Archive for the ‘What’s Cooking’ Category

Body Parts Pizza

Body Parts Pizza

Fans of grossology will find this icky dish irresistible. An assortment of veggies and meats tops a prebaked Italian bread shell.

Candy Corn Crackers

Candy Corn Crackers

These fun snacks are crackers cleverly disguised as candy corn. Cheese nibbles are mounted on crackers with sour cream dip and finished off with olives and meat slices.

Nacho Potato Skins

Nacho Potato Skins

Everyone likes these yummy snacks! To save time you can make the potato shells ahead and fill and bake them just before the party.

Mummy Wraps

Mummy Wraps

Serve these super-simple snack sandwiches hot from the oven. Don’t forget the green catsup.

Veggie-Stuffed Quesadillas

Veggie Stuffed Quesadillas

You can bake enough of these tempting foldovers for a crowd in just 5 minutes.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Spread

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Spread

It spreads like butter and tastes like pumpkin pie. Slather this on split mini bagels or crackers.

Body Bits Dip

Body Bits Dip

This dip is so creepy your guests won’t be able to get enough of it. Serve it in a convenient slow cooker cauldron.

Salsa and Cheese Dip

Salsa and Cheese Dip

Sour cream and bottled salsa combine with a few fresh herbs. Make this early in the day and chill until ready to serve, topped with pistachio nuts.

Blue Cheese Ricotta Dip

Blue Cheese Ricotta Dip

Ten minutes, start to finish, is all you need to prepare this tasty dip. Serve it in a hollowed-out squash or pumpkin.

Crispy Cheese Chips

Crispy Cheese Chips

Eye of newt and wing of bat! Drape wonton triangles over ridges of foil as they bake to make these chips look like they just flew in.

Pretzel Snack Mix

Pretzel Snack Mix

One handful is never enough when it comes to this appealing 7-ingredient mix.

Autumn Trail Mix

Autumn Trail Mix

Ready in less than 30 minutes, this recipe coats mixed nuts and small pretzels in a brown sugar syrup.

Trail Mix

Trail Mix

Try this new version of an old favorite that uses wheat crackers, shoestring potatoes, honey-roasted peanuts, and chocolate-covered raisins.

Oat and Nut Crunch Mix

Oat and Nut Crunch Mix

A little bit salty, a little bit sweet, with almonds and dried cherries for extra texture.

Crazy Mixed-Up Snack Mix

Crazy Mixed up Snack Mix

Snack mixes don’t come any easier than this — 4 ingredients and no baking needed.

White Slime

White slime

Dip fruit or cake wedges into this ghostly concoction that bears a haunting resemblance to dessert fondue.

Mini Ice Cream Dippers with Double-Dip Fondue

Mini Ice Cream Dippers

Freeze ice cream scoops ahead of time with a pretzel stick inserted for a handle. Assemble toppings into individual muffin tins, or into bowls for an ice cream buffet.

Super-Easy S’Mores

Super Easy Smores

You won’t need a bonfire for these fright-night snacks — they heat in the microwave oven.

Crispy Teton Treats

Crispy Teton Treats

Give gooey cereal treats a mountainous new shape by cutting squares diagonally into triangles. They’re even more fun to eat when you dip the peaks into melted chocolate.

Chocolate Nachos

Chocolate nachos

Who would believe a snack with just two main ingredients — tortillas and chocolate — could be so party-perfect?


Jack o Lanterns

Carve some of these cute treats for little party guests. They’ll love every sweet, sticky bite.

Contact me if you would like any of these receipes!


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Caramel-Apple Pudding Cake


This pudding cake with both caramel and apples will please everyone. Serve it warm with a dollop of cinnamon ice cream.

Caramel Pudding Cake



  • 2  medium tart cooking apples, such as Granny Smith or Jonathan, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced (2 cups)
  • 3  tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2  teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8  teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4  cup raisins
  • 1  cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4  cup packed brown sugar
  • 1  teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4  teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2  cup milk
  • 2  tablespoons butter (no substitutes), melted
  • 1  teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2  cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 3/4  cup caramel ice cream topping
  • 1/2  cup water
  • 1  tablespoon butter (no substitutes)
  • Directions

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

    2. Grease a 2-quart square baking dish; arrange apple slices in bottom of dish. Sprinkle with lemon juice, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Top evenly with raisins; set aside.

    3. Combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and baking soda in a large bowl. Add milk, the 2 tablespoons melted butter, and vanilla; mix well. Stir in nuts. Spread batter evenly over apple mixture.

    4. Combine caramel topping, water, and the 1 tablespoon butter in a small saucepan; bring to boiling. Pour caramel mixture over the batter in the baking dish.

    5. Bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes or until set in center. Spoon warm individual servings into dessert dishes, inverting each portion. Spoon caramel-apple mixture from the pan over each portion. Makes 12 servings.

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I’m one of those transplanted city girls that moved to the country, and I didn’t grow up learning how to can food. This past week my husband Jerry and I canned our first batch of pear butter. We had fun working side by side, picking, peeling, parring, cooking and canning. What a fun thing to do as a family.

We have two Keifer pear trees in our front yard that are overflowing with pears this year. There are so many pears that many of the branches have broken off. Keifer pears are hard as a rock and I didn’t know what to do with them. We’ve been picking them and giving them to the 10 horses that are on our property.

We decided to offer pears to as many people as possible. We announced at church that we had tons of Keifer pears if anyone needed any. We were surprised at the response. Several families at church said they made pear pie and pear butter and would love to have some pears.

Each Saturday my husband would pick several boxes of pears to bring to church on Sunday. We gave away tons of pears and our trees are still full. One older couple invited us over to help them can pear butter so we could learn for ourselves. It was so much fun.

This week my husband and I canned 7 pints of pear butter. 3 made with Splenda and 4 made with sugar. Hmmmm it is so good! I’d like to share our receipe with you. It was given to us by this sweet couple that taught us how to can the pears.

Pear Butter

Pear Butter

8 cups of chopped pears (ground)

4 cups of sugar or Splenda

1 tsp of cinnamon

1/4 tsp of ground cloves

Combine and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours stirring frequently. Skim off foam and pour into jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Adjust lids and process for 10 minutes in a hot water bath.

Makes about 3 pints…..Enjoy!

Keifer Pear

Keifer Pear
Kiefer pear fruit and foliage (from Hedrich, 1921, Pears of New York).
This is a hybrid pear – probably a cross between the Chinese sand pear and
Bartlett – that was named in 1876 by Peter Kieffer. Although its internal
quality is inferior to European pears such as Bartlett, Anjou, and Bosc, it
was grown extensively in the USA in the first part of the 1900’s. As a tree it
is resistant to fireblight – a major disease of European pears grown in humid

Pear Flowers

Pear Flower
Pear flowers. The mixed flower buds of pear produce multiple flowers and
leaves from each bud.

Bartlett Pear

Bartlett Pear

Bartlett pear fruit and foliage (from Hedrich, 1921, Pears of New York).
This variety was originally named as ‘William’ in England in 1770. It has been the
major pear variety in the USA for over 80 years. At present it accounts for about
75% of US production. Much of the production is canned.

Anjou Pear

Anjou Pear

Anjou pear fruit and foliage (from Hedrich, 1921, Pears of New York).
This is an old French variety, originally called Beurre’ d’ Anjou. It has been an
important winter pear in the USA since the beginning of the 1900’s. It ripens
after Bartlett and stores up to 180 days. It accounts for about 16% of US pear

Bosc Pear

Bosc Pear
Bosc pear fruit and foliage (from Hedrich, 1921, Pears of New York).
This pear originated from Belgium (1807) as ‘Calebosse Bosc’ which was later
changed to ‘Beurre’ Bosc’. This Winter pear ripens after Bartlett and has
russetted skin and a long pyriform shape.

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4 servings

Start to Finish: 10 minutes


  • 2  8-ounce cartons plain fat-free yogurt
  • 2  ripe small bananas
  • 1  cup sliced fresh strawberries or unsweetened frozen strawberries
  • 1  cup fresh mixed berries, such as raspberries, blueberries, and/or blackberries, or unsweetened frozen mixed berries


1. In a blender container, combine yogurt, bananas, and berries; cover and puree until nearly smooth. Makes 4 servings.

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I’ve been so busy with home repairs and family visits that I’ve neglected my blog for a week. Sorry about that. The only way to make it up to you is to share one of my family’s favorite receipes. This is always a request from my loved ones when they come to visit me. Enjoy!

Chinese Chicken Salad


2 C cooked shredded chicken

1/2 Head Iceberg Lettuce
1 Head Romaine Lettuce
3/4 C Water Chestnuts
2 T Sesame Seeds
1/2 C Chopped Green Onions
1 C Bean Sprouts
1/2 C Sliced Almonds
15 to 20 Fried Won Tons (Won Ton Wrappers)


1/2 C Veg Oil
1/2 C Sugar
3 T Red Wine Vinegar
1 t Salt
2 T Accent
1 T Soy Sauce.

I either mix the dressing with the entire salad or drizzle it over each individual salad. This way if you don’t eat all the salad it won’t be soggy with salad dressing.

I’ve also tried jumbo shrimp, shredded carrots, mandarin orange slices, etc. for a change of pace. The original recipe is always the favorite.

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April’s Texas Chili

We recently moved to a small town in Texas called Chester. Other than feeling like we moved into a Gun Smoke TV show we really love it here. We’ve met some incredible people and have enjoyed some great food. A new friend had my husband and I over for dinner one night to watch a movie and have some chili. I loved it!

I’m notorious for changing receipes though, so I added a few touches on my own. My daughter and son-in-law are visiting right now and I fixed the chili last night for dinner. They both said it was the best chili they had ever had. I’m not sharing this for bragging rights, only to tell you that this chili is at least worth a try.

April’s Texas Chili

1 1/2 or 2 pounds of ground beef (your preference)

1/2 package of McCormicks Chili mix (original) and 1/2 package of McCormicks Chili mix (mild)

1 can of Ro Tel (original) (10 oz)

1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 oz)

1 can dark red kidney beans (14.5 oz approx)

1 quart can tomato juice

2 tsp chopped garlic

1 onion chopped

1/2 tsp garlic salt

Brown ground beef adding the chopped onion as it cooks. Add garlic and sprinkle the garlic salt over meat.

Add chili mix and stir well.

Add Ro Tel, tomatoes, kidney beans and tomato juice. Stir well. Let simmer 30 to 45 minutes.

Best darn chili in Texas and hopefully in your State. Enjoy!

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Stewart: Grow your own exotic berries in backyard

Most people overlook a whole treasure trove of summer’s lesser-known berries, a cache that includes gems such as currants, gooseberries, mulberries and lowbush blueberries, the smaller, sweeter cousins of the more familiar highbush variety.While some of these berries taste just right on their own, others are best tamed with sugar.

Try tossing them into salads, mixing some into pancake batter or baking them into tarts. You can even enjoy them in savory dishes; pickled or plain, their tartness strikes a pleasing contrast against rich meats, such as ham and roast chicken. Or, simply transform them into jams and jellies, and savor their flavors long after the last berry has been plucked from its vine.

Quoted from the Northwest Herald. For full story click here. http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2007/07/01/lifestyle/columnists/doc4687349d2d316405413735.txt

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