Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Mom's Creamy Vanilla Fruit Salad

This is a simple, quick and delicious salad.  It is perfect when you are in need of something quick for a potluck dinner.  My family loves it and considers it dessert!! I remember that my mom used to always decorate the top of this salad.  She would cut up the big marshmellows and make flowers and leaves.  She would save a cherry for the middle of the center flower.  It made for a great, easy presentation. Her's always looked better than mine, but I tried!!

Mom's Creamy Vanilla Fruit Salad
1- (4 serving) package french vanilla instant pudding
1 - 8 oz. carton whipped topping
1  can fruit cocktail
1 can mandarin oranges
2 cups mini- marshmellows
Mix pudding according to package directions.  Drain fruit, add to puddding and fold in whipped topping.  Chill. 
*You can add pineapple or leave out the fruit cocktail if desired.  It works best with canned fruit.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Pillow Pizza

This is a simple and quick pizza idea.  It reminds me of deep dish pizza. I love that it is so versatile and the fact that the whole family loved it!!
Pillow Pizza
2 tubes refrigerated biscuits (10 biscuits/tube)
1 pound hamburger
2 cups spaghetti sauce
3-4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Optional ingredients:
other pizza toppings
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Cut each biscuit into 4 pieces. Place them in the bottom of a lightly greased 9 x 13 casserole dish.

Sprinkle with 1 cup shredded cheese.
Brown hamburger and onions (if desired). Drain and return to pan. Add spaghetti sauce and stir together.
Pour over biscuit layer.
Top with any other ingredients as you would a pizza. 
Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
I topped it off with pepperoni.
Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

Crazy Daisy Button

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Monday, June 28, 2010

We are Going on a Picnic.....

Since July is Picnic Month, Louise is hosting a Online Picnic over at Months of Edible Celebrations.

It looked so fun, I decided to join in!
So here it goes:
We are going on a picnic and we are bringing:
P- Pomegranate Mousse Cake Q -Quiche

and  W: That's me!  I am bringing:
White Caramel Popcorn
Warning:This recipe makes a huge batch.
Pop a LARGE bowl of popcorn. I use two bowls. It makes it easier to stir and lets me get all the unpopped kernels out of it. Then when mixed I put it all in one bowl.

1 lb butter
2 3/4 cup sugar
1 cup corn syrup
2 tsp vanilla
Place ingredients in a saucepan. Melt on med-high temperature. Stirring constantly. Bring to a boil and boil for 30 seconds. Pour over popcorn and stir to coat.

X -
Y -
Z -
 Look for updates to the list and you can check the whole picnic basket out on July 1st at Months of  Edible Celebrations.

Let's Picnic!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Creme Brulee Cheesecake Bars

Creme Brulee has always been a favorite of mine.  I have tried to make it and have not yet got it right.  So now I have discovered an easy and delicious substitute for my new favorite treat!  I cannot make them very often because I could eat the who pan, but can't wait for the opportunity to take them to the next function!! They were so easy to make! I was amazed at how quick it all came together.

Creme Brulee Cheesecake Bars
adapted from Betty Crocker
1 bag (pouch) sugar cookie mix
1 (4 serving) box French vanilla instant pudding mix
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
3 teaspoons vanilla
2 whole eggs plus 3 egg yolks
2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened.
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup white sugar
1- 1 1/2 cups milk chocolate toffee bits ( or regular toffee bits), crushed fine.
Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly spray a 13 x 9 pan with cooking spray.  In a large bowl, stir cookie mix, pudding mix, brown sugar, melted butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 whole egg until a soft dough forms.  Press dough in the bottom of the pan.
Beat cream cheese, sour cream and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.  Add remaining whole egg, 3 egg yolks and remaining 2 teaspoons vanilla. Beat until smooth. Spread over the crust in pan.
Bake 30-35 minutes or until it is set in the center.  Immediately sprinkle the top with the crushed toffee bits. Cool for 30 minutes then refrigerate for 3 hours or until chilled.  Store covered in the refrigerator.
**To make cutting them easier cut into bars after the 30 minutes of cooling, before you refrigerate.
Sorry there aren't more pictures.  I had to leave so my son finished the baking and then cut into them before I made it home!!
Also some exciting news.  I was featured this week over at Simply Sweet Home. Incredible blog with lots of great ideas!! Go check it out!
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Friendly Friday


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Italian Cream Cheese Chicken

This is one of those comfort food, simple and delicious recipes.  I have found several recipes of this type and created them into one that my family loves.  I especially love it on a busy day because you can just throw everything in the crock pot and it turns out perfectly every time.  I usually use frozen chicken.
Italian Cream Cheese Chicken
4-5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup butter or l cube
1 package dry Italian dressing mix
2 (10 3/4 oz.) cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup water
1 -8 oz. cream cheese
1 lb. pasta (optional)
Place chicken breasts in crock pot and sprinkle with the dressing mix.
Pour cream of chicken soup and water over top.  Add the butter.

Cook on low for for 6-8 hours.  Stir once or twice.    When chicken is done, remove it from the sauce and shred it.  Add the brick of cream cheese and return the shredded chicken to sauce.  Allow the cream cheese to melt.  Stir until combined.

Now is where it is up to you.  It is great served over cooked pasta or rice. 
I prefer it with the cooked pasta mixed in.  You decide!!
YUM!! Enjoy!!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Bowtie Chicken Salad

This pasta salad is so good.  We have actually used it as a meal before.  You could use any pasta, but the bowtie make it so beautiful.  Grapes seem to be a bit cheaper right now so it is a great time for this salad!! It makes a really large bowl or salad.

Bowtie Chicken Salad
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded or cubed
1 -16 oz. box of bowtie pasta
1 large can pineapple tidbits, drain but reserve the juice.
2 cups red grapes, cut in half
1 cup diced celery
1 cup cashew pieces
Place all ingredients, except cashews in a larget bowl.
1 bottle coleslaw dressing
1 cup mayonaise
reserved pinapple juice
Mix dressing ingredients until smooth.  Poor over salad ingredients, mix gently until evenly covered. 
Add cashews and mix.
This salad is best if made a few hours before serving to allow the flavors to mix.
You could also use the colored pasta for a festive look!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

I survived the first week of Summer.  Actually, I love having my kids home.  We tried out a few new recipes last week and found some keepers: Italian Turkey (I used chicken) from Finding Joy in My Kitchen and Blushing Pink Bowtie Salad from Moogie & Pap.  Both were so delicious and they are blogs with great recipes. You'll have to check them out!! I also made some Creme Brulee Cheesecake Bars...DELICIOUS!!  I can't make them very often, because I could eat the whole pan.  I have added a few new recipes this week so we will see how it goes.  Hopefully, we will get a little sun here!!

This Week's Menu
Monday: BBQ Steak Rollups
Tuesday: Crockpot Creamy Chicken
Wednesday: Bacon Cheeseburger Rice
Thursday: Picnic Night
Friday: Pizza Pillows
Saturday: Random Night
Sunday: Chicken Taco Ring
Wishing you a delicious week!!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Brownies

Chocolate and Peanut butter combination is my very favorite, add cheesecake and you got me hooked.  When I found this recipe I knew I just had to try it out.  It was delicious.  I thought it could use a little bit more peanut butter but hubby and everyone else thought they were perfect.

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Brownies
Adapted from Pillsbury
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1 box brownie mix
Grease 9 x 13 pan. Make brownie mix as directed on box. Spread batter in pan and set aside.
Beat together until smooth:
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened ( I used the less fat version)
1 can (14 oz.)sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup peanut butter
Spoon mixture over top of the brownie mixture.  Spread evenly.  Try to spoon it on in all areas so you just have to smooth it out. 
Bake for 30-40 minutes or until cheesecake layer is set and edges are light golden brown.
Cool on rack for 30 minutes and then refrigerate for 40 minutes.
In a microwavable bowl add:
1 cup chocolate chips ( I used milk chocolate)
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
Microwave on high for 60 seconds or until chips are melted.  Stir after first 30 seconds.
Stir until smooth and spread over cheesecake layer.
Optional: Spread 1 bag of milk chocolate toffee bits over the top of the chocolate layer
Place back in the refrigerator until chocolate layer is set. Cut before chocolate has totally hardened.
Store covered in the refrigerator.
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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Tried It Out Thursday Part 2: Father's Day Cakes

The title of this post should really be Check it Out Thursday. While browsing the web looking for something to get hubby for Father's Day I came across Tiepedia and was instantly intrigued.  This is a college student who is obsessed with Neckties.  I believe he has worn a tie for over 200 days straight.  Crazy but cool! Anything you want to know about ties is on this site.  He has some very interesting things and a bit of humor added.  It is pretty amazing. He did a really fascinating  Father's Day Cake post and gave me permission to show you a few.  They are incredible!! 
Very creative and IMPRESSIVE!! Makes me wish I wasn't missing the creativity gene.
These are "Ties" my hubby would love!!
You can find these and more over at Tiepedia.

Tried It Out Thursday: More Dreaming!

Lately, I have had a real itch for some new home furnishings.  It has been a really long time and the foosball table my hubby bought at a yard sale for $10(even though it looks good in the formal dining room) didn't quite do the trick.  So I am off dreaming once again.  Most of you remember my camera incident.  I began looking for digital cameras and found so much more.
I think I am in love with this sectional. It would be perfect for the family!

With a new bed a new mattress would be great!

We slept on one of these for a week while on vacation and loved it!!
And while I am dreaming; a new TV stands
would be nice.

Time to wake up from the dream, but wouldn't it be so fun!! 

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Deb's Delight Breakfast Casserole

This is a simple,delicious and versatile breakfast casserole.   I made it for the in-laws on Sunday morning paired with Simply Caramel Rolls.  Everyone loved it.  My father in-law, a man of very few words, made sure they did not leave here without the recipe.  It was a great compliment.
Deb's Delight Breakfast Casserole
Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Lightly grease 9 x 13 pan.  Mix hash browns (1- 30 oz bag) with  ¾ cup melted butter.
Cook for 30 minutes.
*It doesn't matter if your hashbrowns are frozen or thawed.

Turn oven down to 350 degrees
Mix together then pour over the hash browns.
3 eggs
½ cup half & half
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon seasoning salt
2 cups shredded cheese
1 cup diced ham

Cook an additional 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
You could replace the ham with bacon, sausage or a combination of meats. (Yum, Hubby would like the combination.)
Linked to What's on the Menu Wednesday.
*I hate eggs and I love this casserole...Go figure!!

Friendgiftr: The Perfect Gift Giving Resource

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of FriendGiftr. All opinions are 100% mine.

Most recently there have been several extended family weddings that I have not been able to attend, but would of loved to.  Getting the happy couples gifts to send has been very challenging.  Being far away, I have no idea what to get them and then the amount of postage floors me! 
This is why I am so excited to find FriendGiftr. Not only will it save me time, money for postage, but the hassle of trying to pick out the perfect gift.  With FriendGiftr you are now able to buy and send real digital and/or physical gift cards to friends, family, and associates for the holidays, birthdays, other special occasions, or anytime. You can select from over 120 of  your favorite retail and restaurant gift cards to buy $10, $20, $25, $35, $50, $75, and $100 gift cards. But what’s really special about FriendGiftr is that end receivers are empowered to get what they really want –they can exchange the gift card given to them from their friends or family for any of the 120 merchants FriendGiftr offers for no additional cost and without the buyer knowing. They can also split the gift card across multiple merchants, enabling the ultimate user choice and control.  What  incredible options to be able to get exactly what you want.  This makes it the PERFECT gift giving option. To make it even easier you can can use FriendGiftr from the website, Facebook, iPhone, BlackBerry, and Android. No wonder it is considered America's favorite gift cards.
Now, I am off to FriendGiftr to find a gift for the latest happy couple. There is an impressive list of retailers.  Perhaps a gift card for:

The good thing is I know which ever I choose, it will end up being the perfect gift!

Visit my sponsor: America's Favorite Gift Cards

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Strawberry Poppyseed Dressing

This is my favorite salad dressing because it is oh so delicious! It is best made with fresh strawberries. So it makes it kind of a seasonal dressing which makes me crave it all the more.  It actually goes with a salad that I make with strawberries and grapes.  Recipe to come at a later date. My plans were foiled when all the grapes got eaten before I could get the salad made. 

Strawberry Poppyseed Dressing
blend in a blender
3/4 cup white sugar
1 Tablespoon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup diced red or sweet onion
1 cup vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon poppy seed
1-2 fresh strawberries.(to taste)

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Monday, June 14, 2010

A New Bathroom Vanity! How Fun Would That Be?

I know this is a cooking blog, but allow me to dream just a bit!! One of my dear friends is gearing up for a big move.  Not only to a different house, but a brand new one, where she gets to pick everything out.  I must admit I am a little jealous.  I know she is so excited to finally have a master bath.  So after talking to her today, I decided to look at a vanity.   Here are just a few that intrigued me.

And my favorite the:
It is so fun to dream and  Just makes it easy.
Maybe someday it will be me choosing a new vanity and other household furnishings.
For now it is just really fun to look!!


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