Sunday, January 24, 2010

Orange Pinapple Apple Juice

This has been a family favorite for many years. Mix these two together and you have yourself a super yummy drink.

A carton of Welch's Orange Pineapple Apple Juice
2 litter bottle of Diet Sprite or any diet lemon-lime soda pop.

Just pour into a 1 gallon pitcher just before serving. We always serve over ice!!

They used to sell the Welch's mix in a Frozen Concentrate, but it is hard to find now. If you can find the juice in a frozen Can, just make juice as instructed on can and then add Sprite.

I really recommend using DIET Soda for this mix. Even with using Diet, it is still very sweet!!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Beef and Zucchini Casserole

This zucchini and ground beef casserole is layered like lasagna, with ground beef, rice, zucchini, squash and cottage cheese.

3 cups of thinly sliced zucchini

1 cup of thinly sliced yellow squash


2 tablespoons oil

1/2 onion

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

1 pound lean ground beef

1/2 teaspoon of oregano

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 cup cooked rice

1 14 oz can of peeled diced tomato's (do not drain)

1 cup cottage cheese

2 cup casserole blend cheese*

1 egg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Toss zucchini and squash with 1 teaspoon salt and let stand 20 minutes; drain.

Place half of the zucchini and squash in a buttered 8" x 8" Casserole dish.

Heat oil in skillet; saute onion until tender; add ground beef and cook until no longer pink. Drain off excess fat; add oregano, garlic powder, pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt or more to taste. Stir in cooked rice and diced tomato's. Spread over zucchini and squash in casserole dish.

Combine cottage cheese, 1 cup cheese, and egg, spoon over meat mixture.

Top with remaining Zucchini and squash and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly.

Story behind this dish!!

When thinking of what to make for dinner tonight, I remembered I had some ground beef I needed to use and some zucchini and squash. So I googled both of them and came up with a few casserole dishes and skillet recipes. This particular recipe seemed easy enough and I had all the ingredients already.

I thought this turned out good enough to share with everyone. Everyone seemed to like it except not all my kids like zucchini but they just ate around it.

APFEL KUCHEN (German Apple Cake)

from the kitchen of Eva (Haase) Hooper ...

Another one of my favorite recipes that has been passed down from my mom!! (Not sure the picture does this cake justice. I may have to make another cake with my mom, I am not sure if I put the apples on right!! Regardless, it still tasted super yummy!!)

Bakes in 30 minutes at 375 degrees F. (Grease a 9X13 inch pan)

Cake Mix
1/4 Cup margarine or butter
1 Cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 Cup milk
2 Cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon baking powder
4 - 5 apples peeled, cored and sliced

Topping sprinkle mixture of:
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 Cup sugar

Directions: Cream together margarine, sugar, and eggs
Add milk and vanilla
Add flour, salt and baking powder
Pour dough into greased 9X13 pan
Arrange apples into soft dough with thicker side up.
Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar mixture.
Bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees
While still warm on the cooling rack drizzle cake with a powdered sugar glaze

Sugar Glaze:
Mix About 2 ½ Tablespoons of milk or lemon juice
2 Cups powdered sugar until it is a thick syrupy consistency and drizzle over cake
(add more sugar or the more liquid for the right consistency)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Cake Balls

Cake Balls

Warning: Super delicious and Very Addicting!!

-1 cake mix box + ingredients listed on box.
-1 can of coordinating frosting
-1 package of Chocolate Bark, White or Milk Chocolate (It comes packaged like ice cubes, Albertsons and Wal-Mart carry them in the baking isle.)
-Any extra decorating items like nuts, white chocolate bark or sprinkles.

Bake cake as directed on box, and let completely cool.

In a large mixing bowl, crumble cake and add can of frosting and mix together well. I use my stand mixer but you can hand mix it. Once it is mixed together completely and the cake looks moist, you can stop mixing. If you over mix, it is okay but will have more of a truffle texture.

After mixing, cover and place in the refrigerator for an hour. The colder it gets, the easier it is to roll.

Then I use my Pampered Chef small scoop , you can use the medium size if you want bigger cake balls. After scooping all the balls I roll them till they are smooth and firm. Place balls on a small cookie sheet or a 9x13 pan, cover and then return back to the refrigerator for about 1 hour. You can freeze them too. Freezing them tends to make the coating crack more, but it prevents the chocolate from puddling at the bottom. I tend to freeze only when dipping in the White Chocolate.

When balls are cold and ready to dip, Melt your Chocolate Bark. You can microwave or double boil. Instructions for melting should be on the package. I prefer to microwave. I melt in 30 second increments on 60% power. I usually only need to put it in 3-4 minutesto get it melted perfect.

Start dipping balls. I have not found a perfect method to dip balls so just do the best you can. I typically use a fork. I drop the ball into the chocolate, and then pick it up on the end of the fork, (not stabbing it). I then tap the fork lightly to get the excess chocolate off and then drop the balls upside down on the wax paper. I usually have to fix the top to make it smooth. There is usually enough chocolate to do this, but if there is not, quickly dip your fork back into the chocolate and fix it right away.

Place balls on wax paper or a silicon mat.

If you are adding nuts or sprinkles add them immediately after dipping, otherwise they will not stick after chocolate has cooled. For this step, it is nice to have a helper to add the topping while you keep dipping.

If you are decorating with white chocolate lines, you may do this after dipping all the balls. Melt a few cubes in the microwave and dip fork into the chocolate and quickly shake the fork over the top of the balls. This will produce a random design. Or you can use a frosting bag or a zip lock bag and with a small opening at a corner, drizzle the white lines.

Some of my favorite combinations are:

Betty Crocker Devils Food Cake/Milk Chocolate Frosting/Milk Chocolate Melting Bark with White Chocolate drizzled on top.

Betty Corker German Chocolate Cake/Betty Crocker Coconut Pecan Frosting/Chocolate Melting bark with Pecans sprinkled on top. (You could probably use another brand for the cake mix but I highly recommend using Betty Crocker for the Coconut Pecan Frosting.)

White Cake Mix, Milk Chocolate Frosting and Milk Chocolate Melting Bard.

White Cake Mix, White frosting and White Bark

There are endless combinations!! I have found that almost any combination tastes yummy!!

If this is too much work, check out my Cake Ball site, Dipped In Heaven. You can order cake balls from me.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

BBQ Chicken Marinade

Tonight I made BBQ chicken by request from Jeremy!!

This is not a post on how to BBQ but rather just a excellent marinade for chicken that will be BBQ'd or even baked. We have used Italian Dressing on our chicken ever since I can remember learning how to bbq as a Teenager. After all these years I have decided that my favorite marinade for chicken is Kraft Zesty Italian Dressing.

I know this sounds like a commercial and it kind of is. If you are pinching penny's, store brand Italian Dressing will do or if other brands are on sale you could use them too, but I prefer to spend the extra few and buy Kraft, don't skimp on the fat the good stuff!! Actually Kraft is one of the cheaper brands. Different brands have slightly different tastes, you might find you like another brand better!!

Marinade for as long as you can but if you are short on time, allow at least 1 hour . Tupperware has a good container for marinating, it's called the Season Serve Container...(Yes I used to sell Tupperware but don't anymore.) The Tupperware container allows you to flip the box over and over, without leaking to get the marinade flowing!! I can easily fit about 10-15 Chicken Breasts in this container!! Don't forget you can buy these on ebay and save a little money...opps did I say that? A large Zip Lock bag works good too, but they do tend to leak!!

Monday, January 4, 2010



by Eva Hooper

Pinto Beans-1 package

Soak beans overnight in large pot!! Beans may double or triple in size so make sure you add enough water so beans stay below the water line.

After beans have soaked, cook beans on a low simmer, for 2 to 4 hours until tender.


1 Large can peeled ready to go chopped tomatoes

1 large can tomato sauce

1 small can chopped green chili

1 tablespoon beef bullion

Then Saute until glossy, in a large sauce pan:

1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped

1/2 bell pepper, finely chopped

add to beans

In the same pan brown

1 to 2 pounds of lean hamburger meat.

Drain grease and add to beans.

Salt and Pepper to taste.

Add more beef bullion if needed.

I remember having Chili and Scones every Halloween since I was a child. I have kept the tradition with my own family as well. This is not a heavy chili. It is a lighter, more tomatoey chili and I love it!! If you want it thicker, simply add more beans and meat. I have added diced jalapenos before but most people prefer to eat it with out that heat.

I always double or even triple the recipe when I make it, but I am usually cooking for a crowd. The basic recipe is good for one family with a little left over.

Check out our scone recipe to make with this, or simply serve with cornbread or rolls.

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake ….. (My Wedding Cake)

Yup still my favorite recipe

1½ Cup oil

2 Cups sugar

4 eggs

2 Cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

3 Cups finely grated carrots

½ to 1 Cup nuts (optional)

½ to 1 Cup raisins (optional)

Cream oil, sugar and eggs together

Add remaining ingredients and mix

Pour into a greased and floured 9X13 pan

Bake at 350 for 40-50 minutes

Test for doneness with a toothpick

Cream Cheese Frosting

4 oz cream cheese

¼ Cup melted margarine or butter(1/2 stick)

1 teaspoon vanilla

Up to 1 # powdered sugar

(Note from Leslie: I usually add all the powder sugar and then add milk until I reach the consistency I like. Also be careful with the vanilla. Some vanilla is stronger then others.)

Mix cream cheese, margarine or butter and vanilla until blended and smooth and add no more than 1 pound of powdered sugar for a good spreading consistency and frost the cake

Friday, January 1, 2010

Snicker Doodles

*These are covered with Christmas colored sugar sprinkles, No cinnamon, delicious!*

Heat oven to 400 degrees F

Single Recipe
1 1/2 Cups sugar
1/2 Cup butter (1 stick)
1/2 Cup Margarine (1 stick)
2 eggs
2 3/4 Cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Topping Mixture...1/4 Cup Sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon to roll dough in

Double recipe
3 Cups sugar
1 Cup butter (2 sticks)
1 Cup Margarine (2 sticks)
4 eggs
5 1/2 Cups all purpose flour
4 teaspoons cream of tartar
2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Topping Mixture...1/2 Cup Sugar and 4 teaspoons cinnamon to roll dough in

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F
2. Mix sugar, butter and margarine and eggs in a large bowl until nice and smooth. I use my big mixer with the cookie hook.
3. Add the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt and mix thoroughly
4. Shape dough into 1 1/4 inch balls (we used a level scoop of a medium scoop from pampered chef, I don't know if that is what that apparatus is called)
5. Roll the balls in the sugar and cinnamon mixture. Or use colored sugar sprinkles at Christmas or Red at Valentines and Green for St. Patrick's Day or what ever color you like, etc. without the cinnamon.
6. Place balls two inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Gently flatten each ball just a bit. We fit 12 per cookie sheet.
7. Bake for 8-10 minutes. The very edges will turn just a slight shade of golden tan. Remove from oven and transfer cookies onto wire rack to cool. Store in a Tupperware, Rubbermaid or other airtight container.