Saturday, December 22, 2007

A Few Christmas Recipes

I figured I'd consolidate some of the recipes I'm using this Christmas into one post, so I'd have them for future reference.


  • CINNAMON ROLLS 101- these seriously sound like they will cause all who consume them to instantly commence with the "Mmmmm"s. I can't wait to try them.
  • (And for some other morning, because they look so amazingly delicious: ) Cinnamon Sugar French Breakfast Puffs- Buttery, sugary, cinnamony moist breakfast muffins. They look positively sinful.

This year, we're going to do a Texas-themed Christmas, seeing as how it's technically our first Christmas outside of America. So, we're doing chicken & cheese enchiladas, classic beef tacos, enough guacamole to feed a small army, some salsa, and I'm going to try to make refried beans from scratch without pinto beans. :) I honestly have no idea if or how that will work. Here are some recipes I'm going to pick from:
  • Molly's Refried Beans - These require bacon, which we can't get here. So I might need to get a fatty piece of turkey or something to make them.
  • Refried Beans with all the facts- This site gives GREAT information about when and why to make beans from scratch, and her recipe sounds great too.
  • Delicious-sounding refried beans- These sound really good, and she gives the step-by-step basic instructions for those of us who get scared about making things like beans from scratch. (Which sounds so silly, because most of the world makes beans from scratch, but we Texans with our delicious canned refried beans are spoiled!) ;)

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Get Your Hot Links Here!

Here are a couple of "hot links" I've found recently:

  • Beth Moore's version of KING RANCH CHICKEN! (A Texas favorite that I've eaten many times but have never actually made-- this is DELICIOUS!!!)

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Simple Cream Cheese Cookies

Recipe from my SL friend, Kimbo:

1 Cake mix- any kind you like
1 Egg
1 Stick of butter (1/2 cup)
1 Block of cream cheese (8 oz)

Mix it all up, drop and bake at 350 until done to your preference. I do mine about the size of a ping-pong ball. Soooooo yummy and easy!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Sausage, Egg, & Cheese Breakfast Casserole

Sausage, egg and cheese casserole
(from my sweet cyber-pal & fellow homeschooler, Kelly)

12 eggs
12 slices bread
2 3/4 c. milk
12-16 ozs. cheddar cheese
1 lb. bulk pork breakfast sausage (I use Bob Evans sage)
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp. ground mustard
1 tsp. sage

Brown sausage and set aside. Oh, sometimes I put chopped onion in with it.

Cube bread and put into a bowl.

In another bowl mix eggs, milk, salt, pepper, mustard and sage. Add 3/4 of the cheese. Pour over eggs. Mix in sausage.

Pour into a greased 9x13 baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Cover and refrigerate over night.

Remove from refrigerater 30 min. before baking so pan isn't so cold (I use a stone, so I always make sure not to forget this step).

Bake at 350*, uncovered, for 30-45 minutes until eggs are set.

YIELD: 12 servings

Friday, November 02, 2007

Farm-style Oatmeal Cookies

These are, bar none, my favorite cookies, and the dough, bar none, is my favorite cookie dough to eat raw! Try it and you'll see why.

2 cups packed brown sugar (living where we do, I can't get brown sugar, so I substitute with 2 cups regular sugar and 2-3 Tbsp of molasses)
1 cup lard or shortening
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups quick-cooking oats
1 & 3/4 cups all-purpose* or whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt

* If using self-rising flour, omit baking soda & salt.
  • Heat oven to 375 F (approx. 190 C).
  • Mix brown sugar, lard/shortening, buttermilk, and vanilla.
  • Stir in remaining ingredients.
  • Shape dough into 1-inch balls.
  • Place about 3 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet (I line mine with parchment paper).
  • Flatten with the bottom of a glass that has been dipped in water.
  • Bake until golden brown, 8-10 minutes.
  • Immediately remove from cookie sheet and let cool on a rack.

MAKES ABOUT 7 DOZEN cookies, which will all be promptly eaten. :)

Thanks to Betty Crocker for the recipe- these are totally yummy!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Something Festive to Try: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies


1 c. pumpkin
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. oil
1 egg
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. milk
1 c. chocolate chips
1 tsp. vanilla
Nuts (optional)

Dissolve baking soda in milk; set aside. In large bowl add pumpkin, sugar, oil, and egg; stir. Add flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda mixture. Mix well. Stir in chocolate chips and vanilla. Spoon onto cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees 10 to 12 minutes or until done.

(From an online friend, Kristen)

[Editor's Note: After my first trial run with this recipe, 12/1/07-- These puff up, kind of like little muffiny cookies... They are soft and moist and everyone loved them! I may try to put them into muffin cups next time just to see how it turns out that way... but they're delicious as cookies too! :) ]

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Oatmeal Bread

(from More with Less) ~via Shannon B. (thanks!)

Makes 2 loaves
Bake at 350 F
30-40 minutes

Combine in a large bowl:
1 c. quick oats
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 T salt
2 T butter/margarine

Pour over:
2 c. boiling water

Stir in to combine.

1 pkg dry yeast (or 1 T) in
1/2 c. warm water

When batter is cooled to lukewarm, add yeast.

Stir in:
5 c. white flour

When dough is stiff enough to handle, turn onto floured board and knead 5-10 minutes. Place in greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled. Punch down and let rise again. Shape into 2 loaves and place in greased 9x5x3 pans. Bake at 350 F for 30-40 minutes. Cool on rack, brushing loaves with margarine for a soft crust.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Muffins

Thanks to Girl Talk for this recipe - I'm off to make it now!

Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Muffins

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 egg, room temperature
1/2 cup cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar (I used 3/4 cup sugar, but we like ours sweet.)
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease 12 muffin cups or use paper liners.
Beat cream cheese and butter together until fluffy. Beat in egg, cream and vanilla. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir flour mixture into cream cheese mixture until flour is moistened. Fold in chocolate chips. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups filling them 3/4 full.
Bake in preheated oven until tops are golden, about 20 minutes.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Gooey Bar

Last night I ate one of the best desserts I've ever had... called, simply, "The Gooey Bar". Here's the recipe:

1 box yellow cake mix
1 stick butter -melted
1 egg

Mix these ingredients and spread into pan, pressing into corners. Then combine the following in a separate bowl:

1 pkg cream cheese
1 stick butter
2 eggs
1 box (2 cups) powdered sugar
1 t. vanilla

Mix these ingredients, spreading over bottom layer. Bake 30-40 minutes @ 350 degrees. (Top will be soft set.) Trust me, this is delicious!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Dutch Puff (GREAT for big families)

Here's a great recipe for families of any size. Called a dutch puff, it's kind of like a puffy eggy creation. Similar in taste to french toast, but totally its own entity, we like it with syrup.

The original recipe is as follows:
Melt 1/3 cup of butter in a glass dish in a 425 degree oven.

Meanwhile, blend/mix the following:
4 eggs
1 cup flour (bread flour works even better, but whatever you can find should work- trust me... I've made this in China when I didn't even know the word for flour, much less bread flour! :) )
1 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp + cinnamon (if you like more, use more)
(SERVES FOUR-- for larger families, look below)

Once blended, pull the dish out of the oven (once all the butter has melted), and pour the liquid mixture into the dish. It's OK if butter mixes in a bit, stays around the edges, or gets on top.

Put the dish back in the oven for 20-25 minutes... until it puffs up and the tops of the peaks are brown. That's right... I said "puffs" and "peaks". It will puff up into what might look like a mountain range, with each corner reaching up toward the top of the oven, or with random peaks throughout the pan.

Serve hot, cut up into squares and it will thrill your family. Not only does it taste good, but it's inexpensive & easy to make, AND-- because it's got the eggs in it-- it's full of protein and so it sticks. They're not hungry 20 minutes later like sometimes happens with cereal.

1 & 1/2 cups milk
1 & 1/2 cups flour
6 eggs
3 tsp vanilla
1 & 1/2 tsp + of cinnamon

2 cups milk
2 cups flour
8 eggs
4 tsp vanilla
2 tsp + of cinnamon,


Hope you and your family enjoy this delicious recipe!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Chorizo Cod

This is a recipe I saw on Martha Stewart one day in January. I've made it several times, and it has a delicious mix of flavors. NOTE: WHEN BUYING FISH, buy it transluscent & without any smell. That means it's fresh and unspoiled.

1 tube Chorizo or Andouille (sp?) sausage
sliced mushrooms
sliced roma tomatoes
Cod fish (or other basic white fish)
spices: sea salt, white pepper, rosemary, thyme, garlic
scallions if desired
lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Oil/grease the metal or glass pan to prepare for baking.
3. Lay out the whole cod filets in the baking dish and cover generously with sea salt & white pepper.
4. Begin layering, on top of the fish in generous rows: chorizo, mushrooms, tomatoes, scallions or garlic, chorizo, mushrooms, etc... (It will look like stripes, and you should see the top of each item. These layers should completely cover the fish.)
5. After the layers are complete, sprinkle the spices over the top as desired (chopped rosemary & thyme, and minced garlic)
6. Pour a generous amount of olive oil (approximately 1/4 cup for every 2 large filets) over the fish
7. Cook for 10 minutes in a 425 degree oven.
8. After removed from the oven, sprinkle fish with lemon juice
9. Serve over rice and use cooking juices to pour back over fish & rice upon serving.

Believe me when I tell you- this is a unique and flavorful dish!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Mountain Dew Dumplings

Lemme give a little shout out to my sister, Jill (OK, I only have a brother- but she's his wife!), and her mom Donna! They're the ones from whom this most excellent recipe was borrowed! This is like a scrum-diddly-umptious version of apple pie.

2 cans of Crescent Rolls
2 or 3 peeled and sliced apples(6-8 slices per apple)
2 sticks of butter (not Marg.)
1 tsp of cinnamon
1 1/2 cup of sugar
12 oz can of Mountain Dew

Preheat oven to 350. Peel and slice apple. Roll up one apple slice into each of the crescent rolls. Place them in an nongreased pan. In a small saucepan combine the butter, cinnamon, and sugar. Once the butter is melted and the mixture is nice and smooth, spoon over the top of each of the crescent rolls. Pour entire Mountain Dew can in the cracks. (Be sure not to wash off the sugar/cinnamon from the tops of the crescents when pouring the Mountain Dew. This makes for a prettier presentation when baked) Bake for 45 min. Serve while hot with ice cream or whipped cream!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Make-Ahead Burritos

The other day after making an enchilada dinner, I had a lot of beans and tortillas left over and ended up making up bean and cheese and egg and cheese burritos ahead of time. For the next week, I had additional options for breakfast foods and quick dinners. And whether you use eggs or beans, this is a filling meal that will keep kids hungry through the next meal.

This is something that I'm going to try to have on hand all the time while I'm here in the states. It is SO much simpler to make up a bunch all at once rather than one here or there... cutting down on all the steps and just doing them all once. Here's all I did:

REFRIED BEANS (or eggs, if you are making breakfast burritos)

Take the tortillas, put a stripe of cheese down the center, and then do a layer of beans (or eggs). Fold like a burrito, and then you can fit 3-4 of these per ziplock bag. Label them if needed, and then they'll keep for the rest of the week. You can freeze them as well, just make sure you pack them nicely to where they won't stick together. Heat them up as you need them, and you're all set.

(And yes, for all you gourmet chefs out there, I know this is an extremely simple idea, but I like to share the simple things- they help out moms like me when we're in a pinch!)