Monday, June 13, 2016

Tortellini Salad

8 Oz. tortellini (your choice of filling)
Broccoli flowerets (about 2 cups)
4 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated
1 (6 oz.) jar marinated artichoke hearts
1 (8 oz.) can pitted black olives, drained
1 (8 oz.) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 medium red onion, diced
16 oz creamy Italian dressing
1 avocado, cut into nice-size chunks
24 cherry tomatoes, halved

In a large saucepan, cook tortellini in boiling salted water for 15 to 20 minutes.  Drain; cover with cool water and drain again.  Add all ingredients except avocado and tomatoes.  Marinate in creamy Italian dressing overnight.  Just prior to serving, add the avocado, tomatoes, and you may also add
1/2 lb. sliced salami if desired.

Dill Pickle Potato Salad

3 lbs.  red potatoes (about 8 medium)
6 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
3 celery ribs, chopped
3 green onions, chopped
2 medium dill pickles, chopped
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1/4 cup dill pickle juice
1 T. sugar
4 1/2 teaspoons prepared mustard
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Cook potatoes & eggs in water.  Simmer 20-30 minutes until tender.  Drain and cool.  Peel and cube potatoes; place in a large bowl.  Add the eggs, celery, onions, and pickles. In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, pickle juice, mustard, celery seed, salt and pepper.  Pour over potato mixture.  Mix well, Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.  Serve in a lettuce lined bowl if desired,  Yield 8-10 servings.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Quick Coconut Curry

Phewf, we've had a long dry spell but we have still been cooking and are ready to rev things up. This proved to be a quick and tasty after-work-meal. That means little prep and a short cook time!

This mild coconut curry with just a very small kick of spice will please a crowd.

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes

Serves approximately 4 adults


Ingredients

Combine a mix of your favorite veggies. To keep it quick, we used a frozen mix that included a few of our favorites:

Broccoli
Carrots
Green beans
Sugar snap peas
Water Chesnuts
Bell Pepper
Celery
Onion

We also quickly fried up and added a few mini sweet peppers to beef it up a bit.

Optional: Thai green basil


For the Curry:
1 Tablespoon coconut oil (can sub olive oil)
6 garlic cloves, diced
1 teaspoon ground ginger (or 1 tablespoon fresh)
1 tablespoon yellow curry powder
1 pinch Cayenne or 1 dried red chili pepper, diced (can add more if you want more heat)
1 cup vegetable stock
2 cans coconut milk (can use Light for thinner curry)
Salt, to taste
White pepper, to taste (can use black pepper too)
Coconut, shredded
Cilantro, to garnish


Coconut Rice:
1 cup rice, white or brown
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup water

*you can also use quinoa instead of rice


Directions

Add coconut oil and garlic to pan over medium heat. Once oil is melted add mixed veggies and fry for 2-3 minutes. You might need to fry for a few more minutes if veggies are frozen. Add ginger, curry powder, Cayenne, vegetable stock, coconut milk, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer then reduce heat slightly and cook for 10-15 minutes or until curry is hot and vegetables are tender.

Once the curry is simmering, add all coconut rice ingredients to a rice cooker (making sure to rinse your rice first). For more details about how to make coconut rice without a rice cooker see our post here - however, a rice cooker is totally worth it, especially if you are looking to make quick meals!

Serve curry over coconut rice (or quinoa) and top with coconut flakes and fresh cilantro.

Friday, August 23, 2013

7-Up Biscuits

These biscuits are quiet possibly the easiest bread side dish I have ever made. In fact, they are so easy, I feel like they are cheating. 4 ingredients. Thats it! And to make them even easier... I don't cut them out! I just put the dough in the prepared pan and let them do their thing.

We think they are best fresh out of the oven... smothered in real butter and honey!




7-Up Biscuits

2 Cups Bisquick Mix
1/2 Cup 7-Up {or Sprite}
1/2 Cup Sour Cream
4 TBSP Butter, melted

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Melt butter and pour into a 9 inch baking dish {or put the butter in the dish, and stick it in the oven for a few minutes. Just don't let it burn!}

Put Bisquick and sour cream in a bowl. Gently cut the sour cream into the powdered mix. Slowly add 7-up and mix until just moist. You can either spread the entire amount of batter into butter filled pan at this point, or roll it out on a lightly floured surface and cut into biscuits. I've only ever gone the easy route!

Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until tops are golden brown. Cut into squares and serve warm.




Friday, July 26, 2013

Zesty Chicken Tacos

Summer time is the perfect time to use the crock pot. Besides the fact that you don't have to heat your kitchen up to a million degrees, you can just throw a bunch of stuff in, turn it on, and walk away. Major bonus in my eyes!

These tasty tacos are a perfect example of crock pot ease, and they are delicious to boot! In fact, while we were cleaning up dinner, my husband said "those were great. Let's have them again."

I think I can manage that!


Zesty Chicken Tacos

4-6 Large Chicken Breasts {boneless/skinless}
1/2 of a small bottle of Kraft Zesty Italian Salad Dressing
1 packet of dry Ranch Dressing mix
1/2 Cup Water
1/2 TBSP Minced Garlic
1/2 TBSP Chili Powder
1/2 TBSP Ground Cumin

Place Chicken in crock pot. Mix the remaining ingredients in a bowl and pour over the meat. Cook on high for about 6 hours, or on low for about 8. When chicken is cooked through, shred and return to crock pot. Serve on tortillas as a chicken taco, or over a bed of lettuce as a salad. Delicious either way! We like to add cheese, avocado, tomato, and black beans... but the chicken is so flavorful, you can really eat it all by itself!



Thursday, July 25, 2013

Summer Squash and Zucchini Bake



I love summer veggies and was craving zucchini and squash. I put together this dish the other night and loved it. We had mashed potatoes with our meal and the glaze on this bake made for a delicious 'gravy.'

Ingredients:

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly cracked if possible
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried herbs or fresh herbs to taste, I suggest a garlic herb mixture but you could also go a dill or parsley route
1 zucchini
1 yellow squash
1 onion, any color

Directions:

Preheat your oven's broiler and set oven rack to 6 inches below broiler. Whisk together olive oil, vinegar and seasonings in bowl, set aside to blend. Slice the zucchini and squash as thin as you can (1/16-1/8"). Slice onion into thicker, arched slices, lengthwise.


Add vegetables to oil and vinegar mixture tossing until evenly coated on all sides. You may need to do this in batches.


Spoon into baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil. Broil for 10 minutes. Remove foil and broil until tender and browned on top, about 10 additional minutes. You can top with Parmesan cheese if you'd like, but the flavors don't need additional help.


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Chewy Sugar Cookies

When it comes to a good sugar cookie, I definitely fall under the category of "can't stop at just one." You think I am kidding, but alas, I only wish I were. One of the problems with sugar cookies though... they take forever to make from start to finish. There's the rolling and the cutting and then the frosting! I swear, I may be the slowest sugar cookie maker in the world!!

Luckily, my sister seems to be able to make them in about half of the time that I can. It must be because she has double the amount of children and has learned to get things done more efficiently. At any rate, she made these the other day, and I contributed by frosting them (the easiest way I could!) and eating them. I took one for he team and ate about a dozen. So, you know, no one else had to go into a sugar coma. I'm nice like that.

Even though they may take a few extra minutes to make, I promise they are worth every bite. Or all 238 bites, depending on the kind of self control ya have.


Chewy Sugar Cookies

2 Cups Butter, softened
2 Cups Sugar
4 Eggs
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Baking Powder
Dash of Salt
6 Cups Flour

With an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Add eggs and mix until incorporated. Add remaining ingredients and mix until the dough comes together. 
Roll portions of the dough out, on a floured surface, until about 1/4 inch thick. Cut out in desired shapes and place on parchment lined cookie sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for about 8 minutes. You don't want to over cook these babies... take them out before they get brown. When cookies have cooled, frost with your favorite frosting, or the recipe that follows.


Perfect Sugar Cookie Frosting

4 Cups Powdered Sugar
1/2 Cup Butter, softened
5 TBSP Milk
1 tsp. Vanilla
Food Coloring, optional

With your electric mixer, blend the butter and powdered sugar together until smooth, or little powdered sugar balls start to form. You just want the sugar and butter to incorporate together well. Once you've done this, gradually add in the milk and vanilla and mix until smooth and stiff, about 5 minutes. Color with food coloring if desired. This is a great frosting to put in a bag and pipe over a cookie the way I did {lazy mom frosting! So much faster!!}, or frost the entire cookie how you normally would.
Delicious... Enjoy! 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies

You can always use another cookie recipe, right?

These oatmeal cookies are the perfect combination of a slightly crisp outside, but a perfectly chewy middle. The addition of the chocolate bar really adds to the cookie, so don't skip it!

I might have had a couple for breakfast the morning after I made them... I justified it because of all the oatmeal!


Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies

1 Cup Butter, softened
1 Cup White Sugar
1 Cup Light Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla
2 Cups Flour
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Baking Powder
2 1/2 Cups Oatmeal
4 oz. Chocolate Candy Bar, cut into small pieces
12 oz. Milk Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine butter and sugars and mix until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and incorporate well. Add flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder,  and oatmeal. Stir in chocolate chips and candy bar chunks.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges start to get golden brown and the centers look set. Makes about 36 cookies.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Rich Chocolate Sauce

1/2 Cup Dutch chocolate or Hershey's Cocoa
1/4 Cup white sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/4 cup cream or light cream
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
Stir over medium heat with wire whisk until completely smooth and remove from heat.
Add 2 Tablespoons butter and continue to beat with wire whisk until butter is completely melted.
Pour over ice cream, brownies or cake.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Cafe Rio Pork & Creamy Dressing {copycat}

I know there are tons of recipes out there for copycat Cafe Rio.  I've tried so many variations over the years that I've lost track. But this is by far our favorite Barbacoa pork recipe. We have made it dozens of times over the last 7 or 8 years, and it is still our go to when we are needing a little taste of home. I prefer this recipe to the one that uses salsa, and I think it actually tastes more like the pork you get when you go to the restaurant. Of course, its not a perfect likeness, but its the best one I've found. You can serve this as a burrito, or my favorite, as a salad... either way, you will love it!


Cafe Rio Barbacoa Pork

1 Pork Loin Roast {about 3 lbs}
1/2 Cup Vinegar {I use white}
20 oz. Dr. Pepper or Coke {not diet}
2 1/2 Cups Brown Sugar
1 Grillmates Southwest Seasoning* {found by the taco seasoning or spices}

Cook in crock pot on low for at least 6 hours. Shred and return to crockpot.
Serve with any combination of tortillas**, lettuce, cheese, guacamole, salsa fresca, sour cream, black beans, tortilla strips, cilantro lime rice, cotija cheese, and creamy tomatillo dressing.

*I can't always find the grillmates. I've substituted a packet of fajita seasoning in the past, and it tastes pretty similar. 
**The very best tortillas for this recipe are the tortilla factory brand. You cook them up yourself, and trust me, they are about a million times better. I've found them at Costco, and recently at my local Meijer grocery store. 



Creamy Tomatillo Dressing

1 Buttermilk Ranch Dressing Package {make as per directions... But I halve the mayo and buttermilk}
2 Tomatillos
1/2 Bunch Cilantro
1 Clove Garlic
1 Lime, juiced of
1 Jalapeno {use seeds if you like it spicy}

Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until no more chunks remain. Serve with Salad.



Monday, June 3, 2013

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Cake

This is a delicious cake that is so moist and flavorful, you'd never realize its full of oatmeal and whole wheat flour... well, and sugar too. Its a perfect cake for Fall time... but I couldn't resist making it this week. We like it while its still slightly warm, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!



Whole Wheat Oatmeal Cake 


Mix and soak for 20 minutes:
1 1/4 Cup Boiling Water
1 Cup Oatmeal
1/2 Cup Butter

Cream together and set aside:
1 Cup brown Sugar
2 Eggs
1 Cup White Sugar

Mix together:
1 1/3 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Nutmeg

Combine dry mix with soaker and sugar mix and pour into a greased and floured 9x13 inch pan. Bake @ 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Topping:
1 Cup nuts, chopped
1 Cup coconut
6 TBSP softened butter
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
1/4 Cup Evaporated Milk

Put topping ingredients in blender or food processor and pulse for 30-45 seconds, just until combined. Remove hot cake from oven and dot topping. Spread gently to cover cake, and return to 400 degree oven for 7 minutes. Do not over brown the topping.

Serve warm or cooled.


source, Gena Peterson

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Bran Muffins

Before you think I'm crazy for posting a recipe for Bran Muffins, just trust me that they are actually really good! I've had bran muffins in the past and never been a big fan, but these are so tasty, my 5 year old actually thought they were cupcakes. Being the true sweets connoisseur that I am, I wouldn't go that far... but these really are very good!! 





BRAN MUFFINS

1 1/2 Cups Wheat Bran
1 Cup Buttermilk
1/3 Cup  Applesauce
1 Egg
2/3 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp. Vanilla
1 Cup Flour (I always use whole wheat)
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 Cup Raisins (*optional)


Mix all ingredients together. Spray muffin tins with non stick cooking spray. Fill muffin tins 3/4 full and bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. 

*You can also easily add nuts, or even chocolate chips. My kids (and husband) loved them plain! Also yummy with a little honey drizzled on top!

Recipe Courtesy: my good friend Becca T.


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Simple Brown Rice

This is a recipe I got years ago from Andrea. I've made it so many times, that the little paper she wrote it on is now covered in splatters of beef broth and butter! I figured I should probably put it on here though, before my recipe becomes completely illegible.  Its so easy and tasty... a perfect compliment to so many meals!

Simple Brown Rice

2 Cans French Onion Soup
2 Cans Beef Consume or Beef Broth
4 TBSP. Buter, melted
Salt and Pepper, to taste
4 Cups Minute Rice, uncooked

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 inch pan with cooking spray. Combine all ingredients and pour into prepared pan. Bake for 45-55 minutes. Voila! Easy side dish!

And because its such a simple recipe... No picture! Sorry! :)

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Garlic Ranch Chicken


I recently joined a freezer meal exchange group.  This is the meal I'm using for my swap tonight.  I tried it out last week and my family really liked it and the fact that it only has five ingredients and takes about five minutes to assemble were major winners in my book!

Garlic Ranch Chicken
Originally found at: fabulesslyfrugal.com

4-6 Chicken Breasts (boneless, skinless)
1 packet of Hidden Valley Ranch dressing
1 c. milk
1 c. mayonnaise
2 Tbsp dried minced garlic

Combine all ingredients, except chicken, in freezer bag.  Add chicken.  At this point you can either freeze the meal for a later date or let it marinate in the fridge. 

Cooking Instructions:

Thaw prior to cooking if you want to grill the chicken.  Grill it up and enjoy.

If you want to bake the chicken then thaw it just enough to remove the chicken from the bag.  Place chicken in 9X13 inch baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 1 hour.

Yummy sides:
Green salad
Corn on the cob
Steamed veggies

Friday, March 29, 2013

Sprite Punch

This weekend we hosted a little BBQ with friends.  It was kind of a big deal.  We have some friends that are moving away and we wanted to have a special 'going away' party.  Everyone was bringing their own meat to grill and a side to share.  I was in charge of drinks for everyone.  I had oodles of water bottles (that we pretty much forgot to tell people we had) but the real hit was this delicious punch.  About an hour before the BBQ started I was searching online for a fun recipe for a drink I could put in my new punchbowl.  It had to be simple.  It had to include Sprite, since I had six 2-litres and it had to be yummy.  I stumbled upon this recipe and knew it was the one!  I couldn't believe how easy it was.  My kids actually put it together for me.  Everyone loved it and I'm definitely going to be making it again!  I mean, come on, it only has 2 ingredients!!

Sprite Punch
2 cans frozen condensed fruit punch
1 1/2 2-litres of Sprite (chilled)

Place frozen fruit punch in punchbowl.  Pour Sprite over the top and gently stir.  Add ice.  Serve and enjoy.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Banana Nutella Swirl Cake

No picture sorry. My sister Katie found this recipe on a blog (http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/) It is DELICIOUS and even better the second day!

For the cake:
2 cups all-purpose Gold Medal flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temp
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup plain greek yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 ripe bananas, peeled and mashed (to equal 1 cup)
1/2 cup Nutella

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9x13 pan and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until creamy and smooth, about 3 min. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the yogurt and vanilla extract. Mix in the mashed bananas.

Gradually add the dry ingredients and mix until flour disappears. Spread cake batter evenly into the prepared pan. Swirl the Nutella into the cake using a knife or toothpick.

Bake for 20 to 25 min (mine took closer to 35-40), or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow cake to cool completely.

For the frosting:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temp
1 cup Nutella
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2-3 Tbsp milk
1/2 tsp hazelnut extract, optional (I didn't have any so I didn't use it)

Beat the butter and Nutella on high until smooth. Slowly add the powdered sugar 1/4 cup at a time. Alternate adding powdered sugar and milk and beat on high until powdered sugar is incorporated. If you need to add more milk, add a little bit at a time to get to desired consistency.

Frost the cake with the Nutella frosting, cut into squares and serve. (Very important: keep some in the pan for yourself for breakfast the next day!!)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Classic Baked Ziti

Simple Italian casserole dish!

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 cup onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (32 ounce) meatless spaghetti sauce
1 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1 (16 oz.) package ziti pasta, cooked and drained
2 (8 oz) cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2.  In a large skillet, cook ground beef, onions, and garlic over medium-high heat for about 8 minutes or until beef is browned; stirring frequently.
3.  Stir in spaghetti sauce, chicken broth, and oregano.
4.  Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
5.  Stir 1 cup of the sauce into the cooked ziti noodles.
6.  Spoon 1/2 of the ziti mixture into a 13 X 9 X 2 inch baking dish.
7.  Sprinkle with 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese.
8.  Top with 2 cups sauce, then remaining ziti mixture and remaining sauce.
9. Cover and bake 20 minutes.
10.  Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
11.  Return to oven and bake uncovered for 10 minutes or until heated through.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Teriyaki Bowls

This recipe is actually one of Andrea's, but I made it last week and thought I would share it here. It was so delicious! The sauce was amazing and I just wanted to keep putting more in my bowl! It came together fairly quickly and I was able to do all the chopping and preparation earlier in the day while my babies were sleeping. This will be one we make again and again!!



Teriyaki Bowls

Sauce:
1 Cup Water
1/4 Cup Soy Sauce
1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 teaspoon Ground Ginger
5 tablespoons packed Brown Sugar
1-2 tablespoons Honey
Chili Paste or Oil to your liking, optional (I did about 1/2 tsp chili oil)
2 tablespoons Cornstarch
1/4 Cup Cold Water

Sliced variety of stir fry veggies, such as:
Broccoli
Carrots
Zucchini
Onions
Peppers
Water Chestnuts
Baby Corn
Asparagus
etc.

Hot Cooked Rice
Grilled and sliced Chicken Breasts (approx. 2-4 breasts)


In a sauce pan, heat all the sauce ingredients except cornstarch and 1/4 cup water. Dissolve cornstarch in water and slowly add to sauce mixture. Cook on medium heat, stirring until slightly thickened. If mixture gets to thick, just add more water to thin it to the consistency you like.

In a separate pan, sauté your vegetables until tender crisp.

Grill chicken to your liking. I went fairly basic because I wanted the flavors of the teriyaki sauce to be the boss in this dish. I just used a little salt, pepper, garlic and seasoning salt to give the chicken a little flavor. Slice up your chicken and layer it in a bowl with your hot cooked rice and vegetables. Pour the teriyaki sauce on top and enjoy!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Island Chicken Kebabs

I moved a few weeks ago, and my new oven seems to hate me. Every time I use it I am worried I will burn the house down. Seriously. I made rolls last night and cooked them for much less time than required, and guess what happened? Burned!! My sweet husband humored me and ate them, but they weren't great. I'm thinking its getting back at me for telling it I wished it was gas instead of electric. I will eventually figure this thing out, but for the time being, I am using my crock pot and my awesome little grill as much as possible.

In enter these kebabs. I have made them twice in the last 10 days. They are delicious and flavorful and don't require the use of that darn oven (did I mention there is no window on it? why would an oven ever even be designed without a window? I am seriously at a loss.) You can put any veggies on these kebabs, as long as they will hold up on a skewer. Just make sure you soak your sticks for a few hours before putting them on the grill... otherwise you may get a burned kebab!


Island Chicken Kebabs


1/3 cup oil
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice 
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 clove garlic, finely minced
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3-4 chicken breasts, cut into 1-2 inch cubes


Fresh Veggies
we like:
pineapple
purple onion
red pepper/orange pepper
zucchini

Mix first 7 ingredients in a bowl or large ziplock bag. Add chicken and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, and up to 10 hours. Soak bamboo skewers for a few hours while the chicken is marinating. At this point I like to slice up all my veggies and set them aside in the fridge. When we are ready to eat, I pull everything out and layer them on the skewers. Grill for about 4-5 minutes per side, making sure chicken is cooked through and veggies are slightly crisp, but not raw. 



slightly adapted from Mels kitchen cafe

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Zucchini Corn Cakes

With summer just starting, many of you will have a plethora of zucchini in that home garden you planted. When you get tired of eating it steamed and in bread form, this is a great alternative! We've been making this recipe for a few years now, thanks to my wonderful friend Meredith.  Thought you could use it when you are scratching your head over what to do with all that darn zucchini! Great as a side dish or as a meal by themselves. We love these!


Zucchini Corn Cakes


2 TBSp finely chopped fresh mint
4 seeded, diced tomatoes (I use Romas because they are so firm)
4 ears of corn, roasted and corn scrapped off (or two cans of corn drained)
4 small zucchini, grated
1/2 cup finely diced white onion
2 eggs, separated
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
2/3 c. flour
1/2 c. vegetable oil
Sour Cream

Combine mint and tomato in a small bowl.  Set aside.  Combine corn, zucchini, onion, egg yolks, salt, baking powder, and flour in a bowl until well incorporated.  Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.  Fold egg whites gently into zucchini mixture. Heat vegetable oil in large pan.  Use a 1/3 measuring cup to scoop zucchini mixture into hot oil.  Flatten to form a pancake.  Flip when the side facing down in light brown and crisp.  Allow other side to do the same.  Serve warm topped with sour cream and tomato mint relish. Makes 12 cakes (you will always wish you made more!)




photo courtesy of my friend, Meagan.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

I know I'm totally off season here posting a pumpkin recipe in May but hopefully you won't mind when you make them and discover how delicious they really are. :)  

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting


Cookies
3 cups sugar
1 cup shortening
3 eggs
2 cups pumpkin
2 tsp vanilla
4 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp cinnamon
1 large package chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Cream together shortening and sugar.  Add eggs, pumpkin and vanilla.  Sift dry ingredients until blended. Add to pumpkin mixture.  Add chocolate chips & nuts.  Bake at 375 degrees for 8-12 minutes.  Cool on rack.

Cream Cheese Frosting
2 packages of cream cheese (softened)
1/2 cup butter (1 stick) (softened)
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar

Cream together cream cheese & butter.  Add vanilla.  Slowly add powdered sugar.  Can be stored in the fridge if you have extra.

I hope you enjoy!!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Nutella Rice Krispy Treats

This is a recipe that I found while perusing Pinterest a few weeks ago. It looked super quick and easy, and the addition of Nutella really intrigued me. I seriously love that stuff, and had just happened to purchase a Costco size bottle last month! :) Since I had all the ingredients on hand I thought I might give it a whirl... Nevermind I had no reason to make these, my husband doesn't eat chocolate, and I had no one in mind to share them with! I'm pregnant, thats my excuse.


Nutella Rice Krispy Treats



  • 5 Cups Rice Krispies Cereal
  • 1 (10.5 oz) Bag Mini Marshmallows
  • 1/4 Cup Butter
  • 1 Cup of Nutella
  • 1 Cup Milk Chocolate Chips
  • 1 Cup Nutella
  • 1 TBSP. Shortening

Measure out Rice Krispies cereal into a large bowl and set aside.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, 
melt butter and marshmallows together until smooth.
Once marshmallows and butter have melted together,
 add 1 cup Nutella and stir until well combined.
Pour marshmallow mixture over the cereal.
Stir to coat evenly.
Press into a greased pan  
(I used a 9x13 inch pan, but you can use whatever pan you would like to)

Topping:
Heat 1 cup Nutella, chocolate chips and shortening in a double boiler 
over medium/medium low heat until smooth.
Spread over the top of Rice Krispy Treats.
Stick in the fridge and let it set up.
Eat and Enjoy!



adapted from chef in training

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Cream Cheese Stuffed Lemon French Toast

So, I guess its been a while since I have posted any recipes on this here blog. My how time flies when you are pregnant and not cooking real meals! :)  But now that I am well into my second trimester and feeling better, I have actually been cooking/baking a ton. So apparently I am just super lazy and never post anything. Oops!

But... this was one recipe I just couldn't keep to myself. I saw it on a cooking blog a while ago and thought "I really need to give that one a try." Boy howdy am I ever glad I did. It was AMAZING. We actually had it for dinner and had plenty of leftovers for breakfast the next day. I can guarantee I will be making this again and again!

Cream Cheese Stuffed Lemon French Toast 
with Strawberry Syrup

6 *Large, stale Butter Croissants
1 {8 oz.} package Cream Cheese
1 1/4 Cups Powdered Sugar, divided
2 Lemons
1 1/4 tsp. Lemon Extract
2 Eggs
1 1/2 Cups Milk
Fresh Strawberries, cleaned and sliced

Slice croissants in half lengthwise and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese and 3/4 cups powdered sugar. Beat on high speed until smooth. Add in 1-2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, and the zest of one lemon. Combine until light and fluffy.

Spread a generous amount of cream cheese mixture on the bottom of each croissant and replace top. Press down to flatten slightly. You will need to cut the croissants in half at this point to get them all to fit in your pan. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish and place croissants in the pan, filling in all the little nooks {you may need to cut your croissants in smaller pieces to fill all the gaps}.

In small bowl, whisk together your eggs, milk, lemon extract, the zest of the 2nd lemon, and remaining 1/2 cup powdered sugar. Pour evenly over the croissants. Cover your pan and refrigerate for 8-10 hours, or until it looks like the moisture has been absorbed.

When you are ready to bake them, preheat your oven to 350 degrees and cover pan with aluminum foil. Cook for 30 minutes, then remove foil and bake for another 18-25 minutes, or until tops are a golden brown color and you do not see any more liquid. Remove and allow to stand at room temperature for about 5 minutes. Cut into square portions and serve with fresh strawberries and strawberry syrup.

Plain French Toast

With Syrup and Fruit

* I used small croissants. Forgot to get the big ones when I was at Costco! Since mine were so much smaller I ended up using 14 and only needed to cut 2 of them to fill in any gaps. I also didn't need to soak them as long because they were so small {5 hours}. I will try the big ones next time... much more cost effective {$5.99 at my Costco for 12 LARGE ones!}.

Strawberry Syrup

1 pint Fresh Strawberries, cleaned and stems removed
1/3 Cup Sugar
1 tsp. Almond Extract {or Vanilla if you prefer}

Roughly chop strawberries. Place in medium size pot and add sugar and extract. Cook over medium heat, stirring and smashing strawberries as you go. Cook for about 5 minutes on a low simmer. Remove from heat and let cool.

When mixture has cooled considerably, pulse in blender or food processor to desired consistency. I don't like chunks so I obliterated mine! Serve over French Toast and Enjoy!

And if you are feeling extra fancy, throw a little cream on top! :)

...annnddd with a little extra lovin'!
P.S. This would make a lovely Valentines Day breakfast... especially since all the work gets done the night before!



recipe source: Our Best Bites

Friday, January 20, 2012

Cream of Broccoli Soup

It's been a long time since I, or any of us for that matter, have posted on here. I thought I'd break the streak with one of my favorite winter recipes. I know we already have a Broccoli Cheddar Soup recipe on here, but this is quite different. The secret ingredient which makes this soup especially unique is the white pepper. The original recipe came from a friend, Jean A., in my ward here in Sugarhouse. Enjoy!


Serves 8

6 cups broccoli, chopped & steamed
5 medium potatoes, peeled, cubed & boiled
1 1/2 cups carrots, peeled, sliced & steamed
1 onion, chopped
4 tablespoons garlic, minced
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon - 1 tablespoon white pepper (to taste)
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
6 cups milk or half-&-half
2 cups broth, veggie or chicken
3 cups cheddar cheese

1. Steam or boil broccoli, potatoes & carrots until tender.
2. Saute onion and garlic in butter in stock pot until onion is translucent.
3. Slowly add flour to onion and garlic to form a roux.
4. Slowly add milk to roux until there are no more lumps.  Cook on medium heat, stirring often.
5. Puree broth and broccoli in blender. Add to soup base.
6. Add potatoes and carrots.
7. Add salt and pepper, and red pepper flakes if you choose to use them.
8. Simmer until thickens, stirring occasionally.
9. Stir in cheese until melted.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

BLT Benedict

Back in September, I had the fun chance to spend a day in the city with some of my favorite girlfriends. We were celebrating a birthday, so of course, that had to involve delicious food! We went to an awesome breakfast/brunch place called The Bongo Room. It was a hecka long wait to get in, but it was well worth it... well, ok, I didn't love what I got. I STILL don't know what I was thinking!! BUT... But, what everyone else got looked incredible {& we did get 2 orders of sweet pancakes to share. Those were heavenly}!

One meal in particular caught my eye, and after trying a bite of my friends, I decided right then and there I would be recreating it at home very soon. And let me tell you... I was so glad I did. We LOVED it. In fact my husband went back and poached himself another egg because he couldn't get enough.

Since I totally just copied this from what I saw, there is no real recipe, but I will tell you what I did. If you like Eggs Benedict & Pesto, this is a must try!!

{also, I took the easy route and used store bought Hollandaise sauce, but I am sure this would be even better if you were to make it from scratch.}



BLT Benedict

Eggs {poached}
English Muffins
Spinach
Bacon
Tomatoes
Pesto Sauce
Hollandaise Sauce

Start by cooking your bacon. I wanted it to have some substance, so I purchased thick cut Applewood Smoked Bacon. Next, wash your tomatoes and spinach, slice tomatoes, and set aside.

Next prepare your poached egg. If you have never poached an egg before, it is incredibly easy. Much easier than I expected it to be the first time I tried it. And lets be honest, who cares if it doesn't look perfect?! Here is a basic instruction video to show you an EASY way to poach eggs:


While your eggs are cooking, prepare your sauce according to the package directions {of course if you are making homemade, I would start there instead of the bacon!}. Add in pesto sauce (to taste) and whisk. Toast your muffin and prepare it by layering spinach, tomato, and bacon on top. When your egg is ready, place it on top of the bacon, and pour a good amount of hollandaise on top. Eat while hot!




Really, its that simple folks. Like I said, no real recipe, just an idea and ingredients.

Now I REALLY want this.
Like, NOW! 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Andersen's Tuscan Tomato Soup

This is a recipe that can be found at "La Jolla Groves" restaurant in Prove, UT. An up and coming restaurant that celebrated it's one year anniversary in July. I have never been but it seems to me like a hit soup you would find at a hip sandwich, soup, and salad restaurant like Zupas. Of all places, mom pulled this recipe out of a Zion's Bank magazine. I totally loved it!



Makes 1 gallon

3 TBsp Olive Oil
2 large onions, small dice
5 cups diced and seeded tomatoes
2 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup basil pesto
Salt and Pepper to taste

Heat oil in a medium-large soup pot. Add onions and cook over moderately low heat until completely translucent. Add tomatoes and allow to warm to a simmer. Add chicken stock. Bring to a simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes to allow for interchange of flavors. Add whipping cream. Add pesto. Blend to desired consistency in a food processor or blender. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Grape Salad {eyeball salad}

Happy Halloween!!!

Since its a holiday, I thought I would share a "spooky" recipe with you. Then I realized I didn't have any, so I improvised and renamed this delicious grape salad "Eyeball Salad"! I got this recipe from my friend Tiff ages ago, and I still always have to ask her the exact ingredients when I want to make it again. I figured it might be time to actually write it down somewhere so I can stop bugging her!! :)

The funny part though? Its SO RIDICULOUSLY EASY. You will literally mock me once you see how few ingredients/instructions there are. What can I say...


Grape Salad
aka: EYEBALL SALAD 
{just for today though!}

1 Bag Red Grapes
1 Bag Green Grapes
1, 16 oz. container Sour Cream
1, 8 oz. container Cool Whip Topping
1 package Cream Cheese
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar

Soften cream cheese. 
Remove grapes from stems and wash well. Put grapes in a large bowl. 
Take softened cream cheese and beat it in your mixer until smooth. 
Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until all incorporated and no clumps remain 
{or be like me and leave a few cream cheese clumps cuz you are impatient & want to put this salad in your mouth!}.
Pour mixture over the grapes and stir all together.
Chill, and serve!

Yup, its that simple folks!

But trust me... De-Lish!!
{I should know. I ate it for breakfast. Those grapes made me feel sooo healthy!!}

Monday, October 24, 2011

Cafe Rio Chicken Tortilla Soup--copycat recipe

Dad LOVES Cafe Rio's Chicken Tortilla Soup and has been asking for a copycat-make it yourself recipe for years. I finally came across this one and made a few modifications. It turned out heavenly!

Puree in a blender:

2 seeded, soaked ancho chilis (If you can't find these, use 1 big Poblano Pepper. They are very similar.)
1 onion
2 tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
1 can Rotel Lime and Cilantro diced tomatoes and green chilis, or just the diced tomatoes with green chilis.

In a soup pot, cover the bottom with olive oil. Heat over medium-high heat. Add puree to oil and fry for a couple of minutes. Next add:

6 cups chicken broth
4 corn tortillas ripped into quarter size pieces (they will disintegrate in the soup when it boils)
1/2 cup cilantro
Some shredded cooked chicken (I fried 6 cutlets up in a pan with lemon pepper, then sliced them really thin)
2/3 can coconut milk
2-3 T taco seasoning
finely julienned and diced carrots
salt to taste

Simmer for an hour to let the flavors marry.

Serve topped with:

chicken
Guacamole (or chopped avacados)
salsa
cotija cheese
tortilla strips
fresh lemon wedges

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Olive Garden Chicken & Gnocchi Soup

Impress you family with this AMAZING soup recipe! It is another copycat Olive Garden soup. I love their soups. . . And to be able to make it at home for a fraction of the cost is even better! (The picture is not mine, I stole it from someone who stole it from someone, so I have no idea where it came from).

1 cup chicken breasts, cooked and diced
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups cream (I just use evaporated milk and works great!)
½ cup celery, finely diced
1 garlic clove, minced
½ cup carrots, finely shredded
½ cup onion, finely diced
1 cup fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon extra virgin oil
½ teaspoon thyme
½ teaspoon parsley
Freshly grated parmesan cheese – optional
1 pound potato gnocchi - can buy this in the gourmet section of many supermarkets or find a recipe for homemade in the resource section

Sauté the onion, celery, garlic, spinach, carrots in the olive oil till the onion is nearly translucent. Add the chicken, chicken broth, and spices. Bring to a boil. Slowly add the gnocchi into the boiling broth. Turn down the heat and let simmer for about 10 minutes.

(If you want a thicker soup, add 1 tablespoon corn starch to the cream before you add it into the broth). Add the cream. Slowly allow the mixture to come to a boil and then turn it off.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

cake-Ball Baby Rattles

Looking for ideas for baby shower favors? . . .

I went to a baby shower tonight and saw this fabulous idea I just had to pass on. For party favors they had a basket full of these cake ball baby rattles. Too cute!