About Me

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Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
I'm a stay-at-home mother of 2 who loves to bake rich desserts, create healthy dinners, and create homemade crafts. I'm always Hungry for the Homemade! Take some recipes, make them your own, and let me know how it goes.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

broccoli-cheese soup

In the true spirit of a comforting, smooth and creamy soup, this broccoli-cheese soup is DELISH. If you've had Panara Bread's broccoli-cheddar, that is my inspiration for this recipe.
1/2 medium onion, chopped
5 tablespoons butter, divided
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups 1% milk (or ff half-&-half)
2 cups chicken broth
8 ounces (1/2 bag) frozen chopped broccoli
1 cup shredded carrots
salt and pepper
8 ounces Velveeta, cubed
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
Secret Ingredient: 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  1. Saute the onion in 1 Tbsp butter until onions are soft. Set aside in small bowl. 
  2. Using a wire whisk, heat the remaining 4 Tbsp butter until melted and add the flour in a large pot over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 4 minutes.
  3. Slowly add the milk; continue stirring with whisk. Add the chicken broth, whisking all the time. Simmer for 20 minutes. (whisk every 2 min or so to prevent burning the bottom.)
  4. Add the broccoli, carrots, and sauteed onion. Cook over low heat until the veggies are tender, about 20 minutes.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. By now the soup should be thickened. Let cool for 3-4 minutes, then pour into a blender and puree.
  7. Return the puree to the pot and place over low heat. Add the Velveeta and grated cheddar and stir until well blended and melted. Stir in the nutmeg.
Serves 5. 
I throw in some frozen Pillsbury Buttermilk Biscuits to dip and crumble in the soup. Yummers!  

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Whole Enchilada; Soup, that is.

I love enchiladas and soup, so throw them together and you get....
Chicken Enchilada Soup
1/4 cup canola/vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups diced yellow onion
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp granulated garlic
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup masa harina (cornmeal)
32 oz chicken broth
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
4 ounces Velveeta, cubed
1-2 lbs cooked chicken breast, cubed
Optional ingredients: 1 can of corn, 1 can black beans, rinsed, diced green chilies
Shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups crushed tortilla chips
sour cream 
(whatever you put on your enchilada!)
  1. To a large pot, add the oil, onions, cumin, chili powder, granulated garlic, and cayenne pepper. Saute until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the masa harina with 2 cups of the chicken broth. Stir until all the lumps are gone. Add to the sauteed onions and bring the mixture to a boil. Cook, stirring constantly, for an additional 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Add the remaining 2 cups chicken stock to the pot. Add the tomatoes and return to a boil, stirring occasionally. Add the cheese and stir until it melts. Add the chicken and any optional ingredients; heat and serve. 
  4. Garnish with shredded cheese, tortilla chips, etc.
Healthy Cornbread
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup masa harina (cornmeal, white or yellow)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup plain yogurt (I use l.f. sour cream)
2 eggs, beaten

  1. Mix dry ingredients together in a medium bowl. 
  2. Add the yogurt/sour cream and eggs, mixing just until blended. Don't overmix.
  3. Pour into an 8x8 glass baking dish sprayed with cooking spray, and place into a preheated 400 degree oven. Bake for 20 minutes or until just starting to turn golden brown on top.
  4. Sprinkle cheese on top before serving if you'd like.

Spooky Decoupage Lanterns

These Jack-o-lantern jars were inexpensive and fun to make. 
You will need:
Left over jelly, pickle or sauce jars
Mod Podge
Colored tissue paper
Decorative ribbon, not much
I'm a little embarrassed to show you the Taste of Home inspiration-link because my skills aren't nearly that of the magazine, but here is the original idea and instructions.


Aren't they cute?! I want to make a few more with some stripes and cluster them on my entry table. Warning: This is  a pretty messy project, I'd recommend wearing latex gloves. I've been peeling Mod Podge off my fingers all evening.

Candy Corn Wreath

This was a FUN project that the kids enjoyed helping with. This idea came from the October cover of Woman's Day 2010.  You need : 14"-18" Styrofoam wreath ring, 2-3 bags of candy corn, black duct tape, a glue gun, and some wide black grosgrain ribbon.

All wrapped in duct tape, ready for candy!
Wrap the wreath tightly in the duct tape. The easiest way to put on the candy corn in a uniform manner is to make a full circle with the candy corn facing the same direction, starting with the inner rings. Change the direction of the the candy corn with each successive ring of candy.Use hot glue to secure the candy on the wreath. Make a loop of ribbon into a hanger. All done! Now try not to pick off the candy and eat it!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pieces Cookies

This is an adaptation of a Betty Crocker recipe, a new family favorite!

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup chocolate-flavored or regular peanut butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups (about 12 oz) Reeces' Pieces

1. Heat oven to 350. Lightly grease a cookie sheet with shortening or spray with cooking spray. I use parchment paper, ungreased, on my cookie sheets.
2. In a large bowl, beat sugars and butter with electric mixer on medium speed until creamy. Beat in peanut butter, vanilla, and egg. Stir in flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Stir in candies. Drop dough by heaping tablespoons onto cookie sheet.
3. Bake 8 to 12 minutes or until edges are set. (Centers will be soft.) Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies. (Tip: flatten dough slightly before baking and add extra candies to dough for great looking cookies.) 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Chicken Bacon and Spinach Pizza

This is my favorite pizza, by far. Even my vegetable-fearing kids will eat all the toppings. It takes a little preparation, but from start to finish in about an hour. Make it your own by using a different crust, a smokey Gouda, or some red onion. 

Pizza Crust
2 1/2 cups bread flour
1 Tbsp dried rosemary
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
2 1/4 tsp yeast or 1 yeast packet
1 cup warm water
3 Tbsp olive oil

Mix 1 cup flour and the next 4 ingredients in a mixer with a flat beater. Slowly add the warm water and oil while mixing, until most lumps are gone.
I switch to my dough hook on my Kitchen-Aide mixer at this stage and add the remaining 1-1/2 cups flour. Mix for 4 minutes until soft and smooth. 
Put into a greased or sprayed large bowl and let rise 30 minutes.

For the Pizza:
3 slices turkey bacon (I like oscar mayer), cooked and diced
1 chicken breast, cooked and sliced into 1/2" pieces
1 jar Classico Sun-dried Tomato Alfredo sauce (the SECRET ingredient!)Only use as much as you need, the whole jar would be WAY too much
1/2 6 oz bag of baby spinach
Handful of cilantro, minced
8-10 oz. of mozzarella cheese
Grated Parmesan cheese

1.Start by cooking the chicken. Throw it in a crockpot with some garlic salt in the morning on LOW and forget about until you're ready to make the pizza. Very tender.
2.Next cook the turkey bacon until crisp.  Then use the same pan used to cook the bacon, to wilt the spinach.
3.Throw the raw spinach into the hot pan and stir around until shriveled and much smaller, only 2 minutes or so.
4. Preheat the oven to 375, and roll out the crust. Oil the pan with a drizzle of olive oil and parmesan. Place crust in pan of your choice. I use a deep-dish pan, about 18" diameter.
5. Cook the crust for 8 minutes (give or take depending on the thickness of crust and pan-type).
6. Remove the crust from the oven and spread with sun-dried tomato alfredo sauce. Add remaining toppings, ending with the cheese.
7. Cook for another 8-10 minutes until cheese is slightly golden and crust is cooked through.

This is the pizza before adding the cheese. I start drooling at this point, it looks so good!
Hope you're hungry!

Friday, October 15, 2010

A Blogging Virgin

So here I am blogging. It's been a time consuming, large learning curve to get here, but bear with me while I fumble through my first postings until I get better. They will get better! Thanks to my wonderful husband, Stuart for loving everything I cook and understanding my need to get crafty. I love to cook, create, and share so take what recipes you'd like and enjoy the fruits of my labor and make some of your own. Tell me about your experiences, suggest, and comment away!