Friday, January 28, 2011

Cheesy Biscuits

I have made these before with Bisquick, but the other day I was out of Bisquick. So I found a recipe for drop biscuits in my Betty Crocker Cookbook and added a handful of grated cheese. All the kids liked them and so did Fax. And they were better than the Bisquick version. Not quite as easy, but pretty close.


2 cups flour
1 TBSP baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup butter-flavored Crisco
1 cup milk
1 big handful of grated cheese (about a cup)


Preheat oven to 450 F. Mix together dry ingredients. Cut in the Crisco. (I just used a fork, and then made sure it was well mixed in with my hands.) Add the milk and stir just until moist. Add grated cheese and stir just until combined. Drop on sheet pan lined with parchment paper. You can make these as big or small as you want. I usually divide the dough into 10 biscuits. When you make them this big it takes about 12 minutes to cook them. So, obviously, if they're smaller, less time; if they're bigger, more time.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Lentil Soup with Smoked Sausage

I found this recipe on, but it called for hot dogs in it. (gross) My mom would call them 'wieners.' (Also gross but for a different reason.) Not that I hate hot dogs, but I only like them grilled. NOT BOILED! Anyway, I basically followed the recipe with the exception of the smoked sausage, and I also added some curry for flavor. You could add more curry if you want the soup to be spicier. Jake and I loved this soup. It was pretty easy to make, smelled good, and tasted good too. Fax, Brook, and Summer ate theirs but said it would have been better without the lentils. But one of the reasons I like this recipe so much is that lentils are SO GOOD for you! A mere 1/4 cup (uncooked) has 11 grams of fiber and 10 grams of protein. Not to mention how cheap they are. So let me know if you try this recipe and what you think of it.

6 slices Bacon, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
Smoked Sausage, cut in half lengthwise & sliced
1 clove garlic, minced (about 1 tsp.)
4 cans (15 oz) chicken broth
1/2 lb. lentils, sorted & washed
2 carrots (1/4 lb.), chopped
1/2 lb. red potatoes, chopped
1 tsp. curry powder
1/2 cup Sour Cream

Cook bacon and onions in large saucepan 5 to 6 min. Add smoked sausage and stir occasionally for about 5 more minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 min.
Add next 5 ingredients; stir. Bring to boil; simmer on medium to low heat about 40 min. or until lentils and vegetables are tender. (If you like more broth, you can cover the soup. If you like less broth, leave the lid off.)
Stir in sour cream, if desired.

I'm using the picture from Kraftfoods. Mine looked basically the same, but it was slightly more yellow from the curry and, of course, no wieners. ~And I forgot to take a picture.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Carmel Corn

We decorated our Christmas Tree tonight for family night, so I tried making something that I've never tried before-Carmel Corn. It was pretty easy. It worried me when I found the recipe in the Candy section of the Betty Crocker Cookbook. I don't consider myself adept enough to make candy. All of that exact temperature, etc. is too much pressure. But this was pretty simple. My kids loved it, and it was a good family night treat. (Cheap too.) If you have any left over, store it in an air-tight container.


7-8 cups popped popcorn*
3/4 cups packed brown sugar
6 TBSP butter
3 TBSP light corn syrup
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp vanilla extract


Grease a sheet pan with cooking spray or butter. (I covered mine with aluminum foil and then greased the foil.) Pour popcorn onto sheet pan and spread out. Heat oven to 300 F.
In medium saucepan, combine brown sugar, butter, and corn syrup. Over medium heat, stir until it begins to boil. Stop stirring and allow to gently boil for 5 minutes undisturbed. Remove from heat, and stir in soda and vanilla. Drizzle over popcorn and stir gently. Bake in oven for 15 minutes. Remove and stir gently. Bake in oven an additional 5 minutes. Stir gently to make sure popcorn is evenly coated. Transfer to cold sheet pan covered with aluminum foil and cooking spray. Allow to cool before eating!

*You can use any kind of popcorn you like. I was out of microwave popcorn, and I don't own an air-popper, so I heated some oil in the bottom of my big pot until it was about 350 F. (At this temperature the oil moves more like water. It doesn't look thick like oil.) Then I added 1/2 cup of unpopped, popcorn. I covered the pot with aluminum foil and continued to move the pan until the popping was almost done. Then I transferred it to a large bowl. I was amazed at how few unpopped-kernals I found. 1/2 cup made about 10 cups of popcorn. So I think for this recipe you could get away with 1/3 cup.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Super Easy Biscuits

So this week I've been trying some different biscuit recipes. We had a neighborhood breakfast on Saturday, and we were supposed to bring biscuits. I was just planning on making Bisquick ones, but discovered (morning of) that I didn't have enough. So I made a recipe that I found online. It wasn't great and it was a pain to make, but it worked. Well, this morning I tried a different recipe, and it was very tasty. Biscuits aren't my favorite, but I actually liked these. Plus, they were the easiest. (As easy as Bisquick, but so much tastier.) So, here's the recipe:


2 cups all-purpose flour, little extra for dusting
1-1/2 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream


Preheat oven to 450 F. Line sheet pan with parchment paper, or spray with cooking spray.

Mix dry ingredients together in bowl. Pour in cream and mix just until combined. Lightly flour work surface and knead dough just until it forms a ball. Roll out to 1-2 to 1 inch thick. Cut into biscuit rounds, or use a pizza cutter and cut into wedges. (I rolled mine into a kind of square, then used a pizza cutter to cut it into 9 squarish shapes. Easy.)

Bake for 15 minutes, turning pan halfway through baking time.

We had these with sausage gravy for breakfast, and they were well received. Summer just likes them with a little bit of butter. Honey and or jam would be good too. Fax suggested brushing them with melted butter prior to baking them, so they would brown-up a little more. I might try that next time.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Baked Spaghetti

I made Baked Spaghetti for dinner last night and was pleasantly surprised. It's like Spaghetti meets Lasagna. I don't have pictures cuz it wasn't a pretty dish to look at but it was quite yummy.

So if you are curious you can find the recipe HERE!

recipe fyi : I added ground beef and used the ricotta cheese instead of cottage cheese.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Orange Julius

I got this recipe from my friend, Amy, a couple of years ago at a recipe exchange. I didn't try it until a couple of months ago, and it has been a family favorite ever since. Today we had some neighborhood friends over to run through the sprinklers and I didn't have enough ice cream for ice cream cones. (The kids looked a little worried.) So, I pulled out the blender and we made these. All the kids liked them. Just a note: Don't try to double the recipe in your blender. It will overflow. Just make two batches. It's way easier than cleaning up the mess all over your counter!

Orange Julius

6 oz. frozen concentrated orange juice*
1 cup milk
1 cup cold water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup sugar or Splenda (optional)*
10 ice cubes

Add all ingredients to blender, and blend until smooth.

*What I usually do, is just lay the container on its side and cut it in half. Then I have 6 oz., and I can just put the other half in a sandwich bag and back into the freezer.
If you use 100% orange juice, you kind of need the sugar. Two of our favorites are Dole 100% juice orange, peach, mango and Dole 100% juice strawberry, orange, banana. These are naturally sweeter, so I usually half the amount of sugar for these. I've never tried an apple based juice or a concentrate with added sugar. I would assume that if you used these you'd need less sugar also.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

"Special Occasion" Blueberry Muffins

I call these "special occasion" because they were kind of a pain to make, but definitely the best blueberry muffins I've had. We were going to buy a box mix yesterday, but I noticed it was leaking when I got to the cash register. It wasn't worth running all the way back, so I just didn't buy one. Before I went to bed I checked my email, and there was a blueberry muffin recipe from America's Test Kitchen. I happened to have all the ingredients, (except I had frozen blueberries instead of fresh) so I figured I'd give it a go this morning. They were VERY sweet! I felt kind of guilty for eating one. But Fax and the kids really loved them.

First, you need to make blueberry jam. Combine 5 oz. (1 cup) blueberries and 1 tsp. sugar in sauce pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat and boil for about 6 minutes until reduced to 1/4 cup. Set aside and bring to room temperature.

Next, you need to make lemon sugar by combining 1/3 cup sugar with the zest of half a lemon. Mix together well, and resist the temptation to eat this by the spoonful. ;) Set aside. Preheat oven to 425 F.

Now mix the dry ingredients: (In separate bowl.)
2-1/2 cups flour
2-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt (I used a 1/2 tsp. because I used salted butter.)

Time for the wet ingredients: (In a separate bowl.)
Wisk together for about a minute,
2 eggs
1-1/8 cups sugar
Then add and mix:
4 Tbsp. butter, melted and slightly cooled
4 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup buttermilk

Combine wet and dry ingredients with blueberries and mix only until dry ingredients are wet. (If you are using frozen blueberries, dust the blueberries with a tsp of the dry mixture, and add them after you've combined the wet and dry ingredients.) DO NOT OVER MIX! THE BATTER WILL BE QUITE LUMPY. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray. (I would suggest NOT using muffin liners.) Use all the batter to fill the muffin tin. It will look really full. Then add a teaspoon of the blueberry jam to the center of each muffin and swirl with a knife. Top each with the lemon sugar. Bake for 9 minutes, rotate pan, and bake for another 9 minutes. Allow them to cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan. I had to loosen them from the pan so that they wouldn't fall apart. I used a plastic spoon for this so that I wouldn't scratch my muffin tin.

I think the next time I make these, I'll add some of the lemon juice from the lemon I zested to the blueberry jam, or possibly to the muffin batter.
P.S. If you eat more than one of these, you may need an insulin shot to compensate.

If you want to watch the video from America's Test Kitchen, click here.