Saturday, November 29, 2008

Pecan topped sweet potatoes

Pecan topped sweet potatoes

3 cups sweet potatoes, peeled & mashed (or two cans)
1 cups white sugar
½ cups softened butter
2 eggs slightly beaten
1 tsp. Vanilla
Place this mixture in a 2 qt. Greased baking dish

1/3 cups flour
1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup brown sugar
Sprinkle this mixture on top of the potato

Sprinkle 1 cup chopped pecans on top and bake at 350 for 40 minutes.

Major yum. 
This is one of my new favorites!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Pumpkin spice chocolate chip muffins

These are so easy.

What you need:
1 - 15 oz can of un-spiced pumpkin (or the equivalent of fresh pureed pumpkin)
1 box of spice cake mix
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Compine pumpkin and spice cake mix in bowl (do NOT add anything else ... no eggs, no milk, no oil). Mix the pumpkin and spice cake mix together. Add chocolate chips. mix. Spoon into muffin tin (I use liners). Makes 12 muffins.

Bake for 15-20 minutes at 350.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008


My garden has turned into a basil factory - who knew it re-seeded itself?! The stuff is multiplying like crazy. I used up a good share of it with this tasty recipe from my mom. I definitely wasn’t going to use it all - so I froze it by spooning the pesto into a cupcake tray. Once frozen, I put the pesto cubes into a freezer safe bag for use later.

Thank mom!

What you need:
3 - 5 Cups fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1/4 Cup pine nuts
2/3 Cup olive oil
salt and ground pepper
3/4 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese (do not add if you will be freezing - it can be added when it is prepared)

Wash basil and drop into boiling water, drain immediately, rinse with cold water and pat completely dry. (Cooking the basil briefly helps pesto keep its green color. You can skip this step, but your pesto will darken a bit). Combine with garlic, nuts in food processor. Pour oil in while processing. Process until smooth. If pesto is too thick, add oil to thin. Freeze small portions or add cheese and use immediately.

Toss with pasta, spread on sandwich, stir into vegetable soup, mix with mayo for a vegetable dip or stir into mashed potatoes.


Caitlyn's Banana Bread

What you’ll need:
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup milk (sour w/ vinegar)
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
pinch of salt
3 ripe bananas
nuts (optional) ... I put in about 1 cup of chopped walnuts

What to do:
Cream the shortening and sugar (I used my stand mixer). Add the remaining ingredients. Mix. Pour mixture into a greased loaf pan. Bake in a 350* oven for about 50 minutes. I’d recommend setting the timer for 40 and checking the bread every five minutes. When it’s done (stick in a knife, when it comes out clean it’s done) remove from oven. Let cool in the pan. Remove from pan and slice. enjoy!

Apple Cake

This is Corey’s favorite dessert.

Short funny story about the famous apple cake: Last fall I had just refilled the plug-in air freshener in our living room with a new “autumn” scent of apples and cinnamon. Corey arrived home a shot while later and said something like “Oh, you made my mom’s apple cake, my favorite” ... I must have had the strangest look in my face “um, no, I didn’t cook at all ...” Well as it turns out, this apple cake smells just like the apple and cinnamon air freshener, but tastes a lot better than air freshener!

Apple Cake & Caramel Topping

What you need for the cake:
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp basking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
2 cups flour
1 cup chopped nuts
5 cups apple (peeled, cored and diced)

Combine and mix all ingredients except apples and nuts. Add apples and nuts and mix. Batter will be stiff. Spread in 9x13 pan and bake for 40-50 minutes at 350*

What you'll need for the caramel:
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
splash of vanilla

I double this recipe because you can never have too much caramel :)
Combine and heat on stove on low until mixed well, thickened, and sugar is dissolved.
Scoop apple cake and top with caramel.

Thanks to Andrea for the recipe!

Raspberry Kuchen Bars

When you’ve got raspberries coming out your ears ... or even if you don’t ... these are delicious!

1.5 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold butter or margarine
2 Tbsp whipping cream
1/2 cup sugar
3 cups fresh raspberries

1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla

What to do: in a bowl, combine 1 cup flour and salt; cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in cream; pat into a greased 13x9x2” pan. Combine the sugar and remaining flour; sprinkle over curst. Arrange the raspberries over crust. For topping, combine sugar and flour. Stir in eggs, cream and vanilla; pour over berries. Bake at 375* for 40-45 mins or until lightly browned. Serve warm or chilled. Store in refrigerator. Makes 10-12 servings.

Thanks to Andrea for the recipe!

North Dakota Salsa

I really like salsa. All kinds of salsa. But, I especially love traditional spicy tomato salsa.

Making salsa in North Dakota over the winter is quite a challenge because finding good, fresh tomatoes is difficult when it’s -30 outside. Shocking, I know!

So, I was thrilled when I discovered (begged) this recipe ... made my Pat Sanden (the mom of Corey’s friend Josh). It uses canned tomatoes! and it tasted great! So, I shall call this North Dakota Salsa.

Here’s what you’ll need:1 large can (approx. 16-28 oz depending on how much you want to make) whole tomatoes
1/2 - 3/4 bunch of cilantro
1/2 yellow onion
two jalapeƱos
3 T Mrs. Wages salsa canning seasoning (in the canning area of the store)
sate and pepper to taste

What to do:
Combine ingredients in food processor and chop until desired consistency is reached. If you don’t have a food processor a blender will work but it gets frothy, so refrigerate before serving. Serve with chips.

This salsa is responsible for motivating me to buy a food processor ... if it does the same to you ... I recommend looking at - they have some great deals!

This is the Mrs. Wages salsa seasoning. I get mine at WalMart ... save yourself time and look for it in the canning isle (near housewares).

Thanks for the recipe Pat!

Blueberry Muffins

Recipe from

I had one cup of fresh blueberries and a craving for blueberry muffins. With one quick google search I found this tasty muffin recipe.

what you’ll need:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

what to do:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners. Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture. To Make Crumb Topping: Mix together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Mix with fork, and sprinkle over muffins before baking. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.

Crab Roll Appetizer

What you’ll need:
one loaf white or wheat bread (the cheap squishy kind)
1/4 pound Velveeta
one stick butter
one cup fresh, imitation or canned crab
a few shakes of onion flakes and a shake of worcheshire sauce
sesame seeds

What to do:
Melt butter and Velveeta in saucepan, add crab and onion flakes and worcheshire sauce. Cut crusts off bread and roll bread thin with a rolling pin. Spread crab mix on bread and roll. Spread melted butter on rolls and sprinkle with sesame seeds (yes, this is a low-fat dish ... not). Cut rolls into thirds. Freeze for use later or broil for about 10 minutes (watch closely). Remove from oven when the cheese melts out and they start to turn as golden color. Serve with tooth picks. eat. say "yum."

Thanks to Grandma Schumacher for this great recipe!

We thought these would be good if the bread was substituted for tortillas - so that would be another option.

Peanut Butter Cookies

What you’ll need:
3/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 egg
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda

Here’ what you do with the stuff:
Combine peanut butter, shortening, brown sugar, milk and vanilla in large bowl. Beat at medium speed with electric mixer (my Kitchen Aid stand mixer was a champ for this) until well blended. Add egg and beat just until blended. In separate bowl, combine flour, salt and baking soda. Add to creamed mixture at low speed. Mix just until blended. Roll cookies and place on un-greased cookie sheet. Using a fork, make criss-cross patterns on cookies, pressing slightly. Bake at 375 for 7-8 minutes. Cook for two minutes before removing from baking sheet. Enjoy :)

Easy Stromboli

I love pizza. I mean I really love pizza. This is my way of making pizza-like food and pretending it’s not pizza.

This is what you’ll need:
1 lb Italian sausage
1 jar marinera sauce
1 tube Pillsbury refrigerated French loaf
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Pepperoni slices
1 can of mushrooms
1 onion caramelized with butter, balsamic vinegar and sugar
1 tablespoon butter

This is what you do:
Brown sausage and caramelize onion.
Spread the french loaf on a greased cookie sheet or 14x12 pan (it should stretch to cover the sheet).
Across the middle, layer the sausage, some cheese, pepperoni, mushrooms, and onions, about 1/4 of the sauce and almost all of the cheese. Then roll edges of dough and seal all sides. Cut three slits on top. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with cheese.
Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes.
Slice and serve with marinera sauce and parmesan cheese.

*the photo above is Corey’s stromboli ... notice the abundance of sauce ... so yummy.

Swedish Pancakes, Zundel Style

When I think of pancakes, I think of these. I have no clue what makes them “Swedish” but they are darn good. I think they would be most closely compared to crepes, but that makes them sound complicated, so we’ll call them ‘easy crepes’.

You can eat them with whatever you want: jelly, syrup, cheese, whatever ...
but we’ve always enjoyed them rolled and then we dip them in a brown sugar/sour cream mix. Weird. Yes, I know. But it makes a caramelly delicious sauce. And I will only eat them this way.

What you’ll need:
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons sugar
Beat eggs, oil and milk. Add all other ingredients and beat well. At this point, the batter can be stored in the refrigerator, for cooking later (a day or two later). My mom always used her trusty griddle to cook the pancakes, so I do the same. I honestly have no idea if these can be cooked any other way. Heat griddle and oil surface. Pour batter to griddle and smooth out (the bottom of a spoon works well). Flip when the bottom start to turn light brown (see left). Remove when both sides start to brown, but are still very as you choose (see toppings above). smile. yum.

Snickerdoodle Cookies

These are so good that we gobbled them up before I had a chance to take a photo.

What you need:
1 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons cream or tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
cinnamon/sugar mixture
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In large bowl, cream sugar and shortening. Add eggs, one at a time. In small bowl, combine (using wire wisk) four, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Gradually add dry mix to shortening mix. Blend well. Roll dough and dip into cinnamon sugar mix. Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Spicy Peanut Noodles

I was really wanting spicy Asian food - so I made my own - you can too ...

What you need:
Asian low mein noodles (I use 1/2 of a small box of dried noodles, but if you can get the ‘real’ fresh noodles, that would be perfect)
2 cups shredded, pealed cucumbers
3 Tablespoons chopped green onions
2 Tablespoons peanut butter (smooth or chunky)
3 Tablespoons sesame oil
6 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon rice vinegar1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons fresh minced ginger root
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon chili oil
pepper and salt
Basically, just combine all the sauce ingredients (I use a handy dressing mixer thing - see left) and poor over the noodles. Mix in the cucumbers and onions. refrigerate. eat. yum.

Beef Stew

What you need:
2 pounds beef stew meat
2 yellow onions
4 red potatoes
4 stalks of celery
8 oz baby carrots
1 small box frozen peas or green beans (optional) 8 -10 oz
2 cans stewed tomatoes
5 tablespoons instant tapioca
2 beef bouillon cubes
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons worcheshire sauce
Large crock pot

I prepare this the night before, but you could do it the day of if you’re super ambitious.

In one large bowl, combine chopped onion, canned tomatoes (pour juice in separate bowl), skinned and cubed potatoes, diced celery, carrots and peas/green beans. Seal bowl and refrigerate until ready to cook stew.

In second bowl, use tomato juice and add worcheshire sauce, brown sugar, beef bullion cubes (crushed) and tapioca. Cut fat from stew meat and cut into 1 or 2 inch pieces. Add to liquid. Refrigerate.

The next morning (before going to work), I combine the two bowl into the crock pot and turn on low for about 9 hours. Upon returning home, I turn on high for about 1-2 hours.