Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Pasta Fagioli

A couple of people have asked for this recipe. I got the basic recipe from allrecipes.com, but have modified it a little. Enjoy.

1 lb. ground beef
1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
5 large carrots, cut into chunks
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
2 cans diced tomatoes
4 cans or 8 cups beef broth
1 Tbsp. parsley
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. oregano
1 can navy beans
1 can kidney beans
1 cup ditalini pasta

Brown meat and drain off excess fat. Add olive oil and vegetables and sautee 2-3 minutes. Add tomatoes, broth and spices. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer at least 1-2 hours. I will usually do this during Adam's nap and let it simmer until dinner, so don't worry about over cooking. About 1/2 hour before you're ready to eat, add beans and pasta. Enjoy!

Homemade Granola Bars

From allrecipes.com

2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup wheat germ
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup raisins (optional)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup honey
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Generously grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, brown sugar, wheat germ, cinnamon, flour, raisins and salt. Make a well in the center, and pour in the honey, egg, oil and vanilla. Mix well using your hands. Pat the mixture evenly into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until the bars begin to turn golden at the edges. Cool for 5 minutes, then cut into bars while still warm. Do not allow the bars to cool completely before cutting, or they will be too hard to cut.
I just baked these yesterday, and they are delicious. They are pretty sugary, almost like a cookie, so next time I will cut down the amount of sugar. I also won't cook them quite as long so they will be chewier. And I'll play around with other dried fruits, nuts, peanut butter, or chocolate (I might try this one first).

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Chocolate Lover's Favorite Mint Brownies (from Dakin Stovall)

2 cups sugar
1 cup butter, softened
4 eggs
4 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup broken walnuts or pecans (optional)

Mint frosting:
4 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons evaporated milk
2 cups powerdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
Few drops of food coloring

Glaze topping:
6 tablespoons butter
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 teaspoons vanilla

In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and butter for the brownie until fluffy. Beat in eggs until well blended; then add melted chocolate. Mix dry ingredients and add to creamed mixture along with vanilla and nuts. Spread in a greased 9x13 pan and bake at 325 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes, or until no imprint is left when touched. Do not overbake.

Mix mint frosting ingredients until creamy and spread on brownies. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

For glaze, combine butter and chocolate chips in a double boiler; add vanilla and blend thoroughly. Pour gently over the frosting and spread by tipping the pan before the glaze cools; refrigerate.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Greek Pasta Salad


1/2 cup olive oil
1-1/4 teaspoons garlic powder
1-1/4 teaspoons dried oregano
1-1/4 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
2/3 cup red wine vinegar

Combine and mix vigorously until well blended. Set aside.

Cook 16 oz. of your choice of pasta. Drain and let cool.

Add your choice of:

Chopped red pepper
Sliced black olives
Crumbled feta cheese
Chopped red onion
Marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
Fresh mushrooms, sliced
Fresh tomatoes, diced
Chopped cucumber
Can of garbanzo beans, drained

and anything else you can think of that would taste good.

Mix sauce, pasta and everything together and chill for at least 2 hours. This tastes even better the second day.

This is from several different recipes on allrecipes.com

Buttermilk Pie

Very easy and delicious.

1/2 cup margarine, softened
2 cups white sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (9 inch) deep dish pie crust

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C.)
In a large bowl, cream margarine and sugar. Beat in flour and salt. Blend in the eggs. Stir in the buttermilk and vanilla. Pour into pie shell.
Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, then reduce temperature to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) and bake 45 minutes, or until filling is set.

From allrecipes.com

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Chicken Souvlaki Pitas with Tzatziki Sauce

mostly from allrecipes.com

Souvlaki Marinade:
3/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

4 large pita bread rounds

1 heart of romaine lettuce, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 tomato, halved and sliced
1/2 cup kalamata olives
1/2 cup pepperoncini
1 cup crumbled feta cheese

Tzatziki Sauce:
1 cup plain yogurt
1 clove crushed garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
1/2 large cucumber - peeled, seeded and shredded

Make the sauce first (I've done it the day before and chilled it overnight, and it turns out fine):
  1. Use a cheese cloth to strain the yogurt over a bowl for 3 to 4 hours, until most of the water has drained.
  2. Press excess liquid out of the shredded cucumber. In a medium bowl, stir together the cucumber and strained yogurt. Mix in the garlic, salt, pepper and mint. Chill the mixture for 1 to 2 hours.
Then marinate the chicken:
  1. In a small bowl, mix the balsamic vinaigrette, juice from 1/2 lemon, oregano, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Place chicken in a large resealable plastic bag. Pour marinade over the chicken, seal, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
When you are ready to cook:
  1. Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat.
  2. Remove chicken from marinade and place on prepared grill. Discard remaining marinade. Cook chicken until juices run clear, about 8 minutes on each side. Remove chicken from heat, and allow to sit about 10 minutes before slicing into thin strips.
  3. Place chicken strips in pita bread, add sauce and any additional toppings.
I've served this cold and it still tastes great. Also, I have made the sauce without mint, I simply didn't have any, and it was very tasty. Oh, and throw the pita on the grill for a minute or so until hot, then fill it with the chicken, etc.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Monster Cookies

Our favorite cookies. They're practically health food if you consider how much peanut butter and oatmeal are in them (and forget about the sugar and butter). Enjoy!

3 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups peanut butter
2 tsp. baking soda
4 1/2 cups oatmeal
12 oz. bag chocolate chips
large bag M&Ms

Beat eggs, vanilla, butter and sugars until smooth. Add peanut butter and baking soda and mix well. Add oatmeal and mix until combined. Add chocolate chips and M&Ms and combine well. Drop by large teaspoonfulls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Chicken Cordon Bleu

I got this recipe from allrecipes.com, but decreased it to two servings instead of six. Scott rarely comments on dinner except to say "thank you". This dish received many compliments and has been added to our line-up. It is pretty rich so I served it with plain rice and steamed green beans.

2 chicken breasts, trimmed and pounded flat (about 1/2 to 1/4 inch)
2 slices swiss cheese
2 sliced ham (use more if you are using the thin deli meat)
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. paprika
2 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup white wine or fruit juice
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 cup heavy cream

Place ham and cheese on chicken breast and roll, secure with toothpicks. Mix paprika and flour and coat chicken rolls in flour mixture. Brown chicken in butter over medium heat on all sides (it doesn't need to get cooked through at this point). Remove chicken and add wine and bouillon. Whisk together to get all the little bits off the bottom of the pan. Add breasts back in, cover, reduce heat and allow to simmer for 30 minutes. Combine cornstarch and cream. When breasts are cooked remove from the pan and whisk in cream mixture until heated through and thickened. Pour sauce over chicken and enjoy! Oh, you might want to remove those toothpicks. Unless you're mad at your husband then, by all means, leave them in.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Grilled Summer Vegetable Wrap with Sun-dried Tomato Pesto

4 Each Tomato Tortilla Wraps (12)
1 Each Red Bell Pepper
1 Each Eggplant
1 Each Red Onion
1 Each Zucchini
2 TBSP Olive Oil
1 Clove Garlic, Minced

1/4 Cup Sun-dried Tomato Pesto
1/4 Cup Fresh Mayonnaise

1 TBSP Fresh Chopped Basil
1/4 lb. Feta Cheese Diced

1/2 lb. Baby Lettuce Mix
To Taste, Kosher Salt; Black Pepper

Method of Preparation:
Cut Vegetables into thick Slices. Coat with oil, salt and pepper. Grill until tender. Allow to cool. Once cooled dice into large pieces. Toss with basil and feta cheese. Chill.

Mix Sun-dried Tomato Pesto and Fresh Mayonnaise. Hold on the side.

Warm tortillas. Place equal amounts of vegetable mixture; baby lettuce and pesto mayonnaise on each one. Wrap tightly and cut in half. Serve.

Zucchini Bread

1 Cup sugar ( I use ½ cup brown sugar and ½ cup white sugar)
2 eggs
½ cup oil (can also substitute ¼ cup oil for applesauce)
1 – 1 ¼ cup grated zucchini
1 tsp vanilla
1 ½ cup flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp baking powder
¾ - 1 cup chocolate chips

Beat eggs and mix in sugar. Stir in oil, zucchini, and vanilla. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Add chocolate chips. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes. Cool 10 minutes and remove from pan.

Asian Summer Salad


8oz uncooked vermicelli pasta

¾ cup julienne-cut carrots, 2 inches long

¾ cup julienne-cut zucchini, 2 inches long

¾ chopped red pepper

¼ cup sliced green onions with tops

¾ pound deli roast turkey or chicken breast, cut ½ inch thick


¼ cup vegetable oil

3 TBS rice vinegar

3 TBS soy sauce

2 tsp sugar

1/8 tsp ground red pepper

1 tsp finely chopped, peeled fresh gingerroot

1 garlic clove, pressed

Break vermicelli into quarters and cook according to directions. Drain and run under cool water. Add all the ingredients to the vermicelli. Make the dressing and pour over noodles and vegetables. Allow the salad to sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour. May be made a day in advance. Garnish with chopped peanuts and/or cilantro if desired.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Mojo Chicken Kabobs

I'm sparingly using up my precious Wegmans ingredients. We just grilled this one up tonight and, wow, was it delicious. It's from the Summer 2008 Menu magazine.

1 pkg (about 1 lb) Wegmans Mojo Marinated Chicken Breast Cutlets, cut into 1-inch cubes (I used my own chicken and marinated it with the Wegmans Mojo Marinade which I found on the salad dressing isle).

1 sweet red pepper, cored, 1-inch dice

1 large sweet onion, peeled

salt and pepper

Assemble kabobs: 1 piece chicken, pepper, chunk of onion, chicken, pepper, onion, chicken, pepper onion. Preheat grill on HIGH 10 min. Clean grill with wire brush. Using soft cloth, coat grill grate lightly with vegetable oil. Season kabobs with salt and pepper; place on grill. Sear kabobs about 2 min, until they have changed color one-quarter of way up from bottom; turn over. Sear 2-3 min, turning kabobs. Reduce heat to MEDIUM; close cover. Cook 8-10 min until internal temp reaches 165 degrees. Transfer to clean platter.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Brown Sugar Lemonade

6 lemons, juiced
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup ice cubes

In a large pitcher, combine fresh lemon juice and water. Stir in brown sugar until it dissolves. Stir in ice cubes.

The brown sugar adds a great flavor to this lemonade. It's perfect for a summer barbecue! Found this on allrecipes.com

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Fresh Peach Dessert

I made this last night. It is a no-bake cheese cake, but the walnut crust is really yummy and it is great with any of the fresh fruits in the summer time. I usually make it with fresh strawberries or peaches.


2 cups flour

½ cup brown sugar

1 cup butter

1 cup chopped walnuts

Cream sugar and butter. Add the rest. Press into a 9x13 pan. Bake at 325° for 15. Cool. Crumble with fork and leave in pan.


8 oz cream cheese

1 tsp vanilla

¾ cup powdered sugar

1 12 oz tub of whipped topping (cool whip)

Cream together the cream cheese and the powdered sugar. Add the vanilla and then fold in the cool whip. Spread over cooled crust.


2 cups water

2 Tbsp cornstarch

1 cup sugar

1 small package peach jell-o (or the flavor that matches the fresh fruit)

4 cups diced peaches (or other fresh fruit)

Bring the water, cornstarch and sugar to a boil. Add the jell-o and stir until dissolved. Cool and fold in fresh fruit.

Creole Pork Chops & Corn Salsa

Creole Pork Chops

4 large pork loin chops, trimmed *(7-8 thin pork chops)

4 tsp Emeril’s Creole Seasoning (see recipe below)

1 Tbl olive oil

Serve with Tomato Corn Salsa

Prepare Tomato Corn Salsa first. It can be done the day before. Sprinkle the pork chops with the Creole Seasoning , using ½ tsp per side. With your hands, coat the meat. Heat the oil in large skillet over high beat. Add chops and sauté for 7 minutes on each side, or until done. The pork should be very dark on the outside and pink and juicy on the inside. (serves 4)

*I usually use thin pork chops (found at Wal-Mart), and I grill them for 4 minutes on each side on medium heat.

Tomato Corn Salsa

1 cup corn, fresh or frozen, blanched (I use 1 can)

5 tomatoes, chopped

½ cup minced onion

1 tsp minced jalapeno (I omit)

3 Tbl chopped fresh cilantro

2 Tbl lime juice

1 Tbl lemon juice

1 tsp salt (I only use 1/2 tsp)

fresh ground pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and stir thoroughly. This salsa improves in flavor after it sits awhile. Make approx 3 cups. Serve along side Creole Pork Chops.

Emeril’s Creole Seasoning

2 ½ Tbl paprika

2 Tbl salt

2 Tbl garlic powder

1 Tbl black pepper

1 Tbl onion powder

1 Tbl cayenne pepper ( I omit)

1 Tbl dried leaf oregano

1 Tbl dried leaf thyme

Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container. Make approx 2/3 cups.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Italian Pasta Stir-Fry

I've been going through recipes trying to find things to make with all of my zucchini. This one is really easy and tastes good, especially with homegrown zucchini and tomatoes.

8 oz linguine, uncooked
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium zucchini, sliced
1/4 cup snipped fresh parsley (or dry if I don't have fresh)
1 TBS olive oil
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 tsp dried basic
1 tsp dried oregano
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup grated (about 1 oz) fresh Parmesan cheese

Cook linguine according to package. Drain and keep warm. Chop tomatoes and onions and cut the zucchini. Heat oil over medium heat until hot. Press garlic into skillet and stir-fry 15 seconds. Add zucchini and onion. stir-fry 2-3 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Add tomatoes, parsley and seasonings. Heat 1-2 minutes, stirring gently until heated through. Remove from heat. Stir in linguine and add grated Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Amy's Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies came from a family friend, Marty Larkin, who always made yummy chocolate chip cookies for our family. When she moved away, I asked her for the recipe and have used it my whole life. I think the secret to good chocolate chip cookies is taking them out at 12 minutes and letting them cool on the cookie sheet for another few minutes so they are no longer puffy. I then transfer them to a paper towel on the counter. They turn out really soft and yummy and some of the extra grease is absorbed by the towel too.

Blend together until smooth
1 Cup Shortening
3/4 Cup white sugar
3/4 Cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 Tablespoons water

Blend in well 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon baking soda

Mix in 2 1/4 cups flour until smooth

add 6 ounces chocolate chips

spoon onto ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes. (until just barely golden brown) Let cool on paper towel.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Pioneer Woman's Apricot Bars

1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups oats
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 3/4 sticks (regular, salted) butter, cut into pieces
1 10-12 ounce jar Apricot Preserves

Mix all ingredients except Apricot Preserves. Press one half of the mixture into a buttered 8" square (or small rectangular) pan. Spread with a 10-12 ounce jar of apricot preserves. Sprinkle second half of mixture over the top and pat lightly. Bake at 350 for 30 - 40 minutes or until light brown. Let cool completely, then cut into squares. Eat as many as you want because they don’t have any chocolate in them and therefore, they’re totally healthy and non-caloric.

BBQ Chicken Salad with Cilantro Ranch Dressing from the picky palate

3 Cups thinly sliced Green Leaf Lettuce
¼ Cup corn
¼ Cup black beans
8 grape tomatoes, halved
1 cooked grilled chicken breast
¼ Cup favorite BBQ Sauce
¼ Cup shredded mozzarella cheese

¼ Cup prepared ranch dressing
1 heaping Tablespoon fresh chopped cilantro leaves

1. Place lettuce into a salad bowl. Layer with corn, black beans and tomatoes. Dice cooked chicken breast and mix with BBQ sauce. Top over salad and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.

2. Place ranch dressing and cilantro leaves into a small bowl to combine. Drizzle over salad and serve.
**This recipe is for 1 large serving, double accordingly**
the picky palate.blogspot.com
next time you grill, add some extra chicken and set it aside for this.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Almond Butter Cake Recipe

Shelly Jones made this dessert for a Stake Relief Society meeting and it was so yummy. It is a very dense cake that was just the right sweetness.

1 1/2 c sugar
3/4 c (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
2 eggs
1/2 t salt
1 1/2 t real almond extract
1 t real vanilla extract
1 1/2 c flour
~1 T sugar (to top)
~ 1/4 c sliced almonds

Stir together sugar (1 1/2 c) and melted butter until smooth. Add eggs and stir until creamy and all one color. Add salt, almond extract, vanilla, and flour, and stir vigorously until blended. Pour into a greased 9" cake pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle with sugar (~1 T) and then sliced almonds. Bake at 350 for about 35 mins or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs on it. Cool at least 30 mins. Serve with fresh fruit and whipped cream, ice cream and warm fruit sauce, etc.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Karla's Fast Gooey Bars

1 white or yellow cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter/margarine
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease the bottom of a 9x13" pan. In a medium size bowl, mix the first three ingredients together. Press 2/3's of the cake mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. In a different microwave-safe bowl, combine the last three ingredients. Melt in the microwave for one minute; then stir until all melted. Pour chocolate mixture over cake mixture in pan. With the rest of the cake mixture, take tablespoonfuls and press flat, then lay on top of the chocolate mixture, leaving space in between the flat pieces to form an aesthetic-looking dessert! bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

My mother-in-law found this recipe in a book complied from her ward in Moroni, UT; Karla Bench is author of these delicious treats. I have found they are best after cooling completely. Even after refrigeration or the next day they are so good. My husband doesn't like semi-sweet chocolate, so I use milk chocolate chips and they taste just as good.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Chicken and Dumpling Soup

Sorry the picture's a little blurry, I need to figure out how to take better food pictures with my camera. I got the recipe for the dumplings from Pioneer Woman's post where she had people leave their favorite recipes in the comment section. I concocted the soup my self and it's delicious, if I do say so myself. And I do.

6 cups chicken broth (4-5 cans)
1 Boneless skinless chicken breast
1 stalk of celery, chopped
2 cups carrots, chopped
1 red potato, cut into chunks (I leave the skin on)
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1/2 cup milk (optional)

1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup ice water
dash of salt

Bring 6 cups of broth to boil in a large pot. Add in the chicken breast. While the breast is boiling chop the vegetables and add them to the pot. Add the salt and parsley as well. Let the mixture boil for about 20 minutes. Remove the chicken breast and shred, return chicken to the pot. Keep soup simmering while you make dumplings.

Use a pastry cutter or a fork to combine the flour, salt and shortening until small, pea-sized balls form. Add a little water at a time and mash with a fork until you have a tough dough. Roll out the dough and use a pizza cutter to cut it into 1"x1" squares. Bring soup back to a boil and add dumplings. Allow to cook for 15-20 minutes. Add milk at the end of cooking for creamier soup.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Lethal Layer Bars

I got this recipe from a book I was reading. I can't remember the author but the character she wrote about was a chef and at the end of the book she included a few recipes that were mentioned in the book and this was one of them. They are so delicious.

1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 c. flour
1 c. pecans
2 eggs
1 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
Additional Flour
1 c. chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375

Combine the butter, brown sugar and flour until crumbly. Press into a 9x13 pan and bake for 10 mins. Let cool. Spread pecans over the crust.

Beat the eggs, brown sugar and vanilla. Place the salt and baking powder in a 1/4 measuring cup. Fill the rest of the measuring cup with flour. Combine this with the egg mixture. Pour over the pecans and top with the chocolate chips. Bake for 20 mins.

BBQ Meatloaf

This is a twist on traditional meatloaf. I typically do not care for meatloaf as most recipes call for bread and it ends up tasting soggy. But the stuffing mix binds the meat well and the BBQ sauce gives it a little kick. I use Dinosaur BBQ Sauce but you can use any that you prefer.

2 eggs beaten
2 lb ground beef
1 6oz pkg of chicken flavored Stove Top stuffing mix
1 c. water
1/2 c. BBQ Sauce

Preheat oven to 375

Beat eggs in bowl. Add in ground beef, dry stuffing mix, water and 1/4 c. of BBQ Sauce. Mix together and place in loaf pan. Top loaf with remaining BBQ Sauce. Bake for 1 hour till 160 degrees.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Soft Vegetable Tacos

Something fun for Cinco de Mayo.
This is an easy, inexpensive meal that our family enjoyed this weekend. Recipe is from the Taste of Home Simple and Delicious cooking magazine and can also be found on their website that has great easy and tasty recipes. www.bestsimplerecipes.com

1 2/3 cups, fresh corn or frozen corn, thawed.

1 small zucchini, finely chopped

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained

1/4 cup salsa

8 flour tortillas (6 inches), warmed

1/2 cup sour cream

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

In a large skillet, saute the corn, zucchini and onion in oil until tender. Stir in beans and salsa. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat for 3-4 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally. Spoon a heaping 1/3 cupful onto half of each tortilla; top with sour cream and cheese. Fold tortillas over filling; serve immediately.

*we made guacamole to go with this and it was so yummy. This is a new family favorite and I love that it is a meatless dish that my family will eat.

TIP- most of the seasoning/flavor for this dish comes from the salsa you use. I recommend Wegman's Brand Roasted Tomoato. It adds some great spice and minimal heat.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Orange Chicken

4 raw chicken breasts-cut up
1 egg
1 cup corn starch
1/2 cup oil
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup ketchup
1 cup vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 cups uncooked rice
4 cups water

Dip chicken pieces into egg and then into cornstarch. Cook battered chicken in oil until done. Drain onto a paper towel and discard oil. In a large bowl combine sugar, ketchup, vinegar, soy sauce and garlic powder; mix well. Pour sauce mixture into pan with cooked, battered chicken and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Combine rice and water in a medium pan; bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Serve sauce over rice.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Hong Kong-Style Beef with Udon Noodles

This is a new favorite recipe of ours. All the ingredients can be found in Wegmans oriental market section, but I'm made it with regular oyster and soy sauce too.

1 lb Beef Sirloin Strips for Stir Fry
3 Tbsp water
1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
2 pkgs Myojo Instant Japanese-Style Udon Noodles
2 Tbsp Oriental Mascot Vegetarian Oyster Flavored Sauce
1 Tbsp Pearl River Bridge Mushroom flavored Superior Dark Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp sugar
1 8 oz pkg Bean Sprouts
1 bunch green onions, trimmed, cut in thin strips 2-2 1/2 inches long (about 1 cup)
2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
2 Tbsp fresh ginger root, peeled, sliced thin
1/2 large onion, peeled, 1/4-inch slices (about 1 cup)

Place beef in small bowl. Add water, 1 Tbsp at a time, working in with hands until water is absorbed into beef. Sprinkle cornstarch over beef and work in with hands to coat all pieces. Loosen noodles by hand; set aside. Mix oyster sauce, soy sauce, and sugar in small bowl; set aside. Blanch sprouts and green onion in large pot of boiling salted water 5 seconds; drain and set aside. Drizzle oil around sides of stir-fry pan; tilt pan to distribute evenly. Heat oil in pan on HIGH until oil faintly smokes. (If oil smokes too much, pan is too hot.) Add beef, ginger, and onion slices. Stir fry 3-4 min. Add noodles; stir fry about 1 min. Add sauce; stir fry 30 seconds, until heated through. Add sprouts and green onions to pan. Stir fry briefly to heat through and blend. Serve.
(Wegmans Magazine, Winter 2008)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Chicken Cardamom Masala with Cashews

If you like Indian food, this is really good and fairly easy to make:

2 tablespoons garam masala
6 to 10 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
1 piece (1 inch) cinnamon stick
2 teaspoons red chile flakes
2 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger
2 teaspoons salt
2/3 cup plain yogurt
1 4 pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces, or 4 chicken thighs, halved
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
Vegetable oil, for frying
4 onions, chopped
3 to 5 cloves garlic, chopped
4 to 6 tablespoons cashews
1 to 2 tablespoons tomato paste or ketchup
3 medium carrots, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups cauliflower florets
1/2 cup heavy cream or yogurt (optional)
Chopped fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley, for garnish

Place garam masala, cardamom, cinnamon stick, chile flakes, ginger, and salt in a mortar and lightly crush with a pestle. Place chicken, yogurt, and spice mixture in a large bowl, turning chicken to coat. Let marinate, covered and refrigerated overnight.

Using a rubber spatula, wipe excess marinade from chicken; reserve marinade. Pat chicken with paper towels to dry; sprinkle with turmeric.

Heat about 1 tablespoon oil in a Dutch-oven over high heat. Working in batches if necessary, add chicken and cook, turning occasionally, until skin is nicely browned, about 10 minutes.

Remove chicken from pot and set aside. Reduce heat and add onions and garlic. Cook, stirring, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Return chicken to pot, along with reserved marinade, cashews, and tomato paste. Cover and cook, 10 to 15 minutes. Add carrots and cauliflower, cover, and continue cooking until chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes more.

Stir in cream or yogurt, if using, and cook 2 minutes more. Garnish with cilantro and serve immediately.

Some notes:
Serve over white rice.
It's pretty spicy, so if you want mild, cut down on the red chile flakes.
I leave the cardamom pods whole, then pick them out before serving, they are pretty strong.
I usually just use 2 chicken breasts, instead of a whole chicken.
I found garam masala at the spice store a couple buildings behind Lori's Natural Foods. If you need any of these spices just to try it, I have plenty.
This is from "Where Flavor was Born" by Andreas Viestad.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Crockpot Fajitas

I got this recipe from Veronica Haymore. I think she said she got it from Tiffany Johnson. It is super easy and so very, very good.

2 lb. chuck roast
1/2 cup brown sugar
2-3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic salt
2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning*
juice of two limes**

Combine everything in a crock pot and cook on high for 6 hours. Shred meat and serve with taco fixings. You can adjust the quantity of seasoning if you have a bigger/smaller roast.

*Dinosaur Barbecue makes a Cajun seasoning that is really great. You can buy it at Wegman's
**I keep a bottle of lime juice in the fridge and just use that. Some would turn up there nose at that, but it is just easier. I use about 1/3 of a cup.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Feta Chicken Salad

3 cups diced cooked chicken
2 large stalks celery, diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 red onion, diced
6 tablespoons mayonnaise
6 tablespoons sour cream
1 (4 ounce) package feta cheese, crumbled
2 teaspoons dried dill weed
1 pinch salt and pepper to taste

In a serving bowl, mix together the chicken, celery, pepper, and red onion. In a separate bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, sour cream, feta cheese, and dill. Pour over the chicken mixture, and stir to blend. Taste, and season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until serving (it tastes even better the second day).

Found this on allrecipes.com

Easy Parmesan Cheese Chicken

1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 envelope Good Seasons Italian Salad Dressing mix
6 boneless, skinless, chicken breast halves
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Mix cheese, dressing, and garlic.
Moisten chicken with water; coat with cheese mixture. Place in shallow baking dish.
Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

Pioneer Woman Lasagna..my kids FAVORITE

1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. hot (spicy) breakfast sausage
2 cloves minced garlic
2 (14.5) cans whole tomatoes
2 (6 oz) cans tomato paste
2 T. dried parsley
2 T. dried basil
1 tsp. salt

brown beef, sausage,and garlic until brown. Drain off fat. Add tomatoes, paste, parsley, basil, and salt. Simmer for 45minutes.

Cook lasagna noodles in 1 tsp. salt and 1 T. olive oil. Lay flat on foil and set aside.

3 C. cottage cheese
2 beaten eggs
1/2 C. Parmesan cheese
2 T. dried parsley
1 tsp. salt

mix all the above well.

1lb. mozzarella cheese

put (3-4) lasagna noodles in the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan. Put half the cheese mixture on top of the noodles, add half mozzarella cheese, and half of meat mixture. Repeat. Top with a generous layer of Parmesan cheese.You can either freeze at this point or Put in oven for 20-30 minutes at 350.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Zucchini Soup

8 Zucchini and yellow squash
green onions
dill (to taste)
sour cream (about 1 cup)
cream cheese (8oz.)
6 chicken bullion cubes
3 C. Water

cook zucchini, dill and onions until tender. Add chicken broth (water and bullion), cream cheese, and sour cream. Blend in blender. Add back to pot and eat hot. This is actually a cold soup, but I don't like cold soup so we always eat it hot. It is also a recipe that I usually do by taste, but this is what we start with.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Cream of Broccoli Soup

This recipe came from my mom's ward cookbook. It's easy and yummy too.

6 C. water
½ C. chopped onion
2 peeled, diced carrots
1-2 stocks broccoli
1 stick butter
3-4 chicken bouillon cubes
1/3 C. Flour
2 ½ C. milk
¾ C. grated cheddar cheese

Vegetable Mixture: In 6 cups of water, boil onion, carrots, and broccoli until soft. Set aside.

White Sauce: Melt 1 cube butter in large pan. Add ½ C. of water from vegetable mixture (if there is not any water remaining in the vegetable mixture add what is left plus chicken broth to equal ½ cup)Add 3-4 bouillon cubes. Whisk in 1/3 C flour; stir in 2 ½ C milk; bring to a boil and simmer until creamy.

Add grated cheddar cheese and vegetable mixture. (I strain out any remaining liquid in the vegetables).

I love that you don't have to puree it. Makes it easier for me to make and I like the chunkiness.

Aunt Marty's Jello Salad

A recipe from my in-laws. And though I've asked, I still do not know who Aunt Marty is. But I love this stuff! I was not sure what label to put on this...any suggestions are welcome. I will edit them if I need to.

2 3oz. pkgs. lemon jello
8 oz. cream cheese
20 oz. crushed pineapple
1 pt. heavy whipping cream
1 small jar marachino cherries

Strain the pineapple, reserving the juice. Make jello according to directions, substituting 1 cup of the required cold water with a mixture of pineapple juice and 2 Tbsp cherry juice (mixture should make 1 cup total). The cherry juice is mostly for color. Allow to soft set in the refrigerator(about 2 hours).

Mix softened cream cheese into the jello.

Whip the heavy cream. Fold in the whipped cream and crushed pineapple into the mixutre. Allow to set for at least an hour. Garnish with cherry halves.


This is the Sarah S. recipe, of course (read entire recipe for all ingredients needed).

2 Cups flour
2 cups oatmeal
1 ½ cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 ¼ cup soft butter

Mix above ingredients together. Reserve ½ of the mixture. Press remaining ½ into a 9x13 pan. Bake for 10 minutes at 350°. While crust is cooking, combine the following:

12 oz. Mrs. Richarson's Butterscotch Carmel topping (or similar topping)
3 Tbsp. flour

Pour over hot crust. Sprinkle 1 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips over the caramel layer. (you may also add ½ cup chopped nuts).

Top with remaining crust mixture by crumbling over the top of the caramel. Bake for 18-22 minutes at 350. Allow to cool 1-2 hours before serving.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Honey Wheat Bread

This recipe came from the packet that June Seibach handed out in Relief Society on ways to use your wheat. It is the best homemade wheat bread I've ever had.

1/2 cup water
2 packets yeast
2 cups milk
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup wheat germ**
2 tablespoons wheat gluten*
3 cups whole wheat flour
4 cups bread flour

In a large bowl dissolve yeast in warm water. In a microwave safe 4-cup measuring cup, melt butter. Add milk, honey, brown sugar and salt to melted butter and mix well (this is a good way to do it because you only use one measuring cup and the honey won't stick). Add milk mixture to yeast and stir. Add wheat germ, gluten and 3 cups wheat flour to yeast mixture and mix well. Add 2 cups of bread flour. Continue adding bread flour until the dough is no longer sticky. Remove dough from bowl and knead for 5 minutes using bread flour. Cover dough mound with a damp towel and allow to rise for 1-1 1/2 hours or until doubled in size.

Punch down dough and divide in two. Roll each half into a flat rectangle and roll up, pinching ends, to make a French loaf. You can slit the top with a knife to make it pretty. Allow loaves to rise for an hour and then bake on greased cookie sheets at 375 for 35-40 minutes.

The original recipe called for bread pans but my loaves were often doughy in the middle. The French loaves are a little thinner and allow better baking.

*Wheat gluten can be found next to the flour in the baking isle. You can add it to any bread recipe (1 tsp. per cup of flour) and it substantially improves the texture of the bread.

**Wheat germ can usually be found in the health food section.

Turtle Brownies

I found a recipe similar to this one when I was blog surfing. Unfortunately, I can't remember the actual blog I printed it from. Sorry.

1 box chocolate cake mix
1/3 cup milk
3/4 cup butter
1 bag chocolate chips
1 jar caramel sauce
2/3 cup chopped pecans

Melt butter in the microwave and add butter and milk to cake mix. Mix well and add chopped nuts. Pour 1/2 of batter into a greased and floured 9x13 pan. It will be pretty think and hard to spread. I spray some Pam onto a piece of plastic wrap, lay it over the batter and use it as a mess-free way to spread the batter flat. Bake the first layer at 375 for 6 minutes. Remove from oven and pour caramel over baked portion and spread evenly (again, this will be hard unless you heat the caramel first or use the plastic wrap). Sprinkle chocolate chips over caramel and cover chips with remaining batter (use your plastic wrap again). Bake at 375 for 18-20 minutes. Cool completely before serving. These are very gooey and serve better the next day, after they've had time to set up.

Crockpot Beef Stroganoff

Again, found a basic recipe on allrecipes.com but modified it in so many ways that I'm taking ownership.

1 lb. cubed beef stew meat
2 cans condensed golden mushroom soup (different than cream of mushroom)
1 onion, chopped
1 packet beef onion soup mix (Lipton makes this)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
12 ounces sour cream
*1/3 cup chopped green pepper (optional)
1-2 large bags egg noodles

In the crockpot combine the first 9 ingredients and stir. Cook on low for 6 hours. Right before you're ready to serve add sour cream. You can either mix in the noodles or serve them with the sauce on top.

I grew up with green pepper in my stroganoff. The problem is that if you put it in with the other ingredients, it adds a strong flavor to the sauce. I sautee the green peppers with some olive oil until they're soft and then add them with the sour cream.

Mexican Spaghetti

2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 pkg. (13-16 oz) spaghetti
1 can Rotel chilis and tomatoes
1/2 pound Velveeta cheese (cut into chunks)
2 Tablespoons chicken base

Boil chicken and shred. Set aside. In a large pot, bring 6-7 cups of water to a boil. Add chicken base and spaghetti. Cook until tender. Do not drain. Add Rotel, Velveeta, and chicken. Stir until cheese is melted. You can drain excess liquid if it's too runny.

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

This recipe is a great next-day meal after having Rotisserie Chicken because you can use the meat and stock that were leftover. I found a basic recipe for this on allrecipes.com but have severely modified it, so I'm calling this one mine.

6-8 cups chicken stock
2 -3 cups cooked, shredded chicken
1 package long grain and wild rice with seasoning packet
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
1 whole onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
3-5 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups carrots, chopped
1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
2 cups half and half or heavy cream (pick your poison)
Salt and pepper to taste

Pour olive oil into a large soup pot and add all vegetables. Sautee over medium-high heat for several minutes, until onions become translucent. Add stock and shredded chicken. Bring to a boil and add rice (save the seasoning packet for now). Cover and allow rice to cook for as long as the package says. While it is cooking, put butter into a small sauce pan over medium heat and allow it to melt. Add flour and seasoning packet to make a roux. Add your heavy cream and let it heat until it begins to thicken. Add cream mixture to soup and combine well. Let the soup cook for an additional 10-15 minutes.

Rotisserie Style Chicken

I found this recipe on allrecipes.com. It is presented here in pretty much it's original format. I had somehow managed to prepare meals for nine years without cooking an entire chicken. I don't know how I did it. This recipe is to die for. The leftover meat, bones, skin, etc. can be boiled and used to make a base for soups that is far better than anything you'll find canned at the store.

4 teaspoons kosher salt (regular will work too)
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/ teaspoon garlic powder
2 onions, peeled and quartered
4 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
1 large roasting chicken (5-8 lbs.)

Remove that package of yuckiness from inside the chicken (you can save this to boil later to make broth, or just toss it). Rinse the chicken inside and out and pat dry with a towel. Mix all spices together and rub them all over the chicken, inside and out. Place onion and garlic pieces in the body cavity. If you have time, wrap the chicken in plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for 4-24 hours, this really improves the flavor of the meat. When you're ready, place the chicken on a roasting rack (for me, this consists of my cooling rack placed in a pan). Bake uncovered at 250 degrees for 5 hours. When done the skin will be brown and crispy but the meat will be moist and delicious. Again, if you have time, let the meat "rest" after you take it out of the oven by covering it loosely with foil for 15-20 minutes. This helps the meat to absorb juices that would run out if you cut it immediately.

This recipe requires you to get really friendly with a complete chicken that looks like something that was once alive and is now dead. I was a little afraid to do this at first and I still crinkle my nose as I handle the raw chicken, but I promise it's worth it.

Note: As soon as we are done eating, I put everything (carcass, extra meat, pan juices, onions and garlic from cavity and "packet of yuckiness") into a large stock pot and cover it with water. I let it simmer for several hours while I clean up, put the boy to bed, whatever. Before bed, I put a strainer over a gallon-size pitcher and pour the contents of the pot in. Once I've squeezed all of the stock out I pick out all the meat I can find and put it right into the pitcher with the stock. Cover the pitcher with a lid and put it in the fridge. Throw everything else away. When you're ready to use the stock, skim the fat off the top and discard it. The stock will have a "jelly-like" consistency, this is normal, it will liquefy as it heats. Use the stock the same way you would a can of chicken broth. You may need to add salt and you can usually water it down a bit as it is a bit more concentrated than what you find at the store.

Let's Get Started

I've spoken to several of you about wanting to start a food blog as a way to share recipes. Well, here it is. We are all constantly feeding each other and saying how good things are and that we need this or that recipe. So, this is a way to have constant access to our friend's best recipes. When you post a recipe please use the "labels for this post" option at the bottom of the text box. That way we can categorize recipes into sides, breads, main dishes, dessert, etc.

This is also a place to post tips and ideas to improve cooking. So, if you post a tip about making better bread, label it "bread" and "tips". If you have pictures to post with recipes, we love that too! Especially if it is hard to explain processes, pictures are worth a thousand words.

Please feel free to invite others to post here. I'm pretty sure that anyone who is an author can invite others to be authors. If not, let me know and I can add people.

In the spirit of giving credit where due, please site where you got the recipe. A link to a site, a name, anything. Recipes aren't intellectual property, so they aren't protected by copyright, but it's always nice to credit the original author.

I'm looking forward to lots of tasty recipes!