Wednesday, December 29, 2010

How to cook Perfect Bacon

A few times a year, when we decide to make some tasty bacon, I need these instructions. I thought I'd post here for all to enjoy.

How to make perfect Bacon (

Line a baking sheet with foil. This will make cleanup easier later.

Arrange bacon slices on the foil and place the baking sheet on the center rack of a cold oven.

Close oven door. Turn oven on to 400°F. Walk away.

Come back 17 to 20 minutes later. As soon as the bacon is golden brown, but not excessively crisp, it's done. The exact time will depend on the thickness of the bacon slices, and also on how quickly your oven reaches the target temperature.

Remove the pan from the oven. Transfer the bacon to another sheet pan lined with paper towels to absorb the fat. You can pour the liquid fat into a heat-resistant container to save for other uses.


Don't pre-heat the oven! Make sure the oven is cold when you put the bacon in.

Keep your eye on the bacon during the final few minutes of cooking to make sure that it doesn't burn. Also, remove the cooked bacon from the hot pan right away. The heat from the pan and the hot bacon fat will continue cooking the bacon.

You can slightly undercook the bacon, then cool it and freeze it in a zipper bag. Then, to reheat, cook two slices in the microwave on medium power for 30 seconds or so.

Variation: Sprinkle bacon with brown sugar or freshly ground black pepper before baking.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Hot Chocolate

I thought this would be a perfect recipe to share for Christmas:

Hot Chocolate

2 1/2 cups whole milk

2 cups half-and-half

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

4 ounces milk chocolate, chopped

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

4 to 5 vanilla beans or cinnamon sticks, for garnish


Heat the milk and half-and-half in a saucepan on medium heat to just below the simmering point. Remove the pan from the heat and add both chocolates. When the chocolates are melted, add the sugar and vanilla extract and whisk vigorously. Reheat gently and serve immediately. Use a vanilla bean or cinnamon stick to garnish each serving.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Pumpkin Blondies

I made these today, and oh, boy!!! They were de-licious. Grandma Ruth would approve!!!

I can't stop eating them!

Original recipe from this blog.

Pumpkin Blondies

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1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup pumpkin
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves
1 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup butterscotch chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl cream together the butter and brown sugar. Add egg and vanilla, then pumpkin. In a separate bowl combine together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Add to the pumpkin mixture and mix well. Add in white chocolate chips and butterscotch chips.
Spread the batter into a greased 9 x 9 inch baking pan. Place in oven and bake 35-40 minutes. Cool completely before cutting.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Lion House Chicken Enchiladas

I am always looking for a good chicken enchilada recipe. I've tried a lot of different recipes. This recipe comes from the Lion House Recipe Book. This recipe is my favorite by far, and my family loved it too. I did modify it a little. For example, I used only 1 cup of onions as opposed to the 2 cups in the recipe.

1 pound chicken breast cut into strips
1 cups chopped white onions
1/4 cup light sour cream
1/4 cup nonfat mayonnaise
1 can (14 ounce) chicken broth
1 1/2 cups shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese
8 flour or corn tortillas (I like flour, the recipe calls for corn, whichever you prefer.)
1 can (8 ounces) enchilada sauce (I used more than 1 can)

Brown chicken in a skillet. When the chicken is golden brown, add onions and cook for 5 to 7 minutes more. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a small saucepan, combine sour cream and mayonnaise. Very gradually add chicken broth to the sour cream mixture, stirring constantly. Do not add broth too fast or mixture will be lumpy. When thoroughly mixed, place saucepan over medium heat. Cook stirring constantly, until mixture starts to boil. Add 1 cup of the shredded cheese and stir over heat until cheese is melted. Set aside.

Spray 9 inch square baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.

Pour enchilada sauce into a large shallow bowl. Dip 1 tortilla into the sauce, making sure both sides are covered with sauce. Remove tortilla from sauce and fill with sliced chicken and a little cheese. Roll tortilla around filling and place in prepared baking dish. Repeat until all the chicken mixture is used up. Pour sour cream mixture over filled tortillas. Sprinkle top with remaining cheese. Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Candy-bar Bars

I was given this recipe from a woman in my ward, and I thought it turned out super yummy! You can use your left over Halloween candy for this recipe.

1 chocolate cake mix
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup chopped nuts (I used 1/2 cup pecans)
3 2.6 ounce chocolate covered peanut-carmel-nougat bars or 6 Reeses peanut butter cups, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 9X13 baking pan. In a large mixing bowl beat together cake mix, evaporated milk, and butter until well mixed. Stir chopped nuts into mixture.

2. Spread half of the mixture into prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped candy bars. Drop remaining cake mixture over candy. Bake about 15 minutes more. Cook on a wire rack. Makes 36 servings.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Marble Squares

I got this one from one of Jeff's summer intern's wife Natalie Whittaker. I like her for several reasons. One is we both like Guittard brand chocolate chips apparently as you will see below.

This is one of those desserts that you keep going back to the pan all day long and taking a small sliver and before you know it half of the pan is gone and you accuse the kids of eating it only then you realize that you don't allow the kids to get into the brownies without your permission and then you feel bad for two reasons - accusing your kids of doing things they didn't do AND eating garbage all day long. It's really a lose-lose situation here people. Or, just share them with your kids. Either way...

Make them anyway. They are that good.

Combine, mix well and set aside:
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese (works best if it is softened before you mix it)
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg

In a medium saucepan, bring to a boil:
1/2 cup margarine
2 (1 oz) squares unsweetened chocolate
3/4 cup water

Sift together dry ingredients into a large bowl:
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda

Add to the dry ingredients:
saucepan ingredients (margarine, chocolate, and water)
2 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream

Mix well and pour into a large cookie sheet with sides.

Drop spoonfuls of cream cheese mixture atop the brownie mix. Cut through with a knife to marble.

Top with chocolate chips. I prefer the Guittard Brand. Semi-Sweet. (*tip from Mary - don't use whole bag - it will make the brownies overflow in your oven. Every time. Really.)

Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pumpkin Bars

Credit for this recipe goes to Aunt Shari and Carol. They included it on the recipe cards that were passed around at my bridal shower (9 years ago now, time goes by too fast!) I added a few changes at the bottom.

Pumpkin Bars
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda

Mix above ingredients together and set aside.

2 c. sugar
2 c. pumpkin pie fillings
4 eggs
1 c. oil

Mix above ingredients together and then combine and mix with dry ingredients. Pour into a greased jellyroll pan. Bake at 350* for 30 minutes. Cool and frost with cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting
3 1/2 c. powdered sugar
3/4 c. butter
1 tsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
4 0z. cream cheese

Combine above ingredients and beat thoroughly. Add more sugar or milk for desired consistency.

My Variation:

I just added dates, nuts, and chocolate chips to the pumpkin bars (about a cup or so each). Because of the sweetness of the dates and chocolate chips I decided not to do the frosting. They are so good, a perfect fall treat.

These could also easily be made into muffins.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Hot Pink Smoothie

I was excited about Janey's green smoothie post so I thought I'd post about the hot pink smoothies I make.  I have smoothies everyday for breakfast and alternate between the green and hot pink ones.  I'm no Green Smoothie Girl, but this is my version of her recipe.

1-2 cups water (or you can use coconut water or a mixture of water and coconut water)
1/2 medium beet
5-7 baby carrots (or 1 medium carrot peeled)
3-6 dates depending on size (pitted, of course)
1/4-1/3 cup nuts (I mainly use walnuts b/c they are cheapest at Costco.  But I've also used cashews and pecans)
2 tbsp flax seeds
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 banana
1/3-1/2 cup kefir (or 2 tbsp yogurt) - any flavor
1 tsp vanilla
8-12 frozen strawberries

Chop your ingredients and blend away!  I use a regular Oster blender for my smoothies.  I find that the more liquid I use, the better the blending process goes.  I usually blend all the non-frozen ingredients really well before adding the strawberries.  This usually makes a 3/4 blender size smoothie for me.  Enjoy!!

TIP:  I buy my beets with as much stem and leaf that I can find.  I cut the green leafy part off, wash really well and use that in my green smoothies.  I cut the red stems off, wash really well and use those in my pink smoothies.  So, nothing except the beet peel and root gets thrown out.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Pumpkin Pancakes and Buttermilk Syrup

We love pumpkin pancakes, but have not had Bisquick to make the ones in the family recipe book. I tried making them with a just add water pancake mix but I didn't like the way they tasted. So, last night I looked for a recipe I could make from scratch, and this is the recipe I found. I tweaked the original recipe a little bit after reading some of the comments. They were so good we had them for dinner last night and breakfast this morning. We like buttermilk syrup with our pumpkin pancakes, so I put the recipe for that below. Enjoy!!!

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice (I used pumpkin pie spice and a dash of ground cloves)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree(Libby's is the best)
  • 2 egg
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  1. In a separate bowl, mix together the milk, pumpkin, egg, oil and vinegar. Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, allspice, cinnamon, ginger and salt, stir into the pumpkin mixture just enough to combine.
  2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

Tip: Pumpkin pancakes take longer to cook than regular pancakes.

Buttermilk Syrup

1 cube real butter
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups white sugar

Melt butter, add buttermilk and sugar. Stir to dissolve. Bring to a boil, remove from heat add:

1 tsp soda (Make sure the pan is large, soda expands mixture)
1 tsp vanilla

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Pina Colada's

If you like pina colada's and getting caught in the rain...

Pina Colada's
1 can of cream of coconut
1 fresh pineapple - canned is OK too. Probably close to 4 cans
ice to your desired consistency


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ruth's Sweet Potato Casserole

My sweet mother shared this recipe with me and today I finally made it. Yum it was! If you like sweet potatoes, then you'll love this. If you don't - well, you won't. It's super sweet like a dessert and I'm excited to have it at Thanksgiving time. It's like comfort to me. Plus, the house smells yummy.

This recipe is posted on the Ruth's Chris Steak House Recipe Page. The card they shared has teensy writing so here it is in a more visible format.

Ruth's Sweet Potato Casserole

Makes 4 Servings
Crust Mixture:
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
3/4 cup chopped nuts (pecans preferred)
1/4 cup melted butter

Sweet Potato Mixture:
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups mashed sweet potatoes
1 egg, well beaten
1/4 cup butter

1. Combine Crust Mixture in mixing bowl and put to one side.
2. Combine Sweet Potato Mixture ingredients in a mixing bowl in the order listed. Combine thoroughly.
3. Pour Sweet Potato Mixture into buttered baking dish.
4. Sprinkle Crust Mixture evenly onto surface of Sweet Potato Mixture.
5. Bake for 30 minutes at 350. Allow to set for at least 30 minutes before serving.

(Heather's sidenote: I just peeled, chopped, and boiled the sweet potatoes. I mashed by hand and it turned out great. I used 3 medium potatoes and it made more than 2 cups but I just used it all and it was still PLENTY sweet. I may cut the sugar a little next time.)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sesame Chicken

This is a yummy, easy recipe that can be made a few hours ahead of time (so it can marinate). There isn't much sauce to put over the rice, but we really enjoyed it especially with steamed broccoli. I got this recipe from my friend Rachael).

SESAME CHICKEN {Rachael Howell}

2-4 chicken breasts, cubed
1/4 c. sesame seeds
1/4 c. soy sauce
3 T. oil
2 T. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 green onions, chopped
1/2 tsp. ginger

Mix everything together in Ziploc bag and marinate 1-4 hours. Pour onto a cookie sheet (lined with foil for easier clean up) and broil for 10 minutes. Turn and broil 5 minutes more. Serve over rice with steamed broccoli.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Texas Roadhouse Copycat Rolls

I know there are a million roll recipes out there. But here's yet another you can try.

Last night we enjoyed some fine rolls at Texas Roadhouse. We watched the woman roll them out in a rectangle about 3/4 inch - 1 inch thick. Then she cut with a pizza cutter into 2 inch squares. She placed them on the cookie sheet so that once they expanded, they wouldn't touch. I'd never thought of shaping rolls that way so I wanted to give it a try.

I searched the web for a copycat recipe and found several. This one seemed to be the most popular amongst all the websites. Here's one source.

Now - don't ask me why the flour is measured in quarts. One gal said she adds 4 cups and then adds what's necessary. I added about 6+ but wished my dough was a little thicker/sturdier so next time I'll probably add the 8 cups.

Anyhoo... give this one a try. We really enjoyed them. Oh - also... I added 1/4 cup honey and 1/4 cup sugar. It worked swell. I think you could use all honey for the sugar.


From the trainer for all the bakers of the Texas Roadhouse chain (so they say)

Texas Roadhouse Rolls

1 pkg. active dry yeast = 1 Tblsp Active Dry Yeast
1/2 cup warm water
2 cups milk- scalded and cooled to lukewarm
3 tablespoons of melted butter - cooled
1/2 cup sugar
2 quart all purpose flour (7-8 cups)
2 whole eggs
2 tsp. salt

Soften yeast in warm water with a teaspoon of sugar.

Add yeast, milk, sugar and enough flour (like 2-3 cups) to make a medium batter. Beat thoroughly. Let stand until light and foamy.

Add melted butter, eggs and salt. Beat well. Add enough flour to form soft dough . Sprinkle small amount of flour on counter and let dough rest.

Meanwhile, clean and dry bowl; grease clean surface of bow. Knead dough until smooth and satiny. Put in greased bowl; turn over to grease top. Cover; let rise in warm place until double in bulk.

Punch down. Turn out on floured board. Divide into portions for shaping; let rest 10 minutes.

Shape dough into desired forms. Place on greased baking sheets. Let rise until doubled.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 10-15 minutes (until golden brown). Baste immediately with butter

Yield: 5 to 6 dozen (depending on the size - I made mine kind of big and got about 3 dozen)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Whole Wheat Honey Oat Bread

I have to give credit to this blog for this delicious recipe. I made this today and Seth and I ate a whole loaf! It was so moist but not soggy, with yummy crispy edges that weren't too crumbly. We made tomato pesto mozzarella sandwiches on it for dinner, and it hit the spot!

2 cups low-fat milk
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats, plus more for topping
1/2 cup warm water (105-115° F)
2 tablespoons active dry yeast (about three packages)
1/2 cup mild honey (I used less than 1/2 cup, and it still turned out great!)
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
4 cups whole-wheat flour*
About 1 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour*
1 tablespoons Kosher salt
Canola oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water

*the original recipe called for 3 cups whole wheat, 2 cups white flour, but I was feeling particularly daring! I also added in 1 tbsp vital wheat gluten for good measure.

1. Heat milk in a small saucepan over low heat until hot but not boiling. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the oats. Let stand, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until cooled to warm.

2. In a small bowl, stir together the water, yeast, and 1 teaspoon of honey. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. (If the mixture doesn’t foam, you’ll have to discard it and start over with new yeast.) Stir the yeast mixture, melted butter, and remaining honey into the cooled oatmeal.

3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the whole-wheat flour, 1/2 cup unbleached flour, and salt. Add the oat mixture, mixing slowly until a soft dough forms. Turn up the mixer and mix the dough, until the dough is smooth, soft, and elastic, about 8-10 minutes (the dough will be slightly sticky). While you’re kneading, add just enough unbleached flour to keep the dough from sticking to the sides.

4. Form the dough into a ball and transfer it to a large, oiled mixing bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel. Let the dough rise at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 60 to 90 minutes.

5. Lightly butter two loaf pans. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead several times to remove air. Divide the dough in half, and shape each half into a loaf. Place each loaf in a buttered pan, seam side down, tucking ends gently to fit. Cover the loaf pans loosely with a kitchen towel, and let the dough rise at a warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 60 minutes.

6. Put the oven rack in the middle position and preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly brush the tops of each loaf with some of the egg wash and sprinkle with oats. Bake the loaves until they are golden and they sound hollow when tapped on the bottom, about 25-30 minutes. (Remove 1 loaf from pan to test for doneness. Run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen.)

7. Try not to burn your tongue, you'll want some right away with softened butter on it, YUM!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Homemade Tomato Soup

I'm in love... with this soup!!

Homemade Tomato Soup

2 cans (14 oz) chopped tomatoes
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 stalk celery, diced (I didn't have any celery, so mine went without and was still awesome)
1 small carrot, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chicken broth
1 bay leaf
2 TBSP butter
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 450 degrees

Strain the chopped canned tomatoes, reserving the juices, and spread onto a baking sheet, season with salt and pepper, to taste, drizzle with 1/4 cup olive oil and roast until caramelized, about 15 min. (I would line the bottom with aluminum foil or else it will be a bugger to clean off - trust me :)

Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat remaining olive oil over medium-low heat. Add celery, carrot, onion and garlic, cook until softened, about 10 min. Add the roasted tomatoes, reserved tomato juices, chicken broth, bay leaf and butter. Simmer until veggies are very tender, about 15-20 min. Add basil and cream. Puree with a hand held immersion blender until smooth. (I don't have one of these, so I use my blender - works great and it makes it easy to pour into bowls!!)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Baked French Toast

1 loaf of bread (i use white)

8 eggs mix together and then pour a little down in the pan (9x13) and then put down about 2 or 3 layers of bread and pour mixture and repeat till gone. have the bread touch all sides of the pan. You want the bread to be wet. I usually
3 cups milk have to pour a little on the top edges. They spread the topping on and cook about 45-50 min on 350.
1/2 c sugar
1 Tbs. vanilla
1/4 tsp salt Topping: 1/2 cube butter (melted) 1/2 c. brown sugar 2 Tbs. karo syrup

Carmel syrup ( it is very rich and I usually only need one batch for a double of the french toast)
2 Cup sugar
1 tsp soda
2 1/2 Tbs. buttermilk powder (in baking isle. round container. I had a hard time finding it)
2/3 c water
2 Tbs. Caro syrup
1 cup butter
2 tsp vanilla

whisk dry ingred. in separate bowl

combine all wet in a bowl except the vanilla

add dry to wet (not vanilla)
bring to boil about 7 min.
stir in vanilla
will turn from white to brown as it cools

I went to my friends house and she served this. It was super yummy. I haven't made it myself, she just sent it to me and I decided the best place to save it was on our blog. :) Enjoy.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Janey's "Green" Smoothies

This smoothie changed my life. I know that's a bold statement, but it's true!

A few people have asked me to post my smoothie recipe on here, and while I'm no "green smoothie girl" I do think I make a pretty mean green smoothie. Below is my "Magic bullet" size recipe.

1/2 cup vanilla soymilk or vanilla almond milk
1/2 cup chopped up, frozen greens (kale, spinach, &/or chard)

Blend well--like, for a full minute. No one wants a gnarly patch of spinach in their drink!


1/2 cup Greek or Non-fat Plain Yogurt (okay, or Vanilla or flavored if you want it sweeter, but I think it tastes better with plain...)
1/4-1/2 cup frozen fruit

Blend again. Drink!

--When I buy my greens I soak them for at least 3 minutes in cold water and try to rinse them off really well, even if they are organic. Spinach and Kale are both in the Dirty Dozen.
--After I soak my greens I usually take out the cores and "thick" parts of the veggies, and then I chop them up, throw them in a ziploc, and freeze them. Then you can chunk off your "daily" portion when you want it without fear of it going bad. It also chops up finer if it's frozen.
--If you can fit more than 1/2 cup of greens in, do it! I have so much more energy the days I have a green smoothie.
--Blueberries cover up the "green" color
--Pineapple hides any bitterness from the "greens"
--Raspberries make it gritty because of the seeds. I avoid raspberries in smoothies even though I love them in real life.
--Peaches are divine.
--If the fruit is frozen, it makes it a frozen treat instead of a mushy drink. Also, I don't use ice because i haaaaaaate ice chunks in my smoothies. I'd rather have a hunk of frozen blueberry!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

"Relatively Healthy-but-Really Really Good" Cookies

I made these this morning, and they were delicious! The coconut oil (which is my favorite thing in the kitchen...ever!) adds a nice flavor and covers up the healthy taste.

1/2 cup xylitol (or you can use regular white sugar)
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup (unrefined) coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon (rounded) salt
2/3 cup goodies (coconut, dried fruit--apricots are yummy--so are mixed berries!, dark chocolate chips)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees (F).

Combine the sugars, oil, egg, and vanilla in a large bowl and mix till thoroughly combined.

In a separate smaller bowl, toss together the flour, oats, baking powder, and salt, stirring to evenly distribute the salt and baking powder.

Mix the dry ingredients into the wet, and then fold in the goodies.

Portion cookie dough, twelve cookies to a sheet. Bake 8-10 Minutes. Cool for a minute or two, then move to a rack to cool completely.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Cafe Rio Sweet Pork Salad

I know there are so many versions of this recipe, but this is one that we made today. Just thought I'd share.

I went a little mellow on the spices and didn't add all the stuff in the dressing.  It was all really, really tasty!

These 3 recipes, my friend Brooke gave me.


6 Lb. Pork - 2 of the pork sirloin roast at costco per recipe
16 oz. salsa
20 oz. Coke
2 c. brown sugar

Place roast in crock pot cook approx. 6-8 hours until meat falls apart. Shred. In a blender mix salsa, coke and brown sugar. Pour over meat and reheat. YUM!


1 pkg. Buttermilk ranch dressing ( prepare as directed on pkg.)
2 tomatillos ( a green tomato with husk)
1/2 bunch cilantro
1 garlic clove
juice of one lime
1 jalapeno pepper ( use seeds too if you like it spicy)

Use a blender to blend all ingredients. Refrigerate.

3 c. water
4 tsp. chicken bouillon
4 tsp. garlic, minced
1/2 bunch cilantro
1 can green chilies
3/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. Butter
3 c. rice

Blend cilantro, green chilies and onion together in food processor/blender. Bring water to a boil and add all ingredients; simmer cover for 30 mins.

These recipes below I found at They have different recipes for the meat, dressing, and rice, as well. Plus, they share ideas for the tin and tortilla for the salad.


2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/3 c. tomato juice
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. fresh chopped cilantro

In a nonstick skillet, cook garlic and cumin in olive oil over medium heat until you can smell it. Add beans, tomato juice, and salt. Continually stir until heated through. Just before serving stir in the cilantro. (**NOTE** we added a can of corn, drained, to the beans with a dash of cumin and chili powder, it was AWESOME! We recommend doing this even though it's not "traditional Cafe Rio")

Homemade tortilla chips
These are perfect for Our Version of Cafe Rio Salads (click HERE)... or any salad for that matter. They are so easy and cheap to make. If you buy these at the store, they are like $4! What a rip-off! These taste a lot better than the store ones too. I promise it is worth making your own!

10-12 corn tortillas
oil for frying
Kosher salt

Cut tortillas into strips using a pizza cutter. You can cut 2-3 at a time pretty easily. Heat oil in a large frying pan. Place strips into hot oil and fry until they become crispy. When nice and crispy, remove from oil and place on a paper towel. Sprinkle with salt after each batch.

(photo by

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

What's your favorite chicken salad?

I feel like chicken salad! What's your favorite?

Saturday, July 10, 2010


This is a recipe that Jimmy wanted to try. He saw it on tv this morning, found it online, emailed it to me, and then made it for dinner. It's not one that I would ever think I'd like because I'm not a huge fan of garlic, but it was tasty. Jimmy said it was "awesome." It was also very quick and easy.

Perhaps it would be twice as good if we had really used all the fresh ingredients, but alas, we used petite diced canned tomatoes drained, dried basil, minced garlic, no pepperoncini (ummmm since we have no idea what that is), and plain ol' parmesan.  I actually thought it could be a good food storage type recipe except for the roasted almonds which we wouldn't exactly have on hand.

We thought sauteed zucchini & chicken would go great with this dish.

Anyhoo... here it is... found at

Servings: 4-6
1/4 cup slivered almonds
12 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes (about 2 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves
1 medium garlic clove , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 teaspoon)
1 small pepperoncini (hot peppers in vinegar), stemmed, seeded, and minced (about 1/2 teaspoon) (see note)
Table salt
Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound pasta , preferably linguine or spaghetti
1 ounce Parmesan cheese , grated (about 1/2 cup), plus extra for serving

Toast almonds in small skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until pale golden and fragrant, 2 to 4 minutes. Cool almonds to room temperature.

Process cooled almonds, tomatoes, basil, garlic, pepperoncini, 1 teaspoon salt, and red pepper flakes (if using) in food processor until smooth, about 1 minute. Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula. With machine running, slowly drizzle in oil, about 30 seconds.

Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot. Add pasta and 1 tablespoon salt and cook until al dente. Reserve ½ cup cooking water; drain pasta and transfer back to cooking pot.

Add pesto and ½ cup Parmesan to cooked pasta, adjusting consistency with reserved pasta cooking water so that pesto coats pasta. Serve immediately, passing Parmesan separately.


1 to 2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 cup fresh mushrooms, chopped
1/2 to 3/4 pound grilled steak, chopped

Saute onion, green pepper, and fresh mushrooms in olive oil until tender crisp. Remove from heat, stir in steak. Toss with cooked pasta. Add pesto and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Add pasta cooking water, if necessary.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Baked Tacos from LDS living

I saw this on an LDS living email and thought it might make a quick and easy summer dinner, even if I use dough I make. We'll try it and let you know!

Baked Tacos
A new twist on tacos, try our easy to make Baked Tacos. Bake up a bunch, you'll need them simply delicious.

Servings: 4-6
Skill Level: Beginning
Prep Time: 30 min (not including thaw time)
Bake Time: 25 min

  • Rhodes™ Dinner Rolls, thawed to room temperature
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix
  • 4 ounce can diced green chilies
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • salsa
  • shredded lettuce
  • chopped tomatoes
Instructions: Spray counter lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Combine rolls together and roll into an 11x8-inch rectangle. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest 10-15 minutes. Place ground beef in a skillet and cook completely. Drain well. Add taco seasoning and green chilies to meat and simmer 5 minutes. Remove wrap from dough. Place dough in a sprayed 10x7-inch baking pan to cover bottom and at least 1-inch up the sides. Poke several times with a fork to prevent bubbles from forming and bake at 350°F 5-7 minutes. Remove from oven and fill with meat mixture. Sprinkle with cheese. Place back in oven and cook an additional 15-20 minutes. Sprinkle with salsa, lettuce and tomatoes to serve.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Southwestern Egg Rolls

1 1/2 cans black beans
1/2 C corn (frozen, but thawed)
1/4 C red onion, chopped very fine
2 avocados, cubed in small pieces
1/2 C red bell pepper, chopped very fine
1/2 C Jalepino, chopped very fine (less if you don't want to big of a bite)
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp chile powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 chicken breasts, grilled then cubed into small pieces
6 oz. colby jack cheese

mix all ingredients together into mixing bowl. Add chicken and cheese and mix together. Put mixture into egg rolls and deep fry for 2-3 minutes or until they are brown. Slice in half and serve with Avocado- Ranch Dipping Sauce. This recipe yields 30 egg rolls.

Avocado- Ranch Dipping Sauce

1/4 C smashed, fresh avocado
1/4 C mayonnaise
1/4 C sour cream
1 Tbls buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp. white vinegar
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. dried parsley
1/8 tsp. onion powder
dash of dried dill weed
dash of garlic powder
dash of pepper

Mix all together and chill.

Super yummy. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Cream of ______ Mix

I LOVE this mix SOOOOO Much. It is so nice to just whip up a batch to use with whatever recipe I'm making that I'd normally use a can of something for. (Also, if you're opposed to Corn products, you can use flour instead, it may just clump a little.)

Cream of...MIX

2 cups powdered milk
1 cup cornstarch
3 tbsp chicken bullion powder
2 tbbs dried minced onion
1/4 tsp pepper

Mix Together and Store in a Mason Jar in the Pantry.

When you want your cream of..., just add:

1/3 cup of mix
1 1/4 cup water or milk
1 Cup _____ (Celery, Mushrooms, Potato, Cooked Chicken...whatever you want your Cream of... to be!)

Bring to a boil on the stove and stir until thick. This is equivalent to a can of Campbell's Condensed Cream of ______ soup.

Another tip: I don't always have milk on hand at our house, so I started buying Rice Milk for our food storage, because it keeps on the shelf. With this recipe, there is no recognizable difference when using rice milk.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Homemade Snow Cones

Just thought I'd share this idea we tried today... Homemade Snow Cones.

It's "Easy-peasy-lemon-squeasy" said Hannah.

We put crushed ice from the freezer into our food processor (I love, love, love my Braun Multi-Mix)and chopped away. It made the ice into a nice fine airy snow. Not as perfect as SnoShack, but still great for free!

We bought some Sugar-Free syrup at Target for snow cones, but I want to try using juice & this Snow Cone Syrup Recipe:

Snow Cone Syrup Recipe

2 cups white sugar
1 cup water
1 (0.13 ounce) package unsweetened, fruit-flavored soft drink mix

In a saucepan, stir together the sugar and water. Bring to a boil, and boil for about 1 minute. Remove from heat, and stir in the drink mix. Allow to cool, and store in a container for pouring. Pour over shaved ice to flavor. (someone in the comments said they used 1/2 cups sugar to 1/2 cups water and 2 packages of flavoring to help avoid the watered-down snow-cone).

We bought a $3 pack of snow-cone cups and spoon-straws to last the summer.

Fun & easy.

Now - I just need to figure out all the awesome combinations... like tiger's blood... or maybe peaches & cream. Any tips?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Red Lobster’s Cheddar Biscuits

My neighbor Wendi brought these biscuits with dinner when we had Truman. They were tasty. I made them tonight and once again - they were tasty. Easy, quick, and not a boring biscuit.

Red Lobster’s Cheddar Biscuits
Wendi Condie

2 cups Bisquick
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2/3 cup milk
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Mix Bisquick, cheddar and milk into soft dough. Beat with a wooden spoon for about 30 seconds. Spoon on to greased cookie sheet. Smooth down tops. (Bisquick forms sharp hard points otherwise) Bake for 8 to 10 min at 450 degrees. While baking, melt butter in pan and stir in garlic powder. Take biscuits from oven when done and brush butter on tops and serve hot. Makes 10 biscuits.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Carrot Cake Muffins

Nonstick cooking spray
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
4 tablespoons trans-fat-free soft tub Margarine spread/butter
1 cup carrot puree
1/2 cup cauliflower puree
1 large egg
2 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice

1 package cream cheese
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons frozen orange juice

1. preheat oven 350 degrees

2. Mix the sugar and margarine until smooth, stir in purees, orange juice, and vanilla. Then add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and allspice. Stir until everything is blended together, do not overmix.

3. Divide batter into muffin cups and cook for 12 to 15 minutes.

4. frost with frosting. These are also good with out the frosting.

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have not personally made these, but one of my friends made them and I tried them and they were good. Be advised, do not eat too many at one time.

Nonstick cooking spray
1 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
3/4 cup trans-fat-free soft tub margarine spread (I would probably still use real butter, because margarine is nasty)
2 large egg whites
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 can chickpeas, strained and rinsed
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups flour
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

2. In a large mixing bowl beat the sugar and margarine (butter) until smooth. Beat in egg whites and vanilla, then add chickpeas and chocolate chips. Add flour, oats, baking soda, and salt and mix just until it is all mixed together.

3. cook for 11 to 13 minutes; do not overbake.

Healthy Hamburgers

1/2 pound lean ground turkey or hamburger
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup cauliflower puree
1/4 cup nonfat milk
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 cloves garlic chopped
1/8 teaspoon pepper
nonstick cooking spray
8 wholegrain dinner rolls

1. preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, stir together the meat, breadcrumbs, cauliflower puree, milk, soy sauce, garlic, and pepper. Form into 8 small patties.

3. Coat a large skillet with cooking spray and set it over medium-high heat. when the skillet is hot, the burgers and cook until nicely browned on one side, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn the burgers over, then slide the skillet into the oven and bake for 4 to 5 minutes longer, until the burgers are no longer pink in the center.

Healthy Macaroni and Cheese

1 1/2 cups elbow macaroni (I usually use more because this recipe makes a lot of sauce)
Nonstick cooking spray
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup nonfat milk
1/2 cup cauliflower puree
1 1/2 cups shreaded reduced fat cheddar cheese
4 onces reduced fat cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon paparika
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Cook macaroni. While it is cooking, coat a large saucepan with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Add the oil, then the flour, and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture resembles a thick paste but has not browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Add milk adn cook, stirring every now and then, until the mixture begins to thicken, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the cauliflower puree, cheese, cream cheese, and seasonings, and stir until cheese is melted and sauce is smooth. Stir in macaroni and serve warm.

Scrambled Eggs

Here are a few of my favorite recipes from the book Deceptively Delicious. Jolene gave me this book for Christmas a few years ago. I think all the recipes I like call for pured cauliflower. I usually steam a whole head of cauliflower and when its soft I add a little water and puree it. Then I freeze whatever I don't use in little zip lock bags.

2 large eggs
4 large egg whites
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/2 cup cauliflower puree
2 tablespoons grated parmesan
pinch of salt
Nonstick cooking spray

Wisk together eggs, egg whites, sour cream, cauliflower puree, parmesan, and salt. Coat pan with nonstick cooking spray over, then set pan over meduim high heat. Cook eggs.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Cooking Healthy

Anyone! Help! I am on a new health kick, but the only problem is that I don't know how to cook healthy. I love comfort food. Usually if it has at least 1/2 cup of butter and a cup of whipping cream, then I make it (and love it). What do health conscious people eat? That tastes really good? :) I know there are lots of healthy good things to make, I just don't know about them. I would love to hear your thoughts!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Asian Orange Chicken

We tried this last night and it's delicious!!!


1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons orange juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons chopped green onion
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons water

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil


1. Pour 1 1/2 cups water, orange juice, lemon juice, rice vinegar, and soy sauce into a saucepan and set over medium-high heat. Stir in the orange zest, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, chopped onion, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat, and cool 10 to 15 minutes.
2. Place the chicken pieces into a resealable plastic bag. When contents of saucepan have cooled, pour 1 cup of sauce into bag. Reserve the remaining sauce. Seal the bag, and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
3. In another resealable plastic bag, mix the flour, salt, and pepper. Add the marinated chicken pieces, seal the bag, and shake to coat.
4. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Place chicken into the skillet, and brown on both sides. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels, and cover with aluminum foil.
5. Wipe out the skillet, and add the sauce. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Mix together the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water; stir into the sauce. Reduce heat to medium low, add the chicken pieces, and simmer, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Katsu Chicken

A classic Japanese dish--I've been meaning to make it for date night since we got married, and just got around to it tonight. It's delicious and simple!

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - pounded to 1/2 inch thickness
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 egg, beaten
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 cup oil for frying, or as needed

Season the chicken breasts on both sides with salt and pepper. Dip chicken into the flour, then egg, then panko crumbs. I poured the extra egg onto the panko coated chicken and then sprinkled more panko on it--a thicker layer of egg helps the grease from soaking in which = a healthier meal!

Heat 1/4 inch of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place chicken in the hot oil, and cook 3 or 4 minutes per side, or until golden brown.

Put the chicken on a paper towel to soak up anything leftover, then cut strips about 1/4 inch thick width-wise. Serve with Kikkoman Katsu Sauce drizzled over the top.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Cheddar Chicken

This recipe was in this month's Real Simple Magazine. I made it tonight for dinner and it was so yummy and very moist. I served with potatoes and asparagus. Tasty meal. Not so low in fat with the butter, but tasted very good.

Cheddar Chicken (Reader Recipe From Jane Walsh)

  • 16 buttery crackers (such as Ritz), crushed (about 3⁄4 cup)
  • 6 ounces sharp Cheddar, grated
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 4 6-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • wild rice pilaf and steamed green beans (optional)


  1. Heat oven to 350° F. In a bowl, combine the crackers, cheese, garlic, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper.
  2. Dip the chicken in the butter, then in the cracker mixture, pressing gently to help it adhere, and place on a foil-lined baking sheet.
  3. Sprinkle any remaining cracker mixture on the chicken and drizzle with any remaining butter. Bake until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve with the pilaf and green beans, if using.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

???Organizing Recipes???

I'm interested in revamping my recipe books. Right now I have the family recipe cookbook in half-size binders. They are completely unorganized with missing tabs. I haven't added new favorite recipes. So they are a mess. I rarely can find what I need.

I love having my recipes online (like I did for my 6-week mealplan) because they are searchable, but I don't have a laptop for the kitchen and printing a recipe every time I need it seems ridiculous. This plea for help came to mind because I was searching for my scratch piece of paper that had a recipe for cookies printed on it. I know I've printed that recipe at least 5 times so it's silly to keep printing it. Yes - we need organization!!!

I'm thinking I might just revamp my family recipe book, put in half-size binders with protective pages, and add our new favorites. I want to have more categories so it is easier to find things (such as chicken, beef, soups all under main dish).

Soooo - my point (and question) is...

How do you like to organize your recipes?
~ recipe box and hand write recipes?
~ printed recipe binder in protective sheets so you can add as you need?
~ online only?

What do you think?

Friday, February 26, 2010

Olympic Village Snow White Chocolate Party Mix

Years ago I tried this recipe from Taste of Home and it has been a holiday and anytime favorite ever since, though in humid summer places it does not work out so well.

We have many variations, and currently we are using bright, Olympic colored m&m's and adding 5 cups Rice Chex and 3 cups mini-marshmallows. I just had to have easy access to this recipe. Happy Winter Olympics, 2010!

White Chocolate Party Mix
15 Servings Prep/Total Time: 30 min.

5 cups Cheerios
5 cups Corn Chex
2 cups salted peanuts (optional)
1 pound chocolate M&M's
1 package (10 ounces) mini pretzels
2 packages (12 ounces (each) vanilla chips
3 tablespoons oil

In a large bowl, combine first five ingredients; set aside. In a microwave-safe bowl, heat chips and oil at 70% power for 1 minute, stirring once. Microwave on high for 5 seconds; stir until smooth. Pour over cereal mixture and mix well. Spread onto three waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Cool; break apart. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 5 quarts.

Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (3/4 cup) equals 547 calories, 27 g fat (10 g saturated fat), 9 mg cholesterol, 589 mg sodium, 70 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 11 g protein.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Hot Homemade Bread

1 Tbsp. salt
3 1/2 Tbsp. sugar
1 cup powdered milk
1/4 cup shortening or oil
3 3/4 cup warm water
6 cups flour (approx. 10 cups total)

Dissolve 2 Tbsp. yeast in
1/2 cup warm water (additional to above water)

Mix dry ingredients together, then cut in shortening (or add oil). Add yeast and warm water mixture. Mix till smooth.

Add last 4 cups flour. Knead 8 min. till smooth. Divide into 3 large or 4 medium balls. Let rest 10 min. Form into loaves and place into greased bread pans. Let rise till very rounded.

Bake at 400 for 30 min. (I cover with foil the last 10 min. if I think of it and the tops are getting dark).

This is the quickest homemade bread recipe I have tried (it's from Wade's mom). The bubbles in the bread are bigger than average and it's just delicious. There is a reason the salt is first. I forget it about twice a year! So don't forget the salt.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Chicken Julienne

I thought I'd posted this before, but it turns out I can't find it (or I never posted it). Anyway, it's so yummy.

1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into strips
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 dash paprika, for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking dish. Place the butter and flour in separate shallow dishes. Dredge the chicken strips in the butter and then the flour. Place chicken in prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with lemon
juice. Add salt, and pepper, to taste. Pour the heavy cream over the chicken. Sprinkle evenly with Parmesan cheese, and paprika. Bake in preheated oven until cheese melts and cream bubbles, about 20 minutes.

Original Recipe Here.

THE Sugar Cookies

Ok, you know at the grocery store how they have those sugar cookies with the BRIGHT frosting--the ones that have a different color for each holiday...and they look weird and kind of disgusting but then you take a bite and you're soooo happy and a little hooked and before you know it the box is gone?


Well, here's the homemade version! They're so yummy!

Blend together until smooth:

1 1/2 Cup Sugar
1 Cup melted Butter
1 Teaspoon Vanilla...OR Lemon Extract...OR Almond Extract
2 eggs
1 Cup Sour Cream

Combined in separate bowl:

5 Cups Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder

Add dry ingredients to wet and mix until combined.

Make a ball out of the dough and wrap in plastic wrap. Store in the fridge 2-3 hours or until firm. Once dough is firm roll out a portion of the dough onto a floured surface. You want the dough thick. Cut with cookie cutters and place on greases cookie sheet.

Back at 375 for 10-12 min. You don't want them golden brown. They will be the same shade as the uncooked dough.

To make the perfect glossy and smooth frosting simply warm in your Microwave a can of Frosting for about 20 seconds or until smooth and drippy. Dip your cooled cookies face down into the frosting and let the excess frosting drip off. Add Sprinkles right away so they can stick well. When the frosting cools it dries smooth!

I got this recipe from my friend Taryn's Shared Items on google reader, I'll find the source and update soon!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos

Wow, I wonder how long it has been since I last posted anything. Here's a recipe that I tried last night. I really liked them. I even had one this morning for breakfast. (not really breakfast food, but it sounded good - oh gosh I hope I'm not pregnant :)

Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos

1/3 C (3 oz) cream cheese
1/4 C green salsa (I used chile verde - it was the only "green" salsa I could find. Delish)
1T fresh lime juice
1/2 t cumin
1 t chili powder
1/2 t onion powder
1/4 t granulated garlic
3 T chopped cilantro
2 T sliced green onions

2 C shredded cooked chicken
1 C grated pepperjack cheese

small corn tortillas ( I used flour - I'm a flour girl)
kosher salt
cooking spray

Heat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.

Heat cream cheese in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds so it's soft and easy to stir. Add green salsa, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, onion powder and granulated garlic. Stir to combine and then add cilantro and green onions. Add chicken and cheese and combine well.

You can prepare up to this step ahead of time. Just keep the mixture in the fridge.

Work with a few tortillas at a time and heat in the microwave until they are soft enough to roll without cracking. It helps to place them between damp paper towels. Usually 20-30 seconds will do it. If you find yours are cracking when you roll them or come unrolled right away, just try heating them longer and try the paper towel thing.

Place 2-3 T of chicken mixture on the lower third of a tortilla, keeping it about 1/2 inch from the edges.

Then roll it up as tight as you can.

Place seam side down on the baking sheet. Lay all of the taquitos on the baking sheet and make sure they are not touching each other. Spray the tops lightly with cooking spray or an oil mister and sprinkle some kosher salt on top.

Place pan in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until crisp and the ends start to get golden brown.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Peach Crunch Cake

Thought I'd try this yummy Peach Crunch Cake that Bakerella shared. It was super easy. I used our frozen fresh peaches which were tasty. Jimmy said he would have liked more peaches so next time I'll probably use twice as much fruit. I liked the brown sugar with the pecans (I didn't have walnuts). It was more moist than I expected, but it was very much like a cobbler. Give it a try... plus, it will make your home smell yummy. ... that cozy home-cookin' feeling.

Peach Crunch Cake (Bakerella)

24.5 oz jar of sliced peaches in light syrup
1 package yellow cake mix
1 stick butter (1/2 cup), cut into 16 pieces
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Layer ingredients in a 13 X 9 dish, in order starting with the peaches.

Bake for about 40 minutes.

Serve warm or cold… with or without ice cream.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Homemade Chocolate Glazed Donuts

Holy Moly! These were GOOD! Well, we thought so anyway. All the praise goes to Jane. Bless her google reader sharing little heart! So, thanks Jane!!

I really don't fry food that often. Really. But then I saw this recipe and kind of had to try it. Try them. You'll love them. They were that enjoyable. You'll have to guess if I used soy milk or Earth Balance (what the?) or food coloring. Okay, some of you might like the food coloring, but can I just say that it freaked me out? It totally did. Scared the dickens out of me. I also didn't let it rise long enough in a "comfy" place (either time - mostly because my kitchen was cold as ice) and they were just fine...

Here's the link.

•One 1/4-ounce package active dry yeast
•2 tablespoons warm water (98 degrees)
•3/4 cup warm soy milk (or milk)
•2-1/2 tablespoons margarine or butter
•1 egg
•1/3 cup granulated sugar
•1 teaspoon salt
•2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
•3 cups vegetable or canola oil
•I also added a bit of food coloring for fun

•In a medium bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water.
•Add the soy milk, margarine or butter, egg, sugar, and salt, and blend with an electric mixer until smooth.
•Add half the flour and mix for 30 seconds.
•Add the remaining flour and knead the dough with flour-dusted hands until smooth. (I did the whole thing in the Kitchen Aid)
•Cover the bowl of dough and leave it in a comfy, warm place until the dough doubles in size, about 1 hour. You can tell that the dough has risen enough when you poke it with your finger and the indentation stays.
•Roll out the dough on a heavily floured surface until it's about 1/2 inch thick.
•If you don't have a doughnut cutter, simply use a drinking glass about the same diameter as a 14-ounce can. You should be able to get about 12 to 14 donuts this way.
•Now it's time to get creative -- it's time for the holes! Find the cap to a bottle of lemon juice or Worcestershire sauce, or any other small cap with a diameter of about 1 1/4 inches. Use this to punch out holes in the center of each of your donuts.
•Place the donuts on plates or cookie sheets, cover, and let stand in the same warm, comfy place until they nearly double in size (about 30 to 45 minutes).
•Heat the vegetable oil in a large frying pan over medium heat (to about 350 degrees). It is easily tested with scrap dough left over from punching out the donuts. The dough should bubble rapidly. I also found it helpful to place a small carrot in the oil while frying -- prevents burning, I've heard.
•Fry each doughnut for about 30 seconds per side, or until light golden brown -- the color is key.
•Cool 5 minutes on paper towels


What you'll need . . .(NOTE: I found that this made WAY too much glaze, but it's what the original recipe calls for . . . I'd advise making half, but it's up to you.)

•5 1/3 tablespoons Earth Balance or butter
•2 cups powdered sugar
•1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
•1/3 cup hot water
•1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Love note from Mary... or just a note. Take it however you want.

I didn't want my glaze as thick as hers was pictured so I didn't add quite as much chocolate and was happy with the result. Still plenty chocolaty and gooey, but not pasty/thick like frosting. Anyway, take it or leave it and I'll never know unless you bring me some. You should make them though...

Friday, January 22, 2010

Cranberry Thumbprint Cookies

Pre-heat oven: 375
Bake : 10 min

Thumbprints cookies:

2/3 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 egg Yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 slightly beaten egg whites
1 cup chopped pecans
cranberry sauce (recipe below)

Beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed 30 seconds.
Add sugar. Beat until combined, scraping bowl.
Beat in egg yolk and vanilla until combined.
Beat in as much flour as you can.
Stir in any remaining flour.

Cover and chill dough for and 1 hour or until dough is easy to handle. (optional)

Grease cookie sheet; set aside.
Shape dough into 1 inch balls.
Rolls balls in egg whites , then in nuts.
Place 1 inch apart on the prepared cookie sheet.
Press your thumb into the center of each ball.
Bake in a 375 oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.
Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.
Fill center with cranberry sauce (recipe below)

Cranberry Sauce

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 12 oz bag cranberry
1 diced apple
2 tsp corn starch

Bring water sugar to a boil.
Add cranberry, return to boil.
Cook 10 min, until pop open.
Take out a cup of liquid and add corn starch to it. Mix until dissolved.
Add the apple to the pot on stove.
Add liquid mix back to it the pot.
Stir. (You can mash cranberry's more depend on your liking).
Take off the heat.

Cool and refrigerate.

Cranberry Pistachio Cookies

This is a fun Christmas cookie because of the green pistachio and the red cranberries.
Start with a sugar cookie dough. I use this recipe for sugar cookies.
Add 1/2 cup of chopped pistachios and a 1/2 cup of chopped dried cranberries (or cherries) after you add the dry ingredients in you sugar cookie dough. Then you can either add white chocolate chips with the pistachios and cherries or you can dip the cookies in melted white chocolate after the cookies are cooled, or you can skip the white chocolate altogether.

Sugar Cookies

This is my favorite sugar cookie recipe. I don't usually roll them out and cut out cute cookies, I just scoop them like I would chocolate chip cookies. You can roll this recipe out, but you will have to add more flour or refrigerate them for a while. I also like to use this as a cookie base for cranberry pistachio cookies (recipe to follow).

2 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla. Gradually blend in the dry ingredients. Spoon balls onto ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 8 to 10 min or until golden brown. Let stand on cookie sheet two min. before removing to cool on wire racks.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

help with sugar cookies!!!

I really want to make homemade sugar cookies but haven't been very successful in the past. What is your favorite recipe? Please post if you have a yummy easy one. Does anyone have any tips for me to make perfect sugar cookies??

Friday, January 15, 2010

Sweet and Sour Chicken over Brown Rice

This was in our local paper and is a healthier alternative than the fried version that we love so much (though not quite as good) and we all liked it.

1 diced green pepper
3 green onions, thinly sliced
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
1 cup pineapple tidbits, drained

In pan with 1/4 cup oil, brown: 2 cups cubed chicken

Remove chicken from pan and saute vegetables for 3 minutes.

In bowl, combine:
2 Tbsp soy sauce
3 Tbsp vinegar
2-3 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1 cup chicken broth
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt

Stir ingredients to make sure that cornstarch is dissolved. Pour over vegetables and cook and stir until thickened. Add chicken and heat through. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve over rice.

BROWN RICE (Also from paper - worked beautifully and tasted delish! Yeah - I know it's just rice - but seriously...)
This works with both white and brown rice or half and half.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In greased glass 9x13 pan, place:
2 cups rice
4 cups water
1 tsp salt
Cover tightly with foil. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from oven. Fluff and serve. Perfect every time. Note: This works well if you are also baking another item and can all be done together.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Just because it looks so dadgum good.

Today might be the day that I start drinking coffee. And Kahlua. Because this looks mighty tasty. And I'm not sure hot chocolate will cut it anymore after seeing this. Unless one of you geniuses could come up with a way to make a non-coffee, non-alcoholic (but still oh-so-delicious) version of it for me please. That would be great. Oh, don't worry. I probably won't. Unless tomorrow is really bad...

Oh. I. Won't... Really.

Or, will I?

Have I worried anybody yet? Mom? Heather??

No? Anybody?

Okay, I'm done. Goodnight.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Don't try this at home!

Be sure you don't try substituting cherry pie filling for the apples and cranberries with cinnamon, etc. in the Cranberry Crunch recipe in the family cookbook (from Lion House). I had my heart set on it and had no baking apples, so invented the cherry version. All the topping stuff sank! No crispy crunch on the top. (Not that we didn't eat it--we did, and it was full of calories and yummy flavor, just soft.).

Friday, January 1, 2010

Microwave Caramel Popcorn

A friend gave us a Christmas gift and note with a package of popcorn and the dry ingredients in a baggie for this treat. Unfortunately Owen and I ate it up before anyone else got home. Not a recipe for the whole family, unless you only need a taste!

Microwave Caramel Popcorn Recipe #78693

1 bag of micro-wave popcorn
  • 1/4 lb margarine or butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup miniature marshmallow
    1. Pop the micro-wave popcorn and put in a bowl.
    2. Place margarine, brown sugar and marshmallows in microwave proof bowl; microwave for two minutes.
    3. Stir well and pour over popcorn.

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