Thursday, January 24, 2019

Party Punch

This recipe comes from my sister Sandy. She been bringing it to all family holiday gatherings for years, and it is delicious! It's very easy to make, and makes a large amount. She will freeze the base of the recipe in plastic, gallon-sized ice cream containers and stores them in the freezer until ready to use.  It needs to be made ahead of time, so plan accordingly.

This recipe can be cut down.

2 (6-oz) packages lime jello
3 cups sugar
4 cups boiling water
8 cups cold water
1 quart ReaLemon juice
2 (46-oz) cans pineapple juice (this size can be found at most grocery stores)
1 (1-oz) bottle of PURE almond extract (yes, a whole one ounce bottle, and be sure to use the pure extract, and not the artificial. This is what gives it its delicious flavor.)

3 (1-quart) bottles of 7-UP

Mix the jello with the sugar in a large bowl and add the boiling water and stir until it has dissolved. Add the cold water, ReaLemon juice, pineapple juice, and the almond extract. Mix very well and divide between three gallon sized ice cream buckets or other containers of similar size. Place in the freezer.

The night before you plan to serve it (or the morning of, if you plan on serving it in the evening), place the frozen base in the refrigerator to allow it to turn to slush. This shouldn't take too long. When ready to serve, take one of the buckets and empty into a punch bowl and add one quart of the 7-UP and stir and serve. Repeat with the other containers, as needed. One quart of  7-UP per ice cream bucket of punch base.

The other two buckets can be kept in the refrigerator if you know that you will be using them up within a reasonable amount of time. You just don't want them to thaw, or melt, completely. If they do thaw too much, they can be refrozen.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Cookies & Cream Ice Cream

I got this recipe from a friend of mine, another one I haven't made in years. If you like Oreo cookies and ice cream, you will like this dessert.

1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream, softened
1 can salted peanuts
1 can Hershey's chocolate syrup or fudge topping
1 (8 oz) container Cool Whip
1 (16 oz) package Oreo cookies

Pulse the Oreo cookies in a food processor or blender until crushed. Save some to sprinkle on top of the dessert at the end. Press the crushed cookies in the bottom of a parchment paper-lined 9x13" pan. Carefully spread softened ice cream over the cookies and sprinkle with peanuts, and spread the chocolate syrup over all. Freeze until firm. Spread the Cool Whip over the chocolate and then sprinkle on the remaining crushed cookies. Freeze for 3 hours or until all is firm.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

THROWBACK - Even More Remarkable Fudge

I found this recipe again in an old recipe file. I used to make it at Christmastime to give away as gifts. It uses two different types of chocolate and makes a huge amount of fudge (a 9x13" pan), so I would recommend freezing a portion of it if you are having trouble using it all up. It will keep for several months if you wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and keep it in a tightly covered container.

Butter - for buttering the pan(s)

4 cups sugar
2 (5-oz) cans (1 1/3 cups total) evaporated milk
1 cup butter
1 (12-oz) package semisweet chocolate chips
1 (7-oz) dark chocolate or milk chocolate candy bar, cut up (I've used Hershey's milk chocolate or Hershey's Symphony milk chocolate bars)
1 (7 oz) jar marshmallow creme
1 tsp vanilla

Line a 9x13" pan with parchment paper or heavy-duty foil, extending the parchment or foil over the edges of the pan. Butter the foil and set aside.

Butter the sides of a heavy-duty 3-quart saucepan. In saucepan, combine the sugar, evaporated milk, and the 1 cup butter. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until the mixture boils. Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking and stirring for 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat and add the chocolate chips, cut up candy bar, marshmallow creme and the vanilla. Stir off the heat until chocolate has melted and mixture is combined. Beat by hand for one minute. Spread in prepared pan and score in 1-inch pieces to make it easier to cut once it has cooled down some. When the fudge has firmed up, use the parchment or foil to lift up and out of pan and onto a flat surface. Cut fudge into squares. Store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator.

Makes 96 pieces (4 pounds)

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

THROWBACK - Chocolate Eclair Dessert

THROWBACK: These are recipes that I made years ago and then have fallen by the wayside over the years. I recently came upon many of these recipes when going through a box full of handwritten recipes and printed from off the internet. They've brought back a lot of memories going through them. I can't wait to try them again.

I used to make this all the time when my kids were little, and often made it when we had company over. It's an easy recipe to make, and the chocolate topping is delicious - so good, that I've used it as a frosting for other desserts. Allow several hours for this to chill and set up.

graham crackers
1 large package instant French Vanilla pudding mix (may use regular vanilla, too)
3 cups whole milk
8-12 ounce container Cool Whip

3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
2 tbsp butter, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tbsp milk
2 tsp corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla

Line a 9x13" pan with whole graham crackers, cutting them if necessary, to fit the pan. Set aside. Mix the instant pudding mix with the milk and beat. Add Cool Whip and mix well. Spread one-third of this mixture over the graham crackers. Top with more graham crackers. Spread another one-third of the pudding mix on top of the crackers. Spread with the final one-third pudding, and top with more graham crackers.

Combine all of the topping ingredients and beat for two minutes. Spread evenly over the crackers and then chill for several hours before serving.

THROWBACK - Easy Toffee Bars

THROWBACK: These are recipes that I made years ago and then have fallen by the wayside over the years. I recently came upon many of these recipes when going through a box full of handwritten recipes and printed from off the internet. They've brought back a lot of memories going through them. I can't wait to try them again. This recipe came from my Aunt Dorothy.

I remember making these when I was a kid. We'd have them around Christmastime. I haven't made them in years, but I think maybe I'll try making them again this Christmas. They're a simple bar, with a shortbread crust. Grind the nuts in a blender or food processor very fine for a more tender crust. Toast them first for a better flavor (Instructions follow.) However, I have made these without the nuts (ass seen in the photos), and they turn out very well, too. They have a real nice toffee flavor to them. Since there is no leavening agent in these, they do make for a thin bar.


1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup pecans or almonds, toasted* (or a combination of both), ground in a food processor or blender, or you may place in a ziplock bag and use a rolling pin to crush them
1 1/2 cups flour
7-8 Hershey's milk chocolate bars (1-oz each)

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and mix well. Add the flour and stir until combined. The dough will be sticky if you choose not to use the nuts. Spread in a greased 9x13" pan and bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and place chocolate bars on top and spread when melted. You might want to turn the oven off and place the pan in the still-hot oven for two minutes to help them melt thoroughly. If desired, sprinkle on more toasted ground nuts over the chocolate.

To toast the nuts, layer them on a baking sheet. Bake 350 degrees for 5-10 minutes or until golden brown. Do not overbake, or they will burn. Cool on waxed or parchment paper.

THROWBACK - English Toffee Cookies

THROWBACK: These are recipes that I made years ago and then have fallen by the wayside over the years. I recently came upon many of these recipes when going through a box full of handwritten recipes and printed from off the internet. They've brought back a lot of memories going through them. I can't wait to try them again.

Another old recipe ... These are very good and remind me of cookies I used to get from the bakery.

1/2 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 (6-oz) bag of Heath almond brickle baking chips (may use the chocolate-covered being chips, if preferred)

Beat the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat well. Beat in the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt just until combined. Stir in the almond brickle chips. Drop dough by spoonful onto greased cookie sheets. Bake 375 degrees for 8-12 minutes. Immediately remove from cookie sheets and cool on wire racks.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Plum-Clove Glaze for Ham

This is a delicious glaze that we put on a baked ham. It is a very thick and spicy glaze that is just wonderful. It can be difficult to find the plum preserves, but usually can be found around Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter in more of the higher-end grocery stores. This is what I buy: Plum Preserves

When I bake a ham, I score it and place whole cloves in each cut, and then frequently brush on the glaze during the last hour of baking.

1 jar (12 oz) Plum preserves
1/3 cup Karo corn syrup (may use light or dark - I use light)
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

In a small saucepan, stir together the preserves, corn syrup, cloves and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes or until the preserves have melted. Keep warm and frequently brush the glaze on the ham during the last hour of baking. Heat and serve any remaining glaze as a sauce for the ham.

Makes approximately 1 1/2 cups 

Sunday, December 9, 2018

THROWBACK - Chocolate Chip Cookies

THROWBACK: These are recipes that I made years ago and then have fallen by the wayside over the years. I recently came upon many of these recipes when going through a box full of handwritten recipes and printed from off the internet. They've brought back a lot of memories going through them. I can't wait to try them again.

Recipe can be found online here

I know, I already have quite a few recipes on here for chocolate chip cookies. I'm always searching for a thick and chewy chocolate chip cookie recipe that delivers on its promise of being thick and chewy, rather than flat and then turns hard the next day. I came upon this recipe in a box full of handwritten recipes, and I do not remember where the original recipe came from, but I must have really liked them because I found several different handwritten copies of the recipe, including one that I had at one time taped to the inside of my kitchen cupboard. I would only do that to recipes that were true family favorites.

I do remember that these make a large batch of cookies and that I would form some of the dough into a long log and wrap in parchment paper and then freeze. Then when I would want even just a few cookies, I would grab it out of the freezer, cut off a few pieces and allow to defrost (it doesn't take long) and bake. I also remember placing some plain M&Ms on top of the cookies before baking. It's so nice to have freshly-baked cookies at any given time, isn't it?

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups brown sugar 
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, softened
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
4 to 4 1/4 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1-2 (12-oz) bags of semi-sweet chocolate chips (or 3 cups)

Cream butter and sugars until well mixed. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well. Beat in the flour, baking soda and salt just until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. Drop by spoonfuls onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until golden around the edges but still soft in the middle. Let cool on cookie sheet a few minutes, then remove to wire rack to cool completely. Can make these large by using a large cookie or ice cream scoop.


- If you read the reviews online for this recipe, one person said that they added rum extract to the dough along with the vanilla. That sounds real good, and something I’d like to try.

THROWBACK - Mock Baby Ruth Bars

THROWBACK: These are recipes that I made years ago and then have fallen by the wayside over the years. I recently came upon many of these recipes when going through a box full of handwritten recipes and printed from off the internet. They've brought back a lot of memories going through them. I can't wait to try them again.

Some of the recipes are "new" to me, in that I haven't made them before but sound real promising. Others are tried and true. I do remember making these Mock Baby Ruth Bars and  I have no idea why they have this name because I don't recall them tasting like the candy bar, but I do remember them tasting real good.

4 cups oatmeal
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup (light or dark can be used)
3/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla

2 cups milk chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips
2/3 cup peanut butter

For the Crust
In a large bowl, mix together the oatmeal, brown sugar, and corn syrup. Stir in the melted butter until thoroughly combined. Pat into a greased 9x13" and bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes. (I've got other copies of the recipe that say to bake at 400 degrees. Try 375 degrees first, and if needed, bake a little longer until they are nicely browned.)

For the Frosting
Meanwhile, while crust is baking, combine the chocolate and butterscotch chips in a bowl and melt in the microwave. Stir in the peanut butter and mix until smooth. Spread over the crust as soon as it comes out of the oven and spread evenly. Cool and cut into bars.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Crockpot Shredded Orange BBQ Chicken - plus a quick and easy version

(Sorry, I don't have any other photos - I quickly put this together one morning before work, and didn't get any others.)

I love orange chicken and am always looking for a version to make homemade. This recipe comes from the Six Sisters' Stuff blog. I made it the quick and easy way by using the meat from a rotisserie chicken and adding the sauce ingredients and warming it up in a skillet on the stove. I wouldn't necessarily call it orange chicken ... it's more of a sweet barbecue chicken, but the orange marmalade really enhances the flavor of the BBQ sauce. You can either serve it over rice, on a bun or eat it straight out of a bowl. I just made this the other day and am considering making it again, it is that good.

Here is the original recipe from the website

4 or 5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup orange marmalade
1 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray's original flavor)
3 tbsp soy sauce (don't skip out on this, as it adds a very nice flavor and cuts down the sweetness of the marmalade)

Place the chicken in a crock pot. In a separate bowl, mix together the orange marmalade, bbq sauce and soy sauce. Mix well, then pour over the chicken in the crock pot. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours. Shred the chicken when done and return to the sauce. Seve over hot, cooked rice. May add some red pepper flakes to taste to kick it up a notch.

A QUICK and EASY version

My quick and easy version is to cut the meat off of a rotisserie chicken (I used an original flavored chicken rather than a seasoned chicken that I purchased from Byerly's/Lunds). Cut the chicken up in small chunks and place in a large skillet. In a separate bowl, combine the sauce ingredients and pour over the chicken in the skillet. Bring to a boil and cover. Simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes. This can be served over cooked rice or on a sandwich bun.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Upside-Down Chicken Pot Pies

I have to admit, I am something of a recipe magazine junkie, and I love collecting the recipes and keeping them on hand for the one day that I will make them. I have found many wonderful recipes that way. The problem is that I often forget which magazine I saw a particular recipe in and even whether I saw it in a magazine, a blog, or on Pinterest, etc., so then I have to go searching and for it. I've decided that I will add these recipes to my blog though initially they won't have a photo even if just for my own reference.

OK, let's get started.

Adapted from Cuisine at Home - Creative Comfort Food that feeds your soul
On display until October 29, 2018

The picture in this magazine looks delicious - very homey and comforting. I love chicken pot pie, but often find the ones I normally buy quite salty. This particular version is a different take on the traditional pot pie that has a pie crust. Plus, it is a sort of "open-faced" pot pie. I can't wait to give it a try!

For the crust, whisk together: (Step 2)
 2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp minced fresh thyme
1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Cut in:
1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
1 cup buttermilk

For the filling, Sauté (Step 5) 
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup sliced celery
Diced onion (to your taste)
3 tbsp butter

1 cup frozen cut green beans
1 tbsp minced fresh thyme

Stir in:
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups milk
3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken (Note: The store where I normally buy my rotisserie chickens only yield about 2 cups of cooked chicken, so you will need to adjust accordingly.)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Juice of 1/2 of a lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees

2.  For the crust: Whisk together the flour, thyme, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

3.  Cut in cubed butter until mixture is pea-sized. Stir in the buttermilk just until all of the flour is moistened. Transfer mixture to an 8" cast iron skillet. (If you don't have a cast-iron skillet, you can probably use a heavy-duty 8" round cake pan. However, you may have to cook the pot pie a little longer because cast-iron holds heat so well and for a long time.) With dampened fingers, pat the dough into the bottom and part way up the sides of the skillet.

4.  Bake crust at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes. With a spoon, press down the crust to make a well in the center.

5.  For the fillingSauté carrots, celery and onions in the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat until tender-crisp.

6.  Add in the green beans and thyme and cook for 2 minutes.

7.  Stir in the flour to coat the vegetables and cook for 2 minutes over medium heat. Whisk in the milk and cook the filling until slightly thickened, about 8 minutes. Stir in the chicken, parsley, and lemon juice; season with salt and pepper to taste.

8.  Spoon the filling into crust and bake pie at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Let pie stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Crockpot - Bacon Ranch Chicken (Crack Chicken)

I got this recipe from work. It’s very good. Rich, but good! This can be served as is, on bread, or on a lettuce leaf. It is made in the crockpot. I don't see why you couldn't cut down on the cream cheese, if you find it too rich. Just use one package of cream cheese, rather than two.

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 (8-oz) packages cream cheese
2 (1-oz) packages of dry Ranch Seasoning mix
8 oz or more of bacon, cooked crisply and crumbled
1 cup cut chives, optional

Place the chicken, cream cheese and ranch seasoning in a crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 4 hours, until the chicken is done and shreds easily. Once the chicken is done, shred it and return to crockpot. Stir well. Add the bacon and chives and stir to combine. Serve warm on bread or on a lettuce leaf.