Friday, September 22, 2017

Sheet Cake with Sprinkles

Jenna was in the baking mood and made this to take to work. Everyone loved it!

Sheet Cake with Sprinkles

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup greek, non-fat yogurt
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup rainbow sprinkles, plus more for on top of frosting


3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 cups confectioners' sugar
2-3 Tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously grease a 12x17 inch half sheet/jelly roll pan.

In a large bowl, cream the softened butter for about 1 minute on medium speed until smooth. Add sugar on medium speed and beat until fluffy/light in color. Beat in eggs and vanilla, scraping the sides of the bowl until mixed. Add the yogurt, mixing until combined. 

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together. Pour half of this flour mixture into the creamed butter mixture. Beat on low speed until combined. Pour in half of the milk. Beat on low speed until combined. Repeat with the rest of the flour and beat in the remainder of the milk until combined. Fold in the sprinkles! 

Spread the cake batter in a thin layer into the greased pan. Bake for 20-24 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (Jenna turned the pan a few times in the oven to help keep it level). As the cake is cooling, make the frosting.

For the frosting: Beat the butter on medium speed until creamy. Add confectioners' sugar, milk, vanilla extract, and salt until combined. Increase to high speed and beat for 3 full minutes. Add more confectioners' sugar if frosting is too thin, more milk if frosting is too thick, or a pinch more of salt if frosting is way too sweet.

Spread frosting all over cooled cake, then top with sprinkles - any design you'd like!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Berry Butter

Kathleen made this and served it over waffles.  YUM!

Berry Butter

2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup frozen mixed berries
1 tablespoon Splenda (or 2 packets of Truvia)

Melt in the microwave for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally to smash the berries. Alternatively, you could boil on the stove for about 3-4 minutes.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Toffee Bit Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sea Salt

During the Packer game last week, Jenna made these cookies. They were easy and delicious!

Toffee Bit Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sea Salt

1/2 cup oats
2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup butter, unsalted
3/4 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 cups (1 bag) mini chocolate chips
1 1/3 cups (1 bag) toffee pieces
1/4 cup flaky sea salt

Place oats in food processor sand pulse until they are fine. Place into a medium bowl with flour, baking soda, salt, and ground cinnamon. Stir together. Set aside.

Cream butter and sugars into a large bowl and beat together until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Add vanilla and 1 egg and mix until combined. Add other egg and mix just until combined.

Add all dry ingredients to butter mixture and beat just until combined. Do not over-mix! Using a spatula, fold in chocolate chips and toffee pieces until evenly distributed. Place dough in fridge for 1 hour to chill before baking.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove cookie dough from fridge and place onto greased baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Be careful - these cookies will spread!

Place cookies into preheated oven for 11-13 minutes, or until the edges are nice and crispy.

Remove from oven and cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes and then transfer to cookie sheet to continue cooling. While they cool, sprinkle a little flaky sea salt over the cookies.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Cashew Thai Chicken

The girls made this for dinner while I was out of town.  They really liked it.
Cashew Thai Chicken

1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces (We used leftover chicken from another recipe)
2 tablespoons cornstarch (or substitute arrowroot powder)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
3 medium red bell peppers, seeded and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 large head of broccoli, cut into florets (about 4 cups)
1 bunch green onions (about 6 medium), thinly sliced
2/3 cup dry roasted, unsalted cashews
Cooked brown rice or quinoa, for serving

1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons honey, plus additional to taste
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
1/4–1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, plus additional to taste

In a small bowl, toss the chicken pieces with the cornstarch, salt, and pepper.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high. Once the oil is hot and shiny, add the chicken mixture and sauté for 4 minutes, just until lightly browned. Add the bell pepper, broccoli, and green onions. Continue sautéing until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are crisp-tender, about 5 additional minutes. Stir in the cashews and cook for 30 additional seconds.

While the chicken and vegetables are cooking, prepare the sauce. In a small bowl or large measuring cup, stir together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons honey, ginger, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes. Taste and add additional honey and/or red pepper flakes as desired (I added an additional 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes). Pour the sauce over the skillet and toss to coat. Enjoy immediately with brown rice.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Beef Stroganoff (Low Carb)

Jenna and Kathleen made this for dinner one night.  It was quick and easy.
Beef Stroganoff (Low Carb)

1 # ground beef
1/4 cup lower sodium beef broth
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp butter
2/3 cup chopped onion
6 small mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 cup sour cream
salt and pepper, as desired
shaved parmesan cheese

Cook ground beef in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add beef broth and Worcestershire sauce and continue cooking beef until browned and fully cooked. Remove beef from skillet and set aside.

Melt butter in skillet then add onions and mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes or until tender.
Add ground beef back to skillet along with lemon juice, paprika and sour cream. Heat mixture (do not allow to boil or simmer).

Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if needed and serve.  Add shaved parmesan cheese to the top.

May be served in bowls or over toasted ultra-thin bread slices.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Jamaican Jerk Chicken Sheet Pan Meal

The girls made this meal while I was out of the state.  They all liked it.

Jamaican Jerk Chicken Sheet Pan Meal
adapted from

1 pound of chicken
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 bell pepper, roughly chopped
1 recipe Jamaican Jerk Seasoning
1-2 sweet potatoes, thinly sliced
2-3 tbsp coconut oil

Preheat oven to 375.
Chop the chicken into 1.5" pieces and spread across 1/3 of the pan.
Place the bell pepper and onion on another 1/3 of the pan
Place the sweet potatoes on the other 1/3 of the pan.

Drizzle the coconut oil evenly over the chicken and vegetables and sprinkle liberally with seasoning. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through

*We did the sweet potatoes on another pan to make them more like sweet potato fries (and added 15 minutes to the cooking time for just the sweet potatoes)

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Jerk Seasoning

The girls made this to go over chicken and fries.  Easy and tasty!

Jerk Seasoning

1 tablespoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup light brown sugar (we used the splenda blend)
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil (we used coconut oil)

Mix all ingredients together with the canola oil. Great over chicken or sweet potato fries!

Friday, September 15, 2017

Golden Coconut Lentil Soup

Kathleen wanted to cook with lentils after we had gone to an Indian restaurant downtown Austin.  Perfect for lunches!
Golden Coconut Lentil Soup
1 Tbsp olive oil (or coconut oil)
1 yellow onion
2 cloves garlic
1 inch fresh ginger (about 1 Tbsp grated)
1/2 Tbsp ground turmeric We used ~ 1 and 1/2 Tbsp of curry powder
Pinch red pepper flakes
2-3 carrots
1/2 lb red or yellow lentils (about 1 cup)
4 cups water
13.5 oz can coconut milk
1/2 Tbsp salt (or to taste)
1/3 cup large, unsweetened coconut flakes
1/4 bunch cilantro
2 cups cooked jasmine rice

Add the olive oil to a large pot. Dice the onion, mince the garlic, and grate or mince the ginger (I use a small-holed cheese grater). Sauté the onion, garlic, and ginger in the olive oil over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, or until the onions are soft and transparent. While the onions, garlic, and ginger are sautéing, peel and slice the carrots.
Add the turmeric and red pepper to the pot and sauté for a minute more. Add the carrots to the pot, sauté for a minute more, then add the lentils and water. Place a lid on the pot, bring it up to a boil over high heat, then turn the heat down to low and simmer for 20 minutes.
Toast the coconut flakes while the soup simmers. Add the coconut flakes to a dry skillet and place it over medium-low heat. Stir continuously as the flakes heat until they are about 50% golden brown (1-3 minutes). Remove the flakes from the hot skillet immediately to stop the toasting process.
After 20 minutes the lentils should be soft and broken down. Stir the coconut milk into the soup. Use an immersion blender or carefully blend the warm soup in small batches until about half of the soup is puréed (or all of it if you want it completely smooth).We didn't blend. Once blended, begin adding salt, 1/2 tsp at a time, until the soup is properly seasoned. I used 1.5 tsp or 1/2 Tbsp of salt. Also adjust the red pepper flakes, if desired.
To serve the soup, ladle about 1.5 cups into a bowl and top with 1/2 cup cooked rice, some fresh cilantro leaves, and a sprinkle of toasted coconut flakes.

Thursday, September 14, 2017


My mom sent this recipe saying she used to make this a lot when we all lived at home.....I have been married for 30 years, so she started making this a LONG time ago!  We made it and really liked it.



1 cup pecan halves (toasted in microwave)
1 pt. strawberries, cleaned, sliced or quartered
1 head green leaf lettuce

Toss these three ingredients together.


1/3 cup red raspberry wine vinegar or red wine vinegar
½ c sugar
1/2 cup oil
1 t. salt
1 t. dry mustard
1 ½ T. poppy seed

Blend well. Pour over salad and toss just before serving.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Grilled Chicken Shish Kabob with Creamy Dill Dip

We made this for dinner a week or so ago. We really liked it.

Grilled Chicken Shish Kabob with Creamy Dill Dip

adapted from

3 chicken breasts
olive oil
2 tbsps Montreal Steak spice
2 small red onions
1 Spanish onion
2 green peppers
salt, pepper
12″ bamboo grilling skewers
bacon grease (optional)

To make the creamy dill and garlic dipping sauce:

1 cup of low-fat sour cream
2 cloves of minced garlic
2 tbsps of fresh dill

1. Cut the chicken into 1” cubes. Sprinkle with Montreal steak spice seasoning It’s best to let the chicken sit and marinate for at least 30 minutes.

2. Just before you’re ready to assemble the shish kabobs, cut the onions and peppers into 1” cubes or squares. Drizzle each with olive oil and a bit of salt and pepper.

3. Assemble the shish kabobs. Alternate pieces of chicken and vegetables onto each skewer. Leave about 1”-2” of each end of the skewers empty to make them easier to hold (and so that the food won’t fall off of them when cooking).

4. Drizzle the cookies sheet or tin tray Beth used tin foil with some more olive oil to prevent sticking. Alternatively, use any leftover bacon grease you have for an extra touch of flavor. Arrange the each chicken shish kabob side by side in one layer on the cookie sheet/tray.

5. Place the sheet/tray of shish kabobs onto your grill, which was preheated to a medium-high temperature (~350F). Grill the shish kabobs for about 15 minutes, turning regularly.

6. In the meantime, combine the sour cream, garlic and dill to make the dipping sauce.

Serve the delicious chicken shish kabob while warm, with the dipping sauce on the side.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

 Double Chocolate Éclair Cake No Bake

This was the other dessert I made to take to church last Sunday.  It was delicious!

I will be taking a break from the blog for about a week since I will be in Wisconsin for a reunion with my mother in law.

Double Chocolate Éclair Cake No Bake
14.4 ounce box chocolate graham crackers
3 cups milk
2 3.8-ounce boxes chocolate instant pudding
8 ounces whipped topping
16 ounces chocolate frosting
chocolate shavings

Layer bottom of 9x13 pan with single layer of graham crackers.

In a medium bowl, whisk together milk and pudding until combined. Stir in whipped topping.
Pour half of pudding mixture over graham cracker layer.  Add some chocolate shavings.

Place another single layer of graham crackers over pudding mixture.

Spread remaining pudding mixture over graham crackers and top with an additional graham cracker layer.

Spoon frosting into microwave safe bowl and microwave for 25 seconds. Spread on top of dessert. Refrigerate for at least four hours prior to serving.

Garnish with chocolate shavings, if desired. Do this shortly after it is cooled or they won't stick well.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Buttermilk Cranberry Apple Vanilla Cake with Pecans

Jenna helped me make this for Sunday School treats.  We followed the recipe to a 'T' and this was delicious!  I used GOOP(see the link below in the recipe) and had no issues with the cake coming out of the pan.

Buttermilk Cranberry Apple Vanilla Cake with Pecans

2 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour 
2 teaspoons baking powder 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature softened 
1 and 3/4 cups granulated sugar or cane sugar 
3 large eggs 
2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
1 cup buttermilk 
1 cup dried cranberries 
1 apple, cored, peeled, and cubed 
1 cup pecans, chopped 
powdered sugar (for decorating)

Special equipment: Use a bundt pan that measures 9 inches in diameter and holds 10 to 12 cups.

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Soak 1 cup of dried cranberries in 1 cup of boiling-hot water, covered.   In a medium bowl, combine 2 and 1/2 cups flour, baking powder and salt.  In a separate large bowl, add together the softened butter and sugar and mix, using mixer, on high setting for about 3 minutes until even consistency is reached.

Add 3 eggs and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract to the butter-sugar mixture and continue beating until well-incorporated and light in color. 

With the mixer on low speed, add 1/3 of flour mixture to butter-sugar mixture, beating just a little until all is well combined. Then follow by 1/3 cup of buttermilk. Continue until all combined.

Drain the dried cranberries that you soaked in hot water.

Using a spatula, fold in these dried cranberries, chopped apple, and chopped pecans into the cake batter.

Spray the cake pan with a Baking Spray with Flour. Beth used GOOP Pour batter gently into prepared bundt pan. Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven, and put the bundt pan on top. This ensures that if you have a bundt pan with edges like mine, the pan doesn't slant. 

Bake at 350 F for about 1 hour, until toothpick comes out clear. Remove the pan from the oven, let it cool for 40 minutes on wire rack. 

And here are the tips on releasing the cake from the bundt pan: From original poster:

After your bundt cake is done baking, and the bundt pan cooled off for 40 minutes on the counter, place the bundt pan in the freezer for 20 minutes - it will still be quite hot to the touch (even after 40 minutes of cooling), so use kitchen gloves to handle the pan.

Remove the pan from the freezer after 20 minutes, invert the bundt pan onto a serving plate, and let it sit inverted for a bit to let the gravity do the work (it could take as little as half a minute or as long as 20 or even 30 minutes, depending on your bundt pan). Then, gently lift bundt pan and your cake should be released. Sometimes, you will actually hear your cake release. Be patient.

Sprinkle the cake with powdered sugar before serving.


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Peanut Butter, Brown Butter M&M Cookies

The original recipe said it made 18 cookies, so I doubled this right away. I got almost 4 dozen deliciously crunchy cookies

Peanut Butter, 
Brown Butter M&M Cookies

1¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, browned and cooled
¾ cup light brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup peanut butter
¾ cup M&Ms  Beth used crispy

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

2. In another medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the browned butter with sugars on medium speed until pale, about 2 minutes. Add egg and vanilla and beat until just combined. Add the peanut butter and beat until well combined. Reduce speed to low and add in the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the M&Ms. Chill dough for at least an hour, preferably two.

3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove dough from fridge and let sit out for 10 minutes. Using a medium cookie scoop, scoop out cookie dough and roll into balls. Place balls on parchment lined cookie sheets, about 2 inches apart. To get the criss-cross, use a fork to gently press down on the cookies.

4. Bake cookies 12-13 minutes, until lightly browned on the edges. Let cookies cool on cookie sheet for 10 minutes before moving to a wire rack.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Chicken Pot Pie-Low Carb and Keto

I can't tell you how yummy this is.  It was super easy to make.  I cooked chicken tenderloins in the crockpot for 3 hours on high earlier in the day.  Try this soon!

Chicken Pot Pie-Low Carb and Keto

For the Chicken Pot Pie Filling:

2 tablespoons of butter
½ cup mixed veggies
¼ small onion, diced
¼ tsp pink salt
¼ tsp pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
¾ cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup chicken broth
1 tsp poultry seasoning
¼ tsp rosemary
pinch thyme
2½ cups cooked chicken, diced
For the crust:
4½ tablespoons of butter, melted and cooled
⅓ cup coconut flour
2 tablespoons full fat sour cream
4 eggs
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking powder
1⅓ cup sharp shredded cheddar cheese or mozzarella, shredded

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Sautee onion, mixed veggies, garlic cloves, salt, and pepper in 2 tablespoons butter in an oven safe skillet for approx 5 min or until onions are translucent.

Add heavy whipping cream, chicken broth, poultry seasoning, thyme, rosemary, and simmer for 5 minutes. Make sure to simmer covered as the liquid will evaporate otherwise. You need a lot of liquid for this recipe, otherwise, it will be dry. Add diced chicken.

Make the breading by combining melted butter, eggs, salt, and sour cream in a bowl then whisk together.  Add coconut flour and baking powder to the mixture and stir until combined.  Stir in cheese.

Drop batter by dollops on top of the chicken pot pie. Do not spread it out, as the coconut flour will absorb too much of the liquid.

Bake in a 400 degree oven 15-20 min.

Set oven to broil and move chicken pot pie to top shelf. Broil for 1-2 minutes until bread topping is nicely browned.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Steamed Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce

This was extremely easy to make and tasted great!

Steamed Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce

1 tablespoon water
salt and pepper to taste

Hollandaise Sauce

6 ounces salted butter
2 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1-2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (or white vinegar)
1-2 pinch cayenne pepper
1-2 pinch white pepper

Cut the asparagus spears to the same length. Separate the eggs, reserving the whites for another use.

Place the asparagus in a microwave safe bowl and add 1 tablespoon of water. Cover with plastic wrap and cook at high power from 1 1/2 - 2 1/2 minutes depending on your microwave. Drain off the water and keep covered. 

Hollandaise Sauce: Add the egg yolks, 1 tablespoon of heavy cream, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and the mustard to a blender. Place the lid on top and remove the middle piece. Place the butter in a medium to large frying pan and melt the butter over medium heat. Turn the heat up to medium high and gently swirl the pan every few moments. When the solids in the bottom of the pan just begin to turn brown, turn off the heat. Turn the blender on low and begin pouring the hot butter into the blender, leaving the brown solids behind in the pan.

After the butter has been incorporated, add the cayenne pepper and white pepper and blend. Taste. Adjust seasoning with more acid, salt or pepper. Pour over the asparagus and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Samoa Fudge Fat Bombs

Jenna and I made these and doubled the recipe right away.  We are really glad we did!  Love these.
Samoa Fudge  Fat Bombs

3 ½ tbsp cocoa powder
2 ½ tbsp butter melted
2 ½ tbsp coconut oil melted
3 ½ tbsp sweetener of choice: swerve or other low carb sweetener or coconut sugar for paleo
2 tbsp heavy cream or unsweetened coconut milk
Caramel Coating
2 ½ tbsp butter
2 ½ tbsp sweetener
2 tbsp heavy cream or full fat coconut milk
⅛ tsp molasses
⅛ tsp vanilla extract
Top Garnish:
1 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut

In a large mixing bowl combine all the fudge bomb ingredients. Mix together thoroughly.

Pour or spoon mixture into a lightly greased mold, or ice cube tray, or a cake pop pan.
Freeze for 15 minutes or until firm.

In a small sauce pan over medium heat melt the 2 ½ tbsp butter for the caramel coating.
Once melted add the the 2 ½ tbsp sweetener, 2 tbsp heavy cream or coconut milk and ⅛ tsp molasses. Stir and heat until bubbling. Remove from heat and stir in ⅛ tsp vanilla extract. Let caramel sauce rest for a couple minutes until it thickens a little.

Remove fudge bombs from the freezer and place on a baking sheet line with parchment paper or wax paper.

Drizzle or spoon caramel sauce over truffle bombs and sprinkle with shredded coconut.
Serve. Store in covered container in fridge or freezer.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Breakfast Biscuits Stuffed with Sausage and Cheese-Low Carb and Keto

Jenna made these to have for quick breakfasts.  We all loved them.  I think the biscuits are as fluffy as Mc Donalds!
Breakfast Biscuits Stuffed with Sausage and Cheese-Low Carb and Keto

2 ounces cream cheese
2 cups mozzarella, shredded
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup almond flour
pinch salt & pepper
2 ounces colby jack cheese, thin cubes (or your choice of cheese)

In a microwave safe bowl, add cream cheese and mozzarella.

Microwave for 30 seconds at a time until cream cheese is very soft and mozzarella starts to melt.

Mix well! You want this really combined.

In a small separate bowl, combine beaten egg and almond flour. Add cheese mixture and mix well, again, REALLY well.

Dough may be sticky, this is ok. Dust it with additional almond flour and form into a ball. Place on plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm.

Cut into sections to form 6 3" balls, depending on the size of the sausage.

Flatten dough balls, place sausage on the dough, then cheese and wrap dough around.
Put the stuffed dough into a greased muffin tin.

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden and set. Top with more mozzarella if desired.

    Thursday, August 31, 2017

    Parmesan Garlic Cheeseburgers

    My girls made these.  They were quick and easy and tasted great!
    Parmesan Garlic Cheeseburgers

    1 pound ground beef
    3-4 cloves garlic, minced
    ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
    1 Tablespoon dried minced onion
    1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
    4 hamburger buns
    Optional: extra Parmesan cheese for topping

    In a medium bowl, combine beef, garlic, Parmesan cheese, minced onion, and Worcestershire sauce. Using your hands, mix until all ingredients are well-mixed.

    Separate the beef mixture into 4 approximately equal portions.  Form into patties.

    Grill burgers for 3-4 minutes per side, flipping once, until the internal temperature measures 160 degrees F with a meat thermometer.

    If desired, lightly toast buns on the grill during last few minutes of cooking.

    Top burgers with extra Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

    Wednesday, August 30, 2017

    Salsa Verde Queso Dip

    I made half this recipe for the football game.  It was simple and tasted great!
    Salsa Verde Queso Dip

    1 8 ounce cream cheese
    2 cups or 1 16-ounce jar salsa verde(this is the green sauce)

    Cut the cream cheese into pieces, and stir them together with salsa verde in a microwave-proof bowl.

    Microwave for 3-4 minutes, stopping to whisk the mixture after each minute, until the cream cheese is melted and smooth. Serve warm.

    Tuesday, August 29, 2017

    Low Carb and Gluten Free General Tso’s Chicken Wings

    I made these for football Saturday--but we ate them before the 8:00 Packer game.  I really liked these.  See my changes in bold.

    Low Carb and Gluten Free General Tso’s Chicken Wings

    3 lbs chicken wings Beth used a 4# bag

    For the Sauce
    1/2 tsp sesame oil
    3 Tbl unseasoned rice vinegar
    2 tsp white vinegar
    3 Tbl wheat free soy sauce
    1/4 cup water
    3 Tbl granulated sugar substitute Beth used Spenda
    1/2 tsp xanthan gum Beth used cornstarch--so it wasn't totally gluten free
    1/4 cup scallions, chopped Beth used chopped onions
    4 – 5 small dried chillies, chopped

    Cut your wings through the joint if whole, to separate the wing from the drumette. Spread on a sheet pan and bake at 375 degrees (F) for about 45 minutes or until crunchy and golden brown.Beth cooked it at 400 degrees for  hour.

    Meanwhile, combine all of the sauce ingredients into a small saucepan and whisk together until smooth. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 2 minutes until thickened. Remove from the heat. When the wings are fully cooked, toss in the sauce to coat. Put the wings back on the baking sheet and broil (carefully!) for about two minutes or until the sauce is bubbling. Serve with lots of napkins!

    Approximate nutrition info per serving: 417 calories, 27g fat, 1.75g net carbs, 37g protein

    Monday, August 28, 2017

    Twix Bars--No Bake

    I needed some 'baking' therapy last Friday and made this.  I crushed the nilla wafers and the original recipe said to use 1 c of sweetened condensed milk.  I used the whole can.  These are rich and decadent.  Cut them small!
    Twix Bars – No Bake

    For the Cookie Layer

    11 oz. Box of mini nilla wafers or regular size, crushed in food processor
    16 oz. bag of mini marshmallows
    ½ Cup Butter room temperature and cut into pieces

    For the Caramel Layer

    1 cup butter
    1 cup brown sugar packed
    4 tablespoon light corn syrup
    1 can sweetened condensed milk

    For the Chocolate Layer

    2 cups MILK chocolate chips
    2 tablespoons butter room temperature

    Cookie Layer

    Place mini marshmallows and cut up slices of 1/2 cup of the butter in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for two minutes. Microwave for an additional 15 seconds at a time until butter is totally melted. Stir until you have a smooth mixture.

    Pour in Nilla Wafer crumbs and stir until they are completely coated with marshmallow mixture. Butter a 9×13 baking dish and then pour the mixture into baking dish. Press it down evenly, making it as level and even on top as possible. Put it in the fridge to cool while you mix the caramel layer.

    Caramel Layer

    In a heavy 2 quart pan combine 1 cup of the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and sweetened condensed milk. Bring it to a boil at just under medium heat stirring constantly. Boil for 5 minutes while continuing to stir preferably with a wooden spoon so as not to scorch your caramel. When five minutes are up, remove from heat and continue to stir/beat with a wooden spoon for an additional 3 minutes. Your sauce will start to thicken up.

    Remove refrigerated cookie mixture from fridge and pour caramel sauce on top. Spread it evenly into the corners with a spatula. Place it back into the fridge to cool for at least 30 minutes.

    Chocolate Layer

    Place milk chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for 1 1/2 minutes. If not melted, microwave for an additional 30 seconds at a time until they are melted.

    Stir in 2 Tablespoons of the butter until it melts and your chocolate is a good spreading consistency.

    Remove the dish from the fridge and spread the chocolate sauce evenly on top making sure to spread it into the corners and as evenly as possible. Put the bars back in the fridge and cool for an additional 30 minutes to an hour. After they are nice and chilled, cut them into squares and serve!

    Sunday, August 27, 2017

    Protein Balls

    Kathleen made these this past week.  I just tasted one and really liked it.
    Protein Balls

    1/2-3/4 cup almond butter
    1/8 cup honey
    1 tablespoon almond milk or water
    1/4 cup rolled oats
    1 scoop protein power (we use Vega Protein and Greens, Vanilla flavor)
    2 tablespoons raisins
    2 tablespoons flaked coconut

    Melt the almond butter and honey together for about 30 seconds. Add the oats, protein powder, and fruit. Splash in almond milk, if needed to keep it together.

    This is a very versatile recipe! You can use chocolate protein powder with peanut butter or whatever sounds good to you!

    Saturday, August 26, 2017

    Delicious Green Beans

    These were excellent!  Try them and see!
    Delicious Green Beans

    1 lb. fresh green beans
    3-4 cloves of garlic
    2-3 tbsp. olive oil
    2-3 cups of chicken broth
    3-4 tbsp. butter
    Salt and pepper to taste

    Drizzle 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil in the pan and melt 3-4 tablespoons of butter over medium high heat. Add the chopped garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Add the green beans.

    Stir them around and get them as flat as possible in the pan. Cook them until they turn bright green.
    Add some salt and pepper and cook for a couple more minutes, stirring occasionally.

    Add enough chicken broth to cover them and stir.  Let it come to a rapid boil.

    Cover and turn the heat to medium low, venting the pan so steam can escape. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until most of the chicken broth has cooked out. Serve warm.

    Friday, August 25, 2017

    Lemon Lime Marinated Chicken for the Grill

    This chicken is so tender and delicious.  We all really liked it.

    Lemon Lime Marinated Chicken for the Grill

    6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts Beth butterflied these
    1/2 cup brown sugar, packed Beth used 1/4 c Splenda Brown Sugar Blend
    1/4 cup cider vinegar
    3 Tbsp dijon mustard
    2 Tbsp lime juice
    2 Tbsp lemon juice
    3 garlic cloves, pressed
    3/4 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp pepper
    1/4 cup olive oil

    Place chicken in a gallon size ziplock bag. MIx remaining ingredients and pour over chicken.
    Seal bag and refrigerate 8 hours to overnight.

    Remove chicken from bag and grill until done, 5 to 6 minutes on each side.

    Thursday, August 24, 2017

    Low Carb Breakfast Casserole

    This was easy too make and tastes great.  Heats up nicely for a quick breakfast.

    Low Carb Breakfast Casserole

    1 #breakfast sausage, browned
    1T garlic, minced
    1 bell pepper, diced
    1/2 cup yellow onion, diced
    3 c spinach, chopped Beth used a 9 oz bag
    12 eggs
    salt and pepper, to taste
    1/2 c cheddar cheese, shredded

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and prepare a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

    Brown sausage in a skillet until fully cooked. Add garlic, peppers, and onions to the skillet and sauté with sausage for 2 minutes.

    Place this mixture in prepared baking dish. Add chopped spinach on top. Beth didn't chop, but should have.

    In a separate bowl whisk eggs with salt and pepper. Pour egg wash over vegetables in baking dish and gently mix to make sure eggs are covering the entire dish. Top with cheese and bake for 45 minutes or until a fork can come out clean and eggs are cooked all the way though.


    Wednesday, August 23, 2017

    Hot Bacon Dressing

    I made this to accompany homemade pizza for Kathleen's 23rd birthday.  I put it over spinach that had hardboiled egg and onion added to it.  Jenna and I really liked it and it was easy to make.

    Hot Bacon Dressing

    1 large egg, well beaten
    1/3 cup granulated sugar
    1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
    3/4 cup water We needed at least 1 c of water
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    4 strips bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
    1 tablespoon all purpose flour

    Beat the sugar into the egg. Add the vinegar, water and salt; beat well. Meanwhile, brown the bacon in a small saucepan. Stir in the flour and stir until smooth.

    Add the liquid to the bacon mixture and cook over medium heat until thickened, stirring constantly. Pour hot dressing over coarsely chopped greens and mix thoroughly until wilted. Serve immediately.

    Notes: The dressing can be prepared ahead and reheated, stirring constantly to keep from sticking to saucepan. If it gets too thick, add a little water. Depending on how many greens you use, you might have leftover dressing. It can be refrigerated and reheated before pouring on fresh greens. Leftover salad can be refrigerated and reheated in microwave until warm. The greens will wilt more but taste just as good.

    Tuesday, August 22, 2017

    Peanut Butter Maple Cookies

    I used the last of my maple syrup from my 50th birthday trip for these cookies.  They are quite tasty!
    Peanut Butter Maple Cookies
    Taste of Home Cookies cookbook

    1 cup butter, softened
    1/2 cup peanut butter (not reduced fat)
    1 cup sugar
    1 cup packed brown sugar
    2 large eggs
    1 tablespoon maple syrup
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    2 cups all-purpose flour
    3/4 cup quick-cooking oats
    1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 package (10 ounces) peanut butter chips

    1. In a large bowl, cream the butter, peanut butter and sugars. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in syrup and vanilla. Combine the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to the creamed mixture. Stir in peanut butter chips.

    2. Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 325° for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 1 minute before removing to wire racks to cool completely. Yield: about 5 dozen. Beth got 4 dozen

    Monday, August 21, 2017

    Chicken with Queso in Crock Pot

    I found a jar of queso in the pantry and thought I would try this recipe.  I am glad I did.  It was easy to put together and my family really liked it.  We ate it as it was, but could have made tacos with it, too.
    Chicken with Queso in Crock Pot

    4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, fresh or thawed Beth put hers in frozen
    ¾ cup Medium Queso Dip
    10 oz. can Mild Rotel, drained
    4 oz. can Diced Green Chiles, drained
    ½ tsp. Garlic Salt

    Place chicken in Crock Pot, and cook on HIGH for 3 hours or LOW for 6 hours.

    After 3 hours on HIGH or 6 hours on LOW, drain juices from Crock Pot.

    Evenly spread Queso over chicken, then sprinkle with Garlic Salt. Top with Rotel and Green Chiles.
    Cook on HIGH for ½ hour covered, or until done.

      Sunday, August 20, 2017

      Mexican Style Refried Beans

      I found a recipe I liked and had to greatly adapt it to fit how much time I had before supper!  :-)  These turned out really good.
      Mexican Style Refried Beans

      2 large cans pinto beans Beth used a 19.75 oz and a 15 oz1 tablespoon olive oil
      1/4 lb sliced bacon, finely chopped
      1 cup chopped onion
      1 /2 jalapeno finely chopped
      1 tsp finely chopped garlic
      1 c water
      1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
      1/2 teaspoons salt

      Drain beans.  Heat oil in stock pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat.

      Add bacon, onions and jalapeno; cook until browned.

      Add drained beans, water and cumin seed.

      Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer 10 minutes, or until most of the water is cooked out.
      Add salt and then puree. 

      Friday, August 18, 2017

      Coconut Chicken

      This was very easy to put together and we all loved it.  I did use tenderloins and added cayenne pepper.  
      Coconut Chicken

      2 chicken breasts Beth used 6 tenderloins
      2 eggs
      1 Cup shredded coconut
      Salt & pepper
      1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper
      Cut breasts into strips or use tenderloins.

      Crack the eggs into a bowl.

      In a different bowl, add the shredded coconut.

      Dip the chicken into the bowl of egg and then into the bowl of shredded coconut.

      Cook for 3-5 minutes on each side, until golden brown.  

      These can be baked for about 10-15 minutes at 200°C/400°F.

      Thursday, August 17, 2017

      Creamed Asparagus

      This was delicious.  Next time I will cut the asparagus in half to make it easier to get out of the pan!
      Creamed Asparagus

      1 lb (1 bunch) asparagus, small/medium thickness
      1 cup heavy whipping cream
      1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
      Salt to taste
      Fresh cracked black pepper to taste
      ½ cup freshly grated Asiago cheese
      1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

      Preheat the oven to 400 and lightly grease a 1.5-2 quart baking pan. 

      Wash and dry the asparagus stalks. Trim off the white ends, if any. Place asparagus into the baking dish and spread them evenly.

      In a small mixing bowl, whisk together heavy cream, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and grated Asiago cheese.

      Pour heavy cream mixture all over the asparagus.

      Spread mozzarella cheese over the top.  Bake for 18-20 minutes.

        Wednesday, August 16, 2017

        Chewy Cherry Oatmeal Cookies

        These are very good.  They do get soft quickly, so I froze them.
        Chewy Cherry Oatmeal Cookies
        Yield: 48 small cookies Beth got 3 1/2 doz using small cookie scoop

        1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
        1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
        1 teaspoon baking soda
        1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
        1/2 teaspoon salt
        1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, or 1 cup apple butter (a healthier alternative)
        1 cup packed light-brown sugar
        1/4 cup honey
        2 large eggs
        1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
        3 cups Quaker Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats
        1 cup dried cherries Beth used dried pomegranates

        1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with nonstick baking mats or parchment paper.

        2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt; set aside. Place butter, sugar, and honey in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla, and beat to combine. With the mixer on low, gradually add reserved flour mixture and beat until incorporated. Stir in oats and cherries.

        3. Drop 1 tablespoon of dough at a time about 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake until lightly golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Cookies can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

        Tuesday, August 15, 2017

        Cauliflower "Potato Like" Casserole

        I had a head of cauliflower to use and adapted this recipe. Next time I will add more seasonings like garlic and onion powder.

        Cauliflower "Potato Like" Casserole
        adapted from

        1 head cauliflower
        1 cup sour creamBeth used 1/2 c sour cream and 1/2 c greek yogurt
        1 cup cheddar cheese
        6 green onions sliced thin
        1/2 teaspoon salt---Beth found out she needed more
        1/4 teaspoon pepper coarse ground

        Cook the cauliflower in a microwave. This took about 10 minutes.

        Slice green onions. Move cauliflower to mixing bowl and mash with potato masher. You could also use a mixer or food processor, but you are NOT trying to cream this.

        Add cheddar cheese, sour cream, scallions, salt, and pepper.

        Mix well and move to baking pan. Add paprika to the top.   May be refrigerated or cooked now.

        Cook in preheated oven 375 convection until top is browned. About 20 minutes. (you may adjust the temp depending on your needs for timing or cooking with other foods)

        Try to let set for 5 minutes before serving.

        Monday, August 14, 2017

        Championship Cookies

        These are thin and crispy, just like Don likes them!

        Championship Cookies

        Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2002, p218                                              

        2/3 cup shortening Beth used 11 T butter
        1-1/4 cups packed brown sugar
        1 egg
        1 teaspoon vanilla extract
        1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
        1 teaspoon baking powder
        1 teaspoon baking soda
        1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
        1/4 teaspoon salt
        2 Snickers candy bars (2.07 ounces each), chopped Beth used 4 oz snickers baking bites
        1/2 cup quick-cooking oats

        In a bowl, cream shortening and brown sugar. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture. Stir in chopped candy bars and oats.

        Drop by round tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto greased or parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool. Yield: about 5 dozen. Beth used a cookie scoop and got 2 1/2 dozen

        Sunday, August 13, 2017

        Beef Tips With  Peppers And Onion

        We all loved this!  I had a 3 # package of stew meat and next time I will cut the pieces smaller.
        Beef Tips With  Peppers And Onion

        3 lb beef tips, cut into 1-inch pieces
        ¼ cup Teriyaki or Soy sauce
        ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
        3 Tbsp olive oil, plus additional for cooking
        2 Tbsp chopped Italian parsley or cilantro
        3 clove garlic, minced
        1 tsp red pepper flakes
        2 tsp steak seasoning, divided
        1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
        1 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced
        1 large sweet onion, cut into thin wedges
        Black pepper to taste

        Whisk together the teriyaki sauce, brown sugar, olive oil, chopped parsley, 3 clove minced garlic and red pepper flakes. Place into a plastic storage bag and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
        To prepare, remove the sirloin tips from the marinade. Discard the marinade.

        Heat a few drizzles of olive oil in a large cast iron or heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sirloin tips. Cook for 5-7 minutes until browned and to your preferred doneness. Season with 1 tsp of steak seasoning. Remove from the pan to a platter to rest.

        Add the sliced bell peppers and onion wedges to the pan. Season with 1 tsp steak seasoning and black pepper to your taste. Add additional olive oil if needed. Cook for 5 minutes scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the skillet. Cook until browned and crisp tender.

        Add the sirloin beef tips back to the pan. Stir until heated through then serve.