Thursday, September 23, 2010

Kitchen Redo

So I know that I have been woefully ignoring my food blog. I am well aware that summer is over. So I offer up this excuse. I have been painting my kitchen. Most of you who look at this blog have already seen the pictures but go here for the whole story.
Here is the before:

And here is the after:

So there is my excuse. I have been busy painting. And we have been eating lots of microwaved corn dogs. In a few days Shawn and I are heading to Mexico for a week. But I promise some new posts after we get back for our trip. Have a good week, friends!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Summer Break

So, I have to admit that my heart has not been into food blogging lately. For this reason, (and because of camps, swimming lessons, vacations, reunions, etc.) I am going to take the summer off from posting. Other contributors, please feel free to post if you want to. I will take a few months off and come back in the fall recharged and ready to blog like crazy. If you need a foodie fix, look at my sidebar for some really good food blogs. And if you care to know what I am up to this summer you can check out my family blog where I will continue to post.
Hope you all have a great summer!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Homemade Pizza

Oh man, I feel bad for the lack of posting lately. My life has been taken over by soccer games and sick babies. But life is looking up: Baby is feeling better and only one more week of soccer. I love watching the girls play soccer but the time commitment is intense! I owe a thanks to my mom for running me all over the place to play soccer. Thanks mom!
So, homemade pizza. I love to make this. It is one of those meals that brings back great memories of cooking with my mom. She would pan out the dough while I grated the cheese. Then we would help mom top the pizzas. I don't think I even knew about Little Caesars until I was in middle school. I thought homemade was the only way to do it. This recipe does take some planning ahead of time. I like to do it on the weekend when I have time to enjoy cooking. With school getting out soon, maybe we will have a pizza party.

Homemade Pizza Dough

1 c. warm water
1 Tbs. yeast
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. vegetable oil
3 1/2 c. flour
Sprinkle yeast and sugar into warm water measured into a large mixing bowl. Stir until dissolved. Let set until yeast starts to raise, about 10 minutes. Add salt, oil, 2 c. flour, and mix thoroughly. Add additional 1 1/2 c. flour, Knead dough until smooth and elastic, about 8-10 minutes. Place in a greased bowl and let raise until double, about 45 minutes.
Punch down dough and divide into 2 balls. Place in a greased pizza pan or cookie sheet and press to fit. Half the dough will made a 12-inch pizza, or a small cookie sheet. On each pizza spread with half of pizza sauce.

Pizza Sauce

1 can tomato sauce
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. salt1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. pepper

Heat in a small saucepan until warm.

Top pizza's with mozzarella cheese and your favorite toppings. Place pizza in a 400 degree oven and bake until crust is browned and cheese is bubbly, about 15 minutes.

Topping Ideas:

Canadian bacon
green peppers
You can really use anything you have lying around. Be creative!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Ashley's Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe comes to you courtesy of my sis-in-law Ashley. These cookies are very yummy and the recipe is super easy. The secret ingredient is instant pudding. It makes these cookies very moist and chewy, which is just what I like in a chocolate chipper. You can also use chocolate pudding instead of vanilla and have yourself some chocolate, chocolate chip cookies.
Also this recipe makes a reasonable 3 dozen cookies, unlike my mom's recipe which makes 6-7 dozen. This recipe will not take you all afternoon to whip up.
Thanks Ash!

Ashley's Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 c. butter
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. white sugar
1 pkg. 3.4-oz. instant vanilla pudding2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 c. flour1 tsp. soda
2 c. chocolate chips
Cream butter, sugar, pudding. Add eggs one at a time. Beat in vanilla. Combine flour and soda. Gradually add. Stir in chocolate chips. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Eat and enjoy!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Chicken Parmesan with Spaghetti in Galic Oil

Another fantastic recipe from Everyday Food. It is suppose to be a lighter version of regular chicken Parmesan. Love it! This meal came together really quite fast and was super tasty. The kids loved it too. Claire kept saying "More meat, Mommy?"Note: I had never made my own bread crumbs before. But I found it super-easy. Just break the bread up into smallish pieces and pulse it in a blender. They were really good!

Chicken Parmesan

2 slices bread, broken into smallish pieces
1 Tbs. grated Parmesan cheese1 tsp. olive oil
salt and pepper2 Tbs. flour
1 egg white4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3/4 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
prepared spaghetti sauce
1 garlic clove

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil; set aside. In a food processor, place bread, Parmesan, olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Pulse processor until coarse crumbs form; transfer to a small bowl. Place flour in a shallow bowl. Place egg white in a third shallow bowl and beat until frothy.Dip top side of chicken in flour, and shake off excess. Dip the same side of the chicken in the egg white, letting the excess drip off. Then dip chicken in breadcrumbs, pressing to adhere. Bread only one side of chicken. Transfer chicken to the prepared cookie sheet with breaded side up. Bake until breadcrumbs are crisp and browned, 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven; sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees and continue baking until chicken is opaque throughout and cheese is lightly browned, 6-8 more minutes.Meanwhile in a separate pan, heat up the spaghetti sauce. Simmer until warm. Serve chicken with a generous amount of sauce. Place sauce on the plate them place chicken on top of sauce.

Spaghetti with Garlic Oil

8 ounces spaghetti
2 tsp. olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 c. onion, minced
1/4 c. fresh parsley leaves

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook spaghetti until al dente. Reserve 1/4 c. pasta water. Drain pasta and set aside.
In the pasta pot, heat oil, garlic, and onion over medium heat until garlic and onions begin to brown, about 2 minutes. Add reserved pasta water, then spaghetti and parsley, season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Serve with chicken and enjoy!

Monday, March 15, 2010

"Fried" Ice Cream

First of all, I apologize for the lack of posting. I have been very obsessed with sewing lately so I have been ignoring this poor little blog. Come over and I will show you what I have been up to! But for today, I have banned myself from the sewing machine to get caught up on a few things. A new post is one of those things.
A while back, my mom-in-law, Julie, was home for the weekend so the family go together for dinner at my house. We had Smoky Beef Tacos. We also had a easy and fabulous dessert: This dessert reminds me of the ice cream we used to get at that mexican restaurant in Teton Village. I can't remember the name right now. Come on Robyn, help me out. What is that place called? Update: I remembered. It is called Vista Grande. Very good food.

"Fried" Ice Cream

2 quarts vanilla ice cream
2 c. shredded, sweetened coconut
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
honey for topping

Tightly wrap a cookie sheet with plastic wrap. The plastic wrap will not be touching the bottom of the cookie sheet. Scoop ice cream into balls and place individual balls on plastic wrap. When the cookie sheet is full place in freezer and let ice cream freeze well.

Meanwhile, mix coconut and cinnamon together. Spread on a cookie sheet and toast in a 200 degree oven for about 20 minutes, stirring about every 5-7 minutes. Let cool.
Take ice cream balls from freezer and rool them in the coconut mixture until well coated. Place back in freezer until they are good and frozen. All of this can be done ahead of time.

To serve, place a couple of ice cream balls on a plate and drizzle with honey. So yummy! Try the honey. Trust me, you will like it. It goes remarkably well with the ice cream.
Hope you enjoy.
Jon, this post is dedicated to you. Sorry it took so long my friend!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Mom's Chocolate Chip Cookies

I know there are a ton of chocolate chip cookies out there. I have made lots of different recipes but the recipe my mom made when we were kids continues to be my favorite. I could literally eat 2 dozen of these babies without even blinking. Maybe that is why I bake them, then immediately bag them up and throw them in the freezer. But that might also explain why I have such a fondness for frozen cookies. Hmmm. . .

Mom's Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 c. shortening
1 c. butter
2 c. white sugar
2 c. brown sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
6 1/2 c. flour
1 bag chocolate chips

Cream shortening and butter together. Add sugars to butter mixture and combine well, scrapping down sides of the bowl as necessary. Add eggs one at a time, beating between each. Add vanilla, salt, and soda. Combine well. Add flour, 2 cups at a time. Mix well between each addition. Add chocolate chips, and stir to combine. This time I added a bag a M&M's to make them Valentine festive.
Place rounded Tbs. of dough on greased cookie sheets. I like to roll the dough into balls so the cookies turn out very uniform looking. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes. I bake mine for 9 minutes. I like my cookies very soft in the middle. If you like yours more crispy, bake them a couple minutes longer. Cool on a rack, but be sure to eat a couple hot.

This recipe make a ton of cookies, about 6-7 dozen. I always figured if you're going to make cookies, make cookies! But this recipe cam easily be halved. These cookies freeze very well, as noted above. Hope you enjoy! And happy Valentine's Day.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Grandma's Cinnamon Rolls

I decided it was high time to do a post on Grandma's cinnamon rolls. This was probably her most well-known and well-loved recipe. One of the best things I remember about going to Grandma's house is that she would always make you feel special. One of the ways she did this was by serving you cinnamon rolls for breakfast. I mean, who gets to eat cinnamon rolls for breakfast at home? She would always frost them and put a little pat of butter on them and then heat them up just a little bit. Then she would serve them to you on a pretty plate with a napkin and always a place mat. This is probably my favorite recipe of Grandma's. So here you are: Grandma's Cinnamon Rolls.

Hey all you family out there: What about you? What is your favorite recipe of Grandma's?

Grandma's Cinnamon Rolls

A note from Grandma: "These take about 4 hours to make. Let them raise properly. I usually double this recipe"

2 c. scalded milk
1 c. shortening
1 c. sugar
2 Tbs. yeast
4 beaten eggs
1 1/2 tsp. salt
Flour- enough to make a spongy dough (this is somewhere around 8 cups)

Mix milk, shortening, and sugar in a saucepan. Heat to a simmer. Cool until warm. You can set the hot pan over ice cubes to speed up the cooling process. Don't get it too cold, just nice and warm, or the yeast won't rise. Add yeast. Let raise for 1/2 hour. Add eggs and salt. Mix well. Make a sponge by adding flour. It should be about the consistency of a thick pancake batter. Let raise for 1/2 hour then mix in enough flour to make the dough the consistency of roll dough. Turn dough into a greased bowl and let it raise until double.
Divide dough in half. Roll dough out into a rectangle that is about 1/2 inch thick. Spread with melted butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Roll up long end into a log. Slice into 1-inch pieces. An easy way to slice the rolls is to use a piece of dental floss.Place pieces on a greased or parchment-lined cookie sheet. Cover with a dish cloth and put in a warm place. Let rolls raise until double in size. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. Move to a cooling rack. Frost while still warm. Eat and enjoy!
Don't frost the rolls you aren't going to eat immediately. If you are going to freeze them, let them cool completely. Place flat in a bread bag to freeze.
A few notes: This dough has a very different texture to it than regular bread dough, so be prepared for that. The first time I made these it freaked me out.
I will often prepare the dough to the point where you put it in a greased bowl. I will then put the bowl in the fridge and let the dough raise slowly overnight. This makes the process a little less overwhelming. If you do this remember to let the dough get to room temperature before trying to work with it.
Grandma never specified how much butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon to use. So I would say, use good judgment. I have found not going overboard actually works to your favor.
A final note form Grandma: "Have fun!"

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Chicken Korma and Garlic Naan

I was first introduced to Indian food by my brother and sister-in-law Derek and Becca. They told us that they had found this awesome restaurant that was run out of a gas station by USU. I was skeptical to say the least. But they got us take-out one night and we tried it. I have been hooked ever since. Just the smell of Indian food makes my mouth water. I love the smell, the fact that they put golden raisins and cashews in stuff, and the naan! Oh man!
So I have tried several times to reproduce my favorite dish: chicken korma. This recipe is a compilation of 3 different recipes and I think it is very close to what I get in that little gas station restaurant. Becca, this post is dedicated to you, my friend. Thanks for helping me branch out!
One more thing: this recipe calls for a lot of random spices that I don't have laying around my kitchen. As we all know spices are expensive. You buy the expensive spice and you are left with a whole container that you only use 2-3 times a year. And spices don't last forever, right? Well I found the perfect solution: The bulk spice section at Smith's Marketplace. It is the coolest thing! You just measure out the amount of whatever spice you need and take it home in a little baggie. Cheap, no waste, I love it! Try it out. They had everything I was looking for in this recipe.

Chicken Korma

fresh ginger- 1 2-inch piece
5 cloves garlic
1/4 c. water
1 1/2 tsp garam masala (picture below)
1 can coconut milk (found in the Asian food section)
1 Tbs. coriander powder
1 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (this was HOT. I would probably add less next time. Shawn thought it was perfect).
1/2 tsp. salt
3 bay leaves
7 cardamom pods (picture below)
1 cinnamon stick
2 whole cloves
1/4 tsp. cumin seeds (picture below)
2 onions- peeled and diced
1/2 c. cilantro- chopped, plus more for garnish
2-3 pounds chicken breast- diced (tip: only partially thaw your chicken and dice it frozen. It makes it much easier to work with.)
1 c. golden raisins
1 1/2 c. plain yogurt
1 c. cashews
Jasmine rice (picture below)

Garam masala is a combination of ground spices that are often used in Indian cooking.

Cumin seeds

Cardamom pods. Very aromatic. Remember to remove before serving.

Jasmine rice. This rice is aromatic and delicious. I think is tastes quite different from Basmati rice, which we eat more often. We love both kinds!

So are you totally overwhelmed just reading the ingredients list? Don't be! It is totally worth it. I listed the ingredients in the order that you combine them together. Hopefully that was helpful. OK, here we go.
1. Peel ginger and garlic. Combine ginger and garlic with water and process in a food processor until smooth. I don't have a food processor so I minced the garlic, zested the ginger and combined them all. This seemed to work just fine. Set this mixture aside.
2. Combine coconut milk, garam masala, coriander powder, cayenne pepper, and salt. Set aside.
3. In a large skillet, heat 2-3 Tbs. olive oil. When hot, add bay leaves, cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, cloves, cumin seeds, onion, and cilantro. Saute until onions are soft and transparent. Remove cardamom pods and cloves.
4. Add diced chicken to this mixture and saute until chicken is brown.
5. To chicken, add garlic/ginger paste and golden raisins. Combine and saute 1-2 minutes.
6. Now add the coconut milk mixture to the pan. Turn heat to medium and cook 20 minutes.
7. Add yogurt and cashews to chicken. Cook 7-8 minutes. Remove bay leaves and cinnamon stick.
8. Serve hot over jasmine rice. Garnish with cilantro.
So, so yummy!

Garlic Naan

This is a traditional Indian bread. Naan is cooked in a tandoor, or cylindrical clay oven. The bread is cooked by throwing it onto the side of the oven. Since I don't have a tandoor I cooked my bread on a cooling rack placed on a cookie sheet. I put it under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, turned it and cooked the other side. This seemed to work pretty well.

1 Tbs. yeast
1 c. warm water
1/4 c. sugar
3 Tbs. milk (some other recipes said you could use yogurt instead of milk. It might be interesting to try).
1 egg, beaten
2 tsp salt
4 1/2 c. flour, approximately
4 cloves minced garlic, divided in half
1/4 c. butter, melted

In a large bowl (I used my Kitchen Aid), dissolve sugar and yeast in warm water. Let stand about 10 mintues or until yeast raises. Refer to this post for more direction. Add milk, egg, salt, 2 cloves of minced garlic, and enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead 6-8 minutes or until smooth. Place dough in a greased bowl and let raise until double.
2. Punch down dough and divide into 8-10 balls. Working with one dough ball at a time, using a rolling pin or your hands, roll dough into a oval shape until it is about 1/2 inch thick. Place on greased cooling rack. Combine melted butter and 2 cloves minced garlic.Brush dough with this mixture. Repeat with other dough balls.
3.Place under oven broiler 2-3 minutes, watching carefully. My rack was in the very middle of my oven. When bread is brown and bubbly, turn and broil other side.
4. Remove from oven and serve immediately with chicken korma and rice.

Here is the order I suggest doing everything in to make sure it is all hot at ready to serve at the same time.

1. Make naan dough. Let raise 1 hour.
2. While naan is raising begin cooking the korma.
3. When you reach the end of step 6 with the korma, punch down the naan dough and roll it out. Get it all ready to put in to oven but don't put it in yet. Also start rice at this point. I love my rice cooker for this. I can start it and walk away.
4. Do step 7 for korma. While it finishes cooking, bake the naan.
5. Make your husband set the table. You are busy.
6. Now everything is done and hot! Eat and enjoy. Breath spicy korma/garlic breath on your husband, then eat some more.

Please forgive me for the super-long post. I hope you are not put off from trying this dish by the length of it. It does take a while to make this meal, but none of it is complicated. I would allow yourself a good hour to cook this dinner. Please let me know if you try it. I would love to know what you think!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Hot & Sour Chicken Soup

(not my picture...mine didn't turn out)

I tried this out tonight and my kids really liked it! It's good and fast to make (approx. 30 minutes)

Hot & Sour Chicken Soup - from allrecipes Cookbook

3 c. chicken broth

1/2 c. water

2 c. sliced fresh mushrooms

1/2 c. sliced bamboo shoots, drained

2 t. grated fresh ginger

2 cloves garlic, crushed

2 t. soy sauce

1/4 t. red pepper flakes

Add all these ingredients into a big soup pot. Bring to a boil then reduce to low and cover and simmer.

1 lb. boneless chicken, cut into thin strips

1 T. sesame oil

2 green onions, chopped

3 T. red wine vinegar

2 T. cornstarch

1 egg, beaten

Place the chicken in a bowl and drizzle with the sesame oil. Stir to coat. In a separate bowl, mix the cornstarch and vinegar. Return the broth to a boil. Add the chicken and return to a boil. Drizzle the egg into the broth while stirring. Stir in the cornstarch mixture. Simmer over medium heat until chicken is cooked. Serve with green onions.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

White Bread

Baking bread has always kind of scared me. Yeasty anything has kind of scared me. I got this great little recipe from my friend Trudy. I have been making it quite a bit lately. It is easy and so yummy. It took quite a bit of the scariness out of bread-making.

Yummy White Bread

2 c. hot water
1/2 c. sugar or water
2/3 c. milk
1/4 c. butter- melted
3 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. dry yeast
7-8 c. flour

Combine hot water, sugar/honey, butter, milk, and salt in a large bowl. I use my Kitchen Aid for this recipe. Sprinkle in yeast, stir until wet and then let rise, about 20 mintues. It will look like a puffy sponge when is raises.

Put in 4 cups of flour and mix thoroughly- it will be wet. Add the rest of the flour one cup at a time until the dough reaches a nice elastic consistency. Knead or machine mix(with a dough hook) for about 10 minutes. Place in a large greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let raise until double, about 45 min. I have had a terrible time getting things to raise, but I finally figured out a great trick. Turn on your oven light when you start preparing the dough. It makes the oven a perfect temperature for raising dough.

After dough has doubled in size, punch it down (I think this is so fun), knead lightly and let raise again until double. (45 minutes). Punch down then dump onto a floured surface and knead. Divide into 4 equal portions and form into loaves. Place in greased loaf pans. Place back in oven and cover with a towel. Let raise until double in size (45 minutes). When dough has doubled, take bread out of the oven (very important!) and heat oven to 350 degrees. When oven in preheated bake bread for 20-30 minutes until brown. When bread is done, remove from pan and let cool on a rack. Be sure to eat some of it hot with butter. So, so yummy!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

What to do (or not) with those dried bean soup mixes

Okay so this post may be kind of lame: dinner out of a bag. But I am kind of pissed at dried bean mixes right now. So you all get a lame post.
We (meaning mainly Shawn) cooked a ham for Christmas. It was a butt (butt hee, hee) roast and it was awesome. We carved all the meat off of it and froze the bone. I had grand plans for soup and fitness. After we froze said ham bone we proceeded to eat like pigs for the next 2 weeks. Ugh, I feel like crap!
So with fitness and ham bone in mind I went to the grocery store and bought a 15 bean soup mix. You know, the kind that come in a bag, dried beans with a little flavor packet. That is what I bought. I was excited to kick off our new healthy eating with some wholesome and tasty soup.
So I followed the package directions. I put the beans in a large stock pot with 2 quarts of water and let them soak overnight. I let them soak more like 12 hours. Then the package said the drain the beans and cover with 2 quarts of fresh water and simmer for 2 1/2 hours.Here we get to the part of what you DO NOT do with bean soup. DO NOT do as the package says and then go off to take your Sunday afternoon nap. You will come back to your bean soup boiled dry in your Grandma's favorite, very good, stock pot. You will have to throw out said bean soup and maybe yell at your husband just a little. Babe, I'm sorry, it wasn't you it was the soup I was mad at, or maybe the nap, or maybe the smell. Burnt beans stink. Then you will have to start dinner over again on a Fast Sunday when you haven't eaten all day. Bummer.
So here is what you really need to do:

  • Cover beans with 2 quarts of water and soak overnight. That part is sound advise.
  • Rinse the beans with cold water. Several times. There is a reason for this. It cuts down on flatulence problems later on. Rinsing the beans washes off a sugar molecule which our stomachs cannot digest. That is where bean toots come from. Who knew? Thank you wikipedia, and Shawn.
  • Return beans to stock post and cover with 4 1/2 quarts fresh water. 2 quarts is not nearly enough. Dumb directions. Also add any meat you are using at this point. We added the ham bone and then were going to remove it before adding spices. It is in the garbage now. You can also use 1 lb diced ham or sausage. If you use sausage, cook it first. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer for 2-2 1/2 hours.
  • After simmer time is over, add 2 cans of stewed tomatoes, 1/2-1 c diced onion, 2 garlic cloves-minced, 1 tsp. chili powder (I added more than this), and salt and pepper to taste. I also threw in the seasoning packet from the bean mix. This is where I must confess that there were not actually any beans in my bean soup. I burnt them all up. I just happened to have a can of dried soup base mix from the LDS cannery in my basement. It had pasta, rice, and lentils in it. So no beans, but we pretended and practiced our bean toots anyway.
  • After adding seasoning, simmer soup for another 20-30 minutes. Serve hot with bread sticks, because that would be yummy. We also topped ours with Parmesan cheese because we had it and Parm makes everything taste better.
So I have rambled, but I feel much better. Here is a ingredients recap:

Bean Soup with Ham

1 bag of dried bean soup mix
1 ham bone- if you happen to have one laying around
1 lb. ham or sausage (if using sausage, fry it up)
2 can stewed tomatoes
1/2-1 c. diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. chili powder
salt and pepper to taste

Follow above directions, especially the nap part. By all means take a nap, I love naps, but not while your soup is cooking. Enjoy your soup.

By the way I got a new camera for Christmas. A Canon Rebel T1i. Doesn't it take great pictures?