Monday, October 17, 2011

Severed Finger Cookies

My four year old loved making these cookies with me! We brought dinner to our friends house tonight and she wore a glove with a few of the fingers retracted in the glove so it looked like fingers were missing. We told our friends kids that we hoped they enjoyed the cookies but we had an accident while making them and Emerson (my 4 year old) lost a few fingers.
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sliced almonds
Raspberry jam

1.In a large bowl, beat the butter until creamy. Mix in the sugar, egg and vanilla, then mix in the flour, baking powder and salt. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour.

2.Preheat the oven to 325°. Using your hands and working quickly, roll a heaping tablespoon of dough into a finger shape. Place the fingers about 3 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Stick a sliced almond on 1 end of each for the fingernails. Use a table knife to make three crosswise knuckle marks in the middle of each cookie. Bake until lightly golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.

3.Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, cook the jam over low heat until it reaches a saucy consistency. Once liquefied, remove from the heat and pour into a small bowl; dip the “severed” end of each cookie into the sauce.

(This recipe is from EveryDay with Rachel Ray, October 2011)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Pierogi Casserole

Pierogi's are polish dumplings usually filled with potato or other meats. I have some friends who were going through a hard time this week and happen to love Polish food. I wanted to make them some comfort food to help them feel better. I made this Pierogi casserole and BBQed glazed kielbasa (I'll share that recipe next).It's pretty economical but not low in fat, comfort food isn't supposed to be. It can't sufficiently warm your soul if it's not ladden with fat, right?!

1 cup mashed potatoes (instant or leftovers is fine)
1 lb shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 cup butter
2 -3 medium onions, diced
9 -12 lasagna noodles


1.) Cook noodles as directed on package to al dente.

2.) Saute onions in 1 stick of butter (may use more if desired).

3.) Butter 13x9 inch pan with remaining 1/2 stick butter.

4.) Mix sauteed onions with mashed potatoes.

5.) Layer noodles, then potatoes, then cheese, and repeat, ending with cheese.

6.) Cover with foil and bake in a 350° oven for 25-30 minutes or until cheese is melted.

(top with sour cream and garnish with chives/green onion)

I found this recipe here:

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Tropical Butternut Squash Salad

I found this recipe when I was searching for a BBQ summer side dish at Cara's Cravings.It's refreshing and super healthy because there is no mayo involved, just fresh ingredients.Even though fall is approaching butternut squash seems fallish to me and might go perfectly with your Thanksging dinner.

3lbs peeled, diced butternut squash
1 large red pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup sliced scallions (white and light green parts)
20oz can pineapple tidbits, drained, juice reserved
1/2 cup shredded, unsweetened flaked coconut

4oz nonfat plain Greek yogurt ( I used twice this amount)
4 tablespoons reserved pineapple juice
juice from 1 lime
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
fresh ground pepper, to taste
1/3 cup chopped cilantro

Preheat oven to 375ºF. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray and arrange the squash in an even layer. Spray the squash with more cooking spray. Roast for 40-50 minutes, turning occasionally with a spatula, until the squash is fork-tender and caramelized in spots. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

Meanwhile, place the coconut in a dry skillet over medium-low heat, and cook for about 5 minute, stirring often, until lightly browned and fragrant. Immediately remove from heat and allow to cool.

Transfer the squash to a large bowl and add the pepper, scallions, pineapple tidbits, and toasted coconut.

In a smaller bowl, whisk together the yogurt, pineapple juice, lime juice, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Pour over the squash mixture in the large bowl and gently stir until thoroughly combined. Fold in the cilantro, and chill until ready to serve.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Jessamy's Delish Guacamole

(i need to work on my presentation... no shmeary bowls allowed.)

i know, i'm horrible. start a food blog, never post anything. i really do try new recipes weekly, and take pictures... i just obviously can't follow through.

well, here is a quick one from my friend jess (for those of you who don't know her... they are second year dental students, and she has kind of saved me in my last year surviving with kiddos in the barren wasteland of boston. and she is a good cook with a grill... win win.Ü)

guac is kind of one of those "throw it together" dishes... so these are approximate amounts, and can of course be adapted after tasting.

1 lg avocado
1/4 c diced tomatoes (let the tomato juices drain off first)
1/4-1/2 small onion, finely diced (use whatever onion you have on hand, it's good with all kinds even sweet)
juice of 1/2 small lime
1 1/2 T finely chopped cilantro (i didn't have this on hand, but it was still good without)
1 t garlic powder (you can use real garlic too but it takes a while for the guac to absorb the flavor of the garlic)
1 t salt

mash avacado with fork and mix in additional ingredients. so yummy. we had this with mexican rice/black beans/sour cream/cheese in a tortilla... aka "burrito form." it was so good. new fav.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Curry in a Pumpkin

A twist on dinner in a pumpkin that my minis gobbled like little turkeys :)

1 medium pumpkin
3/4 lb ground beef
3 celery stalks
1/2 onion minced
a couple handfuls of craisins
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons curry powder
1 1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
a dash or two of soy sauce
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 1/2 cups cooked rice

  1. cut and clean pumpkin just as you would a jack-o-lantern.  Go ahead and draw (or let you toddler draw) a face w/ a Sharpie!  rub inside with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Bake on a foiled, greased cookie sheet for 40 min. at 350.
  2. while pumpkin bakes, brown beef.  Add minced onion and celery, saute until tender.  I add a little splash of apple cider plus the craisins to sweeten the deal here.  Add in sugar, curry powder, ginger, cinnamon, soy sauce and cream of chicken soup.  Mix and remove from heat, then add in rice.
  3. after 40 min. remove pumpkin but keep your oven going.  fill pumpkin with beef and rice and put back in for another 30 min or until pumpkin is fork tender. 
  4. Enjoy!

What's on the Menu?

Whenever I know there's going to be a party, I may ask the who, where and when immediately like I should but the first thing I really want to know is what are we eating?  Two weeks plus a couple and I know we're all sitting down to a huge old spread like this one.  And I wanna know, of course;  What are we eating, girls?

My family is pretty into food (may be where I get it?!), so with the clan heading to our place, I'm in obsessive planning mode.  We have a proposed menu that I've sent out for debate and approval to my foodie fam.  Here's the menu we've got in mind:

Cut Fruit Arrangement
Pumpkin Soup w/ Balsamic Apple and Onion Chutney
Butternut Squash Risotto

Main Course
the Stuffing
Potatoes and Gravy
Pan Roasted Veggies
Marshmallow Yams
Cranberry Sauce

Pie (fruit or cream)
Chocolate Berry Trifle
Pumpkin Cheesecake

What are you all working up?  And really, someday, can the stars align sometime so we can have a big ol' feast together just for the fun of it please?  All in favor, say "AYE!"

Monday, November 1, 2010

a-ward winning chili.

this recipe won my ward's halloween chili cook-off on saturday night. must be good, right?! thanks to my other sister-in-law, liz for the recipe. it's definitely a keeper.

1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. sausage
1 medium onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1/2 C celery, diced
2 cans kidney beans, drained
16 oz can diced tomatoes
2 16 oz cans tomato sauce
2 T chili powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 T salt
1/2 T sugar
1 bay leaf
1/2 t. pepper
1/2 t. cumin
1/2 t dry mustard
1/2 t celery salt

Brown ground beef and sausage. Toss in a crockpot or pot along with all remaining ingredients. Cook high 3-4 hours or low 6-7 hours.

santa rosa chicken and wild rice salad

this comes out of my family cookbook. thanks to two of my sisters-in-law, camie and katie, for this recipe. oh, and just because it's a salad doesn't mean it can't be used as a main dish. it totally is. and, of course, so good!

2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 T prepared Dijon
1/2 t salt
1/4 t sugar
1/4 t pepper
1/3 c seasoned rice wine vinegar
1/2 to 1 lemon, juiced
1/3 c oil

2 pkg. Uncle Ben's long wild rice, cooked and cooled
4 chicken breasts, cooked and cut into bite sized pieces
4 green onions, sliced
1 red pepper, chopped
3 oz fresh pea pods, steamed
2 avocados
1 c chopped, roasted pecans

Blend and refrigerate the dressing for 2-4 hours in advance. Mix all other ingredients, except the avocados and pecans. Add avocados and pecans just before serving.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

got crab?

i guess i've been ambitious lately because i've been cooking a lot and trying out new recipes, too. anyone else have the cooking bug? one of our hygienists at the office caught some crab over the weekend and gave us 3 crabs! so i had a lot of fresh crab to make something but no recipes! i went searching on the internet and found this crab imperial recipe. we all liked it but thought it was probably more of a side or appetizer rather than a main dish. BUT calvin and miles both had 3rd's! it would definitely be faster to make this with canned crab meat but i kind of enjoyed hacking away at the crab shell to get to the meat. any pent-up aggression? find a crab. so i guess you know what i'll be making next time i get my hands on some fresh crab...

crab imperial
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 heaping tablespoons flour
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 heaping tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 slice bread, torn
  • 1 pound crab meat
Melt butter; stir in flour. Add 1/2 cup milk gradually, stirring. Add salt, mustard, vinegar and Worcestershire sauce; cook until thickened. Cool. Add mayonnaise to sauce. Moisten crumbs with remaining milk; add to crab. Mix crab mixture with sauce mixture. Spoon into 8 ramekins. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes.
Serves 8.

**i didn't have any ramekins (fyi, i didn't even know what ramekins were until i saw this recipe and had to look it up on wikipedia) so i just put it all in an 8 inch pie plate and cooked it for about 25 minutes. i also cooked it at 400 degrees which gave it a nice crispy edge and top.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

stacks of chili

thanks to my cute cousin michelle and her blog i found a great, QUICK and delicious dinner for tonight. i think i will definitely add it to my staples right along with sloppy joes, pizza and shepherd's pie. although it ended in an hour long stand-off with miles to eat 2 more bites, the boys really did love it. and so did we.

Using a baking Sheet layer the following...

1 large tortilla

1/2 can of chili ( I love the stagg chili brand)

1/2 can kidney beans, drained **i used black beans because that's all i had. still good.

1/2 can of corn, drained

Grated Cheddar Cheese

Sliced Olives

Repeat those layers.

Loosely cover with Foil and Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Serve with Salsa and Sour Cream.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

mrs. revi's sugar cookies

oh look, kristen's sharing another cookie recipe. i don't know mrs. revi, but she would probably be proud that her cookie recipe has been passed on and on and on. when my mom was a little girl she used to go to sunday school every week and get a giant sugar cookie from mrs. revi. they are amazingly easy, and stay soft and delicious. a good staple for the holidays. (or any day at our house).

3 c flour
1 c butter
2 eggs
1 c sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
3 Tbs. milk (almost 1/2 c)
1 tsp. vanilla

mix flour and butter with a pastry blender. beat eggs in a separate bowl and then add sugar, soda, milk, and vanilla. mix dry & wet together with a spoon (i actually do it in my bosch and it turns out fine).
let cool in fridge for 1 hour.
roll out, (i use a lot of flour when rolling it out, just keep kneading in flour until it no longer sticks to the counter), cut out, lay on parchment lined cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 7-10 min. the trick to having them soft is to take them out before you can just barely see the brown coming to the edges. cool and frost! i usually freeze half so i can take them out and eat them whenever i want. shhh.

and the buttercream frosting i use with them. please don't even think about buying that fake kind in a container, or ruin them with royal icing. personal preference. your life will be better with this. i promise.

4 c powdered sugar
1/2 c butter
5 tbs milk
1 tsp vanilla

cream powdered sugar and butter until smooth. mix in vanilla, and gradually add milk until desired consistancy. mix for a few minutes until smooth and stiff.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

cheddar and herb biscuits

ummm... we made these twice last week. that should tell you how good they are... or how obsessed i am with any kind of cheesy bread.

cheddar and herb biscuits
adapted from here (along with picture above)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons shortening
3 tablespoons butter, cold (or room temp works too)
1 cup buttermilk (i never have buttermilk so i use 1 c milk and 1 1/2 tsp vinegar... let them sit together until little bubbles appear on the top, about ten min.)
1 1/4 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese (i pretty much do 2 cups)

Buttery Topping:
3 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 teaspoon dried parsley flakes (not necessary... just pretty)
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, garlic powder and salt. Cut in shortening and butter until coarse crumbs are formed. Lightly mix in grated cheese. Mix in buttermilk just until moist (dry spots here and there are ok - the biscuits will be tough if they are overmixed). Drop the biscuits onto a greased or lined baking sheet (i use my cookie scooper). Bake for 12-14 minutes, until browned and golden. While the biscuits are baking, in a small bowl combine butter, parsley, garlic powder and salt. Right when the biscuits come out of the oven, brush the butter/herb mixture over the biscuits evenly (alternately, you can dip the top of the biscuit into the butter mixture). Serve immediately.

crockpot barbecue chicken

liz texted me this morning for a good crockpot recipe so i decided to share the wealth on here. i recently read this, this, and this and it pretty much changed the way i think about a crockpot now. i love all of her ideas... you better check out the second link if any.

then i found A Year of Slow Cooking blog and it looks pretty good too. i have two crockpots so i have no more excuses!

crockpot barbecue chicken
adapted from here

4-6 pieces boneless skinless chicken breasts (i threw them in frozen... even easier!)
1 bottle BBQ sauce (sweet baby ray's all the way!)
1/4 c vinegar
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/4 c brown sugar
1/2 - 1 tsp. garlic powder

mix BBQ sauce with all ingredients listed under it. place chicken in crockpot. pour sauce over it and cook on LOW for 4-6 hours. you pretty much don't even have to stir it... how easy is that!? and please eat it with these.

Friday, August 27, 2010

homemade vanilla granola

so i just realized that if i didn't post a recipe IMMEDIATELY it would be the first month in the history of stick a fork in it to have NO posts. sad day. can't let that happen. where's the devotion people?

i've actually been trying a bunch of new recipes lately, i've just been too lazy to share. most of which come from this amazing lady. her stuff is just good. i promise.

this recipe however is not from mel. i've been wanting to make my own granola for awhile now. don't call me a hippy. it comes from favorite family recipes. (notice how i just linked you to the recipe, but for the sake of liz will basically just copy it onto our blog. lovely.)

this stuff is amazing. i don't think i will ever buy storebought granola again. landen downed the container (along with both girls) faster than i could blink. it's wholesome and yummy and has lots of vanilla. perfect with milk for breakfast or in a baggy on the go.


*i halved this recipe, and it made the perfect amount for a week at our house

8 c. oats
2 c. sliced almonds (i sliced up my own so i had some yummy chunks)
1 c. wheat germ (refrigerate after opening... i found out LATER)
1 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp cinnamon (yeah right... i used like a pinch and it was fine)
craisins or raisins, to taste (we love lots of raisins at our house... and they were the perfect sweet bit for me)
3/4 c. canola oil
1 c. honey
3 Tbsp. vanilla (use the real stuff if you have it-- it tastes much better)

Preheat oven to 300-degrees. Combine first 8 ingredients (dry ingredients) in a large bowl. In a saucepan combine oil, honey, and vanilla and bring to a boil. Let boil for 1 minute then pour over oat mixture. (i seriously thought my vanilla had burned at this point. it left a funny smell and even after i baked the granola it smelled funny. hang in there... it doesn't taste funny). Mix until all ingredients are moistened. Divide and spread mixture over 2 large cookie sheets (i covered with parchment) and bake at 300-degrees for 20-30 minutes. Remove from oven and leave on pans until the granola hardens (it may be a little chewy and that's ok.. if you prefer it not to be chewy at all, allow to dry completely). Break up granola and store in large Ziploc bags or containers. Serve plan, with yogurt, or with milk.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Lemon-Lime Raspberry Bars

I got this recipe from Tasty . There was a comment about the recipe where someone said they'd try lime zest next time they made it. I substituted 1 teaspoon lemon zest for lime zest in the filling and 1/4 cup of lime juice 1/4 lemon juice rather than just 1/2 cup lemon. This made it taste like key lime pie, yum. These are a little tart, but so good and easy. Another sum-sum-summer time recipe favorite!

•1-½ cup Graham Cracker Crumbs
•6 Tablespoons Salted Butter, Melted
•¼ cups Sugar
•1 whole Lemon Zested
•2 whole Egg Yolks
•1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk, 14 Oz.
•½ cups Fresh Lemon Juice ( or 1/4 lemon & 1/4 lime)
•1 teaspoon Lemon Zest (or lime)
•6 ounces, weight Fresh Raspberries
Preparation Instructions
Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray a 8 by 8 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, sugar, and lemon zest. Stir until graham cracker crumbs are moist. Press crumbs into the prepared pan, pressing the crust mixture one inch up the side of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature.

Once the crust is cool, combine the egg yolks and condensed milk until well mixed. Stir in the lemon juice and lemon zest. Stir until mixture begins to slightly thicken. Gently fold in the raspberries. Fold carefully so you don’t break the raspberries.

Pour the lemon raspberry filling evenly over the graham cracker crust. Bake for 15 minutes, or until just set.

Cool to room temperature, then chill for at least one hour before serving. Cut into bars and serve. Keep bars in the refrigerator for up to five days.

Note: use fresh raspberries and make sure you gently fold the berries into the lemon filling, or you will have pink bars.

Serves 16.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Shish-Kabob Pasta

Nothing screams summer like shish kabobs on the grill. The other night we had them and made sure to cook up enough for leftovers the next day. This tasted really good and was easy, so I had to share. Please toss this together next time you're-a-grillin' up some 'bobs". I don't have an exact recipe, so be creative.

4-5 6 inch skewers grilled veggies (grape tomato, purple onion, potato, green peppers, summer squash)
2-3 skewers marinated chicken and steak
1 lb. Penne pasta
1/4 cup olive oil
1 small tomato, diced
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta, reserving a half cup of starchy water. Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil and cook the diced tomato and minced garlic in there with red pepper flakes, about 3 minutes over medium heat. Add all the grilled leftover veggies and cut the chicken and steak into bite size pieces. Add pasta, reserved water, fresh parmesean and toss reserving some olive oil and parmesean for topping in each bowl.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

free martha cookbook download

just thought i would spread the word. you can download this free cookbook here. enjoy your summer grilling!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

choconutmeal chip cookies

oh yes i did just sit here and make up that word. how do you combine chocolate chip, coconut, oatmeal cookies? choconutmeal chip. oh man. these are hardcore good chewy cookies. usually i would just say oats make anything better... or coconut makes anything better... or chocolate chips make anything better. but combine all three? bam baby. if you like some "meat" in your cookies like i do, you will love these. and i think i ate 5 cookies worth of dough in the process. usually i'm not a dough eater.

originally from here. (love her and her pictures). i just did a substitution of flour for oats.

2 sticks of butter (1c), at room temp
1/2 c white sugar
1 1/2 c brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 c all purpose flour
1 c rolled oats
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
3 cups shredded sweetened coconut
1 1/5 c semi-sweet chocolate chips/chunks

Cream the butter and the sugars until light (seriously... did you know you're supposed to beat for like 2-5 minutes? as long as it takes until it changes color). Scrape down the side of the bowl. Continue mixing while adding the eggs one at time. Make sure each egg is incorporated before adding the next. Add the vanilla. Scrape down the bowl with a spatula. Combine the flour, soda and salt in another bowl (i never do this... i just add it all in with the butter mixture). With a whisk, stir to combine. With the machine on low, slowly add the flour. Mix until just combined, taking care not to over mix.
With a spatula fold in the chocolate chips, coconut, and oats. (i also just dump it into the bosch and turn it on for a second until it's combined... call me lazy but it works).
Drop by spoonful onto parchment lined cookie sheet. (parchment really is key folks)
Bake at 350° for 11-13 minutes (mine only took 10 minutes because i take them out the second i start to see any brown). They should be lightly golden on the outside but still look gooey on the inside.

oh my.

ps... i just noticed that 5 of the 9 cookie entries are mine. do i have a problem?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

the perfect pizza dough

i'm on a quest each week to find the perfect pizza crust. and so far this is the winner. you see... we have "pizza friday" every friday night. yes, when you have little kids it's something to look forward to. sophie *loves* to help me make pizza, all day: "i help make a pizza!" and i love trying to per-fect my pizza crust, and landen? well he just loves eating it. so it's a win-win-win.

i think i'm finally getting the hang of it thanks to this website. the trick to the perfectly crispy-on-the-outside and soft-on-the-inside crust happens to be using a pizza stone. sure you can still use this recipe on a good old cookie sheet (i've done it and it's still yummy), but if you're looking for that perfect restaurant crisp than use the stone! my definition of the perfect crust is one that i'm not overly noticing, it just blends into the yummy sauce and toppings. here we go.

2 cups flour
1 tsp active dry yeast
4 tsp sugar (about 1/8 cup)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp olive oil
3/4 cup warm water

directions: (i usually start the whole process at 3pm to let rise in time for dinner)
in a glass measuring cup filled with the sugar & water (water should feel very warm against wrist but not hot) i let my yeast activate for 5-10 minutes until bubbly on top. then i mix the oil in with a spoon. while yeast is activating i add the dry ingredients together in my mixer for about 15 seconds (flour & salt). while the mixer is running, pour the yeast mixture in slowly and process the dough for about 60 seconds, a dough ball should begin forming. if the dough is sticky, add flour one tablespoon at a time to dry the dough and allow a ball to form. if the dough is dry, add water one tablespoon at a time to moisten the dough. you want the dough slightly sticky and soft. you don't want to overprocess the dough, you just want to combine the ingredients to form a loose ball. the dough will be soft to the touch and there will be a small amount of residual dough left along the bottom and sides of the bowl.

once finished, place the ball on a floured surface and knead by hand for several minutes. (this is how i take my aggression out after a week of dealing with kids). use flour on your hands to prevent sticking. the dough should feel smooth and silky when ready for use. (you might be able to let your mixer do all the work, but i love kneading dough and i like how i do it better.)

shape dough into a ball and place in a bowl coated with olive oil. brush a light coating of oil on the top of the dough ball as well so it doesn't dry out. cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and then with a kitchen towel. i warm my oven up to 300 or so while i'm kneading, and then turn it off and place the bowl on top of the oven so it's nice and warm for rising. the volume should double depending on the warmth of the kitchen but usually takes 45-90 minutes.

after the dough has doubled, punch it down. turn out onto your board and knead it for a minute or two to get rid of any bubbles. let it rest in the bowl for another 45-90 minutes. i know this seems like a lot of rising, but i have noticed my doughs are much softer and easier to form if i do a double rise.

rolling out your dough:
place the dough ball on a lightly floured work surface. using your fingertips push down on the center of the dough applying outward pressure. you want to flatten out the dough ball and increase the diameter, once you have your intial shape, use a rolling pin to continue flattening the dough. roll in one direction, rotate 90 degrees and roll in the same direction. continue until you achieve your desired thickness and dimaeter.

i need a wooden paddle, but for now i just put my rolled out dough on some parchment on the backside of a cookie sheet so i can easily slide it onto my stone. you want to heat your stone for at least 45-60 minutes before you place your pizza on it. heat oven to 450 degrees (i think i change it every time). decorate your pizza and slide onto stone. i remove the parchment after it's cooked for about 5-10 minutes so it won't stick. cook until crust is just turning crispy golden and cheese is bubbly. about 15 minutes i think? just watch it.

easy sauce:
1 can of tomato sauce
mrs. dash "italian medly"

mix in a bowl until it tastes right! super easy and yummy.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Burger and Fries Casserole

I have to admit I haven't tried this one yet but its on the menu for this week, so I thought I would share. Cause really who doesn't like burger and fires?
(I think this makes a lot so i would probably cut it in half)
2 pound lean ground beef
1 10 ounce can condensed golden mushroom soup
1 10 ounce can condensed cheddar cheese soup
1 20 ounce package frozen french fried crinkle cut fries
1 teaspoon season salt
any toppings like pickles tomatoes, ketchup or mustard

preheat oven to 350degrees. In a large skillet cook beef and drain fat. transfer beef into a baking dish (casserole dish). in a medium bowl combine mushroom and cheese soups then spread over beef. top with the frozen potatoes and sprinkle with season salt.

bake for 45 minutes to 55 minutes or until potatoes are golden brown. if you want put your toppings on and eat! SO EASY
( so i got this from a meals on a budget recipe book it says this meal should only cost you 12$ to make and if you don't make it as big it should be less. We will find out good experiment though!)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

kristen's pudding cake

remember this recipe?
well one night we had a bunch of strawberries from costco, and didn't want them to go to waste so we came up with this version of the lemon cake recipe. no shortcake? make vanilla pudding cake! so moist and yummy.

white cake mix {yes... gasp... the box kind}
small vanilla pudding
3/4 cup oil
3/4 cup water
3 eggs

topping (instead of glaze):
a bunch of cut up strawberries with sugar sprinkled on top, let sit in the fridge for an hour before to get the juices flowing.
and of course... whipped cream

mix all the ingredients together and bake at 350 degrees...follow the directions on the box for a 9x13 pan.

crockpot sweet & sour chicken

so i've been trying lots of new recipes... just not posting them! i am the worst, i know. it took another sinus infection to get me on here posting.

this recipe comes from taste of home here. but for you liz, i'll post the whole recipe.

1-1/4 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch strips
1 Tbs. canola oil
salt & pepper to taste
1 can (15 oz.) pineapple chunks (i omitted the water chestnuts...bleh, and added a whole can of pineapple)
2 medium carrots, sliced
2 Tbs. soy sauce
4 tsp. cornstarch
1 cup sweet-and-sour sauce (i used this kind, but i'd be willing to experiment with others)
1/4 cup water
(i omitted the ginger because that sounded weird to me)
3 green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
1-1/2 cups fresh or frozen snow peas (i used fresh and it was sophie's favorite part)
hot cooked rice

in a large skillet, saute chicken in oil for 4-5 minutes; drain. sprinkle with salt and pepper. drain pineapple, reserving juice; set pineapple aside. in a 5-qt. slow cooker, combine the chicken, carrots, soy sauce and pineapple juice. cover and cook on low for 3 hours or until chicken juices run clear.

in a small bowl, combine the cornstarch, sweet-and-sour sauce, and ginger until smooth. stir into the slow cooker. add onions, peas and reserved pineapple; cover and cook on high for 15 minutes or until thickened. serve with rice.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Blueberry Buttermilk Streusel Coffee Cake

I found this recipe on Stephanie's Kitchen just after Bella was born and made it about nine times between then and Thanksgiving.  It's pretty much the perfect breakfast cake, and you know it's a snap to put together if I was making it three weeks postpartum!  Look at it....

doesn't it make your mouth water?  I stole the pic straight off her blog (sorry Stephanie, nothing else I found did the yumminess justice)  :)  Make this for your lazy Saturday morning....the recipe is right here.

Sorry Liz, I know, a link instead of full text.  Just follow the link, I promise it's worth it!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Veggie Burger Heaven

I'm a veggie burger fan, but never thought to make my own until I found this recipe from the food network,Guy Fieri. I'm hooked. These patties are packed with fiber (8g each) and loaded with flavor! One of the things I love about this recipe is that you can add a little corn, brown rice or whatever you can come up with, just compensate by adding a little egg white if you put more dry ingredients in. Freeze individual patties for dinners later in the month. By the time you put on lettuce and tomato you'll never miss the meat. Promise, try them!

2 ounces olive oil
3 tablespoons diced red onion
2 tablespoons diced black olives
2 tablespoons diced red bell peppers
1 teaspoon diced jalapeno (I didn't use this)
1 1/2 tablespoons diced garlic
1 tablespoon diced artichoke
4 ounces black beans, drained
4 ounces chickpeas, drained
4 ounces white beans, drained
6 ounces rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley leaves
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon ground sage
2 tablespoons seasoned bread crumbs
1 egg

In a medium saute pan over medium heat, add 1-ounce olive oil and all raw vegetables except beans. Saute until translucent. Remove and cool.

Add veggies to beans and mix thoroughly. Add all dry ingredients along with the egg. Thoroughly mix all ingredients by 'gushing and squishing' between your fingers. The beans help make it all stick together, form into 4 patties, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. (I doubled it and used each of the three cans of beans)

In saute pan add 1-ounce olive oil, and cook patties 2 to 3 minutes per side.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

baked potato soup

this is another yummy stolen and adapted recipe from liz's family cookbook.

4 large baking potatoes
2/3 cup flour
6 cups milk
2/3 cup butter
8 oz. sour cream
3/4 tsp. salt
4 green onions, chopped
12 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
1 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp pepper

wash and poke potatoes with a fork. place directly on oven rack and bake until done (400 degrees for about an hour). cool and cut in half lengthwise and scoop out pulp. set aside.
melt butter in heavy saucepan over low heat; add flour, stirring until smooth. cook 1 minute, STIRRING CONSTANTLY. gradually add milk, stirring over medium heat until thick and bubbly. add potato pulp, salt and pepper, 2 TBS. of the green onions, 1/2 cup bacon and 1 cup cheese. cook until heated thoroughly and stir in sour cream. add more milk if necessary, but it should be served thick. serve with the remaining green onions, bacon and cheese on top. and of course you need some crusy white bread to dip!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Rustic Tomato Soup

Here we go ladies, new recipe, it's even pretty colors diet approved....
3 lbs tomatoes
1 onion, diced
1 handful baby carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 forkful garlic
salt, pepper, basil to taste
6 cups chicken stock
1/3 cup orange juice
splash balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 325.  Slice up tomatoes, toss in EVOO, salt and pepper and roast for 25 min, then broil for 10 more.  Meanwhile, chop and saute onion, carrot, celery and spices in EVOO in deep soup pot.  When onions start to get translucent add orange juice and balsamic vinegar.  Pulse in blender.  Return to pot and add chicken stock and roasted tomatoes.  Simmer 40 min.   Blend again until just chunky.  Serve with grilled cheese sandwiches.  Yum!

Pineapple Beef

Couldn't find a picture of my dish, too hungry to take a one while it was still sizzling delish :)
15 oz can coconut milk
1 biggish can pineapple tidbits, juice reserved
1/2 package frozen broccoli
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1-2 cups shredded beef (I used left over potroast)
1/2 forkful minced garlic
3-4 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 shake hot sauce
4 cups cooked rice

Marinate meat, veggies and pineapple in a mix of coconut milk, pineapple juice, garlic, soy sauce, paprika and hot sauce.  Dump it all in screaming hot wok (or skillet), saute and simmer until sauce thickens.  Serve over rice

Friday, February 12, 2010

crusty white bread

i love bread way too much. and this does NOT follow your new whole wheat regime jen, but i promise it's good for soup dipping!

No Knead French Bread
From Artisian Bread in 5 Minutes a Day (i've been coveting this book)

3 cups of lukewarm water
1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons coarse salt

6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Grab a very large mixing bowl, or a large container that you can cover. In it, mix the water, yeast, and salt. Just let that sit together for a while (you don’t have to wait for the yeast to dissolve completely), then dump the flour all at once and stir with a wooden spoon. You don’t need to knead this, and you’re not looking to make it come together into a dough ball. You just want everything mixed well, with no streaks of flour left, and you’re done.

Leave it in your container, covered (but not airtight, or it’ll pop), for a few hours. When it has risen and then deflated a bit, your dough is done. It’s ready to be used or stored in the refrigerator.

To bake the bread, just grab a chunk of dough, about the size of a grapefruit. Dust your hands with flour to help prevent sticking, and gently pull the sides of the dough toward the bottom, rotating the dough, until you get a roundish shape with a smooth surface. It should only take you about a minute or less to do this. The dough won’t be entirely in the bottom, where it may look bunched up, but don’t worry about it.

Put it on a cutting board that’s been dusted with cornmeal to prevent sticking (i used flour and it worked fine), and let it rest for about an hour. No need to cover it. If the dough has been refrigerated, it helps to let it rest a little more, until it’s no longer chilled.

Twenty minutes before you are ready to bake, put a pizza stone (or cast iron skillet) in the middle rack of your oven, and put a cookie sheet (or broiler pan) in the bottom rack. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Dust some flour on the top of your loaf, and slash the top, about 1/4-inch deep.

After twenty minutes of preheating, it’s time to bake. (You can put the bread in after 20 minutes, even if your oven hasn’t reached 450 degrees yet.) Slide the loaf onto the baking stone(i put parchment between my bread and the pizza stone for the first ten minutes to prevent sticking and then pulled the parchment out), and then quickly pour 1 cup of hot tap water into the broiler pan. Then quickly shut the oven door to keep the steam inside.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until you get a nice brown crust. Remove and let cool completely, if you can wait that long.

The Pretty Colors Diet


This year, it's about eating more, not less!  Cholesterol is becoming a bit of a problem in this house, but a no---well, anything, diet is just gonna fail :)  So the plan is to do more of the good stuff, less of the bad.  More veggies, less meat.  More spices, less salt.  More fruit, less sugar.  More pretty colors, less dull fats....
Here's the specifics:
  1. Less meat, more produce, in every meal.   
  2. Adjust our food storage to include more ready to eat fruits and veggies so I can just toss it in a pan/bowl with out thinking prepping (Kri, you changed my life when you taught me about the pepper and onion frozen stir-fry mix, seriously!)
  3. One vegetarian meal per week......means I have to try some new stuff.
  4. More whole grains: brown rice, brown tortillas, brown bread.
Wish us luck, eh?  

Thursday, February 11, 2010

spinach tortellini

so, i didn't make it this week. i made it when kristen and landen were supposed to come eat dinner with us but got stuck because of the snow. you guys totally missed out--oh, and you still owe us...

this is from my family cookbook, too. i agree, my sisters and sisters-in-law are great cooks. thanks lizzie.

  • 1 (9 ounce) package refrigerated cheese tortellini
  • 2 tablespoons Butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • cherry tomatoes, halved

  1. Cook tortellini according to package directions.
  2. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in onion; cook until soft and translucent. Mix in cream cheese, parmesan, milk, mushrooms, and spinach.
  3. Gently mix in tortellini and cherry tomatoes with skillet contents; warm through, and serve.

mexican lasagna

this recipe was stolen and adapted straight from liz's "christensen family cook book" so i hope her and her sister don't mind me posting! i give all the credit to alisa. i've been trying a bunch of their recipes and they are good cooks... i have more to share... or so do you liz!

1 lb. ground beef
1 large onion
2 cups chunky salsa (i used the costco brand and it was delish)
1 can black beans, drained
1/4 cup zesty italian dressing
2 T. taco seasoning mix
4 flour tortillas (medium size)
1-2 cups sour cream
1 pkg. mexican style shredded four cheese (i only had cheddar and it was good)

brown meat with onions in large skillet; drain. add salsa, beans, dressing, taco seasoning; mix well. arrange 2 of the tortillas in a single layer on bottom of a 9x13 baking dish; cover with layers of half each of the meat mixture, sour cream, and cheese. (i just kept adding sour cream until it covered in a thin layer). repeat all layers: tortillas, meat mixture, sour cream, and cheese. cover with foil. preheat oven to 400 degrees and bake, covered, 30 min. remove foil and bake an additional 10 min. or until casserole is heated through and cheese is melted. let stand 5 minutes before cutting into.
top individually with tomatoes, lettuce, olives, and cilantro.

new year, new food

one of my goals for the new year was to be a better menu planner. every sunday i plan my menu for the week, which means finding a new recipe or two to try, entering all the meals into my schedule, making a list of the things i need for any of the recipes that i don't already have, and printing that menu out to hang on my fridge.

i think you all know i love to bake, but i really don't like to cook. dinner especially. why does that have to be the craziest time of day, when husbands have been gone all day and kids are crankiest, and we're expected to pull a dinner out of where? here is mine for this week...

so this is my solution to being a better cook. and honestly, when i have a menu, i actually kind of like cooking because i don't have to think of "what's for dinner?" it's just right there for me. we all like trying new meals and it means i get to put some creativity (which is what i need) into something i don't always like.

every time i see a recipe online that i want to try i print it out and stick it in my "recipes and menus binder." of course i had to make a cute cover to inspire me to keep things in it. everything is divided by subject and kept in those plastic sheet protectors i had laying around. super easy!

as the starter of this blog (like the queen right?) i'm challenging all of you to try at least one new recipe a week for the next month and share it on here. i promise i'll play along, hopefully we can inspire each other to become better cooks!

and yes liz... we still owe you from the last recipe voting challenge!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Caramel Apple Rolls

1 box Pillsbury Hot Roll Mix, prepared according to Cinnamon Roll directions


1/2 - 3/4 cup buttercream frosting
1/4 - 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 apples, peeled and diced
3 tablespoons brown sugar
cinnamon to taste

Prepare Hot Roll mix according to cinnamon roll directions. Roll out in large rectangle, spread filling all over and the roll up into long tube. Cut into twelve and set in greased 9 x 13 baking dish. Let rise for 30 min and bake at 375 degree oven for 20 to 30 min. Frost and serve warm.....mmmm.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels

I love hot and tangy things. These little appetizers are a little of both worlds. I am also obsessed with semi-homemade recipes that are easy and usually include crescent roll dough. I think this recipe is from Pillsbury.
1 can refridgerated crescent roll dough
1/2 cup finely chopped cooked chicken
1/4 cup hot sauce or wing sauce
3 oz. cream cheese softened
1/4 cup blue cheese (1 0z.)
2 tbs. chopped fresh chives

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray.

Unroll the dough and separate it into 4 rectangles, try to seal the seams together.

In a small bowl, mix the chicken together with the hot sauce until well coated. Spread about 1 tbs. cream cheese over each rectangle. Sprinkle with chicken mixture, blue cheese and chives.

Starting from one end, roll the dough up and tuck in anything thats falling out. Cut into 4-5 pieces per rectangle. Place cut side down on the cookie sheet and bake for 13-17 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.
I serve them with carrot and celery sticks.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

not your average lemon bar.

i made these for a christmas party we are going to tonight. oh wow. please make these and tell me how delicious they are.


  • 1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon peel
  • 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) HERSHEY'S Premier White Chips, divided
  • 2/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups regular rolled or quick-cooking oats
  • 3/4 cup toasted pecan pieces*
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon shortening


1. heat oven to 350°F. lightly grease 13x9x2-inch baking pan. combine sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice and lemon peel in medium bowl; set aside. measure out 1/4 cup and 1/3 cup white chips; set aside. add remaining white chips to lemon mixture.

2. beat butter and brown sugar until blended in large mixer bowl. stir together flour, oats, pecans, baking powder and salt; add to butter mixture, blending well. remove 1-2/3 cups oats mixture; set aside. add egg to remaining mixture, blending until crumbly. press egg/crumb mixture on bottom of prepared pan. gently spoon lemon mixture on top, spreading evenly. add reserved 1/3 cup white chips to reserved crumb mixture. sprinkle over lemon layer, pressing crumbs lightly.

3. bake 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned. cool in pan on wire rack. place remaining 1/4 cup white chips and shortening in small microwave-safe bowl. microwave at MEDIUM (50%) 30 seconds; stir. if necessary, microwave at MEDIUM 10 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating, until chips are melted and mixture is smooth when stirred. drizzle over bars. allow drizzle to set; cut into bars. about 36 bars.

*to toast pecans: heat oven to 350°F. spread pecans in thin layer in shallow baking pan. bake 7 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown; cool.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

banana chocolate chip muffins

these were oh my gosh delicious. boxed blueberry muffins will forever hold a place in my heart, but i might have had a slight change of heart after trying these. i made them for breakfast when all of our family was in town in october and they were gobbled up within a matter of minutes. again, from my trusty blog friend jessica.

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 bananas mashed
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 to 1 cup chocolate chips (however many you like in your muffins)

heat oven to 350 degrees. cream sugar and butter. add eggs and beat well. sift or mix flour, baking soda, and salt. add bananas and vanilla, and lastly chocolate chips. fill muffin cups 2/3 full. bake 20-25 minutes.

cheesy breadsticks

i told you i was on a role with bread.

i don't know this guy, but i couldn't find a picture of cheesy breadsticks that look like these, so i opted for someone who looks like they're having fun eating a breadstick in front of a kitschy-european looking souvenir shop.

this recipe comes from my blog friend jessica (i got permission to share with everyone). and these are not so "light and airy!" but are now my go-to breadsticks.

3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1 pkg active dry yeast (or 2 1/4 tsp instant yeast)
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup warm water
2 tbsp olive oil

in a large bowl, mix 1 1/4 cups flour with yeast and salt, add warm water and oil. beat with a whisk for 3 minutes. using a wooden sppon, stir in another 3 1/4 cups flour, or enough so mixture holds together. place dough on a lightly floured surface. knead in 1/4 to 1/2 cup more flour-stop once it's lump free. cover dough and let it rest for about 10 minutes. heat oven to 425 degrees. (leave it on the oven while it's heating up for a quicker rise).

on a greased baking sheet (i use parchment paper sometimes), press out dough into a rectangle, as thin as you like it. prick dough with a fork lightly. bake about 8 minutes. melt butter and brush on top of dough. sprinkle with garlic salt and cheese. (mozerella and parmesan are da best). bake another 8 minutes or until browned. cut into wedges and enjoy!

parmesan puff pastry breadsticks

don't these make you want to jump up right now and whip up a batch?

ok so i have a thing for bread. namely, bread with cheese on it, in the form of a stick that can easily be shoved into my mouth. i made these as an appetizer for thanksgiving and they were everything i hoped for: light and airy so i could consume large amounts without even knowing!

the original recipe for these comes from good ol' paula dean found here. but since i know some of you are a little particular on following links (liz, cough), i will post the whole recipe here too.

1 (17.3-ounce) package frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed
1 cup freshly grated parmesan (yes it must be FRESH! dust off your grater)
1 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 cup butter, melted

(i actually had to double all of the ingredients to cover a whole package of pastry sheets).

preheat oven to 400 degrees. lightly grease a baking sheet (i used parchment paper for easier cleanup).

on a lightly floured surface, unfold pastry sheets (i just used one of our cutting mats). cut each sheet into 13 strips, about 3/4 by 10-inches apiece.

in a shallow dish, combine cheese, basil, and garlic. brush pastry sticks with melted butter on both sides. roll pastry in cheese mixture, lighly coating each side. gently twist pastry sticks, and place on a prepared baking sheet. bake for 12 minutes. remove to wire racks to cool.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

cranberry salad

wow. thanksgiving is really already here! love, love it. can't wait to stuff my face. i just wish we were all stuffing our faces together! james, here is what i am making this year. i think i've had it with my thanksgiving meal as long as i can remember.

1 pkg. fresh cranberries, grind in blender, cover with 1 cup sugar and refrigerate 1 hour.
1 pint whipping cream-whip until very thick. add sugar and vanilla to taste.
Add: cranberries after standing 1 hour
1 bag mini marshmallows
1 large can crushed pineapple, drained

i just realized there's no jello, but it definitely fills that category, haha!

Monday, November 23, 2009

pretzel jello

this stuff is so good it kind of doubles as dessert! (kind of like our bavarian dessert in layers)

2 C. crushed pretzels
1/4 C. sugar
3/4 C. melted butter
8 oz. (1 block) cream cheese, softened
1 C. powdered sugar
9 oz. cool whip
16 oz. strawberry jello (lg. box)
2 C. boiling water
10 oz. bag frozen strawberries/raspberries

combine first three ingredients as the crust and press into a 9x13 pan. bake at 400 degrees for 6 min. cool to room temp.

blend the cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth, then add the cool whip and spread over cooled crust.

dissolve jello in boiling water and stir in frozen fruit right after. chill until partially set (about 45 minutes). spoon over cream cheese layer. cool until firm. cut into squares and serve!

jello salad

this is what i'm making for thanksgiving james!

1 lg. box raspberry (or strawberry... both are yummy) jello
about 1 1/2 C. frozen raspberries, mostly thawed
about 1 C. cool whip

make jello as directed on box (you can put the raspberries in the jello while it's setting up, but i just throw them in at the end)

once jello is set up add the raspberries and cool whip (i just add both until it's the right consistency) and blend everything together with your beaters.


sorry for the nasty picture that i found on the internet, but this is what it kind of looks like. no i do not put my jello salad in the plastic part of a longaberger basket, nor do i recommend it.

ooo that just reminded me of pretzel jello... do we have that on here?


Hey ladies i need a good thanksgiving jello salad recipe, I know you guys are good for it!!

pumpkin cookies

i've gotten several requests for these from family members who i point to this blog, but the recipe was no where to be found. my bad! i posted it on my own blog last year, so follow this link to get the yummy recipe!

in the meantime, here is the cream cheese frosting recipe i use:

1 (8 oz.) block cream cheese, softened
1/4 C. butter softened
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2-3 C. powdered sugar

Cream first 3 ingredients together and add the powdered sugar until it reaches the desired consistency.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Stuffing

Sorry for tiny-ness of the picture

It's turkey day this week!  We'll be out of town and sort of swapping the traditional dinner for grabbing some grub after the Macy's parade.  But you know I can never truly skip Thanksgiving dinner, especially the stuffing!  So I made a mini version before FHE last week with my own take on grandma's stuffing and a little help from Rachel Ray in the turkey department.  :)    And so, I now can give you:  Apple Sausage Stuffing, the recipe!

12 oz sausage, crumbled
 1 medium white onion, diced
4 ribs celery, sliced up
2-3 small apples, diced (I like golden delicious and I don't peel them but you can do whatever you want)
1 forkful minced garlic (I buy the pre-chopped but my best guess would be about a clove)
tiny pinch of nutmeg
2 T butter
2 bags croutons (I use "Fresh Gourmet" butter & garlic but again, just pick)
2 dried bay leaves
2 cups chicken stock

Brown and crumble sausage, transfer to plate w/ paper towel to drain.  In the same skillet saute onion, celery, apples and garlic, then add in nutmeg and salt n' pepper when everything's starting to get soft, set aside.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Put butter in a rectangle cake pan and let melt while oven preheats.  When butter is melted, pour in croutons and coat.  Then add in sausage and onion/celery/apple mixture and toss until evenly distributed, lay bay leaves on top.  Drizzle chicken stock over all of it until everything is pretty moist.  Bake 15-20 minutes.  I pull it out at 15 to fluff it a little and see how it's coming.  Pull out bay leaves and serve!

Whoops!  I forgot, I always toss in a couple handfuls of craisins before I bake it.  Just p.s.

Monday, September 14, 2009

"healthy" fried rice

this recipe comes straight out of parents magazine, so you know it's easy! and sophie loves the scrambled eggs in this one which makes me happy.


1 8.8-oz. uncle ben's package cooked brown rice (see picture)
1 16-oz. pkg. mixed frozen vegetables (peas, corn, green beans, carrots)
1 cup frozen peppers-and-onion stir-fry vegetables
4 tsp. canola oil, divided
3 eggs
3 Tbs. stir-fry sauce (i like the kikkoman brand)
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper (optional)
lime wedges (i didn't like this though)

heat 2 tsp. canola oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium. whisk eggs and add to the skillet. cook, stirring occasionally to break up eggs, until set. remove from pan. add remaning 2 tsp. oil to the skillet and then increase the heat to medium-high. stir in the frozen vegetables; cook for 5 minutes or until tender.

add stir-fry sauce and crushed red pepper to the skillet. stir in rice and heat through, then mix in the cooked eggs. squeeze lime juice on for extra flavor (like i said, i didn't really get this flavor with everything else, but you might like it).
yum. yum. yum.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Grilled Pizza

The grill and I have become good friends this summer. Not wanting to heat up the kitchen+looking for something different= Grilled Pizza for dinner tonight. I loved that it tasted like flat bread and was just the texture I was hoping for. Nope, the dough doesn't fall down into the grill. It acts like meat and starts to stiffen as it cooks.

1 pkg. Rapid Rise Yeast
1 cup hot water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups flour

Whatever your little heart can dream of.
I used tomatoes and basil from the garden and made a Margharita pizza and turkey pepperoni and cheese. Be creative.

Disolve the yeast in hot water for 3-4 min. Dump everything else in and mix until the dough starts to clean the bowl. Let it rise. I wait 45min or so, but this Rapid Rise stuff is ready after about 15 minutes of mixing. It will NOT double in size though. This makes enough for one large or two small pizzas. Split the dough in two, make a shape resembling a pizza...obviously not my strong suit. Turn the grill on and let it warm up for 5 minutes. Take all of your toppings out to the grill. Brush one side of the dough with olive oil and put it oil side down on the grill for 2-3 minutes. Flip it over and add your toppings while it's on the grill. Let it cook for an additional 5 minutes.