Friday, December 11, 2009

Wedding Cake

So here is my big unveiling. I made a wedding cake. Hazzah! My friend, Naomi, got married yesterday and asked me to do her cake for her. She was one of my Beehives when I was in YW, and now she is married. I feel my age today.
I have to admit there is some pride that goes along with making a wedding cake. I was really happy with the way it turned out. But not really because of me. I really think that flowers make the cake.
I am not going to give the details of making a wedding cake because I don't think any of you care. And by any of you I mean Becca. Thanks for reading my blog Bec. Making a big 'ol cake is involved and kind of boring, but I will give you a tip about making cakes in general. If you are making a cake with a cake mix and want your cake to be a little more dense, and super yummy, put in a package of instant pudding that matches whatever flavor of cake you are making. This will make your cake extra moist and yummy.
And also here is a good recipe for frosting. I use this recipe when I am decorating birthday cakes and the like. I don't like shortening frosting as a general rule, but it is the best way to go when you are decorating a cake. You can also split the shortening half and half with butter.

Buttercream Frosting

1 c. shortening
2 Tbs. water
1 tsp. flavoring-vanilla, almond, or butter
4 c. powdered sugar
pinch of salt- this takes a bit of the edge off of the sweetness

Combine shortening, water, and flavoring. Add powdered sugar. Mis well for about 30 seconds. Then beat frosting for 2-3 minutes until fluffy and smooth.
This makes a stiff frosting. If you like it thinner, which I do for general frosting of a cake, add about 2-3 Tbs. more water. This will thin it out nicely.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Something is Coming. . .

A new post is coming tomorrow. It is an impractical and not-too-often-made item. But it is beautiful and delish! I also have to admit that every time I make one of these that I am filled with a bit (okay, a lot) of pride, and like to just stand back and look at it, and I don't want anybody to eat it, ever! Can you guess? I will post tomorrow.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

An Easy Sunday Dinner

I bought pork ribs at Lee's the other day. The checker, named Ken, gave me a great idea on how to prepare those bad boys. So here is an easy Sunday dinner courtesy of Ken, the checker at Lee's in Smithfield. If you are in at Lee's go through his line and chat with him. He will tell you all about pulled pork and Ireland. Thanks for dinner, my checker friend!
One other thing: I got the french fries at Walmart. They are the Great Value brand seasoned fries. They are really good. Try them with this dinner.

Pulled Pork

  • 3-4 lbs. country style pork ribs
  • 1 can Dr. Pepper (or be like me and buy a liter, you can drink the extra with your dinner)
  • 1 bottle of Dr. Pepper barbecue sauce (yes you read that right. I didn't even know it existed before I chatted with Ken. They have it at Lee's.)
  • 1 dozen mini hoagie buns- They also have these at Lee's. I found them to be the perfect size for these sandwiches.

Throw the pork ribs in your crock pot. Pour the can of Dr. Pepper over the top. Cook on low for 6-7 hours. This is why this dinner is so easy. I don't use my crock pot nearly as much as I should, but I love it when I do. After 6-7 hours, drain meat and then shred it using two forks. Return to crock pot and cover with the entire bottle of barbecue sauce. I put a little extra Dr. Pepper in the bottle and shook it up to get all the sauce out. Another reason to buy a whole liter. Combine well and let the meat heat through.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Carrot Cookies with Orange Glaze

I was in the mood to make cookies the other day. I asked Shawn what kind of cookies he would like. He started talking about a cookie his mom used to make that had carrots in it, and he remembers really liking them. I was dubious but went searching for a recipe. I found this one at I have to admit he converted me. These are tasty little gems. And maybe you can feel less guilty about eating them because they are so healthy, right? Right. Oh, and Shawn also said they are pretty darn close to what his mom used to make. Hope you enjoy!

Carrot Cookies with Orange Glaze
  • 1 c. shortening
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 c. cooked, mashed carrots- Just a note here: you want them very soft for easy mashing, so boil the crap out of those carrots. I was also surprised at the number of carrots it took to make a cup, mashed. I would boil 2-3 cups raw carrots.
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 c. flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
Beat shortening and sugar. Add egg, vanilla, and carrots. Mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Add to carrot mixture. Mix well. Drop by the tablespoon onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes. Move to a cooling rack. Glaze cookies while they are still warm. Store in an air-tight container. If you stack the cookies in the container, place waxed paper between the layers to keep the cookies from sticking together. Makes 2 dozen cookies.

Orange Glaze
  • juice of 1/2 orange- about 3-4 Tbs.
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1 Tbs. butter
  • 1 1/4 c. powdered sugar
Melt butter in a small saucepan. Add orange juice and powdered sugar. Mix well. Add orange zest and mix well. Glaze cookies by placing a cookie sheet beneath cookie cooling rack. Pour warm glaze over cookies and let cool.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Broccoli Cauliflower Soup and Breadsticks

First of all, I apologize to any of you who actually read this blog. I guess I have been busy lately. Claire has kind of turned into a um, high maintenance child. Syd's homework load has been unbelievable this year. I love her teacher, but we have an hour to 1 1/2 hours of homework on a good night. Plus Brynn has ballet, Syd has Tae Kwon Do, I have a new calling which keeps me hopping (Stake YW Sports Director) and Shawn is the 2nd counselor/Scoutmaster for the Young Men. So we are busy.
So I decided I will aim for one post a week. We will see how that works. I've stockpiled a few so we should be good for a while. Here is a double header for today.

Broccoli Cauliflower Soup

This is a recipe I got from my mother-in-law, Julie, when Shawn and I first got married. I don't use a recipe to make it so it has morphed into something a little different, but it is still easy and yummy! Shawn's family calls it Relief Society Soup. I think Julie got the recipe at RS or used to take it to RS lots or something. This recipe is very much a to-your-taste recipe. Just combine things until it reaches the right consistency and flavor for you.

  • 1 head broccoli
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cube- 1 cube butter
  • instant potatoes- I like the potato pearls you get from the church cannery but potato flakes also work
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 Tbs. Lawry's seasoning
Wash and cut broccoli and cauliflower into bite-size pieces. Place in a large stock pot and just cover with water. Place on stove and bring to a boil. Boil until veggies are fork-tender. Without draining veggies, pour in milk and add butter and Lawry's seasoning. I use less butter, but if you want more of that flavor add the whole cube. When butter is melted, add instant potatoes. I usually add 3-4 cups of potatoes. Add one cup at a time and mix well between cups. Stop adding when soup reaches the consistency you like. Remember soup will continue to thicken a little bit. When potatoes have been absorbed well add cheese. Serve soup hot. This soup reheats well, or can be made earlier in the day and kept in a crock pot on low.


These are some great breadsticks that my mom used to make. They are best if eaten the day they are made.

  • 1 1/2 c. warm water
  • 2 Tbs. sugar
  • 1 Tbs. yeast
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 c. flour
  • 2 Tbs. melted butter
  • Garlic salt
  • Parmesan cheese
Combine warm water and sugar and let dissolve. Then add yeast and let it rise for 10 minutes. Pour yeast water in a large bowl or Kitchen Aid. Add salt and flour. Mix well. Let dough raise 10 minutes. Roll out dough on a floured surface until it's 1/2-3/4 inch thick. Use a pizza cutter to cut into bread sticks. Place on 2 greased cookie sheets. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with garlic salt and/or Parmesan cheese. Let breadsticks raise 20 minute or until double in size. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Serve hot with yummy Broccoli Cauliflower soup.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

French Toast

Shawn is the master of French Toast. He taught me how to make it when we first got married. I continue to use the same method 10 years later. Thanks honey!

French Toast

2 eggs
1 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla (or almond) extract
Dash of cinnamon
1 loaf good quality white bread

Crack eggs into a shallow bowl or container. (I use a square Tupperware made for holding sandwiches). Beat eggs thoroughly. Add vanilla and cinnamon. Beat into eggs. Beat in milk.
Working one slice of bread at a time, coat each side of bread in egg mixture. Place on a hot griddle heated to approximately 300 degrees. Cook until lightly brown, then flip and repeat. Serve toast hot with butter, syrup, powdered sugar, and jam. Very yummy, and fairly fast. Or make it for brinner. We love that at our house.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Peach Blackberry Trifle

Peaches will be coming on soon. They are one of our favorite treats around here. We usually get a bushel to can and a bushel to eat. Very yummy. Here is a easy and tasty dessert to use those fresh peaches. I used frozen blackberries and let them thaw on the counter for about 5 minutes before I assemble this dessert.

Peach Blackberry Trifle

1 yellow cake mix
4-5 cups fresh peaches, peeled and sliced
1 package of frozen blackberries
1 pint of heavy whipping cream

Bake yellow cake according to package directions. Let cool completely then cut into bit-sized pieces. Place peaches in a bowl and sprinkle with sugar. Let sit for 5 minutes before assembling dessert. Do the same thing with the blackberries. While the fruit sits, whip the cream. Add 1 tsp. vanilla and about1/2 c. sugar to cream after it starts to form soft peaks. You may want more or less sugar. Do it according to taste.
In a trifle bowl layer 1/2 of each of the ingredients in this order: cake, peaches, berries, then cream. Repeat until all ingredients are used. You are done. Easy as that. Dish into individual dishes, then eat and enjoy, but before you do, make everyone ooooo and aaaaaa over your pretty dessert!
This could also be done in individual dessert dishes.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Candied Chicken

This chicken is on of Grandma's classics. We had this at her house on lots ofs different occsions. I love it!
I served this chicken with steamed green beans. They are so tasty! I like the way they squeak when you eat them.

4 chicken breasts
1 1/2 c. water
1 1/2 c. brown sugar
1 Tbs. Worchestershire sauce
1 Tbs. soy saouce
1/2 c. green onions- chopped
1/4 c. prepared mustard
1/2 c. ketchup

Flour chicken breasts them brown over medium heat. Remove chicken from pan and place in a glass pyrex casserole dish. Set aside. Combine all other ingredients. Pour into and simmer in same pan that you browned the chicken in. Let simmer for 3 minutes. Pour of chicken in casserole. Place in a 250 degree oven and bake, uncovered, for 2 2/1 hours.
Modified (this is how I usually cook it): Brown chicken then pour combined sauce over chicken. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Remove cover and simmer for 10 more minutes.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yay, a new post! I did not intentionally take the whole summer off. It just happened. We had a super busy summer. But now the girls are back in school and I will maybe have some time to devote to food blogging. I'm sure the two of you who read this blog are really excited.

Anyway moving onto cookies. I found this cookie recipe back in February and have made them over and over. But we eat them so fast that I have never gotten a picture before. So the three cookies in this picture were held hostage for a day until I got around to taking some pictures. They are now long gone.
I got this recipe off all I read the comments and lots of people modified it. So I did the same. I changed from all white sugar to 1/2 white and 1/2 brown. And I also split the butter content in 1/2 and used some shortening because I like how chewy shortening makes cookies. I had never messed with a recipe like this before and it was kind of scary, but also very liberating. I have always heard that with baking, you have to be precise and don't estimate. But you can! And I did! And it was fun! So here you go: This recipe is fantastic! The cookies are chewy and rich. I like to make mine with mint chocolate chips, but they would also be good with white chocolate chips or semi-sweet. Enjoy!

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 c. butter
1 c. shortening
1 3/4 c. sugar
1 3/4 c. brown sugar
4 eggs
4 tsp. vanilla
5 c. flour
1 1/3 c. cocoa
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. chocolate chips of your choice

Blend butter and shortening well, them add sugars. Blend. Add eggs one at a time and mix well. Add vanilla and mix. Add dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Then add chocolate chips and mix gently. Place rounded tablespoons of dough (I really did about 1/8 c. per cookie. I like them big) on prepared cookie sheet and bake for 9-11 minutes at 350. Eat them hot with milk. Super yummy and gooey!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Smoky Beef Tacos

Once again, here is a recipe from Everyday Food. I seriously love this little magazine. It is very worth the $10 a year I pay for it.
I made this in a slow cooker (different that the original recipe). It was super easy, and turned out perfectly. Plus it made the house smell fantastic all day long.
Just another note: I was kind of leary of the chipotle chilies. I have never cooked with them before. Do not skip this step. They looked kind of scary coming out of the can but was so flavorful and delicious! I found them in the Hispanic section of my grocery store.


Serves 8

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 8 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 boneless beef chuck roast (about 3 pounds), excess fat trimmed
  • 16 corn tortillas (6-inch), lightly toasted
  • Roma tomato- diced
  • Cheddar cheese- shredded
  • Avocado-red onion relish-recipe follows
  • cilantro-lime crema-recipe follows


  1. Stir together chiles, ketchup, 1 cup water, garlic, oregano, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
  2. Cut beef into 4 equal pieces. Coat with chili mixture and place in a slow cooker
  3. Slow cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6-8 hours.
  4. Transfer beef to a bowl. With a large spoon, skim off and discard fat from cooking liquid. Shred beef with two forks; moisten with cooking liquid as needed. Season with salt and pepper. Serve beef with tortillas and desired toppings.
  5. To toast corn tortillas: warm a frying pan over medium heat. Spray with pan spray. One at a time slightly toast tortillas, flipping over for even toasting.

Avocado-Red Onion Relish

Makes 3 cups

  • 2 diced avocados
  • 1 finely chopped medium red onion
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Combine avocados, red onion, and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper.

Cilantro-Line Crema

  • 8 ounces reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1/8 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Stir together sour cream, lime juice, and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Crispy Chocolate Marshmallow Treats

Well, for any of you who know me you know that I can't stay away from the treats for long so here is another one for you. Again it is from Everyday Food, and they are super-yummy!

Crispy Chocolate Marshmallow Treats

6 Tbs. butter plus more for the pan
1 bag (10.5 oz) mini marshmallows
1/4 cl unsweetened cocoa
6 c. crisp rice cereal
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

1- Butter an 8-inch square baking dish. Set aside
2- In a large saucepan, combine butter, marshmallows, and cocoa. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until melted, about 6 minutes; stir in rice cereal. Press rice mixture into prepared pan; drizzle with melted chocolate. (I couldn't get mine to "drizzle". It blobbed. So I just spread it on like frosting). Let cool at room temp; cut into bars and serve. Yum!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Polish Mushroom Soup

So I once again stole a photo from the Martha Stewart website because we once again ate all the food before it had a photo opp. But here is the deal: this photo sucks! Sorry, Martha it is true. I guess I have no right to complain because after all, I should have taken my own picture, but come on. So I apologize for the crappy photo. But this soup is amazing! You may question it when you see the ingredients (sour cream in soup?) but it is so good!
This recipe has a few odd ingredients so I modified it slightly. Here is what I did: The recipe calls for Polish borowik and shiitake mushroom, but try finding those in Cache Valley, so I just used just over 1 pound of white button mushroom. I also don't keep beef stock around that much so I added boullion to 3 quarts of water and that seemed to work just fine. Now for orzo. For those of you who don't know what the crap that is (I didn't), it is a small seed-shapped pasta. They are sometimes called melon seeds. I found them in the Hispanic section in my grocery store.

Any other changes I noted on the recipe. Let me know if you try this. Shawn and I think this soup is fantastic. So did my girls and that is saying something where mushroom are concerned.

Polish Mushroom Soup

Serves 8 to 12

5 to 6 ounces (about 4 to 6) dried mushrooms such as Polish borowik or c├Ępes

12 large dried shiitake mushrooms

3 quarts beef stock

5 medium ribs of celery, chopped

2 large onions, chopped

5 carrots, chopped

1 pound white button mushrooms, sliced- I quarted the, becuase I think they taste better that way. Yes I know it is strange, but it is true.

2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped- I used 1 tsp dried parsely

2 tablespoons dill, finely chopped- I used 2 tsp. dried dill

1 tablespoon coarse salt

1 cup orzo

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons flour

1 cup sour cream

Table salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Rinse the dried mushrooms. Place mushrooms in 2 cups of cold water, and soak for at least 4 hours or overnight.

2. In a large pot, bring the stock to a simmer. Add the celery, onions, and carrots. Strain the dried mushrooms, reserving the soaking liquid. Add the strained soaking liquid to the soup. Chop the hydrated mushrooms into 1/4-inch pieces slightly larger than the diced vegetables, and add to the soup. Add the sliced white button mushrooms.

3. Cover, and cook the soup until the vegetables are tender, about an hour. Bring the soup to a boil. Stirring constantly, add the orzo. Reduce the heat to a gentle boil, and, stirring occasionally to prevent the pasta from sticking, cook until the orzo is cooked through, another 6 to 8 minutes.

4. Meanwhile melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour, and cook, stirring constantly until smooth, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove 1 cup of the broth from the soup, and add to the roux, whisking constantly until slightly thickened and free of lumps. Stir the thickened liquid into the soup. Add the chopped parsley and dill.

5. Finish the soup with sour cream: Add 1/4 cup of the thickened soup to the sour cream. Whisk until smooth. Add the sour cream to the soup, whisking constantly until it is well incorporated, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Barbecue Rub

So this isn't a full dish per se, but I think this rub is very versatile. Credit for this recipe goes to my brother, Mike. He may be my brother. . . but the guy can do meat! He is great a grilling, barbecuing, etc.
This rub really packs some punch (POW!) so consider yourself warned. That being said I love to use a lot of this rub when I grill chicken for fajitas, tacos, and BBQ pizza. I will thin slice (fajitas, tacos) or cube (pizza) the chicken, then really coat the chicken in this stuff. I'm talking like 1/4-1/2 a cup depending on how much meat I have.
You can also use it for blackened chicken. Take a whole breast of chicken and rub this spice all over it. Then grill or pan-brown your chicken over medium heat until done, and the rub is black. About 8-10 minutes per side.

Barbecue Rub

1/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. sweet paprika
3 Tbs. black pepper
3 Tbs. coarse salt- if using table salt, cut in half
1 Tbs. Hickory salt or more salt
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. celery seed
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 Tbs. mustard seed

Combine all ingredients well. Store in an air-tight container as you would other spices. This makes quite a bit so you could easily half this recipe.

This is not a great picture but it gives you an idea of what the meat looks like after it's cooked. We ate this meat like tacos: lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, lime juice (yum), cilantro, salsa, wrapped in flour tortillas. We ate it all up and I didn't get pictures. Sometimes I am just to hungry!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Cayenne-Rubbed Chicken with Avocado Salsa

Since some of you think I should get off the treats *cough* Becca *cough*, here a a great recipe that is super easy, healthy, and very yummy. I got this recipe from my Everyday Food magazine. It is my happy mail for the day.
We love avocados at our house. Even Syd and Brynn have acquired a taste for them. It really kind of disappoints me because that means that I have to share with them now. They thought this chicken was "kinda spicy, mom" but still ate it up with lots of water. They loved the avocado salsa. I didn't tell them about the onions. So tricky.
By the way, I love you Bec, and I was seriously going to post this today anyway. :)

Cayenne-Rubbed Chicken with Avocado Salsa

Coarse salt and ground pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (6-8 oz. each)
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
1 Hass avocado, pitted and cut into chunks

1- In a small bowl, combine 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and cayenne; rub all over chicken.
2- In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add chicken, and cook until browned on the outside and opaque throughout, 8-10 minutes per side.
3- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine onion and lime juice; set aside. Just before serving, fold avocado chunks into onion mixture; season with salt and pepper. Serve chicken topped with salsa.

If anyone can tell me how the picture has been photo-shopped, you will get bonus points that are good for. . . a surprise!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Nutella Frosted Cupcakes

Oh my goodness, I LOVE Nutella. I could eat it by the spoonful. Wait, I do eat it by the spoonful. It is just the perfect combination of chocolate and hazel-nutty goodness. But I have never tried baking with it before. I don't know why but the thought just never occurred to me. I came across this picture on Tastespotting (love that site) and decided I had to try these out. They turned out delicious and wonderful!

Nutella Self-Frosted Cupcakes
(I thought they turned out more the consistency and density of a muffin)

10 Tbsp. butter, softened
3/4 c. white sugar
3 large eggs, at room temp.
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 3/4 c. sifted flour
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
12 tsp. Nutella (1 tsp for each cupcake)

Line 12 muffin tins with paper liners.
Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add in eggs one at a time, until fully incorporated. Don't worry if the batter doesn't look smooth. Add vanillla. Stir in flour, salt, and baking powder until batter is uniform and no flour remains.
Using an ice cream scoop or spoon, fill each muffin liner with batter. They should be about 3/4 full. Top each supcake with 1 heaping teaspoon of Nutella. Swirl Nutella in with a toothpick, making sure to fold a bit of batter up over the Nutella.
Bake in a 325 degree oven for 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Watch carefully, I overbaked mine and they are dry. Very yummy, but dry. Remove to a wire rack and cool completely. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Southwestern Meatloaf Burger

I got this recipe out of Martha Stewart Everyday Food. I love that magazine! But I stole the picture off the website (sorry Martha). We ate this all up before I could take a picture. I have made these burgers several times before and they are a hit. The girls even like them. A spicy burger without a bun, but kind of like a thick slice of yummy meatloaf. And we all know how I feel about meatloaf! We had these with corn and a side salad. I'm sure the tortilla that Martha suggests would be good. We were out of tortillas. I really need to go grocery shopping.

Martha says "Glazing the burgers with chili sauce keeps them moist and adds extra flavor. Look for chili sauce (actually a spicy ketchup) in the condiments aisle of your grocery store. If you are making them ahead, store the burgers in the refrigerator until ready to use, up to overnight; otherwise, bake burgers as soon as they are formed. Serves 4."


  • 1 1/4 pounds ground beef chuck
  • 1/4 cup plain dried breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup (about 1 bunch) scallions, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons tomato-based chili sauce
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • Warmed tortillas, for serving (optional)
  • Pickled jalapeno slices, for garnish (optional)


  1. In a large bowl, combine beef, breadcrumbs, scallions, garlic, 1/2 cup chili sauce, egg, chili powder, cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Using your hands, mix just until combined; do not overmix.
  2. Divide beef into 4 equal portions. Form each portion into a 4-inch-diameter patty, about 1 1/2 inches thick. Place on a plate; cover tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until ready to use, up to overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees with rack in center. Transfer patties to a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until browned, about 15 minutes.
  4. Lightly brush tops and sides of patties with remaining 3 tablespoons chili sauce. Return to oven; cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into center registers 160 degrees. 5 to 10 minutes more. Serve immediately, with tortillas, jalapenos, and radishes, if desired.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Cranberry Pecan Muffins

I found this amazing little cookbook at Borders for, get this. . . $2. Can you believe that? It is a great little book. Full of good recipes and lots of pictures (I love seeing what things are suppose to turn out like) and a really good variety of muffins, cookies, and bar cookies. So here is one that I tried that was super yummy.

Cranberry Pecan Muffins

1 3/4 c. flour
1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. milk
1/4 c. butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
1 c. chopped fresh cranberries (I used frozen and they were great. Let them thaw on counter for about 5 minutes then coarsely chop.)
1/3 c. chopped pecan- we skipped the nuts because of Syd
1 tsp. grated lemon peel

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease muffin tins. I used mini-muffin tins.
Combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Combine milk, butter, and egg in a small bowl until blended; stir into flour mixture just until moistened. Fold in cranberries, pecans, and lemon peel. Spoon into prepared muffin cups, filling 2/3 full.
Bake 15-17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean. Remove from pans and cool on wire rack. These muffins are best served warm. We had them for breakfast. The muffins will keep several days if stored in an airtight container.
Makes about 36 mini muffins

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

One More Sandwich--The Ruben (Robyn Style)

A sandwich for those with strong tastes and strong noses!
Growing up I did not like this sandwich at all. I remember when my mom would pull out the sauerkraut and I would plug my nose and run! I still haven't convinced my husband or the kids that sauerkraut is yummy, but I guess that just leaves more for me. We make these whenever Dave is out of town on a business trip so he doesn't have to smell the cabbage.
You will need:
Bread (some like rye) I go for a good wheat or white
thousand island dressing
Swiss cheese
Prep bread with butter on one side. Put bread butter side down on griddle or frying pan--on medium heat. Layer pastrami, cheese, and sauerkraut on top of bread-in that order so the cheese binds the meat and kraut together. Place second piece of bread on top butter side up. Cook until cheese melts and bread browns then flip and brown the other side. Remove from pan--slather on thousand island dressing and layer on a good amount of pickles. Eat while hot! mmmm...............
For kids and husbands you can leave off the sauerkraut.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Meatloaf (Sandwich)

I love meatloaf sandwiches. Think what you will but it is true. The meatloaf, chilled and sliced, the pickles, the mustard, the soft white bread (this is a must). I love it all. I adore it. When there is leftover meatloaf in the fridge nobody dares go near it afraid of incurring my wrath if they eat it. I will make meatloaf just for the sandwiches. But I didn't make this meatloaf. . .

I have been sick. Coughing, headache, body aches, chills, fever, etc. My dad came over yesterday and took one look at me and said "You go back to bed. I will help the kids to their homework and make you a meatloaf." So I shuffled back down the hall in tears. (A good way to get me to cry is be nice to me). I'm not sure what brought the tears, the fact that I wouldn't have to do homework that night or that dad was making me MEATLOAF. It is just what a sick girl wants.

So thank you for the meatloaf dinner, dad. It was fabulous. So was the sandwich that I made for my lunch today. There is still enough left for one more tomorrow. So if you come over to my house, eat the cake, have some cookies, but stay away from the meatloaf!


1 1/2- 2 lbs. hamburger
1/4 c. onion- diced
4 slices bread
1/2 c. milk
2 eggs
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning or sage
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. dry mustard , or a squirt of regular mustard
1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce

In a Kitchen Aid mixer, or by hand combine bread, milk, and eggs. Mix well. Add remaining ingredients and combine well. Form into loaves. I like to make 2. Dad made 1 giant one.
Place in a Pyrex baking dish and add about 1/2 cup water to bottom of pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour. Slice and serve with ketchup, BBQ sauce, or relish.

For a Meatloaf Sandwich (Which I highly recommend)

Wrap any leftover meatloaf in plastic wrap and store in the fridge. Wait in great anticipation for lunch time the next day. When you can't stand it any more, gather up the meatloaf, white bread, dill pickles, mustard, mayo, and salt and pepper. Prep your bread with the mustard and mayo. Slice your meatloaf and stack it as thick or as thin as you like on the bread and top it with sliced dill pickles and salt and pepper to taste. Top with bread and slice the sandwich. Now you better find a chair because you are going to want to be sitting down when you eat this sandwich. I would suggest enjoying it with a Diet Pepsi. See, I told you it was good. Your house now has a new meatloaf hoarder too!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Avocado Salsa

Last month at book club the girls were raving about Julie's Avocado Salsa---so this past weekend when we were invited to a party I knew I would have to test out this recipe on the crowd. It was a hit!! This recipe makes a lot (a large mixing bowl full), but don't worry if you make it they will eat it.

Avocado Salsa

6 Roma tomatoes
3 Avocados chopped
3 green onions, or more chopped
1/2 bunch of chopped fresh cilantro
1- 11 oz can white shoe peg corn or Mexi corn
1- 15.8 oz can black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
8 oz of Zesty Italian Dressing
1 or 2 cloves garlic minced
1 or 2 Jalapeno peppers, chopped(seeds opt)

Combine tomatoes, green onions, cilantro, and corn in a large bowl. Add peas. Add avocados and gently stir in. Add zesty Italian dressing, garlic and peppers. Gently mix ingredients evenly with a large spoon. Serve with tortilla chips. Keep refrigerated for up to a week. Enjoy!
I used the shoe peg corn-I like the texture of it. I also used fat free dressing--no one even noticed.

Chicken Saltimbocca

I love to try new Crock-Pot recipes and this one is a keeper!
This is the picture from the actual cookbook (Taste of Homes), I could only wish that mine turned out this pretty. But it tastes wonderful and my kids loved it!
Chicken Saltimbocca
6 boneless chicken breasts
6 slices of deli ham
6 slices of Swiss cheese
1/4 c. flour
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
2 T. oil
1 can cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1/2 c. chicken broth
Hot cooked rice
Flatten chicken to 1/4 in. thickness. Top each piece with a slice of ham and cheese. Roll up tightly, securing them with toothpicks. Combine flour, cheese, salt & pepper in a bowl. Roll chicken in it and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Heat oil in a pan and brown the chicken on each side. Put into a crock-pot. Combine the soup and the chicken broth. Pour over the chicken and cook for 4-5 hours on low heat. Serve with rice.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Clam Chowder

It was cold in Louisiana today, 35 degrees. I know that doesn't seem cold for those of you in Utah and Idaho, but I was freezing. It was definitely soup weather and clam chowder sounded to good. The picture doesn't do it justice, but trust me it is YUMMY!

Grandma Lee's Clam Chowder

2 cans clams
1 c. chopped onion
1 c. chopped celery
2 cups chopped potatoes
3/4 c. butter
3/4 c. flour
1 qt. half and half
salt and pepper to taste

Put chopped vegetables in pan and drain clam juice on vegetables. Cover with enough water just to cover the vegetables. Simmer until tender. Set aside. Melt butter and add flour. Add half and half. Stir until blended. (this will be thick) Add juice and vegetables. Add clams. Serve hot.

*I used 1 pint of half and half and 1 pint milk

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Zuppa Tuscana Soup

A new post, finally! We recently went to California for a week with Shawn's family. While we were there we each took a night cooking dinner. My sis-in-law, Becca, made this awesome soup. So today she is our guest writer. So go make dinner tonight, Becca style. It's super easy as super yummy! Thanks for the great recipe Becca!

Yield: about 4-6 generous servings
6-9ish med-lg potatoes
2ish carrots, diced up super-tiny
2 cubes chicken bullion, "smooshed"
1 lb Italian sausage (I like Jimmy Dean the best.)
1/2 large onion, diced
1 can evaporated milk
1/2 cup milk
1/2 - 1 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese *divided
kale, de-stemmed and chopped
salt/pepper, to taste
Wash and slice potatoes (the thinner, the quicker they cook). Put in a large pot and cover with water. Toss in the carrots and chicken bullion, too. Boil until tender, stirring occassionally (to make sure they don't burn to the bottom). Using a potato masher, just mash up the potatoes a little in the water (sometimes my spoon does the trick, too).
While the potatoes boil, brown italian sausage and onions in a frying pan. Drain if desired (I don't.).
Put the sausage/onion mix into the potato pot. Add the evaporated milk, milk, Parm cheese and the kale. Add lots of pepper and salt to taste. Warm (don't boil at this point) until the kale is wilted a tiny bit and the whole thing is warm/hot.
Serve warm, sprinkled with even MORE Parmesan cheese... and ENJOY!
PS. I've also used like 2 tsp. of minced garlic in it, and it was yum that way, too.