Soft and Flavorful Cornbread

I have always loved cornbread (what is not to like, right!) All cornbread recipes are not created equal though. I have tried several and of all the recipes I have tried this one is by far the best! Thanks Brandy for bringing this dish to my house and introducing this recipe to me! It has a little of everything and just enough of the right things. I grind my own corn to make the cornmeal, which if you haven't done this you are missing out, but you can use store bought cornmeal. I also grind my own wheat, again you can use store bought. If you can grind your own, it is better, but go with what you can do! Enjoy!

1/2 c cornmeal
1 1/2 c flour (half white, half wheat)
2/3 c sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbs baking powder
1/4 c oil
1/4 c applesauce
2 eggs
1 tbs honey
3 tbs melted butter
1 1/4 c milk

Combine all ingredients. Do not overmix! Bake 350 degrees, 25-35 min. Do not overcook!

Soft and Fabulous Sugar Cookies

These sugar cookies are absolutely fabulous. From the super soft cookie to the delightful frosting, it is sure to please. Super easy to make and even easier to devour!

Sugar Cookies

6 cups flour
1 tsp soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp almond extract

Mix together flour, soda, and salt and set aside. Cream butter, sugar and eggs. In a separate bowl, combine buttermilk, vanilla and almond extract. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and wet ingredients to the butter mixture. Add more flour if dough is too sticky. Chill. Roll out dough with powdered sugar and flour to about 1/4 in. Cut into shapes. Bake 8 min in 350 degree oven. Do not overcook.


1/2 cup butter
4 cups powdered sugar
1 package cream cheese
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 almond extract
dash salt
water as needed for desired consistency

Mix all ingredients and frost cookies! Yum Yum!

*The frosting needs to be refrigerated. So if you frost the cookies you will need to refrigerate them. I ususally frost the cookies as we eat them and keep the frosting in the fridge. I like the frosting gooey anyway and not set.

Chicken Taco Soup

This is a super easy soup to make. You can spice it up depending on what kind of taco seasoning you use. If you buy "Hot" taco seasoning you will definitely turn up the heat. I usually add half the packet then taste it and decide if it needs more. This one is easy to make according to your liking. I usually buy the rotisserie chicken at Costco because it is super easy, already cooked and makes flavorful tender chicken especially for soups (oh yea, then you have leftover chicken to use the next day.) I usually serve this soup with chips and shredded cheese.

Chicken Taco Soup
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 1/2 c. chopped, cooked chicken
1 can Mexicorn (corn with red & green bell peppers) don't drain
2 cans cream of potato soup
1 4oz. can diced green chilis
3 c. chicken broth
1/2 packet taco seasoning
8oz. sour cream
Add all ingredients except sour cream to crock pot and cook on low 4-6 hours or on stovetop until heated through. Stir in sour cream before serving.

Eileen's Pumpkin Roll

This is my absolute favorite dessert (especially during the holiday season!) I remember hiding it in the fridge when I was young so no one else could have any (always behind the mustard in the door). I have tasted many different recipes and this is by far the best one ever. This recipe is from my mom's friend who used to always make it for us growing up! Yummy!!
  • Cake:
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2/3 cup Pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup All-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • .
  • Filling:
  • 8 ounces Cream cheese -- softened
  • 4 tablespoons Butter
  • 1 cup Powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla
In large bowl, combine eggs and sugar and vanilla, mix well. Add pumpkin, mixing until blended.

In separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, spices and salt. Add to egg mixture, mixing well. Spread batter into greased and waxed-paper lined 10-by-15-inch jelly-roll pan.

Bake at 375 ° for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven. Cool for 15 minutes. Place cake on clean tea towel sprinkled liberally with powdered sugar. Cool 10 minutes longer. From 10- inch side, roll cake up in towel. Set aside.

While cake is cooling in towel, prepare filling. Beat together cream cheese and butter; stir in powdered sugar and vanilla and blend until smooth.

Unroll cake. Evenly spread filling over cake. Roll up cake (without the towel). Wrap in plastic wrap. Cover and chill at least 1 hour. Slice before serving. Keep leftover slices refrigerated. This pumpkin roll freezes well for up to 2 months.

Taco Skillet

This was my absolute favorite meal when I was pregnant with my first child. I craved hamburger (I probably needed protein) and this was what I always wanted to eat. Amos is still a little burnt out because we had it so much, but I still love it! Serve with or without sour cream and it goes great with lime rice (see previous post). Yum Yum!!

1 pound ground beef
1 can Tomato Soup
1/2 cup salsa (I use Pace medium and puree in blender for less chunks, but leave as is if you prefer chunks)
1/2 cup water
6 flour tortillas, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Cook the beef in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until well browned, stirring often to separate meat. Pour off any fat. Stir the soup, salsa, water and tortillas in the skillet and heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cook for 5 minutes. Top with the cheese.

Pasta with Cheesy Tomato Cream Sauce

This is one of my favorites (and Kellie loves it as well as long as I tell her it's Mac-N-Cheese, according to her all pasta is Mac-N-Cheese). Hope you all enjoy it!

2 tbls olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced (I use 1 tsp minced garlic from the jar)
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup cream
1/4 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper
Pasta of choice (I use either Penne, Bowtie or Spaghetti noodles)

1. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook and stir garlic until you smell the aroma (usually about 15 seconds). Remove from heat and add spaghetti sauce, parmesan cheese, cream, ricotta, basil, salt, pepper, and red pepper. Cook over low heat until the sauce thickens, 10-15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile cook pasta according to package directions. Drain.

3. Serve sauce over pasta with additional parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.

Nancy's Chicken Tortilla Soup

This soup is very easy to prepare, it can be made ahead of time to sit in a crockpot or last minute on the stove top. Everytime I fix this soup for dinner I am asked if we can have it every week. Amos is always making that noise people make when they like what they are eating, you know... that kind of groaning noise, which I am sure he will deny if you ask him.

Top this soup with sour cream, cheese, crisp cut up tortilla strips (either fried or baked), or tortilla chips. This soup is also great for leftovers. I like to serve it over cheese enchiladas (use the soup as the enchilada sauce).

2 cups chicken stock (I use "Better than Bullion" mixed with water)
2 cans Green Chile Enchilada Sauce
2 cans Corn
2 cans Pinto Beans
2-3 cups shredded cooked chicken (I buy the already cooked whole chicken from Costco, which gives it a boost of flavor and tenderness and not to mention ease)
1/2 cup uncooked white rice (cook according to package directions, usually 1 cup water to 1/2 cup rice, add just before serving)

That's pretty much it. If you can open a can you are pretty much done. Don't drain any of the liquid in the cans just open and pour into a large pot or crockpot and heat through. Add the rice just before serving because if added too early it will become mush and soak up all the liquid in the soup.