Monthly Archives: November 2010

Chocolate Pudding from Scratch

My middle daughter El has never eaten chocolate pudding because all of the boxed ones at the grocery store have dye in them and she is deathly allergic. AHH, How I HATE RED DYE! I mean in all honesty, do we really need to have everything the “perfect” color or at least the perfect color that the consumer assumes that it needs to be? I have been looking and looking for an easy recipe to make at home and I finally found one.

Homemade Chocolate Pudding


  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 6 ounces  semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  1. Combine the cornstarch, sugar and salt in the top of a double boiler.
  2. Slowly whisk in the milk, scraping the bottom and sides with a heatproof spatula to incorporate the dry ingredients.
  3. Place over gently simmering water and stir occasionally, scraping the bottom and sides.
  4. Use a whisk as necessary should lumps begin to form.
  5. After 15 to 20 minutes, when the mixture begins to thicken and coats the back of the spoon, add the chocolate. (This needed a GOOD 20 minutes at our elevation)
  6. Continue stirring for about 2 to 4 minutes, or until the pudding is smooth and thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.

***If you like pudding skin, pull plastic wrap over the top of the serving dish(es) before refrigerating. If you dislike pudding skin, place plastic wrap on top of the pudding and smooth it gently against the surface before refrigerating. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 3 days (ahem, good luck with that).

You can even add this add this pudding into a pre-made pie shell and make a CHOCOLATE PUDDING PIE!!! Add a bit of whipped cream to the top and voila! We did this on Thanksgiving… and it was SO GOOD!!!

OPTIONAL – you can also add a little (and I mean little) bit of mint extract to make a chocolate mint pudding. 🙂

Boxes for our AMAZING Troops

Every year for the last… well more than I can count on 2 hands, my dad has packed up and sent boxes to local boys overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan. We all work together, writing letters, purchasing goodies (although my dad does 98% of this). We also take time to make Christmas trees during the holidays.

These soldiers are away from their families, sometimes they have no one to send them anything, thanking them for everything that they do. Thanking them for making use FREE!

Today, the kids(everyone but  Griffen) and Brent & Jacob put together their trees to pack and send. We found little 2 ft trees at JoAnn’s and bought little foam ornaments at Michaels and Walmart. These are a fun and easy craft. The foamies that we bought are sticker backed and easy for little hands to use and create. You can just peel and stick the different layers.


Cranberry Apple Peach Pie

It’s that time of the year again. I LOVE baking pies and desserts for my family. This was a NEW recipe this year that I created from some of our canned harvest from the fall (except for the cranberries that I bought too much of for another dessert – Cranberry FOOL) and it is has less than a cup of sugar per pie – helps with the diabetic and hypoglycemic in our family.

This is a TART pie, so be warned, but it is REALLY good!serve with whipped cream.
Cranberry Apple Peach Pie
PIE (This makes 2 pies)
  • 2 pie shells pastry(You can make your own OR use frozen)
  • 2 cups apples, peeled, cored, and quartered
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries (thawed if frozen)
  • 2 cups sliced peaches
  • 2 Tangerine or 1 orange – peeled
  • 1/2 of the orange or citrus peel
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons flour

CRUMB TOPPING

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 stick cold butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a 9-inch standard (not deep-dish) pie pan with the pastry, fluting the edge.
  2. Thinly slice the apples  and peaches (unless you are using some that you already canned)
  3. Grind your tangerine or oranges in a food processor along with the peel that you saved.
  4. Combine the peaches, apples and oranges in a large bowl with the cranberries.
  5. Add the sugar, lemon juice, and flour, mixing well.
  6. Transfer the filling to the pie shell, smoothing the top of the fruit. Bake for 30 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, and cinnamon for the topping. Add the butter, rubbing it into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  8. After 30 minutes, remove the pie from the oven and reduce the temperature to 375 degrees. Spread the topping over the pie and bake it for another 25 to 30 minutes, until the top is golden and the fruit thickens and bubbles around the edges.

Cranberry Fool Dessert

Cranberry Fool

This is a FANTASTIC dessert that my mom used to make every New Year’s when I was a little girl… Made it today and it was SO YUMMY!!!! (I bet it would work with Splenda too)


  • 1 pound (4 cups) fresh cranberries
  • 2 oranges
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 pint whipping cream
  • 1 tsp. almond extract

Wash the cranberries and chop them up in your food processor or hand grinder. Peel the oranges, remove the seeds, and put the rind and the orange pulp through the chopper or food processor, too. Mix together with the sugar and let stand for a few hours before serving.

Add the almond extract to the cranberry orange relish. Whip the cream and gently fold into the cranberry orange mixture. Serve in small dishes.

Serves 8

Buffalo Ranch Chex Mix

This is seriously ADDICTIVE!!  And we have had to make 2 batches already because it keeps disappearing!

Buffalo Chex® Mix

  • 4 cups Rice Chex® cereal
  • 4 cups Corn Chex® cereal
  • 4 cups Wheat Chex® cereal
  • 2 cups Parmesan-flavored tiny fish-shaped crackers
  • 2 cups pretzel grids
  • 2 cups peanuts
  • 1-1/2 sticks butter
  • 6 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 2 packets ranch dressing mix
  • 2 teaspoons celery seed

  1. In large bowl, mix cereals, crackers and peanuts; set aside.
  2. Melt butter in a pot. Stir in hot sauce and seasonings. Pour over cereal mixture; stir until evenly coated.
  3. Bake in oven for 20 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven  and let cool
  5. stir in pretzels and serve.

Turkey Handprints – craft for Thanksgiving

This is such a FUN and EASY Thanksgiving project. You need construction paper – brown, orange, red and yellow, glue sticks, a pencil, a black marker and a pair of scissors.

  1. Trace your hand one time on each of the red, yellow and orange papers and cut them out.
  2. Cut a oval out of the brown paper.
  3. Cut a triangle out of the orange
  4. Glue the 3 hands on the back of the oval
  5. Add eyes on the front with the marker and then add the beak.

We had SO much fun making these today with our friends, Wyatt, Gus and William.

New Digital FREEBIE – Tag sampler plus NEW items

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!! Here are a few new digital scrapbook items including a digital scrapbooking freebie for you!

Click HERE to download this FREEBIE


Click HERE to visit the shopping cart

Click HERE to visit the shopping cart

The Blessed kit is Free for 2 Days ONLY!!! (Wednesday and Thursday ONLY! – Nov 24-25, 2010)

Kris' Potato Soup (stolen partially from my sister, Jen!)

My sister is AMAZING and gave me this potato soup recipe years ago. It was handwritten on lined paper. Last week in a FRANTIC search, we couldn’t find my favorite potato soup recipe… I called up Jen and asked her if she would send me another copy. She couldn’t find her’s either but did email a quick semi-recipe. ( I LOVE my sister!!!)

***************************************

Here’s her email!

Cant find it.. here is a quick recap of whats in it but you can add anything you think sounds yummy..
Boil cubed potatoes in big pot
In a pan cook cut up bacon. Remove cooked bacon and in the grease cook onions, celery, green onions, fresh garlic, shredded carrots till mushy.
Remove potatoes from big pot and make a sauce….melt a stick of butter and add about a half cup flour and stir constantly so it dosen’t burn. When slightly brown add milk and keep stiring with a whisk. add as much milk as you would like your soup thin.
Lightly drain onions from bacon grease but leave some in for flavor
Add all cooked ingredients to pot
add a few handfuls of cheese and salt and pepper
Heat through
I think that’s about it but I always end up adding other little things:)
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Here’s what I came up with!!
Kris’ Potato Soup
  • 5 pounds+ Potatoes peeled, and cubed
  • 1/2 pound carrots – sliced thin
  • 1/2 pound celery – sliced
  • 1 bell pepper (OPTIONAL) – chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 red onion – chopped
  • fresh rosemary or basil (you don’t have to use fresh but to me tastes a WHOLE LOT BETTER – Bountiful Basket always has fresh herbs in their add-ons too – You can always dehydrate what you can’t use fresh for later… I have a herb garden throughout my house and garden which includes 3 types of mint, rosemary, 2 types of thyme, 3 types of basil)
  • 1 pound bacon chopped
  • stick of butter
  • 1/2 c flour (we grind our own)
  • 1/2 Gallon of milk
  • Salt and pepper
  • Grated Cheese for top

  1. add cubed potatoes to a pot of water. Boil for 25 minutes or until tender and slightly mushy
  2. meanwhile, cook bacon in a pan on low.
  3. when about 1/2 cooked, add celery, bell pepper, carrots, onions, rosemary, and garlic and simmer until bacon is fully cooked and veggies are tender.
  4. drain potatoes when finished and set aside.
  5. in potato pot(no potatoes in here, yet), melt stick of butter  and add the 1/2 C Flour. Stir (whisk) into a “rue”. Add your bacon / veggie mixture
  6. Add milk and stir into a sauce
  7. Add potatoes
  8. add salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Serve with grated cheese on top

This recipe is FANTASTIC (Made it again today!!). Serve in bread bowls or with fresh sourdough loaves and a salad.

Pumpkin Bread – Revisited :)

It’s that time of the year again so I am revisiting my pumpkin bread recipe – This one is for only 2 loaves rather than 4 like the one that I posted last year. 🙂 Here is the original recipe on my blog.

Pumpkin Bread


3 cups Sugar (yes, you can use Splenda)
1 cup Oil
4 Eggs
3-1/3 c  flour (we grind our own)
2 tsp baking soda
1-1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
2/3 cup water
1 15-ounce can pumpkin
OPTIONAL: 1 cup mini chocolate chips

  • preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease 2 bread pans
  • beat together eggs, sugar, and oil – set aside
  • In your mixer stir together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg
  • Stir together flour mixture, sugar mixture and water
  • beat in pumpkin
  • OPTIONAL: Stir in 1 cup mini chocolate chips
  • pour into 2 bread pans evenly.
Bake approximately 55 to 60 minutes..until a wooden skewer stuck in the center comes out clean. Remove from pan after 15 minutes. Cool on wire racks.