Here you go…this years recipe selections from the Hilltop Honeys. None of these are from me because, well…you all know my cooking stories.
Now this is true….one year I gave the “honeys” my cooking “find of the year” tip involving instant mashed potatoes. They just nodded politely and didn’t write anything down. Then a minute later Michelle exclaims…“My mom LOVES those potatoes”. Those girls couldn’t scribble it down fast enough. Same potatoes. Now granted, Michelle’s mom is a very impressive cook so I can see why they’d go with anything she says, but seriously…every now and again, you gotta trust a girl. And by the way…my tip: Idahoan potatoes. They are in a bag in the grocery store and they are good! I’m a Southern girl who likes real mashed potatoes but these are a pretty darn close substitute.
Just so you know, I did provide some bagels and a 2 pound bag of Twizzlers for the weekend because, well, nothing says girls weekend like a big bag of Twizzlers
and some Diet Coke!!
The first thing I found on my bed when I arrived in Hilltop was a cute soup ladle with several soup recipes attached.
I would call it a weekend party favor but it said Merry Christmas on it with a red bow so I can’t. Michelle decided to forgo Christmas cards this year but I guess the guilt was too much for her and she put these Christmas treats together. And it’s all good because I’ve still got a Christmas tree sitting on my bookshelf that somehow escaped the whole Christmas pack up experience, so in a way I’m still celebrating. Anyway…it made for a very cute little gift so you might want to remember that next Christmas when you are looking for some cute teacher gifts (and make them a pot of the soup) or neighbors gifts, etc. She found the ladles at Walmart and I don’t think I’m supposed to tell this, but they were 97 cents. Paired with the cute bow…it’s a cute Christmas treat!
Michelle made the tomato soup for us…served along side one of her delish paninis. And, to steal a line from Rachel Ray, it was “Yum-o”.
Michelle’s Tomato Soup
2 (14-15 oz) cans diced tomatoes with Italian seasonings
One 8 oz light cream cheese, cubed
Add salt (and sugar sometimes) to taste
Heat and blend with an immersion (Ok, my note, but who has one of those besides Michelle?!?) or in a regular (now you’re talking!) blender to desired smoothness. Doubles easily. For the panini’s, she used a sea salt ciabatta bread that was about the width of a slice of bacon. I say that because she added a slice onto the sandwich and it fit oh so nicely. In one of her….I just know all this because I’m a cooking show junkie tips… she said we didn’t need to butter the bread when serving it with the soup because it would make the bread crisper and yummier to dunk in the soup. (I don’t think she used the word dunk either, but you get the idea). She put Light Colby Jack and Provolone cheese on it and added in between the cheese a slice of the precooked microwave bacon, put it in her panini maker and we all declared it “very, very good.”
(Little tip from my mom…if you don’t have a panini maker, you could use your George Foreman grill. If you don’t have one of those…I don’t know, maybe you could just go buy a panini at Panera Bread)
We also snacked on a cake that ohhh, I could dream about. Another one of Michelle’s tips…they now make smaller sized Bundt cake pans so you can split this recipe between 2 pans and keep one for yourself and give another to, oh…I don’t know, maybe … me!
Chocolate Chip Pound Cake
1 devils food cake mix with pudding in the mix
1 (4 oz) chocolate instant pudding mix
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup oil
3/4 cup water
3 large eggs
1 carton (8 oz) sour cream (Michelle says don’t use fat free and I trust any tip she gives!)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Mix the cake mix, pudding mix, and sugar together with a wire whisk to remove lumps. Add oil, water, eggs and sour cream and eat until smooth. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour ingredients into a greased and floured bundt pan and cook for one hour at 350. Sprinkle with sugar on top when cool. *** (the recipe actually calls for a yellow cake mix, but Michelle, being the gourmet girl that she is, switched it to Devils food which I thought was masterful!)
And then lastly, for Saturday night dinner, Debra provided enchiladas. Debra is kind of known for her enchiladas so although I did not personally partake of these (remember, I left early), I’m sure they are good.
Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas
1 can cr. chicken soup
1 small onion - finely chopped
10 oz. can cr. mushroom soup
1 bunch green onion tops chopped
7 oz. can chopped green chiles
3/4 lb. mont. jack cheese - grated
12 large flour tortillas
3/4 lb. cheddar cheese - grated
2 cups sour cream
5 chicken breasts
Cook 5 chicken breasts and chop. Combine soups, chiles, sour cream, onion, and portion of green onions. Mix cheese separately and add 1/2 to soup mixture. Measure 1 1/2 cups mixture and set aside. Add chopped chicken to remaining soup/filling mixture. Soften tortillas in microwave. Fill each tortilla with 3 T chicken mixture. Roll tightly and put in greased baking dish. Pour reserved mixture over top of tortillas. Sprinkle with remaining cheese, green onions, and a dash of paprika. Refrigerate overnight. Bake at 350 for 30 - 45 minutes.
Now lastly is a recipe from Carol. She didn’t make this while we were there (not only were we stuffed with my Twizzlers and all, but remember she is negotiating a house deal and apparently there is a limit to what that girl can do!) She has given us the recipe in the past and it is really good - kind of her signature dish. We did order banana pudding as one of our (3!) desserts at the Leona General Store and we discussed how it compared with Carol’s. So since it was discussed, it deserves to be included.
CAROL’S BANANA PUDDING
2 large boxes instant vanilla pudding
4 cups milk
1 12oz carton Cool Whip (thawed)
3-4 large bananas
1 box vanilla wafers
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup sour cream
1 very large bowl or 2 smaller bowls
Mix pudding with milk. Fold in sour cream, vanilla and half of Cool Whip. Layer vanilla wafers in bowl. Cover wafers with slices of bananas. Add pudding mixture. Top with rest of Cool Whip and vanilla wafer crumbs. Chill . Serves 14-16.
Tune in next year for more recipes from the “Hilltop Honeys”.