Friday, August 1, 2014

Fresh Summer Salad

This is a FAVORITE of my extended family.  I had it at a friend's graduation party & loved it!  I couldn't wait to make it for the next family gathering.  My family was skeptical and thought the combinations sounded weird.  Now it is a frequent request & everyone has a copy of the recipe.  I know there are a lot of versions of this out there, but this is the one that I use.

2 pkg chicken flavored Ramen noodles
1/4 c green onion
4 c shredded cabbage
2 T sesame seeds
1/2 c sunflower seeds
6 T vinegar
2 T sugar
4 T oil

Soak noodles in hot water to soften.  Drain well.

Combine noodles with cabbage, onion, & seeds.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the two seasoning packets, vinegar, sugar, & oil to make a dressing.

Drizzle dressing over noodle mixture & mix well.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Five Cup Salad

I'm back!  Between not having a computer for months, getting our house ready to be put on the market, selling our house, packing the old house, moving, unpacking the new house...I've been busy!  But I am so glad to be back.  AND we still have a little bit of summer left that I can experiment on my family.  Today I had company for lunch and served my PF Chang Lettuce wraps, Five Cup Salad (this post) & Fresh Summer Salad (next post).  I found this on KRAFT's website.

1 c mini marshmallows
1 c shredded coconut (although this was a bit too much time I will to 1/4 to 1/2 cup)
1 c sour cream (I used "light")
mandarin oranges (11 oz), drained
pineapple chunks (8.25 oz), undrained (reserving 1 tbls juice)

Whisk together sour cream & reserved pineapple juice.  Gently add coconut, pineapple, & oranges.  Fold in marshmallows.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Cherry Pie Sugar Cookie Bars

This recipe is super simple.  I pinned it quite some time ago knowing that my husband would likely love these.  He did.  Ate an entire row so far, and he's only been home an hour.  They are delicious just the way they are, but I bet warm with some vanilla ice cream would be great too.  The almond extra is what puts them over the edge!  Thank you "Mostly Homemade Mom" for the great recipe.

1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) sugar cookie mix
1/2 c butter, melted
1 egg
1/4 tsp almond extract
21 oz can cherry pie filling

Mix egg, butter & sugar cookie mix into thick dough.  Reserve 3/4 c and set aside.  Press remaining dough in greased 9 X 9 pan.  In separate bowl, mix almond extract & pie filling.  Spread over cookie dough.  Crumble remaining dough on top on pie filling.  Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Homemade Dog Treats: Peanut Butter & Bacon

We've been stuck inside for the last few days because of the frigid temps.  What do you do when you are stuck inside for days with the kids AND it happens to be your dogs 7th birthday?  You surf pinterest for homemade dog treat recipes, hoping you have all of the ingredients!

Here is the recipe!  They were easy, with few ingredients.

It made quite a few, so we will either have to freeze some or share with our fellow dog parents.  Now what to do with the rest of our day?  I am going Stir Crazy!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Mary Hafford Sugar Cookies

Mary Hafford was an immigrant from Ireland that settled in Wisconsin in the 1800s.  This is her sugar cookie recipe.  It was so much fun to make these with my inquisitive 7 year old.  We talked about how making these cookies would have been different in the 1800s vs. today.  I found pictures of her house online and shared them with her.  One picture was of the wood burning stove which also sparked some good questions.  Few ingredients, simple & tasty!

(This is half the original amount and still made plenty)
1/2 c butter
1 c sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 c flour
1/2 tsp baking soda

Cream butter & sugar together.  Add the egg and vanilla.  Gradually add flour and finally baking soda.  Roll into balls, the size of walnuts.  Roll balls into sugar (we used colored).  Bake at 375 for about 10 minutes.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Crockpot Tomato Basil Soup

I picked up more hours this fall which means I am not home until at least 3:30pm most days.  With dinner between 5 & 5:30pm, I really need to "keep it simple" this year.  Because of my limited prep time, my crockpot is getting a workout this year!  A coworker pinned this recipe and brought in her leftovers for lunch.  She let me snitch a spoonful.  It was delicious, so I made it later that week.  Although my kids didn't really like it, my husband & I did.

NOTE: This recipe has about 45 minutes of work at the end to finish it, so prepare accordingly.

  • 2 (14-ounce each) cans petite diced tomatoes, undrained (I used the garlic & olive oil variety)
  • 1 cup finely diced celery (I omitted this)
  • 1 cup finely diced carrots (I used matchstick carrots)
  • 1 cup finely diced onions
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 (4 tablespoons) butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 

  • In crockpot, combine the tomatoes, celery, carrots, onions, oregano, basil, broth, and bay leaf. Cover and cook on low for 5-7 hours until the vegetables are tender.
  • About 45 minutes before serving, melt the butter over low heat in a medium saucepan. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is golden, about 3 minutes. 
  • Whisking constantly, slowly ladle in 1 cup of the hot soup from the slow cooker. Whisk until smooth and bubbly. Add another cup and stir again until smooth. Add another cup or two and stir until smooth.
  • Stir the creamy, hot mixture back into the slow cooker. Add the Parmesan cheese, half-and-half, salt and pepper, adding more salt and pepper if needed.
  • Cover and cook on low for 30 minutes until ready to serve. Top with croutons.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Peanut Butter Cup Bars (no baking required!)

So, my husband was leaving at 2pm.  At 10am, he informed me that he needed "a dish to pass".  We didn't have chips & salsa.  I was all out of brownie mix.  I didn't have oatmeal, sweetened condensed milk or caramels, so my go to bar recipes were falling by the wayside.  I offered grapes, but he seemed disappointed in that possibility.  So, I remembered hearing about no bake peanut butter cup bars so decided to "google" it.  I got lucky on the first recipe I tried.  Thank you "Brown Eyed Baker".  And I had all the ingredients on hand!

Here's what you need:

For the peanut butter layer
½ cup unsalted butter
1¾ cups powdered sugar
1 cup smooth peanut butter
¾ cup graham cracker crumbs

For the chocolate layer
¼ cup unsalted butter
½ cup milk chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate)

Line an 8 X 8 with aluminum foil and grease.  (Be sure to leave some foil hanging over the edge for easy removal of the bars later)

For peanut butter layer, melt butter in saucepan or microwave.  (I melted in the microwave in my Pampered Chef Batter Bowl).  When butter is melted, remove from heat and stir in powdered sugar until smooth.  Stir in peanut butter.  Stir in graham crackers.  Spread into pan and smooth out.

Next, for chocolate layer, melt butter in saucepan.  Add chocolate and stir until melted.  I suggest a low heat since chocolate & butter seem to burn easily.

Pour chocolate over peanut butter layer and smooth evenly.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes, or until set.  Remove foil from pan and cut using a pizza cutter (super easy way to cut!).  16 small squares is good since they are pretty rich.  Store in airtight container in the refrigerator.

Next time, I may try to make individuals in mini muffin tins with mini muffin liners to resemble Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.