Wednesday, December 9, 2009

{pasta with white bean sauce}

It's a little unusual to put pasta with beans when it's not in a soup of some kind, but this so yummy.


2 T. butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic
2 T. flour
salt & pepper
1 1/3 c. milk (I use skim)
1 small can green chilies
1-15 oz. can Northern beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 c. cheese (I don't use quite this much)
1-16 oz. box penne, radiattore, or farfalle

Cook pasta according to directions. Strain, and set aside. In a large saucepan, saute the onions and garlic in butter until onion is soft and tender. Add flour, salt and pepper. Add milk all at one time, and whisk. Bring to a boil, then boil for another minute. Add cheese, and let it melt, then add the beans and green chilies. Heat through, then serve over the pasta. Enjoy!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

{peppermint popcorn crunch}

I SO wish I had a picture of this to post, but I just discovered it yesterday, after a good friend made it. It's actually just like one of my favorite recipes, but with a Christmas twist. I usually make it with toffee bits (delicious), but the peppermints are delightful.
It's so fast, and so easy, which is good, because you will want to make batch after batch!


-popped popcorn (I usually use around 9 cups or so. I like to use air popped popcorn, but my friend made it with a bag of butter microwave popcorn. Both are good, just depends on your preference.)
-1 bag white chocolate chips, or equivalent amount white baking chocolate
-candy canes or peppermint candies, chopped (to taste)

Place popcorn in large bowl. Melt the chocolate in a glass bowl in the microwave, making sure to stir every 30 seconds. Chocolate will hold its shape even when completely soft, so check often to avoid burning. Stir in peppermint, and pour over popcorn. Mix well, then lay out on a cookie sheet or baking dish. Let cool.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

{peanut butter chocolate brownies}

You really have to try My friend Catherine shared this with me, and I'm so glad she did! It's not even really a recipe, just a great way to dress up a box of brownie mix. I don't generally care for store-bought frosting, but you can't even tell that's what it is!


Mix brownies according to box, but substituting Hershey's syrup for the water, and adding a bag of peanut butter chips. Bake as directed.
Stir 1/4 c. peanut butter into a can of vanilla frosting, and ice the brownies after they are completely cooled.

*Since I usually make my own brownies, I didn't have a mix on hand when I tried this. So, I just added the syrup and peanut butter chips to my regular batter, and iced as above. They turned out great!!!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

{spinach gnocchi soup}

Oh my. Let's just say we had this three times in the first two weeks after gettings this recipe. It really is divine, and so easy. You have to try it! My friend Melissa shared it with me, after she introduced it to me at Olive Garden. I actually like this better, though!


4 c. chicken stock
2 1/2 c. heavy whipping cream
1 stalk celery, diced
1 garlic clove, chopped (I use more :) )
1/2 carrot, shredded
1/2 onion, diced
1 c. fresh spinach, chopped
1 T. olive oil
1 tsp. thyme
salt and pepper
16 ounces potato gnocchi

Saute the onion, celery, onion, garlic, carrot in oil over medium heat until onion is translucent. Add chicken stock, cream, salt and pepper, and thyme. Heat to boiling, then add gnocchi. Gently boil for 4 minutes, then turn down to a simmer for 10 minutes. Add spinach and cook for another 1-2 minutes until spinach is wilted.

Ladel into bowls and serve. Freshly grated parmesan cheese is the perfect complement to this soup!

**I found potato gnocchi in the pasta section at my grocery store, and also in the frozen section by the hash browns.
***The original recipe calls for chicken, but I chose to eliminate it. If you would like it, it calls for 3-4 chicken breasts, cooked & diced, added with the stock and cream.
****I doubled the recipe for my family...leftovers are perfect for lunches, although we didn't have that much leftover. :)


Sunday, October 18, 2009

{pumpkin crumb cake}

I can't even remember where I got this recipe, but if you are a pumpkin-lover, this is for you!


1 package yellow cake mix (reserve 1 c.)
1/2 c. butter, melted
1 egg, beaten

Mix together and press in a 9x13 greased pan.

1 lb. canned pumpkin
1 c. sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 c. milk
2 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Mix together and pour over crust.

1 c. yellow cake mix
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. butter, softened

Crumb together and spread over filling. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

{autumn punch}

I was looking for a wassail recipe, when I came across this one at It is delicious! Not only will it warm you up, but it will make your house smell wonderful!!


12 c. apple juice
4 1/2 c. pineapple juice
6 T. lemon juice
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 oranges
24 whole cloves

Combine first 6 ingredients in crock pot. Slice oranges into thick slices, and poke 4 cloves into the rind of each slice. Float them on top, then place cover on crock pot. Warm through on medium-low heat, then simmer for as long as you like!!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

{lemon farfalle}

A good friend gave me the basics of this recipe, and then I made my own tweaks to it. My family loves it, and it's delicious!


1 lb. farfalle (bowties)
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil (you can use less if you want to)
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon
minced garlic, to taste (I used about 2 T.)
1 T. sugar
salt and pepper
green onions, chopped
fresh parsley, chopped

Cook pasta al dente. In a blender, combine the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, pepper, garlic and sugar. Blend well. Feel free to add more or less of something to your taste--this is a recipe that is easy to change around, depending on what you like.
Pour mixture over cooked pasta, then toss in green onions and parsley.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

{black bean and corn salsa}

This is hands down the best salsa I've ever had. I received this recipe from a good friend a couple of weeks ago, and haven't been able to stop thinking about it since. It's so yummy, you might even want to eat it with a spoon--I have!


2-15 oz. cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1-17 oz. can whole kernel corn (I use frozen corn, that has been thawed)
1 large tomatoes, chopped
1 large avocado, peeled and chopped
1 purple onion, chopped
1/4 c. cilantro, chopped
3-4 T. lime juice
2 T. olive oil
1 T. red wine vinegar
1 t. salt
1 t. pepper

Combine ingredients in a bowl, cover and chill. Garnish with avocado and fresh cilantro. YUM!!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

{easy chicken pot pie}

Another meal that takes less than 10 minutes to put together, which is why it's my favorite. It's also delicious, and warms up well the next day, which is why it's my boys' favorite!


1 double pie crust (I use Pillsbury)
2 cans Cream of Potato soup
1 c. frozen mixed vegetables
2-3 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
salt & pepper
Mix the last 6 ingredients together (herbs and seasonings to taste). Press bottom crust into pie pan. Place filling inside pie crust. Top with other crust, seal and flute edges. Cut slits into the top of the crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, or until crust is golden brown. Cover crust edges with aluminum foil for first 20-25 minutes, then remove.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

{blueberry buckle}

The state we live in is well known for it's blueberry production, and in our little area there are several wonderful patches where you can go and pick your own blueberries. They are inexpensive at $1.00 per pound, you can eat as many as you want to while picking, and they cater to whole families. Everyone gets their own buckets, even the littlest ones, and it's a really great family activity.
After the picking festivities last week, my husband was requesting a recipe that was shared by the blueberry patch, called Blueberry Buckle. My sweet mom made it for him, and it was amazing! You have to try this recipe--you won't be sorry!


2 1/2 c. blueberries
1/4 c. butter. softened
3/4 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. buttermilk

Streusel Topping:

1/4 C. white sugar
1/4 C. brown sugar
1/4 C. flour
1/4 C. butter

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Add this to the creamed mixture alternating with milk. Fold in blueberries. (Make sure they are washed, then completely dried. You don't want any extra moisture in your batter.) Pour into greased 9x9 baking dish. Combine sugars and flour for topping, then cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over batter. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes. or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack.

Monday, July 6, 2009

{mushroom ham fettucine}

This is a great twist on a traditional fettucine recipe. I don't care for mushrooms, so I just leave those out, and it still works. Yum!


½ lb. thinly sliced fully cooked ham, cut into strips
1 c. sliced fresh mushrooms (you can leave these out)
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 T. plus ½ c. butter, divided
1-12 oz. package fettucine
1 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1 c. sour cream
¼ tsp. pepper

In a skillet, sauté the ham, mushrooms, and garlic in 3 T. butter. Meanwhile, cook fettucine according to package directions; drain. Melt the remaining butter in a large saucepan. Stir in the fettucine, Parmesan cheese, sour cream, and pepper. Add the ham mixture; toss to coat.
Yield: 8 servings.

{parmesan baked salmon}


4 salmon fillets, skin removed
1/4 c. mayonnaise
2 T. Parmesan cheese, grated
1/8 tsp. ground red pepper
2 T. lemon juice
10 Ritz crackers, crushed

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix mayo, cheese, and pepper until well blended. Set aside. Place salmon on foil lined shallow baking pan. Drizzle evenly with lemon juice. Top with cheese mixture; spread to evenly cover salmon. Sprinkle with cracker crumbs. Bake 12 - 15 minutes, or until salmon flakes easily with fork.

Monday, June 1, 2009

{italian cream cheese chicken}

This is an oldie, but a goodie! I re-discovered this recipe a few months ago, and it is one meal that all three of my kids gobble up. Believe me, that is highly unusual. :) It is easy and delicious!


4 chicken breasts
1 can Cream of Chicken soup
1 packet Italian seasoning
1 can water
8 oz. cream cheese

Combine the soup, water, and seasoning and whisk together and thoroughly blended. Place chicken in crock pot, and pour soup mixture over the top. Cook for 4-6 hours until chicken is tender. About 30 minutes before it's finished, add the cream cheese and mix well. Serve over rice or pasta.

{sausage and pineapple shishkabobs}

This really isn't a recipe so much as it is just another way to use your grill this summer! We tried it a couple of weeks ago, and loved it.


1 smoked turkey sausage ring
fresh pineapple
red onion
green pepper
olive oil
salt and pepper

Cut the sausage ring, pineapple, red onion, and green pepper into chunks. Alternate them on shishkabob sticks. Baste veggies with a small amount of olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill until lightly browned. Enjoy!

Friday, May 22, 2009

{luscious lemon bars}

A favorite of mine...anything lemon is yummy to me!


1 c. butter, softened
2 c. flour
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
Dash salt

2 c. sugar
1/4 c. flour
4 eggs, well beaten
1/2 c. lemon juice

In medium bowl, mix flour and powdered sugar. Cut in butter. Press into a 9x13 baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden.
While baking crust, beat eggs at high speed with electric mixer until light and pale yellow in color. Gradually add sugar and flour, them lemon juice. Continue to beat at high speed. Pour over hot crust and return to oven for 20-25 minutes more, until slightly golden. Immediately sprinkle with powdered sugar. Let cool before cutting into bars.

{broccoli and ham ring}

My friend Julie told me about this recipe, and when I heard how much her family loved it, and how quick and easy it was, I knew I had to try it. She found the recipe at I made a couple of changes to it, and it was a definite hit with our family as well.


1 cup chopped ham
1 cup chopped broccoli
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard ( I used 1 T. Dijon, and 1 T. honey mustard)
1 tsp. lemon juice
2 packages refrigerated crescent rolls

Preheat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients together, except rolls. Set aside mixture. Unroll crescent dough and separate into 16 triangles. Arrange 4 triangles with the wide end corners touching to make a square. Fill the gaps with 4 more triangles (wide ends towards the middle). Now there are 8 gaps so fill them with the remaining 8 triangles. There will be lots of overlapping. Scoop the ham mixture evenly in a circle around the wide ends of the triangles. Bring the outside points over the mixture and tuck under the wide ends. Some of the mixture may still show through. After doing this, I molded mine into a circle by squishing a little here and there. Bake for about 30 minutes, until golden brown.

*I decided to try filling the crescent rolls individually, instead of making a ring. I placed two crescent rolls together, forming a square, filled it, then sealed the edges.

Monday, May 11, 2009

{buttermilk syrup}

I'm not kidding...once you try this, it's especially difficult to go back to traditional maple syrup. This is fantastic, and your kids will devour it! The buttermilk is magic, because it doesn't even taste like buttermilk once it's done! We serve ours over waffles. My friend Melissa gave me this recipe, and our life hasn't been the same since. :)


1 c. sugar
1/2 c. buttermilk
1 stick butter
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla

Bring sugar, buttermilk, and butter to a boil, then turn off the heat and add remaining ingredients, whisking well. Because of the soda, it will be frothy until it starts to cool.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

{refreshing punch}

This is a stand-by of mine, and I make it regularly. It's easy, light, and can be served with just about anything.

Per punchbowl:

1 can white grape juice frozen concentrate
1-2 liters Sprite
limes and lemons

Mix the grape juice and Sprite together (it really is mostly to taste--you can do whatever ratio you prefer). Add ice, and float lemon and lime slices on top.

{cinnamon & sugar sour cream muffins}

I made these for my family this week, and they were literally gone within hours. It has been a favorite since my childhood, and myu love for them has definitely passed to my own kids. This recipe made 24 mini muffins, and 6 larger muffins.

2 c. flour
1 c. sugar
1 stick butter, melted
1-8 oz. carton sour cream
3 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
cinnamon & sugar mixture

1. Grease muffin tins (12 large or 24 small)
2. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
3. Measure sugar into large bowl, then mix in butter.
4. Add eggs, vanilla, and sour cream.
5. Stir in flour mixture.
6. Spoon batter into muffin tin, about 1/3 full.
7. Sprinkle with the cinnamon and sugar mixture, then add more batter until 2/3 full.
8. Sprinkle all the tops with sugar--it will form a nice crust on the top.
9. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, or until lightly browned.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

{chicken pasta salad}

Spring is coming, which always makes me hungry for yummy salads. This is certainly no exception. It does require starting the night before with a quick marinade, but certainly worth the effort.


1 1/2 lbs. chicken breasts, marinated overnight in:

1/2 c. olive oil
1/4 c. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. crushed garlic
1 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. thyme

Grill the chicken, then cut up into 1/2 inch cubes.


20 oz. multi-colored corkscrew pasta
1 c. broccoli, cut into small pieces
1/2 c. purple onion, diced
1/2 c. green pepper, chopped
1/2 c. red pepper, chopped
1 c. celery, chopped
1/4 c. + 1 T. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Grilled, marinated chicken


1/2 c. olive oil
4 T. lemon juice
1/2 c. mayo
2/3 c. sour cream

Combine salad ingredients, toss with dressing. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

{fast & easy orange rolls}

With this recipe, you can fulfill the craving without all the work. These truly are fast, easy, and delicious!!


2 cans refrigerated Pillsbury biscuits
zest of 1 orange
3/4 c. white sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 stick butter, melted

Mix the last four ingredients together. Dip biscuits in the mixture, making sure to cover all sides. Place on end in a greased bundt pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.

{o henry bars}

I made this recently for a BBQ, after having not made in them a quite awhile. I remembered how easy they were, and how yummy!!


1 c. Karo
1 c. sugar
2 c. peanut butter
5 c. Rice Krispies
1/2 package chocolate chips
1/2 package butterscotch chips

Bring Karo and sugar to a boil in a large saucepan, then remove from stove. Add the peanut butter and cereal, mixing thoroughly. Spread in a greased 9x13 baking dish, and press down. Melt the chips in the microwave, stirring well. Spread over the top evenly. Refrigerate until firm; cut into squares.

Friday, January 30, 2009

{cream cheese veggie pizza}

This is one of my favorite appetizers, but could be served with something else as a light lunch or supper. I even made this using a box oven, and taught my girls at Girls' Camp how to do it too! Yum!


2 packages crescent rolls
2 8-oz. packages cream cheese
1/2 c. mayo
1/2 c. sour cream
1 package ranch dressing mix
3/4 c. each of:
grated carrots
green pepper
black olives
green onion
(I omit certain items. :) You can really anything you want on it, in any amount you like. )

Lightly spray a cookie sheet, and lay the crescent rolls out flat, pressing the seams together to make a crust. Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees, then cool. Mix sour cream, mayo, cream cheese, and dressing mix well, then spread on top of cooled crust. Top with vegetables. Cut into squares to serve!

Monday, January 26, 2009

{black bean enchiladas}

I don't remember who I got this from, but thank you!!


1 large onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
2 T. chicken broth
2-15 oz. cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 c. picante sauce (or fresh salsa)
12 flour tortillas
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
shredded cheese
shredded lettuce
sour cream
green onions

In a non-stick skillet, cook and stir onion and green pepper in chicken broth 2-3 minutes. Mash 1 can black beans. Add to the skillet with 3/4 c. picante sauce and the other can of beans. Heat through. Spoon 1/4 c. mixture on tortilla and roll. Place in a sprayed 9x13 baking dish. Combine tomatoes and rest of picante sauce and spoon over enchiladas. Cover and bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with cheese, and bake until cheese is melted. Serve with lettuce, more tomatoes, green onions, and sour cream.

{buttermilk waffles}

Okay, I know everyone has their own favorite waffle recipe, and I can't help but share mine. It's a definite standby, and waffles for dinner is a common occurrence at our house. Everyone loves them! I have tried many different recipes and mixes, and they just don't compare with this one. Buttermilk is definitely the key to fluffier, yummier, waffles.

*Recipe courtesy Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook


1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 eggs
2 c. buttermilk
1/2 c. cooking oil (I usually use less)

1. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the center of dry mixture; set aside.
2. In another medium bowl, whisk eggs. Stir in buttermilk and oil.
3. Add buttermilk mixture to dry mixture, and stir just until moistened (batter will be lumpy).

*If you don't have buttermilk on hand, you can substitute sour milk for the same amount. For each cup of sour milk needed, place 1 T. lemon juice or vinegar in a glass measuring cup. Add enough milk to make 1 c. total liquid; stir. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes before using it in a recipe.

{peanut butter pie}

I usually post recipes on my recipe blog, but I think this one garners a little extra special attention. I received this recipe a few weeks ago from a friend, and have now had a couple of occasions in which to make it. It is SO yummy--and most absolutely a temptation! Peanut butter, cream cheese, and chocolate? Can't go wrong! I'm sorry I didn't take a picture--it's even more tempting in person!!

I was also just reminded this afternoon, of one of my favorite treats since childhood. I wanted to make something for Ryan for after school, and decided on Rice Krispie treats. I love to add different things into the treats to create varying tastes and textures, all while using a basic favorite. Today I added butterscotch chips (about half a bag) to the marshmallows and melted them together (add chips in when marshmallows are almost melted), then stirred in the Rice Krispies. I then added the rest of the bag of chips and pressed the mixture into my pan. SO good! You can use peanut butter chips, chocolate chips, even a small box of your favorite kind of Jell-O for a fruity flavor. Kids love to choose their favorite combination.


1 1/2 c. heavy whipping cream
1/4 c. sugar
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 c. creamy peanut butter
1 c. powdered sugar

Whip the cream and sugar together until soft peaks form (don't beat too long--it will turn into butter!!). In a separate bowl, beat the other ingredients together. Fold in the whipped cream mixture until well blended. Pour into a graham cracker crust, and cover with ganache (recipes to follow). Refrigerate for several hours.

Graham cracker crust:

1 1/4 c. graham cracker crumbs
1/4 c. sugar
1/3 c. butter, melted

Mix all ingredients together , then press firmly in bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes. Let cool.


8 oz. chocolate (I use chocolate chips)
2 T. unsalted butter
2-4 T. heavy whipping cream

Pour ingredients in medium glass (microwaveable) bowl, starting with 2-3 T. of whipping cream. Microwave for 20-30 seconds, then stir. Place back in microwave for a few more seconds at a time if necessary, just until chocolate will mix easily. If it's too thick, continue to add a little whipping cream at a time, until it reaches a smooth, creamy consistency. It should be spreadable, but not runny.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

{chocolate caramel brownies}

That's really all you have to say. :)


-Mix together:
German chocolate cake mix
1/3 c. evaporated milk
3/4 c. butter, melted
1 c. chopped nuts

Spoon half of the mixture into a greased 9x13 baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 6 minutes. Cool slightly.

-Melt in a saucepan (or microwave) and pout over the top of brownie:
14 oz. package caramels
1/3 c. evaporated milk

-Sprinkle 6 oz. chocolate chips on top of caramel mixture, then drop remaining brownie mixture in walnut-sized balls close together to cover the brownies. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes.

{white chicken chili}

This is a new recipe I tried this week, although I can't even remember where I got it! It's been sitting here, waiting for me to try it, and I'm so glad I did! It's made in the crock pot, which automatically is a plus, and the taco seasoning and green chilies give it just a little bit of a kick.


2-3 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
2 cans northern beans
1 can white corn (I used frozen)
1 can Cream of Chicken soup
1-14.5 oz. can chicken broth
1 can chopped green chilies
1 envelope taco seasoning
1/2 c. sour cream

Place chicken in the bottom of your crock pot, then dump in drained beans and corn. In a mixing bowl, mix the soup, broth, green chilies, and taco seasoning, then pour over chicken. Cook on low for 8 hours, then stir sour cream right before serving. Top with green onion and cheese. I also made homemade tortilla strips, which were delicious with it.

Monday, January 5, 2009

{lentil minestrone}

I love recipes that bring back memories! This soup has been made by my best friend for almost as long as I've known her--definitely back to our early married years. This is perfect served with bread sticks or rolls--yum!


1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 T. oil
1 stalk celery, sliced
1 can kidney beans
4 c. water
4 cubes chicken bouillon
1 tsp. dried oregano, crushed
1 tsp. dried thyme, crushed
few dashes Tabasco sauce
14 oz. can diced tomatoes
3/4 c. pasta (farfalle, wagon wheels, penne)

In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, saute onion and garlic over medium heat until tender, while stirring frequently. Add celery, kidney beans, water, bouillon cubes, oregano, thyme, and Tabasco. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and pasta; simmer for 10-15 minutes longer, or until pasta is tender.