Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas morning French Toast

I saw this on one of my fave cooking shows, Tyler's Ultimate, and thought it looked amazing! Then I decided to make it on Christmas breakfast because I thought it would be a good combo of the baked apple and the pancake/french toast. It honestly tasted like baked apples on top of the best french toast you've ever eaten. Plus, I loved that it called for Challah bread because I just used my leftover Challah from the Holy Land dinner the night before. Soooo amazing! I highly recommend that it become a permanent fixture on the Christmas morning breakfast menu! I know it has at my house:)

Upside-Down Apple French Toast with Cranberries and Pecans
Recipe courtesy Tyler Florence, 2008
4 to 6 servings

French toast:

4 eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 loaf challah bread, cut into 1 inch-thick slices
1/2 stick unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 cup light brown sugar, plus more for sprinkling, divided
4 Granny Smith apples
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Confectioners' sugar, garnish, optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a flat dish, crack eggs and add milk, vanilla extract and cinnamon. Whisk until well combined then lay challah slices in mixture to coat and absorb it all, turning occasionally.

Set a 10-inch skillet, seasoned cast iron if you have, over medium heat. Add the butter and 1 cup sugar and cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar has melted and caramelized, about 8 minutes. While the sugar is melting, peel apples, core and cut into halves. Remove from heat and gently whisk in the heavy cream. Sprinkle in the pecans, dried cranberries and gently press in the apple halves so there is a flat surface. Lay soaked slices of challah over the top so it is completely covered - you should be able to arrange the large slices and small slices so there are no gaps. Sprinkle the top with some brown sugar and place into the preheated oven. Bake in the middle of the oven for 40 to 45 minutes until the top is golden and puffy.

When done, allow to cool for 2 to 3 minutes then invert onto a large plate. Dust with confectioners' sugar, if desired, and serve.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Amazing Olive Oil Cookies

So the Texan showed me this recipe and it is AMAZING... also it breaks like every cookie recipe rule that I considered dogma, but IT WORKS and they're like way lower fat than your wedlior type. Seriously, life altering cookies.

Olive Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies
from Slice of Feist

2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 or 2 tablespoons of milk (or rice milk)
1 cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.

2. Combine sugars, vanilla, and olive oil. Beat in the eggs one a time. Gradually beat in the flour mixture, then add in a tablespoon of milk to make the dough a bit firmer, maybe another tablespoon if you need it/if you feel the dough is too sticky/dry (I used about 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon).

3. Roll the dough into balls with your hands and place on a greased and/or lined baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, until lightly golden and set. Mine took about 10 and a half minutes. These overbake quickly, so it’s better to take them out a bit early if you’re unsure. Allow to cool for a bit on the baking sheet, then move to another surface to finish cooling.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Fish and Chips

I rarely eat fried food, I'm talking like maybe 2x's a year, but this recipe tastes so dang good when I do make it and it just brings back so many memories of eating fish and chips in the pubs in England.

First make the chips by cutting 4 potatoes into thick wedges.
Pour about 2 inches of canola oil into a thick bottomed pan over high heat. Meanwhile pre-heat oven to 300 degrees to keep chips warm while frying. When oil starts looking spidery, throw in potatoes in small batches. Fry until golden brown. If oil gets too hot and starts smoking, turn your heat down to medium. Remove potatoes and place on a paper towel for a minute to dry then transfer to cookie sheet in oven to keep warm. Fry rest of the potatoes until they are all done. Salt and pepper all chips and keep warm in oven. I use Lawry's seasoned salt, but regular salt is fine too.

Next make fish batter by mixing all ingredients in medium sized bowl.
-1 cup beer
-1 cup flour
-2 eggs
-1/2 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp pepper

Cut large fish pieces in half so you still have good sized chunks of fish. I used orange roughy and we love that. If you are feeling rich use halibut. I have also used tilapia but I like thicker, meatier white fish better. Rinse fish and pat dry with paper towels. One by one, dip fish pieces completely in batter and then place in fry oil. Fry about 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown, turning them over once. Transfer fried pieces onto same pan in oven to stay warm. Sprinkle each fried fish fillet with course sea salt. Meanwhile chop thick rings of onions and dip them in same batter. When all the fish is fried, add onions to fry oil and fry till golden brown turning once. Serve immediately or keep in oven so they don't get soggy and cold.

Tartar sauce (this is Ina Garten's recipe and I love it)

-1/2 cup mayonnaise
-2 Tbsp chopped dill pickles
-1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
-1 Tbsp capers
-1 tsp course ground mustard
-pinch salt and pepper
add all ingredients to food processor and pulse till slightly chunky put blended

Serve fish, chips and onion rings with tartar sauce and malt vinegar. Enjoy!!

FINALLY!! Chicken tortilla soup that tastes like Cafe Rio

I LOVE Cafe Rio chicken tortilla soup and I have found some really yummy tortilla soup recipes that I really like, but none of them taste like Cafe Rio's. I decided to try this recipe in my Food Network magazine although I have to admit I was skeptical. I was wrong!! It tastes just like Cafe Rio's and it is amazing!! Not to mention super easy.

Puree in blender or food processor
-2 seeded, soaked ancho chilies (I could not find these but I looked up online and they are very similar to Poblano peppers so I used one really big fresh poblano)
-1 onion
-2 tomatoes (I used Roma)
-2 cloves garlic
Just rough chop all these ingredients then put in blender or processor and puree until smooth

In soup pot cover bottom of pot with olive oil or other kind of oil. Heat over med-high. Add puree to oil and fry for a minute or two.
Then add
-6 cups chicken broth
-4 torn corn tortillas. Tear them into about quarter size pieces.
-1/2 cup cilantro
-some shredded cooked chicken, or I just threw in about 6 frozen chicken cutlets and let them cook in the soup, less work!

Simmer until thick, about 1 1/2 hours. Less if you use cooked chicken. Add salt to taste, I added about 1 TBSP.

Serve with lime wedges, chopped avacados, cilantro, tortilla strips, and mexican cheese (queso fresco). I squeezed 1/4 lime into each bowl of soup and it was perfect.

ENJOY!! So yummy!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

La Meilleure Salade du Monde

That means "the best salad in the world"
A girl in the french house made this last night and I literally didn't want to swallow it, I just wanted to keep it in my mouth. I'm generally a fast eater, but i found myself savoring each mouthful of this incredible salad. I announced to everyone that I wanted to eat this everyday of my life until I die. Have I yet convinced you that you are under a moral obligation to feed this to your family immediately? To do so...

1 head cabbage chopped
3 breasts chicken, cooked, shredded or cubed
2 pkgs chopped ramen noodles
craisins and mandarin oranges to taste
salt and pepper

2 cans coconut milk
2 cups water
3-3 1/2 cups jasmine rice
mix water and coconut milk
add some sugar to taste
add rice and cook

3/4 cups sesame or peanut oil
2 T rice vinegar
2 T soy sauce
2 packets chicken ramen seasoning
3 T sugar
1/2 T pepper

So you put the salad on top of this rice and then will absolutely die because its AMAZING.
p.s. this is not French at all.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Italian Beef

Serve on hoagie rolls with provolone or mozzarella cheese, and your choice of condiments. When making the sandwiches, place meat in rolls, cover with cheese, and zap in a microwave or oven for a few seconds. Don't forget to use the pepperoncini in the sandwiches.

1 (3 pound) beef chuck roast
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 (16 ounce) jar pepperoncini

1.Make small cuts in roast, and insert garlic slices in cuts. Place roast in the slow cooker, and pour the entire contents of the jar of pepperoncini, including liquid, over meat.
2.Cover, and cook on Low for 6 to 8 hours

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Great Article

I just had to share this. The Texan passed it along and it entertained me at work for almost an hour just imagining traveling the world trying all of these delicacies.

I just wanted to point out how many of them are in France. Vive la France!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Avacado, Citrus, and Salmon Lettuce Cups

This is from my costco cookbook and it sounded so light and summery so I tried it for dinner tonight and we all loved it! Even the kids. I think I ate four:)

-1 large ripe fresh hass avacado halved, pitted, and cut into cubes
-1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
-6 tangerines or 2-3 oranges separated into segments and cut in quarters (cut like mom cuts oranges and grapefruit at Christmas)
-2 green onions thinly sliced
-1/2 pound cooked salmon
-1/3 cup jicama shredded (optional)
12 small iceburg lettuce leaves trimmed (I used romaine, but iceburg would definitely be easier to eat)

-1/2 cup seasoned rice vinegar
-6 Tbsp soy sauce
-1/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped
-4 tsp fresh grated ginger
-2 tsp toasted sesame oil
-1 tsp rep pepper flakes (I did not use these because of my kids)

1. The recipe calls for cooked salmon, but I bought fresh salmon and just brushed it with olive oil, a little bit of soy sauce, and some seasoned rice vinegar and it was delicious. I cooked it at 350 for about 20 minutes until it flaked, then took it out and let it cool for about 5 minutes.
2. To make sauce, combine all ingredients and mix well. Set aside. (I halved the sauce recipe because it seemed like a ton for just my family and we still had some leftover).
3. Place avocado in a large bowl and toss with lemon juice. Add oranges and squeeze juice from leftover orange membrane into same bowl. Add green onions, and jicama if using and toss to coat.
4. Fill lettuce cups with salad mixture and sprinkle chunks of salmon on top. Top all with sauce, roll and serve lettuce wrap style.

pecan crusted chicken salad

This was an instant favorite among my family! I found this recipe and absolutely love it. The chicken is a little bit time consuming but you can do some of the steps ahead. It looks a bit complicated, but it really isn't. The salad ingredients can be changed to whatever you want in your salad. It is a great summer dinner!

Dipping mixture
-2 egg whites
-2 tsp cornstarch
-juice of 1/2 lemon
Whisk all together in shallow bowl, set aside

Crusting mixture
-1 cup course dry bread crumbs (I just left two heals of whole wheat sandwich bread on my counter in the morning and then pulsed them in the food processor that evening when I was ready to make this and they were so yummy! Or you can use store bought bread crumbs but they sometimes have a lot of junk in them)
-1 Tbsp Chopped fresh parsley (you can use 1 tsp dried if you don't have fresh)
-1 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp pepper
-zest of one lemon
-3/4 cup findely copped pecans
-1/2 t dried oregano
-1/2 tsp dried thyme
-1/2 tsp paprika
-1/4 tsp cayenne
Mix all and lay out flat in shallow dish or on plate, set aside

1. Get dipping station and crusting station all ready then halve and pound out two defrosted chicken breasts. 2. Dip each piece of chicken in coating mixture and then transfer to crusting mixture and pat mixture into chicken until thoroughly coated on both sides. 3. Repeat until all chicken is crusted. 4. Heat 3 Tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet on the stove over medium-high heat. 5. Place crusted chicken in sautee pan for about 3 minutes each side, or until golden brown and crisp. 6. Transfer skillet to a 450 degree oven to finish cooking, about 8 minutes longer (if you don't have an oven proof skillet, just transfer carefully to an ovenproof dish).

Meanwhile toss in large bowl
-8 cups of any kind of greens or lettuce
-4 oz goat cheese ( I used feta because I had it)
-1/2 cup red onion sliced thinly
-1 avacado chopped
-2 tomatoes chopped
- finely chopped or shredded carrots to taste

Honey Mustard Dressing
-1/4 cup honey
-3 Tbsp dijon mustard
-3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
-1 Tbsp minced shallot or onion
-1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
-juice of half a lemon
-salt and pepper to taste
Whisk all together and set aside

When chicken is done, let it rest for a couple minutes. Pour dressing over salad and toss. Dish up salad mixture on individual plates and top each salad with sliced chicken. Sprinkle toasted crumbs from chicken pan over salad and serve immediately.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The World's Most Delicious Trifle

1 large clear glass bowl
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
2 cups confectioners' sugar
8 ounces sour cream
1/4 teaspoon almond flavoring
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 pint whipping cream
1 angel food cake (store bought is fine)
1 quart strawberry
1 quart blueberries
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons almond flavoring
1 Cream together cream cheese and confectioners sugar.
2 Add sour cream, vanilla and 1/4 tsp almond flavoring.
3 Set this mixture aside.
4 In separate bowl whip the whipping cream and add to cream cheese mixture.
5 Tear up angel food cake and mix in with cheese mixture.
6 In separate bowl (s) place strawberries and blueberries 3/4 cup sugar and 3 Tbsp almond flavoring.
7 (You can mix the berries together or keep separate, for a pretty red, white and blue look,if separate divide sugar and almond flavoring between the two bowls).
8 In a clear glass bowl alternate layers of the cream cheese mixtures and the berries.
9 Garnish the top with berries.
10 Refrigerate for a couple of hours.
11 This looks absolutely beautiful and tastes just as great!

Oh my delicious. I took this to our 4th of July barbeque and it changed everyone's life. Seriously.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Crab Salad

I am recording this because Dad insisted. We are up at the cabin and he brought up some Costco crab so I threw this together and it was delicious so we want to remember exactly how it was made. It is a keeper, add some toast or bread and dinner is made in 10 minutes!

1/2 of the canned lump crab from costco( we did this over the next day with the other half because we loved it so much!)
2 small or 1 large avocado cut in small pieces
chopped romaine lettuce pretty fine
2 small chopped tomatoes
1/4th cup pinenuts
3/4 large carrot grated
1/4 c lowfat mayonnaise
1/4 c ketchup
1/4 c italian bottled dressing, any brand you have
juice from 1 lemon
salt and pepper
Chop up the salad stuff and put in a bowl. In a smaller bowl mix together the mayonnaise, ketchup italian dressing, and juice from the lemon, whisk together and pour over the salad. Toss, sprinkle with salt and pepper and done! Delicious and it took about 5 minutes to make for dinner.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Everyday fast bean, bacon and red potatoes casserole

This was a staple for the kids growing up, easy, one pot, yummy and fast!
small red potatoes
fresh green beans
1 lb bacon
1 medium onion
1 lb mushrooms

Cut up the bacon into about 1 inch pieces, fry in a large pot. When crispy, take out the bacon with a slotted spoon and discard the grease reserving about 2 TB of it in the pan. Add the mushrooms and onion and saute. Add the cleaned and clipped beans and the potatoes cut into small pieces. Add 2/3 cup water and and cover. Cook on medium high until all the water is absorbed and then let it sear for just a little bit until it gets lightly browned. Add the crisped bacon, salt and pepper to taste and whala, dinner is ready!

If you have less beans, only use half the lb. of bacon. If you are feeding a crowd, like my five kids back in the day, you would have like 6 cups of beans, a whole small sack of red potatoes and the whole pound. Just make sure you do the searing at the end! Makes all the difference.

Mexican casserole per Ben's request

This is an everyday fast recipe that is yummy, easy and fast.

12 flour tortillas,
green salsa verde or regular salsa medium size bottle, your favorite kind
1 lb. hamburger or ground turkey
1 onion
1 red peppper or green pepper chopped (if you have one)
1 can refried beans
medium cheddar cheese
-you can add a can of chopped green chiles too if you want, or any other hot things if you want it hot, like jalapeno peppers instead of green.

Cut through all the tortillas stacked on top of each other into 1 inch squares. Set aside. Chop the onion and pepper. Saute in a large pot on the stove in a little olive oil the onion and pepper, then add the ground beef or turkey and cook till cooked through. Add refried beans and mix in, then add the salsa and stir. Sprinkle in the tortillas a handful at a time mixing and folding them until they all get covered. Add more salsa as needed to keep it moist. Taste it and add more salsa as needed. Then add about two cups of cheese reserving a little for the top. Mix in. Scoop into a flat casserole dish and put cheese on top and bake in the oven for about 20-30 minutes at 350.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Crab Cakes

Rachel's birthday dinner request!

1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 cup finely diced onions
1/4 cup pimento chopped
1/3 cup capers
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp parsley
1 tsp minced garlic
juice of a lemon
1 egg beaten
1/2 tsp seafood seasoning
1 pound lump crab cake
1/2 tsp dijohn mustard
1 cup to 1 and 1/2 cups bread crumbs
Use enough for it to stay together but you don't want too much.
Mix it all together in a bowl and then shape into flattened fist sized balls. Bake on lightly sprayed cookie sheet for 8-10 minutes at 350. The alternative way to cook them is to saute in a frying pan with butter. Dad prefers the baking way.
Eat with or without cocktail sauce. He has basically combined three recipes here, just adding to the first recipe other stuff that sounds yummy in them. So, if you don't have one ingredient, don't panic. Like the pimentos. Just make them without them. They are really glorified meat loaf only with crab instead of hamburger, get it? The egg keeps all the yummy stuff together that compliments the crab and the very best crab cakes have more crab and less bread crumbs and other stuff. Don't mush up the crab. Mix all the other stuff together and then add the crab at the end to leave some big chunks!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

wheat banana bread

I love this recipe because it is super moist and it has half whole wheat flour and not too much sugar. It is sooo good! I also use raw cane sugar which you can buy at Trader Joes or Costco and I think most grocery stores sell it now because it is much better for you since it isn't refined and processed. It also tastes great!

1 cup flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 baking soda
2 eggs
5 tbsps butter at room temp
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 tsp lemon juice
5 large really ripe bananas (sometimes I only have 4 and it is just fine)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup pecans or walnuts coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl sift or mix flour, wheat flour, baking powder and baking soda. Reserve.

In a bowl of an electric mixer, food processor, or blender, add eggs, butter, buttermilk, lemon juice, bananas, sugar, and salt.

Mix or blend until smooth. Slowly add dry ingredients. Fold in nuts. Pour batter into greased pan. Spread top so batter is evenly spread out. Bake for 1 hour and 25 minutes. I never have to cook it this long so just check after about an hour and see if a toothpick comes out clean when poked into the center.

Serve warm with butter.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Chicken veggie noodle soup

I just threw this together the other night and it turned out really yummy. It is kind of like a mix between chicken noodle soup and minestrone soup.

handful and a half of baby carrots chopped in big chuncks
3 celery ribs chopped
1 large onion chopped
1 zucchini chopped
1 summer squash chopped
2 tbsp minced garlic
2 cartons chicken broth or enough to cover
1 can 16 oz diced tomatoes and their juices
1/4 cup chopped fresh italian (flat leaf) parsley
salt and pepper to taste
garlic and onion powder to taste
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 cup white cooking wine
wheat egg noodles (as much as desired)
shredded cooked chicken

Place all the chopped veggies and the garlic in a pot. Cover with chicken broth. Bring to boil. Add cooking wine. Turn heat down to medium and keep a rolling boil for a couple minutes. Add fresh parsley, can of tomatoes, seasonings. Bring to boil again and then turn down to simmer. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Turn heat back up to med-high and bring back to boil. Add noodles and chicken. Cover and simmer until noodles are tender, about 15-20 more minutes. Enjoy!

Tip: I had bought a rotisserie chicken a couple days before that I used for a chicken salad and had a lot of shredded chicken leftover from that, so that is what I used. You can used whatever kind of chicken you want, but I liked the texture of the shredded chicken since the soup is already really chunky. Plus if you use a rotisserie chicken you can cut out the step of cooking your own chicken.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Yummy baked Tilapia

I have no food in my house so I made this up last night with what I could find in the fridge and it turned out really yummy, and it was really fast.

3-4 frozen tilapia loins
1/2 medium onion sliced thinly
mushrooms sliced
1-2 tsp garlic
large handful cherry tomatoes halved
1/4 cup white wine
olive oil
2-3 tbsp butter
garlic salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 tsp basil
1 tsp parsley
Crumbled feta cheese

1)Place frozen tilapia loins in oiled baking dish. (Use olive oil)
2)sprinkle sliced onions, mushrooms, and tomatoes evenly over fish. Drizzle with olive oil (a couple tbsps)
3)sprinkle minced garlic over all, and season with basil, parsley, pepper, and garlic salt. Drizzle with more olive oil.
4)Pour white wine over all. place 2-3 pads of butter on top of everything. Cover with tin foil
5)Bake covered at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove foil and cook for additional 15 minutes.
6)Sprinkle crumbled feta cheese over all.
7)Serve over rice to catch the juices. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Saint Patricks Day Corned Beef and Cabbage

Just in case you missed it, you can probably get corned beef on sale now! This is a family tradition for St. Patrick's Day or thereafter and is an easy, one pot, delicious meal.
1- approx. 3 lb corned beef brisket
2 bay leaves
about 6 medium red potatoes, washed and quartered.
1 large onion, cut up in large chunks
1 medium cabbage, coarsely cut up, not shredded, in big chunks about an inch.
3-4 medium carrots, quartered, optional, can also add parsnips if desired.
Trim excess fat from meat. Place in a large 6 qt. pot, add juices and spices from package. Add enough water to cover meat. Add bay leaves and onion. Bring to a full boil, then reduce to simmer forever! Well not really forever, but I would put it on in the morning sometime and let it cook until dinner at 6:00! The secret to fall off the fork tenderness is just simmering it for at least four hours! A half hour before you want to eat, remove the bay leaves and add the vegetables. Bring back to a boil and then turn to medium and cook till tender about 20-30 min. Then remove the cabbage and put in one bowl and sprinkle with vinegar, add butter and salt and pepper. Cover and set aside. Put all the potatoes, and carrots and parsnips if you added them, in another bowl and sprinkle parsley, fresh or dried, butter and salt and pepper. Serve with mustard! Serve meat on another plate and cut across the grain but if you cooked it long enough, it pretty much just falls apart! Yum!

Easter Blueberry Salad

This Salad is as amazing as the cranberry Thanksgiving one and since it is such a beautiful purple pastel Eastery color, was a frequent Easter salad from your childhood!
1 C pineapple grapefruit juice
1 3 oz. box lemon jello
1 large can drained blueberries
1 Cup blueberry juice, drained from blueberries, then set in fridge or freezer to chill.
1 Cup mashed bananas
1/2 pint whipping cream
Heat the pineapple juice in microwave till boiling, pour over juice. Stir until dissolved and then add chilled blueberry juice. Refrigerate or put in freezer, (watch closely if you put it in freezer) just until soft set. Remove then whip till frothy about 5 min. Set aside and beat the cream. Fold into the blueberry mixture and add the blueberries and mashed bananas. Chill! Can make the day before!

Famous Easter Leg of Lamb

With Easter coming up, I had to post this amazing family standard!
1 5 to 7 lb. leg of lamb
lemon juice from 1 whole lemon
2 TB snipped fresh parsley
1 tsp dried basil, crushed
1/2 tsp onion salt
1/2 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cloves garlic, slivered
Trim all the fat from meat. Cut 1/2" slits into roast at 1" intervals over the entire roast surface. Brush surface of meat with lemon juice, getting into pockets. Stir all the herbs together and rub over entire surface and into pockets. Insert garlic slivers into pockets. I do this preparation the day before and refrigerate covered with foil.
On Easter, place meat, fat side down, uncovered, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Roast in a 325 degree oven 2 to 2&3/4 hours for medium rare, or 2&1/2 to 3&1/2 hours for medium. Cover with foil and let stand about 10 min. before carving.

Mint Pesto (must be served with Lamb! Amazing)
1 Cup fresh mint leaves with stems removed.
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 clove garlic
3 TB olive oil
1 TB white wine vinegar
1/4 C grated fresh Parmesan Cheese
1/4 C slivered almonds
This is made in a food processor. Add the ingredients, in the order listed, one at a time, pulsing after each addition until done. This is amazing and I ended up making three times this amount during dinner because people wanted more and it is really fast to just process it, so believe me, just make two or three times the recipe to start with!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

German Chocolate Cake

1 pkg. 4 oz. Bakers German Sweet Chocolate
1/2 C boiling water
2 squares butter
2 C sugar
4 egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla
2&1/4 C flour
1 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C buttermilk, or soured milk; 1 TB vinegar added and set aside to sour.
4 egg whites stiffly beaten
Melt Chocolate in boiling water. Cool. Cream butter and sugar till fluffy beating with a hand beater. Separate the eggs, putting the whites in one mixing bowl;set aside, and add yolks one at a time to the butter mixture, beating well with each addition. Blend in vanilla and chocolate. Mix flour with soda and salt. Add alternately with buttermilk to Chocolate mixture beating after each addition till smooth. Beat egg whites and fold in carefully. Pour into cake pans or 9x13 pan. Bake 350 for 30-35 minutes.
Frosting: Combine 1 C evaporated milk, 1 C sugar, 3 slightly beaten egg yolks, 1 square butter, and 1 tsp. vanilla. Cook and stir until thickened. Add 1&1/3 C coconut and 1 cup chopped walnuts. Cool until thick enough to spread.

Pumpkin Cake

3 C sugar
1 C oil
4 eggs
2/3rds C water
Put water and oil in the bottom of a blender, add the sugar and eggs and beat till smooth. Pour into a mixing bowl and add:
3 C flour
1&1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. cloves
1&1/2 tsp. soda
2 C pumpkin
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
Grease and flour a large bundt pan. Bake at 350 for 45 min. to an hour. Check with a knife in center till clean. When done remove from oven and let sit for ten minutes, then slide a knife all around center and as many flat edges as you have on your bundt pan before inverting on a plate. Tap with knife handle all around bottom, now top, before lifting pan. Sprinkle with powdered sugar by putting a little in a sieve and tapping the sides. Beautiful and delicious.

Carrot Cake

2 C flour
2 C sugar
1&1/2 C oil
2 tsp. soda
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
3 C grated carrots
4 eggs
1 C chopped walnuts optional or you can put them on top of the frosting.
Mix dry ingredients, add oil, add eggs one at a time beating after each addition, then grated carrots. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Check by the knife test coming clean from the center.
Frosting: 2 cups powdered sugar, 4 oz. cream cheese, 1 square softened butter, 1 tsp. vanilla. Beat till fluffy!

Texas Sheet Cake

This recipe is so fast and easy you can make it while your guests are at the table and bake and frost it before dessert and serve it warm with vanilla ice cream. While at Danielle and Jordan's we couldn't find it in the blog, so it must be here!
Mix in saucepan:
2 squares butter
3 TB baking cocoa
1 cup water
If you have buttermilk, great, if you don't add 1 TB vinegar to 1/2 c milk and set aside at this point.
Bring to a boil the cocoa mixture for about a minute. Pour it over 2 cups flour and 2 cups sugar in a mixing bowl. Mix till smooth. Add 1/2 cup soured milk or buttermilk, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 2 eggs, 1 tsp. vanilla and 1 tsp. baking soda. Bake in a jelly roll pan for 18-20 375 degrees. Check to make sure it comes clean in center with a knife. While it is cooking melt in saucepan 1 square butter, 4 TB cocoa and 6 TB milk. Just bring to a boil then remove from heat and add 1 tsp. vanilla and 1 pound powdered sugar, and 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans. Beat well until smooth and spread on cake right out of the oven.

Poppy seed Cake

This is a favorite cake recipe I have had forever too! I thought it should be recorded here for posterity.
1 cup butter
1&1/3 c. sugar
1/4th tsp. salt
4 eggs
3 c. flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1&1/3 c milk
1&1/2 tsp. almond flavoring
2-3 TB. poppy seeds
Cream butter and sugar with hand beater. Add eggs beating in one at a time. mix dry ingredients and add alternately with milk, add vanilla and poppy seeds last. Bake in greased bundt pan at 350 degrees for one hour or until center comes clean on a knife. Check at about 55 minutes.
Frosting: 1/2 square butter
4 oz of cream cheese
1 tsp. almond flavoring
1 cup powdered sugar
Glaze with:
4 TB. butter beaten with a hand beater, add
1 cup powdered sugar
then add just enough orange juice till thin enough to drizzle over top.
variation: make cake and frosting with vanilla instead of almond flavoring. Both are delicious.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Buttermilk Yellow Cake

This is a mom classic recipe. She gave it to me a couple weeks ago to use for Rylynn's birthday cake and I loved it! It was a big hit at the party too. I made two round cake pans and as soon as they were completely cooled, I covered them and froze them to frost the next day. If you frost them when frozen it makes them really easy to work with and you don't get crumbs in your frosting. It kept the cake so fresh too.

2 cups sugar
1 cup butter softened
4 eggs
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup buttermilk or sour milk(1 Tbsp vinegar to l cup milk)
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
dash of salt

1. Cream butter and sugar till smooth.
2. Add one egg at a time while blending on low speed.
3. In a separate bowl add baking powder to flour.
4. In another bowl add baking soda to buttermilk.
5. Alternate adding dry and wet ingredients to sugar mixture ending with dry ingredients.
6. Add vanilla to all.
7.Bake in greased and floured pans at 325 degrees. Two round pans cook about 20-25 minutes, 9x13 pan cook about 45 minutes.

Frost with whatever you want. I used the Wilton's vanilla buttercream frosting. (Recipe below)

Our Buttercream Icing recipe is perfect for spreading or decorating. Follow our instructions to make it the ideal consistency you need.


1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine softened
1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar (approximately 1 lb.)
2 tablespoons milk
Makes: About 3 cups of icing.

(Medium Consistency)

In large bowl, cream shortening and butter with electric mixer. Add vanilla. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use.

For best results, keep icing bowl in refrigerator when not in use. Refrigerated in an airtight container, this icing can be stored 2 weeks. Rewhip before using.

For thin (spreading) consistency icing, add 2 tablespoons light corn syrup, water or milk.

For Pure White Icing (stiff consistency), omit butter; substitute an additional 1/2 cup shortening for butter and add 1/2 teaspoon No-Color Butter Flavor. Add up to 4 tablespoons light corn syrup, water or milk to thin for icing cakes.

Scallop and Zucchini Fettucini

This is a variation of a scampi pasta that I made up while Mom was visiting. We loved it! I used the tiny bay scallops, but if you don't like scallops you could use uncooked shrimp.

1 zucchini
1 summer squash
1 small onion diced small or you can use dried minced onions
2-3 cloves minced garlic to your liking, I love garlic so I used 3
3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp olive oil or more
1 lb bay scallops or shrimp
salt and pepper to taste
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup white wine
1-2 Tbsp dried parsley or 1/4 cup fresh
1 package fresh spinach fettucini (I used the Bertolli kind in the refridgerated section at the grocery store) If you don't like spinach then you can use the regular or whole wheat kind.
Shredded parmesan cheese to taste

Slice zucchini and then half the slices. Chop the onion really small or use the dried flakes. Place butter and olive oil in large sautee pan over med-high heat. Add Zucchini, onion, and garlic and stir frequently until just tender.

In a separate pot, boil water for pasta and cook until desired doneness. Set aside.

Add bay scallops or uncooked shrimp to veggies in sautee pan and cook until the veggies are browned and the scallops are still very soft, stirring very frequently so you don't overcook the scallops. Turn the heat down and add the wine, lemon juice, salt and pepper and parsley. Simmer until wine is reduced and remove from heat immediately.

Drain pasta and add to the sautee pan. Toss the pasta to coat with the sauce and everything is evenly distributed. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over all and cover with lid to melt the cheese. *Do not use heat during the last two steps* Enjoy!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Stuffed Mushrooms

I am posting this recipe at the request of Ben and Molly. I have made these for the family a couple times, but it has been awhile. I found this recipe about 8-10 years ago online and I tweaked it a bit so they would taste more like Maggianos since they are the best stuffed mushrooms of all time, so here is the doctored up version.

2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion diced very small
2 Tbsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp or less to taste red pepper flakes
reserved mushroom stems chopped small
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 Tbsp fresh parsley, oregano, and basil chopped or 1 tsp of each dried. I've used the both and the dried tastes just as good.
salt and pepper to taste
1 large box of stuffing mushrooms (at least 12) stems removed and reserved
1 cup fresh parmesan cheese ground
1 lemon cut in two halves

Heat the oil in a skillet over med-high heat. Add chopped onions, garlic, red pepper flakes, and chopped mushroom stems. Sauté about 5 minutes until the onions are translucent. Deglaze with white wine for about 3-5 minutes. (There should still be some liquid in the pan so turn the heat down if it is burning off too fast) Remove from heat, and stir in bread crumbs and all the herbs. Stir till all onion mixture is coated in bread crumbs. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside to cool slightly. After a few minutes, when mixture is warm but not hot, stir in the parmesan cheese and stuff the mushrooms with filling. (Use all the filling even if it is falling out into the pan.) Place mushroom caps round side down in greased 9x13 pan or baking sheet. Drizzle all the tops with olive oil and squeeze half the lemon over the tops of each mushroom. Save the other half for after baking. Bake mushrooms at 350 for 20-25 minutes until golden brown on top. Immediately squeeze other half of lemon over all and serve.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

spinach salad

1 cup cannola oil
5 TB vinegar
4 TB sour cream
2 TB sugar
1 TB dijohn mustard
1&1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp garlic puree
1/2 tsp. minced onion
Mix above for dressing
Pour over:
4 chopped hard-boiled eggs - (boil in water by covering with cold water, then bring the water to boil. Turn off heat and leave covered with a lid for twenty minutes. Best hard boiled eggs! Cool and chop.
1 lb bacon or amount to taste. Cook in microwave between paper towels till crisp. Cool and chop.
bean sprouts - wash
1 small box fresh washed mushrooms, sliced
fresh washed spinach
Toss with dressing the second before eating. Enjoy!

Crab and Corn Chowder

approximately 2 cups chicken broth
1 and 1/2 tsp. seafood seasoning
1 and 1/2 stick of butter
3/8 cup of flour
3 cups milk
3 15 oz. cans of cream style corn
1&1/2 cups chopped green onions
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 lb. of lump crabmeat (we use the costco canned crab)

Melt butter in pan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk untill smooth, add milk all at once. Stir till thickened. Add corn, green onions,and seasoning. Add chicken broth to desired consistency. Simmer on low about ten minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in crab meat just before serving for optimal tenderness or add crab and turn off heat. Warm right before serving.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


The heavy cream must be ice cold; if not, it won't hold stiff peaks, no matter how long or hard you beat it. Soften the cream cheese at room temperature; the microwave will cause the cheese to separate.

Serves 8 to 10.

Fruit Layer
12 ounces frozen raspberries (2 cups)
3 tablespoons powdered pectin (Sure-Jell)
1 1/2 cups sugar
Pinch table salt
1 cup fresh raspberries
1 (9-inch) pie shell , baked and cooled (see related recipe)
Chiffon Layer
3 tablespoons gelatin , raspberry flavored
3 tablespoons boiling water
3 ounces cream cheese , softened
1 cup heavy cream , chilled
Whipped Cream Topping
1 1/4 cups heavy cream , chilled
2 tablespoons sugar

1. For the fruit layer: Cook frozen berries in medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until berries begin to give up their juice, about 3 minutes. Stir in pectin and bring to full boil, stirring constantly. Stir in sugar and salt and return to full boil. Cook, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Pour through fine-mesh strainer into medium bowl, pressing on solids to extract as much puree as possible. Scrape puree off underside of strainer into bowl.

2. Transfer 1/3 cup raspberry puree to small bowl and cool to room temperature. Gently fold fresh raspberries into remaining puree. Spread fruit mixture evenly over bottom of pie shell and set aside.

3. For the chiffon layer: Dissolve gelatin in boiling water in large bowl. Add cream cheese and reserved 1/3 cup raspberry puree and beat with electric mixer on high speed, scraping down sides of bowl once or twice, until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add 1 cup cream and beat on medium-low until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Scrape down bowl. Beat on high speed until cream holds stiff peaks, 1 to 2 minutes. Spread evenly over fruit in pie shell. Cover pie with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until set, at least 3 hours or up to 2 days.

4. For the whipped cream topping: When ready to serve, beat 1 1/4 cups cream and sugar to stiff peaks. Spread or pipe over chilled filling. Serve.

You can use any pie crust recipe that you want, you just have to bake it completely before you do the above steps. Here is the crust recipe that they used for this pie:


The pastry can be pressed into the pie plate and refrigerated for up to 2 days or double-wrapped in plastic and frozen for up to 1 month. Once baked and cooled, the shell can be wrapped tightly in plastic and stored at room temperature for up to 1 day.

Makes one 9-inch Pie Shell.

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon table salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), softened but still cool
2 ounces cream cheese , softened but still cool
1. Lightly coat 9-inch Pyrex pie plate with cooking spray. Whisk flour, sugar, and salt together in bowl.

2. With electric mixer at medium-high speed, beat butter and cream cheese in large bowl, stopping once or twice to scrape down beater and sides of bowl, until completely homogenous, about 2 minutes. Add flour mixture and combine on medium-low until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal, about 20 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl. Increase mixer speed to medium-high and beat until dough begins to form large clumps, about 30 seconds. Reserve 3 tablespoons of dough. Turn remaining dough onto lightly floured surface, gather into ball, and flatten into 6-inch disk. Transfer disk to greased pie plate.

3. Press dough evenly over bottom of pie plate toward sides, using heel of your hand. Hold plate up to light to ensure that dough is evenly distributed. With your fingertips, continue to work dough over bottom of plate and up sides until evenly distributed.

4. On floured surface, roll reserved dough into 12-inch rope. Divide into three pieces, roll each piece into 8-inch rope, and form fluted edge. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

5. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly prick bottom of crust with fork. Bake until golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool on wire rack. (If large bubbles form, wait until crust is fully baked, then gently press on bubbles with kitchen towel. Bubbles will settle as crust cools.)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Chocolate Rolo Cookies

These are an old family favorite, but I don't know if anyone has the recipe. I have been craving them and I didn't have the recipe so I found this one online. Hopefully it is the same as the regular one. I am making them tomorrow, so I will let you know.

2 1/4 c. flour
3/4 c. cocoa
1 tsp. soda
1 c. sugar
1 c. packed brown sugar
1 c. butter, softened
2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
60 Rolo candies
Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In small bowl, combine flour, cocoa, and soda; blend well. In large bowl, beat sugars and butter until fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs; beat well. Slowly add flour mixture; blend well. For each cookie with floured hands, shape about 1 tablespoon dough around caramel candy, covering completely. Place on ungreased sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 7 to 10 minutes or until they start to crackle on top. Cool slightly and remove from sheets. Dust with powdered sugar while still warm so that the sugar will stick. Makes 60 cookies.

Bruschetta stuffed Zucchini

I made this recipe up a couple of weeks ago and it turned out really yummy. The kids loved it too. Unfortunately it was made up so don't kill me if the amounts are a little off, these are guestimates.

Take 2 large zucchini and cut the top 1/3 off (lengthwise) I cut it so the ends curved up a little bit to form a little boat shape. Chop the top 1/3 of zucchini into small cubes and set aside for later. Take a spoon or mellon baller and scrape out the seeds and middle pulp section of zucchini. Once the boats are prepared, place them in a 8x8 or 9x9 glass oven proof pan. Lightly salt and pepper insides and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a skillet on the stove heat 2 Tbsp olive oil over med-high heat.
Add chopped 1/2 onion, chopped zucchini tops, and 2 Tbsp minced garlic. Sautee a few minutes till the onions carmelize. Turn the heat down to med so garlic won't burn. When they are carmelized to your liking add 1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes. I used grape tomatoes and just cut them in half. They were so sweet and delicious and not too juicy, but you can use whatever kind you have. Stir frequently until tomatoes are just heated through. Sprinkle about 3 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar over all and season to taste. Turn off heat and add 1/2-1 cup italian bread crumbs over the skillet mixture and stir to coat all veggies. If it looks dry at all add more olive oil. It should be moist.

Spoon skillet mixture into zucchini boats till full. I had extra filling so I just let it fall in the pan. Drizzle with Balsamic vinegar over all.

Bake 20 minutes uncovered. Open oven and sprinkle 1/2 cup or more to taste with parmesan or mozzarella cheese over tops. Bake 10-15 minutes more. Until cheese is brown and bubbly. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Sweet and Sour Pork

Back in the day, Dad used to beg me to make this for his birthday or Father's Day! After I had over two kids, I stopped making it because it is a lot of work. I'm recording it here in case you want to go to the effort and because the recipe is in tatters!

7 oz. lean pork
1 TB. Sherry or red cooking wine
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
3 carrots
1/2 onion
1 green pepper
1 can chunk pineapple
1 glove garlic
3 eggs
1 T. flour
3 TB. cornstarch
1 pint oil
3 TB ketchup
1 tsp. soy sauce
3 TB vinegar
3 TB sugar
1/2 C. water
Cut pork into squares and sprinkle with sherry, S&P, and set aside. Cut and boil carrots for a few minutes. Cut onion, green pepper and pineapple into chunk sizes. Beat eggs, mix with flour and 2 TB cornstarch. Coat pork with mixture and deep fry in canola oil and remove with a slotted spoon to paper towels. Fry carrots, onion and green pepper for one minute. Set all on paper towel. Mix ketchup, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, 1 TB cornstarch and water. Heat 4 TB oil in fry pan and cook mixture until thick. Place pork, vegetables and pineapple into sauce and cover well. Cook rice and serve together. It really is delicious, at least that is how I remember it! Somebody make it and see if it is as good as we remember!

To make this less time consuming, cut and prepare all the vegs and meat the day before, and make the sauce. Then the day of, just coat all of them, deep fry, warm up the sauce, cover and serve.

Cream cheese filled chocolate cupcakes!

My friend in the ward makes these and they are to die for!!

1 box chocolate cake mix- Mix the batter as stated on the box, however do it in this order:
*Eggs- beat until frothy and light yellow
*Add water and oil and ONE HALF (1/2) large box of chocolate cook n' serve pudding mix
*Then add the chocolate cake mix and a small amount of vanilla (around 1/2 tsp or so)

Cream Cheese Filling:
1 8oz brick cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 to 1 tsp vanilla
mini chocolate chips (optional)
*Mix all ingredients, adding as many (or none) chocolate chips as desired

Spoon cupcake batter into paper cupcake liners only half full. Then add about 1 1/2-2 teaspoons of cream cheese batter in the centers. Spoon a tiny amount of batter on top of cream cheese, although it's okay if the cream cheese is still showing.

Bake according to your cake mix box instructions, although my friend said hers were supposed to go in 18-22 minutes and she took them out at 13-15 minutes. You want the toothpick to come out almost clean. Frost with whatever frosting you want and top with sprinkles. My friend used a pink frosting and piped it on with a jagged point, then added some pink crystal/glittery type sprinkles on top, and put a small silver edible ball in the very center. They were very fancy and yummy!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Chicken Cordon Bleu

I know, I know, this is a classic which most of you have - but I am adding the classics for our Christmas Cookbook, a few a day, per Danielle's request.

6 chicken breasts
6 slices ham, luncheon meat kind
6 slices swiss cheese, enough to cover surface
1 small box fresh mushrooms
1 small can healthy request crm of mushroom soup
1 small can healthy request crm of chicken soup
16 oz. light sour cream
½ large chopped onion
1 tsp. minced garlic
Lawrys seasoning, salt, pepper
Minced onion

Pound chicken breasts with a meat mallet until about 1/4” thick, then sprinkle lightly with lawrys seasoning salt, pepper and minced onion, then ham, then cheese, then roll up and place in sprayed 9X13 pan, seam down. The chicken breasts are so huge that I cut them in half and make smaller ones. Half is plenty for most women. Mix rest and spread over top, with a little more lawrys in the sauce and pepper. Cover with aluminum foil and cook at 275 degrees for three hours. Can assemble the night before. You can also make this and cook it for four hours at 250 degrees for the whole time you are at church.

Lemon Fluff Cake

This is a Monson classic, repeated here by request.

2 pkgs 3 oz. lemon jello
3&1/2 cups boiling water
½ to ¾ cup juice from lemons *I like it fairly tart so I always use ¾ c.
2 cups whipping cream
1 box crushed vanilla wafers
1 cup sugar

Dissolve jello in boiling water. Refrigerate just until it starts to set. I put it in the freezer and check often until it just starts to set up, not liquidey anymore. Then remove and beat it on high for exactly ten minutes. Add the sugar and lemon juice beating on a lower speed to mix. Then fold in the cream. Crumble the wafers in a food processor or you can just put them in a large zip lock bag and stomp on them. Put crumbs on the bottom of a 9X13 pan reserving ¼ of them to sprinkle on top. Pour in the jello mixture and refrigerate or stick back in the freezer if you are in a hurry

* variations: You can make lime fluff cake or lemon lime (I used 1 package lemon and one package lime jello) or orange fluff cake. Be sure to use only ¾ c juice though. I haven’t tried raspberry and then add smooshed berries for the juice. Hmmmm that might be yummy!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Beet and Scallops Salad

Beet and Scallop Salad

I made 9 salads out of this.
Fresh or homecanned beets; 1 quart
Salad dressing; white balsamic or *homemade
Fresh parsley; 1 small bunch, 2 sprigs for each salad
Walnuts; 1 small package chopped, sweetened (see below)
Blue Cheese, 1 small container crumbled
Broadleaf lettuce, about 3 leaves per salad, to lightly cover base of plate
Scallops, 2 for each salad (I bought them from Costco)
Bacon, 1 piece
Cream Cheese; 1 four oz. package

Cook fresh beets in boiled water with the skins on till just fork tender, then remove from water and skin them. Slice in flat slices across the whole beet about ¼ “thick. Place one on top of another, like a sandwich, with similar shape. Cool. Then slice a ¼” slice of cream cheese and put between the beets.
*I used home canned beets, cutting them to the same thickness and shapes as above.

Salad dressing: Use light balsamic bottled dressing or *I made homemade: 3/4th cup canola oil, 1/4th cup white wine vinegar, 1 TB dijohn mustard, 1/4th tsp pureed garlic, 14th tsp lawry’s, s&p dash, 2 TB fresh lemon juice, 3TB sugar or to taste. Make it ahead though so as soon as the scallops are done you can immediately put them on the plate and drizzle the dressing overall, top with the blue cheese, and serve.

Put 1 TB water in a frying pan then add the walnuts and squirt honey bear honey over all the nuts about 2 Tablespoons. Stir until all the water is absorbed and the nuts are coated about three minutes. Turn out of the pan onto a plate to cool.

On each salad plate, arrange lettuce pieces, not heavily, just about 3-4 leaves.
Place a beet sandwiches on the lettuce, sprinkle the sweetened walnuts, with one on top of the beet, with a sprig of parsley. Set aside.

Cook in a frying pan 1 slice of bacon till crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and crumble. Sprinkle the crumbles on the lettuce and beet, just a few each salad.

In the bacon grease, fry the scallops on one side and then the other. I did that after everyone was sitting down. Do not overcook them! Only five minutes, two and a half each side on medium. Then place the warm scallops, two on each plate, one on either side of the beet and quickly drizzle salad dressing overall and lightly sprinkle blue cheese crumbles. Serve immediately.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Chicken and Sausage Jambaylaya

A recipe from my older sister Heidi that she swears by.

1+ pound of chicken breasts (Or use one pound of de-veined, peeled, and de-tailed shrimp.  Ben and I used shrimp the other night instead of chicken and it worked great.  It taste more like Spanish paella with shrimp.)

1 package sausage (Like Pepperidge Farm or whatever you want.)

2 cups uncooked brown rice

1 green pepper chopped

1 small onion chopped

2 (10 ounce) cans of diced tomatoes

1 (14 1/2 ounce) can of chicken broth

1 cup water

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning

salt to taste

Cook chicken in a little olive oil until browned.  (If using shrimp, skip this step.  Don't cook the shrimp this early.  See below.)

Add in sausage, green pepper, and onion.  (If using shrimp, this is your first step.  When onion is tender, then add in shrimp and cook on both sides till pink.)

Stir in tomatoes, chicken broth, water, garlic powder, Cajun seasoning, salt, and rice.

Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to low and cover and let simmer for 20 minutes or until rice is tender.

Buttermilk Blueberry Pancakes

These pancakes are my FAVORITE.  Just a little  note, do NOT substitute the buttermilk in this recipe for anything else (or try to use milk and lemon juice instead).  Buy real buttermilk if you're going to make these.  It's what makes the recipe.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup melted butter, plus some for frying
1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen

In a large bowl sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Beat the eggs with the buttermilk and melted butter in another bowl.  

Combine the dry and wet ingredients JUST UNTIL A LUMPY BATTER FORMS.  Do NOT over-mix this batter or else you'll get flat heavy pancakes.  It's supposed to be lumpy and thicker.

Heat some butter on a griddle or in a large frying pan over medium heat.  Spoon 1/3 cup of batter onto pan and sprinkle the top of pancake with blueberries while it cooks.  Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side.  (These take a little longer to cook all the way through, and to heat up the blueberries.)

I like to serve these with homemade raspberry syrup.

1 pkg of frozen raspberries (I just use whatever I have left frozen in the freezer from the summertime.)
1 cup of sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 cup water

Combine the water, butter, and sugar in a sauce pan and cook over medium heat till thickened.  Add the raspberries and boil till thickened more, stirring constantly.  You may have to use a little cornstarch to thicken up the syrup to how you like it.

Spicd Pork Chops with Mango-Mint Salsa

Ben and I tried this recipe from Cooking Light the other day and it was excellent.

3/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
4 boneless center-cut loin pork chops, trimmed

Combine first three ingredients in a small bowl and then sprinkle evenly over front and back of chops.

Coat a nonstick skillet with cooking spray and then heat over medium high heat.  Add pork.  Cook about four minutes on each side or until browned and cooked all the way through.

1 1/2 cups finely chopped peeled mango (About one large ripe mango.)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Mix all the above in a bowl and serve over chops.  Best if this sits in the fridge for a bit (covered) before it's served over the chops.

Suggested Side--Roasted Sweet Potato Fries:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 large sweet potatoes, cut in half and then each half cut into six wedges

Combine the first four ingredients and then coat the potato wedges with the mixture.  Spread out on a baking sheet and bake at 425 degrees for 25 minutes or until insides are tender and outsides are crunchy.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Upside Down Berry Cobbler

This recipe is so simple and fast and is SO good.

1/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
2 cups fresh berries (I always mix raspberry and blackberry.  And don't be afraid to use a few more berries than this calls for.)

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray eight inch round cake pan with cooking spray.

In medium bowl, combine shortening, sugar, flour, baking powder, egg, and milk.  Mix until well blended.  Pour batter into pan.  Spoon berries over batter.

Bake 45 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Cool on wire rack.  Store in refrigerator.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Chicken and Veggie Chowder

I love love love this recipe.  I make it all the time.  It's from the Southbeach diet cookbook, so it's really healthy too.  ALWAYS double this recipe though, if you're feeding more than 2-3 people.  Ben and I eat the below just by ourselves.  It stores well and tastes even better the second day too.  You can serve it as a meal or serve smaller portions as an appetizer to a meal.

3 cups chicken broth

2 carrots, chopped

2 ribs celery, chopped

1 onion, chopped

2 oz mushrooms, sliced ( I always use more than this.)

1 clove garlic, minced ( I always add more than this too.)

1 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
(Dried thyme works just as well.   Just use a third of the amount of fresh.)

1/4 tsp salt (Use a little more than this.  To taste.)

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 3/4" strips

2 T trans-free margarine (I just use real butter.)

3 tablespoons whole wheat flour

1 cup 1% milk (I use 2%.)

3 spears asparagus, cut into 1" pieces, or 1 cup broccoli florets (I've never use broccoli, I like the flavor the asparagus adds to much.  And...I ALWAYS add more asparagus than it calls for.)

1 T chopped fresh parsley (Again, just use 1/3 the amount of dried instead, if you want.)

1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper

In a large pot, combine the broth, carrots, celery, onion, mushrooms, garlic, thyme, and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Using a slotted spoon, remove half of the vegetable mixture to a food processor and process until pureed. Return to soup pot.

Stir in the chicken, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the chicken is no longer pink.

Melt the margarine in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour until smooth and cook for 1 minute. Gradually add the milk and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes, or until thickened. Stir in to the chicken mixture. Add the asparagus or broccoli, parsley, and pepper and cook for 5 minutes, or until heated through.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Mama Walker's Chili Ala Molly

FINALLY...I'm posting something on the food blog!  Here's the chili recipe Rachel wanted.  It comes from the mother of a good friend of mine.  I love this chili recipe because it's heavy on the beans while leaving out all the stewed tomato stuff I'm not such a big fan of.  This recipe is "to taste," so it's kind of Marilynn-style.  Just put in whatever sounds good to you.  This is just a guideline.

1 lb lean ground beef (I use 4% lean, usually.  Use meat this lean so you don't have to drain it when cooking or else you lose all the garlic and onion flavor that's cooking with it.)

salt (to taste)

fresh ground pepper (to taste)

1 yellow onion chopped

minced garlic (To taste, I use two to three cloves.)

1 large can of tomato sauce (I think it's 28 ounces, but whatever is closest to that size.  Or just use two small 15 ounce cans.)

1 large can of red kidney beans (Again, I think it's 28 ounces, or do two small 15 ounce cans.  You can also sub in one small can of pinto beans--one 15 ounce red kidney beans and one 15 ounce pinto in that case--so this is four-bean chili instead of three.)

1 can of black beans (15 ounces)

1 can of great northern white beans (15 ounces)

1 pkg of chili seasoning

1/3 cup of ketchup

2 tsp chili powder

1-2 cups frozen corn (White or yellow or a mix of the two--however much you want.)

Saute the onion and garlic in a little olive oil.  When the onions are getting tender,  add in the ground beef and cook till the ground beef is browned.  Mix in salt and pepper to meat as it's cooking.

Place meat mixture in crock pot.  Add in all the rest of the ingredients (including liquid from canned beans) and mix around.  Cook on low at least six hours.

*Goes really well with cornbread with honey and butter.  We also usually add cheese, sour cream, and sometimes chopped green onions on top when served.

Whole Wheat Waffles

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 TB baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup oil
2 eggs
milk to desired thickness

*optional ingredients: cinnamon, nutmeg. and bananas

In a medium sized bowl mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Then stir in eggs,oil, and milk to dry ingredients. The amount of milk will vary depending on how thick you like your batter. Just add a little at a time. After batter is made, I usually add a generous amount of cinnamon and a little bit of nutmeg.

Some of my favorite toppings are berries and whip cream, or yogurt and syrup is really tasty as well!

Andrea's Wheat Bread

This recipe is from Garrett's sister Andrea. She has tweaked it and perfected it over several years and it is my favorite bread ever! I usually eat about a half a loaf in one sitting. The white flour makes it lighter and fluffier than whole wheat, but it is still mostly wheat flour. The thing I love about this recipe is that it only has to rise one time so it is much faster than most bread recipes. The other great thing about this recipe is that it makes three big loaves so you can give them away or freeze them for later use. Enjoy!

In a small bowl combine:
1/2 cup lukewarm water
2 Tbsp yeast
1 tsp sugar
set aside for 15-20 minutes

Mix in Bosch:
7 cups whole wheat flour
5 cups really hot water
Mix until blended well blended about 5 minutes.

Then add:
2 tbsp salt
2/3 cup oil
2/3 cup mesquite honey (you can find this at Trader Joe's, it's way better than regular)
mix until well blended, about 5-10 more minutes

Next add:
1 more cup wheat flour
yeast mixture from small bowl
mix well

3-4 cups white flour
Mix on high for 10 minutes

Place dough in three greased loaf pans (shape into loaves). Cover all three pans with a warm damp rag and let rise for 35 minutes or double in size. Cook 45 mins. at 350 degrees. Tip pans on their side and place on counter to cool, (this helps them to not fall while they are cooling). When they are mostly cooled but still warm rub each top crust with butter and serve.

Lobster Bisque

Marilynn Monson’s Original LOBSTER BISQUE
• 1/2 cup butter plus 6 TBs
• 1 large onion, chopped
• 1 tsp. pureed garlic
• Two handfuls baby carrots
• 3 bay leaves
• 1 teaspoon dried thyme
. 1 or 2 LARGE lobster tails (I used 2, but it is expensive,so 1 would work too,it would just have less chunks of meat which is fine and many restaurant lobster soups don't have tons of meat chunks in them.)
• 1 cup cooking white wine, or white grape juice
• 1 quart canned tomatoes
• 6 cups LOBSTER SHELL stock
• 1 quart half and half
• 3 tablespoons parsley
• salt to taste, 4 TB flour, 1 TB Cheasapeake bay seafood seasoning
• ground black pepper to taste, 1 TB sugar, or to taste
First make the lobster stock by cutting the back of the lobster down the middle with scissors then slide your thumb against the shell and lift out the meat. Set aside the meat for later use. Cut out the yellow sack nearest the head; on the meat,not the shell, and discard. Put the shells in 6 cups of water with bay leaves and ¼ of the large onion and 1 tsp. pureed garlic. Bring to a boil, then simmer on low for 1 hour. This is the secret of this soup. Don’t shortchange the time and if you start earlier let it simmer longer up to twice as long. Not full boil, just simmering. Then add the meat and watch closely for when it just turns opaque throughout. About five minutes and then remove the meat to a plate and cool. Chop it in a food processor medium fine. Cover and set aside.
1. Melt the butter (1 square) over medium heat in a large saucepan, add the onion, and carrot, that has been chopped fine in a food processor.. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens.
2. Add the wine and tomatoes. Bring to a gentle boil, and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, and simmer for 20 – 30 minutes more leaving the shells in.
3. Remove the bay leaves. Remove the lobster shells, picking off any meat they may still have on them. Discard shells. Add the thyme and seafood seasoning. Process until very smooth with a hand blender. Simmer at a low temperature.
4. Melt in a saucepan 6 TB of butter, stir in the flour till smooth, then add the half and half stirring constantly until very smooth. Add to the stock with the chopped lobster meat and heat through. Add remaining seasoning. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve with fresh romano cheese sprinkled on top. Enjoy!
This is obviously soup for a special occasion since it is expensive! I had to make up a lobster bisque recipe after having and craving it from an expensive restaurant lately. It drew rave reviews from the company at our recent dinner party! They loved it! Dad wants me to sell it and make millions! Right!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

I know many of you have heard me talk about my "martha stewart" friend Alisha. She is an amazing baker. This is one of her recipes. I took it to a party a few weeks ago and we sat around, eating them and pretty much crying (out of joy for our mouths:).

They are: Divine Chocolate Cake with Almond Butter Frosting

Warning: they are NOT lowfat! However, it isn’t quite as bad as it looks b/c the recipe is really

1 ½ times a normal one (it makes a 9 inch cake AND 12 cupcakes or 36 cupcakes). Enjoy!

3 sticks butter
1 cup dutch process cocoa
2 ½ cups flour
2 ¼ tsp bak soda
¼ tsp salt
2 ¾ cup brown sugar
6 eggs, room temp
2 cups buttermilk
1 Tb vanilla
¾ cup hot water

Preheat oven to 350
In a large mixer, cream butter and sugar together till light. Add in eggs, 2 at a time, till blended. In a separate bowl, mix dry ingred: cocoa, flour, soda, salt. In another bowl, mix hot water, buttermilk, and vanilla.

Mixing on low, alternate dry ingred with wet, till just blended. Don’t over mix. Scrape into pans.

Cupcakes: bake 18 min, till set but moist.
9 inch round cake: butter, flour, bake 60 min.

Almond butter frosting:
2 sticks butter, room temp
2 tsp almond extract
1 TB milk
1 pound powd sugar.

Beat butter, add extract, mix in powd sug, add milk if needed. Frost generously.

Friday, January 30, 2009

A Few Last Recipes from My Mission

These aren't Estonian, strictly speaking, well actually not even close, but they are beloved among the Estonian missionaries, so I thought you might enjoy them.

Chocolate Snickerdoodles
These were a delicious chocolate cinnamony treat on the way to zone conferences.
Tip: Do not substitute wheat flour for white. They don't work.
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup cocoa
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp salt

Mix, roll into balls
Coat balls in 2 tsp of sugar mixed with 2 tsp cinnamon
bake at 400 for 6-9 minutes

Elder Peterson's Orange Chicken
If you like Panda express once in a while, you will like this. My companions and I made it on Pdays for a special treat.
4-5 large skinless, boneless chicken breasts, thawed and cubed
crack 2-3 eggs into a bowl and stir them up
coat chicken in eggs
put egged chicken in a plastic bag or other container and add 1 cup flour 1 tsp salt 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
shake until well coated. You can add more flour if you want.
Fry in oil until golden brown.
Drain, set aside in a casserole dish

Pre-heat oven to 350

3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup vinegar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup orange juice
4 Tbsp ketchup
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp mustard

Boil until it barely starts to thicken, stirring fairly consistently

Pour over chicken, stir so chicken is well coated
sprinkle sesame seeds over the top
Bake 15 minutes, remove from oven stir well
Bake 15 more minutes, stir
Serve with rice and vegetables

Elder Harris' Amazing Brownies
These are literally the best brownies I've ever had. I think the texture is perfect.
180 gr of softened butter I think that is like one cube
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cups cocoa
2 eggs
mix well. It should be pretty thick.
Add 1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1 Tbsp vanilla
Mix well. You're going to think it is too thick. It isn't.
Spread with spatula in brownie-appropriate pan.
Bake at 350 for about 15 min. Take them out when they still look a little underdone or they will be wayyyy too hard.
Oh my gosh, I love these.

Real Estonian Food

Aino's Tort
1 small package of pre-made cake mix
1 cube melted butter
mix the two and press the mixture into the bottom of a baking dish until it is firm
cover with berries or apple slices, whatever you want (black currants are very estonian)
whisk 3 eggs and add 250g of sour gream. I think that is about a cup
Mix well
Pour over topBake at 350 watch it carefully until it is just starting to get golden brown but when you shake the pan it shouldn't move like liquid anymore.

Sister Tormis' Delicious Dumpling Soup
2 liters of chicken boullion - set to softly boil/simmer on stove
chop 1 pepper, 1 onion and some garlic - sautee until soft and add to boullion
chop 3 carrots and 5 small potatoes - add to pot*Note* You can really add as many as you want
Boil all of this for 10 min.
2 eggs
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup water
3 cups flour
mix well
You may or may not need to add more water. You don't want it runny, but not too thick either. It should hold its own shape when dropped into the soup.
Drop by spoonfuls into the soup until all dumpling dough is used.
Boil 5 min.
When dumplings are floating on surface then it is done.
Serve with fresh chopped dill and sour cream on top. Eat with rye bread.

P.S. If you want your food to taste like estonian food eat it with sour cream, dill and rye bread. =)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Other Reason Why I Gained 30 Lbs on my Mission:

The Socratically Ideal Chocolate Chip Cookie
1 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 large heaping spoonful of peanut butter

3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 giant dark chocolate bar with hazelnuts chopped up or as many chocolate chips and you can fit

drop by spoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet
8-10 min at 350

Consume with milk. Preferrably the Estonian brand Tere

Why I Gained 30 Lbs...


Combine 1 cup hot water with 1 cup milk.
Sprinkle 1 Tbsp sugar and four packets of yeast over the top
Set aside

Melt 1 cup butter in a large mixing bowl
Add 2 eggs, 3 cups flour, 1/2 cup sugar
Add activated yeast-liquid mixure (make sure it is smelly, gooey and active)
Mix with hand mixer 3 minutes
Add 1 tsp salt (Do this after because it slows yeast growth)

Add another 3 cups flour until it starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl
Knead 8-10 min. adding 1-2 cups flour as you go.

Place in an large oiled bowl. Cover in a warm place, let rise 45 min- hour. I put mine on top of the preheated oven.

When you have about 15 minutes left to go, make the Cinnamon Goo!
Cinnamon Goo:
Melt 1 stick butter over medium heat
stir in about 1/2-2/3 of a shaker of ground cinnamon
add plain white sugar until mixture is saturated (so it is not really liquid anymore)
Add a little bit of milk (maybe two tablespoons?) NOT TOO MUCH and continue stirring
The resulting goo should be about the consistency of Hershey's chocolate syrup
Set aside

Tip: if the mixture looks weird (like poop floating in oil) you should add more sugar and stir until it looks like chocolate sauce.

Roll out dough long and narrow about 1/2 inch thick
spread goo over the dough evenly. Make sure to coat up to the corners
Roll up and cut 1 inch slices by circling the roll with thread and pulling it tight till it cuts off a slice.
Lay on greased jelly roll sheets

Cover and let rise another 1/2 hour or until you can't stand it anymore.
Bake 10-12 min at 350 or until golden delicious perfect. Goo should be bubbling in cinnamon gorgeousity.

When they have about 5 min left, make Frosting!

1 package philadelphia cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp milk

Add powdered sugar and whisk until it reaches desired thickness and sweetness

Smother in frosting, devour, drink milk. Repeat.

Tip: Because of the steps involved, if you don't do dishes in between steps, your house will be destroyed.

Sweet N Salty Sweet Potato Fries

I made these for dinner tonight and they were so amazing! The kids ate about 4 helpings each. I love sweet potatoes any way you make them, but this is my new fave!

Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries
serves 4-6
2-3 medium sweet potatoes (skins on)
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil (preferably the easy release kind). I used parchment paper and it worked great.
Cut sweet potatoes into strips that are about 1/2 inch wide on each side.
Place the sweet potatoes into a sealable plastic bag. Add oil, salt, paprika and cinnamon. Seal the bag and shake well to thoroughly coat the fries. Spread the potatoes out onto the baking sheet in a single layer.
Cook for 30 minutes, turning every 10 minutes. Transfer immediately to a paper towel lined plate and serve warm.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Yummy Chocolate Chip Cookies

I got this recipe from my friend Rachel. I am a huge fan of chocolate chip cookies, and these are wonderful!

1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
½ cup sugar
¾ cup tightly packed light brown sugar
1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 large egg, at room temperature, lightly beaten
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 cup chocolate chips (half a 12 oz bag of chocolate chips)

1. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.

2. Using a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugars on low speed until it is smooth and lump free, about 3 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle.

3. Add the vanilla and egg and beat on low speed for 15 seconds, or until fully incorporated. Do not overbeat. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle.

4. On low speed, add the flour mixture. Beat until just incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the chocolate chunks and mix until they are just incorporated. If using a hand mixer, use a wooden spoon to stir them in. Refrigerate dough for at least an hour.

5. Preheat oven to 350. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or nonstick spray. Spoon the dough using a cookie scooper 2 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheets.

6. Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges.

7. Remove the sheet from the oven. When cookies are set, remove them to a cooling rack. Wait at least 5 minutes before serving or 20 minutes before storing in an airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature. Yields 24-36 cookies, depending on size.