Thursday, October 30, 2008

Banana Bread Muffins

I know everyone has their own favorite banana bread recipe, but I tend to think mine is pretty DELUXE! I thought I would share it, so try'll see!

2 eggs
1/3 C. oil
1/3 C. applesauce ( I use unsweetened - 100% natural)
2 C. mashed ripe bananas (it's about 6 depending on the size)
2 C. flour
1 C. sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbl. cinnamon
1/2 C. chopped nuts AND/OR 1/2 bag of chocolate chips (optional)

Topping (optional):
Melted butter
Cinnamon/Sugar mixture

Preheat oven to 350. Mix eggs, oil, applesauce and bananas. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Fold in nuts and/or chocolate chips. Grease pans or use cupcake liners for muffins.

Muffins (about 24): bake 25-28 mins
4 mini loaf pans or 2 big loaf pans: 45-55 mins

Bake until knife comes out clean and bread is golden brown. All ovens vary, so check bread at minimum baking time. Do not overbake! Brush with butter and sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture.

TIP: If you have bananas that are ripe, but don't have enough bananas to bake bread, store peeled bananas in a ziplock bag in the freezer. Thaw in microwave when you are ready to use.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread

1 15 ounce can pumpkin puree

4 eggs

1 cup vegetable oil

2/3 cup water

3 cups white sugar

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking soda

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp. cloves

1/4 tsp. ground ginger

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two bread loaf pans.

In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stire the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans.

Bake for a little over an hour (depends on your elevation) in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted comes out clean.

*** To give the bread an extra fattening and yummy touch, I poked holes in the top of the loaves with a toothpick and poured in a mixture of melted butter combined with cinnamon and sugar. Yum!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Pumpkin Muffins

1 spice cake mix
1 small can of pumpkin

*When doubling the recipe, add the following (optional) to make even more moist:
- a small packet of vanilla pudding
- 1/3 cup sour cream

Mix ingredients and bake at 350 until done.  Sorry that is not very specific. I did mini muffins and they took about 13 minutes. Bake until they bounce back when you press your finger to them.

I made them just after the truffles.. so I dipped a corner of them in chocolate.. and THAT was even MORE deluxe!

Oh, and I have to give my friend Heather Jones credit for this recipe. I work with her in Young Womens and she is a genius of a cook.  Thanks Heather!

Oreo Truffles

This recipe is SO easy and is a BIG hit! I made it for a party on Saturday and won the "best tasting" contest! They are Yummy.

Makes about 50 truffles 

  1. Using a food processor, grind cookies to a fine powder.
  2. With a mixer, blend cookie powder, cream cheese and vanilla extract until thoroughly mixed (there should be no white traces of cream cheese).
  3. Roll into small balls and place on wax-lined cookie sheet.
  4. Refrigerate for 45 minutes.
  5. Line two cookie sheets with wax paper.
  6. In double-boiler, melt milk chocolate.
  7. Dip balls and coat thoroughly.
  8. With slotted spoon, lift balls out of chocolate and let excess chocolate drip off.
  9. Place on wax-paper-lined cookie sheet.
  10. In separate double boiler, melt white chocolate.
  11. Using a fork, drizzle white chocolate over balls.
  12. Let cool.
  13. Store in airtight container, in refrigerator.

Out of the World Chicken in a Crock Pot

4 chicken breasts
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 packet dry italian dressing
1 8 oz package cream cheese

Dump all in a crock pot and cook! That easy! I am not sure of the time because I have done anything from tenders to fresh chicken to frozen chicken and it is all different. Try at least 5 hours on low and see if that works! Sorry my recipes are always so vague! We cheat because we have a meat thermometer...makes everything a little less scientific. Shred in crock pot with two forks before serving. This dinner is sooooo yummy. We serve on rice or mashed potatoes for the little taste buds. YUMMMM!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Bag of Bones, Breadsticks

1 TBSP yeast
2 TBSP sugar
1 1/2 cups warm water

Mix lightly and let sit until foamy. Then add

2 TBSP olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
(for all you garlic lovers, you can replace
salt with 1 TBSP garlic salt)
31/2 cups flour

Mix, then knead in mixer for about 5 minutes. Let raise til double.

Throw dough on a lightly sprayed surface. Roll into a rectangle shape and cut into strips with a pizza cutter. With each individual stick, slit at each end, just a bit, and fold or roll under to make the knobby parts at the end of the bones. Rub cookie sheets with butter. Bake at 375 degrees for 18 minutes or until golden brown.

For added flavor try: brushing with melted butter, brushing with melted butter with a dash of garlic salt in it, sprinkling with course salt, sprinking with parmesean, or all of the above. PS, this is all done to the dough before baked, but you knew that, right?

For our door-bell ditching "Boo-ed" treat this year, we made a bunch of these bones and put them in halloween bags, with a note that said, "Enjoy your bag of bones". We were thrilled to give something that wasn't sugar.

Witch Fingers

Creepy Witches' Fingers

Yield: 5 dozen

1 cup Butter, softened, 1 cup Icing sugar (powdered sugar), 1 Egg, 1 tsp Almond extract, 1 tsp Vanilla

2 2/3 cups Flour, 1 tsp Baking powder*

1 tsp Salt, 3/4 cup Almonds, whole blanched, 1 Tube red decorator gel (optional, not pictured)

Gross everyone out with these creepy cookies.

In bowl, beat together butter, sugar, egg, almond extract and vanilla. Beat in flour, baking soda*, and salt. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes. Working with one quarter of the dough at a time and keeping remainder refrigerated, roll heaping teaspoonful of dough into finger shape for each cookie. Press almond firmly into 1 end for nail. Squeeze in centre to create knuckle shape. (Accompanying picture showed long rolled shape with bulge at centre for knuckle; you puff it out rather than squeeze it in.) Using paring knife, make slashes in several places to form knuckle.

Place on lightly greased baking sheets; bake in 325F (160C) oven for 20-25 minutes or until pale golden. Let cool for 3 minutes. Lift up almond, squeeze red decorator gel onto nail bed and press almond back in place, so gel oozes out from underneath. You can also make slashes in the finger and fill them with "blood."

Remove from baking sheets and let cool on racks. Repeat with remaining dough.

Halloween Swamp Juice

Swamp Juice

2c boiling water

1 (6oz) package Jello Brand Lime flavor gelatin

2c cold orange juice

1 liter of cold seltzer (sprite)

ice cubes

1 pt. orange sherbet, slightly softened

1 orange thinly sliced

1 lime thinly sliced

Handful of Halloween plastic toys (Spiders, mice, eye balls, etc..)


  1. Stir boiling water into gelatin in lg. bowl at least 2 min. until completely dissolved. Stir in Orange juice, cool to room temp.
  2. Pour into punch bowl just before serving. Add cold seltzer and ice cubes. Place scoops of sherbet and fruit slices on the punch.
  3. Top with plastic Halloween toys… like eye balls, spiders, mice etc…

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Alfredo With A Twist

Kielbasa Alfredo

Penne noodles (prepared according to package)

½ of a link of kielbasa sausage (they come in 16 oz. packages)

½ red bell pepper

½ orange bell pepper

Jar of alfredo ( I used Cheesy Ragu Alfredo)

1 T. salt


  1. Cook pasta as directed on package with 1 T. salt
  2. Slice kielbasa in bite size pieces, in a skillet lightly brown sausage.
  3. In a small saucepan, heat jar of alfredo
  4. Chop bell peppers, and then toss them in with sausage for last 3 min.
  5. Combine all ingredients and serve.
  6. (optional) for garnish, sprinkle parmesan cheese and a couple sliced peppers.

Total time: 20 min.

Really easy, really cheap, not too many ingredients! By Karen Brothersen

Monday, October 20, 2008

Thanks my love

You know.. there's just something cool about being married to a graphic designer.  Thanks Kirk.. I LOVE my new template!!


Monday, October 13, 2008

Lip Smackin Apple Dip

3 eight ounce pkgs cream cheese
1 pound brown sugar
2 T vanilla
Heath milk chocolate toffee bits (around 1/2 cup)

Mix together cream cheese, brown sugar, and vanilla until creamy. Stir in toffee bits to desired amount. Put into serving dish; sprinkle with more toffee bits.

TIPS: I use reduced fat cream cheese (neufchatel.) For easy measuring you can buy brown sugar in a 1 pound box. This recipe is a HUGE hit at parties. Be prepared to hand out recipe after serving!

Potato Roll Dough

5-8 Cups all Flour (I like to use half bread flour and all purpose flour) 1 1/4 Cups "HOT" tap water1/2 Cup Shortening1/2 Cup Sugar1 1/2 tsp. salt 1 Cup prepared instant mashed potato's (1 cup hot water. 3/4 cup instant potato flakes, no butter, salt or milk)2 eggs1 TBS yeast (instant rapid rise yeast)
In large bowl mix hot water and 1 cup of flour. Whisk in sugar, salt and shortening. Add eggs, Whisk. Add potato's, Whisk. Add yeast, Whisk. Then stir in rest of flour ONE CUP at a time. Dough will be somewhat sticky yet firm. Make sure all the flour is mixed in. You can cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate dough overnight, then roll out and make cinnamon rolls or dinner rolls.OR.... you can let rise until double, then punch down, and let rise again. Then roll out into rolls.
For cinnamon rolls:
Roll dough into rectangle shape approx 1/2 in. thick. Pour small amount of melted butter on dough and spread evenly to the edges. Make Cinnamon & sugar mixture and spread generously on top of butter. Then add anything else like raisins, nuts (YUK) etc. Roll up dough starting from edge closet to you. Cut 2 in. thick rolls, place on greased cookie sheet. Let rise until double. They should look nice and fluffy. Bake @ 350 for 20 min.
203 cups powdered sugar1-2 TBS butter1 tsp. PURE vanilla extract 1/2 tsp. PURE almond extract Hot water
In bowl add first 4 ingredients. Then add a small amount of hot water and stir until icing is slightly runny. If too runny add more pwdr sugar. Spoon icing on warm NOT hot rolls and spread around. When icing is set you can drizzle any extra icing on the tops to make them look extra special and pretty!! (a Professional tip) Woo hoo!

This is a very versatile dough.

Breakfast bunz:
spread beaten eggs in place of the butter, then a mixture of scrambled eggs , diced ham or bacon, sausage etc... and cheese in place of the cinnamon!!! roll them up the same way and cut. Then Dip tops into shredded cheese and place on cookie sheet. Bake at same temp. These are seriously awesome!!!!

Pizza rolls:
Spread pizza sauce (not too thick) on dough. Add any pizza type ingredients but be careful with wet ingredients like veggies. sprinkle with mozzerlla cheese, roll up, dip in shredded cheese & bake!!!!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/4 C. Shortening1 1/4 C. light Brown sugar2 1/4 C. White sugar
In a large bowl cream together above ingredients. Then mix in:
5 eggs1 TBS. vanilla (pure vanilla will make the cookie taste better) 2 1/4 tsp. salt2 1/4 tsp. baking soda

When the above ingredients are all mixed together add:
5 C. all purpose flour *** ONE CUP AT A TIME ***
DON"T OVER MIX ! ! ! !

add semi-sweet chocolate chips, aprox 2-4 cups, depending on how chocolaty you like it, I like to add some butterscotch pieces with it to add some flavour. Or you can scoop the dough and then dip it into M&M's!
Bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 375 for aprox 10 min. IMPORTANT!!! Do not overbake these cookies. They are done when they turn "lightly brown" around the edges. (If you cook them longer they will be too crisp.) They may look like they aren't done, but they finish cooking on the pan while they are cooling down.!! AND.... they are even better the next day!!!!


1 lb. hamburger
¼ cup grated onions
1 tsp. salt
1 bottle of Prego
1-2 cups water
1 large can diced tomatoes (I use home-canned tomatoes)
Fill that same can used from above and fill with water and pour that in while you're at it!
Large Dashes of oregano, parsley, garlic powder, basil
Uncooked Lasagna noodles
2 cup cottage cheese
3 cup grated Mozzarella
3 cup grated cheddar
Parmesan Cheese

Brown hamburger and add the rest up to the spices. Let sauce simmer for 1 hour to blend flavors (It should be watery at the beginning because that softens the noodles in the oven). Layers in a 9x13 pan are: Sauce, noodles, sauce, cheese, noodles, sauce, cheese, noodles, sauce, cheese, For as deep as your pan is and you want to end with cheese on top! I usually can’t get more than two layers. As far as the cheeses go, just plop on some small spoonfuls of cottage cheese everywhere, then cover with grated cheese then sprinkle parmesan cheese. Bake for 1 hour at 350° (until bubbly).

Sweet & Sour Chicken

¾ cup sugar
½ cup vinegar
¼ cup chicken broth
2 Tbsp ketchup
1 Tbsp soy sauce
3 chicken breasts cut into pieces
2 eggs beaten

First five ingredients make sauce. Take Chicken pieces and mix with eggs. Cover with cornstarch to make it breaded (I take a few pieces of chicken at a time that way they all get it evenly) and seer on the breading in a frying pan on Medium heat for a minute or so on each side. Then put in sauce in a 9x13 pan and bake at 350° for 45 minutes.

Biscuits & Gravy

3 cups flour
4½ tsp. baking powder
2½ tsp. sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
1 cup margarine
1 cup milk
1 egg

Mix dry ingredients first then slice in the butter (Don’t melt it!) and add milk and egg. Plop onto a greased cookie sheet. (Mine are jagged looking). Bake for 12-14 minutes at 350°.

Brown 1 lb. of hamburger or sausage. (Season hamburger well with garlic powder, salt, and pepper.) Add ¾ cup of flour to meat and stir for a minute or so until it’s all in well. Add milk slowly until it’s the thickness you want. It has to simmer for a while to thicken.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Chili's Salsa

I made this for mutual and everyone LOVED it. One girl said to me. "oh this is so good, it tastes just like that one restaurant, what is it? oh yeah, CHILI'S!" I was so happy!

I found this recipe online.

1 (14 1/2 oz) can tomatoes & green chilies
1 (14 1/2 oz) can whole canned tomatoes
4 tsp jalapenos (canned, diced, not pickled)
1/2-3/4 tsp garlic salt
1/4 cup diced onion
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp sugar
1/3 bunch cilantro (cut about 1 inch off from bottom of stems. The original recipe doesn't call for cilantro, but I really like it)

- In food processor or blender, place jalapenos and onions. process for a few seconds
- add both cans of tomatoes, salt, sugar, cumin and cilantro.
- process until well blended but do not over-blend (about 4-5 seconds). Consistency should be slightly chunky
- a couple of hours of chilling will help blend and enrich the flavor but you can also serve right away.


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Tis' the season...these cookies are DELUXE!

1 C. canned pumpkin
1 C. white sugar
1/2 C. vegetable oil
1 egg
2 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. milk
1 Tbl. vanilla
2 C. semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 C. chopped walnuts (optional)

Combine pumpkin, sugar, oil and egg. In separate bowl mix flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Dissolve baking soda into milk and stir in dry ingredients. Mix dry ingredients into pumpkin mixture and mix well. Add vanilla, chips and nuts. Drop by spoonful on ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes or until lightly brown and firm. Makes about 2 1/2 dozen.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Sweet and Sour Pork Chops

Pork Chops
1 cut onion
1 lemon
Brown Sugar

This recipe is really a no-measure recipe. Just place enough pork chops to fill the bottom of a baking pan (we have used bone-in and boneless). Spread the onion to cover. I DO NOT like fresh onions and use dehydrated for all of my recipies. However, dehydrated do not work for this recipe and the fresh ones are yummy in it. Squirt the lemon over the chops (bottled lemon juice works fine). Sprinkle brown sugar and dot with ketchup, just eyeballing the amount. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours. Really scientific recipe, I know, but it is YUMMY and SOOO easy.

This recipe is great for the carnivour in your family and great when you have a bunch of pork chops you don't know what to do with. We like to serve the pork chops on rice, of course, and drench them and the rice in the sauce. YUM-O!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Peppered Beef Tips

2 lbs beef sirloin, cut in 1 inch strips
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can french onion soup 
1 can cream of mushroom soup

Add beef to crockpot.  Layer with minced garlic, a sprinkle of pepper, and soups.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours.  Serve over egg noodles or rice.

So easy and delicioso!

p.s. Kirk says this looks like dog food :( sorry! I usually use sirloin steak but used stew meat instead because the steak at Target was too expensive!  and I usually serve over noodles, but I was out so it was rice this time.. 'dog food' photo aside.. this is REALLY yummy!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Texas Sheet Cake

1 c, (2 sticks) butter/marg
1 c. water
4 Tbs cocoa
2 c. flour
2 c. sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 tsp soda
1/2 c soured milk (add 1 1/2 tsp vinegar to milk & let stand 5 min)

Bring to boil margarine, water, and cocoa. Remove from heat. Add to medium mixing bowl with flour, sugar, salt. Beat in 2 eggs, soda and milk.  Bake in greased cookie sheet for 20-22 min (23-25 in high altitude) at 375 F. 

1/2 c. (1 stick) butter/marg
4 tsp. cocoa
6 Tbs milk
3 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Bring to boil margarine, cocoa, and milk.  Remove from heat.  Add to mixing bowl with vanilla and powdered sugar.

spread on cake immediately after it comes out of the oven.  Enjoy!