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Friday, November 29, 2013

Peanut Butter Snowballs


1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter (can use creamy)
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 pound white candy coating, coarsely chopped (or white chocolate chips)


In a bowl, combine the sugar, peanut butter and butter. Shape into 1-in. balls and place on waxed paper-lined baking sheet. Chill for 30 minutes or until firm.

Meanwhile, melt the candy coating in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat on high at 30-second intervals, stirring each time until melted. Using two forks, dip balls and place on waxed paper to harden.
Yield: 2 dozen

Source: Taste of Home

Chocolate Tacos

It's hard to make slow-cooked food look pretty . . . and this pork seriously fell apart when I tried to take it out of the slow cooker!
So don't judge this by it's picture . . . I promise that this recipe is delicious! My husband even said that this is one of his favorite Sunday dinners.

It's hard to make slow-cooked food look pretty . . . and this pork seriously fell apart when I tried to take it out of the slow cooker!
So don't judge this by it's picture . . . I promise that this recipe is delicious! My husband even said that this is one of his favorite Sunday dinners.


Can I interest you in a taco?  How about a dessert taco?   A chocolate dessert taco?  Yes, I think that sounds like a good idea.

A quick and easy homemade chocolate taco shell that you can load up with your favorite fillings!   Let me tell you, these were downright delicious.   The idea came from a recent copy of Cooking Light Magazine.  Unfortunately most magazines that come into this house just collect dust and end up getting donated for projects at school, but I do try to sneak in some time with Cooking Light when I can.
This issue was full of fabulous taco ideas (and yay, they have them online as well!).  I about fell over when I saw the chocolate tacos.  Um, YES, please!   I had to make them, and I’m pleased to report that they are really very simple and VERY yummy.  My daughter loved the novelty of them, and you can fill them with your favorite ice cream or filling.   Cooking Light made an awesome peanut version, but I went for a nut free version (pesky nut allergy in the house).
I melted some chocolate coating and piped a bit along the edges of our tacos and then dipped them in sprinkles.   After that we simply filled them with vanilla ice cream and toppings.  So simple, but you could really get creative.  Think of it as a sundae, in a taco shell!  Such a fun idea for parties – especially Cinco De Mayo!  Okay, let me show you how I made them.  As I said, they are easy, but a bit specific.   Start off with your ingredients…
Mix your dry ingredients, then add your wet ingredients.
The batter reminds me of a very sticky brownie batter.
The recipe says it makes eight, but I did six – which worked out perfectly.
You bake them for about six minutes, and the moment you pull them out you need to carefully get them off of your baking sheet and onto something – a wooden spoon over a bowl works well, in order to create your taco shape.
While they are a bit delicate, I’m happy to report that none of mine broke, they held together very well.  After they cooled I coated the edges in chocolate coating and dipped them in sprinkles.  Because I think everything is better with sprinkles.
Once completely cool, we filled with ice cream and topped with chocolate sauce, sprinkles, M&M’s and other toppings.  There are only like one million different ways you could top these.  I’m thinking I need to try dark chocolate ice cream, caramel, peanut butter cups, whipped cream… you know, for “research” purposes.
Heck, for a healthier version, fill them with bananas or berries!  Or a fun flavored yogurt.  Get creative and have fun!
I should say, these are pretty messy to eat.  Not exactly a walk around and enjoy politely and neatly.  You’ll want to pull up a chair and a plate, but trust me, it will be well worth it.

For the recipe, head over to Cooking Light

And as noted, I made six, not eight as their recipe states, and I only made the chocolate taco shells the way they did, then improvised on decorating and toppings.  Enjoy!

) boneless pork roast
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup honey
3 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp dried basil
2 Tbsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water
Spray slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray. Place roast in slow cooker. In a small bowl, combine the cheese, honey, soy sauce, basil, garlic, oil and salt; pour over pork. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or until a meat thermometer reads 160°.
Remove meat to a serving platter; keep warm. Skim fat from cooking juices; transfer to a small saucepan. Bring liquid to a boil. Combine cornstarch and water until smooth. Gradually stir into pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Slice roast; serve with gravy (I also made mashed potatoes and the gravy was delicious on them!).
Recipe adapted from Everyday Tastes 


Crockpot Refried Beans


3 cups of dry pinto beans (rinsed)
1 onion diced
9 cups of beef broth (or water if have nothing else)
2 tsp salt
2tsp of pepper
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/8 tsp of ground cumin


Put all the ingredients in a crock pot and cook on high for 8 hours. When they are done drain them and mash them up! I personally used a lot more seasoning, so just taste the broth throughout the process if you like to adjust to what you like.

Source: Mommy Made

Pecan Chicken With Honey Mustard Sauce

Pecan Chicken

  • 4 6-ounce skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 cup pecans, finely chopped, plus extra for garnish
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (corn, peanut, or olive oil)
  • chopped parsley for garnish
Ingredients for Honey Mustard Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup stone ground mustard
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon sweet rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey

For honey mustard sauce, place all ingredients for the sauce in a cold saucepan in order, stirring to combine. Heat to medium; do not boil, or sauce will separate. When warm, about 150 degrees, remove from heat.

Trim chicken breasts. Place in a thick plastic bag and pound out lightly to an even thickness, skin side down at first.

Combine panko and pecans in an 8-inch square baking pan or a pie plate and mix together well. In a separate pie plate or bowl, whisk egg and milk together to make an egg wash. Place flour in a separate medium bowl.

Dredge chicken in the flour first, then dip thoroughly in the egg wash, and finish with the panko-pecan coating. Press chicken down on both sides to cover completely.

Heat oil to medium in a large (12 inch) frying pan. When oil is at 160 degrees (water drops should pop), add prepared chicken and cook for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, until coating is mahogany brown.

When chicken is ready, place on plates and top with honey mustard sauce. Garnish with a sprinkle of chopped pecans and parsley. Serve with mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables.


Grilled Pistachio Salmon


1    cup pistachios chopped, 
1/2 cup brown sugar, 
3    tbs lemon juice, 
1    tsp dill, 
1    tsp pepper


Combined 1 cup pistachios chopped, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 3tbs lemon juice, 1tsp dill, 1 tsp pepper. Then spoon over your salmon fillets. Grill covered over high heat for 5-10 min or until fish flakes easily.


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Sweet And Salty Crackers

Just made up a batch of these Sweet and Salty Crackers, sure hope they make it till tomorrow!

  • 1 sleeve of crackers (your choice, I use Club Crackers)
  • 1/2 stick of butter (1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts
Line a sided baking sheet with foil. Place crackers side touching on baking sheet.
Melt butter then add brown sugar and cinnamon, stir till well combined.
Spread or dab butter mixture onto crackers, be generous, the more the better.
Then sprinkle nuts on crackers.
Place in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool before trying to remove from pan.
Gently peel crackers off aluminum foil and enjoy!


Happy Thanksgiving 2013

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Easy Crock Pot Beans

Growing up pinto beans and rice were staples in my house. My parents had five kids to feed so they really needed the most nutritional bang they could get for their buck. So I thought I'd share my mom's super easy recipe for pinto beans. I do want to add that all the amounts are approximations. My mom has never really been one to measure things out.


▶1 pound dried pinto beans (2 1/2 cups), rinsed, and picked for small rocks and deformed beans.
▶8 cups water, enough to comfortably cover beans since a lot of it will evaporate.
▶1 spoonful crushed red pepper
▶2 teaspoons salt
▶1/4 teaspoon black pepper


1. Place all of the ingredients in a crock pot or a sturdy good sized pot with a lid. Mix together.
2. Cook on low to medium low. Cooking time will vary on several factors but you want the beans to be tender yet not falling apart. Cover and cook. Makes about 6 servings. That's it! The beans are ready and yummy to eat as is. If you feel like going the extra mile...try 

Refried Beans

Throw a pan and the oil of your choice on the stove on medium high heat. Chop up some jalapeno and fry lightly before adding a few cups of beans. Use a potato masher or the bottom of an oven safe mug to mash beans while frying (some people prefer to blend their pinto beans in the blender before hand but my family prefers chunkier refried beans). Moisture can evaporate from beans making them dry so add a bit of milk of this happens. As soon as you are done cooking while stove is off but the pan still hot add some cheese.

Source: Mommy Made


Pizza Pasta In A Crock Pot

I wanted to do a pasta recipe, but wanted something other than the usual ziti or lasagna. Then I remembered a pizza casserole I did a few years ago and thought, why not try it in a crock pot? So, here it is. I'm really pleased with how it turned out! It's delicious and hearty and it feeds a crowd. Hope you like it!


1 lb. rigatoni (uncooked)
2 26 oz jars tomato sauce (or your own marinara sauce)
1 tbs. dried oregano
1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. Italian sausage, (removed from casing)
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 green pepper, roughly chopped
1-2 cups sliced mushrooms
1cup black olives
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
sliced pepperoni


In a large skillet, brown the ground beef. Drain excess fat. Remove from pan and set aside. Do the same thing with the sausage, making sure to break it up into small pieces.( I do this the night before)
On the day if---mix the sauce, uncooked pasta, and oregano in a large bowl until the pasta is well coated. Spray the inside of a large crock pot with cooking spray. 

Now make layers using half of each ingredient and then repeat using the other half. Layer in this order:

Pasta, beef, sausage, onions, peppers, mushrooms, olives,cheese. Place slices of pepperoni on the top and sprinkle with a little more oregano. Cook on low for about 4 hours.


I've heard from a few people that cooking this on low for 5 hours was too long, and the result was burnt pasta. I guess the best thing to do is to check on it after a few hours (if you can) the first time you make it, and be sure to use plenty of sauce.

I only add pepperoni to the top layer because it makes the entire casserole a little too spicy for me if I include it on both layers. If you're all about spicy, then go for it! Add as much as you like!

Be generous with the sauce because the uncooked pasta really absorbs a lot. If you want, you could even add a little extra layer of sauce between the meat and the vegetables.

Feel free to change the ingredients to include whichever pizza toppings you like.

You can make this a low carb dish by omitting the pasta completely and by choosing tomato sauce that has less sugar added.

Source: Mommy Made

Chicken and Ravioli Carbonara

Chicken and Ravioli Carbonara
Smother chicken and ravioli in a homemade cream sauce for a tasty, 30-minute wonder!


2       tablespoons Italian dressing
1       lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch strips
3/4    cup Progresso® chicken broth (from 32-oz carton)
1       package (9 oz) refrigerated cheese-filled ravioli
1/2    cup half-and-half
4       slices bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled
Shredded Parmesan cheese, if desired
Chopped fresh parsley, if desired 


  • 1 In 10-inch skillet, heat dressing over high heat. Cook chicken in dressing 2 to 4 minutes, turning occasionally, until brown.
  • 2 Add broth and ravioli to skillet. Heat to boiling; reduce heat to medium. Cook uncovered about 4 minutes or until ravioli are tender and almost all broth has evaporated.
  • 3 Stir in half-and-half; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered 3 to 5 minutes or until sauce is hot and desired consistency (cook longer for a thicker sauce). Sprinkle with bacon, cheese and parsley.

Expert Tips:

The less time the sauce is cooked, the thinner it will be; if cooked longer, the sauce will become thick and coat the ravioli.

For a splash of vibrant color, cut one orange or red bell pepper into 1/4-inch strips and add to the skillet with the broth and ravioli.

Krispy Apple Treats

These yummy treats are colored with jello! Substitute red jello for orange and turn them into pumpkins.

Makes 25
6 C. Krispy Rice Cereal
1 pkg. large marshmallows
3 T. butter
1 small pkg. Jell-o powder, cherry or strawberry flavor
25 small Tootsie Roll Candies
Royal Icing, tinted green
Baking spray
Wax Paper
Red Food Coloring, optional
optional: you could use fruit roll-ups or those green mint leaf candies instead of the royal icing.

Directions:Place marshmallows and butter in large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Stir and microwave for an additional minute. Remove from microwave and stir in jell-o powder. If desired, you can add a few drops of red food coloring (depending on how "red" your jell-o is). Add Krispy Rice cereal and stir well. Spray hands with baking spray and roll mixture into balls (a little larger than a golf ball) and drop on wax paper.
After balls have set for a few minutes, use your thumb to press into the top to make an "apple" shape.
Add a small tootsie roll "stem" and using royal icing (or any green candy), pipe on a "leaf". I actually would have rather used some kind of green candy but didn't have any on hand. I just used royal icing and a leaf-shaped icing tip.
undefined Serve to your favorite kiddos! These would also be a really fun "Teacher Appreciation Day" snack!


Watermelon Cookies

Watermelon Cookies
Watermelon cookies are the perfect treat to welcome summer!  I made mine from all store bought ingredients so they whip up in a matter of minutes but look like you have been a hardworking baker!  They taste even better because they are so cute!

  • 1 roll store bought sugar cookie dough
  • 1 can of Hot Pink Icing
  • Mini-Chocolate Chips
  • Green Food Coloring
  • Start off by opening your cookie dough, putting it in a bowl or on a cutting board and add about 10 drops of green food coloring. Knead with your hands and add more food coloring until it's as green as you want it and thoroughly colored.
  • Roll dough back into a log and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.
  • Slice the cookie dough log into 1/4 inch slices and arrange on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  • Bake according to package.
  • Remove from oven before the edges brown. Let cool for about 10 minutes.
  • Take a knife or spatula and slice some of the cookies in half while they are still warm to form wedges.
  • Add pink icing and mini-chocolate chips for the seeds!
  • Enjoy!

Fun Corn Dogs

This is a cute idea for a snack! I love corn-dogs and jiffy corn muffins.


1   8.5 oz Box of Corn Muffin Mix
1   Package of Hotdogs
Mustard and Ketchup


Mix up an 8.5oz box of corn muffin mix, divide batter into the Mini-Muffin Pan, and add hot dog slices. Bake for 10-12 minutes at 375°.

Source: Mommy Made

Halloween Witches Hats

A little early but save the recipe now so you can make them for Halloween and so easy to make.


32 Hershey's® Kisses® brand milk chocolates, unwrapped
1 package (11 1/2 ounces) fudge-striped shortbread cookies (32)
1 tube (4.25 ounces) orange or red decorating icing  


1. Attach 1 chocolate candy to chocolate bottom of each cookie, using decorating icing.

2. Pipe decorating icing around base of milk chocolate candy.


No Mess Corn On The Cob

Best corn ever! No mess this is the only way I do it! No more boiling corn or shucking corn! Can do more at once I usually do 5 for about 8-9 minutes.

Source:  Mommy Made

Tuna Balls


2 large tins tuna in spring water, drained
1 sweet potato, mashed and seasoned with cinnamon
1 stalk celery, fi nely chopped
½ carrot, grated
2 zucchinis, grated
1 red onion, diced and browned
2 egg whites
¼ cup sesame seeds


1. Combine all ingredients with hands and roll into balls

2. Cook on 180°-200° for 20 minutes or until brown

Source: Crystal Ward Daniel


Cream Cheese Sausage Balls With Creamy Mustard Dipping Sauce

It is a tradition in our house to have Sausage Balls every Christmas Eve...I can't wait to try this recipe for them.


1 lb. SAUSAGE, uncooked (you can use regular or hot)
8 oz. CREAM CHEESE, softened
1 1/4 cups BISQUICK BAKING MIX( or low carb bake mix)


Preheat oven to 400°.

Mix all ingredients until well combined. Roll into 1 inch balls.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden.

You can make these ahead and refrigerate until needed. Or also freeze until ready to use, you will need to add a few minutes to the baking time.

Dipping Sauce:

1/2 cup MAYO
1/2 cup SOUR CREAM
2 Tablespoons DIJON MUSTARD
2-6 drops HOT SAUCE
1 medium GARLIC CLOVE, crushed


Combine all ingredients. Chill until serving."

Source: Texas Recipes 

What Your Favorite Pie Says About You

It’s time you learned the truth.  

Apple Pie

Apple Pie
If apple pie is your favorite pie, you’re basically an American hero. And you’ll never have to prove it by doing a heroic act; people will just know by seeing you eat the pie. In fact, if anyone sees you eating apple pie they should thank you for being a true patriot.

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie
If pumpkin pie is your favorite, there’s a good chance you’re incredibly good looking. Scientists have yet to figure out why, but attractive people tend to gravitate toward pumpkin. People are walking by you asking, “Who is that person shoving pumpkin pie into their mouth? Cuz daaaaaaaayumn they look good.”

Pecan Pie

Pecan Pie
If pecan pie is your favorite pie, it means you radiate an aura of joy to those around you. If you’re in the room, eating pecan pie, other people will be like, “What is this feeling? Is it gas? No… It’s joy!” And it’s all because of you.

Cherry Pie

Cherry Pie
If cherry pie is your favorite, it means you’re just a really good, quality person. You should probably be put in a museum of awesome people. But that would be kind of creepy, like a human zoo. I mean, you’d be free to take breaks and leave the museum from time to time, but you have a life to live. So, just keep eating cherry pie and let’s never speak of this again.

Sugar Cream Pie

Sugar Cream Pie
If sugar cream pie is your favorite, it means you’re the kind of person people just enjoy being around. And you don’t even have to try really hard or shower them with falling dolla bills. In fact, most people would probably rather hang out with you than get showered with falling dolla bills.

Sweet Potato Pie

Sweet Potato Pie
If sweet potato pie is your favorite pie, it means you have an incredible inner strength. Your inner strength could rip a phone book in half or punch a wild boar. You’re tough enough to put up with all the yahoos who say, “Isn’t sweet potato pie basically the same thing as pumpkin pie? What’s the point?” Your inner strength could end those fools.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
If strawberry rhubarb is your favorite, it means you’re probably extremely talented. You’re just naturally gifted like that squirrel that can water-ski.

Coconut Cream Pie

Coconut Cream Pie
If coconut cream is your favorite, it means you make really good choices. If you had two kids and you had to choose which one to keep for some horrible reason, whatever you decided would absolutely be the right choice.

Custard Pie

Custard Pie
If custard pie is your favorite, it means you’re a leader. A doer. An eater of custard pie. A taker of no prisoners. You’re the kind of person people want around when things go wrong with your firm, custardy, egg-like presence.

Blueberry Pie

Blueberry Pie
If blueberry is your favorite, it means you’re a warm presence to anyone you encounter. You’re like a giant, human cup of cocoa or a tiny, human fireball.

Key Lime Pie

Key Lime Pie
If Key lime pie is your favorite, you can best be described as “fresh to death.” You’re cool. Real cool. Ice cool. Pre-global warming cool.

Chocolate Cream Pie

Chocolate Cream Pie
If chocolate cream pie, or any chocolate pie, is your favorite, that means you possess a keen wisdom beyond your years. When fools step to you, you immediately school them with your street smarts. The knowledge that no dessert flavor can compete with chocolate is very powerful. Be careful not to use it for evil.

Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon Meringue Pie
If your favorite pie is lemon meringue, then you’re just fun. In the dictionary, under the entry for “fun,” there’s probably a photo of some balloons and maybe a dog wearing a hat, AND a photo of you. How did they get that photo? I don’t know, but you’re not gonna worry about it because you’re too busy being fun.

Chess Pie

Chess Pie
If chess pie is your favorite, it means you keep it real. You’re not walking around acting all fake, saying fake stuff like, “I love your shoes!” Because those shoes are ugly and everyone knows it.

Banana Cream Pie

Banana Cream Pie
If banana cream pie is your favorite, it means, without a doubt, you’re a really genuine person. Your friends and family should probably have some kind of certificate of authenticity for you. You may also share qualities with the rapper Ginuwine, whose 1996 hit “Pony” will never be forgotten.

Peach Pie

Peach Pie
If peach pie is your favorite, it means one thing: You really know how to live. You just know. You should teach a master class on just livin’. In Ja Rule’s 2001 single “Livin’ It Up,” he was talking about YOU specifically.

Blackberry Pie

Blackberry Pie
If blackberry pie is your favorite, it means you’re probably a really good friend. Your friends are probably the luckiest people on earth because a blackberry pie-loving friend is basically a 10 on the friend scale, developed in the late 1800s by Sir Edward Friend to quantifiably measure friendship.

Peanut Butter Pie

Peanut Butter Pie
If peanut butter is your favorite pie, there are two main things people should know about how you live: 1. Large 2. In charge. Everyone else is living these small-medium, not-in-charge lives while you take a bite of peanut butter pie and say to yourself, “Yes, I CAN have it all.”

You don’t like pie.

You don't like pie.