Sunday, May 31, 2009

Cream Cheese Carrot Muffins!

OH.MY.WORD....I tell you, I made these last night and within two hours they were gone....gone I tell you, not even a crumb left on the plate, just a poor little neglected torn apart cupcake liner. Another great recipe from Taste of Home. 

1 can (15 ounces) sliced carrots, drained 
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour 
1 cup sugar 
1-1/4 teaspoons baking soda 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
1/8 teaspoon each ground allspice, cloves and nutmeg 
1/3 cup canola oil 
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened 
1 egg 
1/4 cup sugar 
Place carrots in a food processor; cover and process until smooth. 


In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and spices.

In a small bowl, whisk the pureed carrots, egg and oil; stir into the dry ingredients just until moistened. 

Fill 12 greased muffin cups one-third full. 


In a small bowl, beat the filling ingredients until smooth. Drop by tablespoonfuls into the center of each muffin. 

Top with remaining batter. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. 

Serve warm. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 1 dozen.

Easy Bread

One thing I've learned over the years of being married, is that when we run out of bread, there is no need to panic or rush out and buy more. 


You can make your own using staples that we all have in our pantries, it's so easy and believe me, SO much better than store bought. This one takes a little bit of time, so you have to plan ahead because it has to sit overnight. 


1 1/2 c. water 
3 c. flour 
1/4 tsp. yeast 
2 tsp. salt 
Mix all ingredients in a big bowl until all the ingredients are wet, that's it. Once that is done, cover with plastic wrap and let sit overnight. Next day, sprinkle flour on the counter, put the dough on the flour and sprinkle a little on top, stretch it in one direction then fold it in thirds, gentle.....stretch in the other direction, fold in thirds again then roll it over. 
Gently shape it into a ball, put in a greased pie plate, spray with a bit of oil, dust with a little of flour and cover with plastic wrap, let it rise for 2 hours. After 2 hours, place another pie plate at the bottom of the oven, fill with ice cubes, it will create steam which will help the bread cook, bake bread for 10 minutes at 500 F, then turn heat down to 450 for another 10 minutes, then turn down to 350 for another 10 minutes. 
What I like to do at the end of the cooking time, is to remove the bread from the pie plate and place it directly on the oven rack (or you can put a piece of foil down and place it on there), then let it cook for a little longer until the bottom of the bread gets nice and brown too. Once done, place bread on a cooling rack and let it cool for a few minutes before slicing. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Paul Bunyan Burgers

It's SO good, got the thumbs up from the family. 


Taste of Home 
  • 6 bacon strips, diced (you can use bacon bits, but it's not as good as the real bacon)
  • 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms (canned mushrooms work fine too)
  • 3 thin onion slices
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon prepared horseradish
  • 1 pound ground beef (I used sirloin)
  • 3 slices process American cheese
  • 3 hamburger buns, split


In a large skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon to paper towels. In the drippings, saute mushrooms and onion until tender. Transfer to a large bowl with a slotted spoon; add bacon. 


In another bowl, combine the egg, Worcestershire sauce, seasoned salt, salt, pepper and horseradish; sprinkle beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into six 1/4-in.-thick patties. 


Divide bacon mixture among three patties. 


 Top with a cheese slice; fold in corners of cheese. Top with remaining patties; seal edges. 

 Grill, uncovered, over medium-hot heat for 5-6 minutes a side or until a thermometer reads 160° and meat juices run clear. Serve on buns. Yield: 3 servings.

Monkey Bread

I've been making this Monkey Bread for so long and I honestly can't remember where I first got the recipe, I'm thinking it was Pillsbury, but not sure. 

This is today's afternoon snack. I bet you can't eat just one helping! 


Monkey Bread
1/2 cup granulated sugar 
1 teaspoon cinnamon 
2 cans (16.3 oz each) Pillsbury Grands! Homestyle refrigerated 
buttermilk biscuits 
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar 
3/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease 12-cup fluted tube pan with shortening or cooking spray. In large -storage plastic food bag, mix granulated sugar and cinnamon.

Separate dough into 16 biscuits; cut each into quarters. Shake in bag to coat. Arrange in pan, adding walnuts and raisins among the biscuit pieces.


In small bowl, mix brown sugar and butter; pour over biscuit pieces.


Bake 28 to 32 minutes or until golden brown and no longer doughy in center. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Turn upside down onto serving plate; pull apart to serve. Serve warm.


Friday, May 22, 2009

Squash Casserole

The perfect vegetable casserole, it's so good and even my kids love it. 


2 1/2 lbs. yellow squash, sliced 
1/2 c. butter 
14-oz. jar diced pimento, drained 
1/2 c. onion, chopped 
2 eggs, beaten 
1/4 c. green pepper, chopped 
1/4 c. mayonnaise 
2 t. sugar 
1 1/2 t. salt 
10 round buttery crackers, crushed 
1/2 c. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese 
Cook squash, covered, in a small amount of boiling water 8 to 10 minutes or until tender; drain well, pressing between paper towels. Combine squash and butter in a bowl; mash until butter melts. Stir in pimento and next 6 ingredients. 
Spoon into a lightly greased shallow 2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle with crushed crackers. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese; bake 5 more minutes or until cheese melts. Serves 8.

Dixie Fried Chicken

Curt loves fried chicken but I don't make it very often, it's time consuming and one of those meals that you have to sit there and overlook constantly. 

Needless to say, unless it's a weekend or vacation time, I don't make it that much. BUT, today is Curt's birthday so I thought it was the right time to make him this special meal. He loves this chicken and says it's better than KFC. I'm sure it's not, but I love him for saying it :) 




2 1/2 lbs assorted chicken pieces 
1/2 t. salt 
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper 
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour 
1 t. ground red pepper 
1 egg, lightly beaten 
1/3 c. milk 
vegetable oil 

Season chicken with salt and pepper. 
Combine flour and red pepper; set aside. 
Combine egg and milk; dip chicken in egg mixture and dredge in flour mixture, coating chicken well. Pour oil to a depth of one inch in a heavy big skillet and heat to 350 degrees. 
Fry the chicken in hot oil over medium heat 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown, turning occasionally. 
Remove small pieces earlier if necessary, to avoid overbrowning. 
Drain chicken on paper towels. Serves 4. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Apple Strudel Muffins

These are going to be added to the Teacher Gifts tomorrow. 

It's the end of the school year for us and my gifts are all apple themed, so this recipe fit right in. 
* 2 cups all-purpose flour 
* 1 teaspoon baking powder 
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
* 1/2 teaspoon salt 
* 1/2 cup butter 
* 1 cup white sugar 
* 2 eggs 
* 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla 
* 1 1/2 cups chopped apples 
* 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
* 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour 
* 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
* 1 tablespoon butter 
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 12 cup muffin pan. 
2. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. 
3. In a large bowl, beat together butter, sugar and eggs until smooth. Mix in vanilla. Stir in apples, and gradually blend in the flour mixture. Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin pan. 
4. In a small bowl, mix brown sugar, flour and cinnamon. Cut in butter until mixture is like coarse crumbs. 


Sprinkle over tops of mixture in muffin pan. 

2009_05200034 2009_05200038 5. 

Bake 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Allow to sit 5 minutes before removing muffins from pan. Cool on a wire rack. 


Monday, May 18, 2009

Bubble Pizza

When I first tried this recipe, a couple of years ago, I wasn't quite sure what to think, I mean I knew my kids love pizza but I was afraid that if I messed with the traditional way, they would not be impressed. 

BUT, I'm pretty lucky, my kids love anything to do with pizza and this recipe is so versatile that you can adjust it to their liking. So here you go, a different way of presenting pizza to the kids....let me know what they think. 




3 (7 1/2 oz.) tubes of refrigerated buttermilk biscuits, quartered 
14 oz jar spaghetti sauce, divided 
3 c. shredded mozzarella cheese, divided (I use a mix, whatever I have on hand) 
1 clove garlic, minced (I use half a teaspoon of the jar minced garlic) 
Optional: sliced pepperoni, sliced mushrooms, onion, ham, sausage or pineapple Place biscuit pieces in a large mixing bowl; add half the spaghetti sauce, 2 cups cheese and garlic.



Mix until biscuit pieces are well coated; spread in a greased 13"x9" baking pan. Pour remaining sauce on top; add any optional toppings. Sprinkle with remaining cheese; bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes. 



Saturday, May 16, 2009

Mustard Herb Chicken Breasts!

Ok a new week of menus with new recipes to try. 

This first one is taken from the Taste of Home Potlucks & Barbecues and is perfect for the grill, although in my case, I skipped that part and did it in two steps, first by browning it nicely in the skillet and then popping it in the oven until done. 


1/4 cup chopped green onion 
1/4 cup Dijon-mayonnaise blend 
2 tablespoons lemon juice 
1 garlic clove minced 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme 
1/4 teaspoon pepper 
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves 
 In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the first seven ingredients; add chicken. Seal bag and turn to coat. Refrigerate for 2 hours, turning once. 
Grill chicken, covered over medium heat for 6-8 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer reads 170 degrees. 
NOTE: I followed the recipe but fried the breasts in the skillet until nice and brown and then transferred them to an ovenproof dish. I baked them at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes until they were done. 
I served mine with some curried's just plain butter rice with a teaspoon or two of curry powder. Gives it that extra kick. Enjoy! 

Friday, May 15, 2009

Menu Plan - May 16th to 23rd

Here's my menu plan for this week, there's a bunch of new recipes I'm trying to be sure to come back and check them out. 



B: Strawberry Cheesecake French Toast 

L: Corned Beef Hash 

D: Mustard Herb Chicken Breasts



 B: Biscuits and Gravy 

L: *Nicholas has a birthday party at a bowling alley so we'll eat there 




B: Sausage Biscuits 

L: New England Clam Chowder 

D: Bubble Pizza


 B: Cereal 

L: Cheese and Ham Sandwich 

D: Slow Cooker Steak with Mashed potatoes


 B: Cinnamon Toast 

L: Leftovers 

D: Lemon Grilled Salmon, Garlic Potatoes


B: Yogurt, fruit, juice 

L: Ramen Noodles 

D: *Nicholas Pick - Bacon, Sausage, Omeletes)


 B: Raspberry Toaster Strudel 

L: Ham and Cheese Hot Pocket 

D: Curt's Birthday (Dixie Fried Chicken, Squash Casserole, Lemon Cake)


B: Donuts, Coffee, Milk 

L: Club Sandwich 

D: Paul Bunyan Burgers, Potato Salad, BBQ Beans

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Easy Peasy Sloppy Joes!

My son Nicholas absolutely loves Sloppy Joes and as much as I want to please him, I don't much care for the canned products, I just don't think they are as healthy as something homemade. So here's the easiest sloppy joes ever, so quick to make and yummy too. 

1 lb. hamburger 
1 small onion, finely diced 
1 tbsp. mustard 
1/4 c. ketchup 
1/2 c. barbecue sauce 
Brown hamburger and onion; drain. Add other ingredients. Heat and serve. 

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Ham and Cheese Chicken Rolls - revisited

I hadn't made these in forever, but it was tonight's dinner and boy are they as good as I remember them being.

I updated the original recipe with the photos.....enjoy!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Kate's Banana Bread!

The sickness around here had me in a funk for a long time. I truly missed cooking and sharing recipes with ya'll. But it seems that finally the germs are moving on and everyone is feeling better, which means for me, I get to spend some time in the kitchen doing what I and baking. 

Here's a quick but delicious banana bread recipe that I first found over at Kate's and loved it so much, it's the one I turn to whenever I have overly ripe bananas, which I did today. 


1/3 cup shortening (I used butter instead) 
3/4 C light brown sugar 
1 cup mashed bananas (2-3 bananas) 
2 eggs 
1 1/2 cups flour (I used Self Rising Flour and omitted the salt and baking soda) 
1 tsp salt 
1 tsp baking soda 
1/2 cup milk ( I used buttermilk) 
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (I didn't add these today, didn't have any on hand) 
Cream the shortening (or butter) with the sugar. 
Add the mashed bananas and eggs. 
 Sift the flour with the salt and baking soda and add to the creamed mixture, alternating with the milk. Stir in the nuts. 
Bake in a greased loaf pan, 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches, in a moderate oven, 350 degrees, for an hour. Turn out and cool on rack; wrap in aluminium foil. 
This bread slices better the second day. Yield: 1 loaf