Friday, December 27, 2013

Mexican Roll Ups for the New Year!

Are you ready for the New Year to come?  I sure am.  I know many of you just cooked a big meal for Christmas as I have.  That's why snacks and tiny bites are perfect for the New Year's celebration.  Now anybody that knows me knows that I just cannot stand olives!  I absolutely despise them.  I don't mind olive oil, but I just can't choke olives down.  Or so I thought.  There is only one way I have found to be able to eat olives.  Our friend Steven brought these Mexican Roll Ups over for a party several years ago.  I have been hooked ever since.  This is a super easy recipe that anyone can do.


2- 8oz Packages Cream Cheese, softened
1 Bunch of Green Onions, cut or chopped in small pieces
1- 4oz Can of Chopped Mild Green Chili Peppers
1- 4oz Can of Chopped Black Olives, drained
2-3 Tablespoons of Salsa
5 to 6oz Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 Package of 10" Soft Flour Tortillas

In a mixing bowl, beat Cream Cheese, Salsa and Green Onions until mixed.  Add Green Chili Peppers (juice included) and Black Olives and beat until mushy.  Add Shredded Cheddar and mix.

To Assemble:  Lay out Tortillas and cut off ends to make a more square shape for easy rolling.  Spread on Cream Cheese Mixture.  Using a rubber spatula makes this part easier. Starting at one end, roll up snugly.  Wrap in tin foil to refrigerate.  Do this until you have used up your ingredients.  When cream cheese is firm, unwrap and cut into discs. Store in airtight container with wax paper between layers and refrigerate until ready to enjoy.

This recipe comes from Steven's Mother.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Farfalle with Watercress, Cherry Tomatoes and Feta Cheese

I am a huge fan of pasta and cheese.  I found this healthy recipe online when I was actually looking up what you would use watercress in.  I hadn't tried watercress before so I was determined to give it a shot.  This is a very refreshing dish and is actually kind of light.  You won't feel bad after eating this one.


8 oz Farfalle Pasta
1 c Feta, crumbled
2 pints Cherry Tomatoes, sliced in half
3 c Watercress Leaves (from about 2 bunches)
1/4 tsp Ground Black Pepper
Sea Salt to taste

Cook Farfalle in salted boiling water on the stove to your desired doneness (most brands cook to al dente in about 6 minutes even if the package doesn't say so). Reserve 1/4 c of the pasta water. Wait to drain until you've read the following instructions.

In a large bowl, place feta.  Top with watercress.  Pour pasta water over Watercress.  This will allow it to wilt a little.

Place tomatoes in colander.  Drain the cooked pasta over the tomatoes to create a quick blanch.  Toss with Watercress mix, sprinkle on Pepper.  Add a sprinkle of Sea Salt to your liking.

This recipe came from  I just thought it needed minor changes like adding salt.

Friday, November 1, 2013

White Cheddar, Tomato and Leek Sandwich Melt

It's getting cold outside!  I recently came across a sandwich recipe that tastes just like you got it from a famous restaurant.  You can feel fancy just like I did, and not have to do a lot of hard labor!  I had my mother in law over for girl time and she really, really liked this sandwich.  It almost tatses like a really good BLT.  So move over soups, leeks can be used for sandwiches now!


4 Slices Sourdough Bread
Butter, softened
Mayo (Miracle Whip works well)
Tomato, Sliced
1 very large or 3 small Leeks, rinsed and chopped
2/3 c Shredded White Cheddar (mild melts best)

Heat frying pan on medium heat.  Butter one side of each slice of bread.  Place 2 slices, buttered side down in the fry pan.  Top with leeks and half of the cheese.  Add layer of sliced tomatoes and top with the rest of the cheese.  On the non-buttered side of the next two slices of bread, add a thin layer of mayo.  Place slices on top of cheese with the mayo side down.  Toast until bottom side is golden brown, flip and toast the other side until golden brown.  It should look like a big fancy grilled cheese sandwich.  Slice in half and serve hot.

Not sure how to prepare those leeks?  Here is a great short video on how to prepare them.  From then on, just chop into smaller pieces for your desired texture.
Video on by My Recipes

Sandwich recipe from AJ on

Friday, October 25, 2013

Cornflake Wreaths for Christmas

These really are supposed to look like wreaths but we had to make them look more like holly bushes.  You can certainly spend the extra time forming them into wreaths, but we just have better luck dropping them by the spoonful onto wax paper.  These are so beautiful yet so easy and your guests will be impressed.  There's something very addicting about these.


1/2 c Butter
30 Large Marshmallows (you may just use a whole normal size bag)
1/2 tsp Vanilla
3 1/2 c Cornflakes
Green Food Coloring
Red Imperials (aka. those hot cinnamon candies called Red Hots)

Melt Butter and Marshmallows in a large pan on the stove.  Add food coloring to desired look (maybe about 1/4 tsp of the one in liquid form) and Vanilla.  Mix in cornflakes.  Drop by spoonfuls on wax paper ( I like to grease mine as these can get super sticky).  At this time you may shape into wreaths or however you'd like.  Decorate with the Red Imperials.  Let sit 8 hours at room temperature.  Store in air tight container.

This recipe comes from my Grandma.

Popcorn Balls for Christmas

Another thing my grandma made for Christmas was Popcorn Balls.  I could eat a gallon sized bag of these in one sitting if I wasn't careful!  These are a real challenge to make.  My grandma would make these with her hands.  She told me the way she did was to let the popcorn mix cool a bit and then added butter to her hands to form these. Warning: I highly suggest getting one of those cheap pop corn ball makers (they look like hallowed spheres) if you don't have hands that are desensitized to heat.  These can give you blisters if you do it by hand if you're not careful.  A good way to go around this is to maybe treat it like rice krispie treats and spread out in a pan to cool.  I personally prefer the ball shape and am willing to burn my hands.  Please be careful, especially if this is your first time!  Again, the popcorn ball maker is pretty cheap and probably still costs about $2-$5.


2 c Sugar
1 1/2 c Water
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 c Light Corn Syrup
1 tsp Vinegar
1 tsp Vanilla
5 quarts Popped Popcorn, dead kernels removed

Butter the sides of a sauce pan (medium size is good).  Combine Sugar, Water, Salt, Corn Syrup and Vinegar.  Cook on stove to hard ball stage (250 degrees f on a candy thermometer).  Add Vanilla.  Pour over popcorn and coat evenly by mixing (I like to shake into a paper bag).  Let cool a little bit and shape into balls.  This recipe makes about 15-20 balls.

This is my Grandma's recipe.

Classic Sugar Cookies for Christmas

Sugar Cookies are loved by just about everyone.  This recipe I have is much much older than myself and has been in my family forever.  I still haven't found a better sugar cookie recipe than this one.  These come out nice and soft just like everyone likes them.  They have a nice balance to them in terms of sweet and salty.  We always have to make several batches of these each year.  One batch is pretty big.  Let's just say I'm pretty lucky to have a 6 quart stand mixer to mix a double batch of these cookies.  I have an interesting way of making the icing as there is no recipe for it.  I will explain how to do that at the end.  These cookies are great with or without the icing.


1 c Butter
1 1/2 c Sugar
3 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla
3 1/2 c Flour
2 tsp Cream of Tartar
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt

Cream Butter and Sugar.  Add Eggs and Vanilla, mix.  Add Flour, Cream of Tartar, Baking Soda and Salt, mix.  Chill dough for 3-4 hours (We've skipped this part before and they've turned out good but they expand more this way.  You can chill overnight if that's more convenient for you).  Roll out onto flour and sugar (I usually omit the sugar part).  Cut out into shapes and bake at 350 degrees f for 6-8 minutes or until done.


Mix a whole bag of powdered sugar with a little bit of butter (probably about a Tablespoon's worth).  The butter helps get the icing soft enough to bite through.  Add milk slowly and in small amounts to the consistency you would like.  I like to make mine a little runny but thick enough to stay on the cookie.  Don't worry if at first you make it too runny.  You can always add more powdered sugar.  Separate into different dishes and add the food coloring to your choice.  Decorate your cookies and allow to air dry a while until the icing is hardened all the way through (it may take about an hour. You can even let sit over night if needed).  There is no need to refrigerate these.

This recipe comes from my very own Mother.

Monster Cookies for Christmas

My husband and I love Monster Cookies.  His grandpa used to make monster cookies all the time.  The best was when grandpa would wake up at 2 am in the morning and start making monster cookies so he'd have some for when we visited for games.  I believe this to be a special recipe as it does take a bit of time to make.  With all the time and effort, these cookies turn out to be more than worth it!  These would be a wonderful addition to your Christmas Cookies.


3 Eggs
1 c Sugar
1 c Brown Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp Corn Syrup
2 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt
1/2 c Butter, melted
1 1/2 c Chunky Peanut Butter
4 1/2 c Rolled Oats
1/2 c Flour
3/4 c Chocolate Chips
3/4 c Reese's Pieces
3/4 c M and M's

Preheat oven to 350 degrees f.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper (This is preferred but not required.  You can try greasing the pans).  

In a large mixing bowl, mix Eggs, Sugar, Brown Sugar, Vanilla, Corn Syrup, Baking Soda and Salt.  Stir in the Peanut Butter and Melted Butter.  Add the Flour and Oats and stir until well mixed.  Stir in the Chocolate Chips, Reese's Pieces and M and M's.  Let batter sit for 30 minutes.

Drop dough into about a 1/4 c size balls on cookie sheet and flatten out a little. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until edges are golden brown.  Place on cooling rack.  Store in an air tight container.

This recipe came from the Cooking with K website.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Snickerdoodle Cookies for Christmas

My grandma made the best Snickerdoodles!  She didn't put that weird lemon juice stuff in her cookies to make them taste funny. She used to make several gallon size bags full of Snickerdoodles for Christmas since we all hogged these.  I am excited that I keep seeing people posting Snickerdoodle recipes on pinterest.  I've seen some creative recipes using these cookies.  I think I will try one of those recipes in particular.  The ones with the caramel sounded really good.


1 c Shortening
1 1/2 c Sugar (for batter)
2 Eggs
2 3/4 c Flour
2 tsp Cream of Tartar
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Salt
2 Tbsp Sugar (for rolling)
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Cloves

Preheat oven to 375 degrees f (may need to adjust oven to 400 degrees f if these don't bake in the time alotted).
Cream Shortening and  1 1/2 c Sugar.  Add Eggs.  In a separate bowl, sift Flour, Cream of Tartar, Baking Soda and Salt.  Add to wet mix.
In a separte bowl, mix 2 Tbsp Sugar, Cinnamon and Cloves.  Form dough into balls and roll in sugar mix.  Bake on a cookie sheet for 10 minutes.

I believe this to be my grandma's recipe.  However I did get this from my Aunt.

Soft Molasses Cookies for Christmas

If someone were to ask me what was the most requested thing for me to make for others, I would have to say these Soft Molasses Cookies.  They are to die for!  I came across this recipe on a whim one day as a college student.  I had very few groceries back then, but for some reason I did have molasses in my cupboard.  I wanted molasses cookies so bad one night and didn't have the means to go out and buy some at the store.  I looked at a few recipes and noticed a lot of them called for shortening, an item I didn't have.  I almost gave up.  Luckily, I found this recipe online that used butter instead of the shortening.  Little did I know then that this was simply the best molasses cookie I have had or ever will have.  Most who've had this would agree.  If I were you, I would at least make this into a double batch because these run out faster than you could say yum.


3/4 c Butter
1 c Brown Sugar
1 Egg
1/4 c Molasses (not Blackstrap)
2 1/4 c Flour
2 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 tsp Ground Ginger
1/2 tsp Ground Cloves
Granulated Sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees f.  Cream Butter and Brown Sugar together.  Add Egg and Molasses and mix.  Add Flour, Baking Soda, Cinnamon, Ginger and Cloves.  Form dough into balls and roll in sugar.  Place on cookie sheet and bake for 9 minutes.  Cool done cookies and store in air tight container.

My apologies I can not find the exact person who I got this from on  This was from so long ago. I've searched for a while but I give them credit for this recipe.  It's the best molasses cookie recipe and I thank them for sharing it with me!


If you've got extra icing leftover from those sugar cookies, you may want to try drizzling some on a few of those molasses cookies.  They look gorgeous and they still taste great!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Ranger Cookies for Christmas

Most of you are probably wondering what a ranger cookie is.  It is a well loved cookie in my family.  It takes some patience with the cooking time so you'll need to make them in small batches.  Maybe that is the reason why so many people have forgotten about this cookie.  It has wonderful flavors and textures with coconut, rice krispies and nuts.  If you want to impress someone with a cookie you made, this is definitely the one to serve.  These are delightfully crisp and chewy.


1 c Shortening or Margarine
1 c Sugar
1 c Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
2 c Flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1 c Coconut
1 tsp Vanilla
2 1/2 c Rice Krispies
Nuts to liking, chopped (I used chopped Pecans, about 1/2-1 cup)

Preheat oven to 250 degrees f.  In a large bowl, mix Shortening (or margarine), Sugar and Brown Sugar.  Add Eggs and Vanilla.  In a separate bowl, mix Flour, Baking Soda and Baking Powder.  Add to wet mix.  Stir in the Coconut, Rice Krispies and Nuts of your choice.

This recipe calls for you to bake these at 250 degrees f for 30 minutes.  Some ovens are different and can really affect the cooking times on these.  You may have to increase your temperature and bake longer if these don't turn golden brown once the 30 minutes is up.  Bake until golden brown.

Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies for Christmas

It's that time of year again where people start thinking about Christmas.  I know it's October but you have to admit it's been in the back of your mind.  I have had the excitement for Christmas waaaay early this year.  I've been stoked for Christmas since July!  I want to share with you my favorite Christmas cookie recipe, the peanut butter kiss cookie.  My father in law and I fight over these cookies every year and they're the first ones gone!  I truly believe that chocolate and peanut butter were a match made in heaven!


1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup peanut butter1/2 cup sugar1/2 cup brown sugar1 egg1/2 tsp. vanilla1 1/4 cup flour3/4 tsp. baking soda1/4 tsp. saltextra granulated sugarchocolate kisses, unwrapped

Cream butter, peanut butter, sugar and brown sugar together. Add in egg and vanilla and mix well. Add the flour, baking soda and salt. Roll into balls in sugar. Bake at 375 degrees f for 10-12 minutes. Immediately put one chocolate kiss in the middle of each cookie while cookie is still hot. Let cool and then enjoy!

This peanut butter cookie recipe has been used in my family for many years. I believe it to be from the old school Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook. I just added the kisses.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

I'm not a fan of rhubarb alone.  It has to be mixed with something.  Rhubarb is great for adding a good tart element to dishes.  I thought long and hard about what I wanted to do with the massive bag of rhubarb I got from my mother in law.  She has a rhubarb plant that is basically on steroids.  The thing just grows like nobody's business!  The strawberries have been fantastic and I really like them mixed with rhubarb.  I didn't feel like making a pie, so I made this crisp instead.  It turned out fantastic!  I adjusted the recipe a little bit after reading the comments from other people.  You really have to get some ice cream for this dessert.  It's so good  when you warm up these bars and put ice cream on top.


1 C White Sugar
3 Tbsp Flour
4 C Strawberries, sliced
4 C Rhubarb, diced
1 1/2 C Flour
1 C Brown Sugar
1 C Butter, softened
1 C Rolled Oats

Preheat oven to 375 degrees f.

Mix White Sugar, 3 Tbsp Flour, Strawberries and Rhubarb in a large bowl.  Place mix in a greased 9x13" pan.

In clean bowl, mix 1 1/2 C Flour, Brown Sugar, Butter and Oats until crumbly.  Crumble on top of fruit mix. Bake for 1 hour or until golden brown and crisp.

The original recipe is found on by Michelle Davis.  I just adjusted the amount of fruit to use.

Sesame Chicken, Yes Please!

Since I just posted the Crab Rangoon recipe, I am now getting hungry for Chinese food.  My husband and I love Sesame Chicken when it comes to our favorite Chinese takeout dish.  I found an awesome recipe that has showed me the way to making a really rockin' Sesame Chicken dish.  This Sesame Chicken is not as bready as a lot of the kind you get at the restaurants.  It's still crunchy and the chicken comes out juicy and tender every time.  I like to add a little depth of flavor by adding just a little bit of Sriracha to the sauce.  For the wine, I just get those small single serving bottles since I don't need much and won't feel bad if I forget to drink the rest of the bottle of wine.


2-3 Chicken Breast Halves, cut into bite size pieces
1 Tbsp Light Soy Sauce (it tastes better than normal for some reason)
1 Tbsp Cooking Wine (I use a white wine)
1/2 Tbsp Sesame Oil
1 tsp Sugar
2 Tbsp Flour
1 Tbsp Rice Flour or Cornstarch
Salt and Pepper to Taste

3 Tbsp Sweet Chili Sauce
2 Tbsp Ketchup
1-2 Tbsp Honey (I usually do 2 to satisfy the sweet tooth)
1 Tbsp Oyster Sauce
2 Tbsp Light Soy Sauce (again, tastes better than regular)
1/4 C Water
Sriracha to Taste (optional)

Cooked Rice of Choice, enough for at least 2 large dishes
Toasted Sesame Seeds

Marinate Chicken with Light Soy Sauce, Wine, Sugar, Sesame Oil, Salt and Pepper.  Let sit for at least 1 hour.

Mix Flour and Rice Flour (or Cornstarch) in separate bowl.  Coat each piece of Chicken with flour mix.  Prepare oil for frying.  Fry Chicken in small batches on medium heat (about 375 degrees f).  Chicken will be done when golden brown and floating to the top. Place chicken on paper towels to drain oil off.  Set aside.

Drain all oil from the pan you used for frying. Mix in all sauce ingredients and bring up to a boil.  Let the sauce thicken a bit.  Take off heat and at chicken.  Toss gently.  Serve over hot cooked rice and top with sesame seeds.

This recipe was found on by Icook4fun.  I just added some sriracha to make it better.

Crab Rangoons, See Ya Real Soon!

I love Crab Rangoons.  I can't go get Chinese food and not get Crab Rangoons.  We feel like the amount of Chinese restaurants around us are slim.  Instead of giving into convenience to get Chinese food down the street, we decided we'd try to make our own Chinese food one day. I found this tasty recipe that I would like to share with you.


1 Quart Frying Oil (I used Canola)
1 8oz Package Cream Cheese, softened
12 oz Crab Meat, drained and flaked (it's ok to use fresh imitation crab and in small chunks)
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1/4 tsp Paprika
2 Tbsp Water Chestnuts, drained and chopped
1-2 Scallions, chopped finely
1 14oz Package Wonton Wrappers

Heat oil to 375 degrees f in a large pan.

In a medium mixing bowl, mix Cream Cheese, Crab Meat, Garlic Powder, Paprika, Water Chestnuts and Scallions.  Place about 1 teaspoon of the mix into Wonton Wrapper. Wet edges of the Wonton wrapper, fold over and seal edges together.

Fry Wontons in small batches until golden brown (about 3-5 minutes).  Serve hot.

Original recipe found on by lauvan.  I just added the scallions.  Fresh chives may be used in place of scallions.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Goat Cheese Pasta With Chicken and Rosemary

Ever since January, my husband and I have been making a big effort to try different recipes on pinterest.  I really enjoy looking on pinterest and finding fresh ideas.  One thing I found out is my tastebuds have changed.  I used to despise any kind of goat cheese.  It was too funky for me.  I have actually begun to like goat cheese.  Because of this previous hatred of goat cheese, I took it upon myself to do something daring.  I would make a mac and cheese recipe using goat cheese.  This is the recipe I found, tried and enjoyed.  This bright recipe is best freshly made.


1 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil
1 lb. Dried Rigatoni
1 quart Heavy Cream
2 Tbsp Fresh Rosemary, chopped
1 Garlic Clove, crushed
8 ounces Goat Cheese (I actually had put 10 oz in)
2 C. Cooked Chicken, shredded
Salt and Pepper to taste

Place a large pot of salted water over high heat and bring to a rapid boil.  Add the oil and rigatoni to the water and cook according to the directions on the package (about 10-12 minutes).
While you are waiting for the water to boil, pour the cream into a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the rosemary and garlic to the cream and bring to a simmer.  Make sure it doesn't boil over.  Allow the cream to reduce by about half.  Stir in the goat cheese and chicken and continue cooking it until the cream coats the back of the spoon.
Thoroughly drain the pasta.  Add the pasta to the sauce and coat.  Simmer over low heat for a few minutes.  Serve hot.

This recipe found through pinterest from the My Baking Addiction blog posted by JAMIE.

Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup, It Is Out Of This World!

I am always skeptical when I make soup recipes from someone else.  I have found so many bland ones in the past, but have since learned how to fix some of those recipes.  I am happy to say this is one recipe I followed and didn't have to adjust one bit!  This soup is so good that I was mad that I didn't make a double batch so I could have more than seconds.  This one has earned a permanent spot in my family cookbook.  It tastes just like it came from a nice restaurant.


2 Garlic Cloves, Minced2 Tbsp. Olive Oil2-10 3/4 oz Cans of Condensed Tomato Soup1/4 cup Sun Dried Tomatoes, chopped or 2 Tbl Of Sun Dried Tomato Paste (I used the sun dried tomatoes in olive oil)2 cups Half and Half2 cups Chicken Stock or Vegetable Stock1 tsp Onion Powder1 Tbsp. Italian Seasoning1/2 tsp Salt1/2 tsp Pepper1-9 Oz Package Of Cheese Filled Tortellini1/2 cup Fresh Parmesan Cheese, Shredded

Saute garlic with the olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat until golden brown.  When the garlic is done, add tomato soup, tomatoes, half and half, chicken stock and spices.  Bring to a simmer.Once simmering, drop tortellini into the soup. Cook according to the package directions.  After the tortellini is cooked, ladle soup into bowls and top with parmesan cheese.

I got this recipe through pinterest.  The blog is came from is called Recipe Swagger.  The page I found this is at

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Crabby Mac and Brie, Could It Get Any Better Than This?

I swear by all that is holy, this is one of the best dishes I have ever had!  It's a macaroni and cheese dish but with brie and crab meat.  This one is so different from your typical mac and cheese, that I would put this in it's own category.  It is delicately sweet.  I apologize for not sharing this golden recipe a lot sooner.  Dan and I were looking at recipes of things we'd want to watch for the big game this year with the Ravens against the 49ers.  We thought this one would be an excellent comfort food.  I am so upset that I didn't make more.  I am still craving this dish!

For this recipe, we did go with imitation fresh crab meat (flaked) since the real stuff is so expensive.  I ripped up the big chunks a little bit and very lightly coated the imitation crab meat with some seafood seasoning.

Crabby Mac and Brie

1 lb. Medium Shell Pasta
5 Tbsp Butter
1 Medium Sweet Onion (yellow works fine too), halved and thinly sliced
1/3 C Flour
3/4 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
3 C Condensed Milk (NOT sweetened)
1 lb. Brie Cheese, Trimmed, Cut into Small Wedges, and Chopped (Reserve half of the wedges for topping)
12 oz Fresh cooked crabmeat (may use canned when drained, flaked and cartilage removed)
3 Slices White Bread (Leave out overnight to become stale or toast), Torn Apart into Pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees f.  Lightly coat ramekins (or large casserole dish) with cooking spray; set aside.

Cook Pasta in a large pot of salted water.  Cook according to package directions, drain.  Return Pasta to large pot.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt Butter over medium-low heat.  Add Onion and cook about 15 minutes or until tender and golden brown, stirring occasionally. Add Flour, Salt and Pepper; cook and stir about 1 minute or until combined.  Add Milk all at once.  Cook and stir until slightly thickened and bubbly.  Gradually add the chopped Brie Cheese; cook and stir over medium-low heat until cheese is melted.

Stir Cheese mixture into cooked pasta.  Fold in Crab.  Transfer to prepared baking dish(es).

Place Bread pieces in a food processor; cover and process until in coarse crumbs.  Sprinkle crumbs over Pasta mixture.

Bake, uncovered, for 20 to 35 minutes or until heated through and crumbs are golden brown.  For the last 5 minutes of baking, top each dish with one of the reserved small Brie wedges (or if in big casserole, top by spacing out wedges).  Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

This recipe came from Better Homes and Gardens on

Cheese Tortellini in Homemade Mushroom Sauce

I am a huge fan of finding out how to make something from scratch. I have little knowledge in how to make a variety of sauces, so when I came across this recipe on pinterest, I was instantly inspired.  It looked so good so we had to try it.  Dan really likes mushrooms, which I know is an added bonus.  This recipe is actually from Martha Stewart.  I tweeked some things since shitake mushrooms are a little bit more expensive and we like garlic.

Cheese Tortellini in Mushroom Sauce

9 oz Fresh Cheese Tortellini
4 tsp Olive Oil
8 oz Fresh Shitake Mushrooms, Stemmed, Caps Halved and Thinly Sliced
8 oz Fresh Bella Mushrooms, Stemmed, Caps Halved and Thinly Sliced
6 Garlic Cloves, Thinly Sliced
2 C Water
Sea Salt and Ground Pepper to Taste
6 Tbsp Grated Parmesan
2 Tbsp Cold Butter
2/3 C Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley, Chopped

In a large pot of boiling SALTED water, cook Tortellini according to package instructions; drain.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat oil over medium-low heat.  Add Mushrooms and Garlic.  Cook, stirring frequently, until Mushrooms are tender, about 7 minutes.

Add Water, season with Salt and Pepper.  Cook until liquid is reduced by half, about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat, add Tortellini, Parmesan, Butter and Parsley.  Toss to coat, serve.

Original Recipe Found on

Down Home Chicken Pot Pie

One of the greatest cooking anxieties I have kept secret for a long time is to make pie crusts.  I had not made any pie crust from scratch up until recently.  I had heard many horror stories of how much of a pain it was to make pie crusts.  I decided to face my fears when it came to chicken pot pie.  I LOVE chicken pot pie.  I wanted to make some since I know the store bought ones are horrible for you.  I thought it would be good to try a homemade one.

This recipe is actually a mash-up of two recipes.  I ended up making some changes myself.  I know most chicken pot pie recipes call for peas.  My husband doesn't like peas, so I thought it would be good to exchange them for something else in this dish---green beans.

Please note that this dough recipe shouldn't be chilled.  It is much easier to deal with when it is not chilled.  Make sure dough is stiff.  Also, the cooking time for this was more like 45 minutes to an hour.  I kept the 30 minutes in the recipe in case you have a warmer oven.

Chicken Pot Pie

For Crusts:

2 C Flour
3/4 C Shortening
1/4 C Cold Water
1 Tbsp Onion Salt

For Filling:

1/4 C Butter (for sauce)
1/2 tsp Salt
Ground Black Pepper To Taste
1 Tbsp Finely Chopped Onion
1 1/2 C Chicken Broth
3/4 C Sliced Mushrooms
1 1/2 Tbsp Butter (for saute)
1 1/2 C Chicken, cooked and chopped
1 Carrot, Finely Chopped
1 Celery Stalk, Finely Chopped
1 Potato, Peeled and Cubed
8 oz Frozen Green Beans

Combine Crust ingredients in a large bowl just until mixed.  DO NOT CHILL.  Roll out bottom pie crust and set in dish.  Roll out top crust and set aside.

Preheat Oven to 400 degrees f.

In a large saucepan, melt 1/4 cups Butter.  Blend in flour, salt, pepper and onion.  Gradually stir in chicken broth.  Cook, stirring constantly until smooth and thickened.  In a separate pan, saute mushrooms in 3 tablespoons of butter, then stir into saucepan.  Stir in chicken, carrot, celery, green beans and potatoes.  Mix well and pour into bottom pie crust.  Cover with top crust, seal edges, and cut away excess dough.  Make several small slits in the top to allow steam to escape.

Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown, and filling is bubbly.

I have used a mash-up of recipes from both from SWIZZLESTICKS and ANTIE DI on

Monday, January 28, 2013

Parmesan Knots, By The Power Of Peer Pressure

Pinterest has been tempting me a lot to try new things.  It has a great wealth of recipes and other great ideas. I had noticed a lot of people posting the parmesan knot recipe.  I actually didn't end up pinning the recipe, but rather found it in an Our Wisconsin catalogue sent to me.  I ended up making their recipe and I put some sea salt on these biscuits to jazz it up even more.  This recipe is a great recipe to make something up to add to dinner in a pinch.

Here is the recipe I used:

Parmesan Knots

1/2 C Vegetable Oil (I used Canola and it worked well)
1/4 C Parmesan Cheese
1 1/2 tsp. Dried Parsley
1 1/2 tsp. Dried Oregano
1 tsp. Garlic Powder
Dash Pepper
3 (12 oz.) cans Refrigerated Buttermilk Biscuits

In a small bowl, combine oil and seasonings.  Set aside.  Cut each biscuit in half.  Roll each portion into a 6 inch rope, tie in a loose knot.  Place on greased baking sheet and back at 450 degrees f for 6-8 minutes or until golden brown.  Immediately brush with the parmesan mixture.  Brush a second time with parmesan mixture.  Serve warm or freeze up to 2 months.  To heat up frozen rolls, bake at 350 degrees f for 6-8 minutes or until heated through.

Scalloped Corn, This Picture Doesn't Do It Justice

I LOVE Scalloped Corn!  It is like a mix between corn bread and corn...pudding?  This recipe has been in my family for a while.  I don't know a single person who doesn't like this when I make it.  In fact, I get asked for this recipe all the time.  This one is great for any season and any occasion.  Do not expect any leftovers!

Scalloped Corn

1 can of corn, drained
1 can of creamed corn
1/2 cup butter (or margarine)
1 package of Jiffy cornbread/corn muffin mix
1 cup sour cream (or plain yogurt)

Mix all ingredients together and put in a greased casserole dish.  Bake uncovered at 350 degrees f for 1 hour or until cooked all the way through.

If you have a taste for spicy, you can always add some tobasco sauce to your own portions.  It's good that way too!

Spicy Black Bean Soup, Step Inside And Warm Up!

This soup looks gross.  I promise you though, it is out of this world!  I received the dry mix for this soup from my brother and his wife as a gift a while back.  It has taken me so long to post this one since I misplaced the recipe.  Luckily I found this recipe again.  This is one of my favorite soup recipes.

I hope these guys forgive me as I have made slight changes to the recipe.  We didn't have mozzarella on hand, so we used cheddar instead.  I think it really worked out though.  We also added a dollop of sour cream to each bowl of soup to help cool it down a little bit.  This, of course, is optional.

Spicy Black Bean Soup

For Dry Mix, Store in Jar Until Ready for Use:

1 1/2 C Dried Black Beans

Store The Following Ingredients in a Separate Bag in Jar:

1/4 C Dried Parsley Flakes
1/4 C Brown Sugar
3 Tbsp. Chili Powder
2 Tbsp. Dried Chopped/Minced Onion
1 1/2 tsp. Dried Cilantro
1 tsp. Dried Oregano
1 tsp. Garlic Powder
1 tsp. Ground Black Pepper
1/2 tsp. Paprika
1/2 tsp. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/4 tsp. Ground Cumin
1/4 tsp. Salt
4 Vegetable Bouillon Cubes, Unwrapped

Other Ingredients Needed to Make Soup:

6 C Chicken Broth or Stock
1 can (14 1/2 oz.) Diced Tomatoes
Shredded Cheddar Cheese (originally calls for mozzarella)
Sour Cream, optional

To Make Soup, place Black Beans into a 5-6 quart pot.  Cover with enough water to cover over beans by about 1 inch.  Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, covered for 5 minutes.  Turn off heat and let beans sit covered for 1 hour.  Drain off water.

Add broth, tomatoes and seasoning packet to beans.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Cover and reduce heat to simmer.  Simmer for 1 hour and 45 minutes or until beans are tender.  Sprinkle each serving with cheese and dollop with sour cream.

Cheesy Turkey Casserole To Warm The Soul

The other day, I wanted to make a nice hot comforting meal for my husband and I.  I wanted to go back to a recipe that I grew up with.  We needed something that could just stick to your ribs.

I dug deep into my cookbook and found the Cheesy Turkey Casserole recipe.  I didn't have any turkey but knew chicken would work just as well.  I thought I would try this recipe on my husband just to see if he'd like it.  He wasn't sure what it would be like at first which is why it took me so long to make it for him.  I'm glad I finally talked him into it as he loved it!  This recipe is meant to be in everyone's cookbooks.

Cheesy Turkey Casserole

8 oz. Spaghetti, cooked
1 lb. Velveeta, cubed
1 C Milk
1/2 C Mayo
8-10 oz. Frozen Peas and Carrots, cooked and drained
2 C Turkey or Chicken, cooked and cubed
2 Tbsp. Parsley
Green Onions or Chives to taste
Salt and Pepper to taste

Melt Velveeta with milk on the stove.  Add mayo.  Stir into Spaghetti.  Add the rest of the ingredients.  Cook in a large casserole dish.  Bake at 350 degrees f for 40 minutes.