Friday, November 30, 2007

Great Grandma Brunner's Tamale Pie

Homemade Mac and Cheese

-2 cubs dried elbow macaroni
-2 tablespoons margarine or butter
-2 tablespoons flour
- dash of Pepper
-2 1/2 cups milk
- 1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese ( more or less to taste)
-1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (more or less to taste)
- 4 oz cream cheese

1. Cook macaroni in water for about 10 minutes until tender but still a little firm. Drain well.
2. Meanwhile, for cheese sauce, melt margarine in a medium saucepan. Stir in flour and pepper. Add milk all at once. Cook and stir till slightly thickened and bubbly. Add cheese, stirring until melted. Stir in cooked macaroni. Transfer mixture to a casserole.
3. Bake in a 350 degrees oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

*you do not have to use mozzarella and cheddar cheese, use whatever cheese you have or whatever cheese sounds good.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Strawberry Cream Cheese Pie

Strawberry Cream Cheese Pie

1 8 oz (? I THINK) package of Cream Cheese
1 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla

1 cup graham cracker crumbs finely crushed
3 tsp sugar
2-3 tbsp butter

Blended, thawed, frozen strawberries or some other fruit topping that you prefer.
*Unsweetened topping like raw blended fruit is good because the pie is really rich and sweet on it's own.

Take cream cheese out of the fridge and allow to sit out so that it will be at room temperature when you need it later. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put graham cracher crumbs, sugar, and melted butter into an 8 or 9 inch diameter pie pan. Mix together and press against the sides of the pie pan to form a crust. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes and then allow to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, whip cream cheese until light and fluffy. Continue to whip and gradually add condensed milk, lemon juice, and vanilla. Whip all together until you have a nice thick mixture with a fluffy texture. Pour contents into cooled pie crust, cover* and chill in the fridge for 2 - 3 hours at least before serving. I usually chill over night.

As you serve, top with desired topping.

* I use an upside down ceramic plate or something instead of plastic wrap to cover the pie pan so that the filling doesn't stick to the plastic wrap or anything.

* If while you're serving, the pie starts to be harder to work with since it is coming back to room temperature, put it back in the fridge or freezer for a couple minutes to set back up.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Shepherd's Pie (Vegetarian)

Shepherd's Pie (Vegetarian)

1 can kidney beans *
2 - 3 cups worth of mashed potatoes
1 can campbell's tomato soup (you can do 2 cans if you prefer)
1 can of green beans
1 - 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Mix kidney beans, green beans, and tomato soup in a 9 x 13 *pan. Spread mashed potatoes over the top of that. Cover mashed potatoes with shredded cheese. Bake for 20 - 30 mins until cheese is melted and contents are hot and probably bubbling up the sides.

* to make this non-vegetarian, substitute 3/4 to 1 lb of cooked ground beef instead of kidney beans. I invented this vegetarian version one time when I was starving and all out of meat. It turned out pretty good.

* I can't remember if this amount will make a 9x9 or a 9x13 but I'm fairly certain I've made it in a 9x13 before.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Crock Pot Creamy Golden Chicken

Crock Pot Creamy Golden Chicken
adapted from

4 cooked chicken breasts (chopped or whole)
2 10 oz cans cream of chicken soup
1 package onion soup mix
2 - 3 cups water depending on desired thickness
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp basil
1/4 tsp pepper
1 small can of chopped mushrooms (optional)
3-4 whole potatoes chopped (optional)
1 1/2 - 2 cups grated cheddar cheese (optional)
1 - 2 cups cooked rice

Combine ingredients (except cheese and rice) in a crock pot and let cook for 4 hours. (If chicken is uncooked, cook for 8 hours) Add in cheese if desired after cooking and allow to melt. Serve over cooked rice.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Chocolate/Cream Cheese Bundt Cake

Chocolate Cream Cheese Bundt Cake
(Jenna's Favorite BDay Cake)

Chocolate Cake Batter
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa (unsweetened)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl (flour, sugar, cocoa, soda, salt) and set aside. Mix liquid ingredients together (water, vegetable oil, vinegar, vanilla) in a different bowl and then mix well into the dry ingredients. Set aside.

Cream Cheese Filling:
1/8 tsp salt
1 (8 oz) cream cheese
1/3 cup sugar
1 beaten egg
6 oz choc chips - I think this is about 1 cup. we used mini choc chips.
1 cups nuts - (optional, jenna likes it without)

Cream together first 4 ingredients (salt, cream cheese, sugar, beaten egg). Beat on Medium for about 1 minute then Stir in remaining ingredients. Put aside.

Grease a bundt pan. Pour 1/2 of the cake mixture into the bundt cake pan. Drop cream cheese mixture in a ring around the center of the cake batter. Be sure not to let any of the cream cheese mixture touch the sides of the pan. Cover cream cheese mixture with remaining cake batter. Bake at 350 for 40 - 50 minutes. Let cool on a cooling rack for about 15 minutes so that it's not too hot to handle, but won't be so cool that it's stuck in the pan. Turn the pan upside down on a platter and gently tap around the bottom of the pan until the cake comes out . It's difficult to get it cleanly out and it might not come out perfect but it still tastes good. Piece it back together if it's just a small piece that came off. No need to frost this cake.

(In this picture, the entire top of the cake came off in the pan. Partly because the layer between the top of the cake and the cream cheese was a little thin. Anyway,.. that's why it looks speckled. yours will probably look like a solid chocolate bundt cake when it comes out. :) )

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Cheesy Spinach and Artichoke Dip

1 can (14 oz.) artichoke hearts, drained, finely chopped
1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained
3/4 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
3/4 cup Mayonnaise
1/2 cup Mozzarella Cheese
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Mix all ingredients until well blended.
SPOON into 9-inch pie plate or quiche dish.
BAKE 20 min. or until heated through.
I was going to make this Thanksgiving morning to munch on before the big meal, but I got hungry and decided to make it last night. It was so yummy and so easy. I added more mozzarella cheese then recommended and I served it with pita chips. So good!!!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Favorite Thanksgiving Jell-o Salad

Cranberry Jell-O Salad
-1 lg. pkg. Cherry Jell-o
-1 pint sour cream
-2 cans whole berry cranberry sauce
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1 cup pecans

1. Dissolve jell-o with hot water in a large bowel. Refrigerate for about an hour until the jell-o is about half way solid. Be sure to check on the jell-o every now and again to make sure the jell-o doesn’t get too solid.
2. Stir in the rest of the ingredients.
3. Refrigerate until solid.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Homemade Noodles

I like to make chicken noodle soup. Especially now that the weather is turning colder. I think it is the perfect fall/winter meal. Justin likes my soup but has always said it was 2nd best to Grandma Smith's because I didn't make my noodles from scratch. So I found this recipe in the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook and made some and I have to say, I will never go back. These noodles were easy (took about 1.5 hours from start to finish) and delicious!

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 beaten egg yolks
1 beaten egg
1/3 cup water
1 tsp cooking oil or olive oil (I used cooking oil)

1. In a large bowl stir together 1 and 3/4 cups of the flour and salt. Make a well in the middle of this dry mixture. In a small bowl combine egg yolks, egg, water, and oil. Add to the dry mixture and mix well (I had to add 1/4 cup extra water to get the consistency right. You may not, but just in case your dough seems a little dry, you can add some water.)
2. Sprinkle kneading surface with the remaining flour. Turn dough out onto floured surface. Knead until dough is smooth and elastic (approx. 10 min.) Cover and let the dough rest for 10 min.
3. Divide dough into 4 equal portions. On a lightly floured surface roll each portion into a large square (try to make it as thin as you can). Let them stand uncovered for 20 minutes.
4. Cut the noodles. I used a pizza cutter to cut mine and it worked like a dream. It took only a couple minutes to get my noodles all cut. Depending on how you like them or what you are using them for, you can make them as long or short, thick or thin as you like. For my soup, I liked them about 2 inches long and about 1/2 inch thick (remember the noodles will expand a little when you cook them).
5. Let the noodles dry overnight or until completely dry. Missy said that she prefers not to dry them, but to use them wet. I dried mine for almost 24 hours. I guess that if you make them far enough ahead, why not let them dry, but if you are in a time crunch, they can be used wet. **Once the noodles are dry, they can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 days. Or they can be put in the freezer for up to 8 months!
6. The amount of time they take to cook depends on a lot of things: how big they are, how dry they are, how firm or soft you want them to be, etc. So put them in your soup last and then check them every minute or so. Mine (that were completely dry) took about 15 minutes).
**Delicious side notes: 1. These noodles were even better over the next few days. They absorbed the flavors of the soup and softened up even more. Yummy! 2. You can add things to step one to flavor your noodles. You could add oregano or parsley to enhance the flavor of your soup or whatever. I am going to try this next time!

Friday, November 9, 2007

No Fail Pie Crust

This is a quick and easy pie crust that tastes great. I have never had this pie crust fail - even when I was sure it would because it didn't look right.

Makes 1 double crust

2 c flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 c shortning or butter
1/2 c milk

Mix flour and salt in large bowl with lid. Cut in shortning or butter. Cover with lid and shake vigorously until little balls of flour form. Make a "well" in the center of the flour and pour in milk. Replace lid and swirl to mix in milk. Shake again until single ball forms. I roll out the crust between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. This crust freezes well after rolling out and folding in quarters.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Mail-Recipe Chicken Enchiladas

Chicken Enchiladas
(Recipe from the Mail)
10 - 12 flour tortillas
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 16 oz can of enchilada sauce
1 - 1/2 cups Pace Picante Salsa
chopped cilantro (optional as a garnish)
*(try "el pato" sauce for enchilada sauce instead if you like it HOT)

1 8 oz package cream cheese
2 - 3 cups chicken cooked and cut as desired
1 - 2 cups of Pace Picante Medium Salsa or whatever you like
chopped olives (optional unless you love olives like I do)

1. preheat the oven to about 375 degrees. Grease a 9x13 inch pan if desired and set aside.

2. Make filling by combining ingredients in a medium to small sauce pan until melted and you have a good *filling consistency.

3. Take a flour tortilla, put 2-3 large tablespoonfuls of filling along one side of the tortilla. You can adjust filling amounts per roll as needed to make the desired amount of enchiladas. (I've found that nobody notices the difference if I have to stretch it kind of thin towards the end) Place the roll seam side down in the pan.

4. Fill the pan with rolls and coat the tops of each roll in the pan with enchilada sauce. I usually pour it in a straight line down each roll long ways and let the excess drip between the rolls.

5. To make it look pretty, cover the top of everything with the chopped cheddar cheese. Pour 1 1/2 - 2 cups of salsa on top of the cheese in a line across the rolls. Sprinkle the chopped cilantro among the salsa if desired (Might want to put it on after it's baked if you don't want it to be cooked).

6. Bake for about a 20 - 30 minutes or until all the cheese is sufficiently melted to your taste.

*All measurements are approximate so if you think there's too much of something put less. This should make around 1 - 2 9x13 inch pans of enchiladas.

* The filling should be kind of (cream based) soupy when hot but not too thin. Thickens more when cooled.

*No this isn't a picture of the actual recipe I'm describing. If a picture of the actual recipe is needed to help explain my directions please let me know and I will make an effort to take a picture of it next time I make it. Also, if you find any of the amounts to be incorrect, they were approximations based on memory. Please let me know and I'll update the recipe on here.

I finally took one. Here's an actual picture of what this dish looks like. KK and I made it tonight.

Dad's Homemade IceCream

Dad's Homemade IceCream
2 cans sweetened condensed milk
1 quart half and half creme
flavoring to taste: (chocolate syrup, blended frozen strawberries, peppermint extract and crushed up candy canes)
Milk - to fill line (we use 2% but any kind is fine)

Machine Use:
Approximately 5 quart old fashioned maker with motor
2 bags of ice
rock salt

Use tons of rock salt and constantly replenish the ice. Should only take 1/2 hour if properly iced and salted to finish.

*any kind of nuts - don't put in until the last 5 minutes when it's almost done or it won't freeze well)

Favorite Thanksgiving Pie Recipe

Double Layer Pumpkin Pie
-4 ounces Cream Cheese, softened
-1 tablespoon milk
-1 tablespoon sugar
-1 (8 ounce) tub Whipped Topping, thawed, divided
-1 prepared Pie Crust
-1 cup milk
-1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
-2 (3.4 ounce) packages JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding & Pie Filling
-1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
-1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
-1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1. Mix cream cheese, 1 Tbsp. milk and the sugar in large bowl with wire whisk until well blended. Gently stir in half of the whipped topping. Spread onto bottom of crust.

2.Pour 1 cup milk into large bowl. Add pumpkin, dry pudding mixes and spices. Beat with wire whisk 2 min. or until well blended. (Mixture will be thick.) Spread over cream cheese layer.

3.Refrigerate 4 hours or until set. Top with remaining whipped topping just before serving. Store leftover pie in refrigerator.