December 31, 2008

Ham N Onion Wraps

Ham N Onion Wraps
During the holidays this is a favorite staple at our house!
1 package of deli sliced ham – doesn’t need to be fancy!
1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened at room temperature
several bunches green onions; washed, skinned and a few inches cut off the green end – also off the root end
Depending on the size of the ham, I recommend cutting each slice in half so you don’t wind up with a mouth full of ham with every bite.  Spread cream cheese over one side.
Ham N Onion Wraps
Place white end of onion on the ham and roll up.
That’s it.
These will produce what is commonly referred to as DRAGON BREATH!

Old Fashioned Pancakes

Old Fashioned Pancakes

Found at


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt (omit if you use salted butter)

1 tablespoon sugar

1 1/4 cups milk at room temperature

1 egg

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


  1. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Make a well in the center and pour in the milk, egg and melted butter; mix with whisk only until moist – avoid over mixing.
  2. Heat griddle or frying pan over medium high heat (approx 350 degrees).  Scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake.  Brown on both sides and serve hot with Blueberry or Strawberry Syrup.

Makes approximately 10 pancakes – we double this recipe for our family of 5 which gives us enough for a second morning!


Be sure that the milk is at room temperature to prevent the melted butter from reconstituting when you mix.  Ideally your egg should also be at room temperature but do this at your own risk since we all know this can harbor bacteria…but boy howdy does it make for some tasty pancakes!

You know the cakes are ready to flip when the the bubbles on top begin to burst.

Upside Down Cranberry Cake

Upside Down Cranberry Cake

8 Tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon allspice
2 cups fresh cranberries
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk


Preheat oven to 350 degrees with the rack in the center.  In 8-9 inch cake pan spray liberally with non stick cooking spray.

In a small bowl, mix together 1/2 cup sugar with the allspice.  Sprinkle this mixture evenly over bottom of pan; arrange cranberries in a single layer on the top and spread them out.

Upside Down Cranberry Cake

With an electric mixer, cream remaining 6 tablespoons butter and 1/2 cup sugar until light and fluffy.   Add egg and vanilla; beat until well combined.

In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.  With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture to butter mixture;  mix until well combined.

Spoon the batter over the cranberries in the pan and smooth the top.  Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 to 35 minutes.

Let it cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes.  Run a knife around the edge of the cake, then invert onto a rimmed platter.

Oatmeal Bread

This recipe came from a Taste of Home cookbook. I have lots of oatmeal in my food storage and I decided to try some new recipes to use it up.

This bread is yummy!!! I probably should have let if rise a little longer. It smells so good in my house right now!!

2 cups cooked hot oatmeal stir in 3 Tablespoons butter and cool to 120 - 130 degrees.

Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/4 cup sugar, 2 packages (or 4 1/2 teaspoons) yeast, 2 teaspoons salt. Beat in oatmeal until moistened. Add 1 egg. Beat for 3 minutes. Mix in 2 - 3 1/2 cups of flour to make a stiff but soft dough. Knead for about 5 minutes until smooth.

Cover dough and let rise until doubled or even a little more. Punch down and let rest for a few minutes. Divide into halves and roll each half out to a rectangle and then roll up into a loaf. Put into bread pans, let rise until double. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.

An Italian variation with the same dough,

Cover above dough and let rest for 15 minutes. Punch down, press dough into a greased 9x13 pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled (1/2 hour or so). Brush with 4 Tablespoons of melted butter. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. Brush again with 2 Tablespoons butter. Combine 1 Tablespoon Parmesan cheese, 1/2 teaspoon dried basil, 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano and 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder. Sprinkle over partially baked bread. Bake for another 10-15 minutes until golden brown.

December 17, 2008

Sticky Coconut Chicken

Sticky Coconut Chicken

Again, this masterpiece comes from My Kitchen Cafe. Can I just say that this was my finest dinner EVER? I can't even get over how INSANELY delicious this was!!!!!!

Sticky Coconut Chicken

6-8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (I used tenderloins)
1 cup canned coconut milk
1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1 tsp. red pepper flakes

Place above ingredients in Ziploc bag and marinate for at least one hour (I let mine marinade four about four to five hours). Grill on barbecue.

3/4 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. red pepper flakes

While the chicken is grilling, bring above ingredients to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until mixture is reduced and thickened, about 8-10 minutes. Be patient because it takes a little while. But once it starts getting really thick, immediately take it off the heat! Glaze both sides of chicken the last few minutes of grilling and serve chicken over rice.

Sidenote: I used the extra coconut milk left in the can as part of the liquid in my rice and it was unbelievable! It was very mildly sweet and paired so well with the chicken. Yum!

December 16, 2008

Red Velvet & Oreo Truffles

Again, courtesy of
My Kitchen Cafe and Bakerella.

Red Velvet Cake Balls

1 box red velvet cake mix (cook as directed on box for 13 X 9 cake)
1 can cream cheese frosting (16 oz.)
1 package chocolate bark (regular or white chocolate)
wax paper

1. After cake is cooked and cooled completely, crumble into large bowl.
2. Mix thoroughly with 1 can cream cheese frosting. (It may be easier to use fingers to mix together, but be warned it will get messy.)
3. Roll mixture into quarter size balls and lay on cookie sheet.
4. Chill for several hours - make sure they are really firm. (You can speed this up by putting in the freezer.)
5. Melt chocolate in microwave per directions on package.
6. Roll balls in chocolate and lay on wax paper until firm. (Use a spoon to dip and roll in chocolate and then tap off extra)
7. Drizzle with extra chocolate bark

Oreo Truffles

1 package (18 oz.) Oreo cookies, crushed into small pieces
1 8-oz. package cream cheese, softened
1 package Almond Bark

Chocolate chips or chocolate bark for drizzling

Mix crushed Oreos and cream cheese until well-combined. The best way to do this is using your fingers - it will be messy! Roll into 1-inch balls and place on baking sheet or tray. Refrigerate until firm, 3-4 hours (or stick in the freezer for about an hour).

Melt white almond bark according to package directions. Using 2 forks (or a spoon, but forks always work better for me), dip Oreo balls into white coating and place onto waxed paper to harden. Once dry, melt chocolate bark (or if using chocolate chips, melt chocolate chips with a bit of shortening) and scoop melted chocolate into a ziploc baggie. Snip a very small corner off the bag and drizzle back and forth over the truffles. Let dry. Chill them and serve after chilled (they taste best cold!).

*I had to dip these 2 separate times. The white bark is too transparent, showing through more oreo that I liked.

December 14, 2008

Super Easy Spinach Dip

My cousin's wife made this for a family party and I loved it!!!

Spinach Dip

1 Can Spinach, Well Drained
1 pkg. vegetable soup mix
16 oz sour cream
2 cans Water Chestnuts, chopped
¾ Cup Mayonnaise
3 Green Onions, chopped

1. Drain Spinach Well
2. Mix all ingredients until well blended
3. Cover and chill for several hours before serving

Pumpkin Pie Cake

What could be better than cake and pie together? This is a FAVORITE holiday dessert in my family.

Reserve 1 Cup of yellow cake mix and add the rest to:
1 Beaten Egg
½ C Butter

Press into a 9x13 pan. In another bowl mix:
3 Eggs
1 Can of Pumpkin
1 T. Cinnamon
¼ t salt
½ C Brown Sugar
½ C Sugar

Pour over cake mix in pan.

Combine the following and sprinkle over the pumpkin mixture:
1 C of Yellow Cake Mix
½ C Sugar
¼ C Butter

Bake at 350 for 60 minutes.

December 12, 2008

Mushroom Pork Tenderloin

Mushroom Pork Tenderloin 

2 pork tenderloins (1 lb each) They come packed together

1 can (10-3/4 oz) condensed golden mushroom soup, undiluted

1 can (10-3/4 oz) condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted

1 can(10-1/2 oz) condensed French onion soup, undiluted

Place both tenderloins in crockpot.

In a bowl, combine the soups; stir until smooth. Pour over pork.  I must say, even though this looks pretty gross, the smell is great, but over powering.  Give it a chance.  It's well worth it!!

Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or until the meat is tender.

The kids love to have mashed potatoes (the gravy left in the crock is excellent over the potatoes!) and a favorite veggie along with this!

* This recipe makes enough meat for three separate dishes (for my family of 5).  After cooking the 2 lbs. I use 1 lb. of the tenderloin for this dish.  Then I shred and store the other 1 lb. & reserved ‘gravy’ in the fridge until I'm ready to use it again (probably within 3-4 days).  I like to make Pork Fajitas & Pulled Pork Sandwiches.

December 11, 2008

Crockpot Italian Beef (Sandwiches)

Italian Beef Sandwiches

Ingredients for Beef

1 5 lb. rump roast

3 cups water

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon basil

1 teaspoon onion salt

1 teaspoon dried parsley

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 bay leaf

1 package dry Italian  salad dressing mix


1.  Place roast in slow cooker, and pour all other ingredients over roast.

2.  Cover, and cook on Low for 10 to 12 hours, or on High for 4 to 5 hours. When done, remove bay leaf, and shred meat with a fork.

For Sandwiches


red pepper

green pepper


mozzarella cheese

Italian Rolls

1.  Sauté mushrooms in generous amounts of butter (more or less depending on how many mushrooms you use – for a whole package I used 3 tablespoons then had a lot of sautéed mushrooms to eat on the side!)

2.  While the mushrooms sauté, slice the rolls lengthwise and toss under the broiler face up to make them toasty – watch carefully so they don’t burn.  Thinly slice peppers and onions.

3.  Remove mushrooms from pan and set aside.

3.  Toss peppers and onions into pan you used for mushrooms with leftover butter and sauté till the onions are transparent.

4.  Layer shredded roast, vegetables, mushrooms & cheese onto toasted rolls. 

5.  Re-broil until cheese is bubbly and warm


Try Leftover Roast Chili to use up the leftover roast!

December 10, 2008

Leftover Roast Chili

With your leftover roast (from any recipe) cut the cooled roast into bite size cubes and store. 

This is a PERFECT weekend dinner when you’ve been out all day and really would rather stop at McD’s – but know you want to save those pennies!  It whips up so fast and there is practically no prep other than opening cans.

1 packet chili mix

1 can ‘chili ready’ tomatoes

1 can diced tomatoes

1 can Rotel

1 can kidney beans

leftover cooked and cubed roast

Dump everything in a large pan, stir and simmer for an hour or so to let the flavors mix.

December 5, 2008

Bacon & Spinach Pasta Toss

Spinach & Bacon Pasta Toss


1 pkg. (16 oz.) linguine pasta

1/2 cup  Italian Dressing

1 lb. chicken tenders

2 1/2 cups  cherry tomatoes (about 1 pt.), halved

1 pkg. (6 oz.) fresh baby spinach leaves (4 cups)

1 cup  Monterey Jack Cheese, divided

1 pkg Thick Cut Bacon - crisply cooked, drained and crumbled


COOK noodles as directed on package.

MEANWHILE, heat dressing in large skillet on medium heat. Add chicken; cook and stir 5 to 7 min. or until cooked through. Add tomatoes; cook 1 min., stirring occasionally.

DRAIN noodles, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Add noodles and the reserved cooking water to chicken mixture in skillet; stir. Remove from heat. Add spinach, 1/2 cup of the cheese and the bacon; mix lightly. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese.

served our family of five with enough leftovers for three!


  • Use kitchen shears to cut bacon directly into pan.  Cover (to reduce splattering) & cook on medium/high until dark and crispy.
  • Use a LARGE pan to cook bacon and chicken to keep clean up faster – you’ll use this same pan to mix spinach and tomatoes in.

Found at Little Momma & Co., but changed up just a bit to suit my family’s tastes!

December 4, 2008

Microwave Caramel

This is so easy and yummy -- people will never know it came from the microwave

Microwave Caramel

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/2 cup chopped nuts (do not add til end)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup condensed milk

In a glass bowl cook on high for 2 min, remove from microwave and stir well. Let cook 5 min longer on high. Pour into a 9x13 pan. Sprinkle with nuts All microwaves are different, always underestimate time. Check it often and check for goled color to indicate when it is done. Also, when stirring, make sure to stir in sugar crystal from the sides of your bowl. Also rinse spoon after each stirring to remove any crystal stuck to the spoon.

Smashed Potato Salad

Earlier this year we were at a The Homestead in Midway Utah. This is a great resort area. They have such yummy food! They served a potato salad that was different from any that I had eaten before. I have searched and searched and tried several recipes and I FINALLY found one that was a ringer.

Smashed Potato Salad
2 lb. red potatoes, quartered
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
½ cup chopped red onions
½ cup chopped celery
½ cup Mayonnaise
¼ cup milk
3 Tbsp. Grey Poupon Hearty Spicy Brown Mustard
2 hard-cooked eggs, chopped

Cook potatoes in boiling water in large saucepan on medium-low heat 20 min. or until tender; drain. Mash potatoes lightly with hand masher. (A few potato chunks may remain.) Stir in remaining ingredients.

Serve warm. Or cover and refrigerate to serve chilled.
Makes 6 servings, 1 cup each.

December 2, 2008

Cookie Dough Truffles

This recipe is courtesy of My Kitchen Cafe.

½ cup butter, softened
¾ cup packed brown sugar
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
½ cup chopped walnuts (optional, I didn't add them)
Almond Bark, candy coating

In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the flour, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla; mix well. Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts, if using. Shape into 1-inch balls; place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Loosely cover and freeze for 1-2 hours or until firm. (The dough softens quickly at room temperature so it works best if they are frozen, not just chilled in the refrigerator.)

In a microwave safe bowl, melt candy coating, stirring often until smooth. Dip balls in coating; place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes. If desired, melt remaining candy coating and drizzle over candies. Store in refrigerator. Yield: 5 ½ dozen. Seriously, don't plan on giving any away. It. Won't. Happen.

December 1, 2008

Strawberry Syrup

Strawberry Syrup
Since The Man is, almost always, talked into making waffles on Sunday I learned, long ago, how to make homemade syrups.  Strawberry, blueberry & maple; it's like IHOP except without the gum-chomping waitress!

This last summer our obsession with strawberries grew to a new level as I was buying two containers a week to supplement our habit.  I worried that with winter just around the corner we'd have to go months without the sweet red fruit.  So, instead of just two, I bought an extra container every week, bagged, dated and froze them until I thought we had enough to get us through till this spring.

  • 10 oz. frozen sliced strawberries in juice, thawed
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  1. Blend berries with mixer until smooth.  
  2. Stir in syrup & salt.  
  3. Transfer to pan.  Bring to boil over medium heat.  Reduce heat to medium-low.
  4. Boil, stirring constantly for 5 minutes.

Blueberry Syrup


2 cups frozen blueberries, thawed

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup light corn syrup

1 Tablespoon corn starch

2 teaspoons lemon juice


In 1 quart microwave-safe container combine sugar & cornstarch.  Stir in water, corn syrup & lemon juice.  Add blueberries.

Microwave 4-5 minutes or until thick. 

Stores in refrigerator for up to one week. 


To adjust how thick the syrup is, add corn starch one teaspoon at a time.

Crock Pot Turkey & Wild Rice Soup

Crock Pot Turkey & Wild Rice Soup
The kids loved this one and I thought it was a perfect mixture of texture and taste (yes, even with the spinach)!
2 cups of cooked turkey
8 cups chicken broth
2/3 cup uncooked wild rice
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrots
1 tsp sage
1 clove garlic, minced
2 T balsamic vinegar
2 cups spinach leaves (from the bag works great!)
I used a 5 quart crockpot.
Pour in broth, & add cooked chopped turkey.  Chop up the vegetables (not the spinach), and add to the pot.  Dump in the wild rice, sage, and balsamic vinegar.  Stir.

Add two heaping handfuls of baby spinach to the pot. It will look like a lot, but will shrivel down nicely while cooking.

Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours, or on high for 4-6. 

The soup is done when the vegetables have reached desired tenderness. There is a lot of volume here; this is a good candidate for a day when you are out of the house for a long time. No need to worry about it over-cooking.
For direction on how to use a turkey carcass, visit A Year of Crock Potting