Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Carmel Popcorn

This has to be one of my favorite treats!! Unfortunately I can and have eaten an entire batch in one sitting:) I got this recipe from my Aunt Betty several years ago. This makes a soft and chewy carmel popcorn. Seriously you have to try this!! I almost forgot to get a picture of the popcorn and I'm sorry this is not the best picture. The carmel corn was almost gone before I remembered to take the picture.

Carmel Popcorn


  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup karo syrup
  • 1 cube butter
  • 1 T. water
  • dash salt
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 12-16 cups of popped popcorn

Directions: Bring everything except baking soda, vanilla and popcorn to a rolling boil. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and baking soda. Stir over popcorn.

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Chicken Strips served 2 ways & Blog Award

I can't believe that it has been a week since I posted last, I have lots of great excuses:). Here are a couple quick and easy dinner ideas for you.

Cajun Chicken Strips
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 T. Cajun seasoning
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1-2 t. hot pepper sauce (I use Frank's Red Hot)
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 T. canola oil
  • 3 T. butter

Directions: Rinse and dry chicken. Place chicken between two sheets of plastic wrap on a cutting board. Pound chicken breast until about 1/4 - 1/2 inch thick. Cut chicken into strips. Mix chicken with Cajun seasoning until coated. Heat oil and butter in large skillet. Dip chicken strips into the eggs beaten with the hot pepper sauce. Coat the chicken with bread crumbs. Cook chicken in the hot oil and butter until cooked through, about 5-6 minutes per side. Remove chicken and continue to the next recipes.

Pasta with Cajun Chicken Strips and Grape Tomatoes


  • Half of chicken from recipe above (1 chicken breast)
  • drippings from cooking the chicken
  • 1 pound angel hair spaghetti noodles
  • 1/2 cup cooking liquid, reserve when you drain the pasta
  • 3 cups grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • Mozzarella cheese to grate on top

Directions: Cook pasta according to directions. Add tomatoes to the drippings from the chicken and cook until the tomatoes are soft and beginning to brown. Add pasta and 1/2 cup pasta water. Add Parmesan cheese and heat through. Serve with the chicken and grated mozzarella cheese.

Cajun Chicken Salad


  • 1 head of your favorite lettuce (I used green leaf)
  • leftover Cajun chicken strips, chopped and warm
  • 1 pint strawberries, washed and sliced
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (almonds would also be great)
  • grated mozzarella cheese
  • your favorite dressing (I love this salad with Brianna's Home Style Poppy Seed Dressing)

Directions: Wash, dry and chop(or tear) lettuce. Top with the other ingredients.

One last thing we want to pass along the blog award that we got from Lisa last week! Thanks again Lisa!!

We are passing it on to the following blogs:

Candy at The Courageous Cook


Aggie at Aggie's Kitchen

Check these blogs out for some delicious food:)!!
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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Levain Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie Copycats

I found this recipe at the Picky Palate blog, who found it at the Cookie Madness Blog. I LOVE these cookies!! I have made them SEVERAL times!! They are just SO yummy!! A slight crunch on the outside and chewy on the inside! I left out the walnuts, my boys WON"T eat cookies with any nuts. You've GOT to try these! Do use bread flour, it really does make a difference. I had to make these with half bread flour and half all-purpose since I ran out of the bread flour and they did not turn out as well. If you haven't and if you have(do it again), go check out the Picky Palate and also the Cookie Madness Blog. I used my large ice cream scoop and actually made 15 cookies instead of 12.

Levain Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie Copycats
  • 8 ounces (two sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 cups BREAD flour (13 1/2 oz)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 to 1 1/3 cups coarsely chopped, untoasted walnuts

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Beat butter and both sugars just until they come together. Don’t overbeat. Add the egg and beat just until incorporated. Mix together the flour, salt and baking soda. When thoroughly mixed, add to batter and stir just until blended. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. The dough should be neither sticky nor dry.

Divide dough into about 12 mounds, but keep the mounds kind of raggedy. That is, don’t smash them into compact balls. Bake on ungreased insulated cookie sheet or an upside down rimmed cookie sheet for 20 minutes at 350. Cool on sheet for about 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

This should make a dozen 4 oz. cookies or eight 6 oz. cookies. Check out Levain Bakery here.

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Monday, September 15, 2008

Green Chili Burros

Have I mentioned that we LOVE green chili and we LOVE tortillas and my husband is a hunter? I love this quick and easy recipe. It is one that his family has been making for years. I'm not sure where it originated and I know that we have adapted it over the years. We usually make this with venison(we have a freezer full:)), but it is also wonderful with beef and even chicken. One of the best things about this recipe is that my husband usually does most of the work. I make tortillas and he does the rest.

Green Chili Burros
  • 2 pounds round steak(we use venison, but beef works too)
  • 1 T McCormick Montreal Steak Seasoning
  • 2 T canola oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 4 oz cans green chili
  • 2 cans cream of celery soup
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2-1 can water
  • burrito size tortillas
  • 1 package fresh mushrooms, sauteed in olive oil or butter with garlic salt and fresh cracked pepper
  • cheese

Directions: Cut your steak into small bite size pieces(I use kitchen shears). Mix with the steak seasoning. In a large skillet saute onions in 2 T canola oil. When onions are translucent add the steak and cook through. Add green chili, soups and water(to desired consistency). Cook until hot and bubbly. Take a warm tortilla fill with the mixture, wrap and more to the top and top with sauteed mushrooms and cheese. Yum!! Yum!!

Our first blog award!!
Thanks to Lisa at Jersey Girl Cooks for the Yummy Blog Award!! Lisa has a wonderful blog...check it out!! We will be passing the award on this week!!

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Breakfast Burritos

I've mentioned before that we REALLY enjoy our breakfast foods. This is one that my husband would love to eat for breakfast everyday:) We always make these when we go camping. The week before our last camping trip, every morning when I would ask our 2 year old what he wanted for breakfast he would say, "breakfast burritos up on the mountain." I am really not much of a morning person. Usually in the morning I barely have time to cook up the oatmeal, toast, juice or occasionally a fruit shake and get the kids out the door to school and husband off to work. These really don't take much time, but since I make the tortillas from scratch it takes a little longer. I just can't bring myself to buy tortillas when they are SO cheap to make.

Anyway, I felt like spoiling my husband(and my boys) this morning before he headed off for his elk hunt. You can really add anything you like to these. I sometimes makethese with regular bacon, but decided to reduce the fat and substituted Canadian Bacon. They were SO good!!

Breakfast Burritos


  • 2-3 T olive oil
  • 1/3 cup chopped onions
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped
  • 1/3 cup green chili
  • 2 baked potatoes, grated
  • 6 slices Canadian Bacon. chopped
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/4 cup evaporated milk
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Heat olive oil in large skillet. Saute onions for a couple of minutes. Add garlic, bell pepper and jalapeno and saute for another 5 minutes. Add green chili, potatoes and Canadian Bacon. Beat eggs and evaporated milk together, add to the skillet. Add salt and pepper and cook until eggs are cooked through. Wrap your eggs in a tortilla with some cheese and serve with your favorite fix-ins....salsa, sour cream, guacamole, whatever you like or have on hand.

I love it when you can buy roasted green chili here locally!! We split a 30 pound bag with my bro-in-law. We got 15 lbs. for ~$15. SO much cheaper than buying it in the can!! I just peel the skin off, get out most of the seeds, throw it in my food processor and pulse a few times. I put it in small snack size bags to freeze. So yummy!! We eat green chili with ALMOST everything:)

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Leftover Oatmeal Bread

I have been baking A LOT of bread lately. My house has been hot, but smelling good:) We eat a lot of oatmeal at our house during the week. Fast, easy healthy meal before sending the kids to school and the husband to work. Well....the other day I totally over shot the oatmeal. I don't know how, but somehow I had 2 cups of oatmeal leftover. We hate to throw out any food, so I thought I'd make some bread. Re-heating the oatmeal to eat later just didn't sound as good:) The bread turned out great! It is YUMMY and makes some wonderful cinnamon toast! Nothing makes me think of my Grandma more than hot chocolate and cinnamon toast...oh and, homemade pickles, pumpkin rolls, chocolate chip cookies....
Leftover Oatmeal Bread


  • 2 c room temperature leftover oatmeal
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 2 1/4 t. yeast or one envelope
  • 1/4 c. molasses or honey
  • 1/4 c. melted butter
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 4-5 cups bread flour
  • 2 t. salt

Directions: Mix oatmeal, water, yeast, molasses and one cup of the whole wheat flour until well blended. Let rest for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes add butter, the other 1 cup whole wheat flour and 3 cups bread flour. Mix well and let rest for an additional 20 minutes. Mix in salt and knead in additional bread flour until the dough is just slightly sticky, but pulling away from the bowl. I knead mine in my kitchen-aid for about 5 minutes. I dust the top of the dough with flour, cover and let rise until double, about 1 hour. Punch down dough and form into 2 large loaves or 3 medium loaves. Put into greased loaf pans, dust top with flour, cover and let rise until double, about 1 more hour. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-45 minutes, depending on the size of your loaves.

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Monday, September 8, 2008

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

I love homemade ice cream!! I remember making ice cream many times growing up. I loved adding the ice and rock salt and taking my turn cranking the crank. Actually I don't know about cranking the crank. I remember making it in the winter when we could use snow instead of ice. I don't have an ice cream maker:(...but that's okay, I used Prudy's maker-less method. If you haven't checked out Prudence Pennywise, please do!! Prudy has a wonderful blog with WONDERFUL recipes. I have made many and can say they have all been delicious! Anyway, I stirred the ice cream about every 1/2 to 1 hour. I found myself taking a bite or two every time I stirred, so I kept it closer to 1 hour:)

We love plain old vanilla ice cream around here, then everyone can stir in their favorite add-ins! My husband LOVES coarsely chopped Butterfinger!! If you try this, I hope you enjoy!!!

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream


  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 cups half and half
  • 1/3 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 2 t. vanilla

Directions: Whisk all ingredients together until smooth. Put the bowl in the freezer and whisk every 1/2-1 one hour until frozen. Once it starts freezing you will need to switch from a whisk to a large spoon to stir.

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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

French Toast with Buttermilk Syrup

We are a breakfast family. We love breakfast! We even have breakfast for dinner about once a week and this is one of our favorites!! A friend of mine gave me this recipe for buttermilk syrup a couple of years ago. I don't know about you, but I was thinking 'buttermilk syrup? yuck!' Boy was I wrong!! This is SO yummy!! We don't have french toast with any other syrup now. I wish I could have gotten a better picture, but my kids and husband are not very patient when it comes to getting breakfast to the table:)

This is pretty much your average recipe for French Toast, but the addition of cinnamon sugar, gives the top a little crunch. The recipe came from Food Network.
Cinnamon French Toast
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 t cinnamon
  • 4 T butter
  • 8 thick slices of bread

Directions: Preheat an oven to 200 degrees F, and place a rack on a sheet pan. Whisk the milk and eggs in a glass pie or casserole dish until evenly combined. Whisk the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add about 1/2 a tablespoon of butter to the skillet, swirling the pan to coat the surface. Dip 2 slices of bread into the egg mixture and immediately lay in the skillet. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar on top and cook until the undersides are brown and crisp, about 4 minutes. Add a nut-sized bit of butter to the skillet, as needed, and flip the toast, cook until golden on the underside, about 3 minutes more.

Buttermilk Syrup

  • 1/2 c buttermilk(put 1 T vinegar in measuring cup and add milk to 1/2 cup mark and let sit for a few minutes)
  • 1 cube butter
  • 1 t karo syrup
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1 t vanilla

Directions: Stir first 4 ingredients together in a large saucepan. Boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add vanilla and baking soda. The baking soda makes the syrup foam up, so make sure you use a fairly large pan.

We like to sprinkle powdered sugar on top of all this goodness:) The picture has a piece of white Texas toast on the bottom and a piece of homemade wheat bread on top. Honestly, I like the wheat bread as much or more than the other.

Have a great day!!

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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Frosted Peanut Marshmallow Crispy Squares

I hope everyone had a GREAT Labor Day weekend!! We went camping and had a BLAST!! Now it is going to take me all week to clean up:) That's okay, it is SO worth it. The boys have such a blast every time we go camping!!

Here is a yummy treat that I made to take with us!

Frosted Peanut Marshmallow Crispy Squares

Adapted recipe from kraftfoods.com


  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 pkg. (10 oz.) marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup creamy or chunky peanut butter
  • 5 cups rice crispy cereal
  • 1 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

Directions: Melt butter in 3-quart saucepan on low heat. Add marshmallows; stir until marshmallows are completely melted and mixture is well blended. Stir in peanut butter; remove from heat. Add cereal; mix well. Press mixture firmly into foil lined 9x13-inch pan. Place chocolate chips and peanut butter in saucepan; Cook on low heat until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is well blended, stirring frequently. Pour over cereal; spread to cover. Refrigerate until chocolate mixture is set. Cut into 36 squares.


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