Monday, November 30, 2009

Twice-Baked Potatoes



Yummy! There is something so filling and wonderful about a baked potato. Today's Meatless Monday post is baked potatoes, baked twice! These are simple and delicious, and are great as a meal or as a side.

Ingredients:
4 baking potatoes
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup ranch dressing
1/2 cup milk
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup shredded cheese (divided)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350.

Wrap the potatoes in foil and bake for one hour. Allow them to cool for ten minutes. Cut them in half and scoop out the insides, saving the skins. Place the potato middles in a large mixing bowl with all of the ingredients (except for 1/2 of the cheese). Mix until creamy, and then scoop back into the skins. Top with the remaining cheese (and bacon and chives, if you want!). Bake for an additional 15 minutes.


I started a BlogFrog community. . .

and I'd love to have you all be a part of it! This will be a place to discuss recipes, cooking, babies, schooling, marriages, discipline, shopping, reading, religion (you get the idea, right?). I am so excited to have it be a part of my blog! It is free to sign up, and easy to use. I'd love to see it grow, especially since right now, I'm it's only member. . .

Do you see the red widget on the right side of my blog? You'll see a button at the bottom that says "Visit My Community." So, click it and come on in. Start a discussion, reply to one, or just read along.

Looking forward to getting to know you (or know you better!)

Brandi


Cider Donuts



I found this recipe a long time ago on a recipe board. I absolutely LOVE apple donuts, so I thought I'd give them a try. I didn't have any white sugar (remember, Tuesday is my grocery day), so I used brown sugar instead. I also didn't have any buttermilk, so I used regular milk with a splash of vinegar. They turned out really well! By the way, this recipe makes a ton of donuts!!

Ingredients:
1 cup apple cider
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup solid vegetable shortening
2 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
vegetable oil or shortening (for frying)
1 cup cinnamon-sugar (Thankfully, I keep a container of this for cinnamon toast, so I had it!)

Directions:

Pour your frying oil (about three inches deep) in a pan and begin heating it.

Boil the apple cider in a small saucepan until it is reduced to 1/4 cup (8-10 minutes); cool. Beat sugar with shortening until smooth. Add the eggs and mix well, then add your buttermilk and reduced cider. Stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in another bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the liquid ingredients; mix just enough to combine.

Scoop out a little dough at a time (I used a cookie dough baller) and place in the hot oil. They get golden-colored quickly, so watch them! Flip and smash fairly flat. If you leave them really round, the insides won't cook (take it from me!). Allow the other side to cook to a golden brown. Remove and place on a paper-towel covered plate. While still warm, sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar mixture (or powdered sugar, or make a glaze from powdered sugar and milk).


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Cajun Shrimp Pasta



We're running low on groceries, and Tuesday is our grocery day, so I had to use what I had in the pantry/freezer today. I had 1/2 a carton of heavy cream and some frozen shrimp, so I decided to make up a recipe using those two main ingredients. It turned out so good!

Ingredients:
1 package frozen shrimp (peeled and deveined)
1/2 large carton heavy cream
1/2 tablespoon blackening seasoning
1/2 tablespoon Tony Chachere's cajun seasoning
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic (or one clove, minced)
1/4 stick butter
pasta of your choice (I used angel hair.)
Parmesan cheese

Directions:
Boil and drain your noodles. Set them aside.

In a sautee pan, melt your butter over medium heat. Toss in the garlic and let it cook for about one minute, or until fragrant. Throw your shrimp in and cook them until they're pink. With a slotted spoon, remove the shrimp, and then pour in the cream and seasonings. Cook over low-medium heat until the cream thickens and bubbles, stirring often. Toss the shrimp back in, turn the heat down to low, cover, and allow to cook for about twenty minutes. You'll need to stir regularly to keep it from sticking. Spoon the sauce over the noodles and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Steel Cut Oats



This hot breakfast cereal is full of vitamins and nutrients. . .even more so than traditional oatmeal. Steel cut oats are essential grains which are chock-full of nutritional value, rich in B-vitamins, calcium, protein and fiber, while low in sodium and unsaturated fat. In fact, just one cup of steel-cut oats contains 8 grams of insoluble fiber, so eat up!

These can be found at the regular grocery store on the cereal aisle. I'm going to give you the stove top and crock pot instructions for preparing this healthy breakfast (or dinner!). These do take longer to prepare than regular oats.

Stove Top Ingredients:

3 cups water
1 cup oats
1/4 teaspoon salt

Stove Top Directions:

Bring the water and salt to a boil. Add the oats and turn the heat down to low. Cover and allow to simmer for 20 minutes. Serve with milk, brown sugar, cinnamon, dried fruit, nuts, etc.

Crockpot Ingredients:
4 1/2 cups water
1 cup oats
2 or 3 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt

Crockpot Directions:

Place all ingredients in a two-quart crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours (this is great to prepare the night before, so breakfast is ready when you are!). Stir and serve with milk, brown sugar, cinnamon, dried fruit, nuts, etc.


Dinner Rolls



I hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving! We visited family, ate too much, and overall had a great day!

Mandi gave me this recipe, and I use it all the time. I make dinner rolls and pizza bread from it, and am going to try making cinnamon rolls from it soon. Once you make them, store bought dinner rolls just won't taste as good!

Ingredients:
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 cup boiling water
2 eggs
2 packages dry active yeast in 1 cup warm water
6 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Add the boiling water and two well-beaten eggs. Pour in the yeast/water mixture. Stir it all together. Add the salt and flour. Mix all together. It will get thick and sticky! Let it rise for one hour in a towel-covered bowl. Shape into rolls (I put mine in muffin tins) and let rise another hour. Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly brown.

cinnamon rolls
: after dough rises for an hour, roll out dough, and spread on butter and cinnamon and sugar. Roll into a loaf and slice. Put slices in a 9 x 13 pan and let rise for an hour. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.

pizza bread: after dough rises for an hour, roll out dough (divide dough into thirds, makes 2-3 loaves) & spread on pizza sauce (or spaghetti sauce), add pepperoni and mozzarella. Roll into loaves and let rise for an hour. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Chicken Divan



Heather, a blog friend of mine, gave me this recipe a few weeks ago. I've been so eager to try it, and tonight is the night! Check out Heather's blog over here. I'll update later with the results of it, but by the look of it, it will be a hit! Thanks, Heather!

I will probably not be posting much the rest of the week. Tomorrow is my son's fourth birthday party (how can that be?!). He'll be four on Thanksgiving Day, and what a special boy to be thankful for! I'm such a lucky mama!! Have a blessed holiday. Check back next week for new recipes, and until then. . .best dishes.

Ingredients:
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts or 1/2 of a chicken (cooked and cubed)
1 head of broccoli cut into spears (steamed and drained) I'm using frozen.
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 cup real mayo (do not substitue fat free or Miracle Whip)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 cup canned bread crumbs
1/2 cup shredded cheddar

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350

Cut cooked chicken into bite size pieces and layer in a casserole dish. Place steamed broccoli on top of chicken. Mix all remaining ingredients, except bread crumbs and cheese, together and pour over chicken and broccoli. Sprinkle bread crumbs and top with the cheese. Bake for 30 minutes.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Black Beans with Cilantro



It is once again Meatless Monday. I've mentioned several times that we eat beans here quite a bit. Dry beans are so incredibly healthy and make really cheap meals. I'm using today's black beans to make bean burritos, but you can eat them as a soup, use them as a side, or think of your own creation with them!

Ingredients:

one bag dry black beans (soak them for six hours)
drizzle of olive oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
kosher salt to taste
1/4 cup chopped cilantro+extra for garnish

Directions:

Drizzle olive oil into a large pot over medium-low heat. Spoon in one teaspoon of the garlic and let it cook until it starts to get fragrant. Don't let it burn, though! Dump in your beans with their soaking water. The beans need to be at least one-inch covered with water, so add more if you need. Turn the heat up and bring the beans to a boil, then reduce the heat and cover. Cook for one hour.

After an hour, add the cilantro and salt. Cover and let it simmer for another hour. Taste and season with salt and garlic as needed. These taste best if left in the refrigerator overnight and reheated. Garnish with cilantro.


S'Mores Pie



Do you all love s'mores as much as I do? I just love the ooey, gooey, chocolatey deliciousness of a s'more! My friend Teri gave me this recipe that is just perfect for when you're craving s'mores, but you don't have a bonfire to make them with. It is so simple and so, so, so good! We have it here more often than I should admit. *blush*

Ingredients:
1 graham cracker crust
1 package chocolate chips
1/2 package mini marshmallows

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350.

In a large bowl, toss your marshmallows and chocolate chips together. Pour them into your pie crust and bake for 30 minutes, or until marshmallows begin to toast on top. Your chocolate chips will stay whole, but they'll melt as you take a bite.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

German Pancakes



This is the first time that I've made these. I was trying to find something quick for dinner since Jer is at the station, and I found this recipe in an old cookbook. You all know how we love breakfast for dinner, so this should be perfect, but I'll let you all know what we thought!

*Update: These were fabulous! We added the powdered sugar and then a little pancake
syrup. . .wonderful and too easy. Josie said, "These pancakes are the best-est."


Ingredients:

1 cup flour
1 stick butter (melted)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
six eggs
powdered sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450.

Mix everything together really well. Pour into a baking dish and bake for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Dump Cake

My friend and fellow blogger, Amanda (check out her beautiful family here) shared this dessert recipe with me. *She's also a fantastic photographer in the OKC area if you're needing one! Our husbands are firefighters together, and this is a huge hit with those guys! She says that she normally uses two cans of apple pie filling and leaves out the pineapple, but with recipes like this, you can mix and match! Thanks, Amanda!

Ingredients:

20 ounces crushed pineapple
16 ounces cherry pie filling
1 package yellow or white cake mix (dry)
1 1/2 sticks butter (sliced)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.

Dump all of your ingredients into a 9x13 baking dish and bake for one hour.


Split Pea Soup



Some of you are going to take one look at the name of this recipe and turn your nose up! You really should try this, though! This is such a warm, homey, fall-time meal. On top of that, it's cheap, tasty, and really easy. Eileen, from my parenting forum, shared this recipe with us last winter. Thanks, Eileen! Now you all should definitely give it a try!

Ingredients:

1 bag dry split peas
2 ham hocks (You can also use a leftover turkey leg or diced ham.)
3 carrots (peeled and diced)
1/2 cup onion (chopped)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
1 tablespoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1.5 quarts water (You can also use some chicken broth for added flavor. You may need to add more water, depending on the consistency you like.)

Directions:

In your crockpot, layer all of the ingredients in the order given. You do not need to stir them. Cook on high for 4-5 hours, or on low for 8-10 hours, or until the ham falls off of the bone and the peas are soft. Remove the bones and mash the peas to the desired consistency. *You may need to add more water throughout the day. This soup freezes well.


Frugal Friday


Sorry that Frugal Friday has been MIA for the past two weeks! It's been a little crazy at the Castles', but I have time this evening (Thursday) to get it ready for tomorrow. I hope you enjoy it!

1 bag split peas--&.99
one package of two ham hocks $2.48
1/2 cup onion--$.20
3 carrots--$.75
2 teaspoons minced garlic--$.50
2 teaspoons parsley flakes--$.30
1/2 teaspoon pepper--$.10
1 tablespoon seasoned salt--$.15
cake mix--$.88
can of pineapple--$1.50
can of cherry pie filling--$1.50
1.5 sticks butter--$.56

Total=$9.91


Puppy Chow



It doesn't sound like it would be delicious, does it? But believe me when I say it is addicting stuff! This is a great and easy snack to make for the holidays. Make a bag for home, one for the office, and one to take to the inlaws. Everyone will enjoy snacking on it before and after the big turkey dinner!

Ingredients:
9 cups chex
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup butter
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1.5 cups powdered sugar

Directions:
In a saucepan or microwave safe bowl, slowly melt your chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter. You'll need to stir this quite often. When it's all melted together, remove it from the heat and add your vanilla.

In a large bowl, pour your cereal. Pour the warm chocolate/peanut butter mixture over the cereal, and then pour all of it into a large ziploc bag. The ziploc bag should have your powdered sugar in it. Seal the bag and toss to coat it all.

*This can be a cute teacher's gift if bagged into small baggies, tied up with a cute ribbon and placed in a coffee mug. It is also cute when placed in a mason jar with a square of Christmas fabric over the lid. You can attach the recipe as the gift tag.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sausage and Potatoes



My mom made this for us when we were growing up. I LOVED it because of the special sausage that she used. It was from a local butcher shop (in Southeast Texas) that was made right there. I don't get that sausage much anymore, so the meal doesn't taste quite the same, but it's still quick, easy, and full of flavor.

Ingredients:
1 potato for each member of your family (peeled and sliced thinly)
1 package of your favorite sausage
seasoned salt
garlic powder
lots of pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375.

In a large baking dish, spread your potatoes out. Cut your sausage up into small pieces and lay them on top of the potatoes. Add plenty of seasonings. Cover with foil and bake for one hour.


Warm Grape Nuts Breakfast Cereal



You all know how much my children love their oatmeal in the mornings. Well, today I decided to change it up a bit and replace the oatmeal with Grape Nuts cereal. They loved it! My husband wasn't as huge of a fan, but the kids really enjoyed it.

Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups milk
1 cup Grape Nuts cereal (mine is the generic brand)
3 tablespoons brown sugar
dash of cinnamon

Directions:
Pour milk, sugar, and cinnamon into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the cereal and allow to continue boiling for one more minute, stirring occasionally. Turn the heat off and allow the cereal to sit until soft (about three minutes). Spoon into bowls and add a drizzle of milk to help cool it down.

*I have also done the same thing with Shredded Wheat.


Monday, November 16, 2009

Marinara Sauce



Today's Meatless Monday meal is a simple marinara sauce with spaghetti noodles. If you would like to make it a meat meal, then it would be easy to do by just browning some ground meat or Italian sausage to add to the sauce while simmering.

Ingredients:
2 cans whole tomatoes
1 can crushed tomatoes
2 teaspoons minced garlic (or 2 gloves fresh, diced)
drizzle of olive oil
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
fresh basil (chopped) *If you have it.
sprinkle of red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoons oregano

Directions:
In a large saucepan, drizzle enough olive oil to coat the saucepan thinly. Add your garlic and cook for a few minutes, but don't let the garlic get brown. Pour in your tomatoes and crush the whole tomatoes to the consistency of your liking. We like ours with a few chunks of tomato, so I just use a meat chopper to crush it while in the pan. Feel free to run it through the food processor, though. Add your seasonings and cheese and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and let it simmer for 45 minutes. Serve with your favorite pasta.

*You could also grate carrots and celery into the sauce for more veggies!


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Chicken Tortilla Soup




Remember how I told you that I use the leftover salsa chicken to make tortilla soup? Well, that is going to be today's lunch, so I thought I'd share the recipe. My sister-in-law, Shannon, gave me this recipe several years ago. If you're not using the leftover salsa chicken, just boil a couple of chicken breasts, shred them, and add a can of rotel tomatoes to the recipe.

Ingredients:
shredded salsa chicken (it is what is in the black pot in the picture)
2 cans tomato soup
2 cans chicken broth
2 tablespoons cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder

Toppings:
tortilla chips
shredded cheese
cilantro
sour cream
diced avocado
diced tomato
*Use whichever ones you want. . .make it to your liking!

Directions:
In a pot or crockpot, add all of your ingredients (not toppings!). Cook on medium-high heat until boiling. Turn down and allow to simmer until you're ready to serve. Serve with your choice of toppings.


Butterscotch Oatmeal



This is this morning's breakfast. I am making it for the first time today, so we'll see what everyone's opinions are. I got this recipe from a site called Mr. Breakfast.

Ingredients:
1.75 cups milk
1 cup oatmeal
1 egg (beaten)
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter

Directions:
In a medium-sized sauce pan over medium-high heat, combine milk, egg and brown sugar. Stir in the oats. Cook until you get a rapid boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook until thick. When you get your desired consistency, stir in the butter until melted and mixed. Serve with milk.


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Sopapilla Cheesecake


This is a great holiday (or anytime!) dessert. I especially love it on Thanksgiving because it has the cinnamon taste, as well as the cream cheese flavor. . .mmmmm! On top of the flavor, it is such an easy dessert to prepare! The first time that I ate this, my mother-in-law made it, and I fell in love. So although I have had it from other cooks, my mother-in-law, Gayle, gets credit for today's recipe.

Ingredients:
(2) eight ounce packages cream cheese
(2) eight ounce packages crescent rolls
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup butter (melted)
1/2 cup cinnamon sugar (1 cup sugar+2 tablespoons cinnamon)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350.

Unroll one package of crescent rolls in the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish and flatten. Mix the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer. Spread over the crescent rolls. Unroll the second can of rolls and top the cream cheese mixture with them. Pour the melted butter over the whole pan and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar. Bake for 30 minutes. It is fine to eat straight out of the oven, but it tastes best when chilled. Store in the refrigerator.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Salsa Chicken/Southwest Chicken/Chicken Nachos



I make salsa chicken a lot. It is so versatile! With it you can make tacos, nachos, enchiladas, or make it into Southwest chicken and eat over rice. I'm going to share how to make the salsa chicken, Southwest Chicken, and then share how I use it to make chicken nachos, which is what we're having tonight. I usually use the leftover chicken to make tortilla soup. I'll share that recipe later.

Also, a tip if you're making hard-shelled tacos. Spoon your meat into the shells, top with cheese, and then bake for about five minutes (or until cheese is melted). You will probably need to eat these with a fork, but the flavor is so much better than it is when you bake the shells without the meat.

One other thing: my friend Charlotte emailed me today and told me that she recently had this type of chicken (made into enchiladas). Her recipe called for blending the can of rotel with a package of taco seasoning before pouring it over the chicken. I'm going to try this version of it soon!

Salsa Chicken Ingredients:
2-3 chicken breasts (I like using the frozen ones from Walmart.)
1/2 jar salsa or 1 can rotel (I had rotel on hand, so that's what I'm using this time.)

Directions:
Place your chicken at the bottom of a crockpot. Add 1/2 jar of salsa or can of rotel. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Shred and use in tacos, nachos, enchiladas, etc.

Southwest Chicken Ingredients:
2-3 chicken breasts
1/2 jar salsa or 1 can rotel
1 can black beans (drained)
1 can corn (drained)

Directions:
You add everything to the crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Shred and serve over rice, with sour cream as a topping.

Chicken Nacho Ingredients:
Prepared salsa chicken
1 can refried beans
1 bag tortilla chips
shredded cheese
nacho toppings (sour cream, guacamole, jalapenos, etc.)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350.

Take a tortilla chip and spoon some refried beans onto it. Spoon some of the salsa chicken on it, and cover with shredded cheese. Repeat this for as many tortilla chips as you want to use. Bake for about ten minutes, or until cheese is melted. Serve with your favorite toppings.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies



Oh my! These are simply out-of-this-world-good!! I got this recipe from a cookbook that we received as a wedding present, and adapted it to our taste. I LOVE to add pecans, but didn't have any today. It is a family favorite, for sure!

Ingredients:
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 egg (I forgot this in my picture!)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup rolled oats
1 cup chocolate chips

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350.

Mix your dry ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl. Set it aside. Use your electric mixer to cream both sugars with your butter. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy.

Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and beat on low until blended. Stir in the oats and chocolate chips. The dough should be crumbly. Drop onto cookie sheets and bake for 15 minutes.


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Chance's Greek Salad



Today's Meatless Monday recipe is one of the most delicious salads I have ever made! My brother Chance is the banquet chef at the Hilton Skirvin in downtown Oklahoma City (yes, the love of food runs in the family!). He made this salad for me one day last week and it has become an addiction! My sweet husband has requested that we eat it every day for lunch! All of these ingredients can be found at your local grocery store.

Ingredients:
1 bag fresh spinach leaves
1 bottle Kraft sun-dried tomato vinaigrette
1 jar Kalamata olives
1 container Feta cheese

Directions:
Plate up the desired amount of spinach. Sprinkle on a little cheese, a few olives, and a drizzle of dressing (adding as much or as little of the ingredients as you desire). Toss it and enjoy!


Coleslaw



This is not a sweet coleslaw. This coleslaw is best served with barbecue or other spicy foods. It is simple and delicious! We love to eat it alongside the Mexican cornbread and pinto beans, which is what we did today.

Ingredients:
one head of shredded cabbage (I just buy the pre-shredded bag in the produce section.)
2 heaping tablespoons "real" mayonnaise (don't sub Miracle Whip)
lots of black pepper
1 bunch of green onions (chopped)

Directions:
Put the cabbage and green onions in a large bowl. Pour LOTS of black pepper and stir. Wait a few minutes for the pepper to wilt the cabbage slightly. Add the mayo and stir to cover all of the veggies. Refrigerate to store.


Mexican Cornbread



You know how I told you we eat pinto beans about twice a month at our house, right? Well, today I'm preparing another meal with them. Mexican cornbread is a recipe that my mom made for us while we were growing up. It is fantastic when served covered in beans and a side of coleslaw! Some people choose to add browned hamburger meat to theirs, but we eat it as a vegetarian dish.

Ingredients:
1 cup cornmeal
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
*1 bell pepper (diced)
*1 onion (diced)
1 can corn
1 cup jalapeno peppers (the kind in the jar)
1/2 pound cheddar cheese (shredded)

*I'm not using these ingredients in my cornbread today.

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350.

Mix everything together really well. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until golden brown.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Candied Carrots

This is a simple and delicious way to get some beta-carotene into your family! They go great with the apricot chicken since it also has a sweet flavor to it. You can add or subtract any of the flavorings to suit your taste.

Ingredients:
one bag carrot chips (or baby carrots)
about 1 inch of water in saucepan
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter
dash of cinnamon

Directions:
In a large saucepan, dump in your carrots with a little water. Cover them and turn the heat on medium and bring the carrots to a boil. Cook them until tender; drain the water, and turn the heat to low. Add the sugar, butter, and cinnamon. Cook until the butter and sugar are melted. Serve warm.


Dr. Pepper Cake



This is a Weight Watchers recipe that my friend Mandi shared with me. This is the first time that I have made it. We don't drink Diet Dr. Pepper, but strangely enough, our kids received some while trick-or-treating last week. I definitely don't like to waste things, so I thought now would be the perfect time to make it!

Cake Ingredients:
1 box red velvet cake
8 ounces Diet Dr. Pepper

Icing Ingredients:
2 cups skim milk
1 package cheesecake flavored pudding mix
1 container cool whip

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350.

Combine the cake mix and Dr. Pepper. Pour into a 9x13 dish and bake for 30 minutes.

Mix pudding and milk until thick. Spread it over the (completely cooled) cake. Spread the cool whip over the pudding. Store in the refrigerator.


Apricot Chicken



Frugal Friday is going to have to wait another week. This week has been one of the craziest that we've had in a loonnngggg time! I'll try to be better about posting once things settle down around here.

Bethany shared this recipe with me a while ago. It is a crockpot meal (my favorite kind of cooking!), which makes the preparation so simple. This is great served over rice, or just by itself. Bethany suggested using the Walmart brand of apricot preserves, but this is the type that I had on hand.

Ingredients:
2-3 chicken breasts
1 jar apricot preserves
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon liquid smoke

Directions:

Throw it all in the crockpot (on low) for 6-8 hours. Shred the chicken and serve over rice.


Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Cake



Mmmmm. . .what a delicious name for a cake, huh? This summer, while on our family vacation, we stopped by my cousin's new home in Arlington, Texas. She and her husband cooked out for us, and this was the dessert that she had prepared. It was so good, looked so pretty, and was unbelievably easy! Thanks, Lindsay!

Ingredients:
1 package chocolate cake mix
1 package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1/2 cup hot water
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350.

Grease or spray a bundt cake pan. Combine all of the ingredients (except for the chocolate chips) and beat until smooth. Mix in the chocolate chips. Bake for one hour.