Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Caramel Popcorn

I love caramel popcorn. I am still in search of the perfect soft caramel corn recipe, so this will have to do until I find it. I prefer the soft caramel corn, but this is an awesome crispy recipe. It never seems to last too long at my place.

1 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
5 quarts popped popcorn (I used 2 bags microwave popcorn)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Caramel Apple Dip

I have to admit, I really don't think this stuff tastes like caramel, but that is the name of the dip. There must be some that do think it tastes like caramel, or I am sure it would have a different name. The dip is, however, very tasty, and very easy to make. My favorite way to eat it is with sliced apples. Strawberries and grapes are yummy with it too.

I got this recipe from my friend Laurie.

1 (8 oz) package cream cheese , softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup Bit 'O Brickle (toffee bits)

Mix together cream cheese and brown sugar until smooth. Stir in Bit 'O Brickle. Serve with fruit.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Kalua Pork

I love this stuff!! It is so easy and delicious. The kids all love it and also like to help shred the meat. Have you ever tried to shred pork with the help of a 2 year old and 4 year old? Well, let me tell you, it is an experience everyone should have the privilege of experiencing. I am so blessed to have so many big helpers!

1 (3 to 5 lb) pork roast (I use a shoulder picnic roast)
1 tablespoon liquid smoke
1 teaspoon Hawaiian sea salt

Place pork roast in a crock pot and sprinkle with liquid smoke and sea salt. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours (can also cook on high for 4 to 5 hours, but I prefer low). Shred pork and return to crock pot with juices for an additional hour.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Manti Chicken

I have been wanting to try this recipe out for some time. I finally got around to it and loved it. I couldn't believe how tender it was. I didn't need a knife, just a fork to cut it.

I found this yummy recipe at Real Mom Kitchen.

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup canola oil (or vegetable)
1 cup Sprite
1/2 tsp. horseradish
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
6-8 chicken breasts (Or equal amount of chicken tenders)

Mix together first 5 ingredients in a gallon zipper bag. Add chicken and marinate in the fridge for 2-8 hours. Grill until cooked through.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

For me, the frosting is what makes or breaks a cake. If the frosting is good, the cake is good. I have a friend who said that cream cheese frosting can make dirt taste good (as well as a few other less appetizing things). Well, I think that pretty well applies to any good frosting. Although it could make dirt taste good, I don't think I could get over the gritty texture, so I will stick to cake. I love this frosting on cake or brownies, on graham crackers or on a spoon. As long as it is on its way to my mouth, but hopefully not to my hips or backside, I love it.

I snagged this recipe from Wilton.

1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup cocoa or three 1 oz. unsweetened chocolate squares, melted
1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar (approximately 1 lb.)
3-4 tablespoons milk

In large bowl, cream shortening and butter with electric mixer. Add cocoa and vanilla. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use. For best results, keep icing bowl in refrigerator when not in use. Refrigerated in an airtight container, this icing can be stored 2 weeks. Rewhip before using.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Lemon Herb Chicken

Once again, I just can't seem to come up with anything clever to write about this recipe. I guess it could be due to the fact that I have a 2 year old and a 4 year old that think they need to sleep with me. They think they need to sleep in the middle of the bed, but have to snuggle as close as they can to Mommy, no touching Daddy allowed! I don't know about you, but I like my space when I sleep. Don't touch me!! If they get put back into bed, they scream. I don't just mean cry a little, I mean scream. You know the kind of scream that could be heard a mile and a half away (maybe even half a world away). The kind of scream, that if heard by the neighbors, and I am sure it is, would make them think you were beating your child. Yup, that's the kind of scream. No one sleeps. I just don't do well on 4 hours of sleep a night. I much prefer 8 or 9.

Anyway, we all liked this recipe, but did think it was a bit bland, so I added salt to the list of ingredients. I served it with the sauce over rice. I found this recipe from Campbells one one of my coupon inserts that came in my Sunday paper.

6 chicken breasts
1 (10.75 oz) cream of chicken soup
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
salt to taste

Place chicken in the bottom of a greased 9" x 13" pan. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over chicken. Cover and bake at 350 for 40 minutes, or until cooked through.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sweet Pork

I was trying to think what to write about this stuff, but nothing even semi clever came to mind. I asked my cute little 9 year old what I should write about it and she said "It's easy, it's delicious and my best friend even likes it. Everyone should try it." So there you have it. My pickiest eater says try it. It is delicious. My entire family loves it and requests it often.

1 (3 to 5 lb) pork roast (I used a shoulder picnic roast)
1 can Coca Cola
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 (4 oz) can diced green chilies
2 cups red enchilada sauce (I used sauce from a packet)

Cook roast with 2/3 of the Coca Cola in a crock pot on high for 4 to 6 hours. Drain liquid and shred pork. Add remaining Coca Cola, brown sugar, green chilies and enchilada sauce to the shredded pork. Cook on low for an additional 1 to 2 hours. Serve in tacos, burritos, salad or quesadillas.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Funeral Potatoes

My mom always scolds me when I call these potatoes "funeral potatoes", but to me, that's what they are. The first time I tried them was at a funeral when I was a kid, and, well, the name just stuck. Mom says I should call them "all occasion potatoes". I guess the name would suit them just fine, since they frequent the dinner table whenever there is a big get together, but I still like calling them funeral potatoes best (probably just to get Mom's knickers in a twist...). After all, I am sure that there is a funeral being held somewhere every time they are made (if not specifically for a funeral).

I will sometimes make up an additional half batch of the sauce to make them extra saucy. YUM!!

1 (24 oz) bag frozen hash browns, slightly thawed
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 pint sour cream
1/3 cup green onions, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Mix soup, butter, sour cream, green onions and 1 cup cheese together. Add hash browns and stir to coat. Pour into a 9" x 13" baking dish. Top with remaining 2 cups cheese. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Corn Pancakes

Here is my third and final pancake recipe. Corn pancakes! One thing that I love about these pancakes, is that the corn meal get softened so you don't break your teeth on an unsuspected, harder than rock, piece of corn meal. Have I ever mentioned that I love pancakes?

½ cup corn meal
½ cup boiling water
½ cup flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 egg
¼ cup butter, melted
½ cup milk

Put corn meal in a mixing bowl and pour the boiling water over the cornmeal, stirring briskly until well blended. Slowly add milk, then remaining ingredients. Beat batter until thoroughly mixed. Cook over medium heat.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Perfect Pancakes

Pancakes are my all time favorite breakfast food. If it were up to me, I would make them every single day. For some reason, the kids don't seem to think that they want to eat pancakes every day, and, well, I just can't eat the entire batch all by myself (shouldn't anyway...). I think something must be wrong with them to not want pancakes every day. Especially when Mom makes them.

One of the things I love about this recipe is that you make up a huge bowl of the mix, and then mix up a batch anytime with no effort. If I remember right, I got the recipe from an old (okay, I'll admit it, antique is a more appropriate word) Make A Mix cookbook.

1 1/2 cups pancake mix - recipe below
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 cup water
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Combine and mix well. Let stand for 5 minutes. Cook in hot pan.

Pancake Mix

10 cups flour
2 1/2 cups powdered milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup baking powder
1 tablespoons salt

Combine all ingredients and blend well. Store in air tight container for 6 to 8 months. Makes 13 cups.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Corn Pop Treats

This stuff should seriously come with a big, fat (pun intended) warning! Highly Addictive!! After just one bite, some strange force takes over and controls the hand to mouth action. Try as I may, the force is always stronger than any will I posses. The force always stays strong until the bowl is gone, or close to it. I started making 1/2 batches, then 1/4 batches, trying with all my might to overcome "the force", but it had me making more every night. You might just as well make the full (or double) batch and resign yourself to the sweet, salty, buttery goodness.

Because of the aforementioned issue I have, I usually only make this around the holidays when there are lots, and lots of people around to help me eat it. The other times that I have been know to make it, is when I have been prego and baby wants it. There is just no use in arguing with baby. Baby is just as strong, if not stronger than the force. Sometimes I feel like a puppet on a string, just doing what I am made to do.

1 1/3 cups sugar
1 cup butter
1/3 cup corn syrup

Cook to soft ball stage or 240. Stir in:
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon coconut extract

Pour over:
1/2 bag (about 17 cups) corn pops (not the cereal, found in the chip isle).

Sprinkle with:
1 (4 ounce) bag slivered almonds
1 cup shredded coconut.

Mix well. Spread onto a greased cookie sheet to cool. Store in an air tight container.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sweet Corn Bread

Mmmmm. I love me some corn bread! Right after I had my second baby, a friend brought me some muffins made from this recipe. I fell in love instantly and I think I ate over half the batch all by myself! Thank goodness I have learned a little self control since then (or maybe it is called 5 kids....things disappear a lot faster now). Luckily, she was nice enough to share the recipe with me - no sweet talk or bribes needed. Gotta love that kind of friend! I love to eat this corn bread with honey, or butter and powdered sugar.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup corn meal
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups milk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

Preheat oven to 350. Grease or paper line 18 to 20 muffin cups. Combine flour, sugar, corn meal, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Combine milk, eggs, vegetable oil and butter in a small bowl and mix well. Add to flour mixture and stir just until blended. Pour into prepared muffin cups, filling 2/3 full. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on wire racks in pan for 5 minutes. Remove muffins from tins and cool slightly. Serve warm. For corn bread pour batter into greased 8 inch square baking pan. Bake to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Black Bean and Pumpkin Chili

So, I have been on a little bit of a healthy food kick lately. I am determined to loose this baby weight by Thanksgiving (okay, I will be honest for a minute. There is no way in the hot place that will be happening, but it is a nice thought. It will most likely hang around until I stop nursing. It will stay like flies on honey, white on rice, or, fat on me). You see, the problem with healthy food is, it tends to be a bit boring. I have been drinking green smoothies. Yes, green in color - think Shrek. Even has stuff in it that only Shrek should be eating. I would share a recipe, but honestly, I just throw a little of this weed, and a little of that weed in it (the stuff really looks like weeds - the stuff you DON'T want in your garden - dandelion greens....), add a little fruit and Voila! I even got my sweet hubby to try it. He admited that it was quite tasty, just as long as he closes his eyes while he drinks it. My 2 and 4 year olds love it too. They taste just like normal smoothies, but the color is a bit unnerving.

Apparently I got off on a bit of a, something.... Anyway, this chili was actually quite tasty. I loved the flavor the red pepper gave it. My 11 year old and hubby loved it. The girls didn't say much (I skipped out on dinner with the family for Bunko), but I was really impressed. I adapted this recipe from one I found at the Taste of Home site.

Please excuse the picture. It was taken after my sweet little 2 year old got hold of a wisk. What a great little helper I have. I also couldn't figure out how to get my camera to work. I don't seem to get along with much that is hi tech.....

1 medium onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups chicken broth
2 (15 oz) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
2 (12.5 oz) cans chicken
1 (15 oz) can solid-pack pumpkin
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a large skillet, saute the onion and pepper in oil until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Transfer to a 5-qt. slow cooker; stir in the remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours or until heated through.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I just love soup. It is such a great comfort food. One of the great things about this soup is that you make it in the crock pot. Put everything in in the morning, and enjoy for dinner. This is one of my favorite soups. I love to garnish it with some yummy avocados.

2 cups shredded chicken
1 (4 oz) can diced green chilies
1 can black beans – drained
1 (16 oz) package frozen corn
1 (10 oz) can enchilada sauce (or packet mixed according to directions - I prefer the packet)
1 (32 oz) box chicken broth
1 teaspoon cumin
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ onion, chopped
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 bay leaf

Combine all together in a crock pot and cook on high 3 to 4 hours, or low 6 to 8 hours. Garnish with crushed tortilla chips, shredded cheese, sour cream and/or avocados.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Mummy Pizzas

I know that Halloween has already come and gone, but this is so fun that I had to share it now. My kids all loved to help make these (the 2 year old made sure all the ingredients were good ;)). They are easy, yummy and a lot of fun.

6 English muffins
6 string cheese
1 cup pasta sauce
6 olives

Peel the string cheese in to thin pieces. Break open the English muffins and spread with pasta sauce. Lay the string cheese pieces on the English muffins to look like mummy bandages. Cut the olives in half and place on pizzas for the eyes. Bake at 350 for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Peanut Butter Cup Brownies

Need a way to get rid of some of that Halloween candy you have hanging around? This recipe is the perfect way to use some of it up. My all time favorite desert is brownies. I love them warm, cold, frosted, plain, with ice cream.... You get the idea. :) Yumm!! You just cant go wrong with brownies. Add in some peanut butter cups, and Mmmmmm. My mouth is watering just looking at this delicious picture!!

1 box brownie mix with ingredients to mix
8 fun sized peanut butter cups (or 4 regular sized candy bars)
frosting - optional

Mix brownies according to the box directions for cake like brownies. Quarter the peanut butter cups and add to the batter. Pour into greased baking dish and cook according to box directions. Frost if desired.
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