Saturday, July 23, 2011

Carb Night!

Doesn't that look just amazing??? It TOTALLY was! Thanks to Trina Bowers for hosting. We had a great turn out and way more food than was good for us- but it was still so good for us! Many of the women who came said they purposely only ate fruit or veggies today in anticipation of that night. Worth it! So much good stuff and 11 new wonderful recipes! We even had a guy come out this time:

Joni Joiner snuggling Jayme Welly's little Emerson- 2 weeks old and this kid knows how to party!

Fortunately, to offset the mondo calories consumed that night, we'll be doing chicken next time, August 3rd! Not that that will keep me from piling on the calories then, too... Until then, enjoy!

Better-than-Sex/Anything cake

Call it what you will, it's probably better than that, too! I've heard several name for this particular dessert, and had several variations of it, but this has been my favorite so far! Way to go, Jayme Welly!

1 pkg devils food cake mix

1/2 (14 oz can) sweetened condensed milk

6 oz caramel ice cream topping

3 Heath or Skor Chocolate bars, chopped

1 (8 oz) container frozen whipped topping, thawed

Bake according to the directions on the box. Once it's cooled down, poke holes ALL over the cake. Drizzle your condensed milk over the cake. Sprinkle 1/2 of the chocolate bars over the cake and drizzle with 1/2 the caramel topping. Cover with whipped cream. Sprinkle/drizzle with the remaining caramel and chocolate bars. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Banana Bread

During my pregnancies, I would crave anything cake. To try to minimize the empty calorie intake, I would occasionally make banana bread to munch on instead. I don't know that it was loads healthier, but I felt better! This yummy banana bread came from Angie Randall!

3 C flour

2 1/4 C sugar

3 eggs

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp salt

1 1/8 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

1-4 dashes of cinnamon

1/3 C sour cream or vanilla yogurt

3/4 C margarine

1 1/4 C bananas

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients until smooth. Coat loaf pans with cooking spray and sugar. Bake for 50-60 minutes.

Monkey Bread

This was a disaster. Sorry. I was slightly distracted by two handsome men when I was scooping the flour and I think I left a whole cup out! Whoops! Then it got too warm and too big... Eh, everyone still liked it, but it could have been so much better! Ya notice that I say that a lot? Anyway, this monkey bread is so deliciously butter and {should} pulls apart very nicely. This is the original recipe, but I three-fourthed it to get it to fit in my bread machine- wet ingredients first, dry on top!

2 C warm water

1/2 C sugar

1 tbsp salt

2 tbsp yeast

2 eggs

7 C Wondra flour

4 tbsp oil

1 C butter, melted

Mix warm water, sugar, salt and yeast together, set aside for 5-10 minutes. Beat eggs, add to yeast mixture. Add 3 cups flour, beat well. Add oil and remaining flour. Stir and knead if necessary. Cover and let rise 2 hours or until double or overnight in the fridge. Roll out and cut with biscuit cutter. Dip in melted butter and stand side by side in a bundt pan or 3 loaf pans. Let rise 3-4 hours{or 15 minutes in outside in AZ right now!}. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Roasted Sausage, Peppers, and Onions

This was probably the fan favorite of the night. It was so robust and delicious, but when I asked Jamie Massie what she'd used to season it, she simply said "salt and pepper." That's it! You'd never guess that's all it took. It will certainly be made again!

1 lbs potatoes, peeled

1 green bell pepper

1 red bell pepper

1 medium onion, peeled

1/4 C olive oil

salt and pepper

1 lb Italian sausage

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut potatoes, peppers, onion and sausage into bite size (1") pieces. Spread vegetables in a single layer on the bottom of a shallow roasting pan. Mix in oil and salt and pepper. Roast in oven for 45 minutes, stirring once or twice. Place sausage on top and cook an additional 15-30 minutes or until sausage is cooked through.

Rigatoni with Broccoli

Jamie Massie continued to wow us with this garlicy dish. The light sauce and healthy broccoli keep it from being an overly heavy pasta dish. Though most of us agreed our husbands and kids would probably eat around the broccoli...

1 bunch broccoli (about 1/4 lbs)
1/4 C olive oil
4 garlic cloves, sliced thin
pinch of crushed red pepper
8 oz of rigatoni noodles

Trim the broccoli and cut into pieces. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Add the broccoli and cook for 5 minutes. Remove broccoli from water and set aside. Add rigatoni to water and cook until al dente{check box for time}. Pour oil into skillet large enough to hold all ingredients. Add garlic and red pepper. Cook over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add broccoli and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes. Add cooked and drained rigatoni and remove from heat. Toss with Parmesan.

Healthy Pasta Carbonara

I didn't think a healthy carbonara was possible, but Joni Joiner proved me wrong! I guess 'healthy' is all relative- there are much healthier pasta recipes out there, but probably not much healthy carbonara recipes! Thanks, Joni, for coming for your first time, and for this yummy recipe!

1 9-oz pkg fettucine noodles
1 C frozen green peas
3 slices center cut bacon{turkey bacon would make it even healthier...}
1 small onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 C fat free half and half
1/2 C shredded parmesan

Cook pasta according to package directions. 3-5 minutes before pasta is done, add the peas to the pot. Drain and reserve 3/4 C of cooking liquid. Cook bacon in a large pan. Remove bacon and reserve 2 tsp of drippings. Add onion to the pan and saute for 3 minutes with the reserved bacon drippings. Add garlic and thyme and cook another minute. Stir pasta, peas, reserved liquid and the half-and-half. Cook 2 minutes. Crumble bacon on top of pasta and toss with cheese.

Macaroni and Cheese

Molly Heaton brought this homemade Macaroni and cheese- talk about carbs! Someone brought it to her after the birth of one of her two daughters and she liked it so much that she hunted down the recipe! What do you think??

8 oz macaroni noodles, cooked
8 oz shredded cheddar cheese
12 oz cottage cheese
8 oz sour cream
1/4 C Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Stir everything together and sprinkle more cheddar cheese on top. Cover with foil. bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, removing foil for last 5-10 minutes.
*Optional crumb topping: Mix 1/4 C butter with 1 C dry bread crumbs. Sprinkle on top instead of extra cheese.
*Good recipe to double and then freeze half of it.

Applesauce Bread

I thought this was another banana bread, but it's not! Applesauce bread! It was as good as any banana bread I'd ever had! Excited to add that to the list of regulars!

1/3 C butter or margarine, softened
1 C sugar
1 egg
1 1/4 C applesauce
1 1/2 C flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/2 C raisins(optional)
1/2 C chopped walnuts (optional)

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add the egg and applesauce; mix well. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cloves. Gradually add to the creamed mixture just until combined. Fold in raisins and nuts. Pour into a greased 8"x4"x2" loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 60-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.


Trina Bower's husband requested these for the evening. They were like mini cherry pie cookies, so if you like cherry pie{or any kind of pie!}, you'll love these! From her in-laws...

2 sticks of butter
1 8 oz pkg cream cheese
2 1/2 C flour
1 12-oz can fruit pie filling of your choice

Cream together butter and cream cheese. Add flour and stir. Roll out dough to your desired thickness and cut out circles about the size of a half dollar. Push thumb in the middle of the cookie. Top with powdered sugar then add filling. Bake at 375 for about 10 minutes or until golden brown.

Sherbet Party Punch

This isn't a high carb dish, but it was soooo super good it needed to be shared! Trina found this at, I think... If not, you're in luck- here it is!

32 oz fruit punch

2 liters sprite

1 liter ginger ale

28 oz raspberry sherbet


Mix together in a large punch bowl. It was best to allow the ice cream to thaw in the punch bowl as the evening went on.

Applesauce muffins

Ohhh... good thing I just added Mom's recipe! This muffin recipe is so versatile and so delish! They can be made and frozen for a latter time, so handy!

1 egg

1/2 C milk

1/4 C oil

1 1/2 C flour

3/4 C sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Beat egg slightly, stir in milk and oil. Mix in remaining ingredients just until flour is moistened. Fill greased muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Remove from pan immediately.


Fruit: Stir in 2/3 C drained fruit with the milk. Sprinkle tops with cinnamon sugar if desired. i.e. applesauce, crushed pineapple, chopped apricots, chopped cherries, blueberries, whole cranberry sauce, mashed banana, etc.

Cereal: Decrease flour to 1 cup. Stir 3/4 C crushed cereal into milk and egg before adding dry ingredients. i.e. raisin bran, wheaties, any fruit and nut cereal, instant oatmeal, crushed graham crackers, etc.

Chuck Wagon Beans

Another recipe from my youth- the salty potato flavor of the tater tots over the hearty, brown sugary baked beans... yum! It's great as a main dish, or could be done as a side at a barbecue.

1/2- 1 lb lean ground beef

3 1/2 lb can of pork and beans

1/4 C brown sugar

2 tbsp catsup

2 tbsp molasses

1 tsp minced dry onion

salt and pepper

1/2 pkg frozen tater tots

cheddar cheese, grated

Brown ground beef, drain fat. Stir in remaining ingredients except tater tots and cheese. Pour into 2 1/2 quart casserole dish. Top with tater tots and cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Leslie Nebeker's Applesauce

Ok, so I think I've used this in enough recipes, like this and this, and I actually had some of this tasty applesauce to take a picture of, so YAY!!! I have so many memories of full days spent peeling and coring apples, eating peels until we had the runs, heating up the house canning the finished product and having this applesauce with anything worthy of applesauce! I've been quite spoiled and think all store bought applesauce is garbage! I just don't want to commit to the work of peeling and coring and canning necessary to make it for myself. Maybe if some one wanted to team up to tackle it this fall... hmm.... It's really not that bad if you don't can, so don't be intimidated. Though I did talk it up to be atrocious... Good luck!

40 apples (half golden delicious, half johnathan)

5 C sugar

1 1/2 C water

2 tbsp cinnamon

Peel, core and slice apples. Put all ingredients in a large pan(LARGE!), bring to a boil and simmer on a medium heat for 20-30 minutes, until apples are soft and mushy. Use a spoon to stir and break up apples into sauce. Ladle into prepared jars, cook in hot water bath for 25 minutes to seal jars.

For pink applesauce with a little extra bite, substitute 1/2 C red hot cinnamon candies for the cinnamon.

Applesauce Beignets

I have been craving a good beignet recipe ever since I watched The Princess and the Frog where Tiana has them as her specialty dish. I had this recipe which I'd made before but wasn't as impressed as I'd hoped to be. It had been ages since I'd tried it, so I thought I'd give it another go. I made one important addition to it (sour cream) and they went from ok to fantastic! I used my mom's homemade applesauce which I'd picked up while we were back home for vacation last month (THANK YOU, Mom!). My mom's applesauce is chunky, so there were tasty bits of apples waiting to surprise you. But, if you aren't lucky enough to have my mom within applesauce-stealing distance or don't wanna make your own, you could just use store bought applesauce and if your really determined dice some apples to add... Anyway, here it is!

2 1/2 C flour
2 tbsp sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp cinnamon
3 eggs
1 C applesauce
1/2 C milk
1/2 C sour cream

In a bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Blend well. In another bowl, mix eggs, applesauce, milk and sour cream. Add to dry ingredients and mix well. Heat oil on medium heat and drop batter by tablespoonful into oil. Fry desired brown-ness- about 3-5 minutes each side. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Eat immediately.

*** Tip! To check if your oil is hot, dip the handle end of a wooden spoon into it. If it bubbles around the wood, it's hot! Thanks to my hubby for that tidbit!
I bet these would be good topped with syrup, honey, more applesauce, etc. Or just as is.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Tomato Cream Sauce

Hubby has moved to a grave shift so he's sleeping in the mornings and wanting to hang out in the evenings- not helpful when it comes to taking time to make dinner. So, my crock pot is working over time! I've been fiddling with recipes that can be adjusted for the crock pot and am adding this to the repertoire. This manages to have a hearty and sweet taste to it at the same time. I usually do this with sausage, but thought I'd try with chicken this time. I won't do that again. It was still pretty good, but I like the flavor of the sweet and creamy sauce and the ground sausage. It can also be done meat free...

1 lb sage or plain ground sausage(optional)

2 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 can Italian diced tomatoes, with juice

1 tbsp dried basil

3/4 tsp sugar

1/4 tbsp dried oregano

1/4 tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

1/2 C heavy cream

1 tbsp butter

Lazy- Brown the sausage. Put in crock pot with remaining ingredients except cream. Cook on low 6-8 hours or high 4-6. Add cream 30 minutes before serving.

Original- Brown the sausage with the onion, garlic and olive oil. Add tomatoes, basil, sugar, oregano, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes or until most of the liquid evaporates. Remove from heat; stir in cream and butter. Reduce heat and simmer 5 more minutes.

Serve over hot noodles.

Hawaiian Chicken

I love cooking in my crock pot- especially during these hot summer months when a hot stove or oven is my nemesis. I was looking for something new to throw in one morning and came up with this concoction. I'm really hoping I remember everything I put in now... It's pretty simple and eliminates the need to stand over heat! It has a sweet taste with just a touch of sour to it. The pineapple makes it nice and light, perfect when you don't want something heavy at 113 degrees! The chicken can be shredded and added into the rice topping, but I kinda liked it on the side.

2 lbs chicken breasts {I just threw mine in frozen- best part!}
1 16 oz can crushed pineapple with juice
1 C chopped green pepper
1 C packed brown sugar
2 tbsp quick cooking tapioca
2 tbsp soy sauce
salt and pepper to taste
2 stalks green onions, chopped
1/3 C honey
1/2 C orange juice

Place chicken in crock pot. Add remaining ingredients. If you wanna get fancy, mix remaining ingredients in a separate bowl then pour to coat the chicken. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Serve over rice.

This would be good topped with almonds or macadamia nuts.

Healthy Open Face Chili Dogs

Healthy and Chili in the same title? Oh, yeah! After I had my daughter, I went on a healthy eating kick that lasted until about dessert time. Healthy desserts just aren't for me. I did, however, come upon this tasty recipe that is now one of my favs for BBQ season! The chili is chuck-full of tasty{and healthy} vegetables and these particular veggies have so much flavor, there's not all the unhealthy stuff to bugger it up. Plus, you can double the veggies when you're doing your chopping then freeze half of them so next time it's a simple pull it out and dump it in!

2 tsp canola oil

1 onion, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tbsp chili powder

1 (15 oz) can of black beans, with liquid

2 tomatoes diced {I used a can of diced tomatoes}

Turkey hot dogs

hot dog buns{we were out so we used a piece of bread to two dogs and it was super good}


Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and bell peppers and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and chili powder. Cook until well blended, about 30 seconds. Add the black beans. Cook until warmed through, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat. Cook until the chili thickens: 10-15 minutes.

Either grill the turkey dogs or cover in water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 4 minutes or until heated through.

Place the dogs onto a bun and top with 1/4 of the chili each and top with cheese. Broil for about 1 minute, until the cheese begins to melt. Serve hot.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Crepe's ala Sheree Mowers

Sheree brought some tasty chocolate chip cookies with her to the exchange, but since she got the recipe off a bag of chocolate chips, she didn't feel it warranted passing on. I thought they were great! If you want the recipe, I guess you'll just have to buy your own bag of Kroger brand chocolate chips! ;) I won't give her a hard time though, because she did get me the recipe for her crepes from our breakfast exchange. This is a little thicker filling than the crepes that Jayme had brought. They were both equally good, but you can try them out and see which you like better. I also liked that she served things separated- that way you can build your crepe just how you want it!


1 1/2 C flour

1 tbsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

2 C milk

2 tbsp melted butter

1/2 tsp vanilla

2 eggs

Mix dry ingredients. Add the rest. Whisk until smooth.


1 8 oz pkg cream cheese, softened

1 10-12 oz carton of Cool Whip, thawed

1/2 C powdered sugar (She adds more because she likes is sweet, but you can add more or less depending on how you like it)

Blend the cream cheese and powdered sugar, then add the Cool Whip. You can add lemon or orange zest for more flavor variety or you can add vanilla or crushed pineapple. Serve with your favorite fruit.

Barbecue Potluck Night!!

This was kind of a crazy gathering- Trina, our original hostess, had to leave town for an unexpected family funeral, so we moved it to my house last minute. It was our first one in a while, and only 2 days after the 4th of July... We had a lot of people forget or were not able to make it at the last minute, but it was still so much fun! I hadn't laughed that hard in a while! Poor Molly was there for the first time and I really hope we didn't scare her away from coming back! Like I said last time, I love the food, but what really makes these evenings awesome are the people and the unexpected and fun conversations we have! I'll just say this: Jayme Welly was REALLY trying to get the baby out and we had fun with the suggestions that were made! Must have worked, because baby Emerson arrived this morning! Congrats, Jayme!

Next gathering is July 21st and the theme is CARBS!!! Bust out the breads, pastas, and cereals- this food group of the Food Pyramid is getting it's moment to shine! Until then, enjoy some of our favorite barbecue potluck foods!

Spicy Honey Chicken

Oh, my. This was SOO good. SSOOOOOOOO good! Jayme Welly found this here at Matt came back for seconds and couldn't get over how much they reminded him of his favorite wings from The Outback. He has already requested I make this again. Soon. Jayme isn't a big fan of spicy food, so she cut the spicy ingredients in half and broiled in her oven.

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs(can be done with breasts, but best with thighs.)
2 Tbsp vegetable oil

2 tsp granulated garlic
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp coriander
1 tsp kosher salt {Jayme used sea salt}
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder

1/2 C honey
1 tbsp Cider Vinegar

Combine the rub spices in a bowl and mix well.
Use kitchen shears to trim off any excess fat from the chicken. Pat dry. Drizzle oil over the chicken and rub in with your hands to lightly coat all the pieces. Then toss chicken with the spice rub to coat all sides well. Use your hands to get in there! Grill chicken for 3-5 minutes on each side, until cooked through.

While chicken is cooking, warm honey in the microwave so it's not too thick {not too long, as honey can get scalding hot}. Add the vinegar and combine well. Reserve 2 tbsp of the honey glaze for later. Brush the rest onto both sides of the chicken in the final moments of grilling. Drizzle remaining glaze over top when cooking is done.

*** This WILL drip, so don't be surprised if you have burning drippings. Totally worth it!

Snicker's Salad

Molly Heaton brought this to her first Exchange. It is reminiscent of the Malad Salad that Brooke Haskett brought before, but the small changes make a big difference! Have you ever had one of those massive caramel apples that are rolled in peanuts and drizzled with chocolate? This is that, as a salad! Salty and sweet snickers with tart green apples all covered in a creamy pudding and Cool Whip goo.... Thumbs up!

1 pkg mini snickers, chopped
3-4 granny smith apples, chopped
1 sm pkg vanilla pudding
1 C milk
1 tub cool whip

Mix milk and pudding mix. Set in the fridge while chopping snickers and apples. Mix pudding with Cool whip; add apples and snickers. Refrigerate leftovers. If there are any.

Summer Salsa

I got this from a friend of mine when we lived in Utah, but she didn't have a name for it. We started calling it Summer Salsa, then found a similar recipe called Cowboy Caviar. Potato, potaaaato... This is the most excellent chip dip salsa goodness. Matt will literally crave it. It takes a bit of chopping, but it is sooo worth it! In fact, this 2 1/2 qt bowl was pretty much gone by the end of the night- mostly thanks to Hubby and me snuggling up with a movie and a big bag of chips! At least we far surpassed our recommended vegetable servings for the day.... It makes a lot, so it's great to take to barbecues.

2-3 avocados

3 Roma tomatoes

1 red onion {If you aren't as crazy about onions as me, you might want to just do 3/4 an onion}

1 can black eyed peas, drained, but not rinsed

1 can white shoepeg corn{we didn't have this, so I just used a can of regular corn}, with juice

1 packet Italian dressing, prepared

Chop avocados, tomatoes, and onion. Stir together with remaining ingredients. Chill several hours{I think it's actually best the next day, so we'll make it the night before}. Serve with tortilla chips.

Pasta Salad, v. 2.0

Ok, so I've posted my pasta salad recipe before, but I made this for dinner for my family the night before the exchange, so I shared the leftovers... is that weird? Oh, well. Also, I have another pasta salad recipe that is at least equally good, if not even a degree or two better... So, here's what I'm doing. The various ingredients used to make the salad are interchangeable- tasty with either dressing, so I'll list all my favorites. Then if you want the dressing I actually made that night, go here. If you want the one I would have made if I had a bottle of cole slaw dressing, then keep reading! Another great one for hot summer nights, picnics, dinner by the pool, barbecues, etc... Plus I love that I can throw it together while my kids are napping earlier in the day and have it ready whenever we want to eat- and it contains every food group in one bowl. Ease.

Possible salad ingredients{Just add what you know your family likes!}:

12 oz bow tie, elbow macaroni, or other pasta

2 chicken breasts, cooked and cut (about 2 cups)

1 C celery, chopped

1 can pineapple tidbits, drained

1 can mandarin oranges, drained

1 C red grapes, halved

1 C Craisins

3-4 green onions, chopped

1/2 C slivered almonds

1 C chopped or grated carrots

4 hard boiled eggs

5-8 pieces of bacon, cooked and chopped

1 C frozen green peas

1 C grated cheddar cheese

I can sliced olives

2 sticks string cheese, chopped

cucumbers, diced

The list is ongoing! Gently toss together your favorites from the list in a LARGE bowl.


1 C Miracle whip or mayonnaise {grew up on Miracle Whip, so that's my lard of choice}

12 oz cole slaw dressing

Mix the Miracle Whip and dressing, toss with salad ingredients. Chill several hours.

Sloppy Joes/ BBQ sandwiches

Obviously, this does not look like a sandwich. I had some leftover rolls that night and Hubby though it would be good to try the meat on those instead of a hamburger bun. He was right. This is another one of my summer favorites. Nice and barbecue-y, without having to stand over the grill out in 115 degrees! Plus, it's super easy to throw together, and would even be easy to throw in the crock pot if you are really dreading the stove on a hot summer night. The sweet barbecue flavor of the sauce is my favorite- though possibly because this is the one I grew up on. That tends to make a person partial... Well, try for yourself!

1 lb ground beef

1/2 C onions, chopped, or 4 shakes dried onion

1 10 oz can tomato soup

1/4 C chopped green bell peppers (optional)

1/4 C brown sugar

1/4 C catsup

salt and pepper to taste

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Brown ground beef, onion, and green bell pepper. Drain. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer 15 minutes. Serve with sliced cheese in hamburger buns.

If you don't have buns, or are looking for something a little different you can turn this into Barbecue cups{I sometimes double the recipe and have Sloppy Joes one night then these barbecue cups a few nights later- like a whole new meal!}:

Stir together 2 cups Bisquick and 1/2 C water until soft dough forms. Beat vigorously for 20 strokes. Drop by spoonfuls into ungreased muffin cups. Press onto bottom and sides of cups with floured hands. Spoon barbecue mixture into cups; sprinkle with grated cheddar cheese. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

Hawaiian Haystacks

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this recipe. It's in my top 5 favorite meals. Because of all the toppings, it is so versatile and easy to please several different tastes. It's easy to make a lot and I'll serve it all the time when we have parties. I got this particular recipe from my sister-in-law, Emily Pittman. I love the sweetness of the sauce- Perfect if you hosted a luau, like we did not too long ago. Just be careful or this guy might show up...
Oh, he'll kill me.... Love it!
AAAAnnnyway, here it is, with all the fun topping favorites....

3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cans cream of chicken
1 C water
1 C brown sugar
1/4 C soy sauce
cornstarch to thicken, if necessary

Place everything in a crock pot and cook on high until chicken is cooked through (about 6-8 hours on low is best). Shred chicken. Serve over rice with your favorite toppings:

hard boiled eggs, chopped
green onions, chopped
celery, chopped
chow mien noodles(best under the rice)
bacon, cooked and chopped
slivered almonds
flaked coconut
maraschino cherries
green bell pepper
green peas
Whatever else sounds good!
*** Warning- this ALWAYS ends up being more food on your plate than you intend, so start small! Then go smaller... Then go back for seconds!
I totally think we're going to have to do an End-of-summer luau with this, again. Ya know, when summer ends in October here! ;)

Monday, July 4, 2011

Cherry O'lets

This recipe is very dear to us. Well, to Matt. This was one of those treats his grandma would make for him. I'd heard him talk about it once or twice before. It wasn't until she recently passed that I heard him talking about it in a way that attached so much fondness and memories of her. That's when I decided to hunt down the recipe from his cousin. Got it just in time to surprise him with it for his birthday! So this was his 'birthday cake' this year. I'm not typically a fan of cherries, but I actually really like this! Cherries aren't for everyone, but if you like anything cherry, you'd probably really enjoy this. Tastes very much like a 9x13" pan of The Big Cherry candy. The recipe was missing a step or two, so this is the recipe with what I did to fill in the difference.

2 C sugar
2/3 C evaporated milk
12 large marshmallows
1/2 C margarine
3/4-1 tsp salt
10 oz vanilla chips
2 tbsp cherry flavoring
Small bottle Maraschino cherries, chopped
1 tsp vanilla
12 oz milk chocolate chips
3/4 C peanut butter

1 lb salted peanuts (no skins) grated or chopped

Combine sugar, milk, marshmallows, margarine and salt. Heat on medium until it comes to a full boil. Boil 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla chips, cherry flavoring, chopped cherries and vanilla {actually, the vanilla is listed in the ingredient list, but not which layer it should be in. This is Matt's best guess...}. Spread in 9x13" pan lined with waxed paper. Chill for about an hour{this was vague, but the more it's chilled the easier it is to transport}.

Melt chocolate chips, peanut butter and peanuts. Spread 1/2 of mixture in the bottom of a greased 9x13" pan. Flip chilled cherry mixture onto top of chocolate layer, spread other half of chocolate mixture over top. Chill for at least 2 hours.