Thursday, October 31, 2013

Our Award-Winning Chili

We just entered this delicious chili recipe into our ward's Chili Cook-off and we got first place! The recipe is Anthony's mom's. Super simple and yummy!

1/2 to 1 lb ground beef
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2-1/2 to 3 TB chili powder
1 can kidney beans
1 can diced tomatoes
1 24 oz jar spaghetti sauce

1. Brown meat, add salt and pepper to season.
2. Add green pepper and onion, cook until soft and tender.
3. Add garlic, sautee.
4. Drain and rinse beans.
5. Coat the top of the meat mixture with chili powder, and stir together.
6. Add beans, tomatoes, and spaghetti sauce.
7. Simmer 20 minutes.
8. Add more chili powder, salt, and/or pepper to taste.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Apple Adventures

We had an awesome harvest of apples from our little tree.  I was very diligent with spraying the apples this year, but I don't know what to do for wasps that eat the apples.  Any tips?  So far this week I have canned 36 pints of applesauce, 7 quarts of apple slices, dried three trays of apple fruit leather and 4 trays of apple slices.  Apparently it has been a while since I've canned, because on my last batch of applesauce we caught Paige a moment too late.  Yes, she was having a ball tapping the lids on the jars I had just removed from the boiling water bath to see if any of them had different sounds.  So today I have started into the using up of the last 1/2 box of apples (as well as the 9 pints of tapped applesauce) in baked goods.  I started with breakfast.

I found a recipe for Applesauce Pancakes, I think on, and made the Buttermilk Caramel Syrup from Our Best Bites (see their websites for better directions and/or pictures if you want or need).  I doubled the pancake recipe and it was a good idea that I did.  Maybe it's just that I haven't fixed breakfast in a long time, but my three oldest kids and Bryce couldn't seem to stop eating.  Bryn even said, as she was leaving to catch the bus, "I want another pancake."  Logan asked if I could make these "waffle" pancakes all the time now (for some reason he had a hard time remembering ("applesauce").  Bryn thought the syrup was awesome.  I thought it would also taste good on a yummy apple cake with some whipped topping.  

Applesauce Pancakes

2 cups pancake mix ( I used Krusteaz Buttermilk Pancake mix since I have so much of it.  I purchased a case at Ridley's case lot sale last week.)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 eggs
1 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 cup milk

Combine the pancake mix and cinnamon.  Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and put the rest of ingredients in it.  Stir with a fork or whisk until smooth.  Pour by 1/4 cup-fulls onto heated griddle.  Cook like you cook a pancake. :)

Buttermilk Caramel Syrup

3/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
2 Tablespoons corn syrup
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla

Place first 5 ingredients in a large pot.  (This stuff bubbles and foams like crazy so you need room for it to grow).  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat, but keep it bubbling good.  Stir often and cook for 8 to 9 minutes or until it is a nice caramel color.  Remove from heat and add vanilla.  You can just stir down the foamy layer.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Chicken Alfredo Sauce for Two

Chicken Alfredo for Two

  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, seasoned on both sides with Montreal steak seasoning
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil (or regular oil if you don't have olive oil)
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, optional
  • 1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic (you can use powdered garlic or granulated garlic, but probably a little less)
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 cup chicken broth (or 1 bouillon cube and 1 cup water)
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream (or half and half)
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated (get a wedge and grate it yourself; the other stuff doesn't melt well or taste as good)
  • 1/2 lb fettuccine or linguine

Cooking Directions

{Step 1} Place 6 quarts of water in a large pot and bring to a boil.  Add pasta and cook until done.
{Step 2} While water is coming to a boil, add 2 teaspoons oil to a large skillet and heat over medium heat.  Add chicken to skillet and cook on both sides until done. Remove chicken from skillet and keep chicken covered to keep it hot.
{Step 3} Add remaining oil (if needed) to skilletred pepper flakes, onion, garlic, and oregano to skillet and saute about 1 minute.  Add broth and continue to cook over medium heat until reduced in half (about 5 minutes).
{Step 4} Lower heat to simmer and add cream and Parmesan cheese.  Whisk until thickened (about 2 minutes).
{Step 5} Drain pasta and reserve 1 cup of pasta water in case you need to add it to the sauce if it is too thick.  Cut chicken into slices, and add pasta and sliced chicken to saucemix. (If pasta is too thick at this point add the reserved pasta water).

{Step 6Sprinkle with additional grated Parmesan cheese.

We've made this MULTIPLE times. It always gets raving reviews. So delish!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Pizza Caserole

16 oz. uncooked rotini pasta
1 lb. ground Italian sausage
24 oz. pasta sauce
16 oz. cottage cheese
2 1/4 ounce sliced black olives
4 oz. mushrooms
12 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
4 oz. sliced pepperoni

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease a 9x13 casserole dish.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.  Place pasta in the pot, cook for 8-10 minutes, until al dente, and drain.

In a skillet over medium heat, cook the sausage until evenly brown, drain grease.  Mix in the cooked pasta and pasta sauce.  Pour into prepared casserole dish.

In a bowl, mix the cottage cheese, olives, mushrooms and mozzarella cheese.

Spoon the cheese mixture over the sausage and pasta mixture.  Top with pepperoni slices.

Bake 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until bubbly and lightly browned.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Souped Up Slow Cooker Round Roast

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 6+ hours
Serves: 8 people

1 round roast, about 3 pounds
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 packet powdered onion soup mix
1 can beef broth
1 large onion, thickly sliced (optional)
8 oz button mushrooms, thickly sliced (optional)

In a bowl, whisk together mushroom soup, onion soup mix, and beef broth, and then pour into a slow cooker. Place roast in slow cooker. Top with onion and mushrooms, if desired. Place lid on slow cooker and cook on LOW for 6-7 hours, or until roast is fork tender.

Remove roast to a cutting board and let rest 15 minutes before slicing.

While roast is resting, turn crockpot to HIGH and thicken gravy with a small amount of cornstarch mixed with cold water. Stir and whisk gravy, leaving lid off, until thickened.

Serve roast with gravy. We also enjoyed the gravy over baked potatoes. In addition, we served rolls and green beans. It was a very delicious meal!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Cheesy Chicken Tater Tot Casserole

When our neighbor came over to supper on Friday, I couldn't decide which recipe to make, so I made two different crockpot recipes.  This is the other recipe I used, again from The Country Cook.  For dessert we had Frosty Strawberry Squares, mom's chocolate chip pumpkin bread I found in the freezer and Logan made peanut butter cups.  This recipe was pretty good, though Thelma thought it would taste even better with diluted cream of mushroom soup, rather than just milk poured over it.

Asian Chicken

Last Friday we invited our neighbor over for dinner.  I tried a new recipe from The Country Cook blog.  Yeah, I may become addicted to this blog.  So many recipes looked very tasty.  Bryce and I and Mrs. Lee liked this Asian Chicken.  I did it in the slow cooker, though the blog author says she sometimes marinates the chicken and grills it.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Banana Oatmeal Cookies

I had one banana that needed used up.  I searched for a recipe and found this one in the "Family Collection Cookbook" by Taste of Home.  I halved the recipe to use my one banana and it turned out pretty yummy and, of course, I omitted the walnuts because of Seth.

1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2)
1 3/4 cups quick-cooking oats
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

In a mixing bowl, combine the first six ingredients; beat in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Add egg, bananas and oats; mix well.  Stir in chips and nuts.

Drop by tablespoonfuls onto greased baking sheets.  Bake at 375 degrees for 13-15 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool on wire racks.  Yield:  4 dozen.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Cucumber Sandwiches

At Stake Girls' Camp, one of the activities will be spa-related. These sandwiches will be served. I think they are delicious, but maybe that's because I love cucumber and also I love dill!

Cucumber Sandwiches
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. chopped fresh dillweed
20 sandwich bread slices
20 thin wheat bread slices
  1. Process cream cheese and mayonnaise in a blender or food processor until smooth, stopping once to scrape down sides.
  2. Combine cream cheese mixture with cucumber and seasonings.
  3. Spread cucumber mixture evenly onto white bread slices and top with wheat bread. Using a 2" or 3" round cutter, cut sandwiches, discarding edges. Or, cut crusts from bread, discarding crusts, and cut sandwiches into quarters.
  4. Store cucumber sandwiches in an airtight container for up to 1 hour before serving.

White Chocolate Cupcakes

I'm helping a friend prepare for Stake Girls' Camp by trying out recipes and making detailed shopping lists for her. This recipe is worth sharing!

White Chocolate Cupcakes
1 box white cake mix
4 egg whites
1/3 cup oil
3/4 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup sour cream
1 T. vanilla
1 cup white chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line pans with cupcake liners.
  2. Sift cake mix into a bowl and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, gently whisk egg whites, oil, buttermilk, sour cream and vanilla extract.
  4. Add cake mix and stir until combined (it's more like a muffin batter texture).
  5. Stir chips into batter.
  6. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full and bake for 15-20 minutes.
  7. Cool cupcakes on wire rack.
  8. Frost cooled cupcakes with frosting of your choice. Valerie's Decorator's Buttercream Frosting with almond flavoring is DELISH on these cupcakes. I used egg white powder instead of meringue powder because that's what I had, and it worked perfectly!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Raspberry Crumb Cake

Raspberry Crumb Cake Recipe
We really enjoyed this delicious cake.  The recipe is from Taste of Home 2000 Annual Recipes.

2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
3/4 cup water
2 cups fresh or frozen unsweetened raspberries
1 tablespoon lemon juice

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground mace (didn't have this so didn't add it)
1 cup cold butter or margarine
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cold butter or margarine
1/4 cup sliced almonds

In a sauce pan, combine sugar, cornstarch, water and raspberries.  Bring to a boil over medium heat; boil for 5 minutes or until thickened, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat; stir in lemon juice.  Cool.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the first six crust ingredients.  Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Beat eggs, milk and vanilla; add to crumb mixture and mix well.  Spread two-thirds of the mixture into a greased 13-in. x 9 in. x 2-in. baking dish.  Spoon raspberry filling over crust to within 1 in. of the edges.  Top with the remaining crust mixture.

For topping, combine flour and sugar; cut in butter until crumbly.  Stir in almonds.  Sprinkle over the top.  Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes or until lightly browned.

Yield:  12-16 servings

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Baked Chicken Nuggets

Picture from

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound)
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Salt and pepper
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
Cooking spray

(Mom's Note: I had about 3 pounds of chicken breasts and the 3 eggs were just perfect for it.  If you are only using 1 pound of chicken breasts, cut the 3 eggs down to 1 egg.)       

Spread the panko crumbs on a rimmed baking sheet and bake in a 400 degree oven for 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a shallow dish, add Parmesan, drizzle with oil to combine.

Prepare the chicken breasts:  Cut the breasts into 3 sections across the grain (the short way).  This makes about 2 inch segments.  Now slice the 2 inch width into 1/2 inch sections.  When you get to the "thin" end of the breast, you will need to cut it on the diagonal so the pieces are evenly sized.

Place flour in a shallow dish and season with salt and pepper.  Place the lightly beaten egg(s) in another separate shallow dish. 

Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees.

Coat the chicken in the seasoned flour, shaking off the excess then placing them upon a sheet of parchment paper and letting them sit for 10 minutes. You will notice that the flour is absorbed on the chicken pieces.  Reflour the chicken pieces.  Dip in egg, then coat with panko, pressing to adhere.  Place on a sprayed cookie sheet.  Bake until chicken is cooked through, about 12 minutes, flipping halfway through.  Serve nuggets with sauce.

Combine 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard and 2 tablespoons each mayo and honey.

Combine 1/4 cup ketchup, 3 tablespoons spicy chili sauce, such as Sriracha; and 2 tablespoons mayo.

Recipe from Martha Stewart's Everyday Food website

Best Ever Pancake Syrup

You all know that I have made maple syrup for pancakes for years with just sugar, water, and Mapleine.  You know the mistakes I have made with it.   I have found a new recipe--it is thicker and I absolutely love it!

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup water
Maple or other flavoring extract

Heat water and corn syrup to steaming in a 1 1/2 to 2 quart saucepan.  Add sugars and stir to dissolve.  Cook to 220 degrees on a candy thermometer (be sure to check it first with boiling water to see the boiling point). I just boiled the mixture for 3 minutes.   Remove from heat and add flavor to taste.  Store in a tightly closed container. I store in the refrigerator, and heat up in the microwave to serve.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Thai Curry

We liked this curry recipe.  It tastes similar to one we tried in a restaurant.  I'm going to leave out the fish sauce next time and just add a little salt if it needs it.

1 can (~14 oz.) coconut milk
2 tablespoons red curry paste
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 pound chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
1 bag frozen Asian vegetables (like snap peas, bamboo shoots, red bell pepper, broccoli, carrots, water chestnuts)
1/4 cup fresh Thai basil (optional)
2 tablespoons fish sauce
Fresh red chiles, diced (optional)
1/4 cup whole cashews

Bring coconut milk to a simmer in large skillet on medium heat.  Stir in curry paste and sugar until well blended, bring to boil.  Reduce heat to low; simmer 5 minutes.

In separate skillet, saute chicken and vegetables until they are cooked through.  Add to the coconut curry sauce.  Stir in basil, fish sauce and red chiles.

Serve over cooked rice.

Makes 4 servings.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Chicken or Turkey Potpie

I purchased a new cookbook last year called The Ultimate Bulk Buying Cookbook (120 Money Saving, Family Pleasing Recipes).  We've enjoyed a few recipes from the book, including Crockpot Fajitas.  Today I made Potpie with leftover turkey.  It was delicious!

Chicken or Turkey Potpie
recipe adapted slightly from The Ultimate Bulk Buying Cookbook

2 T. olive oil
1 cup diced carrots (use food chopper)
1 cup diced celery (use food chopper)
1 onion, diced (use food chopper)
2 cups cold water
2 tsp. chicken base
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 leftover baked potato, peeled and cubed into 1/2" cubes
2 cups cooked, chopped chicken or turkey
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 tsp. tarragon leaves
salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning, to taste

Place olive oil in a large saute pan and heat on high.  Add carrots, celery, and onion to the pan and saute until onions are soft. In a large measuring cup, mix water, chicken base, and cornstarch.  Turn heat down to medium and pour liquid over vegetables.  Stir and simmer until thickened.  Add cream of chicken soup, peas, potato, turkey or chicken, and seasonings to taste.  Let simmer until heated through.  Meanwhile, prepare a deep-dish pie plate with bottom pie crust.  Pour hot filling into it.  Cover with the second pie crust, crimping the edges.  Pierce holes in the top to vent steam.  Place potpie on a sheet pan, and bake at 425 degrees for 30 - 35 minutes or until crust is golden brown.  Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

Lion House Pie Dough
recipe adapted slightly

1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup shortening
1 T. sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 T. nonfat dry milk powder
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (from white wheat)
1/2 cup plus 1 T. cold water

In mixer, cream butter and shortening.  In bowl, mix sugar, baking powder, salt, and dry milk; add to creamed butter mixture and mix briefly.  Add white flour and beat until blended.  Add wheat flour and mix slightly.  Pour in water and beat again only until water is just blended in.  Add more or less water as needed.

Divide dough into two balls.  Roll each ball out on floured board to fit pie plate.

Note:  this is the first time I've made pie crust with wheat flour.  I really liked the hardiness, taste, and texture of this pie dough!

Leftover Pie Dough Cookies
With any leftover pie dough, roll out dough, spread with softened butter, sprinkle liberally with a cinnamon-sugar mixture.  Cut into squares.  Bake on a small cookie sheet beside pot-pie for 8-10 minutes.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Pasta With Pesto (Shrek Noodles)

I call this recipe Shrek Noodles because of the pretty green color of the sauce.  This recipe is quite delicious and even my non-spinach eaters will eat this.

1 1/2 lbs. pasta, cooked
1 lb. spinach, lightly steamed
1 large pkg. fresh basil, leaves only (about 30 leaves)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 large tomato
4 oz. shredded Parmesan cheese
3 cloves garlic
Sea Salt to taste
1/2 cup walnuts

Puree the spinach, basil, oil, tomatoes, Parmesan, garlic, salt, and walnuts in a high-powered blender.  Serve tossed with cooked pasta, sprinkled with extra shredded Parmesan cheese.  Serves 8.