How many times do I hear myself say, "where is that big orange binder?" or "has anyone seen that big orange binder?" The big orange binder has been accumulating recipes, kinspiration & original recipe cards tucked into plastic sleeves for my entire-almost-forty year existence. "The Big Orange Binder" is an organization attempt. It's a recipe with a story neatly packaged in a place where I'll always be able to find the ever-elusive . . . Big Orange Binder.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

French Toast a la MOTH

Papa says the secrets are:

1.  texas toast
2.  a big griddle
3.  lightly toast the bread before you dunk it in the eggie gunk

Whatever he does, he does it just right.  Papa cooks ONE meal in this house, and it's french toast.

Bread machine cinnamon roll dough

1/2 cup milk @ room temp
2 eggs, room temp
4 tbsp butter, room temp & cut into small bits
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups flour
1/3 cup corn starch
1 3/4 tsp yeast

Use dough setting. Scrape the sides 10-15 minutes into the program.

1/3 cup light brown sugar
3 tbsp sugar
1-1 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
Butter to coat rolled dough

3 oz cream cheese
3 tbsp butter
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp milk, or enough for proper consistency

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Pumpkin Dump Cake. Stolen.

1 can (15 0z.) pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk

3 large eggs
1 cup sugar

1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 box Spice Cake Mix
1 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
Spray a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, combine pumpkin puree, evaporated milk, eggs, sugar and cinnamon until well-combined.
Pour into the baking dish. 
Sprinkle dry cake mix on top of it. 
Drizzle the butter over the top of that. 
Bake for about 55-60 minutes.
It might still be just a bit jiggly in the middle when done.
It will continue to set up as it cools.
Let it cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Add cool whip, ice cream or some other fabulous topping. 


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Chicken Pot Pie

Use Perfect Pie Crust, or an easy store-bought variety.

Add this filling:

4 cups cubed chicken, booked
1 tbsp butter
veggies of choice . .  we like carrots, corn, mushrooms . .. . but I know green beans, taters and a variety of beans are all popular choices.  I tend to use what I have on hand.

1/4 cup dry white wine OR water
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
2 tbsp flour
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3/4 cup chicken broth

For a really kid friendly pallate, I use all veggies frozen or canned; no butter; no cream -- just veggies and soup.

Bake in a 400 degree oven until the crust is brown and filling is bubbly; about 25-30 minutes.

Swiss Chicken

As a brand new NICU nurse, I worked with a little old lady named Linda.  Not old, just older than me.  I was new and young and childless.  She had three boys, a husband, a dog and a life larger than mine.  She was determined to teach me how to cook.  This is one of her recipes.

4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/4 cup milk
6 slices of swiss cheese
1-2 cups stuffing mix
2 tbsp butter -- melted

Spray or line crockpot. 
Then layer . . . . chicken, cheese, soup & milk combo, stuffing.  Drizzle butter.

Cook in crock pot, high for 2-4 hours. 

Bohemian Braids

When I was about 10 years old, I won a baking contest with this.  It reminds me of holidays and genuine scratch baking still.  I usually make it at holiday time.  My daughters love to help with this.  I'm writing the original recipe.  (With all my inclusions or exclusions).

1/2 cup warm water
2 pkg active dry yeast
1 1/2 cup lukewarm milk; scald & let cool
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp salt
2 eggs
 1/2 cup shortening
7 to 7 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp grated lemon or orange rind
1/2 tsp mace
1 cup raisins (or craisins or dried bits of cherry)
1 cup chopped nuts of choice

Dissolve yeast in water.
Add milk, sugar, salt, egg, shortening & half of the flour.
Add rind, mace, fruit & nuts.
Continue adding flour until dough handles easily.
Turn onto lightly floured board & knead until smooth.
Round up in  a greased bowl.
Cover with cloth and let rise in a warm place until double -- about 90 minutes.
Punch down and allow to rise again; until almost double -- about 30 minutes.
Divide into 2 equal portions, to make two braids.  Divide each of those portions into four equal portions. Shape 3 parts into a strand and braid.  Divide the fourth part into three equal parts and braid.  Place the smaller on top of the larger braid, fastening loose ends and tucking under to secure.  Cover.  Let rise again; until nearly double -- approximately 45-60 minutes.  Brush with egg white glaze; bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown.  Frost, if desired. 

* Note:  I'm not a fan of the egg white glaze; I like flour covered old fashioned bread, but it it's for pretty, the egg white really makes it shine.

1 lb powdered sugar
1 tbsp vanila
1/4 cup milk
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup margarine

Beat with a mixer until smooth.  Drizzle over warm bread.  If too thick, just add a few drops of milk.

Monday, November 19, 2012

A touch of this and a dab of that chocolate cupcakes

1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup vegetable oil (or 1/2 cup of butter)
1 cup water OR buttermilk OR milk (whole is best)
1 tsp vinegar

Mix.  Mix well.  No lumps.  So mix the heck out of this.  Beat for at least 3 minutes on medium speed.  Add a xnack-cup of chocolate pudding as a final addition, then mix some more.  Pour into foil or paper lined cupcake tins.  Bake until they spring back when touched.  Cool.  Frost.  Enjoy.

Classic Vanilla Cupcakes

1/2 cup room temp butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold milk (whole is best)
1/2 cup sour cream

Cupcakes.  Not my favorite, but alwasy popular with the kiddos.  These are easy as pie.  Just throw it all together.  I've monkeyed with the amounts, too.  Greek yogurt works well instead of sour cream.  One similar recipe calls for no sour cream, but 2/3 cup of milk. 

Use cupcake pans.  Bake at 350 in paper or foil cups until they spring back to the touch.  Cool completely.  Frost. Enjoy.

Chris-N-Kim's Zucchini Bread

As a high school gymnast, my coaches used to make this bread for special treats and roadtrips.

Mix in a large bowl:

3 cups flour
2 tsp soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp baking powder

In a bowl, with an electric mixer:

1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 oil (or 1/2 cup applesauce with 1/4 cup oil)

Add 3 eggs, one at a time.
Add 3/4 can of a 15 oz can of crushed pineapple.  Do NOT drain.
Add 2 cups of grated zucchini.

Gradually add 2 tsp vanilla and flour mixture.  Add nuts, if desired.

Bake in greased pans or cups @ 350 for an hour (for loaves) or until done.   Cool.  Remove from pans.

Optional glaze:  1 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 3 tbsp apple juice.  Mix and pour over cool bread.

Death by Cheesecake

1 1/2 cups graham crackers, crumbled or beaten with a rolling pin
2 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup of butter (not margarine)

5 (8 oz) packages of cream cheese
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tbsp flour
3 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tsp finely grated lemon peel
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Crust . .  so easy.  Mix the three ingredients.  It will be crumbly but moist.  Press it into a pan.  Use a measuring cup and be persistant.

Filling . . . With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese for a couple minutes or until it's soft, smooth & workable.  Add sugar.  Beat some more.  Add flour.  Then add the eggs.  Beat until blended well.  Add sour cream.  Add lemon peel.  Add vanilla.  Beat some more.  Pour into prepared crust.  Bake at 325 for 1 hour and 15 minutes.  Remove.  Cool.  Serve with fresh berries.  It's better the 2nd or 3rd day, so make this well in advance and make sure it's chilled completely before slicing and serving.

Pumpkin Biscotti

2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
pinch of ginger
pinch of cloves
pinch of salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350.
Stir together flour, sugar, salt, sugar, baking powder and spices. 
In another bowl, whisk eggs, pumpkin & vanilla.  Pour together and give it a stir.  The dough will be crumbly.  On a lightly floured surface, with floured hands, knead lightly.  Form the dough into a log  (or two smaller ones) and place on a greased cookie sheet or pan.  Shoot for uniform length, no bigger than about 6 inches, and more flat that long.  Bake for 22-30 minutes or until the crust is firm.  Remove.  Let cool for about 15 minutes.  With a sharp serrated knife, cut the logs into slices.  Place the slices center up on the sheet and bake again, for about 15 minutes @ 300 degrees.  Cool.  You can store this in a non-airtight container if you like it a bit more crunchy. 

Bailey's Irish Cream Fudge from Krismus

4 1/2 cups sugar
1 can evaporated milk
1/2 lb butter
2 pkgs (12 oz each) of milk chocolate chips
1 pkg (12 oz) of semi sweet chocolate chips
2 jars (7 oz) marshmallow cream
2 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup baileys Irish cream
2 cups chopped nuts, optional

Method: in large bowl, put chocolate chips, marshmallow cream, vanilla, Irish cream and nuts. Set aside.  Heat butter, sugar, milk to boil, reduce heat & cook slowly for 11 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour milk mixture over the ingredients in the bowl and stir slowly to blend. Do NOT use a mixer.  Pour fudge into buttered 9x13 pan. Chill. When fudge is cold, cut into uniform pieces. Makes approximately 5 pounds.

**Notes on this recipe: this fudge does not get hard.  It stays soft, so if you are gifting, use small tins & package the whole works instead of cutting.

Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting

An OLD recipe that I'm putting here in my efforts to organize ....

25 minute prep time/40 minute bake time

2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
2/3 cup milk
3 medium carrots, grated
1/2 cup coarsely chopped nuts

Oven to 350. Grease pan. Mix dry ingredients. Beat butter & sugar. Add eggs. Mix in flour mixture, carrots & nuts .      Pour  into  prepared pans. Bake until top springs back and toothpick comes out clean.  Cool for 5-10 minutes in pans, then remove & cool completely.  Ice when cool.


1/2 cup (1stick) butter
4 oz cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1/4 cup finely chopped nuts
2 tbsp brown sugar

Pretzel Stuffing

I might have to tweak this later . . . . 'cause this is coming from a morphed recipe that is several years old.  It's in my mind, and goes a little something like this (hit it!) . . . .

Sausage . . . . links, about 12, skin off, cut into small chunks & pan fry
Onion . . . about 1/4 of a red onion . . . finely chopped . . . add to sausage

Mushrooms . . . a package of sliced . . . sauteed just briefly with the sausage & onion

Long grain wild rice . . . . cooked; I usually get the microwave variety for convenience

Mix those of four things together, then toss them with a large bowl of  pretzels & croutons.

Pretzels . . . you need several cups of pieces; so break them into about 1/4 to 1/2 inch bits.  Remove the itty tiny crumbs, if you can.
Add stuffing croutons . . . about an equal amount.

Then add chicken broth until it's well moisturized, but not soggy.  Add salt and pepper.  Add sage.  My momma used to say, "add it and toss it until is smells right."   Stuff the bird, or do a pan.  Or both.

Sir-Loin Colorado Peach Cobbler

Back in my teenie-popper days, I worked as waitress at a little restaurant in the valley called The Sir-Loin.  I grew to be close, close friends with the owners.  In the fall, we'd buy fresh peaches by the bushel and make homemade Colorado peach cobbler for dessert.  

One of my fondest memories of Anne is standing at the prep counter with her slicing peaches. 
There is no written recipe for this .. . . well, until now.  But here it is now: 

Slice your peaches.  You need about 6 to make a small pan.  If you float your peaches in hot water, they'll peel up super-slick. 

 To the top of your pan of peeled and sliced peaches, add a couple pats of butter and a sprinkling of sugar. 
 In a separate bowl, dump and mix:   a couple of cups of bisquick, a generous spash of milk and about 1/2 cup of sugar.  It needs to be thicker than pancake batter or cake batter.  Spoon that over the peaches.  Bake at 350 until the crust is brown and the filling is bubbly.  Remove.  Enjoy.  Add ice cream or whipped cream for extra touch of love.  Fresh grated cinnamon is a great top-off! 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Perfect Pumpkin Pie

Middle wants pumpkin pie.  I want pumpkie pie.  I went digging for the recipe and can't find it.  I remembered we liked this one, thanks to the blog . .  . .

1 - 15 oz can pumpkin
1 - 14 oz can EAGLE brand sweetened condensed milk
2 large eggs
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 - 9 inch unbaked pie crust

Oven to 425.  Mix it all together.  Pour into crust.  Bake 15 minutes.  Reduce oven temp to 350 and continue baking for 35-40 minutes or until knife comes out clean.  Cool.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Zucchini Cake from Marilyn with Cream Cheese Frosting

2 c sugar
1 c oil
2 eggs
2 1/2 c flour
1 tsp soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
3 c shredded zucchini
1 cup chocolate chips or nuts

Beat sugar, oil & eggs.  Add zucchini.  Add dry ingredients.  Pour into 9 x 13 pan.  Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.

Cream cheese frosting . . .
1/2 stick butter
3 oz cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar

Marilyn says bars are about the same . . . she uses 4 eggs, 1/2 cup oil & 2 tsp cinnamon . . . I just use the same recipe in a different pan.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Jello Cookies

  • source:

  • YIELD: 2 dozen
  • PREP: 20 mins
  • COOK: 10 mins
  • READY IN: 30 mins



  1. Beat butter in large bowl with mixer until creamy. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Blend in egg and vanilla. Mix flour and baking powder in a separate bowl. Gradually beat in flour mixture.
  2. Divide dough into 4 sections. Sprinkle 2 Tb of jello onto each section. Knead together with dough. You may want to add a few drops of food coloring to make the dough more vibrant. 
  3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in the extra jello from the packets. Place, 2 inches apart, on baking sheets. Flatten with bottom of bowl. 
  4. Bake 8 to 10 min at 350 on lined baking sheets. Cool on baking sheets 2 min. Remove to wire racks and cool completely.

Brown Butter Snickerdoodles - Stolen.


Brown Butter Snickerdoodles

8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 ½ tsp. cream of tarter
1 tsp. baking soda
1 TBSP plus 2 tsp. cinnamon, divided
¾ tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
½ tsp. salt
2 large eggs
1 TBSP whole milk
1 cup plus 3 TBSP granulated sugar, divided
½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
In a medium skillet, melt the butter over medium heat swirling the pan occasionally until the foam subsides and the butter turns nut brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Pour the browned butter through a strainer directly into the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat the butter on medium-low speed to release the heat and bring it to room temperature, 5 to 7 minutes. A lot of people are shy about getting their butter brown too brown. You want it to get a nutty aroma. That is what will give it a different flavor than just a regular snickerdoodle.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, 1 tsp. of the cinnamon, nutmeg (not everyone likes nutmeg but I really think it adds something to the snickerdoodle), and the salt.
In a small bowl, combine the eggs and milk and whisk lightly.
Once the butter is cooled, turn off the mixer, add 1 cup of the granulated sugar and the brown sugar, and beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and beat again for a few seconds. Turn the mixer to low and stream in the egg mixture, continue beating on medium speed until thoroughly combined, 30 to 45 seconds.
Add the flour mixture in three parts, beating after each addition for 10 to 15 seconds, or until just barely incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and gather the dough into a mound in the middle. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours. I waited about 4 hours but remember the longer you go the more flavor you will have.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Sugar Cookie Bars . . .Better Than The Best

Comments later.  Recipe now.



  • 2-1/2 cups bread flour (or all-purpose flour is fine)
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp. sour cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
  • Several drops of food coloring (optional)

  1. COOKIES: Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. (The longer you beat it, the fluffier your cookies will be.)
  4. Add egg and combine well.
  5. Add sour cream and vanilla and mix until completely blended.
  6. Slowly add the flour mixture and stir until well combined.
  7. Gently press the batter into the greased baking dish and spread out with hands. (If you butter your hands, this will help with the stickiness.)
  8. Bake 17-20 minutes, or until edges become lightly golden.
  9. Set aside to cool completely.
  10. FROSTING: In a medium bowl, cream together butter, powdered sugar, and half and half until light and fluffy.
  11. Stir in vanilla and salt, combine well.
  12. Add food coloring until desired color.
  13. Frost your cooled cookie bars evenly.
  14. Cut into squares and serve.  

Monday, October 1, 2012

Triple C Goodness...chocolate chip cookies

3/4 cup butter flavored Crisco
11/4 cups light brown sugar
1tbsp vanilla
2tbsp milk

Cream well, then add:

3/4 tsp soda
1tsp salt
13/4cups flour
Chocolate chips

Bake @ 375 until firm but not brown .... Remove early & let cook for 1 more minute on the hot pan.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Ultimate Sugar Cookies

1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup, or 1 stick of butter flavored Crisco
2 eggs
1/4 cup light corn syrup or pancake syrup
1 tbsp vanilla
3 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

1.  Heat oven to 375.
2.  Combine sugar and crisco in large bowl.  Beat at medium speed until creamy & smooth.  Add eggs, syrup and vanilla.  Beat until fluffy.
3.  Add dry ingredients slowly, while continuing to mix on low speed.  Blend thoroughly.  Divide dough into four parts.  Wrap each in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for an hour, at least.
4.  On floured surface, take one refrigerated disk.  Unwrap & flatten.  Use a floured rolling pin to roll and cut.  Place cut cookies on baking sheet.  Sprinkle or roll in sugar, if desired or leave them plain (for your picky husband) or to frost when cool.
5. Bake at 375 for 5 to 9 minutes.  Do not overbake.  Brown = burned, so take them out early so they are soft in the center.  Cool for a couple of minutes, then move to a wire rack to cool completely.

Perfect Pie Crust

Makes one-nine inch pie crust.

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup shortening
2-3 tbsp ice cold water

Comine flour and salt in a medium bowl.  Cut in shortening.  You want crumbles.  Sprinkle in water until mixture just holds together.  Shape into a ball.  Roll on floured surface and roll to 1/8 inch thickness.  Use in whatever recipe calls for crust.

Monkey Bread -- from Marilyn

She made this once for our family when the big girls were about 2 and 4.  Since then, it's a Christmas or holiday morning favorite.

For the bread: 
4 tubes of biscuits
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

1 stick butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Mix cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl or ziploc baggie.  Cut each biscuit into quarters and roll it or shake it in the cinnamon sugar mixture.  Put it in an angel food or bundt pan that has been sprayed well.

Mix together topping ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a rolling boil.  Pour this over the biscuits.  Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes.  Cool for 5 minutes.  Invert onto a platter.  Serve warm.

** My family loves this with lots of broken pecan bits in the bottom of the bundt pan!!  Delish!

Snowman Cookies

Christmas Cupcake Platter

Ninja Pizza Dough

1/4 ounce pkg of yeast . . . . PS . . . 1 pkg or envelope of yeast = 2 1/4 tsp of yeast.  I use 2 1/2 because we are at high altitude
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
2/3 cup water, warm
1/4 cup of canola oil
2 cups all purpose flour

Place yeast, water, salt & sugar in the bowl.  Pulse for about 10-15 seconds.  Add the oil and flour, 1 cup at a time and continue to pulse until the dough is smooth and rounds into a ball.  Transfer to a greased bowl and allow to raise for about 1 hour.

** Because we live at altitude, I punch this down and let it rise again (if time allows), for about 45 minutes.

We use this dough for pizza, calzones and all things Italian . . . . it makes a great breadstick, too!

Marilyn's Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

1 cup raisins, boiled in 1/2 cup of water & set to cool
1 cup sugar
1 cup butter flavored crisco
2 eggs
5 tbsp raisin water
1 tsp soda
2 cups oatmeal
2 cups flour
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Bake at 350 until they spring back to touch and edges are just barely turning brown.

Frosting, if you want . . . just mix up butter, half and half & powdered sugar.  Add a little glob to the top of the cooled cookies.

Marilyn's Pumpkin Bars

I get quite a few recipes from my old friend and the best neighbor in the world, Marilyn.  Here's one of her fall favorites . . . .

Pumpkin Bars

1 cup oil
4 eggs
2 cups pumpkin
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cloves
2 tsp cinnamon

Make batter.  Pour into greased bar pan & bake at 350 for appox 30 minutes.

3 oz package of cream cheese (but cream cheese comes in 8 oz bars, so I just use half)
1 stick margarine
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla

When pumpkin bars are completely cool, frost with this lovely stuff.  This is a fun project for little bakers . . . then can pipe frosting onto a sheet cake in all different styles.  In the end, it all cuts the same and looks and tastes delicious.

Basic White Bread-- Bread Machine

Throw (gently) all the ingredients in the order listed, into the machine.  Your machine will be different than mine, but I prefer medium loaf, light crust IF I'm letting the machine do the baking OR the dough function . . .

Large 2 lbs. 
1 1/2 cups water, room temp
3 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
4 cups bread flour
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
1 3/4 tsp yeast, active dry, instant dry, or bread machine

Medium 1 1/2 lbs.  
1 1/8 cup water, room temp
2 tbsp +1 tsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces (that's a pain to measure, so I pretty much guess)
2 1/4 tsp granulated sugar
1 1/8 tsp salt
3 cups bread flour (I like 1/2 white and 1/2 wheat flour)
3 tbsp nonfat dry milk
1 3/4 yeast, active dry, instant dry, or bread machine

Small 1 lb.
3/4 cups water, room temp
1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
3/4 tsp salt
2 cups bread flour
2 tbsp nonfat dry milk
1 1/4 tsp yeast, active dry, instant dry, or bread machine

Cheddar Fondue

* notes:  from Mastercook II

1 pound shredded cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk (this is crossed out and BEER is added) 
1 tsp grated onion
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
pinch of cayenne pepper
salt to taste 

Mix shredded cheese and flour until the cheese is well coated.  In a fondue pot, heat milk and onion, not quite to boiling.  Stir in the cheese a little at a time, continuing to heat and stir until all the cheese is melted.  Add worcestershire sauce and cayenne.  Salt to taste.  Keep hot over alcohol burner.  Serve with french bread cubes. 

Swiss Chicken Casserole

From an nurse I used to work with at SCFW in the NICU.  She make it in the crock pot.  Just make the necessary adjustments & leave it on all day.

6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
6 slices of swiss cheese
1 can of cream of chicken soup
3 tbsp dry cooking sherry (in with the soup)
1/4 cup milk
1 package of dry stuffing mixi
1/2 cup melted butter

Preheat oven to 350.  Lightly grease a baking dish.  Arrange the chicken placing one slice of swiss cheese on top of each breast.  Combine cream of chicken soup, sherry & milk in a medium bowl and pour it over the chicken breasts.  Sprinkle with stuffing mix.  Pour melted butter over the top, drizzle butter.  Cover with foil and bake for 50 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

Big Soft Ginger Cookies

Yea.  Found this recipe under the silverware drawer with notes "yum" and "oh yes" on it.  I vaguely remember.  In the spirit of organization, I'm putting it here . . . with "cookies" . . . where it belongs.  Not under the silver ware drawer.

Original notes say it's from Amy Sacha.  Give credit where credit is due . . . but I don't know Amy and I have no other source.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Makes:  24 cookies

2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup margarine, soft
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tbsp water
1/4 molasses
2 tsp white sugar (for rolling)

1. Preheat to 350
2.  Sift together: flour, ginger, soda, cinnamon, cloves & salt.  Set aside.
3.  In a large bowl, cream together:  margarine & sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in egg. Stir in water and molasses.  Gradually add the sifted dry ingredients & mix completely.
4.  Shape into balls.  Roll in sugar.
5.  Place on cookie sheet, 2" apart.  Flatten slightly.
6.  Bake for 8-10 minutes.  Allow to cool just slightly then remove to a wire rack or towel to cool.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Crock Pot Lasagna

Oh My Land . . . this was delish.  And such an easy prep and go recipe, perfect for fall nights.    If you already have a lasagna recipe, just use your own.  Layer into a crock pot that has been generously sprayed with cooking spray.  Then cook on low for 4-5 hours.  Don't try to rush it and boost it up to high.  I suggest no-bake lasagna noodles . . . just break them to fit.  Also, add lots and lots of sauce . . . .

In case you don't have a recipe, here's mine, from the land of pinch-of-that and dab-of-this .   . .

Prep sauce the night before, or make a double batch a few days before.  I use my super simple Bolognese.

In a bowl, make a cheese layer mixture.  I use:  a medium sized container of cottage cheese, a small container of ricotta, parmesan to cover the top and a handful of mozzarella.  Add an egg to this, plus 1 tsp of salt and 1 tsp of pepper.  If you like green flecks, add in about 2 generous teaspoons of Italian herbs, in whatever combination you like.

Then, layer in the crockpot.  ** Of special note .  . my crock pot runs super-hot, so I put a layer of ziti in the bottom, so that if it burned, it wouldn't be the lasagna, just the layer of ziti.  Add generous sauce to prevent burning to the bottom  . . . .

Serve with tossed salad & french bread.  Delish.  And so, so easy.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Mimi's Carrot Raisin Muffins

Big loves these muffins so I went hunting for a knock-off recipe.  Found this one here.   And the second  one here . . . . I'm putting them both in my Big Orange Binder. 

Carrot Raisin Bread
Yield: one 9" square, or four 3"x6" mini-loaves

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
3 eggs
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup canned crushed pineapple, with juice, drained
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup finely shredded carrots

1. Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt into a mixing bowl. (or just dump them in and mix, I don't care)

2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar and eggs.

3. Stir the liquid mixture into the flour; mix well.

4. Add the walnuts, pineapple, raisins and carrots; stir again.

5. Grease and flour a 9" square pan or four mini-loaf pans. Fill the pans 2/3 full with batter.

6. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 40 minutes. (Mini-loaves take about 30 minutes).

Mimi’s Cafe Carrot Raisin Nut Bread
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup brown sugar (I used dark brown sugar)
3 eggs
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup diced canned pineapple, drained (I just diced up some canned tidbits)
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup finely shredded carrots
Sift first five ingredients into a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar and eggs. Stir the liquid mixture into the flour; mix well. Add the next four ingredients; stir again. Grease and flour a 9-inch square pan or four mini-loaf pans (I did the 9 inch sq pan). Fill the pans 2/3 full with batter. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes. Mini-loaves take about 20 minutes.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Rosemary Honey Chicken - Freezer to Crock Pot

Taken from pinterest, which led to a blog, which now gives me an error on the page.  I cut this into a word document long ago, so I'm sorry to not give credit where credit is due.  I'm almost certain this recipe is originally a Rachel Ray, but then morphed into a freezer to crock pot by someone far more organized & creative than me. 
Prep ahead and put in the bag - 
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces, 1/3 c balsamic vinegar, 1/3 c honey, 1/3 c olive oil, 3 T chopped fresh rosemary, 1 tsp salt. 
The night before cooking -- take it out and allow it to defrost completely.
On cooking morning, add 1 cup of water and the contents of the bag to the crockpot. Then cook on high for 3-4 hours. Ten minutes before serving, add cornstarch to thicken the sauce.
Serve over couscous or rice.  I served this over a mixture of 1/2 quinoa and 1/2 rice, because that's what I had on hand.  I served it with a green salad  . .