Quick Pick-Me-Ups (Peanut Butter Balls)

1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup peanut butter (I use chunky)
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup powdered milk
3 Tbs. water
Crushed graham crackers

Mix together first 5 ingredients.
Form into small balls.
Roll in crushed graham crackers.
Put in refrigerator for a few minutes.

Prep Time: It takes a bit of arm muscle strength to mix the peanut butter in with the ingredients--so I'd say it's about 20 minutes.

Source: my step-mom Jeanne

Variations: You can make the balls as small or as big as you want to. But I like them to be about 2-bite-sizes each.

Marcos' Rating: He doesn't like peanut butter.

BTS Dessert

(aka Better Than Sex Dessert)

2 regular brownie mixes for a 9x13 pan
2 regular size tubs of Cool Whip
1 1/2 bags smashed Heath Bar (found by chocolate chips)
2 regular size chocolate puddings (not instant)

Cook brownies as directed on box and let cool.
Make puddings as directed and let set.
Allow Cool Whip to soften a little.
Break up brownies into 1-2 bite-size pieces (it really doesn't matter how big/small they are).
In a bowl, layer the ingredients in the following order:
(from bottom to top) brownies, pudding, Cool Whip, Heath, brownies . . . .
(If you use a clear glass bowl, it looks super yummy.)
Keep refrigerated until serving.
It's better the next day!

Prep Time: However long it takes you to make the brownies & pudding, plus about 10 mins to layer it nicely.

Source: My friend Alison Coleman (she made it for a baby shower I went to and it was delicious!)

Variations: The last time I made this, I ruined one batch of brownies. So I decided to half the recipe. But then I ended up using both Cool Whips. And guess what! Next time I half it, I'm definitely using two puddings too! So I might use 3 Cool Whips & 3 puddings (or 2 large) when doing 2 batches of brownies. It might also be good with Andes Creme de Menthe baking chips too.

Marcos' Rating: He doesn't eat it cause there's too much chocolate and he doesn't like Cool Whip. He's totally missing out.

Posting desserts for your enjoyment!

Has it really been more than 4 months since I've posted?! Yikes!

The other day we went to a party and I took BTS dessert. I had forgotten how good it was.

I've posted it here, as well as other desserts. Enjoy!


Lomo Saltado

This is one of my favorite dishes from my mission. It is a Peruvian dish. And every time Marcos and I go to a Peruvian restaurant, we have to order this!

1 lb. tenderloin or chicken, cut into small pieces (2x1/2" wide strips)
2 sliced onions
2 tomatoes, peeled & cut
4 cloves garlic, chopped
Parsley, chopped
1 red or green sweet pepper, cut in strips
salt & pepper
Hot, cooked french fries

Brown mean in oil. Add onions, tomatoes, pepper, and parsley. Cook until meat is tender. Just before serving, toss in the french fries. Serve, usually over rice. (Note: add a little liquid when cooking if it seems dry; this recipe should come out slightly juicy.)

Prep Time: a good 30 mins due to all the chopping (and peeling that tomato--which I hate doing) and then you're cooking for about 30 mins as well

Source: www.cook.com

Variations: So next time I'll definitely do both red and green pepper (instead of just one). And I'll make sure I cut that chicken into smaller strips. Marcos ended up putting his rice in the skillet with his food, but I didn't like it that way. Oh, and I won't drain the fat after cooking the chicken (which wasn't in the recipe, but for some reason I drained it and then it was really dry.)

Marcos Rating: 6 (but he LOVES the real stuff so we're going to keep looking for a better recipe for this dish!)

Candied Yams

6 large bright orange sweet potatoes
1 lb. dark brown sugar
1 stick butter
2 cups mini marshmallows
1/4 cup white sugar
2 tsp salt

Wash and peel potatoes. Chunk potatoes into 2-in disks. Put potatoes in a pan and cover with water. Add salt & sugar to potatoes and water. Cover. Boil until potatoes are fork tender (approx 30 mins). Drain potatoes. Put potatoes in a baking dish and sprinkle with brown sugar. Dot potatoes with butter. Bake for 20 mins on 350F. Sprinkle with marshmallows and return to oven. Bake until marshmallows are brown.

Prep Time: 15 mins (for peeling and chopping)

Source: www.cook.com

Variations: I used 3 sweet potatoes and light brown sugar (instead of dark). Then I didn't measure anything. I just put in however much I wanted.

Marcos' Rating: This year he made these for me while I was making something else. But he didn't eat them so he has no rating.

Thanksgiving Green Bean Casserole

I only make it for Thanksgiving, hence the name, because I don't like green beans or mushrooms. Okay, so here are 2 different recipes I tried this year. Yesterday I made the first one, and today I made the second one. We'll see which one Marcos prefers.

Recipe #1: French's Green Bean Casserole

1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of mushroom soup
3/4 cup milk
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 1/3 cup french fried onions
2 (14.5 oz) cans green beans, drained OR 2 (9 oz) pkgs frozen cut green beans, thawed

Mix soup and milk, then add pepper, beans and 2/3 cup onions in a 1.5 qt. casserole dish.
Bake at 350 F for 30 mins or until hot.
Top with remaining onions and bakd for 5 more mins.

Prep Time: 5-10 mins, if that

Source: the back of the French's French Fried Onions can

Variations: none

Marcos' Rating: 15 (on a scale of 1-10)

Recipe #2: Campell's Green Bean Casserole

2 cans (10 3/4 oz)
1 cup milk
2 tsp. soy sauce
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
2 2/3 cups french fried onions

Stir soup, milk, soy sauce, black pepper, beans and 1 1/3 cups onions in 3-qt casserole.
Bake 350 F for 25 mins or until the bean mixture is hot and bubbling. Stir the bean mixture and top with the remaining onions.
Bake for 5 more mins or until the onions are golden brown.

Prep Time: 5-10 mins maybe

Source: the back of the Campbell's Green Beans soup can

Variations: I made a forth of this recipe (it was only for Marcos to eat), and it still turned out good.

Marcos' Rating: (to be determined . . . he'll eat it tonight)


Potato Ham Omelet Pie

I made this on General Conference Sunday.

1 package (17 1/4 oz) frozen puff pastry, thawed
3 cups thinly sliced peeled red potatoes
1 cup thinly sliced onion
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 cup butter, cubed

6 eggs
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley (I used dried)
2 Tbsp water
Dash salt
Dash pepper
2 Tbsp butter, divided

2 cups (8 oz) shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 1/2 cup cubed fully cooked ham (or about 10 slices lunch meat)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 Tbsp water

  1. On a lightly floured surface, roll each puff pastry sheet into a 12-in square. Place one square in a 10-in quiche dish; set dish and remaining pastry aside.
  2. In a large skillet, combine the potatoes, onion, salt and pepper in butter; cover and cook for 10-12 mins or until potatoes are tender and golden brown; stirring occasionally. (I had to do a little bit at a time instead of all the potatoes at once.) Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, parsley, water, salt and pepper. In a 10-in skillet, melt 1 Tbsp butter; add half of the egg mixture. Cook over medium heat. As eggs set, lift edges, letting uncooked portion flow underneath. Continue cooking until set. (We just flipped it over to cook it thoroughly.) Slide omelet onto a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining butter and egg mixture to make a second omelet.
  4. Sprinkle 1 cup cheese over prepared pastry in pan. Top with one omelet and half of the potato mixture. Layer with ham (meat) and the remaining potato mixture, cheese, omelet, and puff pastry. Trim pastry to fit dish; seal and flute edges. In a small bowl, combine egg and water; brush over pastry.
  5. Bake at 375 degree F for 30-35 mins or until golden brown. Let stand for 10 mins. Cut into serving wedges.

Prep Time: Okay, this one takes awhile. A long while if you have to cook the potatoes in increments, like I did. But it's so good that by the time you're eating it, you've forgotten how long it took. (It took about an hour and a half.)

Source: Taste of Home, Fall 2009

Variations: I didn't put ham because Marcos doesn't like it. Instead, I just layered on the turkey lunch meat we had.

Marcos' Rating: 9