Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Sister Emery's White Bread

2 packs yeast
3 cups warm water
2 Tbs. Sugar
1 Tbs. Salt
2 Tbs. Shortening
6 1/2 to 7 1/2 cups flour

Dissolve yeast into water.  Add shortening, salt, & sugar, then stir.  Add flour & stir until you can stir anymore, then knead for 8 minutes.  Let rise until double.  Form loaves and place on a greased cookie sheet.  Let rise for 10 minutes.  Bake for 25 minutes at 400 degrees (or until golden brown).  Rub with butter while still hot.  Serve immediately.
*makes two loaves

Cheeseburger Rice

1 lb. ground beef
1 3/4 cup water
2/3 cup ketchup
1 T. mustard
Salt & Pepper
2 cups minute rice
Shredded cheddar cheese

Brown hamburger.  Pour water, ketchup, mustard, & salt/pepper in with hamburger, and bring to a boil.  Add minute rice and stir.  Sprinkle cheese over mixture, then let simmer, covered, for 5 minutes.  Serve with your favorite vegetable on the side!

Thanksgiving Dressing/Stuffing

1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup butter
2 tsp. ground sage
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
8 cups dry bread pieces
1 cup chicken broth or water

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Melt butter and saute vegetables in the butter until slightly softened.  Add remaining ingredients except bread.  Pour mixture over bread crumbs and mix well.  Put stuffing in a well-greased baking dish.  Bake for 20-30 minutes, stirring mixture around occasionally so it doesn't burn the top and sides.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Easy Cornbread

Since ward Halloween parties are just around the corner, I thought I'd post a couple of our favorite cornbread recipes.   Here is the more traditional cornbread recipe, with a very different, but very tasty, casserole cornbread recipe posted below this one.

1 cup flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 c. cooking oil (can use less if desired)

Mix all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, then mix wet ingredients in separate bowl.  Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix together well.  Pour into greased 8 x 11 baking dish.  Bake at 425 degrees F for 20-25 minutes, until browned and toothpick/knife comes out cleanly when inserted in middle of bread.  Enjoy with some butter and honey.  It's also quite good w/ butter and maple syrup.

Corn Casserole

This one is more of a casserole than bread, but is also considered finger food.
1 can whole kernel corn
1 can creamed corn
1 box corn muffin mix (Jiffy is fine)
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1 stick butter, melted
Optional, to taste: 
diced green onions OR diced jalepenos
grated cheddar cheese

Drain off 1/2 of whole kernel corn liquid.  Mix everything together.  Pour into greased 8 x 11 baking dish (or the equivalent size you have).  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, until golden brown.
Delicious with some spicy chili! (see Major Cajone's chili recipe on this blog)

Homemade Rice and Roni

Courtesy of Paula Deen, with minor alterations.

1 Tbs. oil
1/2 pound pasta, vermicelli or spaghetti (I always use spaghetti)
1 cup long grain rice
1 small onion, chopped
1 Tbsp.  chopped fresh parsley leaves, or 1 tsp. dried parsley
2 cans chicken or beef broth
Salt and pepper to taste

Begin by placing the oil in a pot (not yet heated) and breaking the dried noodles into 1/2 to 1-inch pieces.  Turn on the heat and stir the noodles in the oil until they begin to brown slightly.  Add the rice, onion, parsley, salt & pepper to taste, and broth.  Stir mixture together, cover tightly, and cook as you would regular rice, approx. 20 minutes.  Fluff with a fork and serve alongside chicken or beef main course.

Fish and Sweet Potato Chips

For Fish:
Vegetable oil, for deep frying
2 cups rice flour (if you don't have this, regular all-purpose flour will work fine)
1 Tbs. baking powder
3 tsp. salt, plus more for seasoning
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
1 (12 oz.) can soda water (we've used Sprite in a crunch, and it was fine)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 (8 oz.) cod or haddock fillets, cut in 1/2 on an angle
              *We have used halibut and tilapia instead, and it was great.  We also cut the fish into strips instead of just in half.
1/2 cup rice flour, for dredging (or all-purpose flour)
Malt vinegar, for serving

For Chips:
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt, plus extra for sprinkling
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
For Chips:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.  Halve the sweet potatoes lengthwise and cut each half into long spears.  Place them on a sheet pan and toss with the olive oil.  Spread the potatoes in one layer.  Combine brown sugar, salt, and pepper, then sprinkle mixture on the potatoes.  Bake for 15 minutes, then turn with a spatula.  Bake another 5 to 10 minutes until lightly browned and tender inside.  Sprinkle lightly w/ salt, serve hot with or without ketchup.
While chips are baking, here is what you do with the FISH:
Heat 3 inches of oil in a deep fryer to 375 degrees F.  Alternatively, us a deep, heavy skillet.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and pepper.  Combine soda water and egg and pour into the flour mixture.  Whisk to a smooth batter.  Spread the 1/2 cup rice flour on a plate.  Dredge the fish pieces in the rice flour, then dip them into the batter, letting the excess drip off.

Carefully lower the battered fish into the bubbling oil.  Fry for 4 to fish minutes, until crispy and brown.  Remove the fryer basket and drain fish onto paper towels; season lightly with salt/pepper.  Serve with malt vinegar and/or tartar sauce.

Megan's Curry Chicken

A friend of mine made this for us when we came over for dinner, and I loved it and asked for the recipe.  Then I mentioned making it to a couple of other friends, and they asked for the recipe, so I thought I'd just post it for everyone.  Here ya go:

2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 cup mayonnaise
1 to 2 T. lemon juice
1 T. yellow curry (or to taste)
4 chicken breasts
2 cups broccoli florets
Shredded cheddar cheese, to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
Cooked rice (served on the side)

Mix soup, mayo, lemon juice, and curry in a bowl.  The lemon juice makes it tangy, so add more if you want it more tangy.  Same with the curry, if you like it less strong, do less, or more if you want more.  These are the measurements I like.  Also, if you would like the sauce a little runnier, add chicken broth until you reach the consistency desired.  Place chicken breasts in a greased baking dish with broccoli florets, then pour soup mixture over chicken and broccoli.  Top with amount of cheese desired and salt and pepper.  Bake at 350 for 40 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.  Serve with rice.
Serves 2-4.

Chicken Fajitas

Recipe courtesy of "Fast-Fix Meals", with a few alterations by me.

1 to 2 Tablespoons olive oil
4 to 6 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced
3 to 4 green bell peppers, sliced
2 red bell peppers, sliced
1 onion, sliced
1 to 2 T. chili powder
1/2 t. ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
1 16oz. can diced tomatoes, DO NOT DRAIN
1 16oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups cooked brown rice
10 8-inch flour tortillas
1/3 cup chopped cilantro

If you don't have cooked rice already on hand, start that cooking first.
Pour enough oil in a large skillet just to coat bottom; heat over medium-high heat.  Add chicken and cook just until no longer pink; add peppers, onion and seasonings.  Stir-fry until chicken is golden and vegetables are tender.  Add tomatoes with juice and black beans (check flavor here to see if more salt/pepper is needed).  Cook until liquid is evaporated; add rice and cilantro and stir together.  Place heaping spoonfuls of chicken mixture onto warm tortillas.  Add a dollop of sour cream and little grated cheese if desired.  Serves 6-8.

I make half of this recipe for our family and have plenty of left-overs.  
I also thought it was better to use more chicken (6 chicken breasts), rather than the lesser option (4 chicken breasts).
Kids enjoy it, though younger ones might find it easier to eat out of a bowl, with the tortilla on the side.    

Monday, July 12, 2010

Grilled Goodness

While we like to use our grill year-round, it's summertime and the perfect time to get out and fire it up.  I'm obviously not a photographer (though it is on my list of "to do's"), so it doesn't look as good as it could, but above are some of the grilled veggies and chicken that we had yesterday for dinner.  It's easy, fast, and wonderfully delish.  
Just a spray-down of olive oil, a good sprinkling of salt/pepper, and whatever you prefer for your chicken (here it was a dashing of Montreal chicken seasoning and lemon pepper), and there are your scrumptious grillings, ready for a prodigious amount of gobbling.

So I am encouraging you to get out and grill.  It's fun and easy to experiment with grilling, so come up with some good stuff and post your results (or let me know and I'll post them :-))!

Happy Grilling!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Jello Pudding Salad

Here's the recipe for the jello salad I used at the reunion. I've been getting a lot of delicious recipes from Jonna was in my home ward for a time. I just copied & pasted this right from her blog:

This jello pudding recipe, is quick, easy & delicious. The thing I like about this recipe, is you can use any flavor of jello & use any fruit you like. I’ve used raspberry jello with frozen raspberries & huckleberries in this picture. It’s really good with orange jello, pineapple chunks & mandarin oranges as well. I also like to sprinkle the top with nuts, before serving. Use your imagination!

1 Small package of Raspberry jello
1 Small pkg. vanilla pudding (not instant)
2 1/2 c. water
9 ounce Cool Whip
2 cups frozen raspberries, optional
1 cup huckleberries, optional

(Use any flavor jello & fruit you like)
Orange jello with mandarin oranges is very good
Bring to boil jello, pudding, and water. Cool completely, then fold in Cool Whip. Add fruit, then refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Shredded Chicken and Black Bean Tacos

This is a recipe of Emily's to which we've made a few changes to suit our family preferences.

              Shredded Chicken
4 chicken breasts (can be frozen or thawed)
1 1/2 cups Pace Medium Salsa
1/4 cup to 1/2 cup brown sugar (to taste)
           Black Beans
2 cans black beans, drained
1/2 cup corn (frozen or canned)
3/4 cup tomato juice
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/8 tsp. garlic
1/8 tsp. onion powder
1/8 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tbs. fresh cilantro, chopped finely (optional)
          Taco Additives
Romaine lettuce, shredded
Shredded cheddar cheese
Sour cream
Fresh tomatoes, chopped 

Place all of the shredded chicken ingredients in crockpot.  If using frozen chicken, cook on high for 4 hours, or low for 8 hours.  If using thawed chicken, cook on low for 4 hours. (crockpots vary, so you may have to adjust times or settings to suit your crockpot).  When chicken falls apart easily, it's done.  When it's done, shred chicken, then let simmer in the remaining juices for 10 minutes more or so.  (I find it easier to pull the chicken out of the crockpot onto a large cutting board for the shredding process rather than leaving it in the crockpot and reaching in to shred, but either way is fine as long as you put the chicken back in the crockpot to simmer)

About 15 minutes before serving time, put all of the Black Bean ingredients in a small pot on the stove, bring to a simmer over medium high heat (stirring occasionally), then reduce to low heat.  Place lid on beans, and let simmer until serving time.
While beans are simmering, chop up lettuce and tomatoes, and grate cheese if necessary.  

This is how we assemble, though you are free to go your own way:
1) Start with a warm tortilla
2) Spread a layer of sour cream on tortilla
3) Place a few forkfuls of chicken on sour cream
4) Sprinkle desired amount of cheese on chicken
5)  Put on a few spoonfuls of bean mixture 
6)  Top with lettuce and tomatoes

Feel free to eat with a fork! my tortilla will never close up , and the juicy beans and chicken are sufficiently wet to make quite a mess if you're holding it with your hands.  more power to ya though, whichever way you go!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Golden Grahams Snack Mix

I am not sure of the name of this one so I made it up. I got the recipe from a lady in our ward. I have had it a couple of times at her house. It is super simple and quick and I needed a pot luck dish to take to a party.

1 c Caro Syrup
1 c white sugar
1 1/2 sticks butter (3/4 c)

Stir together, bring to a boil for 2 minutes.

In a large bowl combine:
6 c rice check cereal
6 c golden graham cereal
1 c coconut
1/2 c sliced almonds

Pour the syrup over the cereal mix and stir until coated. Spread out on 2 large greased cookie sheets and let cool.

Blueberry French Toast Casserole

Blueberry French Toast Casserole
A delicious French toast bake with cream cheese and blueberry sauce
Cook Time: 55 minutes
12 slices white bread, crusts removed
1 package (8 ounces total) cream cheese
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, thawed
12 eggs
2 cups milk
1/3 cup maple syrup or other syrup
    1/2 cup sugar
    1 tablespoon cornstarch
    1/2 cup water
    2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
    1 tablespoon butter
      Cut bread into 1-in cubes; place half in a greased 13- x 9-i x 2-inch baking dish.
      Cut cream cheese into 1-inch cubes; place over bread. Top with blueberries and remaining bread. In a large bowl, beat eggs. Whisk in milk and syrup, blending well. Pour egg mixture over bread mixture. Cover and chill 8 hours or overnight. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Cover with foil and bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Uncover; bake 25-30 minutes more or until golden brown and the center is set.
      In a saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch; add water. Bring to a boil over medium heat; boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in blueberries; reduce heat. Simmer for 8-10 minutes or until berries have burst. Stir in butter until melted. Serve sauce with French toast.
      Serves 6 to 8
      I used a heavy white bread, but texas toast bread would be good too (I just can't get it in Florida) I followed the recipe just the way it was, but I think a little cinnamon and nutmeg added to the eggs would be good too. Maybe next time. I used both of these recipes at a brunch I had at my house last week. They were both hits.

      Breakfast Potato Casserole

      2 lbs frozen hash browns
      1/3 c chopped onions
      1/4 c butter or marg.
      chopped ham
      2 c shredded cheddar cheese
      1 c shredded swiss cheese or cheese slices
      8 eggs

      Press potatoes into greased 9x12 pan.
      Melt 1/4 c butter or marg, saute 1/3 c chopped onion (to taste)
      Pour over the potatoes
      Stir to break up 8 eggs, pour over the potatoes
      Cover with chopped ham
      Sprinkle cheese over the top of the casserole.
      Garnish with paprika is desired

      Bake uncovered for 45 min or until eggs are set.

      Friday, May 21, 2010

      Major Cajone's Chili

      This is a slightly altered version of a recipe I found on Food Network.  It's been my favorite chili so far!

      2 pounds pork sausage
      2 pounds ground beef
      4 jalapeno peppers, seeded and coarsely chopped
      1 green bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
      4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
      2 28oz. cans chili beans
      2 15oz. cans crushed tomatoes
      2 large onions, finely chopped
      1 28oz. can tomato sauce
      1 tablespoon black pepper
      3 tablespoons red chili powder
      1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
      1 generous cup ketchup
      4 dashes hot sauce (or to taste)
      3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
      1 cup water
      3 tablespoons sugar

      Brown sausage in a frying pan, then drain and add to a large pot.  Brown beef in frying pan, then drain and add to the sausage.  Add all remaining ingredients to pot and simmer for 4 to 6 hours for best results.

      For those who like it hot hot, use HOT sausage instead of regular, and Heinz Kickin' Hot Ketchup.  Also, instead of throwing out the jalapeno seeds, keep a few to add to the pot.  And then, adjust the "dashes" of hot sauce to pump it up further.  Simmering longer also helps to bring out the heat.

      Wednesday, May 12, 2010

      Cherry Fudge Cake

      Cherry Fudge Cake
      Serves: 12

      1 package devil's food cake mix
      1 can cherry pie filling
      2 large eggs
      1 teaspoon almond extract
      1 cup sugar
      1/3 cup milk
      5 tablespoons butter
      1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

      Preheat oven to 350°. Beat cake mix, pie filling, eggs, and almond extract for 1 minute. Pour into greased 9 x 13 pan. Bake for 27-30 minutes. Bring sugar, milk and butter to a boil. Boil 1 minute, stir in chocolate chips until smooth. Spread over warm cake.

      Monday, May 3, 2010

      Grandpa's Famous Waffles

      My Grandpa Goodsell always made these for us when we visited.  They were, by far, the BEST waffles I have ever had.  I just got the recipe from my mom last week and realized that not only are they the best-tasting and fluffiest waffles ever, but they are super easy as well!

      All you need is:
      1 c. flour (wheat or white, whichever you prefer)
      1/4 c. cracked wheat, soaked in water
      1/2 tsp. salt
      1/2 tsp. baking soda
      2 eggs, separated
      1 quart buttermilk
      A waffle iron, preheated

      All you do is:
      First put the cracked wheat into a small bowl and put enough water in the bowl to just barely cover the wheat, then set aside until later.  Put all dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl and mix together.  Separate the yoke from the white of the eggs, adding the yokes to the dry ingredients and the whites to a mixing bowl.  Beat egg whites until stiff, set aside.  Pour buttermilk into dry ingredients, stirring and adding more buttermilk until consistency is like cake batter (you probably won't need the whole quart).  Add the cracked wheat (no need to drain water) to the batter, and then fold in the egg whites.  Don't over-stir batter.  Cook up the batter in the waffle iron and enjoy with your favorite waffle toppings and a big glass of milk.  Be sure to think of how wonderful Grandpa Goodsell is while you glut yourself!

      *I don't currently own a mixer, so I haven't been separating the eggs and doing the fluffly egg-white step, but the waffles taste fine and are still pretty fluffy without it.  If you skip that step, just add the eggs to the dry ingredients, not mixing in until you pour the buttermilk in.

      Saturday, May 1, 2010

      Indoor S'mores

      This is way too delicious!

      2 T. butter
      2/3 c. light corn syrup
      1 10 oz. pkg milk chocolate chips
      1 tsp. vanilla
      3 c. mini marshmallows
      8 c. Golden Graham cereal

      Melt butter, corn syrup, choc chips over low heat in large pan. Once all melted smooth, stir in vanilla. Remove from heat and add cereal. Toss to coat. Add marshmallows and toss to coat. If you like the marshmallows a little melted, place back onto the warm burner while stirring. Press into buttered 9x13" pan and cool.

      Saturday, April 3, 2010

      Broccoli Casserole

      I haven't had this for a while, but I made it for a friend the other day and remembered how delicious it is.  It's a recipe my Mom made for us growing up; to me it's a wonderfully homey, feel-good meal.  Here is what you'll need:

      1 2lb. bag broccoli cuts
      1lb. regular ground sausage
      1 1/2 cans cream of mushroom soup
      1 1/2 cups white rice

      1. Cook rice on stove or in rice cooker according to package directions.
      2.  Brown sausage.
      3.  Cook broccoli according to package directions, and then drain all but about an 1/8 cup water.
      4.  Combine broccoli, sausage, and soup together in the pot you cooked the broccoli in, and heat through on stove.
      5.  Serve on or beside fluffed rice.

      You can serve this with baked potatoes instead of rice as well.  
      I've also put it with pasta and topped the mixture w/ cheese and baked it for 15 minutes.  It's a very versatile concoction, try something at let me know how it goes!  

      Thursday, March 25, 2010

      Creamy Strawberry Crepes

      Creamy Strawberry Crepes
      recipe image
      Submitted By: meliss
      Photo By: Kphoto
      Prep Time: 30 Minutes
      Cook Time: 30 Minutes
      Ready In: 1 Hour
      Servings: 6

      "These delicate crepes are rolled up with a fluffy cream cheese filling and sliced strawberries. Make these as a dessert treat during strawberry season, or for a fancy weekend brunch."
      3 eggs
      1/2 cup milk
      1/2 cup water
      3 tablespoons butter, melted
      3/4 cup all-purpose flour
      1/2 teaspoon salt
      1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese,
      1 1/4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
      1 tablespoon lemon juice
      1 teaspoon lemon zest
      1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
      1 cup heavy cream, whipped
      4 cups sliced strawberries
      1.Place the eggs, milk, water, melted butter, flour, and salt in the pitcher of a blender; blend until smooth.
      2.Heat a lightly oiled griddle or non-stick skillet over medium heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 2 tablespoons for each crepe. Tip and rotate pan to spread batter as thinly as possible. Flip over when the batter is set and the edges are beginning to brown. Cook until the other side begins to brown. Stack finished crepes on a plate, cover with a damp towel and set aside.
      3.Blend the cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla with an electric mixer until smooth. Gently fold in the whipped cream.
      4.To serve, fill each crepe with 1/4 cup sliced strawberries and 1/3 cup of the cream cheese filling, roll up and top with a small dollop of the cream cheese filling and more sliced strawberries.

      Can you believe that I was privileged to have yummy crepes twice this week. We served them to our YSA girls Tues night and then my V.T. invited her ladies plus the sister missionaries to her house for a brunch this morning. This is her recipe. I loved the cream cheese filling included in this recipe. She also had blueberries, nutella, whipped cream, granola, and vanilla yogurt for choices for fillings. My favorite was the fruit with the cream cheese spread. I also like to serve them with lemon juice and white sugar and roll them up.
      ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2010 Allrecipes.comPrinted from 3/25/2010

      Monday, March 22, 2010

      Budget menus

      I have asked one of the sisters in our ward to help another sister with some financial matters. She is working with her to eat more healthy and more frugally. She sent me this link that I thought looked interesting. I am putting it on the food blog as well as the regular blog so you can all find it if you want to explore it.

      Friday, March 19, 2010


      Beef mixture--
      1 lb. ground beef
      1/2 can chili beans or black beans
      1 Packet Taco seasoning
      1/4 green bell pepper, chopped
      1/4 onion chopped
      1/2 cup tomato sauce
      1 can diced tomatoes with green chiles
      1/2 cup rice
      1/2 tsp. cumin
      1/2 tsp. garlic
      1/4 tsp. chili powder
      1/4 tsp. onion powder
      1/2 tsp. salt
      Freshly ground black pepper (just eyeball it)
      About 1/2 cup water
      Enchilada sauce--
      1/2 cup butter
      1/2 cup flour
      8 oz. can tomato sauce
      2 tsp. chili powder
      1/4 tsp. garlic
      1 quart water & 6 chicken boullion cubes OR 1 quart (4 cups) chicken broth
      Additional Ingredients:
      2 or 3 cups grated cheddar cheese
      corn or flour tortillas

      Start with the rice because it takes the longest to cook. Drain the juice from the tomatoes into a measuring cup. Add enough water to the juice to get a cup of liquid (or if your rice needs more or less liquid, add to or take away some of the juice). Add liquid, rice, and all spices to pot or rice cooker and cook according to package directions.

      Meanwhile, chop up the onion and bell pepper for the beef mixture. Start browning the beef and add the onions after a few minutes. Once the beef is cooked, drain the fat, then add the rest of the ingredients and heat through. Turn to low heat.

      While the flavors are melding in the beef mixture and the rice is cooking, you can make the enchilada sauce. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add flour to the butter and stir until thoroughly integrated. Add tomato sauce and spices to butter/flour; mix well. Add water/broth and mix well, then let simmer on low heat.

      Once the rice is done, you can start assembling the enchiladas. First spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Then start with a layer of beef in each tortilla, then cheese, rice, and a spoonful of enchilada sauce. It might be trial and error on the first one or two tortillas to get the portions right. You don't want it to be too full, because you need to be able to close the tortilla and place in the pan open-side-down. Once you have the pan full, pour remaining enchilada sauce over the enchiladas, then top with plenty of cheese.

      Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbling. Makes one 9x13 pan full of enchiladas. Add a dollop of sour cream to your serving if desired.
      This is a good recipe to make with leftover taco stuff. If you make the rice/meat for tacos and have leftovers, this is really easy to make the next day, and the work is cut down by more than half!

      Homemade Salsa

      As per request, I am putting this salsa recipe on the blog. You can't beat homemade salsa flavor-wise, and it is FAR cheaper than buying ready-made salsa. However, this salsa doesn't keep nearly as long as salsa from the store, so you'll want to make sure you can eat it all up within a week if you're going to make it. I've never tried freezing it--I'm not sure it would be as good once thawed though. Anyway, here ya go!
      1 can diced tomatoes
      1 jalepeno, seeded and diced (if you like it spicy, put a few seeds in the salsa)
      1 green onion stalk or 1/2 an onion finely diced
      1/8 tsp. garlic
      A dash or two of chile powder
      1/2 tsp. season salt
      1/2 tbs. fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
      I don't often have cilantro when I decide to make salsa, but it's fine without it.

      Put tomatoes in a blender and hit the pulse button 2 or 3 times, just enough to make the tomato pieces smaller, but not pureed smooth (unless you don't like any chunks). Pour tomatoes into whatever container you plan on storing or serving it in. Chop up the onion and jalepeno and add to the tomatoes. Add the spices and give it a good stir. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips and maybe mix up some good guacamole to go along with it!
      (If you like chilled salsa, you might want to make this the night before and let it chill in the fridge overnight).

      Tuesday, March 2, 2010

      "Oh My Thighs"

      My sister-in-law has this recipe on her blog. I made it again last night and thought I should share this sinfully delicious dessert with you via blog :)

      1 pkg. brownie mix (I prefer Ghirardelli's triple chocolate brownie mix)
      1/2 pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chips
      1/2 cup peanut butter
      2 1/2 cups Rice crispy cereal

      Bake brownies according to package directions and BE SURE to NOT OVERCOOK them. Let them cool off a bit. In the meantime, melt chocolate chips (slowly, over very low heat), and add peanut butter to the melted chips. Once the peanut butter is thoroughly mixed into the chocolate, add the cereal and stir until it's well coated. Dump mixture over brownies and spread it out evenly over the brownies. Let cool on the counter, then cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to cool. Enjoy, but try not to eat the whole pan yourself!
      (My sister-in-law does a layer of melted marshmellows between the brownies and rice crispy mixture, but I like it better without the marshmellows. If you want to do the marshmellows this is what you do: after the brownies are baked, take them out of the oven and dump about 2 cups of marshmellows on brownies and spread out evenly. Put back in the oven until marshmellows start to brown. Let cool and follow the rest of the directions above).

      Macaroni and Cheese Deluxe

      1 1/2 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked
      1 c. cream-style cottage cheese
      1 c. sour cream
      2/3 c. cream cheese
      1 egg, beaten
      5 slices bacon
      3/4 t. salt
      1/2 t. pepper
      1/2 t. garlic powder
      8 oz. package shredded cheddar cheese
      Optional: 1/2 t. crushed red pepper flakes, a couple shakes of Tony Charere's creole seasoning, paprika to taste.

      Directions: Cook macaroni al dente, according to package directions; drain and set aside. While macaroni is cooking, cook bacon in a skillet until it is well-done (so that it will crumble easily); set aside to cool. Combine cottage cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, egg, and seasonings (minus the paprika). Crumble bacon and add to the cheese mixture. Combine the cooked macaroni and cheese mixture and stir until pasta is well coated. Transfer to a greased 13" x 9" baking pan. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes, or until heated through. Sprinkle with paprika if desired. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

      This is an excellent main or side dish. Jason LOVED it, and I'm pretty addicted as well. Ky couldn't get it into his mouth fast enough! Naomi was skeptical at first, but once she tried it, she ate all that I gave her :)

      Chicken Tortilla Soup

      2 cans diced tomatoes with green chiles
      2 cans chicken broth
      1 can refried beans
      1 can black beans, drained
      2/3 c. canned/frozen corn
      2 1/2 c. shredded chicken (I just use canned chicken if I'm in a hurry!)
      1/2 tsp. garlic powder
      1/4 tsp. cumin
      1/4 tsp. onion powder
      1/4 tsp. salt
      freshly ground black pepper to taste
      2 small limes, juiced
      handful chopped cilantro (amount is matter of personal preference)

      Combine broth, tomatoes, corn, and spices. Slowly work in the refried beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low heat; add chicken and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until chicken is heated through.  Add lime juice and cilantro to soup, stir into soup, then remove from heat and serve.  Optional toppings for individual servings: cheddar cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips, salsa, green onions, diced fresh jalepenos, etc.

      This was really good, and REALLY easy. I think I might add some diced, fresh jalepenos next time for some more heat. It's not really spicy at all, but it still is very flavorful.

      Thursday, February 18, 2010

      Italian Cream Cheese Chicken

      Italian Cream Cheese Chicken

      4 chicken breasts
      1 envelope Italian dressing mix (dry)
      1/4 cup water

      Put chicken, Italian dressing mix, and water in crock pot on high.
      Cook for 3 hours (good Sunday dish!)

      After 3 hours - in saucepan, warm through...

      1 - 8oz block of cream cheese (reduced fat)
      1 can of cream of chicken soup (reduced fat)
      1 - 4oz (drained) can mushrooms (if desired)

      Combine with cooked chicken in crock pot.

      Serve over rice or pasta.

      There are a number of variations of this recipe, I used mushroom soup instead of cream of chicken because that is what I had. I did add the mushrooms because I like them. You could also add some chopped red and/or green bell peppers to add some color. The cream cheese makes it so yummy. It is so easy to make and so nice to come home from church with the house smelling like dinner is ready.

      German Pancakes

      This is, quite possibly, Jason's favorite breakfast. He can eat a whole pan by himself, and that's saying something because he's not a big eater. This is the recipe I use, and so far it has been my favorite.

      German Pancakes:

      6 eggs
      1/4 tsp. salt (you can do more or less depending on your taste)
      2/3 cup milk
      2/3 cup flour
      6 Tbs. butter (about 2/3 of a cube of butter)
      Syrup and/or Honey

      Put butter in a baking dish (for this amount of batter, I like to use an 8x11 size dish). Preheat oven to 475 degrees, and put the butter right in (don't wait for it to heat up to 450 before you do this). Check on the butter every few minutes to make sure it doesn't start burning. In a blender, crack the 6 eggs, and add the flour, milk, and salt; mix well. Pull the butter out of the oven and pour the batter into the dish, then place back in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes or until puffy and browned well.

      We like our syrup hot, so we heat that up and drown our pancakes. I actually like to pour a little honey and syrup on mine (it's simply divine!). These are great for breakfast and dinner (and sometimes lunch!), though usually not in the same day :)

      Monday, February 15, 2010

      Outback Steakhouse's Alice Springs Chicken

      We've had this before a few times and it is AMAZING, so I don't know we haven't eaten it more, but we just made it again the other night, and it was even better than I remember. This is Todd Wilbur's version of the recipe, and it is not to shabby!

      Title: Outback Steakhouse Alice Springs Chicken
      Yield: 4 Servings


      1/2 c grey poupon dijon mustard
      1/2 c honey
      1 1/2 ts vegetable oil
      1/2 ts lemon juice
      ***THE REST***
      4 chicken breast halves-without skin; boneless
      1 tb vegetable oil
      2 c mushrooms; sliced
      2 tb butter
      salt and pepper; to taste
      paprika; to taste
      8 slices bacon; cooked
      1 c monterey jack cheese; shredded
      1 c cheddar cheese; shredded
      2 ts parsley; finely chopped


      Use an electric mixer to combine the Dijon mustard, honey, 1 1/2 teaspoons oil, and lemon juice in a small bowl. Whip the mixture for about 30 seconds. Pour about two-thirds of the marinade over the chicken breasts and marinate them, covered, in the refrigerator for about 2 hours. Chill the remaining marinade until later.

      After the chicken has marinated, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and heat up an oven proof frying pan large enough to hold all four breasts and 1
      tablespoon of oil over medium heat. (If you don't have an oven proof skillet, transfer
      the chicken to a baking dish for baking). Sear the chicken in the pan for 3 to 4 minutes per side or until golden brown. Remove the pan from the heat, but keep the chicken in the pan.

      As the chicken is cooking, in a small frying pan saute the sliced mushrooms in the butter.

      Brush each seared chicken breast with a little of the reserved honey mustard marinade (NOT the portion that the chicken soaked in), being sure to save a little extra that you can serve on the side later with the dish. Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and a dash of paprika.

      Stack two pieces of cooked bacon, crosswise, on each chicken breast. Spoon the sauteed mushrooms onto the bacon, being sure to coat each breast evenly.
      Spread 1/4 cup of Monterey Jack cheese onto each breast followed by 1/4 cup of cheddar.

      Bake the pan of prepared chicken breasts for 7 to 10 minutes or until the cheese is thoroughly melted and starting to bubble. Sprinkle each chicken breast with 1/2 teaspoon parsley before serving. Put extra honey mustard marinade into a small bowl to serve on the side.