Sunday, December 26, 2010

Really good oatmeal cookies

My husband loves these cookies because of the cinnamon and nutmeg in them. This recipe makes 4 dozen, so I either halve the recipe or freeze half of the cookies.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Category: Desserts
Sub Category:

1 c butter, softened
1 ½ c sugar
1 egg
¼ c water
1 t vanilla
1 ½ c flour
½ t baking soda
½ t salt
½ t cinnamon
½ t nutmeg
3 c quick cooking oats
1 c raisins

1. Cream butter; gradually add sugar, beating well at medium speed until fluffy. Add egg and beat well. Add water and vanilla, mixing well.
2. Combine dry ingredients. Add to creamed mixture, mixing well. Stir in oats and raisins.
3. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto un-greased cookie sheets.
4. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes until lightly browned.

Oatmeal Bread

I made this for Christmas morning. I got the recipe out of the newspaper. I have had very good luck with the recipes I have found there.

Oatmeal Spice Bread
Category: Baked Goods
Sub Category: Bread
Source: FW Star Telegram

1 ¼ c boiling water
1 c quick cooking oats
1 stick butter
1 ½ c flour
1 ½ t baking soda
1 t salt
1 t cinnamon
½ t nutmeg
¼ t cloves
1 ½ c brown sugar
2 large eggs

1 c powdered sugar
1 T warm water
1 t lemon juice
1. Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour a 9x5 loaf pan
2. Pour boiling water over oatmeal and butter. Cover and let stand for 20 min
3. Combine flour, soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves in bowl and set aside
4. Put oatmeal mixture in stand mixer and add brown sugar and eggs; mix well. Add flour mixture and mix just until combined.
5. Pour into pan and bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on rack before removing from pan.
6. When loaf is completely cool, combine all icing ingredients and ice loaf.

Another Breakfast Casserole

This is the casserole I made for breakfast on Christmas day. I make this a lot and I actually just made one for MOPS a couple of weeks ago. It is not nearly as healthy as the other Breakfast Casserole I put on here, but it is good. It is a pretty standard sausage and egg casserole, though, so you may have a similar recipe. We really enjoy this one.

Breakfast Casserole
Category: Eggs and Cheese
Sub Category:
Source: Allison

6 slices bread, crust removed
1 lb ground sausage
4 c shredded cheese
6 eggs
1 t salt
1 t dry mustard
2 c half and half

1. Lightly butter each slice of bread. Place bread in 9x13 buttered Pyrex.
2. Brown sausage. Drain and pat with paper towels. Sprinkle sausage over bread. Sprinkle cheese over sausage.
3. Beat eggs. Add salt, dry mustard and half and half. Beat again. Pour egg mixture over cheese. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.
4. Remove foil and bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Cooking

I made my annual Christmas Food Gifts for Jory's office yesterday and it went really well. I used three new recipes and was really pleased with each. They were easy, fairly mess-free and tasted really good. Here they are:

Category: Desserts
Sub Category: Cookies
Source: Southern Living

1 c butter, softened
2 c sugar
2 large eggs
¼ c milk
1 t vanilla
3 ¾ c flour
1 t baking powder
2 t cinnamon
3 T sugar
1 ½ T cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 375. Beat butter at medium speed until creamy. Gradually add 2 c sugar, beating well. Add eggs, milk and vanilla beating well.
2. Combine flower, baking powder and 2 tsp cinnamon; gradually add to butter mixture, beating at low speed just until blended.
3. Combine 3 T sugar and 1 ½ T cinnamon in a small bowl. Roll dough into 1 ¼ inch balls and roll into sugar mixture. Place on un-greased baking sheets and flatten slightly with the bottom of a glass.
4. Bake at 375 for 11-13 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets 5 minutes. Transfer to wire racks and cool completely (about 30 minutes).

Gingerbread Cookies
Category: Desserts
Sub Category: Cookies
Source: O Magazine

2 c plus 2 T flour
2 t baking soda
2 t cinnamon
2 t ginger
1 t allspice
1 t cloves
½ t fine salt
12 T butter, room temp
¾ c sugar
1 egg
¼ c molasses

1. In large bowl, whisk together flour and next six ingredients.
2. Beat butter and sugar on low until pale and fluffy, 1-2 min.
3. Add egg, vanilla and molasses beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture and beat until smooth.
4. Divide dough between two large sheets of parchment paper and roll up snugly to make two 8-inch logs. Refrigerate until firm, about two hours.
5. Preheat oven to 350. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Place about ¼ c sugar in shallow dish. Cut dough logs into ¼ in slices. Dip the top of each slice in sugar and place 1 in apart on baking sheets. Bake until just firm around the edges, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely.

Note: I cut each dough log in half and sliced the cookies from the center. When I got to the ends of the logs (which were smaller than the center), I took all of the leftover dough and rolled them into balls, dipped the balls in sugar and flattened them with a glass. They came out exactly the same as the ones that had been sliced.

Puppy Chow
Category: Desserts
Sub Category:

½ c Peanut butter
¼ c butter
1 c chocolate chips
½ t vanilla
9 c Crispix cereal, any flavor
1 ½ c powdered sugar

1. Combine peanut butter, butter and chocolate chips in microwave safe bowl
2. Microwave for one minute. Stir to blend all ingredients thoroughly. Add vanilla and stir well.
3. Put Crispix in very large bowl
4. Pour chocolate over cereal tossing evenly and making sure all cereal is coated.
5. Sprinkle evenly with powdered sugar tossing to cover each piece of cereal.

Note: I recommend doing this recipe in batches - make 1/2 or 1/3 of the recipe at a time. I did a full recipe the first time and had a hard time mixing all of the cereal and toppings. I did a third the second time and it was very easy and much neater. Also, I used Chex cereal and it worked fine.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Cranberry Coffee Cake

I made this coffee cake for Sunday School this week. This is one of our favorite things and it is always a hit. Sweet Meghan made it for Jory and me when we visited her over a year ago. I HAD to have the recipe and have made it plenty since.

Cranberry Coffee Cake
Category: Baked Goods
Sub Category:
Source: Meg Scully

2 c flour
1 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
½ t salt
½ c butter
1 c sugar
2 eggs
1 (16 oz) can whole cranberry sauce
1 t almond extract

¾ c powdered sugar
2 T warm water
¼ t almond extract
¼ t vanilla

1. Cream butter and sugar.
2. Add eggs one at a time. Add almond extract
3. Add dry ingredients, alternating with the sour cream
4. Grease and flour bundt pan. Pour 1/3 of batter into pan. Spread ½ can cranberry sauce. Continue with 1/3 batter, ½ cranberry sauce, and end with last 1/3 of batter on top
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes
6. Combine all glaze ingredients and drizzle over cooled cake.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


I have several lasagna recipes and, while they are all good, none of them are great and they are all somewhat cumbersome to make. I tried a new recipe from Southern Living this weekend and was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to make. It was also really good. Jory took one bite and said, "This is good. This is really good." It is a very thick lasagna, so you eat smaller pieces and the pan lasts a bit longer. I would give two caveats about this lasagna: (1) it has a lot of basil in it. I like basil, but if you don't this might not be for you and (2) it has a lot of sauce. Some people don't like really saucy lasagnas, so this wouldn't be for them. For everyone else, this is great!

Beefy Lasagna
Category: Main Dishes
Sub Category: Beef
Source: Southern Living

12 Lasagna noodles
24 oz 4% small curd cottage cheese
16 oz ricotta cheese
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
½ c refrigerated pesto
1 t salt
2 ½ c shredded mozzarella, divided
1 lb lean ground beef
½ c finely chopped onion
2 24 oz jars tomato & basil pasta sauce

1. Preheat oven to 375. Prepare noodles according to package.

2. Stir together cottage cheese and next 4 ingredients. Stir in 1 c mozzarella.

3. Cook ground beef and onion in large skillet over med-high, stirring often, 6-7 minutes or until meat crumbles and is no longer pink. Stir in pasta sauce.

4. Layer 1 cup beef mixture, 3 noodles and 2 ½ c cottage cheese mixture in lightly greased 13x9 in baking dish. Top with 3 noodles, 2 c beef mixture and 3 more noodles. Top with remaining cottage cheese mixture, 3 noodles and beef mixture. Sprinkle with remaining 1 ½ c mozzarella.

5. Bake, covered, at 375 for 40-45 minutes. Uncover and bake 20 minutes or until cheese is browned. Let stand 10-15 min before serving.

Note: I used dried minced onion instead of chopping 1/2 c of onion and it worked fine.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pumpkin Bread

Yesterday there was a recipe for Tim Byres' (a Dallas chef) family Holiday Pumpkin Bread in the Fort Worth Star Telegram. It looked good and easy, so I thought I would make it for Jory to have when he got in from the airport. It was good and easy and Jory and I made a serious dent in it before going to bed. Luckily, it makes A LOT of bread. This would be great for gifts if you have mini loaf pans.

Pumpkin Bread
Category: Baked Goods
Sub Category:

2 2/3 c flour
3 c sugar
2 t baking soda
½ t baking powder
2 t salt
1 t nutmeg
1 t cinnamon
1 t allspice
1 t cloves
4 eggs
2 c pumpkin puree
1 c vegetable oil
2/3 c water

1. Preheat oven to 350. Combine all dry ingredients in the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Add eggs, one at a time, then add pumpkin until well mixed. Add oil and water and mix well.

2. Grease and flour two loaf pans. Pour batter into the pans.

3. Bake at 350 for 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Mexican Chicken Casserole

I made this casserole today. I will be honest and say that it is not one of my favorite recipes, but a lot of people love it and it is very easy. I took it to a friend of mine today and we'll see what she thinks. I have another friend who got this recipe for me and makes it every time she needs to take a meal to someone. So it's pretty popular, it's just not my personal favorite.

Chicken and Corn Pie
Category: Main Dishes
Sub Category: Chicken
Source: Southern Living

1 (10oz) can enchilada sauce
1 (10 oz) can Mexican diced tomatoes with lime
juice and cilantro, drained
2 c frozen whole kernel corn
1 t chili powder
3 c chopped cooked chicken
1 (6oz) package Mexican-style cornbread mix
2/3 c milk
1 egg
2 T vegetable oil
1 c shredded 4-cheese Mexican blend, divided

1. Preheat oven to 375. Stir together first 4 ingredients in over medium heat until combined; cook, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Stir in chicken.
2. Whisk together cornbread mix, next 3 ingredients and ¾ c cheese in a small bowl just until blended.
3. Pour chicken mixture into lightly greased 11x7 baking dish. Spoon cornbread mixture onto top. Sprinkle evenly with remaining ¼ c cheese.
4. Bake at 375 for 30 min or until golden and bubbly.

Monday, November 8, 2010


I tried three new recipes this weekend and none of them were keepers, but I also made a Tried and True recipe - Roast! This is actually Sheri's recipe. She gave it to me after I graduated from college and it was one of the first meals I made. It is also one of only a few recipes that I don't have written done - I just know it. It is SO good and easy. I know that most people are partial to their Mama's Roast, but I do think this is one worth trying.

1 Roast
1 Package Dry Onion Soup Mix
2 Cans Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 Can Coke
I use about a three pound roast, three potatoes quartered, two yellow onions quartered and a small bag of baby carrots. I put the vegetables in the bottom of a crock pot and set the meat on top. Then pour everything else on top of that. You don't have to actually hit the roast - just throw it all in there. You don't have to stir anything. Just cook on low for 8-10 hours and enjoy! Very tender!
Note: I usually use one can of Cream of Mushroom Soup and one can of Cream of Mushroom with Garlic

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Stuffed Shells

I made stuffed shells for lunch today. This is one of the easiest recipes because there are very few ingredients. I have also had great success with kids liking it. I didn't get a good picture today, but it's a good dish.

Stuffed Shells
Category: Main Dishes
Sub Category: Pasta
Source: Real Simple

20 Jumbo pasta Shells
24 oz jar Marinara sauce
2 (15 oz) containers Ricotta
2 c chopped baby spinach
½ c grated Parmesan
½ t salt
¼ t pepper
1 c grated mozzarella

1. Set an oven rack to the highest position and heat over to 400. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and run under cold water until cool
2. Spread Marinara sauce in bottom of a large baking dish
3. In a bowl combine ricotta, spinach, Parmesan, salt and pepper
4. Spoon mixture into shells and place on top of the sauce. Sprinkle with mozzarella and bake until shells are heated through, 10-12 minutes
5. Increase heat to broil. Broil until cheese begins to brown, 2-5 minutes

Note: I use shredded Mozzarella and I don't measure a cup, I just sprinkle some on top. I also have had better luck when I don't broil the shells at the end.

Friday, October 22, 2010


Here is the picture of the Chicken Enchiladas. The recipe is here.

Swiss Stuffing Chicken

Today I am making the Chicken Enchiladas that I gave the recipe for in the last post so I will post a picture of those soon. Last night I made Swiss Stuffing Chicken. I got this recipe from Kelly last year. (I think it was originally a Paula Dean recipe, but I don't know that for sure). It was something that she made and froze when she was pregnant with Harper. It froze really well and she and Scott loved it. I tried the recipe and now I make it all of the time.This is the most versatile recipe I own. With the exception of the chicken, I have - at one time or another - used a substitute for every ingredient that is called for. It uses Pepperidge Farms Herb Flavored Stuffing Mix which comes in a huge bag and you only need a cup for this recipe. So the stuffing mix lasts long enough for you to make this recipe a lot. So I always have that on hand and I can scrounge everything else up pretty easily, so this is an easy Last Minute Recipe. Plus, it's really good!

Swiss Stuffing Chicken
Category: Main Dishes
Sub Category: Chicken
Source: Kelly

4 Lg Skinless, boneless chicken breasts
6oz Swiss Cheese Slices
1 Can Cream of Chicken Soup
¼ c White Wine
Salt and pepper to taste
1 c crushed Herb Pepperidge Farm Stuffing Mix
½ Stick Butter, Melted

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Place chicken in buttered casserole dish. Layer cheese on top. Mix soup, wine, salt & pepper. Pour over cheese.
3. Sprinkle stuffing on top and drizzle with butter.
4. Bake for one hour.
Notes: 1. I never add salt. I think the soup makes it salty enough.
2. I have only made this recipe with Swiss Cheese one time. I make it with whatever cheese we have on hand and that's just never Swiss. I put 1 to 1 1/2 slices of cheese on each breast. Our favorite is probably Pepper Jack, but I've made it with Mozzarella, Provolone, Gouda, Parmesan and Cheddar.
3. I don't melt the butter. I just cut it up and throw it on top of the stuffing.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Pictures and Chicken Enchiladas

I made the breakfast casserole of my last post today for MOPS so I took a picture of it.

I also made White Cupcakes from Southern Living's cookbook and decorated them for Halloween.
I tried five new recipes last week and had few keepers. One of my Go To Recipes is Chicken Enchiladas. I probably make this recipe for other people more than any other. It seems to be universally enjoyed. Even kids who claim they don't like Chicken Enchiladas devour them. They also passed my Father-in-law's test and he is an enchilada connoisseur. This recipe is from Cooking Light, so it is a somewhat healthy take on enchiladas. Refreshing, for sure, and they still taste great. I'll be making them for friends later this week so I will take a picture.

Chicken and Cheese Enchiladas
Category: Main Dishes
Sub Category: Chicken
Source: Cooking Light

2 ½ c chopped cooked chicken breast
2 c shredded reduced-fat 4-cheese Mexican
1 2/3 c plain low-fat yogurt
1/3 c butter, melted
¼ c chopped onion
1 t minced garlic
¼ t pepper
1 can reduced-sodium cream of chicken soup
1 (4.5 oz) can chopped green chiles
8 (8 in) flour tortillas
½ c finely shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Combine 1st 9 ingredients in a large bowl. Remove 1 cup chicken mixture; set aside.
3. Arrange ½ cup chicken mixture down center of a tortilla. Roll and place seam side down in 13x9 baking dish coated with cooking spray. Repeat with remaining tortillas and chicken mixture. Spread reserved 1 cup mixture over enchiladas. Cover and bake at 350 for 20 min. Uncover; sprinkle with cheddar cheese and bake an additional 5 minutes or until cheese melts.

Notes: 1. I have used canned chicken instead of cooking and chopping chicken breasts in this recipe. I alternate the two depending on what I have on hand and they both taste fine.

2. I use fat-free plain yogurt and it tastes great.

3. I keep a bag of frozen chopped onion in the freezer. I throw 1/4 c in this recipe still frozen. Works fine and saves time.

4. I have never covered the enchiladas during cooking. I guess I forget, but it hasn't been a problem.

I hope your family enjoys these as much as mine does. They are not spicy at all, so depending on your tastes you may want to lather the final product with salsa!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Introduction and Egg Casserole

I have been talking about starting a recipe blog all year. As the year is drawing to a close, I think it is about time. I cook every day. I subscribe to a lot of magazines, mostly by virtue of having family members give them to me as gifts. Every month I cut out many recipes and I try them all. I have very strict standards on what becomes 'A Keeper'. Anything that makes it to this blog is easy and family-friendly.

I have been doing this for years and I have quite a collection. Last year I got everything entered into our computer which has made sorting and passing along so easy. I give out my recipes all of the time. Because I do make and try them and make them for others I really know which ones are good to pass on. I know which ones freeze well and which ones are great to take to others. I am frequently asked for quick, easy, good family recipes and I gladly share my collection. I am also asked on a regular basis for the recipe for a dish I brought to an event.

I love this. I know it helps other people and I really enjoy the finding and preparing of new meals. So I will continue to do my research and this blog is a place where I can pass the results on to anyone interested.

I will call my first recipe The One that Started it all. This is not a dish that you would think of as being wildly popular by reading it. It is an egg casserole with no meat in it. I originally made it for a family that has a vegetarian. My Southern Living cookbook assured me that it would be filling enough for the meat lovers. I also made it for my in laws who were coming in the same day I was delivering the meal. Both the woman I took the meal to and my mother-in-law asked for the recipe. They have both since made it many times. I have taken this dish to brunches and I always get asked for the recipe by several guests. It was this recipe that made me think I needed to find a way to share my recipes with others, so now I am.

This is great for brunch, but it also works very well for dinner or lunch with a salad and bread. I know it doesn't sound like much, but I have never had anything but praise. It's also so easy it's crazy.

Mexican Egg Casserole
Category: Main Dishes
Sub Category: Eggs
Source: Southern Living

5 large eggs, beaten
2 T butter, melted
1/4 c flour
½ t baking powder
1 c cottage cheese
2 c shredded monterey jack cheese
1 (4.5 oz) can chopped green chiles

1. Beat 1st 4 ingredients at med speed until blended
2. Stir in remaining ingredients
3. Pour into well-greased 9-in pie plate
4. Bake at 400 for 10 min. Reduce heat to 350 and bake 20 min more or until set.