Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Delicious Summertime Fruit Slush

1 can (46 oz) pineapple juice
8 cups water
1 can (12 oz) frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
1 can (12 oz) frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
4 cups sugar
2 cups fresh or frozen unsweetened raspberries
2 envelopes unsweetened cherry soft drink mix or other red flavor of your choice
Grapefruit or other citrus soda

In a 6-qt container, combine the first seven ingredients. Cover and freeze for 12 hours, stirring every 2 hours. May be frozen for up to 3 months. Yield: about 5 quarts.
For each serving: Place 1/2 cup fruit slush in a glass. Add 1/2 cup soda.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Lemon Pasta with Chicken



1 pound dried penne
2 chicken cutlets, cut into fingers
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
2 lemons, juiced
1/2 cup grated Parmesan


Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, until al dente. Drain well.
Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat a large grill pan over medium high and add chicken. Grill until golden and completely cooked. Remove to a plate and slice.
Add the garlic and red pepper flakes to a saute pan with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and saute until fragrant. Add the cooked pasta and turn heat off. Mix all together.
Remove pasta to a large bowl. Add chicken to the warm pasta and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle in chopped parsley. Add the juice of 2 lemons and mix. Before serving top with Parmesan.
Cook Time: 25 minutes Serves: 3-5

Monday, June 22, 2009

There's No Cookin' Like SNOW Cookin'

I'm out of town, but it's the 100th post! Yay! When I get back in town there'll be a new heading, and new title and a new layout. I'm not going to do it while I'm out of town, I know you all care! (Right, I HOPE all of you, our three loyal readers, care...)

Enjoy your week, I know I will. I've already eaten sushi and Cafe Rio...Gotta love Utah restaurants!

For now prepare for the great upcoming BBQ holiday, Independence Day! Here's a great brisket recipe taken from Allrecipes.com.


4 pounds lean beef brisket
2 tablespoons liquid smoke flavoring
1 tablespoon onion salt
1 tablespoon garlic salt

1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 cup ketchup
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1 tablespoon liquid smoke flavoring
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons mustard powder
salt and pepper to taste

Pour liquid smoke over brisket. Rub with onion salt and garlic salt. Roll brisket in foil and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Place brisket in a large roasting pan. Cover and bake for 5 to 6 hours. Remove from oven, cool, and then slice. Put slices back into pan.
In a medium saucepan, combine brown sugar, ketchup, butter, water, celery salt, liquid smoke, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, salt and pepper. Stir, and cook until boiling.
Pour sauce over meat slices in pan. Cover and bake for 1 more hour.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Cooking Tip of the Day

You know how when you make a fresh batch of guacamole it looks soooo delicious, for the first 10 minutes, and then it just gets nasty and brown?  Try this tip: after making your batch of guacamole, put the avacado seeds back into the dip.  It will not brown!  It stays nice and green until serving time or after if you choose to leave the seeds in during the meal.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Breakfast Syrups

Breakfast is the one meal I know that we can count on eating together as a family. I however, get really sick of the same ole' storebought cheap maple syrup. I do sometimes used pureed fruit, applesauce or I'll make a fruit syrup. Here are some of my other syrup recipes that I make on a regular basis. You need tp put the last two in the fridge and just reheat them during the week.

Thick Maple Syrup
(This one is much thicker than the classic water, sugar and maple flavoring recipe)
2 Cup Water
1 Cup Sugar
2 Cups Dark Corn Syrup
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Maple flavoring
Combine the first four ingredients in a saucepan over med. heat. Stir occasionally, until the mixture comes to a full boil. Let it boil for 7 min.Turn the heat off and let the syrup cool for 15 min. Add the maple flavoring and stir. When completely cool, transfer the syrup to a covered plastic or glass container.
VARIATION: For syrup with a butter flavor, just add 3 tbsp. of butter to the mixture before heating. For a lighter syrup, use a sugar substitute instead of the regular sugar.

Buttermilk Syrup
½ cube butter
1 cup sugar
¾ cup buttermilk (I just use the powdered kind)
1 tsp vanilla extract (or coconut, or lemon; whatever flavor you want)
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 Tb of corn syrup
In saucepan heat butter, sugar, corn syrup and buttermilk. After sugar is dissolved remove from heat and stir in the soda and flavoring. Mixture will fizz. Let rest, stirring occasionally until fizz goes down. Serve warm with pancakes, waffles, french toast etc.

Chocolate Gravy
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
In a medium saucepan, combine cocoa, cornstarch and sugar; mix well. Add milk and stir to dissolve. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture is thick. Add vanilla. Serve over biscuits or crepes.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sunday Dessert

I eat dinner nearly every Sunday with my in-laws. It's one of the blessings of living close to them, you get a free, really good dinner every week. I don't think I've ever had anything bad at their house.

I don't think my kids will be able to say that about my house...if they won't fess up I will. There have been some bad meals, but with each one I've learned a little more.

Anyway, back to the Sunday dinner. One of the great things about this weekly meal is trying new recipes (or re-trying old ones) and having a whole new audience to try them out on. I love getting an assignment of vegetables or dessert and coming up with something everyone (or almost everyone) will like. There have been some fun creations because of these weekly dinners.

Last Sunday I re-tried a classic - Individual Cheesecakes - mmmmm. They are easy, fast and versatile - perfect for Sunday dinner with the fam. And, since my mother-in-law requested the recipe and I failed to write it down for her...here ya go!

2 pkg. cream cheese (I use low fat, seems a reasonable way to work into my diet)
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
vanilla wafers

Pre-heat oven to 350° F. Mix cream cheese and sugar together until fluffy, add eggs one at a time, mix in vanilla and lemon juice.

In muffin tin, line 12 cups with liners. Place a vanilla wafer in the bottom of each lined cup, then top with cheese mixture.

Bake in pre-heated oven for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes turn off oven and let sit for another 10 - 15 minutes in oven. Then remove to refrigerator. This recipe makes 12 individual cheesecakes.

These are great topped with just about anything. I've tried a homemade peach/cinnamon sauce, caramel, hot fudge sauce, mint chocolate sauce, cut fruit...seriously, anything.

Tip of the Day

Check out this list I found on Sparkpeople.com at this link, entitled 11 Things Children Can Teach you about weight loss.

1. Everything can be a game. Why slog through the same workout routines in boredom, when you can add a little fun? Make up rules, shoot for personal records, regain your competitive spirit.
2. Don't walk when you can run. Every day is full of opportunities to increase your fitness. This rule is closely related to "don't drive when you can walk."
3. If you don't like it, don't eat it. Once you hit your goal weight, chances are your eating habits won't stick around long if you hated what you were eating. Healthy eating involves balance and moderation.
4. Laughter feels good. Kids seem to inherently know that laughter can ease blood pressure, help your brain function, give you energy, and help you reach your goals. Smiling and enjoying yourself can be serious help.
5. Playtime is important. We get so caught up in work, chores and a host of "have-to's" that we forget to take time for ourselves. not only does relaxing and regrouping make life worthwhile, it has real health benefits. Most of all, it will help you stay consisitent and motivated.
6. The world should be full of color - especially on your dinner plate! Splash it with as many colors as possible, paint it like a rainbow with food. It's more fun to look at and chances are you'll be eating a healthy, balanced meal.
7. It's always more fun with friends around. Children tend to gravitate toward other children. It gives them spirit and makes them want to play all day. Working out with other people is almost like having your own little playgroup.
8. Adventures are found outside, not inside. Every kid knows that the good stuff is in the great outdoors - fresh air, wide open spaces, limitless possibilities. You can't find those things cooped up in a tiny, stale gym. Open the door and start a new adventure every day.
9. It's important to use your imagination. You can be Captain Fantastic or Stupendous Woman any time you want. Give youreself permission to believe in your own super powers and let your mind take you wherever it wants to go.
10. Anything is possible. No fear, no self-doubts, no negative self talk, no self-criticism, no worries, no destructive anxieties or thoughts of failure. To a child, he/she can do anything. And do you know what? They're right.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Hot Weather Relief

Summer Chicken Salad

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/2 cup pecans
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 onion, minced
1 tsp. ground mustard
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
2 heads bibb lettuce - rinsed, dried and torn
1 cup sliced fresh strawberries

Lightly oil baking sheet. Broil chicken breasts on medium-high for 8 minutes, each side, until juices run clear. Remove from heat, cool and slice.
Meanwhile, place pecans in a dry skillet over mediu-high heat. Cook pecans until fragrant, stirring frequently, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a blender, combine the red wine vinegar, sugar, vegetable oil, onion, mustard, salt and pepper. Process until smooth.
Arrange lettuce on serving plates. Top with grilled chicken slices, strawberries, and pecans. Drizzle with the dressing to serve.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Whole Wheat Blender Pancakes

This is a great recipe for those who stored wheat because we are supposed to for food storage, and then realized that you don't even have a wheat grinder. It's also a good recipe to use your homemade yogurt in! My grandmother wrote a wheat cookbook and was always experimenting with wheat. I like to do the same, unfortunately my husband isn't a wheat fan. He liked these though!


1 overflowing cup of white wheat kernals
1 cup milk
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 Tbs sugar or honey
1 Tbs baking powder
2 eggs

Combine wheat and milk in blender and blend for 3 minutes.
Add yogurt and blend for 2 more minutes.
Add remaining ingredients and blend just until mixed.
Pour thin batter onto hot griddle to form pancakes.