Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Soup is perfect for cold wintery days. More of those are ahead of us. This recipe is another family favorite. Today, I used leftover turkey instead of chicken. I have used a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store as well.

(Photo from

  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cooked, boneless chicken breast halves, shredded
  • 1 (4.5 ounce) package quick cooking long grain and wild rice with seasoning packet
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 cups milk

In a large pot over medium heat, combine broth, water and chicken. Bring just to boiling, then stir in rice, reserving seasoning packet. Cover and remove from heat.

In a small bowl, combine salt, pepper and flour. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in contents of seasoning packet until mixture is bubbly. Reduce heat to low, then stir in flour mixture by tablespoons, to form a roux. Whisk in milk, a little at a time, until fully incorporated and smooth. Cook until thickened, 5 minutes.  (I prepare this in the microwave.)

Stir cream mixture into broth and rice. Cook over medium heat until heated through, 10 to 15 minutes.

(Original recipe is HERE)

Triple-Tier Brownies

By request. These are for you Jess...

I found this recipe in the “Taste of Home” magazine after I tried some at a Christmas party several years ago.
(I don't add the peanuts)

  • 1 package fudge brownie mix (13-inch x 9-inch pan size)
  • 1 package (11-1/2 ounces) milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 3 cups crisp rice cereal
  • 1 can (16 ounces) cream cheese frosting
  • 1 cup salted peanuts, chopped (optional)

Prepare and bake brownie mix according to package directions, using a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Cool on a wire rack.

In a large saucepan, combine chocolate chips and peanut butter. Cook over low heat for 4-5 minutes or until blended, stirring occasionally. Stir in cereal; set aside.

Spread frosting over brownies. Sprinkle with peanuts if desired. Spread with peanut butter mixture. Chill for 30 minutes or until set before cutting. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: about 5 dozen.

Cinnamon Twists

Another recipe that comes from a Ward Cookbook and another family favorite. A twist (no pun intended) on traditional Cinnamon Rolls.

This recipe makes A LOT! so I usually make a half  batch.  I also use the dough setting in my bread machine to prepare the dough. Food

  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp yeast
  • 6 eggs
  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 8 cups flour
  • 3/4 c sugar


  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine

Mix together

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup cinnamon

Dissolve yeast in water; add the salt, yeast, eggs, shortening, flour and 3/4 cup sugar. Let rise. Pinch a piece of dough about the size of a walnut and roll into a rope. Dip in melted butter and then roll in cinnamon/sugar mixture. Tie in a knot. Place on a greased cookie sheet. Let rise until almost double. Bake at 350° for 12-15 minutes. Frost while hot with your favorite icing.
(Stay tuned for MY favorite icing for these or for traditional cinnamon rolls.)

Pumpkin mousse

1 cup heavy cream, whipped until medium peaks form
15 ounces pumpkin
1/3 cup milk
5 ounce package vanilla pudding
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Mix together pumpkin and milk, then add pudding and spices.

Fold in whipped cream, then place in ramekins or in a pre-made pie shell, and refrigerate for 3-4 hours, or until completely set.

Pumpkin spice instant pudding works better than vanilla pudding, but is more difficult to find.

At the last minute, we added a crunchy topping made with butter and crushed pretzels, which made the dessert better. A sweet, crunchy topping would have been even better!

Pumpkin Cookies

In keeping with the fall/pumpkin theme, this has been a family favorite for as long as I can remember.

Preheat oven to 375 deg.

3 cups canned pumpkin (1 15-ounce can)
1 cup margarine
2 cups sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
4 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
2 heaping teaspoons cinnamon
2 packages butterscotch chips

Mix all the ingredients in the order given.

Once the batter is mixed, drop 1 ounce portions onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes.

Yield: about 4 dozen cookies.

My favorite part about this recipe is the butterscotch chips, especially the chips that fall off of the cookies! You can use chocolate chips, but the recipe is MUCH better with the butterscotch chips.

I have made huge cookies, like to ones you would find at a convenience store.


Spicy Fry Sauce

I am a Utahn, which means Fry Sauce is a side dish, not a condiment.

This recipe is for my favorite fry sauce – the added spices give it the perfect little kick.

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Stir together mayonnaise and ketchup; season with cayenne, onion powder, pepper, and salt.
(Original Recipe)

Boston Cream Pie

This is really not a pie. It’s a cake with a vanilla cream filling and a chocolate glaze icing. Very delicious and a favorite of many in the family and extended. (This is for you, Eric.)

It is speculated that it is called a pie because colonists baked their cakes in pie tins as they did not own cake pans.

I love to cook and bake. I wish I had all day to spend in the kitchen. Someday, when I do, I will look for a recipe for this dessert to make from scratch. But, this one is quite good and I just might stick with it . . . It is made from a cake mix and boxed pudding, items I usually have on hand, so I can make this whenever the mood hits. (Makes 2 pies)

Boston Cream Pie_0166

  • 1 package yellow cake mix
  • 1 tsp lemon extract
  • 2 packages (3.4oz) instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 4 Cups cold milk
  • 3 squares (1oz) semi-sweet chocolate
  • 3 Tbsp butter or margarine
  • 1 1/2 Cups powdered sugar
  • 6-8 tsp hot water

Mix cake according to directions, adding lemon extract to batter. Pour into two greased and floured 9" round cake pan. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until toothpick in center comes out clean. Meanwhile, beat the pudding mix and milk according to directions; chill. Cool cake in pan for 10 min. before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. In a saucepan over low heat, melt chocolate and butter. Stir in sugar until crumbly. Stir in hot water, 1 tsp at a time, until smooth. Split cakes in half. (**See how I split my cakes HERE) Spread 1/2 pudding on bottom layer of each cake. Place second layer over pudding. Pour  1/2 chocolate glaze over each top, letting in drizzle down the sides. Chill.

How I split a cake

The perfectionist in me loves a level cake. Something I can’t control very often. But, when it comes to splitting a cake, I have a trick that will help.

Insert at least 4 toothpicks to use as guides. Place them at the center if you are splitting halves like this:Boston Cream Pie_0161

Cut a piece of thread or unwaxed, unflavored dental floss (something I have never been able find), and wrap it around the circumference of the cake using your toothpicks as guides. Boston Cream Pie_0162

Then pull the ends, opposite each other, cutting through the cake like this:


This is a recipe that I have not tried, but was submitted by my cousin Travis. I have heard rumors that he is quite the BBQ and Dutch Oven chef, so I am sure this recipe will not fail.

** Be sure to read his added comments for additional suggestions/options

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk baking mix
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheese

Blend eggs, baking mix and milk in blender. Grease 10-inch pie pan or quiche pan and spread cheese over bottom. Pour blended mixture over and bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Filling will puff slightly and be golden brown on top.

May also be cooked it in the microwave for about 10 minutes, 3-4 minutes at a time.  At each break, stir it up a little, stirring the cooked part into the middle, allowing the uncooked part to flow to the outside. Finish it off (about 5 minutes) in the oven.

** I added cooked breakfast sausage to it this time.  I placed half the sausage in the pan before adding the wet ingredients, and I used the balance of the meat and the drippings to make a pan gravy which I served over the finished quiche.
In the past, we've also added krab to the wet ingredients, or served the cheese-only quiche with salsa.


Thanks Trav!

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