Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Flat Bread Tacos

This was such a fun take on regular tacos, and so easy to make. Hannah loved the flat bread and ate it as a pancake with butter and syrup!

Flat Bread Tacos
by Your Homebased Mom

1 cup sour cream
2 -3 tsps taco seasoning mix
1 lb. ground beef
1 pkg taco seasoning (season to taste)
1 recipe of flatbread (see below)
toppings: refried beans, onions, sliced ripe olives, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes and shredded cheese

In a bowl, mix together the sour cream and taco seasoning to taste. chill until serving (at least 30 minutes).

In a large frying pan, cook the hamburger over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Add in the taco seasong and cook according to the directions on the back of the package.

To serve, spread each flatbread with 2 tablespoons sour cream mixture then top each with meat mixture. Add toppings if desired.


1 tube (16.3 ounces) Pillsbury Grand refrigerated buttermilk biscuits

With your hand or a rolling pin press out each biscuit into a 6-in. circle. You want a nice even thickness. In a nonstick skillet frying pan or griddle over medium heat, cook each biscuit for about 60 seconds per side or until golden brown. This is a “dry fry” Do not use any type of grease, oil, butter etc. You cook them in a completely dry pan.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Pumpkin Pie (from Scratch!)

I thought this tasted better than using pumpkin from a can. It was easier than I thought too :)

"Real" Pumpkin Pie

Cut pumpkin (must be a sugar pumpkin) in half without stem. Scoop out seeds and strings. Place cut down on foil lined baking sheets. Cover with foil. Bake 350 until tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Cool. Scoop out flesh and mash with potato mash or food processor until smooth. Drain if too watery.

1 1/3 cup smooth pumpkin
1 1/3 cup sweet condensed milk (or 1 can)
1 egg
1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
1 cup hot water

Beat together until just smooth. pour into 9" pie shell. Bake @ 375 for 55 to 65 minutes. (center will still move slightly) Cool for 2 hours and enjoy (mashed pumpkin will hold 5 day in refrigerator)

Potato Bites

I loved this! Potatoes are one of my favorite foods, so I will be making this again, and again!

I couldn't find "bite sized" red potatoes, so I used 5 medium-large. They took about 45-55 minutes to cook, instead of the 30 minute the small ones take. It's a little tricky to get the meat out of the potatoes without breaking the skin, but I managed to get 4 out of the 5. Next time I think I'll use half and half, since we always have that on hand. Also I see no need to slice off the end of one of the potatoes until after they are cooked. I am not sure what the reasoning is to cook them upright, instead of lying on it's side.

Potato Bites
by My Baking Addiction

15 small red skin potatoes (I used 5 medium-large)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher Salt (I used regular table salt)

For the Filling:
1/4 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter; softened
½ teaspoon of kosher salt
3 slices of bacon; cooked until crisp and chopped
½ cup of sharp cheddar cheese
4 chives finely chopped

sour cream
Finely chopped chives (I added mine to the filling)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Slice off a thin portion from the bottoms of the potatoes so they can sit upright without falling over. Add potatoes to a gallon size bag and pour in your olive oil. Seal and coat all of the potatoes with the olive oil. Remove potatoes from bag and place the potatoes upright on a foil-lined sheet pan; sprinkle with salt. Bake the potatoes in the oven for 30 minutes or until tender.

When the potatoes have cooled enough to be handled, carefully scoop out most of the potato into a bowl. A serrated spoon works well for this process. Take care to leave enough potato in the skin so the shells stay together. Mash the scooped potato lightly with fork, or run through a potato ricer. Add the sour cream, heavy cream, butter, and salt and combine until smooth. Fold in chopped bacon and cheese into the potato mixture. Evenly spoon or pipe the filling into the hollowed potatoes and return to the 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes.

Garnish with sour cream and finely chopped chives.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Cheddar Corn Chowder

The recipe on Food Network is for double this amount. I printed out the recipe online and decided to half it. I remembered to half everything until I got to the spices... and accidentally added double the amount of salt, pepper and turmeric for the recipe! Needless to say, the soup was very salty, but still good :)

Cheddar Corn Chowder
4 ounces bacon, chopped
1/8 cup good olive oil
1 large chopped yellow onion
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
6 cups chicken stock or 3 cans (14-16 oz size)
3 cups medium-diced white boiling potatoes, unpeeled (1 pound)
5 cups corn kernels, fresh (5 ears) or frozen (1 1/2 pounds) or 3 15 oz cans
1 cup half-and-half
1/4 pound sharp white cheddar cheese, grated

In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, cook the bacon and olive oil until the bacon is crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onions and butter to the fat, and cook for 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent.

Stir in the flour, salt, pepper, and turmeric and cook for 3 minutes. Add the chicken stock and potatoes, bring to a boil, and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. If using fresh corn, cut the kernels off the cob and blanch them for 3 minutes in boiling salted water. Drain. (If using frozen corn you can skip this step.) Add the corn to the soup, then add the half-and-half and cheddar. Cook for 5 more minutes, until the cheese is melted. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Serve hot with a garnish of bacon.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Spiderweb Cupcakes

Spiderweb Cupcakes

I followed the tutorial on Little Birdie Secrets to make these cute scary spiderweb cupcakes. I just used a box cake mix and quick vanilla buttercream frosting. I bought very cheap spiders from Wal-mart for the top, but next time I think I'll splurge and buy the more expensive kind. The black spider web was made using Wilton's Sparkle Gel in black, and one tube had enough to decorate 24 cupcakes. These were perfect for Halloween!!

Ernest's Karai (spicy) Chili

Ernest made this for the ward Halloween party. I love that he did the cooking! He agreed to share his secret recipe, as long as I didn't put amounts on any of the ingredients.

Ernest's Karai (spicy) Chili
by EF

hot dogs (cut into bite sized pieces)
dark red kidney beans
diced onion
diced tomato
tomato paste
chili powder

Cook beef and onions; drain. Add remaining ingredients and cook until hot. Serve over rice.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Baked Chicken-Bacon Alfredo

I just found this draft from July, and didn't realize I hadn't posted it. This dinner was amazing!! Thanks Jessica!

Baked Chicken-Bacon Alfredo
Our Best Bites

8 oz penne or bowtie pasta
1 recipe Guiltless Alfredo Sauce (recipe follows or a 16-oz. jar would work in a pinch)
2 chicken breasts, grilled and chopped (about 2 cups chopped chicken)
6 oz (1/2 package) cooked bacon, chopped
1 14 oz jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1/2 cup chopped green onions (about 1 decent-sized bunch)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, prepare Guiltless Alfredo sauce. When pasta is done, drain and add to the sauce. Toss with chopped chicken, bacon, artichoke hearts, green onions, and 1/2 cpu mozzarella. Season to taste.

Transfer mixture to an 8x8" baking dish and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until heated through and cheese is bubbly.

Serve with a green salad and breadsticks or a loaf of garlic bread made with Garlic Bread Seasoning.

Guiltless Alfredo Sauce
Our Best Bites

2 cups low-fat milk
1/3 cups (3 oz) low fat cream cheese
2 TBSP flour
1 tsp salt
1 TBSP butter
3 garlic cloves
1 cups grated Parmesan cheese

Toss the milk, cream cheese, flour, and salt in a blender. Process until smooth and set aside.

In a non-stick sauce pan, melt butter on med-high heat and add garlic. Let the garlic saute for about 30 seconds, you don't want to burn it. Then add milk mixture to the pan. Stir constantly for about 3 or 4 minutes or until it just comes to a simmer. Keep stirring and let it cook for a few minutes more. It should be much thicker now.

When it's nice and thickened remove the pan from the heat. Add the cheese, stir it up and then cover immediately. Let stand for at least 10 minutes before using. It will continue to thicken upon standing. Also, if you have leftovers in the fridge, the sauce will thicken almost into a solid. Just re-heat and add a little milk and it will be back to normal again.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas

I halved the amount of chicken and tortillas for this recipe, but used the full amount of sauce. That was a mistake. The honey lime sauce overpowered the dish. It was still good, but next time, I'll make sure to half the sauce too!

Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas
by Your Homebased Mom

6 TBSP honey
5 TBSP fresh lime juice (1-2 limes)
1 TBSP chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
2-3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
8 – 10 flour tortillas (depending on size)
1 lb of a Mexican blend cheese (monterey jack, colby, cheddar), shredded
1 large can of green enchilada sauce

Mix the honey, lime juice, chili powder and garlic powder together with the shredded chicken. Allow it to sit for at least 1/2 hour or you could do it hours before and just cover and refrigerate.

Pour 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce into bottom of a 9 x 13 pan. Place chicken and cheese into middle of a tortilla and spoon about 1 tablespoon of enchilada sauce over it and roll up. Place seam down in the pan. Reserve about 1-2 cups of cheese to sprinkle on top of enchiladas. Pour enchilada sauce over the top of rolled enchiladas (reserve a little bit to add after they are baked) and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbly.

2 TBSP olive oil or vegetable oil
1 cup long grain white rice
2 cup chicken broth
1 small can tomato juice
salt and pepper

Heat oil in a skillet. Add the rice. Stir frequently and slightly brown the rice (more like, make it tan) over a medium high heat. Add the chicken broth. Add the tomato juice. Add some salt and pepper. Stir thoroughly. Reduce heat to simmer and cover tightly with a lid. (I ’stir’ the mixture several times while it’s cooking by just shaking/moving the skillet back and forth so that I don’t take the lid off.) Simmer/cook for about 20 minutes, until the liquid has been absorbed. Once the liquid has been absorbed, turn off the heat and leave mixture alone with the lid on it for another 10-15 minutes or so.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Chili's Chicken Club Tacos

Last week on a quick trip to St. George we stopped at Chili's for lunch. I had some amazing Chicken Club Tacos! I am not sure exactly how they seasoned the chicken, but I'm sure any combination of spices will work. I think the magic to this recipe is in the dressing and the bacon!

Chili's Chicken Club Tacos

seasoned grilled chicken
ancho-chili ranch dressing (I don't know how to make this, but I'm sure ranch dressing would be fine)
applewood smoked bacon (cooked and crumbled)

Combine ingredients and serve on flour tortillas.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Burger No. 39

Inside my Food Network magazine was the insert "50 Burgers". When my sister came to visit last week we made Burger No. 39, and we both agreed this is our new favorite burger!

Turkey Burger
by Food Network

1 lb ground turkey
1 grated green apple
1/2 cup minced scallions
1/4 cup panko (or bread crumbs)
salt and pepper

Mix ingredients together and form into four 1 inch thick patties, make an indentation in the centers and cook 4 to 5 minutes per side on an oiled grill. Serve on whole wheat buns.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Peanut Butter Cup(cakes)

VERY rich cupcakes, but VERY good! This is the perfect chocolate & peanut butter treat!

Peanut Butter Cup Cake

1 devil’s food cake mix
3 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups chopped peanut butter cups (plus more for garnishing - about 2 bags)

Frosting (half frosting recipe for cupcakes)

8 oz dark chocolate, chopped
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup peanut butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, beat cake mix, eggs, buttermilk and vegetable oil on low for 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for 2 minutes. Scrape down sides after 1 minute. Fold in 2 cups of the chopped peanut butter cups. Pour batter into pans and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool cakes completely. Place chopped dark chocolate in a medium bowl. Bring cream just to a boil and then pour over chocolate. Whisk until chocolate melts. Add peanut butter and whisk until smooth.

For a 9-inch (two layer) cake:

Coat two 9-inch cake pans with non-stick cooking spray. Line with wax paper and coat paper. Pour batter into pans and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool cakes completely.Trim each cake layer so the tops are flat. Place one layer on a cooling rack and pour 1 cup frosting on top. Spread evenly with a spatula. Add second layer and pour remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Smooth out with spatula. Allow frosting to set for a minute and gently press remaining chopped peanut butter cup pieces all over top and sides of cake. Place in refrigerator for about an hour to set. Remove and serve.

For cupcakes

Pour batter into a lined cupcake pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 15 to 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool cupcakes completely. Dip cupcakes one at a time into frosting. Allow frosting to set for a minute and gently press remaining chopped peanut butter cup pieces all over top of cupcakes.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Oven-Fried Picnic Chicken

Image Source Betty Crocker

Oven-Fried Picnic Chicken
Betty Crocker

2/3 cup buttermilk
8 boneless skinless chicken breasts (2 1/2 lb)
1 cup Country Corn Flakes cereal
1 cup Original Bisquick mix or Gold Medal all-purpose flour
2 packages (1 oz each) ranch dressing mix (dry)
Cooking spray

Heat oven to 400ºF. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray. Pour buttermilk into shallow glass or plastic bowl. Add chicken; turn to coat. Let stand 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in 2-quart resealable food-storage plastic bag, crush cereal with rolling pin. Add Bisquick mix and dressing mix (dry) to cereal in bag. Remove chicken from buttermilk; discard buttermilk. Add chicken to cereal mixture. Seal bag; shake to coat. Place chicken on cookie sheet. Spray with cooking spray. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until juice of chicken is clear when center of thickest part is cut (170°F).

My Notes: I'm not sure what "Country" Corn Flakes are, so I just used "Regular" Corn Flakes. The chicken was great, I loved the flavor and the crunch. Next time I will bread the chicken in a pan, the bag didn't distribute the corn flake mixture evenly enough for me. I also used chicken tenders/strips and only cooked it for 20 minutes.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Cinnamon Sugar

When I was little I loved having cinnamon toast for breakfast. One morning we ran out of Cinnamon Sugar and devastation hit. My mom came to the rescue and "made" Cinnamon Sugar... from scratch! I was so little that I had no idea you could "make" Cinnamon Sugar. I was amazed and thought my mom was awesome!

So, today we ran out of Cinnamon Sugar and Hannah was only mildly impressed that I could make my own. Oh well, I guess in the age of iPhones and computers, Cinnamon Sugar is low on the list.

Cinnamon Sugar

1/2 cup sugar
1 TBSP cinnamon

Mix together and pour into shaker. This amount fit perfectly into my McCormick sized container.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Cheesecake Cookie Cups

This recipe was on the back of our Visiting Teaching Message this month. Jeff and I loved them as is, Hannah loved them without the cherries on top and Ernest thought they were too sweet. I think my vote is the one that counts!

Cheesecake Cookie Cups
by Nestle

1 pkg (16.5 oz) Nestle Toll House Refrigerated Chocolate Chip Cookie Bar Dough
2 pkgs (8 oz each) cream cheese, room temperature
1 can (14 oz) Nestle Carnation Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 can (21 oz) cherry pie filling

Preheat oven to 325° F. Paper-line 24 muffin cups. Place one piece of cookie dough in each muffin cup. BAKE for 10 to 12 minutes or until cookie has spread to edge of cup.

Beat cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, eggs and vanilla extract in medium bowl until smooth. Pour about 3 tablespoons cream cheese mixture over each cookie in cup.

Bake for additional 15 to 18 minutes or until set. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Top each with level tablespoon of pie filling. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Creamy Corn Chowder

I've been looking for that perfect Corn Chowder recipe that everyone wants more of and can't wait to eat it when the weather gets cold. This one comes close, but I think I'm going to keep looking.

Creamy Corn Chowder
by Our Best Bites

2 TBSP butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup water
2 1/2 cup milk (any kinds is fine)
2 regular-sized chicken bouillon cubes, 1 Knorr chicken bouillon cube, or 2 tsp. chicken base
1/2 lb bacon (optional)
1 small-medium onion, minced
2 red potatoes, diced into small cubes
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can corn, drained or about 1 1/2 cups frozen fresh corn
Salt and pepper to taste
A few dashes of hot sauce (like Tabasco or Cholula)(I left this out)

Fry bacon until crisp. In the meantime, melt butter over low heat in a soup pot. When melted, add flour to make a roux and whisk until it comes together in a little ball. Add water and whisk until completely combined and there are no lumps. Add milk and chicken base or bouillon and bring to a simmer. Add potatoes, onions, and garlic, and simmer (but don't boil!), stirring very frequently, for about 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Add crumbled bacon and corn and heat through. Add a few drops of hot sauce and then salt to taste. Start with about 1/4 tsp, give it a few minutes, and then add more if you need it.

Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with extra bacon and/or cheese if you want.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Creamy Chicken and Bacon Pastry Pockets (Freezer Meal)

A few friends came over today and we made some Freezer Meals together. I'll be posting the other recipes as I try them. I cooked some of these Pastry Pockets right away and the rest are in the freezer. They were so good! I will be making these again!

Very flaky!

Creamy Chicken and Bacon Pastry Pockets
Our Best Bites

1 box puff pastry (2 sheets)
1 8 oz container Philadelphia Chive and Onion flavor Cream Cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 1/2 cup cooked shredded chicken breast
1/3 cup cooked crumbled bacon
3 TBSP finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes
1 egg
1 TBSP water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Warm cream cheese in the microwave for 20-30 seconds to soften. Place in a mixing bowl with mozzarella cheese, chicken, bacon, and sun-dried tomatoes. Stir to combine and set aside.

Defrost puff pastry sheets according to package directions. Lightly dust a work surface with flour and roll one sheet at a time into a 12 x 12 inch square. Cut 4, 3 inch strips each direction to make 16 squares, 3 x 3" each.

Place about 2 teaspoons of cream cheese mixture onto each square. With your finger, brush a dab of water around the edges of each square and fold over diagonally to make a triangle. Press edges together and crimp with a fork to seal.

After stuffing and folding each pastry, place on a baking sheet. Whisk egg and 1 tablespoon water together and brush over the top of each pastry. Bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Cool 10 minutes before serving. Can also be served at room temperature.

Freezer instructions: Follow directions through egg wash. Place baking sheet in the freezer. When pastries are solid to the touch, transfer to an airtight container and store in the freezer. When ready to bake, place frozen pastries directly on a baking sheet in preheated 400 degree oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until puffed and golden.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars (aka Congo Bars)
by Bakerella

2 ¾ cup all purpose flour
2 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2/3 cup butter, softened
1 lb light brown sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
11.5 oz package milk chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Set aside. Stir brown sugar into softened (not melted) butter in another large bowl until butter disappears. You can use the back of your spoon to help incorporate the two together. Add eggs one at a time to butter mixture and stir well after each egg. Add vanilla, chocolate chips and nuts. Mix well. Add dry flour mixture and stir until well combined. Coat a 13 X 9 pan with non-stick spray and spread batter evenly into dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until top is golden brown. Make sure you don’t over bake.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Homemade Tortillas

Yesterday my friend Tonya came over to show me how to make homemade tortillas from scratch. It was so much easier than I thought and of course they tasted better than the store bought ones.

Homemade Tortillas
by Tonya L.

2 cups white flour*
1 tsp salt
¾ tsp baking powder
1/3 cup shortening
¾ cups warm water

Mix flour, salt, and baking powder. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles course crumbs. Slowly stir in water and fluff with fork until dough forms. Turn out onto floured surface. Kneed dough until it is smooth (about 10 times). Cover and let rest for 15 minutes. Pinch off a small ball of dough and roll out on floured surface. Tortillas should be thin and elastic about 10 inches in diameter. Cook on stove top, in un-greased iron skillet, nonstick pan, or electric grilled. Cook on one side until just barely brown, flip once and brown other side. Keep a tooth pick near by to poke out any large air bubbles.

* or 1 1/3 cups white flour and 2/3 cups whole wheat flour

Monday, May 17, 2010

Quick Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

This was SO much better than store bought frosting, or any other buttercream frosting I have made before. I found myself eating the bottom of the cupcakes first, so the frosting would be my last bite! It is a little more work than opening up a can of frosting from the store, but it's worth it. I'll never buy ready made frosting from the store again!

Quick Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
Food Network

3 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 to 2 TBSP whipping cream (I didn't have any, so I used half-n-half)

In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, mix together sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes. Add vanilla and cream and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more cream if needed for spreading consistency.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

One Color Mochi

This is one of the boys favorite treats from Hawaii. Mochi is a traditional Japanese food that's soft and chewy. I made two batches of this in a two day period and Takeshi at one 9 x 13 pan all by himself!

One Color Mochi
by Dianne Naehu

1 lb Mochiko (sweet rice flour; found in asian section)
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp baking powder
2 cups water
13.5 to 14 oz can coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp red or blue food coloring
potato or corn starch for dusting

Preheat oven to 350. Mix first 3 ingredients together. Add water, coconut milk, vanilla and food coloring to dry mixture. Pour into 9x13 pan. Cover with foiland bake 1 hour. DO NOT OVERBAKE! Cool completely. Turn onto potato corn starch dusted surface and cut with plastic knife. Dust top and sides with potato or corn starch

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Easy Baked Manicotti

Photo by

This was a very easy recipe to make with the exception of stuffing the shells. I had a difficult time using the resealable plastic bag to fill the shells, and ended up filling them by hand. Ernest loved this meal and ate it for lunch the next two days straight as leftovers. Jeff and Hannah didn't like this recipe at all, although I never got a straight answer as to why they didn't like it.

Easy Baked Manicotti
Kraft Foods

2 cups spaghetti sauce, divided
1-3/4 cups POLLY-O Original Ricotta Cheese
1-1/2 cups KRAFT Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1/2 cup KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup pesto
12 manicotti shells, cooked, rinsed in cold water

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread 3/4 cup sauce onto bottom of 13x9-inch baking dish. Mix cheeses, egg and pesto until well blended; spoon into resealable plastic bag. Use scissors to cut small corner from bottom of bag. Fill manicotti shells by squeezing cheese mixture into both sides of each shell; place in baking dish. Top with remaining sauce; cover. Bake 40 min. or until heated through

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake
by Mary Nolan

1 ½ lbs strawberries, stemmed and quartered
5 TBSP sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
2 TBSP sugar
¾ tsp salt
1 ½ cups heavy cream
Whipped Cream, recipe follows

Mix strawberries with 3 tablespoons sugar and refrigerate while juices develop, at least 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Add heavy cream and mix until just combined. Place mixture in an ungreased 8-inch square pan and bake until golden, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove shortcake from pan and place on a rack to cool slightly. Cut into 6 pieces and split each piece in half horizontally. Spoon some of the strawberries with their juice onto each shortcake bottom. Top with a generous dollop of whipped cream and then the shortcake top. Spoon more strawberries over the top and serve.

Whipped Cream
1 ½ cups heavy cream, chilled
3 TBSP sugar
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp freshly grated lemon zest (I left this out)

Using a mixer, beat the heavy cream, sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest until soft peaks form, about 1 ½ to 2 minutes.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Buffalo Chicken Salad

Since we didn't use an entire pound of chicken for this meal, I used the leftover chicken for our Chicken Salad sandwiches.

Buffalo Chicken Salad
by Favorite Family Recipes

1 lb chicken
1 bottle Frank's Buffalo Chicken sauce
3 hard boiled eggs, peeled and sliced
avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced
1/2 cup grilled corn kernels (optional)
cheese, shredded
sunflower seeds
ranch or blue cheese dressing (we used honey mustard)

Heat oven to 375-degrees. Cover chicken in Buffalo Chicken sauce and place on a greased pan. Place in oven and bake about 25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Cut chicken into slices and place in a large bowl. Stir in more Buffalo Chicken sauce until chicken is well coated. Shred lettuce and place on plate. Add chicken, egg, avocado, corn, cheese, sunflower seeds and top with dressing.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

At our ward party last Friday, someone had made Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies. Ernest loved them, and so I started asking people to try and find out who made them. I never found the baker, so I searched on the internet for a recipe to try. I found this one and we all loved the cookies. Hannah kept saying (with disbelief) "These are really good! I can't believe how good these are!" I guess that means I'll be making these again.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Food Network

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsps baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp ground cloves
2 cups (12-ounce bag) milk chocolate chips, not semisweet
Nonstick cooking spray or parchment paper

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray cookie sheets with nonstick spray or line them with parchment paper.

Using a mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Beat in the white and brown sugars, a little at a time, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time, then mix in the vanilla and pumpkin puree. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Slowly beat the flour mixture into the batter in thirds. Stir in the chips. Scoop the cookie dough by heaping tablespoons onto the prepared cookie sheets and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cookies are browned around the edges (I only cooked mine for 14 minutes). Remove the cookie sheets from the oven and let them rest for 2 minutes. Take the cookies off with a spatula and cool them on wire racks.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Teriyaki Chicken Burgers

I found this recipe yesterday and knew I had to try it. Of course, the day I made it, there are 20 mph winds blowing! The grill only went out once, and they still turned out great. Best part was that Ernest loved it, even if he didn't add any cheese or pineapple to his. I still love him anyway.

Teriyaki Chicken Burgers
by Favorite Family Recipes

4 chicken breasts
1 bottle Teriyaki sauce (we used Lawry's brand)
3/4 cup brown sugar
4 slices deli ham
1 can sliced pineapple (we used fresh)
4 slices Pepper Jack cheese (we used Provolone)
4 large hamburger buns

Pound chicken breasts until they are about 1/4" thick all around. Place in a large Ziploc bag. Combine Teriyaki sauce and brown sugar until sugar dissolves. Add 1/2 of the mixture to the bag with the chicken and seal tightly. Place bag in refrigerator for at least 4-5 hours. Separate remaining Teriyaki mixture into 2 separate bowls (to prevent cross contamination use 2 separate brushes too)-- one for the pineapple, one for the chicken. Open pineapple can and save a little of the juice in a bowl. Place chicken and pineapple on the grill (medium heat). Brush with Teriyaki sauce every few minutes until chicken and pineapple are done-- try to only flip the chicken and pineapple once. Either on the grill or in a frying pan, cook ham with a little of the pineapple juice until it becomes nice and hot. Slice open hamburger buns and place a piece of cooked chicken on each bottom bun. Top with cheese, ham, grilled pineapple, and bun top. Serve immediately with remaining grilled pineapple.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Chocolate Fondue

Since Strawberries were on sale for only .67 a pound, I decided to splurge on a Fondue Pot (something I've always wanted!). I used this recipe from Tyler Florence and it was amazing! Everyone loved it!

Chocolate Fondue
by Tyler Florence

16 ounces chocolate (milk, dark or semisweet), broken in pieces (I used Nestles Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips)
1/2 pint whipping cream
1/2 cup caramel topping

Place all ingredients in a ceramic fondue pot over low heat. Stir constantly until the mixture is melted and smooth. Do not allow to bubble. Arrange an assortment of bite-sized dipping foods on a lazy Susan around fondue pot. Some suggestions are strawberries, bananas, apples, grapes, cherries, pound cake, marshmallows, raisins and shelled nuts. Spear with fondue forks or wooden skewers, dip, swirl and enjoy!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Homemade Rice-A-Roni

Since I had never heard or Fideo or Fideo Cortado type pasta, I thought I would post a picture of them. I found these at my local Super Wal-Mart in the pasta isle (American Beauty) and the Mexican/Latin isle (La Moderna). The American Beauty brand is Fideo Cortado (Fino) and is thinner and longer than the La Moderna Fideo brand. The American Beauty was also more expensive at .62 for 7 oz. The La Moderna was .48 for 7 oz. If you already have angel hair pasta at home, use that and break it into 1/2 inch long pieces.

Rice-A-Roni (Chicken Flavor)
by Rachelle Cox

1/2 cup raw Fideo or Fideo Cortado (or angel hair pasta broken into 1/2 inch long pieces)
3/4 cup uncooked long-grain white rice
3 cup water
2 tablespoons butter or margarine or oil
1/8 tsp seasoning salt
1/8 tsp white pepper
1/8 tsp onion power
1/8 tsp garlic powder
4 tsp instant chicken bouillon

In medium skillet sauté broken pasta pieces and rice in butter, stirring constantly, until the pasta is golden brown. Carefully pour in water, spices and bouillon. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until rice is tender.

Chicken Pesto


Pesto Chicken
Peas (or other vegetable)

Pesto Chicken
by Your Homebased Mom

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 C pesto
2 oz. shredded part skim mozzarella cheese (1/2 C)
salt and pepper

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Spread 1/4 cup of the pesto in a 9 x 13 baking dish. Lay chicken breasts over pesto in an even layer and spread remaining pesto on top of chicken. Cover baking dish with foil and bake chicken until cooked through – 20-25 minutes. Uncover and top with cheese. Bake until cheese is melted, 5 more minutes. Serve hot.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Chicken Katsu

Since Jeff was out of town and can't eat fried foods, I made this for the boys last night. They loved it! The chicken doesn't have much taste by itself, but the sauce is what makes the dish. I didn't use the sauce below, but bought Kikoman brand Katsu sauce from the Ethnic isle in the grocery store. Served with rice it's great!

Chicken Katsu
All Recipes

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - pounded to 1/2 inch thickness
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 egg, beaten
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 cup oil for frying, or as needed

Season the chicken breasts on both sides with salt and pepper. Place the flour, egg and panko crumbs into separate shallow dishes. Coat the chicken breasts in flour, shaking off any excess. Dip them into the egg, and then press into the panko crumbs until well coated on both sides. Heat 1/4 inch of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place chicken in the hot oil, and cook 3 or 4 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Slice chicken into thin strips and top with a drizzle of sauce. Serve remaining sauce on the side for dipping.

For Deep Frying:
Heat oil in deep-fryer to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Fry breaded chicken breasts in preheated oil until golden brown and no longer pink in center, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to absorb excess oil.

For Oven Baking:
Traditionally this dish is fried, but if you must, the chicken can be oven baked. Follow the breading directions, place them on a cookie cooling rack on a cookie sheet and baked for about 20 minutes at 350. They won't turn out dark golden but should be crispy.

Katsu Sauce
All Recipes

1 cup ketchup
4 teaspoons dry mustard powder
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

In a small bowl, stir together the ketchup, mustard powder, garlic powder, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to blend the flavors before serving.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Red Velvet Cupcakes


My best friend from High School came into town and had dinner with us last night. It was wonderful to see her again, and to meet her beautiful family! Of course, I used this as an excuse to make one of my "to try" recipes. I used the cake recipe from Bakerella and the frosting recipe from Your Homebased Mom. The cupcakes were very moist and tasted great! Of course the cream cheese frosting didn't hurt either :)

Red Velvet Cupcakes

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour (10.625 oz or 10 5/8 oz)
2 cups sugar
1 Tablespoon cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups oil
1 cup buttermilk
1 Tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 oz. red food coloring

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly stir eggs in a medium bowl with a wire whisk. Add remaining liquid ingredients and stir together with whisk until blended. Set aside. Place all the dry ingredients in your mixing bowl and stir together really good with another wire whisk. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix on medium-high for about a minute or until completely combined. Using an ice cream scoop, fill cupcake cups with cake batter (they should be 2/3 – 3/4 full). It will make 24 cupcakes. Place muffin tins on the middle rack of a preheated 350 degree oven. Bake for approximately 20-22 minutes, rotating pans halfway through. Cupcakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Check early and don’t overbake!

For Cake:
Grease and flour two 8 inch cake pans. Pour into cake pans and then drop the pans on the counter a few times to release any air bubbles. Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. After about ten minutes, remove from pans and cool completely on a wire rack. Cover in plastic wrap while the cakes cool. Then make the frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 sticks (1/2 cup) butter, slightly softened
8 oz cream cheese
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Slowly add the powdered sugar and mix until everything is combined, then add the vanilla.

I've also used this frosting on them and it's equally as delicious!!

Quick Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
by Food Network

3 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 to 2 TBSP whipping cream (I didn't have any, so I used half-n-half)

In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, mix together sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes. Add vanilla and cream and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more cream if needed for spreading consistency.

Ice and enjoy!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Creamy Baked Chicken Breasts

I made this a few nights ago and Takeshi said "That looks GOOD!". Which, you have to know, is something he never says about my cooking. Needless to say, I was very pleased. We made rice with this and put some of the extra sauce on our rice. It wasn't gourmet, but it was very good and very easy.

Creamy Baked Chicken Breasts

8 chicken breast halves
8 slices Swiss cheese (I used provolone)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup herb seasoned croutons, crushed
1/4 cup melted butter

Arrange chicken in a lightly greased baking dish. Top with cheese slices. Spread soup evenly over all and top with crushed croutons. Drizzle with melted butter. Bake uncovered 45-50 minutes in a 350 oven.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

5 Layer Mexican Dip (or 6, 7 or 8...)

This was our Superbowl appetizer. I was surprised that Jeff had never heard of this recipe before. He loved it, but Hannah only wanted the sour cream layer on her tortilla chips.

5 Layer Mexican Dip
Kraft Foods

1 can refried beans
1 TBSP chili powder*
½ tsp ground cumin*
1 cup sour cream (or 8 oz cream cheese, softened)
1 cup shredded cheese (Cheddar or Mexican blend)
3 green onions, sliced
1/3 cup sliced black olives
1 tomato, chopped

Optional Layers are
1 can (4.5 oz) chopped green chiles
1 cup salsa
2 cups shredded lettuce
1 cup guacamole

Mix beans with chili powder and cumin; spread onto bottom of 9-inch pie plate (or other serving dish). Top with layers of remaining ingredients. Refrigerate several hours or until chilled. Serve with tortilla chips

*chili powder and cumin can be replace with taco seasoning.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Marlboro Man Sandwich

I made these for our Superbowl "dinner" and Jeff loved it. He even requested the leftovers for lunch the next day, which (in our house) is something that never happens! I was very excited that the sandwich was a hit.

The Marlboro Man Sandwich
by The Pioneer Woman

1 whole large (or 2 small) onions
2 sticks butter
2-3 pounds cube steak
Lawry's seasoned salt
½ cups (approximately) worcestershire sauce
tabasco sauce, to taste
4 whole french/deli rolls

Slice onions and cook in 1/4 stick butter until soft and light brown. Remove and set aside. Slice cube steak against the grain. Season with Lawry’s. Heat 2 tablespoons butter over high heat (in same skillet) until melted and beginning to brown. Add meat in single layer. Cook one side until brown, then flip and cook until brown, about a minute on both sides. Add 1/2 cup (at least) Worcestershire sauce, 5 to 6 shakes Tabasco, and 2 tablespoons butter. Add cooked onions. Stir to combine. Butter halved French rolls and brown in skillet. To assemble, lay bottom half of French roll on plate. Place meat mixture, followed by a spoonful of juice from the pan. Top with other half of roll, cut in half, and eat!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Peanut Butter Balls

When my friend Kristy and I were in flight attendant training (for National Airlines, now out of business), she made these to snack on at break time. I loved them and they are so easy to make!

Healthy Peanut Butter Balls

1/3 cup crunchy or creamy peanut butter (I prefer creamy)
½ cup nonfat dry milk powder
2 TBSP wheat germ
1 TBSP honey

Mix together and shape into little bite size balls. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Extraordinary Chocolate Chip Cookies

I made these last night about 8:30 pm (meaning that Hannah stayed up until 10:00 pm with me baking them!). This was the 1st time since moving to Nevada, that my chocolate chip cookies cookies came out soft and chewy. Maybe it was the extra instructions and notes in the recipe, i.e. "dough will be stiff" & "centers will be soft" that helped. I probably would have thought I did something wrong during the cookie making process had those notes not been included. The only fault with the recipe was that there were too many chocolate chips (if that's even possible!). I felt like I was eating a chocolate bar, instead of a chocolate chip cookie. My husband thought it was perfect just the way it was, but next time I'm only going to add 12 oz of chocolate chips.

Extraordinary Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 ½ cups butter or margarine, softened
1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
1 ¼ cups packed brown sugar
1 TBSP vanilla
2 eggs
4 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 bag (24 oz) semisweet chocolate chips (4 cups)

1. Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, beat butter, sugars, vanilla and eggs with electric mixer on medium speed or with spoon until light and fluffy. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt (dough will be stiff). Stir in chocolate chips.
2. On ungreased cookie sheet, drop dough by tablespoonfuls or #40 cookie/ice cream scoop 2 inches apart. Flatten slightly.
3. Bake 11 to 13 minutes or until light brown (centers will be soft). Cool 1 to 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack.

Makes about 4 dozen.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Cheesy BBQ Chicken

I made these for dinner tonight and I was very pleased with the results. The Hungry Housewife says these are a take off the the Montery Chicken at Chili's ("Topped with BBQ sauce, cheese and applewood smoked bacon. Served with mashed potatoes with black pepper gravy and seasonal veggies."). We even had mashed potatoes and green beans to go with our dinner too :)

Cheesy BBQ Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (salted & peppered)
4 slices of bacon, cut in half
1 onion (sauted or caramelized)
1 poblano pepper (cooked same as onions)
1 bottle of BBQ sauce
Cheese (any blend is fine)

Place chicken breasts in large zip lock bag and pour enough BBQ sauce in bag to cover the chicken. Marinate them in the fridge from about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to broil HI, with rack 4 inches from heat. In a large oven proof skillet (I used my cast iron skillet), over medium heat, sautee chicken until mostly done, about 4 minutes per side. Pour some BBQ sauce over chicken. Place desired amount of onions on the chicken. Cover with cheese (how ever much you want) & place bacon on top. Place pan in the oven and broil until the bacon has crisped up, about 5 minutes. Or until the chicken reads 165 on a instant read thermometer.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Steak Fajitas with Chimichurri

We had these for dinner tonight and I thought they were great! We added shredded cheese and sour cream as toppers to these fajitas. Guacamole would have been nice too, but I didn't have any avocados.

Steak Fajitas with Chimichurri

1 bunch fresh parsley
1 bunch fresh cilantro
1 to 2 cloves garlic
1 large red onion, halved and sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 TBSP red wine vinegar
3 TBSP lemon juice
1/2 cup plus 1 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound chuck or top round steak (London broil) (I used Flank Steak)
3 poblano peppers, seeded and cut into strips
1/4 cup chicken broth (recipe called for lager beer, but I wasn't going to use that!)
8 (8-inch) flour tortillas
Lime wedges, for serving (optional)

Combine the parsley and cilantro (leaves and stems), garlic, half of the sliced onion, 1 tablespoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, vinegar, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 1/2 cup olive oil in a food processor; blend into a thick and smooth chimichurri sauce. Pierce both sides of the steak with a fork several times; place in a resealable plastic bag and add half of the sauce. Seal the bag and turn to coat the steak; refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Cover and reserve the remaining sauce.

Preheat a grill to medium-high. Remove the steak from the bag (discard the bag of sauce); season with salt and pepper and grill until medium-rare, about 6 minutes per side. Let rest, loosely covered with foil, for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the peppers and the remaining sliced onion half; season with salt and pepper. Saute until the vegetables are softened and caramelized around the edges, about 8 minutes. Add the broth, cover and cook until the peppers are tender, about 5 minutes.

Warm the tortillas on the grill. Thinly slice the steak on the bias; divide among the tortillas along with the peppers and onions. Thin the reserved chimichurri sauce with the remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice; drizzle over the fajitas. Serve with lime wedges, if desired.