Friday, November 27, 2009

Smokey Cheese Ball

If you have never had this, you have never tasted heaven.  Talk about the best cheese ball ever!  I made this a few years ago and it was a hit, so this year for thanksgiving, I made it again.  I just can't believe how good it is.  I put it out and before I could get a picture, it was being eaten.  I got a picture of this....

Need I say more....It was a hit again this year!

1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (7-oz.) round smoky Gouda cheese, shredded
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 (2.25-oz.) jar sliced dried beef, rinsed, dried, finely chopped
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions

Line 8-inch pie pan with plastic wrap. Set 6-oz. custard cup upside down in center.

In medium bowl, combine cream cheese, Gouda cheese and mayonnaise; mix until well blended. Stir in dried beef and onions. Spoon cheese mixture into pie pan around custard cup, smoothing and packing firmly with rubber scraper. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate several hours or until firm.

To serve, uncover ring; turn upside down onto serving plate. Remove plastic wrap and custard cup. Cover top of ring with parsley, pressing in lightly. Garnish with pimiento pieces. Serve with crackers.

Moist and Savory Stuffing

We were in charge of the stuffing this year, and I am tired of the same old Stove Top stuffing.  I went in search of a good recipe and found this one.  It was really good.  I cooked it uncovered because we like ours a little more crunchy.  It was really good.

2 1/2 c. chicken broth
Generous dash ground pepper
2 stalks celery, coursely chopped (about 1 cup)
1 large onion, coursely chopped (about 1 cup)
1 pkg (16 oz) Pepperidge Farm Herb Seasoned Stuffing

Heat the oven to 350.  Heat the broth, black pepper, celery and onion in a 3 quart saucepan over medium-high heat to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low.  Cover and cook for 5 mintes or until the vegetables are tender.  Remove the saucepan from the heat.  Add the stuffing and mix lightly.

Spoon the stuffing mixture into a greased 3 quart casserole dish.  Cover and bake for 30 minutes or until hot.

Serves 11 (1/2 cup each serving)

Cranberry Mold Salad

This has got to be one of my all time favorite holiday salads.  My mom and dad have made it for as long as I can remember and I have carried on the tradition in our family. 

1 c. ground raw cranberries
1 c. granulated sugar
1 c. hot water
1/2 c. red grapes (halved)
1 c. ground apples
1 3oz pkg lemon jello
1 can (20 oz) crushed pineapple (drain juice and save)
1/4 c. chopped walnuts (optional)

combine cranberries, apples, pineapple and sugar.  Mix hot water and pineapple juice to make 2 cups, heat and dissolve jello in it.  Pour into a bowl and chill until partially set.  After it is partially set, add cranberry, apple, pineapple mixture, grapes and nuts.  Chill until firm.  Enjoy.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Black Beans, Chicken and Rice

This is another new recipe we have tried.  Everyone loved it and the kids even wanted to take the leftovers for lunch.  We doubled it and it was perfect for us to be filled up and then we had enough leftovers for all of the kids.  The recipe says it is 4 servings.  This is also another fast meal to fix.  Very good!

2 tsp vegetable oil
1 cup uncooked regular long-grain white rice
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
2 cups cubed cooked chicken
2 cups frozen bell pepper and onion stir-gry, coursely chopped
1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained, rinsed
1 3/4 cups porogresso chicken broth
2 T water
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

In 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat.  Cook and stir rice, cumin and chili powder in oil 1 minute.  Stir in all remaining ingredients except cheese.  Heat to boiling, reduce heat; cover and simmer 15 to 18 minutes, stirring occasionally, until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender.

Remove skillet from heat.  Uncover; fluff mixture with fork.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Cover; let stand 1 to 2 minutes or until cheese is melted before serving.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sweet-and-Sour Meatballs

Even though we live in a 5th wheeler with limited counter space this was not that hard to make. It is very good.

1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 c. seasoned bread crumbs
2 t. minced onion
1-1/2 t. brown sugar
1 t. salt
1/4 t. ground nutmeg
1/8 t. pepper
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
2 T. cornstarch
1 can (20 oz.) pineapple chunks, undrained
1/3 c. sliced green onions
1/3 c. vinegar
1 T. soy sauce
1 green pepper, cut into strips
Hot cooked rice, optional
In a large bowl, combine the first eight ingredients; mix well. Shape into 1 in. balls. Place in a greased 2-qt. casserole dish. For sauce, mix brown sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan. Add pineapple and juice, green onions, vinegar and soy sauce; cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. cook and stir 2 minutes more. Pour over the meatballs. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Stir in green pepper. Return to the oven, covered, for 10 minutes. Serve over rice if desired. Yield: 6-8 servings.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Coconut Cookies


1 3/4 c. sifted all-purpose flour

1/2 t. baking powder

1/4 t. salt

1/2 c. soft butter

1 1/2 c. sugar

2 eggs

1 t. vanilla

1 can (3.5 oz.) flaked coconut

1/2 c. finely chopped almonds (optional)

1. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

2. In large bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla until smooth.

3. Add flour mixture. Stir just until combined. Chill 1 hr.

4. Drop dough by slightly rounded tsp. onto coconut mixture; roll to coat completely. Using hands, roll dough into balls. Place 2" apart on lightly greased cookie sheets.

5. Bake 12-15 min. @ 400 degrees. Watch carefully.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Creamy Italian Pasta

I was desperate for a meal tonight because we got home so late and have to be somewhere later.  I threw a few things together and it really wasn't that bad.

Penne Pasta
4 oz Cream Cheese
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
1/2 cup italian dressing
1/2 cup milk
1 sm. pkg frozen carrots and peas

Cook pasta and carrots and peas per package instructions.  Meanwhile, mix together the soup, dressing, and  milk.  Cut the cream cheese into pieces and put in the bowl.  Pour hot, cooked pasta over it and stir until cream cheese is melted.  Add remaining ingredients and stir.  If I would have had more time, I would have added chicken, but I didn't have time for that.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Taco Salad

This is another family favorite.  It is simple and you can make it with or without meat.  Just add extra beans if you don't want meat.

1 bag of salad (any variety)
2 roma tomatoes, diced
1 can kidney beans
1 can black beans
1 pkg. taco seasoning
1 lb hamburger
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Catalina dressing
tortilla chips or frito chips

Brown the hamburger and follow taco seasoning directions.  Meanwhile put salad, beans, tomatoes, and cheese in large bowl.

When meat mixture is done, add to the salad mixture and toss with Catalina dressing.  Serve over chips.  Enjoy.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Monster Pancakes (a.k.a. Hootenanny Pancakes)

These are really easy to make and only take about 20 minutes start to finish, which makes them a really good breakfast for school days.  Most people call them Hootenanny Pancakes, but my friend from work called them Monster Pancakes because as you cook them, they grow up the side of the pan as you can see in the first picture.  Some of my kids add jam, some add syrup and one even eats them plain.  I sometimes add cinnamon and sometimes add dehydrated apples.  Today I added both.


6 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 Tablespoons butter

In blender or large bowl mix 6 eggs, 1 cup of milk, 1 cup of flour and salt. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Melt 6 Tablespoons of butter or margarine in 9 x 13 inch pan. Pour in egg mixture. Bake 18 minutes (no peeking!). Serve immediately. It is like a souffle and will slowly fall. Serve with syrup, jam or fruit.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Molasses Sugar Cookies

These are cookies that we really love. They remind us of Ginger Snaps but are soft. All three of our children won Blue Ribbons at the Utah State Fair with these cookies.

Molasses Sugar Cookies


3/4 cup shortening

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup light molasses

1 egg

2 cups sifted flour

2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground cloves

1/2 tsp. ginger

1/2 tsp. salt

In large bowl, cream together shortening and 1 cup sugar. Add molasses and egg; beat well. Sift together flour, soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and salt; add to first mixfture. Mix well; cover and chill. Form into 1" balls; roll each in granulated sugar and place on greased cookie sheets about 2" apart. Bake at 375 for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

Friday, November 13, 2009


Ahh, comfort food. I have always loved meatloaf and when I was pregnant with Jenecee a friend of mine told me the easy way to make it. This is very simple and can be made in either the microwave or the oven. Hope you enjoy!

2 lbs. hamburger
1 box stuffing mix
2 T. Worstershire Sauce
2 eggs
1/4-1/2 cup milk (depending on how moist you would like it to be)

1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup favorite BBQ sauce
2 T. Worstershire Sauce
1 T. mustard
1 tsp. garlic sauce

Mix together meatloaf ingredients and place in cooking dish. If making this in the microwave, put a small glass bowl in the middle and make a ring around the bowl (this will help it cook faster). In microwave, cook on high for 20 minutes. In the meantime, mix together sauce ingredients. Check after 20 minutes to make sure there is no pink left and then top with sauce and cook an additional 5 minutes. If making this in the oven, follow the same rules only form it into a loaf and bake at 350 for 1 hr. Put sauce on during the last 10 minutes of baking.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Instant Black Bean Soup

So, about 2 years ago my family discovered black beans. I always thought they looked nasty and never wanted to try them. Then I went to a pampered chef party and had a salad with them and fell in love with them. I figured I would try the recipe on my family so I made it the next week.

I sat amazed that my children picked out the black beans and ate them first. Since then, we have added black beans to many different recipes. Just the other day I found this recipe and decided to try it, and boy am I glad we did. It is just what we needed on this cold fall night. Everyone loved it!

I didn't add onions and cilantro because my kids really don't eat them well. Let me know if you try this recipe and if you add those other two ingredients. I would love to know if you like it.

Instant Black Bean Soup
Preparation time: 3 minutes

· 4 (15-ounce) cans no-salt-added black beans, undrained
· 1 cup bottled salsa
· 2 tablespoon chili powder
· 2 (16-ounce) cans chicken broth
· 1 cup (2 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
· Sour cream
· Green onions
· Chopped fresh cilantro


Place beans and liquid in a medium saucepan; partially mash beans with a potato masher. Place over high heat; stir in salsa, chili powder, and broth. Bring to a boil. Ladle soup into bowls; top with cheese, sour cream, onions, and cilantro. Serve with tortillas.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Caramel Popcorn

I tried this recipe for a Halloween Party, it was delicious. The best part about it was it stayed soft for days. It is kind of a pain to mix into the popcorn, but the taste makes it all worth it.

28 Kraft caramels
2 T Water
1 T Butter
2 quarts popped corn, salted

Melt Caramels with water over low heat, stirring until smooth (or microwave on high 1 minute at a time, stirring in between each minute, continue until caramels are melted and smooth). Pour over popped corn, toss until well coated. With hands slightly moistened with cold water, form into balls (optional)

I also tossed in some candy corn before adding the caramel. You could put anything in with it like nuts or other candy.