Monday, December 14, 2009

Magic Cookie Bars

1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 (14 ounce) can EAGLE BRAND® Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 cups semisweet chocolate morsels
1 1/3 cups flaked coconut
1 cup chopped nuts

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. (325 for glass pans). Spray a 13 x 9 pan with non-stick cooking spray. Place stick of butter in pan. Place pan in oven until butter is melted. Remove and sprinkle graham cracker curmbs over melted butter evenly. Lightly press into butter.

Sprinkle with chocolate chips, then nuts, then flaked coconut. Pour one can of Eagle Brand milk over top of all ingredients.

Bake for 25-30 min. until lightly golden on top. Cool and cut into bars. Keep in refrigerator for a week. Serve at room temperature.

VARIATIONS: You can add 1 cup of butterscotch chips for 1 or the chocolate chips. You can also use peanut butter chips or even the colored Christmas chips. I prefer the origonal recipe, but the others are good too.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Russian Tea Cakes

Mix together thoroughly:
2 sticks soft butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Stir in:
2 1/4 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt

Mix in:
3/4 cup finely chopped pecans

Chill dough about an hour. Roll into 1" balls. Place 2" apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 min. until set, but barely brown on bottom. While still warm, roll in powdered sugar. I put a long strip (about 4 paper towels) on the cabinet and put the cookies on that after I roll them the first time. Allow them to cool completely and then roll again in powdered sugar. Cookies can be stored in airtight plastic container and frozen for up to 3 weeks. You may want to sprinkle a little fresh powdered sugar on them when you take them out and serve them.

Note: I use my Kitchen-aide for the whole recipe. It makes it go a lot faster.

Spritz Cookies

2 sticks butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract or almond extract
3 egg yolks
2 1/4 cups flour
food coloring
colored sprinkles or sugar

Cream butter, sugar and extract till light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks. Stir in flour until dough forms. Divide dough. Mix food coloring into each half. Force through cookie press onto ungreased cookie sheets. Decorate with colored sprinkles or sugars. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-12 min. until firm but not brown. Remove to wire rack to cool. Can be frozen up to 3 weeks before Christmas.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Easy Pumpkin Cheesecake

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) melted butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 lbs. cream cheese, softened
1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 14-oz. can pumpkin puree
4 eggs
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1/4 cup confectioner's ("powdered") sugar
Preheat the oven to 350º F.
Add the 4 tablespoons of butter to a 10-inch or 12-inch springform pan and place it in the oven to melt.
Add the graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Stir.
Press the mixture into the bottom of the pan and 1/2 way up the sides.
Bake at 350º F. for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk. Beat at medium-high speed until well combined.
Add the pumpkin puree, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ground cloves.
Beat at medium speed until smooth.
Scrape the sides of the bowl and beat again until the mixture is completely smooth. This may take 1-2 minutes.
Pour the mixture into the prepared springform pan.
Bake at 350º F. for 60 minutes.
Remove the cheesecake from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool. Run a knife blade along the rim of the springform pan to release the edge of the cake; but do not remove the outer ring of the springform pan just yet.
Leave the cheesecake on the wire rack until it is completely cooled.
Remove the outer ring of the springform pan and place the cheesecake in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours or overnight.
Shortly before serving, prepare the whipped cream. Simply beat the whipping cream and confectioner's sugar until stiff peaks form.
Spread the whipped cream over the cheesecake. This will hide any "cracks" in the cake's surface, too!
Chill again until you're ready to serve.

Note: I just use the whipping cream in the can (Redi-Whip) and squirt stars on top then drizzle with Caramel syrup and sprinkle some chopped pecans on top. It is delicious.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Brocolli Parmesan

1 large head brocolli or more if you are serving several people
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 tbs. butter
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup parmesan cheese

Steam brocolli.
While brocolli is steaming, saute onion in butter in saucepan. Add can of cream of chicken soup, milk and stir well. If too thick, add just a little more milk (tablespoon at a time). Stir in parmesan cheese. Heat through. Serve over hot, steamed brocolli.

Mom's Black Bean Chili

1 lb. ground beef**, 85-90% lean
1 large onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 can black beans, undrained
1 can Bush's Chili Hot Beans
2 cans Hunt's diced tomatoes
1 can water
1 pkg. 2 Alarm Chili Kit* -- Use salt, cumin/oregano, paprika, dried garlic/onion, red pepper to taste, 1/2 - all chili powder (depending on how chili tasting you like it.) Do not use Masa flour unless you like it super thick.

1. Saute onion, pepper and ground beef. If your beef is not lean, drain grease if there is alot in bottom of pan.
2. Add 2 cans of tomatoes, 2 cans of beans and water.
3. Add individual spice packets. Do not use all of the red pepper unless you want "atomic" chili. Start with 1/2 of the chili powder mix and add more to taste. Sometimes I might add all of it, but usually about 2/3 of it. I do not use the Masa flour, but if you like it thick, you can.
4. Simmer for about 30 min. on low, stirring to prevent burning on bottom.

*If you cannot find the 2 Alarm Chili Kit, you can use Carol Shelby's chili kit. I usually add a little extra cumin when I use Carol Shelby's. (These are usually found in the section of the store that has the packaged sauce, spaghetti, gravy etc. mixes.)

**I have also substituted ground turkey for the ground beef. It still is good and has a "lighter" feel and taste to it.

Roasted Cauliflower


1 head of cauliflower
2-3 cloves of garlic, peeled and coarsely minced
Lemon juice (from 1/2 or a whole lemon)
Olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
Parmesan cheese

1 Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut cauliflower into florets and put in a single layer in an oven-proof baking dish. Toss in the garlic. Squeeze lemon juice over cauliflower and drizzle each piece with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. If the oven hasn't reached 400°F yet, set aside until it has.
2 Place casserole in the hot oven, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes, or until the top is lightly brown. Test with a fork for desired doneness. Fork tines should be able to easily pierce the cauliflower. Remove from oven and sprinkle generously with Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Italian Green Beans

  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 large shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Cook the green beans in a large pot of boiling water until just crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water. Drain well; set aside.

Melt the butter and oil in a heavy, large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and saute until tender, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes. Add the beans and cook until the juices evaporate and the beans are almost tender, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Stir in the wine and basil. Simmer 2 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer to a serving bowl, and serve.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Yogurt Marinated Chicken

Note: Garam masala is a spice mixture. If you cannot find it at the supermarket, substitute 1 tsp. ground cumin.

1/2 large white onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves
3 TBS fresh lemon juice
3 TBS chopped fresh ginger
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 tsp. garam masala
Coarse salt and ground pepper
8 skinless chicken drumsticks or a mixture of drumsticks and thighs

1. In a blender or food processor, combine chopped onion, garlic, lemon juice and ginger. Puree until smooth, scraping down sides as necessary, about 30-45 seconds. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in yogurt and garam masala, 1 tsp. coarse salt and 1/4 tsp. ground pepper. Add chicken and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 6 hours or up to 1 day.

2. Heat grill to medium; oil hot grates. Remove chicken from marinade and wipe off excess marinade. Grill chicken until cooked through turning occasionally.

Serve with warmed pita or flatbread.
Side dishes can include cucumber tomato salad, coucous, various rices or green salad.

Cucumber Salad Recipe

1 large or 2 small cucumbers, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded and sliced crosswise
1/2 large white onion, thinly sliced
3 TBS fresh lemon juice
1 TBS olive oil
coarse salt and ground pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

In a small bowl combine cucumber, sliced onion, cilantro, oil and 3 TBS lemon juice; season with salt and pepper. Serve with yogurt chicken.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Mango Lime Salsa

2 Mangoes, peeled, seeded and diced
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup chopped red onion
2 jalapeno peppers chopped fine
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate for about 30 min. to let flavors meld. Serve over grilled chicken, fish, or just eat with chips.

Summer Corn

  • 4 ears fresh corn
  • 2 TBSP mayonnaise, thinned with juice of a lime
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 TBSP finely grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Peel back the husks and remove husks, then recover the ears with husks and soak in cold water for 10 minutes.
  2. Place the ears on the grill and cook for 15 minutes, turning so the husks don't burn.
  3. Pull back husks and grill the ears for another 5 to 10 minutes, until the corn is lightly charred.
  4. Paint the ears with a sheen of lime mayo and dust them with chile powder and cheese.

Grilled Fish Tacos with Chipotle Crema

  • 1/2 cup Mexican crema or sour cream
  • 3 limes
  • 1 TBSP finely chopped chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
  • Fresh cilantro
  • 1 lb mahi-mahi, halibut, tuna (I also use the breaded flounder from Sam's that you just bake from frozen)
  • 1/2 TBSP chili powder (preferably ancho chile powder)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Soft corn Tortillas
  • 1 cup finely shredded cabbage
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and thinly sliced
  • Hot sauce
  1. Clean and oil gril or grill pan and preheat on medium high
  2. Mix crema with juice of one lime, the chipotle pepper, and a handful of chopped fresh cilantro.
  3. Drizzle a light coating of oil on fish, and rub on the chile powder, salt and pepper. Place fish on grill and cook for 4 minutes. Flip and cook for another 4 minutes. Warm the tortillas.
  4. Divide the fish evenly among the warm tortillas, add a bit of cabbage, spoon on crema and top with avocado slices and fresh cilantro.
  5. Serve each taco with wedge of lime and some hot sauce.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Texas Potatoes

1 2 lb. pkg. frozen hash browns (cubed style)
1 stick margarine or butter, melted
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 8 oz. container sour cream
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

2 1/2 cups crushed cornflakes
1/4 cup melted margarine or butter

Spray 13 x 9 pan with Pam or lightly grease. Mix first 8 ingredients together in large bowl then pour into 13 x 9 pan. Next, crush cornflakes (I put them in a ziplock back and use a rolling pin). Pour margarine over crumbs and mix. Put topping on potatoes. Bake at 350 degrees for 60 min.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Creamy, Cheesy Artichoke Dip

1 14oz. can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 8oz. pkg. cream cheese
1/2 cup Real mayonnaise
1 clove garlic, pressed or finely minced
1/4 tsp. dry dill weed
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Drain and finely chop artichoke hearts. Combine with all ingredients. Mix well with big spoon or hands. Spoon into buttered pie plate or small decorative stoneware container. Bake for 20 min. at 350 degrees till hot and bubbly. Serve with Triscuts or your favorite cracker. I always double this recipe when making it for a party. It goes fast and any leftovers can be microwaved the next day for a snack.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Italian Cream Cake

1 pkg. Duncan Hines yellow cake mix
1 1/3 cups water
1/4 cup oil
2 cups coconut
1 (3oz) pkg. vanilla instant pudding
1 cup chopped pecans
4 eggs

Blend cake mix, water, eggs, oil, and pudding in mixer bowl. Beat med. speed 4 min. Stir in coconut and nuts. Grease and flour 3 9" pans or a 13 x 9" pan. Pour batter into pan. Bake at 350 for 35 min. or until pick comes out clean.

Coconut Cream Frosting

4 tbs. butter
1 pkg. cream cheese
2 tsp. milk
2 cups coconut
1 lb. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Melt 2 tbs. butter in a non-stick skillet. Stir in coconut. Toast until light golden brown. Watch carefully as it burns easily. Spread on paper towel to cool. Meanwhile, cream remaining 2 tbs. butter, vanilla and cream cheese. Add milk and powdered sugar. Beat gradually until well blended. Stir in 1 3/4 cup coconut. Frost cake. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup coconut on top.

When using a 13x9 pan, I turn it out on a cake board so I can frost the sides too. A tupperware 13 x 9 cake saver works well for this or even a cookie sheet covered with foil or white freezer paper.