Thursday, December 25, 2008

Warm Apple Cider

Very Merry Christmas to all my loyal Yummy Fun followers!

This warm drink is just nothing but holiday sweetness. After serving those I love with this yummy winter time drink I often let it simmer on the stove to create an unforgettable aroma.

4 C Pineapple Juice
1 1/2 C Apricot Nectar
4 C Apple Cider
1 C Orange Juice
1 Cup Water
10 whole cloves (in wire basket if available)
6 sticks of cinnamon
1/4 tea heaping Cardamon
pinch of ginger
pinch of nutmeg

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Cream Puffs

These are one of my FAVORITE desserts.... impossible to resist. If I REALLY love someone, they will get these as a token of my affection:)

1 cube butter
1 C water
1 C flour
1/4 tea salt
dash of sugar
3-4 eggs

In sauce pan bring to a slight boil water and butter. Remove from stove top and add flour stirring with a wisk, mix well. Let stand 5-10 minutes to cool down. Add well beaten eggs ONE at a time. Use wooden spoon to mix, once it is completely incorporated add another egg. The important thing about puff pastry's is the egg... if you add too many eggs it will ruin it. Watching the consistency of the batter is essential! It needs to be pasty and hold its form. If it spreads out then there are too many eggs and will likely not work so be careful. Eggs are not a perfect measurement, Rarely do I ever use 4 eggs, sometimes I use 2 eggs and other times I use 3 1/2, just watch it VERY carefully. Once blended well and mixture is still pasty, spoon mixture into your pastry bag and pipe onto greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes or until golden. Bake times may vary depending on the size of your pastry. These will turn the corner quickly and can burn easily so be watchful. Resist the temptation to open the oven, they may flop especially if opened early on. Once golden remove from oven and immediately remove from cookie sheet and let cool completely.

Cream Filling

1 Lg package vanilla instant pudding
1 C milk
2 C whipped cream
1 tea vanilla

Beat for 5 minutes until very thick.

Slice open puff pastry with sharp knife and spoon cream into pastry.

Chocolate Frosting

4 Tbl butter - melted
4 oz cream cheese
1-2 tbl milk
4 Tbl cocoa powder
1 tea vanilla
powdered sugar until desired constancy

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Herb Roasted Turkey

I was watching a show the other day and was amazed how many times they talked about ALL the things you should do to avoid a dry turkey and I could not help myself from shaking me head and thinking to myself..."those silly people... have they not found the turkey canon yet??? they need my turkey canon!" There is NO such thing as a dry turkey with this. I love the herbs, it makes an amazing turkey and wonderful gravy. Enjoy!

12-16 Lb Turkey

* Dry Rub
3Tbl Kosher Salt
2 Tbl Sage
2 Tbl Rosemary
1 Tbl Thyme
1 tea Pepper

* Pour into Turkey Canon
1 ¼ Cup White Cranberry Juice (other juices may substitute)
Onion slices
Orange slices
2 sprigs of fresh sage if available or dry sage as a substitute.
1 tea garlic clove
1 sprig of rosemary
½ a lemon squeezed into cylinder

Prepare turkey as directed. Remove giblets and neck, rise well and pat dry with paper towel. Use dry rub to thoroughly rub the inside and outside of turkey. Fill cylinder with juice, spices, onion and orange slices. Place turkey onto canon, drizzle with olive oil or butter and bag with a turkey bag (very important). Place in preheated oven at 450 for 30 minutes, decrease temperature to 375 and bake 90 more minutes.  That's 2 hours people....(yipee!) The turkey cooks twice as fast because it cooks from the inside out and virtually gets steamed ans infused with moisture from the cylinder. Check internal temperature, once turkey reaches 175, remove from oven and let stand for 15 minutes before slicing.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Mom's Yummy Stuffing

* Combine in bowl
1 Bag seasoned stuffing or coarse bread crumbs
1 can cream of mushroom
1 can chicken broth
1/2 square melted butter
1 can water chestnuts finely chopped
1 egg (blended)

* Season to taste
dash of ginger
dash of cloves

* Saute and combine to the above
1 C celery
1 C sweet onion

* Brown in same pan and combine to above ingredients
1 pkg sausage

Pour into a lightly oiled n]baking dish and bake at 350 for 30 minutes covered and an additional 15 minutes uncovered.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Cranberry Jello Salad

This is the BEST Cranberry Jell-O salad I have ever had. It is a family staple for Thanksgiving and Christmas! Love it!

Bring to a boil to dissolve
3 pkgs strawberry Jell-O
2 ½ C water

Blend in a separate bowl – then combine to above Jell-O
1 can jellied cranberry
1 can whole cranberry
1 can crushed pineapple (drain most of the juice)
(you can also use your immersion blender to puree the chunks)

Pour ½ of Jell-O mixture into a bunt pan arrange sliced bananas on top and place in refrigerator until set. Then pour cream cheese filling onto Jell-O and then the remaining Jell-O mixture. Place in fridge and let set up completely.

Once Jell-O is set up and ready to serve, place bunt pan into sink with warm water for approx 15 seconds to help release Jell-O from sides of pan, be very careful not to leave it in the water too long or you will melt the Jell-O, you just want to loosen it from the sides then place upside down on the serving dish and it will release. Yummers!

Cream Cheese Filling

1 pint sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
3 Tbl sugar
½ cube cream cheese

Blend well until smooth and creamy.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Holiday Gingerbread Cake

Oh my.. this is yummy! A perfect Christmas time dessert. Thanks to my awesome sister Diane I have this nugget of pure perfection!

1 C dark molasses
2 tea baking soda
1 tea cinnamon
1 tea ginger
1/4 tea nutmeg
1/8 tea salt
1/2 tea vanilla
1/2 C sugar

1/2 C melted butter
2 C flour
1 C boiling water

2 eggs - separate, add yolks
whip egg whites until stiff peak and fold into batter

Pour into well greased bunt pan. Bake 350 for 30-40 minutes - my nose is the best gauge.... I struggle with setting the timer because I always know when "it" is done by the smell. Just watch it and when it smells and looks done check with toothpick and when it comes out clean, it is done. Next time I will pay more attention to the time and correct this post.

Carmel Drizzle Sauce
1 C brown sugar
1/3 C sugar
1/3 C melted butter
1 C water
2 Tbl flour - heaping
2 tea vanilla
1/4 tea Nutmeg
dash of salt

Dissolve on stove: sugar, butter, water. The add the remaining ingredients, stirring constantly (may be foamy). Bring to a low boil for a few minutes and let cool.

Top with a dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream and drizzle he caramel sauce on top.

Monday, December 8, 2008


This is my ultimate favorite comfort food. I really like this recipe. It is simple, kid friendly and rather basic but I love it.

1 Lb ground beef or turkey or sausage
1/2 medium sweet onion
1 large can crushed tomatoes
2 can tomato paste
1 1/2 tea salt
1/2 tea pepper
1 Tbl basil
1 tea garlic
3 C cottage cheese
1 cup parmasan cheese
2 Tbl parsley flakes
2 beaten eggs
10oz whole wheat lasagna noodles
1 lb mozzarella cheese - grated

Saute the onion and meat until meat is no longer pink and onions are transparent. In sauce pan bring to simmer - tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, garlic and seasoning. In bowl mix, 2 beaten eggs, parmasan cheese, cottage cheese and parsley. Boil noodles - this is totally optional. Most the time I do not boil the noodles I just reserve some of the tomato sauce and moisten the bottom of my pyrex pan, the noodles cook up just fine.

Layer in large greased Pyrex pan - noodles, 1/2 cottage cheese mixture, 1/3 grated mozzarella, 1/2 meat mixture and repeat - top with grated cheese. Spray your foil with Pam before covering so your cheese won't stick to the foil, I hate that when that happens.

Bake covered at 325 for 30 minutes and uncovered an additional 15-20 minutes until golden and bubbly. Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Creamy Artichoke Chicken

Some days I really do feel like the little Ratitoulli mouse. I put on my apron and before you know it, it is a little of this and a little of that and WHAA-la! This is what you get, Creamy Artichoke Chicken. I have about a dozen varieties of this but here is one. We loved this one too!

4 chicken breast - thawed, saute in frying pan with olive oil, seasoning salt and generous pepper.

2 C Whole Grain Penne Paste - Boiled al dente

SAUCE - you can add all ingredients and puree them (good idea for young kiddos) or blend the sauce then add the chopped artichokes if you like them chunky.
1 C Milk
1 C 1/2 & 1/2
1/4 C melted butter
1 Tbl dry onion flakes
1/2 C mayo
1 C grated parmesan cheese
1 1/2 C marinated artichokes (I use the kind from Costco)
1 tea pepper
2 Tbl sugar
1 tea garlic
Seasoning salt to taste
Dash of nutmeg

1 Bell pepper (optional) - thinly sliced
1 tomato (optional) - sliced into thin wedges

1 C fresh parmesan cheese

Boil noodles, drain and pour onto greased 9x13 Pyrex dish. Top with cooked chicken and arrange sliced vegetables on top and then pour sauce on top and garnish with 1 C fresh parmesan.

Bake 350 30 minutes.

*** VARIATION*** You can skip the baking part and serve more Alfredo style. Just bring your sauce to a boil on med-high heat and let simmer for 10 minutes on low. Saute your bell peppers (you can also add onion too) until barely tender then put in the tomato wedges for only 1-2 minutes. Then layer your noodles, chicken and vegetable and pour artichoke sauce on top, garnish with fresh parmesan. YUM!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Pumpkin Drizzle Cookies

Aren't these just the prettiest little holiday cookies? Delish too!

1 3/4 C sugar
1/2 C butter, softened
1 1/2 C canned pumpkin
1 egg
1 tea vanilla
* blend well - then add

2 1/2 C flour
1 tea baking powder
1 tea baking soda
1/2 tea salt
2 tea cinnamon, slightly heaping
1/2 tea nutmeg, slightly heaping
1/2 tea cloves, slightly heaping

Blend again until smooth and creamy. Scoop batter onto greased cookie sheet. Bake in preheated oven at 350 for 13-15 minutes. Reomve immediately from cookie sheet, let cool slightly on cooling rack until ready to for frosting.

2 Tlb butter, soft (not melted)
2 oz cream cheese (1/4 block), soft
3 Tbl milk
1 tea vanilla
1 1/2 C powdered sugar
dash of cinnamon

* The idea here, is you want the icing to be cool and thick upon preparation so you have an idea how it will set up. Once well blended microwave 30 seconds to melt and then with fork, drizzle frosting on top of cookies.

*** VARIATION - omit the frosting and add chocolate chips.

These are the best little pumpkin cookies. Most pumpkin cookies I have tried are great the day you make them but then they sweat and get sticky. These little nuggets of yumminess stay soft, flavorful and if you are lucky enough to have some the next day, they are still great!

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Perfect Turkey - Turkey Canon

Take my word for it, this is amazing! This is not my photo, my turkey would look WAY better than this! Regardless this is the greatest gadget for cooking a turkey, the best turkey you will ever have!

The Turkey Cannon can be purchased online or at certain retailers.

I have had my Turkey Cannon for about 5 years and this is by far the best turkey I have ever had... This cannon literally infuses the turkey from the inside out. There may not be time to purchase one of your own in time for Thanksgiving but there is always Christmas right around the corner.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Broccoli Cheese Soup

Tis the season of soups I guess...There is nothing too unusual or special about this soup but if you like Broccoli Cheese soup this is yummy!

3 C water
3 C heavy cream (or sub. w/ milk)
2 C broccoli (I prefer fresh)
2 C cauliflower
5 chicken bullion cubes
6 oz velvetta
2 C cheddar cheese - grated
1/4 C flour
4Tbl butter
1 Tbl dried onion flakes
1/2 tea garlic salt
1 tea pepper

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Ratatouille Soup

Ben thinks I should call this Ratatouille Italian'o Soup because of the tortellini. This is inspired from a soup recipe I had of my sisters a few years ago but since I could not find the recipe, I winged it like I love to do and it was a HUGE success, just as good as I remembered. The problem with soups is they often times leave me hungry... well not this soup, it is hearty and D-E-licious! Perfect fall or winter soup!

6 C Water
4-6 Beef Bouillon cubes
1 C apple juice
1 C cream
1 lb lean hamburger
1 lb sausage (or Jimmy Dean package)
1 tea garlic glove minced
1/2 C onion - minced
1/2 tea ground oregano
1 tea basil
1/2 tea pepper
1 tea seasoning salt
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 C carrots - thinly sliced
1 C zucchini - thinly sliced
1 bell pepper - finely chopped
1/2 C fresh parsley - minced
2-3 C uncooked tortellini

Brown the meat with onion and garlic, drain fat. While meat is browning prepare stock by adding all liquids and spices into stockpot/Crockpot and bring to a boil. I used my Cuisinart to do the vegetable slicing, it was SO fast and efficient. Add veggies to soup and once meat is throughly cooked add to soup. Let simmer on low. When you are almost ready to serve, boil tortellini until barely tender. Do not over boil the noodles especially if the soup might sit for a while as they will get too soggy and fall apart. Add tortellini to soup and gently stir. Serve warma nd garnish wiht fresh parmesan cheese.


Monday, November 3, 2008

Chewy Iced Molasses Cookies

A perfect holiday cookie! YUMMY!

1 1/2 C butter - soft
2 C sugar
2 eggs
3/4 C Molasses
4 C flour
3 tea baking soda
2 tea cinnamon
1 tea ginger
1 tea cloves
1/2 tea nutmeg
1/2 tea salt

Extra sugar to roll dough into before baking
1 bag white chocolate chips for icing (optional) - 1 bag will ice 1/2 a batch

Cream, butter, sugar and egg together until creamy. Beat in molasses then combine dry ingredients. Beat well. You can refrigerate until ready to use or to make dough easier to handle. Roll into 1' balls and coat with sugar . Bake in preheated oven at 350 for 8-9 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool 1 minute before morning from tray.

Icing: melt chocolate chips in double boiler or in microwave until very thin and spread on cooled cookies. Let cool completely before serving.

VARIATION: Unless I am giving these away to friends and neighbors 1/2 batch is plenty, makes about 3 dozen - full batch makes 6 dozen.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Dianes Bowtie Chicken Salad

This is from my awesome sister Diane. Everything she does is super fabulous and this recipe is no exception!

3/4 box bowtie pasta
1 bag of baby spinach - ends removed
2 C shredded romaine lettuce
5-6 green onion - finely chopped
1/2 C fresh parsley - finely chopped
½ C honey roasted peanuts
2-3 can mandarin oranges
½ C crasins
2oz water chestnuts – thinly sliced and chopped
½ C toasted sesame seeds
2-3 chicken breasts

2/3 C Teriyaki sauce
3/4 C vegetable oil
2/3 C white vinegar
6 Tbl sugar
½ tea salt
½ tea pepper

Boil pasta until barely tender then drain well and rinsed well. Once cool place pasta in a Ziploc bag and pour ½ of salad dressing into bag and let refrigerate for 3 hours, reserve remaining dressing to top salad. Cook chicken, best is seasoned and broiled or grilled. Prepare remaining salad ingredients and set aside in refrigerator until ready to serve, then combine chicken, pasta and salad together and dressing, toss well. This makes a HUGE salad so cut in half if serving a smaller crowd.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Potato Cheese Soup

This came from an old friend Trisha M. It is a fabulous soup, not as typical because of the basil. It is a family favorite!

3 C potato - peeled, and cubed
1 C carrot - diced
1 C celery - chopped
1/2 c onion - diced
3 cup water
4 chicken boullion cubes

bring to a boil on stop top and let simmer on low-med heat until barely tender

In a separate pan make roux
3/4 C flour
2 C milk
2 C 1/2 & 1/2
3/4 C. butter
Melt together and whisk until thickens and is smooth.

Add to roux
12 oz Velveeta or Cheese Wiz
1 Tbl Basil (dried) or fresh basil to taste
1/2 tea pepper
1/2 tea salt (or to taste)

Add to the vegetables and stir, let simmer on low heat.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Chicken Nachos

6-8 Raw Tortillas - toasted until slightly crispy
1 can refried beans
2-3 C cheddar cheese
3 chicken breast - frozen
1 Lime
1 package Fajita mix

Place frozen chicken in warm frying pan with 1-2 Tbl olive oil and fry with seasoning salt, lemon pepper, juice of one lime and 1/2 packet of fajita mix. Once chicken is cooked throughout then remove from pan let cool slightly and shred.

Slice with tortillas with pizza cutter into 4 quarters, spread beans over tortilla, top with cheese and chicken. Broil for a few minutes until cheese is melted. Serve immediately. Garnish with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, guacamole, sour cream salsa and black olives.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Creamy Guacamole

Creamy Guacamole
3-4 ripe avocados
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup salsa
4-5 sprigs cilantro (or to taste)
juice of 1 lime
1/2 tea garlic salt

Mash above ingredients together and chill before serving.

Homemade Salsa

Homemade Salsa
4-5 Roma Tomatoes
1/2 med size sweet onion
4-6 sprigs cilantro
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 tea salt
1/2 lemon juice
1/2 lime juice
1/2 can tomato sauce (small)
1/2 tomatillo (paper removed)
1/2 -1 jalapeño (seeds make it hot)
1/4 tea sugar

Finely chop above ingredients, add liquids and chill until served.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Tomato Basil Pizza on Whole Wheat Crust

Tomato-Basil Pizza

Whole wheat dough (below) or 1 package (10 oz) refrigerated pizza crust
2 + cups shredded mozzarella cheese, grated
1/4 cup fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
2 TBL. fresh basil leaves snipped, or 2 tsp. dried
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1 garlic clove, pressed
1/4 tea garlic salt
1/4 pepper/lemon pepper
4 tomatoes, thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 350*. Lightly roll out pizza crust on greased 12x15" sheet or pampered chef stone. Sprinkle crust with 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese; set aside.
Grate parmesan cheese and snip basil in a bowl then add remaining mozzarella, mayo, garlic, spice and mix well. Thinly slice tomatoes; arrange in single layer over mozzarella cheese on crust. Using cookie scoop or spoon, place mozzarella cheese mixture over tomatoes; spread to cover evenly and sprinkle with more parmasan cheese. Bake 15-20 minutes or until top is golden brown and bubbly. Serve warm.

Whole Wheat Bread

Wheat Bread
3 1/2 cups wheat flour
1 Tbl yeast
2 1/2 cups warm water
Put these three ingredients in mixer (Bosch)knead hard 1 minute. Let rest 10 minutes.

1/3 cup applesauce
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbl salt
1 1/2 Tbl. lemon juice
Beat hard one minute

2 cups white flour

Beat hard until dough pulls away from sides and gathers in a ball around hook. This can take up to 10 minutes. Once the dough is pulling away from the sides then pour into lightly oiled bowl and cover with wet cloth, let rise until dough doubles. Then punch down and remove dough from bowl and split in half. Make 2-3 loafs (depending on loaf size) either braided or solid and place into lightly oiled bread pan. Let rise again until dough reaches the top of pan, bake 350* for 30 minutes, brush with melted butter once baked.

VARIATION: If you double the recipe you can make 4 loaves and use the remaining for the pizza dough.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

BBQ Flank Steak & Chicken

Marinate the steak and chicken in this

1/3 C soy sauce
1/3 C Honey
2 Tbl brown sugar
1 tea garlic
1/2 tea lemon pepper

Let meat soak up this yummy potion over night and grill on medium. Be careful not to over cook the steak. Flank steak is thin so it can burn and overcook easily.

1/3 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Soy sauce
Lemon Pepper
Garlic Salt

Mix together, should be grainy, baste meat generously while grilling.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Pumpkin Cobbler with Custard

OH MY, yumm-ie is all I have to say! This is an YF original inspired from a dessert I had a few years ago. For those of you old Farkle friends, I put this in the Farkle cookbook too but I have modified/improved it just a bit. Perfectly delish, fall dish!

Pumpkin Cobbler with Custard Topping and Caramel Drizzle

Large can of Easy Pumpkin Pie Mix, ready for baking or follow recipe on back of regular pumpkin for “2 pie” directions.
Reserve 2 TBL for custard topping.

Layer pumpkin on the bottom of greased 9x13 baking dish.
Sprinkle ¾ box Yellow Cake Mix on top, sprinkle with water
1 ½ Cup Graham Cracker Crust
1 stick melted Butter for top

Bake 350* 30-35 minutes.
While baking prepare custard and caramel sauce.

Custard Topping:
2 C. Whipping Cream – whipped until thick then add the following until very thick.
1 Pkg Instant Vanilla Pudding
1/4 Cup Milk
2 TBL Pumpkin
½ tsp Cinnamon

Chill until ready to serve. When cobbler is out of the over let sit for a few minutes to cool slightly then serve with dollop of pumpkin custard and caramel drizzle (Buttercream Syrup) and whipped cream.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Halloween Parties?

Tis the season of entertaining. Here are some FUN Halloween party games. This is a great site for all holiday games or for any party.

Here is one more specific to Halloween.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Chicken Poppy Bake

This yummy little creation was a very impromptu original... sort of... this was inspired from a brain cramp in "what to make for dinner...*&#@$!??" and a few dishes I have tried in the past and it turned out wonderful. We all gobbled it up!

4-5 chicken breast
1 C sour cream
1 can Cream Of Chicken
1/4 C milk
3/4 tea garlic salt
1/2 tea pepper
1/4 + tea cumin (or to taste)
1 1/2 Tbl dried onion flakes
1 can diced chilies (optional)
1-2 cup monterrey jack cheese - shredded
1 Tbl poppy seed
1 stick of butter
1 sleeve Ritz Crackers - crushed

Boil chicken, shredded and lay in baking dish. Mix together sour cream, soup, milk and spices. Top chicken with cheese and pour sauce on top to completely cover casserole. Spread crumb mixture and poppy seeds on top and drizzle with melted butter and bake 350 covered for 20 minutes and uncovered for another 20-30 minutes until golden and bubbly.

*** VARIATION: If you have a small chopper for small dicing or pureeing you can put your chilies in there to make them unnoticeable to the eye. These give great flavor and even though they are mild some kids have issues with these.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Chocolate Chunk Cake

This is a shout out to my good friend Laura D. It tasted better when she made it though, other peoples food always tastes better to me, even if it is the same recipe. Oh well, this is still a fantastic chocolate cake!

1 box devils food cake
1 box chocolate pudding
4 eggs
1/2 c oil
1/2 c water
1 cup sour cream
2 handfuls chocolate chips (I prefer milk chocolate chips)

Bake in 2 well greased/floured round cake pans 350 40-45 minutes - do not let over bake or cake will be dry. Use remaining batter for cupcakes, bake time will be half that of the cakes. Once cake is done baking remove from oven and let cool in pans, then remove from pans and let cool completely on wire rack. Ice the top of one of the rounds then stack the cakes and ice the entire cake.

1/2 C cocoa
1 1/2 stick butter
4 1/2 C powdered sugar
1/2 C milk
1 1/2 tea vanilla

Melt butter in microwave, mix in cocoa until blended then add sugar and milk until desired consistency and is spreadable.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Strudel Loaf

This totally delish strudel loaf came to me by way of my sweet sister Diane. I have used this as a trusty meal for new moms for years, it is been a winner every time!

Melt in microwave
1 C warm water
1/4 C Dijon mustard
2 Tbl butter

Mix in Bosch
3-4 C flour
2 tbl sugar
2 tbl yeast
1/2 tea salt (reserve until the very end)

Filling - 1/2 lb peppered or smoked turkey. 1/2 lb baby swiss or provolone.

Knead dough in mixer for 5 minutes. Roll dough out on well floured counter into a rectangular shape approx 8x12 in size (nearly the size of a cookie sheet pan...but smaller). Slather mayo along the center of the dough lengthwise. Layer meat/cheese/meat/cheese/meat cheese and season wiht lemon paper and seasoning salt. Using scissors cut into the sides of dough at an angle, 2 inches deep and 2 inches apart all the way down the sides of dough. Then criss cross the strips of dough alternating across the meat and cheese and pinch down slightly. Fold in the ends and prevent seeping cheese while it bakes.

Bake at 350 30-40 minutes until golden brown. Brush melted butter on top, slice into 2 inch slices and serve warm.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Mac & Cheese

This is a good old fashion mac and cheese, one of our favorites, yummy!

Make roux - Melt in pan on stove top, whisk together.
3 Tbl Butter
2 Flour
add - stir until until creamy, smooth and thickens.
2 1/2 Cup Half & Half
1 Cup milk

1 Tea garlic salt
1/2 tea pepper
1/2 C parmesan cheese
1/2 tea garlic
1/2 C cheddar cheese
1/2 C swiss cheese
1/2 C mozzarella cheese
1/2 C velvetta cheese/or cheese wiz
dash of Tabasco

1 package shells or elbow noodles

Boil noodles, drain and pour into 9x13 Pyrex. Pour cheese sauce on top and bake 350 for 40-45 minutes.

VARIATION: You can make this "fancier" by using specially cheeses like gruyere and fontina

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Caramel Popcorn

This is my favorite!

3 C brown sugar
1 1/2 C Karo Syrup
1 stick butter
1 Can Sweeten condensed milk
dash of salt

4 bags of lowfat microwave popcorn. Empty popcorn onto bowl 1 and shake kernels to the bottom then hand scoop out the fluffy popcorn free of loose kernel's and out into bowl 2.

Melt together on stove top on medium heat until boils, stir constantly, reduce heat and let simmer until caramel reaches "soft ball" approx 8 minutes. Do not over cook or caramel will harden and that takes the sticky gooey fun out of it :). Once cooked pour slowly onto popcorn and stir well (to avoid caramel settling on the bottom of bowl)until caramel cools.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Rosemary Potatoe Chips

I love it when I improvise and come across a yummy little treat. These are so fun, a different spin on new potatoes, these are tender with a borderline crisp, yum and fun!

6-10 red potatoes thinly sliced and ends removed
4 Tbl butter - melted
1 package dry Ranch salad dressing mix
1 Tbl Rosemary

Melt butter in microwave and toss potatoes in butter, pour in seasoning and stir well. When potatoes are well covered in season pour onto a cookie sheet and sprinkle potatoes with rosemary. Bake 350 on top rack for 25-30 minutes until golden. Serve with any chicken, steak or pork dish.

Mushroom Chicken

4-6 Chicken Breast

1 Cup seasoned stuffing mix(coarse crumbs) or seasoned bread crumbs
1 Cup parmasan cheese
1 tea garlic salt
1/2 tea pepper
2 eggs

Dip chicken in eggs and roll in crumb mixture until well coated. Place in 9x13 baking dish.

8oz mushrooms - sliced
1 stick butter
1 1/2 tea parsley
2 Tbl lemon juice

When mushrooms are tender pour over chicken and bake uncovered at 350 for 45 minutes.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Roast Beef Stroganoff

This is not the ol'hamburger stroganoff of our mothers era. This made with a well seasoned and slow cooked roast is virtually addicting and it doesn't get more K.I.S.S. than this! Now if I could just get the picture to look as good as it tastes.

Roast Beef - your favorite cut
2 packets of Liptons Onion Soup mix
1 1/2 cup water

Cook roast on low in crockpot for 6 hours until no longer pink and cooked throughout. Remove from drippings and drain off fat. Sometimes I will put the entire crock pot with roast in the fridge overnight and let the fat solidify on top, if time will not permit then simplify and drain as much as you can and reserve beef stock, cut the meat. If meat is too tender (is there such a thing?) it will shred which is yummy but doesn't look as pretty as chunks. Add to below gravy.

Beef stock
1 Cup milk
2 Tbl flour
2 Tbl brown gravy mix
1/2 tea pepper
1 Cup sour cream
2 cans cream of mushrooms
1/2 tea garlic salt
Pinch of Bay Leaf
8 oz sliced mushrooms

Whisk together until smooth and then add meat. Heat on med/low heat until lightly bubbly stirring occasionally. Serve over wide egg noddles.

VARIATION: This recipe yields about 10 servings. Recipe can be cut in half. I often will make this and freeze 1/2 of the meat and gravy mixture for a rainy day. This is also an excellent way to use your left over roast beef just add the water and liptons soup mix to the gravy.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Banana Cream Cheescake

I am bananas for bananas...Holy Smokes! is all I have to say. This came to me by way of my friend Vandee W. and is nothing short of perfect. I have a love/hate relationship with cheesecake and this is just enough cheesecake to make me fall in love!


1 ¾ c. Crushed Graham Cracker Crumbs
¼ C. Sugar
½ C. Butter (melted)

Combine Graham crust and sugar – mix well. Stir in butter, set aside ½ C. of Graham for topping. Press into 9x13 greased pan. Bake at 350* for 5-7 minutes then let cool completely.

1st layer of filling:
½ C. Sugar
1 pkg. (8z) Cream Cheese – softened
1/2 carton Cool Whip
In bowl beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Fold in cool whip and set aside.

2nd layer of filling:
1 1/2 C. cold Milk
1 (3.4oz) Banana Cream instant pudding
Whip until thickens and fold in remaining 1/2 carton of Cool Whip

3-4 firm Bananas – sliced

Arrange bananas on crust. Spread cream cheese mixture onto bananas (sometimes spreads better if slightly warm). Arrange another layer of bananas and top with pudding mixture, sprinkle with graham cracker crust and refrigerate 1-2 hours.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Cafe Rico Salad

This is a mock Cafe Rio Salad. I did tinker with it a bit but the recipe below is as given to me. Our Relief Society made this last Saturday night for the womens broadcast dinner and yummers! TOTALLY! Now that we are 1000 miles away from the nearest Cafe Rio (Cafe Rico) this totally hit the spot! Now if I can just figure out the queso???

Café Rico Pork

5-6 lb Pork roast
1 Tbs cumin
1 cup brown sugar
12 oz bottle La Victoria Taco Sauce
20 oz bottle coke

Cook roast on low for 12 hours in Crock Pot with water covering half the roast. After 12 hours, drain water off roast and add remaining ingredients. Continue cooking 4 hrs. Then shred the meat and cook for 2 hours more. You can also cook your roast in the oven oven at night and cook at 220 degrees 8-12 hours. Drain, shred and add all other ingredients. Put in Crock Pot for about 2-3 hours to blend flavors.

Café Rico Chicken

1 small bottle Kraft Zesty Italian Dressing
1 Tbs. chili powder
1 Tbs. cumin
3 cloves garlic
1/4 C Brown Sugar
5 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast

Pour all ingredients in crock-pot on low for 4 hours. Shred meat and cook for 1 hr more.

Café Rico Creamy Ranch dressing

1 pkg. dry Hidden Valley Ranch dressing
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup chopped cilantro
2 cloves garlic
3 tomatillos (peel off paper skins)
1/3 cup buttermilk
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1/3 C Vinegar
(More or less as desired)

Put all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.

Café Rico Rice

* blend together in a small food processor
2 tsp garlic
½ bunch cilantro
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 can green chilies
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbs butter
1/4 chopped onion
2 bouillon cubes

Blend all ingredients in blender then put in pan and add 3 cups water, bring to a boil add 1 1/2 cups rice, simmer covered 25 - 30 minutes stirring occasionally. Do not use the Japanese sticky rice, it gets TOO sticky. It works much better with plain old rice. Do not over cook.
To Serve
Place a tortilla shell on a plate; add rice and beans, meat (pork or chicken), shredded lettuce, cheese, and tortilla strips. Serve with guacamole, Café Rcio Dressing, and Pico de Gallo.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Perfect Pumkin Waffles

This is a totally delish recipe came from my great Natalie A., this is their families conference Sunday tradition and it is SO yummy it might become our every Sunday tradition.

2 Cup Flour
2 Tbl Baking Powder
1 Tbl Cinnamon
1 Tbl Sugar
1/2 tea Nutmeg
1/4 tea Salt
Combine above ingredients and set aside

4 eggs - separated and reserve the egg whites
1/2 C milk
1 C Pumpkin
3/4 C soft Butter
1 Tbl Vanilla

Blend the egg yokes with milk, butter, pumpkin and vanilla together until creamy. Combine with dry ingredients and blend until creamy. Whip the egg whites until forms peaks and fold into pancake mixture and mix slightly until combined. Bake in preheated waffle iron and serve with buttercream syrup.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Homemade Syrup

This is the homemade syrup recipe that my Mama made for me growing up. I did not know Mrs. Buttersworth until I was grown and believe me, I wasn't missing much. This is simple, yummy and does not taste like preservatives, this is the real stuff.... even though it is imitation flavor it is still great! It may be hard to find but worth the hunt! This recipe is also on the bottle.

2 C Sugar
1 C Water
2 tea Mapleine

Grandma Workmans adapted version - add 2 tsp of Postum (discontinued but another alternative would work... I am on the hunt) to boiling water then add sugar and maple flavoring.

Turkey Vegtable Soup

Not to be confused with Turkey Noodle... no noodles in this one. This is also a Yummy Fun original :) We were in the mood for a creamy and hearty soup and this is what we craved.

2 1/2 Cup Water
2 1/2 Cup Milk
2 Tbl Flour
2 Tbl Masa Corn Flour (regular flour can work as a substitute)
3-4 Bouillon Cubes
2 Cups Turkey - cooked and shredded (or Chicken)
1/2 C Carrots - sliced or whole
1/2 C Potato - Cubed
1/2 C Cauliflower or Broccoli
1 can Cream of Chicken
1/2 of a Medium Onion - finely chopped
1 C cheddar/mozzarella cheese
1/2 tea Pepper
1/2 tea Cumin
1/4 tea Celery Salt
1/4 tea Chili Powder
Pinch of Basil
Pinch of Bay Leaf

GARNISH - parsley and mozzarella cheese

In a stock pot combine vegetables and 2 cups of water, let simmer for about 5 minutes on medium heat. Add remaining ingredients and let simmer until all vegetables are tender and soup is smooth.

GREAT Thanksgiving leftover also!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Chocolate Chip Brownie Bars

Have a hankering for chocolate chip cookies but don't have the time??... make these instead, these are moist, flavorful and a sure winner.

2 1/4 C flour
1 tea baking soda
1 tea salt
1/2 C butter - soft (you can actually use up to 1 cup but not necessary, that will just make them MORE gooey)
3/4 C sugar
3/4 C brown sugar
1 tea vanilla
2 large eggs
Chocolate Chips

Cream eggs, sugar, vanilla and butter together, add remaining ingredients and blend until creamy. Grease 9x13 Pyrex pan and scoop dough into dish. Bake in preheated oven at 375 for 20-25 minutes.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Creamy Limone Chicken and Pasta

Another Yummy Fun original inspired from a Bucca Di Beppo dish... can you guess which one? I'll invite you over for dinner if you guess right :)

Limone Chicken
3-4 Chicken Breasts thawed and cubed
1/3 C Lemon Juice
1/4 C Butter
1/4 C Onion - sliced or chopped
1 tea Sugar
1/2 tea Garlic minced
Lemon Pepper
Seasoning Salt

Saute on medium heat. Let simmer on low heat for 3-5 minute after chicken is no longer pink and cooked throughout, remove from pan but keep drippings for cream sauce.

Cream Sauce
1/2 C Heavy Cream
1/4 C Sour Cream
3/4 C Milk
1/4 tea Garlic Salt
1/4 tea Pepper
1/8 tea Italian Seasoning
1/8 tea Basil
Pinch of Nutmeg
1/2 C+ Shredded Parmesan Blend Cheese
1/2 C Artichoke - chopped or whole depending on preference
1 Tbl Capers (optional)
1/2 C Pastrami - thinly chopped (ham or prosciutto also works well)
1 C Spinach

Add cream, milk, sour cream, cheese and spices together in warm pan and whisk until creamy. Add chicken, artichokes and capers until cream sauce is bubbly. Stir together and add spinach immediately before serving.

Serve over whole wheat pasta and french bread.

VARIATIONS : I have made this dish a few different ways. I will often play with different kinds of cheeses and the cream can be substituted for 1/2 & 1/2. I also made this dish a year ago for our company Christmas party using ham, peas and mushrooms with tortellini and baked them in individual baking dishes... it turned out wonderfully, maybe one day I will post that one too :)

Apple Spice Muffins

This is a Yummy Fun original :) They turned out fabulous (if I can say so)! They are moist, sweet but not too sweet and totally scrumptious. Note to self: make homemade muffins from scratch. Let me know what you think.

1/2 C Butter - soft
1 Cup White Sugar
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1 tea Vanilla
2 eggs
4 Tbl Honey
1/2 tea Salt
2 Cup Flour
1/2 tea Cinnamon
1/4 tea Pumpkin Spice
1/2 tea Baking Soda
2 tea Baking Powder
1/4 C Milk
2 Cups Shredded Apple - or for a chunkier muffin chop apple with or without peal.
1/2 C Oatmeal - Quick Oats
1/4 C Rice Crispy cereal

Crumb Topping
3/4 C Brown Sugar
1/4 C White Sugar
1 tea Cinnamon
2 Tbl Flour

Cream: Sugar, honey, eggs, vanilla and butter until very creamy. Add remaining ingredients. Blend well until creamy and well blended.

Grease muffin tin well or use muffin liners, scoop dough in tins and top with crumb mixture. Preheat oven at 350 and bake 15-20 minutes for mini muffins OR 25-30 minutes for large muffins.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Cinnamon Sour Cream Bunt Cake

This came from my super talented sister Diane :) It is a favorite in her house and mine!

Cream Together
1 Cube Butter - soft
1 Cup Sugar
1 tea Almond Flavor

2 Eggs - Blend together until creamy
1 tea Vanilla
1 Cup Sour Cream
2 Cup Flour
2 Tbl Baking Powder
1/2 tea Baking Soda
1/8 tea Salt

Crumb Mixture - mix together in a separate bowl and set aside.
1/2 C Brown Sugar
2 tes Cinnamon

Grease bunt cake pan WELL. Add 1/2 the batter then 1/2 the crumb mixture then the remaining of the batter followed with the rest of the of crumb mixture. Bake 350 30-35 minutes - let cool in pan and bang on counter top to release cake from pan, then flip over and cake should release from pan and sprinkle with powdered sugar for added appeal.

This cake is a great breakfast cake or served with ice cream and my Buttercream Syrup.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Black Bean & Avocado Salsa

This is one of our favorite appetizers. I was 1st introduced to this dish a few years ago from my dear friend Natalie A. and thought it was the greatest thing ever and later realized it was a common appetizer but obviously not one I had ever know so here it is. Yummy!

3-4 Avocados - chop into small cubes
5-6 Roma Tomatoes - chop into small cubes
1 Can Shoepeg WHITE corn - drained
1 Can Black Bean - drained
Cilantro - large bunch finely chopped to taste
4-5 Green Onions Springs - finely chopped
1 Pkg Zesty Italian Dressing - make to directions
Dash of Tabasco

Mix all the above ingredients together but reserve the avocado until the end or the stirring will make the avocados mash. Chill well and serve with tortilla chips.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Caramel Crunch Apple Dip

This is a SURE winner! Perfect appetizer for any occasion. It is one of our all time favorites.

8oz Cream Cheese
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1/3+ Cup Chocolate Chips (or to taste)
1 Cup Toffee Chips (or to taste)

On the stove top melt cream cheese and brown sugar until smooth. Remove from heat and add chocolate chips and toffee chips to taste. Serve with sliced apples.

Birthday Bunch Crunch

In a bowl combine
6 Cups Rice Chex Cereal
4 Cups Golden Grahams
optional add ons: fruity cheerios, coconut, nuts, chocolate, M&M's etc.

Melt together on stove on medium heat

1 Stick of butter
1 Cup Karo Syrup
1 Cup Sugar
Dash of Salt
1 tea Vanilla

Once melted let boil for 1-2 minutes then remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes then pour over cereal mixture, stir well occasionally until cooled completely.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Pumpkin Cream Pie

Here is a new spin on Pumpkin Pie.

Pumpkin Cream Pie

1 1/2 C Graham Cracker Crust
1/4 C Brown Sugar
6 Tbl Butter - melted

Mix together thoroughly and press firmly into 9in deep dish pie plate. Bake at 350 for 7-9 minutes, remove from oven and let cool completely.

1 Can Pumpkin Puree (15 oz)
1 jar Marshmallow Cream (7oz)
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Powdered Sugar
1 tea Vanilla
2 tea Pumpkin Pie Spice
2 1/2 C Cool Whip - thawed
6 oz Cream Cheese - creamed

Blend together cream cheese, pumpkin, marshmallow cream, brown & powdered sugar, spice and vanilla. Once blended fold in whipped cream and pour into crust. Freeze at least 2 hours until frozen. Garnish with remaining whipped cream.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Super Soft Hot Rolls (& Cinnamon Rolls)

This is my favorite dough recipe that can be used for cinnamon rolls and hot rolls, courtesy of my friend Jen Y. AND of course... I have adapted it but I must give credit where credit is due. For those of you that have my "Farkle Recipe Book" this recipe was titled "Super Soft Hot Rolls". Since it has been one of the more popular and successful recipes I am sticking with that title, even though the recipe is interchangeable. I have simplified the directions as follows.

Super Soft Hot Rolls

1/2 Cup Warm Water
1 Tbl Yeast
3/4 Cup Sugar
8 Tbl Butter - melted
2 Cup Milk
tsp Salt
6-6 1/2 Cup Flour

• To "proof" your yeast -stir together the warm water, yeast and 1 tsp of sugar until yeast mixture is bubbly.
• In a saucepan melt together – milk, butter, salt, and remaining sugar. Heat just enough to melt ingredients together, should be very warm, not hot. Do not over heat or it will kill your yeast. You can also do this in the microwave with just your liquids, it works fine if you add your sugar directly to the mixer.
• In your Bosch pour in your liquids, stir together and then add 3-4 cups of flour. Knead for 3 minutes and let sit for 2 then add remaining flour and knead for 5-10 minutes until desired consistency. Not too dry, not too sticky, dough should pull away from sides of Bosch.
• Place in a greased bowl and cover with damp cloth, let rise until double, punch down and if time permitting let it rise a 2nd time otherwise dough is ready to roll our for either hot rolls or cinnamon rolls.
• Roll out dough and form rolls as desired. Once on jelly roll pan brush with melted butter and let rise before baking.
• Bake 350* 20-25 minutes or until lightly golden brown, be careful not to over bake.

I will often double this recipe and make 1/2 rolls and 1/2 cinnamon rolls.

Variation - Cinnamon Rolls

Roll out dough on clean, damp and floured counter top. Dough should roll out in a rectangular shape and approx 1/2 an inch think. Melt 1 stick of butter and pour over dough evenly. Sprinkle brown sugar, white sugar and cinnamon until dough is covered. Roll tightly from length side until you have a rolled rope. Use transparent thread like fishing line or floss to cut from underneath to make rolls. Place on a greased cookie sheet or Pyrex dish and bake 350 20-25 minutes until lightly golden.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

German Pancakes with Buttercream Syrup

6 Eggs
1 Cup Milk
3/4 Cup Flour
1/2 tea Salt
1/4 tea Baking Powder
1/4 tea Sugar
8 TBL Melted Butter

Combine all ingredient above except butter. Once blended thoroughly pour in a well greased 9x13 Pyrex pan. Drizzle melted butter on top and bake 350 for approx 15 minutes until golden and puffy.

Remove from oven and serve immediately with powdered sugar, fresh fruit, whipped cream, and your favorite syrup... ours is Butter Cream Syrup.