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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Red Rasberry Jello Cream

I was given this recipe by one of my Mom's neighbors. This Jello is delicious and since it's not your regular jello it would be great for all sorts of events. We used it for a Christmas Dinner that my husband and I alone were almost entirely in charge of.

Red Raspberry Jello Cream
1 small raspberry jello

1 small vanilla pudding – cook and serve
1 small tapioca pudding – cook and serve
8oz tub of cool whip
frozen raspberries

Take 3 cups water – add the 2 puddings and the Jello mix to it and cook over a medium heat until it starts to boil. Boil for three minutes. Let the pudding mixture cool completely and then add 8 oz Cool Whip and at least two cups raspberries – thawed and drained – fold all together and refrigerate until serving.

Cheesey Potatoes

printer friendly version

Cheesy Potatoes

Makes 1 9x13 pan
2 pounds hash browns-thawed
1/4 cup onion
2 cans cream of chicken
1 pint sour cream
10 ounces grated cheddar cheese: divided
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Method: Mix all ingredients together, reserving some of the cheese to sprinkle on last. Spray 9x13 pan with cooking spray. Then spread out potatoes mixture on the pan. Sprinkle with a little more cheddar and Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 for 55-60 minutes.

Sunday, December 26, 2010


I LOVE CARAMEL! Nothing says christmas for me quite like homemade caramel. I can't believe it but I made this recipe 4 times and they were still gone faster than lightning! A candy thermometer is crucial to making sure that the caramel is cooked to the right texture.

Christmas Caramels! 

 Recipe Yields: 1 jelly roll pan, or for thicker caramels put them in a 9x13
*I often double the recipe so that there are plenty to give away!

1 cup butter
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
2 tsp vanilla extract

  • Melt the butter in a large sauce pan.
  • Add your brown sugar. (brown sugar is the reason that these caramels taste so much better than most so don't even think about substitution) Stir it all around until it dissolves completely.
  • Add the sweetened condensed milk, and the corn syrup.
  • Over medium heat bring the mixture to a boil, while stirring. Stirring is crucial here. Don't stop stirring, no matter what!
  • The mixture will need to boil for 20-30 minutes or until the temperature on your candy thermometer reads between 235-240.
  • Remove your caramel from the heat then add 2 tsp vanilla. Stir until well combined.
  • Pour the caramel into a buttered jelly roll pan. Allow caramels to cool and set. This should take about 30 minutes.
  • Cut them into strips and then into the desired size squares. A pizza wheel works well for this.
  • Cut up some wax paper and you are set to wrap your fabulous caramels.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Marie Callender's Lemon Cream Cheese Pie

I finally found it! I have looked on more than one occasion for this recipe or something closely related to it because it's so good!  It's fabulously indulgent and creamy, this pie combines the fresh flavor of  lemon with the comfort of cheesecake perfectly. Try it and let me know what you think. Now I just need some kind of special occasion sooner than Thanksgiving to make it!

Marie Callender's Lemon Cream Cheese Pie
Printer friendly version
1 1/4 C. graham crackers crumbs
1/4 C. sugar
4 Tbs. butter, melted

Cream Cheese Layer:
12 oz. cream cheese
1/3 C. sugar
1/3 C. sour cream
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. Knox gelatin
1 Tbs. cold water

Lemon Layer:
1 1/2 C. water
1 C. sugar
1/2 C. fresh lemon juice
4 egg yolks beaten
5 Tbs. cornstarch
1 Tbs. grated lemon peel
1/4 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. butter

Whipped Cream


Crust: Mix all the ingredients together and shape in a 9" pie pan. Bake a t 375 for 7-8 minutes then remove from the oven and cool. 

To make cream cheese layer, combine cream cheese, sugar, sour cream and salt in medium sized pan and cook on a very low heat stirring constantly until mixture starts to boil lightly. Mix gelatin with water and dissolve. When dissolved add to mixture along with vanilla and stir well. Cook until mixture reaches a light boil and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and cool off. When it's luke-warm layer cream cheese on crust and refrigerate until cooled.
To make lemon topping, place water, sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch, salt and lemon peel in a saucepan and whisk until mixture comes to a boil at medium heat. Cook for 2 minutes until thick. Pour 1/2 hot mixture in beaten eggs slowly and stir constantly. When the mixture is completely blended pour egg mixture in to the hot pudding stir and cook until the pudding reaches boiling stage. Stir and let boil slowly for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat add butter and vanilla stir and set aside until cooled off. When lemon mixture reaches room temperature gently smooth it over the cream cheese mixture and chill for several hours before serving. 
Fresh whipped cream tops this pie off perfectly.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Home Made Pumpkin Puree

What am I doing today? Well I decided that it was time to cook up the unused pumpkins we had on hand, before they went bad, so that we could have plenty pumpkin puree on hand for the Holidays.  Although it's not a glamorous job- someone needed to do it and besides homemade pumpkin puree is arguably much better than the canned version. Yes- I could go to all the trouble of recounting my tales of triumph over the pumpkins today but again Ree Drummond has produced what I think is hands down the best instruction I have found.

Here are my favorite recipes that we use pumpkin puree in:

Pumpkin Pie Bran Muffins
Pumpkin Bread
Pumpkin Cheesecake
Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies
Pumpkin Fruit Dip
Pumpkin Bundt Cake

Monday, November 1, 2010

Pumpkin Dip

I went to a fun play group with several of my friends that I grew up with on the day before Halloween. We had yummy lunch and my friend Mel brought this wonderful dip and I've been craving it ever since.

Pumpkin Fruit Dip

1  8oz box of cream cheese
2  7oz jars of marshmallow creme
15oz pumpkin puree
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp vanilla

In a medium bowl beat together the cream cheese, and marshmallow creme until smooth. Fold in pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate until serving. Serve with sliced fruits like apples or pears and gingersnaps and Nilla wafers.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Baked Potato Soup

This soup had the kids at our house literally making up songs and singing it's praise as they gobbled it up tonight. It's super delicious! I hope you like it too. 

Baked Potato Soup
4 Baked potatoes (we used left overs)
2/3 cup Flour
1/2 Cup Butter
6 Cups Milk
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 cup Sour Cream
3/4 cup sliced green onions divided
1lb sliced bacon cooked and crumbled

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a glass oven proof dish place your butter. When the butter is mostly melted pour in the flour, and whisk until blended. Bake for 15-18 minutes until bubbly.

Ia large pot pour in all the milk, and add the flour mixture stirring with a whisk until all blended. Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly (approx 8 minutes.) Add peeled and roughly chopped/roughly mashed potatoes, 3/4 cup cheese, salt, pepper stirring until cheese melts. Remove from heat.

Stir in sour cream, 3/4 of the crumbled bacon and 1/2 cup onions. Cook over low heat until thoroughly heated but DO NOT BOIL. Garnish with additional cheese, bacon and onions and ground pepper.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Zuppa Toscana

Hip Hip Hooray for soup weather at last! Ahhhh October! I love it when I can break out the soup recipes and cook away. Soup is so easy and so tasty. To be honest I am not a fan of the Olive Garden but they did make me familiar with a great soup so kudos to them for that! Try it out, hopefully you'll enjoy this as much as we did.

Zuppa Toscana

1 lb. spicy Italian sausage – crumbled
1/2 lb. smoked bacon – chopped
1 qt. water
(2) 14.5 oz. cans (about 3 2/3 cups) chicken broth
2 large russet potatoes, scrubbed clean and cubed
2 garlic cloves minced
1 med. onion diced
2 cups washed and roughly chopped kale
1 cup heavy whipping cream
salt and pepper – to taste

Brown sausage in a pan over medium to medium-high heat, breaking up into small pieces as it cooks.
Drain sausage and set to the side.
Brown bacon in a pan over medium-high heat. Be careful not to cook all the way to crispy.
Drain bacon and set to the side.
Place broth, water, garlic, potatoes, and onion in a pot. Simmer over medium heat until potatoes are tender.
Add sausage and bacon to the soup. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add kale and cream to pot. Season with salt and pepper. Heat thoroughly but don't boil.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Homemade Hamburger Helper.

Why make it from a box when you can whip this up almost as fast and inexpensively and it tastes 100 times better! 
Homemade Hamburger Helper
1 large onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 lbs ground beef, browned and drained
2 (24 ounce) cans stewed tomatoes
1 (24 ounce) cans water
12 ounces elbow macaroni, raw
1 1/2tsp- to taste salt
1 1/2tsp- to taste pepper
Garnish with parmesan cheese (optional)
Saute onions and garlic in olive oil until translucent.
Brown ground beef and drain.
Add ground beef, tomatoes, water, raw macaroni, salt and pepper to the onion and garlic mixture.
Cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until macaroni is tender.
If desired, top with Parmesan cheese.
Serve with crusty bread and a salad.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Kneaders Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

This is a more cost effective solution to my Kneaders Pumpkin bread addiction! There is also just something fantastic about the scent of pumpkin bread cooking, you don't get that from a pre-made loaf at Kneaders. I just finished making a double batch and between my family, V.T. Ladies and my siblings we will no doubt have it devoured before the end of 2 days!

Kneaders Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

3 ⅓ cups all purpose Flour
1 Tbsp Cinnamon
1 Tsp pumpkin pie spice 
2 teaspoons Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 ½ teaspoon Salt
2 ⅔ cups Sugar
⅔ cups Softened Butter
4 whole Eggs
1 pound (30oz) Mashed Pumpkin
⅔ cups Water
1 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (I highly recommend Ghiradelli)

Sift together dry ingredients and set aside. Cream sugar and butter until well incorporated. Add eggs one at a time and then add the mashed pumpkin. Alternate adding dry ingredients with water. Fold in chocolate chips.
Pour into two large greased bread pans and bake at 325 degrees for 55 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean.
Makes 3 loaves. That won’t make it very long at your house before being devoured.
* *a note about the chocolate chips* I am usually a huge fan of milk chocolate only but this is one of those rare situations where semi-sweet chocolate chips are definitely in order, you won't be sorry. And again as I noted above buy the Ghiradelli kind because they really are that much better!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Holiday Syrup

 My roommate in college and dear friend Kim introduced me to this syrup and I fell in love with it. I had never tasted anything so wonderful, so thanks Kim.

Holiday Syrup
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon Karo syrup
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
    Bring the butter, sugar, buttermilk and Karo syrup to a boil in large pan. Remove from heat and stir.
    Then add the baking soda and vanilla. Mixture will fizz to twice the size. Stir occasionally, and serve while hot. I like this on puffy oven German pancakes.

    Sunday, August 15, 2010

    Homemade Maple syrup

    Homemade Maple Syrup

    1 cup water
    2 cups white sugar
    1/4 cup corn syrup
    1 Tbsp Mapleine

    Bring the sugar, water, and corn syrup to a boil. Turn off the heat add Mapleine. Serve over pancakes waffles, or french toast.

    Thursday, August 5, 2010

    Grilled Chicken Penne with Tomato Cream Sauce

    Grilled Chicken Penne with Tomato Cream Sauce
    1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts

    Montreal Steak seasoning
    1lb penne pasta
    2 tbsp butter
    2 tbsp olive oil
    2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
    1 cup chicken broth
    1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
    1 cup heavy cream
    1 1/2 cup sliced Fresh Mushrooms we used the button variety
    1/2 bell pepper any color sliced into strips
    1-2 roma tomatoes roughly chopped
    salt & pepper (to taste)
    1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
    6-8 fresh basil leaves

    Rinse chicken breasts in cold water. Place between sheets of wax paper and pound to even thickness. Season both sides with Montreal Steak seasoning. Preheat your grill to medium high heat, lightly oil grate, and grill chicken breasts on medium high heat for 6-8 mins each side. OR heat 2 tbsp butter & 2 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the butter and olive oil is sizzling hot, add chicken breasts and cook 5 mins each side. Set chicken aside to cool.

    In a large pot, boil water with 1 tbsp salt. Add 1lb penne pasta noodles and boil according to package directions.
    Heat 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add the Mushrooms, peppers and tomato until the peppers are tender crisp. Add  garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, but do not let the garlic turn brown (about 3-5 mins). Add the chicken broth to the pan and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, slice chicken. Once the broth has heated through, stir in tomato sauce. Add the heavy cream and stir well to combine but do not boil again. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Turn heat to low. Chop the parsley and basil, add to sauce and mix well. Drain pasta and add to sauce. Stir well to coat. Serve pasta on plates, top with sliced chicken Mmmm MMMMmmm!
     *** For a little extra heat, which I always love, add a pinch of cayenne pepper. Oh and Parmesan cheese is a welcome addition any day!

    Tuesday, June 15, 2010

    Hula Smoothie

    Hula Smoothie

    1 handful strawberries fresh or frozen
    1 cup milk
    1 tablespoons of pina coloda mix
    1 or 2 slices of pineapple
    around 10 ice cubes
    a small slice of watermelon, deseeded
    1/4 cup of sugar

    Add each ingredient into the blender. Blend for about 3 minutes or until smooth and the ice cubes are blended.Pour and serve. Enjoy!

    Banana Boat Smoothie

    Banana Boat Smoothie
    2 bananas
    1/2 cup of orange juice
    1/2 cup of vanilla yogurt
    1 can of pineapple juice
    1 cup ice cubes
    Peel bananas and place in blender. Add orange juice. Add vanilla yogurt. Next add pineapple juice then add ice. Blend for 30 seconds. Enjoy a refreshing smoothie!

    Quick and Easy Fruit Dip

    Quick and Easy Fruit Dip
    1 jar Marshmellow fluff
    1 8oz box of cream cheese
    2 Tbsp Orange Juice concentrate, thawed

    In a medium size serving bowl, mix together marshmallow creme, cream cheese, and orange juice. Refrigerate and serve chilled.

    Monday, June 14, 2010

    Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips

    I made this to go with dinner a couple of weeks ago and it was a huge hit with the whole family! The flavors are perfect for summer and since the salsa part requires very little sugar it's a fairly healthy dish.

    Fruit Salsa With Cinnamon Chips
    3 Medium Granny Smith Apples- Cored peeled and diced
    4 cups strawberries-cored and chopped
    3 Kiwi's- peeled and diced
    the zest and juice of one orange
    2 Tbsp brown sugar

    Combine the above ingredients and toss to distribute the sugar.

    Cinnamon Chips
    8-10 raw tortilla's cut into wedges (I like the kind from Costco)
    cinnamon/sugar mixture 

    Spread the Cinnamon sugar mixture on a plate. Dip both sides of each tortilla wedge into the mixture  and place onto a baking sheet. bake a t 350- just watch for the tortilla wedges to start to bubble and the sugar start to melt a bit. Cool completely!

    Note* If the tortilla's seem a little dry-ish then I just barely spray them with a touch of Pam and then the sugar mixture will stick to the chip better.

    Sunday, June 6, 2010

    Fruit, Nut, and Wheat Berry Salad

    On a trip to visit our good friends, I sampled this recipe and fell in love!  It is delicious and healthy and another great way to incorporate some food storage into everyday eating. So what do you say? Let's rotate some of that food storage before it goes bad! I like to eat it for breakfast but it's called a salad hmmm I think that it great both ways; what do you think?

    Since I neglected to take a pic of my batch 
    I found this picture from Food Network, Here.
    Fruit, Nut, and Wheat Berry Salad 
    (this is breakfast to me!:))
    1 orange
    2 cups cooked wheat berries
    1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
    1/3 cup dried cranberries
    1 large crisp apple, cored and diced

    2 Tbsp Apple cider vinegar
    1 Tbsp honey or agave
    1/4 tsp black pepper (optional)
    3 Tbsp vegetable/canola oil (don't try to substitute EVOO I know this from a sad mistake.)
    1/4 tsp salt
    Zest the orange into a large serving bowl. Then juice the orange into a small separate bowl and toss in the cranberries. Let the mixture sit at room temperature for 20 minutes. Mix the wheat berries, diced apple, and pecan halves in with the orange zest. Drain the cranberries, reserving the juice, and toss them in to the wheat berry mixture. Mix the reserved orange juice, vinegar, oil, honey, salt and pepper. Pour over the salad and mix well. You must must must cover and refrigerate for at least an hour to blend the flavors. It's a huge temptation to just dig right in but I promise your patients will be handsomely  rewarded! This salad makes an excellent breakfast and is great as a left over because the flavor just gets better and better.

    Basic Cooked Wheat Berries:
    1 cup wheat
    4 cups water
    1 tsp salt
    Place in 4-6 quart slow cooker. Turn on high and cook for 3-4 hours or until the wheat is chewy. Drain off any excess water. You could cook it overnight on low but I don't recommend it because if you over cook it then things aren't pretty. The wheat can be refrigerated for 3 days or up to 2 months in the freezer.

    Thursday, May 13, 2010

    Mango Lassi Recipe

    Mango Lassi Recipe

    1 cup plain yogurt
    1/2 cup milk
    1 cup chopped mango (peeled and stone removed)
    4 teaspoons sugar, to taste
    A dash of ground cardamom (optional)


    Put mango, yogurt, milk, sugar and cardamom into a blender and blend for 2 minutes, then pour into individual glasses, and serve. Can sprinkle with a little cardamom. 

    The lassi can be kept refrigerated for up to 24 hours. 

    Makes about 2 cups.

    Saturday, May 8, 2010

    Coconut Cake

    Paula Deen is a saint! Most of us know this already, but if you do not then here's a challenge- Find out just how much of a saint she really is by making any of her recipes here. This cake is both delicious and beautiful.

    Coconut Cake
    Basic 1-2-3-4 Cake
    1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
    2 cups sugar 
    4 eggs 
    3 cups sifted self-rising flour 
    1 cup (milk) unsweetened coconut milk 
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    Grease and flour 3 (9-inch) cake pans. Using an electric mixer, cream butter until fluffy. Add sugar and continue to cream well for 6 to 8 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour and milk alternately to creamed mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Add vanilla and continue to beat until just mixed. Divide batter equally among 3 prepared round pans. Level batter in each pan by holding pan 3 or 4 inches above counter, then dropping it flat onto counter. Do this several times to release air bubbles and assure you of a more level cake. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until done. Cool in pans 5 to 10 minutes. Invert cakes onto cooling racks. Cool completely and spread cake layers with your favorite frosting to make a 3-layer cake.

    3/4 cup sugar
    1 cup sour cream
    4 tablespoons milk 
    1/2 cup flaked, sweetened coconut

    7-Minute Frosting
    1/3 cup water 
    1/8 teaspoon salt 
    1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar or 1 tablespoon white corn syrup 
    1 1/2 cup sugar 
    2   egg whites 
    1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    Place sugar, cream of tartar or corn syrup, salt, water and egg whites into a mixing bowl and beat for 1 minute with a handheld electric mixer.  Using the double boiler method, place the bowl over the top of rapidly boiling water, making sure that boiling water does not touch the bottom of the top bowl.  (If this happens, it could cause your frosting to become grainy.)  Beat constantly on high speed with electric mixer for 7 minutes.  Remove the bowl from the boiler and gently stir in vanilla with a spatula.
    Flaked, sweetened coconut for sprinkling

    Follow directions for Basic 1-2-3-4 Cake, substituting coconut milk for regular milk.  While cake is baking, prepare filling.  Stir together sugar, sour cream, milk and coconut in a bowl until well blended.  Remove cake layers from oven and allow cake to remain in pan as you prepare to stack and fill.  Remove first layer and invert onto cake plate.  Using the wrong end of a wooden spoon, poke holes approximately 1 inch apart until entire cake has been poked.  Spread one third of filling mixture on cake layer.  Top with second layer, repeat process.  Top with last layer and repeat process again.  (As I stack layers together, I stick them with toothpicks to prevent cake from shifting.)  You can place the cake in the refrigerator for 3 days to allow it to absorb the filling mixture.
    Prepare 7-Minute Frosting.  Frost top and sides of cake.  Sprinkle top and sides of cake with additional coconut.

    Tuesday, May 4, 2010

    Honeylulu Chicken

    This is a very delicious marinade that I found the recipe for on  They have a great website for nights or weeks when you don't feel creative enough to come up with your own ideas. Some of the recipes are overly simplified but for the most part very tasty.

    Honeylulu Chicken Simplified
    4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
    1/2 cup pineapple juice
    1/4 cup soy sauce
    1/4 cup honey
    1/4 cup olive oil
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon ginger
    1 teaspoon Dry mustard
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper

    Whisk all ingredients except chicken in a bowl. Place the chicken in a shallow baking dish or gallon ziploc bag and pour the sauce over all. Place in refrigerator to marinate at least four hours. BBQ over hot coals. Enjoy!

    Fresh Fruit Tart

    I'll be the first to admit that I suffer from an obsession which involves almost any dessert that comes from Market Street Grill! I jumped at the chance to make these delectable little beauties for our ward  Girls Camp Fundraiser/Bake-sale. Since I am a huge fan of girls camp and bake-sales it was a win win situation! Try these out you WILL NOT be sorry I promise! They would be fantastic for those spring bridal or Baby showers that are inevitable.

    Fresh Fruit Tart
    Market Street Grill Recipe
    Tart Dough Ingredients:
    1/4 cup almond paste*** (recipe below)
    1/2 cup sugar
    3/4 cup butter
    pinch salt
    3 egg yolks
    1 ounce whipping cream
    2 cups cake flour

     Using an electric mixer on medium speed, blend all of the above ingredients until combined, but do not over-mix! Chill dough for 10 minutes.
    Roll out dough on floured board to 1/4" thickness and place in a 10" fluted pie tin with a removable bottom. Bake for 25 minutes at 325 degrees, remove from oven and store in a cool, dry place.

    Mock Pastry Cream Filling Ingredients:
    (1) 5.1 ounce box of vanilla Jell-O pudding (disregard package directions)
    2 cups heavy whipping cream
    1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
    1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla

    Combine by hand all of the above ingredients until mixed. Chill for one half hour.

    Remove tart shell from pie tin. Fill tart shell with pastry cream and level the amount. Arrange with your choice of fruit (strawberries, raspberries, kiwi, pears, apples, etc).

    Apricot Glaze Ingredients:
    1/4 cup apricot jelly
    1/4 cup hot water

    Combine apricot jelly and hot water to make a glaze. Using a pastry brush, apply the glaze over the finished fruit tart.

    *Option for individual Fruit Tarts:
    Form the crust to fit your small pie tins or tart pans and follow above instructions.

    Almond Paste Recipe
    1 1/2 cups slivered blanched almonds
    1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
    5 tablespoons light corn syrup

    In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, process the almonds into very small pieces but not powder, about 20 seconds.
    Add the sugar, and corn syrup. Process until the mixture begins to form into a stiff paste and holds its shape when pressed together, about 45 seconds (for a smoother texture process longer).
    Transfer to a medium bowl, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.

    Wednesday, April 21, 2010

    30 Minute Chicken Noodle Soup (from Rachael Ray)

    Tonight was rainy and cold so soup was definitely in order. I found this recipe and decided on a whim to try it out!  I really liked how quickly it all came together and also the way that it was seasoned. Throwing the veggies in before adding the liquid gives them a chance to caramelize and add more flavor.  I would usually shy away from using dill since I don't love it, but I decided to just throw it in and give it a whirl- and surprisingly we all liked it!

    30 Minute Chicken Noodle Soup (From Rachael Ray)
    2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (2 turns around the pan)
    2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
    1 parsnip, peeled and chopped or substitute a potato
    1 medium onion, chopped
    2 celery ribs, chopped
    2 fresh bay leaves or dried bay leaves
    salt and pepper
    6 cups good quality chicken stock
    1 lb chicken breast tenders, diced
    1/2 lb wide egg noodles
    1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped (dried 1 to 1 1/2 tsp)
    1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped (dried 1 to 1 1/2 tsp)
    My add in 3-4 Kale leaves washed and torn into bite size pieces.

    Place a large pot over moderate heat and add extra-virgin olive oil. Work close to the stove and add vegetables to the pot as you chop, in the order they are listed. Add bay leaves and season vegetables with salt and pepper, to taste. Add stock to the pot and raise flame to bring liquid to a boil. Add diced chicken tenderloins, return soup to a boil, and reduce heat back to moderate. Cook chicken 2 minutes and add noodles. Cook soup an additional 6 minutes or until noodles are tender and remove soup from the heat. Stir in Kale, parsley and dill, remove bay leaves and serve. This is a thick soup. Add up to 2 cups of water if you like chicken soup with lots of broth.

    Wednesday, April 14, 2010

    French Dip Sandwiches

    French Dip Sandwiches 
    1lb Leftover roast beef or Beef sliced from the deli
    Au jus mix (I buy the packet from the store and mix it as directed)
    optional- 1/2 Sliced yellow onion sauteed in olive oil until translucent
    French rolls or chibatta buns
    Provolone Cheese slices

    Mix the Au jus according to the package directions. Place Au jus, meat and onion into crockpot. Heat until meat is warm. Serve on a toasted roll, with some onions and provolone. Dip sandwich in extra Au jus if desired.

    *bad picture, but hey at least I took one!

    Monday, April 12, 2010

    Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Eureka! I think that I may have struck gold with this recipe! I have now made these cookies over 10 times and they have been perfect each and every time. The texture and flavor are DIVINE and they look just like the ones you can buy in the store, gorgeous! You'll want to double this recipe so that there are plenty to share! The recipe is a little specific but boy oh boy- AHHH I need to make them again right now! I'm not sure where this recipe came from so I'd like to give credit where credit is due, I have done nothing to alter this recipe at all. If anyone knows perhaps where this recipe came from let me know...
    Just look at them!!

    Chocolate Chip Cookies
    2 1/8 cups all-purpose flour (2 cups plus 2 tablespoons) 
    1/2 teaspoon table salt 
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
    12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly (1 1/2 sticks) 
    1 cup brown sugar (light or dark) 
    1/2 cup granulated sugar 
    1 large egg 
    1 large egg yolk 
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
    1-2 cup chocolate chips ( the recipe calls for semi or bittersweet, I like milk chocolate) 

    Heat oven to 325 degrees. Adjust oven racks to upper- and lower-middle positions. Mix flour, salt, and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside. Either by hand or with electric mixer, mix butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Mix in egg, vanilla and egg yolk. Add dry ingredients; mix until just combined. Stir in chips. 
    Form scant 1/4 cup dough into ball. Holding dough ball using fingertips of both hands, pull into two equal halves. Rotate halves ninety degrees and, with jagged surfaces exposed, join halves together at their base, again forming a single cookie, being careful not to smooth dough’s uneven surface. Place formed dough onto one of two parchment paper-lined 20-by-14-inch cookie sheets, about nine dough balls per sheet. Smaller cookie sheets can be used, but fewer cookies can be baked at one time and baking time may need to be adjusted. (Dough can be refrigerated up to 2 days or frozen up to 1 month—shaped or not.). 
    Bake, reversing cookie sheets’ positions halfway through baking, until cookies are light golden brown and outer edges start to harden yet centers are still soft and puffy, 15 to 18 minutes (start checking at 13 minutes). (Frozen dough requires an extra 1 to 2 minutes baking time.) Cool cookies on cookie sheets. Serve or store in airtight container. 

    Sunday, April 11, 2010

    White Enchiladas

    While growing up in SoJo my next door neighbor used to make these enchiladas often and they were so yummy! I remember on occasion eating dinner at their house, with my friend Jenni, and enjoying them so much! After I was married my ward put together a cookbook and I was lucky enough to get one; Well- Sandi (my neighbor) contributed her recipe for these delicious enchilada's and I finally got it. Now this has become a go-to recipe for me, my family just loves these and they are really easy to make not to mention tasty!  Thanks Sandi!

    White Enchiladas
    2 Cups cooked and chopped Chicken
    1/2  onion diced
    1/2 lb grated mozzarella cheese
    1 can green chilis 4oz
    1 Cup sour cream
    1 dozen fajita sized flour tortillas

    Sauce 1 can cream of chicken soup and 1 cup chicken broth whisked together until well combined.

    Combine all ingredients above (Save some cheese) into a large bowl. Put heaping tablespoons of ingredients into the tortillas. Roll and place the tortillas seam side down into a 9X13 dish. Combine sauce ingredients and pour the mixture over the tortilla rolls. Top with the left over cheese. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
    Serve with fresh pico de gallo.

    I ran out of mozzarella this day so instead of going to the store I subbed in cheddar and it worked out really well!  Mmmm I wonder what using some pepper jack would taste like?

    Thursday, April 8, 2010

    Very Very Tasty Frosting

    My little buddy Luke wanted  a swimming pool cake for his birthday.  So I made a swimming pool cake! I wanted to try something new so I tried this recipe for the frosting and I am entirely sold! I thought it was strange that it had no powdered sugar in it, but the flavor and texture are great and I didn't even miss the traditional buttercream! Try it! You just might like it as much as I did!

    Very Very Tasty Frosting
    1 cup Milk
    5 Tablespoons Flour
    1 teaspoon Vanilla
    1 cup Butter
    1 cup Granulated Sugar (not Powdered Sugar!)

    Whisk flour and milk in a saucepan: heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens. Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature. (If you are in a hurry the fridge will be your friend!) Stir in the vanilla.
    Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Then add the cooled milk/flour/vanilla mixture and beat until it all comes together and resembles whipped cream. Frost your cake and enjoy the creamy goodness that is this frosting!

    The water is made from blue jello and we colored the frosting a little to make it pale yellow.  
    Luke put the candy on his cake all by himself with just a little bit of help from me!

    Thursday, April 1, 2010

    The Great American Bake Off

    My Friend Christel and I are doing The Great American Bake Sale to end childhood hunger in America. 
    It will be held on April 17th, in 2 weeks. 
    Would anyone be interested in donating baked goodies or even doing this with me? You can join my team, and hopefully we'll get a lot of people to donate different baked items. I think it will be SUPER FUN!! So...any takers? 

    Go to 

    and click on the words "Join Team"

    We also welcome $ donations, but prefer the cookie/baked good kind. 

    Thanks in advance

    Tuesday, March 16, 2010

    Baked Apple Upside Down French Toast

    This is the other breakfast recipe that I made while we were enjoying our weekend up at  East Canyon with Ryan's family. I thought that it was delicious and was really happy about how easy it was to make. Let's face it-- at 7AM I'm not really into getting up to make breakfast. My "captive guinea pig family" said that they also enjoyed this recipe---that is with the exception of "the Mayor" whom doesn't like cooked fruit, I made the egg dish especially for him :). 

    Baked Apple Upside Down French Toast
      3 lbs. Granny Smith apples, peeled, quartered and thinly sliced
      6 Tablespoons butter
      ¾ cup granulated sugar
      1 teaspoon cinnamon
      8 slices French bread, sliced ¾” thick
      6 to 7 eggs
      ½ teaspoon vanilla
      ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
      1 cup milk
      ½ cup heavy cream or half and half

    Melt butter in large pan and add sliced apples. Top apples with sugar and cinnamon and stir to incorporate. Saute over medium heat until apples are limp and translucent, about 10 minutes, stirring so they don’t scorch.

    Pour apples into a 9” x 13” glass ovenproof baking dish. Top with sliced French bread. Fill any spaces with small pieces of sliced bread so that entire surface is covered. In a large bowl whisk eggs with vanilla, nutmeg, milk and cream. Pour this mixture over the Bread evenly so that all pieces absorb the liquid. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

    The next morning, pre-heat the oven to 400º. Bake French toast for 25 minutes or until bread is golden and custard is set. Invert carefully onto a sheet pan and cut into squares to serve, apple-side-up. You may add the syrup of your choice and a dollop of crème fraiche (or in a pinch just use whipped cream.) Serves 6 to 8.

    3 Cheese Crustless Quiche

    My Hunk, the Gals and I spent a very enjoyable weekend at The East Canyon Resort with Ryan's family. We soooo needed a break from real life since the past two weeks have been rather emotionally draining. What a nice relaxing weekend! I made breakfast and so I thought I'd take the opportunity make some new recipes and try them out on my "captive audience" BWA-aHa-Ha :) I think that they turned out pretty well, or Ryan's family is just nice to me.... try it out and let me know what you think.    

    3 Cheese Crustless Quiche 
    1/4 cup butter
    1/2 cup flour (may need to add 2 tsp) for a thicker consistency
    1 cup cream or milk
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon sugar
    1/4 teaspoon mustard
    1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
    6 large eggs
    1 (3 oz) package softened cream cheese
    2 cups cottage cheese
    1 lb. cubed Monterey Jack cheese

    Melt butter, add flour until smooth consistency. Beat cream or milk, baking powder, salt, sugar, dry mustard, nutmeg, eggs and cheeses. Add butter and flour mixture. Stir until well blended. Pour into a 9x13-inch baking dish that has been sprayed with a no stick cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 min to 1 hour.

    Friday, February 26, 2010


    Let me just say that I have found my love for Cupcakes (I've often wondered what the big draw to cupcake's so suddenly was? But I wonder no longer- I have realized what the big deal IS!)  My Marmee gave me Wendy Paul's cupcake cookbook for V-day because she loves me!
    A quick word of advice...
    you won't be sorry. 
    My first opportunity to use my new cookbook was for Madison's 5th birthday celebration Numero Dos that we celebrated with my SIL Jamie since her birthday is the day after Maddie's.  I made the Chocolate Carmel Surprise cupcakes with both Chocolate ganache frosting and Carmel Cream Frosting- GO ME! They are delicious, but don't just take my word for it try them out and let me know what you think.

    PS Good thing the weather is finally getting better because I need to get some good running miles in if I continue on my baking spree this way...

    Chocolate Carmel Surprise Cupcakes
    1 box chocolate cake mix
    2 eggs 
    1/2 cup milk
    1/2 cup oil
    1 tsp vanilla
    1 package of chocolate covered caramels (I used Rolo candies.)

    Mix together cake mix eggs, milk oil and vanilla until light and fluffy.
    Line cupcake pan with cupcake papers.
    Layer a spoonful or cake batter. Add 1-2 chocolate caramels on top of batter. Fill paper liners with cake mix until 3/4 full.
    bake 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched.

    Frostings: My ganache frosting recipe is HERE or you can use... 

    Wendy Paul's Caramel Cream Frosting 
    4 Tbsp butter
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    2-3 Tbsp Whole Milk
    1 cup powdered sugar
    1 tsp Vanilla extract
    Place butter and brown sugar into a medium skillet over medium heat. Stir and cook the mixture until it comes to a boil. 
    Add Milk and bring the mixture back to a boil, stirring constantly.
    Remove the pan from heat and add powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat mixture with a wooden spoon until smooth and creamy.
    Allow the cupcakes to cool slightly before frosting. Frosting will harden when cooled completely.

    Next on my Cupcake baking  spree are Nanimo Brownie Cupcakes, and Pink Lemonade Cupcakes. I'll Post the pics... Don't worry.

    Monday, February 22, 2010

    Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

    PS. sorry about the lack of pictures but like so many of the yummy things I make, I took them to a family thing and they were gobbled up before I thought to take a picture. Note to self--I need to be better about that....

     Chocolate Crinkle Cookies 
    (otherwise known as Chocolate Snowball cookies)
    2 cups sugar
    3/4 cup vegetable oil
    3/4 cup
    cocoa powder
    4 eggs
    2 tsp vanilla extract
    2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
    2 tsp 
    baking powder
    1/2 tsp salt

    powdered sugar

    In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar & Vegetable oil. Add cocoa, mix well. Beat in eggs and vanilla. In another bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt; add to cocoa mixture blending well. Cover then chill at least 2 hours. Heat oven to 350. Make dough into 1 inch balls. Roll in powdered sugar (good job for someone age 2-5 :) Place 2 inches apart on cookie sheet lined with parchment. Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until almost no indentation remains when touched (don't over bake.) Remove from cookie sheet, Cool on wire rack. 

    Thursday, February 18, 2010

    Homemade Salt Play-dough

    I had 2 bored girls today so I decided to make some new playdough since all of their store bought play-dough was getting rather dry. It was a hit! Not only could we make our own custom colors but we have the added benefit that I don't care if it gets dried out or mixed up. My 5 year old enjoys the idea that she can sculpt something and just let it harden.

    Homemade Salt Play-dough
    1 cup water
    1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    1/2 cup salt
    1 tablespoon cream of tartar
    Food coloring
    1 cup flour

    Combine water, oil, salt, cream of tartar, and food coloring in a saucepan and heat until warm. Remove from heat and add flour. Stir, then knead until smooth. The cream of tartar makes this dough last 6 months or longer. Store this dough in an airtight container.

    Wednesday, February 10, 2010

    Fresh Mozzarella & Tomato Basil Pizza

    I have a couple of friends to thank for this recipe... Firstly Coleen posted this recipe on her family blog and since we are pesto  and fresh mozzarella and fresh tomato lovers I had to give it a try! Secondly Melanie --she had us over for a play-date and made wonderful pizza on wonderful crust so I begged the crust recipe off of her and the results were PERFECTION! Hope you like this as much as we did. My eldest is still begging me to make it again and we had it only 5 nights ago. I usually like to wait a little longer before I make something again just to be fair to all of my other recipes ha ha!

    Fresh Mozzarella and Tomato Basil Pizza
    (the pic is pre-baking we gobbled this one up so fast that I didn't get a post-baking pic)

    (use the crust recipe from the previous post)
    fresh Mozzarella cheese (the wet kind)
    4-5 ripe Roma tomatoes
    jar of pesto
    1/4-1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
    Slivered red onion (optional)

    Make your favorite pizza dough and bake as directed. Bake it for 6-7 minutes then add the toppings and bake until cheese is melted. Spread pesto onto the crust, be generous but don't over do it. Just a thin layer will do. Then cover with sliced fresh mozzarella cheese, I sliced my ball into 1/8 " thick slices and covered the pizza with them. It's fine if there are gaps, just lay it on there. Then slice the FRESH tomatoes as thinly as you can and layer them on just like you would with pepperonis, you can layer it two to three thick and cover it. Lightly salt and pepper tomatoes then sprinkle with shredded parmesan. If you are a red onion lover add some at this point. Bake until melted and get ready for heaven.

    Pizza Crust Perfection

    Thanks Melanie!
    Pizza Crust Perfection
    1 TBSP yeast
    1 TBSP honey
    1 tsp salt
    1 1/2 Cup warm water
    3ish...cups of flour :)

    Dissolve yeast in warm water.  Stir in honey and salt.  Gradually stir in flour until dough forms and isn't too sticky. (just add 1/2 c at a time) You need to be able to push it around and spread it flat with your hands, so it can't be sticking to your fingers.  But also be careful not to add too much flour! :)
     Butter a cookie sheet and then sprinkle with cornmeal to help the crust not burn or stick to the pan.  Place the ball of dough in the middle and begin pressing and stretching (this can be tricky sometimes) but take your time.  Don't spread it too thin that it tears.  If it does, just push more dough in that direction and patch it up!   Bake at 400 degrees for 15-18 minutes. This recipe yields 1 cookie sheet!

    Friday, February 5, 2010

    Sourdough Muffins

     As my next experiment in sourdough I made these! I liked them quite well. I need to try them again with another kind of fruit since all we had the day that I was making this batch were craisins. A fresh or frozen berry of some kind would be fabulous!

     Sourdough Muffins

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease muffin tin or line with muffin papers.  
    Combine in a large bowl:
    1 cup white all-purpose flour
    1 cup of any combination of flour, oatmeal and/or bran
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1/3 cup dry milk powder
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon powdered cardamom or cinnamon
    Optional (1/2 cup blueberries or craisins)
    Optional (1/2 cup chopped walnuts)

    Combine in another bowl until well blended:
    1/2 cup warm water
    1/2 cup vegetable oil
    1 egg
    1 cup fresh sourdough starter 

    Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients gradually, 
    stirring only enough to moisten (Do not over stir.)

    My little girl just had to sample the batter!
    Spoon evenly into the muffin tins.  Bake 30 to 35 minutes, until
    done.  Remove immediately from the tin.

    For cranberry muffins, omit the dry milk, use orange juice 
    instead of water, increase the sugar to 3/4 cup, and use
    1 cup Craisins.

    Monday, February 1, 2010

    The Princess and the Pea Cake

    For my Little Bug's 5th birthday cake we decided to do a Princess and The Pea cake. I got the idea from here. I may assume too much but I think mine might be cuter- but then I am majorly biased because it took me a lllloooonnng time to make; the cake and I developed quite a relationship!

    I made marshmallow fondant to sculpt the princess and the blanket. Fondant is fun-I'd never used it before!

    There's the side view! I wish that I was better at taking pics.

    **Disclaimer-please look past the green spot and the mess up on the top mattress- I don't claim to be a pro. just a novice!

    Friday, January 15, 2010

    Layered Shrimp Dip

    16 ounces, weight Cream Cheese, softened
    1 bottle (8-9 Oz. Bottle) Cocktail Sauce Of Your Choice
    2 pounds Cooked, Chopped Shrimp
    1 cup Chopped Tomato
    1 cup Chopped Green Onions
    2 cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
      Layer in a dish as listed above.
      Serve with crackers, or toasted baguette.

      Mexican Bubble Pizza

      This is my own take on a recipe that I found in our neighborhood cookbook. We love it so much! I have experimented with different kinds of biscuit batters when I've forgotten to purchase refrigerator biscuits. Normal Corn bread batter will be great when you drop it  in a dumpling fashion on top right before baking.

      Mexican Bubble Pizza
      2 cans of chili
      1 can diced tomatoes
      1 tbsp taco seasoning
      1 can Pillsbury Grands golden corn biscuits or buttermilk biscuits
      2 cups shredded chedddar cheese
      Toppings: Lettuce, chopped tomato, salsa, olives, green onion, Sour cream

      Heat oven to 375 degrees. Pour chili and tomatoes into a pot on the stove. Warm the chili mixture, add in the taco seasoning stir untill hot. Cut each biscuit into 8 pieces. Add pieces into the chili mixture- stir gently just folding the mixture. Spoon into an ungreased 9x13 pan. Bake for 18-23 mins or until golden brown. Remove from the oven sprinkle with cheese and replace in the ove for 5-7 mins until the cheese melts. Serve with toppings on top.

      Thursday, January 14, 2010

      Low-Fat Broccoli Cheese Soup with a Twist!

      This Soup was a hit at my house! You won't even miss the cream, butter or flour in this gluten free lower fat version of the classic comfort food Broccoli Cheese Soup! I improvised a bit with the ingredients. The sweet pepper in this recipe adds a little more flavor and additional vitamin C.

      Low-Fat Broccoli Cheese Soup 
      with a Twist
      3 cups water
      4 Cups Broccoli florets
      1/2 cup  onion; chopped
      2 tbsp instant chicken bouillon or more to taste
      1/8 ts pepper
      1/8 ts nutmeg
      1 1/2 cups 1% milk or fat free evaporated milk
      2 average sized baked potatoes mostly peeled (I just used left overs cold right out of the fridge)
      1/2 green pepper roughly diced

      Heat 3 cups water in a large pot until boiling. Add broccoli, onion, and bullion. Cover, and cook until tender (about 10 min.) Place into your blender canister: half of the cooked veggies, diced green pepper and the potatoes. Blend vegetables with approximately 1 cup of the broth, until smooth. Pour the contents of the blender back into your soup pot. Add the milk and spices and heat through (don't let it boil again), stirring constantly. Serve with a sprinkle of shredded cheese.  Enjoy!

      Tuesday, January 12, 2010

      Adventures in Sourdough!

      I used the following recipe for my first attempt at Sourdough bread. I liked it but didn't love it for the following reasons
      1 it didn't turn out crunchy crusty enough
      2 it made a lot of bread, which actually turned out to be a great thing because I had more to share when our good friends came over and I think they liked it.
      3 I am not sure if the recipe can contain yeast  to qualify as an official sour dough bread
      4 the next day it was super crumbly
      Any readers with suggestions in the above mentioned arena's are more than welcome to leave advice--in fact I beg for it :)

      So the search for a perfect Sour Dough Recipe continues...

      Sourdough Bread I
      3/4 cup milk
      2 tbsp butter
      2 tbsp sugar
      1 tbsp olive oil
      2 tsp salt
      1 TBSP active dry yeast
      1/2 cup warm water
      2 cups sourdough starter
      5-6 cups bread flour approx.
      Cornmeal to sprinkle on pan


      In small saucepan, scald milk and butter. Set aside and allow to cool until lukewarm.

      In large bowl, add sugar, salt, yeast, and warm water. Pour in warm milk and melted butter. Stir until yeast is dissolved. Mix in starter. Add flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until dough is too thick to be mixed with wooden spoon.

      Turn dough out onto floured board and begin to knead for about 10 minutes, adding flour when dough gets sticky.
      Put dough in greased bowl and turn over so that dough top is greased. Cover and let rise in warm place for 60 minutes or until double in size.
      Punch down dough. Turn onto board and knead for about 3 minutes.
      Shape dough into a large round loaf or two small round loaves. Place on greased baking sheet sprinkled with corn meal Cover and let rise for 45 minutes or until double in size.

      Preheat oven 400 degrees F. Using a sharp knife, slash an X on the 
      bread top. Bake for 40 minutes or until bread sounds hollow when tapped on.