Sunday, February 28, 2010

Chewy Oatmeal Cookies

3/4 c shortening
1 c brown sugar
1/2 c white sugar
1 egg
1/4 c water
1 tsp vanilla
3 c uncooked oats
1 c flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda

Cream shortening, sugars, egg, water, and vanilla.

Add dry ingredients and mix well.

Add assorted baking chips (milk chocolate and butterscotch shown above) and/or raisins.

Bake at 350° for 12-15 minutes.

Makes about 5 dozen.

Comments from the cook: When my older brother was in cub scouts, my mom discovered this oatmeal cookie recipe in the Bear Cub handbook. It has always been her go-to oatmeal cookie recipe, and was a household favorite when we were growing up.

I prefer to use milk chocolate chips and butterscotch chips (and raisins in the ones that are JUST FOR ME - Brian hates them). If that combo doesn't suit you, try my mom's style out. She uses Craisins, white chocolate chips and coconut. Tasty!

Original recipe courtesy of the Bear Cub handbook.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Beef Enchiladas

8 flour tortillas
1 can refried beans
1/2 lb ground beef, browned (ours were low on meat, so double if you'd like)
1 large can enchilada sauce (I used Las Palmas, mild)
1 packet McCormick enchilada flavoring
1 cup cheddar cheese

Warm enchilada sauce in medium sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add McCormick packet to enchilada sauce and stir well. Follow directions on McCormick packet (cook 10 minutes).

Spread about 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce in bottom of 9x13 pan.

Next, assemble!

Start with tortilla. Add a heaping tablespoon of refried beans to the shell and spread across length of shell.

Add ground beef. Add about one ladle full of enchilada sauce to tortilla. Sprinkle with cheese, then close. (I do this by lifting up both edges of the tortilla, bringing them together, then folding the two halves to the right and tucking them underneath as you place the finished enchiladas in the that the edge is at the bottom of the pan. But you can do whatever is easiest for you!)

Use remaining sauce to cover enchiladas, then sprinkle remaining cheese on top.

Bake at 425° for 20-25 minutes. Cover with foil if tops start to brown more quickly than you like.

Makes 8 enchiladas.

Comments from the cook: So, what's with the sauce, you ask? We usually just use tomato sauce and the McCormick seasoning...but decided to take it up a notch this time! You may even want to add a bit of water to thin it out too.

We use/ration the uncooked tortillas (available in UT at Costco) that we bought at Christmas...and they are excellent!

Serve with lettuce, sour cream, and any remaining refried beans.

A CookieSheets&CakePans original!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Strawberry Shortcake Trifle

1 lb fresh strawberries (1 carton)
10 vanilla cupcakes
1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 small tub whipped cream
1/2 bag frozen strawberries
2 TBSP sugar

Cream cheese mixture:
Allow cream cheese to warm to room temperature. Mix with mixer until smooth, then add 1/4 cup sugar. Whip until smooth. Fold in whipped cream and do not overbeat.

Strawberry syrup:
Defrost 1/2 bag of frozen strawberries (can be done with fresh, if you have them) and mash. Add 2 TBSP sugar and stir until combined. Mixture should be thin with chunks.

Break cupcakes into bite-sized pieces, and slice fresh strawberries.

Now assemble!

Start with half of cupcake pieces. Place in bottom of glass bowl. Cover with half of fresh strawberries. Pour half of syrup over strawberries. Add half of cream cheese mixture to top of strawberries. Repeat, saving a few strawberries for the top.

Chill for 2-3 hours. Serves 6+.

Comments from the cook: I made this last night to share with friends, and it was a hit! The cupcakes were left over from another activity (made with applesauce instead of oil), and were starting to lose a bit of their freshness...but even cake headed downhill will make a good trifle! My mom uses bakery-style muffins - usually the cream cheese crumbly or poppy seed ones - broken up in her trifle recipe, and some people even prefer to use pound cake.

I used low fat cream cheese and whipped cream, and the results were still fantastic. This dessert is good the first day, and even better the next!

A CookieSheets&CakePans original!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Restaurant-style Salsa

1 can (28 oz) whole tomatoes with juice
2 cans (10 oz) Rotel (diced tomatoes and green chiles)
¼ cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 whole jalapeno, diced
¼ tsp sugar
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground cumin
½ cup cilantro
½ whole lime juice

Combine whole tomatoes, Rotel, onion, jalapeno, garlic, sugar, salt, cumin, lime juice, and cilantro in a blender or food processor. Pulse until you get the salsa to the consistency you’d like (10 to 15 pulses).

Test seasonings with a tortilla chip and adjust as needed.

Refrigerate salsa for at least an hour. Serve with tortilla chips or cheese nachos.

Comments from the cook: I found this recipe on The Pioneer Woman Cooks. I followed it exactly...except for leaving the jalapeno seeds in (which she does, and I would never dream of). It is fantastic. Akin to the salsa at Chili's that we can never seem to get enough of.

It makes a FULL blender's worth, so make sure you've got lots of chips on hand and a little bit of help to eat it. :)

Originally found on The Pioneer Woman Cooks website. (Text taken from her site.)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Brian's Thin-Crust Pizza & Breadsticks

1 cup warm (but not hot) water
1 1/2 tsp yeast
1 1/2 tsp sugar
3 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup oil
1/2 tsp salt

Add yeast and sugar to warm water. Stir until dissolved.

Add sugar/yeast/water mixture to a mixing bowl containing remaining ingredients (flour, salt, and oil).

Mix with dough hook on medium speed until dough forms a ball and no longer sticks to sides of mixing bowl.

Cover (moistening surface of dough with a bit of oil, if desired) and allow to rise for 1 hr 30 min.

Roll dough out.

Recipe makes enough dough for 2 large pizzas... or an extra large pizza and a small pan of breadsticks.

Bake crust only at 450° just until slightly browned. Add sauce and toppings, and return to oven until cheese is melted and pizza appears to be done.

For breadsticks:

Roll out, sprinkle with garlic salt, oregano, basil, and parmesan cheese. Add a bit of mozzarella if you're feeling crazy!

Comments from the cook: Another one of Brian's masterpieces! This recipe came from the same guy that gave him the awesome sauce recipe found in this recipe, and has been one of our favorites for a few years now.

And, beware...this crust can make a person fall in love with thin-crust!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Super-Thick French Toast

French toast:

3 eggs
3/4 cup milk
1 loaf french bread, sliced into 1" slices
cinnamon sugar mixture

Heat griddle to 400°.

Combine eggs and milk. Whisk together with fork until combined. (I used a pie plate to prep this in...)

Dip french bread into mixture one side at a time, saturating.

Sprinkle hot griddle with cinnamon and sugar mixture (just covering area that one bread slice will take up).

Place saturated bread directly over cinnamon sugar mixture.

Sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top of saturated bread.

Flip and brown both sides until thoroughly cooked.

Comments from the cook: I like cinnamon in french toast, but have never liked how the cinnamon sits on top of the egg mixture and doesn't coat evenly. Using a sprinkling of cinnamon-sugar (we have a small shaker of it) and applying it directly to the soaked bread was the perfect solution!

Top with syrup or real whipped cream and strawberries. Makes 10-12 slices.


Butter syrup:

3/4 cup evaporated milk (fat free ok)
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup corn syrup
1 TBSP butter
1 tsp vanilla

Combine all ingredients and bring to a boil over medium high heat.

Heat at a rolling boil 2-4 minutes, until desired consistency is reached, stirring constantly.

Comments from the cook: Sometimes maple is a little strong for my tastes, so I wanted to try my hand at a butter syrup. I cooked my syrup on and off for about 4 minutes in hopes of getting the right texture. I boiled it, stirred it, took it off the heat to cool slightly, then would put it back on the heat when the texture seemed too thin. After several rounds of doing so, I overcooked it just slightly and my syrup was a little bit thicker than I was going for. But the taste was fantastic!

Our attempt to knock off the only-in-UT Kneaders french toast...and thus a CookieSheets&CakePans original!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Button button...

Check out my new button! (on the sidebar)

If you want to add it to your blog, do the following:

Log in to your blog.
Click on layout.
Add a gadget.
Choose an HTML/JavaScript gadget.
Place it where you want it in your blog layout.
Copy the HTML code (that's underneath the button on my sidebar) into the "Content" box and leave the "Title" box blank.
Click Save to take you back to the blog layout.
Click Save changes, and voila!
(yours will be a bit smaller than mine. mine is gigantor!)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Oatmeal Fudge Bars

2 cups brown sugar
1 cup butter plus 2 TBSP, softened
2 eggs
2 tsp pure vanilla extract, divided
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt, divided
3 cups oats
2 cups milk chocolate chips
8 oz sweetened condensed milk

Set oven to 350°. Spray a 9x13 inch pan with non-stick spray and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine brown sugar, 1 cup butter, eggs, 1 tsp vanilla, flour, baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt and oats. Mix well. Press 3/4 of the oat mixture into the bottom of the pan making a crust.

In a small saucepan, combine chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk and 2 Tbsp butter. Melt over low heat. Once smooth, take off the heat and add 1 tsp vanilla and 1/2 tsp salt. Pour over oat crust and smooth evenly with a rubber scraper. Crumble reserved oat crust over the chocolate mixture.

Bake for 25 minutes or until top is slightly browned. Cool before cutting.

Comments from the cook: I found this recipe on one of my favorite food blogs (Rookie Cookie), and it took a few times for me to get it just right. I overcooked it once or twice (beware) and they were JUST RIGHT this time. Then again, I've never thrown two sticks of butter at something and not been at least moderately pleased with the outcome. :)

Give this one a try if you've got a real craving for ooey-gooey-fudgy-goodness. And make sure you've got milk in the fridge first!

Text taken from (and recipe found on) Rookie Cookie's website, here.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Hamburger "Stuff"

4-6 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced
3-4 carrots, peeled and sliced
1/2 medium onion, sliced
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of celery soup
1 can water
approx 1lb ground beef, uncooked
salt and pepper, to taste

Use mandoline (fancy name for slicer) to slice potatoes, carrots, and onions. Or, if you're the old-fashioned type...use a knife and cutting board. :)

Place ground beef (defrosted if originally frozen) in bottom of roast pan. Cover with potatoes, carrots, then onions.

In a separate bowl, combine soups, salt and pepper, and water. Mix until smooth.

Pour soup mixture over other ingredients.

Bake covered at 350° for 3-4 hours. Makes 4-6 servings.

Comments from the cook: My mom made this for us last summer...and it was fantastic! It's a great, inexpensive substitute for pot roast - particularly for those of us that don't need a big roast that might take days and days to eat (even after we've cut it in half!).

This is an excellent dish to throw in the oven before church. I even tried this in my CrockPot, and cooked it on high for about 4 hours. The potatoes were much softer and the entire dish was a bit mushy compared to the oven-baked version. It still tasted good, but I liked the results better after baking it in the oven.

Disclaimer: Sometimes it's hard to get a good photograph of food that tastes really good, but isn't as appealing to the eyes. :)

Originally shared (and named) by my mom, Alane.
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