Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Pasta Salad

We got this recipe from our friends, the Jorgensens, and I'm loving the colors. :-) It's a new family favorite!

1 pkg rotini pasta
50 pepperoni, halved
1/2 cup parmesan, shredded
2 cups baby spinach
1 bottle Kens Steakhouse Creamy Caesar dressing

Cook rotini according to package directions. Rinse and cool. Toss together with all other ingredients. Serves 12.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Spanish Rice Empanadas

I was looking for a recipe to use up the rest of my green onions in my fridge, so I tried this one out. They're quite good!

1 package (5.6 or 6.8 ounces) Spanish rice and vermicelli mix
1 1/2 cups cubed cooked chicken
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1/4 cup chopped ripe olives
2 packages (15 ounces each) refrigerated pie pastry
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon water

Prepare Spanish rice according to package directions, omitting the butter or oil. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, cheese, onions and olives. Stir in prepared rice. Roll each sheet of pastry into a 12-inch circle; place on greased baking sheets. Spoon rice mixture over half of each circle; spread to within 1 in. of edges. Fold pastry over filling; crimp edges to seal. Beat egg yolk and water; brush over tops. Bake at 400°F for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cut empanadas in half to serve. Serves 8


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

(Another) Cafe Rio Cilantro Ranch Dressing

I think i've tried over a dozen different recipes, but my friend Natalie here in Texas made this tonight and it was by far my favorite!!!1 ranch dressing packet
1 cup mayo
1 cup buttermilk (or just reg. milk)
1/2 bunch cilantro
2 tomatillos
juice of one lime
1/2 clove garlic

Mix in blender!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Pineapple Lime Smoothie

I've seen this a few times and it's been called everything from "Monster Smoothies" to "Popeye Smoothies". I think Pineapple Lime sounds more tropical :) And you really don't taste the spinach at all, it taste like a juice daiquiri!

In a blender put:

4 oz. water
4 oz. white grape juice concentrate
2 heaping cups of ice cubes
2 heaping cups of fresh baby spinach
1 pineapple wedge (see photo below)
2 limes (juice from two limes)

Blend until smooth, and serve immediately. So good, and what an awesome way to get some fresh spinach in huh! Especially for my toddler, or a pregnant lady like me who should be eating WAY more veggies than I am! :)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Whole Wheat Bread (2)

Whole Wheat Bread #1

2 1/2 cups warm water
1 T yeast
1/4 cup honey
1 T salt (you can add a little less)
5-6 cups whole wheat flour

Mix together water and yeast and let sit a few minutes. Add honey and salt and mix. Then add flour, until dough pulls away from sides of the bowl. Knead for at least 6 minutes (until dough is smooth and elastic). Form into loaves, put in greased 9x5 loaf pans, and cover with a damp towel or greased plastic wrap. Let rise for 20-30 minutes, until loaves are level with pan rim. Put loaves into preheated oen at 350 and bake for 30 minutes.

*I'm still working on this "bread making skill". The more often you do it, the better you will get i'm figuring out. You have to learn to recoginze each stage in making the bread, becuase humidity and other outside factors can alter how much flour you add to your recipe each time you make it!

Easy Whole Wheat Bread (recipe #2)

1/3 cup oil (olive or canola)
1/4 - 1/3 cup honey (if using white sugar, double this amount)
2 1/4 t. salt
2 3/4 cup of hot water (120 degrees) * to hot will kill the yeast, to cold will not activate it.

1/4 cup gluten flour
3 3/4 t. yeast
7-8 cups whole wheat flour

Mix together first 4 ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add 3 1/2 cups of flour and stir will. Put in 1 1/2 cups more flour, gluten flour, and yeast. Mix well. (Dough should be wet and easy to mix). Now slowly add remaining 2-3 cups of flour, watching closely for when dough starts to pull away and clean the sides of the bowl. When the dough does this, you have added enough flour. Knead in the mixing bowl for 10 minutes. Shape and put in 2 greased 9x5 pans. Cover and let rise. Bake 350 for 30 mins.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

No Bake Cookies

This was one of my favorite "Sunday cookies" to make- easy enough for a kid to do and no waiting for them to bake in the oven!!! (i've also seen them called "lunch box cookies")

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
3 Tablespoons cocoa

Bring these 4 ingredients to a boil in a saucepan. Remove from the heat and stir in:

1/2 cup Peanut Butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups oats
(you can also add coconut- but my husbands not a fan :)

Drop by rounded teaspoon on to wax paper, and they will harden as they cool!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole

1 (2 lb. pkg.) frozen hash browns
1 lb. bacon (or sausage if you prefer)
1 sm. Onion, diced
5 eggs
½ cup milk
½ tsp. onion powder
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
Salt & pepper
12 oz. shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 2 qt. baking dish. Place hash browns in baking dish.

Heat skillet over medium heat, cut bacon into small pieces and crisp. Drain and blot. Drain majority of grease from pan and add onion to pan & sauté. Add onions to bacon mixture. Meanwhile, whisk together eggs, milk, onion powder, garlic powder, salt & pepper and pour over potatoes.

Layer ½ cheese, all the bacon mixture, and then the remaining cheese. Cover with foil.

Bake for 30-45 minutes. Remove cover; bake until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

(I only baked mine for 45 minutes and it was completely done, so I never baked it without the foil on top. Ovens probably vary.)


Friday, March 5, 2010

Cafe Rio Sweet Pork

This is seriously the best pulled pork I have ever had.

6 lbs of pork
16 oz. can of salsa
1 can of coke (I used Dr. Pepper and it was amazing)
2 cups of brown sugar

Put the pork in the crockpot and fill halfway with water. Cook on high for 5 hours. Then dump out the water and shred the pork. Add the salsa, coke, and brown sugar and stir it around a bit to it all seems evenly dispersed. Cook for three more hours on high.

Then you can throw it into some burritos or even eat it plain.

I know it takes a long time but it's so easy to do! (and definately worth the wait)

I cut this recipe in half and it fed 5 people.


Monday, February 15, 2010

Party Punch

I got this recipe from and loved it! It's tangy and slushy...perfect for parties.

1 1/2 small packages fruit flavored gelatin mix
1-2 cups white sugar
6 1/2 cups boiling water
1 (46 fl. oz.) can pineapple juice
8 oz. bottle lemon juice concentrate
1 (2 liter) bottle ginger ale, chilled

In a large bowl, combine gelatin and sugar. Stir in boiling water until mixture is dissolved. Stir in pineapple juice and lemon juice concentrate. Divide into 2 containers and freeze until solid. To serve, place gelatin mixture in punchbowl, and chop into pieces. Pour in ginger ale. Serves 20.

Strawberry Fruit Dip

This dip is always a hit at parties and potlucks...

1 carton (8 oz) spreadable strawberry cream cheese
1 carton (8 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 jar (7 oz) marshmallow creme

In mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Fold in the whipped topping and marshmallow creme. Cover and refrigerate until serving. Yield: 4 cups