Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Crockpot Chicken & Dumplings

I combined ideas from two recipes that I knew we would love...one from BubbleCrumb.com and the other from Cooking with Libby. I just adapted the recipes to make them 'our own' and it was sooo yummy. 

And easy!

I love crockpot cooking - and simple recipes! 

This might remind you of that comforting dish - Chicken Pot Pie. 
One of our FAVS!! 

There are options in this recipe...what spices to add or what to use for the dumpling part.  Libby's recipe used more seasoning...I will give you those measurements in the body of the recipe so you can make it your own too. 
She also used frozen dumplings.  You can also make your own from scratch if you're inclined to do that, but I used canned biscuits for ease. 

For us, this was the best of both worlds.

4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts 
2 tablespoons butter
2 cans cream of chicken soup
enough water to rinse out soup cans
(about 1 c.) 
1 - 15 ozs. can chicken broth
1 onion, diced
1 tsp. (or more) dried parsley
1 tsp. worchestershire sauce 
4 grands (4 biscuits, not rolls of biscuits) flaky refrigerator biscuits
fresh ground pepper
paprika to taste

Place the chicken in the crockpot; add the butter, chicken soup, water, broth, onions, parsley & worchestershire. 

(Libby made a rub for the chicken with 1/2 Tb. of creole seasoning (which is not hot), 1/2 Tb. of greek seasoning and 1/4 tsp. rosemary).  

Cook on high for 4 - 6 hrs. or low for 6 - 8. When chicken is cooked through, shred chicken.(can use 2 forks and do it right inside the crockpot). 

Roll biscuits flat & cut into 9 pieces (or more). Be sure crockpot is on and chicken is hot then add pieces of biscuits to broth, one at a time. Cook for about 45 minutes more. This is a photo of how I cut the biscuits..using a pizza cutter simplifies the process. 

May serve on rice if desired.  

Monday, October 29, 2012

Halloween Cookie Bars

I love the special recipes that Tina shares at Mommy's Kitchen.

When she said this was her 'go to' cookie bar recipe I knew I would not be disappointed.   

She has sooo many cute Halloween-y type recipes, so please be sure to check them out.  

I made these to take to "Trunk or Treat" at church. I made a double batch and baked them in a 9" X 13" pan.  I think they were a little thicker than Tina's. 

I mixed them by hand...I think the dough was a bit thick to try to use my hand mixer, but a stand mixer should work fine. 


1/2 c. old fashioned or quick oats
1 c. brown sugar, packed
2 c. biscuit mix (like Bisquick or Jiffy)
(My Homemade Bisquick recipe here)
1 stick butter or margarine, melted
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. butterscotch or chocolate chips
1 c. candy corn
sprinkles for garnish

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 8" X 8" baking dish. 

In large mixing bowl, combine oats, brown sugar &  baking mix. Add egg to cooled melted butter; blend, then stir into dry mixture; mix until well blended. Add butterscotch chips and pat into prepared pan. 

Bake 25 - 30 minutes.  Remove from oven just before it's golden brown.
Sprinkle with candy corn. Return to oven for 2 - 3 minutes, just enough to allow the candy corn to warm so it will stick. Watch carefully. 

Remove from oven; add sprinkles.  I drizzled a little tinted frosting over the top, but they're cute without. 

When completely cool, cut into bars. 

Yield: 12 servings 


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Baking Substitutions


Doncha just hate it when you run out of something when you're in the middle of baking?  

Since the holidays are fast approaching, I thought I'd share some substitutes
that I use often. 

I plan to make this a page at my blog after it's posted for a while, so be sure to refer back to it when you need to DIY. 


Mix 1 TB. cinnamon with 1- 1/2 tsp. ginger, 3/4 tsp. nutmeg, 3/4 tsp. allspice and 1/4 tsp. cloves.


Mix 1 tsp. cinnamon with 1/2 tsp. cloves and 1/2 tsp. nutmeg. 


Place 1 cup granulated sugar and 1 Tb. cornstarch in the blender; Blend on high continuously until the mixture is of uniform powdered consistency. Keep the lid on the blender until the powder settles.

For every cup of brown sugar needed, use 1 c. white sugar and 2 Tb. molasses. 

For one square of chocolate, melt 1 Tb. butter and add 3 Tb. baking cocoa. 
Stir until smooth. 

(sugar free option) 
{equivalent to 3-14-ozs.cans}
4 c. sugar or xylitol  (or Splenda)
1 (12 ozs) can evaporated milk
1 c. nonfat dry milk
6 Tb. butter or margarine, sliced

Put sugar in a blender or food processor, 1 cup at a time. Blend until fine. Repeat process with dry milk. Combine sugar, evaporated milk, dry milk and butter in large saucepan. Mix very well. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, (a whisk works best) until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and divide evenly into thirds, about 1-1/4 c. each. Refrigerate overnight before using to allow mixture to thicken. Keeps 2 weeks in the refrigerator and can be frozen up to 6 months. It may be a little grainy after thawing, but smooths out when mixed with other ingredients. Use fat free evaporated milk and omit butter for fat free results. 

Using splenda may produce less amount in the end result. 

DIY Baking Powder:
1/4 c. cream of tarter + 2 Tb. baking soda
Sift all of the ingredients together 3 times, and transfer to a clean, tight-sealing jar. Store away from sunlight, at room temperature, for up to 6 weeks. Use equal amounts as store purchased baking powder

DIY Buttermilk : Pour 1 TB. vinegar or lemon juice in 1 c. measuring cup. Fill with milk.  Let mixture stand for 5 minutes before using.

DIY Self Rising Flour:
For each cup of all-purpose flour, add 1-1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Mix to combine.

DIY Baking Mix (Bisquick):
6 c. all-purpose flour
3 Tb. baking powder
1 Tb. baking soda 

3  Tb. sugar
 2 tsp. salt 
1 c. shortening (like Crisco)

In large bowl, combine dry ingredients; cut in crisco with pastry blender until fine consistency. It should be a fine meal with no lumps. Store in a large plastic container with a tight fitting lid. Use as you would store-purchased bisquick in any recipe. 

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Friday, October 26, 2012

Spooky Witches Fingers & Weekend Potluck #40



These are fun & easy little cookies to help you celebrate the season.... 
I've also seen them colored green, which is a pretty cute idea. 

(click on link below)

~ Last week at $3.99 ~

Purchase your PDF version of Weekend Potluck Fall Favorites TODAY!

Add to Cart
Now Available for KINDLE ~ Buy It NOW for $3.99.

How to get the cookbook on your Kindle:
Purchase Weekend Potluck Fall Favorites.
The link to download the cookbook will be emailed to you.
Click to download and make a note of where you save the file.
Email the file to you KINDLE using the email address provided in your Amazon account.

Thanks for coming to share...we are always excited to see what you'll bring to our virtual table! 

The recipe with the most clicks was ~

Oven Fried Bacon
Oven Fried Bacon by The Better Baker

(Thank you! Thank you! for all your clicks!=) 

Recipes that caught our attention ~

Crock Pot Chicken and Stuffing by Table for Seven

Chocolate Chip Butterfinger Cookies

And, a personal favorite ~

Cinnamon French Toast Latte by A Kitchen Addiction 

Your hostesses ~

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

{Slow Cooker} Vegetable Breakfast Casserole

This is a terrific dish with many options to use what you love best. 

It cooks overnight so breakfast is ready when you climb out of bed.  What's not to love about that??? 

And your house is going to smell so good you won't WANT to stay in bed! 

Use what you have leftover in the fridge, or your favorite additions. 

I'm thankful I came across this yummy recipe at Cooking with Libby cause we really loved this! I make a lot of Libby's crockpot recipes. 

Just chop - layer - cook!....While you're sleeping even!!!


1 lb. bacon, sausage, or ham (cooked & chopped)
1 sm. onion, diced
1 sm. bell pepper, diced
3 green onions, chopped
Half a 32 oz. bag of frozen hash browns
(I suggest using the cubed hash browns as they will hold their shape better after overnight cooking)
1 and 1/2 c. shredded cheese 
(I mixed cojack along with 2% fiesta cheese)
6 eggs
(or 4 eggs and 4 egg whites)
1/2 c. (1%) milk (I used just a tad more)
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Spray slow cooker with cooking spray or place a liner inside.
 Layer the ingredients as follows - hash browns, meat, onions, bell pepper, and 
1 cup cheese  
 In a bowl, mix together the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper.
 Pour egg mixture over ingredients in slow cooker.  
 Spread the remaining cheese on top.
 Cook on low for 6-7 hours overnight.

(I recently purchased an electronic timer (about $5) and set it to turn off about an hour before I wake up...I think that's better than having it start after you go to bed as you don't want the eggs to sit out without cooking). 

(Note: I placed a paper towel under the lid to catch the moisture so you
don't have a soggy breakfast) 


{Loaded} Baked Potato Soup


When we had baked taters left over at a recent Ladies Day at church, I was given a few to bring home.  

With the cooler temps, I didn't have to think twice about what I wanted to make.

This wonderfully warming and tasty soup gets devoured quickly every time I make it. 

Love the sour cream and bacon that add such awesome flavor. 


Feel free to add ham or velveeta to the soup...whatever 'turns your crank' to make this just what your family will love most. 


4 lg. baking potatoes
1/3 c. butter or margarine
2/3 c. all purpose flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
6 c. milk
1 c. sour cream
1/4 c. thinly sliced green onions
8 - 10 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese 

Bake potatoes at 350 for 65 - 70 minutes or until tender; cool completely.  Peel and cube potatoes.  In large saucepan, melt butter; add flour, salt and pepper; stir until smooth.  Graduatlly add milk; (using a whisk works best). Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thick.  Remove from heat; whisk in sour cream.  Add potatoes and green onions.  Garnish with bacon and cheese. 

Yield: about 10 servings 


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Leader Enterprise - Oct 3, 2012 - Apples

In years past, apples have been awarded the 'most affordable' fruit title, but this year's out-of-the-ordinary weather has brought a big wormy bite out of apple crop. I've read that some orchards only have 3-4% of their normal crops. How devestating! We all know that means higher prices this year, so enjoy every crisp bite of every apple you get this fall. Be sure to stock up when they're on sale.

I thought it fitting to get your juices (or shall we say cider?) flowing about the most popular fruit in America. The Economic Research Service of the U. S. Depart.of Agriculture estimates Americans, in years past,have averaged the equivalent of about 47 pounds of apples a year. According to a 2010 report by U.S.International Trade Commission, the traditional Red Delicious still reigns as the most eaten variety, but Gala, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, and Fuji are gaining steam.

Select apples that are firm and bruise free. Store in refrigerator to slow ripening and keep the flavor. Chilled properly, they should last about 90 days. When I was a kid, we always wrapped apples separately in newspaper and stored them in a horse tank in our cool basement. That way, when one apple went bad, the ones around it were protected. There's another saying with much truth "One Bad Apple Spoils the Bunch". I know that refers to many other things besides the fruit itself.

Apples are thought to help reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, type 2 diabetes and asthma. No wonder they say "An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away"!

If you’ve ever bought sliced apples at the grocery store you may have noticed they take much longer to brown than the fruit you bite into. Vitamin C is added to the apples to keep them from browning which may leave a slightly noticeable pasty texture. Did you know you can make your own "already sliced" apples to pack in lunches? Toss the apples in a mixture of lemon-lime soda for about 10 minutes then drain. Store in snack-sized ziploc bags and squeeze out all the air. This will prevent the apple slices from browning. You can also dip them in pineapple juice first.

I think I've shared this apple dumpling recipe before, but some things are just worth sharing again.I've made these for over 100 at a time, and they go quickly. Definitely a family favorite apple recipe.

4 Granny Smith, or any favorite baking apple

2-8 ozs. pkgs. (reduced-fat) refrigerated crescent rolls

1 stick butter (I cut back from 2 in original recipe)

1 c. sugar (or Splenda)
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1-12 ozs.can (diet) Mt. Dew soda or 7-Up

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 9" X 13" baking dish. Peel and quarter apples. Separate crescent rolls; roll up apples in crescent rolls from big end to little end. Place in prepared pan.In small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon. In saucepan melt butter add sugar/cinnamon mixture. Pour mixture over the apples, then pour the Mt. Dew around all the dumplings.  Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until apples are tender. Serve warm with ice cream or milk Tip:I cover the pan with foil after 30 minutes as the rolls tend to brown too much after that length of time in the oven.

2-3 acorn squash
1/2 c. packed light brown sugar
(I used 1/4 c.brown sugar splenda)
1/4 c. butter,melted
1 Tb. all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt 
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
(I used 1-1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice)
2 - 3 lg. apples - cored and chopped (unpeeled)

Preheat oven to 350. In small bowl, stir together brown sugar, butter, flour, salt, cinnamon and allspice. Wash and halve the squash. Clean out the seeds and 'stringy stuff' and arrange in ungreased 9" X 13" baking dish. Fill the 'holes' with chopped apple, then drizzle the sugar mixture on top. The recipe didn't call for it, but I added about 1/2 c.water, or more, to the pan so it would steam the squash as it bakes. Cover dish with foil. Bake 60-70 (less time if the squash are small) minutes or until squash is tender.


1–8 oz. pkg.cream cheese (softened)
3/4 c. packed brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Mix ingredients together with electric mixer until fluffy. Serve with apples. Enjoy! This would make a great after school snack.

My blogging buddy Lark of Lark's Country Heart recently shared this awesome recipe. She goes to their local high school every week and helps the kids make something new.I fell in love when I saw her photo of this easy treat.

For 6 Apples: Cream1 stick butter, 1 C.Brown Sugar, 1/2 tsp.Vanilla. Core each apple leaving bottom intact. Fill with creamed sugar mixture. Then divide 1/4 c. red hot candies evenly on top. Place in baking dish pour 1 c.apple cider in bottom of dish. Bake uncovered at 375 for 45 minutes.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Three Fall Foodie Favorites

A long time ago, Michael Ann at The Big Green Bowl tagged me in a fun game.  
            It's a simple game to play and I really appreciate that.               

I'm suppose to share my 3 favorite recipes and then tag 2 others to share theirs.

I've been saving this idea for a 'rainy day', but since I've been thinking more and more about favorite fall foods, I thought I would use it to share these favs. 

I SO love fall and the foods we enjoy this time of the year.  Pumpkin.....apple...
squash..soups & stews...muffins, etc. etc. 

So here are three recipes I chose out of a long list of fall favorites. 

Click on the link below the photo to take you to the recipe where you can print or pin it. 

For me, these are all mouth-watering dishes that I wouldn't want to live without....any time of the year! 

I get so many requests for the recipe for this Fabulous! Butternut Squash Bake.  I won $100 for it in an American Profile publication (it's nationwide) a few years ago and it is in two of the AP cookbooks, plus my own! I've been told it tastes like dessert! *-* Even people who think they don't like squash are fans of this dish.

Butternut Squash Bake

I can't get too many of these pumpkin muffins with cream cheese(!) filling. They are an impressive addition to any meal. Just look at that cream cheese. MMM!

Pumpkin Muffins with Cream Cheese Filling

This Cheesey Chicken Chowder is another delicious and easy thick soup...chowder, if you will...that has also been published in the American Profile.  I've received letters from around the country telling me how tasty this wonderful soup is. If you're in a hurry, feel free to use frozen hash browns and mixed veggies.  Any way you fix it, your family is sure to ask for M-M-M-More! 

Cheesey Chicken Chowder

I'm tagging Kitty at Kitty's Kozy Kitchen


Erin at Making Memories...One Fun Thing after Another...

Monday, October 22, 2012

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Squares

These tasty bars are awesome!

I rarely repeat many recipes, but I made this one twice within a couple weeks of each other. 

SOOOO yummy! 

I used a hot caramel ice cream topping on the ones here...
a lighter caramel in the ones pictured below...

(hover over image to pin)

As you know, I am cuckoo for cream cheese. And caramel too. 
(while we're at it...I'm crazy about cookies, chocolate, candy, 
coconut, coffee..did I say chocolate?..OK, you get the idea ;-) 

Most of the recipes I make are simple and quick.  This one has 4 layers, but trust me on this one...IT'S WELL WORTH YOUR TIME!  You can get all the ingredients ready and then just layer it into the pan.  It works great!

I'm so thankful I saw it at Cookies & Cups. I would love for you to stop by and check out her gorgeous photos of this amazing dessert.  
Absolutely MOUTH-WATERING!!!!!! 

This makes a 9" X 9" panfull, and you cut them into little squares. 
About 25 little ones or 18 bigger ones. 

I took this to a ladies meeting at church and received some great comments about how good it was. 

Don't cheat yourself...be sure to use real butter. 

Trust me, you won't be sorry you made this.  And maybe...just maybe...you'll be repeating this recipe again soon too. 


1 c. all purpose flour
1/4 c. light brown sugar
1/2 c. butter, room temperature 

1 - 8 ozs. pkg. cream cheese, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 c. white sugar & 1 TB., divided
1 egg
2 small (Granny Smith) apples, peeled & diced 
(we prefer galas)
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
(or apple pie spice)

1/2 c. packed light brown sugar
1/2 c. all purpose flour
1/4 c. old fashioned oats
1/4 c. butter, room temperature
1/4 c. caramel sauce
(I used ice cream topping)

Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9" X 9" baking pan with foil. (I love nonstick!) 

In a medium size bowl, combine crust ingredients: flour, brown sugar and butter. Using a pastry cutter combine the ingredients until they make coarse crumbs. Press mixture firmly in bottom of pan and bake 12 - 14 minutes until lightly browned. 

In another mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, vanilla, egg and 1/4 c. granulated sugar. Beat until combined and smooth; set aside. 

Dice apples and sprinkle with remaining 1 Tb. sugar and pumpkin pie spice. Stir until coated evenly. Set aside. 

Make streusel by combining all ingredients; light brown sugar, flour, oats and butter; stir with pastry cutter until evenly mixed; set aside.

When crust has baked, spread the cream cheese mixture on top; sprinkle with diced apples and then the streusel. 

Bake 25 - 30 minutes or until center is set.

When baked, drizzle caramel sauce over the top. Let the pan cool on wire rack for atleast 30 minutes (The waiting is a killer, but it will be worth the wait). Place in refrigerator to chill for approximately 2 hours, or overnight. Cut into squares when ready to serve. 

NOTE:  The first time I made these, I did use Splenda Brown sugar (you use half the amount called for), and they were great.  You just have to remember to decrease baking time when using splenda. 

Linked to Totally Tasty Tuesday
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