Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Honey Bun Cake

This cake is seriously amazing!

1 pkg yellow cake mix
2 sticks butter, softened
4 eggs
1 (8oz) container sour cream or plain yogurt
½ c packed brown sugar
1/3 cup chopped pecans, optional
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 c powdered sugar
1 tbs. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350o. Generously grease bottom only of 9x13 pan. Remove ½ cup dry cake mix; reserve. Beat remaining dry cake mix, butter, eggs and sour cream in large bowl on medium speed for 2 min; scraping bowl occasionally. Spread half the patter into pan. Stir together reserved dry cake mix, brown sugar, pecans and cinnamon; sprinkle over batter in pan. 

Carefully spread remaining batter evenly over pecan mixture. (To make easier drop batter by dollops over pecan mixture, then spread) Bake 30 min or until deep golden brown and cake springs back when touched lightly in center. Stir powdered sugar, milk and vanilla until thin enough to drizzle, stirring in additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time if necessary. Poke top of warm cake several times with a fork; spread glaze over top of cake. Cool completely about 1 hr. or serve warm. Store Covered.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Spicy Flank Steak

1/3 c. sour cream
2 Tbs. mayonnaise
½ tsp. garlic powder
¼ tsp. celery salt
2 Tbs. chili sauce
1 Tbs. lime juice
½ to 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
¼ tsp. salt
1 flank steak (1 to 1 ½ pounds)

In a bowl, combine the sour cream, mayonnaise, garlic powder, and celery salt; refrigerate until serving.  Combine the chili sauce, lime juice, pepper flakes and salt; brush half on one side of steak. 

Broil 6 inches from the heat for 10 minutes.  Turn steak; brush with remaining mixture. Broil 6-10 minutes longer or until meat reaches desired doneness.  Let stand for 5 minutes. Slice into thin strips across the grain. Serve with the sour cream sauce.

Spicy Chicken Spaghetti

1 medium onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
5 Tbs. butter, divided
3 c. chicken broth
2 cans (15 oz. each) tomato sauce
2 c. chopped green onions
2 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. dried thyme
1 ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
¼  tsp. hot pepper sauce
1 Tbs. salt
1 ½ tsp. garlic powder
1 ½ tsp. pepper
1 tsp. dried basil
¼ tsp. ground cumin
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
16 oz. angel hair pasta
½ c. sour cream

In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, sauté the onion and garlic in 2 Tbs. butter until tender.  Stir in the broth, tomato sauce, green onions, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, cayenne, and hot pepper sauce. Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large resealable plastic bag, combine the salt, garlic powder, pepper, basil, and cumin; mix well.  Add chicken and  toss to coat.

In a skillet, sauté chicken in remaining butter until juices run clear. Add chicken to tomato sauce; simmer for 10 minutes.  Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Top with chicken mixture, Garnish with sour cream. Yield: 8 servings 

Breaded Ranch Chicken

¾  c. crushed cornflakes
¾ c. grated Parmesan Cheese
1 envelope ranch salad dressing mix
8 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
½ c. butter, melted

In a shallow bowl, combine the cornflakes, Parmesan cheese, and salad dressing mix.  Dip chicken in butter, then roll in cornflake mixture to coat.  Place in a greased 13x9x2 inch baking dish. Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 45 minutes or until chicken juices run clear.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Basic Dough Recipe

2 c. water (100 degrees)
½ c. sugar
2 Tbs. yeast
½ c. oil
2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
5-6 c. flour

Mix water, sugar, and yeast. Let set about 5 minutes.  Add about 1 c. of flour, mix until smooth.  Continue adding 1 cup at a time until desired texture is reached.

Let rise until double in size.  

Punch down and prepare for rolls or loaf.

Let rise again.

Bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes.

Apple Dip

8 oz. crème cheese
½ c. brown sugar
¼ c. white sugar
1 bag heath bits
1 tsp. vanilla

Soften crème cheese and mix with remaining ingredients. Chill til ready to serve.

Cheeseburger Soup

This really tastes nothing like cheeseburgers, but that is it’s name.

½ pound ground beef
½ pound spicy breakfast sausage
¾ c. chopped onion
¾ c. shredded carrots
1 t. basil
1 t. parsley
¾ t. salt
½ t. pepper
4 T. butter
3 c. chicken broth
4 c. potatoes
¼ c. flour 

8 oz. cheese (I probably triple this.)
1 ½ c. milk
¼ c. sour cream

Melt butter in large stock pot.  Add potatoes, onion and carrots and cook til slightly tender.  Add flour to coat.  Slowly mix in chicken broth, spices and meat.  Continue simmering until potatoes are done.  

Before serving, add cheese, milk, and sour cream. Do not boil after adding these ingredients.  

This recipe works well in a crock pot as well.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Chai Tea

I love this recipe me Melissa gave me. 

1/2 C non-fat dry milk 
1/4 C powdered coffee creamer
1/2 C white or brown sugar 
1 T instant vanilla pudding mix
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t ginger
1/4 t nutmeg
1/4 t ground cloves
1/4 t ground cardamom
1/8 t black pepper 

Combine all ingredients in a large ziploc bag. Make sure bag is sealed well and roll over the bag with a rolling pin to combine all ingredients well and crush to a fine powder for better mixing results with hot water. 

Store in a re-sealable container.
Brew with a cup of Black Tea.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins with Streusel Topping

For the muffins:
1 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

For the filling:

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 & 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

For the crumb topping:

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1. Make the filling by combining the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla in a medium bowl and stirring until smooth. Scoop and shape the filling into balls (about 1 tsp each.) and freeze for at least two hours.

2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.

3. Make the crumb topping by using a fork to combine the flour, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and melted butter in a small bowl.

4. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, thoroughly combine the sugar, canned pumpkin, eggs, oil, and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and stir gently with a spatula just until completely combined.

5. Press one piece of the cream cheese filling into the center of each muffin, then sprinkle each muffin with about one tablespoon of the crumb topping. Gently press the topping into the batter to ensure that it sticks.

6. Bake the muffins for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center muffin comes out clean. Cool muffins in the pan for about five minutes before removing them to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in the refrigerator.

Makes about 12 muffins.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

My Dad's Lemon Chicken

This is one of my all-time favoritest recipes with some of my all-time favoritest memories associated with it!  My Dad made this often, as well as many other yummy Chinese dishes. This is the only one I'm any good at making.

Marinade for the chicken:
2 Tbs. cooking sherry
1 Tbs. soy sauce
1 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Marinade your diced chicken for a few hours.  I usually use a couple of pounds of chicken.

1 cup chicken broth
2 Tbs. sugar
2 Tbs. lemon juice
4 tsp. corn starch

3 green onions

Heat ingredients in a small sauce pan.  Keep sauce at a simmer.

1/3 cup flour
1/4 cup corn starch
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup water
2 Tbs. cooking oil (mix regular oil with a spicy oil to give the batter a kick.)
1-2 Tbs. ground cashews.

Mix all ingredients into a thick batter. Dip each chunk of chicken into the batter and fry in a wok or skillet til done.

Serve with rice, 1 1/2 cup sliced iceberg lettuce, and cashews.

Spicy Tuscan Soup

1 pound Spicy Breakfast Sausage
1 whole medium red onion, diced
2 slices bacon, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 whole medium potatoes
1 qt. warm water
3 cubes chicken bouillon
1/4 bunches kale, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream.

Crumble sausage into a Dutch oven and heat over medium-high heat until cooked through. Drain and set the sausage aside.

Chop onions and dice bacon; add to the dutch oven. Reduce heat to medium and cook until onions are clear. Add minced garlic and cook for 1 minute.

Slice potatoes in half lengthwise and cut into 1/4 inch slices.  Add warm water, bouillon cubes and potatoes to the Dutch oven and simmer for 15-20 minutes until potatoes are done.

Add remaining ingredients as well as the sausage and simmer for 5 more minutes. Let cool and serve with warm garlic breadsticks.

**How I really did this recipe:  I have picky eaters in this house.  I blended (as in liquified) the kale and onion with the chicken broth. Then simmered it with the remaining ingredients.  It was a lovely shade of green that would be perfect for a St. Patty's Day meal! But it was yummy!  I accidentally cooked our garlic bread a little too long, so we crumbled it up like croutons in the soup. I will do that on purpose next time.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Nuts and Bolts Chex Mix

One of my Dad's favorite Christmas time goodies.

1 box Cheerios
1 box Corn Chex
1 box Rice Chex
1 box Kix
3 lbs. nuts - the more the better
1 bag of thin pretzels

3 sticks of butter
3/4 c. shortening
2 Tbs. garlic salt
1 Tbs. celery salt
1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 Tbs. Tobassco
1/2 Tbs. Cayenne pepper

Mix cereals, nuts, and pretzels.  I use a large trash bag.  Pour mix into pans.

In a sauce pan, melt butter and shortening and add remaining spices.

Pour butter mixture over the cereal mixture and gently mix.

Bake at 250 for 2 hours, stirring every 20 minutes.

Note: This makes a HUGE batch!  But it also goes very quickly! Be prepared with many pans to bake it in. Also, have several storage containers or gift containers ready for when it's cooled.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Bread

3 cups sugar
1 c. oil
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 can (15 oz.) solid-pack pumpkin
3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. ground cloves
½ tsp. ground allspice
½ cup water

In a large bowl, combine sugar, oil and eggs. Add pumpkin and mix well. Combine the remaining dry ingredients; add to the pumpkin mixture alternately with water, beating well after each addition.

Pour into 2 greased loaf pans. Bake at 350 for 60-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.  

Cheese Ravioli with Creamy Spinach Sauce

A recipe from Melissa that my kids tried, and LOVED, only because she made it first.

2 bags of frozen Cheese filled Ravioli, cooked according to package directions
1 c chicken broth
1 -2 c chopped fresh spinach
4 slices bacon cooked and crumbled
5 green onions sliced
3 tsp. Cajun seasoning
1 clove garlic
1 ½ c heavy cream
1 c grated parmesan cheese
1 fresh tomato, chopped for garnish

In a sauce pan add chicken broth, spinach, bacon, green onion, Cajun seasoning, and garlic. Bring
to a boil. Add heavy cream and boil on med heat until sauce has reduced and become thicker. This
normally takes 10-15 min. Once sauce is finished place cooked ravioli in a greased 9x13, toss with
sauce, sprinkle with cheese, toss again, garnish with tomato. Bake uncovered at 350o for 15-20 min.

Mex-Italian Jumbo Shells

1 lb. ground beef
1 pkg. taco seasoning
4 oz. cream cheese
14-16 jumbo shells
1 1/2  cups salsa
1 c. taco sauce
1c. cheddar cheese
1 c. monterey jack cheese 
3 T. refried beans
3 green onions
Sour cream

Preheat oven to 350.

In a frying pan cook ground beef; add taco seasoning and prepare according to package directions.  Add cream cheese and refried beans, cover and simmer until cheese is melted. Blend well. Set aside and cool completely.  While ground beef is cooking, cook the pasta shells according to directions; drain. Set shells out individually on cutting board/baking sheet so that they don’t stick together.

Pour salsa on bottom of 9×13 baking dish.  Stuff each shell with the meat mixture. Place shells in 9×13 pan open side up. Cover shells with taco sauce.  

Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, add shredded cheese and bake for 10-15 more minutes, with the foil removed.  Top with any condiments you’d like (green onions, black olives, etc.) Serve with sour cream and/or more salsa.


1 package dry cheese filled tortellini- cooked according to package directions
1lb Mild Italian Sausage or Chicken
1- 14oz can diced Italian tomatoes
2 gloves garlic minced
1 c fresh spinach
5 oz shredded parmesan cheese
2 cups heavy cream

Cook sausage until browned. Add tomatoes, garlic and fresh spinach bring to a boil then simmer until spinach softens. Stir in heavy cream and ½ of the parmesan cheese turn heat to medium stir until cheese melts. Pour cooked and drain tortellini in a 9x13 spread sauce over the top and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake @ 350 for 15-20min.