Thursday, January 28, 2016

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread

WARNING: This is going to be a new family favorite!!!!!

Yields 8 - Each mini loaf is 9 WW+ points

A lightened up Pumpkin Cream Cheese bread that everyone will love!!

Prep Time - 20 min
Cook Time - 25 min
Total Time - 1 hr

Pumpkin Bread

2 cups canned pumpkin

3 eggs

1 egg whites

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup white sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 t baking soda

2 t pumpkin pie spice

Cream Cheese filling

8 oz reduced fat cream cheese (room temperature or softened slightly)

4 tbsp sugar

1 egg

2 tsp flour

1 tsp vanilla


Preheat oven to 350

Prepare one mini loaf pan (it should hold 8 loaves) or 2 9x5 loaf pans with nonstick spray

Bread Layers

In the bowl of your stand mixer or hand mixer combine pumpkin, eggs and egg white until smooth

In a separate medium bowl whisk together flour, sugars, baking soda & pumpkin pie spice

Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet mixing until just smooth, set aside

Cream Cheese Layer

In another bowl either for your stand mixer or hand mixer combine all ingredients until smooth

Bread Assembly

Pour or spoon half of the pumpkin bread mixture into the bottom of the mini loaf pan or the large loaf pan

Evenly divide the cream cheese mixture over the pumpkin bread mixture and smooth out using the back of a spoon

Pour the remaining pumpkin bread mixture over the cream cheese mixture, covering as much as you can

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean

Let cool for about 10-15 minutes and then remove from the pans


Each mini loaf is 9 WW+ points, so divide as needed based on how many slices you get from the loaf

Nutritional Info:

Calories: 324 Total Fat: 2.8 g Saturated Fat: 1 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 85.2 mg
Sodium: 397.4 mg Total Carbs: 65.2 g Dietary Fiber: 2.5 g Sugars: 42.7 g Protein: 10.4 g- By MJ

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Liquid Laundry Det Mary Hunt New and Improved version

To make one gallon of liquid laundry detergent assemble the following:
1 one-gallon container with tight-fitting lid. I used an empty Arrowhead water container.

Twenty-Mule Team Borax. Find this, or any brand of borax, in the laundry aisle of your supermarket or a department store like Walmart or Target.

Super Washing Soda OR soda ash. Super Washing Soda (sodium carbonate) is becoming increasingly difficult to find. If you can’t find it in the laundry aisle somewhere close to the borax, consider using soda ash (sodium carbonate) instead. Soda ash is exactly the same thing as Washing Soda, and is used in swimming pools to fix the ph. It’s readily available in pool supply stores or even larger department stores that carry pool chlorine, and so forth.

Blue Dawn dishwashing liquid. There seems to be multiple versions of blue Dawn these days. I’ve seen it sold as “Original,” “Ultra Concentrated” and most recently, ” Advanced Power.” I’ve tested all of them and I can detect no difference in the final product we’re going to make here. As long as it’s blue and it is authentic Dawn—not some look-alike store or generic brand—use it.

Notice I am using blue Dawn Advanced Power, but I could have just as easily and effectively used …

3/4 cup measuring device. If you don’t have one that is exactly 3/4 cup, improvise. You could use a 1/2 cup with a 1/4 cup measuring device to come up with 3/4 cup. Or if you have a large measuring device with some way to measure out 3/4 cup, you’ve got what you need.

Step 1: Measure 3/4 cup borax and 3/4 cup Super Washing Soda (or soda ash as I am using in this tutorial) and pour both into the empty one-gallon container.

Step 2: Add about 2 or 3 cups of the hottest water you have available out of your tap. You’ll see a few bubbles form, but nothing to be concerned about.

Step 3: Apply the lid and shake the container vigorously until the powdered ingredients appear to be dissolving. Give yourself a little workout here and shake it well so it looks incorporated and milky like this.

Step 4: Fill the container with hot water to within about an inch of the top, more or less depending on the shape of your container. You want to leave enough room for the Dawn which is coming up.

Keep going …

Step 5: Pour in 3/4 cup blue Dawn dishwashing liquid.

Slowly …. you don’t want to create a lot of suds or bubbles.

Step 6: Once you’ve poured in all of the Dawn, fill that measuring cup with more hot water so you can top off the container and rinse out the last of the Dawn.

If you still have room, add more water until you are about 1/2-inch from the top.

Step 7: Apply the lid. This should be quite easy because you will not be contending with suds or bubbles. Notice how the dawn is not fully mixed up. That’s fine. Just get that lid on tightly.

Step 8: Instead of shaking it up, just lay the container on its side and roll it around a bit to get everything mixed.

Please notice that without any kind of cleaning up at all, the counter is dry with no mess, no suds—quite clean and tidy, don’t you think? Yay! We’ve overcome the suds-to-infinity problem so many of you encountered.

Take a moment to admire your beautiful homemade product and then let’s get to the laundry room where you will need your gallon of laundry detergent (the one you just made, silly!) and a 1/4-cup measure.

Measure out 1/4 cup detergent.

Pour it in the way you have always added detergent to your washer. If you have a little detergent dispenser, that’s where this tidy 1/4 cup of beautiful liquid goes.

If you’re like me, your first thought is, “Oh that cannot possibly be enough!” But it is. My washer is a top loading HE by LG with Wave Force. It’s quite possibly the best washing machine I have ever used in my life. One-quarter cup of this detergent does the trick.

If you use more than 1/4 cup per load, you can expect a couple of things to happen: Your clothes will come out of the dryer scratchy and stiff AND after a while you will notice your white items turning a lovely shade of pale grey. That’s the sign of too much detergent left in the clothes. If you just cannot bear to use only 1/4 cup of detergent, make sure you double rinse.

This detergent is absolutely low sudsing, which is what HE (both top and front loading) washers require. However, if you do not have an HE machine, this detergent is still fabulous and wonderful for your traditional washer.

Remember that I used the Advanced Power Dawn in this tutorial? Well guess what? Something new happened that did not happen with the Ultra Dawn. I’m not sure why, and it seems to not be a problem at all, but after an hour or so, the Dawn separates and floats to the top of the container. So I just give it a good shake or roll before each use. Just thought I’d mention that, as I’m nearly sure someone would send me a message of concern over this fact.

Okay, I think that about does it.

Wait. There IS one more thing.

If you are confused about the Super Washing Soda vs. soda ash, do not fret. I can no longer find this lovely product known as Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda where I live. If I could, this is what it would look like:

If you can find it, great! But don’t feel like you need to send me a box of it when you do I love my soda ash because guess what? It’s cheaper than Super Washing Soda.

This recipe and procedure for making homemade laundry detergent (for less than a nickel per load, by the way) is so good I can’t imagine future improvements, but who knows?

Best White Cake Recipe (almond)

Best White Cake Recipe

Best White Cake Recipe
2 3/4 cups sifted cake flour (sift before measuring)
4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
4 egg whites
1 1/4 cups white sugar
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1. Measure sifted cake flour, baking powder, and salt; sift together a few times! This will make your cake more light and fluffy.
2. In a mixing bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Add 1/2 cup sugar gradually, and continue beating till the meringue holds stiff peaks. Test by pulling up your beaters in the meringue...if the meringue stands up and stays in a peak you are finished. Set aside.
3. Beat butter until smooth. Gradually add remaining 3/4 cup sugar, and cream together until light and fluffy. Add sifted ingredients alternately with milk a small amount at a time, beating after each addition until smooth. Mix in your extracts.
4. Add meringue, and fold it into your batter carefully.
5. Line your cake pan with parchment paper. Spread batter in your cake pan.
6. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 30 to 35 minutes.
7. Cool cake in pan 10 minutes, then remove from pan and transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling. This cake may also be baked in two 9 inch round pans for 30 to 35 minutes, or in three 8 inch round pans for 25 to 30 minutes.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Easy "Pierogi" Casserole

Easy "Pierogi" Casserole

Prep Time

Total Time


12 servings
9 lasagna noodles, uncooked
4 cups hot mashed potatoes
1/2 cup (1/2 of 8-oz. tub) PHILADELPHIA Chive & Onion Cream Cheese Spread
6 green onions, thinly sliced

1 pkg. (3 oz.) OSCAR MAYER Real Bacon Bits, divided
2 cups KRAFT Shredded Triple Cheddar Cheese with a TOUCH OF PHILADELPHIA, divided

Heat oven to 375°F.
Cook noodles as directed on package, omitting salt. Meanwhile, combine potatoes, cream cheese spread, onions, 1/2 cup bacon and 1 cup cheddar.
Place 3 noodles in 13x9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray; cover with 1/3 of the potato mixture. Repeat layers twice. Top with remaining bacon and cheddar; cover.
Bake 33 to 35 min. or until heated through, uncovering for the last 5 min. Let stand 10 min. before cutting to serve.


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball

Author said perhaps next time we’ll try it with Toffee bits instead of chocolate chips and we’ll call it a Toffee Chip Cheeseball.

Here’s the recipe…

Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball

1 - 8 oz bar cream cheese, softened
½ cup butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
¾ cup powdered sugar
2 TB brown sugar
½ cup mini chocolate chips
¾ cup finely chopped pecans
Graham crackers or fruit

Combine cream cheese, butter and vanilla in a bowl. Beat until fluffy.
Add sugars and mix well.
Fold in chocolate chips.
Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Shape into a ball and roll in chopped pecans.
Serve with fruit or crackers.

Recipe adapted from Taste of Home.

Found at

One Pan Fiesta Bake

One Pan Fiesta Bake

Original Author says:  Not only do I love to make easy meals but I love it even more when there is minimal mess. Can I get a high five on that one? One pan dishes are the absolute best because they taste great but don’t have a sink full of dishes to wash. Today’s recipe is just that-

It’s ooey, gooey and cheesy good. I make a similar one with ground beef but found this recipe on the back of a package and knew that we had to test it out. Some of my favorite recipes have come from the back of packages. What about you?

One Pan Fiesta Bake

Heat oil in medium sauce pan. Add chicken and cook for approximately 3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Stir in the rest of ingredients (minus the cheese and optional sour cream). Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Let simmer for 20-25 minutes until fully cooked. Top with shredded cheese and let melt for a couple of minutes. Serve topped with sour cream (optional).

1 tbsp oil (I used canola)
3-4 boneless chicken breasts
3/4 c. rice, uncooked
2 c. water
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 c. whole kernel corn
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese (I used Mexican mix)
sour cream (optional)

Heat oil in medium sauce pan.
Add chicken and cook for approximately 3 minutes on each side until golden brown.
Stir in the rest of ingredients (minus the cheese and optional sour cream).
Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Let simmer for 20-25 minutes until fully cooked.
Top with shredded cheese and let melt for a couple of minutes.
Serve topped with sour cream (optional).

These could easily be made into soft tacos or burritos. Make as directed and then fill a tortilla with the ingredients. Yum!

White Chicken Enchiladas

White Chicken Enchiladas

I have been looking for this recipe for the past 20 years!!!! Finally found it!!!! *These are seriously so so good*

10 soft taco shells
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese ( I like the Kraft Tex Mex)
3 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup sour cream ( I use Greek yogurt)
1 (4 oz) can diced green chillies (these are not hot)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 pan
2. Mix chicken and 1 cup cheese. Roll up in tortillas and place in pan.
3. In a sauce pan, melt butter, stir in flour and cook 1 minute. Add broth and whisk until smooth. Heat over medium heat until thick and bubbly.
4. Stir in sour cream and chilies. Do not bring to boil, you don't want curdled sour cream.
5. Pour over enchiladas and top with remaining cheese.
6. Bake 22 min and then under high broil for 3 min to brown the cheese.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

One Pot Alfredo Pasta

Alfredo sauce is even easier.

Cook and drain the pasta and return it to the pan,

put it on the stove on low heat.

Add a couple TBs butter per serving,

and toss the pasta in the pan with the butter till the pasta dries off and the butter melts.

Add about a 1/2 C freshly grated parm per serving and

continue tossing until the parm melts and coats the pasta thoroughly.

Pour in cream slowly until you make a very loose sauce,

continue to stir as the sauce thickens from the parm.

Add 1/4 t per serving of crushed garlic. (trader Joes).

Transfer to a bowl, grate some fresh pepper over it.


One Pot Garlic Parmesan Pasta

One Pot Garlic Parmesan Pasta

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 Tbsps. unsalted butter
  • 8 oz. uncooked fettucine
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh parsley to garnish (optional)
  1. In a shallow saucepan, sautée minced garlic until lightly brown.
  2. Add chicken broth, milk, and butter to the pan. Stir until butter melts and ingredients mix.
  3. Add uncooked pasta to pot, and add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Ladle liquid over pasta until covered.
  5. Simmer mixture until pasta is cooked and liquid evaporates into a creamy sauce.
  6. Mix in Parmesan cheese.
  7. Plate and garnish with fresh parsley if desired. Enjoy!
This simple meal tastes decadent without being too heavy, and is the perfect speedy meal for the middle of the week! Plus, you’ll cut your cleanup in half by sticking to just one pot.

No Bake Cherry Cheesecake Fluff

No Bake Cherry Cheesecake Fluff
Cherry Cheesecake Fluff 0
Prep Time:10 Min Cook Time:3 Hr Total Time:3 Hr 10 Min

2 (8oz) pkg cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1 (21 oz) can cherry pie filling

Graham Cracker Pie Chunks
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1  In large bowl beat together cream cheese and powdered sugar until combined.
2  Add your extracts and whipping cream and continue beating until mixture has thickened.
3  Fold in your cherry pie filling, cover and refrigerate until thickened (about 3 hours).

Cherry Cheesecake Fluff 1Graham Cracker Pie Chunks
1 In large bowl combine your graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter.
2  Press into bottom of 9" pie plate or pan.
3  Refigerate until firm.
4  Once fluff has thickened break up your pie chunk pieces and fold into fluff mixture.
5  Serve and enjoy!


Saturday, January 2, 2016

Apple Cobble Crisp in Bundt Pan

Apple Cobbler Crisp
BY KRISTIN // AUGUST 12, 2014 //

If you have been following the blog, you know that we LOVE trying new cobblers out. A few weeks ago, we posted our Peach Cobbler Crisp, followed by our Blueberry Cobbler Crisp. Since they were each amazing, we knew we couldn’t stop there. This one was just as tasty and just as easy to make! I made this for my dad’s birthday dessert since he loves apple cobbler. It was a hit with everyone! I am already thinking of changing things up next time and using fresh fruit instead of canned pie filling. Stay tuned, I think a fresh blackberry crisp is coming, fingers crossed it turns out great!!

2 cans apple pie filling
2 cups Bisquick or 2 cups of this DIY Bisquick recipe
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Grease a bundt pan.
Pour in the 2 cans of pie filling.
Sprinkle the Bisquick on top of pie filling.
Sprinkle sugar on top of Bisquick.
Melt butter and pour over sugar.
Sprinkle chopped pecans on top of butter.
Place pan in a preheated oven, 375, and bake for about 40-45 minutes.
Remove from oven and serve in a bowl with vanilla ice-cream if desired.

Homemade Mexican Crema (3 recipes)

YIELDMakes 2 cups


1 cup sour cream
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set it out at room temperature for 3 hours.
Serve or Store

Transfer to a serving bowl if using right away, or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate if storing.

When purchasing sour cream, pay attention to the expiration date. The crema can be made and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for as long as the sour cream would last.
Bring the crema to room temperature before serving.

Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown

Total Time:
24 hr 11 min
10 min
24 hr
1 min
Yield:approximately 1 cup

1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon buttermilk
1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Put the heavy cream in a 16-ounce microwave-safe glass jar. Microwave on high until the cream is just under 100 degrees F, about 30 to 40 seconds. Add the buttermilk, close the jar, and store in a warm place for 24 hours. The cream will have thickened to the consistency of thin yogurt.

Add the chipotle chile and salt and process with an immersion blender, in the jar, until smooth, approximately 20 seconds. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown, 2010
© 2016 Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Read more at:

Homemade Crema (Mexican Sour Cream)

Homemade Crema (Mexican Sour Cream) Recipe

Yields about 1 cup.
  • by from Fine Cooking 
    Issue 84
Crema is the Mexican version of French crème fraîche. Both are slightly soured and thickened cream, milder and less thick than American sour cream, with crema being the thinnest. The recipe for Lime Chicken with Poblano Sour Cream will have a more authentic touch if made with crema. You can buy crema in Mexican markets or even in some supermarkets, but it’s easy to make it yourself, and the result has a smoother flavor than that of the commercially prepared version.

Use crema as you would sour cream, dolloping or drizzling it on soupstacospotatoes, or anything else that needs a little tang. Start with pasteurized cream if you can find it—it makes a richer, thicker crema than ultrapasteurized cream does.
more about:
  • 1 cup heavy cream (pasteurized or ultrapasteurized)
  • 1 Tbs. buttermilk (with active cultures)
In a small saucepan, warm the cream over medium-low heat to about 95ºF, just enough to take off the chill. If it goes over 100ºF, let it cool before continuing.
Stir in the buttermilk and transfer to a clean glass jar. Set the lid loosely on top of the jar—don’t tighten—and let sit in a warm spot, such as near the stove or on top of the fridge, until the cream starts to thicken, 18 to 24 hours. Stir, tighten the lid, and refrigerate until the cream is thicker and thoroughly chilled, 12 to 24 hours more. Stir well before using. The crema should have a thick but pourable consistency.
Make Ahead Tips
Crema will keep for about 2 weeks in the refrigerator, continuing to thicken as it ages.

Chili Chicken Lasagna Chili Verde


Serves 6-8

4 cups cooked chicken, shredded or cubed
2 cups salsa verde
2 cups mozzarella cheese, grated
2 cups Mexican cheese blend
3/4 cup sour cream
10 oz. no-boil lasagna noodles
1 (15 oz.) container crema
1 (10 oz.) can fire roasted green chiles
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder

Preheat oven to 375º F.
Combine chicken, green chiles, 1 cup salsa verde and sour cream in a large bowl and season generously with salt and pepper, cumin and chili powder.

Spread 1/3 cup chicken mixture in the bottom of a large baking dish and cover with a layer of lasagna noodles.

Top with another layer of chicken mixture, then cover with crema, mozzarella and Mexican cheese.

Repeat with another layer of chicken, crema and cheese, then top with lasagna noodles.
Cover noodles with remaining salsa verde and crema, then sprinkle remaining mozzarella evenly over the top.

Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 10-15, or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Remove from oven and serve hot.