Friday, December 2, 2011

Sopa de Tortilla

This is my favorite tortilla soup of all time.  Everyone who has it likes it, although it isn't a "normal" tortilla soup.  Because it is hard to get some of the ingredients in Sweden, I make a lot of substitutions, but here is the real recipe.  I'll note if I use a substitution.

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons canola oil
2 corn tortillas
1/2 cup chopped white Spanish onion (I just use a half cup of whatever onion we have)
1 clove garlic, finely chopped (I usually use two or three)
1 small dried guajillo chile, stemmed, seeded, and broken into pieces (no guajillos here, so I have used chipotle and ancho chilles before.  And I usually use two.  Basically find a nice, dark red, dried, mexican chile and you should be okay)
1 small dried pasilla chile, stemmed, seeded, and broken into pieces.  (again, I can't always find this chile, so see above)
1/2 cup fresh epazote or 2 tablespoons dried epazote (I have no idea what this is, needless to say, it isn't in Sweden, so I don't use it.)
5 plum tomatoes, halved
4 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
I also add some cumin
1/2 cup or so cream (my addition)

Garnish:
diced avocado
diced chicken
creme fresh or sour cream
tortilla chips (I usually fry up some extra tortillas when I am making this, so you have extra to crumble on the soup)
chopped fresh jalapeno chiles
shredded cheese (I usually use Manchego, but any cheese would work)

Directions:
In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium-high heat.  Add the tortillas and fry until crisp, turning over once, 1 to 2 minutes.  Transfer the tortillas to paper towels to drain.  Break into pieces.

In a large saucepan, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil (I just use the leftover oil from frying the tortillas) over medium heat.  Add the onion and garlic, and saute until softened and lightly browned.  Add the dried chile pieces and epazote, and saute until the chile pieces are lightly colored on both sides, 30 - 45 seconds.  Stir in the tomatoes, tortilla pieces, and broth.  Bring to a boil.  Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, over low heat for 30 minutes.

Working in batches if necessary (note that the above recipe all fits into my blender, so I don't have to do batches) pour the soup mixture into a blender and puree.  Pour into a medium-mesh sieve placed over a large bowl, and force the solids through with a rubber spatula.  Discard any solids left in the sieve.  (I don't put it through a sieve, I tried the first time, and it was a pain, and the soup taste fine without straining it this way.)

I then add about a half cup of cream.  This isn't in the recipe at all, but it makes it so it isn't too spicy and a bit creamier.  Go figure, if you add cream...

To serve:  Place in bowls and garnish with any of the above garnishes (hence them being called garnish!).

Lorena always asks for me to double the recipe so that she can freeze some and have it later.  It is also really good for dipping tortilla chips in.



Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Awesome Cinnamon Rolls

I saw these on a blog I frequent and figured it was time to pull out the bread machine I've had sitting under my cupboard for a year. I don't know if any of you have a bread machine, but these were the best and easiest cinnamon rolls I have ever made (probably because a machine made the dough for me, which I often fail at). I think I'll be making these a lot in the future to give away to visiting teachers, etc.


 
Dough:
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm milk
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 egg, lightly beaten plus 2 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
4 cups flour (Add a bit more if dough seems too wet after first few minutes of kneading in the bread machine.)
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons bread machine yeast
Filling (I doubled this since we like our filling, oh yes we do!):
2 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup brown sugar mixed with 1 tablespoon cinnamon

Icing:
1 teaspoon milk
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
4 tablespoons (or less) butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla

Put the dough ingredients in the bread machine in the order listed and run on the dough cycle. After the dough cycle is finished, roll the dough into a large rectangle and spread it with 2 Tablespoons melted butter and 2/3 cup brown sugar mixed with 1 Tablespoon cinnamon.
Roll up and cut into 10-15 rolls and place in two greased round cake pans. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes or until browned. Spread the icing on as soon as they come out of the oven.
You can also cover the unbaked rolls with plastic wrap, stick them in the refrigerator overnight, and then bake in the morning.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Uncle Ken’s Pancakes

Uncle Ken's Pancakes

1 c. white flour
2 T. baking powder
2 T. sugar
¾ tsp. salt
2 heaping tablespoons of whole wheat flour
1 c. water
2 T. cooking oil
2 eggs

Mix the dry ingredients and then add the wet ingredients.

Note:  I wrote this recipe as Uncle Ken rattled off the ingredients at the last Thatcher family reunion on a paper towel.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Puffy Chilies Rellenos

2-4 oz.cans whole green chilies
8 oz. Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese
1-12 oz. can refrigerated flaky biscuits

Topping

3 eggs, separated
¼ tsp salt
about 2 oz
. of taco sauce
warm with 1 can tomato sauce

Heat oven to 375°.  Grease cookie sheet.  Cut chiles lengthwise to make 10 pieces.  Remove seeds and ribs; rinse and drain.  Cut cheese into 10 pieces 3” x ½” x ½”.  Wrap each piece of cheese with piece of chili.  Separate dough into 10 biscuits. Press or roll out each to 4” circle.  Place 1 chili wrapped cheese piece onto each circle’ fold dough over to cover completely.  Firmly pinch edges to seal.  Form each into finger shaped roll; place seam side up on greased cookie sheet.

Bake at 375° for 10-12 minutes or until light golden brown.  Meanwhile, prepare topping in small bowl.  Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. In second bowl, beat egg yolks and salt.  Gently fold egg yolk mixture into egg whites until just blended.  Spoon mounds of egg mixture over each partially baked roll, covering completely.  Bake an additional 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. In small saucepan, heat taco sauce.  Spoon over chili rellenos.

Strawberry Slush

1-12 oz. can lemonade
1-12 oz. can orange juice
1-46 oz. can Hawaiian Punch
2 ½ quarts fresh or frozen strawberries

Mix and add 6 cups of water.  Freeze 1-2 days.  Add 7-up or any lemon-lime soda to taste.  Makes around 5 gallons.

*Note - We served this at Brittany & Brian's reception. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

French Onion Soup

I did it. I finally made French Onion Soup. It's my favorite soup to get at restaurants and I've been wanting to try making it for years. It was an all day affair. Er, at least half the day. Not that I stood in front of the stove all day. And it wasn't hard. Just a process (cooking the onions in the oven and waiting and then a lot of stirring). But it was definitely delicious and very comparable to what I've had in restaurants.

Soup
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter , cut into 3 pieces
  • 6 large yellow onions (about 4 pounds), halved and cut pole to pole into 1/4-inch-thick slices (Make sure you get Yellow)
  • Table salt
  • 2 cups water, plus extra for deglazing
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth (They recommend Swanson Certified Organic Free Range Chicken Broth )
  • 2 cups beef broth (They recommend Pacific Beef Broth)
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme , tied with kitchen twine (yeah, I didn't do this part--just added a little dried thyme instead)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Ground black pepper
Cheese Croutons
  • 1 small baguette , cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 8 ounces shredded Gruyère cheese (about 2 1/2 cups)
Directions:
For the soup:
  1. Adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Generously spray the inside of a heavy-bottomed large (at least 7-quart) Dutch oven with a nonstick cooking spray. Place the butter in the pot and add the onions and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, covered, for 1 hour (the onions will be moist and slightly reduced in volume). Remove the pot from the oven and stir the onions, scraping the bottom and sides of the pot. Return the pot to the oven with the lid slightly ajar and continue to cook until the onions are very soft and golden brown, 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours longer, stirring the onions and scraping bottom and sides of pot after 1 hour.
  3. Carefully remove pot from oven and place over medium-high heat. Using oven mitts to handle pot, cook onions, stirring frequently and scraping bottom and sides of pot, until the liquid evaporates and the onions brown, 15 to 20 minutes, reducing the heat to medium if the onions are browning too quickly. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the pot bottom is coated with a dark crust, roughly 6 to 8 minutes, adjusting the heat as necessary. (Scrape any fond that collects on spoon back into onions.)
  4. Stir in 1/4 cup water, scraping the pot bottom to loosen crust, and cook until water evaporates and pot bottom has formed another dark crust, 6 to 8 minutes. Repeat process of deglazing 2 or 3 more times, until onions are very dark brown. Stir in the sherry and cook, stirring frequently, until the sherry evaporates, about 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in the broths, 2 cups of water, thyme, bay leaf, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, scraping up any final bits of browned crust on bottom and sides of pot.
  6. Increase heat to high and bring to simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove and discard herbs, then season with salt and pepper.
For the croutons:
  1. While the soup simmers, arrange the baguette slices in single layer on baking sheet and bake in a 400-degree oven until the bread is dry, crisp, and golden at edges, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
To serve:
  1. Adjust oven rack 6 inches from broiler element and heat broiler. Set individual broiler-safe crocks on baking sheet and fill each with about 1 3/4 cups soup. Top each bowl with 1 or 2 baguette slices (do not overlap slices) and sprinkle evenly with Gruyère. Broil until cheese is melted and bubbly around edges, 3 to 5 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Secret Code Buns

At Amy's request, here is the Boxcar Children's Secret Code Buns recipe. I'll spare you all having to translate the "secret code." :)

Tools needed: measuring cups, measuring spoons, plastic wrap, knife, 9x13 cake pan, large plastic bag and cookie sheet.

Ingredients

1 T flour
2 loaves frozen sweet roll dough (or make it easy on yourself and just buy the rolls)
1/2 cup raisins

"Secret Ingredients"

1/2 cup margarine
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped nuts, optional
2 t cinnamon
2 T sugar

Thaw roll dough. Sprinkle flour on the counter and put the dough and raisins on top of it. Work as many raisins and you can into the dough (I don't remember doing this part). Work the dough with your hands for 2-3 minutes.

Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rest during the next step--about 20 minutes. The dough will rise.

Use the "secret" ingredients to prepare the baking pan. Melt margarine in the cake pan over low heat. Remove from heat. Add brown sugar and stir until well mixed. Sprinkle chopped nuts over the mixture. Set the pan aside until needed.

Remove plastic wrap and cut the dough into 30 small balls (unless they're already in balls).
Put cinnamon and sugar into the large plastic bag. Shake the balls (3 at a time) in the bag and put them into the prepared pan.

Let the buns rise in a warm place until doubled in size. About one hour.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Bake the buns for 15 minutes.

Now this is IMPORTANT, use oven mitts to remove the pan from the oven. Let the buns cool in the pan for 10 minutes.

Also IMPORTANT, ask an adult to do this step. Place a cookie sheet over the buns. Using oven mitts, carefully flip the pan so that the cake pan is upside down and the buns are on the cookie sheet covered with the topping. Serve the buns warm.

Super Easy Soup Bowls

SUPER EASY SOUP BOWLS
From the American Girl Magazine

Cheesy Pizza Soup

1 can refrigerated pizza dough
Butter or margarine
Parmesan Cheese
Italian seasoning
Mozzarella cheese, sliced
1 can condensed tomato soup

Preheat oven to 375°. Lightly grease baking sheet with butter or margarine.  Grease the outsides of 2 Pyrex bowls upside down on baking sheet.

Unroll pizza dough on cutting board.  Stretch until its 14” long.  Lift each circle and lay it over a bowl.  Press the dough down to make it even. 

Sprinkle leftover dough with Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning.  Cut dough into small pizza shaped wedges for croutons and strips for breadsticks.  Place dough on baking sheet.

Bake 10-12 minutes or until light brown.  Using a hot pad holder and a spatula, gently remove bread bowls from Pyrex bowls. 

Remove croutons & breadsticks from baking sheet and let cool.  Place 1 slice of mozzarella cheese inside each bread bowl.  Bake 5 minutes.    Pour in soup and serve.

American Girl Magazine, page. 24, no idea what month or year???

Monday, October 17, 2011

Borscht (Beet Soup)

BORSCHT

I had always wanted to taste this soup and it was really good.
Cook a couple of large beets with 1 large onion (cut up) until really soft.
Add 14 oz. chicken broth
1 - 2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt

Puree all the above together.  Add in 3/4 cup of light sour cream.  Swirl the sour cream into the beet broth.  This should be smooth.  The sour cream can be completely mixed into the beet puree or left swirled.

This has to be really healthy, right?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wallenbergare


I heated my oil & butter too soon and the crumbs burned, so make sure yours look like these & turn the heat down!

Wallenbergare (Swedish Recipe)

1 lb. ground veal
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
4 egg yolks
1 c. heavy cream

Mix everything together adding one egg yolk at a time.  Shape into patties and chill at least ½ hour.  Heat 2 T. butter and 2 T. oil in an electric skillet.

Take chilled patties and pat with: 2 – 4 T. white bread crumbs
Cook until done (I used a meat thermometer and it took about 12 minutes to cook, turning once.)

This recipe made about 8 burgers so I froze some of the uncooked patties to cook later separating each burger with waxed paper.

Serve with mashed potatoes.  The Swedish recipes call for cream and butter to make your potatoes amazing!  I used 2% and had Dad mashed the potatoes the old fashion way.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Stuffed Zucchini

This is the kind of dish that dad would squirm over, if you made it for him.  But to me, (and I'm guessing every other girl in the family) it looks DELICIOUS!  I haven't tried it yet, but I will.  But if anyone else beats me to it, please let me know how it is:

For a step by step picture guide. Click here.


Ingredients:
1 tbsp sour cream
1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp curry powder
1/2 tomato
1 tsp thyme
2 zucchinis
1 onion
cheese
pepper
Optional: bacon (or I would imagine ground sausage would be good too)
Directions:
Preheat your oven to 400 (200C). 
Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise. Spoon out the guts of the zucchini. Now give the zucchini pulp a good chop, also chop a small onion and 1/2 a tomato while you’re at it. I’m only using half a tomato (more for color than flavor, really) otherwise things will become a teeny bit too fluid. Sautee the onions in one tbsp oil or butter. When the onions are almost done, add 1/4 tsp curry powder and cook everything for an additional 30 seconds. No longer or the curry powder will turn bitter. When they’re done, transfer them to a big bowl.


Now (in no particular order), add 1 tsp dried thyme, 1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt, 1 heaping tbsp sour cream, a good pinch of pepper, the zucchini pulp, the tomato and crumble the bacon (optional) in as well. Lightly butter a baking dish and put the zucchini boats in. Grab a spoon and fill the shells with the mix. Sprinkle some aged cheese on top.


Put them in a preheated oven, give them about 20 minutes and then turn on the grill until the top is golden brown. Sprinkle some coarsely chopped curly leaf parsley (the most underrated herb there is) on top and you’re done.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Best Big, Fat, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

I'm just posting a link, sorry. But you'll love me forever if you try this recipe next time you make chocolate chip cookies. They are bakery quality and sooooooo good.

Best Big, Fat, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies


Friday, August 12, 2011

Pineapple Coconut Crumb Muffins

Crumb Topping

1/3 c. flour
1/3 c. coconut (chopped if desired)
3 T. sugar
3 t/ chipped macadamia nuts
3 T. butter, softened

Mix together cutting the butter into the other ingredients with a knife.  Set aside.

Muffin Batter

1 1/3 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. coconut, slightly chopped
2 large eggs, whipped
1/2 c. oil
3 T. pineapple juice (reserve from drained pineapple)
3/4 c. drained crushed pineapple

Preheat oven to 375 degrees...Makes 12 regular muffins.
Stir together the dry ingredients and mix together the wet ingredients.  Stir the wet and dry ingredients together until just mixed.  Fill cups 2/3 full.  Crumble topping over batter.  Slightly press the topping into the batter.  Bake for 20-22 minutes or until wooden pick inserted into center of the muffin comes out clean. Let cool in tin for about 5 minutes.  Remove to wire rack or eat them while they are warm. 

These taste a lot like the Hawaiian Coffee Cake but with a little twist.  Dad even liked them!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Ginger Teriyaki Lettuce Wraps

1 T. oil
1 lb. ground turkey
1 pouch Simply Asia Ginger Teriyaki Stir-Fry Sauce
large lettuce leaves.

Heat the oil and cook the turkey until cooked.  Add the sauce.  Serve in lettuce leaves with shredded carrots, chopped peanuts, chopped chives or green onions.  If you like water chestnuts, chops those up fine and add to the cooked meat.

SUPER EASY AND GOOD (recipe from Brittany's Simply Asia Party).

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Homemade Caramel Ice Cream

I'm sure most of you have this recipe from the Candrian cookbook mom made us, but maybe it's one that gets looked over. Or, you don't have an ice cream maker. In that case, go buy one, just so you can make this anytime you want. Yes, it's that delicious!

Beware, it makes a TON.

Caramel Ice Cream:

1 1/3 c. sugar-caramelized
7 c. milk
Add milk to sugar and boil the sugar out
(the sugar will harden once the cold milk is added, and you'll think you burned it or messed up. Don't worry, the sugar will eventually boil out, be patient.)

Beat together:
3 eggs
1 T. flour
1 1/3 c. sugar

Add to milk mixture, beating constantly with beater. Let mixture come to a full boil. Cool in refrigerator.

Since you need the mixture to cool completely before moving on to the next step, it's best to make the night before. It saves time at least. Thanks for the tip mom!

Once cooled add:
2/3 quart cream
1/3 tsp. salt
2 T vanilla (I used maple flavoring since I'm allergic to vanilla and it tasted perfect)

Pour all ingredients into ice cream maker and add milk to 4" from the top of the can. I just realized I didn't do that, but it still turned out just fine. My canister was about 3/4 full anyway.

Freeze using finely chopped ice and 2 quarts of coarse salt.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Teryiaki Steak Quesadillas


Oh baby, we made these for dinner tonight and they were so dang good. I never would have thought to make a quesadilla like this, but it was a nice change and quite tasty! We dipped them in guacamole and they were even better.



Steak Teriyaki Quesadillas Recipe Steak Teriyak


Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh gingerroot
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 beef top sirloin steak (1 inch thick and 3/4 pound)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh pineapple
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped green pepper
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 6 flour tortillas (8 inches)

Directions

  • In a small bowl, combine the first six ingredients; set aside 3 tablespoons for filling. Pour remaining mixture into a large resealable plastic bag. Add the steak; seal bag and turn to coat. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
  • Drain steak and discard marinade. Grill steak, covered, over medium heat or broil 4 in. from the heat for 8-11 minutes on each side or until meat reaches desired doneness (for medium-rare, a meat thermometer should read 145°; medium, 160°; well-done, 170°).
  • Remove steak from the grill and cool slightly; cut into bite-size pieces. In a large bowl, combine the pineapple, red onion, green pepper and beef.
  • Sprinkle half of the cheese over three tortillas. Using a slotted spoon, top with beef mixture. Drizzle with reserved soy mixture. Sprinkle with remaining cheese; top with remaining tortillas.
  • Grill over medium heat for 1-2 minutes on each side or until cheese is melted. Cut each into six wedges; serve immediately. Yield: 18 wedges.
From: Taste of Home magazine
Nutrition Facts: 1 wedge equals 113 calories, 4 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 15 mg cholesterol, 245 mg sodium, 11 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 9 g protein.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Chicken Piccata

I don't have a picture. I'm sure I could find one. But oh-well. I made this for dinner tonight. It was dang good. Even Brian loved it. When he got home from work and saw it, he asked if he could have regular pasta sauce instead, but I made him try it and he was pleasantly surprised and didn't ask for it again after that. He even commented after dinner was over that he wouldn't mind if I made it again! I served it with angel hair pasta and green salad.

Chicken Piccata (from Food Network)
  • 2 skinless and boneless chicken breasts
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • All-purpose flour, for dredging
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (I halved this)
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup brined capers, rinsed
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • dash of white cooking wine (optional, but I think it adds great flavor)
  • approximately 1/4 cup cream (optional, but you know me and of course I added it)

Directions

Ingredients:
Season chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess.
In a large skillet over medium high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter with 3 tablespoons olive oil. When butter and oil start to sizzle, add 2 pieces of chicken and cook for 3 minutes. When chicken is browned, flip and cook other side for 3 minutes. Remove and transfer to plate. Melt 2 more tablespoons butter and add another 2 tablespoons olive oil. When butter and oil start to sizzle, add the other 2 pieces of chicken and brown both sides in same manner. Remove pan from heat and add chicken to the plate.
Into the pan add the lemon juice, wine, stock and capers. Return to stove and bring to boil, scraping up brown bits from the pan for extra flavor. Check for seasoning. If the sauce reduces too much (which mine did), add more chicken stock. Return all the chicken to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove chicken to platter. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter to sauce (and cream, if desired) and whisk vigorously. Pour sauce over chicken and garnish with parsley.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Summer Salad

This salad tastes of all thing summer. It's healthy, flavorful, and incredibly delicious.

Image and recipe from here
Combine:
1 cup nectarine
1 cup avocado
1 mango
1/2 cup blueberries
1 cup sweet corn off the cob, raw
1 cucumber
1 tomato, I used a lemon boy
3-4 slices of bacon, I used turkey bacon
or cubes of grilled chicken
(I even think black beans would be good added, but I didn't do that)

Mix together:
3 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 1/2 TBS Balsamic Vinigar
Squeeze of honey or apricot nectar
Dash of black pepper and garlic salt

Pour over top of salad and eat to your hearts content.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Apple Pie

This is the recipe for everyone's favorite apple pie. I got the recipe from my BYU Food Prep class and have been using it ever since.

Here's the crust everyone loves:
Yield: 2 single crust pie shells or 1 double crust pie

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 t. salt
1 cup shortening
Ice water, enough to make soft dough (I think I usually use between 1/4-1/2 cup)

Combine flour and salt. Cut in shortening to the size of peas. Gradually add ice water to form a soft dough. Divide into two disks and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 10 minutes. Shape as desired. Bake single crust pie shells at 400-degrees. Bake double crust pie according to filling instructions.

Fresh Apple Pie filling (This is all tenuous because I don't really follow this. I kind of just make up the filling myself because I like a more caramelish filling, so I sprinkle in more brown sugar than white sugar and usually add more apple pie spice):

3 1/2 cups blanched, fresh apples is 1/4 inch slices
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/8 t. nutmeg
3 T. cornstarch, or 6 T. flour
1/2 cup cold water
1/2 cup apple juice
2 T. lemon juice

Peel, core and slice apples into medium bowl. The recipe says to cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 5 minutes, or until apples are tender. Then it says to combine dry ingredients in a medium saucepan and then add the wet ingredients until thick. But I usually just stir all the ingredients in a big pan over the stove and cook over medium heat until the apples are tender (but not too soft) and the filling is thick and bubbly and to my liking. Then pour the filling into the pie crust and seal the edges well. I never have much luck making it look very pretty, but it hasn't stopped anyone from eating it. Prick the top and decorate as desired. Brush lightly with milk, avoiding crimped edges, and sprinkle lightly with coarse sugar (I usually don't do this, because who owns coarse sugar?). Bake at 400-degrees for 20 minutes, reduce heat to 350 and bake 30-40 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

Serve with vanilla ice cream and enjoy!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

French Toast Casserole with Blueberries

I found this recipe in the S.L. Tribune, but since it served 8 & Dad was out of town & your Dad doen't like blueberries & I wanted to try it...I cut the recipe so that it'll serve 2 people, I added more blueberries and the vanilla.  It was delicious served with vanilla yogurt and a little bit of maple syrup. Yea, breakfast is ready for tomorrow, I'll just heat it up in the microwave.

3 slices of bread (I used whole wheat bread)
4 oz. light cream cheese
1/2 c. milk
3 eggs
1/2 c. blueberries
3 T. maple syrup (I used lite syrup)
1/2 tsp. vanilla  (optional)
cinnamon (also optional)
Vanilla yogurt (Yoplait or a berry flavored kind)

Cut the bread into 1" cubes.  Place half the cubes in a buttered loaf pan.  Cut cream cheese into 1/2" cubes and layer on top of the bread.  Sprinkle the blueberries on top of the mixture.  Add the rest of the bread cubes.  Whip up the eggs, milk and the syrup.  Pour on top of the bread.  Cover with foil and leave in your refrigerator for at least 8 hours or overnight. A half hour before cooking, remove from the refrigerator.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes with the foil on.  Remove the foil and bake an additional 20 - 25 minutes until the middle is done and the bread is golden brown. 

Put this together the night before you want to serve it for breakfast....first one up, takes it from the refrigerator.  Bake and enjoy this warm with a little vanilla yogurt and a drizzle of maple syrup.  It really was good.  The recipe said you could also use peaches or any other fruit.  ENJOY!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Goodness on a Stick

So this isn't a recipe, obviously, but I just tried one and wanted to share how good it was.

I've been trying to be better at eating sweets lately (and I've done really well so far, for me), but it's summertime and this one was calling my name today.

It's like a frozen caramello with ice cream in between. Heaven!

15637-magnum_double.jpg

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Crescent Cristo Sandwiches

I was asking mom for this recipe today. I haven't really thought about these in awhile, but I LOVE them. I think they make a good summer dinner, too.

Recipe from Pillsbury Best of the Bakeoff

Total time: 45 minutes
Serves: 8

Loaf:
2 (8-oz) cans refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons honey
6 oz. thinly sliced smoked cooked turkey breast
6 oz. medium sliced Muenster cheese
6 oz. thinly sliced cooked ham
1/3 to ½ cup red raspberry preserves

Topping:
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
Heat oven to 375°F. Separate or cut dough into 4 long rectangles. Place rectangles crosswise on 1 large or 2 small ungreased cookie sheets (rectangles should not touch); if using crescent dough, firmly press perforations to seal. In small bowl, mix butter and 2 tablespoons honey. Brush over dough.

Bake 8 to 12 minutes or until light golden brown; cool 15 minutes.

Grease 15x10x1-inch pan. Carefully place 1 crust on pan. Top evenly with turkey. Place second crust over turkey; top with cheese and ham. Place third crust over ham; spread evenly with preserves. Top with fourth crust; brush top with 2 tablespoons honey. Sprinkle honey with sesame seed.

Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until crust is deep golden brown and loaf is hot. Let stand 5 minutes. Cut into 8 slices.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Ice Cream Cake

My friend wanted an ice cream cake for her birthday celebration this weekend, and instead of allowing Cold Stone or Baskin Robins the honors, I decided to take matters into my own hands and make one myself.

Ingredients:
1 cake mix of choice (I used a yellow cake mix)
4-6 cups ice cream of choice (I used oreo cookie)
1 brownie mix
Fudge ice cream topping
2 Cups Crushed Oreo cookies
Frosting of choice; store bought, cool whip, etc.

Directions:
Step 1: Make cake according to box recipe, bake in two 9 inch round pans. You only need one round cake for this, unless you want your ice cream cake REALLY tall. Freeze cake for a few hours, it makes handling a lot easier.
Step 2: Set ice cream out for 5-10 minutes to soften. Remove frozen cake from freezer and cut in half horizontally. Use 2-3 cups of softened ice cream and spread on top of the bottom layer of the cut cake. Work quickly to minimize ice cream melting entirely.
Step 3: Freeze for 2-3 hours.
Step 4: While cake is freezing, mix up brownies and place in a 9 inch round cake pan...the same cake pan you used for the cake. It would be wise to cover the bottom of the pan with parchment or wax paper. Bake, then cool completely before using in step 5.
Step 5: Remove cake from freezer and spread a layer of fudge ice cream topping on top of ice cream layer.
Step 6: Place cooled brownie layer on top of fudge layer. You can either proceed to steps 7-8, or let the cake freeze for another hour or two. I let my cake freeze first because I think it's easier to work with the cake when it's entirely frozen.
Step 7: Set ice cream out for 5-10 minutes to soften. Remove frozen cake from freezer and place 2-3 cups of softened ice cream on top of brownie layer.
Step 8: Place another layer of fudge topping on top of ice cream layer, and top it off with the top portion of your yellow cake.
Step 9: Freeze cake for another 1-2 hours.
Step 10: Remove cake from freezer and frost with frosting of choice.
Step 11: Use a food processor or blender to crush oreo cookies, and quickly spread around frosting layer.
Step 12: Freeze at least 2-3 hours before serving or overnight if you planned ahead. 
Step 13: Devour cake!

I was told this cake tasted better than Cold Stone cakes, I don't know if that's true or not, but I will tell you this, it was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G, and the perfect treat for the hot days we're having here.

There are a lot of steps to making this cake, but each step takes less than 10 minutes to do, so it's not as overwhelming at the steps might seem. I started making my cake on Thursday so it would be ready by Saturday, it made it a LOT easier.

The great thing about ice cream cake is that you can make it yours, and be creative with what kind of ice cream and cake you use. I think it would be really good to do a chocolate cake with reese's peanut butter cup ice cream, and instead of decorating it with crushed oreo cookie, using mini reese's peanut butter cups to line the cake.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Marinated Cucumbers

The first time I made these, a few months ago, John asked if our fridge could always be stocked with them. Our fridge isn't always stocked with marinated cucumbers, but we've definitely had them a lot in the last few months. I hope I don't ever get sick of them. To me, marinated cucumber slices taste so refreshing and make the perfect summer snack. In fact, I'm chowing down on some right now for lunch!
Image source found here

Equal parts water, white vinegar, and sugar.
Although, my measurements usually look something like this:
3 TBS Vinegar
2 TBS Water
1 1/2-2 TBS Sugar
I adjust the measurements accordingly depending on the size of my cucumber.
I've heard dill is good to throw into the marinade as well, but I've yet to do that.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Grandma Cox’s Potato Yeast Rolls

Into 1/3 cup of warm water, add 2 packages of yeast.  Stir until dissolved.  Add into the warm yeast water 3/4 cup of sugar. 
(This is a great way to test your yeast and make sure it’s workingthe sugar will make the yeast foam).
Boil 1 medium potato which has been peeled and diced in 1 1/2 c. of boiling water (until the pieces are really soft). 
Do not drain off any water which has not boiled out of the potatoes!
Add 2 cups of milk and 1/2 c. shortening. 
Beat until really smooth (I use an electric beater).
Add 2 tsp. salt and yeast mixture.
Stir in 8 3/4 - 9 cups of flour.  When the mixture is too thick & you can’t stir any longer, start kneading the flour into the dough.  Do not add too much flour, the mixture will feel a little sticky.  (I like whole wheat flour but Mike does not).

Spray bowl with Pam for baking and cover the dough with a clean tea towel.  Let the dough rise in a warm spot.  About 1-2 hours.

Roll the dough out until it’s around 1/2” thick.  Cut out your rolls using a round cookie cutter.  Dip one side in melted butter and fold over.  Place onto a cookie sheet.  Cover your rolls with a tea towel and let rise again until double in size.  Depending on how warm the room isthe rolls will rise in about an hour.

Bake rolls at 400˚ for about 8-10 minutes.  Serve warmYUMMY!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Crispy Peanut Butter Cups

I made these today, and they're a perfect, quick, sweet treat. Yum!

Source found here

Crispy Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Adapted from Crunchy Buckeyes.
Yield: 30 mini cups

Ingredients:
1 1/4 cups smooth peanut butter (I used chunky)
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups crispy rice cereal (I omitted these, but only because I didn't have any)
1 3/4 cups milk chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease mini muffin cups with non-stick spray and add a scant Tablespoon chocolate chips into each cup. Melt in the oven for 5 minutes. With the back of a spoon, smooth out the top of the chocolate chips while they’re still warm. Set aside. (You could also melt the chocolate chips in q microwave or on the stovetop and spoon into cups.)
2. In a large bowl, cream together peanut butter and butter until smooth. Add in powdered sugar and vanilla, then mix until combined. Pour in crispy rice cereal and mix again until combined.
3. Drop heaping Tablespoons of the peanut butter mixture into each mini muffin cup. Smooth with the back of a spoon and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes before eating. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Amy's note: I didn't have rice krispies, and I used crunchy peanut butter instead of smooth. I also added some chocolate to the top of the peanut butter to make it more like a reese's peanut butter cup.  Quick, easy, delicious! What more do you need?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Baked Steak (aka quite possibly the best beef dish I've ever made)

I found this recipe in an issue of Woman's Day magazine I found at Amy's house last week. As soon as I saw it I knew I had to try it ASAP. So less than 24 hours after arriving back in Tennessee, I made this for our dinner. Oh my goodness . . . YUM! Even with forgetting to buy mushrooms, it was still divine. Although next time I make it I'll probably cut back on the amount of lemon juice in the sauce. My finished product didn't look quite as elegant as the picture below (apparently I lack meat cutting skills), but it still tasted as good as I thought it was going to when I first saw it in the magazine.

Baked Steak
(I halved this and it was the perfect amount for Brian and I)


8 oz mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced on a diagonal
1 lemon, very thinly sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper
1 2-lb, 2-in.-thick sirloin steak
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup ketchup
1⁄4 cup fresh lemon juice
1⁄4 cup Worcestershire sauce
Baked potatoes, for serving


Recipe Preparation

1. Heat oven to 400°F. In a roasting pan, combine the mushrooms, celery, lemon, onion, oil, and 1⁄4 tsp each salt and pepper.

2. Season the steak with 1⁄2 tsp each salt and pepper, rub with the garlic and place on top of the vegetables.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together the ketchup, lemon juice and Worcestershire.

4. Spoon the ketchup mixture over the top of the steak and roast 30 to 35 minutes for medium-rare (when a meat thermometer registers 125°F). Transfer the meat to a cutting board and let rest at least 5 minutes before slicing. Serve the steak with the vegetables and baked potatoes, if desired.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Super Moist Chocolate Cake

1 package chocolate cake mix
1 c. mayonnaise
1 c. water
1 tsp. cinnamon (or cardamon would be good too)
3 eggs

Stir cinnamon or cardamon  into cake mix.  Add mayonnaise, water & eggs.  With low speed, beat for 30 seconds.  Beat at medium-low speed 2 more minutes.  Pour into 9" cake pans.  Bake 30-35 minutes at 350 degrees.  Cool for 10 minutes in pans on wire racks.  Loosen from pans place on wire racks until barely warm.  Frost with chocolate-cream cheese  frosting while barely warm.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Ham and Cheese Cannelloni


I saw this in a magazine on Sunday and I knew right away I wanted to make it for dinner this week. It did not disappoint! It was probably one of the best things I've made in months! One thing I liked about it was how light it was. You use egg roll wrappers instead of pasta, so it's not as heavy. You could totally play around with it and substitute some of the ingredients, like thinly sliced chicken for the ham. I also think it would be delicious with spinach added.


Ham and Cheese Cannelloni


Servings: 4

Cook Time: 20 Minutes

Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Ingredients

1 jar (15 oz.) Light Creamy Alfredo Pasta Sauce

1 cup(s) whole-milk ricotta cheese

1 cup(s) shredded mozzarella cheese (I used Italian cheese blend)

1 large egg 8 egg-roll wrappers (available in refrigerated section)

8 slices deli ham (We used regular, chopped ham instead)

1 cup(s) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (I used Italian cheese blend)


Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 400°.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta and mozzarella and the egg.

3. Reserve ¾ cup of the alfredo and spread the remaining sauce in the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Arrange an egg-roll wrapper on a work surface. Spread 3 tablespoons of the ricotta mixture over the wrapper, cover with a slice of ham, then roll up to form a log, jelly-roll style. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and place the cannelloni, seam side down, in a single layer in the baking dish.

4. Spoon the reserved cream sauce over the cannelloni, top with the Parmigiano-Reggiano and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbly.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Asian Lettuce Wraps

I made these for dinner last night and boy were they delicious. Then, I warmed up the leftover chicken for lunch today, put it on top of spinach, then added cherry tomatoes and rice noodles and I think it was one of the most amazing salads I've ever had. The juice from the teriyaki sauce made it so you didn't even need dressing. Yum. Make these. Your taste buds will thank you.

Asian Lettuce Wraps: (Just as good if not better than P.F. Changs)
¼ c. water
1 T. cornstarch
½ c. teriyaki sauce
1 – 1½ lb. chicken breast slices
1 can water chestnuts, coarsely chopped
2 T. vegetable oil
Iceberg lettuce leaves
Shredded carrots to taste
Sliced green onions to taste
Rice noodles for garnish


View full recipeWhisk together water and cornstarch in a large bowl until smooth. Stir in teriyaki sauce. Add chicken and water chestnuts; stir to coat. Marinate for 30 minutes. cook and stir small batches of chicken in hot oil in a wok or a large skillet until no longer pink. Serve with rice noodles, shredded carrots and lettuce leaves.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Boston Cream Pie

I've somehow become known for my desserts among our group of friends. So, yesterday I was in need of an awesome dessert to wow them once again. Not only were we having the missionaries over for dinner, but then a bunch of John's dental school friends and their wives were coming over for a little get together for one of the wives who's having a baby soon. It was quite the night to say the least. 

I've had Boston Cream Pie on my mind lately, and when Mom suggested I make that for dessert, I didn't hesitate. Not only is this cake super simple to make, it looks impressive, and tastes even more amazing. I think I just rediscovered my new favorite dessert. And the great thing is, one boxed yellow cake mix makes TWO Boston Cream Pies. The recipe below is just for one cake though.

They all loved it, and I left them impressed once again. Success!

Boston Cream Pie:
1 pkg. (3.4 oz.) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding
1 cup  plus 2 Tbsp. cold milk, divided
1 cup thawed LIGHT COOL WHIP Whipped Topping
1 moist yellow cake layer (8 or 9 inch)
*2 squares unsweetened chocolate 
*2 Tbsp. butter
*1-1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Directions:
Make yellow cake mix according to box directions (8 or 9 inch layers)
While the cake is baking, mix the package of vanilla pudding with 1 cup of milk, mix with whisk for about 2 minutes. 
Then add 1 cup of cool whip to pudding mixture (I used a little less than it called for) and set aside in fridge. 
Cool cake completely.
Once cooled, cut the cake in half horizontally and place the pudding mixture on top of one of the halves.
Place the other cake half back on top of the cake and pudding mixture.
Melt 2 unsweetened chocolate square with 2 TBS of butter in the microwave for one minute. 
Stir until chocolate is completely melted. 
Add 2 TBS of milk and 3/4 cup powdered sugar to chocolate mixture, (add more or less powdered sugar depending on sweetness level) and pour on top of cake, letting it drizzle down the sides. 
Let the cake set in the fridge for at least an hour or two before serving. 
Yum!

*If your cake layer is only an 8 inch, you can half the chocolate frosting recipe.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Rice Pudding

I'll be honest, I don't have much experience eating rice pudding. I don't even think mom ever made it (maybe because she doesn't like it).  But, our cousin Paul's wife, Catherine, made this when I was at their house for dinner, and I haven't stopped craving it since. So, I gave it a shot this week, only to discover I was out of sugar and white rice.  So, I used brown rice and brown sugar, and it was still pretty good, though I'm sure it would be better with white rice. This recipe doesn't call for it, but when she served it, Catherine poured a little cream (or half and half, I'm not sure which) over it, and it was the perfect touch!  I have been also eating mine this week with strawberries.  (I also didn't put in the raisins, and neither did Catherine). Mmmmm. So good!    


Baked Rice Pudding

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Directions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9-inch glass baking dish.
In a large bowl, stir together first 7 ingredients. Spoon into prepared baking dish. Place baking dish in a large pan; pour water into the pan to a depth of 1-inch. Bake for 1 1/2 hours, or until lightly browned and set. Combine cinnamon and nutmeg; sift over top ofpudding. Cool slightly and cut into squares to serve.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Chocolate Almond Zucchini Bread

Andrea use to make this recipe, she thought it was great with chocolate chips added....I liked it without the extra chocolate.

3 eggs, beaten
1 c. sugar
1 c. packed brown sugar
1 c. vegetable oil
1 tsp. almond extract
2 c. grated zucchini
2 c. flour
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate squares
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 c. slivered or sliced almonds

Add sugars and oil to the eggs. Melt chocolate; cool slightly.  Add zucchini & almond extract; add chocolate.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix dry ingredients together and stir into wet ingredients. Fold in almonds (if desired)  Bake in 2 loaf pans that have been spayed with pam and dusted with flour. Bake for 50-60 minutes. Cool in pans for at least 15 minutes, remove from the pan and cool on rack.