Friday, December 31, 2010

Lemon herb roasted chicken

I found this recipe and had to make it in my new slow cooker.  It takes NO prep work and is so tender and good. I served it with garlic mashed potatoes, corn and the cocoa cake. A great dinner of comfort food.
4-6 pound whole roasting chicken
1/2 cup chopped onion**I just put 1/2 onion in the cavity**
1-2 Tbsp butter
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 Tbsp fresh parsley
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/3 tsp paprika
Pace the onion in the cavity of the chicken and rub the chicken skin with the butter.  Place chicken in crock pot.  Squeeze lemon juice over chicken and sprinkle with the remaining seasonings.  Cover and cook on low 8-10 hours or high for 4-6 hours. EASY!! Enjoy~

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Cocoa Cake

I could not wait to get back to my kitchen and cooking! I had a great time in Wyoming and have several new recipes to share when I make them. I started baking with this cocoa cake...smells soooo good when it is baking. Have fun with this one. I can't wait to top this tonight with peppermint ice cream, yes, I hoard peppermint ice cream for as long as I can and thi scake will be perfect with it!


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda

  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 3/4 cups packed light brown sugar

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • 1 1/3 cups water

  • Confectioners sugar for dusting

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9- by 2-inch round cake pan and dust with flour, knocking out excess.
    Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.
    Beat together butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in vanilla.
    Add flour mixture and water alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour and mixing just until combined.
    Pour batter into cake pan and bake in middle of oven until springy to the touch and a tester inserted in center comes out clean, 55 minutes to 1 hour. Cool in pan 1 hour. Invert onto a rack, then turn right side up and dust with confectioners sugar. Enjoy!

  • Sunday, December 19, 2010

    Merry Christmas!

    I know I have been slacking on posting recipes! I have been very busy getting ready for our trip to Wyoming for Christmas. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and have fun cooking! I will be back soon!

    Wednesday, December 15, 2010

    Roasted Garlic

    I love garlic! We love garlic! This is a simple way to make roasted garlic for breads, soups, mashed potatoes, pasta...etc. YUM!
    Cut the tip off the entire head of garlic and place head of garlic on tin foil.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Crinkle the tin foil up around the garlic, leave a hole for the steam to escape, and place in the oven at 325 degrees for 1 hour or until the cloves pop out easily.  You can then make a paste and add to whatever you are making with garlic! Enjoy~

    Monday, December 13, 2010

    New England Clam Chowder

    This is a good recipe.  Tony did not care for the richness of it and prefers my other recipe.  So....I won't be making this again. The kids and I liked it so I DO recommend at least trying it! I got the recipe while browsing a favorite site Epicurious.

  • 1 1/4 pound canned clams, minced, juices reserved

  • 2-3 cups bottled clam juice

  • 2 bacon slices, minced

  • 1 onion, diced

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves, chopped

  • 1 pound potatoes, peeled, diced

  • 3 cups heavy cream or half and half

  • 6 tablespoons dry sherry, or to taste

  • Salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • Tabasco sauce, to taste

  • Worcestershire sauce, to taste

  • Oyster or saltine crackers, as needed

  • Drain the clam juice from the minced clams and combine with enough bottled juice to equal 3 cups of liquid.
    Cook the bacon slowly in a soup pot over medium heat until lightly crisp, about 8 minutes.
    Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add the flour and cook over low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, for 2-3 minutes.
    Whisk in the clam juice, bring to a simmer, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. The liquid should be the consistency of heavy cream. If it is too thick, add more clam juice to adjust the consistency. Add the bay leaf and fresh thyme.
    Add the potatoes and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes.
    Meanwhile, place the clams and cream in saucepan and simmer together until the clams are cooked, about 5-8 minutes.
    When the potatoes are tender, add the clams and cream to the soup base. Simmer for 1-2 minutes.
    Stir in the sherry. Season to taste with salt, pepper, Tabasco, and Worcestershire sauce. Serve in bowls with the crackers on the side.

    Friday, December 10, 2010

    Chicken Noodle Soup

    This is soooo easy and yummy! The kids slurped it up and Brenn took the leftovers to school for lunch!

    • 1 (3 to 4-pound) whole chicken
    • 1 quart chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
    • 2 quarts water
    • 2 medium onions, quartered
    • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
    • 2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
    • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
    • 5 or 6 parsley stems
    • 1  bay leaf
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 4 ounces whole button mushrooms, quartered**I don't use**
    • 1/2 cup diced onions
    • 1/2 cup sliced carrots
    • 1/2 cup small-diced celery
    • 2 1/4 teaspoons salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/4 pound dried vermicelli noodles
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
    • Place the chicken in a large stockpot  and cover with the chicken stock and 2 quarts water. Add the onion quarters, roughly chopped carrots and celery, thyme, parsley stems, and the bay leaf. Bring mixture to a boil, partially cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 1 hour. The chicken should easily pull away from the bones. This smells soooo yummy!!!
      Using tongs, remove the chicken from the broth and set aside until cool enough to handle. Strain the cooking liquid through a fine-meshed strainer, lined with cheesecloth, discarding the vegetables and reserving the stock. Pull the chicken meat off the bones, discarding the bones, skin and fat.  Shred and reserve meat.
      Melt the butter in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook until browned, about 3 minutes. Add the diced onions, carrots, and celery and cook until the vegetables are softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in reserved cooked chicken. Add reserved stock and bring to a boil over high heat.
      Season with salt and pepper. Add vermicelli and simmer until noodles are cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in parsley. Serve hot. Enjoy~

    Thursday, December 9, 2010

    Ranger Cookies

    I found these cookies somewhere in my huge notebook of recipes. I had never made them and I made a change.  I thought it would be a subtle change...BUT I think it changed the whole cookie.  I left out the coconut and substituted chocolate chips. I don't know if it was texture....taste....I can't figure it out, but it was 'off'.  If I make theses again I will use coconut.  My family is not coconut eaters, so I will make them for someone else! :)

    1 cup shortening
    1 cup white sugar
    1 cup brown sugar
    1 tsp vanilla
    2 eggs
    2 cups flour
    1 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 1/2 cups Rice Krispies cereal
    1 1/2 cups rolled oats
    1 cup coconut

    In a bowl cream shortening and sugars and vanilla.  Add Eggs 1 at at time and blend until smooth.  In another bowl, whisk the flour, soda, powder, salt and then add to the creamed mixture.  Stir in Krispies and oats and coconut until blended.  Dough is crumbly.  Shape into balls and bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Enjoy~

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010

    Corn Muffins

    These muffins were so moist and had a ton of flavor.  I will definitely make these again!

    1 cup yellow cornmeal
    1 cup flour
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1 tsp baking powder
    1 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp salt
    2 large eggs
    1 1/2 cups Dannon Lite and Fit vanilla yogurt
    1/4 cup canola oil

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees, line muffin tins with paper cups. Whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and soda.  In another bowl whisk together the eggs, oil and yogurt. Add yogurt  mixture to the flour mixture and stir until combined.  Divide batter into the 12 muffin tins and bake in oven for 20 minutes.  Let cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes and tip out of the muffin pan and cool completely.  Enjoy~

    Monday, December 6, 2010

    Chalupa meat

    Oh...soooo...good!!! The meat is awesome and tender.  We put it in flour tortillas and it was yummy!


    • 1  pound  dried pinto beans
    • 1  (3 1/2-pound) bone-in pork loin roast**I used bone out**
    • 2  (4-ounce) cans chopped green chiles
    • 2  garlic cloves, chopped
    • 1  tablespoon  chili powder
    • 2  teaspoons  salt
    • 1  teaspoon  dried oregano
    • 1  teaspoon  ground cumin
    • 1  (32-ounce) box chicken broth
    • 1  (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chiles with lime juice and cilantro**Best invention EVER**
    Rinse and sort beans according to package directions.
    Place pinto beans in a 6-quart slow cooker; add roast and next 6 ingredients. Pour chicken broth evenly over top of roast. 
    Cover and cook on HIGH 1 hour; reduce to LOW, and cook 9 hours. Or, cover and cook on HIGH 6 hours. Remove bones and fat from roast; pull roast into large pieces with two forks. Stir in diced tomatoes and green chiles. Cook, uncovered, on HIGH 1 more hour or until liquid is slightly thickened. You can spoon it over corn tortillas, taco bowls, corn bread etc...get creative! Enjoy~

    Sunday, December 5, 2010

    Cherry pie

    I made too many pies for Thanksgiving this year.  More than half was wasted! Boo!! BUT...a favorite of ours is cherry pie and I forgot to take a photo with all the preparing! This is an easy and not too time consuming recipe. Serve it with vanilla whipped cream, cool whip or regular whipped cream.
    4 cups fresh or frozen tart cherries**I use sour packed cherries**
    1 - 1 1/2 cups white sugar
    4 tablespoons cornstarch
    1/8 teaspoon almond extract(optional)
    **Favorite pie crust for a 2 crust pie** I use the King Arthur pie crust.
    1 1/2 TBSP butter to dot
    1 TBSP white sugar to sprinkle

    Place cherries in a medium saucepan and place over heat.  Cover.  After the cherries lose considerable juice,  several minutes, remove from heat.  In a small bowl, mix the sugar and the cornstarch and mix into the cherries, mix well. Add the almond extract and mix.  Return the mixture to the stove and cook over the low heat until thick, stir often. Let cool.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
    Put 1/2 crust in a 9 inch pie pan.  Pour cooled cherry mixture into the crust, dot with the butter. Moisten the edge of the bottom crust.  PLace top crust on and seal the edges.  Slit the middle and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake for 50 minutes.  Remove and place on a rack to cool. Enjoy~

    Saturday, December 4, 2010


    One of our favorite breakfasts is fruit smoothies. Easy to make and easy to clean up!
    1 cup vanilla or strawberry yogurt
    1/2 cup apple, cranberry or orange juice
    1/2 cup ice
    Sliced fruit...1 cup  I used strawberry and banana in this. I used 1 banana and 6 strawberries. I have used blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, pineapple...I am sure you can use anything! EASY!! Enjoy~

    Thursday, December 2, 2010

    Cheddar Mac Soup

    I found this recipe in my recipe book that I got when I was married. I have no idea where it came from or who I should give credit to...but it was good. My mom used to make a hamburger tomato casserole and this reminded me somewhat of that.
    1 Tbsp olive oil
    1 onion, diced
    3/4 pounds ground beef  ** I used 1 lb of ground turkey**
    1 Tbsp hot chili powder
    1 1/2 tsp cumin
    2 1/2 cups milk
    1 can chicken broth
    1 can cheddar cheese soup
    1 1/2 uncooked elbow pasta
    1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

    Heat oil in a soup pot over medium heat and add onion, cook 4 minutes until translucent.  Crumble meat into the pot and cook, stirring for 4 minutes or until no longer pink.  Stir in chili powder and cumin, cook and stir for 2 minutes.  Add milk and broth and then stir in soup until dissolved, boil, reduce heat to low.  Cover and simmer for 3-5 minutes.  Stir in pasta and continue to cook, covered 5 minutes.  Stir in cheese until melted and smooth.  Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes until pasta is fully cooked. *I cooked the pasta fully and did not let it stand to cook**  Enjoy~

    Wednesday, December 1, 2010

    Dulce de leche bars

    I was going through my recipes and wanted to try something different.  I had a a couple of cans of Dulce de Leche in the pantry so I thought I would try these.  They were just OK. Nothing really to go bananas over...well, we did have them with bananas and caramel sauce with vanilla bean ice cream.  The taste is a little too subtle for me, but they were OK.
    I stick of  unsalted butter, room temp
    1/2 cup white sugar
    1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
    1 large egg
    1 tsp vanilla
    1 cup flour
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    pinch of salt
    1/2 cup dulce de leche, store bought

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease an 8 x 8 inch baking pan with butter and line with parchment paper so the inside is all covered and there is an edge you can use to life the bars out of the pan. Mix the sugars and room temp butter until fluffy. Stop and scrape sides when needed.  Add vanilla, flour, egg and baking soda and salt, gently mix. Spread 1/2 the batter in pan and bake 7-8 minutes. Allow to cool slightly and smear the dulce de leche over the top and drop dollops of the rest of the batter on the leche. Swirl slightly and flatten with a rubber spatula.  Bake for 25-30.  Let cool before taking out of the pan...cut and eat.  Enjoy~

    Tuesday, November 30, 2010

    Taco Soup

    I needed something to throw together for the day before Thanksgiving so I wouldn't have to worry about fixing something while I was still baking pies for Thanksgiving. This was a great hit and it was easy AND I fed 7 people and had leftovers for Britt to take back to college!
    2 pounds ground beef **I used ground turkey**
    1 1/2 cups diced onion
    1- 15 ounce can chili beans, drained and rinsed
    1-15 ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
    1-15 ounce black beans drained and rinsed
    1- 15 ounce corn, drained
    1- 15 ounce can Rotel
    1- 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
    1 can green chiles
    1 cup water
    1 package ranch seasoning
    1 package taco seasoning

    Brown meat with the onions in a large skillet and drain fat. Transfer to a large slow cooker and add everything else and mix very well.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours and serve with sour cream, cheese, corn chips, jalapenos or whatever you like! Easy and yummy! Enjoy~

    Monday, November 29, 2010

    Spiced Pumpkin Waffles

    I have been told that the kids are tired of pumpkin this and pumpkin that with apples coming a close second...I guess it is time for Gingerbread, fudge and other flavors. I snuck these waffles in this past weekend and they are wonderful! I am glad I tried them and they will be on top of my list next fall.

    • 2 1/2 cup(s) all-purpose flour
    • 1 tablespoon baking powder
    • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon ginger
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground nutmeg
    • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
    • 4  large eggs
    • 2 cup(s) buttermilk
    • 1 cup(s) pumpkin purée
    • 1/2 cup(s) dark brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup(s) (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    1. Preheat a waffle iron. Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cloves in a large bowl and set aside.
        1. Whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, pumpkin purée, sugar, butter, and vanilla in another large bowl until smooth. While whisking, add the flour mixture and blend until smooth.
    2. Generously coat the waffle iron with vegetable oil and cook the batter in the waffle iron as recommended.

    Sunday, November 28, 2010

    Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

    Mmmmmmm...these enchiladas put together and cook in a snap! They are so good, pair them with black beans or refried beans and all the toppings for Mexican food and it is a big dinner. This picture is terrible, but you get the idea. :)
    12 flour tortillas
    8 ounces cream cheese mixed with about 8-10 ounces of sour cream.**You can adjust this to what your family prefers. I add more of both cream cheese and sour cream**
    8 cups cooked and shredded chicken
    1 can green chiles**I use 2**
    Mix all together and spread on tortillas.  Combine 2 cans cream of chicken soup and 1 can chicken broth and mix well. Pour 1/2 half of this mixture on the bottom of a greased 9 by 13 or larger pan. Place the rolled enchiladas in the pan and top with the rest of the cream coup mixture and cheese.  Bake for 40 min at 350 degrees.  Top with cheese, black olives, shredded lettuce, green onions and tomatoes...whatever you eat on yours!  Enjoy~

    Tuesday, November 23, 2010

    Turkey Brine

    I have never brined a turkey and thought I wanted to try it this year.  I did a lot of reading and re reading and talking to friends that have done it or are going to this year. I feel that I over educated myself and now I am overly nervous. My turkey has been outstanding for the last 8 years...why fix what ain't broke? Because it is something new! As I embark on this turkey journey I do so with questioning nervousness. I combined 2 recipes and from here on out it is hit and miss I guess.  I made the brine yesterday.  Here is the recipe I made~

    3 cups of apple cider
    1 gallon vegetable broth
    1 gallon cold water
    4 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves
    5 cloves of garlic minced
    1 1/2 cups sea salt
    2 cups brown sugar
    3 Tbsp peppercorns
    5 bay leaves
    peel of 3 oranges
    1 Tbsp each sage, thyme and savory

    I combined it all in 2 large pots and stirred until it was all dissolved and brought it to a boil.  Turn off heat and cover. Allow to cool completely and pour into a large pot or brining bag.**I bought a brining bag** Place turkey, completely submerged, into the bag and refrigerate for 16-24 hours.  I was given this tip from a friend**Keep the turkey in a cooler in the garage and keep a bag of ice on top of if it is not cool enough outside**That is for those of us in Texas** to keep the temp of the turkey down.
    When ready to roast turkey submerge turkey in a sink full of fresh cold water and allow to sit for 15 minutes and then rinse more to ensure all salt is off the turkey.  *Another tip I was told was after you rinse the turkey then allow to sit in the fridge for a day, uncovered**  I plan on brining today in a cooler in the garage since it is 80 degrees and then rinsing tomorrow and letting it sit for the day and roasting it on Thursday with my favorite ~ garlic, fresh rosemary and lemons cut up and inserted inside the turkey. Wish me luck on this adventure! Gobble Gobble!

    Sunday, November 21, 2010

    Snickerdoodle Bread

    This is a great breakfast cake.  It does take a while to mix it all up and get it in the oven and then 1 hour to cook but you will not be disappointed!

    2 tsp ground cinnamon
    1 Cup white sugar
    2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
    1 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 Cup butter, softened
    1 Cup sugar
    1 Cup brown sugar
    3 eggs at room temp
    2 tsp vanilla
    1 Cup full fat sour cream at room temp

    In a small bowl mix 1 cup of white sugar and the cinnamon.  Generously grease the inside of a bundt pan.  Gently dust the whole inside of the pan with the cinnamon and sugar mixture, make sure you get all the nooks and crannies.  You will probably use 1/3 c of the total mixture.  Set aside the rest for the bread.  In a mixing bowl combine the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.  Set aside.  In an electric mixer beat the softened butter on medium speed for 1 minute.  Add white sugar and beat for 3 minutes.  Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the brown sugar and beat for 2 minutes.  Add the eggs 1 at a time and mix for 1 full minute after each egg. Stir in the vanilla.  Alternately add the flour and sour bream, when all added then mix for 2 minutes.  Spread 1/2 batter into the pan.  Spread the cinnamon and sugar mixture over the top, spread the rest of the batter on top of the cinnamon mixture.  Bake at 325 degrees for 55-65 minutes...Enjoy!

    Friday, November 19, 2010

    Italian Tortellini Soup

    I know, I know...lotsa soup going on...but it is finally Fall! This one is good and filled with lots of veggies! I it's kinda like a stew...but more like a soup...Rachel Ray may call it a Stoup. Whatever, I recommend it.
    1 lb hamburger**I used ground turkey**
    1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
    1 small onion, diced
    salt and pepper to taste
    3 (14.5 ounce) cans of diced tomatoes
    1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
    1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
    8 cups of water
    8 tsp beef bullion
    1 green pepper chopped
    1 cup carrots, chopped
    1 cup fresh(or frozen) green beans, chopped
    1 (14.5 ounce) can kidney beans
    1 cup zucchini, chopped **I did not use a full cup**
    salt and pepper to taste...yes, again.
    1 pkg Good Seasons dry Italian Dressing Mix
    1 (10 3/4 ounce) can condensed tomato soup
    1 20 ounce pkg Cheese tortellini**I used frozen**

    Brown meat in skillet with the onion, garlic and salt and pepper. Put the canned tomatoes in a blender and blend them until smooth. Put the meat mixture, blended tomatoes and all other ingredients, BUT NOT the tortellini and NOT the tomato soup, into a large soup pot.  Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer and cook for 20 minutes with the pot partially covered.  IN a separate pot cook the tortellini according to package directions and drain.  Add the tortellini to the soup and stir in the tomato soup, simmer for 5 more minutes. Enjoy~

    Thursday, November 18, 2010

    Loaded Potato Soup

      • We love potato soup and this was an easy and new recipe. It was a keeper.  IT is finally getting to feel a bit like Fall here in Texas so I am taking advantage of it!

      • ~Recipe~
      • 4  (6-ounce) red potatoes
      • 2  teaspoons  olive oil
      • 1/2  cup  prechopped onion
      • 1 1/4  cups chicken broth
      • 3  tablespoons  all-purpose flour
      • 2  cups  1% low-fat milk, divided
      • 1/4  cup   sour cream
      • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
      • 1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
      • 3  bacon slices, halved
      • 1/3  cup  shredded cheddar cheese
      • 4  teaspoons  thinly sliced green onions
      • Pierce potatoes with a fork. Microwave on HIGH 13 minutes or until tender. Cut in half; cool slightly.**I actually boiled my potatoes due to a rather unfortunate electrical fire in my microwave that rendered it 'ruined' as I await, not so patiently, for a new one to be installed*** While potatoes cook, heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 3 minutes. Add broth. Combine flour and 1/2 cup milk; add to pan with 1 1/2 cups milk. Bring to a boil; stir often. Cook 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in sour cream, salt, and pepper. Arrange bacon on a paper towel on a microwave-safe plate. Cover with a paper towel; microwave on HIGH for 4 minutes. Crumble bacon. Discard potato skins. Coarsely mash potatoes into soup. Top with cheese, green onions, and bacon. Enjoy~