29 October 2009

October Cooking Club

October's theme was comfort food. It was very fitting since the weather lately has been cold and dreary. We had a great time chatting and eating some delicious food.

Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole
prepared by Kristin

-1 to 2 rolls of Ritz crackers (I used about 1 and a 1/2)
-1/2 cup butter or margarine
-2 Tbsp poppy seeds
-3-4 cooked chicken breasts - cut up
-8 oz sour cream
-1 can cream of chicken soup
-1/4 cup chicken broth (can use from cooking chicken)

1) melt butter and crush crackers combine and add poppy seeds
2) mix sour cream, soup, chicken broth well, then add chicken
3) layer half the cracker mixture then all the chicken mixture then top with remaining cracker mixture
Bake 350' 30 min.

photo from Bakerella

Red Velvet Cake Balls
prepared by Kristin

-1 box red velvet cake mix
-1 container cream cheese icing
-1 box chocolate confectioner's coating (or chocolate bark)

Make cake as directed on box and let cool. Then use a mixer or crumble by hand entire cake. Add in icing until you are able to form little balls with your hands (I only used about 1/2 the container). Put balls on wax or parchment paper on a cookie sheet and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. (You can also place in freezer to speed up the process). Melt chocolate in microwave and using toothpicks pick up each ball and roll in chocolate. Place back on wax paper to harden. You can use any mix of cake and icing as well as any chocolate coating. Pictures can be found at http://www.bakerella.com/

photo from The Pioneer Woman

Chicken Spaghetti

prepared by Jenn H.

-1 package boneless skinless chicken breasts
-2 cans cream of mushroom soup
-3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
-1/4 cup finely diced green pepper
-1/2 cup finely diced white onion
-4 oz jar diced pimentos, drained
-3 cups dry spaghetti, broken into two inch pieces
-2 cups reserved chicken broth from pot
-1 tsp Lawry's seasoned salt
-1/8 to 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
-salt and pepper to taste

Boil chicken breasts in a large pot until cooked throughout. I like to season my water with salt, pepper and garlic powder. While chicken is cooking, combine soup, 2 cups of the shredded cheese (we're saving the last cup for later), the pepper, onion, pimentos and seasoning in a large mixing bowl. After chicken is done, use two forks to shred the chicken and add to mixture in the bowl. Cook the noodles in the same chicken broth until al dente. Before draining the noodles in the sink, pour 2 cups of the broth into the chicken mixture. Then finish draining the noodles and add to the mixture. Place the mixture in a large baking dish and top with remaining cheese. Cover and freeze up to six months, or cover and refrigerate up to two days, or bake immediately at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

photo from kraftfoods.com
Jello Poke Cake
prepared by Jenn H.

-8oz tub of cool whip topping, thawed

-two 9" round baked white cakes

-2 boxes strawberry jello (4 serving size)

Take your two 9" round cakes while still in their pans (after they've cooled) and pierce cakes with a straw at 1/2-inch intervals. Stir boiling water into 2 pkg. (4-serving size each) JELL-O Gelatin in medium bowl at least 2 min. until completely dissolved. Carefully pour gelatin evenly over cake layers. Refrigerate 3 hours.
Dip one of the cake pans in warm water 10 sec.; unmold onto serving plate. Spread with about 1 cup of the whipped topping. Unmold second cake layer; carefully place on first cake layer. Frost top and side of cake with remaining whipped topping. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or until ready to serve. Decorate as desired. Store leftover cake in refrigerator.

05 October 2009

Awesome Appetizers!

Our theme for September cooking club was appetizers. We enjoyed some wonderful company and some amazing appetizers. Our theme next month is comfort food. Perfect choice as the weather starts to get colder.

Crab Ragoon: prepared by Dawn

-2 cans crab meat (drained well)

-2 (8 oz) pkgs cream cheese

-2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

-3 green onions (finely minced)
-3 Tbsp mayo

-1 clove garlic (finely minced)

-1 pinch pepper
-wonton wrapper

Mix first 7 ingredients together. Set aside. Place wonton wrappers in muffin cups and spray with cooking spray. Put tablespoon of crab mixture inside. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. Watch after about 13 minutes so top corners of wonton wrappers don't burn. Makes about 45 ragoons. Recipe can be easily divided.

Cream Cheese 'n Herb Cucumber Bites: prepared by Melissa

-1 carrot, shredded (about 1/2 cup), divided

-1/2 cup Philadelphia chive and onion 1/3 less fat than cream cheese

-2 cucumbers, cut lengthwise in half, seeded

Reserve 2 Tbsp. carrots. Mix remaining carrots with cream cheese; spoon into cucumber shells. Top with reserved carrots. Cut each cucumber half into 5 pieces to serve.

Pumpkin Fluff Dip: Prepared by Jenn H.

-1 (16 oz) container Cool Whip, thawed

-1 (5 oz) package instant vanilla pudding

-1 (15 oz) can solid pack pumpkin

-1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

-Nilla wafers or graham cracker sticks

In a large bowl, mix together instant vanilla pudding, pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice. Fold in the thawed whipped topping. Chill in the refrigerator until serving.

Acorn Cupcakes: Prepared by Jenn H.

-prepared cupcakes

-1 tube chocolate decorating frosting

-Hershey Kisses

-mini vanilla wafers

-vanilla frosting

-finely chopped walnuts

Pipe a dot of chocolate decorating frosting on the flat side of the chocolate candies. Place a mini vanilla wafer on top, flat side down. Pipe a small dot of chocolate frosting in the center of each cookie as the stem. Spread the vanilla frosting on top of the cupcake and make smooth. Roll the edge of the cupcake into the chopped nuts to coat the side. Arrange 3 of the acorns on top of the cupcake and place an additional acorn at the base of the cupcakes.

Rice Krispie Pumpkin Treats: Prepared by Jenn H.

-4 Tbsp. margarine

-10 oz bag white mini marshmallows

-6 cups rice krispies cereal

-red and yellow food coloring

-green fruit roll-up

Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Microwave the marshmallows and margarine on high for about 90 seconds. Stir the mixture and add 15 drops of yellow food coloring and 8 drops of red food coloring. Microwave an additional 60 seconds. Stir in 6 cups of rice krispies. Spray or butter your hands and mold the mixture into 2 1/2" balls. Set to the side. For the stems and vines, roll green fruit roll-up like a log and slice into 1/2" pieces. Use a toothpick and make an opening and place the stem on top of the pumpkin and squish the rice krispies to hold it. Take the leftover green fruit roll-up and slice into long thin strips. Curl them around the pumpkin and press the top into the hold with the stem.

Loaded Baked Potato Rounds: Prepared by Jenn H.


-sour cream

-bacon, cooked and crumbled

-green onion or chive, finely chopped

-shredded cheddar cheese





-garlic powder

-grated Parmesan cheese (the powdery stuff)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash your potatoes and then slice into 1/4" rounds. Melt some butter. Using a basting brush, brush the front and backs of the potato rounds with butter. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Take the potatoes out and flip them over. Evenly cover the potatoes with the Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder. Return to the oven for about 5 minutes. Pull them back out, flip over one last time. Top each potato round with a little cheese and return to oven until cheese is melted. Top with sour cream, bacon and green onions.

Cucumber Sandwiches: Prepared by Jenn H.

-1 English cucumber (long and thin, usually wrapped in cellophane)

-1 (8 oz) package cream cheese

-2 Tbsp mayonnaise

-1 envelope Good Season's dry Italian salad dressing mix

-2 Pillsbury refrigerated French loaf

-dry dill weed

*Note: I used Pampered Chef bread tubes. I don't think they sell them anymore but I found mine on ebay. They come in different shapes too, like heart, flower, star, etc.

Mix cream cheese, salad dressing mix and mayo together and refrigerate at least 2 hours to blend the flavors. Slice cucumber thinly and cover with plastic wrap until ready to use.
Spray bread tube pans generously with Pam. Push bread dough with wooden spoon down into tubes and cover the top with lids. Stand tubes upright on oven rack. Bake at 385 for approx 50-60 minutes. Remove from oven and cool slightly - remove top and bottom lids and push bread out standing up on cooling racks to cool completely.

To assemble:
Slice bread into 1/4 inch slices; spread cream cheese mixture over each bread slice, top with a cucumber slice, and sprinkle the dried dill weed lightly over the cucumber. This should make about 24 (+/-) sandwiches depending on thickness of bread slices.

You can do all the prep work the night before and then assemble about an hour before serving. You don't want to assemble too early or the bread will get soggy. Cover with plastic wrap until ready to serve.

Sour Cream Taco Dip: Prepared by Tiffany O'Sheal

-1/2 package taco seasoning (or more to taste)
-16 oz. sour cream (I used fat free)

Mix together and serve. Keep refrigerated. Serve with tortilla or pita chips.

Roasted Raspberry Chipotle Cheese Dip: Prepared by Sandi

Rye Party Puffs: Prepared by Jen F.

Salsa: Prepared by Christy

Bacon Wrapped Chestnuts: Prepared by Sandi