Sunday, November 27, 2011

Pumpkin Pie Bars

This recipe comes from one of my old roommates from BYU.  She and I lived together our junior year, and I recall that she was studying dietetics.  We always teased that because she studied dietetics, anything she made was "healthy", and thus safe for consumption!

1 pkg yellow cake mix (save out 1c mix)
1 lb. 13oz. can pumpkin
2 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 c brown sugar
2 eggs
2/3 c milk
1/4 c white sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 TBSP softened butter
1 egg
1/2 c melted and cooled butter

Combine cake mix, 1 egg, and 1/2 c melted butter or margarine and press in bottom of 9x13 pan.

Mix pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, brown sugar, eggs, milk, and pour over cake mix.

On top of this crumble the following mixture: 1 c reserved cake mix, 1/4 c white sugar, cinnamon, and 2 TBSP of butter.

Bake at 350° for 45-50 minutes.  Top with whipped cream or ice cream.  Serve chilled or warm.

Comments from the cook:  Pumpkin pie always seems to be a obligatory part of Thanksgiving for us, but we've decided that this dessert is taking it's place. :)  The cakey crust on the bottom makes these a fantastic alternative to pumpkin pie.  We like to make these for holiday parties with large groups, where lots of people can help eat it!  

We prefer this chilled, with whipped cream on top.  Delish! 

Originally shared by Brenda Malone, roommate from The Park Place, 2002-2003.  Text taken from Brenda's original recipe.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Cheesy Stuffed Shells

My sister-in-law made this recipe for us quite a while ago (2006, when did you become so long ago!?) and I found it in my recipe binder this last winter, and resurrected it. YUM!

24-30 jumbo pasta shells
2 eggs
1 (15oz) container cottage cheese
2 c mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese
2 tsp dried parsley leaves
1 1/2 tsp garlic salt
2 cups marinara sauce

Cook jumbo pasta shells as directed on packaging. Run cool water over them to halt further cooking.

Pour 1/2 cup of marinara sauce into the bottom of a 9x13 pan.

In a separate bowl, combine eggs, cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, parsley, and garlic salt. Stir until combined.

Spoon a heaping spoonful of filling into each pasta shell. Place in pan, and cover with remaining marinara sauce. Cover with foil.

Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Remove foil, and cook for 5-10 more minutes, or until bubbly.

Comments from the cook: This is an excellent recipe that we love at our house. We think the leftovers might even be better than the fresh product!

I use canned marinara sauce for this recipe, but made it with Brian's homemade sauce a few times ago. It was excellent!

Originally shared by my SIL, Meredith, and adapted from a recipe found in one of her cookbooks (source unknown).

Monday, November 14, 2011

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

My mom told me about these muffins quite some time ago... They're SO EASY - only 3 ingredients! And the taste? Fabulous. I even stockpiled on pumpkin this Fall (heaven forbid there be a shortage again), just so I could make these muffins anytime I wanted...

1 spice cake mix
1 (15 oz) can solid pack pumpkin
1/2 bag mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
water (optional)

Combine cake mix (powder only - no need to add the oil or eggs) and pumpkin with mixer until well blended.

Stir in chocolate chips. Spoon into greased muffin tins.

Bake at 350° for 18-20 minutes, or until they pass the "clean toothpick" test.

Comments from the cook: I add about 1/2 cup water to the batter to make it a bit thinner. I suppose if you were going to make these into cookies instead of muffins, you'd probably want the batter to be the original consistency (no water added). But, while we're on the subject, I'll just go ahead and admit that I'll probably always make these into muffins rather than cookies. Muffins sound less guilt-inducing than cookies, no? :)

Also, spice cake mixes can be a little harder to find, but rumor has it that a yellow cake mix will also work and taste fantastic. My mom even used a carrot cake mix once in a pinch.These are a great treat with a cup of hot chocolate in the dead of winter...

Makes about 24 muffins.

Originally passed on from my mom, Alane. (As you can see, she did hers in mini-bundt pans, left out the choc chips, then added caramel frosting and a pastry-dough cinnamon-sugar leaf to hers. MAN, she's always taking things to the next level... I love it!)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

S'more Cups

Another Pinterest find! I believe, whole-heartedly, that recipes that produce anything s'more-like are worth trying at least once. And these little "s'more bombs" are sure to make more appearances in the future!

7 whole graham crackers (1 cup finely crushed)
1/4 c powdered sugar
6 TBSP butter, melted
3 (1.55 oz) Hershey bars
12 large marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350°. Crush graham crackers in plastic bag, and mix with powdered sugar and melted butter in small bowl.

Place 1 TBSP of crumb mixture into the bottom of mini muffin pans (makes enough for 24). Press crumbs down with back of measuring spoon to create a shallow cup. Bake 4-5 minutes or until edges are bubbling.

In the meantime, break 2 of the Hershey bars into rectangles. Remove pan from oven and place one rectangle into each cup.

Cut large marshmallows in half crosswise using kitchen shears and dipping them in cold water. Place one marshmallow half, cut-side down, into each cup. Return to oven for 1-2 minutes, or until marshmallows start to puff up.

Remove from oven to cooling rack. Allow to cool for 15 minutes, then remove s'more cups from pan. Cool completely for 40-60 minutes.

Melt remaining Hershey bar in microwavable bowl (melt for about 1 minute, stirring every 30 seconds). Dip tops of s'more cups in chocolate and allow to cool.

Makes 24.

Comments from the cook: It was less expensive to buy one jumbo Hershey bar, so that's what I used. I cut each rectangle in half, and used small squares in each s'more cup...and they didn't seem short on chocolate at all :) I also chose to flick the chocolate across the top instead of dipping them.

These were amazing right after baking/cooling, and were also pretty good the next day (after being rewarmed in the oven for a few minutes).

Originally found on Pinterest, linked to awesome this website.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Hearty Beef Stew

I wanted to make beef stew the other day, and the seasoning packets at our local grocery store were nearly $3(!), so I tried my hand at homemade. I cracked my Betty Crocker cookbook for a few pointers, and the result was great! For the record, we won't be buying packets ever again...

1 lb beef stew meat
1/2 medium onion
10-12 baby carrots, sliced
1 cup beef broth
1/3 c flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp marjoram
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
6 russet potatoes, cut into 1" chunks
6 c water

Brown stew meat in a frying pan, and add to CrockPot. Add sliced onion, carrots, and potatoes.

Add beef broth and water (6 cups is an estimate...I just added enough to partially cover the vegetables, so they would cook thoroughly).

Add spices and flour. Stir together until mixed.

Allow to cook in CrockPot for 3-4 hours on high.

Comments from the cook: Brian works out of town on Wednesday afternoon/evening, and always needs to take dinner with him. Beef stew is one of his all-time favorites, so I threw this in the CrockPot a little before noon. I was nervous that it wouldn't be done soon enough, but by 3:45 it was perfectly cooked.

I also loved that this stew didn't require any kind of thickening! Adding flour in the initial stages is all you need to do, and the thickness is perfect after 3-4 hours.

Many ingredients/quantities taken from "Betty Crocker's Cookbook - Beef Stew" recipe (found on pg 465)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Chile Verde Burritos

I went to a Relief Society mid-week activity on easy freezer meals, and this is one of the recipes that was shared by the teacher. I knew it sounded like something we'd like, even though it forced me to make amends with my Crockpot. It has quickly become one of our favorites, and I think you'll like it too!

1 TBSP oil
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, diced
6 boneless pork loin chops
7 oz. can diced green chiles
16 oz. jar salsa verde
19 oz. can green chile enchilada sauce
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
juice of one lime
salt and pepper, to taste
flour tortillas

Chop onion and bell pepper. Saute in oil (and add garlic) until vegetables are softened.

Add pork, then sauted onion and bell pepper to Crockpot. Continue to add green chiles, salsa verde, enchilada sauce, all spices and lime juice to mixture. Stir together.

Cook on high for 5-6 hours if pork is frozen and 4-5 hours if meat is defrosted.

After pork is thoroughly cooked, shred. Put back into the sauce and add salt and pepper to taste.

Comments from the cook: This recipe makes a LARGE amount, so I have always preferred to half everything. Doing so makes for about 5 burritos at our house, which is enough for us (plus leftovers). You can always make the full recipe and freeze the rest, according to our freezer meals teacher...

I have a very hot Crockpot, so I cooked this recipe for about 2 hours on high, then switched it to low for the remaining 3-4 hours. I also used a pork roast, which worked fine (except for my FATAL error of buying it bone-in...and having to remove the bone myself. Remember how I hate touching meat? Gag, barf, die.)

In order to amp this up even more, we ate our burritos enchilada style. We put the meat and sauce into tortillas, added a little bit of mozzarella cheese to the insides, rolled them up, covered them in sauce, topped them with more cheese and baked them at 400° or so for about 10 or 15 minutes...just to melt the cheese.

Originally shared by JoAnna Moss, freezer meal extraordinaire. :)

Friday, November 4, 2011


So, the question is...

Have you made any recipes you've found on this silly little food blog? If so, what did you make, and were you pleased with how it turned out?

I'd love the feedback, and would love for you to introduce yourself too :)


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Cut-Out Sugar Cookies

Sugar cookies are a holiday favorite, and Halloween ushers in the need for a good cut-out cookie recipe. These are Martha Stewart's, and we like them too! :)

1 c (2 sticks) butter, softened to room temperature
1 c sugar
1 egg
1 TBSP vanilla
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 c flour

Whip butter and sugar together on high speed for 5 minutes with electric mixer. Add eggs, vanilla, and salt until combined.

Add flour 1 cup at a time, and mix only well enough to combine.

Divide dough into 2 portions and refrigerate in flattened discs (between plastic wrap).

Dough will be slightly crumbly when cold. Quickly form into a ball with hands (try not to warm it up completely), then roll out on a floured surface. Roll out to 1/8" thick, and cut with cookie cutters.

Bake at 350° for 12-15 minutes. Cool on a cooling rack, and frost with your favorite frosting.

Comments from the cook: My mom made these last Valentine's Day, and they were delicious. Mine were a TAD overdone (I prefer soft cookies), but the frosting always softens them a bit...especially on the 2nd day.

Love the flavor of these cookies! My husband always looks forward to decorating these with a MAN's touch...hence the cookie covered in only M&Ms!

Originally found here.
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