August 31, 2014

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Just For Fun
Mini Easter baskets for holiday Print E-mail
Candy Bar Meltaways Print E-mail


1 roll (16.5 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated chocolate chip cookies

13 bars (fun-size) milk chocolate-covered nougat and caramel candy, unwrapped, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices

1/2 cup crushed Golden Grahams® cereal

1/2 cup chopped walnuts, pecans or peanuts


1 Heat oven to 375°F. In ungreased 13x9-inch pan, break up cookie dough. With floured fingers, press dough evenly in bottom of pan to form crust. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. 2 Arrange candy evenly over crust. 3 Bake 3 to 4 minutes longer or until candy softens. Meanwhile, in small bowl, mix cereal and walnuts. 4 With spatula or knife, quickly spread candy evenly over crust. Sprinkle evenly with cereal mixture; press in slightly. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. For bars, cut into 6 rows by 6 rows.

Any fun-size chocolate-covered candy bar with creamy filling can be used.

Store the bars in a tightly sealed plastic container, and freeze them up to 3 months.


Buttermilk-Blueberry Breakfast Cake Print E-mail


½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature

2 tsp. lemon zest or more — zest from 1 large lemon

7/8 cup* + 1 tablespoon sugar**

1 egg, room temperature

1 tsp. vanilla

2 cups flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. kosher salt

2 cups fresh blueberries

½ cup buttermilk

* 7/8 cup = 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons

** 1 tablespoon is for sprinkling on top


1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Cream butter with lemon zest and 7/8 cup of the sugar until light and fluffy.

2. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Meanwhile, toss the blueberries with ¼ cup of flour, then whisk together the remaining flour, baking powder and salt.

3. Add the flour mixture to the batter a little at a time, alternating with the buttermilk. Fold in the blueberries.

4. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan (or something similar) with butter or coat with non-stick spray. Spread batter into pan. Sprinkle batter with remaining tablespoon of sugar. Bake for 35 minutes. Check with a toothpick for doneness. If necessary, return pan to oven for a couple of more minutes. (Note: Baking for as long as 10 minutes more might be necessary.) Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.


Easy Crockpot Lasagna Print E-mail



1 pound (16 ounces) ground beef

1/2 cup diced white onion

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 (24 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce

1/2 cup water

1 (15 ounce) container ricotta cheese

2 cups mozzarella cheese

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 whole egg

2 Tablespoons fresh parsley or 2 teaspoons dried parsley

6 uncooked lasagna noodles



1 In a large skillet brown beef and onion. Add garlic and cook for one minute. Drain.

2 Add spaghetti sauce and water and simmer for about 5 minutes.

3 Mix ricotta, 1 1/2 cups mozzarella, 2 Tablespoons Parmesan, egg and parsley.

4 Pour 1 cup of spaghetti meat sauce into a 4 to 6 quart sized slow cooker. Place half of the noodles and half of the ricotta mixture on top of the sauce. Cover with 2 cups meat sauce. Top with remaining noodles (If the noodles don't fit exactly break them to fit) and cheese mixture and meat sauce.

5 Cook on low for 4 to 5 hours or until noodles are soft. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of mozzarella and remaining parmesan. Cover with the lid to melt the cheese and let it sit for 10 minutes before serving.

6 Do not overcook and don't try to speed up the process by cooking it on high.

7 Works best with a 4 to 6 quart size slow cooker.




Bloomin' Pizza Bread Print E-mail


1 unsliced round loaf sourdough bread

12-16 ounces mozzarella or Provolone cheese, thinly sliced

1 (3.5 ounce) package pepperoni, halved

3 Tablespoons butter, melted

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon Italian seasonings

2 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese

pizza/marinara sauce for dipping


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cut the bread lengthwise and widthwise without cutting through the bottom crust. This can be a little tricky going the second way but the bread is very forgiving.

Place bread on a foil-lined baking sheet and insert cheese slices and pepperoni between cuts. Combine butter, garlic powder, and Italian seasonings. Drizzle or brush over bread with a pastry brush. Sprinkle bread with Parmesan cheese.

Wrap bread completely in foil and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Unwrap the bread and bake 10 more minutes, or until cheese is melted and pepperoni is a little crispy.



Chicken Taco Soup Print E-mail


1 white onion, chopped finely

1 (16 oz.) can chili beans

1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 (15 oz.) can whole kernel corn, drained

1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce

2 (10 oz.) cans diced tomatoes with green chiles

1 (1.25 oz.) package taco seasoning

3 whole skinless, boneless, chicken breasts, thawed or frozen

Tip for shredding chicken: beat the chicken breasts with a hand mixer

Stir onion, beans, corn, tomato sauce, dice tomatoes, and taco sauce into a slow cooker.

Sautee the onion before to make sure that they are not crunchy. Lay the chicken breast on top of the mixture, pressing down slightly so that it gets covered by other ingredients. Set slow cooker to low heat, cover, and cook for 3-4 hours on low if your chicken is thawed. May take 4-5 hours on low if chicken is frozen.

Remove chicken breasts from the soup and shred. Stir shredded chicken back into the soup.

Top with shredded cheese, sour cream, and crushed tortilla chips.



Boston Cream Pie Print E-mail


1 yellow cake mix (and ingredients called for on the package)

1 cup cold milk

1 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding

1 1/2 cups Cool Whip or homemade whipped cream


Chocolate Glaze: (For a thicker layer it could doubled)

1 square unsweetened baking chocolate, coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon butter

3/4 cup powdered sugar

2 tablespoons milk



Preheat oven and prepare cake mix according to package directions. Line two 9-inch round pans with parchment paper or spray thoroughly with cooking spray. The only way you can mess up this cake is if your cake sticks to the pans so make sure that doesn't happen. Bake cake according to package directions; until golden brown and center passes the toothpick test. Once done, let cakes cool and invert on a wire rack to cool further.

Beat 1 cup of milk and pudding with a whisk or mixer for 2 minutes. Gently fold in whipped cream. Let stand 5 minutes. Stack cake layers on serving plate, spreading pudding mixture between layers.

For the glaze: Microwave chocolate and butter on high for one minute in a small microwave safe bowl. Stir until chocolate is melted. Add powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons milk; mix well until smooth. Spread over the top of the cake immediately letting drip down the sides. Refrigerate at least one hour before serving.

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Mini Fire Pits Print E-mail

Gearing up for outside weather! This would be perfect for those summer nights outside!

What you'll need:

• Sakrete Quickset Concrete

• Bunch of rocks (perhaps dug up from your yard)

• Plastic bowl

• Large canned good

• Chafing dish gel fuel pack

• PAM cooking spray

• Newspaper

• Plastic tub for mixing concrete

• Stick to stir concrete



1. Measure out concrete.
2. Dump mix in in a separate container than the bowl your using to form the concrete.
3. Add water; stir with stick.
Start with a puddle in the middle of dry mix.  Not too soupy, not too chunky
3b. Spray PAM all over your mold and canned good.
4. Pour concrete into mold.
4b. Pour halfway, then placed large canned good in the center and continued filling around the can.
4c. After about 6 minutes, rotate can, wiggle side to side and pop it out.
5. At the 17 minute mark, Cover top of mold with stack of newspaper.
Flip it over carefully; concrete form will slip right out.
6. and 7. Carefully and pleasingly place loose rocks along rim of concrete form.
8. and 9. Drop fire gel pack in center hole; light with long match and enjoy.
Fun ambiance for the whole family.


Italian Meatloaf Print E-mail


• 2lb. lean ground beef

• 1 pkg. (6 oz.) STOVE TOP Stuffing Mix for Chicken

• 1 can (14-1/2 oz.) Italian-style diced tomatoes, undrained

• 4 cloves garlic, minced

• 2 eggs, beaten

• 1 cup spaghetti sauce, divided

• 1-1/2cups KRAFT Shredded Low-Moisture Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese, divided


HEAT oven to 375°F.

MIX all ingredients except 1/4 cup each spaghetti sauce and cheese.

SHAPE into loaf in 13x9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.

BAKE 1 hour or until done (160ºF), topping with remaining sauce and cheese after 50 min.

SERVING SUGGESTION: Serve with hot mashed potatoes and your favorite steamed green vegetable to round out the meal.

HOW TO MAKE FOUR MEATLOAVES: Shape meat mixture into 4 (5x3-1/2-inch) loaves. Bake at 375ºF for 40 min. or until done (160ºF), topping with remaining sauce and cheese after 40 min. Cool any leftovers, then wrap tightly and freeze up to 3 months. Thaw in refrigerator, then reheat before serving.

KEEPING IT SAFE: Follow these safety tips when serving leftover meat loaf. If you opt for cold sandwiches, remove the meat loaf from the refrigerator just before you prepare the sandwiches, then serve them immediately. If you reheat the meat loaf, make sure that it is heated through, with an internal temperature of at least 165°F when tested in center with an instant-read thermometer.



Old-Fashioned Beef Stew Print E-mail


• 2 lb. boneless beef round steak, cut into 1-inch cubes

• 1/4cup KRAFT Light Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing

• 1Tbsp. GREY POUPON Dijon  Mustard

• 2 carrots, peeled, sliced

• 1 large red potato, cut into 1-inch cubes

• 8 fresh mushrooms, sliced 4 cloves garlic, minced

• 1 can 14.5 oz. Italian-style diced tomatoes, undrained

• 1/4 cup flour

• 1/4 cup water

• 1 pkg. 12 oz. whole wheat egg noodles, uncooked


HEAT non-stick skillet on medium-high heat. Add meat, in batches; cook 4 to 5 minutes or until evenly browned, stirring frequently. Place in slow cooker.

MIX dressing and mustard; pour over meat. Top with next 5 ingredients; cover with lid.

COOK on LOW 8 hours (or on HIGH 4 hours), cooking noodles as directed on package for the last 15 min.

MIX flour and water; stir into meat mixture. Cook, covered, 5 min. or until sauce is slightly thickened; stir before serving. Serve over drained noodles.

NOTE: Serve half now, then cool remaining half and spoon into 4 freezerproof containers. Store in freezer to keep on hand for a night when you don't feel like cooking. Place in refrigerator the night before to thaw, then reheat in microwave or on the stove just before serving.




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