Saturday, October 31, 2009

Hot Caramel Apple Cider

Note: I was out recently and it was raining and I had gotten really chilled. I did something I rarely do and stopped into our local coffee shop to get something hot to drink. They had this beautiful picture of hot caramel apple cider. I ordered one. It was delicious and it definitely warmed me up, but for the amount I paid for it I could have made some for the entire family for a week!

Hot Caramel Apple Cider

Apple Cider
Caramel Syrup
Redi Whipp

Warm enough cider for the number of cups you want to serve on the stove over low heat. Stir occasionally. For each cup you are preparing, add 2 teaspoons of caramel. Continue to heat until the caramel is melted.

Pour into warmed serving mugs. (I usually warm my mugs by running them under hot water.) Top with Redi Whipp and drizzle with caramel syrup.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Tuna Salad with Cranberries

Note:    I love tuna salad.    As much of a creature of habit I am, when I find something delicious I am willing to break the routine.     I enjoy this fall version of tuna salad.

Tuna Salad with Cranberries


1 (6 ounce) can solid white tuna packed in water, drained
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 1/2 tablespoons dried cranberries
1 1/2 tablespoons slivered almonds

Place the tuna in a bowl, and mash with a fork. Mix in mayonnaise to evenly coat tuna. Mix cranberries and season with salt. Serve on crackers or in a sandwich.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Crockpot Sweet Chicken

Note: This chicken goes so great with the Cilantro Lime Rice and Black Beans. Yummy! SO simple too!

Crockpot Sweet Chicken
3-4 lbs chicken
1 cup brown sugar
3 cups salsa

Mix ingredients in a crock pot and let cook for 10 hours on low.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Cilantro Lime Rice and Black Beans

Note: This goes great with Spicy Chicken which will be my next recipe post!

Cilantro-Lime Rice

1 cup uncooked rice
1 teaspoon butter or margarine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon lime zest
1 can (15 oz) chicken broth
1 1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro

In a saucepan combine rice, butter, garlic, lime peel, chicken broth and water. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook 15-20 minutes, until rice is tender. Remove from heat. In a small bowl combine lime juice, sugar Boldand cilantro. Pour over hot cooked rice.

Black Beans

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/3 cup tomato juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro

In a nonstick skillet, cook garlic and cumin in olive oil over medium heat until you can smell it. Add beans, tomato juice, and salt. Continually stir until heated through. Just before serving stir in the cilantro.

Monday, October 26, 2009

TMTT: German Pancakes

Note: Our homeschooling group is doing a Tour of Countries soon. We have been exploring recipes from different countries. We are in LOVE with this German pancake! It is made in a 9x13 pan which means it is super easy and really delicious!

German Pancakes

6-8 eggs
½ c. sugar
½ c. flour
½ c. butter, melted
½ c.- 1c. milk
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat over 400F. Mix ingredients in order. Pour into greased 9x13 pan & bake for 20-24 minutes. Serve with berry/maple syrup or powdered sugar.

For more delicious recipes, join me at Lisa and Lana's blog: Tempt My Tummy Tuesday!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Pumpkin Poop

Note: The boys and I love making "happies" for friends. This one is very easy and of course the boys get a big kick out of it! So.... watch for other holiday versions of the "poop"!
Pumpkin Poop

small bag
candy corn

Fill bag with candy corn. Fold over and staple. Attach poem (below) to the top! Easy. Easy. Easy.

I started to carve a pumpkin
with my carving knife and scoop
But the pumpkin got so scared
He took a little poop!

It looked so cute and funny
Just like a candy treat
So I'm sharing it with you now
Because you are so sweet!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sour Cream Enchiladas

Note: I used to make these ALL the time when hubs and I first got married. I just recently rediscovered this recipe. The boys are going to be mad when they realize that I could have been making these more!

Sour Cream Enchiladas

1 lb ground beef or turkey OR 1 lb cubed chicken
1 can refried beans1/2 onion, diced
1 can diced green chilies
16 oz sour cream
1 can cream of mushroom soup OR 1 can cream of cream of chicken soup OR 2 cans of cream of chicken
2 lb cheddar cheese, shredded
12 burrito size flour tortillas

Saute the onion in a large frying pan on medium-high heat until translucent and slightly browned. Add the beef (or chicken) and cook until no longer pink. Add the refried beans and cook on low until mixture is heated thoroughly.In a medium mixing bowl mix together the soups, sour cream and the green chilies.Lay out all 12 tortillas side by side. Place about 1/3 C of meat mixture down the center of each tortilla. Place a generous spoonful of soup mixture on top of the meat mixture. Place a handful of cheese on top of the soup mixture.Roll up each tortilla, burrito style. Place each rolled burrito -- snuggle them tight -- on a large rectangular pan. Evenly pour and spread out the remainder of the soup mixture over the top of the rolled burritos. Repeat with the remaining cheese. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until bubbly and hot.

This recipe is great to half and either share with a friend OR put the second dish away in the freezer for a later date.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

White Rotel Dip

Note: We love our Rotel dip, but sometimes you just need to change things up. Loving this twist on our tried and true favorite!

White Rotel Dip


2 packages of pork sausage - mild flavored
1 package pork sausage - maple flavored

4 packages of cream cheese
2 cans of Rotel tomatoes


Brown sausage. Drain. Add cream cheese and stir until melted. Carefully stir in Rotel tomatoes. Transfer to a serving dish.

Serve with tortilla chips! Pray your family saves you some while you are finishing up their requested buffalo wings (or maybe that only happens at my house!)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Nutter Butter Ghosts

Note: Although I am not a big fan of Halloween, I love any excuse to get in the kitchen with my boys and make fun treats!

Nutter Butter Ghosts

Nutter Butter brand peanut butter cookies
White chocolate or dark chocolate
mini chocolate chips

Melt your white chocolate over a double boiler. Dip the nutter butter cookies into the chocolate. Place on wax paper or drying rack. Once cooled, use the mini chocolate chips for the eyes! How easy is that?

Don't be scared... follow me over to
Tempt My Tummy Tuesday
for even more great recipes!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Chocolate Covered Marshmallows

Note: Sometimes the best fun in the kitchen with the boys is the easiest! Take these chocolate covered marshmallows.... fun and easy and plenty of opportunities for creativity!

Chocolate Covered Marshmallows

large marshmallow
popsicle sticks
Your choice: sprinkles of different colors, candy (crushed), candy cupcake toppers,
white chocolate
dark chocolate

Place desired number of marshmallows on each popsicle stick. We like to put three. Melt chocolate. Dip marshmallows in chocolate and place on rack to drip for a few seconds. Coat dipped marshmallows in desired toppings.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Tailgating Drumsticks

Note: It is Saturday. There are football games. We need food! Quick, easy, yummy food! here is a new recipe we are trying today!

Tailgating Drumsticks

1 pkg French onion soup mix
1 c. orange or apricot marmalade
1 c. Russian dressing
1 pkg. chicken drumsticks

Put drumsticks in casserole dish. Mix other ingredients and pour over drumsticks. Bake at 325F for 1 ½ hours.

For the crock pot version, use 6 frozen skinless, boneless chicken breasts (not thawed) instead of drumsticks. Put all ingredients in a crock pot & cook 6-8 hours on low and serve over rice. Again, so easy but good.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Zesty Crockpot Chicken

Note:     Crockpot recipes are like gold to me.    Throwing everything into that magical, little "chef" and then popping on the lid brings me such joy.    Knowing that I can leave my recipe alone with my precious friend and return home after a hectic day to a delicious meal means so much to me.     Maybe that is why I just can't seem to part with my crockpot.     I have had it since I got married 19 years ago.     It is missing it's arms, a leg and has numerous scratches from being transported.    However, it has never failed to produce a delicious recipe.

Zesty Crockpot Chicken

4 boneless, thawed chicken breasts
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 pkg. zesty italian salad dressing mix
1 c. water
1 tsp. parsley
1 pkg cream cheese

Place chicken in crock pot. Blend soup, dresssing mix, water and parsley, add to crock pot. Cook on low for 6to8 hours. 1 hour before serving, add the package of cream cheese. Serve over rice or noodles.   Our choice for this recipe is egg noodles.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Buttermilk Pie

Note:   This is my favorite fall pie.   Simple, delicious, warm and delicious.    Does it get any better?

Buttermilk Pie

3/4 stick of margarine melted
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
4 eggs

Mix all of the ingredients together well and pour into a pie crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Double Dipped Caramel Apples

Note: We love caramel apples. They are so much fun to make. So much fun to eat. BUT, they are also so much fun to share with friends and family as special treats during the fall season! My boys define these as yummy to the tummy.

Double Dipped Caramel Apples
5 Granny Smith apples (or Fuji)
5 popsicle sticks
14 ounces (about 50 pieces) of unwrapped caramels
2 Tbsp water
12 ounces semisweet chocolate
"Toppings": mini M&M's, nuts, sprinkles, mini chocolate chips,

Rinse and dry your apples. Insert popsicle sticks about halfway into apples. Bring a pan of water to a boil. Place caramels and 2 Tbsp water into a bowl and place over the boiling water and stir until melted. Dip each apple into the caramel about 1/2 - 3/4 of the way. Use a spoon to wipe off excess caramel back into teh bowl and place apple on waxed paper. Once all the apples have been dipped, place them (still on wax paper) in the refrigerator to get firm for about five minutes.

Re-boil water and place chocolate over boiling water to melt. Take apples out of the refrigerator and dip each apple in the chocolate. Place each apple on wax paper to set for about 10 minutes.

Take each apple and roll the bottom 1/3 in the topping of your choice. Seasonal colored sprinkles look great or just tickle your taste buds with your favorite crushed candy bar or candy pieces.

Let's go find my yummy to my tummy recipes at Tempt My Tummy Tuesday!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Bananas -- Good For You!

Note: Little Guy and I have been going through a banana phase. He and I can plow through 4-6 bananas in a day. I am not sure what started it, but now that we have gotten started we can't seem to stop. We decided to research the benefits of bananas the other day and this is what we found.

Bananas Are Good for You!

Bananas: Containing three natural sugars - sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fibre, a banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy. Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout. No wonder the banana is the number one fruit with the world's leading athletes. But energy isn't the only way a banana can help us keep fit. It can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions, making it a must to add to our daily diet.

Anemia: Very High in iron, so helps in cases of anemia

Blood Pressure: Extremely high in potassium yet low in salt. The US Food and Drug Administration allows the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit's ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.

Brain Power: Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.

Constipation: High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.

Depression: Amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. Bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.

Heartburn: Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body; so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.

Morning Sickness: Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.

Mosquito bites: Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin.

Nerves: Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.

PMS: Forget the pills - eat a banana. The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Bananas can help SAD sufferers because they contain the natural mood enhancer tryptophan.

Smoking: Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking. The B6, B12 they contain, as well as the potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.

Stress: Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body's water balance.

Strokes: According to research in "The New England Journal of Medicine," eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%!

Temperature Control: Many cultures see bananas as a "cooling" fruit that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers.

Ulcers: The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.

Warts: Those keen on natural alternatives swear that if you want to kill off a wart, take a piece of banana skin and place it on the wart, with the yellow side out. Carefully hold the skin in place with a plaster or surgical tape!

A banana really is a natural remedy for many ills. When you compare bananas to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrate, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in potassium and is one of the best value foods around.

Chicken Au Gratin Casserole

Note:    Some people would never think of using boxes to prepare a meal, but I am going to be honest and say that when it comes to getting food on the table... some nights I am willing to use any trick I can.    The boys love this recipe.    It is easy for me and yummy to them.

Chicken Au Gratin Casserole


4 boxes au gratin potatoes and ingredients listed on box to prepare
dried minced onions
dried parsley flakes
fresh ground pepper to taste
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts, thawed


In large lasagna size pan, place all the potatoes and add the ingredients listed on the box.   Place chicken breasts in mixture.   Sprinkle with dried onion,  and parsley; add pepper.  

Bake at 375 degrees for 1 to 1 1/4 hours, covering with foil if it gets too brown. Allow to sit 5 minutes and serve.

Crock Pot Version:   Prepare as directed and put in crockpot on low.    A great way to serve this.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Fall Snack Mix

Note: Every season seems to have its own snacks. For our family, this simple snack mix is one of our favorites. We keep the ratio of the healthy parts of it outnumbering the "sweet" parts of it.

Fall Snack Mix

candy corn
dried fruit (whatever you like)
Reese's pieces

Toss all together and eat as you are hungry. For movie times, we pop a bag of popcorn and toss a couple of handfuls into the bowl. It is a nice snack with lots of salty and sweet!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Frito Pie

Note: Why eat a plain old bowl of chili when you can have it as Frito Pie? Or at least that is my boy's motto!

Frito Pie

1 "Our Favorite Chili" Recipe
1 bag of Fritos (scoops or regular - your choice)
2 cups of cheddar cheese
sour cream

Layer chili and Fritos in a 2 quart casserole dish. Top with cheddar cheese. Bake in oven at 350 degrees until fully heated and bubbly.

Serve in bowls and topped with sour cream and jalapenos.

I've missed a few weeks at Tempt My Tummy Tuesday so I am anxious to join back up with my favorite recipe source. Hope you will join me!

Our Favorite Chili

Note: I asked Little Guy if I could have my kitchen back because with all this cooler weather I have really been wanting some chili. After I made it I decided to make Frito Pie (recipe next).

Our Favorite Chili


2 lbs ground beef
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
2 cups water
2 teaspoons paprika
4 teaspoons cumin
1 tablespoon dried onion flakes
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 cup chili powder
1 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 tablespoons masa harina flour
1/4 cup hot water


Brown beef; drain. Add tomato sauce, 2 cups water, paprika, cumin, onion flakes, garlic salt, chili powder, and ground red pepper. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Dissolve 2 tablespoons masa into 1/4 cup hot water to make a thick, but flowable mixture. Add masa mixture to chili. Cover and simmer another 15-20 minutes.