Monday, December 23, 2013

Soft Sugar Cookies

These cookies are soft and have a yummy flavor!  They are a Hislop family favorite; the recipe comes from Grandma's friend Eddie Ward.  When I was growing up, my mom would decorate them very nicely with frosting. I don't really like to use or eat frosting, so I sprinkle them with jello powder and they take on the color and flavor of the jello.

Cut together with knives (I use my Bosch):
5 C. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 C. butter
1 1/2 C. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder

Make a well in the center and add:
1 C. sour cream, to which 1 tsp. baking soda has been added
2 beaten eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Mix.  Refrigerate a little before rolling out and cutting.
Bake at 425° for 4-6 min.  Do not let edges get brown.
If you are using jello, you might want to cover your pan with aluminum foil. If not, it washes.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Taco Soup

Stephen loved this - had seconds and left-overs, always a good sign.
Very easy and very quick!

originally from High Heels & Grills

1 can black beans (drained & rinsed)
1 can pinto beans (drained & rinsed)
1 can petite diced tomatoes (I prefer to puree these a bit:)
1 can sweet corn (drained)
1 can chicken breast (drained)
2 cans cream of chicken (or 1 for a runnier/more red sauce)
1 can green enchilada sauce (I do 1/2, we're wimpy)
1 can chicken broth
Taco seasoning

Dump all in one pot, heat until warm and mixed, serve!

Ramen Cuisine

Mom and Dad would never eat this because it has Top Ramen in it, but I've had recent cravings for Asian food and this perfectly satisfies me!

1-2 pkg. Chicken Top Ramen (depending on how many noodles you want)
1/2 yellow onion
1 head broccoli
Shredded carrots
1/2 red pepper
(Any other veggies you feel like adding - squash, zucchini, etc.)
2 chicken breasts
Teriyaki Sauce: 1/4 c. soy sauce, 1 c. water, water+cornstarch, then stuff = honey, brown sugar, pineapple juice, chicken broth, ginger, salt/pepper, garlic powder, etc.,

1. Cut up all veggies to desired size then stir fry in chicken broth/water/oil until tender
2. Cut up chicken to small bite-size pieces. I like to flavor a little with Italian seasoning or salt/pepper
3. Cook Top Ramen according to package directions
4. Combine all the above: veggies, chicken, and Top Ramen
5. While simmering, make the Teriyaki Sauce. Then combine all together and enjoy!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Hot Cereal

This is more filling and tasty than plain oatmeal.  I used to hunt down alot of different grains, but now most stores that sell bins of grains have a 6 grain cereal (rolled) that is great.  This is yummy with peaches or apples! Healthy and yummy!


About 7-8 C. 6 grain cereal mix
About 2 C. rolled oats
About 2 C. cracked hot cereal mix, like the Bob's Red Mill (this one has flaxseed)
      sometimes you can find something like this in bins, too
About 2-3 Tbsp. cinnamon, to your taste

Mix it all in a big bowl.  Keep in airtight container.  Cook as any other hot cereal, on the stove or in the microwave.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Three Bean Cassoulet

I first had this at Aleasha's.  Dad really likes dishes with beans and tomatoes. I usually add more diced, flavored tomatoes to make it more liquid and soup-like. Cooked cut up meat could also be added to be more of a stew.

1 (16 oz.) can stewed tomatoes, undrained, cut up
(I add another can of diced, flavored tomatoes)
1 (15.5 oz.) can butter beans, drained
1 (15.5 oz) can northern beans, drained
1 (15.5 oz) can garbanzo beans, drained
1 C. finely chopped carrots
1 C. chopped onions
2 garlic closes, minced
2 tsp. dried parsley flakes
1 tsp. dried basil leaves
1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 bay leaf

Combine all ingredients in 2 quart slow cooker; cover.  Cook on high setting 30 minutes.  Reduce to low setting; cook 5-6 hours or until vegetables are tender.  Remove bay leaf before serving.

Optional oven directions:  Heat oven to 350°.  Combine all ingredients in ungreased 2 quart casserole.  Bake at 350° for 35 to 45 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.  Remove bay leaf.

Wholesome Joes

Aleasha made these from a Pillsbury cookbook.  They have become a healthy, yummy staple for dinner. I change the recipe a little.

1 lb. lean ground turkey or beef
1/3 C. chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
( I also add a can of diced tomatoes, some with peppers)
1/2 C. uncooked lentils
2/3 C. water
1/4 C. ketchup
(I also add about 2Tbsp. worcestershire sauce)
1 tsp. vinegar
1/2 tsp. celery salt
1/2 dry mustard (I have used reg. mustard)
1/4 tsp. pepper
6 whole wheat sandwich buns

In large skillet over medium-high heat, brown turkey with onion and garlic; drain well.  Stir in remaining ingredients except sandwich buns.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer 40-45 minutes or until lentils are tender.  Spoon onto bun.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Homemade Ice a bag

This takes about 15-20 minutes to make, but is very yummy (and entertaining to teenagers!) *Rock salt is imperative!

Homemade Ice Cream… in a bag

2 c. whole milk
4 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 gallon bags
3 c. ice
1/3 c. rock salt

1. Put first 3 ingredients into one of the gallon bags, seal it tightly.
2. Fill the second gallon bag with ice and salt. Place sandwich bag inside, then seal gallon bag
3. Squeeze bag until ice cream is thickened, about 10 minutes
4. Remove small bag, unseal, and eat

Black Bean Brownies

The reaction to these brownies at school is priceless...jaws dropped in disgust. But then I catch them licking the bowl - proud teaching moment:) These are delicious and changing the sugar and flour would help too

Black Bean Brownies
½ can black beans
½ c. vegetable oil
2 eggs
¼ c. cocoa powder
2/3 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
½ c. chocolate chips
1/3 c. flour
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt

1. Preheat oven to 350*, grease a 9x9 pan
2. In a blender, puree beans with the oil. Add the eggs, cocoa, sugar, and vanilla
3. Melt HALF the chocolate chips, add chocolate to blender. Blend on medium high until smooth
4. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to the blender and pulse until just incorporated
5. Stir in the remaining chocolate chips.
6. Pour into the pan, bake until an inserted fork comes out clean, about 25 minutes
7. Serve a la mode – with ice cream

Microwave Cheese Sauce

This is a much healthier alternative to the canned cheese dipping sauce
Microwave Cheese Sauce

1 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. flour
½ c. warm milk
½ c. shredded cheddar cheese
¼ tsp. salt (optional, to taste) or Italian dressing mix

1. In a large, microwave safe glass bowl, melt the butter - cover with a paper towel, cook for 30 second intervals on power 7, repeat until the butter is melted
2. Add the flour and milk, whisk all together until mostly smooth
3. Add the shredded cheese to the mixture
4. Place the bowl in the microwave and cook on HIGH for 1 ½ - 2 minutes, whisking every 30 seconds or so, until sauce is thick and heated through
5. Season with salt, if desired

Microwave Lava Cake

These are perfect for small servings or a quick dessert. I didn't have success at home, but my students made them perfectly!
Microwave Brownie Lava Cake

½ bag of brownie mix
¼ c. vegetable oil
2 Tbsp. water
1 ½ eggs
2 chocolates/person

1. Pour the brownie mix into a bowl, whisk out the chunks to make a smooth powder
2. Spray 6 oz. custard cups with cooking spray then dust with a little bit of brownie mix powder to prevent sticking
3. In another bowl, combine the water, oil, and eggs. Whisk until combined
4. Pour the liquid mixture into the brownie mixture, stirring until combined
5. Spoon about a ½ cup of batter into each custard cup. Stack two chocolates on top of each other, then press into the middle of the brownie mix. Spread batter to cover the top of the chocolate
6. Place the custard cup on top of a plate then place in the microwave. Cook in individual cake for about 1 minute on full power OR you can cook multiple cakes at a time - add 30 seconds to the cook time for every cake – 2 cake = 1:30, 3 cakes = 2:00, 4 cakes = 2:30. No more than 4 cakes at a time in the microwave!
7. (The cakes will rise while it cooks then fall slightly once the cooking is done)
8. If you want to flip the cake upside down (to look like a volcano) run a knife along the edge of the cake to loosen it from the cup then flip onto a plate
9. Top with whipped cream or powdered sugar!

Cream Puffs

Cream Puffs

Pastry: ½ c flour
½ tsp. granulated sugar
¼ tsp. salt
¼ c butter, cut into pieces
½ c water
2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Filling:1 c. whipping cream
½ tsp. vanilla
1 ½ tbsp. sugar

Garnish – Powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 425*, line baking sheet with parchment paper
2. In a large pot, bring butter and water to a rolling boil. Allow butter to melt halfway before adding water. Stir in flour and salt until the mixture forms a ball.
3. Transfer the dough to a large mixing bowl. Using your electric hand mixer on low, beat the dough for a few minutes to help cool the dough. Slowly beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. You must cool the dough before adding the eggs, otherwise the eggs will start to cook. The dough will become a thick paste once it is done
4. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto the baking sheet
5. Bake for 20-25 minutes in the oven, until golden brown. During the last few minutes of cooking, poke each puff with a fork. You need to allow steam to escape in order for the puff to not fall or be soggy. Just poke each puff once, don’t kill it!
6. Turn the oven off, allow shells to cool in the oven for a few minutes. When the shells are cool, cut a slit around the top (not in ½) and fill with whipped cream

Fruit Salsa & Cinnamon Chips

This is delicious!

Fruit Salsa with Baked Cinnamon Chips
2 Golden Delicious apples - peeled, cored and diced
2 cups of grapes, diced
1 carton of strawberries, diced
1 banana, diced
1 ½ c. pineapple chunks
2 tablespoons white sugar (more or less to taste)
1 tablespoon brown sugar (more or less to taste)
10 (10 inch) flour tortillas
butter flavored cooking spray
1 cup cinnamon sugar mix

1. In a large bowl, thoroughly mix apples, grapes, strawberries, bananas, and pineapples, white sugar and brown sugar. Cover and chill in the refrigerator at least 15 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
3. Coat one side of each flour tortilla with butter flavored cooking spray. Sprinkle tortillas with desired amount of cinnamon sugar. Cut into wedges and arrange in a single layer on a large baking sheet.
4. Bake in the preheated oven 8 to 10 minutes. Repeat with any remaining tortilla wedges.
Allow to cool approximately 15 minutes. Serve with chilled fruit mixture.

Zucchini Bread/Muffins

This recipe is from Stephen's old MTC teaching companion, who's younger sister ended up being in my class. This recipe is originally much healthier with Agave, and non-gluten flour but my students weren't down for that. This recipe is my attempt to have teenagers eat "vegetables"!

Zucchini Bread 
Life Tastes Good Again, Kirsti Kirkland, Betsy Thomas
1-1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 cup sugar
1 cup finely shredded, unpeeled zucchini
1/4 cup oil
1 egg

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 12 muffin cups.
2. Combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg.
3. In another bowl, combine sugar, zucchini, oil, and egg.  Mix well.
4. Add dry mix to zucchini mix.  Stir just until moistened. Pour into muffin cups
5. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the tops bounce back.

*I do muffins because they bake faster but loaves work too

Blueberry Muffins

We made these at school, and my 8th graders LOVED them, very yummy and not too hard. Add a little streusel topping for extra deliciousness:)

Blueberry Muffins (from scratch!)
2 c flour
2/3 c suagr
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 eggs
½ c milk
4 Tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla
1 c frozen blueberries
12 paper liners
1 toothpick

1. Preheat oven to 400*
2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt
3. In another bowl, whisk the egg, milk, butter and vanilla; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in blueberries
4. Place paper liners in muffin tins. Fill cups ¾ full of batter. Bake at 400* for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. Serve warm

Makes 1 dozen muffins

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Seventh Heaven Bars (aka 7 Layer Bars)

Everyone loves these; they always disappear quickly.  Thanks, Stephen, for the new name!

1/2 C.butter
1 1/2 C. graham cracker crumbs
1(14oz) can sweetened condensed milk
about 1 1/2 C. chocolate chips
about 3/4 C. white chocolate chips
1 C. flaked coconut
1 C. chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat oven to 350˚.  In 13 X 9 pan, melt the butter in the oven or melt butter in the microwave and pour into the pan.  Sprinkle the graham cracker crumbs over butter and press down.  Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over the crumbs.  Top with remaining ingredients, amounts according to your tastes.  Press down.  Bake 20-25 min. or until lightly browned.  Cool.  Cut into bars.  

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Cream Cheese for Brownies

This cream cheese batter can be added to any boxed or from scratch brownie recipe.

For a 9 X 13 pan:

Cream together 4 Tbsp. butter and 6 oz. cream cheese.  Gradually add 1/2 C. sugar; cream well after each addition.  Blend in 2 eggs, 2 Tbsp. flour, and 1 tsp. vanilla. Set aside.  After mixing the brownie batter, spread about half of it in a 9 X 13 pan.  Spread the cheese mixture over the top; spoon on remaining brownie batter.  Zigzag through batters with a spatula to marble.  Bake according to brownie instructions, possibly adding more time.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Slow Cooker Chocolate Lava Cake

This cake is probably not the same quality as oven cake, but it was delicious and oh so easy!

1 box Triple Chocolate Fudge cake mix
1 1/4 c. milk
1/2 c. oil
3 eggs
1 box instant chocolate pudding mix
2 c. milk
1 bag (12 oz) milk chocolate chips

1. Spray the slow cooker with cooking spray (I used a liner, a very good idea!)
2. In a large bowl, beat cake mis, 1 1/4 c. milk, oil, eggs with electric mixer as directed on cake mix box. Pour into slow cooker
3. In medium bowl, beat pudding mix and 2 c. milk with whisk as directed on box. Pour into slow cooker over cake batter. DO NOT MIX. Sprinkle chocolate chips over the top of mix
4. Cover; cook on low heat setting 2 hours 30 minutes to 3 hours or until cake is set and pudding is beginning to bubble out of cake

Hawaiian Teriyaki Bowl

This is similar to Rumbi's chicken bowl - could change to noodles or just have vegetables and sauce

Coconut Rice
2 c. long grain white rice (brown rice works alright)
2 c. water
3/4 can coconut milk
1/2 Tbsp. sugar

1. Put all ingredients in a rice cooker*
2. Stir
3. Cook until timer goes off
*If you don't have a rice cooker, combine water, milk, sugar and rice in a sauce pan over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for about 18-20 minutes

Hawaiian Teriyaki Sauce
3/4 c. teriyaki sauce
1 tsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. chili garlic sauce (pinch chili powder + garlic)
1 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/4 c. cornstarch
1/2 c. water

1. Combine teriyaki sauce, soy sauce, chili & garlic, ginger, salt, and brown sugar in a small sauce pan
2. Bring to a boil over medium heat
3. Meanwhile combine cornstarch and water in a separate bowl
4. Reduce sauce to simmer
5. Add cornstarch water to sauce slowly to thicken
6. Simmer for a couple of minutes
7. Set aside until ready to serve

Vegetables and Chicken
1 Tbsp. oil
3/4 c. grated carrots
3 celery stalks, washed and sliced
1 zucchini, chopped into small cubes
1 c. chopped broccoli florets
(I like to add black beans)
2 chicken breasts

1. Cut chicken into small pieces (cook however you want - boil, grill, saute)
2. Put oil and vegetables in a large pan over medium heat
3. Saute for about 6-7 minutes
4. When chicken is done cooking, add to vegetable mix (Aleasha added shrimp - any type of protein)

Arrange bowl with rice on bottom, then vegetables and protein, then sauce

Tortellini and Vegetable Bake

  • 10 oz dried cheese-filled tortellini (2-1/2 cups) or two 9-ounce packages refrigerated tortellini
  • 1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 c. sugar snap peas, halved crosswise
  • 1 Tbsp. butter (optional)
  • 1 lb. chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms (gross)
  • 1/3 c. chicken broth
  • 2 Tbsp. snipped fresh oregano or 1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 tsp. flour
  • 3/4 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1 c. milk
  • 8 oz cream cheese (I used Plain FF yogurt)
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 c. quartered cherry tomatoes (unless you're feeding the Case's:)
  • 1 small red or green pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
    1. Cook tortellini in boiling salted water according to package directions, adding the carrot during the last 5 minutes of cooking and the sugar snap peas during the last 1 minute of cooking; drain.
    2. Meanwhile, heat butter in a 12-inch skillet (or use oil). Add chicken and mushrooms, and cook about 5 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Remove from skillet.
    3. Shake together chicken broth, oregano, flour, garlic salt, and pepper in a screw-top jar until smooth. Add to skillet along with milk. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly; add cream cheese/yogurt. Cook and stir until cream cheese is smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in lemon juice. Add pasta mixture, chicken mixture, tomatoes, and sweet pepper. Toss to coat. Turn into an ungreased 13x9x2-inch baking dish or shallow 3-quart casserole.
    4. 4. Bake, covered, in a 350 degrees F oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until heated through. Stir mixture and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. 

    BBQ Crock-pot Chicken

    This recipe is easy, and has a lot of veggies in the mix that become hidden in the meat - love hidden vegetables!

    from Full Belly Sisters blog

    (serves 8-10)

    • 1 large onion, quartered and sliced thin
    • 2 large carrots, grated
    • 2 celery stalks, grated
    • 1 large zucchini, grated
    • 1 large apple (with skin), grated
    • 4-5 cloves garlic, chopped
    • 2 to 2 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts


    • 1 cup barbecue sauce (homemade or bottled)
    • 2T honey
    • 2T spicy brown mustard
    • 1T apple cider vinegar
    • 1T worcestershire sauce
    • salt, to taste
    1. Spray the crockpot with non-stick cooking spray
    2. Line the bottom of the crockpot with onions, vegetables, apple, and garlic; place chicken on top of veggie mix
    3. Mix sauce ingredients in a bowl then cover chicken with sauce
    4. Cook on low for 5-7 hours (I like to boil the chicken first so it's shorter) then shred the meat using two forks
    5. Serve with buns and toppings, delish!

    Spinach Artichoke Dip

    Easy and tasty, but definitely not healthy!

    Spinach Artichoke Dip


    • 8 oz cream cheese (use FF)
    • 16 oz sour cream (use FF)
    • 1 stick butter
    • 1 1/2 - 2 c. shredded Parmesan cheese (not the canned stuff)
    • 14 oz quartered artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
    • 4 oz jalapeƱos, drained and diced (optional, I didn't use this)
    • 10 oz frozen spinach (I used 4 handfuls of fresh shredded spinach)
    • 2-3 garlic cloves, pressed
    1. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, melt together cream cheese, sour cream, butter, and parmesan cheese. Stir frequently until melted and an even consistency. It's ok if it starts to bubble
    2. Stir in coarsely chopped artichoke hearts, jalapeƱos, and spinach. Once mixed, stir in pressed garlic
    3. Serve hot with crackers, chips, or vegetables