Monday, September 28, 2009

Leftover Chicken or Turkey Hot Sandwich Dinner Idea

Three cups leftover chicken or turkey-chopped
8 ounce tub chive flavored cream cheese
1 clove minced garlic
Opt- small can of mushrooms, drained,  1/2 C chopped artichoke hearts, or 1/2 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes.

Mix this togetrher.

10 to 12 sheets of filo dough
1/2 C melted butter
1 C Mozzarella
Parmesan and garlic powder

On a cookie sheet layer the filo dough brushing a little butter between each layer.  Put the chicken mixture in the middle of the dough so that it is 3 inches wide.  leave two or three inches at each end.  Use a sharrp knife and cut the sides of the dough into 1/2 inch strips.  Top the chicken with 1 Cup of mozzarella cheese.  Lace the strips over the chicken and cheese.  Brush the top of the sandwich with butter and top with a little garlic powder and Parmesan. Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes.

After Thanksgiving I am always looking for creative ways to use the leftover  Turkey.  I don't think anyone would complain about this recipe.  It is surprisingly flavorful.  The filo dough is light, crispy and flakey.

Almost As good As Fried Butter Cake

I saw Rachael's recipe a few days ago and knew I had to make that cake. But we do live in Texas so a few changes to the recipe were necessary to fit in with the local cuisine. Texans are big on pecans because they grow here. Fried Butter is the new must try food at the State Fair that everyone is raving about so I thought that I would fill in the blank with that.

So here is the Texas version:

1 C cold Butter
1 C flour
1/2 C pecans

Put this in the food processer and pulse a few times until it looks like the right consistency. Put this on the bottom of a 13"X9" pan. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. If you are using a convection oven bake at 325 for about 22 minutes. Allow this to cool completely before putting in your filling.

In the mean time. Whip together an 8 oz box of cream cheese and 1 C of powdered sugar. Add 1/4 Cup milk. Fold in an 8 oz container of col whip. Put this in the fridge while you are waiting for the crust to cool.

Next, mix 2 small boxes of chocolate pudding and 3 cups of milk. Pour this on top of the cream cheese mix.

Then top the whole thing with about 4 ounces of cool whip. Crush up 6 Oreo cookies and two Heath bars and sprinkle these on top of the cool whip. Put the wole thin in the refrigerator for 3 hours or more.

Bob really liked this dessert. I am not sure if Joe is old enough to eat this but he ate it anyway. He really liked it too.  Thanks Rachael!  I am going Visiting Teaching tomorrow so I think I will pass some of it out then.

I will let you know what fried butter tastes like when we go to the State Fair of Texas.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Grandma's Recipe Box (Crazy Crunch and Boiled Raisin Cookies)

When I was going to Rick's College, now BYU Idaho, I had the opportunity to stay with Grandma Bullock during the summer. I worked during the day and in the evening I would come home and copy the recipes that she had collected over her lifetime. She was the best cook I knew. I wrote down all of her favorite recipes and put them in my own box. I still treasure that recipe box today. Here are a few of my grandmother's favorite recipes:

Crazy Crunch
There is a story that goes with this recipe. My grandmother found this recipe in a newspaper years ago. She loved candied popcorn! She made this recipe so much that she had it memorized. She also made this recipe so much that she gained a lot of weight. Because she had gained so much weight, she decided to throw away her newspaper clipping and stop making crazy crunch for a while. She felt confident that she had memorized this recipe and would never forget it. Well after a few years, she had lost the weight and had a craving for candied popcorn. She tried over and over again to make it, but could not replicate the recipe. To her dismay, she had forgotten it. She ended up writing to the Karo Syrup company and requesting the recipe from them. The lesson she passed on to me was to never throw away a recipe, even if you think you have it memorized.

1 1/3 cup sugar
1 cup butter
1/2 cup light karo syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
8 cups popped corn
2/3 cup toasted almonds (I usually don't add the nuts)
1 1/3 cup toasted peanuts

Combine sugar, butter, and corn syrup in a 2 quart saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat stirring constantly. Continue boiling for 10 to 15 minutes-- until the temperature reaches 290 degrees (hard crack stage) If you don't have a thermometer you can get a glass of cold water and pour a small spoonful of the hot liquid into the water, the candy is ready if the cooled candy cracks when you take it out of the water.
Remove the candy from the heat and stir in vanilla. Pour this syrup over the popped corn and nuts Toss with spoons and spread out on a cookie sheet to cool. Break into pieces and stor in a tightly covered container. Makes 1 3/4 pounds.

(Caution.. eating too much of this can make you gain weight)

Boiled Raisin Cookies
This recipe is very old fashioned. I am sure it was developed before the chocolate cookie.

1 cup water
1 cup raisins
1 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
3 beaten eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 cup nuts--optional
4 cups sifted flour

Add water to raisins and boil for 5 minutes. Set aside to cool Cream together shortening and sugar until light. Add beaten eggs then vanilla. Sift flour and spices and stir into dough. Add nuts and cooled raisin with the liquid. Drop by spoon onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake 10 minutes in a 400 oven or until light brown. Do not over cook. Makes 60 cookies

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Corn Cassrole

One of my favorite restaurants is the Cheesecake Factory.  My favorite dish there is the sweet Tamale cakes.  I made Paula Dean's Corn Casserole recipe as an accompaniment to brisket and it was like de ja vu all over again.  The flavor and consistency are an excellent replica of corn cakes.  So top this with a little sour cream and pico de gallo.  This would go great with tacos or fajitas instead of the traditional beans and rice.

Corn Casserole

1 (15 1/4-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (14 3/4-ounce) can cream-style corn
1 (8-ounce) package corn muffin mix (recommended: Jiffy)
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 to 1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, stir together the 2 cans of corn, corn muffin mix, sour cream, and melted butter. Pour into a greased 9 by 13-inch casserole dish. Bake for 45 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and top with Cheddar. Return to oven for 5 to 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Let stand for at least 5 minutes and then serve warm.

You really don't need the cheese if you are using the pico de gallo and sour cream

Unlike Cheesecake Factory this is cooked in one pan.  So you need to spoon it out on your plate.  Sorry about the misleading picture.  I bet you could make it look like this if you really tried.

Texas Caviar

When John was home this summer he loved this black-eyed pea salad.  I made it for Megan and Chris too.  Chris really wanted the recipe.  I guess those five recipes I taught Megan don't really even get her one week worth of dinners.

Texas Caviar 

Two 15 ounce cans black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
2 medium tomatoes or 4 romas, chopped (about 1 ½ cups)
1 jalapeƱo pepper, seeded and minced
¼ c. diced red onion
3 green onions, chopped, white and green parts
1 c. chopped bell pepper, any color or a combination
¼ c. chopped fresh cilantro
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 C diced celery
1 C canned or frozen corn (opt)


1/2 C cider vinegar
1/2 C Oil
1 t. salt
1 T sugar
½ t. freshly ground black pepper
1 t. dried oregano
1 t. ground cumin

Combine all of the vegetables in a large bowl.

Whisk dressing ingredients together and pour over salad. Mix well to combine. Cover, refrigerate, and allow to marinate for at least 2 hours. Before serving, taste and add extra vinegar, salt or pepper if necessary.

You can eat this plain, like a salad or with tortilla chips as a dip.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Hand Made Soap

Hand Made Soap

You can learn about more about soap making on You can also go to this sight and come up with your own recipes using different oils. Another good spot for recipes is Basic soap is a combination of oil, water, and lye. You can’t make soap without lye. Lye causes the chemical reaction that turns the fat into soap.

In this instruction set you will find a basic recipe for soap using ingredients you have on hand or that you can purchase at a grocery store. Lye can usually be purchased at a hardware store. I have found it at C&S. Make sure you buy 100 percent lye. It will be in the plumbing department next to the drain openers. You can find fragrance oil at Super Walmart next to the candle making supplies. I found these fragrances work great but be aware that any vanilla scent will turn your soap brown, which is okay if you want brown soap. You can find colorants at Michael’s in the soap making section. All of these items can also be purchased on line at or

Along with the recipe ingredients, you will need to gather some basic soap making equipment. You will need a basic scale to weigh out the oils, lye, and water. You will need a small plastic pail for the water/lye mixture. You will need some newspaper to line all of your work surfaces. You will need some rubber gloves and safety goggles to protect your hands and eyes from the lye. You will need a plastic pail that you can put in the microwave to melt the oils. You will need an instant read thermometer to measure the temperature of your oils and your lye water. You will need a hand blender to mix the oil and lye water. You will need a spoon and a rubber spatula. You will need some molds for your soap. The mold can be as easy as a Velveeta box lined with parchment paper or a silicone pan.

Ingredient                              Ounces

Water                                     24.32

Lye - NaOH                            9.245

# √ Oil/Fat                %           Ounces


Crisco                     50%            32


Milk Fat (Butter)    37.5 %         24


Coconut              12.5%             8

The first step is to line your work area with newspaper. You should even line the sink. Put on your goggles and gloves. Weigh out the water. You can use ice as part of the water. This helps the temperature to cool to the correct temperature more quickly. Put your water pail in the sink. Weigh out the lye. Add the lye to the water and stir. Step away from the lye/water. You can take off the goggles and gloves for a time. Weigh out the oils and put them in the plastic microwavable pail.

Put the oils in the microwave just until everything is melted.

At this point you need to take the temperature of the lye/water and the oil. Wait until the temperature is between 110-120 degrees F for both the lye/water and the oils to proceed to the next step. This is important! If the temperature is too high your soap will turn into an oily mess! Believe me, I have made a few too many oily messes before I discovered this.

Put on your gloves and goggles. When the oil and lye/water are at the right temperature add the lye water to the oil pail. Use a hand-held blender to stir this mixture. When the pioneers did this step it would take several hours to get the soap blended. With the miracle of a handheld blender this step only takes about 3 or 4 minutes. Blend the mixture until it becomes the thickness of a thin pudding or gravy. This is called trace. Add 1 1/2 to 2 ounces of fragrance oil and incorporate with the hand-held blender. Add any colorant, incorporating with the blender. Carefully pour the soap into the molds. Clean up is pretty easy because you have just made soap. Use plenty of warm water.

Wait for 24 hours before you cut the soap. Allow the soap to dry for 3 weeks before you use it. It needs some time to complete its chemical processes and to dry out.

So, what happens if you have a big oily mess? Don’t panic. Just wait a few hours and take the oily mess out of molds . Use a mixer and mix it up just like whipping up mashed potatoes. If the soap is too thick put it in the microwave for a few minutes. Put the soap back in the molds and bake it in the oven at 200 degrees for a couple of hours. Take it out of the oven and let it sit over night. Cut the soap the next day. You can use this soap 2 or 3 days after it is cut because the oven processing has speeded up the chemical process. I’ve never made a soap mistake that I could not redeem by this method.

After you learn to make basic soap you can get artistic! Good Luck.

Bread Sticks

I made up this recipe about 10 years ago. About a year or so later I was asked to some bring bread sticks to a homemaking night. I brought a bunch of these. I gave the recipe to a few people who "just had to have it." Last year as I was sitting at a youth activity I was served these very same bread sticks. I recognized them at once! To my surprise, when I asked where the recipe came from, the young man said... "this is my mom's bread stick recipe, she is the best cook!" His mom was one of the ladies who asked for the recipe. It's funny how recipes travel.

Deanna's Bread Sticks

1 Tbsp. yeast 1 Tbsp powered milk
3 cups flour 1 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp salt 1 1/3 cup warm water
2 Tbsp. sugar

Put into bread machine or mix by hand and knead for 10 minutes. let rest for 10 minutes. Knead again for 10 minutes. When the dough is ready, roll out to 1/2 inch thick and cut into strips. Place on a greased cookie sheet.

1/3 cup butter, melted
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. garlic powder 1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp. lemon and herb seasoning (McCormick makes this)
1/2 tsp. seasoning salt
Parmesan cheese

Combine all ingredients, except cheese. Brush butter mixture on bread sticks after you put them on the pan and before they rise. Sprinkle with salt and Parmesan cheese. Let rise for 30 to 40 minutes. Bake in a preheated 375 oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until browned.

Frito Fried Chicken

This summer when we were camping in the Olympic National Park, my neice Christi had just about had it with the non-fast camp food. She was starving so she was eating what I served but she was in desparate need of a fast food fix.  That is pretty hard to find in the middle of a mountain wilderness.  I was planning to grill some chicken but I looked at my ingredients to see what I could come up with.  This was when I created Frito Fried Chicken.  John and Joe were also grateful for the fast-food fix after 4 days of the really healthy stuff.  John was pretty amazed that something so good could be made with the supples in a camp kitchen.  I also made this recipe when Chris and Megan were over.  Chris wanted Megan to add this on to her list of the 5 recipes she knows how to cook.

Frito Fried Chicken

About 1 1/2 pounds of chicken tenders
About 1/2 C flour
2 or 3 eggs beaten with about 1/2 cups milk
1 bag of finely crushed Fritos
Oil for frying

Dredge the chicken in the flour to lightly dust.  Dip the chicken in the egg/milk mixture then roll in the Fritos.  Fry in hot oil for about 3 minutes on each side.  Drain on a paper towel.  Sprinkle with salt.  This is really good with a honey mustard dip or with ketchup and fries.

Honey Mustard Sauce
1/2 C dijon mustard
1/2 C mayo
1/4 C honey

Mix this until well blended.

Almost Better Than.. (?).. Cake

(Use your imagination in the title...)

This recipe was given to me by Taylor's Mom. It is incredibly delicious.

1 1/2 Cup Flour
1 1/2 Cubes of Butter
2/3 Cup Chopped Walnuts

Mix and spread in a 9x13 pan.
Bake at 325 for 25 minutes.

(I used 2 store bought ready-made pie crusts. The cake is good with graham cracker, Oreo and chocolate crusts. Just note that you will need 2 of these.. or cut the recipe in half.)

(1st Layer of Filling)
1 Cup Powdered Sugar
8 oz Cream Cheese (room temperature)
8 oz Cool Whip (save 1/2 of container for later)

Mix together in mixing bowl. Stir until smooth. Spread into the cooled crust.

(2nd Layer of Filling)
2 small packages of Chocolate Pudding
3 Cups of Milk

Mix together in another mixing bowl, scraping bottom and sides. Once pudding is smooth, spread onto the first layer.

Top with the other half of the whipped cream.

Sprinkle with a few chopped Walnuts.


We sure did....

Monday, September 21, 2009

Lunch For 8 For Under 10 Dollars

Last year I was hospitality chair for our elementary PTA.  It was toward the end of the year and the budget was nearly gone.  Then came Paraprofessional's day.  I decided that I needed to come up with a really good lunch for a bunch of people while not spending a ton of money.  I knew you could feed a massive amount of people for pennies with beans because that is what Grandma Stockam did almost everyday.  But how to get them to taste great?  I looked at a several of recipes to inspire me and came up with my own version of  Tuscan Bean Soup.  I also made Corney Bread and Grandma Bullock's Chocolate Cinnamon Cake.  This was the perfect meal.  It was easy to prepare and very budget friendly!  The secretaries and aides all loved it!  I made a banner which read, "Thanks for Be-an so good to us."

Corney Bread

1 C corn meal
1 C white flour
¼ C sugar
4 t Baking powder
¾ t salt
1 C milk
2 eggs
¼ C shortning melted
½ can of cream style corn

Mix all ingredients. Bake at 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes in a 9X13 inch pan.

Chocolate Cinnamon Cake

2 sticks of butter
1 C water
1/3 C cocoa
Put these ingredients in a medium pot and bring to a boil.

Then add the following ingredients into the pot which you have taken off the stove top.

2 C flour
2 C sugar
2 eggs
1C buttermilk
1 t baking soda
1 T Cinnamon
½ t salt

Empty the batter into a sheet pan or a very large baking pan.
Bake for 22 minutes at 350 degrees.
While the cake is cooking make the frosting.
Melt 1 stick of butter together with 4 T cocoa
Remove from heat and add the following:

6 T buttermilk
1 LB powdered sugar
1 t vanilla

Use a mixer to get this really smooth. Pour the frosting over the hot cake when it comes out of the oven.

This cake is soooo good!  I remember making it at Grandma's house to take to a young adult BBQ in the canyon one summer when I was living with Grandma.  I told her that I bet I was going to get at least one marriage propsoal after the guys tried this cake.  She just laughed.  I was pretty surprised when two of the guys at the party proposed after eating the cake.  You can't go wrong with Grandma's recipes.

Tuscan Bean Soup

1 pound dry white beans
1 pound sweet italian sausage
2 T Olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves of minced garlic
4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
4 stalks of celery cut inot 1/2 inch pieces
2 quarts of chicken broth
3 T Italian seasonings
Sprig of fresh rosemary or 2 t dry rosemary
1 C kraft pramesan cheese

Soak the beans over night or do a quick soak.  To do a quick soak put the beans in a bowl and fill the bowl with boiling hot water.  Let them sit for 1 hour.  Rinse with cool water.  They are ready to go!

Brown the sausage and drain off the grease.  In the pressure cooker add a couple tablespoons of olive oil.  Add the onion and cook for a few minutes until softened.  Add the garlic and cook for about a minute longer.  Add the other vegetables, the chicken broth, the italian seasoning, and the rosemary.  Put the lid on the pressure cooker and bring to pressure.  Cook at pressure for 20 minutes.  Quick cool the pressure cooker by running cold water over the pressure coker until it depressures.  Add the parmesan.

Slowcooker method:

Follow the instructions up to and including browning the onion and garlic.  Put all of the ingredients except parmesan in a slow cooker.  Cook on high for one hour, then on low for the rest of the day.  Add the parmesan.


1 1/2 cups chopped Roma plum tomatoes.. this is about 6 to 8 tomatoes
2 tablespoons diced red onion
1 large clove garlic minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil... 4 to 6 small leaves
2 tablespoons olive-oil
1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
dash ground black pepper

1/2 loaf French baguette
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

Combine the tomatoes, red onion, garlic and basil in a medium bowl.
Add 1/2 tablespoon oil, vinegar, salt and pepper and mix well.
Cover the bowl and let it sit in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

When ready to serve, preheat the broiler and slice the baguette in 1 inch slices.
Combine the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil and the garlic salt. Brush both sides with the oil mixture. Brown under the broiler 1 to 2 minutes per side, or until brown.

I put the toast on a platter with the brushetta next to it so that each guest could make their own and the toast would not get soggy.

I served this to Joe's homecoming group. It was a huge hit!