Friday, March 25, 2011

Healthy Spring Salad

Salad Ingredients

•1 cup Spinach leaves (I prefer baby spinach)

•1/4 cup strawberries, sliced

•1/4 cup red or green grapes, halved

•1/4 cup toasted pecans

For the Dressing

•1 cup oil (I used canola)

•1/3 cup white vinegar

•1/2 cup sugar

•1 tsp. salt

•1 tsp. dry mustard

Mix all dressing ingredients together well. It always tastes better on day 2, so if you have time, it is best to make this dressing ahead. Store covered, in the refrigerator.

To toast the pecans: I just turn them on med-med/high in a pan and toss with 1/8 cup sugar. Toss until melted brown sugar coats pecans. Cool on wax paper.

Place spinach in bowl, add strawberries and grapes. Top with toasted candied pecans and drizzle with dressing.

Variations: You could use almonds instead of pecans. You can also use a low fat rasberry vinegarette in place of the homemade dressing.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

3/4 cup brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour*

1 teaspoon baking soda

pinch of salt

3 cups rolled ("old-fashioned") oats

12 ounces (2 cups) semi-sweet chocolate chips**


1. Cream butter, sugars, egg, and vanilla with electric mixer on high.

2. Stir in flour, salt, and baking soda, all at the same time. Stir in oats. Last, add chocolate chips and stir them in (or use clean hands, if the dough is too stiff).

3. Press cookie dough into a greased 9x13-inch baking dish. Dough should be somewhat flattened, but it's okay for some cracks to remain.

4. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes, or until lightly golden and cookies are set in the middle.

5. Cool for 20 minutes; cut into 24 squares. Delicious warm or cold! :)


1 16 oz. container whipped topping

1 5 oz. package instant vanilla pudding mix

1 15 oz can pumpkin

1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Mix together pudding mix, pumpkin & pumpkin pie spice.

Fold in the whipped topping.

Chill in fridge until ready to serve.

Serve with graham crackers (honey or cinnamon).

Eclair Squares


1 stick butter

1 Cup water

1 Cup flour

4 eggs

3oz. cream cheese

2TBL. milk

1 large package Vanilla Pudding

1 1/2 Cup Milk

8oz. Package Cool Whip

Chocolate Syrup

Fresh Berries

For the Crust:
Boil: 1/2 Cup Butter (one stick) & 1 Cup Water

Add: 1 Cup Flour & 4 Eggs (beat well between each egg)

Spread into a greased pan.

Bake @ 400 for 25 minutes until puffy, and then let cool.

For the Filling:

Beat together: 3oz. Cream Cheese with 2TBL. Milk

In a separate bowl mix together: 1 Large Package Vanilla Pudding with 1 1/2 Cup Milk

Combine both until thick

Fold in 8oz. Package of Cool Whip

Spread over the top of crust. Refrigerate. Serve with chocolate syrup and fresh berries.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Soft Chocolate Cookies

1 cup butter or margarine, softened

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

2/3 cup baking cocoa

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

confectioners' sugar


1.In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until easy to handle. Roll into 1-in. balls. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Flatten with a fork if desired. Bake at 350 degrees F for 8-10 minutes or until the edges are firm. Remove to wire racks. Dust warm cookies with confectioners' sugar.

Chocolate Crunch Cookies

1 1/2 cups butter

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

2 cups oats

2 cups Rice Krispies cereal

1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

1/2 cup pecans

1. preheat oven to 350

2. mix together butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl until well blended

3. add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, oats, Rice Krispies, chocolate chips, and pecans and stir together

4. drop batter on baking sheets in large mounds of about 3 tbsp, 3 inches apart, and flatten with hand. Bake for 8 to 9 minutes or until pale gold.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Snicker Doodles

cream together:
1 cup shortening (I use half butter)
1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs and beat until light and fluffy

Stir in:
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 3/4 cups flour.

Rolls into balls the size of walnuts

Mix 2 T. cinnamon and 4 T. sugar in a small bowl.
Roll cookie balls in the cinnamon sugar mixture and place on cookie sheet.

Bake at 400 for 8 minutes

Easy Cookies

1 box any flavor cake mix

1/2 cup oil

2 eggs

Place cake mix, oil and eggs in mixing bowl. Mix until well blended. You can use an electric mixer but a wooden spoon does the trick too.

Drop by rounded teaspoon onto a greased cookie sheet. (cookie scoops and parchment paper save time and cleanup)

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes.

Cool 3 minutes on cookie sheet then transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.

The cookies are puffed and full when they first come out of the oven. While cooling they will flaten a bit.

Makes about 3 dozen single cookies

Easy Caramel Dip

1 8 ounce package cream cheese
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Cream together all ingredients. Can be heated in crock pot.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011



5-1/3 cups (16 oz.) AMERICAN BEAUTY PENNE RIGATE, uncooked (sure you could use about any pasta)
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (I used corn starch & a bit extra)
3/4 cup ready-to-serve chicken broth or beef broth*
3/4 cup milk or light cream (I used 1% milk but used about 1 cup)
2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

(sure this would taste great with chicken added to it)

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Meanwhile, in small saucepan, melt butter; add garlic. Cook over medium heat 1 minute. Add flour; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in broth and milk. Cook, stirring frequently, until sauce boils and thickens. Add parsley, salt, pepper and cheese; stir until cheese is melted. Toss hot pasta with sauce; serve immediately. 8 servings (1 cup each). *Or, 1 chicken or beef bouillon cube dissolved in 3/4 cup water.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


1 (12 fluid ounce) can frozen orange juice concentrate
3 cups water
1 (46 fluid ounce) can pineapple juice
1 liter ginger ale (I just used sprite)
1.In a punch bowl, combine orange juice, water and pineapple juice; chill. Stir in ginger ale just before serving.

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

1 pound ground beef
1 egg
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs (I often add in some oatmeal)
1 onion, diced
(sometimes add chopped celery/carrots)

1 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1.In a medium bowl, combine the ground beef, egg, bread crumbs and onion. Mix thoroughly and shape into golf ball-sized balls.
2.In a large skillet over medium heat, gently brown the meatballs and set aside. (sometimes I just bake these in the often until cooked)
3.In a large saucepan, combine the brown sugar, flour, water, white vinegar and soy sauce. Mix thoroughly. Add meatballs and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, for 30 minutes.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

1 unbaked 9-inch pie crust, homemade or store-bought.
2 large eggs
1/2 C flour
1/2 C white granulated sugar
1/2 C packed brown sugar
3/4 C real butter, softened (1 1/2 sticks)
1 C chocolate chips (semi-sweet or dark works best, you might find milk too sweet)
1 C chopped pecans (you are welcome to make it without nuts)

Vanilla ice cream, or sweetened whipped cream for serving (a must! I prefer ice cream)
optional: chocolate sauce (honestly, doesn't really need chocolate sauce, but it looks pretty!)

Preheat oven to 325° F.

Beat eggs in large mixer bowl on high speed until foamy. Beat in flour, granulated sugar and brown sugar. Beat in butter. Stir in morsels and nuts. Spoon into pie shell.

Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until knife inserted halfway between edge and center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack or serve slightly warmed. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

Hawaiian Chicken Recipe

2 pounds skinless boneless chicken breast halves (I used 3 pounds)
1 can pineapple chunks, drained
1 can mandarin oranges, drained
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Cut the chicken into large bite-sized chunks. Put everything into your crockpot and stir it around until everything is mixed up. Cover it and cook on high for 3 hours or low for 5 to 6 hours.

I like to serve this Hawaiian chicken over white rice. Fix a simple salad to add on the side and dinner is done.

Breadsticks & Pizza Dough

(Recipe from
1 1/2 c. warm (105-115 degrees) water

1 Tbsp. sugar

1 Tbsp. yeast

1/2 tsp. salt

3-4 1/2 c. flour

In a large bowl (the bowl of your mixer, if you have one), combine water, sugar, and yeast. Let stand for 10 minutes or until yeast is bubbly.
Add salt and stir. Add 1 1/2 c. flour and mix well. Gradually add more flour (usually between 3-4 cups, depending on your elevation and your humidity) until dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl and it barely sticks to your finger.
Spray a glass or metal bowl with cooking spray and place dough in the bowl. Cover and allow to rise for 45 minutes or until doubled in bulk.
Remove from bowl and place on a lightly-floured surface. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Roll into a rectangle and cut into 12 strips with a pizza cutter.
Roll out each piece of dough into a snake and then drape over your forefinger and twist the dough. Place on baking sheet and repeat with remaining 11 pieces of dough. Try to space them evenly, but it's okay if they're close; pulling apart hot bread is one of life's greatest pleasures.
Cover pan and allow dough to rise for another 30 minutes. When there's about 15 minutes to go, preheat your oven to 425. When done rising, bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Rub some butter on top of the breadsticks (just put a ziploc bag on your hand, grab some softened butter, and have at it) and sprinkle with garlic bread seasoning or the powdery Parmesan cheese in a can and garlic salt. Or you could sprinkle them with cinnamon sugar.

Tortellini Sausage Soup

I have fallen in love... the leftovers are mine! Seriously the best soup I have ever made - love this yummy stuff!

3 links Italian sausage  (I just used a tube of ground pork)

4 cloves pressed garlic

1 onion, diced

½ c. water

2 cans chicken broth

½ c. apple cider (I heard this is a must have for this recipe!)

1 16-oz. can diced tomatoes

1 8 oz. can tomato sauce

1 c. sliced carrots

1 tsp. dried basil

1 tsp. dried oregano

2 medium zucchini, grated (I had some I had frozed a few months ago - this worked perfect to use it in)

8-10 oz. package cheese tortellini (check the freezer section of your grocery store; if you can find it there, it will almost always be way cheaper than fresh tortellini. Also, Barilla makes a great dry cheese tortellini)

2 Tbsp. dried parsley (yep that is two tablespoons)

If you're using link sausage, remove the casings and crumble into a large soup pot.
Begin cooking sausage over medium heat, stirring frequently. If your sausage is pretty fatty, you'll want to drain it when it's about halfway cooked. Meanwhile, chop onions and garlic and add to the sausage. Continue cooking until onions are translucent and your sausage is cooked.

Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, juice, water, chicken broth, carrots, oregano, and basil. Cover and simmer for 1/2 hour. Add parsley and zucchini and simmer for another 15 minutes or so.

Add the tortellini and cook until tender, and then serve with bread.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Apple Cranberry Salsa

This is amazing!!!!!
First time I saw it I thought no way will I try it... then I did and fell in love!
Then saw the recipe.. several of the ingredients I don't even like... but the combination is terrific!
I made it for cooking group at my house... several didn't want to try it.. but once they did they loved it!

4 gala apples chopped

1 bunch of green onions chopped

1 can whole cranberries sauce

2 fresh jalapenos cleaned out and chopped   (I only used one - wanted it mild - and I chopped real fine)
1 cup cilantro chopped

Sprinkle with balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to taste

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Cheesy Bread Recipe


8 oz shredded Mozzarella cheese

1 lb shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1/2 to 1 cup chopped green onion (to taste)

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 Tbsp sour cream (optional)

3-4 cloves garlic, minced

1 stick unsalted butter (1/2 cup, 4 ounces), softened to the point of being slightly melted

1 to 2 loaves of French or Italian bread depending on the size of the loaves


1 In a large bowl, mix together the cheeses and the green onion. Stir in the mayonnaise and sour cream. In a separate small bowl blend the butter and garlic until smooth. Add the butter mixture to the cheese mixture.

2 Preheat broiler. Slice loaf of bread in half horizontally, lay crust side down. Spread cheese mixture over the bread. Place under the broiler until nicely browned, about 3 to 5 minutes.

3 Remove from broiler and let sit for 5 minutes until cool enough to handle. Slice the bread with a bread knife. Serve.

Makes 30 to 40 slices.