Thursday, December 31, 2009

Taco Snacks

This is another family favorite recipe.  My mom made these for my dad's teachers one year and got requests for them every year after that. They are good and a little bit different.
Taco Snacks
1-8 oz. package cream cheese
1 cup sour cream
1 can green chiles
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 can black olives chopped (or 1/2 cup)
package of flour tortillas
Mix together and spread on tortilla.  Leave a little room on the tortilla because the stuffing moves when rolled.

Roll up the long way.

Wrap individually in plastic wrap.

Refrigerate.  Then cut and serve.

This recipe used six burrito size tortillas.
(The picture only show one cut tortilla roll )

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Easy Ranch Roast Beef

This is a simple and delicious roast.  It has great flavor. The original recipe has it cooked in the crock pot.  This time I used my roaster pan and baked it.  I had some guest for dinner and they kept saying how good the meat was.

Easy Ranch Roast Beef
1 package brown gravy mix
1 package Italian Dressing mix
1 package ranch dressing mix.
2 cups water (sometimes I add more depending on the size of my roast).
Place roast in the bottom of crock pot or roaster.
Mix seasoning mixes together and pour over roast.  Pour water around the roast. Cook on low for 4-6 hours or until meat is done.  Or bake at 300 degrees for 4 hours. (Amount of time depends on the size of roast.)
* If you want to cut down on the sodium, use 1/2 package of ranch.
*The broth made excellent gravy.  I actually skimmed the fat off the unused broth and froze it for later use.

This recipe is linked with Crock Pot Wednesdays over at Dining With Debbie.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Mom's Seven Layer Bean Dip

This is an all time family favorite, especially around the holidays.  This recipe came from my mom who is the real pro at making this dip. 

Mom's Seven Layer Bean Dip
1 can refried beans
1 1/2 cup guacamole (one small carton)
1 cup sour cream
1 package dry taco seasoning mix
1/2 cup Miracle Whip or mayonaise
small onion, chopped
grated cheese
chopped tomatoes
chopped olives
tortilla chips
1st Layer: Spread the refried beans on the bottom of tray.

2nd Layer: Spread the guacamole over top of beans.

3rd Layer: Mix the sour cream, Miracle Whip and taco seasoning together and spread over guacamole.
4th Layer: Sprinkle chopped onions on top of sour cream mixture.

5th Layer: Cover with the desired amount of shredded cheddar cheese.

6th and 7th Layer: Sprinkle the chopped tomatoes and olives on top.

Serve or wrap and place in the fridge for a few hours. (this allows the flavors to mix a little better).
Break open the chips and Enjoy!!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. I found myself cooking alot and I am excited to share with you, but I guess it is finally time to TRY to get myself organized again.  First beginning with a weekly menu.  The week goes so much better when I accomplish that. 

This Week's Menu:
Monday: Mini-Cheese Stuffed Meatloaves
Tuesday: Mexican Chicken
Wednesday: Chicken Pasta Salad
Thursday: Tomato Basil Soup (from the freezer)
Friday: Turkey
Saturday: Leftover Buffet
Sunday: Turkey Tetrazzini

Check out other menus at Menu Plan Monday.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!!


Just a quick note to say
Happy Holidays
to all my
wonderful family, friends and blogging buddies.  
 I wish you good food, good times,
 great company,
numerous blessings
 and 
most of all
may the 
spirit of the
Christmas season
warm your heart all year long.
Thank you for touching my life this past year.
MERRY CHRISTMAS!!
Tiffanee

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Fudge Meltaways

Before I start with another holiday treat. I must tell you about a new recipe I tried last night  that I found over at Scrumdiddlyumptious called Beans and Rice.  It was simple, delicious and the whole family loved it.  It is now a new addition to our dinner rotation.  Thanks Emily!
Now on to the sweets.  I received this recipe a few years ago at a cookie swap party. They are easy, but take a little time.  Well worth it though. 

Fudge Meltaways
1/2 cup butter
1 square unsweetened chocolate or 3 Tbs. cocoa and 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil.
Melt in a saucepan and the blend in:
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg, beaten
1 cup coconut
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
Mix thoroughly and press into a 9x9 or similar pan (I used a 8x11)

Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.
Cool.
Filling:
1/2 cup butter
1 Tbsp. milk
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla.
Mix together and spread over crumb mixture. Chill.

Melt 1 cup chocolate chips in the microwave. Pour over top of the chilled mixture and spread evenly.

Chill again. Cut into squares before it is completely firm.  Store in the refrigerator.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Coconut-Cranberry Chews

This past weekend was a realy cookie weekend.  My daughters both were invited to a cookie swap and had to have 7 1/2 dozen each.  So for the first cookie I made our family all time favorite:
Kody's Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies. I replaced the chocolate chips with M&Ms.
Then I made another favorite:
Coconut-Cranberry Chews
1 1/2 cup butter -softened
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
3 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup dried cranberrries ( this time I used Craisins)
1 1/2 cup coconut
Beat butter, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Beat in egg until well blended. Mix in flour, baking powder and salt.  Then add cranberries and coconut. Beat on low speed until dough comes together.  (dough will be crumbly- if too crumbly it needs to be mixed longer.)  Shape dough into one inch balls and place 2 inches apart. (I used the cookie scoop.) Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. You want the edges to just begin to turn brown. Let cool a few minutes on the cookie sheet before taking off to cool.
*you can also add 1 Tbsp. grated orange peel and or 3/4 cup more dried cranberries.
Then imagine how I felt when I saw this in my kitchen:
Three sixteen year old boys making more cookies for a cookie cook-off. I must admit I was a little nervous when I left to get them some pizza.  It all turned out well and they really did not leave me much of a mess.  They took the above recipe and substituted Heath Toffee Chips in place of the dried cranberries.  They turned out pretty good.  To their disappointment they were beat out by a peanut butter kiss variety (the kind they talked about making). I am impressed that they made them all by themselves and did not just use the ones I had leftover from the girls.

Check out some great holiday recipes at Tempt My Tummy Tuesday and Tuesdays at the Table.

Monday, December 21, 2009

White Chocolate Popcorn Revisited

I posted this recipe almost one year ago and is one of my favorite Christmas recipes. I am excited to today finally have a picture to add. (before my family ate it all before I could take one.)  It is a little different than the usual popcorn recipe.  This year I add a new addition: Fritos, not knowing what the results might be and  I LOVE IT!! It adds a little bit more salty to the sweet.  I am excited to finally have a picture to add to the post.

You can find the addicting recipe here:

This recipe is linked with the Merry Munchies Event!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

I love this recipe.  It is one of those that you cannot quit eating it tastes that good.  The girls and I ate first last night.  I had to physically stop them from eating so I could save some for my husband and son.  Needless to say my son did not get any.  I needed something quick and so I used the meatballs I had previously frozen.  Cooked some rice and voila a quick delicious meal. Oh, and I did add a veggie.
*I know I should be using brown rice but still can't get the family to eat it.  I try to sneak it in once in awhile by doing half white and half brown. I guess my excuse today was I was too tired to even think about it!!

Sweet and Sour Meatballs
Warm up desired amount of frozen meatballs in a pan or make fresh ones. You can find my meatball recipe here. (I did throw in a few meatballs that I had previously bought.  They are the lighter colored ones.) 
 Sauce
1- 8 oz. can of pineapple tidbits (use tidbits and the juice)
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/4 cup white vinegar
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
Mix water and cornstarch together. Then add the other ingredients into the pan. Cook on medium heat, until the sauce thickens. Pour sauce over meatballs and heat through.  Serve over rice. 

*Usually I double the sauce.
*I accidently bought crushed pineapple this time.  It turned out just fine. In fact I think I liked it better.  Sometimes my family complains about too much pineapple. 

Check out Foodie Friday for some other great recipes. 

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Oriental Chicken Salad


Oriental Chicken Salad
2 cups cooked chicken, diced
4 cups shredded cabbage
1 package Ramen noodles; chicken flavored: break noodles into small pieces, set the flavor packet aside.
2-4 green onions or 1/4 cup diced onion
1/4 cup sliced almonds

Dressing
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup oil
2 1/2 Tbs. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
flavor packet from Ramen Noodles
Mix together until everything is dissolved.   Pour dressing over salad just before serving.

I use one package of cold slaw mix.  I then double all the other ingredients.  When serving this to my family I serve the dressing on the side. That way I can have leftovers; otherwise everything will be too soggy.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Baked Beef Stew

This is an old family favorite recipe. It came from my grandmother's brother. I know it is not officially a crock pot meal, but it is easy and a great one for a day when you need something to just fix and forget.  You could cook it in the crock pot if you like.   You can dice all your veggies and mix it together the night before. Then all you have to do is throw it in the oven.  This is what my meat/potato-loving husband considers the perfect soup.


Baked Beef Soup
1 lb. potatoes or 3 large; peel and diced.
3 carrots; diced
1 cup celery, diced
1 medium onion; chopped fine
1- 1 1/2 lbs. stew meat
1 can  stewed or diced tomates (14 oz)
1 cup water
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 Tbsp. Tapioca
Place everything into a roaster. Mix.

Cover and bake at 250 degrees for 5 hours.

This is one recipe you can really make your own adding more or less of a certain veggie.  I like to add 1 cup more celery.  The original recipe does not call for any water.  I do not like my stew to be really thick so I add 1 cup of water.  If I find it is still too thick after cooking I will add a bit more water or even some more tomatoes.  I also do not add the Tapioca each time and it turns out fine.

Check out some great crock pot recipes at  Crockpot Wednesdays over at Dining With Debbie.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Caramel Infused Brownies

One night I was trying to come up with a little twist to a normal brownie.  This is what I came up with. 
They did not last very long. 

Caramel Infused Brownies
1 box brownie mix
Make as directed. 
Pour 1/2 the batter into the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
Remove from oven.
Caramel Sauce
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
1 tsp. vanilla

Place all ingredients in a saucepan and cook on medium-high heat. Stir constantly until melted. Bring to a boil.  Boil for 3 minutes.  Take off heat let cool for 5 minutes.  Pour over top of the brownie layer.

Sprinkle on top of caramel layer:
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 cup chocolate chips

Spread the remaining brownie batter over top.  I dropped it by spoonfuls and then spread it all over the top.
Bake for 20 minutes.




Check out other delicious recipes at Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays and Tuesdays at the Table.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Slacker, The Salad Fiasco and a School Project

The Salad Fiasco
Saturday, my husband and I actually went on what I would consider a date (a rare occasion).  A lttle background so you understand where I am going with this story. He is a huge meat and potatoes man.  So we sit down at the restaurant and discuss what we are going to order.  Note: I am starving!! I had not eaten since breakfast and it is now 6:30 pm. (it was a busy day.)  I decided I am giong to order the small counrty fried steak.  He suggests I order the large version because it is only a dollar more and then I will have leftovers to take home.  Seems like a great idea.  The waitress comes to take our order. I order the LARGE country fried steak and he orders a SMALL salad.  I am shocked.  This man does not believe in salad as a meal, not to mention he just made me look like a PIG!! When I brought this to his attention he thought it was incredibly funny.  He laughed so hard I thought he was going to fall out of his chair.  It turns out that the laugh would come back to bite him. When the food came out I could tell he was very disappointed.  He tossed  the salad about, picked at it and dipped his fork into MY potatoes every once in awhile.  So finally, I just traded him plates.  He was much happier then and I really did enjoy the salad.  I agree it makes for a great story for him to tell and I loved hearing him laugh. I had to share this with you knowing you would understand and maybe get a kick out of it also. 
Friday my daughter brought home a big bag of gingerbread dough. We were to make the pieces for a gingerbread house.  So yesterday was spent trying to get this accomplished.  I have never tried to make a gingerbread house from scratch.  It is a lot of work, my kitchen was trashed and I did not even have to make the dough.   After a couple hours I finally got some finished product to send with her to school. 

Hopefully, I did it right and atleast there are some extra pieces (enough for 2 houses).  By the time this was finished I was so tired, but I am excited to see what my daughter comes up with.  I will have to share the finished product when she brings it home.

So this is my excuse for being a huge SLACKER and not having a menu plan ready for this week.  Luckily there are lots of  people on the ball and you can check out lots of organized menus for this week at Menu Plan Monday.



Update: My son did just fine on his trip, but had to run in the snow.  He ran really well though and placed in the top finishers.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Fudge Bars:The Simplified Version

 I sent my oldest on a plane this morning to Reno, Nevada to run in the National Jr. Olympic for Cross Country.  No adults, just him and another friend will fly over and then meet up with the coach and other members of the team.  Am I a little nervous...I must admit YES!! The good thing is deep in my heart I know he is a smart boy and a good kid, he will be fine.  I just hope he calls (or texts) me to keep me updated and I hope he runs well tomorrow.  So to ease my mind last night....I baked.

  I love Fudge Bars and simple.  This recipe combines the best of both worlds.  


Fudge Bars
1 package yellow or white cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 Cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter
Combine cake mix, eggs and oil. Press 2/3 mix into a 13 x 9 greased pan. 
                                                                  
 Place the butter, milk and chocolate chips in a bowl.  Microwave until everything is melted and smooth. Stir after each minute. (Approximately  2 1/2 minutes.)

Pour over top of cake mixture.









Drop the rest of the cake mixture on top of the chocolate.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes until lightly browned.  Cool before cutting.















This recipe is linked to Recipe Swap  and  Foodie Friday.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Crock Pot BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

I needed something I could throw in the crock pot that the family could beable to eat in shifts.  I also needed something that I actually had all the ingredients on hand.  In desperation, this is what I came up with.

Crock Pot BBQ Sandwiches
1-2 lbs chicken breasts (or other chicken parts)
1 cup BBQ sauce
1 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. balsalmic vinegar
1 Tbsp. brown sugar (optional)
Place chicken in bottom of crockpot.  Pour BBQ sauce over top.  Add rest of ingredients and cook on low for 4-6 hours until chicken is done.  Take chicken out and shred it.  Place back in crockpot and stir.  Serve on toasted hamburger buns.

Check out some great crock pot recipes at Crock Pot Wednesdays.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Dinner Nachos

Every once in a great while my family likes to make nachos for dinner.  This is something I got from my mom. The kids love it because they can put whatever toppings they want on them.  I call them dinner nachos because I try to include as many of the food groups as possible.  So the kids are not just eating chips and cheese.

Dinner Nacho Sauce
1 lb American or Velveeta Cheese
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup salsa (can use more or less)
Cut the cheese up in chunks and place all ingredients in a saucepan. 

Cook on medium heat. Stirring constantly until everything is melted.

Sauce will be a little runny but will thicken quickly as it cools. If it is too thick add a little more milk.  If it is too runny add a little shredded cheese.  Keep on low heat while serving.
You could also make in a crock pot. It would make it easier to keep warm.
Serve over corn chips and top with:
browned hamburger
shredded cheddar cheese
diced onions
sliced olives
diced tomatoes
salsa
and what ever else you like.

I was in a huge hurry when I picked up the cheese and did not want to try to find the Velveeta so I bought a package of American Cheese slices.  Other than individually unwrapping all of them (the kids did this), it worked just as well and I think I liked the flavor better.

Check out other great recipes at Tempt My Tummy Tuesday and Tuesdays at the Table .

Monday, December 7, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

I am relieved to have the Christmas decorations up.  After last year's tree experience and then lately hearing the girls ask several times a day about a tree...I caved and bought a cheap fake one.  I must admit it was easy to put together and the lights are already attached (a bonus for my husband.)  It looks pretty good.  It is much smaller than we normally have.  I kept looking at it yesterday and wondering if I shouldn't have spent more money  for a bigger one or waited to get a real tree.  Then I took a step back and realize it is perfect for this year.  I am really trying to simplify this year and just spend more time enjoying my family and the wonderful Christmas season.  Yes, it is going to mean less stuff, but that does not matter.  So I decided that I am going to let my little tree remind me, each day of what is most important this time of year.

I am finally back to the menu plan. Yay!! I am excited to try a few new recipes this week; the Honey Hoisin Chicken and the Enchilada Casserole.  Both sound delicious, have ingredients I have, and are easy.

This Week's Menu:
Monday: Chicken Parmesan
Tuesday: Baked Stew
Wednesday: Honey Hoisin Chicken
Thursday: Picnic Night
Friday: Enchilada Casserole
Saturday: Ward Christmas Party (need to bring a pancake topping)
Sunday:  Spaghetti

Check out what others are cooking this week at Menu Plan Monday.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Cute Cupcakes & A Cake Mix Twist

This recipe comes from my sister Candice.  She is always coming up with great new ideas.  This year she wanted something fun for her son's birthday party. Luckily she saved a few for us.  She also gave me a new twist for a cake mix.  It makes it moist and gives it a little bit more flavor.

Cake Mix Twist
1 box cake mix
1 box pudding
1 cup sour cream
Mix cake as directed on package.  Add dry pudding mix and sour cream.  Bake as directed.
Match your pudding mix with the flavor of cake. For example vanilla with white or chocolate with chocolate.
I think coconut cream would be good with white or yellow. 
These additions make for a moist flavorful cake.

Ice Cream Look Alike Cupcakes
Place cupcake liners in a muffin tin. (I always spray mine with cooking spray.)
Fill 3/4 full of cake mix batter. 
Place a ice cream cone on top of each and press down a bit.
Bake as directed for cupcakes. 


Let cool and remove the liner.

Frost and decorated

I thought she did such a good job. They turned out super cute!

Thanks Candice and a Happy Birthday wish to my sweet Nephew!

This recipe is linked with Foodie Friday and  Recipe Swap.

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