Sunday, March 1, 2009

Popcorn Balls

This is one of my husbands favorite treats:
2 c. white sugar
1 c. light corn syrup
1/2 butter
1/4 c. water
salt to taste
1 t. pure vanilla extract
1 t. distilled white vinegar (optional; I only use when I remember to)
5 quarts of popped popcorn

Keep the popped popcorn hot in a 325* to 350* oven.

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar, corn syrup, butter, and water. Stir and heat to hard crack stage.* Remove from heat, add vanilla and vinegar (if using), and mix well.

Pour slowly over popped popcorn while stirring. Wait 5 minutes and shape into 10 three inch balls.

*Hard crack stage is around 300* F on a candy thermometer. If you do not have a candy thermometer, drop a spoonful of syrup into cold water. I it seperates into hardened threads, it is ready.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Fruit Salsa

1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple, drained
1 pint strawberries, chopped small
1 orange, chopped small
2-3 kiwi fruit, sliced
squirt of lime juice
Mix pineapple, orange, kiwi, and lime juice well. Immediately before serving, add strawberries, mix well.
I have exchanged blueberries for the strawberries in this with great results.

Pasta Salad

Clean out the Fridge Pasta Salad
1 box (about 12 oz) whole wheat pasta (we used Tigger Tails)
2 c. assorted chopped veggies, fresh or frozen (used broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots~use whatever you have)
1 large bottle fat free Italian salad dressing

Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package. Chop the veggies if they are not already chopped. If you are using frozen veggies, empty the bag into a colander. When the pasta is cooked, drain over the frozen veggies to thaw them. If using fresh veggies, just drain the pasta.
At this point, you can either let the pasta cool to room temp, or run cold water over, tossing occassionally, until cooled down. Empty the pasta and veggies into a large bowl with a lid. Dump the entire bottle of dressing over the pasta, cover the bowl, and shake to mix. This recipe tastes best when fixed the day before. Refrigerate until serving time.
You can also add chopped meat to this, leftover diced chicken, ham, and pepperoni slices are all good in this


This is more of a chili soup, but we like it:

2 quarts of home-canned tomatoes, plus one jar of water
1 lb ground beef, browned
1 envelope chili seasoning
2 cans chili beans
handful of dry pasta

Combine all in a large pot, simmer for 20-30 min until pasta is done and flavors have blended.

Serve with crackers, shredded cheese, and sour cream. We also had hot dogs with our chili.

Puppy Chow aka Christmas Trash

Despite its name, this is for human consumption. This is one of my favorite recipes to make each year at Christmas.

1 box (or equivalent) of Crispix cereal
1 stick of butter
1 c. of peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla
3 c. powdered (icing) sugar

Melt the butter in a small saucepan on the stove. Add in peanut butter, stirring until well disolved. Stir in vanilla. Dump the cereal in a large bowl that has a tight fitting lid (this is the most important step). Pour the butter mixture over the cereal, toss to coat with a spoon. Add 1 c. of the sugar, put the lid on the bowl, and shake well. Repeat with remaining sugar until mix is well coated.
This is the original recipe. Today I used 1/2 box Crispix, 1 box of kix, and a medium bag of M&M's, and doubled the PB mix. This makes a nice gift when packaged in a pretty tin or jar, or even in plastic bag tied up with ribbon.

Hershey Kiss Pie

1 graham cracker crumb crust
48 hershey kisses, unwarapped and divided
2 T. milk
1 8 oz bar cream cheese, softened
1 c. sugar
1 c. peanut butter
12 oz cool whip, divided

Melt half of the kisses with the milk in a microwave safe bowl, stirring until smooth. Pour over the bottom of the crust. Refrigerate for 30 min until firm (I usually just pop it in the freezer for 10-15 minutes). Beat the cream cheese and sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy. Beat in the peanut butter. Continue beating on low for one minute after the peanut butter has been mixed in. Fold in 8 oz of the cool whip. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight before serving. Garnish with the remaining cool whip and kisses. I usually "frost" the pie with the leftover cool whip. I took this dish to a Christmas potluck and arranged the remaining kisses on top in a Christmas tree shape.

Hello Again

Hello again, everyone!
Just wanted to let you know about my other blog. It is about my journey as a Christian, a wife, and a mother. It also has a few recipes on it that I will be transferring to this blog.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


I'm starting this blog because I need somewhere to keep up with all of the recipes I try that I like. This blog will be primarily about cooking and kitchen related tasks, but I may throw in a little bit of whatever is on my mind that day.