"I'm not a glutton - I'm an explorer of food."
- Erma Bombeck

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Mocha Punch

Gary and I were married December 12th, 1992. After we got home from our honeymoon and before Christmas (I know - crazy, right?) I threw a get-together for all of my potential new friends in our home. Okay, it was really for all of his friend's wives! Gary was one of the last in his bunch to get married, so I was the new kid on the block, not to mention the youngest! It was a little intimidating for me, but I'm so glad I did it. And it's been a fun yearly tradition ever since then! Sometimes I have a morning brunch, sometimes a Saturday evening hors doeuvre party. And we always have a crazy gift exchange. This punch has been around a few years, and I'm happy to share the recipe with all of you. It's from an old issue of Taste of Home.

6 C. water
1/2 C. Nestle's Quik (chocolate, of course)
1/2 C. sugar
1/3 C. instant coffee
1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream
1/2 gallon chocolate ice cream

Boil water in 3-qt. saucepan. Remove from heat, add Quik, sugar and instant coffee, and stir until dissolved. Cover and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Thirty minutes before serving, pour into punch bowl and add ice cream scoops. Stir/Mash until partially melted. Delicious!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Easy Turtles

These little candies are so cute, and they take hardly any time at all to make. They're especially fun to make at Christmas time.

Waffle pretzels, round or square
1 bag Rolo candies
1 bag pecan halves

Line a baking sheet with wax paper and arrange as many pretzels on top as you have Rolo candies. Place an unwrapped Rolo in the very center of each pretzel and bake at 250° for 4 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately press a pecan half on top, pressing down firmly. Allow to cool.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Potato Ole Hotdish

Here's a new twist on an old favorite - Tator Tot Hotdish. We like eating at Taco John's, and their Potato Oles are always a big hit with us. When I got this recipe, I knew we'd all love it before we even tried it! See what you think!

1# hamburger
1/4 C. taco seasoning
2/3 C. water
11 oz. Nacho Cheese soup
15 oz. Mexicorn, drained
Tator tots

Brown hamburger and onion; drain. Stir in taco seasoning and water; simmer over low heat for 15-20 minutes. Stir in soup, then spread in 9x13 glass pan and sprinkle with corn. Arrange tator tots on top. Bake at 325° for an hour, or until bubbly and tator tots are golden brown.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Apple Crisp

Since apples are in abundance right now, I thought I'd post my recipe for Apple Crisp. It's sort of like posting my recipe for Chocolate Cake - everybody has their favorite one. But this is piled high with a delicious, buttery crumb topping that everyone is sure to love - especially with some homemade vanilla ice cream to go with it!

6 C. apples; peeled, cored and sliced
2 Tbsp. flour
1/2 C. sugar
2 C. oatmeal
1 1/2 C. flour
1 1/2 C. brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 C. butter, cold

Coat apples with flour and sugar; place in greased glass 9x13 pan. Combine dry ingredients; cut in butter until crumbly and sprinkle over apples. Bake at 325° for 40-45 minutes, or until topping is nicely browned and apples are bubbling around the edges.

NOTE: You can use a food processor to help mix up your crumb topping. Process dry ingredients first, then add cold butter that's been cut into medium-sized pieces. Don't mix it too long or you'll end up with a wet, buttery mess. (Wanna ask me how I know that?) Stop when things are well-blended and still dry and crumbly, and when the butter chunks are about the size of large peas.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Sweet & Spicy Snack Mix

This recipe came from my friend, Jill. I can't count the number of times I've made this when the weather starts getting cooler. Yummy! It makes a pretty large batch, so I do two half batches in my roaster. That works out just about right.

3 sticks butter
1 1/2 C. brown sugar
3 tsp. chili powder
3 tsp. garlic salt
3 tsp. curry powder
3 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 12-oz. box Crispix
1 12-oz. bag plain Bugles
1 11-oz. bag Fritos
1 8-oz. bag pretzels

Melt butter and combine with brown sugar, spices and Worcestershire sauce. Place remaining ingredients in large roaster and combine. Pour butter mixture over the top and stir well. Bake at 250° for an hour, stirring every 20 minutes. Cool on wax paper.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Peanut Butter Chex

When my best friend and I were just beginning our babysitting careers, we babysat together for a young couple's Bible Study. One of the moms, Gwenn, brought this snack for us and all the kids to eat in the basement while they met upstairs. We thought it was so yummy that we got the recipe from her that night. Since my friend was spending the night with me, we made it later at my house using Corn Chex, since that was all my mom had. Even though it tasted okay, it was different. I much prefer Rice Chex and so do my own kids! I hope you like this one!

1 stick butter
1/4 C. Jif creamy peanut butter
1 tsp. onion salt
1 box Rice Chex

Melt butter and peanut butter in large Dutch oven; add onion salt. Stir in cereal over low heat. Cover and let sit 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Fruit Tea

The idea for this recipe came from one I'd read over at Lauren's a long time ago. I've made some changes to it - so much so that it really doesn't even resemble hers at all anymore. But I do like to give credit where credit is due, and without her sharing her recipe for Fruit Tea, I wouldn't have this yummy one today. So thanks, Lauren!

2 qts. fresh-brewed Lipton iced tea
3/4 C. sugar (or more)
1 12-oz. can frozen orange juice concentrate
2 12-oz. cans Jumex peach nectar (in the canned juice aisle, not frozen)

Mix all ingredients together in a one-gallon pitcher and add water to equal one gallon. Stir well or shake before serving.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Ice Cream Dessert

This recipe brings back so many fond memories of my childhood summers. Growing up in Minnesota in a town situated around five lakes, there was always something to do on the water, summer or winter. We always had a boat and snowmobiles, but didn't actually move to a home on the lake until I was older. Prior to that, we'd spend every 4th of July with family friends at their house on the lake, boating, skiing, laying out and hanging out with friends. Seeing Linda bring out her ice cream dessert was one of the highlights of the day! Always the same recipe, and always delicious!

1 C. Nestle chocolate chips
1/2 C. butter
2 C. powdered sugar
12 oz. evaporated milk
1# Oreos
1/2 C. melted butter
1 gallon vanilla ice cream, softened
16 oz. Cool Whip
Spanish peanuts

Melt chips with butter over low heat; add sugar and milk. Boil slowly for eight minutes, stirring constantly, until thick. Cool a little, add vanilla, then cool completely. Crush Oreos and stir in butter. Divide in half, and pat into two 9x13 pans; freeze. Top with softened ice cream, smooth, then freeze. Add chocolate sauce; freeze. Top with Cool Whip and Spanish peanuts. Store in freezer; thaw 5-10 minutes before serving.

NOTE: This recipe DOES make two 9x13 pans. Halve the recipe for one pan. You can use store-bought hot fudge sauce, too, instead of making your own. And I suppose you could vary the ice cream flavor, but I always stick with vanilla. Reminds me of Linda! =

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

French Dressing

1 C. sugar
1/4 C. vinegar
1/2 C. ketchup
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 grated onion
1 tsp. salt
Dash of paprika
Dash of celery seed
1 C. canola oil

Blend together in a food processor, gradually drizzling oil in last.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Grilled Turkey Marinade

1/4 C. oil
1/4 C. Kikkoman soy sauce
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. dried onion flakes
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 tsp. ginger

Swirl all ingredients together in large Ziploc bag. Add raw turkey breasts and refrigerate several hours or overnight.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Rhubarb Cream Cake

Now that rhubarb season is here, I think it's time to highlight this amazing fruit. Or is it a vegetable? Whatever it is, it's delicious! This dessert is amazing. It seems to do a total inside-out magic trick in the oven. The cream that you pour over the top of the cake mix sinks to the bottom and creates this yummy, sweet custard-like stuff. And substituting fresh peaches for the rhubarb? Well, you'll think you've died and gone to heaven!

1 white or yellow cake mix
3 C. rhubarb, chopped
1 C. sugar
2 C. whipping cream

Prepare cake as directed and pour into greased 9x13 glass pan. Arrange rhubarb evenly on top, then sprinkle with sugar. Pour cream over all and bake at 325° for 45-60 minutes, or until cake tests done. Serve warm.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Caramel Biscuits

This recipe is so good and so easy that it really should be a sin to put so little effort into something and have it turn out so well every time. Honest! (And there should be a limit to the number of times a person can use "so" in a sentence!)

1 can Grands biscuits
1/4 C. melted butter
1/4 C. brown sugar

Cut each biscuit into 8 pieces and place in a greased 9x13 glass pan. Stir together melted butter and brown sugar until they're mixed well, then drizzle on top of the biscuit pieces. Bake at 325° for 15-20 minutes, until tops have browned a little.

Adding a simple powdered sugar glaze while still warm is optional, but not necessary. If you would like your biscuits with more "goop" just add more, using equal parts of butter and brown sugar.

I baked these one time in a smaller but taller baking dish, and they took forEVER to get done! The ones on top were well done, but the ones in the middle were still doughy. I won't do that again! =)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Twix Candy Bars

Club crackers
1/2 C. sugar
3/4 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. butter
1/2 C. milk
1 C. Honey Maid graham cracker crumbs
1 C. Nestle semi-sweet chocolate chips
2/3 C. Jif creamy peanut butter

Line a 9x13 pan with whole crackers. Boil sugars, butter and milk for 5 minutes. Stir in crumbs and pour over crackers. Top with another layer of crackers. Melt chocolate chips and peanut butter; frost.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Easy Homemade Play-Doh

2 1/4 C. water
3 Tbsp. Johnson's baby oil
2 C. flour
2 Tbsp. powdered alum
1 C. salt

Boil water and baby oil. Mix flour, alum and salt in large bowl. Pour liquid into dry ingredients and mix well. Cool slightly. Knead dough a few times on a lightly floured surface. Divide and add food coloring if desired. Store in airtight container.