Friday, November 28, 2008

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Rice Krispies Balls

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Rice Krispies Balls
Courtesy of Oprah Magazine (this is the only useful thing I've ever seen in there)
Yield: 16 balls

2 (1.4 ounce) chocolate covered toffee candy bars
2 cups Rice Krispies
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
16 regular sized marshmallows
1/4 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
canola oil

Leaving candy bars in wrappers, use a rolling pin to pound and crush bars into small pieces. Place Rice Krispies in a large bowl and set aside.

Place peanut butter in a medium sized bowl (microwave safe) and microwave on high until hot, about 45 seconds. Add marshmallows and microwave on high until softened, about 30 seconds. (Alternatively, you could place peanut butter and marshmallows in a heavy saucepan. Stir over low heat until melted, 2 to 3 minutes.)

Working quickly, stir to combine mixture with Rice Krispies. Stir until evenly coated. Add crushed candy bars and chocolate chips. Stir until combined. Coat your hands with oil and shape mixture into spheres the size of golf balls, making 16 treats. Pack in decorative tins or arrange on waxed paper lined wrappers and tie ends with ribbon. The balls will keep up to one week at room temperature.
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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Armadillo Eggs

Don't ask me why they are called this - but it's John's family recipe... so I'll go with it. For those that might ask (it's happened several times over the years) - NO - they aren't really armadillo eggs... and by the way armadillos are mammals - which means they DON'T lay eggs!

Armadillo Eggs
Courtesy of John's family

1 large can whole jalapenos
1 large block cheddar cheese
2 pounds patty sausage
1 package shake 'n bake

Grate the cheese and set aside. (We grate our own because it has more flavor than the prepackaged grated cheese that you find in the grocery stores.)

Slice jalapenos in half and clean out seeds. Keep the two halves together because you'll be putting them back together, and you'll want them to match. Stuff the middle with cheese - John squishes the cheese into a solid mass before he stuffs it in the jalapeno - place them on a baking sheet until all of the jalapenos are stuffed.

Slice the sausage into enough patties to match the number of jalapenos you have. Ours usually works out perfectly with 21 eggs in the end. Flatten out a sausage patty and wrap it around a stuffed jalapeno... seal the edges together. Repeat until all of the jalapenos are wrapped in sausage.

Roll in shake 'n bake. Place on a broiler pan and bake at 350 degrees until sausage is brown - about 30-40 minutes.

Serve and enjoy!

When John makes these for his office parties - he slices them into 3 or 4 pieces and inserts a toothpick in each slice for easy serving.
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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Lost Recipe

Lost Recipe
Courtesy of my grandmother, Meme

1 package lemon jello (could use Sugar Free)
1 large can of black cherries, drain and set juice aside
1 large package of cream cheese
3/4 pint whip cream, whipped with a little sugar or Splenda added
1 cup pecans

Heat the juice from the cherries to boiling, dissolve jello in the juice. Cool. Add cream cheese and mash with fork until creamy before adding whipped cream. Add pecans. Place cherries in mold or dish in a single layer. Pour mixture on top, and chill for several hours.

Dip the mold or dish in warm water to loosen it from the sides of the dish, and turn out on a serving platter or plate. When serving the cherries should be on top for a nice presentation.
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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Buttermilk Pie

This has never been my favorite, but others in my family swear that it is the best in the world... so since I don't think it can be adapted for those of us limiting our sugar intake - I certainly won't miss it.

Buttermilk Pie
Courtesy of an old family recipe
Yield: 2 pies

3 cups sugar
6 eggs
4 tablespoons flour
2 sticks butter, softened
4 tablespoons vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
2 prepared pie crusts - or you could make your own

Cream sugar and butter; add flour, eggs, and vanilla and combine. Add buttermilk, and pour into unbaked pie shells. Bake 1 1/2 hours at 300 degrees or until firm. Bake for 1/2 hour if you only make 1 pie.
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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Cranberry Salad

Cranberry Jello Salad
Courtesy of my friend Dara

2 (3 oz) boxes of Strawberry Jello (you could use Sugar Free)
2 cups boiling water
1 1/2 cup sugar (you could use Splenda)
1 bag cranberries
1 orange
1/2 the zest from the orange
6 apples

Grate apples, cranberries, and orange in a food processor. In a large bowl dissolve jello and sugar in boiling water. Mix grated fruit with the jello mixture, and put in the refrigerator until set.
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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake

This is a potluck/family party staple... and it's SUPER easy to make! John loves this cake, and he doesn't even like chocolate cake... interestingly enough - it doesn't taste overly chocolatey.

Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake
Courtesy of an old family recipe

1 box of yellow cake mix
1 4.5 ounce instant chocolate pudding mix
8 ounces of sour cream
3/4 cup of oil
3/4 cup of water
3 eggs
1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips (I use a whole 12 ounce bag - minus the few handfuls that John takes out of the bag)
1 cup of chopped pecan pieces

Mix cake mix, pudding mix, sour cream, oil, water, and eggs until smooth. Then stir in the chocolate chips and pecan pieces. Bake in a bundt or angel food pan at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until a tester comes out clean.

Let it cool before serving. I sometimes dust the top with powdered sugar for a decorative effect, but that is not neccessary.

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Layered Chile-Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Layered Chile-Chicken Enchilada Casserole
Courtesy of Betty Crocker
Yield: 8 Servings

2 cups diced cooked chicken
3 cups shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese blend (12 oz)
1 can (4.5 oz) Old El Paso® chopped green chiles, undrained
3/4 cup sour cream
1 package (11.5 oz) Old El Paso® flour tortillas for burritos (8 tortillas)
1 can (16 oz) Old El Paso® refried beans
1 can (10 oz) Old El Paso® enchilada sauce
4 medium green onions, sliced (1/4 cup)
1 cup shredded lettuce
1 medium tomato, chopped (3/4 cup)

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray. In medium bowl, mix chicken, 1 1/2 cups of the cheese, the chiles and sour cream.

2. Layer 3 tortillas in baking dish, overlapping as necessary and placing slightly up sides of dish (cut third tortilla in half). Spread about half of the beans over tortillas. Top with about half of the chicken mixture and half of the enchilada sauce. Layer with 3 more tortillas and remaining beans and chicken mixture. Place remaining 2 tortillas over chicken mixture, overlapping slightly (do not place up sides of dish). Pour remaining enchilada sauce over top. Sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 cups cheese.

3. Cover baking dish with foil. Bake 45 to 55 minutes or until bubbly and thoroughly heated. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes before cutting. Garnish casserole or individual servings with onions, lettuce and tomato.

High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): Heat oven to 375°F.

Do-Ahead: Make this casserole up to 8 hours in advance, then cover and refrigerate until it's time to bake it.

Nutrition Information: 1 Serving
Calories 480
Calories from Fat 230
Total Fat 26g
Saturated Fat 13g
Trans Fat 1 1/2g
Cholesterol 90mg
Sodium 980mg
Total Carbohydrate 34g
Dietary Fiber 3g
Sugars 3g
Protein 27g
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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Pilgrim Hat Cookies

I know that I'm not supposed to be eating sweets, but these look so cute - I had to share them with those of you entertaining kids during the holidays!

Pilgrim Hat Cookies
Courtesy of Taste of Home website

1 cup vanilla frosting
7 drops yellow food coloring
32 miniature peanut butter cups
1 package (11-1/2 ounces) fudge-striped cookies
32 pieces orange mini Chiclets gum

In a small shallow bowl, combine frosting and food coloring. Remove paper liners from peanut butter cups. Holding the bottom of a peanut butter cup, dip top of cup in yellow frosting. Position over center hole of a cookie, forming the hatband and crown. Add a buckle of Chiclets gum. Repeat with remaining cups and cookies. Yield: 32 cookies.
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Sunday, November 9, 2008

Pumpkin Pie Dip

Pumpkin Pie Dip
Courtesy of Taste of Home website
Yield: 32 servings

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
Gingersnap cookies (I'll use graham crackers)

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and confectioners' sugar until smooth. Beat in the pumpkin, sour cream, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and ginger until blended. Serve with gingersnaps. Refrigerate leftovers.

Nutrition Facts
One serving: (2 tablespoons)
Calories: 64
Fat: 3 g
Saturated Fat: 2 g
Cholesterol: 10 mg
Sodium: 23 mg
Carbohydrate: 8 g
Fiber: 0 g
Protein: 1 g
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Saturday, November 1, 2008

Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

Chicken & Wild Rice Soup
Based on the recipe posted by Everyday Fare
Yield: 16 of my portion size (8 normal portions?)

4 chicken breasts
2 boxes Long Grain and Wild Rice (I used Uncle Ben's)
1 small onion, diced (I left mine larger than a dice)
2 carrots, diced (I left mine larger than a dice)
2 ribs celery, diced (I left mine larger than a dice)
2 quarts (4 cups) chicken stock
4 tablespoons flour
1 cup heavy cream

I coated my chicken in olive oil, seasoned it with: salt, pepper, lemon pepper, and garlic powder. I baked them at 400 degrees for about 20-25 minutes. Set aside to cool. Dice into cubes.

Pour the rice mixes, seasoning, and vegetables into a large pot. Add the amount of water specified by your rice mixes, and butter if required by the manufacturer's directions. Stir to combine. Cover and cook until the rice is done and the vegetables are tender. (Uncle Ben's directions said 25 minutes - so I followed that.)

Add the flour and stir to combine. Allow the mixture to cook for a minute or two. Add the chicken stock, cream, and chicken pieces. Allow the soup to simmer for a few minutes until the soup is heated through.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this soup - it might be one of my new favorites! I'm not feeling well today - so it certainly hit the spot tonight, and made me feel a little bit better. I just had to share the recipe with you guys so that you can make it for your own family soon! I've got 8 more servings stored away for the next week or two.
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Chicken Spaghetti

Chicken Spaghetti
Courtesy of my recipe box
Yield: two big casserole dishes - about 32 servings

5 chicken breasts
4 cups chicken stock (or chicken broth)
1 stick butter
8 tablespoons flour
1 cup heavy cream
1 pound Velveeta
2 small cans ripe olives, drained, pitted and sliced
1 can of mushrooms drained
1/2 cup slivered almonds
3 tablespoons finely minced yellow onion (I usually go a little heavy on this like 1/4 cup)
3 tablespoons finely minced bell pepper (I usually go a little heavy on this like 1/4 cup)
3 tablespoons finely minced celery (I usually use two stalks and put it all in)
12 oz thin spaghetti noodles, cooked
2-3 cups shredded cheddar cheese - this is your preference, we like a lot of cheese on top when we make it, but if you don't... you could skip this all together.

Boil chicken breasts, cool and cut into pieces.

Heat butter, mix into flour. Slowly add chicken stock, then cream and stir over low heat until mixture has thickened. Add cheese and stir until melted. Combine with chicken and all other ingredients EXCEPT noodles.

Boil noodles according to package, mix with mixture and stir well.

Turn into 2 buttered casserole dishes, and bake to melt cheese topping. (we usually use two large disposable casserole dishes because I typically make this to take to our church family when they are sick, having a baby or any other need.)
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