Saturday, January 31, 2009

French Toast Sandwiches

cream cheese, softened
cinnamon-raisin bread, sliced
strawberry or raspberry jam
4 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon butter
Maple syrup, optional
Directions: Spread cream cheese on one slice of bread. Spread jam on the other slice; place jam side down over the cream cheese. In a shallow bowl, beat egg and milk. Dip both sides of bread into mixture. In a skillet, melt butter; cook bread for 3-4 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Serve with syrup if desired.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Lemony Zucchini Bread

4 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 package (3.4 ounces) instant lemon pudding mix
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
1-1/4 cups milk
1 cup canola oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon extract
2 cups shredded zucchini
1/4 cup poppy seeds
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
Directions: In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, pudding mix, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, oil, lemon juice and extract. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in the zucchini, poppy seeds and lemon peel. Pour into two greased 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pans. Bake at 350° for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely. Yield: 2 loaves (16 slices each).

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Lemon Snowball Cookies

Just a light, lemon cookie. The dough needs to be refrigerated at least an hour, so plan ahead if you're going to make these. When baking, make sure they're browned enough on the bottom, or they won't be as crisp.
1/2 cup butter (no substitutes), softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup finely chopped almonds
confectioners' sugar
In a mixing bowl, cream butter, sugar and egg until well blended. Add lemon juice and peel. Combine flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt; stir into creamed mixture. Add almonds. Cover and refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour or overnight.
Roll into 1-in. balls. Place on ungreased baking sheets.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned (cookies will not brown on top). Remove immediately to wire racks; cool for 5 minutes, then roll in confectioners' sugar.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Spanish Rice Dinner

This recipe is great for ease of preparation, plus I always have the ingredients on hand.
The first time I made it, I thought the recipe was wrong, as there's hardly any liquid for the rice to cook in, but if you make sure to keep the heat low and keep it tightly covered, it will cook with no added water.
1 pound ground beef
1 (14.5 ounce) can stewed tomatoes
1 (14.5 ounce) can cut green beans, drained
1/2 cup uncooked long grain rice
1 onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
In a large skillet, cook beef with onions and garlic over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until rice is tender.

Split Pea Sausage Soup

This has a really good flavor. The kids enjoy it as much as we do.
1 pound smoked kielbasa or polish sausage (I use the reduced fat)
1 pound dried split peas
7 cups water
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup chopped celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley or 1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper
2 bay leaves
Directions: Cut sausage in half lengthwise; cut into 1/4-in. pieces. Saute onion, celery and garlic in butter. Place in a Dutch oven or soup kettle; add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours or until peas are tender. Remove bay leaves. Yield: 8 servings.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

This may well be the most unhealthy thing I've posted so far. But it's good. It's a quick to fix crowd pleaser. And you'd be wise to only make them for a crowd, lest you eat them all yourself.
2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup butter, melted
2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
1/4 cup peanut butter
In a medium bowl, stir together graham cracker crumbs, confectioners' sugar, peanut butter and melted butter. Press firmly into the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan. Melt chocolate chips and peanut butter over a double boiler or in the microwave, stirring occasionally. Spread melted chocolate over the crumb crust. Chill for about 20 minutes, then cut into bars, then chill until ready to serve.

Friday, January 16, 2009

White Chocolate Blondie

This is a clone recipe of Applebee's White Chocolate and Walnut Blondie, although I think they may have changed the name. It calls for walnuts, but I prefer pecans. The sauce is amazing! I always double it so that there's plenty to go around.
4 egg whites
½ cup butter softened
½ cup light brown sugar - (packed)
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup milk
8 ounces white chocolate cut into chunks
½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans
½ cup butter softened
½ cup powdered sugar
2 oz cream cheese softened
2 tablespoons maple syrup
¼ teaspoon salt
vanilla ice cream
½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
To make the blondie cake, whip the egg whites until they are stiff and form peaks. Add softened butter, ½ cup packed brown sugar, ¼ cup granulated sugar, and vanilla and mix with an electric mixer until smooth.
In a separate bowl sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and ¼ teaspoon salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well until smooth. Mix in milk, white chocolate chunks, and walnuts.
Pour ingredients into a greased 9— by 13-inch baking pan and bake for 40 to 45 minutes (mine seems to get done after about 30 minutes, so watch closely!) or until cake is golden brown on top.
While cake bakes, combine all ingredients for the sauce in a medium bowl with an electric mixer. The sauce will be fluffy at this point.
Arrange the cake on the skillet or plate. Heat up the sauce for 30 to 60 seconds in the microwave until hot and pourable. Place a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the cake, then drizzle some of the sauce over the top, followed by a tablespoon of chopped walnuts. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Lemon Cheese Braid

This is a fairly easy recipe. Even easier if you use a bread machine. This recipe wasn't written for a bread machine, so I'll post the original instructions. If you want to use your bread machine, just add ingredients in the order specified by the bread machine manufacturer (make sure ingredients are at room temperature), and set the dough cycle. Take it out after the first rise, then follow the rest of the recipe instructions.
1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
3 tablespoons warm water (110° to 115°)
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 to 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 packages (one 8 ounces, one 3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla or lemon extract
2 to 3 teaspoons milk
Directions: In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the milk, sugar, butter, eggs, salt and 2 cups flour; beat on low speed for 3 minutes. Stir in enough of remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl, beat all the filling ingredients until fluffy; set aside. Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; roll into a 14-in. x 12-in. rectangle. Place on a greased baking sheet. Spread filling down center third of rectangle.
On each long side, cut 1-in.-wide strips, 3-in. into center.
Starting at one end, fold alternating strips at an angle across filling.
Mine looked like this when I was done. Kind of ugly, actually. I had some "help" from Ben. But I'm sure you could make it look pretty if you want to take the time. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Combine confectioners' sugar, vanilla and enough milk to achieve drizzling consistency; drizzle over bread. Yield: 12-14 servings.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Orange Pecan Chicken

1/3 cup orange juice concentrate
5 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted
1 tablespoon butter
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup orange marmalade
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Hot cooked rice
In a small bowl, combine orange juice concentrate, 4 tablespoons oil, soy sauce and garlic. Pour half of the marinade into a large resealable plastic bag; add chicken. Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight. Cover and refrigerate remaining marinade.
Set aside 1/4 cup green onions for garnish. Add remaining onions to saucepan; saute in butter until tender. Add the marmalade, juices, honey, orange and lemon peel, salt, pepper and reserved marinade. Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5-10 minutes or until sauce reaches desired consistency. Cook chicken in skillet with remaining oil, or grill (I like mine grilled). Serve chicken over rice; top with sauce, toasted pecans or walnuts and reserved onions.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Jelly Rolls

This is another recipe that brings back memories. My mom often made these when I was growing up. It's a sponge cake, filled with the filling of your choice and rolled up. It can be filled with jam, jelly, pudding, or anything else that sounds good.
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
6 eggs, separated
6 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
Whip egg whites until stiff, set aside. Whip egg yolks with sugar until thick and lemon colored. Beat in water. Add flour baking powder, vanilla and salt, mix well. Carefully fold in egg whites until combined. It should look light yellow with an almost foamy texture.
Spray a 17 or 18 inch jelly roll pan with cooking spray (I always use the Pam with Flour Spray for anything I'm baking. I've never had a problem with things sticking to the pan when I've used that). Pour batter into pan. Be careful to make it even because it doesn't really spread out while cooking. Bake for 10 minutes at 400 or until light brown. It should spring back when touched when it's done. Turn out onto a dish towel that's been sprinkled with powdered sugar. Let sit for just a minute, then roll it up with the towel. Let it sit on a wire rack while cooling. It's a good idea to unroll and re-roll a few times while it's cooling. This helps prevent cracking.
When it's cool, you can fill it with the filling of your choice. In the picture above, I used chocolate pudding, one small box with 1 1/2 cups milk.

Raisin Bran Blueberry Muffins

I found this recipe when I had an abundance of Raisin Bran to use up (sometimes I go overboard when I find a good sale). The original doesn't call for blueberries, but I like it that way.
1 1/4 cups flour (I use whole wheat flour from white wheat that I grind at home)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sugar
3 cups of Raisin Bran or 1 1/2 cups All Bran
1 1/4 cups milk
1 egg
1/3 cup oil
1 cup blueberries (optional)
Stir together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Set aside. Measure Raisin Bran cereal and milk into large bowl. Stir to combine. Let stand 2 minutes. Add egg and oil. Beat well. Add flour mixture , stirring only until combined. Gently fold in blueberries. Divide into 12 muffin cups. Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned.

Meatball Subs

This one comes from my mom. They're a big hit with the whole family.
6 sub rolls
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
salt and pepper
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped
1 lb ground beef
2 8oz cans tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups green bell pepper, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh basil or 1 tsp dried basil
cheese (optional)
Combine ground beef, bread crumbs, 1/4 cup of the tomato sauce, 1-2 cloves of the garlic, 1/4 cup of the onion, and salt and pepper. Mix well. Shape into small meatballs and place on a greased broiler pan.

Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, saute remaining onion, 1 or 2 cloves of garlic, and bell pepper in a small amount of oil. Add remaining tomato sauce and basil. Add cooked meatballs. Simmer for a few minutes. Spoon onto split rolls. Top with cheese if desired (I use provolone).
Serve as is, or place under the broiler until cheese melts.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Waffle Cookies


My mom frequently made these while I was growing up. They were my favorite cookie. They're more like a brownie, actually. Each batch makes about 20.
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
6 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
I'm not really sure the exact amounts for this, but here's a general idea of what I do-
Melt about 2 tablespoons of butter, add a few heaping tablespoons of cocoa and a tablespoon of water. Stir in powdered sugar until you reach the desired consistency, probably 1-1 1/2 cups. Add about 1/2 teaspoon of mint extract if you want, more if that's not strong enough. If you get it too thick, you can add milk or water until you get it right.
In a medium bowl, mix the sugar and butter together. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Then mix in the flour, cocoa, and walnuts. Preheat the waffle iron. I prefer to use a shallow iron, which are almost impossible to find anymore. I've never tried it on the Belgian type.

Drop dough by heaping tablespoons around the waffle iron. Close the lid and cook for 1 1/2 minutes. It may take more or less time depending on the individual waffle iron. Carefully remove to rack to cool.
When cookies are cool, dip them into a chocolate glaze, then let sit until glaze is set.

Macaroni Grill Rosemary Bread

This is a copycat recipe . I've never eaten at the Macaroni Grill myself, but I've heard the bread is great so I attempted to make it. I think it turned out really good.
This is the recipe you can find online. I did a couple of things different. I used my bread maker to mix the dough and took it out after the first rise to shape. I cooked them on my baking stones. I cooked it at 400 instead of 350. I put a shallow pan of boiling water in the bottom of the oven (this helps to make a crisp crust). Also I DID NOT put the butter on when it came from the oven. Doing that will give you a soft crust.
1 tablespoon yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup warm water
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons rosemary
2 tablespoons butter
1Place yeast, sugar and water in large bowl or food processor and allow mixture to become bubbly.
2Mix in 1 T butter, salt, and 2 1/2 cups of flour.
3Add one tablespoon of the fresh chopped rosemary.
4Knead for about 10 minutes by hand or in food processor about 5 minutes until smooth and elastic.
5Add more flour if necessary.
6Oil a bowl, put dough in it and cover with a towel.
7Let dough rise in a warm place for one hour until doubled.
8Punch down dough and divide in half.
9Let dough rest about 5 minutes.
10Spray baking pan or cookie sheet with cooking spray.
11Shape the dough into 2 small rounded oval loaves.
12Sprinkle remaining 1 Tablespoon of rosemary over the loaves and press lightly into the surface.
13Let loaves rise again until doubled, about 45 minutes.
14Preheat oven to 375°F.
15Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly browned.
16Carefully remove from oven, brush with remaining butter (and salt if desired.).

Monday, January 5, 2009

Flaky Pie Crust

My mom is an expert pie maker. I believe she learned this recipe from a roommate while in college. Pie crust can be tricky, but really isn't hard once you get it down.
2 cups flour
3/4 c shortening
1/4 c cold butter
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sugar
1/3 c cold water
Sift dry ingredients and cut shortening and butter into flour until dough resembles corn meal. One of the tricks to pie crust is having your ingredients cold. I often use frozen butter.

I love to use my food processor. It makes the process so much easier. Just pulse several times until it looks similar to the picture above. But, if you don't have a food processor, don't despair, my mom has never used one for crust, a fork or pastry cutter also works.

Add water a little at a time, pulsing just until dough starts to stick together. You want to mix as little as possible after adding the water, or you'll end up with a tough crust.
Divide dough in half. Roll the dough out onto a floured piece of waxed paper. Use your pie plate to make sure you've rolled it big enough, leaving extra for it to fit down inside the pie plate. Turn the dough over into the pie plate and gently remove the wax paper. Trim the dough just over the edges of the pie plate, then shape the edges with your fingers. If you're going to bake the crust without filling, poke holes all over the crust with a fork. Bake at 375 for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 2 crusts (unless you ruin one or both).
This takes a little practice. Don't give up if it doesn't always work. If your crust doesn't look presentable, DON"T try to roll it out again. The less you work with the dough, the better it will taste. Even though I've been making pies for years, I still ruin crusts occasionally, like the one pictured below. When that happens, I just dump the whole thing onto a baking sheet, sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon, and bake it. The kids (and I) think it's a great treat.

Failure isn't all bad.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Creamy Lemon Pie

I love all things lemon, but this is one of my favorties.
1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup milk
6 egg yolks, lightly beaten
1/4 cup butter
2 tablespoons grated lemon peel
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 sour cream
1 cup whipping cream, whipped
1 pie shell (9 inches), baked
In a saucepan, combine the sugar and cornstarch. Stir in milk until smooth. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat; cook and stir 2 minutes more.
Remove from heat. Stir a small amount of hot filling into egg yolks; return all to the pan. Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in butter and lemon peel. Gently stir in juice. Cool to room temperature. Fold in sour cream and whipped cream. Pour into pie shell. Chill at least 1 hour before serving.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Quick and Easy Green Chili Burritos

This is such an easy and quick meal that calls for ingredients that I always have on hand. The original doesn't call for onions and garlic, but I add that to almost everything.
1 can (16 oz) refried beans
8 flour tortillas
1/2 pound ground beef
1 c shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
1 can (4oz) chopped green chilies
1 onion (optional)
1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
Cook ground beef with onion and garlic, drain. Add refried beans and mix until heated through. Fill each tortilla with mixture plus 2 tablespoons of cheese. Fold ends and sides over filling and roll up. Place seam side down in a 9x13 baking dish. Sprinkle with chilies and remaining cheese.
Bake uncovered at 350 for 20 minutes or until heated through. Serve with sour cream and salsa if desired.
Note: My favorite flour tortillas are the ones you can buy that are uncooked. You just throw them on a skillet for a minutes each side. It takes a little extra prep work, but they're so much better.

Blueberry Sour Cream Pancakes

This is a really good pancake recipe with or without the blueberries.
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup cold water
4 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1-1/2 cups milk
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
Directions: In a large saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch. Stir in water until smooth. Add blueberries. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; cover and keep warm. For pancakes, in a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Combine the eggs, milk, sour cream and butter. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in blueberries. Pour batter by 1/4 cupful onto a greased hot griddle. Turn when bubbles form on top; cook until the second side is golden brown. Serve with blueberry topping.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Carrots Lyonnaise

My favorite carrot recipe
1 lb carrots, peeled and cut into julienne strips
1 chicken bouillon cubes
1/4 cup butter
1 medium onion, sliced
1 Tbs flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
Cook carrots, covered, for 10 minutes in chicken bullion cube dissolved in 1/2 cup boiling water. In saucepan, melt butter and add onion. Cook, covered for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
To butter mixture, add flour, salt, pepper, and 3/4 cup water. Add carrots and stock and simmer for 10 minutes.

Parmesan Cheese Rolls

This is the easiest roll recipe ever with impressive results.
Frozen Roll dough (Rhoades or similar)
Melted butter
Grated Parmesan cheese
Roll frozen rolls in melted butter then Parmesan cheese. Let rise for 3-5 hours until the desired size. Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.

Hot Fudge Sauce

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup butter
4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 14 oz can evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
In a large saucepan, combine the chocolate chips and butter. Cook and stir over low heat until melted (I usually do this step in the microwave)
Gradually mix in the sugar and milk. Increase heat to a boil. Cook, stirring constantly, for 8 minutes. Remove from heat, and then stir in vanilla and salt. Serve warm. Store in refrigerator.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Baked Potato Soup

I often use the potato and bacon that is left over from making potato boats for this recipe.
3 bacon strips, diced
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 cups chicken broth
2 large baked potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 cup half-and-half cream
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
Shredded Cheddar cheese
In a large saucepan, cook bacon until crisp. Drain, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings. Set bacon aside. Saute onion and garlic in the drippings until tender. Stir in flour, salt, basil and pepper; mix well. Gradually add broth. Bring to boil; boil and stir for 2 minutes. Add the potatoes and cream ; heat through but do not boil. Garnish with bacon and cheese .

French Bread

This is a very simple bread recipe using your bread machine and very few ingredients. The results are a European style baguette.
1 1/4 cups water
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3 cups bread flour
2 Tablespoons rye flour (I've used wheat in place of rye before, I'm not really sure what it does)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
Place ingredients in the bread machine in the order suggested by the manufacturer. Use the dough cycle. At the end of the dough cycle, shape into 2 long thin loaves. Let rise until double on a pan or stone that has been sprinkled with cornmeal. Bake at 425 for the first 15 minutes then reduce heat to 375 and bake an additional 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
Note: Because I like a crisp crust, I put a shallow pan of boiling water in the bottom of the oven.

Stuffed Baked Potatoes

5 medium baking potatoes
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese, divided
3/4 cup sour cream
1 envelope ranch salad dressing mix
1 tablespoon snipped chives
1 garlic clove, minced
Crumbled cooked bacon and chopped green onion
Directions: Scrub and pierce potatoes Bake at 375° for 1 hour or until tender. When cool enough to handle, cut each potato in half lengthwise. Scoop out the pulp, leaving thin shells. In a large bowl, beat the pulp with butter. Stir in 1 cup of cheese, sour cream, salad dressing mix, chives and garlic. Spoon into potato shells. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Place on a baking sheet. Bake at 375 ° for 15-20 minutes or until heated through. top with bacon and green onions. Yield: 10 servings.

Tiny Cherry Cheesecakes

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1/2 cup cold butter
2 tablespoons cold water
2 packages (3 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 can (21 ounces) cherry or strawberry pie filling
Directions: In a small bowl, combine flour, sugar and cocoa; cut in butter until crumbly. Gradually add water, tossing with a fork until dough forms a ball. Shape into 24 balls. Place in greased miniature muffin cups; press dough onto the bottom and up the sides of each cup. In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in milk and vanilla. Add egg; beat on low just until combined. Spoon about 1 tablespoonful into each cup. Bake at 325° for 15-18 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Carefully remove from pans to cool completely. Top with pie filling. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 2 dozen.

Poppy Seed Dressing

This is our favorite salad dressing. It keeps well, but needs to be stirred or shaken before each use.
1 cup sugar
1 cup oil
1/2 c vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dry mustard
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 Tbsp poppy seeds
1 tsp grated onion
Mix all ingredients thoroughly.

Cheese Balls

2 packages of cream cheese, 8 oz each
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup pepper jack cheese, shredded
3 or 4 green onions, sliced
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Mix all ingredients well. Shape into 2 balls. Rolls in your choice of nuts, if desired.

Pepper Ranch Dressing

As far as ranch goes, I think this recipe of my Mom's is the best.
1 quart mayonnaise
2 cups buttermilk
2 Tablespoons Accent (MSG found in the spice aisle)
1 1/2 Tablespoons pepper
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon onion salt