Friday, April 30, 2010

Corn Salad ~ by Sarah

I had this at Ainslee's birthday party last Sunday and it was so good.  Very refreshing!  It calls for a full red onion.  When I made it, the red onion was hot, so I would have preferred a little less since it kind of overwhelmed it.

4 cups frozen corn
1 medium red onion, chopped
1/2 cup green pepper
1 T. chopped parsley
6 strips bacon, fried crisp and crumbled
1 tomato, chopped
1 green onion, chopped

2 T. vinegar
1/2 cup mayo
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup beef broth

Combine the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.  Mix the dressing in a separate bowl and then add to the corn mixture.  Stir well.  

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Zucchini and Corn Tacos ~ by Molly

Quick disclaimer: Your husband will notice the lack of meat. Your kids will notice the abundance of onions and vegetables. You will notice that these don't account for a day's worth of Weight Watchers Points (probably).

I based this recipe on one I found on and it is AMAZING. The picture is from their website, not my kitchen. You'll notice they included tomatoes, which I'm not a fan of, so I left out. They also didn't toast their corn and chopped the zucchini much finer that I like. Honestly, it's plenty filling and flavorful without meat, but you could easily add thinly sliced steak, if you can't go meatless for one meal. The recipe in the link says it feeds 4, but since I live alone, the recipe I wrote below is enough for my dinner and enough leftovers for lunch the next day.

Olive Oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 zucchini, course chopped
1/2 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup canned corn, drained
Oregano, salt and pepper, to taste
Corn or Flour Tortillas
Sour Cream

Heat olive oil, add onions and cook until caramelized. Add garlic and zucchini and cook until the zucchini is tender. Add corn and cook, stirring occasionally until toasted. Add black beans, oregano, salt and pepper, and cook until everything is warm. Heat tortillas and assemble with remaining ingredients. I'm going to assume you all know how to do that part...

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Six-Bean Casserole ~ by Sarah

This recipe isn't really what I would call a casserole.  It also only contains five different kinds of beans.  But I got it from Wes's mom years ago and it's definitely a favorite around here.  It serves 16, so I usually make it when I'm heading to a barbecue.  It's almost a meal in itself, but goes great with burgers and hot dogs!

1/2 lb. Italian sausage
1/2 lb. sliced pepperoni
1/2 lb. Kielbasa, quartered
1/2 c. BBQ sauce
1 can pork and beans (undrained)
1 can red kidney beans (undrained)
1 can chili beans (undrained)
1 can white beans (drained)
1 can butter beans (drained)
1 can tomato soup (undiluted)
3 oz. tomato paste
1/2 c. brown sugar
6 slices of bacon (cooked)

Form the Italian sausage into 1-inch balls.  Brown in skillet.  (This doesn't make very many, so if you want to do the whole pound, it's fine.)
Combine the sausage with the remaining ingredients, except bacon, in a 5-quart casserole or crockpot and mix well.  Arrange the bacon (cut-up) on the top.  Bake, uncovered, at 325 degrees for 1-1 1/2 hours or in a crockpot on low for 4 hours (or high for 2 hours).  I have always cooked this in a crockpot because I'm usually taking it somewhere and it's much easier to carry!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Berry Scones ~ by Sarah

I found this recipe in my latest Parents magazine.  I like to think that they're healthy since they only call for one tablespoon of sugar.  (But that's what I get for thinkin'...)  They really are delicious--I like that they aren't super sweet.  According to the article, they have half the fat and calories of bakery versions.  I'll take it!

1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour, plus extra for work surface
3/4 c. whole-wheat flour
1 T. sugar
2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1/2 c. low-fat milk, plus 2 t., divided
3 T. canola oil
1 egg
3/4 c. fresh blueberries (I used blackberries.  I'm sure raspberries would be good, too!)
1/2 c. powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease a baking sheet.  Mix flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Combine 1/2 cup milk, the oil, and egg, then pour liquid mixture into the dry mixture.  Add berries.  Dust surface with flour and turn the dough over onto it.  Pat it into an 8-inch circle.  Score dough into 8 wedges, cutting halfway.  Bake 20 minutes; finish cutting wedges and place on a wire rack.  Once the scones are cool enough to touch, mix powdered sugar and 2 teaspoons of milk.  Drizzle over scones with a spoon.  (I ate mine without the frosting and it was still excellent.  I never like frosting on my pastries!)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Cowboy Calzone ~ by Sarah

I love calzone--something about all that pizza dough just does it for me.  This is a Pioneer Woman recipe I've been wanting to try and it didn't disappoint!  The calzone are huge--and very filling!  This recipe may seem like a lot of work, but it's really very easy and didn't take much time at all.  This makes 8 calzone...

Before you make the calzone, you need to make the pizza dough:
1 t. or 1/2 packet active dry yeast
4 c. all-purpose flour
1 t. kosher salt
1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

Pour 1 1/2 cups warm water into a bowl.  Sprinkle the yeast over the water and set aside.  Combine the flour and salt in a mixing bowl.  With an electric mixer on low speed, drizzle the olive oil until just incorporated.  Gently stir the yeast/water mixture and then drizzle it into the flour/oil mixture; mix until the dough forms a ball.  (You can also mix by hand until the dough comes together.)  Drizzle a little olive oil into a clean bowl.  Toss the ball of dough in the bowl and turn over to coat in oil.  Cover the bowl with a moist kitchen towel and set in a warm place for 1 to 2 hours, or cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Now it's time for the calzone:
1/2 lb. hot breakfast sausage
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 onion, finely diced
1 can Rotel
8 oz. ricotta cheese
1/2 c. grated mozzarella cheese
1/2 c. grated Monterey Jack cheese
1 egg, beaten
salt and pepper, to taste
olive oil for brushing
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  In a large skillet, combine the sausage and hamburger with the onion.  Brown over medium heat.  Drain the excess grease.  Pour in the tomatoes and chilies.
Stir to combine, and cook for 2 minutes.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.  In a bowl, combine the ricotta, mozzarella, Monterey Jack, and egg.  Add a dash of salt and pepper.
Add the cooled meat mixture to the cheese mixture and stir gently to combine.
Divide the pizza dough into 8 equal-sized balls.  With a rolling pin on a floured surface, roll each ball into a 6-inch circle.  Place 1/8th of the meat/cheese mixture in the middle of each circle.
Fold half of the circle over the other half, gently pressing to slightly spread and flatten the filling inside.  Press a fork along the edge to seal closed, then transfer to a greased baking sheet.  Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.  Brush the calzone with olive oil.  Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden brown.  Transfer the calzone to a basket or wrap individually in foil.
I like a little sauce with my calzone, so I served these with marinara sauce for dipping.  Delicious!

Play Doh ~ by Kelsey

You CAN eat this, but I wouldn't recommend it.

1 cup flour
1 cup salt
1 tbs oil
1 cup water
2 tbs cream of tartar
Food coloring of your choice

Combine all ingredients over low heat.  Heat in sauce pan until it balls up and pulls away from the edges.  Store in a sealed container.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Monkey Bread (aka Sticky Buns) ~ by Sarah

Angela knows these as "monkey bread". I know them as "sticky buns" (Wes's mom made me a fan years ago and now they're our Christmas morning tradition). We both know them as absolutely delicious!

24 frozen Rhodes Rolls
1/4 c. sugar (Part of Angela's recipe, but not mine, so I've never done it.  Guess I'm getting fewer calories!)
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 t. cinnamon
1 3oz. box cook and serve vanilla pudding
1/2 c. butter melted (or sliced thinly)

Layer rolls in bundt or angel food pan. Mix sugars and cinnamon together and pour over rolls. Sprinkle with pudding. Pour melted butter over top (or place butter slices on top).
Cover and let rise overnight.
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and turn over on a cookie sheet.
 Note:  Whenever I make these, they tend to overflow the bundt pan while in the oven.  This makes a big, stinky mess when all the goo burns, so I always set the pan on a cookie sheet when I put it in the oven.

Baked Dinner ~ by Sarah

This is another recipe from Angela. I am anxious to try it because she said her kids love it.

3 c. raw potatoes
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
1 can whole kernel corn
1/2 c. grated onion
1 can peas
salt & pepper
1 can tomatoes (I use the ones with Italian seasonings)

(I didn't have peas this time so I used green beans.)

Arrange a layer of potatoes in a greased baking dish. Season well, I use garlic salt, Johnny's, sea salt and pepper. Add corn, peas and top with raw ground beef mixed with onions and shaped into patties. Pour tomatoes over all. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 1 1/2 hours.

Apple "Jack" Pork ~ by Sarah

This is actually a recipe Angela sent me to add to the blog. I've never tried it, but it looks delicious, so I'm going to soon. I'll just have to borrow some whiskey from her... ;-)

This is a fall-flavored marinade for pork loin or tenderloins. Roast with baby carrots and red potatoes. Use the marinade to baste the roast and to deglaze the roasting pan. Bring to a boil and serve over veggies.

2 cups apple cider (or unsweetened apple juice)
1/2 c Jack Daniels Whiskey
1/4 c brown sugar
1/2 t garlic powder
1 t mustard powder
1 T dried onion flakes
1 t Worcestershire sauce
1 T olive oil
1 T molasses

1. Whisk all ingredients in a bowl.
2. Place meat in Ziploc plastic bag and pour marinade all over.
3. Seal bag and refrigerate for 3-6 hours.
4. Remove meat and cook as desired, using reserved marinade as noted above.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Salsa Chicken Rice Bake ~ by Sarah

I got this recipe from Mary Hunt--she has the Everyday Cheapskate column in the newspaper.  It was good--my kids loved it! **Note...this was WAY better the second day. Absolutely delicious! So much better that next time I might make it the night before and refrigerate it all day before baking it.

1 1/3 cups uncooked white rice
2 2/3 cups water
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1 (10.75-ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 (10.75-ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups mild salsa

Place rice and water in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, place chicken breast halves into a separate saucepan, and fill the pan with water. Bring to a boil, and then turn heat to low and cook covered for 20 minutes, or until done. Remove chicken from water. When cool enough to handle, cut meat into bite-size pieces.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. In a medium bowl, combine Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheeses. In a separate bowl, mix together cream of chicken soup, cream of mushroom soup, onion, and salsa. Layer half of the rice, half of the chicken, half of the soup and salsa mixture, and half of the cheese mixture in the prepared dish. Repeat layers, ending with cheese. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until bubbly.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Creamy Rosemary Potatoes ~ by Sarah

This is a Pioneer Woman recipe. Be careful, you're bound to gain a pound just from reading the ingredient list! They are very, very good, though!

4 T. (1/2 stick) butter
1 c. half-and-half
5 or 6 medium russet potatoes, unpeeled, sliced thin
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 8-oz. package cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 to 1 t. salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 T minced rosemary leaves (The recipe actually calls for 2, but the rosemary flavor was almost overwhelming, so next time I'm going to half it.)
3 green onions, light green and medium green parts, thinly sliced
1 c. grated Parmesan cheese
3 T minced chives

Preheat oven to 350.  Rub the bottom of a 9x13-inch pan with softened butter.  (I just sprayed it with Pam, instead.)  Combine the half-and-half and the cream in a large measuring cup.  Using a mandolin or a very sharp knife, slice the potatoes very thinly.  Place the potatoes in a large bowl.  Drizzle with half of the half-and-half/cream mixture and set aside.

In a large skillet over medium-low heat, melt the butter.  Add the garlic and onion and cook until translucent, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes.  Cut the bar of cream cheese in half and add the halves to the skillet, stirring constantly.  Continue stirring until the mixture is smooth and combined, about 3 minutes.  Pour in the remaining half-and-half/cream mixture and stir to combine.  Add salt and pepper and stir.  Taste and adjust the seasonings as necessary.  (I also added seasoning salt.)  Do not undersalt!  Add the rosemary and green onions and stir to combine.
Finally, add 1/2 cup of the grated Parmesan cheese and stir to combine.  Pour the cream-soaked potatoes into the baking dish.  Pour the cream cheese mixture over the top.  Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup grated cheese over the top.
Bake for at least one hour, or until golden brown and bubbly.  Remove from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes.  Sprinkle with the chives, then cut into squares to serve.  So yummy!  (So fattening!)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Chocolate Cake with Buttercream Frosting and Ganache ~ by Molly

 This is a recipe I found on several years ago and make constantly (mostly because Sarah demands it!). While the recipe is long and has several steps, it's still easy and can be made with things that are usually already on-hand. I copied the recipe from the website, but I usually make a few changes to it. I like to add a brick of cream cheese to the frosting and increase the amount of powdered sugar to make it the right consistency. I also use 2 bittersweet or semi-sweet Ghirardelli chocolate bars instead of chocolate chips. It's better quality chocolate and sometimes chocolate chips have additives that make them harder to melt. I also usually use either 8 or 9 inch pans (depending on what's in the kitchen) and increase the time to at least 30 minutes.



  • 3 cups packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup canola oil (olive oil is okay, too)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 2/3 cups flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/8 cups cocoa powder


  • 1 1/2 pounds unsalted butter, soft
  • 3 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract


  • 1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream


To make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Oil 3 (10-inch) cake pans and line the bottom with parchment paper. Alternately, oil the pans and then flour them.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the brown sugar and oil. Turn on the mixer to a low speed and mix in the eggs. Let the sugar, oil, and eggs mix while sifting together the flour, baking powder, soda, and salt in a separate bowl. Set this mixture aside.
In another small bowl, mix the vanilla into the milk and set this aside as well. Bring the water to a boil and pour over the cocoa and whisk it until it is smooth. To the egg mixture, alternately add the flour mixture and the milk mixture beginning and ending with flour. With the mixer off, scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition. With the mixture at a low speed add the cocoa. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and pour this mixture into the prepared cake pans. Bake the cake for approximately 15 minutes or until tester comes out clean. When cake layers have cooled, remove from pans and refrigerate until cold.
To make the frosting: In an electric mixing bowl place the soft butter and beat it on a low speed while adding powdered sugar. When all the sugar is mixed in, turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add in the vanilla and salt and let the mixer beat for 5 to 7 minutes on a medium speed. Fill and frost the cake and refrigerate it for 10 to 20 minutes to set up the frosting.
To make the ganache: In a heatproof bowl, place the chocolate chips and the corn syrup. Bring the heavy cream to a full boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate and whisk it until smooth then set it aside.Pour ganache over the top of the cake and, with a cake spatula, smooth the top of the cake and allow ganache to spill over the sides. Refrigerate for 20 minutes or longer.