Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Sweet and Tangy Meatballs

Hello all! You'll have to forgive my absence....I've been busy getting ready for baby! She arrived a little early (8 days), much to the delight of her parents and is as cute as ever. The story is on my personal blog, if you are interested.

So...on to the recipe. I love these. They are the perfect thing for dinner or appetizers, for the family or a big party. With Christmas and New Years coming up, it seemed like the perfect time to post this. Did I mention they are totally FAST and EASY????

Baked Sweet and Tangy Meatballs

1 lb lean ground beef or turkey
2 eggs
1/2 C breadcrumbs
1 clove garlic (more if desired!), chopped
1/4 onion, chopped
1 tsp Italian seasoning (optional...I usually don't add this when using with this sauce...)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350. Mix all meatball ingredients and form into balls. (I use my cookie scoop - it's like a small ice cream scoop, but you can make them bigger if you prefer...). Bake for 15 minutes or until cooked through.

Sweet and Tangy Sauce:
1 C ketchup
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 C water
1/3 C brown sugar
1/4 C Worchestershire sauce
1/4 C white vinegar

Mix together all the ingredients for the sauce. You can then do one of two things: throw the cooked meatballs and sauce into a crock pot. This is how I prefer to do it. The flavors can simmer together for a bit and you can prep ahead of time this way. This is also perfect if you are serving for a party, as you can just keep it plugged in and hot. If you are in a rush however you can just heat the sauce on the stove and serve immediately with the meatballs.

I like to eat this with rice, so if you are doing that make sure you plan ahead and put your rice on to cook probably first, since the meatballs don't take long to make or cook. Also if you don't have breadcrumbs on hand you can 1)Make your own or 2) Substitute. Both are easy fixes. You can make your own by toasting bread and just crushing it up. This is a great way to use stale bread or the end of the bread that no one wants to eat. If you have a good blender that is good for making breadcrumbs. You can also substitute with OATMEAL or crushed crackers, cereal, etc. I actually like to use oatmeal with ground beef in a lot of recipes. Use the quick cooking or rolled oats (not instant). I like it because it doesn't affect the flavor or texture (that I can taste anyway), it extends and bulks up the meat (usually the most expensive part of your meal) for next to nothing and it adds whole grains to you dish.

With that I'll with you Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Hope your celebrations are full of joy and good memories!


Saturday, November 21, 2009


This is a Thanksgiving tradition in my family.  It is loved by all and many of these pies are made each year.

Mud Pie

1 cup Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
2/3 cup Flour
1/3 cup Cocoa
2 Eggs
2-1/2 cups Milk
1/4 cup Margarine or Butter
1 tsp vanilla
1-2 cooked pie crust(s)
Whipped Cream (optional)
Chocolate Shavings (optional)

Mix together well the sugar, salt, flour and cocoa.  Beat the eggs until fluffy and stiff.  Add eggs to the mixture  Heat the milk slowly in microwave.  Add 1/2 of the milk to above mixture.  Mix well then add rest of milk.  Cook on low heat, covered, stirring often.  When thickened good (will be lumpy), remove from heat.  Beat with beaters until smooth.  Mix in the margarine and vanilla.  Chill in fridge then add to cooked pie crust.   Top with Whipped Cream and Shaved Chocolate if desired.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Nacho Bake

I loathe Mac N Cheese and Hot Dogs...however this is a meal that I resort to often for daycare because: 1 - it's EASY, no oven, one pan... 2 - it's QUICK... 3 - It's CHEAP.... So yesterday I announced we were going to have this for lunch and I got at least three groans of "yuck!". I don't normally get that response, but I had to agree with them on it! So I turned over the box and found this recipe. It was still fairly easy, quick and cheap. The kids and I both loved it. I actually had Shells and Cheese on hand, instead of Mac N Cheese, but I'm sure either would work great.

Nacho Bake

1 pkg Shells and Cheese
1 lb ground beef
1 pkg Taco Seasoning Mix
3/4 C water
3/4 C sour cream
3/4 C shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 C salsa
1/2 C coursely crushed tortilla chips

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare the shells and cheese according to basic directions. While Pasta is cooking, brown meat and drain. Add taco seasoning mix and water to the meat. Simmer 5 minutes.

Stir sour cream into the prepared shells. Spoon half of the shells mixture into medium size casserole dish. Top with a layer of meat, half of the cheese, another layer of shells and another layer of meat. Cover.

Bake 15 minutes. Top with salsa, remaining cheese and crushed tortilla chips. Bake uncovered an additional 5 minutes.

Friday, November 6, 2009


These are my most favorite cookies of all time.  My Grandma Alldredge (my dad's mom), would always make these cookies and have them ready for us when we came for a visit while we were young.  I made these the other day for a cookie exchange we were having in Relief Society and they turned out to be a big hit with everyone and I received plenty of compliments.  So I thought I would share them on the blog.  I hope you enjoy them too! 


1/2 Cup Shortening
1/2 Cup Margarine or Butter, Softened
2 Eggs
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
2-3/4 Cup Flour
1 Tsp Soda
1/4 Tsp Salt
2 Tsp Cream of Tartar
2 Tsp Cinnamon

Cream 1-1/2 cups sugar, shortening and margarine together in bowl.  Add eggs and vanilla, mixing well. Combine next 4 ingredients in a seperate bowl.  Stir into creamed mixture.  Chill for at least 1 hour or overnight.  Shape into walnut-sized balls.  Mix cinnamon and 2 Tablespoons sugar in small bowl.  Roll cookies in sugar mixture.  Place 2 inches apart on cookie sheet.  Bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes. 

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Wassail (Non-alchoholic)

It's only November and I'm already in the holiday mood. So in celebration of that I've decided to post one of our family Christmas recipes. This is a traditional hot drink....everything about it says "Happy Holidays!" When you are making this your house will smell DIVINE. Just be careful not to let it simmer for too long or you'll end with a soupy syrupy concocotion. I find I sometimes have to water it down a little even after simmer for only an hour or so, but I really don't like mine too strong. You'll have to just experiment a little and find the best mix for you. Good luck!


Bring 1 Quart of water and 2 Cups of sugar to a boil.


2 Quarts of Apple Cider or Juice.

From frozen concentrate and with required water add:

1 6 ounce can of orange juice and 1 6 ounce can of lemonade. (This is a small can. I don't usually see them in this size, so just use the normal size - 12 ounces - and use half of it. You could double the recipe, but that will make a HUGE batch of Wassail).

Also add a few whole cloves and 1 or 2 cinnamon sticks.

Heat to a simmer, but do not boil. Let simmer for an hour or so. Take the cinnamen sticks out after 45 minutes or until you get to your desired spiciness.

This drink is a great substitute for hot chocolate or hot cider if you want something a little different. The recipe does make quite a bit so it's really good for parties, caroling, etc.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Wild Rice Soup

My house smelled divine today! I made homemade bread bowls and my homemade Wild Rice Soup to be served with in them. It was a really great dinner. My husband kept telling me over and over again how delicious it was.

I have made this soup recipe for many years and my family loves it, and I have received many compliments from others. So I decided to share this recipe with all of you. The bread bowl recipe I just made for the first time today, and can be found right here on this blog.

Wild Rice Soup

1 medium onion, chopped
2 celery ribs, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
4 cups chicken or turkey broth
2 cups cooked wild rice
2 cups half & half cream
2 cups diced cooked turkey or chicken (I use canned chicken and I sometimes use 1 cup chicken and 1 cup diced ham just to change it up a little)
1 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

In dutch oven or soup kettle over medium heat, saute onion, celery & carrots in butter until onion is transparent. Reduce heat. Blend in flour; cook & stir for 2 min. Gradually add broth, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil; cook for 1 min. Reduce heat. Add remaining ingredients; simmer for 20 min.

I really hope you enjoy this soup. Its definately one of our favorites!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Whole Wheat Bread

This is the bread recipe I have been making for my family for the past 10 years. Up until about 4 years ago it was only occasionally, but now I make all of our bread so we don't have to buy it. I actually sold this at the farmer's market last year and it was really popular, haven't been able to go this year because I work on the weekends...

Whole Wheat Bread
This recipe makes 5 large loaves and I use my Bosch mixer to mix and knead it, you can cut the recipe in half and make 3 smaller loaves. This makes good rolls too.

* 1 can of evaporated milk + enough hot water to make 2 quarts (8 cups) or 8 cups hot water and 3/4 cup dry milk powder, I have done it both ways
* 1/2 cup sugar or honey
* 1/4 cup yeast
* 1/4 cup slat
* 1/2 cup oil
* 15-20 cups of wheat flour (if the flour is from red wheat I use part white flour with the wheat. I grind all of our wheat to make bread and often don't measure the flour when I mix, so this is approximate.
* 1/2 cup vital wheat gluten (optional) this isn't necessary, I sometimes use it sometimes don't depending on if I have any in the house.

1. Put hot water/milk in a mixer and add sugar, yeast, salt and oil. Mix slightly and wait a few minutes for yeast to bloom.

2. Add about 8-10 cups of flour and mix until well incorporated. Keep adding flour and mixing until dough is soft but not too sticky.

3. Allow dough to rise until about double in size.

4. Grease 5 large loaf pans (I just spray them with cooking spray). Shape dough into five loaves and place in pans.

5. Set loaves to rise on stove top while oven preheats to 350 degrees.

6. Once risen, bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Poblano Corn Chowder with Chicken

I was looking for a good way to use some of the yummy stuff I got in the Mexican ingredient add-on of my bountiful baskets and found this recipe on Recipezaar. The overwhelming consensus in our house is that it is yummy and the recipe is a keeper! We ate it with fresh whole wheat bread right out of the oven (I'll post that recipe soon).

Poblano Corn Chowder with Chicken

* 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
* 2 cups water
* 4 cups frozen corn, divided
* 1 cup milk
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 2 poblano chiles, seeded, diced
* 1 white onion, chopped
* 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
* 1 teaspoon sugar
* 1 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
* 1 large tomato, diced
* 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled (I didn't have feta so I used a shredded pizza blend that I had in the fridge, I think any cheese would be good)
* cilantro, chopped (optional)
* avocado, slices (optional)
* lime slice (optional)
* black pepper, freshly ground

1. In a small saucepan, add the chicken breasts and 2 cups of water; bring to a boil and cook until chicken is tender; approximately 10 minutes.

2. Shred the chicken reserving poaching liquid.

3. Puree 2 cups of the corn kernels in a blender with the milk; set aside.

4. In a soup pot, heat the olive oil; add the diced chilies, onion and garlic; sauté 4 to 5 minutes.

5. Measure the poaching liquid and add enough water to make 2 cups, add to soup pot along with the chicken.

6. Add remaining corn and seasonings bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

7. Stir in pureed corn, tomato and cheese; simmer to heat through and melt cheese, about 3 minutes. (I stirred in about half a cup of sour cream at the end too)

8. Ladle into servings bowls and garnish as desired.

Because of the mexican ingredient pack that I got I had fresh cilantro lime and avocado for garnish and it was so good with all of those things added.

Serves 4-5

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Bread Bowls for Soup

Who's been holding their breath for this one? Sorry about the delay...a million excuses, but you probably just want the recipe right? This is a very simple yummy recipe, but it is a little time consuming because like most have to let it rest and rise for some time. 6 ingredients though, couldn't be easier than that and you don't need a mixer (love that, mostly because I don't have one!) Also really cost effective. Bread bowls at the store are always these are better!

Bread Bowls

2 1/2 C warm water
3 T sugar
2 T yeast
1 T salt
1/3 C oil
6 C flour

Combine water and sugar in a large bowl. Sprinkle with yeast. Let soften and dissolve. Add salt, oil and half of the flour. Mix well with a large spoon. Add the rest of the flour. Stir/knead well. Let rest 10 minutes. Repeat the kneading/resting cycle 5 times. Turn out onto a lightly floured counter or board. Knead lightly. Divide into 6 or 8 pieces. Shape into balls. Place on a greased baking sheet (3 or 4 balls to a large sheet). Let rise 30 minutes. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 - 30 minutes until lightly browned. Let cool. Cut off "lid" of rolls. Pick out the soft middle, leaving a 1" to 1 1/2" thick shell. Place in bowls. Fill with soup, top with "lids" and enjoy. Don't you just LOVE fall????

NOTE: Cream soups don't soak in as much as broth-based soups.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

My Grandma's Clam Chowder

It is FALL and that means...soup to warm up the cold afternoons. This is a really YUMMY and fairly mild recipe for clam chowder. It also happens to be very easy and really is my grandma's recipe. Enjoy!

Clam Chowder

3 - 6 oz cans of clams (I get the minced clams so the chunks are smaller...personal preference)
1 C chopped onion
1 C chopped celery
2 C diced potatoes
1/2 tsp sugar
3/4 C butter
3/4 C flour
1 qt half and half (recipe also says you can use milk, but I don't think it would be as thick...)
1 1/2 tsp salt
Dash of pepper

Place your veggies in a pan, add just the clam juice and enough water to cover them all. Simmer for 20 minutes or until they are all tender. Melt butter in saucepan. Add flour and salt. Cook 2 minutes on a medium heat, stirring constantly. Add half and half. Cook on medium high and stir until bubbly and very thick. (Be careful here or you'll burn the cream sauce!) Add undrained veggies and clams. Season and serve hot. This is really yummy with bread bowls...which I happen to have a GREAT recipe for. I'll try to post that tonight too if possible...

TIP: I had a busy afternoon and needed this ready by a certain time this evening. So instead of preparing it all together I chopped the veggies right after lunch and threw them in the crock pot on high with the water and clam juice. They cooked all afternoon and then it took me about 20 minutes to put the rest of the soup together later. I was then able to keep it warm in the crock pot without worrying about burning it on the stove. For me splitting it up made it a little more manageable with two smaller pieces of time to get it ready, but it did require planning ahead.

Like it? Come back and let us know!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Another cooking blog

My cousin also has a recipe blog. I have got a few good recipes off there, but haven't had a chance to look at it much lately. Check it out and see if there's anything worth trying! It's at

Happy cooking! One of these days I'll get some more posts up. Just no energy right now :(

I see I have a lot of visitors from the tracker that I come no one comments? Come on guys....share the love ;)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Chicken & Broccoli Casserole

I hope you enjoy this recipe. It is one of my favorite's and my family really likes it too. Serve it with a salad you have yourself a meal!

Chicken & Broccoli Casserole


4 oz. cheddar cheese shredded
1 C. Cooked Rice
1/2 C. Sliced Mushrooms (Fresh or Canned)
1/2 C. Diced Onion
1/2 C. Evaporated Milk
1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup
10 oz. Pkg Frozen Broccoli
1-1/2 Tbsp. Margarine
1 tsp. Salt
5 Chicken Breasts boiled & diced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 2 qt. Casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

In saucepan combine all ingredients except broccoli, cooking over medium heat, stirring constantly, until cheese & margarine are melted.

Add broccoli and cook until broccoli is heated.

Spoon into casserole dish and bake 30 minutes. Top with a little more shredded cheese and let melt.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Grilled Veggie Panini

If you've ever wondered "what the heck do you do with eggplant????" here is a GREAT recipe for you. I saw this recipe on food network a few years ago. We had it for the second time tonight and let me tell you it is SO DELICIOUS! Even if you are not a vegetarian or if you are a picky eater I think you will like it. Joey thought it was great which is saying something! Most of the ingredients came from my garden also this year which was extremely satisfying. If you don't have a garden you will have to plan ahead and get some things at the grocery store, but it is well worth it...believe me!

*A note on eggplant. I've found, especially if you are buying your eggplant, that it's best to use it within a day or two. It goes bad quickly. What we've picked from our garden seems to last a bit better simply because it's fresher. Also don't slice it open it until just before you are ready to cook it. It gets discolored quickly once cut.

Grilled Veggie Panini - from Giada De Laurentiis

1/4 c olive oil
2 small japanese eggplants or 1 medium to large regular eggplant cut crosswise into 1/2 inch thick slices
2 zucchini, cut crosswise into 1/2 inch thick slices
1 small red onion, cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 baguettes (each about 2 feet long) or other speciality bread (I used Oro Wheat Sandwhich Thins, 100% Whole Wheat)
1/2 C Basil Pesto (recipe below)
8 ounces fresh water-packed mozzarella cheese, drained, sliced
2 tomatoes, slices
1/2 C roasted red peppers
8 large basil leaves, optional

Basil Pesto:

2 C fresh basil leaves
1/4 C toasted pine nuts (I used slivered almonds because it was what I had and it was GREAT!)
2 garlic cloves, peeled (I just put mine through a garlic press and toasted it with the nuts)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/3 C (about) extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 C grated parmesan (I just used the regular old stuff you buy in the bottle and keep in the fridge, nothing fancy)

If your nuts aren't already toasted, heat a skillet over medium heat, add a little olive oil and toast your nuts and olives together for just a few minutes. In a blender (I used a small hand blender we have because it seemed to be better for the amount I was making) pulse the basil, nuts, garlic, salt and pepper until finely chopped. With the blender still running gradually add enough oil to form a smooth and thick consistency. Transfer to the pesto to a medium bowl and stir in 1/2 C of cheese. (The recipe doesn't call for it, but I then had to add more olive oil because the cheese soaked up all the moisture in the original mixture!). Season with more salt and pepper if needed. (The pesto can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate).

Directions for the sandwich:

Heat a grill pan over medium high heat. Drizzle the oil over the eggplant, zucchini and onion slices, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill these veggies until they are tender and grill marks appear, about 4 minutes per side. Cool completely. (I tried to use our George Foreman grill and it worked OK, but didn't make really nice grill marks and I had to do it in small batches. I ended up giving up and just broiling most of my veggies, which seemed to work just as well!)

Prepare your bread (this size of recipe is made to serve 12), spreading with pesto and adding the slices of eggplant, zucchini, onion, tomato, mozzarella and roasted pepper. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. If your bread is really soft I would actually probably toast it before prepping the sandwich.

*Other options: We actually didn't have any mozzarella so did without the cheese and it was still REALLY good. The cheese probably adds a bit more heartiness to it however and would be a delicious addition. We also added Roasted Red Pepper hummus, which gave it a totally different flavor, but was a really nice compliment to the other flavors in the sandwich.

Despite all the "fancy" ingredients and what appears to be kind of a gourmet sandwich, it was actually really easy to put together and really delicious.

Up soon...a few more eggplant recipes. I had them coming out my ears this year so experimented with a few things that turned out nicely. I will share soon...hopefully :)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Homemade White Bread

I have tried MANY bread recipes over the years. This one has gained almost universal approval from my husband, kids, friends, family, etc. I kept trying to find a recipe for the breadmaker, but when I found this one decide this was almost as easy and 10 times yummier. It does take some time. If I'm making bread (it can also be used for scones, rolls, cinnamon rolls) I usually plan on 3 hours. Most of that time is taking with rising and so it's not really labor intensive, just a lot of waiting. I am still in the market for a killer Wheat Bread Recipe, so if you have a great one...Pass it on!

Mom's Homemade Bread

2 pkg yeast (4 1/2 tsp)
1 tsp sugar
1/2 C lukewarm water
3/4 C sugar
1 C powdered milk
4 tsp salt
2 large TBLS shortening
4 1/2 C warm water
13 C flour

Put yeast in a small bowl with 1 tsp sugar and 1/2 C lukewarm water. Set aside to rise. In a large bowl put 3/4 C sugar, powdered milk, salt, shortening and 4 1/2 C water. Mix. (The shortening won't dissolve and will still be really lumpy in the mixture. Don't worry, it get's mixed in just fine as you add the flour.) Add yeast mixture to this mixture. Slowly start to add up to 13 C flour. After the first 6 cups, mix really well to activate the yeast, about 5 minutes, in a Bosch mixer or by hand. (I don't have a Bosch, so I just use a spoon and elbow grease!) Be sure not to add too much flour, dough will be a little sticky still. Turn out on lightly floured counter and knead until smooth. (I actually just have a large bowl I use to mix everything in and knead it in that. It also helps if you have a lower surface to knead on so you can get more of your upper body power into it. It makes less work for your arms :) Put into a greased bowl to rise (I just keep in the same bowl still, don't usually worry about greasing it), cover with a warm, damp towel. Raise to double the size. Punch down and smooth out. Let rise again. Divide into 5 loaves, shape and place in oiled bread pans. Oil the top of the bread loaf, if desired. Let rise to double again in the pans. Bake 15 minutes at 400 and 15 minutes at 350. Turn out and butter tops.

HINT: Before starting, put your 13 C flour in a bowl so you don't loose count while mixing.

For CINNAMON ROLLS, DINNER ROLLS and SCONES, take the dough you need after the first rise. This recipe makes perfect scones. I just pull off small chunks of dough and pull until they are thin rectangles. We have a deep fryer and just pop them in there. You have to turn them to get both sides, but watch carefully because they don't take very long. If you don't get them thin enough though they will done on the outside, but doughy in the middle.

For CINNAMON ROLLS: Roll out into a rectangle and butter thickly. (This works better if I have my husband rolls it out. The dough is very elastic and I have a hard time getting it as thin as I like for cinnamon rolls with my own strength :) Then cover with brown sugar, a lot of cinnamon (to your taste), a little nutmeg (optional), raisins (optional) and nuts (optional). Roll up and slice (I used waxed floss). Put in pan and let rise. Cook for 375 for 20-30 minutes. While still warm drizzle with icing.

For "Hillbilly Bread" you can mix wheat and white flour. Use up to 5 C wheat and 8 C white. More wheat than that and the bread doesn't turn out too well. (I have actually never tried it, but it was listed in the here's an option for you to try).

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Black Beans and Rice

Inspired this week by $5 Dinners I pulled together this recipe for dinner one night. I hadn't planned ahead so couldn't do the crock pot like she did, but this worked out really good. The first bite or two I wondered if it was a bit to bland. But I had a bowl and then kept thinking about it and had to go back for more later. The flavors in mine were a bit subtle, but you could spice things up if you prefer your stuff that way. Again...sorry, the measurements aren't exact because I threw it together...are you tired of me doing that yet? I seriously used to be a recipe NAZI! But have adopted a more "flexible" approach lately. Let me know if you like it...

Black Beans and Rice

2-3 cups of rice
1 onion, chopped
1 can of black beans, drained (for a less expensive option, use dry beans...but you have to PLAN ahead ;)
1 can petite diced tomatoes (you could probably use fresh or any other type of tomatoes here, I used what I had)
1 C (or so) frozen corn (I'm sure canned or fresh would be just great as well)
Garlic Powder

Put the rice on to cook. Chop the onion and saute in a bit of olive oil until translucent. Add the can of black beans and corn. Saute for a few more minutes to your liking. (This time I just warmed them up, but previously when I've done recipe similar to this it was fun to put in a bit more oil and make them a bit "blackened" almost. It brings out some interesting and yummy flavors.) Add the tomatoes and spices to taste. Cook until warmed through. Mix together with rice and serve.

My kids even liked this one! I think because it was a bit helped! You could bulk up with some type of meat if you wanted, but really it has all the elements you need for a meal and is a nice lighter option. No meat = a bit less money! A salad would also go really well with this!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Chicken and Rice Casserole

I think it's the fact that I'm pregnant and kind of loathing grocery shopping lately...but I'm less and less dependant on recipes than I ever have been in the past. A few years ago you would never find me just "throwing something together". Even today I still usually LOOK for a recipe, but if I can't find what works with what I have...well let's just experiment. Today I had the problem of a jar of canned chicken open in the fridge and some sliced Provolone that needed to be used ASAP! So I put together this casserole. I was a little wary of it when I pulled it out of the oven and wondered if Provolone was meant to be baked, but it was really good. The kids even all liked it! Didn't get to try it out on Joey unfortunately because my brother came over and ate everything that was left :)

Chicken and Rice Casserole

1 pint canned chicken (I used this because I had it. You could use raw chicken and just bake it longer or cook it before you put it in with the rice)
2 C Rice (or so, didn't measure. I just made two scoops of rice in the rice cooker and used it all)
1 can green beans (could add more/different veggies if you prefer)
1 can cream of chicken soup (I'm sure you could use other cream soups if you prefer)
6 slices Provolone cheese (whatever you have on hand will work I'm sure!)

Mix together the chicken (I shredded mine first), rice, green beans and cream of chicken soup. Spread in a 9 x 12 glass baking pan. Top with slices of cheese. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

I didn't add any extra spices, although I'm sure salt, pepper, garlic salt or other like things would have been good. I also probably could have used two cans of soup for the amount of rice I had. It wasn't dry because the rice was plenty moist, but wasn't saucy by any means.

Also as a side note...the canned chicken...I bottled myself! I got a great deal on boneless skinless chicken breasts. They were "seconds" so not whole breasts, but they worked perfectly for this. It was very easy (although it DID stink up my house for a few hours...). I have never used a lot of canned chicken just because it's really expensive, but this was a really cheap way to do it. It also is a nice way to keep chicken for long periods of time, without taking up freezer space, worrying about freezer burn, etc. And it's really tender and already cooked when you get done! If you want more info, let me know and maybe I'll do a post on it.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Meat Pies

When I was living at home my mom would make these meat pies and my whole family loved them. I still make them for my family and my kids are always asking for me to make them.

1 pound hamburger( thawed out)
garlic salt
1-2 eggs
1 can chili or homemade chili if desire

I mix up a double recipe of the biscuits that are on the side panel of the bisquick panel. It is basically bisquick and milk until it is biscuit consistency. I roll it out with a rolling pin on a floured surface.
Mix in a bowl 1 pound thawed out hamburger, one or two eggs, garlic salt, pepper and some milk so it is mixed together and can be spooned onto the rolled out biscuit dough. I use a fork and cover the biscuit dough that I have rolled out. Roll up jelly roll style and cut into about 1/2 in thick or desired thickness. Grease cookie sheet and put each individual meat pie onto the cookie sheet with it lying down.
Bake at about 375 degrees( might need to be higher depending on oven) about 15-20 min until they are brown. Heat up chili and serve over meat pies or my kids also enjoy catsup on them.

I hope you enjoy!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Chicken and Veggies

The other day I was saved from Chicken Nuggets for lunch at daycare (which I despise by the way!) by this. I got a bunch of Lipton Onion Soup on sale and so I tried to find a "recipe" to use with what I wanted to do. I couldn't, so I just threw this together and it was great.

I cut up a bunch of veggies (carrots, potatoes, onions) and tossed them with one packet of dry onion soup mix. I then sprinkled another packet over the chicken. measurements...I just used enough to fill up a big glass cake pan. I would put the chicken on the bottom, I put mine on the top and it was a little dry. But it was really good flavor. Add a little water over the chicken, place the veggies on top and cook at 350 or so for 45 min - 1 hour (?) Sorry it's been a while since I made it. But you all get the idea right? I also think this would be probably even better in the crock pot. Good luck!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Chicken Stew

I love homemade chicken noodle soup, but I always feel guilty putting in store bought noodles. However sometimes homemade egg noodles are just too much. Besides I like breadsticks with my soup and when you have noodles it seems like overkill on the carbs sometimes. SO, I like to make chicken stew on occasion. Tonight I did just that. It's so easy and you can really throw in whatever you like. Here's how I did mine. This made a big batch of soup and some of the proportions are approximate because my sister was helping me out. But you get the idea right?

10 C of chicken broth (I used water and chicken boullion mix)
2 large carrots sliced (mine were REALLY big)
2-3 stalks of celery, sliced
1 onion, chopped (I was out of onions, so used minced dried onions for flavor)
Green Beans (I used one can, but I much prefer frozen or fresh if I have them on hand)
3-5 potatoes, chopped to bite size pieces
2 large chicken breasts

I get the water boiling and dump everything in as I get it cut up. Just make sure the chicken is cooked through and the veggies are tender. My sister likes to boil her chicken before hand and shred to put in, but that's one more step I didn't want to take tonight :)

Really could not be simpler than that. I'm sure you could add any other veggies you like. It's really hearty and perfect for days like today where it was a bit windy and cool.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Hamburger Steaks

Really simple tonight, but I was getting tired of looking at my stuffed pepper recipe on my other blog ;)  So the other night we had hamburgers, but no fixins for them.  So I made "hamburger steaks".  I cooked up the hamburgers and made brown gravy.  I actually didn't have any brown gravy mix, so just used Au Jus with cornstarch to thicken it up.  I served it over rice, but it would have been great over mashed potatoes.  There's really a lot of options, even when it seems like very few if you can get "think outside the [normal] menu".  I think we all need a few recipes like this that are literally five minute meals.  I need more than most lately! (If you don't know, I'm pregnant and cooking...not so much my favorite thing right now!!!)  If you have any...please post them!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Stuffed Green Peppers

Made this the other was YUMMY! It does take at least an hour to make, but half of that time it's in the oven. It's very easy and mild flavored. Kelley and I loved it!

Stuffed Green Peppers

6 green bell peppers (we used 4 large instead with the same amount of filling)
salt to taste
1 pound ground beef
1/3 C chopped onion
salt and pepper to taste
1 (14.5 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 C uncooked rice (probably have to use white or it will take longer to cook)
1/2 C water (I had to use almost 3 times this much to keep it from burning the pan!)
1 C shredded Cheddar cheese
2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed tomato soup (I used just a single can of tomato sauce instead)

1. In a large skillet, saute beef and onions for 5 mintes, or until beef is browned. Drain off excess fat and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the tomatoes, rice, water and Worcestershire sauce. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, or until rice is tender. Remove from heat and stir in the cheese.

2. While the beef/rice mixture is cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cut the tops off the peppers, and remove the seeds. Cook peppers in boiling water for 5 minutes and drain. Sprinkle salt inside each pepper, and set aside.

3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Stuff each pepper with the beef and rice mixture and place peppers open side up in a baking dish. In a medium bowl, combine tomato soup with just enough water to make the soup a gravy consistency. Pour over the peppers. (I didn't use water with the tomato sauce, just poured it right from the can on top of the peppers).

4. Bake covered for 25 to 35 minutes until heated through and cheese is melted and bubbly.

I have also in the past used this basic recipe to make a CASSEROLE. I did this when I either had just pieces of peppers left over from fajitas or something or didn't have enough green peppers. Instead of stuffing the green peppers I cut them into chunks and mix everything together, topping with cheese. I have also added other colors of peppers for variety and flavor as well as potatoes (cut into chunks) if it simply needed bulking up.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Fruit Gelato

I found the recipe for this here and tried it tonight, it was really good and so simple!


* 12 oz. bag of frozen fruit of choice
* 1/3 cup of sugar
* 1/2 cup of heavy cream

Whir them all together in a food processor or blender until it's completely smooth.

Wow, easy huh?

This can be served right away at the consistency of a soft serve ice cream, or you can stick it in a container in the freezer for a couple of hours to harden, we weren't patient enough for that, we ate it right away and it was so good!

I actually used about 18 oz of fruit (a bag of frozen strawberries and a banana I had peeled and tossed in a zipper bag into the freezer a month or two ago so that it could get used instead of going bad and being tossed out)
With 18 oz of fruit I decided to do 3/4 of a cup of cream and about 1/2 cup of sugar. My blender was having a little bit of a tough time (I think a food processor might do it easier but I don't have one) so I added a dash more cream part way through to get all of the fruit blended.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Chili and Rice

Ok - So nothing fancy here girls.  Want a simple meal with your protein, grain and veggies in one shot?  Chili and Rice.  I learned this trick in Hawaii. I just use canned chili and mix it with some rice.  Sprinkle some cheese on top if you would like.  Maybe you all know about this, but I had no idea it would be good until I went to BYU-H.  If you really want more veggies than the beans in the chili just add some carrot sticks, salad or something simple on the side.  Try it...see if you like it.  This is also a good dish to use brown rice in.  Even if you don't like the taste/texture it's basically taken over by the chili.  Let me know what you think...

Friday, May 1, 2009

Skillet Chicken Parmesan

I was in a hurry tonight and had some things I needed to use, so threw this together improved from a "Saving Dinner" recipe.  It turned out really good.  And for what it is, it was actually very easy.  It took me no more than 30 minutes from start to table time (excluding thawing the chicken).  That included getting the Garlic Broccoli ready to go with it.  (Which if you haven't tried that you HAVE to!  It is SO good.)

Skillet Chicken Parmesan

Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (I used 2 large breasts, cut in three pieces each and it more than fed my family of 4)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Italian Bread crumbs (I just had normal bread crumbs and added some italian seasoning)
Olive Oil
Egg Noodles (sorry about the lack of amounts...I just cooked enough to feed my family!)
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1/2 to 1 cup of your favorite cheese

Heat the oil in a large skillet on medium heat.  Dip your chicken into egg batter first, then coat with bread crumbs.  Add to skillet and cook through.  (I turned mine several times to try and prevent burning.  I think I had the heat on too high though - medium high - because they still were "blackened".  I thought they were good still, but Joey was a bit bugged).

While the chicken in cooking put your Garlic Broccoli in the oven and cook your egg noodles.

When the chicken is done, put one breast on top of a bed of noodles.  Cover with Spaghetti Sauce and sprinkle with cheese.  (The original recipe called for Mozzarella and Parmesan.  I had Colby Jack on hand, so that's what I used!)

This was another one of those recipes that called for a transfer to the oven after just browning the chicken (which would probably solve the blackening problem), but I just didn't have the time or desire to do extra dishes!  Besides the broccoli was in the oven :)

OK, so my proud moment of the day....for lunch I had attempted to make "Easy Peasy Tomato Soup" from a recipe I got off this blog.  I had to make some substitutions though.  Her recipe called for homemade veggie stock, which I didn't have time to make.  So instead I used Chicken Broth and boiled some mixed veggies for the puree.  As a result the "tomato soup" was looking pretty much like puke (although I'm sure it tasted fine), and I didn't think I'd have real success serving it to the daycare kids.  So I also added a can of tomato sauce and one of tomato paste.  My blender isn't working real well these days either though so it wasn't as pureed as it should have been.  That said, most of the daycare kids didn't love it.  I actually did like it, but after lunch it even worth saving the rest of this?  Joey doesn't like tom soup anyway, and is pretty picky about stuff so I didn't think he'd even try it.  Then the thought...chicken parmesan came to me.  And I remember hearing about that book where she hides veggies in things like bread and sauces by pureeing them.  So where did I get my spaghetti sauce today?  I used the leftover soup seasoned with italian seasoning and garlic salt.  I thought it was great.  I didn't ask Joey because I was in a hurry to get out the door and he was grumpy because his bread crumbs were charred....but I was very proud of myself and felt very frugal.  There are few things I hate more than throwing perfectly good food (or what was good food three days ago before you forgot about it!) in the trash.  Yeah for me!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Strawberry Cream Cheese Crepes

I bought a HUGE box of strawberries on Saturday and developed a craving for strawberry crepes last night. I found this recipe online and it was delicious! They were actually very easy. We did have a crepe maker that helped to make them a bit easier, but you can do them without that. We only had three of us eating these and so were able to keep up with the demand as they were made, but you may want to consider just making a bunch ahead of time and keeping them in a warm oven or something.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Crepes

1 1/2 C. sugar
1 1/2 C. strawberries -- crushed (I just cut them into small chunks and smashed them slightly)

1 C. strawberries -- washed and sliced
8 Oz. softened cream cheese
1/4 C. powdered sugar

4 eggs
1 1/3 C. milk
2 Tbsp. oil
1 C. flour

Topping: Stir sugar and berries together and heat in a saucepan until boiling. Reduce heat and cook 10 minutes stirring constantly. (I didn't have to stir constantly, it did fine).

Filling: Blend powdered sugar and cream cheese until smooth. Fold in berries.

Crepes: Beat eggs slightly, add remaining ingredients and beat just until smooth. Pour a few tablespoons into a hot skillet, tilting to spread evenly. Brown lightly on both sides.If you have a crepe maker that will work better. It took us a few tries to get used to the crepe maker. We had to hold it in the batter for a few seconds to get them thick enough. You only have to cook them on one side though and they are usually thinner than you can get them in a pan, but thick enough to do the job.

Put desired amount of filling in the crepe and roll up. Top with sauce and whipped topping. Overall, this was pretty sweet. You could go without the sauce, but it did taste better altogether. I'm sure you could experiment with various types of fillings as well to mix it up.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Picture of rainbow jello salad

Since Kristy shared the recipe I thought I would add a picture from when I made the rainbow jello salad last year. I did it in a bundt pan and to get the bottom layer (top when assembling, bottom when unmolded) to be thick enough I had to use two boxes of the same flavor I think.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Rainbow Layered Jello

This is really yummy.  It is a bit time intensive and you might find skeptics about mixing the different flavors of Jello, but it is actually quite good.  It is not hard, but you have to plan ahead because there are so many layers to set up.  Good luck!

Layered Jello 

*5 or 6 small boxes of various colors of Jello (i.e Grape, Cherry, Orange, Lime, Lemon)

*Boiling water

*1/3 C Sour Cream per box of Jello

 Dissolve one box of Jello in 1 C boiling water.  Add 1/3 C sour cream to ½ C  Jello mixture.  Place in Jello mold or 9 x 13 glass pan.  Make sure it covers the whole bottom of pan.  Allow to set in the fridge for 20 – 30 minutes.  When it is set add 3 TBLS cold water to remaining Jello and pour over the top of the first layer.  Pour carefully or you will mess up the first layer.  Continue with different colors of Jello until complete.  Top with a layer of Whip Cream Topping. 

You can also use colors to support a theme (i.e. alternated red and green for Christmas or purple and orange for Halloween. You could even do the same flavor, but alternating layers of normal and sour cream...say red for Valentines Day).

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Shout out to the Money Saving Mom

I found this blog through my recent coupon obsession.  Let me just say she is the COOLEST!  Go here to see her latest project.  She is getting ready to have a baby and is stocking her freezer so she won't have to cook for MONTHS after the baby is born.  What a cool idea!  On top of that there are links to a lot of other great baking recipes.  I'm a seriously a fan of this gal and hope one day I can be as awesome as she is.  Check it out.  Let me know if there are any recipes we ought to post on here.  I will definetly be poking around so stay tuned!

REALLY easy and yummy Breadsticks

I don't know about your neck of the woods, but ours has been cold and SNOWY lately.  With that for inspiration I have been making soup lately.  Wanted to point out that there are some very yummy soups posted on this site.  You can check them out here.  Most recently I have tried the Cheddar and Soda Soup, the White Bean Chicken Chili and the Meatball and Gnocchi Soup.  LOVED them all!  Try them out and REVIEW them if you do!  Even though they were posted a while ago, any reviews are greatly appreciated.  So with soup on the brain I have been making these DELICIOUS breadsticks.  Seriously...the easiest things in the world!  Good luck!


1 TBLS Yeast
1 1/2 C Warm Water
2 TBLS Honey or Sugar

Mix together and let get bubbly. 

4 C flour
3/4 tsp salt

Knead together, grease Pan.  Grease or flour counter top, roll out dough in a rectangle shape (about 1/2 inch thick).  Cut in strips, twist and place on cookie sheet or pan.  Coat with melted butter (lately I've been dipping the whole strip into butter before I twist it up...)  Sprinkle with garlic salt, parmesan cheese and Italian Seasoning (I normally just use garlic salt, but sometimes add the others).  Let rise.  Cook at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes.  

This takes about 5 minutes to put together, 15 minutes or so to rise and then cook time.  Done in 40 minutes or the time it takes to make a meal.  My own kids and my daycare kids eat these up like crazy.  If you have a big family you'll want to double or triple the recipe.  We ate a whole batch between 5 of us tonight and I certainly could have had more.  I've also made this with half whole wheat and it is still really good (this is actually what I did for the daycare kids most recently...they still loved it).  The dough is a bit harder to work and takes longer to knead together.  You will love these if you try them.  They are REALLY good, but I also love that I don't have to wait for them like you normally do with breadsticks, yet they are homemade. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Creamy Crock Italian Chicken

There are several versions of this on the web.  I took one I liked and then we tweaked it.  It was really easy, but you have to play ahead.  Just a note:  this meal was totally cheap for me!  I got bottles of Kraft Dressing at Walmart last week for $.08 with a coupon and some help from coupon bloggers.  Everything else in the meal was on sale as well!  Good, cheap, easy...can't ask for more!

Creamy Crock Italian Chicken with Pasta

4 - 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 C Italian salad dressing ( I actually didn't measure this...just threw some in until it seemed good)

Put these in the crock pot on low for 6 hours or so.  No need to add extra water, chicken will make it's own juice.

30 minutes before you are ready to eat, mix 1 can cream of chicken and 1 block cream cheese.  Mix into crockpot with chicken.  Put some pasta on to cook.  We used Penne, but Fettuccine or other would be great I'm sure.  After the cream cheese mixture is well incorporated take the chicken out and cut up into chunks.  (You can probably skip this step, but I think ours would have been a little dry if I had.  The smaller pieces allowed the sauce to do it's magic).  Return the chicken to the sauce.  Drain pasta and mix directly in with the chicken mixture.

Season the dish with garlic salt (a few teaspoons, depending on your taste) and parmesan cheese (1/4 C or more if you like).

Make sure to add some good veggies as this meal lacks any.  If fact, you probably could add some directly into the pasta and meat if you wanted to be really efficient.  

Carmel Popcorn...YUM!

This is my favorite recipe for Carmel Popcorn I've been able to find.  My husband doesn't like it because it stays soft.  I love it because it stay soft!  The sauce is yummy and gooey and doesn't get hard or crunchy like some types do.  Try it out!

Carmel Popcorn

1 C brown sugar
1 C butter
3/4 C corn syrup

Heat ingredients together until it is boiling and bubbly.  Pour over two bags of microwave popcorn and mix.  

If you are using air popped, I just pop as large a bowl as I can.   Tonight I popped about one and a half scoops.  I also added almonds tonight which was good or pecans is really tasty also.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Quick Cheese Biscuits

These remind me of the biscuits they serve at red lobster.  These are so yummy and QUICK!  They take less than 10 minutes to put together and 15 to bake.  Good luck!  Let me know if you like them...

Quick Cheese Biscuits

1 C flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 C shredded cheddar cheese (recipe calls for sharp, I usually use mild because that's what I have on hand)
2 TBLS butter
2/3 C milk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.  Stir in cheddar.  Cut butter using a pastry blender or 2 knives until course crumbs form.  Using a fork, stir milk into flour mixture until a soft dough forms.  Do not overmix or overwork dough.  Drop dough in heaping tablespoons, 1 inch apart onto an ungreased baking sheet.  Bake until biscuits are firm to the touch, about 15 minutes.

Couple of tips from me:

I use an ice cream scoop to measure out the dough balls.  I then use a spoon to get the dough out of the scoop.  It works better than just using two regular spoons.  

I also usually make at least a double batch.  This says it makes 8 biscuits.  I usually get almost a dozen out the recipe, but love them, so make more so there is plenty to go around.

Variations listed on recipe:

Freeze these for mini egg sandwiches.  Defrost the biscuits; reheat in a warm oven for 10 minutes.  Fill with scrambled eggs, bacon and cheddar.

Compliment a spaghetti dinner:  use parmesan cheese instead of cheddar and add 1/2 tsp dried basil in flour mixture.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Low Country Beef and Rice

Tried this the other day on the daycare kids. They didn't believe they would like it...but they did! It's really yummy. It is a little different, but has enough familiar'll love it!

Low Country Beef and Rice (from Saving Dinner by LeAnne Ely)

3/4 pound extra-lean ground beef
1 stalk celery, chopped fine
1 large onion, chopped
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
1 tsp Cajon or Creole seasoning
1 cup oats
3 cups brown rice, cooked (even if you don't normally like brown rice, use it in this...better for you and you won't be able to tell a difference if you use white rice)
3 medium tomatoes, chopped (1 1/2 cups)
2 11 1/2 ounce cans V-8 juice

In a skillet, over medium-high heat, cook beef, celery, onion, bell pepper, and Cajon seasoning in a skillet about 4 minutes, stirring frequently, until beef is brown and vegetables are tender. With paper towels, blot any excess grease. Stir in oats well. Then add remaining ingredients. Reduce heat to medium low. Keep uncovered and simmer about 5 minutes.

Note: I didn't have a skillet big enough that would hold all of this. I just followed the instructions, except transferred everything to a bowl and added the rice very last.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

German Pancakes

UPDATE: Today I made this with WHOLE WHEAT and ALMOND MILK substituted in for regular flour and milk. It was delicious. The kids still gobbled it right up!


If you have never tried HAVE to. And you need to give it more than one chance. When we got married my husband had never had them. I made them for him and he was a little skeptical at first. They quickly became a family favorite however. These are YUMMY, FAST and full of protein (eggs). Although they are officially a breakfast item, we routinely have them after church and occasionally for dinner. So here you go:

German Pancakes

1/4 C Butter
1 C Milk
1 C Flour
1 tsp Vanilla
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 TBLS Honey
6 eggs

Place butter in 9 x 13 pan, melting in an oven at 400 degrees. DO NOT BURN. (This usually takes as long to melt as it does to put together everything else, but I still keep an eye on it just in case.) Mix remaining ingredients in a blender. Pour all at once into hot butter and bake 20 minutes or until browned on the edges.

A couple of TIPS:

This will rise up in the oven and look like it's going to spill all over the sides. It won't, but make sure you don't have another rack right above it or you will get it all over that. It flattens back down (mostly) after you pull it out of the oven.

We normally eat this with a little bit more butter and then powdered sugar sprinkled on top. you can also eat it with syrup or fruit preserves. We did make it one time with apple pie filling in the bottom and it was really yummy. It might even be good with omelet type toppings or fillings, but we've never tried it that way.

This just barely feeds our family of four, even though our kids are little because they love it so much. PLEASE LET ME KNOW HOW YOU LIKE THIS!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Blackberry Balsamic Chicken

This is another recipe from The Dinner Diva. It was really simple to put together and really yummy. Kelley didn't want to try it because of the appearance, but I had her take one bite and she LOVED it.

I served this with:

Green Chile Rice (Mix 1.5 cups sour cream and 1 can diced green chiles with 2-3 cups cooked rice. Cover with cheddar cheese and cook at 350 for 30 minutes)

Garlic Roasted potatoes (Cut potatoes into chunks and toss with olive oil and garlic salt, cook at 450 for 20 minutes or so).

Blackberry Balsamic Chicken

1/2 C chopped red onions
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/2 tsp dried thyme (I didn't have this so I just used italian seasoning)
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts (I used thighs, bone in and just cooked them longer)
1/2 C blackberry preserves (I used Boysenberry because that's what I had on hand)
2 TBLS Balsamic Vinegar

Heat some oil in a large skillet over medium high heat until hot. Add onion and saute until translucent. Sprinkle salt, pepper and thyme over the top of the chicken. Add chicken to skillet and saute 6 minutes on each side or until done. Remove chicken from skillet and keep warm. Reduce heat to medium low. Add preserves, vinegar, salt and pepper, stirring constantly until the preserves melt. Spoon the sauce over the chicken to serve.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

5 Minute Chocolate Cake

OK, I should have taken the picture before we ate it, but I didn't think of it til it was gone. Seth was pretty happy to get chocolate cake after dinner on a Wednesday night! And no more grazing on the leftovers--and not even really enjoying it--for days to come.
  • 4 T flour
  • 4 T sugar
  • 2 T cocoa
  • 1/8 t salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3 T milk
  • 3 T oil
  • 3 T chocolate chips (optional)
  • A small splash of vanilla extract
  • 1 large coffee mug

Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly.
Pour in the milk and oil and mix well.
Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla extract, and mix again. Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts.
The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed! Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Chicken and Pasta

Firstly...SO sorry about not posting. I've been busy with other things lately and this site has been neglected. I hope you all are still visiting and trying the recipes posted however. I still come here frequently to find new recipes to try as I haven't got through them all yet. Secondly...thanks to Kathy and Frances for the recent excited to try them both. Frances also has another recipe blog that I plant to post a link to on here soon because there's been some great things on that site as well...just don't have time to look it up right now.

OK, so I threw together this pasta for a dinner party the other night. SO yummy and so easy. Since it was an improvisation, there's a lack of precise measurements, for which I apologize. I am a direction follower most of the time and this would drive me nuts, reading someone else's recipe like this. But this is as good as it gets tonight.

Chicken: I was making it for a lot of people so I used the better part of a whole roatisserie chicken. You could use whatever, but I'd happen to get this for $1 at walmart (reduced at 10 PM to get rid of them for the day!) and needed to use it.

Veggies: I just used a Frozen Veggie Mix (basic, carrots, peas, corn, green beans) I had on hand, but I think something with brocolli would be good, or mostly anything really. I think I used the whole bag.

Pasta: I used twisted noodles.

Cook everything individually, drain pasta and veggies. Then toss together with some olive oil, and seasoning. We used parmesean cheese and mozzarella cheese as well as garlic salt and italian seasoning. Joey and I just mixed it together until we got the flavor we wanted. There are really endless variations with this and it is really easy to tailor to your families tastes. Let me know if you try any other variations on this theme and how they turn out!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Cheddar and Soda Soup

I just use whatever veggies are on hand like broccoli or cauliflower in place of the celery and carrots, only the onion is essential. Serve with crusty bread.

1/4 c. butter
1/2 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. chopped celery
1/2 c. chopped or shredded carrots
1/2 c. flour
2 tbsp corn starch
4 c. chicken stock divided
4 c. milk
1/2 tsp soda
1-3 c. cheddar cheese

Saute first four ingredients. Add chicken stock or 3 c. water and 4 bouillon cubes. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer about 15 minutes. Add 4 cups milk. Bring to a boil or until very hot. Combine 1 c. cold water with the flour and cornstarch. Add to hot soup while stirring constantly. Stir until thickened. Then add shredded cheese. Whisk in the soda. The soup will rise quite a bit, so turn down the heat it necessary. Makes 10-12 serving.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Bars

1/2 c butter or margarine
1 c oil
2 c brown sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
2 c whole wheat flour
2 c quick oats
1 c nuts
1 c chocolate chips
Cream together margarine, oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Add nuts and chocolate chips. Place in 9x13 cake pan and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. You can substitute applesauce for the oil if desired.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Quick Note

So sorry about the serious lack of posts lately.  I've had some recipes I've really wanted to post...but NO TIME!  After I get my taxes done next week I'm hoping things settle a little and it will be back to normal for me.  In the mean time...would LOVE to see some new recipes from some of you.  Happy cooking!


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Garlic Lime Chicken

Another recipe from the Dinner Diva (if you haven't noticed, I love her!). Anyway, this is really yummy and easy to put together. Good luck...let me know what you think!

1 tsp Salt
3/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp thyme

6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (Kristy's Note: I never use this much chicken, but I cut 2/3 chicken breast halves into smaller pieces and the same amount of seasoning.)

2 TBLS butter
2 TBLS olive oil

4 TBLS lime juice
1/2 C chicken broth

On a dinner plate, mix together first seven ingredients. Sprinkle mixture on both sides of chicken breasts (I usually coat mine more heavily, which I'm sure is why I use all of the spices on about half of the chicken the recipe calls for. ALSO, this is PRETTY spicey, so for the kids, I just skip putting the seasoning on the chicken. I cook it in the same pan so it gets some of the flavor, but not all of the spice!)

In a skillet heat butter and olive oil together over medium-high heat. Saute chicken until golden brown, about 5 minutes on each side. Remove chicken and add lime juice and chicken broth to the pan, whisking up the browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Keep cooking until sauce has reduced slightly. Add chicken back to the pan to thoroughly coat and serve.

I serve this with garlic mashed potatoes. Simply mash your potatoes and add garlic salt or powder to taste. I add another veggie as well with a bread to round it out.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Cheese Danish

This is simple and delicious!!

Preheat oven to 350.

2 Packages of Crescent rolls
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 block cream cheese.

In a 9x13 glass pan, unroll 1 package of crescent rolls, pressing all seems together.

Mix together cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until creamy and fluffy. Spread mix on top of crescent rolls. Unroll second roll of crescent rolls on top of filling, carefully pressing seems together. Bake for 30 minutes.

Once cool- glaze with a powdered sugar/water mixture to your liking.

Enjoy! This is SO simple and super easy/fast to make!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Easiest Ever Peanut Butter Cookies

These Peanut Butter Cookies are probably the easiest I have ever found, and they taste pretty good! My kids love to make them because they are SO easy...

1 C Peanut Butter (you decide chunky or creamy)
3/4 C packed brown sugar
1 large egg
3/4 C chocolate chips.

Mix the first 3 ingredients well, then add the chocolate chips. Roll into 1 1/2 inch balls, flatten slightly with a fork (on an ungreased cookie sheet) and bake at 350 for 10-11 minutes. Let sit on sheet for 2 minutes, then remove.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Easy Yummy Cornbread

1 (9 oz) box corn muffin mix
1 (9 oz) box yellow cake mix

Prepare corn muffin mix just as box directs. Set aside. In another bowl, prepare yellow cake mix as box directs. Pour cake mix into corn muffin mix and stir well. Pour batter into greased 9x12 inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Serve warm with honey butter.

White Bean Chili

I have many different varieties of this recipe that I have tried recently and family just loves it. This can be made so many different ways. It is very delicious with this cornbread recipe. Try it out.

3-4 chicken breasts, cubed
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 T. oil
1 med onion, chopped
2 cans Great Northern beans rinsed and drained
1-2 sm cans green chilies
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1(14 oz) can chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
1/2 c whipping cream

Combine chicken, garlic, oil and onion in skillet and heat until chicken is cooked. Add beans, chilies, spices and chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 30 minutes. Add sour cream and whippign cream and heat through. ( One way I have tried it is to not add any of the spices but to add fajiti dry mix instead of spices)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Crock Pot Cafe Rio Pork (almost)

UPDATE: I love, Love, LOVE this recipe. It is SO SO SIMPLE and really delicious. I don't *think* you could ruin this. I thought I did the other day. I put it in on high in the morning trying to get it ready for lunch. I went to shred it a few hours later and it was NOT working. So I cut it up, stuffed it down in the sauce and turned it to low. I let it finish cooking that way until dinner and then it just fell apart. You could use this in a couple different ways. We like it on a salad. I saute some onions until they are caramelized and add some black beans and corn. (To caramelize onions, just sauce them in a little oil until they start to get brown. They will be a little sweet. If you want more specifics just type it in your search engine and you can get great directions on how to do this.) This time we also topped with tomatoes and pieces of fried flour tortillas. Ranch dressing tops it all off. This would also be great in burritos, tamales, chimichangas maybe...

Anyway, it's fabulous I think...try it, you'll like it!

Original post:

This is the last recipe I found on Lara's site. Again, haven't tried it yet...but doesn't it sound yummy??? And hello simple! Let me know...

Crock-Pot Cafe Rio Pork (almost)

1 pork roast (I use pork shoulder, bone-in or boneless- just pick the bone out when it's done if you use bone-in)
1 jar salsa (Chile Verde, made with tomatillos is GREAT!)
1 cup brown sugar

Mix salsa and brown sugar. Dump on pork in crock-pot. Cook all day. Shred the meat with 2 forks and mix the juices back in. Enjoy. (Can be used as burrito filling, taco filling, for taco salad, etc.)

Crockpot Chicken

This is not a recipe I have tried yet, but another one from my friend Lara's blog. Let me know how it turns out if you try it!

Crockpot Chicken
In a crockpot, throw in:
1/4 c. butter
4 frozen chicken breasts
1/4 c. water
1 pkg. onion soup mix

Cook on High for 3-4 hours
One hour before serving add:
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 pkg. cream cheese
frozen peas
Serve over rice or noodles.