Saturday, October 30, 2010

Caramel (Puff)Corn

Have you ever had this? I like this better than caramel corn because you have no un-popped kernels to deal with AND won't be picking pieces out of your teeth. Very addictive too!

1(8 oz.) bag "Old Dutch Puff Corn Curls" or popcorn
1/2 pound butter (not margarine)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon baking soda

Put corn puffs in roasting pan. Melt butter with sugar and corn syrup. Add baking soda. This will cause the caramel sauce to foam. Pour caramel sauce over corn puffs. Bake at 250 for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.

(You can add nuts if you'd like. We've used peanuts and we've used mixed nuts too! I LOVE the sweet/salty balance, so I prefer nuts in mine)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Cat Cake...MEOW

This is not a recipe, but rather a cake decorating idea. Ellie wanted a "cat cake" for her birthday. We searched online and found one similar to this. VERY easy.

The cake is a box mix made in two 8 or 9 inch rounds. (She chose lemon). In between the layers are buttercream and raspberry preserves.

Spread dyed buttercream on sides of cake AND a very thin layer over the top. Place large marshmallows for ears and cheeks (for dimension). Cover the top with more frosting using star tip.

Use white frosting and writing tip to pipe on eyes, ear centers and cheeks. Nose is an upside down Hershey Kiss. Eye pupils are upside down chocolate chips. Mouth and whiskers are Twizzler Pull & Peels.

NOT Keeping It Simple = Homemade Waffles

OM Goodness! I got a waffle maker for my birthday and promised the girls we would have homemade waffles today since there was no school. Remember when there was the Eggo Waffle shortage? Well, I certainly could care less now. I will forever be making homemade waffles instead. This batter made 12 and we only ate 6, so I will freeze the rest and make in the toaster just as with store bought waffles. Great to have on hand when the kids want waffles but don't have the time to make them.

You are warned that they are a bit tedious (hence the title) but SOOOOOOO worth it.

Classic Waffles
1 1/2 c flour
1/2 c cornstarch
2 tbsp cornmeal (optional, but I DID use it)
1 tbsp baking pwd
1 tsp salt
3 large eggs, separated
2 tbsp sugar
1 3/4 c milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 c melted butter

In large bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In mixer, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Add sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form. Set aside. Whisk together egg yolks, milk and vanilla. Using a rubber spatula, stir milk mixture into flour mixture, blending just until dry ingredients are moistened. (There should still be small lumps; do not over mix). Stir in melted butter. Fold in beaten egg whites until combined. Pour batter onto hot, greased waffle maker and bake.

This came from the Oster 4 slice Belgican waffle maker user guide.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Bagel Dip

My sister has been making this recipe for family get togethers lately. My mom requests it all the time. And I can see why. It is sooooooo yummy. Ranks right up there with my spinach dip (previously posted). YUM-O!

16 oz sour cream
1 1/2 c mayo
2 tbls parsley flakes
2 tsp dill weed
2 tsp Accent seasoning
1 medium onion (chopped fine)
4 oz dried beef (like Carl Buddig)--cut up (I use kitchen shears to cut it into little squares)

Mix all ingredients together, chill 4 hours or overnight.

Serve with cut up bagels, crackers, breads, toasts, etc.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Mexican Stew

A long time ago, a co-worker made this and brought it to share in the breakroom with all of us. She had printed out the recipe for anyone to take. It is VERY yummy, but makes a lot. I made it this weekend for a family party and it served about 10 adults with a few bowls leftover.

2 cans (15 1/2 oz) BBQ Ranch Style Beans
1 can (15 1/2 oz) Ranch Style Beans with jalapeno peppers
2 cans stewed tomatoes
1 can whole kernel corn (juice included)
1 can hominy (juice included)
1 package taco seasoning
2 pounds ground beef
1 green pepper (diced)
1 onion (diced)

Brown ground beef with green pepper and onion. Mix all ingredients together in a crock pot. Simmer for 8 hours or so. Serve with grated cheese, diced onions, crackers, cornbread or tortillas, etc.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Cheesy Hashbrowns

A great side dish. I like to serve it when we grill out.

20 oz pkg hash brown shreds
1 can cream of chicken soup
6 oz shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 c sour cream
1/4 c milk
1 tbls chopped onion

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients except potatoes. Mix well. Fold potatoes into sauce mixture. Place in greased 1 1/2 quart baking dish. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

And the winner is...

...HEATHER! Congrats!

Thanks to a Random Number Generator, Heather was selected as my 100 post giveaway winner.

True Random Number Generator Min: 1 Max: 9 Result: 3 Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Thanks to all who entered. Stay tuned for more yummy and simple recipes.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Maggie's Applesauce

I think that Maggie over at Smashed Peas and Carrots is my new blogging BFF. This is the third recipe of hers that I have tried and loved. Peyton didn't like the bits of skin but it didn't bother anyone else. But peeling the apples is an easy solution but more time consuming. The applesauce was delicious served warm over pancakes. Thanks again Maggie.

10-12 apples (medium to large in size)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
(We halved this and was plenty for us)

Core apples and cut into chunks. Mix apple chunks, sugar and cinnamon together and pour into your crockpot. Add the water and cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-5. Mash to desired consistency.

PS-Don't forget to enter the 100 post giveaway (in the previous post).

Friday, October 15, 2010

100 Post Giveaway! WHOOT WHOOT!

As promised way back at post #50, there's a giveaway marking my 100th post. Thanks to all of you who follow and encourage me with your awesome comments. It's been fun. For my 100th post giveaway, the winner will receive a subscription to Taste of Home's Simple & Delicious. All you need to do to enter is become a follower (if you aren't already) AND leave a comment answering "What is your favorite thing to do with apples?" You know, an "ode to fall". Plus, I feel like many recent posts have been "apple happy" with one more just waiting to be posted...

Good luck! Giveaway ends Monday at Midnight. Winner announced on Tuesday.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Strawberry Shortcakes

While I was looking at the recipe for "Ultimate Chicken Fingers", I saw the recipe for shortcakes as well and remembered my strawberries that we picked this summer just waiting in my freezer to be put to good use. So, we made these. YUM-O!

4 cups sliced fresh strawberries
1/2 c sugar
2 1/3 c Original Bisquick Mix
2/3 c milk
3 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp butte or margarine, melted
cool whip, whipped cream, ice cream, etc.

Mix strawberries and 1/2 c sugar; set aside.

Stir Bisquick mix, milk, 3 Tbsp sugar and the butter until soft dough forms. Drop by 6 spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes at 425 degrees. Split warm shortcakes; fill and top with strawberries, ice cream, whipped cream, etc.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Ultimate Chicken Fingers

My mom decided to make these when she was watching the girls once. Apparently Peyton (my picky eater) LOVED them. So, my mom passed along the info. It is found on the back of the Bisquick mix. They really were yummy. We just ate them as is, dipped in ranch. Much better than deep fried, fattening strips. We have some left over. I'm thinking they'd be really good sliced on a salad or on some grilled sour dough bread with some pepper jack cheese.

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut crosswise into strips
2/3 c Original Bisquick mix
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp salt or garlic salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1 egg, slightly beaten
3 Tbsp butter or margarine, melted

Line cookie sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. In plastic bag, mix Bisquick mix, cheese, salt and paprika.

Dip half the chicken strips into egg; place in bag. Shake to coat. Place on cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining chicken. Drizzle butter over chicken.

Bake 12 to 14 minutes at 450 degrees, turning half way through.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

"Mom's" Apple "Crisp"

This recipe was soooooo yummy and soooooooo easy. All four of us gobbled it up. My husband, who complained "why do you keep making apple stuff when you know I don't really like it" ate an entire row himself. AND helped himself to some the next day too. Fall is a time for apple stuff, right? The recipe was called "Mom's Apple Crisp", however it wasn't my mom NOR was it what I would consider a "crisp". It was more like a cobbler. When you hear crisp, don't you think of oatmeal topping or crumbly topping. This topping is smoothed out and water is poured over the top, more like pie crust or cobbler topping. Well, even if the name fooled me, it was excellent. Definitely a "I'll make this again" recipe. This came from Taste of Home June/July 2005.

5 medium tart apples, peeled and sliced
1 1/4 c sugar (divided)
1 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon (divided)
1 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c cold butter
1 c water

In bowl, combine apples, 1/4 c sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon. Transfer to a greased 8 inch square baking dish. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and remaining sugar; cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over apples, pressing down to smooth top.

Slowly pour water over the top; sprinkle with remaining cinnamon. Bake, uncovered at 400 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes. Serve warm. We added a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Renee's Chili

This is my mom's chili recipe. I LOVE it. What you need to know is that I grew up in Sheboygan, WI where it is common to find noodles in your chili. Some may consider my chili a "chili mac" or a "goulash". Call it what you want, here's the recipe.

1 (46 oz) can tomato juice
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (15 oz) can kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
1 onion (chopped)
1 green pepper (chopped)
1 pound ground beef
elbow macaroni OR ready cut spaghetti (cooked and drained)
salt, pepper, garlic salt, chili powder
1/2 stick butter

brown ground beef with onion and pepper, season with salt, pepper & garlic salt
drain grease

in soup pot OR crockpot, add juice, sauce, tomatoes, beans and ground beef mixture
season with salt, pepper, garlic salt and chili powder (if I want it a little spicier, I add a few tablespoons of Salsa....shhhhhhhh, that's my secret ingredient)

simmer until onions & pepper are tender

add butter

add noodles just before serving and heat through (if you add noodles too soon, they soak up all the broth)

top with cheese, onions, sour cream, etc.