Saturday, December 19, 2009

Oreo Snowmen Cupcakes

This is from one of my favorite recipe/craft blogs. Super cute idea, and VERY easy Christmas treat. I made them with cupcakes instead of Oreos.

This is what you need: white fudge covered oreos, black & orange decorating gel, and a few mini m&ms.

Start with a squiggly orange carrot nose...

Add some black coal eyes & a smile...

And if you want, you can add some earmuffs with more icing & some m&ms. Tada!!! All done, and cute as can be!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Cranberry-Orange Chex Mix

This is a traditional Christmas treat at our house. We gave it away to our neighbors this year too. This recipe makes 20 servings.

3 c. rice chex
3 c. wheat chex
3 c. corn chex
1 c. sliced almonds
1/4 c. butter
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. orange juice concentrate
1/2 c. dried cranberries

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
2. Combine chex & almonds in a large roasting pan.
3. In a microwaveable bowl, combine butter, sugar & OJ. Microwave for 30 seconds.
4. Pour over cereal & nuts. Mix well & cook uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring after 15 minutes.
5. Stir in cranberries & let cool.

**1/2 cup serving has 140 calories & 5g fat**

Monday, December 14, 2009

Avocado Salsa

2 tomatoes
1/2 cucumber
1 green onion
1 avocado
salt & pepper
2 c. cottage cheese

Chop up all of the veggies, slice the onion, and mix together with the salt and pepper. Serve over cottage cheese and eat with tortilla chips. Oh yum!

Saturday, December 12, 2009


1/2 lb. ground pork
1/2 lb. ground beef
8 oz. tofu
1 egg
1/4 yellow onion, grated
1 medium zucchini, grated
1 c. cabbage, sliced very thin
1 c. bean sprouts, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 t. salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 T. fresh chives, diced
2 packages of gyoza wrappers
Canola oil

Dipping Sauce:
1/4 c. soy sauce
1/4 c. water
2 T. sugar
1/4 t. black pepper

1. Combine onion, zucchini, cabbage, bean sprouts & salt in a bowl. Let sit for 30 minutes.
2. Put veggie mixture in a cheesecloth & squeeze out excess moisture. **This step is important, or you will have soggy gyoza!!!**
3. Combine veggies with pork, beef, tofu, garlic, chives & egg.
4. Separate a wrapper from the package, wet one half, spoon meat/veggies into wrapper & seal shut. **Make sure to seal the edges well**
5. Over medium heat, add 2 T. oil. Let it heat up until it sizzles when you put a gyoza in the pan. Brown on one side, pour 1 t. water into pan & cover immediately. Cook covered for a few minutes until the other side is browned.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Carbonara a la Ekstrom

This is our family's version of a classic Italian pasta dish. We make it spicy, but that's totally optional.

1/4 red onion, diced
1/2 bell pepper, diced
6 cloves garlic, sliced
6 slices bacon or pancetta
2 T. olive oil
2 t. basil
1 t. red pepper flakes (optional)
8 oz. penne pasta
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 c. parmesan
1/2 t. cayenne (optional)
1 tomato, diced

1. Boil water & cook pasta according to directions on box.
2. While pasta is cooking, saute bacon in oil for 2 minutes over medium-high heat.
3. Add onion & bell pepper & cook until almost tender.
4. Add garlic, red pepper & basil. Cook for 30 seconds, until fragrant.
5. Beat the eggs with the parmesan & cayenne.
6. Drain pasta & return to the pot. Add the veggie mixture & quickly stir in the eggs over low heat until cooked through.
7. Off of the heat, stir in the tomato. Garnish with fresh basil.

**This is quite spicy. If you don't like it hot, reduce or omit the red pepper & cayenne**

Monday, December 7, 2009

Apple Pie Oatmeal

I always want something warm on snowy days like today. When snow is's an oatmeal day at our house. Here's a new experiment I tried today. It tastes like apple pie for breakfast!

1 1/2 c. oatmeal
1 c. milk
1 c. water
1/4 t. salt
1/4 c. craisins
1 T. butter
1 lb. apples, peeled & diced
1/2 t. apple pie spice
1/4 c. water

1. Combine oatmeal, milk, water & salt. Cook on medium-low heat.
2. Melt butter in a separate pan. Add apples, spice & water. Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes.
3. Just before the oatmeal is done, add the apple mixture and cook an additional 5 minutes.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Moroccan-Style Stuffed Acorn Squash

I came across this recipe on a few weeks ago and couldn't wait to try it out. I love squash, and was happy to see it made into an entire meal.


2 large acorn squash, halved and seeded
Brown sugar


2 T. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 c. garbanzo beans, drained
1/2 c. raisins
1 1/2 T. cumin (Yep. That's a capital T.)
salt & pepper to taste
1 (14 oz.) can chicken broth
1 c. uncooked couscous

Place 1/4 inch of water in the bottom of a baking dish. Place squash cut sides down in baking dish and prick skins a few times with a fork. Bake at 400 degrees F for 30-40 minutes, until squash is tender. Turn skin side down and melt butter on squash flesh. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Leave in oven to keep warm.

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, carrots and celery. Cook about 5 minutes. Add garbanzo beans, raisins, cumin, salt and pepper. Continue to stir and cook until vegetables are tender. Add broth and couscous. Cover and turn off heat. Let stand 5 minutes for couscous to absorb liquid.

Place vegetable mixture inside squash halves. Makes 4 servings.

We loved this. I want to play around with the seasonings a little bit more, but it's good as is. My 3-year-old ate the stuffing without complaining too much. My 18-month-old ate more of it than I could. I don't know what that was about.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Rosemary Peasant Bread

1 pkg. yeast
1 T. sugar
1 1/2 c. warm water
2 T. rosemary
2 T. olive oil
1 T. salt
3 c. flour

1. Combine yeast, sugar, water, rosemary & olive oil. Let sit for 5 minutes.
2. Add flour and salt until dough forms. Do not overknead!
3. Let rise in a greased bowl for 1 1/2 hours until doubled in size.
4. Turn out onto cornmeal covered pizza/baking stone and let rise additional 30 minutes.
5. Brush with egg white & bake at 400 F for 30-35 minutes.
6. Serve with balsamic vinegar & olive oil for dipping.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Korean BBQ (Kalbi)

Anyone who has eaten Korean BBQ (and isn't vegetarian), LOVES kalbi. This is my mom's traditional recipe. YUM!!!

1 pkg of short ribs, cut lengthwise
1 c. water
1 c. soy sauce
1 c. sugar
1/4 of a yellow onion
6 cloves garlic
1 t. sesame oil
1 T. black pepper

1. Combine water, soy, sugar, onion, garlic, oil & pepper in a blender. Process until smooth.
2. Marinade ribs overnight. The longer the better!
3. Grill or broil in the oven & serve with rice.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Fish Tacos

1 T. paprika
1 t. cumin
1 t. sugar
1 t. salt
1/2 t. onion powder
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. pepper
1/8 t. cayenne
3 Tilapia Filets
Juice of 1 lime

1. Rinse the fish & pat dry.
2. Mix paprika, cumin, sugar, salt, onion & garlic powders, pepper & cayenne together in a small bowl.
3. Season the fish generously on both sides.
4. Heat canola oil in a skillet over medium to medium-high heat.
5. Cook fish for 3-4 minutes per side, until cooked through.
6. Remove from skillet, break apart & squeeze the juice from one lime.
7. Serve with cabbage, onions, tomatoes, salsa & guacamole.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Chocolate Trifle

This dessert is requested for just about every birthday in my extended family. It's also nice that I can make a reduced sugar version for my diabetic mother. I'll put the diabetic conversions in parenthesis.

1 box chocolate cake mix (reduced-sugar cake mix)
2 boxes chocolate pudding (sugar-free pudding)
2 c. milk
2 c. heavy cream
Chocolate syrup (sugar-free chocolate syrup)
1 container cool whip (sugar-free cool whip)
2 skor bars (Russell Stover's sugar-free chocolate toffee)

1. Prepare one box of pudding with two cups of milk & refrigerate.
2. Whip one box of pudding with two cups of heavy cream until stiff & refrigerate.
3. Bake cake mix according to directions on box. Let cool before cutting into 2-inch cubes.
4. Crush skor/toffee in a plastic baggie.
5. In a glass trifle dish, layer the cake, chocolate cream, and a drizzle of chocolate syrup.
6. Next, layer more cake, chocolate pudding, cool whip, and top with crushed toffee.

**You can use nuts if you don't like toffee or in addition**

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Famous Whole Wheat Bread

I know that many of you already have this recipe...but this is for those of you who don't. It's my mother-in-law's famous whole wheat bread. I just made some today (first time since summer began). It's oh so yummy!!!

2 1/2 c. warm water
1 1/2 T. yeast
1/4 c. honey
1 T. lecithin
3/4 T. dough enhancer
1/4 c. vital wheat gluten
5-6 c. whole wheat flour
3/4 T. salt

1. Combine water, yeast, honey, lecithin, dough enhancer & wheat gluten in a stand mixer. Let sit for a couple minutes.
2. Add two cups of flour and beat with cookie dough attachment for 5 minutes.
3. Switch to dough hook and slowly add the rest of the flour. Let knead for 5 minutes. Add salt with a little more flour. Let knead for 5 additional minutes.
4. Turn out dough onto a greased surface. Cut in half and form into loaves.
5. Let rise in well greased bread pans for 30 minutes.
6. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
7. Cool on a rack & spray bread with cooking spray.

**For a multi-grain bread, substitute 1 c. of flour for 1 c. of oatmeal or seven grain cereal**

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Beef Stew

This is another recipe from America's Test Kitchen, but I have modified it for crock pot use.

3-5 lb. chuck roast (1 inch cubes)
3 T. canola oil
2 onions, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. tomato paste
3 T. flour
2 c. chicken stock
1 t. thyme
2 bay leaves
1 can tomatoes (15 oz.)
5 medium potatoes (1 inch cubes)
4 carrots, sliced
1 c. frozen peas

1. Season beef with salt & pepper and brown in oil for 10 minutes. Remove & set aside.
2. Cook onions for 5 minutes until tender. Add garlic & tomato paste. Cook for 30 seconds.
3. Add flour and cook for 1 minute.
4. Add stock & herbs. Cook for 1 more minute.
5. Transfer everything to a crock pot. Add beef, tomatoes, potatoes & carrots. Cook on low for 6-8 hrs.
6. Stir in peas after done cooking.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Apple Crumble

I made this tonight for my in-laws & everyone loved it! It reminds me of a cobbler mixed with a crisp. A super easy, quick dessert to whip up.

1 box yellow cake mix
1 c. oats
1 stick butter, melted
6 c. cooking apples

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Peel, core & dice the apples.
3. Combine cake mix, oats & butter in a gallon ziploc bag. Shake until incorporated. Add apples.
4. Pour mixture into a greased 9x13 baking dish. Bake for 45 min.
5. Drizzle with caramel syrup & serve with vanilla ice cream.

Spaghetti for a Crowd

We eat a lot of Italian food. This is a staple in our household. I make one of these batches of sauce once or twice a month. It's good for a week, and you can use it for countless other things (lasagna, stuffed peppers, stew/soup, etc.) You can make it meatless for even more uses (pizza, eggplant or chicken parm, etc.) Basically, add it to any recipe that has a tomato base.

1 large can (102 oz.) of diced tomatoes
1 small can (6 oz.) of tomato paste
1 onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 head garlic, sliced
1 lb. ground beef, browned
1 t. salt
1/4 c. dried basil
1/3 c. dried parsley
1 T. granulated garlic
1 t. crushed red pepper flakes
6 oz. sweet potato puree (baby food)

1. Add all ingredients together in a large crock pot. Cook on high for 6-7 hrs.

**If you want a sauce with deep, long-cooked taste, cook on low for 12 hrs.**

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Giant Ginger Cookies

I love making these when autumn days come. My neighbor got the recipe from Better Homes and Gardens 1998 and passed it on to my mom before she died of cancer.

3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup shortening
2 cups sugar (I use some brown sugar)

Add and beat:
2 eggs
Add and cream:
1/2 cup molasses

Sift together and stir in:
4 1/2 cups flour ( I use 1-2 cups whole wheat)
4 tsp. ginger
2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. salt

Scoop by Tablespoonfuls, roll in granulated sugar or sprinkle with sugar and place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake 12-14 minutes at 350F, OR 10-12 minutes at 325F in convection oven. Makes 2-3 doz cookies.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Rosemary Dijon Pork Loin

This is a standard at our house. We love it! It doesn't hurt that we've had a huge rosemary bush in our backyard so it's fresh and there's plenty to spare (I'll miss my bush when we move next weekend!). The real trick is using a meat thermometer and following the temperature directions religiously. A good thermometer is worth the investment. Enjoy.

Rosemary Dijon Pork Loin

Recipe courtesy George Stella

  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 1 hr 20 min
  • Level: Easy
  • Serves: 8 servings
  • Ingredients

    • 1 (4-pound) boneless pork loin
    • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
    • 2 tablespoons chopped red onion
    • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped rosemary leaves, plus a few sprigs for garnish
    • Equipment: roasting pan


    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

    Trim any excess fat from the pork loin, leaving a thin-layer of fat over the top.

    Evenly rub the entire pork loin with the Dijon mustard followed by the onion, salt, pepper, and garlic. Make sure to really rub in the spices, and then sprinkle the

    rosemary evenly all over the top.

    Place the pork in roasting pan lined with a rack and roast for 20 minutes.

    Reduce the temperature to 300 degrees F, and continue roasting until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part reads 145 degrees F, about 1 hour more. Transfer the pork to a cutting board, cover loosely with foil, and let rest for 10 minutes. Slice and pork and arrange on a platter garnished with rosemary sprigs.

    Wednesday, September 9, 2009

    Scarce Eggs

    This was one of my family favorites for breakfast growing up (I can hardly believe it isn't posted here yet). I was telling a friend that Gabby (my 20 month old) will eat these every morning for breakfast if I let her. The plus is that they absorb less syrup than pancakes and have a lot more eggs in them (hence the name). They are a mix between a crepe and a pancake -- with lots of protein for my daughter who won't touch eggs. Gabby loves them with peanut butter and honey on them as well!

    6 eggs
    2 cups milk
    1/4 cup sugar
    2-2 1/2 cups flour
    1 tsp. salt
    2 T. oil

    Put eggs, milk, sugar, and salt in blender. Blend well. Add flour while blender is on. Add oil and bake on hot griddle. (Batter will be thin.)


    Saturday, August 29, 2009

    Kneader's Raspberry Bread Pudding

    Bread Mix:
    1 1/2 loaves white bread, cubed
    1 qt. heavy cream
    3 c. sugar
    1 egg
    1 t. vanilla

    Raspberry Sauce:
    5 c. frozen raspberries
    1 c. sugar
    1/2 c. apple juice

    Vanilla Glaze:
    1/2 c. butter
    2 T. flour
    1 1/2 c. heavy cream
    1 t. vanilla
    3 T. sugar

    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
    2. In a large bowl, combine cream, sugar, egg & vanilla. Add bread & let stand for 30 min.
    3. Combine raspberries, sugar & apple juice. Layer bread in a 9 x 13 baking dish with a raspberry layer in between.
    4. Bake for 40 min.
    5. For vanilla sauce, melt butter over med heat then add flour and cook until nutty & brown (10 min). Add cream, vanilla & sugar. Boil until thickened.
    6. Drizzle bread pudding with vanilla sauce & serve warm.

    **This recipe is SUPER rich! I cut down the sugar & substituted milk for cream in the bread mixture and half & half for the cream in the vanilla sauce and it was still awesome.**

    Cinnamon Raisin French Toast

    Try this is you haven't! We wanted french toast this morning, but had no white bread. We did however, have a loaf of cinnamon raisin bread. So we thought...might as well try it. Well, it was a great experiment, and may be our new fav french toast concoction to date. So give it a try! You'll thank me!!!

    Friday, August 28, 2009

    Onion Foccacia

    2 c. onion, sliced
    2 1/4 t. yeast
    1 T. sugar
    1 T. garlic
    1/4 c. olive oil
    1 c. warm water
    1 t. salt
    3 1/2 c. flour
    1 T. salt

    1. Combine yeast, sugar, garlic, 2 T. olive oil & warm water. Let sit 5 min.
    2. Add onions, flour & salt.
    3. Place dough in a greased bowl. Let rise for 1 1/2 hrs until doubled in size.
    4. Grease baking sheet & press down into sheet.
    5. Brush with olive oil & sprinkle with salt & pepper.
    6. Let rise for 1 more hour.
    7. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 min.


    8 oz. lean beef steak (any cut you have around)
    1/2 onion, sliced
    1 c. napa cabbage, sliced
    1 carrot, grated
    2 lb. yakisoba noodles
    1 c. water
    2 T. dashi moto
    1 T. soy sauce
    2 T. sugar
    1 t. sesame oil
    Salt, to taste

    1. Prepare noodles according to package.
    2. Saute steak until almost brown.
    3. Add onion & cook for 3 min.
    4. Add cabbage & carrot.
    5. Mix together water, dashi moto, soy sauce, sugar, & sesame oil.
    6. Add noodles & sauce to beef saute. Cook until liquid is absorbed.

    Peaches 'n Cream Pie

    Thank you Kraft for making quick & simple desserts that you can make when at the drop of a hat! This has saved me a couple times when I've forgotten to make a treat for some function.

    1 Nilla wafer (or graham cracker) crust
    1 pkg. orange Jello
    3/4 c. boiling water
    2 c. ice cubes
    1 1/2 c. Cool Whip
    1 c. peaches, chopped

    1. Dissolve jello in hot water.
    2. Add ice cubes & stir until slightly thickened.
    3. Remove unmelted ice & stir in cool whip until incorporated.
    4. Fold in peaches.
    5. Refrigerate for 3 hours until set.

    Moroccan Chicken & Grape Kabobs

    3 chicken breasts, in large cubes
    1 c. plain yogurt
    1 lemon, juiced & zested
    1/4 c. olive oil
    1/2 t. salt
    1/4 t. pepper
    1 T. mint
    1 T. cumin
    1 t. cumin
    1 lb. red seedless grapes

    1. Combine yogurt, lemon, oil, salt, pepper, & herbs.
    2. Marinade chicken for 30 min.
    3. Skewer chicken & grapes, alternating.
    4. Grill for 5 min. per side, or broil until chicken is golden brown.

    Greek-Style Stuffed Peppers

    I love this recipe from Ellie Krieger! It's a great way to use up the veggies from your garden during this time of year too!

    1 lb. ground beef
    10 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed & squeezed dry
    1 medium zucchini, grated
    1 small onion, minced
    1/2 c. bulghur
    1 egg, beaten
    1/2 t. oregano
    1/2 t. salt
    Black pepper
    3 bell pepper, halved lengthwise & cleaned out
    2 cans stewed tomatoes, chopped
    1/3 c. crumbled feta cheese

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
    2. Combine the beef, spinach, zucchini, onion, bulghur, egg, oregano, salt & pepper.
    3. Fill each pepper half with beef mixture. Top with tomatoes & sprinkle with feta cheese.
    4. Cover with foil and bake for 30 min.
    5. Uncover & bake for 25 min. more.

    Wednesday, July 29, 2009

    Grilled Chicken

    We always grill a lot of chicken in the summertime. I usually make double what we would eat at one meal so that I have quick, lean protein to add to wraps, sandwiches, salads & quesadillas. These are a few of our favorite combinations, but use whatever fresh herbs you have on hand.

    Marinade Options:
    1. Juice of a lemon, 1/4 c. olive oil, rosemary & basil, salt & pepper.
    2. Juice of 1-2 limes, 1/4 c. olive oil, cilantro & parsley, salt & pepper.
    3. Juice of 1 orange, 1/4 c. olive oil, thyme & parsley, salt & pepper.
    4. Juice of 1 grapefruit, 1/4 c. olive oil, rosemary, thyme & sage, salt & pepper.

    1. Marinade for 1 hour.
    2. Grill for 6-7 min. on each side over Medium heat.
    3. Let the meat rest for 5 min. (it will continue cooking) before serving.

    **We like to add onions & garlic to every marinade we prepare to make it more flavorful, but this is optional**

    Thursday, July 16, 2009

    Tomato & Mozzarella Tart

    I made this for my sis-in-law's baby shower & it was a big hit. Here is the recipe for all those who wanted it. It comes from the America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook.


    Unbleached all-purpose flour for work surface
    1 box of frozen puff pastry, thawed in box in refrigerator overnight
    1 large egg, beaten
    2 ounces grated parmesan cheese (about 1 cup)
    1 pound plum tomatoes (about 3 to 4 medium), sliced
    Kosher Salt
    2 medium cloves of garlic, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
    2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    Ground black pepper
    8 low moisture mozzarella, shredded (2 cups)
    2 tablespoons basil, fresh, shredded

    1. Preheat oven to 425 Degrees.
    2. Unfold thawed pastry & brush with beaten egg. Fold over edges to create a border around the tart.
    3. Poke pastry with a fork & bake for 12-15 min. until just starting to brown.
    4. While crust is baking, slice tomatoes, salt them, & let sit for 5 min. The salt causes the tomatoes to release their juices. Pat dry before placing tomatoes onto the crust.
    5. Remove crust, cut vent holes with a knife if air bubbles have formed & spread mozzarella on top. Layer tomatoes next.
    6. Combine garlic with oil & brush over tomatoes. Sprinkle with parmesan & bake for 15 min. more.
    7. Sprinkle with basil, cut & serve.

    **This dish is great served hot or at room temp**

    Monday, June 29, 2009

    Tofu & Beef Lettuce Wraps

    This recipe is from Ellie Krieger's show Healthy Appetite. The italicized items are ones that I've added.

    1 T. Chile Garlic Sauce
    1 1/2 t. Sesame Oil
    3 T. Soy Sauce
    2 T. Rice Vinegar
    1/4 c. Hoisin Sauce
    2 T. Agave Nectar
    2 T. Water
    8 oz. Firm Tofu, crumbled
    2 T. Canola Oil
    4 Scallions, chopped
    2 T. Fresh Ginger, minced
    1 T. Garlic, minced
    1/2 lb. Ground Beef
    1/2 c. Water Chestnuts, diced
    1 Red Bell Pepper, diced
    2 large Carrots, julienned
    1/4 c. Peanuts, chopped
    1 head Bibb Lettuce
    2 c. Brown Rice, cooked

    1. Combine first 7 ingredients to make the sauce.
    2. Saute scallion, garlic & ginger in oil. Add tofu & beef. Cook until beef is browned.
    3. Add sauce & reduce for 3-4 minutes.
    4. Stir in water chestnuts. Garnish with bell pepper, carrot & peanuts. Serve with rice.

    Serves 4: Calories 260; Total Fat 13 g; Protein 16 g; Carb 19 g; Fiber 5 g

    Saturday, June 27, 2009

    Greek Pasta Salad

    I made this for a ward party we're having tonight. If you like Greek salad, this is great!

    16 oz. Penne or Rotini pasta, cooked
    2 Tomatoes, chopped
    1 Bell Pepper, chopped
    1 Red Onion, chopped
    1 Cucumber, chopped
    1/2 c. Olives, sliced
    4 oz. Feta, crumbled
    3 T. Lemon Juice
    3 T. Red Wine Vinegar
    1/4 c. Olive Oil
    2 T. Whole Grain Mustard
    2 Garlic cloves, minced
    2 T. Parsley
    1 T. Oregano
    Salt & Pepper

    1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
    2. Chop up all veggies.
    3. Mix together lemon juice, vinegar, oil, mustard, garlic, parsley, oregano, salt & pepper.
    4. Combine all ingredients while pasta is warm. Refrigerate & serve cold.

    Friday, June 26, 2009

    Garden Pasta w/Sausage

    This is a quick and simple dinner. We use whatever we have in our garden (or fridge). Hope you like it!

    2 T. Olive Oil
    3 links Italian Sausage
    1 1/2 Red Onions, diced
    1 Red Bell Pepper, diced
    1 Zucchini, diced
    4 oz. Mushrooms, sliced
    8 medium Tomatoes, diced
    10 cloves Garlic, minced
    1 t. Salt
    1/4 t. Pepper
    Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
    1/2 c. Parmesan, shredded
    2 T. Balsamic Vinegar
    2 T. Fresh Parsley, chopped
    4 T. Fresh Basil, chopped

    1. Brown sausage in olive oil & drain fat
    2. Add onions, bell pepper & zucchini. Saute until tender.
    3. Add mushrooms & garlic. Cook 1 more minute.
    4. Add tomatoes, salt & pepper, red pepper flakes, parmesan, vinegar & herbs. Serve immediately.

    **You can also use grilled veggies in this. Yum!**

    Marshmallow Fondant

    This is the easiest fondant to make! And actually tastes good, unlike the store-bought variety.

    8 oz. Marshmallows (half a bag)
    2 T. Water
    1 t. Clear Vanilla
    1 lb. Powdered Sugar

    1. Microwave marshmallows & water in a very large bowl for 2 min.
    2. Stir in vanilla (if it's hot enough, it should sizzle) and slowly stir in powdered sugar.
    3. If the marshmallows stop accepting the powdered sugar, take the glob out and knead in the remaining sugar.

    **Do NOT use the sugar that is stuck to the sides of the bowl when kneading or you will have lumpy fondant!!!**

    Buttercream Icing

    I got this recipe from my cake decorating class. The texture of the icing is perfect! And it's easy to thin down, or thicken up for different designs!

    1 stick Butter
    1/2 c. Shortening
    1 t. Clear Vanilla
    2 T. Milk
    1 lb. Powdered Sugar

    1. Mix all ingredients together in a stand mixer on LOW until incorportated.

    **To make THICK frosting, add 3 T. Meringue Powder**
    **To make THIN frosting, add 2 T. Water until you're reached the desired consistency**

    Tuesday, June 23, 2009

    Mexican Lettuce Wraps

    I got this recipe from my Taste of Home magazine. It was submitted by a woman in Springville.

    3 c. cubed chicken breast
    1 can black beans, rinsed & drained
    1 medium tomato, chopped
    1 can green chiles
    1/2 c. salsa
    1/4 c. onion, chopped
    1/4 c. bell pepper, chopped
    1 T. lime juice
    1/2 t. cumin
    1/2 t. salt
    1/4 t. garlic powder
    1 medium avocado, chopped
    1/2 c. sour cream
    1 head iceberg lettuce

    1. Combine first 11 ingredients.
    2. Before serving, stir in avocado.
    3. Scoop 1/2 cup of chicken mixture into each lettuce leaf & top with 2 t. sour cream.

    **We also added some corn to the mixture to make it a little more "Tex Mex"**

    Summertime Muesli

    This is super easy, and really yummy! Plus, there's lots of fruit & fiber to keep you full.

    3 c. oats
    1 1/2 c. yogurt (we use vanilla)
    1 1/2 c. milk
    1/2 t. cinnamon
    2 T. honey
    1 1/2 c. sliced strawberries
    1 c. blueberries
    1 medium apple, chopped
    1/2 c. raisins

    1. Combine the oats with the yogurt, milk, cinnamon & honey.
    2. Fold in the fruit.
    3. Refrigerate overnight.

    Sunday, May 31, 2009

    Chicken Parmesan

    2 lb. chicken breasts
    3-4 T. all-purpose flour
    Salt & Pepper
    1 c. bread crumbs
    1/2 c. parmesan
    1 t. red pepper flakes
    1 garlic clove, minced
    3 oz. pine nuts, finely chopped
    2 eggs, beaten
    4 oz. shredded mozzarella

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    2. Lay out 3 large, flat bowls for dipping. Clean & dry chicken breasts.
    3. In the first bowl, season flour with salt & pepper.
    4. In the second bowl, beat the eggs.
    5. In the third bowl, mix together bread crumbs, parmesan, red pepper, garlic & pine nuts.
    6. Dip chicken in seasoned flour, then eggs, then bread crumb mixture.
    7. Pan fry in olive oil over medium heat until browned (3-4 min. on each side).
    8. Cover with marinara sauce & mozzarella. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 min.

    Basil Pesto

    We LOVE Italian food, and especially pesto. It's great on pasta, eggs, chicken, anything! Here is a classic recipe.

    2 c. Fresh Basil
    2 T. Parmesan
    1 clove Garlic
    1/2 t. Salt
    1/4 c. Olive Oil
    1/4 c. Pine Nuts
    Pepper, to taste

    1. Process all ingredients in your food processor while slowly drizzling in olive oil.

    **To store leftover pesto, cover with olive oil to create a hermetic seal**

    Bacon Dip

    This is a really easy & yummy dip to have out at your next BBQ.

    8 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled
    6 oz. cream cheese
    1/2 c. sour cream
    1/4 c. chives
    1 t. lemon juice
    1/2 t. salt
    Tabasco, to taste


    1 1/2 c. cooked chickpeas
    1/2 c. onion, minced
    2 T. parsley, chopped
    1 T. lemon juice
    2 t. garlic
    1 t. coriander
    1 t. cumin
    1 t. salt
    1/4 t. cayenne
    1/2 t. baking powder
    6+ T. flour

    1. Process all ingredients (except baking powder & flour) in a food processor.
    2. Add baking powder & flour
    3. Refrigerate for 20 min.
    4. Pan fry in hot olive oil.

    Swedish Pancakes

    This is one of our favorite breakfasts, and it only has 4 ingredients!!!

    3 eggs, separated
    3 T. sugar
    1 c. milk
    1 c. flour

    1. Beat egg whites with sugar until peaks form.
    2. Add milk, yolks, & flour.
    3. Cook in a pre-heated pan over medium-high heat.
    4. Spread inside with butter, dust with confectioners sugar & roll up.
    5. Serve with strawberries & whipped cream. Yum!!!

    Wednesday, May 20, 2009

    Turkey Chili (for 200)

    This recipe comes to you courtesy of the Soup Hags, a group of moms at one of the local elementary schools who take turns making soup for the whole campus once a week. It might be useful also for a family reunion or other large gathering.

    3 onions, chopped
    6 pounds ground turkey
    3 #10 cans chopped tomatoes
    2 #10 cans tomato sauce
    3 #10 cans pinto beans
    1 #10 can corn (optional)
    1 1/4 cups chili powder
    3 T garlic powder
    5 tsp salt
    1 tsp pepper
    2 #10 cans water

    Brown the turkey thoroughly, sauté onions, add remaining ingredients, and bring to a boil, stirring continually. Simmer for 15 minutes and serve (with optional corn chips, cheese, or other toppings).

    Wednesday, May 6, 2009

    Tex Mex Fiesta

    Since yesterday was Cinco de Mayo, I thought it fitting for this post. My mother-in-law made this once for a RS Birthday dinner and the whole family uses these recipes again and again. They are all so yummy!

    Corn & Bean Salsa

    1 can whole corn, drained & rinsed

    1 can black beans, drained & rinsed

    1 can black eyed peas, drained & rinsed

    1 green pepper, chopped

    ½ cup cilantro, chopped

    4 roma tomatoes, chopped

    ½ purple onion, chopped

    1-2 avocados, chopped

    1 pkg. Good Seasons Zesty Italian Dressing mix, prepared as directed.

    Mix together, serve with chips, ENJOY!

    Sweet Pulled Pork

    3-5 lbs. sirloin or boneless pork loin roast (cut larger roast in half or quarters)

    1 cup salsa

    1 cup packed brown sugar

    Place ingredients in a greased slow cooker. Cover with lid and cook on high for 6-8 hours until pork begins to fall apart. Shred pork using two forks. Do not drain liquid, it will be absorbed back into the shredded meat. Add 1 additional cup of salsa. Season with salt (1-2 tsp.) and pepper to taste. Turn crock pot to warm or low. Use meat in burritos, tacos or salads.

    Cilantro-Lime Rice

    1 cup uncooked long grain white rice

    1 tsp. butter

    2 cloves garlic, minced

    1 tsp. grated lime peel (zest)

    2 cups chicken broth

    Combine into saucepan and cook until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, about 20-30 minutes. Remove from heat.

    2 Tbl. freshly squeezed lime juice

    2 tsp. granulated sugar

    3 Tbl. fresh chopped cilantro

    Mix together in a bowl, pour over rice, mix together, and serve.

    Black Beans

    1 lb. pkg. dried black beans

    3-4 cups tomato juice or blended canned tomatoes

    4 Tbl. olive oil

    4 cloves garlic, minced

    1 Tbl. ground cumin

    1 tsp. salt

    ¼ cup fresh chopped cilantro

    Soak black beans overnight and cook as directed on pkg. Drain and rinse beans in a colander. In a non-stick skillet, cook garlic and cumin in olive oil over medium heat for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly. Add beans, tomato juice, and salt. Continue to stir until heated through. (Can be put into a crock pot on warm or low) Just before serving stir in chopped cilantro.

    Creamy Tomatillo Dressing

    2 cups light Ranch Salad Dressing

    1 cup tomatillo salsa

    2 Tbl. fresh chopped cilantro

    Mix together in blender until smooth. Refrigerate.

    Friday, May 1, 2009

    Greek Salad

    2 heads Romaine Lettuce, chopped
    1/2 English Cucumber, sliced
    1 large Tomato, sliced
    1/2 Red Onion, thinly sliced
    1 Bell Pepper, sliced
    Olives (whatever kind you prefer)
    Feta, crumbled (as much as you like)

    6 T. Lemon Juice
    2 clove Garlic, minced
    2 t. Salt
    2 t. Oregano
    1 t. Parsley
    1/2 C. Olive Oil

    Aunt Zelda's Dressing

    1/2 c. sugar
    4 T. white vinegar
    1 t. salt
    1 t. dry mustard
    1 t. celery salt
    1 t. paprika
    1 T. onion, minced
    2/3 c. canola oil

    1. Blend all of the ingredients, except the oil, until sugar dissolves.
    2. Slowly drizzle in oil.

    Sunday, April 26, 2009

    Honey Lime Enchiladas

    3/4 cup honey
    juice from 2 limes
    1 T chili powder
    1 /2 tsp garlic powder (or fresh garlic)
    1 tsp cumin
    1 pound chicken breast or tender, cooked and shredded
    8-10 flour tortillas
    1 pound monterey jack cheese, shredded
    16 ounces green enchilada sauce
    1 cup heavy cream (optional) I have never used it and they are still the best!!!
    Mix first 5 ingredients and toss with shredded chicken. Let marinate for at least 1/2 hour. Pour about 1/2 C enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Fill tortillas with chicken and shredded cheese, saving about 1 C cheese to sprinkle on top. Mix remaining enchilada sauce with the cream and leftover marinade. Pour sauce on top of enchiladas and sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 min. uncovered until brown and crispy on top.

    Thursday, April 23, 2009

    Banana Cream Pie

    We had our neighbor over for dinner tonight and made this for dessert. It's Ty's favorite pie.

    1/2 c. sugar
    1/4 c. corn starch
    1/8 t. salt
    5 egg yolks
    2 c. whole milk
    1/2 c. evaporated milk
    1 t. vanilla
    2 T. butter
    1 graham cracker pie crust
    2 bananas
    Whipped cream

    1. Whisk together sugar, corn starch, salt & egg yolks. Immediately add milks.
    2. Cook over medium heat until thickened, stirring often.
    3. Remove from heat, add vanilla & butter.
    4. Cover and let cool at least 30 minutes before transferring to pie crust.
    5. Put 1/2 of the custard in your pie crust, layer with banana slices, and top off with the other 1/2 of the custard.
    6. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Serve topped with whipped cream.

    **Putting the bananas in the middle keeps them from turning brown**

    Thursday, April 16, 2009

    White Bean Stew

    This soup is from Rachael Ray's mag. It's a great way to use leftover spaghetti sauce. We had it for dinner tonight.

    1/2 lb. potatoes, cubed
    1 T. olive oil
    1/2 lb. Italian sausage
    2 cans cannellini beans, rinsed
    3 c. spaghetti sauce
    2 c. chicken broth
    4 t. herbs de provence
    Veggies from your fridge (I used carrots, onion & zucchini)
    Salt & Pepper to taste

    1. Boil the potatoes in water for 15 minutes. Drain.
    2. Cook sausage in olive oil until browned.
    3. Add beans, potatoes, spaghetti sauce, broth, herbs & veggies.
    4. Simmer 20 minutes, or until thickened.
    5. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

    **This is great with a little Parmesan on top**

    Sweet Potato Soup

    Sorry it's been so long since a new post. It's been a little crazy at our house between Easter and potty training. So since it's been so cold & snowy in Utah lately, I thought this simple soup would be a great post.

    1 T. olive oil
    1 onion, diced
    1 bell pepper, diced
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    1 inch ginger, grated
    2 sweet potatoes, cubed
    Pinch of cayenne
    3 c. veggie or chicken stock
    1 can diced tomatoes
    1 t. creamy peanut butter
    1 T. honey

    1. Saute onion & bell pepper in olive oil until tender. Add garlic & ginger. Cook 30 seconds longer.
    2. Add sweet potatoes, cayenne, stock & tomatoes and simmer until potatoes are tender.
    3. Puree soup in blender. Stir in peanut butter & honey.

    Thursday, April 9, 2009

    Texas Two-Step Slaw

    We're headed to one of the first barbecues of the season (sorry all of you still stuck in cold) and pulled out my favorite salad crowd-pleaser and thought I'd share. Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

    Makes: 8 (1 cup) servings
    Prep Time: 15 min

    4 cups shredded green cabbage
    1 cup shredded red cabbage
    1/4 cup chopped red onion
    2 jalapeño chiles, seeded, finely chopped*
    2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
    1 (11-oz.) can Green Giant® Mexicorn® Whole Kernel Corn, Red and Green Peppers, drained (I often just use a can of corn and a jar of pimentos)
    4 oz. (1 cup) shredded Cheddar cheese
    Fresh cilantro sprigs

    3/4 cup prepared ranch salad dressing
    1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
    1 teaspoon cumin

    Preparation Directions

    1. In large bowl, combine all salad ingredients except cilantro sprigs; mix well.
    2. In small bowl, combine all dressing ingredients; blend well. Pour over salad; toss to coat. Serve immediately or refrigerate until serving time. Garnish with cilantro.

    Truth: I really add about double the amount of cabbage, green and red -- and sometimes more. I still use the same amount of dressing and I think there is plenty!

    Friday, April 3, 2009

    Rockin' Moroccan Pita (for a night when 15 minutes is all you have!)

    I've made this recipe a couple of times. It's not a best seller . . . but it's pretty impressive for those nights you only have a few minutes! You cook the chicken (about 5 minutes) and the rest is served cold. So easy. Disclaimer . . . I love garbanzo beans. If you don't, you won't like this recipe. (I found this on a can of Bush's Garbanzo Beans . . . shhh . . don't tell).

    Preparation time: 15 minutes
    Cooking time: 5 minutes

    1 tablespoon ground cumin
    1 teaspoon chili powder
    1 pound chicken breast, cut in 1-inch cubes
    4 tablespoons olive oil
    ¼ cup lemon juice
    2 cans (16 ounces) BUSH'S BEST Garbanzo Beans, rinsed and drained
    3 green onions, thinly sliced
    1 red bell pepper, diced
    ¼ cup chopped parsley
    6 pita pockets
    Plain yogurt*
    Salt and pepper, to taste

    Combine cumin and chili powder in a plastic bag. Add chicken and shake to coat.

    Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken; cook 5 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink, stirring frequently. Take off heat, set aside to cool.

    Mix remaining ingredients except pita pockets, in bowl. Stir in chicken. Add salt and pepper.

    Cut top off pitas to open. Divide chicken mixture among the pitas; top with yogurt, if desired. (We love the plain yogurt -- very Mediterranean.)

    * Sour cream may be substituted

    Wednesday, April 1, 2009

    Roasted Garlic & Red Bell Pepper Dip

    This recipe is from Emeril with a few of my own adjustments :) Serve this dip with fresh veggies (zucchini, cucumbers, celery, carrots, etc.) or with homemade pita chips (recipe below).

    Dip Ingredients:
    2 red bell peppers, roasted & peeled
    2 heads garlic, roasted
    1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
    2 T. fresh lemon juice
    8 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese
    3 T. fresh basil
    1 t. fresh oregano
    1/4 t. red pepper flakes

    1. Roast the peppers over an open flame or broiler until skin is black & blistered. Place in a bowl & cover with plastic wrap for 10 min. Peel blackened skin off.
    2. Chop off upper quarter of each head of garlic. Drizzle with olive oil & season with salt & pepper. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 min. or until golden & tender.
    3. Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.

    Pita Chip Ingredients:
    6 pitas, cut into triangles
    1/2 t. garlic powder
    1 t. kosher salt
    Pinch cayenne pepper
    1/2 t. cumin
    1 t. dry oregano
    2 T. olive oil

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    2. Mix spices together in a bowl.
    3. Toss pitas in olive oil and sprinkle with seasonings.
    4. Bake for 10-15 min. or until golden & crisp.

    **If you don't have pitas, you can use soft tortillas instead**

    Monday, March 23, 2009

    Best Protein Shake

    I got this shake from Gwenyth Paltrow's website/blog ( It is the best protein shake I've had and keeps me full all day! A great way to get a lot of protein (28g) and sustain you if you're on a diet.

    1 scoop 100% whey protein
    1 scoop progreens (vegetable) protein
    1 1/2 c. almond milk
    1/2 c. blueberries
    or for variety
    1 scoop 100% whey protein
    1 scoop progreens (vegetable) protein
    1 1/2 c. rice milk
    1/2 c. strawberries
    1/2 banana

    Blend all ingredients until smooth.

    **You can find all the protein powders & almond milk at any health food store.**

    Friday, March 20, 2009

    Turkish Lamb & Rice

    We have this little Mediterranean cookbook that we found on the bargain shelf at the bookstore. It only cost $4.00, but it has provided us with many tasty recipes.

    1 T. olive oil
    1 onion, finely chopped
    1 t. cinnamon
    2 t. cumin
    1 t. coriander
    10 oz. long grain rice
    2 c. chicken stock
    1 lb. ground lamb
    1/2 t. allspice
    2 T. olive oil, extra
    2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
    3 T. pistachios, chopped
    2 T. currants or raisins
    2 T. fresh cilantro, chopped

    1. Saute onion in olive oil for 2-3 min, until soft. Stir in 1/2 t. cinnamon, 1 t. cumin & 1/2 t. coriander.
    2. Stir in rice and add stock. Bring to boil, reduce & simmer, covered for 15 min.
    3. Season lamb with allspice, and remaining cumin, cinnamon & coriander. Roll into walnut-size balls.
    4. Heat the extra oil and fry mealballs for 5 min over medium heat. Add tomato & cook 3 min more.
    5. Combine rice with meatballs. Stir in pistachios & currants. Garnish with cilantro.

    Wednesday, March 18, 2009

    Quinoa Pilaf

    If you've never used quinoa before, you've been missing out. It's a South American grain that's been around for 6,000 years! It's full of protein, fiber, iron & amino acids. This pilaf is a great accompaniment for chicken, pork, or fish.

    1 c. Quinoa
    2 c. Stock (vegetable or chicken)
    1 t. Olive Oil
    1/2 Yellow Onion, diced
    1/4 c. Pinenuts, toasted
    2 T. Fresh Parsley, chopped
    Salt & Pepper, to taste

    1. Toast pinenuts in a hot, dry pan until fragrant. Reserve until the end.
    2. Saute onion in olive oil until tender.
    3. Add quinoa & stock. Bring to a boil, reduce & simmer until liquid is absorbed (15-20 min).
    4. Fluff up quinoa with a fork, stir in pinenuts & parsley.

    Serves 6.
    Calories: 180; Protein: 6g; Carb: 23g; Fiber: 2g