Wednesday, December 31, 2008


This Chili was awesome. I actually found it on the internet a while ago and finally tried it last night. They say that it's "Wendy's" chili recipe. I made a few minor changes to it. This is probably the best chili I've ever eaten, and especially ever made.

1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. browned sausage
2, 15-oz. cans tomato sauce
2, 15-oz. cans kidney beans (with liquid)
2, 15 oz. cans pinto beans (with liquid)
1 cup diced onion (I minced mine up to smithereens as we're not fans of big onion chunks)
1/2 cup diced green chilies (2 chilies) OR 1 small can diced green chilies
1/4 cup celery stalk (1 stalk)
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
2 tsp. cumin powder
3 Tbsp. chili powder
1 1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups water

*You'll need a 6 qt. pot, dutch oven (LeCreuset type--not camping type), or crock-pot to make this. It makes a huge amount! Feed a crowd or freeze half for another meal.

1. Brown the ground beef and sausage. Drain off the fat.

2. In your large pot/dutch oven/crock-pot, combine all of the remaining ingredients.
*Crock Pot: place on high for 2 hours and low for the remaining cooking time (3-4 hours). Stir a few times .
*Pot/Dutch Oven: Bring to a simmer over low heat. Cook for 2 to 3 hours, stirring every 15 minutes.

*Serve with corn bread, crackers, or over a baked potato.

*Leftovers can be frozen for several months.
The Adults & the Kids LOVED it. Even my toddler gobbled it up!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

4-Star Brownies

Today, I have a holiday party to go to for one of my kids' class. I signed up to bring brownies. Of course, I look in my cabinet and find NO box mix of brownies. Ugh! Well, I have cocoa, and other baking items, so I'll do it the old-fashioned way. They turned out surprisingly good! Why only 4 stars and not 5...because a 5-star brownie for me is thick, a little gooey, warm, laced with caramel. This is a good basic brownie that you can make from scratch! Yummy and good with milk.

1 cup butter
2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 eggs
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup walnuts or chocolate chips (or both)

1. Melt the butter (or margarine). In a mixer (or with a hand mixer) mix all the ingredients in the order above.

2. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes in a 9x13" greased pan.

*You may frost them, but it isn't needed. You can even dust the brownies with powdered sugar (for presentation).

*Next time, we're going to try making it with Dark cocoa powder, as we love the richness of dark chocolate.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Hot Cocoa Mix

I am a huge fan of hot cocoa. I usually have at least 1 cup a day during the colder months--it warms me from the inside out and is very soothing. Have you noticed that a small can of semi-decent cocoa in the store is at least $4 and makes maybe 6 mug-fulls?? Expensive!! Well, I found this recipe in Good Housekeeping and thought I'd share it with you... I tried it this morning--and it was quick, easy, and awesomely delicious (and I'm pretty picky about my cocoa). I could see making up a batch and putting it in a cute tin as a nice (and useful) Christmas neighbor/friend gift. Hmmm....

1 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/4 cup sugar
6 oz. semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used semisweet chocolate chips)


1. In food processor, with knife blade attached, blend cocoa, sugar, chocolate, and 1/4 tsp. salt until almost smooth. Store in a tightly sealed container at room temperature up to 6 months.

2. To make cocoa: For each serving, in a microwave-safe mug, mix 3 Tbsp. Cocoa Mix with 1 cup milk. Microwave on High 1 1/2 to 2 minutes or until blended and hot, stirring once.

*Top with a dollop of whipped cream on top, or marshmallows.

Makes about 3 1/2 cups of mix.
18 servings.

*Mexican Spice
Prepare Cocoa Mix recipe as above, adding 2 tsp. ground cinnamon and 1/4 tsp. ground red pepper *cayenne) before blending in a processor.

*Vanilla Variation
Prepare Cocoa Mix recipe as above, adding half of a vanilla bean (pod and seeds) before blending in a processor.

A great tool for making hot cocoa...Mr. Coffee's "CocoMotion." It blend the cocoa so smoothly and makes it light and luscious. It retails for $10-$15 at places like Wal-Mart. I LOVE MINE. My brother and sister in-law got it for me 2 Christmases ago (they drew our name) and it was a great gift...packaged with mugs and cocoas.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

White Enchilada Casserole

We had this at a friend's house not too long ago. I got the main idea from her, and then came home and put it together as best as I could. It turned out great! (Thanks Ann for the great meal) I'm making it again tonight. I think it has found its way into our dinner rotation. Quick, easy and yummy (my 3 requirements for an inductee to our "dinner rotation").

12 corn tortillas
1-2 cups cut up or shredded chicken (left over chicken or canned chicken is great)
1 can cream of mushroom soup (98% fat free)
2 cups sour cream (I use light)
1/2 4 oz. can of diced green chillies (or if you really like chillies, use the whole can)
1 cup shredded mozzarella or jack cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9x9 baking dish with non-stick spray.

2. In a medium size mixing bowl, mix all of the above ingredients together EXCEPT the cheese.

3. Place 4 tortillas on the bottom of dish. Spread half of the cream/chicken mixture on this layer. Sprinkle 1/3 cup of the cheese over the cream/chicken mixture.

4. Again, place 4 more tortillas, mixture, and cheese (repeating above step). Finish with 4 tortillas on the top and your last 1/3 cup of cheese sprinkled.

5. Cover with foil. Cook for 40 minutes on 350.

This serves a family of 6 (2 adults 4 kids) well. For a larger group, double the recipe (but only use 3 cups sour cream) and place in a 9x13 size baking dish.

You can serve this alone, or over some tortilla chips (which was how we had it the first time at Ann's and since).

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Lemon Jell-O Cake

A friend of mine, Shauna, brought this one night to a game night at our home. It was so so good, and lemon is always refreshing and delicious in a dessert. I made it again the other night for our ward's progressive dinner when we were hosting the dessert rotation at our home. It was a hit--and it's easy to make!

Lemon Jell-O (6 oz), sugar-free or regular
3/4 cup hot water
1 box lemon cake mix
3/4 cup oil
4 eggs

2 1/4 cup powdered sugar
7 1/2 tsp lemon juice
1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. In a large bowl, dissolve jello, add cake mix, oil and eggs. Mix well and pour in a 9x13" pan. Bake for 35 minutes.

3. Pour glaze on cake and return to oven for 5 minutes.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Herb Buttered Pasta

I love this dish. It is a refreshing change to have a pasta dish instead of a heavy "meaty" dish. It is so quick and simple--and the ingredients are right in my cupboard. You can toss some blanched broccoli in with it.

8 oz. pasta (your favorite--we use extra-wide egg noodles, but anything will work)
4 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. thyme (or marjoram)
1 tsp. dill (or caraway seed)

1. Prepare the pasta according to package directions. Drain but do not rinse (as to keep pasta warm). Set aside.

2. Place butter in pasta and toss until melted. Sprinkle in the other herbs and then salt to taste.

Serving Ideas:
*Serve this pasta dish along side your favorite meat's great with a rotisserie chicken.

*Even better...use as the main dish and serve with a vegetable side (green beans are great with this)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Egg Strata

I call it "Egg Pizza" for the sake of the kids! They seem to eat "pizza" with more enthusiasm.

This recipe has been in my family for a long time. My mother made this frequently and now I make it every so often. It is hard to mess this up. Recently I went camping with my family and some friends...and I made this in the dutch oven. It was great! You can make this for breakfast, a brunch, and we have it all time time for dinner--it is good any time of day! There are many variations to this, and you can add ingredients that you personally like and change what I've put here. Get creative and enjoy!

10-14 eggs (use your judgement...for a dryer strata, use less, for a fluffier more quiche like, use more)
1/2 to 3/4 cup milk

Mix this all together...beating the eggs well.

optional ingredients:
sausage, chunked up and cooked
bacon, cooked
ham, sliced or diced up
broccoli or spinach

Use any or all of these's up to you!

cheese--2-3 cups of your favorite cheese blends mine are:
1-2 cups swiss, shredded
2 cups cheddar, shredded

10-12 pieces of bread, or more (you may lightly butter to make it richer, but it's not necessary)

1. Spray with non-stick cooking spray, a 9x13" baking dish. Line your dish with bread...however many slices will fit, and it's okay to squeeze them in tightly.

2. Sprinkle half of your meet and optional ingredients over the bread. Sprinkle half of your cheese mixture over this layer. Pour 1/2 of the egg mixture over this layer.

3. Again, lay as much bread down as you can for another layer. Put the rest of your meat and then your egg mixture on this layer. Finish by sprinkling the rest of your cheese on the top.

4. Cover with foil and let it soak in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Overnight is great.

5. Cook at 350 for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until egg is completely cooked and it's not mushy. (Don't be confused by the may be melted and gooey, and that is fine, as long as the egg is done.)

*When I made it in the dutch oven, I added a couple of layers, doing the same thing, and I tried putting some cream cheese droplets on each layer for a was great.

*I'd like to try some pepper-jack cheese sometime and maybe some cilantro and chorizo (mexican sausage)...and perhaps serve it with salsa and sour cream for a completely different take on a great base meal.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Spanish Rice

This recipe has been in the family for a while now. It was given to my mother from our close friend Debi, and my mother passed it along to me. I made it last night for dinner along with the chicken cheesy enchiladas. It's a great side to have with any Mexican dish you are making.

1 cup rice
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
3/4 tsp. cumin
1/2 onion--diced
1 small can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
2 cups chicken broth (1 can)
3 rings cut bell pepper (optional)

1. Heat the oil in a large skillet. Brown the rice in hot oil. Add onion. Season with garlic powder, cumin, salt and pepper.

2. Add the tomato sauce and chicken broth (slowly). Taste liquid to see if there is enough salt and add more accordingly. Add bell pepper rings on top.

3. Cover and cook on low for 30 minutes.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Easy Chicken & Cheese Enchiladas

I tried this recipe tonight. It took only 10 minutes to prepare. I had all the ingredients on hand and it was yummy! It's a Campbell's Soup recipe.

1 can cream of chicken soup (can use %98 fat free)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup picante sauce
2 tsp. chili powder (I used a bit less for the kids' sake)
2 cups chopped cooked chicken (I used 2 Kirkland canned chicken)
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (cheddar would work fine too)
6 flour tortillas (6"), warmed (there was enough chicken mixture for me to make 8 enchiladas)
1 small tomato, chopped (for garnish--I left out)
1 green onion, sliced (for garnish--I left out)

1. Stir the soup, sour cream, picante sauce and chili powder in a medium bowl.

2. Stir 1 cup picante sauce mixture, chicken and cheese in a large bowl. (I left the cheese out of this part and just sprinkled cheese into each enchilada as I was assembling).

3. Divide the chicken mixture among the tortillas. Roll up the tortillas and place them in a 11x13 baking dish. Pour the remaining picante sauce mixture over the filled tortillas. Cover the baking dish.

4. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until the enchiladas are hot and bubbling. Top with the tomato and onion.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Katie Couric's Lemon Chicken

I found this recipe some time back in a magazine. I think it may have been Good Housekeeping. We've really enjoyed it in our family. Often, Isabel will request that I make this. I have to say that it is light, tangy and flavorful. I have these ingredients on hand--so no special trips to the store--AND--it's rather quick to make! EASY, QUICK & YUMMY!

yield: 4 servings

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (1 1/4 lbs.)
3 Tbsp. flour
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cups (or 1 can) chicken broth
3 Tbsp. lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

1. Pound chicken breasts with meat mallet to a uniform 1/2-inch thickness. Dredge lightly in flour, reserving excess.

2. In large saute pan, over medium-high heat, melt butter with oil until it sizzles. Add chicken breasts and cook 4 to 5 minutes, turning once, until juices run clear. Remove chicken to plate.

3. Stir in reserved flour (add a little if you have none left after dredging) into saute pan. Whisk in broth and lemon juice; heat to boiling. Boil 1 minute to thicken slightly.
4. Return chicken to pan to heat through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

*Dress it up with thinly sliced mushrooms or capers (optional).

*I serve this with rice and usually broccoli. Choose your favorite side dish and vegetable. This chicken will taste good next to any side!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Angel Hair Lasagna (a.k.a. Spaghetti Casserole)

A friend of mine recently asked for this recipe...we had it many moons ago when she and her hubby came for dinner. I actually got the recipe from my sister-in-law. It's a family favorite for sure!

8 oz. cream cheese*
16 oz. sour cream*
1 lb. hamburger or ground turkey
large jar or can of spaghetti sauce
1 package of spaghetti noodles (I use Angel Hair)
16 oz. mozzarella cheese*

1. Cook the noodles and set aside to cool--but keep moist.

2. Bring cream cheese and sour cream to room temperature and mix well with beaters.

3. Grate the cheese and set aside (or buy grated).

4. Brown hamburger/turkey and simmer in spaghetti sauce for several minutes.

5. Spray a 9x13 pan. Put the cream cheese/sour cream mixture on the bottom of your casserole dish.

6. Layer noodles, then meat sauce, then mozzarella. Repeat once more. Cover and bake at 350 for 1 hour.

*Lower-fat options: use 1/3 less fat cream cheese, lite sour cream, park-skim mozzarella

I usually end up wanting this a little more saucy, so I use one can/jar of sauce with the meat, then another 1/3 can/jar of sauce over the top before the final layer of cheese. Optional!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Grandma's Rice Pudding

Growing up, my grandma would serve us rice pudding quite frequently. I always looked forward to it, though I always did wish it was just a little sweeter (my sweet-tooth). When she passed on, I checked with the family and no one really knew her recipe. I guess she just made it from her head, heart and habit. I was chatting with a friend, Debbi, and she gave me this recipe. I finally tried it today and it is so yummy. It does remind me a lot of my Gammi's (but I put a little more sugar than she would have I think). I hope my kids will like it too, and maybe someday my grandchildren.

1-2 cups cooked rice
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups warm milk

1. Mix dry cooked rice with spices. Add sugar. Combine eggs vanilla and add to rice mixture. Add the desired amount of raisins.

2. Add 3 cups warm milk, microwave 1 minute per cup; mix again with fork. Put in double boiler.

3. Cook for 90 minutes. Remove from water. Let cool completely

*If you want more custard, add 1 more egg and 1 more cup of warm milk.

Homemade White Bread

I recently had surgery, and a good friend of mind, Cindy, brought a delicious meal to my family. I wasn't able to eat much, but I did have some of her bread and immediately asked for the recipe. I just made it this morning and it was super quick and easy...and yes, yummy! I think the bread flour really makes a difference in the success of your homemade bread. I did the "bread machine option" just to make the mixing/kneading easier. I baked it in one of my Pampered Chef loaf stones. It is delightfully yummy!

1 pkg active dry yeast (2 1/2 tsp)
1 1/4 cup warm water
3 1/4 cup bread flour
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt

1. Dissolve the yeast in the water in a large bowl. Add the oil, sugar and salt and 2 cups of flour, and mix with a mixer. Slowly add the remaining flour by hand until it becomes a nice dough.
2. Cover and let rise about 30 minutes. Punch batter down, and make into a loaf, placing it in a greased 9x5" loaf pan.
3. Allow the dough to rise again for about 30 minutes. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.

bread machine option:
1. Dissolve the yeast and water in a bowl--pour into bread maker. Add the rest of the ingredients and let it mix on any cycle until it becomes a nice dough - usually about 6 or 7 minutes.
2. Unplug bread machine and just let the dough rise inside for the first 30 minutes. Take dough out, shape into a nice loaf, and put in a greased loaf pan. Let it rise 30 more minutes.
3. Bake in oven at 350 for 30 minutes.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Crock Pot Candied Chicken

It's not really candied chicken, it is a sweet and delicious tasting chicken. I found this on a fun web-site/blog that has a TON of crock-pot recipes. We tried it and I thought I'd share it with all of you.

12 boneless skinless chicken thighs or 6 boneless skinless breast halves (or mix both)
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup lemon-lime soda
2/3 cup vinegar (use your favorite)
3 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. ground pepper

1. Place your chicken in the crock pot. Cover with brown sugar, pepper, garlic and soy sauce. Add the vinegar and soda.

2. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. I cooked it for 6 hours and the chicken was a bit too done...I think I'll cook it for closer to 5 hours on low--tops. It cooked up really quick. It will differ slightly also if the chicken is frozen or thawed. It was VERY yummy though! Just watch your chicken--you know your crock pot best too.
Serve with Rice and your favorite veggies.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Sloppy Joes

I've made this periodically for my family--it's one of our favorite dinner nights. We love these Sloppy Joes, and really, the ingredients are all pretty much right here at home.

1 lb. ground beef
dry minced onion

1 1/2 cup ketchup
2 Tbsp. vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp. prepared mustard
3 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

1. Brown your beef with a few shakes of minced onion (optional). Drain beef.

2. In a small sauce pan, combine remaining ingredients. Add more vinegar or brown sugar to get the taste and tangy-ness you desire. If you like your Joes real sloppy, add more of each ingredient. Let ingredients stew for 5-10 minutes.

3. Combine sauce with the beef. Serve on your favorite bun or roll.

*We love our Sloppy Joes with steamed broccoli. You can do chips, or any of your favorite veggies.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Dutch Oven Peach Cobbler

We had this too at the camp out and it was quite tasty. My friend had all the ingredients in a bag and ready to go--the dry ingredients together, then butter and peaches each separately. It made it quite easy to throw together once at the camp site. I can imagine that I can make it in my Dutch oven, but place it in my oven at home at 350 degrees. This recipe is an adaptation from Byron's Dutch Oven Recipes.

Serves: 12

1 1/2 stick butter
3 cups flour
3 cups sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/4 cups milk
4-5 cups sliced peaches
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1. Melt butter in a 12" Dutch oven. (use 10-12 briquettes on bottom unless you are stacking your ovens--then use whatever is top heat for first oven, and put 16 to top of this cobbler)

2. In a separate bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt; stir to mix. Add milk and beat until batter is smooth. Pour batter over melted butter--do not stir. Carefully add peaches over top of the batter--do not stir. Sprinkle cinnamon over top.

3. Cover and bake using 10-12 briquettes on bottom and 18-20 on top for 45-60 minutes rotating oven and lid 1/4 turn in opposite directions every 10 minutes until crust is golden brown.

4. Serve topped with whipped cream or with vanilla ice cream.

Dutch Oven Teriyaki Chicken & Potatoes

Our ward had a camp out recently, and it was so much fun. A friend of mine and I decided to "dutch oven"-it together. I made the main course and she made the desert. Some while back, for one of our Relief Society Enrichment nights, we had a demonstration on Dutch Oven was a fabulous demonstration and I was so inspired that I went out and bought a great pre-seasoned Dutch oven the very next day. I hadn't gotten a chance to use it until our ward camp out.

Cooking in a Dutch oven isn't very complicated, but you do need to have some instructions. I will provide those at the end of this recipe. The teriyaki chicken and potatoes were fabulous and I got GREAT compliments on the dish. I must say myself, that it was a grand success--especially as it was my 1st time dutch-oven-ing.

I imagine (and I'm going to attempt it) that you can prepare this for the crock pot as well. This recipe below cooks enough for 2 large families, so you may want to half the recipe for you sole family...or invite other over--maybe the missionaries--they have great appetites!!

10 boneless chicken breasts (or 16 breast cutlets)
Yoshida's Gourmet Sauce (you can buy this at Costco--and check your store too)
your favorite thick Teriyaki Sauce

8-10 potatoes, thinly sliced (peeled or unpeeled)
2 lbs bacon
1 large onion

1. Brown the bacon in a hot Dutch oven, or prior in your own skillet. Add diced onion (we minced our onion so as to not have big chunks of onion).

2. Brown chicken in hot Dutch oven, or prior in your skillet. It does not need to be cooked through as it will finish cooking in the Dutch oven.

3. With a little of the left over bacon grease, drizzle it on the bottom of the Dutch oven. Place a layer of chicken, top with Yoshida sauce (as much as you desire), potatoes, bacon and onions. Continue this layering.

4. Place lid on the dutch oven and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour on hot coals. You need to rotated
the dutch oven on the coals 1/4 turn every 15 minutes, and rotate the lid 1/4 turn every 15 minutes as well.

5. If you want, try making this in the crock-pot. I'm sure it will taste rather yummy as well.

*Heat your coals prior to placing the dutch oven on them. The best way to do this is to use a charcoal starter (see picture). We can Dutch-oven cook at home...we bought a large aluminum drip pan that you can buy at Wal-Mart or an Auto store. Place the coals right on it--area of course is hot, so use caution!!

*How many coals do I use so I don't burn the food, here's a great formula...and easy to figure out!

Plus Four – Minus Four Rule
Dutch Oven Size Minus four briquettes on bottom
Dutch Oven Size Plus four briquettes on top
12” oven – 8 (12-4) briquettes on bottom, 16 (12+4) briquettes on top
14” oven – 10 (14-4) briquettes on bottom, 18 (14+4) briquettes on top

*For more instructions on how to Dutch-oven cook, email me!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Cheesy Chicken Manicotti

My sister recently passed this recipe along to me. We finally were able to try it and it was rather yummy! Thanks Marcie!

1 can cream of chicken soup (you can use 98% fat-free)
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 lb. (4 oz.) Velveeta Cheese (you can use Velveeta 2% for lower fat)
2 cups frozen broccoli florets (I used fresh)
12 manicotti pasta shells, uncooked
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut to 1/2-inch strips (cooked or uncooked)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 400. Mix soup, water, and Velveeta in microwavable bowl. Microwave on HIGH 3 minutes or until Velveeta is melted and mixture is well blended, stirring after 2 minutes.

2. Pour 1/3 of the soup mixture onto the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking dish; set aside. Add broccoli florets to the remaining soup mixture.

3. Stuff pasta shells with the chicken strips; placing in baking dish. Cover completely with remaining soup/broccoli mixture. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil.

4. Bake 45-50 minutes or until pasta is tender and chicken is cooked through.

yield: 6 servings, 2 manicotti shells each.
prep time: 10 minutes
total time: 1 hour

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Country Salisbury Steak

I found this recipe a while ago and we've been enjoying it on occasion. As a kid, every now and then, we'd get TV Dinners. Did your family do that? Well, I always loved the Salisbury Steak. When I came across this recipe, I was excited to try it and we weren't let down. It is extremely quick to prepare and yummy! I found it in my Kraft Every Day Foods (free) magazine.

1 1/2 lb. extra lean ground beef
1 pkg. Stove Top stuffing mix for chicken
1 1/4 cups water, divided
3/4 cup chopped onion (I use a little dehydrated onion for this)
1 pkg. (8 oz.) fresh mushrooms, sliced

optional for sauce: (I use a brown gravy pack instead)
1/2 cup Kraft Original Barbeque Sauce
1/4 cup water

1. Preheat oven to 375. Mix meat, stuffing mix, 1 1/4 cups of the water and the onions until well blended. Shape into six 1/2-inch-thick oval patties. Place on 15x10x1-inch baking pan.

2. Bake 25 minutes or until cooked through (160 degrees).

3. Saute your mushrooms. Prepare your brown gravy packet according to the instructions. Combine and serve over the patties.
3. Spray a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Add mushrooms; cook on medium-high heat 5 min. or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Add barbecue sauce and remaining 1/4 cup water. Reduce heat to low. Cook 1 to 2 minutes or until sauce is heated through. Serve over the patties.
We serve with a potato dish of some sort--scalloped, mashed, baked. This would be great with any side though; rice, stuffing, etc. Serve with your favorite vegetable.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Japanese Chicken

My visiting teacher brought this meal into us just after I had my 4th child. We really loved it, and to my happy surprise, the recipe was in our ward cookbook. In the ward cookbook it's called "Lori's Japanese Chicken" and it was submitted by Debbie Fordham. This is one of our family favorites. There is a little more time involved, but it is not complicated at all. You'll love the outcome!

boneless, skinless chicken breasts, or breast tenderloins (as many as your family eats)
2 beaten eggs (you can substitute plain yogurt for this step)
1 cup flour
1 cup oil
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup vinegar
1 cup sugar

1. Beat your chicken breasts to about 1/4" thickness. Dip chicken into egg (or yogurt), then into flour. Fry in oil until chicken is deep brown in color.

2. Place in 9x13 pan. Prepare sauce by combining soy sauce, water, vinegar and sugar. Pour over chicken.

3. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes. Baste with sauce while baking. Serve with rice.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Taco Ring

This is an oldie-but-goodie. I believe I had it at one of the first Pampered Chef parties I attended. I made this just last night--it was quick and SO EASY. And Yummy! It was nice to bring something back into our rotation that we hadn't had for a while.

2 pkg. (16) crescent rolls (you can use low-fat)
1 lb. ground beef--browned
1 pkg. taco seasoning
2 Tbsp. water
1 cup shredded cheese (cheddar is preferable)

optional ingredients for garnishing and topping
1 medium green pepper
1/2 head lettuce
1 medium tomato
1 small onion
sour cream (save a few calories without sacrificing the taste and use lite!)

1. Brown your beef. Combine meat, seasoning, cheese and water. Mix all together.
2. Arrange crescent triangles in a circle on a round stone or round pan. Spoon meat mixture over rolls. Fold points of triangles over filling and tuck under base at center (filling will not be completely covered).
3. Bake 20-25 minutes at 350.

Optional: Shred lettuce, cube tomato, chop onion and olives. Place in center. V cut the top of a pepper and put salsa in it. Place in center.
Note: Even if you can't do all of the garnishments, try just a little salsa or lite sour cream dollop on the top of the ring. Serve with a different veggie if you don't have time to prepare the lettuce and other toppings.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Frank's RedHot Buffalo Chicken Dip

A friend brought this over last night for game night, and it was fabulous! We love "buffalo" seasoned food, so this was right on for us. I'm always looking for a new dip too. Enjoy!

8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
1/2 cup blue cheese or ranch salad dressing
1/2 cup FRANK'S® REDHOT® Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce or FRANK'S® REDHOT® Buffalo Wing Sauce
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese or shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cups shredded cooked chicken (she used canned chicken and it was perfect)

1. HEAT oven to 350°F. Place cream cheese into deep dish 9-inch pie plate. Microwave 1 min. to soften.
2. WHISK in salad dressing, Frank's RedHot Sauce and cheese until smooth. Stir in chicken.
3. BAKE 20 min. or until mixture is heated through; stir.

Garnish as desired. Serve with crackers or vegetables.

Microwave Directions: Prepare as above. Microwave, uncovered, on HIGH 5 min. until hot, stirring halfway through cooking.

Tip: For a party buffet table, keep this dip hot in a small crock pot or fondue pot.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

chicken quesadillas with mango chutney

When we first moved to New York, our friends invited us over for dinner one Sunday evening. This is the recipe of what she served. I thought it was delicious and creative. It's become a family favorite and whenever I see mangoes in season, I get really excited to make this again for my family.

3 chicken breasts, cooked and cut up
4 cups apx. mozzarella cheese
10 flour tortillas

2 mangoes, cut up into 1/2" pieces
2 kiwis, cut up and diced
1/2 bunch cilantro, snipped
2/3 cup corn, either from a can and drained or frozen--thawed, even fresh
1/2 red onion, diced (optional)

1. Grill/bake chicken, seasoning with a bit of lemon pepper if you desire. Cut up into small pieces
2. Cut up mango and kiwi into small pieces. Cook corn according to package directions. Mix with mango and kiwi.
3. Chop/snip up cilantro and add about 3 Tbsp. into fruit mixture.
4. Add diced onion to mixture.
5. In a skillet, place a tortilla down, add cheese, chicken (see below), then top with a few sprigs of cilantro (to taste), top with another tortilla. Place the lid on the skillet and cook in skillet until cheese is melted.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Molten Lava Chocolate Cakes

I made this last night for our dessert. They really did turn out how they look in the picture! It is one of Jim's favorite...ok, me too! Kind of like a chocolate souffle that we would always order at our favorite restaurant in New York. They are extremely simple. If you don't have any ramekins, get some--they're rather inexpensive and good for serving your kids apple sauce or fruit in, etc. (or borrow them from me)! This is a BAKERS Chocolate recipe.

6 ounces semi-sweet or dark bittersweet chocolate (BAKERS is good, or any kind of baking chocolate)
10 Tbsp. butter
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup flour
3 whole eggs
3 egg yolks

1. Preheat oven to 425. Grease 6-6 oz. ramekins/custard cups/souffle dishes. GREASE LIBERALLY! Place on baking dish.

2. Microwave chocolate and butter in large microwavable bowl on Medium (50%) for 2 min. or until butter is melted. Stir with wire whisk until chocolate is melted completely. Add powdered sugar and flour; mix well. Add whole eggs and egg yolks; beat until well blended. Divide batter evenly into prepared ramekins.

3. Bake 14 to 15 minutes or until cakes are firm around the edges but soft in the centers. Let stand 1 minute. Run small knife around the cakes to loosen. Carefully invert cakes onto dessert dishes. Sprinkle lightly with additional powdered sugar and garnish with raspberries, if desired. Serve immediately. (They were actually good after being refrigerated over night and warmed up in the morning.)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

crock pot chicken tacos

My sister-in-law, Summer, shared this recipe with her recipe club. I tried it today and it was VERY simple to put together in the crock pot. It was a winner with my family. They all ate it--all of it. Very very yummy. Simple to make, yummy to eat. It passes our test.

Sara served them with Navajo Fry Bread (recipe below)

2-3 chicken breasts (you can use 7 or so chicken breast tenders)
1 can chicken broth
1 pkg taco seasoning
1 cup salsa
1 can corn, drained
1 can black beans, drained

Place the above ingredients in the crock pot on high for 3-4 hours on HIGH. Just before serving shred chicken and add:

1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup shredded cheese

It will be runny. I like to fry up scones and make navajo tacos. I take them out of the freezer just before frying and put them in the microwave for 30 sec. to thaw. Then stretch them and fry 'em up...Or serve in taco shells or flour tortillas. My husband eats it like soup so you could try that too.

Top with: Cheese, Lettuce, tomatoes, onions, salsa, avocados, or anything else that sounds good.

navajo fry bread

I found this on the internet tonight and made it to serve the crock pot chicken tacos on (recipe above). It was relatively easy to make and quick. Next time I make the, I think they'll be even better. Very very tasty though. I could see making these and putting a can of chili and cheese over it, or making a dessert with them...maybe with cinamon & sugar or powdered sugar. There are a lot of options with this fry bread. Have fun!

Recipe from: Cynthia Detterick-Pineda

2 cup unbleached flour
¾ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon powdered milk
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup water
Vegetable oil for frying

1. Sift together the flour, salt, powdered milk, and baking powder into a large bowl. Pour the water over the flour mixture all at once and stir the dough with a fork until it starts to form one big clump.

2. Flour your hands. Using your hands, begin to mix the dough, trying to get all the flour into the mixture to form a ball. NOTE: You want to mix this well, but you do NOT want to knead it. Kneading it will make for a heavy Fry Bread when cooked. The inside of the dough ball should still be sticky after it is formed, while the outside will be well floured.

3. Cut the dough into four (6) pieces. Using your floured hands, shape, stretch, pat, and form a disk of about 5 to 7 inches in diameter. NOTE: Don’t worry about it being round. It doesn't need to roll into your mouth!

4. Heat the vegetable oil to about 350 degrees. NOTE: You can check by either dropping a small piece of dough in the hot oil and seeing if it begins to fry, or by dipping the end of a wooden spoon in and seeing if that bubbles. Your oil should be about 1-inch deep in a large cast-iron skillet or other large fryer.

5. Take the formed dough and gently place it into the oil, being careful not to splatter the hot oil. Press down on the dough as it fries so the top is submersed into the hot oil. Fry until brown, and then flip to fry the other side. Each side will take only a minute or so.

Indian Fry Bread can be kept warm in a 200 degree F. oven for up to 1 hour. They refrigerate well and can be reheated in a 350 degree F. oven for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Manicotti Cordon Bleu

I haven't tried this yet, but I plan to soon. I actually found it on a coupon my milk man left for me and thought it looked interesting. If you try it too, leave a comment and let me know how you liked it!

1 pkg (12 oz.) string cheese snacks
12 slices deli ham or turkey
12 manicotti shells, uncooked
1 jar (26 oz.) pasta sauce
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup Artisan Blends Parmesan Cheese

1. Unwrap string cheese; place over each meat slice and roll up. Slide rolled cheese into pasta shell.
2. Combine pasta sauce and water; mix well. Spread 3/4 cup sauce mixture over 9x13-inch baking dish. Arrange filled manicotti shells in dish; spread remaining sauce over mixture evenly over shells.
3. Cover with foil; bake in preheated 350 degree F oven for 50 minutes or until pasta is tender. Top with parmesan cheese.

Note from Sara: Make sure you cook this with foil on until the noodles are soft. You may even want to buy the "ready to bake" manacotti noodles, or boil regular Manacotti noodles for a couple of minutes to get them started! Good luck!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Mom's Parmesan Chicken

This recipe was given to me by Kristen Johnson...a friend in my ward. I haven't tried it yet, but it sounds very tasty and not too complicated! If you try it, leave a comment and let me know how you like it! Thanks Kristen!

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
garlic salt
1 c. of Ritz crackers
½ c. parmesan cheese
½-1 c. sour cream or plain yogurt

¼ c. butter (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Pat chicken breasts dry, sprinkle chicken with garlic salt, let sit.
3. Crumble about a cup of Ritz crackers. Combine with parmesan cheese.
4. Dip chicken in sour cream or plain yogurt and cover with dry cracker mixture.
Optional: drizzle with melted butter.
5. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

On several occasions, I've had people's chocolate chip cookies and thought "Why don't mine ever turn out that way?" Well, last night I attended a baby shower and I found myself thinking this again. Our hostess directed me to the recipe...which happened to be from favorite on-line site for recipes. I thought I'd share the recipe with you too. It was rather yummy. Not too mushy, and not too crisp. Just right!

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. hot water
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cream together the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Dissolve baking soda in hot water. Add to the batter along with salt.
3. Stir in flour, chocolate chips, and nuts. Drop by large spoonfulls onto ungreased pans.
4. Bake for about 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are nicely browned.

*The lady that made these last night said she baked them for EXACTLY 10 minutes. When she took them out they were still soft in the center, but when they cooled, they were just right and didn't taste under-done.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Beef Taco Skillet

I made this for dinner tonight and it was so yummy I had to run and put it on my blog to share with all of you. It really took maybe 5 minutes to prepare it and it was complete in less than 20! So so easy. It is a Campbell's recipe. Chances'll have the ingredients on hand. I hope you'll enjoy it as much as my family did!

1 lb. ground beef
1 can Campbell's Tomato Soup (regular or 25% less sodium)
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 cup water
6 flour tortillas (6"), cut into 1" pieces
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

1. Cook beef in 10" skillet until well browned, stirring to break up meat. Pour off fat.
2. Stir in soup, salsa, water, tortillas. Heat to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook for 5 min. Stir. Top with cheese.

Makes 4 servings.

BLT Ranch Salad Pizza

I received this recipe from a friend that is a Pampered Chef Consultant. It was just what I was looking for--something new and delicious for dinner. Though the prep time was a little more than most of my meals, it wasn't too complicated at all. It is really easy to make it --less-fattening-- too...just substitute some of the ingredients for lower-fat options. The results were family LOVED it!

1 pkg refrigerated pizza crust (or make your own)
2 cups thinly sliced lettuce
2 plum tomatoes
1 pkg, 8 oz., cream cheese, softened (I used the low-fat version)
1/2 cup ranch salad dressing, divided
1 garlic clove, pressed
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup pitted ripe olives, sliced
1/4 cup chopped red onion
6 slices bacon, crisply cooked, drained and crumbled (or use turkey bacon)

1. Preheat oven to 400. Unroll pizza crust to within 1 inch of edge of lightly floured rectangle stone. Bake 15-18 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven; cool completely.

2. On cutting board, thinly slice lettuce. Seed and dice tomatoes.

3. In medium bowl, combine cream cheese, 1/4 cup of the salad dressing and garlic; mix well and spread evenly over crust.

4. Top Pizza with lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, olives, onion and bacon.

5. Drizzle with remaining dressing. Cut into squares; serve immediately.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Sausage Tortellini Soup

A very thoughtful friend brought this over last night for my family, as I've been a bit under the weather. It was so yummy, I thought I'd share it. I'm excited to have another meal to add to our family-meal-rotaion. The recipe comes from my ward Melinda Thompson. Thank Liv!

2 lbs. ground Italian sausage
2 cloves minced garlic
1 med. chopped onion
6 c. beef broth
6 c. canned pureed tomatoes
3 large carrots, chopped
2 Tbsp. oregano
3 1/2 c. tomato sauce
2 tsp. basil
2 Tbsp. parsley
1 bay leaf
2 (10-oz.) pkgs. tortellini

Brown sausage and drain. Saute onion and garlic in a large pot. Add all ingredients except tortellini. Simmer 2-3 hours. Add tortellini the last 45 minutes of cooking time.