Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Cheese Enchiladas Verde

You need to make this, trust me. It's that good.

Prep: 15 min Bake: 25 min

1 1/2 cups shredded Mexican 4-cheese blend
1 small zucchini, shredded (3/4 cup)
1/4 cup chopped fres cilantro
8 corn tortillas (5 or 6 inches in diameter)
1/3 soft cream cheese with roasted garlic
1 jar (16 oz) green salsa (salsa verde)
1 medium avocado, diced
4 medium green onions, sliced (1/4 cup)

Heat oven to 350. Spray rectangular baking dish with cooking spray. Mix shredded cheese, zucchini and cilantro.

Spread each tortilla with about 2 teaspoons cream cheese. Spoon about 1/3 cup shredded cheese misutre onto each tortilla; spread to withing 1 inch of edge. Roll up; place seams side down in baking dish. Pour salsa over tortillas.

Cover and bake about 25 minutes or until hot. Top with avocado and onions. Approx. 4 servings.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


I'm having a Christmas party, and I want to make fudge but I don't have a really good recipe. Can anyone help me?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Olive Garden Minestrone

A while back Betsy posted a recipe for faux Zuppa Tuscana and in keeping with the Olive Garden Soup idea, here's the recipe for faux Olive Garden Minestrone. This is one of my favorite items on the Olive Garden menu, and when I found this recipe online I just had to try it out and it has taken the place of my favorite soup recipe ever.

3 tablespoons live oil
1 cup minced white onion (about one small onion)
1/2 cup chopped zucchini
1/2 cup froze cut Italian green beans
1/4 cup minced celery
4 teaspoons minced garlic
4 cups vegetable broth (I recommended Swansons ... and don't substitute chicken broth!)
2 (15 ounce) cans red kidney beans, drained
2 (15 ounce) cans whie beans or great northern beans, drained
1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup carrot, julienned or shredded
2 tablespoons fresh parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
3 cups hot water
4 cups fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup small shell pasta

1. Heat three tablespoons of live oil over medium heat in a large soup pot.
2. Saute onion, celery, garlic, green beans, and zucchini in the oil for 5 minutes or until onions being to turn translucent.
3. Add vegetable broth to pot plus drained tomatoes, beans, carrot, hot water and spices.
4. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.
5. Add spinach leaves and pasta and cook for an additional 20 minutes or untile desired consistency.

In step #3, add a splash of red wine. If you're grocery shopping in Utah, you won't be able to find red wine in the grocery store, but Harmons does carry cooking wines.

Also, this makes A LOT of soup, so feel free to half the recipe.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

California Fruit Salad

This is the perfect winter fruit salad. I got this recipe from my great-aunt Shirley Standford. She brings this to family events and there are never any leftovers.

2 large cans pineapple
1 can mandarin oranges
1 large package cook-and-serve vanilla pudding
Maraschino cherries

Drain oranges, discard juice. Drain pineapple, keep juice. Cooke pudding with pineapple juice until pudding thickens. Pour pudding mixture over oranges and pineapple. Let set several hours or over night. Add other fruit right before serving.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Doubletree Hotel Cookies

When I was 14, my dad took me to New York. It was a business trip for him, and for me ... a magical weekend. Of all the wonderful things we did - Broadway shows, shopping, visiting Central Park and the MET - one of my favorite things were the cookies. We stayed at the Doubletree Hotel and they have the yummiest cookies. To this day, they are my favorite cookies ever. So last night I decided to make them. I did a little Google search, and found this recipe:

1/2 cup rolled oats 
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour 
1-1/2 tsp. baking soda 
1 tsp. salt 
1/4 tsp. cinnamon 
1 cup butter, softened 
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed 
3/4 cup granulated sugar 
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla 
1/2 tsp. lemon juice 
2 eggs 
3 cups semi-sweet, chocolate chips 
1-1/2 cups chopped walnuts 

rind oats in a food processor or blender until fine. Combine the ground oats with the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl.

Cream together the butter, sugars, vanilla, and lemon juice in another medium bowl with an electric mixer. Add the eggs and mix until smooth. Stir the dry mixture into the wet mixture and blend well. Add the chocolate chips and nuts to the dough and mix by hand until ingredients are well blended.

For the best results, chill the dough overnight in the refrigerator before baking the cookies. 

Spoon rounded 1/4 cup portions onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Place the scoops about 2 inches apart. Bake in a 350°F oven for 16-18 minutes or until cookies are light brown and soft in the middle. Store in a sealed container when cool to keep soft.

I didn't have walnuts, but I did have Craisins ... so I did a little substituting and they were so good!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Freeze Happy

My sister in law Bethany found this awesome website, www.freezehappy.com. You should check it out. It gives recipes and tips for freezing dinners!

Friday, October 24, 2008

German Pancakes

My family has eaten this for breakfast every Sunday morning since I can remember. It's now mine & KJ's tradition to eat it on conference Sunday.

6 tbsp. butter
1 c. flour
1 c. milk
6 eggs
1/4 tsp. salt
a tiny bit of vanilla

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. While oven is preheating, melt butter in a 9 x 13 pan (try not to let it burn, it's ok if it gets a little browned). Mix other ingredients together in blender until smooth. Pour over butter and bake for 15-20 minutes or until edges are browned. Top with powdered sugar and lemon juice.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Cranberry Upside-Down Cake

This is so pretty and so festive. And really really good if you're a cranberry orange addict like me.

(From Sara's Secrets, Food Network.com)

3 tablespoons softened unsalted butter, plus 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick)
1/2 cup sugar, plus 1/2 cup
1 pound cranberries, rinsed, picked over, and patted dry
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon minced orange rind
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons double acting baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup red currant jelly
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch cake pan with 3 tablespoons butter, sprinkle 1/2 cup of the sugar evenly over the bottom, and arrange the cranberries in the pan. (I use a springform pan. Much easier!)
In a bowl with the mixer cream together the remaining 6 tablespoons butter and 1/2 cup sugar. Add the egg, vanilla, and orange rind and beat the mixture until well combined. Into another bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir the dry ingredients into the butter mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, alternately with the milk until it is combined. Pour the batter over the cranberries and smooth the top.
Bake the cake on a baking sheet in the middle of the oven for 30 to 45 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a rack and let it cool in the pan for 20 minutes. Run a thin knife around the inside of the pan and invert the cake stand.
In a small saucepan melt the currant jelly over low heat, stirring, and brush it over the cake. Serve the cake warm or at room temperature with the whipped cream, if desired.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Pumpkin Seeds

I confess, I love fall. I love the change in the air. The trees, the smells ... but most of all, the food. For me, roasted pumpkin seeds are at the top of my "favorite fall foods" list. Because I love them so much, I bought two pumpkins today just for the seeds and they are in my oven right now, toasting to perfection. This is how I made them ...

Cut the pumpkin up, getting the seeds out however you can. Separate them from the yucky innards and put them in a collander. Rinse them off then put them on a cookie sheet to dry. This could take hours or even overnight. It's worth the wait though. Then, coat them in olive oil and add the seasoning of choice. I did half salt and half seasoning salt. Really, the world is your oyster on this one. You could use garlic powder, salt and sugar, sugar and cinnamon, butter, brown sugar .... the sky's the limit!

Anyway, after you've coated them in your desired seasoning, place them in the oven at 250 degrees for about an hour. Then, enjoy!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Tortellini, Bean and Pesto Soup

With shorter nights and colder days, it's becoming abundantly clear that fall is in full swing. One glance at the mountains ablaze with color makes me appreciate my living in Utah where I can enjoy all four seasons. My favorite thing about fall is definitely soup. Soup just seems to be such a fall food, don't you agree? At the first sign of fall, I made my all-time favorite soup and thought it would be very kind of me to share it with you.

2 tablespoons butter
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, cut into julienne strips
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 medium stalk celery, sliced (1/2 cup)
6 cups water
2 teaspoons vegetable or chicken bouillon granules
1 can (15 to 16 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 package (10 ounces) dried cheese filled tortellini
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Parmesan cheese

Melt butter in soup pot over medium-low heat. Cook garlic, carrot, onion and celery in butter 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in watter and bouillon granules. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Stir in beans and tortellini. Cover and simmer about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until tortellini are tender. Stir in parsley and pepper. Top each serving with pesto and cheese.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Craisin Oatmeal

(Most of you are probably thinking "duh" but I've never made oatmeal without those little Quaker packets before)

1/2 cup quick oats
1 cup water
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup Craisins (chopped apples are yummy too)

Mix it all in a bowl and microwave for 2 minutes. Yum!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Sloppy Joes for Two

1/2 lb. hamburger
1/2-1 small onion
small can tomato sauce
2 tbsp. mustard
1/2 c. brown sugar

Brown hamburger and onion. Add all the other ingredients and some pepper. Simmer. Plop it on a bun.

Monday, September 15, 2008

"Cafe Rio" Sweet Pork

This is SO yummy! Seriously, I ate it for lunch & dinner everyday for a week. It's really good on salads, baked potatoes, tacos, burritos and quesadillas.

1 small pork roast
1 c. salsa
1 c. brown sugar

Put pork roast (can be frozen) in the bottom of crock pot. Pour equal parts salsa & brown sugar over the top. Cook 8-10 hours or until meat is cooked through. Shred with a fork.

Apple Quesadillas

This sounds really weird but I promise it's good!

Tortillas (we like whole wheat ones)
Apples, any kind, cut in thin slices
Shredded cheese, any kind

Spray pan or skillet with Pam. Lay tortilla on the pan. Put some cheese onto half of the tortilla. Layer apple slices on cheese. Sprinkle some more cheese on top of apples. Fold tortilla in half and cook until cheese is melted.

*Monterey jack & Gala apples go well together, so do Granny Smith apples & pepper jack cheese. These are the ones we like the best but feel free to make up your own!

"Amazing" Mac & Cheese

This stuff is yummy. KJ took a bite and say "Whoa! This is amazing!" :)
*I half this recipe to make it for two

1 lb. elbow macaroni
1 quart milk
1 stick of butter
4 tomatoes
1/2 c. flour
8 oz. extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
12 oz. Gruyere cheese (I skipped this ingredient because I couldn't find it at the store and instead I used double the cheddar!)
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 1/2 c. bread crumbs (I like the Italian seasoned)

Heat oven to 375. Cook macaroni and drain well. Heat milk in a sauce pan, don't boil. Melt 6 tbsp. of butter in a large pot and add flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes while stirring with a wisk. While whisking, add the hot milk and cook for 2 more minutes until thickened and smooth. Off the heat, add cheeses, pepper and nutmeg. Add the cooked macaroni and stir well. Pour into a baking dish. Slice the tomatoes and arrange on top. Melt the remaining 2 tbsp. of butter and combine with the bread crumbs. Sprinkle on top. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and it is browned on top.

Chocolate Marshmallow Brownies

2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup butter
2 heaping tbsp. cocoa
2 cups flour
4 eggs
nuts (optional)

Mix together but add eggs one at a time. Pour into pan. Bake at 350 for 15-30 min. (depending on oven, just watch it). While hot, add enough miniature marshmallows to cover the surface. Put back in oven until bubbly.


6 tbsp. butter
5 tbsp. milk
1 cup sugar
8 big marshallows (about a 3/4 to a cup of miniature ones)
3/4 cup chocolate chips

Bring first 3 ingredients to a boil. Remove from heat and add chocolate chips and marshmallows. Melt together. Drizzle over top of brownies and marshmallows. Top with nuts if desired.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Cedar Plank Orange and Sesame Pork

I've made this the last two times we've had people over for dinner and they rave about it. It really is easy and delicious, you just have to prepare it ahead of time.

2 pounds of pork tenderloin
Zest of 1 medium orange
Juice of 1 medium orange
1 medium shallot, finely diced (i always just use a yellow onion)
4 garlic cloves diced
1/3 cup soy sauce
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons garlic powder
Small bunch fresh rosemary
Small bunch fresh thyme

To make the marinade, place all ingredients in a bowl. Mix together. Add pork. Cover the pork with the marinade and refrigerate at least 8 hours (or overnight). Remove the pork and let sit 30 minutes prior to cooking. Place the meat on pre-soaked and heated cedar planks. Cook for 20 minutes.

If you don't have planks to grill on, I'm sure you could grill or cook the meat some other way--the marinade is what makes it super tasty.

**Sesame oil can sometimes be a bit expensive but it will last you a good while. A little goes a long way--we use it to cook sugar snap peas. Pour a small amount of sesame oil into a wok, add snap peas and cook for a few minutes. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top and serve.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Couscous Vegetable Salad

Another great recipe from Essential of Healthful Cooking! This salad has great textures, colors and flavors and is really easy!

1 cup couscous
Kosher salt
1 1/2 cups boiling water
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup thawed, frozen petite peas or blanched fresh petite peas
1/2 cup thin sliced green onion
1/2 cup minched red bell pepper
1/2 cup finely diced English cucumber
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 cup firmly packed chiffonade-cut romain lettuce leaves

In a heatproof bowl combine the couscous, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the boiling water. Stir to blend. Cover tightly and let stand until all the liquid has been absorbed, about 20 minutes. Uncover the couscous and let cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon water and a grind of pepper until blended.

Add the peas, green onion, bell pepper, cucumber, parlsey and all but 1 tablespoon of the dressing to the couscous. Toss to mix.

Place the romain lettuce in a separate bowl. Add the remaining dressing and toss to coat.

To serve, divide the couscous mixture evenly among individual bowls or plates. Top each serving with an equal amount of the romain lettuce.

Calories: 190 Protein: 5 grams Carbohydrates: 26 grams Total Fat: 7 grams Saturated Fat: 1 gram Cholesterol: 0 Dietary Fiber: 3 grams Sodium: 280 mg

Roasted Mushrooms, Potatoes and Green Beans

For our wedding, Jason and I received the most wonderful cookbook. Everything I've made out of it has been amazing, and I recommend you all go and buy it. It's called Essentials of Healthful Cooking and can be found at Williams-Sonoma. This is one of the many recipes Jason and I have loved, and it's super easy.

8-10 white mushrooms
2 Yukon gold potatoes(my favorite potato)
1 yellow onion
1/4 lb green beans
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

Preheat oven to 400. Trim the ends of the stems from the mushrooms and discard. Cut the mushrooms in half through the stems. Cut the potatoes into 1-inch pieces. Cut the onion into wedges 1/2 inch thick. Trim the green beans and cut into 1-inch lengths. Set the green beans aside.

In a shallow 9x13 baking dish, combine the mushrooms, potatoes and onion. Drizzle the vegetables with olive oil, toss to coat evenly, and spread in an even layer in the dish.

Roast until the vegetables begin to brown on the edges, about 30 min. Remove the dish from the oven, add the green beans and carefully turn and rearrange the vegetables in an even layer. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste. Continue to roast until the vegetables are browned and tender when pierced with a knife, about 15 minutes longer. Sprinkle with the Parmigiano-Reggiano and thyme. Roast for 5 minutes longer to melt the cheese. Serve the vegetables directly from the baking dish or transfer to a serving bowl.

Calories: 90 Protein: 4 grams Carbohydrates: 10 grams Total Fat: 4.5 grams Saturated Fat: 1 gram Cholesterol: 5 mg Dietary Fiber: 3 grams Sodium: 150 mg

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Veggie/Black Bean Fajitas

1 can black beans
1/2 tsp lime juice
1/2 tsp cumin
pinch of salt
Pinch chopped cilantro

Combine all ingredients in saucepan and simmer until warmed through.

1/2 cup sliced bell pepper
1/3 cup sliced yellow onion
1/2 cup each sliced zucchini and yellow squash
non-stick cooking spray

Saute until soft and slightly brown

Cheddar cheese
Chopped tomato
Sour Cream
Lime juice

Combine sour cream with lime juice and cilantro. Pile everything on a tortilla.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Pepper-Chicken Noodle Toss

1 pkg. noodle of your choice
1/4 C (or less) olive or vegetable oil
2-4 chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into strips
1 green bell pepper, cut into strips
1 onion, cut into chunks
2 C fresh mushrooms, sliced
herb seasoning, to taste
grated parmesan cheese, to taste

Make noodles according to package. In a large skillet, heat oil; add chicken, peppers, onion, mushrooms and seasoning. Cook and stir over medium heat until chicken is cooked through (about 8-10 minutes). Add cooked noodles and parmesan cheese. Toss to coat noodles. Serve!

Applesauce Muffins

1 C applesauce (I like using cinnamon applesauce)
3/4 C brown sugar
1/2 C oil
1 3/4 C flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 C raisins (optional, personally I like it best without them)

Combine applesauce, brown sugar and oil in a bowl. Mix well. Mix the dry ingredients in another bowl. Add the raisins if desired and stir in the applesauce mixture. Blend well. Fill muffin tins about 2/3 full. Bake at 350 for 20-35 minutes.

Summer Dessert, Italian Style

Don't be turned off by the strangeness of it; this is what Italians eat in the summer for dessert (because you wouldn't want tiramisu if it was that hot and humid, either).

Sliced, chilled fresh fruit (my favorites are melons, berries or stone fruits like peaches, nectarines and plums)
Balsamic vinegar

Make sure the fruit is really cold before you start. Drizzle with a teensy bit of balsamic vinegar. Let it marinate for a few minutes. Enjoy!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Chocolate Churchmouse Cake

I have no idea where this cake gets its name, but sure is delicious.

1 box chocolate cake
1 large box chocolate pudding
3/4 cup oil
3/4 cup water
4 eggs
approx. 1/2 container sour cream.
6 oz. chocolate chips

Mix ingredients. Pour into a floured bunt pan. Bake for 60 min. at 350 degrees.

Hint: When baking this cake (or really, any other baked goods) use room-temperature eggs for a lighter, fluffier result. Also, this can be made with a yellow cake mix and vanilla pudding.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Ragu (the real kind)

Yeah, I guess you can use the sauce from the can, but if you want real ragu the way an Italian grandma makes it (or at least, the way my Italian grandma made it) try this recipe:

Saute about 3 tablespoons finely chopped onion in about 2 tablespoons olive oil until onions are translucent

Add 1 10oz can crushed tomatoes in puree and 1 10oz can petite diced tomatoes (or you can use whole canned tomatoes, crush them yourself and pull out the tough spots, like Grandma did, but I prefer shortcuts). Also add 1-2 tablespoons of burgundy (cooking wine is ok, the good stuff is better). Bring to a boil then turn to low and simmer for at least 30 minutes, stirring often so it doesn't burn.

Add 1-1/2 teaspoons each of basil and oregano. Add 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Stir, simmer for about 30 minutes, then adjust seasonings if needed. Turn off the heat and let the sauce sit for as long as you want (the longer, the better - just give the flavors time to "get happy" together) then reheat and serve with your favorite pasta!

(All these measurements are approximate. Italians don't believe in measuring anything except baked goods, so adjust according to taste.)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Plank Grilled Salmon

We made salmon with rice, tropical salsa and corn on the cob on Wednesday and it was de-li-cious. We also mixed up some virgin margaritas, cause sometimes you just need a mid-week drink to get you through until the weekend. Or you just want an excuse to use pink plastic margarita glasses. Take your pick.

We registered for grilling planks for our wedding, and this was the first time we've used them. It made the fish so tasty!


3/4 cup finely diced pineapple
1/2 cup finely diced mango
1/2 cup finely diced peach
1/4 cup finely diced red pepper
1/4 cup finely diced red onion (we used yellow, cause we didn't have red on hand)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon orange juice
2 tablespoons lime juice
salt and pepper
Four 6-8 ounce salmon filet's
Season Salt
2 teaspoons honey
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
4 finely chopped green onions
1 medium orange
Cedar planks for grilling

Soak planks for at least two hours before grilling.

To make the salsa, in a medium bowl combine the pineapple, mango, peach, bell pepper, red onion, cilantro and both juices. Lightly toss and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 hour.

Rinse salmon and pat dry with paper towels. Place salmon filet's skin side down on a large, shallow platter and season with salt, pepper, and season salt. Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon honey over each filet. Place 1 tablespoon butter on each filet. Sprinkle filets with green onions and top each with 2 orange slices. Set aside.
Prepare plank for grilling. Place salmon filets on plank. Close lid and grill for about 10-12 minuets or until fish begins to flake. Remove fish from grill and allow to rest for 5 minutes.

Remove orange slices. Spoon salsa on the side or on top of filets and serve.

To make the corn, we soaked it (husks on) in a pot of water and brown sugar for 45 minutes. Then they go into the corn basket griller thing and sit on the grill for about 30 minutes. Yummy.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Bliss...I mean, Pumkpin Cake

I am addicted to pumpkin. Why limit it to Thanksgiving when you can have it year round? And, here's a bonus: at work today I learned that pumpkin extract and cinnamon have both been clinically shown to lower blood glucose levels. This cake is a cure for diabetes!!!! (Not true. I just tell myself this so I feel better after I down half the pan.)

Pumpkin Cake

1 2/3 cup sugar
1 15 oz can pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
1 cup oil

Blend until smooth.
Add 3 eggs, one at a time, blending in between.

Sift together:
2 cups flour
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda

Blend until smooth.

Bake in a greased 9x13 pan at 350 for 30 minutes

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 stick butter, softened
2 tsp vanilla
1 8 oz package cream cheese
2 cups powdered sugar

Spread over cooled cake. Try not to eat it all at once. It really is hard not to.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Gooey Butter Cakes

In case the title didn't tip you off, you should know this is a Paula Dean recipe. That means this isn't exactly light on the calories. But it's so rich you'll only eat a little bit, so it's not so bad, right? It's pretty easy and a good thing to bring to a potluck.

1 box yellow cake mix
1 stick (1/2 cup) melted butter
1 egg

8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 stick (1/2 cup) melted butter
2 cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Beat all ingredients for cake together until just combined. Press into bottom of greased 9x13 pan. Beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, beat until smooth. Add butter, beat until smooth. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time and beat until creamy, like frosting. Pour over cake layer. Bake 40-50 minutes (make sure it's still gooey and do not burn!)

For variety, add berries, pineapple or mandarin oranges on top. Or try it with a chocolate cake and use peanut butter in place of butter, and top with chocolate chips.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Sweet Potatoes with Spicy Black Bean Chili

You guys are going to love me for this one. It is quite possible the easiest, healthiest, yummiest meals I have ever made.


4 medium (or 2 large) sweet potatoes
1 can black beans, drained
1 can kidney beans, drained
1 can Mexican-style tomatoes (diced or stewed) with jalapeños and spices, undrained
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin or cayenne pepper

Heat oven to 400. Pierce potatoes with fork to allow steam to escape. Bake 50 to 60 minutes (more if the potatoes are larger) or until tender.

While potatoes are baking, put beans, tomatoes and spices in a saucepan. Heat to boiling, reduce heat to medium low. cook uncovered 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until hot.

Split potatoes and mash slightly. Top each potato with chili mixture and, if desired, sour cream.

Fruit & Yogurt Parfaits

I love the McDonald's version but I'm sure it's not the healthiest breakfast option, so I make them at home myself. I know it's a basic recipe, but I found some really yummy and affordable brands I thought I'd share:

Fruit & Yogurt Parfaits
1 cup Dannon Light & Fit Vanilla Yogurt (it's about $2.25 for 2 pounds at WalMart and it's only 60 calories per serving!)
1 cup fresh berries (I like a mix of strawberries, blueberries and raspberries)
1/2 cup Sunbelt Oats & Honey Organic Granola (about $2.75 for a box and delicious...not to mention organic)

Layer 2/3 of the yogurt, then all berries, remaining yogurt and finally granola in a bowl.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Spinach Calzones

The great thing about these, is you can make the whole batch at once for a large crowd (or great leftovers!) or you can make half the batch and freeze the rest to make later (for those of you whose husbands can't stand leftovers). Jason loves these because they're delicious, and I love them because they are quick and easy ... OK and because they're scrumptious.

Spinach Calzones

The Inside:
1 pint ricotta cheese
1 tsp garlic powder or 2 cloves crushed garlic
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1 box frozen spinach, thaw and squeeze dry

The Outside:
Frozen Rhoades Texas size rolls
1 egg
Jar of tomato sauce, such as Prego or Ragu

Thaw frozen rolls (Rhoades Texas size) in refrigerator overnight. Knead two rolls together and flatten dough into round. Place 1/3 cup filling in dough and fold over and seal edge (I usually use a fork). Brush with egg and let rise about 45 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees until they are golden brown, about 30 minutes. Serve with heated tomato sauce.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Chocolate Cake - no dairy!

First of all, I love Rissa's kitchen tag. I'll get right on that, so fun! Second of all, we've received a reader request for a dairy-free chocolate cake recipe ... and since I aim to please, here it is!

(Brittany, if you read this blog, do you remember the chocolate cake Mark Sandersen used to make for us? Well he caved and finally gave me the recipe! I'm stoked.)

2 cups Sugar
3 cups Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Salt
3 heaping Tablespoons of cocoa (I prefer dark chocolate cocoa)
2 Tablespoons Vinegar
3+ Tablespoons Vanilla (the more the merrier!)
3/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
2 Cups Water

Mix together
Bake at 350 degrees
(9x13 pan bake for 30-40 minutes)
(bundt pan bake for 60 minutes)
you can tell it's done baking when you can insert a knife in the center and it comes out clean.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Kitchen Tag

So, have you all seen the 'fridge tag' thing goin around? I think we should include it on this blog! Just take a picture of your fridge and/or pantry and show us what you got. (and you are not allowed to shop, clean, re-arrange, etc. before taking pics) Everyone should participate--don't care if you're single, married, divorced, black, white or Asian. Just one more way to invade your private life through the use of the internet. Wonderful.

Here we go with my refrigerator:

Okay, we are in need of a grocery trip. Not much to look at. Some leftovers from restaurants and previous home cooked meals. These will all occupy space for a while until they become inedible and then ultimately end up in the trash. Our milk and juice do not fit in the little milk carrier because it is filled with drink mixers. Yes, I do label the various compartments and shelves of our fridge and assign certain items to specific areas. As you can see, things are not always put back in the right spots. Jared's cousins think it's funny to switch these labels around when they stay at our house. It's not funny.

The pantry:
Sadly, the pantry is a mess. My little brother was rummaging around in it and didn't bother putting things back correctly. Some people. In our pantry you'll find an assortment of spices, sauces, soups, cans, various rices and pastas, a basket full of Jared's accessories for the grill, and other odds and ends. Most of these items I 'inherited' when I moved into the house so I haven't done much with lots of them. Maybe one day...

Alright, now it's your turn. I promise it's fun--in a weird sort of way.

The best green beans

Pioneer Woman does it again! I think these are the best green beans because they are soooo good and sooooooooo easy! I made these for dinner last night (with spinach calzones, recipe coming soon!) and Jason and I practically inhaled them.

Fresh Green Beans, One Way

1 lb green beans
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 tablespoons bacon grease (can substitute 1 T butter and 1 T olive oil)
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 to 1 teaspoon kosher salt (can substitute regular table salt; use 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon)
Ground black pepper

Snap the stem ends of green beans, or cut them off in a big bunch with a knife if you’d like. Just don’t tell Granny. Melt bacon grease in a skillet over medium low heat. Add garlic and onions and cook for a minute. Then add green beans and cook for a minute until beans turn bright green. Add the chicken broth, chopped red pepper, salt, and black pepper. Turn heat to low and cover with a lid, leaving lid cracked to allow steam to escape. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes or until liquid evaporates and beans are fairly soft, yet still a bit crisp. You can add more chicken broth during the cooking process, but don’t be afraid to let it all cook away so the onions and peppers can caramelize.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Crash Hot Potatoes

If you haven't visited The Pioneer Woman's blog, you are seriously missing out. She's always posting interesting stories, nifty photoshop tricks and amazing recipes. Here's one that I'm making for dinner tonight:

Crash Hot Potatoes:

Ingredients: New Potatoes (or other small, round potato), Olive Oil, Kosher Salt, Black Pepper, and whatever herb you like.


1. Begin by bringing a pot of salted water to a boil.
2. Add in as many potatoes as you wish to make, and cook them until they’re fork-tender.
3. Next, generously drizzle olive oil on a sheet pan.
4. When the potatoes are tender, place them on the cookie sheet giving them plenty of room to spread out.
5. Next, grab your potato masher and gently press down on the potato until it slightly mashes, then rotate the masher 90 degrees and finish flattening it. Of course, you don’t want to absolutely smash it into the pan—you want it almost to resemble a cookie. Repeat until all are flattened.
6. Next, brush the tops rather generously with olive oil.
7. Next, grab some Kosher salt. You can use regular salt, but I’d really recommend using kosher. It adheres to the potatoes more easily and really flavors them nicely without getting too salty. Add pepper as well.
8. Now, you can grab some chives…or thyme…or whatever herbs you have available. Whatever herb you use, just chop it pretty finely and sprinkle over the top.
9. Now throw them onto the top rack of a very hot (450-degree) oven, and cook them for 20-25 minutes.

And done!

For step by step picture instructions visit here.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Summer Salsa

This recipe comes to you courtesy of a ward Relief Society activity where this salsa was served and the recipe was sought after with much demand. If that isn't a testimony to good cooking, I don't know what is!

12 roma tomatoes
2 bags sweet petite corn
2 cans black eyed beans (drain & rinse)
16 oz zesty Italian dressing
1 bunch green onions
1 bunch cilantro
3/4 tsp. cumin
3/4 tsp. garlic powder
jalapeños to taste
salt to taste

Cut/chop tomatoes, onions, and cilantro. Mix in a large mixing bowl. Add corn, beans, dressing, cumin, and garlic powder. Add jalapeños and salt as desired. Serve with tortilla chips!

Annie's modifications: Nix the jalapeños and throw in 2 chopped avocados, instead.

It's best fresh, but it does keep for a few days. It's so good you'll down it long before it expires. Great and fast for parties!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Pork Cutlets Parmesan

I haven't made any type of cutlet since my culinary classes a few years ago, but I tried these recently and they are yummy, quick and fun--who doesn't want to smash meat with heavy objects?? You can use pork, chicken, veal or whatever floats your boat. This is a Martha Stewart recipe and picture.

Serves 4

12 ounces pork tenderloin
2 large egg whites
1/4 cup plain dried breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Coarse salt, for seasoning
1 tablespoon olive oil
Lemon wedges and parsley sprigs, for serving

1. Slice pork tenderloin into 12 rounds. Place rounds between two sheets of plastic wrap; with a meat mallet or small heavy skillet, pound to 1/8 inch thick.
2. In a shallow bowl, beat egg whites with 1 tablespoon water. In another bowl, combine breadcrumbs and Parmesan. Place all-purpose flour in a third bowl. Season pork with salt. Dip pork in flour, then in egg mixture. Dredge in breadcrumb mixture; pat it in.
3. In a large nonstick skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute half the cutlets until golden brown and cooked through, about 1 minute per side. Repeat with another tablespoon oil and remaining pork. Serve with lemon wedges and parsley sprigs.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Baked Ziti

Found this recipe on Kelsey's Kitchen and Jason loved it! I did this sans beef and added a fresh diced tomato for texture instead.

8 oz. ziti
½ lb. lean ground beef
½ yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 C. tomato sauce
½ tsp. dried Oregano
½ tsp. dried Basil
1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the ziti and cook for about 8 minutes. The ziti should be slightly undercooked and chewy. Drain; set aside.
3. In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the beef with onion and garlic. Stir in the tomato sauce, herbs, and salt.
4. Mix the ziti with the sauce and cheese in an ovenproof dish, saving some cheese to sprinkle on top. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Homemade Pasta Sauce & Meatballs

The meatballs are my adaptation of my great-grandma Bellino's recipe. The tomato sauce is my wayof cutting down on sugar (have you seen how much is in the jars?!)


1 lb ground beef
1 egg
2 slices bread, wet and squeezed
3-4 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 cup parmesean
1 tbsp parsley

Combine all ingredients. Roll into balls. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.


1 10 oz can petite diced tomatoes
1 small carrot, thinly sliced
1/2 zucchini, thinly sliced
1 tsp each salt, parsley and basil

Pour tomatoes into saute pan and add all other ingreidents. Simmer over medium heat for about 40 minutes. Meanwhile, make pasta according to box instructions. Add cooked pasta to sauce in saute pan and toss (this makes the pasta a lot more flavorful). Add meatballs and toss. Serve with more parmesean.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Balsamic Vinegar Steak Marinade

Jason and I made this for my family yesterday. It was a hit. Keep in mind the cooking time may be less than you are used to as the vinegar starts to cook the steaks as they marinate.

4 New York Strip steaks (or any other tender cut)
3/4 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped

Combine the balsamic vinegar, olive oil and garlic in a shallow dish. Gently place steaks inside the dish, making sure the marinade covers the steaks. Cover dish and place in fridge, let steak marinate for two to six hours.

When appropriate marinating time is over, take the steaks out of the marinade and set aside. Place marinade inside a small sauce pan and reduce until it forms a thick glaze. Fire up the grill and cook steaks to desired doneness, glazing each steak with the marinade reduction on each turn.


Sunday, April 6, 2008

Spinach Chicken Rolls

I was playing around in the kitchen and thought this would make a great combination. It definitely did! This recipe serves 2.

Two chicken breasts, thawed
2 cups of fresh spinach
2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup feta cheese
1/4 cup parmesean cheese
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2-1 cup Italian breadcrumbs

1. Pound chicken with a meat tenderizer until very thin

2. Melt 1 tbsp butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add spinach. Stir until spinach starts to wilt. Add salt, pepper and garlic powder and stire. Add cheeses and stir until they have just started to melt. Remove from heat.

3. Put half of spinach mixture at one end of chicken breast. Roll around spinach center. Repeat with the rest of the spinach and chicken.

4. Melt remaining butter and brush over chicken rolls with a pastry brush. Roll chicken in breadcrumbs.

5. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until chicken is done.

I served it with fresh green beans, and angel hair with olive oil, diced tomatoes and basil.

Bon apetite!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Easy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 cup real butter
1 tsp vanilla

Mix together

3 cups flour
1 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup chocolate chips (I usually just add the whole bag)
1 1/2 cup nuts (optional)
1 cup coconut (optional)

Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes

Friday, March 21, 2008


I have been playing around with ways to make salmon. As S has requested we eat salmon twice a week, here are a few of my findings.

Option one:

2 salmon steaks

Put about 2 cups water, 1 tbsp white vinegar, and salt. Bring to a boil and cook fish until salmon flakes with fork. About 8-10 minutes. ( I also add a little lemon juice)

Option two:

1/2 cup melted butter
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
1 tsp dill weed
1/2 tsp lemon pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp garlic salt

Mix all of the above and pour over salmon. Bake at 350 for juices til juices run clear. (I usually do 2 salmon fillets ( I buy the costco frozen pre-cut stuff) and it usually takes about 13 minutes when thawed)

Dipping Sauce:

1 cup sour cream
1 cup mayo
1 Tbsp parsley
1 Tbsp bon apetite
1 Tbsp dill weed
2 Tbsp chopped onion

chill before serving.

Creamy Cheesy Chicken!!

This is similer to Macie's Alfredo Crock Pot chicken but I have 2 different ways of doing it.

1. Cook 4 chicken breasts with good seasons italian dressing packet and 1/4 cup water. Cook for 3-4 hours on high or 6-7 hours on low. (See second option before cooking fully)

First option: When chicken is cooked, shred chicken and mix in 1 package cream cheese. Serve over mashed potatoes.

Second option: When chicken has cooked for about an hour in the crock pot, cut chicken in half lengthwise and mix 1 package of cream cheese (will probably need to put in the microwave to soften) and 1 can cream of chicken soup together. Pour over chicken. Let cook remaining hours until chicken is cooked through. Serve over rice. ( I also half the chicken in this recipe but I don't half the cream of chicken or the cream cheese...we like extra sauce)

S loves both of these and they are quick and yummy!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Parmesan Mushroom Asparagus

This is one of my all-time favorite recipes. Also, if you only use 1 lb asparagus, there won't be leftovers.

Parmesan Mushroom Asparagus
Prep: 15 minutes Cook: 10 minutes

2 cups water
2 pounds asparagus spears
2 tablespoons butter
1 package (8 ounces) sliced mushrooms
1 ½ teaspoon chopped fresh or ½ teaspoon dried basil leaves
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Heat water to boil in 12-inch skillet. Add asparagus. Heat to boiling; reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook 4 to 6 minutes or until crisp tender. Drain, set aside.*
Melt butter in skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in mushrooms. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently until mushrooms are light brown.
Stir asparagus, basil, salt and pepper into mushrooms until vegetables are coated with seasonings and asparagus is heated through. Sprinkle with cheese and serve.

*I usually put the asparagus in the serving dish, add about an inch of water to the bottom and steam them in the microwave for 4 minutes.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Chocolate Cupcakes

I've been searching for the perfect basic chocolate cupcake recipe, and I think I found it! Here's the recipe thanks to Chockylit:

Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cupcakes
14 regular cupcakes / 375 degree oven
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temp
1-1/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs, room temp
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoons vanilla
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Beat butter until softened. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well combined.
4. Measure the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder into a small sized bowl and whisk to combine.
5. Measure out the milk and vanilla and stir to combine
6. Add about a third of the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar and beat to combine. Add about a half of the milk/vanilla and beat to combine. Continue adding, alternating between dry and wet and finishing with the dry.
7. Scoop batter into cupcake cups about 2/3’s full. Turn oven down to 350 degrees and bake cupcakes for about 22-25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Rachel's Spinach Salad Dressing

I got this recipe from Rachel Williams and it is my all-time favorite dressing.

1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. vinegar
1 c. of vegetable or canola oil
1 tbsp. poppy seeds
1 tbsp. grated onion (KJ doesn't like onions so I usually skip this)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried mustard
1 lb. cottage cheese (I have found that the more cottage cheese you put in the thicker the dressing is, so you may just want to slowly add some in until you get your desired consistency.)

Salad ideas:

purple onion
shredded mozzarella cheese
shredded swiss cheese
mandarin oranges
crumbled bacon
grilled chicken

Veggie Pasta

1 package of noodles (about 16 oz.)
2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
1 carrots, sliced
1 onion, diced
1 zucchini, sliced and quartered
1 yellow squash, sliced and quartered
1-2 tomatoes, cut
frozen peas
frozen corn
1 tbsp. basil
salt and pepper, to taste
garlic powder, to taste
grated parmesan cheese

Cook and drain noodles. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook carrots, onion, zucchini and squash in oil, stirring frequently until veggies are crisp-tender. Stir in remaining ingredients, except cheese. Cook until hot. Serve veggies over noodles. Top with cheese.

Optional: Add grilled chicken to pasta

*This is one of my favorite recipes. It's easy to make the perfect portions and it's healthy. You can change the ingredients to make it the way you want it. Any vegetable works well with it. And it's great for the times when you have random veggies that you need to get rid of

Veggie Dip

This is yummy and healthier than most dips!

1 8oz. package of cream cheese (I use the 1/3 less fat kind)
1 medium carrot, grated or finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 green onion (scallion), thinly sliced
2 tablespoons parsley
salt and pepper, to taste

Stir ingredients together and season with salt and pepper.

*This recipe is great with crackers or as spread for cucumber (or other) sandwiches

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Crockpot Lasagna

If you love lasgna and Crockpots then you'll like this recipe.

1/2 - 1 lb. hamburger
1 bottle of spaghetti sauce, any kind
16 oz. pkg. cottage cheese
2-4 cups of mozzarella cheese
1 egg
lasgna noodles

Brown hamburger. In a bowl, mix hamburger and spaghetti sauce together. In another bowl, mix cottage cheese and egg together. Pour some sauce in the bottom of the crockpot. Put a single layer of noodles on top of the sauce. Pour some cottage cheese mixture on top of the noodles and then sprinkle some cheese on top. Continue layering sauce, noodles, cottage cheese mixture and cheese until all of the ingredients are used up. Cook on low for 4-8 hours.

Easy (and I mean EASY!) Crockpot Chicken

I am the self-proclaimed Crockpot Queen! :) This is what I make on days when KJ and I will both be gone all day or days that I don't feel like cooking. And KJ loves it so it's a win win situation!

4-6 frozen chicken breasts
1 can cream of mushroom soup
about 1/2 a packet of onion soup

Put ingredients into the crockpot. Cook all day. Shred the chicken with a fork and pour over rice.

Crock Pot Fettucini Alfredo

I have made this several times since we got married and we love it. It's yummy and SUPER easy!

4-6 small chicken breasts (doesn't need to be thawed)
1-2 can(s) cream of chicken soup (depending on how much you want to make)
8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, cubed
1 packet of italian seasoning
3 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
1/2 cup of milk

Put chicken in the bottom of the crockpot. Sprinkle italian seasoning over chicken then drizzle butter over. Mix other ingredients together and pour onto chicken. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Serve over pasta.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Peach Pie

2 frozen pie crusts (9 in. pie tins, minimum)
If you feel ambitious, feel free to use a pie crust of your own making here.


1 c sugar
1/2 c flour
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp lemon juice
2 Tbs margarine (melted)
8 c peaches (2 cans)

Crumbly Topping
1/2 c margarine (solid)
1/2 c sugar
3/4 c flour

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix pie filling ingredients together in a large bowl, adding the peaches last. As soon as the ingredients are evenly blended, pour filling mixture over the pie crusts; there will be enough to fill both pie tins. Mix crumbly topping ingredients together in a large bowl. A pastry cutter works well for this procedure. Once the mixture is well blended and equally moist throughout, sprinkle it on top of the pies. Bake the pies at 350 degrees for 1 hour, or until the top begins to brown lightly. Enjoy!

This recipe has never, ever failed me. I love it.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Spinach Dip

This recipe is so easy it's absolutely impossible to mess up. And it tastes fantastic!

1 package frozen chopped spinach
1 package Knorr's Leek Soup mix (You can find it in the soup aisle near the Lipton's stuff)
1 medium container of sour cream (I like to use light or fat-free)

Defrost spinach
Mix soup mix and sour cream together in large bowl
Stir in spinach until coated
Serve with bread chunks (I like to use french bread)

*You can also make this recipe with fresh spinach, but I actually like the consistency of the frozen kind. It "sticks" better.
*To make more, just double (or triple) all the ingredients


I know this isn't technically "cooking", but it is yummy and super-easy. It's also hearty enough that it it makes a fantastic salad if you pour it over lettuce.

1 - 10 oz. pkg frozen corn
1 - 15 oz. can black beans, drain and rinse
1 green pepper chopped
1 medium red onion chopped
8 roma tomatoes chopped or 4 large tomatoes
1/2 bunch Cilantro chopped
1 c. Light Italian dressing
2-3 t. Cumin
2 avocadoes
2-3 t. chili powder
salt and pepper to taste

Mix dressing, cilantro, cumin, and chili powder together in a large bowl
Add vegetables and stir to coat
Add salt and pepper as desired
Serve with tortilla chips

Monday, February 25, 2008

Peanut Butter Bars

We love these Peanut Butter bars. We make them almost every Sunday!

PB Bars:
1/2 C. Butter
1/2 C. Brown Sugar
1/2 C. Sugar
1 Egg
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1/2 t. vanilla
1 C. Flour
1 C. Oats
1/2 C. Peanut Butter

Cream butter and sugar. Blend in egg, peanut butter, soda, salt, and vanilla. Stir in flour and oats. Spread in greased pan. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. Spread layer of peanut butter on top while still warm, then let cool and cover with chocolate frosting.

3 T. Cocoa
3 C. Powdered Sugar
4 T. soft butter
2-3 T Milk
1 t. vanilla

Mix cocoa and powdered sugar. Add softened butter, milk and vanilla. Beat until smooth.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Mini Cherry Cheescakes

I haven't tried this yet, but it sounds amazing and I'm definitly making it for my next party! I'm all about canapes.

2 8 oz. packages softened cream cheese at room temperature
3/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
24 vanilla wafer cookies
24 cupcake liners
1 21 oz. can cherry pie filling

Preheat oven to 350.

Chill unopened can of pie filling in fridge while ou make the cheesecakes.

Line two muffin pans with paper cupcake liners. Put one vanilla wafer cookie in the bottom of each cupcake paper, flat side down.

Mix the softened cream cheese with the white sugar on slow to medium speed until thoroughly blended. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each. Mix in the lemon juice and vanilla, then beat until light and fluffy.

Spoon the cheesecake batter into the muffin tins, dividing it as equally as you can. When you're through, each cupcake paper should be between half and two-thirds full. They'll look skimpy, but don't over-fill them! They still need the cherries.

Bake at 350 for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the top has set and has a satin finish. Cool in the pans on wire racks.

When the cheesecakes are cool, open the can of cherry pie filling and place three cherries on every mini cheesecakes. Divide the cherry juice equally among the 23 cakes.

Refrigerate in the muffin tins for at least 4 hours before serving; overnight is better. Then take them out of the tins, carefully remove the cupcake papers and serve!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Crockpot Mashed Potatoes

Plus also! To go with the last one...

I would forgo the butter. Your arteries will thank you, and you won't miss it. But trust me. So good.

From Linda Larsen (this one time someone at work found this recipe online under her name--a rare instance when an online discovery turned out splendidly!)

Potatoes are actually cooked and mashed out of the crock pot, then cooked for a couple of hours to blend the flavors. This recipe is perfect for the holidays because you don't have the last minute mashing and beating of potatoes.


5 lbs. red potatoes, cut into chunks (peeled if you like)
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
2 cubes chicken bouillon
8 oz. container sour cream
8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
salt and pepper to taste


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes, garlic and chicken bouillon cubes. Cook potatoes until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain, reserving a little of the cooking water. Mash potatoes with sour cream and cream cheese, adding reserved cooking water to reach desired consistency. Transfer to a 4 quart crock pot, cover, and cook on low for 2 to 3 hours. Just before serving, stir in butter and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serves 8-10.

Cranberry-Glazed Pork Roast

Look at me contributing a recipe! I wish it was mine. haha! =) It's a good one, though, and easy.

Courtesy of my friend Mark. But I think I found out he got it online.


· 1 Can (16 oz) Jellied Cranberry Sauce
· ½ Cup Sugar
· ½ Cup Cranberry Juice Cocktail
· 1 Teaspoon Dry Mustard
· ¼ Teaspoon Cloves
· 1 Boneless, Extra-Lean Sirloin Pork Roast (3 Pounds)
· 2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
· 2 Tablespoons Cold Water
· Salt to Taste


In a medium bowl, mash cranberry sauce with a fork or a potato masher. Stir in sugar, cranberry juice, mustard, and cloves. Place pork roast in slow cooker and pour cranberry sauce mixture over it. Cook on low setting for six to eight hours or until meat is tender. Remove roast and keep warm. With a metal spoon, skim the fat from the liquid in the slow cooker. Pour two cups of the liquid (add water to fill out if necessary) into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Blend the cornstarch and cold water to make a paste; stir gradually into the boiling liquid. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens. Add salt to taste. Serve the sauce with the pork.

Makes 12 servings.

This goes great with mashed potatoes (you can use the cranberry sauce for the potatoes too)!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Risotto with asparagus

I absolutely love risotto and make it quite often. This is a yummy basic recipe. Just about any vegetable can be substituted for the asparagus (it just happens to be one of my favs). Serve as a side dish or add some chicken/fish/shrimp to the risotto for a main course.

Risotto with asparagus
Serves 6--I use half the recipe and serve it as a main dish for 2 people

1 lb. asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
7-8 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup diced yellow onion
3 cups Arborio or Carnaroli rice
1 cup dry white wine, at room temperature
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

1. Parboil the asparagus in salted boiling water until just tender, 1-2 minutes. Set aside.

2. In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the stock to a gentle simmer and maintain over low heat.

3. In a large, heavy saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the rice and stir until each grain is well coated with oil and translucent with a white dot in the center, about 3 minutes. Add the wine and stir until it is completely absorbed.

4. Add the simmering stock a ladleful at a time, stiffing frequently after each addition. Wait until the stock is almost completely absorbed (but the rice is never dry on top) before adding the next ladleful. Reserve 1/4 cup stock to add at the end.

5. When the rice is almost tender to the bite but slightly firm in the center and looks creamy, after about 18 minutes, add the asparagus and a ladleful of stock. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the asparagus is heated through and the rice is al dente, 2-3 minutes longer. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter, cheese and reserved stock. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve at once.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Good Morning Pie

This is one of mine and Britt's favorite dishes. We used to make it all the time in the yellow house.

1/2 C butter
1 C sugar
1 C flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 C skim milk
1 quart canned fruit packed in juice (your choice)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in a 13 x 9 inch baking pan. Sift together the sugar, flour, baking powder and salt. Add milk and stir until well blended. Pour over melted butter in baking pan (do not stir into butter). Pour fruit and juice over flour mixture (again, do not stir). Bake for 1 hour. Serve warm.

Yummy Peanut Treat

My sister-in-law made these at Christmas-time this year, and they are amazing! I couldn't stop eating them. They're really good after they come out the freezer.

Salted Peanut Chews (I know, totally lame name)

Base: 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 egg yolks
3 cups miniature marshmallows

Topping: 2/3 cup corn syrup
1/4 cup butter
2 tsp. vanilla
1 (10 oz.) pkg. Peanut butter chips
2 cups crisp rice cereal
2 cups salted peanuts

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine all base ingredients except marshmallows at low speed until crumbly. Press firmly in bottom of ungreased 13X9X2" pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 min. or until light golden brown. Removed from oven; immediately sprinkle with marshmallows. Return to oven; bake an additional 1-2 min. or until marshmallows just begin to puff. Cool while preparing topping.

In large saucepan, combine all topping ingredients except cereal and peanuts. Heat just until chips are melted and mixture is smooth, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in cereal and peanuts. Immediately spoon warm topping over marshmallows; spread to cover. Refrigerate 45 minutes or until firm. Keep in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Yield: 36 bars

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Pampered Chef Party

I'm hosting a Pampered Chef party at my mom's house next Thursday. It's going to be a lot of fun, and super helpful too. We'll be doing the "Real Food, Real Fast" cooking show and learn how to make dinner in under 30 min. There is absolutly no obligation to buy anything, just come and eat and enjoy everyone's company!

When: Thursday, January 17 @ 7:00
Where: My parents house, 1132 N 1450 E Orem, UT

I hope to see you all there!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Faux Zuppa Tuscana

For my fellow Olive Garden fans:

This is one of my favorite dishes ever. It's fairly easy - just a lot of chopping.

1 Tbsp. Olive oil
1 lb. ground Italian sausage, mild
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper, plus more to taste
2 1/2 cup water
2 (14 1/2 oz.) cans chicken broth
3 large russet potatoes, peeled, halved lengthwise, sliced 1/4" thick
1 tsp. salt1/2 tsp. freshly group pepper
1/2 bunch kale, stems removed, chopped
1 cup heavy (whipping) cream

Saute sausage in oil. Remove sausage to plate and set aside. Add onion, saute until translucent. Add garlic and crushed red pepper, cook 1 minute. In a large pot, combine water and broth; add onion mixture. Add potatoes, salt and pepper. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat, simmer about 10 minutes. Add kale and sausage, simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in cream. Heat to simmer over medium heat, cook 2 minutes.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Macaroni and Cheese

This is the second time i've made this macaroni and cheese. It's so delicious! Here's the recipe:
8 oz. Macaroni

1/4 C. Margarine or butter

3 tablespoons all purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon salt (optional)

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

2 C. milk

2 C. shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Cook pasta for 3 minutes and drain.

In medium saucepan, melt margarin. Blend in flour, salt and pepper

Cook until mixture is smooth and bubbly; gradually add milk.

Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture boils; simmer 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Gradually mix in cheese. Stir over low heat until cheese is melted.

Add pasta; mix lightly.

Pour into 2-quart casserole dish.
Bake for 25 minutes.


Monday, January 7, 2008

Chicken and Broccoli Pie

Rissa brought up a great point. Cooking for two can be so hard! This recipe is the perfect portion for just two eaters. Pair it with a side salad for a complete meal. The filling can be made the night before and reheated before putting in the pie shell and baking.

Chicken and Broccoli Pie
1 lb chopped chicken
1/4 C chopped onion
2 Tbsp flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1 1/4 C milk
3 oz cream cheese, softened
1 egg
10 oz chopped frozen broccoli cooked and drained
4 oz shredded cheese
Pastry for 9 inch pie pan

Saute chicken and onion in 1 Tbsp oil till done. Add flour, coat chicken; add salt, garlic salt and milk. Stir until bubbly, add cream cheese until melted. Stir some of hot mixture with the egg, then stir egg into pan. Add broccoli, pour hot mix into baked pastry shell and sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 min.

My alterations: I eliminate the chicken and use 16 oz of broccoli, I also use the 1/3 less fat cream cheese. It tastes just the same, but I feel like it melts faster than regular cream cheese.


Hello! The purpose of this blog is to share our delish (and easy!) recipes. Sometimes I get stuck in a cooking rut, and want to branch out and try new things and I feel like the best way to find new recipies is to ask others for their tried and true ones. So! Post away, and make sure to clearly label what kind of recipe so it's easy to find.

Love you all!