Monday, June 30, 2008

Summer Strawberry Dessert

This is such a yummy, refreshing dessert. I got this recipe from a friend that used to live near me. She brought it to a potluck and I loved it. I have since made it for birthdays, book group & just for fun. Last night, I added the blueberries to make it a little patriotic and I loved it. It's perfect since this week is the 4th of July. ENJOY!

Strawberry Frost
2 packages graham crackers crushed
2 Tbsp butter, melted (I use at least double that to hold it together better)
1 tsp sugar
Mix and press into 9x13 baking dish.

1/2 pint heavy whipping cream - whip and set aside.

Mix until fluffy (5 minutes)
2 egg whites
1 cup sugar
2 cups frozen strawberries
2 Tbsp lemon juice

Gently fold in whip cream and spread mixture evenly over crust. Top with additional graham cracker crumbs. Freeze for 4 hours. Top with fresh strawberries or blueberries.

To simplify this already simple recipe, you could buy the ready made graham cracker pie crusts. I think this recipe would make at least 3, probably 4 pies. I love to use my Kitchen-aid when I make this. It works great breaking up the frozen strawberries. I'm not sure how well it would work with a hand mixer. If any of you try it, let me know. I think I'll try this with raspberries next.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Fruit Kabobs

These fruit kabobs are so easy and such a fun thing for a potluck or BBQ. All you need is wood skewers and a variety of fruit. I used strawberries, grapes, watermelon, cantelope and pineapple. They were refreshing and looked wonderful.

Tonight I had a Primary social in my backyard. This was what I used for center pieces. I bought a bouquet of flours, cut them down and put them in pint size jars with a ribbon tied around it. I've also done it with quart size jars. It's so simple and looks great on the tables.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Finger Lickin' Good!!!

These look and tast amazing! We love this dessert at my house, and it goes quickly!!! I made these for my husband for his Father's Day Dessert. We ate it all up. (I said was for him...and me!) This is one dessert that is hard to share. My love for this dessert goes back to elementary school lunch. I loved Peanut Butter Bar Day! To this day I will never turn down a Peanut Butter Bar. This recipe comes from the Lion House Desserts cook book. There are a lot of yummy recipes in this book. I love it! I know you will love this delicious dessert. I love the oats/peanut butter/chocolate combo! I've got a great cookie recipe with this same combo. It will be coming shortly. Till then, you must try these bars!
Peanut Butter Fingers
Lion House Desserts
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
1 cup quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 to 2 tablespoons milk
1 6-ounce package chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 baking pan and set aside. In a large mixer bowl cream butter and sugars. Add egg 1/3 cup peanut butter, baking soda, salt, and vanilla. Stir in flour and oats. Pour into prepared baking pan and bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes. While bars are cooking, preprare paunut butter frosting by creaming together powdered sugar, 1/4 cup peanut butter, and enough milk to make mixture desired spreading consistency. Set aside. When bars are done remove pan from oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Let stand 5 minutes, then spread the melted chips like frosting. Let it sit for about 5 minutes more. Pour and spread peanut butter frosting over chocolate frosting. Cool thoroughly, then cut into 24 bars. Enjoy!
*Tip from me... I love the peanut butter frosting, so I make a little bit more than the recipe says. It gives you just a little bit more gooey frosting to lick off of your fingers!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Family Belgian Waffles

These yummy waffles go way back. I think we first got the recipe when my sister went away to college. She and her roomates would make these waffles with homemade maple syrup. She brought it home with her, and now we all make them all the time. My wonderful husband made me these the other day for my birthday breakfast. They are definitely a family favorite! There was a time when one of my brothers would bring over all of his highschool friends for lunch to have belgian waffles. Mom loved to have our friends over, especially to feed us and was always willing to make anything...even breakfast! You have to have a Belgian Waffle maker to do them. They are different from regular waffles in that they rise in the waffle iron and get fluffy from the blended egg whites. They are so yummy with fresh fruit on top with whipping cream. It is also great with homemade jams, or syrups.

Belgian Waffles

Combine in medium bowl:

1 3/4 Cup Flour

3 tsp Baking Powder

1/2 tsp Salt

2 Egg Yokes - (seperate the whites into small bowl)

1 3/4 Cup Milk

1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil


Plug in Belgian Waffle iron. Mix egg yokes with electric mixer until fluffy. Mix flour mixture with electric mixer until smooth. Add your egg yokes and fold in gently with spoon just until combined. Don't over mix. Using measuring cup, pour about 1/2 cup of waffle batter into iron. Be careful not to put too much in or it will overflow. You want the batter to just reach the outer circle of the iron. Cook to your liking. On my iron, the light goes off when it is done. Remove and pour next waffle. Enjoy!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Garden Fresh Spinach

I am not an inventive cook, but I think this one is a winner! We have spinach in our garden that needs to be used, so I cooked up this yummy Sun-Dried Tomato & Spinach topped Chicken. We loved it. The chicken was tender, the vegetables were juicy and saucy, and we had a yummy dinner using our spinach. The rice that I made was found at Kraft Foods and can be found here: . Loved, loved the rice. It has Cream Cheese in it and is oh, so creamy. Try it out! If anyone has some great recipes using fresh spinach, please let me know. I would love to try out some new recipes.

Sun-Dried Tomato & Spinach topped Chicken:

4 boneless, skinless Chicken Breasts
4 Cups Fresh Spinach, washed and drained
1 Can Diced Tomatoes
1/2 Cup Sun-Dried tomato Vinagrette Dressing (Kraft)
1 Tbsp Parmesan Cheese

In large mixing bowl, mix spinach, tomatoes, dressing and cheese until combined. Lay chicken breasts flat in baking pan. (Line pan with tin foil...that will help a ton with clean up.) I like to drizzle more of the dressing directly on my chicken breasts before I put the mixture on. That way more of that tangy flavor cooks into the Chicken. Cover chicken with spinach mixture. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes. Cooking times may vary, so cut into your chicken to make sure it is no longer pink. Serve with Kraft Foods Cheesy Rice 'n tomatoes. Yummy!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Cinnamon Oatmeal Pancake's drenched in Almond Buttermilk Syrup

These pancakes are yummy, healthy, and requires use of some food storage! The best thing about these pancakes is that it is a mix, so you can make it ahead of time and always have it on hand. The oats and cinnamon make these oh, so tasty. This recipe came from the Utah State University Cache County Extention Office. They offer classes and handouts about food storage recipes and recommendations for storing. You can find information on their website: The Almond Buttermilk syrup gives you some yummy calories, but it's worth it! Enjoy!

Cinnamon Oatmeal Pancake Mix

4 Cups Quick Cooking Oats
2 Cups Flour
2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
1 Cup Non-Fat Dry Milk
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 Tbsp Cinnamon
2 tsp Salt
3 Tbsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Cream of Tartar

Combine ingredients and stir to mix well. Put in large airtight container. Label. Store in a cool dry place. Use within 6 months.

Mixing Directions:
In medium bowl, beat 2 eggs. Beat in 3 Tbsp Oil. Stir in 2 cups pancake mix and 1 cup water. Drop by spoonfuls onto lightly greased skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. When batter shows broken bubbles, turn pancakes over. Cook about 2 to 3 minutes. One batch makes about 10 medium pancakes.

Almond Buttermilk Syrup:
In a large pot combine:
2 Cubes of Butter
2 Cups White Sugar
1 Cup Buttermilk

Boil for one minute and take off burner. Add 1 tsp baking soda and 1 tsp almond extract, stir well. You can use any nut flavoring, or vanilla.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Grandma's Creamy Macaroni & Cheese

This recipe goes down in history! I never made it until I got married and lived far from family. My Grandma makes it best. It is so tasty, cheesy, and creamy. See for have to try it out! This recipe is made by my whole family and we probably all make it differently. Here is the recipe, and how I like to make it. I probably make this once a month. My son loves "loo-loo's", that's noodles for those of you who don't know, so this is always a successful meal. It is perfect with some hot out of the oven rolls and Peas, Green Beans, or Carrots. Gotta have the veggies! I like to salt and pepper mine. If you want to throw in some meat for the kids, you can cut up cooked hot dog, or ham. Enjoy!!!

Boil water and cook 4 cups Macaroni Elbow Noodles as directed; Rinse and drain. (I always make extra noodles for my son to munch on while it is cooking, and for later.)

5 Tbsp Butter
1/3 Cup Flour
2 1/4 Cups Milk
2 1/2 Cups Cheddar Cheese

Melt Butter in medium saucepan. Whisk Flour into butter. Be careful not to let it burn on the bottom. I usually pull my pan off of the heat. Add your Milk and whisk. Stir constantly to prevent from burning on the bottom of the pan. When your white sauce is thick and bubbling, remove from heat and add 3/4 cup of Cheese and stir until cheese is melted.

Grease 9X13 Baking dish. Pour drained, cooked macaroni noodles in your baking dish. Mix in 1 Cup of cheese with noodles. Add cheesy white sauce and mix well. Top with remaining Cheese and cook at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted and edges are bubbling.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Unbeatable Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies really are unbeatable!! I got this recipe from my grandma who is an excellent cook. She cut it out of The Clipper newpaper years ago and still makes them today. They are so yummy! They make a lot, so I plan to freeze some and take them with us to our family reuinion this weekend. I used my Kitchenaid and could mix all but the last cup of flour. You can use whatever kind of chocolate chips you choose, my favorite are white chocolate chips or milk chocolate chips. I hope you enjoy them.

Unbeatable Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cups oil

1 cup white sugar

2 cups brown sugar

2tsp vanilla

4 eggs

6 cups flour (a little less)

2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

12 oz chocolate chips (I used white chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 350. Combine oil, sugars, vanilla & eggs. Add baking soda, salt and part of the flour. Add chocolate chips before you add the last cup of flour. Place 1 1/2 inch spoonfuls of cookie dough on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10-11 minutes. Let cool for 5-7 minutes on cookie sheet. Makes 4 dozen or more. Enjoy!

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Best Oatmeal Muffins...a must try!!!

I made these muffins this morning, and had to share the recipe. I make them probably once a week, and I will never buy a store bought muffin mix again. They are so tasty. The crumb topping is so yummy. We love to put our favorite jam on top, or drizzle them with honey. With some fresh fruit on the side and a glass of Orange Juice, this is a wholesome breakfast...great to start off the day! I can't take the credit for the recipe. It is from Mr. Quaker himself! Try them out, I hope you like them. The flower in the picture comes from our yard. We have several Peony bushes that have the most beautiful flowers. We just love them. Unfortunately they are only in bloom for a few more weeks. If you are ever looking for a good perennial, these are great! It's going to be a nice weekend boys are itchin' to play outside and work in the yard. Hope you all have a great weekend and Father's Day!

Quaker's Best Oatmeal Muffins

1/3 cup Oats
1/4 cup Flour
1/4 cup packed Brown Sugar
3 Tbsp Butter (chilled & cut in pieces)

1 1/2 cup Flour
1 cup Oats
1/2 cup Sugar
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
1 cup Milk
1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
1 Egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp Vanilla

1. Make Streusel and set aside.
2. Combine dry ingredients for muffins. In seperate bowl combine wet ingredients, and blen well. Add to dry ingredients. Stir, just until dry ingredients is moistened. Don't over mix.
3. Fill muffin tin and sprinkle with streusel, patting gently.
4. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Makes 12 muffins. Serve with your favorite jam, or honey. Yummy!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Yummy Soft Pretzels!

I made these yummy pretzels last week that are so close to Pretzel Maker/Pretzel Time's pretzels it is crazy! They were really yummy. I was led to these pretzels from a website called The Crafty Crow. I love it. It has got some great craft ideas for kids of all ages. Check it out here: . You can find the recipe for the pretzels here: . I sprinkled my pretzels with cinnamon & sugar, Salad Supreme seasoning, and parmesan cheese. They are really good. Try dipping them in cream cheese. You will love them, and your kids will have fun making crazy pretzel shapes with you. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Food Tricks!

Peel a banana from the bottom and you won't have to pick the little 'stringy things' off of it. That's how the primates do it.Take your bananas apart when you get home from the store. If you leave them connected at the stem, they ripen faster.

Store your opened chunks of cheese in aluminum foil. It will stay fresh much longer and not mold!

Peppers with 3 bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating. Peppers with 4 bumps on the bottom are firmer and better for cooking.

Greasy ground beef:
Add a teaspoon of water when frying ground beef. It will help pull the grease away from the meat while cooking.

To really make scrambled eggs or omelets rich add a couple of spoonfuls of sour cream, cream cheese, or heavy cream in and then beat them up.

For a cool brownie treat, make brownies as directed. Melt Andes mints in double broiler and pour over warm brownies. Let set for a wonderful minty frosting.

Add garlic immediately to a recipe if you want a light taste of garlic and at the end of the recipe if your want a stronger taste of garlic.

Quick trick-or-treat:
Leftover snickers bars from Halloween make a delicious dessert. Simply chop them up with the food chopper. Peel, core and slice a few apples. Place them in a baking dish and sprinkle the chopped candy bars over the apples. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes!!! Serve alone or with vanilla ice cream.

Reheat Pizza:
Heat up leftover pizza in a non stick skillet on top of the stove, set heat to med-low and heat till warm. This keeps the crust crispy. No soggy micro pizza. I saw this on the cooking channel and it really works.

Easy Deviled Eggs:
Put cooked egg yolks in a zip lock bag. Seal, mash till they are all broken up. Add remainder of ingredients, reseal, keep mashing it up mixing thoroughly, cut the tip of the baggy, squeeze mixture into egg. Just throw bag away when done easy clean up.

Expanding Frosting:
When you buy a container of cake frosting from the store, whip it with your mixer for a few minutes. You can double it in size. You get to frost more cake/cupcakes with the same amount. You also eat less sugar and calories per serving.

Reheating refrigerated bread:
To warm biscuits, pancakes, or muffins that were refrigerated, place them in a microwave with a cup of water. The increased moisture will keep the food moist and help it reheat faster.

Get ready kids, this Play-Doh tastes good!!!

These are super fun to make, and super cute too! They really do look just like Play-Doh, but they sure don't taste like Play-Doh. The cream cheese in this recipe makes these oh, so does anything with cream cheese! You have got to try these. Your kids will have a great time helping roll the dough into balls, then into ropes. My 2 year old was a great helper when he wasn't tearing them apart! He sure loved eating them, and so will you!

Rainbow Play-Doh Cookie Pops

3/4 cup butter, softened
3 ounces cream cheese
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
assorted colors of food coloring
24 lollipop sticks
1. In a bowl cream butter, cream cheese and sugar until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla; beat until smooth.
2. In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add dry ingredients to the creamed mixture. Stir till soft dough forms. Divide dough into fourths. tint each with a different food color. (This takes some time and fore-arm muscles, so get ready! The more the food coloring, the more vibrant the color.) Wrap each color in plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Shape dough into 3/4 inch balls and for each cookie place one of each color and form into a ball. (Make sure they are all sticking together well.) Shape the big ball into a 12 inch long roll (like a snake), starting at one end, coil roll to make a cookie. Place cookies 3 inches apart on lightly greased baking sheet. Carefully insert lollipop sticks into bottoms of cookies.
4. Bake cookies for 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool and store in an airtight container.

I really want to switch these up with the different holiday colors. I want to throw on some sprinkles too! I've got a great recipe for some Christmas candy cane cookies that I think would be great as a Rainbow pop. I can't wait to make these for a party favor for a birthday party, baby shower, or whatever! You can really have a lot of fun with these. Goodluck, and happy play-doh eating! Fheeew... I made it through my very first post. This blog thing is new to me.