I love family. I love learning. I love food. This is simply a collection of thoughts, memories, and recipes that are a piece of me!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Spider Web Peanut Butter Pie

This recipe will really satisfy any sweet craving this Halloween that the candy just couldn't fill! 


  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 (16 ounce) package frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 2 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crusts
  • Chocolate Sauce

  • Beat together cream cheese and confectioners' sugar. Mix in peanut butter and milk. Beat until smooth. Fold in whipped topping.  Spoon into two 9 inch graham cracker pie shells, and carefully pour 3 circles, one right outside the other, on the top of the pie with chocolate sauce.  Next, take a toothpick, insert it into the center about half an inch deep, and draw lines going out to the edge of the pie.  Make these lines all the way around, each time starting from the center and drawing out.  It will create a fun spider web design on the top of your pie! Cover, and freeze until firm.  Cut, serve, and enjoy!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Cheesecake Brownie Bites

These rich and delicious little bites of yummy are sure to impress everyone at your next party!  Marbled and beautiful, it's a mixture of a rich cheesecake, yummy brownie, and crunchy graham cracker crust!  Simple to make and decadent to enjoy!

Graham Cracker Crust:
1 stick melted butter
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
(If you'd prefer to not make this, feel free to use the pre-made crusts from the store.  This will simple make this a pie-like dessert instead of bite sized pieces!)

Melt your butter and mix well into graham cracker crumbs.  Pat gently into a greased casserole dish to form a crust.  Bake for about 10 minutes at 350 to make it nice and crunchy.  Let cool

For the brownie part, I used a basic boxed brownie mix.  Follow directions on the package.

2 8 oz packages of softened cream cheese
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

In a clean bowl, cream together cream cheese and sugar.  Once blended very well, beat on high for 2 minutes.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating on high with each one.  Add vanilla.

Now to put it all together....
Pour cheesecake mixture over the graham cracker crust.  Using a spoon, drizzle the brownie mix all over.  DO NOT BLEND.  It should have a lovely marbled effect on top.  Bake at 350 for about 35 minutes, or until it is not jiggly and the top is a nice golden brown.  Remove from the oven, let it cool for as long as you can stand it, slice, and enjoy!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Cinnamon Chips

These cinnamon chips are so very simple to make and are crispy and delicious!  These make a perfect afternoon snack, or you can revamp the recipe to make regular tortilla chips to go with salsa!

Small flour tortillas
Vegetable oil (enough to have about an inch in your skillet)

Heat your oil to about 375 degrees (or on medium for about 8 to 10 minutes).  While your oil is heating, slice your flour tortillas in wedges like pizza slices.  Each small tortilla will get you about 8 chips.  Once the oil is heated, drop in your tortilla wedges and watch them fry!  After about a minute, flip them and fry for another minute.  Quickly remove them and place them on a paper towel lined plate to drain.  Before they dry, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.  Once they cool a bit, it's time to munch!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Strawberry Pie

This refreshingly delicious pie is perfect for a hot day!  It's sweet and creamy and wonderfully tasty!

1 lb of fresh strawberries
1 graham cracker pie crust
1 small package of strawberry Jello
1 tub of whipped cream
2 cups of water

Make the Jello per the box instructions (dissolve Jello in 1 cup of boiling water and then add 1 cup of cold water...I actually get about 3/4 of a cup of ice and then finish off the cup with water.  That will help it set up faster) Put the Jello in the refrigerator while you slice your strawberries.  This will help it start to set up.  Once your strawberries are all sliced, all them to the Jello and fold in your tub of whipped cream.  Put it back in the fridge and let it set up for about half an hour then add to the pie crust.   Let it set up for another 2 to 3 hours in the refrigerator, slice, and eat!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Crock Pot Chicken and Dumplings

This is one of my family's favorites.  (It's a great substitute for my grandma's chicken and dumplings which I will share closer to Christmas!)  These are super easy to make, but so full of flavor!  They are perfect to throw on before work in the morning and be nearly ready when you get home!

2 cans of cream of chicken soup
3 cans of water
3 chicken breasts
2 tubes of biscuits
3 tbsp of butter
2 tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Pepper
1 tsp. Sage
1 tsp. Poultry Seasoning

Directing into your crock pot, combine cream of chicken soup and water (I like to just measure my water with the same cans just to be sure to get every last bit of that yummy soup out!).  Stir well and add salt, pepper, sage, and poultry seasoning. Once that has been mixed together, drop in your chicken and turn it on high for 4 hours or low for 6-9 hours.  (I use frozen chicken breasts.  It works great, and I don't have to remember to get them out of the freezer the night before.)  When you get home (or are just ready to finish dinner) take out the chicken and use a fork to shred it.  Add it back to the crock pot along with the butter, and cut your biscuits into quarters.  Add biscuits, and use a spoon to push them down.  Don't worry when they pop back up.  It will take an hour and a half or so for the biscuits to cook all the way through.  Just stir a few times during that time to bring the bottom ones to the top and the top ones to the bottom to make sure they all cook evenly.  Once the dumplings are all cooked, grab a big bowl and fill it up!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Cinnamon Biscuit Balls

If you love home made cinnamon rolls, you're pretty much guaranteed to love these.  They are ridiculously simple to make, and perfectly delicious!

2 tubes of biscuits
1 cup of brown sugar
2 tbsp of cinnamon
1 stick of butter
1 cup of powdered sugar

Melt your stick of butter in a bowl, and in another bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon.  Remove biscuits from the tubes and roll each into a ball.  Roll each ball first in the melted butter and then in the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture.  Place in a greased pie plate and bake for about 10 minutes (or until the inside of the biscuits are done.)  While those are cooking, in a bowl, combine your powdered sugar and a few spoonfuls of the melted butter you have left over.  Mix and taste.  Too buttery?  Add more powdered sugar.  Too dry?  Ad a bit more butter.  Remove biscuits from the oven (Be aware this is going to make your house smell AMAZING!) Pour your icing over the hot biscuits and enjoy!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Chocolate Filled Cream Puffs

The name simply doesn't do this decadent dessert justice.  It should be something more like "little pillows filled with chocolate heaven" or something.  This recipe is a big more intense than what I've done before, but still very very simple!  Enjoy!

1 cup of water
1 stick of butter
1 cup sifted flour
4 eggs

Melt the butter and bring it and the water together to a boil.  Once boiling, stir in sifted flour.  Set aside to cool for about half an hour.  Preheat oven to 400.  Once batter is cooled, blend in 4 eggs, one at a time.  This will make the batter pretty gooey and wet.  Spoon a large walnut sized bits of batter on a nonstick cookie sheet.  (These won't really puff or anything while baking, so you can put them pretty close together as long as they aren't touching) Bake for about half an hour until golden brown.  (Be careful....they can and will burn if you don't watch them!) While these are baking, let's make some chocolate cream filling!!

8 oz cream cheese
2 small pkgs of instant chocolate fudge pudding
3 1/2 cups of milk
12 oz pkg of whipped cream

Start by creaming to room temperature cream cheese with your mixer until it is very smooth.  Add the pudding packages and milk and slowly blend together.  Once fully blended, beat on high for a minute until very creamy.  Fold in whipped cream to create a wonderfully delicious chocolate cream filling!

Once you've taken your cream puffs out of the oven and they've cooled, take a ziplock bag and cut a small part of one of the bottom corners out.  Place a cake decorating tip (If you have the filling one, great.  If not, just use something small) into the hole you just cut.  Fill the ziplock bag with the filling.  Pierce the BOTTOM of the cream puff and fill!  (This is actually really quite simple, but if you don't want to fill them like this, cut the cream puffs in half and fill them with filling and serve them like little chocolate sandwiches!  Either way they are delicious....just make sure to lick the bowl!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Loaded Lasagna

I swear once you eat this, you aren't going to be hungry for a week.  (Okay, not really...but it did fill up my family like you wouldn't believe!)  This Lasagna has 2 different meats, 5 different cheeses, and a ton of flavor!

1 box of American Beauty oven ready lasagna (I put a picture below so you can see what the box looks like)
3 jars or cans of your favorite pasta sauce
1 lb of ground beef
1 package of turkey pepperoni (might as well make it healthy, right?)
2 cups of shredded mozzarella
1 container of whole milk ricotta cheese
1/4 cup of Romano cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup asiago cheese
1 tbsp Italian seasoning

Brown your ground beef and drain (This is seriously the most difficult part of this entire recipe...).  Add a jar (or can) of pasta sauce to the ground beef to make a meat sauce.  In a large bowl, combine ricotta, asiago, parmesan, romano, and 1 cup of mozerella cheese with Italian seasoning.  Blend well.  Now, take a casserole dish and spray with cooking spray just to keep the baked on lasagna from sticking too badly.  Once sprayed, we are going to start layering!  Start with a layer of pasta sauce on the bottom (no meat in it...just the sauce!) add oven ready lasagna noodles directly on top of the sauce.  (The noodles will be hard and crunchy and you might think, "hey, these aren't cooked!" but trust me.  It will be great!) Make sure the noodles don't overlap.  On top of the noodles put a layer of the meat sauce followed by a layer of the cheese mixture.  On top of the cheese, add a healthy layer of pepperoni.  On top of the pepperoni, add a layer of plain pasta sauce.  Top that with noodles and do it all again!  Once you've put down your third layer of noodles in all, pour plain pasta sauce on top followed by the rest of the shredded mozzarella.  Cover with foil and bake at 350 for about 35 minutes.  Remove foil and bake for another 20 to 25 minutes or until the cheese on top is melted!  (I actually add some more mozzarella on top after I remove the foil.)  I will warn you: This will NOT come out pretty, but it will come out delicious!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Momma's Chicken Noodles

For me, this is the ultimate comfort food. A creamy, savory dish just perfect for any night in. Please note that I'm providing two different ways to cook this same recipe...make it as simple or involved as you'd like! (My favorite is the first recipe, though....more flavor!)

2 large chicken breasts on the bone (or 3 boneless)
6 cups of water (or 2 cups of water and 4 cups of chicken broth)
1 pkg egg noodles
1 can of cream of chicken soup
Poultry Seasoning

The first way to cook this dish (how my Momma makes it) is to cover your bone-in chicken breasts with water in a deep pan. Add sage, poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper, and boil until chicken is finished. Once chicken is fully cooked, remove from the water (DO NOT DRAIN!) and let cool. Once cooled, skin and de-bone the chicken and shred. (If, however, you are afraid of boned chicken like I am, you can add boneless chicken to water and canned chicken broth along with seasonings, boil, and shred. It's not as good, but it gets the job done.) Once the chicken has been removed and is cooling, add egg noodles directly into the broth. (The boned chicken will create a wonderful broth from the fat in the chicken and the water mixed with the seasonings.) Let the noodles cook for a moment and add the can of cream of chicken soup. Once the noodles have almost completely cooked, add in the shredded chicken. If at this point you notice your dish to be watery, boil uncovered until creamy (make sure to keep it stirred if you need to do this, though. The noodles can stick to the bottom of the pan and burn. YUCK!) Once creamy, get a great big bowl (you're going to need it!) and enjoy!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Wacky Cream Cakes

These are creamy and delicious and will satisfy even the sweetest tooth!  (Isaiah couldn't even finish the whole thing in one sitting, and that's saying a LOT!)  With a fluffy, buttery cream sandwiched between two moist and yummy pieces of rich chocolate cake, these make a perfect snack or treat for a party served with an ice cold glass of milk!

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/3 cup vegetable, peanut or light olive oil
1 cup cold water, milk or chocolate milk

Preheat oven to 350.  In a large blow, blend dry ingredients together.  Once blended, add in water, oil, and vanilla.  Mix on high for 3 minutes, and add in vinegar.  Using an ice cream scoop (to ensure all cakes are the same size) scoop batter onto a greased cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before moving them to a cooling rack.  

(Cream Filling)
1/2 stick of softened butter
1/4 cup Crisco
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar
1 small jar marshmallow fluff

Cream together butter and Crisco.  Once creamed, slowly add in powdered sugar and vanilla.  Once blended together, add in marshmallow fluff and beat until fluffy.

Gently ice the flat part of one cake with the cream filling (using as much or as little as you want) and top with another cake.  I then wrapped each sandwich individually in plastic wrap and set in the refrigerator to stay nice and cool.  Enjoy with a tall glass of milk, and you will certainly get your sugar fix!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Creamy Avocado Dip

This dip is so yummy that I literally almost ate it all before I could take a picture for you guys! It's bright and fresh and creamy with a hint of spice! It goes great with tortilla chips, pita chips, or crackers, and it's sure to please any crowd!

2 fresh avocados (the fresh part is important!)
1 8 oz block of cream cheese
1-2 tbsp of Cajun seasoning

Make sure your cream cheese is softened. If it isn't, it will be very difficult to blend. Beat cream cheese with a mixer for about 30 seconds or until it is creamy. Add avocados 1/2 at a time, blending until smooth. Finally, add in Cajun seasoning a little at a time, tasting after it is blended. Continue to add seasoning until dip is spicy enough for your taste. Add a dash of salt and pepper and give it one last blend. Chill for 2-3 hours and serve with your choice of chips or crackers!

Just a tip on picking ripe avocados....you're going to want to go with one that isn't too green. When you squeeze a fresh avocado, it will seem a bit squishy or soft. If it's too hard to squish, it's not ripe yet!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Drop Biscuits with Cinnamon Butter

These biscuits are one of my favorite things to make. They only have four ingredients (and it's things I almost always have), and they are super quick. They are great with gravy, honey, or jam, but today I'm making them with cinnamon butter!

2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
6 tbsp softened butter
1/2 of milk (you may need a tbsp or two more)

Preheat oven to 450. Combine flour and baking powder in a bowl. Cut in your butter. Once butter has been completely cut in, stir in milk. Dough will be sticky, but it should form into a ball. (If after you've stirred it all together it still feels dry and crumby, add a tbsp of milk at a time until all the flour has been incorporated into a dough.) "Drop" biscuits by the spoonful into a greased pie plate. (Please be aware that these are NOT going to be pretty perfectly round biscuits. They are only meant to be delicious!) Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

**I've had a few questions about cutting in butter, so I've added a video! Hope this helps!!

The cinnamon butter was so so simple. Simply take a stick of butter that you have set out to soften. Add cinnamon and sugar to taste and place it on a piece of plastic wrap. Cover and roll it to form it back into a stick shape. Stick it back into the refrigerator to let it set up. Once it has set up, remove from plastic wrap and you can stick it in your butter dish or on a covered plate and use it for anything! This is perfect for making cinnamon toast, or use garlic powder and parsley instead of cinnamon and sugar for a yummy garlic toast topping!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Italian Summer Salad

This recipe is so so simple, but it never fails to impress! It's perfectly refreshing for light lunch or goes wonderfully with grilled chicken for a delicious dinner side dish!

16 oz package of whole milk mozzarella
1/2 cup fresh basil
1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes
freshly cracked pepper

Cube your whole milk mozzarella into small bite sized pieces. Chop fresh basil...you're going to want this to be reasonably small pieces. Halve your cherry tomatoes. Add a dash of salt and freshly cracked pepper, and toss! (The key to this dish for me was to make sure that the pieces of cheese and the tomato halves are about the same size.) If you're going to eat this dish at the time you make it, you may want to add a couple of tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. However, this salad is AMAZINGLY delicious if you make it the night before you are going to eat it and let all the flavors marinade together. Simply cover bowl with plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator, and you will have a wonderfully refreshing dish ready for the next afternoon!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Apple Bacon Grilled Cheese

I make this sandwich for my husband for lunch, and he loves it. It's my grown up version of a grilled cheese sandwich!

3 pieces of bacon (I use turkey bacon)
1 apple
Cheddar cheese (The amount will be to taste, so that's all up to you!)
2 pieces of bread (again, your choice)

Cut your strips of bacon in half so that you have 6 halves. Core and slice your apple. (This just makes it fit better on the bread later) Grill your bacon on a griddle. Once bacon has been thoroughly cooked, remove it from the griddle and butter one side of each piece of bread. Place one piece of bread butter side down on the same griddle. Then, sprinkle a healthy portion of cheddar cheese and place bacon and apple slices on top. Then top with more cheese and the last piece of bread. Let the bread brown and flip. Once both sides of the bread have browned and the cheese is melted, remove, slice, and enjoy!

Banana Pie

This is one of my new favorite hot day desserts, so with 100+ weather, I figured now would be a good time to share it! This is actually a variation of my all time favorite pie recipe that I will be sharing closer to Christmas time! (Yum yum!)

3/4 c. Sugar
1/4 c. Cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
2 c. milk
2 beaten egg yolks
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla
2 bananas
1 graham cracker pie crust

Mix dry ingredients well. Stir in 1/2 cup of milk then mix. (This will help make sure everything gets incorporated together!) Stir in the rest of the milk and microwave (yes...microwave. you read that correctly!) on high for 5 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the mixture is thickened, temper the egg yolks and then add them to the mixture. Stir very well, and microwave on high for another 1 to 2 minutes, or until the mixture is thickened again. Add butter and vanilla and mix until the butter is melted. Then, mash your bananas and add them to mixture. Finally, pour into graham cracker pie crust and put it in the refrigerator to chill. (Now, I use the store bought pie crust, but you can make your own if you prefer. I just figure there's no point in making it more difficult for myself!)

Just a quick note on this recipe...this pie is best on the first day, so I like to make it in the early afternoon so it has time to chill and then devour it all in one night. (This never proves to be much of a problem...) Otherwise, your bananas can start to go bad and it's not pretty!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Onion and Chive Potatoes

These are the best mashed potatoes you will ever eat!

Add Image
3 lbs russet potatoes
1/2 stick of butter
1 8 oz tub of Onion and Chive cream cheese

Peel and cut up your potatoes. (You could leave the skins on, but make sure you clean them very very well!) Wash them once they've been cut up and pour them into a pan. Cover with water, and add a little salt. This will help season the potatoes as they cook and they will need less salt later! Place on medium to high heat, and let the water boil for about 20 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Drain the water out, and start to mash. Add in butter and cream cheese as you mash then salt and pepper to taste. These potatoes are the creamiest, most delicious potatoes that are full of flavor. You won't even need gravy!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Cheeze-It Chicken

This fried chicken is so delicious!

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenderloins
1 box of cheese crackers (I used Cheeze-Its)
3 eggs
1/2 cup of milk
3 cups of oil

Clean your chicken and remove and fatty pieces. Salt and pepper the chicken to your own taste. Crunch the crackers into small pieces. (I put them in a ziplock bag and crunched them with a rolling pin until they were almost powdery with some bigger pieces left, too) Beat 3 eggs with 1/2 cup of milk. This is a good time to put the oil into the frying pan and turn the heat onto medium. You want the oil to be hot when you put the chicken into it. Dunk the chicken into the egg and milk mixture. Once coated, roll it in the crackers. (I actually like to double bread mine...dunk it in the eggs and milk again then back into the crackers. It keeps there from being any chicken showing!) Once all the chicken is thouroughly coated, drop it into the hot oil and fry until goldy brown and crispy. Drain on a paper towel covered plate and enjoy!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Spicy Snickerdoodles

Today my sister and I attempted some new cookie recipes, and I was so excited with our outcomes! I made a spicy snicker doodle that was super simple and amazingly delicious! This will forever be my Christmas cookie now!

1 spice cake mix
1 stick of melted butter
1 egg
2 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Melt butter and combine cake mix, butter, and egg together in a mixing bowl. (I found using a stand mixer is easier because this is a super thick batter) Mix all ingredients until combined. In a seperate bowl, combine the cinnamon and sugar. Take a spoonful of the batter and roll it into a bowl then roll it in the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Place on a cookie sheet (I greased mine, but I doubt it really needed it because of how much butter this recipe contains.) and bake for 8-10 minutes.

The smell of these cookies alone reminded me so much of Christmas at my parents' house as a kid. One of my favorite things about this recipe is that it's made with things I almost always keep in my kitchen cabinets. Super simple, super fast, but a payoff that is priceless!