Friday, May 8, 2009

Grilled Hawaiians

This recipe comes from Allrecipes. It is one of those that I come across and think, "Duh! Why didn't I think of that?!" It is so quick and easy. This ends up tasting like Ham and Pineapple Pizza when you dip it in the pizza sauce. You could fill the grilled sandwich with any combination of pizza toppings and then dip it in the sauce with the same effect. (Think pepperoni and olives, sausage and peppers, etc.) We LOVE Hawaiian pizza in this house, so we'll keep the recipe the way it is! Feel free to experiment though and let me know how it turns out!

Grilled Hawaiians

12 slices of bread

6 slices of Swiss cheese

6 slices of ham, cut thick

large can of crushed pineapple, drained


Pizza Sauce (found next to the pasta sauces in the grocery store)

Do you really need instructions for making grilled cheese? OK, but I feel a little silly writing it out! ;)

Butter one side of each piece of bread. Place a piece of bread, butter side down, onto a griddle (or fewer onto a frying pan). Layer the cheese, ham and then spread on some crushed pineapple. Top with another piece of bread, butter side up. Do this for all 6 sandwiches. Turn on the heat to medium and let it cook for about 5 minutes per side (Watch it carefully and turn it over when the first side is golden brown.)

Serve with a side of Pizza Sauce to dip it in and Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Birthday Cakes

Here are a few of the birthday cakes I have decorated this past year. I thought I'd post photos just for fun! Let me know if you want to know how I made any of them.

Shaylor's Jungle Cake

Noelle's Candyland Cake

Ashlyn's Flip Flop Cake

Hard Boiled Eggs

When we were first married, I was making deviled eggs. I had helped my Mom make them, so I wasn't completely inexperienced in boiling eggs!

I had the eggs cooking in the pot and all of a sudden, I heard a small chirping sound. I looked at the pot in surprise. Surely that sweet baby chick sound couldn't be coming from inside there!
I heard it again...and then again.

I followed the sound and sure enough, one of my little boiling eggs had a baby chick in it (I was just sure of it). I quickly turned off the stove and contemplated my options: I could crack open the eggs - but what would I find? A partially boiled baby chick? And what would I do with whatever it was that I found? And how many eggs would I have to ruin before I found the 'chirping' one?- or I could throw them out; or I could keep cooking them - surely there wasn't an actual chick in one of my eggs. Oh, what to do...what to do?!

I figured it was just my imagination and turned on the stove again. As the water started to boil, there came that sweet little chick's chirps again crying out to me for mercy. I called my husband at work - surely he would know what to do.

Big mistake. He laughed, his co-workers laughed, and I laughed too (so they would be laughing with me, not at me ;)

"That's not even possible," he told me, "one of the eggs must have a crack in it and that is just the sound of air escaping."

Well, that sounded logical! Why didn't I think of that?

To erase the smallest doubt still in my mind, I raised each egg with a spoon to my ear. When I found the culprit, I examined it all over. Sure enough, there was the small crack with with itty bitty water bubbles coming out of it.

Phew! No little baby chicken half boiled to death crying out to me for help. What a relief!

To this day, every time I boil eggs, I remember this incident and I have to smile to myself and shake my head! Silly, Silly girl! :)

(Honest, it really did sound like a little chirping chick!)

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Green Bean Cassarole

I took a lot of different recipes and made my own version and we all LOVED it! Of course, bacon makes everything yummy!
Green Bean Casserole
4 can green beans, drained (about 60oz.)
10.75oz. can cream of mushroom soup
3/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup bacon bits, plus 1/4 cup for topping
6 oz. fried onions
1 cup cheese shredded
Combine soup, sour cream and bacon bits.
Add green beans and stir carefully.
Place into a greased casserole dish and bake at 350 for 25 minutes.
Top with onions, cheese and bacon bits and bake 10 minutes more.
(In the picture above, I didn't add the toppings and it was still delicious.)

Garlic Knots

Now that I magically can make bread all of a sudden without it being a complete disaster, I have been trying lots of recipes! This one is a definate keeper. It is from My Kitchen Cafe.

Garlic Knots

4-6 garlic cloves finely minced or pressed through a garlic press

4 tablespoons butter, melted

Mix butter and garlic together in a small bowl and let sit while making the rolls (I put the garlic-butter mixture on top of the stove while the oven is on to bake the rolls so the butter stays warm and melted). Follow the recipe for the French Bread Rolls, the only change being that instead of shaping them into balls, roll each piece into a four to six-inch rope and form into a knot, tucking the loose ends under into the center of the knot. Immediately after the rolls come out of the oven brush the butter/garlic mixture over the rolls. These are best eaten warm!

Easter Breakfast Rolls

These were so fun to serve on Easter morning! The marshmallow on the inside melts while cooking making the inside hollow - just like the Empty tomb on Easter morning. They were easy and quick and very sweet! I found the recipe at The Sisters Cafe
Easter Breakfast Rolls
1 package frozen bread or roll dough, thawed (or homemade roll dough)
6 TB sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 bag large marshmallows
1/4 cup butter, melted
Combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and set
aside. Divide the dough into individual roll sized portions. Press each portion into a flat circle. Place 1 large marshmallow in the center of each roll. Pinch roll dough very firmly around the marshmallow. Roll each into a seamless, or nearly seamless, ball with your hands. Brush rolls with melted butter. Sprinkle sugar mixture over rolls. Cover rolls with plastic wrap and put in the fridge overnight. On Sunday morning, preheat oven to 350°. Take rolls out of fridge and bake for 15 minutes until rolls are golden brown. Be careful not to over bake. (These may also be baked without sitting overnight. After wrapping the marshmallow in them, let them rise for about an hour or so and then bake them as usual.)

Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup

This soup is To Die For. I got it from my sister in law, Carrie. It has become our favorite soup. It is really easy to prepare, and makes a lot! If you aren't serving a crowd, only cook the noodles you need, save the 'soup' and when you serve leftovers, cook the remaining noodles and add them. You can put them all in, but sometimes the noodles are mushy upon re-heating. It really doesn't alter the taste, though, so you decide! We served these last week with the Cheesy Garlic Biscuits. Yummy!
Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup
10 cups chicken broth
28 oz. diced tomatoes with juice
8 oz. can tomato paste
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup butter
1 1/2 tsp. basil
1 1/2 tsp. oregano
1 pt. whipping cream (unwhipped)
1 1/2 lbs. cooked tortellini
Pour chicken broth into a large pot and heat.
Add basil and oregano.
Place diced tomatoes with juice, tomato paste, and 1/2 cup water into a blender and puree until smooth; add to broth.
In a separate pan, melt butter. Add flour and stir for 1-2 minutes. Whip this into the soup and simmer until thickened; stirring often.
Add cooked tortellini and heat through.
Last of all, add the whipping cream and serve.

Cheesy Garlic Biscuits

The were so yummy and quick to make. The Bisquick makes it come together really quickly. There is a version of this on the back of the Bisquick box, but I actually got it from The Sisters Cafe.

Cheesy Garlic Biscuits
2 c Bisquick mix
2/3 c milk1/2 c sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 c butter, melted
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp dried parsley

Mix together Bisquick and milk just until moistened. Fold in cheese. Drop by spoonfuls on lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Combine melted butter with garlic salt and parsley and brush over each biscuit. Serve immediately.

Carrot Cake

This is a fantastic recipe from My Kitchen Cafe. I made it as part of our Easter feast and everyone gobbled it up! Don't let the lengthy instructions scare you away! This is well worth every step, and it really wasn't hard.

Carrot Cake

2 1/2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour

1 1/4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1/8 tsp ground cloves

1/2 tsp table salt

1 lb. medium carrots (6 to 7 carrots), peeled

1 1/2 c. granulated sugar

1/2 c. packed light brown sugar

4 large eggs

1 1/2 c. vegetable oil, safflower oil, or canola oil


8 oz cream cheese, softened but still cool

5 Tbsp unsalted butter softened, but still cool

1 Tbsp sour cream

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/4 c. confectioners' sugar

Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 13 by 9-inch baking pan (I used a bundt pan).

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt in large bowl; set aside.

Shred carrots (you should have about 3 cups); transfer carrots to bowl and set aside.In a large bowl beat granulated and brown sugars and eggs on medium-high until thoroughly combined, about 45 seconds.

Reduce speed to medium; with mixer running, add oil in slow, steady stream, being careful to pour oil against inside of bowl (if oil begins to splatter, reduce speed to low until oil is incorporated, then resume adding oil). Increase speed to high and mix until mixture is light in color and well emulsified, about 45 seconds to 1 minute longer.

Turn off mixer and stir in carrots and dry ingredients by hand until incorporated and no streaks of flour remain.

Pour into prepared pan and bake until toothpick or skewer inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 40 minutes.

Cool cake to room temperature in pan on wire rack, about 2 hours .

When cake is cool, mix cream cheese, butter, sour cream, and vanilla at medium high speed until well combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down bowl with rubber spatula as needed. Add confectioners’ sugar and mix until very fluffy, about 1 minute.

Frost and eat!

Bourbon Chicken

This is an easy, yummy dinner which (relax!) requires no actual Bourbon!
Bourbon Chicken
2lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 tablespoons oil (for pan-frying)
cornstarch (for dusting, optional)
Sauce:1 garlic clove (minced)
¼ teaspoon ginger (I used ground ginger)
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (I didn't have any of these)
¼ cup apple juice
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoon ketchup
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
½ cup water
1/3 cup soy sauce
Cut chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces, and if you choose lightly dust with cornstarch. Heat oil in your wok and fry chicken bits in batches until lightly browned. Drain on paper towels and set aside.
In a bowl combine all sauce ingredients. Pour into wok and bring to a boil. Add chicken bits back to the pan, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.