Turkey Nachos

>> Saturday, November 27, 2010

Tired of the turkey leftovers? Tired of the "traditional?" I heart these nachos. And they use up leftovers in a new way!

3 tbl. lime juice
2 tbl. olive oil
1 tea. cumin
1 tea. garlic powder
2 c. cooked turkey- coarsely chopped (or chicken)
1 (10 oz) pkg. tortilla chips
1 can refried beans
sour cream

Whisk the lime juice, oil, cumin, and garlic powder. Toss with turkey in a small bowl. Season w/ salt and pepper. Layer tortilla chips in bottom of baking dish. Spoon beans over top, toss on turkey, and sprinkle with cheese. Pour salsa on top and bake at 425 for 15-20 mins.  Serve with sour cream.


Minema's Yams

>> Monday, November 22, 2010

Ok, you lucky ducks. This is a treasured family recipe from my Dad's side of the family- the Norwegian side where everything is covered in sugar. With more sugar on top. (as a kid, I loved the Norwegian way- now still I do, but I am more cautious about the ominous fat-pants)

Now, I've never actually had yams with those marshmallows- but they look questionable. For as long as I've been alive, we've had Minema's yams for Thanksgiving- and they rock. I definitely think you should try them.

Here's what you'll  need:

2 (29 oz.) canned yams (or 4 fresh yams, peeled & cooked)
5 apples, peeled & sliced (I use granny smith)


1 c. brown sugar
1 c. hot water
1 c. pineapple juice
1 stick butter
3 tbl. cornstarch
1 tea. salt

Preheat your oven to 350. You can make these ahead and refrigerate before cooking.
Place yams and apples in 9x13 pan. Combine sugar, salt, and cornstarch. Add water, butter and pineapple juice. Cook to thicken. Pour over yams and apples. Cook for 30 mins. (or 45 mins. if refrigerated)


November Casserole

>> Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Ok, so you can make this with thanksgiving leftovers, or you can just make it when you are longing for fall and holiday times. (like the middle of June!)

2 pkg. Stove Top Stuffing
1 stick butter
3 c. chicken/turkey pieces
1 pkg. frozen vegetables (any will do, but my favorite is cut green beans)
2 cans cream of celery soup
1 c. milk

Melt butter and toss with dry seasoning and stuffing mix. Then transfer half to the bottom of a greased 9x13 pan evenly.
In separate bowl, mix milk, soup, vegetables, and chicken. Pour on top of stuffing layer, adding the rest of the stuffing on top.
Cover and bake for 30 minutes at 350. Uncover for the last 15 mins.



>> Thursday, November 11, 2010

Hey everyone! It's been a little quiet on here lately, but the holidays are coming up and I KNOW mostly everyone will be baking or cooking SOMETHING!! SOOOO, put up your favorite holiday recipe. Let's keep it just meals and side dishes etc. We'll do a dessert/cookie week closer to December. Hope you all are doing well and enjoying the fall weather! We'll keep this topic open until the Saturday after Thanksgiving (11-27). Can't wait to see what's in store!


Southwestern Stuffed Acorn Squash

This recipe is an amalgam of two recipes that I found (here and here). I wanted a vegetarian version, hence the rice and beans (for protein and some extra calories).The combination of the slightly sweet squash and the salty/spicy filling is just right.

Southwestern Stuffed Acorn Squash

2 medium acorn squash
2 tablespoons butter, cut into 4 pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 small bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon coriander
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon oregano
1 15-oz can tomatoes and green chiles (i.e. Rotel)
1 15-oz can black beans, rinsed
1 cup cooked rice
1/2 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
1 cup shredded cheese (cheddar, monterey jack, or muenster)

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.  Cut squash in half horizontally, and scoop out seeds (you can toss them or save them for roasting). Place squash in a 9x13 dish, cut-side up. Place 1 piece of butter into each of the squash halves. Add 1 cup of water in to the bottom of the pan before covering with foil (the steam from the water will help keep the squash moist). Bake until the squash is tender, about 45 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper; cook, stirring often, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, cumin, coriander, paprika and cumin; cook for 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes w/green chiles, beans, rice, and salt. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until the tomatoes are broken down, 10 to 12 minutes.
  3. When the squash are tender, reduce oven temperature to 325F. Fill the squash halves with the beans/rice mixture. Top with cheese. Return to the oven and bake until the filling is heated through and the cheese is melted, 8 to 10 minutes.


Taco Soup

>> Wednesday, November 3, 2010


 This is one of my favorite soups! You can even do it in the crockpot.

1 lb ground beef
2 cups salsa
2 soup cans water
1 (15 oz) can corn
1 Tbsp taco seasoning
2 (14 oz) cans tomatoes
1 (10 oz) can tomato soup
1 (15 oz) cans pinto beans
1 onion, chopped
1 Tbsp chili powder

Brown beef and drain grease.  Ad remaining ingredients and stir. Bring to slow boil, reduce heat and simmer 1 hour. Suggested toppings: fritos, cheese, avacado, sour cream, olives.  Enjoy!


Homemade Taco Seasoning

In preparing for our "Fiesta Friday" which is a family tradition at our house I realized I was out of taco seasoning so I whipped some up real quick. I thought I would share the recipe. I found it online a while ago. I realize that if you coupon you can often get taco season for pennies or even free, but once you try homemade seasoning you will never again buy it from the store. I usually make about 6 months worth at a time and it only costs me about $2.50-$3. But the best part about this recipe is that you can make any amount that you want/need.
Homemade Taco Seasoning
1 part chili powder
1 part ground cumin
1 part garlic powder
1 part onion powder
1/4-1/2 part crushed red pepper
Mix all spices together and store in an air tight container.


1 hour homemade bread

I found this wonderful recipe for my beehives to make for the sacrament bread and I must say it turned out quite delicious! Here's the website with a step by step video.

And here are the instructions

Makes 2 loafs

5 1/4 cup white bread flour

2-4 TBS sugar

1 1/2 TSP salt

1 1/2 TBS (rounded) saf-instant yeast

1 1/2 TBS oil

2 cups hot water

1. Mix dry ingredients. Add oil and water. Mix for one minute then check the consistancy of the dough. The dough should be very sticky, if it is too dry add more water (but not too much)

2. Mix for 5 minutes. Do not add any more flour after the dough has finished mixing

3. Spray kneading surface with cooking spray and lay dough out onto surface. Knead dough briefly until it has a smooth even consistency (This will only take several turns of the dough to accomplish)

4. Divide the dough into 2 pieces (or more if you want smaller loafs) and shape loafs into desired shape and place on greased baking sheets. Cover with a large dish towel and let raise for 25 minutes.

5. While loafs are raising, set oven to 350. When loafs are ready to go in the oven, use a sharp knife (you can lightly spray it with cooking oil to prevent dragging) to make several slashes in the top. Make each cut about 1/4 inch deep at a 30 degree angle. Bake loafs for 25 minutes or until golden brown.


Why bread flour? In short, bread flour helps make the bread loftier and chewier

Why saf-instant yeast? It is a high potency fast acting yeast that can be added directly to your dry ingredients without it having to be put in a starter first

Why slash the loafs? First, for a beautiful visual appearance, and second the scoring allows the dough to expand quickly during baking so it reaches it's maximum volume. It also prevents a 'blow out' if bubbles appear under the crust and then burst.

This was SOO easy, and SOO good, and you don't even have to have a breadmaker!


Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

I got this recipe from my awesome sister (thanks Amanda) and it is so simple yet so delicious! All you need is...

1 can pumpkin (it don't matter which size, personal prefrence on how 'pumpkiny' you want them)

1 spice cake mix

1 bag chocolate chips

Mix all together and bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes. They are SUPER goey and moist, so I add just a little flour to make them less sticky, but that's just me. They're always a big hit at our house (as you can tell by the half eaten picture I have above).


French Apple Pie

>> Monday, October 25, 2010

It's apple season, and I just happened to find this super yummy recipe on a premade crust box! I tried it out- and it is fantastic! It isn't that hard to make, just takes a while to bake.

1 ready to bake pie crust
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. cornstarch
1/2 tea. nutmeg
1/4 tea. cinnamon
pinch of salt
6 c. cored, peeled and thinly sliced tart baking apples (about 4-5 med. sized- I used granny smith)

1 c. flour
1/2 c. brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 c. butter

Place the premade crust in a greased pie tin. Preheat oven to 350. Mix sugar, starch, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl. In a large bowl, toss sliced apples in with sugar/spice mix until coated. Spoon apple slices into pie plate

Then in the same bowl, combine flour and brown sugar. Blend in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle crumb topping over pie.

Yes, you'll be licking your lips too in no time! I kind of pat the butter/sugar crumble down like a dome on top.

Then bake for 1 hr. 30 mins. About 45 mins. into it, I cover the top with tin foil to keep from burning the crust.

I just hope I can have enough restraint to leave some for when the husband comes home. (ha! I'll have the pan cleaned and in the washer by then!)


El Paso Green Chile Soup

>> Saturday, October 23, 2010

Mmmmmm... This has to be my all-time favorite soup. Tastes like HOME.

El Paso Green Chile Soup
(adapted from The Border Cookbook)

1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 medium onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups vegetable stock
2 baking potatoes, peeled and diced
1 1/2 cups chopped roasted green chile
1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 ounces Monterey jack cheese, grated

  1. In a large soup pot, warm the butter over medium heat. Stir in the onions and garlic and saute until translucent.
  2. Add the stock, potatoes, chile, oregano, and salt, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook for about 30 minutes, until the potatoes are very soft.
  3. Transfer the soup to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Pour the soup back into the pot, add the cream, and heat through.
  4. Divide the cheese among the serving bowls. Ladle the soup into each bowl. Garnish with cilantro and/or corn tortilla strips.


Butternut Squash Soup

Another Fall favorite in our home. You can actually use any winter squash in this recipe. If you are pressed for time, you can use 3 10- to 12-ounce packages of frozen squash puree. To make this recipe vegetarian, substitute vegetable stock.

Butternut Squash Soup
(from Joy of Cooking)

1 medium to large butternut squash (about 3 1/2 pounds)
3 tablespoons butter
2 large leeks, white part only, chopped
4 teaspoons fresh ginger, peeled and minced
6 cups chicken stock (the recipe splits the stock into two parts, 4 cups and 2 cups, I always substitute heavy cream for the latter to make it super creamy)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Cut the squash into halves or quarters. Remove any seeds and strings. Arrange the squash cut-side up on a rimmed baking sheet. Add 1/4 inch water to the pan and cover with aluminum foil. Bake until the squash is tender when pierced with a fork, 30 to 45 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the butter in a soup pot over medium-low heat. Add leeks and ginger, and cook, stirring, until the leeks are tender but not browned, 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Scrape the cooled squash flesh from the skin and stir it in along with 4 cups of chicken stock. Bring to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring and breaking up the squash.
  4. Puree the soup in a blender or food processor until smooth.
  5. Return to the pot and stir in remaining chicken stock (or cream, if using) and salt. Heat through.
  6. Serve garnished with chopped parsley or cilantro, soup croutons, and/or toasted squash seeds.


Pumpkin Pancakes

I meant to take a picture of these orange beauties, but they were gobbled up too quickly! It is an excellent fall treat!

Large Bowl:
2 c. flour
1 tbl. baking powder
1/2 tea. ginger
1/2 tea. nutmeg
1/2 tea. salt
2 tbl. brown sugar
1 tea. cinnamon

Small Bowl:
2 eggs
1 1/2 c. milk
2 tbl. cooking oil (I've been using coconut oil for everything- here too!)
1 c. canned pumpkin

Mix large bowl ingredients together and whisk small bowl ingredients to smooth. Then combine into the large bowl. Beat until smooth. Scoop in 1/4 c. portions onto skillet on lowish heat. These take longer than normal pancakes to cook through and will be heartier than regular pancakes, too. Taste great topped with butter and syrup.


Chicken Pot Pie

>> Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Cooked Chicken, diced - 3 Cups
Sliced carrots - 2 Cups
Potatoes, diced - 2 Cups
Peas - 1 Cup
Onion, chopped - 1/2 Cup
Corn (optional) - 1 Can, drained
Green Beans (opt.) - 1 Can, drained

Leftover Gravy - 2 Cups (I used three cans of Campbell's Chicken Gravy)
Chicken Bouillon cubes, crushed into powder - 3
Onion Powder - 1/4 tsp.
Celery Salt - 1/4 tsp.
Pepper - 1/4 tsp.

Pastry for top, from a mix or homemade. (I used Pillsbury pie crust in a box, found in the baking section next to pre-made graham cracker crusts, you only add water.)

This recipe makes enough for two round pies or two 8x8s. I made one pie for dinner and then one to freeze for later.

Start by cooking all your vegetables. I simmered mine until tender, and then drained

After draining, stir in your cooked chicken cubes, and let cool a little bit.

Mix your gravy and all the seasonings, including the crushed bouillon cubes.

Divide your chicken-veggie mixture into your pans.

Then pour half your gravy mixture on each one, then lightly mix with a fork so that all the mixture is covered with the gravy.

Next, roll out your dough and cover your pie. I found that that Pillsbury pie box mix was not enough for both, but I also like the crust a bit thicker on top. If you like lots of crust I would suggest mixing up two boxes if you cook both in one night.

I got a little bit fancy with mine and added some fall leaf cutouts. (It's been raining for 2 days, it almost feels like Fall, almost!)

If you want the crust to bake glossy then brush with egg whites before cooking.

Once your pie is covered bake @ 400'F for 30 minutes or until heated through and light brown.


Chicken Nachos

>> Monday, October 18, 2010

(This is my leftovers that I took to work with me today, not a very good pic, but you get the idea)

I got this recipe last week from my wards crock pot night with the Relief Society and it is fantastic! I don't have the exact recipe in front of me, so this is going off of my memory, but I''m pretty sure I'm not forgetting anything.

4-6 chicken breasts

1 can corn drained

1 can black beans drained

2 cups salsa

8 oz cream cheese

Combined all (minus cream cheese) into crock pot, cook on low 4-6 hours or until chicken is cooked. Add cream cheese last 30 minutes of cooking. Stir and serve (the chicken should be tender enough that you can shred it. I learned a tip at the crock pot night that you can stick your beaters in and beat it all together for a couple seconds and it automatically shreds and stirs it, amazing!) You can either use it as a dip, or pour it over your chips, mmmmm......


Pesto Dip

>> Sunday, October 17, 2010

This recipe is SO SIMPLE. But beware, you WILL become addicted. This is my absolute favorite appetizer to make (and eat).

Pesto Dip

1 8-oz package cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup pesto

Mix cream cheese and pesto. Refrigerate 3-4 hours. Serve with assorted cut-up vegetables and/or multi-grain crackers.



Spinach Dip

I totally forgot that I had this recipe because we haven't made it in awhile. It is totally delicious!

Spinach Dip
1 10-oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 cup sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup chopped green onions
2 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp seasoning salt
1 1-lb loaf round, crusty Italian bread

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine spinach, sour cream, mayonnaise, green onions, parsley, lemon juice, and salt. Mix until well blended, then refrigerate.
  2. Cut a circle out of the top of the bread and scoop out the inside. Tear the inside into pieces for dipping. Spoon the dip into the center of the bread bowl and seve.
Serves 8-10



Cool Cucumber Dip

The weather down here persists with the hot. It's mid October, and it's still over 90 every day. It is killing me. So I broke out my yummy cucumber dip recipe. It's cool and refreshing. Try it!

1 1/2 c. finely diced cucumber*
2 c. plain yogurt**
1/2 c. chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
pita chips (for dipping)

*I use much more cucumber. It's yummy.
** I tried Greek Yogurt this time, and I think I prefer normal plain yogurt.

Combine and refrigerate. Serve cold.


Black Bean Salsa

>> Saturday, October 9, 2010

Ok, I'm going to level with you here. I could label this "the best," but you wouldn't believe me. So I am just going to tell you this fact: This recipe makes A LOT, it's perfect for throwing a party. I have to break out my huge bowl to make it. Am I throwing a party? No. I am not. I have made this salsa for myself, and me alone. (the husband hates salsa) I will be downing this bowl and a bag of tortilla chips over the week. For lunch, for dinner, sometimes for breakfast.

It is that good. 

So grab yourself a giganta-bowl (preferably with a sealable top) and toss this stuff in it! 

2 cans drained corn
2 cans drained black beans
1-2 chopped tomatoes
1 chopped yellow (or purple) onion
1-2 chopped jalapenos- or 4 oz. can diced (or, if you don't like spicy, leave it out altogether)
1 small can chopped black olives
cilantro- to taste
2 tea. cumin
juice of a few limes
1 pkg. taco seasoning
chili powder- to taste



>> Friday, October 8, 2010

WOW! It has been forEVER since I have posted on this. And I'm making a lot of new things now that it's fall, so I promise to keep posting. This post is for Ashley. This will go GREAT with your pita chips. It is also good on grilled sandwiches or for veggie dipping.

1 can chickpeas (I drain it, but you don't have to)
about 1 Tbsp EVOO
a couple squirts of Lemon Juice
1 small to med clove of garlic
salt and pepper to taste

Throw the chickpeas in a food processor with the garlic clove. Buzz it a couple times then slowly drizzle in the EVOO until it's the consistency you like it. Taste it and see how much lemon juice it'll need. The lemon juice counter acts the oniony garlic taste, so add as much as you like. Add some S&P to taste and buzz it a couple more times.
Serve and enjoy!!!

*sorry no pics*


Need Me Some Dip!

Hey there, Good Lookin'! (that's right, I'm talking to you!)

I need help. I need dip. I am craving chips and dip like nobody's business.I've got tortilla chips and pita chips. I will be making all my dip recipes this week- and I'll be posting them! But I want some of your dips! I need new dips!

Thank you in advance!


Tuscan Bean Stew

>> Thursday, October 7, 2010

The best part about fall/winter is eating soup -- lots and lots of soup. This is a house favorite for sure.

Tuscan Bean Stew
(from Cook's Illustrated, March/April 2008)

table salt
1 pound dried cannellini beans (about 2 cups), rinsed and picked over
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
6 ounces pnacetta, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 large onion, chopped medium (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 medium celery ribs, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 3/4 cup)
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
8 medium garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3 cups water
2 bay leaves
1 bunch kale or collard greens (about 1 pound), stems trimmed and leaves chopped into 1-inch pieces (about 8 cups loosely packed)
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained and rinsed
1 sprig fresh rosemary
ground black pepper
8 slices country white bread, each 1 1/4 inches thick, broiled until golden brown on both sides and rubbed with garlic clove (optional)

  1. Dissolve 3 tablespoons salt in 4 quarts cold water in large bowl or container. Add beans and soak at room temperature for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours. Drain and rinse well.
  2. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 250 degrees. Heat oil and pancetta in large Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until pancetta is lightly browned and fat has rendered, 6 to 10 minutes. Add onion, celery, and carrots. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened and lightly browned, 10 to 16 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragragnt, about 1 minute. Stir in broth, water, bay leaves, and soaked beans. Increase heat to high and bring to simmer. Cover pot, transfer to oven, and cook until beans are almost ender (very center of beans will still be firm), 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  3. Remove pot from oven and stir in greens and tomatoes. Return pot to oven and continue to cook until beans and greens are fully tender, 30 to 40 minutes longer.
  4. Remove pot from oven and submerge rosemary sprig in stew. Cover and let stand 15 minutes. Discard bay leaves and rosemary sprig and season with salt and pepper to taste. If desired, use back of spoon to press some beans against side of pot to thicken stew. Serve over toasted bread, if desired, and drizzle with olive oil.



    Love Me Some Fun-Fetti!

    >> Wednesday, September 29, 2010

    *GASP* Becca- Pictures!! Are you proud!?!

    Who doesn't love a good 'ol Fun-Fetti cake!?!

    Well my friend at work sure does... and so we were having a little celebration for her recent wedding and I decided to bake a cake for the occasion.

    Is was on complete accident the way this turned out. As I was going to pour the mixture into my 2 9" rounds, I realized I have NO CLUE where they are (lost in the move, at someone elses home... who knows) and so I decided to make a bunch of Cup Cakes instead... WAIT- I have ONE small square pyrex dish I can use. So I will do both (and thats when the creativity poured in... or perhaps I was watching Cake Boss. Dont judge!)

    Recipe: Cake Mix and two cans of frosting (I used one Fun-Fetti frosting and the other Butter Cream)


    Cake - Do as directed on box :) Sorry folks- I am not a fancy baker.

    Once both Cup Cakes and Square cake is baked- allow to cool.

    *I stuck mine immediately into the freezer. Its much easier to work with a cake when its frozen.

    Remove from pan and shave off the top of the cake with a carving knife (or cake leveler) to level out flat. Flip cake over so bottom side is up. That will be your base.

    Frosting - With the Butter Cream I added blue coloring.

    I frosted the cup cakes like normal with the fun- fetti frosting and then placed in the freezer while I frosted the cake.

    I used the blue frosting on the cake. I made sure to put a generous portion on top so that it didn't tear the cake while frosting.


    Once the cake is frosted remove the cupcakes from freezer and figure out your arrangment. (you can go crazy stacking... or like me, four cupcakes to form a square and one on top!)

    You will need a toothpick or something to hold the cupcakes in place. I cut wooden cabbob sticks in half and used those since they were stronger.

    I hid the sticks through the cupcakes with a dot of icing on top.

    I dotted the sides and stuck in back in the freezer over night!!

    Finished product- SO CUTE!! Not a pro... but still fun!



    >> Friday, September 24, 2010

    This recipe comes from my favorite magazine, Real Simple. And just as the title suggests, it is pretty simple.

    pizza dough (Use this recipe or this one, or just buy the refrigerated ones)
    1/4 lb. sliced salami
    4 c. fresh spinach
    1/2 lb. thinly sliced provolone
    olive oil

    Shape the dough into a 12-by-15-inch rectangle. Top with salami, spinach, and provolone. Working from a short end, roll us the dough. Place seam-side down on an oiled baking sheet; brush with olive oil. Bake at 425 degrees until golden brown, 25-30 minutes.

    I have made this recipe several times and we really enjoy it. Feel free to substitute any of the ingredients for your favorite toppings. Last night I used ham, provolone, tomatoes, and mushrooms because that's what I had on hand.
    Be creative!


    Cheesy Potato Soup

    >> Wednesday, September 22, 2010

    This is my very favorite soup. I think it is better than any soup I have ever had - seriously. It is perfect for Fall and Winter! (It is also perfect for pretending like it is Fall or Winter!) It is also easy - I usually only need to get Velveeta in order to make this - simple ingredients with amazing taste!


    3 Cups diced raw potatoes
    1 1/2 Cups Water
    3/4 Cup diced celery
    3/4 Cup diced carrots
    1 can corn, drained (optional)
    1 TBS dry minced onion (or 1/4 Cup diced onion)
    1 tsp parsley flakes
    1 tsp garlic powder
    Salt & Pepper to taste
    1 can Cream of Chicken soup
    2 Cups Milk
    8 oz. Velveeta

    Combine potatoes, water, celery, carrots, onion, parsley flakes, and S&P in a large pot. Cook on low heat - simmering until all are tender. Stir in can of soup, milk, corn, and Velveeta. Heat and stir frequently until cheese melts. Serve.


    *I don't think it is possible for something to be "too cheesy" so I double the Velveeta and use the whole little 16 oz. cube. It's awesome.

    *I have used both red and russet potatoes in the past and both work great.

    *Fresh & Easy sells a little tub of "stew vegetables" with carrots, celery and onion already diced up. I just used that little tub and took out half the onion so it wasn't too onion-y.

    *Crackers, goldfish, crumbled bacon, or shredded cheese make great toppings.

    *I have also made this into a freezer meal in the past. What I do is put the potatoes, vegetables and seasonings in a freezer bag and freeze. If I buy a huge log of Velveeta I will cut a piece of that and freeze it as well. Then the day I make the soup I just take out the vegetables (already diced = saved time) and the cheese, let them thaw, then all I need to have ready is the water, milk and can of soup.

    *I haven't tried this, but I bet frozen cubed hashbrown potatoes would work just as well. Why not? If somebody tries that, or has in the past with soups, let me know how it turns out. (I REALLY hate peeling potatoes)


    Banana Bread

    I was going to post this forever ago when all the banana bread recipes were coming out, but I forgot. And since I made this bread the other day I took pictures so I could post it now :)

    Banana bread

    1 cup sugar
    1/2 cup vegetable oil (I tried coconut oil instead this time and it gave it a totally different flavor! It was good, but I'm partial to the original taste :))
    2 eggs
    1 cup (2-4) mashed bananas
    1 tsp vanilla
    1/2 cup sour cream
    1 1/2 cup flour
    1 tsp soda
    1/2 tsp salt

    Mix first 3 ingredients. Then add mashed bananas, vanilla, and sour cream and mix well. Lastly add the dry ingredients and mix well, but not so long that it gets too fine. Grease and flour a bread pan and bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes.

    This is my favorite bread recipe! The sour cream makes it so moist and yummy. Sometimes I'll sprinkle cinnamon sugar on the top before I bake it. It gives the crust a little crisp :)


    Puerto Rican Beef Steak

    >> Monday, September 20, 2010

    This recipe is one of my in-laws favorite. My father in-law is from Puerto Rico and we have this meal all the time since it's so simple to make.
    Needed: Cube Steak
    Large Onions (half an onion per steak)- sliced
    You start by placing the cube steak into a casserole dish and pouring enough vinegar to completely cover them. Then top with onions and let sit for at least 15 mins (I like to let mine sit for an hour but this meal still tastes great sitting for only 15.)
    Once meat has sat in vinegar, heat a splash of oil (only enough to keep steak from sticking to pan) and beef steak, leaving vinegar and onions in the casserole dish, into frying pan. Cook completely.
    Once beef steak is completely cooked add vinegar and onions to frying pan.

    Simmer until onions are tender, there will be a lot of juice still in the frying pan (which is the best part).

    Serve Steak and onions over rice (I use white or jasmine) and top with sauce.

    Sorry I don't have more pictures, I forgot to take them. Hope you all enjoy!


    Cheese & Spinach Baked Ziti

    >> Sunday, September 12, 2010

    I made this last night, and it was really yummy! It wasn't as complicated as it sounded. Although I had to exclude the spinach because I didn't get on the making of this dish before my spinach leaves liquidized in my fridge. The girls ate it up- I wish there would have been spinach to get some vegetables down them. Next time! I will not procrastinate until the produce is spoiled!

    What you need:

    16 oz. penne pasta
    1 bag (6 oz) baby spinach leaves
    1 jar marinara sauce
    1 c. ricotta cheese
    1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
    3/4 c. grated parmesan
    1/2 tsp. garlic powder
    1/4 tsp. pepper

    Preheat your oven to 350. Cook pasta to al dente or less (so the noodles will soak up the sauce when baking) Add spinach during the last minute. Drain pasta & spinach, then return to (large) saucepan. Stir in marinara sauce, ricotta, 1/2 c. mozzarella, 1/2 c. parmesan, garlic powder, and black pepper into pasta. Pour into 9x13 pan, sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Bake for 30 mins. uncovered.


    Chocolate cake cookies

    >> Saturday, September 11, 2010

    Ok, so I have been a little 'MIA' in the cooking realm lately but this week I made these SUPER easy and YUY cookies (pics coming soon- as I find my camera cord- again- use your imagination) they are DIVINE and SO easy- Ashely I am sharing this for you! (They are not so friendly on the waistline- soooo indulge! they are worth it;) You will need:

    1 box Devils food cake mix
    1 stick of butter room, temperature
    1 brick (8 ounces) cream cheese (I go for Philly, it just tastes better!) softened to room temperature
    1 egg

    Mix in a bowl until well blended- it gets pretty thick to I have to use a rubber spatula to get the dough 'unstuck' sometimes

    Chill dough in refridgerater two hours (or more)but at least until well chilled- then preheat oven to 350 and bust out an ungreased cookie sheet. Get a shallow bowl and pour some powdered sugar in it. Then Scoop dough with spoon into balls (about poing pong size) and roll the ball in powdered sugar until coated- standard cookie sheet usually allows 15 to a sheet- bake for 12 min leave on rack a minute or two then move to cooling rack. These are good warm, better later when they cool and shockingly even BETTER the second day! seriously! ENJOY!!


    Broccoli Salad

    >> Thursday, September 9, 2010

    I tasted this salad a while ago at a pot luck and I loved it so much that I googled the recipe so I could make it for a family party. So all the credit goes to Diana Rattray :)

    Broccoli Salad

    5 cups fresh broccoli florets
    1/2 cup raisins (I used craisins)
    1/2 cup sunflower seeds
    1/2 cup cooked crumbled bacon
    1/4 cup red onion, chopped (I left this out because I don't like raw onion)
    1 cup frozen peas, thawed

    1 cup mayo
    2 Tbsp vinegar
    1/2 cup sugar

    Mix salad together in big bowl. Make dressing in separate bowl. Combine and chill for 2 hours before serving.


    Chicken Stuffed Tomato Bakes

    >> Monday, September 6, 2010

    This particular meal came to me nearly by accident.  I had about ten tomatoes in my fridge that were starting to get soft, so I knew I had to eat them soon.  I also made my own chicken broth earlier that week, so I had a lot of chicken that I needed to eat up too.  Last night, I didn't have any any clue of what to cook for dinner... until it hit me: "How about I make some sort of chicken stuffing and put it in hollowed tomatoes... they do stuff like that as appetizers in fancy restaurants, right?" So I started looking through my fridge to see what I could use to make the "stuffing part". After looking, here's the ingredients I came up with:

    10 vine tomatoes (they work best because they are round enough on the bottom, and not too big)
    1 chicken breast , cooked and shredded
    1/2 large onion
    4 garlic cloves
    1 handful of spinach
    1 cup shredded mozzarella
    1 tsp basil
    1 tsp parsley
    1 tsp salt
    1/3 cup parmesan cheese
    oil for drizzling

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Rinse tomatoes. Slice off tops of tomatoes, then with a spoon, carve out the inside pulp of each tomato. Place hollowed tomatoes onto baking sheet, set aside.

     Place pulp remains into food processor of blender.  Add to pulp the remaining ingredients (except parmesan and oil), and blend until you have a pulpy mixture.

    Spoon mixture into each tomato, leveling off the top of each.

    Sprinkle each tomato with parmesan cheese, then drizzle the top with oil.

    Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.  Let cool for 5 minutes, then enjoy!  Serves 2-3

    Can be served as an appetizer or a main dish. We ate it as a main dish, with garlic toast as a side.

    *Note: There will be left over stuffing. You can use it to stuff other tomatoes, or save it for the next morning to  be the filling of an omelet for two (which is what we did)!  :)

    **Note Note: If you want it to be more creamy, try adding 4 oz. of cream cheese. I didn't add any because 1. I wanted it to be healthier, and 2. I didn't have any! haha


    Cornmeal Buns

    >> Monday, August 23, 2010

    We are in the planning stages of my daughter's upcoming COWGIRL birthday party. We have decided to do hot dogs and s'mores. Of course, we can't do anything the regular way. We are always trying to find a way to make the run-of-the-mill food taste awesome. (We have a reputation to uphold, after all.) So I thought instead of making hot dogs with buns AND cornbread, there should be a way to make cornmeal buns. One quick Google search took me right over to Martha Stewart, who never disappoints. So we made a trial batch over the weekend, and like I said, Martha never disappoints! These buns will be making their official debut at the cowgirl party in September.

    A few notes:
    • The buns came out a little dense, but I think that is from over-mixing. I tried to get the dough to be "smooth, soft, and (...) not stick to your fingers when squeezed, about 5 minutes," but it wound up being more like 10, and it was still sticky. Lesson learned: stick to 5 minutes, and let it be sticky.
    • I used regular cornmeal this time, but I think next time I will make it with stone-ground. It will have more corn flavor since less of the kernel is taken out in this process. I think it might also help the bun to be less dense.
    • Since the recipe is written for slider buns, it is supposed to yield 12. But shaping them oblong for hot dog buns instead, produced only 9 (3-oz each).


    Pizza- The Easy Way

    >> Saturday, August 21, 2010

    So I love pizza. Homemade pizza is over the moon better than the store bought- or even Pizza Hut kind! (Well, except for stuffed crust) Anyway, I had been using this recipe. But you have to plan ahead and let the dough rise and all that nonsense. I'm not good at dinners that take longer than 20 minutes prep time. I simply don't like it. So I found a recipe that makes its way around all that! It was amazing. Even my husband liked it. (his one complaint was that I used whole wheat flour to make a whole wheat crust. Oooh- sorry for being a bit healthy!)
    I'm making it again this week- with a compromise, half whole wheat flour, half white flour. Should be good. I also found "pizza dough yeast" at the store today, so I'm going to try that out as well! So here it is! Have fun! 

    The Sauce:

    1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
    1 small can tomato paste
    1 teaspoon sugar
    1 teaspoon dried oregano
    1 teaspoon dried basil
    1 teaspoon garlic salt
    pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
    Combine all ingredients in food processor or blender and blend until desired consistency. All the seasonings can be modified depending on taste – add what you like! (I messed up and misread tablespoon instead of teaspoon halfway into it- put 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 tablespoon oregano on there. I thought I was done for! But no! It tasted great! That's the kind of recipe I need more of!) 

    The Dough:

    3 cups flour, more or less
    1 tablespoon honey, heaping
    1 tablespoon oil, heaping
    1 cup warm water
    1 tablespoon dry active yeast
    1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
    Preheat oven to 475 degrees. (If using a pizza stone, let stone heat for at least 30 minutes in the oven before baking pizza.) Put the yeast into the warm water and let it do its thing. Then mix the rest of the ingredients together, except the flour. Add flour and knead for a bit then put it into your chosen method of baking. If baking in a sheet pan, bake for about 12 minutes (checking often) until crust is browned and cheese is golden and bubbly. If baking on the preheated pizza stone, slide pizza onto stone and bake for about 8 minutes.


    Thank You!

    >> Wednesday, August 18, 2010

    I just wanted to publicly thank who ever it was who introduced me to coconut oil. (I think Taly?) I am using it in almost everything. I heartily suggest substituting it for the vegetable oil in banana pancakes. (or waffles!)
    Also- I found a Word template to transcribe all my recipes to. I intend on printing and laminating all my recipes. If you would like a copy of the template, email me at craftyashley@gmail.com and I will send it to you.
    It's been a huge undertaking, typing in all my recipes, but they were getting all stained and stuff.


    3-2-1 Bean Dip

    >> Tuesday, August 17, 2010

    This is my aunt's recipe, and has been a family favorite at every family function.  I now take it to work potlucks, and now my coworkers demand that I bring it every time! I don't mind either. It is the easiest thing to bring to a potluck (and it will be the first thing gone)!

    3 cans of chili con carne (2 mild and 1 hot)
    2 8oz packages of cream cheese (I use 1/3 less fat)
    1 16oz. tub of sour cream (I use reduced fat)
    (this is why it's called 3-2-1 bean

    Add all ingredients into a crock pot, no need to stir yet.  Turn crock pot on high for 3 hours, stirring at the top of every hour.  Serve with tortilla chips.  Enjoy!!


    Cowboy Cookies

    I made these cookies for my family reunion last weekend and I thought I'd share the recipe here. These are my husband's absolute FAVORITE cookies. The recipe comes from his dad and he won't let me make any other type of chocolate chip cookie because he is convinced that they don't even hold a candle to this recipe. Don't tell him, but I agree! It makes a ton so feel free to half the recipe. (sorry, no pictures)

    1 cup shortening
    1 cup butter
    2 cups sugar
    2 cups brown sugar
    4 eggs
    4 cups flour
    4 cups oats
    2 tsp vanilla
    2 tsp soda
    1 tsp baking powder
    1 tsp salt
    1 pkg (12 oz I think) semi sweet chocolate chips

    Mix butter, shortening and both sugars together and blend well. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix all dry ingredients in a separate bowl and add to the wet ingredients. Add the chocolate chips last. Bake at 350 for 14 minutes.


    Football cupcakes

    >> Friday, August 13, 2010

    My husband LOVES football. More specifically, the Seattle Seahawks. So I thought of ways to incorporate that into his birthday "cake". I found this video and it was exactly what I was looking for! Cute and easy! So here are the pictures to what I did. This is also a great treat to make for during the Super Bowl!

    Instead of using m&m's for the boarder of the football, I used about 3/4 of a package of white chocolate almond bark, melted it in a pan, and died half of it green, and half of it blue... Seahawks colors!! (when coloring white chocolate, use food coloring that is not water based... trust me).

    I spread the chocolate on wax paper over a baking sheet and let it cool in the fridge.

    After it cooled, I broke it up in pieces with a knife.

    I used one package of Devil's Food Cake mix and it made enough to make two footballs, but I made one football and then had matching cupcakes.

    I used an 11x17 glass baking dish. I would have used a baking sheet, but I liked the high side walls just in case of an accident :) And it seemed to fit perfectly anyway!

    I spread the frosting just like in the video, with extra frosting on the side to support the chocolate pieces.

    For the extra set of cupcakes, I used one extra tub of frosting. I used the whipped chocolate kind and it was perfect for this cake! Since my husband and I work together, I took everything to work and surprised him with this football creation. The extra cupcakes were great for the co-workers grabbing. Since it was my first time decorating like this, it took me about 40 minutes because I did NOT want to mess up. Prepare to get messy, I don't know how they stayed clean in the video! Overall, these were a big hit, and I would make them again for the next football fan!


    Blog template by simplyfabulousbloggertemplates.com

    Back to TOP