Monday, July 12, 2010

Peanut Butter Cookies

peanut butter cookies:

1 C. sugar
1 C. brown sugar
1 C. butter flavored shortening
1 C. creamy peanut butter
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 C. flour

1. preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Mix sugars, shortening, PB and eggs.
3. Add all dry ingredients adding flour last.
4. Shape dough, roll in sugar, press criss-cross with fork, Bake for 11-12 minutes.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Dip of Mexican Champions

I made this today for Scott's Father's Day after church snack. He loved it! Super easy, and tasty. PS..I realize I've been missing in action, but with being out of town, having our house for sale and not cooking much due to mess and the 105 degree temperature, the updates have fallen victim. I miss you cooking world.

dip of mexican champions:
(this is a made up name)

1-8oz cream cheese
1-15 oz. can of chili
1/2-1 can green chiles
approx 1 C. shredded cheddar cheese
sliced olives
green onions (optional)

1. Spread softened cream cheese on the bottom of a pie plate.
2. Layer on top in this order; chili, green chiles, cheese, olives.
3. Bake 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly.
4. Sprinkle with green onions if desired then start dippin your tortilla chips into dip!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Brownie Bliss

Welcome the darling Melissa as our Guest Chef this week!! She has provided this divine recipe for a "straight to the hips" love affair (I'm told)!! Melissa is a mother to 3 beautiful boys and comes up with brownie recipes in her spare time..hehe! Thanks for sharing, I will be giving this recipe a whirl soon!

this picture is not the best, but when a certain 4 year old plays with the setting on your camera and you don't know how to figure out what buttons he pushed, this is the result..slightly blurry!
bliss from brownies:

1 box brownie mix (follow directions) or use a homemade brownie recipe you like

1. 3 minutes before the brownies are done, take them out of the oven and place a layer of mini marshmallows on top. Put back in the oven until the timer goes off.

2. In a double boiler or sauce pan melt together:

2 cups chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter (creamy, the cheap stuff works the best)
1 and 1/2 cups rice crispy cereal
2-3 Tablespoons of butter

3. pour over brownies when out of oven, make sure to cover all of the melted marshmallows and then place brownies the fridge to set up for a few hours.

Sunday, May 30, 2010


Over the long holiday weekend I made these little gems TWICE! The kids were begging to have a fire in the fire pit and roast marshmallows for s'mores, but with it being in the 90's, I opted for s'mores in the pan instead. They were a huge hit and the kids gobbled them up at both BBQ's this weekend! Super easy and hard to resist....even as an adult.


1-12oz. box of Golden Grahams
3/4 C. karo syrup
1 bag chocolate chips
3 T. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
3 C. mini marshmallows

1. Pour Golden Grahams into a big bowl.
2. Melt chocolate chips, karo syrup & butter in pan until boiling, stirring constantly.
3. Remove from heat stir in 1 tsp. vanilla. Pour chocolate mixture over golden grahams in bowl and stir with spatula until well coated.
4. After grahams are well coated with chocolate mixture in bowl, add mini marshmallows 1 C. at a time and stir in.
5. Once mixed well, pour mixture into a greased 9x13 cake pan and let sit for about 1 hour. Cut with knife into bars and serve!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Peach Cobbler

Super easy, super delicious! Similar to a recipe my grandma makes called "Dump Cake" (coming soon) but I LOVE peaches so this version is extra delightful! Very rich!

peach cobbler:

2 cans peach pie filling
1 box yellow or white cake mix
1 cube butter
1/2-3/4 C. chopped walnuts
lemon juice

1. Dump peach pie filling into 9x13 glass pan.
2. Top with dry cake mix.
3. Sprinkle nuts over the top.
4. Slice cube of butter into and lay evenly over the nuts, sprinkle lemon juice over top.
5. Bake 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes, top with whip cream or vanilla ice cream!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Favorite Pasta Salad

Welcome, welcome to our first timer guest chef....CHARLENE! Charlene is a recent Utahn after many years of making us smile in Arizona. We miss her & her funny jokes. She is a mother to 3 bouncing boys & likes to make pasta salad in her spare time (hehehe)! Lucky for us she decided to share! Now that it's offically hit the 100's here, pasta salad and grilled anything sounds delicious! Thanks for stopping by Char, hope to see you in AZ soon!

I love pasta salads, especially in the summer time. This recipe is one that I got from my sister-in-law and it is by far my favorite! Hope you like it :)

favorite pasta salad:

1 pkg 16 oz Cooked Penne pasta (or whatever you have on hand)
1 small Can sliced black olives
1 Chopped green pepper
1 Chopped red pepper
1 Can Marinated artichoke hearts, drained
2 C Broccoli florets
1 can Baby corn, drained and chopped (usually in the Oriental/Japanese food section)
6-8 oz Feta cheese
1/2 Red onion, finely chopped
1 T Salt
1 T Dry mustard
1/3 C Apple Cider vinegar
3/4 C Vegetable oil
3/4 C Sugar
1 T Poppy seeds


1. Mix all salad ingredients in large bowl.

2. Whisk salt, mustard, vinegar, oil, sugar and poppy seeds.

3. Pour over salad. Toss and refrigerate.

*Serves probably 8-10 people
your guest chef,

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Rolled Up Chicken Dinner

Can you say YUMMY?? I can & did! My family LOOOOOVED this dinner!! Loved with a capital L-O-V-E-D. It is a little messy to make, but totally worth it! It's dinner all wrapped up in a chicken breast. Stuffed with mashed potatoes, broccoli & cheese! After they're each rolled in panko bread crumbs, they're drizzled with a yummy gravy! Told you it was delicious! I say go for it & take this recipe for a spin!

rolled up chicken dinner:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to an even thickness
1 1/2 C. prepared mashed potatoes, on the thick side (I used the frozen steamer kind of potatoes that you make in the microwave)
2 C. steamed broccoli, chopped into very small pieces, almost minced
1/2-1 C. shredded cheddar

1. Pound chicken breasts out flat (I used my rolling pin), then place on cookie sheet that's been sprayed with non-stick spray or line the cookie sheet with parchment paper.
2. Spread a thin layer of mashed potatoes on chicken breast, then sprinkle broccoli bits on, then add cheese on top.
3. Fold chicken breast in half (long ways) as much as you can securing with 3-4 toothpicks.

1/2 C. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 beaten egg
1 1/2 C. panko bread crumbs
1 1/2 T. dry ranch dressing mix

4. Mix flour, salt & pepper in one shallow bowl.
5. Put beaten egg in another shallow bowl.
6. Mix panko bread crumbs & ranch dressing mix in 3rd shallow bowl.
7. Dip/roll/sprinkle chicken carefully in flour mixture, then in egg, then in panko bread crumb mix. Use your fingers to spread egg onto chicken & sprinkle bread crumbs onto chicken. This will get MESSY & stuff starts falling out, but don't fret, it will taste wonderful regardless!
8. After you've dipped/rolled/sprinkled your chicken rolls in the 3 mixtures, place back on cookie sheet lined w parchment paper (or sprayed with non-stick spray). Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

1 can cream of chicken soup
1 C. milk
approx. 1/4-1/2 C. finely chopped broccoli (whatever is left from filling the chicken rolls)
2 dollops of sour cream (optional....I just added it to thicken up my sauce).

1. Heat soup, milk, chopped broccoli (& sour cream if you want) in a small sauce pan until warmed. Pour spoonfuls of sauce over each chicken roll before you serve.

MMMMMMMM! Sooooo good! Butter a roll, toss a salad and WALLA, you've gotta a dinner from heaven my friends! Let me know if you loved this dish as much as we did.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Cafe Rio Sweet Pork

It's my wonderful little sister Kallie guest chefing again! She's days away from delivering her 2nd baby but is whipping up masterpieces in the kitchen to share with us! Hope these mexican food dishes chuck you into labor K, and you have little baby Brooks before the 21st!

(My pictures are not the best, but you get the idea)

I found this amazing Cafe Rio Sweet Pork recipe with all the sides at Favorite Family Recipes. We tried it for our Mother's Day dinner and everyone LOVED it! My hubby told me several times with a huge smile that it was exactly like the real thing. Even my 2 year old said it was really good.

It's a little time consuming but worth it. You could make everything the day before and warm it up to serve and it would be fantastic. I personally liked the rice better the second day because it wasn't as sticky. The beans have a lot of juice so serve them with a slotted spoon. We used the Costco uncooked flour tortillas to serve everything in. It was great as a burrito or salad! Enjoy!

sweet pork:
2 pounds pork (we use boneless pork roast)
3 cans Coke (36oz.) (NOT diet)
1/4 c. brown sugar
dash garlic salt
1/4 c. water
1 can sliced green chilies
3/4 can enchilada sauce (medium spiciness)
1 c. brown sugar

1. Put the pork in a heavy duty ziploc bag to marinade. Add 1 ½ cans of coke (18oz.) and 1/4 c. of brown sugar. Marinade for a few hours or overnight.

2. Drain marinade and put pork, 1/2 can of coke, water, and garlic salt in crock pot on high for about 3-4 hours (or until it shreds easily, but don't let it get TOO dry) or on low for 8 hours. Remove pork from crock pot and drain any liquid left in the pot. Shred pork.

3. In a food processor or blender, blend 1/2 can Coke, chilies, enchilada sauce and remaining brown sugar (about a cup, you can add a little more or less to taste..). If it looks too thick, add more Coke little by little.

4. Put shredded pork and sauce in crockpot and cook on low for 2 hours. That's it!
for the sauce (burritos):
1 small can diced chilies
1 7 oz. can Salsa Verde
1/2 c. chicken broth
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt

cilantro-lime rice:
1 c. uncooked rice (long-grain, white rice)
1 tsp. butter or margarine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 can (15 oz) chicken broth
1 cup water
1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tsp. sugar
3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro

1. In a saucepan combine rice, butter, garlic, 1 tsp. lime, chicken broth and water. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook on low 15-20 minutes, until rice is tender. Remove from heat. In a small bowl combine lime juice, sugar and cilantro. Pour over hot cooked rice and mix in as you fluff the rice.

black beans:
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/3 c. tomato juice
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. fresh chopped cilantro

1. 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.

your guest chef,

Monday, May 10, 2010

Melt in Your Mouth Dessert

In honor of Mother's Day, I made this wonderful recipe from my mother for us to enjoy since she would've wanted me to have it! It's a family favorite, one Scott & Owen request for their birthday "cakes". It's easy, quick & it literally melts in your mouth's a must taste. I made it at bunco at my house one time & lets just say it was a real crowd pleaser! Mom's always give us the best recipes don't they? Love you Mom.

melt in your mouth dessert:

1st layer:
1/2 C. finely chopped walnuts
1 C. flour
1 C. melted butter or margarine

*Mix together in bowl, spread evenly into bottom of 9x13 pan pressing down with a fork. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Allow to cool completely.

2nd layer:
8 oz. cream cheese softened
1 C. cool whip
1 C. powdered sugar

* Beat until fluffy, spread evenly on top of crust.

3rd layer:
2 small pkgs. instant coconut cream pudding
(if you don't like coconut, I'm assuming you could use another flavor)

*Mix as directed on box, spread onto 2nd layer. I then allow the pudding to set up for a few minutes in the fridge before adding the 4th layer, so they don't mix.

4th layer:
*Top with 1 C. cool whip, sprinkle with chopped nuts (optional). Chill in fridge for 4 hours, then grab a fork & let the melting in your mouth begin!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Chocolate Chip Whoopies w Marshmallow Filling

I knew these would be a HIT with my kiddos & I couldn't resist the cuteness of them, so we whipped up a batch. Can't hurt to feed them treats the day before Mother's Day right? Personally I loved the cookies alone, minus the marshmallow filling....super soft & delicious. Obviously my kids devoured the filling. We had 3 extra kids over here playing all day today so each & every child was drooling until the cookies were ready to eat & then I had 7 happy kids sitting at the bar licking, biting, mmmm-ing and smiling.

chocolate chip whoopies:

4 T. unsalted butter at room temp.
4 T. shortening
1/2 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 C. buttermilk
2 T. milk
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. white vinegar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 1/4 C. flour
1 C. mini chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Beat together the butter, shortening, sugars until light and creamy.
3. Add the eggs & buttermilk, blend.
4. Add milk, baking soda, vinegar, vanilla in and blend, then add baking powder, salt & flour.
5. Stir in chocolate chips.
6. Drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheet approx 2 inches apart. Bake for approx 11 minutes or until they begin to brown. Remove from oven let cool for 3 minutes then remove from cookie sheet onto cooling rack to cool completely.

*Makes approx 18 whoopie pies (36 cookies).

marshmallow filling:

1 1/2 C. Marshmallow creme
1 1/4 C. shortening
1 C. powdered sugar
1 T. vanilla

1. Beat marshmallow creme & shortening until smooth and fluffy.
2. Add vanilla & powdered sugar and blend until fluffy.
3. Spoon onto flat side of cookie and top with another cookie.
4. Roll the edges in sprinkles if desired.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Not Yo' Mama's Banana Pudding

Shocker! Another guest chef came willingly! Welcome Ms. Talia & her divine recipe! Talia is a mother to 2 little boys & a baby girl fresh from the oven! She has somehow found the time to contribute a recipe for some delightfullness for the rest of us, maybe a good dessert idea for Mother's Day this Sunday! Thanks for sharing Talia!

not yo mama's banana pudding:

2 bags Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies
6 to 8 bananas sliced
2 C. milk
1 (5 0z) box instant french vanilla pudding
1 (8oz) cream cheese softened
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12oz) whipped topping thawed or or equal amount sweetened whipped cream

1. Line the bottom of a 9x13 pan with cookies and a layer of bananas.
2. In a bowl, combine the milk & the pudding mix and blend with a electric mixer.
3. In another bowl, combine the cream cheese & sweetened condensed milk until smooth.
4. Fold the whipped topping into the cream cheese mixture.
5. Add the cream cheese mixture to the pudding mixture and stir until blended.
6. Pour the mixture over the cookies and the bananas & then add another layer of cookies.
7. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

*This is a Paula Dean recipe so you know it's gonna be DELISH! ENJOY!

your guest chef,

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

I've made these for years & they are always a delight. They are super easy & really good without being too spicy (depending how many green chiles you add) because they have no red enchilada sauce. They have more of a sour cream enchilada sauce on them...anyway every one of my kids will eat these so they have stayed in the recipe rotation for a long time & I predict they will be continuing their successful run over in the Brenay kitchen for many more moons.

creamy chicken enchiladas:

2- 12.5 oz. (large) cans of chunk chicken or 3-4 chicken breasts shredded
2 cans of cream of chicken soup
2 soup cans full of milk (or add more to reach desired consistency)
1/2-1 small can of green chiles (depending on your desired spice level)
shredded cheese
10-12 flour tortillas
diced onions (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In bowl empty 2 cans of soup, milk & chicken. Mix well breaking up chunks of chicken with a wisk. Pour just enough of this mixture into a 9x13 pan to cover the bottom.

2. If you prefer to saute the onion & green chiles you can (I leave out the onion & just drain & dump the green chiles in), add into the chicken mixture.

3. Hold one tortilla flat in your hand and spoon a good amount into the tortilla & spread it into a line. Sprinle some cheese inside and then carefully roll it up and place it in the dish.

4. Continue filling tortillas until your pan is lined with 8-12 enchiladas, leaving a little bit of the chicken mixture to gently spoon over the top of the enchiladas (especially wetting the ends of the tortillas so they don't get too crispy while baking). Sprinle with cheese.

5. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes. Top with sour cream, lettuce, tomato, olives or whatever you enjoy. Serve.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Impossibly Easy Chicken Pot Pie

SURPRISE, Surprise!! We have a guest chef!! Introducing the always funny Monda! Monda has 3 little girls & makes jewelry & furniture & who knows what else :) She's multi-talented as you will see with her delicious sounding recipe for chicken pot pie! Go check out her other endeavors, click here. Thanks for stopping by Monda, you did not disappoint!

I decided to put myself out there and be subjected to the snickering and criticism of the blogging world.

On Monday night we had friends over for GAME 5 of the Phoenix Suns playoffs and I made chicken pot pie. The fans went crazy....even the super picky 8 yr.old we call Abbi. Well... maybe not crazy but she did manage to eat more than 2 bites and didn't do her usual choke and gag routine. I hope your fans like it as much as mine did.

impossibly easy chicken pot pie:

1 2/3 cups of Green Giant frozen mixed vegetables
1 cup cut up cooked chicken
1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of chicken soup
1 cup Original Bisquick mix
1/2 cup of milk
1 egg

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Mix vegetables, chicken and soup,in ungreased glass pie plate. 9x1 1/4 inches.
2. Stir together remaining ingredients with fork until blended. Pour on top of chicken mixture.
3. Bake 30 mins. or until golden brown.

That is the OFFICIAL recipe: I doubled the recipe because it says it serves 6. Yeah right !! I used 3 large chicken breast cooked in my pressure cooker.(because it's super fast) and I also added potatoes, salt, pepper and garlic. If the mixture looks thick add milk or water depending on your tastes or diet.

I asked the fans to let me take a picture of the meal on a plate but this is all I was able to get. The crowd was getting restless. Guess it looked a little better before we cut into it. Oh well... it was good and the fam wants it again. So Monday night, not only were the Suns a winner so was I.
your guest chef,

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Lemon Poppy Seed Sugar Cookies

If this recipe doesn't scream spring time, you must not have tasted one (or 3)! Light, fluffy with a hint of lemon, drizzled with a delicious glaze, ALL of my kids LOVED them!

lemon poppy seed sugar cookies:

2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 T. poppy seeds
1/2 C. butter softened
1/2 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. sugar
1 egg
1/4 C. buttermilk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
zest of 1 lemon

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream butter & sugars together until light and fluffy. Add in the egg, vanilla & zest of lemon. Mix well.

2. Add in dry ingredients along with buttermilk. Mix well.

3. Drop onto greased or lined cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 mins or until edges are set. the cookies will be puffy and light in color. Remove from oven and allow to cool.


1 C. powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. vanillla
2 T. milk
1/2-1 tsp. lemon juice (optional)

1. Whisk until desired consistency is reached. With parchment or wax paper underneath wire rack, drizzle glaze over cookies with a wisk. Allow to set up before stacking or storing.

*Makes approx. 3 dozen cookies

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Homemade Oreos

These cookies are the most moist, delicious, soft, cream cheesy dream I can imagine right now! A friend who has a birthday tomorrow, has never had the pleasure of tasting these little jewels so I knew I must whip up a batch in his honor! Seriously something might be wrong with you if you aren't salivating at the thought of these puppies! Sigh.......................

homemade oreos:

1 box devil's food cake mix
2 eggs
1/2 C. oil (or butter flavored shortening)

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Blend together, roll dough into balls a little bit bigger than a quarter in size. Bake for 10-11 minutes, remove cookies from oven and allow to cool completely.

cream cheese frosting:

1/2 C. butter softened
1-8 oz. pkg of cream cheese
3-4 C. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

1. Cream butter & cream cheese together well. Add vanilla & powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached.

2. Place big dollop of frosting in middle of the bottom of one cookie, place a similar sized cookie bottom to frosting and gently press until frosting reaches edges. Allow to set up before storing.

*Makes approx. 2 dozen sandwiched oreos

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Sweet & Sour Chicken Over Rice

I've been making this recipe for probably 10 years now & still love it! Easy, yummy & instantly makes you look 10lbs thinner......ok that's a lie but it's good.

sweet & sour chicken over rice:

3 chicken breasts cooked & cubed
1/2 C. packed brown sugar
1 TB cornstarch
1 can pineapple tidbits
1/3 C. vinegar
1 TB soy sauce
1 small green pepper chopped (optional...I leave it out)

1. Cook cubed chicken, set aside. Saute green pepper & set aside with chicken.

2. Mix brown sugar & cornstarch in skillet, stir in pineapple with syrup, vinegar & soy sauce. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly, reduce heat.

3. Add chicken & green pepper to sauce, cover, simmer stirring occasionally for 10 minutes. Serve over rice.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Ranch Spaghetti with BBQ Shredded Chicken

How can you go wrong?? BBQ chicken, pasta & ranch??? Throw in a side of garlic bread & I think it sounds divine!! My family was mixed. Some ate it and wanted more chicken on top, some thought the 2 didn't belong together. If it sounds tempting, give it a whirl!

ranch spaghetti w bbq shredded chicken:

1 lb. thin spaghetti noodles
4 TB extra virgin olive oil
1/2 large red onion, peeled & finely chopped (I used about 1/8 onion)
2 TB dry Ranch dressing mix
3/4 C. chopped fresh cilantro ( I used about 1/2 C.)
Shredded BBQ chicken (click here for recipe)

1. Cook spaghetti noodles according to pkg. Drain, rinse with cold water to stop cooking.
2. Place olive oil into a large pot or skillet over medium heat. Saute onions until softened and golden.
3. Add cooked spaghetti noodles to onions, mix and then add dry ranch seasoning & cilantro leaves.
4. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Place noodles on plate and top with warm shredded BBQ chicken, serve.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Shark Cake

This weekend was Boston's birthday. He wanted a shark cake. A shark cake?I thought. Hmmmmm. Well I found one someone had made online and tried my best to somewhat copy their idea. So here it is.

shark cake:

1 red velvet cake mix (prepared as directed)
1 white cake mix (prepared as directed)
candy corns

1. First bake your white cake as directed on box in a 9x13 greased AND floured cake pan, and your red velvet cake in a large greased AND floured loaf pan until toothpick inserted into it comes out clean.

2. Let cool for 15 minutes and then turn cakes out of pans onto rack to cool completely. Carve the red velvet loaf with a serrated knife until somewhat resembles the body of a shark coming out of the water. Use a piece of the loaf you remove to cut a fin and attach it to the body of the shark with a couple of toothpicks. Remember pointed nose, rounded sides & that it doesn't need to be perfect because icing is a miracle worker :) This is what mine looked like:
3. Next because there will be a lot of "crumby" sides on your shark, do a crumb coating with icing. A crumb coating is when you use a little bit of icing to ice your cake with a really thin coating of icing to seal all of the crumbs in and then place your cake in the fridge for about 20-30 minutes to let it harden and then you can resume icing the cake without worrying about all the red crumbs pulling up and appearing in your icing.

4. Use grey (tiny bit of black food coloring paste) on the body of the shark, pink in the mouth (or you could just leave the red cake exposed), a white gum line and then cut off the bottom white tips of your candy corns and apply them with tweezers to your sharks mouth.
5. Then put the blue icing on for your water and then add the sharks fins on top of the water, 2 eyes and some gills. It did take some time & was far from perfect, but if you've got a shark lover at your house like I do, this cake will be a winner! When you cut into the shark, the red velvet cake acts as "blood" instant hit with Boston!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Pizza Pasta Casserole

We ate this for dinner 7:00.....I can't wait for soccer season to end. Anyway we ate. That's what good mom's do ya know......they feed their kids. I know you're a good mom too.

pizza pasta casserole:

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 onion chopped (optional)
1 jar of spaghetti sauce
1/2-1 pkg (16oz) rotini pasta, cooked and drained
2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
mini pepperonis

1. Cook & drain pasta.
2. Meanwhile in a large skillet cook beef & onion over medium heat until meat is cooked through, drain.
3. Mix in spaghetti sauce, pasta & mini pepperonis (as many as you'd like).
4. Spray 9x13 pan with non-stick spray and then transfer pasta mixture into pan.
5. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Coconut Strawberry Cake

I found this recipe online & it sounded delightful! It's super easy to throw together. It is good, just very rich....I think I prefer just a plain ol white cake. But if you like good & rich this one's for you!

coconut strawberry cake:

1 box white cake mix

1. Make according to directions on box, bake accordingly in 9x13 pan.

1-16 oz. can of Cream of Coconut
1-14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk

2. Mix together in bowl, as soon as you have removed cake from oven, poke cake all over with a fork then pour above mixture over the top of cake.

3. Place in refrigerator for several hours or overnight.
4. Scoop out and top with whipped cream & strawberries.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tortellini Tomato Soup

We all really liked this soup! Super easy to make. I hear there's supposed to be a couple stormy days this week......perfect!

tortellini tomato soup:

1 pkg. (9oz.) refrigerated cheese tortellini
(I had a 20 oz. pkg & used all of it, figured the kids would like the pasta in it the most anyway)
2 cans (10oz.) tomato soup
2 C. chicken broth
2 C. milk
2 C. half & half
1/2 C. chopped oil packed sun-dried tomatoes
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried basil
1 C. shredded mozzarella

1. Cook tortellini according to pkg directions.
2. Meanwhile in a large pot combine soup, broth, milk, cream, tomatoes & seasonings. Heat through stirring frequently.
3. Drain tortellini well & add to soup.
4. Stir in cheese. When cheese is melted serve immediately & sprinkle with additional mozzarella or parmesan on top.


This recipe is super easy to make & my kids LOVED them! I made them to go with our tortellini soup. They're supposed to taste just like the breadtwists at The Pizza Factory in Utah. I may like theirs better just because they make them for you hehehe! These were nummy though for sure. Make them with any soup or just for fun!


1 1/2 C. warm water
2 TB. sugar
1 TB. yeast

Let that sit for 5 minutes then add:

3 1/2 C. flour
1 tsp. salt

1. Mix until smooth with spatula & your hands until it's mixed and forms a ball, then let raise for 10 minutes.
2. Roll out dough on floured surface into large square with a rolling pin.
3. Brush with real melted butter mixed with garlic then sprinkle with kosher salt.
4. Fold in half and cut into 1 inch strips with a pizza cutter.
5. Twist & place on a cookie sheet (sprayed w non-stick spray)
6. Let raise for an additional 15-20 minutes.
7. Bake at 400 degrees for approx 20 minutes or until golden brown on top.
8. Remove from oven and immediately brush with melted butter (garlic butter if you want), sprinkle with kosher salt & grated Parmesan cheese (skipped that).
9. Serve with marinara, alfredo, ranch or your favorite soup for dipping!

*Dough also makes a great pizza dough, just roll out into a large circle, add your favorite toppings and bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes.

Very delish! Can't wait for that rainy day!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Strawberry & Lemon Cake Cookies

I got this recipe from my Mom & last week over Spring Break, my kids wanted some cookies & I knew these would be the perfect, quick cookies to make! They are really moist & "Springy"!

strawberry (or lemon) cookies:

1 box strawberry (or lemon) cake mix
1/2 C. shortening
2 eggs

Mix together and roll into balls. Bake 375 degrees for 11-12 minutes.

cream cheese frosting:

4 oz. cream cheese
2 TB. margarine
2 C. powdered sugar

Cream together & frost cooled cookies.

I was in a hurry, so I just used a can of frosting this time. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Guest Chef Time Ladies!
Today our guest chef is my dear friend Stephanie! Stephanie is a fantastic mother to 4 children & a very talented photographer! Lucky for us, she has finally given into my constant nagging (hehehe) & given us her secret recipe for Stromboli!! My mouth is watering already! Seriously, look at that picture! I know I'll be adding this to my menu this week! Thanks Steph!
Here is a super easy recipe for a yummy finger food appetizer or if you want it as a meal, just cut them into bigger slices! Here's what you'll need:


Can of pizza dough (or if you're really talented, make the pizza dough yourself. But trust me, the refrigerated dough makes it so much quicker!)

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp parsley
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 egg yolks
1 cup or more of mozzarella cheese
Whatever toppings you like!

1. Spread out your pizza dough on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Mix the other ingredients (except for the toppings) and spread over the dough. Top with cheese and your toppings. My kids are very plain pizza eaters. Half of them like cheese only, the other half require pepperoni. But I've had it with ham and pineapple or sausage and that is yummy too!

2. Roll up your pizza dough:
3. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes. Just watch it until it turns golden brown like this. Once you take it out of the oven, brush with butter.
And here's what the gooey inside looks like:
If you want to serve it as an appetizer, you can slice it up like so:
Oh yes - and it's yummy to dip it in ranch or pizza sauce. Enjoy!
your guest chef,

Monday, March 15, 2010

Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies

I found this recipe online & boy oh boy is it delicious!!! I've never baked with Almond Paste before & have never even seen it before so I started calling around. Walmart said they didn't carry it, Target said they didn't carry it & then World Market claimed they did. So I went to World Market & purchased this:
I was suspicious that it was Marzipan not Almond Paste, but they asked me if I was baking with it & when I replied yes, they said this was the right stuff, so I bought it. I made the cookies with it and they were REALLY GOOD! The only problem was they all weren't the prettiest cookies, mostly flat & gooey, some were a little bit more puffy, but we decided they tasted like Paradise Bakery chocolate chip cookies & were satisfied with the results! Then the next time I was at Target I just mozied down the baking aisle & lo & behold, there was the PURE Almond Paste that they swore they didn't carry! Grrrrr. Anywho, we bought it and made the same recipe again with the pure Almond Paste to see the difference.
(approx $4 a tube which would make 2 batches)
We think you can taste the almond flavoring a little bit more in the 2nd batch more and the cookies were a little bit more fluffy vs. flat. My kids said that they LOVED both batches so this recipe will definitely be in rotation often when we make cookies!
almond chocolate chip chip cookies:
2 sticks softened butter
3/4 C. sugar
3/4 C. brown sugar
3 oz. Odense Pure Almond Paste (I just cut the pkg in half)
2 eggs
1 TB. vanilla
2 & 1/2-3 C. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
12 oz. bag of milk chocolate chips
3/4 C. chopped almonds (optional)
1. Beat butter & sugars until light & fluffy.
2. Add the almond paste in small pieces/pinches until well mixed in.
3. Add eggs & vanilla until well combined.
4. Add in baking soda, salt & chocolate chips, mix.
5. Add in flour (dough is sticky).
6. Scoop onto cookie sheet lined with parchment paper (optional), bake 350 degrees for 11-12 minutes or until golden. Let cool then dig in!
If these aren't a festival of flavor to your taste buds, you may want to have your taste buds checked out!