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Tandy Bars

I grew up in south-central Pennsylvania, and if you’ve ever spent time in that region, you know about Tastykakes. Tastykake produces all kinds of boxed goodies, but in my opinion, their Kandy Kake wins first place. A yellow cake gets topped with a smear of smooth peanut butter, then the whole thing is enrobed in melted chocolate. Oh, man, I can almost taste them now! Here’s a version in bar form.

4 eggs
1 T. butter, melted
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
2 c. sugar
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. milk
2 tsp. baking powder

1 c. smooth peanut butter
2 c. milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease and flour a cookie sheet with 1-inch sides.  In a large bowl, beat eggs until they turn an even yellow color.

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Nothing says “party” like these peanut butter cookies with the chocolate kiss on top, right? Well, at least for those awesome pre-holiday break elementary school parties some of us may remember. What excited, hard-partying little kids we were back then! Relive the good times with some shorties you know. They can help out with this recipes by shaping the cookies into balls, rolling them in sugar, and then adding the finishing touch- placing the chocolate crown on top.

Recipe:

1 c. shortening
1 c. peanut butter
1 c. white sugar
1 c. packed light brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 c. milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/2 c. white sugar (for rolling cookies in)
2- 9 oz. bags chocolate kisses, unwrapped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray cookie sheets with non-stick spray.

In a large bowl, cream the shortening, peanut butter, 1 c. white sugar and the brown sugar. Reduce the speed to low;  add eggs and milk. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture in 3 batches, mixing well after each addition. Place remaining 1/2 c. white sugar in a shallow bowl. Shape tablespoonfuls of dough into balls; roll the balls in the sugar to coat. Place the balls 2 inches apart on the cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove from the oven and immediately press one chocolate kiss firmly onto the center of each cookie. Cool 2 minutes on the sheet, then remove the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Let’s be honest: oatmeal-peanut butter cookies sure do sound a lot better than oatmeal-raisin cookies. Yes, raisins are comforting in the oatmeal cookie, but you know the idea of Read more »

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Summer means delicious tomatoes. A LOT of delicious tomatoes. If you’re growing tired of your same old tomato recipes (and you probably are by now), try this double-crust tomato pie. It’s from Heidi, whose recipe for Read more »

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BBQ Nachos

We enjoyed this incredible appetizer while on a beach trip to Wrightsville Beach, NC, this summer. We’ve been going to the same beach Read more »

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Rum Cake

It’s amazing what fantastic cakes can be created with the shortcut of using a box mix. Over the years, I’ve entertained and gifted many of my friends with this delicious cake, and it’s a staple Read more »

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I found a good recipe for banana muffins a few years ago. Being conscious of the importance of healthier ingredients in some things I bake, I played around with the recipe until I came up with an end result that tastes good and is good for you, too. Read more »

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Mmmmm…potatoes and cheese. If you’re dieting, you know the incredibly delicious combination of white starch and gooey cheese is a perfect mini-vacation from brown rice and baked chicken. If you’re not dieting, then try this soul-warming side with your next meal, whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner. It’s a wonderful any time of the day or year.

Recipe:

1 2-lb. package frozen hash browns, thawed
1/2 stick butter, melted
1 8-ounce container sour cream
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 tsp. salt
Black pepper to taste
1 small can french-fried onion rings
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13″ baking dish.

In a large bowl, stir together hash browns, butter, sour cream, soup, salt, pepper, onion rings, and 1 1/3 c. cheese. Pour mixture into the baking dish. Bake uncovered 35 minutes. Remove from oven and top with remaining cheese. Return the dish to oven and bake until the cheese is just melted.

 

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Here’s how to get your cured pork fix and not feel too guilty about it. Wrapped around a crunchy green vegetable, the pork isn’t so bad, right? Of course not! So fire up your oven and enjoy this delicious and pretty side dish.

Asparagus stalks, washed and trimmed
Prosciutto slices
Olive oil
Italian seasoning

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Wrap a few asparagus spears in a prosciutto slice, spiraling it around the asparagus. Continue with remaining asparagus and prosciutto. Place the wrapped asparagus on a baking sheet. Brush the top and bottom ends of asparagus (unwrapped ends) with olive oil. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning. Bake in oven until prosciutto edges are brown.

Note: Bacon can be substituted for prosciutto, and fresh green beans can be substituted for asparagus.

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I first tried this fruit dip years ago at an event where I used to work. It’s so creamy, with a little tartness splashed in to cut the sweetness. Serve this with sliced apples, pineapple, kiwi, or any variety of brightly colored fruit.

Recipe:

1 8-ounce pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 7-ounce jar marshmallow cream
1 T. orange juice
1 tsp. grated orange peel

Mix together the cream cheese and marshmallow cream until well combined. Stir in the orange juice and orange peel.

 

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