Monday, December 29, 2008

Chicken Tortilla Soup

(I double this recipe)

4 cups water
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
1 cup shredded cooked chicken
1 can (4 oz) green chile peppers
1 envelope (2 oz) noodle soup mix with chicken broth
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup tortilla strips
1 onion, chopped

1. COMBINE water, tomatoes, chicken, chile peppers, soup mix, cumin, salt and black pepper in a 4 qt or larger slow cooker.

2. COVER. Cook on low 4 to 6 hours. Top with cheese, tortilla strips, and onion.

**You can also combine the ornaments and cook on the stove.

Serves 2-4

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Ham sandwiches

This recipe is stolen from a make-your-own cookbook site. I was browsing it to see how much it would cost to put all of our recipes in a cookbook. It would be about $6.35 a book if we ordered 100. Anyway, it's the holiday's and I'm way to busy to get that project going, but maybe someday. While looking there were a couple of featured recipes, the following was one and it sounded so good I didn't want to lose it...

Nina Taylor's Ham Sandwiches

1 tray frozen or fresh rolls, sliced in halves
1/2 c. butter or mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. yellow mustard
1 Tbsp. grated onion
1/2 tsp. poppy seeds
Ham slices
Swiss cheese, grated

Mix butter (or mayonnaise), mustard, onion, and poppy seeds together. Spread on each half of rolls. Layer ham slices and grated cheese. Top with other half of bread. Bake covered at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes (until cheese melts).

I'm gonna go to the store and get the ingredients I don't have and try it for dinner tomorrow, I'll let you know how it turned out.

toffee dip & pumpkin dip

At my kid's school we make desserts for the faculty and deliver them to the school the last day before Thanksgiving. This year I did something a little different. I made two different fruit dips, gave them with a pear and two apples and wrapped it up with a bow and a tag. Here are the recipes for the dips.

Toffee Apple Dip

[I found this recipe earlier this year. (It is from Becky Higgins.) And it has become a family favorite. It doesn't last long. And you eat it with apple slices, so you feel a little less bad about eating it.]

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 pkg. toffee bits (some stores have Skor bits and some have Heath - we prefer the Heath, but it's great with both)

Mix together and serve with apple slices.

Pumpkin Fruit Dip

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
15 oz. can pumpkin
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ t. ginger (I do not include this)

Mix cream cheese and powdered sugar until creamy. Add pumpkin and spices, mixing well. Cover and chill for 8 hours. Serve with gingersnaps, apple slices and pear slices.

Friday, November 7, 2008

One Egg Pancake

This is great if you don't want to make 30 pancakes and deal with all the mess- just make it in one saucepan. You can substitute whole wheat flour for this as well and its just as good. I eat it with some raspberry fruit spread (try Smucker's Simply Fruit Spreads for a very healthy alternative to syrup and some vanilla yogurt for topping).

1 egg, beaten
3 Tbs. flour
4 Tbs. milk
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. baking powder
dash salt
Cinnamon (optional, but it soooo good)

Mix all ingredients together and pour in buttered/sprayed saucepan. Wait till the edges look done, and then flip and cook on other side. This makes a really BIG pancake.

Monday, October 27, 2008

pumpkin cake

It is finally feeling like fall... which puts me in the mood for pumpkin. This is one of my favorite pumpkin desserts (one my mom used to make every year).

Pumpkin Cake

1 yellow cake mix
1/2 cup margarine/butter, softened
1 egg
1 1/2 cup pumpkin
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ginger
3 eggs
1/2 cup evaporated canned milk
1/2 cup regular milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup margarine
whipped cream

Take yellow cake mix and set aside 1 cup. Mix remaining cake mix with margarine/butter and one egg. Press into bottom of a greased 9x13 cake pan. (It will be very sticky.)

Mix together pumpkin, sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger, 3 eggs, milks and vanilla. Pour into cake pan on top of cake mixture.

In a separate bowl, combine remaining 1 cup dry cake mix, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon and 1/4 cup margarine/butter (cut into small pieces). Sprinkle on top of pumpkin mixture. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until knife comes out clean. Cool. Serve topped with whipped cream.

pumpkin cookies

Old-Fashioned Soft Pumpkin Cookies
(recipe from Nestle/Libby's)


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
1 cup LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Glaze (recipe follows)

PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Grease baking sheets.

COMBINE flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in medium bowl. Beat sugar and butter in large mixer bowl until well blended. Beat in pumpkin, egg and vanilla extract until smooth. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto prepared baking sheets.

BAKE for 15 to 18 minutes or until edges are firm. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Drizzle Glaze over cookies.

COMBINE 2 cups sifted powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons milk, 1 tablespoon melted butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract in small bowl until smooth.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Sweet Corn Bread

1 1/2 cups flour
2/3 cup sugar (you can go less if you want - I went about 1/6 of a cup less)
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 TB baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup canola oil
3 TB melted butter

Combine dry ingredients, then combine wet ingredients in separate bowl. Add wet mixture to flour mixture and stir just until blended. Pour into 8" square baking pan and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. FOR MUFFINS: pour into muffin cups and bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes.

White Chili

Seriously, this is SO yummy! Matt and I both loved it. Really great flavor. I've never had a white chili before so maybe they're all like this. Either way, I think it's a must try.

2 whole chicken breasts, cooked and cut up
3 c water
3 c chicken broth
2 chopped onions
2 garlic cloves—minced
1 T oil
4 4-oz cans chopped green chilies
Pinch chili pepper
2 t ground cumin
1 ½ t oregano
¼ t cayenne pepper
½ t salt
2 cans Great Northern Beans
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can evaporated milk
Bacon, cooked and crumbled
Pepper jack cheese for topping

Add chicken, water, stock and beans—bring to a boil. Saute onions and garlic, add green chilies, cumin, oregano, pepper, salt, chili powder, then add to chicken mixture. Add bacon. Simmer for 1 ½ - 2 hours (until thicker consistency). About ½ hour before serving, add soup and milk and continue simmering. Serve topped with pepper jack cheese.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Taco Soup

Rather than copying and pasting everything, I thought that I would give you the printable version. ;-) (Just click on the image below.)

This recipe is super easy and it works great for freezing! (I freeze it in lunch size portions for my dh.) In fact, I will be making it and freezing it this weekend, so I will try to remember to post a picture.

Friday, October 3, 2008

7 Layer Dip

(Click on image below and, if you like, print it.)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Meal Planning

My sister just introduced me to the coolest website for meal planning. I tell it to plan a month's worth of meals, which I can then customize to fit our life, including storing my own recipes to be included in the month's plan. Then, the best part of all, it generates a shopping list!!!! Yea! I don't love making menus or shopping lists, especially since I get in a rut with making the same old boring meals. This way, the computer "thinks" for me--it's a beautiful thing. If you're interested, it's

{I got my Stroganoff recipe (see below) from this site.}

Beef Stroganoff

The flavor of this was awesome. Really, really good. Try it!

1 1/2 pound beef top round steak
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 T margarine
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/4 tsp paprika
1 14 1/2 oz can beef broth
2 T cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water
1 1/2 cup sour cream (I only used a cup.)

Cut beef into bite size pieces or strips. Melt butter in large skillet or wok over medium high heat. Add beef and chopped onion. Add salt, pepper, parsley, and paprika while cooking beef. Saute until beef is browned on all sides. Add broth and reduce heat to medium low. Simmer covered at least ten minutes or longer if desired. If desired, add more water for additional sauce. Return to boil. Combine cornstarch and cold water in small bowl; add to beef mixture. Stir until thickened, a minute or two. Remove from heat. Add sour cream. Serve over hot cooked noodles (we used Barilla Ziti and loved it) or rice.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Savannah Bow Ties

This dessert is divine. It was easy and definitely worth it, you won't want to share!

1/2 a (17 1/4oz) pkg frozen puff pastry (1 sheet)
1/2 cup almond paste
1 egg yolk, white reserved
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsps milk
1 egg white
sugar, for sprinkling

Chocolate dipping sauce
3/4 cup sugar
2 TBS cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
6 (1.5oz each) Hershey milk chocolate bars
2 cups whipping cream
1 egg yolk, beaten
1/2 tsp vanilla

Let pastry stand at room temp for 20minutes or until easy to roll. Unfold pastry on lightly floured surface. Roll into 14 inch square. Cut square in half. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
For Filling:
crumble almond paste in small mixing bowl. Add egg yolk,brown sugar,and milk. Beat with electric mixer on medium speed until well mixed. Spread filling over 1 pastry half. Place remaining pastry half on top of filling. Cut dough crosswise into 14 one inch wide strips. Then cut each strip in half crosswise to make 28 pieces. Twist each piece twice in center (looks like a bow). Place twists about 2 inches apart on cookie sheets lined with foil or parchment. Brush twists with slightly beaten egg white. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake 12-15 min or until golden brown. Transfer to wire rack to cool. Serve wit the dipping sauce. The recipe comes from the Food Network Website

Monday, September 15, 2008

I♥ Honey & Spice Cookies

These are my favorite fall cookies

cream together:
1c brown sugar
3/4 c shortening-- butter or margarine don't substitute well in this recipe
1 egg
1/4c Honey

2 1/4c flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cloves

mix all ingredients together. roll into cookie sized balls and smoosh with a fork. Bake@ 375 for 8 to 10 minutes.

yield: about 2 dozen if you don't eat all the dough first

Parmesan Garlic Bread & Marinara Sauce

Being 7 months pregnant, an entire meal can be daunting for me to prepare. Our meals have ended up being pretty simple these days ... most would call this a snack, but I call it a meal right now! Enjoy!1 French loaf
6 TBS butter, softened
8 oz shredded parmesan cheese
garlic salt (I use Lawry's)
Classico Cabernet Marinara sauce (the best!)

Preheat oven to 350*. Slice loaf in half, from end to end. Spread with softened butter. Sprinkle with garlic salt and paprika. Sprinkle again with parmesan cheese. Place loaves directly on oven rack and bake for 6-8 minutes, until cheese looks soft and edge of bread are starting to brown. Then, switch oven to BROIL and broil for about 2-3 minutes longer, keeping a close eye on it, so that it doesn't burn. Remove from oven and slice into large pieces. Serve with WARM Classico Cabernet Marinara sauce. So simple. So yummy!!

Bacon Wrapped, Stuffed Jalapenos

My friend Claire served these to the adults at her daughter's birthday party ... they were SO amazing that my husband had to re-create them. Claire, let me know if he botched the recipe. lol.
12 fresh jalapenos
1 8 oz block cream cheese
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1-2 TBS garlic salt (I use Lawry's)
1 tsp fresh cracked pepper
6 slices bacon, cut in half lengthwise


Combine softened cream cheese, parmesan cheese, garlic salt, and pepper, until creamy and uniform. Prepare jalapenos by cutting of the top 1/4 inch, including stem. Scrape out the seeds, as best as you can. Rinse them out. Poke a hole in the tip of each jalapeno, using a toothpick. Stuff the jalapenos with the cheese mixture until full. Wrap with 1/2 slice of bacon and secure bacon with a toothpick. Bake on a broiling pan at 425* for 10-15 minutes, or until bacon is cooked and crisping. Remove toothpicks before serving. ABSOLUTELY delicious!!

Cowboy Beans

1 lb. lean ground beef
3/4 lb. bacon, chopped
1 cup chopped onion
2 cans (16 oz. each) pork & beans
1 can (16 oz.) kidney beans, drained
1 can pinto beans, drained
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 TBS liquid smoke
3 TBS white vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

Brown meat; drain and put into crock pot. Brown bacon and onions; drain and add to meat. Combine all remaining ingredients in crock pot and stir well. Cover and cook on low heat 4-6 hours, depending on your schedule. Can simmer on low for up to 9 hours. Kids LOVE it.

Parmesan Broiled Tomatoes

4 large tomatoes
8 oz mozzarella, sliced
8 oz shredded parmesan cheese
garlic salt (I use Lawry's)
fresh cracked pepper

garlic bread

Slice tomatoes into thick rings, about 1 1/2 inches thick. Place them on a greased broiling pan. Sprinkle tomatoes with garlic salt and pepper. Place a slice of mozzarella cheese on top of each tomato. Then sprinkle the tops with shredded parmesan cheese (not the cheap grated kind). sprinkle the tops with paprika. Broil for about 5-6 minutes, or until the cheese is melted, bubbly, and browned. Serve warm with a piece of garlic bread.

German Pancakes

1 cup milk
1 cup flour
6 eggs
1 tsp salt
1 TBS sugar
6 TBS butter. cubed

Preheat oven to 425*. In a blender, combine milk, flour, eggs, salt, and sugar. Blend until smooth; about 30-60 seconds. Place cubed butter in a 9x13 glass baking dish and place in oven for butter to melt. Once butter has melted, remove dish and pour in mixture from the blender. Return to oven and bake for 20-25 minutes ... until golden brown. Serve with maple syrup ... these are so buttery, that butter isn't necessary.

**If you are not familiar with German pancakes, the batter rises a LOT. Make sure to leave at least 8 inches of 'growing room' in your oven, above the dish. Do not double mixture into one casserole dish! The corners and sides (and on occasion, the middle too) will raise about 6-8 inches and fall slightly when removed from the oven. Also ... this serves about 4 adults ... although, most of the time, my husband can eat half of the casserole dish himself. So, if you have a big crowd, plan on making a few casserole dishes to satisfy everyone. This also re-heats extremely well ... much easier than standing over the frying pan cooking pancakes all morning.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

the meat from 1 rotisserie chicken
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can RoTel tomatoes
1 can black beans, drained/rinsed
1 can pinto beans
1 can kidney beans, drained/rinsed
4 chicken bullion cubes
2 cups water
1/3 block of Velveeta cheese, diced
1 cup sour cream

tortilla chips

Combine everything, except tortilla chips, Velveeta, and sour cream in a big pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and whisk in sour cream and then add the Velveeta. Soup is ready to serve when all the cubes of Velveeta have melted. Salt & pepper to taste. Serve with tortilla chips.

Grilled Roast Beef Sandwich

leftover pot roast
2 slices whatever cheese you like
2 slices bread

Make a sandwich, placing a slice of cheese on both pieces of bread. Place the roast beef, brisket, whatever in between the cheese. Butter both sides and grill for about 2-3 minutes on either side.

*I had made a huge roast in the crock pot and I cooked it with homemade salsa for tacos. I used that leftover meat with 2 pieces of pepper jack cheese for my sandwich ... it was SO GOOD!! The picture doesn't make it look as appetizing as it really is!! It's a great way to use up leftover roast!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Alfredo Sauce with Parsley

1 T. unsalted butter
1 T. minced shallots (I just used green onions)
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup baby peas, frozen is fine (optional)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 large eggs
1 T. cracked peppercorns, or to tast (I used normal pepper)
Salt to taste
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

1. Melt the butter and saute the shallots for 3 to 4 minutes. Add thhe heavy cream. (If using the baby peas, cook in the hot cream.) Bring to a boil and thicken, cooking for about 6 minutes, sturring constantly.

2. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese. In a separate, large serving blowl, beat the eggs. Whisk in a tablespoon of the cream sauce; stirriing constantly, add the remainder of the sauce, a little at a time (be careful not to put it in too quickly or the eggs will scramble.)

3. Add pepper, salt, and parsly. Poor over spagetti squash, rice noodles if you're gluten free, or any other noodles.

makes 1 1/2 cups

from Healthy Plate: No-Gluten Cookbook

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Black Bean Burgers

Black Bean Burgers...
*Get one can organic black beans..rinse, drain and dump in a bowl.
*Using a potato masher..(or the back of a fork could work too) mash them up
* Dice about 'ehh..half an onion or so and throw it in...
* Put in about 1/3 cup chunky mild salsa..dump in some corn..(I didn't measure so maybe it was about 1/3 - 1/2 cup?), throw in some garlic..snip in about 1/4 cup cilantro and salt and pepper..mix well..
Then add 2 egg whites and a generous handful of breadcrumbs..
*Fry them up in a skillet for about 6 minutes..flipping once
*Get a whole wheat bun and put on some crisp lettuce..
top that with the burger..(I also melted some pepper jack cheese too). Then on the actual burger..a small dollop of salsa and on top of that add a spoonful of sour cream.
Pictures are on my blog...

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Chicken Wings

This is the easiest "recipe" - the perfect thing for BBQ's on the beach or at home. Buy one of those huge bags of chicken wings from Costco and let it thaw. Salt & pepper the wings and place on the grill. After the wings are cooked, put in an aluminum tin and pour "Saucy Susan" peach & apricot sauce (found in regular grocery stores) over the wings. A definite crowd pleaser!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Flaxseed muffins

1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
1 cup ground flaxseed (can also add oat or wheat bran to equal 1 cup, ½ flaxseed, ½ bran)
1 cup old fashioned oatmeal
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp.. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 ½ cups applesauce
½ cups raisins or craisins or a mixture
1 cup chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds)
¾ cups non fat milk
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix just until ingredients are blended. Spray muffin tins with PAM. Bake 350 15-18 minutes. Makes 18 to 21 muffins. Freeze the extras and take out when needed. Heat in the microwave for 20 seconds. Delicious and healthy!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Avocado Chicken

I made this for the first time the other night and it was AMAZING. It definitely requires a trip to the grocery store- but its so worth it and its pretty easy to put together.

3- 4 chicken breasts
½ c. chopped white onion
1 clove minced garlic
1 pkg. fresh sliced mushrooms
2 Tbs. flour
1 tsp. celery salt
white pepper
½ c. chicken broth
½ cup white grape juice
2 avocados
1 ½ c. grated Monterey jack cheese

Cut chicken in half or pound til its thin. Sprinkle both sides with salt, black pepper, and flour. Saute with butter in large skillet until browned, but not cooked all the way through. Put chicken in 9X13 pan and set aside. In the same skillet put ¼ cup butter (or less, if desired) and sauté the onion, garlic, and mushrooms until soft. Add 2 Tbs. flour and celery salt, white pepper, chicken broth, and juice. Thicken. Stir in mashed avocados and ½ cup cheese. Pour sauce over chicken in pan and sprinkle remaining (1 cup) cheese on top. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and cheese is light brown. I broiled mine for a few minutes at the end for crispy, brown cheese. Serve over noodles (I used spaghetti).

Monday, July 28, 2008

Mongolian Beef

We like this recipe for both beef and chicken. The chicken is a little quicker since I skip the cornstarch step since it does not need to be tenderized like the beef.

 2 t vegetable oil
 1 T garlic, chopped
 1/2 C soy sauce
 1/2 C water
 3/4 C dark brown sugar
 1 C vegetable oil
 1 lb flank steak
 1/4 C cornstarch
 2 large green onions, sliced

1. Heat 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil in saucepan over medium-low heat.
2. Add garlic, then quickly add the soy sauce and water.
3. Dissolve the brown sugar in the sauce, then raise the heat to medium; boil for 2-3 minutes or until the sauce thickens.
4. Remove sauce from heat.
5. Slice the steak against the grain into 1/4-inch slices, then cut into bite size pieces. (Tilt the blade to a 45° angle to get a wider cut.)
6. Dip the steak into cornstarch; set aside for 10 minutes.
7. Heat oil over medium heat in a wok or skillet. (Make sure the meat can be mostly covered with oil.)
8. Add the beef to the oil and sauté for two minutes or until the meat just begins to darken on the edges. (The meat does not need to be cooked through—just evenly.)
9. Use a slotted spoon to remove the meat; empty the oil from the skillet.
10. Put the meat back in the skillet; cook for a minute.
11. Add the sauce; cook for one minute while stirring, then add the green onions.
12. Cook for one minute, then remove the beef and onions to a serving plate; leave excess sauce in pan.

Pork Dumplings

1 lb ground pork
2 T green onion, chopped
1 t minced garlic
1 t sesame oil
2 t oyster sauce
Dumpling wrappers (usually found in produce area)

Sauce ingredients:
1/4 C soy sauce
1/4 C sugar
4 t vinegar
1/4 t sesame oil

1. Mix sauce ingredients together.
2. Mix ingredients thoroughly.
3. Fold dumplings using store bought wrappers; make sure they are completely closed.
4. Heat skillet and add oil.
5. Add dumplings and fry over medium heat for about one minute.
6. Add 1/2 C water, cover and let cook for about 4 minutes.
7. Eat immediately with sauce.

**You can also make with other ground meats.**

5-in-1 Bars

3 C graham cracker crumbs
2/3 C margarine
1/3 C sugar
24 oz milk chocolate chips
3 C coconut
2 cans sweetened condensed milk

1. Mix crumbs with melted butter and sugar.
2. Press crumb mixture on bottom of 15 x 10 cookie sheet.
3. Top with chocolate chips, coconut, then sweet-ened condensed milk.
4. Bake at 350° for about 20-30 minutes or until golden brown.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Mac-n-Smoked Gouda with Cauliflower

I had this the other day at my friend's house (leftover). So good. Really yummy. And my little girl (18-months) and her son (2 1/2) ate it, too.

from Rachael Ray, Food Network

1 lb. elbow macaroni or cavatappi (corkscrew-shaped pasta)
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 T extra-virgin olive oil
2 T unsalted butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 T all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. paprika
3 c. whole milk
1 c. chicken stock or broth
3 c. shredded smoked Gouda (about 12 oz)
1 T Dijon mustard
Freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt to season the cooking water, then add the pasta.

Cook for 5 minutes, then add the cauliflower and cook for 3 minutes more or until pasta is cooked al dente and the florets are just tender. Drain well and return to the pot.

While the pasta cooks, heat a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the extra-virgin olive oil and butter until it melts. Add the onions and cook for 3 to 5 minutes to sweat them out and turn the juices sweet. Raise the heat a bit, then whisk in the flour, cayenne, and paprika.

Whisk together until the roux bubbles up, then cook for 1 minute more. Whisk in the milk and stock and raise the heat a bit higher to bring the sauce to a quick boil. Once it bubbles, drop the heat back to a simmer and cook until the sauce thickens, 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the cheese to the thickened sauce and stir to melt it, a minute or so. Stir in the mustard and season the sauce with salt and pepper. Pour over the cauliflower and cooked pasta and toss to combine. Serves 5-6.

For the Halibut

or Salmon . . . to die for -- seriously!!

1 lb fresh halibut chunks
1/2 cup melted butter
1 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup chopped onion

Dip each halibut chunk in the melted butter and roll in bread crumbs. Mix mayo, sour cream and onion, and pour evenly over halibut. Bake at 425 for 20-25 minutes. Serve immediately. I had this when I was visiting my mom. I didn't know it would be so undescribedly delicious or I would have taken a picture before it was all gone!

Quesadilla Salad

flour tortillas
cheddar cheese
taco meat or fajita chicken/steak
sour cream
avocado -- I didn't have any, but it would have MADE the dish if I did.

Prepare a quesadilla by layering meat and cheese between tortillas. Cook in a hot skillet with butter, so that the tortilla gets nice and crispy. Cut quesadilla into 4 triangles. Serve on plates by layering the following:

1/4 quesadilla
sour cream

Serve as a regular salad, but allow your guests/family/kids to cut up their own quesadilla, or pull it out and eat it separately. This was so yummy!

Peanut Butter Pancakes

2 cups Bisquick
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 egg
1 1/2 - 2 cups milk

Combine all ingredients, using 1 1/2 cups milk to start. If it seems thick, add more milk until it is the right consistency. Cook as usual, on a hot skillet. Serve with maple syrup, jam, jelly, bananas, whatever. THESE WERE GREAT! And I totally snuck some extra protein into my son's breakfast this morning. lol.

Creamy Squash & Pasta

This is a great meatless dish ... perfect for summer time!2-3 yellow squash, peeled & diced
3 TBS olive oil
3 TBS butter
1 1/2 TBS flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1 small onion, diced
garlic salt & pepper
prepared pasts noodles
fresh parmesan cheese

Melt butter with olive oil in a hot skillet. Add squash and onion, cooking on medium/high heat. Sprinkle with garlic salt and pepper. Cook until onions are transparent and squash is starting to brown, just a little. Sprinkle with flour and stir to coat throughout, cooking about 30 seconds. Slowly whisk in the milk. Allow sauce to come to a boil, in order to thicken ... about 1-2 minutes. Pour over pasta noodles and sprinkle with fresh parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Baked Potato Soup

8 russet potatoes
1 lb smoked ham, diced (not lunch meat)
1/2 lb bacon, diced
1 cup french onion sour cream dip
1 can cream of chicken soup
2-3 cups chicken broth
2 cups milk (I used whole milk ... skim could be sketchy)
1 small onion, diced
1 TBS parsley flakes
salt & pepper

Cheddar cheese & fresh chives for garnish

Peel 4 of the potatoes and dice them up. Dice up the other 4 with their skins still on. Place in a crock pot. Add the onion and chicken broth, until potatoes are covered (2-3 cups). In a skillet, brown up the diced ham (again, use good ham here ... not lunch meat). Once it's browned a little, place it in the crock pot. Cook on high for 3 hours.

In a skillet, brown the diced bacon until crispy. Drain fat and add to the crock pot. Slowly whisk in the cream of chicken soup, milk, parsley flakes, and sour cream dip. Cook for another 45 minutes on high. Salt and pepper to taste ... it's gonna need quite a bit of salt to flavor all those potatoes ... just add it a tsp, or so, at a time. Garnish with cheese and chives. Mmmm.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Caramel Pecan Ring

1 refrigerated Pillsbury French Loaf
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup Karo syrup
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup pecans

Preheat oven to 350*. Combine sugar, butter, and Karo syrup in a sauce pan. Heat throughout, until sugar is dissolved. Add pecans. Grease a 9x9 square dish. Open the French loaf. Score the loaf approximately every 2-3 inches. Place loaf, in the shape of a ring, in the greased dish. Drizzle the entire caramel mixture over the top of the loaf. Bake at 350* until golden brown and bubbly ... about 18 minutes, I think. **Also, check the package of the loaf to verify the oven temp. I'm pretty sure it was 350*, but you may want to double check that.

This is DELICIOUS! And there is NO refrigerated dough taste AT ALL. Super easy, and impressive dessert. Enjoy!!

No Sugar Added Smoothie

1 cup frozen fruit (whatever you like best)
1 6-8oz container yogurt (whatever flavor you want)
2/3 cup apple juice

Combine all ingredients in a blender. This is designed to be a single serving smoothie. If you use apple juice, it is PLENTY sweet enough to cover any needed sugar. Enjoy!

Teriyaki Chicken Thighs

I know, I know ... it's ANOTHER Yoshida's concoction. It's that good. Go buy some! 2-3 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, DICED
2 cups green beans (or whatever frozen veggies you have on hand)
1 1/2 cups Mr. Yoshida's Original Gourmet Sweet & Savory Sauce
2 cups prepared sticky rice (I use the Botan Calrose brand -- white bag with red flower)
garlic salt & pepper
olive oil

Saute the thighs in a hot pan with olive oil. Sprinkle chicken with garlic salt (Lawry's Garlic salt is my fav) and pepper, turning to cook on all sides. When chicken is fully cooked and starts to caramelize, add the Yoshida's sauce. Allow chicken and sauce to come back to a boil (add more sauce if you think you need it) and then let simmer for about 5-10 minutes, so that the meat soaks up the sauce a little. Add green beans (or any frozen veggie) for the last 5 minutes of cooking. Serve over sticky rice ... or whatever rice you prefer.

***I'm not sure where all you can find Yoshida's sauce, but I buy mine in the 1/2 gallon size at Sam's Club OR Costco and it lasts all year. Finally, Costco is carrying the stuff!! It's on the spice aisle ... I think.

PERFECT Peanut Butter Cookies

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Thoroughly cream butter, peanut butter, sugars, egg, and vanilla. Sift together dry ingredients; blend into creamed mixture. Shape into 1-inch balls; roll in granulated sugar. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Crisscross with fork tines. Bake at 375 degrees for 7-8 minutes. Do not overcook ... take them out when they are barely golden. Makes about 30 cookies. ***Also great with crunchy peanut butter.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Pizza Rolls

So we moved last week and this was part of our "last meal" in other words making something from whatever is left in the fridge. It turned out pretty good...

Refrigerator Crescent rolls
4 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese
Parmesan cheese

Pizza sauce for dipping

Preheat oven. Lay out the dough, spread cream cheese on it, sprinkle with parmesan cheese, lay about 4 pepperoni's on it, roll up into crescent rolls. Bake for the amount of time on the crescent roll package or until it looks done. Dip in pizza sauce.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Fall-Apart Pork Chops

Forks only with this one ... you won't need a knife!8-10 bone-in pork chops
2 bottles Bulls-Eye ORIGINAL bbq sauce
garlic salt

Garlic salt and pepper both sides of pork chops. Place in a 9x13 casserole dish ... you can stack these 2-pork-chops high, but no higher. I had to use 2 casserole dishes for the 10 chops. Pour a ridiculous amount of bbq sauce over the top and make sure all the chops are coated with the sauce. I used 1 1/2 bottles of sauce on 10 chops. Cover tightly with a greased piece of foil. Bake at 300* for 3 1/2 hours.

Fire up your grill. Remove chops from oven. Grill chops for about 3-4 minutes on each side ... just until the sauce chars a little bit. Serve with more fresh bbq sauce on top. These made our 4th of July HEAVENLY!!! The meat is so tender, flavorful, and juicy ... Enjoy!

** You can make your own bbq sauce, or use whatever your favorite is. We love the Bulls-Eye ORIGINAL though. MMM.

Taco Salad

This is perhaps the world's most ghetto taco salad ... so if you are a gourmet chef, you probably won't like this one. If you're a busy mom who is looking for a 5 minute healthy dinner (that your kids will eat!) ... this is for you.1 head iceberg lettuce, chopped
2-3 cans of chili with beans (my favorite is the low fat Stagg brand ... get whatever you like)
1 bag shredded cheddar cheese
Crumbled tortilla chips
Sour cream
Diced tomatoes, optional

Begin by heating the chili up in the microwave until it is HOT; about 2 1/2 minutes, depending on how many cans you're using. Don't forget to cover it with a paper towel ... I don't want y'all cursing my name later.

Okay. This is sooo simple. Make this as individual portions in a bowl. Layer like this:

Hot Chili
Tortilla chips

Make sure the chips are on top ... it will lure your kids into eating a salad. lol.

Garnish with sour cream and salsa to taste ... leave it out all together if your kids don't like it. Fresh diced tomatoes make it even better, if you have them on hand. Let your kids stir theirs all together on their own. They'll love it!

If you have plenty of time on your hands and you're a fresh-kind-of-person ... whip up some ground beef with taco seasoning instead of the chili.

Fudge Jumbles

2 sticks butter
2 cups packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
3 cups old fashioned oats

Fudge Topping:
2 bags semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 cans sweetened condensed milk

In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar; beat until well mixed. Beat in eggs and 2 teaspoons vanilla. In another large bowl stir together flour and baking soda; stir in oats. Gradually stir dry mixture into beaten mixture. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan combine the sweetened condensed milk, and chocolate pieces. Cook over low heat until chocolate melts, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.

Press all but about 1 heaping cup of the oat mixture into the bottom of an ungreased 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Spread chocolate mixture over the oat mixture. Using your fingers, crumble remaining oat mixture over the chocolate.

Bake in a 350 degree F oven about 25 minutes or until top is lightly browned (chocolate mixture will still look moist). Allow the Jumbles to cool for about 45 minutes before cutting to serve. Makes a WHOLE bunch! Yum!!

*Cover these with foil and store at room temperature ... if they aren't covered the chocolate will get crumbly instead of staying fudgey. MMM.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Skillet Penne with Chicken and Broccoli

This is a VERY yummy pasta- sorry for the lack of pictures. You'll have to trust me- its the latest Crofts Family Favorite!! Its from the America's Test Kitchen cookbook-with a few minor changes of my own...enjoy!

1 lb. chicken breasts, sliced into 1 inch pieces
Salt and Pepper
3 Tbs. butter
1 onion, minced
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
¼ tsp. dried oregano
3 garlic cloves, minced
8 oz. penne (2 ½ cups)
2 ½ c. chicken broth
½ c. heavy cream
1 bunch broccoli (1 ½ lbs.), stems discarded and florets cut into 1 inch pieces
1 12-oz. jar roasted red peppers, rinsed and chopped as fine as desired
½ c. parmesan cheese

1. Pat chicken dry, season with salt and pepper. Melt 1 Tbs. of butter in 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and cook until its lightly browned but not fully cooked, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
2. Add 1 more Tbs. butter, onion, red pepper flakes, oregano, and ½ tsp. salt to skillet. Cook until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds.
3. Sprinkle penne evenly into skillet. Pour the broth and cream over it. Cover and bring to boil, about 5 minutes.
4. Reduce the heat to med-low and stir in the broccoli and roasted peppers. Cover and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally until the pasta begins to soften and the broccoli turns bright green, about 8 minutes.
5. Stir in the chicken and any accumulated juice. Cover and continue to simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 3 minutes longer.
6. Stir in remaining butter and Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Fruit Sherbet Dessert

This is such an easy, refreshing dessert for the summer . . . we serve it every Fourth of July.

1 brick of sherbet (pineapple or raspberry) at Smiths
1 brick of vanilla ice cream
5-6 bananas
1 pkg frozen raspberries (large) or 2 cartons fresh
blueberries (frozen or 1 carton fresh)

-- can use fresh or frozen fruit. If using a frozen mix, no melons, thaw before using. Let sherbet and vanilla thaw enough to mix with other ingredients into a large bowl. Put back into freezer to set (will take 24 hours). Take out to thaw slightly before serving -- about 10-15 minutes.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

(Sorry no picture!)
This weekend I was craving some southern pulled pork. I called up my Alabama born brother who bleeds barbecue. And he gave me the following tips to make easy pulled pork:
I bought a picnic pork roast from the grocery store and put it in the slow cooker on high for 5 hours (or on low for 8 hours) with an onion, half bottle of ketchup, cup of vinegar and a rub. Supposedly the rub is the key. I mixed salt, pepper, paprika, brown sugar, white sugar, basil, thyme, chopped bay leaves and some other herbs. I didn't brown the roast before I put in it, but I guess you could do that too.
After 5 hours, I pulled out the pork and rinsed out the slow cooker. I de-boned the meat and shredded it lightly. I put it back in the slow cooker and mixed in half a bottle of BBQ sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray's), some more vinegar and a little water. I let it simmer for an hour and a half and served it on rolls! Delicious!

Monday, June 23, 2008

bird seed

We just got back from a family vacation (9 hour road trip and cruise). And I was reminded by my sister about this tradition we used to have growing up. For our family road trips/vacations, my mom would always make "bird seed." So, I made some for our trip. I made homemade caramel corn, but my mom always used store bought stuff.

Here's what you need:
Pops cereal
caramel corn

Here's what you do:
Pour desired quantities into large Ziploc bag and mix.
Great for munching!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Baked Shrimp with Tomatoes and Feta

I made this when my parents were in town and it was delicious! My Dad even mentioned it in his blog post about their trip . . . I think that means it was memorable. This recipe (and picture) is form Martha Stewart.

Serves 4.
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 thinly sliced scallions
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 1/2 pounds peeled and deveined large frozen shrimp, thawed, tails removed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh fresh mint, plus more for garnish
4 ounces feta cheese

Preheat oven to 475 degrees with rack set in upper third. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium. Add scallions, garlic, and oregano; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add tomatoes. Cook over medium, stirring occasionally, until no liquid remains in skillet, 10 to 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Add shrimp and mint to skillet. Stir to combine; transfer to an 8-inch square (or other shallow 2-quart) baking dish. Crumble feta over top.

Bake until liquid is bubbling, cheese is beginning to brown, and shrimp in center of dish are opaque, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve with Orzo and Green Beans, sprinkled with additional chopped mint.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Chopped Salad

1 rotisserie chicken, white and dark meat, diced
1 lb cooked, crumbled bacon
2 tomatoes, diced
1 8oz block Monterrey Jack cheese, diced
1 cucumber, peeled & diced
1 head iceberg lettuce, diced/chopped
Good Ranch Dressing

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, adding dressing last. Mix well until combined throughout. This would easily feed 6-8 people DINNER, or provide a side salad for 10-12. It's a huge recipe. Enjoy!

Rocky Road Cake

This was taken straight from ... it is Paula Dean's recipe ... I added the marshmallows to make it a Rocky Road cake.
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 (16-ounce) can chocolate syrup (recommended: Hershey's)

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup evaporated milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350*. Grease and flour a 13 by 9 by 2-inch pan.

For the cake: Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together in another bowl. Add to creamed mixture, continuing to beat. Add vanilla and chocolate syrup to batter and mix well. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. While cake is baking, prepare the frosting.

For the frosting: Put butter, chocolate chips, sugar and evaporated milk in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Stirring ingredients together, boil for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and nuts. Allow frosting to cool a bit and then add marshmallows. Pour over warm cake. Serve at room temperature.

Deep Dish Mini Pizzas

Pillsbury Grands Refrigerator Biscuits (Home style, Butter, whatever)
Your favorite spaghetti/pizza sauce
Shredded mozzarella cheese
Pepperoni, sausage, ect.

Preheat oven as directed on the biscuit package (I think it was 375*, but I could be totally wrong). Grease a muffin tin. Place biscuits, one to an opening, in muffin tin. Gently press the biscuit to form a cup around the sides of the muffin tin ... sort of like making a little cup to hold sauce, toppings, and cheese. Bake empty 'cups' for 8 minutes until puffy and just slightly brown. Remove from oven. Add a TBS of sauce, then sprinkle cheese, then sprinkle toppings. Return to oven and continue baking until cheese is melted and toppings are golden. Kids will love it!

** If you don't bake the biscuits for a few minutes before adding toppings, then they'll probably come out dough-y.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Nauvoo Bread

I made this bread yesterday from the recipe that we got at the Family Living Center in Nauvoo.
(Tired of hearing about Nauvoo yet?)
The settlers cooked it in one of two ways. If they were wealthy and had a "bustle oven" in their home, the mother got up in the morning and built a fire in it and let it burn until it was red hot coals. They removed the coals from the oven and it was hot enough to start cooking for the day. She would make some bread, then as the oven started cooling down made other things like pies.
If you didn't have a bustle oven or pans to cook bread in, you made "ash bread." They let the fire burn down to hot coals and ashes, then put the bread on the ground of the fireplace and covered it with the coals and ashes and let it bake. (Yum, ash.)
This recipe is delicious.

Nauvoo Bread (credit goes to a Sister Prince)

5 cups hot water
1/2 cup potato flakes
1/2 cup suger
1 cup powdered milk
1/2 cup oil or shortening
2 T. yeast
1-1/2 T. salt
10-14 cups flour

Combine hot water, shortening, potato flakes, powdered milk, sugar. Stir to dissolve shortening. When temperature is tepid, add yeast. Mix in 5 cups of flour and the salt. Stir to a smooth sponge. Add flour to make smooth and elastic dough. Let rise until double, about 45 minutes, punch down and let rise again. Shape into loaves, let rise. Bake in 375 degree oven for about 35 minutes.

**I used 5 cups of whole wheat flour and 5+ white. I also added wheat germ, wheat bran and 10-grain cereal to up the fiber. This recipe made 4 round loaves.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Blender Wheat Pancakes and Homemade Syrup

Blender Wheat Pancakes
1 cup wheat flour
1 cup milk
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1/2 cup oil
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder

Blend wheat flour and 1 cup milk on high for 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup milk and blend for another 2 minutes. Add rest of ingredients and blend until mixed. Really yummy served with this homemade syrup...

Homemade Syrup
I grew up in a house with only homemade syrup. I didn't know who Mrs. Butterworth was until I was in college! Anyway, if you haven't tried homemade, I'd recommend it.

2 cups white or brown sugar (matter of taste - my dad likes one cup of each)
1 cup water
Bring to a boil.

1/2 tsp maple
1 tsp vanilla
(I also like to add 1/2 tsp almond flavoring, but again, it's a matter of taste.)

If you like thick syrup allow it to cool a little before serving. It thickens as it cools.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Thank you, Rachel!

Thank you to Rachel D ... the woman behind the new template. It's simple, clean, and simply perfect!! I hope you all love it!! Thanks again, Rachel!!


Monday, May 19, 2008

Clone of a Cinnabon

I got this one from It really is very good and very close to Cinnabon.

Ready in 3 hours, 12 servings


1 Cup warm milk
2 eggs, room temp
1/3 Cup margarine, melted
4 1/2 Cups bread flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 Cup white sugar
2 1/2 tsp yeast

1 Cup brown sugar, packed
2 1/2 Tbs ground cinnamon
1/3 Cup butter, softened

3 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 Cup butter, softened
1 1/2 Cups confectioner's sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt

Heat oven to 200 degrees.

Mix milk and 1 Tbs of the sugar until dissolved, add yeast.

Mix dry ingredients.

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients in Kitchen Aide (or stand mixer of your choice that has a dough -hook). It should become a smooth ball.

Turn OFF oven. Cover dough with moist towel over bowl and put in warmed oven for 1 hour (it will double in size). Turn out dough on lightly floured surface. Cover and let rest 10 min.

In small bowl combine brown sugar and cinnamon.

Roll Dough into 16" by 21" rectangle. Spread dough with 1/3 Cup butter and sprinkle evenly with sugar/cinnamon mixture. It will seem like overkill, but it's okay, use it all. Roll up dough and cut with floss into 12 rolls (you put the floss under and bring both ends around and cross the ends until it squeezes and cuts the dough).

Place rolls in lightly greased (or better yet, lined with parchment paper) 9" by 13" pan. Cover and let rise until doubled (about 30 mins).

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Bake rolls in oven until golden brown, 15 minutes. While baking, beat together cream cheese, 1/4 Cup butter, confectioner's sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Spread frosting on warm rolls before serving.

Turkey Marinade

I am not a big turkey fan...however, turkey marinated and cook THIS way is to die for. So good. So soft. So perfect. My aunt made this for her son's wedding luncheon (like 10 years ago) and my family was so excited to finally get their hands on this recipe...again (lost about 9 years ago). It's great on a grill but you could probably cook it another way. It's definitely a must try. And if you REALLY have turkey issues, you could just use chicken breasts. Probably be just as good.

1 quart 7-up or gingerale (diet probably works, too)
1 pint Canola oil
1 pint soy sauce
1 Tbsp horseradish
1 tsp garlic powder

Marinate turkey (I used sliced turkey breast) for 24 hours in a Ziploc. Grill or cook as desired.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Honey Cilantro Shrimp Tacos

Oh my gosh, these are the best, you've really got to try them. Way easy and super impressive. The Honey Cilantro sauce is the best!

These tacos are incredible; sweet, slightly spicy and flavorful!
25 Minutes to Prepare and Cook

1 tsp. vegetable oil
1 large onion, sliced into strips
2 bell peppers, sliced into strips
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 jalapeno (remove seeds if you don't like it hot.)
1 1/2 lb. precooked cocktail shrimp, tails removed
4 tbsp. honey
3 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tsp. coriander
2 tsp. cumin
salt and pepper to taste
8 tortillas, soft taco size

Warm oil in skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, bell peppers, and jalapeno. Cook until onions are transparent, about 5-10 minutes. Add shrimp and cook only until warmed through. (The longer they cook, the more they lose water and shrink.)
Drain mixture in a colander, return to skillet and stove, lower the temperature of the stovetop to low. Add cumin and coriander, salt and pepper to taste.
In a small bowl, combine honey and chopped cilantro. Place shrimp mixture in tortilla and top with a spoonful of the honey mixture. You can top with salsa or sour cream if you wish. Enjoy!
*Note: these tacos can be pretty messy, so you may prefer to eat them with a fork and knife

Number of Servings: 4

Monday, May 12, 2008

Apple Pie

I'm sure everyone has their own favorite apple pie recipe, but I finally found one I really like..and can actually produce!

5 or 6 tart apples (I used Granny Smith)
3/4 c. apple juice
1 C. brown sugar (scant)
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbs = 2 tsp. cornstarch
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp butter

1) Pare apples and cut into slices (about 6 cups)
2) Mix together apple juice, sugar, and salt together in medium saucepan. Add Apples and heat to boil. Reduce heat and simmer just until apples are tender.
3) Drain and measure liquid. (Set apples aside) Add more juice, if necessary to make 1 1/4 cups.
4) Blend lemmon juice and corn starch; add spices and blend with the 1 1/4 cups liquid. Add butter. Simmer until thickened.
5)Combine apples and juice and place carefully in unbaked pie shell.
6) place top crust and cut slits for steam to escape. Bake at 425 degrees for 40 minutes.
***Make sure to add tinfoil around edges to prevent them from burning***
Tip: put a cookie sheet lined with tin foil on the bottom rack of your oven to catch spills from pie to help with clean up.

**This is grandma's crust recipe***

makes double crust for 9" pans

2 C. sifted flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 C. shortening
1/4 cup COLD water

1) Combine flour and salt in mixing bowl
2) Cut in crisco with pastry blender until mixture resembles course crumbs
3) Sprinkle cold water, TBLS at a time, and toss lightly with a for. When all the water is added, for dough into a ball
4) Divide ball into two halves, One for bottom crust and one for top.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Breakfast/Brunch Casserole (Fay Croxford via my friend Adri)

I made this casserole for our Teacher Appreciation Breakfast this morning and it was a huge hit! It is one of the yummiest breakfast casseroles I have ever had. It can be altered however you'd like by adding different kinds of cheeses, meats and veggies. I didn't take a picture of it because I was in a hurry, but trust me it looked good! I put the ingredients I used in bold letters.

1 pkg. frozen diced hash browns
1lb cooked ground sausage, diced links or diced ham
1 dozen eggs
1 can cream of chicken or mushroom soup
1/3 cup mayonnaise or miracle whip
1 lb shredded cheese (cheddar/jack mix)
diced onions or onion flakes
diced green peppers (optional)
sliced mushrooms (optional)

Layer frozen potatoes, meat, and onions in a sprayed 9X13 baking dish. Mix together soup, eggs, mayonnaise, cheese and any veggies you desire (pretty much anything you may want in an omelet) and pour over layers. Cover and let sit in refrigerator overnight. Bake at 350˚ for an hour or until fluffy and bubbly. Slice and serve hot.





6 large eggs
1.5 cups milk
8 ounces Swiss-type cheese (I did a mix of swiss cheese and cheddar cheese)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg - optional
1 pie or quiche crust (in the frozen or refrigerated section of the grocery store)
Ideas for other tasty ingredients: cooked bacon and/or ham, red orange or/and green peppers, onion, etc. Lightly sautee the veggies before you add them to the egg/milk/cheese mixture below.
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk until thoroughly blended. Season with the salt and pepper, then add the cheese and stir until it is blended. Turn the mixture into the pre-baked pastry, and spread out the cheese evenly over the bottom of the pastry. Sprinkle the top with nutmeg if you've used a Swiss-type cheese, and bake in the center of the oven until the filling is golden and puffed, and is completely baked through, about 30 minutes. To test for doneness, shake the quiche - if it is solid without a pool of uncooked filling in the center, it is done. You may also stick a sharp knife blade into the center of the filling and if it comes out clean, the quiche is baked through.

Remove the quiche from the oven and serve immediately.
This actually made 2 quiches for us. You can wrap it in foil and freeze it or give it away. Delicious!

Monday, May 5, 2008

I wish I Had a Picture of this Banana-Cream- Syrup Waffle!!

These waffles are seriously the best- they are Brian's FAVORITE post-church (especially on Fast Sunday) indulgence.  You really do have to try them for yourself.  I know they may seem a bit heavy, but they are just simply amazingly delicious!

Waffle mix (I use Bisquick, but use your favorite recipe if you have one)
Heavy Whipping Cream, powdered sugar, vanilla
Bananas, sliced thin
Homemade Syrup 

Make up the waffle mix and cook as directed.  In the meantime, whip up the cream and add desired amount of sugar and a touch of vanilla after the cream is whipped.  Cut up the bananas. You can make the syrup ahead of time.  Here's the recipe I use:
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1/2 tsp. maple flavoring
1/2 tsp. butter flavoring

Boil water, then add the rest of the ingredients.  Heat until sugar dissolves.

After the waffles are done, slather desired amount of butter on top, followed by syrup (please use homemade- it really does make a big difference), then cream and finally the bananas. Enjoy!  

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Cream Cheese Pie

1 Graham Cracker Pie Crust

2 (8oz.) Cream Cheese, softened
2 Eggs
2 tsp. Vanilla
1/2 tsp. Lemon Juice
3/4 c. Sugar

1/2 pint Sour Cream
3 1/2 Tbs. Sugar

Beat together the filling ingredients. Pour into crust. Bake 30-40 minutes at 350-375 degrees, until center doesn't jiggle when slightly shook and lightly brown around the edges. Take out and leave five minutes. Mix sour cream and sugar and pour on top. Bake another five minutes. Cool. Place in refrigerator 5 hours.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Chocolate Peanut Butter Trifle

I saw this on another blog and had to put it somewhere where I can find it again. Doesn't it look divine?

1 chocolate cake mix
1 pkg. peanut butter chips
4 1/4 C. cold milk, divided
1/2 C. whipping cream
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
2 small pkgs. Instant Chocolate Pudding Mix
1 small carton Cool Whip
8 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

Prepare cake mix according to package directions. Pour the batter into a greased 13 x 9 baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.In a heavy saucepan, combine chips, 1/4 C. milk and 1/2 C. cream. Cook and stir over low heat until chips are melted. Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla. Cool to room temperature. Place the remaining milk in a mixing bowl; beat in pudding mixes on low speed for 2 minutes. Place pudding in the fridge for 3-4 minutes to set up a bit.To assemble, crumble half of the cake into a 4 qt. Trifle bowl or large bowl. Layer with half of the peanut butter sauce, pudding, Cool Whip and ½ of the crumbled Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups; repeat layers ending with Cool Whip and remaining ½ of crumbled Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.


3 c. Flour
1 Tbs. Salt

4 Tbs. Oil
1 1/2 c. Warm Water

Mix flour, salt, and oil together with hands until beads form. Knead in water. It will be kind of wet so add in flour until dough doesn't stick to the sides of the bowl anymore and continue to knead for about 5 minutes. Pinch off 3 inch balls and lightly coat with oil. Set aside until all balls are coated. Tkae one ball and coat with flour then squish it until it's a thick pancake. Place on a floured surface and roll out to 1/8 inch thickness. Try to keep it round by flipping over and rolling in all directions. Place on a heated skillet on high (no oil needed). When bubbles, flip over until it is lightly browned, then flip over, and flip once again until both sides are lightly brown.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Marianna's Rolls

The Best Rolls. Ever.

These rolls practically melt in your mouth and they're easy to make. No need for a bread maker, a Kitchen-Aid, or anything special. If you have a rolling pin, you're good to go.

I got the recipe from a friend, Marianna. Our ward recently held an auction to raise money for our youth activities. I hear Marianna made three batches and each one sold for over $50!! They're Just That Good. Oh, these rolls are slightly sweet...enjoy!

Here are the ingredients:
1 Tablespoon Dry Active Yeast
3 Teaspoons Sugar
3/4 Cup Warm Water
1/2 Cup Sugar
3 Teaspoons Salt
1/2 Cup Real Butter (not margarine)
1 Egg
1 Cup Mashed Potatoes
3 1/2 to 4 Cups Unbleached Flour

Before you get started, boil a medium potato until soft. Marianna says you can even use leftover mashed potatoes from dinner. Set it aside until it's cool and mash it up. You'll need a whole cup.

  1. To make the rolls, dissolve 1 tablespoon yeast in 3/4 cup warm water. Add 3 teaspoons sugar.
  2. Stir in 1/2 cup sugar, salt, egg, butter, cooled potatoes, and 2 cups flour. Mix until smooth.
  3. Mix in remaining flour (1 1/2-2 cups) a little at a time. Dough will be sticky and about the same consistency as cookie dough. Do not add too much flour- this is a soft dough.
  4. Transfer to bowl. Cover and put in fridge for at least 6 hours.

After the dough has sat in the fridge for 6+ hours:

  1. Grease 2 baking sheets (or one very big one)
  2. Flour counter top.
  3. Roll dough into a circle the size of a large pizza.
  4. Spread a thin layer of butter on top.
  5. Cut into 12 wedges, just like pizza slices.
  6. Roll up each wedge, beginning at the widest edge.
  7. Place rolls, with point under, on greased baking sheets.
  8. Cover, let rise 50% (not double) The time varies. In the summer it can take 15 minutes. In the winter it could take up to 3 hours.
  9. Preheat oven to 400 Degrees. Bake 12-15 minutes OR until golden brown.
  10. Remove from hot pan immediately.

Some helpful tips:

  • There will be some small pieces of potato in your dough- that's fine.
  • Be generous with the flour on your counter top. The dough is very sticky.
  • If using two pans, the bottom pan in the oven will have rolls that are darker on bottom, and lighter on top. I like the variety, but you could switch the pans halfway through the cooking time.
  • Marianna serves her rolls very, very light. They barely have a golden tint to them, but when I followed the recipe, after 12 minutes they were completely golden. They're delicious either way. Keep a close eye on them.
  • Feel free to double the recipe.
  • The dough keeps in the fridge for up to one month.

You will, without a doubt, enjoy every last bite of these rolls. Be sure to share them!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Chicken Tostada Salad

I found this the other day while meal planning and made it last night. Very yummy...lots of flavors going on!

5 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1 teaspoon ground cumin, divided
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
6 large flour tortillas
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
3/4 cup salsa
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (7 ounce) can corn, drained
1/2 cup coarsely chopped red onion
1 tomato, chopped
2 cups shredded lettuce
8 ounces hot pepper cheese (Monterrey Jack was yummy), shredded (about 2 cups)

In small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of the oil with 1/2 teaspoon of the cumin and the chili powder. Brush on both sides of each flour tortilla. Place directly on grill over medium-hot coals. Grill for 1 to 2 minutes per side, until tortillas are golden brown and crisp. If tortillas begin to bubble up, pierce surface to flatten. Remove tortillas from heat and cool completely.

In medium bowl, whisk together remaining 3 tablespoons oil and vinegar. Stir in salsa, remaining 1/2 teaspoon cumin and salt; reserve 3/4 cup for dressing.

Place chicken on grill over medium-hot coals. Grill for 10 to 12 minutes, turning and basting occasionally with salsa mixture, until chicken is no longer pink. Cut chicken into strips. In medium bowl, toss together beans, corn, onion, tomato and reserved dressing. To assemble, place crisped tortilla on plate. Top with shredded lettuce, 1 cup of bean mixture, 1 sliced chicken breast and shredded cheese.

Makes 6 servings.

**Note: I found the tostadas really hard to cut through and enjoy with the salad. I may not have allowed them to "crisp" enough. Also, you could try cutting them into strips instead.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Chicken Pot Pie

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced
1 cup frozen peas & carrots
1 small onion, diced
1 potato, peeled & diced
1 deep dish frozen pie crust, thawed
1 rolled frozen pie crust, thawed
1 can cream of chicken soup
2/3 cup cream
garlic salt/pepper
4 chicken bullion cubes

In a medium skillet, saute diced chicken and onion in 1-2 TBS olive oil, sprinkling with garlic salt and pepper. Once chicken is almost finished cooking, add the diced potato. Continue to cook all ingredients for about 5 minutes. Add the 4 bullion cubes and crush them until dissolved. Add the peas and carrots, soup, and cream. Stir until uniform throughout, and bring back up to heat. Pour mixture into the deep dish pie crust ... it will be heaping. Unroll the top pie crust onto the top of the pie. Tuck the excess pie crust under the edges of the deep dish pie crust. Bake, on a cookie sheet [in case some bubbles over], at 400* for 15-18 minutes, or until pie crust is golden brown. If you like lots of crust ... this is the pot pie for you ... eat it from the sides. If you don't like a lot of crust ... take yours from the middle. YUM!

Spinach Wraps

2 pkgs cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
1 can chopped green chiles
1 can chopped olives
1 8 oz block pepper jack cheese, shredded
1 pkg frozen spinach, drained well
1 pkg spinach flavored tortillas

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth, using electric mixer. Then fold in sour cream, green chiles, olives, and pepper jack cheese. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer. Stir in spinach. Spread mixture evenly over the surface of each tortilla. Roll up tortillas tightly and cut each tortilla crosswise.

I added sliced turkey, ham, and red bell peppers to mine ... to make it a meal, instead of an appetizer. Oh, and to make it a little spicier, I added 1 TBS diced pickled jalapenos. YUM! They're great if you dip them in salsa too!

Addicting Popcorn

3 bags microwave popcorn (salty)
6 squares (1/2 pkg) Almond Bark

Pop the popcorn and place in a large bowl, removing all un-popped kernels. Melt Almond Bark in microwave at 30 second intervals until melted smooth. Drizzle Almond Bark over popcorn, stirring throughout to coat. Allow the popcorn time to 'dry' ... about 15 minutes before serving. Warning: this popcorn is SUPER addicting and oh, sooo yummy. It's my grandma's recipe ... need I say more? Oh, and it tastes like it's way harder to make!

Turkey Tacos

Not really a 'recipe' ... more just an idea of how to use ground turkey ... if you've got issues with ground beef ... like me. lol.tortillas, burrito size
1 pound ground turkey
1 TBS chili powder or taco seasoning
1 red bell pepper
1 small onion
Monterrey Jack cheese
sour cream

Brown the turkey ... add chili powder or taco seasoning once browned. Remove from pan and set aside. Saute pepper strips and onion strips in same skillet, using about 1 TBS olive oil. Fill tortillas with whatever fixings you like! Mmmm.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Corn Tortilla Lasagna

I made this the other day, and it is way delicious. I would have taken a picture of it to post along with the recipe, but we ate it too quickly. I think it would be a great meal for those who can't have gluten. It's very easy to make as well.

1-1/2 pounds ground beef
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 jar (16 ounces) picante sauce
1 Package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 large sweet red pepper, chopped
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1 tablespoon lime juice
12 corn tortillas
3/4 cup shredded Montery Jack cheese
2 cups (16 ounces) sour cream

In a large skillet, cook the beef, onion and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the picante sauce, spinach, tomatoes, red pepper, tomato sauce and lime juice.

Arrange six tortillas in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish. Top with half of the meat mixture, 1/4 cup cheese and remaining tortillas. Spread with sour cream. Top with the remaining meat mixture and cheese.

Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until heated through. Let stand for 10 minutes.

Yeild: 10-12 servings

Monday, April 7, 2008

bbq chicken pizza

This crust is SO easy to make. And so much better than anything you can buy in the store.

2 1/4 c. water
2 1/4 Tbsp. yeast
2 1/4 tsp. salt
2 1/4 tsp. sugar
2 1/4 Tbsp. oil
6 c. flour

Mix; let rise about 15 minutes. Roll into crusts of desired size. You will want to roll it pretty thin - it ends up thicker when it bakes. (Recipe makes enough for 2 large crusts or lots of smaller crusts.) Bake at 425 for 6 minutes. Remove from oven and top with toppings.

your favorite bbq sauce
grilled chicken, chopped
red onion (sliced into rings or diced - best if you sautee them)
pickled jalapeno slices (the kind for nachos)

Bake for an additional 6-8 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Rager Favorite Rolls

Traditional Roll Dough

3 1/2 to 3/4 cups Flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup shortening or butter
1 tsp salt
1 pkg (is use 1TBSP) Yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup warm milk
1 egg

Dissolve yeast in the warm water. Set aside. Mix 2 cups flour, sugar, salt. Add warm water and yeast mixture. I warm my milk and butter in the microwave together and then pour into the mixture. Beat on low speed 1 min, scraping the bowl frequently. Stir in enough flour to make dough easy to handle. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead about 5 min or until smooth and elastic. Place in greased medium bowl and turn greased side up. Cover and let rise in a sink with a little warm water in the bottom. Let rise 1hr or until double in size. Punch down dough. Divide dough into to equal parts and divide again into fourths. Then out of each four make three rolls. Place in greased pan and let rise five minutes cover. Cook at 350 for 10 min and then raise temp to 400 and cook 5 min more. Remove from oven and rub butter or margarine over the hot rolls. MMMMMMM! We also use this for cinnamon rolls, orange rolls, and ham and cheese rolls. That's why we are so rolly poly. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Alicia's Homemade BBQ Sauce

This is to die for! My sister got it from someone and now my entire family uses it and we all love it. Seriously, it is finger-licking good!

1/2 c maple syrup
1/2 c ketchup
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1 T A1 sauce
1 T mustard
1 T vinegar
1 T oil
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
dash of ground cloves

Combine all ingredients in sauce pan, whisk, boil, reduce heat and simmer until mixed and smooth. Serve with anything that needs BBQ sauce. It's particularly yummy with shredded pork/beef sandwiches.

Applebee's Oriental Chicken Salad

This was our dinner tonight. It really does taste like what you order in the restaurant. It is so good and so fast! Perfect for summer...unlike the weather we're having in Utah today.

4 breaded chicken breast fillets (I use Tyson)
1 romaine heart
1 1/2 c. coleslaw mix (or finely shredded cabbage)
1/3 c. toasted almond slivers or slices (blanched almonds)
1/2 c. chow mein noodles

1/3 c. vinegar
1/2 c. sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. horseradish
1/4 c. spanish onion, diced
1/2 c. canola oil

Cook chicken fillets as directed.

To make dressing, combine everything but the oil in a blender of food processor and process until liquified.

Continue to blend and slowly drizzle in the oil until blended.

Make coleslaw with the cabbage and the dressing first and top it with the lettuce, almonds and noodles. Then cut up the chicken and add to salads.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Dr. Pepper Pork Roast

3 or 4 pound Boston butt or boneless Beef pot roast
1/2 Two liter Dr. Pepper (not Diet)
2 to 3 T Liquid smoke
2 T minced garlice
1 large onion coarsely chopped
1 bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce


Use a large pot or dutch oven with lid. Cover the roast with the Dr. Pepper (may require more depending on the size of your pot). Add the liquid smoke, garlic and chopped onion. Cover loosely ( I use aluminum foil). Bring to a boil on the stove top and simmer until tender. 60 to 90 min. Place in shallow baking pan and brush the BBQ sauce (generously) over the meat. Bake in a pre heated 350 degree oven. 45 to 90 min. (depends on the toughness of the meat)

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Our family really likes this easy crockpot recipe. I just took it to a church potluck ... it looks nice, too.

4 frozen chicken breasts
1 onion, chopped
3 corn tortillas, cut up
1 can corn, drained
1 can garbonzo beans, optional
2 cans chicken broth
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1 cup salsa verde (green)
1 can green chilies
1 tsp oregano ... 1 tsp cumin ... salt and pepper
tortilla chips, sour cream, and cheddar cheese

Cook in crockpot for 7 hours until chicken shreds with a fork. Garnish with crumbled tortilla chips, sour cream, and cheddar cheese. I buy fresh chicken, cut it into large strips and adjust the cooking time, about 4-5 hours on high.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

crock pot chicken spaghetti

[Sorry, I forgot to take a picture. But decided to post it anyway.] The recipe, as written, is a diet recipe (6 WW pts for a 1 packed cup serving). Of course you can substitute the full fat versions of everything if you'd like. But it's good this way. Although I don't use the canned chicken (not a huge fan), I just use a couple of breasts of chopped up cooked chicken. The crockpot really just heats everything. But I know at our house sometimes those last couple of hours before dinner is a crazy time of the day, so it's nice to have it done and heating in the crockpot before I pick up from school!

16 oz. spaghetti, cooked
1 lb. Velveeta Light
12.5 oz. can chicken breast, drained & flaked
1 can FF cream of mushroom soup
1 can FF cream of chicken soup
1 can Rotel
4 oz. can mushroom stems & pieces, drained
1/2 c. water
1 small onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
salt & papper, to taste

Spray crockpot with non-stick cooking spray. Combine all ingredients and stir to mix well. Cook on LOW for 2-3 hours. Stir just before serving.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Ham & Bean Soup

Here's a recipe to help all you ladies get rid of your Easter ham, lol. And it's another one of those that tastes WAY better than it looks!1 meaty ham bone (your leftover Easter ham will do)
7 carrots, peeled and diced
3 cans Bush's Blackeye Peas with Bacon
1 small onion, diced
1 cup cream

Boil the ham bone in about 6 cups of water for 20 minutes. Remove the ham and let it rest on a cutting board. Add the carrots and onion and let them boil together. Dice up the ham into good sized chunks and return the ham (not the bone) to the pot. Add the 3 cans of beans, undrained. You will probably want to take out the single piece of bacon from each can ... it's usually pretty fatty and is a stark contrast to the rest of the ham. Allow the soup to heat throughout. Salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the cream and turn the heat off. YUM! I swear it tastes a 1000 times better than it looks! This is a very hearty soup!