Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Breakfast Sandwich

Hello all! Kim here...It is that crazy holiday season that always has me running around crazily! Breakfast during the week is always something I struggle with. By the time I have fed the kids, gotten ready etc...I usually forget to eat breakfast. Then I wonder why I feel horrible at 10am! I thought I would share this recipe, especially since it is that go, go, go time of year. You can eat it in your car as you drive away to whatever it is that has you rushing!

Breakfast sandwiches

1 English Muffin ( I like Whole Wheat)
1 egg
1/2-1 oz. cheese
Bacon, Canadian bacon,ham, sausage (whatever you like)

1. Toast muffin
2. Take a ramekin dish (Credits to my friend Meghann for this one!) and spray it with cooking spray. Beat the one egg and add the extras you like into it. The more you add, the longer it needs to cook. Cook between 45 seconds to 1 minute. Pop it out of the ramekin and onto the English muffin and you have a to-go breakfast!

Good thing about this one is that it is pretty kid friendly, too.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Banana Bread

Kim here...I can't believe it is Christmas time! Deb and I hit a local craft fair this evening and got some good inspiration on things to do at home. We got our Christmas tree up this week and I have been enjoying the smell of pine combined with the homey warmth of the wood stove. So far Bubbas hasn't pulled the tree down on himself yet by trying to yank all the ornaments off the tree so we are doing good!

Here is a recipe for Banana bread. It is my mom's. I love this stuff! I also thought it was a good one to post since many people like to give it as gifts.

Banana Bread

1/4 cup plus 1 Tbls. sour cream
1 tsp. baking soda
1 stick butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup (about 2) mashed ripe bananas
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Grease a 9x5 loaf pan
3. Combine sour cream and baking soda in a small bowl. Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl. Beat in eggs, bananas and sour cream mixture.
4. Stir in flour and baking powder, stir in nuts.
5. Spoon mixture into prepared pan. Bake for about 1 hour, or until toothpick comes out clean and loaf is golden brown.
6. Cool 10 minutes in pan. Turn loaf out onto rack and cool completely.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Pumpkin Pie Bliss

Hey Cowgirls, Thanksgiving is just around the corner. I really wanted to post a recipe that is one of my favorite turkey day staples - delicious pumpkin pie. It's my favorite for sure! This recipe is my Grandma Margie's. She always makes three pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving. They are so good when they are topped with some fresh whipped cream! So here is her crust and pie recipe. I think that you will really enjoy them. Hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving. Gobble Gobble!

Pumpkin Pie Bliss

Pie Crust

3 cup of flour

1 1/4 cup of shortening - I am going to experiment with butter instead of shortening. I hear that the ratio is the same for butter.

1 tsp. sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

Cut the four, shortening, sugar and salt until crumbly

Beat together:

1 egg

5 tbsp. water

1 tbsp. vinegar

Add to flour mixture. Put in fridge for about an hour.Make into dough ball and roll it out onto floured surface. This makes three pie crusts.

Pie Filling

7 eggs, beaten

1 large can of pumpkin

1 1/2 cup of sugar

1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. ginger

1/2 tsp. cloves

1 lrg. can (12 oz.) of evaporated milk

3 1/2 cup of fresh milk

Beat together and pour into three large pie shells. Bake 15 minutes at 425 degrees. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake some more. Use a knife in the center of the pie to test to see if it is done. If it comes out clean it's done. Another sure sign that the pie is done, is when the center of the pie puffs up.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Egg Nog Bliss

Kim here...Little late on the posting, sorry about that! Been quite busy around here! I am sure nobody can relate to that :). Anyway here is the recipe for the week. I felt like posting this one tonight because 1) I love eggnog and am so happy it is 'tis the season for it...2) I kinda felt like a drink after these last couple of crazy weeks :). So enjoy this one, I know I will right after I post!

Egg Nog Bliss

1 glass full of egg nog (My favorite brand is Land O Lakes)
1-2 jiggers or shots of Baileys depending how strong you want it

Mix it up and enjoy!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Mike and Deb's Beer Chili and Famous Cornbread

So here is our recipe for this week. We have been really contained to the house this past weekend due to a bunch of sick kiddos and a sick kitty cat. My husband Mike thought that he would whip up some of his favorite beer chili. He always asks me to make my famous cornbread to accompany it! These are super good together so hope you will try them out.

Mike's Beer Chili
2lbs. hamburger
1lb. bacon
2 cans of kidney beans
2 cans of black beans
2 cans of tomato paste
1 lrg. can of crushed tomatoes
1 beer of choice (We only use Sierra Nevada in this house)
2 white onions
2 bell pepper
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
5 cloves garlic
2 fresh tomatoes
1 tablespoon of oregano
1 tablespoon of cumin
1 1/2 tablespoons of paprika
1 - 2 tablespoons of chili powder
1-2 tablespoons of cayenne pepper (If you want the kids to be able to eat it. Stick with 3/4 of a tablespoon or less. Mike used 2 tablespoons at it was a little too spicy for our little eaters)

Brown the hamburger. In a food processor (or a blender) combine fresh tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, garlic, cumin, oregano, paprika, chili powder and cayenne pepper together until blended. Fry the bacon until nice and crisp.

Add hamburger, blended ingredients, bacon and remaining items into a large stockpot. Add enough water to give it the correct consistency. Cook and cook and cook on medium heat. It makes the house smell fantastic!

Deb's Famous Cornbread

This is a recipe I have adapted from the original recipe on the Aber's Corn Meal box. My mom always made our cornbread nice and sweet and I have to carry on the tradition here. I love it like this and I think you will too.

1 cup of Aber's yellow corn meal (or any brand of corn meal that you have handy. I just prefer Abers)
1 cup of all purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 cup of milk
1/3 cup of extra light virgin olive oil
2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease an 8 inch baking pan.

Combine corn meal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in medium bowl. Combine milk, oil and egg in small bowl; mix well. Add milk mixture to flour mixture; stir just until blended. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake for approximately 20 -23 minutes. I use a wooden toothpick to see if it is done or not. When it comes out clean I know that it is ready to roll.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Taco Chili

Kim here...Here is our first recipe in our new feature...Recipe of the Week! I originally got this idea while watching Paula Dean on her Food TV show. She did it with dried beans and spicy tomatoes. While I am sure that is delicious, I don't have the patience for dried beans and after my second pregnancy, my belly doesn't appreciate spicy tomatoes :). So here is my altered recipe for Taco Chili. It's a great one that I think you will enjoy.

Taco Chili

1 pound ground beef or chicken
salt/pepper to season meat while cooking
1 small onion, chopped
14.5 oz. can kidney beans, drained
14.5 oz. can pinto beans, undrained
1 (1 1/4 oz.) packet taco seasoning ( I like McCormick)
1 (1 oz) packet of buttermilk salad dressing mix (Hidden Valley)
1 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. cumin
14 oz. can diced tomatoes
14 oz. can tomato sauce
2 cups water
Tortilla Chips (optional for garnish)

1. Brown and crumble meat while adding seasonings and chopped onions.
2. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce and water.
3. Bring to a boil. Let simmer uncovered until you get a nice, rich, thick consistency to your chili. This may take up to 2 hours.
4. Serve with tortilla chips and/or a dollop of sour cream on top.

A Cowgirls and Cupcakes Update

Hello all! We hope you all had a wonderful Halloween. We know our girls and boy did! We wanted to let all of you in on a little update here at Cowgirls and Cupcakes. We are going to begin doing a Recipe of the Week starting today. So make sure you check in every Monday for the new recipe to use!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Vegan Caramel Apples

I know. I am on a caramel kick. I can't help it. It's Halloween time and it just sounds sooo good. I went looking for a great caramel apple recipe that did not include dairy. Hard to find my friends. This one sounds really excellent though. Hope everyone has a safe and happy Halloween!

Here is the link: Vegan Caramel Apples

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Chunky Chicken Chili

Kim here...Now I know you are thinking, yuck! What are you thinking putting chicken in chili! I know, I thought the same thing until I tried it. My mom isn't a ground beef fan and so she usually substitutes different meat for beef. Tonight, she made this for our family and I really liked it. The hubby complained because it wasn't his typical red meat fare, but I enjoyed it because it was lighter in calories and better for you...plus it was good! So give this a try and you will be surprised that chicken really can go in chili!

Congratulations to our winner as well for this month's giveaway. Thanks Deb for organizing that!

Chunky Chicken Chili

1 lb. ground chicken
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 pkg. McCormick chili packet
1 15 oz. can pinto beans, don't drain

1. Brown and crumble chicken in a deep skillet. Season with salt and pepper while cooking it. After it is cooked through (no pink left) add the rest of the ingredients and stir. Bring to a boil and then lower heat so it can simmer about 30 minutes. Thanks mom for the good idea! Gotta love those moms!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Microwave Caramel Corn

And the winner is........... Amy!!!!!! Thank you Amy and to all of you who entered the Cowgirls and Cupcakes second big giveaway. Amy will receive a bounty of Halloween crafties plus an awesome apron made by Kim. Amy, please send us your address and we will get your prize out to you! Kim and I will be having another giveaway next month as we gear up for the big turkey day so be sure to keep reading.

I was so excited to receive this recipe from my good friend Tammy. She always has such fantastic ideas for cooking and crafts. I know that this will be a good one. And caramel corn always reminds me of Halloween!

Microwave Caramel Corn (Yippeee!)

Pop approximately 1 cup corn in brown paper grocery bag in microwave for approximately 2.5 minutes. Be sure to remove any unpopped kernels.

Then in a 2 qt. microwave safe dish put:

1/4 c. white corn syrup

1 c. brown sugar

1 stick butter or dairy-free margarine (great for dairy allergies or vegans)

1/2 tsp salt

Bring to boil in microwave on high. Boil for 2 min. then add 1/2 tsp baking soda and stir well. Pour over popped corn in bag and shake well.Return bag of corn mixture to microwave and cook on high 1 1/2 min. Shake well & turn bag over. Microwave another 1 1/2 min.Shake well again May microwave a 3rd time for 1 1/2 min. if needed. I usually do only 30-60 sec. the 3rd time. Pour on wax paper & let cool . Store in airtight container.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Baked Three Cheese Tortellini with Tomato Cream Sauce

Kim here...We are back from Disneyland! It was so much fun, but feels oh so good to be out of the mouse house! Both the kiddos had a blast!

We are very excited around here because Bubbas actually touched his food tonight on his own free will and put it to his mouth to eat! This is the first time that has happened in his 25 months of life! Woo hoo! Way to go Bubbas! In celebration of this huge milestone for him, here is a dish he likes quite a bit.

Baked Three Cheese Tortellini with Tomato Cream Sauce

1 (13 oz) bag Barilla Three Cheese Tortellini (dried)
1 jar marinara sauce (I like Golden Grain)
1/2 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Boil water for tortellini's and follow cooking times on package. Drain and set aside.
3. Bring marinara sauce to a light boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and stir in cream. Simmer, stirring occasionally, 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and add 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Add tortellini and toss to coat.
4. Grease a 13x9 pan with butter. Pour tortellini mixture into baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese and dot with 2 Tbls. butter.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until lightly browned.

***Good with adding ground beef or sausage to sauce as well.**

Friday, October 24, 2008

Gilded Pumpkins

So it's our last day of Halloween crafting here at Cowgirls and Cupcakes and I wanted to send you off with a bang. Yes, it's gilded pumpkins! I opened up my Country Living magazine a month back and was in awe when I saw these. I almost hurdled the couch to run down to Michaels and buy some gold leaf. Their is a technique to this, and unfortunately, I can't say that I have tried it yet, but plan too very soon. Look at how beautiful these pumpkins came out. The article featured Carol Kemery who is a decorative painter and developed this fantastic kit along with Country Living, to make these beautiful gilded pieces. So this is not really a tutorial by me today, but I thought that if you saw these that the kit might be worth a look see.
Here is her tutorial: Gilding Pumpkins

Here is the link to her website with the kit: Beautiful Gilded Pumpkins

Here is the wonderful article about guilding in Country Living: Fall Guilding

It has been fun crafting with you this week! Let's do it again soon. Our buddy Kim will be returning from LA on Sunday and I can't wait to hear about Disneyland's decor for the Halloween season. Our recipes will be returning next week as well. Be sure to get your comment or email in to join our giveaway. The giveaway winner will be chosen on October 27th at midnight, so get those entries in.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Stamped Halloween Cards

And the crafting just keeps rolling on here at Cowgirls and Cupcakes. Today I made a few Halloween cards. I love giving these out to my friends and family. These also make great little teacher gifts. I saw cards very similar to these in a store that cost $15.00. That is insane! You can make these at home for little to nothing. I bet a lot of you crafters out there already have a few items already on hand.
Here is what you need:

Black and white card stock with envelopes - I buy the pre-cut cards and envelopes in a large pack at Michaels. They have both black and white.

Any of your spooky Halloween stamps. For these I used the new clear stamps. I found them in a store for .99 cents and thought they were so cute and very vintagy looking. If you use the clear stamps like I did, you will also need an acrylic block. They sell these at any craft store. I actually picked mine up at my local Wal-Mart.

Black stamp pad and white stamp pad - Again, found mine at Michaels.

Here is what I did:

Just line up your stamps on your acrylic block and ink them up. I found that the clear stamps don't use as much ink as the rubber stamps do. Use it sparingly and do a few test runs first.

Finally, you just stamp away.

I always like to keep it simple and I think that these are sooooo easy for anyone to do. I will wrap these in a cute Halloween ribbon and add these to the giveaway stash.

Just a reminder, our Cowgirls and Cupcakes Halloween Giveaway has already started. If you would like to be entered into the giveaway, please send us a comment or an email or a great recipe and you will be entered. The giveaway winner will be chosen on October 27th at midnight.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Little Pumpkin Head

Hey guys, it's me again. We just received our first two entries into the giveaway. Remember the giveaway ends on October 27th at midnight so get your comment or email to us to get you qualified.

So it's on to our second day of craftiness here at Cowgirls and Cupcakes. The next project was inspired by a wonderful crafty gal named Missy Balance who is founder of Mohair Circus and Glitter and Grunge. She posted her little spool dolls on her blog and etsy shop and I was intrigued. They were so cute I had to buy a little cell phone charm spool doll. It makes for an awesome conversation piece. I knew that I wanted to make some of these little dolls for the holidays to give to my family as gifts. I had this idea to make one into a pumpkin for my Mom who's birthday is at the beginning of October. I always try to get her something related to Halloween and I thought that this would be the ticket.

These little spool dolls are easy to make and the possibilities are endless. Here is how I made my little pumpkin head.


Vintage wooden spool or new wooden spool from the craft store. I like the small squatty ones.

Round wooden knobs that are flat on one end. I don't know the official name of these guys, but you can find them in the wood aisle at your local craft store.

Acrylic paint - orange - like a pumpkin

Sharpie marker - black

Round, small green bead for the stem

Clear matte or gloss varnish

Glue gun

About 12 inches of coordinating ribbon of your liking

A cute pin of your choice

So here is what I did:

First paint the round knob in pumpkin orange and let dry thoroughly - I think I did about two coats on this piece.

Next you are going to draw your face on the pumpkin head with a Sharpie marker. You can use pencil first if you are unsure of your art skills and need a little practice.

Next apply one coat of the varnish and let it dry thoroughly.

Then you are going to heat up that old glue gun and get ready to glue the knob onto the spool.

Then glue the little bead on top of the pumpkin head for his stem

You are almost done....

Finally, you are going to wrap your super coordinated ribbon around your spool a few times and secure with your pin.

Super cute and a great little gift for Halloween. Let me know how yours turn out!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Black Apple Dolls

Here it is, our first ever crafty project at Cowgirls and Cupcakes. This calls for an applause......

A couple of weekends ago my littlest of mites was at home sick with a bad cold and my oldest was with my husband at our family cabin in Lassen. There wasn't much for the two of us to do at home except sit in front of the T.V. and hang out, so the Scout and I got my sewing machine out and some Halloween fabric scraps that I had laying around and whipped up a couple of these darling dolls from one of my favorite crafty girls, Emily Martin of The Black Apple. I had watched Martha Stewart one afternoon when they had on a tutorial with Emily and her dolls. I ran, not walked, back to my computer and promptly hit the print button to get the free download.

These dolls came out so cute and are really pretty easy to put together. I did have one "ooops moment" while I was cutting out the pattern and realized that you had to cut the legs and arms as a front and a back otherwise they won't line up when you try to face them. (A typical Deb moment as I started cutting before I started thinking.) I did fudge a bit on their faces as I didn't have any canvas available, but I did have some old muslin curtains of my mom's that worked nicely. I used a Sharpee marker for the faces which I would not recommend. They bleed into the fabric too much. Be smart and get a fabric pen. They both came out really cute (as you can see from the pic above) and the Scout had a great time helping me pick out the buttons and which color scarves they were going to wear.

So here is the link to the tutorial on Martha's wonderful website: Black Apple Doll Tutorial

You might want to check out Emily's fantastic etsy shop. I love all of her whimsical prints and paper goods that she sells. Not to mention that she is the number one seller on etsy. You go girl!

Hope you guys enjoy the pattern and send us a pic of your finished dolls so we can post them on the blog and a flickr group. And don't forget to leave us a comment or an email to be entered into our Cowgirls and Cupcakes 2nd Giveaway!!!! There might be one of these cute dollies stuck in the package for your Halloween enjoyment!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Another Cool Giveaway!

Hey, hey. Deb here. It's time for another Cowgirls and Cupcakes giveaway!

Our second giveaway will work just like the first one. In case you didn't tune in for the first one, here is the deal: The giveaway will begin today and run until October 27th at midnight when a winner will be randomly chosen. You can either leave us a comment or send us a recipe via email and you will be entered into the giveaway. Only one entry per person please. This giveaway will of course have something to do with that spooky holiday that is swiftly approaching and may contain another fantastic apron of Kim's design along with several other fun holiday related items.

My best buddy Kim and her family are visiting the big mouse in L.A. this week, which means you have little ol' me left here to post. This week is going to be a little different as far as posting goes. We will be venturing out of the cooking realm this week and heading into the holiday crafting zone. With the big Halloween holiday swiftly approaching we are going to be crafting it up all week long here at Cowgirls and Cupcakes. So starting tomorrow, I will be posting a craft or a tutorial of sorts for everyone to try. You may need to get your sewing machines and glue guns geared up for this.

So stop reading and send us your comments and/or recipes to get you qualified for the giveaway. I will see you tomorrow for some crafting fun.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Slightly Lower Fat Mashed Potato Bake

Kim here...Tonight I whipped up this dish because I didn't have all the ingredients to make the original dish I posted (see side dishes), but I think I liked this better and it had way less calories. I am off tomorrow for a week's vacation! Yeah! The fam and I are off to LA to go to Disneyland and other nefarious places :). Deb will be taking over the posting for the next week, thanks Deb! I hopefully will have some dishes that I will want to recreate and post for our blog in the coming weeks!

Slightly Lower Fat Mashed Potato Bake

1 Box Betty Crocker Herb and Butter Instant Mashed Potatoes (use both packets)
(Milk, butter, water for the potatoes...read the back of the box for measurements)

1 small brick cream cheese (not sure the exact ounces, but the one for under $2 in a brick shape)

sour cream (smallest size container)

1 cup cheddar, jack or combination of cheeses

salt and pepper

1. Follow directions on potato box. After the potatoes are cooked, add rest of ingredients (except french fried onions) and stir. Put in a 13x9 baking dish and bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

2. Add french fried onions and bake for 5 more minutes.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Ratatouille - Like the Movie

Bet you didn't think that this was a real dish....but it is, and I am going to share it with you. Now, if you haven't seen the movie yet, it is a definite must-see. It's one that the whole family will enjoy. This wonderful recipe was also out of my slow cooker recipe book from Southern Living. They have such great dishes. Get our your slow cooker (don't roll your eyes, I love these things) because here it is:

Ratatouille - Like the Movie

1 (1 pound) eggplant, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks (about 3 cups)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided

1 large onion, cut in half lengthwise and sliced (about 2 1/2 cups)

1 large green bell pepper, cut into strips (about 1 1/2 cups)

1 large red bell pepper, cut into strips (about 1 1/2 cups)

3 medium zucchini, sliced (about 4 cups)

2 pounds plum tomatoes, cut into 1/2 inch wedges

3 tablespoons of tomato paste

2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 teaspoon of black pepper

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

1/4 cup capers

Place eggplant in a colander over a sink. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon salt over eggplant; toss well. Let stand 30 minutes to drain. Pat dry with paper towels.
Layer half each of onion, eggplant, bell pepper strips, zucchini, and tomatoes in a 6 quart electric slow cooker. Combine remaining 1 1/4 teaspoons of salt, tomato paste, olive oil, black pepper and garlic in a small bowl; stir well. Spoon half of oil mixture over vegetable mixture. Repeat layering of vegetables, ending with oil mixture.
Cover with lid; cook on low-heat setting six hours or until vegetables are tender. Stir in chopped basil and capers. Serve hot, at room temperature, or chilled.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Fajita Chicken

Kim here...The other night I made some fajitas and I experimented with some grilled chicken. It turned out great! Use it for fajitas or even just some chicken with Mexican rice, etc. Very versatile and easy to make.

Fajita Chicken

4 Chicken breasts
3 Tbls. lime juice
3 Tbls. olive oil
1 Tbls. kosher salt
2 tsp. black pepper

1. Put chicken and other ingredients into a plastic bag. Seal the bag and shake until all is well mixed and chicken is well coated. Let marinate 30 minutes.
2. Grill chicken on charcoal grill or on stove top.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Old Fashioned Apple Butter

Deb here. I love this time a year for so many different reasons and one of them is that I can get out my slow cooker. I know, small things make me happy. I have this great slow cooker cookbook that I purchased from Southern Living and I love it! Here is an easy recipe that takes quite a while to cook, but yields some yummy results and is perfect for Fall time get togethers.

Old-Fashioned Apple Butter

5 Gala apples or other baking apples (about two pounds), peeled and sliced

1/2 cup of sugar

1/2 cup of firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Place all ingredients in a 4 1/2 quart electric slow cooker; stir well. Cover with lid; cook on high-heat setting 1 hour. Reduce to low-heat setting, and cook 8 to 9 hours (yep, a super long, long time - but trust me, it's worth it) until apples are very tender. Stir with a whisk to break up any large pieces. Store apple butter in refrigerator for up to one week. I like to serve these with any delicious bread or dinner rolls.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Chicken Parmesan

Kim here...Here is something I made up the other night that came out very well. Hope you enjoy it!

Chicken Parmesan

For Chicken:
· 4 chicken breasts
· 2 eggs
· 2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
· 1 Tbls. garlic powder
· Salt/pepper
· 4 Tbls. olive oil
For Spaghetti:
· ¾ box spaghetti noodles, cooked
· 1 24oz. can crushed tomatoes
· 1 fresh tomato, chopped
· ½ onion, chopped
· Garlic powder
· 2 tsp. Italian seasoning
For Chicken:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Preheat pan with oil in it, vegetable oil works well for this dish.
3. Put eggs in a pie pan and beat. Put breadcrumbs in another pie pan and stir in seasonings.
4. Dip chicken into egg, then into breadcrumbs. Put chicken into hot oil and pan fry. Flip one time.
5. After both sides are brown, place in a 375 degree oven and bake 20 minutes. Chicken is done when juices run clear.

6. Top with a little spaghetti sauce and mozzarella cheese. Put under the broiler for a few minutes until nice and melty.
For Spaghetti:
1. Cook noodles, set aside.
2. Sauté onion for a few minutes until soft. Add tomatoes and seasonings. Simmer for 30 minutes. Add noodles and stir together.

**Put spaghetti on bottom of plate and top with a chicken breast**

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Chessman's Banana Pudding

Hey, it's Deb here. This recipe was submitted by my favorite cousin Kerri. She always brings the best pudding pies to all of our family gatherings so I know that you will enjoy her recipe. Kerri also has a resume business called Resume Renovation. If you are looking for your resume to be revamped and need some assistance please check out her website: http://ResumeRenovation.homestead.com/

Chessman's Banana Pudding

The original recipe, which I stole from my fave southern cook Paula Deen, called for Vanilla and Banana pudding, I naturally experimented with Chocolate pudding one day and now its the way I make it every time! Kids love to help with this dessert because depending on the age they can be a part of pretty much every step! Kids love the different designs on the cookies, and designing the top.

1 pkg Jello pudding - Banana flavor (prepare as package directs) and set aside in refrigerator
1 pkg Jello pudding - Chocolate flavor (prepare as package directs) and set aside in refrigerator
3 semi-ripe bananas (slice just before use, to avoid brown mushy slices)
2 bags Pepperidge Farm Chessman cookies ( 1 bag is usually enough but you'll need extra for breakage and/or cookie stealers!)
1 Tub Cool Whip non-dairy topping

In a glass 13x9 inch dish arrange a layer of chessmen cookies on the bottom of the dish.
Next spread chilled banana pudding over the top of the cookies spreading evenly.
Layer sliced bananas on top of the pudding
Now it's time to spread the chocolate pudding over the top of the banana slices...we're almost done!
Finally use the chessmen cookies to decorate the top. You can arrange them neatly next to each other in rows, alternating the designs, they are just the right amount of "royalty" to make this dessert stand out!

Remember to start and end with a layer of cookies, to provide a base that will stand up to serving!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Zucchini Casserole

Kim here...My new neighbor brought over delicious delights yesterday from his garden! Homegrown tomatoes, pears, apples and zucchini! The zucchini and tomatoes looked so delicious that I wanted to make them for dinner tonight and so I came up with this recipe on the fly. It came out really good! Hope you enjoy it too.

While I was cleaning up dinner tonight, I looked out my window and saw a family of deer. Pretty cool to observe the critters while washing dishes!

Zucchini Casserole

2 medium zucchinis or 1 very large one
½ onion, chopped

1/2 tomato, chopped
1 egg
1 cup cheese (cheddar and jack is a good mix)
½ cup Parmesan, grated
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
3 Tbls. butter

1. Chop zucchini and onions. Sauté onions in 2 Tbls. olive oil until soft, add zucchini and sauté until it is soft.
2. Put mixture into an 8x8 pan and add cheeses, egg, tomato and seasonings. Mix together well.
3. Top with breadcrumbs and dot with butter.
4. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Spotted Pup

This recipe was submitted to us from Heidi who is a fantastic writer. I have visited her blog many times now, and am so impressed. She not only is a great writer, but she also is a journalist, editor and teacher and she has some fantastic articles on cowgirls. I have been reading them and would love it if you took a peek at them to find out some of the history behind these extraordinary women. It is so hard to find information on cowgirls throughout history, and I think Heidi was able to capture the "true cowgirl" in her wonderful articles. Thank you so much Heidi for submitting this recipe especially with the special family history behind it!

Spotted Pup

My dad told me about a dessert the cook would prepare when he and his parents were trailing their horses from Cut Bank, Montana to Salmon, Idaho, looking for grass during the “dirty thirties.” It was called “Spotted Pup,” and made with rice, condensed milk and raisins. The name comes from the resemblance to cowboys’ dogs.

2 cups granulated sugar

2 cups white rice

3 quarts milk or canned milk equivalent

1 pound raisins or other dried fruit

1 tablespoon nutmeg

This was a treat, as it required no eggs, and since there was little opportunity for baked items when traveling with a Chuckwagon. The cook would mix the rice, sugar and milk in a cast-iron Dutch Oven, then hang it over the campfire to simmer for about an hour or so until it started to get thick. Then he’d stir in the nutmeg (or cinnamon) and slowly stir in the raisins, allowing the fruit to plump up and the rice to thicken further. The dessert was ready when the spoon stood upright.

Submitted by: Heidi Thomas
http://heidiwriter.wordpress.com/ www.heidi@heidimthomas.com

Monday, October 6, 2008

Turkey Cheddar Burgers

Kim here...Our neighbor down the way introduced himself to us yesterday afternoon. His name is Bud and he has lived in this area for 70 years! Let's just say he told me almost the entire history of the area yesterday :). Well, he brought us some homegrown tomatoes that are delicious! He also informed us that his cow, Babe, likes to get out now and then and instructions on how to get her home :). We are just to say, "Babe, go home", and supposedly this cow will go home. Now, I find this hard to believe since I have never seen this cow get up! Oh well, that is my country note for the day!

These are pretty tasty and thought it would be good with my homegrown tomato I just got!

Turkey Cheddar Burgers

1/4 cup shallot, finely chopped
2 Tbls. Olive Oil
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 lbs. ground turkey
4 cheddar slices (1 oz. each)
4 Hamburger rolls
1 cup Black Pepper aoili (see recipe under condiments section)

1. Saute shallot in olive oil in a small saucepan for about 2 minutes. Put into the bowl you are going to mix the meat in.
2. Put turkey in with the shallots and add salt and pepper, mix together well.
3. Form into 8 small, thin patties. Take one of the patties put a slice of cheddar cheese on top, then cover with another small patty. Seal the edges together (this is important so the cheese stays inside while grilling). Repeat for the other 3 burgers.
4. Grill burgers on charcoal grill for about 15 minutes, flipping once.
5. Toast buns on grill for a few seconds. Spread with the aoili and put burgers on the buns.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Hey Guys, It's Deb. Still mustering around with my yucky illness. Tomorrow we have a 9am soccer game rain or shine. The forecast says rain, but I am really hoping that Mr. Sunshine peaks his head out for at least an hour for the game. Although for the most part, I am completely ready to welcome in this Fall weather. Just wait till I get inside, will ya?

So here is a pretty easy dish to fix. I believe I found this one in one of my favorite magazines, REAL SIMPLE. They have some fantastic recipes. This dish can be made quickly and I keep most of these ingredients on hand. With holiday bashes right around the corner this dish will be sure to be the hit of the party!

Spinach Artichoke Dip

1-10 oz. box frozen cut or chopped spinach, thawed

1 -12 oz. jar artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped ( I use the ones that are in water, not oil)

1/2 cup of whipped cream cheese

3/4 cup sour cream

1 cup grated Cheddar

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

Pita chips, tortilla chips or sliced French bread

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Squeeze spinach between two paper towels to make sure all the excess moisture is out. In medium bowl, combine spinach, artichoke hearts, cream cheese, sour cream and Cheddar. Season with salt and pepper. Put into a small oven-safe baking dish. Bake until golden brown on top. About 15 minutes. Serve warm with the chips or bread.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Blueberry Banana Yogurt

Kim here...I came up with this recipe when trying to find exciting pureed foods for my son to eat. He loves this stuff, not my favorite...but those of you with little ones out there this is a good one that is very healthy as well. Get the kiddos blueberries and wheat germ all in the same bowl!

My exciting country house note today is that I saw a deer eating the peaches off the tree that is planted on my back porch. Pretty cool! Also, finding that country folk like to chat (which I love). They will sit and shoot the breeze with you and tell you all sorts of interesting stories!

Blueberry Banana Yogurt

1 Brown Cow Plain or Vanilla Yogurt
1/2 cup blueberry puree (see recipe below)
1/2 banana , mashed
1 Tbls. or more wheat germ

Mix all together and serve. Can be adjusted to various solid food levels. For example, chunk banana instead of mashing.

Blueberry Puree
Take about 1/4 cup frozen blueberries and put them in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for about 15 seconds until unthawed. Put them in your food mill and grind away (food mill really is the way to go here folks, unless you have a ricer). You now have a blueberry puree.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Aunt Jan's Bran Muffins

So I have finally caught it..... that yucky flu that has been going around. I am achey and congested and just feeling like a truck ran me over. Kim just had the creeping crud too so I know that she can commiserate with me. I will try not to cough on the computer screen, sorry folks.

I am so excited to visit Kim's new country house. Our girls can't wait to get out to the chicken coops and see the chickens and roosters. I think moving to the country is the way to go. I asked Kim the other night if it was quiet out there and she said, "Not really, now we have all those crickets and roosters that make a lot of noise," but she did say the stars were fantastic out there. How cool is that. I am so excited for their new adventure to begin out in the country. I was so inspired by their move that I thought I would share a little country style recipe with you.

This recipe comes from a very special lady that has known Kim and I since birth. She is a great family friend who Kim and I refer to as "Aunt Jan." She always had the most spotless house and the best food when we would come to visit. Kim and I have fond memories of her garlic bread with fresh parsley sprinkled on top and her backyard that was not grass, but instead, all clover. It was fascinating trying to find a four leaf clover in that place.

This recipe is so good, I am excited for you to give it a try. I can no longer do the Crisco due to my soy allergy, but am going to experiment a little with applesauce and see how they come out. Try this one and let us know what you think.

Aunt Jan's Bran Muffins

6 cups of Bran Buds

2 cups boiling water

1 tsp salt

4 cups buttermilk

5 tsp soda

2 1/2 cups sugar

1 cup Crisco

4 eggs well beaten

5 cups flour

Use a large bowl. Mix bran, sugar and boiling water. Let stand for one hour, then add remaining ingredients. Add raisins if desired. Bake @400 degrees for 10-12 min. The dough keeps up to two weeks in the frig -- so bake as many muffins as you wish and then bake more on another day.

P.S. Happy October 1st to y'all. We will be having our Cowgirls and Cupcakes 2nd Giveaway within the next couple of weeks so be watching for it. Our fabulous Miss Kim has whipped us up another cute apron to include. I bet you can't guess the theme?!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Kim here...So we are all moved into our new house! We are living country style now! Instead of the daily commuting traffic waking me up, the roosters next door are :). Pretty funny change, but am loving it. Still haven't unpacked my cookbooks yet so here are some more yummy potatoes I love to make.

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

1 bulb garlic, roasted (see recipe below)
4 baking potatoes
1 cube butter
1/4-1/2 cup milk
Salt/Pepper to taste

Roasted Garlic
(Simply preheat oven to 400 degrees. Take your garlic bulb and cup the top off. Lay it on a square piece of foil, about 6"x6". Drizzle the top of the garlic with about 1 Tbls. olive oil. Wrap it up in the foil and put it in the oven. Bake for about 45 minutes to an hour. Unwrap foil and let cool. You then can squeeze the garlic out of the cloves without unpeeling anything.)

1. Cut potatoes into cubes and put into a pot. Fill with water and bring water to a boil. Boil for about 30 minutes.
2. Drain potatoes and then put back into the warm pot. Add the rest of the ingredients to taste and mash with your potato masher.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Dairy Free Smashed Tatoes

Hey, hey it's Deb. Wanted to continue on Kim's potato crusade with another fabulous rendition of mashed potatoes, or as my girls call them, "smashed tatoes." These are as equally easy as regular mashed potatoes, I just use a few different ingredients since the Scout is allergic to dairy. These are one of her favorites things to eat.

I do have to tell a quick funny story before we start.
I jumped on the bandwagon of hiding pureed vegetables in my youngest daughter's food because she basically will just gravitate towards fruit and starches. I grabbed some cauliflower and pureed it up and stuck it in these mashed potatoes. I thought I was being sneaky. You should have seen the Scout's face when she took a bite. She said, "Mom, these don't taste very good,"and promptly spit them out. I had to laugh. I must have added a little too much cauliflower. It does work, you just have to add in enough as to not ruin the taste of the potatoes and still get the vitamins in there.

Dairy Free Smashed Tatoes

3 large baking potatoes, peeled

1/4 cup of soy milk (this is going to vary depending on how big your potatoes are and how creamy you want to make them)

2 tablespoons of dairy-free margarine (again this is going to vary depending on the size)

dash of salt

dash of pepper

* Some secretly pureed cauliflower if you want to feel like your pulling the wool over your family's eyes. Ha Ha. About 1/4 cup of pureed cauliflower.

I have to say that my measurements are not very accurate with this. I usually boil a huge batch of potatoes (it usually takes about 25 to 30 minutes for a big batch to boil) and then pull out a small bowl for the Scout. After I have the small bowl full, I grab her soy milk and add in a splash and then a couple of tablespoons of her dairy free margarine (I use Nucoa). I add a dash of salt and pepper and whip them up really well and..... voila, dairy-free smashed tatoes. Now that you have the basic ingredients, play around with it till you find the right consistency that you and the family enjoy. I find that I experiment with cooking now a lot more especially with dishes like these where you are substituting this and that. You can even keep up Kim's tradition of cheesy dairy free smashed tatoes and add a little vegan cheese to these and vegan sour cream. Tofutti makes an excellent one!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Cheesy Smashed Potatoes

Kim here...To continue the theme of the mashed potatoes, here is another good one. Yummy!

Cheesy Smashed Potatoes

3 baking potatoes, cubed with skins on

1 stick of butter

1/2 cup sour cream

chives, couple of snips

1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

milk, optional...depends on how thick you want them

1. Put potatoes in the pot you are going to boil them in, then cover with water. Bring to a boil and let cook 30 minutes. Drain potatoes and then put them back into the hot pot. Add the rest of the ingredients and smoosh with potato masher. Add milk if they need to be thinned a bit.

**Feeding note**

See Classic Mashed Potato recipe for directions.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Chicken Chili and Cornbread Dumplings

How I love Fall time for all of the fabulous soups, stews and chilis. There is nothing like a huge bowl with biscuits, bread or dumplings. I thought this recipe would be just the one to start off the Fall with. It has a little bit of a kick and that's what makes it fun and festive. This wonderful recipe was found in a Bisquick cookbook. You know the ones you find at the checkout counter of the grocery store. It has so many fantastic recipes in it. I can't wait to try more. I did modify it a bit to fit the items that were in my pantry and my freezer.

Chicken Chili with Cornbread Dumplings

3 cups of cubed cooked chicken

1 1/2 cups of water

1 can (10 3/4 oz.) condensed cream of chicken soup

1 can (15 oz.) Great Northern Beans

1 can of corn, undrained

1/2 bag of frozen mixed color peppers (red, green and yellow - pretty)

1 can (4.5 oz.) of chopped green chiles

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 1/3 cups original Bisquick mix

2/3 cup yellow cornmeal

2/3 cup milk

1 tsp. chili powder

In 5 quart nonstick Dutch oven, heat all chili ingredients over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until bubbly *(I really didn't know what a dutch oven was until I went to my local Target and found one in the pot and pan aisle. I actually had one at home without even realizing it. Think a deep set pan that has a lid. Pretty basic.)
In medium bowl, stir all dumpling ingredients until soft dough forms.
Drop dough by 8 rounded spoonfuls onto simmering chili. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover; cook 13 to 15 minutes or until dumplings are dry. (They expand quite a bit as well, so don't be alarmed.)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Classic Mashed Potatoes

Kim here...Well, fall is here, yeah! It is my favorite time of the year! Mashed potatoes definitely say fall and the beginning of the holiday season. We love mashed potatoes around here and I do them up in many different ways. Here is my classic version, will post more versions soon. I always leave the skin on my mashed potatoes which give it a yummy rustic feel, plus you get the good nutrients from the skin! Oh, don't count the calories in this one!

Classic Mashed Potatoes

3 brown potatoes (large)
1 stick of butter
1/4 to 1/2 cup milk

1. Cut potatoes into cubes (do not peel potatoes). Place in a pan for them to boil in. After you put all your cubed potatoes into the pan, fill with water until it reaches just the top of the potatoes. Set burner on high and bring to a boil. Boil for 30 minutes.

2. Drain potatoes in colander and then place back into the hot pan, this will evaporate some of the water left in the potatoes. Place the butter, milk (start small amounts first), and generous portions of salt and pepper. Mash together with your potato masher. If the consistency is too thick, thin with a little more milk adding a little at a time. Enjoy!

**Feeding and Puree Tip**
This recipe is perfect for your little ones who are still eating mashed foods. Mix it in with meatloaf, stew, chicken, steak...the list goes on and on. You may just want to take the large chunks of skin out. If you are pureeing this, use just your potato masher or food mill. Putting this in your food processor will turn your potatoes into paste. Believe me, I have done it before!. Just mash with more milk until it becomes more liquidy.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fall Meatloaf

First off, I would like to give a big shout-out to Amy of Peptogirl Industries who awarded us the Este blog investe e acredita na Proximidade Award. To translate the gift from Portuguese to English, it means: "This blog invests and believes, the proximity" (meaning, that blogging makes us 'close' -being close through proxy).

Blogging really opens up a whole other world for a lot of us. It helps keep us in touch with friends and family and helps build a whole new interest based community where we can meet new friends and network our interest and expand our knowledge and visions of what we can accomplish or want to try. It's nice to find other sites out there that have the same vision as us. We are supposed to pass this award on to eight other blogs that are deserving of this award.

Here are the eight that I thought definitely deserved it:

Thank you Amy for the award. We really appreciate the recognition!

With all of the pumpkins and costumes out at Target, the local apple orchards open for business and my first grader keeping me updated on a daily basis of when the first day of Fall was going to be, I am happy to announce that it is officially here! This is my favorite time of year. I don't know if it is the colors, the cold weather or all of the good homemade soups and apple desserts that I consume that make me love Fall, but it's here and I am happy. I thought we could post a few of our favorite Fall recipes. We know that you have them tucked away in your recipe boxes just waiting for the season to arrive. So let's pull them out and start sharing.

Fall Meatloaf

I am a big fan of moist meatloaf. Most traditional meatloaves have oatmeal in them that really dry them out. My Mom has always referred to these as "dog food." She claims they are just too dry, and I have to agree. I like my meatloaf moist with lots of ketchup and potato. This is another version that I fix for my family. I love using Stove Top Stuffing. It really helps keep the moisture along with the delicious barbeque sauce. I hope you and your family enjoy it. I like to serve mine with a huge baked potato and broccoli.

2 eggs beaten

2 lbs. of lean ground beef

1 pkg. of Stove Stop Stuffing Mix for Chicken

1 cup of water

1/2 cup of bbq. sauce - divided

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In small bowl, beat eggs with a fork. Combine in large bowl, lean ground beef, stuffing mix, beaten eggs, and 1/4 cup of bbq. sauce. Mix until well blended. Shape mixture into an oval loaf in a 13 x 9 inch baking dish. Top meatloaf with remaining 1/4 cup of bbq. sauce. Bake 1 hour or until cooked through. Use a meat thermometer to check internal temperature. Should be at least 160 degrees in the center of meatloaf to be considered done.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Rainier

Kim here...Ok, so we are in the process of moving and I accidentally packed my cookbook I have all my recipes in that I have come up with! So, I will be getting creative this week to recall things I make that I haven't necessarily written down. Here I go again recreating a dish at a restaurant. This particular restaurant, 33rd St. Bistro, is one of my favorite places. I get the same thing over and over there. I have recreated it for home use.

The Rainier

Foccacia bread (sliced for a panini sandwich)
Smoked Mozzarella (shredded)
Roasted Chicken (shredded)
Mango Mayonnaise (simply take a cup of mayonnaise, add about 1 tsp. of lemon juice and 1 Tbls. mango puree, mix it together)

Build your sandwich on the foccacia using the cheese, chicken and mayo. Put in a pannini press and grill. If you don't have a press, just make it like you would grilled cheese...using a little oil to cook it in.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Garlicky Cheese Bread

Kim here...We love garlic bread around these parts. When you are in the mood for something different and have some calories to spare, this is your bread! I again, re-created after having it at a restaurant. I didn't put measurements on this one because you just need to use your judgment on what is just right for your tastes. Enjoy!

Garlicky Cheese Bread

Sweet French bread
Butter, softened
Garlic cloves, chopped
Parmesan cheese, shredded
Cheddar cheese, shredded
Mozzarella cheese, shredded

Soften the butter and spread on the bread which is split lengthwise.
Sprinkle on garlic cloves, then the cheeses.
Broil under the broiler until desired doneness.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Strawberry Lemonade Slushy

With summer rapidly coming to a close and Kim with her punch inspiration, here is our favorite summery drink treat. This wonderful recipe was courtesy of Kraft Food and Family Magazine. I love this magazine that Kraft sends out free of charge. I have found so many fantastic recipes in these. I have actually kept every single one and go back to them often.

Strawberry Lemonade Slushy

1/2 cup lemonade flavor drink mix (we use Country Time around these parts)

1/2 cup water

3 cups of ice cubes

1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries

Measure drink mix into cap to 1-qt. line (1/2 cup) Empty into blender container.

Add remaining ingredients; cover. Blend on high speed 10 seconds. Turn off blender. Stir with spoon; cover. Blend an additional 5 seconds or until smooth, using pulsing action. Serve immediately. Store the rest in freezer. You can also use fresh or frozen blueberries or raspberries for a little bit of a twist.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Holmes Punch

Kim here...Thanks Deb for my birthday greeting! I had a great one! Well, this punch, while simple, is sooo good. It has also been there for all of my later in life big events (ex: wedding, showers, etc.) My husband's mom's family is very big into punch. This punch is at every event, yes every event! His Aunt Diane is usually the one mixing it up. So this is a tribute to the Holmes Punch!

Holmes Punch

1 liter of Hawaiian Punch
1 liter of lemon lime soda

Mix together with ice and serve.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Happy Birthday Kim!!!!

Happy Birthday to my dear friend Kim!

Look at us here in all of our high school glory.

Hope you have a great one my friend!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Ultimate Strawberry Shortcake

Kim here...My husband's favorite dessert is strawberries and ice cream. Well, because I just can't serve ice cream in a bowl with some chopped up strawberries and always have to jazz it up, here is one of the versions of this dessert I have come up with. It's pretty tasty, not to mention very easy. This would make a great dessert to have when guests are over because it doesn't take but a minute to prepare and the visual on it is spectacular. Looks like it took you two days, but in reality just a few minutes. Enjoy!

Ultimate Strawberry Shortcake

1 package of puff pastry shells
Vanilla ice cream
Strawberries, chopped
Chocolate Syrup
Powdered Sugar for dusting

1. Bake the puff pastry according to directions. After baked, split in half.
2. On one round of the puff pastry, spoon on a dollop of ice cream. Put the other half of the round on top of the ice cream. Now it looks a little like a ice cream sandwich.
3. Take your strawberries and put some on top of the puff pastry and around the sides of it.
4. Take your chocolate syrup and go around the edge of the plate in a swirly design, or however you like to do it. This is for presentation and so you can dip your bite into the chocolate as you go.
5. Lastly, take your powdered sugar that is in a sifter type device and dust the dessert.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Chocolate Truffles

Ooooops! I missed posting yesterday so I am sticking this one in a little late. Sorry, I had my days all mixed up.

So this is my chocolate truffle recipe. These babies are so delicious that you will want to eat them up before you have to serve them to anybody else. I made these for Christmas one year. I have to say that they do take a little bit of practice. The first time that I made them they were a little bit too firm when I was trying to roll them. You want to have them be the consistency of a really thick dough. They are super easy and most of the ingredients I keep handy at all times.

Chocolate Truffles

1/3 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup butter (no substitutes on this one)

12 oz. of semi-sweet chocolate. (I like to use Toll House Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips for this)

1 tsp. extract

Unsweetened cocoa powder and powdered sugar for rolling the truffles in. I don't use nuts but you can always use nuts too!

Heat cream and butter in medium saucepan over low heat. Add chocolate; cook, stirring frequently until chocolate is melted. Remove from heat and stir in extract. Transfer mixture to small bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Let chill for several hours until mixture is firm but can still be easily spooned out. Roll mixture into 1/2 inch balls, then roll in cocoa powder or powdered sugar. Place in shallow dish and chill until firm.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Garlic Tri Tip Sandwiches

Kim here...Again, here I am copying another entree I have had at a restaurant. This is actually part of the thrill of me eating out, figuring out how to do it at home :)! My dad, his friend Charlie, my husband and I have all worked together to perfect it. I am proud to say this sandwich we created blows the socks off of the restaurant one! This is truly an indulgence but oh is it so tasty. It is a fun crowd pleaser too because guests get to have a part in their dinner which they always seem to like. Enjoy!

Garlic Tri Tip Sandwiches

Tri Tip (size depends on crowd)
Sweet Rolls (again crowd size dependant)
Garlic Butter (see below for recipe)

Garlic Butter

2 cubes of butter (this will do about 4-6 sandwiches)
1 bulb of garlic chopped (I highly recommend the food processor)

To make, put butter in a saucepan that has a large enough bottom for the sandwich rolls (open flat) to fit into. After butter is melted, turn down heat so that it won't burn or brown and add garlic. Let simmer or set for about 5 minutes.

To make sandwiches:
To prepare the tri tip, brush on a little olive oil and then salt and pepper the sucker. To cook the tri tip, there are several different ways. The preferred methodology is to smoke it. We own a pellet smoker and let it cook on there for about 3 hours and it is simply delicious. However, not everyone owns a smoker. So, here are some alternatives in cooking the tri tip in descending order from most delicious to just okay. 1. Smoked 2. Charcoal 3. Gas grill 4. Stove top grill 5. In a pan on the stove

So now that you have a cooked tri tip, it is assembly time. Let the tri tip rest 10-15 minutes before cutting into it and always cut against the grain. Slice into about 1/4 inch slices. Take your roll and open it up so that it is flat. Dip roll into the pan of garlic butter for a couple of seconds. Place sliced tri tip onto the roll with the yummy melty butter, close and enjoy!

**Feeding Tip**
To mash or puree this for little ones or ones that need help with the chewing this makes a great meal. Put sliced tri tip in food processor (2 slices). Add some garlic butter (about 1 Tbls.) and chop to desired consistency. Now, if this is still too dry for the one eating it, either add more butter or add some warmed up beef stock. The beef stock will take it to the puree step if needed. Talk about some gourmet food for your kiddos!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Mandarin Orange Salad

Congratulations to our big winner of our first Cowgirls and Cupcakes contest! As Kim said in the last post, we will be having our next giveaway at the beginning of October and of course it will be a spooky theme with another one of Kim's fantastic aprons!!!!! So stayed tuned all of you cowpokes out there!

This next recipe came from my parents next door neighbors who are more than just regular neighbors, they are super neighbors. Diane and her husband Rich have been fondly named "Grandma Diane and Papa Rich" by my daughters. I told you they were special neighbors.

I love any recipe that includes oranges. I have a perfect orange cake to share with you soon. This salad is perfect for these scorching summer days that we have been having.

Mandarin Orange Salad
A refreshing summer dessert (and a family favorite Easter dish).

1 large can mandarin oranges (or two small cans)

1 small can crushed pineapple

1 small box orange Jello

1 - 8 oz. small curd cottage cheese (NOT low fat as it becomes too watery)

1 package miniature marshmallows

1 - 9 oz. Cool Whip

Drain fruits. Combine in large bowl and sprinkle fruit with Jello mix. Add cottage cheese and mix very well. Add marshmallows and mix well. Fold in Cool Whip and chill.

Monday, September 8, 2008

We Have A Winner!

OK, so here it is (drum roll please!) the winner of our first ever giveaway here at Cowgirls and Cupcakes is......(can you stand the suspense?) Kaytea! Congratulations! Please send us your mailing address to cowgirlsandcupcakes@gmail.com and we will get that lovely prize your way ASAP. Congratulations again and thank you so much for participating in our giveaway. On that note, thank you to all who participated!

We will be having an October giveaway soon so make sure you keep posted to see what lovely things we have in store for it! I can tell you there will be another apron (Halloween themed, of course) and other fun surprises!

Saddlin' up and off to cupcake dreamland...
The Cowgirls (aka: Deb & Kim)

Friday, September 5, 2008

Brown Sugar Squares

Yee Haw, it's Deb here and it's Friday!!!! My favorite day of the week. Just wanted to remind you that our Cowgirls and Cupcakes giveaway is going to be coming to a close here on Monday at midnight. In order to be entered into the giveaway, you can either send us a recipe that we can post in the future at: cowgirlsandcupcakes@gmail.com, or make a comment on one of our posts. We have had so many nice comments and a ton of good recipes so keep them coming!

This next recipe comes from my sister-in-law Laurie. I have never tried these before, but as soon as I read the recipe, I knew that I would have to bust out a pan of these. Being that it's Friday, I thought we could all use a little treat, I hope you like them!

Brown Sugar Squares

2 eggs

2 cup brown sugar

2 tsp. vanilla

1 cup flour

½ tsp. baking soda

1 cup walnuts

Preheat oven to 350°

Cream together eggs, brown sugar, & vanilla

Add remaining ingredients.

Spread mixture into greased 9x13 baking pan

Bake 20-25 minutes

Cool in pan, Cut into squares.

*I am going to have to experiment around with this recipe. For those of us allergic to nuts, we of course, just omit the walnuts. For people with egg allergy we could try our 1/2 a banana trick here or substitute with 1/4 cup silken tofu pureed or 1/4 cup of applesauce instead of the eggs. This is a great article that I found on about.com about egg substitutions. I hope you find it helpful:

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Mango Chutney Pork Tenderloin and Coconut Rice with Roasted Asparagus

It's Deb. This post came to us from clear across the United States in sunny Florida from another crafty girl by the name of Prentiss Lee Ladkani that also has an infinity for sewing. Check out her cool blog at: http://prenspace.com/blog. This sounds sooo good. I can't wait to give it a whirl. Thanks Prentiss!!!!

Mango Chutney Pork Tenderloin and Coconut Rice with Roasted Asparagus

This is a quick recipe I came up with based on a similar dish my mom used to make for us growing up. You can substitute the Mango Chutney with Pineapple preserves. Try a more traditional approach and use Apple preserves.

Prep time: 15 mins. Cook time: About 30 mins.

1.5lb pork tenderloin, patted dry

1 jar Major Grey's Mango Chutney

Salt & Pepper

2 cans Goya coconut water

Basmati rice

2lbs asparagus, patted dried and tough ends removed.

1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

3 tablespoons olive oil

Heat oven to 425°. Line a 9x13x2-inch baking pan with foil; brush with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to your taste. Place tenderloin in baking pan and pour entire jar of Major Greys Mango Chutney over it. Roast pork in oven for approximately 30 minutes (approx 20 mins for every 1/2 lb of tenderloin). Internal temperature should be at 160 for medium done-ness.
In another large glass baking dish, toss the asparagus with the olive oil and garlic. Season lightly with salt and pepper, and toss. Bake until the asparagus are tender and lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes, depending upon the thickness of the stalks, stirring twice. Remove from the oven and toss with the lemon juice. Cook rice according to directions, replacing water with the Goya coconut water.
Once the tenderloin has cooked, remove from oven and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
Slice tenderloin into medallions and serve with coconut rice and asparagus.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Black Pepper Aioli

Kim here...My hubby and I went out on a date the other night. We went to this restaurant in Roseville and had a fabulous burger. Oh yeah, did I tell ya...I am a burger fanatic! Love those things! Anyway, what made this burger different was the black pepper aioli they served on it. I cannot tell you how good this stuff was. So as always, I was determined to recreate something that I loved at a restaurant (easier on the pocket book if I can do it myself, ya know). After searching for recipes online and then combining them to make my own I came up with something that was spot-on for the restaurant. I hope you guys enjoy this as much as my family did. Even my kiddos gobbled this stuff up on the turkey cheese burgers we had tonight!

Black Pepper Aioli

1 cup mayonnaise
4 roasted garlic cloves (to roast garlic...cut the top off a garlic bulb, drizzle with olive oil, wrap in foil and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour)
1-2 tsp. lemon or lime juice (depends on how tart you want it)
1-2 Tbls. fresh ground pepper (start with one tablespoon, go up from there...there should be lots of pepper in this, this is what makes it good)

Put all ingredients into a food processor and mix well. Serve on burgers, etc...

Feeding Tip:
When you make a burger and want to feed it to your little one who can't chew yet, this sauce makes a great way to soften it. Stick half the burger patty into your food processor. Spoon in about 1 Tbls. of this as well. Mix until you have the desired consistency. The burger will still be chunky, but the aioli makes it soft so that they can swallow it. If you have a child with sensory issues like mine, they will love this. The black pepper is like a party in their mouth!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Vegan Spinach Dip

It's Deb. Here is another great recipe for all you vegans and vegetarians out there as well as our friends that suffer from milk/egg allergies. This is another recipe from our friend Monica over at Puppybird.

Vegan Spinach Dip

1 package (10oz) organic frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 container (16oz) Tofutti Better than Sour Cream
1 cup Veganaise (vegan mayonnaise) *(I don't know where she finds this, but I am going to have to go on a little recognisance mission to find this goodness in a bottle)
1 package Knorr Vegetable recipe mix
1 can (8oz) water chestnuts, drained and chopped
3 organic green onions, chopped

Combine all ingredients and chill about 2 hours. Serve with your favorite dippers.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Wendy's Stuffed Mushrooms

Kim here...This is my sister-in-law's infamous stuffed mushrooms. They seriously get devoured at any get together! Wendy is an excellent cook and owns her own catering company. She is very well known in Yuba County and does a wonderful spread. If you need something catered she is a great resource! Her catering company is Cooper Catering. Email us at cowgirlsandcupcakes@gmail.com and I will pass the information on to her! Thanks Wendy for sharing this recipe with us. We get very excited around here when we get recipes to share! Here is what she has to say about her mushrooms...

Wendy's Stuffed Mushrooms

I use regular mushrooms but if you want to be fancy you could use crimini mushrooms too. I would just recommend using medium to larger size mushrooms, its hard to stuff the tiny ones.

1 lb mushrooms
1 lb regular or reduced fat Jimmy Dean Sausage
16 oz cream cheese
1 bunch green onions
1 Lemon
1 clove garlic
A few Tbls olive oil

Do ahead: Take your mushrooms and wipe then with paper towel. Don't wash with water. Carefully pull out the stems and scrape out the center a little with a knife or fingertip depending on how the stubborn the mushroom is being. You want a nice little well in the middle of the mushrooms. Set aside.

Set out cream cheese to soften. Fry up your jimmy dean sausage on medium heat until well done and brown. Make sure that the meat is in small crumbly pieces. Add 1 or so cloves of crushed or minced garlic. Continue to cook until your garlic is golden for maximum flavor.

Using a mixer add cream cheese, sausage, minced green onion, 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, 1/2 tsp lemon zest, a little finely ground black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Mix until mixture is well blended and creamy. Set aside.

Saute mushroom in a combination of a little olive oil and butter until the mushrooms are tender. Drain liquid and put mushrooms in an oven safe casserole pan. For this next step you can use a cake frosting tube; however I would be careful of using the same tube for frosting later.....sausage frosting just seems like it would taste wrong somehow. If you don't have a cake frosting tube like me, just use a zip lock. Fill zip lock with sausage mixture,zip tightly, and cut a small hole in the corner. Proceed to squirt enough mixture to fill the well in the mushrooms. It should overflow a little bit but not too much. You can do this a whole day ahead if you want or bake right away on 375 degrees for about 15 minutes or until Mushroom filling is golden brown.

Enjoy! Wendy