Follow Me on Pinterest

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Toffee Bars

I received this recipe from a former co-worker many years ago. This is SO yummy and SO easy to make! People can't get enough of this tasty treat. You are guaranteed to the hit of any party where you show up with a plate of these delicacies. Thank you, Pat L., for introducing me to this wonderful treat.


1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup butter
Graham crackers - enough to cover bottom of pan
Hershey bars
Sliced almonds - as much as you’d like

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of a baking pan with a single layer of graham crackers. Set aside. Combine butter and brown sugar in a pan and let melt together, then allow t boil for 2 minutes (stir occasionally). Pour mixture onto graham crackers and spread to cover crackers equally. Sprinkle sliced almonds on top. Place on Hershey bar over each graham cracker (you may have to shorten the length of the Hershey bar so that it fits squarely on the cracker. Place baking pan in oven and bake for 7 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in the refrigerator.

Totally Awesome Brownies

This is my ALL-TIME favorite brownie recipe!! These are sinfully delicious!! I was devastated when I thought I had lost this recipe! I've been going through my old recipes and entering them into the computer. I will then back them up onto a thumb drive. This way I can purge all my old cookbooks and recipes that take up too much space! Also, my middle son (the one that recently graduated from culinary school) wants me to scrapbook a recipe book for him for his birthday, so that was part of my inspiration to go through the old recipes.

Totally Awesome Brownies
These are made in three parts: Brownie, Cream Cheese mix, and Frosting.
Cream Cheese mixture:
8 oz cream cheese
2 eggs
½ cup butter
2 TBSP flour
½ cup sugar
¾ tsp vanilla extract

Soften cream cheese and butter, and cream together with sugar. Add eggs, flour, and vanilla and mix well. Set aside.
Brownie Batter:
3 oz unsweetened chocolate
1 ¼ tsp vanilla extract
2 oz semi-sweet chocolate
2 cups flour
2 ½ cups sugar
1 ¼ tsp salt
5 eggs

In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, melt chocolates and butter. Stir in sugar and mix well. Beat eggs and add to chocolate mixture, blending well. Add vanilla extract, baking powder, and salt. Removed from heat, and mix in flour. Batter will be stiff, almost like dough. In a greased (bottom only) 13 x 9” pan, spread half of the brownie batter. Spread the cream cheese mixture in a layer on top of the brownie batter. Drop remaining half of brownie batter by spoonfuls on top of the cream cheese. Marbleize all three layers with a table knife, mixing according to your taste (less mixing creates more contrast between chocolate and cream cheese). Bake at 350°F for 40 minutes.
2 oz unsweetened chocolate
¼ tsp salt
1 oz semi-sweet chocolate
1/3 cup milk
3 TBSP Crisco shortening
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups confectioner’s sugar

While brownies cool, melt in a small saucepan the chocolates and the Crisco. Remove from heat. Add the salt, milk, and vanilla extract. With an electric mixer, blend in the confectioner’s sugar. Continue to beat until the frosting cools and becomes glossy. (You can submerge the bottom of the pan in a bowl with ice water while beating the icing to minimize the time needed to cool). Frost brownies IMMEDIATELY -- before they cool. This is VERY IMPORTANT! It keeps the brownies chewy and moist without being undercooked. Remember that these are twice as thick as other brownies. Cut at least 48.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Modeling Dough

Modeling Dough

1 cup flour
1 cup water
1 TBSP oil
½ cup salt
1 tsp cream of tartar
Food coloring

Mix ingredients in a pan. Cook over medium heat until mixture pulls away from sides of pan and becomes doughy in consistency. Knead until cool.

Model different colros of clay into any shape you can imagine.
THIS IS NOT EDIBLE! Can be used over and over again. Keeps 3 months unrefrigerated.

Enchilada Casserole

I discovered this dish about 10 or more years ago. I have long forgotten how I discovered it, so I can't give credit to anyone. I recently went to a dear friend's house over the weekend for a mini scrapping retreat and offered to cook dinner for the ladies, and I made this dish:

Enchilada Casserole

3 lb ground beef
1 pkg (2 tubes) beef Chorizo (remove casing)
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic
2 pkgs taco seasoning
1 28 oz can Las Palmas Enchilada Sauce (+ small can, if needed)
2 dozen corn tortillas
1 8 oz pkg Velveeta Cheese
1 8 oz pkg Velveeta Cheese, Mexican variety hot or mild
1 16 oz sour cream
Vegetable oil for frying
1 8 oz can kidney beans (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°. Brown ground beef with onion and garlic. Darin grease (for additional fat drainage you can rinse with warm water). In a separate pan fry chorizo until cooked. It is hard to tell when this happens but when chorizo is watery it is done. Mix chorizo into ground beef mixture. Add taco seasoning and ¾ cup of enchilada sauce. Let simmer as long as possible, stirring frequently, anywhere from 20 minutes to 1 hour. Add kidney beans if desired. In 6-8” frying pan, fry tortillas in about ¼” vegetable oil. Fry soft (3-5 seconds per side). Place on paper towel and blot excess oil. (I actually put 6 tortillas on a baking sheet and spray each side lightly with Pam cooking spray and bake in oven for about 6 minutes - this softens the tortillas up nicely and saves you the mess of frying). Set aside. Cut cheese into cubes ½” x ½” and set aside. (Cut only 10-15 cubes of each style cheese as needed). Pour enchilada sauce into a flat pie plate.
To Layer: You will need a 10” x 13” x 2” baking dish. Spoon a small amount of meat mixture into pan to cover bottom. Dip tortillas in enchilada sauce. Layer tortillas on top of mixture to cover - up to 6 tortillas - 2 across and 3 down - they may overlap a bit. Layer meat mixture and then about 10 pieces of cheese (5 of each type), 3-5 dollops of sour cream. Continue layering until all the mixture is gone. I prefer to end the casserole with the cheese and sour cream on top. Cover with foil and bake until dish is hot and cheese is melted, approximately 20 - 30 minutes.

Lazy Jane Casserole

This was always one of my favorite dishes when I was a child. My mother had gotten the recipe from her sister, who was my favorite aunt. She was absolutely religious about remembering to send birthday presents to us girls. In fact, if it was my birthday, she would include gifts for my sisters, as well...same for my sisters' birthdays....all children got a gift. She never married or had children of her own, and was confined to a wheelchair for many years. She was my Pen-Pal, my confidante. She lived in Idaho and I was in Washington when we first began corresponding. I was probably 7 or 8 years old at the time. We later moved to California, where I only got to see her once a year, when my grandparents came to visit and brought her with them. She passed away in the mid-70s at a very young age (36, I believe) and her death hit me hard, as I loved her so much. She also gave my mom the Eastern Beef Casserole recipe that is available in my archives (and has become a favorite of my hubby!).

Lazy Jane Casserole

1 lb beef stew meat
1 can beef broth
3/4 tsp salt
1 large onion, sliced
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup burgundy or dry red wine

Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix all ingredients together (I brown the stew meat first, but that is not part of the original recipe); place in casserole dish and cover and bake for 3 hours.

I love and miss you, Aunt Gail!


My lasagna dish has always been in high demand by my family, so I thought it was high time I added the recipe. I have a Mexican style version that I make, where I add chorizo to the beef, and chopped spinach to the sauce, and olives in the layers. I also switch up the cheese. There is almost a mutiny in the house when I make that version instead of this one! lol. I got this recipe from the back of a package of Golden Grain Lasagna noodles many years ago.

Traditional Lasagna

1 yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 TBSP olive oil
1 lb ground beef
2 cans (15 oz each) Marinara sauce (I like Golden Grain) OR your own spaghetti sauce
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 pkg (8 oz) lasagna noodles
1 lb Mozzarella or Monterey jack cheese, sliced thin
4 - 6 eggs, hard boiled and sliced
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated - PLEASE DON'T USE THE CRAP IN THE GREEN CAN!!

Saute onion and garlic in olive oil; add ground beef and brown. Season beef with salt and peper. Drain off excess fat. Stir in Marinara sauce and simmer for 15 minutes. Cook Lasagna noodles as directed on package. Layer in 2 quart (11 x 7") baking dish: sauce, Lasagna, sliced cheese, eggs and Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers; top with sauce and cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 400°F for 20 minutes. Serve with a nice green salad and garlic bread...and of course, a full-bodied red wine. Maybe a nice Cab or Merlot? Enjoy!

Three-step Country French Chicken - CROCKPOT

Today is a nice, cool day - perfect for cooking something in the Crock Pot. This dish has SO much flavor. You can brown the chicken the night before to save time when assembling this in the morning.

Three-step Country French Chicken for the Crock Pot

2 TBSP butter
1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3/4 cup water
1 pkg Knorr's Spring Vegetable Soup Recipe Mix
2 TBSP flour
1/2 cup sour cream

Brown chicken breasts in butter over medium-high heat. Transfer to a slow cooker. In a bowl, stir together water and vegetable soup mix. Pour over chicken. Cook on low heat for 8 hours. Remove chicken to a platter. Stir together flour and sour ccream and add to mixture in slow cooker, heating for 15 minutes. Spoon sauce over chicken. Serves 4.

I use a cube of butter to brown the chicken and I add about 1 TBSP of the browned butter to the crock pot when I add the chicken. Serve this with steamed rice and your favorite veggie.
visitors since 02/08/09.