Friday, April 29, 2011

Glazed Pineapple Coconut Cake

This cake was SO amazing, oh my goodness! My sister Callie has this great blog over at Honeyville Farms Cookin' Cousins that she makes recipes using food storage and freeze dried items. She had used powdered eggs and freeze dried pineapple and it came out looking awesome. I knew I had to try it and I'm so glad I did! I was asked for the recipe multiple times. My husband made me leave him a big piece before I took it to mutual to share. He never asks me to do that, so that is saying something! It is ooey, gooey deliciousness!

Glazed Pineapple Coconut Cake
adapted from Honeyville Farms Cookin Cousins

1 and 1/2 cups Granulated Sugar
2 cups Flour
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Vanilla

2 eggs
1-20 oz can crushed pineapple (do NOT drain)

1/2 cups Pecans, chopped

In a large bowl combine Sugar, Flour, Baking Soda. In a separate bowl combine the eggs, vanilla and can of pineapple. Mix well and add to dry ingredients. Stir until combined. Pour batter into a 9x13 pan. Sprinkle the top with Pecans.  Bake at 350 for 32-35 minutes.

3/4 cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 cup Butter
1/2 cup Evaporated Milk
1 tsp. Vanilla

1/2 heaping cup of shredded sweetened coconut

Start making the topping once you pull out the cake from the oven. In a saucepan over medium heat melt Butter.  Add Sugar and Evaporated Milk.  Once combined, cook for 6 minutes, stirring often. After the 6 minutes take off heat and stir in Vanilla and coconut.  Poke some holes in the cake, I used a skewer, or you could use a fork. Pour the topping evenly over the cake, spreading around where necessary to cover everything. Serve warm. Although it is delicious cold as well!

Mommy’s Kitchen

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Cheesy Hash Brown Potatoes

You may know these potatoes by funeral potatoes, or au gratin potatoes (what we call them at my house), whatever you call them, I call them delicious! No Easter in my family is complete without a helping of these potatoes! My mom makes these with baked and cubed russet potatoes, but I love the simplicity of using hashbrowns. You can whip this up in no time flat! A real crowd pleaser for sure. We eat this as a main dish all the time.

Cheesy Hash Brown Potatoes

1 package (28 oz) frozen shredded hash browns
1 pint sour cream (about 2 cups)
2 cups medium or sharp cheddar
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2-1 onion diced (just depends on how much you like, green onions would be yummy too)
2 T butter
Salt and pepper to taste
1-2 cups crushed cornflake crumbs

Melt butter in a skillet and cook onions until translucent. Set aside. Combine cream of chicken soup and sour cream in large bowl. Mix well. Add onions and cheese until combined. Add defrosted hashbrowns and stir until combined. Salt and pepper to taste. Pour into greased 9x13 casserole dish. Sprinkle cornflake crumbs on top! Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until bubbly!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies


We all know someone who is just darn good at everything they do right? This recipe comes from one of those types of people! She has many, MANY talents, and baking just happens to be one of them. This is my sister Callie's favorite chocolate chip recipe and she uses it all the time! You can substitute the chocolate chips for raisins, or white chocolate, or peanut butter. It is versatile, delicious and a crowd pleaser.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recipe from Marilyn Smith

Makes appx 3 dozen cookies

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup shortening (or use a combination of shortening/butter/margarine to make a cup.)
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 Tb. milk
2 cups flour 
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups quick oats (but I really like using's Honeyville Farm's 4-grain)
1 cup choc chips or raisins are really good too
optional 1 cup nuts
Beat shortening and sugars until creamy.  Add eggs, vanilla, and milk.  Mix well.  Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and mix well.  Add to shortening mixture and mix well.  Stir in oatmeal and other additions (chips, raisins, nuts, etc). Use tablespoon sized balls and put 2 in apart.  Bake on greased cookie sheets at 350 for 10-13 minutes.  Let stand after baking for at least 5 minutes before removing from trays. 

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Applebee's Oriental Chicken Salad

This is a great salad for lunch, but filling enough for dinner. The dressing really is amazing. You can lighten this salad up by using grilled chicken and light mayo. Try it out!

Applebee's Oriental Chicken Salad

3 Tbsp Honey
1 1/2 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
1/4 C Mayonnaise
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
1/8 tsp Sesame Oil

Lettuce--Romaine, Iceberg, Spinach
Shredded carrots
Red Cabbage
Mandarin Oranges
Chow Mein Noodles
Shredded Cheese--optional
Slivered Almonds--optional

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Boston Cream Pie

This cake, or is it a pie, got rave reviews on Kraft Recipes. My sister, Aimee, made it for a family gathering and the rave reviews continued on there. One family member said, "This is the best filling I've EVER had in a Boston Cream Pie." I can't wait to try this one out. Doesn't it just LOOK delicious? She did a pretty superb job I'd say. As professional as it looks, it was a cinch to make. And for those of you watching your calories or sugar, you can change your ingredients to sugar free or lite options. 

Boston Cream Pie
recipe from Kraft Foods

1 pkg. (3.4 oz.) Jell-o french vanilla flavor instant pudding
1 cup  plus 2 Tbsp. cold milk, divided
1-1/2 cups thawed Cool Whip whipped topping
1 round yellow cake layer (8 or 9 inch) **see below for what she did with the rest of the batter
1 square Unsweetened Chocolate
1 Tbsp.  butter
3/4 cup powdered sugar

Beat pudding mix and 1 cup milk with whisk 2 min. Stir in Cool Whip. Let stand 5 min. Meanwhile, cut cake horizontally into 2 layers with serrated knife. Stack cake layers on serving plate, spreading pudding mixture between layers.Microwave chocolate and butter in microwaveable bowl on high 1 min.; stir until chocolate is melted. Add sugar and remaining milk; mix well. Spread over cake. Refrigerate 1 hour.

**Instead of making 2 round cakes I made 1 round for the pie and with the other half of batter I made 12 cupcakes.  It was perfect for the kids.  You could easily make 2 pies though, one 8 or 9 inch pie isn't very big, just remember to double the filling and ganache if you do make 2 pies.  You could always freeze the other half and make it again within the month.

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Spicy Sticky Chicken Wraps


If you have been to Winger's, the restaurant, you've probably had these before or have at least heard of them. Well, I have never had them, and now I know I have really been missing out! I saw these on Life as a Lofthouse's blog, and they looked so easy and yummy that I tried them out. So so glad I did. I loved them so much, that I ended up eating them for the next 4 days, yep, you heard me. I couldn't get enough of them. They were so easy to heat up for lunch, and they tasted just as good as the first day I had them. They are spicy, but not too much where it is distracting. They're perfect in every way!

Spicy Sticky Chicken Wraps
adapted slightly from Life as a Lofthouse

6 tablespoons Franks Original Hot Sauce *has to be Frank's!
3/4 cup Brown Sugar
4 tablespoons water
1-25oz bag of frozen breaded chicken fingers (you can buy chicken fingers from the deli too)
10 Flour Tortillas (the size that comes in 10 count)
Cheddar Cheese, shredded
Tomatoes, chopped
Lettuce, chopped
**the sauce was enough for the entire bag of frozen breaded chicken fingers. So if you aren't using the whole bag that night, just save the leftover sauce and have leftovers for lunch tomorrow or dinner the next day! 

If using frozen Chicken fingers, start by baking the amount you want to use for dinner (we used 1 per wrap, 2 if they were short chicken fingers), in your oven, according to package directions. In a medium saucepan heat the hot sauce, brown sugar and water over medium heat until sugar is dissolved and sauce is heated thoroughly. About 5-10 minutes. Place cooked chicken fingers in a large tupperware. Pour in the sauce. Seal shut with the lid and shake to coat all chicken fingers with the sauce. Place one or two sauce-coated chicken fingers, depending on their size and length, onto the tortilla. Add desired amount of cheese, lettuce and tomato. Wrap up and serve!  You can even dip them with ranch if you'd like, but they're so delicious by themselves.

**Remember to save the remaining sauce for leftovers!

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Peanut Butter Truffle Brownies

My sister found these brownies at Creations by Kara. She knew she was making them right then and there, and she did, and she loved them and everyone else did too! She said they even got better with age. You can never go wrong with peanut butter and chocolate. She said the peanut butter topping tasted like a creamy Reese's Pieces. Um hello?! They are rich and decadent, just like any good dessert should be in my book! I hope you all enjoy them as much as my family did.

Peanut Butter Truffle Brownies
recipe from Creations by Kara

Brownie Layer:
3 cups sugar
3 cups flour
3/4-1 cup cocoa
1 1/2 tsp salt
6 eggs
1 1/2 cups oil
3/4 cup milk
Combine all ingredients in order listed and mix till smooth. Pour into a well greased 15×10″ jelly roll pan. Bake at 350 for about 20-25 minutes. Cool completely.
Truffle Layer:
1/4 cup soft butter
1 cup peanut butter
3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
5-6 Tbsp milk
Beat butter and peanut butter together. Add powdered sugar, salt, vanilla, and enough milk till mixture is creamy. It will be thicker than regular frosting. You can kind of spread and pat it onto the top of the brownies with the back of a spoon.
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips *3/4 cup would be plenty
2-3 Tbsp vegetable oil *if using 3/4 cup chips, cut back on the oil too!
For the topping, combine 2 Tbsp of the oil and the chips in a small glass bowl. Microwave at 50% power till melted, stirring often. Add more oil if needed. Drizzle over the top of the brownies.

***Best when served chilled!




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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Easter Bird Nests

I thought these Eater Bird Nests at Art of Dessert, would be so fun to make for Easter. I made them for my young women for an Easter lesson. They were so cute and festive. My 3 year old thought they were the coolest thing ever and was so excited to eat her bird nest. We just did butterscotch chips, but I'm sure you could use milk chocolate or white chocolate chips, or even add a little bit of peanut butter to your chocolate or butterscotch chips! The possibilities are endless! Don't be scared of the chow mein noodles, they really are delicious!

Easter Bird Nests
recipe from Art of Dessert

12 oz. package chow mein noodles  
12 oz. package butterscotch morsels
Egg shaped candies *I used jelly beans but you could use Cadbury mini eggs too!

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.  Pour the butterscotch morsels in a microwave-safe bowl and place them in the microwave. Heat for 30 seconds then remove to stir. Return to the microwave and heat again for 30 seconds. Stir until melted. *I had to add a Tablespoon of vegetable oil to my morsels, they were much too dry. Add in the chow mein noodles and mix till combined. Use a 1/4 measuring cup to portion out the cookies onto the baking sheet. If the mixture starts to solidify in the mixing bowl, you can reheat for 15 to 30 seconds to melt. Place three egg-shaped candies in the center of each cookie. Allow to set for at least 5 minutes before serving or transferring. *I froze mine until set, took about 15 minutes is all.

*She mentioned that different brands of morsels can have a drier or wetter consistency, so just trial and error I guess. She also mentioned that if you use the cadbury mini eggs that they dont' stick as well to the nests so use melted chips as glue to stick them on.

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Tuna Noodle Casserole

 I have always wanted to make a tuna casserole, and when I saw one on Can You Stay For Dinner, I knew it was time to try it out! It was just as yummy as it looked, and was super easy to boot! We don't eat a lot of fish in our family, but I like to have a little bit of fish a few times a month. Now we have one more option to choose from! 

Tuna Noodle Casserole

1lb box of rotini pasta. *I used the multi colored ones for fun
2 cans tuna, drained and flaked with a fork
2 cups peas, fresh or frozen
1/2 onion diced fine *optional, remember you're also using fried onions for topping. we just like onions!
2 cans condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 cup milk
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2-3/4 teaspoon garlic powder *I thought a full teaspoon was too much
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 small can french fried onions finely crushed

Get your pasta cooking. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Combine tuna, and peas *and onion, in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the soup, milk, cheese, garlic powder, and pepper, and pour over the top of the tuna, peas and onions. Stir to combine. Add noodles and stir until noodles are coated evenly. Pour into a greased casserole dish. Bake, covered with foil, for 20 minutes. Remove the foil, sprinkle the french fried onions evenly over the top and bake uncovered for an additional 5 minutes.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Heath Bar Cookies

This might just be my new favorite cookie. I saw them at Mel's Kitchen Cafe. They are so chewy and soft, just like a good cookie should be! The toffee chips really make them special! The recipe calls for a chilled dough, so plan ahead! I know we shouldn't be eating cookie dough with raw eggs, so I'm totally not recommending it, but it might have been my favorite part!

Heath Bar Cookies
slightly adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Makes 4 1/2 dozen cookies
2 ½ cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 (8-ounce) package of chocolate-covered or regular toffee bits *if using just toffee bits, I recommend chopping up milk chocolate into little pieces to make 1 cup
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla and mix until the mixture is creamy. Add 1/2 the flour mixture and stir to combine. Then add the rest of the flour mixture. Once it is about halfway combined, add the heath bits *and chocolate bits and mix until all the ingredients are mixed together. Chill the cookie dough for 30 minutes to an hour. 
Preheat the oven to 350°F. On cookie sheets lined with parchment paper or a Silpat liner, using a Tablespoon scoop your dough and place the balls onto the cookie sheet. They will spread a little bit so make sure they are spread out, at least 2 inches.  Bake for 10-11 minutes, until the edges are just starting to brown. Remove from oven and let the cookies cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Lasagna Roll-ups

These were a fun take on regular ol' lasagna. The original is meatless, but I like some meat and onion in my lasagna so I added those of course. I thought it was a little dry with just the one jar of spaghetti sauce with my additions, so next time I will use 2 jars! It really was good and the whole family enjoyed a hearty, nutritious meal.

Lasagna Roll-ups
adapted from CJane 

10 lasagna noodles, cooked and dried
10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and completely drained
15 oz fat free ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg
salt and fresh pepper
1 jar spaghetti sauce *I think 2 is needed if doing meat lasagna, 1 was too dry
1 1/2 cups mozzarella, shredded

1 lb ground beef *optional
1/2 cup onion *optional
2 cloves garlic *optional

Preheat oven to 350°. Brown ground beef, add onions and garlic. Cook until onions are translucent. Pour 1 jar of sauce into ground beef mixture and mix evenly. Set aside.* Combine spinach, ricotta, Parmesan, egg, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Pour a bit of sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 casserole dish. 

Place a piece of wax paper on the counter and lay out lasagna noodles. Take 1/3 cup of ricotta mixture and spread evenly over noodle. Then spread a layer of the spaghetti sauce/ground beef mixture on top of the cheese. Sprinkle mozzarella on top. Roll carefully and place seam side down onto the baking dish. Repeat with remaining noodles.

Ladle remaining sauce over the noodles in the baking dish and top each one with remaining mozzarella cheese. Put foil over baking dish and bake for 40 minutes, or until cheese melts. Makes 9 rolls.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Gooey Butter Cake


I apologize for the picture. I took this to a lunch with friends and this was the only piece left that I could salvage for a picture. So despite what it looks like, it tastes heavenly! You can always trust Paula Deen though, it is her recipe, and I came across it at See Jane. It is super simple to make and it is so yummy. I baked mine a little longer so it wasn't as gooey, but either way you can't go wrong. Try it out!

Gooey Butter Cake
recipe from Paula Deen via See Jane in the Kitchen

1 yellow cake mix
1 egg
1/2 cup butter (1 cube), melted

1 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 stick butter, melted
3 cups powdered sugar

Combine crust ingredients and pat into a 9 X 13 pan. Beat cream cheese, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. Add butter and sugar. Mix well. Pour over crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

*I liked See Jane's idea of variations with this cake. Using lemon cake mix for the crust and adding lemon juice and zest to the filling. I'll have to try that next time!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Chicken Spaghetti Casserole

 Another casserole from The Pioneer Woman that we love! It is creamy, delicious and easy to prepare! Enjoy!

Chicken Spaghetti Casserole
adapted from The Pioneer Woman

3 cups uncooked spaghetti, break into 2 inch pieces
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded or cubed*
1 quart chicken broth (low sod), set 1 1/2 cups aside for later
1 green pepper, diced
1 jar pimentos diced
½ onion, diced
1 tsp. Lawry’s season salt
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper *optional

*Pioneer Woman cooks her chicken by boiling a whole chicken in a pot and then pulling the meat off the bones and using that water for her noodles. I prefer to just cook my boneless, skinless chicken breasts, or tenderloins, in a little olive oil and season them with salt and pepper and use chicken broth to cook my noodles. It doesn't matter what method you prefer to use, just cook 2 cups of chicken and dice them up! :) 

Preheat oven to 350. Break spaghetti into 2 in. pieces until you have 3 cups! Cook spaghetti in half water/half chicken broth. Dice green pepper, onion and chicken while noodles are cooking. Drain noodles and pour into large bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients. Then pour 1 ½ c chicken broth into mixture. It should be creamy and smooth. Pour into a casserole dish and bake for 40 min.