Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Chicken Cream Cheese Soup

It is still soup weather around here and I found another winner!

I tried to get a friend to post this herself (since she found it first) but since I didn't I tried to recipe too!

It is really simple and really easy! Has great flavor and the whole family loved it!

Next time I think I will add celery to it! I am sure there are a lot of other vegies that would be good added too!

Chicken Cream Cheese Soup

(found on Sisters Cafe)

1 lb chicken (breasts or combination)

1 onion, diced

1-2 Tb butter

2 handfuls baby carrots (about 2 cups sliced small)

4-5 potatoes, diced small

1 c milk

1/4 c flour

8 oz package cream cheese

  • Put chicken in pot and cover with water; boil until cooked. Take chicken out of water but keep the broth. When chicken is cool, shred.

  • Saute onion in butter. Put onion in pot and add carrots and potatoes. Add 3-4 cups of broth or enough to cover vegetables. Add bouillon cubes or soup base for flavor (I add 4 bouillon cubes). Bring to a boil and simmer until veggies are tender.

  • Mix flour with milk and add to soup. Soften cream cheese in microwave then add to soup in little pieces and stir until melted. Season with salt and pepper.

(We ate ours with Saltine Crackers!)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

California Chowder

I was searching for a different soup recipe and stumbled upon this awesome soup! Even my kids raved about it being soooo good! And think of all the veggies they got tonight!
If you got a Bountiful Basket in our area this last week, then you have about everything you need! That is what got me more interested in trying this soup out! It has 5 different veggies and was super good on a cold day like we had yesterday!
I made a few changes, but for the most part it has ingredients on hand. If you are missing one of the veggies, you could probably do more broccoli if you don't have cauliflower etc.!
California Chowder
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 tbsp chicken soup base (I used 2 chicken bouillon)
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 2 cups whole milk (I used 1% milk I had on hand)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 2 cups diced potatoes
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 clove minced garlic (or 1/2 tsp granulated garlic)
  • 1/2 Tbsp salt
  • 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onions (I used dried onions because I didn't have an onion)
  • 1/2 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup fresh broccoli
  • 1 cup fresh cauliflower
  • fresh parsley for garnish

Melt 4 tbsp butter in a soup pot. Add flour and mix well. Add chicken base (or bouillon) then slowly and steadily mix in the whipping cream, milk and water. Bring to a low boil. I stirred frequently to prevent any burning. Add potatoes, celery, garlic, salt and Worcestershire sauce.

Cook for 45 minutes or until veggies are fork tender. It may only take 30 minutes depending in how small you dice your veggies.

Saute onions in the 1/2 tbsp butter for 3 minutes (or just throw in the dried onions) and add to soup along with the broccoli and cauliflower.

Cook another 15 minutes or until veggies are fork tender. Enjoy with fresh bread or we had saltine crackers with ours!

Makes about 6-8 servings!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Orange Julius

I found this recipe shared on a craft blog (the idea room) that I like to look at for fun ideas! She shared this recipe that her son put together from a foods class at his school!
I made this after church and it was super yummy! The kids thought it tasted like those orange dreamsicles!
It was a great treat and reminded me of the days of finding these at the mall in California!
Orange Julius
(the Idea Room)
  • 6 oz frozen orange juice concentrate (I thawed mine)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 8 ice cubes

Combine all ingredients (except the ice) in your blender. Blend for about 1-2 minutes. (I had a 12 oz can of orange juice and just used the rest to make orange juice).

Now add the ice cubes 1 at a time. When ice is blended, pour and enjoy!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Overnight Caramel Sticky Buns

I love the Our Best Bites recipe blog! It has great recipes and has been a fun place to look for new ideas! When they came out with a cookbook, I had to have it!
This is from their new cookbook (which is really great with ideas to do with leftover ingredients, and many tips) and it was yummy! My kids are already asking when I am making them again! Good thing rhodes rolls are on sale right now, I may have to go buy some more to have them on hand!
You make these the night before (which is sooo nice) and then they cook up pretty fast and super good!
Overnight Caramel Sticky Buns
(Our Best Bites cookbook
check out there site
  • 18 Rhodes frozen dinner rolls
  • 1 (4.6 oz) box cook-and-serve pudding mix in either vanilla or butterscotch (I used butterscotch)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup pecans, optional
  • 1/3 cup melted butter

Spray a bundt pan with non-stick spray. Make sure to get your pan completely covered! Place the frozen rolls evenly around the pan.

Sprinkle the pudding mix, brown sugar and cinnamon all over your rolls. Make sure to evenly coat! Sprinkle with pecans if desired! Pour melted butter all over the rolls.

Cover with a clean dry towel and leave at room temperature over night!

In the morning, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake rolls for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes and then invert on a plate or platter.

Make sure to be careful when inverting so as not to spill the caramel goodness all over your floor! Take that from experience, I did that once! Enjoy and your kids or husband or friends who are over will love you!!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Keeping apples from browning

Once you cut an apple, they tend to turn brown and start looking not so pleasant anymore!
I have heard of water and sprinkling salt (which works great too) and I have also heard of using lemons too!
Zach came home from a 4H meeting with this little bit of info, which I tried and it actually worked great and who doesn't love a little soda taste!
Next time you need cut up apples, but don't want the brown or salt try soaking them in some
I cut up my apples and then covered them with 7-UP and it worked! No brown apples and a little hint of lemon lime!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Rainbow Jello

I found this on Sisters Stuff and had to try it out for our St. Patrick's Day dinner!
It definitely took time, but was very simple! She recommended on her site to save all day to make this-it took me most of the morning but I was able to get other things done in between!
It was a hit and it looked super fun and was worth the time for a treat!
Definitely not something I would make often, but fun every once in a while!
Rainbow Jello
(Sisters Stuff)
  • 6 small pkg jello (lime, lemon, orange, strawberry, cherry, black cherry) made in this order. ~ I couldn't find black cherry so I made one less layer!
  • 1 16 oz sour cream ~ I would have needed a little bit more if I had done all the layers!


Take 1 box of Jello (she started with Lime) and 1 cup of boiling water and mix together until jello is dissolved.


Then measure out 1/2 cup of jello mixture into another bowl and add 1/3 cup sour cream. Mix together with a whisk. Pour into a 9 x 13 pan and set in the refrigerator until set, about 20 minutes. Make sure that your pan is level in the refrigerator.


Then mix 3 tbsp cold water in with remaining jello mixture and pour over firm sour cream mixture. (I found you should start pouring around the edges where it is the firmest) Let firm and then repeat steps with the other jello flavors!

She added that it is best to let this sit overnight, I made it the same day and it was fine too! Cut in squares to serve!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Jack's Favorite Salad

I found this on Jill's cooking blog. I love homemade salad dressings and all her ingredients were simple and I had them on hand!
I really liked this salad, and any salad with toasted nuts is super yummy!
I loved the almonds!!
I think I might add some more ingredients next time, like apples or shredded monterey jack cheese.
Thanks Jill for a great recipe!
Jack's Favorite Salad
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 head iceberg lettuce
  • 1/2 head Romaine lettuce (I had the spring salad mix from Costco and it worked great!)
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 2 green onions
  • 1 (11 oz) can mandarin oranges


  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • dash pepper
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley (she said you can leave this out if you don't have any, may try adding dried next time~I didn't add any when I made it)
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • dash tabasco sauce (about 2 drops is recommended)

For the Nuts:

In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook almonds with sugar stirring constantly (about 5-8 minutes)! Really stir constantly and watch, they cook a little faster than I thought!

Cool and store in an airtight container, or let sit on aluminum foil until ready to use and then store. **If cooking ahead and storing, don't use a plastic container the nuts are too hot and they will melt your container.

For the Salad:

Wash and tear the lettuces, mix them together. Mix salad dressing and chill until ready to serve. Add almonds, celery, oranges and onions to lettuce when ready to serve and pout dressing over!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Basic Drip Beef

This beef sandwich had great flavor and was very easy!
You cook it in a heavy pot instead of a crock pot. I don't know why you couldn't put it in a crock pot if you don't like the idea of putting it on your stove all day.
My house smelled like dinner all day, but at least dinner was pretty much done in the morning!
Basic Drip Beef
(Pioneer Woman)
  • 2.5-4 lb chuck roast
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 large onion, sliced thick
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup sherry (substitute 2 tbsp vinegar + chicken stock to equal 1 cup)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 cups water
  • Toasted, buttered rolls
  • Cheese, optional

Heat butter in a heavy pot over med-high heat. Saute the onions for a couple minutes, or until starting to brown.

Set roast on top of the onions. Add all remaining ingredients and cover pot. Simmer on very low heat on the stove for 6 hours, or until beef is fork tender or you can shred easily.

Shred meat with 2 forks until all large chunks are gone. Serve immediately or you can continue to simmer for 30 min. to 1 hour.

Serve with your rolls or you can also toast under the broiler and melt cheese!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Sugar Cookies

I have a favorite sugar cookie recipe~it is on this site, the Sour Cream Sugar Cookies! I still really love those, but these will take a close 2nd to those! Also, if you don't have sour cream, these are a wonderful alternative. If you are dipping your cookies in yummy chocolate, these cookies would be a better pick. They hold there shape better and are not as soft all over.
These cookies are soft in the center and have a slightly firmer edge. They aren't hard by any means, just yummy!
I found this in the Our Best Bites new cookbook, which I have post-it notes all over of recipes I want to try! The cookbook is proving to be great! I have already enjoyed the recipes on their site and I am super excited to try the ones in the cookbook!
She gave a baking tip on the side to always when baking, spoon your flour into your measuring cup. It will prevent a dry cookie dough!
Especially important with this dough!
Sugar Cookies
(Our Best Bites cookbook)
  • 1 cup real butter (no substitutions)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, extra large
  • 1 1/2 tsp almond extract (or use vanilla)
  • 3 cups flour (make sure to spoon scoop into your measuring cup, or do 2 1/2 cups and see if you need more flour!)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add in egg and the extract and mix well.

In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients and whisk together. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture. (If you are worried about a too dry dough, only add 2 1/2 cups and then you can always add more flour if needed! That's my tip!)

Chill the dough for about 30 minutes in the refrigerator, or 15 minutes in the freezer.

Cut the cookies into desired shapes and bake at 350 degrees.

For soft cookies~8-10 minutes, or until set.

For lightly crisp cookies~10-13 minutes or edges are lightly golden brown

Allow to cool on pans for 5 minutes and then transfer to cooling racks! Let cookies cool completely before you frost them!

This is the Frosting I used:

Sugar Cookie Frosting

3 cups powdered sugar

1/3 cup butter

1-2 tbsp milk

1 tsp vanilla

Combine above ingredients and mix thoroughly.

I always cream the butter first and then add about 1/2 the powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk. Then add remaining sugar slowly and watch for desired consistency and taste you want! Don't forget the finger taste test!! Or your children love this part, so get them to help taste too!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Frosted Cinnamon Rolls

I have reposted this recipe with a few details added! I have made these so much that the added things I do weren't in the recipe when I put this on the blog in November of 2008! So I have reposted with the new details!
This is the best recipe I have found and I just think all the time it takes is soooo worth it!
I got this recipe from a friend while living in Utah. Her mother-in-law made these for us and this has been the only cinnamon roll recipe I have used since!!
So Yummy!!
Frosted Cinnamon Rolls

3 cups buttermilk

2 tbsp yeast

2 tbsp warm water

3 cups flour

Mix together and let rise for 1 hour. This will take on a spongy consistency.


1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter, softened

3 eggs

1 tsp soda

2 tsp salt

5 cups flour

Mix together and let rise for 1-1 1/2 hours

Split dough into 2 equal parts. Roll out dough and brush with melted butter. Once you think you have enough, you probably should add more! Add cinnamon and sugar. I sprinkle until it is pretty covered! I want to have the Cinnabon middles!! Roll up dough and slice the rolls.

Place rolls on cookie sheets (takes 2 cookie sheets for the recipe!). Let rise for another 1-1 1/2 hours. Bake 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes. (my baking time has been a little longer than this! So plan on 20 minutes for your timing!)


1 lb bag powdered sugar

2/3 stick butter

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup milk

Mix together and get to your desired consistency.

Spread on warm cinnamon rolls or wait til they cool to spread!!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

White Chocolate-Peanut Butter Chip Oatmeal Cookies

I haven't made these in a while and I don't know why since they are a really good cookie! They are moist and filled with oatmeal~which for some reason makes me feel healthier!
I substituted part of the white chocolate chips with peanut butter chips and really like this combination!
White Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
  • 1 cup butter (I used 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup margarine)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsps vanilla
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups oats
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup peanut butter chips

Cream butter and sugars together. Add eggs and vanilla. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix together. Add the oatmeal and white chocolate chips and peanut butter chips.

Place on cookie sheets and bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Creamy Chicken Spaghetti Casserole

I really liked how this recipe turned out! I changed it a little, because I didn't add the mushrooms, due to children who would turn there little noses up if they even spied those!
This was a yummy recipe that wasn't as heavy as the other chicken spaghetti recipe posted. I thought this was lighter feeling and just as good!
Next time I make this I am going to add other veggies~zucchini would be good, squash, broccoli, or any of your favorite veggies you like with pasta!~
Creamy Chicken Spaghetti Casserole
(the pioneer woman)
  • 1 whole cut up fryer chicken~I used a couple chicken breasts that I cooked in a saute pan with salt and pepper
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
  • 16 ounces mushrooms~or another veggie of your choosing!
  • 1/4 cups dry white wine~I substituted chicken broth
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth~I ended up needing way more broth than this, so have more on hand
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 cups (additional) dry white wine~again substituted chicken broth
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup chopped black olives
  • 1 tsp salt, or to taste
  • black pepper
  • extra cheese for sprinkling
  • 1 lb thin spaghetti

Cook your chicken. If using a whole chicken~place in a pot of water and boil on med-low heat for 30-40 minutes. Remove chicken from pot and allow to cool slightly and keep broth in pot.

Melt 2 tbsp butter in a large skillet. Throw in mushrooms (or other veggie), add 1/4 cup dry white wine (or substituted chicken broth), and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat for 8-10 minutes, or until liquid has totally evaporated. Remove mushrooms from skillet (or other veggies) and set aside.

Bring broth to a boil. This broth you are using to cook your thin spaghetti. You need enough to cover your pasta and cook. Break spaghetti into thirds (shorted pieces). Add spaghetti pieces to boiling broth and cook. Drain when al dente.

While spaghetti is cooking, shred your chicken. You need about 2 plus cups of chicken.

Return large skillet (the one for the mushrooms) to med-low heat. Add 6 tbsp butter. Sprinkle flour over butter, whisking to combine. Cook for 1-2 minutes.

Pour in 2 cups of broth and whisk to combine. Pour in milk, additional 1/4 cups dry white wine (or chicken broth0, salt and pepper to taste. Cook and bubble until thick.

Turn off heat, add Parmesan cheese and stir.

Add mushrooms (or other veggies), chicken, chopped olives. Stir to combine and check seasonings. Add cooked spaghetti and stir.

Turn into a 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or golden brown and bubbly.


Friday, March 4, 2011

Caramel Cake

I found this yummy cake on Our Best Bites and it proved to be just as yummy as it sounded!
The cake was moist and the frosting was oh so delicious!
The recipe makes a lot of frosting, next time I may half the recipe.
This is a yummy alternative to the normal chocolate and vanilla frosting! Definitely one I will be adding to my frosting choice list!
Caramel Cake


  • 1 Duncan Hines yellow cake mix
  • 1 8 oz. container of sour cream
  • 1 cup oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp butter flavoring (I didn't have this and it was fine without!)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract


  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp whipping cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • About 1 cup toasted, chopped pecans (I didn't have these, but would be really yummy!)

To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the cake ingredients and beat on med-high for 3 minutes. Pour the batter into a 9 x 13 pan and bake according to the times on the cake mix box. When the cake is finished baking, remove from oven and allow to cool. While cooling, prepare frosting.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the brown sugar and, stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a boil. Carefully stir in the whipping cream and vanilla. The mixture will splatter because it is really hot, so be careful! Bring mixture back to a boil.

Remove from heat and allow to cool for about 30 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and sift in the powdered sugar. Beat on high for 2-3 minutes or until creamy and fluffy. Spread the icing over the cake and sprinkle with toasted chopped pecans!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Meltaway Mint Brownies

Still no camera, but did make some awesome brownies!
They are simple if you want to use a box, or easy if you want to use your favorite brownie recipe and add peppermint patties! Yes my favorite of all time candy is York Peppermint patties!
This brownie was really good!
Meltaway Mint Brownies
(Betty Crocker Brownie Mix)
  • 1 box Betty Crocker Supreme chocolate chunk brownie mix, or your favorite brownie recipe
  • Ingredients for brownie mix or brownie recipe!
  • 1/2 cup quartered chocolate-covered peppermint patties
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 pan.
Make brownie batter and spread half of batter in pan. Sprinkle the peppermint patties in a single layer over batter. Spoon remaining batter over patties, spread gently to cover.
Bake 28-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Cool completley before cutting!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Sunchoke and Sausage Soup

My camera has been hijacked by my husband! So I don't have a picture of this soup, but I wanted to post it in case there were some of you out there that got sunchokes (Jerusalem artichokes) from bountiful baskets and didn't know what to do with them!
This soup had great flavor, it was easy and it used the sunchokes and spinach that I got from my basket! It was rated with 4 stars on all recipes and had great reviews! My kids looked at it and weren't exactly sure about it! Luckily I was prepared for this and wasn't in one of my "You better eat this" moods!
We liked it and would make this again, if I got sunchokes again! I may even purposefully buy some!
Sunchoke and Sausage Soup
  • 4 slices turkey bacon, diced (I used regular bacon and 5 slices! If you cut it with your kitchen scissors it makes dicing really easy!)
  • 1 (16 ounce) package turkey sausage, casings discarded, coarsely chopped (I used beef sausage, since that is what I had~I cut to bite size pieces)
  • 1 lb Jerusalem artichokes, peeled, halved, and cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 6 small white potatoes, peeled and halved (I cut into bite size pieces)
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 1 leek, white and light green parts only, chopped (I didn't add since I didn't have any)
  • 3 cups chopped fresh spinach
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (I used 4 cloves~I like garlic!)
  • 1 quart chicken stock (I used almost 2 qts, to make it more soup than stew!)
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
  • (For fresh herb substitution use 1 tsp dried to every 1 tbsp fresh. I did this!)
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 pinch ground paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup water
  • I sprinkled Parmesan cheese on our soup!

Place the bacon, sausage, artichokes, potatoes, celery, onion, leek, spinach and garlic in a large saucepan. Pour in chicken stock ~ this is where I added more. The stock didn't cover the veggies and I thought it could use more liquid! Add parsley, basil, oregano, cayenne pepper, paprika, salt and pepper. Cover, and bring to a simmer over med-high heat. Reduce heat to med-low and simmer 45 minutes.

Stir the flour into the 1 cup water until no lumps remain. Stir into the simmering soup, and continue simmering, covered, 30 minutes until thickened, stirring occasionally! If you added more liquid, you may need to add more flour if you want it thick!