Thursday, March 31, 2011

Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies

What a great cookie idea don't you think? I made these over Christmas to give away to friends and everyone enjoyed them. They were fun and something different to make. I couldn't decide which cookie was cuter. Cherry covered in chocolate or uncovered?

Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies
adapted from via Jamie Carpenter

Makes 24 cookies

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg *add an extra egg for a chewy cookie
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoon reserved cherry juice, *or 1/2 tsp cherry extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, regular or dark
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 (10 ounce) jar maraschino cherries, reserve the juice
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat the butter and sugar together in a bowl. Add egg, cherry juice/or extract and vanilla extract and beat well. Add the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, and baking powder and stir until smooth. Roll the mixture into 1-inch balls about the size of a walnut (larger if desired). Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Press center of each ball with thumb. Drain cherries and reserve juice. Place a cherry in indentation of each cookie ball. Bake in preheated oven for 9-10 minutes. 

    In a saucepan, heat condensed milk and chocolate chips until chips are melted. Stir in 1 1/2 Tablespoons of cherry juice. Spoon about 1 teaspoon of mixture over each cherry and spread to cover cherry. Add more cherry juice to chocolate frosting to get the right consistency if needed.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Sour Cream Noodle Bake


This is from none other than The Pioneer Woman. She doesn't do casserole type things very often, but when she does, they are always amazing. I really enjoyed this one. It is SO super easy and delish! I made a couple changes based on the comments she received, and I loved how it turned out.

Sour Cream Noodle Bake
adapted from The Pioneer Woman

1 1/4 pound ground beef
1 can 15-ounces tomato sauce
1/4 teaspoons salt
Freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces, weight egg noodles
1/2 cups sour cream
1 1/4 cup cottage cheese, small curd
1/2 cup green onion, sliced 
1 small can diced black olives
1 cup sharp cheddar, grated

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brown ground beef in a large skillet. (While browning ground beef, you can begin to boil your water for the egg noodles.) After ground beef is browned, drain fat, then add tomato sauce. 1/4 teaspoon salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Stir, then simmer while you prepare the other ingredients. Cook egg noodles until al dente. Drain and set aside. 

In a medium bowl, combine sour cream and cottage cheese. Add plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Now stir in your green onions and diced olives. Add to noodles and stir until noodles are coated evenly.

To assemble, add half of the noodles to a baking dish. Top with half the meat mixture, then sprinkle on half the grated cheddar. Repeat with noodles, meat, then a final layer of cheese. Bake for 20 minutes, or until all cheese is melted.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Deep Dish Pizza

I saw this delicious looking pizza at My Homemade Life. I had to have it right then and there! It was just as yummy as it looked, and I love that! It was also very easy and fun to do! You can really play around with it and make it your own! This is what we ended up doing and we loved it! It is so filling and delish! There isn't a "pizza sauce" on this, but it totally works with just the tomatoes. More like a deep dish cheesy pizza bread! Whatever it is, I love it.

Deep Dish Pizza Pie
adapted from My Homemade Life

20 rolls frozen (I used Rhodes rolls)
1lb Jimmy Dean Regular sausage 
1 (14 ounce) can fire roasted with garlic, diced tomatoes and slightly drain *you may use plain if you want, just add garlic
1 c. diced mushrooms *I'm a mushroom lover so I used 1 1/2 cups
1/2 c. diced onions 
1/8 tsp dried oregano *more if desired
1/2 Tsp basil 
Dried parsley, a few shakes
2 c. shredded Mozzarella cheese
1/2 c. shredded Parmesan cheese, *I used Kraft's crumbly parm, but fresh would be nice. 
Olive Oil
*2 cloves garlic (if not using fire roasted with garlic tomatoes)
Other optional ingredients for your pizza pie!:
*sliced olives
*green peppers, diced

First and most important, thaw your dough overnight in refrigerator. I just threw the whole bag of 20 rolls in the fridge and the next day they were ready to go! Easy! It's the remembering to do that is the hard part!

Grease casserole dish with olive oil. Place thawed rolls in dish. Let raise somewhere warm for 1 hours (til doubled about). I turned the oven on with a casserole dish full of water, to 170. Then turned the oven OFF, then I put the rolls in the oven over the casserole water dish. 

Close to the 1 hour mark of your dough rasising, you can begin to brown sausage with onions and green peppers (if you used them). Then halfway through cooking, throw in the mushrooms and garlic (if not using fire roasted with garlic). Also add in your 1/2 tsp basil, couple shakes parsley, and oregano.

When rolls are doubled, (make sure to take them out of the oven), preheat the oven to 350. Spread sausage veggie mixture over your raised rolls evenly. The rolls will start to deflate, don't worry, you want them to do that. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese over the sausage. Now place your tomatoes on top, evenly. Then pour leftover tomato juice from can on top evenly (there isn't much). Sprinkle the mozzarella on top! Bake 30-40 minutes. (Mine baked for 30, but I think next time I'll let it go for 5 more minutes, to brown up that mozzarella more! Rolls should be baked through.

I linked this up at Potluck Sunday!
Mommy’s Kitchen

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Cinnamon Bun Popcorn

My sister Aimee made this for her family and the grandparents. It was such a huge hit!!! She sent me the recipe and her review and this is word for word what she said. "OH....MY....GRACIOUS!  So super delicious.  Like really." Now if that doesn't make you want to try it, I don't know what will! She mentioned it is really sweet and be sure to cook your caramel for the amount specified so it is not gritty. Enjoy the wonderful concoction from Our Best Bites! 

Cinnamon Bun Popcorn
recipe from Our Best Bites

12 C popped popcorn (about 1/2 C kernels)*
1 C roughly chopped pecans
1 C brown sugar
3/4 t cinnamon
1/4 C Karo syrup (or honey makes a good substitution)
1 stick real butter (1/2 C)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
3 squares almond bark

*You can use air popped or microwave popcorn. If using microwave, anything works, but I prefer a “natural” flavor that’s low in butter and salt.
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Place popcorn and chopped pecans in a large bowl and set aside. Use a bowl that is twice the size you think you would need. A big bowl people! Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in another big, microwave-safe bowl. Like a 2-quart bowl or Pyrex measuring bowl.  It’s really important to incorporate the cinnamon into the brown sugar at this point. Chop butter into chunks and place on top of sugar mixture. Pour corn syrup (or honey) over the top of everything. Microwave on high for 30 seconds (just to soften the butter a bit) and then stir to combine. Return to microwave and heat for 2 minutes. Remove and stir and then microwave for 2 minutes more. By this point it should be nice and bubbly. Do NOT OVERCOOK, but cook long enough that it isn't gritty like! Remove from the microwave and add in vanilla and baking soda. It should bubble and foam a bit. Now pour it right over the popcorn and pecans. Stir right away, and stir lots. Take too long and the caramel will harden on you. Keep stirring until everything is well coated. Spread popcorn mixture onto a foil-lined jelly roll pan. It will be kinda chewy and stick-to-your-teeth-like. But we’re gonna change that. Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. After 30 minutes, take a piece out and let it cool. “Sample.” If it’s not crunchy enough, bake for another 5 minutes. “Sample” again. When it’s done, give it a final stir and let it cool off for a bit while you melt your almond bark (just nuke it in the microwave according to the package directions) If you want, you can spread out your caramel corn on a clean piece of parchment, waxed paper, or foil. Now, just use a fork and drizzle the melted almond bark over the popcorn mixture. When it’s hardened (pop it in the fridge to speed that process along) break into chunks and enjoy!
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And linked up at Mommy's Kitchen Potluck Sunday!
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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Beef Stroganoff

I love beef stroganoff! I usually make it with ground beef, but I came across Paula Deen's recipe with steak and I knew I had to try it. It was out of this world good! So super easy too! Don't hesitate to try this one. 

Beef Stroganoff
adapted from Paula Deen

1 1/2 pounds cubed round steak, cut into thin strips *I used top round stir fry, so it was already sliced
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
All-purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, sliced
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can beef broth
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
Salt and black pepper
1 cup sour cream
Cooked egg noodles

Season the steak strips with garlic powder, salt and black pepper, then dust with flour. (I just put the steak strips in a ziploc bag, about 1/3 cup flour and the seasonings and shook it around til they were covered.) In a large skillet, heat your oil and butter and quickly brown them on both sides. Remove the steak from the pan and set aside. Add the onion slices and mushrooms to the pan drippings. Saute for a few minutes, until the onion is tender. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon flour. Put the steak back into the pan with the onion and mushrooms. Add the mushroom soup and beef broth. Cook over low heat for about 30 minutes, covered. Adjust seasoning to taste, adding salt and pepper, as needed. Stir in the sour cream the last few minutes, right before you serve. Serve over cooked noodles.

I linked this up at Potluck Sunday!
Mommy’s Kitchen

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Mint Brownies

I have had this recipe bookmarked for a long time. I'm so mad at myself for not trying them before now, because I have really been missing out. These are sharing the top spot with my favorite brownies ever. I will not wait long to make these again. They were unbelievable, and if you chill them, they taste like your own chocolate mint ice cream bar. Mmmm, please try them right now! They were such a huge hit with my husband's study group, they were taking pictures of them and calling their friends to come try them. So you can trust me when I say they're good!!! Mel's Kitchen Cafe has a "lighter" version of these brownies that I am super tempted to try out next time. I did use her chocolate ganache layer and it was perfect!

Mint Brownies

Brownie layer
adapted from Make It Do

1 c. melted butter
½ c. cocoa powder 
2 c. sugar
4 eggs beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
½ tsp. salt 
1 ½ c. flour sifted 

Whisk together melted butter and cocoa powder. Then add sugar, eggs, vanilla and salt. Mix well and add flour. Stir in by hand, do not over mix. Pour into 9×13 pan sprayed with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-27 minutes.  Cool for a few minutes and then place in freezer for 20 minutes. While brownies are in the freezer make mint frosting.

Mint Frosting layer
adapted from Very Hungry Caterpillar, BYU Brownie

5 Tbsp. margarine, softened
dash of salt
2 Tbsp. milk
1 Tbsp. light corn syrup
2 1/3 c. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. mint extract
3 drops green food coloring

Beat margarine until softened. Add salt, corn syrup, and powdered sugar. Beat until smooth and fluffy. Add mint extract and food coloring. Mix. Add milk gradually until a smooth consistency. Spread onto brownie layer. Place brownies back in freezer for another 20 minutes then make chocolate ganache layer after the 20 minutes.

Chocolate Ganache Layer

3 T butter
¾ c semi-sweet chocolate chips

To prepare the glaze, combine the chocolate chips and 3 tablespoons butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at HIGH 30 seconds or until melted.  Let stand 2 minutes. Spread chocolate mixture evenly over top. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. 

Friday, March 11, 2011

Easy Pleasin' BBQ Meatloaf

My sister sent me this recipe from Kraft Kitchens. I was unsure at first just because I already had a great recipe from Lion House cookbook, but this Kraft's recipe has turned out to be my favorite! It is just too easy, and the stuffing mix really adds so much flavor and the perfect texture! This meatloaf comes out perfect and moist every time. The family loves it.

Easy Pleasin' Meatloaf

2 lb lean ground beef
1 box (6oz) Stove Top Stuffing Mix for chicken
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup water
1 cup BBQ sauce, divided
*optional 1/2 onion, diced

Preheat oven to 375. Place ground beef, stuffing mix, water, eggs, *onion and 1/2 cup barbeque sauce in large bowl. Mix ingredients until well combined. Shape into loaf in a greased casserole dish, *Or broiler pan to catch extra fat drippings. Place in oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, take meatloaf out and top with remaining 1/2 cup barbecue and spread over meatloaf evenly. Place back in oven for another 30 minutes.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Apple Cobbler

I had some apples that needed to be used so of course I went with a dessert of sorts.  I used Golden Delicious Apples and Fuji Apples.  If you use a tart apple be sure to increase the sugar.

Apple Cobbler
Adapted from Land O Lakes

7 medium apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
1/2 cup Brown Sugar, divided
1 cup Granulated Sugar, divided
3/4 tsp. Cinnamon, divided
1 and 1/4 cup Flour
3/4 cup 4-Grain Cereal Mates or Quick Oats
2 Eggs
2 tsp. Baking Powder
3/4 tsp. Salt
1/2 cup Butter, melted

Prepare apples.  To keep them from turning brown place in a dish of water.  Drain apples.  Sprinkle apples with 1/4 cup Brown Sugar, 1/4 cup Granulated Sugar, and 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon.  Toss to evenly coat.  Place apples in a 7x11 dish (I'm sure a 9x13 would work too--just watch cooking times).  Make the crumble topping by combining: Flour, 4-Grain or Quick Oats, remaining Brown Sugar, remaining Granulated Sugar, remaining Cinnamon, Baking Powder, Salt, and Eggs.  Beat mixture until it is the texture of coarse crumbs.  Put topping over apples.  Pour melted butter over topping. 

Bake at 350 for 40-50 minutes.

Serve warm with ice cream!

These are linked up at

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Pistachio Chocolate Chip Cookies

My sister came up with this idea, and I have to admit a pretty genius one at that! If you loved these chocolate chip pudding cookies from before, then you'll love these pistachio ones. It is the same recipe, but instead of using vanilla pudding, use pistachio! It makes for a delicious green cookie, perfect for St. Patty's Day! You can even add a little bit of green food coloring to give it a more green look, since it is hard to tell from this picture. Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!

Pistachio Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from Kraft Kitchens

Makes 3 dozen cookies

1 cup butter or margarine, softened

3/4 cup  packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 pkg.  (3.4 oz.) JELL-O Pistachio Flavor Instant Pudding
1 tsp. vanilla
2   eggs
1 tsp. baking soda
2-1/4 cups  flour
1 pkg. (12 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
*green food coloring for added color

Heat oven to 375°F. Beat butter, sugars, dry pudding mix and vanilla in large bowl with mixer until well blended. Add eggs and baking soda and food coloring if desired; mix well. Gradually beat in flour. Stir in chocolate. Drop teaspoonfuls of dough, 2 inches apart, onto baking sheets. Bake 7 to 9 min. or until golden brown. Cool 3 min. on baking sheets. Remove to wire racks. Cool completely.

These are linked up at

Monday, March 7, 2011

Best Homemade Chicken Pot Pie

I am really not kidding you when I say this is the best pot pie you will ever eat. Just promise me that you will try it at least once! Once is all you need though, because it will keep you coming back for more. Such a delicious comfort food. It is creamy, and full of flavor! It requires a few pots and pans and a bit of prep work, but it is worth it, oh so worth it. We LOVE this dish!

Best Homemade Chicken Pot Pie
made it my own, with a little help from

  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cubed
  • 1 cup sliced carrots *You can just use 2 cups of the frozen pea/carrot combo, but I do prefer the taste of fresh carrots over frozen. It sure is a big time saver though!
  • 1 cup frozen green peas 
  • 1 cup peeled and cubed potato *or 1 cup frozen hashbrowns southern style (the cubed kind)
  • 1/2 cup sliced celery
  • 1/3 cup butter 
  • 1/2 of an onion chopped
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 3/4 cups chicken broth *Use the chicken broth that you cook the veggies in, save it don't drain!
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 (9 inch) unbaked pie crusts 

  • In a skillet cook your chicken and season with salt and pepper and a DASH of poultry seasoning. When chicken is done, let set until cooled and cut into cubes. During all of this this you can get your chicken broth boiling. Boil 3 cups of chicken broth in a saucepan. When it reaches boiling, throw in your peas, carrots, potatoes, and celery. Boil for about 15 minutes, or until veggies are soft. Put a bowl under the strainer to catch your chicken broth and drain the veggies into the strainer. DON'T throw the broth away!!! 

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Now in another large skillet over medium heat, cook onions in 1/3 cup butter until soft and translucent. Stir in the flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder, poultry seasoning and celery seed. Slowly stir in the chicken broth that you have set aside and the milk. Simmer over medium low heat until thick. Now pour the veggies and cubed chicken into the sauce and mix until combined.  

  • Pour mixture into prepared pie crust. Cover with a top pie crust. Seal the edges and cut away the excess dough. Make several small slits in the top to allow steam to escape. I then brushed the top of the crust with milk to add color, but you could do an egg wash or nothing at all! Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool for 15-20 minutes before serving.

***A few tips! I have doubled this recipe and frozen one of the pies. The frozen pie came out perfectly when it was cooked! (Just lower the temperature to 325 and cook for an hour). The other tip I could give you is cutting the vegetables and cooking the chicken the night before. It saves you SO MUCH time and dishes for the next day.

Linked these up on
Mommy’s Kitchen