Friday, December 31, 2010

Taco Chicken Chili.

Guest Post from Michelle B:
The holiday season means family, friends, food.....and football!  I love to make Taco Chicken Chili for a football party and there is no bigger game this weekend than the Rose Bowl!  I am so excited to watch Bucky bring home a Rose Bowl win!  And speaking of winners--this recipe is one.  The best thing about it, other than it is super yummy, is that it is healthy!!  A serving is around 200 calories.  Serving it on New Years Day won't wipe out anyone's New Years Resolutions on day one.  This recipe makes a crock-pot full so there is plenty to go around.  You will score big when you bring this to your next football party!

Taco Chicken Chili

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 16-oz can black beans
  • 1 16-oz can kidney beans
  • 1 8-oz can tomato sauce
  • 10 oz package frozen corn kernels
  • 2 14.5-oz cans diced tomatoes 
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 24 oz (3-4) boneless skinless chicken breast
  • chili peppers, chopped (optional)
Combine beans, onion, chili peppers, corn, tomato sauce, cumin, chili powder and taco seasoning in a slow cooker. Place chicken on top and cover.Cook on low for 10 hours or on high for 6 hours. Half hour before serving, remove chicken and shred. Return chicken to slow cooker and stir in.  Top with real WISCONSIN cheese and sour cream (adds calories, but is so yummy!!)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2010 Favorites & a 2011 Resolution.

Roasted Tomato & Basil Soup with Cheese Tortellini.
I've yet to make this since "soup season" has begun.  I know we're having this weekend!

Eight Layer Tortilla Bake.
Does that not look so tempting!?  And EASY!

Mouth is watering just thinking about!

So glad that my husband's New Year's Resolution is to grill each month (yes, even when it's snowy and cold!).

The list wouldn't be complete without dessert!

Enjoy.  And Happy New Year's.  I'll return in 2011 when my resolution is to use my cookbooks for two new recipes each month.  And one new bread each month.  Wish me luck.  All the tempting recipes online often lead me astray from the cookbooks.  Not anymore!!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Gingerbread People


6 Tbsp butter softened
3/4 c packed dark brown sugar
1/2 c molasses
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp grated lemon peel
3 c. all-purpose flour
3 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cloves

Icings and candies of your choice.

1) In a large bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffly. Beat in the molasses, egg, vanilla and lemon peel. Combine the flour, ginger, baking soda, salt and cloves; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Divide dough in half. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until easy to handle.

2) On a lightly floured surface, roll out each portion to 1/4" thickness. Cut with a floured 4" gingerbread boy cookie cutter. Place 2" apart on greased baking sheets. Reroll scraps.

3) Bake at 350 degrees for 7-9 minutes or until the edges are firm. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Decorate as desired.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Chocolate-Raspberry Tassies

For the last 5 years or so I have organized a Cookie Exchange and these are the cookies I did this year. These Chocolate Raspberry Tassies are not a real sweet dessert but the Buttercream adds that little sweetness! I used teflon mini-muffin tins and the came out really easy when they were cool!

Pre-Heat oven to 375*

Chocolate Pastry~
In a Food Processor combine 1 1/4 c. Flour, 1/3 c. sugar, 1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa and a dash of salt; Pulse to combine. Add 1/2 c. cold cut up butter. Cover and process until crumbly. Add 1 egg yolk whisked together with 2 T. cold water to crumbly mixture and process to form a dough ball add water if to dry. Divide into 24 balls, press evenly into bottom and up the side of 1 3/4" muffin cups.

In a small saucepan heat and stir 6 oz. Semi-Sweet Chocolate and butter over medium/low heat until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and stir in 1 large egg, 1/3 c. sugar, 1 T. Raspberry Liqueur and 2 t. vanilla. Spoon about 1 T. of filling into each muffin shell.

12-15 minutes or until pastry is firm and filling is puffed. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely.

Chocolate Buttercream~
In a medium mixing bowl beat 1/4 c. softened butter on medium/high speed for 30 seconds. Gradually add 1 c. powdered sugar and 3 T. unsweetened cocoa powder. beat in 2 T. milk. Gradually beat in 1 c. powdered sugar until piping consitantly. When Tassies are completly cooled Pipe or Dollop on top.

I would like to Thank Holly and Heidi for the chance to have another recipe on their blog! Here is hoping everyone has a Very Merry Christmas and A Happy Happy New Year!!!!!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Chocolate Haystacks.

I should stop baking holiday treats.  I should stop no-baking holiday treats.  I really should.  I'm ready for my kitchen to be back to normal (no candies hardening on the counter, no flour sitting out because I am using it all the time anyway, no constant dish washing).  And, I'm ready to cook again.  But, I always get a ting of fear right before I begin gifting the goods..  What if I don't have enough cookies?  Maybe I need more candy?  Is there a good enough mix of chocolate and non-chocolate? And so on and so forth.

To calm my fear: continue making holiday treats.

Chocolate Haystacks
(recipe adapted from my mom)
1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 bag butterscotch chips
1 bag chow mein noodles

Melt chips together.  Add chow mein noodles.  Mix until combined.  Drop by tablespoon onto waxed paper and allow to harden.  Store in an air tight container and serve throughout the holiday season.

And with that I am off to finish my turtle cookies and then make a double batch of m&m cookies.  Then I'm done with the sweet holiday treats.  I promise.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Rosettes - By Nicole

So let me preface this by saying, I've never actually made these myself...however, I have helped. They are very much a family tradition for us and one day I'm sure I will try my hand at it. For now, my uncle makes them by the case every year for people all around the area. He even sells them as they aren't something a lot of people make, apparently. The original rosette-maker was my grandma and here is her recipe straight out of an old church cookbook:

A few tips my uncle gave me today:
  • He uses a little extra milk to thin out the batter
  • Cast iron (seasoned) rosette irons are essential, aluminum won't do and never use soap on them
  • Allow the batter to rest overnight in the refrigerator before using
  • Preheat your iron by putting it in the oil, then wipe on paper towel and dip in batter
  • Do not go over the top of the iron
  • Leave the iron in the pan for 20 seconds or so without letting it touch the bottom (it will burn)
  • The first couple, like pancakes, never turn out
This is a very well used, for rosettes only, pot. It is not a tidy project; oil will bubble over the sides.
What may seem like an undertaking at first, is well worth the effort as these are so delicate, delicious, and unique. Dust with powdered sugar or dip in granulated sugar as our family does.

Christmas Toffee Bars

First, thanks Holly for inviting me back this year!

Now on to the yummy treat....As a child this was my FAVORITE Christmas "cookie." While I loved helping my mom decorate the cut outs and enjoyed the sugar cookies with the chocolate star in the middle I couldn't shove enough of these in my mouth :) Even better they are easy and quick to make and do not require a lot of ingredients. So, I present to you......

Christmas Toffee Bars

Saltine Crackers
1 cup of butter and additional butter to grease the pan
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips
Chopped nuts to sprinkle on top

-Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Butter a 9x13 cooking pan and layer with saltine crackers.
-Take 1 cup butter and 1 cup brown sugar and bring to a boil. Boil for 3 min and then pour over the saltines. Bake for 5 min.
-Melt chocolate and butterscotch chips and pour on top. I usually pour this on top after the brown sugar/butter mixture as cooled a bit on the saltines (it spreads easier).
-Add chopped nuts and let cool.

These are easier to cut when they are not too hot or too cool! Happy baking and eating!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

'Holly'day Treats.

I named these 'Holly'day treats because I don't know the real name for them and because growing up these were by far my favorite holiday treat.  As soon as my mom had them made I would start sneaking them...I wonder if she ever knew some were missing :)

'Holly'day Treats
(Recipe adapted from My Mom)
1/2 bag chow mein noodles (use right from the package)
1/2 bag fruit flavored marshmallows
2 cups rice krispies
1 package white chocolate candy
1 1/2 cups peanutbutter

Combine chow mein noodles, marshmallows, and rice krispies.  In a separate bowl melt white chocolate.  Once melted mix in peanutbutter until the two are combined.  Dump white chocolate/peanutbutter mixture over the dry ingredients and stir until evenly coated.  Drop by tablespoon unto waxed paper and leave until set.  Place in an air-tight container and enjoy throughout the holiday!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Peppermint Kiss Cookies.

If I didn't know better I'd almost think that I really liked peppermint.  Don't get me wrong these peppermint kiss cookies are tasty little's just that I like chocolate and caramel better!

Back to the peppermint.  I was most intrigued by this recipe because Amy kept writing about her candy cane flour.  I think candy cane flour sounds fun.  Fast forward through about six batches of these cookies and I can tell you that candy cane flour is fun and best made with a food processor!
 Peppermint Kiss Cookies
(slightly adapted from Sing for Your Supper)

2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
"flour" from 6 candy cakes (aka processed, chopped, hammered, etc candy cane pieces)
10 tablespoons butter
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk (I find it's easier to separate when the egg is near room temp)
Red Wilton candy melts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine flour, salt, baking powder and candy cane flour; set aside.  Beat butter until smooth.  Add sugar and beat until mixture is light.  Continue beating as you add the egg and egg yolk.  Lower mixer speed and add the flour mixture.  Mix until blended.  Drop by tablespoon (or slightly smaller) onto baking sheets covered in parchament paper.  (This is helpful as some of your candy cane flour may melt and make your cookies stick to the pan.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Cookies will become firm, but will not change color.  Heat candy melts in a small ziploc bag using the microwave (heat slowly).  Drizzle over cooled cookies and enjoy.

I think you will find these cookies easy to make tasty to eat.  Happy baking!

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Guest Bloggers of Christmas Past & Present.

As you're planning your holiday menus and making your holiday treats be reminded of the following main dishes and tasty treats from friends and family...

The Guest Bloggers of Christmas Past:
Angie - White Chili.  Nothing more comforting on a chilly winter day than chili.
Janet - Caramel Kiss Cookies.  Chocolate and caramel - yes, please!
Nicole - Chocolate Mint Truffle Cookies & Cranberry Orange Cookies.  Really, who can resist
chocolate and mint at Christmas?  And the cranberry orange is a welcome addition to any cookie platter!
Karla - Chocolaty Caramel Thumbprints.  My favorite part - asides from eating them is that they look so fancy, but are so easy!
Emily - Dried Cherry & Chocolate Walnut Brittle.  Emily is a superstar.  She was on food network!  Thank gosh my parents get that channel so I could watch her!
Teresa - Pumpkin Dessert.  Pumpkin isn't just for Thanksgiving!  It's delicious at Christmas too!
Mom - Hot Buttered Rum.  Oh.  How I hope that we can enjoy some hot buttered rums at the cookie exchange next weekend!!
Risa - Rocky Ledge Bars.  Deliciousness!  Risa never fails to blog about all kinds of sweet treats.
Robyn - Winter Salad.  Salad is always a welcome addition to our Christmas spread.  It never hurts to serve something that makes your guests feel healthy!  And this salad is so good!

...and The Guest Bloggers of Christmas Present:
Michelle K - Apple Bean Bake.  I've purchased the supplies to make this...can't wait!
Kaiti - Nutterbutter Balls.  Kaiti has found the secret to making phenomenal nutterbutter balls.
Julie - The Schooley's Easy Lasagna Rollups.  On the list to make in the next week.  So excited!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

French Bread Pizza.

I've been seeing a lot of French Bread Pizza lately.  I finally gave into my urge (looking most forward to the hunk of french bread) and got to work making my own French Bread Pizza.

The thing I like so much about pizza is that it gives me the opportunity to clean out the fridge and freezer.  Half a green pepper and half a fresh mozzarella/prosciutto log - yes, please.  Partial package of pepperoni and frozen (but prepared) italian sausage - yup!  It's that easy.  Even if you don't have toppings to clean from the fridge and freezer - it's still easy.  And how could I forget - it's completely adaptable.

French Bread Pizza
(Recipe by me)
1 loaf of bread french (cut in half the long way)
1 can pizza sauce
3-4 cups mozzarella cheese (shredded)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese (shredded)
Desired toppings

Top each half of bread with desired amount of pizza sauce.  I used about a little over half the can - reserving the rest for dipping.  Sprinkle evenly with cheeses and other desired toppings.  We had slices of the mozzarella/prosciutto/basil log along with italian pork sausage.  Cook in a 375 degree oven for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted and a little browned.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Schooley's Easy Lasagna Rollups

This recipe is so easy and fun! My kids love helping me roll up the noodles! The first time we tried this recipe we didn't use meat. We have found we like it much better with meat.

You will need:
1 egg, beaten
1 15 oz container Ricotta Cheese
2 cups shredded Italian Three Cheese Blend
4 green onions, chopped
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
1 pd hamburger, browned
1 26 oz jar of spaghetti sauce
16 lasagna noodles, cooked
1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix first 6 ingrediants until well blended. Spread 1/2 cup spaghetti sauce onto bottom of 13x9-inch baking dish. Spread each noodle with 3 Tbsp of cheese/meat mixture; roll up.

Place seam-side down in dish. Top with remaining sauce and Parmesan; cover. Bake 45 minutes or until heated, uncovering the last 10 minutes.
I like to make this ahead of time and put it in the fridge to make the next day. If you do that just add 20 minutes to the baking time.