Sunday, February 7, 2016

Taco Soup

Nothing better then a bowl of hot soup on a blustery, cold day! 
We love this taco soup all year round,though. The flavor is just perfect. The best part are all the fun toppings. Mine has to have cilantro, chips, and cheese.

This recipe makes a large pot, so plenty to have for a party or to freeze!

Taco Soup

1 lb. burger
1 small onion, chopped
4 cans of diced tomatoes (14.5 oz.)
1 can tomato sauce ( 8 oz.)
1 c. water
1 package dry ranch dressing mix
1 package dry taco seasoning
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 can chili beans
(cilantro, shredded cheddar, tortilla chips for garnish)

Brown the hamburger and onion, stir in the rest of the ingredients ans simmer for an hour, or more. Serve with chopped cilantro, shredded cheddar, and tortilla chips, sour cream, etc.

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Thursday, February 4, 2016

Kentucky Derby Pie

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE pecan pie!

My mom never made it growing up at home, and it was much later in life that I even tried a piece. But once I did, I started making it for myself. Brent loves it,too, but I can't make it very often. We can eat the whole pie in a day...not kidding.

Then one day I stumbled upon a recipe adding chocolate chips, and life got even better! This is the recipe I usually make.

But then I decided to try the recipe for Kentucky Derby Pie. It has even more chocolate chips! It was a rich, dense, chocolaty dessert...just delicious!

Kentucky Derby Pie

3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 c. light corn syrup
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. pecans
1 c. chocolate chips
 1 unbaked 9" pie shell

In a small bowl, combine the eggs,corn syrup,brown sugar,vanilla, and salt. Stir in the pecans and chocolate chips. Pour into pie shell and cover edges with foil. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes OR until a knife comes out clean.

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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Pecan Coconut Clusters

This is a simple and fun candy to make. Only 4 ingredients and you can have a sweet treat in minutes!

I bought a huge bag of pecans to make pecan pies for the holidays, and still have quite a bit left over, so I thought I'd make a few of these. After I toasted the pecans, I let them cool a bit. It was SO hard to stop eating them to save for the candy...I love nuts when they are toasted, such great flavor! 

I spooned them into some mini muffin liners, and since it's February, I sprinkled a few hearts on festive and fun! 

Pecan Coconut Clusters

1 c. chopped pecans, toasted
1 c. Rice Krispies
3/4 c. flaked coconut
1 package vanilla chips, melted ( I use less)

Mix all ingredients and drop by teaspoonful into candy liners. Let stand until set.

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Friday, January 29, 2016

Spaghetti Pie

This recipe has become a regular over the years. I have served it over and over again. The combo seems to please everyone tastes, and it is so easy to prepare. Leftovers heat up perfectly, PLUS it is a bit lighter in calories.

I usually serve it with a salad and sometimes some bread sticks or garlic bread.

It looks pretty on a plate!                                                                

Spaghetti Pie
(adapted from Taste of Home)

1 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 c. canned diced tomatoes
1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
1 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp.salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. pepper
6 oz. spaghetti, cooked and drained
1 Tbsp. butter, melted
2 egg whites, beaten
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese
1 c. fat free cottage cheese
1/2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

Brown the hamburger and onion, drain. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste,oregano, salt, pepper, sugar and garlic powder.  In another bowl, combine the cooked and drained spaghetti, butter, egg whites, and Parmesan cheese. Press it into 9 in. greased pie plate and up the sides. Top with cottage cheese and ground beef mixture. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and bake an additional 10 minutes until cheese is melted. Let set 5-10 minutes before slicing. 1 slice 348 cal. 10 g, fat 4 g. fiber 29 g. protein 33 carb. (6 servings)

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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Martha'sTexas Sheet Cake

There are lots of recipes for Texas Sheet cake out there, and Pioneer Women's is an all-time favorite, but I didn't have all the ingredients on hand. 

 Imagine me with hardly any butter in the house. 

Of course PW's sheet cake has more butter in it! I had just enough butter for this recipe from Martha, and I had my mind set on making a cake for company coming, so I tried it. They say never to try new recipes for company, but I find most people enjoy it...even when they don't turn out! It's always a good laugh!

It was good. Really good! 
Another difference in the two recipes was the addition of cinnamon, which enhanced the chocolate flavor.  I didn't mix the pecans in the frosting, but sprinkled them on top instead. 

Everyone loved it!

Martha's Texas Sheet Cake

 2 c. flour
2 c. sugar
1 tsp. baking soda 
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 c. water
1/2 c. butter
1/4 c. cocoa
1/2 c. buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs

Grease a jelly roll pan and dust with flour. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Whisk and set aside. In a sauce pan, add the water,butter, and cocoa. Bring to a boil, remove from heat and add the flour mixture. In a small bowl, beat the eggs, buttermilk and vanilla. Combine all, stirring well and pour into the pan. Bake at 350 for 17 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. While warm, pour on the frosting:


6 Tbs. butter
1/3 c. milk
1/4 c. cocoa
3 c. powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 c. chopped pecans
2 tsp. vanilla

In a sauce pan combine the butter, milk, and cocoa. Bring to a boil. Remove and stir in the powdered sugar, pecans and vanilla. Pour over hot cake.

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Friday, January 22, 2016

Caramel Apple Salad

Hi everyone!

I have a delicious, quick and easy salad to share with you today. Actually, I suppose it is more like a dessert!  Caramel Apple Salad really does taste similar to caramel apples, a creamy version. It's chock full of chopped crunchy apples, covered with creamy butterscotch and topped with salty peanuts. A great combo!

I usually have all the ingredients on hand, so I make it quite often. I like to stir the pudding mixture together, take half of it and add 2 c. chopped apple and top with the 1/4 c.peanuts. The other half I put in the frig to make the next day, and stir in the apple before serving. That way the apples are fresh and crunchy.

This is another of those recipes one can find in many church cookbooks around here. It's a pot luck favorite!

Caramel Apple Salad

1 c. cold low fat milk
1 package (1 oz.) sugar free fat free instant butterscotch pudding
2 c. reduced fat Cool Whip, divided
3 to 4 cups chopped unpeeled apples
1/2 c. chopped peanuts

Mix 1 c. milk with butterscotch pudding mix, whisking for 1 minute until thick. Whisk in 1 c. cool whip. Fold in the apples, and the remaining cool whip. Refrigerate until serving. Top with chopped peanuts to serve.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Almond Raspberry Cookies

I LOVE these!

I make another version of these little gems called Spit Second Cookies, which you can find here. Those are scrumptious also! The difference between the two is the subtle almond flavor and sweet, light glaze.

Almond is one of my favorite flavors to bake with, one my grandma used to bake with quite often,too. The light and nutty flavor pairs well with the raspberry jam. The cookies are slightly soft and sweet, and look SO pretty with the bright red raspberry centers. Perfect for a Christmas cookie tray, or for a Valentine treat!

Linking this to:

Almond Raspberry Cookies
(adapted from All recipes)

1/3 cup sugar
5 Tbsp. butter, softened
1  tsp. vanilla extract
 egg white
1 cup  flour
2 Tbsp.cornstarch
1/4 tsp.baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 to 1/2 cup raspberry jam

1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Cream sugar and butter. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla and egg white and set aside. Combine flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt, stir. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture, stir until well blended. Divide dough in half and roll each half into a 10 to 12 inch log. Place logs on a greased cookie sheet.( I use parchment paper) Make a 1/2 in. indentation down each log using the end of a wooden spoon. Spoon the raspberry jam into the center. Bake at 375° for 20 minutes until lightly browned. Put logs onto a rack with a cookie sheet underneath. Combine powdered sugar, lemon juice, and almond extract and drizzle on top. Cut each log diagonally into 10 to 12 slices while warm. Cool 10 minutes and separate slices.