Friday, December 11, 2009

Cookies and Cream Fudge

This stuff is addicting. I added sweetened dried cranberries to make it more festive for the holidays. You do not have to add the cranberries if you don't want to. But if you leave out the cranberries, I'd recommend adding a few more Oreos.


3 cups (18 oz - or 1 1/2 bags) white chocolate chips
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
14 Oreos
2/3 cup sweetened dried cranberries

Line an 8x8 square baking dish with aluminum foil. Chop or break Oreos into quarters (cookies will likely break into smaller pieces but that's okay). Shake out broken cookies in sieve or small-holed colander to remove smaller crumbs.

In a medium saucepan over low heat, combine sweetened condensed milk and chocolate chips; stir until chips are completely melted. Remove from heat and stir in cookies and cranberries. Pour into baking dish and refrigerate until firm (at least 2 hours). Pull fudge out of dish and remove foil. Cut into individual-size pieces.

Chili Cornbread Casserole

I adapted this recipe from a box of Stove Top cornbread stuffing mix. I had made the original before and didn't quite like the outcome, so this time I adjusted it a bit. Now, in the recipe I'm posting, I suggest simmering the chili for at least 45 minutes. That's because I don't like chewy ground beef. Simmering it for a while softens the beef and makes it more palatable to me. It also reduces the liquid in the chili. You do not have to do the simmer - but understand that your casserole will be a little more gooey - which is not necessarily a bad thing! Also, you could sub 1 1/2 cups of salsa (for a total of 2 1/2 cups in the recipe) if you don't have the diced tomatoes and green chiles on hand.

This is a great recipe for a cold night!


1 box (6 oz) cornbread stuffing mix
1 1/2 cups hot water
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 can kidney beans, undrained
1 can black beans, undrained
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes with green chiles
1 cup salsa
2 Tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. cumin
pepper to taste

In a large skillet, brown ground beef with onions; drain. Add beans, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, salsa, chili powder, cumin, and pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, pour hot water over stuffing and fluff with fork. Pour chili into 9x13 casserole dish. Top with stuffing. Bake for 30 minutes.

Serve with shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies and Frosting

Caralie and I really love these cookies. They taste great and keep their shape when baking. This is the recipe to use if you have cookie cutters with distinct shapes (like an angel) that you don't want to turn into a blob in the oven. I didn't have a problem with the dough being too sticky, but I live in a dry climate. Just use flour on your work surface and rolling pin as needed.


1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond extract
3 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder

In a large bowl, cream sugar and butter. Add cream cheese and beat until fluffy. Beat in egg and extracts. Slowly add flour and baking soda, blending well after each addition. Cover dough with plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly flour work surface. Dividing dough in thirds, roll out first third to no less than 1/4 inch thickness. Dip cookie cutters first in flour, and then cut dough. Place cookie shapes two inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until set. Let cool for 3 minutes on sheet then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Repeat until all the dough has been used. Makes about 3 dozen cookies - depending on cutter size.


4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup shortening
5 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
food coloring, as desired

In a medium bowl, beat shortening with 1 cup powdered sugar with an electric mixer. Add milk and vanilla and beat until smooth. Slowly add remaining 3 cups of sugar until well blended. Beat until frosting is stiff (about 3-5 minutes). Add food coloring.

Salsa Chicken Casserole

Again, I found this recipe at You can find it here. Sorry I don't have a photo - I forgot to take one.

I've changed the recipe a little because I think the original calls for too much rice and a bit too much cheese. I also eliminated the onion because there's already onions in the salsa. But that's just my opinion; you can always use the original recipe.


1 cup uncooked long-grain white rice
2 cups water
4 cups diced cooked chicken breast
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 1/2 cups mild salsa
3 cups shredded cheese (Mexican blend or whatever)

Place rice and water in saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish. In a medium bowl, combine soups and salsa.

Spread half of rice in bottom of baking dish. Layer half of chicken, half of soup mix, and half of cheese. Repeat layers.

Bake for 30-40 minutes or until bubbly. Serve with sour cream.

This could also be a great filler for burritos.