Friday, July 30, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

1 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. cinnamon
1 c. butter (softened)
3/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
3 c. oats
2 c. chocolate chips

Cream butter and sugars the add eggs and vanilla.  Mix in dry ingredients.  Stir in chocolate chips.

Spread mixture into greased 15x10" sheet pan and bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.

From whence it came:  Here's another great recipe from the mom of The Spy Who Love Me.  I love my mother-in-law!  She is just as sweet as these cookies.  Thanks for the great recipe, Helen!

Why it's blogable:  Bar cookies are almost always a little bit easier and quicker than regular cookies because you just spread 'em out in the pan and that's that.  Don't be deceived...just because this recipe is easy doesn't mean it's any less yum-e!  My teen daughter just loves and adores these cookies.  They are one of her very favorites of all time.  I love them cold.  I think they taste great when they are refrigerated, but they're pretty good no matter what ya do with them.

Click here to get the printable:
Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Hope you enjoy stirring it up!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

My Mother-In-Law's Meat Loaf

1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
1 c. soft bread crumbs
1 egg
1 1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1/2 8 oz. can tomato sauce

Mix all together then form into loaf and pour sauce below over meatloaf.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

1 c. water
3 T. brown sugar
3 T. vinegar
2 T. mustard
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 8 oz. cans tomato sauce

From whence it came:  You really don't know?  Read the title again.  Yep, this recipe came from the mother of The Spy Who Loves Me.  She was a really good cook back in the day.  Back in the day when she fed six kiddies and a husband seven nights a week.  That's right, she cooked seven nights a week.  Well, I guess technically you could say six nights a week.  Every Wednesday night in their house was leftover night.  They would eat all the leftovers from previous meals every Wednesday night.  Maybe that's why The Spy isn't a big fan of leftovers.  Maybe he was leftovered out as a child.  Either way, his mom qualifies for a Stepford Wife Award for cooking six slash seven nights a week. 

Why it's blogable:  It's my favorite meatloaf recipe.  Actually, it's my only meatloaf recipe!  When you have a good one why would you look for another?  You wouldn't.  I didn't!  So I just have this one.  And it's good!

A story that still gets my panties in a twist:  Way back when, many many moons ago, when The Spy and I had only been married a very short while, I decided to make his mom's meatloaf.  I worked so hard on that little loaf of meat.  I followed the recipe perfectly and placed it on a pretty crystal platter for presentation.  I was trying so hard to be a Stepford Wife myself.  When I placed the beautiful loaf of meat on the table, The Spy said these exact words...these are the exact words...they are burned into my psyche forever and always...he said, "My mom always put little potatoes around the meatloaf."

That was a very bad night for The Spy!  And he has continued to hear me regurgitate that story to anyone who will listen for the past twenty-eight plus years.  He has since learned to never ever ever say the words, "My mother" before telling me how to do things.  And it's a good thing he has!

Click here to get the printable:
My Mother-In-Law's Meatloaf

Hope you enjoy stirring it up!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Taco Meatball Subs

1 package taco seasoning
(or 1/4 cup if you have a big container like me)
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
2 T. plain dry bread crumbs
1 T. oil
1 14oz. can crushed tomatoes, undrained
8 lettuce leaves
8 hot dog buns or sandwich rolls
Your favorite taco toppings such as shredded cheese, sour cream and guacamole

Combine 1 T. taco seasoning, beef and bread crumbs; shape into 24 balls. Heat oil over medium high heat and brown meatballs; drain if desired. Stir in tomatoes and remaining taco seasoning. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer covered, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until meatballs are fully cooked.

To serve, arrange lettuce, then meatballs on buns. Spoon sauce over meatballs, then top with your favorite taco toppings.

From whence it came: I clipped this yum-e recipe out of a magazine while waiting in the beauty parlor while my mother-in-law was having her hair cut. Is that wrong? You know, now that I think about it, it's very wrong! Just last week I was with my teen daughter at the doctor and we saw this adorable watermelon cake on the front of a magazine. I flipped through the pages inside to check out the recipe (and possibly steal if for myself) only to discover that it had already been stolen! So, the conclusion I have come to is that it is wrong to take recipes from the magazines in beauty parlors and doctor's offices...unless you are me. Then it is fine!  (By the way, this is the only recipe I've ever really ripped from a magazine that didn't belong to me!) That's my story and I'm stickin' to it!

Why it's blogable: By now you should know that I am a lover of meat that has been shaped into balls! Italian! Mexican! I don't care...I love 'em all. One of my favorite recipes on this blog is Slow Cooker Cheese Stuffed Meatballs!  Thank you Paula Deen!  That gal knows how to make a mean meatball!  These sandwiches are really good!  My whole family likes 'em!  I feel pretty sure yours will, too!

Click here to get the printable:
Taco Meatball Subs

Hope you enjoy stirring it up!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Kerinda's Lemon Bread

1/2 C. shortening or margarine
1 C. sugar
2 eggs
1/2 C. milk
1 1/2 C. flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
Rind of 1 lemon, grated
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 C. sugar

Cream together shortening or margarine and the sugar.  Add eggs and milk and blend well.  Add dry ingredients, then grated lemon rind.  Pour into a greased 8x4 loaf pan.  Bake at 300 degrees for 60 minutes or until done.  Mix the lemon juice and sugar together and pour over the hot bread in the pan.  Take out of pan when cooled.

From whence it came:  Kerinda gets another pat on the back for giving us another great recipe!  The first time I tried this bread I begged and pleaded for her to give me the recipe.  I didn't have to beg too long, she's pretty nice, she agreed to share pretty quickly.  I have no idea why it took me so long to share it with y'all.  But now that I have, you're gonna be glad I did!

Why it's blogable:  I am a fan of lemon stuff!  Remember when I told you how much I love the Lemon Bundt Cake?  Even more than the chocolate bundt cake?  There's just something about the combination of lemon and sugar (as in lemonade) that makes me smile.  And eat!  Too much!  Lemon desserts always seem to be lite and I always seem to eat too much.  But that brings us to the question...can you have too much of a good thing?  Not when it comes to this lemon bread!

Click here to get the printable:
Lemon Bread

Hope you enjoy stirring it up!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Taco Salad

The other night I used leftover taco meat to make a yum-e taco salad.  The Spy Who Loves Me loved it!  This is what I did:

I had leftover taco meat, but if you don't, brown 1 lb. ground beef and add 1 package taco seasoning and about 3/4 c. water.  Simmer until water is absorbed.  Us Andersons are a taco lovin' family so I always buy the big container of seasoning at Costco.  Much cheaper!
Also, I like the meat to be cold or room temp in the salad.  Warm meat makes wilted lettuce.  Yuck!

I used the following ingredients in the salad I made.  You can use as much or as little of the following as suits your fancy:

Romain lettuce
Taco Meat
Cheddar Cheese
Chopped yellow, orange and red peppers
Fresh white corn, cut right off the cob, not even cooked
Avocado, the more the better
Tortilla chips, crushed just a little bit

For the dressing I mixed ranch salad dressing and salsa.  Then I tossed the salad, sprinkled on crushed tortilla chips and served it up.  The Spy said the words "tasty" and "great" while eating the salad, and he said thank you more than once.  

You should toss up one of these delicious salads this summer. 

Hope you enjoy stirring it up!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Baby Food Prune Cake

Mix together in bowl:
1 3/4 c. flour
1/4 t. ground cloves
1 c. sugar
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
2 eggs
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
1 c. vegetable oil
2 small jars strained prunes (plums may be substituted)

Mix thoroughly and bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes in greased 9x9" pan.  For topping, use whipping cream, powdered sugar or cream cheese frosting.

From whence it came:  Here's another great recipe that came from a church bulletin.  I still have the original bulletin, but there's no name on it so I can't give anyone credit. 

Dear person who posted this crazy slash fabulous recipe in the church bulletin all those years ago...Thank you!

Why it's blogable:  Although it's quite possibly one of the weirdest titled recipes of all time, it's delicious!  It is very much like a spice cake, but the baby food prunes make it super moist.  And, it's so fun to make it and then have people go crazy for it and then tell them what's in it.  Everyone is always shocked to find out the "secret weapon" in this cake. 

Why I'm posting it now:  I've been saving this wonderful recipe for just the right time, and now, today, this very minute is just the right time.  I've been thinking about my Funfetti post.  I've been thinking about my daughter's Funfetti issues.  Basically, I've just been thinking about cake.  I like thinking about cake.  And cookies.  Thinking of cake and cookies is a favorite activity of mine.

I was thinking about all my favorite cake recipes and I just knew it was time to post this one.  This week my baby girl became an adult.  Yesterday I took her to the doctor and when they needed to have a form signed, she signed it herself!  Herself!  She didn't need her mommy to sign it for her.  I was devestated.  From here on out life will be full of things that she no longer needs her mommy for.  Being needed is a very important part of my psyche.  Quite possibly the biggest part.  I'm going to need some therapy.  And cookies.  Lots of cookies!  Forget the therapy, the cookies should do the trick.

As if that milestone wasn't enough, just a week or so before that, I turned half a century old.  That's old.  I've come to the time in my life when I have to decide if the risk of buying green bananas is too great.  I've come to a time in my life when I no longer spend time on the baby diaper aisle at Super Walmart, but soon I may find my self spending time on the adult diaper aisle.  Soon!  I've come to the time in my life when I may need to add the word "prunes" to my grocery list.  Remember when I told you about the grandparents of The Spy Who Loves Me?  They were all about prunes!

Are you beginning to see how my twisted mind works?  First I think about my baby girl becoming an adult, then I think about my oldness, which makes me think about prunes, which makes me remember this great recipe!  Wha-la! 

Make this recipe, guys!  Don't be afraid!  It's yum-e!

Click here to get the printable:
Baby Food Prune Cake

Hope you enjoy stirring it up!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Pathetic! Truly pathetic!

My two girls are pathetic!  You might think it unkind for me to say so, but when it comes to picking a birthday cake flavor, they stink.  Both of them.  Stinky stink stink!

My teen daughter (the middle child) officially became an adult yesterday.  She broke my heart by doing it.  She was supposed to remain my baby girl forever and always but she insisted on growing up.  The nerve!

I always ask my kids, "What kind of cake do you want for your birthday?"  Yes, it's true, I'm a giver!  I'm willing to make whatever kind of birthday cake they want.  Now keep in mind that these children of mine have a mother who has a cooking and baking blog.  (Mostly baking.  I'm not really all that interested in recipes that have protein.  I only post those to humor those people who insist on eating meals with dessert and not just dessert.)  So, keeping that in mind, that their mother has a baking blog, you would think these so called children of mine would ask for something wonderful.  Something totally from scratch.  Something that DOES NOT COME OUT OF A BOX!  Can you tell that my blood pressure is more than slightly elevated over this situation?

So, this girlie of mine picked the same annoying cake her sister always picks.  The same cake they have picked over and over for way too many years.  Are you ready for this.  I can barely stand to type the words...

"Mom, I want a Funfetti Cake!"
And, to add insult to injury, they both love the frosting in a can!  IN A CAN!  Canned frosting is even worse than a boxed cake mix.  I am not completely opposed to boxed cake mixes.  But I am absolutely and totally opposed (violently so) to canned frosting!  

I said to that girl of mine, "WHAT?  Are you nuts?  You are nuts!  Please don't tell me you want a cake that comes from a box at Super Walmart."  Nothing against Super Walmart.  You know I love that place more than my luggage!  That being said, I do not want to bake a "Funfetti" cake in celebration of the anniversary of one of the happiest days of my entire life.  That being the day that teeny tiny baby girl was put in my arms (after days and days of labor, but who remembers any of that?  Obviously I do!)

Her older, married sister, has set a very poor example in this regard.  She is the one who started this ridiculous "Funfetti" problem and now it's running rampant through the family.  I'm overjoyed to report that my baby boy (who will be 16 years old next month) has not yet let his sister's terrible habits rub off on him.  He was present when I was dealing with the "Funfetti" extravaganza and heard all my whining and moaning.  Do you want to know why I love that boy so very much?  I said to him in my moment of dispair, "What kind of cake do you want for your birthday next month?  Please oh please don't let the word Funfetti be in your answer by darling boy."

Wanna know what he said?  Wanna know why he's my favorite?  (Don't tell the sisters I said that.  They already know but it would be painful for them to read it on my blog.)  He said, "I want coconut cupcakes!"  That, my friends, is why that child is on my oh-so-very-good list!  Coconut cupcakes.  Not only from scratch, but a recipe that requires buying ingredients that I don't normally have on hand, and separating eggs and beating the egg whites.  Just typing that made me feel so much better.

I'd love to share the recipe with y'all, but it belongs to my friend Kerinda, and she actually sells this cake.  I don't agree with the concept of not sharing recipes, unless the recipe in question is helping you make some cold hard cash.  In that case, I say keep it to yourself and cash in!

So, the moral of the story is...I have no idea!  Well, maybe the moral is that no matter how hard you try to be the best cooking slash baking mommy in the world, there's a chance one or more of your kids is gonna make a really horrible choice at one time or another.  Like picking Funfetti!

P.S.  I hope her birthday wish included wishing for a new cake flavor next year!

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Best Carrot Cake Recipe of All Time

2 1/2 c. flour
1 c. white sugar
1 c. brown sugar
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
2 t. cinnamon
2 c. grated carrots
1 c. chopped walnuts
1 c. vegetable oil
1 t. vanilla
1 small can crushed pineapple, juice and all
3 eggs

Place dry ingredients in large bowl, mix with wire wisk.  Add other ingredients and mix well.

Bake in greased and floured 9x13 pan at 325 degrees for 1 hour.

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 cube softened butter
1 8 oz. block cream cheese, softened
2 t. vanilla
1 box powdered sugar
Cream butter, cream cheese and vanilla.  Add powdered sugar and mix until combined and smooth.  Spread over cooled cake.

From whence it came:  This recipe was published in a church bulletin by a great gal named Debbie Askar.  I haven't seen Debbie for many years, but I feel so blessed to know her and her fabulous family.  She is a great person, and so sweet to share this amazing recipe with all of us!

Why it's blogable:  Because it's the best carrot cake I have ever eaten! I am a fan of carrot cake, and by far, this one takes the number one slot.  It has a dense consistency and it's so moist.  And as if that wasn't enough, you top it with this cream cheese frosting recipe and your taste buds will scream with delight.  When my daughter was married almost a year ago I made four different flavors of cake, and this was one of them.  And it was a hit!  Try it if you're in the mood to hit a dessert home run!

Click here to get the printable:

Hope you enjoy stirring it up!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Chicken Parmesan

5-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 block grated mozzarella cheese
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
1 jar marinara sauce

Lay the thawed chicken out in a 9x13 pan.  Cover with grated mozzarella then tomato sauce.  Sprinkle grated Parmesan over the top.  Bake at 375 for 30 to 40 minutes.

From whence it came:  A wonderful gal named Rowena gets the credit for this recipe.  And she deserves a lot of credit, because it's so so good!  Rowena served this recipe at her daughter's wedding reception a year or so ago and we all just loved it.  Because Rowena is so generous, she shared it with us and now I'm sharing it with you.  Thanks for the super simple and super yum-e recipe, Rowena!

Why it's blogable:
  When an entire gang of wedding guests is in love with a recipe, it's certainly blogable.  And, look how super simple this recipe is, and it's pretty healthy, too!  What's not to love?  It's truly love at first bite.  I promise!

A few tips from Janice:  Because Rowena was very busy fulfilling her role as mother of the bride on that special day, she had our great friend and super amazing cook, Janice, prepare and bake the chicken for her.  Here are a few tips in Janice's words:  "Rowena gave me boneless chicken breast halves which I skinned and cut into thirds. There was enough mozzarella to completely cover the chicken in the pan. The tomato sauce was Marinara sauce and the Parmesan was fresh. The ingredients she gave me filled two half sheet pans. I had 15 lbs of frozen boneless chicken breasts, 2 big blocks of mozzarella, four jars of organic Marinara sauce, and a sandwich size baggie full of the freshly grated Parmesan (her kids took care of that part). I cooked it about 50 minutes because I had so much of it in the oven. It was about 30 minutes from my oven to the reception table which I think helped "set" everything."

Click here to get the printable:

Hope you enjoy stirring it up!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Rice Krispie-Peanut Butter Treats

1 c. Karo syrup
1 c. sugar
1 c. peanut butter
6 c. Rice Krispies
1 c. butterscotch chips
1 c. chocolate chips

Mix Karo and sugar together in medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and boil 1 minute. Remove from heat. Add peanut butter, mix well. Pour over cereal. Flatten into lightly greased 9 x 13 inch pan. Melt butterscotch and chocolate pieces together over low heat or in microwave, stirring after each minute. Spread over treats. Cut when cool.

From whence it came:  Google!  I just love Google, don't you?  A friend of ours named Brett McNamara (AKA The Miracle Man) makes cookies very similar to these and they are fabulous so I did a Google search and came up with this super yum-e recipe!  Why The Miracle Man, you ask?  Well, Brett truly is a walking miracle.  Two years ago he was in a terrible boating accident.  He came about as close to death as a person can without leaving this earth.  Through the love of his fabulous family and the prayers of so many people who adore him, he was healed by what can only be called a true miracle, and now every time I see him I say to myself, "There's the miracle man."  And he truly is!

Why it's blogable:  I know.  I know.  This is not an original recipe.  Lots and lots of people already have this recipe or a recipe very similar to it.  But just in case you don't, I needed to post it so that now you do.  My kids just go crazy for these cookies.  The married daughter and sonny-in-law have been known to eat almost a whole pan of them in one sitting.  My teen son skips and screams with joy when he sees me making these.  (He's gonna murder me in my sleep for saying that!  He doesn't really skip or scream, but I feel sure he wants to and has to strongly resist.)  Even my very cool and stoic teen daughter gets a bit giddy when I stir up a batch of these puppies.  And The Spy, he's a big fan, too!  

A little variation:  Some people use Special K cereal when making these cookies.  They are good that way, too.  I always use Rice Krispies.  No reason, I just do.

Hope you enjoy stirring it up!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Almond Joy Cookies

2 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
¼ t. salt
2 sticks butter, softened
¾ c. packed light brown sugar
¾ c. sugar
2 large eggs
2 t. vanilla
1 t. almond extract  (I never use this, I don't like the flavor of it!)
2 c. shredded coconut
2 c. semisweet chocolate chips
1 ½ c. roasted almonds, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Cream butter and sugars then add eggs and vanilla.  Blend in flour, soda and salt.  Add coconut, chocolate chips and almonds.  Drop dough by rounded tablespoons 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake 18-20 minutes, or until set. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.  (Who is she kidding?  It makes about 2 ½ dozen…that’s why I always double the recipe.)

From whence it came: 
I don't want to tell you.  I really don't!  I want to say that I made up this recipe because it is one of the best cookie recipes of all time and I want to take all the credit.  But I am just too honest for my own good.  So I have to admit that I found this in a Mrs. Fields Cookbook.  It pained me to type that last sentence.  How could someone so skinny make up such a great recipe?  It bothers me that Mrs. Fields has become ridiculously rich making cookies and she is still skinny!  Sometimes life just isn't fair!

Why it's blogable:  Do you remember when I had my first giveaway a while back?  These were the cookies that I made for my very first giveaway.  That should tell you how great they are!  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.

Why now:  I decided to post this recipe today because today is my 50th birthday and I wanted to celebrate by giving all of you this divine cookie recipe.  You deserve a gift.  You have made me happy by stalking my blog.  You have brought joy to my life by trying my recipes.  So to say thanks, here's a recipe you simply must try.

Hope you enjoy stirring it up!