I was recently asked to do a cooking demo for a group of Laurels. ( will take place next week) I'm flattered, and slightly nervous. What should I demonstrate for them? any thoughts? My niece has made a few requests, but I feel like I should actually make a few things. So far this is what we have lined up. Keep in mind The time is a little limited slighlty.

1. Salsa
2. Rice - I make a concoction of Spanish\Risotto rice.
3. Firecracker Shrimp - these are spicy little shrimp that get grilled and go nicely on top of the rice

What else? I was thinking of making a cream based soup to go in a bread bowl - its getting to be that time of year

Any thoughts or suggestions will be appreciated.

The real recipe will be coming soon. Until then enjoy this cartoon drawn by my Niece Lexi

1 package cream cheese
1 1/2 cups cheese (shredded)
1 T. Chives
2 tsp ranch dressing mix

3/4 c butter
1 cup light karo syrup
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla

stir until boiling. pour over 12 oz chex cereal. add a can of mixed nuts and pretzels. when cooled, add plain m&m's

Take approximately 1 lb of black beans and soak them overnight. In in morning place in the crockpot. Chop one onion and place in the crockpot with the beans. Mince 2 cloves of garlic and add that to the crockpot as well. And 1 tablespoon of this:

It is basically Mexican Chicken bouillon. You can find it in the Mexican section of the grocery store. If you have regular chicken bouillon, that will work as well – just adjust quantities to match what the package says (appropriate amount to match the water you have in the crockpot)

Add about 8 cups or so of water so that water level is about 1 inch or more above the beans. No need to be exact. If they need more water while cooking add more water. Place lid on crockpot and cook on low until beans are tender. Usually about 8 hours or more.


1 c. uncooked rice (long-grain, white rice)
1 tsp. butter or margarine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 can (15 oz) chicken broth
1 cup water
1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tsp. sugar
3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro

In a saucepan combine rice, butter, garlic, 1 tsp. lime, chicken broth and water. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook on low 15-20 minutes, until rice is tender. Remove from heat. In a small bowl combine lime juice, sugar and cilantro. Pour over hot cooked rice and mix in as you fluff the rice.

This is seriously SO good. Serve with tortillas, salad, black beans and cilantro Lime Ranch dressing...

Green Chile Chicken
5 chicken breasts
1/2 cup salsa
1 Tbsp cumin
1/2 cup brown sugar (more to taste)
1 4 oz. can diced green chilies
6 oz. Sprite (1/2 can)
Combine all ingredients in a crock pot. Cook on low for 5-6 hours. Remove chicken and shred. Return to crock pot and cook 1 more hour. Thicken the juices with a little cornstarch mixed in water.

1 buttermilk ranch dressing packet (make as per recipe)
2 tomatillos or 4 TB salsa verde (green salsa)
½ bunch of cilantro
1 clove garlic
Juice of 1 lime
1/8 tsp Tabasco sauce

Mix all but cilantro together in blender. Add Cilantro last and blend well. Refrigerate.

Place 18 Rhodes frozen dinner rolls in an ungreased, non-stick bundt pan.

sprinkle 1/2 package uncooked butterscotch (not instant) pudding mix over the rolls

sprinkle generously with cinnamon

add chopped nuts if you want

melt 1 cube butter in the microwave and combine with 1/2 c. packed brown sugar. pour evenly over the rolls.

set on the counter overnight to rise

bake at 350 for approx. 20 minutes.

Invert and enjoy!


1 1/2 sticks butter
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup toffee chips
1/2 cup coarsely chopped toasted almonds

Preheat oven to 350. Butter and line a 9 by 9 by 2-inch baking pan with parchment paper, allowing a 2-inch overhang. Butter the lining too.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan; add both sugars and whisk until combined and sugar is melted, about 5 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and let cool slightly. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla extract until combined. Add the flour and whisk until just incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips, toffee chips and almonds and transfer the mixture to the prepared pan.

Bake for 24 to 27 minutes or until the top cracks slightly and is firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the center comes out with moist pieces clinging to it. Remove to a wire rack and let cool completely. Remove the bars from the pan using the parchment handles, transfer to a cutting board and cut into 2-inch squares.

2/3 c butter
2/3 c flour
7 cups milk
4 large potatoes, baked, peeled and cubed
4 green onions, sliced
12 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
1 1/4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup sour cream (8 oz)
3/4 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper

In large stockpot, melt the butter. Stir in flour; heat and stir until smooth. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly until thickened. Add potatoes and onions. Bring to a boil, sitrring constantly. Reduce heat; simmer for 10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients; sitr until cheese is melted. Serve immediately.

* 8-10 chicken breasts, cooked and diced
* 1 can (10 ¾ oz.) cream of chicken soup
* 2 cups sour cream
* 1 ½ cups shredded Swiss cheese
* ¼ cup chopped green onion
* 2 cups butter flavored crackers, crushed (like Ritz brand)
* 5 tablespoons butter, melted
* 1 tablespoon poppy seeds


1. Mix together cream of chicken soup and sour cream. Pour over chicken and mix well.

2. Stir in shredded Swiss cheese and chopped onion.

3. Pour chicken mixture into a greased 9x13-inch baking dish.

4. In a separate bowl, mix together the crushed crackers, melted butter, and the poppy seeds.

5. Spread the cracker mixture over the chicken mixture.

6. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until heated through.

Makes approximately 8 servings

Zucchini Casserole
2- Zucchinis peeled, quartered, and sliced
2 -Tomatoes, quartered and sliced
1- small onion, chopped
Cheddar or American cheese, sliced
Layer zucchini, tomatoes, and onions and cheese.
Repeat the above.
Microwave for about 10 minutes.


Tropical Fruit Dip

* 1 /2 cup sour cream
* 1 cup milk
* 1 package (3.4 oz.) instant vanilla pudding and pie filling mix
* 1 can (8 oz.) crushed pineapple, undrained
* 1/3 cup shredded coconut


Mix together sour cream, milk, and pudding mix. Stir in pineapple and coconut. Chill in refrigerator 45 minutes before serving. Serve with fresh fruit.

Strawberry Fruit Dip

* 1 container (8 oz.) whipped topping
* 1 container (6 oz.) strawberry flavored yogurt
* 1/4 cup strawberries, crushed (opt.)


Mix together all ingredients and chill. Serve with fresh fruit. Note: Whipped cream can be used instead of the whipped topping. Also, try using different flavored yogurts instead of strawberry depending of the type of fruit you are serving it with.

Lime Fruit Dip

* 2 eggs
* 1/2 cup granulated sugar
* 4 tablespoons cornstarch
* 6 oz. frozen limeade concentrate, undiluted
* 2 -3 drops green food coloring 1
* cup heavy cream, whipped


Beat eggs and combine in top of double boiler with sugar, cornstarch and limeade. Cook until thickened, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and stir in food coloring. Let cool. Whip cream and fold into cooled limeade mixture. Serve with fresh fruit. Keep in refrigerator.

I got this recipe from my cousin Collette...it's really yummy!

1 lb ground beef
1 16 oz can tomatoes
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
2 t salt
2 t sugar
1 c grated cheese
2 cloves garlic
1-8oz pkg noodles
1 c sour cream
1-3 oz cream cheese
6 green onion tops

Cook meat. Drain off fat. Add tomato sauce, sugar, salt, garlic and simmer 5 to 10 min. Cook noodles and drain. While still hot add sour cream, cream cheese and green onions. Blend with fork into greased casserole dish. Layer meat sauce, noodles sprinkle cheese and repeat.

350°/35 min.

1 1/2 tablespoons margarine, melted
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon garlic salt
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 cups raw whole pumpkin seeds


1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C).
2. Combine the margarine, salt, garlic salt, Worcestershire sauce and pumpkin seeds. Mix thoroughly and place in shallow baking dish.
3. Bake for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.


* 1 can ( 14 oz. ) sweetened condensed milk
* 2 cups granulated sugar
* 1 cup butter ( no substitutes)
* 1/4 tsp. salt
* 1 1/2 cups light corn syrup
* 1 tsp. anise (licorice) extract
* Black paste food coloring


1. Combine the first 5 ingredients in a heavy saucepan.

2. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture reaches 234 degrees on a candy thermometer. (This will take approximately 15 - 20 min.) Mixture will turn from a pale yellow color to a golden brown. 3. Stir in anise extract and enough black food coloring to make the caramel a dark black.

4. Pour mixture into a buttered 9" x 13" pan and let cool.

5. Cut into small squares and wrap each piece in waxed paper.

Yield: 75-100 pieces

Assembly Line Packaging

Use quart-size canning jars or other available clear, sealable containers. Set out all ingredients, in the order they are to be added, with corresponding measuring cups and spoons. Select decorative paper or fabric to adorn the top when you have finished. Glue on or attach a label with assembly and baking instructions.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Layer in jar (tap jar on counter between layer additions to settle):
1 1/2 cups ground oatmeal
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon each of baking soda, baking powder, and salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/4 cups semi sweet chocolate chips

Attached instructions:
Empty cookie ingredients into a large mixing bowl and stir. Add 1/2 cup softened butter, 1 beaten egg, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract; mix until completely combined.

Spoon heaping tablespoons of dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet, spacing 2-3 inches apart. Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes. Cool 5-10 minutes on cookie sheet, then transfer to cooling racks.

Fudgy Pecan Brownies

Layer in jar (tap on counter between layer additions to settle):
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder (wipe inside of jar after this layer)
3/4 cup flour
pinch of salt
1/2 cup finely ground pecans
1/2 cup miniature semi sweet chocolate chips

Attached instructions:
Empty brownie ingredients into a large mixing bowl and stir. Add 3/4 cup melted butter, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, and 4 well-beaten eggs; mix until well combined. Spread batter in a greased 8 by 8 or 9 by 9 baking pan. Bake at 350 for 27-30 minutes.

1 cup whipping cream
2 cup sugar
4 tbsp cocoa
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla - add this after you remove from stovetop

Cook all ingredients on stovetop. Boil about 1-2 minutes

1-2 cups of coolwhip
13 oz of marshmellow cream
8 oz of cream cheese

* 2 cans (21 once each) of raspberry or strawberry pie filling
* 1 can (14 ounce) sweetened condensed milk
* 1 can (8 ounce) crushed pineapple not drained
* 1 carton (12 ounce) frozen whipped topping, thawed and Frozen or fresh berries and mint (optional)


1. In a bowl combine pie filling, milk and pineapple.

2. Fold in whipped topping.

3. Spread into ungreased 9" x 13" baking dish. Cover and freeze for 8 hours or overnight.

4. Remove from freezer 10 - 15 minutes before serving. Cut into squares.

2 c. boiling water
2 1/2 c. sugar
1/8 t. salt
1/4 c. lemon juice
1/2 c. cold water
3/4 c. cornstarch
1 (3 oz) pkg orange jello (I used peach)
4 c. fully ripe sliced peaches
Bring 2 cups water to boil in medium size pan. Make a paste with 1/2 c. cold water, sugar, cornstarch and salt. Pour paste into pan of boiling water and mix well. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is very thick (about 3 minutes) Add gelatin and continue cooking for 1 minute. Remove from heat and add lemon juice. Chill thoroughly. Carefully combine sliced peaches and glaze mixture. Spoon into baked pie shells. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Cover with whipped cream if desired. Makes 3 small or 2 large pies.
Glaze can be stored in fridge for several days and then added to sliced peaches before serving. Be sure to make enough glaze to coat each peach slice.

Makes about 4 cups

2 large seedless cucumbers (about 2 pounds)
1 tablespoon salt
1/3 cup white-wine vinegar
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons sugar
1 garlic clove, forced through a garlic press
1 teaspoon dill seed

Score cucumbers lengthwise with a fork (I used a zester tool) and slice thin, preferably with slicing disk of a food processor. In a large bowl toss cucumbers with salt and let stand 1 hour.

In a small saucepan bring vinegar and water to a boil with sugar, garlic, and dill seed, stirring until sugar is dissolved, and let dressing cool. In a colander drain cucumbers and rinse under cold water.

Drain cucumbers well, squeezing out excess liquid. In a bowl combine cucumbers with dressing and marinate, covered and chilled, at least 1 hour and up to 6 hours. (After about 2 hours cucumber skin will discolor, but there will be no effect on flavor.)

1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
4 cloves garlic minced
1 cup vegetable (chicken) broth
1 can (32 oz) crushed tomatoes
1 can (14 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (14 oz) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 to 1 ½ Tbsp cumin
1 to 1 ½ Tbsp chili powder
6 dashes Tabasco sauce
1 cup spicy refried beans
Cheddar cheese
Chips (I like Fritos for this)

Saute onion and peppers til translucent. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Add broth, reduce by half (2-3 minutes). Add tomatoes, beans, cumin, chili powder, Tabasco, and salt. Thicken with refried beans. Serve with cheese and chips.

20 cooked chicken tenders
1/2 green pepper
1 can olives
1 cup slivered almonds
1/2 onion
1/2 red pepper
1/2 stalk celery
10 tortillas
2 tsp celery salt
1 pkg cream cheese
1 cup miracle whip
Salt & pepper to taste

Dice veggies & chicken. In a separate bowl mix celery salt, cream cheese, miracle whip, s&p. Stir all ingredients together.

6 quarts popped popcorn
1 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup karo syrup
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp soda
1 tsp vanilla

preheat oven to 250 degress. place popcorn in a large roasting pan that has been coated with non-stick spray. in a heavy pan, melt butter on med. heat. Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring to a boil stirring constantly. Let boil for 5 minutes without stirring. Remove from heat and stir in soda & vanilla. Gradually pour over popcorn mixing as you go. bake for 1 hour stiring every 15 minutes.

1 quart apple cider
2 cups cranberry juice
1 cup orange juice
12 oz can apricot nectar
1 cup sugar
2 sticks cinnamon
Warm in crockpot

This is SO GOOD. You must make it!

Bake a yellow cake mix- poke holes with a wooden spoon (end) and let cool. Drizzle mixture (see below) over cake and Spread on one can crushed pineapple, drained. Top with whipped cream.

1/4 cup pineapple juice
1/3 cup pina colada mix
1 can sweetened condensed milk

This is Claudia's recipe for funeral potatoes. So yummy!

frozen hash browns
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 pint sour cream
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1-2 cups grated cheddar cheese

In 9x13 pan layer potatoes, sauce,potatoes, sauce

Crush cornflakes (about 2 cups crushed) and stir in about 1-2 tbsp. Of butter. Top the potatoes with corn flakes and bake at 350 for 45 minutes

Crockpot Breakfast Casserole

32 oz bag Southern Style hash browns (these are the little square kind - not the shredded ones)
1 lb bacon, fried, drained and torn or cut into pieces (or you could use sausage)
1/2 C diced onion
3/4 lb cheddar cheese, diced
1 dozen eggs
1 C milk
1/2 tsp dry mustard
salt and pepper, to taste

Layer frozen potatoes, bacon, onion and cheese in 2-3 layers. Finish with cheese.
Beat eggs, milk, mustard, salt and pepper. Pour on top.
Cook on low for 10-12 hours.

(depending upon your crockpot you can adjust the cooking time accordingly. My crockpot is large and it over-cooked this the first time I made it at this time...so adjust if needed!)

Ok. There's a story here. We were babysitting a girl in my ward once on a cool fall day. She was helping me pick the last of the carrots from my garden and she asked me if I could make her some carrot soup. I thought, "carrot SOUP?!?". But, I hopped online and looked up some recipes. This is what I found, and modified. It was yummy!

Carrot Soup with Orange and Ginger

3 Tbs. olive oil
2 leeks, including tender green portions, thinly sliced (I used an onion, as I didn't have leeks handy, but I think leeks would be awesome!)
6 carrots, about 1 lb. total, peeled and thinly sliced
1 red potato, about 1/2 lb., peeled and coarsely diced
1 1/2 tsp. peeled and minced or grated fresh ginger (I omitted the ginger, because I didn't have any, but you can throw it in if you like)
5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
2 tsp. grated orange zest
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the leeks and sauté until just slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add the carrots, potato and ginger and sauté until the vegetables are just softened, about 5 minutes more.

Add the stock, cover partially and simmer until the vegetables are completely softened, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat.

In a blender or food processor, puree the soup in batches, leaving some texture, and return the soup to the pan. Alternatively, process with a stick blender in the pan until the desired consistency is reached. Set the pan over medium heat and stir in the orange juice and zest. Season with salt and white pepper.

Ladle the soup into warmed bowls. Serves 4 to 6.

This is my friend, Robin's recipe. It rocks! Always a big hit at parties!

1-2 cups marinated artichokes (rinsed and chopped) (I get mine from Costco)
1 can crabmeat (also rinsed)
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup grated parmesan cheese

bake at 325 for 20 minutes

serve with Fritos.

I got this recipe from my friend, Jeannette, It's awesomely good! Give it a try...

6 c. apples - sliced
1 T Lemon Juice
1 T Water
Mix well and place in an 8" square pan

Mix together:
1/3 C. butter
1/2 C. Oats
1/2 C. Flour
3/4 C. Brown Sugar
1 tsp. Cinnamon
Mix well, pat on top of apples

Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.

So after a few discussions with Julie (The other contributor to this Food Blog) We have decided to make some changes. We want to open the Blog up to other contributors. We would like to document all the Family Recipes. Old, New, Tried, and even Fried. So First we are going to change the URL and the Title of the Blog. Now taking all suggestions... And allowing contributors. P.S. don't feel intimidated, by the Entries with 800 photos. A simple Photo of the End result will suffice, and maybe a few of the tornadoes that take over the kitchen during the process. Or not. So who is in?

Have you ever set out to make something and halfway through realized you were missing a key ingredient? How about 3/4 of the way through? What if you were adding the final and main ingredient and realized it wasnt what you thought it was? I currently have a big double batch of Split Pea soup on the stove. I put all the ingredients into the pot for Lentil Soup. Went to grab the Lentils and realized they were split peas!!! So I guess we will see how it turns out in a couple of hours.

Surprise surprise, it turned out alright.

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