Thursday, October 20, 2011

All Purpose Bread

This bread recipe is a no fail one.  It's fast and easy and every time I make it, it turns out perfect. 

10 1/2 cups bread flour*
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tb salt
3 Tb SAF instant yeast
3 Tb liquid lecithin *
4 cups hot tap water

* You can buy liquid lecithin at your local health food store.

  • Mix in electric mixer for 1 minute.  Check dough for consistency and add water if needed.  Knead 5 more minutes with a mixer or 10 minutes if kneading by hand.
  • You don't need to let it rise twice.  Just shape into loaves and let rise for 25 minutes.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown. 
  • Makes 4 loaves.

*For wheat bread, substitute half or all of the flour with wheat flour.  Add only 3 cups of water and 1 cup applesauce.  The applesauce keeps the bread moist.

This bread freezes well.  I make 4 loaves and put them all in bags that I have saved from store loaves.  I leave a couple for us to eat then and put two in the freezer for later.  The loaves are just as moist when they thaw as when I first baked them.

Pear Cheddar Pie

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup butter
6 cups peeled and sliced pears
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
unbaked pie crust
  •  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  • Combine the flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and Cheddar cheese. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  • Toss the sliced pears with the lemon juice. Combine the 1/2 cup brown sugar, cornstarch, and cinnamon in a separate bowl. Add the sugar mixture to the pears and toss to coat.
  • Transfer the pears to the pie crust and top with the crumble mixture. Bake in the preheated oven until the top is golden brown, about 45 minutes.

Chicken and Lentils

This dish is easy, simple, healthy, and my kids love it.  Try it.  You'll be pleasantly surprised.
1 Tb olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 lbs. chicken
2 carrots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup dried lentils (soaked overnight)
1 (14 oz) can chicken broth
1 (10 oz) can tomato sauce
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried basil
1 Tb lemon juice
1 tsp salt 

  • In skillet, heat oil and brown onions.  Add chicken and cook for a couple minutes on each side.  Chicken does not have to be cooked through.
  • Cut chicken into pieces.
  • Put all ingredients in a crock pot and let it cook on low for the day.  You may need to add water as it cooks.
  • Serve over rice. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Spinach Mushroom Omelet

1 egg
3 egg whites
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon shredded Cheddar cheese
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
2 tablespoons chopped green pepper
1 tablespoon chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup torn fresh spinach

  • In small bowl, beat egg and egg whites. Add cheeses, salt, pepper flakes, garlic powder and pepper; mix well. Set aside.
  •  In an 8-in. nonstick skillet, saute the mushrooms, green pepper and onion in oil for 4-5 minutes or until tender. Add spinach; cook and stir until spinach is wilted.
  • Add egg mixture. As eggs set, lift edges, letting uncooked portion flow underneath. Cut into wedges. Serve immediately.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Mint Lemonade Slush

3 scoops of lemonade powder mix
3 cups water
8 cubes of ice
5-6 fresh mint leaves

  • Put ice and water in the blender. 
  • Add the lemonade powder and mint leaves. 
  • Blend all ingredients until well mixed.  Serve immediately.

Blueberry Zucchini Bread

3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup vegetable oil
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups white sugar
2 cups shredded zucchini
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 pint fresh blueberries

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease 4 mini-loaf pans.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar. Fold in the zucchini. Beat in the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Gently fold in the blueberries. Transfer to the prepared mini-loaf pans.
  3. Bake 50 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a knife inserted in the center of a loaf comes out clean. Cool 20 minutes in pans, then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.

Granola Bars

4 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups miniature semisweet chocolate chips

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Lightly grease one 9x13 inch pan.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine the oats, flour, baking soda, vanilla, butter or margarine, honey and brown sugar. Stir in the 2 cups assorted chocolate chips, raisins, nuts etc.
  • Lightly press mixture into the prepared pan. Bake at 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) for 18 to 22 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes then cut into bars. Let bars cool completely in pan before removing or serving.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Summer Squash Casserole

This recipe is a modified version of Paula Dean's recipe on Food Network.  It's good!

6 summer squash/ zucchini
1 cup onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
2 Tb butter
2 slices white bread
1 medium bowl ice water
1 egg
Salt and pepper
1 cup cracker crumbs, or enough to cover casserole
Parmesan cheese
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Peel and cut squash into cubes. Boil until tender, about 5 to 7 minutes, and drain.
  • Brown onion, garlic, and basil in 2 tablespoons butter seasoned with salt and pepper. Soak bread in ice water and wring out; chop fine. Add to onion and garlic mixture; cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes. Add drained squash and stir. Remove from heat. Beat egg and add, allowing it to absorb into the mixture. Season with salt and pepper, if needed.
  • Place in casserole dish or baking pan. Cover top with cracker crumbs and Parmesan cheese.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the crumbs brown.
Note: You can refrigerate this dish for up to 2 days before baking, but you should add the bread crumb topping right before you bake.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

No-Fry French Fries

2 medium potatoes
1/4 cup Italian reduced fat Dressing
1/4 cup Parmesan grated topping

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Wash potatoes and pat dry. Cut potatoes into 1/4 inch thick strips.
  • Transfer to a large plastic bag and pour Italian dressing and Parmesan into the bag. Toss well.
  • Arrange potatoes in a single layer on 2 large baking sheets sprayed with cooking spray. Spray fries again with spray.
  • Bake for 12 minutes. Turn fries with a spatula. Continue baking and turn every 10 minutes. (I ended up cooking my fries for 30 minutes.)

Cinnamon Pumpkin Rolls

I really liked these. You taste a bit of pumpkin, with a bit of wheat, with a bit of cinnamon. I put a normal frosting/glaze on it the time I made them, but I thought a cream cheese topping or filling would be really good too.

Dough:1 cup canned pumpkin or squash
2 large eggs
1/4 cup water, warm
1/4 cup soft butter
2 1/2 cups flour
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup dry milk powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
3 Tb brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp instant yeast

Filling:cinnamon/sugar mixture
raisins, dried cranberries, crystallized ginger (optional)

1 Tb butter
1 Tb milk
1 cup powdered sugar

  • Proof the yeast in the warm water. Mix and knead dough ingredients into a soft, smooth dough. Allow it to rise until double in size - 1.5-2 hours. Turn it out onto a lightly greased surface and roll it into a 14"x 22" rectangle.
  • Spread melted butter onto the dough and sprinkle with your cinnamon/sugar mixture. Sprinkle with raisins, cranberries, or ginger if desired. Roll the dough into a log.
  • Cut the log into sections. (8 worked well for a 9x13 pan.) Place in pan and let rise, covered for 1 hour or until puffy.
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Drizzle with the glaze.

    Neiman Marcus Cookies

    This is the recipe from the email that everyone gets. The one about a lady who has to buy a 250 dollar recipe when she thinks it is a 2.50 recipe. The story is totally false by the way. The cookies however are fabulous.

    2 cups butter
    4 cups flour
    2 tsp baking soda
    2 cups sugar
    5 cups oatmeal, blended
    24 oz chocolate chips
    2 cups brown sugar
    1 tsp salt
    1 8 oz Hershey Bar (grated)
    4 eggs
    2 tsp baking powder
    2 tsp vanilla
    3 cups chopped nuts

    • Measure oatmeal and blend in a blender to a fine powder.
    • Cream butter and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl add flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder, soda. Mix dry ingredients with the sugar mixture.
    • Add chocolate chips, Hershey bar and nuts. Roll into balls and place 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet. 
    • Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. Makes 112 cookies.

    Saturday, July 9, 2011

    Morning Maple Muffins

    This is a Taste of Home recipe.

    2 cups flour
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    2 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp salt
    3/4 cup milk
    1/2 cup butter, melted
    1/2 cup maple syrup
    1/4 cup sour cream
    1 egg
    1/2 tsp vanilla extract

    3 Tb flour
    3 Tb sugar
    2 Tb chopped nuts
    1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
    2 Tb cold butter

    • In a bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, combine the milk, butter, syrup, sour cream, egg and vanilla. Stir into the dry ingredients just until moistened.
    • Fill greased muffin cups two thirds full.
    • For topping, combine the flour, sugar, nuts and cinnamon. Cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over batter. 
    • Bake at 400 degrees for 16-20 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans. Yield: 16 muffins.

    Tuesday, July 5, 2011

    Broccoli Salad

    2 large bunches of broccoli, chopped
    6 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped
    1/2 red onion, chopped
    1/2 cup raisins
    1/2 cup sunflower seeds
    1/2 cup Swiss cheese
    1/2 cup almonds


    1 cup mayonnaise
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/2 tsp salt
    2 Tb cider vinegar

    • Combine all ingredients and set in refrigerator at least one hour before serving.

    Waffles with Orange Syrup


    2 1/4 tsp yeast
    1/2 cup warm water
    2 cups warm milk
    1/2 cup melted butter
    1 tsp sugar
    1 tsp salt
    2 cups all purpose flour
    2 large eggs
    1/4 tsp baking soda

    • Sprinkle yeast on warm water and let stand for 5 minutes. Add warm milk, butter, sugar, salt, and flour. Beat until smooth. Cover and refrigerate over night.
    • When ready to make, beat in eggs and baking soda. Pour batter into warm waffle iron.

    Orange Syrup

    1 cup sugar
    1/2 cup butter
    1/2 cup corn syrup
    1/2 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed

    Combine sugar, butter, syrup and orange juice in saucepan over medium to high heat. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes.
    (This can be used for waffles, pancakes, crepes, or even an ice cream topping.)

    Thursday, June 30, 2011

    Mixed Berry Cobbler

    This calls for strawberries and raspberries, but we made it with strawberries and blueberries and really liked that as well.

    Filling1 Tb cornstarch
    1/3 cup sugar
    2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
    1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
    1 Tb lemon juice

    Topping1 1/2 cups flour
    1/3 cup sugar
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    3/8 tsp salt
    1/3 cup butter
    1/3 cup milk

    Blend the sugar and cornstarch. Add fruit and lemon juice and stir until combined. Put filling in a square baking dish and set aside.
    For topping, whisk together the dry ingredients. Work in butter just until the mixture is evenly crumbly. Add the milk and stir until everything is moistened.
    Use a teaspoon scoop to drop balls of dough close together on top of the filling. Sprinkle with sugar if desired.
    Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until the top is browned and filling is bubbly. Allow dish to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.

    Friday, June 10, 2011

    Chicken Orzo Soup

    This recipe is from Pampered Chef. It is a nice change of pace from the traditional chicken noodle soup. The recipe calls for Feta cheese which Jess and I both really liked with the soup. If you are not a Feta lover or want a substitute for your kids, use Queso Fresco. It has the same consistency but has a very mild taste.

    1/2 cup chopped onion
    1 tsp olive oil
    2 garlic cloves, pressed
    1 tsp dried oregano
    32 oz. chicken broth
    1 cup water
    1/4 tsp ground pepper
    1/3 cup uncooked orzo
    1 1/2 cups diced cooked chicken
    1 cup chopped zucchini
    1/3 cup chopped roasted red pepper
    1 Tb lemon juice
    Feta cheese
    • In a pot, saute onion and garlic in oil with the oregano. Add broth, water and pepper. Bring to a boil. Stir in orzo and cook, stirring occasionally, until orzo is tender. About 8 minutes.
    • Meanwhile, dice chicken. Chop zucchini and red pepper and add them to the broth. Return to a boil and cook 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle with Feta cheese.

    Orange Walnut Chicken

    I thought this was really good. It comes from Taste of Home, and everything from them is delicious. We didn't add the extra green onion garnish because of the kids, but it still turned out wonderful.

    3 Tb orange juice
    3 Tb vegetable oil, divided
    1 Tb soy sauce
    1 garlic clove, minced
    4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
    1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
    1 Tb butter
    4 green onions, thinly sliced, divided
    1/2 cup orange marmalade
    1/2 cup orange juice
    1/4 cup lemon juice
    2 Tb honey
    1-2 Tb grated orange peel
    2-3 tsp grated lemon peel
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/8 tsp pepper

    • Combine orange juice concentrate, 2 Tb of oil, soy sauce and garlic. Add chicken and turn to coat. Refrigerate 2-3 hours. 
    • Remove chicken and reserve marinade. In a skillet, cook chicken in remaining oil until juices are clear. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, saute nuts in butter until lightly browned. Remove and set aside.
    • Set aside 1/4 cup green onions for garnish. Add remaining onions to saucepan and saute until tender. Add reserved marinade and the next 8 ingredients. Bring to a rolling boil and boil for 2 minutes. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for 5-10 minutes or until sauce reaches desired consistency. Serve chicken over rice and top with the orange sauce and walnuts and onions.

    Wednesday, June 1, 2011

    Open Faced Omelet

    This is a great breakfast or a light dinner. I made it just as written and I liked it a lot. My kids don't appreciate broccoli as much as I do. They ate it, but if I made it again I would substitute spinach for the broccoli.

    1 cup broccoli
    1/2 cup chopped, sweet red pepper
    1/4 cup sliced green onions
    1 1/2 cups cubed, cooked ham
    1 cup frozen hash browns, thawed
    10 eggs
    1/4 tsp pepper
    1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

    • In a 9 or 10 inch skillet coated with cooking spray, saute broccoli, red pepper, and onions until crisp tender. Add ham and hash browns. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

    • In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and pepper. Pour over vegetables. Reduce heat, cover and cook for 10-12 minutes or until set. Sprinkle with cheese and cook for another few minutes until cheese is melted.

    Cheddar Mushroom Stuffed Potatoes

    My children are not huge potato fans. They like an occasional mashed potato dish once in a while, but they have never loved it. I made these and was really surprised that all three children not only ate the potato (skin and all) but said how much they loved them.

    6 large potatoes
    2/3 cup milk or cream
    1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
    1/4 cup chopped, fresh mushrooms
    1/2 - 1 tsp garlic salt
    1/2 tsp basil
    1/2 tsp oregano
    4 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled

    • Bake potatoes at 375 degrees for 1 hour or until tender.
    • When cool enough to handle, cut a thin slice off the top of each potato and discard. Scoop out pulp, leaving 1/4 inch on sides. Set aside.
    • Place pulp in a bowl and add milk and mash. Add 3/4 cup cheese, mushrooms, garlic salt, basil, oregano, and bacon. Stir until combined.
    • Spoon back into potato shells and top with remaining cheese. Bake uncovered for 25 minutes at 375 degrees or microwave on high for 5-8 minutes.

    Berry Lemonade Slush

    1/2 cup Country Time Lemonade drink mix (dry)
    1/2 cup water
    1 cup frozen berries
    3 cups ice cubes

    Measure drink mix and empty into blender.Add remaining ingredients and enough extra water to blend to a drinkable consisitancy.

    Monday, May 9, 2011

    Strawberry Cofee Cake

    1 cup all-purpose flour
    1/2 cup sugar
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 egg
    1/2 cup milk
    2 tablespoons butter, melted
    1 1/2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
    1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/4 cup cold butter
    1/4 cup chopped pecans

    • In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat the egg, milk and butter. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Pour into a greased 8-in. square baking dish. Top with strawberries.
    • For topping, combine flour and sugar in a bowl; cut in butter until crumbly. Stir in pecans if desired; sprinkle over strawberries.
    • Bake at 375 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cut into squares; serve warm.

    White cake with lemon curd filling

    If you like lemon, this is pretty heavenly. I frosted it with a lemon butter cream frosting, but you can use any frosting.

    3 cups flour
    2 cups sugar
    1 Tb baking powder
    3/4 tsp salt
    1 cup whole milk
    1 tsp vanilla

    • Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add butter, just until coated with flour.
    • Whisk together eggs, milk and vanilla. Add wet ingredients gradually to the dry until it is well mixed.
    • Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

    Lemon Curd Filling

    1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
    2 tsp fresh lemon zest
    1/2 cup sugar
    3 large eggs
    6 Tb unsalted butter, cut into pieces

    • Whisk together juice, zest, sugar and eggs in a saucepan. Stir in butter and cook over medium-low heat, whisking frequently until curd is thick enough to hold marks of whisk and first bubbles appear on surface. (About 6 minutes.)
    • Put in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

    Thursday, May 5, 2011

    Tortilla Soup ll

    1 pound chicken
    1 (15 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, mashed
    1 (10 ounce) can enchilada sauce
    1 medium onion, chopped
    1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chile peppers
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    2 cups water
    1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth
    1 teaspoon cumin
    1 teaspoon chili powder
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    1 bay leaf
    1 (10 ounce) package frozen corn
    1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

    • Place chicken, tomatoes, enchilada sauce, onion, green chiles, and garlic into a slow cooker. Pour in water and chicken broth, and season with cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper, and bay leaf. Stir in corn and cilantro. Cover, and cook on Low setting for 6 to 8 hours or on High setting for 3 to 4 hours.
    • An hour before serving, take out chicken, shred it and put it back into the soup.

    Shrimp Fettucine Alfredo

    1 lb fettucine noodles
    1 Tb butter
    1 lb cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
    4 cloves garlic, minced
    1 cup half and half
    6 Tb grated Parmesan cheese
    salt to taste
    fresh parsley

    • Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
    • In a large skillet, saute shrimp and garlic in the butter for about one minute. Pour in half and half; stir. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese in one tablespoon at a time, stirring constantly. After all Parmesan is added, mix in parsley and salt. Stir frequently making sure it does not boil. Sauce will take a while to thicken.
    • When sauce has thickened, combine with cooked pasta noodles; serve hot.

    Healthy Oat and Yogurt Pancakes

    2 eggs
    3 Tb vegetable oil
    1 1/4 cups yogurt
    1 cup flour
    1/2 cup oat flour
    1/4 cup ground flax seed
    3/4 tsp salt
    1 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp baking powder
    2 Tb sugar
    2 -4 Tb milk or water to thin batter

    • Beat eggs and vegetable oil together until combined and smooth. Stir in the yogurt.
    • Stir the dry ingredients together. Quickly mix into the egg mixture and let rest for 5 minutes. Cook on a griddle set to 350. (The batter was really thick, almost like biscuits so I squished them down after turning them once on the griddle.)

    Chocolate Cupcakes with a Kick

    1 pkg chocolate cake mix
    3 eggs
    1/3 cup cooking oil
    1 1/4 cups sour cream
    2 Tb vanilla
    1/2 -1 tsp ground chipotle pepper
    1 pkg chocolate chips
    2 tsp flour
    1 recipe for white frosting
    2 oz chocolate, chopped
    1/4 cup whipping cream

    • In bowl combine cake mix, sour cream, eggs, oil, vanilla and chipotle pepper. Beat on low to combine and then mix on medium for 2 minutes.
    • Fold flour and chocolate chips into batter. Spoon into greased or lined cupcake pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-22 minutes or until cupcakes spring back when you touch them. Cool in pans for 5 minutes. Makes 24 cupcakes.
    • Frost with white frosting and then drizzle with chocolate. For drizzle, placed chocolate in a small bowl. Bring whipping cream to a boil over the stove. Pour over chocolate and whisk until smooth.

    White Frosting

    8 oz pkg softened cream cheese
    1/2 cup softened butter
    1/2 tsp vanilla
    2 - 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

    • Beat cream cheese and butter until combined. Add vanilla. Gradually add powdered sugar until mixture is a spreadable consistency.

    Saturday, April 30, 2011

    Pear Cranberry Sauce

    I think the flavors of the cranberry and lemon blend well in this sauce.  The honey and pear also give it a nice flavor without being overly sweet.

    1/2 cup water
    1/2 cup sugar
    1 (12 oz) bag fresh cranberries
    1 cup honey
    4-5 pears -peeled, cored and diced
    1 Tb lemon juice
    1 tsp lemon zest
    • In saucepan, stir water and sugar over medium high heat until boiling. Stir in pears and reduce heat to medium and cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
    • Add cranberries and honey. Continue to cook until cranberries pop and mixture thickens.
    • Remove from heat and add lemon juice and zest. Cool to room temperature. This can be refrigerated for up to a week and freezes well.

    *For a sweet cranberry sauce:

    Combine in a saucepan, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, 1 12 oz bag of fresh cranberries and one small box of raspberry jello.  Cook over medium heat until cranberries pop open.  Cool and refrigerate.

    Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

    1 can garbanzo beans
    1/3 cup tahini
    1/2 cup roasted red pepper
    2 cloves garlic
    3 Tb lemon juice
    1/4 tsp basil
    • Blend beans, garlic, tahini, and lemon juice.
    • Add bell pepper and basil and blend until pepper is finely chopped. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and chill overnight. Serve as a dip for pretzels, bagel chips or vegetables.

    Friday, April 22, 2011

    Black Beans over Rice

    My family eats a lot of beans and rice. It's cheap, healthy, but we mostly eat it because my whole family loves it. We have a few different recipes, but this is one of our favorites.

    1 cup chopped onion
    1 cup chopped red or green bell pepper
    2 Tb chopped jalapeno pepper
    1 tsp vegetable oil
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    2 cans black beans, drained
    1 can fat free refried beans
    1 can vegetable or beef broth
    1 Tb lime juice
    1 tsp ground cumin
    1/2 cup snipped cilantro
    Queso Fresco cheese

    • Chop onion, bell pepper and jalapeno and snip cilantro and set aside.
    • Heat oil in medium pot over medium heat. Add onion, pepper, jalapeno and garlic. Cook and stir for 3 minutes. Add both kinds of beans, broth, lime juice and cumin. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes.
    • Remove from heat, stir in cilantro and ladle into bowls. Sprinkle with cheese. Serve over rice.

    Green Slime Smoothie

    Even though this is green my kids still drink it up. You can't taste the spinach at all.

    3 handfuls of fresh spinach
    2 cups frozen strawberries
    1 banana
    1 cup apple juice
    1 cup ice cubes
    2 Tb honey

    • Mix all ingredients in a blender and enjoy!

    Wednesday, April 20, 2011

    Tortilla Soup

    This was originally named "Spicy Chicken Soup" but to me it tasted so much like a tortilla soup that we added the cheese and tortilla chips on top and ate it that way. It makes a lot of soup, so I always make it when I am making dinner for someone. Plenty of soup for our own family and the family we are feeding.

    2 quarts water
    3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 tsp pepper
    2 Tb dried parsley
    1 Tb onion powder
    5 cubes chicken bouillon
    1 tsp garlic powder
    3 Tb olive oil
    1 onion, chopped
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    1 (16 oz) jar chunky salsa
    2 cans diced tomatoes
    1 can tomato soup
    1 can corn
    2 cans chili beans
    1 (8 oz) sour cream
    1 Tb chili powder

    • In large pot combine water, chicken, salt, pepper, garlic powder, parsley, onion powder, and bouillon. Boil then reduce heat and simmer 1 hour or until chicken juices run clear. Remove and shred chicken and save broth.
    • In large pot, cook onion and garlic in oil until browned. Stir in salsa, diced tomatoes, soup, chili powder, corn, chili beans, sour cream, shredded chicken and 5 cups of broth. Simmer for 30 minutes.

    Cream Soda-Toffee Cupcakes

    2 cups flour
    1 1/2 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1/2 cup butter, softened
    1/4 tsp salt
    3/4 cup sugar
    1/4 cup brown sugar
    3 eggs
    1 Tb molasses
    1 1/2 tsp vanilla
    1/2 cup buttermilk
    1/2 cup cream soda (not diet)
    3/4 cup toffee pieces

    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin pan with 18 cupcake paper cups.
    • Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
    • Beat butter with mixer on medium to high for 30 seconds. Add sugars, beat until well combined. Beat in eggs, one at a time until combined. Beat in molasses and vanilla.
    • Alternately add flour mixture, buttermilk and cream soda to mixture, beating on low until combined. Stir in 1/2 cup of the toffee.
    • Fill cups 3/4 full. Bake about 18 minutes or until tops spring back when you touch them. Cool in pans for 5 minutes. Frost with brown butter frosting.

    Brown butter frosting:

    1/2 cup butter
    2 cups powdered sugar
    1/2 tsp vanilla
    1/8 tsp nutmeg
    dash of salt
    1-2 Tb buttermilk

    • Heat 1/4 cup butter over medium-low heat until lightly browned, about 8 minutes.
    • In bowl beat 1/4 softened butter with cooled brown butter. Beat until combined. Add powdered sugar, vanilla, nutmeg, and salt.
    • Beat in buttermilk until spreadable. Use immediately.

    Raspberry Plum Jam

    This jam isn't overly sweet and has a nice tang to it.

    4 1/2 cups pitted, chopped plums
    2 (10 oz) packages of frozen raspberries, thawed
    10 cups sugar
    1/2 cup lemon juice
    2 (3 oz) pouches liquid pectin

    • Bring plums, raspberries, sugar and lemon juice to a roiling boil.
    • Pour in the pectin, and return to a roiling boil for 1 minute.
    • Fill jam into sterilized jars to 1/4 inch from the top of jar.
    • Process jars in hot water bath for 10 minutes.

    Sunday, April 17, 2011

    Herbed Cheese-Stuffed Salmon

    6 6oz salmon fillets
    1 lemon
    1 5.2 oz container semi soft cheese with garlic and herbs
    sea salt
    1 cup bread crumbs
    1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
    1/3 cup butter, melted
    2 Tb pine nuts, toasted

    • Zest the lemon to make 1 teaspoon of zest and add it to the garlic herb cheese.
    • Cut a pocket into the top of the salmon fillet, making sure you don't cut all the way through. Spoon the cheese mixture into the pockets. Season the fish with salt.
    • In a bowl, combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, butter and pine nuts. Sprinkle over fillets, pressing lightly.
    • Bake, uncovered, for 14 minutes at 425 degrees or until salmon flakes when tested with a fork.

    Pineapple Smoothie

    4 ice cubes
    1/4 pineapple, cut in pieces
    1 large banana
    1 cup of apple juice

    • Put all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth.

    Wednesday, April 13, 2011

    Stuffed Shells

    This is one of the few recipes in which all my kids eat the meat AND the spinach in the dish. It is a nice variation when you are tired of spaghetti.

    1 box jumbo pasta shells
    1 pound ground beef
    2 TB olive oil
    6 oz baby spinach, chopped
    1 cup chopped onion
    1 garlic clove, minced
    1 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp pepper
    1/8 tsp nutmeg
    1 egg
    1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
    1 jar of spaghetti sauce
    1 cup mozzarella cheese

    • Cook shells according to directions, reserving 1/3 cup of the water.
    • Cook ground beef until no longer pink and drain grease.
    • Add oil, spinach, onion, garlic, reserved pasta water. Continue cooking for 10 more minutes. Remove from heat.
    • Add seasonings and blend well. Let mixture cool.
    • Stir in egg and Parmesan cheese.
    • Pour 1 cup of the spaghetti sauce into the bottom of a 9X13 pan. Fill the shells with the meat mixture and place in the pan. Pour remaining sauce over shells and sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese. 
    • Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

    Tuesday, April 12, 2011


    This is my favorite salsa. I can eat a whole batch of it if I'm not careful. It has just the right amount of kick to it. Even my kids, who have a hard time with vegis or spice like it.

    8 cups fresh tomatoes, diced
    1 Anaheim pepper, chopped
    7-10 green onions, chopped
    1 bunch fresh cilantro leaves
    1 garlic clove, minced
    1/2 tsp dried cumin
    1 Tb salt
    2 Tb brown sugar
    1/2 cup chili vinegar *

    Mix all ingredients together, or blend in the blender until desired consistency. Refrigerate.

    * To make chili vinegar, buy red wine vinegar and empty it into a bowl. Stuff as many small, dried, red chilies into the bottle as you can. Replace the vinegar and let the bottle sit for at least 2 weeks.

    Garlic Herb Mac and Cheese

    8 oz (2 cups) elbow noodles
    1/4 cup flour
    2 3/4 cups milk
    2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
    1/2 tsp black pepper
    1/2 tsp mustard powder
    1/4-1/2 tsp salt -to taste

    4 Tb butter
    1/4 tsp garlic powder
    2 tsp pizza seasoning
    1 1/2 cups bread crumbs

    • Grease a 2 qt. baking dish.
    • Cook the pasta in salted water until al dente. Drain and rinse and set aside.
    • In large saucepan, whisk flour and milk. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in chease and seasonings. Stir until the cheese is melted. Stir in the pasta and spoon into baking dish.
    • Melt the butter and garlic powder together, then stir in the pizza seasoning and bread crumbs. Sprinkle over the pasta and cheese.
    • Bake casserole at 350 degrees for 25-35 minutes.

    Chocolate Peanut Butter Parfaits

    3 Tb milk
    3 Tb peanut butter
    1 cup thawed whipped topping
    1 pkg. (4 serving) chocolate instant pudding

    • Add milk gradually to peanut butter in bowl, stirring with whisk until blended. Add whipped topping and stir until blended.
    • Prepare pudding as directed on package. Spoon half the mixture into 6 parfait glasses. Top with the peanut butter mixture and cover with the remaining chocolate.
    • Refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

    Wednesday, April 6, 2011

    Chicken and Broccoli Ring

    This is a pampered chef recipe. I'm a big fan of pampered chef everything and this recipe doesn't disappoint. I have to admit that my kids pick out most of the broccoli, but they do eat the rest.

    2 (8 oz) packages refrigerated crescent rolls
    2 cups chopped, cooked chicken
    1 1/2 cups chopped broccoli
    1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
    1/2 cup diced red pepper
    1/3 cup mayonnaise
    2 tsp dried dill
    1/4 tsp salt
    1 garlic clove, minced

    • In bowl combine chicken, broccoli, cheese, bell pepper, mayonnaise, dill, salt and garlic. Mix well.
    • Open up crescent rolls and separate the triangles. Arrange 8 triangles in a circle on a pizza stone or large cookie sheet. Make sure they point toward the outside. Arrange the remaining triangles in center, matching the wide ends together.
    • Scoop the filling evenly over dough in a circle.
    • Beginning with the inside, bring the points of the triangles across the filling until you form a wreath.
    • Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.

    Orange Julius

    My mom made us this growing up and it was a favorite treat. It tastes like a cream pop.

    1 (6 oz) can of orange concentrate -or 1/2 of a normal size
    1 cup milk
    1 cup water
    1/2 cup sugar
    1 tsp vanilla
    ice cubes

    • Add orange concentrate, milk, water, sugar, and vanilla to blender. Fill the rest of the blender with ice cubes. Blend until smooth.

    Tuesday, April 5, 2011

    Apple Crisp

    For this recipe I use apples that I have canned to make it easier, but you can make it just as easily if you don't have any.

    2 qts peeled, cored and sliced apples
    1/2 cups flour
    2 cups oats
    1 tsp cinnamon
    1/2 tsp nutmeg
    1 1/2 cups brown sugar
    1/2 cup butter

    • In bowl combine flour, oats, spices and brown sugar. Cut in butter until crumbly.
    • Take 1/2 mixture and pat on the bottom of a 9X13 pan. Put apples on top and cover with the remaining crumb mixture.
    • Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes. (If using canned apples bake for 30 minutes.)


    This is a very versatile recipe, which is one of the reasons I like it. I also like that it is healthy and my kids eat it.

    My favorite way to eat it is to dip herb or cheese flavored bread in the soup.

    2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
    3 Tb butter
    2 Tb flour
    1 (14 oz) can chicken or vegi broth
    2 cups refrigerated, diced potatoes w/onions
    2 1/2 cups whole milk
    4 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
    salt and pepper to taste

    • In saucepan, cook celery in butter for 5 min. Stir in flour until combined. Stir in broth and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add potatoes and bring to a boil again.
    • Add salt and pepper, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 15 min. Slightly mash potatoes. Stir in milk and bacon.
    1. Add 1 cup frozen peas and carrots, 8 oz. chicken tenders (cooked and chopped) and 1 tsp dried tarragon or oregano.
    2. Cook 1 sweet pepper and 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes with celery. (My kids won't eat it if I include the red pepper flakes.) Add 8 oz grilled tuna or salmon, cut in bite sizes.
    3. Add 12 oz. crab meat, drained and 13 oz artichoke hearts, drained. Add 2 tsp dried basil.

    Grandma's Banana Bread

    I've never had a better banana bread. I keep trying new recipes and always go back to this one. It always turns out moist.

    1 1/2 cups sugar
    2/3 cube butter
    3/4 cup sour milk
    2 eggs
    2 cups flour
    1/4 tsp salt
    1 tsp baking soda
    1 tsp vanilla
    3 crushed brown bananas
    nuts (optional)
    chocolate chips (optional)

    • Cream sugar, butter and eggs.
    • Add dry ingredients together in a bowl. Put lemon juice in the milk to sour it.
    • Add the dry ingredients alternately with sour milk into the sugar/butter mixture.
    • Add vanilla, bananas and nuts or chocolate chips.
    • Pour into 2 greased bread pans and bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes.

    Monday, April 4, 2011

    My Recipe Blog

    I know everyone has a recipe blog, but I thought I would start one myself for a couple reasons. The first is so I will motivate myself to cook a variety of things for my family every week. Hopefully this will help me from being burned out on certain chili dogs and spaghetti. The second reason for starting the blog is to help me remember the foods that my family loves so I can make them again. I only want to post things that ALL my family will eat. With a husband who only started eating fruits and vegetables when we got married and a daughter who at one time wouldn't even eat spaghetti, you'll know that if I post a recipe it will be good enough for any picky eater. So with that said....enjoy!