Kat and I have been working on a new project that we are really excited about! We have started a brand new blog called Taste Testers Kitchen. We find popular recipes on pinterest and put them to the test. We rate them on a scale of 1 to 5. 1 being the worst, and 5 being the best. We’ve had some winners and some recipes that have not been so good. Follow us there and we’ll bring you the good, the bad, and the ugly of the internet’s most popular recipes. We will also be introducing some time saving tips, and we’ll we also be doing recipe re-do’s to make good recipes even better.
Its official. My favorite season is here! Soup season! You can expect to see all sorts of delicious soup coming up on here because soup is just one of those things in life we all need more of. I love chicken noodle soup, but I especially love a creamier version I found in the Lion House Cookbook. If you are looking for more of a classic version, check out Kat’s Turkey Noodle Soup here. But I can promise you this creamy version won’t disappoint. I also love using the home style noodles for this recipe. Egg noodles work just fine, but something about the home style noodles add that much more comfort to this ultimate comfort food.
- 3 cups water
- 3 teaspoons chicken soup base or bouillon cubes
- 2 cups chopped carrots
- 2 cups chopped celery
- 3/4 cup chopped onion
- 1 can cream of chicken soup
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 cups cooked diced chicken
- 2 1/2 ounces cooked noodles (about 4 cups)
- Salt and Pepper to taste (I always add a sprinkle of poultry seasoning to taste as well)
- Heat chicken water and chicken soup base together.
- Add carrots, celery and onion and simmer until vegetables are tender.
- Add cream of chicken soup and milk. Stir until combine.
- Add noodles and chicken.
- Add seasonings to taste.
- Makes about 10 one cup servings.
These muffins are classic, full of fiber goodness, and super delicious. This recipe is one that my mother-in-law has modified, that she got from her mother. It is perfect for the fall (or any time, really) and is filling, which is nice for a muffin. This recipe makes a LOT of muffins (somewhere around 48), so you can either halve the recipe, or freeze a bunch for later.
Best Bran Muffins
- 4 c. All-Bran cereal
- 4 c. bran flakes (you can crush if you’d like, or keep them whole)
- 2 c. boiling water
- 1 c. raisins or dates (or other dried fruit)
- 1/2 c. shortening
- 1/2 c. applesauce
- 2 c. sugar (can cut back to 1-2/3 or 1-1/2 c.)
- 4 eggs
- 4 c. buttermilk (or, measure 1/4 c. lemon juice and add regular milk until you reach 4 c.)
- 5 c. flour
- 5 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
1. Mix All-Bran, Bran Cereal, boiling water and dried fruit in a large bowl. Set aside to cool.
2. In a separate bowl, cream shortening, sugar and eggs. Add to your cooled bran mixture.
3. Add the buttermilk.
4. Stir in your flour, baking soda and salt. Mix well.
5. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes.
So I assume a lot of us have seen that same pin on pinterest that tells you how to take a cake mix cake and make it taste like a bakery cake. I think I’ve pinned it at least twice and seen it way more than that. The basic premise of this is that you look at the directions on the cake mix, use melted butter instead of oil, milk instead of water, and add an extra egg. Well, I took it one step further and added a box of instant pudding. And let me tell you. A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. I originally made this cake to be the cake part of an ice cream cake for my 2 year old’s birthday. It was the perfect ice cream cake because it is very dense and VERY moist. It froze wonderfully and I didn’t feel like I was eating a brick instead of a cake.
Fast forward a few days (after my husband and I had finished basically all of the ice cream cake and let our poor child only have a tiny sliver on his birthday…. You guys do that too, right?!?) and I started dreaming of just having a cake made this same way and frosting it and how wonderful it would be. So I made it. And I called myself the cake genius. Somebody else has probably done this at some point in time, but it’s new to me and I will never just make a plain ol’ boxed cake mix again.
Here are the ingredients my cake mix called for with the substitutions I made. Please read your cake ingredients and adjust accordingly. Again, add an extra egg, use melted butter instead of oil, and milk instead of water (I used 2%), then add a box of pudding mix. If you’re making a yellow cake, I’d suggest vanilla pudding, though I’ve never tried it.
Mix it all up. Seriously. This batter did not move. It was static like this and I reveled in it’s decadent texture and thickness. Amazing.
Bake according to package directions and then frost with your favorite frosting. I used the glaze from the eclairs recipe and it was a perfect richness to compliment the decadence of the cake. I would probably double the glaze/frosting recipe next time I use it. Enjoy. This has truly changed my cake making life.
If you would have been walking through my neighborhood tonight, you would have been drooling. My husband made the most amazing steaks with even more amazing barbeque sauce. I had never had barbeque sauce like this before. I kept snitching it by the spoonful before the steaks we’re ready to be smothered in it. Sorry no pictures of the cooking process here. I wasn’t planning on posting this until I had a taste and about died.
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2 tsp minced onion
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tsp chile powder
- In a small sauce pan over medium heat, melt butter.
- Add onion and cook until the onion begins to turn brown, about three minutes.
- Add garlic and cook one more minute.
- Stir in the rest of the ingredients and bring to a simmer.
- Reduce heat to low.
- Simmer about 10 ten minutes, until the sauce is slightly reduced.
- Spread over delicious meal.
It’s official. It’s time to bust out the pumpkin recipes. The weather here is starting to cool down and it reeeeeally makes me want anything that has to do with pumpkin or soup. We’ve already made pumpkin pie, pumpkin pancakes, and I have plans to make pumpkin chocolate chip bread this week. Without further adieu, here is this smashing recipe for pumpkin chocolate chip pancakes. You can use either whole wheat or plain ol’ delicious white flour and they will turn out delicious either way.
Mix together the dry ingredients in a bowl.
Mix together the wet ingredients in a separate bowl.
Mix wet and dry ingredients together and add in mini chocolate chips. Please, please, please refrain from eating the batter. It is truly disgusting until it’s been cooked. I had some serious doubts when I tried the batter, but the pancakes are amazing!
- 2 C flour
- 2 T sugar
- 2 t baking powder
- 1 t cinnamon
- 1/2 t nutmeg
- 1/4 t salt
- 1 3/4 C milk
- 1 C canned pumpkin
- 2 eggs
- 2 T vegetable oil
- Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.
- In a separate bowl, mix together wet ingredients (this includes the pumpkin).
- Mix together wet and dry ingredients until moistened. Add in about 1/3 c. mini chocolate chips.
- Cook on an preheated griddle until done. Enjoy!
Its officially football season! Which means all sorts of yummy football finger foods! I had been craving spinach dip for a while now, so I had the perfect reason to make it. My team had a very disappointing first game, but this spinach dip provided some tasty comfort.
This recipe is so easy, you just throw it in a bowl and you’re done! You can get fancy and carve out a bread bowl or put it in a serving bowl. Serve with veggies or bread. Or Both!
- 1 package (10 oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed
- 16 oz sour cream
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped (or however much you'd like)
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 tsp hot sauce
- sat and pepper to taste
- Place spinach in a colander, rinse with cold water and mash until all the water has run out.
- Place spinach in a mixing bowl. Add sour cream, onions, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce. Mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Chill before serving.
Every July 24th, we celebrate Pioneer Day. As part of that celebration, the past couple of years my kids & I have made our own taffy. Yum! It is actually quite a bit of work (I think it took me 3 hours of working from start to finish with two little helpers), but is fun and yummy. If you are low on helpers, I would suggest halving the recipe….or find more friends to help! I originally found this recipe from here, and just modified the cooking temperature a bit so the candy didn’t end up quite as hard.
- 2 c. sugar
- 1-1/2 c. water
- 1 c. light corn syrup
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. vegetable glycerine (see note at bottom about this)
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2 T. butter
- You will also need kitchen shears, waxed paper (pre-cut into squares – about 2″x2″ each) and a candy thermometer
1. Mix sugar, water, corn syrup, salt and vegetable glycerine in heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil on medium-high heat.
2. Continue boiling until mixture reaches 255 degrees. This should take around 40 minutes, give or take.
3. Take the taffy off, and add the butter and vanilla.
4. Pour onto greased (buttered) cookie sheet and allow to cool until no longer too hot to handle – this will take about 10 minutes.
5.Pull pieces off of the mass of taffy and hand them out to the helpers (if you are lucky!). Pull it into a “snake”, and then fold the ends on top of each other and pull it out again. Repeat the pulling and folding until the taffy is white. Keep your pulled taffy in a “snake” shape until you are able to cut it into smaller pieces, or it will harden in a lump.
6. Cut the taffy “snakes” into bite-sized pieces and wrap each piece in waxed paper.
Enjoy! I would recommend keeping these around room temperature. We have brought the taffy to a picnic to share the last couple of years and it has been 95 degrees outside, and we have put the taffy in full sun…..and the waxed paper eventually melted onto the taffy. Oops! The ones that were kept at home in room temperature were fine.
Macaroni and Cheese is hands down my favorite food. I like to joke that anything a 5 year-old would eat, I prefer as well since I’m quite a picky eater. This is a recipe my mom made for us growing up and just tastes like heaven to me. It is simple, but such a comfort food for me.
Start by boiling 2 1/2 c. macaroni until it is just al dente. It will continue to cook in the oven, so you don’t want to start off with a soggy noodle. Rinse and drain with cold water when finished.
Next, we’ll make a simple white sauce. Combine flour with a few tablespoons of milk until it has formed a paste.
Add in butter, salt, dry mustard, milk, and pepper. I almost always use a whisk until it starts to thicken up just to help break up any flour clumps.
Cook over medium heat until it comes to a full boil, stirring constantly or your milk will burn. Turn off heat and add in cheese. If you’re trying to be good, use 2 cups. If you’re trying to make something decadent and amazingly delicious, use closer to 4 cups.
Next, add in macaroni and stir until well combined and noodles are nicely coated.
Pour into a 9×13″ pan and bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.
You may also choose to butter some bread and cut it into pieces and place those buttered pieces face up on top of the macaroni and cheese before baking. This makes fun, tasty little croutons. Enjoy!
- 2 1/2 cups dry macaroni
- 1/3 c. flour
- 1/3 c. butter or margarine
- 1 1/2 t. salt
- 3/4 t. dry mustard
- dash pepper
- 3 1/3 c. milk
- 2-4 c. shredded cheddar cheese
- bread (optional)
- Start by boiling 2 1/2 c. macaroni until it is just al dente. It will continue to cook in the oven, so you don't want to start off with a soggy noodle. Rinse and drain with cold water when finished.
- Combine flour with a few tablespoons of milk until it has formed a paste.
- Add in butter, salt, dry mustard, milk, and pepper. I almost always use a whisk until it starts to thicken up just to help break up any flour clumps.
- Cook over medium heat until it comes to a full boil, stirring constantly or your milk will burn.
- Turn off heat and add in cheese. If you're trying to be good, use 2 cups. If you're trying to make something decadent and amazingly delicious, use closer to 4 cups.
- Add in macaroni and stir until well combined and noodles are nicely coated.
- Pour into a 9x13" pan and bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.
- Optional: You may also choose to butter some bread and cut it into pieces and place those buttered pieces face up on top of the macaroni and cheese before baking. This makes fun, tasty little croutons.
For the past couple weeks my husband has been asking that I make biscuits for dinner. I was dreading, dreading, dreading this and put it off for a few weeks, until the requests became relentless. My mother in law had a recipe that I’d seen her whip together in record time so I thought perhaps, I could maybe do it in an hour. Well, I was so excited when these were ready to pop in the oven in 15 minutes flat! It was THAT quick and easy.
Mix together dry ingredients, then cut in shortening.
- 2 cups flour
- 4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cream of tarter
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 2/3 cup milk
- Mix dry ingredients
- Cut in shortening
- Mix in milk, knead dough until smooth
- Roll out dough, cut into circles
- Place on cookie sheet lines with parchment paper
- Bake at 450 for 10-12 minutes