Saturday, November 29, 2008

Busy Day Pumpkin Dessert

This is a great alternative to traditional pumpkin pie for the holidays and smells heavenly while it's baking. I got this recipe from my friend, Trena in Fergus Falls. I love getting to see her when we go back for Annual Conventions. This recipe makes me think of her and maybe that's why I like it even more. :o)

30 oz can of complete pumpkin pie filling
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
12 oz can of evaporated milk
1 box of yellow cake mix
1 cup melted butter
1 cup chopped pecans

Heat oven to 350. Mix first four ingredients and pour into greased 9x13 pan. Sprinkle dry cake mix over the pumpkin. Drizzle melted butter over the cake mix and top with pecans. Bake 60-75 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

Serve warm or cold with ice cream or whipped cream.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Streusel-Topped Pumpkin Pie

Zack, Andy and I love pumpkin pie. This one is our favorite. I make it every Thanksgiving and perhaps for Christmas. One year, Zack requested it for his birthday (in April).

1 (15oz) can pumpkin
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 egg
1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp each ginger, nutmeg, and salt
1 graham cracker crust
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp flour
2 Tbsp cold butter or margarine
3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

1. Preheat oven to 425. Combine pumpkin, condensed milk, egg, 3/4 tsp cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Mix well. Pour into crust.

2. Bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven to 350.

3. Combine sugar, flour and remaining 1/2 tsp cinnamon; cut in butter until crumbly. Stir in nuts. Sprinkle strusel mixture over pie.

4. Bake 40 minutes or until set. Serve warm, or at room temperature. Refridgerate leftovers.

Cranberry Sauce

While we lived in Fergus Falls, we spent a Thanksgiving with our friends the Undseths. Lois made this wonderful cranberry sauce that I have made every Thanksgiving and Christmas since.

12 oz fresh cranberries

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/3 cup fresh orange juice

1/3 cup cranberry juice

finely grated zest of one orange

3/4 cup dried cherries or cran-cherries

Pick through cranberries. Rinse and drain well. Combine cranberries, sugar, juices and zest. Place over medium heat. Boil slowly until berries burst, about 10 minutes. Skim foam off surface with metal spoon. Stir in cherries. Let cool to room temperature. Cover and refridgerate. Will last up to one month.

Cranberry Orange Nut Bread

This is my great-grandmother's recipe for cranberry-orange nut bread. It is a bit more work than other quick breads, but it's flavor and sentimentality is worth it.

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

Sift this together in a large bowl.

Cut in 1/4 cup shortening

Add 1 egg, 3/4 cup orange juice, 1 Tbsp grated orange rind.

Stir in 1/2 cup chopped nuts, 1 1/2 cup chopped fresh cranberries.

Bake at 350 for 1 hour in a greased and sugared bread pan.

Monday, November 24, 2008

See's Fudge

My parents got this recipe years ago from a little old lady that they delivered firewood to. The legend goes that she had asked See's Candies if they could send her their fudge recipe. They did, along with a bill for $350. She paid the bill and then gave the recipe to everyone she knew. I have no idea if any of it is true, but it is the best and easiest fudge recipe I have ever made.

Melt 1 12oz bag of chocolate chips with 1 stick of butter in a large bowl in the microwave for 45 to 60 seconds. Stir until smooth.

Sift 4 cups of powdered sugar into a large mixing bowl. Whisk in 2 beaten eggs (or 1/2 cup pastureized egg product) and 1 tsp vanilla until very smooth.

Pour chocolate mixture into sugar mixture and mix well.

Pour into buttered 8x8 baking pan. Score when soft. Place in fridge. Cut when firm.


Rocky Road: stir in mini-marshmallows and chopped walnuts
Snoball: stir in mini-marshmallows
Mint: use mint flavored chocolate chips or peppermint extract instead of vanilla

Snoball Fudge: our favorite

plain fudge

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Campfire Brownies

This is a recipe that you can make with any brownie. We like them best with my brownie recipe ( ), but it's good with ALL brownies.

All you need to do is place cut brownies on a cookie sheet and top with mini marshmallows.

Place in oven on broil until marshmallows and golden a toasty. Watch them very carefully, they burn quickly!

Serve them immediately with a glass of cold milk.

Orange Biscotti

This might be my personal favorite Christmas cookie. I love the orange flavor with the dark chocolate drizzle on it. This year I even used extra dark chocolate chips. Mmmmmmm! They are perfect with a cup of hot cocoa with or without whipped cream.

2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp grated orange peel
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Heat oven to 350. Beat sugar, oil, orange peel, vanilla and eggs in large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients. Turn dough on lightly floured surface; knead until smooth.

Shape half the dough at a time into rectangle, 10x3 inches, on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on cookie sheet for 15 minutes.

Cut crosswise into 1/2" slices. Turn cut sides down on cookie sheet. Bake about 15-20 minutes, turning once, until crisp and light brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet and cool on rack.

Drizzle or dip in melted chocolate. (1 cup chips with 1 tbsp shortening) Chill until firm.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Gingerbread Cookies

These are another Christmas cookie tradition at our house. The boys help decorate them every year, but this is the first year they haven't quit before they're all done and mom has to finish the rest by myself. They did a good job and were definitely more creative this year than most!

4 1/2 cups flour
1 tbsp cinnamon
2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
1 1/4 tsp baking soda

Mix together in large bowl.

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 cup molasses

Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, then add molasses.

Slowly mix in flour mixture.

Divide dough in half, flatten into large pancakes, and cover with plastic wrap. Chill at least 2 hours. (if it is too stiff to roll, let it sit out for 10 minutes)

Roll on floured surface and cut into desired shapes with cutters.

Bake at 350 on greased cookie sheets for 9 to 10 minutes, or until light brown.

Decorate when cooled.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Mexican Wedding Cakes

I have had these cookies ever since I was a kid. My mom called them Russian Teacakes. One year the boys and I were studying Christmas in Mexico and found a recipe for Mexican Wedding Cakes. It was the same recipe! But we have stuck with the new name ever since.

1 cup butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
powdered sugar for rolling

Mix sugar, butter and vanilla. Stir in flour, salt and nuts. Shape into 1" balls. Bake at 400 for 8-9 minutes, until set but not brown. Roll in sifted powdered sugar while still hot. Cool. (they will be sticky) Roll again in more sifted powdered sugar.

after the first roll

after the second roll

Chocolate Dipped Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies are Chris' absolute favorite cookie! But they just didn't seem special enough for Christmas.

How do you make something ordinary into something special? Dip it in chocolate!

Just make your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe and let them cool.

Melt 1 cup of chocolate chips with 1 tbsp shortening in the microwave.

Dip one-half of the cookie into the chocolate and lay it on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.

At this point, you can put sprinkles in the chocolate to make them more Christmas-y.

Place tray in the fridge to set the chocolate.

Remove from tray and store in fridge.

Cookie Stamp Cookies

We have made these every Christmas since I was pregnant with Andy. That year I went to a class with my sister Theresa and made cookie stamps. (only 1 has survived)

We have made them with colored dough or colored sugar. Either way is easy and fun! The boys help with these every year.

1 cup softened butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp almond extract
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups flour
Brush stamp with oil. Let sit on paper towel.
Cream butter and sugar. Add extract. Add salt and flour. Mix well. Roll into 1" balls, roll in sugar. Stamp immediately on cookie sheet. (don't press too hard) You could also use the bottom of a glass to press the cookies.

Bake at 325 for 12-15 minutes.

Pumpkin Muffins

I got this recipe over 10 years ago when Zack was in preschool. They made them as a class and the teacher sent everyone home with the recipe. They are great for a fall breakfast or snack, as well as a nice dessert when topped with homemade maple flavored cream cheese icing. Mmmmm!
Andy helped me make these, and they turned out great!

1/2 cup margarine or butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup pumpkin
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
3 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350

2. Cream butter and sugar

3. Stir in pumpkin, milk, eggs and vanilla
4. Add other ingredients and stir

5. Bake 15-20 minutes

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Southern Peach Yam Bake

This is one of the BEST Thanksgiving recipes I have ever had or made. It's pretty sweet, so it's more like a dessert you get to eat for dinner. :o) Sometimes I think it is even better than pumpkin pie.

2 large cans yams, drained well
1 large can peaches, drained well

Pour into glass baking dish.

1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts)

Mix first 3 ingredients. Cut in butter. Add nuts. Sprinkle over yams and peaches.

Bake at 350 for 35 minutes.

Remove from oven and turn to broil.

Sprinkle top with 1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows.

Broil until marshmallows are a light golden brown.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Butterscotch Brownies

I love making these cookies. I always have the ingredients on hand and they are super fast and easy to make. Just be sure to cut them while they are still warm.

1/4 cup melted shortening or vegetable oil

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

3/4 cup flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup chopped nuts (opt)

Heat oven to 350. Mix first four ingredients. Stir in remaining ingredients. Spread in greased 8x8 baking pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cut while warm.

Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

This is one of our favorite meals and I often make it for company. Someone at our church brought it to us when Andy was born and we have made it MANY times since.


1 can cream of chicken soup

8 oz sour cream

4 oz can of green chilis or jalapenos (use to taste)

Mix into sauce


2 shredded chicken breasts

1/2 cup chopped onion

2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar

Mix and add a little sauce to moisten.

Spread some sauce in a baking pan to cover bottom. Reserve some sauce for the top. Roll the filling into 12 flour tortillas. Place them seam side down in baking pan. Spread remaining sauce on top of rolls and sprinkle with some more cheddar.

Bake, covered, at 350 for about 30 minutes or until bubbly and heated through.

Cheesy Chicken Chowder

This is a quick and easy soup that is filling enough for dinner and is great with corn muffins!

1 cup frozen brocolli

1 cup frozen corn

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup chopped onion

1/2 tsp thyme

2 cups milk

1 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken

1 can cream of potato soup

3/4 cup shredded cheddar

black pepper to taste

1/4 cup shredded cheddar

Bring brocolli, corn, onion, water and thyme to a boil. Cover and simmer 8-10 minutes. Stir in milk, meat, soup, cheese and pepper. Cook and stir over medium heat until heated through. Serve and sprinkle with cheese.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Crab and Corn Chowder

I sort of made this one up based on some recipes I read and my baked potato soup recipe, but Andy LOVED it and said it was the best thing I had ever made out of crab!
By the way, the rest of us liked it, too!

2 cups frozen Southern-style hashbrown potatoes
1/2 cup frozen corn
1 cup real crab meat
3 slices of cooked and crumbled bacon

Cover with a bit of water and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until heated through, about 5 minutes.

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup sliced green onion
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp Old Bay, or to taste
4 cups milk

Melt butter in large pot. Saute onion for 1 minute. Add flour and Old Bay. Add milk all at once and whisk until smooth. Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly.

Add crab and corn mixture to milk mixture. Stir well and heat through well.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Candied Acorn Squash

I love having squash in the fall! This recipe is pretty sweet, but you can use less sugar to make it less so. But why would you want to do that? :o) It also works with any winter squash.

1 acorn squash
1/4 cup butter, melted
6 tbsp brown sugar (use more or less to taste)
1/4 cup orange juice (if desired)

Preheat oven to 350.

Cut squash in half and clean out seeds.

Place cut side down in baking dish and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until tender.

Turn cut side up.

Mix butter and orange juice, if using. Pour over squash and into the seed cavity. Sprinkle with the brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Bake 20 minutes longer, basting once or twice.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Monster Cookies

I was going to make these cookies on Thursday, but am posting the recipe today because my friend Sara requested the recipe for today. I will add pictures later.

I got this recipe from my friend Kate. If you are gluten-free, these make a great treat!

3 eggs
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup M & Ms
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup raisins
2 tsp baking soda
4 1/2 cups quick oats

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine eggs and sugars. Mix well. Add salt, vanilla, peanut butter, and butter. Mix well. Stir in remaining ingredients. Drop by tablespoons 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheets. *

Bake for 8-10 minutes. Do not overbake. Let stand 3 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool.

* at this stage you can also place the cookie sheets in the freezer until the dough is frozen. Then remove the dough from the cookie sheets, place in freezer bags and store in freezer until ready to bake. Bake the cookie dough while still frozen. It may take a little longer for them to bake from frozen.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Donut Muffins

Making these muffins this morning was like taking a trip down Memory Lane. I used to make these quite often when the boys were little, but I can't remember the last time we ate them. After breakfast, I couldn't figure out why I stopped making them.

1/3 cup shortening or margarine
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup milk
*melted butter
*cinnamon sugar
Preheat oven to 350. Grease or line a 12 cup muffin tin. (it may make more)

Cream shortening and sugar; add egg. Beat well. Mix flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg; add alternately with milk to egg mixture. Bake 20-25 minutes. Remove doughnuts from tins and dip tops in melted butter and cinnamon sugar.