31 March 2008

White Chocolate Popcorn

Start with popped popcorn, your favorite brand, about 3.3 oz bags. I buy the Nestle white chocolate morsels. I was once tempted to make it with the much less expensive generic store brand and it never did set up unless I kept it in the fridge and was a gooey mess while eating. My advice is, wait until the good stuff goes on sale and then stock up!

Remove the unpopped kernels. They get disguised once the white chocolate goes on and HURT YOUR TEETH! (This was from ONE bag!)

Okay, the back of the bag has melting directions but I will post them here anyway. Put 1 cup of white chocolate morsels [morsel is such a funny word to me :)] (per bag of popped popcorn) in a microwave safe container and heat in microwave for 1 minute at 70% power. The morsels will mostly retain their shape. Stir. If they need 10 or so more seconds, go ahead. (Mine did.)

If you want color, add a few drops BEFORE melting in the microwave.

Melted chocolate will still be a little bit thick. That's okay as long as the chips are melted and are stirred smooth. Pour/scoop onto popcorn.

Stir, stir, stir, stir, more stirring, stir...stir. Still stir...ya get the point. Just mix very well (kinda gently) until there are no large lumps of chocolate and the popcorn looks evenly coated.

Pour out onto tray to set. Takes maybe 20 minutes. Use that time to MAKE MORE!!!!!! Store in airtight container or plastic bags, or your tummy. (That's where we keep ours.) °Ü°

27 March 2008

Kongo Cookies

1 lb brown sugar (2 1/4 cups packed)
2 3/4 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
6 oz butterscotch chips (or chocolate chips)
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Mix dry ingredients completely. There should be no lumps of brown sugar left.

Add oil and eggs. Mix well, then add chips and nuts. (Don't add extra chips, I tried it once and yuck, it was a greasy mess after it baked.)
Press mixture into a lightly greased 13x9 pan.

Bake at 350° for 25-28 minutes. Careful not to overbake.
Cool and then cut into cookie bars.

25 March 2008

Pineapple Glaze

I should have put this up BEFORE Easter. Sorry, I just wasn't thinking. It was a big hit over our Easter ham this year.

2 cups packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp corn starch (I add a pinch more)
1/2 tsp salt
1 (20oz) can crushed pineapples with juice

Mix in small saucepan. Bring to boil and stirring constantly, stir one minute more, then add-

4 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp mustard

Stir constantly over medium heat, return to low boil and stir until thick. Makes about 3 1/2 cups.

24 March 2008

Layered Jello

This is a little bit time consuming, but OH SO YUMMY!!

Of course you don't have to make this many layers. I actually have 6 here plus whipped cream, because I was making it for a Young Women's activity in the Young Women colors -purple, yellow, orange, green, red, blue and white...but three or four layers would work just as well. (Christmas, Fourth of July, etc...) I was worried about the different flavors tasting weird together but it didn't! It was so good. I'm assuming that every other layer has evaporated milk in it to make it opaque so the layers don't blend together visually. Plus it's yummy. Have I said how much I like this or that it's really yummy?

It is.



1 each (3oz) of the following jello flavors
blue raspberry
boiling water
ice cold water
1 or 2 (12oz) cans evaporated milk
whipped topping

Mix grape jello with 3/4 cup boiling water for 2 minutes, until jello is dissolved. Add 3/4 cup ice cold water. Stir well and pour (CAREFULLY so it doesn't splash on the sides) into 13x9 clear glass pan or dessert cups or whatever you want to serve it in.

Place in refrigerator to chill for about 30 minutes. I read somewhere that the trick is to have the jello set enough to stick barely to your finger so that the layers won't separate when you serve it.

Mix lemon jello with 1/2 cup boiling water for 2 minutes, until jello is dissolved. Add 1/2 cup ice cold water and 1/2 cup evaporated milk. Stir well and pour carefully (may need to spoon carefully) over chilled grape layer. Chill about 30 minutes.

Mix orange jello with 3/4 cup boiling water for 2 minutes, until jello is dissolved. Add 3/4 cup ice cold water. Stir well and pour onto chilled lemon layer. Chill about 30 minutes.

Mix lime jello with 1/2 cup boiling water for 2 minutes, until jello is dissolved. Add 1/2 cup ice cold water and 1/2 cup evaporated milk. Stir well and pour carefully over chilled orange layer. Chill about 30 minutes.

Mix cherry jello with 3/4 cup boiling water for 2 minutes, until jello is dissolved. Add 3/4 cup ice cold water. Stir well and pour over chilled lime layer. Chill about 30 minutes.

Mix blue raspberry jello with 1/2 cup boiling water for 2 minutes, until jello is dissolved. Add 1/2 cup ice cold water and 1/2 cup evaporated milk. Stir well and pour over cherry layer. Chill about 30 minutes. Or until all layers are completely set.

Top with whipped topping and serve.

Of course you can change the flavors, use the same color/flavor for the plain and evaporated layers, etc...Just make sure you can be home most of the day for the chilling part. It doesn't take much time to make, except for the chilling. Check out this other similar broken glass jello recipe!
Or this one!

18 March 2008

Magic Cookie Bars

1/2 cup butter
14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
11 oz chocolate or butterscotch chips
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1 cup chopped walnuts

In a 13x9 inch pan melt butter in 350° oven. Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs over melted butter. Evenly pour sweetened condensed milk over the top. Evenly top with remaining ingredients. Press down gently. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes. Cool and cut into bars.

*I have found that a metal pan works best with this recipe. Glass pans tend to make the graham cracker crust soggy.

Shepherd's Pie

We served this last week for the Sister Missionaries with a green salad and garlic bread. It was delicious.

1 (10oz) package frozen corn (can use mixed veggies too)
3/4 cup water
2 lbs ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 (10 3/4oz) cans tomato soup
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/8 tsp dried thyme
1/4 - 1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
3 or 4 cups mashed potatoes
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese

In a large skillet cook meat until browned. Drain. Return to pan and add vegetable, water, onion, tomato soup, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, pepper and salt. Cook covered, 5 to 10 minutes or until corn is tender. Transfer to 13x9 inch baking dish. Top with mashed potatoes.

Sprinkle with cheese the last 10 minutes of baking.

Bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Stuffed Bell Peppers

Of course I have to quadruple(ish) this recipe when I make it...also it's good served with mixed vegetables. And I pretty much don't measure...I just throw stuff in to taste.

2 large green peppers
3/4 lb ground beef
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 (7 1/2oz) can diced tomatoes
1/3 cup long grain rice
1 Tbsp (+) Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/8 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup shredded american or cheddar cheese
Halve peppers lengthwise. Remove stem ends, seeds and membranes. Immerse peppers into rapidly boiling water for 3 minutes. Remove from water and sprinkle insides with salt. Drain well onto paper towels.
In large skillet cook meat until browned. Drain grease and return to pan. Add onion, undrained tomatoes, uncooked rice, worcestershire, basil, water, salt, and pepper. Bring to boiling, reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 15-18 minutes or until rice is tender. Stir in half of the cheese.
Fill peppers with meat mixture. Place in an 8 inch square baking dish and top with any remaining meat mixture. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Bake in 375° oven for 15 minutes or until heated through.
Serves 4.

Beef with Broccoli

1 lb flank steak, sliced thinkly across the grain into bite-sized pieces (I've used beef roast, too)
1 lb broccoli
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 Tbsp oil
2 minced garlic cloves
1 tsp sugar
2 Tbsp oyster sauce

Marinade the beef in 1 Tbsp soy sauce, 1 Tbsp cornstarch and 1 Tbsp oil for at least 15 minutes.

Cut the broccoli into thinly sliced and bite-sized pieces. Place them in a pan of rapidly boiling water. Cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and drain water.

Heat the 3 Tbsp oil in large frying pan or wok. Add the garlic and stir-fry for a few seconds. Add the beef and stir fry until most of the beef is brown, do not overcook here! Add the broccoli, sugar and oyster sauce. Add salt and pepper. Stir fry for two or three more minutes. Serve.

Ham Fried Rice

3 Tbsp oil
3 large eggs, beaten
4 cups cooked long grain rice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3/4 cup diced ham
1/4 cup chopped green onions
3/4 cup frozen peas
1 Tbsp (+/-) soy sauce

Heat oil in large pan or wok over high heat. Pour in beaten eggs and stir fry until well done. Add the rice, salt, soy sauce, pepper and stir with the eggs until the rice grains are separated. Add the ham, green peas and green onion. Stir fry for about two more minutes and serve.
*I think this recipe works better if the rice was cooked and cooled for at least an hour. Or day-old rice.

Forget the Diet Macaroni and Cheese

3/4 pound elbow macaroni

For topping
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups coarse dry bread crumbs
1 cup coarsely grated extra-sharp Cheddar (about 4 ounces)

For cheese sauce
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
2 3/4 cups whole milk
3/4 cups heavy cream
4 cups coarsely grated extra-sharp Cheddar (about 1 pound)
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

*NOTE to my forgetful self...the milk and cream are added at separate times.*

Preheat oven to 400°F and butter a 3-quart shallow baking dish. Fill a 6-quart kettle three fourths full with salted water and bring to a boil for macaroni.

Make topping: Melt butter and in a bowl stir together with bread crumbs and Cheddar until combined well. Topping may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.

Make sauce: In a 5-quart heavy saucepan melt butter over moderately low heat and stir in flour and red pepper flakes. Cook roux, stirring, 3 minutes and whisk in milk. Bring sauce to a boil, whisking constantly, and simmer, whisking occasionally, 3 minutes. Stir in cream, Cheddar, mustard, salt, and pepper. Remove pan from heat and cover.

Cook macaroni in boiling water until al dente. Reserve 1 cup cooking water and drain macaroni in colander. In a large bowl stir together macaroni, reserved cooking water, and sauce. Transfer mixture to baking dish.

Sprinkle topping evenly over macaroni and bake in middle of oven 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden and bubbling.

Enchilada Sauce

I always double this recipe...

2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 - 3 Tbsp flour
2 Tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 (8oz) can tomato sauce
2 cups HOT water
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Heat oil in large saucepan. Quickly stir in flour and chili powder. Add remaining ingredients, but be sure to pour the hot water in slowly while stirring well. Bring just to boil and then simmer for about 10 minutes. Makes 3 cups. (6 if doubled.)

Sweet and Sour Sauce

1 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp corn starch
2/3 cup red wine vinegar
2/3 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ginger

Bring all ingredients to boil in medium saucepan. Cook until bubbly and thickened, stirring constantly. Sauce will be transparent brown but you may add 6-7 drops of red food coloring if desired. (I always do.)

Cheddar Cheese Sauce

Perfect for when we make Salmon Patties and broccoli.
First I wil list it as a single batch. Then x 6 for those of you who feed large crowds like I do.

1 batch
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
1/4 tsp salt
dash pepper
1 cup milk
1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp mustard (or dry mustard)
dash garlic powder

Over medium-low heat, melt butter. Stir in flour and cook and stir about 1 minute. (This part almost never works for me so I just stir it really quick and then go to the next step.) Stir in salt and pepper and gradually stir in milk. Cook over low heat until thickened. Add cheese, mustard and garlic. Stir until cheese is melted.
I find this recipe works best if I act like a cooking show host and have everything measured/prepared in little cups/bowls ahead of time.

X 6
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4-1/2 tsp pepper
6 cups milk
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 Tbsp mustard
1/4-1/2 tsp garlic powder

--Same directions only be sure to use a large pan!--

Buttermilk Pie

1 1/2 Cups sugar
1 Cup buttermilk
1/2 Cup biscuit mix (I like Jiffy, or use Bisquick)
1/3 Cup butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
Blend all ingredients together in bowl with mixer for 1 minute. Pour into greased 9 inch pie pan. Bake about 50 minutes (until a toothpick comes out clean) at 350°. Cool at least 5 minutes before serving. Surprisingly extremely yummy!

Chicken Pot Pie

Seriously it's that good. I didn't even get to snap a photo before it was GONE!


2 cups chopped, cooked chicken
1/2 cup onion
2 cups mixed frozen vegetables
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of celery soup
1/2 - 3/4 cup chicken broth

Combine and place in lightly greased 13x9 baking dish.


1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1 1/2 cups self-rising flour (*recipe below)

Combine and pour evenly over filling.
Bake at 350° for about 1 hour or until crust is golden and filling is bubbly.

*Self-rising flour

2 cups flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

Combine. Makes about 2 cups.

Lemon Sugar Cookies

2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup shortening
1 egg
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp lemon extract
In medium bowl mix flour, baking powder and salt thoroughly.
In large bowl cream butter and shortening. Add sugar and cream again. Add egg and beat until light in color and fluffy. Stir in lemon extract.
Add flour mixture in 2 or 3 portions, stirring until smooth.
Shape into small balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Press cookies out with glass bottom dipped in sugar. Bake 6-9 minutes at 350° until delicately browned at edge.
Makes approximately 3 dozen cookies.

Red Velvet Cake

1 package yellow cake mix
1 (3.5oz) package instant vanilla pudding
4 eggs
1 oz. red food coloring
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup water
1 TBSP apple cider vinegar
1 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder

Mix above ingredients well. It will be RED!

Bake in a lightly greased 13x9 pan at 350° for 30-40 minutes. Cool completely and then frost with recipe below. (PS- If making mini-cupcakes, reduce heat to 325° and cook for 15-16 minutes. Makes 72 mini-cupcakes!)

1 cup cold milk
1 (8oz) package cream cheese, softened
1 (3.5oz) package instant vanilla pudding
1 (8oz) container cool whip

Beat cream cheese. Slowly add milk mixing well. Mix in box of pudding. Fold in cool whip. Spread on cooled cake. Refrigerate.

Delicious Chicken

8-10 unbreaded chicken tenders (or 4-5 boneless skinless breasts)
2 eggs, beaten
3-cheese croutons, crushed to make about 1 1/2 - 2 cups
-If using chicken breasts, pound with meat tenderizer to uniform height. Cut in half (not lengthwise...what is that called besides NOT lengthwise?) Dip chicken or tenders in egg and then in 3 cheese croutons. Fry both sides lightly in olive oil or butter. Place chicken in lightly greased 13x9 dish. Sprinkle with any remaining crouton crumbs.


4 cups (1 quart) whipping cream
1 cup freshly grated parmesan

-Pour over chicken. Sprinkle some more parmesan on top if desired. Bake at 350° for 30 - 40 minutes or until chicken is cooked all the way through. Serve over angel hair pasta.

17 March 2008

Rolo Cookies

1 cake mix (white or chocolate)
2 eggs
1/2 Cup oil


Form into log roll.

Cut in half.
Cut each half into 16 sections.

Put Rolo in the middle and form into a ball. (It may be a little bit greasy...that's OK.)

Bake at 425°
7 minutes for chocolate
8 minutes for white


French Toast

Use your favorite bread. If I don't actually make bread for french toast I buy the Red White and Blueberry bread from Great Harvest and use that for the french toast. Just use a good bread that won't get too soggy and fall apart.

I don't have exact measurements as it always varies depending on the number of people you are serving but I think the most important part of making french toast is to whisk your eggs BEFORE you add any other ingredients. This makes it so you don't have that lumpy eggy membrane on the french toast. It's just easier to dip and fry.
So lets say I'm using about 5 eggs, I'll whisk them really well first in a bowl large enough to dip the bread, so that they are smooth and THEN I add milk until it looks like about 1 part egg to 2 parts milk.
Then I add a little sugar, maybe a spoonful, some vanilla (1/2 tsp?), and cinnamon. Add more cinnamon during cooking as necessary. Mix everything together well.
Prepare pans by heating to medium heat. Spray lightly with something like Pam. Or if you prefer, use butter or even bacon grease. I prefer spray oil because it doesn't burn as fast and doesn't make the bread soggy.
Quickly dip the bread into the egg/milk mixture on both sides. I call it a dip-n-flip. If you do it really fast you will get PERFECT un-soggy toast everytime. (If you are using drier bread it is okay to dip a little longer.)
Obviously just cook it the way you like. Golden, light, dark, etc...Serve with real butter and any flavor syrup. Or you can use the following OH SO YUMMY recipe in place of the syrup.

-Mash one banana and mix in a spoonful or so of Tang. (Thanks Jari)! Try it, you'll like it! ;D

Garlic Bread

No matter what kind of bread we use (this is even really good on the wheat hoagie rolls from Sam's Club) we always season our garlic bread this way...

Butter bread generously.

Sprinkle with granulated garlic to taste.

Lightly sprinkle with paprika.

Crush dried parsley over the bread.

Top with parmesan to taste.

Place under broiler for about 5 minutes, or until lightly browned, watching continuously (trust me).

Make LOTS because there will never quite be enough!

White Bread

This bread is good for sandwiches, toasted with jelly, hot out of the oven with real butter, etc. But we usually make it especially for french toast and sometimes for garlic bread. Sooo yummy!

White Bread -6 loaves- 350° for 30 minutes

1/2 Cup sugar
3 Tbsp salt
1 Cup instant powdered milk (powder)
6 Cups water (at about 110°)
3/4 Cup vegetable oil
about 15 Cups (or 5 lbs.) flour

Mix the sugar, salt and powdered milk in a very large bowl. Add the oil and some of the water (1 or 2 cups). Stir to make sure there are no powdered milk lumps. Add the rest of the water and mix.
Add 5-6 cups of flour and sprinkle in 3 Tbsp yeast. Mix a little by spoon: mixture will be lumpy. Add the rest of the flour, 1 cup at a time, mixing by spoon until it starts to be too hard to mix with a spoon.
Then I spray my hands with spray oil and knead the bread right there in the bowl by putting my hand under the bottom of the dough and folding it basically in half and turning the bowl about a quarter turn every fold. I add most of the rest of the flour in this way. Just get it so it isn't sticky anymore.
Dump the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead about 15 more minutes.
Let dough rise in a greased (I use something like Pam) bowl covered with greased plastic wrap. (About 1 1/2 hours.) Rise until double.
Punch dough down and rise until double again.
Punch down and separate into 6 even sections and shape into loaves.
Place in greased loaf pans.
Let rise again, covered, about 30 minutes.
Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes, rotating loaves halfway through to prevent uneven browning.
Let cool in pans for 10 minutes and then remove from pans and place on cooling racks.
Let bread cool thoroughly and place in storage bags. Only slice it as you need it- it stays softer.