Thursday, September 30, 2010

Quick and Easy French Baguettes

What's better than warm, crispy french bread? Being able to make it yourself! This is a recipe I have used for a long time. It is pretty amazing. Simple. Easy. And Quick! It only needs to rise once! The last few months I have made it almost weekly. It makes two baguettes and sometimes I just freeze one for another meal. We LOVE to dip this bread in this Alfredo Sauce as a dinner meal appetizer, use it to make sub sandwiches, crispen up for garlic bread, and use it in the morning for french toast! Hope you enjoy!

1 1/2 cups warm water
2 tsp brown sugar
1 1/2 Tbl (2 pkts) active dry yeast
3 1/4 cups flour
2 tsp salt
melted butter (to brush bread while baking)

Mix warm water, sugar, and yeast in a large mixing bowl
Let it sit for 5 minutes
When yeast has started to activate, gradually add the flour, and salt
With a mixer dough hook (Kitchen Aid), or a wooden spoon by hand, mix until the dough becomes nice and smooth
Knead for 5-8 minutes
Cut the dough in half and shape into 2 baguettes
Easiest way to do this is to roll out each half into a large rectangle and roll up lengthwise
Pinch the edges to seal and place on lightly greased baking sheet (or baking pad/Silpat) with the seam side down
Cover with a cotton towel and let rise for 30 minutes
Preheat oven to 450 degrees
Gently make a slash down the length of each baguette with a sharp knife
Bake bread for 15 minutes
Halfway through baking (7.5 minutes), brush with some melted butter

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Peanut Butter Chick Magnet Cookie

This is a BLOW YOUR SOCKS OFF COOKIE! About eight years ago, I started a cookie business: THE COOKIE CHICKS. We named all our cookies "something" chick. We had one called The Chick Magnet. It was the favorite. I recently came up with this new one that I now call the ''Peanut Butter Chick Magnet''. It's like eating a candy bar. In the middle of a moist peanut butter cookie is a peanut butter cup. It is dipped in chocolate, doused with chopped PB cups and mini chocolate chips, then drizzled with white chocolate. AMAZING. You will think you have died and gone to heaven. It is a beautiful cookie! ENJOY!

1/2 cup Crisco
3/4 cup peanut butter
3/4 cups brown sugar
3/4 cups white sugar
1 egg
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cup flour
3 T milk
1 tsp vanilla
miniature peanut butter cups
mini chocolate chips
white chocolate

Mix all but the last three ingredients together. Unwrap about 4 dozen mini peanut butter cups. Scoop about 2 T of dough, flatten, and place a PB cup in the center. Wrap dough around and shape into a ball. Place on cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes. Cool. Melt dipping chocolate. (I use Trader Joe's Milk Chocolate. It is the best!) Dip tops of cookies in chocolate and lay on wax paper. Chop up remaining PB cups. Sprinkle tops of cookies with the cups and mini chocolate chips. Allow to set. Drizzle with white chocolate. YUM!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Amazing Cracker Toffee

Okay, this is my FAVORITE thing to make right now! I started making this SWEET-SALTY treat every Sunday and it never disappoints. I LOVE it because it takes a few ingredients and a snap just to whip up and tastes like you actually had to put some time and effort into it. It is supper YUMMY and ADDICTIVE. You can't just have one piece... I DARE you!

1 sleeve of Saltine crackers
1 C butter
1 C brown sugar
1 C chocolate chips
Handful of chopped nuts (anything that you have on hand will do)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheet with foil.
2. Lay crackers on cookie sheet in 6x6 rows.
3. In saucepan melt butter and brown sugar together over medium heat. Bring to boil and boil for 2 minutes. Pour over crackers.
4. Bake in oven for 5 minutes.
5. Pour chocolate chips over crackers and allow to sit for 2 minutes before spreading. Spread chocolate chips to cover crackers completely.
6. Sprinkle with chopped nuts and refrigerate at least 2 hours before breaking into pieces and serving.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Best Alfredo Sauce

I am lucky to have a wonderful father-in-law, Garen, who has such a passion for cooking! I secretly want to submit him to compete in next seasons' Master Chef...he could definitely give Gordon Ramsey a run for his money! :)
He was gracious enough to share this recipe with me months ago and Im not going to lie, I have been scared to make it myself ever since...There is just something about Alfredo Sauce that is intimidating to me. (Maybe it has something to do from when I was in my teens and spent two hours scraping scortched butter from the bottom of my mothers cookware while trying to make my first go at alfredo...yeah, not too fun!)

So when my husband requested me to add it to this weeks menu, I remembered how
EASY and DELICIOUS it really is! I quickly ran to my recipe folders, pulled it out, and saw that my father in law mentioned the SECRET to making this PERFECT read, "DO NOT BOIL, OR IT WILL SCORCH"! How I wish I had that advice years ago, lol!

We ate it for our Sunday dinner (I served it chicken fettuccine alfredo style, with warm homemade french bread and a green salad). I have never heard more
OOOOO's and AAAAAAHHHH's in my life! My husband said it was one of the top best meals he has ever had and my little guys had Alfredo sauce covering their mouths for days! The leftovers tasted just as great! Definitely a hit and will be made more that I know the secret!
This is one of those meals that is GOOD on the lips, but not too good on the hips...don't worry, you can work it off later! It is
SOOOO worth it!!!

It makes a big batch... I would definitely divide it out and freeze (or plan on eating it over the next few days).
****Makes a great sauce for a chicken alfredo pizza, and tastes amazing dipped with warm french bread! Enjoy! And thanks again Pappi Staley for letting me share your recipe on this blog! :)


1 quart heavy whipping cream (Wal-mart's generic brand works the best)
2 cubes real butter
4 Tbl Olive Oil
1 tsp salt
1 SMALL jar of minced garlic
3 triangle blocks of parmesan cheese (Frigo brand)-freshly grated
1/4 cup flour mixed with 2 cups of water


EVERYTHING must be done on medium heat or it will scorch!
Melt 2 cubes butter with olive oil and salt in a large pot
Once melted dump in as much garlic as you like to taste (usually about 1/2-3/4 of the small jar)
Blanche the garlic in the melted butter mixture
Pour in the 1 quart heavy whipping cream and heat to just short of boiling
Grate the parmesan cheese (if you haven't already) and dump in the pot
Stir with a wisk until completely melted
Add the water/flour mixture and stir until it is as thick as you want
*when you take it off the heat it will set some more
**you can make it as thick or as thin as you want by how much flour/water mixture you add

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas

WOW! These babies are absolutely DELICIOUS! Plus they are so easy to whip together and smell so good baking in the oven. It does have a little kick (thanks to the chili powder), so if you are a "heat baby", you may want to reduce the amount of powder to your liking. I made them last night with sides of bean dip/chips, and Spanish rice. Lets just say we were all full after devouring this meal and will definitely be making these quite often! You can search for different variations of this recipe like I did, but in my opinion, these made the best!

1 lb cooked, shredded chicken
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup lime juice (fresh if possible)
1 Tb chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder (or 2 cloves minced garlic)
20 oz can green enchilada sauce
shredded cheese (half and half of mozzarella/cheddar, or Monterrey jack, whatever you have on hand)
flour tortillas (I used 16 and it made two pans)
fresh cilantro (optional)

Mix sauce ingredients in bowl and add the chicken. Toss chicken in sauce and cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator to marinate for 30 minutes.
Lightly spray a large baking dish (or 9 by 13 and 8 by 8, like I did) and pour some green enchilada sauce to just cover the bottoms. Fill tortillas with desired amount of meat mixture and cheese. Roll up and place seam down in dish.
Pour remainder of sauce over all the enchiladas and sprinkle with more cheese.
Baked UNCOVERED at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until bubbly and cheese is melted. If desired, broil a couple minutes longer to make cheese crisp and brown. Top with cilantro if wanted. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Yummy Pizza Rolls

I am a complete lover of pizza! We had it all the time growing up (probably because my dad was co-owner of Pistol Pete's Pizza and my mom was busy with 8 kids). So if there is a new spin-off of the favorite, I rush to try it out. This meal definitely did not dissapoint! It also was a dilemma-solver because the hubs and I weren't trying to prove our point of the perfect pizza toppings. We each could have our own! Plus it was a lot of fun to PREPARE and EAT. We gave it a definite "TWO THUMBS UP"...even the kiddos! :)

original receipe found here


Homemade Pizza Dough (click on title for the recipe or use your own)
toppings: such as shredded mozarella cheese, diced vegetables, pepperoni, canadian bacon/pineapple, meatballs, etc.
Olive Oil or melted butter
Galric powder
Italian Seasonings


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Make pizza dough and roll out into a large rectangle. Cut into 12 pieces with a pizza cutter or sharp knife. Place a couple Tablespoons of the desired toppings into the center of each piece and stretch the dough around the toppings and seal the edges. After the edges are sealed completely, shape each piece the best you can to resemble a roll. Place seam down onto lightly greased baking dish. Brush each roll with butter or oil and sprinkle with garlic powder and italian seasonings. Bake for 25-30 minutes until lightly brown and serve with your favorite marinara or spaghetti sauce! Enjoy!!!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Peanut Butter Truffle Brownies

Okay, these are SUPER rich brownies and I LOVE them! I got them from the Betty Crocker website and they TOTALLY will satisfy your chocolate peanut butter craving. The BEST part about them is that they are super EASY but taste like they actually took some EFFORT to make. They would be GREAT take-alongs to a barbeque, picnic or ANY future get together you have planned.


Brownie Layer

1 box brownie mix (I always use whatever is cheapest)
Water, oil and eggs called for on the brownie mix

Peanut Butter Filling

1/2 C butter, softened
1/2 C creamy peanut butter
2 C powdered sugar
2 t milk

Top Layer

1 C chocolate chips (semisweet or milk)
1/4 C butter


- Make and bake brownie mix according to package. Let cool completely. (I lined the pan with foil, then greased the bottom of the foil for easier cutting and less of a mess)
- Mix peanut butter filling ingredients in a medium bowl. Spread evenly over brownies.
- Microwave the top layer ingredients for 30-60 seconds, stir until smooth. Allow to cool a little (few minutes or so) then spread over filling layer.
-Refrigerate 30 minutes or longer.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Sweet Potato Enchiladas

Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone!!!! It has been a LONG time since I last posted and I totally apologize. I am OBSESSED with sweet potatoes and was in search of a YUMMY enchilada recipe. I found this baby on allrecipes and totally LOVE it!!!! The sweet potatoes make these enchiladas, of course, sweet but the rest of the spices and cream cheese help make it SUPER rich and SAVORY. This is a GREAT alternative if you are going meatless... and if you are a vegetarian or vegan just leave out the cream cheese and cheese, or use a substitute. My husband even LOVED them which means these are a real WINNER! Oh, and by the way, this recipe makes more enchiladas than what it states so be ready for leftovers... YAY!!!!

Sweet Potato Enchiladas


5 sweet potatoes
1 (8oz) pkg cream cheese
4 green onions, chopped
1 t chili powder
1 t ground cumin
1 t dried oregano
1/2 t salt
1/2 t ground black pepper
1/2 C vegetable oil for frying
12 corn tortillas
1 (19oz) can enchilada sauce
1 (8oz) pkg shredded Monterey Jack cheese


- Bake sweet potatoes in preheated 350 degree oven for about an hour until done. Remove skin and discard.
- Place the sweet potatoes, cream cheese, green onions, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper and mash until well mixed.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees (or just keep the oven on after baking the potatoes) and grease a 9x13 baking dish.
- Heat oil in skillet over medium-low heat and fry the tortillas, one at a time, for about 30 seconds per side. Remove the tortillas with tongs and drain on paper towel.
- Place about 1/3 cup of sweet potato mixture down the center of each tortilla and roll up.
- Place filled tortillas seam side down in prepared baking dish.
- Pour enchilada sauce over the tortillas and sprinkle with cheese.
- Bake in oven for 20-30 minutes until the enchiladas are bubbly and the cheese is beginning to brown.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Chicken-Broccoli-Stuffing Bake

About a year ago, I went to visit my sister Stephanie and her family. She was preparing this dish for a neighbor of hers who just had a baby! I had to get the recipe from her right then! It looked and smelled incredible! Since that time, I have made it for our family numerous times and I love how easy it is to prepare in advance. Perfect comfort meal!!! Enjoy!


2-4 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 bag (10 oz) of frozen broccoli florets, steamed and drained
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 tsp lemon juice
salt and pepper, to taste
1 box of chicken flavored stuffing


Preheat oven to 350
Lightly grease the bottom of a 9 by 13 dish
In the bottom of dish, arrange the chicken and broccoli
In a saucepan over the stove, WARM (make sure not to burn) soup, milk, and mayo until mixed
Add cheese, lemon juice, salt and pepper and stir until cheese is melted
Pour over the chicken and broccoli and set aside
Prepare the stuffing according to directions and sprinkle over all
COVER dish with foil tightly and bake for 45 minutes
Remove the foil and bake additional 10-15 minutes

Friday, January 22, 2010

Yummy Breadsticks

There is no better companion to a hearty bowl of soup or spaghetti and meatballs then BREADSTICKS! I wanted to try something new and after an online search I found these DELICOUS, QUICK, AND EASY babies! They make about 25 breadsticks and they all dissappeared VERY QUICKLY in our home last night! My three year old even asked if he could have more for breakfast this morning! The only adaptation I will make next time will be to add some extra melted butter to the top of the breadsticks before I sprinkle the herbs and cheese.


1 1/2 cups warm water
1 Tbl yeast
2 Tbl sugar
3 1/2-4 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
3-6 Tbls melted butter (for baking sheet)


melted butter (optional)
garlic salt
basil, thyme, rosemary (any combination of the three, whatever you like)
paremsan cheese


Mix warm water, yeast, sugar, flour, and salt in a bowl and knead for 3 minutes. (I used my Kitchen Aid and let my dough hook do all the kneading for me) Let the dough rest for 10 minutes. In the meantime, spread the melted butter onto baking sheet(s)...I used two sheets so each sheet had 3 Tbl melted butter spread on the bottom. On counter or bread board, roll out the dough into a rectangle about 1/4-1/2 inch thick and cut into strips with a pizza cutter. (I cut the dough in half and made 10-12 strips per half) Place each strip onto baking sheet about 1/2 inch apart and, if desired, spread some more melted butter onto each piece. Sprinkle with garlic salt, rosemary, thyme, and/or basil (whatever herbs you like) and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Cover with lightly greased plastic wrap. Let rise for 30 minutes and bake in 375 degree preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until nicely golden. Enjoy!