Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Fried Ice Cream
from Garry Boyle

Can I just say AMAZING! ADDICTING!  We had this the other night and I about died! Its that good! Super easy to make! Enjoy! This recipe is made in a cookie sheet, not in balls as shown in picture.

Melt Together: 
  • 1 cube of margarine
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 cups corn flakes (crushed a little) 
  • 1 cup coconut or tsp of cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
Cook and stir mixture 2-3 minutes. Spread 1/2-2/3 of mixture into an 8x11 pan. Or use a cookie sheet for thinner squares. Spread 1/2 gallon ice-cream on top. Sprinkle remaining mixture on top. Freeze. 

When ready to serve, drizzle favorite toppings (e.g. honey,  whip cream, chocolate or caramel sauce) 

*I use closer to 2/3 of mixture on bottom and press down and put in freezer for a few minutes before adding the ice-cream. I let ice cream sit out to soften before spreading. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Cinnamon Burst Bread

My friend made this bread for a party we went to and everyone was asking for the recipe.  It was so, so good.  She makes it into 6 rounded loaves (kind of like Claire's peasant bread) instead of using the bread form.  The hardest part is finding the cinnamon bites but I just found them in Wal-Mart.  They are typically in stock during this season.  It is so, so good and makes for a delicious neighbor treat!
Cinnamon Burst Bread (like Great Harvest’s)-Makes 4 Loaves
Recipe from
3 T. yeast
1/2 cup sugar
4 eggs, beaten lightly (*Note from Crystal, 1/4 C. Dry Egg Powder +1/2 C. Water)
3 3/4 cup warm water
4 1/2 tsp. salt
3 T. vegetable oil
2 1/2 cups cinnamon bites (available at health food stores, these are like compacted bits of cinnamon or here)
11-12 cups flour (*Note from Crystal, this is a great recipe to disguise wheat in! Try it at least half whole wheat flour and half all-purpose or get really gutsy and try it 100% whole wheat!)
Combine in mixing bowl 4 cups flour, yeast, and sugar. Add water, eggs, and oil. Beat well to “cake batter” stage. Stir in salt, cinnamon bites, and 7 more cups flour to make bread-dough consistency. Let mixer knead it to the right texture (add up to 1 more cup flour if needed). Place dough in greased bowl, cover, and let rise for 1 hour. Shape dough into 4 loaves. Let rise for another hour or until doubled. Bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes. Slice thick and serve warm with butter, or toast slices in the toaster (be careful, the cinnamon bites can burn your fingers), or make slices into French Toast. Yummy!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix

Pic courtesy Mel's Kitchen Cafe

I saw this recipe a while ago on Mel's Kitchen Cafe and knew that I wanted to try it. Well, let me clarify. I knew I wanted to make it for Christian and the kids. I'm not a huge hot cocoa fan- something about drinking calories kinda makes me feel sick. So, I bought the ingredients and let them sit in my pantry for a while... until today. I decided to whip up a batch because it's been so cold here (think 50 degrees). I thought I would make a sample cup for myself before I served it to Christian. Oh wow. It was SO delicious. Like, I wanted to make another cup and drink it for dinner. Maybe I still will...

Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix
from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

*Makes about 20 servings
3 cups nonfat dry milk powder
2 cups powdered sugar
1½ cups cocoa powder, dutch-process or natural
1½ cups white chocolate chips or finely chopped white chocolate
¼ teaspoon salt
Whisk together all ingredients in a large bowl. Working in two (or more) batches, depending on the size of your food processor, pulse the ingredients in a food processor until the chocolate is finely ground. Store the dry mix in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
To make hot cocoa, put 1/3 cup of the cocoa mix in a mug and stir in 1 cup of hot milk. Top with whipped cream or miniature marshmallows, if desired.

**I just threw everything in my Vitamix and it came together in about ten seconds:).

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Brown Sugar and Balsamic Glazed Pork Loin

Jason has been hard to please lately. And honestly, I have been utterly sick of cooking the same thing over and over again and can't say I really blame him. This recipe got me out of my rut! YAY! Compliments all around even from our dinner guests. And it looks gorgeous but is effortless. I made a few adjustments according to what I had in my cupboard.
recipe and picture from

Brown Sugar and Balsamic Glazed Pork Loin
-3 pound pork loin (I used sirloin roast but the recipe calls for pork loin)
-1.5 tsp sage (I used thyme because I was out of sage)
-3/4 t salt
-1/2 t pepper
-1 T garlic powder

Mix the dry ingredients and rub on raw pork with your hands. Place in crockpot with 1/2 c water for 6-8 hours.

- 1/2 c brown sugar
- 1 T cornstarch
- 1/4 c balsamic vinegar
-1/2 c water
- 2 T soy sauce

Combine glaze ingredients in a pan and heat and stir until it thickens. Brush onto pork several times within the last hour of it cooking. Remove pork and shred/cut. Serve glaze on the side.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Creamy Rice Pudding from
Original recipe serves 4
Prep 25 min
Cook 20 min


  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
2/3 cup golden raisins             1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup white sugar


  1. Bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil in a saucepan; stir rice into boiling water. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. In a clean saucepan, combine 1 1/2 cups cooked rice, 1 1/2 cups milk, sugar and salt. Cook over medium heat until thick and creamy, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in remaining 1/2 cup milk, beaten egg, and raisins; cook 2 minutes more, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Kara's Dressing

My friend Kara shared this dressing with me months ago and it is delicious! I am a bit lazy so if its good in the bottle, I don't make homemade dressing. I tried this though and its on the rotation at our house. Jason just reqeusted it for this week. Its delicious with whatever salad you make. Kara added low fat bacon bits, sliced almonds, fresh thinly grated swiss cheese and craisins. YUM!
1/3 c sugar
2 t chopped onion ( I used dried minced onions)
1/2 t salt
1 T poppy seeds
1/3 c vinegar
1 t dijon
2/3 c vegatable oil

Andes Mint Cookies

I am going to a cookies exchange tonight and am making these from my mother-in-law and thought I would share. They are a little labor-intense but SO worth it. They are kinda like the Pepperidge Farm cookie but WAY better. Y'know the ones right?
Anyway....these are the real better-tasting homemade ones.

1 c butter (no subbing here)
1 c sugar
1/2 c packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 t vanilla
3 c flour
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
65 Andes Mints

Cream butter and sugars. Add eggs. Then vanilla. Combine dry ingredients separately then add gradually to wet ingredients. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours. Shape a tablespoon of dough around 42 mints, forming rectangular cookies. You want the dough to be thin around the cookie (even the dough is this pic is too thick). Please 2" apart. Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes. Melt remaining mints and drizzle on top of cookies (not show in pic).

BYU Mint Brownies

If you make the 2000 mile sojourn out to BYU every year to indulge in these brownies stop now. Here is the secret recipe originally in the family cookbook by Jessica! It makes and entire cookie sheet full! They are great to cut then freeze. Also great as Christmas gifts to those who have never partaken (Yes, its a word. My word.) of the divinity that are BYU mint brownies. Get ready to be idolized. :)

 2 1/4 sticks butter. melted
3/4 c cocoa
2 1/4 c sugar
6 eggs, slightly beaten
1 1/2 t vanilla
1 7/8 c flour
1/8 t salt

Preheat oven to 350. Mix together butter and cocoa. Mix in sugar. Stir in eggs and vanilla. Add flour and salt; mix well. Pour into greased cookie sheet. Bake 15 minutes. It may bubble, poke hole and pat down. Do not overcook! Cool completely then frost.

Mint Frosting:
4 c powdered sugar
8 T butter, melted
1 t peppermint extract
3 drops green food coloring
4 T milk (or until spreading consistency)

Spread in thin layer on top of brownies. Work fast because it dries quickly! Put in fridge to cool.

Chocolate layer:
16 oz. semi-sweet or milk ( I use ss) chocolate chips
1 1/2 T butter

Melt together. Pour evenly over cooled mint frosted brownies. Let stand at least for 15-20 minutes before cutting to serve but I think they are best cold! Keep in fridge.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

No-Bake Oatmeal-Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars


   I made these a few months ago and loved them. I don't usually like no-bake cookies, but the picture looked so good, I couldn't resist! And, I'm glad I did b/c they were so yummy.

No-Bake Oatmeal-Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars
from Brown Eyed Baker


3 cups old-fashioned oats
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips, divided
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups granulated sugar
½ cup milk
½ cup unsalted butter
½ teaspoon salt


1. Line an 8-inch or 9-inch square baking dish with parchment paper and set aside. (You can use a 9x13-inch if you want thinner bars.)
2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the oatmeal, 1 cup of the chocolate chips, the peanut butter and vanilla extract; set aside.
3. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, milk, butter and salt over medium heat. Bring to a full boil (there should be bubbles covering the entire surface) and boil for 2 minutes.
4. Immediately pour the hot mixture (carefully!) over the oatmeal mixture and quickly stir to combine, ensuring that all of the oatmeal mixture has been moistened. Turn the mixture into the parchment-lined pan and use the back of a spoon to press it evenly into the pan. Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of chocolate chips over top and gently press them into the top of the mixture.
5. Allow the bars to sit at room temperature to set up, which takes about 30 minutes. Use the edges of the parchment paper to lift the bars out of the pan and cut into squares. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Note: Like any no-bake cookie, the final texture of these really depends on how long you boil the sugar mixture. If it doesn't boil long enough, the cookie mixture will be too soft; if you boil too long, they could turn out dry and crumbly. I like to set a timer just to be sure.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Beau's Special Dinner

Kraft Macaroni and Cheese is Beau's favorite meal, and I make it for him whenever I know he needs a pick-me-up, or when I just want to surprise him and let him know he is special.

You will need:

1 box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese (Noodles and Cheese Packet)
1 pot of water
1/2 Stick of Butter
1-2 Cups of Milk

1) Fill a pot about three-quarters full of water and bring to a boil. There's no need to measure the water, since you'll be draining the noodles later.

2) While the water is coming to a boil, get out your ingredients. Measure 1/4 cup milk and cut off the amount of butter you'll need. The instructions call for more butter, but if you like it creamy, use the full amount.

3) Pour in the noodles when the water reaches a rolling boil and bubbles are actively rising to the top. Lower the heat to medium-high. Stir a few times so they won't stick together.

4) Drain the noodles when they soften (you can tell by tasting it, or having good timing). Turn off the heat. Pour the noodles back into the pan.

5) Add the butter and stir. Keep stirring until the noodles are coated and the butter is completely melted.

6) Pour in the cheese sauce, making sure to get all of the powder from the corners.

7) Pour milk over the sauce, and then stir everything together, working from the edge of the pot inwards, in a folding motion.Beau likes it extra saucy, so just keep pouring in milk until your husband is satisfied.

8) Scoop into a bowl and enjoy your meal!

Each box serves 2-3, but if your husband is extra hungry like Beau, he might need an entire box (or two!) to himself.  

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Harvest Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad


My good friend just served this at my shower.  Everyone was asking for the recipe.  I didn't try it until the very end because I am picky about chicken salad but I loved it and definitely wanted more!

Harvest Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad
From Kristin Wynder

3-4 cups of rotisserie chicken (get what you can off your chicken)
1/2 cup pecans (or walnuts)
2/3 cup granny apple, diced into small chunks (1/4-1/2 inch)
1 cup dried cranberries
3 tablespoons shallot, minced
2/3 cup Greek yogurt
4 tablespoons mayo
4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
 2 tablespoons rosemary, minced

Shred rotisserie chicken (try to get the good non-fatty parts off) using your fingers or utensils.
Mix together Greek yogurt, mayo, apple cider vinegar, and rosemary.
In a large bowl, combine, shredded chicken, pecans, shallots, green apple, and cranberries. Toss with dressing until well combined.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Chill for at least an hour until ready to serve.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice baguettes, arrange on a baking sheet, and brush both sides with olive oil then season with a little salt and pepper. Bake until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool. Top with Harvest Chicken Salad and arrange on serving platter.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Italian Dressing Dry Mix

I needed a packet of italian dressing on a Sunday and was without so I looked this recipe up. It worked great and I had all ingredients on hand! 

1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 tablespoons oregano, ground or 2 tablespoons oregano leaves
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoons salt or 2 teaspoons salt substitute
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon ground basil or 1 teaspoon basil leaves
1/4 teaspoon ground thyme or 1/4 teaspoon thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried celery leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried celery flakes

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Laura Bush's Texas Governor's Mansion Cowboy Cookies

Pic courtesy Google images

My friend and cook extraordinaire, Lindsay, passed this recipe along to me. I knew that I had to try them b/c Lindsay said they were her new favorite chocolate chip cookie. And, coming from her, that means a LOT. So, I made a full batch (next time I'll halve it) and brought them to mutual. Suffice it to say they were a HUGE hit. I had people asking me for the recipe left and right. The full recipe makes a ton of cookies, but I was able to freeze them and now i just take one out whenever I have a "need.":)

Sidenote: I do not like coconut. I almost didn't make these for that reason. But,  Lindsay assured me you couldn't taste it. And, take it from me, you can't. These are delicious.

Laura Bush's Texas Governor's Mansion Cowboy Cookies 
given to me by Lindsay Grauling

3 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp baking soda
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
3 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (I put in 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup semi)
1 cup butterscotch chips
1 cup white chocolate chips
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups sweetened coconut flakes
2 cups chopped pecans (8 oz) (optional- I didn't use)

Preheat oven to 350ºF.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
In a second bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth. Add the sugar and brown sugar and beat for another 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla. 
Stir in the flour mixture, blending until just combined. Add the chips, oats, coconut, and pecans and stir until fully incorporated. 
Drop by rounded tablespoon onto an ungreased baking sheet, making sure to allow plenty of room between cookies. Bake for 10 minutes (small cookies, 7 minutes) or until the edges are set (don't let them brown!). Allow the cookies to cool on the pan for 1-2 minutes before placing on a cooling rack.

Chicken Enchiladas by Campbell's Kitchen

I made these last night and they were delicious! They have more of that cream of chicken soup flavor. I would add more sour cream next time because the soup flavor was a little strong, just my personal opinion. But I loved them and they were easy to make! 
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 25 Minutes
Ready In: 45 Minutes
Servings: 4
"Chopped chicken, green chiles and a flavorful sauce made from sour cream, onion, chili powder and Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup are wrapped in tender tortillas and baked with more sauce and shredded Cheddar cheese for a delicious Southwestern-style dish."
1 (10.75 ounce) can Campbell's®
Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
(Regular or 98% Fat Free)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1 medium onion, chopped
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 cups chopped cooked chicken or
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chilies
8 (8 inch) flour tortillas, warmed
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese or
Monterey Jack cheese
1.Mix soup and sour cream. Heat butter in saucepan. Add onion and chili powder and cook until tender. Add chicken, chilies and 2 tablespoons soup mixture.
2.Spread 1/2 cup soup mixture in 2-quart shallow baking dish. Spoon about 1/4 cup chicken mixture down center of each tortilla. Roll up and place seam-side down in dish. Spoon remaining soup mixture on top. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes or until hot.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Grandma Heninger's Banana Pie

Banana Cream Pie

Mom was here staying with us and Seth's favorite treat is PIE! I had told him my mom makes the best and he dared to say otherwise! So we put her to the test! And it was AMAZING!!! As we all know, it is the best banana pie!

3c milk (2% is best to prevent a runny pie)
2/3c sugar
1/3c corn starch
dash of salt
2 eggs
1 T butter
1 t vanilla

whipped cream

Mix dry ingredients together then slowly add milk. Mix well. Cook over medium heat to boil. Beat eggs in separate bowl. Then slowly add a small amount of the hot mixture into eggs and mix to prevent from cooking. Then return egg mixture to pan and bring to just a boil stirring always. This burns easily. Remove from heat and add butter and vanilla. Cool in fridge with plastic wrap touching surface to prevent a film. Add cut bananas after cooled and pour into baked pie crust. Top with whipped cream. Enjoy!

*I felt like there was enough filling for two pies, depending on size of crust!

Cinnamon Belgian Waffles

Its no secret that I love breakfast food and I definitely have my favorite recipe for waffles.  However, I'm always up for trying something new.  In this case, I'm so glad I did.  I might be adding cinnamon to waffles from here on out.  We served this with maple syrup, fresh whipped cream and bananas.  So delicious.
Cinnamon Belgian Waffles
Recipe from

2 eggs, separated
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 Tbs. white sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 pinch ground cinnamon (add more if you prefer)

Preheat your waffle iron.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, vanilla, buttermilk, and butter until well blended.  Whisk in all dry ingredients- don't overmix.  In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with a mixer until stiff.  Fold gently into the waffle batter.  Cook batter in waffle maker until steam subsides.  This makes about 3 large waffles- so if you are cooking for a crowd, I would definitely double the recipe.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Grasshopper Mint Chocolate Cake Mix Cookies

I made these for a party a couple of weeks ago and I LOVED them.  They are very rich and delicious- but also a little more fussy than a regular cookie because your'e making two different cookie toppings.  It was worth it, trust me.
Grasshopper Mint Cookies
From Six Sisters Stuff

Cookie bottom:
1 Devil's Food Cake Mix
1/2 cup oil
2 eggs

Mix cake mix, oil, and eggs together (don't follow directions on back of cake mix).  Drop spoonfuls of dough onto baking sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 6-9 minutes (do NOT overcook).  Let cool completely.

Peppermint Frosting:
1/2 c. butter, softened
2 Tbs. milk
2 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. peppermint extract
Green food coloring (I added about 8 drops to get a good color)

Mix together all the ingredients- adjust for desired consistency.  Spread on top of each cooled cookie.

Chocolate topping:
2 1/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup butter

Melt chocolate chips and butter together in a double boiler or microwave (for 30-second intervals, stir and repeat until fully melted).  Spread melted chocolate on each cookie using the back of a spoon to smooth.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Copycat Cafe Rio Chicken Tortilla Soup

pic courtesy of Favorite Family Recipes

Oh. My. Goodness. This is SO good and almost identical (if not completely identical) to Cafe Rio's soup. It's so fresh and hearty. Christian hasn't raved about dinner this much in a long, long time.

Copycat Cafe Rio Chicken Tortilla Soup
adapted from Favorite Family Recipes 

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • a dash (or two) cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 5 c. chicken broth
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 Tbsp. taco seasoning
  • 1 Tbsp. paprika
  • vegetable oil (to taste)
  • pico de gallo or your favorite fresh salsa (I used Jack's salsa)
  • 2-3 avocados, diced
  • 2 c. pepper jack cheese
  • tortilla strips
  • cilantro (for garnish)
  • lime wedges (for garnish)
  • In a small skillet, saute onion in 1 Tbsp. oil until onions become slightly soft. Stir in cumin, cayenne, and chili powder and saute an additional minute or two.
  • Transfer seasoned onions to a small crock pot (or medium-sized saucepan). Add chicken broth, cliantro, lime juice, pepper and pinto beans to onions and simmer on low-heat for at least 2-3 hours.
  • In the meantime (when you are close to serving), combine taco seasoning and paprika. Brush chicken with oil and rub with taco seasoning/paprika mixture. Grill chicken over medium-heat until cooked through (try to turn only once during the grilling process). After cooking on one side, flip chicken, add small amount of water to pan and cover. Remove from grill. Let rest for 10 minutes and shred.
  • In individual bowls layer chicken, about 1/3 c. pico de gallo or salsa, 1/3 c. diced avocado, and 1/3 c. pepper jack cheese. Ladle about 1 cup of chicken broth directly over the layers. Top with tortilla strips and garnish with cilantro, sour cream, and lime wedges, if desired.