Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Nacho Cheese Sauce

I found the basic recipe for this sauce on the internet. But I added to it and the result is below:

3 tbsp butter
2 tbsp corn starch
1 can evaporated milk
2 oz cream cheese (cubed)
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
1 small can/bottle salsa or pico de gallo
paprika - enough for flavor

Melt butter and cornstarch over medium heat in a sauce pan. Sitr. When butter melted add milk and cream cheese. Stir until cheese melted and sauce incorporated. Then add shredded cheeses and stir until melted. Remove from heat. Add salsa/pico de gallo and paprika. Serve with chips.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Buffalo Chicken Dip

This taste just like buffalo wings without the mess. My family can't get enough of it. We hope you enjoy it too. (It is spicy.)

2 big cans of chicken
1 cup ranch dressing
2 cups shredded jack cheese
2 blocks cream cheese
1 small bottle (6 oz) of Frank's hot sauce

Combine and heat in crock pot. Serve with chips.

hints: I have just boiled a chicken breast and cut into small pieces. Also I just combined and heated on the stove and then after it was hot put it in small bowls for my family to eat out of. Yes, you put the whole bottle of hot sauce in. We hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


I came across this lovely little baking blog via Pioneer Woman's cooking spot (did you make those cute PW Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies? I want to. They look so yum!).

Anyhoo... {Bakerella} has a darling site of cakes and cupcakes and such. If you don't want to make any of those goodies, at least take a peek on her site because her photos are so gorgeous - especially with her festive holiday treats and this pink frosted yellow cake.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Spinach Salad

My sister in law made this the other night and it was a huge hit.  So tasty!

Spinach Salad
1 pkg washed spinach
1 head iceberg lettuce (or packaged)
1 block swiss cheese
1 lb. bacon (bagged real bacon bits works great)
1/2 c. rinsed cottage cheese 
1 c. sliced mushrooms
1 purple onion
1 pkg grape tomatoes

1 T. poppy seeds
1/2 -3/4 c. vegetable oil
1/4 c. sugar
1 t. salt
1/2 c. white vinegar
1/2 t. dry mustard

Put dressing on salad right before serving.   (the note on the recipe says it makes a lot of salad)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Simple Chicken - Slow Cooker Style

I found this recipe on Beth's Mess. It's really simple but we really like it.

Here's the original recipe that Beth shared.


4 frozen chicken breasts
1 package dry Italian dressing mix
1 c. warm water OR chicken broth


1. Place chicken in cooker.
2. Sprinkle dressing mix on top.
3. Pour water/broth over chicken; cover.
4. Cook on low 8-10 hours.

My alterations: I used frozen chicken tenderloins (it doesn't have to cook quite as long). I also add a can of cream of chicken or celery because I like the sauce a little thicker to put on the rice or noodles.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Jell-O Pretzel Salad

This is the one from the family cookbook. Someone mentioned that it didn't set up fully so you may want to use half water/half pineapple juice. Amy might know. :)

Ann’s Jell-O Pretzel Salad (Amy DeMordaunt)

2 2/3 cup coarsely chopped pretzels
1 large package frozen strawberries or raspberries
1 1/2 cubes butter
3/4 large carton Cool Whip
12 ounces cream cheese
2 cups pineapple juice
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 large package Jell-O

Beat cream cheese and sugar. Set aside. Mix pretzels and butter. Press into a 9x13 dish. Bake at 400 for 10 minutes. Spread cheese mix over pretzels. Spread cool whip over cheese. Chill. Dissolve Jell-O in hot pineapple juice. Add strawberries. Allow to set. Pour over top and refrigerate. Also excellent with graham cracker crust instead of pretzels. Much easier too!

Recipe Help!

I need a recipe for the pretzel cream cheese jello salad. Didn't Grandma make this? All my recipe books are packed... Thank you for the last minute help. Happy Thanksgiving!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Berry Pie

While I'm still gathering Thanksgiving recipies from friends here is another one that comes from Brenna Palkki. I usually just make the Marie Calendar Rassleberry pie, which is pretty good, but this is better.

filling :
6-8 cups berries (thawed)--we use a mix of blackberries and rasperries
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/8 tsp salt

1/2 cup flour
2 Tbs butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
oats if desired--we use 1/2 a cup or so

1. Mix together sugar, flour, salt. Add berries.
2. Let mixture stand 1/2 hour. Stir again.
3. Pour into unbaked crust. Crumble topping mixture on top.
4. Cover edges of pie with foil. Bake 375degrees F for 20 min. Remove foil.
Bake 25-30 min more until golden. Cool on wire rack.

Serve with vanilla ice cream!

Mandarin Cookie Salad

For the first time ever I find myself faced with having to do Thanksgiving alone with my own little family. We have always gotten together with friends or family, but being in a new town we haven't established a group of friends. I have mixed feelings about the whole thing, but I am trying to be positive. I have been gathering recipes that I want to make and remembered this yummy salad we have had the past two years on Thanksgiving. The recipe comes originally from Ashley Tanner. It is sooooo yummy. Believe me you will go back for seconds and thirds on this one.

2 cups buttermilk
1 pkg large vanilla instant pudding
1 container of cool whip (somewhere between sm & large, however much you want)
20 - 24 oz of drained mandarin oranges
1/2 a package of Sandies Pecan Cookies broken up
Mix the buttermilk & pudding
Fold in Cool Whip
Add Mandarin Oranges & Sandies Cookies

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Festive Potpourri

Mary gave me this idea for a festive potpourri. I hadn't thought of using cranberries before. I generally forget that I can put yummy smelling stuff on the stove, but today that was a needful thing.

Here are the ideas of things to add to the pot with water:
~cinnamon sticks

Now - I wouldn't suggest adding all of the above at the same time, but wouldn't grapefruit & orange be a yummy one on occasion.

For today I added cranberries, lime, lemon, and cinnamon. I think I overloaded the pot a bit. Oops! One tip is to just make sure the water doesn't boil away... so be watchful.

Thanks for sharing the idea Mary! Comment if you have other yummy stovetop potpourri recipes.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Easiest Artichoke dip ever

14 oz. can of artichokes (packed in water, not oil)
2 cups of freshly grated Parmesan cheese, split
1/2 cup of mayonaise (or, if you're like me and puke at the thought of Mayo, use Plain Greek Style Yogurt)
Salt and pepper

Mix Artichokes, 1 cup cheese, and Mayo in microwave safe dish. Microwave until hot.

Pour mixture into bake-safe pan. Put remaining 1/2 of cheese on top. Broil until toasty.

Mmmmm then you can eat with pitas, pita chips, or just tortilla chips. YUMMY!

If you want a spinach-artichoke dip, just add thawed and drained spinach (like, from the freezer section).

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Yummy Lemon Cookies

I first had these cookies at a stake event a few months ago. I loved them so much I searched the internet for a recipe. I found one that came close. I made a couple of changes/additions and the result is below.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

1 pckg cake mix (I used a yellow cake mix)
2 eggs
1/3 vegetable oil
juice of 1 lemon
lemon zest

Mix ingredients until well blended. Add 1/2 - 3/4 package white chocolate chips. Drop by the teaspoonful onto cookie sheets.

Bake for 6-9 minutes. Bottoms will be lightly browned.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Cake Balls and a great cleaner

Yesterday we made these cake balls from Pioneer Woman. They were fun for the kids. Warning though - shredding the cake into crumbs took longer than I expected, so leave yourself plenty of time. Totally worth trying!

Also, I tried the new (to Idaho at least) Jet Dry Dishwasher Cleaner this morning and I think it has magical powers. It totally worked! You know the scummy gummy stuff that collects around the edge of your dishwasher (esp. at the bottom)? While it didn't get rid of it all, it loosened it so that after two Clorox wipes, it was GONE. It got rid of a chocolate stain in there too. Excellent.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Streusel Coffee Cake

This Streusel Coffee Cake recipe used to be on the back of the Bisquick box. A friend made this for us so we looked up the recipe and made it this morning for breakfast.

Streusel Coffee Cake

Cinnamon Streusel
1/3 cup Bisquick® mix
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons firm butter or margarine

Coffee Cake
2 cups Bisquick® mix
2/3 cup milk or water
2 tablespoons sugar
1 egg

1. Heat oven to 375°F. Grease 9-inch round pan. In small bowl, stir streusel ingredients until crumbly; set aside.

2. In medium bowl, mix coffee cake ingredients until blended. Spread in pan. Sprinkle with streusel.

3. Bake 18 to 22 minutes or until golden brown.

High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): Heat oven to 425°F. Use 9-inch square pan. Stir 2 tablespoons Gold Medal® all-purpose flour into the 2 cups Bisquick® mix. Increase milk to 3/4 cup. Bake 15 to 20 minutes.

These were some suggestions in the reviews:
(suggested 1/4 cup sugar in batter)
(suggested 1 tsp vanilla in batter)
(suggested double topping and use knife to swirl into batter)
(suggested add 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce to batter to help moisten the cake)
(suggested add cinnamon to batter)

I just added a little more sugar in the batter, a little vanilla, a little cinnamon in the batter, and 2 Tbsp applesauce.  The reviews indicated that the original recipe was a little dry.  I did not follow High Altitude directions.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Homemade Tomato Soup

I remember a year or so ago, there was a request for tomato soup. My friend Marne shared this one with me and I thought I'd pass it along.

TOMATO SOUP (Marne Southwick Clark)

(If you would rather use fresh tomatoes than bottled, quarter and squish a little over 2 quarts worth of tomatoes. Add 2 tsp. salt and cook them for about 30 minutes.)

1/2 cube butter
2 Tbsp. oil
1 chopped onion
1-2 garlic cloves (optional)
2 quarts bottled tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp thyme
1 tsp basil
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup flour
4 cups chicken or beef broth, DIVIDED
1 cup cream, evaporated milk, or any milk
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, heat butter and oil. Add onion (and garlic if desired) and sauté until tender.

Add tomatoes, bay leaf, and other spices. Simmer 10 minutes.

Mix flour with 1 1/2 cups broth. Stir broth mixture into tomato mixture. Add remaining broth and cook for 30 minutes, stirring frequently.

Ladle soup out into a blender, and blend until smooth (you will have to do this 2 or 3 times per batch of soup).

Pour from blender, through a strainer (if you want to get rid of any skins and seeds), and into a large bowl.

Add cream or milk to soup, and add salt and pepper to taste.

And if you're making this soup, you've got to try these new mini Premium soda crackers. Mary recommended these to me when I was sick a while ago. We all love them - even Maxie! They are so cute and little and so you don't have to crumble them to dust to put in your soup - unless, of course, you like cracker dust! Really - they are yum.

Pie Crust Cookies

I found this recipe in the Family Fun magazine.

Aut-yum Leaves

Heat the oven to 375.

Whisk one egg with a teaspoon of water and set it aside.

On a floured surface, roll out a prepared pie crust so it's about 1/8 inch thick. Use a large leaf-shaped cookie cutter (4 1/2 -inches wide) to make as many dough leaf pairs as possible.

For each pocket, spread about 4 teaspoons of mini chocolate chips and peanut butter chips on a leaf, leaving a 1/2-inch margin at the edge.

Brush egg wash onto the edge, place a second leaf on top, and press the edges to seal. Brush the top with egg wash and sprinkle it generously with raw sugar.

Bake the leaves on parchment-covered cookie sheet until their edges are just beginning to brown, about 12 minutes. let them rest on the sheet a few minutes before moving them to a cooling rack.

We didn't have a leaf cookie cutter but we did pumpkin shapes. You can also try adding jam and cream cheese, choc chips, walnuts, and marshmallows. We just did most with choc chips. And I tried one with mini carmel bits and choc chips.  We used Pillsbury premade pie crust and it worked great.  I just sprayed that flour-grease on the counter and rolled it out.  

Hannah thought it was fun to make, but gross to eat. Abe thought it was fun to make and yummy to eat.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Frozen Peach Salad

Here's a recipe that I love to make during fresh peach season. It allows you to enjoy peaches in a slushy salad all year long.

1 scant cup sugar
1 ½ c orange juice (actual juice, not concentrate)
¾ c lemonade (actual juice, not concentrate)
1/3 of large can crushed pineapple
6 c diced peaches (approximately 13-14 medium peaches)

Mix together and immediately freeze in pint bags (I use 4 bags per batch). When ready to serve, partially unthaw (for approximately 20 minutes) and serve as slushy frozen fruit salad in bowls.

F.Y.I. To chop peaches I use a Pampered Chef chopper and only chop each peach half 6-7 times.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Southwest Chicken Burritos

The original recipe for this I got from a friend, but I am posting it how I like to do it.
  • 4-6 frozen chicken breasts
  • 2 c. salsa
  • 1-2 cans black beans, rinsed/drained
  • 1 can olives, drained (whole, diced, or sliced)
  • 1 c. frozen corn OR 1 can of corn, drained
  • package of cream cheese

Place frozen chicken on bottom of crock-pot. Then add remaining ingredients, except the cream cheese , and cook on low for 6-8 hours (or on high for 4 hrs). 20 minutes before serving stir in the cream cheese and shred the chicken. Fill tortillas and top with cheddar cheese and any other favorite burrito toppings.

Chicken & Veggie Stew with Biscuits

I have been using my slow cooker a ton since we moved and I thought I would share some of the recipes I have been using because they are simple to throw together in the morning and then you have a nice meal later for dinner. The last time I made this recipe I made these biscuits wo go with it and they turned out really good. I made some with and without the pepper.

4-6 Chicken breasts (frozen)
1/2 onion
2-3 Celery stalks
2/3 Carrots
2 Potatoes
2 cans of Cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup

Put all these ingredients into your slow cooker with the chicken on the bottom and the soups on top. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. Top each serving with a biscuit.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries

I made these tonight to go along with our hamburgers and they were a big success. And I think they are more healthy than regular potatoes, at least I like to think so. Almy kept asking for "more please."

1 - 1 1/2 lb sweet potatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil (preferably the easy release kind).
Peal the sweet potatoes. Cut into strips that are about 1/2 inch wide on each side.
Place the sweet potatoes into a sealable plastic bag. Add oil, salt, paprika and cinnamon. Seal the bag and shake well to thoroughly coat the fries. Spread the potatoes out onto the baking sheet in a single layer.
Cook for 30 minutes, turning every 10 minutes. Transfer immediately to a paper towel lined plate and serve warm.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Warm Nutty Caramel Brownies

These are the best brownies that I have ever had. Jen and I both agree. Hope you enjoy them as much as we did. This is my first time posting to the recipe blog, so I hope I did everything right. Enjoy!!

Warm Nutty Caramel Brownies

1 pkg. (12oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided

1 pkg. (18-21oz) brownie mix (plus ingredients to make cake-like brownies)

3/4 cup packed brown sugar, divided

1 cup salted mixed nuts, divided (any kind you like)

5 rolls of Rolos (40 pieces total), divided

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 9x13 pan. Chop 1-1/2 cup chocolate chips. Combine brownie mix, water, oil, eggs and additional 1/4 cup brown sugar. Fold in chopped chocolate. Pour batter into pan and spread evenly.

2. Chop nuts. Combine half of the nuts and remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar; sprinkle evenly over brownie batter. Bake 20-22 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

3. Meanwhile, cut 16 Rolos into quarters. Place remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chips in microwaveable bowl and microwave on high 1 minute or until melted, stirring after each 20-second interval. Spoon melted chocolate into resealable plastic bag; set aside.

4. Remove pan from oven. Immediately press remaining 24 Rolos evenly into brownie in four rows of six caramels each. Sprinkle quartered Rolos and remaining nuts over brownies. Trim corner of chocolate-filled bag; drizzle chocolate evenly over brownies. Serve warm. Serve with ice cream if desired.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Casserole Call

I am in major need of help. I need something like casseroles that I can put together in the morning / early afternoon (when I still have something that resembles energy) and then just throw in the oven at dinner time. I am majorly struggling with dinner lately. First I am drawing total blanks on what to even have for dinner and then I am too tired/uncomfortable to want to prepare or cook at dinner time. So if you have any make ahead recipes or great casseroles please share them.

White Girl's Enchilada Casserole

I am posting this as my contribution for a casserole call. I love this casserole, but it is another one of those that is not set recipe so I will again just put how I do it. My mom use to throw this together. I tweaked it a bit and added my own snazzy name.

White Girl's Enchilada Casserole
chicken breasts - boil and shred (use enough for your family, I usually use 2-4 breasts depending on their size)
1 c. sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
1-2 cans diced green chiles
shredded cheese - a few handfuls or maybe like 1-2 cups (I love cheddar for this but you can use Mexican blend too)

I usually just mix all of the above ingredients in a bowl and use as the filling. You can also mix all ingredients minus the cheese and then use the cheese as its own layer.

Flour Tortillas

Place one flour tortilla on the bottom of casserole dish (i usually use a 8x8 dish). Spread filling on top and then layer with another tortilla (or put cheese on top of filling and then add tortilla). Repeat and top with tortilla and bake in 350* oven for about 25 minutes or until hot and bubbly

You can also use an enchilada sauce and spread over filling or mix with filling. We use to do this, but now I just mash up the diced green chiles a bit and it makes for a nicer texture. But it is still yummy with the sauce.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Mongolian Beef

This is a copy-cat recipe I found for P.F. Chang's Mongolian Beef. Although we didn't think it tasted exactly like P.F. Chang's, it was just as good. And this recipe is for 2 servings, but it makes a lot of sauce so if you wanted to make it for 4 servings I think if you could just add more meat and green onions. Also this recipe said to leave the excess sauce in the pan, but we didn't, we ate it all. YUM!!!



  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • vegetable oil, for frying (about 1 cup) ( I actually only used a few Table spoons of oil and eliminated a step by not having to dump out the excess oil later.)
  • 1 lb flank steak
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 2 large green onions


· Make the sauce by heating 2 tsp of vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over med/low heat.
· Don't get the oil too hot.
· Add ginger and garlic to the pan and quickly add the soy sauce and water before the garlic scorches.
· Dissolve the brown sugar in the sauce, then raise the heat to about medium and boil the sauce for 2-3 minutes or until the sauce thickens.
· Remove it from the heat.
· Slice the flank steak against the grain into 1/4" thick bite-size slices.
· Tilt the blade of your knife at about a forty five degree angle to the top of the steak so that you get wider cuts.
· Dip the steak pieces into the cornstarch to apply a very thin dusting to both sides of each piece of beef.
Let the beef sit for about 10 minutes so that the cornstarch sticks.
· As the beef sits, heat up one cup of oil in a wok (you may also use a skillet for this step as long as the beef will be mostly covered with oil). (like I said I only used a few Tablespoons of oil, so the beef wasn't covered.)
· Heat the oil over medium heat until it's nice and hot, but not smoking.
· Add the beef to the oil and sauté for just two minutes, or until the beef just begins to darken on the edges.
· You don't need a thorough cooking here since the beef is going to go back on the heat later.
· Stir the meat around a little so that it cooks evenly.
· After a couple minutes, use a large slotted spoon to take the meat out and onto paper towels, then pour the oil out of the wok or skillet. (If you only use a few Tablespoons of oil you eliminated this step.) :)
· Put the pan back over the heat, dump the meat back into it and simmer for one minute.

· Add the sauce, cook for one minute while stirring, then add all the green onions.

· Cook for one more minute, then remove the beef and onions with tongs or a slotted spoon to a serving plate.
. Leave excess sauce behind in the pan.

. Serve with Rice

Zucchini Stir-fry

I thought we would get in the Olympic spirit and make a Chinese meal. And this is the vegetable dish I made with the Mongolian Beef (not authentic Mongolian food), that I will post too. We really like the whole meal. And even Heidi liked the Zucchini, who hates to eat anything green. Enjoy!!!
Zucchini Stir-fry
  • 2 large zucchini
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry*


1. Cut the ends off the zucchini, and cut diagonally into slices about 1/4-inch thick.
2. Pre-heat a wok or skillet over medium-high heat until it is nearly smoking. Add the oil, swirling it around the pan.
3. When the oil is hot, add the ginger and stir-fry until it is aromatic. Add the zucchini. Sprinkle the salt and sugar over. Stir-fry for a minute, then stir in the rice wine or dry sherry.
4. Stir-fry the zucchini until it turns dark green and is tender-crisp (about 3 minutes total). Serve hot.

* You can use apple or white grape juice in place of the Chinese rice wine or Dry sherry, I actually used some crangrape juice I had in the fridge, and it tasted good.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Pan Seared Salmon with Julienne Veggies

This is one of our favorite recipes to make with Matt's Alaska fish... so yum. We got it from a papered chef magazine and have altered it a bit.

Pan Seared Salmon with Julienne Veggies

2 large carrots
2 medium yellow squash
2 med. zucchini
3 T. butter
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 T. Italian seasoning
1/2 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper
4 skinless salmon fillets, about 1 inch thick

1. Cut carrots, yellow squash and zucchini into julienne strips avoiding seeds.
2. Melt butter. Stir in garlic, seasoning, salt and pepper.
3. Reserve 1 T. of butter mixture and use the rest to brush onto the salmon.
4. Heat pan over med. heat, add veggies and coat with the reserved 1 T butter. Cook and stir for 2 min. or until veggies are crisp-tender, remove from pan and keep warm.
5. Return pan to med-high heat. Place salmon in pan, cook 3 min, turn and cook for 3-4 more min. or until salmon flakes easily with fork. Serve with the veggies. YUM!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Hawaiian Favorite

Bubba's Teriyaki Pineapple BurgersSo I would venture to say that everything at bubba's is good, but by far the best is the Teriyaki burger.'s just easy! Just put teriyaki sauce in with the hamburger meat when you cook it, and then drizzle a little on the top when it's cooked. Then put Ketchup (mixed with relish is how they have it), Mustard, and Mayo if you like it. Then put a pineapple slice from the can on it and some fresh white onion, and dig in!!!! SERIOUSLY....SO GOOD! (Note, no Tomato or Lettuce, they write on their sign that they discourage that...and it costs extra to get it!)

I'm NOW on the hunt for a really really great Haupai recipe, so if anyone has one.....let me know!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Pina Colada . . . a party in your hand

There's just something about a slushy drink with an umbrella in it that screams "vacation" . . . even if you're just sitting on your patio. Here is my new favorite drink of summer . . . a pina colada.

It's so easy. Mix pineapple sherbet with Dole's newest flavor: Pina Colada juice (found in a rectangle container in the chilled juice section of the store). Mix like a milkshake. Sometimes I make it real thick . . . other times more like a slush. It's a party in your hand . . . .

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Loved the tators

Is anyone reading this bloggie anymore?

Just had to send a shout-out for Pioneer Woman's Crash Hot Potatoes. I made them last night and totally loved them. And for Heather to really enjoy something she cooked... now that's sayin' something.

I mixed butter (ok - not really butter as I never buy butter.. I used margarine) with the olive oil to spread on top.


Sunday, June 1, 2008

ISO that yummy gooey cookie dessert

Just wondering if anyone would be so kind to post their favorite pizooki... pezuku.. pazukee recipe. :) I'm excited to read all about it so share all the gooey info, please. Thanks!

Modern Midwestern Naan Bread

Wade here.

I hate to tell you, but it's just homemade pizza crust, then you use a pizza cutter to create full-thickness blimp-pattern lines in it before baking.
1 cup warm water
1 1/3 T yeast
1/2 t sugar
1 t salt
3 cups flour
Add a little water while kneading (for 8 minutes by hand or mixer) until it has the right bread dough consistency.
Bake at 400F for 15 minutes (pull it out momentarily at 9 minutes to put the cheese on).

It sounds very ancient and traditional, doesn't it? Actually I think this is adapted from Aunt Pat's pizza dough recipe. There is a way to make it that takes 3 days while you wait for the yeast to naturally occur, but it tastes about the same, gets eaten in 10 minutes, and this year we are midwesterners, not middle-easterners.

Oh, this is the tip of a small iceberg of good food from over there. To make it really good, completely coat it with sesame seeds.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Everything Cookies

I am entering this recipe for Amy... only because she made these first and loved them and recommended them to me. I asked her to blog them because even though I have access to Pioneer Woman's Recipe, it takes about 10 clicks for me to get them.

And it is nice to know which recipes y'all like because I don't dare try many new recipes. But Amy has a life other than blogging unlike some of us (cough - sputter!), but I wanted to give her credit for discovering these cookies.

And of course, be sure to go see all of Pioneer Woman's photos of the preparation because that's the best part of it all.

Hyacinth’s Everything Cookies

1 1/2 cups butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups brown sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 1/4 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/3 cups quick oats
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups Quaker Granola (oats & honey, yellow box)
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
1 1/2 cups Cran-raisins
1 1/2 cups apricots

Cream butter and sugars. Add egg and vanilla. Next add flour, baking soda, and salt. Add in oatmeal and granola. Fold in pecans and other ingredients. With cookie scoop or two spoons, drop onto cookie sheet and bake at 375 for 10 minutes.

Now don't do what I did and accidentally add twice the salt than required (I halved the recipe but got confused on the salt). If you have low blood pressure come on over and I'll take care of that with just one or two cookies.

Plus, after I added too much salt, for some reason I felt that adding an extra egg would help. huh? I kept thinking it was going to be too dry. Duh... not my best move. My brain seriously freezes when I cook. What's up with that. So, if you need some more cholesterol come and eat my cookies.

And make sure you actually have more than 1/4 cup oats before you start.

I'm certain Amy didn't have that many foul-ups as she and I came from different breeds when it comes to cooking.

But in the end, the taste was scrumptious and i loved the dried fruit. So ignore everything I did wrong and go make some healthy cookies.

Monday, May 12, 2008


Any favorite pesto recipes y'all wanna share? I made something for Jimmy like a year ago and he just remembered he liked it. I'm not quite sure what I made so I'm looking for a pesto recipe with noodles in it.

Boston Cream Cupcakes

My obsession with cupcakes continues . . . this time with a cream filling that, frankly, I could eat plain. But then I'd miss out on the Sinful Chocolate Ganache frosting. And we can't have that . . . .

Makes 24 cupcakes

1 box yellow cake mix
1 3.4-ounce box instant vanilla-flavored pudding mix
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup sour cream
Sinful Chocolate Ganache (recipe follows) (don't you love the name of the frosting??)

Prepare cake mix following cupcake directions. Let cupcakes cool completely.

In a large bowl, combine pudding mix, cream, powdered sugar, milk, and sour cream. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Spoon pudding mixture into a squeeze bottle that has a long narrow tip (or a decorating bag with a small tip). Insert tip into top of cupcake and squeeze about 1 tablespoon pudding mixture into center of cupcake. (When adding filling, you'll see the cupcake expand. If you add too much filling, the top of the cupcake will start splitting open which is quite easy to disguise with Sinful Chocolate Ganache frosting.) Repeat procedure with remaining filling and cupcakes. Spread Sinful Chocolate Ganache evenly over each cupcake. Store covered in refrigerator.

Sinful Chocolate Ganache
Makes about 2 cups

6 1-ounce squares semisweet chocolate
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 cups powdered sugar

In a medium bowl, combine chocolate and cream. Microwave on high in 30-second intervals, stirring between each, until chocolate is melted and smooth (about 2 minutes total). Gradually whisk in powdered sugar until smooth. Let mixture cool until it reaches a spreadable consistency (about 30 minutes).

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Homemade Croutons

These are the lightest crispiest croutons we've ever had and we love them!! They are so great on toss salad or soup.

Cut one loaf French bread into 1/2-inch slices and then in 3/4-inch cubes. Melt 1/2 to 3/4 cup butter. Stir in 1/4 t. garlic powder. Toss with bread cubes until bread is evenly coated. Spread on shallow baking pan. Bake at 300 for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until bread cubes are dry and crisp.

Another salad tip I recently learned from a friend in town who used to work at Juniper Restaurant is to soak a cored head of lettuce in a bowl of ice water for 10 minutes before draining and serving in a salad. The cold water keeps the lettuce fresh and crisp. It's amazing!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Lemon Cream Cupcakes

Since I'm obsessed with cupcakes, I've been trying all kinds of new recipes. We recently found this one and love the moist texture and light lemon taste. So perfect for spring!!

Yield: 30 Cupcakes

1 cup margarine, softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups (16 ounces) sour cream

3 tablespoons margarine, softened
2-1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1 to 2 tablespoons milk

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in lemon peel and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream, beating well after each addition (batter will be thick). Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups with 1/4 cup of batter. Bake at 350° for 21 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely. For frosting, cream butter and confectioners' sugar in a small mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add the lemon juice, vanilla, lemon peel and milk; beat until smooth. Frost cupcakes.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Caramelized Salmon

I got this recipe from a colleague at work.  He grew up in Alaska where salmon was plentiful.  I made this a few weeks ago when we had Jenny & Brad over.  It is very very good!

1 cube butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp lemon zest
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp dill weed (adjust amount as you like)
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (adjust amount as you like)

Mix above ingredients together in sauce pan until butter is melted and sugar dissolved.  Put sauce on salmon as it cooks (on grill or in oven).

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Help again please?!?

So, the PTA lady called last night and asked me to help with some teacher appreciation thing. I need to bring a snack/appetizer of some kind for 30 people with an Italian theme. I'm thinking maybe bread sticks with marinara or Alfredo sauce or... yeah, that's all I've got. Does anybody have ideas for me since I'm unable to say no when people call to ask for a favor? Aaahhh!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Cinnamon Apple Pancakes

I woke up this morning to Jimmy making these pancakes. He found the recipe on All Recipes. He said they weren't amazing, but they were good. Surprisingly, I really liked them. And Abe said, "These are really yummy. Thanks for making them dad." And Abe hardly eats anything!! Plus it's one more way to get some whole wheat in your diet.

2 cups whole wheat flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups fat-free milk
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 medium apple - peeled, cored and chopped
(suggested add-ins: a little more cinnamon, a little vanilla, and 1-2 Tbsp lemon juice)

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Combine the eggs, milk, honey and oil; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Add apple.

Pour batter by 1/3 cupfuls onto a hot nonstick skillet coated with nonstick cooking spray. Turn when bubbles form on top; cook until second side is golden brown.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Cinnamon Rolls

Our Relief Society President in Portland served these cinnamon rolls at a Super Saturday (and again to all the men in the ward on Father's Day) and I've decided that all of the narrow roads and rain and tiny lots measured in square feet and stuckup people were completely worth two years in Oregon if for no other reason than this recipe alone. (To be fair, there were so many wonderful things about Oregon, but they aren't helping me make my point here.) They are simply the best cinnamon rolls I've ever eaten! So, Jane, I'm so sorry this doesn't fit into your request for simple healthy meals, but on a sad or rainy day, these will keep you going! Enjoy.

Dough Ingredients:
2 1/3 cups warm water
1 1/3 T instant yeast
1/3 cup powdered milk
2 eggs
2 t salt
1/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup oil
8 cups flour

1 cup margarine, very softened/almost melted
1 1/3 cups sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 1/3 t cinnamon

1 cup margarine, very softened/almost melted
5 1/3 cups powdered sugar
2 2/3 t vanilla
7-11 T hot water
dash salt

Dissolve yeast in warm water 5 minutes (it helps to mix a tablespoon sugar in with the yeast to help it bubble). Add remaining dough ingredients in order given until dough is soft. Let dough raise in large oiled/greased bowl until double (50 minutes). Divide dough into two parts. Roll out each part into rectangle (roll quite thin). Mix filling ingredients and spread half on each dough rectangle. Roll each rectangle, sealing edges tight, and cut (using string or dental floss) into 12 rolls (for a total of 24 rolls). Place rolls in two greased 9 x 13 pans. Cover with greased saran wrap and let raise until double (35-40 minutes). Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Let cool slightly. Mix frosting ingredients (adding more or less water depending on the consistency you like) and spread on cinnamon rolls. If you're like me, you'll frost them a second time five minutes later. And if you're like me, you'll dip your cinnamon roll in the leftover frosting. I must warn you, your life will never be the same after these cinnamon rolls!

Call for Healthy Food!

I hate to even ask for it, because we all know what I really want to do is make the yummy coconut cupcakes and the delicious Mozerella meatball sandwiches, but after trying to convince myself for a month that i don't need a wedding diet I've come to realize that...I in fact, do. :( So rather than go to any sort of extreme, I figured I could just eat healthier--like more salads, less butter, less sugar, less butter-marinated pioneer woman yummy goodness :(, and smaller portion size. Sigh.

So any healthy and quick recipes out there?? :)

Sweet Pork Burritos

This recipe comes from my mom's ward recipe book. It is really yummy! I love it!

1 (2-3 lb) pork roast
garlic salt
1/3 c water
1 pkg flour tortillas, warmed in microwave
2 (15 oz) cans mild green chili sauce or enchilada sauce, divided
1/2 c brown sugar
1 (15 0z) can black beans
1 bunch cilantro-chopped
Monterey Jack cheese, grated

Season roast with salt, pepper, and garlic salt. Place roast and water in crockpot. Cook on high 4 hours or on low for 8 hours until meat is tender. Shred pork and place in a bowl. Stir in 1/2 cut green chili sauce and 1/2 cup brown sugar. Mix well. Spray 9 x 13-inch pan with cooking spray and pour 1/2 cup green sauce into bottom of the pan. Fill each tortilla with pork, 1-2 tbsp beans, and 1-2 tsp cilantro. Roll burrito and place seam side down in baking dish. Pour remainder of green sauce over the burritos and sprinkle with cheese. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Makes 6-8 servings. Serve with the following garnishes: chopped tomatoes, salsa, lettuce, sour cream, guacamole, etc.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Spicy Beans with Coconut Milk

I tried a new recipe and it turned out to be really good. It's quick and easy to put together.

1 sweet onion, chopped
vegetable cooking spray
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 to 2 tablespoons red curry paste
2 (15-oz) cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14.5-oz) can dinced tomatoes, undrained
1 (13.5-oz) can lite coconut milk
1 teaspoon grated lime rind
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons sugar
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Saute chopped onion in a pan coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute 1 minute. Add red curry paste, saute 1 minute. Stir in kidney beans, tomatoes, coconut milk and remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes. Serve with rice. Sprinkle with green onions and chopped fresh cilantro, if desired.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Seven Wives Inn Granola

8 cups oats, not instant
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 1/2 cups wheat germ (optional)
8 oz. almonds
8 oz. cashews
3 oz. sunflower seeds
8 oz. coconut
3 oz. flax seeds (optional)
1/2 cups water
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cups raising/craisins (optional)

Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Heat water, oil, honey, and peanut butter until it begins to bubble. Add vanilla and pour over dry ingredients. Mix well and spread on two large cookie sheets. Bake in 200 degree oven for about two hours or until coconut is golden. Stir occasionally while baking. Add craisins when cool. Store in an airtight container.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Mozzarella Stuffed Meatball Hoagies

Mozzarella Stuffed Meatball Hoagies

I know you are all probably shocked that I am posting a recipe that does not involve any amount of sugar or chocolate. I got this recipe from Picky Palate and is simply divine. Matt and I sounded like Bob - mmm, mmm, mmm (you are going to have to imagine the sound effects yourselves).

1 lb ground beef
1 egg
2 Tablespoons milk
1 Tablespoon Tabasco Hot Sauce
½ Cup Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs
½ Cup grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon dried basil

12-15 1 inch mozzarella balls (marinated in olive oil)
1 26oz jar favorite pasta sauce, or homemade sauce
4-6 Garlic Ciabatta Rolls, or other rolls of choice, cut in half
4 sliced provolone cheese, each cut into halves

1. Preheat oven to 350. Place beef, egg, milk, hot sauce, bread crumbs, parmesan, salt, pepper, oregano and basil in a large bowl. With hands or large spoon, mix until well combined.

2. Scoop about ¼ Cup meat mixture in hands; press 1 mozzarella ball into middle of meat and form a ball around the cheese. Do this until all meat and cheese is used up; makes about 12-15 large meatballs.

3. Place all meatballs into a 9x13 inch baking dish that has ¼ Cup olive oil spread into bottom. Bake for 20 minutes; flip all meatballs. Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through.

4. Place pasta sauce into a large pot. Place cooked meatballs in sauce. Simmer on low heat.

5. Place ½ slice of provolone onto the cut sides of rolls. Place onto tin foil or baking sheet and broil in oven for 1-2 minutes or until rolls are toasted and cheese is melted.

6. Place 3-4 meatballs onto bottom halves of toasted rolls. Spoon pasta sauce over meatballs and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Close with top roll and serve warm.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Coconut Cupcakes

I recently found this recipe on the Taste of Home website, so we made these cupcakes for our Annual Reed Family Luau and absolutely loved them!

1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 cups sugar
5 eggs
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/4 cups flaked coconut

Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 3/4 cups powdered sugar

Additional flaked coconut, toasted (toast in 350 oven for 7-10 minutes, stirring frequently)

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in extracts. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk. Fold in coconut. Fill paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350 for 18 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

For frosting, in a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, butter, and extracts until smooth. Gradually beat in powdered sugar. Frost the cupcakes; sprinkle with toasted coconut.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies with Peanut Butter Molasses Buttercream

1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 egg
3/4 cup all-purpose flour (I actually added closer to 1 cup - I like fluffier cookies)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup quick oats

Peanut Butter Molasses Buttercream, recipe follows

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cream the butter and peanut butter together in a large mixer on high. Add the sugar, brown sugar and vanilla and continue to beat until the mixture is fluffy. Add the egg and beat until combined. Mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and oats together in a separate bowl and add to the butter mixture. Mix until well combined.

Place the batter onto a sheet pan by the tablespoonful, leaving about 2 inches between each cookie. Bake in the top half of the oven until the cookies are golden, about 10 minutes. Remove and let cool.

When the cookies are completely cool, put a teaspoonful of the butter cream into the center of half of the cookies. Top with the remaining cookies, pressing down until the filling squeezes out a bit. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Peanut Butter Molasses Buttercream

1 stick butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons molasses
1 tablespoon heavy cream
Pinch salt

Cream the butter and peanut butter together using an electric mixer. Add the sugar and molasses and beat until thick and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the heavy cream and salt and beat one additional minute. Spread on the cookies immediately.
Yield: about 2 cups

Hot Chocolate Brownies

I found this recipe on Super yummy!
Hot Chocolate Brownies

1/2 cup unsalted butter
2/3 cup half and half or heavy cream (heated in microwave for 30 seconds)
2 Tablespoons hot chocolate mix (I used Ghiradellis)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Hershey's Dark unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt (scant)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8x8-inch square baking pan (or use 11x7 inch) with foil, and spray foil with non-stick cooking spray.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook the butter, stirring freguently, for 6-8 minutes, or until light golden brown. Stir in half and half and hot chocolate mix. Stir until well combined. Remove from heat.

In a medium-sized bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, and salt.In a large bowl, combine sugars, egg, and vanilla, and beat together, using an electric mixer on high speed, for 2 minutes.Reduce mixer speed to low, and gradually add melted butter/hot chocolate mixture, and beat 1 additional minute. Gradually beat in flour, until just combined.

Spread batter into pan, and bake at 350 degrees F, for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Cool on a wire rack, or do what I did: Cool pan in an ice-water bath; when cool, freeze the pan for an hour or two in the freezer. I think this process gives brownies a better texture.

To make the ganache, heat the cream and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, until hot, but not boiling. Remove pan from heat and stir in vanilla and chocolate chips, until well combined and smooth. Pour the ganache over the top of the cooled brownies. Freeze or chill, until set, before slicing.

*Another option: I froze the brownies for 20 minutes, frosted and cooled at room temp. These are heavenly!*

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Cheddar and Potato Soup

This is in response to Heather's call for favorite potato recipes. It's probably similar to Mom's potato soup but when we lived in Chicago, this was in the newspaper recipe section. It recommended using Wisconsin cheddar cheese and we all know to use Idaho potatoes. Actually our favorite cheddar has to be Tillamook Medium Cheddar blocks (alas, only found in the west that we know of!) This is our favorite cold day soothing soup. (This is not my photo :).

Cheddar and Potato Soup
Serves 6
(From the Chicago Tribune recipe section)

¼ c. butter
Grated onion to taste or ¼ c. chopped onion
¼ cup flour
1 ½ tsp. dry mustard (optional-I use)
3 ½ c. chicken broth
1 cup grated carrots
2 medium Idaho potatoes diced
2 ½ c. half-and-half
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste

  1. In a large saucepan, sauté the onion in butter over moderate heat until soft. Stir in flour and dry mustard. Continue to stir for 1-2 min. without browning flour. Add broth and bring to a simmer, stirring until soup is smooth. Add carrots and potatoes.
  2. Simmer for 30 min. partially covered. Add half-and-half and bring again to a simmer. (Recipe may be done ahead to this point. Reheat soup before continuing.)
  3. Reduce heat to low and stir in cheese until melted. Season with salt and pepper and serve.


  • Use 4 chicken broth cubes and 3 ½ cups water if you don’t have chicken broth.
  • Use milk if you don’t have half-and-half—use potato flakes or potato pearls to thicken if it’s too thin using milk (this works great).
  • Use rehydrated dry carrots if you don’t have fresh (I blend them up first).
  • Use minced onion- about 1 tsp. (add with carrots and potatoes) in place of fresh.
  • Sliced celery added with carrots and potatoes is a nice variation.
  • Sprinkle with crumbled bacon, or serve with broccoli or little smokies.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Blue and White Oatmeal Chippers

These are tasty cookies Heather led me to from

Blue and White Oatmeal Chippers

1 Cup softened unsalted butter
3/4 Cup brown sugar
3/4 Cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 Cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 Cup quick oats
1 1/2 Cups frozen blueberries (we bought some tiny ones in a tub that were great!)
1 Cup shredded sweetened coconut
1 bag white chocolate chips (12oz)

1. In a stand mixer, cream the butter, brown sugar and sugar until well combined. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Slowly add flour, baking soda, salt, quick oats, blueberries, coconut and chocolate chips until just combined.
2. Chill dough for a few hours until firm.
3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Drop or scoop dough by the Tablespoonfuls onto a baking sheet and Bake for 9-11 minutes or until edges start to crisp. Cool for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


I've been blessed with oodles and oodles of really big and yummy Idaho Potatoes. Please, please share all your potato recipe ideas. What is your favorite way to eat potatoes?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Coffee Cake

So, I had never made coffee cake before, but last weekend I had run out of muffin mixes and needed a ready breakfast for the next morning that was faster than cold cereal for on the run, and I found this... it is really yum and easy.


3/4 c. butter, softened
1 1/2 c. sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. sour cream
Filling (recipe follows)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 12 cup bundt pan. In large mixing bowl, combine butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Mix in flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt alternately with sour cream. Spread 1/3 of batter (about 2 cups) in pan and sprinkle with 1/3 of filling (about 6 tablespoons). Repeat twice.

Bake 60 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. This is my best coffee cake recipe and the one that always gets the most compliments.

FILLING: Mix 1/2 cup packed brown sugar, 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. (no walnuts for me)

Easy Chicken Corn Chowder

I made this last night for dinner--it was so easy, SO fresh, and SOOO Tasty! I got it from this blog.

Chicken Corn Chowder with Alvocado and Tomato
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 large carrots, peeled and chopped
3 stalks of celery, diced
4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
3 14 oz cans chicken broth
2 lb bag frozen corn or 8 fresh ears of corn, kernels cut off
2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
½ Cup heavy cream
8 oz sour cream
Salt and pepper to taste

1 avocado, diced
1 tomato, seeded and diced
Fresh ground black pepper

1. Heat oil into a large dutch oven over medium heat. When hot, sauté onion, carrots and celery until slightly softened, about 5-8 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for for 1 minute then add chicken broth, corn and chicken. Cook for 5 minutes, until heated through. Reduce heat to low and stir in cream, sour cream, salt and pepper to taste.

2. Top with avocado and tomato. Add fresh ground black pepper if desired.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Advice? Help? Please???

Hey everyone, I need some ideas here. We're having two couples from Jeff's work over for dinner on Saturday and I need menu advice. I'm thinking (very tentatively) about Parmesan chicken with homemade spaghetti sauce, lasagna/manicotti with bread sticks, or ribs (Carol, I'm thinking of using your recipe, but you may have to talk me through it!). Other thoughts?

I need side dish help. I've got nothin' there.

For dessert maybe apple dumplings or chocolate sheet cake.

What say you my culinary friends? Should I throw in a relish tray or Pioneer Woman's Holiday Bacon Appetizers (have you tried these yet? Yum!)? How much is too much?

Oh - drink ideas (other than the leftover Mountain Dew from the dumplings)?


Sunday, March 2, 2008

Apple Dumplings

Pioneer Woman is nothing short of a culinary genius!!! I will forever be singing her praises after tasting these dumplings. I was treading very lightly going into this experience because the term 'dumpling' kind of freaked me out. It just never sounded appetizing before. Holy moly - my opinion has changed! You must try these. You must, must, must!

2 Granny Smith apples
2 cans crescent rolls
2 sticks butter (I KNOW - 2!!!)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 small can Mountain Dew (about 8 ounces)

Peel and core apples. Cut apples into 8 slices each. Roll each apple slice in a crescent roll. Place in a 9 x 13 buttered pan. Melt butter, then add sugar and barely stir. Add vanilla, stir, and pour over apples. Pour Mountain Dew around the edges of the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Serve with ice cream (we did whipped cream), and spoon some of the sweet sauce from the pan over the top.

So ridiculously good. Read her post here.

Oven Fried Chicken

This recipe came from the weekly emails I get from "Cuisine at Home" where we found the yummy turkey, our favorite roast and potatoes and the soon to be posted grilled pizza recipes. Thank you Grandpa Beck for subscribing to this gem so I could find it! Anyway, this is a recipe our whole family recommends!

For the Brine --
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 cups hot water

4 cups ice cubes

8-10 chicken pieces* (thighs, legs, and breasts), skin removed, pierced

For the Coating --
3 cups all-purpose flour
2-3 Tbsp black pepper (I did 2, but next time 1 will be plenty for us)
1 Tbsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp paprika

2 egg whites

1 cup buttermilk

3 Tbsp vegetable oil

Dissolve salt and sugar for brine in hot water in a large container.

Add ice and stir to cool mixture.

Prepare chicken pieces by removing the skin and piercing the meat with a knife. Add to brine and refrigerate for 1 1/2 - 2 hours. Preheat oven to 450. Coat a 4-quart Pyrex baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Combine flour, pepper, salt, and paprika in a one gallon Ziploc bag. Remove chicken pieces from the brine and lightly pat dry. Place a few pieces into the bag of seasoned flour and toss to coat. Shake off excess flour and place on a rack. Let sit 10 minutes.

Beat egg whites to soft peaks.

Add buttermilk and stir gently. Dip floured chicken pieces into the egg white/buttermilk mixture. Put the dipped pieces back into the seasoned flour bag. Shake gently and transfer to the rack. Repeat with remaining chicken.

Heat oil in the prepared Pyrex dish by placing it in the oven for 5 minutes. Set the prepared chicken pieces, meaty-side down, into the hot Pyrex dish; roast for 30 minutes. Remove dish from oven and carefully turn the pieces over. Return to the oven and roast 20 minutes more. Remove chicken from the oven and let rest 15 minutes before serving.

*I used 12 drumsticks because it's what my kids like the best.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Baked Potato Skins

We made this recipe found on and loved it! Kyle declared that this is the only way he will eat potatoes.

4 large baking potatoes, baked
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp pepper
8 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup sour cream - optional
4 green onions, sliced - optional

Cut potatoes in half lengthwise; scoop out pulp, leaving a 1/4-in. shell (save pulp for another use). Place potato skins on a parchment covered baking sheet. Combine oil, parmesan cheese, salt, garlic powder, paprika and pepper; brush over both sides of skins. Bake at 475 degrees for 7 minutes; turn. Bake until crisp, about 7 minutes more. Sprinkle cheese and bacon inside skins. Bake 2 minutes longer or until the cheese is melted. Top with sour cream and onions. Serve immediately.

Lemon Curd Cake

You know how the Nelson's are with anything lemon so I knew this recipe would be a winner; however, I used lime curd instead b/c it's what I had. My oven wasn't working well when I made this so half the cake didn't cook. I ended up cutting the cooked part of the cake into cubes and layering it with the whip cream icing in a casserole dish. It was very very good!

1 white cake mix
1 11.3 jar lemon curd (reserve 1/3 cup)

Mix cake mix according to package directions, mixing in remaining lemon curd. Bake in bundt pan as directed.

1 pint whipping cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup lemon curd

Whip cream until peaks form. Add powdered sugar and lemon curd. Spread over cake.

Apricot Chicken

6 chicken breasts
1 8 oz bottle Russian Dressing
1 pkg onion soup mix
1 cup apricot (or peach) jam

Mix dressing, soup mix and jam. Pour over chicken breasts in a 9x13 pan. Bake uncovered at 350 for 1 hour.

Sweet and Sour Meatloaf

I had a neighbor family over for dinner last week and made this meatloaf. It was SO GOOD and it freezes great for a make ahead meal.

1 (12 ounce) jar red currant jelly
1 (12 ounce) jar chili sauce

1 pound ground beef
1 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup dried chopped onions
1/2 teapsoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 egg
1/2 cup ketchup

To prepare sauce, combine red currant jelly and chili sauce in a saucepan. Heat until jelly is melted and well-blended.

For meatloaf, combine the rest of the ingredients and mold into a 5x9 loaf pan. Pour half of the sauce over meatloaf and bake for 1 hour at 400 degrees. Heat remaining sauce and serve with meatloaf.

Cahoon Crockpot Roast

I've actually been cooking lately and wanted to share a few recipes. I took this pot roast down to Sunday dinner at Mom & Dad's last week. The sauce is yummy!

3-5 pound roast
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 pkg lipton dry onion soup mix
1 10 oz can beef gravy
1/2 brown sugar
3 tbsp vinegar
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Garlic salt the roast and place in crock pot. Mix together remaining ingredients and pour over roast. Cook on low heat for 12 hours or high heat for 6-7 hours. Take roast out when cooked, strain gravy to get rid of lumps, and thicken with cornstarch and cold water mixture (if needed).

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Poppy Seed Pancakes

Seth and i made these tonight and they're SOOOOOOOO good! I recommend making buttermilk syrup instead of the fruity one--it's a little different. (Kind of tastes like runny orange marmalade) We got the recipe from 101 Cookbooks

If you can't find white whole wheat flour, substitute for unbleached all-purpose flour. If you can't find agave nectar, substitute 1/4 cup sugar + 1/4 cup maple syrup.

1- 2 oranges, peeled, segments torn into small pieces
1 lemon, peeled, segments torn into small pieces
1/3 cup agave nectar

To make the citrus syrup put the orange and lemon segments and agave nectar in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Heat and stir until the ingredents combine. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer for for 5 or 6 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

2 cups white whole wheat flour (or unbleached a-p flour)
1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/3 cup poppy seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds, toasted until deeply golden
2 1/4 cups organic buttermilk
2 large organic eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons butter, melted

butter, to serve (and for pan)

To make the pancakes combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, poppy seeds and sunflower seeds in a large bowl. Add the buttermilk, eggs and melted butter. Stir all the ingredients until they are just combined. Don’t worry if the batter is a bit lumpy, you don't want to over mix.

Heat your skillet, pan, or griddle to medium-hot and brush it with a bit of butter. Test for the right temperature. If a drop of water dropped onto the pan starts to dance, you are in the ballpark. Pour about 1/3 of a cup of batter into the skillet. Wait until the pancake bottom is deep golden in color, then flip with a spatula and cook the other side until golden and cooked through. Repeat with the remaining batter. Serve with a golden pat of butter and a nice drizzle of syrup.

Makes about 12 large pancakes, or dozens of silver-dollar pancakes - enough to feed a small familia :)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Grandma's Texas Sheet Cake

This is Grandma Nelson's recipe for Texas Sheet Cake. It is very similar to the Pioneer Woman's Best Chocolate Cake Ever recipe. I do like Grandma's just a bit more. I love this recipe too because it is simple, but so good and nice enough for company.

Texas Sheet Cake
Combine in mixing bowl:
2 c. flour
2 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt

For the next step you will need:
1 c. butter
1 c. water
1/2 c. sour cream
4 T. cocoa
2 beaten eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla

In a saucepan bring butter, water and cocoa to a boil. Remove from heat. Add eggs, sour cream, baking soda and vanilla. Add to flour mixture. Pour into a large cookie sheet, greased and floured. Bake 20-25 minutes at 350*. Ice while hot.

1/2 c. butter
6 T. milk
4 T. cocoa
1 tsp. vanilla
4 c. powdered sugar
chopped nuts

In a saucepan bring butter, cocoa, and milk to a boil. Remove from heat and add powdered sugar, vanilla, and nuts. Ice cake straight from the oven.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Orange Dark Chocolate Muffins

I originally found this recipe here at MILK & COOKIES Blog I was slightly confused by the metric measurements (she's from Australia) so I searched and found this recipe on RecipeZaar which is the same recipe only converted.

Jimmy said these tasted just like an orange stick but in muffin form. We quite liked them. Cheerio matey! Isn't that a lovely photo. Mine didn't quite look as lovely, but were still tasty.

Orange Dark chocolate Muffins
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 cup dark chocolate, roughly chopped (I used Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips)
1 cup plain yogurt (no gelatine) or sour cream **
2 ounces unsalted butter, softened (which is 1/2 cube or 1/4 cup)
2 eggs
2 tablespoons orange juice

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Place the flour, baking powder, sugar, orange zest, and chocolate in a large bowl and mix to combine.

In another smaller bowl, combine the yogurt, butter, eggs and orange juice until well blended.

Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and mix until just combined.

Spoon the batter carefully into the greased muffin tin.

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the tops are golden and cooked when tested with a skewer. (I baked mine for about 28 minutes)

Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes. They are ready to serve straight away.

** I used about 3/4 cup sour cream and 1/4 cup yogurt because I didn't have yogurt without pectin.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is Daniel posting under Elizabeth... I had a huge chocolate craving last week and wanted cookies as well. Luckily I found this Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe online and have found a new favorite.

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups milk chocolate chips (Guittard Real Milk Chocolate Chips are the best)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In large bowl, beat butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; stir into the butter mixture until well blended. Mix in the chocolate chips and walnuts. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
  3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or just until set. Cool slightly on the cookie sheets before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Mini Hamburgers

One of our favorite foods to make for the Super Bowl is mini hamburgers. We use my mom, Shari Price's homemade hamburger buns recipe from the family cookbook (let me know if you need me to post it too) to make mini buns with a small circle cookie cutter. We then fry mini hamburger patties and add cheese (cut with the same small circle cookie cutter used for the buns), a slice of pickle, a red onion ring, and a slice of cherry tomato. Then add a fancy toothpick to hold them all together. That step alone will dress up ordinary party food! They're not filling unless you eat 20 but they are fun and cute. I figure they're a perfect food for both men and women, because men love a good hamburger and women love anything cute and mini, so everyone wins. And that's what we want, right . . . everyone happy! Shane gets an honorary mention along with a posted photo because he helped me make them for our Super Bowl party in Oregon. A warning . . . they seemed to take forever!! So plan ahead. Make them during the warmup to the preparation to the pregame show . . . if there is such a thing.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Easiest Peanut Butter Cookies in the World

My roommate Mary (again) just shared the EASIEST PB Cookie Recipe ever. Seriously.

1 Cup Peanut Butter
1 Cup Sugar
1 Egg

Mix Mix. Roll Into Balls. Smash with a fork so it has criss crosses. Cook until they're cooked.

I'm going to the store right now for some PB :)

Monday, January 28, 2008

Chocolate Cupcakes

My roommate Mary McMullin made this recipe yesterday, and I have to makes a world of difference!!!

* Chocolate cake mix (Mary recommends the Devil’s food)
* 4 eggs
* 1/2 c. warm water
* 1/2 c. oil
* 1 c. sour cream
* Chocolate chips

Mix Mix, bake according to package directions. Cover with the most amazing frosting of your choice. (I don't even think the frosting is needed. Unless it's buttercream frosting from Cake Love.) :)

Slow Cooker Taco Soup

I know we have a few Taco Soup Recipes on here... but this one was requested by Amy so I thought I'd post it here for easy reference.

Slow Cooker Taco Soup

1 pound ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 (16 ounce) can chili beans, with liquid
1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans with liquid
1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, with liquid
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
2 cups water
2 (14.5 ounce) cans peeled and diced tomatoes
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chile peppers
1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning mix

In a medium skillet, cook the ground beef until browned over medium heat. Drain, and set aside.
Place the ground beef, onion, chili beans, kidney beans, corn, tomato sauce, water, diced tomatoes, green chile peppers and taco seasoning mix in a slow cooker. Mix to blend, and cook on Low setting for 8 hours.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Soft Pretzels

When it's below freezing I apparently have an innate mechanism that forces me to bake or try new recipes. This one turned out great and was fun, but rolling the dough into the ropes took me forever. I suggest inviting friends over and forcing them into servitude so your arms don't fall off. I got most of these instructions from a fellow blogger (Maria in PA), but changed a few things from her version.

1 1/4 cups warm water
3 tsp yeast
2 Tbsp sugar
1/4 cup oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
3-4 cups flour

Soften yeast with sugar in water. Mix in all other ingredients and knead till smooth and elastic. Let rise till double in bulk (about 1 hour). Divide dough into 4 sections and then divide each section into 6 pieces.

Roll each piece into a rope about 18 inches long. Shape the rope into a circle, overlapping about 4 inches from the end. Twist the ends where dough overlaps. Lift the ends across to the opposite edge of the circle. Moisten and press ends to seal. Place on a greased cookie sheet and let rise uncovered until puffy, about 20-30 minutes.

Mix 2 Tbsp baking soda in 2 cups hot water. Dip shaped pretzels into mixture for 10 seconds on each side. Place on greased cookie sheets. Brush with egg white and sprinkle coarse sea salt before baking.

Bake at 425 for 8-10 minutes or until browned. Remove from cookie sheets and serve with mustard, cheese sauce or marinara.

I did half my batch with the egg white/salt mixture and the other half I cooked plain and then dipped them in butter and sprinkled the sea salt after baking. Both were good. Super hot, I preferred the egg white ones, but cooled off a bit the butter ones were better. So, really it just all depends on how much will-power you've got. Next time I'm going to try some cinnamon and sugar ones as well as Parmesan.