Monday, September 21, 2009

White Chocolate Cinnamon Toast Crunchers

This recipe is from Picky-Palate.

1 c. butter
1 c. brown sugar
3/4 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 Tbsp. vanilla
2 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. cinnamon toast crunch cereal, crushed up
1 bag white chocolate chips

Cream butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda and salt. Add cereal to dry ingredients. Combine creamed mixture and dry mixture. Stir in white chocolate chips. Bake at 375 for 9-12 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet 5 minutes before removing.

Chocolate Turtle Cookies

Chocolate Turtle Cookies- From

The original recipe says it will make 2 dozen cookies, but I DOUBLED the recipe, and still only ended up with about 28 cookies. I also ended up with a ton of extra caramel. I would double the recipe except for the caramel.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 large egg, separated, plus 1 egg white
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans, chopped fine
14 soft caramel candies
3 tablespoons heavy cream

Adjust oven rack to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat liners. Combine flour, cocoa, and salt in bowl. With electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and sugar until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg yolk, milk, and vanilla and mix until incorporated. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture until just combined. Refrigerate dough until firm, at least 1 hour.

Whisk egg white(s) in another bowl until frothy. Place pecans in another bowl. One at a time, roll dough into 1-inch balls, dip in egg whites, then roll in pecans. Place balls 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Using teaspoon measure, make indentation in center of each ball. Bake until set, 10 to12 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through baking.

Meanwhile, microwave caramels and cream in bowl, stirring occasionally, until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Once cookies are removed from oven, gently press existing indentations with teaspoon measure. Fill each with 1/2 to 1 teaspoon caramel mixture. Cool 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and cool completely.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


This is one of our family's favorite cookies. In my experience, they don't flatten out to make very big cookies. They also freeze really well.


1/2 c. sugar
1 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 c. butter, softened
2 1/2 c. sugar
4 eggs
1 tbsp. vanilla
2 1/2 tbsp. water
6 c. flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

In a small bowl, combine 1/2 c. sugar and cinnamon; set aside. Cream 2 1/2 c. sugar and butter. Add eggs, vanilla and water and beat until light and fluffy. Add flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Mix well. Shape dough by rounded tablespoonfulls; roll in cinnamon/sugar mixture. Place on ungreased baking sheet and cook for 8 1/2-9 minutes at 350.

Click here for printable version.

Orange Chicken

I saw this on the Family Favorites Blog and wanted to try it out. I have heard a lot of people say that making orange chicken at home isn't worth the effort, because it just isn't as good as take out and its a lot of work too. Well this recipe wasn't hard at all and it was so yummy. I think Patick and I have a new family favorite for sure.

Orange Chicken

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts (cut into 1-1/2” cubes)
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 eggs (beaten)
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
Oil (for frying)

Orange Sauce:
1 cup water
2 tablespoons FRESH orange juice
¼ cup FRESH lemon juice
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 ½ tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon orange zest (grated)
1 cup packed brown sugar (I actually added a little more brown sugar... )
½ teaspoon ginger root (minced)
½ teaspoon garlic (minced)
2 tablespoons green onion (chopped)
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (we added more... again, we like it HOT)
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons water

Combine flour, salt, and pepper. Dip chicken in egg mixture and shake in flour mixture to coat. Deep fry chicken in batches at 375 degrees in a deep fryer (or use a wok) until completely cooked.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan combine 1 ½ cups water, lemon juice, orange juice, rice vinegar, and soy sauce. Blend well over medium heat for a few minutes. Stir in brown sugar, orange zest, ginger garlic, and onion. Bring to a boil.

Combine 3 tablespoons of cornstarch with 1/4 cup of water and mix thoroughly. Slowly stir cornstarch mixture into sauce until it thickens. Pour sauce over breaded chicken, and if desired add red pepper flakes and garnish with green onions.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


Patrick and I had this for dinner last night. It was delicious!

I didn't use the pre-made bread dough like the recipe calls for; I just made pizza dough and it worked great.

You can use whatever you want to fill it with. Patrick said that when he was in PA he used to get Philly Cheese Steak Stromboli, which sounds yummy. We might have to try that next time.


1 Rhodes bread dough
1/4 lb ham, sliced
1/4 lb hard salami
1/4 lb provolone
mozzarella cheese
1/2 tsp dried basil, divided
1/2 tsp dried oregano, divided
melted butter or olive oil

Set out bread dough to thaw. Once thawed, spread the dough out on a cookie sheet or silpat (which works perfect).

Layer the ham and then the salami along the middle of the dough going lengthwise. Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp each of basil and oregano then layer on cheeses. (I used approximately 1 cup shredded mozzarella but it's entirely up to you how much you want!) Sprinkle with remaining basil and oregano.

Wet edges of the dough and fold over the long edges and roll up the ends. Brush olive oil over dough and sprinkle lightly with corn meal. Carefully flip stromboli over and repeat on other side. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-22 minutes. Serve with hot spaghetti sauce for dipping. Enjoy!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Puffins Anyone?

Amanda was telling me about these little pancakes she found on Bakerella the other day. Bakerella had a craving for pancakes but didn't want to stand and flip them so she tried it this way. We decided to try them out. They were pretty good. Another pancake recipe to add to my collection.
On Bakerella's site she calls them "mini maple pancake muffins. She didn't like the name because it was too long and so her commenters decided "puffins" would be a good name. We like the name around here. It's just a FUN name!
Totally stole this picture from Bakerella. I took pictures myself but the battery in my camera died shortly after I took them and I can't find any new batteries. Oh well...
1 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. sugar
2/3 c. buttermilk
1 egg
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
2 Tbsp. melted butter
Combine dry ingredients. In separate bowl combine wet ingredients. Mix both together. Pour into greased mini muffin pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-9 minutes.
You could also add chocolate chips and have chocolate chip puffins!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Mozzarella Chicken and Rice Skillet

Kelli recommended this recipe she found on

1 Tbsp. oil
4 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1 lb.)
1 can (10-3/4 oz.) condensed cream of chicken soup
1 soup can milk
2 cups fresh or thawed frozen broccoli florets
1-1/2 cups instant white rice, uncooked
3/4 cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

HEAT oil in large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 5 min. on each side or until cooked through (165ºF). Remove chicken from skillet; cover to keep warm.

ADD soup and milk to skillet; mix well. Bring to boil. Stir in broccoli and rice; top with chicken. Cover. Reduce heat to low.

COOK 5 min.; sprinkle with cheese. Remove from heat. Let stand, covered, 5 min. or until cheese is melted.

Use whatever frozen vegetables and shredded cheese you have on hand, such as peas and Cheddar Cheese.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Shepherd's Pie

I found this recipe in the Buffalo Ridge Cookbook early on in my marriage and have made it many times since. Emmalin really enjoyed it tonight! 1 lb. ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 (14.5 oz) can stewed tomatoes
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 c. frozen corn
1 c. frozen green beans
Mashed potatoes, I use 5-6 potatoes or you could use potato pearls
shredded cheese

Brown meat and onion in skillet. Drain. Cook frozen veggies (or use canned if you prefer, just drain the veggies first). Stir stewed tomatoes and tomato sauce into meat. Add corn and green beans. Let simmer for 5 minutes. Drop mashed potatoes on top of meat mixture. Sprinkle with cheese. Warm until cheese is melted.

Weeknight Lasagna Toss

Here is a fast way to make lasagna without using your oven!

Weeknight Lasagna Toss

1 lb. lean ground beef
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 jar (26 oz.) spaghetti sauce
1-2/3 cups water
12 oven-ready lasagna noodles, broken into quarters*
1 cup Mozzarella Cheese
1/2 cup cottage cheese or rocatta cheese

Brown meat in large saucepan; drain.

Add garlic, spaghetti sauce, and water; bring to boil. Stir in noodles; cover.

Cook on medium-low heat 10 to 15 min. or until noodles are tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with cheese; cover. Let stand 5 min. or until cheese is melted.

*You can substitute 12 regular lasagna noodles, broken into small pieces, for the oven-ready noodles. Increase water to 2 cups and cook 30 min., stirring occasion

Friday, September 11, 2009

Chicken Pot Pie

This pot pie has a buttery flaky crust and the filling is so creamy. It's not a quick meal so you have to be prepared to spend some time in the kitchen. You can make one big pie or individual pies. I used my muffin tin and made 6 little pies. You could also bake them in stone cereal bowls.

1 1/2 c. flour
3/4 tsp. salt
2 egg yolks
3 Tbsp. ice water
2/3 c. cold butter

Sift together flour and salt. Make a depression in the center of the flour. Put the yolks and ice water in the depression. Slice the butter in tablespoon size portions and add into the flour depression. Using a fork, cut the wet ingredients into the dry. When all of the flour is moistened, use you hands to finish combining the ingredients. Roll the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and put into the refrigerator for 1 hour.


1 c. sliced carrots
1 c. sliced celery (I don't like cooked celery so I leave it out)
2 c. frozen peas
1 c. chopped white onion
1 potato, peeled and chopped
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, boiled in salted water, then cubed
4 Tbsp. butter
5 Tbsp. flour
2 1/2 c. chicken broth
2/3 c. milk
1/2 tsp. salt
dash pepper
1 egg, beaten

Cook potatoes in boiling water til tender. Steam carrots and celery for 5 minutes in a steamer or saucepan with a small amount of water. Add frozen peas and onions. Steam for 10-12 more minutes or until carrots are tender.

In a separate large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat, remove from heat and add flour and whisk together until smooth. Add chicken broth and milk and continue stirring over high heat until mixture comes to a boil. Boil for an additional minute or so until thick, then reduce heat to low. Add cooked chicken, salt, and pepper. Add the vegetables. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Roll out dough on flour surface. Lay dough in dish of choice. Spoon filling into dish. Cover with another layer of pie dough. Press edges together. Brush beaten egg on the dough of each pie.

Bake at 425 degrees for 30-45 minutes or until the top crust is light brown. My little muffin sized ones only needed about 25 minutes.

Monday, September 7, 2009

An Old Wilkins Family Favorite - Easy Doughnuts

I can remember many a Family Home Evening night making doughnuts as a family. My own little family now enjoys the same treat. This was our Labor Day breakfast today. Healthy huh!! I threw in a side of fresh fruit and we washed it down with a glass of milk to get a little nutrition.

The recipe couldn't be simpler:

refrigerated biscuits (how many depends on how many your family can eat!)
vegetable oil

Heat oil in saucepan to around 365 degrees. Poke a hole in the middle of each biscuit with fingers. Place in oil. Cook to golden brown and flip over to other side. These cook quickly so don't leave them. Drain on paper towels.
We made glazed doughnuts. Mix together 2 c. powdered sugar, 1/4 c. milk, and 1 tsp. vanilla in small saucepan over medium heat. Dip doughnuts in glaze and transfer to wire racks to drain. Let sit for 5 minutes.

or......put doughnuts into paper lunch sacks filled with powdered sugar, granulated sugar, and or cinnamon-sugar.
We were talking around the breakfast table that it would be fun to cook the doughnuts without poking a hole in them and them squirt pudding into the middles, or spreading frosting and sprinkles on the them. The possibilities are endless!

Banana-Sour Cream Bars

I found this recipe in my trusty "Betty Crocker's Cookie Book". You can use either cream cheese frosting or vanilla glaze.1/2 c. butter, softened
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 c. sour cream
2 eggs
1 1/2 c. mashed banana
2 tsp. vanilla
2 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Mix butter, sugar, sour cream, and eggs in large bowl on medium speed for 1 minute. Beat in bananas and vanilla on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat in flour, salt, and baking soda on medium speed for 1 minute. Spread in greased jelly roll pan, 15x10x1. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Let cool. Spread with vanilla glaze or cream cheese frosting. I used the vanilla glaze and it's yummy!
Vanilla Glaze:
4 c. powdered sugar
1/2 c. butter, softened
3 tsp. vanilla
4 Tbsp. hot water

Apricot-Glazed Chicken

I make this often because it is a favorite of my kids, probably because it is sweet tasting. I usually make white rice or the toasted almond rice pilaf in the Buffalo Ridge cookbook. Saturday night when I made this chicken I decided to go with wild rice. My kids wouldn't eat it because it looked like earwigs!

6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (Variation below)
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 T. oil
1 c. chicken broth
3/4 c. apricot preserves
1 tsp. soy sauce
1/4 c. green onion, sliced

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When oil is very hot brown breasts on both sides, about 2 minutes per side; remove chicken to a plate.

Add broth, preserves, and soy sauce to hot skillet; bring mixture to a boil. Boil 4 minutes. Return chicken to skillet; Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer 7 minutes, spooning apricot mixture over chicken several times; cook until chicken is no longer pink in center. Sprinkle with green onion.

Variation~~ I take 6 chicken drumsticks and season them with salt and pepper. Put them in a 9x13 pan and bake in oven. In saucepan bring broth, preserves, and soy sauce to a boil for 5 minutes or so. Pour mixture over chicken during last 20 minutes of cooking, basting every 5 minutes or so.