Easy Fried Rice

the back of a SUN BIRD fried rice seasoning packet


1 packet Sun Bird Fried Rice seasoning packet (they're about 60 cents)
1/3 cup chopped, cooked chicken, beef, pork, shrimp, or fish if desired
2 Tbsp canola oil
3 cups cold, cooked rice (white, brown, or instant)
3 green onions, sliced small
2 tsp soy sauce (but we always use more)
2 or 3 eggs beaten
1 cup frozen peas (or peas and diced carrots), cooked

Earlier in the day, cook the rice. For regular rice, boil 3 cups water and then add 1 1/2 cups rice. Turn on low and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and place in fridge on a hotpad.

About 15 minutes before the sweet and sour chicken is ready, start cooking the fried rice.

In a large skillet, heat oil (about medium temperature). Add onions and cold rice. Stir around to break up rice. Scramble eggs in a small pan. Add eggs to rice.
Add seasoning packet and soy sauce. Stir to mix in seasoning. At the end, at peas (or peas and carrots) and meat (if desired). Final product. If I don't have ham, I don't put it in. It is really good with it though. Serve with desired main dish. We like to serve it with sweet and sour chicken.

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Chili

from Gayleen

1 lb hamburger
1 can tomato soup
1 jar of Pace Mild Picante sauce
2-3 cans of beans of your choice -we did pinto beans, black beans, and great northern

Brown hamburger and season as desired with salt and pepper. Drain. Place in crockpot. Add remaining ingredients. Add as little or as many beans as you'd like. A regular batch takes about 2 cans, a double batch 3 or 4. Let warm and serve with onions, cheese, fritos, and sour cream.

This is a super simple recipe but it sure tastes good.

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Oreo Balls

from Kristin and Amanda

1 whole package of Oreos, crushed
1 package of cream cheese, softened

Mix together and roll into balls. Let cool in refrigerator until balls are chilled. Or for faster chilling, place in freezer for about 15 minutes.

Roll in white melted white almond bark chocolate, or for extra richness melted regular almond bark chocolate. Place on waxed paper to cool. If you want, after the first chocolate is set, decorate tops of balls as desired with different colored chocolate.

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Feather Light Overnight Crescent Rolls

from Tami

1/2 cup water
1 stick butter
1/4 plus 2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold water
1 (.25 oz) pkg yeast or 2 1/4 tsp
1/4 cup warm water
2 eggs, beaten
3 3/4 cup flour
Butter for spreading on dough

In a pan, bring the 1/2 cup water to a boil. Add the butter, sugar, and salt. Remove from heat. Add the 1/2 cup cold water. Dissolve yeast in the 1/4 cup warm water (not hot). When first mixture is lukewarm, add yeast mixture and beaten eggs. Stir briefly. Add flour and stir together. Cover pan with lid and refrigerate overnight. When ready to roll out, divide dough in thirds. Lightly flour surface of bread board. Roll each third out in a large circle about 1/2 inch thick. Spread dough lightly with butter. Cut dough into small wedges (like a pizza) and roll up each up, beginning at the wide end, to form a crescent shape. Place on 2 baking sheets (about 12 rolls per sheet). Let rise about 3 or 4 hours. Bake at 400 for 12 minutes. Makes about 2 dozen rolls. These are great rolls and really easy to make.

Note: It works best to cut into small wedges about 3 to 3 1/2 inches wide at the top because they rise and grow bigger.

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Frosty the Cupcake

From Family Fun's website
RECIPE INGREDIENTS:
Cooled cupcakes
White frosting
Large marshmallows
Waxed paper
Pretzel sticks
Black decorators' gel or mini chocolate chips
Orange slice candy
Junior Mints
Thin Mints or Mint Grasshopper Cookies
Fruit by the Foot cut into long strips

1. Frost a cooled cupcakes with white icing.
2. Flatten a large marshmallow on waxed paper with the palm of your hand.
3. Put a second marshmallow on top to form a torso and head.
4. Push a thin pretzel stick down through the snowman (this will help him stand up), then set him on the cupcake.
5. Use decorators' gel or mini chocolate chips to create a mouth, eyes, and buttons, then add pretzel stick arms and a wedge cut from an orange slice candy for a nose.
6. Accessorize with a candy hat (a Junior Mint secured to a Thin Mint with icing) and a piece of fruit by foot for the scarf.

Note: The decorators' gel didn't work well for me. It ran and looked like mascara running when a woman is crying. The mini chocolate chips with a bit of frosting on the back of them worked better for me.

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Cheese Ball

from Louise

8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp mayonnaise
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 or 2 green onions, finely chopped
2 or 3 black olives, finely chopped
3 shakes of garlic salt

Mix and roll in nuts if desired. Wrap and refrigerate.

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Fresh Salsa

from Legrand

8 to 10 roma tomatoes (any kind will work though)
1 golden girl tomato, if you have one -mostly for color and some sweetness.
(If you don't have a golden girl, it is okay. It is an orange tomato and it looks nice in it.)
2 jalapenos (or less if you don't want it too spicy)
1/2 cup sweet onion, chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
3 green peppers, chopped
1 1/2 tsp salt
the juice of one lime or 3 tsp lime juice from bottle

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Salsa

from Audrey

3 quarts tomatoes, scalded, peeled, and diced
4 cups chopped onions
5 lg green anaheim peppers
1 lg green bell pepper
1 lg red bell peopper
4-5 jalapeno peppers (keep seeded for hotter salsa)
16 oz tomato sauce
2 cans of 6 oz tomato paste
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup salt
1 cup cider vinegar
2 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp cumin
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp alum

Chop tomatoes, onions & peppers in food processor. Combine all ingredients in a heavy pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat & simmer for 1 1/2 hours (longer for much thicker salsa). Stir often so it doesn't stick to the bottom. Pour into pint bottles and process in water bath for 20 minutes. Makes 10 to 12 pints.

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Slow Cooker Beef Enchiladas

from a list of crockpot recipes from a church function

1 lb ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1 can (16 oz) pinto or kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (10 oz) diced tomatoes and green chilies -it is all together, undrained
1/3 cup water
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup grated monterey jack cheese
6 flour tortillas (6 or 7 inches)

In a skillet, cook beef, onion, and green pepper until beef is browned and vegetables are tender; drain. Add the next eight ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Combine cheeses. In a 5 quart crock pot, layer about 3/4 cup beef mixture, one tortilla and about 1/3 cup cheese. Repeat layers. Cover and cook on low for 5 to 7 hours or until heated through.


***Lo-Fat tip: Use ground turkey instead of hamburger

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Chicken Enchiladas

from a list of crockpot recipes from a ward function

2-3 lbs chopped cooked chicken
1 small can chopped green chilies
1 onion, chopped
Mexican gravy, see recipe below
4 oz grated Monterey Jack cheese
4 oz grated milk or sharp cheddar cheese
1 small can chopped olives
8 corn tortillas

In mixing bowl, stir together chicken, chilies, onion, and 1 cup Mexican gravy.

In crockpot, place foil handles. (3 strips of foil, 18"x2", folded in half lengthwise and criss-crossed in bottom of crockpot) Dip tortilla in Mexican gravy and lay in crockpot. Spread about 3 Tbsp chicken filling over tortilla and sprinkle with cheese and olives. Continue layering, ending with cheese and olives. Pour extra gravy over top of stack. Cook on low 4 to 6 hours or on high 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours.

Gravy:
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup chili powder
1/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp oregano
3 cans (15 oz each) chicken broth
1 can (12 oz) tomato sauce

Melt butter (or margarine) in saucepan. In a bowl, mix together dry ingredients. Slowly add to butter (or margarine), stirring constantly. Add broth and tomato sauce.

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Corn Chowder

from a list of crockpot recipes from a ward function

6 slices bacon, crumbled
1 cup chopped onoin
2 cups diced, peeled potatoes
2 pkgs (10 0z each) frozen whole kernel corn
1 can (16 oz) cream style corn
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp seasoned salt (like Lawry's)
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup water

In skillet, fry bacon until crisp. Remove and reserve. Add onion and potatoes to bacon drippings and saute for about 5 minutes. Drain well. Put all ingredients in crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours.

I haven't tried this myself yet. But it sounds good!

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Crockpot Tips

from handout at a Relief Society function

Adapting recipes to the crockpot

If recipe says:
15-30 minutes, cook 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours on high or 4 to 8 hours on low in crockpot.

If recipe says:
35-40 minutes, cook 3 to 4 hours on high or 6 to 10 hours on low in crockpot.

If recipe says:
50 mintues to 3 hours, cook 4 to 6 hours on high or 8 to 18 hours on low in crockpot.

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Orange Rolls

from Tami L.

These are sooooooooooo good. My neighbor makes them and they're the BEST!

2 cups warm water
2/3 cup dry milk
2 Tbsp yeast
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp salt
1/3 cup butter, shortening, or margarine
1 egg
5 to 5 1/2 cups flour

Icing:
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 Tbsp orange juice (squeezed from oranges)
2-4 Tbsp heavy cream

Mix 1/4 cup of the water with yeast and about 1/2 Tbsp of the sugar in a small glass -let yeast dissolve.
In mixing bowl, combine remaining water, dry milk, remaining sugar, salt, butter (or shortening), egg, and 2 cups of flour. Mix until wet, then slowly add the rest of the flour; enough so the dough is soft, not overly sticky, and not stiff. Let rise about 20 minutes.

Roll dough into rectangle about 1/4 inch thick.

Brush with orange butter:
1/2 cup butter
rest of 2 oranges
1/4 cup sugar

With pizza cutter, cut 3 1/2 inch strips on long side of rectangle. Starting at short side of rectangle, cut 2 inch strips of dough. Roll up strips and place on greased cookie sheet. Rise until double in size. Bake at 375 for 12 to 15 minutes. Cool 10 to 15 minutes and then drizzle icing over top.

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Old Fashioned Cinnamon Popcorn

from HomeEc in school

1/2 cup margarine
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup Karo syrup
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon or vanilla
2 quarts popped popcorn (1/2 cup unpopped)

Melt butter in small saucepan. Stir in sugar and corn syrup. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil without stirring for 4 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in soda and cinnamon. Gradually pour over popped popcorn, mixing well. Turn into large shallow baking dish or roasting pan. Bake at 250 for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Cool and enjoy.

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Vanilla Cream Pudding for Cream Puffs

from Grandma M.

Mix in saucepan:
2 Tbsp and 2 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp cornstarch
Pinch of salt

Combine and slowly add to saucepan while stirring contantly:
1 beaten egg
1 cup of milk

Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir 1 minute.

Remove from heat.
Add:
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp vanilla

Place in refrigerator until pudding cools completely. Fill cream puffs.

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Cream Puffs

from Grandma M.

Heat to rolling boil:
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup butter

Stir in 1/2 cup flour. Stir vigorously over low heat for about 1 minute or until the mixture forms a ball and pulls away from the sides of the pan.

Remove from heat.

Beat in:
2 eggs and continue beating until smooth.

Drop dough by scant 1/4 cup approximately 3 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheet.

Bake at 400 for 20-30 minutes. Puffs should be light and brown and beads of water on them.

Fill with vanilla cream pudding or chicken salad or desired filling.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cream Pie

from a Kraft Foods magazine I got in the mail
3/4 cup hot fudge dessert topping, divided
1 Honey Maid Graham Pie Crust (6 oz)
1 tub (8 oz) Cool Whip, thawed and divided
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 1/4 cup cold milk
2 pkgs (4-serving size each) Jell-O brand vanilla instant pudding

Spoon 1/2 cup of the fudge topping into bottom of crust. Place in freezer 10 minutes.

Whisk peanut butter and milk in large bowl until well blended. Add pudding mixes. Beat for 2 minutes or until smooth. (Mixture will be thick.) Stir in 1/2 of the Cool Whip. Gently spoon over chocolate layer.

Top with remaining Cool Whip. Refrigerate 3 hours or until set. Drizzle remaining 1/4 cup fudge topping just before serving. Makes 10 servings.

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Lemon Chiffon Cake

from Kristy

Ingredients:
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon peel
1 tsp lemon extract

2 cups cake flour (must be cake flour)
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

1 cup egg whites (about 7 eggs)
1/2 tsp cream of tartar

Glaze:
1 1/3 cup powdered sugar
3 Tbsp lemon juice

Directions:
Combine first 7 ingredients. In separate bowl, sift dry ingredients. Gradually beat into lemon mixture until smooth. In another bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar and beat until stiff peaks form. Gently fold egg whites into lemon mixture. Pour into ungreased 10" tube pan with removable bottom. bake at 325 for 45-55 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Let cool and serve with glaze over each piece.

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Cinnamon Rolls

from mom

Dough
2 1/3 cups hot water
2/3 cup sugar
2 Tbsp yeast
1 Tbsp salt
1/3 cup shortening
1/3 cup dry milk
2 eggs
1/8 tsp vanilla
5 to 5 ½ cups flour

Filling
3/4 cup white sugar
2 cups brown sugar
2 Tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup melted butter
(mix sugar and cinnamon well, set aside NOTE: measurements are approximate... use more cinnamon if you like stronger flavor! )

Frosting
click here for the cream cheese frosting recipe, just add a little milk to make it thinner. (1-4 TBSP depending on your preference)

Directions
Mix ingredients in Bosch (or Kitchenaid); add flour gradually to desired consistency of dough. Dough should be slightly sticky still. Let the dough rise until it doubles in size.
**NOTE: If you are like me and DON'T have a mixer then mix in a Large bowl and use a long wooden or plastic spoon to mix all ingredients until the last cup of flour needs added in then you will have to get messy and use your hands to mix in the flour and knead it well.

Roll out to about ¼ inch thick.

Brush with 1/3c. melted butter. Top with cinnamon mixture and roll up into a tight pinwill. Take a string and cut the rolls into 1 inch sections. Place on a greased pan (or parchment paper if you have it). Let rise. Cook for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees. Frost. Eat and enjoy as desired!

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Caramel Corn Pops

from Susan

16oz bag of Barrel of Fun Corn Pops
2 cups brown sugar
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cube butter
1 cup Karo Syrup

Bring to a boil and stir. Boil for 3 minutes. Pour over puffs. Pour onto wax paper-lined cookie sheet to cool. Eat and enjoy. Keep any extra in a large ziploc bag.

Note: I am going to put this in a popcorn category because it is similar to caramel corn but without the kernels. It is super yummy.

If you like the thought of having the puffs rather than actual popcorn (and not having to pick kernel pieces out of your teeth), just use the puffs instead of popcorn in these other two recipes: Almost Cracker Jacks and Caramel Corn. Just make sure you omit the salt in those recipes or it will be too much (the pops are already slightly buttery and salty).

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Pumpkin Cheesecake

Crust:
1 1/2 cups graham crackers crumbs (about 10 crackers)
1/3 cup melted butter
1/4 cup sugar

Combine graham cracker crumbs, butter, and sugar in medium bowl. Pressonto bottom and 1 inch up side of 9-inch springform pan. Bake at 350 for 6-8 minutes. Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes.

Cheesecake:
3 pkgs cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 15oz can pumpkin
2/3 cup evaporated milk
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Beat cream cheese and sugars in large bowl until fluffy. Beat in eggs, pumpkin and evaporated milk. Add cornstarch, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Beat well and pour into crust. Bake at 350 for 55 to 60 minutes until edge is set but center still moves slightly.

Topping:
2 cups sour cream
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Combine sour cream, sugar, and vanilla in small bowl. Mix well and spread over warm cheesecake. Bake at 350 for 5 minutes. Let cool on rack. Chill for several hours or overnight.

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Spicy Chicken Wraps

from my own brain
Mission Flavored Wraps (we like Sundried Tomato Basil)
Head of Lettuce (I like green leaf for these best)
Shredded cheese
Chicken -however you want it
Chopped tomatoes
Winger's sauce (you can buy a bottle from the restaurant)
Ranch

I like to broil the wraps on low for 1 minute on each side to get them slightly crispy. You just have to watch them very closely. I just set them right on the rack and flip them over when it is time.

In a bowl, toss desired amount of lettuce (enough for one wrap) with Ranch. Arrange down the center of one wrap. Sprinkle with cheese and tomatoes. Some people even like boiled eggs, cut-up, in their wrap.

For the chicken, I either cut up nuggets (the quick, cheap, easy way) or I cut up chicken into strips and egg and flour it and fry it up, or I use grilled chicken or you can use deli chicken breasts. If I do nuggets (which are Tyson's chicken breast tenders), I cook them in the oven on broil for 5 minutes on one side and another 4 or 5 minutes on the other side. I figure about 10 nuggets per wrap. I cut them long ways so they are like strips. I cut up 10 nuggets at a time and, in a bowl, I drizzle a little Winger's sauce over them. Arrange them over the lettuce, cheese, and tomatoes in the wrap. Carefully wrap up the wrap. I place two toothpicks in it, one at each end, and then cut it diagonally in the middle.

Repeat for each wrap. The wraps are pretty big. Brent can eat 1 1/2 or 2. I usually eat 1/2 or 1 depending on how hungry I am.

These are SUPER easy and fast.... if you go the nugget route. We like these for a Saturday meal.

***Lo-Fat tip: Use grilled chicken, not crispy. Use spinach leaves instead of green leaf lettuce. Use lite ranch. Go light on the cheese. Add in alf alfa sprouts if desired or any other veggies. Whatever you do, don't skimp on the Winger's sauce. That's what makes these so good!

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Crispy Chicken Salad

from Nancy's sister

Desired lettuce (I like a mix of green leaf and iceberg)
3 breasts of chicken, cut up and cooked
toasted sliced almonds (I like sliced rather than slivered)
mandarin oranges (only if desired)
chow mein noodles
Shredded cheese
Kraft Creamy Poppyseed dressing

Cut lettuce heads up and toss together in a bowl.

Cut up chicken in pieces, in desired size. Dip in beaten egg and then flour (mixed with salt and pepper). Fry in oil until light brown and chicken is done. Remove from oil and set on paper towel until all pieces are done. I have also used deli fried chicken breasts and just cut them up. It is better when you just do it yourself and the pieces taste better, but if you're in a hurry, the deli chicken breast works fine, too. You don't have as much as the crispy, but the chicken still tastes good.

In a frying pan with a small amount of melted butter, over medium heat, toast sliced almonds until barely light brown. This happens quickly so stir the almonds around and around so there aren't a bunch of burnt ones.

This salad can be served two different ways. 1) Just before you are ready to eat it, put all the ingredients together in a large bowl and toss with desired amount of dressing (a little goes a long ways). This works well for a large group and if you're planning to eat it all. It is a little soggy if you have leftovers OR 2) For individuals, serve all ingredients separately and allow each person to individualize their salad and toss their own desired amount of dressing.

Note: I had this salad at a bridal shower many years ago. It was so good. It was served with rolls and butter. I was surprised how filling and delicious it was. Also good is to throw a few baby spinach leaves in the mix of lettuce. The dressing makes this salad great. It isn't expensive and this recipe doesn't use much. We keep it around for various other recipes and salads as well or just to dip chicken nuggets in! Hope you enjoy it, too.

***Lo-Fat Tip: use grilled chicken. Go light on the dressing. Use spinach leaves.

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Granola

from Nellie

10 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup wheat germ
1/2 lb shredded coconut
2 cups salted sunflower seeds
1 cup sesame seeds
3 cups chopped almonds, pecans, walnuts, or combination
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup water
1 cup vegetable oil or 1 cup margarine/butter (I used margarine)
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 tsp salt (if you use raw sunflower seeds, increase salt to 1 1/2 tsp)
2 tsp cinnamon
3 tsp vanilla
Raisins or other dried fruits, if desired

In a very large bowl (I used my big silver bowl), combine oats, wheat germ, coconut, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and nuts. Stir with spoon until mixed well. In a large saucepan, combine brown sugar, water, oil or margarine/butter, honey, molasses, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla. Heat until sugar is dissolved, but do not boil. I stirred almost constantly with a small whisk until right before it boiled. Pour syrup mixture over dry ingredients and stir until well-coated. Spread into 4 9x13 inch pans or cookie sheets (with sides). Bake 30 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Bake 15 minutes longer for crunchier texture. I cooked it until it was the texture I wanted. So, it might take a little longer. Cool. Add raisins and other dried fruit, if desired, or maybe even some plain M&M's. Put in airtight containers. Label. Store in cool, dry place. Use within 6 months. Makes about 20 cups of granola mix.

Note: Don't chop up the nuts too much -unless you want them to go unnoticed. I used whole raw almonds. The most I would cut them up is in half. I cut the pecans and walnuts up a little more, but not much.

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Shortcut Chicken Manicotti

from Kraft Kitchen
1 can cream of chicken soup
1-1/2 cups water
1/4 lb. (4 oz.) Velveeta, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 cups frozen broccoli florets
12 manicotti shells, uncooked
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
1/4 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

Microwave soup, water and velveeta in microwaveable bowl on high 3 min. or until velveeta is melted and mixture is well blended, stirring after 2 min.; pour 1/3 into 9x13-inch pan. Set aside. Add broccoli to remaining soup mixture. Stuff manicotti with chicken; place in baking dish. Top with remaining soup mixture and Parmesan; cover with foil. Bake at 400 for 45 to 50 min. or until manicotti is tender and chicken is done.

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Chicken Lasagna

from: http://comeandpeek.blogspot.com/2008/05/weeknight-easy-chicken-lasagna.html

This is a great recipe. I didn't want "recipe poach" so I have given credit with a link to the author's website. She has some other great recipes, too.

Here is the recipe with my changes:

Chicken cooked, and shredded (it calls for a whole chicken, but I just did 2 large chicken breasts)
9 lasagna noodles, cooked (it calls for 12, but it was just too much noodle for us)
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cottage cheese (it calls for ricotta cheese)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 tsp minced garlic
chopped spinach, cooked (optional)
fresh or dried cilantro (I use parsley if I don't have any cilantro)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese (shredded or powder)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Mix sour cream, soups, cottage cheese, garlic, spinach and cilantro. Put small amount on bottom of pan so that the noodles don't stick. Place 3 noodles on the bottom. Put 1/3 of mixture over noodles. Put 1/3 of chicken over mixture. Put 1/4 of cheese over chicken. Layer 2 more times so that you have 3 layers. On the top, put remaining cheese and parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes to set up before serving.

This dish is REALLY great the next day as leftovers. My family really liked this dish and it was nice to try something different. It was pretty easy, too.

Lo-fat tip: Substitute sour cream for yogurt sour cream.

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Neiman-Marcus Cookies

with my changes

I realize that most of you may have this recipe already. But I am going to post it anyway for those that don't.

1 cube butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 tsp soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 oz of Hershey bar, grated (1 regular Hershey bar)
1 cup flour
1 1/4 cup oatmeal, blended
6 oz mini chocolate chips OR for chocolate chunk cookies: break up more Hershey bars into little pieces

Blend oatmeal (not quick oats) to a fine powder in a blender. (I usually blend a lot and then keep it in a tightly sealed container. I use it for meatloaf and other recipes as well.) Measure out as much as you need for recipe. Tip: Sometimes I only measure out 1 cup and see how the dough mixes up before I add the additional 1/4 cup. If it dry, I leave it out. If it is a little too sticky, I add the 1/4 cup.

In a bowl, cream butter and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla. Add oatmeal, flour, salt, baking powder, and soda. Mix well. Stir in grated Hershey bar, mini chocolate chips or Hershey bar pieces. Roll into balls and place on cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes. Makes about 2 dozen+ depending on size of your dough balls.

These are so good with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top and then drizzled with a little bit of caramel and/or chocolate syrup. A super simple, yummy dessert.

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Focaccia Bread

I do this in a bread machine using the "pizza dough" or "dough only" setting

Add ingredients in order listed:
3/4 cup warm water
1 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp yeast

Pat in a circle about 1/2 inch thick.
Sprinkle flour or corn meal on baking pan.
Add dough to pan.
Make indentations with your finger.
Brush with olive oil.
Add toppings...I like to sprinkle with oregano, shredded parmesan cheese and olives.

Let sit for 15-20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400.
Bake for about 20 minutes until the top is lightly golden.

This is the same recipe for pizza dough. Just take from the bread machine, roll out and start topping! Great as an appetizer or maybe a gift for the neighbors!

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Crockpot Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo

from Sherri

2 boneless/skinless chicken breasts, frozen
1 pkg Good Seasons Italian Dressing Mix
1 cube butter

In crockpot, let butter melt. Add dressing mix and then frozen chicken breasts. Let cook on high for 2-3 hours until chicken is done. (I usually turn it over half way through just so the sauce cooks into both sides.) Remove chicken and cut-up. (I usually start cooking my noodles right now, too. I just use whatever I have on hand... spaghetti, fettuccine.)

Leave drippings in crockpot. Whisk 1 can of cream of chicken soup, 1/2 can water, and an 8oz pkg cream cheese. Mix until blended well and it is smooth. Add chicken and let sauce thicken and heat up. (If it needs to be thinned, add a little bit more water to desired consistency.)

Serve over hot noodles. We like to serve breadsticks and corn with this, too.

Note: I know a lot of you already have this recipe, but a friend asked me to post this so she could have it, too. If you don't already have it, it is a great recipe and turns out great everytime. It is also a super easy recipe to halve if you're just cooking for 2!

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Mexi-Rolls

(see variation for Southwestern Egg Rolls)
from my own brain

1 pkg egg roll wraps (I like the Nasoya or Melissa's brand, they work best. Don't use Azumaya, they are really chewy and thick. The other brands have a little cornstarch on them and they work better.)
1 lb hamburger, cooked and drained, and cooled
Taco Seasoning to taste
1 pkg Spanish Rice (I use the Lipton/Knorr packets -they're around $1 or less), works best cold
1/2 can of refried beans (regular or black) -use as much or little as you like
grated cheese
Ranch or Guacamole or green chile enchilada sauce (also good mixed with the ranch)


Directions:
Put wraps on a plate. Mix taco seasoning to taste into the hamburger. Add as much refried beans as you want to hamburger. Mix it together until mixed well and sticks together.

Get your assembly line ready. Put some water in a small bowl. You will use it to seal the roll as you roll it up. Have a plate to make the roll on. One to put the rolled roll on and another to put the cooked roll on. I also keep a dry washcloth or paper towel on hand to dry off my assembly plate after I am done with the water. Place small scoop of rice, then small scoop of hamburger/bean mixture, and grated cheese. (It works best if all ingredients are cold. If you use the rice hot, it makes the wrap tear easier. I make the rice earlier in the day and then put it in the fridge.)With fingertips, dab small amount water around filling to the edges of wrap. This helps seal the roll. Starting at the bottom corner, roll up over filling. Continue to wet the wrap with your fingertips. Fold sides in and then top, like an envelope, while continuing to dip fingertips in water on the wrap to seal the roll. See picture below. I know it isn't clear. This is more for illustration than for readingPlace roll in hot fry daddy. I do the heat around 350-375. Just make sure it is good and hot before you plop one in. I don't use the basket because the rolls stick to it. Cook until light golden brown. I can usually do around 3 or 4 at a time -it will depend on how big your fry daddy is. I use the fry daddy slotted spoon thing to remove them when they're done.Here is the finished product. There are quite a few wraps in a package. This recipe usually makes around 16-18 rolls.Cut in half and serve with Ranch, guacamole, or mix them together for a great dip!

For appetizers, cut each egg roll diagonally and place on a plate. Have guacamole ranch, ranch, and green chile enchilada sauce for the dips.

Note: These rolls are easy to make and so yummy. I'm sure they're full of calories. We don't make them a lot, but there are times you've just got to enjoy your food. They are one of Brinlee's very favorite dinners. They take a little bit of time to figure out how to roll the wraps well. But if you use the water on your fingertips to keep sealing it, they should stay together okay.

Variation: I use these rolls for southwestern egg rolls, too. I use chopped, grilled, & seasoned chicken, tostitos southwestern dip, little black beans, corn, chopped cooked spinach, and cheese. Mix up all of this together so that it is thick but not too juicy or too try. It also works best if it is chilled. Spoon it onto egg roll wrap and then roll up like normal. Dip in guacamole ranch dip.

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Bed & Breakfast Casserole

3 cups frozen shredded hashbrowns
3/4 cup grated cheese
1 cup diced ham or sausage
1/4 cup chopped green onions
4 eggs
1 (12 oz can) evaporated milk
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt

Place hashbrowns in 9x9 inch square pan. Sprinkle with cheese, ham or sausage, and onions. Beat eggs, milk, pepper, and salt. Pour over everything that is already in pan. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove from fridge 30 minutes before baking. Bake uncovered at 350 for 55-60 minutes.

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Biscuit Mix, Bacon, and Egg Quiche

10 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup prepared biscuit mix
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup melted butter
3 eggs
1/4 tsp salt
Dash pepper
2 Tbsp chopped green onions

Mix together prepared biscuit mix, milk, eggs, butter, salt, pepper, and onions. Pour into greased 9x9 square pan, 9 inch pie dish, or quiche dish. Sprinkle with cheese and bacon. bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes until knife inserted halfway comes out clean.

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Brunch oven omelet with canadian bacon

Oven canadian-style bacon:
1 lb canadian style bacon cut into 24 sclices
1/4 cup maple flavored syrup

Reassemble slices of bacon on heavy duty foil. Pour syrup over bacon. Wrap and place in oven with omelet at 325.

Omelet:
1/4 cup melted butter
18 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 cup milk
2 tsp salt
onions, chopped small (if desired)
parsley

Melt butter in 9x13 inch pan. Beat eggs, sour cream, milk, and salt in large bowl with wire whisk until blended. Stir in onions. Pour into dish. Place in oven with canadian bacon at 325 for 35 minutes or until eggs are set but moist and the bacon is hot. Arrange bacon on omelet. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve.

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Dinner Rolls

from Lula

In a bowl:
2 Tbsp yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water

6 cups flour
1/2 cup powdered milk
1 Tbsp salt
2 cups warm water
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup shortening, melted

Combine yeast, 1/2 cup water, and 1/4 cup sugar and allow to stand until yeast is dissolved. Sift in large bowl: flour, powdered milk, and salt. Make well in center of flour, pour in remaining water, yeast mixture, eggs, and oil. Stir until well mixed. Cover and allow to raise 1 hour in a warm place.

Turn of floured board. Knead to handle. Roll into desired shape. Place on greased pans. Let rise 30 minutes. Bake at 350-375 (depending on how hot your oven cooks) for about 30 minutes.

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Dinner Rolls

from Mary

These were always a staple at any family gathering. They are super yummy. I loved making these with my grandmother growing up. And they disappeared quickly. They're perfect for those afternoon Turkey sandwiches on Thanksgiving, too.

In bowl:
1 cup warm water
4 Tbsp yeast

In bosch mixer bowl:
2 1/2 cups water
1 cup oil
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp salt
3 eggs, beaten
10 1/2 cups flour
Put in yeast mixture

Mix in bosch for 10 minutes. Let rise once, roll out. Place on cookie sheet. Using pastry brush, brush melted butter on each roll and fold over. Use clean kitchen scissors and clip creases on both sides. This helps the rolls to stay folded over. Bake at 350 for 20 to 30 minutes. Makes 8 dozen.

Note: If you don't want Parker-style (folded over) rolls, just don't fold them over. They are great either way.

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Banana Bread

from mom

6 eggs
3 cups sugar (I use half brown and half white most of the time)
1 cup cold milk
3 1/2 cups flour
3/4 tsp salt
2 tsp soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/3 cup vegetable oil
5 or 6 small to medium bananas, mashed

Add bananas and mix with mixer. Add in eggs, sugar, milk, vanilla, and oil. Add flour, soda, salt, and baking powder. Mix well. Spray pans with Pam and flour them. I use the little foil pans. I have reused them over and over again for years. They are the perfect size to take around to neighbors or just have on the counter. Pour into pans. This usually makes 8 or 9 loaves. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Separate carefully from pan and set on cooling rack. Enjoy! This banana bread doesn't last long around our house!

Note: This is a FABULOUS recipe tweaked to perfection by my mom. You can add walnuts or pecans if you'd like. And this is also a super easy recipe to halve. I often just have 2 or 3 bananas left -and they're usually big so they're perfect for a half recipe. Also, if you use half brown sugar and half white it makes for a moist, very flavorful bread. It is great with just white sugar, too. We just happened to try with it with 1/2 brown sugar/1/2 white sugar once and it was sooo good.

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Wheat Bread

from Kitchen Kneads
and Sherri

5 cups warm water
1/4 cup oil
3 Tbsp dough enhancer
1/2 cup gluten
1/4 cup honey
1 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp yeast
6 cups whole wheat flour
6 cups white flour
1 cup flax seed, blended to desired consistency

In bosch mixer, put water and yeast in first. Then, put in all ingredients. Mix for 10 minutes. Put into loaf pans and let rise about double in size. Bake at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes. Brush tops with butter. Turn out of loaf pans and set on cooling rack.

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Baked Beans

from Laree

4 cups uncooked white or pinto beans
2 tsp salt

Boil for 3 minutes. Sit for 2 hours; then cook on low till tender (add water as needed). Drain - save 3 cups of bean water.

Mix together:
3 cups of bean water
beans
2 tsp mustard
3 tsp molasses
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp chile powder
1/2 cup honey
1 1/2 cups ketchup
1/2 tsp ground cumen
1 chicken bouillion cube
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/2 lb bacon -fry till mostly done, cut into pieces.

Bake in oven at 350 for 2 1/2 hours. Take out of oven, cook on stove util consistency wanted.

Note: You can also do this recipe in the crockpot.

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Chocolate Chip Cookies

from Betty Crocker -with my changes

2/3 cup shortening (not butter flavored)
2/3 cup real butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup instant vanilla pudding (the dry stuff)
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
3 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp soda
Mini Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips

Cream shortening, butter, sugars, pudding, eggs, and vanilla. Add flour, salt, and soda all at once. Mix with mixer until you can't anymore. Add in as many chocolate chips as you want. Mix with mixing spoon (I use one of those long handled plastic or wooden ones). Roll into balls and cook at 375 for 10 minutes.Let sit on cookie sheet for just a minute when they come out to set up and then let cool on cooling rack.

Note: I love to halve this recipe. Or I make the whole thing and roll all dough into balls and then freeze them in the freezer. I just put them in a freezer bag. This is a great way to have cookies on hand quickly for stuff. And it always seems like you need some for this or that. It is a great recipe and the pudding makes a difference.

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Kelly's Homemade Pizza

from Kelly

Crust:
3/4 cup warm water
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp yeast

Sauce:
6 oz tomato paste
1 cup water
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves of garlic -minced
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1 tsp rosemary
salt and pepper to taste

Make crust. Put in pan. Make sauce and let simmer. Pour over crust. Top with desired toppings. You can brush the edges with olive oil for a little extra brown if you want. Bake at 450 for about 10-15 minutes.

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Chicken Cordon Bleu

from Connie

6 chicken breasts, cut in half
12 thin slices of ham
12 slices mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup melted butter
2 1/2 cups bread crumbs
1/2 cup parmesan cheese

Sauce:
1 can cream of chicken soup
4 oz can mushrooms, undrained -keep the juice for the sauce
1/2 cup milk
1 cup sour cream

Combine the bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese on plate or in a pie dish. Put ham and mozzarella cheese inside chicken. Dip in melted butter and roll in crumb mixture. Use toothpicks to hold it all together. Place in greased 9x13 pan and bake at 350 for 40 minutes.

For sauce, heat first 3 ingredients, slightly. Add sour cream. Warm carefully. Pour over chicken breasts before serving.

Note: This is an easy recipe and turns out great every time. It isn't super fancy, but just right for my taste. I don't like tedious recipes.
I used to make this recipe for Brent and I when we were first married. It is hard to cook for just 2 people. I halved this recipe and then used the leftover cream of chicken soup for another recipe in a day or two. It is a very versatile recipe ingredient.

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Super Simple Caramel Rolls/Sticky Buns

from Lori with my changes

12 frozen dinner rolls
1 small pkg cook n serve vanilla pudding
1/2 cup margarine (works better than butter)
1/2 cup brown sugar
chopped pecans (optional)

Arrange rolls in 9x13 pan. Sprinkle dry pudding over rolls. Melt margarine and brown sugar in microwave until sugar is dissolved. Pour over rolls. Sprinkle pecans, if desired. Spray one side of plastic wrap with Pam. Cover pan with plastic wrap or waxed paper. Let rolls sit at room temperature overnight or until rolls are almost double in size. Bake at 350 for 25-30 mintues. Let set 10 minutes before inverting pan onto cookie sheet.

For quick rolls: Sometimes I forget to put these out overnight. Or we decide we want an afternoon treat on a Sunday. I preheat the oven to 200. Boil at least 2 quarts of water in a pot. Pour water into a baking dish (one that's smaller than a 9x13) and place on lower rack. Place covered pan with rolls on top rack and turn off oven. Let rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Checking after 1 hour to note progress. I use the oven light so I don't let out any of the heat/steam. Once the rolls are risen, turn oven on to 350. Don't remove the rolls, but make sure you DO REMOVE THE WATER!!!! Bake like normal and enjoy!

Note: I have seen this recipe various places. This recipe originally called for butterscotch pudding and 3/4 tsp cinnamon. But I like the vanilla pudding better, it is more caramel-ish. And I didnt' like the cinnamon so I took it out. I've made this many, many times and never been dissapointed. I like to use the Texas rolls from Rhodes for bigger, fluffier rolls, but I use the regular ones most often. This is the most requested item for breakfast from my daughter. I usually omit the pecans or just put them on half since my husband does not like nuts.

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Mock Lasagna

from my own brain

1 lb hamburger
1 jar spaghetti sauce
sliced olives
sliced mushrooms
cottage cheese
parmesan cheese
shredded cheese
mini lasagna noodles (or egg noodles or medium shells)

Cook hamburger with dried minced onions. Drain grease. Mix with spaghetti sauce. Cook noodles to desired tenderness.

Set all toppings on the table. We usually start with the noodles on the bottom and then pile on our desired toppings in the order we want. This is similar to the taco salad style of dishing up, but it is with lasagna toppings instead. This is a fun and really easy dinner. And if I am feeling especially lazy, I won't even do the hamburger and we'll just use the sauce plain. But it is good with hamburger or even ground sausage.

***Lo-Fat Tip: Use ground turkey. Add in cooked, sliced zucchini or squash in the sauce. Use whole grain noodles.

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Teriyaki Sauce

from Annette

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp oil
1/2 tsp Accent (I never have this on hand, so I don't use it)
1 tsp dried ginger
1/4 tsp pepper
2 cloves garlic (I use dried minced garlic if I don't have fresh on hand)
3 Tbsp vinegar

Mix all ingredients for marinade. Cut meat into cubes. Marinate for several hours or overnight. Cook as desired.

This is a great teriyaki recipe. I've used it for chicken, beef, pork. It is great for skewers or for chicken on the grill.

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"Red" Stroganoff

from mom
-I'm not gonna lie. This is a basic throw-it-all-in recipe. It's basic "comfort food." It's not a fancy dish. But on a night you don't feel like making a big mess or production, this recipe fits the bill.

1 lb hamburger
3 cups Tomato Juice
1 cup water
1/2 tsp celery salt
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
3 cups dry egg noodles
1 cup sour cream

Brown hamburger. Season to taste with minced onions, and pepper. Drain grease if needed and return to pan. Add tomato juice, water, celery salt, Worcestershire, and noodles. Cover and cook until tender. I ran out of egg noodles so I substituted shell noodles. They worked fine but I had to add some more tomato juice because they soak up a little more than egg noodles. But it all tastes the same.


Turn heat off pan and add sour cream just before serving. Stir in until completely mixed. Lo-fat tip: Use ground turkey in place of hamburger.

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Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

from Leiza

4 cups water
4 tsp chicken bouillion granules
1 cup chopped celery (or more if you want more)
1 cup chopped carrots (or more if you want more)
1 1/2 cups (or more) cooked chicken, cut up and cubed
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
Noodles (I use Reames Frozen noodles, the smaller bag)
(the lady I got the recipe from uses the dried "Grandma" brand noodles)

Put water, bouillion, celery, and carrots in pot. Cook until soft. Cook noodles in separate pan or just cook half way and let finish cooking in soup. Add noodles to veggies. If noodles aren't already done, let them finish cooking. If they are done, put in chicken. Mix sour cream and cream of chicken soup together. Slowly add to soup stirring constantly so it doesn't curdle. When it is all mixed well, serve with rolls or breadsticks.

Note: This recipe can also be used in the crockpot. The lady I got the recipe from, has the chicken all cooked up and just throws everything in the crock pot. She makes sure the water, bouillion, sour cream, and cream of chicken soup is mixed well. Adds the veggies, chicken, noodles and lets it cook on low for 4 or 5 hours. She stirs it once in awhile and checks on it. If it isn't done before she needs it, she said that she just turns it up on high for a bit to let it finish.

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Santa's Snickers Surprises

(say that 10 times fast!)
from Snickers packaging

2 cubes softened butter
1 cup cream peanut butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 pkg (13 oz) Snickers miniatures

Combine butter, peanut butter, and sugars using a mixer until light and fluffy. Slowly add eggs and vanilla until thoroughly combined. Then mix in flour, salt and baking soda.

Cover and chill dough for 2 to 3 hours. Unwrap all the Snickers miniatures.

Remove dough from fridge. Wrap dough around each miniature and make a ball. Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 300 for 10 to 12 minutes.

Let cookies cool on cooling rack. Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

These cookies are so yummy! I like to add these to my Christmas goody plate for neighbors.

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Yummy Potatoes (a.k.a Funeral Potatoes, Cheesy Potatoes, sour cream potatoes)

from Mom and Aunt Kathy -with my changes

1 lb 10 oz bag hashbrowns, mostly thawed is best
2 cups sour cream
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1 Tbsp dried, minced onions
1/4 cup milk
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 cup+ grated cheese

Melt butter in bowl. Add minced onions and soup. Warm in microwave for a couple of minutes. Add milk, cheese, and sour cream. I add more cheese if it looks like it needs more. Warm in microwave until cheese is melted.
Add hashbrowns. Stir until evenly coated. (You may not need all the hashrowns. I add them gradually so I don't get too many. If you get too many, it is dry. If you don't have enough, it is too soupy.) Pour into 9x13 pan. Mix finely crushed corn flakes and some melted butter together and sprinkle over potatoes. Bake at 350 for 45 to 55 minutes. You want it to be bubbling all over. See 10 second video below.

Let set up for 5 minutes before eating.

I like to serve this with ham or sometimes just as a main dish -eventhough it is more of a side dish. Note: The original recipe calls for regular potatoes, shredded. But I don't always have the time. If I do have time, I bake several large potatoes the day before and then put them in the fridge to cool overnight. When I need them, I peel them and shred them into my mixture until it looks right. If there are potatoes left over, I use them for hasbrowns the next day for breakfast or something like that. Or you can parboil the potatoes. I've just found that using mostly thawed hashbrowns works well and is quicker.

Note: This recipe is very easy to halve. I do it all the time since I only have a family of 4.

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Oven Stew

from mom

4 or 5 cans of cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup
(we just do a couple of each or whatever we have on hand)
2 pkgs Lipton onoin soup mix
4 lbs stew meat (thawed)
1 quart+ water
1 can tomato soup or 1 can whole tomatoes
1/2 cup barley (optional)
2 onions, diced
Desired amount of diced potatoes and carrots
1 to 2 Tbsp tapioca for thickening
Frozen corn, peas, beans (added only 1/2 hour before serving)

Cook in large pot in oven for 4 to 5 hours at 250. Serve.

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Danish Meatballs

from mom

1 lb hamburger
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cub fine bread crumbs
1 Tbsp dried, minced onions or 1/2 tsp onion salt
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup milk

Small cubes of cheese.

Mix all together. Wrap meat around cube of cheese and make into a ball. Continue until all meat is used. Brown in pan until done. Remove balls and leave drippings. Add sauce. Let sauce thicken and put meat balls back in. Add mushroom pieces if desired. Serve with mashed potatoes or over noodles.

Sauce:
2 cups milk
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
dash of pepper

Microwave in large bowl so it doesn't boil over. Stir often.

Note: If I don't have enough time to do the sauce or if I want something with a different flavor, I just use cream of mushroom soup instead of the white sauce. I add milk until it is the right consistency and might add a dash of worcestershire sauce. Let the sauce thicken and add meat balls. Serve.

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Caramel Cake

(Just a note.. the picture above doesn't do these cake bars justice)
from mom

1 Milk Chocolate or German Chocolate Cake mix
40 (14 oz bag) Kraft caramels (no off brands, but Brachs brand works well, too, they just take longer to melt down)
1 cup chopped pecans, optional
1 can evaporated milk
3/4 cup melted butter
6 oz mini chocolate chips

Mix cake mix, 3/4 cup melted butter, and 3/4 cup of the evaporated milk. Mix by hand. Spread 1/2 of the batter into a greased pan.
Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Let cool completely.
Unwrap caramels.Melt caramels and 1/3 cup of the evaporated milk in the microwave. Cook in 1 minute increments until smooth. Pour over cake. Let cool completely. Then, sprinkle chocolate chips over caramel. Add rest of the evaporated milk and chopped pecans to the remaining cake batter. Spoon over caramel and very carefully smooth out over entire pan.Bake 20 minutes at 350. Let cool completely and serve.It does not need frosting. This cake is more like bars than cake. It is great served under a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Note: If you don't let the layers cool completely before adding the next layer, it will be a big mess. Take it from me. Once, I poured the caramel over the bottom chocolate layer and the bottom bubbled up into the caramel and then I put the top layer on and it sunk into the caramel and was super hard to spread. It turned out kind of okay but it was a mess and wasn't exactly as it should have been. Also, I omit the pecans when I make it for people that I know are allergic to nuts. It is great with nuts, but it also tastes great without. I just serve them on the side when I serve the ice cream so that those that want nuts, can add it to the top.

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