Saturday, December 29, 2012

Special Dinners

I enjoy trying to have a nice dinner at least once per week. The past few months have found me very busy with the classes I took during this semester. I only got around to making rolls a couple of times. My teenage son made the comment that I never make nice meals anymore. I have tried to do better. 
I made a nice Sunday dinner when one of my older boys came for a visit and was able to find the time to make a nice Christmas Eve dinner as I thought a friend was going to join us; as it turned out, he did not so I tried to invite others as I had prepared too much food! In the end, it ended up just being myself and my two youngest kids. 

My son and daughter set the table for me and even used the Christmas dishes. I thought that even though it was small, it was very special. I was very glad I was not alone.  

Homemade Rolls

I love this roll recipe. They are great the next day and even freeze well. 

2Tblsp. yeast dissolved in 2 C. warm water
Add: 1/3 C. sugar, 1/3 C. shortening, 2 & 1/2 tsp. salt, 2/3 C. powdered milk, 1 egg, and 2 C. flour. Beat until smooth. Add 2 C. flour and knead until smooth. Add 1 C. flour and again, knead. Let rise until triple in bulk. Roll out and shape. Place on greased baking sheet. Rise for 1 & 1/2 hours. Bake at 375* for 15-20 minutes.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Pretzel/Raspberry Salad

This is a yummy combination of sweet and salty.

Combine and press into a 9X13 pan; 2 C. crushed pretzels, 2 Tblsp. sugar, and 3/4 C. melted butter.  Bake for 10 minutes at 350*.
Mix 1 C. sugar with 8 ounces of cream cheese.  Fold in a small carton of Cool Whip.  Spread on the pretzel mixture.
Dissolve a large blackberry jello in 2 cups of boiling water.  Add about 10 ounces of partially thawed raspberries.  Let it sit until thick and pour over the cream cheese layer. 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Lake Trout

I have been fishing a few times this winter and was showing some of my pics to my Dad.  He asked me to post my pictures on here so he can show them off to the guys at work.  The water is so beautiful in the winter time.

This little guy had a deformity....strangest looking fish ever!

A couple of larger fish.

This one had tried to eat too much at once...greedy little sucker.

And finally, my favorite picture of the day.  A sampling of the beauty captured in the canyon.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Gingerbread Cake with Rum Butter Sauce

Gingerbread Cake

2 eggs
1/2 C. melted butter
1/2 C. molasses
2 C. flour
1 C. sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1 C. hot water

Combine ingredients in order given.  Pour into a greased and floured bundt pan.  Bake at 350* for 25-30 minutes.  Cool for 10 minutes in pan, finish cooling on a cooling rack.

Rum Butter Sauce

1 C. butter
2 C. sugar
1 and 1/2 C. cream

Combine and boil for one minute.  Remove from heat and add 1/2 tsp. rum flavoring.
Generously drizzle over sliced cake.  

This is one of my favorite things to make during the holidays.  I made it in two mini bundt cake pans, but it does fit into one as well.  It does have issues with sticking to the pan so grease and flour well!  

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Cheese Ball

My Aunt gave me this recipe.  I used to go to great lengths to make a much more complicated cheese ball but ever since she brought this and shared, I have stuck to this recipe.  It is oh, so easy, very pleasing, and also cheesy!!

Cheese Ball

1 bottle of Kraft Old English Cheese spread
1 bottle of Kraft Roka Blue Cheese spread
1- 8 ounce package of cream cheese
1/2 of an onion grated
1/2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
Combine all ingredients and blend well.  Refrigerate overnight and roll in chopped nuts.  Serve with crackers.

Homemade Coconut Cream Pie

 Coconut Cream Pie

1/3 C. flour
2/3 C. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 C. scalded milk
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
2 Tblsp. butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 C. coconut
1 baked 9 inch pastry shell

Mix flour, sugar, and salt.  Gradually add milk with a wire whisk.  Cook over moderate heat stirring constantly until mixture thickens and boils.  Cook 2 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Add a small amount of cream mixture to egg yolk, stir and then add egg to the cream mixture.  Cook one minute stirring constantly.  Add butter and vanilla, take off heat and cool.  Add coconut.  Pour into pie crust.  Refrigerate.  Serve the same day or later.  Stays good for about a week.

Pie is one of my favorite things about Thanksgiving.  I got this recipe years ago from a distant relative.  It is my favorite!

Thanksgiving Place Cards

My sister hosted Thanksgiving this year out in the middle of nowhere!  My assignment was to make a cheese ball, sweet potatoes with apples drizzled in a yummy citrus sauce, and the place holders.  I found this printable Mayflower paper boat online.  I glued them together and fastened a festive picture to the mast for a sail. They were then filled with crinkly paper and candy.  My kids had fun blowing them (empty) across the counter.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sugar Cookies

I know, I know, wrong holiday again!  I made these before Halloween this year and forgot to post the recipe.  I decided to post this recipe anyway because, you could make turkey shaped sugar cookies or Christmas trees or reindeer or stars or dinosaurs....okay, you get the idea.  This is one of my favorite sugar cookie recipes.  They are a tender cookie with a light mild frosting.  

Best Sugar Cookies

1 cube soft butter
1 cube margarine
1 & 2/3 C. sugar
2 eggs
1 C. sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla

4 & 1/2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt

Cream the butter, margarine, and sugar.  Add eggs, sour cream, and vanilla.  Mix in dry ingredients.  Roll out dough on a floured surface and cut shapes.  Bake on a greased sheet at 350* for 10 minutes.

Awesome Frosting

1 & 1/2 C. shortening
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. butter flavoring
2 Tblsp. Dream Whip powder
4 Tblsp. flour
1 bag of powdered sugar
2/3 C. water

Beat in a mixer for 5 minutes.  Add coloring if desired.  Frost cooled cookies and enjoy!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Pumpkin Cookies with Penuche Frosting

My oldest son made these the other night and they were so delicious, I had to make some more!  The frosting is to die for!  It has a maple flavor and would be great with chopped walnuts adorning the tops.  Just remember to have the walnuts ready and right by your side because the frosting hardens quite quickly!  As you can see, I was not prepared and mine set long before I could put nuts on them.

Pumpkin Cookies
1 C. butter
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. firmly packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 C. canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 C. flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and the sugars together until light and fluffy.  Blend in pumpkin, egg and vanilla extract.
In separate bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
Mix flour mixture into butter-sugar mixture.
Drop tablespoonfuls 3 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes until golden around the edges.
Let cool completely.

Penuche Frosting

3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2-2 cups confectioners' sugar

In a medium saucepan, heat butter and brown sugar over medium heat until bubbly. Cook, stirring constantly, for one minute or until slightly thickened. Beat in the milk. Blend in confectioner's sugar until the glaze is smooth and spreadable. Frost cookies quickly.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Zucchini Cake without frosting!

This is one of my very favorite ways to eat zucchini!

Zucchini Cake

1/2 C. butter
1 3/4 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 C. oil
1/2 C. buttermilk
2 C. grated zucchini
2 1/2 C. flour
4 Tbsp. cocoa
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking powder
Combine wet ingredients.  Add dry ingredients.  Pour into a greased 13X9 inch pan.  Mix together, 1/2 C. chopped nuts, 1/2 C. chocolate chips, and 1/2 C. brown sugar and sprinkle over the top.  Bake at 325* for 40 minutes.  No frosting needed!

Pizza Crust

Here is my all time favorite pizza crust recipe as per request.

Pizza Crust

1 1/2 C. warm water
1/4 C. sugar
4 1/2 Tbsp. yeast
Combine and let stand 5 minutes

In mixer, combine:
2 1/2 C. warm water
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. garlic powder
6 Tbsp. butter
10-12 C. flour
Add the yeast after about half of the flour.  Knead in mixer for 10 minutes.  Let rise till double in refrigerator. Break off about two cups of dough and roll into desired shape, top with sauce and toppings.  Bake at 400* for 20 minutes.  Makes about 5 pizzas.

My favorite bottled salsa

My parents grow the best tomatoes!  They were kind enough to share some of them with me this year.  I bottled them and made salsa.  This is my favorite salsa recipe.


30-40 peeled tomatoes
6 green bell peppers and 2 red
6 jalapeno peppers
6 yellow peppers
5 medium onions
 Chop finely or use a food processor.
2 Tblsp. pepper
4 cloves of garlic
1 can tomato soup
2 cans of tomato sauce
1 can tomato paste
1 1/2 C. vinegar
1/2 C. salt
1/4 C. sugar
2 tsp. paprika

Simmer all day or until desired thickness is reached.  Pour into sterilized jars and adjust two-piece lids.  Place them in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes (pints).  Let cool for 24 hours.
Sometimes, I add some chili powder if I so desire. \

Pumpkin Muffins

These muffins are divine!  I love how moist and hearty they are. They breach the level of heavenly when you smother them in raspberry jam!

Pumpkin Muffins

2 1/4 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 C. canned pumpkin
1 C. sugar
1/2 C. milk
2 eggs
1/4 C. oil

Combine pumpkin, sugar, milk, eggs, and oil.  Sift dry ingredients.  Stir them together until smooth.  Makes 12 large muffins.  Bake at 400* for 20 minutes.

Peach Crisp and Pie in one

Peach Crisp/Pie

1 C. shortening
3/4 tsp. salt
2 C. flour
1/4 C. ice water

Combine shortening, salt, and flour.  Add ice water.  Mix until just sticks together.  Shape into two balls and roll to form two 12 inch circles.  Place one in a pie tin.


3/4 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. flour
1/2 C. butter
3/4 C. rolled oats

Combine all ingredients.  Peel, slice, and place 8 peaches in crust.  Spread the brown sugar mixture over the peaches.  Place top crust over the brown sugar mixture.  Trim and form the edges.

Bake at 350* for 45 minutes.



1 1/2 C. sugar
1 C. butter
2 eggs
2 3/4 C. flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt

Combine first three ingredients then add dry ingredients.  Form into one inch balls and roll in a mixture of cinnamon and sugar.  Bake at 350* for 10 minutes.

The snickerdoodles are the flat ones on the bottom of the picture. 

Snickerdoodles are fun!  My 15 year old son makes them the best!  I have found through trial and error that some butters are better than others for baking with.  These cookies definitely need a good butter or they will be flat like mine!  I have made them before and they are puffy!  Butter is the key.  

Apple cake in a Jar!!

I love carrot pudding at Christmastime!  It is moist and delicious.  A couple of years ago, I stumbled across this recipe for apple cake in a jar.  It resembles carrot pudding in consistency and is so delicious!  The first time I made these moist little cakes, they didn't last but a few months.  This time, I made several batches and am hoping they last through the winter!  They are fairly easy.  The only recommendation I have is to grease and flour your jars instead of using a non-stick spray.

Bottled Apple Cake

2/3 C. soft butter
2 2/3 C. sugar
4 eggs 
2/3 C. water
3 1/2 C. grated apples
2/3 C. raisins (optional)
2/3 C. nuts (optional)

Combine above ingredients and add:
3 C. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg

Make sure to use wide mouth pint jars!!  Grease and flour 7 or 8 pints.  Fill 2/3 full.  Bake in preheated oven at 325* for 45 minutes.  Remove from oven, wipe rims, and place a lid that has been heated (according to directions on package) on each jar.  Tighten rings.  Place on towel and listen for the harmonious popping sounds emitted.  Leave them for 24 hours before putting them away.  If one fails to seal, indulge!

I think they would be perfect heated with warm lemon or rum sauce drizzled over them!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Fish On!

Present a man...or woman in this case...with a fish and he will eat a good meal, teach him to fish and he will feed himself and those around him for a lifetime.
I have been given the invitation a couple of times to accompany an incredible, seasoned fisherman on his adventures.  Fishing requires much more skill and patience than I first imagined!
The only experiences that loom in my mind from childhood are not great.  The fish my brothers brought home was bone intensive and very fishy tasting.
Along with my new found love of fishing, I have been surfing the web as well as thumbing through cherished volumes of recipes in search of fun ways to prepare fish and have found several great recipies and am looking forward to more experimenting.
To this point in time, halibut and tilapia were about the only cuts I ventured to try.  Move over halibut, you have most definitely taken a back seat!

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup butter softened
3 Tbsp mayonnaise
2 Tbsp lemon juice
3 Tbsp chopped green onions (I used dill)
1/4 tsp salt
1 dash hot pepper sauce
2 pounds skinless fillets
 preheat broiler, grease baking dish
 Mix ingredients together, broil fillets until it flakes (about 8 min) apply mixture on top of fillets and broil for another 2 minutes or until it is bubbly and lightly browned! Enjoy.

My Dad is having fun showing this picture off and some have questioned its authenticity.  I added a few more just to help the doubting Thomas' believe.  This is actually me.  These are real fish.  I caught them in Bear Lake in the previous two months.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Bloom where you are planted

Look what I found blooming in the sidewalk!  It reminded me that no matter where we may find ourselves in life at any given moment, we have the choice and ability to become and mirror that which is inside us.  We can push through all the ugliness and overcome the concrete walls that seem ever increasing in our path.  Shine in your own little corner of the world and by so doing perhaps you may give hope to another.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Peach Days

I live in a town where Peach Days are celebrated each September. It is an exciting time of year.  I love peaches and often bottle them in order to enjoy them in the Winter months.  I have been eating as many as I can get my hands on this year.
I have a favorite apple crisp recipe and decided to try it with peaches tonight.  It turned out fabulous.

Fruit Crisp

1 c. flour
1 c. brown sugar
1 egg
Delicious served warm out of the oven a la mode.
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1/3 c. oil
1 c. oats

Combine dry ingredients.  Fold in eggs and oil.
Peel and slice fruit in the bottom of a 9X13 baking pan.  Crumble topping over fruit.  Bake at 350* for thirty minutes.

Gone Fishing

I have had an awesomely fun Summer!  My kids and I have been on many adventures together.  Over Labor Day weekend, we spent some time in Flaming Gorge.  I have never been there before in my life!
I have been waiting all Summer long to go camping in celebration of my grades last semester.  We stayed in our tent and had a great time!
The small town we stayed in had a parade in the morning and a boat parade and fireworks that evening.
We floated the river, and took the tour of the Flaming Gorge Dam.
I have heard the fishing is good there and we did try to fish but as luck would have it, we got seriously rained out!

So yesterday I imposed on a friend of mine who was out fishing all day and was gracious enough to take me out for an evening run.  The wind was blowing and the water was anything but calm.  Despite these conditions, I caught my first big fish!!  It is a Mackinaw.  It was thrilling and I now know that someday when I get my lathe, one of the things I am going to be trying to make is fishing lures!
Here is a photo of my fish which now resides in my freezer.
I even caught him on my favorite lake!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

School Days

I have ALWAYS enjoyed being with my kids.  I love their company and have felt close to them during their growing up years.
When my oldest two children were little, the laws that are now in place for attendance were non existent, therefore, we would sluff frequently; at least during grade school when learning used to be slower and catching up was a piece of cake.
One of my boys would hide behind the large trunk of a tree when the bus came by and then come home claiming he had missed the bus.  I didn't have a vehicle and he knew I could not take him to school.  We enjoyed the days together.
I fortunately have never lived where year round school has been implemented.
I happen to LOVE the Summer when my children are out of school and we have always had a blast experiencing things together.
Summertime is so fleeting and the day school is back in session is dreaded.  My oldest boys are both out of high school.  My younger two started school yesterday.  Time is precious and I dislike the day school starts.  On a positive note, it requires us to be more grounded.  My grass will now get more water and the overgrown yard will get the attention it deserves.

This year was a bit different; I still felt the pulling of my heart strings as I sent my children off to new schools; with one attending sixth grade where she has a locker and class periods.  The other is in tenth grade and at the high school now.  They both seem so grown up and each year seems to be a little more tough for me.  This time, my semester at college began the same day as my kids first day.  It provided a nice distraction and made it fun when I asked my kids about how their first day was, they in turn, asked me how my first day was.  I have really great professors and am excited to learn and for all the experiences we will encounter this year.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Grandma's Peach Dessert

16 graham crackers crushed
1/4 C. sugar
1/2 C. chopped nuts
1/2 C. butter, melted
Combine above ingredients and place half of the mixture into a 9X13 pan.

In a heavy saucepan, melt a 16 oz. bag of miniature marshmallows and 1C. of milk.  Let cool.  Whip one pint of cream till stiff peaks form and fold into cooled marshmallow mixture.
Pour half of the milk mixture onto crust.  Slice 8-10 peaches over the milk mixture.  Pour the remaining milk mixture over the peaches and sprinkle the remaining half of the graham cracker crust mixture over the top.  Refrigerate.  

This is my Grandma's Peach Dessert recipe.  It is yummy and even better the next day.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Hanna, Utah

Spent the weekend in a place called Hanna, Utah.  It was super fun and relaxing!  My friend had a birthday party at his family's estate.
He was a most gracious host keeping us very well fed and entertained!  We enjoyed awesome grilled salmon and a cozy campfire while being serenaded.  Comfortable sleeping quarters in his spacious house were provided (not that we got much sleep we were by the campfire until 3 a.m.).
Saturday morning, we rode horses and four wheelers, herded cows that had managed to escape, and floated the river.  We even encountered a water snake!
This colt was very friendly, walked right up to me.
Had a most enjoyable time and met some awesome new friends!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Peach Pie

This pie is delicious and very simple to make.
I just received a bushel basket of peaches and a large box of pears! I will be making and posting things to do with both.
Love this time of year!
Autumn is by far my favorite; I can hardly wait for cool nights, harvest moons, and brilliantly colored leaves!

Pie Crust
2 C. flour (remove 1/3 C. set aside)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 C. shortening
1/2 C. butter
1/3 C. ice water

Preheat oven to 400*.  Mix flour, salt, shortening, and butter with a pastry blender.  Mix the reserved flour with the ice water then stir into the flour/shortening mixture till just combined.
Roll out 2 crusts and line two pie tins.  Pierce crusts with fork. Place in freezer for 20 minutes.  Bake for 10-12 minutes. 

2 Tblsp. corn starch
6 Tblsp. Tang
1/2 C. sugar
1 & 1/3 C. water
2 tsp. lemon juice
Boil ingredients together stirring constantly for one minute.  Set aside to cool.

8 ounces softened cream cheese
1/2 C. powdered sugar
8 ounces thawed Cool Whip
Mix cream cheese and sugar till smooth.  Fold in Cool Whip.  Spread mixture into cooled crusts.

Slice 4 large peaches and arrange on top.  Place 3/4 C. blueberries on top as well.  Drizzle with glaze.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Zucchini Brownies

Another Zoo--Keee--Nee post!  I made some brownies with zucchini too!  My sister claims these should not be called brownies as they are more cake-like.  They are nonetheless delicious and your kids will not even know zucchini is in them!
My finicky daughter even eats these.
(loving my cell phone for a camera)

Mystery Brownies

2 C. sugar
1/2 C. baking cocoa 
1 C. oil
3 eggs
1 tsp. water
1/2 C. evaporated milk
1 Tblsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
2 C. grated zucchini
1 tsp. salt
2 & 1/2 C. flour
1 C. chopped nuts

Mix above ingredients together.  Smooth onto a greased jellyroll pan.  Bake 25 minutes at 350*.  Frost with your favorite chocolate frosting.