Thursday, June 30, 2011


1can black beans
1cup salsa
2-4 tomatoes peeled and chopped
1 head lettuce 1 iceberg 0r romaine
1lb frozen corn thawed
1 ½  cups cheddar cheese shredded
1 ½ cups Monterey cheese shredded
1  tbs. oil
1  tbs. vinegar
1  tbs. minced green onion
1  tbs. finely chopped red pepper
Salt and fresh ground pepper

Mix corn with red pepper
Mix beans with salt, pepper, vinegar, oil, and minced onions
Toss the tomatoes with the salsa
Toss the lettuce with ¾  cups of the dressing
Layer in trifle bowl:
Beans, lettuce, Cheddar, Tomatoes, Corn, Lettuce, Monteray 
Garnish with dollops of sour cream, cheddar cheese, olives or cilantro

Creamy Lime Dressing
·         2 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro leaves
·         1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
·         1 teaspoon lime zest
·         1/4 cup lime juice
·         1/2 cup sour cream
·         1 clove garlic, smashed
·         1 tablespoon honey
·         1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
·         Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Blend all the ingredients except the olive oil until smooth. While machine is running, slowly drizzle in the oil until incorporated. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
Yield: 1 1/2 cups


1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
juice of 2 limes and zest of 1 lime (zest of other lime reserved for topping)

2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup rolled oats (i used regular slow cooking oats)
3/4 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1 cup white chocolate chips
2 cups melted white chocolate
3/4 cup toasted coconut
zest of 1 lime

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the baking powder, baking soda, flour and salt.

2. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy with mixer. Beat in the eggs and vanilla and lime juice.

3. Add the dry ingredients and beat until just combined. Fold in the oats, shredded coconut, grated lime and white chocolate chips.

4. Drop tablespoon sized batter 2 inches apart onto parchment paper-lined sheet pans. Bake in a preheated oven for about 15 minutes or until the bottoms of the cookies are golden brown. (ovens vary so much. the one in my apt takes nearly twice as long to cook things as recipes usually call for. Just use your best judgement.)

5. While cookies are cooling, toast coconut in a pan over medium-low heat and remove immediately when done. When coconut is cooled mix in the zest of one lime.

6. When cookies have cooled completely, melt white chocolate for topping according to directions on package.

7. Spread approx. 1 teaspoon of white chocolate on top of each cookie and while chocolate is wet sprinkle with coconut/lime topping.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Berry Cheesecake Recipe (adapted from the Taste Of Home Magazine July 2011 issue)

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
3/4 cup cold butter
2 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 packages ( 8 ounce each) cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup half and half cream
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 egg yolk
1 cup crushed strawberries
1 cup crushed blueberries
Assorted berries for topping, optional
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar and lemon peel.  Cut in butter until crumbly.  Whisk egg yolks and vanilla; add to flour mixture, tossing with a fork until dough forms a ball.

Berry Cheesecake

Press onto the bottom and 3 in. up the sides of a greased 9-in. spring form pan.  Place pan on a baking sheet.  Bake @ 400 degrees for 10 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cool on a wire rack.

Berry Cheesecake

For filling, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth.  Beat in the cream, flour, lemon peel, salt and vanilla.  Add eggs and yolk; beat on low speed just until combined.

Divide batter in half.  Fold crushed strawberries and crushed blueberries into half of the batter.  Pour into crust.  Top with remaining batter.  Return pan to baking sheet.

Berry Cheesecake
Berry Cheesecake
Berry Cheesecake

Bake @ 400 degrees for 10 minutes.  Reduce heat to 300 degrees and bake 60-70 minutes longer or until center is almost set.  Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer.  Refrigerate overnight.  Remove sides of pan.
Garnish with assorted berries.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


  •  1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 oz) can of sweet corn, drained and rinsed
  • 2 (10 oz) cans of Ro
  • Rotel tomatoes and green chilies
  • The juice of 3 limes ( 3 Tbsp)
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 1/2 C chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 C diced red onion

  1. Drain and rinse 1 can of black beans and one can of corn
  2. Mix the corn and black beans with 2 cans of Rotel diced tomatoes and green chilies/drained.
  3. Dice the onion, chop the cilantro leaves and mix with the beans and corn.
  4. Juice 3 limes and pour/squeeze over the mixture
  5. Add in 1 Tbsp cumin
  6. refrigerate for at least 1 hour
  7. Serve with tortilla chips

Friday, June 24, 2011



2 packages, or blocks, 8 oz each, cream cheese, at room temperature
1 – 8 oz tub cool whip, at room temperature
1 cup sour cream
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups fresh chopped strawberries
1 – 2 tablespoons strawberry preserves (optional)
1 graham cracker crust (recipe follows) 

Graham cracker crust ingredients

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs or about 1 1/3 packages graham crackers
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar


1. Place graham crackers in food processor and turn on until crumbs are very fine. Add butter and sugar and pulse until well combined. Press in a 8 inch spring form pan or 9 inch pie plate.

2. Combine all ingredients for cheesecake, except strawberries, in a large bowl and mix with hand mixer. Mix until well combined and smooth. Fold in strawberries. Spoon into pan over crust. Top with a strawberry


 Slice the strawberries and cooke them with sugar.Bring them to a boil, then let them simmer about 10 minutes.  Mash the berries with a potato masher but leave chunky.

4 graham cracker squares, smashed
1 8 oz block of Philly cream cheese, room temp
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 T. half and half
1/4 t. vanilla
strawberry compote* (see above)

Mix together cream cheese, sugar, half and half and vanilla until smooth.
Use 4 small mason jars
In each jar, cover bottom with smashed graham crackers.
Top with a spoonful of cream cheese mixture.
Spread and even mixture with the back of a wet spoon.
Top with a spoonful of strawberry compote.
Repeat cream cheese and strawberries.
Top the jar with lid and store in the fridge.
*use fresh strawberries in place of the compote or blueberries or any other fruit that suit your fancy.
These go great for a picnic or camping


To make these yummy frozen banana treats, slice bananas in half, and skewer on a stick. 
{I used corn skewers}

Then, dip in melted chocolate.
An easy and delicious recipe for dipping is:

1 cup Semisweet Chocolate Chips
1/4 cup butter, cubed
3 Tablespoons Evaporated Milk

Combine and heat till mixture is smooth.

Next, sprinkle {or roll} your chocolate-coated banana with sprinkles, crushed oreos or candy bars or whatever else sounds good.  You could also get extra creative and coat the banana in peanut butter before dipping it in chocolate, etc.

After your bananas are assembled to your liking, place in the freezer.  In the name of science, we tested several of these snacks during various stages of freezing, and concluded that the bananas were nice and cold  after about 30 minutes but weren't frozen solid for several hours...and that even after a few days in the freezer, the frozen banana snacks maintained their deliciousness.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


This recipe is the best cupcake you'll ever taste. Moist and packed with flavor. Brought to you by "Sisters Cafe."

Vanilla Bean Buttermilk Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened to room temperture
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
2 scraped vanilla beans OR 2 teaspoons of vanilla bean paste OR 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 for light aluminum or silicone muffin pans or 325 for dark, nonstick muffin pans.  Line about 16-24 muffin cups and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients.  In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping down the bowl as needed. Mix in eggs and egg yolk one at a time and then mix in the vanilla.  Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients.  Combine.  Add 1/2 of the buttermilk.  Mix.  Add another 1/3 of the dry ingredients.  Mix. Add the final 1/2 of the buttermilk.  Mix and then add the final 1/3 of the dry ingredients.  Mix until combined and the batter is smooth.  Spoon out batter into lined cupcake pan, filling only halfway or just barely over halfway.

Bake for about 15-18 minutes (depending on the heat of your oven based on the type of muffin pan you have), until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out with moist crumbs.  Don’t over bake!

Remove the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

Enchanted Vanilla Bean Frosting

*Note: this frosting takes a bit of advance planning since the frosting needs time to cool so plan ahead! Also, the frosting can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to one week. When ready to use, let the frosting stand at room temperature until softened, about 2 hours. Beat with stand mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about one minute. Chill this frosting for 30-60 minutes prior to piping.  I chilled it about 40 minutes, and it worked great!

*Makes about 4 cups frosting (plenty for two 9-inch cake layers)

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups milk (I used skim milk, and it was fantastic)
2 vanilla beans scraped OR 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste OR 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, cut into 24 pieces and softened at room temperature

In a medium bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cornstarch and salt. Slowly whisk in the milk until the mixture is smooth. Place a fine-mesh strainer over a medium saucepan and pour the milk mixture through the strainer into the saucepan. Cook the mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture boils and is thick enough that it starts to become difficult to easily whisk. This could take anywhere between 5-10 minutes, depending on your stove, heat, etc. It should bubble quite a bit at the end (be careful of the splatters) and thicken considerably.

Transfer the mixture to a clean bowl and cool to room temperature – this is extremely important! If it is even slightly warm, the frosting won’t beat up properly. I refrigerated my initial mixture overnight. If you do this, make sure to pull it out in time to let it warm back up to room temperature. If you try to proceed with the rest of the recipe and the mixture is too cold, the butter won’t absorb into the frosting like it should.

Once the frosting is completely cooled to room temperature (it should have no hint of warmth at all!), beat the mixture with the vanilla on low speed until it is well combined, about 30 seconds (a stand mixer will work best for this). Add the butter, one piece at a time, and beat the frosting until all the butter has been incorporated fully, about 2 minutes. Increase the speed to medium-high and let the mixer work it’s magic. Beat the frosting for five minutes, until it is light and fluffy. Let the frosting sit at room temperature until it is a bit more stiff, about 1 hour. Chill 30-60 minutes before piping.


 This bread is addicting with buttery, cheesy, toasted slices of goodness.
1 cup shredded medium cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded parmesean cheese
1 cup shredded mozzerella cheese 
1 cup mayonnaise
1 can Frenchs= french fried onion rings
1 loaf french bread

Cut french bread down the middle evenly and lay open. Spread each half with butter.
In medium bowl stir all other ingredients and pile on each half of bread. Place on cookie sheet.
Bake at 350 for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool a few minutes before cutting.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


These are very rich! You may want to remove the wrapper and put on a plate and eat with a fork. Try it with double filling Oreos too.
from Martha Stewart
What You Will Need:
  • 42 Cream filled oreos (30 left whole and 12 coarsely chopped.)
  • 2 pounds cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • A pinch of salt
What to Do:
  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Arrange standard muffin tins with paper liners and place one whole cookie in the bottom of each lined cup.
  3. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the cream cheese until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  
  4. Gradually add sugar and beat until combined.
  5. Beat in the vanilla.
  6. Drizzle in eggs, a bit at a time, beating until combined.
  7. Beat in sour cream and salt.
  8. Stir in chopped cookies by hand.
  9. Divide batter evenly among the cookie-filled cups, fillings each almost to the top.
  10. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until filling is set, about 22 minutes.  Transfer tins to wire racks to cold completely.
  11. Refrigerate in tins at least 4 hours (or up to overnight.)
  12. Remove from tins before servings 

Candy Graduation Caps


Mini Reece's Peanut Butter Cups
Ghirardelli Chocolate Squares - I wanted to use peanut butter ones but I couldn't find them...
Mini M&M's
Airhead Extremes Rainbow Sour Belts
Chocolate Candy Melts
Lollipop Sticks - the narrower ones over the fatter ones...


  1. Melt the some of the chocolate candy melts.  Unwrap the peanut butter cups and chocolate squares.  Dip the lollipop stick in the chocolate, then push it about half way into the Reece's.  
  2. Put some chocolate on the square and put the Reece with stick on top.  It should only take about 20 minutes for it to dry.  
  3. Cut up the Airhead Sour Belts for the colors you want.  When the sticks are dry, use a toothpick to make a thin line of chocolate on top and then add the sour belt.  Add a little more chocolate to make the m&m stick too.  
  4. Let them dry, and display for everyone to enjoy!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Make a batch of Rice Krispie treats. Spray butter pam on cookie sheet with 1" edge. Press the rice krispies onto the cookie sheet . Let set just a few minutes then cut. I got 25 popsicles out of one batch. 5 across and 5 down . Shape each treat a little to look like a popscicle. Insert a popscicle stick into each treat and press down around the stick to keep in place.

Melt some melting chocolate or a bag of milk chocolate chips in a bowl and place in micro wave. Melt at 1 minute intervals til all melted. Stir til smooth. Take a spatula and frost the front and back of popsicle about 1/4 way down. I tried dipping the popsicle in the chocolate but it is too thick. The spatula worked well. Then dip the front and the back in sprinkles and place onto a large sheet of tin foil til chocolate sets up.

Place each popscicle into a celephane treat bag and tie with ribbon. I made these for my grand daughters birthday. She gave them out to her friends as her thank you gift for coming to her party. Her party theme was ponies so we found a picture in a clip art program,  copied them off and wrote thank you on them. You could also make cute tags and tie them on each one. Create your own cute idea. They were a hit. The kids loved them and the adults thought these were such a great idea.


Don't use instant oats here, go for rolled oats. topping makes about double the crumble you'll need for these muffins, you can keep it in the freezer until the next time you want a crumble top on something. Crumble, then freeze. Also, this recipe yields a slightly awkward 1 1/2 dozen muffins. Bake all at once, or bake a one-dozen pan batch, keep the leftover batter in the refrigerator for a couple days, then bake the rest.
Crumble topping:
 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
scant 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
Muffin batter:
1 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup  unbleached all purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
scant 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
7/8 cup unsalted butter, plus more for greasing pan
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
2 large eggs, whisked
Preheat oven to 350F / 180C. Butter one or two muffin pans generously. You don't need paper liners. Place oven racks in top third of oven.
Get your crumble topping for your muffins started first. Use a fork to combine the flour, oats, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Stir in the melted butter. Divide the mixture into three portions, and use your hands to form into three flat-ish patties. Place the patties in a bowl in the freezer for about ten minutes.
Now, onto the muffin batter. In a medium bowl combine the oats, flours, baking soda, and sea salt. Set aside.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar. Whisk in the yogurt, and then the eggs. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and stir just until combined. Do your best to avoid over mixing.
Pour the batter into the muffin tins, filling each 3/4 full. Pull the crumble from the freezer and break it up into small and medium pieces. Sprinkle the top of each muffin with crumble, place the muffins in the oven and bake 30 - 35 minutes or until tops are golden and a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool just a minute or so, then turn out onto a cooling rack - important!
Makes about 1 1/2 dozen muffins.

Prep time: 10 min - Cook time: 35 min

Monday, June 20, 2011


 The gooey sweetness of this bar will tempt you from bite to bite for just one more.

A few notes:
1. Carefully and slowly cook your caramel mixture or it will quickly go from creamy to scorched.
2. Score your bars when the chocolate has cooled but not set. This will keep the chocolate from cracking when you cut it.
3. Make sure to wipe your knife clean between cuts to give each bar nice smooth edges.
4. These are sticky, so I like to store mine between parchment paper in the fridge.  If you do this, remove the bars from the fridge and let them rest at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving.
5. For best results rest each layer as instructed in the recipe.  

1 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups flour
¼ cup powdered sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Line 8×8 pan with parchment.
3. Cream butter until smooth.
4. Slowly add sugars and vanilla and mix until incorporated.
5. Gently fold flour into mixture until incorporated.
6. Flatten dough into parchment lined 8×8 pan. Using a fork pierce holes into dough. Place pan in fridge to chill for an hour prior to baking.
7. Bake 8-12 minutes.
8. Return pan with baked shortbread layer to fridge for one hour before adding caramel mixture.
*Note: This portion can be made two days in advance

½ cup brown sugar
1 cup sweetened condensed milk

1. In a saucepan over low heat, combine brown sugar and condensed milk for 60-90 minutes or until mixture has thicken and turned into a caramel color. Make sure to keep your eye on the mixture and whisk often.
2. Pour caramel on top of shortbread.  Place pan in the freezer for an hour.
3. Remove from freezer and rest at room temperature for 20 minutes before pouring chocolate on top.
1 1/2 cup chocolate
1 tablespoon heavy cream

1. Place heat proof bowl with chocolate and heavy cream in a skillet or sauté pan over barely simmering water.
2. Pour chocolate on top of caramel.
3. Score chocolate once cooled but not set for easy cutting.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


2 (14.5 ounce) cans stewed tomatoes
1/2 onion, finely diced
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 lime, juiced
1 teaspoon salt
fresh cracked pepper to taste
3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3/4 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon Sriracha (or other hot chili sauce)
2 fresh jalapeños; chopped and seeded
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Place all ingredients into the food processor and pulse until you reach the desired consistency. (I am sure this works just as well in a blender!)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Banana Bread

1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup chopped walnuts
½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
¾ cup mashed ripe bananas (approx 2 bananas)
Walnut Topping:
3 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven 350 degrees. Grease and flour a loaf pan.
In a bowl combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and walnuts, set aside. In a separate bowl, using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until well blended. Add the eggs one at a time until completely blended. Add the flour mixture to the banana mixture and mix until well combined.
To make the walnut topping, mix together the finely chopped walnuts, sugar and cinnamon. in a small bowl.
Pour the dough into the prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle the walnut topping across the top of the dough and lightly press it into the dough with your fingers. Bake the bread for 60 minutes or until set and tester comes out clean.


 Red Velvet Cake Mix
Golden Oreos
Candy Melts

Make the Red Velvet cake using the directions 
on the back of the box

Red Velvet Covered Cookies 
Next, take one of the cookies
Red Velvet Covered Cookies 
and dip it into the cake batter,
making sure that it is fully coated
Spray the muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray.  Place one coated cookie in each well of the muffin pan
Place them in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes
Remove from the oven and let them cool for 5 minutes before removing each cookie from the pan.
removing the cookies from the pan, they tend to stick a little.  It is easier to take them out using a spoon.
Next, melt some candy melts and dip the top of each cookie into the melted candy.  Sprinkle the sprinkles on top.



  • 1 whole Large Onion
  • 1 whole Pork Shoulder ("pork Butt") - 5 To 7 Pounds
  • Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 can (11 Ounce) Chipotle Peppers In Adobo Sauce
  • 2 cans Dr. Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Can do in Crock Pot also on high.
Peel the onion and cut it into wedges. Lay them in the bottom of a large dutch oven.
Generously salt and pepper the pork roast, then set it on top of the onions in the pan.
Pour the can of chipotle peppers over the pork (include the sauce.) Pour in both cans of Dr Pepper. Add brown sugar to the juice and stir in.
Place lid tightly on pot, then set pot in the oven. Cook for at least six hours, turning roast two or three times during the cooking process. Check meat after six hours; it should be absolutely falling apart (use two forks to test.) If it’s not falling apart, return to the oven for another hour.
Remove meat from pot and place on a cutting board or other work surface. Use two forks to shred meat, discarding large pieces of fat. Strain as much of the fat off the top of the cooking liquid as you can and discard it. Return the shredded meat to the cooking liquid, and keep warm until ready to serve. (You can also refrigerate the meat and liquid separately, then remove hardened fat once it’s cold. Then heat up the liquid on the stove top and return the meat to the liquid to warm up.
Serve on warm flour tortillas. Top with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, grated cheese, avocado slices, salsa, and whatever else you’d like.



  • 1 box (18.5 Ounce) German Chocolate Cake Mix (I Used Duncan Hines)
  • 1 cup Finely Chopped Pecans
  • ⅓ cups Evaporated Milk
  • ½ cups Evaporated Milk (additional)
  • ½ cups Butter, Melted
  • 60 whole Caramels, Unwrapped
  • ⅓ cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • ¼ cups Powdered Sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, mix together cake mix, chopped pecans, 1/3 cup evaporated milk, and melted butter. Stir together until totally combined. Mixture will be very thick.
Press half the mixture into a well-greased 9 x 9 inch square baking pan. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven and set aside.
In a double boiler (or a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of boiling water) melt caramels with additional 1/2 cup evaporated milk. When melted and combined, pour over brownie base. Sprinkle chocolate chips as evenly as you can over the caramel.
Turn out remaining brownie dough on work surface. Use your hands to press it into a large square a little smaller than the pan. Use a spatula to remove it from the surface, then set it on top of the caramel and chocolate chips.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from pan and allow to cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate for several hours. When ready to serve, generously sift powdered sugar over the surface of the brownies. Cut into either nine or twelve helpings, and carefully remove from the pan.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


I love Mexican food. Any recipe I find that looks good and is Mexican I'll try it. I loves this recipe because it had ingredients that I always have on hand. Not a lot of shopping. It is EASY and tasty. Brought to you by The Elephants Trunk.
Helen's Mexican Lasagna
-1 lb. hamburger
-1 pkg. taco seasoning
-1 (15 oz.) can chili beans
-1 (10 oz.) can Ro-Tel diced tomatoes and chilies
-3 large flour tortillas 
-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
-Shredded lettuce 
-Chopped tomatoes
-Black olives
-Chopped onions

Brown hamburger. Add taco seasoning mix. Grind beans in a food processor and add to meat mixture. I just mashed the beans with a fork. Add Ro-Tel tomatoes and chilies. Simmer meat mixture for 10 minutes. Spray a small round round casserole dish with Pam, I used a 9X9 square pyrex not having a round and it worked fine. Put a small amount of meat mixture on bottom of the casserole dish, sprinkle with cheddar cheese and layer with tortilla. Repeat this process until casserole dish is full. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. After removing from oven top with shredded lettuce, black olives, chopped onions and chopped tomatoes as desired .

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


This cookie is one of my favorites. I could not find my old recipe so I looked on line and found this one by They are soooo delish!

Ingredients:1 Cup of Butter, Soften
1 Cup of White Sugar
1 Cup of Brown Sugar. Packed
2 Eggs
1 Egg Yolk
2 Teaspoons of Vanilla Extract
18 ounces of Creamy Peanut Butter
2 Cups of All Purpose Flour
1 Teaspoon of Baking Soda
1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
48 Mini Snicker Bars

Preheat oven to 350ºF {the cookie dough does need to chill for at least 2 hours first thoug

Cream together the butter, white sugar and brown sugar until smooth.

Add in eggs, egg yolk, and vanilla and mix until fluffy. Stir in peanut butter.

I love this little measuring gadget for ingredients like peanut butter, it makes it so easy and less of a mess; You scoop the ingredients in to measure and push it out to dispense - nothing gets left behind. I bought this forever ago from Pampered Chef , I believe, but they have since changed the design. Amazon still carries this brand though here.

Refrigerate the dough for at least two hours.

Scoop out a spoonful of dough, press it flat and place a mini snickers in the center.

Roll into a ball shape and place on a lightly greased cookie pan.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned.

Friday, June 3, 2011



  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 pound beef round steak, cut into thin strips
  • 8 ounces snow peas


  1. In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, rice wine, brown sugar and cornstarch. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a wok or skillet over medium high heat. Stir-fry ginger and garlic for 30 seconds. Add the steak and stir-fry for 2 minutes or until evenly browned. Add the snow peas and stir-fry for an additional 3 minutes. Add the soy sauce mixture, bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Lower heat and simmer until the sauce is thick and smooth. Serve immediately alone or over rice.



  • 3/4 cup cashew halves
  • 4 slices bacon, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Dressing:
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • Salad:
  • 1 (10 ounce) package mixed salad greens
  • 1/2 medium Bosc pear, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup halved seedless red grapes


  1. In a large, dry skillet over medium-high heat, toast cashews until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove cashews to a dish to cool slightly.
  2. Return skillet to medium-high heat, cook bacon strips until crisp on both sides, about 7 minutes. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon, and soak up grease with a paper towel. Coarsely chop bacon, and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together butter, rosemary, curry powder, brown sugar, salt, cayenne pepper, and toasted cashews. Set aside.
  4. In a small bowl, stir together white wine vinegar, mustard, and honey. Slowly whisk in olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. In a large salad bowl, toss dressing with greens, pear slices, grapes, and bacon, and sprinkle with nut mixture.



  • 1/2 head leaf lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
  • 1 bag baby spinach
  • 3 pears - peeled, cored and chopped
  • 5 ounces Roquefort cheese, crumbled
  • 1 avocado - peeled, pitted, and diced
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons prepared mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste


  1. In a skillet over medium heat, stir 1/4 cup of sugar together with the pecans. Continue stirring gently until sugar has melted and caramelized the pecans. Carefully transfer nuts onto waxed paper. Allow to cool, and break into pieces.
  2. For the dressing, blend oil, vinegar, 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar, mustard, chopped garlic, salt, and pepper.
  3. In a large serving bowl, layer lettuce, pears, blue cheese, avocado, and green onions. Pour dressing over salad, sprinkle with pecans, and serve.


Sorry about the picture.  It is blurry but you can get a general idea I hope. These are wonderful !!!!
  • 2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and cored
  • 2 (10 ounce) cans refrigerated crescent roll dough
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle Mountain Dew ™


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  2. Cut each apple into 8 wedges and set aside. Separate the crescent roll dough into triangles. Roll each apple wedge in crescent roll dough starting at the smallest end. Pinch to seal and place in the baking dish.
  3. Melt butter in a small saucepan and stir in the sugar and cinnamon. Pour over the apple dumplings. Pour Mountain Dew™ over the dumplings.
  4. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown.



I love Chineese food. Next to Mexican it is my favorite. I was looking for a chicken lo mein recipe to try and came across this one from "The Sisters Cafe". It sounded simple enough so I tried it. Delicious....... I wouldn't change a thing.

 1 1/2 pounds chicken breast, sliced very thinly


1 Tb soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch

2 Tb oyster sauce
2 tsp soy sauce
4 Tb beef broth
1 Tb sugar
8 ounces linguine, prepared
1 tsp sesame oil
1/4 cup canola oil
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup chopped cabbage, such as Napa
 1 cup sliced mushrooms
1-2 cups bean sprouts
3 green onions, sliced in 1 inch segments, white and green parts
Combine marinade ingredients with the chicken and allow to sit for 20 minutes.  While the chicken is marinating, prepare the remaining ingredients.
In a small bowl, combine the oyster sauce, soy sauce, beef broth, and sugar. Set aside.
Boil noodles as per package instructions.  Drain the noodles and toss with the sesame oil.
Heat a wok (or large, deep frying pan) over medium-high heat. Add the 1/4 cup of oil. Add the chicken. Stir fry chicken until cooked – about 5 minutes.  Remove from wok and set aside.
Add another 1 Tb of oil to the wok if needed. When the oil is hot, add the garlic. Stir-fry until garlic browns, then add the carrots. Stir-fry for about 1 minute, then add the shredded cabbage and mushrooms.  Cook for 2 more minutes. Add the noodles, bean sprouts, and green onions and cook for about 2 more minutes.
Add the sauce to the wok. Return the chicken to the pan. Mix everything together and serve hot.


1 large egg
1 c unbleached, all-purpose flour
3/4 c milk
1 TBSP sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
2 TBSP vegetable oil
zest from one lemon
a couple handfuls of blueberries
2 TBSP butter, melted for the pan

Whisk the egg in a bowl until fluffy. Add flour through lemon zest on the list, wisk until smooth.
using a regular griddle, pour 1/4 c batter on to preheated griddle. Drop on blueberries. Cook until sides are dry and middles are bubbly. Flip and cook until other side is golden brown


1 cup real butter (not margarine) *room temperature

1 cup vegetable shortening

pinch of salt

1 tsp vanilla

4 cups powdered (confectioners) sugar

1/4 – 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream

paste food coloring

Thoroughly cream butter and shortening . Beat in the vanilla. Add sugar, one cup at a time until blended. When the sugar is completely beaten in and the sides of the bowl are scraped down, add the whipping cream, beating at the highest speed until super fluffy, about one minute.
If you wish to add color to your frosting, use the gel paste food coloring. It’s stronger and more vibrant. Add frosting to a pastry bag with your favorite tip and frost!