Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Odee's Oatmeal Cookies - Even Bee Can Make 'Em!


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a small bowl; set aside.
  • Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract in a large bowl.
  • Gradually beat in flour mixture.
  • Stir in oats and morsels.
  • Drop by rounded Tablespoonfuls onto an un-greased baking sheet.
  • Bake 7 to 8 minutes for chewy cookies, 9 to 10 minutes for crisp cookies.
  • Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes, remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Pan Cookie Variation:
  • Grease 15x10-inch jelly-roll pan.
  • Prepare dough as above.
  • Spread in prepared pan.
  • Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until lightly browned.
  • Cool completely in pan on wire rack

Friday, October 10, 2008


This is the dish from Entree Vous....

I'm guessing at the amounts of spices & such that go into the cream cheese. You would adjust to taste anyway. . . .

1 8oz brick cream cheese, softened
1 clove garlic, smashed and minced
few leaves of fresh parsley finely chopped, or 1/2 tsp dried
1 - 2 chives, finely chopped, green included
1 red bell pepper, deseeded, deveined, and chopped
pinch salt
pinch pepper
four chicken breasts
8 slices bacon

Preheat oven to 325

Add garlic, parsley, chives and bell pepper to cream cheese and mix thoroughly. Set aside.

Put chicken breasts between two pieces of saran wrap and flatten (pound) to even thickness. Salt and pepper chicken.

Divide cream cheese mixture into fourths. Shape each fourth roughly into a ball. Place one cream cheese ball into the center of each chicken breast and roll chicken up from the short end. Wrap two pieces of bacon around the rolled up chicken breast. Do not overlap bacon.

Spray Pam in baking pan and place stuffed chicken in pan. Cover with alum. foil and bake for 30 minutes or until baked through. Uncover, turn oven up to 350 and cook 10 more minutes. Depending on your oven and the thickness of your bacon you may need to turn your oven onto broil for a couple of minutes at the end of the baking time, to crisp up the bacon.



Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Best Bread Machine White Bread I've Ever Had

I was in the mood to start using my bread machine again last week and this. Tried a wheat bread that was okay...but this White Bread was REALLY good! The link to the original version is down below....the recipe came from

Homemade Wonderful Bread


(in the order I put them in the machine in)
  • 1-1/2 cup room temperature water*
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter (room temperature)
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup dry potato flakes
  • 1/4 cup dry milk powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast (at room temperature)

  1. Add ingredients in the order suggested by your manufacturer, including the yeast mixture. Select the basic and light crust setting.
Don't not use "old" bread flour (I used "Better for Bread"), or out of date yeast. These are things that could cause your bread not to rise properly. You can probably substitute a cup of wheat flour for a cup of white, but you'll want to add some "Vital Wheat Gluten". The rule of thumb is to add 1 tablespoon of vital wheat gluten for every cup of low- or no-gluten flour (such as wheat flour) that is being used in your recipe.

Want to make this a mix of wheat and white? Substitute 2 cups wheat flour for 2 of the 4 cups of flour. Just be sure to add 2 Tbs. of Vital Wheat Gluten to help the dough rise properly (1 Tbs per cup of wheat)

NOTE: * - original recipe said 1-1/4, but some reviewers found it necessary to add another 1/4 cup of water. If you'd like to read all the reviews, and all the way folks made variations of it, , or see the original version which included "proofing the yeast", here is the link:

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Here you go, BeezieWeezie. This is a breadmaker recipe from a book called "electric BREAD" which is way WAY old - in fact it has a 1996 copyright which is when I got my first breadmaker, and I've been using it since then. But it has the most wonder-delish-mous bread recipes ever, like peanut butter bread (my #1 son's favorite in the world) and some of the most creative but still easy. Course they're all easy when you make 'em in the breadmaker, ain't dey? :)

The first measurement is for a small loaf and the measurement to the right is for a large loaf.

2/3 cup WATER (1 cup)
1 2/3 cup WHITE BREAD FLOUR (2 1/2 cups)
1/3 cup WHEAT BREAD FLOUR (1/2 cups)
4 tsp SUGAR (2 tbsp)
1 tsp SALT (1 1/2 tbsp)
4 tsp BUTTER (2 tbsp)
1/2 tsp GREEN (black will do) PEPPER
CORNS, CRUSHED (3/4 tsp)
1/2 tsp BASIL (3/4 tsp)
pinch GARLIC POWDER (1/4 tsp)
1/4 cup BACON (with fat) (1/3 cup)
1 tsp FAST RISE YEAST (1 1/2 tsp) or
2 tsp ACTIVE DRY YEAST (2 1/2)

You cook the bacon until its almost crisp. Set the fat aside while you crumble the cooked bacon, then remix bacon and fat before measuring.

A couple of times I made a down and dirty loaf of this recipe with the Hormel real bacon bits and it was still really good - you could tell the difference if you'd had the real stuff, but still REALLY good.

Extra pepper's good, brushing with butter when it's partially cooled is really good, sprinkling coarsely ground salt on top is good.

It usually gets eaten up right out of the breadmaker while its still warm so I try to have soup ready for it.

Tiedye *_*

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Another fabulous recipe taken from one of Joanne Fluke’s books: “Fudge Cupcake Murder”. Check out the books at

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F., rack in the middle position.
1 cup
butter, melted (2 sticks)
1 cup
brown sugar
1 cup
white sugar
1/2 tsp
baking powder
1/2 tsp
baking soda
1/2 tsp
eggs, beaten
1 tsp
1/4 tsp
1/8 tsp
2 cup
1 1/2 cup
sweetened dried cranberries (Craisins or another brand) ***
1 1/2 cup
rolled oats (uncooked oatmeal)

1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Melt butter in large microwave-safe bowl. Add sugars and let cool a bit. Add eggs, baking powder, baking soda, salt and vanilla. Add flour and mix. Then add the cranberries and oats and mix everything up. The dough will be quite stiff.
2 Drop by teaspoon onto a greased cookie sheet, 12 to a sheet.
3 Bake at 350 degrees F. for 12-15 minutes. Cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes. Remove to rack until cool.

Yield: 5 to 6 dozen, depending on cookie size

Cooking Tips
*** If you can't find the cranberries where you live you can substitute any chopped dried fruit such as dates, apricots, peaches, etc.
These freeze well if you roll them in foil and put them in a freezer bag.

Thursday, July 3, 2008


I made the “Spice Cake” version and they are pretty good. (Have also had the Strawberry version, and plan to try a chocolate version next week). Once again taken from one of Joanne Fluke’s mystery books - “Candy Cane Murder”

Whippersnappers (Lemon, Spice, or other flavors)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees - rack in middle

1 pkg
(appx 18 oz) Cake mix, the size you can bake in a 9-inch by 13-inch cake pan
2 cups
Cool Whip (measure this)
1 large
beaten eggs
1/2 cup
powdered sugar

1 Combine dry cake mix, Cool Whip, and beaten egg in a large bowl. Stir until it's well mixed.
2 Drop by teaspoon into the bowl of powdered sugar and roll to coat the cookie dough
3 Place the coated cookie drops on a greased (using non-stick cooking spray) cookie sheet, 12 cookies to each sheet
4 Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Let them cool on a the cookie sheet 2 minutes or so, the move to wire rack to cool completely

Yield: 4 dozen

Cooking Tips
This is an old church recipe that you can use any flavor cake mix in these cookies. The author especially likes Lemon Whippersnappers in the summer because they're simple to make and very refreshing. Original recipe done with Lemon

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Scandanavian Almond Cake

Scandanavian Almond Cake
(taken from Joanne Fluke's "Carrot Cake Murder" book...the Hannah referred to in the recipe is the main character, Hannah Swensen)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, rack in the middle
1/2 cup salted butter
1-1/4 cups white sugar
1 xtra large eggs
1/2 tsp baking powder
1-1/2 tsp almond extract
2/3 cup cream (can use half & half)
1-1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1 Before you start to mix up this recipe, grease (or spray with Pam) a 4-inch by 8-inch loaf pan..
2 Cut a strip of parchment paper (or wax paper) 8 inches wide and 16 inches long. Lay it in the pan so that the bottom is covered and the strip sticks out in little "ears" on the long sides of the pam. (this makes for easy removal after your cake is baked). This will leave the two short sides of the pan uncovered, but that's okay. Press the paper down and spray it agai nwith Pam (or another nonstick cooking spray)
3 If you decided to use the sliced almonds, sprinkle a few in the very bottom of your paper-lined loaf pan).
4 HANNAH's 1ST NOTE: Don't let this next step scare's extremely easy an dit will keep your cakes from turning too brown around the edges.
5 Place the stick of butter in a one-cup Pyrex measuring cup (or another microwave safe bowl). Zap it for 40 seconds on HIGH, or until it's melted) (You can also do this in asmall saucepan on the stove). Now pour that mleted butter through a fine-mesh strainer, the kind you'd use for tea (or a larger mesh strainer lined with double thickness of cheesecloth). After the melted butter has dripped through, dump the mmilk solids that have gathered in the strainer tinot he garbage (or throw away the cheesecloth) . What you have left is clarified butter
6 Set your clarified butter on the counter to cool while you.... Mix the white sugar with the egg in a medium sized bowl, or inthe bowl of an electric mixer. Beat them together until they're light and fluffy.
7 Add the baking powder and the almond extract. Mix well
8 Cup your hands around the bowl with the clarified butter. If you can hold it comforabley and it's not so hot that it might cook the egg, add it to your bowl now and mix in. If it's still too hot, wait until it's cooler and then mix it in.
9 ** Add half of the cream and mix it in. Add half of the flour and mix it in. Now add the rest of the cream, mix. And then add the rest of the cream, and mix.
10 Pour the batter into a loaf pan you've prepared and smooth the top with a spatula
11 bake the cake at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
12 Let the loaf pan sit on a wire rack or a cold burner for 15 minutes. Then loosen the cake from the short sides of the pan (the non=papered sides) with a metal spatula or a knife.
13 tip the cake out on a pretty platter and remove the parchment paper. Let it cool and then dust the top with powdered sugar if you wish.
Cooking Tips
**HANNAH's 2ND NOTE: In the following steps you're going to add half the cream, and then half the flour. You don't have to be precise and measure exactly half. Just dump in what you think is approximately half and it's be just fine.
HANNAH's 3RD NOTE: Mother's friends Joyce & Nancy have special half-round loaf pans especially for baking Scandinavian Almond Cake. Joyce's cake bakes for the same length of time as mine does. Nancy's pan has dark nonstick surface. It's heavier than Joyce's pan and the dark surface makes it bake faster. Nancy bakes her cake for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Julia’s Cheesy Crock Pot Chicken

My Family LOVED This!!!

This came from an acquaintance of mine, and is cooked in a crock pot, but could certainly be modified to be done in the oven.

Cheesy Crock Pot Chicken

4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
8.oz. pkg. cream cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 pkg. Italian dressing and seasoning mix

Soften cream cheese. Stir in other ingredients. Place chicken in crockpot and pour mixture on top. Allow to cook on low for 8 hours. Serve over rice or noodles. Enjoy!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Christa’s Heath Bar Cake

Got this recipe today at a reception at church. I got HALF a serving...went back and grabbed the other half after tasting it! I am NOT a Heath Bar this was quite a surprise!!!

Christa’s Heath Bar Cake
1 chocolate cake mix
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1 small jar butterscotch topping
12 ounces whipped topping
4 small Heath (or Skor) candy bars, chopped

Prepare cake according to directions on package and bake in a 9x13 inch pan.

While still hot, use a wooden spoon handle to poke holes in the top of the cake. Pour condensed milk evenly over the top, then pour butterscotch topping evenly over that. Sprinkle half of chopped Heath bars over the top. Refrigerate at least 3 hours.

Spread whipped topping over cake, then sprinkle with remaining Heath pieces.

*(recipe taken from 101 Things To Do With A Cake Mix by Stephanie Ashcraft)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Okay got another one. It's just so easy to type these things once and then paste them into my cookbook software . . . . . ^_^

I made this for dinner last night and my kids went WILD, and actually so did my handsome husband, surprisingly. GREAT low ingredient, fast, dump-it-in-there fambly meal. I served it with chips, potato salad and baked beans, just like I would have if I'd been having burgers.

1 box of creamy, cheesy mac and cheese prepared using directions on box (or you could use a 40 oz pk of Stouffers Mac and Cheese and make your life even easier)
1 lb. ground chuck or ground turkey
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 T catsup
3 tsp yellow mustard
2 tsp dill pickle relish OR several hamburger dill chips
1 or 2 medium tomatos, roughly chopped
1 container refrigerated biscuits

Preheat oven to 400*.

Saute onion and add ground meat until done, drain. Add catsup and mustard and gently stir in tomatoes.

Place half of mac and cheese in a 9" square baking pan and top with the ground beef, then remaining mac and cheese.

Place biscuits around edge of pan. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until biscuits are fully cooked and golden brown.

Sprinkle pickle relish over top, or space hamburger chips apart over top.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008


10 to 12 inch angel food cake, cut in 1 inch squares
1 can cherry pie filling

15 oz. can crushed pineapple, undrained
1 sm. pkg. instant vanilla pudding mix
1 3/4 c. milk
1 c. sour cream
1/4 c. sherry
1 c. heavy cream whipped into stiff peaks (or Cool Whip, but oh boy is real whipping cream deLICious!)
1/4 c. toasted almonds for garnish

Layer 1/3 of the cake squares into trifle bowl or large clear bowl. Combine cherry pie filling and pineapple. Spoon 1/2 of the fruit over the cake. Top with 1/3 of the cake squares. Top these with remaining fruit, then remaining cake squares. Press cake into an even layer over fruit. Combine pudding mix, milk, sour cream and sherry. Pour this over cake, allowing pudding to run to the lower layers. Refrigerate overnight. Before serving, decorate with whipped cream. Layer and sprinkle almonds over. Nice to serve at Christmas. Serves 12.

I recently bought a trifle bowl from my friend who sells Pampered Chef, and this is one of the recipes that she gave me with it. It's awesome. Most of the other recipes were the fairly regular trifle recipes with layers of same ol' same ol', but this one surprises your taster! ^_^


Friday, May 23, 2008

Asian Slaw - YUMMY!! YUMMY!! YUMMY!!

Sorry I don't have a photo..... but can truly say that this is DELISH !!! Truly a big hit at parties.....

A neighbor made this last year for a neighborhood gathering...... It was the first time I ever remember guys standing around a table telling everyone "You have to taste this salad" !!! It's easy and it is soooooo good. I usually make it up a 1 1/2 days ahead of time..... it just gets better and better.......

Asian Slaw -

1 (16oz) package of slaw mix
2 (3 oz) packages beef flavored ramen noodle soup mix (I like more noodles so I add an extra package of noodles - but don't use the 3rd flavoring packet)
1 Cup Sliced almonds, toasted
1 Cup Sunflower kernels1 bunch
Green onions, chopped
1/2 Cup Sugar
3/4 Cup Vegetable oil
1/3 Cup Vinegar

Remove flavor pockets from soup mix and set aside;
Crush noodles.
Place noodles in bottom of a large bowl.
Top with slaw mix; sprinkle with almonds, sunflower kernels, green onions.
Whisk together contents of flavor packets, sugar, oil & vinegar…..
Pour over slaw mix.
Cover and chill 24 hours.
Toss before serving……

Yields 8 - 10 servings…… Actually goes a lot farther at a gathering when you're serving other items....

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Pizza Spaghetti Style - Casserole (Can be made ahead)

Pizza Spaghetti Style

This is a "new" family favorite. Everyone loved it - especially the kids -

Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes

1 lb. ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped (we don't like - so I didn't use)
8 oz. pkg. button mushrooms, sliced OR 2 more bell peppers, chopped
26 oz. jar pasta sauce
8 ounce can tomato sauce
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1 lb. spaghetti pasta, broken into 2" pieces
3/4 cup whole milk
2 eggs, beaten
1 (5 ounce) package sliced pepperoni
1-1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bring a large pot of water to boil for cooking spaghetti.

Cook ground beef, onion, green pepper, and mushrooms in heavy skillet over medium heat until beef is browned, stirring to break up beef. Drain well and add pasta sauce, tomato sauce, and Italian seasoning; stir well and let simmer while preparing spaghetti.

Cook spaghetti according to package directions.

Meanwhile, combine eggs and milk in large bowl and beat until blended.

Drain spaghetti and toss with egg and milk mixture.

Spread half of spaghetti/egg/milk mixture in a 13x9" glass baking dish. Top with half of sauce and beef mixture. Repeat layers.

To freeze, cool casserole in refrigerator at this point. When cold, wrap well, label, and freeze up to 3 months. To thaw and reheat, thaw casserole overnight in refrigerator. Bake, covered, at 350 degrees F for 40-50 minutes until thoroughly heated. Uncover, top with pepperoni and cheese, and bake 10-15 minutes longer until cheese melts and edges of casserole bubble.

To refrigerate overnight and bake the next day, cover the casserole and chill for 2-24 hours.

When ready to eat, bake, covered, at 350 degrees F for 40-50 minutes until hot. Then uncover, top with pepperoni and cheese, and bake for 10-15 minutes longer until cheese melts.
If baking without freezing or refrigerating, bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes until hot and bubbly. Top with pepperoni, then cheese, return to oven, and bake for 10 minutes longer to melt cheese. Let stand 5 minutes to set, then cut into squares to serve. 10 servings

Enjoy !!!!

Shrimp, Tuna & Macaroni Salad

A "Family Favorite" from my mom. Wonderful by itself, or served with burgers, or grilled chicken!

1-1/2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 can tiny shrimp (4-1/2 oz)
1 can chunk tuna (7 oz)
3 hard boiled eggs (1 may be used for garnish if desired)
3/4 cup diced celery
2 kosher dill pickles, chopped
1/4 cup green peppers (optional)
2 med carrots, grated
1 small onion, minced
1/2 - 1 tsp salt
pepper taste

3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbs sour cream
1/2 tsp dry mustard

1 Cook elbow macaroni according to package instructions, drain, and stir in lemon juice (to keep macaroni from sticking together)

2 While macaroni is cooking - In separate bowl combine celery, pickles, carrots, onion, salt & pepper and green peppers (optional..I never use them!). Drain & add the shrimp, and tuna. Mix well. Add chopped hardboiled eggs, and if you wish, reserve one to use as garnish.

3 Add above to the drained macaroni.

4 Combine the mayonnaise, sour cream and dry mustard in a bowl. Stir in to entire salad mixture.

5 Refrigerate several 3-4 hours minimum before serving, stirring at least one time.

Cooking Tips
TIME SAVING TIP: I hard-boil my eggs while cooking the macaroni. Put the eggs in the pot of cold water, put on the stove, bring to a boil. Add macaroni to boiling water and eggs are usually done when macaroni is cooked
EGG TIP: To keep from having a green ring around your yellow yoke, put eggs immediately in a bowl and run under cold water for a few minutes to cool the eggs. This really works!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Cinnamon Crisps

This recipe is from Joanne Fluke’s book, “Lemon Meringue Pie Murder”....from a delightful murder mystery series she writes. All the books have recipes in them...and this is the first I have tested! To find out more, go to

2 cup melted butter
2 cup brown sugar, loosely packed
1 cup white sugar
2 beaten eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp salt
4 1/2 cup white flour

Coating Mixture:
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

1 Melt butter. Add sugars and mix. Allow to cool to room temperature. Add beaten eggs. Stir well. Add vanilla, cinnamon, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt. Mix well. Add flour in increments, mixing well after each addition.

2 Use your hands to roll dough into walnut sized balls. (If dough is too sticky, chill for an hour before rolling)

3 Combine the sugar and cinnamon for coating mixture in a small bowl to make the dough-ball rolling mixture. (Mixing it with a fork works nicely.) Roll the dough balls in the mixture, then place them on a greased cookie sheet, 12 to a standard sheet. Flatten the dough balls with a greased or floured spatula

4 Bake in a preheated 325 oven for 10-15 minutes (They should have a touch of gold around the edges). Cool on the sheet for 2 minutes then remove the cookies to a rack to finish cooling.

Yield: Makes 8 dozen, depending on size of cookie

(I cut this recipe in half the first time I tried it)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Apple and Dried Plum Tart with Vanilla Ice Cream and Cognac


1 1/4 c a/p flour
1/2 t granulated sugar
1/2 t fine salt
1/4 cup vegetable shortening (preferably 0 trans fat), frozen, cut into 1/2" pieces
1/2 stick chilled unsalted butter (4 T) cut into 1/2" pieces
3 T ice water


12 medium pitted dried plums (prunes)
1/3 cup Cognac (or brandy), of drinkable quality
4 medium Golden Delicious apples, peeled, quartered, cored; each quarter cut into 3 wedges
3 T granulated sugar
3 T unsalted butter, melted, divided
1/4 cup apricot preserves, heated and strained

Vanilla ice cream

Special equipment - 9" removable-bottom tart pan

  1. For the crust- blend flour, sugar and salt in food processor. Add the shortening and butter, blend by pulsing until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.
  2. Add ice water, continue to pulse until moist clumps form. Gather dough into a ball, and flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill at least one hour.
  3. For filling: combine dried plums and Cognac in small bowl. Cover and let stand 2 hours, stirring often. Drain the dried plums, reserving the Cognac. Cut the dried plums in half, set aside.
  4. Preheat oven to 400*. Position a rack in center of oven. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface, into a 12" round. Transfer dough to a 9" tart pan with a removable bottom. Fold overhanging dough in and press, forming double thick sides, refrigerate crust for 30 minutes or place in freezer for 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Mix apples, sugar and 2 T of butter in large bowl. Pile apples into dough-lined tart pan.
  6. Bake tart until apples are just tender, about an hour.
  7. Tuck rehydrated dried plums into spaces between apples. Brush fruit with remaining T of butter. Bake until apples are very tender and crust in golden brown about 20 minutes longer.
  8. Blend 1 T of reserved Cognac into strained preserves to make a glaze. Brush glaze over warm tart.
  9. Cut tart into wedges and serve warm or at room temp with ice cream. Drizzle some of reserved Cognac over ice cream if desired.
I got this recipe from a Viking cooking class I attended. I watched the chef prepare the dough and here's the thing. Even HE made a mess of it. HA! So there. His dough was not beautiful and he did not care one flip. His point was to follow the principle of pie dough so that it would TASTE great, and he told us what the principles were as he was patching great holes in the tart crust dough. When he finished spackling his dough he said now take a sip of your wine and watch THIS. And he filled the dough with the beautiful apples just filled it slap dab full piled it up and shmushed them a little then he looked at us, threw his hip out and put his hand on it and said NOW. Can you SEEEEEEE the crust? AHAAA! Of course not.

I'll be making this tart again you can bet. It's so soooooo delicious and special.

Crispy Potato Galette

1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled
3 T canola oil, divided
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 1/2 ounces garlic herb cream cheese (such as Boursin)
3 whole green onions, white and green parts chopped separately)

Line a large bowl with cheesecloth folded double. Coarsely grate the potatoes into the cloth, then gather the edges of the cheesecloth together and squeeze out as much moisture as possible.

Heat 1 1/2 T of the oil in a 10" nonstick saute pan over medium heat. Press half of the potatoes into a thin, even layer in the pan. Sprinkle with s&p.

Leaving a 1/2" plain border, scatter the cheese and the white parts of the onions over the potatoes. Press the remaining potatoes over the filling in an even layer.

Cook over medium high heat until crisp on the bottom, pressing occasionally with a spatula, about 10 minutes. Place a rimless baking sheet over the pan and invert the galette onto the sheet. Add remaining 1 1/2 T oil to the same pan, then slide the galette, browned side up, back into the pan.

Cook until crisp and golden on second side, about 10 minutes longer. Sprinkle with chopped green onion tops; cut into wedges to serve.

This galette can be made two hours ahead. Turn onto a baking sheet and let stand at room temp. To serve: warm on a baking sheet in a 350* oven until crisp, about 15 minutes.

Roasted Chicken with Herb Butter, Onions and Garlic

7 T unsalted butter brought to room temperature
1 T chopped fresh flat leaf parsley plus 3 large sprigs
1 T finely chopped fresh thyme plus 3 large sprigs
1 T finely chopped fresh rosemary plus 3 large sprigs
1/4 t fennel seeds crushed
1/2 t kosher salt plus additional as needed for seasoning
1 wole 3 pound chicken giblets removed
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 medium onions peeled and quartered
14 cloves garlic peeled
1/2 cup dry white wine of drinkable quality
1 cup chicken stock
1 1/2 t a/p flour

  1. Preheat oven to 425*, position rack in bottom third of oven. Mix butter, chopped herbs, fennel seeds and 1/2 kosher salt in small bowl, blend well.
  2. Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper toweling. Remove and discard any large pieces of fat. Season cavity of chicken with s&p; fill with herb sprigs.
  3. Cut off wings.
  4. Starting at neck end of chicken, gently slide your fingers under skin of breast and upper part of legs, loosening skin from meat. Spread 3 T of the herb butter under skin of breast and upper leg meat. Place chicken on a rack in a large roasting pan; tie legs together with butcher's twine to hold its shape. Scatter onions around chicken. Season chicken and onions with s&p.
  5. Place in the oven and roast for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and scatter the garlic cloves around chicken. Brush chicken onions and garlic with 1 T of the herb butter then return to oven and continue roasting for 30 minutes more.
  6. Remove chicken from oven. Reserve 1 T of herb butter for sauce, and brush remainder on chicken and vegetables.
  7. Return to oven, continue roasting until chicken is golden brown and a thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 180*, about 30 mins. longer. Tilt chicken so juices from cavity drain into roasting pan. Transfer the chicken to a platter, surround with the onions and garlic, then tent loosely with aluminum foil.
  8. Pour pan drippings into gravy separator and set aside. Place roasting pan over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, pour wine into pan, quickly scraping up any browned bits that have formed on bottom of pan. Add stock to pan and bring to a simmer. Spoon off and discard fat that has accumulated in the gravy separator; add defatted pan drippings to the pan.
  9. Stir the reserved T of herb butter and flour together to make paste. Bring liquid in roasting pan to simmer; whisk in butter/flour paste. Simmer sauce until slightly thickened, whisking occasionally. Season with s&p, serve with chicken.
This recipe is from a Viking cooking school I attended. It's a super simple dish to prepare and our chef did not deglaze the pan (#8 and 9) but just included instructions for that. I wouldn'tve known what to do if the dish had been any more moist than it already was..... it was fabulous.

Salad of Mixed Greens, Walnuts, Roasted Beets and Goat Cheese

2 T white wine or Champagne vinegar
2 T freshly squeezed orange juice (about 1/2 orange)
1 1/2 tsp finely minced orange zest
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1 T walnut oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

4 small beets, unpeeled
1 T extra virgin olive oil
6 cups baby lettuces with frisee
1/2 cup walnut pieces, toasted
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 ounces chilled fresh goat cheese, coarsely crumbled
Thin strips of orange zest, for garnish

  1. For the dressing: Combine vinegar, orange juice and zest in small mixing bowl, whisk until evenly mixed. Add oils in a slow steady stream whisking continuously until dressing is slightly thickened and creamy (emulsified). Season to taste with salt and pepper; set aside until needed.
  2. For the salad: preheat oven to 400*. Scrub beets, toss them with olive oil in small roasting pan. Roast beets until tender, about 45 minutes to 1 hour; cool, peel, and cut into 1/2 inch wedges.
  3. Mix lettuces and walnuts in a large bowl. Toss with just enough dressing to coat evenly. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide salad among four chilled plates, arrange beets around greens. Top salads with goat cheese and orange zest; serve immediately.

This recipe is from a cooking class I took at The Viking Cooking School. It's an awesome salad. When you roast the beets, it makes them so sweet they taste like you've sprinkled sugar on them.


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

White Chili

This is the White Chili recipe I use. My family loves it, which is rare for something I cook! I am going to cook the beans all day in the crockpot. Then I'll add the chicken and turn up the heat for the last hour or so.

White Chili
1 pound large white beans, soaked over night
6 cups chicken broth
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium onions, chopped (divided)
tablespoon oil
2 4-oz cans chopped green chilies
2 tsp ground cumin
1 ½ tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp ground gloves
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
4 cups diced cooked chicken breasts
3 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese

Combine beans, chicken broth, garlic and half of the onions in a large soup pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until beans are very soft, 3 hours or more. Add more chicken broth, if necessary. In a skillet, sauté remaining onions in oil until tender. Add chilies and seasonings and mix thoroughly. Add to bean mixture. Add chicken and continue to simmer 1 hour. Serve topped with grated cheese.

8-10 servings

Chocolate Chip Cookie

This is so easy...but as the directions say don't overbake.

Skillet-Baked Chocolate Chip Cookie


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips, I used the teeny ones cause that's what I had on hand
1/2 cup chopped nuts..........optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars until mixture is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg and vanilla; mix until they are fully incorporated. Add flour mixture, and beat until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

Transfer dough to a 10-inch ovenproof skillet (I actually used my 12-inch skillet and cut down the cooking time to about 30 minutes), and press to flatten, covering bottom of pan. Bake until edges are brown and top is golden, 40 to 45 minutes. Don't overbake; it will continue to cook a few minutes out of the oven. Transfer to a wire rack to cool, 15 to 20 minutes. Cut into 8 wedges. Serve warm; top each wedge with a scoop of ice cream.

Enjoy ..........Cactus

Monday, February 25, 2008

Cheese Danish Squares

Oh wow are these easy. They're a cheat; you use packaged ingredients but I get comments every time I make them and I hadn't made them in awhile then The Food Goddess from the AJC reminded me to last Thursday in the Food Section. So I did for some girlie friends. Just FYI, they go great with bellinis but better with cawfee.

2 8 oz. packages refrigerated crescent rolls
1 12 oz container whipped cream cheese
1 cup plus 2 T. granulated sugar, divided
1 egg, separated
1 t. vanilla
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, optional

Preheat oven to 350. Pam your 13x9 baking dish. Line the bottom with 1 package of crescent rolls and pinch the seams together.

In a mixing bowl beat together cream cheese, 1 cup of sugar, egg yolk and vanilla. Spread over dough. Carefully unroll the second package of crescent rolls over the filling.

In a small bowl whisk together the egg white and remaining 2 T. sugar until foamy; brush over top of the rolls. Sprinkle with cinnamon and nuts if desired.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool completely before cutting.

P.S. Sometimes I fool around with the vanilla, and use almond flavoring instead, or reduce the vanilla and use a couple of drops of almond. I like it better with a touch of the almond.


Sunday, February 10, 2008

Valentines help

a recent post over on HTE by kimmy brought out a few ideas for kid friendly baking ideas for a school function fundraiser.

Not only is this a great forum for decorating these ladies know how to bake.

Check out a few of these that may help your next baking project.

First up GailD supplied the ever so popular Snickerdoodles.

"What about heart shaped Snickerdoodles? I came across my Snickerdoodles recipe this afternoon! I bet there is a way to make them heart shaped!"

1/2 cup softened butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbs sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon

Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and beat until fluffy. Stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg and salt. Blend in to cream mixture to make a stiff dough. Make walnut size balls.

Mix 2 Tbs sugar with the cinnamon. Roll balls in the sugar. Place on a greased baking sheet and flatten with a fork. Bake 10-12 minutes at 400 degrees until lightly browned.

Next up Lee_sa_D supplied these tasty gems "this is one of my favorites and super easy!!"

Wonderful White Chocolate Cookies

2 cups white chocolate chips or the equivelent in white almond bark
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
1 cup unsalted peanuts
1 cup toasted rice cereal
Melt white chocolate chips in a baking pan in a 200°F oven (I use the microwave ... stir frequently to melt evenly). Remove from oven and stir in the peanut butter. Stir in marshmallows, peanuts and toasted rice cereal.
Drop by small spoonfuls onto wax paper to cool. Store in a covered container in a cool place.
Makes 24 cookies.

KimMi donated this morsel of sweetness.

"This is a CERTAIN hit with kids! Trust me, you will love these cookies!"

Peanut Butter Cracker Cookies

Ritz crackers
White candy coating bark (1 or 2)
Creamy peanut butter
Red sugar, sprinkles or Valentine sprinkles
Using 72 crackers, spread peanut better (about 2 tsp. per cracker) on one cracker and top with the other. You'll have 36 cracker sandwiches when done. Spread a piece of wax paper on a cookie sheet to use for placing the completed cookies on.

Melt white candy coating according to pkg. directions. Make sure you add a little solid shortening (about 1-2 TBS.) to the candy coating while melting.....but not too much or it won't harden completely. Using a fork, balance the cookie on the fork and dip it into the candy coating..making sure cookie is completed covered. Tap the base of the fork on the side of the pan to remove any excess coating. Place cookie onto wax paper. Continue this process until all 36 cookies are done.

Watch the cookies after they're coated. They will start to harden. When the cookies have lost their glossy look (they've started to harden), spinkle some type of decoration--red sprinkles, red sugar, Wilton's valentine sprinkle mix, etc.--on the tops of each cookie. You may need to do this midway thru making the cookies, so don't let the candy coating get too hard.

After all cookies are completed, you can pop them into the refrigerator (or in the cold garage if space doesn't permit in the ref.) for 20 minutes or so to harden. I think they will eventually harden if left on the countertop, but I like to jump start them by placing in the refrigerator.

I would recommend, Kim, that you buy two pkgs. of the candy coating. I usually get about 32 cookies out of a pkg., so I'm not sure you could stretch it to do 36. Also, you'll probably want to do some cookies as trial runs since the dipping process takes a little practice. Remember, practice cookies MUST be eaten!

Nanny supplied us with this nameless yet easy treat, easy is good!

"here is a quick treat"
200* temp of oven
place pretzel on cookie sheet..
Hershey Kiss in middle
let it melt 5 min. in oven
then place M&M's in holes let it cool.
bag.. we used red and white M&M's .

Next we have some favorite go to spots of our group.

ShoeGirl gave us these links.......

"These are things that I'm going to make this week for some friends with little kids"

I put in my two cents with this site that looks simple and yummy!!

So there ya go ask and ye shall receive.

Next up I hope will be some Easter ideas!!!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Mother-in-Law’s Vegetable Soup

Mary’s Vegetable Soup

This original recipe is from my mother-in-law, who with 6 kids, had a house full to feed. I have since cut the recipe basically in fourths because it made SO much. These proportions will fit fine in a 6qt Dutch Oven pot. Play with the recipe and swap out vegetables to suit your mood, or what is in your fridge!

1/2 lb Stew beef
1/2 qt water
1 bay leaf
1 can 28oz. can Diced tomatoes
1 onion (small to medium)
1/2 pkg Shredded Cabbage (appx 5-6 oz.)
1 Medium Baking Potato - cut into cubes
1 medium carrot, sliced (about 12-14 mini carrots)
1 can can of green beens (14.5 oz)
1 can can of white or yellow corn (14.5 oz) - option
1-2 tsp salt (do it to taste)

black pepper to taste

1 Simmer stew beef in water with bay leaf for 2 hours. Remove from heat. Remove meat from broth. Skim off fat (which can be done by refrigerating broth for an hour or two or using a gravy seperator).
2 Trim stew beef into small, bite sized pieces
3 Combine the rest of the ingredients. (can be done ahead of time and set aside, or done when ready to start cooking the soup.
4 Bring broth, meat, and all other ingredients to a boil. Turn down heat to a simmer. Add another cup of water at this time if you feel you need more broth. Simmer for 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
Yield: 4-5 quarts

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Best French Onion Soup

I have ever made. I promised our Miss Beezer I would post this - sorry I took so long. A tad labor intensive but the end result is absolutely to die for I swear/guarantee.

As you can see this is copied and pasted direct from Cooks Illustrated site. I have made this twice while visiting my family and got rave reviews.

And if you do try it please let me know how you liked it. And yes the sherry gets cooked off but leaves a very good flavor.



Best French Onion Soup


Sweet onions, such as Vidalia or Walla Walla, will make this recipe overly sweet. Be patient when caramelizing the onions in step 2; the entire process takes 45 to 60 minutes. Use broiler-safe crocks and keep the rim of the bowls 4 to 5 inches from the heating element to obtain a proper gratinée of melted, bubbly cheese. If using ordinary soup bowls, sprinkle the toasted bread slices with Gruyère and return them to the broiler until the cheese melts, then float them on top of the soup. We prefer Swanson Certified Organic Free Range Chicken Broth and Pacific Beef Broth. For the best flavor, make the soup a day or 2 in advance. Alternatively, the onions can be prepared through step 1, cooled in the pot, and refrigerated for up to 3 days before proceeding with the recipe.

Serves 6

3 tablespoons unsalted butter , cut into 3 pieces
6 large yellow onions (about 4 pounds), halved and cut pole to pole into 1/4-inch-thick slices (see illustration below)

Table salt
2 cups water , plus extra for deglazing
1/2 cup dry sherry
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth (see note)
2 cups beef broth (see note)
6 sprigs fresh thyme , tied with kitchen twine
1 bay leaf

Ground black pepper

Cheese Croutons
1 small baguette , cut into 1/2-inch slices
8 ounces shredded Gruyère cheese (about 2 1/2 cups)

1. For the soup: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Generously spray inside of heavy-bottomed large (at least 7-quart) Dutch oven with nonstick cooking spray. Place butter in pot and add onions and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, covered, 1 hour (onions will be moist and slightly reduced in volume). Remove pot from oven and stir onions, scraping bottom and sides of pot. Return pot to oven with lid slightly ajar and continue to cook until onions are very soft and golden brown, 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours longer, stirring onions and scraping bottom and sides of pot after 1 hour.

2. Carefully remove pot from oven and place over medium-high heat. Using oven mitts to handle pot, cook onions, stirring frequently and scraping bottom and sides of pot, until liquid evaporates and onions brown, 15 to 20 minutes, reducing heat to medium if onions are browning too quickly. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until pot bottom is coated with dark crust, 6 to 8 minutes, adjusting heat as necessary. (Scrape any fond that collects on spoon back into onions.) Stir in 1/4 cup water, scraping pot bottom to loosen crust, and cook until water evaporates and pot bottom has formed another dark crust, 6 to 8 minutes. Repeat process of deglazing 2 or 3 more times, until onions are very dark brown. Stir in sherry and cook, stirring frequently, until sherry evaporates, about 5 minutes.

3. Stir in broths, 2 cups water, thyme, bay leaf, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, scraping up any final bits of browned crust on bottom and sides of pot. Increase heat to high and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 30 minutes. Remove and discard herbs, then season with salt and pepper.

4. For the croutons: While soup simmers, arrange baguette slices in single layer on baking sheet and bake in 400-degree oven until bread is dry, crisp, and golden at edges, about 10 minutes. Set aside.

5. To serve: Adjust oven rack 6 inches from broiler element and heat broiler. Set individual broiler-safe crocks on baking sheet and fill each with about 1 3/4 cups soup. Top each bowl with 1 or 2 baguette slices (do not overlap slices) and sprinkle evenly with Gruyère. Broil until cheese is melted and bubbly around edges, 3 to 5 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

STEP BY STEP: Golden Onions Without the Fuss

1. RAW: The raw onions nearly fill a large Dutch oven.

2. AFTER 1 HOUR IN OVEN : The onions are starting to wilt and release moisture.

3. AFTER 2 1/2 HOURS IN OVEN : The onions are golden, wilted, and significantly reduced in volume.
STEP BY STEP: Triple Deglaze

Most recipes for French onion soup call for deglazing-—loosening the flavorful dark brown crust, or fond, that forms on the bottom of the pot-only once, if at all. The secret to our recipe is to deglaze the pot at least three times.
STEP BY STEP: Slicing Onions

Halve onion pole to pole, cut off root end of onion, then peel. Place flat side of onion on work surface, then slice from pole to pole into 1/4-inch-thick slices.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Okay, I know I'm hoggin' the blogspage and all, and after this recipe I promise to quit. BUT. This, my friends, is BIG. BIG NEWS, breaking news, big news indeed. I must share. Thursday's Atlanta paper is the Food Section paper (I look forward to Thursdays a LOT) that just shows you what a nerd I am but that's beside the point AAAAAAAANYWAYsies, I was reading along and lo and beholdin' in the Q and A section a lady (God bless her) asked if there was any way the famous Kahlua Cheesecake from the Public House could be obtained. The Public House was a restaurant in historic Roswell for many many years until it's *sob* closing a few years ago. Gee whiz they had the best elephant garlic and sundried tomato bruschetta in the hemisphere.


It turns out that when the Pleasant Peasant (another top notch restaurant here) was purchased several years ago, the buyer also purchased the RIGHTS TO THE PUBLIC HOUSE'S RECIPES!!

We, my friends, could not have made out any better. She may have gotten the Peasant, but WE got the recipe, and FOR FREE!! As I look at it, the ingredients and the amounts, I'm figuring the secret has to be in the directions cauz there's nothing special about the ingredients, in fact they're pretty sparse. Directions though, kinda fussy. But ohhhh hoo ho ho ho. This cheesecake is The Big Cheese of all cheesecakes. As the Pioneer Woman says, Make this. Now. : ^ )

1 1/2 cups chocolate wafer crumbs, or crushed Oreos
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted - if using Oreos, reduce butter to 5 Tablespoons
6 (8 ounce) packages of cream cheese
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
5 eggs
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup Kahlua

Preheat oven to 350. In a small bowl combine the cookie crumbs and melted butter. Press into bottom of a 10" springform. Bake 10 minutes, cool. (Do not try to use a 9" springform. You will certainly fill the bottom of your oven with overflow batter. It really requires the 10" size.)

Heat a large pot of water on stove and keep warm. Select a baking pan that will snugly hold the springform pan; a 12" square or round pan works well. Wrap the bottom and sides of the springform pan in a large piece of heavy aluminum foil. Reduce the oven temperature to 250*.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar and beat well. Beat in eggs and egg yolks one or two at a time, scraping down the sides after each addition. Add the Kahlua and beat until well incorporated. Pour over the crust in the springform pan. Place the springform pan inside the larger pan, place in the oven on the middle rack, and then carefully pour the warm water into the larger pan, 1 inch up side of the springform pan. Bake the cheesecake in the water bath for about 3 hours, until the top is golden and the cheesecake is set. Remove from the water bath and cool in the springform pan on a wire rack for 1 hour; then chill for several hours or overnight. Remove the side of the pan before serving.


Wednesday, January 9, 2008


I made this chicken for the first time a couple of nights ago and it got rave reviews. It's super duper simple and takes very few ingredients, nothing that you'd have to go out to get. I made rice to go with it and we used the extra sauce as gravy to pour over. Warning though, this dish is very very lemony.

1 lemon
2 teaspoons dried oregano
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil (that's what the recipe calls for but I gotta tell ya I use lots more)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
6 chicken legs


Preheat oven to 425 degrees .
In a 9x13 inch baking dish, grate the peel from 1/2 the lemon, squeeze out the juice (about 1/4 cup) and add to peel with the oregano, garlic, oil, salt and pepper. Stir until mixed.
Remove skin from chicken pieces and discard. Coat chicken pieces with the lemon mixture and arrange, bone side up, in the baking dish. Cover dish and bake for 20 minutes. Turn and baste chicken.
Reduce heat to 400 degrees F and bake uncovered, basting every 10 minutes, for about 30 more minutes. Serve chicken with pan juices.

Recipe from All Recipes