Friday, August 31, 2007

Nibble Sticks

Like Celeste, I knew when I was planning our curriculum for the fall that I wanted to include special "tea times" at least once a week. (Maybe more!) However, knowing how much I love to bake, especially in the fall and winter months, I was a little worried that this might lead to an excessive amount of unhealthy snacks. Yesterday, though, I was paging through a cute little cookbook I bought used a few months ago (Alpha-Bakery Children's Cookbook) and came across a recipe for "Nibble Sticks", which sounded quite tasty and relatively simple to make. Since it was nearing lunchtime, I rounded up the kids and led them to the kitchen, where they helped me mix together a quick batch. The ingredients are ones that I usually have readily available, and required such little effort. They turned out delicious, too! We actually ended up eating only these for lunch (I had thought we'd include them with lunch), and even Meghan enjoyed munching on one. But the highest compliment came from Darren, who, devouring three in rapid succession after arriving home from work, asked me, "Um, honey? Do you think you could maybe have these on hand all the time?" :)

Here's the recipe:

Nibble Sticks

2 cups of Gold Medal all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons of baking powder

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/2 cup of shortening

2/3 cup of shredded Cheddar cheese

1/2 cup finely chopped salami, bologna, or fully cooked ham (we used ham lunch meat)

About 3/4 cup of milk

1. Heat oven to 450 degrees.

2. Mix flour, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl. Cut in shortening, using pastry blender or crisscrossing 2 knives, until mixture is crumbly. Stir in cheese and meat. Stir in just enough milk so a soft dough forms.

3. Sprinkle a surface lightly with flour. Turn the dough onto the floured surface. Knead gently 10 times. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Pat dough into an 8 inch square; cut square in half. Cut each half crosswise into 1-inch strips.

4. Bake until golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Serve warm or cool with ketchup, mustard, or cheese dip if you like.



Friday, August 24, 2007


Well, I am not sure that this is really a recipe. Rather, a yummy concoction. As many of you know I am a Weight Watchers member. I track my food. I count my points. I am always excited for tasty low point snacks that taste sweet. Today I threw this together and enjoyed the results.

2 Dairy 2 Point Smoothie

1 Weight Watchers 1 point yogurt, any flavor (I am addicted Amaretto Cheesecake)
one half cup skim milk

Shake in an airtight container.

I wanted a smoothie. I did not want to drag out the blender. Easy. Very tasty.

(Just a note: On Weight Watchers, as a nursing mom, I need to get three dairy servings a day. I always have a yogurt at breakfast with my quarter cup of granola. This gets me my other 2 dairy servings in a really tasty way.)


Thursday, August 23, 2007

Fabulous Foolproof Pie Crust!

After I stated that I just could not make a decent pie crust, my husband's aunt passed this recipe along to me this weekend. She is right! This is indestructible! I made it last night, and for the first time ever I had a crust that was easy to work with, not tough, not crumbly! The egg and the vinegar are the keys! It even smells like a Pillsbury crust (but it doesn't cost nearly three dollars to make!).

Indestructible Pie Crust

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup shortening
1 Tbsp vinegar
1 egg
4 Tbsp ice water

Combine flour and salt. Cut in shortening. In another bowl, mix vinegar, egg, and 3 Tbsp ice water. Drizzle over flour and mix with fork. Add other Tbsp of water as necessary in order to make a ball. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll out and cook as recipe directs. Makes 1 double crust pie.


Monday, August 20, 2007

Chocolate Chip Pudding Cake

OK! This one is really bad, if you know what I mean! It is so bad, you will want to share it with a lot of friends and family so that you will not eat the ENTIRE thing!

This little recipe comes from Country Quick and Easy, a cookbook from one of my favorite catalogs, Gooseberry Patch. I love their catalog. I love their cookbooks. I love their stuff!

I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. I will be making another one tomorrow for our engaged couple that is coming for their first Sponsor Couple meeting Tuesday night.

Chocolate Chip Pudding Cake

3.5 oz. pkg. non-instant chocolate pudding mix
18.25 oz. pkg. chocolate cake mix
12 oz. pkg. chocolate chips

Prepare pudding mix according to package directions. When done, remove from stove top and stir in dry cake mix until just blended. Spread mixture into a greased and floured 13"x9" baking dish. Sprinkle chocolate chips over all. Bake, uncovered, at 325 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. Makes 14 to 16 servings.


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Tortilla Soup

Each year, Celeste's church puts on a wonderful Christmas bazaar where you can not only purchase some beautiful things, but you can also enjoy a fabulous lunch. The favorite menu item is tortilla soup and if you don't get there early enough, they will run out! But that is okay because several years ago I purchased their cookbook, Scents from Heaven, and it contains the recipe for this amazing soup. This soup has become a favorite in our house (with the exception of one tomato-disliking little boy). Perhaps it will become a favorite in your house as well!

Tortilla Soup

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 T. butter

2 tsp. Tony's Chachere's Creole seasoning

4 cans chicken broth

3 cans stewed tomato (chopped), do not drain

1 c. Pace picante sauce

1 bunch cilantro, chopped (discard stems)

1 lg. chicken (cooked and deboned) or 4 boneless chicken breasts

Prepared rice, amount as desired

Monterey Jack cheese (grated)

Tortilla chips (broken into pieces)

In a large pot combine butter and garlic and saute for 2 minutes; add Tony's seasoning and stir to mix. Add broth, tomatoes and picante sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Add chicken and rice. Stir in cilantro and let simmer for 5 minutes. When ready to serve, place tortilla chips and cheese in the bottom of bowl and pour soup over top. Yields 8 servings.

*note* For a reduced fat alternative, I have used baked tortilla chips and 2% cheese - still delicious!!!