Sunday, December 28, 2008

Applesauce Cake

This recipe came from my mom, but I am not sure where it came from before that!!
The topping is so good and the cake is really moist!!

Applesauce Cake

Stir together:
2 1/2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp allspice
Add and beat until well mixed:
1/2 cup soft shortening
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cups applesauce
2 eggs

Beat well until well mixed. It will not be smooth because of the applesauce. Pour into greased
9 x 13 pan and thoroughly spread into pan. Bake 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes.

1/3 cup soft butter
1/4 cup milk
2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
Stir until melted, remove from heat and add 1 cup flaked coconut.

Spread frosting evenly over a cooled applesauce cake. Place cake about 2 inches from Broiler and cook for about 2 minutes. The coconut will burn if left too long. Leftover cake keeps well for 2-3 days!

Ham Chowder

Anyone have any leftover ham?? This is our favorite soup recipe when we have ham, we almost always hope for leftovers!
The recipe is from and serves 15, so I always half the recipe!!
Ham Chowder

8 cups chicken or ham stock

4 cups cubed ham

4 tbsp dried rosemary (always leave this out, no one likes it!)

2 lbs. bacon, diced

2 large onions, diced

3 leeks, diced (haven't added this either)

3 cloves garlic, minced

6 green onions, diced

6 large potatoes, cubed

1 lb carrots, cubed

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Pour stock into a large pot set over medium heat, and bring to a simmer. Stir in the cubed ham and 2 tbsp rosemary.

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook diced bacon until crisp. With a slotted spoon, remove bacon, and add to pot. Drain half of the bacon grease, and return skillet to medium heat. Stir in onins, leeks, garlic, and green onions; cook until tender, then add to pot.

Place cubed potatoes, carrots, and 2 tbsp rosemary in pot; simmer until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Turn off heat, and add cream to pot.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Sparkling Tree Cakes

These were so fun to make and a great Christmas treat idea!!
Yummy too!!

Sparkling Tree Cakes

1 pkg. (2-layer size) yellow cake mix
1/4 tsp. green food coloring
1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1-1/2 cups thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping
16 peppermint sticks (3 inch)
1/2 cup BAKER'S ANGEL FLAKE Coconut
2 squares BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup PLANTERS Dry Roasted Peanuts, chopped
Assorted Christmas candies
colored sugar

PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans; set aside. Prepare cake batter as directed on package; tint with food coloring. Pour evenly into prepared pans.

BAKE as directed on package. Cool in pans 10 min.; remove to wire racks. Cool completely.

BEAT cream cheese and powdered sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Stir in whipped topping with wire whisk. Spread onto tops and sides of cakes.

CUT each cake into eight wedges to resemble Christmas trees. Insert peppermint stick into curved side of each cake for the tree trunk. Decorate with remaining ingredients. Store in refrigerator.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Blueberry Crumb Muffins

These are one of the best I have tried!

Blueberry Crumb Muffins
from The Family Cookbook

Flavorless vegetable oil spray
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup milk
2 ½ cups fresh or frozen blueberries

Crumb topping:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup packed dark brown sugar
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour (next time I think I will cut the amount of flour down to 3/4 cup to make it more crisp and sugary)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Spray 12-cup muffin tin with flavorless oil spray or line with paper liners (I actually got about 15 muffins out of the recipe). In a mixing bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt and whisk well. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and set on medium-high speed, beat the butter and granulated sugar for 4 to 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition until the egg is incorporated before adding the next one, and then beat in the vanilla.

Add the milk, alternating it with the dry ingredients, in 2 or 3 additions. Do not overmix. Fold in the berries using a spatula. To make the crumb topping, combine the butter, sugars, cinnamon, salt and flour and mix with a fork or pastry blender until crumbly.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tin. Top each with a generous tablespoon of the crumb topping. Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of one comes out clean. Let the muffins cool slightly in the muffin tin set on wire racks before removing.

Makes 12-15 muffins.

Thumbprint Cookies

These are a family favortie at Christmas time! It is from the Betty Crocker cookbook and really are jam thumbprint cookies!
I substituted chopped almonds for the walnuts on these cookies or you can just leave the nuts off!
Thumbprint cookies

2/3 cup butter or margarine

1/2 cup sugar

2 egg yolks

1 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 cups flour

2 slightly beaten egg whites

1 cup finely chopped walnuts (or substitue favorite chopped nut)

1/3 to 1/2 cup strawberry, cherry, or apricot jam or preserves (or substitute hershey kisses)

Grease a cookie sheet. In a large mixing bowl beat butter or margarine for 30 seconds. Add the sugar and beat till combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla till combined. Beat in the flour. Cover; chill dough about 1 hour or till easy to handle.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll balls in egg whites, then in nuts. Place 1-inch apart on the prepared cookie sheet. Press your thumb into the center of each ball. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes or till edges are lightly browned.

If adding hershey kisses, place hershey kisses on cookies just out of the oven. The chocolate will be very soft for a while so remove to wire rack and let sit.

If adding jam, just before serving-fill centers with jam or preserves!

Ham Filled French Toast
This is Christian's Grandpa's recipe. It's really good, just give it a try. Just a warning it may be french toast, but it's a lot to eat in the morning. I usually fix this for a breakfast supper!

1 pkg. cream cheese - softened
4 ounces of mushrooms, sliced
a couple handfuls of chopped ham

In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add mushrooms, ham 1/2 tsp. thyme and 1/4 tsp. garlic powder

Spread above mixture on 4 bread slices and top with remaining bread.

In a shallow dish beat 2 eggs, 1/2 cup milk together. Dip sandwiches in and cook on a greased griddle until golden brown and the filling is hot.

Meanwhile, combine sliced olives, 1 can of Italian-style stewed tomatoes and 2 tsp. cornstarch and heat until slightly thickened and warm. Spoon this sauce over the sandwiches and serve.
White Bean Soup
Sorry I didn't get a picture. I thought of it too late, and it was gone. It's such an easy, fast soup and yummy!

2 Tbsp. olive oil
medium onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
*saute the above ingredients till soft, lightly browned

Add the following ingredients and allow to simmer till warm:
3 chicken breast, cooked and shredded
1 9 ounce pkg. of frozen corn
2 cans of white beans, drained
7 ounce can of green chilies, diced
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. corranider
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper ( I usually omit this, so it's not too hot for my girls)
3 cups chicken broth
3 Tbsp. lime juice

Serve with chips, salsa, shredded cheese and sour cream, if you want.

Serves about 6 -8.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Classic Buttermilk Waffles

I have been looking for a really good waffle recipe for our "Breakfast Wednesday" dinners and tried this one! This is what Zach said:
"Mom is this a new recipe?" (I was then nervous to answer in fear of the reply this is disgusting!)
"Wow mom these are the best waffles ever!" and then he ate more than he normally eats!
So try them out and maybe you will get the same answer!
Found this recipe on Mykitchencafe!
Classic Buttermilk Waffles
from the King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion
2 large eggs
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups flour
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
In a medium-sized bowl, beat together the eggs, buttermilk, melted butter, and vanilla. In another bowl whisk together the dry ingredients; combine the wet and dry ingredients just until smooth.
If wanting to make cheese waffles, pour 1/3 cup batter on waffle iron and sprinkle 2-3 tbsp shredded cheese over batter before closing iron. (Didn't try the cheese ones)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

5 cup Fruit Salad

I tried this recipe with much hesitation, but I am really glad I did! Another good easy fruit salad that I normally have all the ingredients for on hand!
from Paula Deen
1 cup mandarin oranges, drained
1 cup pineapple tidbits, drained
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup mini marshmallows
1 cup sour cream
Mix all together and let sit for 8 hours in the refrigerator!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Shortbread Mint Sandwich Cookies

I found this recipe on Stephanies Kitchen and had to try and they turned out really good and they were very easy!

Shortbread Mint Sandwich Cookies

For the shortbread:
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the mint icing:
2 cups confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon mint extract
4 tablespoons milk
For the glaze:
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
2 ounces white chocolate
1. In a bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Set aside. In a mixer, cream the butter and confectioners sugar. Add vanilla. Slowly add the flour mixture until well combined.
2. Chill in the refrigerator for about 1 hour.
3. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to about 1/4 inch thickness. Using your choice of cookie cutter, cut the cookies and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Chill for an additional 10 minutes. Bake at 400 degrees for about 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden. Cool completely on a cooling rack.
4. In a small bowl, mix the confectioners’ sugar, mint extract and milk until smooth. Add more milk or sugar, if needed, to make a frosting like consistency. Spread on cooled cookies and top with another cookie to make a sandwich. Chill in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes, or until icing is set.
5. Melt the chocolate in the microwave or over a double broiler and stir until smooth. Dip the tops of the cookie sandwiches into the chocolate and let stand on the cooling rack. Set in the refrigerator to let the chocolate harden.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sweet Pulled Pork

I found this recipe on and thought it looked good and had to try it!
It was really good and super easy!!
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp vinegar
4 Tbsp soy sauce
1 small pork roast
Place pork roast in crock pot. Mix ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, and soy sauce until blended. Pour mixture over pork roast and cook on low for 4 1/2 hours. Shred pork.
Continue to cook on low for 30 minutes to allow juices to cook in.
Serve over your favorite rice!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

It is a keeper!! It makes a lot of bread, so be prepared to share or stick some in your freezer!
1 large can (29 oz) pumpkin
4 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp cloves
5 eggs
1 1/2 tsp soda
4 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup chocolate chips
1 tsp ginger
3 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups oil
Mix all ingredients but chocolate chips. Add chips. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees. Makes 4 medium loaves. (I made 4 mini loaves and 4 small/medium size loaves)

Triple Chocolate Cookies

I saw these cookies made of the Food Network on there All Star Cookie Show and thought I had to try them!! They were really good!

1/4 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup dark brown sugar (used light)

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup oil

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour (used all purpose flour since I didn't have any wheat)

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 tsp salt, optional

1/3 cup coarsely chopped dark chocolate (used white chocolate chips)

1/3 cup coarsely chopped milk chocolate (used semi-sweet chips)

2/3 cup chopped pecans, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together butter and sugars until well combined. Add the oil and egg and beat until creamy. Mix in the vanilla

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, cocoa powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet batter and mix well. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts and mix well. Scoop batter onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 12 minutes. (makes 2 dozen)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Sour Cream Sugar Cookies

These are my favorite sugar cookies!!
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup softened butter
2 large eggs
1/4 cup sour cream
1 1 /2 tsp vanilla
3 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
Beat butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, sour cream, and vanilla. Gradually beat in dry ingredients. Refrigerate over night or as long as you can (at least an hour or so!).
Roll and cut out with cookie cutters! Bake 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Baked Reuben Sandwich

We had these sandwiches for our Enrichment and they were so good!!
We also had them with ham and cheese, and you could do pizza in the middle or even desserts! from Rhodes cookbook
1 loaf Rhodes bread dough, thawed & risen
1/3 cup light Italian cheese salad dressing
1/2 lb thinly sliced turkey pastrami
8 slices swiss cheese
2 cups sauerkraut, drained
1 egg white, beaten
2 tbsp caraway seeds
Spray board or counter with non-stick cooking spray. Roll dough into a 12 x 18 inch rectangle. With a clean ruler, gently mark a 4-inch space down the center. Then mark dough into 2-inch strips horizontally. (questions on this go to Pour dressing down the center of the dough. Spread layer of pastrami, then slices of swiss cheese. Top with sauerkraut.
Make cuts on sides from filling to dough edges. Begin braid by folding top row toward filling. Then fold strips left over right, right over left. Fold bottom end towards filling and finish by stretching last strip and tucking under.
Support braid with both hands and place on baking sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Brush braid with egg white and sprinkle with caraway seeds. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until browned. Cool slightly and slice and serve.

Pretzel Kisses

These are yummy, easy, and can be made so many different ways! Put a layer of mini pretzels on a cookie sheet. Place one Hershey kiss, of your choice, on top of each of the pretzels. Bake at 250 degrees for 3-5 minutes. When you pull them from the oven place an M&M on top of each one and gently press. The chocolate should be soft enough so that you can press the M&M all the way down.
(Candy cane Hershey kisses were used in the above picture with Christmas colored M&M's)

Candy Cane Crispies

Make rice crispies as you would normally, and then just sprinkle your crushed candy cane on top. Pat the crushed candy cane pieces down so they stick to the rice crispy treat.
(To crush candy canes, put 6 unwrapped candy canes in a ziplock baggie, close it, then hit it with your rolling pin until it's finely crushed.)