Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Pistachio Dream Cake

We made this for the Packer playoff game--had to have something green!  I only had a funfetti cake mix that was white and it already had the sprinkles added in.  I also used diet gingerale since I had it in the house.  We all loved this!
Pistachio Dream Cake

1 (18 1/4 ounce) packages white cake mix (Beth used funfetti cake mix)
1 (1 ounce) package Jell-O instant pistachio pudding mix
1 (8 ounce) nonfat plain yogurt
3 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup carbonated lemon-lime beverage Beth used diet gingerale
1 1/2 cups nonfat milk
1 (1 ounce) package Jell-O instant pistachio pudding mix
2 cups reduced-fat whipped topping

In a large mixing bowl, combine dry cake and pudding mixes, yogurt, egg whites and vanilla; beat on low speed for 1 minute.

Gradually beat in soda.

Pour into a 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking pan coated with nonstick cooking spray.
Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

For frosting, combine milk and dry pudding mix in a mixing bowl; beat on low for 2 minutes.
Fold in whipped topping. Spread over cake.

Store in the refrigerator.
Yield: 20 servings.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Crockpot Jalapeno Popper Chili

This was a great recipe.  Here are the changes I made.  I used frozen chicken breasts and at hour 7 or so, I took them out and cubed them.   I did NOT puree the soup(I forgot to do this before putting the chunks of chicken back in and didn't want pureed chicken)and wouldn't do it again.  I used a full pound of beans, so I used 4 cups of broth(4 cups water and 4 tsp or cubes of bouillon)  I also let everyone add their own bacon.  Will make this again for sure!  Loved it.
Crockpot Jalapeño Popper Chili
Serves 6 - 8

1 yellow onion, diced
1 - 2 jalapeno peppers, seeds removed, and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 red or yellow bell pepper, diced
2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (breasts work too - I just find thighs less dry and more flavorful)
1 teaspoon chile powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
pinch of crushed red pepper
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes
3-4 cups chicken broth (use 4 if you're doing a full pound of beans)
1/2 or 1 lb dry white beans, rinsed and sorted (I used navy beans)
1 cup frozen corn
salt and pepper to taste
8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled

Add all ingredients except the cream cheese and bacon to the crockpot. Cook on low for 7-9 hours. Shred chicken with two forks.

(optional) Using an immersion blender, briefly pulse a few times to break up some of the beans and thicken the soup - you don't want it smooth, just a few of the beans pureed. Or take about 2 cups of the chili out and blend it in a countertop blender (leave the lid cracked so the steam doesn't make your blender explode)

Add the cream cheese and let melt for about 10 minutes, stir to combine, and mix in crumbled bacon. Salt to taste and serve.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Chocolate Banana Crinkle Muffins

These were some of the best muffins I have ever made!  I got 12 regular muffins and 8 mini muffins.  They were super easy to make--so use those over ripe bananas and make these TODAY!
Chocolate Banana Crinkle Muffins

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
heaping 1/4 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
pinch salt, optional and to taste
1 large egg
1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
1/4 cup sour cream (lite is okay; Greek yogurt may be substituted)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (from about 3 medium/large bananas)
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (strongly recommended but regular size may be substituted)
about 1 teaspoon granulated sugar for each muffin, for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a Non-Stick 12-Cup Regular Muffin Pan and one mini loaf pan (recipe yields 13 or 14 muffins, or one dozen plus one mini loaf; or simply discard excess batter if that's easier) very well with floured cooking spray or grease and flour the pan; set aside.

To a large bowl, add the first 6 ingredients, through optional salt, and whisk to combine; set aside.
To a medium bowl, add the egg, oil, sour cream, vanilla, and whisk to combine.

Stir in the bananas.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and stir until just combined. Batter is quite thick and is prone to having dry bits hiding at the bottom of the bowl. Make sure everything is incorporated without unnecessarily over-mixing or muffins will be tough.
Stir in the chocolate chips until just combined.

Using a large cookie scoop, 1/4-cup measure, or spoon, turn batter out into prepared pans. Each muffin cavity should be filled to about 3/4 full, but not exceeding, or batter could overflow.
Sprinkle the top of each muffin generously with sugar, about 1 teaspoon each. It looks like a lot but I like the visual pop and contrast of the white and dark; noting some absorbs and some is lost to the pan.

Bake at 350F for about 22 to 25 minutes, or until muffins are set, domed, springy to the touch, and a toothpick inserted into a crack comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter, noting it's not a perfect test and you may hit melted chocolate chips which shouldn't be confused with raw better. Don't overbake which is very easy to do with dark-colored items and start watching them closely at 20 minutes. Allow muffins to cool in pan for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until they've firmed up and are cool enough to handle. Muffins will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months. I find the muffins taste better on day 2 after the flavors have married.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Salted Toffee Oyster Crackers

This was a delicious snack that I KNEW I should have doubled right away!  4 cups of crackers = 1 10 oz. package.
Salted Toffee Oyster Crackers

4 cups Oyster Crackers
½ cup dark brown sugar
½ cup butter
Coarse of Kosher salt
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper or other seasoning - optional(Beth did this)

Preheat oven to 400F.

Line a baking pan with aluminum foil then spray the foil lightly with cooking spray.
Melt butter in a medium sized, non-stick skillet then add brown sugar and cayenne pepper. Stir continuously while bringing the mixture to a boil. Boil on medium heat 3 minutes or until it becomes lighter in color and “fluffier”. Stir often. Turn off the heat and add the oyster crackers.

Working quickly so the brown sugar/butter mixture doesn’t set up, pour the butter/brown sugar oyster crackers onto the prepared baking sheet and try to spread them out to a single layer. (If it is too difficult to spread the crackers into a single layer at this point, don’t worry – it will be possible in a few minutes.)

Sprinkle the crackers lightly with coarse or Kosher salt.

Place the crackers on a middle rack in the hot oven and bake 2 minutes.

Remove the crackers from the oven and smooth them out to a single layer.

Place back in the oven and bake for 3 more minutes.

After a total 5 minutes baking time, remove from oven and place on a cooling rack to cool for 5 minutes.

Once they are cool enough to handle, pick up the edges of the aluminum foil that is under the crackers and bring the edges together so the crackers roll together.

Remove from the foil, break into individual pieces and place on foil or parchment paper to cool completely.
Store in an airtight container.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Chocolate Cherry Dump Cake for Crockpot

Jenna and Kathleen got me this 9 x 13 Crockpot for Christmas.  This was our dessert for the Packer/Cowboy game.  We served it with ice cream.  I can't wait to try other casserole type recipes in this crockpot!

Chocolate Cherry Dump Cake for Crockpot

1 Box Devils Food cake mix
1 Can Cherry Pie Filling
¼ cup melted butter

Dump 1 can of cherry pie filling into large crockpot. Spread out evenly.
Top with dry cake mix.  Then drizzle melted butter over the top.
Cover and cook on low for 2½ to 3 hours.

Thursday, January 22, 2015


I made this recipe to go along with the unstuffed cabbage roll recipe.  I don't remember where I found it, and it has been in my file for many years.  We all really liked this.

Serving Size : 16
Points: 2 Per Serving

1 1/4 cups water
2 tablespoons margarine
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons yeast

Add ingredients to bread machine pan in order recommended by your machine's manufacturer. Use regular light setting.

This recipe yields a 1 1/2 pound loaf.

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 113 Calories; 2g Fat (14.7% calories from fat); 3g Protein; 21g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 152mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

White Pizza Sauce

We had a pizza party for the Packers/Cowboys game a week or so ago. I had 2 "regular type" pizzas and Jenna made this one. It was delicious! See her notes at the end.
White Pizza Sauce


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or marjoram
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a heavy saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 5 or 6 minutes, or until translucent. Add the garlic and stir for 1 minute longer. Add the cream, lower the heat to medium-low, and cook for about 3 minutes, or until the cream thickens and reduces slightly.

Remove from the heat, stir in the thyme, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Let cool completely before using.

Jenna's Notes: We made a 17 inch pizza so I tripled this because the original recipe said it made 1/2 cup. I couldn't get the sauce to thicken, so I did make a thickener with flour and milk and added it to the boiling sauce. I did add 3 tablespoons of freshly grated parmesan cheese when I took the sauce off the heat.