Friday, July 31, 2009

Super Delicious Yum Yum

Last night for dinner I threw a couple of things I had on hand together. While we sat eating dinner - my 6 year old (pickiest eater in the universe) asked me "what is this called?" Since I just made it up I asked him "well, what would you call it?" His answer was "Super Delicious Yum Yum" what a silly kid.

This in another 'assembly line' meal - the only effort I had to put into it was shredding the cheese. With this recipe, you can use any protein, any kind of cheese, any kind of veggies - just whatever you have. This is what I used last night...

Super Delicious Yum Yum
1 can Crescent Rolls (dough)
Bacon (I always use the Hormel Crumbles - so the bacon is effortless)
Shredded Cheddar
Broccoli (I used fresh - but I am sure you can use frozen)
8 oz brick of cream cheese
1/2 c butter
Diced onions (green would probably be best - but I used yellow)

Throw everything together (except the crescent rolls) - mix. Cut your 'tube' of dough into 4 pieces. Flatten the dough out, plop a dollop of the mix in the center of the dough and completely cover the mix with the dough. So you end up having a baseball sized dough ball filled with yumminess.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes - or until the dough looks nice and golden.

That's it. I served it with a tomato salad (just diced tomatoes, salt, pepper and dressing of choice) Yum Yum.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Check it out!

Check out this blog I found today. She was featured on Good Things Utah. This lady is doing an ENTIRE year (yes, 365 days) of nothing but crockpot or slowcooker meals. If you ask me, this is my kind of cooking! Some of these recipes look absolutely mouthwatering and completely amazing! She has tried everything from desserts to baked potatoes, casseroles, enchiladas and SO MUCH MORE! Please give her a look over at least. I spent some of the day going through all 185 recipes and seriously found at least half that I am DYING to try. What is more... She has a rating and review system on every one of the recipes, and she is brutally honest. She has kids, which to us moms is a plus because she tells us if her kids will eat it! She gives tips on your individual crockpots, and lots more. It even is complete with pictures for almost every meal. I seriously can not wait to try this stuff! I hope you all enjoy!

check out her blog here http://www.365daysofcrockpot.blogspot.com

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Blackberry Syrup

This recipe is so easy! You can do this with any berry you have! My kids absolutely love it - and have asked to have it on top of everything they've eaten since I made it (anything from chicken to pasta salad) they've settled for having it on pancakes and toast. Blackberry Syrup
3 c. fresh blackberries
1/2 c. sugar
1/3 c. water
1. In heavy 3 quart saucepan, combine blackberries, sugar and water. Mix gently. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolved.
2. Bring to boiling over medium high heat. Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until fruit is soft.
3. While cooking 2 to 3 more minutes gently mash fruit against pan with wooden spoon.
4. Cool to lukewarm. Strain fruit mixture by pressing through a sieve to remove all the seeds.
5. Cover and refrigerate up to 2 weeks.
I doubled this recipe and ended up with 4 small jars of syrup. One to eat this week - and 3 to freeze!
What a fun way to use up fruit - it makes breakfast an extra special occasion!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Margarita Chicken

This is what I am making tonight:) I got it from www.shellystout.blogspot.com She did a recipe contest a while ago - and this was a finalist. I haven't made this before so I'll have to tell you what we think! I got the Margarita mix at the grocery store for $1.50 (didn't add the tequila). You only need 2 - 3 cups of it - so one bottle will stretch to make 2 dinners for my family (or 8 pieces of chicken).

Margarita Chicken
2 - 3 cups Margarita Mix
3 lbs boneless chicken breast
1 T chopped cilantro
1/2 T chopped garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
Cheese & your favorite salsa

Directions:Marinate Chicken, Cilantro and garlic in 2 cups of Margarita Mix (including Tequila) for 4-8 hours in the fridge. Drain chicken and season with salt and pepper, then grill the chicken. Serve topped with salsa and Cheese. (She says... this chicken is great on rice or in quesadillas and salads. Great left over!) I am excited to try it!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Simple Salmon

We are big on seafood. I could eat it all day every day as far as I am concerned:) My husbands brother lived in Seattle for several years, so to us - him, his wife and mother in law wrote the bible on seafood preparation. We were shocked to find out that the salmon we always enjoy with their family is so simple.

This may be the easiest way to prepare protein ever. I can't stress enough how delicious and tender this salmon is. I was very hesitant to try this method at first, but since I had tasted it so many times, we gave it a go. We have been preparing salmon this way for the last 10 years or so...

Perfect, Simple Salmon
EVOO
Kosher Salt
Cracked Black Pepper
Garlic Powder
Salmon Steaks (I get the individually frozen steaks @ Costco)

Drizzle EVOO over steaks. Salt, pepper and garlic salt to taste. Put them (2 at a time) in the microwave for 2 minutes. Flip the salmon (so the bottom is now on the top and the inside edge of the salmon is now on the outside edge of the plate). Microwave again for about 1 ½ minutes. Use a fork to test firmness.

That’s it!! I told you it’s easy!

We had salmon steaks last night – a real crowd pleaser (and my 3 kids are little and picky!) I made some dill yogurt sauce to go with my husbands, and a little pesto yogurt sauce on the side for me:)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

To Our Bloggies & Looky Loo's

I know you are out there - and I know you are looking - but y'all are so quiet!

Please comment:) We would love to hear from all of you. Whether you think a certain recipe sounds good or when you make one of the recipes from our blog comment on whether or not you'll make it again - or on how you added/omitted different ingredients to customize them to your tastes. Or, if you have a similar recipe - let us know what makes your recipe different.

Comment on the newest post, so that everyone can benefit!
And just look at the blackberries from our garden! I have collected 3 bowlfuls of these over the last couple of weeks. I am freezing them until the vine is finished producing - then, I'll post my recipes for blackberry jam and blackberry syrup!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!

This cute lady commented a few posts ago - and I thought I'd share with all of you!!

"I just had to comment on one of your recipes. I found your blog through a friend of a friend! I made your super easy cinnamon rolls for father's day. They were a hit. So, I was visiting my mom's ward this week and they had a country fair activity at church and had a baking contest. I decided to bake the cinnamon rolls. I won first prize!!!Thanks for the great recipes!"
Ginger

Isn't that awesome! Thanks Ginger!

Green Chili Cheddar Cornbread Muffins

I saw this recipe on Picky Palate a week or so ago - looks so delicious! You can visit her at http://www.picky-palate.com/ She is amazing - she has won a ton of different foodie contests - and has been on the Food Network for her award winning recipes at least 3 times!
Green Chili Cheddar Cornbread Muffins
1 Cup butter (2 sticks)
1 Cup sugar
4 eggs
1 ½ Cups flour
1 Cup cornmeal
1 ½ Tablespoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ Cup ultra gel (optional-available at Whole Foods, etc.)
1 4 oz can chopped green chilies
1 16oz can creamed corn
1 Cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a stand or electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until well combined. Slowly add eggs until well combined. Pour in remaining ingredients in no particular order until just combined. Pour into a 9x13 inch baking dish or 24 muffin tins that have been sprayed with cooking spray. If baking in 9x13 inch dish bake for 25-30 minutes, if baking in muffin tins, bake for 15-18 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean from center.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Honey Chipotle Marinade

My husband usually makes Sunday dinner. It's nice to have a break - and he's a great cook. Last night he made Ribs & Salad for us. Mmmmm. He found this recipe on-line, but can't remember on which site. I think next time I'll try this on chicken and let it marinate for a few hours before grilling...

Honey Chipotle Marinade
1 1/2 c ketchup
1/3 c honey
1/4 c onion, diced
1 1/2 T Tabasco Chipotle Sauce, or to taste
1 T Worcestershire sauce
2 t chili powder
1 T mustard
2 T cider vinegar
1/2 t garlic powder
Salt & Pepper to taste

Add all ingredients except salt, pepper and garlic powder together and set aside for the flavors to mesh.

Rub them with salt, pepper and garlic powder, put them in a casserole and bake them in the oven at 425 degrees for an hour.

Then, he took them out to the grill and basted the ribs with the 'sauce'. He grilled them until they were nice and well browned.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

French Baguette

This bread is so fast and easy - your kids could make it! Honestly. Start to finish - 45 minutes. I got this recipe from "The Food Nanny Rescues Dinner" by Liz Edmunds. 2 of my sisters and I went to a boutique and watched Liz make this bread right in front of us. We all bought this book and all 3 of us have made this bread on several occasions - always a winner!

French Baguettes
1 1/2 c warm water (divided)
1 1/2 T yeast
2 t sugar (divided)
3 1/4 c flour
2 t salt

In a small bowl, combine 1/2 c water, the yeast and 1 t of the sugar. stir just to combine and cover with plastic wrap. Let the mixture stand about 5 minutes or until bubbly or foamy.

In a large mixing bowl, blend the flour, salt, the remaining 1 t of sugar and the yeast mixture. gradually add water, up to the remaining 1 cup and mix until the dough forms a smooth ball that isn't too sticky. turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead briefly, until the dough is smooth and elastic. *I don't have a food processor, so I usually mix with a wooden spoon for a minute, then dump everything on the counter and incorporate it from there.

Divide the dough in half and shape into baguettes. Put on a greased pan, make a shallow cut down the middle of each loaf. cover with a dish towel, and let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes or until doubled in bulk. *With my A/C on high right now - I put the dough in my oven (before I turn it on - then set the pan on top of the stove while I preheat the oven).

Put a shallow dish of water on the bottom rack of your oven (to create steam). Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes or so. Brush with butter straight out of the oven.

Tonight and for an appetizer, we had slices of this bread - toasted up a bit with fresh garden tomatoes & basil and mozzerella. So delicious!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Pesto Hamburgers

I had decided the menu for last evenings meal that morning. Hamburgers, Pasta and for dessert, ice cream with fresh picked blueberries and blackberries from our garden. When hubs got home for dinner - he presented a challenge (b/c he loves food just as much as I do!) "You make a hamburger your way, I make mine my way and we'll see who's is better." OKAY!

I had a lot going on (with the kids and the rest of dinner) so I quickly looked in the fridge, grabbed one of my favorite toppings (diced onions) and then had an epiphany - add pesto. So, I added onions to my liking and about 1 T of pesto to my raw meat - that's it. Incorporated and set it out for hubs to grill. Hubs ingredients were strickly undercover.

The taste test? He asked if we could switch burgers! haha. He made his with garlic and chipotle sauce. Which, by his account was good - but he agreed mine was better. The pesto in the burger madee it so moist (all that good EVOO) and added a depth of flavor to the meat that can't be replicated. It was very flavorful - but not overpowering. I'll be makin' those again and again!

*You can adapt this for ground turkey or tofurkey

What are your secret hamburger tricks or ingredients?

Monday, July 6, 2009

Jerk Chicken Wraps

This is a combo of a recipe I already had and some creative food cravings I had last summer. I hope you all love it as much as we do. Yum!

4-6 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless best)
Jerk marinade (I've also used teriyaki if I am out of jerk)
Spinach tortillas or flour tortillas
Kosher salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
2-4 cups of cooked rice (I've used everything from long grain brown, to white minute rice)
diced pineapple (fresh of course tastes best, but I've used canned tidbits too)
1/4 c macadamian nuts (I've made it with them and without, better with, but they can be expensive so I leave them out a lot or substitute them for sliced almonds)
Fresh mint (I only use if it is summertime from the garden, otherwise it is fine left out)
Lime juice
~optional:
avocado
lettuce
tomatoes

Marinade chicken to your liking and grill. Dice chicken once it is grilled and put it in a zip lock bag. Add salt to your liking, cinnamon, allspice, and lime juice to liking, and mint if you are using it. Close zip lock bag and mix well until flavors are combined and chicken coated.
Put tortillas in a damp paper towell for 10-30 seconds on high in the microwave to soften. Each person can prepare their own wrap from here if desired. Put rice, pineapple, chicken mix, nuts, avocado, lettuce and tomatoes on center of tortilla and wrap. Enjoy!

~This recipe is super easy to tweak to your liking or allergies. Also, very easy to make vegetarian. You could use tofu or tofurkey or even soy patties with jerk sauce or just leave it off an make the wrap like a salad and add jerk sauce over ingredients before wrapping it.

Coke Cake

Any one who really knows me knows that I am not the typical chocolate loving woman. However, there are a few chocolate things that I can't resist ever! This recipe is one of them. I love me some coke cake! Another of Grandma D's hand me downs. I think everyone has some version of this, but this is my fave!
COLA CAKE

2 cups flour 1/2 cup buttermilk
2 cups sugar 2 beaten eggs
1 cup margarine 1 tsp baking soda
3 Tbsp cocoa 1 tsp vanilla
1 cup cola 1-1/2 cups mini marshmellows

Combine flour and sugar
Heat margarine, cocoa, and cola until mixture boils.
Pour mixture over flour and sugar. Blend and add buttermilk, eggs, soda and vanilla.
Fold in marshmellows. Beat well by hand and pour into 9X13 baking pan that has been greased and floured.
Bake 30 to 40 min. at 350.
Frost while hot.

COLA ICING

1/2 cup margarine
3 tbsp cocoa
6 tbsp cola
1 lb. powdered sugar
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
Combine margarine, cocoa and cola.
Bring to a boil in small sauce pan. Pour over powdered sugar and mix well.
Fold in nuts. Spread on hot cake.


My take on this recipe.
For the buttermilk (which I never have), I use 1 tbsp lemon juice and enough milk to make 1/2 cup. Mix together and let set for a while.

I bake it on my jelly roll pan for 30 min. It makes it more like brownies instead of cake.

I also do not add nuts... NOT a fan of nuts in things, and it is great without them!

Chicken Curry Bake

This one is another of our Grandma D's. It was super yummy and fairly easy. Enjoy!

8 chicken breasts, halved, skinned and boned
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
1/4 cup light Mayonaise
3/4 cup plain low fat yogurt
1 tsp Curry powder
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup herbed seasoned bread crumbs

Place chicken in casserole dish.

In small bowl combine soup, mayo, yogurt and curry powder.

Cover chicken with soup mixture and bake uncovered at 350 for 40 minutes.

Combine cheese and bread crumbs.
Sprinkle over chicken and bake 20 minutes more.

Mexican Lasagna

I got this recipe from one of our other contributors Jessica awhile ago. I've been waiting and waiting for her to maybe post it, but I'm stealing the glory Jess... sorry but it is super yummy and a never fail easy meal! I often use this as a fall back recipe on those short on time days. I've tweaked it a little bit, but it's mostly the same as Jess's.

1-pound ground beef
1 onion chopped (I use half )
1 (15 ounce) can stewed tomatoes- I've used regular and the mexican flavored ones.
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chilies (I use mild)
1 package taco seasoning
1 (14 ounce) can of corn (drained)
6-8 flour tortillas (Depends on the size of tortilla you use, if I use the big ones, I only need 4-6 usually.)
1 pound of cheddar cheese grated (I use Monterey jack and cheddar combo.)

~I also garnish with fresh tomatoes, sour cream and fresh green onion. I've even thrown avocado on top.

Preheat oven to 350. Brown ground beef with onion in a skillet; drain excess fat. Add stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, chilies, taco seasoning, and corn; simmer 10 minutes. In a 9X13 pan, layer tortillas, meat mixture and cheese (lasagna style). Bake 20 minutes or until cheese is bubbly. Serve with Sour cream and salsa.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Fourth of July Cake

I saw this cake on PW's site and made it last year for 'Pioneer Day' super delish - and so festive! The recipe is from Ina Garten (BFC)...
Pioneer Day - Pioneer Woman - har har.

Barefoot Contessa’s Fourth of July Cake
Cake:
18 tablespoons (2 ¼ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups sugar
6 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
Icing:
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ½ pounds cream cheese, at room temperature
1 pound confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 half-pints blueberries
4 half-pints raspberries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour (or spray with baking spray) an 18 x 12 x 1 ½ sheet cake pan.
Cream the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy. On medium speed, add eggs, 2 at a time, then add sour cream and vanilla. Scrape down the sides and stir until smooth.
Sift together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda in a bow. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture until just combined. Pour into the prepared pan. Smooth the top with a spatula. Bake in the center of the oven for 20-30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool to room temperature.
For the icing, combine the butter, cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix just until smooth.
Spread ½ of the icing on top of the cooled sheet cake. Outline the star section of the flag with a toothpick. Pipe two rows of icing, then place 2 rows of raspberries, alternately, to form the stripes of the cake. Fill the upper left corner with blueberries. Pipe stars on top of the blueberries.

Serve at your Fourth of July celebration!

4th Of July!

We are all getting ready for this weekend - a weekend full of fun, families, fireworks and FOOD. Post your favorite BBQ/picnic foods - or your favorite festive recipe for this month!! I just posted the 2 recipes below to get us started...

Make sure you Label them with 'Holiday' so they are easy to find!!

Red White & Blue Potato Salad

This is a fun, festive little spin on regular old potato salad for the 4th or the 24th of July!

Red White & Blue Potato Salad
16-17 lbs red and blue fingerling potatoes
13 eggs
2 1/2 cups green onions
1/3 c pickle juice
5 cups mayonnaise
2 1/2 T celery seed
Onion salt to taste
Salt and Pepper to taste

Boil eggs and potatoes (seperately). Leave the skins on the potatoes for that festive color! Cut into chunks (your preference). Mix all other ingredients together then toss with potatoes and eggs - chill before serving.

*This recipe is for a crowd - if you're making it for your family - cut it in half (or more).

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Thai Peanut Chicken Salad

I have had such a hankering for Asian food lately. I am currently obsessed with finding the perfect sweet and spicy Asian chicken recipe that isn't too complicated (there's the trick!) With all my searching - I was craving something to help with my fix. This is it. I love this salad - it is so good - and perfect for summer.

Thai Peanut Chicken Salad
3 c cooked rice, chilled (I love Jasmine rice!)
2 c cooked chicken breast
1 c shredded carrots
1 c julienne or diced red & yellow bell pepper
1 c julienne or diced celery
1/2 c diced green onions
1/4 c cilantro
Thai Dressing (recipe follows)
1/4 c chopped peanuts

Combine rice, chicken, carrots, peppers, celery, onions and cilantro in a large bowl. Drizzle with dressing and toss well to coat. Cover and chill for 1 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with peanuts.

Thai Dressing - Whisk together:
1/2 c Soy Vay Veri Veri Teriyaki
1/4 c rice vinegar
3 T peanut satay sauce*
2 T sesame oil

*Satay sauce is found in the Asian Foods section.

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