Monday, November 14, 2011

Author Spotlight: Ashley

I want to give a huge shout-out to one of our very own blog authors, Ashley.  This woman is truly amazing.  And, that might be selling her very short!  She is a woman, a baker, cooker (I only use "chef" for professionals in the kitchen), wife, step-mom, counselor, and graduate assistant.  She is also in school working toward her doctorate degree.  She finished her Masters in April 2010 and began her doctoral work in August of 2010.  She is truly an inspiration. She pays it forward, thinks of others, and keeps in contact with her friends despite her busy schedule.  The reason for this spotlight is because I'd like to introduce to another side of Ashley.  She is now an entrepreneur.  She has started up her very own holiday bakery, Kris Kringle Christmas Cookies.  Follow her new blog AND on facebook.  Be sure to like her on facebook, as she gives yummy goodness to random fans each week.  And, since the holidays are truly just weeks away, place your orders now!!!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Buffalo Chicken Dip

What you need:
2 (10 ounce) cans chunk chicken, drained

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup Ranch dressing
3/4 cup pepper sauce, such as Franks® Red Hot®
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

What to do:
Heat chicken and hot sauce in a skillet over medium heat, until heated through. Stir in cream cheese and ranch dressing. Cook, stirring until well blended and warm. Mix in half of the shredded cheese, and transfer the mixture to a slow cooker. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top, cover, and cook on Low setting until hot and bubbly. Serve with french bread.

**This is not my fave Buffalo Chicken Dip recipe, but it is one I use all the time.  My fave one is a recipe of a friend of mine and I have honestly never asked for it, and I'm not sure if she would share.  This one is really good though.  Promise.

Pizza Dip

What you need:
1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened

1 t Italian seasoning
1 C shredded mozzarella cheese
¾ C fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1 can (8 oz) pizza sauce

Additional toppings per personal preference (pepperoni, bell pepper, olives, etc)

What to do:
Preheat oven to 350. Combine cream cheese and seasoning, and spread on bottom of 9” baking dish. Combine mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses; spread ½ of this mixture onto the cream cheese. Top with pizza sauce-and spread evenly. Sprinkle with remaining cheese mixture. Bake 15-20 minutes (until cheese has melted). Top with desired topping. Serve with cut up French bread.

Taco Dip

What you need:
1 can (16 oz) refried beans
1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese (softened)
1 C sour cream
2 T taco seasoning mix
2 garlic cloves, pressed
½ C black olives, chopped
2 T fresh cilantro
¼ C thinly sliced green onion
1 medium tomato, chopped

What to do:
Preheat oven to 350. Spread beans over bottom of 9” baking dish. Combine cream cheese, sour cream, taco seasoning, and pressed garlic. Mix well. Spread over the beans. Top with shredded cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes (until the cheese has melted). Top with tomato, onions, olives, and cilantro. Serve with tortilla chips.


Get ready for some appetizers!  It is football season, after all, and what goes better with football than some tasty appetizers!?!?!  I'm hoping to post several on here, and maybe some other of our contributors will join me.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Amazing Food Blog

I've never claimed to be a chef, nor have any of the other "authors" on this blog.  However, this blog, How Sweet It Is, puts ours to shame!  The pictures are amazing (something we never incorporate) and the recipes are different and sound amazing.  I cannot wait to try this recipe. Do you have any other food blogs you love?  Please share them with us.  We're always looking for more yummy goodness!  And, if you have any recipes you'd like to share with our (small) reader list and followers, let me know.  I'd love to have new, fresh ideas on here and more authors.  We've been slacking lately, we'll all admit that.  One of our authors is a teacher and is very busy during the school year, and another is in school working on her EdD.  Slackers.

I also need to thank Bottled Beauty for the link to How Sweet It Is!  She also has great recipes, food pictures, and menus on her blog.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Swiss-Bacon BBQ Chicken

It's been a long time since any of us "cooks" have posted, so I thought I'd start us back up with an easy fall crock pot recipe.  We tried this one just a few days ago, and everyone ate it.  You have to like BBQ sauce, however.

4-6 chicken breasts
1 (28 oz) bottle of your fave BBQ sauce
6 slices of swiss cheese
6 crispy cooked strips of bacon

What to do:
Put chicken in crock pot and cover with BBQ sauce.  Cook on low for 8 hours.  Top each chicken breast with a strip (or two) of bacon.  I broke each piece in half and placed them side-by-side on top.  Then top with a slice of swiss cheese.  Cook on high for 15-30 minutes until cheese is melted.  Serve with a side dish of rice or pasta and enjoy.

Hubby's addition: He would prefer more bacon and swiss.  I would have to agree on the bacon part, but of course, I could eat bacon for every meal...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Spinach and Feta Cheese Pasta Salad

1 box bow tie pasta
2 packages of Good Seasons Italian Dressing
Bag of spinach leaves
1 container of grape/cherry tomatoes- halved
Crumbled Feta cheese

1. Boil noodles
2. While noodles cooking, make dressing (following the package.... I use the less oil way and use white balsamic instead of regular vinegar).
3. Rinse noodles in cold water. Add all ingredients except for cheese and toss. Refrigerate overnight (or at least a few hours to wilt the spinach).
4. Add feta cheese when ready to serve.

Boc Choy Salad

Large bunch of Boc Choy
1 bunch of green onions
4 packs of Ramen Noodles (any flavor)
1/2 cup Almonds ( I use shaved)
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup salad oil
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup vinegar
2 Tbs soy sauce
1/2 cup butter

Need 3 Bowls or (Ziplock to mix)

Bowl 1: Rinse, core, and chop Boc Choy. Break apart and add diced onions.

Bowl 2: Crush noodles while in package. Melt butter in frying pan, add noodles (throw away seasoning packets). When noodles are brown, add almonds and then sunflower seeds. (DO NOT REFRIGERATE)

Bowl 3: Whisk salad oil, vinegar, sugar and soy sauce. Put in Refrigerator. Will need to rewhisk dressing before adding to salad (it will separate).

Mix together when ready to serve.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Hashbrown Casserole

This recipe I got from one of Hubby's grandmas. It's oh so good!  Whenever I make it when family is in town, it's gone quickly.   It takes a while to bake, so if you're wanting it to go with breakfast, wake up, put it in the oven, then go back to bed! :)

What you need:
30 oz shredded hashbrowns
1/2 cup butter, melted
16 oz sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 cups shredded cheese
2 T dried minced onion

Mix first two ingredients together in large bowl.  Mix last four ingredients in smaller mixing bowl.  Combine both.  Spread evenly in a 9x13 pan and bake at 350 for 90 minutes.

Flank Steak Sammies

Oh so easy, Oh so good!

Take one flank steak and marinate it in teriyaki for 2-8 hours.  Grill (or broil) about 5 min on each side.  Remove from grill and let set while you take hot dog buns, butter them and season with garlic powder and grill until toasted.  Cut steak THIN against the grain and serve on bun as sammie.  No need for anything else on the sandwich, I swear...plenty of flavor and juices!  YUM. I tend to serve this with hashbrown casserole. 

*Makes great leftovers too!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

banna bread muffins

1/2 c butter
1 1/4 c sugar
2 eggs
4tbsp sour cream
1 tsp baking soda
3 mashed bannanas
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 c flour

375...15 min for mini cupcakes, 20 for regular

broccoli casserole

1/2c chopped onion
1/2c chopped celery
1/4 stick butter
2 packages of frozen broccoli
2 c cooked rice
jar cheese whiz
1 can cream of mushroom soup

saute onion and celery with butter
mix with broccoli, cheese, and rice. pour soup over

bake at 350- 30 min....i usually cook this for holidays and cook it in the crock pot BUT it takes a while to get warm so do it early

swedish pancakes

1c flour
2c milk
1tsp sugar
2 beaten eggs
1tsp salt
1/2c melted butter
1 tsp vanilla

mix together. let stand for an hour...mixture will be very runny (makes a very thin pancake)

cook like regular pancakes...makes 4 servings

texas potatos

2-12oz frozen hash browns (shredded)
2c sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 tbsp mleted butter
1tsp salt
1 tbsp onion
2 c cheddar cheese shredded
2c crushed cornflakes mixed with 1/4c water

mix everything but cornflakes together, spread into 9x13 pan. spread cornflake mixture on top.

bake at 350- 1 hour

grape salad

4lbs red seedless grapes- washed and dried

mix 8oz of cream cheese and 8oz of sour cream. Add 1tsp vanilla and 1/2c sugar.
Fold in grapes.

You can add chopped walnuts if you like.
Best if made the night before

snickers salad

1 package of vanilla pudding
8oz cool whip
4-5 snickers cut up (or a bag of minis cut up)
1 c milk
2 apples cut up into small pieces

mix pudding, and milk, fold in cool whip. Refridgerate 4 hours. Add apple and snickers prior to serving.

If making for a party...double

double baked potatoes

cook whole, un peeled/cut potatoe for an hour at 400.
cut in half and scoop out potatoe ( i use a melon baller)
with a hand Mixer- mix potatoe, sour cream and onion dip, 1/2 stick of butter, shredded cheddar cheese until smooth.
place back into potatoe shells. sprinkle with cheddar cheese
bake at 350 for 25 min

the amounts will vary depending on how many potatoes you use.

old glory cookie

1 tube of sugar cookie dough (18oz)
11oz cream cheese
3/4 c powdered sugar
4 1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2c blueberries
2 c quartered strawberries

press dough into greased jelly roll pan. bake at 350 for 10-12 min.
beat cream cheese, sugar, and lemon juice until smooth. Frost cookie. Place blueberries and strawberries so they look like a flag (you can use any fruit you like if you dont want to make a flag)

apple slices

2 1/2c sifted flour
1 tsp salt
cut in 1c shortening
1 egg yolk plus enough milk to = 2/3 c
mix into ball, cut in half

12c sliced apples, no skin
1/2c flour
1 1/2 c sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

roll out half of dough into jelly roll pan, cover with apples, place the remaining dough rolled out ontop. seal edges and slit top

bake 350 for 1 hour. drizzle with powder sugar icing.