Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Townley's Birthday Cake

Posted by Kimberly:

After our oldest child, Blake was born almost nine years ago, I took a Wilton cake decorating class at Hobby Lobby because I wanted to be able to make his birthday cake. Ever since then, I have made all of my kids cakes and have also done some for other people. In addition to cakes, I have also done sugar cookie bouquets, cupcakes, and tiered cakes for wedding anniversaries and birthdays.

My youngest child Townley just recently celebrated her 4th birthday. I can hardly believe it! She wanted a ladybug cake, so the cake in the picture is what I made for her party. She wanted the cake to be chocolate, so I used the chocolate chip bundt cake recipe below.

Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake

4 eggs
1 1/2 cups water
1 tsp. vanilla
1 package butter recipe cake mix
One 3.4 oz. package instant vanilla pudding mix
One 3.4 oz. package instant chocolate pudding mix
1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a bundt pan. In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs, water, and vanilla by hand. Stir in the cake mix and pudding mixes. Slowly add the butter and oil, and mix well. Stir in the chocolate chips. Pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes, then invert onto a cake plate.

This cake requires no icing. Hard to believe, I know, but it really doesn't. However, my husband and I have found that pouring a jar of chocolate fudge over the top makes it extra yummy!

I have made this a lot for other people, and it is always a big hit. Oh, and it made a great birthday cake too!!!
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Monday, June 29, 2009

Baked Carrots

Posted by Donna

This recipe is always a side dish when I serve roast. I'm really not sure why or when I started doing my carrots this way; but, it's a favorite in our family. About a year ago, my brother was visiting and I had fixed a roast for Sunday dinner; and of course, I had also fixed the carrots. He had never cared for carrots; but, he decided to try them. He really didn't comment on them at the time. However, a few weeks later, he e-mailed me and wanted the recipe. He said he had been hungry for them. He and my sister-in-law even took them to a Thanksgiving dinner at her parent's home.

Baked Carrots

2 bags of carrots, peeled and sliced ( I usually cut mine in half, then cut the halves horizontally) Of course, the number of carrots you use will depend on how many you're serving. Two bags will usually serve 8 - 10 people.

Spray your casserole dish with non-stick spray. Lay your sliced carrots in the baking dish. Put dollops of margarine all over the carrots. Next, sprinkle very lightly with brown sugar, followed by a small amount of onion powder.

Cover the dish with foil and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 2 1/2 hours. The carrots will usually brown on the bottom when baked this long. I usually put them in at 9:15 on Sunday mornings, right before I leave for Bible Class. By the time we get home, they've baked about the full 2 1/2 hours. I baked them this weekend, and we were gone for three hours. I was so worried; but, I must say, they were some of the best I'd ever fixed---just because of the browning on the bottom. 2 1/2 hours are the ideal time. I may have just been lucky that one time when they cooked longer.

You can prepare these for baking the night before and stick them in the refrigerator. I've never enjoyed peeling carrots; so, I usually peel them the night before even if I don't go ahead and get them completely ready for baking.
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Sopapilla Cheesecake

Posted by Lori:
A friend called the other day to get this recipe. She was making it for a bridal shower. I decided to share it with you, too. I'm a fan of anything with cream cheese in it, so it's one of my favorite desserts. We have some friends that used to live here and she would make this a lot for church dinners. (Too bad they moved away because it's alway fun to eat something someone else made!) I like to serve it when I make Mexican food, but have used it for other occassions, too.

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 (8 ounce) cans refrigerated crescent rolls
3/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, room temperature

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Prepare a 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Beat the cream cheese with 1 cup of sugar and the vanilla extract in a bowl until smooth. Unroll the cans of crescent roll dough, and use a rolling pin to shape each piece into 9x13 inch rectangles. Press one piece into the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Evenly spread the cream cheese mixture into the baking dish, then cover with the remaining piece of crescent dough. Stir together 3/4cup of sugar, cinnamon, and butter. Dot the mixture over the top of the cheesecake. Bake in the preheated oven until the crescent dough has puffed and turned golden brown, about 30 minutes. Cool completely in the pan. Refridgerate. Cut into squares before serving.

I recently saw a recipe for Sopapilla Cheesecake that served it with honey drizzled over the top. I want to try that next time I make it!

To make this lower in fat, you can use reduced fat crescent rolls. You might could use the fat free cream cheese. I've used it, but not in dishes when the recipe was baked.
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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Chicken Ranch Quesadillas

Chicken Ranch Quesadillas
posted by Donna:

I don’t know about you, but I read recipe books like some people read books. I can’t count the number of books that have recipes marked or page corners turned down. One in particular that I’ve had marked to try out on our grandchildren is the quesadilla recipe. The perfect opportunity came this week when I had some of them here long enough to REMEMBER to try it. It was a big hit with the three of them, as well as Kimberly and me. Even the leftovers were great!!!! It’s almost too simple to be so good. I knew the minute we ate these that it had to be shared!!!!!

Chicken Ranch Quesadillas

2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
½ cup ranch dressing
½ cup Picante sauce (I used mild)
1 pkg. (8 inch) soft flour or whole wheat tortillas
1 (8 oz.) pkg. shredded mozzarella cheese

Mix the shredded cooked chicken, ranch dressing, and Picante sauce together. Spread the mixture on a tortilla; top with cheese and add another tortilla on top. Spray a large skillet with non-stick cooking spray and grill until the tortillas are browned on each side and the cheese is melted. I used scissors and cut each quesadilla into four pieces. The grandkids loved dipping theirs in ranch dressing.

This recipe makes 4 quesadillas. I doubled it to feed five of us with just enough leftovers for a snack. The kids had the flour tortillas and we “big girls” had the wheat. I love the taste of the whole wheat tortillas; plus, they’re healthier. A green salad works great with these, also.

I have always done just the cheese quesadillas. These fill you up faster by adding the chicken.
Hopefully, this will become a favorite of yours, especially during the summer while school is out and you need a quick meal.

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Friday, June 26, 2009

Diet Cherry Vanilla Cream Coke

Posted by Lori

We limit the soda (Note: I'm trying to be "proper". In southwest Oklahoma, all "soda" is called "Coke" or "pop"!) intake of our four children to one a week, except for special occassions where they might get two during the week. Most often that once-a-week special is during Happy Hour at Sonic. The three boys' favorite is cherry cream Dr. Pepper.

Several years ago our elementary P.T.O. (Parent-Teacher Organization) was treating the elementary teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week. The theme was "Crayons" and each day was a different color. One particular day the theme color was brown. I wanted a drink with a brownish color, but something more than just regular sodas. I thought of the cherry cream Dr. Pepper. However, most of the teachers liked Diet Coke. I called Sonic and they kindly told me that the cream was half and half. So, this recipe was born!

Diet Cherry Vanilla Cream Coke
1- 3 liter Diet Coke (or soft drink of your choice), chilled
1 bottle cherry syrup flavoring (I have used sugar free and regular), chilled
1 bottle vanilla syrup flavoring (I have used sugar free and regular), chilled
1 qt. fat free half and half (or regular)

Mix all together in large container or divide ingredients in half and mix in two containers. Chill until ready to serve. May be served over ice, if desired.

Last summer I hosted a bridal bruch for my niece and served this recipe using Dr. Pepper. It's adaptable to any soft drink you would like to use. If you've ever ordered a soft drink with cream in it, you know that it foams up. This recipe will, too. It's the reaction of the soda with the cream. It does look kind of strange, but it tastes really, really good!

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Barbecued Green Beans

Posted by Donna:
I recently brought back on old recipe that I had forgotten about. Side dishes seem to become very “blah” at my house. I get tired of the same ones over and over, especially green beans. The recipe I’ve been using frequently the past few months is Barbecued Green Beans. Larry and I really enjoy them. I hope you do as well.

Barbecued Green Beans

4 cans Italian green beans, drained
6 strips bacon, fried and crumbled
¼ cup yellow onion sautéed in bacon drippings
1 cup catsup
1 cup brown sugar

Mix catsup, brown sugar, crumbled bacon, onion and drippings together and pour over the beans. Bake in a casserole dish 4 hours at 250 degrees.
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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Strawberry Smoothie

Posted by Kimberly:

After I had my second child Emily, I was watching TV and happened upon an infomercial for "The Firm". For those of you who aren't familiar with The Firm, it is a workout system on dvd that you can do at home. It was the first time I had ever watched a "get fit" infomercial and really believed that what they were saying was true. So, after I got permission from my husband, I ordered it and have been faithfully exercising for the past seven years. When I first started, I really didn't change my eating. Finally, I realized that if I was going to work that hard, I didn't need to undo it all by eating whatever I wanted. So, I slowly started changing my eating habits, too. Please understand that I don't have a sweet tooth... I have a mouth full of sweet teeth! And chocolate, like my mom, is my downfall. Fortunately, a little over a year ago, I came across a recipe for a strawberry smoothie in a Sam's Club flier. It has become my guilty pleasure, but most importantly, it satisfies my craving for sweets.

Strawberry Smoothie

1 cup cottage cheese
2 tbsp. honey
1/2 cup orange juice
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup frozen strawberries, unthawed

Put all ingredients in blender and puree until well-blended. The longer you blend it, the smoother/thinner it will be. I personally like mine thicker, but my husband prefers his thinner. My kids don't have a preference!

I had to get used to the consistency at first, but it didn't take me long! I really am addicted to them and enjoy one most afternoons for a snack. I now make a healthier version of the recipe by only putting 1/2 - 3/4 teaspoon of honey, using nonfat cottage cheese, and adding more strawberries.

I have tried other recipes that used milk instead of cottage cheese, but they weren't as rich. The cottage cheese makes it more like a milk shake.

Let me know if it tames your sweet tooth too!!
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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Butterfinger Cake

Posted by Lori:
This cake is so easy, but it's a crowd pleaser. If we are having an FFA, 4-H, PTO, church dinners, the county livestock show, or feeding the teachers at the school, this is the cake I'm expected to make. By the end of the school year, I'm usually tired of making it! The funny thing about it, is that not one of my four children like it! However, my 14-year-old daughter asks me to make it for school and church events because her friends want it and she knows they all expect it!

1 butter pecan cake mix
1 1/4 cup water
1/3 cup oil
3 eggs
1 jar caramel
1 can condensed milk
1 small carton whipped topping
1 pkg. snack-sized Butterfinger candy bars, crushed

Mix cake mix, water, oil and eggs per directions on box of cake mix. Bake as directed at 350 degrees. Do not overbake. Immediately after the cake is out of the oven, poke holes all over using the end of a wooden spoon (probably every 1/2 inch or so - fairly close). Pour entire jar of caramel sauce all over the top of the cake. Then pour entire can of condensed milk over the cake. Place lid or foil on top of cake (without allowing to cool first)and place in refrigerator overnight or for several hours. Before serving, top with whipped topping and crushed candy bars.

I always double this recipe. Two cake mixes will work in a 13" x 18.5" sheet cake pan. Mine is Doughmakers brand and it has a lid. The lid won't fit once the whipped topping and candy have been added on top, but actually it's always been gone when I've served it, so I've never had to worry about that!

Gratituesday is hosted by Heavenly Homemakers. I am grateful that my mom and sister are doing this blog with me. It's so much fun!

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Monday, June 22, 2009

Broccoli Cornbread

Posted by Donna:
This cornbread recipe is definitely a crowd pleaser. I’m sure there’s someone out there that doesn’t like it; but down here in Southwest Oklahoma, it’s considered “lip-smackin” good.

Broccoli Cornbread

4 eggs
2 sticks butter, melted
1 cup small curd cottage cheese
1 (10 oz.) pkg. frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
2 boxes Jiffy cornbread mix

Mix all ingredients together. Bake in a 9 x 13 pan at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes, or until browned on top.

It’s very hard to type this recipe without thoughts of pinto beans and fried potatoes coming to mind. Matter of fact, I just added it to my menu for next week!
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Friday, June 19, 2009

Waikiki Chicken

Posted by Lori:

Since Joe & I celebrated our 21st anniversary yesterday, I thought this recipe might be the best for my post today. Waikiki Chicken was the first thing I ever cooked for Joe when we were dating, so I would have been 16. I remember setting the table with pretty plates, a centerpiece and candles. Dad, Mom, and Kim left home for the evening. Wonder where they went? I never thought about that before! This is still one of our favorites, even though our kiddos don't like it too much.

2 lbs. chicken breasts or pieces, unskinned
1 - 20 oz. can chunked pineapple
3/4 c. cider vinegar
2 T. cornstarch
1/4 t. ground ginger
1 chicken bouillon cube
1 c. sugar
1 T. soy sauce
1 lg. green bell pepper, coarsley chopped

Dip chicken pieces in milk and coat with flour. Fry in hot oil until browned. Place chicken in 9 x 13 baking dish. Drain pineapple, reserving juice. Add enough water to juice to make 1 1/4 cups of liquid. Mix sugar and cornstarch in medium saucepan. Add pineapple juice mixture and next 4 ingredients; mix well. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour over chicken. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Top with pineapple and green bell pepper. Bake for 30 minutes longer. Serve with rice (We like brown rice cooked with chicken broth instead of water).

It's great using the fried chicken, but it would be good with uncooked chicken breasts, as well. I wonder about using Splenda instead of the sugar? Someone try it and let me know how it goes!

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Thursday, June 18, 2009


Posted by Kimberly:

This brownie recipe was the first thing I ever made all by myself. I was in grade school. I didn't need any help and homemade brownies were a favorite around our house. Growing up we never ate boxed brownies, they were always homemade.

All of my hard work, excitement, and anticipation of tasting my own homemade brownies was squelched when we all tasted the first one. Instead of putting six tablespoons of cocoa, I had only put six teaspoons! Since that first time of baking them, and after making them for so many years, I've gotten the recipe down without any mistakes. My kids love helping me make these and licking the bowl.


1 cup butter-flavored shortening, melted
6 T. cocoa
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 t. vanilla
1 and 1/2 cup sifted flour
1 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
1 c. pecans (optional)

Mix cocoa and sugar. Add melted shortening. Next, add the eggs and vanilla and mix well. Add dry ingredients and mix until well blended. (I leave out the salt.) You can either stir them by hand or use a mixer. Spoon batter into a greased and floured 9 x 13 pan and bake for 20 minutes. (We like them gooey. You may prefer them cooked longer.).

These brownies come out with a crust on top. People often ask how they come out with a crust. Who knows? But, it's sure good!

P.S. This brownie batter is especially good, too! In fact, when I was in junior high or high school and wanted some chocolate, I would mix these up and eat some of the batter. It’s a wonder any made it to the pan!

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Chocolate Pie

Posted by Donna:
Chocolate has become a very top priority in my life. So, it’s only fitting that my first recipe to share contains chocolate. This is my grandma’s original recipe. No one could make a chocolate pie like her. However, after making it over and over in my early baking years, I finally managed to make it taste just like hers. It’s always first on my list when planning my desserts. I’ve had several people tell me after eating it that it tastes just like the pie their grandmothers use to make. I take that as a real compliment!

I have to share a funny with you before I share the recipe. Before my husband and I were married, I took him to meet my grandparents. Grandma had fixed chocolate pie; so, naturally, I couldn’t wait for Larry to taste the wonderful pie that I had told him about. Well, the minute I took the first bite, I could tell there was something foreign in it. She had decided, for some reason that I never knew, to put blueberries in it. How could anyone put fruit in a chocolate pie!!!! Of course, I minded my manners and said how good it was. After all, she was my grandma.

Chocolate Pie
1 ½ cups sugar
3 T. cocoa (sifted)
3 T. flour (sifted)
1 tsp. vanilla
3 egg yolks
1 rounded T. margarine
Almost one can of carnation evaporated milk. (I usually leave just shy of ¼ cup in the can.)

Mix all the ingredients together. Cook until the mixture thickens. Pour into a **baked pie shell. Top with ***meringue and bake as usual at about 325 degrees.

This is the one dessert we take very seriously and you better not mess with our piece of pie, or even think that it’s not going to be shared equally!!!!!!

**Pie Crust
Sift 1 ½ cups all purpose flour with ½ tsp. salt
Cut ½ cup butter- flavored shortening into flour
Add 4-5 T. ice cold water ( I always fix my bowl of water with ice cubes in it about 10 minutes before I start my crust. The cold water is what makes the crust flaky.) Bake at 450 degrees about 10 minutes.

Add 3 T. sugar to the three egg whites. ( add each T. separately and beat after each addition.)
Next, add a pinch of cream of tartar, followed by an 1/8 tsp. of vanilla Beat until stiff peaks form.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Parmesan Chicken and Fettuccine Alfredo

Posted by Lori:
One of my families' favorite meals is Parmesan Chicken and Fettuccine Alfredo. It's always a favorite when taken to church potluck dinners or other gatherings. My husband likes "red" (spaghetti) sauce instead of Alfredo, so I always serve it with both whenever I make it at home or take it to dinners.

4 boneless chicken breasts
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 t. poultry seasoning
Olive oil

In shallow dish, mix together breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, and poultry seasoning. Cut chicken breasts in half, lengthwise. Place chicken between two sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; flatten to 1/4 inch thickness, using a meat mallet or rolling pin. Dip chicken in beaten egg, the coat in breadcrumb/cheese mixture. Cook chicken in olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until browned on both sides. Serve with spaghetti sauce or Alfredo sauce.

8 oz. uncooked fettuccine
1/2 cup butter (can use 1/4 cup, if desired)
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup grated real Parmesan cheese (Walmart brand doesn't seem to melt well.)
1 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
2 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Cook fettuccine according to package directions. Drain, place in large bowl.
Combine butter and whipping cream in saucepan. Cook over low heat until butter melts. Stir in cheese and parsley. Serve with fettuccine.


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Monday, June 15, 2009


Welcome to "Life's a Bowl of Cherries"! We hope you enjoy your stay here.
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