Sunday, March 28, 2010

My Girl Paula: Apple Raisin Muffins

This week's My Girl Paula was Spring Time - make something with fresh fruit or vegetable. I spotted the Apple Raisin Muffins in the The Lady & Sons II cookbook and have been thinking about making them. I am so glad I did....they are awesomely delicious! Moist, flavorful. The recipe calls to make miniature muffins, but I made regular size muffins. It makes 2 dozen. I really recommend them. If you like raisins, you get one in every bite!


2 cups water
2 cups sugar
2 cups grated apples (about 3 apples)
2 cups raisins
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg (I used 1 1/2 tsp ground)
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 tsp baking soda
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the water, sugar, apples, raisins, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and cool completely.

In a large bowl, stir the nuts and baking soda into the flour. Add the cooled mixture to the bowl, and stir until blended. Fill greased miniature muffin tins (I used regular size with the cupcake liners) with batter to the top. Bake for 15 minutes.

Yields: about 5 dozen mini muffins or 2 dozen regular muffins

Friday, March 26, 2010

Cookie Carnival: Walnut Mint Bars and My 200th Post!

Yay! It's my 200th post to this blog!!!!

The recipe for this month's Cookie Carnival was Hershey's Walnut Mint Bars. I was really excited. My two favorite dessert flavors together is chocolate and mint. These were really good. Not my favorite, but I enjoyed them. My mom LOVED them! I took them to myy parents' house last night for dessert. She told me today again how much she loved them.

I was too lazy to make the drizzle; I had all the dishes done and didn't feel like washing any more! So...I used Hershey's chocolate syrup. Worked great!

1/2 cup (1 stick), plus 2 T margarine, divided
1 1/2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs (about 45 wafers, crushed)
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup Hershey's cocoa
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 T cornstarch
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp peppermint extract or 1 T green creme de menthe
Green food color (optional)
Chocolate Drizzle (recipe follows)


1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Melt 1/2 cup margarine in medium saucepan; stir in the crumbs, walnuts, sugar and cocoa. Press firmly on bottom of ungreased 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking pan.

2. Beat cream cheese, remaining 2 T margarine and cornstarch in small bowl until fluffy. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk then egg, peppermint extract and food color, if desired. Pour evenly into prepared pan.

3. Bake 25 minutes or until center is set. Cool. Drizzle Chocolate Drizzle over top. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. Cut into bars. Store covered in refrigerator.

CHOCOLATE DRIZZLE: Melt 1 cup Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate Chips or Hershey's Semi=Sween Chocolate Chips with 1 1/2 tsp shortening (do not use butter, margarine or oil).

The base of the dessert

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Corned Beef Hash

My son insisted on having corned beef hash for St. Patrick's Day. Having never made it before, I told him to look up the recipe. He found a recipe on Food. Seemed easy enough. I just got corned beef from the deli and made sandwiches with the rest. I made 1/2 recipe since it was just the two of us. It was very good and easy to make.


2-3 T butter
2 cups cooked corned beef, finely chopped
3 cups cooked, chopped potatoes
2 T minced onion
2 T chopped parsley, optional
salt, pepper and brown gravy


Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add corned beef, potatoes and onion; spread evenly in the skillet. Brown on one side; turn with a spatula and brown the other side. Continue turning until most of the meat and potatoes are well-browned. Drain off excess fat and moisten with 3-4 T of brown gravy or beef gravy. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with parsley, if desired.

Irish Soda Bread Muffins

This is my third recipe from the Taste of Home Holiday Irish Food & Fun magazine. I have never had Irish soda bread. My son, on his dad's side, is part Irish so he takes St. Patty's Day serious. I didn't want to mess with yeast (no time, really). When I found this recipes, I decided to try it. They were good muffins. A mixture between rye bread and a sweet raisin bread. Made a good side dish to the soup.


2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup, plus 1 T sugar, divided
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. caraway seeds
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 dried currents or raisins


In a large bowl, combine the flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda and caraway seeds. In another bowl, beat the egg, buttermilk, butter and oil. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in raisins.

Fill greased muffin cups 3/4 full. Sprinkle with remaining sugar. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to wire rack. Serve warm.

Yield: 1 dozen

Best Ever Potato Soup

This is another recipe from Taste of Home Holiday Irish Food & Fun book. I made dinner on St. Patrick's Day and everything was pretty much all Irish related. This soup was so delicious. My son said it was his favorite soup. It was easy to prepare and one I will make over and over. I added a few more ounces of cheese. Jimmy helped me prepare the dish - cubed the potatoes and fried the bacon.


6 bacon strips, diced
3 cups cubed peeled potatoes
1 can (14.5 oz) chicken broth
1 small carrot, grated
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 T dried parsley flakes
1/2 tsp each celery seed, salt and pepper
3 T all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
8 oz Process cheese (Velveeta), cubed
2 green onions, thinly sliced, optional


In a large saucepan, cook bacon until crisp; drain. Add potatoes, broth, carrot, onion, parsley, celery seed, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.

Combine flour and milk until smooth; add to soup. Bring to a boil; boil and stir for 2 minutes. Add cheese; stir until cheese is melted and the soup is heated through. Garnish with green onions, if desired.

Yield: 8 servings (2 quarts)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

St, Patrick's Day Cupcakes

I found this recipe from the Taste of Home Holiday Irish Food & Fun book. They sounded and good and thought perfect for St. Patty's Day.

They are very easy to make and really yummy with our without the frosting (of course, the frosting is delicious by itself, too!).


1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 pkg (3.4 oz) instant pistachio pudding mix
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup cream cheese frosting (or more)
green sprinkles and/or chocolate jimmies


In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, pudding mix, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, combine the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients until combined. Fold in chocolate chips.

Fill paper lined muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely. Frost and decorate as desired.

Yield: 1 1/2 dozen
before the frosting

Pioneer Woman's Buttermilk Chicken Strips

I found this recipe on Mommy's Kitchen site. This one was another keeper! They were delicious! I'm usually not one for frying food in oil, but I couldn't resist trying these. Boy, am I glad I did. They were so wonderful! Jimmy wants to spice it up next time.


1 1/2 pkg chicken breast tenderloins or strips (about a dozen)
1 1/2-2 cups buttermilk
1 1/2 cups flour
2-3 tsp season salt or spices of your choice


Rinse and dry the chicken. In a bowl, submerge the strips in buttermilk for 15-20 minutes, or longer.
In another bowl, combine the flour and season slt. Mix together; add 1/4-1/2 cup buttermilk into flour mixture and stir lightly as you add it.
Heat about 1 inch oil in a skillet or cast iron skillet on medium low to medium heat. Remove a few of the buttermilk-soaked strips from their bowl and place into the flour mixture. Turn them over to thoroughly coat. Then place them on a plate. Continue coating chicken until all is ready to cook.
When the oil is sufficiently heated (flour should bubble when sprinkled in), begin cooking strips a few at a time. Cook for about a minute or minute and a half on the first side--until you can tell it's getting crispy and golden. Turn them over and finish cooking the other side - about 1 - 1 1/2 minutes or so. Removed them to a baking sheet lined with a cooling rack. Place in the oven on warm while you cookd the remaining strips.
Serve with ketchup, honey, honey mustard, sweet and sour, gravy.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Lasagna Soup

This recipe I received from a friend who just started selling Pampered Chef last year. Our sons have been in Boy Scouts together 7 1/2 years. The whole meal is made in the deep covered baker. It's my second recipe to do in the baker. It sure is easy to do, the meals have been great and clean up simple. My son did not eat too much of it because of the onion.
I'm including the Pampered Chef recipe. This can be done in a skillet on the stove top.


1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2 T tomato paste
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes
3 cups chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1/2 box (8 oz box) fusilli pasta or roninin (uncooked) - I used elbow
dried basil
4 oz ricotta
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/8 tsp salt
pinch of pepper
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1. Place ground beef and onion in Deep Covered Baker. Press garlic with Garlic Press and add to hamburger. Sprinkle oregano and red pepper flakes over garlic and onions.
2. Cover and microwave on high for 4 minutes. Remove from microwave and crumble mixture. Return covered to microwave and microwave an additional 2 minutes, or until hamburger is no longer pink.
3. Removed cooked hamburger mixture and drain well. Set aside.
4. Add tomato paste and diced tomatoes with the juice to Deep Covered Baker. Stir in broth, bay leaves and uncooked pasta. Cover and microwave on high 10-13 minutes, or until pasta is tender.
5. Stir in the basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Return hamburger mixture to liquid in baker. Cover and microwave 1-2 minutes.
6. In small bowl, combine the ricotta, the Parmesan, the 1/8 tsp. of salt, and the pinch of pepper.
7. To serve, place about 1 1/2 T of ricotta mixture in each individual serving bowl, sprinkle with some of the mozzarella and ladle the soup on top. A good "whirl" of the spoon in the bowl will ensure that you get a bit of gooey cheese in every bite.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

My Girl, Paula: Nutty Orange Coffee Cake

This week's My Girl, Paula theme was nuts. I found Nutty Orange Coffee Cake in "The Lady & Sons, too!" cookbook. It sounded really good. It was awesome! My son gave it an 11 out of a scale of 1-10! That's a big compliment!

3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 tsp orange zest
Two 12-oz cans refrigerated buttermilk biscuites (10 count each)
one 8-oz package cream cheese
1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter
1 cups sifted confectioner's sugar
2 T fresh orange juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a small bowl, combine the granulated sugar, pecan, and zest; set aside. Separate the biscuits.
Place about 3/4 tsp cream cheese in the center of each biscuit. Fold each biscuit in half over the cheese, pressing the edges to seal. Dip the biscuits in melted butter, then dredge in the granulated sugar mixture.
Place the biscuits, curved side down, in a single layer in the hollows of a lightly greased 12-cup bundt pan, spacing them evenly (do not stack). Place any remaining biscuits around the tube, filling in any gaps. Drizzle any remaining butter over the biscuits, and sprinkle with any remaining sugar mixture. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until golden brown.
Immediately invert the cake onto a serving platter. Combine the confectioners' sugar and orange juice, stirring well; drizzle glaze over the warm cake. Serve warm.
before glaze - right out of oven.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Caesar Chicken Burgers

This is another recipe from the March/April Taste of Home's Simple & Delicious. It was so yummy and very easy to make. I made it last night for dinner. My son and I loved them.


4 boneless, skinless chicken breat halves (4 oz each)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
4 slices red onion
2 T butter, softened
4 hamburger buns, split
2 cups torn romaine lettuce
1 T grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup creamy Caesar salad dressing, divided


Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Grill on an indoor grill coated with cooking spray for 4-5 minutes or until juices run clear. Grill onion slices for 4-5 minutes or until tender.

Meanwhile, spread butter over cut sides of buns. Place buttered side up on an ungreased baking sheet. Broil 3-4 inches form the heat for 1 minute or unitl golden brown.
Toss romaine with cheese and 1/4 cup dressing; spoon onto bun bottoms. Top with onions, chicken and remaining dressing. Replace bun tops.