Monday, November 20, 2017

Buttermilk Syrup

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 tablespoon Light karo syrup
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

In a large pot or saucepan over medium heat add the butter, sugar, buttermilk, vanilla and karo syrup. Heat until everything is well combined and bring to a boil. Quickly remove the pot from the heat and add the baking soda, place back over the heat, stirring constantly. The syrup will grow large and threaten to boil over which is why a large pot is essential. If it gets too close to the edge remove from the burner and continue stirring to bring it down. Stir for 30 seconds over the heat (I often just take mine off so I don’t risk boiling over) and serve immediately.

From whence it came: I found this recipe on Oh Sweet Basil. And I'm so glad I did!

Why it's blogable: It was really easy to make and yummier than you can imagine. Pour it over these Melt in Your Mouth Pancakes and you'll be a very happy camper!

Hope you enjoy stirring it up!

Melt in Your Mouth Buttermilk Pancakes

1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups of sifted flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 eggs, slightly whisked
2 cups of buttermilk
2 tablespoons butter, unsalted and melted


Preheat a griddle to medium heat.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the salt, baking powder, baking soda, flour and sugar. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and buttermilk. Drizzle in the butter as you continue to whisk.
Switch to a wooden spoon and make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients. Pour in the wet ingredients and stir until almost completely combined. Please remember, the more you stir pancakes the more flat and tough they will be so please mix until a few streaks of flour are remaining.
Butter the griddle and scoop 1/3 cup of batter and cook until bubbles begin to form, flip and cook until golden. Serve immediately.

From whence it came:
I've discovered a new cooking blog. And it's a good one. Oh Sweet Basil gets the credit for this awesome recipe! I attended a women's conference this past weekend and the founders of Oh Sweet Basil were two of the presenters. They're a darling couple who know how to make some killer pancakes! One of the other presenters, Brad Wilcox, mentioned that his family is obsessed with their pancakes and that's when I knew I had to try them. Soon. So I stirred them up the next day and now here I am sharing this treasure with all of you. You're welcome!

Why they're blogable: Here's the truth - I'd never lie about pancakes - these are the best pancakes I've ever eaten. And The Spy agrees with me. Not on everything - but definitely on these pancakes. They are so fluffy and fabulous. They are super easy to make and they turned out perfect the first time. Make these pancakes! You won't regret it!

Cook's tips: Use real buttermilk. Don't mix vinegar or lemon juice with milk, use the real McCoy! And make their buttermilk syrup to drizzle on these little clouds of heaven. It's easy and awesome!

Hope you enjoy stirring it up!

Here's a pic of me and my amazing friends at 
Time Out for Women this past weekend:
We had the best time! It was a bucket filling experience.
We left feeling enriched and inspired. What more can you ask for?

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Contest-Winning Old-Fashioned Potato Salad

4 cups cubed peeled potatoes
3 hard-boiled large eggs, chopped
2 celery ribs, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Place potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until tender; drain. Place in a large bowl; add eggs, celery and onions.In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Pour over potato mixture and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.Yield: 6-8 servings.

From whence it came:  Have I ever mentioned Taste of Home on this blog? Years ago my Grandma Alyce gave me a subscription to Taste of Home magazine and I believe they have some of the best recipes out there.  Taste of Home features real food, the kind that has basic, normal ingredients that you probably have in your pantry. Every Taste of Home recipe I've tried has been a winner, and this potato salad is no exception.

Why it's blogable: I made this potato salad last summer and it's the best potato salad I've ever made. In the past I hadn't used a recipe to make potato salad. I'd just add this much of this and that much of that, and it would turn out pretty good.  But I decided to try a recipe instead of playing the guessing game and am I ever glad I did.  This is now my go-to recipe for potato salad.  The Spy is a lover of potato salad and he is a lover of this recipe!

Hope you enjoy stirring it up!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Green Chile Chicken Rice-A-Roni Casserole

Green Chile Chicken Rice-A-Roni Casserole
Serves 6

  • 1 box Chicken Rice-a-Roni, plus water called for on package
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 (10-3/4oz) can Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 1 (4.5oz) can diced green chiles
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 cups pepper jack cheese shredded
  • 2-1/2 to 3 cups (12 oz) chopped cooked chicken 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9x13-inch pan with cooking spray.

Prepare Chicken Rice-a-Roni according to package directions.

In a large bowl, combine sour cream, Cream of Chicken soup, green chiles, cumin, 1 cup of pepper jack cheese and cooked chicken. Stir in prepared rice. Spoon into prepared baking pan.

Sprinkle remaining 1 cup of pepper jack cheese on top of casserole. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly.

From whence it came: I told you I was repenting and not just pinning but actually trying the recipes I've pinned on Pinterest. And I am! Here's another really good one that I found on Plain Chicken. Whoever plain chicken is, they know how to make a really good chicken, rice and green chili casserole!

Why it's blogable: The first time I made this casserole The Spy was VERY complimentary about it. Here's the down and dirty truth about The Spy - he's kind of spoiled! I'm not saying he's married to the best cook in town, he's not, but he is married to someone who loves to cook and bake, so he gets lots of homemade meals and goodies. Spoiled! He's a good boy, I can count on him saying, "Thank you, this is really good," just about every night. But every now and then, he will be really complimentary about something I make.  This recipe is one of those somethings. I shouldn't have been surprised. The Spy grew up eating Rice-A-Roni and he's a fan. I didn't grow up eating it, but I've learned it has it's place in life, and in recipes. This recipe easy-peasy. I'm all about easy-peasy. And it freezes really well, too! I put half in one smallish casserole dish and half in another. Then we eat one and I freeze one. I love pulling something out of the freezer on a busy day or a day when I just don't feel like stirring it up.

Warning: I made this for my grandpunks, who aren't super picky eaters, and they didn't love it. They picked out the chicken and ate that but I think the green chilies and pepper jack cheese were a bit much for them. It's not very spicy, but they weren't super into it. But being the "whatever the punks want the punks get" kinda grandma, I just made them quesadillas and all was right with the world.

I hope you enjoy stirring it up!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Chocolate Whoopie Pie Cake

  • 1 (15.25 oz.) box chocolate fudge cake mix
  • 1 (3.9 oz.) box instant chocolate fudge pudding mix
  • ¾ c. water
  • ¾ c. vegetable or canola oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 c. sour cream (or Greek yogurt)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • Marshmallow Creme Filling:
  • 10 Tbl. unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 (7 oz.) carton marshmallow creme
  • pinch of salt
  • 1½ tsp. vanilla
  • 2 c. powdered sugar
  • Chocolate Ganache:
  • ½ c. chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate)
  • 3 Tbl. whipping cream

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. For the Cake: Grease and flour a 12-cup bundt pan; set aside. In a large bowl, combine the dry cake mix, dry pudding mix, water, oil, eggs, sour cream and vanilla. Using a hand mixer, mix until all ingredients are completely incorporated and mixture is smooth. Pour batter into the prepared bundt pan and spread out evenly. It is a very thick batter. Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool in pan for 10 minutes, then invert to a wire rack and cool completely. Once cake is cool, slice in half horizontally.
  • For the Marshmallow Creme Filling: In a large bowl, using a hand mixer, mix butter until smooth. Add the marshmallow creme, salt and vanilla and mix until well combined. Add one cup of powdered sugar and mix until combined. Add remaining one cup of powdered sugar and mix until smooth and creamy. Spread filling over the bottom half of the cake and place top half of cake over the creme filling.
  • For the Chocolate Ganache: Place chocolate chips in a small bowl; set aside. Microwave whipping cream in a small, microwave-safe, dish until it starts to bubble. Pour hot cream over chocolate chips and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Stir together until smooth and creamy. If chocolate chips aren't completely melted. Place in the microwave and heat, stirring every 10 seconds until mixture is smooth and chocolate is melted. Allow to cool for 10 minutes or until slightly thickened and pour over cake. Store cake in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving.
From whence it came: Pinterest!  I found this beauty on Pinterest!  And check out the name of this blog by Jenn - Eat Cake for Dinner. Now that's a great idea! We should all eat this cake for dinner. And then for breakfast the next day. I'm kinda famous for pinning recipes on Pinterest and then not trying them. But I'm repenting of that terrible habit and trying the recipes I've pinned. (That could take until the 12th of never because I've pinned a lot of recipes, but it's a worthy goal!)

Why it's blogable: Do not let the length of this recipe fool you!  It's so easy!  It's not difficult at all, I promise. It's super moist (I hate that word) and chocolaty. Add that cream layer in the middle then top it off with more chocolate and you've got a seriously yummy cake on your hands.  It looks a lot more difficult than it is so it's sure to impress everyone who's lucky enough to try it!

Cooks tip: I've made a lot of bundt cakes in my time. And I mean a whole lot! Whenever I make a bundt cake I use Baker's Joy. It's the best way to prep your pan and ensure that the cake doesn't stick. I buy it at Walmart but you can find it in just about any grocery store.

Hope you enjoy stirring it up!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Creamy Slow Cooker Ranch Pork Chops and Potatoes

4-6 pork chops
6-8 medium potatoes, chopped into large pieces
2 cans fat-free cream of chicken soup
2 packages dry Ranch dressing mix
1 cup milk
Dried parsley to sprinkle on top (optional)

Spray your slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray and put potatoes on the bottom. Place the pork chops on top of the potatoes. Mix together the condensed soups, Ranch dressing mix and milk. Pour on top of the pork chops and cook on LOW for 6-7 hours or on HIGH for 4 hours.
Use the extra sauce in the slow cooker as a gravy for the potatoes and the pork chops. Sprinkle with dried parsley if you want.

From whence it came:  I found this little beauty online! Don't you just love the Internet? Without the Internet I'd be naked and hungry! (Which is very similar to naked and afraid, only worse!) Sorry for the TMI moment, but it's true. I buy almost everything online. I hate shopping at the store. I know, weird for a girl, but it's true.  I love Walmart and Costco and beyond that I'm pretty much Amazon's best friend! I was browsing through a book online and came across this winner recipe from Six Sister's Stuff! If you have never tried their recipes, now is the time! Run, don't walk! These girls can cook - and bake! And I just want to thank the Six Sisters for the perfect pork chop recipe.

Why it's bloggable: I have never, and I mean never ever, had success with pork chops. They're either dry or tough or both. Ugh! When I saw this recipe I felt renewed pork chop hope! And could it be more simple? I think not! The Spy and I both loved it, and I'm pretty sure you will, too!

Cook's tips: I bought the super thick pork chops at Costco and cut them in half so they were thin. And I also bought the yummiest potatoes at Costco! They're butter potatoes, which are little tiny potatoes that I just cut in half without peeling them. I'm sure regular potatoes would be good, too! I cooked them on high for 4 hours and they were just right!

Hope you enjoy stirring it up!

Friday, October 9, 2015

The Best Crockpot BBQ Chicken

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup BBQ sauce
1/4 cup Zesty Italian dressing
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

It's just this simple:  place chicken breasts in crockpot, mix remaining ingredients in a bowl, pour over chicken, cook on high for 4 hours, shred and put on rolls of your choice. (You can't go wrong with chibatta rolls, they are the rock stars of sandwich rolls!) 

From whence it came:  Our married daughter gets all of the credit for finding this gem of a recipe.  She found it on Pinterest and was smart enough to pin it and then she went the extra mile and actually made it.  (Are you like me, do you have a zillion recipes pinned on Pinterest that you've never made?)  And let's be sure and give some serious props to the gal who added this to Pinterest.  Her name is Corey and you can find this recipe on her blog here.

Why it's blogable:  Because it's super good, super easy, and actually kinda sorta healthy.  Recipes don't get easier than this one, and it's a real crowd pleaser!  The spy who loves me loves this recipe!  And I'm certain that you will, too! can make a bunch and then freeze it and pull it out at the end of a day when you didn't even have time for a crockpot dinner.  Been there, done that! 

Hope you enjoy stirring it up!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Sugar Cookie Bars

Sugar Cookie Bars

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
3/4 c. sour cream
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
5 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1. Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy then add sour cream.

2. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

3. Meanwhile, mix the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl.

4. Add the vanilla to the creamed mixture and then slowly add the dry ingredients.

5. Press into a greased 13 x 18 inch pan and bake at 375F for 10-15 minutes.

6. Cool and frost (see directions below).

Frosting Ingredients:
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt
4 cups powdered sugar
5 tablespoons of milk
food coloring (optional)
sprinkles (optional)

1. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter until creamy.

2. Add the vanilla and powdered sugar.

3. Gradually add the 5 tablespoons of milk until you reach your desired constancy.

5. Chill and cut.

From whence it came:  My sweet wonderful friend, Judy Durrant (who is a great cook with great recipes) made these and I felt completely obligated to try one and once I did I just had to have the recipe!  And Judy is a true friend, so she shared it with me.  She found it on Pinterest and boy oh boy am I glad she did!  These are divine!!!  

Why it's blogable:  I made these for our newest grandpunk's baby blessing last weekend and they were a hit!  They are so much easier to make than frosted sugar cookies and just as good...or maybe even better.  And the recipe makes a bunch of bars so you can share and make friends and impress your peeps!  If you've had a "Swig Sugar Cookie" I would say there are somewhat close to Swig.  And if you haven't had a Swig Sugar Cookie, drive to Utah right this minute and get one! I made a Swig knock off recipe that I found on Pinterest and you will notice that it's not on this blog, because it was not blogable.  But this recipe, this recipe is seriously blogable.

Cooks tip:  Judy told me to be careful not to over cook these bars.  I cooked them for 15 minutes and had serious doubts that they were done, but I decided to listen to Judy, because she is smart, and I'm glad I did.  They seemed underdone but after I frosted them then chilled them and cut them up they were perfect!  So, listen to Judy, don't over cook these cookies!

Hope you enjoy stirring it up!

Here's our newest little grandpunk, Brooks Anderson Labrum!
He is even sweeter than these cookies!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Peppermint Frosting


2 sticks (1 Cup) Salted Butter, Softened
5 cups Powdered Sugar, Sifted
40 whole Peppermint Candies, Crushed Very Fine
3 Tablespoons Heavy Cream, More If Needed (use 3-5)

Beat the butter to get it started, then add in the powdered sugar. Beat on low while adding the cream. When it comes together, add the crushed peppermints, reserving some for garnish. Beat the frosting for a good 30 seconds on high until it's light and fluffy, longer if needed.

Frost the cupcakes or brownies or cake however you want, then sprinkle on more crushed peppermints.

Note that the frosting will develop a light "crust" on the outside if left out.

From whence it came:  We can bow down and thank The Pioneer Woman for this festive and fabulous recipe!  I wanted to make peppermint frosting for these brownies so I turned to my dear friend, Google, and Google sent me right to PW's website.  And PW did not disappoint!  In fact, I'm gonna share the link with you to give PW the shout out she deserves:  

Why it's blogable:  Peeps, this recipe has butter, heavy cream, powdered sugar and candy in it.  Enough said!  Well almost enough said.  I was good when I made it, bowl lickin' good if you know what I mean.  But when I accidentally tried one of these bad boy brownies the next day, something magical had happened.  The little bits of peppermint had melted, or softened, or done something magical, and the frosting was even better!  So, my advice to y'all would be to make this a day ahead, or in the morning before the night you plan to eat a dozen of these problematic brownies.  They are problematic because you will accidentally try them over and over and over.  I say accidentally because I didn't mean to eat one, it just accidentally happened.  More than once.  

NOTE:  I didn't sprinkle more peppermints on top, I dumped every yummy one into the frosting.  That is after I pounded them to death with a rolling pin.  Pound 'em people!  You don't want a stray big chunk sending some one you love into the dentist's chair!

Hope you enjoy stirring it up!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Homemade Salsa

1 small onion, roughly chopped

1 jalapeño, chopped (seeds and ribs are optional and add HEAT)

1 large garlic clove, smashed and roughly chopped

1 (28 oz can) crushed tomatoes

1 (14.5) can of diced tomatoes with green chilies

1 handful of fresh cilantro leaves

1/4 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

Juice of half a lime (or a whole lime if you're a lover of limes like me)


Add the chopped onion, jalapeno and garlic to a food processor or chop everything  very finely by hand.

Pour crushed tomatoes into a medium bowl and add chopped ingredients along with the can of diced tomatoes with green chilies, fresh cilantro, sugar and salt and the juice of half a lime. Stir.

Refrigerate for a couple of hours at least before serving, but over night is best! (If you are able to accomplish this step, you have more patience than me!)

From whence it came:  Google led me to this fabulous recipe.  Thank you Google!  I originally found the recipe here, and I made it, and it was fab!  But then my mini food processor bit the dust due to complications from overuse and old age (boy, can I relate). So, I decided to try making the recipe without a mini food processor.  I simplified it and it's just as good.  You're welcome!  

SIDE NOTE OF REALLY NO IMPORTANCE:  If you know me well you know my doctor is named Dr. Google!  He is awesome!  I will do almost anything to avoid going to the doctor, so instead I just enter my symptoms into Google and voila, I have a diagnosis.  Then, I Google the diagnosis and find out the treatment.  Then I Google the treatment and find out where to get it or how to do it or if there is even hope for me. 

Why it's blogable:  Because you're gonna have to will yourself not to drink this stuff!  It's that good. Once you make this you will never want to buy store bought salsa again.  You will become a chip and salsa-aholic and you will feel the need to seek treatment.  But don't, just keep eating and enjoying!  

My little grandpunk loves this stuff so much!  He uses his chip as a spoon and just eats the salsa.  He doesn't waste his energy on chewing the chip, he saves it all for pounding down the salsa!

(Okay, so maybe he's not eating chips and salsa here, maybe he's eating fruit and ice cream, but I don't have a picture of him eating salsa and I have to show the world, or the ten or so people who read my blog, how positively adorable this little punk is!  And if you don't agree with me, may this salsa give you heartburn!)

Hope you enjoy stirring it up!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Chocolate Mint Brownies

Brownie Base

My Favorite Brownie Recipe - or your favorite 9x13 box brownie mix


2 1/2
cups powdered sugar
tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
tablespoons whipping cream
oz cream cheese, softened (from 3 oz package)
to 1/4 teaspoon mint extract
drops green food color


cup whipping cream
1 1/3
cups (8 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
cup butter (do not use margarine)

Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Grease bottom only of 9-inch square pan with shortening or cooking spray. (For easier cutting, line pan with foil, then grease foil on bottom only of pan.) Make and bake brownie mix as directed in recipe or on box. Cool completely, about 1 1/2 hours.
In large bowl, beat filling ingredients with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Spread over cooled brownies. Refrigerate about 1 hour or until set.
Meanwhile, in 2-quart nonstick saucepan, heat topping ingredients over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until melted and smooth. Cool about 10 minutes or until lukewarm.
Pour topping over filling; spread to cover. Refrigerate uncovered about 2 hours or until set. Before cutting into bars, let stand 10 minutes at room temperature. For bars, cut into 5 rows by 4 rows. Store covered in refrigerator.

From whence it came:  That wonderful gal, Betty!  Betty Crocker that is.  I was in the mood to make mint brownies and I didn't have a recipe so I Googled it and Betty came to my rescue.  (I borrowed her pretty Mint Brownie picture, too.  I hope she doesn't mind.)

Why it's blogable:  Mint Brownies?  Are you kidding?  You need to know why they are blogable?  Because they are amazing!!!  These are always a crowd pleaser.  They look harder to make than they are.  They really are easy, and worth a couple of extra steps.

Make these and you will create smiles!  And creating smiles feels good!

Hope you enjoy stirring it up!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Homemade Oreos

Makes 25 to 30 sandwich cookies
For the chocolate wafers:
1 1/4 cups (155 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (45 grams, but cocoa weights can vary greatly) unsweetened Dutch process cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 to 1 1/2 cups (200 to 300 grams) sugar [see recipe note]
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks or 140 grams) room-temperature, unsalted butter
1 large egg
For the filling:
1/4 cup (1/2 stick or 55 grams) room-temperature, unsalted butter
1/4 cup (50 grams) vegetable shortening
2 cups (240 grams) sifted confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons (10 ml) vanilla extract
  1. Set two racks in the middle of the oven. Preheat to 375°F.
  2. In a food processor, or bowl of an electric mixer, thoroughly mix the flour, cocoa, baking soda and powder, salt, and sugar. While pulsing, or on low speed, add the butter, and then the egg. Continue processing or mixing until dough comes together in a mass.
  3. Take rounded teaspoons of batter and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet approximately two inches apart. With moistened hands, slightly flatten the dough. Bake for 9 minutes, rotating once for even baking. Set baking sheets on a rack to cool.
  4. To make the cream, place butter and shortening in a mixing bowl, and at low speed, gradually beat in the sugar and vanilla. Turn the mixer on high and beat for 2 to 3 minutes until filling is light and fluffy.
  5. To assemble the cookies, in a pastry bag with a 1/2 inch, round tip, pipe teaspoon-size blobs of cream into the center of one cookie. Place another cookie, equal in size to the first, on top of the cream. Lightly press, to work the filling evenly to the outsides of the cookie. Continue this process until all the cookies have been sandwiched with cream. Dunk generously in a large glass of milk.
From whence it came:  We can thank the Smitten Kitchen for this doozie!!!  And I want to be sure and give Smitten Kitchen full credit!  You can find the recipe here:

I Googled "Homemade Oreos" and this was the first recipe that came up.  I've made homemade Oreos before using a recipe that used a cake mix, and they were good, but these are better.  A.Lot.Better.

Why it's blogable:  You might read the recipe and think these cookies are too much work.  They're not.  The payoff is well worth making the filling and taking the time to put it between 2 heavenly chocolate cookies.  It's really not a difficult recipe.  Make it.  Make it now!  Why are you still reading?  I said go and make these now!

Why I made them today:  We have one of the coolest people I have ever met visiting us right how and these are his favorite cookies.  So I just had to make them for him.  Because he is cool, and funny, and nice, and so many other wonderful words.  His name is Grant Gagon, but I call him Elder Gagon, or Elder G. because I first met him when he was a missionary serving in our neck of the woods.  Our family fell in love with Elder G. and eventually we met his family and we fell in love with them, too!  The Gagons are great and we are so very grateful for our friendship with the Gagons!! 

I can't believe you're still reading this post and not in your kitchen whipping up a batch of these marvelous cookies.  They have basic ingredients that you probably have on hand so no excuses.  Go make 'em.  

Hope you enjoy stirring it up!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Tortellini Sausage Soup

Tortellini Sausage Soup
3 links Italian sausage
4 cloves pressed garlic
1 onion, diced
½ c. water
2 15-oz. cans chicken broth
½ c. apple cider (don’t leave this out! I did once and it wasn’t the same…)
1 16-oz. can diced tomatoes
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 c. sliced carrots
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
2 medium zucchini, grated (great way to use your food processor if you have one)
2 tablespoons dried parsley
8-10 oz. package cheese tortellini (check the freezer section of your grocery store; if you can find it there, it will almost always be way cheaper than fresh tortellini. Also, Barilla makes a great dry cheese tortellini)
2 Tbsp. dried parsley (yes, that’s two tablespoons)
If you’re using link sausage, remove the casings and crumble into a large soup pot. To remove the casings, you can use a sharp knife to cut a slit down one side of the sausage and then peel back the casing.
Chop onion and add to pot with garlic and a drizzle of olive oil. Continue cooking until onions are translucent and your sausage is cooked. Your house will smell heavenly.
Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, juice, water, chicken broth, carrots, oregano, and basil. Cover and simmer for 1/2 hour. Add parsley and zucchini and simmer for another 15 minutes or so. Add the tortellini and cook until tender, and then serve with bread and freshly-grated Parmesan.
From whence it came:  My sweet as pie sister-in-law, Geralene, must really love me because for Christmas she gave me the new Our Best Bites Cookbook!
I've been having so much fun trying the recipes in this amazing cookbook!  I told you before that I really don't buy cookbooks anymore because you can find almost any recipe you want online.  But this book is worth having!!  Big time!  Thanks, Geralene!  Your gift hit the spot!!
Why it's blogable:  I have a talent.  It may be my only one but I do have this one.  I'm pretty good at recognizing a good recipe when I see one.  I can read the ingredients and pretty much know if it's gonna be good or not.  As soon as I read this recipe I knew!  And I was not one bit wrong.  I made this last Sunday and I ate the leftovers for lunch twice this week.  I would have eaten the leftovers every day but there were only two servings left over.  This soup is one of my all time favorites!  It is in on my top ten list of best soups ever!  (I don't really have a list like that but if I did, this soup would be on it.)  The flavor is great and it's easy to make.  Try it!!!  I beg of you!
Those wonderful Our Best Bites girls will give you step by step instructions here.  I've been trying to cook healthier, eat less and exercise more (so basically I'm pretty cranky!)  Just kidding!  About the cranky part.  Not about the healthier part.  That part is true.  I used sweet chicken Italian sausage that I bought at Sprouts.  Dontcha just love Sprouts?  Me too!  I made the butcher put his hand on this cookbook and swear the sausage wasn't really sweet.  He did and I trusted him.  He said sweet meant not spicy, and he was right.  And it was really good sausage.  And it wasn't in casings so I didn't have to deal with that ugly process.  Gross!!!  I bought the tortellini in the refrigerator section at the grocery store and it was so good!  Also, I didn't have any apple cider because I didn't remember to buy it because my brain is deprived of calories so I borrowed a packet of spiced cider from a friend at the very last minute (thank you Kerinda for saving our Sunday dinner) and it worked perfectly.  I was nervous to use it because it seems like such a strange ingredient, but I made the cider and added the right amount and the soup was fab so there ya go.  
Make this soup people!  It's a winner!
Click here to get the printable.
Hope you enjoy stirring it up!

Monday, November 12, 2012

French Dip Sandwiches


1 2.5-3 lb. beef roast (you can use a frozen roast if you want)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper
2 1-ounce packages dry onion soup mix
2 c. water
2 cans beef broth
6-8 large buns (or more…6 would be VERY generous servings!)
Swiss, provolone, or mozzarella cheese, shredded or sliced.

Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat and rub roast with salt and pepper.

When very hot, carefully place roast in pan and sear on all sides. You’re not cooking the meat, you’re just browning it quickly on all sides to add flavor and seal in the juices. 

Place in crockpot and sprinkle with onions soup mix. Pour water and beef broth over roast.

Cook 8-10 hours on low or cook 4-5 hours on high and another 3-4 hours on low. It’s hard to screw this part up; basically, the longer it cooks, the more tender it will be. But you know it’s done when you pop a fork in it and the meat just falls apart. When meat is ready, shred with a fork.

Place meat in crusty rolls. Top with cheese and broil open-faced in the oven or toaster oven for a few minutes, until bread is golden and cheese is melty. 

Ladle juices into small cups for dipping and enjoy!

From whence it came:  Here's another fab recipe from the Our Best Bites Cookbook!  I wasn't kidding when I told you it's a great cookbook!  I don't joke about things like that!

Why it's blogable:  When I tried this my family was totally wowed!  Everyone said it was their new favorite dinner and my teen son requested it for his birthday.  Both of my girls love this and my sonny-in-law and The Spy Who Loves Me are huge fans!  I just got back from visiting my married daughter and sonny-in-law and adorable grandpunk in Illinois last week and when I asked them what they wanted me to make while I was there, this was on the list.  This recipe could not be easier!  And we always have plenty for leftovers.  

Here's what I do:  Just to make it more yummy and less heart healthy, I butter the buns and sprinkle them with Parmesan cheese.  I broil them until the are just starting to brown, then take them out, put the meat and cheese on them and put them back under the broiler just until the cheese starts to melt.  You don't have to do this, but you'll be happy if you do!

Try this one soon!  And by soon I mean immediately!  Your family will thank you!

Hope you enjoy stirring it up!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Soup made the easy way!

It's that time of year, time to enjoy a really yummy bowl of soup.  I love soup!  The Spy Who Loves Me, not so much.  He's not a huge soup guy, although there are a few soups he likes.  He's not into brothy soups (is brothy a word?)  He's more into creamy soups.  Creamy soups are fab, but they can also be pretty fattening.  I've found a way to make creamy soups without all the fat that comes from making a roux with butter and adding half and half or heavy cream.  And I'm gonna share my secret with you, and you are very welcome!

Yep, Bear Creek Soups rock!  And they are so very easy to make.  I love making soup from scratch, but if you're pinched for time or not a make it from scratch kinda person, Bear Creek is your new best friend!

This one might just be my favorite, although I have a few favorites.  My family LOVES this one, especially my teen son.  All you have to do is add 8 cups of water.  Seriously.  That's it!  Now, if you wanna get a little bit crazy, you can add some fresh broccoli pieces and then sprinkle a little bit of cheddar cheese on top of each bowl.  But you can just make it like it is and it is really really good!

This one is my new favorite.  (I told you I had more than one favorite and I wasn't kidding.)  I tried this one for the first time recently and wow, my taste buds did summer-salts.  There is a restaurant in San Diego called Croutons that has chicken and wild rice soup that I love, and this is very similar to theirs.  I added some chicken that I had baked in the oven and boy oh boy was it good.  My family loved this one, too!  I bought some for my married daughter who with the help of her husband produced the most fabulous grandpunk any grandma ever did have, and they went crazy for it!  She said they couldn't stop eating it.  And why even try?  It's that good!

I adore this one, too!  I brown 1 pound of ground beef and add it to the soup and it's awesome!  Serve it with french bread and a salad and you've got an easy yet delicious meal.

Bear Creek has so many delicious flavors.  I haven't tried one that I didn't like.  And get this, they are just over three bucks at my BFF Super Walmart!  Now that's a deal!

Like I said, you can't beat soup from scratch, but these are truly the next best thing!  Give them a try, you won't be sorry!

Hope you enjoy stirring it up!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Homemade Salsa...So easy! So good!

1 small onion, roughly chopped
One Jalapeño, chopped {seeds and ribs are optional}
1 large Garlic Clove, smashed and roughly chopped
1 {28 oz can} Whole Peeled Tomatoes
1 {14.5} Can of Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies
One Generous Handful of Fresh Cilantro Leaves
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Juice of half a Lime

Add the chopped onion, jalapeno and garlic to a food processor.

Next add the can of whole peeled tomatoes {with their juices}, fresh cilantro, sugar and salt and the juice of half a lime. Pulse until you reach a consistency you like, should be a little chunky.

Add diced tomatoes with green chilies. Give a few more pulses.

Let refrigerate for a couple of hours at least before serving, but over night is best!

From whence it came:  The Internet, baby!  There are so many great recipes out there just waiting to be stirred up!  I found this one here, and boy am I glad I did!

Why it's blogable:  Salsa?  Chips?  Really?  You need to know why it's blogable?  Because it's salsa, and you dip chips in it.  That's why.  The first time I tried this recipe The Spy and my teen son went crazy for it.  Let's be honest, they were already half way to crazy, but this recipe pushed them the rest of the way.  I've made it for lots of people and parties and it's always a hit.  Y'all need to try it!  Soon!

Hope you enjoy stirring it up!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

Make this recipe but instead of adding chocolate chips, add 1 bag white chocolate chips

and 2 c. coarsely chopped macadamia nuts.  

That's it!  That's all ya have to do to make these marvelous mac nut cookies.  I figured this out all by my little old self.  Mostly myself is old, not really all that little, because myself loves cookies!

The Spy Who Loves Me said these are his new favorite cookies.  And my teen son is a fan, too!

Make these for someone you love and they are sure to love you back!!!

Hope you enjoy stirring it up!!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Teriyaki Sauce that's Good Enough to Drink

1 Tbsp. cornstarch 
1 Tbsp. cold water
½ c. white sugar
½ c. soy sauce
¼ c. cider vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
½ tsp. ground ginger
¼ tsp. black pepper

(I don't want to take credit for the cute writing style of Kate Jones, so I'll tell you here and now that the directions below were written by her clever and creative self.  My unimaginative brain just copied and pasted.)

In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger, and black pepper. We’ve talked about ginger before and you can use either ground ginger as directed or about 1 1/4 tsp. of fresh ginger. Believe it or not, in this recipe, I actually prefer ground ginger; it has a slightly different flavor that I think infuses better in the sauce than fresh ginger. That being said, I used fresh here because I had a bunch of minced ginger in my freezer and I didn’t want it to go to waste. And the sauce came out great. So whatever works for you.

ANYWAY. I’m rambling. Combine your ingredients in the saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. While sauce is heating, combine cornstarch and cold water. When sauce comes to a full boil, add cornstarch mixture and stir until sauce is thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat and use any way you darn well please. You can store it in the fridge in an air-tight container for up to 2 weeks.

From whence it came:  I have a new cookbook!!!  

Well, it's not all that new, but since I haven't blogged for a million years it seems like it's new.  My super sweet sister-in-law, Geralene, gave it to me for my birthday over a year ago.  My birthday is in July (on the 2nd just in case you want to get me something next year) and her birthday is in August.  I love this cookbook so much that a month after she gave it to me, I bought one and gave it to her!  I bit of a lame and lazy gift, but she just had to have it.  It's that good!  Every recipe I have tried as been so good!  And I've tried a lot of 'em.  I really didn't think I'd be buying many cookbooks anymore since you can find almost any recipe you want on the Internet, but this one is worth having!  

Why it's blogable:  Yep, you could seriously drink this sauce, but don't, because that would be humiliating and give you really bad breath!  And then you'd lose friends because your breath was so stinky!  And then you'd be lonely because you don't have any friends.  And then you'd be depressed because you're lonely and you'd make a whole batch of this dough and eat it all by yourself.  And then your pants won't zip up because you ate a whole batch of that naughty dough all by yourself!  And then you'll need new pants.  I could go on and on, but the point is, even though this sauce is good enough to drink, use it on your favorite meat, vegies, in stir fry or wherever you want.  Use you imagination people!  I can't do all the thinking!  

Oh yeah:  You seriously need to double this recipe!  Possibly triple it!  If you don't you'll be sad.  And then you'll probably make a whole batch of this and eat it all by yourself!  At least that's what I'd do!

Hope you enjoy stirring it up!

Look who's back!!!!!

The reasons I haven't blogged for many moons are many, and they are all lame, except for one!!!!

And that reason's name is  HUDSON!!!

Yep, I have a grandpunk!  And as you can see by the picture, an adorable grandpunk!  I have a grandpunk with spunk!!  Yep, he's got spunk, just like his Grammy Pammy!  

Proud?  You bet I am!  
Happy?  Happy beyond words! 
Obsessed?  Totally and completely!  
On FaceTime 24/7 because he lives half way across the country in the land of corn?  Absolutely!  
Distracted by his cuteness?  How could I not be?  

Look at him!  So you can point fingers and wonder why I've been such a lazy blogger, and then you can look at this picture and totally understand!!!

I know, I know, you didn't log on to hear my obnoxious bragging, you want recipes!  Well recipes you shall get.  I have tried lots of new ones and I've got some doozies ready for y'all!  So hang on to your hats, Grammy Pammy is blogging again!!!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Milky Way Cake

11 whole Milky Way Bars (regular Size), Divided Use
3 sticks Margarine, Divided Use
2-½ cups All-purpose Flour
½ teaspoons Salt
½ teaspoons Baking Soda
½ cups Buttermilk
3 teaspoons Vanilla Extract, Divided
2 cups Sugar
4 whole Eggs
2 cups Powdered Sugar
1 dash Salt
½ cups Milk (more If Needed)
1 cup Finely Chopped Pecans

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

In a double boiler or in a saucepan over very low heat, melt 8 Milky Way bars together with 1 stick margarine, stirring to combine. Once melted, remove from heat and set aside.

Sift flour and salt together and set aside.

Mix baking soda with buttermilk, then add 2 teaspoons vanilla and set aside.

Cream 1 stick of margarine with the 2 cups of granulated sugar. Add eggs one at a time. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to the creamed mixture, mixing after each addition. Add melted candy bar mixture and mix to combine.

Pour into a greased jelly roll pan or 9 x 13 baking pan and bake for 1 hour or until cake is done in the center. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

To make the icing, melt the remaining 3 Milky Way bars with remaining 1 stick margarine (in a double boiler or in a saucepan over very low heat). Add powdered sugar, dash of salt, milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and chopped pecans and stir over low heat. Add more milk if needed.

Pour over the cooled cake and allow to set. Cake will be very sticky! Don’t expect neat, perfect slices.

From whence it came:  We all owe The Pioneer Woman a HUGE thank you for posting this recipe on her fabulous website.  She has blessed us with a true crowd pleaser and she deserves a round of applause for this one!

Why it's blogable:
  Any recipe that has 11 Milky Way bars in it is blogable.  Period.  The texture of this cake is different than any cake I've made, in a good way!  A really really good way.  It's a little bit sticky because of the caramel in the candy but not too sticky.  Just the right amount of sticky.  The flavor is also fabulous!  I took this cake to a get together last weekend and it was a hit.  This cake will make you popular!  I promise!

Cooks tips:  I used butter instead of margarine and it gave it a great buttery flavor.  I also used walnuts instead of pecans because that's what I had on hand.  I baked the cake in a 10x15" sheet cake pan and I think it was just the right size.  I think it worked out better than a 9x13" would have.

Click here to get the printable:
Milky Way Cake

Hope you enjoy stirring it up!