Sunday, December 31, 2006

Potato Casserole

6 large potatoes
3/4 pound sharp grated cheddar cheese
1/2 bunch green onions- chopped
1 pt. sour cream
1/2 pt. half and half or sweet cream
poppy seeds to taste

Boil the potatoes with skins and let cool. After cooling, peel them and shred them with a grater into a large bowl. Add all the above ingredients and bake for 45 minutes at 300 degrees. Serves 10-12. Can be reheated, made several days in advance or frozen.

This was given to me by my lovely mother in law Judy who loves to cook and spend time in the kitchen as well. This casserole is usually made for a holiday meal but could be enjoyed all year round! Delicious!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Mexican Hot Chocolate

This recipe is for lovers of chocolate. A little bit goes a long way. It is becoming a winter holiday tradition in our house. This can be made Mexican style or not. I will admit that I have made it American style because I did not have any cinnamon sticks.
2/3 cup milk
1 cup heavy whip cream (or half and half if you want)
4 oz semisweet chocolate chopped (I use chocolate chips makes for less work)
1/8 of a vanilla bean (shop around Albertson's wanted $10 a bean but I found them for $3 elsewhere)
2/3 cinnamon stick
1/3 tsp almond extract
Combine milk, cream, cinnamon sticks and vanilla in a 1 quart stainless steel pot and bring mixture to a boil. Have prepared chocolate in a mixing bowl. Allow the heated liquid to steep (rest off the heat) for 5 minutes, take out the vanilla bean, then pour over the top of the chopped chocolate. Stir the chocolate mixture until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth.
Pour the warm mixture through a strainer and it is ready to serve. Serve immediately or refrigerate. To reheat, place chocolate mixture in a 2 quart stainless steel pot on low heat -- do not let sit, or it will burn. Stir mixture until warm. Immediately serve and place in 4 oz. portions with a dollop of slightly sweetened, softly whipped cream and a light dusting of cinnamon.
Serves four.
This is the site the recipe was stolen from. You can listen to the story if you like.
P.S. If you have the idea that you want to make this for a large group and if you decide to keep it warm in say a crock pot for hours at a time be warned that as the milk steams off the hot chocolate turns from thick hot chocolate to ganache to pudding. It is still good but not quite the same.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Garlic-Herb Bread

This is our favorite bread in the bread machine...

Large Loaf (1 1/2 pounds)

1 1/4 cups water
1 Tbsp. butter, softened
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 1/4 cups flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary leaves
1/4 tsp. dried thyme leaves
1/4 tsp. dried basil leaves
2 3/4 tsp. regular active dry yeast
2 1/4 tsp. bread machine yeast or quick-acting active dry yeast

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Little Chedder Meatloaves

My good friend gave me this great recipe!

1 egg
3/4 c. milk
1 c. shredded cheese
1/2 c. quick cooking oats
1 lb. ground beef

Mix that all together and make into little loaves or into balls. Put into 9X13 pan.

2/3 c. ketchup
1/4 c. brown suger
1 tsp mustard
Mix that and pour on top of meat.
Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

Cranberry Bliss Bars

Here are the Cranberry Bliss Bars we made this morning... I am a fan of Starbuck's Cranberry Bliss Bars and these are close, but not exactly the same.

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar, packed
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon ginger (crystallized ginger if you can find it)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup diced dried cranberries
6 ounces white chocolate, cut into chunks

4-ounces cream cheese, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
4 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup diced dried cranberries

Drizzled Icing
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
2 teaspoons vegetable shortening

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Make cake by beating butter and brown sugar together with an electric mixer until smooth. Add eggs, vanilla, ginger, and salt and beat well. Gradually mix in flour until smooth. Mix 3/4 cup diced dried cranberries and white chocolate into the batter by hand. Pour batter into a well-greased 9x13" baking pan. Use a spatula to spread the batter evenly across the pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until cake is light brown on the edges. Allow cake to cool.
3. Make frosting by combining softened cream cheese, 3 cups powdered sugar, lemon juice and vanilla extract in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. When the cake has cooled, use a spatula to spread frosting over the top of the cake.
4. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of diced cranberries over the frosting on the cake.
5. Whisk together 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon milk, and shortening. Drizzle icing over the cranberries in a sweeping motion or use a pastry bag with a fine tip to drizzle frosting across the top of the cake.
6. Allow cake to sit for several hours, then slice the cake lengthwise (the long way) through the middle. Slice the cake across the width three times making a total of eight rectangular slices. Slice each of those rectangles diagonally creating 16 triangular slices.

Makes 16 bars.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Cheese Ball

A lady I work with brought this homemade cheese ball in to share. Now you must understand I am not a cheese ball kinda gal, but this was YUMMY!!!

12 oz. Yellow Cheese
2 - 8 0z. packages of Cream Cheese
1 Med. Jar Spanish Olives - finely chopped
1 Green Pepper - finely chopped
6 Green Onions with tops - finely chopped
1 Jar Dried Beef (optional) - finely chopped
1/2 Cup Pecans or Almonds - finely chopped

Grate cheese, add cream cheese (allow to be room temperature to facilitate mixing), add veggies and beef (optional).

Mix using a bread beater or your hands. Form into 3 - 4 balls and roll each in nuts. Wrap cheese balls in waxed paper and refrigerate until use.

Serve with firm crackers (Wheat Thins were tasty)

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Oreo Balls

1 pkg Oreo cookies
1 - 8 oz. pkg cream cheese
Dipping Chocolate

Crush Oreo cookies til they become fine crumbs. (I put them in my food processor) Put into mixing bowl with softened cream cheese & beat til smooth. Shape into 1" balls. Place in a plastic container & freeze til firm. If you need to layer them, put wax paper or plastic wrap between layers.

Melt dipping chocolate on low heat. (I use Wilton's Candy Melts) Add 1-2 tsp shortening while melting. Dip ball into melted chocolate & place on wax paper to dry. Return balls to freezer or refrigerator. They soften quickly.

I get the colored Wilton Candy Melts from Michaels. Wal-Mart carries them also but usually only the white or brown chocolate. Wilton Candy Melts have the smoothest results.

Credit to "Genealogy Cuzin", Ellen in Illinois

Friday, December 8, 2006

Russian Tea Cakes

By request... My grandma's Russian Tea Cakes/Snowballs/Mexican Wedding Cakes

Mix thoroughly:
1 cup soft butter
1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Sift together and stir in:
2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional, and obviously don't sift the nuts!)

Chill dough. Roll into 1 inch balls. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake until set, but not brown. Roll in powdered sugar.
400 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

In memory of Margaret Faulkner (my grandma).
Credit to for the picture.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Cookie Spree

I have just made my 6th batch of cookies - it is one big party with the flower people - I have two more kinds to bake tomorrow morning - I will send on my Lemon Bars - ha - when I have a break. Tomorrow it is a Mexican theme - and I found one for Mexican Brownies - with chilies in it - will send it out if it works!!!!!
With flour dust - a sugar sprinkles
Thanks for the extended invitation.
zstrk-gram - or Shirley's Sweets

Saturday, December 2, 2006

Kraft Fantasy Fudge

This is the fudge my dad makes every year... we just made some last night--delish! We make it in the microwave and we use milk chocolate chips.

3 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter or margarine
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1 12-oz. (340 g) package semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 7-oz. (198 g) jar Kraft Marshmallow creme
1 cup chopped nuts
1 teaspoon vanilla

Traditional method:
Combine sugar, margarine and milk in heavy 2-1/2 quart saucepan; bring to full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Continue boiling 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring. Remove from heat, stir in chocolate till melted. Add marshmallow creme, nuts & vanilla beat till blended. Pour into greased 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Let cool and cut into 1-inch squares.

Microwave method:
Microwave margarine in 4-quart microwave-safe bowl on HIGH (100%) 1 minute or until melted. Add sugar and milk; mix well. Microwave on HIGH 5 minutes or until mixture begins to boil, stirring after 3 minutes. Mix well; scrape bowl. Continue microwaving on HIGH 5-1/2 minutes; stir after 3 minutes. Stir in chips until melted. Add remaining ingredients; mix well. Pour into greased 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Cool at room temperature; cut into squares. Makes 3 pounds.

Thanks to

Layered Pasta Salad

3 cups cooked pasta: shells,macaroni,etc
2 cups shredded lettuce
3 hard boiled eggs, sliced thinly
8 oz ham, cubed
10 oz. peas, frozen
1 cup shredded cheese, Monterey jack, etc
1 cup mayonnaise, 1/2 cup sour cream, 1-2 tsp of dijon mustard ( or your choice)
2 Tbsp chopped parsley, 1/4 cup sliced green onions

Toss pasta with oil. In a straight sided glass bowl, layer pasta
lettuce, eggs, ham, peas, cheese
Combine mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard, and spread over cheese.
Sprinkle with green onions and parsley before serving. This salad may be
made a day ahead and refrigerated. Chill at least 6 hrs if serving same
Thanks to Kathy Lewis.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Chicken or Turkey Stock

Ready to use canned stocks contain approximately 1500 mg sodium a cup whereas this homemade stock contains only 15 mg sodium a cup. Stock freezes well, too.

3 qts water
3# uncooked chicken parts or cooked carcass (just breasts works well, too)
2 large onions, quartered
1 medium carrot, halved
2 celery ribs with leaves, halved
8-10 peppercorns

Herb bag (place in cheesecloth, add to stock, remove at end of cooking time)
1 tbsp parsley flakes
1/4 tsp dried marjoram
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp whole THYME
1/4 tsp dried tarragon
1 bay leaf

In a large Dutch oven or stockpot, combine water, poultry parts, onions, carrot and celery. Bring to a boil; add herb bag and peppercorns. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer about 3 hours.

Aunt Diane

Brown Sugar Shortbread

1 cup butter (no substitutes), softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

In a mixing bowl cream butter and sugar. Gradually stir in the flour. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth--about 3 minutes. Pat into a 1/3 inch thick rectangle measuring 11 x 8 inches. Cut into 2 x 1 inch strips. Place 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Prick with a fork multiple times (to make them look like shortbread). Bake at 300 degrees for 25 minutes or until the bottoms begin to brown. Cool for 5 minutes; remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Yield 3 1/2 dozen.

Thanks to my Aunt Leona

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Somethin' New...

I thought it would be fun to swap recipes with other people and put something different on our table at night... It seems we have the same 3 dinners every week. I have to give credit to my Aunt Diane for the idea--now she'd better contribute! If you'd like to be a contributer please leave a comment or contact me and I'll invite you in as an author...