Saturday, August 9, 2014

Chicken Taco Soup

This is some delicious chicken taco soup and the perfect thing to make when you have leftover chicken! I served it with a dollop of sour cream, grated cheese and tortilla chips. 

Chicken Taco Soup
Brown 1 pound of cut up chicken in a pan with a little bit of olive oil and 2 tsp. cumin. When half done, add 1 chopped onion, 1 red, 1 yellow, and 1 orange pepper chopped, and 4 cloves garlic crushed. Saute till onion is tender. Add 3 shakes of red pepper. Pour in a crock pot and add 1 can chipotle flavored tomatoes, 2 cans diced tomatoes with juice, 1 can corn drained, and 1 can black beans drained and rinsed. Cook on low for at least 1 hour.


I served a sheet style pie for dessert using the blueberry coconut cream slab pie recipe on this blog but substituting raspberries for the was heavenly!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Fourth of July Beans!

I got this recipe from my awesome sister in law who is an excellent cook! She has shared some of my all time favorite recipes! These beans are no exception! They are to die for and everyone who partakes of them is a fan; even the most finicky eaters! I even won a chili cook-off with these and they aren't even chili! 
Perfect for your July get-togethers!

Fourth of July Beans

Brown 1 lb. of ground beef with 1 C. chopped onion. Add 1/2 lb. of diced cooked bacon. Add 64 ounces of Pork and Beans, 2 cans drained kidney beans, 2 cans drained butter beans, 1 C. of your favorite barbecue sauce, 1 C. sugar, 1 C. brown sugar, 1 C. ketchup, 4 Tbsp. mustard, 4 Tbsp. molasses, 2 tsp. salt, and 1 tsp. chili powder. Warm it all together and serve or place in a crock pot for several hours.

Blueberry Coconut Cream Slab Pie

Picture had to be first in this post! Blueberries and Coconut are a match made in heaven! 

Pulse 3 & 2/3 C. flour, 1/3 C. sugar, and 1 tsp. salt in a food processor to combine. Add 3/4 C. coconut oil, and 1 stick cubed butter. Pulse until pea sized. Pour in 1/3 C. buttermilk and pulse to incorporate. Add 3/4 C. ice water in small amounts pulsing after each addition until dough holds together. Turn dough out and knead just to incorporate dry portions. Divide dough into two portions with one slightly larger. Refrigerate dough pieces wrapped in plastic wrap for 30 minutes. 
Sprinkle ground coconut onto a jelly roll pan. Roll out larger dough into a 13x18 inch rectangle on a floured and coconut sprinkled surface. Transfer dough to the jelly roll pan. Fold edge under and freeze dough until firm, 15 minutes.

Now for the blueberry filling...if you don't happen to like blueberries, you could try substituting raspberries, blackberries or even peaches.
Preheat oven to 500* with a baking stone on the lowest rack for 30 minutes (I loved what this part did to the crust, but I don't think it is totally necessary if you don't happen to have a stone)
Beat 1 pkg cream cheese and 1 egg till smooth. Add 1/2 C. cream of coconut (this was easy to find on and beat until smooth. Spread on bottom crust. Reduce oven temperature to 400*. Whisk together 1/2 C. cream of coconut, 1 Tbsp. lemon juice, 4 tsp. quick cooking tapioca, and 1 tsp. coconut extract; toss with 4 C. fresh blueberries to coat, then sprinkle over cream cheese filling.
Roll remaining dough into a 12 inch square and place it over the blueberry filling. Cut slits and brush with beaten egg. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake until top and edges are golden, 35-40 minutes. Let pie cool to room temperature. Enjoy by itself or serve with ice cream! Soooo Scrumptious!!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Au Gratin Potatoes

I made these potatoes for an Au Gratin Potato lover and he said he is now ruined for all other Au Gratin Potatoes! They are made with Manchego cheese which I could only find at Sam's Club and Costco. It is kinda pricey, but worth it. These are some pretty tasty potatoes!

Manchego Au Gratin Spuds

Pour 1/2 C. heavy cream in the bottom of a 9X13 baking dish. Arrange a layer of peeled sliced potatoes on top overlapping them. Pour 1/2 C. cream over the potatoes and sprinkle 3 Tbsp. chopped green pimento stuffed olives and 1 C. Manchego cheese over the top. Season with salt and pepper. Repeat layering three more times starting with the potatoes. Top final layer with 2 C. Manchego. Cover dish with plastic and refrigerate overnight. 
Preheat oven to 375*. Replace plastic with tinfoil. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 45 minutes. Let potatoes rest 30 minutes before serving.

I am not a huge fan of leftovers. To give you an indication of how good these are, I ate them five times! Usually, twice is my max.

Vanilla Bean Cheesecake!

So, I received a spring form pan for Mother's Day and decided to bake my first real cheesecake ever! It was delicious!

In a small bowl combine 1 and 1/2 cups vanilla wafer cookie crumbs and 1/4 C. melted butter. Press into the bottom and about an inch up the side of a springform pan. Bake at 325* for about 8 minutes.

In a large bowl, beat 4 pkgs of cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Add 1 C. sugar and beat till light and fluffy. Add 4 eggs one at a time beating on low speed until smooth. Add 3 Tblsp. flour, 1/4 C. heavy cream, and the seeds scraped from a vanilla bean pod. Mix well. Pour filling into cooled crust. Bake at 300* for 70-80 minutes or until center of cheesecake jiggles slightly when shaken. Cool completely.

In a large bowl, stir together 2 C. sour cream and 1/3 C. powdered sugar until smooth. Spread over cooled cheesecake. Refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving. Top with whatever suits your fancy! 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Blueberry-Crumb Jumbo Muffins

2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
 1 cup and 2 tablespoons white sugar
 3/4 teaspoon salt
 1 tablespoon baking powder
 1/2 cup vegetable oil
 2 eggs
 1/2 cup milk
 2 cups fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners. I used my jumbo muffin pan that makes six large muffins.
Combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the eggs and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.
To Make Crumb Topping: 
 3/4 cup white sugar
 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons butter, cubed
 2-1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon. 
Mix with fork, and sprinkle over muffins before baking.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!

I love the Springtime and all things new! I love that we have the opportunity to remember and celebrate the Easter season! I'm so thankful Christ gave me the gift of the Atonement and was resurrected!

My youngest is almost 13. She decided to hide eggs this morning for her 17 year old brother and even though he wasn't feeling the best, he participated and found them. He then took the time to hide her eggs so she could do the same. They are good to each other!

I threw a roast in the crock pot and we attended our church services.
Once home, my kids colored some hard boiled eggs! I love holidays and am glad my kids will still humor me by participating in them!

The simmering roast was beginning to smell just right! 
We sat down and enjoyed a delicious Easter dinner!

The roast was deliciously moist! I usually simply put onions on the bottom of the crock pot adding the roast and pouring two cans of cream of mushroom soup over it with a couple cans of water.

 The potatoes and carrots come later so they don't go all mushy. 
We had a green salad, jello salad, fruit and rolls to go with it! Mmmmm.

My kids have all retired to their rooms to read and enjoy the evening; that is why I am up to no good and posting on Easter Sunday! However, I am about to call them for the peach pie just emerging from the oven that we are going to eat a la mode! 
I certainly hope you and yours had an enjoyable Easter!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Mock Cheese Cake

This is a strawberry desert! The recipe I have says it is a cheesecake, but I wouldn't call it that. It is more like a super tasty cream pie.

Strawberry cake
This could easily be a raspberry, blueberry, blackberry, peach, or whatever you like cake!
crush a couple of packages of graham crackers into fine crumbs (or do it the easy way and purchase graham cracker crumbs).
Melt 1/2 c. butter
Stir in  1 & 1/2 C. crumbs and press into a 9 X 13 pan.
Cream 2 pkgs of softened cream cheese, 1 C. sour cream, 1 can of sweetened condensed milk, and 1/4 C. lemon juice.
Boil 1/2 C. water and dissolve a small pkg of lemon jello in it. Once dissolved, add 1/2 C. cold water and stir. Allow the jello to get cold and partially set. Add jello to the cream cheese mixture and mix well. Fold in about half of a container of cool whip (I whipped some cream instead). Pour over crumbs and place in fridge till set. Make a pkg. of Danish desert up
according to directions on pkg and add 4 C. sliced strawberries to it. Pour over the top and refrigerate again. When set, slice and serve! 
Note; you may use canned pie filling for the top.

Orange Glazed Pumpkin Cake

I made this cake back in February for my Mom's birthday and am just now getting around to posting the recipe. It is delicious and very moist!

Orange Glazed Pumpkin Cake
1 yellow cake mix
3 eggs
1 & 1/4 c. pumpkin
1 c. orange juice
1/3 c. sour cream
1 & 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. allspice
Combine and mix well. Pour into greased and floured pans. Bake at 350* for 30-45 minutes. Cool.

Orange Glaze
1 c. powdered sugar
4 tsp. orange juice
3/4 tsp. orange zest
Combine well and drizzle over cake.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Easy Chicken Lasagna!

This recipe was a shot in the dark, but I had leftover pesto and wanted a way to use it that was different. I found this recipe and was pleasantly surprised at how delicious it was!!

Chicken Lasagna
melt 4 T. butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in 1/4 c. flour and cook 2 minutes. Whisk in 1/4 tsp. nutmeg and 3 c. whole milk and cook 2 minutes more. Take off heat and stir in 1/2 c. pesto.
Stir together 15 oz. ricotta cheese, 1 c. grated parmesan, 1/2 c. pesto and some salt and pepper to taste.
Spread 2/3 c. sauce in a 9X13 pan. Lay no boil lasagna noodles on top. Top with 1/2 c. ricotta mixture, 3/4 c. cooked diced chicken, 2/3 c. sauce, and 3/4 c. grated mozzarella. Repeat layering three more times, finishing with 1 and 1/2 c. grated mozzarella. Cover with foil. Bake at 350* for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake 15 minutes more. Let lasagna rest 15 or so before serving. 

Saint Patricks Day Dinner!

Yeah, I'm a month late and a dollar short, but here it is for an idea you could use next year!

I made the bread stick recipe that is on my blog, the chicken lasagna that will be on my blog shortly (I'm a bit behind; stats class has been keeping my nose to the grind stone!). Steamed some asparagus, green spinach salad and served sugar snap peas. It was a fun GREEN dinner! We had green pistachio desert a few days later cuz that's the way I roll.
Happy Green Day!

Homemade Pesto!

I received a pasta roller for Christmas and haven't had much time to try it out. Made some pasta, so I had to make some pesto to go with it!

Basil Pesto
1/2 c. pine nuts
2 c. fresh basil leaves
4 cloves garlic
1/2 c. olive oil
1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Combine ingredients in a food processor or blender. Add to any pasta dish!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Raspberry Cream Cheese Danish!

My sweet sister in law gave me this recipe. It is to DIE for! Seriously.

Dissolve 1 T. yeast in 1/3 C. warm water
Heat 1/2 C. sour cream to 110* and add to yeast. Add 1/4 C. melted butter, 1/4 C. sugar, 1 t. salt, and one egg. Combine. Add 2 & 1/2 C. flour and combine. Knead about 20 times in mixer. Transfer to a greased bowl and cover with a towel. Let rise till doubled (about an hour and a half).
Place dough on a floured surface and divide in half. Roll each half into two 12X8 rectangles. 

While the dough is rising, combine 1 softened pkg. of cream cheese, 1 egg, 1/2 C. sugar, 1 t. vanilla, and 1/8 t. salt.
Spread this filling on the two halves keeping it about an inch from the edge. Spread 1/4 C. raspberry jam on each half. 
Roll each half up like a jelly roll and pinch the edges tight. Place on baking pan and cut slices into it like you would french bread. Bake at 375* for 20 minutes.
After it is cool, drizzle with 1 & 1/2 C. powdered sugar, 1 t. vanilla, and 2 T. milk combined.

Individual Tamales

I am not one to repeat meals very frequently. Variety is the spice of life! For instance, I made corned beef and cabbage the other day and my daughter asked if she had ever had it before. I told her she had and then she queried whether she liked it or not, I told her she did. She couldn't remember eating it because I think it was about 5 years ago that I last made it. I do have some recipes that are my standbys that I try to make once a year at least! 
So when I tell you that I loved this recipe enough to make it twice in one week, you can be sure it impressed me! Well, that or it hit the spot for what I was in the mood for this week...or maybe because I had some cooked chicken that needed to be used...or perhaps because anything drowning in cheese is delicious...

Chicken Tamales
1/2 C. each diced red onion and red bell pepper
1/2 C. frozen corn kernels
1/2 C. black beans drained and rinsed
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. coriander
1 tbsp. minced fresh garlic
1 tbsp. olive oil

Combine above ingredients in a large skillet and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.

Add 2 tbsp. flour and mix to coat.
Whisk in 1/2 C. sour cream mixed with 1 & 1/2 C. chicken broth. Continue cooking for 5 more minutes. 
Add 1 C. cooked diced chicken, 1 C. shredded monterey jack cheese, and 1 tbsp. lime juice.

Preheat oven to 400* with a jumbo muffin tin inside it (or use individual casserole dishes).
Combine 3/4 C. flour, 2/3 C. cornmeal, 1 tbsp. diced jalapeno, 1 & 1/2 tsp. baking powder, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Add combined wet ingredients to dry; 1 C. milk, 1 egg, 1/4 C. oil, and zest of one lime. Mix until combined. Scoop 1/4 C. cornmeal batter into each well of hot pan(s). Bake for 3 minutes. Remove from oven and add 1/2 C. chicken filling mixture to each center of cornbread. Bake 18 minutes. Sprinkle each pie with grated cheese and cook 5 more minutes. Let stand at least 5 minutes! Remove carefully from pan and serve with salsa.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Sugar cookies Galore!

Happy Valentines Day!

I love the day set aside for LOVE!
I got a little carried away with sugar cookies this year. You know how you are always in search of the best sugar cookie recipe? I have one that is my stand by and I do love it. However, I decided it would be fun to try a few different kinds and I got carried away.

Cookies with almond flavoring have always held appeal for me....I wasn't overly fond of this recipe even though it had great reviews. To each their own, but it was a bit too dry for my tastes. Flavor-wise it was good.

Almond Sugar Cookies
1 cup butter, softened
 1 1/2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
 1 egg
 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
 1 teaspoon baking soda
 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
 1/4 cup granulated sugar for decoration

Mix as usual; beat butter and sugar, add egg. Add sifted dry ingredients. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.

I thought perhaps a chocolate brownie sugar cookie would be delicious. I wasn't fond of this one either; too chocolatey...

Chocolate brownie cookie
3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup butter, softened 
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa 

Preheat oven at 350 degrees Do the usual sugar and butter, add egg then the dry ingredients. Bake for 9 min at 350

I made a brown sugar cookie too...

Sugar Cookie

1/2 c. shortening
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. salt

Cream shortening, butter, and.brown sugar. Add egg and vanilla. Mix. Add the dry ingredients and mix well. Bake at 350* for 10 minutes. I rolled these out too thin and they were crunchy! Good flavor except I can taste things made from shortening opposed to butter and I prefer a delicious buttery taste. 

Then I decided to try a recipe I have that has nutmeg in it. I really liked this one; especially as the days went by. It stayed very soft!

Nutmeg sugar cookies

1 c. butter
1 & 1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs
1/4 c. whole milk or cream
4 c. flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 and 1/2 tsp. nutmeg

Cream the first two things. Add eggs and milk. Blend in flour and other dry ingredients. Chill for at least one hour. Bake at 350* for 10 minutes.

AND I also made some orange sugar cookies (yes, it is okay if you think I'm crazy at this point). :) I can offer an explanation...
I had just finished up my midterms and I hadn't been able to take the time to bake for a few weeks! So I was starving for some time in the kitchen! 
It was VERY satisfying!

Orange sugar cookies

1 & 1/2 c. sugar
1 & 1/3 c. butter
2 eggs
1 tsp. grated orange zest
1 tsp. vanilla
4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
3 tsp. baking powder
2 tbsp. whole milk plus 2 tsp. of whole milk

Mix the sugar and butter, add eggs, zest and vanilla. Blend in flour, salt, and powder. Add milk until just combined. Refrigerate for a couple hours at least.
Roll out and cut into shapes. Bake at 350* for 9 minutes.
I frosted these with an orange juice icing. They were fabulous!!

For most of these cookies, I simply made variations of my go-to frosting...

1/3 c. butter
1/4 c. liquid (milk, orange juice, etc.)
4 and 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 & 1/2 tsp. vanilla or other flavoring

Cream butter and add about half the powdered sugar. Beat in the flavoring and liquid. Adjust as needed by adding more powdered sugar or more liquid. 


Sunday, January 12, 2014

Turkey Pot Pies with phyllo crust

Turkey Pot Pies are one of my favorite things to, I'm not talking about the cheap freezer versions. Real homemade pot pies are the best!
I found a great recipe for them using phyllo dough. I used homemade phyllo dough, but it is probably easier and more tasty to just buy the stuff!
Cook some mushrooms and 1 Tbsp. thyme in 6 Tbsp. butter over medium heat until browned. Stir in 1/2 C. flour and cook for 1 minute.
Deglaze pan with 1/2 C. cooking wine. Add 2 C. chicken broth and 1 C. whole milk. Cook until thick. Add 2 tsp. lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Stir in 2 C. chopped cooked turkey or chicken and 2 C. cooked assorted veggies (whatever suits your fancy). 
Divide mixture among 4 personal baking dishes. Place these on a foil lined cookie sheet. Lightly brush phyllo dough sheets with melted margarine. Roll into loose tubes. Form the rolled phyllo dough onto the top of each personal pie. Bake till golden and bubbly. 400* for 20 minutes. Cool a bit before serving.

Sauerbraten roast beef

I love lazy Sunday cooking! It is so nice to put a roast in the crock pot and set some rolls out to rise while at church. Coming home a few hours later with famished kids and having dinner just a few steps from being served.
This is a yummy way to make a roast.

Brown a roast cut into 2 inch chunks in a couple Tbsp. olive oil for about 5 minutes. Place beef in slow cooker.
In a frying pan, combine 1 Tbsp. fresh minced ginger and 2 Tbsp. tomato paste cooking for 1 minute.
Deglaze skillet with 1 C. red cooking wine (or alternative). Whisk in 1 and 1/4 C. beef broth, 1/2 C. red wine vinegar, 1 tsp. cardamom, 1 Tbsp. dry tapioca, and 1 tsp. kosher salt. Simmer for 5 minutes. Pour over beef mixture adding a satchel (homemade with cheesecloth and string) of 2 Tbsp. pickling spices tied up. Cook on high for 2 and 1/2 hours. Add 6 carrots cut up, 4 stalks of celery, and one onion. Stir in 10 gingersnap cookies, crushed. Continue to cook on high till veggies are tender.
Serve over warm mashed potatoes.

Friday, January 10, 2014

My cat plays Fetch!!

One of my Sons came home for the holidays and while he was here, he taught my cat to play fetch!
I have never seen a cat behave so much like a dog. Not only does she play fetch, but she opens doors, tackles legs, and chases off dogs that come close to our property.
Her name is Figaro or Sylvester depending on who you talk to.

As much as she is dog-like, some things remain innate.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Wizard of Oz

Our Young Women in Excellence program sported a Wizard of Oz theme. We had lovely decorations; a 'watch out for tornadoes' sign along the path of tornadoes, a 'Lollipop gang' poster along with giant lollipops, winged monkey place mats and a rainbow of values table for displaying the young women's projects.
The food table was fun as well including melted witch punch, witch repellent (water), Ding-dongs (the witch is dead), and melted witch cupcakes. The cupcakes are a basic chocolate cake mix with a surprise filling that is white.
The recipe is fairly simple and easy to make. Make the cake mix according to directions on the package and fill each cupcake 2/3 of the way full. Drop a tablespoon of the following mixture on top. 4 oz. cream cheese, 2 Tbsp. butter, 1/4 C. sugar. Add 1 egg, 1 Tbsp. flour, 1/2 tsp. vanilla and 1/2 C. chocolate chips, and 1/2 C. coconut. Bake at 350* for 15-20 minutes. Cool and frost.

I also made a ruby slipper for each girl. The slipper pattern can be found online. These were placed on a boxed candy wrapped in yellow brick road paper and tied with a cute saying.


Crumpets anyone?
This breakfast takes some time for rising, but is well worth the wait!
Serve them warm with lemon curd, apricot, or chokecherry syrup!

3 tsp. yeast
3 tsp. sugar
3/4 C. warm water
1 C. milk
3 eggs, beaten
3/4 C. melted butter
3 C. flour
1 and 1/2 tsp. salt

Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Mix milk, eggs and butter and add to yeast mixture. Mix flour and salt together and form a well. Add wet ingredients and mix thoroughly. Cover and let double. Heat griddle to med/low. Grease griddle and rings. Fill 1/3 full. Cook 3-5 minutes, flip over and cook for 3 more minutes. 
If you don't have english muffin rings, you could probably use a large mouth jar lid.