Monday, October 25, 2010

Pumpkin Cookies

So I think I heard that the theme for this month was 'Pumpkin'. Here's a yummy, easy pumpkin cookie recipe.

- 1 can pumpkin
- 1 spice cake mix
- 2 cups chocolate chips

Mix them all together (just dump cake powder in) and then put them on a cookie sheet by the spoonful. Cook them for 10-12 minutes on 350.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Tortilla Sandwich

My kids love this "sandwich" and they even love making their own! It's great if you run out of bread and have tortillas on hand. Or try making homemade tortillas!

Cheese (cheddar, mozzarella, sliced or grated)
Meat (sliced lunch meat or hot dogs)

Place tortilla on microwave-safe plate. Place cheese on one end and meat toward the middle or other end.

Microwave for about 30 seconds. Carefully remove from microwave; the tortilla will be hot and the cheese should be mostly melted. Starting from the meat side, roll the tortilla up. Place seam-side down until cool.

Build-your-own "Lunchables"

Crackers (Ritz are what we usually have on hand).
Sliced Cheese (pre-sliced, or slices from a brick)
Meat (lunch meat slices, hot dogs)

1. Cut cheese and meat into 1" squares
2. Place crackers, meat and cheese together in a sandwich box*
3. Allow kids to assemble their own "sandwiches"

*I have been known to cut wax paper into squares and fold separator boxes for the different sandwich elements. If you're interested, look here.

Homemade Tortillas

2 Cups Flour
1 tsp. Salt
1/4 Cup Shortening
1/2 Cup Warm Water

Mix the Flour and salt in a bowl. Cut in the shortening until there are no more chunks. Add the water last. Stir until in forms a soft dough. Knead until all the flour is mixed in and the dough cleans the bowl. I sometimes need to add a little more water, like a teaspoon. The dough should be soft but not sticky. Divide into 8 balls and let sit, covered for 15 minutes. You know they are ready when white spots appear on the dough. Roll out and cook on a griddle or pan on medium high heat. they will usually start to bubble up, Don't pop the bubbles. If they don't it is okay. they cook fast. Cook on each side for about 30 seconds. the tortilla will turn white and get light brown spots when done. put into tortilla warmer, they will soften up in the warmer.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Peach Fruit Leather

Definitely buy "freestone" peaches, otherwise it's too time-consuming and painful to process those little cheeks. You'll need a dryer (dehydrator), but for those of you nearby, I'd be more than happy to share mine.

10-20 peaches, ripe
sugar to taste

1. Wash peaches and remove pits. (You can remove the skin or leave on as desired.) Place in food processor or blender and puree until smooth.

2. Pour into large saucepan and bring to a boil while stirring. Add sugar according to taste. Continue boiling until temperature reaches 190 F. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

3. Cover drying racks with saran wrap or use fruit-leather sheets. Spray with non-stick cooking spray.

4. Ladle puree onto sheets, spreading out middle so it's ~ 1/8" in the middle and ~ 1/4" on the edges (at least get it a little thicker on the edges as much as you can- my peach pure was still pretty runny).

5. Dry at 135 F or "fruit-leather" setting for ~6-8 hours. Leather will no longer be sticky to the touch when done.

6. While still warm, peel off the tray and roll into a tube. Keep in air-tight container away from direct sunlight (it'll leech the color).

Summer Pasta with Corn, Lime, and Cream

I love Catherine Newman's cooking blog. She's got loads of fun creative recipes, and the way she writes them up is fantastic. This is a summery recipe we've had several times recently (fast and delicious). You can check out all her recipes here.

(Disclaimer: I don't add pickled jalapenos, mint, or cilantro, and I've only used half-and-half.)

Summer Pasta with Corn, Lime, and Cream
Serves 4-6
Total time: 30 minutes
You could use all of one of the herbs here--cilantro or mint or basil--but the combination is truly intoxicating. And while the dish works better with heavy cream, you can swap in half and half need be: just be sure to reduce it a bit in the pan before adding the lime juice, or it will be inclined to curdle slightly (which is not a big deal, but still, it's nicer to look at if it doesn't). Final notes: whole wheat pasta makes this a more wholesome dish, and if you want to boost it's main-dish status, you could certainly add some shrimp (really? did the Spettro dish always have shrimp?) or some sliced grilled chicken.
Olive oil
1 1/2 pounds zucchini, quartered lengthwise and sliced
1 teaspoon kosher salt (or half as much table salt)
1 large clove of garlic, pressed or finely chopped
3 ears of corn, sliced off the cob (or 1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels)
1 cup of heavy cream (or half and half)
1 cup of chicken or vegetable broth (I like Rapunzel Vegan Vegetable Bouillon with Sea Salt)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon pickled jalapenos, finely chopped (optional)
The zest and juice of 1/2 a lime
12 ounces egg noodles or whole wheat pasta
1/2 cup (combined) mint, basil, and cilantro, finely chopped
In a wide skillet over medium-high heat, heat a large bloop of the olive oil (1-2 tablespoons) then add the zucchini and salt and sauté, stirring occasionally, until it is starting to brown, around 3 minutes.
Add the garlic and corn and sauté for another 3 minutes, until the veggies are just starting to get tender, then stir in the cream, broth, sugar, jalapenos, and lime zest, and simmer until thickened, around (say it with me) 3 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta in heavily salted water until just tender, then drain.
Add the lime juice to the skillet and taste for salt, then stir in the pasta and herbs and bring it all to a gentle simmer. Taste for seasoning (add more lime zest or juice or more salt if the pasta needs a lift) and serve.

Blueberry Muffins

This recipe is also delicious baked in a 9x13 pan and served as breakfast cake.  The lemon zest and glaze are optional, but really, why wouldn't you want lemon?

Blueberry Muffins
by Emilee Wells

2 cups flour (I usually use whole wheat)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
1/4 cup oil (canola, usually)
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
Zest of one lemon
1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen

Preheat oven to 375.  Mix dry ingredients together, then add wet ingredients, plus the zest, and stir until combined.  (Don't use an electric mixer, or your muffins will be tough.)  Fold in the blueberries.  Fill muffin cups 2/3 full (or spread the whole batter into a 9x13 pan) and bake for 15-18 minutes (25-28 for 9x13), until top is golden brown and it springs back when you touch it.  Drizzle with Lemon Glaze immediately.

Lemon Glaze:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
Juice of one lemon
Mix with a fork until well combined.

If I'm being extra fancy, I will sprinkle the cake lightly with sugar before baking it.  That way you get a nice crunchy top underneath the lemon glaze.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

Nadine says the vegetables and marinade can be enjoyed just by themselves--no need to make them into lasagna. However, if you want to gild the lily . . .

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna
by Nadine Bailey

1/2 cup olive oil
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tbsp. capers, chopped
1 tbsp. parsley, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tsp. tomato paste
salt and pepper

1 red pepper
1 large eggplant, sliced lengthwise, salted, rinsed, and well-drained
2 large zucchinis, sliced thinly lengthwise
1 sweet potato, thinly sliced lengthwise
6 Roma tomatoes, quartered

12 oz. fresh lasagna noodles (or dried noodles, cooked)
1/3 cup pesto
olive oil
1 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated.

Preheat the oven to 400. Combine marinade ingredients in a bowl and whisk thoroughly.

Cut red pepper in half lengthwise. Remove seeds and membranes and cut into large, flattish pieces. Grill until skin blackens a blisters. Place on a cutting board, cover with a tea towel; allow to cool. Peel, discard skin, and cut flesh into thick strips. Place red pepper and remaining vegetables into large baking dish; coat with half the marinade. Back for 15 minutes, turn and coat again with remaining marinade. Cook for another 15 minutes.

Cut the pasta into 24 sheets, each 4x6 inches. Make 6 individual stacks in the following order: pasta, zucchini and sweet potato, 2 tsp. pesto, pasta, eggplant and red pepper, pasta, tomatoes, 2 tsp. pesto, pasta. Transfer the stacks to greased baking dish. Brush the tops with olive oil, and sprinkley iwth grated Parmesan. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until heated through and tender.

Monday, May 24, 2010

PCMC Pancake Syrup

This syrup is from Tracy's dad, who worked at Primary Children's Medical Center. It is delicious.

PCMC Pancake Syrup

1/2 cup real butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tbsp. Karo syrup

Bring all ingredients to a boil. Remove from heat and add 1/4 tsp. baking soda. It will puff up, so make sure your pan is big enough.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Buttermilk Pancakes

These pancakes are from the kitchen of Tracy Brady's mother, and they are delicious, as well as being healthy. The buttermilk is made by mixing plain yogurt with regular milk. Genius!

Tracy demonstrated the Perfect Pancakes from Pioneer Woman, which use cake flour, and ask for an obscene amount of butter. Amazing, really, but not particularly healthy.

Buttermilk Pancakes
by Tracy Brady

1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 egg
2 T. oil
1-1/4 cup flour (3/4 cup wheat, 1/2 cup white)
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
2 t. baking powder
1 T. sugar

Mix dry ingredients in bowl. In another bowl, mix wet ingredients. Mix dry ingredients with wet ingredients and cook on a hot griddle. Enjoy!

Grits Casserole

This is a Christmas breakfast tradition at the Shull house. Delicious! (Editor's note: I made this to serve with Oven-Fried Chicken and a cucumber-and-vinegar salad for dinner, and it was perfect. However, for my kids, I had to half the cayenne pepper. Those Shull kids are tough.)

Grits Casserole
by Jolynn Shull

1 c. quick cook grits
4 c. water
2 t. salt
2 eggs
8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 t. cayenne pepper
1 stick butter (can be halved, if desired)

Boil water. Add salt and grits. Stir until thick (about 5 minutes).
Add butter and cayenne to grits. Stir.
Beat eggs in a separate bowl. Add a small amount of hot grits to the egg bowl. Stir to temper the eggs. Add eggs to grits. Add cheese. Stir.
Pour into 8x8 pan. (Double this for a 9x13.) Bake at 400 until bubbly and golden, around 30-45 minutes.

This can easily be made a day ahead and stored unbaked in the refrigerator until needed.

San Diego Breakfast Tacos

San Diego Breakfast Tacos
by Jolynn Shull

5 eggs
2 T. water
8 oz. mexican chorizo sausage, cooked
small tortillas
salsa (optional)

Cook chorizo. Beat eggs with water and salt. Scramble eggs. Serve eggs and sausage on tortillas. Add salsa, if desired.


by Emilee Wells

7 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup wheat germ
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup canola oil
1 cup honey
1/4 cup water
2 T. vanilla
1-1/2 tsp. salt
2 T. cinnamon
1 cup unsweetened coconut (optional)
Also optional: Almonds, pecans, sunflower seeds, or whatever kind of nut you like.

Mix all of the ingredients together and spread out on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 325 for 20 minutes. Stir and bake another 15 minutes. Scrape the bottom of cookie sheet as soon as it is done to prevent sticking. Cool and then store in an airtight container.

My family loves this served with fresh berries, yogurt cream (which we make with half-and-half in an attempt to be not quite so naughty), and the granola on top. YUM! Best summer breakfast ever.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Roasted Asparagus

Roasted Asparagus
by Emilee Wells

1 lb. asparagus
1 tsp. coarse salt
1 tbsp. olive oil

Preheat oven to 425. Wash asparagus and trim woody ends. Spread out on baking sheet in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt. Roast for 25 minutes.

This same technique works wonders with cauliflower, and bags of frozen mixed veggies.

Asparagus Slaw

I didn't know people ate asparagus raw, but this was so good. If you tossed it with pasta and some halved cherry tomatoes, it would be a great, light summer entree.

Asparagus Slaw
by Jolynn Shull

2 lbs. asparagus, shaved with vegetable peeler (or sliced thinly lengthwise with a knife)
1 cup parmesan, freshly shredded
2 tbsp. water
3 tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix parmesan, water, lemon juice, and olive oil in a bowl until well combined. Toss with asparagus, and add salt and pepper to taste.

Zucchini Quesadillas

The zucchini alone for these is delicious, and they are infinitely customizable for your family's tastes. (Unless, of course, your family will not touch zucchini.:)

Zucchini Quesadillas
by Nadine Bailey

1 teaspoon olive oil
Cooking spray
1/3 cup finely chopped onion (optional)
1/2 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
1 1/4 cups shredded zucchini (about 2 medium)

1/2 to 1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

10 (8-inch) fat-free flour tortillas
cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 to 1 cup diced tomato
1/4 cup chopped olives

Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add (onion and) garlic; sauté for 1 minute. Add zucchini; sauté for 2 minutes or until zucchini turns bright green in color. Remove from heat; stir in oregano, salt, and pepper.

Wipe pan clean with paper towels, and coat with cooking spray#. Heat pan over medium heat*. Add 1 tortilla to pan, and sprinkle with mozzarella. Top with layers of tomato, olives, zucchini mixture and sprinkle again with mozzarella. Fold tortilla in half. Cook for 3 minutes or until lightly browned on bottom. Carefully turn quesadilla; cook for 2 minutes or until lightly browned. Place quesadilla on a wire rack to cool. Repeat procedure with the remaining tortillas, mozzarella, zucchini mixture, tomato, olives, and feta. Serve warm.

# Alternatively, you can coat the pan with olive oil and cook each tortilla in heated oil to get a crunchier gordita-like shell

* Can use pancake griddle instead; this allows for many quesedillas to be cooking at the same time

Yield: 6-8 servings

Friday, April 16, 2010

Recipe Websites

Here are a couple of my favorite websites for delicious recipes with fun and funny commentary.

Dalai Mama Cooks-- I've been reading this blog since before Olivia was born, and it's gone, recently, from a blog of family musings to a recipe blog. I was worried, but I think it's better as a cooking blog. You really should check out some of her recipes. (The saturated pork chops look AMAZING, but that might just be because I am seriously becoming a carnivore with this pregnancy.)

Pioneer Woman-- Is there anyone out there who isn't already reading about Ree and her love affair with butter? If you haven't seen her before, you really need to see her soon.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

One Hour Rolls

I love hot rolls but they are so time-consuming. My mom had a basketball dinner at her house and someone brought these rolls.  They are super fast (really-one hour), and are delicious.

Shirley's One Hour Rolls
by Emilee Wells

1 c. warm water
1/4 c. sugar
1/3 c. oil
2 T. yeast
Mix together and let stand 15 minutes

1 t. salt
1 beaten egg
3 or 3-1/2 c. flour
Mix and let stand 10 minutes. Shape and let rise 20-30 minutes. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes. makes 1-1/2 doz rolls . Recipe can easily be doubled or tripled.

Homemade Bang Bang Shrimp Salad

Editor's Note:  This was DELICIOUS and not something I would ever think I could make.  Thank you, Jolynn!

Homemade Bang Bang Shrimp Salad
by Jolynn Shull

Cornstarch enough to coat all the shrimp (about 1/4 cup?)
1-2 t. garlic powder
2 pinches kosher salt
1/4 inch of oil in the bottom of a skillet

1 c. thai sweet chili sauce
1/4 c. mayonnaise
Srirachii hot chili sauce (for those with a touch of the masochist)

Salad mix
Red bell pepper
Snow peas
Bean sprouts

Pre-heat oil in skillet.  Mix cornstarch, garlic powder, and salt.  Lightly coat shrimp with mix.  Quickly fry shrimp (about 30 seconds per side--you know it's done when it's pink).  Sprinkle with salt.

Mix mayo with sweet chili sauce and add srirachi to taste.  (Your taste could possible be none.)  Toss shrimp with sauce. 
Variation:  Pop-Pop Shrimp.  Use sweet-and-sour sauce instead of sweet chili.  Much milder.

Chop veggies and add to salad mix.
Add shrimp to the top of each person's plate of salad. 

Kid variation:  Bang-Bang Tacos--Put a small amount of salad and a few shrimp on the top of a corn tortilla.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Baked Brie

I love to pretend I'm fancy every now and again, and this little appetizer, served with apples, pears, or crackers, fits my romantic bill. Yum! Recipe from Food Network. (I used a smaller brie wheel, and cut everything else in half.)

Baked Brie
by Emilee Wells

1 (7 to 8-inch) wheel brie cheese
1/4 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup sliced toasted almonds
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 sheets (12 by 18-inch) puff pastry
2 eggs, beaten

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Using a warmed sharp knife, or unflavored dental floss (See Cook's Note 1) cut the wheel of brie in half horizontally and separate the top half of the wheel from the bottom half. Sprinkle the bottom half of the brie with the dried cherries, toasted almonds, and brown sugar. Replace the top half of the brie and apply pressure to secure the stuffing. Working on a well-floured surface, roll out the puff pastry so that it will fully cover the brie. Place the brie in the middle of the puff pastry and fold the excess pastry around the wheel. Put the wheel aside. Roll out another piece of puff pastry and cut out a circle the same circumference as the top of the brie. Save the trimmings for decorations. Using a pastry brush, brush the egg on top of the brie in the puff pastry and place the circle on top. Brush the top of the circle with egg. Cut out decorations using cookie cutters or a small knife on top of the brie. Brush the entire top side of the brie with the egg and place the brie on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until the pastry begins to turn golden brown, then turn the temperature down to 325 degrees F and bake for another 20 minutes. Serve on a pretty platter. See Cook's Note 2.

Cook's Note 1: Instead of using a knife to cut the brie, use a piece of unflavored dental floss. Make an initial cut half way down, along the outer side of the brie with a pairing knife. Then, take a long piece of dental floss and wrap it around both hands. Starting at the front of the wheel at the initial cut, work through the wheel with the floss, separating the top half of the wheel from the bottom.

Mini Meat Pies

Nadine's husband, Travis, finds these mini meat pies romantic because they a) can be made ahead, b) do not need dishes or utensils, and c) are easy.

Mini Meat Pies
by Nadine Bailey

1 pound ground beef
3 potatoes, peeled and diced (about 1 cup)
1 tablespoon Wocestershire sauce

1 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)

1 teaspoon garlic salt

1 bag frozen peas and carrots


3 cups all-purpose flour

1-2 tablespoons sesame seeds (optional)

1 ¼ teaspoons salt

1 cup shortening

¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese

¾ cup evaporated milk

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

In a skillet over medium heat, cook beef until no longer pink; drain. In another pan, cook potatoes in about ½ to 1 cup water, until potatoes are tender. Add browned ground beef and seasonings, mix well. Stir in frozen veggies. Remove from heat.

In a bowl, combine flour, sesame seeds (if desired) and salt. Cut in shortening and cheese until crumbly. Combine milk and vinegar; gradually add to flour mixture, tossing with a fork until dough forms a ball. Divide dough in half; roll out to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut with cookie cutter (round or heart, etc.) Place half the circles 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Top each with about 1 ½ tablespoons of beef mixture; cover with remaining circles. Press edges together and seal with a fork. Cut a slit in the top of each.

Bake at 425 for 12-16 mintues or until golden brown. Serve immediately or cool, wrap and freeze for up to 3 months. Yield: 1 ½ dozen.

To use frozen meat pies: Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 425 for 14-16 minutes or until heated through.

Marshmallow Fondant

Rolled Marshmallow Fondant
by Nadine Bailey

This simple fondant recipe uses ingredients which are probably already in your pantry. It's softer than our standard fondant recipe with a very sweet taste that kids love.
1 package (16 ounces) white mini marshmallows (use a good quality brand)
2-5 tablespoons water
2 pounds (about 8 cups) sifted confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
Makes: About 2 pounds marshmallow fondant.

To make marshmallow fondant, place marshmallows and 2 tablespoons of water in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave 30 seconds on high; stir until mixed well. Continue microwaving 30 seconds more; stir again. Continue until melted (about 2 1/2 minutes).
Place 3/4 of the confectioners' sugar on top of the melted marshmallow mixture. Fold sugar into marshmallow mixture. Flavoring can be added at this point if desired. Place solid vegetable shortening in easily accessed bowl so you can reach into it with fingers as you are working. Grease hands and counter GENEROUSLY; turn marshmallow mixture onto counter. Start kneading like you would dough. Continue kneading, adding additional confectioners' sugar and re-greasing hands and counter so the fondant doesn't stick. If the marshmallow fondant is tearing easily, it is too dry; add water (about 1/2 tablespoon at a time) kneading until fondant forms a firm, smooth elastic ball that will stretch without tearing, about 8 minutes.
It's best to allow Marshmallow Fondant to sit, double-wrapped, overnight. Prepare the fondant for storing by coating with a thin layer of solid vegetable shortening, wrap in plastic wrap and then place in resealable bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible. Marshmallow Fondant will keep well in refrigerator for several weeks.
When not working with fondant, make sure to keep it covered with plastic wrap or in a bag to prevent it from drying out. When ready to use, knead fondant until smooth. Roll out fondant 1/8 in. thick.
To color fondant: If you need to tint the entire batch of fondant, add a little icing color to the melted marshmallow mixture before adding confectioners' sugar. For smaller amounts of tinted fondant, add icing color to portions of fondant as needed.

Conversation Heart Cookies

Conversation Heart Cookies
by Nadine Bailey

Cookie Dough
1 cup unbleached all purpsoe flour
¾ cup cornstarch
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks, or 12 tablespoons) BUTTER, do not substitute with margarine
¾ cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Buttercream Frosting
4 tablespoons ( ½ stick) BUTTER
1-2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*optional: for chocolate, reduce powdered sugar by ½ cup 1/3 cup cocoa powder

Rolled Fondant (can be bought or homemade)[Editor's Note: She used Marshmallow Fondant, recipe above.]

Heat oven to 300. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

In medium bowl, sift flours, cornstarch, baking powder and salt and set aside (I place all in a bowl and use a wisk to mix them together). In a large bowl use an electric mixer on medium to beat the butter, powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth and lightened slightly in color. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed during the mixing. Mix in the flour mixture just until the flour is incorporated and a smooth dough forms. (I have added a small amount of milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, if the dough doesn’t clump to form a smooth ball).

Mold into a ball and chill for 1 hour (or 20-30 min in the freezer). Dust workspace with a mix of equal amounts of cornstarch and powdered sugar. Roll dough out to ¼ inch thickness. Use heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut out cookies and place on parchment paper.

Bake at 300 for 20-30 minutes (depending on size of cookie- they should look a little underdone, but lightly brown on the bottom). Cool on baking sheets for 10 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

While cooking and cooling cookies, make buttercream frosting. Place some white in an icing bag with small round tip (#3 or #4). Using red gel coloring, make some frosting bright pink and place in a piping bag with tip #1 (smallest round tip).

Make fondant colors as desired. Roll fondant out on shortening-greased work space to 1/8-inch thickness. Using same cookie cutter as used for cookies, cut out heart shapes. Pipe an outline of buttercream frosting on the cooled cookie, place cut fondant on top. Dust with dusting powder (equal mix of cornstarch and powdered sugar) and smooth with fondant smoother or fingers (*caution- watch out for cookie crumbs!)

Using bright pink frosting with small round tip (#1), pipet different sayings on hearts. Examples: smile, cutie, Hi!, Bye-Bye, Friend, Call Me, Sweetie, Hello, Cool, Smile, Be Mine, Love, an so on.

Allow frosting to set (about 2 hours). Store tightly covered at room teperature for up to 5 days.


Cheesecake by Melissa Corry
2 packages (8 oz) cream cheese
½ cup sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1 ready-to-use graham cracker crumb crust
MIX cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs; mix until blended.
POUR into crust.
BAKE at 350 for 40 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool. Refrigerate 3 hours.

Chocolate Lovers Cheesecake – Melt 4 squares of semi-sweet chocolate. Blend with cream cheese mixture after the eggs have been blended.
Luscious Lemon Cheesecake – Add 1 tbsp of fresh lemon juice and ½ teaspoon grated lemon peel with the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cheesecake – Add 1/3 cup of peanut butter with the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. After blending eggs stir in ¾ cup of mini chocolate chips.
Pumpkin Layer Cheesecake – After batter is completed set 1 cup aside. Pour remaining into crust. Add ½ cup canned pumpkin, ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, a dash of cloves, and a dash of nutmeg to the 1 cup of batter. Stir. Pour over cream cheese batter.
Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake – After pouring batter into crust dot top of cheesecake with 3 tbsp of melted raspberry preserves. Cut through batter with knife for marble effect.
White Chocolate Almond Cheesecake – Add 4 squares of chopped white baking chocolate to mixture. Pour into crust. Sprinkle top with ½ cup chopped almonds and 2 more squares of chopped white baking chocolate.
Fruit Topped Cheesecake – After cheesecake has been refrigerated top with 2 cups of sliced fresh fruit and drizzle with 2 tbsp of heated strawberry jelly.
Toffee Crunch Cheesecake – After blending eggs stir in ¾ cup of chopped toffee bars. Pour into crust and then sprinkle top with ¼ cup of chopped toffee bars.
White Chocolate Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake – Stir in 3 squares of melted white baking chocolate with cream cheese mixture. Pour into crust. Microwave 3 tbsp of raspberry preserves till melted. Dot top of cheesecake with jam and cut with knife for swirl effect.
Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake – After pouring batter into crust dot top of cheesecake with 4 tbsp of melted chocolate chips. Cut through batter with knife for marble effect.
Snickers Cheesecake – After blending eggs stir in ¾ cup of chopped snickers bars. Pour into crust and then sprinkle top with ¼ cup of chopped snickers bars.
Peanut Butter Passion Cheesecake – Add 1/3 cup of peanut butter with the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. After blending eggs stir in ¾ cup of chopped peanut butter cups. Pour into crust and then sprinkle top with ¼ cup of chopped peanut butter cups.

1 cup graham cracker crumbs
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup finely chopped pecans
¼ cup butter or margarine, melted
3 tablespoons sugar

2 packages, 8oz, cream cheese
½ cup sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs

1/3 cup sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 cups sliced peeled apples
¼ cup finely chopped pecans

Crust – MIX crumbs, pecans, sugar, cinnamon, and butter. Press onto bottom of 9-inch springform pan. Bake at 325 for 10 minutes.
Filling – MIX cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, mixing on low speed just until blended. Pour over crust.
Topping – MIX sugar and cinnamon; toss with apples. Spoon apple mixture over cream cheese layer; sprinkle with pecans. BAKE at 325 for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until center is almost set. Run knife around rim of pan to loosen cake; Refrigerate for 4 hours. Remove rim from pan and serve.

1 package brownie mix
3 packages cream cheese
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup sour cream
3 eggs
PREPARE and bake brownie mix as directed on package for 9 inch square pan in bottom of well-greased 9-inch springform pan.
MIX cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Blend in sour cream. Add eggs, and blend. Pour over brownie crust.
BAKE at 325 for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until center is almost set. Run knife around rim of pan to loosen cake; Refrigerate for 4 hours. Remove rim from pan and serve.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Lentil Soup

Lentil Soup
By Nadine Bailey

1 cup dry lentils
1-2 cups dry beans (optional)
1 cup chopped green pepper
2 teaspoons chicken bouillon (or 1-2 cubes)
2 teaspoons snipped fresh sage or ½ teaspoon dried sage, crushed
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 oz fully cooked smoked sausage, quartered lengthwise and sliced
Fresh chopped vegetables (optional)- can include: eggplant, sqash, zuccini, carrots
IF USING BEANS (if you’re just using lentils you can skip this step):
Soak beans: Overnight or Boil in water for 2 minutes, cover with lid and soak for at least 1 hour. Rinse and drain.
Place beans and remaining ingredients in a slow cooker or in pot. Add water until beans are just covered. Cover and cook on low 8-10 hours, high 4-6 hours, until beans are soft.
If using stove top, after adding all ingredients cover with 6-8 cups of water for every cup of lentils; Cover and cook on medium heat. Once it starts to boil, reduce heat and stir every 5 minutes or so to prevent from burning. Cook until lentils (and beans) are soft, ~ 1 hour.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Broccoli Cheddar Soup
By Kelly Galbraith

1 1/2 C Chicken broth
1/2 C chopped onion
1/2 C. chopped celery
1/2 C. grated carrots
2 C. chopped broccoli
2TBS butter
2T flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 C. milk
1/2 C shredded cheddar cheese

In saucepan combine chicken broth, onion, celery, carrots, and broccole. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 10 mins until veggies are cooked.
In another saucepan (I always just add it to the veggie pot) melt butter. Blend flour and salt and pepper. Add the milk all at once. stir over heat until all flour lumps dissapear and then add veggie mixture. Add cheese. Cook until thoroughly heated and all cheese is melted.. (just a hint the carrots look like cheese...don't be fooled!!) Serves 3 or 4.

(I always double or triple the recipe, and the actual amounts of all things vary every time that I make this, but it is delicious and I have tricked Mike into thinking that it is super heathly.!!!

Bread (to be served with soup)

by Melissa Corry
2 1/2 cups Warm Water (110 degrees)
1/3 cup Oil
1/3 cup Honey
1 tbsp Yeast
1 tbsp salt
7 cups flour

Place water in mixer. Add oil and honey and blend. (if you put the oil in first and then use the same measuring cup the honey comes out much easier) Add yeast and 1 cup of flour. Blend on low speed. While running add 3 more cups of flour. Continue blending and add salt. Continue blending and add remaining 3 cups of flour. Turn Mixer up one speed and blend for 10 minutes. Remove bowl from mixer and cover with a towel and let rise till bulging out of bowl – about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Refer to what you want to make now.

Dump dough onto lightly floured surface and punch down. Cut into two pieces and shape in the size of a loaf. Place in greased loaf pan and place a towel over pans. Allow to rise until double in size about an hour. Place in oven at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. Brush melted butter on the top of the loaf as soon as you take it out. Enjoy. Makes 2 loafs.

Dump dough onto lightly floured surface and punch down. Cut into two pieces and roll the first piece into a large circle about 16 inches in diameter. Brush melted butter across the surface of the dough. With a pizza cutter cut 12 pieces the same you would a pizza. Starting on the edge of the piece of dough, roll up each piece toward the center to make a crescent shape roll. Place on greased cookie pan or a cookie pan with a liner and make sure to tuck the loose end under. Repeat with other piece of dough. Cover with a towel and let rise until double the size, about an hour. Place in oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Brush melted butter on the top of each roll as soon as you take it out. Enjoy. Makes 2 dozen rolls.

Dump dough onto lightly floured surface and punch down. Cut into two pieces and roll the first piece into a large circle about 16 inches in diameter. Place on pizza pan and top as you desire. Repeat with second piece. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. Sometimes I like to make the crusts a little thinner and leave some dough for breadsticks. Roll remaining dough into snake shapes and place in a glass baking pan with melted butter in the bottom. Allow a little bit of time to rise (I normally bake them after the first pizza is done). Cover with Parmesan Cheese and Seasoning and bake for 15 minutes. I normally just stick it on the top shelf with the second pizza on the bottom shelf. Enjoy!!

Dump dough onto very lightly floured surface and punch down. Return to bowl. Tear off a small piece of dough and stretch it in your fingers. Place in a pot of hot oil. Fry for about one minute on each side. You can cook 3 to 4 scones at a time. Serve hot with honey, butter, and powdered sugar. Enjoy!! Makes about 24 scones.

Dump dough onto lightly floured surface and punch down. Roll into a large rectangle shape. Make a cinnamon roll mixture by mixing 3/4 cup brown sugar, 2 tsp cinnamon, and optional raisins and chopped nuts. Sprinkle mixture over dough. Starting on one end of the dough, roll up into a large cylinder shape. Use a knife to cut cylinder into 12 circles. Place in 9 x 13 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 25 – 30 minutes. This makes 12 very large rolls. You can make medium size ones by making two cylinders or mini’s by making three cylinders. Adjust cooking time accordingly.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Tortilla Soup

This is warm for winter evenings, but light and refreshing enough for summer as well. It's definitely one of my quick go-to recipes.

Tortilla Soup
from Emilee Wells

1 qt. chicken broth (I usually use chicken base to make my own broth)
1 qt. water
5-6 scallions, white and light green parts thinly sliced
1/2 tsp. dried cilantro (or fresh cilantro to taste)
1 jalapeno pepper, ribs and seeds removed, finely chopped
2 chicken breast halves
1 10-oz. bag frozen corn
3 small tomatoes, chopped
Limes and tortilla chips for garnish

Bring broth, water, scallions, cilantro, and pepper to a boil.  Add chicken and simmer until cooked through.  Remove chicken from broth and chop finely.  Add chicken back to broth and serve soup with tomatoes, chips, and lime wedges.  The original recipe said to add the tomatoes to the soup itself at the very end, but they don't reheat as well as everything else the next day, so I just add them as garnish.  (We love it at our house with LOTS of lime squirted over the top.)