Sunday, January 30, 2011


Anna Loye Vance

1 8 oz. pkg. Cream Cheese, softened                   ½ Cup Brown Sugar
¼ Cup White Sugar                                               1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 -7½ oz. pkg. Almond Brickle chips (Use half of the package.)
1 -8 oz. pkg. English Toffee Bits (Use half of the package.)
3 medium tart apples, unpeeled and sliced (treat with fruit fresh to avoid going brown.)
We had this dip at book club Thursday night and it was really good.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Zucchini Coins with Marinara and Parmesan

From The Love Of Cooking. She states that this is her new favorite appetizer, and I have to agree. It will make you want to eat your veggies. Super fast, easy, and tasty. 
  • Olive oil
  • 2 zucchini, sliced into thick slices
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
  • Marinara
  • Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • Italian seasoned panko crumbs
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with tin foil then coat with cooking spray.
Slice the zucchini into thick slices. Toss the zucchini coins with a drizzle of olive oil, sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste, until evenly coated. Place the coins on the baking sheet then spoon a bit of marinara on top, followed by Parmesan cheese, and a bit of panko crumbs. Place into the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or when the zucchini is just tender and the panko is golden brown. Serve immediately. Enjoy.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Pantry Pasta for Two

Found this on The Pioneer Woman. See that blog for full photo instructions that will make your mouth water. It was pretty simple, all pantry ingredients, and packed with good flavors. I think this is my favorite home made pasta sauce. I think it's all about a good, sweet cooking wine.

Prep: 15 mn 

Cook: 20 mn


  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • ½ whole Red Onion, Diced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 can (14.5 Ounce) Diced Tomatoes With Juice
  • ⅓ cups Assorted Olives, Pitted And Roughly Chopped
  • ⅓ cups White Wine
  • 2 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, Pounded To Even Thickness
  • Kosher Salt
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • ½ pounds Linguine, Cooked Al Dente And Drained
  • 1 teaspoon Olive Oil

Preparation Instructions

Heat medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add olive oil. When warm add diced red onion and stir. Cook slowly for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic, then stir and cook for one minute. Pour in diced tomatoes with their juice. Add chopped olives. Stir and cook for a minute or two.
Splash in wine, then stir and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
While sauce is cooking, sprinkle salt and freshly ground black pepper over the chicken breasts. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a separate skillet. Cook on both sides until golden brown and done. Set aside.
Toss cooked linguine in olive oil and arrange on a small platter. Spoon 3/4 of the sauce over the pasta. Place chicken on top, then spoon remaining sauce over the chicken. Sprinkle on grated Parmesan and serve immediately.
Serves 2 - 3.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Bloomin' Onion Bread

Mmmm. This bread was tasty! I served it last night with dinner and everyone loved it. I didn't have poppyseeds (I'm not really sure what that would add to it), but I don't think it needed them. I will definitely be making this again.

1 unsliced loaf (round is preferable) sourdough bread.
1/2 pound Monterey Jack cheese, thinly sliced
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup finely diced green onion, with tops
2-3 tsp poppy seeds

Cut the bread lengthwise and widthwise - without cutting through the bottom crust. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Insert cheese between cuts. Combine butter, onion, and poppy seeds. Drizzle over bread. Wrap in foil; place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Unwrap. Bake 10 more minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Warm Goat Cheese Salad

I just saw this on a girl for my BYU days, blog. It looks really good, and just the kind of salad that should accompany these cold wintery days. She used goat cheese, but if you're not the goat cheese loving kind, brie would be the next recommendation. Yum!

Warm Goat Cheese Salad
Image from Steamy Kitchen
  • mixed baby greens
  • craisins
  • candied nuts (i used almonds)- and i'm not putting a recipe up on how to do this because i kind of botched it, but it still tasted good.
  • sliced pears (if you don't like pears, I bet strawberries would be really good, too)
  • Goat Cheese, cut a few slices from the log- they usually come in logs at your grocer- and put them on a pan and bake them at 350 for about 5 minutes or until they are super soft. Quickly move them from the pan to the top of your salad and top with the Lemon Vinaigrette dressing.
Lemon Vinaigrette
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
Recipe found on this blog.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Best Dinner Rolls EVER!!!

Yes, yet another recipe from The Pioneer Woman . . . I made these rolls for lunch to go along with some soup I made last night (not worth posting about) and we all loooooved them! I must have tried a dozen different bread/roll recipes since we moved here and all of them were just okay, but this one is a WINNER. I will probably make these over and over again. They were easy to make, had the perfect texture (slightly hard on the outsight and soft and chewy on the inside), and the flavor was perfect. I used salted butter when greasing the cupcake pans and I think that might have helped make the flavor so awesome. She claims no kneading is required, but at the end when you're adding one more cup of flour it kind of helps to knead it to get it to all mix together (or you could just use a Kitchen Aid to make it easy on yourself). I halved the recipe and it made about 18 rolls. For step by step picture instructions, go here:

4 cups Milk
1 cup Sugar
1 cup Vegetable Oil
9 cups Flour
2 packages (4 1/2 Tsp.) Active Dry Yeast
1 teaspoon (heaping) Baking Powder
1 teaspoon (scant) Baking Soda
2 Tablespoons Salt

Preparation Instructions
Pour 4 cups of milk into a stock pot or Dutch oven. Add one cup of sugar and 1 cup of vegetable oil. Stir to combine. Now, turn the burner on medium to medium-low and “scald” the mixture/lukewarm (between 90 and 110 degrees).

Before the mixture boils, turn off the heat. NOW. Very important stuff here: walk away. Walk away and allow this mixture to cool to warm/lukewarm. The mixture will need to be warm enough to be a hospitable environment for the yeast, but not so hot that it kills the yeast and makes it inactive. I don’t usually use a thermometer, but if you’d like to, a good temperature is between 90 and 110 degrees. I usually feel the side of the pan with the palm of my hand. If it’s hot at all, I wait another 20 minutes or so. The pan should feel comfortably warm.

When the mixture is the right temperature add in 4 cups of flour and 2 packages of (4-1/2 teaspoons) of active dry yeast. After the yeast and flour are nicely incorporated, add another 4 cups of flour. Stir together and allow to sit, covered with a tea towel or lid, for an hour. After about an hour it should have almost doubled in size. If it hasn’t changed much, put it in a warm (but turned off ) oven for 45 minutes or so. When it had risen sufficiently add 1 more cup of flour, 1 heaping teaspoon of baking powder, 1 scant teaspoon of baking soda and about 2 tablespoons of salt. Stir (or knead just a bit) until combined.

Butter 1 or 2 muffin pans. Form the rolls by pinching off a walnut sized piece of dough and rolling it into a little ball. Repeat and tuck three balls of dough into each buttered muffin cup. Continue until pan is full. Cover and allow to rise for about 1 to 2 hours.

Bake in a 400-degree oven until golden brown, about 14-15 minutes for a fast cooking oven or 17-20 for a slow cooking oven.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Restaurant Style Salsa

I made this today and was in heaven! This tastes a lot like Tortilla Coast's in D.C., which some of you know is my favorite salsa in the world! It probably would have tasted even better if I would have used fresh cilantro, but it tasted awesome anyway. And the amazing thing was that it really did taste just like salsa you get in a restaurant and it really tasted fresh even though it's technically only half-fresh. Oh-well! Seriously, this is good stuff and I know you want some right now!

1 can (28 Ounce) Whole Tomatoes With Juice
2 cans (10 Ounce) Rotel (diced Tomatoes And Green Chilies) (I used store brand)
¼ cups Chopped Onion
1 clove Garlic, Minced
1 whole Jalapeno, Quartered And Sliced Thin (I did not use this)
¼ teaspoons Sugar
¼ teaspoons Salt
¼ teaspoons Ground Cumin
½ cups Cilantro (more To Taste!)
½ whole Lime Juice
Preparation Instructions
Combine whole tomatoes, Rotel, onion, jalapeno, garlic, sugar, salt, cumin, lime juice, and cilantro in a blender or food processor. Pulse until you get the salsa to the consistency you’d like—I do about 10 to 15 pulses. Test seasonings with a tortilla chip and adjust as needed. Refrigerate salsa for at least an hour. Serve with tortilla chips or cheese nachos.

Beef with Snow Peas (and other veggies if you so desire)

I've been trying a lot of the Pioneer Woman's recipes lately (and many over the years) and I have to say I have yet to try a recipe of her's I haven't liked. We tried this last night. For step by step photos, you can see her website at It was delicious and even better the next day. I don't know why I've never thought to put flank steak with stir fry before, but it was the perfect tender cut of meat for it. James, who normally isn't a meat fan, even downed it and begged for more. I also included carrots in ours.

1-½ pound Flank Steak, Trimmed Of Fat And Sliced Very Thin Against The Grain
½ cups Low Sodium Soy Sauce
3 Tablespoons Sherry Or Cooking Sherry
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
1 Tablespoon Minced Fresh Ginger
8 ounces, weight Fresh Snow Peas, Ends Trimmed
5 whole Scallions, Cut Into Haf-inch Pieces On The Diagonal
Salt As Needed (use Sparingly)
3 Tablespoons Peanut Or Olive Oil
Crushed Red Pepper, For Sprinkling
Jasmine Or Long Grain Rice, Cooked According To Package

Preparation Instructions

In a bowl, mix together soy sauce, sherry, brown sugar, cornstarch, and ginger. Add sliced meat to bowl and toss with hands. Set aside.

Heat oil in a heavy skillet (iron is best) or wok over high heat. Add snow peas and stir for 30 seconds (enough to cook but still stay crisp). Remove to a separate plate. Set aside.

Allow pan to get very hot again. With tongs, add half the meat mixture, leaving most of the marinade still in the bowl. Add half the scallions. Spread out meat as you add it to pan, but do not stir for a good minute. (You want the meat to get as brown as possible in as short amount a time as possible.) Turn meat to the other side and cook for another 30 seconds. Remove to a clean plate.

Repeat with other half of meat, allowing pan to get very hot again first. After turning it, add the first plateful of meat, the rest of the marinade, and the snow peas. Stir over high heat for 30 seconds, then turn off heat. Check seasonings and add salt only if it needs it. Mixture will thicken as it sits.

Serve immediately over rice. Sprinkle crushed red pepper over the top to give it some spice.

Slow Cooker Chicken BBQ

Super easy. And I just got done eating this and it was SOOOOOOOOOOOO good that I can't stop thinking about it. You know those times when your eyes roll back in your head and you think "this is the best thing I have ever eaten"? Well, admittedly, I have too many of those moments while I am pregnant to actually decide on what really is the best thing I have ever eaten, but at the moment I think it is this. I even took my own picture, I was so happy about it.

I ate this as a BBQ Chicken Sandwich on a hard cheese roll (the kind where the cheese is crusty on top) with light mayo, cheese, tomato, arugula (really healthy and kinda buttery soft - I love arugula), red onion, and pickles. It was so good I will never eat it any other way. Although I am sure it still stands pretty good even without all the toppings.

Oh, and if you use anything but Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce, you are taking a risk. 

(For two people, I recommend using half the recipe)

Zesty Slow Cooker Chicken Barbecue


  • 6 frozen skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1 (12 ounce) bottle barbeque sauce (Sweet Baby Ray's is the best!)
  • 1/2 cup Italian salad dressing
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce


  1. Place chicken in a slow cooker. In a bowl, mix the barbecue sauce, Italian salad dressing, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce. Pour over the chicken.
  2. Cover, and cook 3 to 4 hours on High or 6 to 8 hours on Low.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Chicken Enchiladas with Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

*I made this tonight for dinner for some friends in the ward, and it was a big hit.  It was really tasty!
Roasted Tomatillo Salsa:
1 lb. tomatillos, husked
1 white onion, peeled and quartered
4 garlic cloves, peeled
2 jalapenos, stems removed
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 lime, juiced

1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken broth
fresh cilantro, chopped (to taste)
1 3 lb. chicken (rotisserie or boil your own to make the broth), boned and meat shredded
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
10 large whole wheat flour tortillas, warmed
8 oz. Monterey Jack and/or Pepper Jack cheese, shredded

sour cream, for serving
shredded lettuce, for serving
Roma tomatoes, diced for serving
avocado or guacamole, for serving
fresh cilantro, chopped for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 400 F.

2. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly grease with cooking spray. Spread tomatillos, onion, garlic, and jalapenos on the prepared baking tray. Roast in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Cool slightly before transferring roasted vegetables and their juices to a blender or food processor. Add the cumin, salt, cilantro, and lime juice and pulse until well combined but still slightly chunky. 

3. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft and caramelized, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cumin and cook for another minute. Sprinkle in the flour and stir until a thick paste forms. Slowly stir in the chicken broth and simmer until thickened. Remove from the heat and add half of the roasted tomatillo salsa, a handful of fresh cilantro, and fold in the shredded chicken. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray. Spread a little of the reserved salsa in the bottom of the baking dish.

5. To assemble the enchiladas, put a scoop of the filling inside each warmed tortilla and sprinkle with some shredded cheese. Roll up and place in the prepared baking dish. Pour the remaining salsa over top and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

6. Bake uncovered in preheated oven for 30 minutes, until bubbling and golden brown on top. Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve with sour cream, shredded lettuce, diced tomato, and avocado.

Serves 6.

Chicken Tortilla Soup (Williams Sonoma's)

A girl in my ward in Richmond made me this after I had James and it has such amazing flavor! She also made this for a Relief Society luncheon once and every girl in the ward begged her for the recipe--it's delicious and I have never really liked tortilla soup before!

1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
Handful of fresh cilantro (about 2 tsp chopped)
1 cup plum tomatoes, drained
1/2 tsp cumin
4 cups chicken broth
2-3 chicken breasts, shredded (I like to put my chicken in the slow cooker until it falls apart)
Crushed red pepper, optional

tortilla chips
Monterey Jack cheese
fresh lime wedges
sour cream

Put onion, garlic, and cilantro into frying pan with olive oil, and on medium heat, fry until onion is golden brown. Pour into blender with 1 cup of drained plum tomatoes and puree. Pour back into frying pan and stir in 1/2 tsp. cumin. Cook for 5-6 minutes, it will thicken and darken a little. Pour into a pot with the chicken broth and shredded chicken. Add crushed red pepper for desired spicy heat! Serve with tortilla chips, avocado, Monterey Jack cheese, and fresh lime wedges.

(You can also use this recipe to make Chicken Enchiladas). When you puree the onion, garlic, and cilantro, you puree it with 1 or 2 cans of enchilada sauce. Pour back into frying pan and add cumin and probably just half of a chicken bouillon cube. Heat and stir, stop and pour some of this sauce into a bowl for the enchilada topping. Then, add black beans and shredded chicken to the frying pan mixture (you can also add some crushed red pepper if you like spice). Fry some corn tortillas and fill with the mixture. Top with remaining sauce and cheese. Backe at 350 until hot. SErve with avocado, lettuce, and sour cream.