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!