All posts by Karen Docter

Karen’s Killer Fixin’s: Poppy Seed Muffins

It’s time for Karen’s Killer Fixin’s!  Over the years, I’ve filled two 4-inch, 3-ring binders with my own creations as well as recipes my family and friends were willing to share with me.  I simply love to cook and want to share that love with my readers.

So every Friday, I share one recipe I think you and your family might enjoy.  It might be a main course recipe.  A cookie or baked item.  Candy.  Salads.  Whatever strikes my eye and fancy…which today is POPPY SEED MUFFINS.

I love this quick, easy and tasty muffin. It satisfies my sweet tooth and I don’t feel deprived if I don’t slather it with butter. Love the crunch of the poppy seeds. It’s a great muffin to throw into the kidlet’s lunchbox, too!

I hope you enjoy today’s Killer Fixin’s.  Happy eating!

Karen

P.S.  We’re at 7 recipes and counting with this posting.  Hope you find some recipes you like.  If you don’t want to miss any future recipes, be sure to return to my blog next Friday.  Even better, subscribe to my blog and the recipes will come directly to
your email Inbox.  If this is your first visit, check out past blogs for more Killer Fixin’s. In the right hand column of my home page, you can even look up past recipes by type. i.e. Desserts, Breads, Beef, Chicken, Soups, etc.

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POPPY SEED MUFFINS
[Makes 12]

2 cups flour
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup poppy seeds
2 eggs
½ tsp. salt
¾ cup sour cream
¼ tsp. baking soda
1-½ tsp. vanilla
½ cup butter, room temperature

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease or set liners in muffin tins.  Combine flour, poppy seeds, salt and baking soda in small bowl.  Using electric mixer, cream butter with sugar until thick and light.  Beat in eggs one at a time.  Blend in sour cream and vanilla.  Gradually beat in dry ingredients.  Spoon batter into tins.  Bake until done, about 12 minutes.  Cool 5 minutes in tin on rack. Remove from tin and cool completely.

 

Karen’s Killer Fixin’s: Soy Pot Roast

It’s time for Karen’s Killer Fixin’s!  Over the years, I’ve filled two 4-inch, 3-ring binders with my own creations as well as recipes my family and friends were willing to share with me.  I simply love to cook and want to share that love with my readers here.

So every Friday, I share one recipe I think you and your family might enjoy.  It might be a main course recipe.  A cookie or baked item.  Candy.  Salads.  Whatever strikes my eye and fancy…which today is SOY POT ROAST.

Anything you can throw into a crock pot with little effort is great. But it’s the Asian flair of this pot roast that really makes a difference. Slow cooking means the pot roast soaks up the flavor and tenderizes the meat.

I hope you enjoy today’s Killer Fixin’s.  Happy eating!

Karen

P.S.  We’re at 6 recipes and counting with this posting!  Hope you find some recipes you like.  If you don’t want to miss any future recipes, be sure to return to my blog next Friday.  Even better, subscribe to my blog and the recipes will come directly to your email Inbox!  If this is your first visit, check out past blogs for more Killer Fixin’s. In the right hand column of my home page, you can look up past recipes by type. i.e. Desserts, Breads, Beef, Chicken, Soups, etc.

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SOY POT ROAST
[Serves 6-8]

4-5 lb. pot roast
½ cup soy sauce
½ tsp. ground (dried) ginger
1 cup sliced celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup sliced bamboo shoots
½ cup dry sherry

Combine ginger, garlic, onion, sherry and soy sauce.  Pour over pot roast.  Cook in crockpot on high 5-6 hours.  Last hour of cooking, add celery, mushrooms,
and bamboo shoots. Serve with cooked brown or white rice.

 

 

Karen’s Killer Fixin’s: Karen’s Easy Chocolate Cake

It’s time for Karen’s Killer Fixin’s!  Over the years, I’ve filled two 4-inch, 3-ring binders with my own creations as well as recipes my family and friends were willing to share with me.  I simply love to cook and want to share that love with my readers here.

So every Friday, I share one recipe I think you and your family might enjoy.  It might be a main course recipe.  A cookie or baked item.  Candy.  Salads.  Whatever strikes my eye and fancy…which today is KAREN’S EASY CHOCOLATE CAKE.

This cake is so chocolaty and moist you almost don’t need to frost it. (I’ve been known not to!) It’s a piece of cake <g> to throw together.

I hope you enjoy today’s Killer Fixin’s.  Happy eating!

Karen

P.S.  We’re at 5 recipes and counting with this posting!  Hope you find some recipes you like.  If you don’t want to miss any future recipes, be sure to return to my blog next Friday.  Even better, subscribe to my blog and the recipes will come directly to your email Inbox!  If this is your first visit, check out past blogs for more Killer Fixin’s. In the right hand column of my home page, you can look up past recipes by type. i.e. Desserts, Breads, Beef, Chicken, Soups, etc.

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KAREN’S EASY CHOCOLATE CAKE
[Makes 9 x 12-inch cake]

Sift together:
3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/3 cup cocoa
2 tsp. baking soda

Add:
¾ cup oil
2 cups cold water
2 T. vinegar
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix well and pour into ungreased 9 x 12-inch pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Frost when completely cooled.

 

 

Karen’s Killer Fixin’s: Chocolate “Cherry” Fudge

It’s time for Karen’s Killer Fixin’s!  Over the years, I’ve filled two 4-inch, 3-ring binders with my own creations as well as recipes my family and friends were willing to share with me.  I simply love to cook and want to share that love with my readers here.

So every Friday, I share one recipe I think you and your family might enjoy.  It might be a main course recipe.  A cookie or baked item.  Candy.  Salads.  Whatever strikes my eye and fancy…which today is EASY CHOCOLATE “CHERRY” FUDGE.

This “cherry” fudge actually tricks your palate. What’s the trick? I tweaked the fudge recipe on the package of semi-sweet chocolate chips by using almond extract. Blended with the semi-sweet chocolate, it tastes like you’re eating cherry fudge. Although, if I want true chocolate cherry fudge, with yummy cherries inside, I can have that too.  It’s just another tweak to the recipe. I love experimenting!! The basic recipe is fast and easy and the flavor combinations are limited only by your creativity.

I hope you enjoy today’s Killer Fixin’s.

Happy eating!

Karen

P.S.  We’re at 4 recipes and counting with this posting!  Hope you find some recipes you like.  If you don’t want to miss any future recipes, be sure to return to my blog next Friday.  Even better, subscribe to my blog and the recipes will come directly to your email Inbox!  If this is your first visit, check out past blogs for more Killer Fixin’s. In the right hand column of my home page, you can even look up past recipes by type. i.e. Desserts, Breads, Beef, Chicken, Soups, etc.

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EASY CHOCOLATE “CHERRY” FUDGE
[2 pounds]

18 oz. semisweet chocolate chips (@ 3 cups)
1 can sweetened condensed milk (NOT evaporated milk)
dash salt
½ to 1 cup chopped nuts (optional, walnuts or pecans are favs)
1 tsp. almond extract

In saucepan over medium heat melt semi-sweet chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, and salt, stirring to prevent scorching.  When fudge is smooth, add extract and nuts and stir.  Pour into wax paper-lined pan.  Press the fudge flat in the pan using lightly-buttered spatula.  Chill in refrigerator until firm.  Pull fudge out of pan and peel off wax paper. Cut into squares and store in air-tight container in refrigerator.

For regular fudge: Add 1½ tsp. vanilla instead of almond extract. You can also use milk chocolate chips in lieu of semisweet chocolate chips.

For coconut fudge: Add 1 tsp. coconut extract instead of almond extract AND ¼ cup shredded, sweetened coconut instead of nuts.

For peppermint fudge: ½ to 1 tsp. peppermint extract instead of almond extract AND ¼ cup chopped peppermint candies or candycanes. Peppermint extract is stronger than many extracts so add extract to taste.

 

 

Karen’s Killer Fixin’s: Mexican Chicken Casserole

It’s time for Karen’s Killer Fixin’s!  Over the years, I’ve filled two 4-inch, 3-ring binders with my own creations as well as recipes my family and friends were willing to share with me.  I simply love to cook and want to share that love with my readers here.

So every Friday, I share one recipe I think you and your family might enjoy.  It might be a main course recipe.  A cookie or baked item.  Candy.  Salads.  Whatever strikes my eye and fancy…which today is MEXICAN CHICKEN CASSEROLE.

This filling, delicious casserole was shared with me by a very dear friend. Thanks, Jan!! There’s nothing like chicken, chilis and oodles of melted cheese to make your family and friends happy!

I hope you enjoy today’s Killer Fixin’s.  Happy eating!

Karen

P.S.  We’re at 3 recipes and counting with this posting!  Hope you find some recipes you like.  If you don’t want to miss any future recipes, be sure to return to my blog next Friday. Even better, subscribe to my blog and the recipes will come directly to your email Inbox!  If this is your first visit, check out past blogs for more Killer Fixin’s. In the right hand column of my home page, you can look up past recipes by type. i.e. Desserts, Breads, Beef, Chicken, Soups, etc.

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MEXICAN CHICKEN CASSEROLE
[Serves 8]

1 cooked chicken (boiled)
1 can Cream of Chicken soup
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
½ can chicken broth (from chicken stock)
1 large onion cut fine
1/8 tsp. Garlic Powder1 tsp. Oregano
1 tsp. Cumin
1 T. Chili Powder
1 can green chili peppers
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
corn tortillas

Tear tortillas into strips.  Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces.  Mix soups, broth, onion and seasonings together.  In casserole dish, layer tortillas, chicken, soup mixture and cheese.  Repeat to top—finish with cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees for ½ -¾ hour.  Can double recipe and freeze one.  Works great!

 

 

Karen’s Killer Fixin’s…Easy Cheesy Broccoli Chicken & Rice Soup

It’s time for Karen’s Killer Fixin’s!  Over the years, I’ve filled two 4-inch, 3-ring binders with my own creations as well as recipes my family and friends were willing to share with me.  I simply love to cook and want to share that love with my readers here.

So every Friday, I share one recipe I think you and your family might enjoy.  It might be a main course recipe.  A cookie or baked item.  Candy.  Salads.  Whatever strikes my eye and fancy…which today is EASY CHEESY BROCCOLI CHICKEN & RICE SOUP.

We’re heading into the cooler, fall months when we start thinking about making hearty soups to warm up our families. I often have a soup pot on because it allows me to write and read and play with my family and friends without worrying about what to put on the dinner table. I love this recipe for those days when I’ve forgotten to get something started. It really is a quick and easy soup, not to mention scrumptious!  Serve with hot, buttered garlic bread or rolls.

I hope you enjoy today’s Killer Fixin’s. Happy eating!

Karen

P.S.  We’re at 2 recipes and counting with this posting!  Hope you find some recipes you like.  If you don’t want to miss any future recipes, be sure to return to my blog next Friday.  If this is your first visit, check out past blogs for more Killer Fixin’s. In the right hand column of my home page, you can look up past recipes by type. i.e. Desserts, Breads, Beef, Chicken, Soups, etc.

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EASY CHEESY BROCCOLI CHICKEN & RICE SOUP
[Serves 4]

 

1 skinless chicken or 3-4 chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
4 servings cooked rice
1 stalk celery, diced
2 green onions, diced
1 to 1-½ cups broccoli
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of celery soup
1 cup chunked Velveeta or processed cheese

In microwave casserole dish with lid, cook chicken in water [½ filled] until done.  Strip off bones if using whole chicken.  Set meat and water aside.  Cook 4 servings of rice as directed on package.  Set aside.  Chop and sauté in butter…celery, green onions and broccoli.

Combine chicken/water with both cans of soup and cheese.  Microwave until hot and cheese is melted.  Mix with vegetables and rice.  Stir together and serve with hot bread or rolls.

Hints: Keep chicken breasts in freezer for 10-minute thaw in warm water if you need a quick last minute meal.  I also keep packages of frozen broccoli and cans of soup on hand.  You can use any cheese; processed cheese melts easiest.  I’ve even used a bit of PepperJack or Havarti for some zip.

 

Karen’s Killer Fixin’s…Banana Nut Muffins

It’s time for Karen’s Killer Fixin’s!  Over the years, I’ve filled two 4-inch, 3-ring binders with my own creations as well as recipes my family and friends were willing to share with me.  I simply love to cook and want to share that love with my readers here.

So every Friday, I share one recipe I think you and your family might enjoy.  It might be a main course recipe.  A cookie or baked item.  Candy.  Salads.  Whatever strikes my eye and fancy…which today is BANANA NUT MUFFINS!

Today’s muffin recipe is a great standby muffin.  Don’t know what to do with those old bananas?  Use them after their prime for this great recipe.  If you don’t have time to use them today or tomorrow, and hate to throw them away, throw those bananas in the freezer and pull them out when you DO have time!  Do take time to thaw them before you use them.  (Recommend running frozen bananas under warm water until you can remove peels before thawing.) These muffins are also excellent with a tablespoon or two of peanut butter.  Yeah, yeah, I was a peanut butter banana sandwich lover when I was growing up!

I hope you enjoy today’s Killer Fixin’s.

Happy eating!

Karen

P.S.  We’re at 1 recipe and counting with this posting!  Hope you find some recipes you like.  If you don’t want to miss any future recipes, be sure to return to my blog next Friday.  If this is your first visit, check out past blogs for more Killer Fixin’s.

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BANANA NUT MUFFINS

[12 Muffins]

2 cups flour
¼ cup sugar
1 T. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
1 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
¾ cup mashed banana
½ cup chopped walnuts

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease 12-muffin pan.  Sift flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl.  Make well in center.  Mix milk, egg, water, oil, banana and walnuts in small bowl.  Pour mixture into well.  Mix batter just until moistened; do not over-mix.  Spoon batter into prepared muffin pan. Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean or until muffins are golden brown, about 15 minutes.

NOTE:  To ensure round muffin tops, grease only the bottom and halfway up the sides of each muffin cup.

My everyday life in a nutshell…

Like many authors I’d rather write stories about other people who have more exciting lives but since you’ve come to visit, I thought you might be a bit curious about me.

I live atop a hill overlooking some of the best scenery you can imagine, the majestic Rocky Mountains to the west, the open prairie to the east, and the downtown Denver skyline to the south.  On a clear day, I can look out my living room window and see Pikes Peak ninety miles away.  I never understood the appeal of living in one place forty or fifty years…until now.  It’s the house I never dreamed I wanted.  Full of character and life.

It cultivates my vision and creativity.

I’ve been happily married 31 years to the one and only blind date I ever agreed to–well, my boss at that time who set us up did strong-arm me.  I had planned a three-day fishing weekend in the mountains with my family and I really didn’t want to pack up my favorite pole and cut it short.  What can I say?  I love to fish!  Of course, my mother convinced me to drive back down the mountain.  She pointed out, as good mothers with unmarried daughters tend to do, that if I didn’t like the guy it was only an hour drive to get back to the campsite.  I could be back on the river by dawn.  Too bad she never saw me again.  At least, that’s her version.

He cultivates my belief in romance and a happily-ever-after.

I have three wonderful children who make me proud on a regular basis and, at last count, I’m the doting grandma of six beautiful grandchildren with another one on the way.  I revel in the noise and chaos that ensues when we’re all together at the dining room table or on the back lawn catching up and simply enjoying each other’s company.  Add two demanding dogs, one lonely canary, about twenty noisy zebra finches — silly things just won’t stand in a line and be counted! — you’ve captured my everyday life in a nutshell.

They remind me of what’s important in life.

I’ve been in the business world more than thirty years, the last twenty as my own boss.  I love to fish and camp, but I also live for reading, gardening, crafts and cooking.  I wrap all of this around my writing career, speaking engagements, and sharing of the craft of writing.

And this is where I live…in the world of complex characters that become as real to me as my friends and storylines that may contain more than a little bit of murder and mayhem.

Welcome

Welcome to my official blog on WordPress! For those of you who’ve joined me from MySpace or read my newsletter Musings where I’ve shared my thoughts for years, thanks for following me here so we can continue our chats. If you’re joining me for the first time, I hope you enjoy your visit.

Please visit regularly as I share bits and pieces about reading, writing, and anything else that strikes my fancy. In other words, I don’t intend to bore you with the litany of “me”. I’m interested in a number of things and would like to share those interests. I want to get to know you, too.

I will post at least three times a week.

• Monday Musings – Let’s talk reading and writing! In addition to my thoughts and musings, I’ll occasionally host guest authors and professionals with their own insights into the book industry.

• Wacky Wednesdays – Articles, fun trivia, photos, whatever catches my eye. It’s a big world out there and I love to share my interests with my readers.

• Friday Fixin’s – Looking for something new to make for your family? Want to cook from scratch and save money? Each week, I’ll share a new recipe from my extensive personal cookbooks with you. A little help in the kitchen gives us all time to read more of the books we love!

If you have a recipe you’re willing to share, give me a shout at kldocter@yahoo.com. Feel free to send articles of interest, too. No guarantees I’ll post all of them but I’m interested in hearing from you, my readers, and will post what I can.

Looking forward to chatting with you. Have a great day!

Karen