Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Pancake Casserole

This is a breakfast dish that Sneezy and Happy ask me to make every year. The recipe originally came from the America's Test Kitchen cookbook, but they used waffles, and I use...well, pancakes! I love breakfast recipes that are sweet and savory!

The way I make this is, I add the pancake batter into 2 13x9 pans, and the egg mixture into another 13x9 pan, and then stack them on top of each other after they've been cooked. Instead of using every 13x9 pan in your house like I do, you can cook each pancake the way you would normally cook them, and layer it that way. I just like being able to throw them in the oven and run around getting ready or cooking up other dishes. It's super easy to turn them out and layer them once they've finished cooking. You have very limited space in a 13x9 so you'll want to make sure your layers are even.

The Buttermilk Pancake recipe is a family favorite and used by Doc's (my dad) family. This is better than bisquick pancakes or boxed. They are moist and the buttermilk flavor is so good!!

Buttermilk Pancakes

3 cups flour
3 Tbls. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
3 eggs
3 cups buttermilk
6 Tbls. melted butter

Preheat oven to 350. Add all ingredients and mix. Pour batter evenly into 2 13x9 pans. *Remember your pancake batter will puff up a bit while cooking, make sure not to add too much batter to each pan. Bake for 10-15 minutes.

Egg Mixture

9 Eggs
1/2 cup Milk
Cooked sausage

Preheat oven to 375. Mix the eggs, milk, salt and pepper together. Butter a 13 x 9 pan, and pour your egg mixture in. Cook for 10-15 minutes, or until there's no egg movement when shaking the pan. Once eggs are done, turn out onto the first pancake layer. Sprinkle cheese and sausage over the egg and turn out second pancake layer on top of egg, cheese and sausage. 
Serve with maple syrup.

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Monday, December 28, 2015

Homemade Laundry Soap

Nope, that's not cheese! It's Fels-Naptha soap. I'm sharing a different type of recipe with you today! Homemade Laundry Soap. I asked my Fairy Godmother if she could teach me how to make this. It's so easy and seriously costs less than $1. How can you beat that?! We've been making this soap for about a year now, and haven't missed the old store bought soaps. Do you make your own soap?

Here's what you'll need:

Homemade Laundry Soap
makes approximately 2 gallons (64 loads) Recipe can be doubled.
Lehman's recipe

1/2 bar Fels-Naptha soap, grated
1/2 cup washing soda
1/2 borax

On your stovetop, place grated soap in a large pan with 6 cups (1 1/2 quarts) of water and heat until the soap melts.
Add washing soda and borax and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat. 
Pour 4 cups hot water into a 4 gallon bucket. Add soap mixture and stir well, then add 1 gallon plus 6 cups of water and stir again until mixed well. Let soap sit for about 24 hours; it will congeal into a gel.
Stir the soap before each use. Use 1/2 cup per load (a little more or a little less depending upon how soiled your laundry is.)

Please note: This is a low-sudsing soap, so you will not see bubbles or suds in the water! Its not the suds that do the work, its the ingredients! :)

Scented soap: If desired, use 1/2-1oz essential oil or fragrance oil. DO NOT use soap scents or they ruin the batch!

My Fairy Godmother stirring the batch of soap!
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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Savory Garlic Cheese Muffins

Holy moly, these are good! I found this recipe on and changed the recipe to what I had in my refrigerator and what my family would like in it. The muffins came out tasting pretty similar to a Red Lobster cheese biscuit. I'm not much of a biscuit lover, so this was the perfect texture!

I love that this recipe makes about 12-15 muffins, and doesn't leave many leftovers for the next day. Lord knows, I don't need to eat all those muffins! But I want to.

Savory Garlic Cheese Muffins
Makes about 12-15 muffins
Adapted from

1 cup milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted & then cooled
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
3/4 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

1 tablespoon butter, melted (for topping) 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine milk, melted butter (or if you want to be like me, forget to add the butter!), egg& cayenne. In a second bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and garlic. Stir in cheeses.Add flour mixture to milk mixture and stir batter until it is just combined. The batter should be lumpy. Spoon the batter into lined muffin tins filling each about 2/3 full (I use a cookie scoop). Bake 20- 25 minutes. While still warm, paint the tops with melted butter.

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Monday, December 21, 2015

Chicken Alfredo Soup

This was by far my most viewed recipe on my blog Cookin' for the Seven Dwarfs when I was writing on that blog. It's probably my most favorite soup ever. It's creamy, warm and the flavor is amazing, especially if you make the homemade Alfredo sauce instead of using canned sauce.

This is always a huge crowd pleaser. Every time I make it everyone is asking for the recipe! I hope you love it too!

Chicken Alfredo Soup

2 cups chopped broccoli
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped onions
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 cup diced red bell peppers
2 cans (14/14 1/2 oz) chicken broth
4 cups diced cooked chicken
2 Tbls. snipped basil
2 jars Alfredo sauce (16 oz)

Bring veggies and broth to a boil, covered. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes or until veggies are crisp and tender. Add diced chicken and alfredo sauce to broth, simmer 5 minutes or until heated through. Remove from heat; stir in basil. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Tip: Canned Alfredo is nice, but making up a real batch of Alfredo sauce is AMAZING in this soup. I can't go back to canned Alfredo sauce after I tried it with homemade sauce. Its just so creamy and good! I double the Alfredo sauce recipe and add the whole thing to the soup! 

Alfredo Sauce

16 oz cream cheese
1 c. milk
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
2 c. parmesan cheese
1 tsp. garlic powder (I use 2 garlic clove, pressed)

Melt butter, and cream cheese, add garlic powder. Stir until smooth, then add milk, and parmesan cheese.

Tip: When you're stirring the butter, garlic and cream cheese, it'll look all curdle-y, so what I do is stir it vigorously with a whisk until it becomes smooth. I promise it won't be curdle-y. :)

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Friday, December 18, 2015

Chocolate Orange Revel Bars

I made these bars a little bit different than how you would normally make a Revel Bar. I had a bunch of left over cookie dough from a previous recipe I put together early this week and I needed to use it up fast. I go on auto pilot sometimes when baking and forget I'm not cooking for all the Dwarfs anymore, so there's no need to double/triple recipes anymore!

Instead of using canned sweetened condensed milk, I made up a batch of my own, which wasn't hard at all! I used this recipe from Kitchen Stewardship. I fainted a little in my mind when I read that it would take 2 hours to reduce to the amount I wanted, but there was no way I was getting out of my comfy clothes for the day and running to the overpriced store nearby. The sweetened condensed milk was done in a little less than an hour, but I had the heat up a little higher so it would go much faster. It tasted exactly the same, and I felt much better about using raw milk and organic sugar in it than using some aluminum canned stuff.

I digress! This stuff is the bomb diggity! It has just a hint of orange and the chocolate orange mixture complimented the cookie well. I'll definitely be making this again.

Chocolate Orange Revel Bars

Cookie Dough
1 14 oz can Sweetened Condensed milk (or make your own! Recipe Here)
2 cups semisweet chocolate pieces
2 Tbls butter
2 tsp. vanilla
1-2 tsp. orange extract

Preheat oven to 350. Flatten 2/3 of your room tempt cookie dough in a 13 x 9 pan. In a heavy saucepan stir sweetened condensed milk, chocolate and 2 Tbls butter over low heat until smooth. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Pour chocolate mixture evenly on top of cookie dough and with the remaining cookie dough crumble dough on top. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Cool and cut into bars.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Hood River Fresh Apple Cake

*drools* Holy. Moly. Drop everything you are doing, and make this cake! You'll feel like you've died and gone to heaven. This may be my favorite cake ever. 

This recipe is actually from the "A Taste of Oregon Cookbook" (where I'm from!) and seriously, you won't be sorry you made this. The cake caramelizes on the sides, and on the top. And you make this amazing sauce that you drizzle on top. I've made this a few times and all I could hear while I was dishing out the dessert was,  "Mmmmmmmm!" "Oh my goshhhhhh!" "This is so GOOD!" from everyone. 

The only thing I changed from the original recipe was instead of shortening, I used butter. I wouldn't change anything else. :)

Hood River Fresh Apple Cake
A teeny tiny bit changed from "A Taste of Oregon Cookbook"

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4 cups chopped cooking apples
  • 1 cup chopped nuts
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
Cream together the sugar, shortening and eggs. Mix the dry ingredients and add to the creamed sugar/eggs. Add the chopped apples and nuts. Pour into a greased 9x13-inch pan and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
To make the sauce, in a small pan combine the sugars, butter and whipping cream. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat and add the vanilla. Pour the sauce (which is great hot or cold) over individual servings of the cake.

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Monday, December 14, 2015

Homemade Dog Treats

Right before I got my puppy 2 years ago, I tried to read every puppy book I can get my hands on, so I could be better prepared when she got here. I felt like we were less prepared when we got our first dog 20 years ago (he died 7 years ago). He just showed up in our lives one day. He followed my brothers all the way home, and we were never able to find the owners. If you ask my mom today, she'd say he was sent from God. He was perfect, he loved our family, and we loved him.

Right before I got my puppy, I wanted to be better prepared for everything. I started looking into what types of foods I'd like to feed her, and after checking some of the labels on the dog food and treats some of the ingredients were a little worrying. They weren't simple ingredients, there was glycerin. Which is derived from SOAP making. Soap?! There's also Phosphoric acid, which you can use to remove rust. Yes. RUST. 

So, it got me thinking, why couldn't I just make my own dog treats? It's probably cheaper, maybe even a little healthier for my puppy, and it doesn't take much time. Why would I feed my dog chemicals I wouldn't eat? 

Since I don't have a puppy yet, I was able to test try these on some of my brother's dogs! One of them has a puppy 4 weeks older then the one I'm getting, and the other one is a full grown dog. They went crazy over these! I wish I could have taken a video of Pearl (the dog below) and how excited she was over this treat. She could hardly hold still for the picture!

Homemade Dog Treats
Makes about 50

1/3 cup Organic Pumpkin Puree
1/3 cup Organic Peanut Butter
1 small Organic Banana, mushed
2/3 cup Coconut Flour (you may need more)
1 Tbls. Organic Coconut Oil
1 1/3 cup Chicken Broth (I used homemade broth we had on hand)
1 cup Organic Rolled Oats

Mix all ingredients (I used a cuisinart to get it smooth) and roll out onto a floured surface (I used more coconut flour here). With a biscuit cutter (your choice on size, I wish I had cut them smaller) cut dough and place on a sheet pan. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Let cool and let your dog enjoy a treat! :) 

Since these have nothing crazy in them, you COULD eat them yourself, but it's not suggested. 

As for the smell of these things when you're cooking them, they smell like peanut butter cookies, with a hint of chicken broth. It's not a horrible smell at all.

And last, the texture. The texture is the same texture as a cookie you'd make yourself. I baked them a little longer to harden them a little, but it's nice to be able to break the pieces apart.

The great thing about these, you don't feel like you immediately have to go wash your hands after touching the treats. I always feel like that after touching dog food.

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Friday, December 11, 2015

Pinot Grigio Mashed Potatoes

Strange to put wine in your Mashed Potatoes, right? I never would have done this, but I had a cup of wine leftover in the fridge and wanted to use it up. So, why not throw it into the mix? I'm glad I tried it! This might be my new favorite way to eat garlic mashed potatoes. It gives it a little extra flavor, and makes it even harder to stop eating than regular Garlic Mashed Potatoes.

Pinot Grigio Mashed Potatoes

20 Red Potatoes,
1 cup Pinot Grigio
1 garlic clove, minced
8 oz Cream Cheese
1/2 tsp salt

Wash and cut the potatoes, and boil them in water until soft. Drain and immediately add the cream cheese and salt and cover with a lid. (This should soften the cream cheese enough to mash into the potatoes.) While the cream cheese softens, in a sauce pan, reduce 1/2 cup of the pinot grigio. Add your garlic clove to the wine. I let my pinot grigio reduce for 5 minutes on high heat. It goes fast, so watch it! Add the reduced wine to the potatoes and the other 1/2 cup of (not reduced) wine to the mixture and stir and enjoy!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Fruity Pebbles White Hot Chocolate

How pretty is this drink?! 

Snow means, no work, lazy days annnnnnd HOT CHOCOLATE!

Hot chocolate is always better when it's snowing, don't you think? :) So instead of making the same old hot chocolate/white hot chocolate drink we usually make, I wanted to put a spin on it! 

I recently got a box of fruity pebbles after I found a recipe on Pinterest that called for it. I didn't turn out as good as I thought it would, and was kind of a dud. Bummer. I'm a big fan of fruity pebbles, so I was trying to figure out ways I could use the rest of the pebbles up, since I'm not much of a cereal fan, or a milk fan. So, why not try a fruity hot chocolate? It has the perfect amount of Fruity Pebbles taste to it and it's such a pretty color! :) Definitely keeping this recipe around!

Fruity Pebbles White Hot Chocolate

1 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup fruity pebbles, crushed
1/2 tsp. vanilla

In a sauce pan warm your heavy cream and purple chocolate together. Add vanilla, milk and crushed fruity pebbles and bring almost to a boil. Strain the fruity pebbles out of the drink as you pour it in your cup. Top with whip cream and Fruity Pebbles.