Monday, November 17, 2008

Mundane Monday

Hmm, I think I gave up on Thirty Minute Thursdays in the middle of the A-Z marathon. Forgive me, I beg you! I could do Mundane Mondays, because you've now started a new week. Tricky Tuesdays to give each week a challenge. Wordless Wednesdays with pictures of delicious food (likely not prepared by me). Thrifty Thursdays to find new ways to bring frugality into our lives, whilst preparing food for armies (ie: families). Fiesta Fridays to incorporate the spice of life into what we cook. Seafood Saturdays for all the is fishy and fun. Sweet Sundays (Sundaes) for all that is known as desserty goodness...

Give me ideas people... PLEASE!!! :) I'm not going to do all of them or you will see a fast end to this blog. However, I could incorporate several of them. I need some direction. This includes about what to cook for tonight...I'm thinking Swedish Meatballs...mmmm.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I think if I had to I could eat all fresh fruit and nothing else. I could be a fruitivore or a fruititarian. Don't get me wrong, I love vegetables, I enjoy bread, I enjoy seafood, and I love me a good slab of steak. However, every time I eat fresh, juicy fruit I really think I could live off of nothing more than fruit. I love fresh fruit, I love it with milk and sugar, I love fruit smoothies, fruit crisps, fruit cobblers, fruit ice cream, fruit on ice cream...(I love ice cream too).

We had a recent visit from my mom, who graced us with not only her presence, but with a whole bunch of pears. Fresh...picked...pears...mmmm. Ok, I will concede, pears don't top the list of favorites, they hover around number three, but still, they are in the top five favorites. I've eaten my share of pears since they came in to our lives, but frankly the family wasn't helping a whole lot, so there were a few pears that desperately needed some help yesterday. Since I love them, and don't want to waste their existance, I found a couple of really good recipes to try. Perfect! We had a 'pear dinner' yesterday. What a great way to integrate fruit into two new recipes!

PEAR BRUNCH CAKE (originally written for rhubarb)

1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 egg
1 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. soda
3 cups pear, cut into 1/2" pieces

Cream butter and sugar together. Add egg to mixture. Add milk and vanilla. Mix flour, salt and soda together. Combine the two mixtures together. Fold pear into cake mixture. Pour into a greased 9" x 13" cake pan. Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes (edge will pull away from sides of pan). Pour hot sauce over cake immediately after removing from oven.

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup evaporated canned milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Combine all ingredients in saucepan. Boil for 3 1/2 minutes, stirring constantly. Serve cake warm or cold.


1 pound beef top sirloin, thinly sliced (I used thinly sliced pork which was great!)
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 pears - peeled, cored and minced
2 green onions, thinly sliced
4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tbsp. white sugar
1 tsp minced fresh ginger (I had to use powdered ginger)

1. In a large reselable plastic bag, combine beef with garlic, pear, green onions, soy sauce, sugar, ginger. Sear and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours.

2. Cook in preheated pan over high heat until meat is cooked all the way through. Very good served over steamed rice.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Slacking or just busy...?

I could go into paragraphs worth of excuses, trying to resolve any guilt I'm still feeling from not posting in so long. I could mention the rounds of colds that my family has been sharing. I could mention the family visits. I could mention the stinkin' Halloween holiday, the costumes to get ready, the parties to attend, the party to plan, host and clean up from. I could mention it's football season and sometimes that does take precedence. I could mention the fact that I just posted 26 days in a row, without break, and maybe was a little tired...but I'm not going to. I'm going to simply post another recipe. Because I can.

However, to prove that there was a Halloween party, and I did serve food, and I did prepare it and try to make it creative, and I did once again forget to take great get the idea, there are some pictures, they are not great but the food was fun and yummy. We served Mummies in a blanket, Pizza Mummies, Deviled Eyeballs, Chips with queso, salsa, and guacamole, rainbow jello, breadstick bones, and creepy punch. YUM!

Now, for today's recipe. I'm still in the mood for pumpkin, and technically it's still pumpkin season. It's time to eat them rather than carve them. I've already shared my favorite pumpkin recipe, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies, so we'll have to settle for another good one.


4 eggs
3 c. sugar
1 c. corn oil
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. canned pumpkin
5/8 c. buttermilk
2 tsp. baking soda
3 1/2 c. flour
1 c. nuts, chopped
1 c. raisins
1 tsp. cloves (opt.)

Mix together all ingredients. Bake in 325° oven for one hour in three loaf pans.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Z = Zesty

Zesty Meatballs

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
2/3 cup crushed saltine cracker crumbs
1/3 cup minced onion
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 (15 ounce) can pineapple chunks - drained, with juice reserved
1/3 cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/3 cup chopped green bell pepper

1. In a large bowl, combine ground beef, cracker crumbs, onion, egg, milk, ginger and salt. Shape mixture by rounded tablespoonfuls into meatballs.

2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Place meatballs in skillet and cook until evenly brown, and meat is no longer pink. Drain excess fat.

3. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch, brown sugar, reserved pineapple juice, vinegar and soy sauce. Mix until smooth, then pour into the skillet with meatballs.

4. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils, about 5 minutes. Stir in the green pepper and pineapple chunks. Heat through.

Friday, October 24, 2008


I'll be honest. Until this year any recipe that had the word yeast in it was put to the side until I became 'that' mom. You know the one. She has homemade bread ready to eat when you get home from work/school and warm rolls every night for dinner. She has a favorite roll recipe, bread recipe and has loaf pans galore. I still do not own a loaf pan. I have however started dabbling in yeasty things. That is NOT to say that I don't break into a cold sweat when the recipe I pick up has the word yeast and a temperature for water in it. I do not make candy for the same reason.

Because I am getting older I've decided to try to be 'that' mom. Twice I've made rolls and twice they've worked out ok. Shane even said they were good...he's so not hard to impress! Like sugar cookies which I also hate making, rolls have to be rolled out and shaped and they take time and elbow grease. It's almost not worth the effort once you've had to touch the food so much before eating it. But I digress, the following recipe is another one off of, it looks easy enough and it has TWO Y-words in it's title, even better!


1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons honey

In a mixing bowl, combine whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, yeast, salt and baking soda.

In a saucepan over low heat, heat yogurt, water, butter and honey to 120-130° F.

Pour over dry ingredients; blend well. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. Add enough remaining all-purpose flour to form a soft dough.

Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes.

Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Punch dough down; divide into 24 pieces. Roll each piece into a 9-in. rope. To form S shaped rolls, coil each end of rope toward center in opposite directions.

Place 3 in. apart on greased baking sheets.

Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.

Bake at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Spray tops with nonstick cooking spray while warm. Cool on wire racks.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

X = X-L-N (excellent per William Steig)

M R X, S A R!

I love the book CDB! by William Steig. It's a hilarious way to read letters into words. Today's post is about X (eggs) since I have yet to find a food that actually starts with 'X'. Here's a recipe for X-L-N X...


6 eggs
6 slices of Canadian Bacon
6 chunks of cheddar cheese
green food coloring
salt and pepper

Lightly spray muffin tin with cooking spray. Line 6 muffin cups with Canadian Bacon slices. Drop eggs into each lined muffin cup, drop a drop of green food coloring and stir egg until lightly scrambled. Drop chunk of cheese into each cup. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 350° for 12-18 minutes or until egg is completely cooked.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

W = Warm

As I sit here this morning freezing because a Texas coldfront is coming through (50° or so), eating my hot cereal because I can, I'm thinking W has to mean warm, or winter, or weather, or whatever... I guess I'll stick to waffles and wassail, both of which help you when you're freezing!


1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 eggs
1 cup milk
2 tbsp. vegetable oil

Combine flours, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.

Beat eggs until fluffy. Stir in milk and oil and blend well.

Pour liquid all at once into dry ingredients. Beat until smooth. Bake in preheated waffle iron.


2 1/4 cups white sugar
4 cups water
2 cinnamon sticks
1 slice fresh ginger root
4 cups orange juice
2 cups lemon juice
8 cups apple juice
8 whole allspice berries
1 tablespoon whole cloves

In a large saucepan, combine sugar and water. Boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and add cinnamon sticks, allspice berries, cloves, and ginger. Cover and let stand in warm place for 1 hour.

Strain liquid into a large pot. Just before serving, add juices and cider and quickly bring to boil. Remove from heat and serve. (I keep in a crock pot to keep warm all day long)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

V = Vinaigrette


1 cup olive oil
1/2 pint fresh strawberries, halved
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon white sugar

In a blender or food processor, mix olive oil, strawberries, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and sugar. Blend until smooth.

Serve over a bed of spinach and/or romaine leaves, toasted pecans or almonds and curls of aged parmesan cheese.

Monday, October 20, 2008

U = Utah

Do you know how many jokes I've heard about Utah food? Fry sauce, green jello salad, funeral potatoes...joke away, it's all good. Feel free to try all of these recipes if you've never experienced them before, it'll make you homesick too!


1/3 cup ketchup
2/3 cup miracle whip

Mix together...duh! :) Great with onion rings and french fries.


6 medium baked potatoes
1/4 cup butter
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 pint sour cream
1/3 cup green onion, chopped
1 1/2 cup cheese, grated
2 cups cornflakes, crushed
3 tablespoons butter, melted

Heat butter and soup. Blend in sour cream, onion and cheese to soup mixture. Grate potatoes on a large hole grater. Stir potatoes into soup mixture. Place in buttered 9x13 inch pan. Mix crushed cornflakes into melted butter. Sprinkle on top of potatoes and bake 45 minutes at 350°.


1 small package lime jello
1 cup boiling water
1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
1 small whipping cream
1/2 large package softened cream cheese

Mix jello and water. Put in freezer to get soupy. Add pineapple. Whip whipping cream and add cream cheese. Mix together with jello and pineapple. Set in refrigerator.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

T = Texas

Think of Texas food, what comes to mind? Brisket, chicken fried steak, potatoes and gravy, barbeque, ribs... I'm an implant - not a native. Therefore, T = Taco Soup, mmm!


1 pound ground beef
1/2 onion, chopped

Brown together.

1 can kidney beans (undrained)
1 can black beans (undrained)
2 cans stewed tomatoes
3 cups water
1 can tomato sauce
1 envelope taco seasoning

Add all ingredients and simmer together for 15 minutes. Serve with grated cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

S = Sweet Potatoes

KELLOGG'S* RICE KRISPIES* Savoury Sweet Potato Sticks

3 medium sweet potatoes
3 cups KELLOGG'S* RICE KRISPIES* cereal, crushed
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 egg whites
4 tablespoons water

Wash sweet potatoes (or peel if desired). Cut lengthwise into 1 cm (1/2-inch) slices. Cut slices into 1 cm (1/2-inch) sticks.

In large plate or shallow pan, mix together crushed cereal and seasonings. Place flour on second plate. In medium bowl, beat egg whites and water.

Coat potatoes with flour, shaking off excess. Next dip in egg mixture, then coat with cereal mixture. Place in single layer on foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray.

Bake at 200 degrees C (400 degrees F) about 25 minutes or until lightly browned and tender when tested with sharp knife. Serve hot with salsa or roasted garlic mayonnaise if desired.


2 sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon melted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease two baking sheets.

Arrange sweet potato slices in a single layer onto baking sheets. Stir together butter, salt, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl; brush onto sweet potato slices.

Bake in preheated oven until edges curl upwards, about 20 to 25 minutes

Friday, October 17, 2008

R = Rhubarb


1 cup flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp butter
1 egg, beaten
2 tbsp milk
3 cup raw rhubarb, diced
3-oz package strawberry jello
1/2 cup flour, unsifted
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup butter, melted

Sift one cup flour, baking powder and salt. Cut in butter and milk and mix well. Press into greased 9" pie plate. Arrange rhubarb in pie shell. Sprinkle with dry jello. Combine remaining ingredients and sprinkle over pie. Bake at 350° for 50 minutes or until rhubarb is tender.

*I recommend placing pie pan on a cookie sheet before cooking, this often cooks over.

This is really good served a la mode.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Q = Quiche


1 (9 in.) refrigerated pie crust
5 slices bacon
1/2 small onion, peeled and chopped
1 c. shredded cheese of your choice
3 eggs
3/4 c. low-fat milk
1/2 tsp. salt 
pinch black pepper
1/4 tsp nutmeg, optional

1. preheat oven to 425.   Press crust into 9 in. pie dish, and bake 5 minutes.   Remove, and reduce heat to 375.

2. In a small skillet, cook bacon until crisp.   Remove from skillet and set aside on paper towels to drain.   Discard all but 1 T. of drippings. Saute onion in drippings for about 2 minutes, remove pan from heat.   Crumble the cooled bacon and set aside.   

3. Sprinkle half of the cheese over the bottom of the pie shell.   Evenly distribute bacon and onion over the cheese.   

4. In a small bowl, beat eggs, milk, salt, pepper and nutmeg, if desired.   Pour mixture over bacon and onion.   Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake 30-35 minutes, until golden brown.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

P = Pumpkin

It's Autumn, the leaves are turning orange, the weather is freezing cold...ok, it's warmer here than some places, but 50 degrees has been and always will be really cold to me. We start preparing for the upcoming holidays by decorating and planning parties. Nothing says Autumn holiday parties like pumpkin anything; pumpkin carving, pumpkin decorations, pumpkin pie. Since I am a diehard cheesecake fan, we're going to celebrate the goodness that is pumpkin cheesecake. I've eaten it, but never made it before. I got this recipe, Pumpkin Cheesecake II, off of I'm going to try making it next week, hopefully it's as good as the reviews say it is! I'm sure that I'll make some changes as I make it, I always do. One of the reviewers added a sour cream topping from the Libby's Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe, that sounds really good!


3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup ground pecans
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
3 egg yolks
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground mace
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
3/8 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons whipping cream
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Combine the graham cracker crumbs, ground pecans, 2 tablespoons white sugar, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, and the melted butter or margarine and mix well. Firmly press mixture into one 9 inch springform pan.

Combine 3/4 cup of the white sugar, the pumpkin, 3 egg yolks, ground cinnamon, ground mace, ground ginger and salt in a medium bowl. Mix well, and set aside.

Beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until light and fluffy; gradually add 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons white sugar and mix well. Add the whole egg, remaining egg yolk and the whipping cream, beating well. Add cornstarch and vanilla and lemon flavorings, beat batter until smooth. Add pumpkin mixture and mix well. Pour batter into the prepared pan.

Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 50 to 55 minutes. Do not overbake. Center may be soft but it will firm up when chilled. Let cheesecake cool on a wire rack, then refrigerate.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

O = Oatmeal

This blog is turning into a comfort food blog! Chicken noodle soup, oatmeal cookies, cheesecake...seriously! I need to find some recipes that are chic and complicated just to feel a little more sophisticated! :) For now, enjoy!


1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1 egg
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla

Stir until smooth.

1 cup flour
1 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Stir until smooth. Drop by teaspoonfuls on un-greased cookie sheets. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes.

Monday, October 13, 2008

N = Noodles


4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 cup diced celery
5 carrots, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
4 bouillon cubes dissolved in 4 cups of water

Cook chicken in large pot of water (just enough to cover chicken breasts) until tender. Remove chicken to cool. Strain water; return water to pot and add vegetables and bouillon mixture. While chicken is cooling, make noodles.


3 eggs, well beaten
2 tbsp. water
1 tsp. salt

Beat eggs, water and salt. Add some flour, a little at a time, until dough feels dry and not sticky. Roll out onto floured surface about 1/4 inch thick. Cut into strips. Let dry while soup is cooking. When vegetables are tender, add noodles and cut up chicken. Cook approximately 15-20 minutes, till noodles are done.

Handbag Contest!

I love giveaways and contests, not because I ever win... but it's always worth trying, right? Go to right now and enter to win a great handbag from their great collection. They are giving away a handbag an hour for a full day! Good luck...for me or you!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

M = Mom

I miss my mom, a lot! So today's M post is my homage to my mom. She is wonderful, amazing and everything anyone could ask for in a mom, except for the 1000 mile distance... She was a home economics teacher, so everything I know about cooking was initiated by her. We didn't cook a lot at home (we were on a first name basis with the pizza guy, seriously!), but she taught me the basics and made me curious for more. She encouraged me in my curiosity and taught me that you can't often go wrong when you experiment. Today's recipe is another one of her simple, yet yummy, recipes. My kids can't get enough of this recipe, thanks mom! I love you!

Shrimp Pasta Salad

1 package garden rotini pasta
2 cans tiny shrimp
1/2 cup Miracle Whip
2 tablespoons Lawry's season salt
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1 green onion chopped
1 cucumber chopped

1. Boil pasta until al dente.

2. While pasta is cooking mix together all other ingredients.

3. Rinse pasta in cold water, until completely cooled, then drain completely.

4. Mix pasta into mixture and serve!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

L = Limeade

Strawberry Limeade

1 cup lime juice
4 cups cold water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 cups sliced strawberries (can be frozen)
as many ice cubes as you want - the more the slushier!

Mix lime juice, water, sugar and berries in blender, mix until smooth.  While blending add ice, a cube at a time, until it reaches the thickness you want.

Friday, October 10, 2008

K = Ketchup

Ode to ketchup...

My kids eat ketchup all day long,
on some things right and most things wrong,
on most things it would make me hate,
but to them, it's the only way to get some things ate... :)

Hilarious, I know. It seems like if there is anything my kids won't eat we can give them ketchup to top it or to dip it in and they'll eat it. We've gotten to the point with the 3-year old where we say, "do you want ketchup?", to which she'll respond with a resounding, "YES!", to which we'll reply, "here, try this ketchup", and give her whatever sauce is on the table. It's worked for BBQ sauce, sweet & sour sauce, mustard, and teriyaki sauce.

I very rarely cook with ketchup, but I'm including a recipe that uses tomato soup which is close to ketchup, right? Enjoy, I know my kids do!


1 can tomato soup
1 can water
1/2 c. brown sugar
4 tbsp. vinegar
3 tbsp. soy sauce
1 lb. ground hamburger
1 can chunk pineapple
2 carrots sliced in thin rounds
cornstarch to thicken

Brown hamburger. Add all other ingredients and simmer while carrots cook. Use cornstarch dissolved in cool water to thicken the sauce slightly. Serve over rice.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

J = Johnny and Jello Cakes

I've never tried the following Johnny cake recipe, but I've always been fascinated with this type of griddle cake. I make cornmeal waffles last weekend, and if these are anything like them, they have to be great! The Jello cake is an old standby at our house. If we need to take a dessert somewhere and I'm feeling less than ambitious I'll take this because it's delicious!

johnnycake; johnny cake, jonnycake
Thought to be the precursor of the pancake, the johnnycake dates back to the early 1700s. It's a rather flat griddlecake made of cornmeal, salt and either boiling water or cold milk; there are strong advocates of both versions. Today's johnnycakes often have eggs, oil or melted butter and leavening (such as baking powder) added. Some renditions are baked in the oven, more like traditional cornbread. Also called hoe cake or hoecake. (

1 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/3 cups cake flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease thoroughly an 8 inch square cake pan.

Combine cornmeal and milk. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir together the egg and milk.

Cream shortening, and blend in sugar. Stir flour mixture and egg mixture alternately into creamed mixture alternately. Blend in cornmeal mixture.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Serve hot, with maple syrup.

Jello Cake

1 white or yellow cake mix
1 package of any fruit flavor jello - I prefer wild strawberry or raspberry
1 container whipped topping

Prepare cake mix as directed on box for a 9x13 in. pan. Once cake is removed from oven poke top of cake with fork at 1 inch intervals. While cake cools combine package of jello with 1 c. boiling water and stir until dissolved. Pour over cooled cake and refrigerate for about an hour. Top cake with whipped topping.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I = Italian

Creamy Italian Chicken

1 package (8 oz) cream cheese
1 package italian dressing mix
2 cans cream of chicken soup
4-6 chicken breasts
1 small container sour cream

Mix all ingredients together and simmer in a crockpot for 4-6 hours on low, or 2-4 hours on high. Serve over rice.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

H = Homemade

Homemade Apple Pie Ice Cream

8 oatmeal cookies, crushed
2 tablespoons melted butter, divided

2 large apples, peeled, cored and sliced
3 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3 cups whipping cream
1 1/2 cups half and half
1 cup white sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts
1/4 cup dulce de leche or caramel ice cream topping

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

2. Mix the crushed cookies with 1 tablespoon of melted butter, and press onto a baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 5 minutes, then remove, allow to cool completely, then crumble.

3. Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the apples, 3 tablespoons sugar, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Cook until the apples have lightly browned, and the sugar has begun to caramelize, about 10 minutes. Remove from the pan, and allow to cool completely.

4. Combine cream, half and half, 1 cup sugar, eggs, vanilla, and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon in a large bowl; mix to blend well. Pour into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions.

5. When the ice cream has finished, stir in the crumbled cookie, caramelized apples, and walnuts. Add the dulce de leche by the teaspoon while stirring to evenly distribute.

Monday, October 6, 2008

G = Garden Fresh and German Chocolate Cake

Garden Salsa

3 large tomatoes - diced
1 yellow onion - diced
2 anaheim peppers - diced
1 jalapeno pepper - diced
1/2 bunch cilantro - chopped
1/4 c. white vinegar
garlic salt
ground black pepper

Mix all vegetables together with vinegar, season with garlic salt and pepper. Let sit in refrigerator for a few hours for flavors to blend. Keep refrigerated after making.

4-Step German Chocolate Cake

1 c. coconut
1 c. chopped pecans
1 box - german chocolate cake mix
1 (8 oz.) cream cheese - softened
1 stick butter - melted
3 3/4 c. powdered sugar

1. Grease 9x13 in. baking pan. Mix coconut and nuts together and place on bottom of greased pan.

2. Mix up boxed german chocolate cake as directed on box. Pour on top of nut mixture.

3. Mix together cream cheese, butter and powdered sugar. Pour on top of batter in globs.

4. Bake at 350° for 45-55 minutes.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

F = Fruit

I don't know if there is anything I love to eat more in this world than fresh fruit. Mmmmm! Ripe, juicy peaches, strawberries and grapes. Crisp apples and pears. Tangy citrus, refreshing melon...the following recipe can be altered to include your favorite fruits, particularly those in season. It's a very versatile recipe. I've substituted the fruit preserves with lime juice before and it was really good too.

Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Crisps

2 kiwis, peeled and diced
2 Golden Delicious apples - peeled, cored and diced
8 ounces raspberries
3 peaches - peeled and diced
2 bananas - sliced
1 pound strawberries - sliced
3 tablespoons white sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3 tablespoons fruit preserves, any flavor

Mix together in large bowl. Best if served soon after making; keep in refrigerator until served.

Cinnamon Crisps

10 (10 inch) flour tortillas
1 cup cinnamon sugar

Slice flour tortillas into triangles. Arrange triangles in a single layer on a lightly greased baking sheet. Spray with cooking spray and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar. Bake 5-10 minutes at 350°. Watch closely so they don't burn.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

E = Eggplant

Eggplant Parmesan

3 egg white, lightly beaten
1/4 c. water
2 small eggplants, cut horizontally into 1/4 in. thick slices
1/3 c. flour
1 1/2 c. dried italian bread crumbs
1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 400°. Spray 2 baking sheets with cooking spray. In a shallow dish, combine egg whites and water.

2. Mix flour and bread crumbs in a bowl. Dip eggplant slices in egg white mixture, turning to coat and allowing excess to drip back into bowl. Then coat slices with flour/crumb mixture.

3. Place eggplant in a single layer on prepared baking sheets. Bake, turning once, until golden and tender, about 30 minutes.

4. In bottom of an 8-in. square baking dish, spread a layer of tomatoes. Place a layer of eggplant over tomatoes; sprinkle with 1/2 of mozzarella. Repeat layering with remaining ingredients. Sprinkle parmesan on top.

5. Bake until heated through, about 15 minutes. Place dish on wire rack to cool slightly.

Friday, October 3, 2008

D = Dessert

Danish Dessert Cake

1 c. sugar
1/2 c. shortening
2 eggs
1 c. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. lemon extract
2 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder

Mix all ingredients together and bake at 350° for 35 minutes.


1 (8 oz.) package of cream cheese
1 c. powder sugar
1 package of cool whip


1 package of Danish Dessert prepared; mixed with your choice of fruit. (I prefer Strawberry!)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

C = Chicken

Happy Thirty Minute Thursday to y'all!

Ranch Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2 c. creamy ranch dressing
1 package garlic and cheese croutons

1. Preheat oven to 350°

2. Crush croutons into fine crumbs (you can also use seasoned bread crumbs...)

3. Dip chicken breast into ranch dressing, covering both sides thickly, then dip breast into crumbs

4. Place chicken breasts on cookie sheet, lined with foil for easy clean-up. Bake at 350° for 45-50 minutes.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

B = Brownies

Dark Chocolate Brownies

7 oz unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
3/4 c. butter
1/4 c. water
1 c. sugar
3/4 c. packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1-1/3 c. all purpose flour
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
unsweetened cocoa powder and/or powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350°.  Lightly grease a 9-inch square by 2-inch deep baking pan; set aside.  in a medium saucepan, combine chocolate, butter, and the water; cook and stir over low heat until chocolate is melted.  Transfer to a large bowl.

2. Add granulated sugar and brown sugar to chocolate mixture; beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed until combined.  Add eggs and vanilla; beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.  Add flour, salt, and cinnamon.  Beat on low speed until combined.  Spread batter in prepared pan. 

3. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.  Cool in pan on a wire rack.  Cute into bars.  Sprinkle with cocoa powder and/or powdered sugar.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A = Apple Pie

Creamy Apple Pie

2 tbsp. flour
1/8 tsp. salt
3/4 c. sugar
1 egg
1 c. sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 c. chopped and peeled apples
1/3 c. sugar
1/3 c. flour
1/4 c. butter
1 9-inch single crust pie crust

1. Preheat oven to 400°.

2. Combine apples, 2 tbsp. flour, nutmeg, and salt. Mix together egg, sour cream, 3/4 c. sugar, and vanilla; stir into apple mixture. Pour filling into unbaked pie shell.

3. Cream together 1/3 c. sugar, 1/3 c. flour, and 1/4 c. butter. Set topping aside.

4. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 300°, and continue baking for 30 minutes. Remove pie from oven, and sprinkle with topping. Increase temperature to 400° and bake pie for 10 more minutes.

Alphabet Soup

Alphabet Soup: 26 days - a different recipe from my recipe collection each day, starting with A...ending with Z. What more motivation do I need to actually keep up on my postings?!?! I'll continue the Thirty Minute Thursdays, promise! :)

If any of you have suggestions, or favorite recipes, let me know! I'd love to post other ideas on here too! See ya soon!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Thirty Minute Sunday...again, I stink at this!

K, so once again I've missed Thirty Minute Thursday, sorry, I'm a little busy. I'll make it up to you, I promise.

Chicken Enchiladas

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 can green enchilada sauce, separate in half
1 can chopped olives
1 can black beans
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 cups shredded monterey jack cheese, separated in half
1 package of enchilada size flour tortillas

1. Preheat oven to 375°.

2. Boil chicken breasts until cooked in water sprinkled with garlic powder and onion salt.

3. While chicken is cooking, mix together all other filling ingredients in a large bowl. This includes half can enchilada sauce, olives, black beans, soup, and half of the chese.

4. When chicken is cooked shred or cut into small pieces. Add chicken to filling mixture.

5. In 9x13 baking pan, fill a tortilla with a couple of scoops of filling mixture, roll up and scoot to one side of the baking pan. Lining them side by side you should be able to fit 9-10 in a 9x13 pan.

6. Top rolled enchiladas with the remaining enchilada sauce and cheese. Bake until heated through, about 20 minutes.

Recipe yields about 10 enchiladas.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I've been craving sushi. This isn't a completely new thing for me, but it is an unfortunate craving when you live in the middle of nowhere. I've been asking around since we moved to Midland if there was anywhere to get good sushi - 'yes' came the Dallas, or San Antonio. I think 5 hours is a little long of a drive for an evening of sushi, but maybe that's just me. My loving mother knew I was missing my sushi, so for my birthday she did some research. She found two places within like 30 miles that serve sushi, one here in Midland and one in Odessa! We decided to grab a "quick" dinner on Saturday night, so with the kids being watched by family we ran over to Shogun's here in Midland. It's a typical Japanese restaurant with the hibachi tables, so it was entertaining and I was able to get my sushi fix. Clearly it was no comparison to Tsunami or Asuka, our favorite places in Utah, but it will do when I need a sushi fix.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Thirty Minute Thursday...(or Friday)

Sorry, it's been a busy week and I'm just getting around to posting my weekly quick recipe. Now that it's almost officially Autumn I'm getting excited to start carving pumpkins and decorating for fall. Pumpkin carving is one of my favorite things to do, so when I saw pumpkins at the store this week I was giddy and can't wait to start this years batch of carvings! In honor of pumpkin carving here is my favorite cookie recipe EVER!!!


1 spice cake mix
1 yellow cake mix
1 package (12 oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 can (29 oz) pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Mix all ingredients together.

3. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

I know, crazy, but that's it. They are amazing cookies, so moist and thick! Just like the ones that you would buy at the store, only better.

Happy Autumn to y'all!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Thirty Minute Thursday

We are still having nice, rainy, cool weather and I am still in the mood for soup. In the last week we've had lentil, split pea and I'm thinking about making clam chowder. I love clam chowder, there are so many different types. I love thick and creamy New England chowder, and I'm not as big of a fan of Manhattan Chowder with it's tomato taste. My favorite clam chowder ever was served at Chandlers in Seattle, mmmmmm........ Anyway, the following recipe integrates clam chowder with more of a vegetable/corn chowder. Lots of vegetables, lots of flavor, and perfect for nice, cool, rainy days like today. (actually tonight we're having stuffed pork chops, so tomorrow we'll do the soup...must stick to the menu....) :)


1 c. onion, finely chopped
1 c. diced celery
2 c. diced potatoes
1 c. chopped carrots
1 can sweet corn
2 cans minced clams (with juice)
3/4 c. butter
3/4 c. flour
1 qt. half 'n half
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 cube chicken bouillon

1. Add vegetables to a saute pan, empty clams with juice over vegetables. Add enough water to barely cover vegetables. Add bouillon cube and cook till tender.

2. While vegetables cook, melt butter; add flour and mix. Cook, stirring constantly. Add half 'n half. Cook and stir with whisk until smooth and thick.

3. Add undrained vegetables to creamy base and heat through. Season with salt and pepper.

Hope that you enjoy, kudos to my mom for handing this recipe down. I've tweaked it a little here and there, but I stuck to the basics of the original recipe.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Thirty Minute Thursday

We have had beautiful, rainy, cooler weather the last few days and I am loving it! It's great to be able to pull out some of the 'rainy day' recipes; recipes that you don't exactly want to eat on blistering, hot days. Last night we had brisket, sweet potato surprise, and mint brownies. mmmmm! No wonder I can't lose that weight that I want! I realize every time I cook that I should really start measuring the ingredients in the dishes that I make, so I have a better idea how to write down the recipes. I tend to add a splash of this, a dash of that measured ingredients to document. I vow to do better, I promise.

Sweet Potato Surprise

4 sweet potatoes, boiled and mashed
1 c sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup grated unsweetened coconut
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup butter, melted

1. Heat oven to 375° F. In large bowl, mix the sweet potatoes, sugar, butter, milk, eggs and vanilla extract until well combined. Transfer the mixture into a 2 1/2 quart baking dish.

2. In a separate bowl, combine the topping ingredients until crumbly. Distribute the topping over the sweet potatoes. Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly browned.

Mint Chocolate Brownies

10 Tbsp. butter
6 Tbsp. cocoa
2 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
4 eggs
1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt

Mint Filling
1/2 c. butter (very soft)
2 c. powdered sugar
1 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp. peppermint extract
1-2 drops green food coloring
(Beat together and spread on cooled brownies)

Chocolate Topping
1/2 c. butter
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
(Heat for 1 minute in microwave. Stir and pour over mint filling, coating evenly)

1. Melt butter and cocoa in microwave. Beat in sugar and vanilla. Add eggs one at a time. Add flour and salt; mix. Bake in 9x13" pan (grease bottom) at 350° for 25 minutes. When cool frost with mint filling. Then put in freezer for 10 to 20 minutes to harden frosting. Frost with chocolate topping.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Thirty Minute Thursday


4 chicken breasts, sliced thinly
1 medium onion, sliced thinly
1 green pepper, sliced thinly
2 tbs. Mrs. Dash
1/2 tsp garlic powder
olive oil

1. Sautee chicken, onion and pepper in olive oil with seasonings.

2. Serve with flour tortillas, and shredded cheddar cheese, spanish rice, black beans, quacamole, sour cream, salsa, etc. to add to fajitas as wanted.


4 ripe avocados
1/4 c. ready made salsa (I use Pace thick and chunky)
garlic powder to taste
onion salt to taste

1. Cut and peel avocados, mash with fork in a medium size bowl.
2. Add salsa, garlic powder and onion salt to avocados and mix together.

(not under 30 minutes, but it goes so well with fajitas)

5 eggs
1 tsp. baking powder
2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 cups milk
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour one 9x13 inch baking pan.
2. Sift flour and baking powder together and set aside.
3. Cream butter and 1 cup of the sugar together until fluffy. Add eggs and 1/2 tsp. of the vanilla, beat well.
4. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture 2 tbs. at a time, mix until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pan.
5. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Pierce top of cake all over with a fork.
6. Combine the milk, evaporated milk and condensed milk together. Pour over the top of the cooled cake.
7. Whip whipping cream, 1 tsp. vanilla, and 1 cup of the sugar together until thick. Spread over the top of the cake. Cut up fresh fruit, I recommend raspberries, strawberries or peaches and top cake with cut fruit. Be sure to keep cake refrigerated.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Dallas Dining

I'll be the first to admit I'm not the most adventurous person. I enjoy trying new things, but I'm a creature of habit and I like routine. I watch Man vs. Wild and feel weak every time Bear eats a grub or a snake and I've never been closer to vomiting at the dinner table than the first time I ate sushi. That being said, I ate the sushi and I love it now. When we went to Pappadeaux's in Dallas this weekend I about died when my brother and sister-in-law ordered frog legs for the appetizer. After a lot of convincing I took a bite and who knew that they weren't that bad. To top off the meal I ate crawfish and catfish too, not a big deal to a lot of you...big deal to me! Utah doesn't exactly have restaurants that carry the same sort of food as Pappadeaux's so I haven't ever had an opportunity to eat frog legs, crawfish, catfish, and etouffee with dirty rice, I'm glad that I had the chance. In honor of my new found foods I'm posting a copycat recipe from Pappadeaux's restaurant.

Title: Pappadeaux'S Sweet Potato Pecan Pie
Yield: 8 Servings


1 1/4 c cooked, mashed sweet 'taters
- (about; 2 medium potatoes)
1/4 c brown sugar
1/4 c granulated sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 c heavy (whipping) cream
1/4 ts vanilla extract
1 pinch of salt
3/4 ts ground cinnamon
3/4 ts allspice
3/4 ts nutmeg
3 tb softened butter
1 unbaked pastry for a single
-crust 9; -10 pie shell
1 pecan filling and bourbon
-sauce (in; gredients below)

------------------------PECAN PIE FILLING-----------------------------
1 1/4 c sugar
1 1/4 c dark corn syrup
3 eggs, lightly beaten
3 tb unsalted butter, softened
1/4 ts vanilla extract
1 pinch of salt
3/4 ts ground cinnamon
1 1/4 c chopped pecans

--------------------------BOURBON SAUCE-------------------------------
1 1/2 c heavy (whipping) cream
1 c milk
1 package instant vanilla
-pudding mix; (4-serving siz
3 tb bourbon, brandy or rhum
1 ts vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 325° F. Combine mashed sweet potatoes, sugars,
egg, cream, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and butter in
an electric mixing bowl and beat at medium-low speed until smooth, do
not overmix.
To assemble pie, spoon sweet potato filling into the pastry-lined
pie pan. Fill shell evenly to the top with with pecan filling. Bake 1
1/2 hours or until a knife inserted into the center of the pie comes
out clean. Store pie at room temperature for 24 hours. Serve pie
slices with Bourbon Sauce on top or to the side.

Prepare Pecan Pie Filling: Combine sugar, syrup, eggs, butter,
vanilla, salt and cinnamon in an electric mixing bowl and beat on low
speed until syrup is opaque, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in pecans, mix

Prepare Bourbon Sauce: Combine cream and milk in a large mixing
bowl. Slowly whip in pudding mix. Add bourbon and continue whipping.
Add vanilla and whip until mixture is well blended to sauce
consistency (should not be as firm as pudding, but should not be
runny). Sauce should be made about one hour before use; it will
thicken as it sits.

From: Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen
Adapted from source: WTTW11, Chicago

1 1/2 lbs unsalted butter
1 1/2 quarts yellow onions, chopped fine
1/2 cup garlic, chopped
2 cups celery, chopped fine
1 1/2 cups bell peppers, chopped fine
1 cup dark roux (gumbo roux)
1 cup blond roux
1/2 tbsp ground black pepper
1/2 tbsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tbsp paprika
2 tbsp salt
6 cups shrimp stock
1 1/2 cups canned tomatoes, 74/40s

In a saucepan, melt butter until almost clarified, then add yellow onions and garlic, cook for 20-30 minutes until onions start to brown and caramelize. Stir.

Add celery and bell pepper, cook until limber (about 10 minutes).

Pre-heat roux in microwave.

Add black pepper, cayenne pepper, red pepper, paprika, salt and blond and dark roux to butter and vegetables in pan. Cook until roux dissolves (about 10 minutes).

Heat shrimp stock. Add shrimp stock to pan mixture and bring to simmer; let cook for 15 minutes.

Add tomatoes, blend and cook for one minute. Remove from heat and place in container. Cool. (If not serving, store in refrigerator)

Add shrimp or crayfish to the etouffee and warm before serving.

Yields 1 gallon

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Thirty Minute Thursday

As grateful as I am for recipes that take less than 30 minutes to prepare, I've decided to dedicate Thursdays to recipes from my file that are quick, easy and yummy! I don't use recipes that often, or if I do use one I usually make lots of variations and then forget to write them down. Sometimes, like today's recipe, it's a food that my mom used to make and never used a recipe for, so I'm trying to make a recipe for something that we never measure...sorry!

Chicken Pasta Salad

1 (12 oz) package of pasta (I usually use garden rotini)
1 (12.5 oz) can of all-white chicken breast
1 (15 oz) cans of mandarin orange slices, drained (I use two cans, my kids love them)
3/4 c. miracle whip
2 tbsp. worchestershire sauce

1. Cook pasta as directed on packaging

2. While pasta is cooking, combine chicken, mandarin orange slices, miracle whip and worchestershire sauce in a large bowl

3. When pasta is done, rinse with cool water and drain; add to chicken mixture and serve.

This is a great recipe for the summer months when a light, refreshing meal is what you want. Kids love it for the chicken and the oranges. If you reserve a little of the mandarin orange juice and mix it in with the sauce it makes it even better!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Lentil Soup

It's finally cooled down here in Midland, at least for a little while. It's been so hot that I've hated cooking, or eating, anything too hot. Yesterday it stayed pretty cool all day long and I decided to make Lentil Soup. The kids love it and it's so easy, plus it's good for you. It's full of fiber, protein and vegetables and it's low in fat. It was a nice, light meal accompanied with fresh cut fruit and breadsticks.


1 (16 oz.) package of lentils
5 cups water
4 carrots, cut
1 tbsp. onion salt
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1 lb. polish or smoked sausage, sliced

1. Rinse lentils in water, then drain. Add 5 cups water to lentils in a large pan and bring to boil.

2. While lentils begin to boil, cut carrots and add to lentils in pan. Add sliced sausage, onion salt and garlic powder.

3. Once soup has reached a boil with all ingredients included, reduce heat to low/medium and simmer for 50-60 minutes.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


FYI, for those who care. I resurrected the potatoes today for dinner and they were great! Yeah! Also, menu is coming along great, I think I'm actually going to have a good menu to work off of by the time school starts in a week. (amazing...)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Recipes from Yesterday

These are the recipes from last night's dinner, including the potatoes (yes, I'm still bitter, but I did them wrong so it's my fault!)


2 lbs. chicken tenders
1/2 c. ketchup
6 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons ready-made white horseradish
4 teaspoons packed brown sugar
1 clove garlic, minced

1. preheat broiler, heat a charcoal grill until coals form white ash, or preheat a gas grill to medium

2. prepare sauce, in a medium bowl, by combining ketchup, vinegar, horseradish, brown sugar and garlic

3. combine tenders with sauce, chill and marinade for at least 30 minutes for better flavor

4. broil or grill 3 inches from heat, basting with excess sauce and turning until no longer pink in center, about 5 minutes per side


10 russet potatoes
2 c. sour cream
1 package dry ranch dressing
3 c. cheddar cheese, shredded

1. preheat oven to 425°, scrub potatoes; pat dry. Pierce several times with a fork. Microwave pierced potatoes on HIGH for 12 minutes; bake for 15 minutes

2. while potatoes are baking, mix together 2 c. sour cream, ranch dressing and 1 c. cheddar cheese, set aside

3. cut cooked potatoes lengthwise; scoop insides into bowl with cheese mixture and mix together

4. brush potato skins with olive oil

5. spoon potato mixture into potato skin shells, sprinkle with remaining 2 c. cheddar cheese. place on baking sheet and bake 15 minutes

(for a 4 qt. ice cream maker)

1 3/4 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
4 c. half and half
1 tbsp. vanilla
4 c. whipping cream
3 c. chopped peaches, mixed with 2 tbsp. sugar

1. Mix whipping cream, half and half, sugar, salt and vanilla together until sugar and salt dissolve. Add peaches, stir.

2. Refrigerate mixture for at least 30 minutes before freezing.

3. Freeze according to your ice cream makers instructions, usually freezes within 25 minutes.

4. Once frozen it will be soft set. If you prefer a harder texture to your ice cream place in freezer to 'ripen' for an hour or so.


15 jalapeno peppers
1 package (12 oz.) cream cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 package thick cut hickory smoked bacon

1. preheat oven to 350°

2. prepare jalapenos by cutting stem off and cleaning out all membranes and seeds, leaving the hollow jalapeno whole

3. mix cream cheese and cheddar cheese together in a bowl

4. stuff cheese mixture into jalapeno

5. wrap with bacon all around jalapeno, secure with toothpick

6. bake for 30 minutes

Friday, August 15, 2008

Get togethers

I love having people over to eat and to socialize. Maybe it stems from being from a really small family and never having enough people to talk to, I don't know. Anyway, there isn't much I love more than planning a get-together be it a nice family/friend dinner, a party or a shower. I LOVE it! However, even as much as I love planning the get-together I sometimes don't give myself enough time to get everything done that I want to get accomplished. (this has a lot to do with the emergence of twins in the last year!)

Case in point, tonight: four families, eight adults, eleven included bbq chicken, stuffed jalepenos, rebaked potatoes and homeade peach ice cream. Thankfully a green salad and fruit salad were being brought by invitees. BBQ chicken worked great, jalepenos were wonderful (if not a little spicy, my hands and eyes still burn...), the ice cream was refreshing, the potatoes - not so much. We ended up scrapping the original rebaked idea and falling back on garlic mashed potatoes. I just didn't bake the potatoes long enough the first time and disaster followed, I swear, it was ugly. Thankfully it was fun and everything else tasted great. Hopefully our guests forgive me for the lack of really good rebaked potatoes! :) It was fun and I can't wait to get together again.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Menus and memories

One of my resolutions when we moved out here to West Texas and I started being home more, was to make a monthly menu and stick to it. I thought it would be easy and it would simplify grocery shopping...not so much. Menu's don't make themselves and I'm more of a "what should I cook tonight" sort of planner. Today I started working on the menu again, I vow I will conquer this! We have sort of a list of foods we fall back on when I'm not feeling very adventurous, or when we're out of time. Most of the recipes my family is used to take no longer than 30 minutes to make because I had little to no time to cook when working. I could probably publish a recipe book for people who have no time to cook, and who also have kids.
Shane is not a picky eater, thankfully neither are the kids (most of the time). Savannah is trying to be picky and she succeeds more than anyone else in the family, currently she doesn't like peanut butter, anything wrapped up, anything baked...Lincoln doesn't like to see onions or peppers, but likes the taste of them in his food. I'll report back in the next couple of days on whether I was able to get the menu done!
Also, while preparing the menu I started thinking about foods that we can't get out here in West Texas. Mostly restaurants that don't exist here in the middle of nowhere, ie; Cafe Rio, Tsunami, SubZero Ice Cream, Z'Tejas, Ottavios, Asuka, Sakura....I really, really miss eating out in Utah! Apparently the closest place to get good sushi is in Dallas or San Antonio, both 5 hours away. Shane and I both really miss sushi. I'm sure that there are a dozen or so mexican restaurants in town that would put our old favorites to shame, we'll eventually venture out of the house and start trying them. There will/can be no replacement for Cafe Rio though, I can't explain to you the craving I'm having for a salad with cilantro vinagrette dressing...I'm homesick now!

Italian dinner

We had a couple of people over for dinner last night and I decided on an italian theme. I love homeade lasagna but it's a little time consuming and tedious to make with kids running around. I also haven't found a great recipe that sets well and doesn't run all over the plate when served...until now! I finally worked out a recipe that was near perfect (in a humbling way!) Yeah! Supplementing the lasagna was a green salad with tomatoes, green onions and avocados, and breadsticks. I used refrigerator rolls for the breadsticks as a short cut. Dessert was an italian cheesecake topped with peaches, chocolate and/or caramel, mmmm!


12 no-cook lasagna noodles
15 oz. ricotta cheese
2 c. + 1 c. mozzarella cheese
1/4 c. parmesan cheese
2 eggs - beaten

1 lb. lean ground beef
2 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp. italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. white sugar
salt and pepper to taste
1 bottle pasta sauce (I used ragu traditional); separate 1 c. of pasta sauce

1. preheat oven to 350°

2. make filling - combine in bowl; ricotta, 2 c. mozzarella, and parmesan cheese and eggs

3. make sauce - brown beef, drain grease, combine with oregano, italian seasoning, garlic powder, sugar, salt and pepper and pasta sauce (excluding separated 1 c.)

4. in a 9x13 pan pour 1/2 c. reserved pasta sauce and spread evenly over bottom of pan. alternate layers of noodles, sauce and filling, ending with noodles. use remaining 1/2 c. of pasta sauce to cover the no-cook noodles or they will be crunchy. Cover in remaining shredded mozzarella and cover. Bake for 40 minutes covered, then uncovered for 10 more minutes. Let sit for 15 minutes covered before serving.


2 cans refrigerator rolls
melted butter
garlic salt
italian seasoning

1. preheat oven to 350°

2. take each roll and roll briskly between hands to make a long worm. lay on greased cookie sheet and sprinkle with garlic salt.

3. bake for 10 minutes or until tops of rolls are lightly tan

4. remove from oven, place in bowl, drizzle with melted butter and sprinkle with italian seasoning


2 containers (15 oz. each) ricotta cheese
1 c. granulated sugar
3 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp. salt
2 egg whites
1 large egg

for the crust
1 c. graham cracker crumbs
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. melted butter

1. preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with vegetable cooking spray. Set aside.

2. Prepare the crust; in a bowl, combine crumbs, cinnamon, sugar and melted butter; mix well.

3. Press crumb mixture into bottom of prepared springform pan. Bake for 8 minutes, place on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes.

4. To prepare filling, in a large bowl, using an electric mixer set on low speed, beat ricotta cheese, sugar, lemon juice, flour, salt, egg whites, and egg until smooth. Pour filling into prepared crust.

5. Bake until just set, about 50 minutes. Turn off oven and let stand in oven for 30 additional minutes. Refrigerate cheesecake, uncovered, for at least 3 hours. Garnish with fresh cut fruit, also good drizzled with chocolate or caramel.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Welcome to Brooke's kitchen musings. I welcome the opportunity to join two things I love together, blogging and food. I love to cook and I'm excited to blog about my adventures in the kitchen.