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October 30, 2010

Warm Bleu Cheese, Bacon, and Garlic Dip

I know that most people claim to hate bleu cheese, but you will change your mind completely when you try this hot dip.
It is truly divine.  Every single time I have made this dish for a party, people freak about how great it is and immediately ask for the recipe.  Give it a try! You know you want to...


7 slices bacon, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 c. half and half
4 oz. bleu cheese crumbles
2 Tbsp. fresh chives, chopped
3 Tbsp. smoked almonds, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until almost crisp (about 7 minutes). Drain the excess fat, then add the minced garlic and cook until the bacon is crisp (about 3 minutes). 
In a separate bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the 1/2 & 1/2, and mix until combined.  Stir in the bacon mixture, bleu cheese, and chives.  Transfer to a 1 qt. about 2 cup size) baking dish and lightly cover with foil. Bake until thoroughly heated-about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, take off the foil and sprinkle with the chopped almonds. Serve immediately.

 We love to have this dip with great baguette bread, sliced or with unsalted crackers.  I'm sure it is also fabulous with veggies such as carrots, celery, and broccoli.

Pumpkin Spice Surprise Cookies

I discovered this awesome recipe a year or so ago, and had forgotten about it until the irresistible craving for pumpkin spiced foods hit me.  As I was going through my HUGE pile of recipes, I found this little "surprise".
I altered it some to meet my family's preferences (ok just mine), and I think I came up with a winner. 
1 c. butter, softened
1/3 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. sugar
2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. canned pumpkin
1/4 c. milk
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
approx 48 Hershey Kisses, unwrapped
1/3 c. sugar with 1 Tbsp. cinnamon, combined
Preheat oven to 350 degree's.
Cream together the butter, brown sugar, sugar until light and fluffy.
In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, salt, and pumpkin pie spice.
Add pumpkin to butter mixture, then alternating ingredients beat in the flour mix and milk.  Dough should be rather stiff, but moist, and hold well when you roll a piece into a ball.
Take approx 1 Tbsp dough and roll it between your hands to form a ball. Then press 1 unwrapped Hershey Kiss into the middle of the dough ball, and press the dough around it to cover the chocolate completely.
Roll each dough ball in the cinnamon sugar mixture and then place on parchment covered baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Let stand for 4-5 minutes on the cookie sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
(The original recipe called for the 'Candy Corn Hershey Kisses', and I added the canned pumpkin and milk because the first time I made these cookies they were too dry.)

Pumpkin Latte-No Coffee!

Another reason I love blogland!
Ava at The Retro Housewife Remix (don't you just love the name of her blog?) has given us permission to repost her awesome recipe. This fits in perfectly with my Pumpkin Spice addiction, and provides a fabulous drink for our non-coffee drinking friends!  I have made this recipe, and we all (me, the 2 adult kids, the brother, and the husband) all loved it!
The perfect drink to warm up all the frozen Halloween Trick or Treater's!

No Coffee Pumpkin Latte

  • 4 cups of milk
  • 1 cup of pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine all ingredients on stove top and heat until desired temp.
(do not boil).
We added homemade whipped cream to ours

(beat whipping cream and powdered sugar).
This is great for kids since it has no coffee, and if you want coffee in yours go ahead and add some!

Retro Housewife Remix

October 26, 2010

Pumpkin Swirl Brownies

I have been baking and cooking like crazy the past couple of weeks while trying to get all my pumpkin spice recipes re-tested (LOL) and posted ( I don't really need to re-test them, that's just my excuse to make and EAT all the good stuff)!
This recipe was my family's favorite of the week. I liked it too...a lot...I mean really a lot...

1 box brownie mix 
2 eggs
3/4 c. sugar plus 2 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 c. canned pumpkin
(from a 15 oz. can)
1/4 c. vegetable oil
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare brownie mix according to package directions for a 9 x 13 pan. Pour batter into a 9x13 pan  that has been lightly sprayed with non stick baking spray (do not bake yet).
Beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Add the pumpkin and oil and mix until well combined.
Combine all the dry ingredients together, then mix in with the pumpkin mix. Combine well. Spoon large dollops of the pumpkin mix over the brownie batter, then using a knife or spatula, swirl back and forth thru the 2 batters to mix them together slightly. Be careful not to over swirl (whatever that means-ha ha).

Bake for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool completely, then cut into squares.


Tempt my Tummy Tuesdays

October 23, 2010

Slow cooker sherry beef

Sherry Stroganoff
  • Ingredients:
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2-2 lbs. beef stew meat, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1/4 lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. diced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf (optional)
  • 1 1/2 c. beef broth
  • 1/3 c. dry sherry
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • 1/2 c. all purpose flour
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 1-(12 oz.) pkg. dry egg noodles
1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat then add beef and brown on all sides.

2. Combine beef, mushrooms, onion, garlic, salt, oregano, pepper, marjoram and bay leaf in slow cooker. Pour broth and sherry on top. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or high 4-5 hours.

3. Combine sour cream, flour and water in a small bowl. Temper the sour cream mix by adding 1 cup of cooking the liquid from your slow cooker and mix well. Add this mixture back into the slow cooker and continue cooking, uncovered, on high another 30 minutes (or until the sauce is thick and bubbly).

4. During last 30 minutes of cooking, prepare the egg noodles according package directions.

Serve Stroganoff over noodles!

We are linking this delicious recipe to:


Pumpkin Spice Hot Cocoa

Laura at Just for love
posted this great recipe for 

 the perfect counter balance for our  

Pumpkin Spice Latte's~

(makes 6 servings)

~ 1/2 cup sugar
~ 1/4 cup Hershey's cocoa 
~ 1/2 tsp. pumpkin spice
~ Dash of salt
~ 1/3 cup hot water
~ 4 cups milk
~ 3/4 tsp. vanilla extract


~ Mix sugar, cocoa, pumpkin spice and salt in saucepan; stir in water.
~ Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture boils; boil and stir 2 minutes.
~ Stir in milk and heat. DO NOT BOIL.
~ Remove from heat; add vanilla.
~ Top with marshmallows

October 21, 2010

Pumpkin Spice Fudge

This is one of my mother's favorite candies!
2 c. sugar
1 c. brown sugar, packed
3/4 c. butter (no substitutions)
2/3 c. evaporated milk
1/2 c. pumpkin puree
1 1/2 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 (12 oz.) pkg. white chocolate chips
1 (7 oz.) jar Marshmallow creme
1 c. chopped pecans or macadamia nuts (optional)
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Butter a 9 x 13 baking dish.  Combine the first 6 ingredients in a heavy saucepan: cook over medium heat until the sugars dissolve, then continue cooking until the mixture begins to boil, stirring constantly.  Boil until a candy thermometer reaches the the soft-ball stage (234 ~ 243 degrees). Remove from heat, stir in the white chips until they are all melted and mixture is smooth. Add the remaining ingredients, mix well. Pour into prepared pan, and cool to room temperature. Cut into squares, store refrigerated in an air tight container. Makes approx. 60 pieces.
Note: The total boiling time is around 30 minutes.

We're excited! This yummy recipe was featured at:

and at:

And look at this! We won over on this blog!

p.s. I can't take credit for this awesome photo.

Pumpkin Blondies

I should have created a series of recipes entitled
here is another recipe to add to my list!
Pumpkin Blondies
2 c. all purpose flour
1 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. brown sugar
3/4 c. sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 -(15 oz.) can pumpkin puree
1 c. white chocolate chips 
( I use semi-sweet chocolate chips instead)
1 c. butterscotch chips
1/2 c. pecans, toasted and chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degree's.  Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with non-stick spray. 
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, spice, baking soda & salt.  Stir together and set aside.
In your electric mixer with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugars on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla until well combined. Mix in the pumpkin, then with the mixer on low speed add the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated.  Fold in the chips and nuts.
Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Bake 35-40 minutes or until the edges begin to pull away from the sides and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely on wire rack, then cut into squares.

October 20, 2010

Pumpkin Spice Latte's (my nod to Starbucks)

I love this latte recipe! I've made it many times, and it never fails to make me happy.
Pumpkin Spice Latte
makes 2 servings
2 c. milk
2 Tbsp. canned pumpkin 
2Tbsp. sugar (I use sugar substitute)
2 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1-2 shots espresso
(about 1/4 cup of espresso or 1/2 cup of strong brewed coffee)
In a saucepan combine milk, pumpkin and sugar and cook on medium heat, stirring, until steaming. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and spice, transfer to a blender and process for 15 seconds until foamy, or just whisk the mixture really well.
Pour into 2 large mugs. Add the espresso on top. (I actually like my latte mixed together, so I combine everything before I pour it into the mugs)
Optional:  Top with whipped cream - really, who is going to make this an "optional" step - load on the whipped cream!
Loving our Linky Friends!

October 18, 2010

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Cupcakes

I've held off long enough, it's time for another pumpkin recipe-YIPPEE!
These are fabulous cupcakes, simple to make, and a tiny bit decadent. With the cheesecake like center, these little cakes don't need frosting (unless its a big dollop of sweet whipping cream).

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Cupcakes
1 pkg. spice cake mix (plus the ingredients listed on the box for preparation)
1 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 pkg. (3.4 oz.) Vanilla instant pudding mix
1 c. canned pumpkin
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/4 c. sugar
1 egg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place 24 cupcake papers in cupcake pans.
Prepare the cake mix according to package directions. Once it is completely mixed, add the vanilla pudding mix, canned pumpkin, and pumpkin pie spice. Mix well.
Spoon 1/4 c. batter into prepared cupcake papers.
Beat cream cheese until creamy. Add the sugar and egg, blending well. Place about 1 Tbsp. of the cream cheese mix on the top of each filled cupcake wrapper.
Bake for 18-21 minutes.  Cool 5-10 minutes in the pan, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
These are best stored in the fridge.

October 17, 2010

Bleu Macaroni and Cheese

Yes, the title is true!
This macaroni and cheese recipe may lean toward grown-up tastes, but you never know. My kids loved this recipe, I just cut back on the amount of bleu cheese I used.
If your a lover of the sharp, tangy cheesy goodness of bleu cheese, I promise it will become one of your favorite gourmet recipes (and its sooooo easy to make)!
  • 2 c. elbow macaroni
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 3 Tbsp. flour
  • 2 c. whole milk ( I use 1%, but the recipe does state whole milk)
  • 1 c. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 c. crumbled bleu cheese
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder (optional)
Cook macaroni according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 c. pasta water in case the sauce needs to be thinned slightly, then drain pasta. While macaroni is cooking, make a white sauce by melting the butter in a medium saucepan, then stir in the flour.  Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until smooth. Gradually whisk in the milk, stirring until smooth and the sauce boils. Add the cheeses and stir to melt and combine it.  Add the cooked macaroni, salt, pepper and garlic powder (if the sauce is too thick, at this point stir in a little of the reserved pasta water until you get your desired consistency.  Heat through and serve!
  My husband loves to put Franks Hot Sauce on his dish of pasta, and I have added chicken to this recipe several time's.  But I think the addition I like the most is crisply cooked and crumbled bacon-delicious!
We love linking to:

October 15, 2010

Navajo Fry Bread Recipe

This recipe is an old stand-by. I use the fry bread in a couple of different ways; For savory dishes, top the fry bread with chili, stroganoff, beef stew, or other recipes... for sweets, serve with butter and honey or jam, and also sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and served warm with vanilla ice cream.
It offers easy adaptation for your favorite toppings.
With the cool weather here, I think my recipe for 
taco filling will make this a perfect combo!

  • 2 c. all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. nonfat dry milk powder
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 4-1/2 tsp. shortening
  • 2/3 to 3/4 c. water
  • Oil for deep frying

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1/2 c. chopped onion
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 2 cans (15 oz)  Ranch Style beans (I sometimes use black beans or kidney beans and 4oz. tomato sauce)
  • 1 c. (4 oz.) diced green chilies
  • 4 c. (16 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Salsa 
  • Sour Cream
Mix dry ingredients; then cut in shortening like you would for a pastry. Add water gradually, mixing to form a firm ball. Divide into 12 balls; let rest, covered, for 10 minutes. Roll each ball into 6-in. circle.
Heat 1 in. oil in Dutch oven to 400°. Slip each circle into oil; fry each side for 1 minute or until puffed and golden. Drain; serve warm with butter, honey and fresh lemon juice.
To make taco, cook the beef, onion and seasonings over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in beans; cook 5 minutes. Place fry bread on a baking pan; spread each bread with 1/2 cup taco mixture. Sprinkle with cheese and chilies. Bake at 350° until cheese is melted. Serve with lettuce, tomato and salsa. Yields about 12 scones.
This recipe is one I found from Taste of Home several years ago and adapted to my family's likes.
We love linking our recipe's with:

October 12, 2010

Spiced Pumpkin Dip-Delish!

LouAnne at LIFE HOMEMADE has given me another delicious food to love in my quest for all yummy things PUMPKIN SPICED-YAY!
Look at this yummy recipe, and just try to ignore it. I dare you. It will call to you, in the kitchen, while your sleeping, cleaning the house, shopping, or doing yard work! I'm speaking from experience.  This recipe has been screaming my name for about 48 hours now, so today I rose before the sun, went to my kitchen and made my life complete! This dip is divine. It should have wings and a halo. It will be served at those Big Pearly Gates as a welcome treat...

 Anyone who enjoys pumpkin pie or other pumpkin desserts will love this super simple to make dip. It's very festive AND yummy! 
Spiced Pumpkin Dip
  • One 15 oz can pumpkin
  • One 8 oz package cream cheese (softened)
  • 2 TBS pumpkin pie spice (recipe below)
  • 1 tsp orange zest or 1 tsp orange extract (optional)
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
Blend all together until nice and smooth. I use my food processor for this part.  Chill in the refrigerator for about an hour.  Serve with ginger snap cookies (our personal favorite), graham crackers and/or apple slices.  Makes a beautiful presentation at a party.

Pumpkin Pie Spice: 
4 TBS ground cinnamon
4 tsp ground nutmeg
4 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cloves or 3 tsp allspice
(We always use cloves because we like the little bite it gives.)

Should I admit that I even dipped miniature marshmallows in this yummy stuff? Maybe not...
There is a special place in heaven reserved for awesome people like LouAnne, who bring others (like me) such happiness and joy, and things that are PUMPKIN SPICED!

October 11, 2010

Pumpkin Spiced Chex Party Mix!

Have I mentioned my obsession with all Pumpkin Spice foods? Have you noticed? I LOVE PUMPKIN SPICED FOODS!!!! I love pumpkin chili, pumpkin coffee's, cookies, cakes, pumpkin fudge (I'll be posting this recipe very soon), pumpkin waffles, pancakes, pumpkin spice syrup, and well, just about any food with pumpkin and pumpkin spice in it...
Here is a new recipe I found and made's pretty awesome, and I will be making it again (because my family had demolished it before I finished cleaning up the kitchen!).
This recipe comes from a magazine ad for Chex not dismiss this one friends!
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice 
1/4 c. butter, melted
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. Cinnamon Chex cereal
2 c. Wheat Chex cereal
2 C. Honey Nut Chex cereal
8 oz. pecans, chop if desired (I omitted these-my fam doesn't like nuts. They just ARE nuts...)

In a small bowl combine the brown sugar and pie spice.
In a large microwave safe bowl combine the cereals and pecans, stirring to mix. 
Stir the vanilla extract into the melted butter, then pour butter over cereal, and stir until well coated. 
 Add the sugar mix and stir again until evenly distributed.
Microwave, uncovered for 5 minutes, stirring every minute. 
Spread out on waxed paper to cool. 
 Store in an airtight container.
Beyond simple, ehh? I timed myself, and this LITERALLY took me 11 minutes to make, and 10 minutes for the cereal to cool. This is my kind of cooking!
Happy Happy Happy!
Aren't these the cutest little cups ever?
~One of our favorite place's to link up with~

Ole! Pork Casserole

This is a family favorite for us. Whenever I cook a pork roast, I choose a large one so that I will have left over meat to make this casserole the next day...

Pork & Tortilla Casser-ole
  • 1 ( 10 3/4 oz.) can cream of chicken soup
  • 1( 10 3/4 oz.)  can cream of mushroom soup
  • 2 c. chicken broth
  • 1 (15oz.) can Mexican style diced tomatoes
  • 4 c tortilla chips, lightly broken up
  • 4 c. cooked and shredded pork
  • 2 c. Mexican style cheese, shredded
Preheat oven to 350 degree's.
Lightly coat a 9 x 13 pan with non stick cooking spray.
Mix together soups, broth, and tomatoes until combined. Place a layer of chips in the bottom on the baking dish. Layer 1/2 of meat on top of the chips, the cover with 1/2 of the soup mix over top. Sprinkle with 1 c. of the cheese. Repeat layers, ending with the cheese. 
Bake about 45 minutes or until bubbly and cheese is starting to brown.
Serve with salsa and sour cream.  Add a few slices of avocado and some shredded lettuce and this becomes a complete and delicious meal! 
Options:  I have added canned back beans that have been rinsed to this dish, and I prefer. Try substituting chicken for the pork, or adding a layer of refried beans.

October 10, 2010

Monster Mac and Cheese

My family are big fans of Mac & Cheese!
Just for my family, on Sunday's for the next few weeks I will be posting one of their favorite Mac & Cheese recipe picks.

Disclaimer: Mac and Cheese is not my biggest love, but there are some really great recipes that just make you say YUM! 
This recipe is one that I made often for my kids when they were small, and I always made it at Halloween time. Any food with the word monster in it was sure to make them happy!  I don't really know why this dish is called Monster Mac, but adding green food coloring to the sauce would make my wee people giggle all through dinner 'cause they were "eating monster guts". Gross I know...

12 oz. Cavatappi pasta
10 oz. bag frozen broccoli florets, thawed
1- 16oz. jar Alfredo sauce
8 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded-about 2 cups
(I admit that I always add extra cheese)
1/3 c. milk
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
3/4 tsp. Italian seasoning spice
1/4 c. pepper
4-5 drops green food coloring (optional)
Coat a 2 qt. baking dish with cooking spray.  Cook pasta according to package directions, adding the broccoli to the boiling pasta during the last 3 min. of cooking time. Drain.
Meanwhile, position your oven rack to 4" from the broiler source, and preheat broiler on high.
Return the pasta/broccoli to the pot, and over low heat stir in the Alfredo sauce, milk, Worcestershire, seasoning and pepper. Add 1 c. shredded cheese. Stir until smooth and heated through.
Transfer the pasta mix to the prepared baking dish, and sprinkle with remaining 1 c. cheese. Broil until the cheese is melted and just starts to brown, about 3-4 minutes.
Tip: Don't rinse the pasta after draining it, the starch helps thicken the sauce a bit more.

(Now that my kids are grown, I just couldn't bring myself to color the pasta green...sorry!)
Special note: Cavatappi pasta is a large corkscrew pasta that I always use when making a recipe with a heavier sauce. Everything just clings to it so well!  However you can use penne, elbow, or rigatoni pasta in place of the cavatappi if you can't find cavatappi at your grocery store.

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