Monday, December 22, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I hope you are enjoying this holiday season. We have so much snow its easy to feel the christmas spirit! This year all of my kids are going to be home for Christmas and even some of the grandkids. I don't want to miss out on any of the fun Christmas morning, so I am going to prepare breakfast the night before. (I am putting this recipe on this blog and in my newsletter just because it is such a great recipe!) It is so nice to use a make ahead breakfast recipe. Besides I don't think Christmas morning I would have to many helpers.
Baked Apple French Toast with Carmel Sauce
1 loaf French bread, sliced in 1 ½ inch slices
6 eggs
1 ½ cups milk
½ cup sugar
1 T. vanilla
6 med. Apples, peeled and sliced ( fuji, Jonathon, or granny smith)
1 ½ tea. Ground cinnamon
½ tea. Ground nutmeg
3 T. packed brown sugar
1 recipe Caramel Sauce (below)

The night before serving, coat a 9 x 13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Layer
Bread slices on the bottom of the pan. Combine eggs, milk, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl; beat well and pour over bread slices. Place apple slices on top of bread. Sprinkle apples with cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar. Cover with foil and refrigerate over night. In the morning, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake covered about 50 minutes, remove foil and bake 10 minutes more. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Caramel Sauce
½ cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup flour
½ cup butter, melted
½ cup milk
2 T. vanilla

Combine all ingredients in a med. saucepan and cook over med. heat until thick, stirring constantly.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Here to Quick!

Does anyone else agree this year has flown by! I can't believe we are 9 days away from Christmas. I am almost ready, I just have a few more gift to get and I will be done. And then I start on all the gifts from my kitchen. I really enjoy that part. I am doing alot of the Mixes in a Jar so thats what I am sharing with you! This one is a soup.
Texas 2 Step Soup
1 (1.61-ounce) package brown gravy mix (regular or no-fat)
2 tablespoons mild red chili powder
2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
1 teaspoon ground cumin (optional)
1 teaspoon dried minced onion
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
10 to 12 regular-size tortilla chips, coarsely crushed
1 to 1 1/4 cups uncooked small to medium-size pasta (such as wheels, shells, macaroni)
Pour gravy mix into wide-mouth pint jar. In small bowl, stir together chili powder, oregano, cumin, onion and garlic salt. Pour into jar to make second layer. Add layers of tortilla chips and pasta to fill jar. Seal with lid. Attach gift tag with preparation instructions and decorate jar as desired.
Gift Tag: Brown 1/2 pound ground beef in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Add contents of jar and 7 cups water; heat to boiling. Stir in 1 (15-ounce) can corn with red and green bell peppers and 1 (16-ounce) can chopped tomatoes. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until pasta is tender, stirring occasionally. Serve with additional crushed tortilla chips and shredded Monterey Jack cheese, if desired. Makes 8 servings.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Another "Mix in a Jar" Recipe

I am loving the "Mix in a Jar" recipes. I think they make great gifts. If you are in Utah, I went over to Roberts our local craft store and got the cutes jars with gingerbread guys on top to do my mixes in. They are are on sale right now so they aren't to expensive.
I did a few of the following:

Chocolate Chip Coffeecake Mix
You will need a 1 one-quart wide-mouth jar. The wide mouth makes it easier to layer.
1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
In a medium bowl, sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Pour flour mixture into the jar.Layer the following ingredients on top of the flour mixture: brown sugar, chocolate chips and chopped nuts.Put on lid and seal the jar.

I like to make a recipe card to attach to the jar their cooking instructions on it.
Chocolate Chip Coffeecake
1 jar Chocolate Chip Coffeecake Mix
· 3 large eggs
· 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter - softened
· 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
· 1 cup sour cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 12" x 12" (or similar) baking pan with a generous coating of cooking spray.In a large bowl, beat the eggs, butter and vanilla extract together until well-blended. Add the coffee cake mix and sour cream and mix until well blended.Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake 25 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Serves 12.
Allow coffee cake to cool at least 10 minutes before cutting or eating.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Black Friday!

I know its been a while since my last post, but I had a week off to get ready for Thanksgiving and to figure out the shopping plan for "Black Friday". I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving! And you all had left overs to make some of those delious recipes all the cooking shows showed us for weeks before.
"Black Friday".....hum .... well I know why it has its name! We got up at 3:30 am to make sure we were at Kohls bright and early. They opened at 4:00 am. We are driving there and get there about 10 minutes early..... and the line has already formed and goes down the complex past the other 4 stores and around the corner! So I took it we were late....Dang! And it was raining! So we waited until they opened the doors and slowly push our way thru with everyone else. I went one way and my Daughter went the other. You know divide and conquer! I ran to the back of the store to get the great deal on Kitchenade knife sets just to find out the store only put out 4 of them and the first 2 ladies back there each got 2. Oh well after all we didn't stand in the rain for 2 hours before the store opened so they deserved them! We did grab a few things and then stood in line for 30 minutes. On to the next store!!
We arrived at JC Penney's just in time to get the 4 inch snow globe they were giving away!! Score! We found several things to buy at great prices! And went on to Walmart.....
Now that was ZOO! And anyone in there right mind should never go there on "Black Friday".
But then again we were still half asleep. We were excited to find that they did really stock the door busters that were advertized! We found palletts of great buys! I love when a store really plans for this sale. After doing more shopping we headed for the craft stores! Have you noticed that at christmas everything they carry is just what you need ( or really want). We were now hungry and very tired so home we went for left over turkey sandwiches!! And a Nice nap! We really deserved it after that long day! And now all we have to do is wrap all of those gifts!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

I love to read cookbooks and sometimes I make 1 or 2 things. But this cookbook is so fun I have already made 6 recipes and have plans for more! This book was written by Stephanie Ashcraft and she says her mother taught her "that anything could be made with a cake mix." This easy-to-read cookbook has recipes for everything from Chocolate Chip Cookies to Lemon Squares. I made the lemon squares tonight and prep time was about 5 minutes. I love it! I took them to work and they loved them!
there are helpful hints that teach you a few tricks about baking cakes, making chewier cookies and keeping fruit fresh. This book should be in everyone's cookbook library. And not just for reading!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Addicted to Aprons!

I love aprons! I would wear one to work and bed if I could. There is nothing more fun than cooking with a pretty apron on. I swear my food taste better when I wear one. I even like to make them. And it they have become very popular again.
You can find hundreds of patterns but I really like the old fashion ones that I call " full frontal". Ones that cover me from a little below my neck to down to my knees. It always amazes me where I can spill while cooking. I feel like Sandra Lee decorating her kitchen, when I plan what I am wearing to go with my apron. And some days that is easier said than done. Because after all, if I look pretty while fixing a meal for a friend or family they always think I cook better than I do!
I did find the best place to get free apron patterns......
and if you google "free apron patterns" you can even find more! And I thought for 11/26 "National Tie One On Day" this would be a great place to find a pattern if you want to make make your give-away apron. But just in case it turns out to cute...make 2. It almost just as easy to make 2 as 1. I think one of my favorite memories of my grandmother is coming into her kitchen as a child and smelling the wonderful things she was making and seeing her in her apron! It made me feel so content to be at her house.
I would love to hear from any of you that love aprons as much as I do, and have a favorite story.
So until next time remember "cooking miracles happen when you wear your apron"!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

National Tie One On Day™ - November 26,2008

National Tie One On Day™ celebrates the humble apron and the spirit of women of earlier generations who donned the universal symbol of home, family and mothering as the uniform of their daily wardrobe and helped make America the great country it is today. On the day before Thanksgiving, EllynAnne encourages us to pause in the preparation of our own meal, wrap a loaf of bread in an apron, tuck a prayer or note of encouragement in the pocket, and tie one apron, of course!, and deliver the wrapped bundle to someone in need of spiritual or physical sustenance. According to EllynAnne, no matter which way you turn out of your own front door, someone who is deserving of a hug is very close by. “Women clad in aprons have traditionally prepared the Thanksgiving meal,” says EllynAnne, “and it is within our historical linkage to share our bounty.”For More Information, email EllynAnne or call 1.877.9.APRONS

I thought this was not only a fun idea but what and nice thing to do for someone! So I hope you consider joining in. Everyone I know loves banana bread so I thought I would share the recipe:
Banana Bread
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed very ripe bananas (3 to 4 medium)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped nuts, if desired
1. Move oven rack to low position so that tops of pans will be in center of oven. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottoms only of 2 loaf pans, 8 1/2x4 1/2x2 1/2 inches, or 1 loaf pan, 9x5x3 inches.
2. Mix sugar and butter in large bowl. Stir in eggs until well blended. Add bananas, buttermilk and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt just until moistened. Stir in nuts. Pour into pans.
3. Bake 8-inch loaves about 1 hour, 9-inch loaf about 1 1/4 hours, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Loosen sides of loaves from pans; remove from pans and place top side up on wire rack. Cool completely, about 2 hours, before slicing.
Wrap tightly and store at room temperature up to 4 days, or refrigerate up to 10 days.

Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate!!

These are just what you need if you are craving chocolate! I found the recipe at:
Double Chocolate Brownies Recipe
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 25 mins
cooking spray
1/4 cup(s) butter
2/3 cup(s) sugar, granulated
1/2 cup(s) water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup(s) flour, all-purpose
1/4 cup(s) cocoa powder, unsweetened
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup(s) chocolate chips, semisweet miniature
2 teaspoon sugar, powdered
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly coat the bottom of a 9x9x2-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray, being careful not to coat sides of pan.
2. In a medium saucepan, melt butter; remove from heat. Stir in granulated sugar, the water, and vanilla. Stir in flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder until combined. Stir in chocolate pieces. Pour batter into prepared pan.
3. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Remove from pan. Cut into 16 bars. Sprinkle with the powdered sugar.

Monday, November 3, 2008

How Much Is In That Can?

Have you ever wondered what the measurement for the contents of a #2 can is? Or any other can? Well here is a chart so you will always know.

Size............. Average Contents
8 oz................. 1 cup
picnic.............. 1 1/4 cups
No. 300.......... 1 3/4 cups
No. 1 tall......... 2 cups
No. 1................ 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces)
No. 303........... 2 cups
No. 2................ 2 1/2 cups (20 ounces)
No. 2 1/2......... 3 1/2 cups (28 ounces)
No. 3................ 4 cups (32 ounces)
No. 10.............. 12 to 13 cups (104 ounces)

When I was following a recipe it called for 1 #2 can and I wanted to subsitute for fresh and so I needed the information. Once I found it I thought I would share with you. It will come in handy sooner or later.

Monday, October 27, 2008


Gingerbread Waffles

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg, separated
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup molasses
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
1/3 cup chopped raisins
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, baking soda, mustard and salt; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat brown sugar and egg yolk until fluffy. Add buttermilk, molasses and butter; stir into dry ingredients just until combined. Add raisins. In a small bowl, beat egg white and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gently fold into batter. Bake in a preheated waffle iron according to manufacturer's directions until golden brown.

Gingerbread Milk Steamers

2 cups milk (skim, 2% or whole)
1 tsp. molasses
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 cinnamon sticks for garnish (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a microwave-safe container. Heat on high 1 to 2 minutes until milk is scalded, but not boiling.
Stir. Beat with an immersion blender, frother, or just in a regular blender for 1 to 2 minutes. Garnish with cinnamon sticks. Serve immediately.

Gingerbread always makes me feel warm inside. And with the weather changing like it is, this is the perfect start for fall. Gingerbread Milk Steamers is good not only for adults but kids ask for seconds.
Do you have a fall favorite recipe? Or one that makes staying out of the cold that much nicer?

Friday, October 24, 2008

No Knead Bread!

I went to a cooking class tonight and it was wonderful as usual. Melanie Clark is the talented cooking diva who teaches our class. I really enjoy going to cooking classes, because it not only exposes you to great new recipes but also different cooking styles. I am a semi-homemade cook because I am always on the go, but I need my family to think I spent hours cooking for them. Melanie is a make from scratch cook. It is so fun to watch and learn all of the knowledge she has to offer.
She also uses a bosch mixer, which I know I need. And a pressure cooker! My husband thinks cooking class is just somewhere I go to learn about new "Have to Haves". Melanie also uses a wheat grinder to grind her own flour! (I told you she is amazing) But being the semi-homemaker, I will just drive across town to but the freshly ground flour from the bosch store.
Tonight she made the most delious bread called "No Knead Bread". This bread is the best for all cooks. Even children!
She said there is a video online to watch how its made if we wanted to see how to do it again. And I found it it on Martha Stewart's website. It is at
The recipe is right below the video and you can print it off. I really reccommend watching the video and making the bread. It is soo good! And it tasted really good with soup.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Easy Dutch Apple Pie

Easy Dutch Apple Pie
1 9" deep dish pie crust
1 can apple pie filling
3 apples, peeled, cored, & sliced 1/2 inch
1/2 box Duncan Hines yellow cake mix
Opt. Caramel topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour apple pie filling into pie shell; add apples also. Pour cake mix on top of the apples and bake for 45-50 minutes until cake mix is brown and crisp.
Drizzle caramel topping on top when it cools. This easy pie tastes even more delious with ice cream!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Cooking with Kids

I love cooking with my grandkids and they love to eat everything we make. So cooking with them is a great way to get them to eat things they normally won't. I try to let them pick what they want to make. And loving cookbooks the way I do, looking for the recipe can be as fun as cooking.
But I have to say with all of the cookbooks I do have for kids, the new one by Paula Deen is the CUTEST! I saw it at wallmart and had to buy it. This cookbook not only has great information, wonderful recipes, but the illustrations are the cutest I have ever seen in a cookbook for kids. This is the book I will be picking up for christmas gifts this year.
I always try to do family gift baskets for Christmas for my neices and nephew's families. I think I will get everythig for one of the recipes, Paula Deen's kids cookbook, a large fun bowl to put it all in, a few dish towels, and wooden spoons and I will be the hit of the family party! You have got to check out this book and add it to your collection. You won't be sorry.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Winter Squash

Have you been to the farmers market lately? There are so many squash out there....and who knows how to cook them?
Well I do have an ebook called"Fron the Garden" on my site but I do think I saw a few I have never heard of. I alway wonder who saw that weird shaped thing and said "Boy I bet that would taste good with a little butter". Maybe it was "Paula Deen"!

I do have to say I haven't met a squash I didn't like especially with Butter! LOL. And you can cook them so many different ways. I take a cooking classes every other thursday and in the one we hade last night they cooked squash in a presser cooker. Wow now you know I need a presser cooker! It was delious! And they also did apple sauce. I am so sold!

Better close since I am on my way out to buy a presser cooker!

Monday, October 6, 2008


How many of you love aprons?

I have to say I am hooked on them! I even buy patterns for ones I will probably never sew just because I love them. There are so many cute one out there just to buy. I even have a few that I wear when I know I won't spill because the apron is way to cute to get dirty. My favorites have pockets....I always put the recipe card in the pocket for reference. And I know my recipes alway taste better if I am wearing an apron. Some of my fondest memories are my Grandmother tieing her apron on me before we could cook. I never want to get her apron dirty because they were so fun to wear. I wore them even after we were done cooking.
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