Sunday, May 29, 2011

Bean Salsa

Here is the bean salsa you all (all two of you) have been requesting.

I'm going to post two recipes that I have that are slightly different so you can choose how you like it best. I kind of combine both recipes and use what I have. But seriously, you cannot go wrong with any of these ingredients so put in what you like, leave out what you don't, add extra of what you really like, and make sure to have a big bag of tortilla chips on hand.

Recipe #1

4 cans Black Beans (drained and rinsed)
1 small bag frozen corn
1 chopped red onion
1-5 chopped tomatoes
1 chopped bell pepper
1/2 -1 bunch of chopped Cilantro (don't ever leave this out!)
1-2 Avocados
Juice from one lime

1 packet of Italian dressing
Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar

With the Italian dressing, follow the direction (sort of) on the back of the packet. I make with water and the vinegar to use is balsamic vinegar. I add in a swirl of olive oil, but you don't have to use any oil if you prefer.

Then just pour dressing over top, mix up, and chill in the fridge. It's ready to eat right away, but the longer you chill, the longer it has time to meld all the flavors together.

And one more side note... I actually don't mix the dressing up anymore. I just pour in the dressing packet, add a swirl of olive oil, and add in the balsamic until I like the look. It's more of the lazy way to do it, but it still tastes the same! Also, if I leave out the bell pepper and the red onion, sometimes I like it better. Your choice!

Recipe #2

I got this recipe from a Halliday baby shower this summer. It was SO good, and slightly different then what I had ever eaten before and I loved it. It uses different beans, and a different dressing, but the result is just as yummy!

1 can corn, drained (you'll love it if you use frozen corn, I promise)
1 can black eyed peas, drained (I have never seen these... use a white bean or great northern bean or use black beans)
2 chopped tomatoes
2 avocados
1 bunch cilantro
1 bunch green onion
I package Good seasons Italian Dressing, mixed up as directed.

Add it all in, mix up, and chill in the fridge.

Side note... both times I have made this at Palmer functions, I used white beans, corn, tomatoes, avocados, cilantro, and the italian dressing packet mixed with balsamic. Kind of a combo of both these recipes. But that's it. Enjoy!!

Puffy Pancakes

This is my go to Sunday morning breakfast. (and today is Sunday, so I thought I'd post it. and we don't have church until 1 pm and that means a long morning)

It's super easy, not a lot of cleanup, and we get a hot (nutritional?) breakfast before heading to church.

It's one of those fix it and forget it meals that you can quickly make when you wake up, and then jump in the shower while it cooks in the oven.

We always called them puffy pancakes growing up, but I'm pretty sure they are also known as German pancakes. Puffy pancakes are "funner" to say.

Puffy Pancakes
3 T butter

6 eggs
1 Cup milk
1 Cup Flour
1/2 tsp Salt

Pre-heat oven to 375*

Place 3 Tablespoons of butter in a baking dish (cake pan size) and place in oven to melt the butter while the oven is preheating.

Then get out your blender (or you can use a bowl and use beaters) and add eggs, milk, flour, and salt. And blend up.

Take the pan out of the oven, the butter should be mostly melted by now, pour in the batter and pop it back into the oven.

Bake at 375* for about 25 minutes.

Serve with maple syrup, sprinkled with powdered sugar. (and if you feel adventurous, add a small capful of lemon juice before you top it with maple syrup... I've always done that and I love it.)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Fried Ice Cream

For the last two years I have made this recipe for fried ice cream for Cinco de Mayo. It is the best I have ever had, and got rave reviews from my family as well. Recipe found here with some changes per readers suggestions.

1 quart vanilla ice cream
3 cups crushed Nilla Wafers
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 egg whites
2 quarts oil for frying

  1. Scoop ice cream into 8 - 1/2 cup sized balls. Place on baking sheet and freeze until firm, about 1 hour.
  2. In a shallow dish, combine Nilla Wafers crumbs and cinnamon. In another dish, beat egg whites until foamy. Roll ice cream balls in egg whites, then in Nilla Wafer crumbs, covering ice cream completely. Repeat if necessary. Freeze again until firm, 3 hours (or longer, the night before would be great).
  3. In deep fryer or large, heavy saucepan, heat oil to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  4. Using a basket or slotted spoon, fry ice cream balls 1 or 2 at a time, for 10 to 15 seconds, until golden. Drain quickly on paper towels and serve immediately.
  5. drizzle with honey, chocolate sauce and whipping cream. Yum.
*Note-the ice cream needs to stay frozen, so I took each ice cream ball out one at a time to fry so I could keep the rest of them cold, When the ice cream starts to melt the outside crumbs come off.

Mango Salsa

I made this salsa for my family's Cinco de Mayo celebration. To say it was "good", is definitely not enough. It was WONDERFUL, HEAVENLY, FABULOUS, EUPHORIC and ANY other adjective that you can think of to inspire you to make it. We LOVED it and I couldn't get enough. Recipe found in this cookbook.

1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 TBS olive oil or butter
2 ripe mangoes, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 fresh red pepper, chopped (I used an orange one, it was fine)
2 TBS coarsely chopped cilantro
2 TBS fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 TBS minced green onion

Saute onion in olive oil or butter until lightly browned. toss all ingredients together gently. serve with tortilla chips. Also great with halibut or grilled chicken.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Beef Stroganoff

I had never even tasted Stroganoff before I got married. Thanks to my favorite cookbook however, I found a recipe for it that I have used pretty much my entire married life. I really love it and I have had quite a few people ask for my recipe. Well you luckies get it today.

1 1-2 pounds beef tenderloin or boneless top loin steak (I use petite sirloin steak)
2 TBS butter or stick margarine
1 1-2 cups beef broth
2 TBS ketchup
1 teaspoon salt
1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
3 cups sliced mushrooms (8 oz)
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
3 TBS all-purpose flour
1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt (I only use 1/2-3/4 of a cup)
Hot cooked noodles or rice (I use egg noodles)

1. Cut beef across grain into about strips (beef is easier to cut partially frozen)

2. Melt butter in 10 inch skillet over medium-high heat. cook beef in butter, stirring occasionally, until brown.

3. Reserve 1/3 cup of the broth. Stir remaining broth, the ketchup, salt and garlic into skillet. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 10 minutes or until beef is tender.

4. Stir mushrooms and onion. cover and simmer about 5 minutes, or until onion is tender.

5. Shake reserved broth and the flour in tightly covered container; gradually stir into beef mixture. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. boil and stir 1 minute; reduce heat to low.

6. Stir in sour cream; heat until hot. Serve over noodles.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Raspberry Marbled Cheesecakes

I made these delicious cheesecakes for my little sister's bridal shower. They were so so so good.. you have GOT to try them! I got the recipe from here.

Note: Baking the cupcakes in a hot-water bath produces the creamiest results and prevents the batter from sinking in the oven.

1 1/2 cups finely ground graham crackers (about 12 sheets; use a mini chopper or food processor)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups sugar plus 5 tablespoons, divided
1 container (6 ounces) fresh raspberries
2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, room temperature


1. Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C). Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Stir together ground graham crackers, butter, and 3 tablespoons sugar. Press 1 tablespoon crust mixture firmly into bottom of each lined cup. Bake until set, about 5 minutes. Transfer tins to a wire rack to cool.

2. Process raspberries in a food processor until smooth, about 30 seconds. Pass puree through a fine sieve into a small bowl, pressing with a flexible spatula to remove as much liquid as possible; discard solids. Whisk in 2 tablespoons sugar.

3. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat cream cheese until fluffy, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. With mixer on low speed, add remaining 1 1/2 cups sugar in a steady stream. Add salt and vanilla; mix until well combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just combined after each.

4. Spoon 3 tablespoons filling over crust in each cup. Dollop 1/2 teaspoon raspberry puree in a few dots over each. With a wooden skewer or toothpick, swirl sauce into filling. Place each tin in a roasting pan (bake in batches, if necessary); pour enough hot water into pan to come three-quarters of the way up sides of cups.

5. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until filling is set, 27-30 minutes. Carefully remove tins from water bath and transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Refrigerate (in tins) at least 4 hours (or out of tins up to 5 days in airtight containers). Remove from tins just before serving.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Crab Macaroni Salad

Once upon a time my husband was on a soccer team (isn't that a great beginning to a story?) Our friends had decided to bring a picnic for their kids to eat during the game. They had this salad, shared some with me and I fell in love with it, got the recipe, and now I am giving it to you. The end. Okay not really because I still have to give you the recipe! It isn't like most of the pasta salads you have had before, it is much much better (as long as you like crab, which I do).

12 oz large shell cooked macaroni
2 cut up carrots (not baby carrot size, big size)
1 bag frozen peas
1 can cut up olives
1 small sliced purple onion (I dice mine)
3/4 lb crab meat (I prefer imitation crab)
celery (to taste, and it is optional)
1-2 tomatoes, cut up

Mix it all together

1/2 c. mayonnaise
1/2 c. salad dressing
1/8 c. pickle juice
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp onion salt
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp dill weed
1/2 tsp celery seed
2 tsp seasoned salt.

mix all dressing ingredients together and then mix into salad above.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Brownie Bites

These Brownie Bites are always a hit at a party or any get together! Your guests will be "wow"ed!

1 box Betty Crocker Fudge Brownie Mix (the best one to use is the Original Supreme Brownie mix)
Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on brownie mix box

2/3 cup whipping cream
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (6 oz)
Fresh raspberries


Heat oven to 350°F. Grease each of 42 miniature muffin cups with Pam. Make brownie batter as directed on box. Fill muffin cups about 3/4 full (about 1 tablespoon each) with batter.

Bake 12 to 13 minutes or until toothpick inserted in edge of brownie bites comes out clean. Do not overbake. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pan. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.

In 1-quart saucepan, heat whipping cream over low heat just to boiling. Remove from heat; stir in chocolate chips until melted. Let stand about 15 minutes or until mixture coats a spoon.

Spoon about 1 teaspoon chocolate mixture onto each brownie. Garnish with fresh raspberries.

For the raspberries, I rinse them under cold water and then lay them upside-down on a paper towel to dry. If there is still some water inside the raspberries, it will leak onto the ganache and just isn't pretty!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Blue Cheese Fried Potatoes

My husband LOVES blue cheese. It isn't my favorite, but ya know, whatever makes him happy. I found this recipe for Blue Cheese Fried Potatoes on

2 tablespoons butter
2 russet potatoes, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
1 large onion, cut into 1/4-inch thick rings
1 (4 ounce) package blue cheese crumbles
3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
salt and ground black pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the potatoes and onions. Cook until the onions are golden brown and the potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in the blue cheese and bacon, continue to cook until the blue cheese begins to melt. Season with salt and pepper.