Monday, April 27, 2009

Chocolate Strawberry Crispy Pie

Another recipe from GTU...sounds yummy!! I want to try it this weekend:) But I love chocolate and raspberries so I am going to use raspberry sherbet - HMMM! I will post some pics after I make it!

½ cup chocolate flavored syrup
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 cups crisp rice cereal
¼ cup dairy sour cream
1 quart favorite flavor ice cream
Butter an 8” pie plate; set aside. In medium microwave-safe bowl combine chocolate syrup with chocolate chips; microwave on high for 45 seconds or until hot. Stir until smooth. Remove ¼ cup chocolate mixture to small bowl; set aside. Add cereal to remaining chocolate mixture and stir to coat; cool slightly and press mixture evenly into bottom and up the sides of pie place. Place in freezer for 20 minutes or until firm. Combine reserved ¼ cup of chocolate mixture with sour cream. Spoon half the ice cream into pie, drizzle with chocolate sauce. Top with scoops of ice cream and remaining sauce. Decorate with berries - raspberries, strawberries, etc.!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Ranch Pork Chops

4-6 pork chops (I purchase the center cut and not the assorted variety)
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup Ranch Dressing
1 teaspoon dried Italian Seasoning
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In one shallow container, mix together the flour and Italian seasonings. In another shallow container, pour in the Ranch dressing. Trim all fat from the pork chops and then dredge in the flour. Dip the pork chop into the dressing on both sides. Place pork chops on a greased baking dish and sprinkle the tops with a little Parmesan cheese.
Bake for 35 minutes.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Cafe Rio Salad - YUM!!

A friend of mine sent this to me today and I am so excited!! Really this is my favorite salad! Hope you all enjoy it!! YUMMY!!!!

CILANTRO-LIME RICE1 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

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 BEANS2 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

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. (**NOTE** we added a can of corn, drained, to the beans with a dash of cumin and chili powder, it was AWESOME! We recommend doing this even though it's not "traditional Cafe Rio")

Sweet Pork2 pounds pork (we use boneless pork rib meat)
3 cans Coke (NOT diet)
1/4 c. brown sugar
dash garlic salt
1/4 c. water
1 can sliced green chilies
3/4 can enchilada sauce (I use Old El Paso brand, medium spiciness but any will work)
1 c. brown sugar

Put the pork in a heavy duty ziploc bag to marinade. Add about a can and a half of coke and about 1/4 c. of brown sugar. Marinade for a few hours or overnight.
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.
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.
Put shredded pork and sauce in crockpot and cook on low for 2 hours. That's it!

Salad Dressing
1 packet TRADITIONAL Hidden Valley Ranch mix (not BUTTERMILK)
1 c. mayonnaise
1 c. buttermilk
2 tomatillos, remove husk, diced
1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro
1 clove garlic
juice of 1 lime
1 jalepeno (we like it SPICY so we kept the seeds in it, if you like it mild, just remove the seeds) Mix all ingredients together in the blender. That's it!

Monday, April 13, 2009


These cake pops are the most HEAVENLY little treat!! I came across them on BAKERELLA's blog and fell in love. She is an amazing, creative cook that is very talented. Mine are nothing compared to her creations. So check out her blog for more than a dozen ideas on how to make and decorate these fun new "pops"!!

I went crazy and made three different batches in one day. I baked basic boxed brownies, boxed strawberry cake with confetti frosting, and a homemade red velvet cake with frosting from scratch. That is why my pictures are all different. The recipe for each of them are at the end. I made a lot of mistakes and my last batch of pops turned out the best so please read and follow all directions if you want to learn from my mistakes - lol!!

I wanted to get them all baked fast, so I used a 13x9 pan, two round, and two heart pans. But any cake pan will do :)

Basic Cake Pop Recipe:
1 box cake mix (cook as directed on box for 13 X 9 cake)
1 can frosting (16 oz.)
Wax paper
1 pkg chocolate or vanilla bark (Kroger brand is good) or any color chocolate melts
Lollipop sticks

After cake is cooked and cooled completely, crumble into large bowl.
Mix thoroughly with 1 can frosting. (I use the back of a large spoon, but it may be easier to use fingers to mix together. But, be warned, it will get messy. Also, you may not need the entire can of frosting, so start out by using almost the entire can and add more if you need to.) I will admit I used the whole can and it made them too soft and not really cake-like, made it harder to roll and keep ball shape. So I prefer to use about 3/4 of the can:)

Brownie Pops:
I used a basic brownie boxed mix and after cooling I stirred in a 8 oz. pkg of cream cheese. I would suggest not using the full package if you don't want them to be as gooey as mine were (they sure tasted yummy though). They were harder to roll, keep shape, and dipping was a challenge. So use 1/2 of an 8 oz. pkg!! These were my favorite dipped in the white chocolate.

Red Velvet Cake and Frosting Recipe:
1 cube Butter
1 c. Sugar
Beat together till fluffy.
2 Eggs - add one at a time and beat well.
Make a paste of 2 Tbl. Cocoa and 2 oz. Red Food Coloring (2 bottles). Add to above mixture.
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 c. Buttermilk
2 3/4 c. Flour (sifted)
Alternate the milk and flour.
Last add 1 Tbl. Vinegar and 1 1/2 tsp. Soda
Mix really well - Bake 300* for 25-30 minutes.
Cook together -
1 c. Milk
5 Tbl. Flour
Cream 2 cubes Butter and 1 c. Sugar.
Add 1 tsp. Vanilla to cooked mixture and than add to sugar mixture. Beat till smooth and creamy - this takes quite a long time to fluff up.

Some other ideas and instructions for making cupcake pops click on the link below!! Have fun and ENJOY!!
cupcake pops

I had to take a picture of my RED hands from rolling the red velvet cake balls. Luckily it didn't stain! This was from the two bottles of red food coloring you add to the batter. Mine were a little gooey from using too much of the frosting though.

Roll mixture into quarter size balls or egg shapes and place on wax paper covered cookie sheet. (Should make 45-50) Melt chocolate in the microwave per directions on package. (30 sec intervals, stirring in between.)Dip the tip of your lollipop stick in a little of the melted candy coating and insert into the cake balls. (Insert a little less than halfway.)Place them in the freezer for a little while to firm up. This is a very important step...I learned the hard way and my balls kept falling off the sticks. My last batch I got fed up, went back to her blog and found out I was suppose to stick them in freezer. Wow did they work so much better!!

Once firm, carefully insert the cake ball into the candy coating by holding the lollipop stick and rotating until covered. Once covered remove and softly tap and rotate until the excess chocolate falls off. Don't tap too hard or the cake ball will fall off, too.Place in a Styrofoam block to dry. During this process I was having problems and not enough sticks, so I just dipped mine into chocolate. I wanted them to look like speckled eggs so I added pink and purple sprinkles to the white, vanilla bark. If anyone knows a good trick to dipping chocolates and making them look pretty -PLEASE- let me know. Mine didn't look as well as I hoped!!

I packaged some of them in fun Easter/Spring bags and tied them with a pretty bow!

The fun speckled egg pops I put in flower pots with "Nest" Krispy Treats (basic rice krispy treat recipe that I substituted chow mien noodles instead of rice krispy's) and chick Peeps for decoration. These where a fun treat that we gave to our family and friends for Easter!!


This has been a tradition in my family since I was little and it just isn't Easter without making it. It's fun to serve for breakfast after searching for eggs all morning and the dyed eggs turn the mixture many exciting different colors. Hope you enjoy it as much as my family does!!

White Sauce:
1/2 c. Butter
3/4 c. Flour
1 1/2 dozen Hard Boiled Eggs
Melt butter in pan, stir in flour - it will make a paste. Stir in a little milk at a time to thin out, keep stirring till it gets thick, than add more milk. I don't really measure it, just keep adding little at a time till it gets smooth with no lumps. You need to keep cooking and stirring to cook down the flour mixture. This gets rid of the flour taste. Add salt and pepper to taste (my mom usually doesn't use as much salt but my husband likes it to taste not so bland so he adds quite a bit - up to you). Over the years I have played with my white sauce to get it as good as we like it, so if you have better measurements and directions for a white sauce let me know?!
Peel and grate your hard boiled eggs into the mixture and stir till warmed through.  Serve over toast.  I usually use about 1 1/2 dozen eggs for this amount. It feeds 5-6 people.
(my brother-in-law enjoys this sprinkled with some tobasco sauce - hehehe)

++Quick Delicious Banana Cake++

This is a great way to use up your banana's that are starting to turn brown. Sorry the pictures do the taste no justice and I am still learning new tricks to taking food pictures (and listening to my hubby chuckle as I take snapshots of our food). It's very moist, yummy and makes your house smell so good while it's baking!!

Banana Cake:
1/2 c Sugar
1/2 c Butter - softened
1/2 c Banana's (3 medium)
2 tsp. Vanilla
1 tsp. Soda
1 c Sour Cream
2 Eggs
2 c Flour
3/4 tsp. Salt
Cream sugar and butter, add wet ingredients, mix together dry ing. and stir into batter. Mix well and bake at *375 for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

1/4 c Butter
2 c Powdered Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla
3 Tbl. Milk
Melt butter over heat and stir till it starts to brown. This will caramelize it. Take off heat add vanilla, powdered sugar, and slowly add milk to get smooth consistency. If frosting is too runny or thick add more pd sugar or milk till you get it smooth.

Cool cake and frost. Enjoy!!

Thursday, April 9, 2009


4 hard-boiled eggs
1 small can beets
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon mustard
Remove shells from hard-boiled eggs. Cut eggs in half lengthwise and scoop out the yolks into a small bowl. Pour juice from can of beets into a cup. Dip each egg half into the cup for 1 minute. Remove and turn upside down on a paper towel. Mix egg yolks with mayo and mustard. Fill egg whites halves (now pink) with yellow deviled egg mixture.
These eggs do not taste like beets!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

♥CrOcKpOt BrEaKfAsT cAsSeRoLe♥

32 oz. frozen or freshly grated hashed browns (we baked our own potatoes first, then grated them)
1 cup of your favorite salsa
1 lb. turkey sausage (pre-cooked bacon would work too!)
2 C. shredded cheese
One dozen eggs
1 C. milk
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of pepper
1 teaspoon of dry mustard
Grate/place the hashed browns in the bottom of a lightly sprayed crockpot. Pour salsa on the potatoes. Crumble sausage or bacon on the hash browns; sprinkle cheese on top. Mix the eggs, milk, salt, pepper, and dry mustard. Pour eggs over the entire mixture. Cover and cook on low for 10 hours - and ENJOY!
Give it a try! Or modify the recipe to make it tasty for your family!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

--Parmesan Crusted Chicken--

A couple weeks ago I ate at TGIF and had this and it was to die for. So I got excited when I found a recipe over on and I can't wait to try it - YUM!!

1/2 cup Hellman’s Mayonnaise
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 chicken fillets (or boneless, skinless chicken breasts)
2 sun-dried tomatoes, jarred
1 tsp Italian herbs
1 tsp basil
cayenne pepper

2 tbsp breadcrumbs
Lawry’s garlic salt
1 tbsp Parmesan
1/2 tsp oregano

Preheat oven 425 F. I used thawed 4 chicken fillets and put them in an oven dish, spooned the mayonnaise mix on top, and covered them with the spiked breadcrumbs. Now just put the chicken in oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until done all the way through.

How to Soften Butter in a Jiffy...

I found this nifty little trick over on Be Different Act Normal's blog and wanted to share. I always wondered why my cookies end up flat? Now I know it's because I get in a hurry and melt my butter in the microwave and than cream the sugar with it. She suggests...
"You put the butter in between to sheets of wax paper and roll it flat like you would a pie crust. You then peel it off the wax paper and put it in the bowl to cream. For the best results, you have to have softened butter. Creaming the butter and the sugar is actually a really important step. You want the sugar to be able to punch a million little holes into the butter. These air pockets help the cookie rise and make them light. Her obsession with Good Eats is where she got that lovely piece of information and it has served her well."

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

TaStY ApRiL FoOlS DiNnEr...

What's for dinner this April Fools' Day? Cookie fish sticks and tart taffy peas.
Gelled Juice and Faux Fish Sticks
Lemon-flavored gelatin
Red food coloring
1. Following the package directions, mix up a box of lemon-flavored gelatin (we added a drop of red food coloring to darken it). Pour the mixture into clear glasses and insert a drinking straw into each. Place the glasses in the refrigerator to set. When they're ready, serve the jiggling juice to the next parched target (or two!) looking for a cool drink.

Sugar wafer cookies
Peanut butter
Green taffy candy (we used green apple AirHeads)
Seedless strawberry jam
1. For the fish sticks, place a couple of handfuls of cornflakes in a ziplock bag and crush them with a rolling pin. Cover 2 sugar wafer cookies with peanut butter, then toss them in the cornflake crumbs to coat. 2. For the peas, tear off and roll small pieces of the taffy candy into balls. If the taffy is too stiff to work with, microwave it for about 6 seconds. 3. For the ketchup, use a fork to stir a few teaspoons of the jam until it's smooth. (I even added red food coloring to make it look more red)

Colorful Cupcakes

The first surprise here: there's not a grain of sugar in these cupcakes. The second surprise: your kids will love them anyway.
Meat Loaf
1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 cup grated Monterrey Jack cheese
3 tablespoons ketchup
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Potato Frosting
3 cups mashed potatoes
Food coloring
1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line 12 muffin tin cups with foil bake cups. 2. In a large bowl, mix together all of the meat loaf ingredients until well combined. Divide the mixture evenly among the lined cups (the liners should be about three quarters full). 3. Place the filled muffin tins on cookie sheets and bake the cupcakes for about 15 minutes or until cooked through. 4. Divide the mashed potatoes among three small bowls and stir a few drops of food coloring into each batch to create blue, yellow, and pink pastel frosting's. Spread a generous dollop on each cupcake.

All recipes courtesy of :)

Coconut Shrimp or Chicken with Dipping Sauces

Coconut Shrimp (or Chicken)
3 c. shredded coconut12 (16-20 or 26-30 ct.) raw shrimp, peeled and de-veined
1 c. flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 t. garlic powder
salt & pepper
Canola oil
Coconut Shrimp Method:Lightly toast the coconut on a cookie sheet in a 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes or until coconut is slightly brown.Butterfly each shrimp by splitting lengthwise down the center, cutting three-fourths of the way through. Dredge the shrimp in flour and then dip in egg. Press the shredded coconut into the shrimp and then fry in 350 degree canola oil until golden brown. (I found it was easier to brown in the oil and then finish cooking the shrimp on the bottom rack of my oven on broil for 1-2 minutes until cooked through).

Serve with Jalapeno Jelly or Pina Colada Dipping Sauce (or both!!).

Jalapeno Jelly:
1 c. red wine vinegar
1 c. water
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 green jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
1 small red bell pepper, minced
1 package liquid pectin
Place all ingredients, except pectin, in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the pectin and bring to a boil again. Remove from heat and cool.

Pina Colada Dipping Sauce:
4 oz. liquid pina colada mix
3 oz. sour cream
3 oz. crushed pineapple, drained
Mix all ingredients together until smooth.