Monday, December 28, 2015

Toasted Caramel Root Beer

I am not a whiskey fan by any stretch of the imagination but when my sister and brother-in-law offer me one of these drinks, I cannot refuse.

2-3 oz Black Velvet Toasted Caramel
Root beer

Fill glass with ice.  Add black velvet.  Top off with root beer.  Stir and enjoy.  But beware, these don't taste dangerous but they can sneak up on you!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Grandma’s Cheeseburger Soup


One of my favorite Christmas traditions!! Straight from The Underbakke Family Cookbook

1 lb. ground beef
1/4 C. flour
3/4 C. chopped onion
8 oz. velveeta cheese
3/4 C. shredded carrots
1 1/2 C. milk
3/4 C. diced celery
1 tsp. basil
3 Tbsp. butter or oil
1/4 C. sour cream
3 C. chicken broth
Salt and pepper
4 C. diced potatoes

In a 5-quart pot, brown ground beef; drain and set aside. Saute onions, carrots, celery and basil in same pan, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour and add broth, potatoes and ground beef. Cover, reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender; about 15 minutes. Add cheese, milk, salt and pepper. Cook and stir until cheese melts. Remove from heat and blend in sour cream. Serve.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Almond Bark Cookies

I absolutely love these easy, no bake cookies. My mom always has them on her goodie tray during the Christmas holidays and I can’t wait to go home today and enjoy a few.

2 lb. almond bark (white)
1 C. mini marshmallows
2 C. dry roasted peanuts
3 C. rice krispies
1 C. peanut butter

Melt almond bark and add the remaining ingredients. Drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper. 

Monday, December 21, 2015

Holiday jello shots

Who doesn’t love a good jello shot at parties? I wanted to go with a red and green theme for the holidays but I hate lime.  Lucky me, I found a wonderful alternative! I went with watermelon, cherry and green apple.  I prefer to make my jello shots with cake or whipped flavored vodka as it takes the edge off of a cheap regular distilled vodka taste.

The same instructions apply for all three of these flavors. 
Mix jello packet with one cup boiling water.  Stir until dissolved.  Add 1 cup of the assigned alcohol.  Stir.  Set in molds, Dixie cups or syringes.  Refrigerate until set. 

1 box watermelon jello
1 cup water
1 cup salty watermelon vodka

Green apple
1 box Jolly Rancher green apple jello
1 cup water
1 cup cake vodka

1 box cherry jello
1 cup water
1 cup cake vodka
These were a huge hit! I made 100 and they were gone in a matter of a few hours.  

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Tortilla Roll Ups

1 package of large flour tortillas (about 16)
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 package taco seasoning
1 small can chopped black olives (optional)
1 small can chopped green chilies
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
24 ounces sour cream (I used 16 oz regular and 8 oz Mexican flavor sour cream)
Few dashes of hot sauce

In a large bowl, mix the cream cheese and sour cream until it is smooth and there are no lumps. Add the taco seasoning and mix well. Add the cheese, olives and chilies and mix. Spread the mixture on the tortillas to the edges and roll up. Store in the refrigerator until firm. Cut up and serve.

The flavor of these is good but they are a bit messy. Next time I would do 16 oz cream cheese and 16 oz of sour cream. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Spicy Tuna Melt

1 Can of Solid White Tuna (drained)
1/2 Tsp. Onion Powder
1/2 Tsp. Garlic Powder
1/4 Cup Mayonnaise
Frank’s RedHot Sauce
2 Slices New York Sharp Cheddar Cheese (or any other kind of cheese you want)
2 pieces of bread
Salt & Pepper (to taste)

Mix tuna, mayo, spices and redhot sauce until smooth.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Butter one side of two pieces of bread.  Turn skillet on medium heat. But bread butter side down, with a slice of cheese, then tuna mixture, another slice of cheese and the 2nd piece of bread butter side up.  Cook on each side until golden brown.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Chubby Hubby Clusters

Recipe from Six Sisters Stuff

1½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter chips
½ cup butter, cut into pieces
¼ cup peanut butter
2 cups pretzel sticks, roughly chopped
1 cup salted peanuts

In a large bowl, mix together chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, butter, and peanut butter.  Microwave on high for 45 seconds, stir, and microwave again for 30 seconds. Stir until smooth (if it isn't completely melted, return to the microwave for 20 second intervals, stirring after each time).
Add pretzels and peanuts to the melted chocolate mixture and stir until they are completely coated in
chocolate.  Drop by tablespoonfuls onto wax paper and refrigerate for about 30 minutes or until firm.

Optional: drizzle with melted peanut butter.  If you don't eat them all in one sitting, store leftovers in an airtight container.

This treat was easy to make (no bake) and combines some of my favorite flavors.  Chocolate, peanut butter and salt…how can we go wrong with that? Thanks, Six Sisters for a great recipe to add to the Christmas goodie platter! 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Adult Apple Cider & Mimosas

I was looking for a fun adult beverage for my annual ugly sweater party and decided to go with an apple cider theme.  I had some random bottles of “odd” vodkas in the liquor cabinet that I thought would fit perfectly with the apple cider.  And boy, was I right.  This drink turned out to be fabulous.

1 gallon apple cider
1 C. salted caramel vodka
1 C. fluffed marshmallow vodka
1 C. cake vodka
2 cinnamon sticks

Mix into a large beverage container and chill for 2 hours. It’s that simple. 
Serve over ice as a drink or pour into a shot glass and top with whipped cream.   

Apple Cider Mimosas

1 gallon apple cider
2 bottles of champagne (chilled)

Make just like a normal mimosa but substitute apple cider for the orange juice.  Fill glass ½- ¾ way full of cider and top of with champagne.  If you want to get fancy, garnish the rim with sugar and an apple wedge.  

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Crock Pot Cheesy Beer Smokies

1 (14.5 oz) jar Cheese Sauce
1/2 c. beer
1­2 tsp Tabasco Sauce
2 (14 oz) packages Lil’ Smokies

In slow cooker combine the cheese sauce, beer and tabasco Sauce. Stir until combined.  Add smokies and stir until coated. Heat on low for 3­4 hours stirring throughout process or until heated through.

I needed a low maintenance appetizer for my ugly sweater party and this recipe worked perfectly.  Nothing better than being able to throw something in the crockpot.  I’m not a beer fan so I was a little nervous but the beer taste did not override the smokies.  

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Baked Spaghetti Pie

This is what would happen if lasagna and spaghetti had a baby...

½ package of spaghetti, cooked
1 lb. of lean ground beef or Italian sausage
1 jar spaghetti sauce
2 Tbsp. cottage cheese
2 Tbsp. jalapeno cream cheese
2 cups shredded monterey jack cheese
Italian seasoning

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Cook and drain spaghetti noodles.  In a separate pan, brown and drain your meat.  Mix meat, spaghetti sauce, cottage cheese, cream cheese and 1 cup of shredded cheese. 
Sprinkle with Italian seasoning.  Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray, and then add spaghetti noodles. Top with sauce mixture. Top with the remaining cheese.  Bake for 10 minutes or until cheese is golden brown.  Serve with garlic bread and salad.

The original recipe did not call for the cottage or cream cheese but I’m glad I added it. You could do Ricotta too.  They added a nice creamy element to the mixture.  This made a 9x13 pan and was super filling. I’ve been eating leftovers for days and even took some to a friend to have. Next time I will try it with sausage instead of beef for some extra flavor.  

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Chicken Ranch Cheese Dip

2 blocks cream cheese (room temp)
1 ranch dressing dry packet
1 can (12 oz) chicken (white chunk chicken drained)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Mix cream cheese and ranch mix together until well blended. Fold in chicken and cheese. Chill for an hour before serving with crackers or vegetables. 

This dip was simple to make.  It tasted fine as is but I decided to dress it up a bit with another block of cream cheese and a package of real bacon pieces.  This took the taste from ordinary to awesome.  I served it with ranch flavored wheat thins and ritz crackers. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Pepper jack and bacon scalloped potatoes

6-7 potatoes, peeled and diced
8-10 slices bacon, cooked and crumbed
1 sleeve Ritz crackers (I used bacon flavored)
1 stick butter
1 cup milk
½ cup flour
2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese

Cut potatoes and bring to a boil for about 10 minutes.  Strain and add to a greased 9x13 pan. Sprinkle bacon on top of the potatoes. Shake milk and flour together (or stir briskly with a whisk) and pour on top of potatoes. Add a few dashes of salt and pepper. Cover with pepper jack cheese.  

Melt the stick of butter and add one sleeve of well crushed crackers.  Mix and spread this on the top of the potatoes.  Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes.  Remove foil. Bake for 15 more minutes.

On a cold rainy day, nothing sounds better to me than a hot casserole out of the oven.  But, because it was cold and rainy, I didn’t want to go to the grocery store.  So I decided to put this together some ingredients I had in my kitchen and see what happened.  The result? One of my favorite creations of all time!! Warm, hearty and delicious!  

White Chocolate Lemon Cookies

1 ½ sticks butter, softened
¾ cup white sugar
¼ cup light brown sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. lemon zest
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 ½ cups white chocolate chips

Cream butter and sugars together. Beat in egg and vanilla. Mix in lemon zest.  In a separate bowl combine flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Add to butter mixture. Stir until combined and gently stir in white chocolate chips.

Form into balls about an inch or slightly more in diameter. Chill for at least 2 hrs or a couple days if you don't want to eat them right away. Preheat oven to 350 and grease cookie sheet. Bake for 8-11 minutes until edges are lightly brown. Do not over-bake. The centers may still look doughy. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes and then cook on wire rack.

These cookies taste like summer and magic! Although they would be great any time of the year, the taste is light and refreshing.  They are a lot of white chocolate chips in this recipe.  If you don’t like overly chunky cookies, scale back to 1 cup instead of an entire package of white chocolate chips. 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Cake Mix Peanut Butter Bars

1 cup of Peanut Butter
1/2 cup water
1 large egg
15.25 ounces Yellow Cake Mix

For the frosting:
1 stick margarine (1/2 c.), softened
1/4 cup milk
1/­2 tsp vanilla (depending on your taste)
3 tablespoons of cocoa
2-­3 cups of powdered sugar

Heat the oven to 350°F.  Spray a 13 X 9­inch pan with no­stick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl combine 1 cup of peanut butter, water and egg in large bowl, stirring until smooth.  Stir in cake mix until blended well. Spread into prepared pan.  Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until puffed and light golden brown. Cool completely.

Mix all frosting ingredients with a hand mixer until smooth. Add more powdered sugar or milk until you reach desired consistency and spread on top of bars. Or, if you’re feeling lazy, buy a can of whipped milk chocolate frosting. 

These bars were easy to throw together and smelled delicious coming out of the oven.  While they were very tasty, be warned that they are very “dense”.  I would cut them in small squares or be prepared to wash it down with a glass of milk. 

Monday, November 2, 2015

White Trash Casserole

I have to admit, the name of this recipe intrigued me.  It looked simple and included ingredients I had on hand so I decided to give it a shot last night.

1 lb. ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 tbsp. mince garlic
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 can corn, drained
Small brick of Velveeta, cut into cubes
Tater Tots
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brown beef and onion together then drain. (The original recipe doesn’t call for minced garlic but I added it and was glad I did.)  Mix cream of mushroom with the ground beef.  Spread beef mixture in bottom of a casserole dish. Layer corn, Velveeta, and tater tots. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes to an hour, until tater tots are golden brown.

This made my house smell amazing while it was cooking.  It tasted great too. It was what I imagine a casserole would taste like if Hunters Dish and Tater Tot Casserole had a baby.  If you’re looking for an easy recipe to throw together on a cold night, add this to your collection.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Crockpot Pineapple Moonshine

1 56 oz can pineapple juice
2 c. sugar
1 bottle Everclear grain alcohol or vodka

Add pineapple juice and sugar to crock-pot.  Cook on LOW for 2 hours with lid slightly ajar.
Allow mixture to cool completely before adding in Alcohol.  Add in alcohol and mix well.
Pour mixture into 4 Quart Canning Jars or a large jug with lid. Store in a cool dry place. Serve over ice. 

I used an orange pineapple apple juice blend.  This was VERY strong! I added another bottle of the orange pineapple juice and then it was delicious. 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Peanut Butter Puff Corn


Two 3½ oz bags puffcorn
¾ cup butter
¼ cup peanut butter
1¼ cup brown sugar
⅔ cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon baking soda

Pour puffcorn into a large, greased roasting pan. Put butter, peanut butter, brown sugar and light corn syrup in a large saucepan (mixture will bubble up so it has to be big). Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add baking soda and mixture will foam up. Pour mixture over puffcorn and stir to coat. Bake at 250 degrees for 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Remove from oven, pour onto waxed paper and break into pieces.

Although it takes a little time to make this due to the stirring every 10 minutes, it is totally worth it! This is sweet and delicious with a bit of crunch.  

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Sausage balls

What do you take to a brunch potluck when the host is already making the egg bakes and you’re a little short on time?  After perusing Pinterest I found this handy recipe and decided to give it a try.

1 lb. ground pork sausage, cooked (NOT drained)
2 cups Bisquick
2 cups shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, combine cooked sausage, Bisquick and shredded cheese. Form into walnut size balls and place on baking sheets.  Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes, until golden brown. (makes approx. 36 balls) 

I made these in the morning and then threw them in the crockpot on warm for the brunch.  They were easy to make, simple ingredients and tasted great.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Tangy Chicken Tenders

2 pounds boneless, skinless, chicken breast, sliced into tenders
½ cup bbq sauce (I used Jack Daniels Spicy)
1 tbsp. Franks Red Hot sauce
½ an onion, diced
¼ cup minced garlic
¼ cup brown sugar
A few dashes of Cajun seasoning and/or hickory smoke salt

Place all ingredients in a plastic bag and make sure all chicken pieces are coated.  Refrigerate for 2 hours so that flavors can meld together.  Grill over medium heat until chicken is done and juices run clear.  If it’s not grilling season, bake in oven for 25 minutes at 350. 

These are great as is but I love to make slider sandwiches with them! All you need to do is cover with a piece of pepper jack cheese and serve on a sweet Hawaiian roll.  Yum!

Grilled Green Beans

1 pound fresh green beans
4 slices of bacon, diced
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. minced garlic
¼ medium onion, diced
Salt & pepper

Wash and thoroughly dry green beans. Season with salt and pepper in a large bowl.  Add remaining ingredients and shake to mix.  Place on foil that has been covered in non-stick spray.  Place on the top shelf of grill for 20 minutes, flipping half way through.  

Monday, July 6, 2015

Bacon Jalapeno Beer Cheese Dip

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
¼ C. beer
6 slices bacon, diced and cooked
¼ tsp garlic powder
2 fresh jalapeno peppers, halved, seeded and diced
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Mix all ingredients together except for the shredded cheddar.  Place into greased baking dish.  Cover with shredded cheese and crumble some crackers on top.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Serve warm with crackers or tortilla chips.

This was a major hit at my family dinner on Sunday.  Simple to make and just enough kick to be tasty but not overwhelming.  Could add diced chiles and some sour cream if you wanted to make this go further. 

Dorito Dip

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
8 oz. sour cream
4 oz. chopped green chiles
1/3 cup Bacon Bits
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Mix all ingredients together and allow to chill for at least 3 hours for the flavors to blend.
Top with additional bacon bits right before serving

Serve with crackers, chips or raw veggies. (Doritos are best!)

This was super easy to make and really did taste excellent on Doritos, which I am usually not a fan of. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Baked Italian Casserole

8 ounces rotini pasta
1/2 lb. ground beef
1/4 onion, diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
12 ounces spaghetti sauce
8 ounces cottage cheese
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 teaspoon italian seasoning
1/4 pound sliced pepperoni
1 can (2.25 ounce) sliced black olives with jalapenos, drained (optional)
1 can (4 ounce) mushrooms, drained (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook the pasta according to the package.  Brown the meat with onions and garlic. Drain noodles and meat.  Add spaghetti sauce and layer in bottom of greased 9x13 pan. If you would like to add the mushrooms or olives, mix in as well.  I chose not to add either.  Mix cottage cheese, Italian seasoning and shredded cheese together.   Spread on top of the noodle and meat mixture.  Top with pepperonis.  Bake for 20-25 minutes until cheese is brown and bubbling.

I didn’t have rotini noodles so I used elbow macaroni which tasted just fine.  The flavors tasted even better together the next day when warmed up for lunch.  

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Cool as a cucumber

As spring finally rolls around, are you looking for a great new drink for the warm days of summer ahead? I recommend this delightful cocktail!

I admit, this sounds funky but it is amazing and smooth. And I don't even like cucumbers!

1 part cucumber vodka
1 part watermelon pucker
1 part lemonade
splash of 7-up or Sierra Mist

Mix, serve over ice and bring on summer!!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Oatmeal Cake

This is one of my favorite family recipes EVER. It reminds me of family reunions, loved ones and sunshine.  My mom makes this for me on special occasions.

1 C. raw oatmeal                                                                             
2 eggs
1 1/2 C. boiling water                                                                     
1 1/2 C. flour
1 C. white sugar                                                                                               
1 tsp. baking soda
1 C. brown sugar                                                                             
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 C. shortening                                                                            
1 tsp. cinnamon

Mix the oatmeal and water.  Let stand 20 minutes.  Beat the two sugars and shortening together.  Add the eggs, one at a time.  Sift flour, soda, salt and cinnamon together and add to sugar and egg mixture.  Add oatmeal mixture last.  Bake at 325 degrees in 9 x 13 pan for 35-40 minutes.  While cake is still warm, spread with the frosting below:

Frosting for oatmeal cake:
6 Tbsp. butter                                                                                   
1 C. coconut
1/4 C. half & half or cream                                                           
1/2 C. brown sugar                                                                         
1 tsp. vanilla

Melt the butter, add other ingredients.  Spread on the cake and put under the broiler until brown.

For more of my family recipes, our cookbook is available on Amazon.  

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Chicken Tator Tot Bake

¼ cup 2% low-fat milk
1 cup low-fat sour cream
1 (10 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 can of corn, drained
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked & shredded
16 ounces frozen tater tots
1½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine milk, sour cream, cream of chicken soup, corn and chicken in medium size pot.  Place on stove top over medium-high heat.  Stir and heat until ingredients mix well; about 3-5 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup shredded cheese. salt and pepper.  Pour mixture into 9X12 glass baking dish.
Sprinkle ½ cup shredded cheese over mixture.  Place tator tots on top of mixture.  Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes.  Remove aluminum foil and continue to bake for 15 minutes uncovered.

This was a nice twist on your classic tator tot casserole. I used pre diced chicken chunks from the deli.  Mine turned out a little salty.  It was very good but definitely on the salty side.  Possibly because I had the chicken strips that are packaged?  If you use real chicken breasts I think it would be better.  

Monday, February 16, 2015

Sour Cream Noodle Bake

1-1/4 lb. ground beef
15 oz. can tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
8 oz. egg noodles
1/2 cup sour cream
1-1/4 cup small curd cottage cheese
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Brown meat in a large skillet. Drain fat and add tomato sauce, salt and pepper. Stir, then simmer while you prepare the other ingredients.

Cook egg noodles until al dente. Drain and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine sour cream and cottage cheese. Add plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Add to noodles and stir. Add green onions and stir.

To assemble, add half of the noodles to a baking dish. Top with half the meat mixture, then sprinkle on half the grated cheddar. Repeat with noodles, meat, then a final layer of cheese. Bake for 20 minutes, or until all cheese is melted.

This is a great casserole for a cold night at home.  Easy to make and doesn’t take too long.  Can be served alone or with a side of crusty French bread.  

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Italian Crescent Casserole

1 lb. ground beef, cooked and drained (I did half beef and half Italian sausage)
1 cup garlic tomato pasta sauce
1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1½ cups shredded Italian cheese blend
¼ teaspoon dried basil leaves or Italian seasoning

Brown your meat with some minced garlic and seasonings.  Once cooked, mix in pasta sauce. Heat over medium heat until warm.  Separate crescent dough into 8 triangles. Place dough in ungreased 9-inch glass pie plate in spoke pattern, with narrow tips overlapping rim of plate about 3 inches.  Press dough in side and bottom of pan to form crust and cover the pan. Sprinkle with 1 cup of the cheese over dough in the pan. I also added 5 pepperoni’s across the cheese and some Italian seasoning.  Spoon meat mixture evenly over cheese.  Bring tips of dough over filling to meet in center; do not overlap.  Sprinkle with remaining ½ cup cheese over the dish followed by the basil. Here I added a few shakes of parmesan cheese as well.  Bake at 375°F 15 to 20 minutes.  Let cool a few minutes before cutting. 

This smelled so good while it was baking my mouth was watering.  And it didn’t disappoint when it hit my lips! It’s like a pizza pie or calzone or just some yummy crescenty Italian goodness in a pie pan.  Very delicious and easy to make. Molly loved it too.  Can’t wait to make this again soon. 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Dragon Noodles (spicy noodles)

Do you love Asian food but don’t think you have the time or skills to make it?  Just made these dragon noodles and they were phenomenal! Super easy to make and taste amazing.  Had just enough spice to  make it nice but not painful or overbearing.  Total time was just under 10 minutes and I had all the ingredients on hand except for the lo mein noodles which I found at the local Asian mart.  This recipe will definitely be going in the rotation for wonderful, quick dinners! Next time I might try adding some chopped up chicken for protein.

4 oz. lo mein noodles
2 Tbsp butter
¼ tsp crushed red pepper
1 large egg
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp sriracha (rooster sauce)
1 handful fresh cilantro
1 sliced green onion

Begin to boil water for the noodles. Once the water reaches a full boil, add the noodles and cook according to the package directions (boil for 5-7 minutes).

While waiting for the water to boil, prepare the sauce. In a small bowl stir together the brown sugar, soy sauce, and sriracha.  In a large skillet melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-low heat. Add the red pepper to the butter as it melts. Whisk an egg in a bowl and then add to the melted butter. Stir gently and cook through. Once the egg is done cooking, turn off the heat.

When the noodles are tender, drain the water and then add them to the skillet with the cooked egg. Also add the prepared sauce. Turn the heat on low to evaporate excess moisture, and stir until everything is coated well with the sauce. Sprinkle the sliced green onions and cilantro leaves (whole) on top and serve. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Crownberry Apple

I am not a huge fan of whiskey in any capacity. Even the "good stuff" like Crown Royal.  But my life has been flipped, turned upside down by a new drink.  The Crownberry Apple.

1 part Crown Royal Apple
2 parts cranberry juice (I use light)

Mix and serve over a glass of ice.  That's it! It is delicious and smooth.

Thursday, January 22, 2015


Growing up, this was the ultimate comfort food in my mother’s kitchen.  Simple to make dinner that warmed the soul and the belly. 

1 pound of ground hamburger or pork, browned                                    
2 C. elbow noodles
1 large can diced tomatoes
Minced garlic
Chopped onions
Salt & pepper
Red pepper flakes (optional)
Hot sauce (optional)

Brown burger in pan with minced garlic and chopped onions.   Boil water and cook noodles per instructions. Drain and add all other ingredients.  I like to add a few dashes of red pepper flakes and hot sauce for flavor but that is totally optional. Once heated through, serve plain or topped with some shredded cheddar cheese.  

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Dried Beef Cheeseball

2 packages (8 oz. each) Cream Cheese, softened
2 packages of thinly sliced beef or pastrami
2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
2 teaspoons Accent Salt
3­4 green onions, chopped finely

Place cream cheese in a large bowl and gently stir with a wooden spoon or spatula until slightly creamy. Cut meat and green onion into small pieces.  Add to cream cheese.   Add salt and Worcestershire Sauce.  Mix well.  Place plastic wrap on counter.   Add cheese ball mixture and form one large ball or divide in half for two smaller cheese balls.  You can also roll in chopped nuts if you want.  Serve with crackers of your choice.

This was easy to make and tastes great.  I didn’t roll it into a ball but am storing it in Tupperware in the fridge.  Would be a great additional to any potluck or gathering. 

Monday, January 5, 2015

Low carb egg muffins

15 eggs (for silicone muffin pans, use 12 eggs for metal muffin tins)
1-2 cups grated low fat cheese (I like sharp cheddar or a blend of cheddar/Jack cheese, use less cheese if using meat)
Optional, but highly recommended, 3 green onions diced small.
Optional: chopped veggies such as blanched broccoli, spinach, red pepper, zucchini, mushrooms, etc.
Optional: diced Canadian bacon, lean ham, or crumbled cooked turkey sausage

Preheat oven to 375 F. Use regular or silicone muffin pan, 12 muffin size. If using silicone pan, spray with nonstick spray. If using regular muffin pan, put two paper liners into each slot, then spray liner with nonstick spray.

In the bottom of the muffin cups layer meat, vegetables, cheese and green onions. You want the muffin cups to be about 2/3 full, with just enough room to pour a little egg around the other ingredients. Break eggs into large measuring bowl, add salt and pepper and beat well.  Pour egg into each muffin cup until it is 3/4 full.  Bake 25-35 minutes until muffins have risen and are slightly browned and set.

Muffins will keep more than a week in the refrigerator without freezing. Egg muffins can be frozen and reheated, but I like them best when they're just refrigerated. For best results, thaw in refrigerator before reheating. Microwave on high about 1-2 minutes to reheat.

I used egg beaters, ground turkey breakfast sausage, shredded cheddar, minced garlic and green onion.  I put a few dashes of hot sauce in the sausage when I was cooking it.  These turned out great! A super easy breakfast to grab and go.  Warmed up well.  And only 130 calories per serving in my Pampered Chef brownie pan! 

Jalapeno Popper Chicken Casserole

Serves: 8

I'm warning you, before you make it, this is highly addictive.  Creamy, yummy and just delicious. You have been warned.  Proceed with caution. 

3 large chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
3 slices bacon, crumbled
1 onion, chopped
2 jalapenos, seeded, deveined and diced
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened (I used reduced fat)
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (or mayonnaise)
4 oz cheddar cheese, shredded
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

For the topping:
1/2 cup crushed butter crackers (1/2 sleeve)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
4 tbsp butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375*F. Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray.

Cook bacon in a large skillet until done, but not too crisp; using a slotted spoon, remove to a paper towel lined plate and reserve. 

Add onion and jalapenos to the same skillet and saute until onion starts to soften. Add garlic and cook 1-2 minutes longer.

Stir in cream cheese, yogurt, cheddar cheese and Parmesan until mostly melted and combined; stir in chicken and bacon. 

For the topping: mix together crushed crackers, cheese, and melted butter. Sprinkle on top of casserole. Bake 25-35 minutes or until casserole is hot and bubbly and topping is brown. If the topping gets too dark before it's done, cover with foil. Serve warm.