Monday, May 31, 2010


1 c. butter
1 ½ c. white sugar

2 eggs (one at a time) beat until creamy

Mix in:
2 ¾ c. flour
1 t. baking soda
2 t. cream of tarter
½ t. salt

Mix well. Roll into balls (walnut size). Roll balls into mixture of 2 T. sugar and 1 t. cinnamon. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.
When I make these I use a ¼ cup measuring cup. Walnut size…yeah right! You may need to cook them a bit longer if you make them big.

From whence it came: This is such a cool story. My dad's cousin, Suzie, mailed this recipe to me out of the blue. We really never correspond and one day I opened my mail and there was this super cute recipe card with this super yum-e recipe on it. I wrote her a thank you note, but she deserves more than just a silly note. Thanks, Suzie! You're a very sweet second cousin!

Why it's blogable: I really never made Snickerdoodles until I received this recipe and now I make them quite often. They look really cool after you cook them and they are always a hit when I take them somewhere. Again, I realize this isn't the world's most original recipe, but it's really good!

Why the bow?: Sometimes I wrap these up in a celophane bag, tie a pretty bow on top and give them to someone that I love. These are going to a neighbor of mine. I think homemade baked goods make the best gifts! "Nothing says lovin' like something from the oven!"

Hope you enjoy stirring it up!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Chicken Bow Tie Pasta Salad

5-6 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
1 16 oz. box bow-tie pasta, cooked and rinsed
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 c. red grapes, cut in half
1 red apple, chopped
1 green apple, chopped
1 large can pineapple tidbits, drained
1 small bag slivered almonds

1 16 oz. bottle Kraft Coleslaw Dressing
1 1/2 c. mayo
1 1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
4 chopped green onions

Combine all ingredients for dressing. Toss with all other ingredients. Chill and serve.
From whence it came: Another winner from my dear friend, JoDee Glazier. She was the kind soul who shared her Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe, too. She is also responsible for the Strawberry Layered Dessert. Are you seeing a pattern of yum-e-ness here? I am, and we have JoDee to thank!

Why it's blogable: This is my favorite pasta salad in the whole wide world! I know the ingredients sound a little weird...onions and fruit don't normally go together, but in this salad they do, and they do it well! My married daughter goes crazy for this salad! I know I gave you the recipe for The World's Best Pasta Salad, and that one is truly good, also, but if I had to pick one (and I'm so happy I don't) I'd pick this one. It's kind of a girlie salad. To tell you the truth, The Spy Who Loves Me doesn't love this salad. He is a huge fan of The World's Best Pasta Salad, but I've told you before he's not a fruity guy, and this salad is fruity. But The Spy Who Loves Me is wrong on this...and so many other...issues! This salad is oh so good! I promise!

FYI: If you can't find pineapple tidbits, just buy the chunks and cut them in half. It'll be just the same. And you don't have to use Kraft Coleslaw Dressing. Any coleslaw dressing will do just fine.

Hope you enjoy stirring it up!

Cashew Chicken Salad Sandwiches

2 c. chicken, cooked and cubed
1 c. chopped celery
1 c. cashews
1 c. mayonaise
1 t. dry ranch dressing

Mix all ingredients and serve with lettuce in pita pockets or on rolls.

From whence it came: This great recipe came from my sister-in-law, Lori. She gave it to me a long long time ago, and I've made it a million times since. It is such a yum-e recipe! You will love it! One quick memory to share about these sandwiches and Lori. A couple of years ago The Spy Who Loves Me was really sick. I mean really sick. He is normally quite a stud, so when he goes down for the count, there is reason for concern, and we were very concerned! It was just about the longest week of our lives. We had been back and forth to the doctor every single day and even spent time in the emergency room. After finally receiving the right medication he started to get better, but he was pretty weak for a while, and we were pooped. His sweet sister, Lori, made this wonderful chicken salad and drove it all the way down to Oceanside to us. I'll never forget that act of kindness. It meant the world to us. Make this for someone you love. They will remember it forever!

Why it's blogable: I've made these sandwiches so many times, and every time I do people love them. I normally serve them on Joyce's Buns. That is truly the best way to serve them. But this chicken salad is also really good in pita pockets or on store bought rolls, too.

Once upon a time: Remember how I told you that there was a time in my life when I dragged around a cooler to different businesses and sold homemade lunch stuff? Well, these sandwiches were my hottest item! I would sell out of these almost every single day. They really are that good!

Hope you enjoy stirring it up!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Ultimate Sloppy Joes


  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground turkey
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 5 whole wheat hamburger buns


Set a heavy-based pot over medium-high heat and add a 3-count of olive oil. Add onions and saute for 2 to 3 minutes until translucent. Add ground turkey, season well with salt and pepper and brown well all over, breaking it up with a wooden spoon - about 7 to 10 minutes. Add ketchup, mustard, cayenne, brown sugar and tomato paste. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes. Finish with a splash of red wine vinegar and season it once more before serving on hamburger buns.

From whence it came: These Sloppy Joes were featured on Oprah's show quite a while back and I just now got around to trying them out. The recipe is by Tyler Florence of The Food Network. Wanna know a secret? You can't tell The Spy Who Love Me. Promise? Alright, if you promise not to tell, I'll tell you that I have a little crush on Tyler Florence. It's true. I also have a crush on Guy Fieri and Sam the Cooking Guy. Do you see a pattern here? I'm a sucker for a man who can cook. Have you ever watched the Oprah episode where Tim McGraw makes his famous Chicken and Dumplings? I nearly choked on a bonbon that day while watching Oprah. Let's just say it was HOT HOT HOT in that kitchen, and not from the dumplings! The Spy Who Loves Me knows all too well about my unhealthy obsession with Tim McGraw, but he isn't quite aware of my devotion to Tyler, Guy and Sam. If he finds out he might cancel cable TV, or at least The Food Network, and that would send me into the DTs and that wouldn't be pretty. So we'll just keep my little secret to ourselves. I'll bet you're wondering if The Spy Who Loves Me can cook. Not so much! Although, one time, when I was near death from the flu, and I was just about to walk toward the bright light, he did whip up a batch of pancakes (from a box) and they weren't half bad. Oh yeah, and he can pour a mean bowl of Mini Wheats!

Why it's blogable: Who doesn't love Sloppy Joes? (My married daughter, that's who. But what does she know anyway!) Sloppy Joes are a good ol' American favorite and they're just plain yum-e! This recipe is really extra good, and healthier than that powdered stuff you buy in the package. These are my favorite Sloppy Joes of all time. I used ground beef because I didn't have ground turkey, but I'm sure it's great with turkey, too! And if you want to take them to the next level...toast your buns. (Does that sentence make you giggle? Me too!) Put some butter on the buns then sprinkle them with some Parmesan cheese and pop 'em under the broiler for a couple of minutes. Now you're talking!

Why I finally got around to making it tonight: Today I had a bad mommy moment. My teen daughter, also known as "the middle child" has a sore throat. Last night she went looking for cough drops and couldn't find any so I said I'd stop and buy some today. I said I would, but I didn't. I forgot. Like I said, a bad mommy moment. This middle child of mine is a lover of Sloppy Joes. It's one of her favorite dinners. So, when dinner time rolled around, and I realized I was coughdropless, I quickly pulled out this recipe and whipped up a batch of "I'm So Sorry I Forgot The Cough Drops Sloppy Joes." And it worked! She was a happy girl, and I was back on the good mommy list! Then I went to the store an bought the cough drops because I've learned over the past 17 years that you don't mess with middle children. They're an interesting bunch. I'm scared of them. Although mine is as sweet as a pie, unless you forget the cough drops, or drive away from church, and leave her there, on accident, because you forgot all about her. Then she can be a bit feisty. Other than that, she's sweet as pie!

Hope you enjoy stirring it up!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Banana Nut Bread

2 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. butter or shortening
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 c. mashed very ripe bananas (about 2 bananas)
1/3 c. milk
1 t. vinegar or lemon juice
1/2 c. chopped nuts

Sift together flour, soda and salt. Cream the butter and sugar. Mix well. Add eggs and bananas and blend thoroughly. Combine the milk and lemon juice or vinegar and let it sit for about 5 minutes until it curdles a bit. Slowly and alternately fold in the milk and flour mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Blend well after each addition. Stir in the nuts. Pour batter into lavishly buttered 9x5x3" pan and bake in a preheated 35o degree oven for one hour, or until bread springs back when lightly touched in the center.

From whence it came: Someone (oh how I wish I could remember who) gave us a little cookbook called Beard on Bread for a wedding gift and this yum-e recipe came from that little book. Sadly, it's the only recipe I've ever even made from the book, but it's so good it makes the book worth having. I really need to try some of Beard's other recipes because if they're as good as this one, they're worth making.

Why it's blogable: This is my favorite banana nut bread recipe. It comes out great every least for me! My poor cute married daughter tried this recipe with questionable results...

(This is an actual picture from her blog.)
I think she was distracted when she made it and added too much sugar, if there is such a thing as too much sugar, which I guess there is when it comes to banana nut bread!

But then she tried it again later and redeemed herself!

(This is also an actual picture from her blog.)

Oh how I love this married daughter of mine. And she picked a really good sonny-in-law for me, too!

This is a good recipe. I always double it and make two, or a double recipe will make seven mini loaves. Mini loaves only take about 45 minutes to cook.

Hope you enjoy stirring it up!

Friday, May 21, 2010

We have a winner...

Drum roll please!

We have a winner for my little blog's very first giveaway...

Shannon Rae!

Shannon said if she were having her last meal this would be it:

"Oooo, Last meal. So I don't have to worry about regretting it the next day... yes!!! K, I would start with my Grandma's German pancakes topped with cooked strawberries, then have some Chicken Bellagio from Cheesecake Factory, with garlic cheese bread. And for dessert I would have pretty much anything from Extraordinary Desserts.. but I'd probably go with the triple chocolate mousse torte. Mmmmm......"

Congratulations, Shannon! I think you're wonderful and I'm very excited to bake my Almond Joy Cookies for you. Send me a message on my Facebook with your phone number so I can get the cookies to you.

By the way y'all, just in case you're wondering. Just in case it's been keeping you up at night. Just in case the suspense is killing you. Here's what I would want for my last meal...

This is kinda hard. There's a lot of good stuff to choose from...

I would want a steak from Ruth's Chris Steakhouse. (I've only been there once but it was seriously the best steak I've ever had in my life! Ever!) I'd also want a Bleu Cheese Wedge salad and some to-die-for warm bread. Oh, and Janice Luncford's creamed corn. Gotta have Janice's corn. It's sinful. Should we be thinking about being sinful if we're on our way out? Probably not, but Janice's corn is a must have last item and it is sinful so I'm pretty much gonna go out sinning! Oh, and I've just gotta wash it all down with a Diet Coke with tons and tons of ice!

Did you know I'm obsessed with ice? It's true, I crave it. I really do. My favorite is that soft ice that is in tiny pieces. If you need ice advice, I'm your gal. I can tell you where to get the best ice in town. The Spy Who Loves Me will sometimes stop on his way home just to bring me a big cup of my favorite ice, and that's when I remember why I married that man. (Below I will tell you a long and sad story, with a happy ending, about my obsession with ice.)

Anywho, where were we? Oh, we were at the most important part. Dessert! Have you ever noticed that on my blog I list the Sweet Stuff before the Main Dishes? There's a reason for that! I love dessert! It's my mom's fault. My mom is a dessert girl and she raised us kids to be dessert worshipers. When we were growing up we pretty much had dessert every single night. Every single. So, mom, thanks for the sweet tooth! Although it's a huge problem in my life, it's a yum-e one. Dessert...a box of Sees Candy. Nuts and Chews. I know what you're thinking, no way can she eat a whole box of candy. Well, you might be right, although I've never actually tried so there is a slim possibility I could do it, but if it's my last meal, and if I'm going out, I'm gonna stuff some in my pockets and bribe my way into heaven with the best candy in the whole wide world. And I'm pretty sure it will work!

Well, this was fun! My little blog's first giveaway. I realize it's just my Almond Joy Cookies. But I hope Shannon likes them, and I promise I'll post the recipe for y'all really soon.

Ice...a long sad story with a happy ending!

The morning of my married daughter's wedding last summer, The Spy Who Loves Me and I almost went into a complete frantic attack when we realized we had forgotten to pick up his suit at the dry cleaners. His navy blue suit. The one he had been strictly instructed to wear by the bride and groom. Thankfully, we realized the dry cleaners opened super early so off he went to get the suit.

The dry cleaners is in a shopping center next to a grocery store that carries my favorite ice in the whole world. The small soft kind. So because The Spy Who Loves Me is the nicest guy in the whole world, he ran into the grocery store and had them fill the biggest cup they have with my favorite ice because he knows on a day like my daughter's wedding day, I'm gonna need ice. And lots of it. What a guy! Then he came home and filled the huge Styrofoam cup with Crystal Light, put the lid on it, stuck the straw in it and presented it to me as if it were a precious gift. Because it was. I was so happy, not only to have the ice, but also to have such a nice Spy Who Loves Me. I was happy until...

I picked the Styrofoam cup up off the kitchen counter and brought it up to my lips and the entire bottom of the cup fell off, spilling Crystal Light all the way down my wedding dress. Yes, my wedding dress. I know it was really my mother-of-the-bride dress, but I like to call it my wedding dress. It makes the story so much more dramatic.

I was operating on about three hours of sleep at this point. Three hours of sleep tends to bring out either one or two of my many personalities. (They don't call me Sybil for nothin'!) The first personality would sink to the floor in dispair and have to apply cucumber slices to her eyes in order to reduce the swelling after a very long cry. That personality was no where to be seen that day. The second personality would FREAK OUT! Yes, one of my personalities is a freaker outer. It's the dominate personality. It's a problem. Anywho, for some strange and still unknown reason, that personality was no where to be seen that day either.

Instead, in one of my most proud moments, I looked at The Spy Who Loves Me and said, "I'm not going to let anything ruin this day." He looked right back at me with an expression that said, "Who are you and what have you done with my nut job of a wife?"

A little water, a blow dryer and a prayer and I was good as new. By the time we arrived for the wedding the stain had pretty much vanished. A small miracle in the life of me, but a much appreciated one!

So, there's my story about ice. I still love it!

The end.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Chocolate or Lemon Bundt decide!

1 package deep chocolate cake mix
1 4 oz. package instant chocolate pudding
½ pint sour cream
½ c. oil
½ c. warm water
4 eggs
1 12 oz. package chocolate chips
Powdered sugar to sprinkle

Mix all ingredients, except powdered sugar, until well blended. Pour into well greased Bundt pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out on serving plate. When thoroughly cooled, sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Lemon Bundt Cake

One day I was thinking about this recipe and I wondered how it would be if it were lemon. It was one of my better ideas! Just use the same recipe above except use a lemon cake mix and lemon pudding. Omit the chocolate chips.

Lemon Glaze

Mix 1 cube softened butter with 3 c. powdered sugar and 1 t. vanilla. Add enough fresh lemon juice to make it the desired consistency. I like my glaze kinda thick.

From whence it came: I got this winner of a recipe out of a cookbook put together by teachers. It is a compilation of their favorite recipes. And do you want to hear something strange? It's the only recipe I've ever made out of the cookbook. I don't know why. Nothing against teachers, I'm sure they are great cooks. I've just never tried any other recipe. This one recipe makes the entire book worth having! It's good!

Why it's blogable: This recipe is very easy to make, and it turns out great every single time. The cake is dense and moist, which is a great combination if you're a cake, not so great if you're a person. Also, it makes 24 slices, which is quite a few, so it's great to take to a potluck or party. People will ask you for the recipe, and you should share. Sharing is good!

Chocolate or Lemon?: Get ready to hear a clap of thunder from the heavens above because I'm about to say something that goes against every fiber of my being. I like the lemon better. There, I said it. I am the world's biggest lover of all things chocolate. I have yet to meet a chocolate anything that I didn't! But for some reason, I like the lemon cake better. Don't misunderstand, the chocolate is really good. Really! But there's just something about the lemon that calls out my name. And I answer! I think it's the icing that makes it so good. It's a bit tart, which is such a great combo on top of the sweet cake. I just really love this lemon cake. And it's pretty! Did I tell you it's pretty?
It is!

Hope you enjoy stirring it up!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

My First Giveaway!!!!

I'm so excited because I've been wanting to do a giveaway to thank y'all for stalking my little blog. It's brought me a lot of joy, and you are all the best stalkers a girl could ever hope for.

So, here's the deal...

Just put a comment on the blog, or on my Stirring It Up Facebook page, and tell me the answer to this morbid question. If you were offered your final meal, what would you choose?

Why am I asking something so creepy and weird?

Well, I just finished reading The Hunger Games and I LOVED IT! So, I'm thinking about death, and eating. Yeah, I know this proves I have psychological issues, but you'll just have to get over it, cause I'm never gonna be normal!

If you're too shy to share your last meal request, just write something. Anything. And you'll still be entered in the contest.

Here are the rules...

I feel so powerful being able to make up rules.

If you post on my Facebook page you will get your name entered into the contest once.

If you post on my blog under this post, you will get your name entered twice.

And if you post on both, you'll have three entries, but no more than three to a customer, please.

Whadda ya win if I draw your name?

A fresh baked batch of my Almond Joy Cookies. Sorry, it's true, I've been holding out on you. I have a cookie recipe that I haven't shared, and I'm gonna make it for the winner. And, I'm also going to give them the recipe.

This is probably my most famous and beloved cookie recipe. I used to sell these cookies (it's a long story for another time, picture me pulling a cooler through the business districts of wasn't pretty) and one guy that I sold them to called me the "crack dealer" because every time I would walk through his front door he just had to buy these cookies, just as if he were addicted to crack. He simply couldn't resist.

Only those in the good ol' US of A qualify for this giveaway because I'm not made of money, people. Shipping to Uzbekistan could break a girl!

The contest ends Thursday at 9:00 pm PST. I'll announce the winner on Friday.

(This contest will be handled in a VERY scientific manner, much like the Academy Awards and American Idol.) We will hand write your names on slips of paper and The Spy Who Loves Me will draw out the winner. If you've got a problem with that, then don't enter. Besides, I'm trustworthy. And The Spy Who Loves Me has a Top Secret Security Clearance. He's not allowed to lie and cheat, except at cards, and we can't hold that against him because it's the only way the poor man can win!

Good luck, everybody! May the best Cookie Monster win!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Slow Cooker Cheese Stuffed Meatballs


1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. ground pork
4 tablespoons fresh parmesan cheese, grated
1 to 1 1/2 cups Italian dry bread crumbs
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon fresh basil, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
4 oz. fresh mozzarella, divided into 12 pieces
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 jars of your favorite red sauce
2 pounds spaghetti, cooked al dente


In a large mixing bowl combine ground beef, ground pork, parmesan, eggs, salt, pepper, garlic, basil, parsley and dried oregano. Add bread crumbs 1/2 cup at a time until mixture is not to wet and can be formed into balls easily. Form mixture into 12 balls using your thumb to press a hole in the center. Insert a piece of the fresh mozzarella into the hole and close the hole by pushing the meatball mixture around it to secure the mozzarella inside each ball.

Heat a large saute pan over medium heat and drizzle olive oil into it. Add meatballs and cook until just browned. Using a slotted spoon, transfer meatballs into a slow cooker. Pour red sauce over the meatballs and cook on LOW for approximately 5 hours. Serve the stuffed meatballs and sauce over spaghetti.

From whence it came: The queen of yum-e...Paula Deen! Her sailor husband blogged about these and said they were his "new" favorite meatballs so I just had to try 'em! Oh Paula, you know how to make some mighty delicious meatballs. And you're funny! And you're pretty! And I love you! And you should invite me on your show! I just know we would end up being BFFs!

Why it's blogable: This recipe is as blogable as a recipe gets! I am in love with these meatballs. And it's not just me who gave them two thumbs up, the whole family loved them! I will make these again and again, and I will make them for company. And when...yes, I said when...Tim McGraw comes for dinner someday I might just make these for him. They are that good!

A few deviations: Normally when I try a new recipe I follow it exactly, and then sometimes I change some things the next time I make it. I almost did that this time, but not quite. I used two pounds of ground beef and didn't use the pork. I never buy ground pork, and I wasn't sure if I'd like it, so I stuck with what I know...beef. Also, I forgot to buy the parsley, but I don't think we missed it at all. And don't stress if some of the cheese oozes out as they cook. It just doesn't matter. Also, you know how I feel about my friend, Butch! I used his Marinara Sauce and oh baby! You can't beat Butch Cassidy's Marinara Sauce! The recipe says it feeds six, and for our family it fed six with leftovers. It makes 12 huge meatballs, we had six of us for dinner and we had five meatballs leftover. Not because they weren't good, but because they are ginormous! In a happy way!

I just have to say: Make this recipe! You won't be sorry!

Hope you enjoy stirring it up!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Mexican Chicken Casserole

3 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped
12 corn tortillas
1 can cream of celery soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
1 small can diced green chilies
1/2 chopped onion, sauteed
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
2 c. jack cheese
1 small can chopped black olives

Mix chicken, soups, chilies, sour cream and onion. Cut tortillas in half and very quickly cook in hot vegetable oil, just until soft. Layer half of tortillas in bottom of 9x13 pan. Cover with half of chicken mixture then sprinkle with half of cheese. Repeat layers again then top with olives. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes.

From whence it came: This recipe was given to me by a great gal named Linda Costa. Linda and I worked together at a bank about a million years ago. She was just a little bit older than me and I was a new bride so she took pity on me and shared this good recipe. I have totally lost touch with her, but I'm still in touch with her Mexican Chicken Casserole.

Why it's blogable: This recipe is almost as good as enchiladas but a bit easier to make. I say almost as good because you really can't beat enchiladas. My mom makes the best enchiladas ever. I'll share how she does it in a post sometime soon. But this recipe is good, too. Good enough to eat!

Here are some pics I took this very night when I made it for the fam...

Layer the cooked tortillas in the pan. You only have to cook them for about half a second. If you cook them too long they will be crispy, and that's good news if you're dipping them in salsa, but not such good news if you're using them in this casserole. You can opt to not fry the tortillas for a lazier and more healthy version. It's a little better if you fry 'em, but it's still good if you don't. I put each one on a paper towel after it comes out of the oil to get rid of as much oil as possible.

Here it is after the chicken layer. Not too pretty, but don't be discouraged. The cheese spiffs it up!

Here comes the good part...the cheese and olives. (The Spy Who Loves Me is always happy to see me use olives, except when they are on the ends of my fingers. Then he just rolls his eyes and realizes his wife is immature! And I am!)

And...drum roll is the final product...

What do you think? Looking good? Are you wondering what those little things that look like sauteed onions are on top of the casserole? Ugh! I'm busted! They're sauteed onions. I have to admit that I was tired when I was making dinner tonight, and under the influence of cookie dough, and I forgot to add the onions to the cheese mixture. So I plopped them right on top, and it was just fine. Tragedy avoided. Because not adding onions would surely be a tragedy. Onions are a cook's best friend! They add amazing flavor to almost everything, except pancakes. And cookies. And cinnamon rolls. Well, you know what I mean. Onions add amazing flavor to almost everything.

As long as I'm confessing: Alright, I will admit that I'm less than perfect. (Like you haven't all figured that out by now.) I was halfway through this recipe when I realized I didn't have any cream of celery soup, so I used cream of mushroom instead. Then I realized I didn't have any green chilies, so I ran across the park at the end of our street to my mom's house and stole a can out of her pantry. (How cool is it that my mom lives right across the park! Very cool!) The sad story doesn't end there. Next I realized there was no sour cream to be found. And my mom, whom I'd already stolen from once, is out of town, so even if she did have sour cream it would be fuzzy, and that's a problem for me. So, I didn't use the sour cream. And it was still good. Really, it was. I suggest you make this the right way, but tonight I proved that you'd have to work awfully hard to mess this recipe up.

Hope you enjoy stirring it up!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

BBQ Beef Sandwiches

Again, this is more of an idea than a recipe, but who doesn't love a good idea! Making BBQ beef sandwiches can be one of the easiest dinners ever if you do this:

You can use London Broil or a roast, whichever you prefer. I use whichever is on sale.

Put the meat in your crock pot and sprinkle it with this:

I can't believe I've waited this long to tell you how much I love Montreal Steak Seasoning. I couldn't live without it! I know I sound like a drama queen by saying that, but it's true. It is my favorite seasoning. Is sugar a seasoning? If sugar is a seasoning then Montreal Steak Seasoning is my second favorite seasoning. You can use it in so many things! Soups. Eggs. Breakfast burritos. Everything you put on the grill. Potatoes. Asparagus. Cupcakes. HA! I just snuck that one in to see if you were paying attention. Don't put it on cupcakes! Draw the line at cupcakes! You can put it on so many things, and you should! You can buy it at the grocery store but it's WAY cheaper at Costco and you're gonna want this big size once you try it.

So, getting back to our sandwiches, sprinkle the uncooked meat with Montreal Steak Seasoning. Be generous, but don't go crazy. It has a strong flavor. Oh, and it'll make your house smell fab while it's cooking.

You don't need any water in the crockpot, just the meat and seasoning.

Put on the lid and crank it to high. Let it cook until the meat falls apart and shreds easily. How long it needs to cook depends on the size of the meat. Just keep an eye on it, but if you're cooking a big roast it will probably take a good part of the day. If you're cooking it for the first time and you're not going to be home, you might want to set the crockpot to low, but if you have a big roast you should probably set it to high.

Once it's done, shred the meat. (Oh, and if there is any fat, remove it now! Fat is not our friend!) I leave in quite a bit of the juice that has cooked out because it adds great flavor and then the sandwiches aren't dry. If there's a bunch of juice you may want to take some out. I normally take the meat out of the crockpot, shred it, pour the juice into something else, add the shredded meat back into the crockpot, then pour in however much juice I want. Just do it the way you like it. Then add as much BBQ sauce as you like. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, I like KC Masterpiece Original Flavor. I've used others, but I always go back to good ol' KC.

You can serve these on hamburger buns or any type of roll you like. Ciabatta rolls work really well! What I usually do, just to make 'em extra fattening and good, is butter the buns and sprinkle them with Parmesan cheese then put them in the broiler until they are golden brown. Oh baby! (Don't broil them too long or they will burn...big time! I've burned more than my fair share of buns in my day. Not good!) Then you slap some of the meat on it, and if you want to you can add a little extra sauce to the sandwich, and prepare to have your eyes roll back into your head!

From whence it came: Me. It came from me. Because I love you. And you are very welcome!

Why it's blogable: I'm so bored with these same old reasons. Easy and good. BORING! But true! And as far as the good part goes, just ask my sonny-in-law about these sandwiches. That cute boy is somewhat obsessed with them. When I visited the cutieweds in Utah a couple of weeks ago I said I'd make whatever they wanted for dinner and these sandwiches were the top choice. And how easy is this? I cooked the meat at home, added the sauce, froze it and took it all those hundreds of miles in a cooler. When we were ready to devour it, I just warmed it up and we were set. I served it with watermelon and The World's Best Pasta Salad. And my sonny-in-law was happy, and that makes me happy, because my sonny-in-law makes my married daughter very happy, and that makes me happy!

What about The Spy Who Love Me: He really likes these, too!

Hope you enjoy stirring it up!

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Best Homemade Pizza Dough I've Ever Made and A Yummy Stromboli Recipe


* 1 teaspoon Active Dry Or Instant Yeast
* 4 cups All-purpose Flour
* 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
* ⅓ cups Extra Virgin Olive Oil


Sprinkle yeast over 1 1/2 cups warm (not lukewarm) water.
In a mixer, combine flour and salt. With the mixer running on low speed (with paddle attachment), drizzle in olive oil until combined with flour. Next, pour in yeast/water mixture and mix until just combined.

Coat a separate mixing bowl with a light drizzle of olive oil, and form the dough into a ball. Toss to coat dough in olive oil, then cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and store in the fridge until you need it. ***It’s best to make the dough at least 24 hours in advance, and 3 or 4 days is even better.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

Drizzle olive oil on a large baking sheet and use fingers to coat thoroughly. Remove HALF the pizza dough from the bowl. Stretch pizza dough into a large rectangle, pressing with fingers to finish forming. Dough will be very thin.

Lightly drizzle a little olive oil on the dough and use fingers to spread. Top with your favorite sauce, cheese and toppings.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly. Remove from pan and slice with a pizza cutter. Serve immediately!

From whence it came: I love you Pioneer Woman! You are the coolest! I found this GREAT pizza dough recipe while stalking the Pioneer Woman's website and boy am I happy I did. I am a HUGE fan of the Pioneer Woman. Please don't start stalking her blog and stop stalking mine. You have my permission to stalk us both, but please don't leave me for her. I sure would miss you! (If you do decide to stalk her, check out the pics of her husband in chaps. That's all I'm gonna say about that matter. Just do it! NOW!)

Why it's blogable: I've never had the best luck with homemade pizza dough. I've made a few recipes that were pretty good, but this one is really good. So much healthier than what you buy and it tastes so much better, too. And it was easy-schmeazy to make!

Here's the truth: I didn't actually use this recipe to make pizza, I used it to make Stromboli. I will certainly use it to make pizza in the VERY near future, but last time I made it, which was really the first time I made it, I used it to make Bri's Stromboli. I found this fabulous Stromboli recipe while stalking the blog of one of my married daughter's super chic friends. Her name is Bri and her blog
is darling.

After seeing Bri's Stromboli idea online I immediately tried it and my family went nuts. They truly went ape over it! I had been wanting to try it with the Pioneer Woman's homemade crust recipe, and I finally did. I really wondered if it would be better with the homemade crust because it was so good with the store bought stuff. Well, it really was better with the homemade recipe, and my family thought so, too. If you're in a big hurry, use the tube. I won't hold it against you, but to be honest, I think my tube buying days are behind me. This crust recipe is so easy, so much healthier, and a whole bunch cheaper. Sorry DoughBoy, I no longer need you. Yes chubby little white boy, I'm breaking up with you. You're cute, and I like your giggle, but thanks to my BFF The Pioneer Woman, you're history!

Oh yeah: To make these two "large and in charge" Stromboli's, I doubled the pizza crust recipe. (PW says it makes two crusts, but I still doubled it and it worked out great. If you only want to make one Stromboli just make the recipe as is.) I baked it at 450 for I can't remember how long. I think I set the timer for 15 minutes and then baked it for another five. Sorry about that, I should have written it down because by the time I make dinner every night my brain is as fried as a Paula Deen chicken! Just bake it until it's golden brown like the second picture below.

Oh yeah again: The Spy Who Loves Me also loves pepperoni and black olives, so because I'm a wonderful wife, I usually stuff one Stromboli with what he loves. (I only buy turkey pepperoni. I think the other stuff is greasy and gross!) Then I stuff the other one with what I love...and I love vegies! I love tomatoes, green peppers and onions! Stuff if with whatever you love, and you'll love it!

And we dipped it in Paul Newman's marinara sauce. Thanks, Butch Cassidy!

Here's a picture of my Stromboli with the homemade dough before I baked it:

Here's a picture after it came out of the oven and we sliced it:

If you love your family, and I know ya do, make this for them. Trust me, they'll love you right back...even more than they did before!

Hope you enjoy stirring it up!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Peanut Butter Chippers

1/2 c. butter
1/3 c. peanut butter
2/3 c. sugar
1/3 c. brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 t. vanilla
1 c. flour
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
2 c. Rick Krispies
1 c. chocolate chips

Cream butter, peanut butter and sugars. Add egg and vanilla. Mix until thoroughly blended. Combine flour, baking soda and salt and add to mixture. Mix well. Stir in chocolate chips and Rice Krispies. (Don't mix them too long or the Rice Krispies will turn to dust.) Drop onto greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.

From whence it came: This recipe came from a church cookbook, and in my opinion you just can't beat church cookbooks. Everyone posts their very best recipes because no one wants to be known as the person who posted that yucky recipe! Everyone, that is, except the person who in a church cookbook once posted the yuckiest meatloaf recipe of all time. I can't remember that person's name, I have blocked it from my phych-e, but whoever they are, they have a rotten meatloaf recipe on their hands! I made it years ago and barely lived to tell about it. I wrote the word YUCK in the cookbook next to the recipe so I would never make that mistake again. Anywho, a great gal who has a reputation as a fabulous cook gets the credit for this cookie recipe, and trust me, it's far from yucky. Barbara Davis is the generous soul who shared this one and when you make them you'll want to thank her personally. She and her husband, Bob, are two very kind and generous souls. I've heard from many people how good they are at reaching out and helping others. What a great thing to be known for! And then to be known as a great cook on top of it, well, that's pretty wonderful! Thanks for sharing this great recipe, Barbara. And more importantly, thanks to you and Bob for all you do for others!

Why it's blogable: People just love these cookies! The Rice Krispies are a great touch. They add a bit of crunch and with just a hint of peanut butter these cookies are super good! Today a bunch of us participated in Mormon Helping Hands, which was a service project where all the Mormons in the state of California (or at least most of us) gave four hours of service at the State Parks. Our ward painted a building at Guajome Lake Park right here in our own neighborhood. There were projects just like this one going on throughout the whole state today, and it felt good to be a part of the event. Why am I telling you this, you ask? Well, after we finished painting we had lunch and I brought these cookies and they were gobbled up before you could say lickety-split! Well, maybe before you could say lickety-split 100 times, but still, they were gobbled up fast. Go ahead and make 'em and watch 'em fly off the plate, you'll see what I'm talkin' about!

You simply must: Double the recipe! If you don't you'll be sorry and you'll be forced to get that good ol' Kitchenaid Mixer right back out and make another batch because one batch will never cut the mustard. It just won't. Double it! Oh, and I just remembered something. Years ago I doubled the recipe but didn't bake all the cookies and put some of the dough in the fridge for later. The Rice Krispies became a little soggy and the cookies weren't quite as good, so I recommend baking them all right away. And then sitting down and eating them all right away...with milk!

Hope you enjoy stirring it up!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Barbecue Chicken Salad

How silly! This really isn't a recipe, it's more of an idea or a suggestion. A really good idea and a really good suggestion. Have you ever made barbecue chicken salad? Well, if not, the time has come! It's one of my favorite things to order at a restaurant, but making it at home is just as good...maybe better...'cause it's cheaper...and you can totally pig out on it without people staring.

Here's whatcha do:

Mix as much or little of the following ingredients as you want to:


Tomatoes (I like the to use the grape ones because some of my family members don't like tomatoes and they can easily pick those little ones out)

Jack cheese (or any kind you like)

Avocado (I like lots, The Spy likes none...he's weird)

Jiciama (Makes a great crunch in the salad)

Black beans

Cilantro (It's yucky, but you can add it if you want to)

Diced red or green or yellow or orange peppers

Chopped purple or green onions

Corn (I like to cut it right off the cob without even cooking it! Yum! You can use frozen if you want to be lazy, you have my permission. You're welcome!)

Tortilla chips (Crunch 'em up a little bit)

Barbecued chicken (What I like to do is make BBQ chicken for dinner one night and make extra, then save it for a couple of days and serve it up in the salad. A big time saver!)

For the dressing you just mix your favorite ranch dressing and your favorite BBQ sauce. My favorite BBQ sauce is KC Masterpiece, original flavor. I seriously think it's the best! If you like the dressing more ranch-e, just add more ranch. If you like it more BBQ-e, just add more BBQ sauce. It's not rocket science, people. Just mix it up, stick your finger in it, give it a lick and see how it tastes. Add more ranch or add more sauce if you think it needs it.

From whence it came: My brain! I just ordered it enough times at restaurants that I decided to make my own. Like I said, it's not rocket science.

Why it's blogable: Because it's good. My teen daughter loves this salad. She gets so happy and nice when I make it for dinner. I love it when she's nice. Not to say that she isn't always nice, because she always is, except when I'm on her nerves, which is a fair amount of the time. But I'm never on her nerves when I make this salad. And even The Spy and the teen son love this. I'm pretty sure your family will, too!

Hope you enjoy stirring it up!

Cookies and Cream Ice Cream

This is all you need...
1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream
1 8oz. container Cool Whip
1 package Oreo cookies

Put the cookies in a gallon zip lock baggie and break them into small but not too small pieces. I like to whack 'em with my rolling pin. Better than therapy, and cheaper, too! Let the ice cream soften a bit then gently stir in the cool whip and cookies. Put back in freezer for at least a couple of hours. That's it!

From whence it came: My sister-in-law, Lynn, used to make this recipe. I remember the first time she made it for us, I thought the Spy Who Loves Me was going to kiss his sister right on the lips. Creepy! He stopped short of that, but he is a BIG fan of this ice cream!

Why it's blogable: Three ingredients, a bowl and a wooden spoon and when you're done you have a sweet treat that will help you win friends and influence people. This recipe is just about as easy as they come, and it's super duper yum-e!

I have a bone to pick:

Dear Ice Cream Manufacturers,

We are not idiots! We can see that you have reduced the size of your cartons and raised your prices. You are annoying and rude and if we weren't totally and completely addicted to ice cream we would boycott your product and put you out of business! Lucky for you we can't live without ice cream, or you'd be toast!


A consumer who is NOT an idiot

Oh, that reminds me, now that the ice cream containers are smaller, you may not want to add all the Oreos. You can save out one sleeve and then stick an Oreo in each bowl when you serve it. It looks a little bit fancier that way, too!

Oh yeah, and one more can use other flavors of ice cream, too. Maybe mint or mocha. Live dangerously, try something crazy!

Hope you enjoy stirring it up!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Turkey or Chicken Marinade

15 oz. soy sauce
18 oz. peanut oil
1 quart 7-up
2 T. lemon juice
1 T. horseradish
Garlic salt to taste

Blend quickly in blender until all ingredients are well mixed. Use tenderloin turkey breast, preferably cut into 1" strips. You can also use chicken tenderloins. Marinate for 8-24 hours, then grill on barbecue. (Marinade for 10-12 pounds turkey or chicken.)

From whence it came: Another big thanks to Shelley Dahlin for another great recipe! Shelley published this in a church cookbook years ago and under the title it says "Guaranteed to be a hit" and it really is!

Why it's blogable: The ingredients for this marinade are "unusual" but seriously a great combination. Every time I have made this people have loved it and asked for the recipe. I have never made it with turkey, I've only used chicken, but I know Shelley really prefers to use the turkey tenderloins. Trust me, it's good either way. You can cut the recipe in half if you don't need to marinate that much meat. I just put the meat and marinade in a zip-lock bag and put it in the fridge. I always put the chicken tenders on wooden skewers before putting them on the grill. I think it just makes it easier to cook and it looks cool when you serve it that way.

Just an idea: You could serve it with one of Shelley's other great recipe, The World's Best Pasta Salad. You could also serve it with Campfire Potatoes. This recipe is a real crowd pleaser!

Hope you enjoy stirring it up!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Campfire Potatoes


* 5 medium potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
* 1 medium onion, sliced
* 6 tablespoons butter
* 1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
* 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
* 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
* Salt and pepper to taste
* 1/3 cup chicken broth


* Place the potatoes and onion on a large piece of heavy-duty foil (about 20 in. x 20 in.); dot with butter. Combine the cheese, parsley, worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper; sprinkle over potatoes.

* Fold foil up around potatoes and add broth. Seal the edges of foil well. Grill, covered, over medium heat for 35-40 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Yield: 4-6 servings.

From whence it came: I don't think I've ever mentioned Taste of Home magazine on my little blog. Well the time has come to tell you that I love Taste of Home! I found this super great recipe in a Taste of Home magazine years ago and it instantly became a family favorite. If you've never checked out Taste of Home, you must! The recipes are so good and not weird like some of those magazines that have all that fancy yucky silly food in them. I'm happy to finally give Taste of Home the props it deserves!

Why it's blogable: Every time I've made this recipe people have loved it! These potatoes have a great flavor and cooking outdoors is always fun. I have a terrific marinade recipe that I will share with you soon, and if you make that chicken and these potatoes your family will carry you around on their shoulders as if you'd just scored the winning touchdown in in the Superbowl! You'll be a hero for sure. I'll post the marinade recipe tomorrow so you can try it out this weekend if you want to. Hey, here's a great idea...get the hubby and kidlets to barbecue for y'all this weekend for Mother's Day. Pick out a few simple recipes and let them go to town while you take a drooling nap. Don't you just love to take a drooling nap on a Sunday afternoon? You know, the kind where you're so out of it that you wake up and realize to your horror...and delight...that you actually drooled! Look for the marinade recipe tomorrow. Weird ingredients, fabulous flavor! I promise!

Hope you enjoy stirring it up!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Strawberry Layered Dessert

Bottom layer:

Mix one white or yellow cake mix according to package directions. Divide mixture into two greased 9x13 pans. Bake 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees.

Middle layer:

Mix 8 oz. softened cream cheese and 2 c. powdered sugar until well blended. Fold in 12 oz. Cool Whip. Divide in half and spread over cooled cake layers.

Top layer:

Slice two baskets of strawberries and mix with one 13 oz. container of strawberry glaze. Spread over cream cheese layer. (You need two baskets of strawberries and 1 container of glaze for each pan.)

Chill for two hours then slice, serve and enjoy!

From whence it came: This great recipe is another one from my wonderful friend, JoDee Glazier. She's the one who shared that great tortilla soup recipe with us, too. And someday soon I will share JoDee's pasta salad recipe with you, and you will thank me (and JoDee) until the cows come home, because it's one of the best pasta salads I've ever ever had! JoDee, you are so nice to share your yum-e recipes. And you're so nice in every other way, too!

Why it's blogable: This recipe is just as pretty as it is delicious! It's very light and perfect for a springtime or summer dessert. I made 18...yep, 18...of these puppies this past weekend for a wedding. If you're thinking that's crazy, you're almost right. Actually, it wasn't all that bad. I made the cakes a couple of weekends ago and put them in the freezer. Then, on the morning of the wedding my amazing, fabulous, wonderful mom helped slice the 36...yep, 36...baskets of strawberries. It was worth the work, because they looked really pretty and tasted really good!

A HUMONGOUS shout out: Us Andersons have the world's most fabulous friends! In the friend department, we are abundantly blessed! There's a group of us who all pitch in and help each other through life's most wonderful moments, and sometimes during life's most difficult moments. Some of life's most wonderful moments are the weddings of our children. Last July my dessert eating daughter from San Diego married a meat eating boy from Chicago and the world's most fabulous friends all swooped in to help us pull of a fairytale day and night! I'll forever and ever be grateful to every single one of them. This past weekend we all gathered together to do the same for our beloved friends, the Halls, and it was so much fun. At one point of the evening I was helping out in the kitchen...shocker, I know, Pam in the kitchen...and I was looking at about a million 10 pound cans and one very small can opener. Well, maybe not quite a million, but at least five, and just one small can opener. Then, who do you think would appear? My new BFF, VJ Bitton. Yep, VJ Bitton is my new BFF. I said, "VJ, if you open these cans for me you will be my new BFF and I will tell the entire world about it on my blog." (That would only be true if the entire world read my blog, but in my mind and dreams the entire world does, so it's sort of true.)

Let me take a second to tell you about Grace and VJ Bitton. Who am I kidding, it would take hours to tell you about Grace and VJ Bitton. They are truly the best of the best! Grace worked her magic on the reception this past weekend, and the result...magical! VJ opened my cans, and did a boatload of other things to help make the night oh so memorable. Speaking of boats, last summer Grace and VJ took our family out in Oceanside Harbor on their super cool and super speedy boat and helped us create a fabulous memory.

I hope each of you find yourselves surrounded by friends such as these. I've said it before...friends, family and food! It just doesn't get any better than that!

Hope you enjoy stirring it up!