Monday, December 15, 2008

Banana Cake

1 7/8 Cup Flour
1 1/2 Cup Sugar
3/4 tsp Salt
1 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
3/4 Cup Margarine
1 1/2 Cup Smashed Bananas
3 Eggs

Mix flour, sugar, salt & baking soda. Add margarine. Cut into flour. Mash bananas w/fork and add to flour along with beaten eggs. Fold in quickly. Place in greased/floured rounds. Drop on counter. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or less depending on your pans. Watch it closely to make sure it doesn't burn.


1 Cup Powdered Sugar
4 oz. Cream Cheese
1/2 Stick Softened Butter
1 tsp Vanilla

Monday, November 24, 2008

Oatmeal Carmelitas

I found this recipe the other day and it looked heavenly so I thought I would pass it along. Also, it says you can use whole wheat flour instead of white if you choose, which I always try to do. Enjoy!

2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups quick cooking oats
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter melted
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup walnuts chopped
2 oz creamy caramel sauce(in a jar)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 pan. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add melted butter; stir to combine. Press 1/2 of batter into the bottom of the baking pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips and walnuts. Drizzle carmel sauce over top and crumble remaining oat mixture evenly of top, patting down lightly. Bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes or until top is golden brown. Cool before cutting.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Longhorn brunch casserole

My sister Barbara made this amazing breakfast casserole for us when we were visiting her in CA this last summer. It was so yummy that I thought you would all want it!

1 Lb. Jimmy Dean regular or hot sausage
2-4 oz. can green chilies
1 lb. longhorn cheese, grated
1 lb. monterey Jack cheese, grated
9 eggs beaten
1 cup milk
2 TB flour

Brown sausage and drain well on paper towels. In a lightly greased 9X13 pyrex baking dish, layer sausage with cheese and chilies. Combine eggs, milk, and fllour in a food processor or blender. Pour over sausage, etc. in pan. Sprinkle with paprika and bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes. Serves 10-12
The thing that was cool about this was that there were only four of us and so we ate it for several days, just warming up a square in the microwave. So you could even make the whole batch and then freeze it in small squares and just have it once in awhile for a special breakfast treat. It is different than the bread one we all have, a nice change.

Butternut Bisque

This recipe was made up one day when we were craving some butternut squash soup. Everyone really loved it, so hopefully you will too!

1 medim butternut squash peeled and chopped
1 large sweet potatoe peeled and chopped
3 large apples peeled and chopped
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Cover vegetables in pot with chicken broth, (I used two 32 ounce cardboard containers from Costco)
Bring to a boil, turn down to medium and cook till very tender. Puree with a hand blender in the pot and then blend in 3/4 cup sour cream. Add salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!

papaya Talapia

I made this up for dinner at Ben and Molly's when Reagan was born because they had a ripe papaya to use up, and everyone raved, so I decided I would pass it on!

Put 4-6 (costco talapia fillets, just what I used) in a 9X13 pan. Lightly sprinkle with olive oil and squeeze the juice of 1 lemon on them and a 2 inch piece of fresh ginger finely chopped. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Saute, until tender, in a large skillet in a little olive oil:
1/2 c large onion chopped
6 sliced mushrooms
4 medium tomatoes chopped
1/3 c chopped cilantro
1/4 c chopped green pepper
Mix together 1 cup chicken broth and 1 juice box full of apple juice, (sorry, they had juice boxes handy) add 1 scant TB of flour and whisk till mixed.
Slice papaya in half and deseed - slice half of it in thin slices and lay on talapia with 1 cup chopped pea pods to about 1/2 inch, clipping the pointy ends. With a braun blender or hand blender or just your regular blender, smoosh up the other half papaya with the broth and apple juice and add to sauteed mixture. Pour over fish and bake at 350 just until fish is opaque, about 20 min.

German Red Cabbage

This is an old family favorite that I made for Danielle and Jordan after she had our new baby, Skyler! She requested this!

1 whole red cabbage
4 small or 3 mediium apples
1 medium onion
1/4 cup butter
1/3 c. rice vinegar
about 1 cup chicken broth, may need to add more
salt and pepper to taste
Chop all the above and put in a large pot with chicken broth
Turn the burner on high until it boils, then immediately turn to medium and cover and steam until all the liquid is gone. At that point everything should be very very tender and all the color of red cabbage. Don't undercook. It takes about 45 min. Then add butter and vinegar and stir until coated, add salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Gingersnap Crust:
Gingersnaps and Butter (ratio 15 cookies to ¼ c. butter)

16 oz. cream cheese, at room temp
1 c. sugar
1 c. nonfat cottage cheese
1⅓ c. canned pumpkin
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp flour
¼ tsp ground allspice
¼ tsp ground cloves
pumpkin spice, to taste
6 egg whites

Preheat oven to 325. Lightly grease a 8 or 9 inch spring form pan.


In a food processor/blender grind the gingersnaps until crumbly. Mix with melted butter and press to the bottom and edges of spring form pan. Bake for 10 minutes and remove.


Beat cream cheese and sugar until blended. In a food processor, puree the cottage cheese until smooth and creamy. Add the pumpkin, cottage cheese, vanilla, flour and spices to the cream cheese mixture and blend well. Add the egg whites until blended. ** Add the pumpkin spice to taste, I also added some extra of the other spices to taste)

Bake 80 minutes, or until the cheesecake puffs and the center is almost set. (***To avoid cracking while baking, on the bottom shelf place a broiling pan, or glass casserole dish and fill with water, this helps create more moisture in the over to keep the cheesecake from cracking) Transfer to a wire rack and cool.

Serve with fresh whipped cream!

Artichoke Chicken

1 15oz cans artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
¾ cup Parmesan cheese
½ cup mayo
¼ cup sour cream
4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
2¼ tsp minced garlic
3 slices crumbles bacon
Bread crumbs (optional)
Mozzarella cheese (optional)

1.Pre heat oven to 375 degrees

2.In medium bowl mix together the artichoke hearts (squeeze the artichokes to get the remaining juices out), parmesan cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, bacon and garlic. Season mixture with salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste. Place chicken in dish and cover evenly with the artichoke mixture. Next add bread crumbs on top of mixture to create a crisp layer (if desired) and top with mozzarella cheese (if desired)

3.Bake uncovered for 30 minutes in the oven or until chicken is no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear.

Tortilla Soup

This recipe is the BEST Tortilla Soup I have found. I think it gives Cafe Rio's a run for the money...

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
½ tablespoon minced garlic
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
32 ounce can of chicken broth
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 cup chopped onion
½ teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup chunky salsa
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro
tortilla chips
monterey cheese

1.In a large pot over medium heat, saute the chicken in the oil for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cumin and mix well. Then add the broth, corn, onion, chili powder, lemon juice, cilantro and salsa. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes.

2.Break up some tortilla chips into individual bowls and pour soup over chips. Top with the Monterey Jack cheese,a little sour cream, and some avocado and you’re all set!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Apple French Toast

1 C. brown sugar  1 T. minute tapioca

1 C. butter   4 eggs

2 T. corn syrup   1 T. vanilla

9 slices french bread  1 C. milk

4 C. tart apples 

Microwave brown sugar, butter, corn syrup for 2 ½ to 3 minutes.

Pour into 9x13 glass dish; distribute apples, sprinkle tapioca;

Dip bread in eggs, milk, vanilla.  Place on top of apples. 

Refrigerate overnight.

Bake at 350° uncovered for 30 to 40 minutes.    DELICIOUS! 

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

shrimp delicioso

If you couldn't tell by the title, this recipe is an original made up concoction. I think it turned out really yummy though.

1 1/2 lbs raw shrimp peeled
1/2 cups pine nuts
1/2 cup olive oil
2 lemons juiced and zested
2 tbsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp dried rosemary
1/8 tsp crushed dried thyme
2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup white wine
salt and pepper to taste (I used lemon pepper, and garlic salt, but I really like lemon and garlic, so use regular if you think it is too much)
dash more rosemary
grated parmesan cheese (optional)
pasta of your choice cooked al dente

Place frozen raw shrimp in a colander and rinse with cold water till thawed. Peel and remove tails. Set aside.

In a food processor combine pine nuts, olive oil, lemon juice and zest, garlic, rosemary, and thyme. Mix well. The consistency should be like a pesto sauce. Set aside.

Meanwhile boil water and cook pasta until al dente. Drain and set aside, but keep warm.

Add butter to skillet over medium heat. When butter is melted add shrimp and toss a few times until they turn light pink. Turn up heat to med-high and add white wine. Season with salt and pepper to taste while the wine cooks off. DO NOT OVERCOOK. Stir a few more times and then pour off about half butter wine mixture. Reserve in separate bowl. Pour lemon pesto over shrimp and cook over low until the sauce is just heated through. There should be lots of sauce in the skillet still. Add pasta to skillet and toss to coat. If more liquid is needed, add reserved butter wine mixture to pasta. Sprinkle with extra rosemary and parmesan cheese (if using). Serve immediately.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Corn and Mango Salad

My friend Amber asked me to post this yummy salad recipe. It is originally from Martha Stewart, but I've made it so many times I don't know where the recipe is anymore. It is simple, fresh, and tastes like summer to me.

Corn and Mango Salad
4 fresh ears of corn
1/2 red pepper, diced
1 mango, diced
juice from 3 limes
3 green onions, diced
salt to taste

Cook the corn in boiling water until just barely cooked
When cooled, slice the kernals off the cob
Add all other ingredients and toss
Adjust the salt
Chill and serve

Pumpkin Pancakes and Buttermilk Syrup

My friend makes these every year for October conference. I made them for mom and dad when they were here for Nathan's baptism. They are AMAziNG! :) The Buttermilk Syrup tastes like caramel sauce. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Waffles

2 1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 1/4 tsp baking powd
1 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
4 eggs, separated
2 cups buttermilk
1 cup pumpkin
6 Tbsp melted butter

Sift dry ingredients.
Mix egg yolks and rest of the wet ingredients until smooth.
Add dry ingredients to wet and stir just until smooth.
Beat egg whites until soft peaks form.
Gently fold into waffle batter.
Bake in waffle iron.
Smother with Buttermilk syrup!

Buttermilk Syrup

1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup butter
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
1Place first five ingredients in large saucepan.
2bring to boil and cook for 4 minutes (mixture will foam), stirring to prevent scorching.
3Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.
4Serve with German pancakes,or waffles,french toast,etc.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

yummy hot cocoa variations

It is that time of year again; hot cocoa weather! I found some yummy hot cocoa recipes and thought I would share. Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate

4 squares baker’s chocolate
2 cups milk
2 tbsp peanut butter
Break chocolate squares and melt in a saucepan with milk. Do not boil. Stir in peanut butter until mixture is smooth. Pour into mugs and garnish with marshmallows.

Milk Chocolate and Orange Cocoa

1/3 cup whipping cream, chilled
1 tsp brown sugar
4½ cups milk
zest from 4 large oranges
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
9 oz. milk chocolate, finely chopped
Whip cream with brown sugar until stiff peaks form. Refrigerate. Mix milk with zest from oranges in a saucepan, heating to a simmer. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 30 minutes. Strain zest from the mixture and bring liquid to a simmer. Stir in cocoa powder and chocolate, whisking until smooth. Pour into mugs and top with whipped cream mixture.

White Peppermint Hot Chocolate

6 hard peppermint candies, finely crushed
2/3 cup whipping cream
3½ cups milk
8 oz. white chocolate, chopped
½ tsp peppermint extract
Beat whipping cream with crushed candies until stiff peaks form. Refrigerate for at least one hour. In the meantime, heat milk on medium-low heat. Mix in chocolate and whisk until smooth. Add peppermint extract and stir thoroughly. Pour into cups and top with peppermint whipped cream mixture.

Raspberry Hot Chocolate

2 cups cream
1 cup milk
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 tbsp sugar
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp butter
1 cup raspberries
whipped cream
In saucepan combine cream, milk, and sugar until hot, but do not boil. Add chocolate and butter and reduce heat to simmer. Stir until chocolate is melted. Puree 1 cup raspberries and pour into the mixture, stirring until smooth. Pour into mugs and garnish with whipped cream and fresh raspberries.

Luscious Hot Chocolate

1 cup milk
1 cup half and half
1 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
8 tsp sugar
½ tsp vanilla
Heat milk, half and half, both chocolates, and sugar in a saucepan on medium-low heat until chocolates melt and sugar dissolves. Pour half of the mixture into a blender and mix until frothy. Return to the saucepan and add vanilla. Stir briefly and serve.

Aztec Hot Chocolate

2 cups milk
4 squares baker’s chocolate
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp cardamom
½ tsp ginger
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp nutmeg
Break chocolate squares and melt in a saucepan with the milk. Do not boil. Whisk until foamy. Pour into mugs. In a separate bowl, combine all spices. Mix ½ tsp of blended spices in each mug, adding more as desired.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The best green beans ever!

I got this recipe from the same cookbook that the beet salad came from. I love it! These are so simple, fast, and delicious!

1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans washed and trimmed
2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 large shallots thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves minced
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes and their juices
1/4 cup white cooking wine
2 Tbsp thinly sliced fresh basil
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the green beans in a large pot of boiling water until just crisp tender about 3 minutes. Drain beans and rinse in cold water. Melt the butter and oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and saute until tender, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juices and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes. Add the beans and cook until juices evaporate and the beans are tender, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Stir in wine and basil. Simmer 2 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a platter or bowl and serve.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Pumpkin Cheesecake from MOM

I made this tonight and loved it.  Easy and light and a nice alternative to pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving

Pumpkin Cheese Cake
   light and yummy!!
2 eggs
2 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese
3/4 c sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger and nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin
1 ready made graham cracker crust in pie pan or make your own crust

Beat cream cheese till fluffy.  Add sugar and spices.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each one.
Stir in pumpkin until mixed
Pour into pie crust and bake at 350 for 35 to 45 minutes until center is just barely set.
Spread caramel sauce on top in a thin layer, sprinkle with pecans or walnuts
Serve with whipping cream on top

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Roasted Beet and Arugula salad with Goat cheese and avacado

Okay I checked out this cookbook from the Library and I want to try a recipe on just about every page. This is the first one I have tried and it was unbelievable!! The oven roasted beets are to die for!

1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
3 Tbsp Finely chopped shallots
1 Tbsp honey
1/3 cup olive oil
Salt and Freshly ground black pepper
6 medium beets, peeled, each cut into 6 wedges
6 cups arugula , stems removed
1/2 cup toasted walnuts coarsely chopped(toast in 400 degree oven for 5-10 mins., or in skillet over medium low heat)
1/4 cup dried cranberries or dried cherries
1/2 avocado peeled, pitted, and cubed
3 ounces goat cheese, coarsely crumbled

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place a large piece of foil on a heavy baking sheet. In a medium bowl whisk the vinegar, shallots, and honey to blend. Gradually whisk in the olive oil. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

In another bowl, toss the beets with enough dressing to coat. Place the beet mixture in the center of the foil on the baking sheet. Top with another piece of foil and crimp the edges of the foil to seal tightly. Roast the beets until they are tender when pierced with a fork, about 30 minutes. Uncover beets and continue roasting until they are slightly caramelized, shaking the pan occasionally, about 25 minutes longer. Set aside to cool completely.

In a large bowl, toss the arugula, walnuts and cranberries with enough of the remaining vinaigrette to coat. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Mound the salad on 4 plates. Arrange the beets around the salad. Sprinkle with the avocado and goat cheese and serve.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Raspberry White Chocolate Blondies

These are amazing!

¼ Cup butter
¾ Cup white chocolate chips
½ Cup sugar
¼ Cup brown sugar
1 Cup flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ Cup white chocolate chips
2 eggs
2 Tablespoons sour cream
1 Cup fresh raspberries
½ Cup finely chopped pecans
2 Tablespoons sanding sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Melt butter in microwave safe bowl. Stir in ¾ Cup white chips until melted and smooth. In a large bowl add the sugar, brown sugar, flour, baking powder, salt and ½ Cup white chips. In a small bowl whisk the eggs and sour cream. Pour into the dry ingredient bowl along with the melted white chip mixture. Mix until just combined.

2. Pour into an 8x8 inch baking dish lined with foil that’s been sprayed with cooking spray. Top evenly with 1 Cup raspberries. Mix the chopped pecans and sanding sugar in a small bowl until combined then sprinkle over top of blondies. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until toothpick comes clean from center.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

turkey and artichoke stuffed shells

This recipe is great because it makes two batches of shells. One to freeze and one for dinner. Although Jordan may need to just eat the full recipe for one dinner:) It is really easy and really yummy. Just make the marinara any way you like. I have never actually made the sauce the way it says to. I just make homemade sauce or use a jar from TJ's if I don't have time.

1 (12-ounce) box jumbo pasta shells (recommended: Barilla)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 large yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pound ground turkey
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus 1/2 teaspoon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus 1/4 teaspoon
1 (8 to 10-ounce) package frozen artichokes, thawed and coarsely chopped
1 (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese
3/4 cup grated Parmesan
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
5 cups Arrabbiata Sauce, recipe follows

1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella (about 5 ounces)
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and partially cook until tender but still very firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 4 to 5 minutes. Drain pasta.

Meanwhile, in a large heavy skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and the garlic and cook until the onions are soft and starting to brown, about 3 minutes. Add the ground turkey, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is slightly golden and cooked through. Add the artichoke hearts and stir to combine. Remove from heat and let cool.

In a large bowl combine the cooled turkey mixture with the ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, eggs, basil, parsley, and the remaining salt and pepper. Stir to combine.

To stuff the shells, cover the bottom of a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking dish with 1 cup of Arrabbiata sauce. Take a shell in the palm of your hand and stuff it with a large spoonful of turkey mixture, about 2 tablespoons. Place the stuffed shell in the baking dish. Continue filling the shells until the baking dish is full, about 24 shells. Drizzle the remaining Arrabbiata Sauce over the shells, top with the grated mozzarella. If freezing, cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 1 day and up to 1 month.

To bake, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bake until the shells are warmed through and the cheese is beginning to brown, about 60 minutes (20 minutes if shells are unfrozen.)

Arrabbiata Sauce:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

6 ounces sliced pancetta, coarsely chopped

2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes

2 garlic cloves, minced

5 cups jarred or fresh marinara sauce

Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the pancetta and saute until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until tender, about 1 minute. Add the marinara sauce and red pepper flakes and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and let cool until ready to use.

Yield: approximately 6 cups

Sunday, October 19, 2008

I'm FINALLY here!

Brian makes this amazing shortbread recipe and I admit it is my favorite. I can eat a whole recipe by myself. It makes a pretty gift or a mouth watering dessert. It's not low-fat, but few fantastic things in life are!:) My favorite nuts to use are pecans. Brian makes it with Ghiradelli Mint Dark Chocolate for an interesting twist.


Shortbread Recipe:

1/2 cup (1 stick) (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup (140 grams) all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons (15 grams) rice flour or cornstarch (corn flour)

1/8 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup (80 grams) toasted and chopped nuts (hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts, or almonds) (See Note)

1 ounce (35 grams) coarsely chopped semisweet, bittersweet, milk, or white chocolate (can also use chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) with the rack in the middle of the oven.  Have ready a baking sheet that is either buttered or lined with parchment paper.

In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), cream the butter and sugar until smooth (about 2 minutes).  Beat in the vanilla extract.  In a separate bowl whisk together the all purpose flour, rice flour, and salt.  Addthis mixture to the butter and sugar mixture and beat just until incorporated.

Transfer the dough to the baking sheet and form into an 8 1/2 inch (21 cm) round.  Gently press the chopped nuts and chopped chocolate into the dough. 

Place in a preheated oven and bake until it is golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes.  Cool completely on a wire rack.

Note:  To toast pecans, walnuts, and almonds - Spread on a baking sheet and bake in a 350 degree F (180 degree C) oven for about 8 to 10 minutes.  The nuts are done when they are light golden-brown in color and fragrant.  Cool completely before using.  To toast hazelnuts - Spread on a baking sheet and bake in a 350 degree F (180 degree C) oven for about 15 minutes or until fragrant and the skins begin to flake.  Remove from oven and place the hot nuts in a dish towel.  Roll up the towel and let the nuts sit (steam) for a few minutes then rub the nuts in the towel briskly to remove the skins.  Let cool before using.  (Toasting the hazelnuts not only removes the bitter skins but also enhances the sweet, rich, buttery flavor of the nut.)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Yummy all-in-one dinner!

Herb Seared Chicken Breast, Warm Zucchini Stew with Angel-Hair Pasta

Yield: four portions

Part 1-Chicken prep
1 1/2 lb. chicken breasts, boneless, skinless, trimmed of fat
3 Tbsp. sun-dried tomatoes, julienne
3 Tbsp. rosemary, chopped fine
3 Tbsp. garlic, chopped fine
1/2 c. virgin olive oil
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 c. virgin olive oil

Part 2-Vegetable prep
1/2 c. pine nuts
1/4 c. garlic, chopped fine
1 c. Spanish onion, sliced thin
1 c. green peppers, sliced thin
1 c. Portobella mushrooms, sliced
2 c. zucchini, diced medium
1/2 c. sun-dried tomatoes, julienne
1/2 c. fresh basil, sliced thin
1/2 c. water
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 lb. angel hair pasta, cooked according to manufacturer’s directions

Part 1-Chicken prep procedure:
Completely combine or puree the herbs, seasonings and oil. Coat the chicken at least 1/2 hour before cooking.

Sear chicken in a sauté pan over medium heat on both sides. Remove the chicken from the pan and finish cooking until the juices run clear at 350° on a baking sheet.

Part 2-Vegetable prep procedure:
In the same pan you cooked the chicken, over medium heat, add the pine nuts and the garlic and brown them lightly.

Add the onions and green peppers, and cook until they are lightly browned. Add the mushrooms and continue cooking until the mushrooms are soft. Add the zucchini and sun-dried tomatoes, and continue cooking and tossing the vegetables until the zucchini is bright green. Add the basil and water (if you want the vegetables to be saucy) and lower the temperature. Stir the pan to loosen all the browned sugars from the pan.

Remove the chicken from the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes. Slice and serve the chicken on top of the pasta (tossed with the vegetables) and add additional olive oil, fresh ground black pepper and Parmesan cheese, as desired.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Amazing Turtle Brownies!

I had these at my friend's baby shower and they were the best brownies I have ever had!

Turtle Brownies

3 oz. unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3 large eggs
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

Caramel Topping:
40 Kraft caramels (10 oz), unwrapped
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 cups pecan halves, toasted

Ganache Topping:
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place rack in the center of the oven. Butter, or spray with a non stick vegetable spray, a 9 x 13 inch rectangular baking pan.

Brownies: Melt the chopped chocolate and butter in a stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Remove from heat and set aside while you make the brownie batter.
Meanwhile, in the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the eggs and sugars until smooth. Beat in the vanilla extract and then the melted chocolate mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and, on low speed, beat in the flour and salt.

Pour into the prepared pan and bake for about 20 minutes, or just until the brownies are barely firm to the touch. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack.

Caramel: Place the unwrapped caramels and cream in a saucepan and melt, over low heat (stirring frequently), until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in the toasted pecans (instructions are at the bottom of recipe), making sure all the pecans are coated with caramel. Spread the caramel topping evenly over the still warm brownies and let cool to room temperature. Then cover and refrigerate brownies for about an hour or until the brownies are firm.

Ganache: Place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil. Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow tostand for 5 minutes. Stir with a whisk until smooth.

Remove the brownies from the refrigerator and, using a fork, drizzle the ganache over the brownies in a zigzag pattern. Cover and refrigerate until the chocolate is set..

Store, covered, in the refrigerator for 7 to 10 days, or in the freezer for longer storage.

Note: To toast pecans - Bake in a 350 degree F (177 degree C) oven for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant

Friday, March 21, 2008

Yummy crock pot chili

My friend downstairs had us over for sunday dinner last week and this is what she made. It was awesome. Some of the best chili I've ever had. Enjoy!

Slow-Cooked Chili

1 1/2 Tbsp vegetable oil
3/4 lb beef stew meat, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
2 Tbsp flour
1 large onion, chopped
2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
16-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
16-oz can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
28-oz can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups beef broth
2 Tbsp barbecue sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar
3/4 tsp salt
Garnishes: sour cream, shredded cheese, fresh chopped parsley, crushed tortilla chips

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meat and brown it for 2 minutes, stirring often. Add the chili powder and cumin and let the spices heat for 1 minute, stirring all the while. Stir in the flour and let the mixture cook for 1 minute more.

Transfer the meat mixture to a large slow cooker. Add the remaining ingredients (except the garnishes) and stir well. Cover the cooker and let the mixture cook for 6 to 8 hours on the low setting, stirring occasionally. If necessary, thin the chili with a little water or beef broth

Awesome salsa

We had our Easter potluck lunch today at the church and my friend brought this amazing salsa. It is very pretty looking too. Thought you might all enjoy the recipe. I know Ben it isn't authentic, but try it anyway:)

1 can whole kernal corn
1 can black beans
1 can black-eyed beans
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 avocados, chopped
cilantro, chopped (to taste)
1 pkg good seasons italian dressing mix (make it into the dressing using vinegar and oil. follow the directions on the package)

Mix it all together and serve with tortilla chips.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

layered salad for dummies, title requested by Jordan

Layer in a bowl the following: (a glass bowl is beautiful to see the layers, but whatever)
-cleaned and chopped lettuce, (any kind) romaine holds up well, and spinach mixed, you can make this whole salad the day before, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. DON'T mix until served!
The lettuce and spinach should fill approx. 2/3rds to not quite 3/4ths of your bowl
-chopped celery. Each layer should be just a thin layer, like just so you cannot see through it to the lettuce.
-sliced water chestnuts (canned)
-chopped green onions (again a thin layer, just enough so you cannot see the layer below.)
-frozen baby peas, always last, with dressing on top of the peas. " " Dressing:
Start with 1 cup mayonnaise and
1 cup sour cream stirred together. (If you use low fat of both, I put about 1-2 TB of milk in it, so it is not too thick. It must be spreadable, but not drippy, like cake mix thickness.)
Spread that on top of your salad. Here is the rule. The same as the rest. It should just cover the layer below it. As soon as it is all white, then it is good. I make more depending on the amount of salad I am making, but always start with that much and if you don't have enough to cover it about 1/4" thick than you don't have enough dressing.

On top of the dressing layer, fresh grated parmesan cheese, about 1/4"
Then sprinkle garlic powder, lawrys seasoned salt, sugar, sesame seeds (optional) and paprika. The spice amount is just until you can see the color across the entire surface, not dark and thick. Some people I give this to, don't put enough. Put about as much spice as you would sprinkle cinnamon on cinnamon toast.
-Cooked, crumbled bacon, 1 lb
-3 eggs hardboiled and diced
-sliced tomatoes, enough to point toward the center around the outside periphery of the bowl.
ok good luck! I have tried to make it foolproof!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Too late for your barbecue salad but yummy

Linguine Salad
1 small pack. linguine cooked, drained, rinsed (or any kind pasta)
1 cucumber chopped
1 green pepper chopped
1 large tomato chopped
1 bunch green onions chopped or red onion
1 small bottle italian salad dressing
1/4th c wine vinegar
garlic salt to taste
1/2 bottle small salad supreme seasoning
Mix all above, add salad supreme seasoning to taste.
Can use the same basic recipe above but for a variation salad add:
1/2 lb grated mozzarella
grated carrots
broccoli, chopped
chopped black olives

Pizza Salad
1 lb. curly pasta cooked and drained
3-4 lum tomatoes diced
1 lb. cheddar cheese cubed
1-2 bunches chopped green onions
3 oz. sliced pepperoni, chopped
3/4 c cannola oil or whatever kind you want
2/3 c grated fresh parmesan cheese
1/2 c red wine vinegar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
Combine top 5 items - make dressing - pour over above
add more seasoning to taste
optional add croutons

Thursday, March 6, 2008


I need a good recipe for a pasta salad to take to a BBQ...any good ideas?

Monday, March 3, 2008

marinated roasted veggies

Mom asked me to post this recipe. I use this all the time. You can serve them alone as a side dish or I love to put them on a sandwich with cheese and make a panini with them. The best part about this recipe is you can make them the day before. You can also use any vegetables you choose. (Ben and Molly this is the recipe from Rylynn's birthday paninis that you asked for)

-4 cups assorted vegetables cut into thick slices or sticks (peeled eggplant; zucchini; summer squash; mushrooms; yellow, red, or green peppers; trimmed asparagus spears; cherry or grape tomatoes(these are the best), red onion or green onions. note:if you want to use carrots or fennel which I have never tried but the recipe lists them as an option, you have to peel and blanche them first.
-1/4 cup olive oil
-1/8 cup seasoned rice vinegar, or any kind you want
-1 Tbsp fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme
-1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary or 1/2 tsp dried
-1 tsp chopped fresh oregano or 1/2 tsp dried
-1 tsp salt
-1 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper

Sorry for those of you who follow recipes exactly, but what I usually do is cut up all the veggies I want, then toss them in the olive oil and vinegar and then just season to taste with all the herbs, salt, and pepper. So just start with these amounts and add more until it tastes right. Also I have always used the dried herbs, but go for the fresh ones if you are feeling rich:)

1. Once all veggies are tossed and seasoned, cover and place in refrigerator over night or at least 2 hours.
2. Preheat your oven broiler for 5 minutes.
3. Spread veggies out over a large broiler pan in a thin layer.
4. Broil 4 inches from the heat for 5-7 minutes. Turn veggies once and grill until both sides are browed and wilted.

Eat with a fork or on a sandwich with melted provolone or havarti cheese! Enjoy.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Marianne, Ben, and Molly are holding out on us!!

I know you all have some wonderful recipes to share (especially some new and amazing spanish dishes..hint hint). Let's get crackin' you three :O)

Seared fish with grapefruit-orange relish

I made this recipe last night and it reminded me how much I love this dinner! This recipe is from my better Homes cookbook, and I know that mom has a different cookbook that has an almost identical recipe. There are just a couple differences so I just merged the two together to get the best of both. Enjoy! I have used this on tilapia, snapper, orange roughy, my recipe actually calls for tuna steaks, so basically any fish will do.

4 fish fillets of choice
2 tsp sherry or white wine vinegar
2 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium grapefruit peeled and sectioned (the way mom does it at christmas)
1 medium orange peeled and sectioned
2 Tbsp finely chopped red onion
2 Tbsp fresh snipped cilantro
1 avocado (peeled and cut in cubes)
2 tsp olive oil

In a plastic bag, for marinade:
juice of one lemon
2 tsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp olive oil

Thaw fish and pat dry. Mix all marinade ingredients in ziplock bag and place fish in bag. Keep in fridge while preparing relish.
In a medium bowl mix all ingredients except last 2 tsp olive oil. Make sure to squeeze all juice from the grapefruit and orange membranes into bowl along with fruit pieces. Stir together and cover. Store in fridge. Pour last 2 tsp olive oil in a pan on med-high heat. Remove fish from marinade and place in pan. Salt and Pepper fish while cooking to taste. Flip and sear other side. When fish flakes easily with fork, remove from pan. Serve immediately. Place fish on plate and spoon relish over the top. Serve with rice and veggie so that the rice can soak up the juices. Enjoy!

PS I have used dried ginger out of necessity and it is fine, but the fresh ginger is much better

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Chicken with Tomatoes and Capers - Marilynn's Creation

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 Tablespoons butter
1½ cup of bread crumbs (three cheeses)
1 teaspoons basil

½ medium red onion diced
1 teaspoon olive oil
3 medium tomatoes diced
1/3 cup of bottled roasted red peppers diced
2 Tablespoons capers
1 Tablespoon pesto
1 cup of white wine
1 teaspoon basil

Pound chicken breasts between layers of plastic wrap to ¼ inch thickness. Melt butter. Stir together basil with bread crumbs. Dip chicken breasts in butter and then in bread crumbs/basil mix. Place on cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

While chicken is baking, saute red onion in olive oil for about 3 minutes or until tender. Add diced tomatoes, red peppers, capers, pesto, white wine and basil. Simmer for 5 minutes on medium low heat until thickens. Remove chicken from oven, spoon sauce over top and serve.

Orange Julius

Dwight asked me for this recipe a while ago when he was visiting us....

1 cup milk

1 cup water

1/4 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

6oz frozen orange juice

12-15 ice cubes

Blend together

** depending on how sweet you like this, I sometimes cut the sugar down to 1/8 cup.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Individual Deep Dish Apple Pies

I tried this last night when we had some company over for dessert. It was FABULOUS so I thought I'd share. Easy and spectacular presentation and tastes incredible. It is from a book we have called Gourmets Quick Kitchen. You need to have ramekiins but you can buy them at Walmart and they look truly elegant. I served real whipped cream with them because I didn't have ice cream but either would be awesome and I took them out of the oven 15 minutes before we ate them.

Preheat oven to 400.
2 MacIntosh appleas (about 3/4 lb) (I just used the apples I had, I think they were golden delic.
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 TB plus 1 tsp. sugar
1 TB flour
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 pillsbury or any other kind packaged refrigerated pie dough round
1 tsp. apples juice
Peel and core apples and chop into approx. 1" pieces. Toss with juices; lemon & apple, seasonings, flour and sugar and a pinch of salt.
Spread out pie dough and turn the ramekins over to lightly pattern the top. Cut the pie tops about 1/4 inch larger than the ramekin top. I got 5 out of one pie crust. Mound the apples into the ramekins, drape dough rounds on top, seal edges, brush with water and sprinkle with sugar on top. Cut a 1" vent on top and bake pies in middle of oven until filling bubbles and crust is golden about thirty minutes. (Mine was more like 40 minutes) I tripled this to make six and it worked great! The recipe is only for two. Depending on how huge your apples are though you might need less, my apples were small to medium.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Hawaiian Haystacks

First of all let me say Kudos to Danielle for doing this!! What a great idea!! Food/Monsons/nuffsaid! I put the following two favorite Dad recipes for you and here's an old simple standby.

1 whole chicken (boil till very tender, like for chicken soup) debone and save broth
1/2 c butter or margarine
about 3/4 c flour
1 clove fresh garlic, or some minced
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped small
Put onion and garlic in the butter or margarine and saute till tender then stir in the flour till paste like, then quickly pour in 2&1/2 chicken broth and 1 cup milk or half and half. Stir on medium high temperature until it thickens. Add 1 can cream of chicken soup. Add the chicken pieces and taste. Add salt and pepper to taste and chicken soup base or bouillon if you want more flavor.

While your chicken is cooking, cook white or brown rice and assemble in bowls the following:
chopped celery
chopped green onions
chopped tomatoes
slivered almonds, or any other nuts you want.
mandarin oranges
pineapple chunks
whatever else you dream up and want to try on it.

Serve by either putting the rice on the bottom and the chicken sauce on top and then everything else on top of that or the alternative which I like the best. All the other stuff and then the sauce on top of all of it with a rice base. Enjoy!

Dad's Chicken Curry with Coconut milk

1 lb. of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 to 1" pieces
2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp flour
1&1/2 to 2 tsp red pepper flakes ( adjust to hot preference)
2 tsp minced lemongrass
6 TB butter
3 TB nam pla (Thai fish sauce)
2 c. canned sweetened coconut milk
1 c. salted cashews

Toss chicken with curry poder, salt to taste, flour, red pepper and lemongrass.
Melt butter in skillet at medium high. Add chicken and cook until it is just done (about 2 min.)
Add coconut milk and turn to medium. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes until cooked through.
Stir in nam pla and cashews and cook for 30 seconds.
Serve over rice or couscous. Makes four servings

Dad's Avocado and Grapefruit Salad

3 ripe medium avocados, pitted, peeled and sliced
3 medium pink grapefruits, peeled, sectioned mom's tricky way
lettuce of choice, washed
crumbled blue cheese

1/3 c. oil
1/4 c. vinegar
1/4 c. fresh grapefruit juice
1 TB fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. sugar, or a little more to taste
1/2 tsp. salt
1 TB blue cheese

Mix dressing with a hand braun. Lay sectioned avocados and grapefruit over cleaned lettuce, then drizzle dressing on top.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Delicious Parmesan Tilapia

Thank you so much for making this.  It is perfect!  I'm making the Bucca chicken tomorrow, I am having withdrawls:)  I can't wait for Garrett to try it, he will love it!

-1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (I usually use a little bit more)
-1/4 cup butter softened
-3 Tbsp mayonnaise
-2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
-1/4 tsp dried basil
-1/4 tsp ground black pepper
-1/8 tsp onion powder
-1/8 tsp celery salt
-2 lbs. tilapia fillets

1. Preheat the oven broiler.  Grease a broiler pan or line it with aluminum foil.
2. In a small bowl, mix together parmesan, butter, mayo, and lemon juice.  Season with dried basil, pepper onion powder and celery salt.  Mix well and set aside.
3. Arrange tilapia fillets in a single layer on the prepared pan.  Broil a few inches from the heat for 2-3 minutes.  Flip the fillets over and broil for a couple more minutes.  
4. Remove from the oven and spread parmesan mixture over the fillets.  Broil for 2 minutes, or until the topping is browned and the fish flakes easily with a fork.  (Check often so it doesn't burn, but make sure it is browned and crispy because it is better that way.  Also I usually squeeze some lemon on each fillet right before serving.)  

PS this is from the Costco cookbook.  There are tons of yummy recipes in there.  I recommend it!

Green Tomatillo Chicken (A Jordan Monson Favorite)

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 medium onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1tsp. salt
1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 cup green tomatillo salsa
1 1/2 cup sour cream

Place the chicken breast in the Crock-Pot. In a small mixing bowl, combine the onion, garlic, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and salsa. Pour this sauce over the chicken breasts. Cook on low 6 to 8 hours (or high 3 to 4 hours). Remove the chicken from the crock-pot. Stir the sour cream into the juices in the stoneware and blend well. Pour this sauce over each piece of chicken. Makes 6 servings.

Posted By Danielle

Buca di Beppo Chicken Saltimbocca recipe

Buca di Beppo Chicken Saltimbocca recipe
Source: Chef Vittorio Renda, Buca di Beppo
The name "saltimbocca" means "jump into the mouth" - because a dish this delicious (pounded with Prosciutto and massaged with sage) gets eaten so quickly that it seems to leap from the plate right into mouth.
4 (5 ounce) chicken breasts4 thin slices Prosciutto ham1 tablespoon fresh sage3 ounces olive oil1 ounce all-purpose flour5 ounces artichoke hearts, quartered1/2 ounce capers4 ounces white wine2 ounces fresh lemon juice2 ounces heavy cream1 tablespoon butter1 tablespoon salt
Lightly salt chicken breasts. Sprinkle evenly with chopped sage. Place sliced Prosciutto on top the chicken and pound it into the breast until the thickness of the chicken measures 3/8-inch.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a saute pan. Lightly flour chicken pressed with prosciutto. Place in heated oil, Prosciutto side down. Brown one side, turn and brown the other side. Drain off excess oil, and deglaze with 4 ounces of white wine. Add artichokes, fresh lemon juice, cream and butter and cook until sauce is thickened.
On a large platter, place chicken breasts topped with reduced sauce and garnish with capers.
Serves 4.
* I have been serving this with garlic mashed potatoes and salad. I'd love to hear ideas of what you would serve! This really is an AMAZING recipe...enjoy :O)
Posted by Danielle