Cranberry Streusel Pie

November 16, 2011 by

As a Jersey Girl, I take great pride in the Garden State knowing that New Jersey produces the third largest quantity of cranberries in the United States (and if you know anything about NJ, you know that’s coming from south Jersey).

This sweet and tart pie procures a place of priority in my heart and mouth during the Thanksgiving/Christmas season.  Once its made, it can easily be eaten for breakfast, lunch, dinner and/or dessert.  I originally got this recipe from my mom, who I believe found it in a Philadelphia Cream Cheese cookbook.  Personally, I’ve never made the streusel topping, which is a great option for those who are allergic to nuts.  Enjoy!


  • 9″ pie crust (unbaked)
  • 1 (8oz) package of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (14oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 Tbs brown sugar, divided
  • 2 Tbs cornstarch
  • 1 (16oz) can whole berry cranberry sauce
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup cold butter


  1. Preheat oven to 425*.  Lay pie crust in pie plate and bake 6 mins.  Remove from oven and reduce temperature to 375*.
  2. Beat cream cheese in a large bowl until light and fluffy.  Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk until smooth.  Stir in lemon juice.  Pour into crust.
  3. In a small bowl, combine 1 Tbs brown sugar and cornstarch.  Mix well.  Stir in cranberry sauce and spoon over cream cheese mixture.
  4. In medium bowl combine flour and 2 Tbs brown sugar.  Cut in butter.  Stir in walnuts.  Sprinkle over cranberry mixture.
  5. Bake 45-50 mins (until golden and bubbly).  Cool.  Serve at room temperature or chill (I like it much better chilled).

Pumpkin Dump Cake

October 6, 2011 by

I know it’s been a long time since anyone has posted here but I thought I’d share my new fav Autumn recipe. I made this for the last Dinner Fellowship and I think it may just replace the Pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving dinner. I found it through Pinterest so it’s not my original recipe.  Here goes. . . .

  • 1 15 oz can Pumpkin Puree
  • 1 10 oz can Evaporated Milk
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter melted
  • 1 cup coarsely crushed graham crackers or pecans
  • 1/2 cup toffee bits (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Spray a 9×13 baking pan lightly with cooking/baking spray
  3. In a large bowl combine the pumpkin, evaporated milk, sugar, eggs and pumpkin pie spice. Stir to combine.
  4. Pour into your prepared pan.
  5. Sprinkle your entire box of cake mix on top, followed by your nuts or graham crackers and toffee chips.
  6. Pour your melted butter evenly on top.
  7. Bake for 45-50 minutes until center is set and edges are lightly browned.

Here’s the direct link for the ladies blog so that you can see pictures of the different steps if you are a visual learner like me.

Beef Stroganoff

August 1, 2011 by

I tried so many recipes for Beef Stroganoff that turned out badly that I decided that I must just not like it. But what is there not to like: beef in a creamy sauce that has slowly simmered all day, smelling wonderful, only to taste a gluey mess that was too salty by far, thanks to the inevitable use of a package of onion soup mix. Then a magazine I subscribe to, called Cooks Country ( a more down home version of Cook’s Illustrated, as seen on PBS), broke down the ingredients in a package of onion soup mix to make it more natural and far less salty. So I tried the concoction in my next batch and it turned out GREAT! Now I use the substitution whenever onion soup mix is called for , usually to wonderful results. This magazine is for real foodies, who enjoy the whys and wherefores of a recipe, and how it came to fruition, how they tested the recipe 50 times before printing it. The magazine also does not accept advertizing and does reviews on various kitchen implements and ingredients giving them star ratings. Ok, enough about my bed time reading.

Mix to replace onion soup mix

3 T cornstarch

4 t onion powder

2 t brown sugar

1 t garlic salt

1 t instant espresso powder (can be bought either at The Bakers or Whole Foods)

1 t dried thyme


3 lbs stew beef

3 T oil

1 C red wine (it all cooks out!)

2-10 oz cream of mushroom soup

1 C sour cream

1. Brown the meat in the oil, transfer to slow cooker, and sprinkle with the special mix, turning to coat it all.

2. Add the red wine to the pan to deglaze (scrape up all the browned bits), mix in the soup and pour over the meat. Cover and cook on high 3-3 1/2  hours, or on low 6-7  hours. Stir in the sour cream and serve over noodles.

Beefy Shells and Cheese

July 4, 2011 by

Here’s a new one that I have recently fallen in love w/. I absolutely luv Velveeta Shells and Cheese and this was a way to bring it back into my life. Super simple to put together and make. Ready in about 30 minutes. I switch between kidney beans and the black beans depending on what I have in the pantry and what kind of mood I’m in. The chili powder is “use what u can tolerate.” If u don’t like things too spicy don’t put much in. If u like it spicy add more. ENJOY!


1 pound ground beef
1 package (12 ounces) shells and cheese dinner mix
2 cups water
1-1/4 cups salsa
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 to 2 teaspoons chili powder
1/8 teaspoon salt


In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Set aside cheese sauce packet from dinner mix. Add shells and water to skillet. Bring to a boil; cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until pasta is tender.
Stir in the salsa, beans, chili powder, salt and contents of cheese sauce packet. Remove from the heat; cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Yield: 6 servings.

Ninfa’s Chili Con Queso

June 16, 2011 by
Immature jalapeno capsicum annuum var annuum

Image via Wikipedia

It was a very sad  day for us when we returned to Austin to find out that our favorite Mexican Cantina had closed and was only available in Houston, a city we avoid like the plague. So when their recipe for their Queso became known, we tried it and found it to be a comforting part of Austin in Jeffersonville. Even though we now have a Chuys ( a Tex Mex restaurant that started in Austin), it is good, but we are still praying for a Ninfa’s!

1 Cup of milk

1 1/2 lbs Velveeta

1/2 Cup of half and half

2 1/2 oz grated cheddar

1 oz diced green pepper

1/2 oz diced jalapenoes

1 oz diced onion

1 oz diced celery

3 1/2 oz diced tomatoes

1 oz pickled jalapeno

2 sprigs of fresh cilantro

1. Place milk, half and half and Velveeta in a heavy bottomed saucepan or on top of a double boiler, cook over low-medium low until melted. Add the cheddar, stir until melted.

2. Lightly saute the pepper, onion and jalapeno in a little butter.

3. Add the tomatoes, pickled jalapeno, cilantro and celery and the saute mix into the cheese mix

Grandma Treats

June 3, 2011 by

My great-grandmother used to make these treats. My sister reminded me how to make them a few weeks ago when we were visiting in Tennessee. They are so easy and delicious!

Pretzels- traditional shaped
Rolos candy
Pecan halves

Directions: Lay out desired amount of pretzels on a cookie sheet. Place a rolo on top. Heat in the oven until the candy starts to get gooey. Take out of the oven and squish a pecan on the top. That’s it!

Note: You could also make these in the microwave.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Kiss

May 19, 2011 by

Awhile back I had posted my recipes that I took w/ me to Christmas dinner. I used they Phyllo cups for one of the recipes and I have been luvin them ever since.  While having a party at my house last Saturday I got out the trusty Phyllo cups and noticed a yummy recipe on the back.  I know they say to never try new recipes on guests but oh well.  They were delicious!! (And I don’t even like marshmallows)


  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup marshmallow cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 15 Athens Mini Fillo Shells (1 box), thawed at room temp. for 10 min.
  • 15 Hershey’s Kisses (unwrapped)

In a small bowl, place peanut butter, marshmallow cream, and vanilla. Blend well.

Spoon 1 rounded teaspoon of filling into each shell. Top with a Kiss.

Serve immediately or refrigerate til ready to use.

That’s it!!! So simple and yet so yummy.  I doubled the batch and had plenty of dessert appetizer thingys for everyone.

Here’s the brand that I used.  I am sure that brand doesn’t matter. This is just the only ones Wal-Mart had.

Chicken Crescents

May 16, 2011 by

This is a delicious recipe I recently found in my parents’ church cookbook “Deltona Alliance Church Cookbook.”  We have enjoyed it!


  • 3-4 boneless chicken breasts, cooked and diced
  • 2 tbsp. butter or margarine
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2  8count crescent roll packages
  • 6oz. cream cheese
  • 4-6 tbsp. milk
  • bread crumbs
  1. In a large bowl, add cream cheese and butter.  Microwave on low power to soften. Add milk, salt and pepper to the cream cheese mixture and blend together.  The consistency should be thin but not too runny.
  2. Add chicken and toss to coat.
  3. Separate crescent rolls so that you have 4 squares per package (two triangles together for each).  Spread each square on a cookie sheet until it forms a 5×5 square.  (Squeeze together the center diagonal seam).  You will have 8 squares.
  4. Spoon the chicken mixture into the center of the squares and pull up the edges of the dough and twist to secure. Sprinkle with plain or Italian bread crumbs. 
  5. Bake at 375 until rolls are nicely browned, about 10-12 minutes.

Bow Ties with Sausage and Bell Peppers

May 9, 2011 by

            Pasta is a frequented ingredient at our house.  Not only is it inexpensive, but it is often quick and tasty, too!  This meal is one of our favorites.  It only requires a few ingredients, but these ingredients produce a really flavorful meal.  “Bow Ties with Sausage and Bell Peppers” is also a relatively easy and quick meal to fix for dinner.  It is even a favorite of our two-year old daughter Riley!


8 oz Bow tie pasta

¾ lb Italian sausage links

2 Bell peppers

½ c Beef broth

¼ tsp Ground black pepper

1 T Dried parsley

½ c Grated parmesan cheese


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain.  Pour pasta into serving dish.
  2. Cut sausage into 1-inch pieces.  (Jason is super-sweet and removes the casings before cutting because I like it better that way.)
  3. Cook sausage and peppers in a large skillet over medium-high heat until sausage is fully cooked and peppers are no longer crunchy.
  4. Add broth and pepper to skillet.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes.
  5. Add sausage mixture, parsley, and parmesan* to pasta in serving dish and stir to combine.

Serving Size:  4

*We prefer to add the parmesan to our individual servings, mostly because I’m a cheese-aholic, and Jason prefers to be a little healthier.  This method also prevents the cheese from getting goopy from the hot pasta (in case you have that problem).

This recipe is adapted from “Bow Ties with Sausage and Sweet Peppers” in the Big Book of 30-Minute Dinners by Better Homes and Gardens.

Chicken Barbeque Pizza

April 25, 2011 by

This is a fun and yummy recipe that requires very little effort.  I make the dough in my bread maker, but you could just as easily buy a pizza crust from the store.  The pie recipe came from me just figuring it out.  The dough recipe comes from the manual for my Bread Box Bread Maker.  It’ll make 2 thick pizza crusts (I usually do one chicken barbeque and one pepperoni).

Pizza crust dough:

  • 1 1/2 cups + 3 Tbs  warm water
  • 2 Tbs oil
  • 2 Tbs sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbs dry milk
  • 4 1/2 cups flour
  •  2 tsp active dry yeast

– Put all ingredients into the bread maker and select the dough program for 2 lb.

– When dough is finished in bread maker, place dough on lightly floured surface.  Divide in half and press each half onto a pizza pan (or pizza stone if you have one), raising edges slightly.

Pizza Recipe (makes one pie):

  • About a cup of cooked Chicken (I usually use leftovers after cooking a whole chicken, or you can use canned chicken, or whatever)
  • About 1/2 cup of Marinara sauce
  • About 1/4 cup of Barbeque sauce
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese

– Combine marinara sauce with barbeque sauce (I usually just do this by sight and taste.  The barbeque sauce can easily overpower the marinara sauce, so just add the barbeque a little at a time until it tastes good to you.  If you add too much, just add more marinara.)

– Spread sauce over the dough and top with as much mozzarella as you like (I like mine cheesy!)

– Coat chicken with a Tbs or two of barbeque sauce and spread over cheese.

– Cook the pie at 425* for 15-20 mins and voila! Yummy Chicken Barbeque Pizza.