Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Remember me?

The one who's goal every year is to simplify?

The one who hasn't posted in ... awhile?

I'm also the one who is now going to give you a perfect recipe for the new year.




Mexican Starter.

It's a basic meat mixture that can be used for dozens of other recipes.

You're very welcome.

We ate it this week and even the kids downed it.

(adapted from

1 pound ground beef
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup salsa, your pick
1 small can tomato sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bell pepper, cored and chopped
2 tsp. taco seasoning
1/2 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Brown beef in oil, add garlic, onion and peppers. When beef is brown add tomato sauce, salsa and seasonings.

Simmer 30-45 minutes or prepare in slow cooker.

This starter can be used for: (ahem, this is the awesome part)

° Mexican Buffet: add sides of beans, sour cream, guacamole, lettuce, onions, cheese and serve with taco shells or tortillas.

° Serve on sub rolls, topped with shredded cheese. Broil on high heat until cheese melts.

° Serve over pasta or rice.

° Use as a topping for nachos. In a casserole, layer tortilla chips, top with meat mixture and cheese. Bake at 375° until cheese melts.

° Mexican stuffed peppers. Combine with equal part cooked rice. Fill large red or green bell peppers and bake at 350° until peppers are tender.

° Chili. Add 2 cans of red kidney beans or pinto beans. Adjust seasonings as desired.

° Mexican Shepherd Pie. Prebake a pie shell for 10 minutes. Fill with meat mixture and top with mashed potatoes. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until potatoes are browned.

° Quesadillas. Fill corn or flour tortillas with cheese and meat mixture. Bake or grill until cheese is melted.

° Burrito lasagne. Fill 10 inch tortillas with meat mixture and top with shredded cheese. Roll and fill casserole dish. Spoon taco sauce or salsa over burritos and sprinkle cheese on top. Bake at 375°.

° Spicy Mole Poblano. Combine meat mixture with 8 oz. jar of mole sauce. Broil poblano peppers until charred and blistered. Chop into mixture. Serve over rice.

° Mexican squash boats. Scoop out zucchini or squash centers and fill with meat mixture. Top with cheese and bread crumbs. Bake until squash is tender and cheese is bubbly.

° Bean dip. 1 part meat mixture, 1 part canned black beans, 1 part sour cream onion dip, season to taste, serve with chips.

Or, our favorite from this week....

° Sloppy Joes. Add a little more brown sugar, don't add the salsa, mix in a can of black beans, serve on rolls or hamburger buns.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Most Wonderful Time of the Year


1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup white sugar
1 pinch salt
1/3 cup boiling water 3 1/2 cups milk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup half-and-half cream

1. Combine the cocoa, sugar and pinch of salt in a saucepan. Blend in the boiling water. Bring this mixture to an easy boil while you stir. Simmer and stir for about 2 minutes. Watch that it doesn't scorch. Stir in 3 1/2 cups of milk and heat until very hot (scalding), but do not boil! Remove from heat and add vanilla. Divide between 4 mugs. Add the cream to the mugs of cocoa to cool it to drinking temperature.
Top with marshmellows or the following delicious whipped cream:
Whip 1 pint whipping cream with 1 cup of sugar.
Mix in 1 box of crushed candy canes,
1/2 bag mini marshmellows and
1 drop of red food coloring.
soooo good!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Cookies 2010

Last year I baked and baked and baked. Then we delivered and delivered and delivered...and only had one neighbor turn down the plate of baked goodness. Seriously, he refused to open his door. Maybe it's because it was dark, or really, really cold, or maybe he's Jewish. I don't know. Needless to say we won't be trying to deliver Christmas cookies to that house again.

But, it's time for Christmas cookies again. Which means more baking, more delivering and more neighbors and friends who hopefully appreciate buttery & sugary goodness.

This year on the list? We're going retro, or traditional if you will. We're bringing out the Thumbprint Cookies and the Chocolate Crackle Cookies. We might throw on some of my Grandma's famous fudge, my mom's Melt-aways and some of my mother-in-law's pretzel/rolo/pecan snacks. Like I said, we're going traditional.


1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup butter shortening
3 large eggs, separated
2 tbsp. water
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups finely chopped pecans
1 cup jam, jelly or preserves of your choice

Preheat oven to 350°. Adjust rack to middle position. Coat 2 cookie sheets lightly with non-stick cooking spray.

Beat brown sugar and shortening in medium bowl with mixer for 2 minutes or until fluffy. Scrape down sides of bowl,. Add egg yolks, water, vanilla and salt. Beat until well combined. Add flour on low speed until well blended.

Beat egg whites in a shallow bowl until foamy. Place pecans in a separate bowl. Measure about 2 teaspoons dough for each cookie. Form into balls by rolling between your palms. Dip each dough ball into egg whites, then roll into pecans. Place on prepared cookie sheet. Using the back of a teaspoon or your thumb, (because they are called 'thumbprint cookies'...) make a rounded indentation in the top of each cookie.

Bake 10 minutes. Remove from the oven. It may be necessary to make the indentation again with a spoon. Place about 1 tsp. jam/preserves into the indentation of each cookie. Bake an additional 5 - 7 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for several minutes. Remove to cooling rack to cool completely.


1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
1 cup shortening
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups all purpose flour
6 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
2/3 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Beat brown sugar, shortening and vanilla in large bowl at medium speed until well blended. Add eggs; beat well.

Combine flour, cocoa, salt and baking soda. Add to shortening mixture; beat at low speed just until blended. Stir in chocolate chips. Cover and chill 3 hours.

Heat oven to 375°. Shape dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar, then in powdered sugar to coat completely. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until cookies are set. Cool 2 minutes on cookie sheet. Remove cookies to wire rack to cool completely.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

One More Week

I swear I'm not trying to neglect my passions in life. Like blogging. And cooking. And blogging about cooking.

One more week and I don't have school hanging over my head. School was great, but it's time to get back to my priorities.

Today in the crock pot? A new recipe I've been wanting to try. Peach Curry Glazed Pork Chops. I'm trying it in the crock pot even though it's not written for slow cooking. Sundays are all about easy and lazy. This recipe fits the bill perfectly.


1/2 cup sliced canned peaches, syrup set aside
3 tbsp. peach jam
2 tbsp. dijon mustard
2 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. honey
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
4 boneless pork chops
2 green onions, chopped
2 tbsp. cilantro, chopped

1. In a bowl, mix the peach syrup, jam, mustard, curry powder, and honey.
2. Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat, and cook the pork chops 8 minutes, or to desired doneness.
3. Mix the green onions into the skillet, and cook 1 minute, until tender. Spoon the syrup mixture and peaches over the pork chops. Continue cooking until heated through. Sprinkle with cilantro to serve.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


There is not much more comforting than a sufficiently stocked pantry and refrigerator. I love stocking up!

For dinner tonight?


1 onion, sliced
1 green, red, yellow pepper, sliced
1 pound meat: you pick...chicken, steak, shrimp or pork
fresh made flour tortillas (from the tortilleria, no way I'm revisiting that disaster...)
chopped tomatoes
fresh made guacamole
shredded cheese
and sour cream

Brown the meat, add the onions and peppers and saute with your choice of seasonings (I usually choose a mix called "fajita seasoning") and a little oil. Serve with toppings (tomatoes, guac, cheese and sour cream) in tortillas.

Easy, and yummy!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thanksgiving Feast

Thanksgiving is next week! I can't even tell you how excited I am. I love cooking, I love eating, I love days full of just spending time with my family. Thanksgiving rocks!

We are celebrating at the in-laws again, and Mo (that's what we call her, it's shorter than her name) is an excellent cook. I've never eaten anything at her house that I didn't like. She's always in charge of the turkey, the stuffing, the jello (remember, we're Mormons, from Utah...), the pumpkin roll, the relish dish. So, this year I made myself in charge of a few things for the Thanksgiving dinner. I called her from the store and told her I was going to do the rolls. She then reminded me that she always makes her famous crescent rolls. I conceded that her rolls were amazing, so she could have that one. Then I told her I was going to do the pies. That's when she reminded me that she makes one really good pumpkin pie. I conceded once again, that her pumpkin pie was amazing. So then I told her I was making the mashed potatoes and the sweet potatoes. She said ok, but she was making the gravy. I agreed, because seriously, who other than Mother-in-laws (my mom included) can make gravy?

So, after a week of planning and conspiring this is the result. I'm making mashed potatoes, I'm making my famous Sweet Potatoes, and I'm making the pies. Yep, even Mo's famous pumpkin pie, because seriously, I already had the recipe...

So now for the other pies...I want to be a little creative, but we have to have the staples too. Pumpkin, Apple, Cherry, Banana Cream and Shane's chocolate pie, we've had a request for Cranberry-Apple too. But then I found this website and my pie making life has been changed forever. Check it out, it's AMAZING and INSPIRING!

What are you making for the Thanksgiving feast? and, what pies would you suggest?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Man's Best Friend

Remember my culinary mystery love? Here's another Diane Mott Davidson recipe for you. Well, not for you, so much. It's for your dog. The four-legged member of your family. They need to feel the love too, right? Some pets are pickier than others, picky pets will like these treats. Un-picky pets will like them too. Even dogs like mine, who'll eat anything (seriously, anything) that you throw out to them, they'll lap 'em up too.

Jake's Dog Biscuits
by Diane Mott Davidson

2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup powdered milk
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. brown sugar
6 tbsp. margarine or shortening
1 egg, beaten
3 tbsp. liver powder
1/2 cup ice water

Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, combine flour, powdered milk, garlic powder, salt and sugar. Cut in shortening. Mix in egg, then add liver powder. Add ice water until mixture forms a ball. Pat out dough 1/2 inch thick on a lightly oiled cookie sheet. Cut with any size cutter and remove scraps. Bake 30 minutes. Cool before serving.

Friday, October 29, 2010


Despite being busy I have a commitment to this blog, and I've re-committed myself to being better. I promise.

Plus, we're entering my favorite time of year! I love the holidays, I love entertaining, I love parties and I love food. It all goes together really well!

So, if you would...please, PLEASE, PLEASE...would you go to the poll on the right hand side and vote for what features you'd be interested in? If you have other ideas, or things you'd be more interested in reading about, please leave comments. We LOVE comments!


Oh, and for a treat, here's a new recipe. It's perfect for Autumn, parties and eating!

Luscious Four-Layer PHILLY Pumpkin Cake Recipe

Four Layer Pumpkin Cake

1 package yellow cake mix
1 (14-oz) can pumpkin, divided
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice, divided (I just sprinkle cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and a little ginger)
1 (8-oz) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
3 cups thawed whipped topping
1/2 cup caramel topping
1/2 cup chopped nuts

1. Heat oven to 350°. Grease and flour 2 (9-in) round baking pans. Beat cake mix, 1 cup pumpkin, milk, oil, eggs, and 1 tsp. spice in large bowl with mixer until well blended. Pour into prepared pans.
2. Bake 28 to 30 min. or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 min. Remove from pans to wire racks; cool completely. Beat cream cheese in small bowl with mixer until creamy. Add sugar remaining pumpkin and spice; mix well. Gently stir in whipped topping.
3. Cut each cake layer horizontally in half with serrated knife; stack on a serving plate, spreading cream cheese filling between layers. (Don't frost top layer). Drizzle with caramel topping just before serving, and then sprinkle with nuts. Refrigerate leftovers.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Been A Little Busy?

We have.

Karen has a new baby, I just have life. Together we've been a little busy, and a lot absent. It's my fault. On paper things look fine, but in reality...yeah.

So, though I know we've been feeding our families daily, I've completely neglected to post any of the recipes or take any pictures. Sorry. Soooo sorry, because we've been eating some good stuff.

Try this one out for a little change. I ripped it out of a magazine and decided I'd give it a shot, for company no less, and it was totally worth it.


1 tbsp. vegetable oil
4 skinless chicken breasts
2 cloves minced garlic
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tbsp. brown sugar
3/4 cup Pace picante sauce (I always use medium)

Brown the chicken in the oil. Add the garlic, cook for about a minute. Then add orange juice, brown sugar, and picante sauce. Heat until it boils, then turn heat down and simmer for 5-10 minutes.

Serve over rice or pasta. Serves 4.

Trust me, I was already a fan of chicken with orange juice and brown sugar, the picante sauce just adds to it. We had a little bit left over and I couldn't wait to eat it for lunch the next day! My kids loved it, which is always the sign of a good meal.

Monday, September 20, 2010

More Bread

This is a wheat bread recipe I got off of allrecipes. It's not whole wheat, but it's a new favorite. It makes 3 loaves, but I only have two loaf pans so I made rolls for the third batch and they were yummy too!
Wheat Bread

Ingredients3 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
1/3 cup honey
5 cups bread flour
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 cup honey
1 tablespoon salt
3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons butter, melted (I use Eart Balance Vegan Butter)

1.In a large bowl, mix warm water, yeast, and 1/3 cup honey. Add 5 cups white bread flour, and stir to combine. Let set for 30 minutes, or until big and bubbly.
2.Mix in 3 tablespoons melted butter, 1/3 cup honey, and salt. Stir in 2 cups whole wheat flour. Flour a flat surface and knead with whole wheat flour until not real sticky - just pulling away from the counter, but still sticky to touch. This may take an additional 2 to 4 cups of whole wheat flour. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat the surface of the dough. Cover with a dishtowel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled.
3.Punch down, and divide into 3 loaves. Place in greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pans, and allow to rise until dough has topped the pans by one inch.
4.Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 25 to 30 minutes; do not overbake. Lightly brush the tops of loaves with 2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine when done to prevent crust from getting hard. Cool completely.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Coconut Curry

This recipe is awesome! My kids ate it up, I loved it and my husband swears he could eat it every day!

Plus, it's a crock pot recipe, so it's super easy. You know the kind, put it in the crock and let it go.


It's adapted from a huge (seriously HUGE) recipe book I stole from my mother-in-law. It's all about slow cookers, one dish meals and crock pots. That's my kind of cook book.

If you've never used Jasmine Rice, try it out! It's so aromatic while you're cooking it, and the flavor is awesome! I don't use it with everything, but when you're cooking a dish like curry, that has a lot of flavor and spices, it's great to use a great rice like Jasmine.

This dish would be great with Karen's Thai Mango dessert found here:

This recipe was written to be used with salmon, but it was awesome on chicken too.

Coconut Curry

1 tbsp. oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp. ground ginger
1 cup coconut milk
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp chopped cilantro
1 pound chicken, diced
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1/4 tsp. salt

The recipe asks for about 5 steps, but I never totally follow the recipe, so....just dump it all in. I put the oil and chicken in first and just sprinkled the spices over it, then poured the liquids over that and cooked it on low for 3 hours.

That's why I love crock pot dish, one step!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Chinese Salad

It's Summer, and it's averaging 100° every day. That's before you add in the humidity, which has been unreal this year (though Karen's got it worse, I know!).

That means most nights we've been trying to eat cooler and lighter. Like salads...LOVE salads!

My new favorite?

Chinese Salad

1 large head Napa cabbage
1 bunch green onions
1/2 cup sliced almonds
2 pkgs. Top Ramen
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/3 cup margarine
3/4 cup Canola oil
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
(opt) 1 chicken breast grilled with salt and pepper, cooled and diced or sliced

  • Chop cabbage and slice onion. Store in fridge until ready to serve.
  • Crush Top Ramen, without seasoning packet, and mix with almonds, sesame seeds and melted margarine. Toast in oven on cookie sheet for 15 minutes at 350°. Store in air tight container.
  • Mix Canola oil, soy sauce, vinegar and sugar together until mixed well.
  • Serve salad either mixed together and coated with dressing, though serve within 1 hour of mixing or it will get soggy. Or, my favorite way to serve this salad is have each item in separate bowls and let people add the ingredients they're interested in. (I'm not a chicken on salad sort of girl, usually)
See, yummy, refreshing, cool, light, delicious Summer meal!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Yogurt Pancakes

I got this recipe from and it is yummy! Another good way to use your homemade yogurt.
For the pancakes:
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
3 tbsp. sugar
3 eggs
2 1/2 - 3 c. plain yogurt (or 2 c. buttermilk)
1/2 c. butter, melted
2 c. all-purpose flour

Mix all ingredients. If it seems too thick, add milk a little at a time until it reaches a good "pancake batter" consistency.
The syrup recipe is pretty much the buttermilk syrup recipe I posted earlier. Using yogurt instead makes it slightly thicker.

For the yogurt syrup:
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup butter
3 Tablespoons corn syrup
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla

Bring first four ingredients to a boil in a large pot. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and stir constantly for 5 minutes. Add baking soda and vanilla. Remove from stove and serve over pancakes, waffles or french toast. (The syrup will be thin-- this is normal. After it cools off a bit it thickens up. Store any extra syrup in the fridge for later use.)
**The baking soda will make it boil high so make sure you use a large pot.***

Friday, August 6, 2010

Sausage Balls

There are some grocery store items I refuse to buy cheap or alternative versions of.
Top of the list is probably mayonaisse. Cheap real mayo is really gross.
Towards the middle to bottom of my list is sausage. Jimmy Dean is the best. Hands down.
Jimmy Dean Sausage Balls
2 (16 ounce) packages Regular Flavor or Spicy Jimmy Dean Pork Sausage
1 1/2 cups all-purpose baking mix
4 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons minced garlic (if using regular flavor)

1.Preheat oven to 375 F. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl; stir well. Form into 1inch balls. Place on ungreased baking sheet lined with foil; bake 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven; cool 5 minutes before removing from pan. Serve with cocktail forks or toothpicks. We just eat them with our dinner.

May be prepared ahead and frozen uncooked. To bake from frozen: thaw on baking sheet 15 minutes; bake in preheated oven 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

Variation for firmer texture:
add 3 cups baking mix and 2 cups shredded cheese to the ingredients listed above.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

My Momma Says...

I learned pretty much everything I know about cooking from my Mom. Namely, how not to follow a recipe, how to be creative, and how to be willing to try new things.

Thanks Mom.

So when she called today to let me know she found the best recipe for Strawberry Freezer Jam EVER, I kind of have to take her word for it. Plus, she's going to send some home with us in September. Yummy.

So, if you come upon a decent amount of strawberries, and have the time and patience to make jam (it's totally worth it, I swear) use the recipe inside the Ball Instant Fruit Pectin package. I'm told, by Mom (you can all call her that too, she'd love it), that "it has the best fruit to sugar ratio than any of the other brands, and the frozen jam is like eating fresh strawberries."


She (Mom) also says, "It's really fresh and yummy tasting. I left the strawberries in pretty big chunks. Definitely worth making and extremely easy."

Which, my friends, is why I would even consider it. I live for easy!

Here is a blog that uses this same recipe, includes delicious looking pictures that depict the entire jam making process: I don't know about the vegan sugar, but it looks really good!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Advertising Gimmicks

This is what I get for looking at the Sunday ads. I spy a great deal on nectarines and immediately decided to pull out the old electronic recipe file for this one recipe that I saw once upon a time that I needed to try, but never have, but it looked so good I made sure I kept it.

All because our local store has nectarines for 69 cents a pound.

It better be as good as it looks.

Plus the jalapenos are on sale too. And it's an hispanic market, so you know they have good jalapenos!

Nectarine Mango Salsa

½ Large Vidalia Onion
4 Nectarines, pitted and sliced
2 Mangos, peeled, pitted, and sliced
2 large tomatoes
4 limes, freshly squeezed
½ c. cilantro
2 T. sugar
½ fresh jalapeno, seeded
1 tsp. salt

Place all ingredients in a blender. Puree until your favorite consistency is achieved. Serve with tortilla chips, over grilled chicken or pork chops, or over steamed sticky rice. Store, well covered, in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

You Ever Heard of Diane Mott Davidson?

She's an author, a great one, who writes culinary murder mysteries. Yes, you read that right.

Culinary murder mysteries.

That means her books are great mystery books, based around the main character, Goldy, who is a caterer. Mystery books which include recipes.

Awesome, I know.

Reading is my outlet, along with cooking. Though honestly, I get to cook more often than I get to read. But while on vacation I renewed my interest in Ms. Davidson's books. So I've decided to start a new feature here on Snow Cookin'. I'm going to review a few of Ms. Davidson's recipes. I've already tried three and I've decided she can write recipes just as well as she writes mysteries.

Seriously, who does that?

So, for my first review:

"What To Do With All The Egg Yolks Bread"
By Diane Mott Davidson

2 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup warm water
3/4 cup skim milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tbsp. chopped orange zest
1 tsp. salt
4 egg yolks, lightly beaten
3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sun-dried cranberries
1 cup chopped pecans

Butter a 10-in. tube pan; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine the yeast, one tsp. of the sugar, and warm water. Set aside for 10 minutes. Combine the milk, butter, oil, zest, remainder of the sugar, and salt, and stir into the yeast mixture. Add the egg yolks, stirring well. Add the flour 1/2 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition to incorporate the flour thoroughly. Knead 5 to 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth, elastic, and satiny. Knead in the cranberries and pecans. Put the dough back in the bowl, cover the bowl, and let the dough rise at room temperature until it is doubled in bulk. Using a wooden spoon, beat down the risen dough for about a minute.
Place the dough into the buttered tube pan and allow it to rise at room temperature until it is doubled in bulk.
Preheat the oven to 375°. Bake the bread for 45 to 50 minutes or until it is dark golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped. Place on a rack to cool or serve warm. Once cooled, the bread is also excellent sliced and toasted. Makes 1 large loaf.

I loved this bread, but I made a few changes for my families sake. I had no oranges so I included no zest, and my husband doesn't love nuts baked into things, so I left out the pecans too. Sad, I know, but it still turned out awesome! I'm thinking of remaking it (with all of the ingredients) and using the dough for cinnamon rolls, with a nice glazed icing. Delicious!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Oldie But Goodie

I tried this recipe for the second time tonight. I'm not sure why I kept the recipe, I don't really remember loving it the first time around. But, we had all the ingredients and I decided to go for it. We are all glad that I did, it was amazing!

Korean Beef Pul-kogi

1 pound thinly sliced beef sirloin (I used stew meat)
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 green onions, sliced
4 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. white sugar
1 tbsp. rice vinegar
1 tsp. ginger

In a large bowl (or resealable bag), combine beef with garlic, green onions, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, and ginger. Cover (or seal) and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours.

Preheat 2 tbsp. olive oil in a wok (I used a cast iron skillet), place beef mixture in pan and saute until meat is cooked through.

Serve over steamed jasmine rice (or another long grain white rice).

Sorry no pictures, it was delicious! :)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I'm A Hoarder

Not in the creepy you-can't-walk-through-my-house-because-I've-kept-every-piece-of-garbage-since-1982 way, but more like the I-really-liked-that-recipe-so-I-must-have-it-for-my-collection way. A much healthier way, unless it's an unhealthy recipe. Then not so much.

I just got home from vacation, a three week vacation. It included 3 family reunions, many family dinners, and a few nights out at restaurants. Guess what I brought back? Other than loads and loads of laundry and a few weird tan lines? Recipes!

Just a couple of new ones, but they're awesome!

First one I'm going to share? A dessert, of course, and a patriotic looking one too, perfect for the last couple of weeks of July. Of course, red also goes with Christmas, Valentine's day, get it.

Pretzel Jello Dessert (I know, terrible name, but seriously, don't you categorize your recipes by names and ingredients?)


2 cups pretzels, crushed
1 1/2 cubes butter, melted
2 tbsp. sugar
Mix these together and bake @ 375° for 10 minutes. Then cool.

1 large pkg. strawberry gelatin
2 cups hot water
Combine these and let cool.

1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese
1 (8 oz) container whipped topping
1 cup sugar
Whip together.

Spread cream cheese mixture on top of cooled crust. Pour jello over and top with sliced berries. (I used strawberries and blueberries hence the patriotic reference).

Refrigerate for 2-3 hours.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

A New Chicken Salad

This picture and recipe I got from Williams Sonoma. It's a good summer dish and different from your regular chicken salad. I love mangos!
Chicken & Mango Salad

2/3 cup peanut or canola oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
2 to 3 tsp. Asian chili oil (optional)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup mango chutney
2 cups shredded roast chicken, homemade or purchased
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1/3 cup roasted salted cashews, coarsely
1 mango, peeled, pitted and thinly sliced
4 cups shredded romaine lettuce

Make the vinaigrette:
In a food processor or blender, combine the peanut oil, vinegar, mustard and chili oil and process until blended. Add the garlic and chutney and continue to process to form a smooth puree.

Assemble the salad:
In a bowl, combine the chicken, celery, onion, cashews and mango. Add the vinaigrette and toss gently to coat. Divide the lettuce among individual plates, top with the chicken mixture and serve.
Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Weeknight, by Melanie Barnard (Oxmoor House, 2006).

Monday, July 5, 2010

Impossibly Easy Cheeseburger Pie

This is a dish made often at our house. It's good for those nights you don't have anything planned and the kids love it, especially served with ketchup and an ice cold orange julius.
Photo from Betty Crocker

Impossibly Easy Cheeseburger Pie

1 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef (or turkey)
1/2 large onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (4 oz)
1/2 cup Original Bisquick mix (I make my own mix)
1 cup milk
2 eggs

1.Heat oven to 400°F. Spray 9-inch glass pie plate with cooking spray.
2.In 10-inch skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until beef is brown; drain. Stir in salt. Spread in pie plate. Sprinkle with cheese.
3.In small bowl, stir remaining ingredients with fork or wire whisk until blended. Pour into pie plate.
4.Bake about 25 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.
High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): Bake 30 to 35 minutes

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Happy July 4th!

Don't forget to make a Jello Cake decorated with whipped cream and berries.

Have a happy 4th of July!!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Meatless Monday

While I'd never consider myself a vegetarian, I have no problem going days without eating meat.

Really, I don't. Much to the displeasure of my husband, I'm sure.

We've posted some great main dishes that don't require any meat, like Okonomiyaki and Sweet Potato Enchiladas.

There are thousands of vegetarian cookbooks out there, but I don't own a single one. Not. One. Which makes me a "non-expert" of all things vegetarian. However, I've been incorporating at least one meatless dinner every week. Just to mix things up, if you will.

I've mentioned we're fans of Japanese food at our house. Here's another meatless, Japanese recipe for you to try.


1 cup flour
1/3 cup corn starch
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/4 cups cold club soda

Heat oil to 350° before you begin to mix the batter. In a bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together. Add cold club soda and stir with a fork. Batter will be runny and may have lumps, but don't over mix it. When oil is heated to 375° begin frying your batter dipped vegetables.

Use care in not adding too many vegetables to the oil at once, or crowding them, this will cool the oil and make the tempura greasy. Serve hot!

Soy Sauce with Fresh Ginger:
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 Tbs. water
1 Tbs. fresh minced ginger
1 tsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. hot chile sesame oil or toasted sesame oil
1 green onion sliced
juice of 1/2 a lime

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Black Bean Chicken

You know I love me a good slow cooker recipe, right? There's something about preparing dinner in the morning when life is a little easier, then coming home from your errands/lessons/school/activities and having the great aroma of dinner hit you as you walk in. And it's done...with no stirring/mixing/50,000 steps/etc. And it rarely burns.

My kind of cooking.

Plus it doesn't heat up your house when it's 100+° outside like your oven will.

Even better.

You also know that I love me some black beans, right? Seems that this recipe is just about perfect.

Creamy Crock Pot Black Bean Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (you can dice or leave whole, or you can shred when it's all cooked)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can corn, drained
1 jar salsa, any kind
1 8oz package cream cheese
I like this wrapped in flour tortillas, but it'd be good over rice too.

Place chicken breasts in a crock pot. Add black beans, corn and salsa. Cook on high for 4 to 5 hours. Add cream cheese the last 30 minutes. Serve any way you would like!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Extra, Extra, Read All About It!

I'm featured today on one of my favorite blogs...actually, Shane and his pantry with a little of me thrown in are featured today onOther People's Pantries. Head on over and check it out. Just a little FYI, since I sent in all the photos the garage and spice shelves are much more organized.

I promise.

If you've arrived here from Other People's Pantries, we welcome you! Comments are always welcome, so are followers,readers, and suggestions! I think we'd actually welcome pretty much anything but hate mail and death threats. (and even then at least we'd know that people were reading!)

I've got some fun ideas planned for the upcoming weeks, including some new features and some old ones (like Meatless Mondays, y'know)

See you soon.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

"Bran" New least to you

Mmmmm, Muffins! Normally not much of a muffin fan, but with this really easy and yummy recipe I may turn into a muffin fan soon. Even the kids loved these ones!

Watch the changes I made, because that means you can customize it to your tastes too. I replaced dates with Craisins, and used Raisin Bran instead of just plain bran flakes.

It seems like it might be a little complicated with the three separate mixtures, but really, you can just dump it all together if you'd like.

Plus it keeps in the fridge for 3 months! Yay for convenience!

Beautiful Bran Muffins

1 cup margarine/butter
2 cup sugar
4 eggs
Cream together in a large bowl.

1 quart buttermilk
2 cup boiling water
Mix together in a pitcher.

5 tsp. soda
5 cup flour
1 tbsp. salt
Mix together in a separate bowl.

Add mixtures 2 and 3 alternately to mixture 1. Then stir in 1/2 box All Bran cereal, 2 cups Bran Flakes (I used Raisin Bran), 1 cup chopped pecans, 1 cup dates (I hate dates, I used Craisins - it was delicious!)

Bake at 400° for 13 minutes. The original recipe called for a 20 minute baking time, totally burned, then tried 17 minutes, still burned, then I tried 13 minutes, they were perfect. I would watch them in your oven to see which time works for you...

This recipe makes 5 dozen muffins. I know that's a lot of muffins, but this will keep in your refrigerator for up to 3 months, just keep it in a covered container. This way, you can totally make a dozen or one at a time! Perfect!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Japan - easy...

I love Japanese food. I live in the South. The two don't really mesh so well. I'm sure that somewhere in this town is a place where I can buy really good Asian ingredients, but so far when I look I find aisles of Latino food and barbecue sauce.

My husband loves Japanese food. He ate it for two years straight and he's the one to blame for my love of it. He got me hooked on sushi, tempura, sticky rice and this recipe: Okonomiyaki.

Rhymes with teriyaki. Only different.

I think it's my husbands favorite dish. Maybe. It's technically a Japanese pancake. But without sweet syrup, or sugar, or fruit, or cream....but you do make it just like a pancake. But you do put sauce on it.

Photo courtesy of because I really didn't feel like taking pictures. Of course, mine had bacon on top...
mmmmm, bacon

It's super easy to make and my kids love it. Yes, I know they also like liver, but that doesn't compare and this recipe has 0 (zero) liver in it. Plus my husband loves this and hates liver, so there.


12 oz sliced bacon
1 1/3 cups water
4 eggs
3 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 medium head cabbage, sliced
1 tbsp. ground ginger
1 tbsp. garlic salt
tonkatsu sauce (recipe follows)

1. In a large bowl, stir the water and eggs together. Gradually stir in the flour, salt, ginger and garlic salt. Add the flour and cabbage and stir until all ingredients are incorporated. Set aside.
2. Fry bacon in a large skillet until slightly crispy. I used my plug in skillet and it worked great. Set aside on paper towels.
3. In /on your skillet over medium heat, pour a scoop of batter and flatten out like a pancake. Fry for about 5 minutes or until the edges are dry, flip and cook on other side, adding bacon to the already cooked side. Once that side is cooked, flip over one more time to set the bacon, then remove from skillet.
4. Drizzle with Tonkatsu sauce and serve. I made 9 'cakes' out of this recipe, I make them smaller than you would get at a restaurant.

Tonkatsu sauce

1/4 cup worchestershire sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tbsp. soy sauce

Mix together and serve.

There are a lot of recipes for Tonkatsu sauce out there, this one is our favorite.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Dessert Nachos by Family Fun Magazine

I will make these one day soon. I've been craving them since I saw them on Family Fun's website.

Here's their picture...

Dessert Nachos

and the recipe:

  • 3 6-inch flour tortillas
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, cleaned and hulled
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 8 ounces vanilla yogurt
  • 1 cup chopped strawberries
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut or white chocolate shavings
  1. To make the tortilla chips, heat the oven to 350ยบ. Cut the tortillas into triangles, lay them on a baking sheet, and spritz them with cooking spray.

  2. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar over the tops of the tortillas and bake for 12 minutes or until crisp.

  3. For homemade strawberry sauce, combine the strawberries, orange juice, and the remaining 1/2 tablespoon sugar in a blender. Puree the ingredients until smooth.

  4. Once the chips have cooled, set them on a plate. To complete the buffet, set out separate bowls containing the strawberry sauce, yogurt, chopped strawberries, and coconut or chocolate shavings. Serves 4 to 6.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Recipe Card

Next time you want to make a recipe card you should go HERE and check out Skip to my Lou's free recipe card template!
Here's a recipe for a Blueberry French Toast Casserole. You can click on it to see it bigger. I have made it the night before and just baked it in the morning with just fine results.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Camping Food

We went camping over the weekend and made a super yummy dinner. No burnt hot dogs for us!
I made some shish-kabobs ahead of time and had them marinating in the cooler. I also chopped up the potatoes and onion ahead of time and had them in a bag with all the seasonings ready to go. It was too dark by the time we ate so I couldn't take a picture, but trust me it was good. Here are the original recipes and I will tell you my modifications at then end. I know these ingredients might shock yall that I would buy so much pre-packaged stuff, but hey I was camping. I even ate cheese from a can the next day.

Dutch Oven Potatoes
1 pkg. bacon, cut into fourths (low sodium)
10-12 large potatoes (scrubbed, rinsed, and sliced into circles)
Seasoning Salt ("Spike" or "Johnny's" seasoning salt work great!)
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 can cream of chicken
3-4 c. shredded cheddar cheese

When the dutch oven is good and hot add the bacon and heat until fully cooked. Drain about half of the bacon grease then add the potatoes. stir in about 3 Tbsp. of the seasoning salt (or to taste) and all of the garlic powder. Cover and cook about 30 minutes stirring occasionally (or until potatoes are no longer crunchy, but do NOT overcook). Add cream of chicken. When the cream of chicken is evenly distibuted and hot, add cheese. When cheese is melted, remove from heat and serve.

*These taste best when served with ranch dressing on the side*

Dutch Oven Peach Cobbler
2 (29oz) cans peaches, in heavy syrup (or 1 can peaches, 1 can peach pie filling)
2 boxes yellow cake mix (DRY, not prepared)
1 cube butter
brown sugar and cinnamon (to taste)

Pour peaches into hot dutch oven (if using the canned peaches, drain some of the liquid out so your cobbler isn't too runny). Add cake mix over the top. Slice thin slices of butter over the top of the cake mix, then top with brown sugar and cinnamon. Cover and cook for 45 minutes or until the cake mix starts turning golden brown and is cooked through. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

My notes:
With the potatoes I halved the recipe and quarted the cheese. I think honestly it would be just fine without the can of soup. I used Tony Chachere's for the seasoning but I think a ranch packet would be good too. I also added a quarter of the onion with the potatoes. I chopped the potatoes but you could get away with those little red potatoes if you can find them small enough.

With the cobbler I also halved the recipe. Next time I will do two cans of peaches with one box of cake mix. I still used one stick of butter.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Tapioca Pudding

I got this recipe from Simply Recipes and it's very good. It's far from healthy and takes along time stirring but well worth it!

Tapioca Pudding
Look at the instructions on the package of tapioca that you buy. Some small pearl tapioca requires overnight soaking in water. If your package has that requirement, reduce the milk in the recipe to 2 1/2 cups from 3 cups.

1/2 cup small pearl tapioca (you can usually find it in the baking section of the grocery store, do not use instant tapioca)
3 cups whole milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla

1 Combine tapioca, milk, and salt in 1 1/2 quart pan on medium high heat. Stir until boiling. Simmer 5 minutes, uncovered at the lowest possible heat, adding sugar gradually.

2 Beat eggs in a separate bowl. Mix in some of the hot tapioca very slowly to equalize the temperature of the two mixtures to avoid curdling. (Alton Brown taught me this is called tempuring, yall probably already knew that though)

3 Return eggs to pan with tapioca. Slowly bring mixture barely to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and stir several minutes at a low simmer, stirring constantly until you get a nice thick pudding consistency. Cool 15 minutes. Add vanilla. Serve either warm or chilled.

Note: If you want to make a more light and fluffy, but still rich, tapioca pudding, separate the eggs. Use the egg yolks to stir in first to the pan with the tapioca. Once the pudding has become nice and thick, beat the egg whites in a separate bowl to soft peaks. Remove the pan of tapioca pudding from the stove, fold in the beaten egg whites into the pudding.

Serves 4-6.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Slow Cooker Tuesday - Curried Chicken

This recipe was heaven, and I am not even a huge fan of curry. I've been super busy with lessons, practices, etc. and so I've been relying a little more heavily on the crockpot for support lately. It's been a good relationship, but it was getting a little boring. I decided to spice things up a little with a curry recipe. Well worth it, I tell you!

This recipe comes from the Rival Crock Pot Recipes: Flavors from Around the World collection. There are a few more I'll try out and share, soon I'm sure.

Slow Simmered Curried Chicken

1 1/2 cups chopped onion (I just sliced mine into strips)
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped (I didn't use this, kids aren't fans)
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast or thigh, cut into bite size pieces
1 cup medium salsa
2 tsp. grated fresh ginger (I totally didn't have fresh ginger, powder worked fine)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (we all know I LOVE cilantro)
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. curry powder
3/4 tsp. salt
Hot cooked rice (I used brown)

1. Place onions and bell pepper in bottom of the crock pot. Top with chicken. Combine salsa, ginger, garlic powder and pepper flakes in a small bowl; spoon over the chicken. Cover; cook on LOW 5-6 hours or on HIGH 2-3 hours or until chicken is done.

2. Combine the cilantro, sugar, curry powder and salt in a small bowl. Stir mixture into crock pot. Cover; cook on HIGH 15 minutes or until hot. Serve over rice.

**NOTE** I didn't wait to put the additional ingredients in, I knew I wouldn't have time before we needed to eat. It worked fine, really well in fact.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

You'd Think We Gave Up On Being Healthy!

Based on the recent posts, we're all about yummy, but not necessarily healthy foods. And you know what? I'm ok with that. I have another one for you today.

Homemade Oreos....

See, totally worth the calories and time to make, because your kids (and you) will LOVE them. LOVE. The kind of love that takes you back to when you were little. Nostalgic love, if you will.


1 pkg. devil's food cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 c. vegetable oil

1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/4 c. shortening
2/3 c. powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla

In a mixing bowl, beat cake mix, eggs, and oil. With clean hands, roll dough into 1-inch balls. Place them on an ungreased cookie sheet and flatten them slightly (I use the bottom of a measuring cup). Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes. Let cool.

In another mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and shortening. Add the sugar and vanilla; mix until smooth. Frost half of the cookies, top with remaining half.

We'll see you again soon, with a healthy recipe, full of fiber and vegetables...I promise.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Real Lip Lickin' Deal

A couple of months ago we had some friends over for dinner. It is an unwritten rule that you must serve Tres Leches cake after fajitas. Actually, I just wrote it so now it is a written rule.
This is the real one. I've had recipes that are made with a yellow cake mix and it's just not the same as being made with a homemade sponge cake. Make sure you also use real whipped cream and not cool whip also.
Scrumptious. Truly scrumptious.

Tres Leches Cake

adapted from The Pioneer Woman

1 cup All-purpose Flour
1-½ teaspoon Baking Powder
¼ teaspoons Salt
5 whole Eggs
1 cup Sugar, Divided
1 teaspoon Vanilla
⅓ cups Milk
1 can Evaporated Milk
1 can Sweetened, Condensed Milk
¼ cups Heavy Cream
1 pint Heavy Cream, For Whipping (minus 1/4 cup)
3 Tablespoons Sugar

Preparation Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 inch pan liberally until coated.
Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Separate eggs.
Beat egg yolks with 3/4 cup sugar on high speed until yolks are pale yellow. Stir in milk and vanilla. Pour egg yolk mixture over the flour mixture and stir very gently until combined.
Beat egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. With the mixer on, pour in remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat until egg whites are stiff but not dry.
Fold egg white mixture into the batter very gently until just combined. Pour into prepared pan and spread to even out the surface.
Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool.

Combine condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream in a large measuring cup. When cake is cool, pierce the surface with a fork all over (don't mutilate it though. Slowly drizzle your three milks mixture all over the cake, try to get as much around the edges of the cake as you can. I actually don't use the last 1/2 cup because I think it makes it a little too sweet.
Allow the cake to absorb the milk mixture for 30 minutes in fridge.

To ice the cake, whip remaining heavy cream with 3 tablespoons of sugar until thick and spreadable.
Spread over the surface of the cake. Decorate cake with whole or chopped maraschino cherries. Cut into squares and serve.
Refrigerate any leftovers.... if there is any.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

It's Done!

You know that project I mentioned, like forever ago? And you probably thought we'd forgotten about it, or gave up on it, or decided we were better than it?

Nope. Just got busy with life, four kids, two dogs, four chickens, piano lessons, soccer practices, school, church and work.

Then we finished it - and I'm as much in love with it as I thought I would be.

A place for everything, and everything in it's place. It's like heaven for those, like me, who have a little OCD in them. Plus, it's inventoried, how geeky is that? So now the shopping list to go along with the menus will be so much easier!

Plus now I have room out in the garage for other stuff.

We're still rearranging the bigger food storage stuff, which will all have a place inside, finally.

And now I've got extra room in my spice cupboard for spices, small appliances and extra food!
(Now I've just got to get these rearranged and inventoried...then, just maybe, I'll feel like I've got it all together...maybe?)

Friday, April 16, 2010


Our chickens started laying. Finally. I really thought they weren't going to pull through and earn their room and board. Then they started laying - on Easter. Awesome, I know.

Fresh brown eggs, 2 - 4 a day = a nice little bunch of eggs in the fridge.

Tonight for dinner?

Sausage and Cheese Bake. It's tradition to have this on Christmas morning, but we're getting crazy and pulling a Christmas in April. You can join us, if you'd like. Dinner's at 6.


8 slices of bread, cubed

3 cup grated cheddar cheese

1 lb. sausage, browned and drained

6 eggs

2 1/4 cup milk

3/4 tsp. dry mustard

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1/3 cup milk

Cube bread and spread in bottom of 9 x 13 in. baking dish. Cover with grated cheese and browned sausage. Mix eggs, 2 1/4 cup milk and dry mustard. Pour over bread. Mix can of soup with 1/3 cup milk and pour over top of dish. Refrigerate overnight (or 6-8 hours) and bake 1 hour at 350°.