Thursday, December 30, 2010

Cauliflower Cheese Soup

I got this recipe from my sister, Patty. It is creamy and delicious.
2 c. chicken stock
2 10 oz. pkg. frozen cauliflower OR 1 bunch fresh , chopped
1/3 c. butter
1 onion, chopped fine
1/3 c. flour
4 cups half and half or whole milk
2 cups velveeta cheese cut into small chunks
salt and pepper
parsley to garnish

In a saucepan, bring chicken stock to a boil. Add cauliflower and cook about 8 minutes or until tender crisp. Remove about 1/3 third of the cauliflower and set aside. Use an immersible blender to blend the stock and cauliflower OR pour into a blender and blend until smooth. In a soup pot, melt butter and saute' onion until tender. Add flour, stirring and cooking until smooth. Slowly add the half and half, blending and cooking until smooth and creamy. Stir in the blended cauliflower. Add cheese and cook, stirring constantly unitl sauce is smooth and cheese is melted. Add reserved cauliflower. Heat, but don't boil. Garnish with parsley.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Easy Crockpot Beef Stew

What's better on a cold night than a bowl of beef stew with some wheat bread? It just takes a few minutes to put together, and then you can enjoy the smell of it stewing in the crockpot all afternoon. Measurements are approximate since I don't really measure for this.

1 1/2 -2 lbs. stew beef cut into small chunks
About 1/2 cup flour
Salt and Pepper OR Montreal Steak Seasoning to taste (remember steak seasoning is really peppery, so be careful not to put too much- yes, this is the voice of experience!)

3 potatoes, scrubbed and chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 or 3 stalks celery with tops, chopped
1 can tomato soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 big glob (maybe 1-2 T.) beef better than bouillon mixed in about 1 cup water(add more water if needed) and heated to dissolve in the microwave.

Cut up the beef, then put it in a bowl OR just on the cutting board add the flour and seasoning. Mix well. Let marinate while you chop the veggies. Heat some olive oil in a large skillet. Add the beef and brown on all sides. Put in crockpot. If there are bits left in the fry pan, add a little bit of water and deglaze the pan and add that in the crockpot too. Add veggies, bouillon mixture and soups. Mix together and cook on high 3-4 hours or low 6-8 hours.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Zesty Crockpot BBQ Chicken

Wahoo! Another easy, delicious crock pot recipe- perfect for busy December dinners. I wish I could tell you where I got it, but I don't remember. I printed it off a food blog or site somewhere. But it is really good. And like I said, easy. It tastes kind of pork Cafe Rio-ish.

6 frozen boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
12 oz bottle barbecue sauce (whatever kind you like)
1/2 cup Kraft Zesty Italian salad dressing (I'm sure another Italian dressing would work as well)
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 T. Worcestershire sauce

Place chicken in a slow cooker. In a bowl, mix the barbecue sauce, Italian dressing, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce. Pour over the chicken.
Cover and cook 3-4 hours on high or 6-8 on low. Shred chicken and mix in with sauce well. Serve on buns or on baked potatoes (both are delicious!)
This freezes well in ziplock bags.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Patty's Borscht

My sister, Patty served two missions in Siberia, Russia (I know- she's a saint!) and really learned how to make delicious traditional Russian borscht soup. She says every Russian family has their own recipe. She has really perfected hers. It is so healthy, flavorful, and makes a perfect Christmas-time soup with it's bright red color. I had borsch on our cruise last summer and Patty's recipe is WAY better than that was. Give it a try; It's really pretty easy:

1 lb. tender beef cut into small pieces
3-4 T. flour
Seasoning Salt and Pepper to taste

1 large onion, chopped
1 c. diced carrots
1 1/2 c. diced potatoes
1/2 c. chopped celery
2 c. chopped cabbage
1 14 oz. can crushed or diced tomatoes
2 quarts beef stock
1 T. vinegar
2 T. dried parsley
1 T. dried dill
2 tsp. garlic powder (more or less to taste)
2 tsp. onion powder
1/4 c sugar
1 or 2 bay leaves
1 14 oz. can diced beets with juice

Dredge beef in flour and salt and pepper and fry in a little oil in the bottom of a large soup pot. When beef starts to brown, add onion, potatoes, carrots, and celery and brown with meat for several minutes. This creates a nice flavor in the vegetables and gives them a head start in cooking. Then add cabbage and all other ingredients, except the beets. Bring to a boil and then simmer until vegetables are tender- don't overcook. Turn heat off and allow soup to sit for an hour or more. Just before serving, bring the soup to a second boil- immediately turn heat off and add the beets. If the beets boil they will lose their beautiful color. Remove bay leaves. Ladel soup in bowls and garnish with sour cream and parsley (I used fresh dill.)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pumpkin Pancakes with Cinnamon Brown Butter

I had some pumpkin I needed to use, so made these delicious pumpkin pancakes. I found the recipe in Taste of Home magazine. I've altered it slightly.
1/2 cup butter, cubed
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 cup pecans, toasted

1 1/2 cups flour
3 T. packed brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 1/3 cups milk
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup ricotta cheese ( I didn't have this, so just added a little more pumpkin and milk)

In a small saucepan, cook butter over medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Add the maple syrup, cinnamon and nutmeg. Remove from heat and stir in the pecans.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, then add milk, pumpkin and cheese. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
Drop by 1/4 cupfuls on a hot griddle. Turn when edges turn dry and bubble form on top. These take a little longer to cook than regular pancakes. Serve with the brown pecan butter.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Creamy Orange Jello Salad

I got this recipe years ago from my sister-in-law, Ada. It is my go to recipe when I need to take a salad to a church function, family gathering or potluck. My husband's office recently had a Halloween potluck, so this is what I made. It's easy, creamy and yummy.
1 6 serving size cook and serve vanilla pudding (not instant)
1 6 serving size orange jello
1 12 oz. cool whip
2 0r 3 cans mandarin oranges
Cook pudding according to pkg. instructions, using 3 cups water INSTEAD of the 3 cups milk. After boiling, remove from heat and immediately add the pkg. of jello. Stir until dissolved. Let cool, then put in the fridge to set. When firm, transfer jello to bowl and use a hand mixer to mix in the thawed cool whip. Add mandarin oranges. Put back in the fridge to set up.

You can use any combination of jello flavor with fruit that you like. Strawberry with fresh strawberries is also good.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Veggie Penne

I got the idea for this recipe from an email of parenting tips. Blake and I have added/changed a few things, so here is the new improved veggie pasta dish.

2 1/2  cups sliced carrots (3 large carrots)
1  can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes with basil, oregano, and garlic (undrained)
1 small can tomato sauce
1 can corn (drained)
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
16  ounces multigrain penne pasta
2  tablespoons finely shredded Parmesan cheese

1. Cook the carrots in lightly salted boiling water in a covered saucepan for 10 minutes or until they're tender. Drain and set aside. Put tomatoes and corn in saucepan and add garlic salt and Italian seasoning and heat through. Use a food processor or potato masher to puree/mash the carrots. Add carrots to tomatoes and corn and stir.

2. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions; drain and combine w/ tomato sauce in a large bowl. Serve with Parmesan.

Ono Burgers

I got this recipe years ago from a cook on the noon news. He claimed he got it from a little cafe in Hawaii where these little sandwiches were very popular. They are good and easy to make.

Brown 1 lb. hamburger with one chopped onion. Drain. Add 1 box of sliced mushrooms( or you can use canned mushrooms) and saute.
1/2 lb. cheese, grated
1 can tomato soup
1 tsp. minced or crushed garlic
Dash of Worcester
1/4 cup (or so) ketchup
1 can olives, chopped (Using a knife you don't care about, just chop the drained olives right in the can)
Pickle relish, opt. (I don't usually put it in)
Salt and Pepper
Mix all together in the fry pan. Toast 6 buns under the broiler. Load this mixture on the open buns (you can sprinkle a little more cheese on top if you would like,) then broil and serve.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Honey Cashew Green Beans

I was asked to cook a huge bag of frozen green beans for a funeral luncheon. I couldn't just take plain green beans. So I went to and found this delicious recipe to fancy up the green beans. The recipe called for fresh green beans, but frozen worked beautifully.
1/2 lb. green beans or a bag frozen
Big handful of coarsely chopped cashews
1/2 stick of butter
1 heaping T. honey
Steam or cook beans in water until desired softness. While they're cooking, heat a small skillet and saute the cashews in the butter for about 2 minutes until golden brown. Stir in the honey. Put cooked beans in a serving bowl and pour nut mixture over the top. Stir until all are well coated.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Rice and Bean Quesadillas

I got this off my friend's blog and we loved it.

1 cup cooked brown rice, warm or at room temperature
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 green onion, finely sliced (white and green parts)
1/2 red or green pepper, diced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
juice of 1 lime
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1-2 cups shredded cheese

Saute the green onion and green pepper in a little bit of olive oil. While sauteing, add the chili powder, ground cumin, garlic salt, and cilantro (use dried if you don't have fresh, that's what we did). Add lime juice, rice, and beans. Mix well until warm and reduce heat to low. Prepare quesadillas in olive oil with cheese and rice and bean mix. Serve and enjoy!

Ginger Snaps

That don't . . .snap, that is. These are soft and delicious and I'm sorry. You'll hate me because they are absolutely irresistible. I got the recipe years ago from my sister-in-law, Lorene. They are the perfect fall or Christmas cookie. Enjoy!

3/4 cup shortening (I use butter flavor Crisco sticks)
3/4 cup real butter
2 cups sugar
Cream together well, then add
2 eggs
1/4 cup molasses
Beat well. Sift or stir together and add:
4 cups flour
2 tsp. cloves
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. salt
Beat all together. Put in fridge for a 1/2 hour or so. Make dough into balls. Roll the balls in sugar and place on cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 8-9 minutes. Glaze cookies while they are still warm.
Powdered sugar, HOT water and 1/4 tsp salt. Add water a little at a time until it makes a nice glaze consistency. You can dip the cookies in the glaze( put a cooling rack on a cookie sheet to catch glaze drips) or just spread glaze on the tops.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Slow Cooker Chicken Stew

Have you heard of It's my go-to site when I need a quick new recipe. I found this one by searching for chicken crockpot recipes b/c I needed something easy and fast for a busy evening. This stew has a fun, autumn flavor and is delicious served over rice or noodles. I've made some changes from the original. You can vary it according to your tastes or what you have on hand. Reviewers added mushrooms, carrots, celery, bay leaf, celery seeds, oregano, garlic powder, hot sauce, cayenne pepper, etc. . . . that is the joy of soup. You can add whatever you want and it turns out delicious!

3 lbs skinless, boneless chicken breast - cut into chunks
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup water
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup (10.75 oz) - or use whatever gravy/condensed soup you have on hand
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Italian style seasoning
1 apple - peeled, cored, and cut into chunks (many reviewers added more - I used one large Gala and it was just right)
2 potatoes, cut into chunks
1 onion, diced
3 carrots, shredded or diced
1 envelope Lipton onion soup (or dry onion gravy mix)
*I added 1 cup of pureed cauliflower b/c I had it on hand and it made it healthier and creamier.

Place chicken in slow cooker. Add water, soup, pepper, salt, seasoning, apple, potatoes, onion and gravy mix. Mix all together.
Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, or on high for 3 to 4 hours.
Serve over rice or noodles.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Hot Fudge Sauce

Here's another great sauce for ice cream. My favorite is brownies, vanilla ice cream with this sauce over the top. Just as with the caramel sauce, I've given this as a Christmas neighbor gift in small, decorative jars. I just quadruple the batch.

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup water
4 T. corn syrup
1 12 oz. pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tsp. vanilla

In a saucepan, combine sugar, butter, water, and corn syrup. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a full boil, about 5-8 minutes. Boil for three minutes. Remove from heat and immediately stir in chocolate chips, beat with wire whisk unitl smooth. Stir in vanilla. Pour into jar and store in refrigerator. Yield: 3 cups

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Creamy Zucchini Soup

Creamy Zucchini Soup

Prep Time: 15 min

Cook Time: 25 min

There’s nothing better than a warm bowl of soup when it’s chilly outside, right? I found this one online (not sure what site . . . I can’t find it now) when I searched for recipes to use the oodles of Basil that we have taking over our balcony currently. This chowder is loaded with onions, tomatoes and corn, and has a creamy, yummy taste. It’s relatively quick. I like to serve with a salad and crusty bread.


2 med zucchini, chopped

1 med onion, chopped

2 T minced fresh parsley (I just sprinkled some dried)

1 tsp dried basil (I used a handful of fresh)

1/3 cup butter or margarine (I used olive oil)

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

3 cups water

3 chicken bouillon cubes

1 tsp lemon juice

1 can (14 ½ oz) diced tomatoes

1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk

1 package (10 oz) frozen corn (I used canned corn)

¼ cup Parmesan cheese

2 cups (8 oz) shredded Cheddar cheese

Pinch sugar, optional

Chopped parsley as garnish, optional (I didn’t use)


In a dutch oven or soup kettle ove rmedium heat, sauté the zucchini, onion, parsley ,and basil in butter until veies are tender. Stir in flour, salt and pepper. Gradually stir in water. Add the bouillon and lemon juice, mix well. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes.

Add tomatoes, evaporated milk, and corn; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 5 minutes or until corn is tender. Just before serving, stir in Cheddar cheese and Parmesan until melted. Add sugar and garnish with parsley if desired.

Yield: about 2 ½ quarts

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Thai Coconut Chicken

Boil-in-bag brown rice (we just cooked some brown rice in the rice cooker)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon fish sauce (or use soy sauce);
1 tablespoon water
3 garlic cloves, minced and divided
1-1/4 pounds chicken-breast tenders
4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
3/4 cup sliced green onions
2 teaspoons grated ginger
1/2 cup light coconut milk
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon Tabasco green sauce, optional
Cilantro, optional

1. Prepare rice according to package directions and keep warm.
2. Combine cornstarch, fish sauce, the water, and one minced garlic clove in a shallow bowl. Toss mixture with chicken tenders, coating evenly. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high. Add chicken and cook 3 minutes per side. Remove chicken from pan. Heat remaining oil in pan and sauté green onions for a minute. Add the remaining garlic and the ginger and cook another minute.
3. Return chicken to pan for 1 to 2 minutes, or until it's cooked. Stir in coconut milk, lime juice, sugar, and, if you're using it, green sauce. Cook about a minute until heated through. Serve over brown rice with chopped cilantro, if using.

I made a change or two, which I noted, but I got them from a daily email I get w/ parenting tips. Blake and I just loved this recipe; it got a two thumbs up!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Buttery Caramel Sauce

This is my day of fame! My niece, Missy featured my Caramel sauce recipe on her blog, This recipe has a funny story. I made it years ago, even put it in my cookbook that I made, then forgot about it. Years later, I tasted a delicious caramel sauce at an ice cream shop in Provo, Utah. I think it was called Leatherby's? Anyway, I loved that sauce which started me on a search for the perfect Caramel sauce recipe. I tried many from cookbooks and the internet, but they were all too liquidy and corn syrupy. I wanted that brown sugary texture and yummy taste. I even searched and found the email for the ice cream shop and wrote and asked them for the recipe. I never got a response. Then one day I was looking through my own cookbook and found this recipe that I had had for years! Right under my own nose all that time! It's perfect and delicious. It's crazy good! I've made it a couple of times for neighbor gifts at Christmas. I just quadruple the recipe and pour it into small, decorative canning jars. Missy used it as a dipping sauce for fresh fall apples. I hope you enjoy it, and I hope you'll visit They have great ideas every day. I'll put the printable recipe here, but go to Missy's post to see beautiful pictures of it (Missy is a fabulous photographer.)

Buttery Caramel Sauce
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/3 cup butter
2/3 cup whipping cream

In a medium saucepan, combine sugars, syrup, and butter. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a full boil, about 5-8 minutes. Remove from heat and cool 5 minutes. Stir in whipping cream. Pour into a jar and store in the refrigerator. It's best served warm.

Hawaiian Ham Sammies

These little guys are delicious with the Nectar of the Gods soup. I've made a similar version of these for years (where you pour a sauce over the sandwiches rather than spread it on the rolls) but I like this one I got from my sister, Patty's cookbook better. She got the recipe from my sister, Pam. Pam made them for our recent tea party and they were the hit!
1 (dozen)pkg. Hawaiian bread rolls (if your store doesn't have these, you can use very soft dinner rolls)
1/4 lb. butter, melted
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 T. prepared mustard
1tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
2 T. sugar
3 T poppy seeds
Ham sliced for sandwiches
Cheese slices (Swiss, Provolone, Havarti, Mozzarella- whatever you like)

Leaving the rolls stuck together, carefully slice through the rolls in half. Mix together the melted butter, onion, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, sugar and poppy seeds. Spread on both sides of the rolls. Layer ham and cheese slices over all. Put the roll tops on. Wrap up in foil, making a packet. Put in a baking dish and bake at 350 for about 10 minutes until the cheese is melted. Cut the rolls apart and serve.

Nectar of the Gods

I got this recipe from my sister, Pam. She got it from a Lion House cookbook. Her family named it Nectar of the Gods, and believe me, it's an appropriate name. I'm sure I've changed it a bit from the original, but I don't remember what those changes are. Kristen and Jared make it in the summer with garden tomatoes and freeze it in bags to enjoy all winter.

12 to 15 roma tomatoes
4 cans tomato soup
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup beef stock or consomme
1 big bunch fresh basil leaves
3/4 - 1 cup sugar
2-3 cups cream or half and half or whole milk
salt and pepper

Kristen and Jared start by blanching the tomatoes to remove the skins. That's a great idea as the soup does have little bits of skin in it.

Cut tomatoes in half and put on a sprayed baking sheet. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast at 350 until the tomatoes are soft and browned. Meanwhile, combine soups in a large pot and start to heat. When tomatoes are soft, bubbly and browned, put them in a blender with the coarsely chopped basil. Put a towel over the lid while you blend. OR (and this is what I do) add the tomatoes and basil to the pot and use an immersible blender to blend all together well. Heat through. When all is well blended and hot, add sugar, cream and salt and pepper. Do not boil. Heat and serve.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Summer Tomatoes

This a delicious way to use fresh tomatoes from the garden. It makes a nice pasta sauce or dipping sauce for crusty bread- or both! You need a 1/2 gallon canning jar or a large glass bowl that you can cover to set out in the sun. You could mix it in a bowl, then divide between two quart jars.
Dip 8 -12 tomatoes in boiling water for about a minute. Fill your sink with cold water and put hot tomatoes in there after the minute. The skins will come off easily. Coarsely chop the tomatoes and put in the 1/2 gallon glass jar. Add:
3 cloves garlic, minced
6 green onions, chopped OR 1 onion, chopped
3/4 - 1 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
Big bunch of fresh basil, chopped
fresh parsley, chopped (opt.)
1-3 T. sugar (to taste)
Salt (to taste)
Pepper (to taste)
Mix all together in the jar. Shake well. Put jar in the sun for several hours. Occasionally shake the jar if you're around.
Serve with crusty bread for dipping or mix with cooked pasta and top with Parmesan cheese.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

O'Charley's Salad Recreated

A couple of months ago I had an amazing salad at O'Charley's. So I tried to re-create it. I couldn't copy their amazing Balsamic Viniagrette, but the one I found online was pretty good, just not as thick as O'Charley's. Here are the ingredients for the salad.

Mixed Greens (I used romaine)
Bleu Cheese crumbles (I used Feta, also good, but not quite as strong and I think I prefer the bleu)
sliced strawberries
mandarin oranges
dried cranberries
Grilled chicken or shrimp (optional)

Mix together and serve w/ balsamic viniagrette.

1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp dark brown sugar
1 T garlic (I used 1/8 tsp garlic powder)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3/4 c olive oil

Notice the rosemary bread that I served w/ it, so good.

Molasses Wheat Bread

I've found a new hit in the bread department! Blake and I just love this recipe I found in my sister's ward cookbook. The recipe was submitted by Kaylene Craig, did you know her Lu? So delicious! We make it in our bread maker so I have to put it in a certain order for our machine. So I'll list the ingredients, but put them in your bread machine according to it's directions. If you have a Welbilt "The Bread Machine" like ours you'd put the yeast in first, then all dry ingredients, then wet.

1 1/2 c. warm water
3 T gluten (I used only 2 and it was great)
2 c. whole wheat flour
1 3/4 c. white flour
2 tsp. salt
3 T sugar
3 T dry powdered milk
2 tsp. yeast
3 T melted butter
2 T molasses

Place ingredients in order into bread machine. Set machine on dough or manual setting and start. When bread machine is finished, remove dough, cut in half, and shape into loaves. Place dough in loaf pans; let raise in warmed oven (set at 175 degrees, then turn off when heated) for 35 minutes. Carefully take bread dough out and heat oven to 350. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool 10 minutes in pans, then remove bread to cooling rack. When cooled, store in airtight bag or container.

Tip I learned some time ago: To tell if bread is fully cooked, take one loaf out of the pan w/ hot pads and knock on the bottom of the bread. If it sounds hollow it's done.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas

If you go to food blogs, you've probably seen this one. Everyone who tries it wants to post it, because it is so good( and their pictures look a lot better than mine!). I think it originated on The Sister's Cafe blog (see sidebar) , but I've seen it on a couple of others, too. It's just a great combination of flavors, and pretty easy to make.

Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas
Two whole (or four halves) boneless, skinless Chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
Put breasts in sauce to marinate:
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 T. chili powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder (or can use fresh garlic- that's what I did)

Mix ingredients together and let the meat soak in the delicious sauce for at least 30 minutes.

Other ingredients:
2 cans green enchilada sauce (I used bottled)
Flour tortillas
Grated Cheese (Mexican mix, cheddar, Mozzarella- whatever you like)
One of the bloggers suggested adding 1 cup sour cream. I think I'll try it next time.

Spray a 13 x 9 pan with cooking spray and pour in enough green enchilada sauce to cover bottom.
Fill tortillas with cheese and chicken mix. Roll up enchiladas and nestle together in the pan. Pour remaining enchilada sauce over the top and sprinkle with more cheese. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes, turning on broiler at the end to brown the top. It's yummy! Oh, and the recipe said you could use pork instead of the chicken.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Rosemary Bread

I was in the mood to make some bread yesterday so I found this recipe for Macaroni Grill bread on my friend's blog. It's the link on the right sidebar called "My Recipe Box." I'll paste her instructions (w/ my additions) here.

1 1/2 t active dry yeast
1 C warm water
3 T olive oil
1/4 t sugar
2 1/2 C flour
1 1/2 t salt
1/4 t McCormick Italian Seasoning Grinder
1/4 t cracked black pepper
3/4 T fresh rosemary, snipped
1 egg (white)
butter and salt

1. In the bottom of your mixer combine water, yeast and sugar. Mix it around a bit with a spoon and let it sit for 5 minutes.
2. Add the salt, oil and 1 C flour. Mix for 30 seconds to incorporate.
3. Add the rest of the flour about 1/2 C at a time, while the mixer continues to mix.
4. When all of the flour is incorporated mix on high for about 7 minutes.
5. While your mixer is doing it's fine work, get your herbs and seasonings ready to go. You don't want to eat any of the thick stem that rosemary comes on, only the little needles. Pull the needles off backwards off the stem...they come off easily. (I used a bit more than 1/2 tsp of dried rosemary.)
6. When your dough is done mixing add the rosemary, pepper and Italian seasoning. Mix just until incorporated.
7. Cover your mixing bowl with a kitchen towel and let it rise for about 40 minutes, or until doubled in size.
8. Divide the dough into 2 parts. Shape into balls and place on a sprayed cookie sheet, or a cooking stone with a bit of olive oil on it.
9. Spray a sharp knife with cooking spray and cut 2 slits in the top of the bread.
10. In a small bowl whisk an egg until frothy.(Next time I'll just use the egg white.) Brush the egg all over the top of the loaf and into the cracks.
11. Place the loaves into a warm oven. (I set mine to 175) Let them rise until doubled in size, about 15 minutes.
12. Turn your oven up to 375 degrees and bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
13. When the loaves come out of the oven, place them on a cooling rack. Brush butter over the tops and sprinkle a little bit of salt over the top of the butter. Be careful to not get too much. I used my salt grinder.
Serve w/ balsamic vinegar and olive oil as a dip. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Whitney's Nacho Cheese Dip

My good friend Whitney shared the yummiest, easiest, more healthy nacho cheese recipe that she created. Yum.

1 can Campbells Cheddar Cheese soup
1/2 soup can of milk
1 cup of salsa (or according to taste)

Mix all 3 ingredients in a medium saucepan. Heat through being careful not to boil. Enjoy!

Pancake Mix

I inherited a wonderful cookbook from Grandpa Gabe when he passed away called "Make a Mix Cookery". We have loved making our own pancake mix from it just to save a bit in the grocery budget.

Pancake Mix
10 cups flour
2 1/2 cups instant nonfat dry milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 baking powder
2 T salt

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Stir together to blend well. Put in a large airtight container. label. Store in a cool, dry place. Use within 6-8 months. Makes about 13 cups of pancake mix.

When you are ready for some pancakes:
Perfect Pancakes
1 1/2 cups Pancake Mix (above)
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 cup water
3 T vegetable oil

Combine egg, water and oil. Add Pancake mix. Add more water for thinner pancakes. Blend well. Let stand 5 minutes. Cook on a hot oiled griddle about 3-4 minutes, until browned on both sides. Makes 10-12 4-inch pancakes.

**We love adding blueberries. Yum! (Brielle won't eat it if there are blueberries that she can see, so we puree them and make "purple pancakes.")**

For a healthier option:

Wheat Pancake Mix
6 cups whole-wheat flour
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups instant nonfat dry milk
1 T salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup baking powder
2 cups vegetable shortening

In a large bowl, combine whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, dry milk, salt, sugar, wheat germ and baking powder. Mix well. With a pastry blender, cut in shortening until evenly distributed. Put in a large airtight container. Label. Store in a cool, dry place. Use within 10-12 weeks. Makes about 14 cups of wheat pancake mix.

Favorite Wheat Pancakes

1 egg, slightly beaten
1 1/2 cups water
2 1/4 cups wheat mix (above)

Combine egg and water in a medium bowl. Stir in wheat mix until just moistened. Cook on hot oiled griddle about 3-4 minutes until browned on both sides. Makes about 15 4-inch pancakes.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Lemon Cake with Lemon Buttercream Frosting

This is easy, and oh. so. good. And that's from a chocolate lover!

1 pkg. lemon cake mix
1 pkg. (small) lemon instant pudding
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup oil
4 large eggs

Mix all together on low, then turn up speed and mix for about 2 minutes on med. speed. Pour batter into a sprayed 9 x 13 pan or two round pans. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Don't overbake.

Lemon Buttercream Frosting
(this stuff is to die for)
2 sticks butter, softened
6-8 cups confectioner's sugar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (I've substituted lime and it's also delicious!)
Zest from 1 lemon
1 or 2 drops yellow food color (optional)

Mix the SOFT butter with about half of the sugar. Add juice and zest. Beat well. Add more sugar, one cup at a time until desired consistency. Spread on cake. You can garnish the cake with twisted lemon slices or clear decorator sugar.

Sunday, August 8, 2010


This is my version of an old Pillsbury recipe. So easy!
1 lb. ground beef
1 minced onion or dried minced onion
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
2 T. brown sugar
1 small can pork and beans (my addition)
3/4 cup or so shredded cheese
1 can biscuits
Heat oven to 400. In a large skillet, brown beef. Add sauce, beans, and brown sugar. Place a biscuit in each of a sprayed muffin tin. Top with meat mixture, then grated cheese. Bake at 400 for 10- 12 minutes. Sometimes I put all the biscuits in a square 9x9 pan and bake them for about ten minutes, then I take them out and pour the meat mixture over all, then top with grated cheese and put them back in the oven and finish baking until cheese is melted and the biscuits are done. It's less messy that way.

Pickled Cucumbers and Red Onion

This is a fantastic version of this old standby recipe. Joan made this for our heritage dinner last spring, and man was it good. With cucumbers and onions coming on in the garden, I thought it was a good time to post this. Try it; you'll like it!
1 cucumber, finely sliced
1/2 red onion, finely sliced
fresh Dill sprigs- several
1 1/2 cup white vinegar
1 cup sugar
5-6 allspice berries
1/4 tsp. salt
Put cucumbers and onion in a bowl. Add the dill and a pinch of salt.
In a small pot over medium heat, combine white vinegar, sugar, allspice and salt. Stir well until liquid is simmering and the sugar has completely dissolved. pour pickling liquid over veggies and stir to ensure all is well coated. Allow to cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate. Chill for at least 4 hours before serving.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Berry Brulee'

This isn't actually creme brulee', but a faux brulee' that you do under the broiler. It is really good, quick and easy to make-perfect for a summer dessert. If you don't have ramekins, you can put it in a square 8x8 or 9x9 pan or similar casserole dish- even an ovenproof bowl would work- and serve it from there. You're gonna like this one.
About 3 cups fresh berries, any kind (mixed strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries or any one of those)
1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar

Divide the berries between 4 ramekins or put in the bottom of a square baking pan or casserole.
Mix the cream cheese, sour cream vanilla and white sugar with an electric hand mixer until creamy. Pour over berries. Sprinkle with about 1/2 cup brown sugar. Broil until bubbly and almost burned. Cool. This will create a hard top like on creme brulee. Serve. You can double this and put in a 9x13 pan if you need to serve more people. Yummy yummy yummy! I think I might try it with our fresh peaches next.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Peach and Tomato Pasta

I found this amazing recipe that is perfect for peach season. It's especially great for people like my mom who have a peach tree and grow tomatoes in their garden. I just got the Better Homes and Gardens magazine (thanks to my hubby for mother's day) and it has tons of peaches recipes (which we will be trying about 5 of them in the next couple of weeks) and we loved this one last night. I did change a couple of things and may make a couple changes next time, so I'll note those and you can decide how you want to make it.
Btw, this is a fast recipe and you don't want the peaches too mushy, so it's good to have everything chopped and ready to add when it calls for it.

12 oz. spaghetti or linguine (I used spaghetti but may try a single pasta next time)
3 cloves garlic (I used garlic powder equivalent, check the container)
1 Tbsp canola oil (I used olive oil)
1 pint grape tomatoes (I used several romas, diced)
2 lb. peaches (about 6), pitted & sliced and/or coarsely chopped (leave the skins on)
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, halved (don't like these at all so didn't use them)
1/3 cup chopped basil leaves (used dried equivalent)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
toasted slivered almonds (opt.)

1. Prepare spaghetti according to package directions. Reserve 1/4 c. of the spaghetti cooking liquid. Drain spaghetti and return to pot; keep warm.

2. Meanwhile, in a 12-inch skillet cook garlic in hot oil over medium heat for 1 minute. Add tomatoes. Cook, uncovered, for 2 minutes. Add peaches. Cook 4 to 5 minutes more or until peaches are just soft, stirring occasionally. Stir in olives, basil, salt, and peppers; heat through.

3. Add peach mixture to cooked spaghetti along w/ reserved spaghetti cooking liquid. Toss to combine. Season to taste w/ additional salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temp. Sprinkle w/ almonds just before serving.
Makes 6 servings.
Enjoy! So unique yet yummy.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches

I've never even been to Philadelphia, so I'm certainly no expert. But I think I've come up with a pretty delicious version of a steak sandwich. It's a great summer recipe as you don't have to heat the oven except the broiler for a short time, and it's very fast.

Cut tender steak (probably about 1 lb) into very thin strips. Sprinkle with Montreal Steak Seasoning and garlic salt. Mix well with hands and let "marinate" while you prepare the other ingredients.
1 green pepper and 1 red pepper cut into thin strips
1 box mushrooms, sliced
1 large onion, sliced very thin
Salt and pepper
Buns ( hard roll buns like Hotel Utah rolls)
Soft cream cheese
Mozarella cheese, grated
Put evoo in a large skillet. Add veggies, garlic, and salt and pepper and cook until tender. Add meat and stir and cook all together.
Split buns and spread with cream cheese. Broil until slightly browned. Spoon meat mixture over buns and top with grated cheese. Put back under broiler until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Tomatillo dressing-tastes like Cafe Rio

3 fresh tomatillos (peel off paper skin & quarter)
1 package buttermilk ranch
1 cup mayo (I used sour cream)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup cilantro, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed (I use 1/4 tsp garlic powder.)
1/4 tsp crushed cayenne pepper

Blend all ingredients in blender and chill for at least one hour before serving.

~I also got this recipe from Jennica, and it is delicious!

Shredded Pork-(tastes like Cafe Rio)

The night before...
3 1/2 to 4 lb pork roast
2 T brown sugar
1 to 1 1/2 tsp red pepper (cayenne)
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt

Mix together and rub on pork roast. Put in crock-pot on low all night. (If you have a pretty hot cooker, you can do it on high in the morning, until it cooks the meat through.)

The next morning add...
1 can root beer (the recipe I have says coke, but I like my RB)
1 cup chicken broth
2 cloves garlic, minced (I have an allergy, so I use 1/4 tsp. garlic powder)
1 small onion, chopped

Keep on low until ready to serve for lunch or dinner.

About one hour before serving, shred roast and add 1 cup brown sugar. Use in tacos or on salad w/ tomatillo dressing.

~I got this recipe from Blake's cousin, Jennica. So yummy!

Cilantro-Lime Rice

4 T butter
2 1/2 cups rice (I like to use brown rice)
4 1/2 cups chicken broth (If I'm using cubed bullion to make this, I use 3 cubes instead of 4 1/2 cubes, because it gets too salty.)
1 1/2 tsp salt
4 T lime juice
4 T chopped cilantro (I added more than this at the reunion, Lu.)
1/2 tsp cumin

Put all ingredients in rice cooker and push the cook button.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Carrot Pineapple Cake

The name may sound healthy, but trust me, this one's a gooey, moist, delectable winner. My hubby requests this cake every time he get's to put in his "two cents." Thanks to Cynthia Prince (my mother in law), an amazing chef and baker, to whom I owe this recipe. I think she originally got it from the Better Homes and Garden's Cook-book (the older version).

1 ½ cup flour

1 cup sugar

1 t baking powder

1 t soda

1 t ground cinnamon

½ t salt

Stir or sift all dry ingredients together


2/3 cup salad oil

2 eggs

1 cup finely shredded carrots

½ cup crushed pineapple with syrup (1 cup in a can)

1 t vanilla

Mix till moistened. 2 minutes on medium speed. Pour into greased pan and bake 350 for 35 minutes.

This makes enough for one 9x9 pan. If you are feeding a larger crowd (or just want more left-overs :), I would suggest doubling the recipe to fit into a bundt or 9x13 pan.

This may be common sense, but I would highly suggest cream cheese frosting above any other kind with this cake!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Whole Wheat Muffins

I got this recipe from a friend that I used to work with. She is a great cook and DOESN'T like to share her recipes, so I feel lucky to have this one. It has become a favorite for our whole family and is my favorite thing to have around when I have a newborn, am nursing and am always starving. It is a quick, relatively healthy and satisfying snack.

1 c. oil (you can replace all or half of this with applesauce for a healthier result. It still tastes great.)
2 eggs
1 t. salt
2 c. brown sugar
2 c. milk
4 c. wheat flour
2 t. vanilla
2 t. baking soda

Mix all ingredients. Pour into muffin cups (after putting the paper liners in, of course). Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Makes 2 1/2 - 3 dozen.

Cheesy Mashed Cauliflower

This is a delicious substitute for mashed potatoes. It is a Rachel Ray recipe. Garlic and Herb flavored Boursin is found in the deli section and is a little pricey. I'm sure you could substitute a less expensive soft flavored cheese ( I wonder if cream cheese with garlic salt and chives or green onion would work? Just a thought- I think I might try it next time.)
1 cup chicken broth
1 large head cauliflower
1/3 cup, abut 3 ounces, Boursin or other garlic and herb soft cheese
1 handful of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/8 tsp. grated nutmeg
3 T. chives, snipped

Put chicken stock and about 1 T.evoo in a deep pot. Trim away greens and stems from the base of cauliflower. Cut away the core with a sharp paring knife. Set cored head into the pot with broth. Cover pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and cook cauliflower, covered, until tender, 8-10 minutes. Uncover the pot and mash the cauliflower. Let some liquid cook off as you smash the cheeses into the cauliflower. As the mixture thickens, turn off the heat and season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Stir in or top with chives.

Curried Chicken Salad

This is another Ina Gartner recipe. My husband served his mission in Japan and developed a taste for curry. I'm not as crazy about it, but I love this salad. It is really tasty and good. Both times I made it, I left out the raisins, but I think I might try them next time . .. or craisins. I substituted chicken stock for the wine. It makes a little too much dressing, so you could use less mayo and chicken stock and still have plenty.
What is Major Grey's chutney? I had no idea, but asked at the grocery store and was taken not to the jam section, but to the pickle/ barbecue sauce section. Major Grey is a flavor and man, is it good. You use about 1/2 bottle in the recipe. Okay, here's the recipe:


  • 3 whole (6 split) chicken breasts, bone-in, skin-on
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups good mayonnaise (recommended: Hellman's)
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup chutney (recommended: Major Grey's)
  • 3 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 cup medium-diced celery (2 large stalks)
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts (2 scallions)
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1 cup whole roasted, salted cashews


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the chicken breasts on a sheet pan and rub the skin with olive oil. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is just cooked. Set aside until cool enough to handle. Remove the meat from the bones, discard the skin, and dice the chicken into large bite-size pieces.
For the dressing, combine the mayonnaise, wine, chutney, curry powder, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Process until smooth.
Combine the chicken with enough dressing to moisten well. Add the celery, scallions, and raisins, and mix well. Refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to blend. Add the cashews and serve at room temperature.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Chicken Roll ups

This recipe is an old stand-by at the Hinton house. I thought everybody made these happy little sandwiches, but recently I was talking to someone who had never heard of them. So here's the simple and delicious recipe.
2 cans Pillsbury Crescent rolls
2 cups cooked chicken, diced (you can use leftover, canned chicken, or boil or bake some breasts and chop em up)
8 oz. mushrooms, diced (you can use canned mushrooms, too)
3 green onions, chopped
8 oz. cream cheese
1/3 cup butter, melted (I have been skipping the butter, and they are still good)
Breadcrumbs (I like Japanese Panko bread crumbs- that's what's in the picture mixed with wheat germ)
Wheat germ, opt. (I keep a jar of wheat germ in the freezer and put some in with the bread crumbs to bump up the nutrition. I've actually used wheat germ only and they turn out great)
Chicken gravy, canned or bottled

Mix cream cheese with the mushrooms, green onion and chicken. Use your hands- it's so much easier than a spoon.
Spray a large cookie sheet. Open crescent rolls and separate. Put a spoonful of the cheese mixture in each roll and pull the dough around the cheese and seal. Dip rolls in butter and bread crumbs and place on cookie sheet. Bake according to roll directions. Serve with gravy.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Summer Squash Casserole

You know all is right in the world again when you get the first yellow summer squash out of your garden each summer. That happened here just this week. It makes me hungry for my "made it forever"
Summer Squash Casserole
2 small summer yellow squash
2 small zucchini
2-3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 onion, chopped
Fill a 2 qut. pan with squash, zucchini and carrots and boil in salted water until tender, but not mushy (You are going to bake the veggies, so you don't want them all the way done.)
Meanwhile, saute the onions in 4 T. butter (can substitute part olive oil). Stir in:
1 1/2 cups herbed stuffing mix
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup sour cream
Add drained vegetables and stir gently. Put into a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish. Melt 2 T. butter
Sprinkle 1 cup herbed stuffing mix over the casserole and pour butter over that. Bake for 30 minutes in 350 oven.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Way Too Much Fun

How did I spend ALL of Gabbi's nap-time today?
Did I have other things I probably should have accomplished?
Decorating cupcakes = My new favorite past-time.
I got a decorating kit with a coupon at Michaels, this recipe from my visiting teacher, and went crazy.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
Betty Crocker Cookbook, thanks to Cady Jardine's suggestion
Prep:10 min, 12 servings, about 1 3/4 cups of frosting

3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 to 2 Tbl milk

1. In a medium bowl, mix powdered sugar and butter with a spoon or electric mixer on low speed. Stir in vanilla nd 1 Tbl of the milk.
2. Gradually beat in just enough remaining milk to make frosting smooth and spreadable. If frosting is too thick, beat in more milk, a few drops at a time. If frosting becomes too thin, beat in a small amount of powdered sugar. Frost 13 x 9 cake generously or fills and frosts and 8 or 9 inch 2 layer cake.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Completos (Chilean hot dogs)

So this is my first post ever on this blog, are you proud of me Mom? Mom has been begging me to post here, and begging for this recipe. Lets just say I don't just love hot dogs, but the way Blake taught me to make them from Chile is to die for.

Hot dogs-cooked
deli buns (best when NOT pre-cut)
avocado (for just 2 of us, I use 1)
lemon juice
olive oil
tomatoes, diced (for just 2 of us, I dice 2 tomatoes)

In a small bowl, mash an avocado w/ a fork, add a 1/2 tsp of lemon juice, a sprinkle of salt, and a sprinkle of pepper.
In another small bowl add 1/2 tsp olive oil to the diced tomatoes and a small sprinkle of salt.
Next, slice the deli buns along the top, but be careful not to cut to the edges, just about a 5 inch cut along the top, big enough to just squeeze the hot dog down into the bread.
Put the cooked hot dog down into the bun, then w/ a fork push some tomatoes down around the hot dog. Next, mash lots of avocado mix down around the tomatoes. The ingredients should be up around the top of the bun by now. Squeeze a bit of mustard on top and sprinkle some salsa on top of that. Enjoy! Oh, and don't forget to have a napkin handy.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Roasted Veggies

This isn't really a recipe, but an idea. I'm sure you've discovered by now the joy of roasted veggies. They are easy, delicious, and healthy. You can use any vegetables that you like. You just put some olive oil on a baking sheet, add prepared vegetables of your choice, add salt and pepper and drizzle with more Olive oil. You can other seasonings of your choice. We like to add garlic or garlic salt sometimes. Toss with your hands and roast at 375 or 400 until veggies are tender. It usually only takes about 20-25 minutes. Easy. Some of our favorites: Peppers, Onions, Mushrooms, Potatoes (of course- just cut like fries), and our favorite is sweet potatoes. They are a little hard to peel, but worth the effort. Just peel and cut like fries. Then make a dip with mayonaise, lemon juice and garlic. Oh my, it's good. Happy roasting!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Salmon with Creamy Dill

I found this delicious recipe on It is supposed to be the way Alaskans make their salmon. It really is delicious. I half the amount of topping from the original recipe, as it's high calorie and you just don't need that much. If you're on the fence about salmon ( or even if your not) give this a try.
3/4 cup mayonaise (you can use the olive oil kind)
1/4 cup prepared mustard
1/2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme (I used a pinch of dry)
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. chopped fresh basil leaves ( used a bit more)
1 1/2 lbs. salmon fillets
Dill (I've used fresh and dried- both are good) for on top

Preheat oven to 375
In a bowl, stir together mayo and mustard. Stir thyme, oregano, and basil. Place salmon filets on a baking sheet. Spread with mayonaise mixture. Sprinkle with dill weed.
Bake for 30-40 minutes (shorter if your fillets are thin) until salmon flakes with a fork.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Pasta Ponza

I love grape tomatoes and often buy the big box of them at Costco. But with only two of us, we have a hard time going through the whole box. So, one day I went to to find a recipe that uses them. I found this gem. I didn't have the capers, so substituted garlic. It's from Giada De Laurentiis.
If you want the original go here. I'm giving you my slightly altered (improved?) version.
4 cups grape tomatoes, halved
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 T. e. v. olive oil, plus extra
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup Italian-style seasoned bread crumbs
1 pound ziti or other tube-shaped pasta
1 1/4 cup Romano or Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped parsley

Preheat oven to375. Butter an 8x8 baking pan.
Place the tomatoes, olive oil, salt and pepper in the dish. Toss to coat. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the tomato mixture. Drizzle with olive oil and bake for 30- 35 minutes until top is golden.

Cool for about 5 minutes.
Cook pasta in salted water. Pasta should be tender but firm to the bite. Drain, but RESERVE 1 cup pasta water.
Place the pasta in a large serving bowl. Spoon the tomato mixture onto the pasta. Add the cheese and toss well. Thin the sauce with pasta water, adding a little at a time until desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with the chopped parsley. Serve. Yummmmmm.

Carne a Pizzaiola

I got this recipe from our neighbor, Pete's very Italian daughter-in-law, Mary. I was struggling pronouncing it, and she showed me how. You put your fingers together with your thumb and open and close them as you say it. It really helps you get the accent. Anyway, so it's authentic Italian . . . and delicious.
Top round steak, cut into 2-3" pieces and sprinkled with steak seasoning. Let "marinate" while you prepare the other ingredients. (I also tenderize the meat by beating with a knife before I cut it up)
3 or 4 cloves garlic, chopped ( I use the lazy stuff in a jar)
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp. oregano
2 8 oz. cans tomato sauce
dash red hot pepper flakes
Sandwich rolls
Brown seasoned meat in olive oil. While browning, mix together other ingredients. Put meat in crock pot. Put some of the tomato mixture in the skillet to deglaze the pan. Pour tomato mixture over the meat in crock pot and drizzle with remaining olive oil. Cook on low for three hours or until meat is fork tender. Fill sandwich rolls with meat mixture and top with grated mozzarella cheese on a cookie sheet. Broil until cheese melts. Mary serves it with green salad.
Okay, now here's the truth:
I do the meat as written, but sometimes I just open a jar or can of spaghetti sauce to replace the tomato mixture. So easy and still good. I still drizzle it with olive oil after it's all the crock pot.

An aside: Every time I make this, I think of an episode I saw years ago of "Everybody Loves Raymond." Marie agrees to teach Debra to cook, giving her the recipe and ingredients for this dish to try at home. Debra keeps trying it, but it just doesn't taste as good as Marie's. She then discovers that Marie has covered the label of one of the spices with the word "oregano", it's really some other spice, making the dish taste wrong (sabotage!)- thus preserving her title as "best cook!"

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Steak Tips in Mushroom Gravy

Serves 4
2 cups uncooked egg noodles
1 lb. top sirloin steak, cut into 3/4 inch pieces
1 T. butter
1 onion, chopped
1 pkg. mushrooms, sliced (baby bellas are good)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. soy sauce
3 T. flour
1 1/2 cups beef broth
pepper and salt to taste
1/4 tsp. thyme

Cook noodles in salted water. While they cook, cook beef in a skillet in a little olive oil. Brown. Remove meat from pan and cover to let rest. Melt butter and over med high heat in the same skillet, cook onions, then add mushrooms, garlic, and soy sauce and cook until mushrooms are done. Sprinkle with flour and cook another minute. Then add beef broth and seasonings. Bring to a boil and cook another two minutes or so until thickened, stirring constantly. Add beef and heat all through well. Serve over hot noodles.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Crockpot Greek Chicken

I got this recipe from Shonna. I think she got it from Michelle. Anyway, I LOVE this recipe for a busy day. I literally can have dinner on and cooking in five minutes. I buy chicken thighs in the cheaper family pack- nine or ten to a pack. I divide them between two quart freezer bags and label them "Greek Chicken". It's perfect for the two of us. Then I just put the bag of frozen chicken in the crockpot with the other ingredients. You can use any chicken pieces, but I recommend ones with the bones still in as it adds a lot of yummy flavor.
I half the recipe for two people. Here's the recipe:
4- 6 potatoes, scrubbed and quartered
2 lbs. chicken pieces
2 large onions, quartered
1 whole bulb garlic, minced (I use the stuff from the jar)
1 T. dried oregano
1 tsp. salt
Fresh cracked pepper to taste
Olive Oil
Place potatoes in the bottom of a well sprayed crock pot. Add chicken, onions and garlic. Season and drizzle generously with olive oil. Cook on high 5- 6 hours, low for 9-10.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Rhubarb Pie

There just isn't a better two-crust pie than rhubarb. Since spring is the time for rhubarb, I thought this would be a good time to post this recipe. You've heard "easy as pie." This one really is easy, especially with my secret microwave/oven baking method. If you have froszen or store-bought pie crusts, you can have hot, fresh pie in less than half an hour.
4 cups chopped rhubarb
1 1/2+ cups white sugar (if you add more sugar- which I recommend, be sure to add a little more flour because rhubarb is juicy)
6 T. flour
butter for dotting
2 pastry crusts for 9 inch pie

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Roll out your crusts. Combine sugar and flour.
Put a crust into a 9 inch pie plate. Sprinkle 1/4 of the flour/sugar mixture in the crust. Heap the rhubarb over that, then sprinkle with remaining flour/sugar mixture. Dot with small pieces of butter.
Cover with top crust and vent. Sprinkle with sugar.
Place the pie in the microwave and cook on high for 8 minutes.
Remove with hot pads and place on a baking sheet.

Put in oven and bake for another 10 minutes or so until brown and bubbly.
This microwave method makes it so the crust doesn't overcook. The oven browns it and caramalizes the sugar both beneath the crust and on top. Man, it's yummy. Serve with vanilla ice cream.