1.29.2012

Snickerdoodles

Snickerdoodle Cookies
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. Cream together butter, shortening, 1 1/2 cups sugar, the eggs and the vanilla. Blend in the flour, cream of tartar, soda and salt. Shape dough by rounded spoonfuls into balls.
  3. Mix the 2 tablespoons sugar and the cinnamon. Roll balls of dough in mixture. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
  4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until set but not too hard. Remove immediately from baking sheets.

Tortellini-Vegetable Soup


4 tsp Dried Basil
4 cloves of Garlic
4 tsp Olive Oil
8 Cups Chicken Broth
1 bag of frozen Cheese tortellini
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper
1 can of diced canned tomatoes
2 cups green beans (frozen)
2 cups Sliced Carrots
Parmesan Cheese

Cook Basil and Garlic in Hot oil about 1 minute or less. Be careful not to burn the garlic; add broth, tortellini, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add rest of ingredients. Return to boiling; then reduce heat. Cover and simmer 10-15 minutes more or until tortellini is done and vegetables are tender. Sprinkle each serving with Parmesan Cheese.

This makes enough for a family of six ...If you only want to serve 2 or 3 adults half the recipe.

10.12.2011

my cinnamon rolls


I have tasted and seen too many sub-par cinnamon rolls lately, and I feel the need to share my methods. I know everyone probably knows how to make their own cinnamon rolls, but just in case there is someone out there who is struggling, perhaps this will help a titch.


I follow my favorite basic roll recipe to the T (see it below), and when the recipe calls to "shape the rolls" I roll out the dough for my cinnamon rolls. You want to make a rectangle shape. The longer and skinnier you make it, the more (smaller) rolls you will make. If you make a square, your rolls will be humongus and you will make far less.
Next I take cold butter, about 1/4 cup, cut into tiny pieces, and scatter them on the dough. (You could add an extra 1/8 cup butter and only make it better.) The problem with most rolls I taste is the butter issue. I know butter is fatty and whatever, but YOU CANNOT SKIMP THE BUTTER WHEN YOU MAKE CINNAMON ROLLS! Without enough butter you end up with rolls without the goo. Trust me- you want the goo.

I'm sure someone out there in the world measures, but I don't, so I sprinkle the cinnamon all over- MAKE SURE YOU GET THE EDGES REALLY GOOD, you are going to wipe the counter off anyway, right?

Next I sprinkle hand fulls of brown sugar until.... well covered. I'm sorry, I don't measure.


Then start the roll.

When cutting the rolls, you are NEVER EVER ALLOWED TO USE A KNIFE! Cinnamon flavored dental floss is the best way to go. Simply slide the floss under the roll, twist the two ends and pull. This will cut the roll from the outside all at once. The ends usually have the least numminess, so scoop up all the filling that falls out as you cut the rolls and stuff them inside and on top of the end pieces- that way they aren't a waste. A little butter on them would work wonders as well.
Place on a greased pan NOT TOUCHING! My roll recipe calls for 1 hour of raising after the rolls are shaped, so they get plenty big.Cook them according to roll directions. When finished, drizzle with frosting and enjoy!

MY FAVORITE ROLL RECIPE

These rolls are super soft and nummy even without the cinnamon roll stuff.

9.07.2011

Chocolate Wafer Icebox Cupcake's

















There isn't a single grocery store in Utah that carries a chocolate wafer cookie. They sell many variations of chocolate wafers (like Oreo's), but you can't find yourself any plain chocolate wafers. Sure, cinnamon and ginger flavored wafers are readily abundant, but why not Chocolate? I could have bought a 4 pack of Nabisco Chocolate Wafers online for nearly $50. . . . .

$12 per 9 oz. box? ummm, no thanks.




My friends, that's when my dedication to baked goods and persistence to all things unhealthy pays off big for you and me. I found this recipe and video here and then used the idea from here to turn it into a cupcake. Delicious! Amazing! My family now think's I'm a rock-star!

















I made these little treats for our back to school feast and they were the perfect
balance of whimsical and seriously good.


Ingredients:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 tablespoons margarine at room temperature
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg white

Directions:
In a bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the butter and margarine until well blended. Add the sugars and vanilla extract and beat on high speed for about one minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Beat in the egg white. Add the flour mixture and beat just until incorporated.

Place the dough on your counter and, using your hands, evenly form the dough into a log shape that is about 9 inches long. Carefully wrap the dough in aluminum foil, or wax paper, and fold or twist the ends. Try not to flatten the log. Refrigerate until firm. This will take several hours or you can even chill it overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place the oven rack in the center of the oven.
Using a sharp knife, slice (don't saw, with the knife, just cut straight down) the log into a about 1/4 inch thick
wafers. Place the wafers on the baking sheet spacing, about 1 inch apart. bake for approximately 10-12 minutes or until the cookies puff and the tops of the cookies have ripples. Remove from oven and let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes before removing onto a wire rack to cool completely. Can be stored in an airtight container, at room temperature for about 10 days. They can also be frozen.
Makes 36 cookies.

{ Fair warning, the wafers on their own are very crisp. Like a chocolate graham cracker. But that's also the cool thing about them, because they have the ability to absorb what's around them and become soft and cake-like. That's why I recommend using the wafers to make the cup-cake's, or dunk them in some milk, or crush up the crumbs to make your own chocolate-crumb-pie crust. The chocolaty possibilities are endless people. }


If you're making these into cup-cakes:

Take 1 cup of Whipped Cream; Save your cool whip for something else. This recipe calls for real whipped cream. (If you're making your own, take the whipping cream and beat it with an electric mixer until it forms stiff peaks. Don't beat too long or you'll just make butter. Sweeten it with 1-2 Tablespoon's powdered sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla.)

Put one cookie at the center of a cup-cake liner. You may have to smash it slightly to be able to fit the
cookie. Spread one teaspoon of whipping cream onto one cookie. then top with another cookie and repeat. Make them as high as you want (I stacked 4 and it was plenty high). Refrigerate for 8-24
hours covered so that they can become soft and cake-like. Enjoy!



Next up on my to-do list? Make a full on ice-box cake for the hub's birthday in two days.









5.16.2011

Mountain Dew Marinade

This recipe is actually a copy cat/tweak of a recipe a little old Korean lady gave me for her "Bulgogi". Her secret was to use sprite to tenderize the beef. So, you could definitely use Sprite or some other citrus soda for whatever you marinate.

To be honest, I used this "sun drop" soda that I have never heard of. It tastes a lot like Mountain Dew, so I figured if any of you out there want to copy it, go ahead and use Mountain Dew. I used chicken, but any meat would be great, especially beef.


Ingredients:
1 C. Mountain Dew
1/4 C. soy sauce
1/4 C. vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 t. fresh ginger, grated
1/2 t. sesame oil (this is not 100% necessary, but it adds a lot of that deep Asian flavor, so grab some if you can)
1/4 t.- 1/2 t. crushed red pepper flakes (depending on taste)
2 sliced green onions (you can also put these in homemade Asian salad dressing. It really adds a lot of flavor)

**I usually like to use fresh ginger root. You can buy the root, peel it, and freeze it. Whenever you need some you can grate some off the frozen root. Nothing tastes like real ginger.

Marinate your meat for at least 4 hours and cook to your liking.
Mmmm, sweet and spicy.

3.16.2011

Green Food for St. Patrick's day



Ingredients:
About 2 c. of basil
handful of parsley (just to make it extra green)
About 3/4 c. shredded Romano cheese (or Parmesan)
About 2/3 c. of olive oil
handful of pine nuts
3 or 4 cloves of garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste

Also will need for dish:
1 lb. farfalle
grilled chicken
arugula
feta
chopped tomatoes

Add basil, parsley and pine nuts to a blender or food processor and pulse a few times.  Then start adding oil in a drizzle while blending, using about 1/2 of the oil (just until it's mixing well).  Then add cheese and garlic and blend with more oil.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Serve fresh over cooked farfalle (a little pesto goes a long way) with grilled chicken.  I'll toss in a handful of arugula, some chopped tomatoes and feta with the pasta. 

I also have recipes here on my Holiday Blog for Sugar Snap Peas with Pancetta, Mint Salad, Mint Chocolate Chip Secret Ingredient Milkshakes, Herbed Garlic Bread and Lemon Pot of Gold.

Rainbow Breakfast


I have copies of these recipes at my Holiday blog here, but they're not mine...But I still thought it would be fun for tomorrow morning!

2.12.2011

Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas

I came across this recipe on another recipe blog and now I make it almost once a week. It's super easy and we LOVE it.

6 Tb honey
4.5 Tb lime juice
1 Tb chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 lb cooked chicken, shredded
flour tortillas
colby or monterey jack cheese, shredded
10 oz. can green enchilada sauce

Mix first 4 ingredients together and toss with shredded chicken. Let it "marinate" for at least a half hour. Pour some green enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 10x10 casserole dish or 9x13 pan. Fill flour tortillas with chicken and shredded cheese. Pour the rest of the can of green enchilada sauce over enchiladas then sprinkle with more cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
Top with sour cream and serve.

2.10.2011

Romano's Macaroni Grill Rosemary Bread


Ingredients:

Yield: 2 loaves

  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Directions:

  1. Place yeast, sugar and water in large bowl or food processor and allow mixture to become bubbly.
  2. Mix in 1 T butter, salt, and 2 cups of flour.
  3. Add one tablespoon of the fresh chopped rosemary.
  4. Knead for about 10 minutes by hand or in food processor about 5 minutes until smooth and elastic.
  5. Add more flour if necessary.
  6. Oil a bowl, put dough in it and cover with a towel.
  7. Let dough rise in a warm place for one hour until doubled.
  8. Punch down dough and divide in half.
  9. Let dough rest about 5 minutes.
  10. Spray baking pan or cookie sheet with cooking spray.
  11. Shape the dough into 2 small rounded oval loaves.
  12. Sprinkle remaining 1 Tablespoon of rosemary over the loaves and press lightly into the surface.
  13. Let loaves rise again until doubled, about 45 minutes.
  14. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  15. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly browned.
  16. Carefully remove from oven, brush with remaining butter (and salt if desired.).
I copied and pasted this recipe from this web site.

There are about 220 reviews and tips on the link, so check it out.

1.31.2011

Toasted Sesame Noodles + Chicken Marinade

First, here's a chicken marinade that will knock your socks off. It's easy and delicious and It has grown to be THE staple marinade when we grill chicken.


1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup lemon juice
*Marinade 1 to 2 pounds of chicken for 2-12 hours, then grill over a medium flame until cooked thoroughly.


Toasted Sesame Noodles
1.5 pounds of chicken (about 12 tenders, or 3 breasts) marinated and grilled using above recipe
1 pound (1 box) whole grain linguini noodles, cooked and drained
1 cup grape tomatoes-halved
1 head broccoli, chopped to desired size and steamed
Kraft Toasted Sesame salad dressing, about 1 1/2 cups (use as much or as little as suits you)
1 Tablespoon butter
salt to taste

Melt butter into the hot noodles, and season lightly with a few dashes of salt. Toss to coat. Add vegetables, and salad dressing, and chicken. Mix to combine. Serve warm.

*yields 6 servings

1.28.2011

Fried Rice

Don't mind my HUGE serving. I am milking this breast-feeding thing (no pun intended) for all it's worth.
Plus, I had run 6 miles right before this meal and was famished.
Plus, I'm a pig.


1 lb. bacon, sliced into small pieces
1 small white onion
4 eggs
4 cups cooked white rice (or more)
1/2 to 1 bunch green onions, finely chopped
Soy Sauce to taste, or 2 to 4 Tablespoons

Sautee bacon slices and pour out majority of grease. Add the chopped onion to the pan and cook with the bacon until onion is clear. Fry four eggs and cut into small pieces and add to bacon and onion. Add the cooked rice to the bacon, onion and egg. Add soy sauce to taste, mix well. Chop green onions finely, and sprinkle over the top before serving.

Thanks to the Hong family for the delicious recipe!

1.19.2011

Easy skillet chicken with mushrooms and onions

I am not a chicken person, but I ate far more then my share of this dish. The spices and butter add such a deep flavor in the chicken. You'll love it.

Cooking time: 25 minutes
Prep time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

2-4 chicken breasts, pounded to about 1/2 inch
sliced mushrooms (around 1 lb)
1 sliced onion (into thin rings)
1/4 C. butter
paprika
garlic powder
salt
pepper

Melt butter in skillet on medium, *medium/low heat. Sprinkle spices liberally on both sides of the chicken breasts. Arrange chicken in skillet, over butter. Cover and let cook for ten minutes, checking occasionally. Turn chicken and add mushrooms and onion to the skillet and cover for another ten minutes, checking occasionally. Remove chicken when fully cooked, and allow mushrooms and onion to continue cooking and soften.
Serve chicken and mushroom/onion/butter sauce over egg noodles. Serve with a crisp green salad.

*Medium heat on my burner was too high a heat, perhaps because it was the biggest burner. Try a slightly lower heat.

This was very delicious and simple.

1.17.2011

Taco Braid + PB & J Braid


I couldn't resist this recipe when I read it on the girl who ate everything.

Use this pizza dough recipe (from the previous post) then divide in two. (one half for each braid.)

Taco Braid
4 oz. cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 to 1 lb. ground turkey, beef, or sausage, cooked and seasoned with a taco seasoning mix
1 15 oz. can black beans
1 cup of shredded cheese
olive oil
garlic salt
Spray counter and hands with cooking spray and knead dough for a few seconds to form a smooth ball. Roll dough into a 15-inch rectangle. Place on a greased cookie sheet. (It's very important to place the dough on the cookie sheet before you fill it because once you fill it, it will be too heavy to move onto the cookie sheet.) Spread cream cheese lengthwise down center third of rectangle., salsa, then seasoned meat and black beans. Sprinkle with cheese. On each long side, cut 1 inch wide strips about 2 1/2 inches into center. Starting at one end, fold alternating strips at an angle across filling. Pinch ends to seal and tuck under. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic salt. Cover and let rise for 20 minutes. Bake at 375 for 18-22 minutes. Remove from oven and place on cooling rack or cutting board with a couple spatula's. Garnish with Sour cream, avocado slices, and cilantro.


Peanut Butter and Jelly Braid
(use the other half of the pizza dough)
Peanut butter, creamy or crunchy (we used about 1 1/2 cups
Favorite flavor of Jelly (we used about 1 cup)
Roll dough out into a 15 inch rectangle (fit it to a cookie sheet) and put it onto the cookie sheet. Spread the peanut butter, then the jelly down the center third of the dough. On each long side, cut 1 inch wide strips about 2 1/2 inches into center. Starting at one end, fold alternating strips at an angle across filling. PInch ends to seal and tuck under. Cover and let rise for 20 minutes. Bake at 375 for 18-22 minutes. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack or cutting board with a couple spatula's. Enjoy! (this one goes best with a glass of milk)


Pizza dough

(homemade veggie/cheese pizza)
1 1/2 cups very warm water
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 Tablespoon yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoon Olive Oil
4 cups flour
in a large mixing bowl dissolve sugar and yeast in warm water. Let it sit for 10 minutes. Foam should form on top. Whisk in salt, olive oil, and 1 cup flour. Whisk in 2nd cup of flour. At this point put add the last two cups of flour as you gradually mix, or in a Bosh / Kitchen-aid with the dough hook attachment. If your dough is too sticky, add flour a little bit at a time until dough forms a ball. Knead for 5 minutes by mixer, or 10 minutes by hand. Place dough in oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise for an hour in a warm place until double in size. Punch down dough and divide into two parts. Each half will make a 12 inch pizza, If using this Assemble desired amount of sauce, cheese and toppings, then let bake at 450 for 12 to 15 minutes or until cheese is starting to brown and crust is golden. Pizza stone's dusted with cornmeal seem to produce the best results!

this recipe adapted from The Sister's Cafe. Thank you "Sisters"!

1.12.2011

easy Garlic bread


Use this recipe with Crusty French Bread or any french bread.

Ingredients:

1 loaf of french bread
2 T. butter
2 T. olive oil
3 cloves garlic

Cut French bread in half lengthwise. Put it in the oven to toast under the broiler.

Simmer butter, oil and crushed garlic for about 2 minutes. Don't use a timer, use your NOSE to smell when it starts to smell sweet, then remove from heat. DO NOT burn the garlic.

Brush the garlic flavored oil/butter over the toasted slices of bread. Mmmmm.

Crusty French Bread

This recipe makes one yummy loaf of French Bread.

1 package (or 2 t.) active dry yeast
1 C warm water (110 degrees to 115 degrees)
2 T. sugar
2 T. Vegetable oil or Olive oil
1 1/2 t. salt
3 C all-purpose flour


In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water for about 5 minutes. Add the sugar, oil, salt and 1 cup flour. Mix well and add the remaining flour to form a stiff, sticky dough (I can always tell when there is enough flour by watching until the dough stops sticking to the side of the bowl in my mixer.) Don't add too much flour!

Knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. (I found a neat trick to raise the dough/bread in a cool oven with only the oven light on.)
Punch down dough; return to bowl. Cover and let rise again for 30 minutes.

Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and flatten it into a rectangle. Roll the dough (on the longest end) to make a roll of dough. Pinch the seams and taper the ends. Place seam side down on a cookie sheet covered with cornmeal or oil. Cover and let rise for 25 minutes.


cornmeal
1 egg white
1 t. cold water

Beat egg white and 1 t. water, brush over dough. With a sharp knife, make diagonal slashes 2 in apart across the top of the loaf.
Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
*** Put ice cubes on a tray at the bottom of the oven to create steam so that you can get a little extra crunch. It is is soft on the inside.

12.21.2010

Basil Tomato Soup

BASIL TOMATO SOUP

PREP/TIME 20 MINUTES SERVINGS: 9 (1 CUP)

2 Cans (28 oz each) crushed tomatoes (low sodium)
1 Can (14.5 oz) chicken broth (low fat/low sodium)
18-20 fresh basil leaves, minced
(Can use dried basil, probably 2 large tablespoons or more)
1 tsp sugar
1 Can evaporated milk (fat free)
1/2 C butter (salt free)

In large sauce pan, bring tomatoes and broth to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add basil and sugar. Reduce heat to low; stir in evaporated milk and butter. Cook until butter is melted.

(I also add 1-2 bay leaves for flavor)

Okay I am laughing when I got on to post this...seeing you had just posted a tomato soup recipe. I just received this one and it came with some great recommendations, So I am posting it so I won't lose the recipe, but now I might have to try both soups and see which one I prefer.

12.20.2010

Tomato Bisque Soup


I am a HUGE fan of tomato-basil or tomato bisque soups, and will often order them at some of my favorite restaurants. I have even tried my hand at at least 6 different recipe's, all of them sadly were "so-so" at best. Until tonight, I decided to try this one. I had a butternut squash that needed to be used up, and I remembered that this soup called for one.

When the soup was done and I took my first taste, I was in heaven! Not only was the soup the perfect flavor that I have been looking for in a home-made soup, but I now, FINALLY have a trusted recipe to use when I have that tomato bisque craving. I hope you will love this as much as we did!

1 medium butternut squash (about 1 1/2 cups cooked squash)
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup finely diced onion (I just used half of a small onion)
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 can (14.5 ounces) Italian -style stewed or diced tomatoes (or 1 can stewed tomatoes with 1 1 /2 teaspoons italian seasoning)
1 cup chicken stock
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
hot sauce to taste if desired

Cut the squash in half, lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and pulp from each half. Place both sides cut-side down in a 9x13 inch pan. Add enough water to come about 1/4 inch up the sides of the squash. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for one hour, or until it is fork-tender. Let cool for a few minutes, then scoop out the flesh from the skin, and plop it into a blender.

*(the squash can be cooked in advance, and cooled in a tupperware container in the fridge for up to 4 days before using.)

While the squash is cooking, in a medium saucepan, melt the butter and saute the onion until soft and translucent. Add the garlic, and cook, stirring constantly until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Scoop the onion and garlic mixture into the blender with the squash.

Add the canned, undrained tomatoes to the blender. Process until the mixture is smooth. Pour the blended mixture back into the saucepan and add the chicken broth, salt, sugar, basil and cream. Stir to combine, but don't let it boil or simmer to avoid the cream from curdling. Serve immediately.

recipe adapted from www.melskitchencafe.com

11.09.2010

Warm Pumpkin Dessert



When Jake tasted this for the first time at a Halloween party last year, he told me that I needed to get the recipe ASAP. It is delicious, and a perfect fall dessert! So, thank you Pam for sharing.

WARM PUMPKIN DESSERT

1 yellow cake mix (reserve 1 cup)
2 beaten eggs
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)

Cut butter into cake mix and add egg. Press into the bottom of a 9x13 pan.

1- 29 oz. can of pumpkin
3 beaten eggs
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 cup sugar
1 can evaporated milk

Mix all together. Pour over crust.

1 cup cake mix
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons butter

Mix together and sprinkle on top.

Bake at 350 for 1 hour. Serve warm with whipped cream.

9.15.2010

Orzo Salad



I tried this salad at my Aunt's house, and I died over the fresh ingredients. I recreated it at home, so there are no exact measurements but I don't think you can really go wrong. This recipe is more about the fresh produce than it is about the measurements anyway

Cook 1 package of Orzo pasta according to directions.

While the pasta is cooking wash some fresh spinach (I used a couple of generous handfuls of spinach) and place in the bottom of a mixing bowl large enough to fit the pasta.

Next, I chopped approx. 2 cups of heirloom cherry tomatoes in half (I love the colors of heirloom tomatoes, and mini ones are even better!)


Then chop some fresh basil (as much or as little as you like), and feel free to add in other ingredients. I think this would be good with fresh garlic, or feta cheese, some balsamic vinegar... you know what you like.

When the Orzo is cooked, drain and immediately put it in the bowl on top of the spinach and stir. The heat from the Orzo will wilt the spinach. Next add in your basil, tomatos, a little bit of olive oil, (whatever extra ingredients you would like), and salt and pepper to taste and a little bit of crushed red pepper if you want to add a little kick. Enjoy!

9.13.2010

Ground Beef Taco Filling

















I will never again use a taco seasoning packet to make taco filling!

I saw this Martha Stewart recipe featured on this blog and tried it out. I have to admit, I'm not a huge Martha fan, but I had a pound of ground beef that needed to be used, and when I saw the recipe, I made out of convenience. Surprisingly, It was a hit. I loved it, and so did everyone I fed it to. This will absolutely be my go-to taco recipe.

you will need:
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 large oinion, chopped
2 bell peppers (I used one green, one red) chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 pound ground beef
tortilla's
taco garnishes: lettuce, olive's, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, cheese, etc.


In a large nonstick skillet, add beef. Cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Drain fat from beef and set aside. In the same skillet, add onion and bell peppers; cook until crisp-tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Add 1 cup water; cook until water has evaporated and vegetables are softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic, tomato paste, chili powder and cumin. Season with Salt and Pepper. Cook, stirring. Add the cooked beef, stir and re-season with salt and pepper if needed.

When I made this, we piled the meat mixture onto tostada's instead of taco's. The only difference is I baked my tortilla's on a cooling rack which sat on top of a jelly-roll pan (cookie sheet). I lightly brushed them with oil on both sides, and sprinkled them with a little bit of salt. I then Baked them on one side (375 degrees) for 4 minutes, then turned them over for another 4 minutes. It took a while to make 8 of these since I had only one cooling rack and had to cook 2 at a time. When they were done, we spread refried beans onto our tortilla's, then the meat, then the garnish. It was delish, and even kid friendly!

*Feel free to substitute the beef with ground turkey; the mixture is so moist and flavorful, nobody will notice.

8.31.2010

Marinara Sauce -for your freezer

This sauce is a big deal. It will take several hours and make a huge mess. It is however, one of the most flavorful sauces that I have ever had. It also is so healthy and an awesome thing to have in the freezer for a hectic night. This recipe makes about 12-18 quarts, but you can half it for a smaller batch. Your kids will never know they ate something healthy (since the veggie's are pureed, and the sauce is still bright red)

To all those of you who want something to do with all the tomatoes, peppers and zucchini's from your garden, here you go!

I got this box of about 75 tomatoes from a fruit stand and it cost me $17. A good price, not the best deal, but still worth it for garden-fresh juicy tomatoes. I then got my zucchini and squash from my Dad's co-worker's garden.
(this batch of marinara used every vegetable shown here, plus 2/3 of the tomatoes)

You will need:

30 cans of 15 oz. stewed tomatoes with juice (whole) or 40-50 fresh tomatoes
1 8 oz. package mushrooms *I doubled the mushrooms
3 large fresh garlic cloves
1/3 cup salt (or more depending on taste)
1 Tablespoon pepper
Red pepper flakes, optional *I used 1 tsp
1 1/2 pounds carrots *I used about 8 large, un-peeled carrots
1 bunch celery
3 medium white onions *I used 4
any other vegetables *I also used 5 green bell peppers, 1 huge zucchini and 1 yellow squash
2 Tablespoons olive oil
5 Tablespoons fresh basil - save for very end!
2 Tablespoons sugar
4 cans tomato paste for thickening

* I also added 1 tsp. dried oregano, 1 tsp. dried parsley, 1 tsp. dried thyme, & 1 tsp. dried rosemary

* All vegetables and their quantities are optional. Use however much of whatever you have!

you will also need two large pots, a powerful blender (I used a vita-mix) and several ziplock quart size freezer bags.

Use a food processor or blender to puree all the veggies, onions and garlic. This will most likely take several blenders-full. I gave the washed veggies a rough chop, then put them in the blender with two tomatoes at the bottom. The tomatoes at the bottom usually gave the blender just enough liquid to chop the rest of it. For a meatier sauce, don't puree your veggies, just chop them finely.



Once the veggies are all pureed, put them into a pot with the olive oil and let them sauté over medium to medium high heat for about 15 minutes. Add all the seasonings. Then equally separate the pureed veggies into two pots. To start your tomatoes, I would wash them, cut out their belly-buttons and cut them in half. Fill the blender and puree. Again, pour equal amounts of tomato puree into each pot. Add tomato paste. Stir well and allow sauce to simmer for 2-5 hours on low without the lid, stirring occasionally. Sauce should reduce about one third. Add the fresh basil right before serving. Taste the sauce to make sure it doesn't need any more salt/sugar/seasoning. (If you are using fresh tomatoes, you may need more salt/sugar to balance the acid.) Let sauce cool then freeze in bags/tupperware for later meals.


The original recipe also called for 4 pounds of italian sausage, which I didn't use. By all means, you can add it, or any other ground meat to your sauce. I figure it takes about 3 minutes to brown ground beef/turkey/sausage, and sometimes, I just prefer no meat. (like if I am using the sauce for pizza or calzone) when I made this, I seemed to have let my sauce simmer too long, because I only ended up with 9 freezer quart size bags, which I am still happy about. The best part? It tastes awesome! My four year old daughter LOVED it. I think it was worth all the work. Thank you Becca for sharing the recipe with me!

8.24.2010

Camille's Chocolate Bundt Cake


My Cousin Camille made this cake for an event I wasn't at, but I snuck a leftover day old cold piece out of my Mom's fridge. HEAVEN. Even day old and cold, it was hands down the most moist, delicious bundt cake I have ever tasted. I knew then that my very existence depended on getting the recipe.

1 yellow cake mix
1 small box chocolate instant pudding
1/2 cup sugar
. . . mix well . . .
then add:
3/4 cup minus one tablespoon oil
3/4 cup minus one tablespoon water
8 oz. container sour cream
4 eggs
. . . mix well . . .
then add one cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Bake in a greased bundt pan for 1 hour at 350
Enjoy!

*image courtesy of google

7.23.2010

Honey Sesame Chicken

2 chicken breasts
2- 3 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp sesame oil
red pepper flakes
salt
pepper

Cut up raw chicken into small cubes. Place on greased skillet. Add honey, oil, a small pinch of red pepper flakes, a dash of salt and a dash of pepper. Cook on medium heat until chicken is cooked through and sauce begins to caramelize and brown. Serve with sauteed vegetables and rice. Mmm.

7.05.2010

Bacon Grease Potato Wedges OR Healthy Wedges

***Sorry in advance to a certain sister of mine who runs this blog and thinks bacon grease is evil....
but after all, this is called "I love to eat GOOD food," there is no mention of healthy...


BACON GREASE POTATO WEDGES

You will never taste french fries as good as these!

4 Potatoes, washed and cut into 1/2 inch wedges or strips (skin on)
2 Tbsp bacon grease (strained)
Salt

Melt bacon grease in a glass measuring cup. Place potato wedges in a bowl and pour melted bacon grease over wedges. Toss until well covered. Spread wedges onto an ungreased cookie sheet and sprinkle with desired salt. Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes, turning halfway through cooking. To get that extra crunch at the end, you can broil it for 2-4 minutes.


Mmmmm....

And in case you don't believe me....

HEALTHY WEDGES

I suppose if you are opposed to the wonderful flavor of bacon grease, you could substitute it for Olive Oil and sprinkle the wedges with herbs and/or salt. But really, it is not going to taste as good. Still kinda good, just not as good.

7.02.2010

Split Pea Crock Pot Soup

Serves 4

8 oz dry split peas (half of a one pound bag)
4 C water (about)
2 or 3 carrots, chopped
3 or 4 stalks celery, chopped
1/4 cup chopped onion (optional)
1 or 2 cloves garlic, chopped (optional)
1 red or russet potato, chopped (the potato is supposed to thicken the soup)
1/2 C chopped ham (optional)

Combine all in the crock pot and cook on low all day or high for half the day. You'll know when it is done because the peas will mush into a green glob instead of individual peas, but the veggies do NOT need to be goop. What makes this soup good is that there is a texture other than "goop", so the veggies are essential.

When the soup is done, add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with grilled cheese sandwiches and (optional) sprinkle crispy bacon on top.

My 2 year old always dips his grilled cheese in the soup and he loves it. We all do! Yum!

6.23.2010

Apple Pancakes

Apple Pancakes

Add 2 granny smith apples (peeled and grated) and 1 tsp cinnamon (optional) to your pancake batter. (I use Lehi Roller Mills Pancake mix, (lehi pride))

Syrup Recipe

1 Cup Sugar
2 TBL Cornstarch
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
2 Cup treetop Apple Cider
2 TBL. lemon juice
1/4 cup butter

Mix dry ingredients in sauce pan. Stir in apple cider and lemon juice. Heat to boiling stirring constantly....boil 1 minute. Turn heat off, and add butter.

For a large group, 4x or 6x the recipe and you will have leftovers. Just freeze remaining syrup. thaw a little and then warm up in a sauce pan when you want to reuse.

6.15.2010

Yummy Side Dish!

Made this for dinner as the carb: Mmmm Mmmm Good! We loved it!


Corn and Blueberry salad (6-8 servings)

6 ears fresh sweet corn, husked

1 c. fresh blueberries

1 small cucumber sliced

1/4 c. finely chopped red onion

1/4 c chopped fresh cilantro

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped

2 T lime juice

2 T olive oil

1 T honey

1/2 t ground cumin


Cook corn and when cool, cut corn from cobs.


In a serving bowl combine corn, berries, cucumber, red onion, cilantro, and jalapeno. For dressing, in screw top jar combine lime juice, oil, honey, cumin, and 1/2 t salt. Cover, shake well to combine. Add to salad; toss. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour, preferably overnight.

6.06.2010

Creamy Chicken Pasta

Creamy Chicken Pasta

Ingredients:
3 to 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 pkg dry Zesty Italian salad dressing seasoning
12 oz pasta
8 oz cream cheese
1 can cream of mushroom soup
milk


Directions:
Cut chicken into strips or chunks. Season with Zesty Italian
salad dressing seasoning. Cook in hot skillet with a little olive
oil. When chicken is cooked turn to low heat and add cream
cheese and soup. Heat thorougly and mix well. The sauce will
be thick so I usually thin it to my preferred consistency with a
little milk. Serve over pasta.

Bow-tie Pasta Salad

Yummy Chicken, Spinach, Bow-tie Pasta Salad!

Ingredients:
6 to 7 chicken breasts
Italian Dressing
3 to 4 boxes (1lb. boxes) of bow-tie pasta

Blend in blender for the marinate:
1 C. oil
2/3 C. Red Wine Vinegar
2/3 C. Teriyaki sauce
6 T. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt & pepper

for salad mix:
2 bags of Spinach (baby leaves)
red or green onions chopped
craisins
mandarin oranges
mushrooms
sliced almonds or nut of choice
mozzarella cheese


Directions:
marinate chicken breasts in Italian dressing the night before. Cook pasta night before and mix w/ marinate sauce overnight. Next day cook chicken and cut in strips or cubes.

You can add or take away from the above what you would like in your salad. The dressing comes from the marinate sauce from the pasta - yum!

Herb and Nut Cream Cheese Log

Herb and Nut Cream Cheese Log

I doubled this recipe for 24 servings instead of 12.


Ingredients:
1 pkg (8oz) softened Philadelphia Cream Cheese
1/3 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
1/3 Cup chopped toasted Pecans
1/4 Cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 Cup chopped toasted Pecans


Directions:
Mix the cream cheese with the parmesean cheese and the 1/3 cup pecans. Shape into an 8-inch log. Roll in mixture of parsley and pecans.

Number Of Servings:12 Servings, 2 Tbsp each

Preparation Time:10 min

5.02.2010

My very favorite cookies

Grandma Peterson's Snickerdoodles


1 c. Crisco

1 1/2 c. sugar

2 eggs

2 3/4 c. flour

2 t. cream of tartar

1 t. baking soda

1/4 t. salt

1 t. vanilla


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix shortening, sugar and eggs until fluffy. Add vanilla. Blend dry ingredients together (I only do 2 cups of flour in this step because 2 3/4 is sometimes too much) and add to wet ingredients. If dough is still sticky, add flour in 1/4 c. increments until dough seems right for cookies. Shape into 1 inch balls and roll in cinnamon and sugar. Bake 8-10 minutes. (Makes 3 dozen about)



3.19.2010

Honey Wheat Millet Bread + Strawberry Freezer Jam

What is better than fresh, warm, homemade bread for breakfast? My Mother and Father-in-law make this bread often and it is sooooo good. It's not too heavy and it is perfectly sweet. The Millet flour adds something that makes it different . . . lighter, nuttier. I don't know. I just really like this bread and have been craving it all week. I haven't ever made bread, (except for in a bread machine, with a packet) so I actually had to go and buy loaf pans just for this.

Combine in a LARGE bowl:
5 cups hot water (from the tap)
2/3 cup oil
1 tablespoon salt
1 1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup powdered milk
mix well, then add:

2 cups ground millet flour (you can get it at a regular grocery store in the "health" section)
2 cups whole wheat flour
3 heaping tablespoons yeast
mix well, then add:

7 cups white flour
3 cups whole wheat flour
then knead the dough for a good ten minutes.
form it into 5 medium sized greased loaf pans and let raise for about 45 minutes
bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
enjoy!



as for the Freezer Jam,
just buy a packet of "freezer pectin" and combine with 4 cups of pureed fruit and 1 1/2 cups sugar. As shown in the picture, I made all this jam from two giant strawberry clamshells at Costco, and 4 packets of pectin. I also use half sugar, half Xylitol. The Xylitol is just as good if not better than sugar, is zero calories, and is excellent for your teeth. Plus, that way I don't feel so bad about smothering it on everything I eat. Freezer Jam is just soooo satisfying.

3.18.2010

Kneaders Sugar cookie recipe

I saw this on GTU and wanted to try the recipe....I love my own sugar cookie recipe, but this looked a little different with the honey and lemon flavor in it.
Always fun to try a new recipe especially when it is something sweet.

2 cups butter
2 1/4 cups sugar

4 large eggs
1 cup milk

7 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp lemon flavor
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 Tbsp honey

1. Cream together butter and sugar until fluffy.
2. Add eggs, then milk. Scrape the sides of the bowl often.
3. Stir in remaining ingredients. Dough will be soft and sticky.
4. Place dough on well floured pastry cloth or workspace.
5. Knead in just enough flour to make dough workable. Dough will be very soft. It is best to knead with a rolling motion so you have a smooth surface and you will not get cracks on the tops of your cookies.
6. Gently roll out to 3/8 inch thick.
7. Cut into desired shapes and place on baking sheet lined with parchment.
8. Bake at 325 for 10-12 minutes or until just the edges barely start to change colors. Makes approx. 4 dozen.

Icing

4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
4 Tbsp corn syrup
3 Tbsp milk
1/4 tsp lemon flavor

1. Mix together all ingredients until smooth.

Dip cookie in icing and smooth with side of palm of hand. Let set.

(FYI....this is a very runny icing, that is why they use their hands...I think its kind of gross, guess I'm not a true baker.)

crock pot meatballs

Meatballs

this is for a half bag of Costco italian meatballs:

1 12oz jar of Hom-ade chili sauce (found it cheapest at Maceys)(condiments aisle)(Hom-ade is the brand name)
1 8oz grape jelly
1 T brown sugar (i use more like 4)
1 T lemon juice

Mix sauce ingredients on stove top until smooth. Place frozen meatballs in a crockpot pour sauce over meatballs. Cook on high for about 3 hours. Serve with rice!

***we had this at our Relief Society birthday dinner. It turned out so good, I don't eat meat that often, but I could eat plenty of these.

3.16.2010

chocolate peanut butter rice krispie treats

you will need:
2 Tablespoons butter
1- 12 oz. bag of mini marshmallows
1/3 to 1/2 cup peanut butter (I use about 1/3 cup)
6 cups of chocolate rice krispie cereal, (I use generic Malt-O-Meal Cocoa Dyno-Bites)
3/4 cups ghiradelli (or your favorite brand) milk chocolate chips

In a large pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Then add marshmallows and peanut butter. When all the marshmallows are melted and peanut butter is well mixed in, add the cereal and gently combine. Dump contents of pot into greased 9x13 glass pan. Press firmly down with a piece of greased wax paper. Sprinkle the top with chocolate chips. Let cool for at least 30 minutes and enjoy!

3.07.2010

Spinach Quiche

INGREDIENTS
2 cans (8 oz each) Pillsbury® refrigerated garlic butter crescent dinner rolls (8 rolls each)
1package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
3Eggland's Best eggs
1small onion, chopped (1/4 cup)
1box (9 oz) Green Giant® frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed to drain
1/4teaspoon salt
1/8teaspoon pepper
1cup shredded mozzarella cheese (4 oz)
DIRECTIONS
1.Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 16 (2 3/4x1 1/4-inch) muffin cups with CRISCO® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray.
2.Separate each can of crescent dough into 8 triangles. Press 1 triangle on bottom and up side of each muffin cup.
3.In large bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in onion, spinach, salt and pepper until well mixed. Fold in cheese. Fill each cup to the top with egg mixture (do not overfill).
4.Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean and edges of rolls are golden brown. Remove from pan. Serve warm.


Thanks to Michelle and Delana for the recipe.
It was SO good!

1.22.2010

Corn Cheese Chowder

I saw Amber's post on Mexican corn chowder and realized I hadn't posted this fabulous Corn Cheese Chowder. We love it!

6 slices of bacon (diced)
1 small onion (chopped)
3 tbsp All purp. flour
2 c. water
1 c. peeled, diced potato
1/4 tsp dried sage
1 bay leaf
1 c. non-dairy powdered creamer
1 c. boiling water
1 & 1/2 c. grated cheddar cheese
1 can whole kernel corn
1 can creamed corn
1 tsp salt/pepper

Combine bacon & onion in large pot. Cook until bacon is crisp and onion is tender. Blend in flour; cook slowly about 1 minute. Add 2 cups of water, potatoes, sage, & bay leaf. Cover and cook on medium heat until potatoes are tender (10-15 mins.)

Remove bay leaf. Add creamer, 1 cup boiling water, grated cheese corn, salt/pepper. Heat until soup comes to a boil & cheese melts.

Love this recipe!!!

Mexican Corn Chowder

The hot water is not working in our house today, and I have had a perpetual chill all day long. I figured it was a good day for some soup (even though it is 53 degrees outside, . . . which is pretty much springtime weather). I am going out with a couple friends for a late dinner, but still wanted to make something that I could eat as a late lunch, then Jake could come home from work and eat it for dinner. So, I came along this recipe for Corn Chowder. I have never made Corn Chowder, and the only time I have eaten it was at Magleby's in Provo, Ut. It was to die for. If anyone has that recipe, PLEASE send it my way! Until then, enjoy this. . . it's very good!



so here is the recipe

3 chicken breasts (I used only two, from a rotisserie chicken)
1/2 cup chopped onion
**I added 1/2 chopped red bell pepper, just for color**
1-2 cloves minced garlic
3 Tbsp butter
2 chicken bouillon cubes + 1 cup hot water (I just used 2 cups broth)
**2 tablespoons flour**
1/2 to 1 tsp ground cumin
2 cups half and half (I just used 2% milk)
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
1 14 oz can cream style corn
1 4 oz can green chilies, undrained
1/4 tsp tabasco sauce
**1 Tbsp honey**
1 medium tomato, chopped
fresh cilantro and tortilla chips for garnish
**stared items were not in the original recipe**

what the recipe says:
In a dutch oven or large saucepan, brown chicken, onion, and garlic in butter until chicken is no longer pink. Dissolve the bouillon in hot water. Add to pan along with cumin; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Add half and half, cheese, corn, chilies and Tobasco sauce. Cook and stir over low heat until the cheese is melted. Stir in chopped tomato. Serve immediately. Garnish with Cilantro.

What I did instead:
Shred or cube chicken (I used rotisserie). In a large pot, melt butter. Saute onion for 1 minute, add red pepper and continue to saute for another, then add minced garlic and saute for another minute. Add the flour and mix it around until the moist veggies absorb most of it. Add the broth and cumin; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Add milk, cheese, corn, chilies, chicken and tabasco sauce (optional). Add Salt to taste. Cook and stir over low heat until the cheese is melted. Stir in chopped tomato. Garnish with Cilantro, and tortilla chips.
**I found that the soup was a little on the spicy side, so I added one tablespoon honey to the pot.
Overall, I really liked this soup. I think it would have been just great without the red bell pepper, but I am kind of a bell-pepper lover lately, so I couldn't help myself. I am usually not a fan of cream-based soups, but this was just so hearty, and I didn't feel as guilty about it. It is very filling too!

I got the recipe from here

1.17.2010

Hawaiian Pork Chops

Pork Chops are my new favorite thing. I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as we have!

4 pork chops
1 (8 oz) can sliced pineapple in juice
1/2 c. soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
Paprika

Drain pineapple and reserve juice. Mix juice with garlic and soy sauce. Pour over chops and let marinade, covered, in refrigerator for 8 hours, turning 2 or 3 times. (A great big ziplock bag is great for this, just place it on a plate in the fridge.) Heat oven to 350*. Place chops in a baking dish, covering each chop with a pineapple slice. Sprinkle with paprika. Cover tightly with foil. Bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and cook for 5 minutes.

You can make another batch of sauce (pineapple juice, garlic, soy sauce) and serve it with rice to compliment this dish.

Honey-Hot Pork Chops

4 pork chops
Salt and Pepper, to taste
6 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp hot pepper sauce

Mix hot sauce and honey well. Salt and pepper chops then baste with sauce. Grill or broil on low, turning and basting until chops are done (between 10 and 15 minutes).

1.13.2010

How to make tilapia...

Is what I googled. And I found the best recipe! I love shellfish, and I really want to love all the rest. But I don't. But its healthy. You can see my dilemma. So I had a friend tell me that Tilapia is the tastiest and mildest fish, so I bought some frozen filets when they were on sale at Safeway.


So I made this recipe and looooved it! Lurved it. It was better than a lot of chicken I've eaten. Plus it was fast and easy and cheap, who could ask for more? So without further ado...

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon celery salt
  • 2 pounds tilapia fillets

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven's broiler. Grease a broiling pan or line pan with aluminum foil.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the Parmesan cheese, butter, mayonnaise and lemon juice. Season with dried basil, pepper, onion powder and celery salt. Mix well and set aside.
  3. Arrange fillets in a single layer on the prepared pan. Broil a few inches from the heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the fillets over and broil for a couple more minutes. Remove the fillets from the oven and cover them with the Parmesan cheese mixture on the top side. Broil for 2 more minutes or until the topping is browned and fish flakes easily with a fork. Be careful not to over cook the fish.