Saturday, December 26, 2009

Update on shortbread

Here's this year' batch of Nana's shortbread. Recipe is here:
I took some additional pictures as well:

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Chili Cheese Dip

This one looks gross but tastes great. My cousin's ex-boyfriend showed me how to make it one thanksgiving. My cousin's comment later? "At least he was good for something!"
Anyway: combine one can of chili and one package of cream cheese in a saucepan and cook for medium heat, stirring constantly. Make sure you get all the lumps of cream cheese stirred in. Use as a dip for tortilla chips. Easy and delicious!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Peppermint Bark

This is the candy pictured on the right in the Pine Bark Candy recipe.

Melt almond bark and stir in broken up peppermints. Spread, cool, and break.

Really, it is that easy.

I usually buy "vanilla melts" from the bulk section at Winco. But if I forget, one package of almond bark, or one bag of white chocolate chips work, too. Then I crush up some candy canes or some peppermint candies in the food processor. Stir them both together and spread it out on wax paper until cool and then break up into bite sized pieces.

Or one giant piece.....

Pine Bark Candy

AKA Christmas Crack, perhaps because it contains crackers, or because you crack them into pieces, but I think because it is highly addictive. It is the candy pictured on the left.

Saltine crackers
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

  • Line a cookie sheet with foil. Cover with saltine crackers in one layer.
  • Boil butter and brown sugar together for 3 minutes.
  • Pour over crackers.
  • Bake at 375 for 6 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and then sprinkle chocolate chips on top.
  • When they start getting melted, spread with spatula.
  • Place in freezer to cool, and then crack into cookie sized pieces.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Almond Bark cookies

Chocolate or White Almond Bark Bars:

2 lb pkg of almond bark (white or chocolate) melt in oven at 200 degrees, in big bowl or roasting pan. Stir often. Take out of oven and add:

1 cup peanut butter
3 cup Captain Crunch
3 cup miniature marshmellows
3 cup dry roasted peanuts
3 cup Rice Krispies

Stir all together ~ drop by Tablespoon onto wax paper. Cool. (Note: I mix the dry cereal, marshmellows and peanuts together prior to adding to bark) My mom has been making these special Christmas cookies every year since I was born... now, she and I make them for my kids.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


Supplies:  1 16 oz box pasta
              1 thing of brie
              4 zucchini (or a veggie of your choice)
             1-2 cans of diced tomatoes
            Chicken breasts - 3, cooked/ diced. (Optional)

Cook up one box of 16 oz pasta as directed.  Kate pick out bow-ties.

While it's cooking, take one thingy of brie and shred/slice off as much of the rind as can be easily done.  Then cut the brie into meltable size pieces.

Saute the zucchini.  I added garlic, too.

After draining the pasta, return to pot and stir in the brie.  Putting it back on the burner (turned to low) was useful.  Add the can of tomatoes.  (I think this may also be quite yummy with 2 cans of tomatoes, but I haven't tested it out.)

Stir in veggies.  Serve.  Yum.

Image show also has the optional chicken added in.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Russian Tea Cakes

Today marks two weeks until Christmas, which sounded a lot like a good reason to make my favorite Christmas cookies!

This is 1/2 the original recipe and makes about 3 dozen.

Mix thoroughly:
1 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

2 1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Chill dough. Roll into 1" balls. Place on ungreased baking sheet. They won't spread, so pack them on there. I can make this recipe on two cookie sheets. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. They will be set and just slightly browned. When they are still warm roll in powdered sugar. After they have cooled completely roll them in the sugar again.


CAUGHT! Not in the cookie jar, but with the bowl of dough!

Sausage Casserole

I found this recipe in the local paper, and really enjoyed it. Does anyone know a trick so that the grated potatoes don't start turning pink before they go into the oven?

1 pound ground sausage
3 cups shredded potatoes, drained and pressed
1/4 cup butter, melted
12 oz shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded onion
1 16 oz container of cottage cheese
6 jumbo eggs (This is the first recipe I've ever seen that called for jumbo eggs. Does anyone know the egg conversion? I just used 7.)

Preheat oven to 375. Spray a 9x13.

Cook sausage, drain and place on paper towel covered plate.

Stir potatoes and butter together and place in the 9x13, lining the bottom and up the sides.

In a bowl, mix the sausage, cheese, onion, cottage cheese and eggs. Pour over the potatoes.

Bake 1 hour, and let cool at least 5 minutes before serving.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Brown 1 lb italian sausage meat. Cook 1 bag of penne pasta. Combine in a bowl with meat and favorite store-brand red sauce. Place in a baking pan and bake at 350 for an hour with mozz cheese covering the top. Great for a crowd!

Leftover turkey casserole

In a bowl, combine 1 cup milk, 1 can cream of mushroom, 1 can cream of celery, 1 packet dry onion soup mix, 1 cup of cooked rice, and 2 cups of leftover turkey (shredded or cubed).
Bake at 350 for 45 min.
This was a good recipe but came out very salty. I don't think I had quite the full amount of rice and turkey that it called for. Maybe only using half the soup packet would work too.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Twice-baked Potatoes w/ chili

I had left over potatoes from Thanksgiving that needed to be used. And I felt like having chili for dinner. Note that many of the potatotes I had were small - I think that actually made it better, but I do like skins!

Clean potatotes. Bake at 425 for 45-60 minutes (until soft).
Remove from oven. Cut lengthwise, while trying not to burn your fingers.
Scoop out most of the innards, leaving about 1/4 inch thickness. Try not to burn your fingers.

Place the skins in a non-stick sprayed casserole dish.

Mash the innards until nice and smooth. I used a hand-masher. Recipe book also recommended using a blender. (Too many dishes for my liking).

I added 1/2 cup of sour cream that needed to be used before it needed to be tossed.

Add 1 can of chili to the potatoes and stir.

Spoon mixture back into the potato skins.

Bake at 4:25 for about 20 minutes.

After removing, sprinkle with cheese (of course!).

Thursday, December 3, 2009


This one is going to be a love it or hate it recipe.

The original recipe was on one of the Lloyd's BBQ pork tub, but now I just toss it together.

Heat Lloyd's tub according to directions. Any flavor variety will do fine.
In the meantime prepare an 8oz serving of mashed potatoes (or warm up leftovers.)
Also warm up about a cup of corn.

Layer in a pie dish:
BBQ meat
Mashed Potatoes
Shredded Cheddar

Bake at 400 for about 5 minutes, or until the cheese melts.