If you would like to submit a recipe for me to try (and post about!) please email it to me at rachelsrainbow@live.com

Monday, October 26, 2009

Halloween Treats

Halloween is just around the corner and you might be looking for some cute snacks for a party, or just to make with the kids. I have not made any of these yet so I can't give them a rating, but I promise I will. Also check out some other really cute ideas for halloween treats at picky palate!

Bugs in a blanket

Bugs in a Blanket
by Pillsbury
1 can (11 oz) refridgerated original breadsticks
24 cocktail-size smoked link sausages
3/4 cup shoestring potatoes
Ketchup, bbq sauce, or mustard
1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Unroll dough; separate at perforations into 12 breadsticks. with a knife or kitchen scissors, cut each breadstick into half crosswise, making 24 pieces.
2. wrap each piece of dough around center of each sausage, pinching to seal and leaving each end of sausage showing. Place seam side down and 1/2 inch apart on ungreased large cooking sheet.
3. Bake 11-14 min or until golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet; place on serving plate or tray. Cool 2 minutes.
4. Insert shoestring potatoes into baked dough to resemble legs and antennae. Decorate "bugs" with dots or stripes of ketchup.
Taste Rating: 3
Difficutly Rating: 3

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Scary Skull Cakes

Scary Skull Cakes
by Pillsbury
1 box (18.25 oz) white cake mix with pudding in the mix
Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on cake mix box
12 large marshmallows, halved
1 container (12 oz) vanilla whipped ready-to-spread frosting
48 small chocolate-covered mint candies (from 4.75-oz box)
24 chocolate chips
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place paper baking cup in each of 24 regular-size muffin cups. Make and cool cupcakes as directed on box.
2. Carefully pull back a small section of paper from each cupcake; insert marshmallow half between paper and cake of each. Frost tops of cupcakes and marshmallows to look like skull shape.
3. For each skull cake, use 2 mint candies for eyes, 1 chocolate chip, point side down, for nose, and 6-8 almonds for teeth. Store loosely covered.

Wickedly Fun Witches

Wickedly Fun Witches
by Pillsbury
24 oblong peanut butter-filled sandwich cookies
1/2 cup vanilla creamy ready-to-spread frosting (from 1 lb container)
9 drops green food color
4 drops yellow food color
72 mini candy-coated chocolate baking bits
24 pieces candy corn
3 bars (1.55 oz each) milk chocolate candy
12 chocolate wafer cookies
1. Line cookie sheet with waxed paper. Place sandwich cookies on cookie sheet. In resealable food storage plastic bag, place frosting and food colors; seal bag. Squeeze bag until frosting is well blended. Cut small hole in bottom corner of bag.
2. Pipe thick line across each sandwich cookie mear the top. Pipe 1 large dot of frosting above the line on each cookie. Pipe squiggles of frosting to look like hair below each green line. Pipe 2 dots for eyes, 1 for nose and 1 for mouth on each cookie. Place baking bits on dots for eyes and mouth; place candy corn on dot for nose.
3. Cut candy cars crosswise into quarters. Cut each quarter in half to form 2 triangles. Place 1 candy triangle over large dot of frosting on each cookie to look like top of witches hat.
4. With serrated knite and sawing motion, cut each chocolate wafer cookie in half. Place cookie upright on green line at base of each candy triangle to look like hat brim.

Monster Burgers

Monster Burgers
by Pillsbury
8 ground beef patties (4 oz each)
8 burger buns, split
8 slices (3/4 oz each) american cheese
8 thin slices cookes ham
16 slices dill pickles
1. Place ground beef patties in broiler pan. Broil 3-4 inches from heat 10-12 min or until throughly cooked, turning once.
2. Place bottom halves of buns on serving platter. For each monter burger, place 1 cooked patty on bottom half of bun. cut cheese slices in half in zigzag pattern to look like teeth. Place half of cheese slice on burger, with "teeth" hanging off 1 side of patty.
3. Loosely fold ham into tongue shape; place on top of "teeth" place remaining cheese "teeth" on top of "tongue". Top with top half of bun. Place 2 pickle slices on top for eyes. Dot "eyes" with kethup for pupils.

Halloween Cake

Halloween Cake
by Betty Crocker

2 boxes (1 lb 2.25 oz) yellow cake mix with the pudding in the mix
Water, oil, and eggs called for on cake mix boxes
Frosting and Decorations:
2 containers (1 lb each) vanilla creamy ready-to-spread frosting
yellow and red food color
1 pkg pull apart green licorice twists
chewy fruit-flavored snack rolls (any flavor)
edible glitter, if desired
1. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Spray 2 1/2 qt ovenproof bowl with baking spray with flour. In large bowl, make 1 box cake as directed on bow, using water, oil and eggs. Pour batter into ovenproof bowl.
2. Bake 1 hr and 15 min or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes. Run knife just around top edge of cake. Remove cake from bowl; place rounded side up on cooling rack. Repeat with remaining box cake mix to make second cake. Cool cakes completely, about 1 hr.
3. In medium bowl, tint frosting with 9 drops of yellow and 6 drops of red food color to make orange frosting. Trim both cakes to form flat surfaces. Place 1 cake, round side down, on plate. Spread 2/3 cup of orange frosting over flat side of cake almost to edge. Place second cake, round side up, on frosted cake to make round shape. Frost entire cakes with remaining orange frosting.
4. To make stem, cut twist of licorice crosswise into thirds. Gather pieces together and twist. Use toothpick to make hole in top of cake; insert licorice stem. Pull apart licorice to make vines. Cut leaces from fruit snack rolls. Garnish cake with vines and leaves. Sprinkle with glitter.

Witches' Brooms

Witches' Brooms
by Betty Crocker
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 Tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt
10 pretzels rods (about 8 1/2 inches long, cut in half crosswise)
2 tsp shortening
2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup butterscotch chips
1/2 tsp shortening
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. In medium bowl, beat brown sugar, butter, water and vanilla until well blended. Stir in flour and salt. Shape dough into 20 (1 1/4 inch) balls.
2. Place pretzel rod halves on ungreased cookie sheets. Press ball of dough onto cut end of each pretzel rod. Press dough with fork to resemble bristles of broom. Bake 10-12 min or until set but not brown. Remove to cooling racks; cool completely.
3. Cover cookie sheet with waxed paper. Place brooms on waxed paper. In 1-qt saucepan, melt 2 tsps shortening and chocolate chips over low heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Remove from heat. Spoon melted chocolate over brooms, leaving about 1 inch at top of pretzel handle and bottom halves of cookie bristles uncovered.
4. In a small microwavable bowl, microwave butterscotch chips and 1/2 tsp shortening uncovered on med-high 30-50 sec, stir after 30 sec, until chips can be stirred smooth. Drizzle over chocolate. Let stand until chocolate is firm before storing.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


This is by far my favorite salsa, because it is the real thing!! None of that Pace picante or stuff made in New York City for me! My friend taught me how to make this recently and I have been making and eating it ever since! The only thing is that I don't have an exact recipe, which is rough for someone like me. I about have a panic attack when I try to cook without a recipe. But this is so good it was at least worth me trying to explain the instructions, and it is actually easier than you think, at least give it a try.

what you need:
Roma Tomatoes (about 4-5 and you don't want them too ripe. dicing is easier if they are still slightly firm)
White Onion (1 will be more than enough, we won't use that much)
Cilantro (oh my favorite, these are usually sold bunched together, we only need a handful so just buy one thing of it and you will have plenty left over)
1-2 limes

For the Hot Sauce you will need:
2 Roma tomatoes
chili de arbol

So lets start with the hot sauce:
take 2 of the roma tomatoes (i know the picture shows 3 but we only ended up using 2 and it made a lot, since you don't use much of the hot sauce) and about 4-5 of the chiles (pinch the caps off) and place them in a skillet over med-high heat, flip and cook until blackened. Note-when the chiles and tomatoes blacken they will pop open which can cause coughing so have the stove fan on (I have no idea what causes this, if there are any scientist out there that can give me the chemical analysis of why this happens I would love to know).
Then throw them into a blender (I like to use my magic bullet) and add in a clove of garlic. Turn it on high speed and mix until well blended.

Strain through a colander into a small bowl so that you get nothing but the juice, you may need to stir it around so that all of the juice comes out. And ta-da, you have your hot sauce, and be careful it really will be hot.

So then all that is left to do is dice up the other roma tomotoes, onion (I use my kitchen aid chopper and only about 1/4 of the onion), and a handful of the cilantro (which I also chop). What you are trying to accomplish is having a nice mix so that everything looks about like this...

After you throw all the tomatoes, onion, and cilantro together you want to add the lime and the salt, and you are going to have to go by taste (as a guess I would start with 1/2 of the lime and 1-2 tsp of salt). This is what gives it its flavor, so just keep tasting. Now to give it some spice! Everyone likes different levels of spicy, I am personally a mild or medium spicy person so I add about 1-2 Tbsp of the hot sauce, but taste it has you go, one extra spoonful can make it too hot! if you do get it too hot it's okay, just add some more lime and salt or tomatoes or something. So I know this is not as exact as I usually like for a recipe to be, but I promise it is really good!!

Taste Rating: 5 (like I said it is my favorite salsa!)

Difficulty Rating: 3.5 (mostly you are just chopping and dicing, but clean up is definitely the worst part)

Thanks to my friend for teaching me how to make this great salsa, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do, and don't forget to let me know!

Potatoes Deluxe

Potatoes Deluxe

I got this recipe from Wayne's cousin, but I don't know where she got it from. I am not a photographer, so I hope my pictures don't turn you away from trying some of these recipes. Especially this one! I just took this to a pot luck and came home with nothing, it got all eaten up!

1 (2lb) pkg frozen hashbrowns (i use the southern style)

1 cup diced onions (this is optional, i don't my family doesn't like onions)

1/2 cup margarine

1 (8 oz) pkg grated sharp cheddar cheese

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 cup of sour cream

Thaw potatoes 30 minutes (or until you can break it all up into little pieces). Combine all ingredients. Bake in greased 13 x 9 pan @ 375 degrees for 1 hour.

Taste Rating: 4.5 (we make this a lot)

Difficultly Rating: 2.5 (mix and bake, easy enough!)

Let me know what you think, try and give your own ratings

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Sweet Potato Casserole

So I am not going to lie, I am not a huge fan of sweet potato casserole...scratch that, I am not a fan of sweet potatoes. That was until this recipe came into my life!!! This is my Aunt Nancy's recipe and it is as sweet as candy!! I love it, so try it out and let me know what you think. After you try it come back and give your own ratings!

Sweet Potato Casserole
3 cups mashed sweet potatoes (fresh is great, but I just use one large can and one small one, which is about 3 cups, plus it is much easier! Don't forget to drain them really well)
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
Mix together and pour in greased casserole dish. Then top with:
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 cup chopped nuts (I use pecans)
1/3 butter
Mix flour and sugar with butter and nuts. Sprinkle on top of casserole. Cook at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Taste Rating: 4 (candy, candy, candy...)
Difficulty Rating: 3 (this is probably because I chop my own pecans, but really it is not that hard to make)