Tuesday, April 30, 2013

What's For Dinner?- May

Here's my menu plan for May:
1.Baked Eggs on Toast/ Bacon/ Orange Julius

2.  Chicken Stir Fry over Rice

3.  Crockpot Beef Stroganoff

4.French Dip Sandwiches/ Roasted Vegetables

5.  Mother's Day Dinner

6. Meatloaf/ Twice Baked Potatoes
7. Memorial Day Barbecue (I'll let my husband plan this one)
8. Lemon Lentil Soup/ Crusty Bread

Recipes to Try:
1. Neimann Marcus Chicken Salad on Croissants
2. Creamy Chicken Pasta Casserole/ green salad
3. Kalua Pork/ Coconut Rice
4. Baked Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken/ Rice
5. Mexican Haystacks
6. Patty Melts/ Sweet Potato Fries

Monday, April 22, 2013

Ode to Costco's Torta Sandwich Rolls

I LOVE Costco's Torta Sandwich Rolls.  I first tried them when looking for something that would be something like Vietnamese rolls for Bahn Mii Sandwiches.  We don't live in a very culturally diverse area, so specialty foods like Vietnamese bread just aren't available.  It made a great substitute for those.  Since then, I've gradually started using them for everything: paninis of all kinds, French Dip Sandwiches, Oh, Baby Sandwiches, Ono Burgers, Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches,  grilled cheese and even garlic bread.  These rolls make the best garlic bread!  Just melt some butter, add garlic salt and brush over the cut rolls, then broil until browned on edges and golden.   Sometimes we sprinkle on parmesan cheese and/ or Parsley, too.  OR you can use Hotel Butter.   YUM!

I love Costco's Torta Sandwich Rolls!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Hotel Butter

Hotel Butter is a flavored butter that you can use for many different things.  Have you ordered a steak at a restaurant and it comes with it on it?  It really makes it tasty.  I remember learning how to make it in Home Economics class in high school! It's delicious on steak, but you can also use it as a spread on french bread, on baked potatoes, stirred into rice, on any vegetable, or on chicken or fish.  You can just make it and keep it in your freezer to use and add flavor whenever you want.  It is yummy!

Hotel Butter
1 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup minced parsley
Zest from a lemon
Juice from a lemon 
2 cloves garlic, minced or smashed
Salt and pepper or Seasoning salt to taste
Red Pepper flakes, optional and to taste

Place the softened butter in your mixer bowl.  Add the other ingredients and whip until fluffy.  Lay  out a long piece of aluminum foil, then a piece of plastic wrap on top of it.  Scoop the butter onto the plastic wrap in a strip down one side of the plastic wrap.  Roll the butter in the wrap and foil into a tube and twist the ends to seal it.  Put it in the freezer for several hours before serving.  When ready to serve, just unwrap and cut slices.  Rewrap and store in the freezer.    

Recipe Source: The Pioneer Woman

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Danish Butter Cookies

We recently held our family Heritage Dinner at my sister, Pam's house.  We make foods from our Scandinavian Heritage.  I made Danish Butter cookies that were out of this world yummy.  But, we forgot to get a close up picture of them.  But here is a picture of me with my sisters with all three desserts.  The cookies are in the middle.  They were pretty and very delicious.  We sprinkled them with  colored sugars before baking.  

1 c. sweet butter
1 egg
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar

Cream butter and sugar together. Add egg. Mix dry ingredients, sifted once. Add a little at a time. Add vanilla. Roll into small balls about the size of a walnut. Flatten with a fork. Sprinkle with sugar.  Bake at 350 to 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes.
Recipe source:  Cooks.com

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Homemade Granola

My husband made this amazing granola so I had to post it on here. The original source is cdkitchen.com.


4 cups old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 cup sliced almonds (We had whole almonds so Blake used a nut chopper.)
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries (We put in 1/2 cup each of craisins, raisins, and semi-sweet chocolate chips.)


Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

In a bowl mix the oats, almonds, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon. In a saucepan warm the oil and honey. Whisk in vanilla.

Carefully pour the liquid over the oat mixture. Stir gently with a wooden spoon; finish mixing by hand. Spread granola in a 15x10 inch baking pan.

Bake 40 minutes, stirring carefully every 10 minutes. Transfer granola-filled pan to a rack to cool completely. Stir in raisins or cranberries. Seal granola in an airtight container or self-sealing plastic bag. Store at room temperature for 1 week or in the freezer for 3 months.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Baked Ziti

This Baked Ziti recipe is delicious.  It is gooey and cheesey and sausagey and yummy.  

Baked Ziti
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 large onion, diced
1 pound Sweet Italian Sausage
1 pound ground beef
1 large can whole tomatoes with juice
2 cans tomato sauce or 1 jar marinara sauce
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
Red pepper flakes - a pinch to 1/2 tsp. to taste
Salt and Pepper, to taste
16 ounces pasta (ziti or whatever you prefer), cooked til it's not quite el dente.  It still should bite back a bit when you bite it.
1 15 oz. tub whole milk ricotta cheese
1 1/2pound mozzarella cheese, grated
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 egg, beaten
Fresh minced parsley

Heat a couple of Tablespoons of olive oil in a large, heavy pot.  Add the onion and cook until it starts to soften.  Add the garlic and cook another minute.  Add the meats and cook until browned.
 When browned, add the tomatoes, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, pepper flakes and marinara.  Simmer for about a half an hour, stirring occasionally.  Remove 3-4 cups of the sauce from the pot and put in a bowl to cool.  
Heat the oven to 375.
In another large bowl, mix together the ricotta, about 2 cups of the mozzarella, parmesan, egg, parsley, salt and pepper.  Stir lightly.  
Drain the pasta and rinse under cool water.  Put it in the bowl with the cheese mixture and toss to combine.  Leave it with large lumps of the cheese mixture- don't stir too well.  Add the reserved and cooled meat sauce and toss.
Spray a large lasagna dish or roasting pan.  Add half of the pasta mixture, then half of the sauce, then half of the remaining mozzarella.  Repeat all three layers.  Bake for 20 minutes or until bubbly and hot and the cheese on top is melted.  Remove from the oven and let it stand for at least 5 minutes before serving.     

Recipe Source:  The Pioneer Woman

Monday, April 1, 2013

What's For Dinner? - April

1. Crockpot French Dip Sandwiches

2. Oh, Baby!  Sandwiches

3Chicken Stir Fry                  

7. Hot Dogs/ Baked Beans

Recipes to Try:
8. Patty Melts/ Sweet Potato Fries
9. Spicy Honey Chicken Salad
10. Baked French Toast


Snow Ice Cream

We have had a lot of snow this winter. During the last snowstorm I had a friend recommend making snow ice cream. So we did and it was a total hit for all of us, not just the kids.


1 big bowl of snow
1 TBSP Vanilla extract
1/2 cup white sugar
1-2 cups of milk

Gather some freshly fallen snow. If you have the time and think of it in advance, put a big, clean bowl outside to catch some fresh snow. Sprinkle the sugar on top of the snow and stir. Then add the vanilla and milk 1/4 cup at a time while stirring in between. Once it's got a good consistency serve it immediately. We added some chocolate syrup and stirred that into it as well. Enjoy!