August 26, 2008

Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies 

A great way to use up that last banana – double this batch for extras as it only makes about 30 cookies!

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 very very ripe banana
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup sifted flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1-1/2 cups oatmeal (old-fashioned or quick, not instant)
1 cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350. Melt butter in a small dish in microwave, about 20 seconds. Transfer to mixing bowl. Mix in sugars, banana, egg and vanilla.

2. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking power, baking soda and salt. Add the bowl of dry ingredients to the bowl of wet ingredients and mix until well combined. Stir in oatmeal and chocolate chips.

3. Drop dough by tablespoons onto a baking sheet.  Bake for 11 – 14 minutes until set and golden. Cool 5 minutes on tray, then transfer to cooling racks.

Found on Superspark

August 25, 2008

Lolly Pops

Lolly Pops

 1 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

1/3 cup light corn syrup

1/4 tsp. candy flavoring oil (extracts won't work)

Liquid or gel food coloring

colored sugar (I didn’t have any on hand, and just used white sugar)

sucker molds

sucker sticks

1. Mix sugar, water and syrup in a lightweight pan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. Add candy thermometer, cook to hard crack stage (300 degrees); remove from heat. When bubbles simmer down, stir in oil flavoring and liquid food coloring as desired.

2.  Prepare molds & sticks on lightly greased cookie sheet.

3.  Pour hot candy mixture into prepared molds.

4.  Remove suckers from molds when cool and beginning to hold their shape. Dip suckers into colored sugar to keep them from sticking together when stored.

Makes about 12 suckers – depending on size.

Store cooled suckers in plastic bags.

August 23, 2008

Crock Pot Pizza

Crock Pot Pizza

One bag of wide egg noodles
1 lb hamburger
2 cans pizza sauce
16 oz mozzarella cheese
1 can cream of mushroom soup
Pizza ingredients (olives, Mushrooms, pepperoni whatever you like)

Cook the egg noodles according to the package. Brown the hamburger. Then you layer the all then ingredients in the crock pot and top with a little cheese. Cook on low for 3 to 4 hours or until heated through.

To make clean up a little easier I also lightly coat my crock pot with oil.

August 18, 2008

Kentucky Butter Cake

(This is an OLD family one)
  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
Sugar Glaze Ingredients
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
(if you really wanna add a vanilla kick to it, add 1/2 cup of vanilla coffee flavoring, syrup type)
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the flour, 2 cups sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Blend in buttermilk, 1 cup of butter, 2 teaspoons of vanilla and 4 eggs. Beat for 3 minutes at medium speed. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 60 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean. Prick holes in the still warm cake.
  4. Let cake stand, cooling for roughly 30 mins.
  5. mix ingreds for butter glaze in saucepan, heat to melted together do NOT boil; pour 1/2 over cake before removing from pan with roughly 1/2 left over.
  6. Once you've removed the cake, after letting the sauce soak in, pour remaining sauce over top of cake. :)
This is another favorite around my house, no I do NOT cook much health concious stuff. lol I'm more of the Paula D school of cooking, where butter is a best friend :) It's a wonderfully moist cake, but VERY rich. I love to cook it, and eat it hot with vanilla ice cream melting on it.
***"Hello, my name is Becky, and I'm a vanilla addict."***

Cheesy Onion Bread Thangs

This is unusual when you hear the ingredients, but I PROMISE you, if you try it, you WILL love it. It's the first thing gone when I take it to potlucks, EVERY TIME!:)

Loaf of baguette bread (sliced to 1/2 slices)
1 C mayo
1/2 C chopped green onions
1 C parmesan/romano cheese (the grated kinds, like Kraft)

Mix onions, mayo, and cheese
Now, you can juggle the amounts a little to fit your tastes, but you want it to end up as a thick paste.
Heat your broiler.
Top each slice with a thick layer of the mixture and place under broiler till golden brown.

These are wonderful when warm, but even at room temp they are still pretty amazing.

Clam Chowder Even The Kids Will Eat

My kids love cream based soups. Even though it is summer we still manage to eat this every few weeks.

Clam Chowder

1 C Chopped Onions
1 C Chopped Celery

2 C Diced Potatoes
2 Cans Minced Clams

¾ C Butter or Margarine
¾ C Flour

4 C Milk
1 ½ t Salt
Pepper to taste
2 T red wine vinegar or lemon juice

Drain juice from clams and pour over vegetables in a saucepan. Add enough water just to cover. Simmer, covered over medium heat until tender.

In the meantime, melt butter, add four and blend. Cook, stirring constantly. Add milk and cook, stirring with a wire wisk until smooth and thick. Add un-drained vegetables, calms and vinegar. Heat through.

Vanilla Lime Cream Pie

Vanilla Lime Cream Pie 

Yeah, I made up that title! My step-dad made this pie a few years back and it instantly became a family favorite!

1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream (this would be the time to splurge on your favorite brand!)

1 12 oz. can frozen lime-aid

2 regular size graham cracker pie crusts


Scoop out entire contents of ice cream into a bowl and let soften. I don’t recommend letting it melt completely. Add entire contents of frozen lime-aid and blend. It’s MUCH easier to use an electric mixer & I don’t recommend using a rubber spatula (mine is still recovering it’s shape after being frozen!) Add juice of one lime then mix until smooth.

Pour into both pie crusts, recover and freeze until set.

August 16, 2008

Zucchini Blueberry Banana Bread

3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2cup vegetable oil
1/2cup applesauce
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups white sugar
3cups shredded zucchini
2cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 pint fresh blueberries
2 small mashed ripe bananas


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease 4 mini-loaf pans.

In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar. Fold in the zucchini. Beat in the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Gently fold in the blueberries. Transfer to the prepared mini-loaf pans.

Bake 50 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a knife inserted in the center of a loaf comes out clean. Cool 20 minutes in pans, then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.

I also made a crumb topping( 2/3 cup flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup white sugar 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 cup chopped walnuts and 1 stick softened butter-mix altogether with hand) and sprinkle all over the top of the loaves before baking. It was AWESOME!!!! My kids loved it, my man loved it, his bro in law loved it, my mom loved it, and I'm waiting to see what Grammy thought. I made double batch, which made 10 mini loaves.. wow!:)

August 14, 2008

Sweet & Saucy Shredded Chicken

This recipe is super easy and so yummy!!! This chicken can be served either as a mex-salad topping, on a bun, in a tortilla or over rice. I serve it over rice. The sauce drips down into the rice and tastes so good!!!

Sweet & Saucy Shredded Chicken

2-3 Pounds of bone-less, skin-less chicken --- I use breasts but you could easily use thighs.
16 oz jar of salsa --- nothing fancy, I usually just use the cheap kroger brand
1 Cup of Brown Sugar
1 12 oz can of Coca-Cola --- do not use diet

Put the chicken pieces in the crock pot. Pour the remaining ingredients over the top and cook on low for 6-8 hours. About 30 minutes before serving use 2 forks to shred the chicken.

August 13, 2008

Chicken Cacciatore

This recipe comes from John Deere Mom – I changed a couple things to suit my tastes and it was instantly a favorite!

Chicken Cacciatore © 2008

This was my first encounter in cooking with chicken thighs.  I was apprehensive because I’m a sucker for tenderloins.  Also, the recipe calls for boneless, skinless and I didn’t see that until after I’d bought the thighs bone in, skin on.  BUT, I threw them in the crock pot whole.  When the dish was done, I pulled each thigh out of the crock pot & the meat literally fell off the bone – allowing me to dump just the meat back in to mix.  You won’t be disappointed with the thighs! 

2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs (if they’re boneless and you feel the urge, cut them up before putting in the crockpot)

1 green pepper, chopped

1 yellow pepper, chopped

1  Italian dressing packet

1/4 c red wine

1/4 c chicken broth (use water if you don’t have the broth.  But do yourself a favor and go buy a can!)

1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce

1 can (15 oz) Italian style diced tomatoes un-drained

1 yellow onion finely diced (or chunky, however you prefer)

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 package fresh mushrooms

Toss chicken, onion, peppers, mushrooms & garlic into the crockpot. Mix the cans of diced tomatoes and tomato sauce with the Italian dressing mix.  Pour over chicken and veggies.  Add red wine & chicken broth.  Cook on low 7-9 hours.  Your house will smell DIVINE!  As suggested, I served mine with thin spaghetti and Garlic Toast.

August 10, 2008

Sweet & Sour Chicken

Sweet and Sour Chicken
I will do it again for sure. One thing that I realized is that if you cook the chicken this way you can easily make the sauce many different ways. Here is my Sweet & Sour recipe. It sounds kind of hard but it really isn't. I prepped everything in the morning and then it took maybe about 1/2 to get everything cooked.

Coated Chicken (& marinade)

* 1 lb chicken (cubed)
* 1 tbs. soy sauce
* 1/2 tsp. salt
* 1/2 tsp. sugar
* Cornstarch
* Oil

Combine the soy sauce, salt, sugar, and chicken. Let marinate at least 15 min. – up to all day. Dredge chicken in cornstarch (put it in a ziploc baggie and shake to coat chicken). Cook in hot oil until cooked through. Drain well and set aside.

Sauce Ingredients

* 1/4 c. vinegar
* 1 tbs. ketchup
* 1 clove garlic (I used the pre-chopped garlic in a jar to save time)
* 1/2 c. pineapple chunks – reserve the juice
* 1/2 c. green pepper
* 1/2 c. red pepper
* 1/2 c. celery
* 1/2 c. onion
* 1/4 c. sugar
* 1/4 c. water
* 1 tbs. soy sauce
* 4 tsp. cornstarch
* 1/4 c. water

Heat 1 tbs. oil in a large pan. Stir fry garlic (30 seconds), add veggies & stir fry for about a minute. Add sugar, water, pineapple juice and vinegar and bring to a boil.
Combine soy sauce, corn starch, and water. Add to boiling mixture. Stir until thick. Add pineapple and chicken until coated. Serve over a platter of rice.

Here is a sauce that you could make for Ginger Chicken, then just add whatever veggies you want. I think baby corn, water chestnuts or bamboo shoots would be good. You may also want to add a little cornstarch to thicken the sauce.

Ginger Chicken

* 2 tbs. Oil
* 1 tbs. chopped garlic
* 1 tsp. chopped ginger root or 1/2 tsp. dry ginger
* 1/3 c. soy sauce
* 1 tbs. sugar
* 3 tbs. chopped green onion
* 1 c. boiling water

Banana Blondies

Banana Blondies © Shanna K

 1 cup butter

6 very ripe bananas

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 eggs

3 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Cream butter. Add bananas, sugars, vanilla, and eggs and mix well. Add flour, soda, and salt and mix well. Mix in 1/2 cup of chocolate chips.

3. Spread into greased 13x9 inch baking pan. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of chocolate chips on top.

4. Bake at 350 for 5 minutes. Use a knife to swirl the melted chips on top. Return to oven and bake another 25-30 minutes. Cool and cut into squares.

Apricot Glazed Pork

Apricot Glazed Pork © 2008 

4 cups herb-seasoned stuffing cubes (I forgot to buy this at the store so I used Stove Top instead & cooked it separately at the end)

3/4 cup chicken broth

1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped

1/3 cup chopped onions

2 to 2 1/2 pound pork boneless loin roast

1/3 apricot jam (peach also works if you can’t find apricot)

1 TBSP balsamic vinegar

1.  Spray 3 1/2 to 4 quart slow cooker with cooking spray.  Mix stuffing (omit if cooking later), broth, apricots an onions in cooker.  Place pork on mixture.  Mix jam and vinegar, brush over pork.

2.  Cover and cook on low 7 to 8 hours or until pork is tender

3.   Remove pork from cooker, place on cutting board.  Stir stuffing before serving.  Cut pork into slices, serve with stuffing.

I made sure to save half the roast to use the next night to make Pulled Pork Sandwiches or Pork Fajitas.

August 9, 2008

Crispy Baked Butternut Squash

Crispy Baked Butternut Squash © 2008

 1 medium butternut squash (about 3 pounds)
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 bunch rosemary
1 bunch thyme

Heat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

Using a large knife, cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds with a spoon. Set each half cut side down on a cutting board and cut them crosswise in 3/8-inch slices.

*This recipe doesn’t have you remove the skins – I think that it helps hold in some of the juices and keeps the slices from tearing…however, we removed the skin before eating because it was a little tough…

Brush a heavy baking sheet generously with oil. Line up the squash slices on the baking sheet and brush them with oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and herbs.

Cover with foil and bake in the oven 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking until undersides are brown, about 15 minutes, then turn the slices.

Bake 5 to 15 minutes more until the squash is very tender, brown, and crispy around the edges, 50 to 60 minutes total.

August 6, 2008

Crock Pot Lasagna

I made, then adapted, this recipe from Kaysville Momma. I LOVED it! Super easy and really tasty!
Crockpot Lasagna © 2008
8 uncooked lasagna noodles
1 pound ground beef (or substitute w/ ground turkey)
1 tsp. Italian seasoning (I used 1/2 packet of Italian Dressing Mix)
1 clove garlic
28-ounce jar spaghetti sauce
1/3 cup water
4-oz. can sliced mushrooms, optional (I used an entire package of fresh mushrooms – because I LOVE mushrooms!)
15 oz. ricotta cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1.  Brown ground beef, onions and garlic in skillet. Drain & mix in Italian Dressing Mix. 
2.  Break noodles into thirds. Place half in bottom of greased crockpot. Spread half of ground beef mixture over noodles in crockpot. On top of beef, layer 1/2 of sauce, 1/2 of water, 1/2 of mushrooms, 1/2 of ricotta, and 1/2 of mozzarella cheese. Repeat all layers. Cover. Cook for 5 hours on low.
I served mine with Sauteed Zucchini

Sauteed Zucchini

Doesn’t get much easier than this!

Couple Zucchini (depending on how many you need to serve. I used two for my 3 kids and myself. Add one more for a second adult)

1 clove minced garlic

tablespoon olive oil

Slice zucchini and toss into skillet with minced garlic. Drizzle with olive oil. Cook on medium high 5-7 minutes tossing to coat. Shake sea salt over and serve!

August 4, 2008

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

1 1/2 lbs shredded chicken breast (boiled is easiest)

1 can diced green chiles (I use mild, for the kids' sakes)
at least 1 lb shredded SHARP cheddar cheese (I LOVE Tillamook ready shredded)*
2 cans cream of broccoli soup
1 pkg broccoli CUTS (not florets, they are too large)
crisp corn tortillas (I cheat and by the ready cooked ones in the same area as all the tortillas)

Boil chicken, shred. Open ALL cans, mix chicken, soups, chilies, and broccoli in large bowl.* Crush appx 6 tortillas, line bottom of baking pan with tortillas. Layer chicken/soup mixture over crushed tortillas, top with sharp cheddar.
Place in 350 degree oven for 45 mins or till cheese is browning.
*I am a cheese fiend. I mix a SECOND bag of already shredded Tillamook sharp cheddar into the mix as well:) lol.. what can I say.. I'm doing it for the calcium... yeah.. that's it. hehehe:) This recipe feeds 4 of us. Though I make 2x this batch usually because I have a pre-teen and teenage set of boys:)

Beef Stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff

  • 2 - 2.5 lbs. cubed, beef
  • 1 pkg. wide egg noodles
  • 16 oz. pkg. mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 1 pkg. Lipton Onion Soup Mix
  • 2 heaping Tablespoons Better Than Bullion
  • 1 small onion, diced 
  • water
  1. Brown beef cubes on all sides, add onions and sauté until translucent.
  2. Add water to cover beef then add mushrooms, soup mix and bullion. Cover and cook on medium, stirring periodically, for about an hour.
  3. In large pot, cook pasta according to directions.
  4. Once meat mixture has boiled down to a sauce state, remove from heat, add sour cream and serve over noodles.

Chicken Rice... Thing

I have no idea what to call this dish, so...

What You Need:
2 cups white rice
2 whole chicken breasts
package of frozen broccoli florets
half a pint of sour cream
2 cans of Cream of *Something* (insert your preference)
Italian bread crumbs, about 3/4 a cup
garlic powder to taste
shredded medium cheddar cheese (optional)

What You Do:
cook rice according to package directions
boil chicken breasts (or grill, or bake, your preference), cube into bite size pieces *I prefer to boil the chicken for convenience*
steam broccoli, chop into pieces (optional - I chop it because it's easier to eat)

combine all of above ingredients

Add sour cream and Cream of *Whatever* (I have used Cream of Broccoli, Chicken, or Mushroom; all are good with this recipe)
mix in 1/4 cup of Italian bread crumbs and garlic powder to taste
add cheese

Place in baking dish, sprinkle remainder of Italian bread crumbs across the top

Bake in oven at *350 for twenty minutes

I usually make biscuits or crescent rolls to go along with it.