Cooks with Passion

Isn't that what it is all about. PASSION. We love to eat. We love to get people together to eat. We love meeting places to eat. We just love eating.
I look forward to making that special thing that makes everyone smile.
Hope you enjoy my favorites.

D e n i s e


Lion House Rolls

These are the best "out of this world" rolls you will ever have!

2 TB. active dry yeast
1/4 c. warm water
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. shortening
3 eggs
1 c. warm water
1 1/2 tsp. salt
4-5 c. flour

Combine yeast and the 1/4 c. warm water in a small bowl and set aside to proof.
In a large bowl, cream sugar and shortening until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition. Add softened yeast, 1 cup warm water, salt, and enough flour to make a soft dough. Mix well. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise 1 hour.

Punch down, let rise again for 40-45 mins. ( I have been known to skip this step )
Shape as desired and place on greased baking sheets. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, about 40 mins.

Bake at 350* for 15 mins.
Makes 3 dozen small rolls. I usually always double or triple the recipe.


Pumpkin Cookies

These are to die for! I make them even during the off season. MMmm.....
Super moist. They are even good without the chocolate chips. (Thats how Liv likes them)

3 cups canned pumpkin
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons nutmeg
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
5 cups flour
1 1/2 cup chocolate chips (milk or semi) we like semi.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all first 10 ingredients (down to flour). Add flour and mix.
Stir in chocolate chips. Drop onto ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 15 mins.


1 hour Cinnamon Rolls

These are the best ever! I got this from my friend Amy Thatcher who promised me they would only take an hour. She was right. I did modify her salt from 1 tsp. to 3 tsp.

3 1/2 cup warm water
6 TB. yeast
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup oil
Mix briefly in Bosch, let sit for 15 mins.

Then add:

3 tsp. salt
3 eggs
10 1/2 cup flour or less, just enough so it's not sticky
just keep adding the flour one cup at a time until it pulls from the sides of the bowl.

Divide dough in half. Roll into 20x12 inch rectangles. Spread with softened butter. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Add nuts or raisins if desired.
Using a pizza cutter, cut down middle lengthwise then cut in strips the other way. Roll up the strips and place on cookie sheets (Ungreased) 2 inches apart.
Bake 425 degrees for 10 mins.
Top with icing while still warm. Makes 2 pans.

1 stick butter, softened
1 bag powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
milk to consistency
Mix well.


Cowboy Cookies

President Bush's favorite cookie

3 sticks butter
1 1/2 cup wht. sugar
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
1 T. Vanilla
3 cups flour
1 T. baking powder
1 T. soda
1 tsp. salt
1 T. cinnamon
3 cups chocolate chips (semi-sweet)
3 cups oats
2 cups coconut
2 cups pecans

Bake 350 degrees for 12-14 mins.
We do a big cookie. If you do smaller then watch your time.
Makes 6-7 doz.


Walnut Bars

1 c. butter
1/2 c. corn starch
1/2 c. sugar
2 c . flour


4 eggs, beaten
2 c. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
4 TB flour
2 tsp. vanilla
2 c. chopped walnuts
1 1/2 c. flaked coconut

Mix crust ingredients until play dough consistency. Spread into a 11x8 pan. Bake @ 325' for 15 mins. Combine filling ingredients and spread over crust, leaving a 1/2" border around edges. Bake @ 300' for 15 mins, then 5 mins. more at 350'. Cool bars completely, frost and cut. Keep in fridge until ready to serve.


1/2 c. butter
8 oz. cream cheese
1 box powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. lemon juice

Chocolate Bundt Cake with Fudge Frosting

Always a birthday request

1 chocolate cake mix

3/4 cup water
1 small package instant chocolate pudding
3/4 cup oil
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 cup chocolate chips


Mix by hand cake mix, water, pudding, oil, eggs and sour cream until smooth. Add chocolate chips. Bake in well greased bundt pan at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.

Chocolate Frosting:

1 cup sugar
5 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup milk
6 oz. (1/2 pkg.) chocolate chips--approx. 1 cup

Bring to a boil, cook 1 minute. Remove from heat, add chocolate chips. Stir until melted and pour over cake.


Creamy Chocolate Icing

Mom's chocolate icing was always a favorite.

1/2 cup shortening
1 egg
1/2 cup cocoa
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 cup milk
4 cups powdered sugar

Whip till creamy. Store in fridge.


Banana Cream Pie

A simple pie done in the microwave.
I love the coconut extract!

5 TB. cornstarch
2 TB. Tapioca
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Mix in a microwave safe bowl. Bring to a boil in the microwave. Stir constantly every minute or so. This will get frothy. Let it go for about 6-10 mins.

Meanwhile, mix in a large metal bowl :

4 egg yolks

Add the hot mixture from the microwave to the eggs very slowly while whisking quickly.
This will make your custard.
When cool add sliced bananas, 1 1/2 tsp. coconut extract, and 2 TB. of butter.

Pour custard into pie crusts.
Makes enough filling for 2 pies. Cool further in fridge for several hours.
Top with whipped cream.


Salmon Kyoto

This is a wonderful marinade for chicken also.

1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup orange juice concentrate
2 T. oil
2 T. ketchup
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
fresh garlic
1-2 break offs of fresh ginger, minced

Combine and pour over salmon fillets. Marinate overnight or for several hours.

Sugar Cookies

This is from my dear friend Jenny Jolley. I love the nutmeg addition.

2/3 cup butter, softened
2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. soda
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
5 cups flour

Combine butter and sugar. Add eggs, vanilla and sour cream.
Mix all the dry ingredients together then add to previous mixture.
Chill for about 2-3 hours.
Roll out and cut.

Bake @ 375 for 6-8 mins. They will not brown.

Sweet and Sour Chicken

This is great to double. Cook up some brown rice and add some fortune cookies.

4 breasts chicken, cubed
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
2 eggs, beaten well
1 green pepper, seeded and sliced
1 red pepper, seeded and sliced

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup vinegar
1 T. soy sauce
3-4 T. Ketchup

Sprinkle chicken w/garlic salt. Let stand 30 mins. or so.

Mix the flour and cornstarch together.
Dip chicken in eggs, then flour/cornstarch mixture, then place in a greased fry pan. Fry until golden. Place chicken in a 9x13 pan. Pour sauce over fried chicken and bake @ 350 for 45-1 hour. Turn once during cook time.


A great appetizer or main dish

2 lbs ground chuck (the leaner the better)
1 cup dried bread crumbs
1/2 cup dehydrated onion
2 tsp. cornstarch
2 tsp. salt
2 dashes allspice
1 1/2 cup evaporated milk
2 eggs

2 bottles chili sauce
1 cup grape jelly

Form into walnut-sized meatballs and put close together in a 9x13 dish lined with foil. Very important.
Combine sauce ingredients and mix well. Pour over meatballs.
Bake @ 350 for 1 hour.

Makes 2 9x13.


Tuscan Vegetable Soup

Scot says this one ranks in his top 3 favorite soups.
It is a modification of a my Mothers good friends' recipe.....from Francene.
SO very healthy and way delicious. It is perfect for the cruciferous vegetables that I mentioned in my post on "clean eating".
This makes a huge batch. Use the rest to freeze for lunches during the week.

2 (15-oz.) cans great northern bean, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 large carrots, sliced
4 stalks celery, sliced
1 zucchini, diced
1 bunch broccoli
1 bunch cauliflower
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
fresh rosemary to taste
fresh thyme to taste
(use dried if that is all you have)
kosher salt to taste
black pepper to taste
2 (32-oz) chicken stock or veg. stock
(can use bouillon granules too)
2 (14-oz.) cans diced tomatoes
3/4 of a stick of butter
2-3 cups whole leaf spinach
fresh parmesan cheese

Mash 1 of the cans of northern beans. Set aside. Keep the other can aside too.

Put olive oil in pan with onions. Cook for 1 min. Add all other vegetables. Stir till soft (about 5 mins.) Then add seasonings, tomatoes, butter, and broth. Bring to a boil. Add mashed and unmashed beans, and spinach leaves.

Ladle into bowls and sprinkle fresh parmesan cheese on top.


Egg in the Hole

This is one of the simplest things to make for breakfast.
And a huge hit by all

Cut a round circle in the middle of a piece of bread

put some butter in a fry pan and melt
place the bread in to soak up the butter
crack an egg in the hole
cook for a minute or two.....add salt and pepper
add some more butter to the pan
add more salt and pepper
cook for another minute