Saturday, June 25, 2011

Our Christmas Punch

My family has this every year for Christmas, thus the name. (We actually use our family name in the title but I try to be somewhat private, believe it or not...) My mom has always made it, so I will give her credit. I did not make it this week but we had it at my niece's birthday party via my mom or my sister, so I had to snap a pic and add the recipe. It is a family favorite. Ans it tastes just as good if it is not Christmas...

1 12 oz. can frozen punch (Note: As of this week, there was none to be found in our grocery store's frozen section...I think they ended up using just a can of punch from the juice aisle)
1 12 oz can frozen lemonade concentrate
1 12 oz can frozen pineapple juice
6 12 oz cans water
2 liters 7 up

Mix all ingredients together in a punch bowl. Add an ice ring (which can be made using Tropical Punch Kool Aid).



Thursday, June 23, 2011

Chocolate Pound Cake

My husband's favorite "birthday" cake is a chocolate pound cake. Well, it is his favorite any time cake. I don't make it often because it is takes quite a while to bake (and that means planning ahead). But since he just had his birthday and all, I decided to forgo a nap to get this in the oven.

I am pretty sure this came from the Internet but from where? I have no idea. I have had it for a while.

  • 1 cup butter softened (which requires more planning ahead since you have to set that out a while before...)
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 eggs, beaten
  • 3 cups cake flour (you will find this on the baking aisle)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 5 tbsp cocoa
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

Cream butter, shortening, and sugar with mixer.

Add eggs. Mix well.

Sift dry ingredients. Add to butter mixture, alternately with milk and vanilla extract.

Grease and flour a 10 inch tube pan. Pour in batter. (The batter is fairly thick, so it is more like "scrape in" batter.)

Bake at 300 degrees for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

I check with a cake test (like a long toothpick) before removing from the oven.

Cool 5 minutes before removing from the pan.

I have a note on my recipe that this freezes well, but with my husband, we rarely have any leftover to freeze...


PS As you can tell from the picture, though it is chocolate, it is nothing like having a chocolate cake or pie. It is a hint of chocolate, not overpowering at all.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Chicken Marsala

I have always loved the taste of Marsala sauce on different meals at restaurants. So when I saw a recipe for Chicken Marsala, I knew I wanted to try it. Even better, it is a crockpot favorite kind. This recipe is not going to be just like chicken marsala at a restaurant but it is chicken cooked with marsala wine (cooking wine), so the title fits. Oh, I don't remember where I found this recipe...probably online?

  • 4 chicken breasts, cubed (Instead of cubing breasts, I used about 12 or 13 frozen chicken tenderloins instead...much easier)
  • 1 stick butter (I just use the light Blue Bonnet spread instead)
  • 8 ounces cream cheese (I used no fat which works but it doesn't "melt" as well as the regular)
  • 2/3 cup Marsala wine (I just use cooking wine from the grocery store)
  • 2 cans cream of mushroom soup (I use the low fat)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp basil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • salt and pepper
Place chicken, butter, and spices/herbs in the slow cooker.

Mix cream cheese, wine, and mushroom soup. Pour over chicken.


Cook 4-5 hours on high.

I served mine with rice, bread, and carrots/snap peas and Ranch.

The house smells good now, and I didn't get any complaints from my peanut gallery. In fact, a couple of the kids raved about it.

I love crockpot recipes.


More recipes coming...

Sunday, June 19, 2011

This Week's Menu...

Here is the week's menu.

Sunday: Pizza (out) to celebrate a birthday and a special father

Monday: "Little Ham Sandwiches" with Molten Lava Cakes for dessert per the birthday girl's request since we got home too late on Sunday to make them.

Tuesday: Crock Pot Pork Chops. I am actually having these with my parents and sister/her family to celebrate a niece's birthday. Even though I am not making them, I just might get permission to share the recipe. I may need to call this blog Cooking with My Sister...

Wednesday: Chicken Marsala (put off from last week due to some time constraints)...recipe to follow

Thursday: Popcorn and shakes/movie night (just for kids love it :)

Friday: On Your Own. Part of us are going on a road trip so the other part are on their own. :)

So what are you having this week?


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Cheesy Mashed Potato Bake

I really want to give someone credit for this recipe, but I honestly don't remember who gave it to me. It isn't anywhere on the printed page I have. So if it was you, name yourself. :) I may have found it online too. I just don't know.

I have been looking for a good mashed potato recipe. I like mashed potatoes but I am kind of particular about them. I don't like them runny, want a little flavor, but don't want to have to depend on gravy either.

So for whatever reason, I have this recipe. And tonight we were having a ham steak and black eye peas. We needed mashed potatoes. I decided to try this. So glad I did. It was just what I was looking for. Yum.

3 lbs. boiling potatoes. I used Yukon gold. Oh, they should be peeled.
4 tbsp butter
8 oz sour cream (I used light)
8 ounces cheddar cheese (I used 2%, sharp shredded)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
freshly ground pepper

Cut potatoes into 1 1/2 inch cubes (I just cut them into small pieces. I didn't take time to cube...

Add potatoes to a 4 quart pot and fill with cold water. Bring to a boil. Add salt. Lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes fall apart easily when pierced with a fork.

Sidenote: I couldn't put all five pounds of potatoes in my pot, though I got most of it. And I didn't simmer. I just boiled the potatoes until tender.

As soon as the potatoes are tender, drain them in a colander.

Place the 4 tbsp of butter in the bottom of a mixing bowl. Add potatoes. Beat with a mixer for 2 minutes. Then add sour cream, half of the cheddar cheese, salt, and pepper. Beat until creamy.

Pour (spoon) mixture into greased baking dish (9 x 13). Top with remaining cheddar cheese. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and serve.

Sidenote: I just did the freshly ground pepper as THE pepper in the mashed potatoes. If I use too much, my family protests.



Monday, June 13, 2011


We love Taco Night at our house which is actually a pretty quick meal. But sometimes we want something a little different. Because we have swimming lessons, basketball camp, and other activities this week, I knew I needed something easy but filling. Even better, something I could make ahead of time. So...

instead of Taco Night, we had Tostada Night.

This recipe comes from my sister. She made it for us once when we visited her. I was hooked. Hunter eats this up...not sure he really realizes that it has beans in it. I figure the beans make it somewhat healthy, right? Lots of fiber?

Anyway, here is the recipe.

1 lb ground beef, browned (I usually use closer to 2 just because there are so many of us)
2 cans refried beans (I do use the fat free)
1 envelope dry taco seasoning mix
8 oz can tomato sauce (I just used a regular 15 oz can)
1/2 cup water (I actually doubled it because it was going to be in the crockpot for a while)
Tostada shells
Favorite toppings (cheese, sour cream, onions, black olives, tomato, avocado, lettuce, etc)

Combine the ground beef, refried beans, taco seasoning mix, tomato sauce, and water in the slow cooker. Of course, I used my favorite slow cooker liners. Keep hoping they will see me plugging them and send me some free ones. :)

Cover. Cook on low for 6 hours. You can also do it on medium for less time.

Crisp the tostada shells in the oven.

Spread hot mixture on the tostada shells. Top with favorite toppings. We had sour cream, salsa, Mexican cheese, avocado (okay, I am the only one who eats it but I love them), and lettuce, with some chips on the side.


This is the meat/bean mixture right out of the crockpot...

Here is my tostada. That is salsa on top. No, that isn't a product placement for Mountain Dew. It just happens to go REALLY well with tostada. That and it had been a very long day. I needed my caffeine.

One last view...

Happy cooking!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

This Week's Menu...

Well, I stuck fairly close to the menu last week. At least part of the week. Toward the end, we had a couple of changes and ended up not having Pork Chops Ole or anything Mahi Mahi. But that just means I have the ingredients for when I am ready to. :)

So, here is my menu for this week...

Sunday: Spaghetti, garlic bread, salad, and strawberry or strawberry/banana smoothies. When I say spaghetti, I should clarify, it was just plain noodles with Parmesan on top. Mark is really the only one who truly enjoys the meat sauce, though Hunter will eat it sometimes. Mark is gone, so we had plain. No, no butter or even oil. Just Parmesan if they want it. And I do use wheat/whole grain spaghetti. I actually prefer it nowadays.

Oh, and we had pumpkin muffins for breakfast...

Monday: Tostadas (recipe coming this week)

Tuesday: Build Your Own Pizza Night. I do hope to learn how to make some homemade crusts but I am not there yet. I just buy Boboli crusts and put a variety of toppings on the table like sauce, Canadian bacon, regular bacon, pepperoni, and lots of cheeses. The kids have their own personal pan pizza to make. They think it is so much fun. I would use veggies if any of them ate it beyond the sauce...

Wednesday: Ham (just a ham steak) and mashed potatoes, rolls, and salad. I am going to try yet another mashed potato recipe. I will let you know how that goes...

Thursday: Chicken Marsala (crockpot) recipe. I will let you know on that one too.

Friday: On Your Own Night

Saturday: Hamburgers and Hot dogs for the girls' family birthday celebration. Dessert? Cake and buttercream frosting of course...

So what is on your menu this week?


Saturday, June 11, 2011

7 Layer Salad

I would love to say I made this recently, but honestly, I made it in March. I just never got around to blogging about it. It is a family favorite (as in from my side of the family); this recipe comes from my mom. It is one of my favorite salads; I love to eat the leftovers (if there are any) the next couple of days. By the way, there is nothing healthy about it which is probably why it is so tasty. :)

So, here are the layers. Use a big bowl.

Iceberg lettuce. I wish I could tell you an exact amount. I just buy a head, wash it, then tear it into little pieces. I fill probably half the bowl with the lettuce.

Celery. About 2 or 3 stalks washed then cut up into little pieces.

Green onions. Again, just cut into little pieces, enough to cover the celery.

Green peas. I use frozen petite and just pour a layer over the onions. The funny thing is I won't eat cooked peas but I will eat them in this salad frozen/cold...

Mayonnaise. That would be the unhealthy part but it is the best part of the salad. :) Use 1-2 cups and cover the salad.

Sugar. 1 teaspoon sprinkled over the mayo. The original recipe calls for a tablespoon, so use whatever you are comfortable with.

Cheese. I use the shredded cheddar cheese (2%).

Bacon. A few slices fried and diced. I think I cheated and used the microwave kind this last time but I prefer real bacon.

Cover and chill until ready to use.


Sunday, June 5, 2011

This Week's Menu...

Like I said the other day, I haven't had much time to cook new foods (or really much of any food, though I have been trying :). I hope to do that next week. But for this week (the last week of school), I am sticking to some tried and true. I thought each week I would share our menu, which is always subject to change. I usually plan meals Saturday to Saturday, but this will be Monday-Friday since the weekend is over.

Monday: Sloppy Joes (side: Sweet Potato Fries) This is nothing fancy. We really like Manwich. And I use Ore Ida's frozen sweet potato fries which are just as tasty as the ones I used to make from fresh sweet potatoes with a lot less time involved. I think I will have some fruit out for the kids to eat on the side also.
Tuesday: On Your Own night. I have a lot of school work to do that day. We almost always have one "on your own" night a week to finish up leftovers or eat a bit lighter.
Wednesday: Fried Chicken Tenders (sides: mashed potatoes...microwave this time until I find a good recipe for homemade, veggies/dip, and Martha Harp rolls)
Thursday: Pork Chops Ole'
Friday: Mahi Mahi...not positive what I want to do with that yet. I am thinking grilled.

So what is for dinner at your house?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Still Here

It isn't that I am not cooking at all, though with the holiday weekend, I did cook less. I am just sticking to recipes I can do quickly and without much thought (most I have posted already) because it is such a crazy busy time of year. I am hoping to be able to branch out again in the next week...once my summer starts. :)