Sunday, October 3, 2010

Butterscotch Pull Apart Bread

This is what we enjoyed for breakfast this morning.  Mmmm Mmmm Good Stuff!  This recipe is a tradition at my house on General Conference weekend and on Christmas Day. It is so yummy and very easy to make. Give it a try!

Butterscotch Pull Apart Bread

24 Rhodes Frozen Dinner Rolls (not Texas rolls)
3 oz. pkg Butterscotch Pudding (cook & serve)
1/2 c. Butter (melted)
1/2 c. Brown sugar
Chopped Pecans
1 tsp Cinnamon

Place frozen rolls in greased bundt pan.  Sprinkle 1/2 of the 3 oz pudding pkg over rolls (save rest for another batch).  Mix melted butter and brown sugar together.  Pour over rolls and pudding.  Sprinkle with chopped pecans.  Sprinkle cinnamon.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise over night (start late at night).
In the morning, bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Turn upside down on serving tray and enjoy! 

Let me know how you like them! 

Friday, September 10, 2010

Pear (or Peach) Tarts!

I'm SO sorry. That was kind of a mean tease promising you a recipe like that! I really did mean to post it sooner than this. But I didn't get to it that night and then it was labor day weekend and then I had knee surgery last week. I thought I'd be able to log more computer time while I was laid up, but mostly I've just been sleeping as much as I can. Every time I try to get started something distracts my attention! I got this recipe out of a baking cookbook my mother gave me ages ago. Don't tell her, but I never cook anything out of it. Oh it is GORGEOUS. There are pictures of all the food and lots of things sound really delicious, but it calls for a lot of gourmet ingredients that I don't have on hand and never think to buy. Who has ever even heard of Muscovado or superfine sugar anyway? Anyhow I had some fresh pears that I had been canning but had a few leftover that were almost on their way to the compost pile. So I pulled out the book to see what I could find.

And I found these.

And even though they called for Ready Made Pastry Puffs, I decided it was worth the trip to the grocery store just to find them.

Because they looked really good...

I did try to find a recipe to make my own Pastry Puffs, but apparently they take 2 or 3 days to make and I'm not that patient. So I went out and bought them. I found them in the freezer section. I think they were Pepperidge Farm.

As you can see from the pictures there are a few ways you can do them. The picture with the whole half pear is how the recipe called for them to be made. They were good. But they were a little too much fruit in my opinion. And that way (with the rounds) wasted a lot of the pastry puff. I did ball up the leftovers and reroll them out, but they weren't near as flaky when I did that. So the second time around I did them square (wasting NONE of the yummy pastry puffiness!) and used less fruit. I thought these were absolutely divine! Hope you find them as delectable as I (and everyone else who tried them ;) did!

Pear tart made with a whole half fruit on a round pastry.

Peach and Pear tarts made with 1/4 of a whole fruit on square pastries.

Pear (or Peach) Tarts

1 sheet Frozen Puff Pastry
1/2 C Butter
1/2 C Brown Sugar
1/2 - 1 tsp Cinnamon (depending on your taste)
2 - 6 whole fresh Pears and/or Peaches, depending on how you do the tart...
(*You could probably use canned if you really want to, but I can promise they wouldn't be NEARLY as yummy!)

OK, so to start you'll have to thaw the frozen puff pastries for about 40 minutes, or until they are workable. Then on a lightly floured surface roll out the pastry. Cut out 3-4 inch round circles OR cut in desired size squares (I think I did 16 per pastry sheet). Place the circles on a large baking sheet and prick each several times with a fork. Chill for 30 minutes (or just until you have the fruit prepared is fine!)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Cream together the butter, brown sugar and add cinnamon. Set aside.

Prepare the fruit. If using pears peel them with a vegetable peeler. Slice them in half and use a melon baller or cookie scoop to scoop out the seeds. Cut out the rest of the stem with a knife. If you are doing a lot you will want to 1) do this assembly style (i.e. peel 3-4 at a time, then cut them all in half, then take out all the center, etc) AND 2) put them in cold water and/or sprinkle them with "Fruit Fresh" to keep them from browning. (You can find Fruit Fresh in the canning section. Now is the perfect time to get it. It is packaged in what looks like a plastic spice container. The brand I've seen has a lime green lid).

If using peaches you'll want to boil some water in a medium stock pot. Drop the peaches in for about 30 seconds. Place them directly in ice water. The skins should then just slip off. Cut them in half and remove the seed. Again if you are doing a lot, put the in water and/or use the fruit fresh to keep them from browning.

Take out the pastry puffs and spread a little of the the butter-sugar mixture over each.

If you want to use a whole half of the fruit as in the first picture....Slice them fruit halves lengthways - but keeping them intact at the tip. Fan out the slices slightly. (I had a really hard time keeping them in tact, it would take some practice, but mine still looked really good, so it probably doesn't really matter...ha ha!) Place the fruit half on in the center of the pastry puff.


Slice the fruit thinly. Place about 1/4 of the fruit, fanned out on the pastry puff.

Make small flutes around the edge of the pastry circles/squares or simply fold over the corners. You could even fold almost over all of the fruit if you wanted. Place the rest of the butter sugar mixture in the microwave for 30-60 seconds, enough time to melt it. Brush each tart with the melted butter mixture.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes until the pastry is well risen and golden. Serve warm with a little cream, ice cream or by themselves. They are delicious any way you slice it!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Anyone want to know how to make these?

Coming VERY soon.... (maybe tonight if I can swing it...)

UPDATE: So sorry to keep you waiting! It is quite simple, but I just don't have time to type it out right now. We are headed out on the open road for the weekend, so perhaps on Monday! Happy Labor Day all!!!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Chicken Noodle Soup with Mashed Potatoes

So, I have not in the past done pictures with my posts. Mostly because I'm not good at presenting or photographing food. But most recipe blogs have photos of the food and so I will make an attempt. I really hope it doesn't drive all my visitors away...ha!

Have I mentioned that I love Fall? I love it when the nights get a little cooler, when you can leave your doors open and the fan on a little longer and when you can make soup to warm the soul! This soup tops the list as my one of my daughters favorite(!) meals of all time. She requests it often and praises it each time I make it. And I can't simply just make Chicken Noodle Soup anymore....I have to make mashed potatoes to go with them. In our house we put them in the bowl first and pour hot soup all over the top.

I know, it sounded strange to me at first too. This is one of those things that came from my husbands family. But trust me, it's worth trying.

Now many of you may be much experienced in the art of throwing together a "Mustgo" soup. (It's been in the fridge for a week and now it "mustgo"...ha ha!) Over the years I have become very comfortable with this type of thing. But it was not always so. There was a time when I was ALWAYS tied to a recipe. But as life gets busier, I've found flexibility is always an asset worth having. So with that in mind here's my "recipe" for chicken noodle soup.

Kristy's Chicken Noodle Soup (or Stew, depending on ingredients)

Chicken - cubed or shredded
Chicken Broth
Onions, peeled and chopped
Carrots, sliced
Celery, sliced
Potatoes, cubed or mashed
Egg Noodles, homemade (recipe below) or store bought
Salt and Pepper to taste

Other things you could add:

Green beans (fresh or frozen)
Squash, cubed
Tomatoes, chopped

OK. OK. I know there are those ought there going "GIVE ME SOME MEASUREMENTS YOU CRAZY LADY!" But honestly, when I make my soup I really just throw stuff in until it seems right. And you too can be free from the traditional recipe. Come one. Give it a try.

So your first step is usually getting the chicken started. Last night I used a combination of left over grilled boneless skinless chicken breast and what was left from a rotisserie chicken we'd had for lunch on Saturday. The grilled chicken I cut up in bit size cubes. If you have raw chicken you can boil it, grill it or bake it, then cube it. I also used the chicken off the bones of our rotisserie. This will also give your broth a nice start. Put your chicken bones in a good stock pot and cover at least half of the bones with water. Boil the bones for "a while", probably a good 20-30 minutes. I usually cover mine. The steam helps to loosen all the meat, especially if the bones aren't completely covered.

Homemade Noodles

It's usually at this point I make the noodles. You can really make these any time before you start. Homemade noodles should have a little time to dry out before you throw them in so you could even do them several hours before dinner.

For my noodles I use the following proportions: 1 egg, 1 tsp salt, 1 TBLS milk (and YES, I used almond milk in these last night...) and about 1 C of flour. For a batch of soup to feed my family (2 adults and 2 children that eat "real food") I would make a double batch of noodles.

You want to mix your egg, salt and milk together first. Then add the flour until you have the right consistency for noodles...a little sticky, like bread dough. Roll them out to desired thickness and cut. I find it easiest to roll it up, make the cuts, then unroll. Let your noodles sit out and dry for a bit before you throw them in the soup.

Meanwhile back on the stove....

When the meat is falling off the bones strain the broth from the bones. In your stock pot heat a little olive oil and saute your onions until translucent. For this batch of soup I used a whole large onion. We like onions. If you don't, I would use a little less. You could probably skip this step if you want and just throw the raw onions into the soup, but I think sauteing the onions 1 - really improves the flavor and 2 - improves the texture. It makes them softer and sweeter, less distinct.

When your onions are nice and soft, put your water you used to boil the bones in back in the stock pot. This will be the start for your broth. Add more chicken broth until you have enough for the batch you want to make. This is where you have to use your judgement. My family loves this and will eat a lot of it. So last night in addition to the broth I had from the chicken I added probably a good 6-8 more cups of broth. I like to add ready made broth because it tends to improve the flavor of the soup. You can used canned broth or chicken bouillon. I don't really have a preference. Last night I used both.

Chop your veggies and add to the soup. You want to make sure and add your crunchier veggies right away because they will take a while to get soft. Carrots are always the first thing I get in there. If you like soft green beans (and you want them in your version) they need to go in quickly as well. Pick all the useable meat off the bones once they are cool enough to handle. Add the chicken to the soup and let it boil until the veggies are desired tenderness. Add the noodles and cook for 5-10 minutes more. Adjust the seasoning and serve over a heap of your best homemade mashed potatoes.

For classic Chicken Noodle Soup stick with the onions, carrots and celery. If you want more of a Chicken Stew that's when I add the green beans and sometimes chunks of potatoes, instead of making mashed. Last night I didn't have celery, so I just left it out and it was still delicious. Just play around with it. Put in what you have and what you like. Anyway you serve it though, there's nothing like a bowl of hot Chicken Soup to let your family know you really care!

(If you REALLY want some measurements, here is about what I would put in for a small pot of soup...enough to feed 2-3 people, with maybe a bowl of leftovers: 4 C chicken broth, 1/2 onion, 2 carrots, 1-2 stalks celery and 2 potatoes. This can be a base and then you can add more stuff as you need.)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

No Bake Peanut Butter Cheerio Treats

These are SO yummy! And a little addicting. I had to remove myself to the other room in order to stop eating them. My husband was skeptical when he saw the ingredients. He didn't think they would work together, but he was proven wrong! (Again ;)! Ha Ha!

Peanut Butter Cheerio Treats

3 TBLS Butter
16 oz bag marshmellows
1/2 C Peanut Butter
5 C Cheerios (Generic is fine)

Spray a 9x 13 pan with cooking spray. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in marshmallows. Heat until melted and add peanut butter. Remove from heat. Fold in Cheerios until coated. Smooth mixture into pan and let sit until cooled (if you can!). Enjoy!

Sunday, August 15, 2010


I don't know about you, but when I saw this movie I was like "What the heck is ratatouille?" So we promptly looked it up on the internet and found a recipe. And it was actually really good! Well's ratatouille season once more! Ratatouille is basically just a veggie stew type of dish. So it's perfect for this time of the year because it uses all the yummy veggies we have coming out of the garden. Or in my case...from my Bountiful Basket this week! Since this is all in season right now you *should* be able to find this stuff at farmer's markets or the grocery store for cheap. What do you need? Another website suggested the phrase EZ-POT to remember what goes in it AND the order to put it in: Eggplant, Zucchini, Peppers, Onions, Tomatoes.

Oh and can I say that I think that Basil is just really essential in a garden? If you don't plant any other herb, plant basil. I use mine more than I use any other herbs I've planted. And it's easy to grow. Plus it's really expensive if you have to buy it in the store. I think this year I'm going to transfer mine to a pot I can keep in the house 'cause I like it so much...

One final suggestion: you can use the movie as a way to get your kids to try it. It might not look like much, BUT if you can get them to try it, they will probably like it. I also served this with my homemade breadsticks. It was a good night! :)

Simmering Summer Ratatouille

2 TBLS olive oil (I think I used a lot more than this...ha ha!)
2 eggplants, cubed (I peeled mine because I was concerned about the texture of the skin being problematic in this dish...)
2 zucchini, cubed
2 bell peppers, chopped (I used green, but other colors would be yummy too, I'm sure!)
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced (I always use a garlic press instead)
5 - 8 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped (peeling and seeding optional...)
3 - 5 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 TBLS fresh thyme, chopped (I substituted dried)
salt and pepper to taste

1. Note on eggplant: I always try to work very quickly with this. It browns quickly once peeled and cut open. If you really want to you can put it in water or cover with Fresh Fruit or lemon juice. But in a dish like this it doesn't really matter anyway. So I just work fast. So as you cut your eggplant place it in a colander and sprinkle with sea salt. Let sit for 30 minutes. Rinse the eggplant if desired. Pat it dry. (I actually forgot to rinse the salt off...oops! Tasted great to me, but if your really conscious about your sodium intake you probably should rinse it...)

2. (Skip to next step of you don't care about the tomato skins.) If you want to peel your tomatoes: Fill a large bowl about 1/2 way with water and ice. Boil a large pot of water. Cut small x's in the bottom of the tomatoes. Place the tomatoes in the boiling water for about a minute. Immediately place the tomatoes in an ice bath for another minute. Remove the tomatoes and place in a colander in the sink until they are cool enough to handle. Peel the tomatoes. If you want to seed them also just cut the tops off and squeeze as many seeds out as you can. (NOTE: I peeled 6 of my tomatoes. Then I decided I wanted more in the stew, but didn't want to go through all that again...SO I just chopped them up and put them seeds, skin and all. Couldn't tell a time I will probably just leave them as nature intended in the first place)

3. Heat olive oil in a large pot. NOTE: While adding veggies, make sure you stir them around frequently to promote even cooking. Add the eggplant and let it cook for about 5-10 minutes. Add the zucchini, cook for another 5-10 minutes. Add the bell peppers, cook for 5 minutes. Add the onions and garlic and cook for another 5-10 minutes.

4. Add the tomatoes and cook until the liquid reduces. You can create a thicker sauce by adding tomato paste if desired.

5. Remove from the heat and stir in salt, pepper, basil and thyme. Adjust seasoning as needed to taste and serve.

Just to warn you, it really does kind of look like a pile of mush. The eggplant gets really soft and isn't a super appetizing color when it cooks. But it is really good. Really. Try it. :)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Cider Glazed Brussel Sprouts

Got this off of the Bountiful Baskets facebook page. We had this tonight and it was SO yummy. Now if you don't like brussel sprouts in the first place, it probably won't change your mind about them. But I do like brussel sprouts and this was an excellent way to cook them. I have only had frozen ones in the past, but had some fresh ones I had to use and this was much better than simply boiling or steaming them. You could probably use frozen as well, just cut down the baking time. Also, my sprouts were pretty old and didn't look so hot. BUT I just cut off the bottoms and peeled off the first layer or two and voila! Good as new! Hope you like it!

Cider Glazed Brussel Sprouts

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Fill a baking sheet with brussel sprouts and 1-2 chunked red onions. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until sprouts are tender and starting to turn brown. Place 4 C apple cider in a medium sauce pan. Simmer until reduced to approximately 1 C. When sprouts are finished, toss with cider. Serve warm.

NOTE: I only had about 1 C of Cider so I just boiled it down about halfway and used what I had.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Yummy, Moist Chocolate Cake...with a Twist!

OK, so some of my readers may be aware that I have put myself on a "no dairy" diet for the sake of my darling baby. She is 6 months old and I am nursing her still. When I eat dairy her cheeks get red and scratchy, her nose runs, she gets a cough and she projectile vomits. She is most likely allergic to the protein in milk, which actually is quite a common problem for babies. Anyhow, it's been a TOUGH road for me. And I cheat more than I should, causing her grief. Because dairy is in EVERYTHING it seems like. It's of course in milk, cheese, yogurt, most salad dressings, cream soups (goodbye creamy casseroles and soups), ice cream, chocolate, but it's also in stuff like peanut butter chips, granola bars, some breads and cereals, doughnuts and of course all cakes. And I don't have a lot of willpower. So I cheat. And she throws up and is miserable.

But recently I have discovered the fabulous thing that is Almond Milk. And it is SO much better tasting than Soy! It costs about the same (under $3 for a 1/2 gallon carton) - you can find coupons easily and there's only 40-60 calories per serving depending on the variety you buy. What does any of this have to do with chocolate cake? Well I was using it for cereal mostly, but one day got this crazy idea that I could start cooking with it. I used it to make cornbread one day and it turned out so good. Better than when I use regular milk in fact --it was much moister and a better texture. So the other day I tried a white cake...yummy! ( I will post the recipe for that soon too!) Today, it was chocolate cake.

And now I am finally at peace :). Do you know what it's like to go without chocolate???? But plain cocoa doesn't have milk in I substituted the buttermilk for almond milk and "voila!" Chocolate fix granted! I'll tell you I am in HEAVEN today! And again this is better than any chocolate cake you can buy or make from a box. I am getting to the point I might be done with milk for good just because I WANT to! Life is good today...

OK to the recipe...

Dairy Free Moist Dark Chocolate Cake (OK, so the name needs work...any suggestions?)

2 C Flour
2 C Sugar
3/4 C Baking Cocoa
2 tsp Baking Soda
2 large eggs
1 tsp salt
1 C Almond Milk (original recipe called for buttermilk, if you really don't want to try it with AM...but you will really thank me if you try it this way...I promise!)
1 C Vegetable Oil
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla
1 C Boiling water

Preheat oven to 300 degrees (yep! this is a SLOW bake cake). Grease and flour a 9 x 13 pan. Place all ingredients in a bowl. Mix on medium speed until everything is blended and smooth. Pour into your pan. It will be thin. Bake for one hour. Test by sticking with a fork or toothpick. It is done when it comes out clean. Cool and serve with your favorite icing...or by itself!

Also - Did you know you can substitute applesauce or black beans for oil? I haven't tried it with this recipe, but will let you know if I do...if you try it, let me know the results!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Crock-Pot Hawaiian Chicken

This is a really easy yummy dish that you can throw in the crock pot and forget about it until you put it on the table. Serve with rice and you've got a nice summer meal without the oven being on and heating up the house!

Crock-Pot Hawaiian Chicken

3 lbs chicken breast
1 16 oz can pineapple chunks
1 15 oz can mandarin oranges
2 TBLS Lemon juice
2 TBLS brown sugar
2 TBLS corn starch (I actually used about TWICE this much because I wanted the sauce thicker!)
1/4 tsp each salt and ground ginger

Combine corn starch with cold lemon juice (if you put it with warm liquids it will clump up!). Add all other ingredients besides chicken. Stir well. Place chicken and mixture in the crockpot and stir to coat all the chicken. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours until done.

Makes 6 servings. Calories: 370. Total Fat: 3g. Sodium 260 mg. Total Carbs: 28g. Protein: 52g.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The BEST Oatmeal Cookies EVER...even BETTER!

OK guys, so I posted my favorite oatmeal cookie recipe a bit ago. I have to admit I make these every chance I get, which is not so fabulous for my diet plan. Would not be so bad if I didn't eat anywhere from 1/2 to a whole dozen cookies in a sitting. Yes, it's true. Well, I was making them yesterday and decided to try using whole wheat flour instead of white flour. The result....Yummy, healthified deliciousness! OK, so it's still a cookie, but it makes me feel better anyway. Because there is so much oatmeal in them, you can't even tell the difference when you make them with whole wheat. Oh and then I added a cup of PECANS chopped. Yeah, that's a good addition too....

So try them if you haven't yet. You will love them, guarenteed!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Strawberry Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

Have you missed me? Oh life has been crazy busy around here lately. I've been trying to stress less about getting EVERYTHING done and so the blog has been neglected. I am sorry. I hope this makes up for it, because it is a really yummy recipe. I literally threw this together as we were sitting down for dinner today and it was a huge hit! I love poppy seed dressing and didn't realize how EASY it is to make, aside from being much cheaper than what you can buy in the store. Lucky for me I just happened to have some poppy seeds in the pantry...who knows how long they've been there! Anyway, this the perfect compliment to our homemade spaghetti sauce, which if you are lucky will be posted in the near future as well. Enjoy!


1 head Romaine lettuce AND/OR
Baby Spinach (I used romaine because that is what I had, but it is also really good with spinach)

1/2 lb fresh strawberries sliced (more or less depending on what you like!)
1/2 medium purple onion, sliced thin (I'm sure you could use another type if you prefer)
Mandarin oranges, canned or fresh
Slivered almonds


1/2 C Mayo
2 TBLS White or Red Wine Vinegar (I used red)
1/3 C white sugar
1/4 C Milk (I actually used Almond Milk, since I'm off dairy currently...)
1 - 2 TBLS Poppy seeds

DIRECTIONS: Put the "salad" together....mix the "dressing" together. Enjoy together :)

OK, so I actually didn't think to put the oranges on this salad tonight. It was an afterthought, but I am going to try it tomorrow with some california Cutie mandarin oranges I got in my bountiful basket this week. I haven't ever tried it with fresh oranges, but used to put canned mandarin oranges on my salads all the time. It can only be better with fresh don't you think?

(Side Note...I did try it with the fresh oranges and YUM!!!)

Try this and I dare you to tell me you don't love it as much as I do! Ready...set...go!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sweet Bean Burritos

Featuring the Sweet Potato! I know what your thinking...yes it does sound odd, but TRY IT! You just might like it. I think it's great! This is another recipe from the Dinner Diva over at Enjoy!

2 TBLS Olive Oil
1 onion, chopped (we used half of each of a red and yellow onion)
3 cloves garlic, pressed
2 cans black beans, drained
2 medium sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed
1 tsp cumin
6 flour tortillas
6 TBLS cilantro, chopped
6 TBLS cheddar cheese

In a skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat and cook onion and garlic until soft. Add beans, stir in mashed sweet potatoes, add the cumin and mix well.

Heat tortillas and plop bean mixture inside, add the cilantro and cheddar cheese and roll up burrito style. Serve.

(You can also serve with enchilada sauce and cheese on top, along with a dollop of sour cream...yummy!)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The BEST Oatmeal Cookies EVER!

Funny that I follow my "shpeal" on veggies with this post...but I just had to do it!

Warning: These are highly addictive. My sister made them a few months ago and I have been searching for the recipe ever since. I finally figured out which one it was and made them the first chance I got. I haven't been able to stop eating them since. It's a good thing they are almost gone. I can't make them again for a LONG time, but I hope you get a chance to try and enjoy them...

This is from the cookbook "Deep Creek Creations: Recipes Past & Present, Ibapah, UT, 2000". Gold star goes to anyone who knows where this is (without googling it ;)

Oatmeal Cookies

2 C brown sugar
1 1/2 C butter, margarine or butter flavored crisco
4 eggs
4 C oatmeal
3 C flour (Whole Wheat works great!)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 C nuts (pecans are really good!), raisins, toffee chips or peanut butter chips (optional)

Cream sugar and butter; add eggs. Beat; mix in dry ingredients. Drop on a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes. Makes 3 dozen large cookies or 6 dozen small cookies.

For my cookies I like using a cookie scoop or melon baller. This will make a really nice uniform cookie that's on the smaller side. I've also started using my ice cream scoop for bigger cookies. If you don't have one that will push the dough out on it's own, you can just use a spoon to pull it out of the scoop. I like using the scoop though because it makes it more uniform that just eyeballing it with a spoon.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Chicken Stir Fry...another version

This was put together from stuff I had to use the other day and turned out SO good. As with many of my recipes...this would be SO easy to tweak based on what you have on hand. So easy in fact I'm not even going to put measurements in. I used what I had and enough chicken to feed everyone I needed to. Does that drive you crazy? Sorry....

This turned out so great. I love cooking with red onions because they add a really nice, almost sweet flavor. I served this over rice. Good luck!

Chicken Stir Fry:

Olive Oil - Heat in a cast iron skillet (you can use non stick, but I have come to really LOVE my cast iron skillet. My non stick I got for my wedding is trashed and I find CI much more durable for what I need)

Cut all of the following in strips or cubes (to your preference)

Chicken Breasts
Red and Yellow Peppers
Zucchini Squash
Red Onions

Saute the onions and garlic for a few minutes. Add chicken and cook until most of the pink is gone. Add the veggies and cook to desired doneness. If you want it to cook faster you can cover it and let the steam do some of the cooking of the veggies.

This was so flavorful without adding any other spices or sauces. Once you get used to cooking with and eating fresher foods, you realize how much more exciting it is than dumping something out of a can, or even pulling it from the freezer.

Bountiful Baskets and Some Tweaks....

Any of you ever heard of Bountiful Baskets??? They currently have "drop sites" in Utah, Arizona, Idaho and Washington. But I know that there are programs like this all over. It is a food co-op that allows you to buy high quality produce and other items at prices reserved for restaurants and grocery stores. I've attached some pictures of "baskets" I got on two different weeks for $15....

Can you believe it? This is SO much more than you could ever buy at the grocery store for that price. It is also really high quality, very fresh! It's also great because they always give you something a little exotic so your forced to try something you might otherwise not. We've had mangos, jimacas, pummelos, asian pears, cara cara oranges and the list goes on. You never know what you are going to get, but I'll tell you what...we eat a whole lot more fresh produce now and I hardly EVER buy fresh fruits and veggies from the grocery store anymore. BB also offers great bread add ons every week. And it is really good bread. I'm talking 100% Whole Wheat or 9 grain sandwhich bread, Olive Oil loaves, Rye Bread...good stuff! I don't buy bread at the store hardly at either now. In fact most weeks I just send my husband for milk on his way home from work and we are set. (I buy my meat in bulk as well and freeze it)

I tell everyone I know about it because I think it is SUCH a valuable asset to our community. Cedar City started with one drop site, every other week, in October 2009 and 14 orders. There are currently four sites in the Cedar/Enoch area accommodating I think 100 people each. At least one of them is now open every week. We are hoping to start another site on the west end of town and I've heard rumors of at least one other in Cedar, one in Parowan and one in Kannaraville, all close by.

So what good does this do you? If you live in one of those four states....check out the site and find a site near you. If there isn't one, you can probably start one. The founders Sally and Tanya are great to answer questions. If you don't live may be able to get in on the action somehow, it's worth exploring. Or you can look for a similar program. I think the food co-op idea is gaining a lot of ground all over.


*We don't eat that much produce....
If you get this and have it in your will eat more I PROMISE. You will find things to make with it and find yourself eating healthier because you don't want it to go to waste. Besides, even if some of it does go to still only spent $15 on the whole lot of it!

*I don't have anywhere to put it....
My solution is seen in the picture below. Pretty sure we got this at Walmart. I love this for a few reasons. It's portable, so if I need to move it I can. It's accessible. When my kids ask what they can have for a snack I send them to find an apple. When my son is hungry, he sees the bananas and will ask for them instead of asking for something less healthy. It keeps everything right there so I can remember I have produce that needs to be eaten.

*I can't afford it....
A basket will last a normal family a good two weeks. There is a great variety of food so that even though some will need to be eaten right away, some is hardier and will last till the end of the two weeks. $30 a month spent on healthy food like this will be worth the investment I PROMISE! It will help change the way you eat, in a fabulous way.

The area I live in has an email group to share recipes for the ingredients we get each week. That is great, but if you like the recipe, you have to save the email or print it out. So I considered starting a new BB food blog, but my hubby suggested I just tweak this one to fit! So I have decided to make a few changes to this blog. I'm going through all the recipes and instead of labeling them as simply containing "veggies" I'm going to label specific produce items. So if you get the mexican pack or the italian ingredient pack with your basket, you'll be able to look up items containing specific ingredients. I'm hoping to recruit more contributors (aka Other BB friends) to the blog this way as well and get some more healthier recipes on here. Plus I'm hoping this will be helpful as it gets closer to gardening season, so if you have zucchini coming out your ears, maybe you can find some ideas here.

Anyone else totally stoked about this? Have I converted anyone yet?

Above: Dipping Pack that was offered over Superbowl weekend. Cost was I think $7.50 for all of that. Avocados on a killer sale are at least 50 cents a piece. The carrots would cost probably $1.50. Tomatoes: $2.50. Celery...I dunno 50 cents or a dollar? Cilantro again???? $1? But we are already past the $7.50 it cost me...

Above: Italian ingredient add on pack. You get a ginormous pack of fresh herbs and spices with this baby. Have you ever priced those at the store? Again this pack is $7.50 to add on your basket. You couldn't get half of this for that price!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Yummy Sloppy Joes

My family loves this recipe and now they won't even try other sloppy joes because they are so used to my recipe. Give it a try.

1 pound hamburger( browned)
1 can chicken gumbo soup( Campbells)

This recipe is very easy. You just brown the hamburger and then add one can of chicken gumbo. After that you add mustard and catsup to desired taste. It all depends on how much you want. We probably use approximately 4 tbsp of each mustard and catsup.

Warm sloppy joes up and serve on buns.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Spicy Honey-Glazed Chicken

This is from my Saving Dinner cookbook, by Leann Ely. Love her! Check out for more info! Anyway, this recipe is really yummy and even "Joey approved" (my husband is incredibly picky...). Plus you probably have everything you need already :)

Spicy Honey-Glazed Chicken

1/4 C Honey
2 TBLS frozen orange juice Concentrate
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
1 TBLS butter
1/2 tsp olive oil
6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
salt and pepper to taste
cilantro, chopped
green onions, chopped

In a small bowl, combine honey, orange juice, garlic and red pepper flakes. In a skillet heat butter and olive oil (I just used all olive oil instead) over medium heat. Add chicken, salt and pepper to taste and brown, about 4 minutes on each side.

Add honey mixture to the skillet and cook, turning to thoroughly coat the chicken. Cook 2 more minutes or until sauce begins to thicken. (Make sure your chicken is cooked through. Mine always takes longer than the recipes say. I always use a meat therm to test as well!) To serve, place chicken on plate, spoon sauce over the top and sprinkle with cilantro and green onions.

We had this with rice and it was perfect!

204 Calories, 4g fat, 28g protein, 14g Carbs

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Italian Chicken and Veggie Stir Fry

This was experiment. My hubby kind of hates it when I do that, but even he was pleased with the result. I did take some inspiration from other recipes. For example I never would have thought to use Italian Dressing as a type of cooking oil, but it actually worked really nicely. I think the Red Peppers really made this dish. I don't buy them a lot because they are expensive, but we got a BUNCH in our Bountiful Basket this week. BTW...if you haven't heard of them you should TOTALLY check them out at I know they have sites across several western states. It is a food coop and I have been SO happy about it for the past few months since I've been doing it. Maybe I will do a separate post to give you more info in the near future...

Anyway, on with the recipe:

1/4 C Italian Salad Dressing
2 C fresh Broccoli florets
2 C fresh Red Bell Peppers, sliced
1 C cooked chicken, shredded or diced

Saute the broccoli and red peppers in the italian dressing. I cooked it on a lower heat and covered it. This helped to kind of "steam" the veggies. Add the chicken and cook until warm. Serve over rice.

A note about the proportions on this recipe: I used what I had ON HAND. The chicken actually came from a rotisserie chicken we'd eaten the day before and was just the leftovers. The more I cook the braver I'm getting about putting things together without a recipe. Don't be afraid to experiment...for example, you could probably add some squash, onions, or other veggies to this and it would be great. Or you could use more chicken if you wanted it meatier. Let me know if you can come up with an even yummier version of this...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Cafe Rio Pork

I know I already posted this one, but tonight I added a picture and some updated information on a recipe I posted this time last year. To see it go HERE. It is the epitome of DELICIOUS and EASY! Happy cooking!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Peach Pie, Times Two!

I love Peach Pie. It's always been my favorite. My sister has been asking for my recipe, so it seems like the perfect time to post it here.

First off...I always make my own pie crusts. They are a hundred times better than refrigerated, probably more nutritious and just about as easy. I've used a few pie crust recipes. Here is one of my favorites. The key to making a flaky, yummy crust is two fold: 1 - Use ice cold water. 2 - Don't overwork your dough. Ideally you should still be able to see some of the butter or shortening pieces in the dough when your done. With that here's the recipe I use most often:

Pie Crust Dough (For one crust):

1 C flour
1/3 C shortening
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 to 3/4 C water as needed

Mix flour and salt. Cut in shortening with a pastry cutter (or two knives if you don't have one!). Add water and mix until you get the right consistency. I'm not quite sure how to describe what the right consistency is...I started making crusts when I was probably 10, so it's just easy for me. I might suggest finding a friend that can do crusts and working with them a time or two to get the idea.

This recipe makes a little more than you actually need for one crust. So if I am doing say 2 pies with a top and bottom crust, I will triple the recipe and that usually makes enough.

On to PEACH PIE. I got this recipe from Betty Crocker. Love it! Hope you do too. I actually rarely do straight peach pie anymore. One day we didn't have enough peaches to do a whole pie, so we added some frozen strawberries. It was heavenly and I almost always add strawberries or raspberries now. If you do that, just use fewer peaches and however many berries you like to make 5 C of fruit. (I usually add 1-2 C of berries, but you could do more or less depending on your preference). Also, I usually use frozen or home canned peaches. I don't really like commercially canned peaches and so don't have them around. I don't really know how they would work with this recipe. Fresh is really good too, but I don't usually have them around either, which is why I do frozen or home preserved. OK, now back to the RECIPE:

Betty Crocker's Peach Pie:

5 C Sliced Peaches and Berries, if desired
1 tsp lemon juice (I think this is mostly for fresh peaches, to keep them from browning)
1 C sugar
1/4 C flour
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 TBLS butter or margarine (optional)

Heat oven to 425. Prepare pastry. Mix peaches and lemon juice. In a separate bowl stir together the dry ingredients, then mix with peaches. Turn into pastry lined pie pan (this recipe will fill a 9 inch pan), dot with butter. Cover with top crust, cut slits in the top. Seal and flute. Cover edge with tin foil if desired to avoid burning the edges. Bake 10 minutes at 425, then 25-35 minutes at 350. If desired you can baste the top pastry with milk or egg whites to help it brown.

Finally as a bonus, I'm also including my uncle's recipe for Fresh Peach Pie. This is a little different that you usually get, but is delicious when peaches are in season and perfect for eating raw. You don't bake the fruit, so make sure it is ripe, with a good flavor and texture, or you pie won't turn out well.

Fresh Peach Pie:

One pie shell
2 TLBS orange jello powder
1 C water, divided
3/4 C sugar
3 TBLS cornstarch
5 C Fresh peaches, peeled and sliced

Make one pie crust, line the bottom of your pie pan, poke holes with a fork and cook it until golden. Answers I found online suggested 425 for anywhere from 8-15 minutes. One tip said to cover your crust with aluminum foil and fill it with dry beans while you are baking to help it keep it's shape. Just remove when you are done ;)

Mix the jello, water, sugar and cornstarch. (TIP: When cooking with cornstarch you need to make sure you mix it with COLD water first. I usually use the same amount of water as I do cornstarch. So from your 1 C, just take 1/4 C or so and mix it with the cornstarch first. This prevents it from getting lumpy.) Boil the ingredients and cook until it starts to thicken. Add to peaches and put in your COOKED pie shell. Serve with cool whip. YUMMY!