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

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Spiced Pumpkin Lattes

Since it's pumpkin season, I thought I'd share my recipe for this yummy hot (and slightly sweet) drink. I hope you like it!

4 C. milk
2 Tbsp. sugar
6 Tbsp. brown sugar
6 Tbsp. Libby's pumpkin puree
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 - 2 C. strong coffee

In a medium saucepan, whisk all ingredients together over Medium heat until desired temperature. Strain through cheesecloth. Makes 4-6 servings.

NOTE: You might want to add the sugar "to taste". My tastebuds have changed, and I no longer desire it this sweet. Also, make sure you strain it. If you don't, it has a slightly pulpy texture, and your last few swigs will be quite thick. This recipe is easily doubled - just store what's left over in the frig.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Honey and Oat Snack Mix

This could probably qualify as "granola", but since it's got chocolate chunks in it, I'm going with "snack mix".

3/4 C. butter
3/4 C. honey
1/4 C. brown sugar
6 C. Quaker old fashioned oats
4 oz. sliced almonds
1/4 C. self-rising flour
1 C. Nestle semi-sweet chocolate chunks

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat oven to 350°. In a medium sauce pan, heat butter, honey and brown sugar over Medium heat until melted. In a large bowl, combine oats, almonds and flour. Pour butter mixture over oat mixture and combine. Stir in chocolate chunks and pour onto sheet pan. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until medium golden brown. Let cool completely and break into bite-sized chunks.

NOTE: I don't keep self-rising flour on hand because none of my other recipes call for it. So I made my own - it was easy! I added 1 1/2 tsp. of baking powder and 1/2 tsp. salt to one cup all-purpose flour and stored it in a small Ziploc bag in the freezer.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Potato Cheese Soup

No background story on this, other than it came from my sister-in-law. I've mentioned before that she's a great cook and baker, and this soup is just another indication of that. Hope you like it!

3 C. water or chicken stock
4 Wyler's chicken bouillon cubes
1 Tbsp. parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
6 small potatoes, cubed, unpeeled
1 C. carrots, sliced thin (or grated)
1 C. celery, diced
1 Tbsp. onion flakes
4 C. milk, warmed
2/3 C. flour
1 # Velveeta cheese

Combine water, bouillon cubes, parsley, salt and pepper. Add potatoes, carrots, celery and onion. Cook until tender. Combine milk and flour; add to rest of ingredients and bring to a slow boil until soup is thickened. Add cubed Velveeta; heat and serve.

NOTE: Because two of my kids don't like carrots, I usually grate them with my food processor so they're too small to pick out. A few also don't like celery, so I'll either dice that very small, or cut them extra large so they CAN pick them out. I would like them to get the nutrients of the actual vegetable, but at least they're getting some from the broth.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Gingersnap Bars

2 C. flour
1 C. sugar
2 tsp. soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 C. butter, melted
1/4 C. Grandma's molasses
1 egg
2 Tbsp. cinnamon-sugar

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Press into greased jellyroll pan and sprinkle with 2 Tbsp. sugar, or cinnamon-sugar if you like. Bake at 375° for 10-12 minutes. Don't over bake or they'll get hard! Let stand 5 minutes, cut into bars and cool completely.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Taco Soup

Here's another soup recipe for you all to try. It's so quick and easy - and delicious to boot!

1# hamburger
1 can corn, drained
1 can kidney beans and liquid
24 oz. mild Pace picante sauce
48 oz. V8 vegetable juice
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. chili powder
1/4 C. sugar

Daisy Sour Cream
Cheddar cheese

Brown hamburger and onion; drain. Add remaining ingredients and heat through. Serve with crushed Doritos, a spoonful of sour cream and/or shredded cheddar cheese.

NOTE: You can control the heat of the soup by choosing mild or hot picante sauce.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Gosh - is it just me, or are there a ton of Chili recipes out there? My word! If you tried a new recipe every day, it could take you many years of Autumns and Winters to get through them all! My family and I prefer the simple, everyday version over those with jalapenos, buffalo meat, white beans, or sliced zucchini. Believe me - my recipe is nothing special, but it is hearty and delicious. Thick, not brothy. Tomato-y with no chunks - just the way we like it.

1# hamburger
Onion flakes
Garlic powder
15 oz. Hunts tomato sauce
1 can Campbell's tomato soup
1 can chili beans
1 C. water
1 tsp. sugar
1 ½ tsp. chili powder
Salt & pepper to taste

Brown hamburger with onion and garlic; drain. Add remaining ingredients and simmer, uncovered, 30-60 minutes. Serve over rice, or top with grated cheese and corn chips.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Garlic Cheese Biscuits

Here's a quick and easy recipe for biscuits, straight from the box of Bisquick.

2 C. Bisquick
1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
2/3 C. milk

Stir ingredients until soft dough forms and drop by spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown.

2 Tbsp. melted butter
1/8 tsp. garlic powder

Mix and brush over warm biscuits

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Cold Ro-Tel Dip

This is a recipe that I got from my soon-to-be daughter-in-love, Emily. I've made it countless times for my family, and for informal get-togethers. I made two double batches for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and will probably bring it to the Super Bowl Party that's coming up soon. It goes together easy, and can sit several days in the frig. Love that!

8 oz. Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. Daisy sour cream
1 can Mild Ro-Tel, drained
1 pkg. Ranch dressing mix

Combine all ingredients and serve with tortilla chips.

NOTE: Because my kids don't like chunks, I use my Pampered Chef Food Chopper to really go at the Ro-Tel after it's been drained.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Mocha Frappuccino

Some of you, like me, are in the dog days of summer, and are doing all you can to stay cool. This recipe is fast and easy to mix up (think chocolate milk + sweetened coffee), and is especially good over a mug full of ice. Enjoy!

3 C. hot coffee
3/4 C. sugar
4 C. milk
3/4 C. Hershey's chocolate syrup

Combine hot coffee and sugar; stir til dissolved. Add milk and syrup. Store in refrigerator and serve over ice.

NOTE:I have tried several variations of this recipe, and all are good! It just depends on your taste. I recommend you keep track of your initial amounts, and make changes if necessary. Here are a few ways to mix it up: stronger or weaker coffee; flavored coffee; more or less sugar; skim, 1% or 2% milk; chocolate milk; dark, milk or regular chocolate syrup. Have fun with it!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Hot Ham and Cheese Buns

8 sandwich buns
Shaved ham
Swiss or Mozzarella slices
6 Tbsp. butter
4 tsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. plain mustard
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. poppy seeds

In small saucepan, melt butter with brown sugar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and poppy seeds. Bring to boil, then remove from heat and cover for 10 minutes. In the meantime, arrange the bottoms of each bun in a 9x13 pan. Build sandwiches using a layer of ham, then cheese, then more ham. Spread a tablespoon or so of the slightly cooled sauce on the inside of each bun top and place on the sandwich. Pour and spread the remaining sauce over the tops of all the buns, cover with foil and refrigerate 4 (or several) hours. Bake at 325° for 15 minutes, remove foil, and bake another 15 minutes.

The original recipe says that these can be frozen with much success, although I haven't tried it and therefore can't comment on it. If it works for you, please let me know!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Lemon Jello Cake

Just in time for spring, here's a delicious, light and refreshing dessert!

1 lemon cake mix
1 small box lemon Jell-O
4 eggs
3/4 C. water
3/4 C. canola oil
2 Tbsp. lemon juice

Mix dry cake mix, Jell-O, eggs, water, oil and lemon juice for several minutes. Bake in a greased glass 9x13 pan at 325° for 30-40 minutes, or until cake tests done. Combine 2 Cups of powdered sugar with enough lemon juice to make a smooth glaze, then pour over cake while still hot; chill. Top with a dab of Cool Whip or lightly sweetened whipped cream.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Peanut Butter Bars

If you decide to make these bars, be forewarned that they are just about identical to a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup and may be extremely hard to stay away from. Just sayin'.

1 C. butter, melted
3 C. powdered sugar
1 C. Jif creamy peanut butter
1 C. Honey Maid graham cracker crumbs
1 C. Nestle chocolate chips
1 C. Jif creamy peanut butter

Mix together melted butter, powdered sugar, peanut butter and crumbs until smooth; press into a 9x13 pan. Melt chocolate chips and more peanut butter then spread on bars. Then refrigerate. Then lock your frig!