Saturday, December 20, 2008

Toothpick Sandwiches

It can be hard to get kids to eat :( so we came up with this idea. On a large plate put in bite sized pieces, or cubes the following:
Raisins or other dried fruits
(and whatever else you like)
Give each child a toothpick to design their own "sandwich" or eat one thing at a time off their toothpick. If your kids like (mine don't) here is a dip that is very tasty to serve along side this, or any raw veggies.
Yogurt Dill Dip
1 cup plain yogurt
1 TB parsley
1 TB dill (opps, that sounds like a lot, and I just misplaced the recipe. I'd start off with a tsp and go from there)
1 cup mayo
1 TB dried onion (I use onion powder because of the chuncks the dried onion makes)
Mix all together and let set for 30 minutes in the fridge. You can even venture out to make your own yogurt, which I have done with some success depending on the method I use. I like what Yo-gourmet produces; it's a pouch you purchase at Whole Foods to make yogurt from.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Doctor Richard Hardy's High-Fiber Cookies

Heat together to soften fruit:
1 cup raisins or cut up prunes
1 cup water
Blend and mix with water and fruit:
1 cup oil or margarine or butter
1 cup sugar
Add to previous ingredients:
3 eggs
2 cups grated carrots or zucchini squash
1 cup All Bran cereal (any flaky cereal will work, just won't have as much fiber)
Finally add to all of the above:
2 cups whole wheat flour
2/3 tsp. baking soda
2/3 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup chopped nuts
2 cups 1 minute uncooked oatmeal cereal
Bake at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes

History of this recipe: In South America, Dr. Richard Hardy served several missions as medical advisor and attended to the needs of the missionaries. He found that they often had problems that were directly related to their diet which lacked fiber. He developed this recipe for them. They can be a breakfast cooke or a snack during the day. They are very moist. These cookies are colorful, healthy and delicious.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Grandma's Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies

These cookies truly are so delicious!

2 ½ cups flour
1 t. baking soda
1 cup butter, softened
¼ c. granulated sugar
¾ c. light brown sugar
1 pkg. (4 serving size chocolate or vanilla instant pudding mix
1 t. vanilla
2 eggs
1-12 oz. pkg. chocolate chips
1 c. Nuts, chopped (optional)

Mix flour with baking soda. Combine butter, sugars, pudding mix and vanilla in large mixing bowl. Beat in eggs. Gradually add flour mixture; then stir in nuts and chips. Drop onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.

Two Pumpkin Cookies

I love anything pumpkin this time of year! Here are two recipes I've made this fall and my whole family loves!
HINT: If you buy a big can of pumpkin, you can make a double batch of the iced cookies and a regular batch of the CC ones.

Iced Pumpkin Cookies
(courtesy of my neighbor Sandra)


2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 egg
1tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350. In a medium bowl combine four, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, netmeg, cloves and salt. In a large bow, cream together the 1/2 cup of butter and white sugar. Add pumpkin, egg and 1 tsp vanilla to butter mixture and beat until cramy. Mix in dry ingredients. Drop on cookie sheet by tablespoon. Flatten slightly and bake for 15-18 minutes. (I flatten them with a wooden spoon about half way through, it helps the glaze not run off.) Cool then drizzle glaze with a fork ( I use my little wire whisk).


2 cups confectioners' sugar
3 TBS milk
1 TBS melted butter
1 tsp vanilla

Combine all ingredients and stir with a whisk. Glaze should be runny. Drizzle onto cookies.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies with Oatmeal
(courtesy of
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup quick-cooking oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup canned or cooked pumpkin
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars. Beat in egg and vanilla. combine flour, oats, baking soda and cinnamon; stir into creamed mixture alternately with pumpkin. Fold in chocolate chips. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto greased baking sheets. (I just used my silpat.) Bake at 350 degrees F for 12-13 minutes or until lightly browned.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Ziti with Chicken and Broccoli

I found this recipe in a magazine called "Dan's Real Food." (The picture is from there too.) I made it last night for dinner and we loved it so much, I just had to share it. In the article it said, "The trick to this dish is tossing the pasta with the sauce for a minute or two in the pan so that the flavors have a chance to mix and meld."

1/4 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 pound 1 1/2-inch broccoli florets (about 3 cups)
1/2 t. salt
1/3 cup white wine (I substitued chicken broth)
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 1/2 cups diced roast cheicken (skin removed and any juices)
1 t. chopped fresh thyme (I didn't use this)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 pound ziti

Cook ziti according to instructions on box. Heat oil and garlic in a large skillet or saute pan over medium heat, stirring, until garlic starts to brown and becomes very fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add broccoli, raise heat to medium high, sprinkle with salt, and cook, stirring often, until broccoli turns dark green and starts to brown, about 2 minutes. Add white wine (chicken broth) and cook, stirring, until it almost completely reduces, about 2 minutes. Add broth, chicken and thyme, bring to a boil, cover, and cook until broccoli is crisp-tender and mixture is hot, about 3 minutes. Sir in half of the cheese and a generous sprinkling of black pepper. Remove from heat.

Drain pasta and return to pot. Add chicken and broccoli, and cook over medium heat, stirring, for 2-3 minutes to allow flavors to meld. Season to taste with salt and pepper, sprinkle with remaining cheese, and serve.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Cake Cookies

So everyone probably already knows this recipe, but just in case there is anyone else out there who was in the dark like me, I will go ahead and share it.

These are the easiest cookies I have ever made and they were very tasty!!

One package white cake mix (you can actually use any flavor)
1/3 cup oil
2 eggs
Blend together (it will be pretty thick)

*If you want to you can add sprinkles or any kind of fun decorating sugars. Also you can use funfetti cake mix, it makes fun colorful cookies.

Roll into balls and place on a greased cookie sheet (I refrigerate the dough for about 20 minutes just so they are easier to handle but it isn't necessary.)

Bake at 375 degrees for 6-8 minutes.

I know the picture is not the best. :( The cookies didn't last long enough on a plate to get a good picture. YUMMY!!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Toffee Blondies

1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup flour
1 cup toffee candy bits (I only used 3/4 cup and it turned out good, one cup looked like so many)
Preheat oven to 350. Either spray or foil line an 8 inch baking pan.
Mix butter and brown sugar until well combined. Add eggs, vanilla and salt. On low add flour and mix just until combined. Fold in toffee bits by hand. Spread into pan and cook until golden brown and toothpick comes out clean, 30-35 minutes (mine cooked for 37 minutes). Let cool completely before cutting into 16 squares. Stores up to three days in air tight container at room temp.
This is an "everyday food" recipe, I mean, from a compilation of dessert recipes put out by everyday foods. I'm going to try butterscotch chips instead next time.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Creme Brulee

Linens n' Things was going out of business and when I saw ramekins and a torch for super cheap, I was all over it. I love creme brulee. I went to and found the following recipe and incorporated the suggested omission. This was so much easier than I thought it would be and every bit as yummy as I hoped for!

6 egg yolks (tip: leave eggs at room temp before beating)

6 TBLS white sugar, divided

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups heavy cream

2 TBL brown sugar

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees

2. Beat egg yolks, 4 TBL white sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl until thick and creamy.

3. Pour cream into a saucepan and stir over low heat until it almost comes to a boil. Remove the cream from heat immediately. Stir cream into the egg yolk mixture, beat until combined.

4. Pour mixture into ramekins (other dishes may be substituted, infact, this made enough I used small, glass bowls, but kept the amount shallow to cook evenly with the ramekins).

5. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool to room temp; refrigerate 1 hour or overnight (I prefer overnight).

6. Preheat oven to broil (if you do not have a torch)

7. In a small bowl, combine remaining white sugar and brown sugar, sift over custard. Use torch to carmelize the top, careful not to scorch the sugar. If you don't have a torch, place dish under broiler until sugar melts, about 2 minutes; watch carefully.

8. Allow to cool

9. Enjoy!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Spaghetti primavera

(I actually meant to post this in the summer, happy late summer!)
1 cup sliced zucchini
2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped (or a can of diced tomatoes, which is what I actually do)
3 T. olive oil, divided
3 cloves garlic, mashed, divided
Salt and pepper to taste
10 fresh mushrooms, sliced
8 T. butter, divided
1 1/2 cups brocolli pieces, blanched
1 1 /2 cups snow peas, blanched
6 asparagus stalks, blanched and sliced
1 lb. spaghetti, uncooked
1 cup heavy cream, warmed
Basil, chopped (to taste)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
chopped parsley
Sauteed whole cherry tomatoes
Put zucchini in colander and sprinkle with salt. Set aside 20 minutes. Rinse with cold running water and drain. Pat dry with paper towels. Saute chopped tomatoes in 1 T. oil with 1 mashed garlic clove, salt and pepper, until tomatoes render their juice. In another pan, lightly saute mushrooms with remaining garlic in 2 T. butter and remaining oil. Add zucchini, broccoli, snow peas and asparagus; cook only until heated through. Cook spaghetti al dente and drain. Melt remaining butter. Toss spaghetti with butter and warm cream. Add basil, salt and pepper to taste. Toss with cheese and vegetables. Sprinkle with parsley. Garnish with cherry tomatoes. (You will feel like you are eating in a fancy italian restuarant. Don't cut down on the cream and butter though, I have tried and it doesn't taste so good!)

Golden Squash Soup

Celebrate fall!!
1 large onion, chopped
4 medium carrots, chopped
5 Tbl. butter
3 lbs butternut squash, peeled and cubed
6 cups chicken broth
3 medium zucchini, peeled and sliced
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. white pepper
1 cup half and half cream
1/2 c. milk
grated parmesan cheese, optional

In a dutch oven or soup kettle over medium heat, saute onion and carrots in butter for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add squash, broth, zucchini, salt, thyme and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. Cool until lukewarm. In a blender or food processor, puree soup in small batches until smooth; return to kettle. Add cream and milk; mix well and heat through (do not boil). Garnish with parmesan cheese, if desired. 12-14 servings.

(I have omited the cream in this, and it turned out great--with less calories).

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Prosciutto Pasta Toss

1 pkg (16 oz) linguine
1/2 cup peas (didn't seem like enough, so I used 1 cup)
2 TB minced garlic (I didn't measure, just used a few cloves)
1 TB Italian seasoning
1 tsp pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 lb. prosciutto cut thin and into pieces, or use ham
1/4 cup shredded parmesan
Cook linguine according to package, during last 3 minutes of cooking add peas.
Meanwhile cook the garlic for a few minutes until golden in the olive oil, add seasoning, pepper and prosciutto, stir and cook a bit longer to heat meat. Toss into pasta and sprinkle with cheese and toss again.

This is a new recipe I tried out on Kim for lunch today. Thanks for being my guest and letting me try something new. By the way, we both thought it was a great recipe, that's why I'm sharing it. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Tomato-Basil Shrimp Skewers

1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup tomato sauce
2 TB minced fresh basil
2 TB red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 lb. uncooked jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
In a large zip lock combine first six ingredients and mush together, add shrimp. Marinate in the fridge for up to 30 minutes. Thread onto skewers and grill over medium heat for 3-5 minutes on each side, until shrimp turns pink. Serves 6-8.
Serve with:
Orzo with Parmesan & Basil
1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
2 TB butter
1 can (14 oz) chicken broth (or just water with bouillon cubes)
1/4 - 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp dried basil
1/8 tsp pepper
In a skillet saute orzo in butter for 3-5 minutes until lightly browned. Stir in broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes until liquid is absorbed. Stir in basil, cheese and pepper. 4-6 servings

This was a very successful meal that actually was eaten and enjoyed by everyone! I had my parents over for dinner and it was such a great meal for guests. We also ate french/baggett bread, grilled zucchini and watermelon. What a delight this meal was! You must try it.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Easy Bake Cheddar Biscuits

This comes from the Kraft magazine.
1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
6 TB cold butter, cubed
1 cup shredded cheese
1/3 cup milk
Preheat oven to 450. Mix flour, baking powder, cream of tartar, sugar and salt in medium bowl. Cut in butter with pastry blender until crumbly. Stir in cheese and milk and mix until forms soft dough.
Place on lightly floured surface; knead 8-10 times or until smooth. Pat out into a square and cut into 9 squares. Place on greased baking sheet.
Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Serving suggestion: Chive & Onion cream cheese spread.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Rice Mix

Reading that last post reminded me of a mix that I made up earlier this year, after looking into a few different herb options this is what I liked. I'll even tell you a great gift idea that I did. It was a New's Year party and I filled this mix into a chineses take out box and then I tied a note that said, "Have a RICE New Year" and since it was for a group of close friends of ours, I actually said, "Have a RICE New Rear" I thought it was funny..This idea came from a darling book of my mother in laws, I think it's the Gooseberry something or other, which crafters out there will be familiar with (though they didn't suggest the "rear" word on the tag). This is a great gift all year long too!

Rice Mix:
2 cups rice
4 chicken bouillon cubes
1 TB parsley
1/2 TB basil
1/2 tsp garlic
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp salt
ground pepper
Mix together and store in container with lid.
To use: Boil 4 1/2 cups water. Add 4 TB butter, stir in rice and when it boils turn to low and cover for 25 minutes.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Honey-Baked Chicken & Linda's Rice Mix

This is so easy - I love it!

Honey-Baked Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/3 c. margarine, melted
1/3 c. honey
2 T. mustard
1/4 t. salt

Preheat oven to 350. Mix margarine, honey, mustard, and salt. Pour over chicken in shallow dish. Bake 1 hour.

*This made so much sauce this time. I think next time I will half the sauce recipe.

Linda's Rice Mix

3 c. uncooked rice (2 rice, 1 noodle may be used)
1/4 c. dried parsley
6 T. chicken or beef boullion
2 t. onion powder
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. dried thyme

Mix and store.

To cook, use:

1 c. mix
2 c. water
2 T. margarine

*I used Jasmine rice, which makes it extra tasty.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Dona's Ribs

This recipe, from my friend Dona, is so easy and great for company. Brooklyn was loving the leftovers today for lunch.

4 lbs. country style boneless ribs - seared in a frying pan with olive oil on all four sides
1 cup chopped onion
2- 8 oz. cans tomato sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 T. worcestershire sauce
1 T. dry mustard
1 T. French's mustard
1/4 t. pepper

Place seared ribs in crock pot with all ingredients. Cook on Low all day. The pork will be really tender and easy to shred. Great served with rice or mashed potatoes.

Crunchy Chicken Parmesan Chicken Tenders

This one is by Giada De Laurentiis
This was very quick and very easy with very little mess. My family loved the flavor and my kids loved that the sauce was on the side.

4 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup buttermilk 1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders (about 18)
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4 cups freshly grated Parmesan
3/4 cup Italian-style seasoned bread crumbs

~Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. *
~Brush 1 tablespoon of oil over each of 2 heavy large lined baking sheets. *
~Place the buttermilk in a large bowl. Add the chicken tenders and stir to coat. Let stand at least 15 minutes and up to 30 minutes.
~Meanwhile, mash the garlic with the salt in a medium bowl. Whisk in the vinegar and then the remaining 1/2 cup of oil. Season the vinaigrette, to taste, with pepper. Transfer the vinaigrette to a small serving bowl.
~Stir the Parmesan and bread crumbs in a pie dish. *Remove the chicken tenders from the buttermilk and dredge them in the bread crumb mixture to coat completely, pressing to adhere. ~Arrange the coated chicken tenders on the prepared baking sheets, spacing evenly. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over the chicken tenders and bake until they are cooked through and golden brown, about 12 minutes.
~Transfer the chicken tenders to a platter and serve the vinaigrette alongside for dipping.

*A few things I did differently-- I used boneless skinless chicken breasts and just sliced them into two halves lengthwise. Because they were a little thicker than tenders, I soaked them for the full 30 minutes in the buttermilk.
*I put the Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs in a gallon size zip lock and shook the chicken in the bag in stead of using a dish.
*I was able to put all the tenders on one cookie sheet.
* I cooked the chicken at 425 degrees for 18 minutes. The chicken breasts were a little thicker than tenders so I wanted to let it cook for longer at a lower temp.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Pasta Salad

(All is eyeballed, I just made this up, but it's good every single time)
Cook a few cups of your favorite pasta (I like Garden Rotini and Radiator)
and rinse with cold water.
While pasta is cooking prepare following ingredients:
About 1 cup cubed Monterey Jack cheese
1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes
1 can medium olives
Then you can also add:
green/red/yellow peppers
Pepperoni slices

I like to chop some basil and parsley from the garden

Then dress with Kraft Sun Dried Tomato Vinaigrette


Friday, August 1, 2008

Curry Chicken Salad

Someone brought this to a Relief Society Activity- and it reminds me of the one they serve at the BYU MOA Cafe so I have to share it!

1 1/2 c. chopped chicken
1/2 c. chopped celery (1 rib)
1/2 c. chopped cucumber
1/4 c. sliced green onions (2)
3/4 c halved seedless red grapes
2 T. slivered or sliced almonds
1/3 c. light mayonnaise
1 tsp. curry powder
1 T. lemon juice
1 tsp. snipped fresh basil or 1/4 tsp. dried

Combine chicken, veggies, grapes.

In separate bowl, mix mayo, lemon juice and spices.
Add to chicken mixture and combine well.  Chill 1-4 hours, just before serving, add almonds.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tex-Mex Chicken

2 chicken breasts, or 4-5 tenders
1 can diced tomatoes w/ jalapenos, drained
1 cup salsa
1 TB ground cumin
3 cloves garlic, minced, or 1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1 red and yellow pepper, sliced or bite sizes
1 med onion, sliced thinly

1 can black beans, drained, and coursely mashed
1 can corn, drained

Hard taco shells or tortillas
Shredded Monterey jack cheese
1 avocado
Sour cream
Lime Wedges

Place chicken in a 5 QT crock pot. Stir remaining ingredients (MINUS the beans and corn) and pour over chicken. Cook on low 4 1/2 hours and high 3 1/2 hours. Drain off liquids. Add beans and corn and cook on high until heated through. Makes about 7 cups filling.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Lemon Limonade

1/2 cup cold water
about 3 tsp. lime juice
about 3 tsp. lemon juice
about 4 tsp. sugar
Mix together. Serves 1.

This was made up by my son, Dallin. He's 7 1/2.
This really is good. I drank my whole glass.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Super Simple Summer Slushies

I know this is so easy, but I've made some bad batches of homemade slurpees over the years. Who was the master back in the Allred days? Kim Edwards? I can't remember, but I always have trouble with the proportions. We made these with orange koolaid for FHE and they were GREAT!

2 cups ice water
1 packet fruit-flavored drink mix (like kool-aid)
2/3 cup sugar
4 cups of ice

Put all of the ingredients into your blender. Put the lid on and process on high for a full minute. Stop and check for ice chunks, scoop any big ones out, stir if needed. Blend again if needed. Serve. Drink slowly to avoid brain freeze.

Makes 4 8oz servings.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Berry Crisp

1 1/2 cups blackberries
1 1/2 cups raspberries
1 1/2 cups blueberries
(frozen blend from coscto works well)
4 TB sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 cups butter
Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, gently toss (thawed or at least slightly thawed) fruit with the sugar; set aside. In a separate bowl combine flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Cut in butter until crumbly. Press half the mixture in the bottom of a 9X13 pan. Cover with the berries. Sprinkle remaining crumble mixture on top. Bake for 30-40 minutes until fruit bubbles and top is golden.

Now I have ton confess that I haven't actually made or eaten this. But my friend just emailed it to me today, and I thought this would be a perfect 4th of July dessert. When I think of these ingredients together, I know it would taste so wonderful-can't you nearly taste it already?
It's very close to my apple crisp, so I know these ingredients have to be winners together.
Happy 4th!

Monday, June 30, 2008

The Best BBQ Meal Ever!

Roasted Garlic Potatoes

3 lbs red potatoes, half peeled (peel some strips off and leave some strips on)

1 head of roasted garlic, squeezed out of the husks and crushed with a fork*

*cut the top off a head of garlic, drizzle with olive oil, and bake in a pan for 30 mins at 350 degrees

One 3 oz package cream cheese (I use 4 oz--everything is better with cream cheese, right?!)

1 c sour cream

1/2 c milk

4 TBL butter, cut in pieces

1 TBL freshly ground black pepper

1 TBL salt

Yield: 6-8 servings

In a large pot, boil the potatoes in salted water until soft. Drain and put in a big bowl. Mash the potatoes (do not use a hand mixer!). Add the other ingredients one at a time, mashing and mixing constantly. The potatoes should still be a little chunky when finished.

Big-Time Barbecue Sauce
--This is a very good all-purpose barbecue sauce that can be used for basting, glazing, and dipping.
1 1/4 c commercial chili sauce
3 c ketchup
1 c prepared yellow mustard
1/4 c Worcestershire sauce
1/4 c cider vinegar
1 TBL garlic powder
1 TBL onion powder
1 TBL freshly ground pepper
1 TBL salt
1/2 TBL dried thyme
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp Liquid Smoke
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 c honey
1 c brown sugar
Yield: about 2 quarts
Combine all the ingredients except the honey and brown sugar in a saucepan and very slowly bring the mixture to a simmer. Remove from the heat and add in the last 2 ingredients. Mix well and mix again occasionally as it cools. Store in a covered glass or plastic container in the regrigerator for up to one month.

"Meat Loaf for Lisa Marie"
3 lbs ground chuck
3/4 c beef consomme (canned is fine)
1/4 c Worcestershire sauce
1 small onion, chopped fine
1 small bell pepper, seeds and stem removed, chopped fine
1 jalapeno chile, seeds and stem removed, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 c seasoned breadcrumbs
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp salt
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp chili powder
recipe calls for 2 medium aluminum foil loaf pans--I use the three pack of foil pans purchased
from WalMart.
In a big bowl, mix all the ingredients well. Punch a few holes in the aluminim foil pans. Split mixture between the pans, packing it tightly in the corners.
Prepare BBQ for indirect cooking at 275 degrees, using cherry and hickory wood for flavor (I often can only find hickory--follow directions on woodchip package). Put the loaves on the grill for one hour. At that time check for firmness. They should be ready to be turned out of the loaf pans, and put directly onto the grate. Cook for another hour and begin checking the internal temperature. When it reaches 155 degrees F, they are done. Remove to a plate and glaze with BBQ sauce, if desired. Tent with foil and let rest for 10 minutes. Slice and serve.
Because I divide the mixture between three pans, it takes a bit less cook time.
Both the sauce and the meatloaf have a bit of a "kick" to the them. Enjoy!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Round Cake

Kim asked how I made this cake, um, this Pokemon Ball. I borrowed this cake pan from a friend--it cooks the ball in two halves. You level the halves with a knife and then stick the two halves together with frosting. It works great!! The halves stick together without cracking or breaking. It's easy and fun. My friend has used this pan for a disco party for her daughter (white frosting with shiny sprinkles) and a death star for her son (great star wars party!). I think I'll eventually make some kind of sports ball, too.

The only hint I have is to use a stiffer cake batter. I used a white cake mix where you just use egg whites--very stiff. However, anything will work. You just have to be more careful.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Chicken Caesar Salad

This is just a super fast, delicious summer dinner to put together. I love it with a loaf of French Bread (Cynthia's recipe) and cold grape juice. Yum!!!!! This is so simple - I guess the secret to it is the dressing. Litehouse makes the best Caesar dressing.

1 head romaine lettuce, torn
2 big spoonfuls of Litehouse Caesar Dressing
1 handful croutons
freshly grated parmesan cheese
2-3 breasts chicken, cooked and sliced

Mix all ingredients and Voila!

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Any tips on cooking bacon? I cooked bacon twice this weekend. Once for baked beans for a baseball potluck, and once for a Father's day salad. I'm just not very good at it and I'm wondering if you cooking experts have any suggestions.
(Bacon pictured was not cooked by me)

My main complaints are:

1) How do you get the strip to cook evenly and not curl up?

2) How do you empty the grease when you need to do more than one batch? (mine seem to get black on them from previous batches)

3) How do you avoid getting grease burns from the popping bacon?

4) How do you get crisp bacon that isn't burned?

I think one of my problems is trying to do too many things while my bacon is cooking .(I burned a few strips this morning.) But I just don't think it should be so hard to cook bacon!!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Melt in Your Mouth Muffins

This is a recipe from a friend of mine (Karalyn Barton) who is so good at making very, very yummy things out of wheat. It's a mix you can keep and use whenever you feel like having yummy muffins. Having a ready-mix = less stress/less time. We usually make these for breakfast and then I pop a few in lunches. We like the plain muffins, but the variations are delicious, too.

Muffin Mix:

8 C. flour (4 cups white flour and 4 cups wheat flour)
2 tsp. salt
3 cups sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp ground nutmeg

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix well. Put in a large airtight container. Label with date and contents. Store in a cool, dry place. Use within 6-8 months. Makes about 11 cups of muffin mix.


2 3/4 cups muffin mix
1 beaten egg
1 cup milk
1/2 cups butter or margarine, melted OR
1/2 vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 400. Grease muffin tins or use liners. Put muffin mix in medium bowl and mix egg, milk, and butter in small bowl. Fold in wet ingredients. Batter should be lumpy. Fill muffin tins 3/4 full. Bake 18-20 minutes until golden brown.

Banana Muffins: Mash 1 banana (1/2 cup) and add to liquid ingredients before adding to muffin mix
Blueberry Muffins: Add 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries to batter just before filling tins. Then, sprinkle some cinnamon and sugar on top before baking.
Butterscotch-Pecan Muffins: Melt 6 T. of butter in saucepan. Stir in 6 T. of brown sugar. Place 1 T. of sugar mixture in each muffin and 2-3 pecans in each muffin tin. Fill 3/4 full.
Chocolate Chip Muffins: Gently fold in 1/2 - 1 cup chocolate chips in batter just before filling tins.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Chicken Tater Bake

1 can cream of chicken soup
1/4 cup milk
2 TB butter, melted
1 1/2 cup cubed cooked chicken (I like to boil with salt, pepper and celery seed in the water)
8 oz frozen peas and carrots
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
16 oz frozen Tater Tots
Combine all ingredients except some of the cheese and tater tots. Spread into greased 8X8 baking dish. Top with tater tots and remaining cheese. Bake covered at 350 for 35 minutes, and 5-10 minutes uncovered.
*This was a hit for my whole family and that says a lot right now! I was so impressed my 2 1/2 year old milk addict would actually eat two servings-she doesn't eat hardly anything! This size actually has just enough for a small serving of seconds for the second night, so relieving! This came from my Simple and delicious magazine.

Sunday, June 1, 2008


I made up this recipe when I was about six, but it is still a really refreshing summer drink.

You will need:

A blender
A measuring cup


6 oz. orange concentrate
1 cup canned peaches
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup of water
1 cup of milk
1/4 cup of sugar
1 1/2 trays of ice


Mix ingredients in blender till smooth. After pouring your PeachJulius into glasses or cups, you can enjoy your yummy drink with scrambled eggs and toast!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Lemon Meringue Dessert

This is a combination of recipes from the Ivory Favorites Cookbook and the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book. It is not really a quick one to put together, but the results are so worth it! My husband Brett said this is the most refreshing dessert he has ever had.

4 egg whites, room temperature
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/8 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar

Beat egg whites until frothy. Add cream of tartar and salt. Continue beating, adding sugar slowly. Beat until peaks form. Spread evenly in buttered 8" x 8" glass dish or pie dish. Bake for 1 hour at 275 degrees. Open oven door and let cool.

1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 egg yolks
1 1/2 Tbsp. margarine or butter
1 tsp. finely shredded lemon peel
the juice of one lemon

In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, flour, cornstarch, and dash salt. Gradually stir in 1 cup water. Cook and stir over medium-high heat till thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat; cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Remove from heat. Beat egg yolks slightly. Gradually stir 1 cup of the hot filling into yolks; return all to saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil. Cook and stir 2 minutes more. Remove from heat. Stir in margarine and lemon peel. Gradually stir in lemon juice, gently mixing well. Let lemon filling cool. Spread on top of cooled meringue. Refrigerate for 24 hours. Serve with whipped cream on top. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Oriental Chicken Salad

We enjoy this salad often. I think I could eat the whole bowl myself. This is a handy salad to fix ahead of time, even the night before. Layer ingredients in bowl, cover and refrigerate. Add dressing when ready to serve. Sorry I can't send the recipe for the delicious Filipino mango peeking at the edge of the picture.

Oriental Chicken Salad

2 cups diced chicken
4 cups thinly sliced Chinese cabbage (I try to get the ones with darker
green leaves. Regular cabbage can be used)
1 package chicken-flavored ramen noodles, broken up
2 T. sesame seeds, toasted
1/4 cup slivered almond, toasted
Optional–chopped broccoli, sliced celery, sliced green onions, chopped cauliflower, frozen peas

1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 ½ T. sugar
1 flavoring packet from ramen noodles

Prepare salad dressing by combining vinegar, oil, sugar and 1 flavoring packet from ramen noodles. Toast sesame seeds and almonds in 350 degree F. oven for 3-5 minutes. Place chicken, cabbage, and desired vegetables in mixing bowl. Add sesame seeds, almonds and broken noodles. Pour dressing over salad. Mix well.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Chicken Noodle Soup

Since we have soup weather again, I decided to post one of our favorites... and while I love to cook, I'm not really a recipe follower (or writer), but this is one thing I make that generally turns out the same.

Start out with a chopped onion, sliced carrots, sliced celery, minced garlic and two or three bay leaves in the bottom of a soup pot cooking down in some butter or oil until they get soft ( I do this slowly- with the heat on or around 4)  I pour in a little stock to de-glaze the bottom from time to time- then I either throw some chicken breast tenders in and poach them, or we also like to throw the chicken on the grill(we like to season it with "Montreal Chicken seasoning") and then slice it.  Then add more chicken stock to the pot and add noodles (they have some at Costco that are almost like home- made, or you can make some)  I like to cook the noodles right in the soup, then once they are done,  this is the secret:  Make a light roux  (I am sorry I do not measure- but I put in a whole stick of butter if it is a huge pot, and less if it is smaller, and I dump a couple of cups of flour in- cook it or low and stir a lot)  in a separate pan and then whisk it into the soup and bring it back to a slow boil (it makes it creamy and delicious like the chicken noodle at The Brick Oven) finally,  add frozen peas and fresh chopped parsley, salt and pepper. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Pork Tenderloin with Honey Mustard Sauce

From Reynolds oven bag recipes--I have made this without the oven bag, just in a skillet, browning a bit first, adding rest of ingredients, covering and simmer until meat thermometer reads 160 degrees F.

1 Reynolds oven bag
2 T. flour
1/3 cup orange juice
2 T. honey
2 T. Dijon mustard
2 pork tenderloins (3/4 pound each)
Dried basil
2-4 medium carrots, sliced
2 medium apples, cored, cut in eighths

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Shake flour in oven bag. Place bag in 13x9x2 inch baking pan. Add orange juice, honey and mustard to oven bag. Squeeze bag to blend to blend in flour. Sprinkle tenerloins with basil and salt to taste. Place in bag, tucking the narrow end of each tenderloin under for even cooking. Place carrot and apple slices in bag around the tenderloins. Close oven bag with nylon tie. Cut six 1/2 inch slits in top of bag; tuck ends of bag into pan. Bake 40 to 45 minutes until meat thermometer reads 160 degrees F. Makes 5 to 6 servings.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Cashew Chicken

This picture and recipe are directly from Martha I haven't done anything to it to make it my own, but I love it so much that I want to share the recipe.

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, such as safflower
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 scallions, white and green parts separated, each cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 3/4 cup raw cashews (4 ounces), toasted
  • White rice, for serving (optional)


  1. In a medium bowl, toss chicken with cornstarch until chicken is coated; season with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Cook half the chicken, tossing often, until browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  3. Add remaining oil and chicken to skillet along with the garlic and white parts of scallions. Cook, tossing often, until chicken is browned, about 3 minutes. Return first batch of chicken to pan. Add vinegar; cook until evaporated, about 30 seconds.
  4. Add hoisin sauce and 1/4 cup water; cook, tossing, until chicken is cooked through, about 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in scallion greens and cashews. Serve immediately over white rice, if desired.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Tuna Crescent Ring

(From 'taste of home, simple & delicious' magazine)
1 tube (8 0z) refrigerated crescent rolls
1 can (12 0z) tuna, drained
1 cup frozen peas and carrots
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup mayo
1 TB Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tsp dried minced onion
1 tsp Italian seasoning
Unroll crescent dough and seperate into trinagles. Place on a foil lined cookie sheet, forming a ring with pointed ends facing outer edge of pan and wide ends slightly overlapping. Lightly press wide ends together. Combine remaining ingredients and spoon over wide ends of ring. Fold points over filling and tuck under wide end (filling will be visible). Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes until golden. Serves 4
The following changes I made: I only used6 oz. of tuna, peas only because I didn't have carrots, and 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning. The 6 oz can of tuna filled up the crescents nicely and more tuna would have been way too much.
All three of my kids liked it! Yeah. I served with steamed broccoli and canned peaches. Was a nice quick meal.

Pulled Pork Tacos

Cinco de Mayo brought out the pulled pork taco recipe. This is so easy and so yummy!

2 - 2/1 lbs boneless pork shoulder or pork chops (I prefer pork shoulder)

2 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

2 tsp cumin

1/2 c apricot preserves

2 jalapenos, seeded, sliced into rings

1 red onion, rough chopped (or yellow)



Season pork on all sides with salt, pepper, and cumin. Place in crock pot. Spoon preserves over pork, turning to coat. Scatter jalapenos and onion over top. Cook on low heat for about 6 hours or until fork tender. Shred then serve with your choice of tortillas top with cilantro. Really, you could garnish as desire. We like to add cheese and sour cream sometimes.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Lime Mango Sorbet

I found this recipe last summer on the internet, after someone had given us a big bag full of mangoes. I love the flavor of mangoes and the lime adds such a nice twist. A perfect summer treat!1 cup sugar
1 cup water
zest from one lime
3 ripe mangoes (about 2 1/2 pounds)
1/2 cup lime juice
pinch salt

1. Heat the sugar, water, and lime zest in a medium saucepan until the sugar has completely dissolved. Set aside to cool.
2. Cut the flesh from the mangoes
3. Put the mango pieces, sugar water, lime juice, and salt into a blender. Blend until completely smooth. Pour into a medium bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until completely chilled.
4. Process the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the ice cream maker directions. Transfer mixture to a plastic storage container and freeze in your freezer until firm, at least 6 hours.

Makes almost 1 quart.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Grilled Salmon on a Cedar Plank

We have come to love Salmon at our house. We cook it on a cedar plank on the BBQ. I almost feel silly posting this because it isn't much of a recipe per se....but it is a great way to enjoy salmon. Hopefully it will plant an idea for you.

I buy cedar planks in bulk at Costco. If you're like us and you grill year round, stock up! They are seasonal! Directions to soak the plank are on the packaging. Once the plank is ready, place fillets of salmon on it. Here's what I do for seasoning, (but really, you could play with spices all you want). We like: Season All, salt, pepper, garlic salt, and a bit of basil, small pad of butter, and a slice of lemon. I am most generous with the Season All.

When the juices turn white and you can flake the salmon with a fork, it is ready. If desired, squeeze fresh lemon over salmon. I have timed mine to be right about 15 minutes. I'm sure grills and temps vary, as well as the size and thickness of your salmon. I cook on low or the wood burns excessively despite the soak in water.

This goes wonderfully with the previously posted roasted asparagus along with steamed rice.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Strawberry Spinach Salad

One of many yummy variations....

Blend the following in a blender until sugar is dissolved:

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 TBS + 2 tsp cider vinegar
2 TBS + 2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground mustard
1/2 tsp salt

Add 1 1/2 tsp poppy seeds

In a large salad bowl combine:

8 cups fresh spinach (I used most of a 1lb tub of baby spinach from Costco, I didn't measure out the cups)
3 green onions sliced
2 pints strawberries sliced
slivered almonds toasted

Drizzle with dressing and toss!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Fruit Pizza

This is one of our families favorites. It takes about an hour for the whole process, but very worth it. This recipe makes 2 fruit pizzas.

2 cup flour
1 cup butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Take the crust mixture and press it onto a pizza pan (remember there's enough for 2 pizza's). Then bake. Let it cool before you put the spread on (we typically put it in the fridge until it's cool to the touch).

Bake at 325 for 10-15mins (until it doesn't stick when you touch it)

8oz cream cheese
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla

This acts as the "pizza sauce", spread it on as thick as you like ( I do a thin layer and then if there's extra use it for a fruit dip later).
As for the fruit you can use anything you would like. Some of our favorites are strawberries, kiwi, blueberries, raspberries, bananas (put them on right before you serve so they don't brown), peaches, pineapple, and grapes (I cut them in half just so they don't roll all over). After you have cut the fruit then make a beautiful pizza. Enjoy!!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Carrot Cake

This is the best carrot cake I have ever tasted. I got it from my sister-in -law who has always raved about it. When I make it for a crowd, everyone ooos and ahhhs over it. I omit the walnuts.

1 cup oil
3 eggs
2 ¼ cups sugar
2 cups grated carrots
1 20 ounce can crushed pineapple (with juice)


2 ½ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Sift and fold into wet ingredients. Stir in 1 cup chopped walnuts and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Pour into buttered 9x13 pan and bake for 1 hour at 350*. Let cool and spread with Cream Cheese Frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
½ cup butter
1 8 ounce package cream cheese
1 pound powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Friday, April 4, 2008

Parmesan Roasted Asparagus

I got this recipe from Barefoot Contessa. It is my favorite way to serve Asparagus, my kids will even eat it!! The first time I made them, I found Tyler devouring about 4 asparagus at the counter before I had served dinner. My first instinct was to stop him because we hadn't sat down for dinner yet, but then I stopped myself because my child was eating vegetables! I let him eat as many as he wanted, and we divided up the rest at dinner time.

2 1/2 pounds fresh asparagus (about 30 large)

2 T olive oil

1/2 t. kosher salt

1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper

1/2 c. freshly grated parmesan cheese

2 lemons cut in wedges, for serving

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

If the stalks of the asparagus are thick, peel the bottom half of each. Lay them in a single layer on a sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until tender. Sprinkle with the parmesan and return to the oven for another minute. Serve with lemon wedges. (Barefoot Contessa says she prefers thick asparagus to thin, they have more flavor.) Enjoy!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Buttermilk Pancakes

My mother-in-law learned this recipe in her home economics class when she was growing up. It is so simple and so good it has become an Ellis family classic.

2 cups buttermilk

2 eggs

1 cup flour

1/4 t. baking soda

1 T. sugar

1/2 t salt

Mix the wet ingredients together and set aside. Mix the dry ingredients together, and whisk in the wet. Mix until smooth with small lumps. Makes 12 pancakes (we double this recipe for our family of 5).

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Cheese Tortellini Soup

4 slices of bacon, chopped

1/2 onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 48oz can of chicken broth

1 16 oz bag of cheese tortellini

1 10oz package of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained

In a large pot, cook bacon about 4 minutes on high heat. Add chopped onion and cook until soft, about 4 more minutes. Stir in garlic. Next add broth and bring soup to a boil. Stir in frozen tortellini and cook for 10 minutes. Stir in spinach and cook 3 minutes more. Serves 6.

That's it! Fast and yummy. Serve with warm rolls.

I sometimes scoop out a few tortellini and a little spinach and mix it with canned spaghetti sauce for my picky eaters.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Spanish Rice

Heat 1/2 TBL oil in frying pan (I used a large, heavy cast iron pan)

1/4 cup chopped onion, saute

2 cups rice to frying pan and brown lightly.

1/2 TBL chili powder
2 tsp garlic salt
1 can tomato sauce

3 cups water, turn heat down, simmer until rice is done

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Since we seem to be on a roll with Chicken Tortilla Soup recipes, I thought I would contribute mine as well! (and I apple bowls are horribly outdated--they are going in Saturday's yard sale!)

2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1/2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 (14.5 oz) cans chicken broth
1 c frozen corn kernels
3/4 c - 1 c chopped onion
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tbl lemon juice
1 c chunky salsa (I use Pace, chunky, mild)
Suggested toppings:
tortilla chips (as desired; crunched as topping)
cheese (we like a Jack n' Cheddar blend)
sour cream

In a large pot, over medium heat, saute chicken in oil for about 5 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, mix well. Add broth, corn, onion, chili powder, lemon juice and salsa. Reduce heat to low and simmer about 20 - 30 minutes.

Top as desired in individual bowls.

Just a few sidenotes:

O.k., I am all about quick and easy at my house so to make this recipe even easier, I often buy the already cooked, ready to eath Tyson Chicken that comes in I believe 6 oz. packages. I chop it up and give it a quick saute. There are a few different flavors; I buy the grilled. I cook a lot using garlic so I always have a jar of minced garlic in the frig, too.

I am fairly sensitive to the taste of sodium so I use can low sodium broth and my salt addicted husband doesn't even notice.

Also, we're big eaters and this recipe tends to be doubled at our house.

Monday, March 24, 2008

1 Hour Dinner Rolls

3 1/2 cups of hot water (but not boiling)

6 TBL active dry yeast

2/3 cup vegetable oil

3/4 cup sugar

1 cup flour

Mix these ingredients together in the mixer (at least 5 quart size); let sit about 15 minutes, letting the yeast proof.

Put 3 eggs in bowl and scramble

Add to the mixing bowl, slowly, while stirring with the paddle attachment on your mixer.

Add 1 to 1 1/2 TBL salt (I use 1 TBL).

Add 7 1/2 cups of all purpose flour slowly, mixing well between additions. After about 3 cups, change paddle attachment to dough hook. Let dough pull away from sides with each addition. (When I made these yesterday, I actually needed to use about another 1 1/2 cups more flour than recipe calls for.)

The dough should form a ball around the bread hook. Once it does, let the mixer work the dough for about 5 minutes on setting 1 or 2.

Lightly flour the countertop and place the dough on the flour. Work the dough a couple of times. The texture should be like satin.

Pinch off pieces and roll into balls (use 1 oz for dinner roll size; 2 oz for hamburger bun sized rolls). Place on greased pan; let rise for about 10 minutes, until double in size size before to go into the oven.
(My dad taught me a trick he learned in the Army--pinch of desired size of dough, toss it onto the floured surface a couple of times, then work the dough in circles with just the palm of your hand, until it raises up into your palm. Don't over flour your surface. It really works!)

Bake at 375 degrees for 10 - 12 minutes until golden brown.

After baking, brush tops with butter of spray lightly with PAM.

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Best Apple Pie ever

This is an amazing recipie for apple pie. The crust makes enough for the top and the bottom. I hope you enjoy

Double-Crust Pie

2 cups all-purpose flour

2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons Crisco shortening

1 teaspoon salt

4-6 tablespoons ice cold water (or more as needed)

In a mixing bowl stir together flour and salt. Cut in shorening using a pastery blender (if you don't have one then you can use 2 knifes) until pieces are the size of peas. At this point you don't need the pastery blender anymore just a fork. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of water over part of the mixture; gently toss with you fork. Push to the sid fo the bowl. repeat until all is moistened. Form about half of the dough inta a ball. On a lightly floured surface, flatten the dough with hands. Roll dough on floured surface, rolling from center to edges, forming a circle about 12 inches in diameter. Lod dough in half and carefully pick it up and lay in to a 9 inch pie plate. Be carefull not to stretch the pastry. Cut extra pastry off of the exges and add fillling. Roll out secound crust, cut the vents and carefully ick the crust up and lay it on the filling. Trim 1/2 inch beyond the edge of the pie plate; fold under the bottom crust to seal and flute the edge.

Ok now for the filling

5 peeled apples, thinly sliced (granny smith work the best)

3/4 cup sugar

3 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

Place slice and peeled apples into a large mixing bowl. In a small mixing bowl combine sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pour sugar mixture over apples; toss until coated. Transfer apple mixture to the pastry-lined pie plate. dot with margine if desired. Place vented second crust on top of apples. Flute edge. Sprinkle with a blit of sugar. to preven over-browning, cover edge of pie with foil. Bake at 375 degrees for a total of 50 minnutes. Remove the foil aafter 25 minutes of baking. The apples should be tender and the filling bubbly.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Monkey Bread

1 cup butter (you will divide this in half)
1 package non-instant butterscotch pudding
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon
24 Rhodes Rolls
(you can also add nuts)

Defrost rolls for about 30 minutes (I like them to be a little firm so they are easier to cut and handle.)

Spray a bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Heat oven to 350.

Melt 1/2 cup butter

Combine dry pudding mix, white sugar, and cinnamon.
Cut each roll in half then dip in butter and roll in dry sugar/pudding mixture. Then layer rolls in the bundt pan.

Melt the other 1/2 cup of butter
Mix 1/2 cup butter and brown sugar to make a syrup. Pour the syrup over the rolls in the pan.

Bake for 30-35 minutes. I like to cover the rolls with tinfoil for the last 15 minutes so the rolls on top don't get crispy.

As soon as you remove them from the oven, loosen the rolls from the side of the pan and flip the pan onto a plate. (I like to do this over the sink just in case anything drips) YUMMY!!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup, version 2

So I had every intention to make Kim's tortilla soup today for lunch. However, this morning was a little more rushed than I planned on and I didn't have a chance to get the chicken in the crock pot. When we got home from church, I noticed a recipe on the back of the can of refried beans that was similar to the other recipe, and thought I'd give it a try. It was simple and ready in 10 minutes. Perfect! I still want to try Kim's, though!!

Here's the back of the refried beans recipe for Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup:

4 cans (10 oz. each) Rotel Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies
4 cans (14.5 oz. each) chicken broth
1 can (30 oz.) refried beans
1 cup corn
4 cups shredded cooked chicken
tortilla strips
shredded Monterey Jack cheese
avocado, sliced
sour cream

1. Combine tomatoes and broth in large saucepan.
Stir in beans and corn.
Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

2. Add chicken; heat through.

3. Top with all the extras.

**Our modifications... I didn't add the chicken. And we still loved it! Next time I'll probably add more corn. We put in chunks of avocado and a little sour cream. I loved the avocado in it! It was seriously ready in 10 minutes. I'm going to have to remember this one for those nights when you think you have nothing to cook for dinner!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup

This recipe comes from Joanette Stephenson. She made this for me a couple weeks ago and it was seriously the most delicious soup. I have a fantastic Tortilla Soup recipe too, but I think this one might be the better of the two.

*Note: The portions are not exact and can be changed to accommodate your taste, and or portion amount.

3 or 4 cans Rotel Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies
4-6 (14.5 ounce cans) or 2 (32 oz. containers) Chicken Broth
1 or 2 (30 ounce can) Refried Beans
½ to 1 tspn. Onion salt
½ to 1 tspn. Garlic powder
½ to ¾ tspn. pepper
1 or 2 cans whole kernel corn
4 to 8 boneless chicken breasts
1 + ½ packages taco seasoning or desired amount
2 or 3 whole limes (sliced in half and squeeze fresh juice in soup)
small or large “Mexican fiesta” flavor Velveeta cheese
2 small or 1 large family size cream of chicken soup

Cook the chicken in crock pot, in the A.M. on low. Put 1 packet of Taco seasoning, and 1 to 2 cups water depending on how many chicken breasts.
When chicken is done, COMBINE tomatoes and chicken broth in large stock pot. Stir in beans, corn, Velveeta cheese, cream of chicken soup, and seasonings. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring frequently. Add chicken with liquid, fresh lime juice, and ½ packet of taco seasoning.
Spoon into bowls and add toppings.

Awesome Toppings: (desired amounts, depending on how many people you plan on serving)

1. Avocado (chopped pieces)
2. Tortilla chips or strips
3. Shredded cheese
4. Cilantro (cleaned)
5. Sour cream

* I actually made it for the first time today. I didn't add the Velveeta cheese, because I was being cheap and added Monterey Jack cheese instead. It wasn't as creamy as when Joanette made it, but it was still soooooo good!

Pan Seared Ginger Salmon

I got this recipe from Dona, otherwise known as "D-lish", who got it from the Wild Oats website. This is such a simple marinade, but it tastes so amazing! We usually cook our salmon on the barbecue.


4, 6 oz. salmon fillets, skin-on
1/2 c. warm water
2 Tbsp. honey
1/2 c. soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp. fresh ginger, grated
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 bunch scallions or green onions, finely diced

In a small bowl, mix warm water with the honey. Add the soy sauce, garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes. Mix well. Pour marinade in a large resealable plastic bag. Place salmon fillets in the bag. Refrigerate 10 to 20 minutes. Heat a large saute or grill pan over medium hight heat. When the pan is hot, add the olive oil and place the salmon in the pan skin side up. Sear for 3 minutes. Turn the salmon and cook for 3 minutes longer. Remove from pan, garnish with scallions and serve immediately.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Meat Pockets/Nikuman/Hidden Burgers

Sorry we don't have a better name nailed down yet.


1 cup water
1 egg
2 tbs. butter
3 1/2 cups four
1 tsp salt
3 tsp yeast

Combine in bread machine and use the dough cycle.

(I'm sure all you real-bread-making ladies could figure out how to do this without the machine)


1 lb ground beef
1 med onion chopped fine
1 green pepper chopped fine
Salt, pepper, garlic, seasoning salts to taste
Shredded cheese (we like monterey jack best)

Divide dough into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece out into a 6 inch circle. Place a pinch of shredded cheese and a heaping spoonful of meat filling in the center of the dough. Fold sides of circle up and around the filling. Pinch closed, and place seam side down on a greased baking sheet. Bake 20 mintues at 350 degrees.
Warning: The filling will be hot, I usually bake these in two batches, and the first half are ready to eat when the second half come out of the oven!

Note: I don't dived the dough evenly, I make a few large adult-size ones, medium kids ones, and a couple small cheese only for our family. Also, the original recipe called for finely shredded cabbbage and 1/2 can of condensed cream of mushroom soup instead of a green pepper and seasoning. It was tasty too, we just like our pepper jack version better. I bet a lot of different combinations would taste great.

Italian Cheese-Topped Meat Loaf

1 lb. ground turkey

1 cup marinara sauce

½ cup seasoned bread crumbs

1 egg lightly beaten

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp basil

¾ tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

1 cup shredded Italian cheese blend

Mix turkey, ½ cup marinara sauce , egg, bread crumbs and seasonings and put into greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Top with ½ cup marinara sauce and bake 30 minutes. Top with cheese and bake until it melts.

Serve with pasta and marinara sauce.

Soft Pretzels

These pretzels taste like the ones you get in the mall! Serve with your favorite cheese sauce, or mustard, or omit course salt and top with cinnamon and sugar!


1 1/3 cups warm water
2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
2 TBL butter or margarine (soft)
1 1/2 TBL white sugar
3/4 tsp salt
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 cups water
1 1/2 TBL baking soda
2 TBL kosher salt ( I didn't have kosher salt; I used coarse sea salt)

1. In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water. Proof for about 10 minutes.

2. Mix in butter or margarine, flour, and salt. Cut dough into short strips (I just pulled off chunks of dough), roll into ropes, and shape into pretzels. Cover, and let rise on a greased baking sheet for about 45 minutes.

3. In a cast iron or other nonaluminum pan, bring water and baking soda almost to a boil. Gently lower pretzels into water for about 1 minutes, turning once. Do not let the water come to a full boil. Remove pretzels, and return to greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt.

4. Bake at 475 degrees for about 12 minutes.


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Jen's Tasty Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 (& just a tad bit more) cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 bag chocolate chips
Mix together shortening, sugars, and eggs. Then add the dry ingredients and vanilla. Then we like a whole bag of chocolate chips. These are the easiest YUMMIEST cookies!! Bake at 350 for 8-11 minutes. We think they are perfect at 9 minutes:) .

Ham and Cheese Braid

Soften Together:
2 packages yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 Cup sugar
1 cup melted butter
7 to 8 cups flour (You want the dough to be soft and just past the sticky phase, try not to over mix the dough)
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon salt


1 jar Kraft Old English Cheese (you can find this in the cracker section at the grocery store)
8 ounce package cream cheese
1 package ham

Mix to make smooth soft dough. Place in bowl with small amount of oil in the bottom of bowl and turn over. Cover and let rise until double in bulk. Divide into five sections (I usually do 6). Roll each section into a 6 x 12 inch rectangle. Down the 12 inch middle, spread 2 inches wide Kraft Old English Cheese , then layer sliced ham on top of the cheese, then a layer of cream cheese.

About every inch, slice dough to center filling ; then braid. Let rise until double. Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.
*Just a few things I have learned. After melting the butter, make sure it cools before you add the eggs. I add the sugar to the butter and mix that first and then add the milk to cool down the butter, then I add the eggs.
We use twice as much ham and cheese than the recipe calls for.