Sunday, March 13, 2011

Chewy Chocolate Cookies - with Peanut Butter!

I am the type of cook/baker who is more than willing to experiment with entrees & appetizers, and even most desserts. But, for some reason, I am always afraid to try a new cookie recipe.
Maybe it's because my mama makes the best cookies in the world.
I am not really sure.... but I am always nervous about it. The gingersnaps I made the other day for Nate turned out OK, but those were gingersnaps. I don't like gingersnaps, so it wouldn't have been the end of the world if they hadn't turned out. These are something that I was hoping I would like, so I was nervous about them NOT turning out.

Chewy Chocolate Cookies - With Peanut Butter!
(No idea where this came from)

1 1/4 Cup butter flavored Crisco
2 Cup sugar
2 eggs
2 Teaspoon Vanilla
2 Cup flour
3/4 Cup cocoa
1 Teaspoon baking soda
1/2 Teaspoon salt
18 Ounce package peanut butter chips

Cream Crisco & sugar in large mixing bowl. Add eggs & vanilla; blend well. Combine flour, cocoa baking soda, & salt; gradually blend into creamed mixture. Stir in peanut butter chips. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 8-9 minutes. Cool on cookie sheet until set, remove to wire rack to cool completely.

Yields: 4 1/2 dozen

I tried these two different ways--placing them into balls, and placing them into balls then kinda flattening the balls. They looked way better when I just did the balls-they look kinda funny, but the inside seemed more moist.

Also-the amount of peanut butter chips is adjusted from the original--both Nate & I agreed that they need more. The first cookies had the perfect amount, but the last pan did not have enough. If you would rather go light on the peanut butter chips, the original just called for 12 ounces.

Opinions: We LOVED these! I am definitely going to be making these more often! Even Nate loved them, and I wasn't sure what he would think. He asked that I make them more, possibly in place of some of the other cookies I make so often.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Baked Ziti with Broccoli and Sausage

Baked Ziti With Broccoli and Sausage
(No idea)

salt & pepper to taste
8 Ounce sausage
2 Tablespoon butter
2 Tablespoon all purpose flour
2 Cup milk
8 Ounce ziti
1 1/2 Pound broccoli, cut into 1" pieces
1/2 Cup grated parmesan

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Preheat oven to 350 and lightly grease and 11x7 baking dish. In a large skillet over medium high heat, cook sausage, stirring and breaking up meat, until no longer pink, about 3 minutes. Add butter and stir well/. Sprinkle flour on top and stir for 1-2 minutes. Slowly pour in milk and cook, stirring constantly until smooth and thickened, 3-4 minutes. Season sauce with salt and pepper.
Add ziti to boiling water and cook until tender, about 5 minutes, then add broccoli and cook for 3 minutes. Drain ziti and broccoli in a colander and transfer to a baking dish. Stir in sausage mixture.
Sprinkle Parmesan on top and bake until golden brown and mixture is bubbling, about 25 minutes. Serve hot.

Serves: 4
Prep Time: 10 m
Cook Time: 35 m
Total Time: 45 m

Calories: 440
Cholesterol: 129 mg
Fat: 22 g
Saturated Fat: 5 g
Protein: 50 g
Carbohydrates: 10 g
Sodium: 714 mg
Fiber: 3 g

Opinions: Good! Pretty easy to alter a little. Doesn't re-heat well with the broccoli.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


I am not a fan of gingersnaps, but Nate has told me multiple times that he loves them. I've bought them a few times, but I've never made them.

I decided to try making them ages ago when I saw this recipe, and finally did a couple weeks ago.


1/3 Cup butter-flavored crisco
1/2 Cup sugar
1 egg
2 Tablespoon molasses
1 Cup all purpose flour
1 Teaspoon baking soda
1/2 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon cloves
1/2 Teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 Teaspoon salt
additional sugar

In a large mixing bowl, cream the crisco and sugar. Add egg and molasses; mix well. Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and salt; add to creamed mixture and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
Shape tablespoonfuls of dough into balls. Roll in additional sugar. Place 2" apart on lightly greased baking sheets. Flatten slightly with glass.
Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned and tops are set and starting to crack. Cool for 2 minutes before removing to wire racks.

I definitely need to make them smaller!! TINY balls. Not tablespoonfuls--more like teaspoonfuls. Other than that, Nate LOVED them. (Well, actually, Nate didn't care about the size. He liked that they were the size of small plates.) I didn't like them, but I'm not a fan of gingersnaps.

I will definitely make these again!!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Glazed Peanut Butter Bars

Since I've said it many times before, I won't get into how amazing my mother is.
However, these glazed peanut butter bars are SPECTACULAR. I substitute peanut butter chips for the butterscotch, but Mama always uses the butterscotch. Either way, these things are amazing.

Glazed Peanut Butter Bars

3/4 Cup butter-flavored crisco
3/4 Cup peanut butter
3/4 Cup sugar
3/4 Cup packed brown sugar
2 Teaspoon water
2 eggs
1 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla
1 1/2 Cup flour
1 1/2 Cup oatmeal
3/4 Teaspoon baking soda
1/2 Teaspoon salt
1 1/4 Cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 Cup butterscotch chips
1/2 Cup peanut butter

In a large mixing bowl, cream the crisco, peanut butter, sugars, & water. Beat in eggs & vanilla. Combine the flour, oatmeal, soda, & salt. Gradually add to the creamed mixture. Spread into a greased 15x10 pan. Bake at 325 for 18-22 minutes or until lightly browned.
For glaze, melt chips & peanut butter. Pour over warm bars and spread evenly. Cool completely on a wire rack before cutting.

Approx 4 dozen.

These are a hit, every time. All the time. The only thing negative about this is the amount it makes--not good for two people. :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

My Mama's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Mama's Chocolate Chip Cookies
(Mama. Possibly from Nestle, but Mama has had the recipe for so long I don't know.)

2 1/4 Cup all purpose flour
1 Teaspoon baking soda
1 Teaspoon salt
1 Cup butter flavored Crisco
3/4 Cup sugar
3/4 Cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
2 eggs
12 Ounce chocolate chips

In a small bowl, combine flour, soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine Crisco, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla. Beat until creamy. Beat in eggs. Gradually add flour mixture. Mix well. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by rounded teaspoonful onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes.

*You can choose semisweet or milk chocolate. Fun to use a combination of them both, although Mama always used only semi-sweet.

Opinions: I don't think there's anything to say about this, other than the fact that these are the chocolate chips that my Mama has made for as long as I can remember. Really, before I can remember. I absolutely love these. I love my Mama; she basically rocks.

As always, comments are love.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Onion Cheese Soup

This was one of these "well we can try it once" recipes. It was surprisingly pleasant.... I kept going back and forth on if I thought it would be good or not, but in the end we decided to do it.

Onion Cheese Soup

1 Large onion, chopped
3 Tablespoon butter
3 Tablespoon all purpose flour
1/2 Teaspoon salt
Dash pepper
4 Cup milk
8 Ounce shredded colby-jack cheese
seasoned salad croutons
grated parmesan cheese, optional

In a large saucepan, saute the onion in butter. Stir in the flour, salt, and pepper until blended. Gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in cheese until melted. Serve with croutons and Parmesan cheese if desired.

Serving Size: 6

Opinions: We both liked it! It wasn't very onion-y, which was a bit of a surprise. I definitely liked adding the croutons and the parmesan. This is something I would like to make again. Not often, but I would make it again.

As always--comments are love!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Tator Taco Casserole

I love tacos. Quite a lot, actually. And we had some extra tator tots from some recipe or another, so I thought this was worth a shot.

Tator Taco Casserole

2 Pound ground beef
1/4 Cup chopped onion
1 envelope taco seasoning
2/3 Cup water
11 Ounce whole kernel corn
11 Ounce condensed fiesta nacho cheese soup, undiluted
32 Ounce frozen tator tots

In a skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in taco seasoning and water. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Stir in corn and soup. Transfer to a greased 3x9 baking dish. Arrange tator tots in a single layer over the top. Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until potatoes are crispy and golden brown.

Serves: 8

Opinions: We both liked it! Nate was moderately surprised that he liked it. It even reheated well! I would definitely make it again.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Mushroom Chicken Tetrazzini

This is something I made awhile ago, but am just getting added to my Recipe Manager.

Speaking of Recipe Manager, I saw an awesome new program at Apple the other day. It's from Food Network, and looks quite a bit better than my Recipe Manager. Definitely snazzier. I have been getting quite dissatisfied with Recipe Manager lately. I am not happy with the personalization features (or lack thereof), and general setup. The Food Network program looked very classy, with a nice easy-to-read design and a few more features. However, it's taken forever to get the recipes in Recipe Manager that I have; transferring those to another program seems like an awful pain.

Back on topic! I made this shortly after Christmas, when we had leftover turkey from Mama's. (The smoked turkey Daddy made for Christmas... Have I mentioned I love my parents? I love them quite a lot. I know making that is a pain, but I say 'pretty please,' volunteer to bring dessert, and Daddy does it for me. I know, I'm spoiled. My Dad rocks, though. Mama does too, she just usually rolls her eyes when I'm bribing Dad with food, and tells me how spoiled I am. Don't let them fool you though; they love the smoked turkey as much as I do.)

Wow. I can't stay on topic for anything tonight. So, here's this dinner I made awhile ago. (Nothing I can get sidetracked on there!)

Mushroom Turkey Tetrazzini

12 Ounce uncooked spaghetti, broken into 2" pieces
1 bouillon cube, chicken
1/2 Pound sliced fresh mushrooms
2 Tablespoon butter
2 Tablespoon all purpose flour
1/4 Cup chicken broth or sherry
1/2 Teaspoon pepper
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 Teaspoon salt
1/8 Teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 Cup fat-free evaporated milk
2/3 Cup grated parmesan, divided
4 Cup cubed cooked turkey
1/4 Teaspoon Paprika

Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain, reserving 2 1/2 cups cooking liquid. Stir bouillon into cooking liquid and set aside. Place spaghetti in a 13x9 baking dish coated with cooking spray; set aside.
In a large nonstick skillet, saute mushrooms in butter until tender. Stir in flour until blended. Gradually stir in sherry/broth and reserved cooking liquid. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
Reduce heat to low; stir in milk and 1/3 cup parmesan until blended. Add turkey; cook and stir until heated through. Pour turkey mixture over spaghetti and toss to combine. Sprinkle with paprika and remaining parmesan.
Cover and bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly.

Opinions: Nate & I both liked it! Personally, I am not a huge fan of paprika, so I would not add that again. Other than that, it was pretty good, and reheats well.

Make again: Yes! No paprika though. And, I may find a substitute for the evaporated milk. I didn't use all of the can I bought, and the rest of it just went to waste.

Serves: 4
Yields: 8 servings
Prep Time: 35 m
Cook Time: 25 m
Total Time: 1 hr

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Bible in 90 Days

I heard of an interesting challenge about a month ago, and I decided to give it a shot. I haven't been talking about it much, but I wanted to post about it here.

The challenge is called "The Bible in 90 days," and I started it on January 3rd. I heard of it via The Happy Housewife--Amy over at Mom's Toolbox has the challenge going for her reader's currently, and I thought it was something worth a try.

One of my big challenges in life is always getting the "God & I" time in. It's something that I've always struggled with--I want to spend time reading my Bible, to spend time with just God and no other distractions (well, maybe the puppy cuddling at my feet; does that count?).
However, there's always that 'one last thing' I need to get done first...
That other book that is just begging to be read...
The Hubby who would like to hang out with his wifey...
The puppy that wants to play...
Or is just growing and thus always hungry and wants me to give him another treat...
The sleep that I never seem to get enough of...
The list goes on & on.

So, when the Happy Housewife mentioned this challenge, I prayed about it and thought about it, and decided I would do it.

Note that I didn't decide I would try. I decided I would do this. I don't have any kiddos yet (insert sad face here), and that takes away one of the biggest challenges for most ladies to do something like this.

Here we are, about to start the 5th week of the challenge, and I will admit it has been hard! I was behind at times (weekend at my in-laws, mainly!), ahead at times, but I've managed to stay on-track. It has been a great experience so far. This certainly isn't meant to be an in-depth study of the Bible, but a way to see everything close together and kinda connect the dots. ("OH! I remember so-and-so, they did this a couple days ago!" vs "Who's so-and-so?")

Don't get me wrong; it's still reading the Bible, cover-to-cover, in 90 days. It's hard. It can be confusing. But, being almost one month in, I would recommend this to anyone.

I love doing something that makes sure I get my God & I time in. I love studying His Word. While I have read the Bible cover-to-cover other times, I think this is going to be a great way to step back a little and try to see the whole picture.

If you are interested in doing this challenge, I would recommend checking out Mom's Toolbox. The challenge has already started, but this isn't the first time she's done this so I would guess it won't be the last. :) She also had a handy little bookmark on the site (somewhere; probably around the first post for this Bible in 90 days challenge) with a listing of what chapters/verses you need to read what days, to complete on schedule. It has been very useful!

As always, comments are love. See? You are thinking about comments, and I am sending love. :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011


If you've seen many of my posts, or know me in person, you know I am not a big fan of tomatoes. Or most things tomato based. When I saw this recipe, I was intrigued, but I was also a bit nervous. With my (picky) experiences with tomatoes & pasta, I know that I usually don't like it.

Other than spaghetti & lasagna, for some odd reason.

Anyways, back to today's recipe. I was pleasantly surprised with this--the tomato is not overwhelming! It doesn't turn out too saucy either, which is another problem I've had with pasta & tomato combinations in the past. If anything, it is a little too dry in the end--I am going to try covering it next time, and see if that helps.


7 Ounce uncooked pasta
1 Pound ground beef
1 Medium onion, chopped
1 Clove garlic, minced
8 Ounce tomato sauce
1 Teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 Teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 Teaspoon pepper
1/4 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 Cup grated parmesan, divided
3 Tablespoon butter
3 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/2 Cup milk
1 egg, beaten

Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skilled, cook the beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the tomato sauce, 1/2 tsp salt, oregano, pepper, & cinnamon; heat through.
Drain pasta; place half in a greased 9" square baking pan. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup parmesan. Layer with meat mixture and remaining macaroni. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, melt butter; stir in flour and remaining salt until smooth. Gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
Remove from the heat. Stir a small amount fo the hot mixture into egg; return all to the pan, stirring constantly. Bring to a gently boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in remaining parmesan. Pour sauce over pasta.
Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Serves: 6
Prep Time: 35
Cook Time: 35
Total Time: 1 hr 10 m

  • The original did state the the cinnamon is optional. I thought it was a wonderful, and unique, addition.
  • It does NOT reheat well. It goes from being slightly dry to "Oh. This is the leftovers we are having for dinner? Oh."

Overall opinions: I think with some small changes (less dry being the key change), this could be pretty good. Nate was, oddly enough, more fond of it once I told him that the funny taste was the cinnamon. (Which made me smile.)

And, of course, I used some of the venison that I received from my oh-so-lovely brother & sister-in-law, instead of beef. I love venison; I would rather use ground venison than ground beef any day! (Although, I do love the occasional steak.)

As always, comments are love. In fact, if you leave enough comments on my posts & live nearby, I just may invite you to dinner sometime. Or dessert, if that's your preference. ;)