Thursday, December 16, 2010

Janet's easy fudge

My sister Janet just gave me this easy fudge recipe.  Her husband grew up on fancy fudge, but this recipe is so much easier and just as good.

3 c. chocolate chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Melt in the microwave.  Mix in whatever you want.  Pour into a foil lined (butter the foil) 9x9 pan.

Sample mix ins:
Rocky Road, stir in marshmallows and chopped nuts.
Peanut butter
Caramel and nuts and sea salt (have you tried salted caramel hot chocolate???)
Mint extract

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Mom's Orange Candy Cake

2 c. white sugar
2 c. butter
4     eggs
1 t.  baking soda
1/2 c. buttermilk (dissolve baking soda in it)

3 1/2 c. flour
1 lb. dates, diced
1 lb. orange gummy candy slices, diced (kitchen shears work well for this)
1 c.  coconut
2 c.  chopped pecans

1 c. orange juice
1 t.  grated orange rind
2 c. powdered sugar

Cream butter and sugar.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add buttermilk/baking soda mixture.

In large bowl, mix flour, dates, orange slices, coconut and nuts.  Add sugar and egg mixture and mix well.

Pour into greased and floured tube pan (or 4 loaf pans).  Bake at 250 for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until it springs back when touched.

Combine orange juice, rind and powdered sugar and pour over cake.  (If making loaf pans, 1 1/2 this part of the recipe to make a bit more juice mixture to cover all loafs).  Let stand in pan overnight. Before removing from pan, heat 10 minutes and cake will loosen from pan easily.

Mom's Sour Cream Sugar Cookies

Cream together:
2 c. sugar
2    eggs
2 t. lemon extract
2 c. sour cream
2 t. vanilla

In separate bowl, mix:
2 1/2 t. baking powder
1t.        salt
2 t.       baking soda
4-5 c.   flour

Mix together. Makes a soft dough. Refrigerate to firm dough.  Roll on lightly floured board, but not too thin--maybe 1/4 inch.  Cut out with cookie cutters.  Bake on greased pans at 375 for 8-10 minutes, or until very lightly browned.

Great with frosting or flavored powdered sugar icing and sprinkles.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Homemade mac & cheese

Johnny was in charge of dinner for Family Home Evening tonight. He wanted mac & cheese but we didn't have any Kraft so I went looking for a recipe.  What we made apparently was a hit because Courtney and Johnny both want a copy of the recipe.  :)   I had some zucchini that needed to be used so I added it to the recipe and I didn't get a single complaint about the veggies in the mac.  I do need to give my kids credit...they have been getting very adventurous in their eating.  I am so glad they are generally willing to try new foods.  This recipe was taken from The Ultimate Cooking Course and Kitchen Encyclopedia, and modified by me.

Creamy (Zucchini) Macaroni & Cheese

2 c. dry small shells or macaroni
5 c. cubed zucchini (optional, but yummy!)
1/2 c.  butter
1/2 c. flour
5 c. milk (I use skim because that is what we have and it turned out just fine)
3-4 c. shredded cheddar cheese
2 c. dry stuffing or bread crumbs, crushed
1 c. grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 13x9 pan.  Cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling salted water until done, but not soft.  Drain.  Meanwhile, boil cubed zucchini about 6 minutes. Drain.
Melt the butter in a pot.  Add flour and cook 2 minutes, stirring.  Stir in milk. Bring to a boil over medium, (being careful not to scald the milk) stirring constantly, and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes.

Remove pan from heat.  Add the macaroni, zucchini and cheddar cheese and mix well.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Transfer to the prepared baking dish, spreading it out evenly.  Toss together the stuffing and parmesan cheese and sprinkle over the top of the macaroni.

Bake until the top is golden brown and the cheese sauce is bubbling, about 30 minutes.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ice Cream Bread???

I got this recipe from today's  Thanks to Nikki for sharing the website with us.  I love easy recipes and this one is super easy...and sounds yummy!

Ice Cream Bread Recipe

2 cups ice cream, softened (I used a mix of homemade chocolate and mint chocolate chip)
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour (to make self-raising flour, add 1 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt for every cup to flour)

1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Mix ice cream and flour together until well combined.  Pour into greased and floured loaf pan.
3. Bake for 35-45 minutes

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Rhubarb Cheesecake

That's right.  Cheesecake.  And it was awfully good.  This was Kyle's birthday cake, a day early. We get boxes of frozen rhubarb every year and it's nice to find another way to use it besides rhubarb crisp.  It was a hit with everyone!


  • 1 (9 inch) unbaked pie shell
  • 3 cups chopped fresh rhubarb
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. In a medium bowl, toss the rhubarb with 1/2 cup of sugar and the flour. Pour into the pie shell. Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove pie and lower the temperature of the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together the cream cheese and 1/2 cup of sugar until smooth. Stir in the eggs one at a time until each is blended. Pour this mixture over the rhubarb in the crust.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until set. Remove from the oven, and set aside. In a small bowl, stir together the sour cream, 2 tablespoons of sugar, and vanilla. Spread over the top of the pie while it is hot. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until chilled before serving

So our variation on this was adding chopped pecans to the pie crust recipe.  I used the pie crust recipe I posted the other day.  It was an amazing addition and perfect with this pie!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Pie Crust

This is the recipe I used for the peach mango pie yesterday. It is just the recipe (that Bettie told me about, of course) from the Better Homes and Gardens ( and white) cookbook.  This is the recipe for a single crust pie. Don't be afraid.  I had a little trouble the first time I tried this recipe when it was a baked shell before filling.  But as a filled first shell, it was great!  I'm sure it works as a baked first, but I didn't do it right I guess. I think the chilling and pricking would have helped.  As well as I've heard of lining with foil and putting in dry beans.  Anyway, according to me, as someone who doesn't like's a great tasting pie crust. And easy too!

1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 t. salt
1/3 c. shortening
3 to 4 T. cold water

In a mixing bowl stir together flour and salt. Cut in shortening till pieces are the size of small peas.
Sprinkle 1 T. of the water over part of the mixture; gently toss with a fork. Push to side of bowl. Repeat till all is moistened. Form dough into a ball.
On a lightly floured surface, flatten dough with hands. [If you aren't going to do this right away, form it in a circle and put it in a ziploc bag in the fridge.  Make it a flat circle, that will prevent rough edges later when rolling out.] Roll dough from center to edges, forming a circle about 12 inches in diameter. Wrap pastry around rolling pin. Unroll onto a 9-inch pie plate. Ease pastry into pie plate, being careful not to stretch pastry.
Trim to 1/2 inch beyond edge of pie plate; fold under extra pastry. Make a fluted, rope-shape, or scalloped edge. Do not prick pastry. Bake as directed in individual recipes.

If you need to bake the crust first when called for by the recipe, prick the bottom and sides of pastry generously with the tines of a fork. Bake in a 450 oven for 10-12 minutes or till golden. Cook on a wire rack.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Easy Lasagna

I have always been wary of making lasagna.  But Bettie to the rescue, once again.  She gave me this recipe that doesn't require you to cook the noodles first!  And it is delicious.

15 oz. ricotta or cottage cheese
2 1/2 c. shredded mozzarella, split in half
1/2 c. parmesan cheese, split in half
1/4 c. fresh parsley or 1 t. dried parsley (whatever looks good)
1 egg, lightly beaten
26 oz. jar spaghetti sauce (I like mine saucy so I usually use an extra half a jar)
1 lb. ground beef/bulk sausage (Kyle's favorite) or 1 c. TVP reconstituted in 1 c. liquid
3/4 c. water
dry lasagna noodles

Preheat oven to 350.  Mix ricotta and half of the mozzarella and half of the parmesan with the parsley and egg.  Cook and drain meat. Put some sauce on the bottom of your 13x9 pan. Stir remaining sauce in with meat. Pour water in the jar to rinse it out and add the water to the meat and sauce mixture.  This water helps cook the noodles. Layer noodles, cheese mixture, meat sauce mixture, ending with noodles. (I usually end up with three layers of noodles and two layers of the cheese mixture). Put meat sauce (or extra spaghetti sauce) on top of the last layer of noodles and sprinkle on remaining cheeses.  Cover with foil. Bake 45 minutes. Remove foil. Bake 15 minutes more. Take out of the oven and let sit for 15 minutes.

12 hour rolls

I got the recipe from my friend Bettie who got it from her Grandma.  She taught me how to make them a couple weeks ago and I've made them twice since then.  The trick to these rolls is that you let them rise in the pot and there is no kneading involved.

1 c. milk
1 T. yeast
1 T. sugar
1 stick unsalted butter
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 c. sugar
3/4 t. salt
4 C. flour
1/2 stick melted butter

Heat milk in a pot.  Heat on low so it doesn't scald. Put a small amount of heated milk in a bowl with the yeast and 1 T. sugar.  In the meantime, melt the stick of butter in the milk.  Let milk cool to lukewarm and add yeast mixture. Stir in the remaining ingredients and put the lid on the pot.  Let rise for 2-3 hours until doubled.  Punch down dough and cut in half. Shape each half into a circle. On a lightly floured surface roll out one circle until large and thin (about 18" maybe?).  Cut with a pizza cutter into 16 wedges. Roll loosely from large end to the point (like rolling crescent rolls) and place on sprayed pans.  Cover with towels or sprayed plastic wrap and let rise 4-5 hours until double. Bake in a preheated 375 oven for 10 minutes.  Makes 36 rolls.

Sour Cream Peach Pie

Another recipe courtesy of  It was a hit!  We didn't even need whipped cream or ice cream, and that's saying something!


  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust
  • 4 cups sliced fresh or frozen peaches
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the sour cream, white sugar, 1/3 cup flour and almond extract until smooth. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of flour over the pie crust to prevent it from getting soggy. Alternate layers of peaches and the sour cream mixture, beginning with a layer of peaches and ending with a layer of sour cream.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Continue baking for an additional 35 minutes. Remove the pie from the oven and sprinkle brown sugar over the top. Set the oven to Broil, and broil for 2 to 3 minutes, until caramelized.

Here's the ways I changed the recipe:
I used vanilla instead of almond extract.
I followed other reviewers' advice and put the brown sugar on for the last 10 minutes, instead of doing the broil.
I used about 1/3 mangoes and 2/3 peaches.  It is what I had in the freezer.  I defrosted the fruit first and drained the liquid so the juices didn't mess up the recipe.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Chile Relleno Casserole

A neighbor gave us some fresh green chiles and we were craving Chile Rellenos...but not enough to do the work to make them.  This casserole is close enough and yummy!  Another from Allrecipes with changes as recommended by reviewers.


  • 2 (7 ounce) cans whole green chile peppers, drained and chopped
  • 8 ounces shredded cheese (use monterey jack, mexican cheese, cheddar, a mix of any of them)
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 (5 ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 can enchilada sauce


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray a 8x8-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Lay half of the chilies evenly in bottom of baking dish. Sprinkle with half of the Jack and Cheddar cheeses, and cover with remaining chilies. In a bowl, mix together the eggs, milk, and flour, and pour over the top of the chilies.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove from oven, pour tomato sauce evenly over the top, and continue baking another 15 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining Jack and Cheddar cheeses, and serve.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Easy Peach Cobbler

This is taken from Allrecipes, with changes and comments from the comments on that website.  First, the link to the original recipe.  Now the better recipe:

  • 12 fresh peaches, pitted and sliced or 2-32 oz. cans sliced peaches
  • 1 cup water           }
  • 1 cup white sugar   } or 1 c. peach juice from cans
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package white/yellow cake mix
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Spread peach slices evenly into a 9x13 inch baking dish. If using canned peach juice, pour 1 cup of it over peach slices. If using fresh peaches, combine water and sugar in a small bowl. Stir to dissolve, then pour mixture over peaches. Sprinkle cinnamon over peach slices.
  3. Cream together the cream cheese and cake mix. Spread mixture over peaches then drizzle on the butter or margarine.  Another option is to cream the unmelted butter in with the cream cheese and cake mix.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, until golden.

*Skip the extra sugar if your peaches are already sweet (most fresh ones are if they're ripe and ALL canned peaches are sweet enough). If you're using another fruit, like blackberries or raspberries, then you'd need the extra sugar. Remember, the cake mix has sugar, too. 

*Cream the cheese and cake mix together with a pastry cutter or a couple forks until it resembles a crumbly granola-type consistency. 

*Melt the butter and pour it over with the liquid (use less liquid if your fruit is really juicy!) Alternately, cream the butter in with the cheese and cake mix (see above). 

*Cinnamon is not always appropriate if you are using this with a different fruit. Other options that might sound better to you are nutmeg, vanilla bean specks or vanilla-flavored sugar.

*For a crunchy bonus, sprinkle the top with sliced almonds before baking.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Carrot Rice Pilaf

 The kids have a program at school called Cooking With Kids and they learn how to cook food from all over the world.  I don't really think the name of this recipe does it justice.  What I need to call it is:  Rice for those who don't like rice.  Or something else like Yummy rice.  We make this all the time, and I don't like rice!  It goes great with Hawaiian Haystacks, by the way.  And I think for this recipe, you really need to stick with basmati.  It is a fragrant rice and the way it cooks up is just wonderful.  Give it a try!

1 1/2 c. basmati rice
2 T. butter
3/4 c. grated carrot
3 1/2 c. water
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 t. salt

Put the rice into a bowl with cool water.  Swirl the rice around and then pour off the water.  Repeat this process 2 or 3 times, until the water is clear.

In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat.  Add the rice and grated carrots and saute for 2 minutes.  Add the water, cinnamon stick, and salt.  Bring to a boil, uncovered, for 2 minutes.  Reduce the head to medium-low and cover.  Cook the rice for about 20 minutes, until all of the liquid has been absorbed.  Remove from heat.  Let the rice rest for 10 minutes before serving.  It says 4 to 6 servings, but this makes a lot of rice and you'll have leftovers for sure!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Bettie's Bread Sticks

Warning.  These are not low fat.  But they sure are yummy!

1 1/2 c. warm water
2 T sugar
1 T yeast
3 c flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c butter or marg.

Dissolve sugar and yeast in water.  Mix in flour & salt.  Knead for 3 minutes on well floured board.  Let rest for 10 min.  Roll out into a rectangle about the size of a cookie sheet.  Cut into 24 sticks.  Melt butter and pour into a cookie sheet.  Dip each bread stick and cover both sides with butter.  Sprinkle with garlic salt and parmesan cheese.  Let rise for 20-30 minutes.  Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Easy Chicken Fajita soup

First, here's the link: Fajita soup recipe on allrecipes.  And here is my variation:


  • 2-3 large precooked mesquite chicken breasts (from Sam's Club)
  • 1 (1.27 ounce) packet fajita seasoning
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1 orange bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1 large onion, cut into thin strips
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained
  • 2 (14 ounce) cans chicken broth (half a carton of broth)
  • chopped green chile to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste

  • For garnish:
  • chopped fresh cilantro
  • chopped avocado
  • sour cream
  • fresh lime wedges
  • tortilla chips


  1. Follow package directions to warm up chicken, then cut into strips.  Put in large pot and sprinkle fajita seasoning over the chicken and stir well to coat. Add the bell pepper and onion to the seasoned chicken. Stir and cook over medium heat until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.
  2. Pour the fire roasted tomatoes, black beans, and chicken broth into the pot with the chicken and vegetables. Bring the soup to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Season the soup with green chile, salt, and pepper to taste before serving.

Nutritional Information open nutritional information

Amount Per Serving  Calories: 143 | Total Fat: 5.5g | Cholesterol: 24mg

Oh man.  This is the best soup we've ever had.  We hope you like it too!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Cake that doesn't fall apart

Ever since we moved here to the high desert (7000 ft) I haven't been able to make a cake that would stay together and not crumble when I tried to take it out of the pan.  Well, after perusing the internet, I found this from the Cake Mix Doctor:

1 package (18.25 ounces) plain German chocolate cake mix
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs

To make the buttermilk, you mix 4 t. lemon juice with enough milk to make 1 1/4 c and let it sit for 5 minutes.  Just blend all the ingredients on low for 5 min, scrape down the bowl, and then on medium for 2 minutes.  Bake at 350 until cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan (I used 2 9-inch round pans) and top springs back.  Take out and cool for 5 minutes then run a knife around the edges and take out the cake.  It is just how I like it: moist and doesn't break when I flip the layer over with my hands.  Thanks cake mix doctor!  Now to try it with other flavors.  I assume it will work.  The only drawback with using the german chocolate is that I think the milk make the color lighter than water would.  But it's still yummo!