Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Cinnamon Syrup

This was my mom's 'secret' syrup recipe. We loved it growing up. I have found that by making it with less sugar (like 1/2 c.) it still tastes great, yet not quite as sweet. It is a very sweet recipe.

1 c. sugar
1/2 c. corn syrup
1/4 c. water
1/2 to 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 c. evaporated milk

Combine sugar, corn syrup, water and cinnamon. Boil over medium heat stirring constantly. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Cool for 5 minutes removed from heat. Stir in evaporated milk. Makes 1 2/3 cups.

Orange Syrup

Another favorite syrup from my growing up years. YUM! This also turns out okay reducing the sugar content.

1/2 c. butter
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. orange juice concentrate

Heat almost to boiling.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

They are baking as we speak: German Chocolate Bars

German Chocolate Bars

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 package German chocolate cake mix
1 tub coconut pecan frosting
6 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup milk

Heat oven to 350. Lightly grease sides and bottoms of 13 x 9 x2 pan with shortening. Cut butter into cake mix with pastry blender or crisscrossing 2 knives, until crumbly. Press half of the mixture (2 1/2 cups) in bottom of pan. Bake 10 minutes.

Carefully spread frosting over baked layer; sprinkle evenly with chocolate chips. Stir milk into remaining cake mixture. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto chocolate chips.

Bake 25-30 minutes or until cake portion is slightly dry to the touch. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Cover and refrigerate about 2 hours or until firm. For bars, cut into 8 rows by 6 rows. Store covered in refrigerator.

My bars are in the oven. I just realized that I added too much milk - 1/2 cup instead of 1/4 cup. Oops, I guess I didn't read the directions very well. This recipe comes from Betty Crocker's Ultimate Cake Mix Cookbook. This is my first time baking this recipe! I will let you know if they are good! The picture in the cookbook looks very delicious!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Fish Tacos

1/4 cup sliced green onions with tops
2 T. chopped fresh cilantro
1 T. lime juice
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp Cajun or blackened fish seasoning
2 cups broccoli slaw mix

Or use this slaw recipe (I tried this today and liked it even better)
1/3 cup green onion, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
4 cups broccoli slaw mix
1 cup diced tomatoes
2 T. olive oil
2 T. lime juice, fresh
1/2 tsp. salt

1 lb tilapia fish fillets
1 T. Cajun or blackened fish seasoning

avocado or guacamole
corn tortillas

1. For slaw, mix all the first seven ingredients together then add broccoli slaw. Toss to coat. Cover; refrigerate until ready to serve.

2. Heat pan over medium heat. Sprinkle fish with seasoning - place in pan and cook over medium heat 10-12 minutes or until fish flakes easily with fork, carefully turning once. Remove from heat, flake fish into bite-size pieces.

3. Warm tortillas - top with slaw mixture and fish. Top with avocado slices or guacamole - may also top with sliced radishes.

When I make this for my family, I always double the recipe and then we have leftovers. For those of you who don't like fish, tilapia is a very mild fish- not a "fishy" flavor.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Banana Brownies

ok I don't know if Marne sent this to all of you via email- but this recipe makes me salivate. I think the most perfect combination in the world besides Chay and I of course- is chocolate and banana. So I haven't tried this recipe- have you Marne?
HERE is where the recipe came from.

Banana Brownies
3/4 cup butter (soft)
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 t vanilla
2 ripe bananas (mashed)
2 cups flour
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
chocolate chips

mix everything together and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.
let cool and enjoy (don't overbake -- they look a bit "undone" sometimes)

note: recipe given to me by my friend JaNiese in Lewiston, Idaho

ok, seriously, you can get to the point where you can have these in the oven in 10 minutes and done in about half an hour -- I love making these for after-school treats. Moist and yummy

Monday, April 14, 2008

link up the favorite websites

I don't have access to the layout of this blog- but whoever does Tiffani? can they link up the favorite websites so we can just click instead of copy paste??

Check out this link!

Look to your right at bakerella's blog - she has the cutest little cupcakes. She was recently featured on Martha Stewart. She has made the most adorable baked goods - perfect for a special little gift for someone. Check it out!

Avocado Waldorf Salad

I got this recipe from my sister. We made it last night for our BBQ dinner. It is very yummy, and quite sweet.

3 medium apples
1 large stalk celery, minced
1 T raisins or dried cranberries
1 recipe Avocado-Yogurt Dressing (see below)
1/4 c chopped walnuts

Cut apples into bite-sized chunks and add to medium bowl. Add celery and raisins or cranberries and toss. Add dressing and stir gently until everything is nicely coated. Serve topped with the walnuts.

Avocado-Yogurt Dressing
(Tip: the acid from the fruit juice helps the avocado stay green longer!)
1/4 c orange juice
1 T lemon juice
1 small avocado or 1/2 large one
1/2 c plain nonfat yogurt
1 T light-colored honey
pinch of salt
up to 1/2 tsp grated lemon or orange zest (optional)

Combine orange juice and lemon juice in medium sized bowl. Scoop out avocado and add to the juice. Mash with a fork until very smooth. Use a small wisk to beat in yogurt and honey. Add salt to taste, and some citrus zest if you like. Transfer to container with tight-fitting lid and chill until serving time.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Sweet citrus chicken

1-2/3 cups hot water
1 pkg. (6 oz.) STOVE TOP Stuffing Mix for Chicken
6 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1-1/2 lb.), pounded to 1/2-inch thickness (I like to use chicken tenders instead!)
2/3 cup orange juice
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted

PREHEAT oven to 400°F. Add hot water to stuffing mix; stir just until moistened. Set aside.

PLACE chicken in 13x9-inch baking dish. Mix juice, sugar and butter until well blended; pour over chicken. Top with prepared stuffing.

BAKE 30 min. or until chicken is cooked through (170ºF).
6 servings

Monday, April 7, 2008

I just wanted to say you all are welcome to pop in at my family's recipe blog if you want to look at more recipes. :) Lots of good ones on there!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Pumpkin muffins

These are soooo yummy. I didn't say fat free.... I said they were good :)

1 (16oz) can pumpkin
2 1/2 C sugar
4 eggs
2/3 C margarine

2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp baking powder

2/3 C water
3 1/2 C flour
1 (8oz) pkd chocolate chips

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Makes about 3 dozen or 2 loaves.

I make a double batch and freeze them. They are still really good out of the freezer! Happy eating.

Thai Chicken Dip

This is the best tasting appetizer Jeff and I have ever had.. oohh it is so good you won't want to stop eating it!

1 c. chopped cooked chicken breast
½ c. shredded carrot
¼ c. chopped unsalted peanuts
3 Tbs. chopped green onions
3 Tbs. Yoshidas’s Sauce, divided
1 Tbs. minced fresh parsley
1 garlic clove
1 tsp. sesame seeds, toasted
2 Tbs. packed brown sugar
½ tsp. cornstarch
½ c. water
2 Tbs. ketchup
1 ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp. cider vinegar
2 drops hot pepper sauce
1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese

Tortilla chips

In a bowl, combine the chicken, carrot, peanuts, onions, 2 Tbs. Yoshida sauce, parsley, garlic and sesame seeds. Cover and refrigerate for several hours. In a saucepan, combine the brown sugar and cornstarch; sir in water, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar and hot pepper sauce until smooth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Cool for 5 minutes. Cover and refrigerate. Just before serving, in a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and remaining Yoshida sauce until smooth. Spread evenly into a 12 inch serving dish. Cover with chicken mixture; drizzle with sauce. Serve with tortilla chips. Yield: 10 servings

Sweet pork burrito

Make a sweet pork burrito with these recipes -pork, rice and dressing..add other ingredients you like to your burrito.

Cafe Rio Pork Barbacoa
Pork Roast - Put in crock pot with a little water and cook until very tender (about 8 hours on low)

Shred pork and add:
1 can enchilada sauce
2 cloves minced farlic
1 small can diced green chilies
1 can Coke (not diet coke)
1 cup brown sugar
salt to taste

Cook for one more hour.

Cafe Rio Rice
3 c water
4 t chicken bouillon
4 t garlic - minced
1/2 bunch cilantro
1 can green chilies
3/4 t salt
1 T butter
1/2 onion
3 c rice

Blend cilantro, green chilies and onion together in food processor. Bring water to a boil and add all ingredients, simmer covered 30 minutes.

Cafe Rio Dressing
1 buttermilk ranch dressing packet (make as per recipe)
2 tomatillos
1/2 bunk of cilatnro
1 clove garlic
juice of 1 lime
1 jalapeno

Use a food processor to blend all the ingredients well. Refrigerate

These are GREAT with the uncooked tortillas you can buy in the deli department. Yummy!

Kitty Litter Cake

What a great cake for April Fools Day!!!!! This makes me laugh so hard...I know it can be a little disturbing...but isn't this just interesting?...Marne- this would go great with your dirt and pine cone dinner! Except this is actually eatable...if you can get yourself to eat it that is.


1 spice or German chocolate cake mix
1 white cake mix
1 large pkg vanilla instant pudding mix
1 pkg vanilla sandwich cookies
Green food coloring
12 small Tootsie Rolls
1 new (and definitely unused) kitty litter pan
1 new plastic kitty litter pan liner
1 new Pooper Scooper
Prepare cake mixes and bake according to directions (any size pans).
Prepare pudding mix and chill until ready to assemble.
Crumble white sandwich cookies in small batches in food processor, scraping often. Set aside all but about 1/4 cup.
To the 1/4 cup cookie crumbs, add a few drops green food coloring and mix using a fork or shake in a jar.
When cakes are cooled to room temperature, crumble into a large bowl. Toss with half the remaining white cookie crumbs and the chilled pudding. (Mix in just enough of the pudding to moisten it. You don't want it soggy. Combine gently).
Line new, clean kitty litter box.
Put mixture into litter box.
Put three unwrapped Tootsie rolls in a microwave safe dish and heat until soft and pliable.
Shape ends so they are no longer blunt, curving slightly. Repeat with 3 more Tootsie rolls and bury in mixture.
Sprinkle the other half of cookie crumbs over top.
Scatter the green cookie crumbs lightly over the top. (This is supposed to look like the chlorophyll in kitty litter.)
Heat 3 Tootsie Rolls in the microwave until almost melted.
Scrape them on top of the cake; sprinkle with cookie crumbs.
Spread remaining Tootsie Rolls over the top; take one and heat until pliable, hang it over the side of the kitty litter box, sprinkling it lightly with cookie crumbs.
Place the box on a newspaper and sprinkle a few of the cookie crumbs around.
Serve with a new pooper scooper.

Caramel Popcorn

This is a hit - one of my favorites from - it is rated 5 out of 5 by 745 members. I made it again yesterday!

1 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar (light or dark, I have tried both)
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 qts. popped popcorn

1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Place popcorn in very large bowl.

2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil without stirring 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in soda and vanilla. Pour in a thin stream over popcorn, stirring to coat.

3. Place in two large shallow baking dishes (I used large cooking sheets) and bake in preheated oven stirring every 15 minutes for 1 hour (I have never waited an hour - for me it's like 15 minutes at 300). Remove from oven and let cool completely before breaking into pieces.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Crinkly Fries

This is a recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens New Junior Cook Book. It is a great way to get my kids to eat potatoes, which they don't normally like. We had this for part of our dinner tonight.

3 baking potatoes (I used red potatoes tonight)
3 Tbl butter
any type of seasoning salt, for example: Mrs. Dash, lemon pepper seasoning, herb seasoning, etc

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. After scrubbing potatoes with a vegetable brush, cut with a crinkle cutter or a sharp knife leaving the peel on. Put the potato slices into a large Ziploc bag.

Melt the butter and add seasoning to it, mix together. Pour into the bag and mix with the potatoes to coat. Add as much or as little seasoning as you want. Shake well.

Layer the potatoes on a shallow pan or cookie sheet in a single layer. Put in oven and bake for about 25 minutes or until lightly brown and tender. Longer if you want them crispy. Turn the potatoes halfway through the baking process.

Nutrition Facts per serving: 144 calories, 7 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 0 mg col., 153 mg sodium, 19 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 3 g protein

Olive Garden Fagioli Soup

1 lb ground beef
1 small onion, diced (1 cup)
1 large carrot, julienned (1 cup) (I just grated the carrot)
3 stalks celery, chopped (1 cup)
2 gloves garlic, minced
2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes (with liquid)
1 15-ounce can red kidney beans (with liquid)
1 15-ounce can northern beans (with liquid)
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
1 12-ounce can V-8 juice
1 TBSP white vinegar
1 1/2 TSP salt
1 TSP oregano
1 TSP basil
1/2 TSP pepper
1/2 TSP thyme
1/2 pkg Ditali pasta (short macaroni tubes)

Brown the beef in a large saucepan or pot over medium heat. Drain off most of the fat. Add onion, carrot, celery and garlic and saute for 10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, EXCEPT pasta, and simmer for 1 hour. About 50 minutes into simmer time, cook pasta according to directions until al dente, or slightly tough, about 10 minutes. Drain. Add the pasta to the soup and simmer for 5-10 minutes and serve. Serves 8. If you find that it is too tomatoey, add some water until you find a consistency and taste that you like. ENJOY!!!!!!!

This recipe also freezes well.
Here are some recipes from my blog... oh and for future posts- let's include a label category: main dish, dessert, midnight know what I mean-

These recipes feed our small family comfortably- one serving each with leftovers for lunch the next day so you might want to double them.

This one is so simple and a food storage delight! Soo good

Creamy Tortilla Soup

2 cans (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes with chilies (I made it with medium heat- a little zingy- Smith's has Del Monte canned tomatoes with chilies mild on sale right now)
2 cans (14.5 ounces) chicken broth
1 can refried beans (I love the brand Rosarita- you can buy a large case of these at Costco for $6 something- oh I puree these for Chay-He doesn't like the texture of beans)
1 cup canned corn- I put in the whole can
2-3 cups cooked chicken shredded or cubed
cilantro, sour cream, Monterey Jack Cheese

Combine tomatoes and broth. Stir in beans and corn. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes stirring frequently. Add Chicken and heat through- Top with sour cream, cilantro, cheese, chips- I think it would be good with a bread bowl-

This turned out to be so tasty- better than the restaurant

Broccoli and Beef stir-fry

4 tbsp corn starch
1/2 cup plus 3 tbsp water
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 lb round steak- cut into strips (I used sirloin top steak- found it super cheap at smith's)
olive oil- you can use vegetable oil obviously- grape seed oil is by far the best to stir fry with- it is so good for you- plus it cooks the best- albertson's sells it.
4 cups fresh broccoli
1 onion cut into wedges
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp ground ginger
Cooked brown rice

In a bowl, combine 3 tbsp cornstarch with 3 tbsp water until smooth. Add beef strips and toss. In a large skillet or wok over medium heat- stir fry beef in 1 tbsp oil until beef reaches desired doneness; remove and keep warm. Stir fry broccoli and onion (add other vegetables too if you want) for 5-6 minutes. Return beef to pan. Combine soy sauce, garlic, brown sugar, ginger, and remaining cornstarch and water until smooth; add to the pan- cook and stir for 2-3 minutes- serve over rice.

Ok the next recipe I am passionate about- I am not joking- it is so incredibly delicious- Chay still talks about it- I think I will make this for my family in Orlando- I feel like Rachael Ray when I am making it-

Italian Rigatoni

1 (12 ounces) package Rigatoni
1 1/2 pounds italian sausage cut into 1 inch pieces (on sale at Smith's- I used only 3 sausage links)
1 large onion chopped
3 cloves garlic minced
2 cans (14.5 ounces) italian diced tomatoes undrained (basil, oregano and garlic Del Monte diced tomatoes are on sale this week for $.50 a can- not incredibly cheap but they are so dang good- so who cares- I bought 25 cans today.
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 tsp basil leaves- or ground I suppose
1 tsp thyme leaves- ground if you want
salt and pepper to taste
3 tbsp butter- secret ingredient- so it’s a little fatty- but come on- just enjoy it.

In a large skillet, cook sausage until brown. Add onion and garlic and sauté with sausage. Add tomatoes, cilantro, basil, thyme, salt, pepper and butter. Cover and let simmer for 20 minutes. Serve over rigatoni pasta. Garnish with cheese of choice-Mozzarella and/or Parmesan

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes

I tried a new recipe Sunday because Chad/Marne & family along with David & Tisha were coming over. It turned out pretty good - when I made it I forgot to use the pineapple juice in place of the water needed in the cake mix (it could have tasted even better). The recipe got thrown away (it was on the pineapple can) - but it was pretty easy.

6 T. butter
1 c. brown sugar
2 T. corn syrup
1/4 tsp. cinnamon (optional - I like cinnamon)
1 can crushed pineapple (or another can and just blend up the pineapple and reserve the juice)
yellow cake mix
maraschino cherries, optional

Makes 24 cupcakes

Melt the butter and then add the brown sugar and corn syrup (cinnamon is optional); mix well. Grease cupcake pans - do not use cupcake liners with this recipe. Then place a spoonful of the sugar mixture in the bottom of each cupcake holder. Top with spoonful of pineapple (I didn't have enough pineapple with the one can - so I also used some fresh pineapple that I had on hand. I just blended it up. Or you could use a pineapple ring if it will fit in the bottom of the cupcake pan). Then prepare cake mix according to the box directions - remember to use the pineapple juice in place of the water. Then add prepared cake batter to each cupcake holder. Bake 350 for 15-20 minutes, until done. I found that I had to carefully remove each cupcake with a large spoon - then you may want to top it with a cherry. This would be great with cool whip on the side or vanilla ice cream.

Blender Hollandaise Sauce

This is taken straight from - I have made this recipe twice and it works like a charm!

3 egg yolks
1/4 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 T. lemon juice
1 dash hot pepper sauce (ex. Tabasco)
1/2 cup butter

1. In the container of a blender, combine egg yolks, mustard, lemon juice and hot pepper sauce. Cover and blend for about 5 seconds.

2. Place the butter in a glass measuring cup. Heat butter in the microwave for about 1 minute, or until completely melted and hot. Set the blender on high speed, and pour the butter into the egg yolk mixture in a thin stream. It should almost thicken immediately. Keep the sauce warm until serving by placing the blender container in a pan of hot tap water.

We serve this over poached eggs (I love my new pan) for eggs Benedict.
My kids love it! You may also serve it over steamed veggies.

please label your recipes

If we all label our recipes, it will make it easier to find them later. Then this blog will be more like a cookbook!
Salad dressing
Main Dish


Mustard Vinaigrette

I made this for a salad Sunday and everyone loved it. This dressing is taken from a recipe titled "Roquefort Pear Salad" on (my favorite online recipe link).

1/3 cup olive oil
3 T. red wine vinegar (I used white wine vinegar - probably would work with regular vinegar)
1 1/2 teaspoons white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons prepared mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
fresh ground pepper, to taste

Blend all ingredients and enjoy!

I made a beautiful salad Sunday. I used a glass trifle bowl for nice presentation. I dropped in the salad greens and just layered all the goodies on top (tomatoes, radishes, cheddar cheese, sliced boiled eggs, real bacon bits, and green onions - use whatever you have on hand- I didn't mix it up, just layered it!).