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~