Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Crescent dough veggie pizza

A friend of mine used to make this for work functions, and it's so good I started making it too.
I brought it to a family function over this past summer and one of the cousins said "Oh, I know this, it's a Pillsbury recipe".
Well, out of curiosity I googled the recipe and's not.
It's the same idea, same base...but the filling and toppings are different.
Not that it would be a BAD thing to be a Pillsbury recipe, I just like to know it's one between my friend and I...and now you!

2 cans crescent dough
Carrots, broccoli, and onion diced small
1 block cream cheese (softened)
1 packet ranch dressing mix
8oz thin shredded cheddar or mozzarella cheese

Roll out the dough onto a pan, pressing down seams
Bake at 375 for about 20 minutes or until golden brown
While dough is cooling, mix cream cheese and dressing mix
Spread cheese mixture evenly over dough
Spread shredded cheese and veggies, pressing down slightly

Click here to print

Here is the Pillsbury version if anyone is interested.

Ingredients. Forgot the shredded cheese though! That is a problem with trying to take pictures of things you know by heart, you just can't think of it all at once.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Slow Cooker Liners

How did I ever live without these?
Seriously, the time I would spend scrubbing and cleaning and scraping my knuckles cleaning my (very old, very loved, and very broken in) crock pot!

Now I pop one of these in, and cook like usual. Pull the bag out at the end, and voila! Minimal clean up, wipe down the crock and you are good to go.

I can find them in any grocery or superstore, usually in the same aisle as the tin foil etc.

Has anyone else tried them and loved them?

Monday, October 29, 2012

Easy Corn Chowder

Hubby dearest grew up with a thinner corn chowder than what I am used to. 
This recipe seems to be a nice happy medium for the both of us.
I adapted this from a pampered chef recipe.

Easy Corn Chowder

Unpeeled Red Potatoes
1 cup cubed cooked ham
½ cup diced red bell pepper
½ cup coarsely chopped celery
1 teaspoon butter or margerine
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 can (14-14.5 oz) chicken broth
1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
1 can (15 oz) creamed corn
2 tablespoons sliced chives
Salt and Pepper to taste

  1. Cut potato and ham into ½ inch cubes, set aside
  2. Dice bell pepper. Coarsely chop celery.
  3. Heat butter over medium heat. Add bell pepper and celery; cook and stir 3-4 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender.
  4. Stir in flour, heat until bubbly
  5. Gradually add broth, evaporated milk, and corn,
  6. Add potatoes, bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cook, uncovered, 10 minutes or until potato is tender.
  7. Remove from heat, stir in chives and season with salt and pepper.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Salted Pecan Candies

Salt? Sweet?

These are crunchy little nuggets of joy.
I used mini muffin cups and sprayed them with cooking spray which made removal from the pan amazingly easy.

Salted Pecan Candies

Vegetable Oil Cooking Spray
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup light corn syrup
½ cup coarsely chopped pecans
Large flake sea salt

  1. Coat 16 cups of two 12 cup mini muffin tins with cooking spray.
  2. Bring sugar and corn syrup to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring and brushing down sides with a wet pastry brush to prevent sugar crystals from forming, until sugar dissolves. Cook, swirling occasionally, until mixture just starts to turn golden around edge.
  3. Stir in Pecans. Cook, stirring occasionally until mixture is pale amber, about 8 minutes.
  4. Working quickly, spoon caramel into muffin cups (about 1 tablespoon each) and immediately sprinkle with salt.
  5. Let cool completely. Remove from tins (you may have to bang on tins)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Popcorn Balls

I love popcorn balls!
The ones you buy in the store (esp around Halloween) just don't do it. They are dry, crumbly, and blah.
This is so incredibly simple to make, and you can add in anything you want to make it yours.
Some suggestions

  • Candies
  • Toffee
  • Cranberries
  • Nuts
After this mixture is made, it is too hot to touch. I used spray butter on my hands, pulled some, put it on a wire rack for a few seconds, and it cooled down enough for me to shape them into a ball.

Darling daughter had the time of her life eating all the "leftovers" in the pan.
Come to find out, a friend of mine had never had one! I gave him some...need to remember to ask him what he thought!

Popcorn Balls

¼ cup (half stick) unsalted butter, plus more for buttering hands
1 package (10 oz) miniature marshmallows
¼ cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
3 quarts popped popcorn
1 cup dried cranberries, or English toffee bits, optional

  1. Melt butter in large heavy pot over low heat. Add marshmallows and brown sugar and stir until melted.
  2. Remove from heat
  3. Pour popcorn and any add ins, into pot, toss well.
  4. With buttered hands, shape into 2 ½ inch balls. Set on parchment lined baking sheet to dry slightly.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons

I have to admit, I took the lazy way out on these. Instead of dipping them, I melted only half of the chocolate and used a spoon to drizzle it on top of the macaroons.

Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons

2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 large egg white
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 ½ cups sweetened flaked coconut
10 oz semi sweet chocolate, chopped

  1. Preheat oven to 325
  2. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone mat
  3. In large bowl, stir together the sweetened condensed milk, egg white, vanilla, and salt until combined. Stir in the coconut until well blended.
  4. Drop the dough by tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto the cookie sheets. Form the cookies into loose haystacks with your fingertips, moistening your hands with water as necessary to prevent sticking.
  5. Bake, one sheet at a time, until cookies are light golden brown, 15-20 minutes.
  6. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets until slightly set, about 2 minutes; remove to a wire rack with a wide metal spatula.
  7. One the cookies are cooled to room temperature (about 30 minutes), line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  8. Melt 8 oz of the semi sweet chocolate in a small heatproof bowl set over a pan of almost simmering  water, stirring once or twice until smooth. Remove from heat; stir in the remaining 2 oz chocolate until smooth.
  9. Holding a macaroon by it’s pointed top, dip the bottom and ½ inch up the sides in the chocolate. Scrape off excess chocolate and place the macaroon on a prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining macaroons.
  10. Refrigerate the macaroons until the chocolate sets, about 15 minutes.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Candied Citrus Peel

I realized...I make a lot of food that I don't/won't eat.
Food is such a comfort...I truly think that I get as much joy out of making something others will enjoy as I do making a favorite of my own.

I made this, with a little help from darling daughter, and it came with good reviews. I did have one aunt say it was a little strong. Maybe you have to REALLY like citrus to enjoy this treat.

Candied Citrus Peel

2 Grapefruits
3 Oranges
4 Lemons
1 ½ cup sugar

  1. With a sharp paring knife, slice off ends of grapefruits, ranges, and lemons. Following curve of fruit, cut away outermost peel, leaving most of the white pith on fruit. Slice peel lengthwise into ¼ inch strips.
  2. In a medium pot of boiling water, cook peel until tender, about 10 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer peel to a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Spread in a single layer to dry slightly. About 15 minutes.
  3. In medium saucepan, bring one cup sugar and 1 cup water to a boil over high, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add peel and boil until it turns translucent and syrup thickens, 8-10 minutes. With slotted spoon, transfer peel to wire rack, separating pieces as needed.
  4. Let dry 1 hour, toss with ½ cup sugar to coat.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Chocolate Cake with Frosting

Hands down, this is the best chocolate cake I have ever eaten!
This recipe came from a coworker of my mother's way back when. 
My best advice is to just make it, it's easy, it's yummy, what is not to love?

Chocolate Cake

2 cups flour
4 ½ Tablespoons cocoa
2 cups sugar
½ tsp salt
½ cup margarine or butter
¼ cup oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup water
2 eggs
½ cup buttermilk (or milk with a teaspoon of vinegar)
½ teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla

  1. Mix first 4 dry ingredients
  2. Bring remaining ingredients to a boil in a small pan.
  3. Add boiling mixture to dry ingredients
  4. Take buttermilk, add baking soda and vanilla to it and mix well
  5. Add to mixture and beat until blended
  6. Grease and flour pan
  7. Cook at 350 for 35-40 minutes


¾ stick margarine or butter
3-3 ½ cups confectioners sugar
4 tablespoon cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 ½ tablespoon evaporated milk

1. Mix well

Salted Caramel Frappuccino

How do I love thee?
Let me count the ways...

I wait all summer long for fall to arrive and bring with it my salty sweet friend,
Once it is here, I cannot get is very much an excercise in self control to not buy myeslf one daily,

It's a frosty treat made with coffee, milk, and ice.They then add caramel and salt. What more could you want?

I fully recommend getting up RIGHT NOW and heading to your nearest Starbucks.

Click here for a drool inducing vision.

Alas, mine is almost depleted.

Apple appetizer

I got this recipe from my cousin K. Where she got it from, I do not know.

So K shows up with this dish at a family get together, the rest is history.
Some of us didn't even get to taste it, others were too busy licking the plate!

I have made this so many times now, and every single time, I get asked for the recipe. It's made with stuff you usually have just hanging around the house...convenience at it's best.

This is so simple, yet so easy, and is always a HUGE hit.

Apples (cored and sliced)
Cream cheese

Soften cream cheese and spread on a plate
Top with granola
Drizzle with caramel
Add apple slices for scooping

Click here for printable version

Chicken Stew

Time to play "What's the Amount?"
Let's meet today's contestant....southern chicken stew!

So, here we come to one of those recipes that I have been asked for...but really do not have anything written down and do not measure it when I am cooking.
It really does just depend on how many you are feeding and how you would like it to taste. Play around, have fun!

Chicken breast







Chicken Stock

Simmer chicken in stock for 1 hour.

Pull chicken into small pieces.

Mix equal parts of flour and butter to make a roux.

Cut veggies into small, bite size pieces.

(I bake my potato before to make it quicker)

To roux, keep building with the chicken stock until you have the desired amount of soup.

Add chicken and vegetables.

Season to taste.

Click here for printable version

Weeknight Corn Chowder

Once again, another long time recipe I found on the WWW a lifetime ago.

This is so incredibly quick to make! Instead of a proper chowder, which should simmer for some time, this is ready right away!

Instant mashed potato flakes are a great, sneaky way to thicken the soup and give it the potato flavor it needs without having to wait for potato to cook,

1 c. half & half

2 green onions, sliced thin

2 tbsp. butter

Large can Vegetable broth

1/2 tsp. pepper

1 c. instant mashed potato flakes

15 oz. can whole corn, drained

1 (15 oz) can creamed corn

1 can sweetened condensed milk

In large saucepan, add broth and pepper

Stir in potato flakes and corn until blended.

Add half & half; return to heat.

Add sweetened condensed milk to taste

Heat gently, stirring frequently

Add green onions at the very end


Click here for printable version

Apple Cider Onion Soup

I was at work one very cold day and this was the soup offered in the cafateria.
It was so different and so good that I had to come home and try to figure it out: this is what I ended up with.

It's a little sweet for my husband, so we serve it as a side to a sandwich or salad instead of as a meal in itself.

4 large onions, sliced thin


chicken or veggie stock

Apple cider

Salt and pepper


Crusty bread

Gruyere cheese (shredded or thinly sliced)

Saute onions in butter until clear but not brown

Add broth to onions in pot

Simmer for 10 minutes

Add cider to taste

Salt and Pepper to taste

Simmer for 30 minutes

Spoon into crocks

Top with bread and cheese

Broil until cheese is melted, bubbly, and starting to brown

Top with paprika

Click here for printable version

Asparagus Soup

This one came to me from my friend Pam.

I add this to the blog because hubby, darling daughter, and my Nana all rave about it, They cannot get enough. I need to make 2-3 batches of this at a time.

Me, I can't even SMELL asparagus without gagging.

Guess I am the one missing out...

1 can of canned asparagus

(use the canned so it WILL be mushy)

2 cups of veggie broth

1/2 cup milk

1 tablespoon butter

Salt and Pepper

Parmesan Cheese

Directions: Blend asparagus with liquid in a blender or food processor until smooth.

Heat asparagus puree and broth in a saucepan over medium heat.

Stir in milk and bring to a low simmer, season with salt and black pepper to taste.

stir in butter until melted

ladle into bowls and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Printable Version


Liquid green in a bowl, just trust me (well, everyone BUT me) this tastes WAY better than it looks!

This recipe was shared with: Coffee with us 3

Hot Dog Soup

I know, I know, not the most flattering name ever, but it is what it is!

This soup has been made by all of my Aunties. If someone wants to chime in and let me know where it actually started, I will give credit where it is due.

Don't let the idea of it get to you. My husband fought me on this for YEARS. One day he actually tasted it...and now he asks for it specifically!
Such a comfort food! A big bowl of this on a cold New England night!
Bite sized potato
Potato, carrots, and onion cooking separate
Mix ingredients and season

1 family size can Cream of Mushroom soup

3 potato diced

3 onions, sliced

couple of handfulls of baby carrots, cut up

3-5 hotdogs, sliced into rounds

Directions: Boil the potato, onion, and carrot until just about done.

Make soup as directed on can (with milk)

Add all ingredients

Season to taste (seasoned salt and pepper work well)
(I get my seasoned salt here, I feel it has the best flavor)

Click here to print

This recipe was shared at: Gooseberry Patch

Sweet Onion Soup

This is a recipe I found online so many moons ago that I can't give credit where it is due.
This is supposed to be a copy cat of Outback's Walkabout Soup. (and it's pretty close if I do say so myself!)

2 C Yellow sweet onions. Thinly sliced

2 tablespoons butter

1 (15 oz) can chicken broth (I have used Vegetable broth too)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon fresh pepper, ground

2 chicken (or veggie) boullion cubes

1/4 cup velveeta cheese. Cubed.

1 1/2- 1 3/4 cup white sauce

White Sauce

3 Tablespoons butter

3 Tablespoons flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cup milk

Directions: For white sauce

in sauce pan melt butter and add flour. Cook on medium heat until the flour turns thick and comes away from the sides of the pan.

pour milk into flour mixture a little at a time, stir constantly. Add salt. Mixture should become like thick pudding.

Set aside from heat until ready to use for soup.

Directions: In 2 quart saucepan place 3 tablespoons butter and sliced onions.

Cook at low to medium heat stirring frequently until soft and clear but not brown

Add chicken broth, boullion cubes, salt, pepper, and stir until completley heated thru

Add white sauce and Velveeta. White sauce will be thick because it has been removed from heat.

Simmer on Med/Low heat until cheese is melted and all ingredients are blended, stirring constantly.

Turn temp to low/warm and let cook for additional 30-45 minutes

Click here to print

Basic Brittle

I have been making peanut brittle for years. Got my apron, candy thermometer...ready to go!
Until...I came across this one.
I don't remember who to give credit to, some online source...but it is the easiest, yummiest brittle ever!

Since I am just not boring...peanuts didn't work for me. I needed variety! I used mixed nuts for my brittle. So this bite going to taste like almond, macadamia, or peanut?! (yes, little things excite me)

Basic Brittle

Vegetable oil cooking spray

1 ½ cup sugar

½ cup light corn syrup

1 cup nuts

1. Coat a 12 x 17 inch rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.

2. Bring sugar and syrup to a boil in medium saucepan, stirring and brushing down sides with a wet pastry brush to prevent sugar crystals from forming until sugar dissolves.

3. Cook, stirring occasionally until mixture just starts to turn golden around edges.

4. Stir in nuts. Cook, stirring occasionally until mixture is pale amber, about 8 minutes.

5. Pour into baking sheet without spreading. Let cool. Break into pieces.

Click here to print

Creamy Habanero Chicken Soup

This Creamy Habanero Chicken Soup came from a friend of mine. I made it last night.
She warned me, but did I listen? NO!
I made this just as the recipe states. I have more soup than I will ever eat in a lifetime!
I froze some, pawned some more off on my neighbors, brought some into work for the girl who gave me the recipe to try, and plan on bringing some to my Nana tonight.
I still have 4 containers in the fridge!

I suggest cutting this recipe in half, unless you have a ton of mouths to feed.
This recipe reminds me of my creamy onion soup...I will post that next!

3 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast

2 lbs carrots

1 bunch celery

1 onion

4 red bell peppers

2 bunches broccoli

6 habenaro peppers

2 bags frozen corn

1 lb pasta (your choice of type)


16 oz Velveeta

16 oz sour cream

1 lg can chicken broth

2 (12 oz) cans evaporated milk

1/2 gallon half & half

1 cup flour

1 cup butter

1 jar chicken boullion base

2 bay leaves

Directions: Cook chicken breasts to medium rare, it will finish in the soup.

Cool, cut into chunks

In large soup pot (16 qt) add chicken broth, carrots, celery, onion, peppers, and enough water to fill pot almost half way.

Boil until tender, then add broccoli

In large sauce pan, melt butter then add flour and wisk until smooth. Cook until thick and then add evaporated milk, wisk in sour cream.

Cut cheese into chunks and add along with half & half.

Add corn to soup pot and turn down to low.

Cook pasta seperately, drain and add to soup pot along with chicken, boullion, cream mixture from sauce pan and bay leaves.

Note: 6 habanero peppers malkes for a mildly hot soup with a kick. You can add more if you like it hotter.

Click here to print

This recipe was shared at The Lady Behind the Curtain

Here we are at the beginning!

I freaking LOVE to cook.
I didn't say it always turns out fact, my hubby and daughter know to worry when I preface a meal with "pizza is on speed dial...right?'...but it's all good.

It's just exciting to get in the kitchen and play. See what matches with what. See if you can MAKE this match with that. (think low budget "Chopped")

That being said, when something comes out's incredibly good.
I often have people asking for my recipes. Sometimes I have one (usually having to give credit to someone else) and sometimes I don't and I just wing it the best I can.

In searching for a nice, neat way to keep the ones I have tried and liked all organized, I thought  I would try blogging them.
This is one stop shopping people! Find recipes, email me ones you love, and comment with amazing tricks and hints. I have every intention of starting to take pictures of the food...that always helps me.

I can see this being really fun!