Monday, April 21, 2014

Cheesy Rice Bake:

We had a TON of leftover, cooked rice the other day, and I knew we would never eat it all before it went bad. I was trying to figure out what to do with it, and there is surprisingly few recipes out there that use cooked rice! Lots that use uncooked rice, but that wasn't going to help me out!
I stumbled across a recipe similar to this one, and decided to try it. I figured my family wouldn't love it, but they would eat it, and at least we wouldn't have to throw out a ton of rice.
I threw it altogether and stuck it in the oven.
Would you believe that my family loved this stuff?!?!!!
I couldn't believe it! It really tasted surprisingly yummy!! We ate almost the entire pan in one meal! I'll definitely be making this again and I hope you'll try it out as well!
3 eggs
1 cup milk
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. dried parsley
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 cup shredded Velveeta cheese (see note)
4 cups cooked rice (see note)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, garlic powder, onion powder, parsley and pepper. Stir in the Velveeta cheese and rice. Mix until well combined.
Pour into a greased, casserole dish.
Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese and bake 10 minutes longer.
-The original recipe called for cheddar cheese, not Velveeta cheese, but I don't like the grainy texture that pre-shredded cheddar cheese gives, so I highly recommend the Velveeta. Make sure it is good and cold, and it should shred fairly easily. I did use the cheddar for on top, because I think it works fine like that, but you can do whatever you want.
-My cooked rice was minute rice, but I don't think it would really matter at all what kind you use, as long as it's cooked!
-You don't need a huge casserole dish, but make sure it's big enough, so that your rice mixture does not come to the top of the pan. It bubbles a little while it's baking, and if your dish is too full, it may boil over!
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Sunday, April 20, 2014

{Happy Easter 2014}


"...And, behold, there was a great earthquake:
for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven,
and came and rolled back the stone from the door,
and sat upon it.
His countenance was like lightning,
and his raiment white as snow:
And for fear of him the keepers did shake,
and became as dead men.
And the angel answered and said...Fear not ye:
for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.
He is not here: for he is risen, as he said..."
Matthew 28: 2-6

Hope everyone has a wonderful day!!!!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Sweet Potato & Apple Gratin:

 I think I've said it before, but I'm not a huge fan of sweet potatoes. They are like white chocolate to me. I love the idea of them, and so I just keep trying them, thinking that I might eventually like them! Well, it hasn't happened with white chocolate yet, but it worked with this sweet potato dish at least! It was very different from anything I've ever had, and I really did like it! I fixed it for Valentines Day, and my whole family really liked it!
Hope you give it a try!
3 tblsp. butter, divided
1 small onion, finely diced
3 tblsp. cornstarch
2 cups chicken broth
dash of salt and pepper
2 & 1/2 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled (about 4 medium)
2 gala or golden delicious apples, peeled, quartered and cored
1 cup gingersnap cookie crumbs (click HERE for my recipe)
In a medium sauce pan, melt 2 tblsp. butter. Add onion; cook and stir for 6-7 minutes or until golden brown. Whisk in cornstarch, salt and pepper. Gradually pour in broth and whisk until smooth. Simmer until it reaches a boil and thickens slightly. Set aside.
Using and food processor with a slicing blade, or a mandolin slicer, thinly slice the potatoes and apples. In a greased baking dish, layer half of the potatoes and all of the apples. Top with half of the onion sauce. Layer with the rest of the potatoes and finish with the remaining sauce.
Cover tightly with foil, and bake at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes or until potatoes are tender with poked with a fork. In a small bowl, melt the remaining 1 tblsp. butter. Add cookie crumbs and mix until well combined. Sprinkle over potatoes and bake for 25 minutes more.
-The original recipe said that you could bake it the first time, let it cool and keep it in your fridge for a day or two. Set it out for an hour, top with cookie crumbs and bake until warm through. I did not try this, so I don't know how well it does or doesn't work, but I just wanted to let you know, incase anyone wants to try it!
-We served it with Ham, but I'm sure any Meat main dish would go well.
-The original recipe I think said it served 6-8, but I will half the recipe the next time I make it for my family! It really makes a lot!!

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Monday, April 7, 2014

Cracker Jacks:

My mom used to make this for special occasions and it was the second thing she taught me and my sister how to make! It always reminds me of Thanksgiving at grandma's house! I hate to brag, but I feel like you need to know, it tastes 10 times better than what you buy in that box at the store! I honestly didn't know those even existed until a several years ago. I tried some, and after one bite, I knew why! Now, I'm not talking about Caramel Corn like you get in the tins at Christmas time! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE all three flavors in those tins!!
But still, this recipe is so good, and really so easy!
I actually thought I already had it on the blog, but I went to make some for a movie night with some friends last week, and I realized I hadn't posted it!
I hope you try it out and enjoy it as much as we do!
2 cups brown sugar
2 sticks butter
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
6 quarts popped, popcorn
Place popcorn in a very large bowl and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, bring sugar, butter and corn syrup to a boil; boil and stir (with a whisk is best) for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in baking soda and vanilla (see note).
Pour the sauce over the popcorn, and gently stir until evenly coated.
Pour into a large, greased pan (see note).
Bake at 200 degrees for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Flip out onto a counter top or table top and spread out evenly to cool, breaking larger chunks into smaller ones.
Let cool completely and store in an airtight container.
-Be careful when you stir in the baking soda and vanilla, because it will bubble up! It scares me every time!  
-A foil pan works fabulous for this!
-If we make a bunch of this, which we normally do, we like to store it in one of those popcorn tins!
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Monday, March 31, 2014

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes:

 I love just about anything Lemon!
Okay, really I love just about anything food, but lemon is definitely my favorite flavor! At the moment!!!!
Anyways, Lemon Meringue Pie is my favorite lemon dessert, but it does take a while to make!
These cupcakes don't take the place of a real lemon meringue pie, but it definitely helps! The cake is so soft and fluffy, and they were surprisingly easy to make! If you've never made meringue before, don't worry! It's super easy!!
If you're a lemon lover, I hope you give this recipe a try!
6 tblsp. butter, room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup plain yogurt
3 tblsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. lemon extract
1 & 1/3 cups flour
1 tsp. xanthan gum
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 egg whites
1/3 cup sugar
In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add yogurt, lemon juice and lemon extract. Mix well. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, xanthan gum, baking powder and baking soda. Add to creamed mixture and mix until combined. Fill paper-lined muffin cups 3/4 full (I use an ice cream scoop). Bake at 350 degrees for 17-19 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees.
Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, beat egg whites on high until soft peaks form (this is where, using the back of a spoon, you can pull up on the meringue, and a peak forms and then gently falls). Gradually add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high until sugar is dissolved and stiff, glossy peaks form (this is where, using the back of a spoon, you can pull up on the meringue and a peak forms and holds it's shape and the meringue is glossy). Spread onto the tops of the cupcakes. Return to the oven and bake 6-8 minutes longer, or until meringue is slightly golden brown. Remove to wire rack to cool slightly before serving!
-This is NOT a make ahead recipe. The cake and meringue are the very best when they are still slightly warm or at least room temperature.  
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Monday, March 24, 2014

Bubble-Up Pizza:

My older sister used to make Bubble-Up Pizza all the time and we all loved it! Well, everyone except for mom! I have tried several different ways to make it gluten-free and it just never worked out right. Until, I have found "wonder bread"!!! The bread dough from my Monkey Bread recipe has again been put to good use and it worked perfectly for this make-over Bubble-Up Pizza! We all loved it (even mom!) and I hope you'll give it a try!  
The Dough Part:
2 & 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
3 tsp. xanthan gum
1 tblsp. Rapid Rise yeast
3 tblsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup instant vanilla pudding mix (dry)
1 tsp. baking powder
4 tblsp. butter
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup milk
1 egg, room temperature
1 tsp. cider vinegar
2 tblsp. canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla
The Pizza Part:
1 & 1/2 cups pizza sauce
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 cup quartered pepperoni slices
2 & 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1. Lightly spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray; set aside.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix all the dry ingredients from the "dough" list, until well combined. Set aside.
3. Put water and butter in a glass measuring cup and microwave just until the butter has melted. Remove from microwave and stir. Add milk, stir. Add egg, cider vinegar, oil and vanilla; whisk to combine.
4. With the stand mixer running (using the paddle attachment), pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Scrap down the bowl if you need to. Allow to mix on medium speed for 3 minutes.
5. Mix together the pizza sauce, garlic, pepperoni and 1 & 1/2 cups cheese in a large, preferably rectangle container (this allows the dough to be spread out more, rather than stacked on top each other, which makes them squish together, and you don't really want that.).
6. Form the dough into 3/4″ balls (I just used a cookie scoop) and place in the container. Stir very gently (so you don't tear the balls apart) until they are evenly coated in the sauce.
7. Pour gently into the prepared pan and spread evenly.
8. If you want to bake it now, you may go ahead and follow the remaining steps. You can also cover the dish with it's lid or plastic wrap, and place it in the refrigerator over-night or until you are ready to bake it. Follow the remaining steps.
9. Allow the dough to rise for 20-30 minutes in a warm, draft-free place, covering the dish with a clean dish towel.
10. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 40-45 minutes or until dough is no longer "doughy" when a ball of dough is pulled apart. Carefully remove from the oven.
12. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese and return to the oven for 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve and Enjoy!
-The Rapid Rise Yeast is very important here. Don't use Active Dry, or it will not rise at all. 
-Sometimes we like to prepare this up to step 8 earlier in the day, then later in the afternoon/evening continue with the remaining steps. This way, a lot of the mess and time is out of the way!
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Monday, March 17, 2014

German Chocolate Cookies:

 I love German Chocolate Cake, but not everyone in my family does, so to take all that time to make a huge cake, that only 3 people will eat, seems kind of pointless. When I stumbled across this recipe, I knew I had to try it!!! They were really easy and actually didn't take that long to make at all! And may I just say, they are amazing!! I loved them!!
I hope you give them a try!
2 sticks butter, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
2 & 1/4 cup flour
1 & 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
1/2 cup baking cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
Dash of salt
In a mixer, cream together butter, sugars, vanilla and eggs. In medium bowl, whisk together flour, xanthan gum, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Gradually add dry ingredients into butter mixture. Mix until well combined. Drop onto greased cookie sheets (I use a cookie scoop). Bake at 375 degrees for 810 minutes. Remove to wire rack to cool.  
1 can evaporated milk
1 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
1 stick butter
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
1 cup pecans, chopped
In a large saucepan, whisk together milk, sugar, egg yolks, butter and vanilla over medium heat.
Stir until well combined and thickened (this could take anywhere between 3 and 12 minutes, depending on your stove). Once thickened, remove from heat and stir in coconut and pecans. Allow to cool, just until thick enough to spread, stirring often. Place one tablespoonful onto top of each cookie and slightly spread it out. Top with drizzle.
1/4 cup chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate)
1 tblsp. butter
Place chocolate and butter in a microwave safe dish. Heat at 15 second intervals, stirring after each, until chocolate is melted and smooth. Drizzle over cookies, using a fork.
-This made about 50 cookies!   
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Monday, March 10, 2014

Cheesy Sloppy-Joe Fries:

 If you love Chili-Cheese fries, then you will probably like this!
It's just a new twist, and it actually turned out super good! And was kind of fun as well!!
Don't go by the picture! It was really yummy, even though it doesn't look like it!!
The non-sloppy-joe loving people in my family, actually really like this!!
1 batch Sloppy-Joes (Click HERE for my recipe)
1 & 1/2 bags of original French Fries
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Make Sloppy-Joes according to directions, and keep warm.
Prepare French Fries according to package directions (we bake them, but you could fry them if that's your thing). They taste the best in this dish, if they are on the crispy side.
To serve, place some fries on a serving plate, top with sloppy-joes and cheese! Serve!!
-The amounts of these things are what I would fix for my family. You may want more or less, depending on how many people you are feeding.
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Thursday, March 6, 2014

My Recipe Magic:

Six Sisters Stuff is one of my favorite websites/blogs!
It's run, obviously, by six sisters and I've gotten so many great recipes from there!
Last year, they started a "sister" website called My Recipe Magic. I've just added a link to the right of my blog, in case you haven't seen it. You may have already heard of this site, but in case you haven't, I wanted to introduce you!
If you click on the link I have provided on the side of my blog, it will take you to my page on the site and all of the recipes I have on there so far (not too many, but I'm working at getting them all up there!). Anyway, what's great about this, is you can click on the "Nutrition" tab, and it will show you number of servings, calories, and more!
Plus, you can click on the "search by ingredient" tab at the top of the page, and here you can search by a certain ingredient, number of calories, food allergies, and SO much more!
It's a fabulous site and I hope you check it out!
And while you're there, check out all the other great recipes that lots of others have added as well!
Again, it's a fairly new site, and they are constantly updating and making it better and better every day, so make sure to check back often! Plus, be sure to check out my page often as well, because I'm adding more and more of my recipes, as I get the chance!
Please feel free to Pin any and all of my recipes from here and My recipe Magic, as well!
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Monday, March 3, 2014

Slow-cooker Italian Pork Roast:

Here's another super easy, yet different recipe for a pork roast. I'm not a huge fan of pork, but I LOVE anything with Italian seasoning! It turned out so good and my whole family loved it! Hope you give it a try!! Don't judge it by the picture! It's incredibly hard to take a picture of shredded meat!!! But trust me, it tasted great!!
3 lb. Pork Roast
1 pkg. dry Italian dressing mix
1/2 of a 12 oz. jar of hot banana pepper rings
2 cups water
2 tblsp. Zesty Italian dressing
Place the pork in a slow-cooker. Add the remaining ingredients (using half the peppers in the jar as well as half of the juice). Cook on low for 8-10 hours. Shred with two forks. Serve as is or on buns if you desire!
-Our roast was frozen when we put it in the crock pot. We left it in all night, shredded it in the morning, and left it on low or warm until we ate it at lunch time. I will warn you, though, it doesn't smell that fabulous while it's cooking during the night!!! But, it tasted great!!! 
-I LOVE those banana peppers, but most of my family does not! So, we only used the juice of the peppers. It doesn't make the dish spicy at all, but it adds such great flavor, you don't want to leave it out. You could still serve it with peppers for whoever likes them, though!
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