Friday, December 28, 2012

Olive Garden's Salad

We made this salad for a dinner party, along with these Olive Garden breadsticks and this delicious spinach tomato tortellini.  Everyone raved about the food, and I thought the salad really was very close to the salad that Olive Garden serves, which I love!!

  • 1 bag American Blend Salad (Dole works well) 
  • 4-5 slices Red Onion 
  • 4-6 Black Olives 
  • 2-4 Pickled Pepperoncini or banana peppers
  • ½ cup Croutons 
  • 1 small Tomato sliced 
  • Freshly grated Parmesan Cheese 
  • ½ cup Mayonnaise 
  • ⅓ cup White Vinegar 
  • 1 tsp. Vegetable Oil 
  • 2 Tbsp. Corn Syrup 
  • 2 Tbsp. Parmesan Cheese 
  • 2 Tbsp. Romano Cheese 
  • 1 clove garlic minced 
  • ½ tsp. Italian Seasoning 
  • ½ tsp. Parsley Flakes 
  • 1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice 
  • Sugar (optional)

Chill a glass salad bowl in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.  While it's chilling, make the dressing first.  Mix all ingredients in a blender until well mixed (approximately 30 seconds). If this is a little to tart for your own personal tastes please add a little extra sugar. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Place the bag of salad in bowl. Place on top of the lettuce – red onion, black olives, pepperoncini or banana peppers, tomatoes, and croutons. Add some freshly grated Parmesan cheese if you like. Add plenty of Salad Dressing on top.  Enjoy!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Festive Mint Cream Dessert

I discovered this recipe today on pinterest, and can't wait to make it for a Christmas dinner party we are having! It sounds absolutely delicious!

Mint ice cream and colorful sprinkles make this cool concoction perfect for holiday parties or meals. For a chocolaty dessert, use rocky road or chocolate ice cream instead.

Original recipe and picture:


  • 3/4 cup butter, divided
  • 1 package (16 ounces) chocolate cream-filled sandwich cookies, crushed
  • 8 cups mint chocolate chip ice cream, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 3/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 carton (16 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • Chocolate syrup and red and green sprinkles, optional
  1. In a microwave, melt 1/2 cup butter. Stir in cookie crumbs. Press into a 13-in. x 9-in. dish. Freeze for 30 minutes or until firm. Spread ice cream over crust; return to the freezer until firm.
  2. In a large saucepan, combine chocolate chips, confectioners' sugar, milk and remaining butter. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Cook and stir for 3-5 minutes or until thickened. Cool to room temperature. When cool, spread over ice cream; return to freezer until firm.
  3. Spread whipped topping over ice cream (dish will be full). Cover and freeze for until firm or overnight.
  4. Remove from the freezer 15-20 minutes before serving. If desired, drizzle with chocolate syrup and top with sprinkles. Yield: 24 servings.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Gingerbread Men

I've never really found a gingerbread man recipe that I liked until last year. This recipe is from a woman in my ward in Denver, and it's wonderful. I made these cookies again tonight for my piano recital tomorrow.  The cookies are really easy to make, and I love the butterscotch pudding in here. The cookies come out very sweet and delicious and just the right amount of crunchy. Lovely! Katelee and I had a great time making these, and I was surprised at how quickly they went. Try them!
  • 3/4 c. butter, softened 
  • 3/4 c. brown sugar 
  • 1, 4 oz. package of instant Jell-O butterscotch pudding 
  • 1 egg 
  • 2 c. flour 
  • 1 tsp. baking soda 
  • 1 T. ground ginger 
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Beat the butter, brown sugar, pudding mix, and egg together. (Don't make the pudding, just pour the powder in.) Then gradually add the rest of the ingredients. Roll out on a clean countertop (no flour needed! That's my favorite part!) and cut into gingerbread men shapes or whatever shapes you want. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart, and bake for 8-12 minutes, depending on your oven. (I baked mine for 10 minutes in Denver, and 8 1/2 minutes in Utah.  As soon as the edges looked done, I whipped them out so they didn't get too crispy.)  Cool. Frost, if desired, or serve plain. Delicious!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Peppermint Brownies

I was lucky enough to acquire this recipe a couple of years ago, and without a doubt these are the best mint brownies I have ever tasted. 


Brownie layer:

1 cup butter
5 Tbsp cocoa
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp peppermint extract

Melt the butter and cocoa together.  Sir in eggs and sugar.  Add flour, salt, and peppermint.  Bake in a greased 9x13" pan at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.  Cool completely.

Mint Frosting:

2 cups powdered sugar
2 Tbsp evaporated milk
6 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
4 drops green food coloring

Mix all frosting ingredients until creamy and spread onto brownies.  Refrigerate for one hour.

Glaze topping:

6 Tbsp butter
1 cup chocolate chips

Melt together and then pour gently over green frosting.
Refrigerate again.

One thing I love about these brownies is how easy they are to cut; don't they look pretty in these little bags?  They didn't crumble like some other brownie recipes I have tried.

So, if you are trying to decide what to give your neighbors this year, need a dessert to take to the ward Christmas party, or simply want to make a delicious treat for your family, you know what recipe I would recommend!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Overnight Christmas Caramel French Toast

We had a church Christmas party this morning, and I was asked to make a couple of these casseroles for the breakfast meal.  They were simple to assemble, made my house smell heavenly and tasted simply delicious!  I think we are going to make this and an egg casserole for our Christmas morning breakfast this year!  Make it the night before and then just throw it in the oven in the morning - PERFECT for Christmas morning!

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 T. light corn syrup
  • 1 loaf of French Bread, cut into 12 slices
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
The night before:

Grease a 9x13 baking dish.  Cut your french bread into 12 equal slices.  In a small saucepan, bring the brown sugar, butter and corn syrup to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and pour into the greased baking dish.  Top with 6 slices of bread.  Combine the sugar and cinnamon, and sprinkle half the cinnamon sugar mixture over the bread.  Place remaining 6 slices of bread on top of the first 6 slices.  Sprinkle the remaining cinnamon sugar mixture on top of the bread.  In a large bowl, beat the eggs, milk, and vanilla.  Pour over the bread.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning:

Remove from the fridge 30 minutes before baking.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Bake, uncovered, for 30 - 35 minutes.  (You may need to bake it longer, depending on how much it "jiggles." 

Top with your favorite syrup and enjoy!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Butter Baked Chicken

I discovered a recipe like this somewhere on the internet, and tweaked it over time for my own tastes.  Here is the updated recipe we had for dinner yesterday.  Enjoy!  

  • 6-8 chicken breasts (I use boneless skinless)
  • 2 12 oz. cans evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 Family Sized can of Cream of Chicken soup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • mashed potatoes (optional)
Preheat oven to 425.  In a baking dish, place the butter, cut into smaller pieces.  Put the baking dish in the oven while it's preheating so the butter can melt.  (Check it every so often, though, so you don't burn the butter, you just want it nice and melted.)

Meanwhile, pour a little of the evaporated milk in a small dish...just enough to dip your chicken in. After you dip each piece of chicken in the milk, roll it in the flour seasoned with salt and pepper. Place in the baking dish on top of the melted butter and bake for 30 minutes at 425.

While the chicken is cooking, mix water, soup, and what's left of your evaporated milk together. Turn chicken over after 30 minutes of baking time and pour soup mixture on top. Bake for 30 more minutes until nice and golden brown.

This makes LOTS of yummy gravy! This should definitely be served with a side of creamy mashed potatoes to go along with it. Mmmmmm....

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Amazing Breadsticks

These are my new favorite breadsticks to make with our favorite Italian dinners.  These are made from ingredients you probably already have on hand and are simple and easy.  These restaurant-style breadsticks remind us of Olive Garden's breadsticks.  Delicious!

  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast 
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar 
  • 1/4 cup warm water 
  • 4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water 
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened 
  • 1 tablespoon salt 
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter 
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 

1. Dissolve yeast and sugar in 1/4 cup warm water in a large bowl. Let stand until the yeast softens and begins to form a creamy foam, about 15 minutes.
2. Add flour, 1 1/4 cup warm water, 2 tablespoons softened butter, and 1 tablespoon salt; knead until dough is well mixed and soft, about 3 minutes.
3. Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces. Knead each piece and shape into a 6-inch breadstick. Arrange breadsticks on a baking sheet; let rise for about 1 hour.
4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
5. Mix 3 tablespoons melted butter and garlic powder together in a bowl; brush onto breadsticks.
6. Bake breadsticks in the preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Immediately brush with remaining melted butter mixture; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt.

Monday, November 26, 2012

BEST Rice Krispie Treats Ever

My friend has discovered the formula for perfect, soft rice krispie treats.  Enjoy!!
  • 1 stick butter
  • 16 oz. mini marshmallows
  • 10.5 cups krispy rice cereal
Melt the butter and marshmallows over medium heat in a giant pot.  Remove from heat and stir in the rice krispies.   It will all just barely fit in a 9x13 pan (don't smash too hard - we're not making bricks!). Be sure to butter both the pan and your hands before transferring it. I didn't even use name brand cereal or marshmallows, but with the different marshmallow to cereal ratio, the vanilla flavor in the marshmallows really takes over and is awesome.  Super thick, super gooey treats.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookie FROSTING

I am planning a Cookie Monster cake for Blake's upcoming birthday.  I wanted to do something a little different with the frosting, something cookie-related.  So, I made up this frosting recipe.  We tried it today on cupcakes, and oh my it was delicious!  I will make this again; it's definitely a fun twist on plain ol' frosting.
  • 1/2 c. butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 c. shortening
  • 1 pound powdered sugar
  • 3 - 4 T. milk, or until the right texture
  • 1/2 tsp. butter vanilla gel (this is super yummy flavoring I buy at my local cake supply store.  However, an acceptable substitute would be 1 tsp. vanilla extract, or 1/2 tsp. vanilla + 1/2 tsp. butter extract.)
  • 2 - 3 chocolate chip cookies (mine were soft and warm from the oven and so crumbled into the frosting really easily.)
Cream the butter and shortening together.  Stir in the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla.  When it looks like frosting, dump in the chocolate chip cookies and mix well until no large pieces are left.  Frost on your cake or cupcake (or just eat by the spoonful if you're like Katelee :) and enjoy!

P.S. How adorable are these teeny tiny chocolate chip cookies?  I made them mostly for Blake's cookie monster cake - it's gonna be so cute!  :)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Baked Steak Fries

So, as promised, I am here to report that I tried the steak fries last night with our sloppy joes, and they were really yummy!  This recipe is quick and easy and a real crowd pleaser.  Blake gobbled these up, Katelee liked them, too, and even the adorable little two-year-old we were babysitting asked for more.  And Gerald and I thought they were super tasty as well!
  • 4 medium Russet potatoes, washed
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. chili powder (I was worried this would make them too spicy, but they really weren't.)
  • 1 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Wash potatoes well.  Cut potatoes into 8 wedges each. Mix the seasonings in a bowl.  Add the oil and mix well.  Add potato wedges to seasonings and toss to coat. Lightly crumple some aluminum foil and place on a baking sheet. (This crumpling tip is a GREAT one - your fries won't stick and will be more evenly baked - genius!) Spray with cooking spray and then arrange potato wedges on foil. This makes cleanup easy because your potatoes won’t stick and it will also ensures they’re cooked evenly.  Bake at 400 for about 40 minutes. Serve with ketchup, fry sauce, Ranch dressing, honey mustard…the sky’s the limit here!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Dressed Up Sloppy Joes

This is another great recipe from the amazing gals at Our Best Bites.  The whole family loved these.  Even Katelee ate it despite the fact that it contains green peppers - something she usually avoids like the plague!  :)  I thought these were better than the other sloppy joes I've tried in the past.  It was nice for something a little different on a busy night!  I tried the crockpot version, but I love that you can prepare this in a variety of ways depending on your schedule and what works for you.  Enjoy!

One thing I love about this recipe is that it’s versatile–you can make it in about 30 minutes, it can be semi-prepared and frozen and then cooked in the crockpot, or it can simmer in the crockpot for a few hours, whatever works best for you.
Dressed-Up Sloppy Joes
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • Seasoning salt to taste
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 1/2 green pepper, minced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 3/4 c. ketchup
  • 1 tsp. mustard
  • 3 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. red wine vinegar
  • 3/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1/3-1/2 c. water to reach desired consistency
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 6 hamburger buns 

Stovetop Instructions:
Brown ground beef with onion, green pepper, and garlic. Season to taste with seasoning salt. Add in mustard, ketchup, brown sugar, red wine vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce. Combine tomato paste and water and add to hamburger mixture. Add more water if desired. Season with freshly ground black pepper to taste. Cover, turn heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve on hamburger buns.
Crockpot Instructions:
Brown ground beef with onion, green pepper, and garlic. Season to taste with seasoning salt. Transfer to slow cooker. Add in remaining ingredients and combine well. Cook on low for 3-4 hours and serve on hamburger buns.
Freezer Instructions:
Brown ground beef with onion, green pepper, and garlic. Season to taste with seasoning salt. Transfer to a freezer-safe container. Add in remaining ingredients and combine well. Freeze. When ready to cook, transfer to a slow cooker and cook on low to 3-5 hours. Serve on hamburger buns.

We ate these with Our Best Bites sweet potato fries.  I have to admit, I wasn't a huge fan of the fries.  Something about the texture of the sweet potatoes was gross.  For me, they were a flop and I won't try them again, but we are going to have the leftover sloppy joes tonight and I'm going to try the steak fries.  I'll let you know if they turn out yummy!

Update: We loved the steak fries!  These sloppy joes go great with them.  For the recipe, click here.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

In the past year or so, baked potato soup has become my new personal favorite soup.  
In Denver, we lived across the street from a Panera, and anytime I was sick Gerald would pick up a tub of their loaded baked potato soup for me.  I've also had Kneaders version, and they are both delicious!  So, when I knew it was going to snow this weekend, I decided it was high time that I learned to make this delicious soup myself.  I was thrilled to find that Our Best Bites had a recipe; I knew it was bound to be great, and it was!  I tweaked their recipe a little bit, but mostly used their recipe as is.  I love that this recipe isn't horribly fattening, as some others I've seen are, but that it is still rich and flavorful.  (Click on the above link to see the full instructions/pictures on Our Best Bites.)

I hope you give this a try.  My family LOVED it, and it is definitely one we'll make again soon!
  • 3 Tbs butter
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 C flour
  • 4 1/2 C milk (low fat works great)
  • 1 14oz can chicken broth
  • 4 medium baking potatoes (about 2 1/2 pounds) baked*
  • 2 C grated cheddar (or sharp cheddar) cheese, divided
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 1/2 C  sour cream (low fat is fine), divided
  • 1/2 C chopped green onions, divided
  • 8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled, divided
*don’t have time to bake potatoes in the oven?  Just pierce them with a fork a few times and then pop them in the microwave.  Cook in 5 minute intervals until a knife easily pierces through them.  It usually takes 5-10 minutes.  To bake in the oven, pierce each potato with a fork and place directly on oven rack.  Bake at 375 for 45-60 minutes.
Melt butter in a stock pot over medium heat.  Add garlic and saute for 30-60 seconds until fragrant.  Add flour to pan.  Slowly add milk a little at a time while whisking constantly to eliminate lumps.   Whisk until smooth and then add chicken broth. (Now, if you get to this point and don’t have a smooth liquid.  Stop!  Save your soup by popping the mixture in the blender, then continue.)  Bring soup just to a simmer and heat until thickened, stirring often, about 5 minutes. (Jennifer's note: my didn't thicken as much as I thought it would at this point.  I cooked it for about 15 minutes and it wasn't getting any thicker, so I added a bit more flour and then went ahead and added the potatoes.  In the end, it turned out perfectly.)

Once soup is thickened, turn heat down to medium-low.  Cut potatoes in half length-wise and use a spoon to scoop out potato flesh into the pot.  Use a wooden spoon to smash potatoes, breaking up large clumps.  (Note: there will be some lumps.  As long as they are bite sized, I think that's great, even preferable!  But don't expect pureed potatoes, think lumpy mashed potatoes.)  Add 1 1/2 C grated cheese (I added more like 1 3/4 c.) and salt and pepper and stir until cheese is melted.  Remove pan from heat and stir in 3/4 C sour cream, 1/4 C green onions, and 4 strips of the crumbled bacon (I added all 8 strips of crumbled bacon now, and crumbled an extra piece or two on top later.)  Add additional salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls and top with each serving with the remaining sour cream, onions, cheese, and bacon.

Leftovers?  I'm freezing mine in single portions for a quick and yummy lunch!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Homemade Hot Chocolate - 1 serving

It is a yucky, stormy morning at my house today.  On a morning like this, it's nice to give my family a warm cup of hot cocoa with their breakfast before going out in the cold.  I don't generally have cocoa mix on hand, unless it's been a gift, so this is my 'quick and easy' hot cocoa that I make for my family on a cold and busy morning.

  • 1 cup of milk 
I do this in a mug in the microwave.  I stir it about every 45 - 60 seconds and check the temperature until it's as hot as I want it.

Meanwhile, while it's heating up, mix the following ingredients together in a small bowl:
  • 2 T. sugar
  • 2 T. baking cocoa (I always buy the Hershey's brand.  Don't know how much difference this makes; other baking cocoas may have slightly different strengths or flavors?)
  • dash salt
After the milk is heated to the right temperature, stir in the sugar/cocoa mixture.  Add:
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract and stir well.  
Top with marshmallows or whipped cream if desired and enjoy!

I've also been experimenting with adding less (or no) vanilla and substituting other extracts.  Peppermint, mint or almond extracts are yummy!  My personal favorite combination is 1/8 tsp. vanilla and 1/8 tsp. orange extract.  Gerald likes raspberry extract; Katelee likes strawberry extract.

So if it's cold and stormy at your house today (or even if it's not!), go make a cup of hot chocolate and cozy up. 

This recipe is found on the can of Hershey's baking cocoa.  Also, I borrowed this image from

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Stuffed French Toast

Looking for a delicious breakfast to make for general conference weekend that won't mean slaving in the kitchen all morning?  Look no further!

One of my favorite breakfasts ever is french toast.  This stuffed french toast recipe takes a really good thing and makes it extraordinary.  This is a great breakfast to serve to guests, because it's not difficult or expensive to make, but it looks fancy and it tastes soooooooooooooooo delicious!

Just look at this beautiful picture that I stole from the Tasty Kitchen website:

Yes, that is pretty much exactly how mine look, too!  It's not one of those scrumptious looking photos that are impossible to duplicate in real life.  :)

I found this recipe on the Tasty Kitchen website.  You can click HERE to see step-by-step instructions with pictures.

  • 1 loaf French or Italian Bread 
  • 6 Tablespoons Any Flavor Fruit Spread (You Can Also Use Jelly, Jam, Or Fresh Fruit) I used my homemade strawberry jam
  • 1/2 cup fresh fruit (optional) I used 1/2 cup of sliced strawberries, mixed with a little sugar
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature 
  • 2 whole eggs 
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon 
  • ½ cup skim milk 
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
Heat skillet or electric griddle to 325 to 350 degrees. Cut french bread into 2-3 inch wide slices. You should get about six pieces from a loaf of French or Italian bred, minus the end pieces.  Then, with a paring knife, go back and cut halfway into each slice, in the center, creating a ‘pocket’ that your fruit mixture can be stuffed into. In a bowl, place the room temperature cream cheese and fruit spread of your choice. Combine well. In a separate bowl, break 2 eggs; add cinnamon and milk and combine well. Now, take the fruit and cream cheese mixture and stuff into the ‘pockets’ of your french bread slices. If using fresh fruit, stuff a couple Tablespoons in as pocket as well.  Place on a plate or baking sheet. Put 2 tbsp (you can use less!) of butter into a hot skillet and melt completely. When done stuffing each piece of bread, completely dip each piece in the egg mixture for about 20 seconds on each side.. Make sure all sides are covered. Fry each piece immediately after dipping.  In other words, don't dip until you're ready to put it on a hot skillet; it'll get too soggy!  Add all of the bread to the skillet and cook roughly about 3-6 minutes on each side, until it reaches a nice golden brown. You want to make sure the cream cheese mixture heats through. When done cooking, serve immediately.

I always reserve a few sliced strawberries to place on top with some slivered almonds.  Then I dust the tops with powdered sugar, as shown in the picture.  They look so pretty!  Finally, my favorite syrup to serve with stuffed french toast is my homemade syrup I use for pumpkin waffles.  You can find the recipe here.  I think this syrup is the perfect flavor to compliment the french toast and leave your family and/or guests raving!  Enjoy!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

English Muffin Breakfast Pizzas

I am always on the lookout for new breakfast ideas.  I like to send Gerald to work and Katelee to school most mornings with a hot meal in their stomachs, but mornings can be crazy.  So I love it when I find more quick and easy breakfast recipes to add to our usual line up.

This recipe we tried last week, and we LOVED them.  I found this recipe on from Our Best Bites, and like everything they do, it's WONDERFUL!

  • 6 whole wheat English muffins at room temperature 
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature 
  • 2 tablespoons milk 
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt 
  • About 10 dashes Tabasco sauce (I didn't have this on hand, and so didn't use it.  I'm sure it would add some kick, but they were still yummy without it!)
  • 12 thin deli slices of ham or 10-12 slices of cooked bacon, crumbled 
  • 3/4-1 c. shredded cheddar or pepper jack cheese 
  • Optional: Chopped vegetables like green onions, tomatoes, sliced olives, mushrooms, green peppers, etc. 
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray liberally with non-stick cooking spray or brush with oil or melted butter. Set aside. In a pie plate, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, and Tabasco sauce. Gently pull apart each English muffin and soak each side (like you would for French toast) in the egg mixture–you want the egg mixture to soak into the bread, but you don’t want the English muffin to be completely falling apart. Place the muffin, cut side up, on the baking sheet. If using ham, slice the ham into thin strips and then place on top of the English muffins. If using bacon, just sprinkle the crumbled bacon on top. Add any additional desired toppings and then sprinkle with shredded cheese. Bake for 15 minutes and serve immediately.

THIS IS THE BEST PART!!  You can make these and FREEZE them for another busy morning.  AWESOME! 

FREEZER INSTRUCTIONS: After baking, loosen them from the baking sheet with a spatula and then allow them to cool completely. Transfer the baking sheet to the freezer. When the pizzas are solid, transfer them to a large Ziploc freezer bag. To reheat, place on a plate and microwave for 1 1/2 minutes at a time until the pizza is heated through (actual time will depend on how powerful your microwave is).

Monday, September 17, 2012

Spinach Tomato Tortellini

Believe it or not, this time this is not a Grandma Klingler recipe.  Before you get all disappointed, however, this meal comes HIGHLY recommended to me from two of my friends who happen to be amazing cooks.  I can't wait to try it!  The recipe is from All Recipes, and here is the link in case you want to view the picture and/or comments.

  • 1 (16 ounce) package cheese tortellini 
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes with garlic and onion 
  • 1 cup chopped fresh spinach 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil 
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic 
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 
  • 3/4 cup milk 
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream 
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the tortellini, and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. While you get the tortellini going, combine the tomatoes, spinach, salt, pepper, basil and garlic in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook and stir until the mixture begins to bubble. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, milk and cream. Stir this mixture into the saucepan along with the Parmesan cheese. Heat through, then reduce heat to low, and simmer until thick, about 2 minutes. Drain the tortellini, but do not rinse, then pour them into the saucepan with the sauce. Stir to coat, and serve.


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Grandma's Sausage Dip

Grandma says, "Every time I make this I get requests for this recipe!"

  • 1 lb. sausage
  • 2 cans chopped green chilies
  • 1 lb. sour cream
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 med. onion, diced 
  • 3 med. tomatoes, chopped
Cook sausage, onion and green pepper.  Stir in green chilies, cream cheese, and sour cream. Heat through. Pour into small crock pot and put on low heat to serve. (It's better if served warm). Just before serving stir in the tomatoes.  Pour a big bowl of nacho chips and get ready to enjoy a real treat!

YUM!  Sounds great for football season!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

Aunt Dori recommended this on facebook as a GREAT meal her kids love that she found on pinterest.  We tried it and love it too!

Coat 9 x 13 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Spread 2 cups cooked rice in bottom of baking dish. Arrange 3 cups cooked chicken pieces over top of rice. Layer 6 slices of Swiss cheese on top of chicken. Then layer 10 slices of cut-up ham on top of the Swiss cheese. Mix 2 cans cream of chicken soup, 1/2 cup milk, and 1/2 cup sour cream together. Spread on top of ham. Crush 10 saltine crackers then add 1/2 teaspoon paprika, 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt, and 1/2 teaspoon parsley and mix together. Sprinkle on top of soup mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Enjoy!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Frosted Banana Bars

This cake-like dessert was my personal favorite at the reunion.  It is SO addicting!
  • 1/2 c. butter, softened 
  • 1 1/2 c. sugar 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1 c. sour cream 
  • 1 tsp. vanilla 
  • 2 c. flour 
  • 1 tsp. baking soda 
  • 1/4 tsp. salt 
  • 2 medium ripe bananas, mashed 
 In mixing bowl cream butter, eggs and sugar. Add sour cream and vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda and salt. Gradually add to the creamed mixture. Stir in bananas. Spread into greased and floured 9x12, baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 min. or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool.

  • 1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened 
  • 1/2 c. butter, softened 
  • 2 tp. vanilla 
  • 3 3/4 to 4 c. powdered sugar 
In a mixing bowl beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla. Gradually beat in enough powdered sugar to achieve desired consistency. Frost cake and store in refrigerator.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

Here is a scrumptious dessert from Grandma Klingler!

  • 1 yellow cake mix 
  • 1 small package INSTANT lemon pudding 
  • 1/3 c. flour 
  • 1/3 c. oil 
  • 1 1/4 c. water 
  • 4 eggs 
  • 3 to 4 Tbs. Poppy Seeds 
Mix together. Spray bundt pan with cooking spray. Pour batter into pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 min or until toothpick comes out clean. Take out and let sit for a few min. before dumping out onto a cake plate. Poke holes in top with a toothpick. Pour glaze on top of cake.

  • 1 1/2 c. powdered sugar 
  • 3 Tbs. Lemon juice 
Mix and pour over top of cake.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Chicken and Apples Salad with Honey-Lime Dressing

Another great salad from Grandma Klingler!

Chicken and Apple salad

  • 2 lbs. Chicken tenders                 
  • 1 (7 oz.) round Gouda cheese (I have also used Mozzarella)     
  • 1/2 c. celery diced          
  • 1/2 c. seedless grapes, halved  
  • 2 tart apples, cored and cubed    
  • 1 (8 oz.) bowtie pasta, cooked and cooled                              
  • 1 can pineapple tidbits    
  • 2/3 c sliced almonds
Honey-Lime Dressing
  • 1 c. Mayonnaise      
  • 1/4 c. sour cream        
  • 3 Tbs. lime juice      
  • 3 Tbs. honey   
  • 1 Tbs. popy seeds
Combine all ingredients. Stir in honey-lime dressing. Garnish with lemon twists and avocado slices.  (Note: for best results add dressing just before serving.)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Outback Wedge Salad

Grandma says, "This is one of my favorite salads! I haven't made it yet, but looked up the recipe after going to dinner at "Out Back"  last week."

For the Blue Cheese Dressing 
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise 
  • 1/2 cup sour cream 
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk 
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar 
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce 
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder 
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder 
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard 
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 2 teaspoons sugar 
  • 6 ounces crumbled blue cheese 
In a large bowl, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, and buttermilk. Mix well. Next, thoroughly mix in the remainder of the ingredients. Afterwards, refrigerate the dressing for up to 24 hours before serving for best flavor.

For the Salad 
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce, cut into 4 equal wedges 
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved (blah, yuck...left these out :) Ha ha!  Really, grandma?  Grape tomatoes are delicious! ;)
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion 
  • 8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled 
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar 
  • 6 ounces crumbled blue cheese 
  • Black pepper to taste 
First, you need to cook the balsamic vinegar into a glaze. Heat the balsamic vinegar in a saucepan on medium heat. Cook until reduced by half, then remove from heat and allow to cool. Meanwhile, place the iceberg lettuce wedge on a serving dish. Then liberally pour blue cheese dressing over top of wedges. Next, top with halved tomatoes, chopped onion, crumbled blue cheese, and crumbled bacon. Drizzle a little of the balsamic glaze on top of the wedge, and sprinkle with black pepper. Eat immediately or it will go soggy!
Grandma's Note *Another of my favorite salads was served at Taylor's Christmas Bridal Shower in St. George and when I asked for the recipe her aunt told me where to find this great cookbook at Thi Pans. It has lots of wonderful recipes. "The Gathering of Friends" Volume One by Michele Huxtable & Alyse Christensen.  That is where this recipe comes from.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Grandma Klingler's Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 2 C butter 
  • 2 C Brown sugar 
  • 2 C White sugar 
  • 4 eggs 
Cream all together
  • 2 tsp baking soda 
  • 2 tsp baking powder 
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • 2 tsp vanilla 
Mix well into sugar mixture. Then stir in:
  • 5 to 6 cups of flour, until right consistency for cookie dough. 
  • Chocolate chips and nuts 
Drop by teaspoons onto cookie sheet. Bake for 11 min. at 350 degrees.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Grandma Klingler's Enchiladas

I wasn't there for this meal, so I can't wait to try them myself sometime soon!
  • 2 cans Cream of Chicken Soup 
  • 2 cups sour cream 
  • 1 (7 oz) can diced green chilies 
  • 1 can sliced olives 
  • 4 to 6 green onions 
  •  4 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed 
  • 1 dz. small size flour tortillias 
  •  3/4 lb. Montery Jack Cheese 
  • 3/4 lb. Cheddar cheese *I used all medium Cheddar Cheese 
Mix first 4 ingredients together. Take 1 1/2 cups out and set aside for topping. Add most of the cheese and the chicken to the remaining sauce mixture. Spray baking dish with cooking spray, spread some of the soup mixture on the bottom. Fill tortillas with chicken, soup mixture, roll and lay in dish. Spread remaining sauce over top of enchiladas. Cover with cheese and garnish with green onions. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 min.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Grandma's Buttermilk Caramel Pancake Syrup

Caramel? Buttermilk? Syrup?  How can this not be heavenly?  Oooo this was TASTY!

  • 1/2 C. Buttermilk 
  • 1/3 C. brown sugar 
  • 1/3 C. white sugar 
  • 2 TBS. butter 
  • 1/3 tsp. baking soda 
  • 1/3 tsp. vanilla 

Bring first four ingredients to a boil, constantly stirring for 1 minute. Remove from heat, whisk in soda and vanilla. The syrup will bubble up and then thicken as it cools.

Note: For a vanilla or white syrup use all white sugar. Both are delicious.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Grandma Klingler's Berry Cream Salad

While at the family reunion in Idaho this summer, Grandma Klingler wowed us all with one delicious, irresistible recipe after another!  When she asked if she could add some of them to our family recipe blog, my response was naturally . . . ABSOLUTELY!  There are several, so I will post one a day for the next week for your culinary enjoyment.

MMMMM....  This sweet summer salad was a favorite with everyone.  I will definitely be making this one soon!

  • Package of frozen fruit of your choice (blueberries, raspberries or mixture) 
  • Tub of cool whip (size depends on size of salad you want to make)
  • One small carton of berry yogurt 
  • 1 package cheese cake pudding mix
Stir yogurt and pudding mix together, add cool whip and stir gently. Stir in the frozen fruit. (I have also used fresh strawberries and raspberries).  Let set in fridge for 15 to 20 minutes to allow fruit to thaw and flavor to blend. Serve.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Ranch Chicken Pasta

My friend Tiffany taught me about this meal idea, and it has become one of my favorites for a quick night dinner!

  • Bite-sized pasta noodles of your choice
  • Chicken
  • Ranch dressing
  • Vegetables of your choice (optional) I love peas and mushrooms the best, and have also liked peppers, carrots, onions, green onions . . . whatever you have on hand!
  • If desired, cooked bacon, crumbled, is also really yummy!

Cook the pasta according to the box directions and drain.  Cook the chicken and cut into bite-sized pieces.  Toss in a bowl with ranch dressing and vegetables if desired until everything is coated well.  Serve with crusty bread - yum!  This tastes great on a hot day served cold as well! 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Chocolate rolo cookies

These cookies are so good and easy to make!  One of Jd's Aunts made them for Jake's wedding and we all had to have the recipe.  I think they would be cute at Christmas with green and red frosting drizzled on the top

Chocolate fudge cake mix
1/3 C oil
2 eggs
Rolo candies
White chocolate or frosting drizzle (optional)
Mix first 3 ingredients, form a very small ball of dough around a rolo candy. Spray cookie sheet with Pam. Bake at 350 for 7 to 8 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar or drizzle with white chocolate or frosting.
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 36

Monday, June 18, 2012

Sadie's Sassy Grilled Pineapple

This recipe is from Josie S. Kilpack's latest culinary mystery Banana Split.  I love these books, and I love trying out the recipes in them!  :)  We tried this grilled pineapple a couple of weeks back, and really liked the flavor!  This recipe is definitely a 'keeper,' one we'll make again!

  • 1 teaspoon honey 
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter or balsamic vinegar 
  • Dash of cayenne pepper 
  • 1 fresh pineapple, peeled, cored, and sliced into 3/4-inch thick rings 
  • Dash of salt 
Combine the honey, butter or vinegar, and cayenne pepper in a large zip-top bag. Add pineapple slices and allow to marinate for at least 1 hour. Grill 4 to 5 minutes, turning halfway through, on cleaned and lightly oiled grill. Serve warm. Notes: If using canned, sliced pineapple, dry rings on a paper towel before marinating. You can also thread 1-inch chunks of fresh or canned pineapple onto metal skewers or soaked bamboo skewers instead of grilling pineapple rings. (Most grocery stores will core the pineapple for you if you ask a produce employee.) Pineapple can also be broiled in the oven on the middle rack for 15 minutes, turning halfway through.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Dish Detergent

As you know, I've been making my own laundry detergent now for a couple of years, and love it.  For those same couple of years, I've been trying to find a dishwashing detergent recipe that I liked.  I've tried probably a dozen different combinations and recipes over time, unsuccessfully, but I've finally found one that I think actually cleans as well or better than the expensive store-bought stuff.  The KEY is using Lemishine.  Lemishine is a product found next to the rinse aids in the dish soap aisle.  I buy it at King Soopers (Smith's) or Wal-Mart, and have noticed it at other grocery stores.  The other ingredients are things I usually have around my house, because many of them double as the ingredients in my laundry detergent recipe.  I have been washing my dishes with this for about 4 months now, and am really pleased with the results.  I had a friend move and she gave me some liquid dishwashing detergent, so I have been using that for the past couple of weeks instead, and it doesn't come close to comparing to the quality of this homemade stuff!  I finally threw the last little bit out and just switched back to this homemade stuff because it's SO much better.

  • 1 cup Borax
  • 1 cup Arm & Hammer super washing soda
  • ½ cup kosher salt
  • 1 cup Lemishine 

Mix everything together and store in a plastic container.  Use 1 Tbsp per load.  I put this in the dishsoap section that doesn't have a lid covering it.  Use white vinegar in the rinse aid compartment of your dishwasher to help keep your dishes from getting spotty. I also fill the dishsoap section of my dishwasher with a lid with straight Lemishine.  Lemishine really is the KEY.

I got this recipe from The Lady with the Red Rocker, and she includes a price breakdown to show how much money you save by using this rather than store bought stuff.  Good luck, and happy dish washing!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

'Lil Reeses PB Cups Cookies

I'm doing some baking for my piano recital this weekend, and tried out a new dessert I saw on pinterest.  This is the picture and link to the original article where I found the recipe, but I did make some changes to the original recipe.  Below is my personal version of these yummy treats!

  • 36-48 miniature peanut butter cups 
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1 tsp. baking soda 
  • 1/4 tsp. salt 
  • 1 cup salted butter 
  • 1/2 cup white sugar 
  • 1/2 cup firmly-packed brown sugar 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract 

Place peanut butter cups in the freezer (there’s no need to unwrap them; just place the whole bag in the freezer) for 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside. In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter. Add the sugars and beat until light and fluffy (about 2 – 3 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture. Mix until a soft dough forms. Spray a mini muffin tin with non-stick spray.  Using a spoon, scoop about a 1-inch balls into each mini muffin tin. Press dough balls into mini muffin tins, making an indentation in the middle with your thumb.(I had to dip my thumb in flour between each indentation, because the dough was soft and sticky.)  Bake in preheated oven for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately press a miniature peanut butter cup in the center of each cookie. Cool and remove from pan. (I actually removed from the pan immediately and set them on a cooling rack to cool.)  YUM!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Heavenly Oreo Dessert!

We made this dessert last night to share with some friends, and it is sinfully delicious! You won't be disappointed if you try it!

  • 1 (15.5 oz.) package of Oreo cookies
  • 1/2 c. butter, melted
  • 2 pkg. (3.9 oz each)  Chocolate Instant Pudding
  • 3 1/4 c. cold milk 
  • 2 containers (8 oz. each) Cool Whip
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 c. powdered sugar
How You Do It
Crush all Oreo cookies in a food processor until crushed. You could also put the cookies in a large resealable bag and crush using a rolling pin.  Save 1/2 c. of the crumbs for the topping. Pour the remaining crumbs into a 9x13 dish and add the melted butter.Stir and press into the bottom of the dish to make a crust. (I used two 8x8 pans, and this worked, too.)

In a bowl, whisk together the pudding mix and milk. Set in the fridge for now. Blend cream cheese until smooth. Add powdered sugar. Mix and fold in one container of Cool Whip. Spread over the crust. Add pudding and spread over the cream cheese mixture. Top with the other Cool Whip.
Sprinkle the 1/2 c. Oreo crumbs over top.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.  

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Smothered Beef and Bean Burritos

The Pioneer Woman had these on her website.  These are very basic, but in the past we've always done our beef enchiladas/burritos in the oven.  We thought her way was easier, faster, and even yummier than the way we've been doing it!  Enjoy!

Prep Time 5 Minutes
Cook Time 11 Minutes
Servings 6

  • 2 pounds Ground Beef 
  • ½ whole Medium Onion 
  • 1 can (7 Ounce) Mexican Tomato Sauce Or Enchilada Sauce 
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste 
  • Cumin, Oregano, Chili Powder, Garlic To Taste 
  • 1 can (28 Ounce) Refried Beans 
  • ¾ cups Grated Cheddar Cheese 
  • 12 whole Burrito-sized Flour Tortillas 
  • Extra Grated Cheese, For Sprinkling 
  • Extra Sauce, For Drizzling 
  • Cilantro Leaves, Optional 
  • Optional Filling Ingredients: Mexican Rice, Sour Cream, Guacamole, Green Chilies, Pico De Gallo 
Preparation Instructions:

Brown ground beef with onion and season to taste. Pour in sauce and simmer over low heat. Add water if mixture gets too dry. Heat refried beans in a saucepan. Add cheese and stir in till melted. Keep warm. Heat tortillas in microwave for one minute. Spread a small amount of beans on each tortilla. Add meat. Fold over ends, then roll up. Place two burritos on a microwave-safe plate. Drizzle red sauce over the top and sprinkle with more grated cheddar. Microwave for one minute, or until cheese is melted and burritos are very hot. Serve immediately. OPTIONAL: Fill burritos with any optional ingredients you like.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Multigrain Pizza Dough

I know what everyone is thinking. Multigrain = healthy = gross. Well, be prepared to have your minds blown because this is the BEST pizza crust you will ever make! AND it's easy! Could it get any better? I don't think so.

In bread mixer:
2 1/2 cups warm water
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon Dough Enhancer
1 1/2 cups cooked grains (brown rice, red quinoa, steel cut oats)*
3 cups high gluten bread flour
2 tablespoons yeast

Mix well - will be runny. Let sit 10-15 minutes. Pulse to release air then add:
4 tablespoons olive oil.
1 cup flour (to separate salt from sponge)

On top of flour add:
2 teaspoons salt

Mix/knead. Add flour a little at a time until dough pulls away and cleans sides and bottom of bowl. Separate into balls - oil top with olive oil. Let relax 10-15 minutes. Roll out. Put toppings on. Bake on parchment paper on pizza stone. Bake at 450 - 500 degrees for 5-9 minutes.

Suggested dough sizes:
1/2 lb. dough ball - good size for small kids
3/4 lb. dough ball - medium size (personal pizzas)
1 1/2 lb. dough ball - large pizza

*All of those grains added up together will equal 1 1/2 cups. It is NOT 1 1/2 cups of each! Cook your grains all together on the brown rice setting if you have a rice cooker. This is the step that will take the longest so plan accordingly.

Look how beautiful that dough is!

You can put any toppings you want on your pizza, but our favorite is the BBQ Chicken Pizza Recipe posted under the "Pizza" tab! Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The best rolls ever!

I found these on pinterest, and they are so good. Everyone make them!  --Melissa

On the lookout for delicious recipes with the holidays right around the corner? This is a MUST try! One bite of these delicious, buttery, melt in your mouth dinner rolls and you won’t be able to stop eating!
Is your mouth watering yet? ;)

This is my family’s very favorite dinner roll recipe. My mom, sister, and I are always asked to bring them to events. They are so easy and they turn out beautifully. No one will believe you MADE them!

The ingredients you will need:

1 1/2 cups of milk
3/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon Sugar
1 egg
1 Tablespoon salt
2 Tablespoons yeast
2 cups of warm water
about 9-10 cups of all purpose flour
at least 1 cup of butter

To start out: Scald 1 1/2 cups of milk, 3/4 cup sugar and 1/2 cup of butter, in a microwave safe bowl, for about 2 minutes. Cutting the butter into pieces helps it melt faster. There will probably be some little cubes of butter still floating in the hot mixture, they will melt.

We are going to add yeast to this hot mixture, but it will be too hot to just dump the yeast straight in (it would kill it!). To cool it down stir in 1-2 cups of flour, then add 1 egg and 1 Tablespoon of salt, and leave it to cool for a couple of minutes. Meanwhile, in a measuring cup dissolve 2 Tablespoons of yeast in 2 cups of warm water and 1 Tablespoon of sugar. Let it sit for a couple of minutes until it is bubbly.

**Keep track of how much flour you are adding!!!

Make sure your milk mixture is just warm, not boiling and add the yeast mixture!

Using a fork or wooden spoon, gradually stir in 9-10 cups of flour (counting the flour you have already added to cool it earlier). I would recommend only adding 2 cups at time and stirring in between. These rolls turn out so much better when they are mixed by hand.

At the end the dough will be dense and sticky, and may be hard to stir, you can use your hands to incorporate the rest of the flour if needed. Be sure not to add too much flour. Then smooth the dough out and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Leave it in a warm place and let it raise.

I came across this fun Thanksgiving idea on Pinterest – for Gratitude Rolls. I thought it was so cute and wanted to show you all how it’s done! Gather a list of things for which your family is thankful. Type it up in columns, then print it out. Yes, my 3-year-old said he was grateful for chocolate milk.. but I’m pretty sure we can all agree ;)

Cut the list into strips with scissors or a paper cutter. Then set them aside.

When your dough is close to raising completely, butter 2 cookie sheets and set them aside.

Let the dough raise until it has doubled in size.

Cover your working space with flour to prevent the dough from sticking. Dump your dough out and divide it into 4 balls. Eyeball the sizes, then lift them up and feel the weight of each ball. Try to make them even, but they don’t have to be perfect.

Using one ball of dough at a time: roll the dough into a circle on a floured counter. Once it is rolled out spread the top with butter from edge to edge. You will use about 2 Tablespoons per circle of dough.

Cut the dough into quarters using a pizza cutter.

Then cut each quarter into 3 pieces. You should end up with 12 triangles from each circle of dough.

If you would like to add the thankful notes, now is the time!

Place one thankful note lengthwise on the triangle of dough.

Make sure you spread plenty of butter when using these notes, It will prevent them from sticking!

Whether or not you include a thankful note, you will roll the dough starting with the wide end of the triangle.

Tuck the tail of the triangle under the roll and place it on the buttered cookie sheet. You will make 3 rows, with 8 rolls per row. This will give you 24 rolls per pan. Two balls of dough will fill 1 pan. You will get a total of 48 rolls!

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Place the pans of rolls in a warm place (on top of the oven if possible) to let them rise. Once they are touching and full in size, cook (one pan at a time) in the oven ’till they are golden brown. About 10 – 15 minutes, It may take longer depending on how hot your oven cooks. Keep a close eye on your first pan to get the right time for the second.

While they are still hot and fresh out of the oven run a stick of butter over the tops of the rolls for a delicious buttery glaze.

The kids will love opening these thankful rolls. It’s just like a fortune cookie!

Read aloud the many things you are grateful at your Thanksgiving feast.

Make it a game and guess who’s thankful note you are reading!

These yummy dinner rolls will be a hit at any event!

Here is the printable version.

I hope you all enjoy them!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Mini German Pancakes Recipe

Saw these on pinterest. We love German pancakes and thought this sounded like a fun idea! They were awesome! Tasted just like our usual German pancakes, only it doesn't take as long to bake. And Katelee loved having her own personal pancake. ;)

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup milk (you can use skim or low fat milk if you want)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
Toppings: jam, powdered sugar and lemon juice, or maple syrup

Preheat oven to 425. Spray cupcake pans with no-stick cooking spray. Mix eggs, milk, flour and salt just enough to blend. (Do not over mix. Batter will be lumpy.) Pour batter in cupcake pans. Makes approx. 12-16 mini German pancakes. Bake 18-25 minutes depending on type of cupcake pan and the amount of batter in each cupcake tin. Remove from oven. Let cool for just a minute or two. Remove mini pancakes from pan. Drizzle with lemon juice and sprinkle with powdered sugar. You can also serve with jam or maple syrup if you prefer instead of using lemon juice. Enjoy for breakfast, lunch or dinner!

Ham & Cheese Sliders

Recipe found here.

We tried these for dinner one night this past week, and thought they were really yummy! Gerald especially loved them. Great for a quick night dinner or these would also be fabulous served at a luncheon or when hosting a girls' night.

Ham and Cheese Sliders
adapted slightly from the Recipe Club
(We halved the recipe)
  • 24 good white dinner rolls
  • 24 pieces good honey ham
  • 24 small slices Swiss cheese
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup miracle whip
Poppy seed sauce (The original recipe said that this was too much and to have it. Since we already were halving the recipe, we only used 1/4 of the following amounts and I think it was just right.)
  • 1 T. poppyseeds
  • 1 1/2 T. yellow mustard
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 T. minced onion
  • 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise and miracle whip. Spread onto both sides of the center of each roll. Place a slice of ham and a slice of Swiss inside of each roll. Close rolls and place them into a large baking dish or heavy cookie sheet. Place very close together.

In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the poppy seed sauce ingredients. Pour evenly over all of the sandwiches. You do not have to use all of the sauce! Just use enough to cover the tops. Let sit 10 minutes or until butter sets slightly. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Uncover and cook for 2 additional minutes or until tops are slightly brown and crispy. Serve warm.

** sandwiches can be assembled a day ahead and kept in the fridge ready to bake. I assembled them and poured the sauce over them a couple of hours in advance, and they still turned out great.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

McDonald's Shamrock Shake Copycat Recipe

After reading a few different recipes for this, I decided this particular recipe sounded the best in my opinion. We made it tonight for a St. Patty's day treat, and we all thought it was YUMMY! This might become an annual tradition. :) Definitely beats corned beef and cabbage, although I wouldn't really know since I've never actually eaten corned beef and cabbage... :)


  • 3 cups good quality vanilla ice cream
  • 1 3/4 cups 1% milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • Green food coloring, if desired

Blend all ingredients in a blender until completely thick and smooth. Pour into glasses and serve!

This made plenty for all 3 of us. We also topped ours with whipped cream and green sprinkles, like the picture.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Dinnertime 'Cupcakes'

For dinner the other night, we had cupcakes for dinner! ;)
I made our favorite meatloaf recipe (found here), but instead of cooking it in a loaf pan, I baked it at 350 degrees in muffin tins for about 15 minutes.
Then, we 'frosted' each mini meatloaf with crockpot mashed potatoes, and I added a 'cherry' dot of ketchup. Katelee was tickled that we were eating cupcakes for dinner! ;) And, this is Gerald's very favorite meal (though he doesn't really care if it is in the shape of a cupcake or not!) ;)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Crockpot Mashed Potatoes

I saw this recipe on pinterest recently and tried it out this week. It was super easy and truly delicious! I have two crock pots, and I think it would be wonderful on a Sunday morning to put these potatoes in one and a roast or some chicken in the other and come home to dinner - YUM!

  • 5 Pounds of Russet Potatoes
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup butter, cut into small cubes chunks
  • 1 1/4 cup light sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup milk, warmed
  • 2 ounces of light cream cheese
  1. Peel Potatoes and Cube – I try and get 12 cubes per potato.
  2. Get your crock pot out and set it to high. Put – Potatoes – Chicken Stock – and Butter into the Crock Pot
  3. Cook for 4.5 hours
  4. Roughly Mash Potatoes – then add garlic, sour cream, salt, pepper, milk, and cream cheese and finish mashing
  5. Enjoy!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Chicken Ranch Tacos

With a new baby around, I am on the search for recipes that are extremely EASY, FAST, and still DELICIOUS! Here is another one that completely fits this description!

  • 3-4 chicken breasts
  • 1 packet of Hidden Valley ranch seasoning mix (I did NOT use the buttermilk kind, but I'm not sure it would matter.)
  • 1 packet Taco Seasoning
  • water
  • Taco shells & toppings

In the morning, throw your chicken into the crockpot. Sprinkle the seasoning packets over the chicken and add a bit of water and mix it up so the chicken is coated with the seasoning. Cook on low all day. I stirred it occasionally, but I'm sure it wasn't necessary. By dinnertime, the chicken will be ready to shred up nicely. Place in a tortilla or taco shell and top with lettuce, tomato, sour cream, cheese, and whatever other toppings you love. Enjoy! This has such a nice rich flavor for being so stinkin' easy!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Easy Garlic Chicken

Gotta love yummy recipes that have less than 5 ingredients and are super easy! We tried this one for dinner tonight, and it was a winner in everyone's eyes. Nice and flavorful and a little bit sweet - yummy!

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced (For added ease, use the jars of pre-minced or chopped garlic - 1 tsp. equals one clove of garlic.)
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 teaspoons olive oil


Preheat oven to 500°F and lightly grease a casserole dish. That is not a typo.  500, really. In a small sauté pan, sauté garlic with the oil until tender. Remove from heat and stir in brown sugar. Place chicken breasts in a prepared baking dish and cover with the garlic and brown sugar mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bake uncovered for 15-30 minutes. Goes great with rice or potatoes.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies - YUM!

I had a carrot cake mix in my pantry that was going to expire this week, so I decided to try some experimenting with it. I ended up making some cookies that my whole family really loved! If you are a carrot cake fan, then these cookies are for you! We'll want to make these again, so I wanted to write down the recipe before I forgot it:

  • 1 (18.25-ounce) package of carrot cake mix
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (optional - we did some with and some without nuts - both ways were yummy!)
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut flakes (optional - I made some with the coconut for Gerald, who LOVES coconut. They actually turned out really good!)
Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper for best results. If you don't have parchment paper, just spray your cookie sheets with nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl beat the dry cake mix, oil, eggs, and pumpkin pie spice with an electric mixer on medium speed until well-blended and smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the remaining additions you are using with a wooden spoon, just until combined. Drop the dough by teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto prepared cookie sheets. Flatten the cookie dough balls slightly with the back of a fork or the bottom of a glass. Bake for 10 minutes, or just until the edges are set but the centers are still soft. Remove from the oven and cool the cookies on the cookie sheet for few more minutes and then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 1/4 c. butter, softened
  • 6 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 c. powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
Cream the butter and cream cheese together until light and fluffy. Beat in powdered sugar until smooth. Stir in the cinnamon and vanilla.

When the cookies are cooled, put a generous amount of the cinnamon cream cheese frosting on the flat side of one cookie and then stick another cookie on to make a cookie sandwich - like homemade oreos. Enjoy! YUM!

Egg & Bacon Breakfast Sandwiches

For Gerald's birthday breakfast this year, I wanted to make him egg and bacon sandwiches. I cooked the eggs in a muffin tin, as shown in this picture - it made it very easy for me to do enough for everyone all at once!

To cook eggs like this just lightly spray the muffin tin, crack one egg into each muffin cup and then bake in the oven on 350 for 15-20 min.

Because I was making bacon and egg sandwiches, I cooked the bacon in the oven at the same time, as I showed in the previous post. Since they do ask for slightly different oven temperatures, I just started the oven at 350 degrees, stuck the bacon in first, then prepared the eggs and put them in as soon as they were ready. I cooked the eggs and bacon together for 10 minutes and then increased the temperature to 375. I took the eggs out after about 5 more minutes and the bacon followed 5 minutes after that. I toasted and buttered the English muffins while these were in the oven. The eggs came out the perfect size for English muffin sandwiches, and these were definitely the easiest and fastest egg and bacon breakfast sandwiches I have ever made! The only thing I will do differently next time is slightly scramble the eggs in the muffin tin before baking, because Katelee doesn't like having a big chunk of cooked yoke in the middle of her egg. Gerald and I don't mind it, though, but scrambling slightly before cooking would be an easy fix to that problem, I think.

When everything is done, just throw an egg, a couple halves of bacon, ketchup and any other toppings you want on an English muffin and enjoy!

I love ideas that make my life easier! :)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

How to Cook Bacon

Tried this idea off of pinterest, and it worked wonderfully! I'll never make bacon any other way again, I'm pretty sure! Thought I'd share it on here:

Cook bacon in the oven. Cover cookie sheet with tinfoil first. I made sure the tinfoil went up the sides a bit, as well, to avoid getting the pan dirty at all. Cook for 375 for about 20 min. Then all the bacon is done at the same time, meanwhile you are free to make the rest of breakfast. Also, clean up was SO MUCH EASIER than it is when I fry bacon - I just picked up the whole piece of tinfoil and threw it away - awesome!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Texas Roadhouse's Cinnamon Butter

I saw this recipe on pinterest, and tried it out tonight. It's a keeper! We ate it on corn muffins, and it was a quick and easy way to make the ordinary a little special. :) We only make 1/4 of the regular recipe amount, and still have some leftovers.
  • 2 sticks of butter (room temperature)
  • 1 cup of powdered sugar
  • 1 cup of honey
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon.
Mix it all together until it’s the consistency you want and it’s ready. Super easy! Give with a loaf of bread. This would make a super sweet gift in a cute jar.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Crayon-Removal 'Recipe'

Okay, so this isn't your typical 'recipe,' but maybe one of you might find it valuable someday!

I washed and dried a load of laundry without knowing that Katelee had stuck a green crayon in her pocket. Oh, no! I was so, so sad, because I thought it had ruined most of Katelee and Blake's best clothes and blankets. But then my friend gave me this 'Crayon-Removal Recipe.' I tried it out . . . and it worked like a charm! Amazing! The clothes are good as new, which is a huge relief to say the least. So, in case any of you ever have a similar experience, here is the recipe for getting crayon out of your clothing!

  • 1 scoop Borax
  • 1/2 bottle Spray n' wash (I used a large bottle)
  • 1 small bottle white vinegar
  • Regular amount of your laundry detergent
Fill your washer with the hottest water possible. Add clothes. Run the agitate cycle but don't let it drain. Turn the machine off & let it soak for at least a couple hours. Finish the laundry cycle & then send the clothes through a whole other wash to remove any residue.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Raspberry Cake

I went to look this recipe up, and couldn't believe I didn't already have it on here! This is one of my very favorite cake recipes ever (and you know I make a lot of cake). I've served this at a wedding, to rave reviews, and we ran out of this flavor it was so popular. I also took these to a friend on her birthday, and she swears they are the very best cupcakes she has ever tasted. This is Gerald's favorite cake flavor, and I'm planning to make it next week for our anniversary. Shhhhhhh...don't tell. :) Hope you enjoy!


. 1 (18.25 ounce) package white cake mix
. 1 (3 ounce) package raspberry gelatin
. 1 (10 ounce) package frozen sweetened raspberries, thawed
. 4 eggs
. 1/2 cup vegetable oil
. 1/4 cup hot water


. In a large bowl, combine dry cake mix and gelatin powder. Add raspberries with juice, eggs, oil and water. Beat until well blended. Pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking pan. (I've always baked it in round or square cake pans, personally.) Bake at 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool.

For frosting, the original recipe gave these instructions, though I have never personally tried this:

. 1 (12 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
. 1 (10 ounce) package frozen sweetened raspberries, thawed

Fold whipped topping into raspberries. Spread over cake. Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving. Store in the refrigerator.

Personally, I much prefer a butter cream type of frosting, and that is all I've ever tried with this cake. I've made frosting so much that I don't really follow a recipe, I just kinda throw it together. But, basically use your very favorite buttercream frosting recipe, and instead of vanilla extract I use raspberry extract. Absolutely divine! Sometimes I do like 3/4 raspberry extract and 1/4 vanilla extra. Just experiment to taste, but remember a little extract can go a long way. :)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Yummy Dinner Rolls

JD likes to refer to these as "pigs in a blanket...without the pigs." Even without the pigs, they are delicious! :)

2 cups milk
2 tablespoons yeast
½ cup warm water
½ cup sugar
6 tablespoons shortening
2 teaspoons salt

Combine yeast and water.  
Scald milk.  Pour milk over remaining ingredients.  When luke warm, mix with 1 cup flour.  Stir in yeast.  Add 5-6 cup flour and 2 eggs til smooth.  Let rise 1 hour.  Punch and let rise another 45 minutes.  Roll out your dough in a circle 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Spread with softened butter. Cut your dough into 12 wedges. Roll them up starting from the wide part. Place rolls with point under on a greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise 15 minutes.  Bake at 425° for 7-8 minutes or until golden brown. Brush tops with melted butter when they come out.