Shoebox. She had a post with her families most favorite meals of all time and this was one of them. I am so glad I tried it, it will become a regular around here. Next up, I need to make the other meals on her list of favorites. I love that I can make it in the summer and the only heat required is from boiling water for the pasta. It is very easy and fast to make. I used 1 can of Costco chicken which made it that much easier. I am sure it gets better with time, but I sent the leftovers to work with my husband so I didn't get the priviledge of finding out.

Chicken Pasta Salad

1 lb. cooked, shredded chicken (or 1can of Costco chicken)
1 lb. cooked rotini or bowtie noodles

2 heads broccoli, finely chopped

1 red pepper, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1/3 onion, chopped
1 can sliced olives
1 cup shredded cheese

1/3 - 1/2 cup ranch dressing (don't skip this--it's what holds it all together)

2 envelopes dry Italian dressing mix
6 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
4-1/2 Tbs. water
1/2 cup olive oil
Combine cooled chicken, chopped vegetables, and olives. Set aside. Whisk together dressing ingredients and pour over vegetables and chicken. Mix together. Add ranch dressing and cheese and fold together. Refrigerate 1 hour before serving Serves 8 - 10.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Gigi's Fabulous Caramel Cake

If you like sweet (and boy do I ever!) then you will LOVE this cake! It may be my favorite cake ever. I found it in a cookbook titled SOUTHERN CAKES. It is the most moist cake I have ever made and the frosting? It is has the taste and texture of brown sugar fudge and it is TO DIE FOR. I made it in a 9x13 pan and the frosting was a bit too thick (I can't belived I just said that), it would work best as a two layer cake or use a little less frosting if you make it as a 9x13.

Yellow Cake
3/4 cup butter
1 cup milk
2 cups sifted flour
2 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Gigi's Caramel Icing

1 pound of light brown sugar (about 2 2/3 cup)
1 stick of butter
7 Tablespoons evaporated milk
1teaspoon vanilla extract.


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a small saucepan over low heat, combine milk and butter until butter is melted. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt with a whisk. In a large bowl, mix eggs and sugar and beat well at high speed, scraping down bowl often until light yellow, smooth and thick. Add flour mixture to egg mixture and mix only until flour disappears. Add milk mixture and vanilla, stir well and pour into a well greased 9x13 or two 9 inch round pans.

Cool in pan for 10 minutes on wire rack or towel then turn over and cool completely.

To make frosting:

In medium saucepan, combine brown sugar, butter, evaporated milk and vanilla. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring well. Lower heat to a gentle boil. Stir often for 7 minutes, remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes. With a wooded spoon, beat frosting for several minutes until it thickens. Quickly frost cake, it will set quickly and harden similar to the consistency of fudge.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

I made the Paula Deen version of this salad about a year ago and it was so good. We had a family Christmas party and my cousin brought it and reminded me just how much I love it. This version is adapted from one I found on and it is my favorite one I have made. It is much more like dessert than fruit salad. When I put mine in the fridge to set it was lopsided so the piece pictured has an extra thick layer of the jello. You have to trust me that it tastes much better than this picture makes it look.
Strawberry Pretzel Salad
1 1/2 cups crushed pretzels
5 tablespoons brown sugar
3/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup white sugar
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 (6 ounce) package strawberry flavored gelatin
2 cups boiling water
1 (16 ounce) package frozen sweetened strawberries
Mix pretzels, brown sugar and butter and press on the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes. Allow crust to cool completely.
In a medium bowl mix the cream cheese and white sugar until smooth. Fold in cool whip and spread on cooled crust. Put in fridge for about 30 minutes to allow it to set.
Boil water, add to jello and then add frozen strawberries. Stir to defrost strawberries then pour over cream cheese layer. Allow to set in fridge, about 1 hour.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Let's talk Super Bowl

Let's talk Super Bowl Food, that is. None of our teams made it to the super bowl this year so I am more concerned with the food and the commercials than the actual game. Here are some ideas for apetizers and main dishes.


Here is another appetizer for Superbowl. It can be thrown together quickly and if you like sun- dried tomatoes and fresh basil, this is for you. I toast the slices ever so slightly, I like soft, chewy bread as opposed to a crunchy bruschetta. These are like fancy little pizza bites.

Sun Dried Tomato Brushcetta

1 small, soft baguette
3 Tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup sun dried tomatoes
2 garlic cloves
1 Tablespoon balsalmic vinegar
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
3 to 4 large basil leaves, chopped
2 roma tomatoes, chopped
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Slice bread and toast lightly under broiler for a minute or so. Combine oil, sun dried tomatoes, vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic and basil in a microwave proof bowl. Microwave for 1 minute, until fragrant. Brush mixture over toasted bread slices, top with fresh roma tomatoes and then mozzarella cheese. Place under broiler again until cheese is slightly browned and bubbly.

Won Ton Chicken Tacos

I came up with this recipe for a recipe contest I entered (didn't win but don't let that defer you from trying these) These are so simple, fast and they are so additing. My kids could not get enough of them and neither could I, for that matter. Great for Superbowl Sunday!

Won Ton Chicken Tacos

1 can chicken

3 ounces cream cheese

1/4 cup salsa ( I highly reccomend this one)

1/4 tsp garlic salt

1/4 tsp cumin powder

1 package won tons

oil for frying

Drain chicken and mix with cream cheese, salsa and seasonings. Place about 2 teaspoons of mixture on wonton and fold into a triangle (wet the edges and seal by pinching or running your finger along edges) Fry in hot oil until light golden brown, they are done fast. Serve with salsa, sour cream and/or guacamole.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Turkey (or chicken) Soup

My mom made this after Thanksgiving with broth she made from the turkey. It is the most wonderful soup! I am going to make it with chicken broth soon because I can't wait until next November to have it again. ( I am behind on my recipes du to illnesses over the holidays, I still have Thanksgiving and Christmas food to post. Please bear with me while I catch up)

Turkey (or chicken) soup
3 quarts of turkey( or chicken) broth
3 medium onions, chopped
2 large carrots, diced
2 celery ribs, diced
1 cup butter, cubed
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups half-and-half cream
1 cup uncooked long grain rice
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
3/4 teaspoon pepper

In a large pot, saute the onions, carrots and celery in butter until tender. Reduce heat; stir in flour until blended. Gradually add 1 qt. of broth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
3.Add cream, rice, salt, bouillon, pepper, and remaining turkey broth. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30-35 minutes or until rice is tender.

To make turkey broth place turkey carcass in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 hour. Remove carcass and disgard.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Fudge Brownies with white chocolate chips

I apologize for posting desserts in January, I am probably not making any friends right now since most people are trying to eat healthy. I made these to bring to a church dinner we had with our Young Women and Young Men. I am a total box brownie person, I just don't see the point in making them from scratch when they taste so good from a box. I didn't a have a box and wanted to make something chocolate and you know what? I didn't even miss the box. In fact, I would make these again instead of a box any day! I came across this on Buns in my Oven. It caught my eye not only because her photo is incredibly delicious, but also because it was her most popular post last year. The recipe originally comes from King Arthur Flour. I adapted it slightly because I didn't have enought semi-sweet chocolate chips so I used white chocolate chips and I loved it.

Fudge Brownies with White Chocolate Chips

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups Flour
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup white chocolate chips

1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9" x 13" pan

2) In a saucepan set over low heat, melt the butter, then add the sugar. Stir over heat for a couple of minutes, don't let it bubble.

3) Crack the 4 eggs into a bowl, and beat them with the cocoa, salt, baking powder, and vanilla till smooth.

4) Add the hot butter/sugar mixture and mix until smooth.

5) Add the flour and chips. .

6) Bake the brownies for about 30 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack before cutting and serving.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

These are so delightful! The cookie is so chocolate-y and the filling is just divine. Luckily they only made 12 and were gone quickly after the kids came home from school or I may have eaten myself sick.

Chocolate Sandwich Cookie


1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla

Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar together. Add in egg and vanilla and mix until combined. Whisk flour, cocoa, and salt together in medium bowl. Add flour mixture to butter and sugar mixture and blend until combined. Chill dough 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Scoop dough into level tablespoons and roll into balls. Place on sheet about inches apart and flatten with the bottom of a glass. Bake for 11 minutes.
Cool completely.

3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. salt
1 small jar (7 ounces) marshmallow creme

Combine all ingredients in a bowl until smooth, refrigerate for about 30 minutes. Spread filling on cookie and top with second cookie to make a sandwich. Keep in refrigerator.

Makes 1 1/2 dozen sandwich cookies.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Winter Salad w/ Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing

This salad is my new all time favorite salad. The dressing, oh the dressing! I simply adore it. The combination of the lemon and dijon mustard along with the other ingredients is just too good. I have already made it four times since discovering it and am certain I will make it many, many more times. There is a blog that I read, Pedaling Fast and I Just noticed that she has a recipe section, it looks like I have been missing out! This salad came from there.

Winter Fruit Salad with Lemon Poppy seed Dressing
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 tsp diced green onion (or just onion)
1 tsp Dijon-style mustard
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup veg oil
1 Tbs poppy seeds
1 head Romain lettuce or a mixture of different kinds of lettuce
4 oz shredded Swiss cheese
1 cup slivered almonds. (or you can use cashews if you want)
1/4 cup dried cranberries (I actually used Craisins)
1 apple-peeled, cored and diced1 pear-peeled, cored and diced

1. In a blender or food processor, combine sugar, lemon juice, onion, mustard and salt. Process until well blended. Add oil in slow steady stream until mixture is thick and smooth. Add poppy seeds and process just a few seconds more to mix.
2. In a large serving bowl combine the lettuce, shredded Swiss cheese, almonds, dried cranberries, cubed apple and cubed pear. Toss to mix then pour dressing over salad just before serving and toss to coat.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

My Top Ten of 2010

I have come up with my 10 favorite recipes of 2010 except there are actually 15. I really wanted it to be more like 20 or 25 but I had to limit myself. These recipes are the ones that I tend to make over and over again and make for company because they I know they will turn out and everyone usually loves them.

Thanks for being a part of my blog this past year, I love having YOU come visit.

(These are in no particular order)

I am excited for 2011 and many more yummy recipes to come! I have some catching up to do from the Holidays, they were just too busy and everyone in my home was sick. After I get those posted it is on to some healthier recipes, with some fattening treats mixed in, of course!!

Happy New Year, thank you for being part of my blog.