Friday, October 31, 2008

Hot Apple Cider

Hot Apple Cider

1 gallon apple cider

1 1/2 C orange juice

1/2 C brown sugar

6 cinnamon sicks

12 whole cloves

12 whole allspice

Mix together and bring to a boil. Simmer at least 30 minutes. The longer it simmers, the better it gets!

As it brews longer it will form a “sludge” at the bottom of the pan - I just add more cider, let it brew a while longer and you are good to go!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Carmel apples

The top tip for making caramel apples according to Rhonda, who got the tip from the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, is to sand the apples before dipping. Yes - use sandpaper to rough up the apple.

Guess what - it works!! I used a fine grade of sandpaper and then washed them and the caramel stuck great!!

I was able to dip 10 medium size granny smith apples and had enough caramel left over to fill an 8 x 8 greased pan.

2 C brown sugar

1 C corn syrup

1/2 C butter

1 can sweetened condensed milk

Combine the first 3 ingredients. After butter is melted stir in the milk.

Cook to soft ball (230degrees). Stir constantly.

Stir in vanilla.

Remove from heat. Dip apples into the caramel, then roll in nuts if desired.

Let set up on a cookie sheet. Place in refrigerator if needed. After completely cooled you can drizzle with chocolate and cover with toppings.

Suggested toppings: sprinkles, crushed Oreos, mini M & M’s, mini chocolate chips, chopped nuts, crushed candy bars.

Popularity: 7% [?]

Carmel apple slices

Money Saving Tips: Making your own caramel is inexpensive. Use condensed milk for a slightly sweeter and cheaper version. Again, almost any apple is good here. I used Golden Delicious.
Caramel Apple Wedges:
Estimated Cost: $2.00 for 16 wedges
2 apples, cored, with skin, cut into 8 wedges each,
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon corn starch
For Caramel:
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk or cream
pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon of vanilla
Pat apples dry with paper towels. Sift a tiny smidgen of cornstarch over cut side of apples to help absorb moisture. You don't want to taste it, so don't put too much. Set aside briefly. Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper and coat with no stick cooking spray.
In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add remaining ingredients, except vanilla and apples. Stir until mixture boils. Reduce heat, cover with lid and cook for about five minutes, watching closely. When mixture has come together and is caramel colored, remove from heat. Spoon sa bit of caramel over each wedge. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts, Reese's pieces, or whatever you desire, and place on prepared waxed paper. Eat them gooey, or store in the fridge for about 10 minutes and eat immediately after

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tootsie Rolls

TOOTSIE ROLLS By Pam Leonhardt
2 tbsp margarine

2 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted

1/2 cup light Karo syrup

3 cups sifted, powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla

3/4 cup instant, nonfat dry milk

Blend margarine and syrup together. Add vanilla and chocolate. Mix sugar and milk together and gradually add to syrup mixture. Knead until mixed. Shape into rolls or balls.

Carmel Apples

2 cups sugar

1 cup corn syrup

1/4 lb. butter or margarine

1 can sweetened condensed milk

Bring sugar and corn syrup to boil. Add butter or margarine. Add sweetened condensed milk slowly. Cook on moderate heat to 232 degrees. Pour into buttered pans and cool to lukewarm. For carameled apples - dip while caramel is hot, but not boiling.

German oven pancakes with strawberries

1/4 cup Butter

1 1/2 cup milk

3/4 cup flour

1/3 cup Sugar

3 eggs

1/4 tsp. Salt

2 cup strawberries, halved

2 tbsp. Sugar

8 oz sour cream

1/4 cup brown sugar

Preheat oven to 400°F. Put butter in glass 9 inch pie plate. Place in oven until butter melts. Adjust heat to 450°F. Put milk, flour sugar, eggs, and salt into blender. Mix on medium speed until smooth. Remove pie plate from oven. Immediately pour in mixture. Bake for 20 minutes. Lower heat to 350°F and bake 8-10 minutes more (until edges are puffed and browned). A well will form in the middle. While pancake is baking, make filling. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of sugar over strawberries. Toss. Spoon strawberries into center of hot pancake. Cut into wedges. Pass sour cream and brown sugar.

Can be made with a cinnamon apple filling: 3 apples, peeled and sliced, 3 tablespoons butter, 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice, 3 tablespoons brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. In sauce pan, toss apples in lemon juice. Add brown sugar and cinnamon. Melt butter. Add to apple mixture. Simmer for 15-20 minutes (until apples are just barely tender). Spoon into pancake instead of strawberries.

Soft & Spicey Ginger Cookies

Money Saving Tips: Since this cookie relies on oil instead of butter, it's one of the most economical you can make. This is my first pick whenever I have to make enormous amounts of cookies for bake sales, church parties, Italian family gatherings or other crowded events. If you don't have sour cream, use yogurt.
Spicy and Soft Ginger Cookies

$2.00 for 40 cookies
1/2 cup canola oil (or vegetable oil)
1/4 cup sour cream
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1 egg
1/2 to 1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 and 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour (I used half whole wheat)
cinnamon sugar for rolling the cookies (about 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, cream together the oil, sour cream, sugar, and molasses. Stir in the egg. Add pepper, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and soda. Stir in flour. The dough will be soft and only slightly sticky. Form dough into 1 inch balls. Roll in cinnamon sugar and place on cookie sheets about two inches apart. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until cookies are spread and beginning to look crackly. For softer cookies, underbake slightly and for crispier ones, let them go a minute or two longer. Let cool on cookie sheets for two minutes. Transfer to rack.
****These sturdy cookies are great for packaging and mailing.

Baked Potato Soup

Recipe from Heather Wilson

Baked Potato soup:

1 1/2 cans chicken broth
1/2 c. water
5 Tbl melted butter
5 Tbl. flour
1 Tbl. minced onion
1/2 tsp salt
2 c. half & half
1/8 tsp oregano
4 cups potato's with or without skins
1/2 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp parsley

-In large pan, mix chicken broth, water, minced onion, oregano, and parsley.
-Bring to a boil, then simmer 5 min. and add butter
-stir in flour slowly with whisk
-add salt and pepper
-add half & half
-cook until bubbly, then add potato's
-Cook on low heat stirring occ. (if cooked to fast soup will burn before potato's cook)
***if you need to thin out soup use milk or chicken broth

Garnish with bacon pieces, cheddar and green onions

Whole Wheat Bread

OK, I know my sisters and I have posted several whole wheat bread recipes, but I think this is my new favorite! ( And your probably wondering why I am not using nonstick Demarle flexipans since I have been raving about them so much....I am saving up for the loaf pans--I can't wait!) I got this recipe from my friend Kelly. It makes 5 loaves and I use my Bosch, and my Demarle Roul'pat (so it won't stick to the counter) and it really was a breeze to make---and OH SO GOOD!! I let it cool and then sliced it with an electric knife before I bagged them and put 4 in the freezer. This is my new favorite recipe. The bread is very soft and tender! If you make it let me know what you think!
**By the way did you all know the shelf life of wheat (berries) is REALLY long? (like over 20 years) You can buy it a lot cheaper in bulk, just don't forget to get yourself a wheat grinder! Fresh ground wheat is wonderful in recipes and so good for you!

*ACK --don't look too close, I forgot to grease my was a problem! I need those nonstick ones!!
Yummy, Easy Whole Wheat Bread (5 medium loaves)
submitted by Melanie

3 1/2 cups hot tap water (helps offset the cool can of milk)
1 (12oz) can evaporated milk
3 Tbs instant yeast (like SAF)
2/3 cup oil
1 cup honey (use the same measuring glass as the oil and the honey slide right out)
1 cup white flour
3 Tbs vital wheat gluten
2 Tbs dough enhancer (this is optional--I just happen to have some)
12 cups whole wheat flour (I used white wheat: apporx 8c= 12 c flour)
1 1/2 TBs salt

Grind your wheat (in your electric wheat grinder) while getting everything else ready. Then, using a Bosch or other heavy duty mixer, combine ingredients in the order given, mixing well after half the flour, then add the other half of flour and salt. Add a little extra white flour as needed if dough is too sticky. Knead in mixer for 8 minutes. Dump out dough on your 'Rolpat' or if you don't have one, pour a little oil on your countertop and spread with your hand. Form into a long log, then divide into 5 loaves. Form each loaf into a log shape and place in medium sized nonstick bread pan. Press down the sides of each dough piece to fill the bottom of the pan, leaving the top round and smooth. Let rise in a warm spot until almost desired bread size. (about 1 hour). Bake in preheated 350 oven for 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven to wire racks and brush tops of hot loaves with butter, if desired. Let cool about 10 minutes, then remove from pans and let cool completely before slicing. (if you can wait that long!!)

Whole wheat flour totrillas

This is another recipe from my friend Kelly. The tortillas are really good! We used them for quesidillas, wraps and as treat warmed then slathered in butter and cinnamon sugar and rolled up! (My boys LOVED that!) The first time I made them I did not have the Demarle Roul'pat (non stick mat) and it was a MESS!! I ended up just throwing the dough in the garbage in frustration. So get something--Kelly uses a cloth that she got at the Bosch store.. I didn't have the best luck with that--it moved around too much on the countertop. Anyway, here is my tips:

*Use a nonstick mat when rolling out
*Roll them out very thin!
*Do not overcook!!

Other than that they are easy and no fail!!

Whole Wheat Flour Tortillas
submitted by Melanie

3 cups whole
1 tsp salt
1 cup hot water
1/3 cup oil (I used canola)
Mix all ingredients thoroughly in mixer. Remove from mixing bowl and knead on countertop until smooth (add a little white flour if the dough is too sticky). Divide the dough into 12 balls, and let rest (covered) for 15 minutes. Roll each ball into a very think circle. HEat a heavy skillet (ungreased) to medium high heat. Cook tortillas until brown flecks appear, about 30 seconds each side. (Adjust heat accordingly) Use immediately, or wrap in plastic or place in a airtight container to refrigerate or freeze. To warm, wrap in damp paper towels and microwave 15-20 seconds

Crockpot chicken

Recipe from Heather Wilson

Crockpot chicken:

4-6 chicken breast
1/2 bottle salsa
1 package taco seasoning

Cook 4-6 hours in crockpot and shred.

****Make chicken tacos, I like to make chicken nachos with this, burritos or salad. Whatever you are in the mood for!

Cafe Rio Dressing

Recipe from Heather Wilson
Cafe Rio Dressing:
1 c. Mayo
1 c. sour cream
1 package ranch (not buttermilk recipe)
1 c. salsa verde (Herdez)
cilantro to taste
2 limes or 2 tsp lime juice

Blend all together in processor. Refrigerate

Cafe Rio Pork

Recipe from Heather Wilson
Cafe Rio Pork:
12 oz. La Victoria Taco Sauce (red)
20 oz. Coke
5-6 lb porkloin
1 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. cumin

place in crockpot and cook

Jen's Pork:
1 bottle salsa
1 bottle small A1 steak sauce
1 can green chilis
juice of 2 limes

place in crockpot and cook 12 hours (or until done)

*****Ive tried both of these and they are both tasty! The first one is a little sweeter while the bottom one is a little spicier. Just depends on what you are in the mood for.

Monday, October 27, 2008

caesar Chicken Pasta Salad

Caesar Chicken Pasta Salad

3 cups cooked/skinned shredded chicken breast
3 cups cooked penne pasta
2 cups thinly sliced romaine lettuce
1 1/2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes
1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/3 cup creamy Caesar dressing (I use poppy seed dressing)
1 garlic clove minced

combine all ingredients in a large bowl; toss well to
coat. Enjoy!

*in other similar recipes I have seen them use feta cheese as well.

Posted by Beckie at 9:22 PM 0 comments

No Fry Doughnuts

No Fry Doughnuts

2 pkg. yeast

1/4 c warm water

1 1/2 c lukewarm milk, scalded then cooled

1/2 c sugar

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. nutmeg

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

2 eggs

1/3 c shortening

5 c flour

In large mixer bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Add the next 7 ingredients and 2 cups of flour. Blend 1/2 minute on low speed. Beat
2 minutes on medium speed. Stir in remaining flour until smooth (dough will be sticky). Cover, let rise in warm place until double, 50 to 60 minutes. Turn dough onto well floured board, roll around lightly to coat with flour (dough will be soft to handle). Gently roll out dough about 1/2 inch thick. Cut with floured cutter. Lift doughnuts carefully with spatula and place 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheet. Brush with melted butter. Cover. Let rise until double in size, about 20 minutes. Heat oven to 425 and bake 8 to 10 minutes. Immediately brush with melted butter and shake in sugar.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

Makes 2 dozen
7 ounces best-quality semisweet chocolate
1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1/2 cup dark-brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Line two baking sheets with parchment. Chop chocolate into 1/4-inch chunks; set aside. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and cocoa.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and grated ginger until whitened, about 4 minutes. Add brown sugar; beat until combined. Add molasses; beat until combined.
In a small bowl, dissolve baking soda in 1 1/2 teaspoons boiling water. Beat half of flour mixture into butter mixture. Beat in baking-soda mixture, then remaining half of flour mixture. Mix in chocolate; turn out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Pat dough out to about 1 inch thick; seal with wrap; refrigerate until firm, 2 hours or more.
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Roll dough into 1 1/2- inch balls; place 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Refrigerate 20 minutes. Roll in granulated sugar. Bake until the surfaces crack slightly, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Whole wheat Blender waffles & coconut syrup

I might have to make these for lunch just to make up for the bad breakfast experience. Oh yeah - another plus to this recipe is it is SO EASY and fast. Throw it in the blender, set the timer, and viola! You have a slightly crunchy waffle that tastes delicious, sits well in your tummy, and blesses your body with whole-wheat-health! In case you don't know what whole wheat berries are, they are grains/'kernels' of wheat that haven't been milled yet. I buy wheat like this and then grind it myself to make fresh whole wheat flour for bread, muffins, etc. But you don't grind it for this recipe - you actually measure out the berries. You could probably get a small amount of berries at your local health food store.

Whole Wheat Blender Waffles
Submitted by Erin

1 c. plus 1 Tb whole wheat berries
1 c. milk
2 eggs
4 Tb oil
2 Tb sugar (or honey)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Blend wheat berries and milk on high for 4-5 minutes, until batter is smooth. Add remaining ingredients and blend on low for a minute, or until incorporated. Cook on hot waffle iron. (Stir batter before pouring into waffle iron, because the heavier wheat particles will settle at the bottom.) Makes about 10 waffles.
(To make pancakes instead of waffles, use 1 c. wheat berries and 2 Tb oil.)

And now, time for the best part of a waffle breakfast - the homemade SYRUP! This is the best syrup ever. In the whole world. It can't be beat. :) Seriously, when I offer to make waffles or pancakes for breakfast, the first thing my husband says is, "With Coconut Syrup?" If I say, "Well, I ran out of coconut extract..." or "I don't have buttermilk" then he passes on the waffles. No joke. This syrup is a MUST around here. (And if you don't like coconut, there's a good chance you will still like this. It's got the subtle sweet coconut flavor without the coconut texture.) Anyway, it is truly DELICIOUS.

Coconut Syrup
submitted by Erin

7-8 T. butter
¾ c. buttermilk
1 c. sugar
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp coconut extract

Place butter, buttermilk and sugar in a pot. Then turn stove on medium and stir until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil and boil one minute. Remove from heat and add soda and flavoring. It will bubble up; just continue to stir and give it a few minutes for the 'fizz' to reduce before serving.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Chocolate Chip Treasure Cookies

from Debbie R. via Aunt Marilyn

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 25-30 squares)
1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/3 cups coconut
2 cups (1 package) semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup walnuts, chopped (I usually leave these out due to my husband's preference - the cookies are delicious with or without nuts)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs, flour and baking powder. In a large bowl, beat sweetened condensed milk and butter until smooth. Add graham cracker crumb mixture; mix well. Stir in coconut, chocolate chips and walnuts. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 9-10 minutes or until lightly browned.

Pumpkin Apple Spice Muffins

An old friend from high school sent me this recipe months and months ago. I finally tried it out last week and oh my. Oh my. These are by far some of the best muffins that have ever graced my home. I have to confess I'm not a huge muffin maker - I think it is because I always have high hopes for the outcome and it is generally a disappointment (either in overflowage or flavor) so when these turned out to be incredible, I was thrilled. My family and I honestly ate the whole batch in less than 24 hours. I am making them again this afternoon. The tart granny smith apple (be sure to finely chop the apple!) adds great texture to the smooth spice of the pumpkin. These are fabulous. Thanks, Melissa!

Pumpkin Apple Spice Muffins
from Melissa F.

Yield: 2 dozen

1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice**
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and finely chopped

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice**
3 tablespoons sugar

Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture. Combine pumpkin, butter, and eggs in another bowl and add to dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened. Fold in chopped apple and spoon into greased muffin pans, filling two-thirds full. Combine 3 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice; sprinkle evenly over muffins. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove from pans immediately, and cool on wire racks.

**My tip: if you don't have pumpkin pie spice, use the following combination: 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ginger and 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/8 teaspoon cloves. Mix together and woila! - you have the equivalent of 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (and it is much cheaper than buying it premade).

Whole Wheat Bread by hand

3 Loaves:
3 C. warm water
1/3 C. honey
1/3 C. oil
1 T. yeast
1 T. salt
7 C. whole wheat flour

6 Loaves:
6 C. warm water
2/3 C. honey
2/3 C. oil
2 T. yeast
2 T. salt
13 1/2 C. whole wheat flour

*extra flour for later in the recipe, a clock or watch for timing

How to make 100% whole wheat bread by hand:
1. Choose a recipe - 3 or 6 loaves.
2. Place all ingredients in a large bowl. Stir together into a soft mass of dough.
3. Let the dough rest uncovered for 15 minutes.

4. Place a small amount of whole wheat flour bowl on the table next to where you will be kneading the dough and about 1 T. oil in a small bowl.

5. Pat the spongy mass in your bowl with enough flour to make it unsticky for the moment. Gather as much of the dough as you can from the sides of the bowl and make a few kneading motions before turning the dough onto a very lightly floured table or work space.

6. Using as little flour as possible to keep this dough soft, knead the dough for 10 to 15 minutes by hand. Using either a very lightly oiled hand or a floured hand, pat the dough with flour (or oil) as needed to keep the dough from sticking to your hands. During this kneading, there should be a change in the texture of the dough. It will stick more to itself instead of your hands. (you are helping to develop the gluten in the dough, although you will not be able to make a stringy dough with this short of kneading time by hand. The gluten will be developed during the rising times. You shouldn't be concerned about extra kneading time to develop gluten using this process.)

7. Place the dough is an oiled bowl, making sure that the top of the dough is lightly oiled (so as not to dry out). Cover and let rise to double. There is no need to let it rise higher than double in size. This should take about 30 minutes.

8. With your fists, punch down the dough. Turn the dough over and let rise to double again. This time should take about 15 minutes.

9. You can let it rise one more time - 10 minutes (if you have time), or you can shape it into loaves now. keep in mind that each rising should take a shorter time than the previous one. Three risings is very good.

10. shape into loaves, rolls, or braided loaves (whatever shape you want)

11. Place in or on greased/oiled pans.

12. Let ithe dough rise to double again.

13. Place in oven and turn on to 350 F.

14. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

15. Remove from pans and cool completely on a rack before putting into plastic bags.

You can freeze this bread for later use after it has been completely cooled.

Texas Cavier

Texas Caviar
submitted by Brittany

3 cans black eye peas, drained and rinsed
2 cans shoepeg corn, drained
3-4 Roma tomatoes, chopped
3 avocados, chunked
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
1/2 sweet onion, minced
juice of 2 limes
Good Seasonings Italian Dressing packet, prepared
salt to taste

Combine all ingredients in large bowl, adding avocado last. (I like to add a few squirts of Tabasco sauce as well.) Pour about 1/2 the dressing into mixture and stir gently. Add as much dressing as desired. I usually use a little more than half. Serve with tortilla chips. Enjoy!

Garlic Cheese Biscuits

I never used to buy Bisquick mix until Erin introduced me to these I always have some on hand specifically for this! The recipe is so easy, it's ridiculous. They definitely aren't healthy so I don't make them often, but when I do... what a treat!!Garlic Cheese Biscuits
submitted by Brittany

2 c Bisquick mix
2/3 c milk
1/2 c sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

1/4 c butter, melted
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp dried parsley

Mix together Bisquick and milk just until moistened. Fold in cheese. Drop by spoonfuls on lightly greased cookie sheet (I use a preheated pizza stone plain). Bake at 450 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Combine melted butter with garlic salt and parsley and brush over each biscuit. Serve immediately. **note that when using a pizza stone, make sure you remove biscuits to a plate before brushing with butter - otherwise the stone will soak up a lot of it!

Blueberry Wheat Muffins

Little Red Riding Hood's Blueberry Wheat Muffins

Okay, so I was reading some library books to my 3-year old, Benjamin, and one of our picks this week was Little Red Riding Hood. It was a cute modern-day version, and at the end they had this muffin recipe. I jotted it down, because I thought it would be fun to try it out. And "Granny's secret ingredient" was fascinating. Who ever heard of sunflower seeds in a sweet blueberry muffin? Well, now I know why the wolf in this version was dead-set on stealing those muffins from Little Red Riding Hood! These are so good! I was very pleasantly surprised, because as I was making the batter I was pretty sure they were going to be dissappointing. I've never had a muffin batter that was so THICK. I could hardly stir in the blueberries at all. Since I was using fresh blueberries, it was extra tricky not to smash them in the effort. You'll see what I mean! Anyway, they came out of the oven smelling and looking delicious, and they tasted even better! The secret ingredient - sunflower seeds - add so much to these. Honestly, the salty nutty flavor combine with the sweetness to make such a unique and amazing muffin. Sounds cheesy? I know, I know, but I'm being totally sincere. The sunflower seeds were awesome in this! I really loved these! :) Let me know what you think!

Little Red Riding Hood's Blueberry Wheat Muffins
Submitted by Erin

2 eggs
½ c. melted butter
1 c. sugar
½ tsp almond extract
1 c. wheat flour
1 c. white flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 c. blueberries
¼ c. sunflower seeds (Granny’s secret ingredient)

Mix eggs, butter, sugar, and almond extract. Combine dry ingredients (flours, baking powder, salt) and add to the egg mixture. Stir until just combined. Gently stir in the blueberries and the secret ingredient, after making sure that there are no wolves lurking about.
Fill greased muffin tins ¾ full, and bake at 350 for about 20-25 minutes. These muffins taste best when shared.

Fresh Tomato and Basil Pasta

Fresh Tomato and Basil Pasta
Submitted by Mindy (Melanie's recipe)

2 large, firm tomatoes, diced (about 2 cups - I used cherry tomatoes sliced in half)
1 T fresh chopped basil or 1 tsp dried basil
1-2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
Shredded Parmesan cheese
6-8 oz angel hair pasta

Mix together the diced tomatoes, chopped basil, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook the pasta al dente. Drain and toss with the tomato mixture. Serve with shredded Parmesan.

Beef Taco's-Crockpot

5 lb. roast (cross rib or sirloin tip)
2 medium yellow onions, Sliced
1 (4oz.) can chopped green chilies
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cumin
Juices from roast

Place roast in crock-pot the evening before your meal. Put onions on meat. Cover and set on medium and cook all night. (My crock-pot doesn’t have a medium - it’s old, a wedding gift, so I put it on low)

Remove roast the next morning. Put meat and juices in the fridge. The inside of my crock-pot is removable so I just put it in the refrigerator leaving the meat and juices inside.

Before dinner remove the fat and shred the meat and put back into the crock pot with juices and all other remaining ingredients, stirring occasionally over low heat

Would be great in burritos and enchiladas too!