Saturday, December 12, 2009

Drop in and Decorate

Recently I was reading through my google reader and saw this blog post on Bake at 350. I have always wanted to do a cookie exchange but thought this might be a better idea. I recruited a friend to help me out. We ended up making about 100 cookies before the party.
We had a ton of fun last Saturday making these cookies. It was great to see some of our friend's hidden talents! We donated these cookies to the Ronald McDonald house at Riley Children's hospital in Indianapolis. They were so thankful for the cookies!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Cheddar Bacon Ranch-Chicken Bake

We have another winner! I made this casserole dish tonight and it was delicous. The best part is that even though Chad was leary of it at first he ended up enjoying it :) This meal also ended up being super simple. After dicing up the peppers it took me about 5 minutes to put together. I hope this meal is something you can add to your menu!

Cheddar-Bacon-Ranch Chicken & Rice Bake
Source:Vintage Victuals

1 1/2 cups uncooked rice (white or brown)
1 10.5-ounce can of condensed cream of chicken soup
1 can of water
1 can of milk
1 1-ounce packet of ranch seasoning mix
1 medium green bell pepper, diced
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
4 medium-sized chicken breasts
2 cups cheddar cheese
6-8 slices of bacon, cut into 1″ pieces ( I forgot to grab this at the store so I didn't include it)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a 9×13 inch baking dish, combine the rice, the soup, the water, the milk, the ranch seasoning, and the diced peppers. Stir until well combined. Place the chicken breasts on top of the rice mixture. Cover the dish with tin foil and wrap tightly.

Bake for 45 minutes. In the meantime, lightly brown the bacon pieces over medium heat in a small frying pan. When you remove the chicken and rice from the oven, check the chicken to make sure it is cooked through (I like to use a meat thermometer for this). Then, sprinkle with the shredded cheese and the browned bacon pieces. Return to the oven for about 5-7 minutes so that the cheese melts and bubbles. Serve hot. Yield 4-6 servings

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Apple Biscuits

I can't believe it is almost Thanksgiving and I haven't made one apple dessert this fall! I love any apple dessert. I found this recipe for apple biscuits and it seemed quick and easy. Something to satisfy my apple craving!
These were definitely quick and easy and they were delicious.

Apple Biscuits
Source: Full Bellies, Happy Kids
1 can of large buttermilk biscuits (8)
2 apples peeled and cored and chopped into chunks
brown sugar

In a small bowl, mix together the apples, cinnamon and brown sugar. Just eyeball it and add more or less as needed.
Open the biscuits in half and spoon some of the apple mixture into the middle.
Squeeze the seams together to seal and using a fork or a toothpick or whatever, poke 3 or 4 holes on the top.
Bake in a 375 degree oven until golden brown

Monday, October 12, 2009

Cinnamon Buttermilk Muffins

Muffins!! Oh how I love a good muffin and with this recipe I found another great one! I can get in such a breakfast rut and I am always looking for new and quick things to eat. These muffins are absolutely delicious!!! It made enough for me to have two muffins each morning this week but I so wish I could just eat them all every morning. I have kept this recipe in the back of my mind for a few weeks now. I am so glad I finally tried it out and I defintiely will be making them again soon.On top of them being delicious they were super easy to make like most muffins!

Cinnamon Buttermilk Muffins:
Source: Noodle Nights and Muffin Mornings

For the muffins:
7 Tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
For the topping:
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted

Directions:Preheat an oven to 350°F.
Grease muffin tin and fill the unused cups one-third full with water to prevent warping.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, combine the butter and sugar and beat until light and fluffy.

Add the egg and beat until pale and smooth.

In another bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg.
Add to the butter mixture in 2 additions, alternating with the buttermilk and vanilla.

Stir just until evenly moistened. (Note: the batter will be slightly lumpy.)

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each three-fourths full.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes.

Carefully remove the muffins and let stand until cool enough to handle.

Meanwhile, in a small, shallow bowl, stir together the sugar and cinnamon.

Put the melted butter in another small bowl.

Brush the top of a muffins with melted butter; coating evenly. Immediately dip the top in the cinnamon-sugar mixture, coating it evenly, then tap it to remove excess sugar.

Transfer the muffin, right side up, to the rack.

Repeat with the remaining muffins.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Caramel Apple Cream Cheese Cookie Bars

I'm sorry I have not posted in awhile. My Grandma became ill a few weeks ago and passed away last Saturday. For about the last month I have been down in Louisville helping take care of her. Yesterday we were able to celebrate her life and remember how special she was.
My Mema, as I called her, was an amazing cook. It was a true science for her and I loved learning how to cook from her. It always had to be a certain way! Lately I have been playing it safe when it comes to picking things to make for dinner or other recipes I choose. When thinking about my Grandma I know she would have encouraged me to make every recipe that I was nervous about. I am going to start making many of those recipes that intimidated me and hopefully will have some of them up on here soon.
Since I haven't been home on the weekends for the past few weeks I haven't had a chance to take the time to bake. I was determined to get something in the oven today! I love apple desserts and when I saw this recipe on the Picky Palate I knew it was a must. It truly is delicious and was perfect to make this weekend as we received some true fall weather this weekend!
I hope you enjoy these as much as I did and take a leap of faith in your kitchen as well.

Caramel Apple Cream Cheese Cookie Bars
Source: Picky Palate
3 Tablespoons melted butter
3 Cups Golden Graham Cereal, ground in food processor ( I used cinnamon graham crackers)
1 Roll Pillsbury Sugar Cookie Dough or 2 pkgs Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Dough Mix prepared and divided into 2 equal parts
8 oz softened cream cheese
1/4 Cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
21 oz can apple pie filling
1.5 oz package Nature Valley Oats N’ Honey Crunchy Granola Bars (2 count), crushed (I actually did not use these instead I sprinkled some cinnamon over the cookie dough.)
9.5 oz Kraft Caramels
1/2 Cup half and half
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine melted butter and ground cereal into a large bowl; press into an 8×8 inch baking dish lined with foil that’s been sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 10 minutes then remove from oven. Crumble half of the cookie dough over partially baked crust.
2. Place cream cheese, sugar and vanilla into a mixer; beat until smooth. Pour over crumbled cookie dough layer. Bake for 25 minutes then remove from over. Top with the apple pie filling . Next top with remaining cookie dough, breaking off into little pieces evenly over top. Sprinkle with crushed granola bars and bake for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes clean from center. Let cool completely then cut into squares. Melt caramels and half and half according to package directions. Drizzle over each bar. Refrigerate leftovers.
9 squ

Sunday, September 13, 2009

BBQ chicken crusted smoked cheddar mac

I found something that Chad said was delicious! Usually Chad likes what I make but never raves about it! Tonight he said "It was epic"! He was really skeptical at first but luckily it turned out great! This meal was actually pretty easy to put together and didn't take a lot of time.

BBQ Chicken Crusted Smoked Cheddar Mac
Source:Picky Palate

(I halved this recipe and it still made a good amount for the 2 of us!)

1 lb mini farfalle pasta (use any pasta of choice)

5 Tablespoons butter
5 Tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
4 Cups milk, I used 2%
5 Cups shredded cheddar cheese (you could use any cheddar cheese)

2 Cups shredded BBQ Chicken ( I boiled some chicken and covered it in baby jack BBQ sauce and let it simmer on the stove for a few minutes)
1 Cup shredded cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and set aside.

2. Melt butter into a large dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Whisk in flour, salt and pepper; cook for 1 minute stirring. Slowly whisk in milk until smooth. Increase heat to medium high, stir continuously until liquid thickens and comes to a low boil. Reduce heat to low and stir in cheddar cheese until smooth then add cooked pasta. Pour mixture into a large baking dish then top evenly with BBQ chicken. Sprinkle with additional cheddar cheese and bake for 25-30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

3. Let cool for 5-10 minutes and serve.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Baked Spaghetti

My husband is a picky as can be! I found this site recently and I was so excited! I have bookmarked so many recipes from just the first few posts and I know my husband will approve of them!!

School has started back and it's going to be a challenging year! I was so ehausted every night last week that dinner didn't get made at all! I made this baked spaghetti so that hopefully I can enjoy some of it for lunches or when I don't have the energy to make dinner this week!

I hope you enjoy!

Credit: Gooseberry Patch Cookbook

(I cut this in half)
16-oz. spaghetti noodles, cooked

2-(24-oz.) jars spaghetti sauce

2 lbs. ground beef, browned

1/4 c. butter

1/4 c. all-purpose flour

1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese

2 t. salt

1/2 t. garlic powder

12-oz. evaporated milk

3 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided

Combine spaghetti noodles, spaghetti sauce and ground beef in a large bowl; set aside. Melt butter in a sauce pan over medium heat; add flour, Parmesan cheese, salt and garlic powder, stirring constantly until smooth and bubbly. Add evaporated milk and one cup cheddar cheese; stir until thickened.

Pour half of spaghetti noodle mixture into a greased 13"x9" casserole dish and pour the cheese mixture over top. Pour remaining noodle mixture into dish; top with remaining 2 cups cheddar cheese. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes. Serves 12.

Macaroni and Cheese

I love macaroni and cheese! I have found some great recipes for it lately and now this recipe will be added to the bunch! I got this recipe from this site. I have gotten some other great recipes from this site as well so be sure to check it out!

Ingredients:( I cut this in half)
2 cups shredded mild cheddar,
2 cups shredded colby jack blend,
1 cup medium (or sharp) cheddar,
2 cups shredded velveeta or the small box/8 oz of large box,
1 box elbow macaroni (or noodle of choice),
4 eggs,
3 cups whole milk,
1 cup heavy cream (1/2 pint),
1/2 stick of butter,
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, set out and spray w/ non-stick spray a 13x9 inch pan that is at least 3-4 inches deep (or use several smaller round pans to share with others or save for later)

Step 1: Boil noodles as directed on package until just undercooked, quick drain- rinse- shake, set aside for later
Step 2: Mix eggs, milk, cream and salt and pepper, whisk until well blended.
Step 3: In a bowl combine the three types of shredded cheese; 2 cups mild cheddar, 2 cups colby jack and 1 cup medium/sharp cheddar
and mix
Step 4: In a greased 9x13 inch pan (at least 3-4 inches deep) pour 1/2 of milk mixture in bottom of pan.
Step 5: Add a layer of noodles, salt and pepper
Step 6: Top noodles with cheese and mix cheese up a little w/ noodles
Step 7: Add slices of velveeta over shredded cheese
Step 8: Repeat steps 5-7 (noodles, cheese, cheese- salt and pepper)
Step 9: When both layers are complete, poke holes through the top layer and pour rest of milk mixture over the remaining noodles and cheese.
Step 10: Melt 1/2 stick of butter (or more!) and pour over the top of the dish. Salt and pepper.
Step 11: Cover tightly with foil and bake in oven for 45 minutes. Remove foil and cook for 5-10 more minutes more or until golden. Let stand for at least 10-15 minutes before serving.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Summer Strawberry Dessert

Summer is just great for delicious fruity desserts!! I found this recipe using strawberries and it made me so exicted! I love strawberries and I have been eating them all summer. I am not sure where I found this recipe as it was just saved on my computer. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.
(Sorry for the horrible picture!)

2 Cups Fresh Strawberries sliced(about 1 QT )
1 - 14oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 Container of Cool Whip (I use FF)
8 Oreo cookies
1 TBSP butter (melted)

Line a bread loaf pan with foil.
In a large bowl mash 2 cups of the strawberries.
Add the condensed milk to the strawberries and stir.
Add 2 cups of cool whip and lemon juice and stir.
Pour into foil lined pan.
Crush the oreo cookies and add melted butter.
Spread the cookie mixture over the top.
Cover the top with foil and freeze for several hours.
Flip over and slice up and serve.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Unstuffed peppers

I was able to get to another new recipe this week. This recipe turned out great and was a hit with the husband!! That's always a plus. I will definitely make it again! Since this wasn't served inside a pepper I served it with tortilla chips. Sorry for the lack of pictures but we were starving.

1 lb ground beef
2 cups salsa
1 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 cup water
3/4 tsp cumin
3/4 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup cooked rice
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
Brown hamburger and drain. Add remaining ingredients except rice and cheese. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes or till peppers are tender. Stir in rice and heat through. Sprinkle cheese over the top and replace the lid. (You can turn the stove off at this point. You just need the cheese to melt.)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Baked Ziti

I have had a pretty busy summer. I have about 3 weeks left till I have to start getting stuff ready for school so I am trying to continue to rest up and get as much in as possible. I've got some new recipes to try out this week and I started with this one. I don't know if I'll get to the other recipes this week and this created a great amount of food!! That's ok because it was delicious! If I make this again I will definitely take half and freeze it!

Baked Ziti with Mascarpone
From: Lauren's Kitchen
1 lb ziti pasta
1 (26 oz) jar spaghetti sauce
1/2 lb ground beef
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz mascarpone cheese
1 cup sour cream
1-2 cups Mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta to al dente. Drain & set aside.

Meanwhile, brown meat with onion & garlic. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Add marinara sauce to the pan and simmer for about 10 minutes. Thin the sauce just a tad with about 1/8 cup water or chicken stock. Season the sauce with garlic & herbs, to taste.

In a large bowl, combine mascarpone cheese, sour cream, and cooked pasta.Layer the pasta, sauce and cheese in a large greased casserole dish as follows:

1/2 pasta
1/2 sauce
1/2 cheese
remaining pasta
remaining sauce
remaining cheese

Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and top with Parmesan cheese and bake for an additional 5 minutes. Let sit for about 10 minutes before serving.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Yesterday we went to a family reunion on Chad’s side. It was a pitch in and I decided to bring a dessert. I have tons of recipes starred in my Google reader! I decided to go back to the beginning of the starred recipes and start making them. So far I have made about 5 different things out of probably over 300!!!! These bars turned out great and were super simple to put together! That is always a plus.

This is a Pillsbury recipe but I actually found it from this site.

Oatmeal Carmelitas

from Pillsbury

2 cups Pillsbury BEST® All Purpose or Unbleached Flour (I used Gold Medal)
2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups margarine or butter, softened (I used butter)
1 (12.5-oz.) jar (1 cup) caramel ice cream topping
3 tablespoons Pillsbury BEST® All Purpose or Unbleached Flour (I used Gold Medal)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (I used 1/2 cup Milk chocolate and 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips)
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I usually use Walnuts but omitted nuts this time)
Heat oven to 350°F.
Grease 13x9-inch pan.

Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. In large bowl, combine all crust ingredients; mix at low speed until crumbly. Reserve half of crumb mixture (about 3 cups) for topping. Press remaining crumb mixture in bottom of greased pan.
Bake for 10 minutes or until light brown.

Meanwhile, in small bowl, combine caramel topping and 3 tablespoons flour; blend well.
Remove partially baked crust from oven; sprinkle with chocolate chips and nuts.
Drizzle evenly with caramel mixture; sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture.
Return to oven; bake an additional 18 to 22 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool 1 hour or until completely cooled. Refrigerate 1 to 2 hours or until filling is set.
Cut into bars.


Sunday, June 7, 2009

Strawberry Ice Cream

I have been anxious to get my ice cream maker out this summer. I have only made ice cream once and it turned out to be a disaster. I followed the instructions to a tee this time and luckily it turned out great!I have my list of flavors I want to try, my next one is mint chocolate chip.

Strawberry Ice Cream
Source: All Recipes

1 quart fresh strawberries, hulled
1 1/2 cups heavy cream, divided
3/4 cup white sugar
3 egg yolks
3 tablespoons light corn syrup

1. Place the berries into the container of a blender or food processor, and puree until smooth. Pour into a large bowl, and set aside.

2.Heat 1 1/4 cups of the cream in a saucepan over medium heat until it begins to bubble at the edge of the pan. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, egg yolks, remaining 1/4 cup cream, and corn syrup. Gradually pour the hot cream into the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Return the mixture to the saucepan, and heat until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon, about 5 minutes. Do not allow the mixture to boil. Strain custard into the berry puree through a sieve, mix, and refrigerate until chilled.

3.Fill an ice cream maker with the mixture, and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Macaroni and Cheese

Chad and I had some friends over recently for a cookout. I found this macaroni recipe and decided to try it out. It was such an easy recipe and required very few ingredients!! I will definitely be using this recipe from now on!

I found this recipe on this blog.INGREDIENTS

1 16 ounce box of pasta (cooked)
16 ounces Velveeta cheese, cut into small pieces
16 ounces Monterey jack cheese, shredded
1 stick (or more) Butter/margarine, separate into quarters, cut into small pieces
Milk (about a cup)
Salt and pepper (to your taste)


In the bottom of a 9x13 casserole dish spread a quarter of your butter.

Layer down half your pasta, a quarter of butter pieces, salt and pepper, half the Monterey jack add half the Velveeta.

Repeat above step.

Top with the last quarter of your butter pieces and evenly pour milk over the top.

Bake on 325 for about an hour. It will be nice and bubbly and little brown in some spots.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A new toy!!

For Christmas my parents got me a food processor! I am so excited to start using it. I broke it in this weekend and made some bread crumbs. My mom had a ton of rolls left over from a party and didn't want to keep them. I graciously took them off her hands! I am so excited to find other uses for my new toy! If you have any ideas let me know!