Friday, January 31, 2014

A Change of Plans...

Hello Dear Foodie Friends

Sorry, NO 


for me this weekend....

I'm going to be on the road...heading SOUTH....so won't be participating in our Weekend Potluck party, but my sweet co-horts, (co-hostesses), will be, so please feel free to head on over to one of the links below and share your wonderful dishes.

Sunflower Supper Club ~ Kim & Julie
Meet Penny ~ Tabitha
4 Little Fergusons~ Tonya
The Country Cook~ Brandie

I will miss you, but plan to be back next week, with laptop in tow, to party hardy with y'all for WP in the weeks to come, while hubby and I are enjoying some fun in the sun. 

Hope you've cooked up a storm trying to stay warm in these frigid temps around the country!!  Can't wait to see what you will share!! 

Til next Friday....


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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Looking Ahead...

Hello Dear Foodie Friends & Fans...

Just wanted to give you a 'heads up' to what's happening now in The Better Baker world. 

My sweet, 100% disabled hubby and I are heading to warmer temps for several weeks. (We hit the road this morning).  Hubby can't seem to get warm...he's cold from the inside out..and with all of his health issues, we are blessed that we're able to head South and enjoy some needed sunshine. 

I will have my laptop, so I will still be doing blogging, but am going to enjoy a slower pace for a little while.  

I have some guest posts lined up, and am very excited about those, and
hope you will be too.  

 I will still be posting recipes at Facebook too, so just in case you don't follow me there, you can find me here..

Will be thinking of & missing you all...



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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

3 Super Appetizers for the Super Bowl Game {Blast from the Past}

No matter who you're cheering for, or even if you're like me, and don't care to watch the game...only the commercials...you still want to cook up some great dishes for the fans to enjoy! 

These are great to serve a crowd...easy too! 


This dish is always a crowd pleaser...much easier and less messy than eating AND making buffalo wings! 


photo credit: Tonya Ferguson

Same ingredients as in a reuben sandwich, only different!  MMMM! 

Crockpot Reuben Dip





Only 3 ingredients - I'm asked for this recipe time and time again.  VERY addicting! 

Snappy Super Bowl Ranch Pretzels





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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

White Chili Dip {3 ingredients!}

SUPER Duper recipe for SUPER BOWL SUNDAY!

This one's E-Z, P-Z.....always gone first! kind of recipe. 

Only THREE ingredients...an optional four. 

What's not to love?  Quick, easy and deliciously wonderful. It's heated in the microwave...kept warm in the crockpot!

Feel free to use 'regular' tomatoes if you don't want the kick from the rotel.

My dear friend, Rosie, gave me this recipe and I added it to my most recent cookbook.  She said it is always gone QUICKLY anywhere she takes it!


WHITE CHILI DIP 

1(1#) pkg. Bob Evans sausage roll 
2 (10 ozs. each) rotel tomatoes (with green chilies), well drained
2 (8 ozs. each) (lite) cream cheese, softened
1 (15 ozs) can refried beans, optional

Brown sausage; drain.  Thoroughly drain tomatoes. In large microwavable bowl, combine all ingredients. 

Microwave 2 - 3 minutes until mixture is smooth, stirring every minute.  Place in crockpot (sprayed with non-stick cooking spray) on low to keep warm up to 2 hours. Serve with tortilla chips.

If you like this recipe, but prefer a cold dip, try this yummy 4-ingredient 
Ranch Mexican Dip


Linked to Weekend Potluck


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Monday, January 27, 2014

Copycat Bob Evans Chicken & Noodles (Soup)

I was excited when I saw this tasty recipe at Tastes of Lizzy T's
mostly because this is just how I make my chicken and noodle soup! 

You can't ever go wrong making soup.  We love all year around. 

We love Bob Evans because we always! get a great meal there.



Honestly, I'm not sure this recipe was intended to be soup.

Maybe just chicken and noodles?

I guess one just has more broth than the other, but both are mighty comforting. 


I made mine just before dinnertime, but there is the option to do all the cooking in the crockpot, so do whatever works best for you. 

Enjoy it either way you choose! It's gonna be delicious, no matter what. 


COPYCAT BOB EVANS CHICKEN & NOODLES 

9 c. chicken broth
3/4 c. carrots, chopped
3/4 c. celery, chopped
1 c. onion, chopped
1/2 c. butter (1 stick)
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast
1 (1# pkg.) homestyle noodles
(I used 12 ozs. pkg. frozen Reames noodles - they're just like homemade!) 

In large (6 qt. or larger) crockpot, add broth, vegetables, chicken, butter and seasonings. Cover and cook on low for 7 hours or on high for 3. 

Remove chicken and shred with a fork. Return back to crockpot.  Add noodles; cook for another hour on low. 

Add more broth if you need it to be 'soupier'. 

Linked to Weekend Potluck

You might also like this dish...Chicken Ranch Stroganoff


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Sunday, January 26, 2014

Luscious Lemon Sheet Cake

This simple THREE ingredient! moist dessert is for the lemon lover!

How can you not love a simple recipe like this one?

I've had this recipe in my files for years but hadn't made it until recently.

It's so tasty and the cream cheese frosting is the perfect topping. 

L-L-L-Luscious!!!!


It only takes these few ingredients! 


LUSCIOUS LEMON SHEET CAKE 
1 (18 ozs) pkg.lemon cake mix
4 eggs
1 (15 ozs) can lemon pie filling
(or use a sm. pkg. of lemon pudding, not instant,
cooked according to package directions, then cooled)

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 15" x 10" x 1" jelly roll pan (cookie sheet with sides). In large mixing bowl, beat cake mix and eggs until well blended. Stir in pie filling and beat until smooth. Pour into prepared baking pan and spread evenly. Bake 18-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Remove from oven; cool; frost.

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

1/2 c. butter or margarine
4 ozs (lite) cream cheese, softened
2 c. powdered sugar
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
chopped toasted pecans, optional

In small mixing bowl, beat butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Blend well. Spread over cooled cake. Sprinkle with pecans if desired. Store leftovers in refrigerator. Yield: 24 - 28 servings.

You may also like this recipe for Lemon Whippersnapper Cookies 

Linked to Weekend Potluck

Friday, January 24, 2014

Cream of Asparagus Soup & Weekend Potluck #102

WELCOME TO WEEKEND POTLUCK! 


AND....

When I share a recipe worth sharing...again...

Delicious and creamy - a great way to get veggies into your family....



Now, before we take a quick peek back at last week...

We didn't hear back from the first winner of our big giveaway...:-(
so the second winner is Sandy at garyandsandy@

Please contact one of us with your mailing info within the next 48 hours
to redeem your prize!

The recipe with the most clicks was ~


Recipes that caught our attention ~


Cornbread Topped BBQ Bake by Of The Hearth


Beef Chow Mein by The Shady Porch

And, a personal favorite ~



Rocky Road Brownie Batter Dip by Hun...What's for Dinner?

Your hostesses ~

Remember that when you link up, it shows on all FIVE blogs. Plus…

We TWEET. We PIN. We LIKE.

Linky Guidelines:

If you wish to be a featured recipe or for us to promote your recipe either on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, you MUST follow these instructions.
  1. Please link up to your exact post and not the main page to your blog.
  2. LINK BACK HERE from your post so that others can find the fun. (Need help linking back? Read this or watch this great instructional video Please use a direct link within your post.
When you are kind enough to follow our guidelines, we work hard to get you as much exposure as possible so that your time here is well invested. We want this to be a fun and rewarding experience for everyone!








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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

3 Favorite (& Healthier) Oatmeal Dishes {Blast from the Past}

I really should buy stock in Quaker Oats!  I LOVE eating and using oatmeal in recipes.  It's good for you, so I thought I'd share some of my favorite ways to enjoy it....

This cake is OAT-rageously wonderful!  It can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacktime! Soak the oats overnight and the recipe has no refined sugar or flour.  I'm wild about having dessert for breakfast! 


(dairy, egg, gluten and sugar free options)




This has been a very popular recipe adding oatmeal for fiber.  You can't even tell it's there, but it's good for you. Substitute peanut butter for nutella if you so desire. It's all wonderful!

Nutella Banana Oatmeal Smoothie






These little cookies are amazingly wonderful. Only 2 Weight Watchers points each...Using sugar free butterscotch pudding makes them so easy!
I keep mine in the freezer and they don't freeze hard.  Ready to pop in my mouth anytime! 

No Bake Butterscotch Cookies








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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Wonderful Whole-Grain Waffles

After eyeing this yummy recipe in a recent USA Weekend in our local newspaper, I tried this the next day. 

We were so glad I did too! 

I don't often make recipes with a longer list of ingredients, but trust me on this one...these waffles were VERY delicious. 

The article entitles the article with the recipe as 
"A Winning Breakfast...If you're looking to eat better in the New year, the Culinary Institute of America has a tasty idea; start your day with a delicious, fiber-packed breakfast of Whole-Grain Waffles. Garnish them with yogurt and seasonal fruit, and award yourself a plate of these hearty 'golden globes' of griddle goodness".

HOW COULD I RESIST??? 

I added blueberries to half the batch (the last half of course!=). They were wonderful topped with fresh banana and Greek yogurt.




WHOLE-GRAIN WAFFLES 

1-1/2 c. whole wheat flour
3/4 c. all purpose flour
(I used white whole wheat)
2 Tb. flax seeds
1/4 c. wheat germ
1/4 c. white sugar
1 TB. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. buttermilk
3 large eggs, separated
1/4 c. plus 2 Tb. vegetable oil
(or use applesauce)
non-stick cooking spray as needed 

In large bowl, combine flours, oats, flax seeds, wheat germ, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. 

In medium bowl, combine buttermilk, egg yolks and oil; whisk just until blended. 

Add the buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon just until batter is evenly moistened.  Do not overmix. 

In a clean glass bowl, using an electric mixer, whip egg whites on medium speed until medium-stiff peaks are formed, about 2 - 3 minutes. Gently fold 1/3 of egg whites into batter until completely combined.  Fold in remaining egg whites in two additions. 

Generously spray preheated waffle iron with cooking spray.  Ladle 3/4 c. batter into the waffle iron, spread a little, close the lid and cook until waffles are golden brown, about 3 - 4 minutes per waffle.

Serve with generous serving of fresh seasonal fruit and a dollop of non-fat Greek yogurt. 

Yield: Six 6-inch waffles 
(we got at least 6 good sized servings) 

You might also like to try my popular Crunchy Crust French Toast



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Sunday, January 19, 2014

Oatmeal Raisin Bars - OH MY!

The first time I made these tasty bars, was when I volunteered in a college kitchen this past summer. 

A friend helped me mix up 4 X this recipe. 

Seriously...I was SO surprised at HOW MUCH I loved these bars.  They are moist and seem to have just the perfect amount of spices.  These are the BEST oatmeal raisin bar I've ever tasted. 

This recipe originally came from a Rachel Ray magazine. 

And of course, having cream cheese frosting puts them over the top. 

WAY wonderful!  Perfect for any potluck or just for your family to enjoy.


OATMEAL RAISIN BARS

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 c. brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. flour
1 c. old fashioned or quick cooking oatmeal
1 c. raisins
1/2 c. chopped walnuts (or your favorite)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt (omit if using salted butter)

Preheat oven to 375* and grease a 9" X 13" baking dish.  

In a large bowl, combine butter, brown sugar, egg and vanilla. 
(You can use a mixer or mix by hand). In a medium bowl, combine flour, 
oats, raisins, walnuts, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.  Stir into butter mixture until well combined.  Spread into prepared pan and press into an even layer with floured fingers.  (It may seem there isn't enough dough to cover the bottom, but there will be). Bake 15 - 20 minutes, or until firm. Cool completely.  Frost with cream cheese frosting. 

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

4 ozs. cream cheese, softened
3 Tb. butter, 
1-1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

(May save nuts for sprinkling over the top).

If you like this recipe, you may also like this simple cake-mix based
Lazy Cookie Bar


Linked to Weekend Potluck

Friday, January 17, 2014

Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix

I was elated and intrigued when I came across this simple recipe at 
Coffee with Us 3  who found it by googling it. 

I use a lot of instant pudding mixes in my kitchen and anytime I can make it myself, I'm all for it. 

This turned out to be a little different than what I expected....
but even more than I thought it would be too!!

Let me explain....this mix is for use in baking/cooking.
It doesn't work as an actual instant pudding.

BUT...it does work when making cooked pudding, which I made in the microwave.

Beware, it won't be yellow like store-purchased vanilla pudding.  It's white...very white...but just as good.  I know how color can sometimes affect our taste buds.  Just close your eyes while you're eating it and you won't know the difference.  (Just be careful not to make a mess all over the table in front of you!!) *-*

I halved the amount, so feel free to double the amounts if you'd like. 
I also used mostly xylitol.  Since diabetics can have SOME sugar, I think it's always best to use a little sugar, if your diet allows.

I will use this mostly in the overnight crockpot oatmeal dishes I love, like 

....adding a heaping tablespoon or so for creaminess and sweetness. 

Hope you'll try it soon. It's always a treat when you can D-I-Y and not have the perservatives, and you don't have to worry about not having any on hand...until you run out.  


INSTANT VANILLA PUDDING MIX

1-1/2 c. dry milk
2 c. sugar (can use at least 1/2 xylitol)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tb. vanilla extract
1-1/2 c. cornstarch
few sprinkles of nutmeg

In food processor, place dry milk, sugar, salt and vanilla. Pulse until smooth. 
Stir in cornstarch and nutmeg by hand. 

Store in airtight container. 

To replace sm. pkg. of instant pudding, use 1/4 c. mix
To replace lg. pkg. of instant pudding, use 1/2 mix 

If you prefer making 'homemade'...you may like to try this simple 3-ingredient recipe for Homemade Fabric Softener





Linked to Mix it up Monday
              Weekend Potluck




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Pina Colada Oatmeal Smoothie & Weekend Potluck #101

WELCOME TO WEEKEND POTLUCK! 
Always so happy to have you stop by and share at our virtual table!


AND...


Where I share something worth sharing...again...

We love smoothies at our house...especially healthy ones like this.  You'll never know it has oatmeal in it...it helps 'bulk' you up and make you feel full.
LUSCIOUS!!! 

Pina Colada Oatmeal Smoothies


BIG CONGRATS GO TO OUR WINNER FROM LAST WEEK'S GIVEAWAY
... 
Kathleen S.
email - stroeh007@

Now, let's take a quick peek back at last week...

The recipe with the most clicks was ~


Cinnamon Roll Bites by Our Table For Seven

Recipes that caught our attention ~


Homemade Velveeta by Recipes For My Boys

Holy Cow Brownies by Kathy’s Kitchen Table

And, a personal favorite ~


Skinny Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate by Will Cook for Smiles

Your hostesses ~

Remember that when you link up, it shows on all FIVE blogs. Plus…

We TWEET. We PIN. We LIKE.

Linky Guidelines: If you wish to be a featured recipe or for us to promote your recipe either on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, you MUST follow these instructions.
  1. Please link up to your exact post and not the main page to your blog or a separate linky page.
  2. LINK BACK HERE from your post so that others can find the fun. (Need help linking back? Read this or watch this great instructional videoPlease use a direct link within your post.
When you are kind enough to follow our guidelines, we work hard to get you as much exposure as possible so that your time here is well invested. We want this to be a fun and rewarding experience for everyone!